Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal

Wake-up for EVA-1

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Last revised 16 December 2012.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 13 min 13 sec ) by David Shaffer

[113:26 NASA Public Affairs reports that Houston is observing a pressure decay in the descent stage oxygen tanks. Pressures are about 100 psi low. The problem is not believed to be serious, but is worth monitoring. Houston may wake the crew early to find the leak source.]

[114:26 Cabin pressure 4.8 psi; cabin temp 58 F]

[115:25 Flight Director Peter Frank has decided on an early wake-up to locate the oxygen leak.]

[The rest period ends after 5 hours 32 minutes]

115:30:39 Parker: Falcon, Houston. Over. (Long Pause)

115:30:54 Scott: (Sleepily) Hello, Houston. This is Falcon. Go.

115:31:01 Parker: Roger. Morning, Dave. Waking you up an hour early because we've got a little problem on-board we need addressed. When you get a moment to get something to write it down, let me talk to you about it in detail. The problem we're looking at is a leak in Descent O2 and we're trying to determine whether we got a small cabin leak or a leak in the oxygen system itself. Over.

115:31:28 Scott: Okay. Understand, Bob.

[Long Comm Break]

[If the leak cannot be located and stopped, they would have to cut the mission short, something that nobody wants to do. By the time they get the problem fixed, about 8 pounds of oxygen - out of a total of 95 pounds - will be lost from the descent stage tanks. Because half of the 95 pounds is a reserve, they are still in good shape.]

115:35:53 Parker: Falcon, Houston. (Are) you ready to copy? (Pause)

115:36:O2 Scott: Stand by, Houston. (Long Pause)

[Jones - "When Parker got you guys up, did you then have to don..."]

[Irwin - "Don the headset."]

[Jones - "Was it voice activated when you were in the LM? Or was there a physical switch? Or both?"]

[Irwin - "We could do it either way. We had a Voice Activated - so called VOX - control. Or we could actually press a button to transmit. And I don't recall what we used most of the time. I think we used the voice operated relay. We could adjust its sensitivity so that it would trigger as soon as we began talking. It was easier to do that rather than reaching for a switch."]

115:36:45 Irwin: Houston, this is Hadley. We're ready to copy.

115:36:48 Parker: Okay, Hadley. First thing we'd like is high-bit-rate. That will allow us to look at some extra parameters, particularly temperature, to see how much of this fall is due to temperature effects, which we haven't experienced before (because of the SEVA). So, if you're standing right there, why don't you flip that on while I read you the rest of the Pad, Jim.

115:37:09 Irwin: Okay. We're high-bit-rate.

115:37:11 Parker: Roger. Thank you. Next step is Descent O2 (tank valve) to Close. And why don't you do that now, because the step following that is for the ground to monitor the Descent O2 tank pressure and the cabin pressure; and we're going to look and see if the leak, which we've seen so far as a drop in the tank pressure, is due to a cabin leak or to a leak in the system itself. Copy?

115:37:45 Irwin: Okay. I copy. Descent O2 is Closed.

[With the valve closed, they are no longer adding oxygen from the descent O2 tank to the cabin. If the tank pressure continues to decrease, the leak is not in the cabin.]
115:37:51 Parker: Roger. Stand by. (Long Pause) Okay, Hadley. We'll be watching that. Then, you might copy down the following steps to be performed, depending upon our analysis of what we're watching right now. One, if leak stops, upper and forward hatch (dump) valves, Close. (Pause) And ensure that the urine QD (Quick Disconnect) is capped. (Pause) Over.
[The overhead and forward dump valves are currently in Auto and by going to Close, Houston can determine if one or the other of the valves is leaking in Auto.]
115:38:52 Irwin: Stand by one. (Long Pause) Houston, this is 15. We were just looking at the urine transfer device, and that valve was in the Open position, although the device was capped.

115:39:31 Parker: Rog. Copy and understand that the receptacle or transfer device was attached to the hose all night.

115:39:42 Irwin: That's affirm.

115:39:43 Parker: Roger. Stand by. (Long Pause)

[TELMU tells Flight that the plug will not prevent a leak and that the valve should be closed. Parker suggests, however, that before the crew closes the urine valve, the check of the Descent Oxygen tank be completed. After a brief discussion, Parker's suggestion is adopted.]

[Jones - "Could you describe the Urine Transfer Device for me? Did the urine go into a holding tank in the vehicle?"]

[Irwin - "I don't think the urine was ever dumped overboard and certainly not drained on to the Moon."]

[Jones - "So it went into a holding tank of some sort? In the Descent stage, I would imagine."]

[Irwin - "Yeah. And it had a metal cap, as I recall, with a rubber ring around it. That was the capping device. We'll read on here, but I think Dave had used it during the night, and I might have, too. But I think Dave was the last one to use it and he just left it in the open position. That's where the oxygen leak occurred - through that valve. It's surprising that it leaked, even though it was capped...Maybe that cap wasn't that secure."]

[After a series of checks, at about 115:47:09, Houston decides that the urine valve is, indeed, the source of the leak. To be airtight, the valve must be closed and capped.]

[Jones - "Where's the oxygen going, if the urine's going into a tank in the descent stage? Obviously, the urine's going someplace that's at less than cabin pressure."]

[Irwin - "That's a good question. You may be pressurizing the urine holding tank."]

[Jones - "I'll rummage around."]

[Irwin - "Someone at Grumman would know exactly what the situation was there. I wonder what the pressure...The pressure was probably somehow less in that tank. It might even have been vented."]

[Jones - "If the tank had been vented, the urine would have vaporized, just like water coming out of the hatch. I'll rummage around. I'm curious."]

[Irwin - "You've got me curious, too."]

[Ken Glover points us to the appropriate section of the LM Handbook ( 39 Mb ).]

MP3 Audio Clip ( 16 min 07 sec ) by David Shaffer

115:40:22 Parker: Okay, Jim. We'd like you to leave it in the configuration you found it in for a few minutes, because that will allow us to verify that that's where the leak was. Over.

115:40:37 Irwin: Okay. I'm going to open the (urine) valve again.

[In Houston, there is some uncertainty as to whether Jim opened the urine valve or the Descent O2 valve. At 115:42:02, he confirms that it is the urine valve.]
115:40:40 Parker: Roger. Thank you. (Pause) I'll tell you, that's good news if that's what it is, man.

115:40:46 Irwin: Understand on your first...(stops to listen to Parker) Okay, on that first step that you read, it said, if leak stops, to close both dump valves.

115:40:57 Parker: Roger. That's affirm. In other words, if we see that the leak has stopped here on the ground, we will then ask you to close both dump valves and also verifying the urine QD. And, if the leak in the cabin - now, if the cabin is completely isolated - continues to hold, we will then ask you to open the hatch valves one at a time to verify that the hatch valves are not going to leak or which hatch valve is leaking in the open position. Some of that will be not indicated (that is, not performed) if, indeed, it is the urine QD that's capped. Do you copy, Jim?

115:41:44 Irwin: Okay. Yes. We understand.

115:41:48 Parker: Rog. And we'd like to verify right now, just quickly, that the Descent O2 is Closed; that the urine receptacle is back in its original configuration. Over.

115:42:02 Irwin: That's verified.

115:42:03 Parker: Roger. Let's just stand by here for a couple of minutes and we'll see what the ground has to tell us. (Pause)

115:42:13 Irwin: Roger. (Long Pause) Bob, as long as we're talking about consumables, what are you showing down there for water? Because we are reading, oh, about 60 percent on descent 1 and 2 now. (Long Pause)

[In Houston, the experts tell Flight, "We'll, have to convert that one for him; but we're okay." See the discussion below.]
115:43:13 Parker: Stand by, Jim. We've got to read our decals down here, too. (Pause)

115:43:25 Irwin: Bob, you did copy my question about the water quantity?

