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ALSEP Deployment

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Audio clips by Dave Shaffer.
Last revised 11 February 2014.

MP3 Audio Clip starting at 119:05:54 ( 19 min 42 sec )

119:07:07 Parker: Okay, and Geno, we'd like to vary the parking a little bit because of this. We'd like to try and get those batteries cooled down. We'd like to have you park about 60 feet north of the Central Station. And facing east. Facing down-Sun. And then we'll open the battery covers.

[Don McMillan has provided an animation ( 0.8 Mb ) of the battery covers on his Virtual Rover being opened.]
119:07:34 Cernan: Hey, Bob, I can't read you, but "facing east" and "down-Sun" are not the same.
[Because it is early morning at Taurus-Littrow, the down-Sun direction is just a little north of west.]
119:07:41 Parker: Well, approximately there.

119:07:45 Cernan: Jack, you need your block? I got it right here.

119:07:48 Parker: Facing...

119:07:49 Schmitt: You're on the Rover, aren't you?

119:07:50 Parker: Facing...

119:07:51 Cernan: I got it, wait a minute.

119:07:56 Parker: Hey, Geno, we mean up-Sun. Sorry about that. (Long Pause)

119:08:13 Cernan: I got your block coming, Jack.

119:08:14 Schmitt: Okay. (Long Pause)

119:08:34 Cernan: Boy, it doesn't take much to get those battery covers dirty. (Lost under Bob)

[Gene got off the Rover to get the block Jack dropped earlier and, then, as he got back on, probably kicked dirt on the battery covers.]
119:08:40 Parker: Okay, Gene, did you copy me that we meant facing up-Sun?

119:08:50 Cernan: Yeah, Bob. (Pause) (To himself as he fastens his seat belt) What did I do, get fatter? Okay; must have got fat. (Pause)

119:09:06 Schmitt: Bob, the shorting plug meter is 90 percent scale to the right.

119:09:16 Parker: Okay, copy that.

[After arriving at the ALSEP deployment site, Jack performed the ALSEP interconnect tasks listed on LMP-14, then off-loaded the Heat Flow Electronics (HFE) package because Gene was delayed at the LM by the fender accident, and has just read the shorting-plug meter as per the fourth line on LMP-16. The meter is on the end of the cable that Jack is about to attach to the Central Station.]

[Schmitt - "Because the RTG was producing power when we hadn't yet hooked up any of the equipment, they had what was called a shorting plug that basically allowed current to flow out of the RTG and then back into itself. And, obviously, some resistance had been put somewhere in the circuit it made so that the power source wouldn't burn itself out."]

119:09:21 Cernan: Okay, Bob, give me that parking heading again, would you?

119:09:25 Parker: Okay, we'd like you to park facing the Sun. How's that for being definite.

119:09:32 Cernan: Okay.

119:09:33 Parker: About 60 feet north of the Central Station.

119:09:37 Cernan: Sixty feet north of Central Station. I can't park a little northeast? Huh? Now, okay, and you want the battery covers open?

[Houston wants him to face the Rover into the Sun so that, by opening the battery covers he will put the battery radiators in shadow, and let them cool. By parking north of the Central Station, Houston would still have good TV coverage of the ALSEP deployment, despite the new Rover orientation. As it turns out, as per CDR-15 Gene will park 60 feet northeast of the Central Station but with the vehicle facing east. The TV coverage is still pretty good.]

[Cernan - "As I remember, if I was at the front of the Rover facing the back, the battery covers would open toward me. So if you parked the Rover facing east, the covers would shadow the batteries from the Sun and let them cool."]

119:09:44 Parker: That's affirmative, Gene. And that means you will have to dust them before you open them.

119:09:51 Cernan: Yeah, I guess so. Man, am I glad I didn't land up here, Jack!

119:09:57 Schmitt: So am I. (Pause)

[Compared with the landing site, the ALSEP area has many more large rocks and a bit more relief.]
119:10:04 Schmitt: Okay, ALSEP is connected; RTG is connected.
[Jack has just plugged the RTG cable into the Central Station.]
119:10:07 Cernan: Is that where you're going to have the Central Station, huh?

119:10:09 Schmitt: Well, Geno, that's the best I can do without spending a lot more time.

119:10:12 Cernan: Yeah.

119:10:14 Schmitt: And let me talk to you about it. I asked them about this depression.

119:10:22 Cernan: Yeah.

[Jack is referring to a small, local depression rather than the swale. See LMP-15 for the planned ALSEP layout.]
119:10:23 Schmitt: Your (heat flow) probes are all right out in here. And if you get in the bottom of it for the...either this one, or go out there - essentially in the straight line between you and me now - (there's) another depression (that) would be good for the neutron flux. (Pause) You need to be over that way...you're just a...

119:10:42 Cernan: Yeah, they want me to park about here where...

119:10:45 Schmitt: You need to be over here.

119:10:46 Cernan: Where's Central Station, right there, huh?

119:10:48 Schmitt: You need to...

119:10:50 Cernan: Yeah, I've got to park in the Sun for the batteries.

119:10:52 Schmitt: Oh, okay.

[Obviously, Jack had been busy with his own work during the parking discussion and hadn't consciously heard what Bob said.]
119:10:54 Parker: Okay, 17, for your planning...

119:10:54 Cernan: Okay, about 60 feet northeast. How does it look behind me.

119:10:57 Parker: Okay, 17, for your planning, we're now about 20 minutes behind the timeline.

119:11:01 Schmitt: (Talking to Gene, who is maneuvering the Rover) That's good, Gene. That's good. (To Bob) You're cutting out, Bob. You'll have to wait. (Pause)

[While he is busy parking the Rover, Gene isn't adjusting the low-gain antenna, so communications with Earth are momentarily bad.]
119:11:10 Cernan: What are you, Bob?

119:11:12 Parker: Roger, we're about twenty minutes behind the timeline, two-zero minutes.

119:11:17 Cernan: Okay. Well, I guess it could be worse, considering a couple of things. Okay, about time I got those batteries. Okay, Jack, let me give you this first, so I can get to work.

119:11:36 Schmitt: Oh; the block.

119:11:37 Cernan: Yeah.

119:11:38 Schmitt: I'm sorry, I forgot you had it. (Pause) Thank you. (Long Pause)

119:12:02 Cernan: Okay, where are we? (Reading at the bottom of CDR-15) Park (at) sixty (feet) north heading...Okay, 15 Volt (switch) is Off. Let me double check that while I was thinking of something. Wouldn't want this Rover to go rolling over the terrain without me. Okay, it is Off. (LCRU) Mode switch, position 3. Dust TV/TCU, and the whole works, huh? (Pause) Okay, there's TV Remote. (Long Pause)

[The TCU is the Television Control Unit, the assembly which controls camera operations. A good image of it is AS17-134- 20476, a picture of Gene and the Rover that Jack took late in the third EVA. The TCU is the box at the top of the mounting post and below the camera itself.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 33 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 31 Mb MPEG )

119:12:54 Cernan: Okay, Bob. You're aligned on the high gain.

119:12:56 Parker: Okay, we copy that.

119:13:01 Cernan: And you're in (Mode switch) position 3.

119:13:02 Parker: Copy that.

[TV on. With the TV still pointing aft, our initial view is west over the console. Fendell starts panning counter-clockwise. (West) Family Mountain can be seen over the LMP seat. We can see the traverse maps on the accessory staff and, on the back of the Rover, the scoop and rake.]
RealVideo File (14 min 15 sec)

119:13:05 Cernan: Okay, let me get these (battery) covers dusted. (Pause) Well, that's a consolation. It's not as hard to get at the covers as one might think. (Long Pause)

[The batteries are permanently attached to the forward chassis section. In order to dust the covers from the front of the Rover, Gene would have to lean over the LCRU whereas, from the side, he has a shorter distance to lean over the wheels and, when he can be seen dusting the covers, he is always to the side.]

[Fendell pans past Jack, who is working on the ALSEP pallet that contains the Central Station and most of the experiment modules. The South Massif is in the background. Jack has tipped the Central Station on its side so he can connect cables from the two modules that were stowed on the RTG pallet. All of the other experiment modules were stowed on the Central Station pallet and already have electrical connections to the Central Station. The RTG is the dark object on the left side of the picture.]

119:14:05 Schmitt: Okay; I'm working on the LEAM connection now, Bob.
[The Lunar Ejecta and Meteorites Experiment is designed to measure the size, speed, and direction of flight of very small impactors. The experimenters expect to see about one impact per day. The LEAM and the Heat Flow experiment are the two modules that were stowed on the RTG pallet. At the moment, Jack is making the LEAM electrical connection. He is on page LMP-16.]
119:14:08 Parker: Okay. I copy that, Jack.

119:14:13 Schmitt: Say, it's hard to hit that garbage pile.

[Schmitt - "We established one place in the deployment site where you'd put all the discards, all the things that were designed to isolate vibrations, to assist in packing: shims, dust covers, and other things that people felt were necessary to protect the equipment. The idea of having a garbage pile was partly to keep the site neat, but also to keep things from being under foot. I'm throwing things toward the pile and often not hitting it, usually throwing things too far."]
119:14:17 Parker: Roger. Understand you also have the heat flow connector connected by now?

119:14:23 Schmitt: Yes, sir. (Pause)

119:14:34 Cernan: I'm a little late, Jack, 'til I get these battery covers opened.

119:14:38 Schmitt: Okay. I got the heat flow for you.

119:14:39 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

[Jack has connected the heat flow electronics package to the Central Station and has put it on the ground about ten feet to the west. Normally, Gene would have detached the HFE from the RTG pallet and made the electrical connection to the Central Station, but he is running a little behind the timeline because of the fender. The mission planners anticipated the possibility - if not the cause - that Gene might arrive late and included the heat flow off-load and connect as an optional task in Jack's checklist, page LMP-15.]
119:14:45 Schmitt: Well, the old LEAM connector doesn't connect - just like usual - or lock.
[Schmitt - "This statement seems to imply that during training it was hard to get the pins lined up. But, apparently, perseverance succeeded."]
119:14:52 Cernan: Okay. I'm not going to touch the batteries. The covers are clean, and the batteries themselves are clean. The LCRU has been dusted and...

119:15:05 Schmitt: Okay...

119:15:06 Cernan: ...so has the TV.

119:15:07 Schmitt: ...it's locked.

119:15:08 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

[Fendell is looking northeast into the Wessex Cleft, which separates the North Massif on the west from the Sculptured Hills on the right.]
119:15:09 Schmitt: LEAM's locked on. (Pause) Okay. I'm going to use this. (Long Pause)
[Jack's next task, at the bottom of LMP-16, is to do a rough alignment of the Central Station.]
119:15:42 Cernan: Okay, Bob. The battery covers are in the shade.

