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Camelot to Station 2

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.
Except where noted, audio clips by Dave Shaffer.
Last revised 25 February 2014.


MP3 Audio Clip starting at 141:45:38 ( 13 min 30 sec )

RealAudio Clip ( 6 min 53 sec )

141:45:52 Cernan: We can definitely see the light mantle as it comes out over the valley here, and we're looking at Hole-in-the-Wall, although it's still too subtle. We're looking right at Lara, as a matter of fact.

141:46:02 Schmitt: Yeah. There's Lara, very clear; and Hole-in-the-Wall, you can see it.

141:46:06 Cernan: Yep, yep.

141:46:07 Schmitt: Yep.

[An October 12, 1972 Bell Labs memo includes views Hole-in-the-Wall and Lara from the LM and from points 1 km, 1/2 km, and 1/4 km from the base of the Scarp along the planned traverse route. Note that, in the figures, Hole-in-the-Wall is called the Access Region.]
141:46:09 Cernan: There's Horatio way over there where those blocks are. See it?
[AS17-135- 20607 to 20609 may show Horatio on the right edge of the pictures.]
141:46:11 Schmitt: Yeah, that's Horatio. We're right on course, sir. There's a little depression we didn't talk about, though, that's between Horatio and Camelot. But it's a depression and not a blocky crater at all. As a matter of fact, the total block population has changed. Once we get away from the rim of Camelot, the block frequency is quite a bit smaller. It's down, maybe to less than 1 percent of the surface.
[That is, rocks cover about one percent of the surface in this area.]
141:46:38 Cernan: Much easier driving with the Rover. (Pause) Boy, am I glad we got that fender on. Very obvious that the Rover navigation (is easier here) because of the (scarcity of) blocks and because of the smaller (static) craters, and very subtle type craters in this area.

141:47:02 Schmitt: There are up to 2-meter, bright-halo, blocky craters - and that's blocky-walled craters...That may be instant rock rather than - I think it is (instant rock) rather than bedrock - (surrounding the 2-meter craters) in the rim area of Camelot.

["Instant rock" or, more properly, "regolith breccia" is soil solidified by an impact.]
141:47:27 Cernan: Horatio has got to be...There's Horatio, right there.

141:47:29 Schmitt: Yeah. That's Horatio.

141:47:31 Cernan: Let me give another mark on the southern rim of Horatio.

141:47:35 Schmitt: Okay. The Scarp looks very smooth from here. (There are) no obvious outcrops at this time. (Pause) (The craters) don't seem to be penetrating to any bedrock in the area we're traversing now, just to the southeast of Horatio. Horatio has a blocky wall; however, the upper several tens of meters, probably, of rim look as if it's either mantled - or composed of - the light-gray regolith material we've been driving on. The blocks do not come to the rim of Horatio.

141:48:20 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Jack.

141:48:21 Cernan: I don't know if I want to take you down there or not. Yeah, Jack, hold on; I'll take you down there.

[Cernan - "We didn't go down in any big craters; this was probably a shallow depression of some kind."]

[AS17-135-20609 may show the Rover tilt as Gene drives into a depression here.]

141:48:26 Schmitt: Horatio has quite a different appearance than Camelot. And that's the main one (that is, the main difference between Horatio and Camelot is that, at Horatio), the blocks do not get to the rim. (To Gene) Watch your roll. (Laughs) I know it's not much, but it seems like a lot.
[Apparently, Gene is driving right along the Horatio rim.]

[Cernan - "The reason the roll seemed like it was a lot was because, in one-sixth gravity, you're not anchored down the way you are in earth gravity."]

141:48:41 Cernan: I've just got to go around that crater.

141:48:42 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause; the following has been lightly edited for clarity) It looks like - if Horatio is any gauge, and this is a wild guess, Bob - but maybe an average of 20 or 30 meters (of) stratigraphic thickness (of regolith) lies above the exposures of the subfloor - (the) exposures being blocks in the wall. And some of those blocks, again, are several meters, if not 5 to 10 meters in diameter. And they're concentrated on the west wall...There are very few blocks on the east, north, and south walls of Horatio.

[Journal Contributor notes that Jack's estimate of a 20-30 meter regolith thickness was later confirmed by analysis of data from the Surface Electrical Experiment (SEP) and the Lunar Seismic Profiling (LSP) experiment.]
141:49:38 Parker: Copy that, Jack.

141:49:41 Cernan: Okay, Bob. We're on the southern rim; 078, 2.3, and 2.0.

141:49:47 Schmitt: Yeah. We're maybe 100 meters south of the rim. Actually, we're on the rim crest. We're 100 meters south of the break in slope into the crater.

[Jack's thirteen photos taken during this portion of the traverse are AS17-135- 20610 to 20622.]
141:49:59 Cernan: It's an undulating, hummocky traverse terrain in there, Jack.

141:50:04 Schmitt: Yeah.

141:50:05 Cernan: These little craters make it bumpy; but, other than that, it's really smooth sailing!

