Apollo 14 Lunar Surface Journal

Preparing for Launch

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Except where noted, MP3 audio and RealVideo clips by Ken Glover.
Last revised 15 August 2013.


RealVideo Clip (21 min 04 sec)

135:43:48 Shepard: Okay. "Verify EVA circuit breaker configuration."

135:43:51 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause) Mine's good.

135:44:08 Shepard: Okay, mine's good.

135:44:11 Mitchell: Suit Fan 2 (circuit breaker), Closed; Suit Fan Delta-P, Closed; ECS Caution and Water Sep Component lights" are not out. They're going out. Okay; they're out. (Garbled). Okay. We can doff gloves. (Long Pause)

135:45:18 Shepard: Okay. Gloves are off. (Pause) "Stow on the comm panels. Verify the safety's on the dump valve."

135:45:31 Mitchell: Okay; it is. (Pause)

135:45:36 Shepard: Want "Descent Water valve, Open."

135:45:40 Mitchell: Okay. (Pause) Okay, Descent Water valve is open.

135:45:54 Shepard: Okay.

135:45:56 Mitchell: Okay. (Remove) purge valves.

135:45:59 Shepard: Let's see. Have we got...(Pause as Al double checks the checklist) Okay.

135:46:06 Mitchell: Pardon?

135:46:07 Shepard: Yeah. I was just rechecking, to be sure we had everything. (Pause) Okay. Purge valves. Stow in the purse.

135:46:17 Mitchell: Okay.

135:46:18 Shepard: And disconnect the...

135:46:22 Mitchell: OPS O2 hose.

135:46:23 Shepard: OPS O2 hose. Somewhere.

135:46:26 Mitchell: Right there. (Pause) Okay.

135:46:32 Shepard: Okay. "Connect LM O2 hoses red to red and blue to blue."

[Comm Break]
135:47:42 Mitchell: "(PLSS) Pump, Off; and the Fan, Off."

135:47:44 Shepard: Stand by one (moment), Ed. Will you verify this hose for me?

135:47:46 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause)

135:48:01 Mitchell: Okay. They're locked.

135:48:04 Shepard: Okay, we want Suit Flow. Good.

135:48:08 Mitchell: Pump, Off; and (PLSS) Fan, Off.

135:48:10 Shepard: Good. Pump, Off; PLSS Fan, Off. "Disconnect PLSS water from PGA." (Garbled). Okay.

135:48:30 Mitchell: Okay. Here's your (LM) water (hose).

135:48:31 Shepard: And "connect LM water to PGA". Where do you want to go? (Garbled) do the same (garbled). Okay. (Long Pause)

[They may be working out the routing of the various hoses.]
135:49:08 Mitchell: Get it?

135:49:09 Shepard: Yeah. Got that one. (Long Pause) It's a real bitch, isn't it? (Pause) Okay; got it. Okay; "close the LCG Pump breaker".

135:49:38 Mitchell: LCG Pump breaker is closed.

135:49:40 Shepard: Okay. PLSS mode, both, to O, and connect to the...

[They are turning off the RCU and will be off comm until they connect to the LM comm system.]
135:49:47 Mitchell: (Garbled).

135:49:50 Shepard: Now wait a minute; do you...Both do it together.

135:49:51 Mitchell: Yeah.

135:49:52 Shepard: Both set up our (comm) panels alike.

135:49:54 Mitchell: Yeah.

135:49:55 Shepard: And, we'll talk and set it up (garbled).

135:49:59 Mitchell: Okay.

135:50:00 Shepard: Okay?

135:50:01 Shepard: Going to O.

[Comm Break]
135:51:20 Shepard: Houston, Antares.

135:51:24 Haise: Go ahead, Antares.

135:51:28 Shepard: Okay, we're on spacecraft comm now; and we're proceeding with the PLSS OPS undock...(correcting himself) undoffing, I should say.

135:51:37 Haise: Roger, Al.

[Long Comm Break.]

[They will remove the PLSSs, check to make sure that the OPSs are still working properly (in case they have to be used for an emergency spacewalk across to the Command Module), and prepare a jettison bag with unneeded equipment to be discarded along with the PLSSs. They perform the OPS check before discarding the PLSSs for the simple reason that, should one of the OPSs not check out properly, they will keep a PLSS. Astronaut Joe Engle, the backup LMP, takes over as CapCom.]

135:59:13 Engle: Antares, Houston.

135:59:18 Mitchell: Go ahead.

135:59:19 Engle: Okay, Ed. We want to check Ascent O2 pressure here before you get your gloves on to repress (means "depress"). So, would you give us a call prior to donning your gloves?

[Very Long Comm Break]
RealVideo Clip (12 min 07 sec)

136:12:54 Mitchell: Houston, we're getting ready to don gloves.

136:12:56 Engle: Okay. (Making a mis-identification) And, Al, before you put your gloves on, I wonder if we could make this Ascent O2 check, now? You ready to go?

136:13:06 Mitchell: Tell me what you want.

136:13:08 Engle: Okay. We'd like Descent O2, Closed; the PLSS Fill (valve), Open; and Ascent 1 Oxygen (valve), Open. (Pause)

136:13:33 Mitchell: Okay. You have it. The Descent O2 is closed, the PLSS Fill is Open, and Ascent number 1 is Open.

136:13:38 Engle: Very good, Ed. And stand by just a minute now, and we'll get some readings here. (Pause) Okay, Al. And quantity looks good here, so we can turn Ascent O2, Off; Ascent O2 (number) 1 to Closed; PLSS Fill, Closed; and Descent O2 back Open.

136:14:03 Shepard: Okay, that's done. And it sounds good to us. (Pause)

136:14:11 Mitchell: Okay. Can we press on now (with preparations for the depress and jettison)?

