Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Apollo 14 Landing Site

Fra Mauro
3.64530° S latitude, 17.47136° W. longitude

The Apollo 14 landing site was located at 3.65 south latitude 17.47 west longitude, about 30 miles (49.3 km) north of the Fra Mauro crater--the same site selected for the aborted Apollo 13 mission.

The hilly region was designated the Fra Mauro formation, a widespread geological area covering large portions of the lunar surface around Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains). The 700-mile (1126 km) wide Mare Imbrium is the largest recognizable impact structure on the Moon, and is thought to have been formed by a major impact of a huge mass colliding with the Moon during the period when the Earth and the planets were forming. The Fra Mauro formation is believed to be made up of an ejecta blanket thrown out by that impact.

The area is characterized by ridges a few hundred feet high which radiate from the Imbrium basin separated by undulating valleys. The ejecta blanket now is buried by younger rubble and lunar soil churned up by more recent meteoroid impacts and possible moonquakes.

Diagram based on Apollo 11, 12, and 14 traverse map prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey and published by the Defense Mapping Agency for NASA.

Fra Mauro debris may have come from as deep as 100 miles (161 km) below the original lunar crust, and returned samples provide evidence of when the Imbrium basin was formed and help to establish the age and physical/chemical nature of pre-impact material from deep in the crust.

A recent impact near the landing point formed Cone crater, nearly 1,000 feet (305 m) across and 250 feet (76 m) deep, with large blocks of original Imbrium material around the crater rim. Shepard and Mitchell climbed Cone crater's gently sloping outer wall to photograph the crater's interior and chip samples from the boulders around the edge.

The Fra Mauro formation became more interesting to scientists when the Apollo 12 seismometer at Surveyor crater 110 miles (177 km) to the west relayed to Earth signals of monthly moonquakes believed to have originated in the Fra Mauro crater as the Moon passed through its perigee.

The Fra Mauro crater and surrounding formation take their names from a 15th century Italian monk and mapmaker, who in 1457 mapped the then-known Mediterranean world with suprising accuracy.

From Apollo 14 Press Kit.

Apollo Landing Sites

Apollo Landing Sites Map.

Apollo 14 Landing Site

Apollo 14 Landing Site. Lunar Orbiter Photograph # 111-133-H2

Apollo 14 traverse map

Apollo 14 Traverses. Diagram based on Apollo 11, 12, and 14 traverse map prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey and published by the Defense Mapping Agency for NASA.