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Return to the LM and SEP 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 17 June 2014.


MP3 Audio Clip starting at 122:36:28 ( 20 min 12 sec )

122:36:58 Schmitt: Okay, where did they want it (Meaning the seismic charge) deployed?

122:37:00 Cernan: Six-tenths of a kilometer.

122:37:02 Schmitt: Back, huh?

122:37:03 Parker: Rog. It'll be at a range of 0.6, guys.

122:37:10 Schmitt: You've got a block right ahead of you.

122:37:12 Cernan: I got it.

122:37:13 Parker: Okay. And remember you'll be taking photos coming back here, Jack...

122:37:16 Schmitt: Okay.

122:37:17 Parker: ...if you get a chance (as per LMP-33).

122:37:21 Schmitt: Yes, sir. Thank you. I got a few going out, Bob, but they weren't too well spaced.

[Schmitt - "The basic use of the photographs was supposed to have been the location of observations, although nobody's ever done very much of that analysis. I think, also, that these traverse photos were added as a response to the problem that the Apollo 16 (means 15) crew had in knowing where they were, at least on their first traverse. And, finally, if you weren't doing anything else but riding, you might as well take pictures and get more information and documentation. There was plenty of film. And some of that information proved to be very useful. The pictures I took when we were driving on the avalanche during the second EVA helped confirm my observation that there weren't many boulders on the surface, as you would expect if it had been a gas-lubricated avalanche."]

[Journal Contributor David Harland notes that the practice of having the LMP take traverse pictures started with Apollo 16 as a result of the Apollo 15 experience. Readers should note that the pictures don't help the crew in knowing where they are, of course, because the pictures are developed post-flight in Houston. However, the pictures do help the geology team figure out where the crew went and, thus, tie verbal descriptions of features along the traverse route to the high-resolution pictures taken with the pan camera in the SIM Bay of the CSM.]

[During the drive back from Station 1, Jack takes a lot of pictures. Up to this point, he has probably only taken AS17-136- 20777, which shows Bear Mountain and the Steno rim and was probably taken as soon as he had his seatbelt fixed. The notation "Mtl" on CDR-31 and LMP-33 means "mantle", meaning the relatively-dark soil that blankets most of the site.]

[Between now and when Gene and Jack stop to deploy the seismic charge at 122:42:15, Jack takes approximately 36 pictures during the 600-meter drive, or about one every 17 meters.]

[A PDF file ( 17 Mb ) contains the 20 photos, AS17-136-20777-96, Jack takes up to 122:40:04.]

122:37:28 Parker: Okay. And I assume you've got the low-gain antenna aligned.

122:37:33 Cernan: Yes, sir; it's aligned. Okay. That's got to be Trident, Jack, because that's too big for anything else. (Pause)

122:37:52 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. There's the classic raindrop pattern over this fine debris. I'd say that the surface definitely is sorted: the fine regolithic material forming one fraction and then the blocks another. The blocks are probably...Those blocks greater than 2 centimeters in diameter, in general, make up (that is, cover) less than 10 percent of the surface. But there are some big ones, fairly uniformly distributed. There are blocks a meter in diameter.

122:38:35 Parker: Copy that.

[AS17-135- 20540 will be taken at the SEP at the start of EVA-2 and shows the raindrop pattern quite well.]
122:38:36 Cernan: Hey, Jack, that big crater out there at 2 o'clock (relative to his current heading, which is roughly north) has probably got to be Sherlock. That's got to be Sherlock over there.
[A detail from AS17-136-20783 shows the view in the general direction of Sherlock. I suspect that Sherlock is hidden by its own rim and that the obvious crater in the middle distance is a nameless foreground feature. A detail ( 518k ) from Pan Camera frame 2309 shows Steno in the center at the bottom and Sherlock at the upper right.]
122:38:44 Schmitt: Yeah, probably. I think the only place I've really identified that we can go to is to Station 6.

122:38:49 Cernan: Yeah, but we've got to get on a high vantage point here one of these days.

122:38:54 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause) Well, I think we'll find Camelot without any problem.

122:39:00 Cernan: (Guffawing) Yeah.

[Cernan - "In looking at some of the pictures that Jack took on the way back to the LM, it's really obvious how difficult it was to know where you were in that three-dimensional environment. You could get up on high spots and orient yourself; and you always knew where you were in the valley - where you were in the 'big picture' - and where you were in relation to the LM. But the Rover Nav system really allowed you to go where you wanted to go fairly precisely. Getting back to the LM would have been easy enough without the Nav system. You could follow the Rover tracks back and, if that wasn't the most direct route, you could still get close enough to see the LM. There certainly weren't many things you could mistake for the LM. It was the only thing around that really reflected sunlight; it was also pretty big (23 feet or 7 meters tall) and would have been hard to miss. But in finding a particular crater when, as I say, you were 'down among them', the Nav system really helped."]
122:39:01 Cernan: Okay, watch. I'm going through it.

122:39:03 Schmitt: Okay. No problem.

122:39:07 Cernan: No, I'd rather straddle or go through those little ones.

[Gene would rather have pitch motion than roll.]
122:39:09 Schmitt: Okay, Bob, here's another crater about the same size we sampled (at) the last station. And it doesn't have as many blocks, but it does have blocks. And from this distance, their vesicular texture and their light color shows up very well. I suspect they're the same general kind. There's a glass-bottom crater.
[Schmitt - "The glass-bottomed craters generally had a glass-lined central pit, a shelf surrounding that, and then the rim."]
122:39:28 Parker: Okay. You got a range and bearing, there, guys, please.

122:39:34 Cernan: 341/0.8.

122:39:35 Parker: Copy that.

[Checklist pages CDR-30 and LMP-32 are identical, each containing a sketch map of the return traverse.]
122:39:36 Cernan: Did you take a picture, Jack?

122:39:37 Schmitt: Yeah.

122:39:38 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

[The photo may be AS17-136-20784, which Jack probably took at about 122:39:09.]
122:39:47 Schmitt: You're pointed right at Station 6, I think, Gene.
[In a labeled detail from AS17-136-20795 the dark boulder is on the left and the Station 6 boulder is on the right.]
122:39:50 Cernan: I think you may be right. There's that boulder. I just want to get up here where I can (garbled)...

122:39:53 Schmitt: Not the one on the (boulder) track but the one over there to the right of that. (Pause) Unless the one with the track...I've got mixed emotions (as to) which is 6.

122:40:04 Cernan: Look over there to the left. You see that. (Static)

122:40:07 Schmitt: Yeah.

[Gene probably turned the Rover to get a better view. At about this time, Jack took AS17-136-20797 to 20799.]

[Frame AS17-136- 20799 shows the LM. A detail, rotate 15 degrees to the right, shows the LM subtending about 0.05 fiducial spacings or about 0.5 degrees. The LM is 7 meters tall, implying a distance of about 0.8 km. This is consistent with Gene report of a range of 0.7 km at 122:41:07, below.]

[The sequence from 20797 to 814 is presented in a PDF document ( 13 Mb PDF ).]

[For a long time I thought Jack took 20797-20799 at about 122:41:36, when Gene noticed the white mantle off to the west. In 2005 I realized that the white mantle sequence is actually AS17-136-20806 to 20810.]

122:40:10 Cernan: That's Trident. Man, I'll tell you.

