Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

Sampling at Head Crater and Bench Crater

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
MP3 audio clips by Ken Glover.
Scan credits in the Image Library
Last revised 24 January 2013.


MP3 Audio Clip ( 9 min 54 sec )

RealAudio Clip ( 40 min 29 sec )

132:10:41 Bean: Boy, this Hand Tool Carrier is light and nice compared to carrying it around on Earth. (Pause) I think we might be able to just slip it right down inside the Surveyor crater with us. Piece of cake. Okay. I see you over there; I'm on the way.

132:11:00 Conrad: Oh, don't tell me, you ding-a-ling camera. Man! (Long Pause)

[Pete has yet to take any pictures on the fresh magazine he loaded into his camera after the first EVA. He is having trouble with it, perhaps in getting the right settings, or in getting the film to advance, or, perhaps, the trigger handle is loose. The latter will be a recurring problem during this EVA.]
132:11:20 Bean: I can see everything from fine-grain basalt - as I come running across the area here - to a few fair(ly) coarse-grain ones. I see some sort of light reddish-grey colored rock that I would call...(Pause) I don't know really what I would call it. It looks almost like a granite, but of course it probably isn't, but it has the same sort of texture. The individual components - constituents - aren't as big crystals (as in a typical granite) but it still has that same (reddish) appearance.

132:12:02 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that. And, Pete, can we give you any help with that camera?

132:12:09 Conrad: (With a confident, pure Pete Conrad tone) I got it going, just fine.

132:12:12 Gibson: Roger.

132:12:17 Conrad: I'm taking the polarized pictures right now. (Pause) Al, when you get up to me, if you'll just stop up-Sun at 15 feet and take that shot of what I'm shooting f/11:15, two pictures: one before, one after.

[Details of the polarization sequence can be found on Pete's checklist page 10.]
Pete's Polarization Series (frames 7172 to 7188)

132:12:36 Bean: Okay, let me take something out of this crater hole, Pete. It's sort of unusual; it's got a lot of those little droplets on it, those blebs. But the fragments in this crater look different from the others. (I'll) take a couple of quick pictures, then I'll be right with you.

[Al's sample is 12030, and pictures AS12-48- 7043 and 7044 show the crater prior to sampling.]

[The disturbed soil at the sample location is visible in a detail from LROC image M168353795R. This location agrees well with the estimated position indicated in Figure 10-1 in the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report. Al ran about 80 meters from the LM in about 2 minutes, giving an average speed of 2.4 km/hr. A12 PSR scan courtesy Ulli Lotamann.]

132:12:54 Conrad: Okay. It's all working out just fine.

132:13:01 Bean: (I'll) give them a stereopair of this (that is, a pair of pictures of the same scene, taken a couple of feet apart). (Pause) Good. Let me use the tongs here, and I'll pick it up. (Pause) It's right exactly...This is a very small crater, Houston, probably about 3 feet in diameter and looks like it was made (by a) not very fast moving or energetic or heavy projectile. Yet, right in the middle of the hole is some of these glass-covered rock fragments. And, on some of the other rocks that seemed to be rested in the hole - I'm putting them all in a sample bag - (reading and reporting the label number) 1 - here, I mean...Some of the others don't have any coating on them at all. I'm picking them up with the tongs, but I can't tell how strong they are but they don't seem to hold together too well; they seem kind of weak. There you go. Now, I'll head over where Pete is.

[After he finishes sampling, Al takes AS12-48- 7045.]

[Al seems to be describing a small secondary crater, dug by the impact of a piece of ejecta from a primary crater dug by a high velocity impact somewhere else on the Moon. The glass coating undoubtedly formed in the primary impact. Also, the samples he is collecting are weak because they were shattered in the primary explosion. Most of the craters with glass that Pete and Al have seen so far have been small primary craters in which the glass formed, in place, from melted soil. This is the first secondary they have described.]

[Note that Al still has the tongs. According to the checklist, Pete intended to carry the tongs throughout the EVA. However, at 131:55:16, Al borrowed them in order to pick up and examine what turned out to be a fragment of a failed weigh bag. He still has them and may have used them to manipulate the contrast chart. He will give them back to Pete at 132:19:45 once he gets over to Head Crater.]

132:14:07 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that. If you're going to document that, try to get some of the material around the glass as well as the glass itself (to see whether or not the glass and the non-melted portions of the projectile were once part of the same rock or whether the glass represents a coating).

132:14:16 Bean: Okay. I want to...I'll just get this as a bonus. I want to get over here and start working with Pete as a team, here.

132:14:21 Gibson: Roger.

132:14:22 Bean: Just didn't want to have to try to remember where that was.

132:14:25 Conrad: You're going to get a big surprise when you look into this Head Crater, Al. It's a heck of a lot deeper than it looked.

132:14:30 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Here's a nice white, small crater with a white rim on it. About a 5-foot diameter one. (Change in voice volume) I've been concentrating, Houston, as I came walking over here to Head Crater, to see if there were any possible changes in either texture, slope, color or anything you can think of - or anything that I could think of - that would say to me that I was walking on a different surface than I was when I started. And haven't seen a thing yet; it all looks the same. It all looks like it's covered with this...

132:15:17 Conrad: Slow up.

132:15:18 Bean: ...black rock.

132:15:19 Conrad: Don't - don't - don't kick dust in the middle of my polarized picture area, here.

[Jones - "On several of the missions, people talked distinctly louder to Houston than they did to each other, even if they were 200 or 300 feet apart. On the first EVA, I noticed you had about the same volume whether you're talking to Houston or to each other. I've noticed a few times in the last few minutes that Pete is using about the same volume to both Al and Houston. But here, at least, Al's louder to Houston."]

[Bean - "I'm not surprised. I think I'm more tired on this EVA, because of the lack of sleep. That's probably why I'm doing it; I'm not paying as much attention. You know, when you get tired, you make mistakes. My wife will sometimes say, when I'm talking long distance, 'you don't need to shout'."]

[Conrad - (Chuckling) "I get that all the time, because I'm half deaf."]

[Bean - "Well, me too. And sometimes I'll shout at you talking long distance. And that's what I think I was doing here. Where the first day, I wasn't so tired, so I was controlling better. When you get tired, then you drop off different things that you're doing. You think they're not as important. You don't worry about them, because you're just too tired to worry about as much. And if you get tired enough, then you really drop off a lot of things and you start making big manual mistakes and other things. That would be my guess. I don't think it's any further away today than yesterday. It's probably more just me not being careful. I don't have enough energy to be careful. So I'll just do the job and hope for the best."]

132:15:23 Bean: Okay. I'll stop right here.

132:15:25 Conrad: Okay. Put the tool carrier down and get your up-Sun (means down-Sun) pictures. You see where my footsteps are, that rock that's half buried and the two rocks that I've turned over in my footsteps?

132:15:35 Bean: Yeah.

132:15:36 Conrad: Okay; it's 15 feet, f/11. Two shots. Now, you're not going to get the before, unfortunately.

132:15:46 Bean: Okay. How about right...(Would you) rather have my shadow here or over there?

[Al wants to keep his shadow off the photographic area.]
132:15:50 Conrad: No, that's the pile, right there. See where I turned over the two rocks alongside the great big rock, where my foot tracks are?

132:15:58 Bean: Oh yeah, way down there at the end.

132:16:00 Conrad: No, right here. (Pause) I'll walk over to it.

132:16:04 Bean: That's a good idea.

132:16:06 Conrad: Right straight in front of me. This rock pile, right here.

132:16:09 Bean: Oh, okay. Want me to shoot it from right here?

132:16:11 Conrad: Yeah, and you aren't 15 feet. Back up, you're 11 feet.

132:16:13 Bean: All right. I sure will. Fifteen feet. Okay, it ought to be about f/11. (Long Pause)

[Al's two, unfiltered down-Suns of the area are AS12-48- 7046 and 7047. He stepped to his right in between the pictures.]
132:16:38 Bean: Okay, got those two. Got a couple of pictures there, Houston. Let me tell you what my camera reading is now and then we can try to keep up with it from time to time. Next time, I'll come over here by Pete and we'll...

132:16:50 Conrad: Yeah, Houston, I've shot 3, 6, 9, 12, 15...15 pictures.

132:17:01 Gibson: Copy 15, Pete.

132:17:05 Conrad: Okay, and on my mark, I'm going to send a slightly smaller rock into the crater. Are you ready?

132:17:12 Gibson: Roger. We're watching.

132:17:14 Conrad: Mark. (Pause) I didn't quite kick it hard enough. Wait one, and I'll do it again.

132:17:25 Bean: (Not louder) And, Houston, that sample bag that I put the fragments in that I mentioned earlier, that I found in the bottom of that small crater?

132:17:31 Conrad: Mark.

132:17:32 Bean: That's sample bag 1D.

132:17:37 Gibson: Copy your mark, Al...(correcting himself) or Pete, and 1D on that sample bag.

132:17:46 Conrad: You know, it's a funny thing, Houston, in one-sixth g, even though slopes are steep and everything, these rocks just don't want to go anywhere.

132:17:58 Gibson: Roger, Pete. We haven't been able to pick it up on the PSE here.

