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Station 7

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 7 April 2014.

 

MP3 Audio Clip starting at 166:01:54 ( 14 min 16 sec )

166:02:33 Cernan: Man, this is still a slope. Jack, I'm going to pull around and in the front of the way you're facing.

166:02:43 Schmitt: I can go down...There's a crater over here, (garbled). (Pause) Oh, there you are.

166:02:53 Cernan: This is much better. How is this?

166:02:56 Schmitt: That's great.

166:02:59 Cernan: We ought to be able to pick up lots of those fragments out in that field out there.

166:03:06 Schmitt: Be right with you.

166:03:07 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Bob, I just came downslope reading 193/3.1; just about 100 meters to pick up Jack.

166:03:18 Parker: Okay, copy that.

166:03:22 Schmitt: Okay. Bag 48 Yankee has a sample of about a one-third-meter boulder that was lying in...that's sitting right smack dab in a little crater of it's own.

166:03:44 Parker: Copy that.

[48 Yankee contained Apollo samples 76030 through 76037. The largest fragment - 76035 - is a piece of blue-gray breccia. Interestingly, 48 Yankee also contains a 2.5 gram piece of basalt (76037).]
166:03:45 Cernan: Oh, Jack!

166:03:46 Schmitt: What?

166:03:47 Cernan: Oh, you just kicked a snowstorm of dust across here.

166:03:50 Schmitt: I'm sorry. I just fell, too.

166:03:52 Cernan: Did you? You all right?

166:03:53 Schmitt: Yeah. Want your hammer?

166:03:55 Cernan: Yeah.

166:03:58 Schmitt: Okay.

166:04:00 Cernan: I got to drop it (the hammer) in the pan here. Hold on to it, I think. (Pause)

166:04:08 Schmitt: Couldn't help that one.

166:04:12 Cernan: Yeah. I think, (when) we get (to) some more level spots, I can dust this thing (the battery cover) back there.

166:04:15 Schmitt: Am I really on?

166:04:18 Cernan: You're high. You're (seat belt is) twisted. Go away from you one twist. Okay. (Pause) Is it caught in something? Yeah, it is. You're...Oh, wait a minute...Get up, get up, get up. You've got...You're sitting on...Get up.

166:04:31 Schmitt: What am I sitting on?

166:04:32 Cernan: You've got to get out. You didn't put this away. Wait a minute. Get up...Out...All the way.

166:04:37 Schmitt: Oh, that thing.

166:04:38 Cernan: Yeah, this thing.

166:04:39 Schmitt: That's right.

[Neither Jack nor Gene has any idea what "this thing" might have been. A quick review of the dialog hasn't revealed any clues. "It" is probably not the roll of tape, in part because Jack doesn't think the tape roll was big enough to have made him sit high.]

[Schmitt - "Why couldn't we have said what it was!"]

[Cernan - "You and I knew what was going on, but nobody else could have followed it."]

166:04:40 Cernan: That's where (means "why") you're setting (sic) high.

166:04:41 Schmitt: I knew I'd forget that. (Pause)

166:04:50 Cernan: Okay. Now, let me get this thing out. (Pause) Okay. (Pause)

166:05:07 Schmitt: Okay. Let's press. Better get (the seatbelt) latched. (Pause) Okay.

166:05:21 Cernan: All set?

166:05:22 Schmitt: Yep.

[The best TV record of an astronaut getting on a Rover is probably that of Charlie Duke at one of the Apollo 16 EVA-2 stations. Fendell recorded Jack mounting the Rover at Stations 3 and 7. The best still is 20453, which Gene took of Jack at Station 9. Ken Glover has produced a video clip of Jack mounting the Rover onboard the 1/6th-g airplane.]

[Cernan - "When you're sitting in the seat, you can't see what's going on in the seat. The other guy is the one whose got to look."]

[Schmitt - "It's all by feel."]

166:05:23 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) We're rolling, Bob.

166:05:39 Schmitt: LMP frame (count) is 130.

166:05:43 Cernan: You got a lot of static now?

166:05:44 Schmitt: Yup.

[Cernan - "We were hearing static from the ground. But, as you can hear in the tape, they were reading us loud and clear. We were probably hearing carrier static."]
166:05:45 Cernan: Okay.

166:05:48 Schmitt: Hey, you got a rock on your right of your (garbled).

166:05:49 Cernan: Yeah, I got them. (Garbled) (Pause) I got the low-gain (antenna) set.

166:05:56 Schmitt: Hello, Houston. Do you read?

166:05:57 Parker: Roger. We read loud and clear.

[Jack's traverse pictures taken during the 500-meter drive to Station 7 are AS17-141- 21637 to 21645.]
166:06:02 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) Okay; how about that field...Not this block, but (out where) there's sort of a collection of them...

166:06:10 Cernan: Yeah. Way out there...

166:06:11 Schmitt: ...way out there.

166:06:12 Cernan: ...about 300 meters or so.

166:06:13 Schmitt: Oh, at least. Yeah. Oh; going into the Sun, I can't see a thing to tell you about Wessex Cleft, that we haven't already said.

166:06:22 Parker: Okay. Station 7 is nominally 208 and 3.3, but it's any group of any significant boulders you want to stop at in reality.

166:06:31 Schmitt: Understand. (Pause) (To Gene) Ohhh, easy.

166:06:42 Cernan: You feel like you're on a downslope over there?

166:06:43 Schmitt: Yeah. I feel like you're about ready to spin out downhill any minute.

