Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal

Post-SEVA Activities

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library
Last revised 15 November 2011.

[Comm Break. The comment about a urine transfer at 107:25:07 indicates that they have started the suit doffing procedures on Surface 2-5.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 9 min 41 sec ) by David Shaffer

107:24:24 Scott: (Unaware that they have hot mikes) I think I know where we are too. If I can just look at that map. (Long Pause)

107:25:03 Scott: Be sure I get that all the way up.

107:25:05 Irwin: Yeah.

107:25:06 Scott: Okay.

107:25:07 Irwin: Okay. Are you ready to do a little urine transfer?

107:25:09 Scott: Go ahead. You first. (Pause)

107:25:17 Allen: And, Hadley Base. Be advised, you're still on VOX.

107:25:25 Scott: How about that. Are you still VOX?

107:25:29 Irwin: No.

107:25:31 Scott: Down Voice Backup?

107:25:32 Irwin: I bet we are. I bet we're on hot miked.

107:25:33 Scott: Yes.

107:25:34 Irwin: Let's see.

107:25:36 Allen: Dave and Jim, you're on hot mike now. (Pause) But the medics are enjoying your comments.

107:25:42 Scott: Yeah, I guess we are. (Pause, listening to Joe) I bet they are. (Chuckling) I'll bet everybody else is too. (Hearty laughs from Jim) What did we say, Joe?

107:25:54 Irwin: Let's see. We need the circuit breaker in too for that...

107:25:56 Scott: Say again?

107:25:57 Allen: You're clean.

107:25:58 Irwin: Urine transfer.

107:26:00 Scott: (Very hushed) Wait. Hey, did you get the comm? Are we off? Are we...

107:26:07 Irwin: Well, maybe...

107:26:08 Scott: (Garbled).

107:26:09 Irwin: Apparently Down Voice Backup. We're on hot miked!

107:26:12 Scott: Are we in Down Voice Backup now?

107:26:14 Irwin: I'll turn it Off.

[Comm Break]
107:28:26 Allen: Falcon, this is Houston.

107:28:34 Irwin: Go ahead, Joe.

107:28:36 Allen: Roger, Jim. We have a question that may bear on this minor water problem. We're wondering if you can tell, or have a feel, for whether you're in a crater, or the slope of the spacecraft is, perhaps, caused by just a gentle slope of the lurrain (lunar terrain) there. Any feel for that?

107:28:58 Irwin: I'll have to ask Dave. (Long Pause)

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief, commenting on his observations during the SEVA - "I couldn't tell exactly why we had the tilt on the LM. It wasn't clear that we had put the rear footpad in the crater, which we subsequently found. I couldn't tell that from the top hatch, although I could see there were a number of shallow depressions and smaller craters in the area."]
107:29:27 Scott: Houston, Hadley.

107:29:29 Allen: Go ahead.

107:29:35 Scott: I guess, to answer your question, we're not really in a big crater anywhere. I think, possibly, one gear may be in one of these small craters. And as you might have heard Jim and I discussing, there's a rather high crater density. And I guess my references to trafficability were really to boulders, because that's what I was really most concerned with on driving the Rover. There is a fairly high crater density around. And, as I mentioned, they range up to probably 8 to 10 meters or so. And in our local area...Let me give you a rough count of the, oh, 8 to 10 meter ones. I guess one every 15 to 20 meters. So there's a fair number of medium craters. Nothing sharp - no boulders - and it may be that one footpad is in one of these craters that range on down to, maybe, 2 meters or 1 meter. And then there's a sharp break in craters down to probably a foot or so. But it's almost like 14 - as I remember their pictures - quite a variety of crater sizes, up to some certain limit. I don't see anything on the 25-meter scale that we hoped to expose the bedrock in our immediate vicinity. Although I can see some fresh ones - maybe some rims out through the window here at 10 or 11 o'clock. But I can't really account for our attitude right now. We'll just have to get out and take a look.

107:31:19 Allen: Roger, Dave. Copied all that loud and clear. I phrased my other question poorly. Apparently, the thermal people were worried that, if you were sitting right in the bowl of a fairly deep crater, there would be a certain focusing effect of the sunlight, and it may require more water to keep the spacecraft cool later on. That's a good answer we have from you. We'll have some more questions for you later on when you're comfortable and into your eat period, if you're interested in talking at that time. And we'll be standing by.

107:31:57 Scott: Okay, Joe. There's so much here, I could talk to you forever. But there's a large...I can see now...We were in zero-phase and without taking a close look out the front window, I couldn't tell you. But, as I was coming down trying to select a spot to land, I was trying to avoid these 8- to 10-meter craters. And we have one out of our, I guess, about 3 or 4 o'clock that I discussed before. There is one directly in front of us; the rim is almost on the shadow of the radar antenna right now, and it appears to be an 8- to 10-meter one. And there's one over to our 10 o'clock. They're just all over, and it was sort of hard to find a spot that was really level.

[At some point after the SEVA, Dave and Jim took a series of photos (assembly by Dave Byrne showing the views out the LM windows.]

[The photos take out Dave's window are AS15-85- 11383 to 11393.]

[The photos taken out Jim's window are 11394 to 11397.]

107:32:41 Allen: Roger. We copy. And, Dave, earlier you talked about, specifically, a very bright crater, I think, fairly near by. Could you estimate for us the size, distance, and azimuth of that bright crater?

107:33:03 Scott: Stand by. (Pause) I can tell you're still looking for our position.

107:33:14 Allen: No, that's not necessarily true. We think we're pretty well squared away on your position. This probably would cinch it down, though.

107:33:25 Scott: Okay. As we're unsuiting here, let me think that one over. I think we can cinch it down too.

107:33:32 Allen: Roger.

[Scott - "You, of course, realize that that question came from the Backroom, from Jim Lovell who was the spokesman in the Backroom on our mission. They heard me talking about craters to Joe. And Joe was getting, in his headset from the Backroom, 'Ask him about the bright crater and the size!' They're listening to everything and it's triggering their thinking. You can see the system working in this. This is not a pre-planned question. It's a question that Joe gets while he's talking to me about this water problem. So, when it's opportune, he feeds it in. But it just shows you that everybody's up and running in real time, listening to this stuff."]

[Jones - "Would it have been in character for Joe to slip in some questions of his own?"]

[Scott - "Yeah, occasionally. You'd have to ask Joe. I think he probably took his cues from the Backroom, because that's the way he worked. I think, in real time, in the quick response, there were Joe Allen comments. But, in terms of the technical or scientific content of the questions, Joe was getting it from the Backroom, because he was used to doing that. That's the way the system worked. And I would guess that ninety percent of what Joe asked were questions that came out of the organization in the Backroom, which are a whole bunch of people, each of whom is feeding into focal point who's sifting out the good questions and the bad questions so that we don't get garbage. So, by the time it gets to Joe, it's already been through a scientific review, in real time, with the best experts in the world."]

["What'd we have in the Backroom? Twenty guys or whatever. They hear us talking. They go through their review process, they sift out the important things, they pass them up to Allen, Allen gets them to us. So there's really very little wasted motion here. These are not scattered, random questions. They are well posed, well thought-out questions which are instant responses to what we say, but by a group of guys who are already in the loop, tuned to what we do and how we work. And we know how they work. It's a team approach. It was a very effective system, and we never had our time wasted by any trivia, because it got filtered by this team in the Backroom. It was a method that was built up over a long period of time that enabled somebody like Allen, who was very quick - and Joe was very quick...And if Joe would get a question that looked like it wasn't a good question, he'd say to the Backroom and say 'Hey, wait a minute, guys, I'm not going to ask them that.' We either already know the answer, because he'd heard the answer, or he had the answer, or he'd know it wasn't important now. One of the things I liked about Joe is that we were never bothered by something unimportant, because Joe could tell what was important and not important. So we're getting good exchange of valuable information and not wasting our time. And it's easy to waste time in these things."]

[Jones - "The only time in this whole mission, that I remember, were there was any break down in that was when you were having trouble with the drill and the vise - and you were intent on getting that problem solved - and Joe had some other things to talk about that, in the normal course of events, you would have been ready to listen to. It wasn't the time."]

[Scott - "Yeah, I remember that. 'Just leave me alone, man. I've got bigger problems right now. Go away.' And Joe was good. He went away."]

[Jones - "Yeah. He's a diplomat, amongst his other talents."]

[Scott - "Absolutely."]

[Jones - "On 17 I have included some of the comm from the Flight Director loop that illustrates this process. I'll get some of the Flight director/ CapCom/Backroom tapes for 15."]

[Scott - "As your curiosity continues into this, you may want to spend a couple of hours with Joe Allen and ask him how it worked. There's a valuable source, 'cause I think he was the epitome of all the CapComs. He grew up with this, and helped define this and put the methodology in it, because he was the first real lunar surface CapCom, if you will. These other guys weren't trained. Joe was trained in geology, too. He was on all the field trips. In fact, the Flight Director during the geology was Gerry Griffin. He was on the field trips with us. I said, 'Gerry, come out with us and go on the field trips.' And he will tell you that's one of the most valuable things he ever did. Because he could understand what was going on. So, in addition to the crews, the CapCom and the Flight Director got geology training. They knew what was going on, so they could perform very effectively. You really ought to talk to Joe and find out how his role was developed and how he handled it. And Joe was, without doubt, the best guy in the whole system to talk about that."]

[Training photo shows Joe with Dave and Jim on a geology field trip, probably at Taos, New Mexico in March 1971. While I agree with Dave that Joe was probably the best of the EVA CapComs, Ed Gibson on Apollo 12, Tony England on Apollo 13 and 16, and Bob Parker on Apollo 17 all participated fully in the geology field trips undertaken specifically the respective missions. And, of course, Fred Haise, who was the EVA-2 CapCom on Apollo 14, trained with Jim Lovell for a landing at Fra Mauro and, by all accounts, was very well prepared. The advantage that the crews and capcoms of Apollo 15, 16, and 17 had was the experience gained by the prior crews and the luxury of devoting about 40 percent of their training to surface activities.]

[Scott - "This is an important part of the Lunar Surface Journal. 'Cause we couldn't do it (alone)...Well, no, we could do it. Turn off the comm and Jim and I could do the geology for three days and have a ball and bring back a lot of stuff. That's a no-brainer. That's a slam dunk. On the other hand, to really optimize what we're doing, we need this team. And how does the team work? A very important element of that is the CapCom for the throughput, and how much flexibility does he have from the Flight Director. And Joe had a lot, because Gerry Griffin had been in the field. He knew how we worked, and he knew how Joe Allen worked. And it wasn't 'let's see, the crew is going to go explore the Moon. Who should we put as CapCom today?' That's not how it worked. It was all planned, all rehearsed, all exercised."]

