Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal
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Return to Orbit

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Audio clips by Dave Shaffer.
Last revised 22 December 2012.

 

MP3 Audio Clip ( 16 min 54 sec )
Gene and Jack called Houston about 14 minutes prior to the scheduled end of the rest period and, consequently, the initial exchange was not part of the main press feed. It was recorded on a back-up tape and was replayed for the press at 183:57:32, below.

183:29:59 LM Crew: (Sung with occasionally successful harmony) Good morning to you; Good morning to you; Good morning, Dear Gordy, Good morning to you. (Long Pause)

[Schmitt - (Laughing) "You're being overly generous. I didn't hear any successful harmony."]

[My Beautiful Australian Bride, Dianne Jones, a woman of good musical judgment, agrees with Jack. I am outvoted. There was no successful harmony.]

[Cernan - "Can you imagine (the scene) down in the MOCR. They're quietly sitting there watching the systems and figuring out what their going to do next and off the open carrier comes this noise."]

183:xx:xx Fullerton: (Music: 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' by R. Strauss)

183:33:14 Fullerton: Good morning, Challenger and thank you for the vocal rendition from the Moon, there.

183:33:24 Cernan: Well, we thank you for your kind music. We wanted to let you know we were thinking about you this morning, Gordy.

183:33:34 Fullerton: You just beat us to it, but...

183:33:36 Cernan: That was a great song.

183:33:37 Fullerton: ...we decided to play it anyway, because it's such a pretty selection.

183:33:44 Cernan: I think it's very apropos at the moment. I guess I can just wait for "Hail Purdue," huh?

183:33:55 Fullerton: Yeah, just stand by, you'll probably hear it before you get back.

[Gene, Jack, and Ron had a total of thirteen wake-up calls during the mission. Ten times Houston picked out appropriate musical selections, albeit none of them "Hail Purdue" in honor of Gene's alma mater, Purdue University. There was no music for their first two wake-up calls in space. For the third morning, Houston picked "The Jayhawk Fight Song" in honor of Ron Evans' alma mater, Kansas University. There was no music again for the fourth morning but, for the fifth call, on the day that Gene and Jack made their landing, Houston played John Denver's version of "The City of New Orleans" which features the phrase "Good morning, America, how are you?" in the chorus. "America" is, of course, the name of the Apollo 17 Command Module. For Gene and Jack's first wake-up call on the Moon, Houston picked Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries", a tune regularly played on mornings of final exams at Caltech, which was Jack's undergraduate school. (Gordon Fullerton and Journal Editor Eric Jones were also Caltech undergrads.) Flight Director Gerry Griffin's alma mater, Texas A&M, was honored the next morning with a rendition of "The Aggie Fight Song". Strauss' "Thus Spake Zarathustra"is associated with space because of the Stanley Kubrick/Arthur C. Clarke film "2001: A Space Odyssey".]

[For the rest of the mission, the selections are: Roberta Flack's rendition of "If Ever I Saw Your Face", presumably a reference to the Moon below the orbiting spacecraft; the Doors' "Come on Baby Light My Fire", to be played on the day (December 17) that the Apollo 17 crew leaves lunar orbit for the trip home; "Home for the Holidays"; The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun", played in the belief that the end of Apollo is not the end of humanity's lunar adventure; and, for the morning of splashdown, a dual selection of the Navy's "Anchors Away" and the U.S. national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner."]

[Journal Contributor Brian Lawrence notes that "the BBC used 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' to introduce their TV coverage of all the missions."]

183:34:01 Cernan: Hey, we've been stirring for about 15 or 20 minutes. We're in the midst of a nice hamburger omelet (chuckle) and assorted accessories.

183:34:05 Schmitt: As a matter of fact, it's all over us.

183:34:06 Cernan: And if you'll give me 5 minutes, I'll be ready to go on the PGNS, unless you want to start it sooner. (Long Pause)

[Procedures for powering up the inertial platform and other elements of the guidance and navigation system are printed on checklist page Surface 7-9. They are supposed to perform those tasks before breakfast but, as Fullerton indicates in his next statement, Houston agrees with their decision to start with breakfast. In fact, they have a relaxed schedule for the nearly five hours that remain before launch and won't be facing any time-critical tasks until the later stages.]
183:34:37 Fullerton: Okay...No hurry, finish up and get cleaned up there. And the only change...We have some change in the timing as far as the checklist so we can gain back the time we're behind now, which is actually less than an hour. And the only hardware change other than deletions is that we'd like you to leave Demand Reg A closed at all times. So whenever you come across a place that says Open at Cabin or Egress, we'd like you to leave it Closed.

183:35:20 Schmitt: Okay. Gordy. We've got you on that.

[Cernan - "Here we are, after three days of exploring the lunar surface. We're coming up on an extremely critical portion of the mission - lifting off from the surface - and the conversation is so casual. It just strikes me. We've got food spilled all over; they start playing songs; we're singing to them."]

[Schmitt - "I wonder if, in the journals of other explorers, there is this light-hearted overlay to what was otherwise a stressful adventure. I wonder if there's any sign of the synergistic humor that human beings have among themselves - the kind where, if you read it, it doesn't sound very humorous, but you know it's there."]

183:35:23 Cernan: And, Gordy, could I have a quick status report on America and Challenger?
[Cernan - "This conversation is laid back; and, yet, there is business involved. We ask for the status of the Challenger and so on. But, then, when you read on, Jack's got a poem. It just strikes me that we were confident, confident that we are proceeding along on the plan. I think the mood is worth commenting on and, as I look back on it, I'm proud of it. We weren't stereotypes going bang, bang through the checklist. We woke up, we sang them a song, and we're sitting back and eating breakfast. And you've got to picture what's going on. Jack and I are in our long underwear with our suits piled up behind us - it's like four people in the little lunar module - sitting wherever we can. And they ask for the PGNS and you just reach over and get it. I wish there had been a mini-camera inside the spacecraft. It's the kind of thing you want to relate to other people. We were a quarter million miles away from home; we'd done something unique; we had something extremely significant still to do; and we had to take things in stride, one step at a time. We were feeling pretty good about it. We were ready to take our spoils back home. It might have been a case of rewarding ourselves for what we'd done."]

[Schmitt - "There are photographs of Gene and me in the LM (AS17-134- 20521 and 20530 are examples) and I think the looks on our faces tell the story. The fact that we took the time to take pictures of ourselves says a lot."]

183:35:31 Fullerton: You bet. America is just as good as gold, just like always. Ron got off the trim burn on the back side followed by a good plane change on the front side. In fact the G&N cut-off was a tenth (of a foot per second) and - or less - in all axes. Didn't even need to trim it. So, he's in about a 62-1/2 circular (orbit), I believe, and waiting for you to come up and join him.

183:36:05 Cernan: Okay, how's his consumables?

183:36:12 Fullerton: Stand by. (Pause) Okay, America's consumables are great and so are yours. There is a possibility we may have to switch to Ascent Water (tank) just prior to lift-off. Everything really is in good shape.

183:36:38 Cernan: Those are good words, Gordy. Thank you.

[They have been using the water supply in the Descent Stage up to this point - primarily to cool the electronics - and have nearly exhausted it.]
183:36:46 Schmitt: Hey, Gordy. In honor of one of your comm handovers last night, and in the tradition of Apollo 8, I've got a paraphrase of a familiar poem for you.

183:37:01 Fullerton: Okay; go ahead.

183:37:03 Schmitt: Well,

"It's the week before Christmas
And all through the LM,
Not a commander was stirring,
Not even Cernan.
The samples were stowed in their places with care,
In hopes that with you, they soon will be there.
And Gene in his hammock and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a short lunar nap.
But up on the comm loop there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my hammock, to see what was the matter.
The Sun on the breast of the surface below,
Gave the luster of objects, as if in snow.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature Rover and eight tiny reindeer.
And a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, it must be St. Nick.
I heard him exclaim as over the hills he did speed.
Merry Christmas to all and to you all Godspeed."

                        (with thanks to Hamish Lindsay for the formating)
183:38:22 Fullerton: Very good.

183:38:27 Cernan: Gordo, that was the first time I heard that and I got to say that is beautiful!

[Cernan - "I still think it's a classic. That's what I meant (a little while ago) about the tone of the moment."]
183:38:33 Fullerton: I agree. Did the LMP get any sleep or did he spend all night composing that?

183:38:43 Cernan: People always said we ought to have a poet in space.

183:38:48 Schmitt: I don't think we've made it yet. (Answering Fullerton) No, for some reason I really woke up with one of your handovers last night, and that was how I went back to sleep. (Pause) Gordy, that's for the kids. They are the future.

183:39:20 Fullerton: Rog, Jack. (Long Pause)

[Gene thinks Jack may have made some notes and was using them as he recited his creation. Jack has a vague recollection of having used notes.]

[Schmitt - "The Apollo 8 reference is that somebody in the MOCR wrote a paraphrased version of 'The Night Before Christmas' and I read it up to the crew. As a kid I had given recitations of it."]

[On Christmas Day 1968, about 45 minutes after Apollo 8 had a successful engine burn to put themselves on a homeward-bound trajectory, the following conversation was recorded for posterity, starting at 89:59:18.]

[CapCom: Jack's been watching you since LOI (Lunar Orbit Insertion), and he has a few words he wants to give you.]

[Borman: Go ahead.]

[Schmitt: Typhoid Jack here, and we have some good words here that originated at the Cape with a bunch of friends of yours. And It's sort of a paraphrase of a poem that you probably are familiar with. Do you read me, Apollo 8?]

[Borman: You are loud and clear, Jack.]

[Schmitt: Okay. "'Twas the night before Christmas and way out in space, the Apollo 8 crew had just won the Moon race. The headsets were hung by the consoles with care, in hopes that Chris Kraft soon would be there. Frank Borman was nestled all snug in his bed, while visions of REFSMMAT's danced in his head; and Jim Lovell, in his couch, and Anders, in the bay, were racking their brains over a computer display. When out of the DSKY there arose such a clatter, Frank sprang from his bed to see what was the matter. Away to the sextant he flew in a flash to make sure they weren't going to crash. The light on the breast of the Moon's jagged crust gave a luster of green cheese to the gray lunar dust. When what to his wondering eyes should appear, but a Burma Shave sign saying 'Kilroy was here.' (Laughter) But Frank was no fool; he knew pretty quick that they had been first; this must be a trick. More rapid than rockets, his curses they came. He turned to his crewmen and called them by name. Now Lovell, now Anders, now don't think I'd fall for an old joke you've written up on the wall. They spoke not a word, but grinning like elves, and laughed at their joke in spite of themselves. Frank sprang from his couch, to the ship gave a thrust, and away they all flew past the gray lunar dust. But we heard them explain ere they flew around the Moon: Merry Christmas to Earth; we will be back there real soon." Great job, gang.]

[Borman: Thank you very much. That was a very good poem; but in order to win the race, you have got to end up on the carriers (the recovery ship).]