166:06:46 Cernan: Do you? (Tongue in cheek) I don't feel that at all up here. (Pause)

166:06:54 Schmitt: Bob, it's hard to give you much (description), looking into the Sun the way we are.

166:07:00 Cernan: We must be about 200 meters up the slope, looking at that little valley (Taurus-Littrow) down there, Jack, on the right?

166:07:05 Schmitt: Yeah. I think you're right. The pattern on the slope really doesn't look much different than on the light mantle. Matter of fact, it looks very much like light mantle, except for these large blocks that are in it.

166:07:23 Parker: Okay. Copy that. And you guys may still have your visors up. We can't tell, but you might be better off with them down, if you've forgotten that they're up.

166:07:26 Schmitt: Well...Boy, I can't see. My hands work just as well (as an eye shade) as my visor, as a matter of fact.

[During this EVA, Jack frequently has his visor positioned at about eye level. This provides him some shielding from the direct Sun while giving him a view of the ground unobscured by scratches in the visor. At this point in the review, Gene and Jack discussed the possibility that Jack was using one hand to steady himself as they drove on the slope. Jack doubts he could have reached the accessory staff mounted on his side of the console. They think he was probably holding onto a bar like the one shown on Gene's side of the Rover in 22296, which is Gene's picture of Jack at his Rover seat taken at the end of Station 6.]
166:07:35 Cernan: No, I can't believe mine could be up.

166:07:38 Schmitt: You've got a crater right in front of you.

166:07:39 Cernan: Yeah. I got it.

166:07:41 Schmitt: Okay. That looks like a pretty good pile to work on.

166:07:42 Cernan: Yeah. Let's go over in there.

166:07:43 Schmitt: Hey, wait a minute. Okay.

166:07:46 Cernan: Bob, what heading are you going to want me to park on? Why don't we get in that flat area, Jack, so I can dust the radiators.

166:07:50 Schmitt: Yeah.

166:07:52 Parker: We have no constraints, Gene. This is going to be a very short station. Probably not more than 10 or 15 minutes. Just to grab, as I say a maximum variety of hand samples with a minimum amount of documentation and a minimum amount of time.

166:08:12 Cernan: Okay. We do a pan, and pick up a lot of those small ones, Jack.

166:08:15 Schmitt: Yep.

166:08:16 Cernan: Rather than trying to chip. (Pause)

166:08:22 Parker: Okay. We would like to have the...

166:08:23 Schmitt: (Garbled)

166:08:24 Cernan: I'd like to see us a little more level.

166:08:25 Parker: ...TV camera and its mirrors and stuff dusted there, however. But we won't do anything to the battery.

166:08:30 Schmitt: I thought you were going to stop back there.

166:08:31 Cernan: Well...

166:08:33 Schmitt: Okay.

166:08:34 Cernan: I was going out here around this big one.

166:08:36 Schmitt: I'm sorry. I misunderstood you.

166:08:37 Cernan: Yeah. (Pause) See, there's a lot of little ones up in here I want to...

166:08:49 Cernan: (To Bob) Okay. Do not do anything to the batteries. Understand.

166:08:52 Parker: Roger.

166:08:53 Schmitt: I can't figure out where you're going to stop.

166:08:54 Cernan: Right in here. Right here to give you as much of a level spot as I can. That's about as level a spot as I can find. I'm inside the slope of a crater. Bob, I'm at 200/3.3.

166:09:08 Parker: Copy that. (Long Pause)

166:09:24 Schmitt: You want me to help you with the dusting, Geno?

166:09:26 Cernan: No, I'll get it. Only one guy can do it. (Pause)

166:09:34 Cernan: I just...You take a pan "before", and we'll start picking up some of those samples, and I'll take a pan afterward. (Pause) Well, let's see here. (Pause) See what kind of variety we can get here.

166:09:51 Schmitt: There is another one of our blue-gray breccias, I think, over there: re-crystallized breccias with some of that crushed anorthosite in it. (Pause) I think right in here. I'm going to take the pan at about...

166:10:08 Parker: And, Jack, what's your frame count?

166:10:13 Schmitt: 131.

166:10:14 Parker: Okay. Press on. (Pause)

[Figure 178 from the USGS Apollo 17 Professional Paper is a plan map of the Station 7.]
166:10:23 Schmitt: Bob, I'm going to take the pan at 11 feet (focus), so you can see the fragments that we're going to pick up here. Then we can take another one for location work.

166:10:40 Parker: Copy that. (Long Pause)

[TV on. Jack's near-field pan, which includes almost none of the horizon, consists of frames AS17-141-21646 to 21664.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 21 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

166:11:07 Cernan: Should have it, Bob.

166:11:09 Parker: We've got a TV. And, I repeat, we'd like to get some dusting of the (TCU) mirror and the lens of the TV; (dust the) TCU and the TV.

[Gene moves the TV so that he can dust the lens.]
166:11:22 Cernan: Let me get you out of the Sun. (Pause) I wouldn't do this for anybody but you, you know that.

166:11:39 Parker: Okay. Looks good, Gene. Thank you. (Long Pause)

166:12:01 Cernan: You know what? I'm getting tired of dusting. (Long Pause) My primary tools: the dustbrush and the hammer. And my head. (Pause) Okay. You ready to start picking (up small rocks)?

166:12:35 Schmitt: Picking.

166:12:37 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

[Fendell finds Jack WSW of the Rover, bagging a sample. He is leaning forward, but only a little more than he would at a level site.]
166:12:44 Parker: And...

166:12:45 Cernan: You notice the temperature difference with that high Sun angle?