141:50:07 Schmitt: That's right. This is what I sort of expected the dark mantle to look like, rather than what we landed on. Not more than one percent of the surface (is covered with blocks), and that percentage continues right over the rim crest of Horatio down onto the wall until you hit the big blocks.

141:50:24 Cernan: What's this depression? That's not...No, we're not to Bronte yet.

141:50:27 Schmitt: No, I don't have any...No, we're not at Bronte...

141:50:31 Parker: Okay, 17. And how about an amps and a mobility...(correcting himself) a speed reading.

141:50:38 Cernan: I've been pushing anywhere from 9 to 11 clicks, and most of the time that's full out, and amperes are bouncing around 100 apiece.

141:50:51 Schmitt: Okay, watch these down-Sun craters. They're hard to see.

141:50:54 Cernan: I know they are.

[Journal Contributor David Harland notes that, although there are occasional comments about visibility, Gene is not having anything like the troubles that John Young had with down-Sun wash-out on the first Apollo 16 traverse. The main difference is that while John was driving almost directly down-Sun and, hence, was getting the full effect of zero phase, Gene is driving in a direction different enough from directly down-Sun to reduce the effect. In detail, during the Apollo 16 traverse to Station 1, the solar azimuth was about 84 degrees and the average bearing to the LM from the Rover was about 87 degrees: a difference of only 3 degrees. In contrast, during this traverse to Hole-in-the-Wall, the solar azimuth is about 101 degrees and the average bearing to the LM has been about 78 degrees, a difference of 13 degrees. Because Gene is having to maneuver around craters, he is not driving a straight-line course and, therefore, does occasionally have to deal with the full effects of zero-phase. On average, however, he is has less of an effect to deal with than John did.]

[The almost complete lack of detail at zero phase is due, in part, to objects hiding their own shadows and, most importantly, to a dramatic brightening caused by the phenomenon of Coherent Backscatter.]

141:50:56 Cernan: We're climbing, Jack. Because I've been full bore most of the time, and all I can get out of it is 10 clicks; and when I decelerate, she decelerates in a hurry. What's our next stop here? A sample at 3.9?

141:51:10 Schmitt: Ahhh...(Consulting his checklist) 080/3.9.

141:51:13 Cernan: Well, I'm sitting on 080 right now and 2.6. I think we've got to add a little bit to that if they're right.

141:51:21 Parker: Okay. Stand by. We'll get a new correction for you guys on that shortly. (Pause)

[Houston is using the Camelot and Horatio fixes to re-estimate the location of the SEP transmitter.]
141:51:29 Schmitt: Okay, Bob. The surface is not changing. We see no craters that seem to penetrate into bedrock out in here - that is, with blocky rims - and that's quite a contrast to the area we sampled at Station 1A yesterday. I cannot see in my field-of-view any blocky-rim craters. There are slight craters with fragmental walls and rims, but it looks like instant rock rather than the subfloor material.

141:52:03 Cernan: Jack, can you see over there to the left - I'll turn a little bit (for a better view) - on the dark area of the South Massif where you get those impressed lineations? See them going from left upward to the right?

141:52:11 Schmitt: Yeah. I see what you mean; right.

141:52:14 Cernan: That's what I saw out my window.

141:52:15 Schmitt: Yeah, they go obliquely up the slope.

141:52:20 Cernan: They're more like wrinkles, they're linear wrinkles.

141:52:22 Schmitt: Yeah. Crenulations, you might say, in the slope that look something like those I saw from orbit, looking in the shadowed area...or, at the edge of the shadows.

[Schmitt - "It was a puzzle, seeing apparent lineations on the slopes of mountains. Some people, as I recall, did some simulations, building models, putting random roughness on the surface, and then dusting them and moving the light around, and they were able to create apparent lineations just with light position. Generally, I think, people don't feel that they represent any underlying structure: it's just an accident of dusting and lighting. The massifs do have layers in them - layers of debris - and I think the fact that you see what appear to be zones of blocks at the top is probably a layer of relatively hard material. But they really are gross layers."]

[Cernan - "While we were in orbit, we looked at the landing site as much as we could, partly to update our position and partly to get a feel for what it was going to be like. I wanted to get a map of it in my brain so that I'd know where we were going. Of course, the valley went by very quickly, so it wasn't like we had a chance to study it for five or ten minutes. And sometimes, if you weren't right on top of the fact of when it was coming up, it would be gone. You'd miss it. Things aren't instantaneously recognizable from orbit and you have to know when to start looking and what you're looking for."]

[About four hours after they first entered lunar orbit, the Apollo 17 crew fired the Service Propulsion engine to put themselves into an elliptical orbit with its low point about 27 kilometers (14.5 nautical miles) above the landing site. They stayed in that orbit for nearly twenty revolutions prior to the start of the descent. From an altitude of 27 kilometers over the landing site, the horizon is about 300 kilometers ahead of the spacecraft, a distance covered in about 3 minutes and 20 seconds. The forward viewing angle into the valley was greater than 45 degrees for only about 20 seconds on each pass.]

