Commander Alan Shepard, who will command the lunar landing flight of Apollo 14, recently discussed the purposes of the mission.
SV PAN Control centre at Houston
SV INT Shepard seated
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: SHEPARD: "Of course the basic objective of Apollo-14 is to make a lunar landing, very much we hope in the same successful manner as was accomplished on 11 and 12. We have, in fact, inherited the landing site which Apollo-13 was supposed to land on, one which is a rather high-priority landing site from the standpoint of the geological scientists that are interested in the mission. We will also deploy in the vicinity of the landing, the experimentation package very similar to those deployed on 11 and 12, so that we will get additional anchor points for triangulation similar to the ones that have been used before. other than that, it's just a plain old everyday lunar landing".
REPORTER: "A plain old everyday lunar landing. How can you say that after the Apollo-13 situation?".
SHEPARD: "Well, I don't know. It's always been my impression, Roy, that the problems that are pointed out, not always as forceably as they were in Apollo-13, but the problems that have been pointed out by examination or trouble in the testing of the flying phase, are really not the ones you worry about, because they are so thoroughly examined and spotlighted by the time the next mission is ready to go that you really don't worry about that area. It's the ones that we haven't found out about yet, of course, that are the ones we're always concerned about".
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Background: Commander Alan Shepard, who will command the lunar landing flight of Apollo 14, recently discussed the purposes of the mission. In an interview with an American reporter at the Manned Spaceflight Centre in Houston, Texas, Commander Shepard also spoke about flight problems in the wake of last April,s abortive Apollo-13 mission.
The Apollo-14 mission, originally scheduled for October, was postponed until January 31 of next year as a result of the near-disaster of Apollo-13. Apollo-13 had to return before making a lunar landing following an electrical failure in the craft.
The Apollo-14 flight crew will use the planned Apollo-13 landing site on the moon's Fra Mauro highland. The scientists in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) programme urged another attempt on the Fra Munro highland because they believe the area may yield the oldest rocks yet found by man. This, they feel, will help them to determine the age and origin of the moon and perhaps the entire solar system.