132:18:04 Conrad: Okay, that was too small a rock. (To Al) Take the (polarization) filter off the front of my camera, would you?

132:18:08 Bean: Okay. Let me set this (HTC) down. And you might want to take (garbled) tools in a second. Okay. (Garbled) your camera. Filter's off.

132:18:20 Conrad: Okay.

132:18:21 Bean: That's it for the filter.

132:18:22 Conrad: Yeah.

132:18:24 Bean: (Throwing the filter) Goodness, that thing goes. (Pause) Okay. (Pause)

132:18:30 Conrad: Okay, I've got a rock over here.

132:18:38 Bean: Okay.

132:18:39 Conrad: What are we supposed to get here?

132:18:41 Bean: We probably ought to come over here to the other side - it looks the best - and do a little trench, and compare some of the soil profiles.

132:18:49 Conrad: Okay, they wanted it...Look, I've got an area right over here that looks like a good area to work in.

132:18:55 Bean: Okay.

132:18:56 Conrad: Little white spatter-type craters; it looks like they're very fresh impact, like that little one right there.

132:19:03 Bean: Yeah, that's a good idea.

[These small, white craters are an indication of the white, subsurface soil layer they will find at 132:20:24.]
132:19:04 Conrad: Let me go over here; there's three in a row. And let's work this area a little bit, which is the corner of Head Crater they wanted us to work.

132:19:12 Bean: Okay.

132:19:13 Conrad: And we can work right here and up to the top of it.

132:19:16 Bean: What corner is this?

132:19:18 Conrad: We're in the northwest corner.

132:19:21 Bean: Okay.

132:19:22 Conrad: Right as I indicated on the map.

132:19:24 Bean: Okay.

[Although there is no mention in any of the checklists that they planned to bring a map out with them, they are carrying one, much like the map that Ed Mitchell is carrying in a well-known Apollo 14 picture, AS14-64-9089. Pete thinks he may have put it on the HTC.]
132:19:25 Conrad: Okay. Now I don't want to get any dirt in this thing; it's pretty interesting.

132:19:28 Bean: Okay.

132:19:29 Conrad: A little secondary impact crater, huh?

132:19:33 Bean: Okay, you want me to step down-Sun here?

132:19:36 Conrad: No, I'll get the cross-Sun.

132:19:38 Bean: Okay. And I'll set this...Well, you've also got to be careful with this tool carrier, Houston. Did you want to put the gnomon in (the picture), Pete?

132:19:45 Conrad: Oh, yeah, let me have my tool (the tongs).

132:19:47 Bean: Okay.

132:19:48 Conrad: Wait one.

132:19:49 Bean: Here's your grabber.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 30 min 45 sec )

132:19:52 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that comment; and on the northwest rim, we're looking for two partial pans.

132:20:00 Bean: Okay, that's a...

132:20:01 Conrad: All right.

132:20:02 Bean: We'll get them. (Pause)

132:20:05 Conrad: (Garbled)

132:20:06 Bean: Okay, wait; let me get my (before) pictures, Pete.

132:20:10 Conrad: Okay. Let me get over here and get the gnomon. And let's sample this rock right here; this rock is very typical of all the fragments around here. (Pause)

132:20:24 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Hey, that's interesting; look where you kicked. Got some lighter material there (under the surface layer).

132:20:32 Conrad: Boy, sure did, didn't I!

132:20:34 Bean: Yeah, that's interesting; that's the first time we've seen that.

132:20:36 Conrad: Yep.

132:20:37 Bean: In fact, you know what it looks like here, it looks like it may be this darker material...Well, I don't know...

132:20:42 Conrad: I'm going to photograph that, too. Let me get...

132:20:44 Bean: Okay.

132:20:45 Conrad: ...let me get this.

132:20:46 Bean: Houston, kind of interesting here. Pete walked across one edge of the rim here. We're about, oh, 50 feet inside the upper rim (of Head Crater) and he happened to scrape an area there with his foot. It's a much lighter colored soil...

[Bean - "Maybe I said it wrong. You're not 50 feet inside the rim; you're 50 feet around the rim..."]

[Conrad - "From where we started. I think that's about what's happening here."]

132:21:04 Conrad: Like cement.

132:21:06 Bean: Yeah. Let me get...

132:21:08 Conrad: Get your picture?

132:21:09 Bean: I got it.

[Al's down-Sun photo of the first gnomon setup is AS12-48- 7048. Pete's cross-Sun stereo pair from the south is AS12-49- 7189 and 7190.]
132:21:10 Gibson: Roger, Al.
[For a short time after a high velocity impact, the surrounding ejecta has a very light, almost white color due to the countless fragments of fractured rock and glass. The effect is analogous to the white of a shattered windshield. However, subsequent impacts by very small, sand-grain-sized impactors forms little globs of glass which tend to stick together in darker-colored masses. With time, more and more of the white ejecta is re-melted and the upper layers of an ejecta blanket take on the normal ash-grey color of the lunar surface. Pete has kicked through the dark material and found the deeper remnants of an old ejecta blanket and, indeed, the depth of the darker surface layer is an indication of the time since the impact. What isn't known is whether the white layer at Head Crater is due to a local impact or to Copernicus. In his excellent book, To a Rocky Moon, Apollo geologist Don Wilhelms indicates that isotope dating of samples from the trench which Pete and Al will dig in the white layer at 132:23:35 give an age of 810 million years, a value which is not inappropriate to Copernicus and which many researchers now accept as the age of Copernicus.]
132:21:14 Bean: Here, let me get my (individual sample) bag, Pete. (Pause) You got to be careful with that Hand Tool Carrier; it'll fall over.

132:21:22 Conrad: White.

132:21:25 Bean: It's light and...

132:21:26 Conrad: Sample bag number 13 (actually 3D)

132:21:28 Bean: Okay.

132:21:32 Conrad: Okay. Al, let me photograph this thing, and let's trench this whole area.

132:21:37 Bean: Okay.

132:21:38 Conrad: I'll drop the gnomon in right here over my footsteps and the light soil versus the dark, and we can trench there

132:21:45 Bean: Okay, I just put it into (sample bag) 3D.

132:21:49 Gibson: 3D, Al.

[Conrad - "What the hell happened to 2D? We used 1D and now we're using 3D."]

[Bean - "Maybe it fell off. You just pulled them off, and I might have pulled off two (bags) and one (of them) fell on the ground. Or, back up here, we took some other rocks."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, but we didn't talk about them. We didn't say a word."]

[Bean - "We just forgot."]

[Readers should note that page 192 of the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report contains a list of documented samples returned in bags 1D, 3D through 12D, 14D, and 15D. Bags 2D and 13D are not listed.]

[Conrad - "Oh, okay. But we normally called it out (so Houston could keep track of the samples)."]

[Bean - "We didn't collect any of those four that you did with the polarizer."]

[Jones - "There was a mention of tongs there."]

[Conrad - "Well, if we did, we didn't call anything out."]

[Bean - "I know, you'd think we would. I mean, we photographed them, you polarized them. We'd be crazy not to pick them after we've done all the hard work."]

[Conrad - "Are you supposed to pick them up?"]

[Bean - "Why not? They're a sample."]

[Jones - "The whole process is called 'documented sample collection'."]

[Conrad - "But see, how would they know what's in the bags if we didn't call out the numbers?"]

[Bean - "Because, later on, we went over there (to the Lunar Receiving Lab) and tried to straighten it all out. Remember, after we got home."]

[Conrad - "Home? You mean after the flight was over?"]

[Bean - "That's right. We went over..."]

[Conrad - "Then we fucked up."]

[Bean - "Well, yeah; but who's perfect?"]

[Conrad - (Laughing) "That's okay. I just wanted to find out."]

[Bean - (Laughing) "We'll forget some more, I'm sure. I remember us going over there and trying to figure out which was which. They had all the pictures and we'd say 'No, this is that rock. See it. Look at it over there.'"]

132:21:51 Bean: In just a second, (I'll give you a hand). (To Gibson) Okay.

132:21:54 Conrad: Let's see. Five feet, f/8, 1/250th. (Pause)

132:22:06 Bean: Okay. And let me get a picture of what you're doing.

132:22:07 Conrad: I'm getting a stereopair of the thing.

[Al's down-Sun "befores" of the second gnomon setup are AS12-48- 7049 and 7050. Pete's cross-Sun stereopair is AS12-49- 7191 and 7192.]
132:22:10 Bean: Okay. You're going to trench right there, huh?

132:22:13 Conrad: Yeah, let me get the shovel.

132:22:16 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Okay. That's going to make an interesting shot. What can I give you, Pete?

132:22:33 Conrad: I need the shovel (off the HTC).

[They will put a shovel attachment on the extension handle.]
132:22:34 Bean: All right. (Probably picking up the HTC) I'll hold the tool carrier while you grab at it. Got her?

132:22:39 Conrad: Yup. Let me have the (extension) handle.

132:22:40 Bean: Here's the handle.

132:22:42 Conrad: Wait a minute, (garbled).

132:22:43 Bean: Got it?

132:22:45 Conrad: Okay.

132:22:46 Bean: (I'll) move over here where I can bag it better for you. (Pause)

132:22:58 Conrad: Okay.

