THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Apollo 16 Launches From Kennedy Space Center In 1972

By  //  April 16, 2019

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April 16, 1972

ABOVE VIDEO: Apollo 16 launch with Walter Cronkite and Walter Schirra LIVE on CBS, April 16, 1972

(NASA) – On this day (April 16), in 1972, astronauts John Young, Ken Mattingly and Charlie Duke lifted off on a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center to begin Apollo 16, the penultimate Apollo mission.

The mission’s primary objectives were to survey and sample lunar materials in the Moon’s rugged Descartes Highlands region, activate surface experiments and conduct in-flight experiments and photographic surveys from lunar orbit.

Among the instruments placed on the Moon was the first astronomical observatory placed on another celestial body.

This far ultraviolet camera/spectrograph was developed by Dr. George Carruthers of the Naval Research Laboratory.

The huge, 363-feet tall Apollo 16 (Spacecraft 113/Lunar Module 11/Saturn 511) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 12:54 p.m. EST, April 16, 1972, on a lunar landing mission. Aboard the Apollo 16 spacecraft were astronauts John W. Young, commander; Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot; and Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot. (NASA Image)