107:33:34 Scott: But, before we go, I got to tell you about a rock that's right out at 12 o'clock, almost at the radar antenna shadow, and it's going to be gone pretty soon. There's a dark, black, angular fragment which is on the order of, I'd say, 6 to 8 inches across. It's got some light-colored, apparent dust on it. It's unique on the surface. All the other fragments appear to be white. And this one really looks like a jewel. You can think about that for awhile.

107:34:12 Allen: Roger. We copy. And it wouldn't surprise me at all if there wasn't some thought given to that rock. (Pause)

[According to N.G. Bailey and G.E. Ulrich in Apollo 15 Voice Transcript Pertaining to the Geology of the Landing Site, Dave will collect this rock as sample 15015 at the end of EVA-1 at 126:02:08. It is a 4.7 kilogram, glass-coated breccia.]
107:34:30 Allen: And, Dave and Jim, when you're comfortable, we'll call up our best guess as to your position and let you think about that for awhile.

107:34:36 Scott: Okay.

107:34:39 Allen: And you'll be very pleased to hear that your landing was not recorded on either of our seismometers on the Moon.

[These are the seismometers deployed by the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 crews. Joe is kidding Dave about the purposefully hard landing produced by the free-fall from 8 to 10 feet.]

[The Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 seismometers did record the impact of the Apollo 15 SIV-B at 079:24:42.]

107:34:49 Scott: Well, that's nice to know. You can tell the Program Manager (Apollo 9 Commander Jim McDivitt) that we certainly didn't buckle his engine bell for him.

107:34:57 Allen: Roger. (Pause) And, Jim, I just have to ask you, did you notice if the contact light came on or not?

107:35:19 Irwin: You didn't hear me! (Laughs)

107:35:28 Scott: Joe, I think Jim might someday qualify what he thought our landing velocity might have been.

107:35:36 Allen: Roger. I'd say he was dividing everything by 10. (Pause) And, Dave, be advised the Program...

107:35:44 Scott: No, I don't think so. I think we're...

107:35:48 Allen: Okay, Dave. Be advised the Program Manager says he'll wait until tomorrow (when Dave and Jim can make a visual inspection) until he decides about that engine bell.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 17 min 12 sec ) by David Shaffer

107:35:59 Scott: Okay. Well, just tell him that I'll guarantee that it wasn't running when we touched down. (Long Pause)

[As mentioned previously, the engine bell is about ten inches longer than on previous missions. The extension was added to improve engine efficiency so that a heavier LM could be landed.]

[Jones - "Before I got the tape turned on, you said there was some lively discussion as to whether or not you'd be able to get the engine shut down fast enough."]

[Scott - "That was one of the big things for the Program Manager: could we get the engine turned off in time to land without buckling the engine bell, because it was an extended bell, almost down to the surface. If you didn't get it off, the gases would be pushed back up into the bell and split it. So one of the big things was to turn off the engine as soon as we got the contact. That's why the laughter there about 'Jim, did you ever see the contact?' And, also, because we landed 'firmly'. And that's why Joe is kidding me about the seismometers didn't record anything. And we all sort of know this inside kind of thing, because we had talked about shutting the sucker down and would it hurt to split the engine bell? Probably not, because we weren't going to use it again, anyway. But it becomes a matter of the aviators pride. 'By God, if the Program Manager thinks I'm going to split the bell, I'm not going to split it. We'll get that dude (shut) off right away.' As a result of that, we probably dropped in from ten feet and had this rather firm landing. And now we're sort of getting a little needle from Allen, which is okay. 'The seismometers didn't record it.' And asked Jim what he thought the velocity was. And it's a light-hearted, inside joking."]

[According to the Apollo 15 Mission Report, they were coming down at 0.5 feet per second (fps) at contact and 6.8 fps at touchdown. From these numbers and the acceleration of gravity at the Moon's surface, 5.3 feet per second squared, we can estimate that, from the time Dave got the engine shutdown, free fall lasted 1.19 seconds and that, during that time, the spacecraft fell about 4.4 feet.]

[Jones - "Are you aware that the engine bell did buckle? Do you remember seeing that?"]

[Scott - "I don't think it buckled."]

[Jones - "There's a picture."]

[Scott - "If I ever looked at it hard, I don't remember it because we got on to other things and it really didn't matter because we weren't going to use it again. But it would be interesting to see."]

[Jones - "It's Figure 7-1 (AS15-88- 11882) in the Mission Report."]

[Scott - "Oh, yeah. It's got a little wrinkle in it. I guess I owe McDivitt a dinner. I hope he doesn't try to collect."]

[The following is from the Apollo 15 Mission Report. "At touchdown, the lunar module was located partially inside a small crater with the rim of the crater directly underneath the descent engine skirt. The descent engine skirt buckled during landing. This...was expected as the skirt length had been extended 10 inches over that of previous vehicles. This buckling was noted by the crew and confirmed by photographs of the damaged skirt. The crew reported that there was a gap between the exit plane of the skirt and the lunar surface, indicating that the buckling was probably caused by a build up of pressure inside the nozzle due to proximity to the lunar surface, and not due entirely to contact of the nozzle skirt with the lunar surface. The crew also reported that the buckling seemed to be uniform around the skirt periphery and that the exit plane height above the surface was uniform."]

[The buckling suggests that, at touchdown, the bell came into contact with the ground and was at least partially closed, allowing hot gases still escaping from the engine to build up in the bell. The pressure could relieve itself in three ways: (1) by blowing away the soil sealing the bell; (2) by creating a vertical crack in the bell; or (3) by creating a circumferential buckling that would raise the lower part of the bell upward and create an escape path. The bell-like shape of the skirt - with the diameter decreasing upward - certainly made the latter mechanism possible and, indeed, this is what seems to have happened. It also seems possible that contact with the ground created a circumferential zone of weakness at the place where the buckling occurred.]

107:38:30 Allen: Hadley Base, this is Houston. When you have the ECS configured properly, we'd like to run a (water) separator number 1 check, please. And we'll ask you to go back to separator number 1.

107:38:44 Irwin: We understand, Joe.

107:38:46 Allen: Roger. We'll be standing by. (Long Pause) And, Jim. This is Houston. We would like a mark when you go to separator number 1. (Long Pause)

107:39:19 Irwin: Okay. It'll be a little while, Joe.

107:39:21 Allen: Rog. No hurry. We'll just know when to be watching.

107:39:27 Irwin: Roger.

[Very Long Comm Break. The next transmission indicates that Dave is out of his suit and is checking comm with his lightweight headphones and mike. They have laid his suit on the Ascent Engine cover and have connected the ECS oxygen hoses to blow air through it to make sure it is dry for tomorrow's EVA. According to the checklist, Dave's suit is stowed on the right-hand side of the engine cover, facing up, with the neckring aft. They will put Jim's on the left-hand side, face down. Readers should note that this is the first time that a LM crew took their suits off.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We took our suits off and, there again, no problems. I think training had prepared us for the doffing of the suits, and I can't remember having any trouble getting out of the suits."]

[A composite image (2.5 Mb) made by Ed Hengeveld from Apollo 17 post-EVA photos AS17-134-20522 and 25, giving a wide view from the LMP's station.]

107:49:44 Scott: Okay, Houston. Hadley for comm check on the lightweights (meaning the lightweight headsets).

107:49:50 Allen: Roger, Hadley Base. Copy you 5 by.

107:49:56 Scott: Okay. One suit's off and stowed.

107:49:59 Allen: Roger, Dave. And, Jim, standing by for your call.

[Comm Break. Now, they are getting Jim out of his suit.]
107:55:42 Scott: Okay, Houston. Hadley here. If you want to give us the consumables update, we'll take it. (See Surface 2-6.)

107:55:48 Allen: Roger, Dave. Got them right here. And if you're ready to copy, here they come. The LM consumables...

107:55:57 Scott: We're ready to copy.

107:55:58 Allen: ...RCS Alfa, 85.0 (percent remaining); Bravo, 85.5; O2 descent number 1, 85; number 2, 83.5; O2 ascent number 1, 99; number 2, 99; H2O descent number 1, 79; number 2, 80; H2O ascent number 1, 100 percent; ascent number 2, 100 percent; amp-hours descent (remaining), 1705; ascent, 572. Over. (Long Pause)

107:56:50 Scott: Okay. Copied all that. Look...That looks pretty close to nominal.

107:56:54 Allen: Not half bad.

[Comm Break]
107:58:39 Scott: Okay, Houston; Hadley. We're in the ECS sleep configuration now, if you want to run your water SEP check.

107:58:45 Allen: Roger, Dave. We're standing by for a mark. (Pause)

107:59:05 Scott: Okay. Stand by, Joe. (Pause)

107:59:18 Scott: 2, 1, Mark.

107:59:21 Allen: Roger.

[Long Comm Break]
108:07:24 Allen: Hello, Falcon. This is Houston. Just for your own information, the water separator number 1 looks good. But we'll be keeping a further eye on it here. A little later on, Gordo (CMP CapCom Gordon Fullerton)'s going to read up a procedure that involves (a) VHF communications check.

108:07:43 Scott: Okay. Understand. Thank you. (Pause)

108:07:54 Allen: And, Dave and Jim, we've got some positions, when you get in a comfortable position, maybe have something to eat, but have your maps out. I'll read them up to you.

108:08:08 Scott: Okay. Give us about 5 minutes.

108:08:10 Allen: Roger, Dave. No hurry at all.

[Long Comm Break]
108:13:17 Fullerton: Falcon, Houston. If you're not busy, I'll give you some switch positions to get set up for the VHF comm check.

108:13:28 Scott: How much time do we have, Gordo?

108:13:31 Fullerton: Plenty of time. Probably about 15 minutes before he comes over the horizon.

108:13:41 Scott: Okay. Give us about 5 to finish fixing dinner here. It takes a while.

108:13:47 Fullerton: Okay.

[Comm Break. They had planned to start the eat period at 107:41.]
108:16:46 Scott: Okay, Houston. Hadley Base here. Go ahead with your switch settings.

108:16:53 Fullerton: Okay, Falcon. This is Houston. You can go ahead and throw these switches as I call them. We'd like the VHF A Transmitter to Voice, and the VHF A Receiver, On. That's a verify. Over. (Pause)

[Gordo's "that's a verify" means that the switches should already be in those positions.]
108:17:16 Scott: Roger. That's a verify on both.

108:17:19 Fullerton: Okay. And the VHF A Squelch, we'd like you to adjust it. Suggest (that you adjust it) so you can hear a little noise. And VHF Antenna, Aft. Over.

108:17:32 Scott: Squelch with a little noise, and Antenna, Aft.

108:17:35 Fullerton: Okay, the LMP, We suggest he makes a check. Put his Audio panel, VHF A T/R to T/R. And we're going to have Al initiate the check. He's kind of busy as he passes over, so he's going to initiate the check at a slack moment, and that'll be sometime between 108:32 and 108:44.

108:18:03 Scott: Okay. A couple of points. We don't have any mission timer, and we'll be standing by. And I'll have to do it, because we have one lightweight headset that failed right when we picked it up after lift-off, when we first unstowed it. We brought it down so Al could have a good one.

