Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal

EVA-2 Planning

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Last revised 12 July 2007.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 9 min 21 sec ) by David Shaffer

139:27:34 Fullerton: Hadley Base, Houston. The only two items we have remaining to brief you on are the EVA plans themselves and a...(Long Pause) And Hadley, Houston. The item that slipped me there for a moment was PRD readouts when you get a chance. That and the traverse plans are all that are hanging (loose) so far.

139:28:38 Scott: Okay.

[Scott - "I think we sort of ignored the PRD. (Joking) So, obviously, we're really concerned about radiation."]

[Jones - "And the PRD was in a suit pocket, as I recall, and it wasn't until you started to get the suits on that it was handy to get at."]

[Scott - "It is important to set the record straight on this, because of the Drury novel about the astronauts who got irradiated at Flamsteed Crater, and also Space by Michener, which are both incorrect. A lot of people think Michener's book is an historical account of the space program. It's not. It's really fiction. And, as time goes on, the written word will be confusing and people may go to those books to find out what happened during the Apollo program. And if there isn't an accurate source somewhere, they may be the record."]

[Jones - "The thing that comes to mind is Captain Bligh and the mutiny on HMS Bounty. The tales about Bligh the tyrant and the horrible conditions on board Bounty were basically fabrications by Fletcher Christian's relatives. The truth of the matter is that Bligh was criticized by the British Navy for being a lax disciplinarian. According to the Admiralty, the mutiny was caused by his lack of discipline - for the time. Yet, everyone's conception of the Bounty voyage comes from the Nordyke-Hall novelization, which ultimately derives from the propaganda spread by the Christian family."]

[Scott - "Yeah. That's where I get it - from the novel and the movie."]

[Very Long Comm Break]

[Gerry Griffin will be the EVA Flight Director with Joe Allen serving as CapCom. For Command Module Operations, Gene Kranz will be the Flight Director and Karl Henize will be the CapCom.]

139:42:34 Scott: Okay, Houston; Hadley Base here. Ready to talk over the EVA with you if you like.

139:42:42 Allen: Good morning, Hadley Base; this is Houston, and we're ready to talk over the EVA.

139:42:51 Scott: Okay. What do we need out to talk with? Maps or anything?

139:42:57 Allen: Dave and Jim, I think that actually you'll have to write very little down, just file a few things away in your memory; but it's going to follow naturally, and I don't think there's any major complication here. Most of it we can do using (the) checklist and your knowledge of the Front and traverse rationale. And I'll just take it from the top, if you're ready.

139:43:28 Scott: Okay, we're ready.

139:43:32 Allen: Roger, Dave. And (I) wondered if you were going to shoot a little pool today?

139:43:41 Scott: Ah, no, we're saving that for tomorrow, Joe.

139:43:46 Allen: Okay, that sounds like good news.

[Jones - "Tell me about 'shoot a little pool, today'."]

[Scott - "It's the Minnesota Fats thing, in the movie, 'The Hustler'. They've been shooting pool for 24 hours and Minnesota Fats and Fast Eddie are really dragging. Right? So Jackie Gleason (the actor who played Minnesota Fats) goes into the Men's Room and he washes up, shaves, get's out a fresh shirt, fresh tie, gets all cleaned up, walks out into the pool room where Fast Eddie's pretty tired and Gleason says, 'Okay, Eddie, let's shoot a little pool.' And he destroys the guy. And the point is, it's the mental thing, often, that does it for you. So we had talked about this, before the flight, relative to when you really, really get tired and you're really beat and you just can't go on. So you go in and put on a fresh shirt and whatever, and it refreshes you and you get pumped up again and you get started up again. I think this discussion comes up again on the third EVA because that's when we were really dragging. I don't think we were particularly tired, here; but the reference is 'You guys are refreshed now, you've had a good night's sleep, I know you had a long day yesterday, but now you're going to go out there and charge again.'"]

139:43:48 Allen: I'm going to start with our general rationale for the 6 1/2 hour EVA we're coming up on here, and then I'll get down to some details. I won't give you all the details of the traverse right now, but a lot of them I think we can pick up as we go along, depending really on what we see as we travel along. Basically, the EVA will last, as I said, 6 hours 30 minutes, and this is based on our experience (with oxygen usage) from yesterday. Consequently, the EVA-2 traverse distance has been shortened somewhat to provide good geological exploration with a minimum of travel time, primarily at the Front. We're going to strike out for the Front first, just as planned; however, we're going to skip Station 4 (at the South Cluster) for the time being, range along the Front, and we may very well pick up Station 4 and its corresponding activities on the way home.
[The South Cluster was probably formed by ejecta from the craters Aristillus and/or Autolycus and the purpose of Station 4 is to obtain samples of that ejecta, if possible. During the traverse of the Front - the northern flank of Mt. Hadley Delta - Dave and Jim will be looking for samples of the mountain bedrock and, clearly, the EVA planners have decided that the Front has a higher priority than the South Cluster. As shown on the EVA-1/2, Part B map, Station 4 was planned for the southern rim of Dune Crater at about BE.9/77.1.]
139:44:54 Allen: (Along the Front) we're looking for craters like Spur Crater (AZ.2/77.7) and Window Crater (AW.2/82.6), but I'm using these only as examples of craters that have plainly excavated Front material for us, and have provided a variety of fragments to sample. We want to return to the LM with about 1 hour and 30 minutes remaining. And Dave, we're going to ask you to invest some few more minutes on the drilling activity; we've got fairly detailed procedures for you to follow, and I'll go into those when it seems a reasonable time to do so. Jim, at the same time, we're going to ask you to carry out some miscellaneous tasks around the LM while Dave's out at the drill site. And finally, with about 45 minutes remaining - and this is a one-time-special, good deal for you, Jim - we're going to carry out Station 8 activities in the vicinity of the LM. In other words, we will not do our Station 8 activities (planned at about BM.8/76.2 near Arbeit Crater) on our homeward-bound journey from the Front. Now I'll stop here and ask for questions, and then I'll go into some more detailed rationale for the way the traverse will break out later on. Over.