136:14:13 Engle: Okay. You can press on. Thank you very much.

[Long Comm Break. The checklist calls for the depress to begin 41 minutes after they restarted the Digital Event Timer at 135:43:38. They are about ten minutes ahead.]
136:19:09 Shepard: Houston, Antares. We're depressing the cabin for jettison now.

136:19:12 Engle: Okay, Al. We're watching that and it's looking good. Suits are looking good. (Long Pause) Okay, Antares. Could you verify Suit (Circuit) Relief (valve) in Auto, please? (Long Pause)

136:20:50 Shepard: Okay, Houston. Suit Circuit Relief is now in Auto.

136:20:54 Engle: Okay; thank you, Al.

[Comm Break]
RealVideo Clip (2 min 41 sec)

136:23:40 Shepard: Okay, Houston. We're going to jettison now.

136:23:43 Engle: Roger, Al. (Long Pause)

136:24:33 Engle: You guys really registered the seismometer on those last ones.

136:25:44 Mitchell: That's good. Good heavy throw.

RealVideo Clip (5 min 42 sec)

136:25:55 Engle: We're hoping you cleared the Velcro on those before you left.

136:26:04 Shepard: That's affirmative. We got it.

136:26:06 Engle: Great. Thank you.

[Mitchell - "I think what this is, is that Joe (Engle) and Gene (Cernan) put backup crew patches on the Velcro on the PLSS and they just wanted to make sure that we didn't throw them away."]

[Long Comm Break]

[At some point after the jettison, Al took a series of pictures of the ALSEP out his window, starting with AS14-66- 9333 and ending with 9336.]

[Next, Ed took a series of pictures out his window. Lennie Waugh has assembled a mini-pan consisting of frames AS14-66-9338, 40, 41, and 42. Dave Byrne has assembled an alternative version.]

[Frame 9337 shows Turtle Rock in the distance and, more or less in line with it, the javelin and one of the golf balls.]

[Frame 9338 shows both PLSSs and various sets of footprints made during the trips to and from the ALSEP site. Jim Scotti notes that we "can see the impact 'crater' and roll marks made by the PLSS farthest from the LM. It rolled on its side and you can see a fair bit of detail in the hoses and straps on the righthand side of it." Various PLSS imprints are indicated in a detail.]

[Frame 9339 is similar but includes the golf ball and javelin.]

[Frame 9340 shows the MET at the lower left. Journal Contributor Ken MacTaggart calls attention to Ed's Hasselblad and RCU bracket, visible on a tray at the back of the MET. At 135:07:13, after some confusion, Houston told them that only Al's camera should be taken back in the cabin. Just to the right of the MET is the Gold camera and, just to its right, the Gold camera cover, which was discarded after the magazine was removed at 135:11:14. A portion of the S-Band antenna can be seen at the extreme right edge of the picture, just beyond one of the thrusters.]

[Frame 9341 shows the view over Ed's thrusters toward the TV camera and the S-Band antenna.]

[Frames 9342 and 9343 show the javelin, the golf ball, and Turtle Rock with Ed's footprints leading back to the LM.]

[Shepard, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We seemed to have a little extra dust on the floor. Other than that, it was not too bad."]

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "A lot of that dust, I believe, kind of got whipped outside when we did our dump (that is, jettison) depress. The cabin dust kind of swirled around. A lot of that went out through the relief valve at that point, which might have reduced it somewhat."]

136:30:04 Shepard: Okay, Houston. EVA-2 Post is through.

136:30:08 Engle: Okay. Very good, Al.

[Comm Break. They have completed everything listed on the post-EVA procedures card. They will now start the section in the Surface Checklist "Post EVA Cabin Clean-up". They had planned to reach this point 52 minutes after restarting the Digital Event Timer at 135:43:38 and have actually taken 46 1/2 minutes.]
RealVideo Clip (23 min 02 sec)

136:32:11 Engle: Antares, Houston.

136:32:16 Mitchell: Go ahead.

136:32:17 Engle: Rog. Ed. Troops on the ground here seem to think that the best place to stow that 100-foot tether will be over there in the left-hand stowage compartment.

136:32:31 Mitchell: Okay. We got quite a few things, I think, to stow here. We'll get with you and tell you where we're putting them.

136:32:37 Engle: Okay. Very good.

[Very Long Comm Break. Fred Haise returns as CapCom.]
137:16:54 Haise: Antares, Houston.

137:17:01 Mitchell: Go ahead.

137:17:03 Haise: Okay, I hadn't heard from you in a while, Ed. Just wonder how are things going?

137:17:11 Shepard: Well, we're pressing along, here, Fred. We're pretty well along in our stowage. And if you look at the Surface Checklist, we're at the top of the second column on page 7-5.

137:17:29 Haise: Okay. Very good, Al.

137:17:34 Shepard: And we'll have a weight report of the location of all the stowage for you here momentarily.

137:17:39 Haise: Okay.

137:17:46 Shepard: And then, we'll probably eat; and then, we'll probably rest for a while.

137:17:49 Haise: Sounds good.

[Very Long Comm Break]

[Jones - "Were you fairly tired at this point? You'd had a strenuous day."]

[Mitchell - "Yeah, but I don't think we felt it at this point. The fatigue didn't really set in until after we got back to the Command Module."]

[The checklist calls for a one-hour rest period, starting at 140:10 Mission Elapsed Time or 139:30 Ground Elapsed Time (as used in this transcript). They are roughly two hours ahead of schedule. Unlike Conrad and Bean, they were running short of oxygen at the end of the EVA and, consequently, have no regrets about having this extra time to rest and prepare themselves for the launch.]

137:30:04 Shepard: Houston, Antares.

137:30:07 Haise: Go ahead, Al.

137:30:13 Shepard: Were you planning on the EVA-2 debriefing? If so, what time?