108:18:22 Fullerton: Oh, okay. Fine. We think we know what the problem was. We think it's just an error in procedures back before PDI and before the comm check. You were in Voice/Range, according to the Timeline Book, and that would block your transmitter. And that's probably what's wrong. We really don't suspect any hardware problem. (Long Pause)

108:19:03 Scott: Okay. We just talked it over, Gordo. After the radar check, we went from Voice/Range back to Voice on the VHF A. (Pause)

108:19:17 Fullerton: Yeah, we realized that. But we think that the comm check was before that. That you got back and that you just never did have another call after you got back to Voice. The blocking - that was my mistake a minute ago - the block was due to the blocking of your receiver while in ranging. Over.

[Scott - "I'm sure you've noticed, in all this, that nobody's afraid to admit they've made a mistake. Everybody's working together because, in the integrated simulations and in the other simulations, we all learned that we all make these mistakes. And, in the simulations some of them were rather drastic. So it's a nice system, a nice methodology; there's no ego involved. Here's Gordo, saying 'Oh, that's my mistake.' Okay. We all understand that. We've all been through simulations where they really wiped us out; and, in the debriefings of the simulations - which were very long and very detailed - when they found out some guy screwed up, he'd say 'Gee, I really screwed that up, didn't I?' There was no put down. There was no ego problem. Everybody worked together for a common kind of thing. So you don't see these frictions that you see in other areas about who did what and who's to blame. Maybe there was. But I never saw any, and I was never aware of anyone that was pointing fingers or shirking responsibility. It was 'Oh yeah, that was my mistake'."]
108:19:42 Scott: Okay. Well, we're set up now, and Jim's got his comm helmet on. So we'll be standing by for Al's call.

108:19:48 Fullerton: Okay. Good enough. (Pause)

[Scott - "There may be a question here about why Jim isn't talking. There was only one lightweight headset."]

[Jones - "Jim's got his Snoopy helmet on, waiting for Worden's call?"]

[Scott - "I guess. Jim was relegated, at this moment, to wearing the Snoopy helmet. Which he didn't mind. No big deal."]

[Jones - "Which would explain why, earlier on, it's mostly one or t'other of you."]

[Scott - "I'd forgotten we lost that lightweight headset."]

108:19:56 Scott: And, Houston. Hadley Base, here. Anytime you want to discuss the landing and our position, why, I guess we've got supper cooked, and we're ready.

108:20:06 Allen: Roger. Understand that supper is cooked or being eaten?

108:20:15 Scott: Yeah, if you like cold tomato soup! (Pause)

108:20:23 Allen: Oh, mercy, yes! Delicious!

[Dinner preparations involved digging the appropriate plastic food packs out of storage and cutting them open with a pair of surgical scissors. Each member of the crew has a pair. On the way out to the Moon on Apollo 17, Ron Evans lost his and the LM crew left him with one of their pair so that he wouldn't starve. The plastic food bags were all but impossible to open without the scissors.]

[Scott - "I'll tell you a story about scissors on Gemini IX. That was the angry alligator mission. Stafford and Cernan went up after this docking thing (a docking target attached to an Agena Rocket) and they couldn't get the (protective) shroud off of it (or, rather), the clamp band around it. And it appeared that you could cut that with the scissors that we carried, which were surgical scissors which had been selected by the Mercury guys, I think, early on. And they're great scissors. So McDivitt, Schweickart, and I were in LA; and shroud and the docking adapter had been built by McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach. So they called us up and said 'Go to Long Beach and work out a simulation and see if Cernan can get out and snip this band with the scissors. So, A, go down to McDac and get them to set the simulators and set a situation up with the actual flight hardware and, B, go find some scissors. Well, we were in LA and we were working on Apollo and we didn't have any Gemini scissors. So we decided to go to this big hospital in Downey (where the Command Module prime contractor, North American, was located). It was about 11 at night and, of course, the world's in this big panic 'cause they're up there stationkeeping with this thing, trying to decide whether Gene should go outside and clip this thing with his scissors. And I remember McDivitt, Schweickart, and I walk into this hospital. We had our Ban-Lon shirts on because we'd been over running spacecraft tests. Went up to the doctor in charge and said 'We're astronauts and we'd like to see if you have some surgical scissors because we have to run a simulation on this spacecraft up there, to verify whether the guy can go outside and clip this clamp band with surgical scissors.' And this doctor looked at us like, 'I've been in LA a long time, but I've never seen this before.' And he wouldn't believe us. I mean, he was absolutely dumbfounded. These three guys come in off the street with this wild story. And I'll bet that doctor is still telling that story. And we went all through that hospital and never could find exactly the right kind of scissors. And they finally decided that Cernan ought to not try that."]

["I think I've still got my scissors. Those are very valuable instruments. And if Gene and Jack and Ron were one pair short, that's pretty serious!"]

108:20:25 Allen: Dave, I guess the first thing that we might start with, is our estimated position of your landing site. And we've got two inputs on that. Al, when he passed over, got what seemed like a pretty accurate hack on where you've landed, and he calls it out as Bravo, Romeo 2...Correction. Disregard. Bravo Romeo 5/75.5. And, then the Backroom...The best guess from the Backroom is Bravo Romeo 2/75.2. In both cases, it's very near November Crater (which is at BR.9/75.3). It's just a question of on which side of November are you now sitting. So a tally ho on November Crater will tell us, I guess, exactly. As it is, we think we know where you are to within about 100 yards. Over.
[As mentioned previously, they are actually near BS.4/73.3. See, also, a detail from Pan Camera frame 9809, taken from the Command Module, which has a bright spot at about the right position. Unfortunately, the lack of a clear LM shadow makes the identification uncertain. The location that Joe passed along here - BR.5/75.5 and BR.2/75.2 - are about 600 and 550 meters, respectively, from the actual LM location. The truth won't be known until they get Rover Nav readouts at Elbow Crater during the first traverse. Those readouts will indicate a landing at BS.1/73.3, which is a spot only 75 meters from the BS.4/73.3 location Dave gives Houston at 129:05:07. Given the uncertainties in both the Rover readings and Dave's estimate, the two locations are identical. In a 1996 review of a draft of this Journal, Dave noted that, at the time he and Jim reached Elbow Crater, "the Rover readouts were probably suspect, also, because the Nav system had never been verified on the Moon!" However, those residual doubts were quickly dispelled when, on the return trip to the LM, the Nav system pointed them directly at the LM and, when they arrived back at the spacecraft, indicated essentially a zero range.]
108:21:28 Scott: Okay. I tried to find November Crater out there, Joe. And, I could see a fresh one to the north - a fresh rim - but no bright ejecta, as you see on the map there. But I guess I probably agree with you. And I might run through what I saw from pitchover, on down, and that might help you out a little bit. It was quite a surprise.

108:21:52 Allen: Roger, Dave. We're standing by. And, by the way, your comm is absolutely crystal clear. It's just beautiful.

108:22:04 Scott: Great. So's yours. So, anyway, I got the "3000-south" call, which was a good call. And as we came down prior to P64, I could see the rille to the south, and I couldn't see it up over the nose. And I got the distinct impression, as I looked at Hadley Delta, coming into P64, that we were going to be way long. And, I guess...You know, I've never shot one of these landings before, and I got fooled a little bit there. And, at pitchover, we were definitely quite a ways south. And I never saw Index Crater all the way down.

[Index has another small crater at about the NNW location on the rim, forming a distinctive dimple when the shadows are deep.]
108:22:45 Scott: I saw what I thought was Salyut, and the one north of Salyut, which I sort of picked as a landmark to zero in on. I gave about four clicks (of the LM handcontroller) right and then about two more right, as I remember, to get us back up to the north. And because we were south, I lost the four craters in a row there (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Index) that lead into Index. But I believe the topo relief is somewhat exaggerated, in that our maps and models show good shadow in Index. And, as good a crater as that is from orbit - it was very easy to pick up in orbit - I never did locate it on the descent during the visibility phase. But I was able to see (distinctively-shaped) Earthlight (Crater), and that substantiated your call of being 3000 short (means south). Now, after I got over a roll to come back up north, with the LPDs, and Salyut - what I thought was Salyut - I redesignated short to bring us back to what looked like a reasonably smooth area. And then I just picked out a spot in between the holes down here, and put it down. And I guess I sort of have to agree with you that we're probably somewhere around November. And let me think a little bit and see if I can remember seeing something that looked like November.

108:24:42 Allen: Roger, Dave. We copy that. (Long Pause) Dave. While you're thinking there, let me repeat a question I asked earlier. You described a very bright crater in one of your first descriptions. And we're still looking for the azimuth, approximate distance, and size of that bright crater.

108:25:09 Scott: Well, the brightest crater I've seen is the one that was right on the rim...halfway up St. George, and it's almost white. And...Is that the one you're thinking about?

[Dave's SEVA photo AS15-84-11235 shows the bright crater on the east rim of St. George.]
108:25:25 Allen: Stand by, Dave. I think there was another one. I'll...I'll get back with you on that in a minute. It was one that was a lot closer to you. And I've got another question now on the board in front of me here. We think you're near the edge of the Aristillus-Aristarchus ray. And, I wonder if you can recall anything about the local albedo changes. Over.
[As mentioned previously, it was - and still is - thought that the craters of the South Cluster were dug by ejecta from one or the other of the craters that Joe mentions here. Indeed, analysis of the orbital photographs suggest that a streamer of material was laid across the whole area and that an edge of the resulting ray pattern is near the LM. As with similar features suspected at other landing sites, Dave is being asked if he noticed any change in surface brightness that might be indicative of the ay boundary. On Apollo 17, Cernan and Schmitt were able to determine that they had crossed an albedo boundary - that one marking the edge of a landslide run-out - but only because they noticed a higher frequency of small, fresh craters with bright walls. No such evidence was found at Hadley.]
108:26:02 Scott: No, Joe, I didn't see a thing. And, it's just all the same (guffaws) north to south, east to west in our current position.

108:26:23 Allen: Roger, Dave. Copy that. And sorry on that crater call. That was my fault. (Correcting himself, again) The Aristillus/Autolycus ray.

108:26:34 Scott: Okay.

108:26:35 Allen: As you, I'm sure, understood. (Pause) Dave, while you're sipping your cold tomato soup there, was the black rock that you called out to us on a crater rim?

108:27:04 Scott: Yes, it is, Joe. It sure is. And it's a difficult crater to see. It's quite a subtle crater, but it's out - well, the LM shadow being like 30, maybe 28 meters now - it's probably about 40 meters away, the (near) rim of the crater. And that black rock is sitting right on the rim.

108:27:25 Allen: Roger. (Long Pause)

108:27:40 Scott: Hey, Joe. Jim's just pointed out another black one now that must be 300 meters out. And it's so dark that it looks like a shadow. It's just coal black, and it looks like it might be about the same size.