141:52:35 Schmitt: Bob, we've seen craters as much as 20 meters - maybe 30 meters - in diameter without blocky rims.

141:52:44 Parker: Copy that, (garbled). Thank you.

141:52:46 Schmitt: The rim block population is not much different than the average for the terrain in here. (Pause)

RealAudio Clip ( 5 min 57 sec )

141:53:02 Cernan: Boy, I'll tell you. If we can't recognize a change in that albedo when we get onto that white mantle, I'm going to be surprised.

[AS17-135- 20616 is an excellent picture of the portion of the light mantle draped over the east-facing scarp.]
141:53:07 Schmitt: Mark my words. Okay. The light mantle is just what Gene has said, it's...That's it, right now. There are some very bright craters in it. They stand out...Bright-haloed craters scattered over it that seem to be quite a bit brighter than anything we have out here on the dark mantle. See those blocks over there? That's the first different-colored blocks I've seen; they're sort of...

141:53:37 Cernan: Where are you looking?

141:53:38 Schmitt: Over to the right a little bit.

141:53:39 Cernan: Darker gray, a little bit.

141:53:41 Schmitt: Watch yourself here. Okay. There's a crater with a big mass of block in the bottom. It looks like it might be a secondary fragment from somewhere.

[Schmitt - "Secondary craters, formed by ejecta from other lunar impacts, have a much lower energy and they tend to be more irregular, more elongate, and may have a blob of material in the bottom. The projectiles that form primary impacts hit at about 20 km/s, and that's an explosion. Most of the ejecta leaves the Moon entirely; very little of it falls back on the Moon. At most, the stuff that makes secondaries travels half way around the Moon and hits at 1.5 km/s and doesn't throw ejecta very far at all."]
141:53:49 Cernan: Do you want to get a photo as we go by?

141:53:50 Schmitt: Yeah. Can you swing a little bit to the right?

141:53:52 Cernan: Yep.

[Jack's next four pictures, AS17-135- 20623 to 20626 show their approach to the secondary crater.]
141:53:56 Schmitt: That might be worth a...How's our time for traverse, Bob? Do we have time for an (extra) LRV sample?

141:54:03 Parker: You're doing great, so far. We're looking for that first LRV sample at about 4.2; that's in the light mantle. (Get the sample here) if you can do it quickly; but we weren't planning on it.

[They've traveled 2.6 kilometers of straight-line distance in 23 minutes since leaving the SEP. The stops have kept their average speed to a modest 6.8 kph thus far.]
141:54:12 Cernan: Want one here?

141:54:13 Schmitt: Yeah, let's get...

141:54:14 Parker: Target of opportunity there, Jack.

141:54:16 Schmitt: Can you get...

141:54:17 Cernan: Go ahead.

141:54:19 Schmitt: Okay. Swing a little bit to the right now.

141:54:21 Cernan: Okay.

141:54:22 Schmitt: Right up across that little ray.

141:54:24 Cernan: Okay.

141:54:25 Schmitt: And I'll try to get a chunk of whatever (formed the crater)...Okay, I want...Keep going; keep going...

141:54:29 Cernan: Look at that big (garbled)...

141:54:30 Schmitt: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

141:54:31 Cernan: Okay. Let me get the (Rover power) switch off. 082, 3.0, and 2.6. (Pause) And, Bob, I've been making 10 to 12 clicks coming across the surface; and, as I say, for the most part, that's full bore except where I have to do some rapid changes.

141:54:50 Parker: Okay. And, by and large, the back room is interested in you guys pressing on to Station 2.

141:54:59 Cernan: Okay, we are. (Pause) (To Jack) Just watch the LCRU.

141:55:06 Schmitt: Okay, Gene. That's a pretty big rock in there.

141:55:09 Cernan: Okay.

[Jack has collected a piece of rock with the LRV Sampler and is now swinging the head across so that Gene can remove the Dixie cup and seal it. This procedure takes far less time than Jack would take trying to get the Dixie cup off himself.]

[Training photo 72-H-1227 shows Jack using the sampler from his Rover seat. He is leaning slightly to his right and has a grip on the accessory staff with his left hand for stability. He probably has turned his head inside the helmet so he can see what he is getting although, as he notes in a 2000 e-mail message: "The sampler was mainly just for collecting representative samples of regolith fines along the traverse route, so seeing what you grabbed was not critical most of the time." Note the maps mounted on the accessory staff and the SCB hanging below the maps. The SEP receiving antenna is behind Jack's head.]

141:55:10 Schmitt: And, Bob, I think there's...

141:55:11 Cernan: Hold it. Hold it down further...down.

141:55:14 Schmitt: It's got quite a bit of dirt in it. (To Bob) I think this is a block from a linear-strewn field of very irregular and jagged rocks that are southwest of a crater that's 10 to 15 meters in diameter. It looks like the material that may have formed the crater, and you can look at some of the pictures and make up your own decision.