137:30:20 Haise: Okay, I guess whenever you're ready, Al. Do you happen to have any weight check for us on the rocks?

137:30:31 Shepard: Affirmative. (Pause) We gave you the weights of the rocks that we put in the left-hand stowage yesterday. We have some additional rocks that are in the ISA (Interim Stowage Assembly, the 'shoebag' that hangs behind Al). Total weight of the ISA is five-zero (terrestrial) pounds. Total weight of the SRC is two-niner (that is, 29) pounds; and we have a couple of large rocks in a sample bag on Z-27, and that weight is three-zero pounds.

[Journal Contributor Ulli Lotzmann photographed the flown spring scale at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, in Titusville.]

As can be seen in the accompanying diagrams, the plus Z-27 bulkhead separates the front the cabin from the back, and is just forward of the ascent engine cover. The plus Z-27 bulkhead is also the front face of what is called the Midstep. Here, Al is saying that they have put a bag containing two large rocks against the base of the bulkhead, where they will have secured it with straps.]

137:31:18 Haise: Okay, Al. Copy that. Looks like a pretty good haul.

137:31:28 Shepard: Yeah, sure does. (Pause) And we'll be ready for a debriefing in about another 10 minutes.

137:31:38 Haise: Okay, Al, just give us a call. We've got some of the questions ready here, any time you're ready.

137:31:48 Shepard: Okay, we'll give you a buzz shortly.

[Very Long Comm Break]

[After about a half hour, Houston will make a call to see if the crew is ready for the EVA debrief.]

[Jones - "Do I get the feeling that, although you were busy here, it wasn't a rushed process?"]

[Mitchell - "Yeah, we were just taking our time, making sure that things got done."]

[Shepard, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Everything seemed to go along pretty well. We got the PLSSs off, got the jettison packages ready, and got everything out of there. I have forgotten exactly how much ahead of the timeline we were at that point, but it seemed to me we had about an hour to sit around with nothing to do."]

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Yes, something like that. We got plenty of time to talk. We spent a lot of time carefully stowing. I think most of our time went to stowage after we got in - stowing all the extra rocks we had, making sure that they went in the right compartments, sorting out weights, etc. This took quite a bit of time."]

[In addition to getting the rocks stowed, Al and Ed have cleaned up their suit seals for the return to orbit.]

[Shepard, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We did clean and lubricate the PGA (Pressure Garment Assembly) seals at the neckrings and wristrings. I think that was a good way to go. We didn't get an awful lot of dirt, but we did get enough of a smudge on the wiping cloth to indicate there was a trace of dust there, so I think that's a good way to go. It doesn't take too much time and I recommend doing that."]

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Yes. It think it's interesting. I don't know whether that had anything to do with it or not, but my EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) leak rate was less on the second EVA than on the first. That is completely inexplicable to me. The only thing that was different was that we lubricated the rings. Whether that has anything to do with it or not, I don't know. As I recall, I had only 0.15 leak rate on the pressure check for the second EVA."]

138:00:24 Haise: Antares, Houston.

138:00:31 Mitchell: Go ahead.

138:00:33 Haise: Okay, just wondered, are both of you still tied up with the stowage? Aside from the debriefing, we do have a little bit of a steerable (high-gain antenna) comm check we need to get out of the way; and, if you are free, Ed, maybe we can tackle that now.

138:00:54 Mitchell: Okay, Fredo. We're ready to go with you here in just one second. If you have Pads or anything you can work with me on before the debriefing, I'm ready to start.

138:01:06 Haise: Okay, I'll turn it over here to Joe (Engle) and he can read you up this little test they want to do on the steerable. (Long Pause)

138:01:58 Mitchell: Hello, Houston; Antares. Joe, do you read?

[Joe Engle, the backup Lunar Module Pilot, takes over as CapCom.]
138:02:01 Engle: You bet, Ed. We're just getting switched around on the comm down here; and what we want to do, Ed, is to verify this acquisition and tracking capability. First thing we'd like to do is to go to the Track Mode switch to the Slew position, and slowly rotate the Pitch knob over the entire range, and verify corresponding travel on the meters, and also, listen to the antenna driving if you can. After you've done that, we'll do the same thing with the Yaw knob. So, first of all, go Track Mode to Slew, and rotate the Pitch knob, and see if you get corresponding travel and see if you can hear it rotating.
[Comm Break]
138:04:18 Mitchell: Houston, Antares.

138:04:20 Engle: Roger, Ed. Go ahead.

138:04:24 Mitchell: Okay. I'm watching the antenna out the window - the shadow of it anyhow - and the needles, and it does drive over the entire range in both Pitch and Yaw. There's a great deal of undamped...well, it's lightly damped oscillation. It takes it quite a while to stabilize after you pick the particular setting of the thumb wheels, but it eventually gets there.

138:04:54 Engle: Okay. Very good, Ed. Let's check the acquisition now. If you'll set the Pitch to plus 120 and Yaw to minus 38 - and you're in Slew position - and verify that you get a signal strength greater than 3. (Long Pause)

138:05:41 Mitchell: Okay, Joe. I've got a signal strength of 3.8.

138:05:44 Engle: 3.8. Okay, very good. Now, go to Auto and see if the signal strength comes up any. And also: notice, if you will, that the Pitch and Yaw meters move any from your present position. (Pause)

[In the Slew Mode, the computer does not try to alter the antenna pointing to improve signal strength. In Auto, it does.]
138:06:07 Mitchell: Okay. The signal strength stayed the same; and I'm indicating on the needles 130 and minus 40.

138:06:18 Engle: Okay. Understand, one-thirty, one three zero, and minus forty.

138:06:26 Mitchell: Yup.

138:06:30 Engle: Okay, and now stand by...