108:27:58 Allen: Roger, Dave. Incredible. (Pause) While you're peeking out there, do you have any further observations on the abundance, size, and distribution of the frags in the nearby field-of-view?

108:28:17 Scott: Yeah. That's one we promised you. (Pause) Yes. I'd say that, in the near field, the surface is covered by probably less than 1 percent of fragmental debris (that is, less than one percent of the surface is covered by rock, as opposed to the fine-grain soil). And, of that debris, I'd say 70 percent of it is on the order of an inch to 2 inches, or less. And maybe the other 30 percent seems to be in a range of maybe 4 or 5 inches, something like that. No large frags anywhere. They mostly...

108:28:54 Allen: Dave. Let me interrupt a second. Verify...

108:28:56 Scott: ...they're very light colored...

108:28:57 Allen: ...you're Slew, please.

108:29:03 Scott: That's verified.

108:29:05 Allen: Thank you. Continue.

[Houston is about to have a site handover. Communications are maintained through transmitter/receivers at Goldstone, California, Honeysuckle Creek, Australia, and Madrid, Spain. Every eight hours or so, as the Earth rotates under the Moon, the ground station which has been handling the comm does a "handover" to the next station westward. This handover will be from Spain to California; and the LM comm system needs to be in slew to ensure that the signal will be lost for only a few seconds. At Hadley, the two stations are about 2 degrees apart in the sky.]
108:29:11 Scott: Okay. Most the fragments are light colored, except for the two that we mentioned to you. In fact, they look white. I can see some that are just stark white and some that are a lighter gray. (Pause)

108:29:33 Allen: Roger, Dave. You might comment on the relative abundance. And, just for your information, (as per checklist) you're coming up on a sleep period in about a half an hour, I guess.

108:29:48 Scott: Okay. Understand, Joe. So...(Long Pause)

[As Jim mentions in the 1971 Technical Debrief, while they are eating, they are also recharging the PLSS water tanks.]

[In Houston, the Flight Director wants Joe to tell the crew about the handover but the handover occurs before Joe can make the transmission.]

MP3 Audio Clip ( 8 min 56 sec ) by David Shaffer

108:30:28 Allen: And, Falcon. We had...

108:30:29 Scott: (Probably wondering what happened to the comm) Hey, Houston; 15.

108:30:30 Allen: ...Roger. Go ahead. We've had a site handover. It's complete now.

108:30:36 Scott: Okay, we heard that. Gee, I'm just looking down right in front of the LM here to try and get your relative abundance, and I was about ready to say that maybe, of these inch frags, there might be five or six in a square meter. And I see what appears to be a round, glassy ball! It's shiny; it casts a rounded shadow; and it looks about the size, oh, maybe an inch or so.

108:31:08 Allen: Roger.

108:31:11 Scott: I can see some lineaments on the surface which appear to be from the descent engine. They radiate away from our position here. We'll take a closer look at those later.

108:31:22 Allen: Roger, Dave. And, for the benefit of our Prime Flight Director, maybe the name of that should be called an Aggie. (Pause)

108:31:42 Scott: Okay, Joe. We'll call that one our first Aggie!

[Joe is punning. An "Aggie" is a student of one of the many U.S. agricultural universities. Prime Flight Director Gerry Griffin is an proud alumnus of Texas A&M (Agricultural and Mechanical) University and, hence, is an "Aggie". The word "Aggie" is also the colloquial name for an agate playing marble. A genuine aggie was fashioned from agate stone, as opposed to a glass imitation. See, also, the discussion following 146:04:50]

[Scott - "I got a million miles on the Aggie story after the flight. We collected that rock, brought it back, went to the Lunar Receiving Lab, looked at all the rocks and, when we got to that rock, you know what? It was an aggie rock. It was hollow on the inside. All for Mr. Griffin."]

[Dave took a series of photos of the Aggie at about 142:56:47. The best of these is AS15-86- 11606. The "aggie" is above the slightly-buried rock above and slightly to the right of the center of the picture. What Dave failed to mention is that the Aggie, being hollow, was crushed in transit.]

108:31:46 Allen: And, Dave, (with regard to the question on the bright crater) you described it as the one near the LM with lighter-gray debris in it. And I'm sitting here wondering if maybe that was No...

108:32:01 Scott: Rog.

108:32:02 Allen: ...November Crater, itself.

[Jones - "Jack told me that there were a couple of court reporter types transcribing the air-to-ground and somebody else was turning that into clear text and there was a TV camera trained on that so that the Backroom, if they needed to, could go back and look at what was said."]

[Scott - "Yeah, they did do that."]

[What Dave said at 107:08:53 was "I can see some young, fresh craters in our vicinity, which are sort of interesting in that there's some very small debris in the crater itself and on the rim; and it's somewhat lighter gray than the general surface - the debris being on the order of, oh, centimeters or so, but quite young and fresh."]

108:32:06 Scott: Okay; there was one that had fresh debris (that was) light-colored around the rim. Although it did not have a particularly raised rim (as November has). It was a level rim, but there was a fair amount of debris around the rim. And that was out, about, my 2 o'clock, I guess. Maybe you'd call that November. I guess what I was looking for, relative to November, was a bright ejecta blanket; which I don't really see.

108:32:34 Allen: Roger. We agree. It does look bright on our map here.

[Portions of the following dialog are taken from a separate Command Module comm loop. Command Module Pilot Al Worden is flying what amounts to a separate mission, operating an array of scientific instruments and cameras located in the Service Module. Because both Worden and the LM crew have a great deal of business to conduct with Houston, they have separate comm loops and CapComs. The Command Module CapCom on the current shift is astronaut Gordon Fullerton.]
108:32:13 Fullerton: Okay, Al. Very interesting. Change the subject, we're now should be within line of sight of the LM, so stand by while I get a quick check and see if they can take a comm check.

108:32:29 Worden: Okay; fine.

108:32:40 Allen: (To Scott on the LM circuit) Stand by for a call from Al if you could, guys.

108:32:45 Scott: Rog.

108:32:40 Fullerton: (To Worden) Al, go ahead with it and see if you can raise them.

108:32:45 Worden: Hey, Falcon; this is Endeavour. How do you read? (No answer) Hello, Falcon; this is Endeavour. (No answer)

108:33:07 Fullerton: (To Scott on the LM circuit) Falcon, would you give Endeavour a call?...

108:33:11 Worden: Hello, Falcon; Endeavour.

108:33:12 Fullerton: ...He's been calling you. Evidently you don't read. Try it in the reverse.

108:33:15 Scott: Hello, Endeavour. This is the Falcon. How do you read? (No answer; Pause)

108:33:28 Fullerton: Falcon and Endeavour, this is Houston. Evidently neither of you are reading each other. We'll stand by until you get overhead and give it another try. I'll give you a cue. Over.

108:33:42 Worden: Okay, Gordo. I'll keep trying here a couple of times. Falcon, Endeavour. How do you read? (No answer)

108:33:43 Scott: (Responding to Fullerton) Falcon. Rog.

108:33:49 Allen: And, Falcon; this is Houston....

108:33:53 Worden: Hey, I hear you trying to call. Go Ahead. (No answer)

108:33:53 Allen: ...We're suggesting that you proceed on with the PLSS charge, and we'll be saying goodnight to you shortly. You're coming up on your sleep period shortly.

108:34:04 Scott: Okay. And did that Sun compass do you any good, Joe?

108:34:12 Allen: Dave, those readings converge pretty well. They just don't decide between the about 100-meter error we think we have in the two possible landing sites. But you're very close to being exactly right on.

108:34:30 Scott: Okay, fine.

[Scott - "The point was not necessarily to find out where we were with the Sun compass, but to give us some indication whether the Sun compass works. So it was nice to hear him say it does work. Another item checked off."]

[Jones - "So that, if you were out somewhere on the Rover and needed it, you could have gotten back to within 100 or 200 meters of the LM."]

[Scott - "Which was the whole point."]

[Note, however, that if the error box is large enough to include the posited sites near November Crater, the uncertainty is more like 500 meters.]

[In a 1996 letter, Dave said, "the point would be: could you get within line-of-sight of the LM, whatever distance that was? Could you get close enough to see the LM?"]

[The answer to Dave's question depends critically on nature of the terrain at the landing site. At Hadley, there were no ridges close enough to the LM to hide the spacecraft from sight if one got within a few hundred meters of it. On the other hand, at the Apollo 16 site, there were places within a few hundred meters of the LM from which the spacecraft could not be seen.]

108:34:32 Worden: Hey, Falcon; Endeavour. How do you read? (No answer) Hello, Falcon; this is Endeavour. I read you. (No answer) Hello, Falcon; Endeavour.

108:35:04 Scott: Hello, Endeavour; this is Falcon. You're loud and clear. How us?

108:35:06 Worden: Hey, you're coming in 5 square, David. How'd it go?

108:35:09 Scott: Hey, it was super, just super. And we got the greatest place on the Moon down here.

108:35:13 Worden: Hey, that sounds neat. I think I got you on the last pass, too.

108:35:18 Scott: Yeah, that's what they tell me. Say, can you see Index very well up there?

108:35:22 Worden: Yes, sir. I could see Index just as clear as a bell.

108:35:27 Scott: (Garbled) Falcon to go with it?

108:35:32 Worden: I went right down the line: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Index.

108:35:38 Scott: Rog.

108:35:47 Worden: How do you read now, Dave?

108:35:50 Scott: All broken. How us?

108:35:51 Worden: Okay, let me try another antenna.

108:35:53 Scott: Okay.

108:35:57 Worden: Okay; how do you read now?

108:35:58 Scott: Okay; that's a lot better.

108:36:00 Worden: Okay.

108:36:01 Scott: I've got a question for you here...

108:36:02 Worden: Gee! That sure is a pretty sight down there, pal...

108:36:03 Scott: ...Can you see Index at altitude now? Could you see any shadows to identify it?

108:36:09 Worden: Say again, Dave.

108:36:12 Scott: Could you identify Index Crater as you go over the landing site, now?

108:36:14 Allen: (To Dave) And, Falcon, this is Houston. In a few minutes, while you're stowing the ETB (as per Surface 2-7), we'd like for you to pick up the magazine and frame counts on the magazine from your two cameras, please.

[The Equipment Transfer Bag is made of beta cloth and is about the size of a bag that would fit easily under an airline seat. They will load the cameras, film magazines, maps, etc. into it and transfer it outside at the start of the EVA.]
108:36:17 Worden: Yes, I can do that with the naked eye right now. I'm just coming up on you now, and I can see Index from here.

108:36:29 Scott: (To Joe) Hey, Houston; Falcon. Stand by (until the conversation with Endeavour is finished). (Pause) Okay, Endeavour; Falcon. I guess you're over the hill, because we don't read you now.

108:36:45 Worden: Hey, negative, negative. I'm just coming up on you.

108:36:47 Scott: Oh, okay. You're broken a little bit. As you go by, see if you see any shadows in Index. I never saw it on the way in.

