Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal


Station 6 Crater

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan and panorama assembly credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Except where noted, audio clips by David Shaffer.
Last revised 13 October 2012.


Video Clip   2 min 56 sec ( 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPG )

QuickTime Clip ( 1 min 27 sec )

MP3 Audio Clip ( 12 min 10 sec )

144:18:40 Scott: Okay; let's move down here. Downhill; with care. (Pause) No, it looks like the same...Look down at the bottom of that crater. (It's) another little crater with a bunch of debris in it. (Pause) (Let's) find a spot on the side here. (Pause) Hey, look at the little bench on this one.

144:19:21 Irwin: Yeah, I was going to remark about that. On the downslope side.

144:19:25 Scott: Yeah. I'll take a picture of it.

[Dave takes a stereopair from the southeast rim of the crater, AS15-86- 11633 and 11634. The crater is about 10 meters across and the uphill rim is about 25 meters NNW of the Rover. In a few minutes, Dave will use the hammer to break the block at the center of 11634.]

[Jim follows Dave slowly, walking most of the way and only making occasional hops. As Fendell follows him, we can see the rille running across the upper part of the picture. The apparent tilt of the rille shows that Jim is making his way down about a 10 degree slope. On a steeper part, we see him dig in his heels to maintain control of his speed.]

144:19:28 Allen: Jim, it's about time for a stem christy.

144:19:35 Irwin: (Laughs) I need to snowplow. (Pause)

[A christie is a skiing turn made by shifting one's body weight forward, forcing the heels of both skis to one side and sliding through the turn on parallel skis. In a stem christie, the skier begins the turn by pushing the heel of what will be the downhill ski outward and then bringing the other ski parallel to it. A snowplow is a slowing maneuver in which a skier spreads his/her legs and brings the ski tips together, creating a broad wedge which literally plows snow aside and slows the skier. References to skiing and to ski country abound in Apollo because of the rounded surface features, the soft, powdery soil, and the bulky, white suits.]

[Jim joins Dave at the southeast rim of the crater.]

144:19:49 Scott: Jim, I'd suggest we go down to that little bench.

144:19:51 Irwin: Yeah. We could actually walk in and do a radial sample.

144:19:55 Scott: Yep. (Pause)

[Because the crater is on the side of the mountain, the downslope (northern) rim and inner wall form a more or less level surface.]

[Dave picks up the gnomon - which he had put down, undoubtedly, to free his hands for picture taking. He starts down hill, with Jim following. Dave occasionally gets both feet off the ground as he makes his way down to the north rim, going relatively quickly. Jim follows more slowly, sidestepping downhill, facing toward the west and leading with his right foot.]

144:20:00 Scott: Boy, look at how the zero phase wipes everything out. Man. (Pause)
[In the direction directly opposite the Sun, they get a maximum amount of reflected light and virtually no shadows. Those factors, coupled with the virtually uniform grey color of the surface, mean that the down-Sun scene is almost featureless.]

[The brightness of zero phase is due to the phenomenon of Coherent Backscatter.]

144:20:13 Scott: (Reaching the bench) Yeah, we can get this here, easy. 'Cause we don't want to go too far downhill, so we don't have to climb back up to our Rover friend. Jeeper, this...They're all too big (to fit in individual sample bags).
[Jim stops short of the bench and watches as Dave looks for suitable samples. On purpose, no doubt, Jim is also in about the right position to take the down-Sun photos.]
144:20:27 Irwin: Notice you're kicking up some white material there, Dave?

144:20:29 Scott: No, I didn't notice. Hey, you're right!

[Dave kicks a patch of the surface soil aside to uncover some of the underlying white material.]
144:20:32 Irwin: We ought to trench it.

144:20:33 Scott: You're right. Sure should.

144:20:35 Allen: Good idea, Jim. Sounds great...

144:20:36 Scott: We ought to use a core tube here.

144:20:37 Allen: ...A trench sounds great.

144:20:43 Scott: 'Trench sounds great.' Okay.

144:20:44 Irwin: Trench or a core?

144:20:46 Allen: Yes, sir. A single core would be nice. They're always nice.

144:20:52 Irwin: You guys are easy to please today.

[Dave has dropped the gnomon to the surface near a cluster of rocks that are visible in the TV image.]
144:20:56 Scott: Why don't we go to the upper rim up there and pick up the core, Jim, on the way back up?

144:21:01 Irwin: Okay.

[Dave seems to be waiting for the gnomon to stop swinging.]
144:21:02 Scott: Let's get this fragment here. Or a bunch of these little ones, I guess. (Pause) So much dust on the camera, it's hard to read the settings. (Pause)
[Dave's cross-Sun "befores" are AS15-86- 11635 and 11636.]

[Jim's down-Sun photos are AS15-85- 11523 and 11524. Although both of Jim's pictures are overexposed, in 11524 we can see Dave adjusting his camera.]

Video Clip   2 min 04 sec ( 0.5 Mb RealVideo or 19 Mb MPG )

Quicktime Clip ( 1 min 53 sec )

144:21:38 Scott: Okay. I think the big one is too big to put in, as usual. Of course, we'll never be satisfied with that; but I'll take some of these others.

144:21:45 Irwin: Okay.

[As Dave picks up a sample with the tongs, Jim joins him, he already has a sample bag in his left hand. He plants his scoop and opens the bag.]
144:21:47 Scott: I think they're the same. (Pause) (Get the) dust off a little bit. (Pause)
[Dave taps the rock several times with the handle of the tongs to knock some of the dust off.]
144:22:01 Scott: Another breccia.

144:22:03 Irwin: Bag number's 192. (Pause)

[Dave puts the sample in the bag and then reaches for another sample, which he puts directly in the bag.]
144:22:12 Scott: Just hold it (open) and I'll get a bunch of these frags right here.

144:22:16 Allen: Roger.

144:22:18 Scott: Some with some glass. (Long Pause)

[In all, Dave collects five fragments.]
144:22:36 Scott: Okay. That ought to do it. Why don't you close it (meaning the sample bag) up, and I'll photograph, here. (Pause)
[Scott - "There; I just took the post-collection photo. So the TV gives you a good visual sequence of the photo documentation and what we did and how long it took. The TV is real good with that."]

[Dave's cross-Sun "after" is AS15-86- 11637.]

[Jones - "I'd never paid much attention to what you were doing with your hands on the camera; but, now that you mention it, we can go back a look at that closely. You're checking and changing settings, sometimes having to clean dust off."]

[Scott - "Probably not often doing dust. What I'm doing is setting the focal length and the f-stop, and aiming the camera."]

[Each of the film magazines has a decal on the top which shows recommended f-stop settings for aiming directions relative to the Sun.]

[Jones - "Did you sometimes use the tongs as a measuring device to make sure you're at the right distance?"]

[Scott - "No, 'cause I knew what the distance was. We'd practiced that often enough. I used the tongs on the boulder, later on, at 6a, as a scale device. 'Cause we didn't have the gnomon. This is like a geologist who always remembers to put his hammer in a photo for scale."]

144:22:45 Scott: Dying to look at that big rock.
[After he takes the picture, Dave uses his tongs to roll the large rock toward his feet.]
144:22:48 Irwin: (I'll) put this in your bag.

144:22:50 Scott: Okay. (Pause)

[Dave stands still while Jim puts the sample bag in his SCB.]
144:22:59 Irwin: (Closing the top of the SCB) Okay.
[Scott - "You know, in retrospect, looking at the exercise, you would say, 'Why put them in little bags, 'cause we're documenting them? You can tell what they look like from the photos.' Of course, if you didn't get the photos, you wouldn't know. But, from the descriptions, you might know, and you could put them in the big bag and save all that time. Let the work be done when you get back, in sorting out..."]

[Jones - "And use the bags only for soil samples?"]

[Scott - "Yeah. But (instead) we're spending a lot of time putting little rocks in little bags, and then putting little bags in big bags. That's a lot of wasted overhead, now that I look at it and think about it. Although it makes it easier to identify the rocks when we get back. On the other hand, there's plenty of time after we get back. Like twenty or thirty or fifty years. And we probably could have picked up another 25 or 30 percent more rocks."]

["If you were to analyze the time, how much time did we spend just physically putting it into little bags? And how many more rocks could you have gotten?"]

[Jones - "It might be somewhere in the ballpark of 50% more samples."]

[Scott - "Could be. It makes it harder when you get back, but that's okay. Let the guys on the ground sort this out."]

[Jones - "Because you've only got 20 hours outside and they've got years."]

[Scott - "I wonder what John and Charlie and Gene and Jack would think; but having looked at it and thought about it, after the flight I would have suggested to the other guys to get rid of the little bags. Just go for it. But they had little bags, too, didn't they? (Yes) I think we got locked into a time waster, frankly. Now that I've seen photos of the rocks and how distinctive they are. You can tell one from another, and they know exactly where we picked them up, 'cause they're all documented. The only downside of that is if you didn't have the cameras. But we got two cameras."]