[The cultural references in the poem are to Kilroy, "a mythical soldier of World War II whose name was inscribed in unlikely places all over the world by American soldiers" (Webster's Third International Dictionary, 1968) and to the thousands upon thousands of Burma Shave signs that kept American motorists entertained between 1927 and 1963. As detailed in Frank Rowsome's Verse by the Side of the Road, the Burma-Vita Company advertised its brushless shaving cream with sets of six, red-and-white signs spaced far enough apart that there were easily read by passing motorists. Each set of six carried either an advertising message or a public service message, usually in funny verse with two or three words per sign and the last sign always saying "Burma Shave". Two examples from the 1960 campaign are "We've Made Grandpa / Look So Youthful / His Pension Board / Thinks / He's Untruthful / Burma Shave," and "Henry the Eighth / Sure Had / Trouble / Short Term Wives / Long Term Stubble / Burma Shave." A combination of rising costs, increasing urbanization, the development of the Interstate Highway System, and opposition to roadside advertising killed this much loved piece of Americana.]

[Schmitt, 2003 e-mail to David Woods - "During the last week of Apollo 8 training, with which I was deeply involved, I came down with a case of intestinal flu. As a result, I immediately isolated myself from physical contact with the crew. Frank, however, initially thought that his bout of space adaptation intestinal discomfort was the consequence of being exposed to me. Thus, references to 'Typhoid Jack.' If you look at his book, I think that he later admitted that it was a result of space adaptation."]

183:40:17 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. One update for the post-sleep procedure. I understand you brought in the LMP's camera, and we want to be sure you get that into the jett bag before the final jettison here. And, by the way, you're Stay for that final jettison.

183:40:39 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. It's already in the jett bag, thank you. (Pause)

[Cernan - "Obviously, I did not leave the LMP's camera on the Rover pointed at the zenith. But I swear I put something there. It's possible it could have been the 500 lens, because we didn't bring it back and I mentioned it was under the seat. I know that I did something with a camera. Now, it could have been a lens. And I stuck it between the seats, sort of wedged it in somewhere, and pointed the lens toward the zenith."]

[Schmitt - "Houston wanted us to jettison the camera because they didn't want us to take pictures of Ron Evans' EVA. They had decided it was too cumbersome and too risky. But, we were going to ignore them, and we figured out how we could do it. But we needed a camera. Ron had a camera, but it was not EVA-qualified."]

[Cernan - "We had made up our minds we were going to take pictures of Ron."]

[Schmitt - "And we needed a lunar-surface camera to do it."]

[Cernan - "Now, we did put the LMP's camera in the jett bag, so we must have had mine."]

[What is puzzling about Gene's and Jack's memory on this is that Gene's cuff checklist page CDR-33 contains the line "Cam to ETB", indicating that Houston expected them to have that camera on board. Another puzzle is the fact that the pictures of Ron's EVA, such as AS17-152-23391 were not taken with a camera equipped with reseau crosses. This suggests strongly that they used Ron's camera.]

183:40:52 Schmitt: And, Gordy, you might make some notes that before I put it in there (in the ETB at about 174:31:44), I took a black-and-white window pan with mag Nancy (Apollo magazine 143).

183:41:08 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. Roger.

183:41:13 Cernan: Gordo, on Reg A, you interpret that is just a small leak by the reg? That it would be usable, if you had to.

183:41:28 Fullerton: That's affirmative, Geno. It's a small, slow leak and it is usable if needed.

[That is, if Reg B doesn't work, they'll be able to use Reg A for repressurization following the final hatch opening.]
183:41:38 Cernan: Okay, thank you. In summing up so far, I think that's all the system anomalies we got, isn't it?

183:41:48 Fullerton: That's all I can think of at the moment. I do have revised times for the rest of the Lunar Surface Checklist which, at a convenient time, I can give to you, so that you'll have a how-goes-it as you go on down the line here.

183:42:05 Cernan: Why don't you give them to us now, Gordy?

183:42:09 Fullerton: Okay, turn to page 7-9. (Long Pause)

183:42:24 Cernan: Go ahead.

183:42:26 Fullerton: Okay, (on page) 7-9, LGC/IMU Power-up, change that time from 183:04 to 184:10. The eat period time is now 184:20.

183:42:44 Fullerton: Turn the page (to 7-10), and the "183:59" above "Park Rendezvous Radar" is now 185:05.

183:42:56 Fullerton: Next page (7-11), "don suits" at 185:15. (Pause)

183:43:04 Fullerton: Go to the next page (7-12). "Prep for equipment jettison" is 185:50; and, the same page, "helmet/glove donning" is 185:58.

183:43:22 Fullerton: Next page (7-13), "pressure integrity check", 186:04. "Cabin depress" is 186:08; and "hatch opening" is 186:12.

183:43:43 Fullerton: Next page, 7-14, "cabin repress" is 186:15. "Cabin cleanup for launch" is 186:20.

183:43:59 Fullerton: And on the following page (7-15), we're going to delete the P22 but we'd like you to do all the procedures except those from "Verb 95 Enter," through "P00 Enter," inclusive...(That is), the center section of procedures. So you'll still be closing the rendezvous radar breakers, going to LGC, and parking the antenna and copying PADs. Over.

183:44:24 Cernan: Okay, we're going to delete everything from Verb 95 through P00 on P22. That's the center of the page.

183:44:34 Fullerton: That's affirmative and then the next page, "cabin prep for ascent" is 186:45, and instead of 39 minutes we're going to have you do that in 3 minutes. And you should have a little more time than that, since you got up early. That puts you right back with timeline, at lift-off minus 1 hour and 15, at 186:48. Over.

183:45:06 Cernan: Okay, top at 7-15 where we pick up what was going to be the beginning of the P22? Have you got a time up there?

183:45:14 Fullerton: I guess we'll just have to work that in with the cabin cleanup time. We had deleted that whole time block but you do have to catch those procedures.

183:45:31 Cernan: Okay, and then the times on the top of 7-10, for P22, are not applicable, and I guess you can give us an update for our P57 lift-off time.

183:45:47 Fullerton: That's affirmative. We might...There's a couple more changes coming at me here but let me make sure I got them straight and I'll call you later. Go ahead with whatever you were doing.

183:46:01 Cernan: Okay. (Long Pause)

183:46:26 Cernan: (Coughs) Gordy, if I get ready for the "LGC/IMU power-up", I'll give you a call even though it comes earlier; but I'd like to get that started, as soon as we're ready to start it.

183:46:39 Fullerton: Okay. We concur with that. (Pause)

183:46:52 Schmitt: Hey, Gordy, as far as the food, medication, and sleep goes...(We took) no medication. Gene had 5 hours of good sleep, I had probably around my usual 6, in spite of my poetic inclinations.

[Schmitt - "Our rest period was normally eight hours, and we were usually a little late getting started."]

[Cernan - "We'd sit around and talk and Jack'd stick his finger in the rock bag."]

183:47:05 Schmitt: And the food...We continue to do well, I believe. We've eaten a wet pack apiece last night. We got one this morning. We've eaten our scrambled eggs and sausage yesterday, and we've run out of juices and tea. And which is somewhat of an inconvenience I might say. And if you've got any specific questions, I can fill you in on it; but, I think, foodwise we've done pretty well.
[Schmitt - "The wet packs were the original form of the Army's irradiated Meal-Ready-To-Eat."]

[Cernan - "They were cold, not warm."]

[Schmitt - "We had four kinds, as I recall: peanut butter, a hamburger, wieners..."]

[Cernan - "Ham in a kind of gravy, and roast beef."]

[Schmitt - "Maybe there were five, then. And there was a fruit cake, too. And it was really pretty good. They were our best meals."]

[Cernan - "It was a good change from eating all the rehydrated food."]

183:47:43 Fullerton: Can you give us a feel on the fluid intake?

183:47:50 Schmitt: Well, that's what I was trying to do when I said we'd drunk all the juices and tea. Plus, Gene, in particular, takes water from the hose.

183:48:02 Fullerton: Okay, Jack, fine. Sounds good.

[Very Long Comm Break. They've already had breakfast, a bit out of sequence, and will now power-up the inertial platform and other elements of the navigation system. During this LM Comm Break, Houston has AOS with Evans, who is on his 49th orbit.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 16 min 21 sec )

183:57:32 Cernan: Okay, Gordy, it's PGNS (Primary Guidance and Navigation System) power up time.

183:57:36 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. And I've got a couple more items to completely clean up the checklist whenever you can get to that.

183:57:53 Cernan: I'll let Jack give you a call. I'm going to start on the PGNS, if you're ready. (No answer; Long pause) Gordy, you ready for the PGNS?

183:58:23 Fullerton: That's affirmative, finally got you a Go to start it as per checklist.

[They are about 54 minutes behind schedule and will catch up easily.]
183:58:33 Cernan: Okay there's the Pro; I did get the Restart. (Pause) I got the No Att, the DAP, Gimbal Lock light, and a Program Alarm light's on.

183:58:48 Fullerton: Roger. (Long Pause)

183:59:37 Cernan: Mark it. The gimbal operate breaker is Closed.

183:59:39 Fullerton: Roger. (Pause)

183:59:46 Cernan: That's the IMU Operate breaker. And I'll stand by for 90 seconds (until the corresponding lights go out).

183:59:50 Fullerton: And we're ready for a Power Amp, Primary; and High Bit Rate. (Pause)

184:00:08 Cernan: Okay. You got it.

[Long Comm Break]
184:04:35 Cernan: Okay, Gordo, self-test is complete and it's Go; and I'll give you an E(rasable)-memory dump.

184:04:40 Fullerton: Okay, we're ready, standing by for it. And while it's coming, I could give you the update for the next page. (Pause)

184:04:55 Cernan: Okay, it's coming at you and you can go with the updates on the next page.

184:04:59 Fullerton: Okay. Page 7-10, your P57 lift-off time, upper right corner, is 188:01:43.85. Over.

184:05:16 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy, P57 lift-off time 188:01:43.85.

184:05:23 Fullerton: That's affirmative. And then we'd like you to delete all the steps below that lift-off time, from the A/T-3 data star info box through the Verb 32 after "for the remaining data stars" and after last star. In other words, just delete all between the box and up to circuit breaker AOT Lamp, Open. And, of course, there'll be no P22 time, over.

184:05:59 Schmitt: Okay. Delete all the data star information between the start of that box and, "after last star, Verb 34 Enter, 00 Enter."

184:06:12 Fullerton: That's correct and then turn to page 7-15. We're changing...Looking here a little closer, we find that radars are already in good position, so you can delete all procedures on page 7-15, except "Copy Ascent PADs, CSI PAD, and LM DAP weight." (Pause)

184:06:48 Schmitt: Okay. We've deleted everything but the last three lines on that page.

184:06:53 Fullerton: Okay. On page 7-12, back up a couple pages. In the lower right corner there, in the blank space, you might jot down 185:58, VHF check with Command Module. And that'll be according to the procedures on 7-15 in the box. You might just parenthesis 7-15 to remind you where the procedure is. But the comm check will come during that time when you're prepping for equipment jettison, or right around there. (Pause)

184:07:37 Cernan: Okay. We got that.