166:12:47 Schmitt: Yup.

166:12:48 Parker: Roger. You're probably letting in a lot of infrared through without having that gold visor down, too. That's sort of an infrared shield.

166:12:57 Cernan: Yeah, but mine's been down all the time, Bob.

166:12:59 Parker: Copy that.

166:13:00 Cernan: Except in the shade.

[Jack lowers his gold visor, then closes the sample bag by holding it by the two tabs at the top and twirling it three times. He is leaning on his scoop again, handle against his stomach.]
166:13:05 Schmitt: Okay, 540 is the first bag of selected samples.

166:13:11 Parker: Copy that.

RealVideo Clip by Mick Hyde (2 min 15 sec)

[Gene joins Jack and collects a fist-sized sample with his tongs.]
166:13:15 Schmitt: Okay. I'm going to leave you (Gene's SCB) open, but don't let me...

166:13:17 Cernan: Let me get...Here, put that one in there.

[Gene moves alongside Jack so that they are side-by-side, facing north.]
166:13:19 Schmitt: Wait a minute, let's get a bag on it. We're getting too many rocks, and we don't know where they came from. (Pause)

166:13:31 Cernan: I don't think it will fit. Will it?

166:13:33 Schmitt: Well, we'll wrap it a little bit.

166:13:36 Cernan: Yeah, wait a minute, it will fit. (Pause) Wait a minute. (Long Pause)

[Gene presents his SCB; Jack has dropped the scoop.]
Movie Clip by Peter Dayton (1 min 03 sec; 0.75 Mb)

166:14:03 Schmitt: Okay. Bag 541 is partially around another big rock in Gene's collection bag. (Pause)

[Once again, Jack retrieves the scoop by stepping on the head so that the handle rotates up to about waist height. With practice, this has become an easy procedure. Gene moves farther west to a large boulder.]
Video Clip ( 2 min 15 sec 0.6RealVideo clip or 22 Mb MPEG )

166:14:23 Cernan: Did you get pictures of this thing here?

166:14:25 Schmitt: Yeah; well, not the big rock yet. Not in focus anyway.

166:14:29 Cernan: I got to do that.

[Gene stops far enough from the boulder that his shadow won't show up in the pictures he is about to take.]
166:14:32 Schmitt: I was just collecting (fragments) in this area.

166:14:34 Cernan: Why don't you keep grabbing a few, and I'm going to...

166:14:38 Schmitt: That's what I'm doing.

[Gene hops sideways to the north, taking a flightline stereo. These photos are AS17-146-22298 to 22315.]
166:14:39 Cernan: It's one of the blue-gray rocks, Bob. And it's got a light-colored fragment that runs the full height of it, about a meter and a half thick. And then it's got the blue-gray rock on the other side. As a matter of fact...(Pause) Let me look at it closely. (Pause) It's a fragment in it all right.
[Gene is still taking pictures for the flightline stereo; Fendell pans southward to Jack who is collecting small rock fragments with the scoop.]
166:15:13 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Gene. And remember to document around the corner if you're trying to get some photo-documentation of the boulder. (Pause)
[Having bagged the first set of fragments, Jack collects some more. He has the head of the scoop angled 90 degrees to the shaft and is having a much easier time at solo sampling than he'd had at Station 3.]

[Cernan - "I notice that we seem much more relaxed during EVA-3. We were confronted with more ambitious things but, even little things like picking up the scoop that we would have commented on earlier in the mission, we were just doing."]

[Schmitt - "In EVA-2, we were always behind the timeline."]

[Cernan - "Early on, we were shouting to Houston and now we're more in tune. I think that, in another week of this, it would have become pretty routine - 'routine' in the sense that everything we did wasn't brand new, wasn't a new challenge."]

[Schmitt - "I think that the third EVA included not only all of those things but, also, a realization in the back of your mind that this was the last one."]

[Cernan - "We wanted to drag it out as long as we could."]

166:15:29 Cernan: Bob, I wouldn't be absolutely positive, but it sure looks like I see a dikelet in here, that's in the inclusion. And I'm going to get a close-up stereo of it. I'd call it a dikelet, if you pinned me down.

166:15:43 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

166:15:45 Schmitt: Pin him down. (Long Pause)

[Jack moves about ten feet to the south to get some more fragments. In order to collect and bag the samples, he rests the head of the scoop on the ground after he gets a fragment or two, then bends down as far as he can and grabs the shaft about a foot off the ground. This grip makes it relatively easy for him to pour the samples into a bag. Gene's close-ups of the boulder are AS17-146-22316 to 22328. He is using the tongs to make sure that he is the right distance away for good focus. In 22325, one of the dikelets runs horizontally across the frame about 2/3rds of the way up.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 14 min 47 sec )

166:16:10 Cernan: I wish I could break a sample right off. Here's another one. It is a dikelet! There's three or four of them!

166:16:14 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Gene. Very good.

[Jack moves a few feet north and collects another fragment. Fendell pans to Gene who is examining the northeast corner of the boulder. The top of the boulder is just a bit above the top of Gene's head. We can see Gene using his tongs to gauge his distance.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

166:16:23 Cernan: Ohhhh, me, oh, my. (Pause) The material in the dike looks...Yeah, it is, it is, it (the blue-gray, dike material)'s not covering it (the light colored host rock). It's between the lighter-colored rock, and it's the blue-gray rock.

[Cernan - "I remember this episode very, very vaguely. I didn't describe it very well."]