138:06:32 Mitchell: In flight, Joe, if you'll remember it - (Listens) Let me say that, in flight, there were a couple of times it locked on beautifully; however, in order to get it to lock on, I had to get the main lobe up. It would not lock on with just having signal strength up around 3.2 or 3.4. I had to have a signal strength up around 3.8 before I went to Auto. If I went to Auto with less than that, it just drove off and went to the stops. Several times, however, it locked up and was tracking very nicely and then proceeded a few seconds later - or a few minutes later - to pop an antenna circuit breaker. So I think that it's overheating somewhere; either that or some problem in the electronics that's causing it to pop circuit breakers.

138:07:25 Engle: Yeah, okay. That sounds like a pretty good analysis, Ed; and stand by just a second. We'll have a couple of more little things to try here before we terminate this. (Pause) Okay, Ed. Now, what we'd like to do is to let me read this through before you do each step; but go back to the Slew position and set the Pitch and Yaw angles the same as what you're reading now, on Auto track. That's 130 and minus 40, and let's make sure that we're in that position.

138:08:15 Mitchell: Okay. Going to Slew and selecting the thumb wheel position to match the needles. (Long Pause) Okay, Joe. It was pretty close that time.

138:08:41 Engle: Okay, very good. Now, what we want you to do is, while you're in Slew position, try the Pitch control, Off; rotate Pitch control, 8 degrees, clockwise, and then go back Track Mode to Auto, and see if it will re-acquire.

138:08:58 Mitchell: Okay, 8 degrees clockwise. (Long Pause) Now, it seems to have come back in 8 degrees, Joe.

138:09:39 Engle: Okay, beautiful! Okay, let's go back to Slew, and set the angles up again at 130 and minus 40, and we'll do the same thing with the Yaw control. We'll rotate it 8 degrees clockwise and then back to Auto and see if it'll track back.

138:09:59 Mitchell: Okay. (Burst of static; Long Pause) Yeah, it seemed to come back in, Joe.

138:10:32 Engle: Okay. That's about all we can check, I guess, Ed. Let me give you a configuration that we'd like to go to in the event that we do have tracking problems during ascent, because we would like to maintain High Bit Rate, if possible. Let me know when you have a pencil out and a card that you can copy it on. Maybe your AGS (Abort Guidance System) card there would be a good place to have it. (Pause) And for your information...

138:11:08 Mitchell: Okay, Joe, I'm ready.

138:11:09 Engle: Okay, very good. I was just going to say there's only five items here, so it won't be very much. We'd like...In event that you do lose steerable now, we'll go Down Voice Backup; Biomed, Left; Audio Mode to ICS/Push-to-Talk; and to High Bit Rate. And, of course, then we'll want Aft Omni during the ascent. (Pause)

138:12:01 Mitchell: Okay, I got four of them, Joe. The next to the last one, I guess I don't have. Down Voice, Backup; Biomed, Left; High Bit Rate, and what was the next to the last one? And then Aft Omni.

138:12:13 Engle: Okay. Audio Mode to ICS/Push-to-Talk, Ed. (Pause)

138:12:29 Mitchell: Okay. ICS/PTT.

138:12:32 Engle: Okay, very good, and that configuration only in (the) event we lose tracking with the steerable.

138:12:43 Mitchell: Okay. Will do, Joe.

138:12:45 Engle: Okay. Thank you, Ed, and I'll give you back to Fredo here. Stand by just a minute. (Long Pause)

[By the time the Apollo 14 Mission Report was published in May 1971, no definitive explanation had been found for the steerable antenna oscillations and loss of lock that were experienced during the descent. The problem did not resurface during the ascent.]
138:13:01 Haise: And, Antares; Houston. We're standing by with the debriefing questions here whenever y'all are both ready to go.

138:13:16 Shepard: Yeah, we're ready to go right now, Fredo.

138:13:19 Haise: Okay. (Pause) Okay, the first question is to describe texture or fracture patterns or any surface characteristics of the large boulders in the boulder fields you were describing at Cone Crater. (Pause)

138:13:54 Shepard: You want textures and patterns of the boulders themselves?

138:13:59 Haise: That's affirmative, Al. (Long Pause)

138:14:18 Shepard: Well, we made some remarks, as I recall, coming back down, about the fact that they looked weather-beaten, the fact that they maybe were fairly soft rocks, because they look very much like (terrestrial) rocks that have been weather-beaten due to atmosphere. I think that was one of the types of textures that we noted. We noted other rocks that were very fine-grained, crystalline rocks and essentially very smooth on the outside. We have a sample of one of those, football size. These are really the only two textures that I noticed. (To Ed) Did you notice any in addition to that?

138:15:07 Mitchell: Well, no. I can't say that I did specifically. It wasn't really a matter of being able to describe what we saw in this particular case because, at that point, we were so rushed that all we were trying to do was see different things and grab it without really noting how it necessarily differed. The only thing that I recall about these craters - or, rather, these boulders - was that there were inclusions or variations within the rock; and I assume that they were crystals within the rock, or some crystalline form within the rock. I don't know that that's true; they might have been, for example, a breccia with just a conglomerate in them, and I don't know whether that's true or not either. There simply wasn't time to look at them in that detail; so, we just grabbed, photographed, and ran; and I would be kind of at loss to give you an articulate description of really what those rocks are like.

138:16:12 Shepard: I do think we have good samples of (the) two types that we saw on the west rim of the crater. Ed got a small piece of the light-colored rock, and we actually brought back one that was typical of the other, reddish brown rocks.

138:16:36 Haise: Okay, Al. Very good.

138:16:39 Shepard: I should say...(Listens) Okay.

[Jones - "When Al says reddish-brown rocks, is that really gray with just a hint of brown and red?"]

[Mitchell - "That's right."]