132:22:59 Bean: (Speaking louder to Houston) One of the interesting things about this side of the mountain - (correcting himself) I mean, this side of the crater - is that these boulders aren't uniformly distributed around. They all seem to be over here on the western side. (See photos AS12-49- 7213 and 7214.) If you look over the eastern side or the north or south, you can see some; but there's quite a bit more over here on the west, for some reason...

132:23:21 Conrad: Here you go, Al...

132:23:22 Bean: (Garbled) In fact, there's (garbled) sitting out here (garbled).

132:23:23 Conrad: ...Quit baloneying and help me.

132:23:24 Bean: Okay.

132:23:26 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that.

132:23:30 Bean: Okay.

132:23:31 Conrad: Look at that.

132:23:32 Bean: Stick it right in there...

132:23:33 Conrad: See that white soil with the brown, huh?

132:23:34 Bean: Yeah.

132:23:35 Conrad: There you go. Now, let me trench it.

132:23:39 Bean: Okay.

132:23:40 Conrad: We get some photos of that.

132:23:41 Bean: Okay, look, you can see where you dug in that; there's still some under...Why don't you give me another scoop right in there?

132:23:46 Conrad: Okay. A good idea.

132:23:48 Bean: There's not much in here. (Pause) (To Gibson) Okay. Where Pete digs up...Sure enough, right underneath the surface, you find some much lighter gray...Boy, I don't exactly know why it's (at) this point, and you can look around now and see several places where we've walked that the same thing's occurred. We never have seen this at all...Boy, that's going to make a good picture, Pete. Never seen this at all on the area we were before. Hey, that looks nice.

132:24:22 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that; you think it could be the Sun angle?

132:24:25 Bean: Listen. (Answering Gibson) No, not at all. This is definitely a change to a light gray as you go down, and the deeper Pete goes - he's down about 4 inches now - it still remains this light gray. This soil must be of a different makeup than that we were on outside the crater, because we have...

132:24:45 Conrad: Say, this is different than around the spacecraft, because we've kicked up all kinds of stuff around the spacecraft and it's all the same color...

[Conrad - "I said 'stuff'. Screwed up."]

[It doesn't seem likely anyone in Houston was paying much attention to such things. In Wilhelms' account, people in the Backroom were excited about the possibility that Pete and Al had found Copernican ejecta.]

132:24:52 Bean: Top and bottom, this is quite a bit different.
[The longer the time since an impact, the deeper the light material will be found. Given long enough, all of the ejecta will be re-processed. Because the distribution of impacts is random with respect to time, place, and size, the depth to (and even existence of) these light, subsurface layers will be far from uniform.]
132:24:54 Conrad: But this soil looks like it...(Pause)
[Pete takes a cross-Sun stereopair of the trench, possibly at this time, and the pictures are AS12-49- 7193 and 7194. Al takes AS12-48- 7051 at some point and, since it doesn't show the small rock mentioned below at 132:26:02, he may be taking the picture at this point, before Pete digs deeper.]
132:24:58 Bean: I tell you what we should do here, Pete.

132:25:00 Conrad: What?

132:25:01 Bean: Why don't you dig deep...

132:25:02 Conrad: Deep?

132:25:03 Bean: Yeah, dig as deep as you can, then give me a sample right out of the bottom, because this will be something new. I'll put it in sample bag number 5D.

132:25:13 Gibson: Al, we copy 5D. And would you give your location relative to the center of Head Crater. Specifically, are you just on the west side of it where we have the triple crater?

132:25:24 Bean: We're on the northwest corner of it...

132:25:27 Conrad: Right where you told us to go, Houston.

132:25:30 Gibson: Roger. You should be very close to that triple crater.

132:25:31 Bean: Give me another shovelful there, Pete. (Hearing Gibson) Triple crater? Well, there's one crater right here...

132:25:39 Conrad: There's a couple of craters right over the rim here; we're sort of in the rim...

132:25:44 Bean: Pete's down now about...

132:25:46 Conrad: That's not a good one, Al, let me get another one.

132:25:49 Bean: ...down about 6 inches and (garbled) there's light gray down there. Now, in the bag, you'll find there's some darker gray material that fell in off the side (wall of the trench). (To Pete) There you go.

[Conrad - "For some reason, I was the shovel handler. I don't remember why."]

[Bean - "You weren't carrying the Hand Tool Carrier. That was me."]

[Conrad - "I know. But I always did the shovel work. You did the hammer work and I did the shovel work. That's why you wound up with the hammer and I wound up with the shovel. Don't ask me why, either."]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The entire lunar surface was covered with this mantle of broken-up material, fine dust of varying depth. As a result, everything looked pretty much the same - sides of the craters, tops of the craters, flat lands, and ejecta blanket. If you're going to do any geology, you're going to have to dig through this mantle of brown or black and, to look beneath the surface a little bit. We had a shovel that we used for trenching; but, because of the length of the extension handle and the inability to lean over and what have you, we could never trench more than about 8 inches. That was about the best we could do, and that was a pretty big effort. If we're going to do any good geology, it's going to take a lot of trenching to get down below the surface."]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I'd like to recommend that we get a better trenching tool. Maybe all we need to do is lengthen the extension handle about six inches; but, if we're going to look and see what's beneath the surface, we're going to have to dig it out of there somehow. I also recommend that we get a lot more core tubes aboard the next flight. I felt that, on the surface everything was pretty much the same and the real secrets were hiding about 2 to 8 inches under the surface. We really need to scrape away the upper surface or core down through it."]

132:26:02 Conrad: Hey, hold on. Let's throw this little rock in (the sample bag) that I dug up from deep down.

132:26:06 Bean: Is that a rock?

132:26:07 Conrad: Yes, sir.

132:26:08 Bean: Okay.

132:26:09 Conrad: Get another sample bag. All right?

132:26:12 Bean: That's a good one, because (garbled)...

132:26:13 Conrad: Well, wait a minute; let me get a picture of it first. I dug it up out of a hole.

132:26:17 Bean: It's hard to keep this soil in the bag.

132:26:19 Conrad: Stereopair. (Pause)

[Pete's stereo pair of the small rock is AS12-49- 7195 and 7196.]
132:26:23 Conrad: Whoop.

132:26:25 Bean: Okay, in 5D. There's, of course, a little of the top soil mixed in because the sides collapsed. Angle of repose is about 85 degrees, but the minute you touch the side, it falls in. It's not cohesive at all, even though it seems to remain nearly vertical. I guess it's the low gravity. Hey, that's a nice rock. Pete just handed me a rock from the bottom of the hole, and it's covered with gray. I can't see anything in it other than just the gray dirt covering, soil covering. Let me get a final shot, Pete. (Pause) Okay. That's good. (Pause)

[Pete moves the gnomon before Al has a chance to take AS12-48- 7052, an "after" of the trench.]
132:27:12 Bean: Okay. As you move off, Pete, every once in a while, I can see some white; but, most of the time...Hey, you kicked over a rock that had a white bottom quite a bit different than the top. Right behind you; you might want to take a picture of that. It's quite a bit different than those others. (Pause)

132:27:49 Conrad: Houston. You're going to have to budget our time. Now, how long do you want us to spend at Head Crater?

132:27:55 Bean: Because it looks like we could just spend all our time here if we wanted to...

132:27:57 Conrad: That's what's bothering me; we could do that any place here on the Moon.

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I knew this was going to happen. They wanted (a significant total traverse) distance and documented samples on five specific points. Only on occasion between those points did we stop when we saw something that was different and sample it, because we had to hustle all the way to cover all that ground and to make those five points. We really had to move out (and), therefore, there was a certain amount of compromise between the amount of sampling we did at each point and in between those (sampling) points. There was no point to which they sent us where we couldn't have spent at least an hour very easily."]
132:28:02 Gibson: Pete, we show that you're 58 minutes into the EVA, and we'd like to get you over to Bench Crater, and leaving there something on the order of 1 plus 12, (although) we can slip that a bit. So we suggest you finish up what you're doing there at Head and move on.

132:28:21 Conrad: Okay. Al, where's the map?

132:28:23 Bean: Got the map right here, Pete. Why don't you take a look at this?

132:28:27 Conrad: By the way, this is the smartest idea we came up with, Houston. This map just works great out here.

[Bean - "We had maps we were using all along. I may not be remembering this exactly right, but they didn't work because they were photos... What we did was have them (the geologic support staff) change them to colored maps and kind of draw the features in instead of having just black and white photos."]

[Conrad - "We did something. I can't remember what it was that made it better."]

[Bean - "I think we just had black and white photos to start and then we had them draw the stuff in and put the names on there and make them in color. I can remember that."]

[Conrad - "Yeah. It had color on it."]

[Bean - "It changed from just a photograph with lines on it..."]

[Conrad - "I don't know whether we colored the craters in - the principle ones...Either we had traverses laid out on it, or I laid the traverse out on it."]

[Bean - "No, we had the four laid out. And then you probably penciled in the change. You're right. In fact, when we first started this all out, we didn't have any preprogrammed traverses and then they would supposedly call up and tell us what to do and we'd get out our map and draw it on there. We said, 'No, if you can figure them out before we go, it will be much better.'"]