184:07:39 Fullerton: Okay. That's all we got for you, and we have the E-MOD dump okay.

184:07:48 Cernan: Okay.

[Comm Break]
184:09:00 Cernan: (Now on 7-10) Gordy, we're on P00 in Data and we're standing by for your up-link, and how long does that AOT Heater breaker have to be open? I pushed it in at 184:08.

184:09:11 Fullerton: Okay. I'll get an answer for that, and I think we'll be coming with the up-link here shortly. (Long Pause)

184:09:56 Fullerton: Gene, no time constraint on that AOT breaker; except, if it (the telescope sight)'s foggy, it hasn't been in long enough.

184:10:08 Cernan: (Laughing) Thank you, Gordy. (Long Pause)

184:11:05 Fullerton: Challenger. Here comes your up-link.

184:11:11 Cernan: Okay.

[Comm Break. They are getting state vector information from Houston.]
184:14:58 Fullerton: Challenger, it's your computer. You have a state vector, a time increment, and an RLS.

184:15:01 Cernan: Thank you, Gordy.

[Schmitt - "RLS was probably the REFSMMAT Landing Site."]

[Cernan - "I haven't heard that word for years. It was the coordinates of the landing site so that we would know where we were lifting off from."]

[Comm Break]

184:17:44 Cernan: Well, it (the computer) likes the command module's orbit.

184:17:49 Fullerton: That's good.

[Very Long Comm Break. Because of slight deviations of the CSM orbit from the planned path, lift-off will be 1 minute, 10 seconds early. Evans has done a power-up test of the CSM vacuum cleaner in preparation for the arrival of the surface crew. Next, Gene and Jack will perform a check of the platform alignment using gravity and a sighting on the bright star Vega.]
184:34:35 Fullerton: Okay, we see that.

184:34:36 Schmitt: Houston, there's a Noun 05.

184:34:39 Fullerton: Doesn't look like the Challenger shifted around much in the last 3 days. (Pause)

184:34:52 Schmitt: Well, at least it always settles back to the same spot. (Long Pause)

184:35:47 Fullerton: Okay. You're clear to torque those.

[Long Comm Break. They have just done a gravity alignment and, as per instruction, will now skip the stellar alignment and prepare to don their suits.]
184:39:58 Schmitt: Say, Gordy, are we clear to jettison the Buddy SLSS bag, now?

184:40:03 Fullerton: That's affirmative, Jack. We've determined you won't need it for rock stowage. And along the same line, John Young suggested that you might check your checklist pockets on your suits, when you get to that point. His were full of dirt. You might want to take those off and discard them, if that's the case, so that it won't fly up and get you at insertion.

184:40:28 Cernan: Yeah, we already did that, Gordy. They were a mess, and we took them off. They're in the jettison bag now.

184:40:34 Fullerton: Okay. (Pause)

[Cernan - "We had some strap-on thigh pockets. I think we called them our 'checklist pockets' because we could slip our checklists in them. (Chuckling) And you know, we were ahead of the ground on a lot of things."]

[Schmitt - "But it's nice to have them thinking for you."]

184:40:41 Cernan: We're going to take time out for about 15 or 20 minutes of mandatory housekeeping here.

184:40:50 Fullerton: Okay, understand.

184:40:54 Cernan: That's prior to suit donning.

184:40:59 Fullerton: Roger.

[Cernan/Schmitt - "We needed to take a leak (urinate) before we donned the suits."]

[Very Long Comm Break as they get out of the Constant Wear Garments and into the LCGs. Because of the low residue diet, neither of them had to defecate while they were on the Moon.]

184:58:18 Schmitt: Gordy, this is Jack. I just went off biomed briefly.

184:58:22 Fullerton: Okay, Jack.

184:58:28 Schmitt: And Gene will be on biomed shortly.

184:58:31 Fullerton: Roger. (Long Pause)

184:58:54 Cernan: Gordy, I'm back up.

184:58:57 Fullerton: Okay.

[Very Long Comm Break while they get Jack into his suit. Houston is estimating that the descent water supply will run out at 186:40 plus or minus one hour. Gene and Jack will switch to ascent water, if necessary, prior to lift-off. In fact, they will make the switch to ascent water at the normal time of 187:43.]
185:17:16 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. This is the LMP, suited. How do you read biomed and voice?

MP3 Audio Clip ( 14 min 52 sec )

185:17:21 Fullerton: We're copying your ticker (that is, his heart beat) loud and clear. Also your voice.

185:17:30 Schmitt: Okay.

[Comm Break]
185:18:38 Cernan: Gordy, Gene. I'm going off the air.

185:18:42 Fullerton: Okay, Geno.

[Very Long Comm Break while they get Gene suited. Once they get done, they will report their PRD (Personal Radiation Dosimeter) readings. This activity is near the top of the right-hand column of Surface 7-12 and was scheduled for 184:59. They are now only about 32 minutes behind schedule.]
185:31:33 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. This is CDR. You ought to have me all back up on the comm and biomed now. (Pause)

185:31:42 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. Looking good. (Long Pause)

185:32:06 Cernan: CDR's PRD is 17045.

185:32:14 Fullerton: Okay; got that. (Pause)

185:32:27 Schmitt: LMP is 24150.

185:32:32 Fullerton: Okay.

[Long Comm Break as they get all of the gear they will need for the jettison within reach and everything else out of the way. Their next call was scheduled for 185:07. They are still just a bit over a half hour behind schedule.]
185:42:16 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. We're ready to don the helmets and gloves (as per 7-12.

185:42:20 Fullerton: Okay. (Long Pause)

185:43:00 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. We're going to press on, but don't let us miss 185:58 for the VHF check (with Ron Evans), will you?

185:43:07 Fullerton: Sure won't. We're watching them.

185:43:12 Cernan: Okay.

[Comm Break]
185:46:02 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We're getting close to the bottom on descent water. We're expecting to have to switch to ascent water sometime in the next hour. We'll give you a call.

185:46:17 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. (Long Pause)

[They switch to voice-activated comm and we pick them up in the middle of a conversation.]
185:47:13 Schmitt: Okay. (Long pause)

185:47:29 Schmitt: I cleaned them up for you. What more could you ask?

185:47:35 Cernan: (To Fullerton) Hey, Houston. We're VOX now.

185:47:40 Fullerton: Okay; and loud and clear on VOX.

185:47:41 Cernan: Is the recorder on, Jack?

185:47:43 Schmitt: Well, the (LM data) recorder's on, but I don't think it's going to work. (Chuckles)

185:47:47 Cernan: See if I've got anymore juice in here (in the suit drink dispenser).

185:47:52 Schmitt: I owe Don Arabian something. (Long Pause)

[Schmitt - "I think the original LM data recorder was to record engineering data that they didn't put on the telemetry. And then, for having screwed that up (by not turning the recorder off before going outside for EVA-3), I said I owed Don something. He sort of honchoed the third or fourth tier of industrial people that were watching over the missions. And it would be the kind of data they were interested in."]
185:48:34 Schmitt: Wristlet covers. Don wristlet covers. (Long Pause)

185:49:39 Schmitt: Okay; my right glove is on and locked. Verified. (Long Pause)

185:49:54 Cernan: Oh, I just came to the end of my grease. Probably a good time, because if everything goes the way it's supposed to, I shouldn't put on these EV gloves anymore.

185:50:04 Schmitt: Don't you use that in your IV (gloves)?

185:50:05 Cernan: No, I don't need it with my IV. (Long Pause)

[At this point in the review, we realized that Gene's grease is hand cream, not lubricant for the wrist rings.]

[Schmitt - "Gene decided he liked that better, and I decided I liked the nylon liners. Neither one of them kept us from getting abraded and bruised."]

185:50:30 Cernan: Mine are all on and verified. Locked. Back in Suit Flow. (Pause) Okay, we got 8 minutes to the comm check, so let's press on. (Pause) Hate to get in the middle of the integrity check...Oh, we can do it. This won't take long. Let me know when you (garbled) with your glove.

185:51:05 Schmitt: I will.

185:51:06 Cernan: Okay.

185:51:08 Schmitt: Certainly sluggish today. (Pause)

185:51:17 Cernan: Turn that off?

185:51:19 Schmitt: Well, I did once, Gene, and I...Didn't help, and I started to run out of air. There.

[The following transmissions were not available on the PAO tape I used to insert times into the raw NASA transcript. On that tape, the transmission are covered by the NASA Public Affairs commentator.]
185:51:xx Cernan: Double-check. You sure they're locked?

185:51:xx Schmitt: Yes, they're locked.

185:51:xx Cernan: Okay.

185:51:xx Schmitt: Okay. Gloves are Go.

[They will now begin the Pressure Integrity Check, which is on Surface 7-13. They have actually lost a little time in getting the gloves on and are 38 minutes behind schedule.]
185:51:43 Cernan: Okay; stay facing that way. Pressure integrity check. "Suit shall not be maintained at elevated pressure greater than 5 minutes." Okay; Suit Gas Diverter (Valve), Pull to Egress. Verify.

185:51:52 Schmitt: Okay; that's verified.

[For the jettison operation, they will pressurize the suits by setting pressure Regulator B in the Direct O2 mode. In Direct O2, they added oxygen at a slow, but unregulated, rate. The five minute limit may have to do with Houston's ability to detect out-of-range leaks in this ECS configuration.]
185:51:53 Cernan: Cabin Gas Return (Valve), Egress. Verify.

185:51:55 Schmitt: Egress, verified.

185:51:56 Cernan: Suit Circuit Relief (Valve), Close.

185:51:58 Schmitt: Going Closed.

185:52:00 Cernan: Okay; we will leave Pressure Reg A, Close.

185:52:03 Schmitt: Yes, sir.

185:52:05 Cernan: Pressure Reg B, Direct O2, and we'll go up to 3.7 or 4.0 on the cuff gauge, and then you want to go to Egress on it.

185:52:12 Schmitt: Okay.

185:52:15 Cernan: Okay; you can go on up.

185:52:17 Schmitt: I'm in Direct O2. (Long Pause)

185:52:32 Cernan: Okay; the suit circuit's coming up. (Long Pause) Okay; suit circuit's about (3.)72 now. (Cuff pressure gauge) should be coming off the peg shortly.

185:53:03 Schmitt: I'm off the peg.

185:53:04 Cernan: And I'm off the peg. (Pause) You can stop it on your cuff gauge...

185:53:08 Schmitt: Yes, I will.

185:53:09 Cernan: ...at 3.7. (Pause)

185:53:20 Schmitt: That's 3.0 (pause), 3.5 (pause), 3.7.

185:53:29 Cernan: Okay; go to Egress.

185:53:31 Schmitt: I'm in Egress.

185:53:32 Cernan: Okay. Mark it.