119:15:46 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Geno. (Long Pause)

[Fendell is looking at a meter-sized boulder which is about 15 meters north of the TV camera. The lower slopes of the North Massif form the backdrop. Later in the ALSEP deployment, Gene will drill the deep core hole on the other side of the boulder.]

[Fendell completes his counter-clockwise pan and reverses direction.]

119:16:02 Cernan: Well, well, well, well. Okay; I hope that helps. Whoo! I'm going to go to Max (cooling) for a minute here. Do you buy that?
[Gene has been working hard dusting. Fendell points the TV in his direction just in time to show him reaching back for the cooling control on the bottom right of his PLSS.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 29 Mb MPEG )

119:16:16 Parker: Okay, Geno. We copy.

119:16:18 Schmitt: It seems hot in the valley of Taurus...

119:16:20 Parker: Okay.

119:16:27 Cernan: Okay. Oh, man, is that (cold)...Whoo! Yeah, I'm going back to Intermediate.

[Cernan - "It felt like a shot of ice water."]
119:16:33 Parker: Okay. Copy that.
[The cooling control is a round knob with a thumb flange sticking out on one side.]
119:16:35 Cernan: Okay, Bob. I'm ready to go to work.

119:16:37 Parker: Good.

119:16:39 Cernan: Okay. I'm going to push the gravimeter.

119:16:41 Parker: Roger, mark. (Pause)

119:16:51 Cernan: Okay. You have a mark.

119:16:55 Parker: Copy that.

119:16:56 Cernan: It's blinking, and remember what I said, it's a piece of cake to take on and off (the Rover).

119:16:59 Parker: Okay. Copy that. (Pause)

[Gene has just finished his last task on CDR-15. Page CDR-16 is a schematic of the ALSEP layout, identical to LMP-15. Gene's next task, on CDR-17, is to deploy the Heat Flow package 30 feet north of the Central Station.]
119:17:04 Cernan: Okay. This is north over here, huh? (Long Pause) Okay. (Reading) "Off-load heat flow, 10 (garbled) northwest."
[As mentioned previously, Jack has already disconnected the heat flow package and placed it 10 feet northwest of the Central Station. Gene reaches the Central Station and gets one of the two Universal Handling Tools (UHTs). Jack is using the handle of the other UHT to try to get the Central Station roughly leveled. Each of the UHTs is a meter-long tool with a handle jutting out at ninety degrees from the top and a pull trigger which retracts pin fasteners at the tip.]
119:17:26 Cernan: You (that is, Jack) got the connector connected. (Reading CDR-17) "Carry heat flow 30 (feet north). Place on ground, experiment up." Okay. I'm going to do that, Jack. Keep your eye on cables. (Pause)
[Gene picks up the HFE and carries it off-camera, 30 feet north, to the place where he will drill the two heat flow holes. Jack continues his attempts to level the Central Station.]
119:17:45 Cernan: Oh, man, all I could do is go downhill over here. (Pause) Jack, do you read?

119:17:53 Schmitt: Yeah.

119:17:54 Cernan: Okay.

119:17:55 Schmitt: I'm just trying to level (the Central Station)...

119:17:56 Cernan: Are you going to move that very much?

119:17:59 Schmitt: No, I'm just...I'll be working with it to try to level it. That's going to be a major task.

[Schmitt - "In those days, they were saying that the missions each cost a half billion dollars, half for the hardware, half for operations. If you spread that over the two of us being out on the surface for twenty-two hours, it comes out to about $200,000 per EVA minute."]
119:18:04 Cernan: Okay, there's 30 feet, I'll get this thing squared away when I...Okay, Boyd-bolt time.
[Jack flicks away a small object with the UHT.]
Movie Clip ( 1.2Mb )

119:18:22 Schmitt: Ha, whee! That really went.

119:18:27 Cernan: Man, these things are just like they are at the Cape. You can feel every one of them.

[Schmitt - "We had originally had things called Calfax fasteners holding the equipment together, but they were far too complicated. I made a stink about that early on, way back in the mid-sixties. So they invented or found another way to do it and replaced all the Calfax fasteners with these Boyd bolts. The Calfax you had to turn several times; and these you only had to push in with the UHT and then turn a three-quarter turn and it would pop loose."]

["The change from Calfax fasteners to Boyd bolts occurred well before the first ALSEP. We changed that at Bendix as soon as I got involved. As I've already mentioned, Walt Cunningham, on a visit to Bendix early in the history of the ALSEP program - not knowing that there was going to be lots of things to see and do and describe and photograph - told them to give us something to do. So Bendix put as many fasteners on this thing as they could. But when Bill Anders and I showed up there - probably in '67, maybe late '66 - we saw this monster that they had constructed with over fifty of these Calfax fasteners. I think it took two-and-a-half turns on each of them to get them loose. So we yelled and screamed. Well, not 'yelled and screamed'; but we suggested to them that they try to find a better fastener and reduce the number as much as they possibly could. To be fair to Bendix, the contractors sometimes had a hell of a time responding to astronaut inputs. They felt like they ought to respond and so they had responded; and then the guy who made the input disappears - Cunningham was off working on Apollo 7 by this time and was out of the picture - and a couple of more come on who have different ideas."]

["On my first visit to Bendix in Ann Arbor with Bill Anders - we flew up there in a little T-33 - I think we went through a shirtsleeve deployment of the mock-up that they had at the time. And that's when we just about raised the roof on how long it was going to take and how much was required physically. We really forced them into a whole re-design on the packaging and deployment. The issue of the fasteners is the one that sticks in my mind because they were so egregious, but I'm sure there were lots of other change orders written. I spent a lot of time trying to work with Bendix because I didn't want to use up any more time deploying the ALSEP than was absolutely necessary. There were so many other things that I wanted to do, and wanted the rest of the guys to do - mostly collecting samples - that I wanted to minimize the amount of time we spend on the deployment. Deploying the ALSEP is exactly the kind of thing that robots generally ought to be used for, except for certain things like getting seismometers deployed and leveled. Things like that are tough to do automatically and is probably cost effective to have a man do it. But a lot of this other stuff could have been done robotically, even in those days. It's just that the program didn't try to do it that way."]

119:18:40 Cernan: Hey, Bob, has Ron been able to see the LM?

119:18:44 Parker: Stand by. I'll find out. (Pause)

[Jack is unfastening bolts that hold the Long-Period Surface Gravimeter onto the ALSEP package. He inserts his UHT in the top of the LSG and lifts it free. This is the gravity-wave experiment. He is at the top of LMP-17.]
119:19:00 Schmitt: Oh, oh...

119:19:02 Parker: Watch it, Jack.

[Jack has been working east of the Central Station. He starts moving sideways to the north, watching the LSG ribbon cable come loose. In the process, he catches a foot on the LEAM cable going off to the southeast. He hops free.]
119:19:06 Schmitt: First cable hook.

119:19:08 Cernan: You all right?

119:19:09 Schmitt: Yep. I'll straighten it up in a minute. Okay. The LSG is going out.

[Jack carries the Lunar Surface Gravimeter west and a little north from the Central Station.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 41 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 32 Mb MPEG )

119:19:20 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Jack.

119:19:21 Schmitt: I hope this does the things that we want it to for (us). (Pause)

[Jack gets to the end of the LSG cable, turns to face the Central Station, and then backs away to and put the cable in tension before removing and discarding a thermal/dust cover. He tosses the cover a meter or so behind him.]
119:19:33 Schmitt: Bob, I'm not doing too badly on keeping things clean. The base of the Central Station (has) got some stuff (dust) on it, but, otherwise, it's pretty good.
[Gene comes into view as he backs away from the Heat Flow Experiments (HFE) box toward the Rover. He is paying out cable for the probe he will emplace east of the HFE.]
119:19:46 Parker: Okay, Jack. We appreciate your efforts, and we understand you got the LEAM connected eventually.

119:19:55 Schmitt: Yes, and it locked; (it) just took some diddling. Okay. Sun's over there. (Pause) Oops, I forgot my Boyd bolts. Let's see.

119:20:07 Cernan: Now, I never drilled a hole where there's not a can.

[Schmitt - "As I recall, in order to train with the drill, you wanted to drill in a lunar soil simulant. So we had a big can or drum or bin filled with the stuff - dry and tamped down - and when we got to this point, Gene would go over and drill his hole in the can of simulant."]
119:20:16 Schmitt: Boyd bolts are Off. (Pause) Bob, does it bother him (Joe Weber, the LSG Principle Investigator) that the base of the LSG is touching soil? Because this is pretty soft. (Long Pause)
[NASA photo S72-37253 shows the LSG in its deployed configuration in a lab photo. Note the rectangular feet which, on a firm surface, would keep the instrument off the ground.]

[Gene drops the first heat flow probe to the ground 16 feet east of the HFE, and then goes back to the HFE and picks up the other probe.]

119:21:04 Schmitt: Bob, did you give me an answer?

119:21:06 Parker: (Having missed Jack's most recent question) Roger. Ron thinks he has seen it (the LM). We haven't had a confirmation on the last orbit when you were talking to him, but he thinks he saw it the previous orbit.

[Again, it is a little puzzling that Houston does not pass along the fact that Evans' observation puts them just north of Poppie.]
119:21:15 Schmitt: Hey, hey, Bob. Hey, Bob.

119:21:17 Parker: Go.

[Gene moves west with the second heat flow probe.]
119:21:19 Schmitt: Can the base of the LSG be touching the soil?

119:21:22 Parker: Stand by on that. (Pause) Roger, Jack,...

[Jack hasn't moved much through all of this. He is unfolding the LSG's diamond-shaped sunshade before setting the instrument on the ground.]
119:21:29 Schmitt: Well, it's very soft and it's going to be very hard to level...(Stops to listen to Bob)

119:21:31 Parker: Roger, Jack. The base can be touching the ground.

[Gene drops the second probe.]
119:21:37 Schmitt: Okay. It's leveled, aligned, the sunshield is shaded inside. The level bubble is just touching the outer circle, or the "one" circle. (Pause) And I improved that. It's perfectly centered now and I'm going to uncage. (Pause)
[In S72-37253, the level bubble is on the top of the instrument at the corner closest to the right edge of the photograph. When the instrument is deployed, the sunshade will be facing south. The gnomon gauge is to the left of the level bubble on what will be the north edge of the instrument.]

[Gene has returned to the HFE and reaches for his UHT, which is attached to the yo-yo on his left hip.]

119:22:12 Schmitt: Whoops. (Pause) The experiment moved.
[Schmitt - "There was a level bubble and a little gnomon, and I would have seen movement too small to see in the TV picture."]
119:22:17 Schmitt: It's still (a) pretty good level. Okay, it's uncaged; the gimbal is swinging.