[Map LSE-7F shows the four pre-planned traverses. The actual traverse is a variation of the pre-planned traverse for a landing at Site 4, which is just west of Sharp Crater.]

132:28:31 Bean: Okay, let me take a picture of this rock. I'm going...This isn't going to show much. Let me use your shovel.

132:28:40 Conrad: All right. Now I'm trying to find the triple craters they're referring to.

132:28:43 Bean: Kick it around. (Garbled; Pause)

132:28:54 Gibson: Pete, that triple crater is just south of your present position, and why don't you just go ahead and move on (to Bench Crater)?

132:29:02 Conrad: Okay. I got you. (Long Pause)

132:29:15 Bean: Okay. Now, there's a good picture, Pete, let me get that one.

132:29:18 Conrad: Okay, now, let me see which side of Bench...

132:29:20 Bean: (To Houston) What we've got (to do) is turn over one of the rocks of the rim. The bottom part of the rock is gray, about a half of it; this rock happens to be about a 6-inch-diameter rock. I'll give you stereo on it. And the top is the same color as the...

132:29:35 Conrad: Wait a minute. You got it in your shadow.

[Al's shadow is falling on the rock. His three photos of the rock are AS12-48- 7053, 7054, and 7055. Frame 7054 has his shadow on the rock.]

[Before they turn the rock over, Pete takes a cross-Sun stereo pair, AS12-49-7197 and AS12-49-7198. He then moves the gnomon and takes AS12-49-7199 and AS12-49-7200. In frame 7200 we can see the footprints Al made when he got close to the rock to examine it. Bailey and Ulrich suggest that this sample is 12055.]

132:29:39 Bean: Yeah; I do. I'll take another one. Okay, maybe you want to...(Pause) Even these rocks out in here, even the ones that are almost completely covered with the soil, if I look at them, I can see glints of crystals or something.

132:29:53 Conrad: Yeah, every one of them. All right, let me have that.

132:29:56 Bean: Here's your tool.

[Pete may have handed the scoop to Al while he looked at the map.]
132:29:57 Conrad: All right, we're going to head for Bench Crater.

132:30:00 Bean: Okay. Now we didn't get our pans here, did we?

132:30:03 Conrad: No, and I'm going to get it when I get to the triple craters, which is right over here.

132:30:07 Bean: Sounds good.

132:30:08 Conrad: I think they're right over here; I can't see them; I've got to look over the hill.

132:30:11 Bean: All right. (Pause)

132:30:18 Conrad: Yeah, here they are. Ho, ho, ho!

[The three craters form a line about 30 meters long, pointing off to the WNW from Head Crater. The largest of the craters is about 10 meters across and is the nearest to Head. See NASA photo S69-59538, which shows the traverse.]
132:30:23 Bean: Hey, things are quite a bit lighter gray up here on top of the hill.

132:30:26 Conrad: Yeah.

132:30:27 Bean: We're approaching...

132:30:28 Conrad: Oh, look...

132:30:28 Bean: ...three craters, Houston

132:30:29 Conrad: ...look at these craters, Al! (Pause) Boy. (Pause) Now, Houston, do you want (a pan of) Head Crater from Triple Craters? Is that what you want, or do you want the triple craters?

132:30:49 Gibson: Pete, we suggest you just move on to Bench. And a comment on that double core tube; if you find a spot that looks soft, go ahead and sink the double core tube.

132:31:00 Conrad: We'll do it at Bench.

132:31:03 Gibson: Roger.

132:31:05 Conrad: It's really a shame, Houston; we could work out here for 8 or 9 hours. The work is no strain at all! (Pause)

[Jones - "Had there been concern on somebody's part that the work would be difficult? Were you surprised at how easy it was?"]

[Conrad - "As you saw, we were lucky to get four hours each (EVA), because they just didn't know. So we're trying to let them know, subtly, 'Why don't you let us stay out longer?'"]

132:31:20 Bean: I took three quick pictures of Triple Craters, Houston. (Pause)
[Al's three pictures are AS12-48- 7056 to 7058. Frame 7056 was taken toward the southwest and should be compared with Pete's picture, AS12-49- 7207, which was probably taken from the eastern rim of the largest of the three craters.]
132:31:27 Conrad: We're not going to get to that other one (the very large crater way off to the west that they described shortly after landing at 112:35:49). Bench, is it. But that looks like a real interesting area on the far corner of Bench, Al. See all those big rocks! Some of them look as if they could be bedrock out of somewhere.
[Conrad - "It wasn't until we got home that we discovered how far away that one crater was, where we could see those really big rocks sticking up."]
132:31:40 Bean: I'm kind of wondering, we're passing up these here and they got to be bedrock from somewhere. We need to get a pretty large-sized one here, before we leave this area, Pete.

132:31:47 Conrad: I'll tell you what we'll do. I'll stop right here and take a pan.

132:31:51 Bean: Okay.

132:31:52 Conrad: How's that grab you?

Pete's Triple Craters Pan (frames 7201 to 7216)

[During the 1991 mission review, Pete studied frames 7213 and 7214 - which show the eastern wall of Head Crater and the LM beyond - and noticed how much of the LM and the S-band antenna are below the apparent horizon. However, after a little arithmetic, we realized that this is due to undulation of the terrain. They are currently about 150 meters from the LM whereas, on a perfectly spherical Moon, the distance would have to be about 3 kilometers for the lower 3 meters of the 7 meter-high spacecraft to be below the horizon.]

[Bean - "That's Head Crater (in 7213 and 7214). It's sure deep, isn't it?"]

[Conrad - "Yeah. See how steep it is right there (beyond Al's PLSS)? I remember that. I remember walking over there and saying, 'Whooee!'."]

[Bean - "You must have took the pan, because that's me."]

[Conrad - "How do you know that's you?"]

[Bean - "I always thought it was me (in the pictures) because of no tongs and I have this (saddle) bag (whereas Pete doesn't have a saddlebag for this EVA)."]

[Conrad - "I'm not sure I've hooked up the tongs, yet."]

[Pete puts his tongs on at 132:19:45.]

[Jones - "I know it's Al because of the film magazine number."]

[Conrad - "You don't have a bag on the back. That's the answer. You don't have the Surveyor bag. I do; so this is you."]

132:31:55 Bean: Because these rocks obviously came out of the crater, because they're scattered more uniformly around it. There's a bunch of them on the rim and there's not many far away. We probably ought to grab a big one of them.

132:32:06 Conrad: 74 (foot focus).

132:32:07 Bean: We're moving straight south now. (Pause) There's an interesting rock. Hey, that's all right; let's get it. (Pause) Let me read your camera and you can read mine, if you would. Help them out a bit down there (in Houston).

132:32:34 Conrad: Just a minute.

132:32: Bean: Okay, your camera right now is on 36. How about mine?

132:32:41 Conrad: You're 36 also.

132:32:43 Bean: Okay.

132:32:43 Conrad: Move.

132:32:44 Bean: Did you copy that, Houston?

132:32:48 Schmitt: Roger, we got it, Al.

132:32:51 Bean: Every crater you come to and look in, you see the glass beads. (I'll) move out of your way, Pete, (while you take the pan). (Pause)

132:33:12 Conrad: Okay, now. Back to rock-taking (camera) settings: 5 feet, f/8, 1/250th. Okay. All right, Al, where do you want to grab a sample here?

132:33:20 Bean: Right here. I'd like to grab that rock right there, because it's got kind of a sharp edge on it and all the rest of them are, I don't know, it's got kind of an oblique edge on it, and you don't see many like that around here.

132:33:32 Conrad: Which one?

132:33:33 Bean: This one right here, this gray one. It looks a little bit different than the rest.

132:33:35 Conrad: This one?

132:33:36 Bean: No, right there, a little bit further. That one right there. I'll just grab it and put it in the box...

132:33:38 Conrad: This one?

132:33:38 Bean: ...if we can pick it up.

132:33:40 Conrad: This one, the big one?

132:33:42 Bean: The big one.

132:33:43 Conrad: Ho, ho, ho! Wait until I get the pictures.

132:33:44 Bean: Okay. If we can do that, we can just put it in the bag. I think that's kind of a different-looking rock. This rock is different, Houston. Just in the way it's shaped, and it's partly rounded and got some oblique angles on it. Maybe under all that dirt is something a little bit different.

132:34:05 Conrad: Okay. I got it.

132:34:06 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that. (Pause)

[Pete has taken a down-Sun stereopair, AS12-49- 7217 and 7218, while Al took a single picture, AS12-48- 7059, from the northeast. This rock is sample 12052, a 1.9 kilogram olivine basalt.]
132:34:17 Bean: (Garbled)

132:34:18 Conrad: That's all right. All right. Picking them up; no sweat.

132:34:22 Bean: Okay.

[They may have dropped the tongs.]
132:34:23 Conrad: That a boy. (Garbled) you got the rock; that's what counts.

132:34:26 Bean: Okay.

132:34:28 Conrad: Okay, I got the bag.

132:34:30 Bean: The thing that was giving it that unusual shape was the dirt that was adhering to it. (They laugh). That's okay; we'll take it back with us. Good rock.

