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VIP (VIP-site)

(glossary entry)


The VIP-site was the final parking location of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) at the end of the third and concluding EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) of the three scientific "J"-missions (Apollo 15, 16, and 17).
The LRV's final parking place was located at about a 100 metres east of the Lunar Module. The purpose of the LRV's location EAST was: to get a good view of the sunlit LM during launch of the LM's Ascent Stage (AS).
During the Ascent Stage's launch, Ed Fendell (at Houston) operated the TV-camera on the LRV, and a good picture of the AS's magnificent ascent was seen on terrestrial television screens.

Additional Information

During the mission of Apollo 15, a plaque with the names of 14 perished cosmonauts and astronauts was placed near the final parking place of the LRV (at the VIP-site).
Very close to the plaque, there's an aluminium figurine called "The Fallen Astronaut", made by the Belgian sculptor and space-artist Paul Van Hoeydonck.
On the LRV, James Irwin (the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 15) placed a bible, which is partially visible on photographs of the VIP-site.

An unmanned lunar rover at the VIP-site of Apollo 17?

That's what AUDI (German automobiles) want to do, hopefully before 2020 (they want to test a small four-wheeled lunar rover, to see if it's possible of driving it without problems on the lunar regolith, and to do some additional 3-D photography of (what was once called) Challenger's Baby (the Lunar Roving Vehicle-LRV of Apollo 17 at the Taurus-Littrow Valley) without disturbing the landingsite of Apollo 17's LM Challenger and the many footprints of astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt.
So... how would that small unmanned rover approach Challenger's Baby? Probably from the east, from somewhere near the crater in the valley which was once called MOCR (Mission Operations Control Room). Note: crater MOCR is detectable through common telescopes and attached webcams!
See also: Part-Time Scientists

Remarkable photographs and panoramas, made at (and near) the VIP-sites.

Dave Byrne's assembled panorama of Apollo 15's VIP-site shows the LRV in the foreground and LM Falcon in the distance. Note the absence of shadows on the mountains.
AS15-88-11894 is a close-up of the VIP-site's plaque with names of 14 perished cosmonauts and astronauts, and the nearby figurine called "The Fallen Astronaut".
A High-Resolution scan of this photograph is seen here: AS15-88-11894 HR
AS15-88-11930 is the last photograph of Apollo 15's LRV, made by CDR David Scott. The LRV is located at its final parking place (the VIP-site). This photograph is included in the book FULL MOON by Michael Light and Andrew Chaikin (Plate 96).
A High-Resolution scan of this photograph is seen here: AS15-88-11930 HR
AS17-143-21933 is one of the four black-and-white Hasselblads of Apollo 17's LRV "Challenger's Baby" at its final parking location.
A High-Resolution scan of this photograph is seen here: AS17-143-21933 HR


Harland, David M. Exploring The Moon, the Apollo Expeditions (Springer, 1999).
Jones, Eric M. Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.