Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal

Deploying the Lunar Roving Vehicle

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan and panorama assembly credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Except where noted, audio clips by David Shaffer.
Last revised 20 August 2012.

[Readers should note that, while the astronauts are out on the surface, I will use a frame of reference for the various parts of the spacecraft that one would have standing west of the LM looking at the ladder. In this frame of reference, right is the south side of the spacecraft and left is the north side. This frame of reference is opposite the one the astronauts used while they were in the spacecraft but is more consistent with the TV view we have during the Rover deployment.]
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119:52:55 Irwin: Here's the jett bag, Dave.

119:52:57 Scott: I've got it.

119:53:00 Irwin: And I'll pass you the LEC.

[The Lunar Equipment Conveyor (LEC) - which Neil Armstrong characterized as a "Brooklyn clothesline" in post-Apollo 11 comments - is a long nylon strap. Jim will attach the LEC pulley to a yellow bar in the cabin overhead before Dave goes down to the surface to use the LEC to pull down the Equipment Transfer Bag (ETB) and other gear.]

[Jones - "Could we talk about the LEC a little bit? That's the Lunar Equipment Conveyor. That's the lanyard type device that, on the early missions, you see pictures on Neil moving back away from the spacecraft, pulling on it, and the rock box goes up."]

[Irwin - "It was a pulley and rope and we used it mostly to transfer things up, rather than down. 'Cause things going down, for the most part, were things that were already used and we were just discarding them on the surface."]

[Jones - "Except for the Equipment Transfer Bag which had the cameras and film magazines."]

[Irwin - "It was a pulley arrangement, and I'm trying to think how we attached that. It was just a strap of nylon. Well, maybe it will be obvious as we get into it."]

[Jones - "And 'I'll pass you the LEC' means it was stowed in the cabin?"]

[Irwin - "Yeah. I had probably attached maybe to the...There's a bar across the DSKY, there, and I think I probably attached it there, and the loose portion I probably passed out to him."]

[I find it interesting that none of the four LMP's who used the LEC - Aldrin, Bean, Mitchell, and Irwin - could remember where it was attached in the cabin.]

[In 2000, Karl Dodenhoff found a drawing which shows both the attachment hardware in the LM cabin and the attachments for the cargo. It appears that the attachment in the cabin involved a cylindrical fitting in the cabin overhead. This diagram prompted Journal Contributor Markus Mehring to suggest that "from a psychological point of view, the mechanism was not in their constant field of view, they just encountered it much too rarely throughout the mission to keep it in mind. This should have been a hint for us where to look for it in the first place, it just had to be somewhere behind them, or possibly above them." Gary Neff calls attention to the small yellow rod in Apollo 15 photo S71-40733. This is the attachment point. The photo was taken during closeout of LM-10 prior to stowage in the Apollo 15 stack. Photo courtesy of John Duncan and Gary Kitmacher. Based on the diagram, the photo, and the Apollo 11 dialog at 1091612, I presume that the LMP threaded one end of the nylon strap over the yellow bar and then fastened the two ends together to make a continuous loop.]

119:53:02 Scott: Okay. (Preparing to drop the jettison bag) Let's see; I certainly don't want to hit that neat little round rock down there. (Pause)
[During this pause, Dave drops the jett bag off the right (south) side of the porch, out of the TV field-of-view. The ladder is at the right edge of the field-of-view and, because of the tilt of the MESA and the camera, the horizon runs diagonally down the picture at the lower left corner at an angle of about 40 degrees below horizontal. A hook is visible on the inside of the bottom rung of the ladder and, at 119:59:28, Dave will hang the Equipment Transfer Bag (ETB) from the hook so that it will be in easy reach without cluttering up the MESA. The TV camera is located at the front-right corner of the MESA as shown in the accompanying diagram (scan by Ulli Lotzmann).]
119:53:17 Scott: Well, the jett bag's gotten pretty dirty. (Pause)
[When Jim and I did our partial review of Apollo 15 in December 1989, I did not yet have the set of Apollo videos that were released a few months later by Larry Haskin. While Dave was out on the porch, Jim could partly see him out the windows and, years later, tried to visualize the scene for me.]

[Irwin - "I'm trying to think of the picture of him coming down the ladder. He didn't come down with the jett bag. I think he probably just tossed the jett bag and let it fall down. It would have been foolish to try to carry that down. You just dump it down because everything in there is just to be jettisoned."]

[Because of Dave's statement about the "neat rock" just before he dropped the bag, he had to be careful about where he dropped it.]

[Irwin - "He wouldn't want to hit the rock with the jett bag and, of course, he doesn't want to land on it (meaning the jett bag), either, (when he jumped down off the ladder)."]

119:53:38 Allen: Jim, Houston. Requesting Intermediate cooling.

119:53:47 Irwin: Stand by, Joe. (Long Pause)

[Irwin - "We were always operating in Min cooling whenever we could, just to save water. And you try to save oxygen, too. People always ask, you know, why didn't we select more cooling? Well, it was a comfort factor as well as a consumable problem. 'Cause we wanted to stay out as long as we possibly could and have a reserve in case we needed it. So we might have gone to Intermediate here, but I'm thinking that whenever we...Of course, when we were driving, we could always go to Minimum."]

[Jones - "What kind of a display was on the cuff gauge? And was that on the suit above the glove, on the back of your forearm?"]

[Irwin - "Yeah. It had pressure and it was a needle gauge. Another source of information on anything to do with the EMU would be Max Arey down in (Hutchinson) Kansas at the Cosmosphere. He has a crew down there that rebuilt that unit for me - upgraded it. They have the capability of building things from scratch. They really have a sharp crew down there that builds spacecraft and builds spacesuits."]

[The spacecraft sets for Ron Howard's superb film Apollo 13 were built by the Kansas Cosmosphere.]

119:54:03 Scott: Get it okay, Jim? (Pause)

119:54:09 Irwin: Yeah. This should be your portion (of the LEC).

119:54:12 Scott: Say again. (Pause) Yeah. Okay. (Pause) Let's see here. (Pause) Fed up with string. (Pause)

[Dave's end of the LEC is in a bag and it is possible that bag is tied with string which, of course, would be difficult to get off wearing thick gloves.]
119:54:41 Irwin: You tied it too tight.

119:54:42 Scott: Oh, yeah! (Pause) Okay. (Talking to himself, probably draping the LEC over the right (south) side of the ladder) Okay. Going down on the Rover's side. Okay; it's down. (Pause) Okay. Ease on down the ladder here. (Long Pause)

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[Because of the TV pointing, we do not see the LEC as Dave drapes it over the right-side porch rail. As Dave's boots comes into view, he is hopping from rung to rung with his feet together, undoubtedly guiding himself with his hands. As he hops down to the footpad, he lets his hands slide down the outer rails of the ladder and then, letting go of the ladder with his left hand, steps off the footpad and rotates to his left as he looks off to the northwest. After a few seconds, he releases his right hand and turns to his right and appears to look up at the spacecraft.]
119:55:42 Allen: Dave, an extraordinary television picture here.

119:55:45 Scott: Okay, Houston. As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there's a fundamental truth to our nature. Man must explore. (Pause) And this is exploration at its greatest. (Long Pause as Dave moves away from the TV camera) Well, I see why we're in a tilt. (Pause) We've got...(Laughs) That's very interesting. There's so much hummocky ground around here (that) we're on a slope of probably about 10 degrees. And the left-rear foot pad is probably about 2 feet lower than the right-rear foot pad. And the left-front's a little low too. But the LM looks like it's in good shape. The Rover's in good shape. (Pause)

[That is, there are no signs of damage to the parts of the Rover he can see. The Rover is stowed in a folded configuration against the side of the spacecraft immediately to the right (south) of the ladder and Dave is looking at the bottom of the center portion of the Rover chassis. He can also see parts of the wheels which, along with the fore and aft sections of the Rover chassis, are between the center chassis and the LM. Pre-flight photo KSC-71P-206 shows the Rover in its folded configuration as it is being unpacked and inspected at the Cape. Photo S71-31409 shows Dave inspecting the Rover during a fit check. Photo KSC-371C-171-4 shows the hinge between the aft and center chassis sections and, at the center of the vehicle, the console. Photo 71-HC-682 shows the Rover prior to installation of the thermal cover. The reddish-brown fenders can be seen behind the center-chassis frame.]

[Dave now comes back toward the ladder and, apparently, has already started to bound, at least a little, from foot to foot.]

[Jones - "By now, you're basically moving around very quickly and easily. You took a few seconds right there at the beginning, turned and look around a little bit, said your introductory remarks, and got going. Were there any particular reasons why you were able to do that?"]

[Scott - "It was easy! The basic experience suggests that the human adapts very quickly to these kinds of circumstances. I'd talked to Neil and Pete and Al in reasonable detail. We'd seen TV tapes. I knew what to expect. It was very straightforward. Adaptability is very easy. Even in zero-g, my experience and that of people with whom I've flown, have been very rapid adaptability. Return to Earth, very rapid adaptability. I think, in general, the human body seems to be able to accommodate these new environments."]

[Jones - "Neil and Buzz were cautious for the first half-hour or so. They shuffled and walked flat-footed, whereas you're bouncing here, already, within a minute or so. Part of that's having watched them, but were there any training aids that helped. Did you use the POGO much?"]

[Scott - "Once. Frankly, I didn't think it was worth anything. I tried everything out once. And I never found anything that would simulate the one-sixth g, except for a little bit in the airplane. Your question is interesting. I've never seen this tape before, interestingly enough. And, as I recall, I wasn't even conscious of going about my business. I got out, it felt very comfortable, and I just pressed on. Not a big deal. Okay, here we are, let's get busy. I didn't think long about adjusting because, from what I'd heard...I remember Pete said, when he first got out, 'Hey, Al you're not going to smoke around as much as you think you are when you first get out.' And then he adapted. So I guess I didn't expect to have any problem adapting, because the other guys had all eventually adapted. It feels okay, so press on."]

119:57:14 Scott: Tell the Program Manager (Jim McDivitt) I guess I got his engine bell. (Laughs) It's a little rise right under the center of the LM. The rear leg's in a crater and the rim of the crater is right underneath the engine bell. (Pause)
[An enhanced detail 2.7Mb ) by Kipp Teague of AS15-88-11882, which Dave takes at 167:01:07, shows the damaged engine bell.]

[Scott - "We had a heavier LM, with an engine that had a large bell. And we were told that, if we didn't shut the engine down before the bell contacted the ground, the bell would split and who knew what would happen. So one of our challenges was to get the engine off before the bell split. In fact, Jim McDivitt, the Program Manager bet me we couldn't do it. So Jim (Irwin) and I practiced that, only because it was a challenge. 'When the blue light goes on, tell me contact, and I'll get the sucker off. And I will also make sure I don't push the wrong button.' Because we had three buttons. One was abort. That was the red one. It was the blue one that shut the engine down. And you want to make sure you push the right button at the right time. You pay attention to that. Nevertheless, it was important to get the engine off immediately when we got to the point we knew we were down. So that changed some of our thinking, procedurally, in terms of what we did. It didn't change the mechanics of the procedures, but it did change the awareness of what we were trying to do."]

[Dave crosses the TV picture from right to left, apparently trying out the two-footed kangaroo or bunny hop. Note that his task list includes three minutes of familiarization or "Fam".]

119:57:32 Allen: Roger, Dave. Jim (McDivitt) got the message.

119:57:33 Scott: (To McDivitt) Okay. Sorry about that Jim, but IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) landings, you know. (Pause)

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119:58:00 Scott: (To Jim) Okay. ETB. Jim, you can transfer the ETB. I think you'll find the stability is pretty good.

119:58:05 Irwin: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Dave comes back into the field-of-view and crosses from left to right, past the ladder toward the MESA. He then comes back around the ladder to the right side to get the free-hanging end of the LEC.]
119:58:23 Irwin: Stand by, Dave. Let me...