[Schmitt - "You're going through a lot of thought and you're only articulating every once in a while."]

[At most stations, Gene has spent the first few minutes cleaning up the Rover while Jack has taken a look at the local geology. Here, the roles are different. While Gene dusted, Jack took a "before" pan and then started sampling.]

[Schmitt - "The assigned task was to get a collection of fragments."]

[Cernan - "Quickly. Along with some general documentation."]

[Schmitt - "And, generally, sampling of this kind was my task because we had decided that the scoop was the fastest way to do it."]

[Cernan - "The rock was an added attraction, a target of opportunity. So I went over while Jack was picking up his samples."]

[Schmitt - "That's generally the way we worked on field trips."]

166:17:05 Schmitt: 542 is another bag of goodies.

166:17:08 Parker: Copy that.

166:17:09 Schmitt: Gene, let me get rid of this.

[Gene is scraping fragments off of the face of the boulder; Jack puts the soil sample in his SCB.]
166:17:11 Cernan: Oh, wait a minute. I got...I got...Well, maybe it isn't a dikelet. Maybe it's just a screen covering, a flow covering.

166:17:18 Schmitt: No, you got...They're dikes.

166:17:19 Cernan: Let me...let me...

166:17:20 Schmitt: (Putting the soil sample in Gene's SCB) They're little veinlets of...

[Schmitt - "'Dikelet' was a much better term than 'veinlet'. They're injected magma, melted rock."]

[Cernan - "And you didn't teach me that word before we started, either."]

[Schmitt - "I think you knew 'dike' before..."]

[Cernan - "Yeah; but 'dikelet'...I don't ever remember you telling me to use that word. (Tongue in cheek) Jack used to give me all these words and he'd say, 'Now, when you get up there, Cernan, use these. It will impress the hell out of them.' I had a list of words written down like a football player has a list of plays."]

[Schmitt - "The guy that literally did that was Conrad. He had a list of geology phrases in his checklist, but he never used them. Of the first three crews, we probably had Beano and Pete as far up the curve in geology training as anybody. The last exercise they had in Hawaii just went beautifully. They were on top of everything we threw at them. So we expected the same thing to happen on the Moon and, yet, not a word! Not a word! Afterwards I found out - and I'm not sure exactly how - that they specifically decided not to say anything because, in the meantime, some of my scientific 'friends' had publicly made fun of Buzz talking about mica-like particles ('biotite' was the word Buzz used) that he saw sparkling on the surface. And they do sparkle like mica!! He'd seen it on field trips. But these assholes - I'll say that on tape - were making fun of Buzz because he described the way things looked. I'll tell you, I chewed a lot of guys out about the criticism of Buzz."]

[In October 1991 telephone conversations with Pete Conrad and Al Bean, both said that they did not remember the criticism of Buzz and both said that they never decided to avoid the use of specific geology terms in order to avoid criticism during their own mission. In addition, Bean stated in strong terms that it would have been completely out of character Pete to let criticism of Buzz influence his own behavior. Both did have lists of geology phrases in their checklists, lists which Pete says "Jack gave to us, maybe to poke fun at the guys who had criticized Buzz." Neither Pete nor Al saw the lists before they got to the Moon, and neither used any of the phrases, primarily because, in Pete's words "nothing appropriate ever came up". A secondary reason was that, again in Pete's words, "I decided it wasn't proper to be funny about that." As Pete says in his commentary to the Apollo 12 transcript, his prime concern with regard to geology descriptions was to avoid using his favorite geology word, which was "stuff". He had promised Uel Clanton that he would use either a proper geology term or the word "material" and Clanton had bet other members of the science team that Pete would keep his word.]

[Whatever actual events that preceded Apollo 12, and whatever agreements Pete and Al may have come to between themselves about the use of geology terms, the important point here is Jack's justifiable annoyance with those who criticized Buzz. At several places in the Apollo 17 commentary, Jack and Gene make a compelling case for the use of descriptive comparisons while doing field work. Precise terminology can be applied after the fact and after the samples have been examined by professionals in a shirtsleeve environment.]

166:17:22 Cernan: Let me get this whole thing in a bag. I got a rock, Bob. It's fractured, primarily around the dike. It's in several pieces, but we're going to put it all in one bag.

166:17:35 Schmitt: (Getting a new sample bag) 543.

166:17:38 Cernan: Oh, man, they're going to have to assemble that.

166:17:39 Parker: Copy, 543.

[Gene and Jack are standing side-by-side, facing west and examining the boulder.]
166:17:45 Schmitt: Here.

166:17:46 Cernan: Here, I got...I got...Let me get it piece by piece. (Pause)

166:17:52 Schmitt: Okay. We need to get a...Put one of those dikes in another bag. (Pause) Bob, it looks like some fraction of the blue-gray material has obviously...

166:18:06 Cernan: Not too full. That's all right.

166:18:07 Schmitt: ...intruded.

[Schmitt - "The reason that you don't hear any surprise in my voice (at Gene's discovery of the dike), is that what we had seen at Tracy's Rock was that you were getting partially-molten breccias in contact with the blue-gray rock. And here, some of that melt had been injected into the broken, crushed anorthositic fragments. So, while it wasn't a surprise, it was still a great find. (Laughing) And the only thing I had to do was to keep guiding Gene on using that hammer."]

[Cernan - "(In mock seriousness) You took my only playtoy away from me."]

[Schmitt - "Hey, you were the only one who could hold it. I designed it, but I never could hold the damn thing. The handle was too big. We learned before we went that Gene was better in grasping the hammer; and the only thing I had to teach him to hit the edge of a rock instead of the center. 'Brute-force Cernan,' I kept thinking."]