141:55:43 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

[This sample, 72135, proved to be a breccia, a probable confirmation that it was a piece of the projectile.]
141:55:44 Schmitt: (To Gene) Can you get it in there? (Pause) Okay. You got it.
[Gene is putting the sample in the SCB hanging from the accessory staff.]
141:55:48 Cernan: No, no. No, I didn't.

141:55:50 Schmitt: No?

141:55:51 Cernan: Okay. The bag (that is, the SCB)'s not open.

141:55:52 Schmitt: Well, okay. Yeah, that's bad.

141:55:58 Cernan: Can you push it in? Pull down.

141:56:02 Cernan: Okay. It's down. 26 Echo, Bob. We're on our way.

141:56:05 Parker: Okay. Copy that...

141:56:07 Cernan: Go ahead.

141:56:08 Parker: ...And, you got a frame count, Jack?

141:56:10 Schmitt: Oh, yeah. Let me...

141:56:12 Cernan: And I did get my "locator" here.

141:56:14 Schmitt: Okay. I got mine.

141:56:15 Parker: Thank you, Jack...(correcting himself) Gene.

[Their "locators" are AS17-135- 20627 and AS17-137- 20895.]
141:56:17 Schmitt: And the frame count is 95.

141:56:23 Parker: Copy that.

141:56:24 Schmitt: Holy cow! I'd better slow down my picture taking.

141:56:29 Parker: Roger, Jack.

[AS17-135- 20628 is taken toward the south as Gene turns to get back on course toward Hole-in-the-Wall.]
141:56:33 Schmitt: We're in a little area where the fragment population may be up to 3 percent. It's getting a little more like what we saw around the LM. In fact, I would say it was comparable now.

141:56:45 Cernan: I'm going down this slope and up the other side, Jack.

141:56:47 Schmitt: But nothing like (the block coverage at) Station 1.

141:56:49 Parker: Okay. Copy that. And the next planned Rover sample will be at a distance of 4.2; so, 080 and 4.2. And it will be in the light mantle if...

141:57:01 Cernan: Okay. We got it, Bob.

141:57:02 Parker: ...that disagrees with those numbers.

[That is, they want to be sure to get a sample in the light mantle, no matter what the Nav system says about their range and bearing.]
141:57:06 Schmitt: Okay. It's in the first prong of light mantle, as I recall. Is that right?

141:57:10 Parker: Roger; the thumb.

[In the overhead pictures, there is a narrow finger of light mantle east of the main mass of the avalanche and separated from it by about a kilometer width of the darker material.]
141:57:15 Cernan: Okay, Bob. Your heading at 260 looks like it's right on, by the way, from what I see on the skyline.
[That is, on the 260 heading, they are pointed right at Hole-in-the-Wall.]
141:57:20 Parker: Okay. And how's the low-gain antenna holding up?

141:57:21 Schmitt: Look at that boulder...

141:57:27 Cernan: (Responding to Bob) Well, I'm moving it, so I guess you're getting it.

[Gene occasionally moves the low-gain antenna to keep it pointed at the Earth.]
141:57:29 Parker: Yeah, we're getting it. Just checking.

141:57:33 Schmitt: Bob, the blocks I see still seem to be the gabbro, except for that one sample we took, which I hope was what I thought it was...

[As noted at 141:55:43, Jack was correct in thinking that the sample was not a piece of gabbro but, rather, was a piece of the projectile.]
141:57:45 Cernan: Gee, it's blocky here.

141:57:46 Schmitt: Watch the...

141:57:47 Cernan: Ooh, that's a big crater. We got to get around here.

141:57:50 Schmitt: Okay. That must be Bronte.

141:57:51 Cernan: My God, is that big!

[The diameter of Bronte Crater is about 200 meters, about one third the size of Camelot. AS17-135- 20629 may be Jack's photo of the crater.]
141:57:52 Schmitt: That's bigger than I expected.

141:57:54 Cernan: Whoo! I got to go around this thing.

141:57:55 Schmitt: Yeah, yeah. There are some very...

141:57:58 Cernan: I got to go back here. (Static)

[Gene is having to make a major detour and, as he maneuvers, doesn't have a hand free to keep the low-gain antenna aimed.]

[Cernan - "The low-gain was mounted in front of the control stick at my right hand. Most of the time I could drive and manipulate the low-gain at the same time, reaching across with my left hand to move it, probably not with the greatest of ease, but I do recall being able to do that. But, you know, if you got too many things going and you were making lots of turns you just couldn't sit there twisting that low-gain until you got to some reasonably steady course."]

141:58:06 Schmitt: (Static clears)...blocks, grayer than the normal gabbro we've seen, that have very large, egg-sized vesicles in them. (Pause) Watch it, you got one on your right there...Here you go.

141:58:20 Cernan: Yeah. I got them.

141:58:21 Schmitt: Okay. Don't mind me, Gene.

141:58:23 Cernan: No. No problem. That's all right, because some of those down-Suns are hard to see. I want to get off this slope.

141:58:29 Schmitt: I wonder if I took a picture of that block field? (Laughing) I hope I did. Getting to be so automatic that I'm not sure what I'm taking any more.