115:43:29 Parker: Roger, Jim. And we're having to read our decals down here, too. It will take us a minute. We'll be right back with you.

115:43:38 Irwin: Understand.

[Comm Break]

[Jones - "I understand the word decal in the sense of the decal I saw on the top of the PLSS that you've got in your office, outlining the steps for refill. Was decal a generic term for a list of instructions, a list of steps?"]

[Irwin - "I didn't know what he was talking about. I think he's probably talking about, maybe, a conversion chart from a transmitted value to the real, corrected value. Kind of a matrix form. I think that's probably what he's talking about."]

[Scott - "A 'decal' was sometimes used on a meter or gauge as a conversion scale from one unit of measure to another, for example, percent to pounds. Or, it could be used as a calibration from indicated values to true values, or to remove bias."]

[In Houston, Flight is having some trouble understanding the water quantity answer he is being given.]

115:46:52 Parker: Jim, we have an answer for you on your water gauge problem. The 60 that you're seeing indeed corresponds to a true 70 percent; which, indeed, is the number that we were expecting to see. Over.

115:47:09 Irwin: Okay. Fine, Bob. Thank you.

[Comm Break]

[In Houston, Flight is told that the Descent O2 tank pressure is holding steady and the cabin pressure is dropping. Both indicate that the open urine valve is, indeed, the source of the problem.]

115:48:54 Parker: And, Hadley Base; Houston. Over.

115:49:01 Irwin: Go ahead, Bob.

115:49:O2 Parker: Rog. It looks like your descent tanks are holding up very nicely; your cabin is falling slightly, as you may have noticed already on your meters. We'd like you to take the urine receptacle off the hose and then put the QD cap on after you remove the urine receptacle. Over. And then, after you have done this, we will watch the cabin for a little bit longer to see that it stops also. Over.

115:49:29 Irwin: Okay. That's in work. (Long Pause) Okay. The urine receptacle is off; and the other QD is installed.

115:49:54 Parker: Roger. We're standby to watch what comes off down here on the ground. (Long Pause) And, Jim, we'll be sitting here in this configuration for about 5 minutes to watch the cabin again.

115:50:51 Irwin: Roger.

115:50:55 Parker: It looked like you were getting pretty good sleep there for a while, Jim.

115:51:04 Irwin: Say again, Bob.

115:51:05 Parker: Rog. It looked like you were getting a pretty good sleep there.

115:51:11 Irwin: Yes, sir. That's the best sleep I've had on the flight.

115:51:13 Parker: Roger.

[Jones - "You just said that, listening to this, you still sound a little sleepy."]

[Irwin - "Maybe I was snoring. I don't know. I wonder if there's ever been a reported snoring in space?"]

[Jones - "I take it Dave wasn't a snorer?"]

[Irwin - "I never heard him. He might have heard me. I don't know. I don't recall he ever commented on it."]

115:51:15 Parker: How was Dave doing? (Pause)

115:51:24 Scott: Just fine, Bob. I was way down in sleep when you gave us a call.

115:51:29 Parker: Sorry about that, Dave.

115:51:34 Scott: Oh, no. That's okay! Let's get the problem squared away.

115:51:38 Parker: Yeah, I figured we lost a little bit of sleep down here on the ground tonight. I couldn't even fall asleep at my console.

115:51:47 Irwin: That is amazing.

[Comm Break]

[Jones - "I take it that Bob occasionally fell asleep during the..."]

[Scott - "Anywhere. As I recall. Bob could sleep about anywhere."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The temperature in the cabin was very comfortable (for sleeping). I slept in my constant Wear Garment in the sleeping bag and did not use the coveralls."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I slept in my coveralls without a sleeping bag; so I guess we each had two layers on, and it was very comfortable. We also used your earplugs, so noise was no problem."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The earplugs worked very well."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "There was some light leakage, which you commented on. The stitching around the window covers provided light leakage around the main left- and right-hand windows, but it wasn't any problem. I think the final ECS configuration they came up with as a result of the (vacuum) chamber run was a good one. That, plus the ear plugs, kept things pretty quiet. The only noise you could hear was the constant tone of the glycol console."]

[Armstrong and Aldrin, in particular, were bothered by ECS noises during their largely-unsuccessful attempt to get some sleep between their EVA and launch.]

115:55:53 Irwin: Houston, this is Hadley. If you're not too busy, I could copy the lift-off data for (Command Module orbits number) 21 to 27.
[Jim wants to get as many checklist items out of the way as possible so that they can get out on time. He is on Surface 2-9. He and Dave may have already stowed the hammocks and replaced the ECS Primary LiOH cartridge. See a detail from an Apollo 16 LM-close-out picture, showing the location of the replacment unit. Early in the EVA, Jim will load another ECS Primary cartridge in a transfer pallet. They will put that cartrige to use at EVA-2 wake-up.]
115:56:11 Parker: Roger, Jim. If you're ready to copy, then: T-21 is 188:30:48. (Pause as his error is pointed out to him) Negative; that should be a 118. I guess you'd gather that. T-22 is 120:29:00; T-23, 122:27:10; T-24, 124:25:21; T-25, 126:23:32; T-26, 128:21:44; T-27, 130:19:54. Over

115:58:32 Irwin: Okay, Bob. I'll give you a quick readback on that. 118:30:48; 120:29:00; 122:27:10; 124:25:21; 126:23:32; 128:21:44; and 130:19:54.

115:58:58 Parker: Roger. Good readback, Jim. (Pause)

[These are pre-planned launch times, modified slightly to account for differences between the actual and planned Command Module orbits. T-1 came immediately after landing in case there was a problem and the LM crew had to launch immediately. T-2 came a few minutes later. Subsequent pre-planned launches came each time the Command Module was in position for a nominal, one-orbit rendezvous and were numbered according to the current Command Module orbit. Thus, the next scheduled launch after T-2 was not T-3 but, rather, T-15 which was two hours after the landing. Thus, T-22 should be roughly eight (22 minus 14) times 1 hour 58 minutes after the landing.]

[Irwin - "We could lift off really any time. The optimum, obviously, was every two hours when we had the right phasing (with the Command Module passing more or less overhead). But we could lift off almost anytime and that would, then, allow Al to do Command Module active rendezvous with us."]

[Jones - "Go to a lower orbit and catch up with you, or a higher and wait for you."]

[Irwin - "We had that flexibility. Our main concern was just getting off the Moon and getting into orbit. Once we were in orbit, then we would work things out - either LM active or Command Module active, or maybe both, to get the right phasing to rendezvous and accomplish the docking."]

[Jones - "What did you use to write with. Ball point? Pencil?"]

[Irwin - "We had both. We had pencil, we had ballpoint, and we had a felt-tip pen. I preferred the felt tip. Whenever I had it available, or handy, I would use the felt-tip."]

[Jones - "Ballpoints behaved reasonably well?"]

[Irwin - "(Laughing) The famous Fischer pen. Yeah, it worked alright, but you have to apply pressure to make it write. It's so much easier to use a felt-tip pen."]

115:59:08 Irwin: And, if you have the consumables update, I'll take that, too. (Long Pause)

115:59:30 Parker: Roger, Jim. We're ahead of ourselves there.

115:59:36 Irwin: Okay. No rush. (Long Pause)

[They are scheduled to do the Consumables Update at a Ground Elapsed Time (GET) of 116:40.]

[In Houston, over the last several minutes there has been a discussion about the wisdom of re-opening the Descent O2 valve. Because the cabin pressure is decreasing only slightly because of breathe-down, it was decided to wait a few extra minutes to be absolutely sure that the leak is due to the urine valve.]

116:00:38 Parker: And, Falcon; Houston. Over. We believe that...We are very strongly convinced, finally, down here, that that indeed solves the problem. You can go back to Descent O2, Open. And we'd like to suggest that the procedure, when using that particular device, from now on, will be to remove the resepricle [sic] when you're finished and cap it as we've just done. Over.

