Encyclopedia Astronautica
1971.07.30 - Apollo 15 lands near Hadley Rille


Apollo 15 entered lunar orbit at 4:06 p.m. EDT July 29.

The LM-10 Falcon, with astronauts Scott and Irwin aboard, undocked and separated from the Endeavor (CSM 112) with astronaut Worden aboard. At 6:16 p.m. EDT July 30, the Falcon landed in the Hadley-Apennine region of the moon 600 meters north-northwest of the proposed target.

Four hours before settling into lunar orbit, the crew jettisoned the cover of the scientific instrument module in preparation for the lunar-orbital science to be conducted later. Endeavour went smoothly into lunar orbit. Scott and Irwin entered Falcon about 40 minutes early, checked out its systems, and had ample time to eat lunch before beginning powered descent. After they undocked, Worden put Endeavour into a circular orbit suitable for gathering scientific data.

Ten hours into their fourth day, Scott powered up Falcon for the approach to Hadley. As had been the case throughout the mission so far, everything went well during the landing approach. At about 9,000 feet (2,750 meters) above the surface Scott noted the peak of Hadley Delta to his left; until he reached 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) the only other landmark he could spot was Hadley Rille. The terrain was less sharply defined than he had expected from simulations. After entering several redesignations of the landing site into his control computer, Scott brought Falcon down through blinding dust and touched down at 6:16 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 29. Not sure of his exact location, Scott was sure he was well within the boundaries of his designated landing zone. The lunar module came to rest tilted back and to its left; two of its landing pads were just over the edge of a small crater that Scott had not been able to see as he approached the surface.

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