[(Chuckling) "Something for next time."]

144:23:00 Scott: Okay, let me borrow your hammer just a ...I'll take one whack and see if it (meaning the large rock) will come open. (Pause)
[Jim turns to his left and presents the left side of his PLSS so that Dave can get the hammer.]
144:23:05 Scott: Like to get some visibility.
[Dave probably means that, by splitting the rock open, he will get a better look at it's structure and composition.]
144:23:07 Scott: Hold my tongs, please. Let's see if it's got any variety up here. (Pause)
[Standing with his right foot forward about 30-40 cm short of the rock and his left keg back, Dave flexes his knees, almost touching the ground with his right knee, and delivers a solid blow to the rock, which breaks it into several pieces. As he finishes the stroke, the internal pressure of the suit helps him regain his feet.]
144:23:18 Allen: (Commenting on Dave's prowess with the hammer) Not bad at all.

144:23:19 Scott: (Apparently examining the fresh surface on the largest piece) Huh.

144:23:19 Irwin: It's much more friable (breakable) than what you were trying to...

Video Clip   2 min 42 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 24 Mb MPG )

144:23:21 Scott: Yeah; sure is. (Responding to Joe) Yeah, not bad for a beginner. (Pause) (To Jim) Okay. Give me the tongs, and let's just get another bag and pick up those two little frags there. What do you say? (Pause)

[Dave takes a stereopair of the broken rock, AS15-86- 11638 and 11639.]
144:23:46 Scott: (To Joe, referring again to Joe's comment on Dave's prowess with the hammer) Evidently your TV is working okay today, Joe. Is that right?

144:23:49 Allen: It's beautiful, Dave. Either that or it's another ESP experiment.

["ESP" (Extra-sensory Perception) is a reference to Ed Mitchell's controversial and unauthorized ESP experiments conducted on the way back from the Moon on Apollo 14. Journal Contributor Bertrand Ouellet suggests that, here, Joe is saying that he knew that Dave had broken the rock open either because the TV was working well or because he was reading Dave's mind.]

[During this exchange with Joe, Dave collects a piece of the broken rock and takes it in his hand for a close examination.]

144:23:57 Scott: (Chuckling) Okay. A microbreccia with millimeter (sized) white clasts, and there's a gray clast in there that's about 3 millimeters. It looks a little different. Let me go down and get this other one that came off.
[Dave puts the first piece of the broken rock in the bag Jim is holding and then, to avoid disturbing the sample area, goes around the west side of the gnomon to get a fist-sized fragment that rolled south of the parent rock after Dave broke it.]
144:24:11 Irwin: And 193 is the number on the bag.
[Dave rejoins Jim and drops the second fragment directly in the sample bag.]
144:24:15 Allen: Roger. Copy 193. And we're standing by when you start the trench.

144:24:17 Irwin: (To Dave, having closed his SCB) Okay.

[While Jim seals the bag, Dave backs up and takes a cross-Sun "after", AS15-86- 11640. The samples are 15265-66, which are 0.27 and 0.31 kg pieces of "fine breccia". David Harland has assembled a mosaic consisting of "before" frame 11636 and "after" frames 638 and 640.]
144:24:22 Scott: (To Joe) Okay. Well, would you like a trench or a core, Joe? We'll give you your choice today.

144:24:28 Allen: We'd like one of each, if we could, Dave.

[Dave grabs the gnomon and then steps to his left toward Jim so that Jim can put the sample bag in his SCB.]
144:24:33 Scott: (Sounding doubtful of the value of doing both) A trench and a core?

144:24:35 Allen: Yes, sir.

144:24:39 Scott: Okay. We'll go up and trench it first and see if it's worth coring.

144:24:43 Allen: Okay.

QuickTime Clip ( 1 min 05 sec )

144:24:46 Scott: (To Jim) Let's go up on the upper rim up there, (and) work our way back up to our Rover friend. (Long Pause)

[Dave starts uphill, going around the east rim of the crater using a shortened version of the skipping stride. He travels relatively quickly and makes the trip up to the level portion of the south rim in about 22 seconds. Jim grabs his scoop and follows, moving noticeably slower. His time over the same path is about 48 seconds.]
144:25:12 Scott: Right up here where it's nice and fresh. (Pause as Dave positions the gnomon) Hey, Jimmy. Dig me a little trench when you get up here!

144:25:28 Irwin: (Garbled) (Pause)

[Dave takes a cross-Sun stereopair while he waits for Jim. These are AS15-86- 11641 and 11642.]
144:25:41 Scott: Make it okay?

144:25:43 Irwin: Yeah. Taking my time.

144:25:45 Scott: Good idea. (Long Pause)

[Irwin - "It was difficult to walk up slope because it was kind of like walking up a sand dune. The surface kept collapsing beneath us. It was extremely difficult. So, if we wanted to go upslope, it would be better to jump on the car and go up. I would sink in maybe four inches into that powder and, yet, when we'd get on the Rover, the imprint would just be maybe a half an inch deep. I guess it was just greater bearing surface for the Rover than there was on our boots."]

[Jones - "Did you notice any stress in the calves or knees from walking side-slope or upslope."]

[Irwin - "You mean tension or muscle reaction? No. I didn't notice any. We're just off balance because of the slope."]

[Jones - "And the soft surface."]

[Irwin - "Yup. It just didn't support us."]

[During one of my Apollo 17 review sessions with Jack Schmitt, I mentioned this occasion when Jim seemed to have considerably more difficulty with the slope than Dave did.]

[Schmitt - "Jim Irwin had one bad aircraft accident (in 1961) from which he was initially not supposed to walk. And it was by dint of his will and therapy - self-imposed and otherwise - that he was able to walk and to be selected into the program. One of the memories I have of Jim is of him working out in the gym with weights, everyday. He had a weight program and I don't think he ever stopped it. He was always working with weights."]

[On a separate occasion, Gene Cernan offered the following.]

[Cernan - "As I remember, Jim was actually in the selection process for our group in 1963. I remember he got as far down the line as (a series of physical exams at) Brooks (meaning the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB, San Antonio, Texas). He had recovered from his accident but didn't get selected, for some reason. He was one of those guys who, when you look around the room, you say 'He's a shoe-in, why am I here?' I think his accident maybe had something to do with it, because he lost out after our physicals."]

[In his book, To Rule the Night, Jim says, "I got as far as the final selection in Houston, but I was turned down. They didn't tell me why, but I am sure it was because of that recent accident on my record."]

[Schmitt - "As a result of his weight program, Jim had great upper-body strength, but his legs were still damaged. He couldn't flex them very well and couldn't run well at all. He played handball and tennis but he had to make his legs work when he did. That would be part of the reason why Jim would have lagged behind Dave. But Dave was also an ox. And he had long legs. Long-legged, tall guys had and easier time in the Apollo suit than did short-legged guys, because they could get more leverage."]

[A year or so later, prior to my first Apollo 15 review session with Dave, I sent him a draft of an Apollo 15 mission summary which contained these remarks from Jack and Gene. When we first got together in Santa Fe, but before we starting reviewing the video, Dave offered the following.]

[Scott - "I think that (Jack's recollections) give people the impression that Jim had a physical problem on the Moon. He did not. Jim was one of the best shape guys that I ever worked with. And I used to play handball with him every night at the Cape. And he regularly beat me, and only because he's so patient. Always patient. I'd run around, charge around and Jim would sit there, cooling off...But he had no problem with mobility. And the fact that, apparently, sometimes on the Moon he didn't go somewhere that I did, I don't think that had anything to do with his physical condition. He never, ever complained. He never appeared to have any physical discomfort. He did have an enormous scar on one of his legs, and he did have a severe crash and it did delay his potential entry into the program. But, on the other hand, my recommendation would be to sort of leave this out, in a sense, because it did not hamper him and it was not a factor in what we did. And Jim is not the kind of guy who would let that be a factor. I mean, he is a man of will and determination. And I tell you, he played great handball."]

[Jones - "Anything that people don't want in, comes out. Most of the Journal is going to be fairly cut and dried; but, if there's anything that raises a question of propriety, I will work it out with the people directly involved. And, if we decide it's not an appropriate thing to have in there, out it comes."]

[Scott - "That's very fair of you. But, some of the things that we don't like are facts."]

[Jones - "And, sometimes, they illuminate aspects of the mission."]

[Scott - "They're important."]

[Jones - "After Jack told me about Jim's legs, I went through the tapes again, and the only time I saw anything I could interpret as maybe Jim having a little bit of trouble was at Station 6 on the second EVA. You had gone down to that crater down below the Rover and, when you were done and were coming back up to the Rover, you charged up hill, going good and quick, and Jim came up noticeably slower."]