116:02:11 Scott: That's good news, Bob. We'll do that. And, gee, the sleeping is really good up here; and, if y'all ever see another little problem like that, why, we'd be only to happy to roll over and take care of it. I think, as a matter of fact, we'd even sleep better if we knew that you wouldn't mind waking us.

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "They awakened us early because of the O2 leak to the urine transfer device. And I think part of the problem on that was that the top seal, the double seal on it, the cork plunger there, was not completely sealed after we used it the night before."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Had we ever been briefed on that thing?"]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "No. Well, we had told John (Covington) that we planned on connecting it and leaving it connected. Nothing was ever said against that."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Yes, but I don't think there was ever any discussion. It had the two seals on the plug and it had one valve which, I guess, we felt, prior to the flight, would be adequate for leakage prevention."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "And it might have been, had we had the plug fully seated. Anyway, the plug wasn't fully seated, and we had leaked some oxygen. So that was the first call from the ground to check it. Well, they didn't know where the leak was, but it was pinned down quite quickly to that being the cause. So we took the urine transfer device off the hose and capped the end of that line and that stopped the leak."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "And I think there is a point you're inferring there. I think we'd have been better off had the ground called us once they recognized that there was some leak, even though it was in the middle of the night. I think we would have slept better on the subsequent nights knowing that any small thing would be corrected immediately before it got us too far down (in consumable reserves). I guess our recommendation, there, would be to call the crew if the ground sees any problem which might develop into significance later on."]

[This incident calls to mind a similar, although far more serious problem that occurred during Robert Falcon Scott's fatal expedition to the South Pole in the southern summer of 1911-1912. Members of the Scott party had established resupply depots along the route of march. Along with supplies of food, the depots contained cans of paraffin fuel for the expedition's small cook stoves. On their way back from the pole, Scott and his companions repeatedly found that the fuel cans contained less fuel than they expected to find; and, at times, Scott was tempted to think that members of the support parties who had accompanied them partway to the pole had taken more than their planned share.]

[A more likely explanation is that the leather seals on the cans had dried and shrunk in the bitter cold and had allowed some of the fuel to evaporate. Unfortunately, the Scott party, unlike the Apollo team, had provided themselves with very little in the way of margins and, because of the leakage, had precious little fuel with which to prepare the hot meals and beverages that they so desperately needed. A few miles short of their last depot on the way back from the pole, the Scott party was trapped for several days in their tent by a blizzard and, because of the lack of fuel and the debilitating effects of scurvy, they died in their sleeping bags. Readers interested in further details should consult the 1984 book Scott and Amundsen: The Race to the South Pole by Roland Huntford. A discussion of the leather seals can be found on page 498.]

[Journal Contributor Harald Kucharek called our attention to an intriguing little historical coincidence: namely, R.F. Scott's middle name and the name of the Apollo 15 LM.]

116:02:31 Parker: Rog. You can sleep better because now you know I can wake you up anyway. The thing (Dave's earpiece) didn't drop out of your ear, apparently, Dave.

116:02:39 Scott: Oh, no. I made sure of that.

[Scott - "I guess that was a concern because, if you didn't have the earpiece in, you couldn't hear them to wake you up. But the event never occurred."]
116:02:42 Parker: And you guys have about 22 minutes left (before the scheduled wake-up), if you want to go back to sleep again.

116:02:50 Scott: Well, I tell you, we probably could. We were just talking it over, and both of us slept just as well in here as we do at home.

116:03:04 Parker: Well, frankly, Dave, it's your guys' option. If you want to lay down and take a little morning snooze while the rest of us keep working down here, that's your option. I'm not sure that we're talking about starting the EVA early. I think that was kind of agreed upon before, [that] we start on time, wasn't it?

116:03:23 Scott: Yeah, that's right. We don't want to start the EVA early. We'll stick to the timeline. But I think we'll take advantage of the extra little bit of time here to keep getting organized. It takes a little while to settle down and get a system here for living to be efficient; and I think we can make good use of the time.

116:03:41 Parker: Okay; you're the boss.

116:03:50 Scott: Well, we both feel pretty well rested at this point. And we'll just mush along here at a nice easy pace and, hopefully, be all ready by the time it's time to go out.

116:04:02 Parker: Okay; and when you're ready, you can give me call; when you're ready for some updates, particularly concerning EVA planning, and I'll have a few good words to pass you then. When it's convenient.

116:04:18 Scott: Okay. We'll get breakfast cooking here, and give you a call.

116:04:22 Parker: Roger.

[Long Comm Break]

[Jones - "What can you tell me about the housekeeping at this point? Was it a matter getting charts and checklists out..."]

[Irwin - "Probably. And getting the food that we decided we'd like to use for that breakfast. 'Cause that would have been our first breakfast on the Moon."]

[Jones - "Was some of the food stored in the Descent Stage?"]

[Irwin - "Yes, it was. We obviously had some there. And we had enough in the Ascent Stage for the dinner the night before and the breakfast that morning."]

["Our suits were clean at that point. They were off, you know, for the sleep cycle. We just slept in our long underwear. At that point, I don't think we'd put on the liquid-cooled underwear, yet. So that's what Dave's probably thinking about housekeeping, is getting into the right underwear, getting ready to put on the suit."]

[Jones - "There wasn't a lot of other stuff that you got out of the storage compartments."]

[Irwin - "No. We didn't have that much storage, anyway. When I think of all the things that we needed - how we thought about where everything was - that's why checklists were so important."]

[We now switch to my 1992 conversations with Dave.]

[Jones - "I gather that, when you opened the hatch, you wanted everything extraneous stowed and out of the way. Was there a lot of stuff out, at times, or was it a matter of learning through the training where the things were that you needed, get it out, and put it back? Did you have to be conscious of that?"]

[Scott - "There were a lot of things in there. Just getting organized and getting settled down to a routine. Even though we'd been in the simulator a couple of months before to learn where to put things, we hadn't really lived in the environment and gone through the sequence. You can't train for every minute and every thing. And I think it was just a matter of getting organized. Where do you want to put stuff when you start fixing your meals? Where do you put the bags and the scissors? Get yourself a little home(-like) setting. And it takes time to do that, as everybody has found out. Housekeeping takes much more time than you ever expect it too. Even when you've done it before. And, if you want to keep the ship neat and tidy, then you've got to keep the ship neat and tidy. So you take the time, nice and easy pace, get organized. Then you're more efficient."]

[In a 1996 review of the draft, Dave said, "Perhaps the 'dynamics' of the total system of equipment, food, etc. is the point here. It is the movement or interchange of 'stuff' which is used during various periods of activity. Unstow, temporary stow, use, restow, etc. It's sort of like your kitchen and closet combined together; and you must get dressed while preparing and eating your meal, with everything off the hangers, out of the drawers, and out of the cupboard - and you don't have a kitchen counter! Just picture it at home. And two people are doing all of this in a volume slightly larger than a closet!"]

[Jones - "Did you stand all through this? Sit on the engine cover?"]

[Scott - "I don't remember. It didn't matter. Standing in one-sixth g is no big deal. You have to move about to get things ready. Shuffle this and shuffle that. All those film magazines were always a chore. Make sure you've got the right one at the right place and the right time. Working with a lot of equipment in a very small area."]

[Jones - "Some of the lunar outpost designs I've seen doesn't seem to recognize that what's fine for two guys with a finite amount of things to do in three days isn't nearly big enough for a month."]

