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Traverse to Station 13

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Photo strips by Ken Glover.
Except where noted, audio clips by Roland Speth.
Last revised 13 March 2010.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 9 min 21 sec )

168:08:21 Young: Okay. Houston. (As per CDR-33), going Mode Switch to 1.

168:08:22 England: Okay. Fine. And when you get ready to drive off there, we'd like...

168:08:31 Young: (Garbled, probably CC) W

[John has probably turned the TV camera counter-clockwise (CCW) to stow it for the drive to Station 13.]
168:08:32 Duke: I guess we're a little late...(Stops to listen)
[They arrived at North Ray at about 166:47 and have spent more than 1 hour 20 minutes here. At 167:35, Tony told them they had 25 minutes left and they have gone noticeably past the implied 168:00 departure.]

[John parked the Rover near CY.2/79.6 and the Rover readouts at the time they parked were a LM bearing and range of 179/4.5. The LM is near CB.1/80.6 and the Rover parking position implied by the readouts is CZ.6/80.2. See the "Descartes EVA-III 3 of 3" map.]

168:08:33 England: (We'd) like the rear Drive Power to Bus Baker and the steering to Bus Baker; Rear Steering. (Pause)

168:08:46 Young: Okay, Charlie. You're in?

168:08:50 Duke: Well, I can't...

168:08:51 Young: No. You're not in, you're...There you go.

168:08:53 Duke: No. I didn't think I was in. I can always tell.

168:08:58 Young: Okay; Bus Baker with the Rear Drive Power And Rear Steering to Bus Baker.

168:09:07 Duke: Okay, Tony. One final comment here. Again, no impression of - to me, anyway - of layering or of bedrock, just loose rocks in the walls. And they're splayed out in ray patterns.

168:09:25 Young: Man, that (North Ray Crater) is some hole.

168:09:26 Duke: And there's about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 rays coming out of there, intermixed red and...(correcting himself) white, and black rocks in each of the rays, and that's in about, maybe, a half of the crater.

[Sometime before they start to move, Charlie takes AS16-106-17357. The photos he takes during the first part of the drive are 17357 to 17362.]
168:09:45 England: Okay, understand. And Station 13,...

168:09:46 Young: Okay, Charlie. We ready to go?

168:09:47 Duke: Ready.

168:09:48 England: ...now, will be right down your tracks about a half a kilometer, and we'd like to stop in the midst of those big boulders you described on the way up.

168:09:59 Young: Okay. My kind of Station 13.

[Duke - "He liked to whack rocks. He just liked the big rocks, I guess."]

[Jones - "And he'd taken to that during training?"]

[Duke - "Uh-huh."]

168:10:05 Duke: Okay. The DAC's running.

168:10:06 England: Good show. You beat me to it.

[Charlie takes AS16-106-17358 as John turns to the south. The South Ray ejecta blanket is visible beyond the white boulders.]
168:10:13 Duke: There are your tracks. Look at that, John. How far...See them back over there?
[AS16-106-17359 shows the inbound Rover tracks.]
168:10:16 Young: Looks to me like we just go around in a circle here, Charlie.

168:10:19 Duke: Yeah.

168:10:22 Young: (Laughs) Okay, Station 13. Right down the same way we came. (Pause) Oh, my goodness.

[John probably has just noticed that they will be going down a steep slope. Figure 3 in the North Ray chapter of the Professional Paper indicates that, once they get off the rim, headed ESE, they will drop about 35 meters in a distance of 150 meters. The average slope in this interval is 13 degrees.]

[Charlie's photos taken during this precipitous drop are AS16-106- 17363 to 17368.]

168:10:30 Duke: We can't see old Orion from here. (Laughing) This is going to be something going down this hill.

168:10:38 Young: Sure we...We didn't...I'm not sure we came up that hill.

168:10:45 Duke: Yeah, we did. There's the tracks. (Pause)

168:10:52 Young: We sure come off it, didn't we?