[Jack's next seven pictures are AS17-135- 20630 to 20636. Frame 20630 is a good photo of Hanover Crater, the sharp-rimmed feature on the lower slopes of the North Massif.]
141:58:39 Cernan: Okay. I'm going to go through this niche on a high point in the saddle here.

141:58:48 Schmitt: Okay. How does it figure, Bob? I think we're just north of Bronte. Does that figure?

141:58:52 Parker: Rog. That seems to be about where you should be on the map here. We gather you're circumnavigating a little bit. Comm's dropping out from time to time.

141:58:59 Schmitt: Yeah.

141:59:03 Cernan: 080, 3.5, and 2.9; and we're on the north side of Bronte.

[The traverse started at 141:30:33 and Gene has driven 3.5 km. The range to the SEP transmitter is 2.9 km. Including the stops, Gene's average speed has been 7.4 km/hr and his range rate has been 6.1 km/hr. Because he has been driving directly away from the SEP transmitter most of the time, the difference between his average speed and the range rate is the result of zigs and zags he has taken to get around craters.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 20 min 16 sec )

RealAudio Clip ( 6 min 7 sec )

141:59:07 Schmitt: And it looks like Bronte has penetrated the dark mantle in here. It got the subfloor, but there's not an awful lot of blocks around the rim. There are just some small ones...(small) compared to what we saw around (Camelot)...Watch it.

141:59:23 Cernan: Yep. Yep.

141:59:24 Schmitt: (It's nothing compared with) what we saw around Horatio or in the walls of Horatio and around Camelot. Nothing, also, like we saw yesterday at Station 1. (Pause) Bob, that characteristic little dimple in the bottom of the craters is still with us, and it's invariably glass-lined in the fresh ones.

141:59:48 Parker: Okay. Very good.

141:59:50 Schmitt: Now, that's not a complete lining. It just seems to be glass agglutinates, if you will, that's holding the fragments in the bottom of the crater together. There's one on the side of an older crater. We're back into about a one percent (block) coverage. I suspect that the reason our block population went up there was because of Bronte.

142:00:15 Cernan: An awful lot of these smaller, glass-lined little craters around.

142:00:18 Schmitt: Yeah, and you notice, Gene, what I was saying about the little dimple in the bottom?

142:00:22 Cernan: Yeah.

142:00:23 Schmitt: Watch the fresh ones, and (you'll see that) they all have that little dimple as if that...You see, there's one right there.

142:00:27 Cernan: Yeah, right there.

142:00:28 Schmitt: Man, you can predict it. (Pause)

142:00:32 Cernan: Jack, you know, I think the white mantle is starting right over there. See on your right?

142:00:37 Schmitt: Yeah, that's the first...

142:00:38 Cernan: The place you can really see it is where it's reflected off the slopes of the...

142:00:42 Schmitt: Yup.

142:00:43 Cernan: ...of the (Scarp) cliffs out there, but I think...I hate to say it, but Charlie may be right.

[Gene is referring to the difficulty that Charlie Duke and John Young had in detecting albedo changes during the Apollo 16 traverses.]

[Cernan - "I don't know what we're going to run into next in the transcript, but I remember that when we drove onto the light mantle, although we talked about being able to see it from a distance, the albedo change was so subtle we really had to convince ourselves that we were there. It wasn't like suddenly going from dark to light, it was just fine-grained, subtle changes."]

142:00:47 Schmitt: Well, Geno, one thing that may distinguish it is (that) the bright-halo craters are brighter.

142:00:54 Cernan: But I can see it from here...

142:00:55 Schmitt: Yup.

142:00:56 Cernan: ...on the floor of the valley here.

142:00:58 Schmitt: Yeah.

142:01:00 Cernan: On the scarp it really shows up.

142:01:02 Schmitt: Okay. Block population is unchanged; still appears to be - where I can see large enough blocks - the gabbro, although there's not as much to look at now in terms of blocks. The surface characteristics have not changed. There are no craters that we see that are bringing up clear (that is, unmistakably) blocky rims. Most of the fresh craters have instant rock around them. (At) craters of the same size that are older and more subdued, that instant rock is apparently broken down. I suspect the small zapping breaks that down fairly quickly.

142:01:46 Parker: Okay, 17. Copy that. You still making about 9 to 11 kilometers?

142:01:53 Cernan: No, sir. I've been making from 10 to 12, Bob - mostly 12.

142:01:57 Parker: Okay. Can you give me a reading on the amps this time, Geno.

142:02:05 Cernan: Stand by. I've got a little navigating to do.

142:02:07 Parker: Okay; standing by.

142:02:11 Cernan: Okay. I'm read...I'm reading...I'm reading 100 - bouncing - around 100 on both of them.

142:02:14 Parker: Okay. How about amps and not amp-hours?

142:02:15 Cernan: And I'm going up-and-down, hummocky terrain, I think with...(Responding to Bob) Oh, I'm sorry.