[Scott - "No way. I mean, you get more efficient as you go along. But it's terribly inefficient at best, just because you have to move things to move things. There's no place for everything to stay static. You have to move this to move that. You have to keep making these moves because there's not much room. Long duration, you've really got to have more room. More volume. Not that this was a problem (on Apollo 15). It wasn't a problem. It was, interestingly enough, for that amount of volume, the amount of things that they put in there and the amount of things that we could operate, was really quite efficient and quite effective, when you consider all of the equipment that we dealt with and all of the procedures that we went through in such a small place. Living quarters, locker room, laboratory, flying machine. Boy, it was pretty good."]

[Jones - "As we discussed yesterday, for Apollo, for a three-day mission, you had the right equipment."]

[In Houston, Flight has asked the experts to determine whether or not the oxygen loss was small enough to allow full PLSS charges for EVA-3.]

116:11:21 Scott: Houston; Hadley Base. We've got another little question here on your questioning last night (at 109:43:52) during the PLSS recharge of the water. You seem to have had some question as to whether we ran 5 minutes or not, and I wonder if you had any indication we got less than a full charge on the PLSS.

116:11:39 Parker: Okay, Dave. Stand by. I'll check.

[Comm Break]

[Because none of the knowledgeable people now on shift in Houston were present during the previous evening's recharge, Houston is having to consult logbooks and the transcript.]

116:13:32 Parker: And, Falcon; Houston. I guess last night the question came down to whether we could read it well enough down here on the ground. To the best of our ability down here to read this, you got a full charge, but apparently that's plus or minus about a pound (out of a 12-pound capacity of each PLSS). But our readings down here, for what they're worth, say you got a good charge. Over.

116:13:57 Scott: Okay. Understand. We felt like we did (get a good fill) by looking at the sight gauges, although on the first PLSS (Jim's), there were still a few little bubbles running through when we reached the Max time, by looking at the sight gauge. And on the second PLSS, it was clear, oh, within 4 or 5 seconds.

116:14:17 Parker: Copy.

[Long Comm Break]

[Jones - "My impression is that there wasn't a positive indication of fill. You had a sight gauge and the timing."]

[Scott - "Once the bubbles are gone (from the sight gauge), you're full. We wouldn't be in a position where there was an uncertainty in that. The system was set up to get a full charge and you know you got a full charge. The reason this discussion goes on is because they asked the question. They couldn't read it well on the ground and they were just trying to verify."]

[Jones - "They were looking at how much water had been taken out of the descent stage tank. 'Cause they've got no telemetry from the PLSS."]

[Scott - "Yeah. It's just a verification, verification, verification thing. If I check everybody, that's better."]

[Jones - "A lot of time and money was spent getting you guys up there. Why risk cutting it short because of something you can check?"]

MP3 Audio Clip ( 23 min 33 sec ) by David Shaffer

116:19:13 Parker: Hadley Base, Houston. Over.

116:19:19 Scott: Go ahead.

116:19:20 Parker: Roger, Dave. It looks like we can tell you that, at the present time, our extrapolations indicate we'll have sufficient oxygen for a completely nominal mission, including the PLSS recharge on EVA-3. Having high enough pressure (in the descent stage oxygen tank) for the PLSS recharge was our hardest constraint, and it looks like we meet it, although rather closely. Over.

116:19:49 Scott: Okay. Well, we'll breathe slowly and save as much as we can.

116:19:54 Parker: Copy.

[Comm Break]
116:21:23 Scott: Houston, Hadley. We've got another question for you since we're sitting here eating and looking around. Did you all, by chance, get any figures on our descent rate at touchdown? We're just taking a look out here, and it looks like we may have stroked a gear some (that is, compressed the shock absorber on the forward landing strut, the only one of the four that they can see); and, as near as we can recall, we were coming down about a foot per second when we got the contact, and we just wondered if you had any data on that yet. (Long Pause)

116:22:14 Parker: Stand by, Dave. We're getting that.

116:22:20 Scott: Okay. (Long Pause)

116:23:10 Parker: Okay, Dave. We have an answer for you; which is that we were showing 0.7 feet per second up to touchdown (means contact). And then at touchdown, it appears that, at the same point we got the roll and pitch, we picked up to something like 3.7 feet per second at that point. Over.

116:23:32 Scott: So we went from 0.7 to 3.7 from contact to touchdown. Is that right? (Long Pause)

[As mentioned previously, the figures given in the Apollo 15 Mission Report are 0.5 fps at contact and 6.8 fps at touchdown. Readers should note that these figures imply a 1.18 second free-fall from about 12 feet. As Parker suggests at 116:23:54, someone did a quick calculation from a quick look at the telemetry and, probably, made an error.]

[The following is taken from the Apollo 15 Mission Report. "Computer simulations (using telemetry data and the known, final tilt of the spacecraft, and the known shape of the surface) indicate 1.0 inches of stroke in each primary strut except the forward strut, for which a 3.0 inch stroke is estimated. The simulations also indicate that the forward footpad was off the surface in the final rest position. The crew stated that the forward pad was loose and rotated easily, confirming the computer result."]

116:23:54 Parker: Dave, we're having to look at these based upon times. We don't see the contact light, and we don't really know when touchdown occurred; but we're looking at things like the times. You were coming down at 0.7 there, all the way to the very end; and, then, at the same time that we see the pitchup and the rollover, we see an increase suddenly to 3.7. Over.

116:24:21 Scott: Oh, I see. Like we might have stuck our rear paw [sic] in a crater back there somewhere, huh?

116:24:29 Parker: Say again, Dave?

116:24:35 Scott: Looks like we might have stuck the rear pad in a crater back there somewhere, huh?

116:24:40 Parker: Either that, or you touched down on something and fell through.

116:24:50 Scott: That's an interesting thought. (Long Pause) Well, that says the landing radar is pretty good data then.

[Comm Break]

[I asked Jim if Bob Parker's "touched down on something and fell through" might have been a reference to Tommy Gold's theory of deep-dust layers, a theory that wasn't widely accepted in the lunar science community even before the successful and solid landings of the Russian Luna and U.S. Surveyor spacecraft blew it away.]

[Irwin - "We had every confidence we'd hit a solid surface. We didn't have any fear of going through it. There wasn't any fear of any accumulation of dust, either. I guess the only problem with the dust was the visibility. Must have been from, I guess, 30 feet down we couldn't see the surface any longer, so we had to be dependent upon the radar. And the computer, too. I guess I met Tommy Gold once; but, you know, his influence was minimal. Jack Schmitt probably talked to him a lot more than we did."]

[Jones - "And Jack's opinion, of course, is pretty negative - that all that Tommy did was waste a lot of time and money. And kept it up even after Surveyor and Luna."]

116:26:11 Scott: Okay, Houston. Hadley Base, here. We're ready to talk over the EVA plan with you, if you'd like.

116:26:23 Parker: Roger, Dave. We're ready, too. First of all, we'll talk about the changes in the traverse plan, which are very minimal. But for your planning, we're now showing a LM location on the grid map in the coordinates of Bravo-Romeo 3 and 75.5. Over.

[This spot is about 250 meters south and 500 meters east of the actual LM location.]
116:26:54 Scott: Okay, Bob. We're going to have to get in the ETB and pull the maps out. Just a second.

116:26:58 Parker: Okay, Rog. I'll wait, then. (Long Pause)

[Bob Parker is a member of the support team and has participated in EVA planning, as illustrated by training photo 71-H-490 which shows him wearing EVA gloves while installing the DAC on the LRV qualification unit at Boeing on 29 January 1971. Bob served as EVA CapCom for Apollo 17.]
116:27:50 Irwin: Bob, will you give me the coordinates again?

116:27:54 Parker: Roger. Bravo-Romeo 3, 75.5. Over. (Pause)

116:28:05 Irwin: Roger. Copy. Bravo-Romeo 3, 75.5.