108:36:56 Worden: Hey, listen. I've got Index just looking out the side hatch window, right now. Those four craters ending in Index are just as clear as a bell right now.

108:37:18 Scott: Okay. Do you see us sort of relative to Index?

108:37:22 Worden: Well, I did, yes. I can't see you now, but on the last pass I picked you up, and you're just to the north and a little bit west of Index.

108:37:31 Scott: Okay, I think that's about right. Yes.

108:37:34 Worden: Yes. Did you get the coordinates off the map?

108:37:37 Scott: Yes, we got the ones you passed to Houston, and we also got the ones in the Backroom, and I guess we're discussing several kind of numbers now within 100 meters or so of where we really are. So, I think we're pretty well located.

108:37:53 Worden: Well, I'm right over you right now, pal, looking down.

108:38:02 Worden: I hope the view is as fantastic down there as it is up here.

108:38:06 Scott: I'm telling you, it really is!

108:38:14 Scott: Well, we'll do the little things and you do the big things.

108:38:18 Worden: Yes, sirree. (Pause) Maybe we can get together and compare notes.

108:38:25 Scott: Okay, we're about ready to power down for the night, and everything's in good shape down here. Everything's running well. And all we got to do is get a little sleep and get out after it.

108:38:36 Worden: Okay, David. See you in the morning.

108:38:38 Scott: Okay. Have a nice night. (Pause)

108:38:42 Irwin: Good night, Al.

108:38:44 Worden: Good night, James. (Pause) I'm keeping your sleeping bag warm for you, Jim.

108:38:51 Irwin: Take care of everything up there.

108:38:54 Worden: Certainly.

[Comm Break]
108:40:07 Worden: Houston, Endeavour.
[Comm Break]
108:41:03 Worden: Hello, Houston; Endeavour. (Pause)

108:41:08 Scott: Hey, Houston; Falcon. Endeavour's calling you.

108:41:11 Allen: Thank you, Dave. We're hearing him. (Pause)

108:41:20 Worden: What is it? Shift change, Joe?

108:41:22 Allen: Al, no, it's not. I think we may be on split S-band, and you're transmitting to me instead of Gordo. What can I do for you?

[Gordo is Gordon Fullerton, the Command Module CapCom on this shift. See Dave's comments below.]
108:41:37 Worden: Well, I didn't change my frequency, Joe. Say listen, I had a photo pass...(Pause)

108:41:51 Allen: Alfredo, are you still reading me? (Long Pause)

108:42:09 Scott: Say, Houston; Falcon. By the way, the VHF is crystal clear up here. Our comm is working great. Soon as you guys get it squared away on the ground, I guess we'll all be tied together.

108:42:19 Allen: Roger, Dave. We read the conversation. We'll be standing by for a report of a successful PLSS charge (per Surface 2-7); and (we're) interested in getting you guys in the sack as quickly as possible. Also, when you load up the ETB, we'll be standing by for frame counts from your cameras.

108:42:40 Scott: Wilco (meaning, will comply).

[Comm Break]

[Scott - "This (comm sequence) is interesting from two standpoints. One is the complexity of trying to run two spacecraft in parallel on separate loops, but using the same earthbound antenna. So the same DSN (Deep Space Network) antenna is being used for the S-band - I'm assuming that - and they're separating it out. And now they're bringing it together. And there's one times two times three - six - separate combinations of things you can do, which is even multiplied further by two CapComs. You've got two spacecraft, two CapComs...it works out pretty well but, in the beginning, there is a little bit of confusion here. It finally got worked out. The other point is, being on the surface, we never really know where Worden is. Because we don't try to keep track of his coming over the hill - AOS/LOS - so, as far we're concerned, he's sort of up there all the time. I think it's an interesting perspective. It doesn't affect what we do; but, on the other hand, it's nice to know he's there and, when he comes over and we get to talk to him - as I think you can probably tell from the voices - it's nice that we do get to talk to each other. Because we haven't since we separated. And, you've got to remember it's home that he's taking care of. So it's nice to be able to confirm that linkage. Not only comm but, Al's up there, we're down here, everything's going good and that's a nice way to end the day."]

[Jones - "No substantive exchange of information. Just contact."]

[Scott - "Just contact. 'Hey, you're doing good, we're doing good', and it's comforting to know that everything's working because Al's got a tough job. He's got this whole big SIM Bay and all these new procedures and all that sort of stuff. Another big step for the guy in the Command Module, because he's going three days alone. Which is longer than a day and a half alone (as was the case for the Command Module Pilots on the previous mission), and he's doing all sorts of new things that, themselves, take a lot of training. It's another step in the expansion of the system - which makes it a more interesting and productive mission, but is also more complex and takes more people to run it."]

108:44:27 Irwin: Okay, Joe. I have some frame counts for you.

108:44:32 Allen: Roger, Jim. Standing by.

108:44:38 Irwin: Roger. Mag L (also known as AS15-85) is reading 33. Mag K (Mag 87) is reading 66. And Mag Metro (Mag 84) is reading 20.

108:44:57 Allen: Roger, Jim. Thank you. Sounds like we got some beautiful shots already.

108:45:07 Irwin: Beautiful scenery.

108:45:11 Allen: It sounds it!

[Long Comm Break]
108:52:37 Allen: Hello, Hadley Base; this is Houston. Regarding the water separator number 1: Just to give you a warm feeling, it is working perfectly now. It looks as though, temporarily there, some water run down from the hoses and waterlogged it, but it's working perfectly now. Over.

108:53:02 Scott: Okay, Houston. Thank you. That's nice to know.

[Long Comm Break. As the next transmission indicates, they are now on Surface 2-8, preparing equipment they will take down to the surface for EVA-1 and getting the hammocks up.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 8 min 13 sec ) by David Shaffer

108:59:36 Scott: Houston, Hadley.

108:59:39 Allen: Go ahead, Dave.

108:59:45 Scott: I'd like to confirm that, on the LMP camera for EVA-1, we use Mag Lima. Is that correct?

108:59:53 Allen: That's correct, Dave. Mag Lima on the LMP camera. And we copied all the frame counts.

109:00:02 Scott: Okay; thank you. (Long Pause)

109:00:33 Allen: And, Dave, this is Houston. Did you copy from me that your water separator number 1 looks good again?

109:00:43 Scott: Rog; I thought we called you back on that, Joe. We got it. Thank you.

[Long Comm Break]
109:08:08 Scott: Okay, Houston. Hadley Base has two charged PLSSs.

109:08:16 Allen: Go ahead, Dave.

109:08:20 Scott: Rog. We have two charged PLSSs.

109:08:23 Allen: Roger; that sounds good. (Long Pause)

[In the morning, there will be a question as to whether they got Jim's PLSS water tank completely charged. Apparently, they had his PLSS slightly tilted while they were filling it. See, also, the discussion at 140:43:49.]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "While we were eating, we did the PLSS water charge and topped it off. I frankly don't remember what the orientation of my PLSS was when we did the water recharge, but I guess it was off-vertical somewhat."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Maybe a little bit but, at that time, the cabin wasn't too crowded, nor was it dirty. I think, there, was another advantage for sleeping. We got to sleep the first night in a clean cabin."]

109:08:54 Allen: And, Dave and Jim; this is Houston. If you two are interested, I could probably arrange for a geology lecture here to put you to sleep.
[Scott - "(During training in Florida) we'd have geology lectures after dinner, a lot. After a great big meal and a long, hard day, every once in a while, not always, somebody might fall asleep."]

[An example is a 3-hour orbital geology session with Farouk El Baz on 9 June 1971. Other examples can be found in the full Apollo 15 training log. [Jones - "I've read that there was something like 2500 to 2800 calories in the meal and, for a strapping young pilot, it doesn't sound like a huge amount."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I guess that we ate the meal that was provided; and I think that I'll mention, in general, that I don't think there's enough food on the LM, and I think we ate everything that was there I think that, for the activity we have on the surface, that you need mor food on the LM."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Particularly (more of) those food sticks would really come in handy."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I'd say we could tak at least twice as many of those, easily, because you can eat those during the preps and posts."]

[The food sticks were intended for use during the EVAs, and were hung inside the neckring.]

109:09:10 Scott: Well, Joe, I'm afraid that might keep us awake.

109:09:14 Allen: Roger. I agree. That was an outstanding job of describing your surroundings, by the way guys. I'm really...All of us are looking forward to tomorrow.

109:09:27 Scott: Well, thank you, Joe. I hope we get wound up (for the night) and we can get out there and get close to some of this. It's really fascinating.

[Long Comm Break]
109:13:14 Allen: Hadley Base, this is Houston. Requesting telemetry switch (to) Low bit rate (in order to conserve power). Please.

109:13:26 Scott: Rog. Low bit rate.

[Long Comm Break]
109:19:37 Allen: Hello, Hadley Base. This is Houston.

109:19:43 Scott: Go ahead, Houston.

109:19:47 Allen: Roger, Dave. We're not going to ask exactly for a mark when you ingress the hammocks (that is, Houston doesn't need to know exactly when they go to bed). And, by the way, I think the space program is the only place where a person can "ingress" a hammock. But we would like a status report on the two of you when you get comfortable. And, a final thing, you might be interested, the score of the All-Star Game (football game) at about halftime is the Baltimore Colts (a professional team), 14, College All Stars 7. And we'll be standing by for your status report. Over.

109:20:27 Scott: Okay. That sounds like a pretty good game!

[Long Comm Break]
109:28:10 Allen: Hadley Base, this is Houston.

109:28:17 Scott: Go, Houston.

109:28:18 Allen: Dave, before you get too well settled there, I forgot to indicate that the Surgeon is requesting a radiation device readout to be included in your crew status report there.

109:28:34 Scott: Rog. We'll look into that, Joe. We'll get it.

109:28:38 Allen: Okay. Fine, Dave. I was afraid you'd get in a position where you couldn't reach those devices.

[The Personal Radiation Dosimeters ( PRDs ) are kept in a suit pocket and can be hard to get at with the suits stowed on the engine cover.]
109:28:48 Scott: Oh, no, we weren't thinking of passing the Surgeon. We just have a number of unscheduled housekeeping chores that we've got to get squared away here, if we are going to settle down for 3 days.

109:29:00 Allen: Roger. Understand. And we're in no hurry. I do want you to get a good night's rest, though.

109:29:10 Scott: Roger. (Long Pause)

109:29:34 Allen: And, Dave, this is Houston. It sounds like you'll be able to carry out a very good (physics) experiment with your portable Leaning Tower of Pisa there.

109:29:50 Scott: Well, I'll tell you. It really doesn't seem to be leaning that much. We haven't noticed any...Well, we can see that there's a little tilt in here, but it's no real problem.

109:29:59 Allen: Roger. (Pause)

109:30:06 Scott: In fact, what, about 10 degrees at the most? (Pause) Okay. On the PRDs (Personal Radiation Dosimeter), if you're ready to copy.

109:30:25 Allen: Roger; go ahead.