[On CDR-30, Trident is the trio of craters just to the left of the sharp bend in the planned return traverse at 296/0.5.]
122:40:12 Schmitt: Look at this thing. That looks like the same kind of rock except it doesn't have any vesicles.

122:40:19 Cernan: There's some white stuff in that rock. Just let me take a quick pic (static, probably as Gene turns). See that one right in front of us? Take a picture of it.

122:40:27 Schmitt: Oh, you mean this one, here.

122:40:29 Cernan: Oh, that's a big zap pit, isn't it? Take a picture of that?

[This rock is almost certainly the large one on the right in AS17-136-20800. It also appears near the left edge in 20798.]
122:40:35 Schmitt: Yeah, they're big zap pits. Same rock with big zap pits. (Pause) I've got to change the (focus)...I was too close. Although there are...I think those are zap pits. It's a little hard to say.

122:40:47 Cernan: Looks like a big chip out of the rock.

122:40:49 Schmitt: They're white halos; it just has more of them.

122:40:52 Cernan: But it's a big one; it's about an inch and a half or 2 inches across.

122:40:54 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause)

122:41:00 Cernan: I tell you, I've got to go and get my size and geometry squared away.

[Cernan - "The further away things were, the harder it was to judge size and distance. Things always looked closer and smaller than they really were. After a while you began to recalibrate your brain, but it was always deceptive."]
122:41:04 Parker: Okay, 17, how about...

122:41:05 Schmitt: Going through this one?

122:41:06 Parker: ...range and bearing?

122:41:07 Cernan: (To Jack) Yep. (Responding to Bob) Okay. 341/0.7. Bob, we're moving at about 11 clicks (kilometers per hour) right now.

122:41:18 Parker: Copy that. Beautiful. Remember the charge goes off at 0.6.

122:41:22 Schmitt: Doesn't sound like...(Answering Bob) Okay. (Pause)

122:41:35 Schmitt: Okay, we want to...

122:41:36 Cernan: Oh, there's the mantle. There's the white (means "light") mantle. Jack, look over there. Can you look to your left?

122:41:39 Schmitt: Yeah, it does. Yeah.

122:41:40 Cernan: That's the white mantle.

[A portion of the western valley floor is covered by light-colored material which, in overhead photographs, appears to be the result of a South Massif avalanche. During the second EVA, Gene and Jack will drive onto the light mantle and up onto the Jefferson-Lincoln-Lee Scarp, collecting samples and photographic evidence which will support the avalanche interpretation and give a 100 million year age.]
122:41:42 Schmitt: Swing around that way.

122:41:43 Cernan: Call it a slide or not, but that's the white mantle. Whoo! That's my first real good picture (means 'view') of it. That is something!

[Frame AS17-136- 20806 shows Gene beginning to turn to the west. He may have done so to avoid the rock on the right - the top of which can be seen beyond the TV camera in 20805 - and noticed the white mantle off to his left. Frame 20810 is the fullest view to the west. After Jack takes that frame, Gene turns back toward the north.]
122:41:52 Schmitt: Okay, I got some of that. Okay, how are we doing?
[Jack is asking Gene about their range from the SEP transmitter (where Gene last initialized the nav system at 121:39:11) because they want to deploy the charge at a range of 0.6 km.]
122:41:57 Cernan: I don't want to go in that crater, that's what I don't want to do. Okay. We're at 0.6; how about 339/0.6?

122:42:03 Schmitt: Okay. I got a couple of shots right out in there.

122:42:06 Cernan: Okay. Coming right around to you.

122:42:08 Schmitt: Oh, that's good. Hold that heading. Whoa. That'll be good.

122:42:12 Cernan: Right here?

122:42:13 Schmitt: Yeah, whoa.

[They're stopping so Jack can deploy the seismic charge.]
122:42:15 Cernan: Okay. Let me get my...Okay, I got my "locator".

122:42:23 Schmitt: Okay, now (for) this one we want me to get a partial pan until something's identified.

[Horizon features in the photographs can be used to triangulate the deployment site. Gene's locator shots are AS17-134- 20433 and 20434 and Jack's photo at the same location and orientation is AS17-136- 20814>. See, also, a comparison.]
122:42:28 Cernan: Okay. We'll do that. We've got to turn that way anyway.

122:42:32 Schmitt: Okay, pin 1, pull, Safe. Pin 2, pull, Safe. Pin 3, Mark it, pull, Safe.

122:42:43 Parker: Okay. And I copy that as charge number 7.

122:42:48 Schmitt: That's affirm.

122:42:53 Parker: Okay. And we'd like a frame number when you get done there, Jack, after you get it (the charge) on the ground.

122:43:03 Schmitt: Okay, stand by. (Pause) (To Gene) Okay. I think we'll miss that.

[Jack has tried to put the charge far enough out to the side so that they won't hit it with the Rover. Training photo 72-H-1411 shows back-up LMP Charlie Duke deploying a charge from his Rover seat.]
122:43:09 Cernan: Okay. Bearing (and range) is 339/0.6.

122:43:12 Schmitt: Okay, start a pan around it, Gene...

122:43:15 Parker: Copy that, Gene...

122:43:16 Cernan: Okay, let me get it out...Okay, I'm going to start slowly around it.

122:43:22 Schmitt: Okay.

[Gene is driving the Rover in a slow, clockwise circle while Jack takes pictures. This is the "partial pan" listed on CDR-31. Although there is virtually no chance of the charge going off if they hit it in the Rover, the antenna needs to be upright so that it can receive the detonation signal from the Central Station. As Gene discusses at 141:36:23, the front-and-rear steering dictates a right-hand turn to avoid the charge.]
122:43:23 Cernan: Going to miss it?

122:43:24 Schmitt: Yeah.

122:43:25 Cernan: Yeah; by a lot.

122:43:27 Cernan: Okay, taking your pictures?

122:43:28 Schmitt: Yes, sir.

122:43:32 Cernan: (Static) (Garbled) wheels cleared it by...got to be a lot. (Pause)

122:43:37 Cernan: Is my low gain dropping out? (Pause) How much are my wheels missing it by, going around?

122:43:42 Schmitt: Lots. About a meter. Okay.

122:43:44 Cernan: Okay. We're on our way. The low gain is set again. (Pause) Okay, we're heading on back to SEP.

122:43:52 Parker: Okay, and a frame count there, Jack.

122:43:53 Schmitt: Okay, the pan was more or less complete at 146.

122:44:02 Parker: Copy, 146 on (magazine) Hotel. (Pause)

[Jack gave Bob a frame count of 95 when they were about to leave Station 1 at 122:33:08. He had just taken frame AS17-136-20776. That implies that Jack 'more or less' completed the pan with 20827. An examination of the frames suggests that Gene started driving off in a northwesterly direction after Jack took 20828. A comparison of details 20828 and 20813 ( 391k ) indicates that 20828 was taken from a spot a bit farther north than 20813 but along much the same line-of-sight. In 20828, the Rover tracks laid down after Jack took 20813 are off-camera to the right.]

[The LRV pan is presented as a PDF document ( 12 Mb ) and as a stitched panorama using only the upper right portion of each image, except 20815 ( 4 Mb ).]

[the nexgt segment of the traverse is covered in a PDf document ( 13Mb )containing frames AS17-136-20828-44.

