Conrad had previously flown into space aboard the pioneering Gemini 5 and 11 missions.
Conrad also flew to the Skylab space station in 1973 and conducted scientific experiments and made repairs to the orbiting solar observation laboratory.
Photo: Pete Conrad looks out of the recovery helicopter window after the Gemini 5 splashdown (NASA)
The third Moon walker also visited America's first space station.
Apollo 12 finds hardy bacteria on an old Moon probe.
The Apollo 12 astronauts located Surveyor 3, a 1967 unmanned Moon probe, and returned a piece of it to Earth. Scientists wanted to know what effect 33 months on the Moon had had on the probe. Inside the spacecraft's camera they found droplets from a sneeze accidentally sealed into the instrument by one of its builders. The bacteria in the droplets "came back to life" once they were returned to the right conditions. This showed how hardy life can be.
Astronauts see solar flares and coronal mass ejections in great detail.
Following in the steps of Sun observers such as Galileo and Angelo Secchi, US astronauts aboard the Skylab space station captured more than 160,000 images of the Sun. They saw events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections in great detail. Skylab was launched in 1973.
The first solar space laboratory in orbit loses its heat shield.
Shortly after launch in 1973, Skylab, the first solar space laboratory, lost its heat shield. Astronauts who visited the orbiting science station had to rig a temporary protective barrier to bring temperatures inside Skylab down to safe levels.
Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr. (June 2, 1930 – July 8, 1999) was a U.S. Navy officer and NASA astronaut, and during the Apollo 12 mission became the third man to walk on the Moon. He set an eight-day space endurance record along with his command pilot Gordon Cooper on the Gemini 5 mission, and commanded the Gemini 11 mission. After Apollo, he commanded the Skylab 2 mission (the first manned one), on which he and his crewmates repaired significant launch damage to the Skylab space station. For this, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978.
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