[Scott - "I mean, that's his nature. Go watch us play handball. I mean, he'd run me ragged, because I'd run. And he'd go slow and steady. His nature was to be slow, steady, patient. That's why we got along really well. I can't think of a better guy to have been on the Moon with, than Jim Irwin."]

[Jones - "It is my great regret that...Well, there are two things. First, that Jim and I didn't get further than we did into Apollo 15; and, second, that I was so ignorant during the three half-days I had with him. I don't know that, after we finished those three half-days, Jim had a very good impression of my abilities. It was really early (December 1989), but I hope that there were some useful things that we got out of that. I will certainly include the bit about the handball and the contrast in styles. I think that's interesting."]

[Scott - "Well, it's a fact that he had an airplane accident, but I don't think it's relevant (to Apollo 15). It didn't slow him down. Part of my job was to evaluate the people who were working for me, because you couldn't have a weak link. If you had a weak link, you'd probably die. That's why the system was so good at the time."]

[A year or so later, Dave and I reviewed this part of the video tape and revisited the discussion.]

[Scott - "Jim's legs were damaged in the accident; and this may be a situation in which there was some lack of mobility. But he never said anything to me. There was never, ever, any indication that he was having a problem with his legs. But, yes, maybe there's some loss of mobility in this situation. I mean, it appears that he's not moving as briskly as I'm moving."]

["On the other hand, I just go back to playing handball with the guy, and he was as mobile on the court as anybody. And, throughout all our training, I never ever heard a word about his legs. Ever. And you'd think, if there was some immobility or problem...I mean, we were pretty close, and we lived together for a long, long time. Never, ever, did he ever say anything about his legs, or any disadvantage, or any lack of whatever."]

[Jones - "Now, this isn't intended as criticism of Jim. I'm just trying to understand why you seem to be having a much easier time with the slope. I'm not saying that Jim is unable to function."]

[Scott - "And you're right. It appears that way on the screen. And maybe there was some disfunction in his legs for this type of mobility. I know it's not a criticism of Jim. I'm just telling you, from my perspective from watching him in other areas - especially playing handball. Not racquetball. Handball, which is a much faster game where you have to move your legs very fast to play the game. Jim was very good at that game. And maybe he compensated somehow. I mean, a lot of people..."]

[Jones - "Especially highly-motivated people like Jim."]

[Scott - "Sure. I mean, maybe he just compensated for whatever disfunction he had and it wasn't noticeable. Until you get into this kind of situation. But it is obvious, on the TV, that he's having more trouble getting up the slope than I am."]

["I don't want to overkill the handball thing, but that's a real good indicator of a person's physical conditioning. And we'd play three hard games of handball and, man, I was beat. I mean, he wore me out!. I was tireder than Jim. But I can see a difference; and he did have scars on his leg."]

[Jones - "It's a tribute to Jim that, whatever it takes, he's doing the job."]

[Readers should also note that, at no time does Jim sound winded. He simply takes his time.]

[Once he gets in position, Jim takes a down-Sun stereopair of the trench site, AS15-85- 11525 and 11526.]

Video Clip   2 min 51 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPG )

144:26:03 Irwin: (Still taking the pictures) See those linear features on Hadley, Dave, if you get a chance...

144:26:06 Scott: No, I didn't...

144:26:07 Irwin: ...to look up there.

144:26:08 Scott: On Mount Hadley?

144:26:09 Irwin: Yeah.

[See photo AS15-84- 11320, which Dave takes when he gets back up to the Rover.]
144:26:11 Scott: Oh, yeah! My word! Look it, they're dipping to the northwest, right?

144:26:17 Irwin: That's right; that's what I said.

144:26:18 Scott: Oh, yeah! It looks like a big block tilted up on its side.

144:26:23 Allen: Just like you called it, Jim...

144:26:24 Irwin: Sure does, Dave.

144:26:25 Allen: ...and we're going to ask for 500-millimeter pictures of that when you get back to the Rover.

144:26:32 Scott: Boy, I was just going to say, we'd better take some 500-millimeter pictures of it. (Laughs)

[Jim walks toward the gnomon, moving slowly to avoid kicking dirt on the site. Because of the stiffness of the suit, he appears to be holding the cross-piece on the top of the scoop handle, with his palm down. He starts the trench by sticking the scoop into the ground and, with what appears to be mostly wrist motion, flips the dirt behind him. On the sixteenth scoopful, what appears to be a 4- to 5-cm rock comes out.]
144:26:37 Scott: Okay, Jim's trenching. Hey, the other side, Jim, I can't see you.
[Because Jim is standing east of the trench, his shadow is falling on the vertical wall he is forming and Dave can't see enough detail to comment or take pictures.]
144:26:42 Irwin: That's right.
[Jim sidesteps to his left, moving south to get his shadow off the trench wall.]
144:26:43 Scott: (Garbled)

144:26:44 Irwin: Yeah, but...

144:26:45 Scott: I can't Well, let me ...I'll move around. Keep digging that way; I'll come around.

144:26:48 Irwin: No, it's going to be too hard for you to get down in there, Dave.

144:26:51 Scott: Yeah.

[If Dave stands north of the trench, he will be on the inner slope of the 10-meter crater, a precarious perch at best. The problem is that, unless Jim starts a new trench, any change in position will make the digging more difficult.]
144:26:52 Irwin: I can trench it here.

Quicktime Clip ( 1 min 39 sec) )

144:26:53 Scott: Just right, right like you got it. Keep digging. Except you'll have to ...That's right. Okay, I can see it. That's fine. (Pause)

[Dave moves around behind Jim and, after some jockeying of position, Jim ends up slightly north of his original position, with his shadow no longer falling on the trench wall. As can be seen from the relative positions of the shadows, Dave ends up behind Jim's right shoulder. As Fendell zooms in on them, note Jim's grip on the scoop handle and, also, note that Dave is standing with his right foot a short way into the 10-meter crater.]

[Scott - "You want to see what the wall does. Does it collapse? How cohesive is it?"]

144:27:02 Scott: Boy, when you put your scoop in, it smoothes it out flat, just like plaster.

144:27 07 Irwin: I was going to say "like cement".

144:27 08 Scott: Yeah. I can't see any layering because...

144:27:12 Irwin: Yeah, the scoop just...

144:27:15 Scott: Yeah.

144:27:17 Irwin: (The scoop) makes it all very similar in color.

[What Jim means is that the scoop smoothes the wall and evens out any differences in albedo that might exist naturally.]
144:27:22 Scott: Can't tell whether...Nice and cohesive; it holds a straight wall very well. It's very fine powder, just like graphite. (Chuckles)

144:27:36 Scott: Okay. Well, why don't we call that a trench? Wouldn't that be nice if you could do that at Station 8?

144:27:43 Irwin: Oh, I hope so. I hope so.

[Station 8 is a stop planned near Arbeit Crater on the journey back to the LM. As indicated on cuff checklist page LMP-15, Jim is scheduled to dig a trench in the mare soil and perform some soil mechanics experiments.]

[In all, Jim used the scoop twenty times in digging the trench.]

144:27:45 Scott: Let me get this ("after" photo)...Move to your left. Let me get over here. A little further, Jim.
[Jim sidesteps to the south far enough to get his shadow off the trench wall. Off camera, Dave gets both feet down on the inner wall of the 10-meter crater so that his shadow in clear of the trench. His first "after" is AS15-86- 11643. He steps to his right to take 11644.]
144:27:55 Allen: Okay, troops. And we'll be asking for an SESC (Special Environmental Sample Container, a vacuum-sealed can) from the bottom of the trench when you get it built.

144:28:04 Scott: (Responding to Joe) Okay. Oop! (Pause)

[Fendell re-aims the TV just in time to show Dave losing his balance as he tries to get out of the crater. As he treads moondust, he starts to spin to his right and catches himself with his left hand so that he doesn't spin on to his back and risk hitting the PLSS on the surface.]

[Scott - "The slope (inside the crater) is probably twice as much as the mountain slope. And soft. There's just nothing to grab hold of."]

144:28:08 Scott: How about a hand, old buddy?

144:28:10 Irwin: Yep. (Pause)

[Jim moves in to help as Dave gets himself on to his hands and knees.]
144:28:13 Scott: (Extending his right hand for Jim to take) Just get in front of me and give me your hand.

144:28:15 Irwin: Okay; stand by. (Pause) Okay?

[Jim positions himself directly uphill of Dave - but short of the trench. He braces himself with his right foot toward Dave and his left foot back, and takes Dave's hand in his own right hand. As Dave rises, Jim backs up, helping to pull Dave up on to level ground on the crater rim.]
144:28:23 Scott: Okay. That's it. I'm up. Thank you.

144:28:27 Irwin: Get the pictures?

144:28:28 Scott: Yeah. I think so. The rim, as all rims around, are very soft.