116:28:10 Parker: Roger. And that over there near November (Crater). Okay, to write down, the rest of this - for a while, anyway - is kind of just advisory. This new location adds approximately 0.6 kilometers to the EVA-1 traverse and, therefore, about six minutes driving time. However, that's only provisionary, of course; and our indications of a beautiful flat plain out there (from Dave's SEVA description, primarily the lack of rocks) may mean that we'll make up some of that time just in being able to drive faster than we were, perhaps, anticipating. (Pause) If this is not the case...

116:28:53 Scott: Say, let...

116:28:55 Parker: Go ahead.

116:29:00 Scott: Bob, before you get too far into that "broad flat plain" out there, I hope we made it clear that there is a fairly good population of craters which we're going to probably have to drive around. Even though there are no boulders, we're still going to have somewhat of a "wander factor" in avoiding, oh, the three- to four-meter craters.

[Because they will not be able to drive in a straight line, they will actually travel about ten percent further than would be indicated by the straight-line distances between sites. This is the 'wander factor'.]
116:29:23 Parker: Okay, we realize that, Dave. And, in order to keep the EVA total time to the maximum of seven hours, the six minutes has already been deleted from the activities at the LM at the end of the traverse. So that's where we've taken up the slack, at the present time. And the, beyond that, no further changes have been made to the EVA-1 timeline. Over.

116:29:50 Scott: Okay. Very good.

[Scott - "When you consider the planning that went into the mission, and then we get there and we're not exactly where we're supposed to be, and all the things that go on. And over a seven-hour EVA, all you change are six minutes at the end. Not bad. Pretty good planning. We didn't discover anything that would change, geologically, what we were doing. But at least it's a verification that the guys who put all this planning stuff were pretty good. And there's not a lot of waffling back there in Houston; and they leave us on the plan that we had, which I think is good from an efficiency and preparation point of view."]
116:29:55 Parker: Okay. Extra activities we'd like you to include: We'd like the big glass ball you saw in the vicinity of the LM, (and, perhaps, it) could be picked up, hopefully, with the contingency sample, if it's convenient; if not, it should be retrieved as part of the LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle: the Rover) preparation before the EVA traverse. The geology people, for obvious reasons, are rather interested in the large black rocks you described in the SEVA - at 40 meters and 300 meters. And we'd like to pick those up before you leave (the Moon) sometime. And - I guess a little note here that sounds like "motherhood" to me - "selected samples should be taken at the crew's convenience at the end of the EVA." (Pause) As far as the Rover's concerned; in our new position...

116:30:48 Scott: Okay...(Stops to listen to Parker) Bob, give us a couple of minutes after each of those comments to come back at you.

116:31:00 Parker: Roger. Waiting.

[The Backroom tells Flight that the "selected samples" are the black rocks. Flight points out that they should have said " black rocks".]

[Jones - "Had you done much work in the field with Bob?"]

[Scott - "Yeah, he'd done a fair amount of work in the field with us as CapCom. Not nearly as much as Joe Allen. And it is interesting that you see this overlap in pausing, because it's part of developing the capability to talk back and forth when, on Earth, you don't have the delay problem. We'd spent so much time with Joe, you don't really notice any problems due to the delay. It's the on/off that we give each other. And it's timed intuitively, because we'd worked so long together. Whereas, with Parker, I'll give it a wild guess (of) maybe 5 percent of the time we spent with Joe? And you can tell that we haven't developed this communications. And, also, not having flown with Bob...flying airplanes, you do this, too. You know, pilots flying two different airplanes. You intuitively get to the other guy's signals on the on/off - who's talking when. And you don't get the overlap, and you don't break into people. And this is interesting. I hadn't ever looked at this before. But you can see the interchange isn't as smooth as with Joe. And I think that's just from working together."]

[Jones - "It's also partly personality, because Bob tended to do this on 17."]

[Scott - "He tends to hesitate in between sentences, too, and you don't know if he's done. Whereas, you'll notice that, very frequently, Joe says 'Over'. Pilots do that."]

[Jones - "Did they build the delay into the comm in the field exercises?"]

[Scott - "I don't think so. But it's not a problem. It is in this particular case, but maybe it's not so much the delay as the fact that we hadn't worked as much with Parker. And it does happen on the Earth without the delay. I don't ever remember the delay being any factor at all with Joe. Every once in a while there was a little overlap but I wasn't conscious of a problem because, to me on the Moon, as soon as Joe got through talking I started talking and the delay didn't effect us. When you listen to this, you have to listen to that delay. But we didn't have to listen to the delay because the transmission got to us some time after Joe sent the transmission. We didn't know he'd sent it until we got it and, when we got it, it was smooth and continuous and we responded. It didn't really affect us."]

116:31:06 Scott: Okay, we were just discussing the frags around the LM. We can see a number of interesting rocks out here, and we thought it might be better to wait until we got back to the LM (at the end of the EVA) to pick them up; and make sure we didn't disturb the surface around it. Although, we can pick them up fairly quickly in the beginning. I guess it's your choice: if you want to spend the time in the beginning or wait until we get back.

116:31:34 Parker: Roger, Dave. My first flip comment there was "before you leave the Moon". The second comment, on the selected samples, "should be taken at the crew's convenience at the end of EVA" was apparently intended by the geologists to mean selected samples of these black rocks and other interesting frags. Over.

116:31:53 Scott: Well, do you specifically want us to pick up the glass ball and the black rocks before we start (the) EVA-1 (traverse)?

116:32:11 Parker: Stand by, Dave. (Long Pause)

[Scott - "He hadn't worked with us. 'What are you saying? Do you want us to do it or not?' And it's pretty trivial in the overall scheme of things. We know we're going to go get that rock, but we're also thinking in terms of not messing up the area, and we're also trying to think of getting on the road. That rock is a nice rock but, having seen all the other stuff out there, we know there are lots of those. And, perhaps in the Backroom, they've only heard a description of a couple, and they're all excited about the couple. I remember Jim and I talking that night (after the SEVA) 'Wow, there's a lot of stuff out there!' This is trivial. A couple of interesting rocks out of what would appear to be thousands. So the attitude here is, 'Come on, let's go.'"]

[Scott - "With all due respect to Bob, who's really a good guy and did a super job, he didn't have an opportunity to work into the system. This is a waste of time; this is a dead waste of time. We know we need to get the rock. We know it's important. And, to have this exchange about when, that's when you're not using the system to the maximum. Nobody's fault, because Joe isn't on now and this really wasn't Bob's job."]

[Jones - "These are some pieces of paper that came to Bob from the Backroom, and Joe might or might not have filtered them out."]

[Scott - "Right. Or, you might have a different bunch in the Backroom. It's all a shift changing kind of thing, and we're not really into the EVA yet. Parker was part of the system and knew what he was doing, it's just not as smooth. As I look at it now and reflect on it, it's just not as smooth."]

116:32:32 Parker: Okay, Dave. We'll put the glass ball at a higher priority, apparently, because they're worried that the glass ball might get lost once the area gets mucked up a little bit, whereas the black rocks will probably still be there. Over.

116:32:42 Scott: Okay. Understand. And...I guess our understanding of the contingency sample is that it's supposed to be typical of the surface around, rather than an exotic. (Pause)

[The contingency sample is just that, a typical sample that Jim will collect and bag shortly after he gets out so that, if they have to leave quickly, they will at least have one sample of the soil and small rocks at Hadley. An 'exotic' is an unusual, atypical piece of rock, likely one thrown in by an impact somewhere else on the Moon.]
116:33:12 Parker: I guess that's basically true...I guess that's basically true, Dave; however, they would like this little glass ball. You could also put it separately in a bag before you leave with the Rover, or I guess they really wouldn't mind, since they know particularly what it is, if it was part of the contingency sample.

[The Backroom tells Flight that they agree with this statement.]
116:33:34 Scott: Okay. We'll take care of that.

