In April 1972, NASA was preparing to launch the Apollo program's 10th manned mission, Apollo 16— the fifth to actually land on the Moon. Apollo 16 was the second expedition to bring a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) along. The astronauts spent more than 20 hours exploring the surface of the Moon, driving 16.6 miles in their LRV, gathering 210 pounds of samples, and setting up a package of instruments and experiments. On April 27, 1972, the crew splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, after 12 days away from Earth.
Astronauts John Young and Charles Duke drive a Lunar Roving Vehicle trainer on a simulated lunar surface on Earth on December 22, 1971.
John Young and Charles Duke during EVA training at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
John Young gives a "thumb up" to well-wishers gathered in a hallway as he and crewmates leave to board the transfer van to the launch pad on April 16, 1972.
Liftoff of Apollo 16 on April 16, 1972. The crew of three was lifted into orbit atop a Saturn V SA-511 rocket, eventually hurling them toward the Moon at 22,000 miles per hour.
Flight Director Gene Kranz during the Apollo 16 launch on April 16, 1972
View of Earth from orbit shortly after launch, on April 16, 1972
A view of Earth depicted during translunar coast. Baja California is at the center of the image.