142:02:21 Schmitt: Watch your...You got a hole in front of you.

142:02:24 Cernan: Yeah.

142:02:25 Schmitt: Ohh! There you go. Spun out a little bit.

142:02:32 Cernan: Yeah, let me get up here. (Pause)

142:02:41 Schmitt: Good vehicle you got here.

142:02:44 Cernan: Yeah. It takes a little getting used to, though.

142:02:45 Schmitt: Yeah.

142:02:46 Cernan: I'm not sure I want to go through many of those.

142:02:48 Schmitt: No.

[Jack's traverse pictures indicate that the maps clipped to the Accessory Staff are partially blocking his field-of-view.]
142:02:50 Cernan: Okay, Bob. I'll give you an amp reading as soon as I can. Just stand by for it.

142:02:54 Parker: All right. There's no hurry. No hurry.

142:02:54 Schmitt: Would you believe my camera handle's come off? (Pause)

[Although Jack's camera problems are not discussed in the Apollo 17 Mission Report, Pete Conrad and Al Bean experienced similar problems on their missions and Figure 14-45 from the Apollo 12 Mission Report illustrates the situation. With the handle loose, Jack will still be able to take pictures by using his finger to push the button that is just below the lens; however, he is going to have a problem keeping a grip on the camera. Because the bracket with which the camera is affixed to the RCU joins the camera at the top of the handle, a loose handle means that the camera isn't secure and to keep from losing the camera, the trigger, or any of the attachment hardware, Jack is going to have to keep a firm grip with at least one hand. See, also, the discussion at 142:35:20. My thanks to Brian Lawrence, who "triggered" this comment.]
142:03:02 Cernan: The terrain gets a lot more locally hummocky with some well-rounded rims but very large-aspect-ratio craters - which you got to get around in here - in the 4- or 5-meter size. (Pause)

142:03:27 Cernan: Charlie, that...(Amazed at his slip of the tongue) "Charlie!" I was thinking of white mantle. That's the white mantle we're coming up on right up here.

142:03:29 Schmitt: Yeah.

[Gene is still pre-occupied with the problem of detecting the albedo change when they cross it.]

[Cernan - "We wanted to know when we were up on the white mantle and we expected it was going to be a very subtle change. Here, we could see it coming; but I distinctly remember that it was very difficult to find a definitive line between the light and the dark mantle."]

142:03:30 Cernan: See that on your right?

142:03:31 Schmitt: Yeah.

142:03:32 Cernan: That's it, there's not going to be that much difference.

142:03:36 Schmitt: (Hard bump) Ooh!

142:03:40 Cernan: Not going to be that much difference, but...(Warning himself) Look where you're going.

142:03:47 Schmitt: I got to watch I don't lose my camera. It's come loose.

142:03:53 Cernan: See, now you can look where we're going to come up on the white mantle. It's dusted with that light...Look at it.

142:03:58 Schmitt: Yeah.

142:04:00 Cernan: We're only 100 meters from the light mantle.

142:04:02 Schmitt: Well...

142:04:03 Parker: Okay. How about giving us the range and bearing when you get to it.

142:04:04 Cernan: Look at this crater in here. (Responding to Bob) We're coming right up on it now.

142:04:10 Schmitt: Yeah. There certainly is a change in the general albedo, particularly in the craters. The craters are much brighter in their walls than we've seen before.

[Jack's next four pictures, AS17-135- 20637 to 20640 are from this part of the traverse. Frames 20637 and 20640 show bright craters.]
142:04:19 Cernan: Yeah, that's a...

142:04:20 Schmitt: Although there still is a brown...a light...or a gray dusting over the top of it in here, but it's clearly different - no question about that.

142:04:27 Cernan: You can't see the contact as you cross it but we know we're coming into something lighter. You can obviously see it.

142:04:34 Schmitt: Yeah. We ought to sample the rim of one of these craters when we get our LRV sample, because that's what's distinctly lighter.

142:04:40 Parker: How about a range and bearing, guys?

142:04:44 Cernan: We're at 3.8 here, and we can sample that rim...

142:04:45 Parker: Copy the 3.8.

142:04:48 Cernan: (Responding to Bob's request) 083, 4.4, 3.8, and I've been...

[Gene's average speed, including stops, is now 7.7 km/hr and the range rate is 6.7 km/hr. The difference indicates that, in making detours around craters, Gene has driven about 15 percent farther than the straight-line distance. This is sometimes called the "wander factor".]
142:04:48 Schmitt: How about right over there, Geno? Can you get on the rim of that crater?

142:04:50 Cernan: Right here?

142:04:51 Schmitt: No, right to the right there...

142:04:52 Cernan: Right here.

142:04:53 Schmitt: ...That light stuff. See the big crater here...

142:04:55 Cernan: Yeah.

142:04:56 Schmitt: ...and the light material right on the rim?

142:04:58 Cernan: Yeah. I can get there. But I'm going to have to not give you much of a turn because it's...