138:16:45 Haise: Okay. The second question was, I guess, one that was asked somewhere along the way. And, did you ever notice there being dust on tops of any of the boulders around Cone?

138:17:11 Mitchell: Let me make a stab at that, Fredo. I noticed some of the rocks - the smaller boulders that were closer to the ground - were covered with dust. But I recall boulders that were not covered with dust; and, for example, the boulders down here closer to the LM, the last boulder field I went to, did not have any appreciable dust on those rocks. And the white ones I sampled up near Cone Crater did not have any appreciable dust on them. However, others did. As a matter of fact, there was one of the boulders - in that group of the white boulders - that I photographed for you, but it was too big to do anything with. It had brown and white; and I couldn't tell what kind of a contact it was: whether the white part was because it had been broken away or whether it was a contact of two different materials. There just wasn't time to investigate that sort of phenomenon; so, we tried to simply sample the two types and photograph it. But, as far as dust is concerned, I think we've seen both; and, among the larger boulders, there are certainly a large number that do not have any dust on them.

138:18:32 Haise: Okay, Ed.

[Photo AS14-68- 9448 is Ed's portrait of Contact Rock at Station C-1. This boulder contains both a brown-grey component (top) and a white component (bottom).]
138:18:33 Shepard: I think that's generally true that we would have been aware of dust. There certainly was a lot of filleting, and we tried document that for you. But, I'd say, generally speaking, there was no dust on the surface of any of (the) rocks that we saw.

138:18:52 Haise: Roger, Al.

[Nearby impacts can throw dust onto the tops of boulders, while micrometeorite impacts on the boulders clean the dust off. Information on the numbers and sizes of boulders with dust on them can give insights into both processes.]
138:18:54 Haise: And the next question. When you were high on the slopes of Cone, could you tell any differences in the surface color tone, when you looked back in the area to the south and to southwest?
[Jones - "Had there been some indication in the overhead photographs that there was a difference off in one direction versus another?"]

[Mitchell - "I think the predominant determination of color was your angle with regard to the Sun. And that Sun was so bright that it just about washed out everything. When you were looking down-Sun in that washed-out zone it looked grey. When you looked cross-Sun it clearly was a brownish color. So the Sun angle seemed to determine color more than anything else. What they're asking about here is was there a contact between different regolith units and it just was not evident that it was there - on a grand scale. Maybe you'd find it on a microscale in a core tube or different samples taken in different locations, but it wasn't obvious to the eye."]

138:19:20 Shepard: Well, of course, the obvious difference is in the bright craters. Those are always noticeable; and those were there. Beyond that, I wasn't aware of any marked contrast in color tone.
[Mitchell - "What looked like sharp, relatively young craters were always brighter. The soil was distinctly different around them."]
138:19:37 Mitchell: Well, I don't know whether it's a figment of my imagination or not. I always noted going up there this morning, or thought I noted, that the area around Old Nameless was...There were some darker patches, but we were so preoccupied with finding our way to the top of Cone Crater that I neither observed it or made remarks about that observation, nor really observed it that much more closely.

138:20:07 Haise: Roger, Ed. Hopefully, maybe the pans will pick that up. Okay, next question. This is for Ed. When you attempted the second triple core - and I think you really answered this in real time, but just to get it straight - did you think you hit another rock, like you mentioned bedrock on the first attempt, or did it just get progressively harder to drive?

138:20:38 Mitchell: Well, I wasn't quite sure, Fredo. I thought that I'd hit rock again; but after I pulled it out...It could very well have been just a compaction type of phenomenon where it just quit driving; and I don't know the answer. It felt like, in driving it, that I'd hit something pretty solid, but it wasn't as though I had hit a very sharp line of rock as opposed to soft material. It went down fairly well, and then it tightened up and then it just stopped.

[Post-flight examination of the bit that he used on the first attempt indicated that he did hit a rock.]
138:21:18 Haise: Okay, Ed. To back up a little further back in time, we missed when the double core task was done. About how far could you push the tube down before you started hammering? (Static; Long Pause)

138:22:12 Mitchell: (Garbled) out the window and it (the steerable antenna)'s starting to vibrate and shudder a little bit, and we're going to lose it in a minute, probably pop the circuit breaker.

[See section 14.2.3 of the Apollo 14 Mission Report for a discussion of the possible causes of the problems experienced with the steerable antenna.]
138:22:22 Haise: Okay, Ed. We lost you there for a little bit. I guess you can, if you get it locked on, just leave it Slew, rather than Auto. (Pause, brief static)

138:22:34 Mitchell: That's where you are.

138:22:36 Haise: Okay. I didn't get the answer there, Ed, on how far that double core got manually pushed in before you started hammering on it.

138:22:49 Mitchell: Al'll have to answer that; I didn't put it in.

138:22:55 Shepard: Are you talking about the first one (at Station A), Fred?

138:22:59 Haise: That's affirm, Al.

138:23:04 Shepard: Okay. The double core that I took in the vicinity of point A went in perhaps two and a half to three inches, no more than three inches.

138:23:18 Haise: Roger, Al. If I can find the next question...This answer will probably...

138:23:28 Mitchell: (Garbled) Fredo, if they went...(Listens)

138:23:32 Haise: Go ahead, Ed.

138:23:33 Mitchell: If they went that far, I'd be surprised...The one's I took.

138:23:38 Haise: Okay, Ed. The question 5 is kind of the same as the first one, and I assume your answer will probably be the same. But the question is: could you describe in any more detail, and I guess it's really saying, did you think you saw any stratigraphy at all in the way the ejecta was laying around Cone Crater?