119:58:25 Scott: Okay. Give me a word, anytime. (Pause)

[Dave moves away from the ladder, holding the LEC taut, and then holds his right hand up as he flicks the LEC over the right-side porch rail.]
119:58:34 Irwin: Okay, Dave, it's...Ready?

119:58:38 Scott: (Flicking the LEC again) Over the rail here. All righty. Down she comes. (Long Pause)

[Dave pulls the ETB down to him, just out of the picture to the right. The LEC bag falls off the porch and crosses the TV picture just ahead of the ETB.]
119:59:02 Scott: Rather interesting sight, Houston. I can look straight up and see our good Earth back there.

119:59:08 Allen: Roger. (Long Pause)

[Dave unhooks the ETB from the LEC and uses a metal ring at one end of the ETB top to hang the bag from the ladder hook.]
119:59:28 Scott: Okay. ETB is on the ladder hook, and we'll pick the old MESA up here.
[As mentioned previously, the MESA swung down 120 degrees after Dave deployed it. Now, he will adjust the angle to get a comfortable working height.]

[Irwin - "The MESA was hinged at the back. And you could pull on a strap to adjust it..."]

[Jones - "And rotate around the hinge."]

119:59:32 Allen: Roger, Dave. And Jim, the (PLSS) diverter valve is yours - whatever position you'd like. And did something else come out with the ETB?

119:59:45 Scott: The wrapping on the package for the LEC.

119:59:51 Allen: Roger. (Pause)

120:00:00 Irwin: Okay, Dave. I'm going to come on out.

120:00:02 Scott: Come on out. It's nice! (Long Pause)

[The horizon moves in the TV picture as Dave adjusts the MESA.]
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120:00:31 Scott: One of the interesting things, Jim, is the momentum you generate. Get going and...It's easy to get going, but once you get all that momentum going there, why, it takes a bit to stop. (Pause) That looks like a reasonable place (that is, height) for the MESA.

[The new orientation of the horizon indicates that Dave has only rotated the MESA up about 5 degrees. Training film shows Dave adjusting the MESA height.]
120:01:08 Scott: Okay; get those locked. (Pause) I think maybe a little higher. (Pause)

120:01:33 Irwin: Hey, Dave, can you tell what I'm hung up on here.

120:01:35 Scott: Okay; let me come over (to the bottom of the ladder). Just a second. Stay right there. (Pause)

[Dave rotates the MESA up another 5 degrees, resulting in a final horizon tilt in the TV frame about 50 degrees below horizontal. Note that this does not directly tell us about the MESA orientation because the TV camera is not positioned at right-angles to the MESA surface but, rather, is tilted at an angle that provided the original view of Dave coming down the ladder. See the MESA stowage diagram (scan by Ulli Lotzmann).]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The MESA height was easy to adjust. I think it weighed some 400 (terrestrial) pounds and there was some question before we went as to whether it would take two of us to adjust it to a reasonable level, but I had no trouble at all using the black adjustment strap and locking it into place."]

120:01:56: Scott: Yeah. (Pause) Coming up to take a look. (Pause)
[Dave goes over to the ladder and grabs the outer rail with his left hand between the third and fourth rungs and jumps up. Although the bottom rung is now just out of the field-of-view, it appears that he doesn't quite make it. However, he probably gets his left foot on the strut and quickly gets his foot up on the rung. He then hops up the ladder toward the porch, apparently using a combination of arm pulls and jumps.]
120:02:06 Scott: Stand by. (Pause) Okay, come left, Jim. Left.
[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I guess we lacked about 40 degrees of hatch motion (meaning that the hatch wouldn't completely open). I had to go a little more right (his right side as he faces aft) than I normally would. I think I was hanging up on the right side of the hatch. I had to ask you for guidance when I initially came through the hatch."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Your whole back was hanging up on the ACA mount because you were too far to the right. I remember when you went back in and I was going to see what was hanging up, and you were hanging up underneath the ACA mount."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Once the hatch was configured so it would fully open, it wasn't any problem getting in or out."]

[During the 1989 mission review, Jim's memory was that he had difficulty getting through the hatch on several occasions, an impression I share based on the number of times that he needed guidance from Dave.]

[Irwin - "I always had trouble getting through the hatch. It seemed like a taller person could negotiate the transition - getting down on their knees and going out, backwards."]

[Jones - "There's always a good deal of chatter, in these things, of the LMPs talking the Commander out or talking the Commander in, and very little of the inverse. There were a few instances of a Commander talking his LMP in, but not always. Was the difference because you were handy, or was it because it was easier with nobody else in the cabin?"]

[Irwin - "It was just the geometry of the situation. The Commander went out first and, when he was coming out, the Lunar Module Pilot was standing there and he could see what the problems were and he could assist and push on the backpack - if necessary - if it got caught up or just tell the Commander what he should do to get free. Then the Commander's down the ladder and he's down there when the LMP's getting ready to get out, and he has no assistance. No physical assistance, no direction. So it's kind of a one-man operation."]

[Jones - "Was it easier without somebody standing behind the hatch, or was it just as difficult?"]

[Irwin - "I don't think there was any more room, 'cause the hatch...I'm trying to think if there was a guard on the hatch. No, I think it went almost all the way back, so you might have a little more room, but that wasn't important room to you. I think it was of some assistance to have someone there giving directions if there was a hang-up. I don't know if it was an advantage to being a little taller in negotiating the right bend (of the back). 'Cause, you know, above the hatch, the display unit for the computer - the DSKY - came out about a foot into the cabin, so you had to drop down and then almost on your belly to kind of squirm out backwards. It was always a difficult maneuver. Yeah, I never really thought about it that it might be a little easier, perhaps for the Commander because the Lunar Module Pilot was there to give him directions and apply pressures, if necessary to keep him from getting hung up."]

[Jim did not understand the thrust of my question - probably because I didn't state it well. My impression was - and still is - that, with the notable exception of Apollo 15 - the LMP generally had an easier time getting out. After numerous discussions on the subject, the two dominant factors seem to be that (1) they had more room because they were alone in the cabin and (2) they were going out longer after depressurization and, so, had softer suits.]

[Jones - "You were standing over in your corner and then Dave got out and you then have to close the hatch, get around to the other side, and then swing the hatch across your position."]

[Irwin - "Yeah. There's been some discussion, you know, on Apollo 11 about why didn't Buzz Aldrin go out first. And, you know, it just didn't make sense, 'cause it was just designed for the one who was on the left, the Commander, to go out first."]

[Jones - "And the design had been that way for at least a couple of years by the time anyone was assigned to a flight."]

[Irwin - "That's right."]

[Jones - "I had not thought about the hatch swinging in and virtually blocking the LMP off."]

[Irwin - "I don't know why there should have ever have been any discussion, anyway, on who should get out first. I think it should always be the Commander."]

120:02:13 Scott: Okay; now ease back out. Head down. (Pause) Keep coming. Ease out. That a boy.

120:02:22 Irwin: Okay.

120:02:23 Scott: Okay; you're clear. (Pause)

120:02:26 Irwin: Okay. I'm closing the hatch. (Pause)

[Jones - "Why did you close the hatch? It was done, explicitly, on every mission. And there's often a bit of joking about making sure not to lock it."]

[Irwin - "I don't know. Why would we close the hatch?"]

[Jones - "Dust is the only thing I can think of."]

[Irwin - "There wouldn't be any dust going up that high."]

[Jones - "You wouldn't think so."]

[Irwin - "During planning for the missions (prior to Apollo 11) there was some discussion on whether we should leave it open or closed. And we just decided, as a matter of practice, to keep it closed. I wonder if that would be the thermal environment."]

[Jones - "The hatch is facing west, so it's well shadowed."]

[Irwin - "So I don't know."]

[During the Apollo 11 review, Neil Armstrong said, with a straight face, that the reason for closing the hatch was "To avoid having somebody say 'Were you born in a barn?'" And, indeed, that may have been the main reason. The only other reason that comes to mind is to maintain a normal thermal environment in the cabin, for reasons related to those that dictated closing the doors of the Scientific Equipment (SEQ) Bay after the crew off-loaded the ALSEP packages. In the case of the SEQ Bay, the doors were in sunlight throughout the mission and the reason for closing the doors was probably to prevent heating of the empty cavity and, consequently, of the interior of the descent stage. In the case of the crew hatch, the hatch was always in shadow and, with the hatch open, there might have been net, radiative cooling. Without doing an analysis, it would seem likely, however, that extra cooling would not have been much of a worry since much of the LM water supply was used to get rid of excess heat produced by the LM systems and by the crew.]

[In a 1996 draft review, Dave also noted, "Also, when closed, the hatch seal is more protected - including being stabilized thermally - against its seat."]

120:02:29 Scott: Oh, and it's dirty out here. (Pause)
[Dave hops down the ladder and pauses for a second on the bottom rung, possibly getting his hands properly positioned, before he jumps off. This time, he slides his hands smoothly down the rails as he executes a clean, effortless jump down to the surface, apparently landing beyond the footpad.]

[During the 1989 mission review, Jim remembered an occasion when Dave jumped directly to the surface but thought it was on the initial descent, rather than this second one.]

[Irwin - "When he came down, apparently, he jumped from the last rung of the ladder - which is kinda brave, because he didn't know how far down it would be. He jumped back far enough so that he didn't hit the footpad."]

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120:02:47 Scott: And, Jim, I'm going to put a big circle around this glass ball, so we don't mess it up. It's pretty neat.

120:02:56 Irwin: You want me to take it in the contingency sample?

120:02:58 Scott: Yeah, wish we had...Oh, we ought to document it. We won't lose it.

[Dave wants to wait to collect the glass ball so they can take "before" pictures of it, in-place and undisturbed - before they pick it up. The glass-ball will then be a "documented sample". As per checklist page LMP-4, Jim will get the contingency sample - without documentary photos - as soon as he spends a few minutes getting familiar with one-sixth g.]

[As Jim hops down the ladder, he appears to miss the bottom rung and has to use his hands to lower himself to the footpad. In 1989, Jim told me that as he started to get off the pad, it moved under him and he saved himself from a fall by holding on to the right rail.]

[Irwin - "When I came down, I did hit on the footpad and it wasn't resting on the surface. It had mainly rotated backwards, and that's what threw me off balance and I thought I was going to fall on my backside. And I was so embarrassed 'cause I thought, 'Man, I'm going to fall flat on my back, on the television.' But I lunged up and caught the ladder with one hand, and that just swung me right out of the field-of-view of the television and I went right around behind the ladder. A few minutes later, I did fall over."]

[Jones - "Well, everybody did."]

[Irwin - "Yeah. No problem with that. (Laughing) But I didn't want to make my big spill on the way down (the ladder the first time)."]

[In the video we see that, as Jim catches himself and starts to swing out of view, he does not have his visor down; and we can see his face and his black-and-white Snoopy helmet clearly. Dave has moved away from the camera to mark the glass sphere.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The front footpad was only very lightly on the ground. There was only very light contact."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I question whether it was even in contact with the ground because it was so free to swivel."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Well, it was when I got out, because it (had) made an impression on the ground."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "It might have made an impression (during the initial touchdown) and then it might have rocked back."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The pad was on the ground when I got down the first time. It was pretty solid when I stepped down because I stood on the footpad before I stood on the ground."]

120:03:04 Irwin: Boy, that front pad is really loose, isn't it?

120:03:09 Scott: Yeah.

[Jones - "I gather that the footpad was able to gimbal a little bit around the leg."]

[Irwin - "They were designed that way (to accommodate the uneven surface). We'd never manipulated them, we'd never fooled with them (in training or at the factory), because we always thought that, when we got to the (lunar) surface, all four would be soundly, firmly on the surface."]

[Jones - "And this one wasn't. It was dangling in the air..."]

[Irwin - "As I remember, it wasn't on the surface. So, when I came down, I hit on the lip of it - the rim of it - and it rotated. I didn't recall that I'd said anything, but maybe I did. 'That footpad is really loose, isn't it?'"]