122:44:12 Schmitt: Bob, you know, the more I look at this - (To Gene) watch out for those babies there - at this dark dust, if you will, the more it doesn't seem like the kind of thing you'd expect to have been derived from the underlying bedrock. But I think you're going to have to play that game in the lab right now.
[Schmitt - "By itself, the bedrock isn't dark enough to give you the dark mantle; and, if you grind it up, it's going to get even lighter in color."]
122:44:35 Parker: Okay, I copy that. Can you...

122:44:37 Schmitt: We'll see how it works out later.

122:44:38 Parker: Roger.

122:44:45 Schmitt: It just seems dark and much too fine grain. You don't have the impression that you're getting the size distribution you'd expect to get by having all these blocks around.

122:45:03 Parker: Okay, I copy that.

122:45:04 Schmitt: (There is) definitely, I think, at least in my mind, two size populations...

[Schmitt - "Although I didn't know it at the time, I was beginning to see the fingerprints of the black, devitrified equivalent of the orange soil that we found at Shorty Crater."]
122:45:11 Cernan: Jack, that almost looks like bedrock exposed (over) in there. See that?

122:45:15 Schmitt: Yeah, why don't you take a pass over that way. Get through there?

122:45:19 Cernan: Yeah, I can get through there.

[Gene may be turning to a northerly heading as indicated by AS17-136-20834. It is possible that that Jack's question, "(Can you) get through there?" refers to the space between two, small blocky-rimmed craters on either side of the TV camera in 20836 and 20837.]
122:45:21 Schmitt: Do you know where you are?

122:45:23 Cernan: Yeah.

122:45:24 Schmitt: In Trident?

122:45:25 Cernan: No, we're not in Trident. That's pretty steep down in there. I'd walk down there. I'm not sure I want to drive down there yet.

122:45:31 Schmitt: No, I didn't mean down in there. I meant right over there.

122:45:33 Cernan: Well, here's some right here.

122:45:34 Schmitt: Yeah. (Garbled)

122:45:35 Cernan: Take a picture of that?

122:45:36 Schmitt: Yeah.

[Photos of the exposed bedrock may be AS17-136- 20838 to 20842. The changing view of the distant mountains indicates that, beginning with 20838, he drove down into a large, shallow crater containing the possible bedrock, was climbing the inner, western slope by the time Jack took 20841, and was completely out of the crater by the time Jack took 20844.]
122:45:38 Parker: And how about a range and bearing when you stop to take the picture.

122:45:40 Cernan: Okay (static)

122:45:42 Parker: We need a...

122:45:44 Cernan: 336/0.4.

122:45:46 Parker: 336/0.4. Roger. (Pause)

[The PDf document ( 16Mb ) covering the final segment of the drive to the SEP site inlcudes frames AS17-136-20844-63.]
122:45:59 Cernan: Bob, I get a distinct impression that, as Jack says, it's going to be hard to tell whether this is regolith composed (means "derived") from the rock field we see around, but you can see that dark mantle over on top of almost all the rocks. Except we have fresh glass, possibly, in the bottom of some of these small craters.

122:46:19 Parker: Okay.

122:46:20 Cernan: Everywhere else there is actually mantle, I believe, in and around some of the crevices and in the vesicles and what have you.

122:46:28 Parker: Okay, I copy...

122:46:29 Schmitt: It's all material, though, that could be knocked in there by the local impact. (Pause)

122:46:42 Parker: Okay; but I gather you find a lot of material on top of the rocks.

122:46:48 Schmitt: (To Gene) I think we lost them. (Pause) Not a lot, Bob. Not a lot. It's there, though.

122:46:52 Parker: Okay; copy that.

122:46:53 Schmitt: They're not nearly as covered with dust as they get when you drop one. It's just really a salting or a scattering of debris in the depressions...

122:47:07 Parker: Okay.

122:47:08 Schmitt: ...on the rock. The projections of the rock are perfectly clean.

[Cernan - "When you drop a rock, it's like you've dropped a fresh fish in batter; the dust clings and the rock gets really coated."]
122:47:11 Parker: Okay. I copy that.

122:47:13 Cernan: Yeah; but, except where rocks within the craters are evident, the crater (rims and walls) are subtly covered over with this mantle. You don't see any good sharp ridges or walls on some of these craters. Even the small ones.

[Gene struggled with this observation. The version given here has been heavily edited.]
122:47:37 Parker: Okay. Roger on that. (Pause)
[During the drive from the "exposed bedrock" at 122:45:36 to their arrival at the SEP at 122:50;36, Jack takes photos AS17-136- 20843 to 20863. Frame 20849 is taken from a distance of about 300 meters. The SEP site is about 100 meters east of the LM and, at 10 km/hr, the drive from the spot where 20849 is taken will take a little more than a minute.]
122:47:44 Cernan: Man, I tell you, you could lose the rear end of this thing in a hurry, if you'd like.
[Cernan - "When you were zig-zagging, if you weren't careful, the back end of the Rover could lose traction and swing around."]
122:47:48 Schmitt: I think you have lost a fender. I keep getting rained on here (with lunar dust).

122:47:51 Cernan: Oh, no!

122:47:52 Schmitt: Look at our rooster tail. Look what's ahead of us here.

122:47:56 Cernan: Yeah, that's probably it. It probably didn't stay. I can see it in the shadow.

[Throughout this period, they are driving with enough of a northerly heading that the Rover shadow is off on Gene's side. Jack's "Look what's ahead of us here" could be a reference to falling dust reflecting sunlight or, possibly, visibly impacting the surface out front. Gene's "Yeah, that's probably it. It probably didn't stay." is clearly agreement with Jack's hypothesis that they've lost the temporary fender. After saying that, Gene pauses briefly before saying "I can see it in the shadow." and that suggests that he looks to his left to examine the shadow.]

[Elapsed times used in the Apollo 17 LSJ are relative to the planned launch time of 0253 GMT on 7 December 1972. Consequently, it is currently about 0541 GMT on 12 December. The Sun is at an elevation of 18 degrees at an azimuth of 98 degrees. Jack's photo of Gene parked at the SEP site after initializing the LRV Nav system at the start of EVA-2, AS17-135-20544, allows us to use the known length of the Rover - 3.0 meters - to calculate that the top of Gene's helmet is about 1.8 meters off the ground. With the Sun at an elevation of 18 degrees, Gene's shadow is 5.5 meters long, which is long enough for both of them to see it by turning their heads to the left inside the helmets.]

122:48:03 Schmitt: Sure, look at it.

122:48:04 Cernan: Oh boy, that's going to be terrible. That is really going to be bad.

[Without the fender, the Rover and all of the equipment will get thoroughly covered with dust, thereby increasing in the risks of both mechanical and thermal problems. Dust on the battery covers, for example, increases the absorption of sunlight and raises the battery temperatures. Dust coating on the visors reduces visibility and, when the astronauts try to clean it off, creates scratches and additional glare.]

[I have done a brief comparison of the appearance of the top surface of the TV camera, but don't see any obvious evidence of dust accumulation. It should be noted that the appearance of the mirrored surface depends markedly on orientation of the Rover relative to the Sun.]