[Haise is asking if they noticed any signs of rock characteristics changing with distance from the rim of Cone; that is, if the rocks farther away looked different from any of those closer in. In the following, it is clear that Shepard has misunderstood the question and talks about structure within individual rocks.]
138:24:11 Shepard: I saw a couple of boulders that I thought had some stratigraphy in them, but it certainly wasn't - you know - obvious in the classic sense. There was...Well, as a matter of fact, we took a sample from one that looked like it had some stratigraphy in it on the way back down. We grabbed a quick sample from one. Well, it didn't jump out and become obvious, however.

138:24:38 Haise: Okay, and a little...

138:24:40 Mitchell: Fred, everything here especially seems to be pretty darn subtle. And I am convinced there was stratigraphy there because we saw suggestions of it. Just like I'm convinced I see some lineations out here - or some suggestions of them. But they don't jump out and hit you in the face; and we'll probably have to go over the photographs and talk about each one of these samples in detail before we can really bring out the picture on it. I just can't remember a lot of those very subtle things.

138:25:17 Haise: Okay, and I assume, on a little bit larger scale, you couldn't detect anything with respect to the hinge/flap type relation in the boulder field around Cone?

[The ejecta blanket of an impact crater shows an inversion of the pre-impact stratigraphy, with materials derived from deepest in the crater lying on top of the blanket and materials from relatively shallow layers on the bottom. This is sometimes called an overturned flap, hinged at the crater rim. Haise's ability to paraphrase the questions from the Backroom is an indication of the thoroughness with which he understands the pertinent geological principles.]
138:25:34 Mitchell: (Understanding the question) No, we sure couldn't see that at all. I'm sure it was there, if we'd just had time; but we couldn't see it.

138:25:41 Haise: Okay. And this one is for Al. About how deep were you down with the trench, Al, when the side walls started caving in?

138:26:01 Shepard: Well, actually, the first cut I took was down to about 6 inches and there was some caving at that time. The side walls were standing probably about 70 to 80 degrees. The next cut I took made the walls a little more steep, closer to the vertical - perhaps 80, 85 (degrees) - and, at that point, they started coming down. Fine-grain regolith, at the top of the cut, just tumbled down into the trench.

138:26:32 Haise: Okay, and I guess I asked you in real time the thickness of the intermediate layer, but they'd also like to know if you have any estimate on the thickness of the very top layer. (Pause)

138:27:00 Shepard: No, I sure don't. It wasn't, as I say, stratigraphy in the classic sense, because it all started to crumble after the first couple of strokes. That was the place where you, Ed, took the sample of some white-colored material that was very close to the surface.

138:27:21 Mitchell: Is the upper layer that you're talking about, the brown, and the next one is the white? The brown seemed to be showing the white in some places after an inch or 2 inches. I'm not sure it's another layer. But it had to be. I can't find another explanation for it; but it seemed to be very thin; 1 or 2 inches at the top layer.

138:27:49 Shepard: I think that's probably a pretty good call. I'd say maybe 2 inches; then, of course, we had that thin layer of fairly glassy material, which I collected, and then the bottom, whiter material which Ed got a sample of, as well as the ones I took.

138:28:10 Haise: Okay, and you've already answered the next part of this question, which was distinction between layers. You had both color and textural distinctions there that told you you had the layering. And I guess the last part, maybe, you've answered too, but it's a question of whether the wall caving you think, maybe, was a natural event or do you think it was due to the dragging the trench tool through the cut? (Pause)

[That is, did the wall collapse come as a result of contact with the trenching tool, or did it come down on its own because lateral restraining forces had been removed?]
138:28:52 Shepard: (Dryly) Well, I'm not sure I had an unnatural shovel. And I'm not quite sure what the question is now that I think back about it again. You mean that...

138:29:09 Haise: Actually, I thought you answered that Al, because you...

138:29:15 Shepard: (Garbled) when the...(Listens)

138:29:19 Haise: Your previous comment indicated that it started caving in with your first stroke; and if that was true then, it looks like the trenching tool helped bring the walls down.

138:29:36 Shepard: Well, I'm sure that it did. Actually, it was on about the second stroke where it started to occur because the first strike there the walls were a lot steeper. But, I'm sure the tool had a lot to do with it.

138:29:54 Haise: Okay, the next question. When we were sort of quickly passing by North Triplet Crater on the way back to Antares, you mentioned in passing there coming upon a little boulder field. And the question is: do you think this boulder field was tied in some way to North Triplet, possibly part of a ray? (Pause)

138:30:31 Shepard: I don't recall...We inferred they were boulders. I think that we thought they were a field of ejecta material from that particular crater, and therefore, we took some samples there. Is that the spot you are referring to?

138:30:50 Haise: Yeah; that's it, Al.

138:30:55 Shepard: Yeah. If we inferred (means "implied") they were boulders, that was incorrect. They were just hand samples of approximately 8 to 10 inches but all lumped together as though they had been ejected from that crater and right on our path, and we took a couple of samples from that area.

138:31:11 Mitchell: As a matter of fact, there were boulders which we also thought came out of, probably, the same area; but there wasn't anything around the boulders that seemed small enough and obvious enough to grab on the run, like we tried to do with this bunch of samples.

138:31:28 Haise: Okay. The next question is: did you see any evidence of downslope creep with respect to the Cone Crater fillets you saw...on the uphill-side rocks?

[That is, did the fillets on the upslope sides of the boulders seem better developed than those on the downhill side. One would expect this to be the case because of the tendency of impacts on a slope to produce downhill motions. Certainly, at the Station 6A boulder at the Apollo 15 site there was clear evidence of such downhill motions.]
138:31:51 Mitchell: Yeah, I did; and I'm not so sure but what part of the lineation that I was talking about would not be found on Cone in a circular (pattern) around the crater. Now, I saw these same things up there. I described them before, so I didn't say anything about it again; but my guess is that they go circular around Cone Crater. Now, that may be entirely wrong.

