Intrepid-Surveyor

Fifty years ago, Apollo 12 landed within sight of another spacecraft, a dramatic demonstration of pinpoint landing capability. While Dick Gordon orbited Luna in the command module Yankee Clipper, Pete Conrad and Al Bean left the lunar module Intrepid and walked over to the robotic Surveyor, which had landed over two years earlier. They retrieved parts of Surveyor and returned them to Earth for engineering analysis. Bean’s photograph of Conrad at Surveyor with Intrepid on the horizon is a spoce exploration icon. Recently, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photographed the landing site and revealed Surveyor and Intrepid’s descent stage connected by dark tracks in the lunar regolith left by the astronauts.

Al Bean photographed Pete Conrad at the Surveyor 3 spacecraft with the lunar module Intrepid on the horizon, November 20, 1969

Al Bean photographed Pete Conrad at the Surveyor 3 spacecraft with the lunar module Intrepid on the horizon, November 20, 1969

2011 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photograph of the Apollo 12 landing site including the astronauts' tracks from two moonwalks

2011 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photograph of the Apollo 12 landing site including the astronauts’ tracks from two moonwalks

 

About John F. Lindner

John F. Lindner was born in Sleepy Hollow New York and educated at the University of Vermont and Caltech. He is a professor of physics and astronomy at The College of Wooster. He has enjoyed multiple yearlong sabbaticals at Georgia Tech, University of Portland, University of Hawai'i, and North Carolina State University. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics, celestial mechanics, and variable stars.
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