Shepard was the oldest U.S. astronaut when he made his trip aboard Apollo 14. Although Mitchell strongly suspected the rim was nearby, they had become physically exhausted from the effort, and were instructed by Haise to sample where they were and then start moving back towards the LM. Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot: The Remarkable Life of Apollo 14 Astronaut Stuart Roosa Willie G. Moseley. But when he gently brought the modules together, the docking mechanism would not activate. Apollo 12 had launched during poor weather, but had twice been struck by lightning, as a result of which the rules had been tightened. Earthrise: My Adventures as an Apollo 14 Astronaut (English Edition) eBook: Mitchell, Edgar, Mahoney, Ellen, Cox, Dr. Brian, Cox, Dr. Brian: Amazon.de: Kindle-Shop  They remained there until their release from quarantine on February 27, 1971. The instruments were arrayed around a central station which supplied power to run the instruments and communications so data collected by the experiments could be relayed to Earth.  The Apollo 13 astronauts had suffered shortages of water and of power after the accident. He had experimental surgery in 1968 which was successful and allowed his return to flight status. Among those present to watch the launch were U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew and the Prince of Spain, the future King Juan Carlos I. Apollo 14 astronauts Al Shepard, Ed Mitchell and Stu Roosa embark onto the transfer van for the Countdown Demonstration Test, 31 January 1971. Credit: Science & Society Picture Library / Getty Images. The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package consisted of a set of scientific instruments emplaced at the landing site by the astronauts. "By determining the age of zircon found in the sample, we were able to pinpoint the age of the host rock at about four billion years old, making it similar to the oldest rocks on Earth," researcher Alexander Nemchin said, adding that "the chemistry of the zircon in this sample is very different from that of every other zircon grain ever analyzed in lunar samples, and remarkably similar to that of zircons found on Earth." Apollo 14 The primary objectives of this mission were to explore the Fra Mauro region centered around deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Scientific Experiments Package, or ALSEP; lunar field geology investigations; collection of surface material samples for return to Earth; deployment of scientific instruments and additional science and photography.  In addition to the normal training workload, they had to supervise the changes to the command and service module (CSM) made as a result of the Apollo 13 investigation, much of which was delegated by Shepard to Roosa. The two men pored over lunar maps depicting the areas the CSM would pass over. , The crew of Apollo 14 trained together for 19 months after assignment to the mission, longer than any other Apollo crew to that point. , Apollo 14's Command Module Pilot (CMP), Stuart Roosa, aged 37 when the mission flew, had been a smoke jumper before joining the Air Force in 1953. The Fra Mauro formation is composed of ejecta from the impact event that formed Mare Imbrium, and scientists hoped for samples that originated deep under the Moon's surface.  The pin is leaving Earth and is approaching the Moon. He stated after the mission that two of the four had gotten 51 out of 200 correct (the others were less successful), whereas random chance would have dictated 40. The original planned time, 3:23 pm, was at the very start of the launch window of just under four hours; had Apollo 14 not launched during it, it could not have departed until March.  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