How Did the Apollo Command and Lunar Modules Become One?
Recovering the lunar module was vital to an Apollo mission's success, because without it there could be no Moon landing.
Each Apollo lunar missions was essentially a series of manoeuvres that had to be executed nearly perfectly for a successful, nominal mission; Apollo 13, of course, is the notable exception. Among those vital manoeuvres was transposition and docking, the crew's only chance to recover the lunar module and get it ready for the actual lunar landing manoeuvre. No mission could hope to land if the crew couldn't pick up their lunar module, and on Apollo 14, they almost didn't.
For more on the Apollo transposition and docking manoeuvre, and the Apollo 14 docking anomaly, check out my latest blog post over on Popular Science.
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