[Sample 12052 is the largest of the documented samples they collected, although not the largest rock that they brought back to Earth. That honor goes to undocumented sample 12063, another olivine basalt weighing 2.4 kilograms. Finalists for the title "Biggest Apollo Rock" are the 11.7 kilogram Apollo 16 anorthosite known as Big Muley (after geologist Bill Muehlberger), the 9.6 kilogram Apollo 15 basalt known as Great Scott (after mission commander Dave Scott), a 9.0 kilogram breccia known as Big Bertha collected at the rim of Cone Crater on Apollo 14, and a nameless, 8.1 kilogram basalt collected near the Apollo 17 LM.]
132:34:38 Bean: And this is probably typical of the rocks around this crater, Houston. So, I think it will be a good sample for us. (Pause) I'd say in the area we're moving along now, as we head south, there's, what you say, Pete, there's about 5 percent rocks?
[What Al means is that five percent of the surface is covered with rocks. During the Apollo 17 review, Jack Schmitt noted that there is a distinct break in size from big soil particles to small rocks.]

[Conrad - "I agree with that. But that's no different from being down on the beach in the sand. (At the Apollo 12 site) it was all fine soil, and then - even if it's a little tiny rock - all of a sudden, you've got a rock."]

132:35:02 Conrad: Yep, something like that; they (the rocks) go anywhere (in size) from 2-1/2 (or) 3 feet all the way down to small fragments.

132:35:06 Bean: That's right. There's even one by you there that's 3 feet that's not so much...Look at the fillets around that rock!

[Bean - "The fillets are made from the rocks, themselves, being hit by micrometeoroids over the years and, as little parts are knocked off, some fly away from the rock, but some just fall down near the rock. So they're self-generating as I understand it."]

[Jones - "The other contribution (and actually the predominant one) to the build up is that, if you get an impact in the soil near the rock, you get ejecta splashing against the side of the rock and dropping down and building up. Or, if you're on a little slope and you have impacts uphill that will..."]

[Bean - "Scoot it down."]

[Jones - "You wouldn't have seen much of that (uphill fillets) where you were."]

[Bean - "The fillets always seemed to be all the way around the rock. No matter where you looked at a rock, there they were."]

[Conrad - "I guess none of us were there long enough to have something impact near us that we could see. It's got to be going on all the time."]

[Bean - "Lots of things hitting the rock would make little pieces of dust."]

[Jones - "Did you notice what came to be known as zap pits, little blast pits in the surface of the rocks?"]

[Conrad - "Oh, in the surface of the rocks. I thought you were going to say kind of in the (soil) surface. Every once in a while we'd see something that was elongated, like a rock slid in it (probably small secondary craters or, far less frequently, very oblique primaries)."]

[Bean - (To Eric) "You're talking about on the rock, itself? We saw lots of pits in rocks. It seemed like, if you could just look closer, you'd see more. The pits had little pits. Everything was constantly being bombarded."]

132:35:12 Conrad: Look, that's (a) neat fillet...

132:35:13 Bean: That's a beauty.

132:35:13 Conrad: ...Wait a minute; I'd better stop and get that. Hold the phone.

132:35:15 Bean: Okay, let's do; let's...I bet we can take it (the fillet material) on two or three sides. Have to watch...The trouble is...There you go; that's a good rock. Hey, look at the pits in it, too. That's obviously been struck a lot by meteoroids. This is going to be a good rock, Houston. It's about 3 feet in diameter, about 2 feet thick...

132:35:34 Conrad: (Garbled)

[Al takes a down-Sun, AS12-48- 7060, and Pete takes a close-up stereo pair, AS12-49- 7219 and 7220.]
132:35:35 Bean: ...well-rounded, got a lot of surface pits in it. I can see the glitter...

132:35:42 Conrad: I got to back off to 15 feet on this one.

132:35:44 Bean: Okay. I'm going to shoot...

132:35:45 Conrad: (Garbled) stereopair.

132:35:46 Bean: Okay.

[Pete backs up to take another stereopair, AS12-49-7221 and 7222, while Al steps to his right to take AS12-48- 7061.]
132:35:48 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that. Are you able to find any chips from that rock in the near vicinity?

132:35:57 Bean: This is not unlike all the other rocks around here, Houston. All the rocks are just about...

132:36:01 Conrad: Al, (garbled) get some off the far side of that?

132:36:06 Bean: Yeah, let's get that. That's a good idea. (To Gibson) All the rocks we've been looking at, Houston, in this area seem to be the same. They seem to have a...

132:36:16 Conrad: The rock has got dirt built up on all sides of it, all directions.

132:36:18 Bean: Sure does; looks about equal too, doesn't it?

132:36:20 Conrad: It looks about equal; that's right. Very interesting. I don't know what the means of transport (was) but it sure is built up around it.

132:36:28 Bean: Do something here.

132:36:31 Conrad: Go ahead. I want to look here for a second.

[Al takes AS12-48- 7062. Although they have disturbed the fillet, they choose not to sample it. Later crews will regularly sample fillet material.]
132:36:36 Bean: If you look real closely at the rock, the surface of it is, of course, pitted and there's some pits that are maybe even up to three-eighths of an inch in diameter on it; however, most of them are small. It doesn't look like a basalt, although the grains are too small for me to identify any specific one. Some of the pits have glass in it, which is not too surprising; and many of them don't. That's about all we can say about that rock, Houston, and that's typical of the ones in this area.
[At least some of the pits that Al is describing here are vesicles rather than impact pits; that is, the imprints of gas bubbles trapped in the molten basalt as it cooled. The walls of vesicles that cooled relatively quickly would be glass lined, whereas those that cooled slowly would be lined with relatively large crystals.]
132:37:14 Gibson: Roger, Al. Could you give us a sample bag number and then press on?

132:37:20 Bean: Okay. Well, we didn't take a sample there. The couple that we did take a sample of previously are the same types, so the last couple of samples have been of the same type rock that we're discussing.

132:37:32 Conrad: Okay, Houston, I'm coming up on Bench Crater right now. I loped off and left Al. And I'll (get) you a pan in Bench Crater. This looks like a very interesting crater; it's different. Oh, and I see some really different rocks. A big one. (Pause) Hey, that looks like bedrock. Gee, what a crater! (Pause) Oh, boy! (Pause) Hey, Al, look at...Come on over here!

132:38:03 Bean: I'm coming.

[Any impacting projectile bigger than sand-grain size will eject material down to a depth equal to about one quarter the diameter of the crater the projectile digs. At mare sites, bedrock is covered by about five meters of regolith and, in principle, will be exposed in any crater bigger than about 20 meters. However, if a crater is fairly old - as is the case with Surveyor Crater - most of the ejected and exposed bedrock will have long since been covered with soil. Bench Crater is younger than either Surveyor Crater or Head Crater and, in addition to the obvious boulders, the bench itself is evidence that the impact reached bedrock. This shelf, part way down the wall, marks the depth at which the Bench impactor first encountered rock rather than soil.]
132:38:05 Conrad: We got to get some of this. Let me get some pans in there.

132:38:08 Gibson: Sounds interesting, Al. And, Pete, sounds as though you're getting down to bedrock. Is that affirm?

132:38:15 Conrad: Yeah. They got to be bedrock. And the one in the bottom is...As a matter of fact...

132:38:21 Bean: Boy, there's some big fragments around here.

132:38:22 Conrad: ...Get pictures. It looks like to me like stuff is melted in the bottom of it. I can't swear to that, but I'll get you some pictures. Starting right now. f/8 (Counting frames in the pan) 1. (Pause) 3. (Pause) 5, 6 (Pause) Okay. Let me go over on the other little bit here. Get you a good (stereo) pan.

[Pete stands on the northwest rim of Bench Crater and takes a Left-to-right partial pan of the interior. Pan assembly by Dave Byrne. The pan frames are AS12-49- 7223 to 7227.]

[Next, Pete steps to his right and does a right-to-left pan, starting with 7228 and ending with 7232. Pan assembly by Dave Byrne.]

132:38:55 Bean: Yeah. This rock looks pretty much the same (as the prior rocks) from a distance, Houston. (Pause) Yeah, there's (garbled)...

132:39:03 Conrad: (Garbled)

132:39:04 Bean: ...get kicked out of this crater.

132:39:05 Conrad: I'm just sorry you guys...

132:39:06 Bean: Beautiful!

132:39:07 Conrad: ...aren't all here. What a fantastic sight. Al, look in the bottom of that crater.

132:39:12 Bean: Hey, look at that!

132:39:13 Conrad: Do you think that stuff's melted or what? What's that look like to you?

132:39:20 Bean: Well, it looks to me...Those rocks look...What it looks to me like is we've got one of those little bitty central peaks, you know, a little rebound there, like the...

[In very large craters - those that are kilometers across - there is usually a central peak which forms when the downward and outward motions of the crater floor slow and rebound due to hydrostatic forces, that is, to the inward forces created simply by the weight of the materials in the crater walls. Bench is far too small to have been influenced by hydrostatic forces and the central mound may be the product of interaction between the shock wave and subsurface layering.]
132:39:28 Conrad: Yeah. But don't they look melted on the top? Don't they look like they were molten? They're not...They're not completely jagged.