[Dave backs to the south to get his shadow off the trench and Jim backs out of the way to the southeast. Dave starts to take a picture but then turns to his right, facing north so that he has enough sunlight to see his camera setting and, possibly, to make sure that the camera wasn't damaged in the fall.]
Video Clip   3 min 38 sec ( 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 32 Mb MPG )

144:28:38 Irwin: Did you hear him, Dave, he wants the SESC from the bottom of that.

144:28:41 Scott: Okay.

[Dave faces the trench again and takes AS15-86- 11645. He then steps to his right and takes 11646.]
144:28:43 Irwin: You get a bag; I'll sample the bottom.

144:28:46 Scott: Okay. (Pause) I'll get your bag. (Long Pause)

[Dave hops sideways to his left to get out of the way while Jim moves in to sample the trench. Because they are on about the same level, Dave is able to get the bag low enough that Jim can easily pour in a scoopful of soil from the bottom of the trench]
144:29:14 Irwin: Another scoop?

144:29:15 Scott: Yeah. Two for one. (Pause as Jim pours another scoopful into the bag) Okay; that's good.

144:29:27 Irwin: Okay; I'll get the SESC out...

144:29:28 Scott: No, listen. Hey, Joe, listen; we're going to go over to this fresher crater, we hope. Maybe we ought to get it there rather ...Unless you really need it here. Because there's the little trip back to the Rover.

[As Dave sealed the sample bag, he turned toward the west to look at the "fresher crater".]
144:29:45 Allen: Dave, that's affirm. You will be moving over towards the fresher crater, and stand by, I'll get another reading on your core tube. Copy, you've gotten the SESC out of the bottom of the trench now.

144:29:57 Scott: Oh; no, no, no, no. We haven't, Joe, you missed it. 166 (is) the bag. We didn't get the SESC...

144:30:02 Allen: Okay.

144:30:03 Scott: ...we just got a sample from the bottom of the trench. And since we have to walk back uphill to the Rover to get the SESC...

144:30:10 Irwin: No, it's on your back.

144:30:11 Scott: Oh, just do it!

144:30:12 Irwin: Yeah.

[While he was talking, Dave moved over to Jim, who turned slightly so that Dave could put the sample bag in his SCB.]
144:30:13 Scott: I'm sorry. That's right. Have at it.
[Dave makes a 180-degree turn so that Jim can get the SESC out of his PLSS. He ends up facing south.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 12 min 26 sec )

144:30:22 Allen: And Jim, if material has fallen into the trench (as a result of Dave's tumble), you might want to scoop it out again.

[Dave turns to face the trench as he opens the SESC. I had originally thought that Dave took a picture or two at this point but, even though he has his back to us, a careful examination of his motions - coupled with the evidence of the pictures themselves - indicates that he is busy with the can lid throughout this sequence.]
144:30:31 Irwin: No, I don't think any has. We're very neat.
[Jim is standing east of the trench and sidesteps to his right, almost getting his right foot into the 10-meter crater.]
144:30:35 Scott: Watch it. Stand out of the...Don't get too far down in the crater. Ah. (Pause) Why don't you just scoop out the bottom and this side a little bit, Jim. (Pause)

144:30:48 Irwin: (Dig) out the bottom, you say?

144:30:49 Scott: Yeah, dig it a little deeper, I think you can probably get the thing deeper and...(Long Pause)

[Jim moves in toward the trench and ends up standing just inside the rim with his boots out of sight. In all, he uses the scoop seven times as he deepens the trench.]
144:31:18 Irwin: (Joking) You want me to hit bedrock, I know!

144:31:21 Scott: Yes. Okay; I can't see in the bottom of it, but go ahead. Dig her. Have a scoop load. I think the wall collapsed on you. (Pause) Okay.

[Dave steps forward with his right foot and holds the can as low as he can. As Jim raises a scoopful of soil, he reaches forward with his left hand to steady the scoop head and improve his aim.]
144:31: Irwin: Good?
[Here, Jim is asking if the scoop head is properly positioned for the pour. The opening of the SESC is much smaller than the opening of the sample bags.]
144:31: Scott: Okay. Get your scoop up. That's it.
[Having gotten the scoop balanced on the can opening, Jim moves his left hand up the handle, grasps the handle with that hand, and rotates the handle up to complete the pour.]
144:31: Scott: That's it. That's good, Jim. That's about half (full); can you get another one? Hey, don't slide down in there; that (crater wall)'s really slippery.

144:31:58 Irwin: Yeah, I notice.

144:32:05 Scott: Okay, that'll be good. (Pause) Okay; good show. Good show.

[Jim pours the second scoopful without having to use his left hand.]
Video Clip   2 min 42 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 24 Mb MPG )

144:32:13 Irwin: Okay, (is that enough)?

144:32:14 Scott: Yeah, that's good. (Pause)

[Dave removes and discards the Teflon seal protector. The can has the same type of knife-edge/soft-metal-strip sealing mechanism that is on the rock boxes and the Teflon protector kept the seal from getting dirty while the can was being filled.]
144:32:23 Scott: Boy, it's really easy to...

144:32:25 Irwin: Tip it out.

144:32:26 Scott: ...dump it out, isn't it? (Pause) Why don't you try to work yourself out of that crater to your left. If you try to come up like I did, you're...Lots of luck. (Long Pause)

[While Dave seals the SESC, Jim turns partway to his left and does a series of about ten short, two-footed hops diagonally up the slope on to the crater rim.]
144:33:06 Irwin: Let's see; we probably ought to put that SESC in your bag.

144:33:11 Scott: Yeah.

144:33:14 Allen: Good thinking, Jim.

[Jim joins Dave, who starts to hand him the smooth, lower end of the SESC.]
144:33:16 Scott: Here. (I'll) give you the easy end. Good.
[Dave turns the can over and, after Jim had a good grip on the lid, turns to his right to present his SCB.]
144:33:18 Allen: And, Jim, did you get an "after" picture of that?

144:33:21 Irwin: Hold that (scoop) for me.

144:33:22 Scott: (Taking the scoop handle) I got it. (To Joe) I'll get it, Joe.

144:33:26 Allen: Okay, Davy.

144:33:35 Irwin: Okay; it's in.

144:33:36 Scott: Okay.

144:33:37 Irwin: I'll take the scoop.

144:33:39 Scott: Okay. And if you'll move out of the way, I'll see if I can get in there to take the picture.

[Jim sidesteps to the south to get his shadow off the trench.]
144:33:49 Allen: And, Dave, while you're taking that picture, we'll be asking for a core tube after that. We want you to use an upper core, because we only have one lower in the bag right now.
[Only the lower core-tube sections have hardened tips. However, the soil is so soft here and so free of rocks, Houston suspects that they will have no trouble using an upper section by itself.]

[Although we see Dave position himself to take an "after" of the trench and then step to his right to complete a stereopair, there are no pictures on the magazine with the right orientation. Either I have made a mistake in correlating still photos with the TV record, or the camera didn't function properly.]

144:34:06 Scott: Very well, Joe, we'll get you a core right here.

144:34:09 Allen: Roger. A core, using an upper.

144:34:11 Scott: One single core; upper core. (Responding to Joe) Okay.

[Dave picks up the gnomon and moves it about ten feet (3 meters) west to an undisturbed spot.]
144:34:15 Irwin: You know, it's unfortunate, Dave, that we didn't take that (core) down at the lower rim where the white was exposed. Here, we don't see the white.
[The white layer may represent highly-fractured debris from an impact somewhere in the area, perhaps the one that dug the 10-meter crater. Any white material that may have covered the uphill rim has, apparently, long since been buried. Impacts on a slope will tend to cause a net downslope motion of soil, partly because disturbed material will tend to roll or slide at least a short way down slope and also because more ejecta will be launched downslope than upslope. In the area of the crater, much of the soil moving downslope may have been captured by the crater itself so that relatively little reached the northern, downslope rim; and, consequently, there was not much cover over the white layer on that rim. By driving a core into a spot where there is known layering, they may gain information that can help explain the processes that create both the layers and the normal cover.]
144:34:22 Scott: Yeah, I didn't either. Maybe we ought to go back down there and do that.

144:34:26 Irwin: Either that or ...Seems like we'd save the core for some-place where there was definite layering.

144:34:30 Scott: Yeah, I think so too. I don't think there's...Yeah.

[During this discussion, Dave and Jim stand still, getting some rest and examining the north rim of the 10-meter crater.]
144:34:35 Allen: Jim, we've got that double left. Do you suppose you could drive a single core down where it's white?

Video Clip   2 min 57 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 24 Mb MPG )

144:34:45 Irwin: Yeah, sure, I'm sure we could.

144:34:46 Scott: Yeah, we could. Let's go do that. Yeah, let's go take advantage of what we know down there on the albedo. (Pause)

[Jim starts moving east to get around the 10-meter crater. Dave grabs the gnomon and then the tongs before he turns to follow.]
144:35:05 Scott: Go ahead...