[Cernan - "I've got a short, stubby hand, but I've also got a lot of strength in it. When you're grabbing that hammer, you're really grabbing it with your forearm muscles. That's where you get tired. The hammer, I didn't have any trouble with. (To Jack) If you remember, your hands were really hurting. Do you remember the blisters we had on our knuckles and it felt like our fingernails were driven back into the joints."]

166:18:09 Schmitt: (To Gene) Huh? Now, can you get that dike there?

166:18:12 Cernan: (A) piece of it?

166:18:13 Schmitt: This thing.

166:18:14 Cernan: Yeah.

166:18:15 Schmitt: Can you get that?

166:18:16 Cernan: (Getting his hammer) I can get it right here.

166:18:17 Schmitt: No, I think...No, get the piece with the...You get more of it, right there.

166:18:20 Cernan: (Hitting the boulder eight times, swinging the hammer through relatively large arcs on the later strokes) Yeah. (Pause) It's this soft, white inclusion again. It breaks pretty easy. (Pause) Oh, it's got to be a dike. Look at that.

166:18:30 Schmitt: It is. (Pause) (Reassuring Gene) It is. (Pause)

166:18:36 Cernan: Okay.

166:18:40 Schmitt: (Putting the sample bag in Gene's SCB) Okay, 544.

166:18:41 Parker: Copy that.

166:18:42 Cernan: Oh, yeah, it is, because I just broke into it.

166:18:44 Schmitt: Yeah.

166:18:45 Cernan: I'm looking...

166:18:46 Parker: And we'd like to have you guys moving again in 5 minutes to get to Station 8 on time.

166:18:46 Schmitt: (Under Bob) Get all of that?

166:18:47 Cernan: (Under Bob) Yeah. I'll get it all.

166:18:48 Schmitt: (Under Bob) Well, you don't have...(Stops to listen to Bob) Yes, sir. (Pause) Looks like, although the blue-gray up on the hill looked like a fragment breccia, if this is still related, then it's been (through) some partial melting at some time.

[Rock buried deep beneath the surface are not exposed to cosmic rays and it is possible to use geochemistry techniques to estimate how long it has been since a rock was exposed since having been dug out by an impact or since it broke off an outcrop. In 1975, C.J. Morgan was able to determine that the Station 7 boulder had been exposed for about 28 million years. This is not the length of time since the dikelet material was injected, which is undoubtedly much, much longer.]
166:19:11 Cernan: There's a preserved contact between the dike and the...

166:19:13 Schmitt: That's what I wanted.

166:19:14 Cernan: ...white material.

166:19:15 Schmitt: That's what I wanted.

166:19:16 Cernan: Why don't we get this big piece of dike now?

166:19:17 Schmitt: See if you can get...Whoa! Don't hit it again. There, you've still got some contact there.

166:19:25 Cernan: Now, there's some good contact. Man, that'll do it.

166:19:29 Schmitt: Okay.

166:19:30 Cernan: (Putting the hammer away in his shin pocket) That'll do it.

166:19:32 Schmitt: Dike and intruded rock in 544. Now, these dikes are a dark bluish-gray. And it looks they're very finely crystalline - maybe with some...

166:19:45 Cernan: Get my bag. I'll take some close-up's.

166:19:46 Schmitt: ...very fine phenocrysts.

Video Clip ( 3 min 36 sec 1.0 Mb RealVideo or 36 Mb MPEG )

166:19:52 Parker: Okay. We copy that.

[Jack puts the sample bag in Gene's SCB; and then moves south about a meter along the rock face.]
RealVideo Clip by Mick Hyde (2 min 00 sec)

166:19:54 Schmitt: We ought to get...Well...We ought to get a piece of the normal gray that the dikes are coming from. (Pause) You got your hammer handy still?

166:20:03 Cernan: Yep. (Pause; handing Jack the hammer) I want to get this...

166:20:06 Schmitt: Go ahead.

166:20:07 Cernan: ...finish documenting this thing. (Pause)

[Gene touches the rock with the tongs held in his outstretched hand in order to establish a focus distance. These close-up "afters" are 22329 and 22330.]

[Cernan - "There's two things here: the transfer of authority with the hammer going to Jack (general laughter), and then the measurement of the focal distance. And you notice how easy it is for me to get the hammer out. I don't even look down. I just reach down, feel the handle, and it comes out."]

166:20:13 Schmitt: Ah-hah! Hey, over here on this side, it looks like the vesicular anorthositic gabbro.

166:20:23 Cernan: I got to get some regular pictures around this side. Okay. Here's the...(Pause) That one won't come off; this one will. (Pause) Got it?

[Jack has hit the rock ten times. The scoop falls to the ground behind Gene.]

[Schmitt - "None of the strokes were hard. Just little taps to break away the edge of a fracture."]

166:20:38 Schmitt: Yeah.

166:20:39 Cernan: (Getting a new sample bag) 561.

166:20:40 Schmitt: That's a sample of the gray - looks like re-crystallized breccia - that the dikes are continuous with.

166:20:50 Parker: Okay. And a...

166:20:52 Schmitt: And a...Bob, it's my turn to say "and a". And the vesicular rock...(Pause)

[Jack steps south again, Gene following and trying to reach his SCB. Jack gets another sample loose with five hammer strokes.]
166:21:13 Cernan: Let me finish the stereo around the corner here.