119:22:24 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

[Jack can see the gimbal through the opening in the top of the instrument.]

[Had the LSG actually detected gravity waves, the achievement might well have resulted in a Nobel Prize in physics. As it turned out, a design error - which Jack discusses in more detail below - prevented the balance beam at the heart of the experiment from completely uncaging.]

[Schmitt - "As I remember, it did partially uncage and, eventually, they learned how to use the instrument as a seismometer."]

[Gene has returned to the HFE. He looks at checklist page CDR-17, gets his UHT, and starts releasing bolts.]

119:22:26 Schmitt: The gimbal is swinging.

119:22:27 Parker: Copy that. And Jack, you're still in Max...

119:22:28 Schmitt: The bubble is back just touching...(Listens) Yeah, I know...

119:22:34 Parker: Okay.

119:22:35 Schmitt: ...I've been working, man.

[Jack changes his cooling.]
119:22:37 Parker: Okay.
[The more cooling that either Jack or Gene use, the sooner they will run out of cooling water and have to terminate the EVA. Hence the reminder. Based on the experience of prior missions, relative high usage is expected during the ALSEP deployment; only prolonged operation at maximum cooling is a real concern.]
119:22:40 Schmitt: Okay. I went to "pseudo intermediate," between Minimum and Intermediate. The (level) bubble (on the LSG) is just touching the circle, and the Sun alignment is good.
[Jack heads toward the Central Station. Fendell follows him.]

[Schmitt - "Because we were at 23 north latitude, and because the Sun was already up maybe 8 to 10 degrees, it wasn't exactly east of us. There was probably a mark on the device that took that into account and showed me how to place the gnomon shadow so that the whole experiment would be properly aligned relative to east-west."]

Video Clip ( 3 min 41 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 32 Mb MPEG )

119:22:55 Parker: Roger. Copy that. Thank you. (Pause)

[At the Central Station, Jack turns to look at Gene.]
119:23:03 Schmitt: Okay, Gene. You've got some good slack here (in the cables), if you can leave it that way. You shouldn't have the cable draped across anything; that's good.
[Schmitt - "Generally, you didn't want the cables taut but, rather, with a bit slack so that they could drape over craters. But you also didn't want them to drape over rocks."]

[Jack turns away.]

119:23:10 Cernan: Okay. I want to try and get this thing in there. It won't...There it is. (Long Pause)

Movie Clip (1 min 19 sec; 0.95Mb)

[Jack reaches very low and uses the UHT to re-position the cable connecting the RTG to the Central Station. He then goes to the Central Station and moves the cable at that end. He then returns to the RTG and uses the handle of the UHT to drag the RTG a couple of feet toward the Rover and, finally, to turn it clockwise by perhaps 45 degrees. When he finishes, he turns to look at Gene again.]
119:23:48 Schmitt: Can I help you, Gene?

119:23:51 Cernan: No. I got a little dust in this mirror, though. I want to make sure I...Bob, I got a little dust on the white surface - not on the mirror - of the heat flow (electronics package). You got any recommendations?

119:24:06 Parker: Stand by on that, Jack - (correcting himself) - Gene. Is that on the heat reflector?

119:24:13 Cernan: Yeah, it's on the north side.

119:24:14 Parker: Okay. As long as it's not on the mirror, it's okay, Gene.

119:24:19 Cernan: Well, let me take another look. I'll double check.

[In response to Gene's manipulations of the HFE, its cable comes off the ground at the Central Station. Jack is now at the Central Station and has started to free the geophone module as per LMP-17.]
119:24:27 Schmitt: Watch it. You're pulling pretty hard.

119:24:29 Cernan: Yeah, I'm watching...

119:24:30 Schmitt: You're pulling...

119:24:31 Cernan: I'm watching; I'm not pulling. Okay. The mirror's clean.

119:24:33 Parker: Okay; then, it's good enough.

119:24:35 Schmitt: Give me some more slack up here, you're draped.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 21 min 26 sec )

119:24:36 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Okay. That's where it's going, Jack. Right there.

119:24:43 Schmitt: Can you...Okay.

119:24:44 Cernan: How's that?

119:24:45 Schmitt: That's good.

[Jack reaches down with his UHT, apparently to re-position the heat flow cable.]
119:24:48 Cernan: Got enough?

119:24:49 Schmitt: This way just a little, Geno. That's good. Doesn't take much.

[Jack uses the UHT to turn more of the Boyd bolts with which the geophone module is attached to the pallet. He will deploy the module 30 feet south of the Central Station and then will emplace the four geophones at the following locations. No. 1 will go 150 feet east of the module; No. 2, 150 feet west; No. 3, 88 feet south and not quite as far as Geophone Rock; and No. 4, 260 feet south, well beyond Geophone Rock. He is in the middle of LMP-17.]
119:24:55 Cernan: Man, we sure didn't need blocks or anything out here. There's enough soil here to level almost anything.

119:25:02 Schmitt: But it's so soft, though, it's hard to get a best level. (Pause) Whoops! (Pause)

[Jack reached down to pull the geophone module off by hand but managed, instead, to release the thermal cover. Hence his "Whoops!". The cover is the large white object at the right in S72-37259. In this pre-flight lab photo, the five small compartments on the top of the dust cover contain marker flags, one of which has been removed and placed on the table top to the right of the dust cover.]
119:25:24 Schmitt: That's strange. I think I did something wrong.

119:25:29 Cernan: What's that?

119:25:34 Schmitt: Pulled the pin at the wrong time.

[In Houston, those who have been following what Jack has been doing in detail tell Flight Director Gerry Griffin that Jack has prematurely released the dust cover but that there will be no adverse effects.]
119:25:36 Cernan: Okay. The heat flow (electronics package) is level; the gnomon is good. And, Bob, I verified that that dirt is not on the mirror. It's on the white stuff that, you know, is horizontal to the (top) surface of the box.
[Jack does a high, two-footed kangaroo hop over a cable and heads south. Note the reel at the center of the trailing cable.]
119:25:52 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Gene; that's okay.

119:25:54 Cernan: The mirror's clean.

119:25:56 Parker: Roger. Thank you.

119:25:58 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Okay, I'll give you a TGE reading.

119:26:08 Parker: Roger. We're ready.

119:26:17 Cernan: Okay; 670, 002, 601. 670, 002, 601.

119:26:27 Parker: Okay. We copy that.

[Jack stops and, one at a time, takes five orange-colored, geophone flags out of the storage compartment on the top of the dust cover and sticks them in the ground. The flags will be used to make the geophone locations visible in the photographs and also to help Gene to keep from running over the geophones with the Rover. In addition, as Jack emplaces the four geophones at the ends of long N-S and E-W lines centered on the geophone module, he can sight across the central module to a flag at the opposite end of an arm and keep his lines straight.]

[Gene is now at the bottom on CDR-17 and, next, will assemble the drill he will use to sink two holes for the heat flow probes.]

Video Clip ( 3 min 27 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 30 Mb MPEG )

119:26:31 Cernan: Bob, was that (TGE measurement taken) with the (TV) camera running?

119:26:34 Parker: Roger. The camera's been running all this time.

119:26:38 Cernan: That's beautiful.

[Again, there is some concern that movement of the TV camera might upset the TGE. The successful completion of this measurement indicates that there will be no problem.]
119:26:40 Cernan: Okay. Your temperatures are down to 100 and maybe a skosh under 120, so maybe those batteries are cooling off.

119:26:48 Parker: Okay; good.

[If there has been any cooling, it has only been a fraction of a degree. By the end of the ALSEP deployment at 121:35:00, the temperatures will be down to 96 and 110 degrees.]
119:26:53 Cernan: It's sure good. I don't want to walk on that third EVA.

119:26:59 Parker: Roger.

[Schmitt - "I don't recall that we had developed any contingency plans for walking traverses. I think the idea was that, if it ever came to that, you'd develop plans in real-time, depending on what you'd gotten done before the Rover failed. With all the redundancy built into the Rover, and with two successful Rover missions completed, they figured that it wasn't much of a risk. If we'd had to, I think we could have probably gotten to our main objectives almost as fast loping as we could driving. You could move pretty fast, and it wasn't an effort, that I recall. I don't think they would have let us go all the way to Station 2, but I think we could have made it up the Scarp. It would have been tough climbing, but we probably could have done it climbing sidehill, zig-zagging up. The main problem was the lack of flexibility in the hip. It wasn't hard to stretch your leg, but lifting your thigh was difficult."]

[Jack puts the geophone module down and removes the UHT.]

[Off-camera, Gene has probably picked up the drill assembly and is consulting a decal to make sure he does the assembly correctly.]

119:27:02 Cernan: I'm getting to like driving this machine.
[Journal Contributor Jim Scotti notes that the "machine" is almost certainly the Rover. Although Gene is working with the drilling equipment, he probably hasn't left the Rover.]
119:27:05 Cernan: Okay, pull pin 2. Pin 2 always comes after...(fixing his joke) comes before pin 1.

119:27:12 Schmitt: I think that's in the NASA documents now.

[Jack uses the UHT to lift off the geophone dust cover.]
119:27:17 Cernan: What's that?

119:27:18 Schmitt: "Pin 2 comes before pin 1."

119:27:20 Cernan: (Laughs) Okay.

119:27:23 Schmitt: "Reel 3 comes before reel 1 and 2", also.

[Jack tosses the dust cover toward the trash pile.]
119:27:29 Schmitt: (Pause) I think I overdid that one.

119:27:32 Parker: Yeah, it went clean out of sight.

[Fendell pans to follow the heat shield; only catches the shadow of it landing.]
RealVideo File (25 min 38 sec)

119:27:35 Parker: But by all means, "watch reel 2".

[This may have a private joke between Bob and Jack.]
119:27:40 Schmitt: (Laughing) Oh, you think you're so clever. (Pause)
[Schmitt - "The Support Crew had all sorts of clever little sayings and pictures and stuff like that that they would put into the checklist. Bob's favorite, since our motto was 'the end of the beginning', was 'this is the end, not the beginning'. And he had some little pink patches he called "Rover patches" as distinct from the flight patches; and there may have been something like that in the checklist at this point. Some of it you couldn't repeat over the airway. Or maybe this was just another part of the private joke."]

[Jack does not turn a checklist page here, so it must be another part of the joke.]

[Leaning to his right, Jack pushes one of the five flags into the ground next to the module. This will hold the cables connecting the four individual geophones to the module so that, as he deploys the geophones, tension in the cables won't move the module.]

119:27:51 Schmitt: Believe it or not, Bob, I'm anchoring the geophone module.

119:27:55 Parker: Hey, Jack, it looks to us on the TV as though you're anchoring the geophone module with a flag.