144:35:06 Irwin: Go ahead.

144:35:07 Scott: Well...

144:35:07 Irwin: I'm right behind you.

144:35:08 Scott: Find a fresh spot down there. (Pause)

[Fendell pulls back on the zoom and moves the camera to the right. By the time Dave and Jim come back into view, Dave is bounding down slope, having almost reached the north rim. Jim follows, a bit more slowly.]
144:35:14 Scott: Okay; you sure see the change. (Pause) (I'll) set up on the high point here. (Pause) Above the bench. Let's try it right there. (Pause)
[Dave positions the gnomon on the north rim, two or three meters northwest of the remaining fragments of the broken rock. See Figure 5-80, the Station 6 sketch map from the Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report. Jim's photo AS15-85- 11527 shows Dave making the placement.]
144:35:47 Scott: Yeah, boy, the soil is more granular here, too. Quite a difference from one side of the rim to the other.

144:35:52 Irwin: Yeah. (Pause)

[Dave takes a cross-Sun stereopair from the south, 86- 11647 and 11648, while Jim takes a down-Sun stereopair, AS15-85- 11528 and 11529. These are the last frames on Jim's magazine.]

[In 11528, Dave is putting his tongs in the ground near the gnomon.]

[In 11529, Dave has backed up to take AS15-86- 11647 and 11648.]

144:36:04 Scott: (Finishing the photography) Okay! (Pause)

144:36:08 Irwin: I'm probably just about out of film. Why don't you check with my Mag?

144:36:17 Scott: Okay. (Pause)

[As Jim goes over to join Dave, he removes the scoop head from the extension handle. As he reaches Dave near the gnomon, he has the scoop head in his left hand and the extension handle in his right. He turns slightly to his left to get some sunlight on the frame counter on the top of his camera. Dave leans forward to get a good look.]
144:36:21 Scott: Yeah, 180. (Pause) Okay.
[Dave takes the scoop head and steps forward to present his SCB so that Jim can get the core tube out. During the mission review, I mentioned to Dave that this looked like a well-practiced procedure.]

[Scott - "Yeah. That was a procedure that was already developed, so we didn't have to talk about it. It's not a 'how do we do this, Jim?' It's already planned. It's a no-look pass. Time spent developing the procedures saves time on the Moon, 'cause we don't have to talk about where things are and what you do."]

[Jones - "That's slick. I had never noticed the hand-off. While Jack and I were reviewing 17, we talked at length about solo sampling versus duo sampling. He was a great fan of duo sampling; and, here, I think you and Jim have it down to a fine art."]

[Scott - "We liked it, too. It's much easier."]

144:36:24 Irwin: Okay, Joe. And you're suggesting using an upper (core tube) here?

144:36:27 Allen: That's affirm, Jim. An upper.

144:36:33 Irwin: (To Joe) Okay. (To Dave) Okay; I have it (meaning the core tube), Dave.

144:36:38 Scott: Okay. I don't think you'll need your hammer, but I'll get it anyway.

[While Jim attaches the core tube to the extension handle, Dave gets the hammer off the left side of his PLSS.]
144:36:50 Irwin: Yeah, and I'll get up on the uphill side here.

144:36:52 Scott: That's a good idea. (Pause)

[Jim takes up a position roughly a meter southeast of the gnomon while Dave hops, sideways, around behind him and takes up a position northeast and slightly downslope.]
144:37:00 Irwin: Okay; it's in position.

144:37:01 Scott: Okay; I got the picture. 07's the (core tube) number, Joe.

[Dave's photo is AS15-86- 11649 and, in it, we can even see the core tube number, '07'.]
144:37:04 Irwin: Pushing.

144:37:06 Allen: Roger.

[Unfortunately, Jim is blocking our view of the core tube.]
144:37:07 Scott: Ohhhh! Easy. Easy. (Jim laughs) Gee. (To Joe) Okay; all the way in very easily with a push, Joe.

144:37:15 Allen: Okay.

[Dave takes AS15-86- 11650, showing the core tube all the way into the ground.]
144:37:16 Irwin: (It'll) be very...I wonder...
[Jim is concerned that the soil won't be well compacted and may fall out of the core tube as he extracts it.]
144:37:17 Scott: Yeah, it'll be soft, bring it out; and be gentle. Don't auger it (that is, don't rotate it)! Just pull it. (Pause) You got it. Yeah!

144:37:34 Allen: Anything there?

144:37:35 Scott: That a boy!

Video Clip   2 min 57 sec ( 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPG )

144:37:36 Irwin: Do I have it?

144:37:37 Scott: Yeah.

[Jim uses his right hand to extract the core and, as it comes out of the ground, he turns to his right, facing northeast, and rotates the tip up so that he can grab it in his other hand and get it above horizontal to prevent anything from spilling out. He steps back and gets close to the southern edge of the bench. Although the increased slope down into the bottom of the crater is not easy to discern in the TV picture, Dave notices the potential problem.]
144:37:38 Scott: Watch out. Watch out. Jim, watch out. You're over by the (edge of the) bench now; don't go any farther backward.

144:37:42 Irwin: Oh, I thought you meant I was about to lose the core.

144:37:44 Scott: No. Just don't step backward any farther. Wait, let me get the picture. I'll just walk over there, Jim (to get a core-tube cap off of Jim's PLSS). Okay. (Pause)

[Dave's "after" photo of the core-tube hole is AS15-86- 11651.]
144:38:04 Scott: Okay; here's your cap. (Pause)
[Dave gets a cap off the left side of Jim's PLSS and, while Jim holds the tube, Dave puts the cap on.]
144:38:13 Scott: Good core, Joe!

144:38:15 Irwin: I like those cores like that.

[Jim likes any core that he can push in by hand, rather than one he has to pound repeatedly with the hammer. After Dave gets the cap on, Jim removes the extension handle.]
144:38:18 Allen: Yes, sir. So do we. (Pause) That might even be a great core.
[Dave takes the core from Jim, who takes the scoop head from Dave and attaches it to the extension handle. Meanwhile, Dave is putting a cap on the top of the core tube.]
144:38:29 Scott: (Responding to Joe) Never know.
[Once Jim finishes with the scoop head, he turns to face Dave, who gives him the core tube.]
144:38: Scott: (To Jim) Put that in my bag. Don't step backwards.

144:38:34 Irwin: I hear you talking. (Pause)

[Dave turns to his left to present his SCB. Jim stows the core tube.]
MPG Video Clip of Jim's Climb to the LRV ( 2 min 58 sec; 20 Mb ) by Ken Glover

144:38:42 Scott: Okay, Joe. I'd suggest that we drive on down to that white crater and take the 500's from there. And I can do 500's while Jim's taking a pan. How's that sound?

144:38:52 Irwin: Okay; it (meaning the core tube)'s in (the SCB), Dave. (Pause)

144:39:00 Allen: Okay, Dave. That sounds like a good idea. We'd like a frame count from you before you leave...

144:39:03 Irwin: (Lost under Joe)

[While Dave grabs the tongs and the gnomon, Jim starts uphill toward the Rover.]
144:39:04 Allen: ...and Jim, you may be coming up on a Mag change, depending upon your frame counts.
[Obviously, Joe missed the discussion at 144:36:08.]
144:39:14 Irwin: Yeah. Mine's 180.

144:39:18 Allen: Roger. Better change it.

144:39:21 Scott: (Garbled)

144:39:22 Irwin: I wish you'd packed the slope a little better, Dave.

144:39:25 Scott: Yeah; we'll get them to do that next time.

[This is yet another Apollo skiing reference.]

[Scott - "When you ski, you pack soft slopes."]

[Although Dave gets a later start than Jim, he soon catches him because, where Jim is using a slow, two-footed hop, Dave is striding and/or skipping. Jim may have made a deliberate decision to climb slowly, perhaps because he is unable to get a drink from his water bag.]

144:39:27 Scott: But look at the Rover tracks; I'm going to take some pictures of the Rover tracks here. And our boot prints, both. Look at the difference. That old Rover is light.
[The Rover tracks are quite shallow, whereas the bootprints are deep. The difference is due to the fact that the relatively large contact area of the Rover wheels distribute the vehicle weight more than the boots spread the astronauts' weight.]
144:39:39 Irwin: It does a lot better than we do!

144:39:40 Scott: Yeah, it sure does. Much better!

144:39:43 Irwin: (Laughing) Ohhh!

[Dave stops, puts the gnomon down, and takes photos AS15-86- 11652 and 11653.]

[Frame 11652 shows some deep bootprints in the soft east rim of the Station 6 crater. These footprints are the ones Jim just made as he started his climb back up to the Rover.]