185:53:35 Schmitt: Okay. 3.75.

185:53:38 Cernan: And CDR was 3.75. (Pause) Gots (sic) about 4 minutes for VHF. (Pause) My suit's going to be good.

185:54:12 Schmitt: That's the whole circuit.

185:54:14 Cernan: Yeah, I know.

185:54:15 Schmitt: It's about the same. (Pause)

185:54:23 Cernan: Got about 10 seconds to go. (Pause) Okay. Mark it. CDR dropped from 3.75 to 3.60. (Pause)

185:54:42 Schmitt: Okay?

185:54:44 Cernan: Okay; "Suit Circuit Relief, Auto."

185:54:47 Schmitt: Hold your ears. (Pause) Auto.

185:54:52 Cernan: "Suit circuit pressure decays to 4.8." Coming down. (Pause) Okay. Jack. The next thing is depress, but before we do that, I think we ought to get this VHF check. It's only about 3 minutes away.

185:55:11 Schmitt: Let's do it. (Pause) I got a scratch on my helmet!

185:55:16 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. We're going to configure for the VHF here. Standing by for a call from the CMP.

185:55:23 Fullerton: Okay; sounds like a good idea.

[The steps for the VHF comm check are in the box at the lower left on Surface 7-15.]
185:55:28 Cernan: And we'll press on after that. Jack, you better make sure your volume's up.

185:55:34 Schmitt: You're Receive B, huh?

185:55:35 Cernan: We're A, Off and Receive, B on the Audio.

185:55:40 Schmitt: Hey, what do we do once we hear him?

185:55:42 Cernan: Okay; when you hear him...

185:55:43 Schmitt: Go to...

185:55:44 Cernan: Probably answer him is the first thing. And then VHF...

185:55:46 Schmitt: ...A to T/R.

185:55:47 Cernan: No. Then you want...

185:55:48 Schmitt: A to T/R, yeah.

185:55:49 Cernan: You want A, Transmitter, Voice/Range, then A to T/R, and A Transmitter, Off...after conversation.

185:56:00 Schmitt: Okay.

[Evans will do doppler ranging using the voice carrier.]
185:56:05 Cernan: So as soon as you hear him, you want the VHF A Transmitter to Voice/Range.

185:56:08 Schmitt: Yeah, I'll do that. (Pause) He's going to try to lock up on us I guess, huh? (Pause) They've got us VHF Ranging, so we'll have to be quiet once we get established. (Pause)

185:56:43 Cernan: It's like home in these suits.

185:56:48 Schmitt: Yep. (Long Pause)

185:57:36 Fullerton: Challenger, about 30 seconds to the comm check.

185:57:42 Cernan: Okay. Thank you, Houston. (Long Pause)

185:58:20 Schmitt: (Hearing Evans VHF carrier as he comes over their horizon) There he is.

185:58:21 Cernan: Yeah. (Pause) Talking in VOX. (Pause)

185:58:31 Schmitt: Okay; I'm going to go Voice/Ranging, I guess.

185:58:33 Cernan: Wait...No, wait until he gives us the call.

185:58:34 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause)

185:58:xx CapCom: Ron, will you please give your LM guys a call there, please. They're calling you.

185:58:xx Evans: Oh, okay. Hey, Challenger. This is Sea Monster. How do you read? (Laughing) This is America, really.

185:58:39 Schmitt: Hey, Houston; we're reading CMP on VOX.

185:58:44 Fullerton: Roger.

185:58:46 Cernan: Hey, Captain America, this is Challenger. You're loud and clear. (To Jack) Go to T/R.

185:58:54 Schmitt: Okay, Ron. You're loud and clear. How do you read us?

185:5x:xx Evans: Hey, read you loud and clear.

185:5x:xx Schmitt: Okay; you were very good on B on T/R. (On A) you're in the mud a little bit.

185:59:09 Evans: Okay. I'm just transmitting duplex Bravo.

185:59:11 Schmitt: Oh, okay. That's better. You must have turned away from your mike. How are you doing?

185:59:15 Evans: Okay. I'm doing great. Standing by now for you and going to do a little landmark tracking when I go over this time.

185:59:23 Schmitt: Okay.

[This is Evans' last pass over the landing site prior to lift-off. Landmark tracking will allow Houston to check the CSM orbit.]
185:59:24 Cernan: Okay. Are you in Voice/Range, Jack?

185:59:25 Schmitt: Yes, I am.

185:59:28 Cernan: Ron, are you going to do any ranging at all?

185:59:32 Evans: Negative on the ranging.

185:59:34 Cernan: Okay. Gee, you're loud and clear. How's America looking to you?

185:59:39 Evans: Hey, outstanding! I'll tell you. It's a beautiful bird.

185:59:43 Cernan: Yeah, we got a beautiful bird down here. We'll see you up there shortly.

185:59:49 Evans: Okay, you're kind of fading out a little bit.

185:59:52 Cernan: Hang in there and keep your (docking) probe extended!

185:59:57 Evans: Okay.

186:00:00 Cernan: Okay; we're going to go VHF, Off.

186:00:03 Evans: Okay. We'll see you just prior to lift-off, then.

186:00:08 Cernan: Okay. Jack, VHF A Transmitter, Off.

186:00:12 Schmitt: A is Off.

186:00:13 Cernan: That's all you need to do. Outstanding!

186:00:16 Fullerton: Okay, Challenger,...

186:00:16 Cernan: (Garbled).

186:00:17 Fullerton: ...you have a Go from us for depress.

[They go back to Surface 7-13, to the top of the right-hand column.]
186:00:24 Cernan: Okay; stand by one. (Pause) (To Jack) I doubt it. You might be able to (see the CSM as it goes overhead). It's awful glary though. He'll be well sunlit up there. (Pause) I doubt it.

186:00:40 Cernan: Okay; we have a Go for depress, Jack. On (Circuit Breaker Panel) 16, ECS Cabin Repress (circuit breaker), Open.

186:00:45 Schmitt: Cabin Repress coming Open. Open.

186:00:48 Cernan: Why don't you watch your gauge, and I'm going to...

186:00:51 Evans: (Faintly) I guess I can turn my VHF off if their's is off.

186:00:54 Cernan: Okay. I'm going to open the forward dump to Auto to 3.5.

186:01:00 Schmitt: Okay; I'll watch.

186:01:03 Cernan: (Garbled) call. Okay, coming down.

186:01:11 Schmitt: Okay; that's 5; 4.5; 4. Stand by. Mark. 3.5.

186:01:24 Cernan: Okay. "Verify suit circuit lockup at (greater than) 4.3 and decaying."

MP3 Audio Clip ( 10 min 43 sec )

186:01:30 Schmitt: Okay; it's 4.5. Stand by for the decay. (Pause)

186:01:39 Cernan: Oh, man, I got to go get that Water Sep(arator) Select.

186:01:42 Schmitt: Pull the 2, huh?

[They are on page 7-13 of the Surface Checklist. The instruction to switch to Water Separator 2 is a late addition.]
186:01:45 Cernan: Oh, boy.

186:01:45 Schmitt: Want me to get it?

186:01:46 Cernan: No. I got longer arms, I guess.

186:01:52 Schmitt: I can reach back in there.

186:01:53 Cernan: Okay. If you can get back there.

186:01:55 Schmitt: I think. (Pause) Now, they want it?

186:02:01 Cernan: Yeah, now. Pull the 2.

186:02:04 Schmitt: Okay. Pull the 2. Okay.

186:02:07 Cernan: Happy with the suit circuit?

186:02:09 Schmitt: And, yeah, we got a decay in the suit loop.

186:02:12 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Okay; verify suit circuit lock's up. I'm dumping all the way.

186:02:20 Schmitt: Okay. (Long Pause) (Suit) circuit's 4.2. (Long Pause)

186:03:05 Schmitt: Okay, you're at 0.7 in the cabin and 4.1 in the suits. (Long Pause)

186:03:34 Schmitt: About 4.0, and the cabin is 0.3. (Long Pause)

186:03:51 Cernan: Okay; let me see if I can jar it (the hatch).

186:03:55 Schmitt: Okay; I guess we're Go for EVA-4.

186:03:59 Cernan: Five, isn't it?

186:04:00 Schmitt: Five this time?

[EVA-4 was the PLSS jettison prior to the last rest period.]
186:04:02 Cernan: Oh, man, I got it open. If I could bleed that pressure. Oh, boy! Let me hold it here for a minute. (Breathing heavily, but chuckling) There's a lot of psi on that hatch. (Pause) Okay; that'll hack it. Let me go to Auto here.
[Cernan - "You get the pressure in the cabin low enough that you can get the hatch open; but there's still a tremendous force on it and I had to hold it open to get it all the way down."]
186:04:21 Schmitt: Save our (surface) checklist (from blowing out the hatch). (Pause) Make it...Oops, that's closed.

186:04:30 Cernan: That's Auto, and the lock/lock is on. (Pause) Okay. (Pause) Hatch is open all the way. Where are we?

186:04:49 Schmitt: Why is that still waving in the breeze? Don't understand that.

186:04:57 Cernan: There's a solar wind in here. We're on (page) 7-dash-something here.

[They are still on Surface 7-13.]
186:05:07 Schmitt: Not still venting, are we? Houston, how's our cabin configuration? Seem's to still be a little breeze going out the hatch.

186:05:24 Fullerton: All the numbers look good here, Jack.

[Schmitt - "There were all kinds of nooks and crannies in the LM, now. Not just the ordinary nooks and crannies, but we had bags that had gotten pressurized and, so, everything was venting. It didn't happen instantaneously. I don't remember thinking about that at the time, but that's probably what it was. There were just lots of sources of oxygen."]
186:05:29 Cernan: Okay, hold that (hatch), Jack.

186:05:31 Schmitt: Okay.

186:05:34 Cernan: Okay. Ready?

186:05:33 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) Partially open; that's good. (Garbled) "Forward hatch...jettison the jett bag!"

186:05:41 Cernan: Here goes Santa Claus...

186:05:43 Schmitt: Here you go, Santa Claus.

186:05:44 Cernan: ...Santa Claus' bag.

186:05:45 Schmitt: Another bag of goodies. (Pause) Give it the old... There you go.

186:05:50 Cernan: 3-point kick (a reference to a 'field goal' in American football).

186:05:52 Schmitt: Nice. Beautifully done!

[Cernan - "A lot of things we would just set down in front of the hatch and - pop - just kick them out. It was easy enough to do that. Kick them far enough to clear the porch."]
186:05:54 Cernan: Just where we wanted it. All clear of the Ascent Stage. (Pause) Need the...

186:06:08 Schmitt: Okay; clear. (Pause) Good boy! Now, for your next act. Watch it. (Pause) No.

186:06:21 Cernan: No. No. Never mind.

186:06:22 Schmitt: Don't even think about it.

[We have no idea what is going on here. One possibility is that Gene has started to turn around, pretending that he is going to get out for an EVA or to get the clean gloves.]
186:06:23 Cernan: (Laughing) Okay. (Laughs)

186:06:24 Schmitt: (Laughing) Okay?

