The Apollo Program
| Apollo 16
astronauts explored the Descartes region, the first opportunity to explore
the lunar highlands. The site was some 2,2500 meters (7,400 feet) higher
than the Apollo 11 site. Preliminary geological
analysis of the highlands indicates that the Moon's crust underwent modification
early in its history. By studying these modification processes, NASA hoped
to achieve a better understanding of the development of this portion of
the Moon's surface as well as the development of the Earth's crust, its
continents, and ocean basins.
The three basic objectives were:
The lunar roving vehicle, used for the first time on Apollo 15, extended the range of the exploration and geological investigations that Young and Duke would make during their three seven-hour EVAs. The Apollo lunar surface experiment package (ALSEP) which the crew deployed became the fourth in a network of lunar surface scientific stations (along with the Apollo 12, 14, and 15 ALSEPs).
The scientific instrument module (SIM) bay in the service module was the heart of the inflight experiment effort on Apollo 16. Quite similar to the SIM bay flown on Apollo 15, the bay contained high-resolution and mapping cameras and scientific sensors for photographing and measuring properties of the lunar surface and the environment around the Moon.
Engineering and operational tasks the Apollo 16 crew carried out included further evaluation of the LRV and Skylab crew equipment, and use of the SIM bay subsatellite as a navigation tracking aid. Other medical experiments included a biostack, ALFMED, and the passive bone mineral measurement.From Apollo 16 Press Kit.