119:28:04 Schmitt: Yeah, that's what I'm doing. (Pretending neither of them is hearing the other) I'm anchoring the geophone module with a flag. (Pause)

Movie Clip (2 min 36 sec; 1.6Mb)

119:28:14 Cernan: Okay; one leg, two legs, three legs. And none of them (fell off)...

[Gene is pulling out the three legs of a stand on which he will rest the drill stems and hang his wrench. He is at the top of CDR-18. Jack, who is still in the TV picture, has run back to the Central Station and is now releasing the Lunar Mass Spectrometer. This task is at the top of LMP-18. The LMS will measure the density and composition of the very tenuous lunar atmosphere. Because the LM releases enough gases during depressurization and during launch to overwhelm the instrument, like many others of the ALSEP gear, except for a brief checkout after installation, the LMS will be shut down until after lift-off.]
119:28:25 Schmitt: Hey, Bob, remind me to police the garbage pile.

119:28:28 Parker: All right.

119:28:30 Schmitt: The garbage pile is turning out to be just like every other ALSEP deployment. It's hard to control.

119:28:39 Parker: And I understand all your legs came out okay, Geno, or didn't come out.

119:28:43 Cernan: Okay. (Answering Bob) Yes, sir; they all came out okay.

[Schmitt - "The legs on Gene's drill-stem rack were packed unextended and when you extended them, they popped out with a spring. In training, they may have actually fallen off."]

[Bob agrees with Jack's recollection.]

119:28:51 Schmitt: Okay. LMS ring is pulled.
[Jack frees the LMS and the Central Station jumps a little.]
119:28:55 Parker: Copy that.
[Jack carries the LMS eastward.]
119:29:02 Cernan: Amazing. Amazing. (Long Pause) Okay, Bob. I've got my tools of the trade right here. I'm ready to go to work. Now, I put a mark in the deck...(Looking for a spot he scratched on the ground to show where he wanted to drill the first hole) There it is; right there. (Pause)
[Fendell pans to Gene who is carrying a wrapped bundle of drill stems, a stem rack, and the drill. He positions the rack southwest of his mark. He is at the top of CDR-18]
Video Clip ( 3 min 04 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 27 Mb MPEG )

119:29:48 Schmitt: Hey, Bob, what have I forgotten? The package won't rotate.

[Jack is stumped by the fourth line on LMP-18.]
119:29:53 Parker: Try rotating the UHT (Universal Handling Tool).
[Gene is holding the drill by a loop handle which allows him to set it on the ground, handgrips down, without bending over very far.]
119:29:58 Schmitt: No, I'm serious. (Pause) Oh, rotate the UHT, huh?

119:30:06 Cernan: Yeah, remember that one?

119:30:07 Schmitt: No...That's right. I'm sorry. (Laughs) I knew it! I knew it would happen!

[Schmitt - "I was probably supposed to put the UHT in a socket and rotate it; the instrument was probably locked unless you put the UHT in and rotate it. Obviously, I had forgotten to do that in training and had forgotten again on the Moon."]
119:30:16 Cernan: Where's your garbage pile, Jack? I can't find yours...

119:30:19 Schmitt: Well, don't worry about my garbage pile. It turns out it looks very much like the ALSEP.

[Gene removes and discards the top of the quiver-like drill stem bag; and then leans the bag on the rack.]
119:30:27 Cernan: Okay. I made a mark over here that says that should be about cable length...

119:30:35 Schmitt: What am I doing over here? You're awfully close.

119:30:39 Cernan: No, I'm going right in here, Jack. Right here.

119:30:45 Schmitt: Okay.

119:30:46 Cernan: I can move it further...

119:30:47 Schmitt: No. That's all right.

119:30:47 Cernan: ...further north.

[Gene removes the initial, 137-cm drill stem from the quiver. The second and third stems are each 71-cm long. The total hole depth will be 2.5 meters.]
119:30:49 Schmitt: No, this will be all right. I just want to keep away from you there. (Pause)
[Schmitt - "We had done the deployment often enough in training that I had a feel for how far away he was supposed to be."]

[In the deployment plan on CDR-16, Gene was to have put the heat flow package due north of the Central Station and the holes due east and west from the package. However, as indicated in the as-built ALSEP map, which is Figure 6-98 in the Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report, the HFE was a bit east of due north, and the eastern hole a bit south, bringing him much closer to the LMS than usual. Without bending over, Gene fits the stem into the drill chuck and then twists it with his fingers to try to get it threaded in properly.]

119:31:04 Cernan: We shall soon see how tuned (sic) we are. I'm anxious to see what's under this mantle.

119:31:13 Parker: So are we. (Pause)

[The stem comes loose from the chuck.]
119:31:20 Cernan: Well, Bob, I hope I can drill you a couple of good holes...

119:31:23 Parker: How about three?

[Gene will drill two heat flow holes and one for a deep core.]
119:31:25 Cernan: ...and I know you do, too.

119:31:28 Schmitt: Okay, Bob, the arrow (on the LMS) is east/west, pointing west. The bubble is in the center. (Pause)

[Gene has the stem partially threaded; however, as he lifts the drill by the stem, it falls off. The threads make a complete circle of the stem in about a half inch of rise and, in a shirtsleeve environment, the stem sections are very easy to join.]
119:31:41 Schmitt: If I'm lucky, it'll stay there. (Pause) I'm more like east-northeast. I'm trying to keep a little further away from Gene.
[The stem finally seats properly.]
Movie Clip (2 min 36 sec; 1.8 Mb)

119:31:56 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

119:32:00 Schmitt: Break seal is Open.

[The Lunar Mass Spectrometer is also known as the Lunar Atmosphere Composition Experiment (LACE). In operation, any gas molecules entering the device will be bombarded and ionized by electrons given off by an internal source. Ions of different species are then separated magnetically and counted. During deployment, the entrance port is covered by a nylon dust screen which will be pulled back - by radio command - only after the crew has left the Moon and the seismic charges have been detonated.]

[Schmitt - "This was probably a safety seal that held down the cover on the port. I had to remove it so that, when they later sent the Open signal, the screen would come off. You'll notice that I've moved well away from the LMS by this point. Often we did that - wait to brief them on something that had already happened - because it wasn't convenient to break in."]

119:32:05 Cernan: Okay, that was my mark (on the ground). Let me see. Double check that cable length. I'd sure hate to drill a hole that was outside of the length of the cable.

119:32:22 Schmitt: Okay, Bob, the LMS is deployed. I'm policing the site. The screen is over the port.

119:32:33 Parker: Copy that.

[Jack is doing the last task on LMP-18, which is "Housekeep C/S", where "C/S" is "Central Station".]

[Gene uses the drill stem to straighten the cable. He then plants the drill, and then removes and discards a thermal cover.]

119:32:34 Schmitt: I'm going to move one big rock. (Pause) What am I doing down in here?
[Schmitt - "I may have been in a deeper depression than I had expected, although the pictures certainly don't show anything dramatic."]
Video Clip ( 3 min 59 sec 1.0 RealVideo or 35 Mb MPEG )

119:32:49 Cernan: What were you doing down in there? (They both laugh)

[Gene leans forward and starts to drill. The stem is sufficiently angled that people in Houston are concerned about loads Gene may be putting on it.]
119:32:55 Schmitt: And Bob, there's a little bit of dust adhering to the sides of the LMS. And a few particles (covering), oh, less than half a percent of the surface on the top. But, of course, you're going to clean that one off (by removing the screen); so that's all right.

119:33:17 Parker: That's affirm on the top.

119:33:20 Schmitt: The north side has about a 10 or 15 percent dust cover(ing).

119:33:30 Parker: Copy that. And, Geno, you're leaning pretty heavy forward on that drill.

119:33:37 Cernan: Okay, Bob. She's going in like she's in some pretty dense stuff, and then I hit some rock here. I'll watch it; I won't lean forward. I'm not putting too much pressure on it.

119:33:53 Parker: Okay.

[Cernan - "Because of the weight of the PLSS, you had a tendency to lean forward and put a little torque or bending motion on the drill stem. The worry was having it bind up as a result."]

[Schmitt - "There may also have been some consideration of optimizing power usage. The motor would have been more efficient at medium power levels than at higher power levels."]

119:33:54 Cernan: It sounds to me like she's chipping away through rock. (Pause) May be just a little-longer-drilling hole than it was at the Cape. (Long Pause)
[Gene stops drilling to give his hands a short rest. In order to grip the drill handle - which also serves as the on/off switch - Gene is having to squeeze his fingers closed against the pressure of the suit and that is very tiring. The top of the stem is at about knee height. He starts drilling again. Meanwhile, now that he has removed all of the experiment modules, Jack has begun to do a final leveling and alignment of the Central Station. This will prove to be a time-consuming task. He is at the bottom of LMP-18.]
119:35:11 Cernan: Bob, she's going in; but not without a little bit of resistance.
[The vibration of the drill produces a good deal of suit vibration and, thereby, a noise audible to listeners on Earth. Gene is wearing a Snoopy helmet which covers his ears and deadens any sounds except those coming through his earpiece.]

[Cernan - "Thinking about when I said 'it sounds like she's chipping away', you have to remember that sound and feel are very closely related, just like in the lift-off of the Saturn V. Do you "hear" the noise or do you "feel" the noise? In this particular case the "noise" or the vibration traveled from my hands up into my suit. So was I hearing it or was I feeling it. Probably feeling it; but sound and feel are very closely related when you're in an environment like that."]

119:35:17 Parker: Roger. We're observing that, Geno.

119:35:19 Cernan: Every once in a while she breaks through a soft spot.

119:35:25 Parker: Good. (Long Pause)

[Gene stops for a moment, releasing his grip, then drills a final few inches before going to the rack for the wrench. Jack is in the background, still trying to level the Central Station.]

[Schmitt - "In drilling those holes, it was nice that fifty percent of the regolith is particles smaller than 100 microns. The chances of hitting a large rock were pretty small, in spite of what you see scattered around on the surface. Because you're looking across the surface at a very low angle, you get a distorted view of how many rocks there are."]

Movie Clip (1 min 54 sec; 1.3 Mb)

119:35:45 Schmitt: Bob, I'll tell you, this Central Station's a bear - a bear - to get level. (Pause) Well, I just got dust on it now. (Pause) It (meaning the ground)'s just too soft.

