NASA launches Apollo 12, the second successful manned Moon landing.
The Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 12 into orbit triggered a lightning discharge 36 seconds into liftoff, shutting down many instruments and setting off most all warning lights in the Command Module. Quick thinking by Mission Control and Lunar Pilot Alan Bean got the mission back on track. The launch was the first attended by a sitting President of the United States: Richard Nixon.
The lunar landing was the first to land on its precisely intended target location informally nicknamed "Pete's Parking Lot." Once astronaut Pete Conrad stepped off the lunar lander, a shorter man that previous astronaut Neil Armstrong, he said "Whoopie! Man, That may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me." Alan Bean accidentally pointed his television camera at the Sun and destroyed it, ending live TV transmission.
Apollo 12 marks the first and only time astronauts "caught up" with a probe sent to land on another stellar body, in this case Surveyor 3.
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