[11653 is a stereo companion to 11652. At the upper left, note the Rover tracks which show that Dave drove uphill around the east side of the crater as he approached his parking place.]

144:39:50 Allen: A little something for the soil mechanics (experts). Sounds great...

144:39:51 Irwin: Here, I'll walk up right alongside the tracks, there, so you...

144:39:53 Scott: (Garbled)

144:39:53 Allen: ...And we'd like for you to put several scoops of the soil in bag number 6 on the Hand Tool Carrier when you get back to the Rover.

144:40:02 Scott: (To Joe) Okay. (To Jim) Go ahead, Jim. (Pause) Yeah, that's a great picture but don't fall down.

144:40:10 Irwin: (Laughs) That'd be even a better picture! Well, you know the surface here is harder than it was over...

144:40:17 Scott: Yeah.

144:40:18 Irwin: ...near the (east rim of the) crater. At least you'll get a comparison. Boy, those (tire) chevrons do a good job of compacting the soil.

Video Clip   2 min 33 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 23 Mb MPG )

144:40:30 Scott: Yeah. (Long Pause)

[Note that, prior this last exchange, Jim had moved above the crater and was off the very soft soil on the rim.]

[Figure 1-4a from the Lunar Roving Vehicle Operations Handbook shows the chevron-patterned tread on the wire wheels.]

[While Jim continues the climb, Dave takes another stereopair, AS15-86- 11654 and 11655 . Frame 11654 shows a greater length of track. Readers may want to compare this photo with AS15-85- 11487, a frame from Jim's Station 6 pan which shows the Rover tracks from an uphill perspective. The last frame in Dave's series of bootprint and Rover track photos is 11655 is a particularly good photo. While Dave took these pictures, Jim was literally walking, rather than hopping.]

144:40:47 Scott: Man, you know, (laughing) I'd sure hate to have to climb up here. (Laughs) Boy!

144:40:53 Irwin: Yeah, let's work above the Rover from now on.

[Jim stops and rests for a moment before he finishes the last few meters of the climb. He seems to be struggling. When he gets to the Rover, we can hear a little of the effort in his voice. The climb took him about 2 minutes 20 seconds and covered about 20 meters of north-south distance and, if the average slope was 15 degrees, involved a rise of about 5 meters. His overal speed was about 8.8 m/min or 0.5 km/hr. Jim's heart rate peaked at about 130 beats-per-minute as he got to the Rover. Dave's heart rate peaked at about 96.]
144:40:56 Scott: Yeah. Well, you got to go "up" some time. (Pause) You'd never get here (that is, to Station 6) without this thing (meaning the Rover)!

144:41:21 Irwin: Okay. Joe wants scoops of soil into bag (SCB) 6, huh? That the one on the back of the pallet? Must be.

144:41:29 Scott: Yeah, but that's...Hey. (To Joe, speaking noticeably louder this time) Why don't we put them in a sample bag, Joe? Why...

144:41:35 Irwin: Yeah.

144:41:36 Scott: (To Jim) I'll get you a sample bag.

144:41:39 Irwin: Yeah.

144:41:40 Allen: Suit yourself, Dave, that sounds good...

144:41:41 Irwin: We want to sample, I guess, the typical soil by the Rover.

[Just before Jim goes off-camera to join Dave east of the Rover, Fendell zooms in on a larger crater out on the mare. This may be Dune. Boulders are visible on the south-facing inner wall. Note the dramatic change in the image when Jim's bright helmet is removed from the field of view and the automatic iris opens to compensate for the loss of that bright, near-field light source.]
144:41:42 Allen: ...And troops, before we leave this area, we want you to brush the LCRU and the TV camera lens. We're running quite hot on the LCRU and think there must be a lot of dirt on it.

144:41:58 Scott: Okay. There. There is, Joe. It accumulates fairly rapidly.

[Jim will do the dusting at 144:48:14.]
144:42:06 Scott: (To Jim, who has joined him at the soil sample site) Here. Why don't you get the down-Sun and we'll just scoop right here.
[Fendell begins a counter-clockwise pan.]

[Jim is out of film and doesn't get a picture. Dave's cross-Sun from the north is AS15-86- 11656. Note the Rover track in the background.]

144:42:15 Allen: And, Dave and Jim, we're after a large volume here, so shovel it in.

144:42:22 Scott: All right. Bag number 167. Beginning to shovel large volume.

144:42:30 Irwin: Well, I was saving myself for Arbeit.

[This is a reference for Jim's trenching and soil mechanics activities planned for Station 8 near Arbeit Crater on the way back to the LM.]
144:42:37 Scott: Maybe if you go uphill, Jim. If you stand uphill...
[As usual, Dave is probably holding the bag while Jim wields the scoop. It would be easiest for Jim to pour if he was slightly upslope of Dave.]
144:42:41 Irwin: Be happy to, but it...

144:42:42 Scott: Oh, okay. That's okay.

144:42:43 Irwin: (Garbled) to get a full shovel...

[By standing on the downhill side and facing into the slope, Jim has an easier time getting a full load.]
144:42:44 Scott: This is fine. (Pause) Sure, that's good. (Pause)

Video Clip   3 min 04 sec ( 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 28 Mb MPG )

MP3 Audio Clip ( 13 min 06 sec )

144:42:53 Irwin: (Laughing, probably as he has trouble getting the soil out of the scoop and into the bag) Trouble is, a large volume means shovel it, but you can't very well transfer it. (Pause)

144:43:02 Scott: Whoop! Easy, easy! (Laughs) Okay. Good. Good load. Get another one. (Pause)

144:43:24 Irwin: About all I can put in there.

144:43:25 Scott: Yep. That's a large volume. (Pause)

[This bag of soil was later divided into samples 15270-74 and 15281-84. The bags are 20 cm by 19 cm and, according to Judy Allton, were designed to hold 11-cm rocks or a bit more than a liter of soil. Photo S73-15561, taken from Judy's Apollo Tool Catalog, shows an open Apollo 17 bag containing 1.18 kilograms of soil.]
144:42:34 Irwin: (Dave chuckles) You're a champion bag shaker, Dave. (Dave laughs)

144:43:41 Allen: Yes, sir; yes, sir; three bags full.

[Fendell finds Dave and Jim, who are all but lost in the glare of light reflected off the high-gain antenna mast. Obviously, Dave has shaken the bag to compact the soil and decreases the volume enough that he can get it closed. As is discussed in section 9.1.5 of the Lunar Sourcebook, the density of any granular material can vary significantly depending on the spatial arrangement of the constituent particles. Loose soil on the surface - or in a sample bag after pouring - will have a low density because the particles have random orientations and, when in contact with each other, leave significant numbers of voids. On the other hand, in a sample of bag soil which has being shaken - or in the subsurface where the soil is repeatedly shaken by impacts in the area, when the particles are jostled many of them change orientation fall into the voids and into closer contact with each other, and the net density increases. In laboratory tests, samples of Apollo 15 soils had minimum densities of 1.1 grams per cubic centimeter and maximum densities of 1.89 g/cc.]
144:43:43 Scott: You know what I like about doing the bag...(Stopping to listen to Joe and then laughing) You know what I like about doing the bags up here, Jim; there's no air in them when you fold them up. Okay; and 167 goes in your bag.

144:44:01 Allen: And, Dave, regarding your question on...

144:44:03 Scott: "After" picture.

144:44:04 Allen: ...the 500-millimeter camera, we want you to take those pictures from here, and Jim can be changing out his magazine while you take the big camera pictures.

144:44:16 Scott: Very well.

144:44:17 Irwin: Okay, Joe. I copy.

[Dave's cross-Sun "after" is AS15-86- 11657.]
144:44:20 Scott: (To Joe) I guess you're thinking the lighting might change over there and we wouldn't get them because of getting closer to looking up-Sun, huh?

144:44:28 Allen: Quite possible, and we might want some more photos from there as well. We have the film.

144:44:37 Scott: Okay.

144:44:38 Irwin: Which Mag do you suggest for me, Joe?

144:44:44 Allen: Stand by. (Long Pause)

144:45:06 Gordon: Oboe or Papa, yeah.

144:45:12 Scott: Okay; Papa.

144:45:17 Allen: And that's Dicky's vote.

[Dick Gordon, the backup Commander, is probably sitting with Joe.]
144:45:18 Scott: That what you got, Joe, Papa?

144:45:20 Allen: Roger. Or Oboe.

144:45:21 Scott: Well, let's get it on because we're just stand(ing around)...(Stops to listen to Joe) Or Oboe, huh? "O" comes (before)...Okay. I've got Papa out; we'll go with Papa.

144:45:30 Allen: Okay...

144:45:30 Scott: (To Jim) Why don't you (garbled) go to the other side, here, so (garbled).

144:45:31 Allen: ...And Dave, can you press on with those big camera pictures?

144:45:37 Scott: Sure can. Couldn't get them until I got the other film out though.

