Apollo 16: Journey to Descartes

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Crew pictures - Footage from a crew photo shoot in front of the command module simulator. Crew in suits without helmets and gloves.

Mattingly - Footage from outside the command module simulator as CMP Mattingly prepares for a simulator run.

Chamber Run - Prime crew of Young, Duke and Mattingly undergo altitude chamber runs with the flight hardware.

Geology Training - Young and Duke during geologic training in Nevada. Featuring crew with simulated PLSS's, undergoing training in geology.

EVA Training - Young and Duke training for their lunar surface EVAs.

LM/LRV Checkout - Prime crew checkout of the flight hardware.

Rollout #1 - December 13, 1971.

Reaction Control System Tank Replacement - Repair of the Apollo 16 CSM.

Rollout #2 - February 9, 1972.

Padwork - Footage from the pre-launch alert, the day before the launch, showing removal of the mobile service structure and final preparation for launch.

Launch day - Pre-launch breakfast, suitup, transfer to pad and ingress.

Launch - Features 5 angles of the Apollo 16 launch. Use your DVD player remote control's angle button to change angles on-the-fly. The final angle shows all the previous angles together.

Transposition and Docking - Television and 16MM data acquisition camera coverage of the docking of the CSM Casper with the LM Orion.

LM Skin Inspection - The crew noticed a number of particles coming from the LM at transposition and docking. The crew then conducted an unscheduled television transmission at 8:45 GET to look at the emission, which turned out to be shredded thermal paint.

Undocking - 16MM data acquisition camera footage of the undocking of Orion prior to lunar descent.

CSM from LM - Views of Casper from Orion prior to lunar landing descent.

CSM Interior - Footage showing crew activities inside the CM.


SIM Door Jettison - 16MM footage from the command module during jettison of the SIM bay door.

Sextant Views - Lunar surface views through the CM sextant.

Mass Spectrometer Boom - 16MM footage from the CM of the Mass Spectrometer Boom. Black and White.

Orion Lands - 16MM data acquisition camera from the lunar module pilot's window showing the lunar module's approach and landing on the moon.


First Steps - Television coverage from the surface on Apollo 16 did not begin until the rover was deployed and the camera was powered up. Young's first steps, however, were recorded by the data acquisition camera from the LM window.

Unloading Rover - Audio only.

Loading the LRV - Shows Young and Duke outfitting the lunar roving vehicle through Duke transporting the ALSEP to the ALSEP site. Rover television.

Drive to ALSEP - Audio only during short drive to ALSEP site.

ALSEP - Young and Duke deploying the ALSEP experiments. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 1 - Audio only with photographs from ALSEP and from the traverse.


EVA 1 (continued)

Station 1 - Plum Crater. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 2 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 1 and the traverse to Station 2.

Station 2 - Buster. Rover television.

Traverse to LM - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 2. Includes the Grand Prix.

EVA 1 Closeout - Activities in the LM area wrapping up the first EVA. Rover television.

Finish to a Long Day - Audio only of final activities on the lunar surface for day one. Features remaining photographs from EVA 1.


The second EVA lasted 7 hours and 23 minutes. All of the preplanned stations were visited, with the exception of Station 7, which was deleted before the EVA to provide more time at Station 10. At the end of the EVA, a portion of the commander's PLSS antenna was broken off. Because of the nature of the communications configuration, the LMP and the CDR switched oxygen purge systems (the segment which contains the antenna) for EVA 3.

Out for Day 2 - Audio only, featuring the first activities of the crew on the surface for EVA 2.

Loading LRV - Young and Duke pack up the LRV for the first traverse to Station 4, to the south and the vicinity of Stone Mountain. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 4 - Audio only, with photographs from Loading LRV and photography from the traverse.

Station 4 - Stone Mountain. Rover television.


EVA 2 (continued)

Traverse to Station 5 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 4.

Station 5 - Midway down the slope of Stone Mountain from Station 4. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 6 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 5.

Station 6 - Near the base of Stone Mountain, where numerous boulders were sampled.

Traverse to Station 8 - Station 7 was deleted from the EVA.

Station 8 - Big boulder. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 9 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 8.

Station 9 - Dark area toward South Ray. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 10 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 9.

Station 10 - In the area of the LM. Rover television.

Traverse to LM - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 10.

EVA 2 Closeout - Activities in the LM area at the end of EVA 2. Rover television.

Into Orion - Audio only of final activities ending EVA 2.


Day 3 - Audio only during first activities on the surface on the third day.

Loading up - Preparing the rover for explorations. Rover television.


EVA 3 (continued)

Traverse to Station 11 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 13 and from traverse.

Station 11 - North Ray Crater. Rover television.

Traverse to Station 13 - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 13 and from traverse.

Station 13 - Base of Smoky Mountain/Shadow Rock. Rover Television.

Return to Orion - Audio only with photographs and panoramas from Station 13 and from traverse.

Final Moments - Final activities during the last EVA. Rover television. Dusting off and climbing back in to start for home.

Lunar Liftoff - Orion liftoff from the moon to begin the return journey to Earth. The launch was captured by the lunar rover television camera and by the 16MM data acquisition camera in the LMP's window. The lunar liftoff is presented multi-angle, with television on angle 1, 16MM film on angle 2 and a combination of angle 3. Use your DVD player remote control's angle button to change angles on-the-fly.