109:30:30 Scott: Okay; CDR is 25011. The LMP, 08020.

109:30:39 Allen: Roger, Dave. Thank you.

[Long Comm Break]

[Joe's comment about the spacecraft tilt is a reference to a gravity experiment that Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was alleged to have performed in Pisa and to the fact - known to few other than Dave, Jim, and Joe - that Dave plans to repeat the Galileo experiment at the end of the third EVA at 167:21:58.]

[Jones - "On 14, at least at one point during the night, Al and Ed had the impression that the spacecraft was about to tip over. And actually opened the shade at one point to reassure themselves. They had a 7 degree right roll, while you were pitched back 6.9 degrees and rolled left 8.6. Did you have any sensations like that that you remember?"]

[Scott - "Did they have hammocks on 14?"]

[Jones - "Yes. But they didn't take the suits off."]

[Scott - "It was never really a problem. Remember, the hammocks would compensate for tilt - at least about two axes."]

[The layout of the hammocks is shown in a drawing from the Apollo 12 Press Kit.]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The hammocks are adjustable to a certain degree; and we were pitched up, which meant that my hammock (which was attached at the north and south bulkheads) would be titled back. I didn't notice any problem at all. I slept very comfortably and I think Dave did, too."]

[Dave's hammock is hung fore-and-aft; and Dave slept with his head aft.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I was afraid I would be feeling like I was sleeping heads down with that pitch angling there, but I didn't at all. The suits were a lot fluffier than they are in one g. They compress and they were right up to the bottom of my hammock, but that didn't bother me, either. As a matter of fact, it was almost like a nice little bed up there. I guess we had some concern that the hammocks were not going to provide the reasonable sleeping position; but, after we had done it a few times, I think it worked all right. I think, at any choke angle, you can adjust those things so it will give you a good position."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "One improvement I would suggest is extending the bottom of my hammock up to the connectors. There is a gap of about two feet, and my legs would dangle down at night."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Oh, really?"]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "It wasn't any problem. I found that, most of the night, my legs were up and kind of resting on top of the comm panel."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I felt like I might put my feet on the control switches. I took a piece of webbing we had on board, cut a hole in the bottom of the hammock, and tied the bottom up to the AOT guards so my feet wouldn't slide down onto the switches. I think you can improve the hammock by providing those two little items. You can make them wider, too. They're not quite wide enough to put your shoulders on them. Other than that, there is no problem."]

109:36:16 Allen: Dave, this is Houston.

109:36:23 Scott: Go ahead.

109:36:25 Allen: Roger. I apologize (in advance) for the question, but are your radiation meters tucked away yet?

109:36:35 Scott: They sure are.

109:36:37 Allen: Okay, thank you.

109:36:41 Scott: Rog.

[Long Comm Break]

[The readings - 25011 for Dave and 08020 for Jim - don't make sense to Houston, but Joe is reluctant to have them dig the gauges out since they can get an updated reading at the next opportunity. At 109:45:38, Houston asks Dave to take another look and, at that point, he reports 25017. A change in the last digit indicates an exposure of 0.01 rads. The average total dosage experienced by the Apollo 15 crew was 0.30 rads, about 1/4 of the 1.14 rad dose received by the Apollo 14 crew. The significantly higher Apollo 14 dose was due to the fact that the outbound and inbound trajectories for that mission passed much closer to the center of the Van Allen radiation belt.]

[Readers should note that the gauges did not read 00000 at the start of the missions. They were set with initial non-zero readings so that there would be no doubt as to whose PRD was being read.]

[Scott - "If we had been overdosed, what were we going to do? Leave? (With a touch of sarcasm) After doing all this stuff: getting ready for tomorrow, the film magazines and the suits and the hammocks and all that - and the doctors want to check them again!?"]

[Scott - "I might make a serious comment. You have to ask yourself the question: what if there'd been a high level of radiation. Because we were in a period of very high solar flare activity. At the peak of the cycle. If there had been a solar flare, somebody would have told us. At some point in the training, that was a concern. Had there been a radiation event, we would have known before the radiation ever got to us. So when they start talking these dosimeters - and I don't mean to put it down lightly, because it's serious business. On the other hand, when you're sitting there with all these other things, and nobody has said anything about a flare, then why would you have any big deal on the radiation meters that you couldn't handle in the morning. I always hate to sound like somebody isn't important in the system. The doctors are very important, but sometimes one of those questions slips through that, when you compare it with the other things that are going on, it really isn't important. And the interesting thing is, they're telling us to get to bed. 'Hurry up, guys, get to bed so you can get some rest.' And we're doing that. And, six minutes later, somebody wants to know about the PRD? Wait a minute. There's one (example) where they dropped the ball. That was a time where they should have left us alone and let us get to sleep."]

[Jones - "I can imagine that, on the Flight Director loop, the question comes up from the Surgeon and they discuss it a little bit and Joe or the Flight Director says 'All right. We'll ask them if they've still got them out.'"]

[Scott - "Right. And if they don't have them out, it's over. That's absolutely right. I'm sure that's the way it went."]

MP3 Audio Clip ( 14 min 22 sec ) by David Shaffer

109:43:39 Allen: Hello, Hadley Base; this is Houston. Over.

109:43:46 Irwin: Go ahead, Joe.

109:43:50 Allen: Roger...

109:43:51 Irwin: What can I do for you?

109:43:52 Allen: (Making a mis-identification) Roger, Dave. We've got two goodnight questions for you here. The first, we're trying to unravel some water-pressure data, and we just need to know if you charged the PLSSs using your checklist or using the decal instructions on the PLSSs. Over.

109:44:16 Irwin: No, we used the checklist. We used the checklist for the water recharge.

[Having gone to low power transmissions, these transmissions from Hadley are relatively faint and noisy. Dave and I are convinced that this is Jim is talking, but only because of clues from cadence and word choices.]
109:44:22 Allen: Roger; understand you used the checklist and charged it with water for the specified 5 minutes then. Over.

109:44:35 Irwin: Yeah, that's correct.

109:44:37 Allen: Okay; copy that. (Still thinking he's talking to Dave) And, Dave, we've got a major discrepancy in your radiation dosimeter reading. It's either gone belly-up on us or we miscopied the number which you read. We'll have to ask you to read it again, please.

109:45:00 Scott: You know that we switched them?

109:45:05 Allen: Say again, Falcon.

109:45:10 Scott: You know that CDR and CMP's PRD's were interchanged.

109:45:16 Allen: That's affirm, Dave; and the last reading we got from Al was considerably higher than the one we got from you. The device is either broken or you're being un-irradiated, which seems unreasonable. Over.

109:45:38 Scott: Well, all I can do is look in this very tiny window and look at these very tiny numbers and they say 2501...I guess I can give you a seven on that one (that is, 25017, rather than the 25011 he read earlier).

109:45:53 Allen: Roger. Everybody's happy. Thank you, Dave. And we have no questions from Houston. We'll say a pleasant good night to the two of you and look forward to tomorrow. Over.

109:46:08 Scott: Okay, Joe. I guess we don't have any alarm clock, so if somebody'll give us the word, we'll be standing by.

109:46:13 Allen: I wouldn't be at all surprised. You're liable to get the word from down here. (Pause) And it's been an outstanding day.

109:46:27 Scott: Yeah, we've enjoyed it.

[Very Long Comm Break]
109:57:42 Scott: Houston, Hadley Base. We're all tucked in. We'll see you in the morning.
[Astronaut Bob Parker takes over as CapCom for the rest period.]
109:58:06 Parker: Falcon, Houston. Did you call?

109:58:12 Scott: Rog. I just let you know that we're all tucked into the hammocks, and we'll see you in the morning.

109:58:19 Parker: Roger, Dave. Good night and don't fall out.

109:58:26 Scott: No way, Bob, no way. (Pause) There's no place to go if I did!

109:58:36 Parker: Copy.

[Jones - "The reference here is that you've got the suits under you."]

[Scott - "Yeah, and there's just no place to fall. And, let me tell you, those hammocks were very comfortable in one-sixth g. We had slept in them overnight in one g in the simulator and it was not comfortable. Got a lousy night's sleep. But these hammocks in one-sixth g were just great. It was just like feather down."]

[Jones - "And you were in cotton skivvies and very comfortable."]

[Scott - "You bet."]

[At 110:28, Public Affairs reports to the press that Jim Irwin's heart rate is in the mid 50s, indicating that he is probably asleep and is certainly resting. Dave Scott is not being monitored.]

[Jones - "You were the first ones to take the suits off for the rest periods What can you tell me about the discussions that led to that decision?"]

[Scott - "One of the fun things about 15 was that we got to try a lot of new things. We really got to start with a blank piece of paper. And we were given a pretty free hand. I mean, I really appreciate the fact that the system allowed us to do as much as we did in creating a situation that we could work in and feel productive in. And one of the early on exercises was, if you are going to stay on the Moon this long, how do you live? So we spent a lot of time discussing that and we spent a lot of time planning for it. As I mentioned, Jim and I spent the night in the LM simulator at the Cape to check everything out. We went over one night, and we did a lunar landing. We went through a complete timeline from the time we landed until we got up the next morning, in the simulator. Slept in the , did the food, did everything. We had it as high a fidelity as we could possibly get it. And the simulator guys were really great. They cleaned out the building and it was ours; and we just pretended like we were on the Moon. Nobody was allowed in the simulator building that night because, normally, there was some type of traffic 24 hours a day because there were two simulators, and mock-ups, etc."]

["I learned, early on when I was working on Gemini VIII, actually, that the higher fidelity you can simulate, with as few off-mission things, the better you're going to be when you get there. So we had everybody put everything in the simulator, down to the last detail, so we could try and go through a night."]

["In the simulator building in one g, we got a terrible night's sleep. I mean, boy, that's crummy, trying to sleep in those hammocks in one g in that little thing. We did the suit doffing and everything. Of course, the suit doffing was such a pain, anyway. Especially in one g. But it really paid off because, when we got to the Moon we were very comfortable in doing that sort of thing."]

[The following is taken from my 1989 conversations with Jim at his office in Colorado Springs.]

[Jones - "The sleeping arrangements were..."]

[Irwin - "I thought they were much better than I thought we had in the Command Module."]

[Jones - "You were sleeping across the pilot stations. Dave was in the hammock over you with his head toward the rear. You had the ear-piece in through the night?"]

[Irwin - "I don't think I ever did. Dave normally would have that in. I think I sleep better without something stuck in my ear, so I didn't want to do that."]

[Journal Contributor Ken Glover notes that Jim's memory is consistent with the transcript and Dave's last transmission.]

[Jones - "One of the things I wondered about is, had you done a sleep period in the LM mock-up during training at all?"]

