On This Day In Space: Aug. 2, 1971: Apollo 15 makes 1st televised lunar liftoff (Image Credit: Space.com)
An RCA TV camera was mounted onto their lunar rover, which Scott parked about 300 feet away with the camera pointed at Falcon. Flight controllers in Mission Control Houston had the option to move the camera, but because of some technical difficulties, they opted to leave the camera pointed in the same direction during liftoff. Following a quick pop and a bunch of sparks, Falcon quickly disappeared from sight. Shortly afterward, Falcon joined the command module “Endeavour,” and Apollo 15 began its journey back to Earth.
The Apollo 15 mission launched to the moon on July 26, 1971. The mission was commanded by Scott, with Irwin as lunar module pilot. Astronaut Al Worden served as command module pilot and remained aboard Endeavour as Scott and Irwin explored the moon’s surface. The Apollo 15’s Falcon lunar lander touched down on the moon on July 30. Orwin and Scott performed three moonwalks and test drove NASA’s new lunar rover before lifting off on Aug. 2.
The Apollo 15 crew remained in lunar orbit until Aug. 4, when they departed for Earth. The mission ended with a splashdown landing in the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 7.
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