["I'm surprised Dave didn't say something as I disappeared there, as I went around the ladder. 'Cause you can see it in the film (and TV)."]

120:03:10 Irwin: Okay; why don't you get my (PLSS/OPS) antenna.

120:03:11 Scott: Get your visor (down), Jim. Let me get your antenna. (Pause)

[Irwin - "I was so excited about coming down, I just forgot to put my visor down before I came out. So he told me to pull my visor down."]

[Jones - "I know I promised myself that I would stick to the work experience and not to ask 'what-was-it-like' type questions', but you said you were excited coming down."]

[Irwin - "I was anxious to get out and see what was out there. I knew Dave had done a lot of looking, particularly from the top hatch (during the Stand-up EVA), but I really hadn't had a chance to get out and look out and see what was there. So I was anxious to get out, (chuckling) and perhaps just to get outside of the Lunar Module and get on the Moon. But he reminded me that my visor was still up, 'cause I'm the only one to come down the ladder that you can really see my face. All the others came down with their visor down, so you couldn't tell who it was, unless you listen to the communications."]

[Jim is mistaken about this. Both Al Shepard and Ed Mitchell made their initial descents on Apollo 14 with their visors up.]

120:03:17 Scott: Gonna open this snap here; (we want to) take care of that little fellow. (Pause) Okay. Your antenna's up.
[As mentioned previously, they have discovered that a notch is missing from near the base of Jim's OPS antenna and, here, Dave is being a bit more careful than he would normally be in releasing it from it's Velcro hold-down.]

[Irwin - "In that paragraph with Dave, he says 'got to open this snap, here'. Maybe there was a snap...I didn't think there was a snap over (the OPS antenna)...I thought it was Velcro fitting. I'm surprised there would be a snap, to get the antenna up."]

[Jones - "Maybe he's just being imprecise."]

[I agree with Jim that there was no snap associated with the OPS antenna. One possibility is that, while he was reaching to get the antenna, he noticed that an unrelated snap - say on the tool harness - was open. In a 1996 draft review, Dave agreed that this was likely to be the case.]

[Irwin - "I don't know what else he'd be looking to snap for. Of course, the one over in my office is not the original. It's the training suit. The real suit is out at the airport (in Colorado Springs). They have a Jim Irwin Museum out there, a space museum. And we also have displays of some of the hardware we had, like the rock box and the brush that we used to clean each other off. That's the US Space Foundation."]

120:03:29 Irwin: Your boots are black already.

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120:03:30 Scott: And so are yours.

[As per CDR-4, Dave goes out of view around the north side of the spacecraft to get the tripod for the TV camera. He will position the TV so that Houston can watch the Rover deployment. The tripod is on the front edge of the MESA. Dave will set up the tripod so that Houston can get a good view of the LRV deployment. For now, the TV camera is connected to the spacecraft by the power/signal cable at the back right in the MESA stowage diagram.]
120:03:31 Irwin: What did we decide? I'll get this glass ball here on the...

120:03:34 Scott: No, why don't you save it. Let's document it. It's...

120:03:37 Irwin: Okay.

120:03:38 Scott: ...I've got a circle around.

120:03:39 Irwin: (Moving out along the LM shadow and out of the field-of-view) Okay. I'm going to move out and get the contingency sample.

120:03:42 Allen: Roger, Jim. (Pause)

[Jim will use a specially-designed tool to collect the contingency sample. The tool has a sectioned handle which Jim has carried, folded, in one of his strap-on thigh pockets. He will get it out of the pocket, assemble the handle, and then collect some soil and a few small rocks in a bag attached to a metal ring that forms the head of the tool. Once he has the sample, he will remove the bag, discard the handle, and seal the bag. The contingency sampler was flown on Apollo 11 through 15, but not on 16 or 17. Training film shows Jim assembling the contingency sampler.]
120:03:47 Scott: How do the PLSSs look now, Joe?

120:03:49 Irwin: (With great delight) Oh, boy. It's beautiful out here! Reminds me of Sun Valley, (a ski resort in the mountains of southern Idaho).

120:03:59 Allen: Roger, Jim. (Long Pause)

[During this Long Pause, Dave removes the thermal blankets that cover the working surface of the MESA.]

[Irwin - "If I'd realized that Sun Valley was going to invite me up as their guest (after the mission), I would have mentioned all the other great ski areas in the world! (Hearty laugh)."]

[Irwin - "(The mountains at Hadley) looked like Dollar Mountain at Sun Valley, a great practice hill (with) great skiing conditions. You know, originally, we wanted to introduce some other sporting activities. We thought that if Al Shepard can introduce golfing, then we'll introduce some sports. Dave is a big baseball fan and I thought he'd take a (chuckling) baseball bat - or at least hit a ball on the Moon. I was going to try a little tennis or a little skiing - or both. And, after seeing the tremendous slopes there, tremendous relative elevation, it would be a great, great ski area. Well, that's to be held until we have a Moon base where people can go out for a little recreation."]

[Jones - "What would you have to do? You'd have to have some ceramics and make the skis out of local ceramics and metals and you wouldn't get very many runs out of 'em, I suppose, because the stuff would abrade them so quickly."]

[Irwin - "I don't know whether it would or not. You've got plenty of glass available."]

[Jones - "There are folks down at Los Alamos who have been doing a little thinking and experiments on sintering the regolith with microwaves and have been making some fairly decent ceramics out of it. And you can pull some of the metals out fairly easily. There's one point on 17 where Jack's up above the Rover a little ways (at Station 8 at the base of the Sculptured Hills at Taurus-Littrow) and pretends he's skiing back down. He does a side-to-side, two-footed hop and makes some whooshing noises."]

[Irwin - "Yeah, I remember that. Stem christies on the Moon. You know, Farouk El Baz had said there was evidence of diamonds on the Moon. Have you ever heard that? Apparently small fragments of carbon, being brought in as meteorites, strike the surface with such energy that the carbon was transformed into diamonds. He said that apparently there are some that have come out of the lunar samples. I just wondered if you had any information on that. Lunar diamonds! I don't know if it's something that's been made up...I've never had a chance to really check on the truth of the statement. Is it possible there could be diamonds on the Moon?"]

120:04:45 Irwin: I think I can get a rock here. It's about 2 inches, subrounded, in the contingency sample, along with the soil.
[Rocks are classified as rounded, subrounded, subangular, and angular depending on the degree to which the originally sharp edges have been worn down. An angular rock shows no wear; a subangular has had its points broken off and/or worn down; and a subrounded shows at least a few remnants of the original angularity. On the Moon, the amount of wear is related to the amount of time that the rock has been on the surface - where it is subject to sand-blasting by countless small impactors - since it was broken off a larger rock or dug out of bedrock.]

[In the 1971 Technical Debrief, Jim mentioned that he collected the contingency sample about 30 feet out from the LM at 11 o'clock (the direction about 15 degrees south of west).]

120:04:53 Allen: Roger, Jim; we copy that. And did Dave get your EV visor down?

120:05:00 Irwin: Yup, he did.

120:05:04 Allen: Outstanding. (Pause)

120:05:10 Scott: You might note for the next time around that, in addition to the Velcro on the MESA blankets, they have all the tape. It really makes it tough. If we need tape, I guess we ought to learn how to do it all with tape on there. (Pause)

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "When I opened the blankets, I found that they had been taped together - in addition to being Velcroed - and that took a fair amount of time to get them open. I suggest that, if we're going to tape them, we ought to train with tape on them. I thought the Velcro was going to be adequate, but I guess not."]
120:05:43 Irwin: Okay, I have the contingency sample. I'm taking it back to the ladder.

120:05:46 Allen: Roger, Jim. (Long Pause)

[Jim returns to the ladder and stows the contingency sample, possibly in the ETB. We get a good look at the back and left side of his PLSS.]
120:06:02 Irwin: No wonder we slid, Dave. Boy, that's really soft dirt there around the front footpad.

120:06:07 Scott: Sure is, isn't it?

120:06:08 Irwin: Like about 6 inches deep of soft material.

120:06:13 Allen: That's also like Sun Valley, Jim.

Video Clip   2 min 50 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 25 Mb MPG )

120:06:18 Irwin: (Chuckling) Yeah, powder.

120:06:20 Scott: Hey, don't move back; I've got the tripod over here.

120:06:27 Irwin: Okay.

120:06:28 Allen: (To Jim) That makes for easy trench digging.

120:06:35 Irwin: Always thinking, huh, Joe?

120:06:38 Allen: Looking ahead.

[This is a reference to the activities planned for Station 8 near the end of the second EVA. One of Jim's Station 8 chores is to dig a trench and then perform some soil bearing-strength tests. Station 8 promises to be hard work and it is the one activity that Jim is dreading. This is the first of several references to Station 8. Ken Glover has prepared a short Real Video clip from training film showing Jim practicing trench digging at the Cape.]

[Jones - "You and Dave had served as the backup crew on 12, so you had a good deal more time available to train for the EVA procedures than the previous crews had. Is that a fair statement?"]

[Irwin - "It was a more...Well, the emphasis was probably on the lunar surface operation, 'cause we're going to be there three days. And we did have more time to prepare for it. And Jack Schmitt was our backup (LMP) and he gave us a lot of good information, good advice. Our flight was labeled, you know, the first extended, scientific mission to the Moon, because of the time there and all effort that we spent, all the field geology at various places - even at Los Alamos."]

[Jones - "Were the practice sessions done at the Cape, mostly or in Houston? And is it right that, somewhere, there was kind of a practice field where there were craters that had been bulldozed and..."]

[Irwin - "Yeah, we had that (at the Cape), and we had one in Houston that we never really trained on. The training area was at the Kennedy Space Center (in Florida), right next to the Crew Training building, were they had...It was mostly sand and it had craters and it had rocks that they'd brought in from around the country. It was kind of a testing bed to just give us something to think about and some practice."]

[Training photo 71-H-1123 shows back-up LMP Jack Schmitt on the 1g LRV trainer at the Cape, consulting his cuff checklist and a map as he and Dick Gordon go thru a training traverse at the Cape on 14 May 1971.]

[Jones - "Did you do a lot of practice on things like contingency sample selection? Or just one or two run-throughs to familiarize yourself with the equipment"]

[Irwin - "No, the contingency sample was just to get something from the surface of the Moon in case you have to leave right away. That was the only purpose. But Dave was intrigued, I guess, with the glass sphere. It would be interesting to look at that glass sphere. I don't think I ever got a chance to look at the contingency sample."]

120:06:43 Scott: Okay, TV's coming off (the MESA) to go to the tripod. There it is; don't step on it.

120:06:48 Irwin: I won't.

120:06:50 Scott: Let me get this out of your way first, Jim.

120:06:52 Irwin: Yeah.

120:07:53 Scott: Look at that little glass ball. Let's run it around. (Pause)

120:07:07 Irwin: Hey, I got to do my Fam now!

120:07:08 Scott: Yup. (Long Pause as Dave starts to move the TV camera)

[Jim was so eager to get started that he forgot to take a few minutes to adapt to one-sixth g. Consequently, he is a little bit ahead of Dave in the timeline.]

[Jones - "Could you feel the ground, at all, through the boots? Those are big, bulky clunky boots. In ordinary shoes, you can feel small rocks and small surface variations."]

[Irwin - "I guess we were kind of isolated from that type of feeling. But, unconsciously, we're probably aware of different slopes, just because of the balancing problem associated with it."]

[Jones - "There's mention in the Mission Report that your average walking speed increased from about 1 ft/sec at the beginning of this first EVA to about 1 1/2 at the end of the day and about 2 at the end of the second EVA and about 2 again for the third EVA."]

[Irwin - "I didn't think we did that much walking."]

[Jones - "Somebody must have looked at the TV tapes and estimated your speed going to and from the Rover."]