186:06:26 Cernan: (Reading) "Jettison bag. All items are clear of Ascent Stage." Ready to close hatch?

186:06:29 Schmitt: Looks like it.

186:06:30 Cernan: Short EVA-5.

186:06:34 Schmitt: (To Houston, joking) Are we Stay NoStay for hatch closure?

186:06:39 Fullerton: You have a Go for closing the hatch.

186:06:44 Schmitt: (Laughing) Okay. (Pause)

186:06:50 Cernan: Okay. The hatch is closed. Boy, is it easy to get around in here without a PLSS on.

[They now turn to Surface 7-14.]
186:06:58 Schmitt: Okay; your Dump Valve verified in Auto?

186:07:03 Cernan: Yes, sir, and locked.

186:07:04 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) Cabin Repress (valve). Okay.

186:07:08 Cernan: Okay. Verify it's Auto?

186:07:10 Schmitt: It's Auto.

186:07:12 Cernan: Okay; on (circuit breaker panel) 16, Cabin Repress, Closed?

186:07:15 Schmitt: Okay; Cabin Repress going Closed.

186:07:16 Cernan: And the hatch looked clear when I sealed it. Clear when I closed the hatch.

186:07:20 Schmitt: Okay. Closed.

186:07:21 Cernan: There's the Master Alarm. (Pause) And the cabin is coming up. (Pause)

186:07:33 Schmitt: Lots of O2.

186:07:35 Cernan: (Sound of repress begins) Okay; cabin is increasing, and you can go to Cabin on Pressure Reg B (Pause)

186:07:42 Schmitt: It's in Cabin.

186:07:44 Cernan: Okay. Cabin warning light will go off here shortly. (Pause) And my suit's coming down.

186:07:55 Schmitt: Mine, also. (Pause) Okay. We're just about to go through 50 percent, Descent O2 (remaining). (Pause) We're there. (Pause) Okay. Cabin's almost at regulating pressure.

186:08:34 Cernan: And Cabin light's still on. Next thing we'll do when it stabilizes, we'll doff our gloves, doff our helmets...

186:08:41 Schmitt: Locked up.

186:08:42 Cernan: Okay

186:08:43 Schmitt: 5.0.

186:08:44 Cernan: Okay. You can doff your gloves. (Pause)

186:08:51 Schmitt: Let me watch that pressure a minute. (Pause) Well, it looks like it's stable at five. Okay. (Pause) How's the cabin look, Houston? Looks good here.

186:09:14 Fullerton: Okay; it looks good here.

[Public Affairs reports a 60 second EVA from hatch open to hatch close. By the normal definition of 3.5 psi to 3.5 psi, this was a six-minute EVA.]
186:09:21 Cernan: Okay. (Lost under the PAO commentator).

186:09:25 Schmitt: I hope so. Physics says it should have been.

186:09:28 Cernan: There's an experiment. (Pause) Not really, since we do that with our PLSS and everything else. (Pause) Okay. Take your helmet off. (Pause) Boy, that was painless enough. (Pause) Jack, I'd wrap that thing around it like (garbled).

186:09:58 Schmitt: Wait a minute. (Garbled) take our helmets (garbled).

186:10:02 Cernan: Not yet. We (garbled) obviously. Stow them on the engine cover. Okay.

[Comm Break. After doffing the helmets and gloves, they will stow the LEVAs and EVA gloves and, in general, get things out of the way in preparation for launch.]
186:13:40 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. Just a reminder. Before you stow the right-hand (that is, Jack's) OPS on the floor, you need to attach the floor hole cover.

186:13:54 Cernan: Okay; we're...Jack's down there cleaning up the floor now, and I'm working on the visors.

186:14:00 Fullerton: Okay.

[Cernan - "We had some indentations in the floor to hook (the tethers) onto, so there must have been some adapter we had to put in."]

[Long Comm Break]

186:18:53 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We have a copy of an update on the rock stowage that was given to you last night. We're not sure if they read one part of it to you, and that was concerning using some contingency webbing to reinforce the tiedown of the bag that goes on the Z-27 bulkhead. If you did get that update, forget it. We do not need any extra tiedown other than the normal tiedown. Over.
[As can be seen in the accompanying diagrams, the plus Z-27 bulkhead separates the front the cabin from the back, and is just forward of the ascent engine cover. The plus Z-27 bulkhead is also the front face of what is called the midstep.]
186:19:25 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. That's for the Buddy SLSS bag, I guess, and we did not get it (the update). But we haven't quite stowed that yet anyway, so we will forget it.

186:19:34 Fullerton: Okay. (Pause)

186:19:39 Cernan: Are the Rover batteries still alive?

186:19:45 Fullerton: I'll check with the Backroom, here. Stand by.

[Very Long Comm Break. After tidying up the cabin, they will copy data for the ascent, as per the last three lines on Surface 7-15. Fullerton gave them updates to the checklist concerning this and other sections at 183:42:26.]
186:40:58 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. I'm standing by with a PAD any time you're ready.

186:41:05 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. I'll be ready in just a minute.

[Long Comm Break]
186:45:04 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy; go with the Ascent PAD.

186:45:09 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. This is the Direct Ascent PAD. Tig (Ignition Time) is 188:01:35.93; Noun 76 is 55408, 00320, minus 0005; DEDA 047 is plus 37430, minus 72507, plus 58669; plus 56907, plus 00320, plus 05359; and TPI time is 188:55:5700. LM weight 10900 (pounds) ; and HA is 629; HP 622. One remark; your Tig for one rev late is 190:00:18. Go ahead (with the readback). (Pause)

MP3 Audio Clip ( 12 min 24 sec )

186:47:00 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy, here's your readback. Direct rendezvous is 188:01:35.93; 55408, 00320, minus 0005, plus 37430 minus 72507, 58669, 56907, 00320, 05359; 188:55:5700; 10900; 629; 622. Remark: one rev late Tig is 190:00:18. Over.

186:47:56 Fullerton: Okay, that was a good readback. Now I have a Co-elliptic Ascent PAD. Tig is 188:04:14.00; 55390, 00380, minus 0005; plus 37430; minus 72507; 58630; 56907; 00380. Rest of the PAD down to LM weight is NA. (NA = not applicable) Your LM weight is 10900, and the HA and HP are NA. Over. (Pause)

186:49:16 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy, co-elliptic readback: 188:04:14.00; 55390, 00380, minus 0005; plus 37430; minus 72507; 58630; 56907; 00380; rest of PAD is NA except for LM weight, 10900. Over.

[Schmitt - "These were all contingency PADs and there was only a limited amount of information that could be stored in the computer."]
186:49:57 Fullerton: Okay, that's a good readback. Turn to page 10 (of the LM Data Book); I have the CSI PAD, co-elliptic.

186:50:11 Cernan: And, Gordy, I'm starting to pick up the breakers on panel 11.

186:50:15 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. (Pause)

[The circuit breaker configuration is shown of Surface 8-2. Gene has probably verified the switches listed on 8-1.]
186:50:25 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy, CSI on page 10.

186:50:29 Fullerton: Okay. Tig is 189:01:53.81. Tig at TPI is 190:55:00.00. Noun 81 is 0539; and Delta-VY is a plus all balls (that is, all zeros). 373; 05419, 06550; plus 0539; plus all balls; and plus 0012.

186:51:27 Schmitt: Okay. CSI PAD: 189:01:53.81; 190:55 all zeros; plus 0539; plus all zeros; 05419; 06550; plus 0539; plus all zeros; plus 0012. Over.

186:51:55 Fullerton: Okay. That's a good readback. That's all I have for you.

186:52:01 Schmitt: Okay.

[Comm Break. During this break, Houston has LOS with Evans on his 50th orbit. Gene finishes his circuit breaker check on Surface 8-2 and Jack does his on Surface 8-3.]
186:54:36 Cernan: Okay, Gordo, we're on the top of (page) 8-4.

186:54:38 Fullerton: Roger, Geno.

[Comm Break. They have just finished a check of their circuit breaker configuration. And are about to perform a radar "self" test.]
186:55:55 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. The rendezvous radar (LM-9 photo by Randy Attwood) looks a little warm. I'm reading about 90 degrees.

186:56:01 Fullerton: Okay 90. (Pause)

186:56:14 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy, are you ready for AGS Status to Operate?

186:56:19 Fullerton: Let me check. (Pause) We're ready, Jack; go ahead.

[Comm Break. Jack is at the top of the right-hand column of Surface 8-4.]
186:58:32 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. Noun 72, R2 is not varying. I've got both shaft and trunnion and cross-pointers varying.

186:58:43 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. We copy that. (Long Pause)

186:59:26 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. On the radar test, everything is Go. Everything is within limits. The only anomaly is the one I just reported.

186:59:33 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. In 20 seconds here, on the hour even, we'll have a site handover to Goldstone (from Madrid).

186:59:44 Cernan: Okay.

[Long Comm Break. Note that this site handover comes about an hour before launch, rather than at launch as Jack suggested in his comment at 121:30:03. See the discussion at 188:01:39.]
187:04:12 Fullerton: Geno, Houston. You can go ahead and park the radar at 0 and 30.

187:04:19 Cernan: Yeah. It's going there right now, as a matter of fact.

187:04:23 Fullerton: Okay.

[Comm Break]
187:06:14 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. The AGS gyro calibration is complete and looks pretty good. I guess Z's a little...No, that...Yeah, Z's a little more than you'd expect, I guess.

187:06:30 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. (Long Pause)

[This step is at the bottom of the right-hand column of 8-4.]
187:06:58 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. Words on the radar. When you parked it there, we saw it go to the proper places. From all our indications, the interface between the radar and the PGNS is okay. And our best guess is some kind of self-test problem.

187:07:19 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. Thank you. (Long Pause)

187:08:01 Schmitt: Rate gyros are good.

187:08:05 Fullerton: Roger.

[Comm Break. They have now finished the items on Surface 8-5.]
187:09:24 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. I'm going to go to Auto (tracking) on the S-band (the high-gain antenna), if you want it. (Pause)

187:09:40 Fullerton: Okay. We're Go. And go ahead with the check. (Pause)

187:09:49 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. I'll give you a call before I fire, but we're in the process of getting ready for the RCS.

[This will be a "hot" test firing of the Reaction Control System, the small steering rockets on the LM.]
187:09:56 Fullerton: Roger. (Long Pause)

187:10:20 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. Here we go.

[Comm Break]
187:11:39 Cernan: Gordy, the AGS check looked good.

187:11:42 Fullerton: Roger. (Pause) It looked good here also. (Pause)

187:11:57 Schmitt: Okay; System A, Quad 4 talkback still sticky.

187:12:01 Fullerton: Roger, Jack.

[Comm Break. The test using PGNS, which comes up next, is near the bottom of Surface 8-6.]
187:13:05 Cernan: Okay. Here we go on the PGNS, Gordy.