139:46:23 Scott: Okay, Joe. That sounds like good planning to us. We're all set. Go ahead.

139:46:30 Allen: Okay, Dave. Thank you. I'm going to go through the stations and the rationale behind some of our decisions now, starting with the first one. Egress the LM; we'll have a couple of small housekeeping chores for you to get out of the way on the Rover for us. And they're basically...We're going to invest 30 more seconds in our front-steering problem and perhaps a minute in taping up the TV antenna cable, and I'll be back to you on that a little later. Then we're going to strike out immediately for the Front - in other words, head south. We want to delete Station 4, outbound, and the rationale is, as all of us already know, the priority on that is considerably lower than other stations. And we may very well pick up Station 4 on the way home anyway.

139:47:24 Allen: We're not going to try to range all the way down to Front Crater (at AU.7/87.0); we think there are plenty of craters similar to Front along the way, and the long-travel time decreases our geology time along the Front. Now, we want to reroute our Front traverses to the area of Window Crater and Spur Crater; in other words, Stations 6 and 7 (as listed on EVA-2 cuff checklist pages CDR-13 and CDR-14)...The Station 6 and 7 area right there in the highly-touted boudinage. And we're going to depend very much on the observations from the two of you, and it's going to be dealer's choice...Your choice on exactly where you'd like to range and where you'd like to carry out your major sampling tasks. Let me emphasize that we're looking now, primarily, for a wide variety of rock samples from the Front. You've seen the breccias already. We think there may very well be some large-crystal igneous, and we'd like samples of those and whatever variety of rocks which you're able to find for us. But, primarily, a large number of documented samples and fragment samples. We're going to add a comprehensive rake-and-soil sample someplace in this area. Once again, we'd like you to try the rake but, if it doesn't work with about the first swipe across the surface, we'll give that up as a bad idea. (We) just don't want you to spend too much time using the rake. I'll unkey now and ask for any more questions.

[In November 2005, Journal Contributor Ron Rosano called attention to Joe's usage of the word "boudinage" above - and again at 143:40:34 during the drive to Hadley Delta - and wondered what the geologic implications might be. Lunar geologist Grant Heiken wrote that it was a "strange use of 'boudinage,' which is a geological term for layers that have been stretched into tubes with really thin connections . Like a sausage (boudin). For the non-French speakers, they are sometimes called 'sausage structures.'" Apollo 17 LMP Jack Schmitt offered some signficant clue, writing "Knowing Joe's sense of humor, this sounds like an inside joke from one of the training trips. Joe might remember the context. A 'boudinage' is a string of partially connected lenses of rock that look like sausages and thus the origin of the name if I remember my French. I would have to look at a photo, but there may have been a string of craters there that gave that same appearance and the crew had noted that in the planning sessions.".]

[A quick check of the Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Procedures volume shows that Jack was on the right track. As can be seen in a detail from page 236 ( 506k ), Dave and Jim originally planned to drive from stop to stop along the flank of Hadley Delta making downslope arcs on the way out and upslope arcs on the way back. Those arcs give the traverse route the look of a string of sausages - linked at the stops. Hence, Joe's "highly-touted boundinage".]

139:49:18 Scott: No; no questions Joe. You're really talking our language today. Go.

139:49:23 Allen: Roger, Dave. Finally - and I've touched on this all ready - on our way home, once again we'll skip Station 8. But don't get your hopes too high, Jim, because we're going to pick that up right before we ingress the LM, and we're just going to carry that out closer to the LM than we had previously planned. We're going to ask you to pick up the miscellaneous tasks around the LM, Jim, while Dave is out working at the ALSEP site. And finally, the two of you will start on Station 8 activities at the LM, together, after Dave finishes working around with the drill. And that, basically, is it. Let's see, let me go back through again, and comment on a few new activities we'll want you to carry out in addition to things on your checklist, listed under Station 6 and Station 7 (on CDR-13 and 14). And I'll have to unkey and shuffle papers here a minute, and I'll be right back with you.

139:50:39 Scott: Okay, give us about 5 minutes too, will you please, Joe?

139:50:42 Allen: Roger, Dave. I'll stand by for your call here.

139:50:50 Scott: Okay.

[Very Long Comm Break]

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