[Irwin - "I'm sure it was a function of the various slopes and familiarity and also the press of the schedule. We never really had any time to go out for a little stroll and find out what is comfortable. The only time I remember walking very much, was probably on EVA-2 on the slope of the mountain (at Station 6). And, there, the slope was difficult because it was fairly steep. And the other time was walking over there at the edge of the canyon on EVA-3 (at Station 9a). And, again, there was a little slope leading down to the edge of the canyon. I'm glad someone had the time to look at it and come up with those figures. And, again, it was a function of what were we carrying at the time. There's a lot of factors that determine the ease and the rate at which you would move on the Moon."]

[I asked Jim is there was anything else he wanted to say about the adaptation process.]

[Irwin - "It might have been wise to really go through a few minutes of adaptation when we first came out. But we were so eager to get the car deployed and get everything going that we didn't think that was necessary."]

[Jones - "That was, in fact, a little bit surprising to me when I first listened to the tape. So the adaptation was more 'I've got these things to do' and, in the process, you make a few mistakes and learn not to do those again. In other words, it wasn't a conscious process of adaptation."]

[Irwin - "I guess we felt so well prepared for that one-sixth g because of the training with the POGO device on the Earth that it just felt natural to be on the Moon. And exhilarating. We just wanted to get on with the mission."]

[Although Dave and Jim did train with the POGO device for familiarity with 1/6th g, most of their operational training was done without such help and, although they were wearing lightweight backpacks, it is interesting to compare their waddling gait on Earth with their bounding strides on the Moon.]

120:07:43 Irwin: A crater here that I'm standing by, Joe, it's about a meter in diameter. And then, there's a smaller crater right in the center of it, and that one has fragments around it that have glass exposed on them - where the larger crater does not have any glass exposed. Just the smaller crater within the large one.

120:07:44 Allen: Roger, Jim. Copy. And careful with the Sun, Dave.

[While Dave moves the camera, we get a brief view of Jim near the small, glass-lined crater and, beyond him, the dark, shadowed, western face of Mt. Hadley. On Apollo 12, Al Bean accidentally pointed the TV at the Sun and burned out the vidicon tube. The Apollo 15 camera has an auto-irising capability; although, during this sequence, there is no evidence of irising, a fact which suggests that auto-irising is only possible when the TV camera is mounted on the Television Control Unit (TCU) on the front of the Rover.]
120:07:52 Scott: Yes, sir! Well, when I turn this thing back and point it at you at 12 o'clock, it's going to be looking right into the Sun, so you'd better think about that.
[Directions given in clock coordinates generally have 12 o'clock being west, 3 o'clock being north, and so on. Here, Dave is moving the TV tripod west away from the LM to the 12 o'clock position and, because it is early in the two-week long day at Hadley, from that location the TV would be looking directly into the Sun.]
120:08:08 Scott: Matter of fact, I think a little discretion here might put it over about 10:30 (southwest) or 11:00.

120:08:12 Allen: Roger, Dave. That sounds good.

120:08:17 Scott: I'll tell you, looking even that way, with the Sun angle - Oop - why, by golly, it's pretty bright. Joe, I'm going to swing the camera around towards the ground. And now it's pointing back at the LM, but down. I want you to take a look as I move it up slowly. Make sure that we're okay on what you see. Okay?

120:08:50 Allen: Dave, we read all of that. We're getting a beautiful picture now (of the ground and the TV cable coming out from the LM). (Making a request) We're going to try to wind up with the tripod in the shade, if that's possible, looking back towards the LM.

120:09:03 Scott: Yeah, that's possible. We'll do that. (Pause)

[Dave moves several feet to his left and in closer to the LM and then raises the TV up so that it is pointed at the front of the spacecraft. Jim is to the left of the ladder at the MESA. As he goes from one end of the MESA to the other, he hops sideways - rather than turning and walking flat-footed - to take advantage of the weak gravity field.]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I got down to the surface and immediately felt at home in the one-sixth-g environment because of all the good training we had on the centrifuge POGO."]

[The centrifuge in question has a long arm that rotates at a selectable speed so that trainees can experience various g-loads while riding in a gondola at the end of the arm. However, for lunar surface training, a POGO mechanism was suspended from the end of the arm so that, with the arm turning at walking speed, an astronaut could walk or run around the circumference of the room and try out various gaits in a simulated one-sixth-g environment and, thereby, gain some valuable, pre-mission familiarity with lunar gravity.]

[Jones - "Were you picking up your feet almost immediately? Or were you shuffling at the beginning?"]

[Irwin - "I don't ever recall lifting my feet, very much at all, because it was so difficult to do that, to bend your leg 'cause the suit was so stiff. So we'd just kind of flex our foot and push up and forward. Like you were pedaling a bike. That's why we looked like kangaroos."]

Video Clip   2 min 50 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 25 Mb MPG )

120:09:16 Allen: (Commenting on the view) Outstanding.

120:09:20 Scott: Okay. (Pause, as Dave points the TV at the Rover to the right of the ladder) Managed to set it right in a crater.

120:09:32 Irwin: Okay, Mag C is going on the 16 millimeter (movie camera).

120:09:37 Allen: Mag Charlie?

120:09:41 Irwin: Charlie.

[Dave is now 30 minutes into the EVA and was scheduled to complete the TV operations at 29 minutes. He is only a minute or two behind schedule. However, because Dave isn't quite ready to deploy the Rover, Jim has jumped ahead to his checklist page LMP-5 and is preparing the 16-mm camera so that they can photograph the Rover deployment. Unfortunately, the 16-mm camera suffered a series of malfunctions due to improper film loading and there is very little good lunar surface film from this mission. The 16-mm camera is stowed on the right side of the MESA.]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "(I) configured the 16-mm camera, which is not according to checklist, but we had talked it over and decided we wanted to get some 16-mm pictures of the Rover deployment. I put the correct mag on the (16-mm) sequence camera and mounted it on the LCRU."]

[The Lunar Communications Relay Unit will be mounted on the front of the Rover. At this time, it is still stowed in the MESA at front center.]

120:09:45 Scott: Okay, Joe. That ought to do it for your TV, I hope.

120:09:49 Allen: Dave, we're happy. It looks good.

120:09:56 Scott: Okay. You want...You like it like that? Or do you want to go to the settings in the checklist?

120:10:04 Allen: Stand by, Dave. Stand by.

120:10:08 Scott: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Just before the end of this Long Pause, Dave moves the camera to the left, showing Jim still at the MESA and, in the background, an excellent view into the Swann Range.]

[The Swann Range is named for U.S. Geological Survey geologist Gordon Swann who served as the Principal Investigator for Apollo 15 geology. NASA photo 70-H-1497 (scan by Frederic Artner) shows Swann (right) and an unidentified person make an adjustment to Dave Scott's gear during a field exercise at Cinder Lake Crater Field, Arizona on 20 November 1970.]

120:10:37 Irwin: Dave, I have the camera all configured for those (Rover deployment) pictures.

120:10:40 Scott: Good. (Eager to get going) Okay, Houston, I'll give you about 10 more seconds.

120:10:49 Allen: Roger, Dave. Very slightly more to the right so we can watch the Rover come down. (Pause) Looks good. Looks good.

[The TV is actually pointed up and to the left a bit too much; but Houston, too, wants to get on with the Rover deployment.]
120:10:57 Scott: How's that? (Responding to Joe) Okay, you want to leave those settings at f/8 instead of f/11?

120:11:09 Allen: It's okay, Dave. Beautiful. Okay.

120:11:13 Scott: Okay. (Pause) Okay, Jim. Let's take a look at our Rover friend here.

[Although we can't see Dave's feet as he heads back to the LM to check out the Rover, the relative lack of motion of his PLSS indicates that he is walking, more or less flat-footed, and is not yet bounding from foot-to-foot.]
120:11:24 Scott: Watch that TV cable. Man, that's really a...

120:11:28 Irwin: Yeah, I might trip on...

120:11:29 Scott: You know...

120:11:30 Irwin: Let me see if I can get it under the pad so I don't trip on it. (Pause)

[Jim has a pair of long-handled tongs attached to a spring-wound "yo-yo" attached at his waist. To use the tongs, he grabs them and pulls them out, unwinding the yo-yo cord and then, when he is done, merely releases the tongs, which allows the cord to rewind and pull the tongs against his suit and out of the way. Here, he is using both his feet and the tongs to get the TV cable out from underfoot.]

[Dave is at the left side of the Rover. He had planned to start his inspection of the Rover at 29 minutes into the EVA. The EVA started at 119:39 and, despite the difficulties they had getting hung up in the cabin and on the way out, they are only about 3 minutes behind schedule.]

120:11:37 Scott: Okay, the outriggers look okay. (Pause as Dave moves to the right side of the Rover)

120:11:45 Irwin: Okay, I'm going to go up the platform (with the contingency sample).

Video Clip ( 4.8Mb; mov )

[Jim will climb up to the porch where, once Dave has finished his Rover inspection, Jim will pull a lanyard which will release the Rover and allow it to rotate out away from the spacecraft about 4 degrees.]
120:11:48 Scott: Okay. Don't pull it yet.

120:11:50 Irwin: No. (Pause)

[Jim grabs both sides of the ladder and jumps up toward the bottom rung, pulling himself with his arms as he seemingly floats upward. He doesn't quite make the bottom rung but gets his right knee on the ladder and his left foot on the ladder strut. He then pulls himself up to the rung.]
Video Clip   2 min 50 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 25 Mb MPG )

120:11:56 Scott: Aha! One walking hinge was loose. It's reset.

[The walking hinges are part of the deployment hardware and stick out from the spacecraft to support the bottom of the Rover package as it rotates out and down. Don McMillan has provided a Virtual LRV animation of the hinges in action.]

[In a 2005 e-mail, Dave wrote: "Preflight prep was the key, especially for surprises like this!! As you are probably aware, in the beginning the MSFC chaps wanted the LRV deployment to be fully automatic; they assumed that the crew would not be able to assist. However, a session or two with them convinced them otherwise -- the crew = another useful "tool" on the Moon...!!]

120:12:04 Irwin: (Pointing) How about this one over here, Dave? Did you check this one?

120:12:05 Scott: Yeah. I'm going to get it.

120:12:06 Irwin: Yeah, because I think it's loose.

120:12:07 Scott: Yeah, it's loose, too.

120:12:08 Irwin: Yeah.

120:12:10 Scott: Both walking hinges were open, Joe.

120:12:12 Allen: Roger. Copy. (Pause)

[Jim starts up the ladder and has some difficulty getting his feet on the rungs. With practice, it was possible to hop from rung to rung but, here, Jim eventually decides to climb the ladder by stepping up with his right foot to the next rung and then following with his left.]
120:12:17 Scott: And they're locked. Chassis looks generally parallel. And...(I'll) take a look at the pins.

120:12:28 Irwin: Contingency sample's on the platform, Joe.

120:12:31 Allen: Roger. (Pause)

120:12:39 Scott: Yeah, I think they're...How does the pins look up there, Jim? (Pause) Can you see those?

[Jim leans well out to his right to take a look at the top of the Rover package.]
120:12:47 Irwin: Pins look okay up here, Dave.

120:12:49 Scott: Okay. (Pause) Glad we learned about those...

120:12:57 Irwin: Walking hinges.

120:12:58 Scott: ...walking hinges. A surprise.

[Smooth deployment of the Rover requires that the package is properly seated in the walking hinges.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The Rover came out in its deployment just like we'd seen in training. I might add that it was a good thing that we'd gone through all the training we had on the deployment of the Rover because it was easy to recognize the walking hinges being open. And, had we not recognized that, we probably would have had a serious problem."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Resetting them (the walking hinges), I found they'd lock into position okay; but it was obvious that they had been too loose, or the design needs to be improved to hold them in position. I can see why any vibration at all (during Earth launch, for instance) would shake them out of their seated position and cause them to fall open as we found them. They reset okay."]

[Beyond a brief mention that the walking hinges were found unlatched, there is no discussion of this issue in the Apollo 15 Mission Report. Apparently, no design change was made, probably because it took Dave just a few seconds to get the hinges relatched. On Apollo 16, John Young also had to reset the hinges while, on Apollo 17, Gene Cernan did not.]