[The process of getting the equipment level is a matter of finding a level position on the uneven ground, rather than smoothing and leveling the surface itself. The soil can be pushed out of the way or piled up with a boot, although care must be taken not to get any dust on thermally-sensitive surfaces. Here, Jack is leveling the base of the Central Station, prior to raising the top and the attached thermal curtains. Meanwhile, Gene leans over the stem rack to get the wrench but gets his center-of-mass too far forward and stumbles. Once he has the wrench in hand, he goes to the drill, put his right hand on the drill for balance, puts his left leg back and does a deep knee bend without quite touching his left knee to the ground. He attaches the wrench to the stem with his left hand and rises without difficulty. He rises and uses his left foot to brace the wrench while he turns the drill counter-clockwise to release it.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 21 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 30 Mb MPEG )

119:36:39 Cernan: Boy, that sure was drilling in hard stuff because it took a lot to get it (the drill) off (the stem). (Pause)

[Gene takes the drill by the loop handle and sets it on the ground.]
119:36:56 Parker: Okay, Jack. And we could certainly stand (tolerate) a little bit of dust, at least, on top of that Central Station sunshield.

119:37:05 Schmitt: Yeah, I guess the level's important.

119:37:08 Parker: Roger.

[Schmitt - "By leveling the Central Station and getting it aligned relative to the Sun, I could then use pre-determined coordinates for pointing the antenna."]

[The pre-determined antenna settings are printed on cuff checklist page LMP-20. Meanwhile, Gene does another deep knee bend, with his right hand on the detached drill to try to remove the wrench. However, the drill is to far away from the wrench and he doesn't get any support. He starts to lose his balance and has to scramble in the driection of the fall to regain is feet. In the process of recovering from the fall, he lifts the drill off the ground. He puts the drill down out of the way and then tries a dynamic grab. As he gets down, he misses to wrench but is able to stay down long enough the grab it on his second try and then rises and lurches forward to regain his feet.]

119:37:14 Cernan: I can just see what John (Young)'s thinking right now. That's what makes the difference. That's where you expend your energy. (Pause)
[Cernan - "We knew they were watching a lot of things on the television, so when we made a statement, we didn't necessarily make a complete statement because we knew they're looking at what we're talking about. In this case, I was talking about the difficulty of getting the wrench off."]

[John Young had practised doing dynamic grabs in the 1/6th-g airplane before Apollo 16 and got quite good at it. Gene hasn't yet learned to do it efficiently.]

[Gene gets a 71-cm drill stem out of the quiver. As indicated on CDR-18 the string of drill stems will include the long stem he just emplaced and, now, two 71-cm stems.]

119:37:32 Schmitt: Bob, I don't know that I'm going to be able to do that without a lot of time. It (meaning the level bubble)'s hanging against the south edge.

119:37:44 Parker: Say again there, Jack.

119:37:48 Schmitt: I don't know whether I'm going to be able to level the Central Station. (Pause)

119:38:02 Cernan: (Without looking) Anything I can do, Jack? (Pause)

[Gene threads the second stem into the one in the ground. Behind him, Jack tries to free the bubble by jerking the Central Station to one side or the other every few seconds.]
119:38:10 Schmitt: Okay. I got it off the edge.
[Gene picks up the drill and hits it with his hand to knock some dust off.]
119:38:13 Parker: Okay; maybe we better just leave it there. (Pause)

119:38:27 Schmitt: Ahh! Well, I'm making it worse by getting dust on the top.

119:38:35 Parker: No, the dust on the top is not as important as getting it leveled, Jack. But if you get it (the bubble) broken off the edge, that ought to be good enough. (Long Pause)

[Gene attaches the drill and looks at the pressure gauge on his wrist.]
119:39:02 Cernan: Bob, I'm riding at about 3.82 (psi suit pressure).
[Gene uses his hand to shade the gauges on the top of his RCU.]
119:39:05 Cernan: I've got, oh, I guess about 80...Well, no; (counting gauge marks) there's half. I guess, 60 percent (oxygen); no flags and no tones.

119:39:16 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Geno. (Pause)

[Gene starts drilling and the vibration knocks a lot of dust off the drill. Gene is breathing heavily and, according to the plotted record of his heart rate (about 117:00 on the graph), he is at 130 beats, per minute, climbing toward a peak of 145 beats per minute, which he will reach in about 15 minutes, about the time he finishes emplacing the first heat flow probe and starts the second hole.]
119:39:24 Schmitt: Okay, Bob. It's touching the second ring; the gnomon is aligned, and I'm going to leave it alone.
[That is, a gnomon shadow is falling on a mark etched or painted on the top.]
119:39:29 Parker: Roger on that.

119:39:35 Schmitt: Yeah, I think I lost all the time I might have made up.

[The drill sharply twists Gene's hands by a couple of inches.]
119:39:39 Cernan: Hey, Bob, it's obvious that I'm going through some pretty tough stuff - (through) consolidated material, like rock fragments - and then it breaks through; and then it jumps for about 3 or 4 inches and then I hit some more fragments.

Video Clip ( 2 min 58 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPEG )

119:39:53 Parker: Roger. We're seeing that Geno. Looks interesting. (Pause)

[Gene stops and looks down to see how far he's gone into the ground.]
119:40:09 Cernan: Oh, me. I got too low on that one. I thought I had that gauged. (Pause)
[Ideally, he would have left about 15 cm of stem sticking out of the ground, but he has left himself only 10 cm. He gets the wrench from the rack and looks over at Jack.]
119:40:23 Cernan: (When) you deploy that (No. 4) geophone, you'll go out of sight. (Long Pause)
[Gene holds onto the drill for leverage as he bends his knees to attach the wrench.]
119:41:17 Cernan: Bob, there would be absolutely no way of breaking this drill from those bores without that tool, I guarantee you that.

119:41:27 Parker: Okay. We copy that, Geno. (Pause)

[Gene twists the drill off the stem and puts it on the ground next to the stem. Now he leans forward on the drill, puts his right hand on the drill, moves his feet back a little, bends his knees slightly and, with much of his weight on the drill, removes the wrench without difficulty. Gene then steps forward and rises easily.]
119:41:40 Cernan: I think I found a way to get this off, though, with a little help. Okay, number 3 coming up.

119:41:47 Parker: Roger. The third and last one on this hole.

[Jack is still trying to fine tune the Central Station alignment and leveling.]
119:41:51 Cernan: Yes, sir. (Pause) Oh, boy! Time out.

119:42:02 Parker: Okay.

119:42:06 Schmitt: Don't work too hard.

[Gene stands motionless next to the drill rack, his arms out in front of him in the rest position, knees slightly bent.]
119:42:07 Parker: Roger.

119:42:11 Cernan: My fender's still on; which makes me happy. (Pause; then he starts working again)

119:42:22 Cernan: I'll tell you, if you could come and sprinkle the whole area with water and get rid of some of this dust...

119:42:29 Parker: Okay, Geno. And can you remember if those heat flow cables are not crossed as they come out of that box?

[Crossed cables might interfere with each other electrically.]
119:42:35 Cernan: Yes, sir. I very definitely made a point of not crossing them.

119:42:39 Parker: Okay; very good.

119:42:45 Cernan: They are not crossed.

Video Clip ( 3 min 47 sec 1.0 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

119:42:48 Parker: Good. (Long Pause)

119:43:06 Schmitt: (Laughs; then assumes an oratorical tone) Oh, ho, ho, ho. "Where do we find such men?"

[Jack is referring to his prowess in leveling the Central Station and, perhaps, to Gene's prowess with the drill, as well. Journal Contributor Tom Gebbie notes that Jack is quoting a famous phrase from the James Michener novel "The Bridges at Toko Ri". Gene starts drilling again.]
119:43:11 Cernan: How's it coming, Jack?

119:43:13 Schmitt: Oh, slow. This leveling is really throwing me behind the power curve; but I know they're serious about it, so, if I can keep it where it is now, I'm "in like Flynn". It's perfectly centered. Even the gnomon is aligned within a shadow width. (Pause)

[The following discussion of the expression "in like Flynn" in adapted from the alt.usage.english FAQ by Mark Israel : This phrase's first meaning was "in favor; assured of success; in an enviable position". Some writers allege that it originated in allusion to Edward Joseph "Boss" Flynn (1892-1953), a campaign manager for the U.S. Democratic party (in the Bronx, New York) during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency. Flynn's machine was so successful at winning elections that his candidates (and he, himself) seemed to be "in" office automatically. But the phrase was popularized (by U.S. Army Aircorps pilots during World War II) with reference to Australian-born Hollywood actor Errol Flynn (1909-59), whose amorous exploits (including two highly-publicized charges of statutory rape in 1942) gave it a second meaning: "being a quick seducer". The earliest citation we have seen does refer to Errol Flynn (but not to seduction): "'In like Flynn' (means) 'Everything is O.K.' In other words, the pilot is having no more trouble than Errol Flynn has in his cinematic feats." (1945 in American Speech, Dec. 1946, p. 310)]

[Other commentators on the Internet suggest that Penn State Professor Ed Miller, the author of the "American Speech" article, may have been given a cleaned-up definition by his post-war students. My thanks to Journal Contributor Brian Lawrence, who suggested this inquiry.]

119:43:46 Cernan: Man, is that thing biting.

119:43:50 Schmitt: Really working down there, are you?

119:43:52 Cernan: Oh, you betcha, man. I'm in something tough down there now. Whew!

[Cernan - "It was tough drilling. You had to hold the drill to keep it from turning in your hands and you had to put pressure on it. As I remember, it was during the drilling that I got heart rates up to 120 or 130. It was hard work, and that's why I had to rest every once in a while. You can hear how hard a job it was in the sound of my voice."]
119:43:56 Schmitt: Well, what bore are you in?
[Gene stops for a minute. He's been leaning over the drill and straightens up to rest. His heart rate is over 130 beats per minute. In comparison, Jack's heart rate is the 90-110 range throughout the deployment.]
119:43:59 Cernan: Number 3. If I let go of that drill, and it kept running...If that drill kept running and I wasn't anchored to the ground, (he chuckles) it would throw me over the Massif. In tangential turns. (Pause)
[Cernan - "If you hold a drill, the motor turns the drill stem and the bit. But if the bit gets hung up, and you let go of the drill, the motor spins the drill. It was very difficult to keep the drill from rotating; you really had to work at it. Here on Earth, in your back yard or in your garage, you've at least got full Earth gravity holding you down; but on the Moon, even with the weight of the PLSS you weigh a lot less and it's harder to hold onto the drill when it binds."]

[Gene starts drilling again. Meanwhile, Jack is probably releasing Boyd bolts holding down the Central Station antenna as per LMP-19. He will not mount the antenna until after he has raised the top of the Central Station and, with it, the thermal curtain which shades the east, west and south sides.]

119:44:27 Parker: Okay, Geno...

119:44:28 Cernan: I think I'm in the motherlode down there.

[Gene stops and gets the wrench.]
119:44:30 Parker: Gene, if it's getting really tough and you're not making much progress, we'll be happy with it where it is. (Pause) Well, it looks like you really...

