Forty-Four Years Ago Today: Apollo 14 Touches Down on the Moon

Forty-Four Years Ago Today: Apollo 14 Touches Down on the Moon

Apollo 14
Image credit: NASA

On Feb. 5. 1971, the Apollo 14 crew module landed on the moon. The crew members were Captain Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. (USN), commander; Major Stuart Allen Roosa (USAF), command module pilot; and Commander Edgar Dean Mitchell (USN), lunar module pilot. In this photo, Shepard stands by the Modular Equipment Transporter (MET). The MET was a cart for carrying around tools, cameras and sample cases on the lunar surface. Shepard can be identified by the vertical stripe on his helmet. After Apollo 13, the commander’s spacesuit had red stripes on the helmet, arms, and one leg, to help identify them in photographs.


Video: 1971: Apollo 14 (NASA)

Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo programme and the third mission to land on the Moon, touching down on 5 February 1971.

The crew were Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr, Stuart A. Roosa (Command Module Pilot) and Edgar D. Mitchell (Lunar Module Pilot).

After landing at the destination for Apollo 13 – Shepard and Mitchell took two moon walks, adding new seismic studies to the by now familiar Apollo experiment package, and using a “lunar rickshaw” pull cart to carry their equipment. Roosa, meanwhile, took pictures from on board command module Kitty Hawk in lunar orbit.

Shepard and Mitchell collected almost 45 kg of lunar samples for return to Earth.

The Apollo 14 astronauts were the last lunar explorers to be quarantined on their return from the Moon.

Shepard and Mitchell named their landing site Fra Mauro Base, and this designation is recognized by the International Astronomical Union.

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