[As mentioned previously, the Rover is folded against the side of the spacecraft with the bottom surface of the central half of the chassis facing out. The forward and aft chassis sections are folded on to the center section with the wire wheels folded onto them. Note that the forward part of the Rover is at the bottom of the package. Once Jim has released the top of the Rover, he will come back down to join Dave in the deployment. With Jim maintaining tension on a lanyard to keep slack from developing in the pair of reel-wound tapes that Dave will use to accomplish the deployment. As Dave pulls on the first tape, its reel will turn and pay out other cables which will support the Rover as the top of the package rotates outward. A combination of gravity, springs, carefully placed mechanical supports - such as the walking hinges - and a judicious tug or two on the lanyard by Jim will lead to the various parts of the Rover snapping into place in the proper sequence as Dave continues to pull on the tapes. Figures 1-37 and 38 from the Lunar Roving Vehicle Operations Handbook, Boeing document LS006-002-2H, show the attachment and deployment hardware. Figure 1-39 is a cartoon of the deployment sequence. Section 1.9.3 of the document contains a complete description of the deployment. See, also, a set of Grumman LRV Deployment Cartoons.]

[A film clip (8.6Mb) shows Charlie Duke and Bob Parker participating in a shirtsleeve demonstration of Rover deployment. Digitization by Gary Neff.]

[Don McMillan has provided an animation ( 0.7 Mb ) of his Virtual Rover unfolding during deployment. A second animation shows the hinges in action.]

120:13:07 Allen: And, Dave, the LRV tools should come down with that strap.
[They will use Rover tools to complete assembly, primarily to seat a number of locking pins. As per checklist, Dave gets out the left tape and drapes it over the secondary strut that comes out horizontally from the spacecraft to support the ladder strut.]
120:13:14 Scott: Yeah. I got it. (Long Pause) Okay, I guess we...

120:13:33 Irwin: Let's just lay it (possibly the Rover tool) in there.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 11 min 55 sec )

120:13:34 Scott: Yeah. (Pause) And I'll stick it right down here in case we need it. (Pause) Okay.

[In the TV, it appears that Dave has put the Rover tool in the ETB which is hanging from the bottom rung of the ladder.]
120:13:45 Irwin: Whenever you're ready.

120:13:47 Scott: Get the right tape out.

120:13:48 Irwin: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Dave gets out the tape on the right-hand side of the Rover. Once he has the tape out, he reaches up and pulls down his visor. He has been working in the LM shadow but is about to back out into full sunlight. Once he has his visor down, he backs away from the spacecraft and out of the TV field-of-view, pulling the right-hand tape taut.]
120:14:08 Scott: Okay, Jim, go ahead.

120:14:09 Irwin: Okay, here it comes. (Pause)

[Jim leans a foot or more to his right and reaches out to pull the release lanyard. The top of the Rover package rotates out a few degrees.]
120:14:15 Irwin: Released.

120:14:16 Scott: It's released.

120:14:17 Irwin: Okay. Coming down.

[Jim starts down the ladder, holding on to the side rails as he does an easy two-footed hop down to the next rung and then stopping momentarily as he moves his hands lower.]
120:14:19 Scott: Now, as you come down, don't disturb our little glass ball.
[When Jim gets to the bottom rung, he jumps easily down to the footpad and then steps off it to his right.]
120:14:22 Scott: The Rover's going to come down into a slight tilt to the left. But I think we'll be okay. (Pause)

Video Clip   2 min 52 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 25 Mb MPG )

120:14:44 Irwin: I want to get the camera, too, Dave.

120:14:45 Scott: Yeah.

120:14:46 Irwin: Start taking this out.

120:14:49 Scott: I'll just start it. It takes a while to unwind. (Pause) Walking on all these slopes makes it sort of sporty, doesn't it?

120:14:57 Irwin: It does. (Long Pause)

[After he gets the aft lanyard, Jim drapes it over the secondary strut and hops over to the MESA to get the CDR Hasselblad camera. As per LMP-4 and LMP-5, Jim is scheduled to get the CDR camera off the MESA after the Rover deployment but, apparently, wants to try to get some pictures of the deployment. However, as we will hear in a few moments, it is impossible to take pictures while keeping tension on the lanyard and walking backwards, and Jim doesn't get any pictures of the deployment. The CDR camera is stowed at the left rear of the MESA. The LMP camera is in the ETB.]
120:15:10 Scott: You're hooked up on the LEC, Jim.

120:15:12 Irwin: (Garbled) the TV.

120:15:16 Scott: Oh, yeah. Don't knock the TV over. Be in trouble.

120:15:21 Irwin: Don't know whether I move it or not?

120:15:23 Scott: No, you didn't move it. Looks okay I think. TV still look okay to you, Joe?

120:15:28 Allen: TV's fine.

120:15:30 Scott: Okay, you're on the TV (cable), Jim.

120:15:32 Irwin: Yeah, I see that. I was moving the ...

120:15:35 Scott: Okay, why don't you just go around? Let's go. (Pause) You're on the TV with your left foot. Your left foot's on the TV (cable). No, you're still on it, Jim.

[As Jim comes back to the center of the TV image, he turns around to try to get his foot loose but keeps moving toward Dave.]
120:15:45 Scott: Don't keep coming...
[Jim stops and kicks his left foot up.]
120:15:47 Scott: There you go. Now you're out. (Pause) Okay.
[Jim retrieves the aft lanyard.]
120:15:57 Irwin: I've got to get around that (glass ball)...You would put that circle right there.

120:16:01 Scott: Oh, yeah. Too bad.

120:16:03 Irwin: Let me get around here.

[Jim gets around the glass ball and goes out of the TV picture to the right. In order to keep tension on the lanyard, he will slowly back away from the LM. When the Rover has rotated down 45 degrees, the aft chassis and the attached wheels will spring rather suddenly into place.]
120:16:05 Scott: Okay. (Pause) Ready? Here we go. (Pause as the Rover starts to rotate down) Okay. (Pause) Oh! Oh! That a boy. A little more. Little more. Looks like you're going to have to do the bulk of the work today. More. Keep it taut. Atta boy. Okay, we're coming up here, 45. (Pause) Up to about...(The forward wheels pop out) Easy, Jim! Easy! Oop. (They both laugh) Okay. Here, let me help you. Take it easy; take it easy. Give you a hand. (Pause) Okay, come on up. (Pulling Jim up) Up we go! Come on. Easy.

120:16:59 Irwin: (Garbled)

[Jones - "When the wheel sprung out, Jim took a tumble."]

[Scott - "Yeah, I think so. To bad the TV wasn't a little bit to the right to see all these little things going on."]

[Jones - "Sounds like you gave him a hand getting up. I know that the 16 and 17 guys learned fairly quickly how to get up."]

[Scott - "Yeah, getting up was easy."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I was pulling on the lanyard with one hand and trying to take pictures with the other. And of course I fell down there because I tripped backing up in that soft soil."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Yes, but you recovered gracefully."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Well, you helped me up."]

[Jones - "When you fell, you wound up lying on the ground and, what, Dave came over and gave you a hand to help you get up?"]

[Irwin - "Yup."]

[Jones - "Was it difficult to get up, by yourself, from a fall?"]

[Irwin - "No, it wasn't difficult, but you get awfully dirty if you have to turn over on to your belly and push up. It wasn't difficult. You'd give a push and you'd just float up. But it was just much easier, you know, to get your buddy to lift you up."]

[The usual technique for getting up is to get on your hands and knees and push back with your arms so that you rotate backwards through an upright, kneeling position. Then, once your center-of-gravity is over your heels, you can hop up into a standing position.]

[As a final note to this little incident, Journal Contributors John Pfannerstill and Karsten Rinkema have noted a brightening of the TV image at the right side of the frame, immediately after Dave finishes saying "Easy, Jim! Easy! Oop.". This is undoubtedly dust that Jim kicked aloft as he fell. He had been backing away from the LM with the TV on his left and his fall must have lofted some dust into the field-of-view. At 120:08:50, Joe suggested that Dave put the TV in the LM shadow. Dave did so, as can be seen in the TV record at that time. Consequently, the flying dust we see after Jim falls must have been lofted high enough and far enough to the right to be in sunlight.]

120:17:00 Scott: Okay, just pull Just stand there a little easy. (Pause) Forget the pictures. Just pull real easy, right there. Okay? Just go easy now.

120:17:10 Irwin: Go ahead.

120:17:19 Allen: Pretty sporty there, Jim.

[Dave comes back into the field-of-view for a moment as he gets the tape that he dropped so that he could help Jim get up. Rather than try to pick the end of the tape up off the surface, he has come in close enough to the spacecraft to get a section that is hanging down within easy reach.]
Video Clip   1 min 23 sec 0.4 Mb RealVideo or 12 Mb MPG )

120:17:27 Scott: (To Jim) Okay? (Pause as Dave lowers the Rover another 10 to 20 degrees) Okay, we're...Oh, shoot. The walking hinge again.

[As Dave continues to lower the Rover, the lower left corner swings out from the LM a few inches in response to the spacecraft tilt. Rather than being supported by the hinge at the bottom, the Rover chassis appears to be suspended by fore and aft cables.]
120:17:42 Irwin: Did it come loose?

120:17:44 Scott: Yeah. Let's see. Houston, the walking hinges are unlocked again. Is that right? (Pause)

120:17:52 Irwin: (Garbled under Joe), Dave,...

120:17:53 Allen: They're supposed to be unlocked now, Dave.

120:17:56 Irwin: ...at that point.

120:17:58 Scott: [Responding to Joe] Oh, okay.

[Don McMillan has provided a Virtual LRV animation of the hinges in action.]

[Dave pulls the tape taut once again and, as he pulls on it, the rear end of the Rover continues its downward rotation.]

120:18:00 Scott: Once you see those things unlocked up there in the stowed position, it doesn't give you too good a feeling. (Pause) Looks like she's coming down okay. (Pause)
[The rear wheels are now nearly on the ground.]
120:18:32 Scott: Okay, can you pull it out a little bit, Jim?

120:18:34 Irwin: How's that?

[Apparently in response to Jim's pull, the forward chassis section snaps into place and, as it does, the entire Rover swings outward from the LM. In the TV image, we can see the control console sticking up perpendicular to the center chassis. The seats are folded down on the forward chassis.]
120:18:36 Scott: That looks good. (Pause) Okay, that's good. Outrigger cables are...Well, the one over there's not...(Pause as Dave releases his hold on the right-hand tape) Okay, outrigger cables are loose.

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120:18:48 Allen: Roger. (Long Pause)

120:19:02 Irwin: Watch...Watch the rope, and watch the glass ball.

120:19:06 Scott: Rog. I got it. (Pause)

[Dave comes into view and goes to the left side of the Rover to remove the outrigger cable.]
120:19:11 Scott: Okay, outrigger cable is loose and off. (Pause) Okay. (Pause as Dave retrieves the left-hand tape from secondary ladder strut where he draped it earlier) Okay, let's come down with the left tape. (Pause) Easy does it. It's coming okay.

120:19:51 Irwin: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Dave is standing facing the side of the Rover, with his left side next to the LM, and pulls the tape out with his right hand a couple of feet at a time. He is either pulling the tape through his left hand so that he doesn't lose it as he grabs the next section with his right or he is alternating pulls with his left and right arms. His left arm is hidden from view by his PLSS. As he pulls the tape, the front of the Rover slowly drops toward the ground.]

[Jones - "The difference between this Rover deployment and the later ones is that you're standing at the left side of the Rover pulling the left tape, bending your arm repeatedly at the elbow. Other people chose to walk away from the LM and use their legs rather than their arms."]

[Scott - "Maybe we suggested they do that. You got to remember, this is the first time around."]

[Jones - "Did you have any particular problems bending the elbow?"]