119:44:37 Cernan: No, sir, you're going to be happy with it where it's supposed to be; and that's where it's...

119:44:41 Parker: You were hiding it from us...

119:44:42 Cernan: Yes, sir.

[Gene has been standing southwest of the Rover with his back to the camera and the drill in front of him.]
119:44:43 Parker: We couldn't tell how deep in you were.

119:44:46 Cernan: I wanted to surprise you. They're going in all the way, and they're both going to work. (Pause) Gets a little tough looking into the Sun.

[Gene turns away from the Sun and, without quite kneeling, attaches the wrench.]
119:44:58 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause)
[Gene tries to turn the drill but it takes quite a bit of force before it suddenly releases.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 13 min 02 sec )

119:45:10 Cernan: Oh, Manischewitz! (Putting the drill on the ground) I don't know where I picked that word up (Jack chuckles), but it's better than some (pause), I guess. Now if I can use my little lean-tool here. (Pause)

[He leans on the drill to remove the wrench. Here, Gene is using "Manischewitz" instead of cursing.]
119:45:40 Cernan: Oh, man, that works great! That works great. Put this out of the way. (Pause; putting the drill about ten feet north) Bob, I'm into the white marks; it depends on what you want to call the surface. You know, give or take 6 or 8 inches. (Pause)
[Gene tamps dirt around the stem with his boot, then hangs the wrench on the rack.]
119:46:11 Parker: Yeah, something like that will do, Gene, I guess. We can measure it (garbled, but means "from the photos").

119:46:15 Schmitt: Gene, is the stuff (the drill cuttings) coming up changing color on you at all?

119:46:20 Cernan: No, Jack. It isn't changing color. I can't even tell where it's coming up.

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119:46:30 Schmitt: (Laughing as the top of the Central Station springs up; Gene turns to look) Ho ho. Ho ho.

119:46:31 Cernan: (Looking back at his work) I don't think it (the cuttings) is coming up. I think I'm just pushing it aside.

119:46:34 Schmitt: Boy, I'll tell you...

119:46:35 Parker: I saw something come up then just then, Jack.

119:46:36 Schmitt: ...the old ALSEP Central Station. Yeah, it deploys itself; it turns out.

[Checklist page LMP-19 contains the phrase "guide C/S up" which suggests that, in training, the Central Station raised itself reluctantly. Here, it sprang up to full height without any hesitation. Photo AS17-134- 20491 shows the raised Central Station from the east. Jack has not yet attached the antenna and gimbals that are shown in the photo, which was taken after the ALSEP deployment was complete. Note the attachment points on the top where the various experiment modules were mounted. The LSG is in the background at the right. AS17-147- 22586 shows the Central Station from the north. Notice how the south edge of the bottom seems to be thrust into the soil. This is an indication of the lengths to which Jack had to go to get it leveled. The trash pile is at the left edge of the photo. The geophone module is between the Central Station and Geophone Rock; and Bear Mountain is the dark dome beyond and slightly to the left of Geophone Rock. The South Massif emerges from the center of the southern horizon and rises toward the west.]
119:46:43 Parker: Roger on that. That was...

119:46:44 Schmitt: Bob...

119:46:45 Parker: ...pretty amazing.

119:46:50 Schmitt: Okay. I finally leveled it in the bull's eye. I don't know whether you heard me or not, but it was perfect. So it's okay. It's got about 20 percent dust cover on the top.

119:47:08 Parker: Okay. (Pause)

[Gene has picked up the heat flow probe and removes it from its protective bag. The bag has kept the probe clean, despite the amount of dust that he has kicked around while drilling the hole. He is at the middle of CDR-18.]
119:47:13 Cernan: Sure glad you've got that probe covered.

119:47:19 Parker: And, Jack, ALSEP says that that's okay; that twenty percent's no problem.

[Fendell starts to pans away from Gene; Experiments tell Flight they'd like to continue watching the heat flow deployment.]
119:47:29 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) I put a rock under the northwest corner. Oops. Guess what happened? (Laughs) Just like in training, Geno.

119:47:46 Cernan: What happened?

119:47:47 Schmitt: The old geophone cable caught on the corner. (Pause) Okay. Oops, I'm not ready.

119:48:00 Cernan: (To himself) That says F4B on that; that's an airplane! (Long Pause; he discards something) Houston, there's no dust on the (heat flow) probe except that which was on my hands.

[Gene goes to the heat flow hole he just drilled.]

[Jack's next task, on the bottom of LMP-19, is to secure the thermal curtains that cover the east, west, and south faces. They are secured with patches of Velcro.]

119:48:30 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

119:48:36 Cernan: That must be solar wind. (Pause)

119:48:45 Schmitt: Sorry not to be more talkative, but this is taking all the concentration I got.

119:48:57 Cernan: I'm going to have to push this down, I can see that.

[Gene has trouble getting the tip of the probe to go into the drill stem. After maneuvering it like a fishing line for a while, he finally does two quick knee bends so that he can push the probe in with his hand.]
119:49:04 Schmitt: You know, this Velcro doesn't hold any better here than it did in training.
[Schmitt - "The four corners of the thermal curtain were sealed with Velcro, and it never worked very well. Because of the Apollo fire, we had to have Teflon Velcro; and that just isn't very good Velcro."]
119:49:12 Cernan: (Talking to himself as he reaches for something on the rack) Oh, don't lose that, Geno. Don't lose that. Don't lose that. Notice how you talk to yourself out here?

119:49:21 Schmitt: (Chuckling) Who, me? (Pause) "Help", I says. "You is getting farther and farther behind."

[Gene does a discus throw of a bag or box from which he has just removed a rammer. He almost spins out of control and almost falls.]
119:49:37 Cernan: Well, I've had my "whoops" for today.

119:49:41 Schmitt: Your one what?

119:49:42 Cernan: Well, I just did my "whifferdill."

119:49:46 Schmitt: Oh, did you fall?

119:49:47 Cernan: No. It's funny how for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, isn't it?

[Gene telescopes the rammer from an 18-inch (0.5 m) length to about four feet (1.3 m).]
119:50:00 Schmitt: Hey, I've heard that before. Okay. (Reading) "Secure thermal curtains". Thermal curtains are secured.

119:50:10 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

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119:50:15 Schmitt: How far behind am I, Bob?

119:50:18 Parker: Stand by. (Pause) Roger. We're showing Gene just about 20 minutes; and Jack just about 25. Between 20 and 25 (minutes) for both of you.

119:50:39 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) How are our consumables?

119:50:48 Parker: Stand by. (Pause)

[Jack is concerned that they won't have much time to devote to geology. His next task, on LMP-20, is to release the Central Station antenna gimbal assembly from the LEAM pallet and then mount it and the antenna on the Central Station. Meanwhile, Gene is having trouble getting the tip of the rammer in the hole. It seems to have a cable slot.]
119:51:00 Cernan: Oh, if this thing isn't going to work better than that! (Long Pause)
[Gene gets the rammer in the stem.]
119:51:32 Cernan: Bob, just like the book says, it's down to Papa 1; and it hooked.

119:51:36 Parker: How about that. (Long Pause)

[Papa 1 is a mark on the heat flow cable indicating how far the cable has gone into the drill stem. The bottom heat flow drill stem has a closed drill bit so that the stems would remain clear for insertion of the probes. The heat flow probe contains multiple sensors and Gene is emplacing thermal shields between them. He is in the bottom paragraph on CDR-18. Meanwhile, Jack polices the trash pile, moving outlying items onto the main part of the pile, and then returns to the Central Station.]
119:51:54 Cernan: Oh, boy! The old fingers really suffer on these.

119:52:00 Schmitt: Take it easy.

[Cernan - "I remember that, at the end of the day, my fingers and forearms were very tired. You were always moving your fingers against the pressure in the gloves."]

[Gene removes the rammer from the hole, reattaches it to the cable at a higher position, and pushes it down the hole again. The cable has a number of sensors attached to it.]

119:52:02 Cernan: Okay. Now this one down to F1. Would you believe (it's down to) F1?

119:52:12 Parker: I believe you, Gene. (Pause)

119:52:31 Cernan: Bob, in this soil, best number I can give you is about an inch below the white spots, or Bravo 1.

[Here, Gene is telling Houston how far the top drill stem is in the ground. This is the "Measure height of stem" task on CDR-18. Fendell pans the TV, finds Jack, and zooms in.]
119:52:39 Parker: Okay. Copy Bravo 1. (Pause)

119:52:46 Cernan: I got a better way of putting that last thermal shield on, though. (Long Pause)

RealVideo File (25 min 52 sec)

119:53:35 Cernan: Okay, Bob, you're looking at it coming out to the south, but I don't expect it'll stay that way unless I put some dirt over the cable. How's that grab you?

119:53:49 Parker: Stand by, Gene.

[The last thermal shield minimizes the amount of heat the cable carries into the hole. It is visible in AS17-134-20497. Note how Gene has positioned the cable so that it extends south from the hole for a foot or so before turning west toward the electronics package. The heat flow cables have retained some loops and waves from the days of storage in the LM. In the weak lunar gravity field, this "memory" is retained longer than it would on Earth. On Apollo 16, John Young caught a foot under a heat flow cable near the Central Station and tore it loose. Here, Gene wants to cover the cable with some dirt to hold it down.]
119:53:54 Cernan: You like that thermal shield the way it is? Okay. That's coming out south. That's in good shape. I'm pleased with that.

Video Clip ( 3 min 15 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo clip or 29 Mb MPEG )

119:54:03 Parker: Dirt's okay, if you want to put it on there, Gene.

119:54:04 Cernan: I'll tell you, I'm happy with it. I'm moving on.

119:54:05 Parker: Okay.

119:54:09 Cernan: Now, the thermal shield is on there, Bob. I got them all on there.

[Fendell returns to Gene as he picks up the stem quiver and, in the process, knocks the wrench off the rack. He retrieves it relatively easily with the rammer.]
119:54:12 Parker: If you want to put some dirt on there to hold it down, that's okay.

119:54:18 Cernan: Oh, okay. Well, I got it down without the dirt.

119:54:21 Parker: Okay. Good enough.

119:54:23 Cernan: I'm just finding all sorts of good ways to make life easier out here. (Pause)

[Gene picks up the rack and moves west and a little north. He is now at the top of CDR-19 and is about to drill the second heat flow hole.]
119:54:32 Cernan: (To himself) Stay away from the cables. (To Bob) Bob, and I didn't forget the last measurement either.

119:54:40 Parker: Roger that.