166:21:19 Parker: Okay. And you guys have dropped the scoop there on the ground. And we're ready for you guys to leave.

166:21:26 Schmitt: I know you are.

[Gene moves east to take photographs. Jack moves out of the way. Gene's photos are AS17-146-22331 to 22338.]
166:21:31 Parker: And you might grab one FSR (Football-Sized Rock) on the way out.

166:21:37 Cernan: Okay. We'll do that.

[Jack's lifts off a hand-sized sample he's knocked loose. The fresh surface on the boulder looks bright white in the direct Sun.]
166:21:39 Schmitt: Okay. There's that one. The vesicular anorthositic gabbro is in...What is it? 562.

166:21:49 Cernan: 562. I'll get this in there, and you take the...

166:21:51 Schmitt: I got to get the scoop.

166:21:53 Cernan: ...scoop, and I'll get the hammer. Then (I'll) make sure your bag (SCB) is closed.

166:21:57 Schmitt: Yes, I've got to check yours, too. Let me get uphill from you, though.

166:22:00 Cernan: (Closing Jack's SCB) Wait a minute. (Pause) Give me the hammer. How's that? Can you get it now?

[They rotate 90 degrees around a common center, putting Jack with his back against the rock and, primarily, putting Gene below him.]

[Cernan - "This scene here - where Jack's getting up hill so he can get to my SCB while I'm getting the hammer put away - is a pretty good example of how we were no longer struggling with each and every tasks. By the third EVA a lot of these things were beginning to come naturally. You could combine actions and you became more productive and efficient in your use of time."]

[Schmitt - "Again, just to point out the obvious, in the first EVA it wasn't quite that way. Things like putting the hammer away took longer. And what that points out is that, no matter how much we had trained in the suit, until you get in one-sixth gravity, your motions don't become habit. But very quickly, once you're in the right environment, you learn to do things almost automatically."]

[Cernan - "We could never train in a one-sixth gravity environment. For the record, we've got people all over the country doing studies for lunar base and Mars habitats. And there's only eleven people in the entire world who've ever been in anything but one gravity or zero gravity. There's only eleven people who can tell you about one-sixth gravity or who, perhaps, can extrapolate to Mars gravity. I just say that because, while that experience is around, we ought to at least tap it. And I don't think we do. Think about it. We've got thousands of hours of spaceflight experience - all the Soviet experience, all the Shuttle experience - and there's eleven human beings alive (Jim Irwin having died prior to this review session) who've experienced reduced gravity other than zero gravity."]

[Schmitt - (Straight faced) "And only two who really understand it."]

[Cernan - "I agree. Strictly speaking, in terms of most recent experience, how can you argue with that? But, it's something serious. We've got all these studies. Everybody and their brother's doing a study about how you're going to operate, work, live, and function. And what they need to think about is how you learn to adapt. On that first EVA, that hammer was almost a handicap. It was always in the way. I knocked a fender off. But later, somehow, subconsciously, I knew it was there and worked around it. I was able to get at it or put it away much more quickly without making it a specific task. I was able to get at tools I needed concurrent with doing other things, instead of making each one a separate task. I didn't have to say, 'Time out, I'll get the shovel. Time out, I'll get my hammer out of my pocket.' Just a minute ago, when Jack walked away from where we had been working, on his first step he stepped on the head of the scoop so that he could grab the handle and walk on. It wasn't a special task where he got down on one knee and took another thirty seconds to a minute before he could press on. I think it's pretty easy to adapt. But, here again. With all these studies about what kind of mobility we need and how we're going to adapt and what tools we're going to need to get the work done, I don't know that anyone has ever been asked any questions. I haven't been asked, for the most part."]

[Schmitt - "I participated in one or two studies; but, as far as I know, those studies aren't used. The Essex study for crew systems down at Houston has a lot of that stuff in it. But, if you ask anybody if they've seen it, they say they haven't. It's typical. All these studies are done and, even if they're good, they stay on the shelves along with the bad ones. Nobody ever looks at them and they go do the work again. I don't know how you break through that."]

[In 1993, the Apollo astronauts were finally invited to the Johnson Space Center to participate in a series of structured interviews about their lunar work experience. A draft report - authored by Mary Conner and others - was being circulated in early 1994, although I have not seen a final version.]

[A question then arose about the value of contacts with prior crews to their training for Apollo 17.]

[Schmitt - "I think that, for Gene and me, those contacts were a major part of assimilating the experience that others had had. An example is Gene's consciousness about the cables for the heat flow probe. He was aware that John Young had lost track of them and pulled them out."]

[Cernan - "We probably focused on the problems that other people had had. The problems that Apollo 14 had getting up to Cone Crater. The problems of Apollo 16 with the cables. And I think that probably 15 was as good an all round training experience for follow-on crews as any. Because they had a little bit of everything: the Rover, the drill, rugged terrain. So it was a good presentation of the kind of things that you wanted to be aware of."]

[Schmitt - "At this stage in the game (twenty years later), it's hard to remember all the things that you assimilated from the crew debriefings and from watching their performances. But I'm sure that there were a lot of things in the back of your mind that you learned and prepared for. So, by the time we flew, we had the benefit of all of that experience."]

[Cernan - "And there's always the undocumented conversations when you're in someone's office or wherever you might be. Saying 'Hey, John, did you really have a problem here' or 'What were you thinking there?' We worked and traveled together and I'm sure there were a lot of informal discussions. I can remember talking to John (Young) about the tendency, when you're coming down, to drift backwards or sideways. I wanted to land with a positive foot-per-second forward velocity. I wanted to bias my zero horizontal velocity so that I wouldn't drift back into something I couldn't see. I know that Stu Roosa - having just flown Apollo 14 - worked very closely with Ron and was very interested in the orbital science aspects of our mission."]