138:32:30 Haise: You mean kind of like contour lines, Ed?

138:32:32 Mitchell: (Garbled under Haise) except probably for direction. (Hearing Haise) That's what I'm suggesting, but it's merely a suggestion, and I didn't follow them out. I didn't check them that closely to be able to prove it; but where I did see them, they were, indeed, kind of parallel to the slope...(correcting himself) I mean parallel to the rim of the crater; in other words, around the crater.

138:33:01 Haise: Very good, Ed. Next question. The difficulty you had at the last there, climbing up to Cone rim, was that due primarily to the terrain slope or did the soil conditions change again that caused you to have some greater problems?

138:33:32 Mitchell: I think probably both. I think we just entirely underestimated the difficulty in going that far and getting that high in such a short period of time. It's a darn hard climb to try to do rapidly, and the soil is a little bit thin and mushy. And the suits are bulky; it's all those problems rolled in, Fred; we just...It was too ambitious, I guess.

[This conclusion is supported by the experiences of the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 crews. With the Rover to do the hill climbing work, the J-mission crews could reach sites on slopes even steeper than the 10 degrees of Cone. Of course, at such sites they had to be a little cautious about moving too far downhill from the Rover because of the effort of getting back up. And, in places, the slope and the softness of the soil made the work more difficult. The best plan of action was to move cross-slope as much as possible; and then, if possible, stand in a place where you could lean into the hillside as you chipped a rock or bagged a sample. In hindsight, it would have been best to allocate more time to the Cone climb so that crew could have done some cross-slope traversing. It is even possible that they could have made better time, walking farther but making fewer rest stops.]
138:34:02 Shepard: Let me say that I don't really think that the composition of the soil changed very much. Matter of fact, that was one thing that struck me about the whole area: the consistency of the texture of the regolith - outside of soft areas, of course, in crater rims. I think as far as the progress up there is concerned, it was due to the grade and the boulders and the rocks that we had to go around. But, really, as far as the surface texture is concerned, as far as the bearing strength of the surface, I thought that, outside of the crater rims, that it was unusually consistent all the way through. And the thing that surprised me was the raindrop pattern with these very small sort of pebbles, which is decidedly different than we had down here in this area where we landed.
[Mitchell - "As I recall, I didn't agree with Al's assessment there. He was essentially implying that the pebbles were in the raindrop pattern. And it's not very clear to me what he was talking about. But I recall at the time, I didn't want to question or dispute it on the radio, because I didn't know exactly what he was talking about. But I know I didn't feel comfortable with what I thought he was implying."]

[Jones - "Let me go back through and find the references to raindrop patterns in this particular one, but it may not have been exclusively up there on the slopes. I think he may have noticed it earlier."]

[Mitchell - "Well, he did. He made a comment somewhere as we were starting out on EVA-2. I don't remember exactly where it was, but it was close to A or B."]

[During EVA-2, Ed and Al first commented on the raindrop pattern at Station A. Al hypothesized a connection between pebbles and the pattern at 132:26:34 as he was leaving Station A.]

138:35:03 Mitchell: I think we remarked on the similarity of the surface. I think I remarked, at one spot, that it seemed to be getting a little harder (that is, firmer) up there, but that seemed to have been isolated. It wasn't true in general; it seemed to be in that one local area. And certainly, as Al pointed out, the softest areas, by and large, are crater rims, fairly fresh crater rims. And when you run in through one of those, you get some fairly soft material; but, otherwise, it's about like you saw here near the LM on television, the way we were pressing into that.

138:35:48 Haise: Roger. (Pause) The next question is: how abundant and what was the distribution of glass that you saw around on the surface? Or, I guess, in one case you mentioned it draped on a rock.

138:36:10 Shepard: Yeah, we went roaring past one rock that had some...Well, what looked like glass splatter. I'm pretty sure that it was, and I'm sure there are other samples of that out here, but we did not see them. That was really the only example of glass that I could come close to positively identify as being glass per se. There are some crystalline rocks out here, and I'm sure we got some samples for you.

138:36:46 Mitchell: I concur with that. I was surprised that we didn't obviously see more glass. A lot of the smaller rocks that we did pick up that were sample size were so darn dirty that they may have glass in them, but they're just covered with this dirt which clings to everything. And why the big rocks, the big boulders that you asked about earlier, are not covered in the same way, I don't know. Maybe some of them are, but it really covers up what the rock is made of and it probably obscured a lot of glass that we just didn't even see.

138:37:27 Haise: Okay. We need to make a quick comm switch here, Ed. We're having trouble staying with you from Madrid. We'd like you to go from FM (Frequency Modulation) to PM (Pulse Modulation).

138:37:44 Mitchell: (Comm clears) You got it.

138:37:46 Haise: Okay. How do you read now?

138:37:51 Mitchell: Loud and clear, Fredo.

138:37:53 Haise: Okay, that was the reason for our comm loss a little while back on the steerable. The next question here...Actually let's see...Second ten. Did you notice the dust adhering to the MET particularly and if so, what parts?

[Mitchell - "I think they gave him a certain number of questions...Probably we had ten questions and then, if we had time, ten more questions. But I'm sure they had a lot more questions to ask than the Flight Director and CapCom was going to let them ask."]

[Jones - "This is actually a very long geology debrief, compared with most of the others."]

138:38:21 Mitchell: If you got a direct hit with mud - with this dust, Fred...If it's sprayed on something, it seems to stick. It just covers everything. And I'm looking down out the window at the MET; surprisingly enough, it doesn't look too bad. The fenders, the wheels, the lower parts, the legs...Yeah, they're pretty covered with dirt; and there's quite a bit spread up and splattered around a little bit. But it looks surprisingly good, as a matter of fact. Maybe it just doesn't have enough porous surface.