[Cernan - "One thing I ought to mention here, in case I forget it, is that on the first day you never felt any heat soak into your gloves. But I remember that on the third day you could feel the heat soaking in. That's because the Sun was 26 degrees higher than it was on the first day. You couldn't feel it on your body because you had the liquid-cooled garment; but your hands had no liquid cooling on them and, also, your hands were sitting out in the sunshine a lot of the time."]
119:54:46 Cernan: Hey, can you see this big mound that's just...(correcting himself) not a mound but the depression that's just to the north of me?

119:54:53 Parker: Roger, 17; Houston sees it.

119:54:55 Cernan: It's probably behind the Rover. (Listens) Okay. Well, how's that look for the core?

[Gene puts the drilling gear down.]
119:55:06 Parker: Stand by. (Long Pause) Geno, can you give us a distance estimate to that? Does it look like it's 80 feet or so (from the RTG)?

119:55:28 Cernan: Yeah.

119:55:29 Parker: Okay. Then that sounds good.

[After Gene drills and extracts the deep core, he will emplace the neutron flux experiment in the resulting hole. The experiment is designed to measure background levels of neutrons produced by the natural radioactivity of the soil and by cosmic rays. Gene needs to be at least 80 feet from the RTG so that the neutrons it emits will not overwhelm the "natural" signal.]
119:55:31 Cernan: Oh, shucks!
[Gene has dropped the wrench again; he retrieves it with the rammer.]
119:55:35 Schmitt: Hey, Bob, is there any way a level bubble can fail? (Gene laughs)
[Jack is referring to one of two level bubbles on the Central Station antenna gimbal assembly. He is leveling the gimbal assembly as per LMP-20]
119:55:41 Parker: Hey, Jack, remember that's on top of those wobbly springs there. And with the thing not being straight, you shouldn't really expect the level bubble to be level after the thing's been deployed. That happened at the Cape a couple of times, remember?
[Bob thinks that Jack is talking about the level bubble on the top of the Central Station, the one that Jack was using before he raised the top and curtains, rather than the ones on the gimbal assembly. Meanwhile, Gene goes to retrieve the drill from the first heat flow hole.]
119:55:56 Schmitt: Yeah; but Bob, I've moved this practically all the way down the full throw and that bubble won't move, and I can't get it to move by tilting it; and I was leveled. And the bubble on the top of the Central Station is still level.
[Gene has the drill in hand.]
119:56:11 Parker: Okay. You're talking about the level on your other one, huh? Stand by on that.

119:56:16 Schmitt: The gnomon, yeah...Both of them? (Pause) I can't get it to move to the other side of the fluid.

[Gene is back at the second heat flow hole.]
119:56:28 Cernan: Keep working. That thing shouldn't fail. (Pause)
[Gene threads the 137-cm stem into the drill chuck.]
119:56:39 Schmitt: Well, I've gone full throw. That's not level. That bubble's stuck in there, somehow. In both of them. That's not even pointing close to the Earth. Okay, I'm going to have to tweak it up...Let them see the signal strength and tweak it.
[Gene picks up the drill.]
119:57:00 Parker: Okay. Why don't you try and manually point it; try and level it and see what you can do toward getting it (pointed) towards the Earth.

Video Clip ( 3 min 13 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 28 Mb MPEG )

119:57:09 Schmitt: I will, Bob. That bubble's just not working. I can't figure that one out.

[Cernan - "With the station not level, you would just try to get the antenna pointed more or less in the right direction and see if you had an acceptable signal strength."]

[Gene has to get on tiptoes, his hands above the top of his helmet, to get the stem vertical. He starts drilling.]

119:57:14 Parker: Okay. Just go ahead and use the...

119:57:15 Schmitt: Okay. Maybe I jarred it loose here.

119:57:18 Parker: Okay.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 13 min 12 sec )

119:57:20 Schmitt: I think I jarred it loose.

119:57:22 Parker: That's another first.

119:57:25 Schmitt: Don't ask me how.

119:57:26 Parker: Okay, we won't. (Long Pause)

119:57:44 Schmitt: Okay. And I got the other one loose. That's very strange! A sticky level bubble. (Laughing) Never heard of it.

[Schmitt - "Whatever fluid they used evidently had surface tension in excess of the one-sixth g buoyant forces that were trying to move the bubble to the center, at least when the bubble was over at the edge. It took a jarring motion of some sort to break that surface tension."]

[Unfortunately, we have been unable to identify the fluid in the bubble level. Gene stops drilling and looks at the TV camera.]

119:57:54 Cernan: Hey, Bob...

119:57:55 Parker: Go ahead, Jack...(correcting himself) Gene.

[Gene gestures with his left hand, pointing north.]
119:57:56 Cernan: ...If you're looking at me, what I'm talking about is this depression in here for the core. Oh, maybe 15, 20 meters out in here. Jack, what did you have in mind for the neutron flux?

119:58:09 Schmitt: Either the one you're down in, there; or next one over behind that rock in front of you over there.

119:58:15 Cernan: Oh yeah, I can go way over there. (Grasping the drill) That's not too far probably for...

119:58:18 Schmitt: Well, either way I think is fine, Gene. But I would suggest behind the rock.

119:58:22 Cernan: For a neutron flux, huh?

[By putting the detector in a depression and behind a rock, Gene will reduce the contaminating neutron flux from the RTG's plutonium source. Photo AS17-147- 22575 is one Jack will take after Gene has finished drilling the deep core hole. The picture is taken looking to the northeast and shows Gene at the Rover, with the east heat flow hole between the Rover and the place where Jack is standing. The rock in question is beyond the Rover to the left and the drill stem rack is just visible over the top of the rock. The RTG is behind Jack and this picture shows that the rock is providing shielding. AS17-134-20503 was taken from just north of the core hole and shows the treadle-and-jack that Gene will use to extract the core. The shielding rock is in the middle distance and, beyond it, we can see the Central Station. The dark object to the left of the Central Station is the RTG. Geophone Rock is beyond the RTG.]
119:58:23 Schmitt: Yes, sir; and the core.
[Schmitt - "In analyzing cores, people had looked for and found radioisotopes which had been formed by the absorption of cosmic-ray neutrons in the lunar soil. If you knew the neutron flux and spectrum, you could use the abundance of these isotopes to determine ages and turnover rates for the soil. There had been estimates made of the neutron flux and, and there were also a lot of arguments about the estimates. This experiment was designed to give a direct measurement."]
119:58:25 Cernan: Well, I thought they wanted a core in that depression.

119:58:28 Schmitt: Well, there's also one over there.

119:58:34 Parker: Okay, and 17...

119:58:35 Schmitt: We can give them a choice.

119:58:36 Cernan: I'll go behind that rock; that looks good from here.

119:58:38 Parker: And, 17, we think you guys are in by far the best position to judge that; far better than we are. You know what the requirements are on shielding and...

119:58:45 Cernan: Okay.

[Gene stops drilling, looks at his watch on his left wrist, and then resumes.]
119:58:46 Parker: ...(you know that the distance from the RTG needs to be) greater than 50 meters...(Correcting himself) 25 meters.

119:58:54 Cernan: Okay, Bob. (Pause)

[Gene completes the drilling and reaches for the wrench.]

[Schmitt - "I suspect that we had practiced this specific ALSEP deployment a half dozen times. I had done the Apollo 15 deployment a few times as part of the backup crew training; and Gene had done the Apollo 14 deployment. You didn't want to train for it too much, because each situation was going to be different. You needed to know it just well enough to be able to be adaptable, and a half dozen times seemed about right."]

119:59:07 Cernan: Okay. The long bore is in.

119:59:09 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Gene. Looked like that one went in fairly well.

[Gene opens the wrench.]
119:59:14 Cernan: Well, probably about like the other one did. Not too bad.

119:59:18 Parker: Okay.

[Gene leans on the drill to attach the wrench.]
119:59:21 Cernan: Oh, I must be getting old. I expect the next two are going to be a little harder. (Pause)
[Gene has the drill off.]
119:59:31 Schmitt: Bob, I'm not very happy with this (antenna) level. But I'll turn it on. Have me come back a little bit later, when they've warmed up some more, and let's see what it looks like.
[Schmitt - "The fluid surrounding the level bubbles was probably an oil that wouldn't freeze when it got cold in the LM Equipment Bay. We'd been in the barbecue mode on the way out, rotating the spacecraft to get uniform heating, but there wasn't any active heating in the Equipment Bay and it would have gotten pretty cold. I was probably thinking that the fluid was still a little viscous from having been cold. Maybe that was why the bubble stuck."]

[Gene takes some care in positioning the drill so that he can lean on it in removing the wrench. He learned a great deal from drilling the first hole and does this second hole much more efficiently.]

119:59:45 Parker: Okay. We'll do that. Give me a mark when you turn it on, and we'll see what kind of signals we get.

119:59:53 Schmitt: Okay. The gnomon (shadow) is aligned; I'm going to turn the shorting plug on.

119:59:57 Parker: Copy that. (Pause)

[By turning the shorting plug "On", Jack is letting current flow from the RTG into the Central Station - rather than through the shorting plug itself. Jack notes that the phrase "turning the shorting plug on" is a misnomer.]
120:00:05 Schmitt: It's On.
[Gene has the wrench off.]
120:00:06 Parker: Roger.

Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 29 Mb MPEG )

120:00:11 Schmitt: And the needle is full scale left.

120:00:18 Parker: Copy that. (Long Pause)

["Full-scale left" usually means "off", and the needle is undoubtedly indicating that there is no current flowing through the shorting plug and, implicitly, that the current is now flowing into the Central Station.]

[Gene has the second stem (71-cm) out of the rack and is bracing the one in the ground with his right foot, toes up and on the stem, heel down and on the ground. Next, he giggles and twists the stem with his right hand.]

120:01:21 Cernan: I can't believe that.

120:01:24 Schmitt: What's the problem?

120:01:25 Cernan: Well, that whole bore turns in the ground, it's so loose. You know how those threads sometimes stick on you a little bit. (Getting the wrench again) I got one stuck halfway down and the whole bore is turning, so now I've got to use a wrench on it.

[Gene needs the wrench to hold the first stem still while he threads the second into it. He leans on the drill to attach the wrench.]

[Jack is now at the top of LMP-21 and is about the deploy the LEAM (Lunar Ejecta and Meteorite experiment).]

120:01:43 Parker: Okay, Jack. And we have...

120:01:44 Schmitt: Bob, I've got a rock about 10 feet southeast of my LEAM location. I can move a little more north and get, oh, 15 feet from that. That okay?

120:02:08 Parker: How big is the rock there, Jack?

120:02:13 Schmitt: Oh, it stands...It's a meter wide and stands about a third of a meter high.