[Scott - "Nope. The elbows have convolutes in them and they're built to bend. In the Gemini suits, the neutral position (of the inflated suit arms) was always straight out. In the Apollo suits, they put the convolute in the elbow and any place you put your arm was a neutral position, a non-force position. So it wasn't hard to move the arm. I don't remember this being of any significance at all, except that unwinding a whole bunch of tape took a long time and maybe it is better to go walk out with it. This is the first time around and one of the things that should be done after we do it the first time around is improve it. So hopefully, somebody saw this and discussed it - or we discussed it - and said 'Instead of doing all that, next time why don't you walk out with it?' That's the purpose of the demonstration, the first time of a new procedure: to let everybody see it and then, hopefully, next time, it will be improved. If it isn't, then everybody's asleep. Right? You hope you get some improvement the second time. (Deadpan) Unless, of course we were perfect the first time."]

[Jones - "Always a possibility."]

[Scott - (Chuckling) "But unlikely."]

120:20:16 Scott: Okay. It looks like it's loose to me!

120:20:19 Irwin: Okay.

120:20:21 Scott: That's good.

120:20:22 Irwin: Okay.

120:20:24 Scott: Why don't you go put the...Come on over and we'll (garbled) (Chuckles) Man, this thing's nice and light. (Pause)

[Dave dropped the left-hand tape, then grabbed a handhold at the side of the center chassis, and now is lifting and slightly re-positioning the Rover by pulling it toward the TV camera.]
120:20:36 Scott: Check the old hinge pins. Oop! Out. Pin out. (Pause) Let's see. Got a hinge pin out. I'm going to get you the tool. Maybe you can reach it, Jim. (Pause as Dave reaches over to the ETB and grabs the Rover tool with his left hand) Maybe I can reach it. Hey, Jim.

120:21:21 Irwin: Yeh.

[Figures 2-6a and 2-6b from the Rover Handbook shows the locations of the release pins, locking pins, and pull rings that Dave is checking.]
120:21:22 Scott: Need you to get this hinge pin over here.

120:21:23 Irwin: Okay.

120:21:25 Scott: Wait. Let me get the...(Pause) Oh, shoot. See my hinge pin on my side?

[The front of the Rover is pointed at the LM. Dave will drive the Rover from the left side with the centrally mounted handcontroller in his right hand. He is presently standing on the left side and Jim has come into the field-of-view on the right side.]
120:21:34 Irwin: Yeah. It looks like it's almost all the way in.

120:21:37 Scott: Yeah, but not quite. How about putting the tip of the tool on it and pushing it. (Pause)

120:21:44 Irwin: There you go.

120:21:46 Scott: Okay. Now, let's...Let's line this up a little straighter. Let's pull the rear-end back towards me.

120:21:54 Irwin: Okay.

120:21:55 Scott: There. Okay. (Pause)

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120:22:01 Irwin: Okay, chassis hinge pins are good on my side.

120:22:05 Scott: Okay. (Pause) Now if I could get the telescoping rods off. (Pause as Dave lifts the front of the Rover from the left side) Okay, let's...Jim? Hold on a minute there. I'm not sure the telescoping rods are disconnected. Let's pick it up and move it back and turn it around. Okay?

120:22:40 Irwin: Okay, turn it what, your way?

120:22:42 Scott: No, your way.

120:22:43 Irwin: Okay. (Pause)

[They have picked the Rover up using the outboard handholds on either side of the center chassis but can't free it from the telescoping rods.]
120:22:47 Scott: (Chuckles) Wait a minute. It's not disconnected. Let me...Put it down right there.

120:22:54 Irwin: And maybe take it forward a little bit, huh?

120:22:56 Scott: (At the front of the Rover, examining the attachment hardware) Well, the pin's out. The rods...The whole saddle up here is still on. Both pins are out. See what I mean?

120:23:09 Irwin: I think we can maybe lift the front end up, can't we?

120:23:13 Scott: We can try. (Pause)

120:23:18 Irwin: Let me get in there and lift it up. Maybe...

120:23:20 Scott: Here.

120:23:21 Irwin: Let me pull it this...(Pause)

120:23:23 Scott: Wait a minute. Let me twist it this way to give you a little more room. (Pause as Dave pulls the back of the Rover three or four feet farther to the left) Okay. See that saddle. Oh, you'll never get in there with the PLSS, Jim.

120:23:37 Irwin: Am I too tight?

120:23:38 Scott: Yeah. Forget it.

120:23:39 Allen: Jim...

120:23:40 Scott: Hey, Houston...

120:23:41 Allen: ...verify you pulled the saddle pin, please

120:23:42 Scott: ...any suggestions? (Pause)

120:23:46 Irwin: Yes, the saddle pin has been pulled. (Pause)

120:23:51 Allen: Rog.

120:23:51 Irwin: We've got to somehow...(Pause)

120:23:55 Scott: Okay. Joe, the situation is that both pins are out of the saddle, and it still seems to be connected to the frame of the LRV.

120:24:13 Allen: Roger. We copy, and we're working it.

120:24:18 Scott: Okay.

120:24:19 Irwin: Let's finish setting up the Rover, huh?

120:24:21 Scott: Yeah. (Long Pause)

120:24:44 Scott: I remember a guy who once said "dirt dirt" and it is (sic; intended to say "is it") ever! Whew! (Long Pause)

[Dave is quoting Pete Conrad, who used the expression "dirt dirt" early in the first Apollo 12 EVA at 115:38:03. Dave was Pete's backup Commander.]

[Scott - "We watched Pete and Al (Bean) very carefully, and listened to them; and they made the point of how dirty it is. And it is. Good clean dirt."]

[Jones - "Did you have a LM mock-up to do Rover deployments in training?"]

[Scott - "Well, a Rover mock-up to do Rover deploys. I don't remember exactly how much of the LM was there. Maybe it was on the full LM mock-up. Certainly we'd worked on the procedures for the Rover deployment."]

[Jones - "A few times?"]

[Scott - "Yeah."]

[Jones - "Doesn't look like the sort of thing you'd have to do a lot."]

[Scott - "Yeah. But you've got to be familiar enough with it that you don't have to read the checklist while you're doing it. It was pretty straightforward. We spent a fair amount of time on it because the first demonstration we saw didn't work at all. It was all too automatic. So the flight-crew-support guys went through several iterations of what you should do manually and what you should do automatically. By taking automatic stuff off, you took weight off, too, which was always useful. We spent a fair amount of time on who-does-what and what's really necessary - manual and automatic - and how you can do it quickly. And, again, we're going slowly as we do it. It's not wham, bang, drop it out. It's the only Rover we have and the only chance we'll ever have to use the Rover, so we're going slowly. And, if there's something hung up, you don't force it. You work it a little bit; but then we said 'Hey, Joe, it doesn't look right' and let the guys in the backrooms, who are more familiar, see if there's a simple solution, rather than trying to force something. And, as you notice, Jim says 'Let's go on and work it,' (at 120:24:19) and we went about our business doing other things that were necessary to get it ready, and the one step that we didn't finish, didn't need to be finished right then. Don't force it, take it slowly, a step at a time."]

[Jones - "I also noticed, earlier on, after you had it down to like the 45 degree position and the rear wheels had popped down, you saw that the walking hinges were off again. You weren't sure that that was normal, so you stopped, asked Joe, Joe said 'Yes, that's normal', and then you continued."]

[Scott - "Same idea. Use the experts in the (Rover) backroom. And another part of this is that it's a two-man job and I remember we spent a fair amount of time on the procedures as to who would do what, so that we could be as efficient as possible as a team. In fact, there was a lot of effort put into the whole timeline in terms of optimizing the time of the two crew men so that there was no wasted time. And that took a long time. It's like a pro-basketball team with a no-look pass. Same thing. You've got to work together for hours and hours and hours to develop the methodology and procedures to let you use the time as efficiently as possible."]

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MP3 Audio Clip ( 12 min 31 sec )

120:25:07 Allen: Dave and Jim, pull the Rover as far out as you can away from the LM, and then pull on the front end, if you could.

120:25:16 Scott: Okay. Standby.

120:25:18 Allen: And, by that, we mean lift up on the front end.

120:25:20 Irwin: Does that mean pull up...[Stops to listen to Joe] Yeah. Lift up on the front end. Yeah. We copy, Joe.

120:25:26 Scott: Get this stowed, so I don't lose the tool. (Long Pause) Okay, let's try that, Jim. Okay?

120:25:58 Irwin: Okay, pull it out as far as we can?

120:26:01 Scott: Yeah.

120:26:02 Irwin: Back as far as we can? (Pause) Okay, I'm ready. (Pause) That's about as far back as we are going to be able to get it, Dave.

120:26:19 Scott: Yeah.

[They have pulled the Rover back about three or four feet and the front-end is off the ground, still attached to the saddle and telescoping rods.]
120:26:20 Irwin: If you want to hold it there, I'll get in front of it...

120:26:23 Scott: Okay.

120:26:24 Irwin: ...and try to lift it up.

120:26:25 Scott: Okay, I'm holding it.

120:26:26 Irwin: See how I can clear this...(Pause)

120:26:35 Scott: Now, your PLSS is hung up, Jim.

120:26:42 Irwin: Well. (Pause) It's coming!

120:26:43 Scott: Okay.

[Jim stands at the right front of the Rover, facing the TV camera and lifts up enough to get the Rover loose. There is very little motion evident in the TV picture.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I don't see why it was hanging up other than that two studs in the bottom saddle that sink into the frame on the chassis of the Rover seemed to be hanging up. Other than that, I couldn't tell; could you, Jim?"]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "No, I'm trying to recall. We were pulling it kind of uphill. Up the slope of the crater, and whether that slope had anything to do with it, I really don't know."]

[The following is taken from the Apollo 15 Mission Report. "The Lunar Roving Vehicle deployment saddle was difficult to release...The causes of this problem are twofold and interrelated. (A) The saddle-to-vehicle (Rover) connection has close-tolerance interfaces to provide the rigidity required to prevent release-pin distortion and permanent binding. This design requires the vehicle/saddle interface to be completely free of stress to permit easy separation. (B) the tilt of the lunar module to the rear and sideways, together with an uneven lunar surface, provided some stress preloading of the vehicle/saddle interface. Attempts by the crew to improve the Rover position by moving and pulling on it may have aggravated this situation. The crew was aware that the interface had to be free of stress and, when this was accomplished, the saddle separated."]

["Ground tests have shown that if the partially-deployed lunar roving vehicle - resting on the surface but not yet detached from the saddle and the lunar module - is rolled either to the left or right, the saddle/Rover-chassis interface will bind. The interface can be released, and the saddle dropped to the ground, by one crewman adjusting the roll back to zero while the other taps the saddle with a hand tool. The corrective action is to insure adequate crew training (on this procedure)."]

120:26:44 Irwin: There we go.

120:26:45 Scott: Good show. Okay, let's turn it...

120:26:47 Irwin: Okay, Joe, it's off.

120:26:48 Allen: Outstanding.

[Scott - "The Backroom came through again."]
120:26:49 Scott: Let's turn it around now, Jim.

120:26:50 Irwin: Okay. (Pause) Okay, I've got my grip here, Dave. We'll turn it...

120:27:02 Scott: Yeah, (garbled) way. (Pause) Come to your left; don't walk back! Just swing (to your) left.

120:27:08 Irwin: Okay.

120:27:09 Scott: That a boy. (Pause)

120:27:15 Irwin: You want to get a downhill run here.

[They turn the Rover clockwise until Dave has his back to the LM and the nose is pointing more or less to the northeast.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We turned it around and pointed it away from the LM so I could drive off in forward rather than in reverse. We found it very easy to pick up and turn around. Subsequently, we moved it several times and it was easy to handle."]

120:27:17 Scott: Yeah, back up a little bit now. Just back up a little bit. Go in reverse. You. (Pause) That's good, right there.

120:27:34 Irwin: Okay.

[They have moved a couple of feet out from the LM. Only the left-rear wheel is visible and, while we can see Dave's torso and PLSS, little of what he does during the Rover setup is visible. Jim is out of the field-of-view on the right side of the Rover.]
120:27:35 Scott: Watch the (glass) ball behind you.