142:05:00 Schmitt: That's all right. I got the pictures. Now, if you can swing to the left a little bit and then back...Whoa. Now, back right. Okay. Hope my camera stays on there.

[AS17-135- 20641 and 20642 show their approach to the sample site.]
142:05:11 Cernan: You like that?

142:05:12 Schmitt: Whoa. Yeah. Whoa, whoa.

142:05:13 Cernan: Okay, Bob. We're 083, 4.4, and 3.8; and I've been running about 20 to 25 amps, I think, on both.

142:05:21 Parker: Okay. Copy that. (Pause)

RealAudio Clip ( 7 min 35 sec )

142:05:31 Cernan: We are in the light mantle. It's not a contrasting light like you might expect, or like we're looking at on the Scarp as the Sun shines on it, but I don't think there's any question.

142:05:41 Parker: Okay. Beautiful.

142:05:42 Schmitt: Yeah. The craters that penetrate into it are definitely different. However, the surface texture is unchanged. There may be fewer blocks. (Pause)

142:06:02 Cernan: Okay; bag 27 Echo, 27 Echo.

142:06:04 Parker: Copy that. And frame count, Jack?

142:06:07 Cernan: (Garbled) your bag? We don't want to lose it.

142:06:10 Schmitt: (A little annoyed with Bob's request while they are busy) Stand by.

142:06:12 Cernan: Hold it up. (Pause)

142:06:16 Schmitt: Okay. It's in there.

142:06:18 Cernan: Is it in? Okay. Oops, the bags (the SCB on the accessory staff) don't stay open...

142:06:21 Schmitt: Yeah. It will after we get a couple of samples in there. Okay; my "locator".

142:06:26 Cernan: And my "locator".

[The "locators" are AS17-135- 20643 and AS17-137- 20896.]
142:06:27 Schmitt: I hope I don't lose my camera.

142:06:29 Cernan: I can't reach it, or I'd help you.

142:06:31 Schmitt: Okay. (Giving Bob the frame count) 110.

142:06:33 Parker: Copy that, Jack.

142:06:39 Schmitt: I guess I didn't do what I wanted to do, and that's get that thing (the camera handle) really cinched down. (Pause)

[Jack's next five pictures are AS17-135- 20644 to 20648.]
142:06:50 Cernan: Boy, Bob, one of the remarkable things is the Sun-angle difference on that light mantle when you're looking at the slopes of the Scarp versus what we're on. I hate to use a familiar term, but my impression right here is there is more of a raindrop influence than back at the LM, or in the darker mantle.

142:07:13 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

142:07:15 Schmitt: Yeah. (A little skeptical) Might be.

142:07:17 Cernan: I think so.

142:07:18 Schmitt: I think the big thing is, though, that each one of these little craters is much more lightly colored. But we're still not...There's no crater in view that does...(correcting himself) that has a blocky rim. There's fragmental rims based on, almost certainly, instant rock, but no blocky rims.

142:07:37 Cernan: You know, one of the reasons those craters look lighter is because of their Sun angle. (That is, the Sun striking the) walls of some of these little craters...It's the same material we're driving on, I'll bet. Yeah, there is instant rock right there, Jack; you're right.

142:07:49 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause)

142:07:53 Cernan: Oh, boy.

142:07:54 Schmitt: The fragment population is certainly less than 1 percent in here.

142:07:57 Cernan: Yup.

142:07:58 Schmitt: Right now. When I say fragments, I'm talking about rocks that are greater than a centimeter in (garbled, probably "average diameter").

142:08:08 Cernan: You know, it may be me, Bob; (static) but it also seems to be a little bit more difficult to drive down-Sun in this area.

142:08:15 Schmitt: Yeah, I think it is brighter, Geno. I was thinking that a minute ago, but it's hard to make a (judgment)...I think your normal albedo is greater.

142:08:24 Cernan: Here's some rocks now starting (garbled)...

142:08:26 Schmitt: And the little craters still have the central pits.

142:08:30 Parker: Okay. We're losing your comm a little bit, guys.

142:08:31 Cernan: (Garbled)

142:08:32 Schmitt: Yeah, there's a few.

142:08:36 Cernan: (Static) (Responding to Bob) Well, we're (pointing) right at you. (Checking the low-gain indicator against the heading indicator) 270.

142:08:41 Schmitt: Yeah. There're a few blocks. They still look like the gabbro, though. Hard to tell.

142:08:48 Cernan: Well, a couple of them looked to me like they had some very light (static) crystals in them. See that?

142:08:53 Schmitt: I'm afraid those are zap pits.

142:08:55 Cernan: They could be.

142:08:56 Schmitt: I think I've been fooled by that, too, and that's what I estimated the plagioclase (content) by.

[Journal Contributor David Harland notes "Here, Jack is talking about having been fooled, during EVA-1, by the zap-pit halos into thinking there was more plagioclase in the gabbro than there really is. The false lightness in color produced by the zap pits led him to estimate 50 percent plage, rather than 30 percent. He realized his error after EVA-1 when he was able to study a sample in the LM, out of the glare of the Sun."]
142:09:02 Cernan: Whooo! (Comm clears) I just want to keep you out of those slopes, and I'll tell you, I get you in some...