122:48:12 Schmitt: I didn't see it. We probably lost it. I think I know when because I just started to notice it. (Pause)
[Cernan - "We didn't go back to get the piece that fell off. But at the end of EVA-3, I broke off the other three fenders and brought those back to Earth along with the replacement fender that we made when we got back in the LM. Two of the fenders are on display at the Visitor's Center at the Johnson Space Center here in Houston, and the replacement fender is at the Smithsonian in Washington."]
122:48:25 Schmitt: Bob, I'm going to state what Gene said (at 122:47:13) slightly differently. There just aren't a lot of very sharp, bright craters, but there are some. All the craters seem to be pretty well formed. It isn't an extensive mantle. Matter of fact, for example, hasn't filled the...(To Gene) Are we due to deploy that thing now?
[Jack is referring to the Surface Electrical Properties Experiment (SEP).]
122:48:41 Cernan: Yeah, I want to come in at a (heading directly west toward the SEP transmitter)...

122:48:45 Schmitt: (Finishing his thought) Hasn't filled the bottom of the craters.

122:48:46 Cernan: I'm going to come in at a heading here and see if I can get on it for you.

122:48:50 Schmitt: Okay, drop me off there. (Static as Gene turns the Rover and loses low-gain pointing)

122:48:55 Cernan: Look at that fender. Look at the dust it's produced. Look at the L.C.R.U.

[The Lunar Communications and Relay Unit (LCRU) contains most of the electronics for the voice and television systems. Because it is particularly sensitive to overheating, it is covered with highly-reflective gold foil which, in turn, is now covered with dust. Here, Gene spells out the acronym. Often, he and Jack will pronounce it "luh-crew".]
122:49:02 Schmitt: Well, it's going to make things...

122:49:04 Cernan: I don't know how to keep that thing on. (Pause) Make it west. Okay, I'm rolling west right now.

122:49:13 Schmitt: That looks good. That looks good. Hold that heading.

[After letting Jack off at the SEP transmitter, Gene will re-initialize the Rover navigation system which he will use in laying out N-S and E-W tracks with the Rover wheels. He and Jack will then use these tracks as guides for laying out the four 35-meter-long arms of the SEP transmitter antenna.]

[The third line of CDR-32 calls for Gene to position the Rover so that he is pointing east. After initializing the Nav system, he is to drive east for 100 meters; then turn right to a heading of 210 and drive another 100 meters; and, finally, turn right to a heading of 360 for a drive of 200 meters north. This procedure would produce a cross of Rover tracks intersecting about 50 meters east of the SEP transmitter. Then, once Gene has the pattern laid out, Jack will carry the transmitter over to the intersection.]

[Cernan - "We came up with this during training; the Rover heading indicator let us get a very accurate layout."]

[Gene's statement that he is rolling west is open to several contradictory interpretations. One is that he has misspoken and means "east" rather than "west". A second interpretation is that Gene is going to lay out the pattern west of the transmitter, rather then east of it. A third interpretation is simply that he is going west of the transmitter before coming back alongside it, headed east, to let Jack off. I prefer the last of these.]

122:49:18 Cernan: Boy, I don't like losing that fender. (Pause) We're back at the SEP, Bob. I'm starting to lay out my first track.

122:49:31 Parker: Roger. Copy that. (Pause)

122:49:42 Schmitt: How's our time, Bob? (Pause)

122:49:47 Cernan: (To Jack) Okay, can you get out?

122:49:48 Schmitt: Yeah.

122:49:48 Parker: Roger. You're about 5 minutes behind on the arrival time at the SEP. No real problem. And I assume that the range and bearing, when you got there, was about zero.

122:50:02 Schmitt: (To Gene) Okay, get...Let me leave my camera.

122:50:06 Cernan: (Responding to Bob) Let me read it. 252 (bearing to the place where Gene last reset the indicator), 2.5 (distance driven since the start of the traverse), and 0 (range to the last reset point). I'm resetting.

122:50:10 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

122:50:11 Schmitt: (Apparently misreading the frame counter) And the LMP frame count is 197, and it was still turning.

[That is, there still may be film left in Jack's magazine.]

[Once they are back in the cabin, Jack reports a frame count on this magazine (136/H) of 183. See the dialog after 126:59:20. The last useful image he took is AS17-136-20863, which corresponds to frame count 182. There were two additional frames that are virtually blank.]

122:50:17 Cernan: Amp-hours are 108 105, and batteries (temperatures) are 100 and 120.

122:50:25 Parker: Okay. Copy 100 and 120.

122:50:27 Schmitt: Okay. Oh, wait a minute! I need my camera, don't I?

122:50:31 Cernan: Yes, sir.

[Actually, Jack's checklist page LMP-34 does not call out any photos, only a couple of "Pose for CDR".]
122:50:33 Parker: I don't think it's much good to you with a (frame count of) 197 there, Jack.

122:50:36 Schmitt: (Having looked at LMP-34) No, I don't. I don't need my camera.

122:50:41 Parker: Roger on that.

122:50:42 Cernan: (Garbled) deploying it.

122:50:44 Schmitt: No, you take the pictures (as per CDR-33). I don't need it. Go ahead, lay it out.

122:50:50 Cernan: Okay; you're right. Okay, here we go. I'm headed on (out).

[Here is where Gene starts to drive his pattern. At about the middle of Jack's description, Gene reaches the end of the E-W arm and turns right to a heading of 210.]
122:50:54 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. The location is in about the least cratered area I could find, between a large crater or a large depression that ranges from maybe 50 to 150 meters behind (that is, east of) the LM - that's maybe east-southeast - and it (the SEP)'s between that depression and another large depression that is really a doublet with a blocky septum between them. (Brief static as Gene turns) That's to the northeast of the LM about 200 meters; that's the start of that second depression. I think we can get a nice layout, although there'll be a general slope, I believe, towards the LM, of about a degree.
[Jack seems to be describing, first, a shallow, subtle depression between the LM and the SEP and, second, the large, unnamed crater north of the SEP.]
122:52:06 Parker: Okay, that's no real problem, Jack. (Pause)

122:52:16 Cernan: Jack, am I about abeam of you? I can't see.

122:52:19 Schmitt: Yes.

122:52:20 Cernan: Okay, I'll turn in around this (small) crater.

[Gene has reached the southern end of the pattern and, having confirmed with Jack that he is south of the transmitter, is turning to a north heading.]
122:52:25 Schmitt: Hey, if you come right...(Long burst of static as Gene turns, an indication that Houston hasn't switched to feeding comm through the LM)

122:52:50 Schmitt: (Static clears as Gene re-aims the low-gain antenna) That depression to the northeast is at least a couple hundred meters in diameter, and it's joined with one that's probably of comparable size just to the northwest of the first depression.

122:53:10 Parker: Okay, I copy that too, Jack.

122:53:14 Cernan: Okay. How's that look, Jack?

122:53:20 Schmitt: Great.

122:53:21 Cernan: Far enough?

122:53:22 Schmitt: Yes. Yes. Come back!

[Gene has now reached the north end of the pattern and is turning to come back to the transmitter.]
122:53:28 Cernan: (Static; garbled) we head on to Station 2 without that fender and are we going to be full of dust. Okay, there's no special...I can park 180 but...(Long Pause) Okay, Bob, I've stopped, back at the SEP.

122:54:05 Parker: Copy that, Gene. (Pause)

[As per CDR-32, Gene is parking the Rover pointing south.]
122:54:12 Cernan: Dropped the...One came out, Jack.
[The SEP antenna wires are wound on four reels fastened to the sides of the SEP transmitter. "This thing" - in Jack's next line - is probably the mechanism holding the reels in place, which is proving difficult to open. Jack has just dropped one of the reels. NASA photo S72-50268 (scan by Ed Hengeveld) shows Jack holding the transmitter during a training exercise on-board the one-sixth-g aircraft in September 1972 at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.]
122:54:14 Schmitt: Oh, yeah. This thing is a lot harder to turn than it was in training. (Pause; dropping another reel) Oops. Okay, that's the first two we've got to deploy. Can you bring your tongs?