144:45:40 Allen: Roger; agreed.

[The spare film magazines are stowed under Dave's seat along with the third Hasselblad, the one fitted with the 500-mm lens.]
144:45:42 Allen: And Jim, when you finish changing you can do dusting and cleaning of the LCRU.

144:45:52 Irwin: Okay. (Long Pause)

Video Clip   3 min 21 sec ( 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 30 Mb MPG )

[Fendell is looking at the near-surface in the up-Sun direction. He zooms in on some bright patches, which prove to be bootprints made noticeable because the boots create very smooth, highly reflective surface when pressed into the soil. Apollo 14 photograph AS14-67-9367 shows bright MET tracks leading from the LM to the ALSEP site, and Apollo 11 photograph A11-40-5877 is a close-up that Buzz Aldrin made of one of his own bootprints at about 110:23:32.]
144:46:11 Irwin: You been using the big brush to clean the LCRU, Dave?

144:46:14 Scott: Yeah, it works fine. (Pause)

[The brush is about the size of a large, house-painter's brush and is probably identical to the one shown on the front of the Apollo 16 Rover, just above the LCRU, in AS16-107-17537. I have been unable to spot a similar brush in any of the Apollo 15 pictures. Jim's EVA-1 cuff checklist page LMP-30 indicates that it was stowed on the geopallet at the back of the Rover. The brush was probably moved to the front of the Rover for Apollo 16 and 17 because the Apollo 15 experience showed the value of frequent dusting.]
144:46:22 Scott: Lens cover's off.

144:46:24 Allen: Beautiful.

144:46:26 Scott: We'll try about 250 and an 8, huh? (That is, an exposure of 1/250th of a second and a f-stop of 8) That sound all right to you?

144:46:33 Allen: Roger. Sounds good.

144:46:38 Scott: Yeah, the camera seems to be working all right. All right, I'll get you ...Oh, there's some outcrops up at the top (of Mt. Hadley). (Long Pause)

[Dave starts the 500-mm photography with a series taken along the summit of Mt. Hadley (assembly by Dave Byrne), AS15- 11292 to 11301.]

[During our review session, Dave and I looked at a mosaic of Mt. Hadley photographs.]

[Scott - "That's pretty good for no viewfinder, just a ring sight. And we had a tough time getting the 500 on the flight. A lot of people said, 'You can't hold a 500-mm lens still on the Moon.' Actually, it's a lot easier on the Moon than it is on the Earth! And it sure was a useful tool."]

[Jones - "Two or three pounds, maybe."]

[Scott - "Well, it was a big deal. You know, at one point, when we had the SWIP (Super Weight Improvement Program) for the LM around the time of Apollo 9 - because the weights were getting too high, even before the J missions - we took band-aids off! Literally. We removed a number of band-aids because they were trying to reduce the weight. We had real weight problems. So, anything you added impacted something else. And the impact of the 500-mm camera was to reduce the amount of ascent abort propellant we had, and that's pretty severe, I would guess. Although, by then, they probably figured the margins on rendezvous were pretty good."]

[Jones - "And you'd had a dramatic improvement for the J mission LMs from the G and H missions, and you used the improved performance for big things like the Rover and smaller things like the 500."]

[Fendell is now looking at the battery cover on the left front of the Rover, the one forward of Dave's seat. The cover is hinged at the front of the Rover.]

144:47:17 Irwin: Okay; Mag Papa's on my camera, Joe.

144:47:19 Allen: Okay, Jim. Sounds good. (Pause) And Jim, when you finish dusting, we've got some other tasks for you.

144:47:40 Irwin: You'll have to wait.

144:47:43 Allen: Roger, we're in no hurry.

144:47:48 Irwin: Dave, that Mag (meaning the one Jim took off his camera)'s behind the handcontroller.

144:47:51 Scott: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Dave will stow Jim's used magazine under the seat after he finishes with the 500-mm photography.]

[Fendell is now looking at the mirrored top of the LCRU. The TV picture moves from time to time as Jim works at his seat and jostles the vehicle.]

[Dave takes a second sequence of pictures of the Mt. Hadley summit (assembled by Dave Byrne), AS15-84- 11302 to 11308.]

[Next, Dave takes a vertical sequence (assembly by Dave Byrne). The frames are AS15-84- 11309 to 11315.]

[As can be seen in 11309, there seem to be two sets of linear features on the mountain: a set running diagonally down from the upper right to the lower left and a nearly horizontal set dipping down slightly to the left. The diagonal set is the more prominent when the mountain is viewed as a whole and these are believed to be lighting artifacts. The features in the horizontal set, when viewed from lunar orbit, appear to be benches that may have resulted from slumping on the steep mountain face. A full discussion can be found starting on page 5-11 in the Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report.

144:48:14 Irwin: I guess you use the lens brush on the TV.

144:48:18 Scott: Yeah, and it's right in there in that pocket (on the Hand Tool Carrier?). Don't open the pocket ...Yeah, just pull it out, it comes out. That a boy. (Pause)

144:48:38 Irwin: Houston, are you going to watch my cleaning operation?

144:48:42 Allen: Yes, sir. Looking right over your shoulder.

[Fendell is now looking at the front of the LCRU. The orange/gold LCRU thermal blanket is also hinged at the front and is open.]
144:48:48 Irwin: (Garbled) (Long Pause)
[We get a good view as Jim brushes the LCRU mirror.]

[Jones - "You can really see the dust come off! That's the best dusting picture in the whole Apollo collection."]

[Scott - "That's really amazing. I'd never seen that. That's thick enough you could write in it. I'll bet they were cheering on the ground, too."]

[Jones - "On each one of these missions, you see something different in these films and, all added together, they give you a reasonable picture of how the J missions ran - or the general flavor of them."]

[Scott - "I'm thinking that our little (unmanned, miniature) Rovers are planned to have solar cells on their backs. Of course, they don't move fast. But they're building this other, wheeled Rover at JPL, which is going to kick up dirt, if it goes fast. I wonder if they thought about this. That's a very interesting picture."]

Video Clip   2 min 57 sec ( 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPG )

144:49:11 Irwin: As you can see, it needed it.

144:49:13 Allen: Rog, Jim. And could you dust our (TV) lens...

144:49:18 Irwin: Want me to clean this now?

144:49:19 Allen: ...while you are there, please?

144:49:23 Irwin: Yep. Stand by. (Pause) Point (the TV) up and look at me, and I'll clean you off. (Pause)

144:49:38 Irwin: Can you point up?

[Jim seems reluctant to move the camera manually. Later crews had no such doubts and regularly moved the camera when they needed to.]

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "I would be reluctant to move it, also, in case that would strip the gears or offset some alignment calibration or force the drive motors. Lots of things could go wrong - unless the experts said OK, which we never discussed on 15."]

144:49:42 Allen: Jim, clean the top of the camera first, please.
[The top of the camera is mirrored like the top of the LCRU. The mirrors provide cooling.]
144:49:43 Irwin: Would you point up a little bit? (Answering Joe) Oh, okay.
[Without moving the camera, Jim has started to clean the TV lens with a small brush with soft bristles. There is a significant improvement in picture quality once Jim moves out of the way.]

[Jones - "You can see Jim's reflection in the LCRU mirror, now."]

144:49:49 Allen: Yeah, that's beautiful. Oh, magnificent! That even made us blink down here.

144:50:01 Irwin: Okay. The top's clean. If you'll point up a little bit, I'll clean your lens.

144:50:12 Allen: Jim, could you give us a little help on the tilt, we seem to be hung up.

144:50:14 Irwin: Okay, Joe. Point up, I'll ...(Responding to Joe) Okay.

144:50:23 Allen: Thank you, sir.

[Jim starts to clean the lens, again without moving the camera, but then raises it as Joe requested and gives the lens a vigorous cleaning.]
144:50:31 Irwin: How does that look to you?

144:50:32 Allen: (Joking) Would you check the oil, too, please?

144:50:36 Irwin: (Laughs) (Pause)

[Once Jim steps out of the way, we get a spectacular view up-Sun into the Swann Range.]

[Scott - "Oh, yeah, lookit, that really does clean it, doesn't it?"]

[Jones - "It's a dramatic improvement in the picture quality."]

[Scott - "Oh, yeah."]

[Jones - "So, all this time, we've been looking through a rather thick coat of dust, with lots of specular reflection."]

[During Dave's next transmission, Fendell pans to the left and, for a few moments, we see Dave looking off to the north, holding the 500-mm lens but probably not taking pictures. Jim is at the back of the Rover, probably stowing the dustbrushes. The cylindrical object sticking up from the back of the Rover is the recording drum of the penetrometer that he will use for his Station 8 activities.]

