Apollo 16

Apollo 16
John W. Young on the Moon.jpg
John Young on the Moon, with the Lunar Module and Lunar Rover in the background
Mission typeManned lunar landing
  • CSM: 1972-031A
  • LM: 1972-031C
  • CSM: 6000
  • LM: 6005
Mission duration11 d 1 h 51 min 5 s
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass107,226 pounds (48,637 kg)
Landing mass11,995 pounds (5,441 kg)
Crew size3
  • CSM: Casper
  • LM: Orion
EVAs1 in cislunar space to retrieve film cassettes
EVA duration1 h 23 min 42 s
Start of mission
Launch dateApril 16, 1972, 17:54:00 (1972-04-16UTC17:54Z) UTC
RocketSaturn V SA-511
Launch siteKennedy LC-39A
End of mission
Recovered byUSS Ticonderoga
Landing dateApril 27, 1972, 19:45:05 (1972-04-27UTC19:45:06Z) UTC
Landing siteSouth Pacific Ocean
0°43′S 156°13′W / 0°43′S 156°13′W / Apollo 16 splashdown)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemSelenocentric
Periselene20.2 kilometers (10.9 nmi)
Aposelene108.3 kilometers (58.5 nmi)
EpochApril 20, 1972, 00:27 UTC
Lunar orbiter
Spacecraft componentCommand/Service Module
Orbital insertionApril 19, 1972, 20:22:27 UTC
Orbital departureApril 25, 1972, 02:15:33 UTC
Lunar lander
Spacecraft componentLunar Module
Landing dateApril 21, 1972, 02:23:35 UTC
Return launchApril 24, 1972, 01:25:47 UTC
Landing siteDescartes Highlands
8°58′23″S 15°30′01″E / 8°58′23″S 15°30′01″E / -8.97301; 15.50019
Sample mass95.71 kilograms (211.0 lb)
Surface EVAs3
EVA duration
  • 20 h 14 min 14 s
  • First: 7 h 11 min 2 s
  • Second: 7 h 23 min 09 s
  • Third: 5 h 40 min 3 s
Lunar rover
Distance covered26.7 kilometers (16.6 mi)
Docking with LM
Docking dateApril 16, 1972, 21:15:53 UTC
Undocking dateApril 20, 1972, 18:07:31 UTC
Docking with LM Ascent Stage
Docking dateApril 24, 1972, 03:35:18 UTC
Undocking dateApril 24, 1972, 20:54:12 UTC
  • SIM:
  • LRV: 463 pounds (210 kg)


Apollo 16 crew.jpg
Left to right: Mattingly, Young, Duke

Apollo 16 was the tenth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, the fifth and penultimate to land on the Moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands. The second of the so-called "J missions," it was crewed by Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly. Launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:54 PM EST on April 16, 1972, the mission lasted 11 days, 1 hour, and 51 minutes, and concluded at 2:45 PM EST on April 27.[2][3][4]

Young and Duke spent 71 hours—just under three days—on the lunar surface, during which they conducted three extra-vehicular activities or moonwalks, totaling 20 hours and 14 minutes. The pair drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), the second produced and used on the Moon, 26.7 kilometers (16.6 mi). On the surface, Young and Duke collected 95.8 kilograms (211 lb) of lunar samples for return to Earth, while Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly orbited in the Command/Service Module (CSM) above to perform observations. Mattingly spent 126 hours and 64 revolutions in lunar orbit. After Young and Duke rejoined Mattingly in lunar orbit, the crew released a subsatellite from the Service Module (SM). During the return trip to Earth, Mattingly performed a one-hour spacewalk to retrieve several film cassettes from the exterior of the Service Module.[2][3]

Apollo 16's landing spot in the highlands was chosen to allow the astronauts to gather geologically older lunar material than the samples obtained in the first four landings, which were in or near lunar maria. Samples from the Descartes Formation and the Cayley Formation disproved a hypothesis that the formations were volcanic in origin.[5]


Position[6] Astronaut
Commander John W. Young
Fourth spaceflight
Command Module Pilot Thomas K. Mattingly II
First spaceflight
Lunar Module Pilot Charles M. Duke, Jr.
Only spaceflight

Mattingly had originally been assigned to the prime crew of Apollo 13, but was exposed to rubella through Duke, at that time on the back-up crew for Apollo 13, who had caught it from one of his children. He never contracted the illness, but was nevertheless removed from the crew and replaced by his backup, Jack Swigert, three days before the launch.[7] Young, a captain in the United States Navy, had flown on three spaceflights prior to Apollo 16: Gemini 3, Gemini 10 and Apollo 10, which orbited the Moon.[8] One of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966, Duke had never flown in space before Apollo 16. He served on the support crew of Apollo 10 and was a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for Apollo 11.[9]

Backup crew

Position[6] Astronaut
Commander Fred W. Haise, Jr.
Command Module Pilot Stuart A. Roosa
Lunar Module Pilot Edgar D. Mitchell

Although not officially announced, the original backup crew consisted of Fred W. Haise (CDR), William R. Pogue (CMP) and Gerald P. Carr (LMP), who were targeted for the prime crew assignment on Apollo 19.[10][11] However, after the cancellations of Apollos 18 and 19 were finalized in September 1970 this crew would not rotate to a lunar mission as planned. Subsequently, Roosa and Mitchell were recycled to serve as members of the backup crew after returning from Apollo 14, while Pogue and Carr were reassigned to the Skylab program where they flew on Skylab 4.[12][13]

Support crew

Mission insignia

The insignia of Apollo 16 is dominated by a rendering of an American eagle and a red, white and blue shield, representing the people of the United States, over a gray background representing the lunar surface. Overlaying the shield is a gold NASA vector, orbiting the Moon. On its gold-outlined blue border, there are 16 stars, representing the mission number, and the names of the crew members: Young, Mattingly, Duke.[18] The insignia was designed from ideas originally submitted by the crew of the mission.[19]

Apollo 16 space-flown silver Robbins medallion.
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Apollo 16
العربية: أبولو 16
беларуская: Апалон-16
български: Аполо 16
català: Apollo 16
čeština: Apollo 16
dansk: Apollo 16
Deutsch: Apollo 16
eesti: Apollo 16
español: Apolo 16
euskara: Apollo 16
فارسی: آپولو ۱۶
français: Apollo 16
galego: Apollo 16
한국어: 아폴로 16호
Bahasa Indonesia: Apollo 16
italiano: Apollo 16
עברית: אפולו 16
Basa Jawa: Apollo 16
қазақша: Аполлон 16
lietuvių: Apollo 16
magyar: Apollo–16
മലയാളം: അപ്പോളോ 16
Bahasa Melayu: Apollo 16
Nederlands: Apollo 16
日本語: アポロ16号
norsk: Apollo 16
occitan: Apollo 16
polski: Apollo 16
português: Apollo 16
română: Apollo 16
русский: Аполлон-16
Scots: Apollo 16
Simple English: Apollo 16
slovenčina: Apollo 16
slovenščina: Apollo 16
српски / srpski: Аполо 16
suomi: Apollo 16
svenska: Apollo 16
Türkçe: Apollo 16
українська: Аполлон-16
Yorùbá: Apollo 16