Three hundred fifty kilometers SSW of the spectacular crater Copernicus you will find the 40-kilometer crater Lansberg, the closest large crater to the Apollo 12 landing site on the Mare Insularum (Sea of Isles). If you look almost three Lansberg diameters to the ESE of that crater, you are staring at the landing site of the Lunar Module Intrepid on November 19, 1969. The position is at 3.04° S, 23.42° W. Roughly four or five days before full Moon the region is perfectly illuminated for intense scrutiny. Remarkably, Apollo 12 landed only 180 meters from the Surveyor 3 probe, which had landed on the lunar surface 31 months earlier. The Moon rocket was launched in very dodgy weather conditions and was struck by lightning 30 seconds after launch. After hitting the massive, 111-meter tall Saturn V rocket, the bolt travelled down the vapor trail to the launch pad! See Figure 10.5.
Was this article helpful?