Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Apollo 16 Landing Site

Descartes Highlands
8.97301° S latitude, 15.49812° E longitude

The hilly region around Descartes crater in the lunar highlands was the landing site chosen for Apollo 16.

The landing site had two basic terrains that were explored and sampled: the Cayley Plains — a smooth or undulating light plains unit, and the Descartes formation made up of hilly furrowed highland plateau material. Analysis of the samples showed that these geologic units were made up of debris generated by impact events, perhaps from the formation of large lunar basins.

North and South Ray craters appeared to penetrate deeply into the Cayley formation and revealed a sequence of layering, perhaps through an overlap of both the Cayley and Descartes formations.

From Apollo 16 Press Kit.

Apollo Landing Sites

Apollo Landing Sites Map.

Apollo 16 Landing Site

Apollo 16 Landing Site. NASA photograph AS16-0161.

Apollo 16 Traverse Map

Apollo 16 Traverse Map.