168:10:53 Duke: Look at that slope! Be sure that you got the brakes on. Tony, this is at least a 15-degree slope we're going down, and that Rover came right up it and you never even knew it. (Pause) Brake that beauty, John. (Laughs) Man, are we accelerating. Super. I should have had the (TV) camera pointed forward. (Pause) Okay, Tony, that was at...I think it was 179 at 4.4, that little steep slope there. Whoever said this was the Cayley Plain?

168:11:43 Young: Well, that was down the rim of the crater here. (To Tony) We've just set a new world's speed record, Houston; 17 kilometers an hour on the Moon.

168:11:50 England: Well, let's not set any more.

168:12:00 Young: (Answering Tony) I'm with you.

[Duke - "Coming down the hill where we set the Moon speed record, we got that thing up to 17 km/hr, at least on the meter. And it was something."]

[Jones - "John lays the claim, here, reading the gauge as an independent, unbiased observer."]

[Duke - "That's right."]

[During the Apollo 17 EVA-2 traverse at 144:21:31, as Gene Cernan drove down the Taurus-Littrow Scarp at Hole-in-the-Wall on the way to Station 3, he claimed a faster speed of "17-1/2 or 18 clicks".]

168:12:02 Duke: Okay, John. I got us out 2 hours and...

168:12:05 England: Forty minutes.

168:12:06 Duke: ...40 minutes, it looks like.

168:12:10 Young: I guess that would be a new Moon speed record, wouldn't it?

168:12:12 Duke: Yeah.

168:12:13 Young: I hadn't thought about.

168:12:14 England: And all your...

168:12:15 Duke: Tony, going back...

168:12:16 England: ...data looks good

168:12:17 Duke: ...cross-Sun...(Stops to listen) Okay. Going back across Sun (and looking at) the (uphill) tracks, we just barely penetrated the regolith; maybe an eighth of an inch or so. (Pause) Whatever it is, it's going to be real firm here. Hopefully, we can get...Isn't (Station) 13 a double-core one? (Pause)

168:12:51 England: Negative. We'll have a double core...

168:12:52 Duke: (To John) Feel that old Sun coming down on your...(Stops to listen)

168:12:55 England: ...back at the Station 10 prime. Station...

168:12:57 Duke: Oh, good. I think we might do it there. Here, I don't think...(Stops to listen)

168:13:03 England: Okay. (As per LMP-34) Station 13 has a rake soil, then documented samples until you run out of time.

168:13:12 Young: Okay. You want to go...We'll go up on this ridge here, Charlie, because that's where the big blocks were.

168:13:16 Duke: Yeah.

[Charlie's photos taken during the climb up this ridge are are AS16-106- 17369 to 17372.]
168:13:17 Young: Remember?

168:13:18 Duke: Yeah. That big one we thought was the rim and it was...

168:13:21 Young: Yeah. What we're up on now is a sort of a pre-rim rim of this (North Ray) impact crater. (Pause) And it's 600 meters from the rim. (Pause)

168:13:45 Duke: Okay, Tony. I'm panning your camera around at various places here - (with) the 16 - to get right and left.

168:13:51 England: Okay. It's probably out of film now.

168:13:52 Duke: Again, the impression is that...(Stops to listen) Already?

168:13:58 England: No, we're just...

168:13:59 Young: Turn it around this way, Charlie, and I'll tell you.

[John is asking Charlie to turn the 16-mm camera so he can see the film indicator.]
168:13:59 England: ...going to turn it off now. I'm sorry, Charlie. (Pause)

168:14:06 Young: It's half full, Charlie.

168:14:08 Duke: (To Tony) Okay. Turning it off.

168:14:10 England: Okay. Good show. (Pause)

168:14:15 Duke: Man, that's hard on the old fingers. (It feels) like it's still running, too. (Pause) That's the Rover I hear...Feeling that thing vibrating.

