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Apollo 16

Apollo 16 panorama

Three essential pieces of equipment on any moon landing appear in this image. The Lunar Rover, which has been likened to "a spacecraft on wheels," carried a navigation computer, communication systems, tools, maps, and, of course, astronauts. Though it traveled at a top speed of just seven mph, at each bump the wire-wheeled vehicle (shown here with Lunar Module pilot Charles Duke) took flight because of the moon's low gravity, which is but one-sixth that on Earth. To the rover's right is the Lunar Module, giving a good sense of how difficult it is to judge distances on the moon. To the rover's left, out in the middle distance, stands a square, black object: the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package. One of the instruments in the ALSEP was a seismometer, which recorded everything from meteor strikes to the crash landings of spent Lunar Modules and Saturn boosters. The panorama was taken by Commander John Young.

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Photography courtesy of U.S.Geological Survey Astrogeology Program

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