122:54:37 Cernan: Yeh. Bob, do you want me to dust here? (No answer) I'll dust back at the LM. We're going to deploy the SEP. (Pause)

[Details of the transmitter and antenna deployment are on LMP-34 and CDR-33. Jack has positioned the transmitter - which has to be aligned so that its solar panels will get maximum exposure, but not leveled - and has released the reels holding the antenna wires. Next, they will deploy the east and west arms, followed by the north and south arms.]
122:54:52 Schmitt: (Frustrated by the trouble he's having with the reels) God bless!

122:54:54 Parker: Okay. They all say to dust, Geno.

122:54:59 Cernan: (To Bob) Okay! (To Jack) You're going to have to wait for me, Jack.

[TV on.]
RealVideo Clip (17 min 25 sec) by Mick Hyde.

Video Clip ( 3 min 21 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG ) by Ken Glover.

122:55:05 Schmitt: Well, I've got antennas all over the place here.

122:55:08 Cernan: Yeah, as a matter of fact, you do. Stand by one second. I'll make it (the dusting job) a quick one.

122:55:12 Schmitt: That's all right. No, I can handle it, I think, here. But we're going to need your tongs to pick them up and not get them all confused. Okay, where's the shadowgraph? There it is. Sun quadrant. That's the Sun quadrant.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 21 min 31 sec )

122:55:39 Cernan: Yes, sir; we lost that. (Pause)

122:55:52 Schmitt: (Looking at his checklist) Okay, I'll deploy number 2 and 4. And, let's see, that's number 1. (Long Pause)

[Gene appears briefly in the TV picture; he is at his seat, holding the dustbrush. The number 2 reel is the west arm and number 4 is the north arm. Number 1 is the east arm, and number 3 is the south arm.]
122:56:22 Schmitt: So this one must be number 2. It is. (Pause)

122:56:33 Cernan: Okay, I'm almost there, Jack. (Going to the front of the Rover) Let me run around and dust! (Pause) Let me tell you, this dust isn't going to be fun tomorrow!

[Cernan - "The dust on the battery covers and everything else was thick enough to write in. With a working fender you'd always got a light film of dust; but this was 'dirt' dust."]

[Fendell pans past Jack, who is now south of the Rover. His shadow appears to be 15-20 feet long.]

122:56:51 Schmitt: Okay, I won't bore you with details on why you see the antenna all over the ground (chuckles), but it has to do with one-sixth g. (Pause)

122:57:10 Parker: Roger, Jack. Understand you dropped a couple of the antenna reels.

[In Houston, Bob is being told that the antenna reels and wires can rapidly become a "Chinese Puzzle" unless they are untangled very carefully.]
122:57:13 Schmitt: You know, Bob, they're very...(Responding to Bob) More accurately, I dropped three of them. Bob, you know this fine-grained dust that we're in could be ground-up pyroclastic. It might grind more easily than other things, and the blocks are those that have been excavated from below that pyroclastic by the larger craters and some of the smaller ones in the area.
[Schmitt - "There was a great deal of fine material in the regolith and, as it turned out, much of that was due to the orange and black pyroclastic glass which was present throughout the dark mantle. Just from the appearance of the area in the overhead photographs, we had anticipated that there would be pyroclastics and, here, I was carrying that anticipation a little bit farther."]
122:57:46 Cernan: Mark, gravimeter reading.
[Gene crosses in front of the panning TV; he is headed for Jack's position.]
122:57:48 Parker: Okay; mark that. (Pause)

122:57:53 Parker: (Responding to Jack's pyroclastic theory) Roger, Jack. That would make a nice story, wouldn't it?

122:57:53 Cernan: Okay, Jack...(Lost under Bob)

122:57:54 Schmitt: Bring your tongs, sir.

122:58:00 Schmitt: Well, you'd think glassy pyroclastic might turn into regolith a little bit faster than some of these other things. But we'll check that one out.

122:58:12 Parker: Okay.

122:58:13 Cernan: You want (antenna reel number) 2?

122:58:14 Schmitt: Two, and you get 1. Right there.

[Jack will take reel 2 and deploy the western arm; Gene will take reel 1 and deploy the eastern arm.]
122:58:16 Parker: And, Jack, did you get the reels straightened out again?

122:58:23 Schmitt: Yeah, they're okay.

122:58:24 Parker: Thank you.

122:58:25 Schmitt: How can you stop a crew like this?

122:58:28 Parker: I don't know any way.

122:58:30 Schmitt: In all modesty, I mean. (Pause)

[Fendell finds Gene, who is picking up an antenna reel with his tongs.]
122:58:35 Schmitt: Okay, Geno, I'm on my way. Pull gently on that thing (the SEP transmitter) because it's awful easy to knock it over. I had that geophone module all over the place.
[That is, when Jack was deploying the geophones at the ALSEP site, any tension he got in the cables tended to move the central module.]
122:58:47 Cernan: I can't tell whether I'm pulling gently or not.
[Fendell is watching the SEP transmitter, which moves a couple of inches in Gene's direction. When Gene and Jack get to the ends of the wires, they will sight back across the transmitter at each other to make sure their lines are straight.]
122:58:49 Schmitt: Any time you feel a tug, stop. (Pause)
[The transmitter moves a couple of inches east again.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 33 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 35 Mb MPEG )

122:59:01 Parker: (Seeing the motion) Careful, guys.

122:59:02 Schmitt: At least we're pulling at the base. (Pause)

[The antenna wires may be attached low on the unit; it shows no signs of tipping over but, rather, just slides through the soil.]
122:59:14 Cernan: I better watch what I'm backing into. There's a lot of holes around here. (Pause)
[The two remaining antenna reels are visible in the TV, hanging from the north face of the transmitter. Fendell pans counter-clockwise away from the transmitter, and then reverses direction.]
122:59:28 Schmitt: Well, it happened, Bob. I'm glad we Velcroed those tabs. (Pause)

122:59:42 Cernan: Okay, I'm at the end, Jack. Are you having...

122:59:45 Schmitt: Well, what happened was (that) which we thought might happen. It twisted on my...I'll be there in just a second.

[Neither Cernan, Schmitt nor Parker remembers what it was they "thought might happen."]
122:59:56 Cernan: Okay, I want f/11 at 1/250 (of a second exposure) and 74 feet (focus). (Pause) Well...Ah, ah, ah, ah. Ah, ah, yes; you're pulling it over.

123:00:19 Schmitt: I'm not. You are.

123:00:20 Cernan: No, I'm not. I've got all sorts of slack in here.

123:00:22 Schmitt: Okay, it's okay. (Pause) All right.

123:00:29 Cernan: Are you out there?

123:00:31 Schmitt: Yes.

[Fendell gets as far as the South Massif in his clockwise pan and reverses direction again.]
123:00:32 Cernan: Okay, let me back up a skosh and take the slack out. And I would say, offhand...Oh, boy. That's about as close to a one-sixth-g orthogonal...at least, not orthogonal yet, but straight-lined. (Pause) That's it Jack, here. Stay there, and I'll take a picture.

123:01:04 Schmitt: I thought you did.

123:01:05 Cernan: No. Okay, I got it now.

[Fendell pans past Gene, who standing up-Sun of the Rover. His picture of Jack and of the east/west antenna arms is AS17-134-20435.]
123:01:12 Cernan: Hey, if you try and stick that thing (the reel) in (the ground), Jack, you're going to fall over. Just set it down, and we'll stay away from it.

123:01:16 Schmitt: Yup. You talked me into it.

123:01:21 Cernan: That was a good idea, but...That's a good straight line.

[They head back to the transmitter. There is no evidence that there were any anchors or flags for the ends of the SEP antenna wires. Jack suspects that they had decided, late in training, to stick the reels into the ground to serve as anchors and/or markers. Evidently, the attempt to use them as anchors was unsuccessful. Gene remembers that they planned to use the reels as markers. Bob agrees.]
123:01:25 Schmitt: (Singing) We were strolling in the (pause) Taurus one day...Well, we've had lots of good ideas in our time.
[Mick Hyde calls our attention to the fact that Jack uses the word 'Taurus' here, rather than 'park' as originally transcribed. Jack sang another variation of "While Strolling Through the Park One Day" at 121:35:45, using the word 'Moon' to replace 'park'. The pause in the rendition here suggests that he was trying to think of an alternative to 'Moon'; but his tone of voice when singing 'Taurus' and the disclaimer that follows indicate that he isn't happy with the choice.]
123:01:39 Cernan: Oh, boy; the thing that makes me sick is losing that fender. I can stand a lot of things, but I sure don't like that.

123:01:56 Schmitt: Okay, I get (reel) number 4.

123:02:00 Cernan: Where is it? Is that the one on the ground?

123:02:01 Schmitt: It's probably the one on the ground. Got it? (Pause)

123:02:12 Cernan: Is that the right one?

123:02:16 Schmitt: Well, 3...No, this is yours.

123:02:18 Cernan: No. Take it; doesn't make any difference.

[Fendell finds both of them at the transmitter. The checklist calls for Jack to take reel 4 to the north and Gene to take reel 3 to the south. However, reversing roles will not matter at all.]
123:02:19 Schmitt: Okay, I'm deploying the...The LMP's deploying reel 3 for your photography purposes.

Video Clip ( 3 min 56 sec 1.0 Mb RealVideo or 39 Mb MPEG )

123:02:28 Parker: Roger. Copy that.

[Jack heads south; Gene drops his antenna.]
123:02:29 Cernan: Oh, (subvocally) shit.

[Journal Contributor George Giusti, noting that I had failed to transcribe Gene's complete transmission, writes "My contemporaneous notes of 12/11/72 record Gene actually saying 'Oh, shit!'. Since I was in my teen years during Apollo 17, I am sure that I was particularly acute to listening and recording any profanity I would hear. (My wife likes to say my immaturity has only improved over the years!). In listening to (Larry) Haskin's (video) tape and replaying my own tapes recorded at the time, I do hear Gene mentioning the 'forbidden' word, although somewhat subvocally. The only reason I even mention this correction is your desire for completeness!!!"]
123:02:30 Schmitt: (Turning to face Gene) Hey, push that (?) in.

123:02:33 Cernan: (Garbled)

123:02:34 Schmitt: (Taunting) Ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha. Serves you right. (Pause)

[Jack returns to the transmitter; Gene retrieves the antenna with his tongs.]
123:02:48 Schmitt: This doesn't push.
[Jack doesn't remember what "this" was; nor what "that" might have been at 123:02:30.]
123:02:50 Cernan: Okay, I'm ready to stroll. (Long Pause)
[Jack heads south again. Gene goes north. Fendell follows Jack, who lopes directly away from the transmitter. The dust he kicks up scatters sunlight toward the TV. Jack seems to be going down a slope away from the Rover, but probably isn't.]

[Cernan - "The TV camera was mounted about chest high (about 45 inches), so it's hard to say if that has any effect on your impression. Maybe it's just difficult to get a perspective on the surface. You don't have anything familiar to help you get a reference. For example, if you've got a little rise in front of you, it can be hard to tell that the ground drops away beyond it. You see a hill, you see a massif; but you don't have anything like a road disappearing to tell you that there's a drop off in between. You don't have trees to show you the slopes. You can't tell where a local horizon ends, except for where it makes a line on something in the distance and, on the Moon, there aren't a lot of times when those lines are obvious. It's just difficult."]

123:03:20 Schmitt: Da da, dee do.

123:03:25 Cernan: (Pleased with himself) I found a brown rock that I'm going to bring back!

123:03:31 Schmitt: Please do.

[Jack stops and looks back.]
123:03:34 Cernan: I think it's the back side of a piece of glass, but it's brown.
[As we will discover at 123:28:18 and following, this is actually a piece of foam packing which protected the Rover high-gain antenna or some other piece of equipment during the trip from Earth. Ever since Gene discarded the pieces of foam near the LM, gas trapped in the foam lattice has been heating in the sunlight. Evidently, at some time since then, one or more pieces exploded and/or vented, throwing at least one fragment the hundred meters out to the SEP site.]
123:03:39 Schmitt: (Looking back) Well, I think I'm more or less on your (Rover) track. It wiggled a little bit.

123:03:45 Cernan: Well, we're...(To himself) Oh, oh, oh, ooh, stop, Geno. Okay, Jack, wait a minute. That looks orthogonal to me.

123:04:02 Schmitt: Got your picture?

123:04:03 Cernan: Will have in a sec. Wait a minute. Every time I do something, I change the setting. Okay, I got it. (Pause)

[Jack drops the antenna on the ground, and heads back toward the transmitter. Gene's picture is AS17-134- 20436.]
123:04:20 Cernan: I straightened the line out a little bit better after I took the picture...(It had) a few kinks in it.
[Schmitt - "The Principle Investigator must have loved this statement. The picture was supposed to document the way you left things, not the way they were before you made some final adjustments."]
123:04:28 Cernan: Now where's my brown rock? I saw it when I was driving with the Rover! I knew I'd be able to come back here because of the tracks. Looks like an old piece of bread.

123:04:39 Parker: Is that the one that came out of the hatch?

123:04:42 Cernan: Where the heck is that? (Hearing Bob, not remembering the piece of bread that had flown out the hatch when they first opened it) Huh? Well, it's a piece of glass, all right, part of it crumbled. I got to get that in a bag.

[Jack arrives at the transmitter, having made a three second stop along the way. The distance is 35 meters and Jack covered it in 37 seconds.]
123:05:10 Cernan: Oh, man, is that a nice piece of glass. Just laying out there all by itself. Jack, you got a bag handy while I take my pan? I can't reach a bag; I got this sample in the wrong hand.

123:05:17 Schmitt: I don't have a bag.

[Jack re-positions the transmitter by picking it up and setting it down again.]
123:05:18 Cernan: You don't have...Well, take one off of mine and give it to me. I'll take it back to the Rover. (Going to Jack) Wa, wa, wa! Watch it; you've got a wire under your foot.
[Jack takes a bag off of Gene's camera bracket. It is not obvious why Gene couldn't get a bag. Whatever the reason, this bit of action gives Jack a chance to look at the "Sample".]
123:05:30 Schmitt: Bag number 460.

123:05:33 Parker: Copy that. 460 has brown glass.

123:05:35 Cernan: It was about half way out on the north course...

123:05:40 Parker: Sorry about that.

[Bob is apologizing for the interruption.]
123:05:41 Cernan: ...about halfway out on the north course of the SEP.

123:05:47 Schmitt: It's brown vesicular glass. (Pause)

[Jack continues leveling the transmitter; Gene goes to the Rover, closing the sample bag as he goes to put it in his footpan.]
123:05:59 Schmitt: Sort of a yellow-brown, as a matter of fact.
[Schmitt - "I remember thinking that it was a piece of foam and that Gene was pulling a joke on the scientists by putting it in a sample bag. So I was going along with the joke, not realizing that he was serious in thinking it was a piece of brown glass."]
123:06:01 Cernan: Okay, it (the checklist) says (Pause) "take locator photo to LM". I thought I took a pan here. The LM was...Okay.
[A photo of the LM will, from the size and orientation of the LM image, give a very accurate indication of Gene's location - 150 meters east and slightly north of the LM. Jack raises the SEP solar panels.]
123:06:17 Parker: Yeah, the "locator" is really all you need; but a partial pan to show the area would be appreciated.

Video Clip ( 3 min 30 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 35 Mb MPEG )

123:06:24 Cernan: Yeah, I'm here (in the checklist). I'm going to get a partial pan, Bob.

123:06:27 Parker: Okay.

[Gene's partial pan (assembly by Mike Constantine) consists of frames AS17-134- 20437 to 20446.]

[Mike Constantine has produced a high-resolution version (1.1Mb) from scans by Kipp Teague.]

[Dave Byrne has produced an alternate high-resolution version (0.8Mb).]

[David Harland has produced a black-and-white version.]

[Frame 20437 is a view down the southern arm of the array that Gene marked out with the Rover. The SEP transmitter antenna wire is in the righthand wheel track. The eastern arm is in the foreground with the antenna wire in the nearest wheel track.]

[Frames 20438 to 20440 show Jack unfolding the solar panels on the SEP transmitter. Because of the stiffness of the suit, Jack can only reach this low by putting his right leg back and leaning to the side.]

[Frames 20441 and 20442 (scans by Kipp Teague) show the LM.]

[Frames 20443 and 20444 (scans by Kipp Teague) show the Rover.]

[Frames 20445 and 20446 (scans by Kipp Teague) show the view along the north arm of the SEP transmitter antenna.]

123:06:32 Cernan:(Kidding Bob) The only reason I'm doing it is I know it would be appreciated. (Long Pause)
[Jack is unfolding - in book fashion - two solar panels, each about 1 foot square and one on each side of the similar-sized central panel.]
123:06:59 Cernan: Okay. (Reading) "Take locator to photo LM." I got it (in the pan). Bob, I'm on (frame count)...If I can get where I can read it...on about 71 on my frame count; and let me give you...Boy, we got to stay out of this area, Jack. We'll pick up these cables (with our feet) just as sure as the devil. (Pause) Oh, that fender. (Pause) Boo. Boo.

123:07:30 Schmitt: Hey, Houston, will you look at your solar panels?

[A photo ( 103k taken at about this point at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station shows Video Tech Nevil Eyre adjusting the signal being sent to Australia's Overseas Telecommunications Commission terminal in Oxford Street, Paddington (Sydney) for transmission onward. Ken Glover believes that the photo was taken at the point where Gene says 'Boo. Boo.', above. Jack can be seen on the monitors deploying the SEP transmitter. Bear Mountain is in the distance. Ed von Renouard photo courtesy Colin Mackellar, editor of the Honeysuckle Creek website.]
123:07:35 Parker: Rog. We see some solar panels.

123:07:40 Schmitt: You notice how they flop up?

123:07:43 Parker: We noticed that, too.

123:07:44 Schmitt: I think we need some gray tape.

[The panels are not lying flat but, rather, the two outside ones are folded slightly upward.]
123:07:48 Cernan: Okay, (the gravimeter reading is) 670, 010, 101; that's 670, 010, 101.

123:07:59 Parker: Okay, I got that one, Geno.

123:08:01 Schmitt: (Returning to the Rover) The wires have memory.

[Schmitt - "There were some wires on the back of the solar panels which hadn't straightened out but, rather, were causing the panels to flop forward."]
123:08:05 Cernan: Okay, let me...

123:08:06 Schmitt: I need gray tape (to hold them flat).

123:08:07 Cernan: Let me put this in your bag, and I'll get the gray tape.

123:08:09 Schmitt: Okay.

123:08:14 Cernan: We didn't exactly break any records collecting samples, but at least we got an ALSEP deployed. That gray tape, Jack, is not going to stick on anything with dust.

123:08:22 Schmitt: I know; that's what I was thinking. (Pause)

123:08:28 Cernan: Because I just been there with that fender.

123:08:32 Schmitt: Well...

123:08:33 Cernan: Let's try it.

123:08:34 Schmitt: You have the...

123:08:36 Cernan: I don't need the scissors. I can cut it without it. God. Watch where you...Don't back up in that (antenna) wire. (Pause)

[Fendell is panning the TV and finds both of them at Gene's Rover seat; they leave the field-of-view before Fendell can stop the camera. With the astronauts out of the way, Fendell gets a good view of the shadowing on the Sculptured Hills.]

[Cernan - "I could tear the tape with my hands. For some reason, this is one of the things I still remember clearly after nearly twenty years."]

123:08:46 Cernan: Just like the cover of the...

123:08:51 Schmitt: Got it? (Pause)

123:08:55 Cernan: (Garbled)?

123:08:58 Schmitt: Yeah, I guess. (Pause) Okay. (Pause)

123:09:05 Cernan: Get this side?

123:09:07 Schmitt: Yep.

123:09:08 Cernan: Keep from falling over? You want to take those solar panels off?

123:09:11 Schmitt: Let me hold on to you.

123:09:12 Cernan: Okay, lean on me. If not, let's take them off and hold them.

123:09:18 Schmitt: No, I think it's going to be easier this way.

123:09:21 Cernan: Okay, try it. I don't think they (the solar panels) are going to be much problem the way they are, anyway.

123:09:28 Schmitt: You holding?

123:09:29 Cernan: Yeah, go ahead and lean if you want. (Pause)

123:09:42 Schmitt: I don't know how long it (the tape) will stay.

123:09:44 Cernan: No, I don't know. Okay, there's one.

123:09:46 Schmitt: Give me another one.

Video Clip ( 3 min 50 sec 1.0 Mb RealVideo or 38 Mb MPEG )

123:09:49 Parker: It's only going to stay for 2 days, guys.

123:09:50 Cernan: (Garbled) pull the whole thing over.

123:09:54 Schmitt: This will be a test. If it holds until we see it again...(at the start of EVA-2, before they plan to take any SEP data).

[Jack checks the taping job just before they drive off for the EVA-2 traverse. Early in EVA-3, he takes AS17-141-21510, which shows the transmitter from the back. A magnified detail of A magnified detail shows the two pieces of tape Jack used on the back of the solar panels to keep them open. Note that the ends of each piece haven't stuck to the panels because of the dust they picked up from Gene's and Jack's gloves. The center of each piece has stuck because they were able to keep it sufficiently dust free. ]
123:10:01 Cernan: (Garbled) Don't knock the whole thing over.

123:10:07 Schmitt: Okay, I'm leaning on you.

123:10:08 Cernan: Okay, lean. (Pause) The piece of tape is so dusty it may not work. Try it somewhere. (Pause) Okay, are you happy with the alignment?

123:10:27 Schmitt: I was. Is the (SEP transmitter) gnomon on the zero mark?

123:10:32 Cernan: Gnomon is right up the zero mark.

123:10:34 Schmitt: That's where it's supposed to be.

123:10:35 Parker: Beautiful, guys.

123:10:35 Cernan: Right up the zero mark.

123:10:36 Schmitt: Okay, and the level bubble is just touching the inner circle.

123:10:42 Parker: Okay, copy that. (Pause) And we have that transmitter switch in Standby, right?

123:10:49 Cernan: Bob, there's just a couple little boulders around the transmitter, is that...(Stops to listen)

123:10:53 Schmitt: It will be...

123:10:57 Cernan: Oh, those are okay. Let's forget those.

[Fendell finishes his pan and returns his attention to the transmitter. The solar panels are now open; the tape seems to be along the top.]
123:11:02 Cernan: Jack, looking where the LM is, if I were you, I'd just walk down.

123:11:04 Schmitt: Come here, Gene.

123:11:05 Cernan: What do you need?

123:11:06 Schmitt: I need some support.

123:11:07 Cernan: Yeah. Boy, that's the key around here.

[Gene holds Jack's hand so that he can do a deep knee bend without quite kneeling.]
123:11:10 Schmitt: Everything on this SEP is coming off harder than it did when we deployed it at the Cape. See that? It just lifted. It may not be harder, but it lifted.

123:11:24 Cernan: Okay.

[Schmitt - "What I think I was trying to say here is that, when I was taking something off the SEP, it lifted the box off the ground."]
123:11:25 Schmitt: Now, I got to reorient it.

123:11:28 Cernan: Now, let me see. You're Standby. Now let me look at it. (Pause)

[Gene helps Jack get up.]
123:11:30 Cernan: The gnomon's right at zero.

123:11:31 Schmitt: Okay...

123:11:32 Cernan: Right at zero.

123:11:33 Schmitt: It's just the same. It settled back just the same. Zero gnomon and inner circle (for the level bubble).

123:11:38 Parker: Okay; beautiful.

123:11:39 Schmitt: Let's go.

123:11:41 Cernan: You want to walk back or ride?

123:11:43 Schmitt: (Looking at his checklist) Let's see...

123:11:44 Cernan: (Going to the Rover) It's up to you but...

123:11:46 Schmitt: Oh, I'll walk back.

123:11:49 Cernan: Man, I hate this dust. I got to make a new fender tonight.

123:11:55 Schmitt: Well, let's see, I guess I'm supposed to...

123:11:58 Parker: Hey, Gene, I presume that the fender that came off is the fender that came off before, right?

123:12:04 Cernan: Yeah, same one. My tape didn't hold; it was too dusty.

123:12:08 Parker: All right.

123:12:11 Cernan: Okay.

123:12:12 Schmitt: (Joking) Hey, watch out for this antenna line I found out here.

123:12:15 Cernan: Yeah. Okay. (Reading) "Travel to LM". Okay, Bob, I'm not going to change anything right now except get in and travel. (No answer) All right?

123:12:27 Parker: That's affirm. Time to go home.

123:12:33 Schmitt: How's our time, Bob? (Pause)

123:12:40 Parker: You'll have a nominal close-out, guys, as soon as you get back. We're right about on the time that we've been figuring on for you guys to get back there on. Right now, you are 6 hours and 11 minutes into the EVA.

[Fendell pans to Jack, who is jogging toward the LM.]
123:13:03 Schmitt: Boy, here's a big boulder.

123:13:07 Cernan: You know, I discovered something. I learned a lot today, let me tell you. (Pause)

[The boulder appears to be 3-4 meters across but is mostly buried, with only perhaps 20 cm above ground. Jack let's himself fall forward so he can lean on the boulder.]

[Schmitt - "I put my hands on the boulder and just leaned on it. That let me get my eyes about a foot or a foot and a half from the rock so that I could look at the minerals."]

[Cernan - "Without the scoop or something else to give you leverage, you could still get up from your knees using a 'stand-up kip'. Here, Jack pushed back off the rock to get his PLSS over his knees and then jumped up and kicked his feet forward. It's all center-of-gravity management. And, since you're in one-sixth gravity, you can push yourself up easy enough and sometimes jump to get weight off your feet so you can bring them under you. It would have been a lot harder to do that in one g."]

123:13:20 Cernan: (To Bob) Okay, you're going to lose TV because the high gain is going to be out of whack here in a minute. (Pause)
[TV off.]
123:13:39 Schmitt: Okay, I got a football-size rock of this coarsely vesicular gabbro, Bob. It's off a large 3- to 4-meter buried boulder to the north...Oh, let's say, northeast of the LM about 30 meters. (No answer) Do you read, Bob?

123:14:11 Parker: Roger, Jack. Read you loud and clear on that one.

123:14:17 Schmitt: Okay. It'll be in the big bag.

[The big bag is a long version of the SCB which has been hanging from the MESA.]
123:14:21 Parker: Okay, (garbled)...

123:14:22 Schmitt: Undocumented. It's roughly tabular, 15 by 25 centimeters and about 5 to 7 centimeters thick. One face is very flat; looks like it was off of a parting plane, which were (sic) in that rock.

123:14:47 Parker: Okay, and if it fits in the SRC with all the other samples, you might put it there because the SRC's going to be kind of empty.

[The SRC is the Sample Return Container, a metal rock box which has a high-tech vacuum seal to protect samples from cabin gases and other sources of contamination. Only one rock box will be filled per EVA.]
123:14:57 Cernan: Got any new (Rover) parking angles for your batteries or anything?

123:14:59 Parker: No, it will be a heading of 013, which is hardly a change at all from the 012 in the checklist.

123:15:10 Cernan: Okay, I'll buy that. (Pause)

[During the drive back to the LM, Gene takes two pictures; AS17-134- 20447 and 20448. These are the last pictures taken during this first EVA.]
123:15:27 Parker: Jack, did you copy my comments about putting that thing (the football-sized sample of the boulder) in the SRC perhaps?

123:15:35 Schmitt: Well, it was pretty big. It's in the big bag now. We can do that.

123:15:41 Parker: Well, I'd get the other samples - the small ones and particular(ly the) soils - in the SRC first.

123:15:49 Schmitt: Okay. (Long Pause) (To Gene) Are you through (parking)?

123:16:03 Cernan: No, I'm going right about here. Now I'm done.

123:16:09 Schmitt: Okay.

123:16:10 Cernan: Right there. (Pause)

123:16:15 Cernan: Okay, Bob, 086 (bearing to SEP), 0.5 (distance driven since resetting, mostly in laying out the antenna pattern), 0.1 (range to SEP), 108, 102 (amp hours). Standby one. Okay. Amp-hours are at 108, 102; volts are 74 and 75. Batteries are 108 (degrees) and 123. Motors are all off scale low, all four of them.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 19 min 19 sec )

123:16:51 Parker: Roger, Gene. Understand 108, 102 on the amp-hours, huh?

123:16:59 Cernan: That's affirm; 108 and 102.

123:17:02 Parker: Okay; copy that.

123:17:07 Cernan: (To himself) I can't read this thing, because it's full of dust, so I've got to get off and dust it.


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