116:33:39 Parker: Okay. Let me talk to you about Rover status. The additional distance - this 0.6 (km) - and your new position will not affect the electrical power profile. It's really a very small and almost trivial distance (compared with the battery-supported potential of over 100 kilometers of driving). And, secondly, the LM slope (means the tilt), the 9 degrees by 9 (means 6) degrees, is within the angles for which the (Rover) deployment is specified - which is 15 degrees - and also within the angles for which it's been tested. And I guess a couple of days ago they did tests 15 degrees of pitch and 5 degrees of roll at Marshall (Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama, the NASA center which supervised the design and construction of the Rover by Boeing and its subcontractors), and 14 degrees of pitch and 14 degrees of roll. And, right now, we will, in real time, have the mock-up at Marshall positioned corresponding to our pitchup of 9 and roll of 6 degrees. Over.

116:34:37 Scott: Okay. That's nice to hear, and it sounds like those fellows are planning ahead as usual.

116:34:44 Parker: Hope so. And as far as checklist changes, we have none. As far as TV plan updates, we have none. (Pause)

116:34:57 Scott: Okay. Understand.

116:35:03 Parker: And, sometime, Dave, the medics would like a status report, post sleep.

116:35:17 Scott: Okay. Stand by. (Long Pause)

[Jones - "Are there any comments you'd like to make about how that pitch and roll influenced your ability to move around inside. I realize that you don't hardly have room to swing a cat inside the spacecraft but, was the tilt enough to be bothersome?"]

[Irwin - "No. I guess it was maybe a little distracting, the fact that we weren't level. But the only time we're in there, really, was the sleep and to get rest. And, when we were awake and taking data or checking systems, the angle didn't bother us at all. It is interesting to find out that they'd done the simulation of our exact attitude to make sure that we could deploy the Rover without any problems. I'd forgotten that they had done that."]

[Jones - "Did you sit much when you were inside? Could you sit on the engine cover and things like that?"]

[Irwin - "I'm trying to think...You know, one of us would probably sit on the engine cover, and the other would sit just forward of the engine cover (on the midstep). You know, to eat a meal, or to talk, because we'd put the hammocks away, 'cause they'd just get in our way. There wasn't any other place to sit, and that's where we would have rested. And I'm sure, when we were in there, we should have, and I think we did, sit in those positions. Just to relax."]

[Jones - "The windows were high enough that, to see the surface, you'd have to stand?"]

[Irwin - "No. Not really. The windows came almost down to desk height. So, sitting on the engine cover, you could get a good view out of the windows. The ascent engine cover, that round can, was probably up a foot and a half (0.5 meters). And just forward of that there was another ledge (the midstep), that was comfortable sitting 'cause you could lean your back against the engine cover. And, even from there, you could look out the windows. I think you could even see the surface from that lower sitting position. But I would think, normally when we were in there, we would be trying to relax as much as we could, just to save energy. (Laughing) That's probably more true as we stayed there longer. This one (the EVA-1 Prep), we were probably so excited, you know; we wanted to getout."]

[Jones - "So, when you were resting and not getting suits on, one of you would be sitting on the engine cover and the other one would be sitting either on the midstep or on the floor."]

[Irwin - "I know we wouldn't sit on the floor. That was too low. It was just flat, and you wouldn't see anything."]

[Jones - "That had a grate on the floor?"]

[Irwin - "No, it was just flat metal. It was aluminum. I don't recall ever sitting on it on the Moon. I probably sat on it many times in the testing on the Earth."]

[Readers should note that several of the astronauts told me that they never sat in the LM, that standing in one-sixth g was so effortless that sitting wasn't necessary. Dave Scott was one of those but, in a February 1996 draft review, he said, "I probably sat on the Ascent engine cover once in a while - maybe for meals."]

116:35:44 Parker: And, when you're ready, Falcon, we've got some consumables (update) for you.

116:35:51 Scott: Okay. On the crew status, I guess we both got about 5 hours sleep, based on the time we went to bed and the time we got up; no medication; and we're in good shape. And I guess you can go ahead with the consumables.

116:36:11 Parker: Roger. And how about a PDR or PRD (Personnel Radiation Dosimeter) - or whatever they are - readout.

116:36:20 Scott: Okay. I'll tell you, it would help us out if we could do that once a day. You know they're stowed down in the suit pocket, and we've got to do some digging to get them. We'll give them to you twice a day if you really need them, but it takes a little time.

116:36:36 Parker: Roger, Dave. I think they're only called out for once a day, we agree; and somehow, I guess, TransEarth - (correcting himself) or Translunar - we got in the habit of getting them from you at the time when we didn't really need them, like at sleep. We got them from you at sleep last night; it's just that, in the checklist, it calls them out for right now. But you're right, it is only a requirement once a day, and we did get it last night.

116:37:08 Scott: Okay. Our crew status report has them in the evening before bed. Do you want them then, or do you want them in the morning?

116:37:15 Parker: Say again, Dave. When does your crew status report have them?

116:37:23 Scott: Prior to the rest periods.

116:37:26 Parker: Okay; the Flight Plan shows it in the post-sleep. (Pause) We'd like one this morning.

116:37:36 Scott: Well, make a decision.

[Scott - "Does it really matter? Whatever you want to do. If there's a conflict between the status report and the checklist, that's because somebody in the medical world didn't check it. And it's their job to check it. If it's a conflict, okay, that's fine. You can probably hear the tone (of voice) here - we don't care. 'Just decide what you want to do and let's get on with it, rather than all this discussion.' The system didn't work, here. We were taking time with some relatively trivial procedural activities."]

[Jones - "And the fact that this doesn't happen very often in these transcripts is a testament to the good job, basically, that everybody did."]

[Scott - (Laughing) "But, now that I think about it, we're not the first mission to have had these things. This is no different from 11, 12, 14."]

[Jones - "The protocol probably changed with the increase from 32 hours to 66."]

[Readers may want to note that Dave and Jim did not give Houston PRD readings prior to the EVA, nor did Houston request them.]

116:37:37 Parker: Rog. We'd like one this morning before the EVA, and the surgeons promise they'll look at it (that is, the requirement) today.

116:37:47 Scott: (With a touch of sarcasm) That's encouraging.

116:37:50 Irwin: Okay, Bob, I'm ready to copy the consumables.

116:37:53 Parker: Okay. This is for GET of 116:40. RCS A, 85 (percent); B, 85.

[These are fuel quantities remaining in the Reaction Control System, the small jets that control LM attitude in flight. There are two such systems: A and B.]
116:37:58 Parker: O2 descent (tank)1, 78.5; tank 2, 78; O2 ascent 1, 99; tank 2, 99; H2O descent 1, 58; tank 2, 58. H2O ascent 1, 100 percent; tank 2, 100 percent. Descent amp-hours (remaining), 1538; ascent amp-hours, 572. Over.

116:39:01 Irwin: Okay; I copy, Bob. (Long Pause) Bob, I'm just looking at the descent water. It looks like we're off about 12 percent. Is that any concern down there?

116:39:42 Parker: Roger, Jim. We didn't just suddenly lose that. That was TELMU's understanding of how we wanted the consumables updated. We're having a discussion about that right now. That was meant to be what your reading on board should be. I guess, saying that if you're reading 58 percent, you're in good shape. Whereas, there's a separate figure, which is a figure down here, which I guess is something like the 70 percent that I gave you a few minutes ago. (Pause) That seems to be a...

116:40:18 Irwin: Okay; understand.

116:40:19 Parker: That seems to be a question of how TELMU interprets what the consumables update should be. We may change that around and let you know later. (Pause)

116:40:35 Irwin: Roger. We copy.

[Comm Break]

[The water tank percentages that Parker read up were the gauge readings, rather than the actual values. Jim is implying that he expected a read-up of the actual values.]

[Scott- "On board, the reading is from a dial or a gauge. The gauge was probably put in a couple of years before the flight. And there are some divergences in those kinds of systems, so they have to be calibrated. And what you try to do is get it so that your apples and oranges are all apples and mean the same thing."]