120:27:37 Irwin: (Laughing) I've been watching that all morning. I just about fell on it.

120:27:41 Scott: I noticed. (Pause) Have you got your side of the (instrument) console unlocked?

120:27:51 Irwin: Yeah, it's unlocked. (Pause)

120:28:00 Scott: Lock it.

120:28:01 Irwin: Okay. (Pause) Okay, my side is locked.

120:28:05 Scott: And my side is locked. (Long Pause)

[Figure 2-8 from the Lunar Roving Vehicle Operations Handbook, shows the change in console configuration as they put it into position.]
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120:28:59 Irwin: This side looks okay, Dave.

120:29:01 Scott: (Subvocal) Okay. Man, they've really done it with the Velcro.

120:29:11 Irwin: Yeah, you almost have to pull against the shear-force of that to get the seat up. I had to really...really tug at it.

[The seats are held in the stowed position on the chassis with strips of Velcro. Figure 2-9 from the Rover Handbook shows the seat deployment steps. We can see Dave raise his seat.]
120:29:20 Scott: Yeah, man! (Pause) It's awfully bouncy too, isn't it? (Pause)
[Because of the weak lunar gravity field, the Rover is very lightweight and Dave's tugs on the seat to release the Velcro tend to lift the Rover. Jim has come around to the rear of the vehicle.]
120:29:45 Scott: Okay. Get your seat belt out later, I reckon.

120:29:48 Irwin: Mine's in the...Yeah, I might as well get it now. (Long Pause as Jim goes back around to his side of the Rover, deploys his seatbelt and then heads for the MESA) Give a holler when you're ready to drive, Dave, I'll come out and take pictures.

120:30:37 Scott: Okay. (Pause) Sticky fenders. You've got a (left-rear) fender, Jim. Get your fenders?

120:30:51 Irwin: No, I haven't.

120:30:52 Scott: Go ahead. I'll get them. (Pause)

[The fender on each wheel comes in two sections with the section farthest forward or aft from the center of the chassis sandwiched on top of the other section. In order to deploy the left rear fender, Dave grabs the forward edge of the rear section with the fingers of his right hand and, after some effort, manages to slide it back on the deployment rails until it latches into place. To keep from falling forward, he has his left hand on the back of his seat with his elbow locked. Next, Dave hops around to the right side of the Rover, away from the LM to get the right-rear fender.

[Bill Kimsey, who worked on the Rover design, provides the following tale about the seats and fenders. "In 1961 I started working for the Boeing Company at the Michoud Assembly Facility. My first job was in tool design. I was transferred to Stage Design in 1962. I worked in the propulsion design department. Three of us designed the control pressurization system. This was a nitrogen system that opened the valves on the LOX and RPG1 lines leading to the engines."]

["In 1969 I was sent to Huntsville to help with the proposal for the Lunar Rover. While in Huntsville I worked on the suspension design. This was before the GM guys got involved. After GM got involved, I did general arrangement drawings and fender design. I'm leading up to a couple stories about this preliminary design."]

["We were working 14 hour days, seven days a week. Because the Rover had to fit in to this little, strange-shaped bay on the descent stage, the team was having a problem fitting everything in. The people working on the seats were having a very hard time. One of the engineers came back to work after going home for dinner. He brought a lawn chair back with him. This was the answer to the problem of folding up the seats on the Rover. By the way, this was the night of the landing of Apollo 11."]

["There were quite a few of us sent from New Orleans to Huntsville to work on the proposal. One of the other fellows, Waine Borne, and I had been working together from 1961. We had gotten to be good friends. We both had Model A Fords that we had restored. The Model A has beads around the fenders. I was joking with Waine and drew a bead on the fenders of the Rover. The project manager asked me why I put the bead on the fender and I told him it was to stiffen the fender. The bead remained on the fender. Now it's sitting on the Moon. It is the same width as a Model A Ford. No one but the two of us really knew the story."]

[Photo AS15-88- 11892 was taken at the end of EVA-3 and shows the beads on the right-fender. One bead is on the circumference of the inner edge of the fender while another runs across the top of the fender just aft (our right) of the high point. The corresponding bead on the left-front fender can be seen in the foreground. Forward (our left) of the high point, we can also see a bead on the aft edge of the forward fender extension. Each of the fenders also have circumferential beads on the outer edges and on the fore and aft edges. ]

[Jim is at the MESA where, as per LMP-5, he is unstowing the 16-mm Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) from the right side and loading magazine CC so that he can mkae a film record of Dave driving the Rover to the MESA.]

120:31:08 Scott: Boy, is this dirt soft! Man!

120:31:15 Irwin: Like soft powder snow.

120:31:16 Scott: Really is.

120:31:17 Irwin: Except it's a little different. Different. (Pause)

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120:31:33 Scott: Okay, looks like the brake's on, so I'll see if I can't hop in it. (Pause)

[Dave is beside his seat, facing forward with his right hand on the inboard handhold next to the console. He jumps up slightly and pulls himself inward and settles into the seat with just a little shifting of weight once he's down. He is on CDR-5. He had planned to reach this point at 42 minutes into the EVA or - because the EVA started at about 119:39 - 119:21. Because of the problem with the walking hinge, they have lost about 7 minutes to the timeline.]
120:31:43 Scott: That's a reasonable fit.
[Before the flight Rover was stowed on the LM, Dave and Jim participated in a number of tests to make sure that the Rover was properly prepared. Ernie Reyes provides a story from one such session, conducted on 21 April 1971. A film clip showing the episode has been prepared by Ken Glover.]

["Getting ready for the first LRV integrated test in the O&C, the test team had much anxiety about the upcoming tests with the astronauts in lunar EVA suits. The day before I went to Dave Scott and presented him with the idea that we needed something to break up the tension and suggested hanging a raccoon tail somewhere on the LRV. I went to Carol O'Toole, who was the MSC (Manned Spacecraft Center) resident office secretary and had just come back from her vacation in Cherokee, North Carolina. I asked her if we could borrow a raccoon tail off of her recently acquired Indian headdress. She agreed, and went home and got it. I took it up to the astronaut quarters and gave it to Dave."]

["The next day at the beginning of the LRV integrated test the crew walked around the LRV hissing and said to the assembled test team, 'The LRV is not properly configured.' The team gasped, but instantly, Dave said, 'Don't worry about it, we can fix it.' Having said that, Jim Irwin helped him to pull a double bag from his leg bag and proceeded to fluff it out. With a pair of scissors the first bag was cut open revealing a second bag...... Upon opening the second bag Dave pulled out the raccoon tail."]

[" At that point the entire assembled test team and other onlookers started clapping, cheering and laughing. Dave and Jim then taped the raccoon tail to the right rear fender of the LRV and proceeded to get on to the LRV and said, 'Let's go test this baby!'"]

["Needless to say the test went well and the team was happy and the astronauts were satisfied. After finishing the test, I asked the photographer to take a photo of Scott and Irwin holding the tail. Notice that Jim Irwin has a band aid on his forehead. During the crew suit up procedure and helmet installation, the suit technician from Houston was a little nervous and forced the helmet onto Jim's head, scrapping his forehead."]

[As a final note, Ulli Lotzmann provides an Ernie Reyes drawing of a properly configured Rover.

120:31:52 Allen: Okay, Dave. And buckle up for safety here.
[This was a well know automobile-safety slogan of the time.]
120:31:57 Scott: Oh, yeah. (Pause as Dave attaches his seatbelt) Okay, safety belt's on. (Pause) Oh, you sit up a lot higher than in one g, but that makes sense, does it?
[The seatbelt latching mechanism is shown in Apollo 17 training photo KSC-72PC-346 in which we see Jack's seatbelt belt latch hanging from the Auxilliary staff at next to Gene's right arm. The hook at the end of the latching mechanism was fitted to the U-shaped handrail as can be seen in AS17-135-20544 (scans by Kipp Teague). After the hook was in place, the T-shaped handle on the latching mechanism was thrown across to the inboard position to tighten the belt and lock it.]

[In lunar gravity, the suit doesn't compress nearly as much under the seated astronaut's weight as it does on Earth. It takes Dave several seconds to get the belt attached.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The seatbelt was adjusted properly. I attached it, although it took a fair amount of effort."]

[In the following, Dave is following the procedures listed on a decal on the console, as shown is Figure 5.4-2 from the Apollo 15 Final Lunar Surface Procedures.]

120:32:22 Scott: Okay, handcontroller is locked. Brake's on, reverse is down. Circuit breakers - all except the Aux(illiary) and the Nav(igation system) - are coming closed. Okay, I get readings on bus B. (Long Pause) All the switches are off, by the way. (Pause) Okay, switches are all closed. Okay, Houston, are you ready to copy some numbers?

120:33:01 Allen: Go.

[Jones - "On 17, Gene and Jack both speak noticeably louder to Houston than they do to each other. Pete and Al tended to do that as well and I notice that, here, Jim is a little louder to Houston but you aren't. Do you have any thoughts on that. Gene and Jack thought it might have been psychological distance or something like that."]

[Scott - "That's interesting. We spent a lot of time in the field, with Joe in the Backroom. So this exercise of talking to the CapCom was a very normal exercise, that we'd done many times. I don't know how many times 16 and 17 went out in the field (many) and do the CapCom thing. The comm was good and I was never conscious of the distance. Distance doesn't mean anything."]

[Training photo S71-23769 shows Dave and Jim standing on the west rim of the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos, New Mexico, during a March 11/12 field exercise. During this and fourteen other field trips, they conducted realistic geologic investigations and, here, we see Jim holding a traverse map and a scoop. Both Dave and Jim are wearing headsets and it appears that Dave is giving the 'Backroom' a verbal description of the Gorge, which is similar in width and depth to Hadley Rille and also cuts through basalt flows.

120:33:03 Scott: Okay. Amp-hours, 105 and 105. Amps (being drawn), of course, are at zero. Okay, volts: on number 1 I've got about 82, and number 2 is reading zero. Hmm. (Pause) Huh! Okay and on the battery temperature, I'm reading 68...[correcting himself] about 78 and 80. And the motor temps are off-scale low, of course.

120:33:49 Allen: Roger. Copy.

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I noticed that the battery voltage and amp readout on battery 2 were zero. That subsequently turned out to be an indicator problem; and we did have both batteries available."]

[Each of the batteries is supposed to have a charge of 121 amp-hours and the cause of the initial readings of 105 amp-hours on both was never determined. At 121:30:18, just prior to leaving the LM, Dave will give readouts of 110 amp-hours on battery 1 and 115 on battery 2. Subsequent readings will decrease from those readings in a reasonable manner. See, also, the discussion following 167:35:58.]

Video Clip   2 min 19 sec ( 0.6 Mb RealVideo or 21 Mb MPG )

120:33:51 Scott: And the only discrepancy so far...I don't have any volts on number 2. (Pause) PWM Select is Both; Drive Enable, 2 in forward, PWM 1, (and) reverse, PWM 2. And Houston, I'll stand by for any comments you might have on that (zero voltage) readout.

120:34:24 Allen: Roger, Dave. I know you've rechecked your circuit breakers there.

120:34:30 Scott: That's correct. The circuit breakers are all in.

120:34:35 Irwin: Dave, just let me know before you drive.

120:34:36 Scott: Yeah. (Pause)

[Jim doesn't want to miss filming the initial drive.]
120:34:43 Allen: Dave, we're standing by for you to drive away and monitor the amp...The amps on battery 2, please.

120:34:53 Scott: Okay, will do. Okay, 15 Volt DC is going to Secondary. Steering: Forward, Bus A; and Rear to Bus D. Drive Power: forward to Drive Power, forward to Bus A

120:35:12 Allen: Roger, Dave...

120:35:13 Scott: And to Bus D.

120:35:14 Allen: ...and if battery 2 is out on us, we'll have no rear steering or no rear drive. Just be advised.

[The four Rover wheels are each powered by a separate electric motor. In addition, with everything operational both the front and rear wheel-pairs can provide steering and, therefore, the Rover is capable of a very small turning radius. This type of steering was called "double Ackerman" steering.]

