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Apollo 15 and 16

Apollo 15 and 16

Artist's conception showing a small lunar satellite ejected from Apollo 15

An artist's impression showing the small lunar subsatellite being ejected into lunar orbit from the Scientific Instrument Module bay of the Apollo 15 Service Module. (Credit: NASA)

An artist's impression of the Apollo 16 subsatellite

An artist's impression of the Apollo 16 subsatellite. (Credit: NASA)

The Apollo 15 and 16 missions were the ninth and tenth of NASA's manned missions to the moon. In addition to landing on the moon, these missions each released a subsatellite which was to study particles and magnetic fields around the moon. These subsatellites, called PFS-1 and PFS-2, each included a gamma-ray detector.

Lifetime: August 1971 (first data from subsatellite PFS-1) - January 1973 (last data from PFS-1)

Country (primary): United States

Primary Science

The subsatellites released by the Apollo 15 and 16 crews were intended to study the charged particles and magnetic fields around the moon as the moon orbited the Earth.

Science Highlights

  • Measurements of the cosmic gamma-ray background.

Links to more information


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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