116:42:08 Parker: Okay, Hadley; this is Houston. The actual on-board figures - not the gauge figures that you'll read, but the actual onboard figures for water - are, descent 1, 70.7 and tank 2, 68.5. Over.

116:42:33 Scott: Rog; we copy that. Thank you.

[Very Long Comm Break]

[The Backroom asks Flight if he had a specific task in mind when he had Bob tell the crew at 116:29:23 that the six minutes of extra driving time has "already been deleted from the activities at the LM at the end of the traverse." Flight responds "No, we didn't designate anything specific. We took six minutes out of the traverse at the LM to make our bookkeeping come out and add up to seven hours. But (for only) six minutes, we didn't think it was worth picking a task and going through all the checklist changes that far into the EVA because, by the time we get around to that point, well, the situation could be entirely different." The Backroom then asks about the case where they get back to the LM down by 15 or 20 minutes. Does Flight have some specific tasks in mind to drop? Flight responds that "the Lunar Surface Procedures document, with the supplement, has that with the logic flow in the back under contingency plans." This exchange indicates that Flight is very familiar with the EVA plans. What is a bit surprising is that the spokesman for the Backroom seemingly isn't familiar with the pre-flight contingency plans.]

[Dave's next transmission indicates that he and Jim are about to start the tasks on checklist page Surface 2-10. Note that Astronaut Joe Allen has taken over as CapCom for the EVA.]

MP3 Audio Clip ( 8 min 31 sec ) by David Shaffer

117:22:36 Scott: Houston, Hadley Base. (Long Pause)

117:22:53 Allen: Falcon, this is Houston. Over.

117:23:00 Scott: Morning, Joe. We're about due to wake the computer up for a little while; and, if you're ready, we'll bring it out of its sleep period for a minute and then put it back to sleep - if you want to take a look at it. (Pause)

117:23:22 Allen: Roger, Dave; that sounds good to us. We'll be watching.

117:23:28 Scott: Okay.

[Comm Break]
117:24:33 Scott: Okay, Houston. It looks like it's still with us.

117:24:37 Allen: Roger, Dave. That's good news.

[Very Long Comm Break. They are about to start suit donning.]

[Scott - "The donning and doffing of the PLSSs and the suits was the hardest work, by far, in the whole mission. And in training, too. That was hard work. We did this over and over, 'cause you have to do it and you've got to do it carefully. But, in the confinement of the LM, it takes a long time, it's very boring, and you have to pay precise attention to everything you do, because you can't afford to screw it up. It's not the fun part of getting out, but it's a necessity. It's real hard work. Boy, when you get through with those particular sessions - on and off - it's sort of like 'Boy, I'm glad I got through with this.'"]

[Jones - "What's your feeling, 20 years after the fact, about how the one-sixth- and one-g donning and doffing exercises compared?"]

[Scott - "I don't think it was a lot easier in one-sixth g. It was a lot easier, weight-wise. But, procedurally, it was no easier. You still have to go through the same procedures, and you don't really notice the weight. So it was equally difficult, going step by step through the process. It was physical, because you're in crowded quarters. In training, you had lightweight PLSSs, so you didn't have all that much extra weight. The suits you had on. Hot, uncomfortable. It was more comfortable in the environment of the LM. But the effort part was more going through the procedures which, after so many repetitions, gets pretty boring. And that's when you have to be very careful, because your tendency is to try to whistle through it and get it over with, because it's boring. But you can't do that. You've got to be careful and take it step by step. I just make the comment that that was the hardest work of the whole mission because it was drudgery. It was the world of again and again, and you didn't look forward to that. It was two hours of cramped quarters, procedural stuff that was not very interesting. I mean, I'm not complaining. But I think that, perhaps, people don't realize that you have to do that. I mean, you don't just hop out of the hammock, slip into your white suit and head out the door. No, no, no. It's a long, complex, involved process, which is a lot of work."]

[Jones - "And, as I recall, Pete and Al got themselves in a little trouble - in the sense of having to go back and fix a couple of mistakes - because they relied on memory and tried to zip through it, rather than double-check the cards. 'Make sure we understand what's next and make sure we just did what we were supposed to do.'"]

[Scott - "And that's because you do it so many times, you get comfortable in doing it. 'I know how to do this.' But, when you get in the real world, if you're not careful, you could tend to skip something. And that's why it becomes work, because you know you have this long checklist. You're on step number 2, and you have a long way to go. I shouldn't overemphasize this but, when you ask what's the work part, this is work."]

[Jones - "It's not as much fun as bounding around on the side of the mountain."]

[Scott - "Yeah. That's classified as work, too. And you're logging your time. But that's fun!"]

117:36:52 Scott: Houston, Hadley Base.

117:36:56 Allen: Go ahead, Hadley. This is Houston.

117:37:01 Scott: Okay. As we get started on the suiting here. I wanted to make sure the biomed data was coming through clean to you, so we don't have any problems once we get the suits on. (Long Pause)

[Scott - "The point was to verify that we had good data before we put the suits on, rather than discover we had bad data after we put the suits on and had to take the suits off to fix the problem."]
117:37:28 Allen: Falcon, Houston. Apparently, Jim's data is not very clean, and we're not getting your data at all, Dave. Other than that, it looks beautiful.

[Irwin - "Joe always does a great job. See this? 'Apparently Jim's data is not clean, and we're not getting your data at all. Other than that, it looks beautiful.' (Both laugh)"]
117:37:41 Scott: Well, I guess I don't mean right now, because you shouldn't be getting any data right now. What I mean, are the signals acceptable for computation of PLSS data; or, perhaps, if they're not, you can give us a suggestion so, before we get going here, we're sure that you've got good data. (Pause)

117:38:09 Allen: Stand by. (Pause)

[There is a limited amount of telemetry from the PLSSs by which the PLSS engineers and the flight surgeon can gauge work levels and usage of cooling water and oxygen. Good heart-rate data can be a useful supplement to the PLSS telemetry and can also be used to improve empirical correlations between the biomedical data and the PLSS telemetry.]
117:38:15 Scott: As a matter of fact, while the good surgeons are thinking that one out, Jim's going to plug in through the suit now, and you can check it out.

117:38:27 Allen: Rog, Dave. That sounds good, and we'll be watching. (Long Pause)

[Without putting his suit on, Jim can connect his biomed sensors to the suit electrical circuitry and, thereby, to the telemetry stream so that the flight surgeon can judge the quality of the signal.]
117:38:46 Scott: Okay. You should be receiving it, and we'd appreciate a call as soon as you can verify it's good. (Pause)

117:38:57 Allen: Dave, it looks real good to us.

117:39:03 Scott: Okay, thank you. And I'll let you take a look at mine as soon as I get to the suit part.

117:39:07 Allen: Roger.

[Long Comm Break]
117:43:52 Allen: Jim, this is Houston. Verify for us, please, that your biomed data is unplugged now.

117:44:02 Scott: Well, he's off the headset, Joe; but, yeah, it's unplugged. We're getting him into the suit.

117:44:07 Allen: Roger. Thank you. (Pause)

117:44:16 Scott: What we'll do is get all hooked up to the suit, and then let you check it out, and then climb into the suit, just to make sure.

117:44:23 Allen: Sounds good, Dave. We'll be standing by.

[Comm Break. Jim's next transmission indicates that he is in his suit and that they will soon start to get Dave suited.]
117:47:34 Irwin: Joe, how do you read? I'm back on comm.

117:47:43 Allen: Roger, Jim. Loud and clear.

117:47:47 Irwin: You're the same.

[Comm Break]
117:50:54 Irwin: And, Joe, looking at a battery management change at about 118:05 (on checklist page 2-11). Should we do it on that time?

117:51:09 Allen: Stand by, Jim. I'll be right back with you.