[Irwin - "I think I did it at least twice where, after a day's work, I'd put up a hammock in the lunar module simulator, down at the Kennedy Space Center, and just sleep there, so that I'd be familiar with the surroundings and the noises, 'cause they left the power up. In other words, just to get a feel for how difficult it would be to sleep under the real conditions. Of course, under the real conditions, the pressure would be greatly reduced and all sounds would be muffled at 5 psi rather than 14.7. But it was good to have that experience. So, when we got to the Moon and put up our hammocks and stretched out, I felt right at home. I felt like I was back on the Earth, back in the simulator. So it helped us to adapt to this new situation."]

[Jones - "Did you sleep reasonably well?"]

[Irwin - "Well, I thought the first night's sleep I had on the Moon was the best night's sleep I had on the entire flight. Because, as I mentioned, I thought I was home, on the Earth. Or, at least, I was on the Moon in a familiar situation. And that day hadn't been too stressful."]

[Jones - "You did the landing and the Stand-up EVA."]

[Irwin - "Right. So it was kind of an exciting day, a satisfying day; and I just stretched out and, as I recall, slept better than I did any of the other nights. But, as was pointed out after the flight, we're probably not very good at judging the quality of sleep that we get. I hope I'm a little better adept at that now than I was then. As I recall, it was the best conditions for sleep. The next night, I was completely exhausted because of all the work that we'd done, after that first day on the Moon. And, then, the last night's sleep was cut a little short because of the desire to get some EVA in before we'd have to leave. So it was just that first night that we got a good night's rest and then (chuckling), I remember, they did wake us up a little early. And it was a mistake that they didn't wake us up when they first caught the oxygen leak. I think I mention that later on in here. 'Why didn't you wake us up? (Laughing) If you're doing your job, you'd wake us right away.' 'Cause it was a problem that was so easy to fix."]

[In the following, we return to my 1992 conversations with Dave Scott.]

[Scott - "We had thought a lot about taking the suits on and off and, clearly, in our opinion - and Jim and I talked about this quite a bit - in order to sleep you need to be in as near a normal situation as you possibly can. And you don't normally sleep in a pressure suit. So, from early on, our position was that we ought to take the suits off. And if you believe in the LM - once you're down and stable and you believe in it - then you can take your suit off. After all, if you have to have your suit on all the time, then you better have your helmet and your gloves and your hoses and all that stuff. But, to have your hoses disconnected and your helmet off and still your suit on in the LM, you're not saving yourself anything because, if the thing goes, you're dead. So why not take all that stuff off? Take it off, get in your skivvies, get in your hammock, and pretend like you're home. In fact, I even took an alarm clock along. Mainly because, what if they don't call us in time? 'Cause I want to get up and get on with it tomorrow, right? Let's do this normal, man. It was a conscious decision to take the suits off, a conscious decision to sleep, and a conscious decision to simulate it with as high a fidelity as we could. And I believe that all paid off because I think we got, for the situation, some pretty good rest."]

[Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The first night's sleep on the LM was the best night's sleep I had on the total flight."]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Yes, I slept quite well, too. I was surprised that the hammock was as comfortable as it was. I think that, in the one-sixth-g environment, those hammocks work just fine, don't you? And the suit positions (on the engine cover) were fine. I think the whole layout of the cabin was quite adequate."]

[Jones - "My understanding is that a concern about taking the suits off was zippers. If you took the suits off, could you be sure of getting a good seal when you put it back on? Was that really an issue?"]

[Scott - "We didn't think so. Boy, I had a lot of suit time. My job on Gemini VIII was supposed to have been the second EVA after Ed White. First extended EVA. First backpack. First this, first that; 90 minutes and all that sort of stuff. I spent a lot of time in a suit for Gemini VIII. And on Apollo 9, we did that little thing when Rusty got out, and I got out the hatch. I fact, I did the only solo EVA that anybody's ever done - on Apollo 9. So I had a lot of suit time, and a lot of time in the chambers. Jim had a lot suit time. And we were pretty well versed in that device and pretty comfortable in the integrity, or else we wouldn't have done it. We take our risks but, hopefully they're calculated risks. And the suit guys, they're very conservative, more so than the guys that wear them. That always is the case. And they would not have let us do that, had there been any real exposure (to risk). I was sure glad to get out of that suit. Just like you wrote (in the Apollo 15 summary): get out and stretch and scratch and all that sort of stuff. Mentally, it was very helpful, you know, from a psychological point of view that, boy, we got our work done today and we can sort of relax and put our feet up. Take the night off, sort of. It was very helpful. I liked it."]

[In one of the preceding paragraphs, Dave mentioned that he and Jim had been given a relatively free hand in planning for the first three-day mission. The following is a related discussion that begins with a discussion of the Snoopy helmets but quickly became a general discussion of crew input in the mission planning process.]

[Jones - "Did you wear the snoopies most of the time?"]

[Scott - "Oh, no. We didn't wear them hardly at all. We wore the lightweight headsets, the Plantronics. Those are the ones that the people at the consoles (in the Mission Operations Control Room, or MOCR) wear, the CapComs and everybody. It just has a little earplug and a little probe that sticks out in front of your mouth and picks up the vibrations. It's very lightweight and just goes over the top of your head. And it doesn't confine you like the Snoopy helmets. We took the Snoopy helmets off right away. We only wore those when we had our helmets on - and when one of the lightweights didn't work. And one reason, as I recall, we initiated taking the lightweight headsets along was because the CapComs and everybody else had them and they were very comfortable, and why shouldn't we take them along on the flight? Especially because of the long duration. And they said okay. I don't know if the previous flights had them or not, but I remember we made a conscious request when we got started with all this, to not have to wear the Snoopy helmets all the time, because they're relatively uncomfortable and we're going to have to wear them for eight or nine hours during each EVA and you sort of want to get your hat off and scratch your head a little bit. The lightweights were more comfortable and, if they work on the ground, they should work in the cockpit. We used them through all the altitude chamber tests and verified that they worked."]

["A lot of things changed on this mission because of the longer duration. The Rover was important in the J-missions, but I still think the most important thing was the extension of the backpack capability. The longer duration drove taking the suits off to sleep, the lightweight headsets, the sensors."]

["We were the first ones to take the biomedical sensors off and put them back on. Some of the guys, Pete or Al or somebody, got some real sores from wearing the sensors all the time. And so we decided we didn't want to wear them all the time, because we didn't want the sores. When we brought that up to the doctors, they said 'Oh, my goodness, you can't do that.' And we said, 'Why not?' 'We'll you're not qualified. You don't know how to put those things on.' And we said 'Give us a break! Teach us how to do it.' And management agreed to our request. What we said was that we'd like to rotate the sensors, so that you've always got somebody on but the other guys can have them off so that their skin can not get traumatized. So the first thing the doctors came in with was 'Okay, we'll let you do it. But, in order for you to get the sensors in the right place, each of you has to have a tattoo on the skin where the sensor goes.' Fortunately, we finally convinced them that Jim Irwin is fully capable of putting a sensor on the right place on his body without any real help. And that worked for us and, I guess, the other guys, too."]

["I think I remember, after 9, I had red spots on me after having had these sensors in the same place for ten days. It's uncomfortable and it's not necessary. On the other had, it took time to put the stuff on; but it was worth it, in our opinion, because it alleviated the irritation. And they found out, also, that they had much better connections, because we cleaned ourselves real well after we took the sensor off. When you put it back on, you had a better connection, so the data they got was better."]

[Jones - "Did you have wet-wipes (pre-moistened, soap impregnated towelettes)?"]

[Scott - "I think we just had washcloths and water. That's all right, it worked okay."]

[Jones - "Was it the general case that, if you guys made a reasonable suggestion, things would happen?"]

[Scott - "Oh, yeah."]

[Jones - "Was that more true at some times in the program and less true at others?"]

[Scott - "My experience was that, if you made a reasonable suggestion that you could back up - operationally and technically...You had to prove your case, all the way up the line; but, if it was reasonable, it would get done. If it didn't cost a jillion dollars, it would get done. There is a general attitude, I think, amongst the people who had to do these things, that a lot of the crew requests were unnecessary. Because they didn't want to do them. And there is a general, post-Apollo criticism of astronauts of that era in that they kept changing things all the time. And that it cost the program a lot of money. Now, that is a valid criticism in many cases. But, in other cases, it's not valid because many of the things we changed were because of the operational experience that previous crews would get and provide to subsequent crews."]

["We would learn from those experiences, and not just from the Tech Debriefing. When every crew came back, they closed the door of the Astronaut Office and the guys would stand up and we'd let it all hang out. 'Look, the real situation was...' without management, without anybody else. And we learned. In fact, Chris Kraft will tell you one reason why Apollo was successful was cause each crew was able to pass on to the succeeding crew an awful lot of information; and a lot of information was incorporated into the simulators. When we flew 15, we got a lot of benefit from 14 and 12 and 11. Almost like we were flying again, in a sense. And that was another beauty of the system, the throughput and pass on. So a lot of the things we requested were a result of our own evaluation, but also the benefit we received from the previous guys."]

["12 was very beneficial to us, because we were so intimately familiar with the mission. So, when Pete and Al came back, we hung on every word. 'Cause it was sort of like we flew it. I mean, we learned a lot from them. It was invaluable for us to have been through the 12 exercise and then be able to hear what Pete and Al and Dick had to say and benefit from their experience. We knew them really well, because we worked so closely. So, when they came back and told us things, we knew whether to believe them or not. I'm kidding, in a sense. It wasn't just the words; it was what they meant. Because we knew them well enough to know what they meant. And they had been through this experience."]

["I'll give you two more examples (of pilot input) and then we can press on with other things. The Mercury guys had to put the pressure on the system a lot. The system didn't understand people - you know, the window and the hatch and all that. They had to put the heat on. And that was good. (In Apollo) the only time I recall, in my experience, that somebody had to put the heat on the system was when they went from the Block I to the Block II Command Module. The thing we fly by, as pilots, is the attitude gyro - the 8-ball. And there was only one in Block I. And that's key to what you do in all sorts of situations. And they (management) didn't want to put two 8-balls in Block II. We wanted a backup attitude gyro. And, as I recall, McDivitt finally had to go to the Program Manager on behalf of the Office, and say, 'without two attitude gyros on the Block II spacecraft - which was only being designed at the time - we're not going to fly it! That's all. Want to put two in or not?'"]

["I wasn't privy to the conversation. But I was privy to McDivitt, and I'm fairly certain that's the way he actually put it across, in his normal, diplomatic way. And we got two 8-balls, which could not be justified technically - No way! - because they were reliable and there were other things to look at. But, from a pilot's perspective, those were key (instruments). You have to take a position at some point; and McDivitt was willing to take that risk, take that position. And it got done."]

["Normally, you didn't have to force an issue; or, if you came up with a dumb idea, somebody would point that out and it wouldn't get done. And we did come up with some dumb ideas. We would try things. It would seem like a good idea, but somebody would point out that it wasn't really necessary. It was a vast, complex system...The crew is fairly well qualified, but the crew doesn't know the details of every system nor why things were as they were. Many times, our approach to a change came from a lack of understanding some innuendo or some connection that somebody had already thought out. On the other hand, there were gaps as we went along, which had to be filled by something."]

