NASA's Apollo 12 mission sent three astronauts to the moon in November 1969 to make the second crewed lunar landing in history. See how that mission went in photos in our photo gallery here!
Apollo 12 Prime Crew
In September of 1969, astronauts (from left) Charles Conrad Jr., Richard F. Gordon Jr., and Alan L. Bean were named by NASA as the prime crew for the Apollo 12 lunar landing mission.
Practice for the Big Game
During an October 6, 1969 training session, astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., commander (facing the camera) and astronaut Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot — two astronauts from the Apollo 12 lunar landing mission crew — practice lunar surface extravehicular activity simulations by picking samples up and photographing them. The exercise was staged inside the Flight Crew Training Building at the Kennedy Space Center.
Map of a Journey
This image shows the Traverse Overlay, the path of the Apollo 12 extravehicular activity during the November 1969 lunar mission.
Training for the Moon
At Ellington Air Force Base on October 25, 1969, astronaut Charles Conrad, Jr., Apollo 12 lunar landing mission commander, participates in a lunar simulation flight using a Lunar Landing Training Vehicle (LLTV). Apollo crews use the LLTV to train in lunar landing techniques.
Lunar Surface Simulation
Outside Flagstaff, Arizona, on October 10, 1969, astronauts Charles Conrad, Jr. and Alan L. Bean participate in a training exercise for the upcoming Apollo 12 lunar landing mission. As they enter a simulated lunar surface area, the astronauts wear lunar surface cameras on their bodies. Conrad, on the left, carries some geological tools and Bean carries a geological tool container similar to the one designed for the November 19-20, 1969 extravehicular activity periods on the surface of the moon. During the lunar surface activities, Richard F. Gordon, Jr., command module pilot, will remain inside the Command and Service Modules orbiting the moon.
The Journey Begins
On September 8, 1969, the Apollo 12 space vehicle — consisting of the Spacecraft 108, Lunar Module 6 and Saturn 507 — makes its way to Launch Complex 39 Pad A at Kennedy Space Center. The Saturn V stack and its mobile launch tower leave the Vehicle Assembly Building rides atop a crawler-transporter for the trip. Astronauts Charles Conrad Jr., commander; Richard F. Gordon Jr., command module pilot; and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot, are the crew for Apollo 12, the second lunar landing mission.
More Lunar Surface Practice
At Kennedy Space Center in the Flight Crew Training Building, astronauts participate in yet another training on October 6, 1969.
What to Expect
Aboard the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever, the three prime crew members for the Apollo 12 lunar landing mission learn about water egress before training begins. Along with astronauts Richard F. Gordon Jr., command module pilot; Charles Conrad Jr., commander; and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot, a couple of training personnel participate in the briefing.
A Different Feeling
At the Manned Spacecraft Center inside Building 29, astronaut Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot, strapped into a one-sixth gravity simulator, prepares for the upcoming Apollo 12 lunar landing mission.
On November 14, 1969, the prime crew for the Apollo 12 — astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., commander; followed by astronauts Richard F. Gordon Jr., command module pilot; and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot — exit Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building. As the prelaunch countdown begins, the crewmen traverse to Launch Complex 39 Pad A inside a transport van to the waiting spacecraft. The Apollo 12 spacecraft launched at 11:22 am (EST) initiating the United States' second lunar landing mission.
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Christine Lunsford joined the Space.com team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with Space.com, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.