138:39:09 Haise: Okay, Ed. One more question here. You mentioned seeing blocks around the rim of North Triplet. Did you happen to get a look far enough down there to see if you also saw either blocks or ray patterns from Center Triplet Crater?

138:39:34 Mitchell: Fredo, the...It's so darn undulating here, that was part of our problem. We couldn't even see Central Triplet Crater. We knew it was there, but you can walk in some of these undulations and get lost from each other, if you're not careful. You just can't find where you are. And we couldn't even see anything from Central Triplet and know it was from that.

138:40:06 Haise: Okay; and, I guess, one last question here to clear up what ended up in the SESC out of the bottom of the trench. The question...This is for Al. Did you primarily end up with fine-grained or coarse-grained material in the SESC?

138:40:32 Shepard: It's all fine-grained material. Some of it is from the surface. And, unfortunately, when I opened the first canister, the seal came off the canister in the bottom, so I had to go back and regroup and get another one and take another sample. But I think that I got mostly from the bottom of the crater...(correcting himself) bottom of the trench. However, it is all fine-grained. There's nothing of any greater size.

138:41:08 Haise: Okay; that's about it. Thank you very much. Guess you can think about getting breakfast now.

138:41:16 Mitchell: Okay. Thank you.

138:41:20 Shepard: Okay. That was a good job of getting us sorted out there, when we got behind the timeline; and we appreciate that help.

138:41:28 Haise: Well, we thank you again for doing a great job, Al and Ed. I think we have picked up everything we needed there.

138:41:39 Mitchell: Gee, I sure hope so. It sure was a panic from our point of view.

138:41:44 Haise: Well, we kind of knew that before we got there.

138:41:46 Mitchell: There were some things that we'd like to have done...(Listens) Yeah, I think you're right, Fredo. There are so many things we'd like to have done, so many things to do, so many interesting things to look at here; and we didn't even have the chance to scratch the surface. We hope we've brought back something that you can sort out, as time goes on.

138:42:05 Haise: Well, it's a little better than that sandpile out behind the training building anyway, though, isn't it?

138:42:12 Shepard: Oh, man!

138:42:13 Mitchell: Don't you know it!

138:42:14 Shepard: It really is. It's fantastic up here. (Long Pause)

[Jones - "This might be a good place to sum up anything you'd like to say about the second EVA."]

[Mitchell - "Well, I think it's been pretty well summed up here on this last page. That's pretty lucid and erudite as to what we were trying to do, what our problems were, and how we tackled them. The primary difference between our preconception and what we ended up confronting is stated here in this one remark. I said 'it's so damn undulating in here, we couldn't even see Central Triplet crater. We knew it was there, but you could walk into one of these undulations and get lost from each other'. That part of it, we never expected. Yeah, we expected, you know, one and two feet low rolls and craters, etc., but when they got to six to eight feet differences in elevation and I often walked over a ridge and I couldn't even see him. And you knew he couldn't be more than 20, 30, 40, 50 feet away. That was totally beyond our expectations. And it just so messed up navigation, messed up trying to see ray patterns, trying to see any sort of stratigraphy. Kind of like being on the ocean with choppy waves. Every wave looks just like the next wave. That was really the fundamental thing that got us behind, messed us up so that all the pre-planning and all of the great ideas we had about how we were going to do this, and how we were going to do that, just simply went out the window and we were winging it from the moment we started out on that EVA."]

[Jones - "Do you have any comments, therefore, about the nature of the training - either operational or geological - that put you in good position for winging it?"]

[Mitchell - "I think it put us in very good stead. Can't do anything but praise the quality of our training. I mean, we trained on everything on Earth that was remotely applicable to the situation. And, clearly, nothing on Earth was totally like the situation. But we knew what to look for, we knew the type of geology, we knew the type of morphology that could produce that geology. So it was a really fine exercise in taking what you had learned on Earth and applying it to a totally new and unique situation. And, then, figuring out what to do when you were running out of time. All this work to do and all of these samples and trying to do something useful - it's a real handicap. I think the thing that future missions shouldn't tolerate - and experience should now help with - is the equipment failures and the equipment problems that we had. Equipment was poorly designed - and, okay, we can say that was ignorance, we hadn't been there - but we had been there now, and we should never again have to go through poorly designed equipment - inadequate to the task at hand and not thoroughly checked out. Like sample containers being too small and too fragile and too brittle and too clumsy to handle and all of those sorts of things. And the stiffness and set in the cables was such that it would virtually turn over pieces of equipment. Those were the type of frustrations that somebody should have been able to think through and make sure it didn't happen. And they were continuous sources of frustration and wasted time. I still don't understand why we couldn't get core tubes down in the ground."]

[Jones - "We know that Buzz had problems because his core tubes tried to compact very compact soil; but, other than that, your difficulties are unique."]

[Mitchell - "I guess that's why they had more success with the power drill on later missions, although I understand that that was a pretty difficult thing to handle, too. But that was the only way they got samples down several meters into the soil."]

[Jones - "Several meters. But they hammered tubes into the surface, too, just like you did."]

[Mitchell - "And they got them down?"]

[Jones - "They got them down. The 12 guys did a few of them and got them down. There's something about the soil you guys were dealing with there at 14 that was different."]

[Mitchell - "I'm sure we beat...both of us. Al beat on his; I beat on mine and we just couldn't drive them in there."]

[Jones - "Did you two spend much time with the 11 and 12 samples? Over at the Lunar Receiving Lab?"]

[Mitchell - "We went over and looked at them; but, no, we didn't spend a lot of time with them. We let the geologists tell us if there were any lessons to be learned from looking at them. We did look at them, so that we were familiar with what lunar soils looked like. But we weren't really expecting anything from our site to look much like what they had" (because Fra Mauro was a highland site, not a mare site).]


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