166:22:07 Schmitt: This is one of the worst bags (SCB) we've had. The latching, it just doesn't stay down. (Pause) If we get time somewhere, we ought to change that out. (Pause)

166:22:28 Cernan: Two of the corners are...

166:22:29 Schmitt: Yeah. Well...

166:22:31 Cernan: How's she doing?

166:22:32 Schmitt: It's okay. It'll hold for a while. (Pause) Okay.

[Gene heads for the Rover. Jack goes for the scoop. He leans on the boulder with his left hand, and goes down to get the scoop with his right. Gens stops part way back and tries to pick up a rock with the tongs. The rock is too big. The tongs are attached to Gene's yo-yo and, as he lets go of the tongs, he pushes them around to his side to make sure they are out of the way.]
166:22:52 Cernan: Okay. Here's an FSR that's about...

166:22:54 Parker: And, Jack, you're untied. One side of your bag is undone again.

166:23:01 Cernan: Oh, I'll get it for you.

[Gene gets the hammer out, intending to use it as a support so that he can get down to grab the rock. He puts the hammer to use in virtually the same way that he used the drill during ALSEP deployment - by leaning on it with one hand. At first, he doesn't quite go to his knees.]
166:23:09 Cernan: (To Bob) Here's a football-size rock that was 50 percent buried.
[Gene has trouble getting his hand around the rock. He is now on his knees. This rock is not as big as Great Scott or Big Muley, the largest rocks collected on Apollo 15 and 16, respectively.]
166:23:12 Schmitt: Can you grip it? (Pause)
[Cernan - "I found a narrow part of the rock that I could grip."]

[Gene pushes back off the hammer without moving his feet. As his PLSS rotates far enough back, he rises to his feet.]

166:23:20 Schmitt: I'll get the gate open.

166:23:22 Cernan: Remind me to get your bag.

[Gene tosses his hammer so that he can change grip as he catches it.]

[Cernan - "That's a great scene. I love that."]

166:23:23 Cernan: Hey! Did you see the way I handled that hammer!?

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166:23:24 Schmitt: Yeah.

166:23:25 Cernan: Tell you what, I'm getting accustomed to things. (Pause)

[Cernan - "I think that this is what this whole EVA is about. Aside from the geology, you're seeing a much more productive use of time."]

[Jack takes hold of the gate and starts to open it.]

166:23:33 Cernan: That gate's a little sluggish, too, Jack. (Pause) Boy, I think everything is so full of dust (that) nothing wants to move any more. (Pause)

166:23:50 Schmitt: Okay. That one (the FSR) looked like a piece of the gray rock, I think.

166:23:52 Cernan: (Mounting something on the gate) You know, I'll bet I didn't push the gravimeter here. Did I, Bob?

166:23:55 Parker: No. We'll get it at Station 8.

166:23:57 Schmitt: No. They didn't tell us to.

166:24:00 Cernan: Okay. Jack, you're going to have to close the gate, and I'll have to hold the big bag over the top.

166:24:03 Schmitt: Okay.

166:24:05 Parker: Okay. And, Jack, before you leave, we'd like you to change mags before you leave this station.

166:24:13 Schmitt: Yes, sir. I'll do that.

166:24:15 Cernan: Uh, oh.

166:24:16 Schmitt: It's...

166:24:18 Cernan: Wait a minute.

166:24:19 Schmitt: I've got it.

166:24:20 Cernan: Yeah, but don't push.

166:24:21 Schmitt: I won't.

[Fendell pans away from them, counter-clockwise.]
166:24:22 Cernan: (Still struggling with the sticky gate latch) One of those little...Okay, now you can push. Okay, that's locked. (Pause) Well, it's in. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. (Let me) see what's going on in there. This thing isn't released all the way. (Pause) Uh, Uh. Pull it out this...That's it. Push. Okay, now...

166:24:48 Schmitt: There, you got it. It went in.

166:24:50 Cernan: Okay, that's the dust again. Now, the bag's in the way. Let me get the (big) bag out.

166:24:55 Parker: Okay. And, Gene, you might get the...

166:24:56 Cernan: Okay. Now shove it. (Pause) That's too much. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Let me...Okay. (Pause) Let me lift it up and (then you) do it. (Pause) Well, wait a minute, I've got to tweak this thing. Okay, now shove it in. Right now. (Pause)

166:25:19 Schmitt: That got it. No? (Pause) Why don't you play with it, and I'll see if I can change a (film) mag. (Pause)

166:25:34 Cernan: Well, dadgummit! That latch is...

166:25:40 Schmitt: Gone?

166:25:41 Cernan: I'll lock it. I'll just push that latch...That latch is just sticking, that's all. It's just dust, again. I don't know what you do about those problems.

166:25:48 Schmitt: Okay, what magazine did you want, Bob?

166:25:51 Parker: Magazine Mike, as in Mary.

[This is Apollo magazine 142.]
166:25:54 Cernan: Okay. It's latched.

166:25:56 Parker: Gene, you might spend your time taking a...

166:25:57 Cernan: It's latched.

166:25:58 Parker: ...standard 74-foot pan while Jack is changing his mag, if you got a chance there.

