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Enjoy piecing together this spectaclar online space jigsaw puzzle of an impressive picture from the Apollo 15 moon landing.
The Apollo 15 mission was the 4th lunar landing. Piloted by astronauts, David Scott and James Irwin, the Apollo 15 landing module touched down on the moon in a location known as the Hadley-Apennine region at 10:16 pm (UTC/c) on 30th July 1971
This was the first of what NASA's called it's J Missions, these involving longer stays, more science and the use of the lunar rover, the first car driven by humans at the wheel across the surface of the moon. In fact, Apollo 15 was the very first time that the lunar rover, popularly known as the moon buggy, was used. During their stay on the moon, the astronauts drove the battery-powered rover, which can be seen to the right of this jigsaw puzzle, a total distance of 17 and a half miles at speeds of between 6 to 8 miles per hour. The part of the lunar rover that looks like an upturned umbrella on the jigsaw puzzle is its high-gain antenna.
The astronauts of Apollo 15 journeyed out of their landing craft on three separate occasions. Overall they spent a record total of 18 hours and 37 minutes exploring the moon's surface outside the landing module on foot or in the rover. During this time they collected 170 pounds of moon rock and soil samples, including what came to be known as the Genesis Rock. Not to be confused with music from a famous pop band, this is a piece of moonrock around 4.1 billion years old, which is only about 100 million years younger than the formation of the solar system. They also collected a core sample from a depth of around 10 feet below the surface of the moon.
The astronauts placed a group of scientific instruments known as the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP for short) on the moon. This was actually the third ALSEP group of instruments to have been left on the moon, others having been deployed by previous missions. The ALSEP array included a solar wind spectrometer, lunar dust detector, lunar surface magetometer and other instruments which were used for over 6 years to sent back important scientific data to the Earth.
Near the end of the 3rd and final moonwalk, Commander David Scott performed an elegant and interesting live experiment for the TV cameras with a hammer and a feather to test Galileo's theory that all objects in a particular gravity field should fall at the same rate in the absence of air resistance. On dropping the hammer from his right hand and the feather from his left, the two objects did indeed drop at the same speed and hit the moon's surface a the same time. On earth, a hammer only falls faster than a feather because the feather has a much higher air resistance in our atmosphere.
On their way back to planet Earth, Al Worden, the only one of the three astronauts who had not landed on the moon, had his own piece of history. He became the first person to ever perform a deep space spacewalk, or EVA as it's technically known. During his 38 minute spacewalk he retrieve a canisters of exposed film, mapping and panoramic cameras located on the Apollo 15's service module.
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