LIGHTING DOES STRIKE THE SAME PLACE TWICE AT THE APOLLO XII SATURN V.
CREW SIGNED APOLLO XII LAUNCH PHOTOGRAPH.
Color photograph, 10 by 8 inches, of the Apollo XII Saturn V launch during a rainstorm on November 14, 1969. The launch tower and spacecraft access arm are clearly visible surrounded by a dark angry sky.
INSCRIBED and SIGNED: "Apollo XII Launch! RICHARD GORDON, CMP."
SIGNED and INSCRIBED: "CHARLES CONRAD, Apollo XII Cdr" and "ALAN BEAN, LMP."
Some 36 seconds after liftoff while passing through heavy cloud cover, the Saturn V triggered a lightning discharge emanating from the first stage and down to the ground. Then at 52 seconds, a second strike occurred. These events caused multiple spacecraft systems to go off-line and disrupt telemetry to Mission Control. A knowledgeable flight controller suggested flipping a rarely used control panel switch with the phrase "SCE (Signal Conditioning Equipment) to Aux" (the auxiliary position). Luckily, Alan Bean was familiar with the location, saving valuable seconds during the potential crisis. Various Command/Service Module systems had to be reset, but the Saturn V itself was unaffected and continued to power the crew into earth orbit.