Apollo 15 was the ninth crewed mission in the United States’ Apollo program. It was the first of three extended missions, known as J missions. The landing site was moved to Hadley Rille, originally planned for Apollo 19. Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin explored the local area using the rover.
About Apollo 15 in brief
Apollo 15 was the ninth crewed mission in the United States’ Apollo program and the fourth to land on the Moon. It was the first of three extended missions, known as J missions, and the landing site was moved to Hadley Rille, originally planned for Apollo 19. Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin explored the local area using the rover, allowing them to travel further from the lunar module than had been possible on previous missions. The mission accomplished its goals but was marred by negative publicity the following year when it emerged that the crew had carried unauthorized postal covers to the lunar surface, some of which were sold by a West German stamp dealer. The members of the crew were reprimanded for poor judgment, and did not fly in space again. Apollo 15 is also remembered for the discovery of the Genesis Rock, and for Scott’s use of a hammer and a feather to validate Galileo’s theory that absent air resistance, objects drop at the same rate due to gravity. In the original plan, Apollo 15 was to be the last of the non-extended missions, to land in Censorinus crater. But in anticipation of budget cuts, NASA cancelled three landing missions by September 1970. The Apollo 15 mission splashed down safely on August 7 despite the loss of one of its three parachutes. The crew consisted of Richard Gordon Gordon, Vance D. Brand, Harrison H. Schmitt, Joseph P. Allen, Robert A. Parker and Karl G. Henize. All three were selected as the prime-astronauts with the prime assistance of the geologist Joe Engle, who was selected as LMP of Apollo 17.
By the end of Apollo 15’s 74th lunar orbit the engine was fired for the journey home. In 1967, NASA felt they needed more assistance with the science with the Apollo mission than the Apollo 17 mission had provided. Apollo 17 was the last mission to send a professional scientist to the Moon, a geologist, instead of Joe Engel, who had been chosen for the Apollo 18 mission. The lunar module would be capable of up to a 75-hour stay, and would carry a Lunar Roving Vehicle to the moon’s surface. The service module would house a package of orbital experiments to gather data on the lunar environment. It would be used in the last five missions of the Apollo program, with a heavier, extended version of theApollo spacecraft to be used to carry a lunar subsatellite deployed at the ends of the moonwalks. The backup crew was Richard Gordon. Gordon. Scott was chosen as commander for Apollo 15, with Vance D Brand as command module pilot and Harrison F. Brand as lunar module pilot for Apollo 18, which was most likely have flown on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and later on the first operational Space Shuttle, ST-S5. The third crew member was James Irwin, who flew in Gemini 8 in 1966 alongside Neil Armstrong and as command Module pilot of Apollo 9 in 1969. Both Worden and Irwin were selected in the fifth group of astronauts and Apollo 15 would be their only spaceflight.