[This is the rock beyond the garbage pile in AS17-147-22584. The RTG is in the foreground on the left side of the picture. Notice the deep shadows on the west face of the East Massif on the far horizon. Geophone Rock is at the right edge of the picture and the geophone module is in front of it. The large rock beyond and to the right of the LEAM is one that Jack will examine at 120:22:42, after deploying the east geophone. The planned LEAM deployment location relative to the Central Station is shown on LMP-15.]
120:02:19 Parker: About a third...about a foot high?

120:02:21 Cernan: Bob, how's that for...(Listens)

120:02:25 Schmitt: (Lecturing tone) A third of a meter.

120:02:28 Parker: Okay.

[The Lunar Ejecta and Meteoroid Experiment is designed to catch and count both small meteoroids and ejecta from lunar impacts. Ejecta from small, local impacts would tend to have rather flat trajectories and a nearby rock would "shadow" ejecta from beyond it. Jack wants to emplace the experiment far enough from the rock that it's shadow will be unimportant. AS17-134-20500 is a good picture of the LEAM with the trash pile, the Central Station, and the LSG beyond it. The RTG is to the right of the Central Station and the white box beyond the RTG is the Heat Flow Experiment package.]

[Gene has been trying to brace the stem with his foot and with the wrench; he finds that he can lift the stem out of the ground.]

120:02:30 Cernan: Bob, how's that for soil mechanics? I pulled the first bore right on out trying to get this thing on right.
[Fendell pans away from Gene, looking for Jack, who is southeast of the Central Station deploying the LEAM and apparently releasing the stool legs.]
120:02:36 Parker: Well, put it in before your hole fills up there, Geno.

120:02:42 Cernan: Yeah. Right now I'm interested in getting this second bore on. (Pause) Now, let's see if I can get it back in! (Pause) Well, not quite as far, but high enough for me to reach the (drill handle). It still feels, Bob, like there's a lot of fragmental material down there.

120:03:12 Parker: I copy that, Geno. Good luck.

120:03:14 Cernan: That was an interesting little exercise. Well, I got the bore on right, anyway. (Pause)

Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 29 Mb MPEG )

120:03:25 Schmitt: Well, shoot. (Pause)

120:03:39 Parker: Okay, Jack. As long as it's only 1 foot high and 10 feet away, that's satisfactory.

120:03:48 Schmitt: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Jack sets the LEAM on the surface and rocks it with the attached UHT to find a level position.]
120:04:49 Schmitt: Okay, Bob, the LEAM's deployed, aligned, and the level bubble is just touching the inner ring.

120:05:03 Parker: Copy that.

[Having removed the UHT, Jack kicks the ribbon cable, perhaps to remove some dirt.]
120:05:08 Cernan: (Wanting to know if Houston is getting data from the Central Station) Hey, Bob. Did you get anything from the ALSEP yet?

120:05:10 Parker: Watch that cable, Jack. (To Gene) Roger. We started to tell you that when you had the question there, and we're getting a good lockup on the data.

120:05:18 Schmitt: Well, keep an eye on it (that is, on the signal from the Central Station), because I'm not happy with the level.

[Jack is near the RTG and moves the LEAM cable a little with the UHT.]
120:05:22 Parker: Okay. We'll get back with you on that.

120:05:24 Schmitt: I'll check. Make me check it. (Pause) I found a way to get over cables. (He makes a little jumping noise as he kangaroo-hops over the cable) Bee-doop! (Laughs) (Pause)

[Jack uses the UHT to pick up the heat flow pallet for use as a base for the seismic array antenna. He is in the middle of LMP-21]
120:06:01 Cernan: Oh, Manischewitz. Whew!

120:06:05 Schmitt: There you go again.

120:06:06 Cernan: I know. Let me get this one off and take a bite of candy here.

[The pallet falls off of Jack's UHT. Apparently, the UHT locking pins had not seated properly in the receptacle on the pallet.]
120:06:15 Schmitt: I'm kind of having trouble with UHTs today. They just don't want to lock in when you get dust in there.
[Schmitt - "Anything that is not hermetically sealed is just not going to work very long."]
120:06:23 Cernan: Hey, Jack. Be careful with that UHT on the heat flow because it was aligned, real good.

120:06:29 Schmitt: It was what?

120:06:30 Cernan: The heat flow electronics, when you go over there for that UHT, was aligned.

120:06:35 Schmitt: Oh, yeah.

[Schmitt - "There were two UHTs. Gene had used his to carry the heat flow electronics box and align it; and then just left the UHT in the heat flow box. So he's warning me not to disturb the alignment when I go to get his UHT later on."]

[After spending a short while trying to engage the UHT pins, Jack gives up on what we might call the high-tech end of the tool, turns the UHT end for end, and hooks the handle - which we can call the low-tech end - through the red handle which can be seen in NASA photo S72-37260. He then lifts the heat flow pallet off the ground.]

Video Clip ( 2 min 55 sec 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPEG )

120:06:38 Cernan: Bob, I'm going to take a zap of cold (cooling) water.

120:06:40 Parker: Okay. Sounds good to me.

120:06:46 Cernan: Whee! Almost looks like it's getting dark out. Is it? Guess not.

120:06:55 Schmitt: (Laughing and doing an Amos and Andy impression) Hope not, or "we is in trouble".

[Cernan - "When you stop working and take a rest, you have a chance to look around. Earlier, when I was taking a rest from drilling the first heat flow hole, I had a chance to get ahead and talk to the ground about a place for the core hole, which I wasn't going to do for a long time yet. When you took a rest, that was the only chance you had to just look around; otherwise, you got so involved with what you were doing that you had tunnel vision and your perspective was very limited. So I looked around and said 'Oh, looks like it's getting dark.' Well, I probably had been facing all this bright, reflective soil while I was drilling the hole and all of a sudden I stopped and looked around and things didn't look so bright."]

[During our review of the mission, Gene and I thought at first that his "Whee" indicated that he was feeling the effects of the maximum cooling. However, as we will discover in a moment, he actually changed his cooling to Minimum. Then we thought that he may have taken a drink of water - which is certainly possible or even likely. However, it seems most likely that his "whee" is simply relief from being able to let go of the drill for a moment.]

[Jack returns to the Central Station, removes the LSPE antenna and its cable, discards a small object and backs off to the west, paying out cable. During the geology traverses, Jack will deploy a total of eight explosive packages. Each is designed to be fired at a preset time - roughly 90 hours - after deployment and, therefore, well after Gene and Jack are safely off the Moon. A timer in each of the packages prepares it to receive a detonation signal transmitted from the Central Station, and what Jack is now deploying is the whip antenna through which those signals will be transmitted. AS17-136- 20705 shows the antenna mounted on the pallets, the LSG immediately behind it and Geophone Rock and Bear Mountain in the distance.]

120:07:05 Cernan: I think I may have gone the wrong way. I did. I went to Min instead of Max. Here it comes. (Pause) Oh, boy! Oh, boy. (To Jack) Man. Watch it. Okay, Jack. You're all right. Still deploying.

120:07:22 Schmitt: Huh?

[Gene is telling him that he hasn't gotten to the end of the cable.]
120:07:23 Cernan: Still deploying. Nothing; you're all right.

120:07:24 Schmitt: It's coming out a little hard. (Pause) Wouldn't you know it?

120:07:36 Cernan: Okay. I'm back in Min, Bob.

120:07:41 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

120:07:48 Cernan: By any chance (do you) have any heat flow data yet?

120:07:53 Parker: No, Geno. We don't have the heat flow turned on yet.

120:08:01 Cernan: Oh, that's right. Okay. (Pause) I think that's right. Okay. I'm about to give you your number...Oh, God darn it! (Jack laughs) (Pause)

[Gene knocks the drill over and then picks it up by going to one knee in a quick down-and-up motion.]
120:08:23 Cernan: (To himself as he runs the drill for a second) Crank it a couple of times. (Pause) Clean as a whistle! Clean as a whistle.

120:08:35 Schmitt: Well, just like I thought; the antenna doesn't want to go in. (Pause)

[In order to keep the socket clean, it is covered with a piece of aluminum foil which, rather than tearing easily, is resisting Jack's efforts to push the antenna through. See Jack's debrief comment at 126:38:56.]
120:08:47 Parker: Is that the number 3 section there, Geno?

120:08:52 Schmitt: There, it's in.

[Jack uses the UHT to push the antenna into the socket.]
120:08:54 Cernan: (Responding to Bob) Yes, sir, Bob.

120:08:55 Parker: Roger. Beautiful.

120:09:02 Cernan: Well, it's the last one I got. (Chuckles) I guess we'll find out when I put the probe in. I think they're all in there.

[Gene starts drilling. He is at the top of CDR-19 and is emplacing the second 71-cm stem in the second heat flow hole.]

[Fendell pans to Jack who is now at the Central Station.]

120:09:15 Schmitt: Okay. I'm about ready to deploy some geophones.

120:09:18 Parker: Okay, Jack. Did you get the antenna into that subpallet okay, eventually?

120:09:25 Schmitt: Yes.

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120:09:26 Parker: Good enough.

[Jack picks up a piece of the Central Station pallet and drops it on the trash pile.]
120:09:33 Cernan: Bob, I occasionally hit stuff and it spits this whole drill back at me. Knocks it back about a half an inch or so, and then it will bite through it.

120:09:46 Parker: Okay.

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120:09:53 Cernan: My general impression is that there is an awful lot of fragments I'm busting up down there.

120:10:00 Parker: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Cernan - "When the drill's spinning and it hits something, it kicks the drill and spits it back at you. Not vertically, but rotationally. It was tough drilling. I was pushing down and all of sudden it hit something solid; the motor was still running but the bit stopped, so something had to turn. So, the drill turned backwards."]

[Jack continues policing the trash pile, using the UHT to push things around. He is hopping easily from foot to foot, changing directions and pace without difficulty.]

Cernan: I'll tell you, Bob, (in) that last 6 inches I really came into something hard; but it's down all the way.

120:10:31 Parker: Beautiful, Geno. (Pause)

[In the deep core hole, which Gene will drill next, he runs into rock-strewn layers at intervals throughout the 3.2 meters of drilling. X-radiography performed after the mission shows an abundance of rock fragments from about 25 cm depth to 110 centimeters, presumably representing ejecta from the Camelot impact. Layers of fragments at 120 and 130 centimeter depths are probably associated with other nearby impacts, such as Poppie. The core then has relatively few fragments to a depth of about 190 cm, with the interval presumably representing reworked ejecta. Fragment layers are then encountered at depths of 250, 280, 290, and 310 centimeters. Although there are certainly differences in the details between the rock fragment distributions with depth at the core and heat flow holes - dependent on the placement of individual rocks in the various ejecta blankets - a general correlation is likely. However, the fact that the deep core is in a shallow depression - coupled with the random horizontal distribution of rocks in the various ejecta blankets - makes it difficult to identify his "hard layer" with a particular fragment zone in the core.]

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