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Far-Ultraviolet Camera/Spectroscope

NSSDC ID: 1972-031C-10
Mission Name: Apollo 16 Lunar Module /ALSEP
Principal Investigator: Dr. George R. Carruthers


This experiment constituted the first planetary-based astronomy observatory and consisted of a tripod-mounted, 3-in electronographic Schmidt camera with a cesium iodide cathode and film cartridge. Spectroscopic data were provided in the 300- to 1350-A range (30-A resolution), and imagery data were provided in two passbands (1050 to 1260 A and 1200 to 1550 A). Difference techniques allowed Lyman-alpha (1216-A) radiation to be identified. The astronauts deployed the camera in the shadow of the LM and then pointed it toward objects of interest. Specific planned targets were the geocorona, the earth's atmosphere, the solar wind, various nebulae, the Milky Way, galactic clusters and other galactic objects, intergalactic hydrogen, solar bow cloud, the lunar atmosphere, and lunar volcanic gases (if any). At the end of the mission, the film was removed from the camera and returned to earth.

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Manned Space Flight (United States)


  • Astronomy: Ultraviolet
  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. George R. CarruthersPrincipal InvestigatorUS Naval Research
Dr. Thornton L. PageOther InvestigatorNASA Johnson Space Center 

Selected References

Carruthers, G. R., and T. Page, Apollo 16 far-ultraviolet camera/spectrograph - earth observations, Science, 177, 788-791, Sept. 1972.

Image of the Far-Ultraviolet Camera/Spectroscope experiment

Far-Ultraviolet Camera/Spectroscope

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