117:51:16 Irwin: Okay. (Pause)

117:51:28 Allen: Falcon, regarding your question on battery management, we would like you to do it per the checklist on the time listed there, please.

117:51:40 Irwin: We understand.

[Very Long Comm Break]

[The NASA Public Affairs commentator reports to the press that Jim Irwin's heart rate at 79 and Dave Scott's about 60.]

[The battery management procedures involve taking some batteries off-line and putting others on-line in order to have even usage during the course of the surface operations. The procedures here on Surface 2-11 can be compared with the set they will perform after the EVA on Surface 5-3.]

118:04:14 Irwin: Houston, this is Hadley Base. Will you check the Commander's biomed?

118:04:22 Allen: Roger, Jim. Dave's EKG (electro-cardiogram) data looks clean as a whistle.

118:04:29 Irwin: Very good. He's going to complete the suiting-up.

118:04:32 Allen: Roger.

118:04:37 Irwin: And I'll get to the batteries shortly.

118:04:40 Allen: Roger.

[Long Comm Break]
118:09:58 Irwin: Okay, Joe. I'm going to press on with the battery management now.

118:10:01 Allen: Roger, Jim. (Pause)

118:10:12 Irwin: And both ED batteries check at 37 (volts).

118:10:15 Allen: Roger.

[Comm Break]

[Jones - "What are the ED batteries?"]

[Irwin - "Explosive Detonation? They were the batteries that provided power for the charges that would cause staging...(correcting himself) not staging, but fire pyrotechnics to separate the stages. We never drew power off of them. They were reserved just for that function. They were for the Explosive Devices, that's what it is."]

118:13:14 Irwin: Okay. Battery management complete.

118:13:17 Allen: Roger, Jim. Thank you.

[Very Long Comm Break. As Dave indicates in his next transmission, they reach checklist page Surface 3-6. On Page 3-1, they stowed all unnecessary items, and on 3-5 they donned their boots, unstowed and checked their Oxygen Purge Systems (OPSs) which contain a reserve supply of oxygen for use in an emergency, and prepared their helmets and Lunar Extravehicular Visor Assemblies (LEVAs). The procedures on pages 3-2 through 3-4 are not used in normal EVA Preps. In fact, as indicated on Surface 3-1, the crew is actually reading a large EVA Prep & Post card which they have mounted on the instrument panel at the front of the cabin.]

[During this comm break, Dave and Jim do a little repair work on the small antenna on the top of Jim's PLSS/OPS assembly. Evidently, they've decided that there is no need to bring the matter to Houston's attention, probably wanting to avoid discussions that might delay the EVA.]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I might make one note. When I unstowed my PLSS, I noticed that there was a large chunk chewed out of the antenna. About half the width of the antenna was gone."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "And about an inch long."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Yes. Like somebody had taken a pair of snippers and snipped a piece out of it, right at the base, about a couple of inches from the base of the connection. We put a piece of tape around it at that weak point and, on EVA-1, we pressed ahead."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "They should have the antenna because we brought it back on the OPS that was in the CM (for Al Worden's use during his EVA to retrieve film packs from the SIM Bay). It looked like somebody really missed something in the PIA (Pre-Installation Acceptance) of the OPS. When Jim unstowed it, he found it right away. It was a pretty gross oversight."]

[Readers should note that, at some point during the first EVA, Jim's PLSS/OPS antenna broke. However, the break did not cause any noticeable comm degradation.]

118:35:49 Scott: Hello, Houston; Hadley Base.

118:35:53 Allen: Hello, Hadley; this is Houston.

118:35:59 Scott: Okay. We're down to the point of PLSS donning and with our mission timer turned off here to save the power. How about giving us a hack on when we depress, relative to the time now, so we can keep track?

118:36:18 Allen: Roger, Dave. We're starting the clock right now.

118:36:26 Scott: Yeah, but give us a hack on the time at which we should depress relative to your time there in Houston.

118:36:34 Allen: Roger, Dave. Understand, and we'll be right back with you.

118:36:41 Scott: Okay, we're looking at about 10 minutes after 7:00 (7:10 a.m. Central Daylight Time) right now. (Long Pause)

[Joe thinks that Dave wants Houston to time the remainder of the EVA Preps. What Dave really wants to know is when, in Houston time, the ground thinks they should be getting out based on where they are now in the checklist.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We were going on Houston time on our watches. There really weren't too many references within the surface checklist to Houston time (in fact, there are none), so we were not really conscious of where we were relative to the GET...and relied on Houston to keep us abreast of the time. We just proceeded through the checklist as expeditiously as we could. I do remember we asked them during the EVA Prep when they expected us to depress. That came out on time, so we were pretty well going with the timeline as planned."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I think I made the comment that I was glad that they had awakened us about an hour early, because we went into out first EVA very leisurely. There was plenty of time; there wasn't any rush at all. In fact, I think I made the comment that I'd just as soon wake up an hour early for the subsequent EVAs to give us a little more time to think about things and get organized."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "That's a good point because, here again, we've got a plan which says 'eat and rest', and we don't have all the transition things in there. They are in the checklist, but I'm not sure there is adequate time. And a rest period, I guess, we might define as not necessarily closing and opening your eyes, but as a period during which you have no scheduled activities, wouldn't you say? If you had some little cabin things you want to take care of during your rest period, like the biosensor change or some housekeeping that has to be done, I think that can be easily included in the rest period...(And) I guess I might add to Jim's comment on having an extra hour in the morning, to go through it leisurely really helps. I think we saw this later on the flight, too. You could be more sure of doing things right if you proceed to do it leisurely, which I think we planned within the nominal training anyway. We had plenty of time during our training months to do the EVA Preps leisurely."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We would have had plenty of time on the subsequent EVAs if we hadn't had those problems."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Just accept the fact that, if you have problems, you're going to fall behind."]

118:38:15 Allen: Hadley Base, this is Houston.

118:38:21 Scott: Go ahead, Houston.

118:38:22 Allen: Roger, Dave. We're looking towards the cabin depress at about 8:00 o'clock Houston time.

118:38:31 Scott: Okay; fine. Thank you. (Pause)

118:38:43 Allen: And, Dave and Jim, there's nothing magic about that number. That's just our first calculation. Any time around there would be beautiful.

118:38:56 Scott: Okay. Well, that's all we wanted; just to have a rough cut on it.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 1 min 48 sec ) by David Shaffer

[Very Long Comm Break]

[Jones - "Can you describe the PLSS donning procedure for me? Do you remember that?"]

[Scott - "I'd have to look at the checklist before I'd remember. It's a relatively straightforward but time-consuming procedure that takes two guys. We just followed the checklist. It was a nuts-and-bolts operation."]

[Jones - "One guy to hold it up in the appropriate position and then help the other guy strap it on."]

[Scott - "Yeah, As I recall."]

[Jones - "My interest in the PLSS comes from a sense that your maneuverability degrades dramatically as you get it on."]

[Scott - "Yeah. It's the heaviest thing, it's the bulkiest thing; but, once you get outside, it's totally unnoticeable, other than the mass. The donning is a procedural thing and isn't particularly significant in the total picture of activities. On the next time around, they'll probably build it into the suit. This is an evolutionary process where you started with only a suit; and then somebody put a chest pack on the suit for Ed White. When I flew on Gemini 8, I had a little larger and more complicated chest pack, and I had a backpack, which I never got to use (because of a stuck thruster which forced an early end to the mission and the loss of Dave's planned EVA). But the backpack hasn't really changed since Gemini 8, because the one we had then is essentially the same thing that Bruce McCandless wore with the MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit that was flown on the Shuttle in the 1980s). The PLSS is a little bit smaller (in the Shuttle era), but the idea is essentially the same kind of thing."]

[Jones - "The components have probably gotten a little bit smaller and use less power, but it's basically the same architecture."]


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