132:39:34 Bean: No, they're not. It's hard to tell. I noticed when I was looking at that rock back there up real close, that it had been hit by meteorites so much, I guess, it had given it a rounded appearance something like those in the hole, except there's a couple over there, like you say, that don't look that way. Hey, we ought to grab one of these pieces of rock.

132:39:50 Conrad: Hey, hey, hey. Here's some good rock samples right here. Come on.

132:39:53 Bean: Okay.

132:39:54 Conrad: Let's get with it.

132:39:55 Bean: I'm right here!

132:39:56 Conrad: I know. (Chuckling) You know me, I want to cover the ground.

132:40:02 Bean: Okay. (Garbled)

132:40:06 Conrad: They'll baloney about it all day long in the LRL (Lunar Receiving Lab). The name of the game is to get the business done.

132:40:11 Bean: Okay.

[Conrad - "They had so many places they wanted us to go and sample, and we had (just) so long to get it done; so we had to keep moving."]

[Bean - "I think, in retrospect, we should have said less and collected more. Faster. And that should have been the name of the game."]

[Conrad - "But they wanted us to talk about it."]

[Bean - "And I think we took too many pictures, too. We ended up with a zillion pictures more than we needed. And it would have been a lot better to take one picture of the rock and maybe a pan once in a while. But we got pan pictures all over the place and they all look kind of the same. I hate to say it, but it's hard to tell which pan was where. I mean, you can figure it out, but I think we wasted some time panning and we should have been collecting rocks and putting them in little bags. And, if we didn't have time to put them in bags, well, when we saw a rock, just pick up and tell them and throw it in a bag. And not worry about documenting every single thing."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, but that's after the fact. I think, at the time, we were doing it the best way they thought we ought to do it. And we agreed. But I think there's a right place to take the time to talk about this stuff and think about it (that is, after the mission); but, right here, we're trying to make the most efficient use of our time, and that's to get to as many places as they had laid out in the time that we had out there. That was uppermost in my mind."]

[Bean - "I started to say, that's your job there. And I think you're doing it. And my job, running along was to do as much as I could, you know, looking around and doing other things. That's why I didn't know where I was. I didn't care. I just wanted to see what the rocks looked like, where they were, how do you pick out the best one, take the photos. So I wasn't even worried about the time. That's your job. Your job was getting us there and you did. So it works good when each person has a role and they're not both trying to do the same role and omitting the other one. It seemed to me to work out okay. That's what it sounds like here."]

[Jones - "Also, from my perspective as an outsider, it seems like it's tough, especially just on the second flight, to decide how you're going to make use of a short visit to a unique place like this. Eight hours. That's all that Oceanus Procellarum was going to get for years. How do you divide that time? That's a tough question."]

[Conrad - "Well, something else happened, too. And we got a third task (in addition to geology and the ALSEP) late in the game, with no extension of the time. And that was the Surveyor. And, remember, they really weren't sure they were going to give us eight hours. We know a lot more now and, obviously, the other flights (built on the Apollo 12 experience)."]

[Bean - "You had a note earlier about Shepard and Mitchell not getting to the top of Cone Crater. And my opinion would be that Al Shepard couldn't navigate as good as Pete. If Pete had been there, he would have found the top. That's just not a thing that Al does good. People have things they do good, and Al is not a kind of guy that sets down and does this kind of thing. He doesn't even like it. So, I think if Pete had been there, he would have found the top. He would have wandered around a little bit but, I mean, we would have found it. Because he always knows where he is. And it's not because he can see these things in the distance. He just knows where he is. And he has a better feel for exactly how to get there."]

[Jones - "You're saying that he has good map sense."]

[Bean - "Well, yeah. And also he's thought about it a little bit more. So I never felt like it was the terrain as much as the fact that...If Gene Cernan had been there, he'd have found it. And so would John Young."]

[Conrad - "And we did have a problem one place."]

[Jones - "(Thinking of Sharp Crater) It's coming up here shortly; but it was only for a few seconds."]

[Conrad - "But, no, Halo I thought was the one I had trouble finding."]

[Bean - "Yeah, but that's a little bitty thing (10 meters across, compared with 400 m for Cone) but, still we were all around it (that is, they got quite close to Halo)."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, and the area's full of craters."]

[Bean - "And, if Al Shepard had done this one, we wouldn't have run around it in time and we'd have missed some of the stuff. In my opinion. And it's just that people are good at different things."]

[On Apollo 14, Ed Mitchell was the one who carried the map but, as he indicates in his commentary, it was Al Shepard who was convinced that they were farther north than they really were. During the Apollo 14 mission review, Mitchell said that he thought they should be angling more to the north to find the rim of Cone Crater.]

132:40:12 Conrad: One potato.

132:40:13 Bean: Okay.

132:40:14 Conrad: ...two potatoes. There's another one.

[Pete is using a children's counting rhyme. His cross-Sun stereo pair, taken from the north, is AS12-49-7234 and 7235. Al's down-Sun is AS12-48- 7063.]
132:40:16 Bean: All right.

132:40:17 Conrad: How about that baby? That rock looks a little different.

132:40:21 Bean: Okay. I don't think it's going to fit. Let's put it in one of these bags. It'll fit in there, Pete.

132:40:30 Conrad: Okay.

132:40:31 Bean: It's going to go in sample bag just 4 (actually 4D). I think it's gonna fit. (Pause)

132:40:37 Conrad: Ooops. Come here, you pesky booger. 64 (still 4D). It might fit in there.

132:40:43 Bean: No. It won't fit in there, Pete. The rock's too big. Let's just put it in here (in the HTC), and we've got a nice picture of it, so we can tell where it's from...

132:40:49 Conrad: That's a super rock.

[This is sample 12053, another olivine basalt.]
132:40:50 Bean: Why don't you pick up two or three others - little ones - and put them in 64 here. From that same area.

132:40:54 Conrad: Okay.

[Bean - "The sample bags were too little."]

[Jones - "But there was a bag on the HTC."]

[Conrad - "Oh yeah. A big one, right in the middle."]

[Bean - "That's where we put all the samples, anyway."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, that's where all the sample bags went. But we sometimes just put (unbagged) rocks in there, too."]

[Jones - "You were indicating with your hands a foot by a foot by a two foot (deep) space?"]

[Conrad - "I think it was made for the Hand Tool Carrier. It was triangular."]

[Jones - "So that whole central space is a bag."]

[Conrad - "And it was beta cloth."]

[The Hand Tool Carrier ( HTC ) has metal sides meeting at angles of about 60 degrees. Each of the metal sides was about 40 cm long (1-1/3 foot) and 47 cm high (1 1/2 feet) and there was a beta cloth sample collection bag in the middle. The volume of the "tote" bag is roughly 36 liters, or about 2.5 times the 14 liters of the Sample Collection Bags (SCBs) worn by the J-mission crews. The later crews could, of course, carry extra SCBs on the Rovers and could change bags whenever the ones they were wearing got full. For Apollo 12, the HTC/tote bag arrangement was quite satisfactory and was flown on both Apollos 13 and 14.]

[Bean - "The sample bags were pretty little."]

[Conrad - "I think the thing was (that the individual sample bags on Apollo 12) were more like you use in the field where you could take all day to stand out there with your hammer. If you wanted a sample, you went and broke it up to where it fit in the bag."]

[Bean - "And you didn't have gloves on."]

[Conrad - "We didn't get to do a lot of breaking up of stuff."]

[Bean - "We tried that once and it turned out to be a bad idea. I remember doing that and thinking, 'Gee, I could have just picked one (up) over there in one-tenth the time. It was a bad idea. Those rocks were hard."]

[Larger individual sample bags were first flown on Apollo 15. Unfortunately, Al's thought about picking up manageable samples rather than spending the time to break off pieces of big rocks is valid only to the extent that one can be absolutely certain that the small samples are representative of the materials making up the large rocks. Lacking such confidence, later crews spent the time needed to chip samples off large rocks. Of course, chipping samples off rocks is, like most things, an acquired skill and not surprisingly, geologist Jack Schmitt was the most skilled chipper of the astronauts, with both Dave Scott and John Young deserving honorable mention.]

132:40:56 Bean: Here, all this...

132:40:57 Gibson: Copy. Sample 64.

132:40:59 Conrad: ...Head Crater, I mean from (Bench Crater)...(Pause)

132:41:04 Bean: Nice rock. Get some here that we took the picture of.

132:41:08 Conrad: Yeah. Wait a minute.

132:41:09 Bean: Okay. (Pause) I don't think I got that in the picture.

132:41:14 Conrad: Okay. May not have.

[They are trying to pick up some of the smaller rocks that they have already photographed.]
132:41:16 Bean: Hey, you notice that underneath this soil on the rim, too, it's the light gray.

132:41:21 Conrad: Look. See that stuff over...Let's go over to that corner and try to break off a piece of that big rock, huh? ...

132:41:26 Bean: That's a good idea.

132:41:27 Conrad: ...Looks like bedrock to me.

132:41:29 Bean: Can do that.

