Information about Apollo 12 Mission Goals
Apollo 12 launched on schedule from Kennedy Space Center, during a rainstorm. It was the first rocket launch attended by an incumbent US president, Richard Nixon. Thirty-six and one half seconds after lift-off, the vehicle triggered a lightning discharge through itself and down to the Earth through the Saturn's ionized plume. Protective circuits on the fuel cells in the service module (SM) detected overloads and took all three fuel cells offline, along with much of the command and service module (CSM) instrumentation. A second strike at 52 seconds after launch knocked out the "8-ball" attitude indicator. The telemetry stream at Mission Control was garbled. However, the vehicle continued to fly correctly; the strikes had not affected the Saturn V instrument unit.
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