The Apollo 12 mission
was the first opportunity in the scientific exploration of the
Moon to sample extensively the rocks within half a kilometer of
the landing site.
Command Module Pilot
Richard Gordon Jr. remained in lunar orbit as the Apollo 12 Lunar
Module landed on the northwest rim of the Surveyor Crater in the
Ocean of Storms. The landing site was at 23 degrees 4 minutes
west longitude and 3 degrees 2 minutes south latitude, approximately
120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Lansberg Crater and due
north of the center of Mare Cognitum. The landing site is near
a ray associated with the Copernicus Crater, which is approximately
370 kilometers (230 miles) to the north, and is characterized
by a distinctive cluster of craters ranging from 50 to 400 meters
During two moon walks
totaling 7 hours and 45 minutes, the astronauts collected lunar
soil and additional surface samples along a geologic traverse.
Commander Charles Conrad Jr. and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean
obtained material from the bottom of a shallow trench and brought
back several items from the Surveyor 3 spacecraft. The astronauts
caught some of the solar wind in an aluminum foil, and they took
photographs of the lunar surface and crew activities with 70-mm
Hasselblad cameras and a close-up stereoscopic camera.