132:41:30 Conrad: (Garbled)

132:41:31 Bean: (Garbled) 64 in there, Houston. There are a couple of small rocks that we just picked up from the area we have been discussing. I don't think they appeared in the photo, but that won't make any difference. It's just typical of the other rocks around here.

[Jones - "Right in here, Pete, it sounds like you're breathing fairly hard. And I assume that's because you're trying to get down to that rock."]

[Conrad - "Uh-huh."]

[Jones - "Back at the previous rock, I heard Al breathing fairly heavily, and later, you said you tried to get a close look at it. Might you have leaned on it?"]

[Conrad - "Could have done that. And also, when you get in the front end of the suit (push your head forward to look down) and the neckring's here, you may be pushing the microphones a little bit closer. Besides, you are grunting. There's no doubt about it."]

[Bean - "It's funny. You don't get tired so much running, but when you stand and start doing things - particularly moving around and leaning over - then you start working hard. It's kind of strange, just the opposite of Earth, almost."]

132:41:45 Conrad: Holy Christmas! What's this? (Pause) Look at this, Al.

132:41:50 Bean: You're kicking up the same sort of light gray. Apparently, on the rims here, you get that light gray; out in the...

132:41:58 Conrad: Huh? No, no. Look at this stuff.

132:42:01 Bean: Hey, that's interesting.

132:42:02 Conrad: What do you suppose that is?

132:42:04 Bean: Here's something interesting, Houston. Kind of looks like a surface coating...What we got is what looks like kind of a semi-buried rock. Hey, and there's a small piece of it over there to the left. See it, Pete? We'll be able to catch it and put it in the bag.

132:42:15 Conrad: Yeah.

132:42:16 Bean: See that over there?

132:42:17 Conrad: Yeah.

132:42:18 Bean: What it looks like is a buried rock - not unlike the others around here - except it appears to have some sort of coating on it that's very iridescent. Lot of crystals shining in it.

[This is sample 12035 and, in the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report, its listed as a troctolite. During the 1991 mission review, Pete said that he thought it might be a secondary "fragments from some big boomer." Al's down-Sun of the partially buried boulder is AS12-48- 7064 and Pete's cross-Sun stereopair is AS12-49- 7236 and 7237. For some reason, Pete also takes a stereopair of the area up-Sun of the gnomon.]
132:42:29 Conrad: I'll tell you what's happened. It's been laying in the ground and it's been hit by another fragment.

132:42:34 Bean: Think so?

132:42:35 Conrad: Yeah. Look at the glass beads, too.

132:42:37 Bean: Yeah, they're all over the place.

132:42:39 Conrad: I know.

132:42:40 Bean: Okay, you want to catch that...

132:42:42 Conrad: Okay.

132:42:42 Bean: ...piece over there and I'll put (garbled)...

132:42:44 Conrad: Wait. Let me get the sample of it.

132:42:45 Bean: Okay. It's going in sample bag 7L (actually 7D).

132:42:51 Gibson: Copy, 7. And would you go ahead and give us some picture numbers, also?

132:42:58 Bean: Okay. We'll give you some in just a minute. Pete's picking up a small piece of this rock. Maybe you could get a piece that's fractured right off the middle (rather than chip one off with the hammer.)

132:43:06 Conrad: That's what I wanted to do.

132:43:09 Bean: Okay. Let me get out of your way so you can see it. On the edge of the scoop.

132:43:14 Conrad: There it is right there.

132:43:16 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Got kind of an interesting coating on it. It's different from what we've seen.

132:43:22 Conrad: Yeah.

132:43:23 Bean: Maybe this is more newly exposed. May be it was struck by something. Is that all you want to put in that bag?

132:43:28 Conrad: Listen. Hand me the scoop...

132:43:29 Bean: Okay.

132:43:30 Conrad: ...let me get some of those glass beads and stuff that are around here.

132:43:32 Bean: All right. Let me get you the scoop.

132:43:36 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) How long have we been going, Houston?

132:43:43 Bean: Got it, Pete. (Looking at his watch) One plus fifteen.

132:43:45 Gibson: Pete, we show you're 1 plus 14 into the EVA and we'd like you to move on from this crater at about 1 plus 27. If you could, go on down and take a look at the bedrock on the bench.

132:44:01 Bean: Hey, I better not put that in there, that's what we wanted to show was the...

132:44:03 Conrad: Okay.

132:44:04 Bean: Let me get you another sample bag.

132:44:05 Conrad: (To Houston) I hate to try and get down to the bottom of this fellow. It's awful steep.

132:44:09 Bean: Yeah...

132:44:10 Gibson: Okay. Then hold off on that. Don't go ahead.

132:44:12 Conrad: ...Let's forget that...

132:44:13 Gibson: Negative on the request.

[Conrad - "It was too steep. It really was steep. There is no way I would have gone down without having somebody able to haul my ass back up. We stood on the side and talked about it."]

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Had we had a little bit more time to experiment, one thing we might have tried - and it crossed my mind at the time, but I thought 'if we do that, we're going to get tied up' - was to use the tether and get one of us down in the crater (Bench Crater) that had the melted-looking rocks in the bottom of it. I think that would have been a real boon. But the tether wasn't really long enough, and the crater was pretty steep. I'm not sure how well we could have gotten back out of it."]

132:44:14 Conrad: But we're going to get you some of the bedrock. It looked like it's up in the lip here.

132:44:21 Bean: All of it looks the same on the edge.

132:44:22 Conrad: We're working on it, Houston. We're working on it.

132:44:25 Bean: That's 8D. Ridiculous. I think...What happened to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5?

132:44:33 Conrad: (Chuckling) I'll get you another one (that is, another piece of the rock).

132:44:38 Bean: Okay. (Pause) What we're putting in here now, Houston, is some soil that's right next to the rock that we previously described. In fact, Pete's got a nice fragment of that rock that's going to end up in this bag, too. Ohhhh, catch that one.

132:44:49 Conrad: Oooooh.

132:44:50 Bean: That's a beauty. That thing is fairly...(It's) weak. It fractures right off...

132:44:57 LM Crew: (Hearty Laughter)

132:45:00 Bean: (Laughing) You've got to get some control there, babe. You're overpowering it. This one-sixth g up here, Houston...You lift something up in your scoop; and, when you stop the scoop, it (the sample) just keeps going up in the air.

[Bean - "We could never get the dirt up to the bag and then, if we did, I would hit the shovel with the bag and that would knock the dirt out of the shovel."]

[Conrad - "It was a real comedy."]

[Bean - "Yes it was. That's why we're both laughing. If one could get it up there, the other one would knock it out."]

[Jones - "I've seen some other people have a little bit of trouble maneuvering the scoop handle, getting it up high enough that you could actually pour the dirt out of the scoop into the bag."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, it's not easy to do in the suit. And the handle's long enough to get it down here, and then you can't bend the wrist real good."]

[Bean - "Did we ever get it in there?"]

[Conrad - "Probably, but we slopped it around."]

[The two keys to success are (1) the person holding the sample bag getting it as low to the ground as possible, for example, by bending a knee; and (2) the person holding the scoop holding it as close to the head as possible. In the suits, the normal motions one would use in collecting a soil sample are fairly difficult. However, with practice and a little forethought, soil sampling can be done with relative efficiency. Interested readers should examine the techniques used by the J-mission crews, using both long-handled scoops and tools called rakes, which resemble clam rakes. Apollo 12 was a learning experience. And, as well, the J-mission crews had the considerable advantage of having trained as backups to earlier landing missions. Having had a chance to learn the LM and Command Module while they were backups, they could devote a considerable amount of their prime-crew training to geology and sampling techniques.]

132:45:11 Conrad: I'll tong it! (They both laugh) If you can't get it any other way.

132:45:16 Bean: Looked good though. (Pause; the laughter fades) Okay. Put that in the bag.

132:45:25 Conrad: There you go.

132:45:26 Bean: We need to put more samples per...in the bag. (Pause) I'm just saying, they can't hardly use those little ones.

132:45:32 Conrad: They (the samples) won't fit in it (if they are) any bigger!

132:45:34 Bean: Ooop.

132:45:35 Conrad: Here, I'll get it.

132:45:36 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause)

132:45:57 Bean: Thank you. Okay?

132:45:59 Conrad: Okay. Let's go over here and get some of this good rock. (Looks) like bedrock to me.

132:46:03 Bean: Okay.

132:46:05 Conrad: Looks a lot like the fragments we've been seeing laying all over the place, but this stuff obviously...

132:46:09 Bean: I tell you we have a total of about 3 pounds of rocks right now (and we need more).

132:46:13 Conrad: Okay. I'm with you.

132:46:14 Bean: Okay. We're going to have to grab some bigger (garbled) one. (Pause)

132:46:22 Conrad: Got to dip down in the side of the crater there; (and) see how it is (walking) going up and down...

132:46:25 Bean: Yeah; it's the...

[A contour map in the mission report indicates that Bench Crater is about the same depth as Surveyor Crater and, with half the diameter, would have an average slope of 25-30 degrees.]

[Conrad - (Chuckling) "I wasn't going to go down. It was really steep."]

[Bean - "Yeah, that wasn't a good crater to be inside. I mean, that would be real bad. Plus, your chances of going down in there and not falling over, head first, is zilch."]