187:13:07 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. (Long Pause)

187:13:47 Cernan: Looked good here, Gordy. (Pause)

187:13:52 Schmitt: And, you've got Data and P00.

[Jack has now configured the computer to accept uplinked data from Houston. They are on 8-7, just above the line of asterisks.]
187:13:57 Fullerton: Okay. Your up-links are coming. We'll give you a vector and zero the pos/neg cells. Your RLS is okay.
[Comm Break]
187:16:00 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We'd like you to put the Ascent Batteries, On, according to the procedures on the next page, 8-8, just a little early because of pre-conditioning noticed before descent. And we checked your RGA's during the hot fire, and your hot fire itself, and they both looked good.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 12 min 27 sec )

187:16:23 Cernan: Thank you, Gordo.

187:16:28 Fullerton: And, Challenger, it's your computer now.

187:16:31 Schmitt: Thank you.

[Long Comm Break. Next, they will recheck the platform alignment as per the procedures on 8-7 and 8-8.]
187:19:57 Cernan: Gordo, did you ever get any word on the Rover batteries?

187:20:04 Fullerton: No. I sure haven't. I haven't heard on that one.

187:20:10 Cernan: It's not important. I just wondered whether those things were going to be working back there (to give TV of lift-off).

187:20:15 Fullerton: Okay. We've got no reason to believe they won't. When you get down to parking the rendezvous radar antenna after this P57 (platform alignment program), give me a call. We're going to change the parking position.

187:20:30 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Why don't you just give me the numbers now?

187:20:43 Fullerton: Okay. Do as the checklist shows (bottom left on 8-8), except do a Verb 41 Noun 72 to 0 and 30 degrees. Go to Slew, and then delete the "manual slew for 3 seconds." They want to leave it there for temperature purposes. This will be a cooler position for it during ascent.

187:21:08 Cernan: Okay. Understand. That's 0 and 03000.

187:21:14 Fullerton: That's affirmative. (Pause)

187:21:21 Cernan: And the first 01...(correcting himself) first (Noun) 04 was 0.01.

187:21:27 Fullerton: Roger. We got that.

[This is a gravity check of the platform alignment, as indicted at the top of Surface 8-8.]

[Comm Break. TV on. Fendell plays with tracking he will use to follow the launch.]

RealVideo Clip by Ken Glover (2 min 26 sec)

187:24:28 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We've got you on television now. We have a good picture.

RealVideo Clip (4 min 24 sec)

187:24:38 Cernan: Glad to see old Rover's still working.

[Comm Break]
RealVideo Clip (4 min 24 sec)

187:28:59 Fullerton: Okay. We got your Noun 5. (Long Pause) Go ahead and torque them.

[Comm Break. They have just done an alignment check using the bright star Vega. Gene's next transmission indicates that they are on Surface 8-9.]
RealVideo Clip (3 min 07 sec)

187:33:14 Cernan: Okay, Houston. P12 looks good, and the PGNS is in Auto.

187:33:19 Fullerton: Okay, Challenger. There's no change to 047 and 053. I do have a K-factor for you. (Pause)

187:33:34 Schmitt: Go ahead.

187:33:35 Fullerton: Okay. It's 179:59:59.82. Over.

187:33:51 Schmitt: Okay; 179:59:59.82.

187:33:56 Fullerton: That's right, Jack.

[Comm Break. Next they will perform a check of switch positions, as detailed on Surface 8-10 and 8-11.]
187:35:25 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. I have a couple of PIPA (Pulsed Integrating Pendulous Accelerometer) bias updates for the PGNS. (Pause)

187:35:39 Cernan: Okay. Go ahead.

187:35:41 Fullerton: Okay, with a Verb 21 Noun 01, load address 1452 with 03045, and load address 1454 with 05246. Over.

187:36:06 Cernan: Okay. That's 1452 with 03045; and 1454, 05246.

RealVideo Clip (2 min 32 sec)

187:36:13 Fullerton: Readback's good. (Long Pause)

187:37:02 Cernan: Okay. They're in, Houston.

187:37:03 Fullerton: Okay. Look good to us. (Long Pause)

[Evans is just re-emerging from his lunar farside pass. A single comm channel will be used for both spacecraft through launch.]
187:38:09 Evans: Hey, Houston; America.

187:38:15 Fullerton: Roger, America. This is Houston. You're loud and clear.

187:38:21 Evans: Okay, Gordo. Got my suit on.

187:38:25 Fullerton: Okay, Ron. We gave you the wrong skinny (slang for "information") on the comm configuration last rev. We're actually, now, in a full MSFN relay mode. We'd like you to stay off of VOX. Over.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 18 sec)

187:38:44 Evans: Can do. I'm off VOX. (Long Pause)

187:39:18 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. When you get to a break point, I have some words on what you can expect in the way of guidance steering. Over.

187:39:27 Cernan: Stand by. (Long Pause)

187:40:05 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. You can go ahead and talk while we're putting our helmets and gloves on.

[Gene and Jack are now at the top of 8-12.]
187:40:10 Fullerton: Okay. We never got around to debriefing you on PDI, but the out-of-plane indications you saw on the AGS during descent were proper (that is, correct). We had changed your vector slightly just prior to PDI, so the AGS was navigating and indicating properly. We just ran the present ascent targets in the LMS (Lunar Module Simulator) with the half-a-mile crossrange as shown on the PAD, and you're going to be steering south. That's the way the steering direction goes. (Partly joking) That's to your left, for Geno's benefit. And the cross-pointer indicated a maximum of about 13 feet-per-second out-of-plane velocity at about ignition plus 3 minutes and 50 seconds, and then came on back to zero. Over. That velocity was AGS velocity.
[Schmitt - "The AGS used what they called strapdown gyros. It integrated accelerations from those gyros to give three-axis velocities. It carried its own state vector, but much less precisely."]
RealVideo Clip (3 min 18 sec)

187:41:15 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. That's good information to have. (Pause to listen to Fullerton's last sentence) Understand the AGS on that one. Okay.

[Comm Break]
187:42:43 Evans: Okay, Houston. America maneuvering to attitude.

187:42:45 Fullerton: Roger, America. (Long pause)

187:43:00 Evans: Also, I'll start pumping up the cabin, Direct O2.

187:43:02 Fullerton: Okay.

[Cernan - "I think he pumped the cabin up because he had to use oxygen out of the Command Module to pressurize the tunnel, so he wanted to build up the pressure so that he could vent it into the tunnel once we were docked."]
187:43:05 Schmitt: Ascent Water is Open, Houston.

187:43:07 Fullerton: Roger.

[Comm Break. This is the normal switch-over time. Jack's call indicates that they now have their helmets and gloves on.]
RealVideo Clip (3 min 41 sec)

187:44:24 Cernan: Okay, Houston. We're at lift-off minus 17 minutes, and Verb 47 going over.

187:44:29 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger.

[Comm Break. They have reached the bottom of Surface 8-12.]
187:45:45 Fullerton: America, we see your cabin at 5.5.

187:45:52 Evans: Okay, thank you. (Pause) Direct O2's Closed.

187:46:10 Cernan: Houston, the Descent Batts are coming Off.

187:46:13 Fullerton: Roger. (Pause) America, it looks like, to us here, your maneuver's stopped. Maybe you hit the stick.

187:46:33 Evans: You roll around in this suit, you knock the thing off of lock. (Long Pause)

187:46:56 Fullerton: Challenger, we're recommending PGNS direct rendezvous.

187:47:02 Cernan: Roger, Gordo; understand. PGNS direct rendezvous for Challenger. (Long Pause; static)

RealVideo Clip (3 min 12 sec)

187:47:58 Fullerton: America; OMNI Delta, please. (Long Pause: static disappears after 30 seconds) America, this is Houston; voice check.

187:48:43 Cernan: Okay, hold...(Hears Fullerton; Long Pause)

[As Gene's next transmission indicates, they have finished the tasks on Surface 8-13 and have performed the pre-launch circuit breaker reconfigurations on Surface 8-14 and 8-15.]
187:49:02 Cernan: Hello, Houston; Challenger. Circuit breakers are configured. We're on the top of (Surface) 8-16.

187:49:09 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. Okay; sounds good. (Pause)

187:49:17 Cernan: And we're standing by for lift-off minus 10 (minutes).

187:49:20 Fullerton: Roger. (Long Pause)

187:49:35 Cernan: And, Houston, are you in relay now?

187:49:39 Fullerton: We lost high-gain on America, so we inhibited the downlink. We're not in relay, no.

187:49:50 Cernan: Okay.

187:49:52 Fullerton: We're actually in a one-way relay. Ron should be able to hear you, but not vice versa.

[Comm Break; Jack is not on VOX, so we only hear Gene's half of the following conversation.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 12 min 12 sec )

RealVideo Clip (2 min 52 sec)

187:51:01 Cernan: Okay, Houston; coming up on 10 minutes. And we're ready to pressurize the APS (Ascent Propulsion System).

187:51:05 Fullerton: Okay; you're Go to pressurize the APS (Ascent Propulsion System).

[In the following procedures, they are firing small explosive charges which open the valves on the helium tanks which, then, provide pressure to the propellant tanks. Readers may want to note the Emergency Launch procedures listed in the box at the right side of Surface 8-16. If the crew had found a leak in the either of the tanks in the Ascent Stage, they could have launched almost immediately to take advantage of as much of the propellant as possible.]
187:51:13 Cernan: Okay. The Master Arm is coming On. I've got two good lights. (Pause) Tank 1 is selected. Okay, Ascent Helium Press(urize) Tank 1, Fire. Ready; 3, 2, 1. Mark it. We got a squib fired, Houston.
[That is, they could feel the vibrations caused by detonation of the charge.]
187:51:35 Fullerton: Roger. (Long Pause) Challenger, you're Go for Tank 2.

187:51:56 Cernan: Okay, understand; Go for Tank 2. (To Jack) Ready? Okay. 3, 2, 1. Mark it. Tank 2. We got the squib. (Pause)

187:52:21 Fullerton: Okay, Challenger. Both tanks look good.

187:52:22 Cernan: (To Jack) Wonder why they didn't balance off?

[Schmitt - "On our gauges, the pressures for the two tanks were different, and they should have been the same. Down below (187:54:07), Gordo will tell us that they think there's a transducer problem."]
187:52:24 Cernan: Okay. Master Arm is coming Off, and the lights are out. (Pause) Okay, Jack. System A, Ascent Feed 2, Open. (Pause) Okay, monitor your...Okay. System A Main SOV (Shut Off Valve) Closed.
[For the first part of the ascent, they will use Ascent Fuel for the RCS (Reaction Control System, the small steering jets) and save the RCS Fuel supply for final maneuvers - hence the closure of the shut-off valves. See Gene's comment at 187:56:26.]
187:52:51 Cernan: (To Jack) How does it look to you? Okay; B Ascent Feed 2, Open. (Pause) I can feel them (the valve charges) in the floor when they go. Okay; and B Main SOV, Closed. Check your manifold pressures. Are you happy? (Pause) Okay, Houston. We got Ascent Feed.
[They are now at the bottom of Surface 8-16 and are waiting for permission to launch. Details of the launch are given in the LM Timeline Book, which is not reproduced here. See Surface 8-17.]
187:53:14 Fullerton: Roger. And America, can you read Houston? Over.

187:53:20 Evans: America. Roger. Loud and clear.

187:53:23 Fullerton: Okay, Ron. You're loud and clear. (Pause)

187:53:35 Cernan: Okay. We're standing by for 5 (minutes to lift-off). (Pause) Houston, Challenger is Go for lift-off. We're at 7:54 (prior to lift-off) and counting.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 07 sec)

187:53:45 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger. You're Go for lift-off.

187:53:53 Cernan: Roger. Understand. Challenger is Go for lift-off. (Pause)

187:54:07 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We think the transducer in tank 2 has shifted. We want you to monitor tank 1 for APS helium (pressure). Over.

187:54:19 Schmitt: Roger. We were looking at that, and we'll monitor 1.

187:54:23 Cernan: (To Jack, who is back on VOX) What of this do you want?

187:54:24 Schmitt: I need the big one there, with the cards in it. (Long Pause)

[This card contains the final checklist items.]
187:54:51 Cernan: Here you go.

187:54:53 Schmitt: Thank you.

187:54:54 Cernan: That's all right. (Pause) Okay. (Long Pause)

187:55:27 Cernan: Okay. Let's go over the APS burn card.

187:55:29 Schmitt: Okay. My Display/Engine Override Logic breaker is In; circuit breakers Stab(ilization)/Control all Closed on panel 11, except AEA and DECA Power.

187:55:39 Cernan: Okay. Stab/Control breakers are all Closed, except AEA and DECA Power.

187:55:43 Schmitt: Okay. Logic breaker's In.

187:55:45 Cernan: Logic breaker's In.

187:55:46 Schmitt: And all of mine are Closed except Descent Engine Override. Logic's In.

187:55:51 Cernan: Okay.

187:55:52 Schmitt: Rate Scale, 25 Degrees per Second.

187:55:53 Cernan: 25.

187:55:54 Schmitt: Attitude/Translation, 4 Jets.

187:55:55 Cernan: 4 Jets.

187:55:56 Schmitt: Balance Couple, On.

187:55:57 Cernan: On.

187:55:57 Schmitt: Dead Band, Min.

187:55:58 Cernan: Dead Band in Min.

187:55:59 Schmitt: Abort/Abort Stage, Reset.

187:56:00 Cernan: Abort/Abort Stage are Reset.

187:56:01 Schmitt: Attitude Control, three, to Mode Control.

187:56:05 Cernan: Attitude Control, three, on Mode Control.

187:56:07 Schmitt: Okay. And you're going to be in Auto and Att Hold.

187:56:12 Cernan: PGNS is Auto, and AGS is Att Hold.

187:56:13 Schmitt: Stop pushbuttons are reset, and...

187:56:14 Cernan: Reset here.

187:56:16 Schmitt: ...And you're in Jets.

187:56:17 Cernan: And I'm in Jets.

187:56:19 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause)

187:56:22 Cernan: Okay, let's take a swing around the systems.

187:56:26 Schmitt: I just did. Everything looks good. The propellant pressure is holding up. We're tied to the Ascent tanks on the RCS (Reaction Control System).

[Cernan - "We had two sources of propellant for the RCS systems. One was their own tanks and, for the other, we could crossfeed and utilize ascent propellant. We did that during the ascent phase to save the RCS fuel for rendezvous. We had a margin in the ascent tanks to cover that."]
187:56:34 Cernan: Okay; 5 minutes and my...

187:56:38 Schmitt: That EC...

187:56:39 Cernan: Rendezvous Radar breaker is Closed. (Pause) And let's go to the Timeline Book.

187:56:48 Schmitt: Got it.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 47 sec)

187:56:49 Cernan: Make sure of everything in here. (Long Pause) Okay. At 2 minutes, I'll get the Master Arm. We already are Vox. You'll get 400 plus 1. (Pause)

187:57:21 Schmitt: Okay. And I'll get the (16 mm sequence) camera and...

187:57:24 Cernan: (Sounding very relaxed) Okay. At 10 seconds I'll hit the Abort Stage, followed by the Engine Arm to Ascent. (Pause) You get the Pro(ceed). I'll backup the start. If we don't get a start, I'll go Guidance Control to AGS. I'll wipe out the thrusters. I'll go AGS Auto. And if we don't get a start, we'll back off. (Pause) Okay?

187:57:51 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause)

[Cernan - "In listening to this, it's obvious that we were pretty confident. I know how prepared we were and I'm still impressed. I'd have to go back and study and learn this all over again. It sounds to me like we knew exactly what we were going to do in the event of a no-light. You get to a point where you hope it never happens but you almost dare something to fail. Because you know that, if it does, you're prepared to handle it. I don't specifically remember why I was going to wipe out the thrusters (by rotating the control through all thruster positions), but I think we had to reinitialize something - maybe zero the AGS."]
187:58:00 Schmitt: Houston, we have an awful lot of noise coming up (the comm circuit).

187:58:06 Fullerton: Okay, Challenger. I understand.

187:58:10 Schmitt: I think we can read you, Gordy. You sound pretty good now.

187:58:15 Fullerton: Roger.

187:58:22 Cernan: That's VHF noise, Jack. (Pause) (Go to) VHF B. (Pause)

[They are hearing the Command Module. Because Evans is in a 60 mile orbit, he 'rises' over the LM horizon about 6 minutes prior to passing overhead. They will launch prior to his overhead pass.]
187:58:35 Schmitt: Okay. I can cut it out with a high squelch (setting) on Bravo.

187:58:43 Cernan: Okay, Houston. Challenger's at 2 minutes and 50 seconds (prior to launch).

187:58:49 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger...

187:58:50 Cernan: We're Go for PGNS...

187:58:51 Fullerton: Everything looks great down here.

187:58:52 Cernan: ...direct (ascent). (Responding to Fullerton) Okay. (Pause)

187:59:07 Schmitt: I'm not going to be able to squelch him (Evans) out any more.

187:59:10 Cernan: Okay. Turn the volume down a little bit. (Pause)

187:59:22 Cernan: (Responding to Evans, who is talking to them directly) Reading you loud and clear, America. This is Challenger. We're coming up on 02:10 from lift-off.

187:59:37 Cernan: (To Evans) We'll be with you shortly. Okay, Jack. Double-check your Logic Power breaker.

187:59:43 Schmitt: Checked.

187:59:44 Cernan: Okay, Master Arm is On. I've got two good lights.

[These lights indicate that the explosive bolts which they will fire to separate the Ascent Stage from the Descent Stage are ready to fire.]
187:59:47 Schmitt: Okay. I've got 400 plus 1 in.

187:59:50 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

187:59:57 Schmitt: My watch is reset (as a backup to the event timer.) (Pause)

188:00:06 Cernan: Okay. You got 367. You want to pick up the (16 mm sequence) camera just before I hit Abort Stage. (Long Pause)

RealVideo Clip (3 min 29 sec)

188:00:34 Schmitt: One minute coming up, Gene.

188:00:38 Cernan: Take your final look at the valley of Taurus-Littrow, except from orbit. (Pause) Okay, one minute, Houston. We're 50 seconds now, and we're Go.

188:00:51 Fullerton: Roger. You're looking good here.

188:00:55 Schmitt: I'll get that (camera) at 30.

188:00:57 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

188:01:10 Schmitt: Camera's not going to run without me holding it.

188:01:20 Cernan: Okay. Average G, 20 seconds.

[Cernan - "This was a routine in the PGNS to start recording data from the accelerometers."]
188:01:23 Schmitt: Ah, shoot!

188:01:25 Cernan: Okay. Now, let's get off. Forget the camera. (Garbled)...

MPEG Clip by Kipp Teague (30 sec; 3.9 Mb)

188:01:27 Schmitt: Ten seconds.

188:01:28 Cernan: ...10 seconds.

188:01:29 LM Crew: Abort Stage.

188:01:30 Cernan: ...pushed. Engine Arm is Ascent.

[The accompanying video clip of the Apollo 17 LM launch (1.8 Mb) starts 3 seconds before ignition and then follows the LM for the first 13 seconds of the ascent.]
188:01:32 Schmitt: Okay. I'm going to get the Pro. (Pause) 99 Proceeded 3, 2, 1...

188:01:39 Schmitt: Ignition.

[Schmitt - "As I recall, at the moment of ignition, all we had was static - loud static. And I was looking to see what happened, to see if I'd lost lock."]

[Cernan - "Jack spent half of the lift-off trying to get comm back."]

[Schmitt - "And I remember somebody telling me that what had happened was that they had a site handover scheduled right at lift-off! And nobody caught it."]

[Jack's memory is not quite accurate, although the problem was, in part, due to procedures on the ground. The following has been extracted from the Apollo 17 Mission 5-Day Report: "On lunar module ascent, two-way lock with the lunar module transponder was lost. This resulted in a 4-minute loss of uplink voice, and tracking data during ascent. It was necessary to have the Command Module Pilot pass comments from the ground to the lunar module crew during this period. The initial loss of lock was attributed to attenuation by the lunar module (engine) plume. Communications should have been re-established in less time (than 4 minutes). A review of data indicates that a normal re-acquisition by Goldstone should have been attempted earlier. Approximately 4 minutes after lunar module lift-off, a normal re-acquisition was accomplished."]

[According to Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham in his 1977 book "The All-American Boys" (p 241) and, more importantly, according to Gene in his 1999 book "Last Man on the Moon" (p338), Gene's last words on the Moon were "Let's get this mother out of here." During the mission review in Santa Fe, Gene was surprised not to hear those words but what seems likely is that what he was remembering was his "Now, let's get off." at 188:01:25; and that, in later tellings, the wording changed to the more colorful version. I have discussed this matter with Andrew Chaikin, another aficionado of the audio tapes, and we agree on the interpretation given here. My thanks to William Bianco for reminding me about this issue and to Hamish Lindsay for pointing me to the telling in Gene's book.]

188:01:40 Cernan: We're on our way, Houston!

188:01:43 Schmitt: Rates are good. AGS saw it (that is, the ignition). (Pause)

188:01:48 LM Crew: Pitchover!

188:01:51 Fullerton: Roger. You have good thrust. (Pause)

[After launch, Fendell successfully tracks the LM for 26 seconds. He finds it again, very briefly, at 45 seconds and, a minute later, points the TV back at the Descent Stage. The flag is still standing, as is the SEP pallet Gene had leaned against the north landing strut. Note that the flag is pointing north. As can be seen in Jack's post-EVA-3 photo AS17-143-21948, the flag was pointing east. Clearly, what has happened is that the ascent engine exhaust exerted sufficient force on the flag so that, like a weathervane, it swung around to point directly away from the source of the 'wind'.]

[Robin Wheeler has provided the portion of the ascent map showing the LM ground track for the first five minutes.]

188:01:58 Schmitt: Okay, 30 seconds; 308 is your number.

188:02:02 Cernan: Okay, coming through 1500 feet.

188:02:03 Schmitt: And H-dot looks good.

188:02:05 Fullerton: Roger. We've lost data right now, but we'd like Aft Omni. Aft Omni, please.

188:02:16 Cernan: Okay; coming up on 40 seconds. And we're Go. Coming right over the top of Camelot. (Pause)

188:02:25 Cernan: Awful lot of static, Jack. We break lock?

188:02:28 Schmitt: Yeah.

188:02:29 Cernan: Why don't you get it on an Omni, or something?

188:02:31 Schmitt: Yeah, I got it. It's on the Omni.

188:02:32 Cernan: See if you can get comm back.

188:02:33 Schmitt: Hello, Houston. How do you read?

188:02:35 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger. You're loud and clear, and both systems look good. You're right on the line.

188:02:38 Schmitt: Okay. Should be about 145 and minus 47.

[These are pointing angles for the high-gain antenna.]
188:02:47 Cernan: See if we can get comm.

188:02:48 Schmitt: I will. (Long pause)

188:03:10 Cernan: 01:30, Houston. We're in the blind, and we're Go.

188:03:14 Fullerton: Roger. We'd like the AGS to Auto.

188:03:16 Schmitt: Okay. I got good lock...(Still not hearing Houston) No. (Pause) Trying to hold.

188:03:25 Cernan: Okay, Houston; coming up on 2 minutes...

188:03:30 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. You're Go at 2 minutes. We'd like AGS to Mode Control, Auto. Over.

188:03:31 Cernan: ...Challenger is Go and coming through 14K (fourteen thousand feet). (Pause)

188:03:42 Schmitt: Okay. You watch the table, Geno.

[Cernan - "We had a table of altitude, attitude, and rate of climb. That was a manual backup that told us if we were on our trajectory or not - and a manual backup to tell us that the PGNS was doing what it was supposed to."]
188:03:43 Cernan: I'm watching it. Just get comm, if you can.

RealVideo Clip (1 min 43 sec)

188:03:50 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. How do you copy Houston?

188:03:56 Cernan: (Not hearing Houston) Okay, Houston. Challenger's Go; coming up on 02:30. We're through 19K.

MPEG Clip by Kipp Teague (34 sec; 3.5 Mb)

188:04:03 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger. We need a 623 plus 10,000 in the AGS. Over.

188:04:14 Schmitt: (To Gene) Well, those are the angles.

188:04:15 Cernan: How about an omni...

188:04:17 Schmitt: I've got...I tried it. I've got...

MP3 Audio Clip ( 6 min 19 sec )

188:04:26 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. Aft Omni, please. Would you relay, America? (Pause)

188:04:31 Cernan: Okay, Houston. Three minutes, and Challenger is Go. We're through 25K.

188:04:38 Schmitt: (To Evans) I tried it...I tried it, Ron, and it doesn't hold.

188:04:44 Cernan: Try Aft Omni again, Jack.

188:04:45 Schmitt: It doesn't help.

188:04:46 Fullerton: America, Houston. Tell Challenger...

188:04:49 Schmitt: All my comm breakers are in.

188:04:51 Cernan: Try Aft Omni again.

188:04:51 Fullerton: ...that they're right on the money on trajectory; both systems are Go. Over.

188:04:54 Cernan: Okay, Houston. In the blind, Challenger's Go; coming up on 03:25 and at 30K.

188:04:59 Schmitt: Okay, there's Aft. How do you read, Houston?

188:05:04 Fullerton: America, would you relay to Challenger to go Aft Omni?

188:05:10 Schmitt: (To Evans) We are Aft Omni. How do you read?

188:05:12 Evans: (To Houston) Okay, they are in Aft Omni right now.

188:05:15 Fullerton: Okay, America, tell Challenger...

188:05:16 Schmitt: And we're reading Houston.

188:05:16 Fullerton: ...we're reading them 5 by. (Pause)

188:05:22 Schmitt: Okay. We're reading you, Houston.

188:05:23 Fullerton: Okay, Jack...

188:05:24 Evans: Okay, Challenger, America....

188:05:25 Cernan: (Garbled)

188:05:27 Evans: ...Yeah, you got them.

188:05:28 Fullerton: ...we need a 623 plus 10,000. Jack, give us a 623 plus 10,000.

[This is an AGS update in case the PGNS fails and they have to use it.]
188:05:33 Cernan: Okay, 4 minutes. Challenger's Go. We're through 37K.

188:05:38 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger. You're looking good here.

188:05:40 Schmitt: Okay, that (623)'s in.

188:05:43 Cernan: Noun 37 says we got about a 07:16 burn, Jack.

188:05:50 Cernan: Okay, at 04:30, I'll be about 282 coming through 41K.

188:05:58 Schmitt: Okay, 04:30. 282 is great; 41K is great, 73 is good; AGS and PGNS are right together.

188:06:10 Cernan: Okay, Houston. Challenger is Go. We're now through 43.5 (thousand feet).

188:06:21 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We'd like to terminate Ascent Feed now.

[Cernan - "As I remember, the time to get fuel out of the ascent tanks (for the RCS) was when we had a g-force because, once we were in zero-g, we could not have gotten any even if there was some left. Now they've decided that we've taken enough of the ascent fuel for the RCS. They don't want to get the ascent fuel any lower because they want it for the ascent engine, itself. So, the RCS is now going on it's own tanks - which are full at this point, and that's important. Well, they're not full, because we didn't cross feed on the descent."]
188:06:29 Schmitt: Okay, Main SOV (Shut-Off Valve) is going On.

188:06:32 Fullerton: And the reason is the mixture ratio problem....

188:06:34 Schmitt: Ascent Feed, Closed.

188:06:35 Fullerton: ...That's just to be conservative and safe. Over.

188:06:40 Cernan: Understand. And we're going 5 (minutes), and we're now out of 48K.

188:06:49 Schmitt: Okay, the (sequence) camera's stopped.

188:06:51 Cernan: Okay, burn time's going to be about 18 or 19. 07:18 or 07:19, Jack.

188:06:55 Schmitt: Okay.

[I asked Gene and Jack if, like Conrad and Bean, they experienced a significant amount of LM 'wobble' RCS firing during the trip up from the surface. Neither remembered anything notable.]
188:07:00 Schmitt: Okay. The AGS has us just about in plane.

188:07:03 Cernan: PGNS and AGS are looking good.

188:07:04 Schmitt: A little bit north.

188:07:07 Cernan: Okay, Houston, 05:40. Challenger's coming through 52K. And PGNS says 126 on the H-dot. We're Go.

[They are gaining altitude at the rate of 126 feet per second.]
188:07:14 Schmitt: AGS likes the plane.

188:07:15 Fullerton: Roger, Challenger. Your trajectory is right on the money. Both systems are Go.

188:07:26 Cernan: Get a good shutoff time now.

188:07:27 Schmitt: Okay.

188:07:28 Cernan: Okay, it'll be 20...7:20 (into the burn) on the shutoff.

188:07:29 Schmitt: Okay, we've already terminated Ascent Feed. You got 1300 (feet per second horizontal velocity) to go.

188:07:34 Cernan: Okay. Let's double-check everything now.

188:07:39 Schmitt: You got that; you want...

188:07:39 Cernan: Next move is at 200 feet (per second).

188:07:40 Schmitt: Engine Arm, Off with 200 to go. AGS and PGNS are right together.

188:07:45 Cernan: We got about another minute to go, Houston. And we're coming up on 57K.

188:07:54 Fullerton: Roger. And we agree with the...

188:07:55 Schmitt: 900 to go.

188:07:55 Cernan: (Garbled) out nicely. Okay, H-dot is rounding right out to the target.

188:08:03 Schmitt: 700 to go.

188:08:03 Cernan: Coming up...

188:08:03 Fullerton: Okay, normal shutdown and normal trim procedures.

188:08:04 Schmitt: Mark it.

188:08:10 Cernan: Roger. Normal shutdown, normal trim. Give me a hack at 200 (fps horizontal velocity to go), Jack.

188:08:18 Schmitt: Okay, it's 500 now...

188:08:20 Schmitt: Mark it, and the ascent feeds are already terminated.

188:08:21 Cernan: Okay. Very good.

188:08:25 Cernan: Seven minutes, Houston. And we're passing 59K.

188:08:30 Schmitt: 300; stand by. 200 to go.

188:08:34 Schmitt: Mark it.

188:08:37 Cernan: Okay, Engine Arm is Off.

188:08:39 Schmitt: Okay, stand by for shutdown; 80, 50...

188:08:44 Schmitt: Shutdown!

188:08:45 Cernan: Okay, Auto Shutdown...

188:08:47 Schmitt: Auto Shutdown.

188:08:47 Cernan: ...Houston, Auto shutdown!

188:08:49 Fullerton: Roger.

[Cernan - "As I remember, my intent was to let the PGNS shut it down and, if it didn't within a second afterwards, I was going to. I think I shut it down anyway. I wasn't going to let it send us into orbit around the Sun. But I was less concerned about the shutdown than the start. I was told that, at lift-off, I beat the PGNS start by some micro-cosmo of a second."]
188:08:55 Cernan: Okay, no trim, Houston; no trim.

188:09:00 Fullerton: Roger. We're reading the DSKY.

188:09:01 Cernan: We're showing a 50 (mile) by 9.1 (mile elliptical orbit).

188:09:07 Fullerton: Roger. (Pause) And MSFN confirms that orbit (with tracking from Earth).

188:09:13 Schmitt: Okay. AGS got a little bit of out-of-plane. Dispersion was 0900.

188:09:25 Cernan: Okay, Engine Stop is Reset. Get in the attitude for the tweak. Okay.

[That is, Gene is positioning the LM for a slight correction burn (or, "tweak"), using the RCS.]
188:09:44 Schmitt: Okay, AGS says it's 9.1.
[This is the low point of the orbit they have just entered.]
188:09:46 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. There will be a tweak. Stand by for it.

188:09:52 Schmitt: 48 (mile high point) by 9.1; 49 by 9.1. (Long Pause)

188:10:05 Cernan: Okay, that's our attitude. We're in attitude for the tweak.

188:10:08 Fullerton: Okay, Challenger. Here is your tweak. Ignition is at 12 plus 12; VX is a minus 4.0 (feet per second); Y, minus 9.0; and Z, plus 1.0. That's at 12:12; minus 4; minus 9; and plus 1.

188:10:35 Schmitt: Roger. That's at 12:12; minus 4; minus 9; and plus 1.

188:10:40 Fullerton Roger, that's a good readback.

[Cernan - "That was exciting! I hadn't gone through that for a long time. Eric and I did the descent alone and I sort of re-lived it all. But it's more fun to re-live the ascent with Jack."]

 

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