[Charlie was feeling vibration through his gloves and thought, for a moment, that the 16-mm camera was still running, even though he'd tried to turn it off.]
168:14:31 Young: Charlie, here we go again (down a steep slope).

168:14:34 Duke: Remarkable, isn't it?

168:14:36 Young: Yeah.

[Charlie's photos taken during this part of the traverse are AS16-106- 17373 to 17378.]
168:14:39 Duke: Tony, we just topped a...(To John) There's that...No, it can't be that. There's a big rock over there; but this other one is down at the bottom of this hill here, John, (and it's the one) we came by. (To Tony) We just topped another rise, and we're looking to the southeast back towards the Kant Plateau. It's an undulating surface, and indented for about...It's difficult to judge distances.

168:15:14 Young: Here's the big rocks down here, Charlie.

[Charlie's photos taken during the approach to Station 13 are AS16-106- 17379 to 17385.]
168:15:15 Duke: That's them, yeah. (To Tony) But it's undulating until it hits the scarp of...I think I'll call it the Kant Plateau. That's the scarp on the map that you can map around like a little re-entrant on the map back to the east, and we can see back up that way and all the way up onto the top of the plateau.
[The Kant Plateau is shown in Figure 2 of the Traverse Planning chapter of the Professional Paper. The north-south scarp that forms the western edge of the Plateau is 60 km east of their present position. At that distance, Charlie would be able to see the Plateau if (1) it was more than a kilometer higher in elevation and (2) it was not blocked by the Descartes mountains. If the Plateau is visible from the vicinity of Station 13, it would be the horizon feature in AS16-106- 17398, which is a frame from Charlie's Station 13 pan.]
168:15:39 England: Okay, and we won't want a Nav update of Station 13, so you can park either north or south, whichever is easiest for you.
[Cuff checklist page CDR-36 shows a planned Rover heading of 270 at Station 13, a heading that would have been needed only for a Nav update.]
168:15:49 Duke: (Laughing) Okay. (To John) We almost spun out on that one, babe. That was great.

168:15:53 Young: Okay; let's go by that...See that big rock over there? Maybe that's a permanently shadowed one. (Pause) Try it?

168:16:04 Duke: I don't think so, but we can go look. You know, following our tracks back, we might find that CSVC.

[They lost the Core Sample Vacuum Container during the drive to Station 11. See Figure 76 in Judy Allton's Apollo Tool Catalog.]
168:16:11 Young: That's right, that's what I'm thinking. (Pause) If you see something that looks strange (meaning "alien") around here, that's it. (Pause) Oh, man.

168:16:23 Duke: Okay, Tony. On down this ridge, we're going down about at least a 5-degree slope. We have one real (meaning "very") filleted rock that we're just passing now at 3.8 at 183, and then we have another rock down here that's the same size, about 3 meters across that has hardly any fillet. And that's the one we're going to stop by.

[AS16-106- 17384 shows the approach to Shadow Rock.]
168:16:46 England: Okay. Good show. And your...(stops to listen)

168:16:49 Duke: Is that what you meant, John? For permanently shadowed?

168:16:51 Young: Yeah.

168:16:56 England: And your Cuff Checklist (CDR-36) doesn't show TV here, but we'd like you to go through a normal TV power-up.

168:17:08 Duke: Okay. (To John) I don't think we'll be able to align it here at...I haven't had any trouble aligning that thing, though, in just about any position. If we park north, we'll be in good shape for them.

168:17:22 Young: Okay. Let's do that.

168:17:23 Duke: Okay. (Pause) Be able to see that biggie. That rock right there looks like that great big one we sampled up on the rim, John.

168:17:31 Young: Sure does.

168:17:33 Duke: Okay. That's good. I just don't think it's going to be permanently shadowed, though.

168:17:37 Young: I don't either.


Journal Home Page Apollo 16 Journal Index Station 13 at Shadow Rock