144:50:48 Scott: Okay, Joe, I got the 500 pictures. And I took, first, Mount Hadley; two horizontal strips up at the top where there are some outcrops, and probably the only two craters that I can see on the side of any sizable size. And then a vertical strip through one of the outcrops, and a vertical strip through another outcrop, and then two craters that are in, I guess, what we'd call the forward, leading edge of Swann Mountain over there, which are quite prominent craters. And then I swung over to a bright fresh one that we see, oh, to the northwest, way out. And then I turned back around to Hadley Delta and shot upslope at Hadley Delta, and picked up the debris that seems to be exposed up on the top of Hadley Delta. And now the frames say 120.

144:51:52 Allen: Roger, Dave. 120.

[Dave took two pictures of the hill immediately south of Mt. Hadley. This is the only reference to a 'Swann Mountain' in the Apollo 15 transcripts and it seems likely that Dave meant to say 'the leading, forward edge of the Swann Range'. These pictures are AS15-84-11316 and 11317.]

[Dave then took five pictures along the left flank of Mt. Hadley (assembled by Dave Byrne). The frames are AS15-84- 11318 to 11322.]

[Dave Byrne has created a Mt. Hadley composite.]

[The next three pictures, 11323, 11324, and 11325, show the LM and the North Complex. Dave Byrne has combined 11324 and 25.]

[Twenty-plus years after the flight, AS15-84- 11324 is still Dave's favorite Apollo 15 photo.]

[Frames 11326 and 11327 show the lineations on the face of Mt. Hadley. Dave Byrne has combined 11326 and 27.]

[Frames 11328 to 11330 show the lower portions of the left flank of Mt. Hadley (assembled by Dave Byrne).]

[Frames AS15-84-11331 and 11332 show Hill 305 (assembly by Dave Byrne).]

[Frames 11333 to 1133511335 show Hadley Rille (assembly by Dave Byrne).]

[Finally, frames AS15-84-11336 to 11346 show various outcrops near the summit of Mt. Hadley Delta (assembly by Dave Byrne). Dave had to take these pictures facing upslope.]

144:51:53 Irwin: Dave, as long as you got it out, don't you think you ought to take a picture of those large ones? (Pointing) Up to the east? In that suggestion of layering just to the right of the large one?

Video Clip   2 min 17 sec ( 0.6 Mb RealVideo or 20 Mb MPG )

144:52:03 Scott: Yeah, I guess so. Let's do that. Except that it's so much up-Sun, Jim, I'm not sure we're going to get anything in them.

144:52:09 Irwin: Yeah. (Pause)

[Dave turns to face east and Fendell pans right to watch him. We get an excellent view of the 500-mm lens and a glimpse of the ring sight. On later flights, the 500-mm lens will have its lens cap attached to the front of the barrel by a strap. There is no such cap in evidence on this lens. Note the motion of the lens as Dave takes pictures.]

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "If all that 500 (photography) works out, it will be a pretty enterprising operation. We had trained with the trigger and the handle, We both decided not to use the trigger and handle because it seemed to require enough torque (that it moved) the camera when you took the picture. So, I tried the first EVA without it, and it seemed to work better. I felt more stable without the trigger and I never did put the trigger and the handle on it. I just used the straight pushbutton method. It felt fairly stable while I was taking pictures."]

[Very few of Dave's 500-mm frames are blurred.]

144:52:13 Irwin: Joe, you have some other tasks for me here?

144:52:17 Allen: Jim, we're happy...

144:52:18 Scott: (Garbled)

144:52:18 Allen: ...Give us an EMU status check, please. We'd like a frame count off of Dave's camera, and then we're ready to move out. (Pause) I forgot the 16-millimeter. We want you to change out that Mag, run the camera at 1 foot per second for 10 seconds, and then go back to normal.

144:52:43 Irwin: Okay; stand by. (Pause)

[Fendell has started a clockwise pan.]
144:52:50 Scott: I took about 4 more pictures on the 500, Joe, looking out at Silver Spur and the blocks that are exposed up there.
[There are actually three frames showing the view to the east of Station 6 along the side of Hadley Delta (assembly by Dave Byrne), 11347 to 11349.]
144:53:01 Allen: Okay, Dave...

144:53:02 Irwin: (Garbled)

144:53:04 Scott: (Responding to Jim) Okay.

144:53:03 Allen: ...Out of curiosity, did you photograph the LM with the big camera?

144:53:09 Scott: (Feigning surprise) Oh, how did you guess, Joe?

144:53:15 Allen: I just can't stay ahead of you.

144:53:20 Scott: (Laughing) You're ahead of me all the time.

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "I think I really was surprised! I do not know how Joe anticipated that."]

[Whether Dave was genuinely surprised or not, his tone of voice conveys a sense of "You know me well, Joe".]

144:53:23 Scott: Hey, the film's jammed in that (16-mm) camera, too. That's the problem with that mag, Delta.

144:53:28 Allen: Roger. Copy, the film was jammed in the DAC. And change out that magazine, please. Install a new one, and start it running at 1 frame per second for 10 seconds.

144:53:45 Irwin: Okay, that's in work. (Long Pause)

Video Clip   2 min 39 sec ( 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 24 Mb MPG )

[Fendell gives us a view of Jim as he stands next to his seat, working on the 16-mm movie camera.]
144:54:15 Irwin: Okay; 1 frame per second, Joe. Here we go. 10 seconds.

144:54:20 Scott: Okay; and why don't you hop on and let me get your seat belt, we got to get moving. Time's a wasting.

144:54:30 Irwin: Green light isn't working in it. There's 10 seconds.

144:54:37 Scott: Okay.

144:54:39 Irwin: Okay; we tried that at one

144:54:45 Scott: Okay, Jim. Why don't you hop on?

144:54:46 Irwin: Yeah.

144:54:48 Scott: If you can. Don't forget we're tilted backwards. (Pause) Good boy. Good.

[To get seated, Jim stands next to his seat, facing forward, and grabs the inboard handhold next to the console. Next, he leans back until his PLSS is on the seat and then raises his legs and swings them onto the floor-pan. Finally, he uses his legs to push himself back and up into a sitting position. In Apollo 17 video of Jack Schmitt mounting the Rover, Jack jumps up and sideways and, holding on to the handhold, uses his arm to pull himself into the seat. Gene Cernan took photos AS17-134-20452, 20453, and 20454 from the front of the Rover as Jack got seated at Station 9.]
144:55:05 Allen: Jim, while you're there, can you look over and get a frame count off of Dave's camera, please?

144:55:12 Irwin: Yeah, as soon as he turns a little bit more to the left.

144:55:15 Allen: Okay.

[Dave reaches inboard to get the end of Jim's seatbelt.]
144:55:16 Scott: Okay; can you sit back now, Jim? (After Jim sits up a little more) Okay; just a minute, let me get your pocket.
[Evidently, the seatbelt has caught on one of Jim's two strap-on pockets ( 153k ); or, perhaps, Dave has noticed that a pocket is open. We get a good view of Dave's PLSS hoses, which are routed under his right arm.]
144:55:23 Scott: I don't know why your suit is so much wider than mine.

144:55:26 Irwin: I'm wider.

144:55:27 Scott: Don't sit up! Sit back!

144:55:28 Irwin: I'm trying to. (Pause) Swing around and I'll give them a camera count on you.

[The TV camera swings down before Dave gets Jim's belt fastened.]
144:55:37 Scott: There, your seatbelt's on.

144:55:40 Irwin: Here...Well, when you sit down, I'll get yours.

144:55:43 Scott: Yeah. Look at it (meaning Dave's frame counter) there, down-Sun, so you won't have to...

144:55:46 Irwin: Okay; it's 130.

144:55:50 Allen: Roger.

144:55:51 Irwin: On Dave's. (Pause)

144:55:56 Allen: And Jim, while you're there, could you go back to normal on the DAC, please? Or, off.

144:56:04 Irwin: Going back to 12 frames per second. You want me to run it at that speed? (Pause) You want me to turn it on at that speed now, Joe, and see if it'll work?

144:56:15 Allen: Stand by on that, Jim. (Pause) Yeah, let's give it a go; see if it'll work?

[The Rover jiggles, probably as Dave climbs on.]
144:56:24 Irwin: Okay; it's coming on now.

144:56:26 Scott: Why don't you wait until we start driving? Oh, shoot. I forgot the TV.

144:56:36 Irwin: I think this one might be working, Joe.

144:56:39 Allen: TV's...

144:56:40 Irwin: Because we're at the full mark on the MAG.

[The Rover jiggles as Dave climbs off and, then, we get a glimpse of his shadow as he goes forward to turn the TV off.]
144:56:46 Scott: Joe, I'm going PM1/WB.
[TV off.]
144:56:49 Allen: Roger, Dave. And Jim, turn off the DAC until we start driving and then we'll get some moving.

144:56:59 Irwin: Okay; it's off.


Journal Home Page Apollo 15 Journal Index Traverse to Station 6a