January 31, 1971 : Apollo 14 departs for the moon

Introduction

Apollo 14, piloted by astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a manned mission to the moon. On February 5, after suffering some initial problems in docking the lunar and command modules, Shepard and Mitchell descended to the lunar surface on the third U.S. moon landing. Upon stepping out of the lunar module, Shepard, who in 1961, aboard Freedom 7, was the first American in space, became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon. Shepard and Mitchell remained on the lunar surface for nearly 34 hours, conducting simple scientific experiments, such as hitting golf balls into space with Shepard’s golf club, and collecting 96 pounds of lunar samples. On February 9, Apollo 14 safely returned to Earth.

Article Details:

January 31, 1971 : Apollo 14 departs for the moon

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    January 31, 1971 : Apollo 14 departs for the moon

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/apollo-14-departs-for-the-moon

  • Access Date

    November 22, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks