Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

 

Rocking and Rolling at Head Crater

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
MP3 audio clips by Ken Glover.
Scan credits in the Image Library
Last revised 21 June 2014.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 1 min 47 sec )

RealAudio Clip ( 35 min 57 sec )

131:35:36 Bean: Lighting Annunciator/Numerics, Dim.

131:35:39 Conrad: Okay, let me turn (to get the switch on the panel on the left side of the spacecraft).

131:35:40 Bean: Okay.

131:35:42 Conrad: I'll have to come towards you (in order to get enough room behind him to get his PLSS around).

131:35:43 Bean: All right. (Pause)

131:35:52 Conrad: Dim.

131:35:53 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

131:35:59 Conrad: I'm just...Easy. (Pause)

131:36:05 Bean: Tell you what; why don't you release my (PLSS) antenna? Adjust that flap...

131:36:08 Conrad: No, that flap right there. "Flap." Okay.

131:36:15 Bean: (Garbled) pulling mine and then when you go down (on hands and knees) to go out, I'll take yours up.

131:36:17 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) Up.

131:36:23 Bean: All right.

131:36:25 Conrad: I'm ready to go.

131:36:29 Bean: Okay. Just a second.

131:36:30 Conrad: All right. Let me...Hold my knee against that...That Velcro doesn't hold worth a hoot. (Pause)

131:36:36 Bean: Okay; out you go.

[It is not clear what Velcro attachment Pete is talking about. Nonetheless, it is generally true that many Velcro attachments were compromised by dust, although more usually on equipment that went outside the cabin. They are now on the cuff checklists.]
131:36:38 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) (Garbled) hung on there. See anything?

131:36:48 Bean: Nope.

131:36:49 Conrad: Okay.

131:36:52 Bean: That's the way; you're centered good this trip. (Pause) That's good. Move a little bit to the left. Little bit to the left. There you go. (Pause) Here, let me get that antenna as you go.

131:37:04 Conrad: Okay.

131:37:05 Bean: It's out.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 35 min 01 sec )

131:37:06 Conrad: Get it?

131:37:08 Bean: Yeah, ready to go.

131:37:09 Conrad: Okay.

131:37:10 Bean: Move a little bit to your right. (Pause) And you're out the hatch. And I'll be standing by to get the LEC, (which is tied to the porch rail).

131:37:17 Conrad: Wait a minute. (Garbled) going off; did the (jett) bag go off (the porch)?

131:37:22 Bean: I can't tell.

131:37:24 Conrad: I can't either. (Pause) Okay. Good shape. Okay. You want to hand me the LEC? (Correcting himself) I mean the left-hand-side stowage; you want to get rid of it? Let's get rid of it.

131:37:45 Bean: All right. (Pause) Okey-doke. Here it comes.

131:37:50 Conrad: Okay. (Pause)

131:37:56 Bean: Just a second. (I'll) open the hatch a little more and give it a kick. (Pause) And I'm standing by for the LEC.

[Al has moved to Pete's side of the cabin so that he can fully open the hatch.]
131:38:13 Conrad: All right; wait a minute. (Pause) An LEC, coming at you. Ah, I've got to bring it up (farther, because Al can't reach out far enough to get the LEC from Pete's outstretched hand). Wait a minute.

131:38:21 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Got it.

131:38:26 Conrad: There you go. I'm headed down the ladder.

131:38:28 Bean: All right.

131:38:29 Conrad: Down to campus (for their final geology exam).

131:38:32 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause)

131:38:50 Conrad: Whoops, long step. (Pause) Okay, Houston, Mark. I'm on the lunar surface.

131:39:01 Gibson: Roger. Copy, Pete.

[Comm Break. While he waits for Al to get the LEC and ETB ready, as per checklist, Pete is loading equipment on the Hand Tool Carrier. Note that Al is putting a color magazine in the ETB. This is intend for use in Surveyor Crater. Before they leave the LM, it ends up in Al's saddlebag but never gets used. Indeed, it is still in the saddlebag - or what's left of the saddlebag - in the ladder footpad.]
131:40:25 Conrad: One of these contrast charts fell down here yesterday, Al. So there's only two good ones; the other one's too dirty.

131:40:31 Bean: All right.

131:40:32 Conrad: It (the dust clinging to the chart) doesn't rap off; it just...(Pause)

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We had three (contrast charts) hanging on the corner of the table. When I removed the first LiOH box on the first EVA to send it up, one (chart) fell off and I had to pick it up out of the dirt. Once it gets in the dirt, forget it."]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "There's no way to dust anything off there."]

[Training photo 69-H-1618 (scan by Ed Hengeveld) shows Pete with the contrast charts at about this point in the timeline.]

131:40:41 Bean: Okay, ready to transfer ETB when you are.

131:40:43 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) Coming right after it, right now.

131:40:52 Bean: Looks like the lock on the LEC is kind of jammed with...

131:41:03 Conrad: Dirt?

131:41:04 Bean: Dirt, yeah. (Long Pause)

131:41:21 Bean: Pull away.

131:41:23 Conrad: Huh?

131:41:24 Bean: Pull away!

131:41:26 Conrad: (You're) pulling me. You have to let it out easier. Okay; let it go. Just lower it. Lower. All right, just lower it some more. All right, hold it right there.

131:41:40 Bean: Okay.

[Jones - "What I'm assuming here is that, rather than pulling the ETB down clothesline-style, you just got it over the edge of the porch and then had Al pay the LEC out."]

[Conrad - "All I was doing is holding it enough so that it wouldn't hang up on anything. And he's just letting it come down that slope. The original idea was we were going to hold it taut, but we're not doing that. Once he gets it over the edge, then I'm just holding it enough and feeding it enough - as he lowers it - just to let it come down right in front of the ladder."]

[Bean - "Quicker."]

[Conrad - "Well, yes, it's quicker, but it's also more stable. That's what happened all the time. We were trying to hold this thing taut and the damn thing's going boing! boing!"]

[Bean - "That's right. Plus I think you're probably now also moving over to the side (that is, no longer straight out from the ladder but over toward the MESA). Because, notice, you're all of a sudden talking about the cable."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, I get into both of them - the TV cable and the S-Band cable."]

[By the time of Apollo 16, this process of using the LEC to lower the ETB was carried to its logical conclusion. The clothesline LEC had disappeared and the crews were carrying everything but the ETB up and down the ladder by hand. Because the ETB was still being used to transport the cameras and they were the one thing no one wanted to drop, John Young got out onto the porch, got the ETB from Charlie Duke, attached it to a simple lanyard (still called the LEC for maximum confusion), and lowered it over the side of the porch to the ground.]

131:41:43 Conrad: Boy, I'll tell you, two things I'm going to learn to dislike: and one of them's the TV cable and the other one's the S-band antenna cable.

131:41:52 Gibson: Roger, Pete. We copy that.

131:41:58 Conrad: And they are constantly underfoot. (See AS12-46- 6867) (Pause) All right. Al, let me take it (the LEC) across to the other side (possibly to outside the south porch rail) so it's out of your way.

131:42:17 Bean: Okay.

131:42:21 Gibson: Al, before egress, would you confirm that the TV circuit breaker is out?

131:42:28 Bean: Confirmed; out.

131:42:30 Gibson: Roger.

131:42:32 Bean: It is out, Houston.

131:42:35 Gibson: Roger, Al.

131:42:38 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

131:42:48 Conrad: Oh, my friendly gnomon. In all the (garbled) activity yesterday, I forgot all about him sitting here.

[Comm Break]

[The gnomon consists of a free-swinging vertical rod mounted in a three-legged stand. When taking documentation photographs of the geology samples, they will place the gnomon in the field-of-view. The gnomon staff shows local vertical, provides a length scale, and has a color chart and gray scale. The gnomon is visible in many of the photographs taken during the EVA-2 traverse, such as AS12-49-7315. ]

131:44:21 Conrad: What you up to, Al?

131:44:23 Bean: Getting this (16 mm sequence) camera set.

[Al is making sure that the sequence camera is set at f/8 and 6 frames per second.]
131:44:24 Conrad: Okay. Got SRC 2. (Pause) Working away here. (Long Pause)
[If Pete has been following his checklist - which he probably is, given the evidence of the very smooth EVA Prep that he and Al have completed plus the hints in the dialog since he got outside - Pete has put the Hand Tool Carrier (HTC) near the MESA and loaded on it the clean color/contrast charts (training photo scanned by Ed Hengeveld) , an extension handle, the hammer, a small scoop, and the gnomon. Note, also, that there is a line in Pete's cuff checklist that says "Attach Weigh Bag to Scale". This and the lack of any mention in the checklists of packing a scale in the ETB indicates that there are two scales: one in the cabin and one on the MESA.]
131:44:55 Bean: Okay. Let me check all the circuit breakers and I'll be out with you.

131:44:59 Conrad: Okay. (Long Pause)

131:45:13 Bean: Okay on that side. (Pause) And 11 (Pete's CB panel) now. (Long Pause)

131:45:44 Conrad: I'll tell you, these Teflon bags don't hold up too well in a vacuum. "In a lunar environment;" I'll put it that way.

131:45:54 Gibson: Roger, Pete. We copy that comment. Any clarification?

131:46:00 Conrad: Yeah, they tend to have fatigue failures along the cracks (that is, along the side folds) when you go to open them up. I notice the two bags that I put in the SRC yesterday were that way. And, let me get back here (into the sunlight) just a second. Let's see. (Reading) "Pass LEC; ETB transfer; geology Prep; stow on HTC: contrast charts, extension handle, hammer, small shovel, and gnomon."

[There are discussions of the weigh bags at 118:38:43 and at 138:29:28.]

[Note that Pete did not put the color magazine that Al had placed in the ETB, as per checklist, into the HTC. Pete may put it into Al's saddlebag once he finds the saddlebag in just a moment. Another possibility is that Al puts it in his own saddlebag at 131:58:01.]

131:46:22 Bean: Here I come. Pete.

131:46:23 Conrad: Okay, have fun. (Reading) "Place SRC 2 on MESA; attach weigh bag to scale; attach saddlebag to LMP." There's one thing that's bothering me; I don't have that saddlebag. I wonder why I don't? Where might I find one? (Pause) Ah, ha, ha! Here's one. (To Al) How are you doing?

131:46:51 Bean: Good.

131:46:53 Conrad: (Offering to watch Al come out through the hatch) Let me check. Okay. Keep coming. Super good shape. There you go. A little left. (Garbled under Al)

131:47:01 Bean: Wait a minute while I try to close this hatch.

131:47:03 Conrad: Oh, okay. (Long Pause)

131:47:34 Conrad: Right now, this stuff...(correcting himself) this "material" around the spacecraft reminds me...In this Sun angle, looking into the Sun, (it's) a very rich brown color, (and it) kind of reminds me of a good plowed field.

131:47:59 Gibson: Roger, Pete.

131:48:00 Conrad: Looking down-Sun, it's still the same old ash gray; very light, white, ash gray. (Long Pause)

131:48:40 Bean: Okay. LMP's off the footpad.

131:48:44 Conrad: Okay, LMP. How about let's get a Surveyor parts bag here?

131:48:54 Bean: All right. Just a second, Pete.

[Pete will wear the parts bag on the back of his PLSS.]
131:48:55 Conrad: All right.

131:48:56 Bean: Pull down my blinders.

131:48:57 Conrad: Huh?

131:48:58 Bean: I'm going to pull down those little side visors.

131:49:02 Conrad: Houston. I think Al and I both find that these little side Sun visors are extremely handy.

131:49:13 Gibson: Roger, Pete. We copy.

[Neil and Buzz had the side visors. Andy Chaikin points out that Neil can be seen with his left side-visor partially extended in 16mm movie coverage of the contingency sample collection. In addition, Marv Hein notes that NASA training photo S69-32243 shows Neil (to the right of Buzz) using his side-visor in the training building at the Cape.]
131:49:14 Conrad: (Garbled) this strap down (on the Surveyor parts bag). (Long Pause)
[According to Pete's checklist, they are supposed to put Al's saddlebag on before getting the parts bag on Pete. Al will notice on his own checklist that they've skipped this step after they get the parts bag on Pete. The parts bag straps on the lefhand side can be seen in a pre-flight photo.]
131:49:41 Conrad: Almost cold today (in the LM shadow) on mid-cooling. How are you doing?

131:49:44 Bean: About the same. (Garbled) that line right there, Pete.

131:49:50 Conrad: Say again.

131:49:51 Bean: I'm going to set the tether (safety line) right there and...

131:49:54 Conrad: Okay. (Pause)

[The safety line is discussed at 131:57:22.]
131:50:00 Bean: Okay; and I'll put it (the Surveyor parts bag) on you here, babe.

131:50:05 Conrad: How's that? (Do) you want me to stand low or high?

131:50:08 Bean: Low.

131:50:09 Conrad: Okay. How's that?

[Pete has either bent his knees or has stepped into a crater - or both. Training photo 69-H-1586 shows Pete and Al practising with the parts bag.]
131:50:12 Bean: Good. Okay, got that one on - (garbled) the side. Looking good so far. (Pause)

131:50:30 Conrad: You know, other than the large-size rocks, (it's) very, very difficult to determine a contact around here. (Pause)

[Bean - "We never did see a contact, that I remember. But you could sometimes notice changes in color. Sometimes it just turned dark and then, later on, we went to Head Crater, it turned light (that is, they dug up some light colored soil with their feet) when you walked in it. It turned real white and was real different than anything else we saw."]
131:50:40 Bean: Okay; (garbled). (Pause) Okay. Go around to the side. We're putting the parts bag on Pete right now, Houston.

131:50:57 Conrad: (Garbled, possibly "Hold on.")

131:50:58 Bean: Okay. I will.

131:51:00 Gibson: Roger. We copy that.

[Other crews tended to talk louder to Houston than to each other. Pete and Al are a notable exception.]
131:51:05 Conrad: Boy, Houston. That Comm is super; it sounds like you're right inside my helmet.

131:51:09 Gibson: Roger. It's the best sim(ulated EVA) we've had.

131:51:16 Bean: I wonder what happened since yesterday?

131:51:22 Conrad: I don't know. I think everybody learns a little bit...

131:51:24 Bean: Okay.

131:51:25 Conrad: ...each time.

[The recorded audio for this EVA is noticeably better than the EVA-1 audio, undoubtedly because they are now using the S-Band antenna to transmit to Earth. Although they erected the S-Band antenna early in EVA-1, as planned Al did not go back into the LM to switch antennas and didn't make a test until nearly the end of the EVA at 118:53:24.]
131:51:26 Bean: That bag's on there; now, let's see what else (is on the checklist).

131:51:28 Conrad: I need to get the (bolt-cutting) tool. Hold the phone. (Pause) And before you put the tool in (the Surveyor parts bag), we got to cut a TV cable.

[Training photo KSC69-PC-0549 shows Pete and Al handling the boltcutters. Ulli Lotzmann has provided a high-resolution detail.]
131:51:38 Gibson: That's affirmative. Cut the TV cable below the adapter, about 1 inch and then...(correcting himself) that's 1 foot below the adapter, and then stow the TV camera in the ETB.

131:51:50 Conrad: Okay. (Long Pause) Hey, look at that Surveyor, Al. That's not anywheres near as bad a slope (as it had seemed during EVA-1).

131:52:09 LM Crew: (Garbled) shade.

131:52:11 Bean: Hey, Houston, that Surveyor looks a lot better today.

131:52:13 Conrad: Yeah, now that the Sun's up on it.

131:52:14 Bean: Get some Sun on it. (Garbled) yesterday.

131:52:16 Conrad: Get those TV cables cut. Al, wait a minute; leave it (the TV camera) right on there (on the tripod) for a second. Come on over and put the thing (the bolt cutter) in my back (that is, in the parts bag) and let's mount our (Hasselblad) cameras and then the ETB is empty (to receive the TV camera).

[A frame from the 16-mm film - shot from Al's window at about 131:59:37- shows Pete as he leaves the LM with the bolt cutter on his back. Scan by Ulrich Lotzmann.]

[Conrad - "They didn't have that right, because of the change. It said here we were going to cut the TV and put it in the ETB, but we're all standing around, holding shit (the cutters). So the way to do it is cut the thing, then get the cutters put away, get all squared away and ready to go, then take the camera and put it in the ETB and we're finished."]

131:52:26 Bean: All right. Sounds good.

131:52:27 Conrad: Or either that, (or) bring it (the TV camera) back...I'm sorry.

131:52:28 Bean: It's okay. Doesn't make any difference. (Garbled) (Pause)

131:52:37 Conrad: I think you got the right...

131:52:38 Bean: Here.

131:52:39 Conrad: ...got the right idea. That's the lunar walk.

131:52:45 Bean: Okay. Stick it in here.

131:52:47 Conrad: Look at that part number on the side of the tool. (Pause)

131:52:57 Bean: (Chuckling) Use that a few times.

[A clear understanding of this remark has eluded me. As Al Bean pointed out in a 1996 telephone conversation, the tool used on the Moon was almost certainly new, having been packed in the LM long before the end of training. Consequently, the part number would not have been worn from use. Thanks to Marv Hein for drawing my attention to this puzzle.]
131:53:01 Conrad: Say, Houston, while he's putting the tool on, it's a very interesting thing. There is a angular rock that's literally 6 inches from the engine exhaust skirt. It's just sitting on the lunar surface; and I really find it hard to believe that the engine exhaust couldn't blow that rock away. It's only about 3-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches; and it's not stuck in the ground; it's just sitting there loosely about 6 inches from the engine bell; and, of course, the ground is blasted clean all the way around it and yet the engine exhaust blast didn't blow that rock away.

131:53:37 Bean: Pete, where's the saddlebag?

131:53:40 Gibson: Roger, Pete. We copied that comment. Were you able to get a photo of that in the first EVA?

131:53:47 Conrad: No, we'll get that right now. Is there one (that is, a saddlebag) in here, Al?

131:53:52 Bean: Yeah.

131:53:53 Conrad: Oh. (Pause)

[Al will take two photos of the rock, AS12-48- 7034 and 7035, at 132:00:36.]
131:54:01 Gibson: And, Pete and Al, for your reference on the photos, your shadow length now is 18 foot.

131:54:08 Bean: Okay. (To Pete) Here's a couple of sneaky bags (that is, saddlebags) for us.

131:54:14 Gibson: Al, also if you would, before you start that traverse, would you get a good photo of the solar wind to show us how that foil is wrapped around?

131:54:26 Bean: Will do. Okay, Houston, that won't take a second. Okay, let me attach this bag to...Would you attach this bag to me, Pete?

131:54:34 Conrad: Yeah. (Pause)

131:54:39 Bean: I'm going to slide that off at the same time.

131:54:42 Conrad: All right. (Pause) Okay, I'll tell you what, if you go put one camera...Here, the saddlebag's on...if you'd put one (70mm Hasselblad) camera on...

131:55:00 Bean: Look at those little...

131:55:01 Conrad: ...Go get the TV, I'll mount this other gear on here (that is, on the HTC). My compliments to the man that packed that SRC box; it looks just like the training boxes.

[Pete is loading core tubes, caps, "Dixie cup" sample bags, two special vacuum cans for holding samples, and a supply of flat sample bags on the Hand Tool Carrier. All of these were stowed in SRC-2. Photo and scan courtesy Ulrich Lotzmann.]
131:55:16 Bean: Hand me those tongs a second.

131:55:17 Conrad: Yes, sir. Here's the tongs. (Pause) Where are you?

131:55:23 Bean: Right behind you. Wait; hold on just a second. Hold on; let's see what this is.

131:55:31 Conrad: That's what left of...

131:55:33 Bean: Okay, got you.

131:55:34 Conrad: ...one of those parts bags (he may mean the remnants of a weigh bag).

131:55:35 Bean: Got you. Okay. (Pause)

131:55:46 Conrad: Okay; core tubes. (Pause) (Talking to the core tube) Come on; get out of there. If I didn't know better, I'd say there was solar wind up here (pause) that blows hard enough to blow sample bags in the wrong direction. (Pause) Okay, Al, three core tubes in the deal (that is, in the HTC).

131:56:24 Bean: Okay; (garbled).

131:56:31 Conrad: Dixie cup dispenser coming up. (Pause)

[The so-called "Dixie cup" Dispenser sample bags - named after a well-known brand of small, disposable drinking cups that came stacked in a plastic dispensing tube - is a frame holding a stack of round, individual sample bags. Each is individually numbered so that the geologists back home can figure out which sample is which.]
131:56:43 Bean: Could you (garbled)? (Long Pause)

131:57:05 Bean: Saddlebag. (Pause) Chart fits right in its spot. Worried about that. Got it?

131:57:18 Conrad: Yes, sir. It's in the saddlebag.

131:57:19 Bean: Okay.

131:57:21 Conrad: Now here's the other thing here.

131:57:22 Bean: That safety line.

[Journal Contributor David Harland notes that the tether was flown because of concerns that Pete and Al would not be able to go into Surveyor Crater safely if the surface proved to be too loose. Specifically, Jim McDivitt, then manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office at MSC wrote in a 12 October 1969 memo entitled Apollo 12 Surveyor III safety review and recommendation: "A portion of the Apollo 12 mission would be devoted to an examination of Surveyor III and recovery of its TV camera and thermal-switch glass mirror fragments, MSC announced. Recovery of the glass fragments was important to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to provide data for designing thermal switches for the Mercury-Venus Mariners to be flown in 1973. However, recovery of the splinters could easily cause cuts and leaks in the astronauts' gloves; extreme caution would be required. The following procedures were recommended: use of a line during the initial solo descent into the Surveyor III crater, to determine the footing and climbing situation before both crewmen descended into the crater, and recovery of thermal-switch glass fragments by a suitable tool such as tweezers, to prevent glove damage."]

The Apollo 14 crew also carried a "100-foot tether" and, like the 12 crew, never used it. Pete and Al will have no trouble getting in and out of Surveyor Crater and, as well, will have no trouble deciding that they don't want to climb down the steeper slopes of Bench Crater.]

[Conrad - "I remember we had one."]

[Bean - "Did we really?"]

[Conrad - "You know, I've been sitting here thinking about it. I don't think it was 100 foot (30 meters). I don't even think it was close to that."]

[During the 1969 Technical Debrief, Al said that their tether was no more than 10 meters long. See the discussion at 134:13:59.]

[Bean - "The checklist says I stow it in my saddle bag. (Reconsidering the matter after Pete notices a further discussion of the safety line at 131:57:49) But maybe you stuck it in the sample bag (in center of the HTC). Remember, we put things in there a lot."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, I probably did. That's probably the way it worked."]

[Bean - "I'll be darned. I would have bet big bucks we didn't have that line."]

[Conrad - (Laughing) "I would have, too."]

[Bean - "Because people have asked me that before, and I've said 'No, we didn't have any line.'"]

[Conrad - (Laughing) "That's the reason why, when somebody like Eric - who has been doing all this work - calls you up and says 'How about that safety line?', you say 'What do you mean, safety line!?'"]

131:57:24 Conrad: Huh? Oh, yeah. (Pause) Why don't I hook those on there, too. That thing (probably the pack of flat sample bags)'s a pain in the neck over there, the way they spread out in the vacuum.

131:57:33 Bean: Okay.

[The pack of flat sample bags was supposed to go in the HTC but, because of an electrostatic charge, they repel each other and spread apart too much for easy stowage. In the lunar vacuum, charge can accumulate much more easily than in the presence of humidity in the Earth's atmosphere.]
131:57:34 Conrad: And I got the gas sample tube here.
[This is a cylindrical container about 9.5 cm long and with a 3.8 cm outside diameter. The top and lid are fitted with the same type of knife-edge/indium metal seal used on the rockboxes. Pete and Al will put a 100 gram sample of lunar soil into the container at Sharp Crater at about 133:05:15, and then seal it in the rock box for the return to Earth. The bottom of the container is relatively thin and, back on Earth in a vacuum chamber, the research team will puncture the bottom and collect and analyze any lunar gases the soil might contain. The Gas Sample Return Container is shown in Figure 86 in Judy Allton's Tool Book.]
131:57:35 Bean: All right.

131:57:39 Conrad: Gas sample tube coming up.

131:57:43 Bean: Okay. Now I need to get that safety line. Okay; I'll put that over here.

131:57:49 Conrad: Okay, I'll get the safety line. One safety line...Whoops, excuse me.

131:57:53 Bean: That's okay.

131:57:55 Conrad: I'll put my (70mm) camera on; we'll put the TV camera in the ETB; and away we go.

131:58:01 Bean: Okay; we need to take...

131:58:02 Conrad: Here.

131:58:03 Bean: All right.

131:58:04 Conrad: Wait a...Right there. (Pause)

131:58:10 Bean: Got it?

131:58:11 Conrad: Yes, sir. It's in.

[When Al says "Okay; we need to take ..." at 131:58:01, he may be talking about the color magazine that ends up in his saddlebag. Another possibility is that Pete put the magazine in Al's sadlebag when he was unloading the ETB at 131:46:00.]
131:58:12 Bean: Okay. If you get your (70mm) camera, I'll put that TV camera in the ETB.

131:58:16 Conrad: Okay.

131:58:17 Bean: Per their request. (Pause)

131:58:24 Conrad: Okay, from the local terrain, Houston, as you know it right now, and with the polarizing filter, have you got any particular place enroute to the ALSEP or to Head Crater that you'd like any polarizing pictures taken?

131:58:43 Gibson: We'll get back to you on that. Press on now with the nominal plan right now.

131:58:51 Conrad: (To Al) Here, let me have it (the TV camera).

131:58:53 Bean: Okay, let me fold the handle.

131:58:54 Conrad: Fold the handle, yeah. (Pause)

131:58:58 Bean: Hold it tight.

131:58:59 Conrad: I got it as far as I can. (Pause)

131:59:06 Gibson: Pete, we have no preference on that. (That is, Houston has no preference with regard to a location for the pictures to be taken with the polarizing filter.) Go ahead and take it as called out for in the cuff checklist.

[Pete's checklist calls for photos taken with the polarizing filter at the first documented sample site which, of course, will be at Head Crater.]
131:59:14 Conrad: (To Al) Okay. Stick it in the ETB and we'll screw with it (meaning the TV) later.

131:59:16 Bean: Good idea.

131:59:17 Conrad: Handle in.

131:59:18 Bean: Okay.

131:59:19 Conrad: (Don't) drop her. Okay, Houston, one TV camera in the bag. And our plan of attack is...Al?

131:59:31 Bean: Go.

131:59:33 Conrad: (Get) one picture of that rock under the descent stage;...

131:59:36 Bean: Will do.

131:59:37 Conrad: ...(then) grab the Hand Tool Carrier and head for the solar wind and grab a picture of that. In the meantime, I'll lope off to the ALSEP and check the SIDE. I'll meet you at Point 1 at Head Crater.

131:59:49 Gibson: Roger; we copy.

[A frame from the 16-mm film at about this point shows Pete as he heads for the ALSEP site with the bolt cutter on his back. Scan by Ulrich Lotzmann.]
131:59:51 Gibson: And, Al, have you gotten the readings on the contrast charts?

131:59:57 Bean: Not yet; and I plan to do that real quick.

132:00:00 Gibson: Roger.

132:00:01 Conrad: Houston, Pete's on his way to the ALSEP.

132:00:08 Gibson: (Making a mis-identification) Roger, Al; we copy. And at 30 minutes into the EVA, you're pretty close to the nominal time line.

132:00:17 Bean: Okay.

132:00:18 Conrad: Very good. (Pause) Can the guy with the seismometer hear me running?

132:00:36 Bean: (Garbled; possibly something about a camera setting) (Long Pause) Okay.

[Al has probably taken AS12-48- 7034 and 7035, which are both pictures of the rock near the engine bell.]
132:01:11 Gibson: Pete, we're watching you down here on the seismic data. Looks as though you're really thundering right by it.

132:01:20 Conrad: Yeah, I ground to a halt there to switch to intermediate cooling. I notice that it is obviously a little bit hotter out here with the higher Sun angle right now. (Pause) Okay. I'm approaching the infamous SIDE.

[We talked a bit about why it would feel hotter with the higher Sun angle. My curiosity was caused by the fact that, with no lunar atmosphere to do any absorption, the flux of sunlight on a surface facing the Sun is the same, no matter what the elevation angle of the Sun. Indeed, at a low Sun Angle the suits present a maximum cross section to the Sun. We decided that the major factor was sunlight reflecting off the surrounding level surface, which increases as the Sun rises in the sky and, therefore, increases the net amount of sunlight hitting the suits. As Pete and Al mentioned in the commentary after 115:10:16, during the rest period they could hear the LM "oil-canning - creaking and banging and making noises -" as it heated up in response to the higher Sun angle.. Journal Contributor Phil Karn notes that the amount of sunlight impinging on a given, horizontal area on the surface increases as the sine of the sun's elevation and, the hotter the surface becomes, the more suit-heating infrared radiation it emits.]
132:01:41 Gibson: Roger. And we were able to copy (that is, sense) your rest and now that you're moving again (on the seismometer).

132:01:48 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) All right, Houston. The (CCIG) status is...Oops, I'm going to get dust in it. The cover is off, and it's pointed up at the sky at about a 60-degree angle.

132:02:09 Gibson: Roger. Do not touch it right now, Pete. Which way is that pointing, relative to east-west?

132:02:19 Conrad: It is pointed down-Sun (that is, west).

132:02:23 Gibson: Roger. (Pause) Pete, no need to change the configuration; let's press on. (Pause) We copy that you've stopped on the seismic.

132:02:41 Conrad: Yeah. Where's me handy-dandy LMP?

132:02:47 Bean: He's contrast charting.

132:02:49 Conrad: Oh, okay. Meet you at the Head Crater, pal.

132:02:52 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

[Al is taking pictures of the contrast chart in and out of shadows.]

[Sketch by Ulrich Lotzmann. Ulli has used a bit of artistic licence, because Al is still at the LM and Pete is at the ALSEP site.]

[Jones - "You sound real thrilled about contrast charting there, Captain Bean."]

[Bean - (Pete laughs) "I may have been trying to get the dirt off so I could move it, see? You got to have it on a flat surface and then you got to put it in the shade and put it in the Sun."]

132:02:57 Conrad: Oh, boy, is that...I want that rock. That is a dandy extra grapefruit-size-type goody. (Pause)

132:03:07 Bean: (I need to) find a crater with a shadow in it first. There's one. (Pause) Okay, Houston, I'm approaching a crater now and I'm going to put the contrast chart in it. One (photo taken with the chart placed) on each side (of the contact between sunlight and shadow). One on the sunny side, one on the shadow side. (Garbled)

132:03:35 Gibson: Roger. (Pause)

132:03:44 Bean: Okay. There's the one on the sunny side.

132:03:46 Conrad: Man, have I got the grapefruit rock of all grapefruit rocks! That's got to come home in the spacecraft; it'll never fit in the rock box. (Pause) Okay, Houston, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to wind up at the right place at Head Crater; and, while I'm waiting for Al, I'll roll a boulder for you.

[Gibson is talking with Dick Gordon. Astronaut Jack Schmitt, a geologist who will fly on Apollo 17, takes over as CapCom for a short while.]
132:04:07 Schmitt: Sounds good, Pete.

132:04:09 Bean: I'm now looking at the contrast...(Pause) (Sub vocal, taking a picture of the contrast chart on a level surface) Five (feet focus) and one (picture).

132:04:14 Schmitt: Pete, Houston. Can you give us a mark when you roll? Over

132:04:20 Conrad: That crater is...(Answering Houston) Yeah, I sure will. Head Crater is, by golly, a rather steep crater; a lot steeper than it looks from out the LM. It's...

132:04:37 Bean: Houston?

132:04:39 Schmitt: Yeah, go.

132:04:43 Bean: I'm looking at the contrast chart in the Sun and I can see all the different shades. Okay, now I've taken a photo of it; now I'll look at the one in the shadow. In the shadow, I can see...Well, it kind of depends on how close I am. If I'm within about 3 feet of it or 4 feet of it, I can see all six shades. I'll take a picture here, then I'll back up.

[Al's pictures of the contrast chart are AS12-48- 7036 to 7040.]
132:05:10 Conrad: Let me ask you a question, Houston. How big a rock?

132:05:17 Schmitt: Pete, Houston. I presume whatever's a convenient size for you. We'll check that out though.

132:05:27 Conrad: (chuckles) How about a grapefruit-size rock? That's what I'm holding in my hand and these other rocks that I was talking to you about are pretty well buried, and they're pretty large. I don't think I could get one of them going.

132:05:39 Bean: Houston?

132:05:40 Schmitt: (To Pete) Roger. We copy. Grapefruit-size or any size is fine.

132:05:49 Conrad: Okay. Al, are you standing still?

132:05:53 Bean: Yeah, I'll stand still; go ahead.

[They need to stand still so that the seismic signal from the rock can't be confused with signals generated by their movements.]
132:05:54 Conrad: Okay. I'm standing still. Houston, on my mark, gonna roll it.

132:06:00 Conrad: Mark. It's starting down. Hit, hit, hit, hit. (About one second intervals) Now it's just rolling. Roll, roll, roll, still rolling.

132:06:13 Schmitt: Roger, Pete. We've got some jiggles...

132:06:14 Conrad: Roll, roll, roll.

132:06:15 Schmitt: ...that I can see here. We'll get a reading on it for you.

132:06:22 Conrad: Still rolling. Still rolling. Very slowly, still rolling. And it's stopped...

132:06:31 Conrad: Mark. Stop. (Pause)

[The Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report, on Page 140, mentions the possibility that Pete's grapefruit-sized rock is be sample 12065, a 2.1 kg 'pigeonite porphyry', consists of plagioclase, pigeonite, and ilmenite' that was returned in the totebag. NASA photo S69-60580 shows the sample in the Lunar Receiving Lab while photo S70-20963 shows a thin section. However, the audio recording strongly implies that the "graperfuit rock of all grapefruit rocks" Pete mentioned at 132:03:46 is the rock he just rolled into Head Crater. The Preliminary Science Report suggests as a second possibilty that Pete collected 12065 late in the EVA, possibly near Surveyor 3.]
132:06:37 Bean: Okay, Houston, I'm looking at the contrast chart in the shadow and, as I mentioned, at 3 feet I can see all six. If I back up maybe to 10 feet, as long as I stand here a moment and adapt my eyes, I can see all six, also. Now, the thing that seems to have the biggest effect on it is how low the Sun is. The Sun is high now and so I don't have to squint my eyes particularly looking in that direction (of the Sun). Yesterday, looking into the same crater - even though it wouldn't be any darker in there - because the Sun was there, I would never be able to adapt. Right now, I can see all six marks, and I've taken the photographs. Going to go out and do solar wind now.

132:07:23 Schmitt: Roger, Al.

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The only thing that keeps you from looking into the shadows is if the Sun is low enough so that you can't get your hand up and shield your eyes from the direct rays of the Sun. If you can do that, you can see down in the shadows just like you can on Earth. Pete's earlier idea of putting an additional opaque visor on the top of the helmet is a whale of a good idea. You could adjust that thing for the sun angle; you could wander around looking up-Sun, down-Sun, and across-Sun; and it wouldn't bother you a bit. I think that's one of the best suggestions that we got, right there."]
132:07:24 Bean: I can't see a lot of difference in visibility here as on Earth, really. You adapt just as well. The only major difference I've noticed is the fact that when you're out here on this area, if you look cross-Sun, the Moon appears one color; if you look down-Sun, it's another; if you look up-Sun, it's another. But looking into shadows or anything else like that, it's pretty much the same as (looking into shadow) on Earth.

132:07:55 Schmitt: Copy that, Al.

132:07:59 Bean: Okay, I'll take some pictures here of the solar wind for you. (Long Pause) It doesn't look as pronounced wrapped around the pole now that I get out here, Houston. It looks pretty much like yesterday. I guess it was sort of an optical illusion from inside the spacecraft. (Pause) I took a couple of pictures of it, but I don't think there's anything unusual going on there.

[Al's solar wind pictures are AS12-48- 7041 and 7042.]

[Bean - "The thing that fools you is the relative lightness and darkness of shadows on the object. You get this intense Sun and dark shadows; and it's like the Surveyor Crater. We thought it was real steep and it wasn't. So I looked out there - or both of us - looked at the solar wind; and its light and dark and we think 'Man, that thing is really bent around the pole.' But we go out there and we see its not bent around the pole. On Earth, to get the same dark shadow, it would have to really be bent. I think we just weren't used to (the high level of contrast) yet. But we get used to it after a while."]

132:08:37 Schmitt: Roger, Al. And, Pete, if it's convenient and you can find another rock there and give her a heave, Experiments sure would like to see another one.

132:08:50 Conrad: Okay, I was setting up my rock hole and all that good things for the polarizing light. (Pause)

[This is a reference to the diagram Pete has in his cuff checklist laying out the requirements for the polarization photography and documented sampling. The rock hole, specifically, is the hole left after Pete moves a rock and puts it down a short ways away either on its back or its side.]
132:09:10 Conrad: Say, I was looking at a rock that has small crystals in it. One of them is shining very, very bright green, like ginger-ale-bottle green. (Pause)
[The green color probably indicates the presence of the mineral olivine, a term that Pete knows but chooses not to use.]
132:09:18 Conrad: Al, are you on your way?

132:09:30 Bean: That's affirm; I'm now making sure that everything is in the Hand Tool Carrier here.

132:09:38 Conrad: Okay.

132:09:39 Bean: I'm mounting them pretty firmly. Hey, Houston. As I was working around the Hand Tool Carrier a moment ago, the canvas bag (the big sample bag in the middle of the HTC) came loose. It took me about 2 minutes to put it back together again; it came off the metal sides. And it looks like those clips that hold it on are going to be completely inadequate and I expect that we're going to have some trouble with it all day today. Maybe you ought to think about fixing it before the next time (that is, before Apollo 13).

132:10:05 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy that. Do you think that once you put a little weight in it, she'll hold better?

132:10:12 Bean: I don't know; they don't seem to have a lot of friction on the sides there, and that bag just floats around. It needs to be more firmly attached some way.

132:10:24 Gibson: Roger.

132:10:25 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

132:10:35 Conrad: Al?

132:10:36 Bean: Yes, sir.

132:10:37 Conrad: Where are you?

132:10:38 Bean: I'm just leaving the LM.

132:10:40 Conrad: Okay.

 

Journal Home Page Apollo 12 Journal Index Sampling at Head Crater and Bench Crater