[Jim carries the 16-mm camera across the TV field-of-view and off to the right.]

120:35:22 Scott: Okay. (Pause) out of detent; we're moving.

120:35:31 Allen: Extraordinary. (Pause)

[The handcontroller has a detent at the neutral position so that it will sit there when Dave isn't applying forward or reverse power. Dave moves off slowly and out of view to the right.]

[Scott - "Once it starts moving, the people in the backroom were breathing again."]

[Jones - "Not only the people who designed and built the Rover, but all the geologists, too. Let's talk about that a little. I assume that there were contingency plans for walking EVAs."]

[Scott - "Oh, yeah."]

[The planned walking traverses as shown in a map prepared by the USGS. Compare with the corresponding map for the planned LRV traverses.]

[Jones - "Did you do any specific training for those?"]

[Scott - "You don't really have to train for them because, although you have different stations, procedurally it's the same thing. You're just walking instead of riding. You don't go as far but you do as many stations, you spend as much time, take advantage of everything you have."]

[Jones - "You wouldn't have had as much stuff. You probably couldn't have taken some of the tools."]

[Scott - "Yeah. And all that was in the checklists and it was all figured out before we went. In fact, the walking EVAs were designed to be accomplished from any point. If at any point the Rover stopped running, or we couldn't get it to start running, the walking EVAs were flexible enough that we could continue on doing the work or head back, as the case may be."]

[Jones - "I think your walking EVAs were more thoroughly developed than those on 16 and 17, because they knew from your experience that the Rover would probably work."]

[Scott - "We spent a fair bit of time looking at this, because, as you point out, it might not have deployed. Or it might not have worked. So I think we had some pretty good alternate plans to go do the work."]

[In a 1996 draft review, Dave also pointed out that, "during pre-mission planning, we were also concerned about the possibility of boulders that would preclude driving the LRV all the way - or at all!"]

[We now switch to the 1989 mission review I did with Jim Irwin.]

[Jones - "You and Dave had originally been scheduled for a walking mission with a handcart..."]

[Irwin - "And then they canceled the last two and they decided they better try to have the car and get as much information as possible, and stay as long as possible."]

[Jones - "And was the Rover still in development when that decision was made? Were you and Dave the first ones to drive the prototype?"]

[Irwin - "We never really drove the real vehicle on the Earth because you couldn't. If you sat on it, it would collapse. Charlie Duke was the one who was following the development of the Rover."]

[Jones - "Because he and John Young had originally been scheduled for the first of the Rover missions."]

[Irwin - "Yeah. So he was the astronaut who was following that operation. Charlie spent a lot more time at Boeing - where they were building and testing it - than anyone else."]

[Jones - "There are pictures of you and Dave driving the Rover around at the Rio Grande Gorge up at Taos (New Mexico, during a March 11-12, 1971 geology field trip)."]

[Irwin - "That was the one-g version. But I think the Flagstaff guys built that one."]

[Jones - "Boeing didn't build that one?"]

[Irwin - "No. It was just a Rube Goldberg Dune Buggy. It was just a dune buggy that we used."]

[The Geologic Rover (Grover) was built the the USGS at Flagstaff. See Anthony Young's Lunar and Planetary Rovers: The Wheels of Apollo and the Quest for Mars.]

[Jones - "Did the Rio Grande exercise have any particular relevance? I would think with all that low (1/2 meter) brush around there..."]

[Irwin - "Well, it did, because it turns out that Hadley Rille was just about those characteristics. About the same depth and almost the same width. It just wasn't quite as abrupt at the edge. I thought was a good exercise. Sometimes we used the trainer in Houston, and we used it also down at the Kennedy Space Center on a training surface there."]

[Jones - "Did it have stiffer springs?"]

[Irwin - "Just stiffer construction, 'cause the chassis was so light on the lunar version that it would just collapse."]

[Jones - "I would presume that the oscillation frequency of the terrestrial version was different. So there would have been a fair bit of difference in the handling characteristics."]

[In a 1996 draft review, Dave Scott commented that "the Earth geology rovers were intended to exercise the tools, equipment, and procedures, rather than the handling qualities of a lunar vehicle or the response to the lunar surface - much like the mock-up PLSSs we used on field trips."]

[Irwin - "You know, we had good one-sixth-gravity simulations with that POGO device in Houston. In fact, we could even suspend the little car from this device and remove five-sixths of its weight, so it essentially was at one-sixth g. And we could drive that one-g version on a track. In fact, we used the centrifuge on it. The centrifuge was no longer used as a centrifuge, so this thing was suspended from the centrifuge track, and it would remove five-sixth of the weight and we'd just drive it on a surface and have that (similar) bouncing sensation as we would on the Moon. So it was good driving simulations and, of course, we also used that to practice walking. The POGO device was like big suspenders attached to the spacesuit and they'd just remove five-sixths of your weight and you'd bounce along under that. And we could either use it underneath the centrifuge arm, which would follow us, or they even had it mounted on the back of a truck so we could go out and walk or run behind a truck, to get the feel of operating on the Moon."]

120:35:40 Scott: Hey, Jim, you can probably tell me if I've got any rear steering.

120:35:45 Irwin: Yeah, you have rear steering.

120:35:46 Scott: Okay.

120:35:48 Allen: Do you have...

120:35:49 Scott: But I don't have any front steering.

120:35:50 Allen: ...amps on Batt 2, Dave?

120:35:51 Scott: (Under Joe) Joe, you sure about that battery bit? (Answering Joe) Negative. But I don't have any front steering, Joe.

120:36:00 Irwin: Got just rear steering, Dave.

120:36:01 Scott: Yeah. (Long Pause)

[Dave crosses the field-of-view from right to left, more or less in a direction perpendicular to the line-of-sight. He moves a Rover length in 3.75 seconds. That distance is 122 inches and the implied speed is 3.0 kilometers per hour. During the traverses, his top speed on reasonably level ground will be about 12 km/hr.]
Video Clip   2 min 55 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPG )

120:36:20 Allen: And, Dave, while you're rolling there, requesting Forward Steering to Bus C, Bus Charlie.

120:36:29 Scott: Okay. Steering, Forward, to Bus Charlie. (Pause) Still no forward steering, Joe.

120:36:38 Allen: Roger.

120:36:40 Scott: Okay, got another suggestion? (Pause)

[Jim crosses the field-of-view in Dave's wake. He moves a Rover length (3.1 m) in about 8.8 seconds, doing some hopping but not moving with the speed and agility he and Dave will show later in the mission. His speed here is about 1.27 km/hr. Peak running speeds - over distances of several tens of meters - of 5 to 6 km/hr were achieved by several of the J-mission astronauts.]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "During this time, I was attempting to take sequence camera (DAC) pictures of you as you drove around the back of the LM. Then I met you in front of the LM (at the MESA). About this time, I looked at the mag and it had apparently not moved at all. This was the first indication that we were going to have problems with the sequence camera. Out of all the mags we tried on the surface, only one mag drove. I really don't know what the problem was. I suspect that it was a film loading problem, because we checked the film mags when we loaded the ETB and they seemed to be very tight. It was hard to manually advance the film in the mags. That's about all I can say."]

[The following was taken from the Apollo 15 Mission Report. "The crew experienced film jams with the lunar surface 16-mm camera film magazines. Five out of eight magazines transferred to the lunar surface jammed, two were not used, and one successfully transported the film to completion. Analysis of the returned magazines indicated two factors contributing to jamming."]

["A: the first magazine used had drive-spline damage and scratches on the front face, indicating that the installation in the camera was improper and that the magazine and camera were mis-aligned. Misalignment of the floating female spline of the camera with the male spline of the magazine caused metal to be removed from the brass male spline. In normal camera operation, the take-up claw advances one frame of film for each exposure while the metering sprocket replenishes the supply loop and removes a frame from the take-up loop, thus retaining the same amount of slack film in both loops. When the metering sprocket is not driven because of mis-mating, the camera claw removes film from the supply loop, which is not being replenished, and adds it to the take-up loop, resulting in the jammed condition shown in Figure 14-50 in the Apollo 15 Mission Report. Two other magazines had damaged drive splines, indicating that mis-mating occurred on at least three occasions. Lunar surface pictures which include the 16-mm camera show that a strip of tape that is installed for latch stowage protection was not removed prior to installation of a magazine. Leaving the tape strip in place could have contributed to the camera/magazine mis-mating."]

["B: During troubleshooting between EVAs, the crew manually advanced the film through the aperture in all remaining magazines. The amount of manual advancement varied from five to twenty-one frames in the jammed magazines. The film supply loop normally contains three to five excess frames. The normal procedure is to inspect the magazine for proper frame alignment in the aperture area, and manually advancing the film not more than one frame, if required to obtain proper alignment. The excessive manual advancement depleted the film supply loops in all magazines. Hardware analysis, air-to-ground voice tapes, and crew debriefing indicate that the lunar surface camera functioned properly, and the jammed magazines resulted from procedural errors. Corrective actions are to insure adequate crew training through pre-launch briefings, stress malfunction procedures and corrective actions, and put a removal flag on the tape."]

[In a 1996 draft review, Dave reminded me that he and Jim had been instructed by Houston - at 129:22:12 -to advance the film.]

[The Apollo 16 crew operated their 16-mm camera without difficulty. However, the value of the film was relatively minor and the camera was not flown on Apollo 17.]

120:36:50 Allen: Cycle the forward steering circuit breaker, please.

120:36:57 Scott: Okay. (Long Pause) Okay, I go to Bus Charlie and the circuit breaker is cycled. (Pause) No forward steering, Joe.

120:37:22 Allen: Roger, Dave. Press on.

120:37:25 Scott: Okay. That's a good idea. Here, Jim, I'm going to bring her around here and let's get on with it.

120:37:33 Irwin: Okay. (Pause)

[Dave is parking the Rover near the MESA. The Rover can be operated without particular difficulty with only rear steering.]

[Jones - "Do you remember if, during Rover checkout prior to the flight, you played around with rear-only?"]

[Scott - "Oh, yeah. We drove it with only front and only rear. If one of them didn't work, it was not a big deal, because we knew we could drive with either. In fact, with the double Ackerman steering, it was interesting to experiment with it. 'Cause none of us had ever had any experience with both (front and rear). So it was fun to play with the one-g trainer and see how tight a circle you can do with the front and rear, and just the front and whatever. And that's why Joe says, 'Press on, let's go with it.'"]

[Jones - "So you have a great deal of confidence. You've also got independent drive on all four wheels so that, if one of them goes you haven't lost much."]

120:37:47 Scott: Boy, we're going to have a great time with all these hills and mounds. (Pause) Okay, think you can handle it there?

120:37:58 Irwin: Yeah, that's good.

120:38:00 Scott: Okay, brake's on. Drive Power 4 coming Off. Off on the steering. Off on a 15 Volt DC. (Pause) Okay, temps look about the same, Houston. (Pause) Jim, soon as you get that dustbrush out, I want to brush you off so we don't get the old Rover too dirty.

120:38:38 Irwin: Okay. (Pause)

[Jim got some dust on his suit when he fell and Dave wants to clean him off. Jim comes into view at the MESA.]
120:38:49 Scott: You know, as I look back behind us, it almost looks like we landed in a...Another, oh, 10 meters aft and we'd have been in Surveyor Crater. (Long Pause)
[Dave was the backup Commander on Apollo 12 and, on that mission, Pete Conrad planned to land very close to a large crater that contained the Surveyor III spacecraft that had landed some 31 months earlier. After the landing, Pete wasn't sure exactly where he was but, once he got outside, he saw that he was on the northwest rim of Surveyor Crater with his minus-Y (south) and minus-Z (east) not more than 10 meters from the drop off. Here, Dave has finally realized that he put his rear (minus-Z) footpad in a small crater and is saying that, if he'd landed 10 meters short of his actual location, the entire LM would be in the crater. Jim goes out of the field-of-view.]

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