Destiny at Taurus-Littrow
On 21 May 1969, the crew of Apollo 10 entered their circularized orbit of 113.9 km by 109.1 km around the Moon after two Service Propulsion System burns. Aboard the Command Module (CM) Charlie Brown were mission Commander Thomas P. Stafford, CM Pilot John Young and Lunar Module (LM) Pilot Eugene Cernan. This mission was the first “all up” test of the Apollo spacecraft system that would eventually land on the Moon, including the Lunar Module. The stated mission of Apollo 10 was to “demonstrate crew, space vehicle and mission support facilities during a manned lunar mission and to evaluate LM performance in cislunar and lunar environment.” It was designed to duplicate every event of the historic Apollo 11 landing, except the landing itself. On 22 May, Stafford and Cernan entered the Lunar Module Snoopy, which then separated from the Command Module and prepared to descend to 14 km above the lunar surface. In a critical phase just prior to firing the ascent stage after separating from the descent stage, an incorrectly set navigation system switch triggered the Reaction Control System (RCS) into trying to compensate, causing the Lunar Module to tumble out of control.
KeywordsLanding Site Lunar Surface Lunar Soil Core Tube Mission Control
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