[Conrad - "I don't think anybody went down anything that steep, ever."]

[Bean - "Uh-uh. They'd be crazy to do it."]

[In fact, both the Apollo 15 and 17 crews worked on slopes of 25 to 30 degrees and, in the case of 17, did so for roughly an hour - at Station 6 on the lower slopes of the North Massif. The key to success is confidence in your ability to control your center of gravity and, when going downhill, hopping side slope. For work on steep slopes, Apollo 15 was the learning experience and, by the time of Apollo 17, that experience had turned into confidence.]

[Conrad - "Did anybody ever use the rope?"]

[Jones - "Nope. Nobody ever did."]

[Bean - "On 16, they went to the rim of a crater (North Ray Crater) they couldn't see the bottom of."]

[Conrad - "Are you sure?"]

[Bean - "Yeah. They got as close as they dared to get to the edge and still couldn't see the bottom."]

[Conrad - "What have you done? Read all these transcripts?"]

[Bean - "No."]

[Conrad - "I mean, how do you know all these things? You seem like you've studied a lot of this."]

[Bean - "Well, I have. For the art I do it. I watch the TV more and I've asked the guys what they did that was interesting. And I did a painting when they (meaning the 16 crew)'re on the edge of the crater; and I went back and listened to the tapes and things and that's what they're saying. John said 'Well, I don't want to go any closer to this' and then Charlie said 'I can't even see the bottom.'"]

[Bean - (Returning to the subject of going into steep-sided craters like Bench) "First of all, you could easily slip and fall. And if you did and ever got in funny positions in that spacesuit, you couldn't get up. Let's say you fell and you got on your back with your head downslope. You're not going to get up. I mean, you can't get up from that position, in my opinion. You barely can get up from on your back on a level surface. So here's the guy up at the top looking down at you and you're laying down upside down, kind of, with your head down and maybe pushed against a rock. You're laying there. You're conscious but how the hell are you going to get your act together to get the guy back up? So I think it would be tremendously dangerous. Even if you could walk down and stand up and then couldn't get up the side. The problem with going in craters is you don't have any way to know that it's too steep until you're down in it and it's too steep and then you can't - like you can on Earth - say 'Well, I'll take off my coat or we'll call a crane or get the rescue guys to get us.' You're stuck. So it would be crazy to go in those craters."]

[On Apollo 17, Gene Cernan got himself into a position very much like the one Al describes. He and Jack Schmitt had been working at Station 8 on a hillside, with the Rover parked angled into the hill with Gene's side slightly uphill. Gene jumped up to get into his seat, fell short, and landed on his back, with his head downslope and - to make matters worse - lying next to the Rover so that, without Jack Schmitt's help, it would have been all but impossible for him to turn around and get his feet downslope. However, rather than being a crisis, it was a problem to solve and, although Cernan, Schmitt and I were unable to reconstruct the details of how he got up, in essence, Jack literally lent a hand so that Gene could get into a face-down position so that, with a little help from Jack pushing backwards on Gene's helmet, he was able to rotate back over his knees and onto his feet. What is most telling about the incident is that, nineteen years after the fact, neither of them remembered it. When we came upon it in our review (done a few weeks after my meeting with Pete and Al) and finally realized that Gene had fallen, it came as a complete surprise to all of us. Of course, there is an important psychological difference between working on a hillside and walking into a steep crater. In the hillside cases, the LM was always at the bottom.]

[Conrad - "The only way you could ever have gone down there (into Bench) was to drive something (a belaying stake) into the ground at the top of the crater and back down with a line, which would have been very awkward in a suit."]

[Jones - "The only crew that went into a big crater was Apollo 12."]

[Bean - "Into Surveyor (Crater). And it was a little slope. And it was not tough, was it?"]

[Conrad - "No. Uh-uh."]

[Bean - "This (meaning Bench) was a lot steeper than 11 degrees or whatever ours was (actually 14 degrees)."]

[Conrad - "Oh, much steeper. It was at least twice. It was at least 20 degrees."]

[Bean - "That's what I'd say. Nobody would ever want to go in there. 'Cause you don't know if it's too steep (for getting back out)."]

[Conrad - "22 degrees looks like it's straight down if you're standing on the top of it."]

[Jones - "Now, the J-mission guys worked on slopes that were about like that - 20 degree slopes on hillsides, but not in craters."]

[Conrad - "But they must have started at the bottom and worked their way up."]

[Jones - "Well, they drove the Rover to a place and sometimes they'd go down below the Rover to sample, and sometimes they'd go above the Rover."]

[Bean - "Like that Station 6 was a steep slope, on 17. I think ours were steeper than that. I've looked at those pictures a lot."]

[Conrad - "Maybe it (Bench) was 30 degrees. It was very steep."]

[Bean - "I would guess at least 30. And it wasn't as nice and smooth as those others."]

[Conrad - "No, it had bedrock sticking out."]

[Bean - "That's right. And you weren't driving your little Rover around. And, like you say, you start at the bottom and, if you have a problem, then you come back down. And if someone went down below the Rover - which they did - and they couldn't get back up, the other guy could get in the Rover..."]

[Conrad - "And drive down and get him."]

[Bean - "That's right. You had some recovery. Ours was a non-recovery (situation). If you overdid it, you were stuck."]

[Jones - "Al, do you remember that green rock that Dave Scott and Jim Irwin stopped at (Apollo 15 Station 6a) just prior to finding the Genesis Rock? The slope was sufficiently steep that they were both nervous about going down. At first, they parked above the rock and I guess Jim did walk down to it, but then Dave drove the Rover below the rock and had Jim come down to stand by the Rover and hold it while Dave went up to the rock to get a sample."]

[Bean - "This was much steeper than that. There isn't any comparison. The Rover isn't going to go up that thing, I don't think. If a Rover went in the bottom of that crater, I don't think it could come out."]

132:46:27 Conrad: Boy, this is interesting. I want to get this area right here and see if I can't sample it...

132:46:32 Bean: Good move.

132:46:33 Conrad: ...if I don't fall down in the crater. Go. That's a boy. Well, this is different; look at this, Al. This is different; we've got to get some of this.

132:46:43 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

132:46:47 Gibson: Al, Houston. Over.

132:46:51 Bean: Go ahead, Houston.

132:46:53 Gibson: Al, we would like you to go to intermediate flow for a minute and a half. We'll give you a call.

132:47:00 Bean: Okay. What's the problem? (Pause)

132:47:10 Gibson: We're looking at a slightly lower than nominal feedwater pressure.

132:47:16 Bean: Okay. Been cooling real fine.

132:47:20 Conrad: Look at the glass all over those rocks.

132:47:22 Bean: Yeah. I need to...(Pause)

132:47:28 Conrad: I want to bring this back and look at it.

132:47:30 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

132:47:37 Conrad: Here, let me put this...

132:47:39 Bean: Put that in there. Ohh, it's going to fall. There you go.

132:47:43 Conrad: Now, hold it. (Pause)

[Pete may be taking a stereopair, AS12-49- 7240 and 7241. Al does not take a corresponding down-Sun.]
132:47:50 Bean: Got it?

132:47:51 Conrad: Let me get up here.

132:47:52 Bean: Okay. Watch...Oops. You're going to...

[Pete may have just taken a second stereopair, AS12-49- 7242 and 7243.]
132:47:56 Conrad: Okay. Now you're going to help me to get a bunch of these.

132:47:59 Bean: Let's do. Let's get a bunch of them and then they'll...(We don't) have any rocks to bring back.

[Al is complaining that they haven't collected very many samples as yet.]
132:48:05 Conrad: Doing the best I can.

132:48:07 Bean: There you go; there's a good one. Put that thing in here.

132:48:14 Conrad: (Garbled) (Pause)

132:48:18 Bean: Have a tough time closing the bag (because of the number of rocks they've put in it), but we'll make it work.

132:48:23 Conrad: Had to take that big piece right there. Look at it; it's got spattered glass or something all over it.

132:48:29 Bean: Why don't we take a big piece of it? (Pause) The problem with these sample bags, whether they're the round ones or the flat ones, they're all the same size. What you need are little ones for these and some big ones for the bigger rocks. Okay; 9D is the sample we just picked up and described, Houston. (To Pete) Okay. Put this right in here, Pete.

132:48:58 Conrad: No. Wait a minute; here's a better one.

132:49:00 Bean: Okay. Now we are working on sample bag (Pause) 10D. 10D.

132:49:09 Gibson: Roger. Copy 10B (sic); and, on your way out, would you get that partial pan with a 75-foot base line?

[Jones - "He means 75-foot focus?"]

[Conrad - "Yeah. Well, and he doesn't want it any closer than 75 feet to start. So what he's saying is to take the 'big picture' pan."]

132:49:17 Bean: We will sure do that...

132:49:18 Conrad: I already got the pan.

132:49:20 Bean: Well, Pete says he already got it.

132:49:21 Conrad: Got a stereo partial pan.

132:49:22 Bean: Okay.

132:49:24 Gibson: Roger.

132:49:27 Bean: Okay. That's a good rock, and that one fills that one (sample bag) up. (Pause)


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