166:26:07 Cernan: That's a splendid idea, sir. And that's exactly what I'll do. (Pause)

[Fendell finds Jack at Gene's seat and, beyond him to the NW, Gene kangaroo hopping uphill, away from the Rover.]
166:26:19 Cernan: I don't mind going uphill, because it's so much fun coming down. Down in my little hole here. Oh! That's stability. That's stability. (Long Pause)
[Gene has gotten into a small crater that provides him with a fairly level place on which to stand. He then does a slow pirouette, staying on his toes as he does the photographic panorama. His visor is up. Gene's Station 7 pan consists of frames AS17-146- 22339 to 22363.]

[Frame 22343 is a view to the east. the two large boulders just above center are both about 313 meters from Station 7 and feature in the discussion, below, of intervisibility of Stations 6 and 7.]

[Frame 22345 is a good picture of Jack at the Rover.]

[Journal Contributor Bob Fry suggests that the various fragments of the Station 6 boulder - as per Figure 6-14 from the Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report - can be identified in 22355. These identifications are made in a labelled version. As indicated in Figure 6-4b from the Preliminary Science Report, the distance between Stations 6 and 7 is about 475 meters. Noting that the spacing of the reseau crosses on the image is 10.3 degrees, we can estimate that the separation of the tops of boulders 2 and 5 is 0.0205 radians and that the implied physical separation is 9.7 meters, in satisfactory agreement with the known configuration.

[Because of this identification of the tops of the Station 6 boulders, an attempt was made to identify the Station 7 boulder in the corresponding frame from Gene's Station 6 pan, AS17-140-21504. However, as indicated in an accompanying discussion, the Station 7 boulder is hidden by intervening terrain and/or boulders.]

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166:26:58 Cernan: Boy, Challenger looks a long way away. That's 3 kilometers, huh? (Pause)

166:27:11 Schmitt: Yup. (Pause) Okay, mag's changed.

166:27:28 Parker: Copy that.

166:27:32 Schmitt: (Turning to look at Gene) Bob, those two bags with the goodies in them, will have enough soil to be representative of the area we sampled, too, I think.

166:27:41 Parker: Okay, copy that.

[Schmitt - "Here, the 'goodies' I'm talking about are the individual fragments that we sampled right off the bat. It's not a new sample. As I was listening to this, at first I thought I was off doing something I shouldn't have been. But I'm sure I'm just adding another comment about that first sample I took with a scoop."]
166:27:43 Parker: And did you guys get your bags fixed up there, Jack? We were concerned about your SCB for a while.

166:27:48 Schmitt: No. We have to do that.

166:27:50 Cernan: We'll do it.

166:27:51 Parker: Okay.

[Jack goes to the gate; Gene hops back to the Rover.]
166:27:52 Schmitt: Look at my camera lens and see how dirty it is. (Pause)

166:28:07 Cernan: (Working on Jack's SCB) Now, it's the other hook that came...Turn a little more left. (Pause) No, it didn't come off, I don't think, unless it...The bottom's off, but the bottom is not going to stay on. And it's not...You're not going to lose it. The tops are so tight you'll...Your bottom's loose, but that's because your harness shrunk a little bit.

166:28:28 Schmitt: Okay. (Garbled)

166:28:29 Cernan: Let me (garbled)

166:28:30 Parker: Okay. It looked like, from time to time, guys, that only one of Jack's hooks was hooked. On the top.

166:28:37 Cernan: They're both on, and they're both tight. And...

166:28:41 Parker: Okay. We copy.

166:28:45 Cernan: ...I got the bottom hooked again, too.

166:28:46 Schmitt: Yeah. Okay.

166:28:47 Cernan: But the bottom is not going to stay.

166:28:49 Schmitt: Okay. Check my lens.

166:28:51 Cernan: Oh, your lens is beautiful! What's mine look like? Can you see it? (Pause) Yeah, I know it's clean. Let's forget it.

[In Houston, Bob is told that the LCRU is getting hot. Gene goes to the front of the Rover; Jack goes around the back.]
166:28:58 Parker: Okay; and, 17, as you get around to the front there, Gene, would you dust the LCRU; we don't think you did that here, and the top of the TV camera. And, Jack, would you take a peek at the SEP temperature for us?

166:29:12 Cernan: I'm sorry, Bob. I already did that when we stopped at the station.

166:29:16 Parker: Okay. If It's been done...

166:29:17 Schmitt: SEP temperature is about 115.

166:29:24 Parker: Copy. 115. (Pause) Okay, then. Press on.

166:29:30 Schmitt: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Gene moves the TV to its stow position; Jack hops into his seat just before Gene turns the TV off.]
166:30:06 Cernan: Jack, this is tied down everywhere. You're just going to have to watch it.

166:30:11 Schmitt: I will. Okay, I'm in. (Pause) Hey, we seem to do an awful lot of down-Sun driving for - (correcting himself) or up-Sun driving - for all the planning we did.

166:30:22 Parker: Yeah. Wait until we come home from station 8, then we'll take care of it.

[The traverse map for the drive to Station 8 is LMP/CDR-16 and the traverse description is LMP/CDR-17.]
166:30:27 Cernan: Okay.

166:30:28 Parker: And, Gene, as you get started there, we'd like a couple of Rover battery temperatures; at least one, we know what the other one says. And, Jack, we might get a frame count from you...Oh, excuse me, we already got that. Thank you, because it's changed.

[One of the battery temperature gauges has failed.]
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166:30:48 Cernan: Well, okay, (the battery temperature is) 110; and CDR, by the way, is about 73 on the frames.

166:30:49 Parker: Copy that. (Pause)


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