["As a final example, when we were trying to develop the Command Module Rescue capability on Apollo 9, we found out we didn't have any ranging. And that's when they finally started putting the VHF ranging in. With the uncertainty in the rendezvous and the fact that McDivitt and Schweickart were going out into a spacecraft that couldn't come home (because the LM was incapable of re-entering Earth's atmosphere), if they couldn't rendezvous, they're dead. Nobody'd ever done that before. That's a brand new ball game. Rendezvous had been done on Gemini, but you could always come down. So now we're starting something which is relatively risky, and you want all the backup you can get."]

["One of the guys in the Guidance and Control Division in Houston came up with an idea of an optical ranging device. He got the idea from playing golf. Golfers have this little thing where, knowing the height of the pin, they can tell how far they are from the pin. So he got the MIT guys to design what they called a diastimeter, which is measuring the diameter of something (of known size) and telling how far away it is. So you could put the lunar module size in this and, if you ranged it, manually, so that the reticule would fit the lunar module, you could read out exactly how far it was. And, if you timed between time A and time B, you could find out, by the change in the size, how fast it was moving. Which is range rate, and you could put that in the computer. After we went through simulations and requested this of the Program Manager and the guys came in and made the case, they went out and got a diastimeter. The only time it was ever flown was on Apollo 9. I never used it, because everything worked fine. But it was there. It was a change, and it cost them a lot of money. Technically, you probably couldn't justify it. But, from an operational point of view, the Program Manager (decided it was justified)."]

["And they listened to everybody. You don't just walk in the door and say, "I'm the crew, I want this." No. They're not going to listen to you. You have to prepare the technical and operational justification. And that's what management is all about. That's why the Apollo management, when it matured - as it did with everybody else - it was highly tuned to operational things. It understood that some things can not be justified from a pure technical point of view that you would require on an unmanned spacecraft. Some things have that undefined human thing in it that makes things work better, or makes the crew work better, or glues something. Management in Apollo understood that, for the most part...McDivitt (who was Apollo Program Manager at the time of Apollo 15) was a flyer, but the others were not really flyers; but the system developed, the methodology developed, so that, if the crew came up with something they wanted, they would have to justify it, but they were very well received. And nobody, that I remember, was ever turned down on something that was reasonable. If it was reasonable, it got done."]

["On the outside of all this, there was a lot of criticism...'Oh, the damn crew changed something again. Oh, goodness gracious, I have to go work harder.' Well, the crew didn't change it. Apollo management changed it, at a crew request. Management controlled the program, the crew didn't. During the mission, yes, the Commander was in charge. The Commander was responsible. The Ship's Captain, and all that stuff. But, in the build up to the missions, the decisions were made by management. And, I think, obviously, they made very good decisions, because it worked. The management was tuned to operations, and they did listen. I don't remember any reasonable request that was not granted. Which is another nice part of this system. And it takes a long time to build that. It took a long time for a lot of managers to learn this. I liked the system, because we were treated with maturity and we were treated with rational decisions and, while we didn't always get what we wanted, but I felt comfortable that, if we didn't, it was for a good reason."]

[After reading an initial draft of the Apollo 15 introduction, Jack Schmitt told me that he remembered that Dave Scott had lobbied hard to have the first Lunar Rover flown on Apollo 15, rather than on Apollo 16. Prior to the Apollo 15 mission review, Dave read a draft of the 15 introduction that included Jack's comments.]

[Scott - "I found Jack's comments enlightening. I wasn't aware of that."]

[Jones - "What's the real skinny on that."]

[Scott - "I'll ding him when I see him. He may be right, but I don't think so. I'll tell you what I recall about how we got to the J mission. The thing I was most interested in, when we first started....Let's back up a minute."]

[Jones - "When you were first got assigned, you had a handcart, and John and Charlie were going to be the first of the Rover crews."]

[Scott - "And we didn't, frankly, know John and Charlie existed, per se. Our step was from Apollo 12 (backup crew) to (prime crew flying) another Apollo 12. (Although the assignment to the 15 crew wasn't announced until March 27, 1970) we made the step in December of '69, because we had the inkling during Apollo 12 that we'd get a turn around (to prime crew on 15). So our focus on 12 was really getting ready for the turn around. Well, if I could have broken Pete's leg, that would have been fine. My claim to fame could have been made if Neil had missed and I could have broken Pete's leg; then I would have been first. But it was not to be."]

["Nonetheless, our experience on 12 was excellent. We learned a lot on 12. I mean, Neil was first, but Pete was the ground breaker on a lot of things. And our step ahead (to 15) was mentally to do another 12. Except that, they were going to make the suits a lot better and we were going to get an extended backpack. So we were going to go from a potential - and I'd have to go look at the numbers - from a three-hour limit to, as I recall, a 5 1/2 or 6 hour limit. And we tried to push it beyond that. Actually, our push for expanding our mission was a push to (A) extend the time in the suits and (B) extend the number of EVAs. (To do that), Jim spent a lot of time with the LM. He wasn't the EMU guy, but he'd run LM in the altitude chamber."]

["When the Rover showed up (after two final missions were dropped), that was a benie (meaning an extra benefit) to us. I mean, that was even better. I mean, I knew what the Rover was; but, as I recall, I never personally pushed to get a Rover mission. I pushed to get longer time outside. And I think the Rover mission, I recall, just fell out when they decided to do all the shuffles."]

[Jones - "Mostly cutting two flights out of the schedule and deciding that they didn't need to do a second handcart mission ."]

[Scott - "They also found out they could accelerate the schedule on the J-mission hardware. It was coming along very well; and, when they found they could do that, it made sense to move the Rover up and use it, regardless of whether any flights got cut off at the end. If you now have an opportunity to use the new stuff, especially after 13 when you get the delay in the whole system, why wait to use the new stuff - when you have it - regardless of what comes later? It didn't make any sense to go fly the old configuration, even if you had 20 more missions. I don't think the cut-off did it. I think it was management saw that it could step ahead. And, because everything got delayed after 13, you could step into the J-missions and skip the H-missions."]

[In the Apollo 15 training logs compiled by Mike Brzezinski, Dave and Jim - along with their backups Dick Gordon and Jack Schmitt - had their only training session with the handcart on 19 May 1970 and had their first training session in a Rover mock-up on 17 August. The cancellation of two flights and the redesignation of 15 as a Rover mission was announced publicly on September 2nd. One interesting sidelight on the redesignation of Apollo 15 is that it also involved a change in spacecraft. When the Scott crew was originally assigned to Apollo 15, they were assigned the Lunar Module designated LM-9 and Command-and-Service Module designated CSM-111. These spacecraft were designed and built to support an H-mission and, because LM-9 could not have landed a Rover and the other gear needed for a J-mission and the CSM wasn't equipped with a Scientific Instrument Module (SIM) Bay, after the redesignation the Scott crew was assigned to LM-10 and CSM-112. LM-9 never flew and CSM-111 was flown during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) in 1975.]

[Scott - "I don't remember ever, as Jack remarked, pushing anybody to get the Rover. Obviously, it'd be great if we got the Rover; but, as I remember, there was not a conscious push to do that. There was a conscious push to improve the suits, because Jim and I liked geology, we had a good time at it, and we thought, 'Oh, boy, let's get out there and do our geology."]

[Jones - "I have found that, in my work with the crews, everybody mis-remembers at least a few things. There was an awful lot going on. Jack, in particular, was involved in a broad cross-section of it; and his recollections, however true or false, always lead me in useful directions."]

["As I think I wrote to you. I always want to double-check what I'm told in these reviews. To the extent possible, I don't want secondhand stuff in the Journal. To the extent that we can check recollections against documentation, so much the better. But I'd also like it to be as complete as possible and, what you just said, sounds right. The Rover must have come fairly late, because John and Charlie were involved in the initial evaluations of the Rover - or of the one-g trainer - which must have been in the summer of '70."]

[According to a paper by historians Bettye Burkhalter and Mitchell Sharpe, Young and Duke participated in a preliminary Rover design review meeting at the Marshall Spaceflight Center on January 18-19, 1970. A final design review was conducted June 16-17.]

[Scott - "The one-g trainer was not very high fidelity. There were a lot of people involved in that thing. I mean, you talk about the T-handle (in the Apollo 15 summary). I remember having somebody - one of the support crew guys, who were a good bunch of guys because, man, they just did a lot of good work - come by and have everybody look at this T-handle. 'What do you think of this T-handle thing?' As far as I know, everybody said, "yeah, that's a great idea.' So a lot of people had input to it."]

["I remember, when we were first assigned, they said 'Go down to Marshall and take a look at the Rover deployment system.' So, great, we went down there, and the Marshall guys couldn't get it to deploy. They had this automatic system that was supposed to deploy it, and they couldn't get it to work. One reason was it was in one g. I mean, that changes things. And we said - and when I say 'we', I mean Jim and I and the flight-crew-support team, and Bob Parker and Joe Allen. That's the 'we'. We said we can do a lot of that manually. Why don't you take the (automatic) kluge out of there and make it as simple as possible. Let us do the manual stuff. And we got into an exercise on manual deployment, which was relatively easy and it worked quite well. But I remember, specifically, the first time we went to see this Rover and they couldn't get it to work. Which was a bit discouraging at the time but, nevertheless, that all worked out."]

[Jones - "Do you remember when that was?"]

[Scott - "Oh, I could go look it up."]

[Jones - "The reason I ask is that I've got a piece of 16-mm film that Charlie loaned me for copying that shows him and Bob Parker down at Marshall deploying a rough mock-up of the Rover with a system that looks like the flight system. I mean, it had the two deployment tapes and the pulleys. I've had the impression that that was the first demonstration, before you and Jim were assigned a Rover. But, what you're telling me is that that's later."]

[Scott - "You'd better look it up. I remember it didn't work and we got into the exercise of a manual deployment system. Now, that could have been a gradual type thing. And I don't know the chain in those events."]

[Jones - "Did you keep a diary during that period?"]

[Scott - "I did a fair amount of memos. Yeah, I've got a fair amount of paper on a lot of that stuff stored someplace. We used to keep track, pretty much, in memos. And I had a Daytimer I carried around. I'm a string-saver, and it's in a mini-warehouse in a cardboard box somewhere."]

["I remember one thing I found when we were last moving - which was eight or nine years ago - and we trying to throw stuff away. When I got selected for Gemini VIII, I had been working on the guidance and navigation part. Each guy in the Astronaut Office, in the early days, represented the whole office in some discipline, which was a great system. And my job was guidance and navigation, because I'd been to MIT and I'd written my thesis on that. And, so, when I got picked for (Gemini) VIII, I handed over my job to Rusty Schweickart. And I found this book I had built for Rusty, on all the things going on at MIT and the guidance system and all that sort of stuff. It was a whole notebook (about an inch thick), and I've got other things like that lying around, I'm sure."]


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