From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Apollo 16, the fifth of six U.S. lunar landing missions, is successfully launched on its 238,000-mile journey to the moon. On April 20, astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke descended to the lunar surface from the Command Module, which remained in orbit around the moon with a third astronaut, Thomas K. Mattingly, remaining on board.
Young and Duke remained on the moon for nearly three days, and spent more than 20 hours exploring the surface of Earth’s only natural satellite. The two astronauts used the Lunar Rover vehicle to collect more than 200 pounds of rock before returning to the Command Module on April 23. Four days later, the three astronauts returned to Earth, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.