Apollo 15 Site

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Apollo 15 Site

(unofficial name)

Lat: 26.13222°N, Long: 3.63386°E, Rukl: 22

external image normal_Ap15_traverses.jpg
Lunar Photomap from LPI


LPOD Photo Gallery images Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images

  • Apollo 15 Landing Site Model (Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, Eric M. Jones).
  • René Cantin has created a high-resolution, seamless portion of James Irwin's Station 10 pan showing a view of the Hadley Rille from South, through West, and around to the North ( 2.3 Mb ). Source: Eric M. Jones' Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (ALSJ).
  • To detect the exact location of Apollo 15's landing site (the Descent Stage of LM Falcon), add coordinates LON 3.658 / LAT 26.132 (0.5 m/pix) at the lower part of the LRO's ACT-REACT Quick Map, and hit the RECENTER button! - DannyCaes Jun 27, 2011


(LAC zone 41B4) LAC map Geologic map LM map LTO map Landing Site Topophotomap Site Traverse map
USGS Geologic Map of the Apennine-Hadley Region (I-723 1)
USGS Geologic Map of Part of the Apennine-Hadley Region (I-723 2) (the landing site of Apollo 15).


Apollo 15 landed in Palus Putredinis, just to the east of Hadley Rille and just north of Mons Hadley Delta. It was the first lunar landing in which the astronauts were equipped with a motorized Lunar Rover, allowing them to explore and collect geologic samples over a much greater distance than had previously been possible.


Apollo 15

Additional Information

  • The position of the Apollo 15 landing site given in the title line is from Davies and Colvin, 2000. It is based on the later measured position of the Apollo 15 lunar surface experiment package (ALSEP) radio transmitter and the assumption that the lander touched down 110 m east and 56 m south of that location. The measured ALSEP location is itself probably uncertain by at least 30 m. The position plotted on the earlier DMA-prepared Topophotomap was 26.1228N, 3.6254E. The difference between the coordinate values (corresponding to an offset of about 370 m) represents a change in what is thought to be the correct coordinate system, and not a change in the estimate of the landing position relative to the lunar features.
  • Apollo 15's is the most northern one of the six manned landing sites.- DannyCaes Nov 26, 2008
  • NASA has selected the area explored by Apollo 15 as a Region of Interest for investigation for a possible return visit in connection with its Constellation program of exploration.


  • The IAU Nomenclature includes 14 minor astronaut-named landing site feature names associated with Apollo 15 reportedly culled from a list of 81 names used during the mission planning. The following explanations of the 14 official names are copied from IAU Transactions XVIB:
    • Apennine Front: The explored foothills of Hadley Delta which is part of the Apennine Mountain range on the eastern rim of Mare Imbrium.
    • North Complex: Complex of hills, craters, scarps and apparent flow fronts to the north of the landing site.
    • South Cluster: A cluster of secondary craters located to the south of the landing site. The western part of the cluster was explored on the second EVA.
    • Plain: A flat mare region on which the LM landed east of Rima Hadley.
    • Terrace: Slight projection of a basalt-mare unit out into Rima Hadley. The farthest sampling point to the west on EVA 3 was in its vicinity.
    • Bridge: Crater within Rima Hadley whose rim appears to form a bridge across the rille. Crater was used as a landmark.
    • Dune: Crater named for a dune-shaped structure on the southeast rim. Dune crater was the sampling site of Station number 4.
    • Earthlight: A crater named after an Arthur C. Clarke novel by the same name. The crater was described in detail during the second EVA.
    • Elbow: Crater at a part of Rima Hadley resembling a bent elbow. The crater was the site of sampling station number 1.
    • Index: A prominent crater near the landing site that served as the major landmark for orbital tracking and for LM descent.
    • Last:This crater was supposed to be visited on the last traverse; it became the last crater to be approached during descent. The LM landed in its vicinity.
    • Rhysling: A crater named for Rhysling, the blind poet of "The Green Hills of Earth", a science fiction story by Robert Heinlein. Sampling station number 3 is 125 m west-southwest of the crater.
    • Spur: Crater located on a small spur of the Apennine Front. The southernmost part of the second EVA traverse was in the vicinity of this crater.
    • St. George: In Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon", the moon-bound crew members celebrated a successful launch by drinking a type of wine by the name of St. George. This 2.5 km in diameter crater on the Apennine Front was the source of soil sample.

  • The landing site itself has no official name. - JimMosher

The Wolverine case

Exploring the LPI's online scans of Apollo 15's Hasselblad photographs is always an interesting pastime, because it (this exploration) could reveal a series of unexpected discoveries, such as the name Wolverine, which must have been a small craterlet west of LM Falcons landing site. The name Wolverine is not included on the above mentioned map of the landing site (which shows more than 50 names of small surface formations in the neighborhood!).
Wolverine is included in the LPI's descriptions below the 3 photographs AS15-82-11192, 11193, and 11194. The eastern Swann Range (the Apennine front) is noticeable in the background. The dark dot near the centre of each photograph is LM
Falcon. The diffuse "fog" which is visible near the central part of each photograph is (was) probably a temporary moisty coating on the inside of the camera's lens system, or a thin layer of dust on the primary lens's outer surface. This effect is visible on several Hasselblad frames of Apollo 15, and also on several Apollo 12 frames.
- DannyCaes Dec 18, 2010

A message from Eric M. Jones of the online Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (ALSJ):
During Apollo 15's EVA-3 drive from the LM to Station 9, at about 164:50:27 in http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/a15.trvsta9.html, Scott and Irwin encounter a large, shallow depression or crater. At 164:51:25, Irwin suggests that the inner slope is about 3 degrees and that the depth is 200 feet (60 m). During the post-mission debriefing, he said the slope was 5 degrees and the depth 150 feet (45 m). Using 4 degrees and 175 feet, the implied radius is 760 feet (230 m). At 164:51:01, Scott says that the depression appears to be elongated on an east-west axis. At 164:52:11, Irwin says he is going to call the crater "'
Wolverine". The mascot of the University of Michigan athletics teams is the Wolverine. Scott, Irwin, and CMP Al Worden were all graduates of the University of Michigan.
The shallow inner slope mean that the crater/depression doesn't show up well in the LROC images. Unless the Sun is within a few degrees of the horizon, the slopes facing the Sun will show up as slightly lighter in color and the slopes facing away from the Sun will be slightly darker. I have Sketch an approximate location of Wolverine on a detail from LROC image M117467833R, taken when the Sun was something like 20 degrees above the western horizon:
At 164:52:42, when they are on the north side of the depression, Irwin report a range to the LM of 600 meters, so the size and location of the outline I sketched using variations in brightness of the surface seems to be credible.

Hope this helps.

Eric Jones, ALSJ

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