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Today In History: April 20th, 1972

NASA’s Apollo 16 Successfully Lands On the Moon

On April 20th, 1972, humanity took another giant leap in its quest to explore the cosmos as NASA’s Apollo 16 mission successfully landed on the surface of the moon. This historic achievement marked the fifth time astronauts set foot on the Moon and represented a pinnacle of human ingenuity and exploration.

three nasa astronauts smiling for photo ahead of 1972 mission
The crew of Apollo 16 (left to right: Thomas K. Mattingly II, Command Module pilot; John W. Young, Mission Commander; and Charles M. Duke Jr., Lunar Module pilot) pose for a portrait on January 12, 1972 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

Led by Commander John W. Young and Lunar Module Pilot Charles M. Duke Jr., Apollo 16 ventured into uncharted territory, aiming to unlock the mysteries of the moon’s Descartes Highlands. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and unwavering determination, the astronauts embarked on a journey of discovery, poised to collect valuable scientific data and samples that would deepen our understanding of the lunar landscape. The lunar module, named “Orion,” touched down near the Descartes crater on the evening of April 20th, 1972, marking the culmination of years of meticulous planning and preparation.

Over the course of their mission, Young and Duke conducted three exhilarating moonwalks, traversing the rugged terrain and braving the inhospitable conditions of the lunar surface. With the aid of the revolutionary lunar rover, they explored vast stretches of the Descartes Highlands, gathering over 200 pounds of rock and soil samples and deploying a suite of scientific instruments to unravel the moon’s geological secrets.

More from us: Missing Apollo 17 Moon Rock Discovered In Florida Man’s Personal Collection

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As the world watched in awe, Apollo 16 pushed the boundaries of human exploration, leaving an indelible mark on history and inspiring future generations to reach for the stars. The mission’s legacy endures as a testament to the power of human curiosity and determination, reminding us of our boundless potential to explore the unknown and expand the horizons of knowledge and discovery.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News