16MM Lunar orbit docking - CSM as seen from the LM and the LM as seen from the CSM during inspection and docking in lunar orbit.

Lunar Orbit Surface Views - 16MM footage from the command module.

Aboard 16 - 16MM footage showing crew activities inside the command module.

TransEarth EVA - On the way back from the moon, command module pilot Ken Mattingly conducted a deep space EVA to retrieve film from the SIM bay. The EVA was documented with a television broadcast and with the 16MM data acquisition camera. The television and the film are presented here multi-angle. Angle 1 is the television transmission, Angle 2 is the 16MM film, and angle 3 is both combined. The second and third angles are only active during DAC coverage, which is shorter than the television broadcast. Use your DVD player's remote control angle button to change angles on-the-fly.

LRV Pan - After the astronauts left the lunar surface the lunar rover still had adequate battery power to enable mission control to operate the television and look at the landing site. Several such transmissions were made at 227:53, 228:08, 228:25 and 229:08 GET. The expected battery life of the LRV was 78-80 hours.

TV Transmission from command module - Television transmission during transEarth coast.

News Conference - Crew news conference televised from the command module on the way back from the moon.

Recovery - The Apollo 16 mission came to an end on April 27, 1972, and the crew and spacecraft were recovered aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga.

Product Reviews

(5 Ratings, 5 Reviews) Average Rating:
Another great piece of history
Dave W (Colorado) 5/19/2014 4:23 PM
As with any other set from Spacecraft Films, one will receive a comprehensive, unfiltered videography of the entire mission, restored and digitized for DVD. Currently I own all the "J-Missions" (Apollo 15, 16, and 17), and I recommend anyone new to Spacecraft Films interested in lunar exploration to begin here, with Apollo 16. There are many reasons for this: 1) Young & Duke are a great team while working on the moon together (Charlie Duke's exuberance mixed with John Young's deadpan approach), 2) the only footage of the rover "grand prix" comes from Apollo 16, 3) footage from the rover while driving between stations comes from Apollo 16 (Apollo 15's 16mm surface camera jammed repeatedly, and 17 didn't carry one to the surface), 4) a nearly complete view of lunar liftoff from the rover camera (Ed Fendell finally perfected it for 17, but on 15, the camera was too close) 5) in-flight material for this set is superior to 15 and 17 (better audio timeline, etc.), 6) the Descartes Highlands offer beautiful views, unlike 11-14 which were mostly flat landscapes, 7) Ken Mattingly's cislunar EVA looks fantastic, and a zillion other reasons. I cannot recommend this set enough. Thank you Mark Gray and those at Spacecraft Films for preserving this inestimable piece of American history.
Descartes, the Impressive...
Patrick Selitrenny (Lugano-Loreto, Ticino) 5/12/2013 11:42 AM
I knew nothing of Apollo 16 before I watched this in-depth document and it completely opened my eyes on the wonders that are just lying out there in space, waiting to be discovered and explored by us. How I envy those who have the knowledge and the skills to do so. Being a total mathematical ignoramus, I will never achieve such greatness, but being well versed in drama and literature, being an actor and a director, I can well sympathize with the emotions these men have felt during the Apollo 16 mission. Of course I am jealous, since I will never know the meaning of what it is to set foot on another planet or moon. But in my heart, I can well understand what it must do to you, once you do so. My mind though, can re-create, at least virtually, what it is like, especially bouncing cheerfully back and forth on the Moon. I am sure that the best is still to come. Of that, there can be no doubt. My only worry are all those stupid people who believe that these missions never happened, and that the Government, together with Hollywood, concocted an immense hoax. How stupid can one be? 1969 to 1972. The Midst of the Cold War... and there was a true Race for the Moon then... Doesn't anyone understand that the first who would have rejoiced to debunk such a hoax would have been the Soviets? Having failed in their own attempt to conquer the Moon? Besides, Hollywood being what it is, Gossip-Town, would never have been able to keep it under the lid for that long. Thousands of people have worked on the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury programs. At least one of them could have done so much earlier, but they did not, despite the all powerful Press. Therefore, returning to Apollo 16, I declare that from the material contained in this set of films, it all happened as it did. Shame on those who are too ignorant to understand this. My highest recommendation on this and other Apollo documents like this one... Bravo Mark!
(Unknown) 9/20/2007 1:27 PM
This is probably the most "entertaining" of all of the lunar EVA's, precisely because of Charlie Duke. I agree with what the other reviewer says about Duke. This is especially true when you contrast his "style" with the stoic, no nosense tone of fellow EVAer John Young. The episode with the broken cable is a classic.
Anonymous (Unknown) 9/19/2007 8:33 PM
I have all of the Apollo missions sets from Spacecraft films. They are all excellent. The A16 set is one of the most enjoyable to watch, mainly because of Charley Duke's commentary. He provides an almost nonstop description of just about everything in humorous and colorful terms. You'd never think that they were on the moon in such an hostile environment. There's not a hint of any sort of anxiety from Charley's banter. His descriptions really make you feel like you're right there with them.
Brings Back Memories
Anonymous (Unknown) 10/6/2007 12:08 PM
The Apollo 16 set is fun to watch. I watched the launch that hot April day in 1972 from the Parkway Viewing site (I still have the car pass we put on the car dashboard and some pictures from that day). It was great watching the launch again, as well as seeing the rest of the flight brought back so professionally with such care. I highly recommend this set.