Blue Dot: Apollo 16 Part 2: Mission to the lunar highlands
Blue Dot's Apollo @50 series continues with part two of our look back at the flight of Apollo 16 in April of 1972. This ambitious mission to explore the Descartes highlands was the first time NASA sent astronauts into the central highlands of the Moon. At the time, geologists thought the area would show signs of volcanism, but the highly trained astronaut field geologists collected samples that it was formed primarily by the process of impact.
Host Dave Schlom joins Apollo-era flight director Gerry Griffin who recounts engine trouble on board the Command Service Module Casper that nearly canceled the lunar landing.
Then, Earl Swift, author of Across The Airless Wilds: the Lunar Rover and the Triumph of the Final Moon Landings, discusses the remarkable vehicle that allowed astronauts John Young and Charlie Duke to explore their rugged landing site. Brigadier General Duke is one of the four living persons who have walked on the Moon. His son Tom shares insights into the mission and their relationship as Tom followed in his famous father's footsteps to become an aviator and now an airline pilot.