142:09:08 Schmitt: That's all right.

142:09:09 Cernan: ...(by working at) keeping you out of them.

[That is, by trying to avoid going into one crater, Gene gets them in another.]
142:09:14 Schmitt: Okay. We're getting a little more blocks in here. Of course, we're approaching the dark mantle again. Now, you can see the difference. You got to look hard for it! But, you see those craters out in there are not white anymore.
[A sketch map of the second half of the traverse in shown (identically) on LMP-10 and CDR-10. The planned bearing/range at the turn near Lara is 080/5.5 and at Station 2 near Nansen is 063/7.2. The area below the dashed line that goes through Wagner Crater was mapped, pre-flight as dark mantle, as was the Tortilla Flats area that Gene is about to enter. ]
142:09:27 Cernan: I got to get around that slope.

142:09:29 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause) Okay. You still got Hole-in-the-Wall picked out over there, don't you?

142:09:38 Cernan: Yeah, I got it. And, I'm trying to keep comm with them as I'm turning here.

142:09:42 Schmitt: Yeah.

142:09:43 Cernan: And, I've been keeping the thing on. I don't know if they're reading us, but I've been moving it.

142:09:46 Parker: Read you loud and clear, guys.

142:09:49 Schmitt: Okay. Looking up on the South Massif, we've got real good views of the block-strewn fields. There seems to be two dominant colorations of the rocks. The light-colored ones (are) very light tan to white, and then there are the blue-gray rocks. There's one major outcrop of blue-gray about a sixth of the way down the slope, (in) the center of the field-of-view we have; and it looks very much like similar blue-gray rocks right at the crest, the highest point from our vantage point.

[Schmitt - "Formation of the massifs was part of a dynamic process; and the hard layers represented by the blocks near the crest are part of the evidence of that process. You had a relatively flat part of the Moon which was hit by a great big impact. It was virtually a point explosion, just like a nuclear explosion; and then, whatever was there was folded back. And, at least with the big, basin-forming impacts, you had a lot of molten material that formed in the instant cavity; and that stuff probably moved outward, too. Dynamic pressure forced the molten material to flow up and out of the cavity and on top of the rocks that form the Massifs. And since the top layers solidified out of partially molten material, that may be partially why they're harder. And then, subsequent to that - although you're still talking about the first few seconds or minutes after the Serenitatis impact - you get these radial grabens that form due to the dilation of the area that's been impacted. Parts of the rim of Serenitatis fell and formed what's called a graben, and the Valley of Taurus-Littrow is one of those radial grabens."]
142:10:34 Cernan: Bob,...

142:10:34 Parker: Okay, give me a range and bearing, please.

142:10:35 Cernan: ...(do) you want another sample of the dark mantle here? Could you use that?

142:10:37 Parker: Yeah, we want (a range and bearing) as soon as you get into the dark mantle. We're estimating it's (at a range of) something like 4.3 (km), 4.5, somewhere in that vicinity.

142:10:43 Schmitt: We're there.

142:10:48 Parker: Okay. We're ready for another (sample), then.

142:10:49 Schmitt: We're there. (To Gene) Now, let's...If you can...Okay, right over there, and maybe I can get a rock with it (the soil). See that batch of rocks there?

142:10:56 Cernan: Right here?

142:10:57 Schmitt: Whoa. Yeah. Swing it. Whoa, now swing back over. Little more, little more. Whoa. Little more.

142:11:02 Cernan: Can you reach it?

142:11:03 Schmitt: Now, if you go forward.

142:11:05 Cernan: Can you reach it?

142:11:06 Schmitt: Hold it. Right there.

142:11:08 Cernan: Okay, Bob; 082, 5.0, and 4.3.

[The SEP is eight degrees north of east from their position; they have traveled 5.0 kilometers since leaving the LM; and they are now 4.3 kilometers from the Nav initialization point. Gene's average speed is now 7.4 km/hr and the range rate is 6.5 kph. Both LMP-9 and CDR-9 indicate a range for the contact of 4.0 km and a dark mantle sample at 4.2 km.]
142:11:16 Parker: Copy that.

142:11:20 Cernan: And CDR (Commander) is 3.85 (psi suit pressure) and about 70 percent (oxygen remaining) and no (warning) flags.

142:11:30 Parker: Okay. Thank you, Geno. (Long Pause)

142:11:45 Schmitt: I got it (the sample).

142:11:46 Cernan: You got it? Okay.

142:11:47 Schmitt: I got the rock. I got the rock, and there's some dirt in there. Maybe I'd better get a little bit more dirt.

142:11:53 Cernan: Yeah. (Pause) You don't have any trouble getting dirt.

142:11:56 Schmitt: Can you see in there?

[Because the Dixie cup is one in a stack, Jack can't see into it without changing his grip on the sampler.]
142:11:59 Schmitt: Is there...

142:12:00 Cernan: Yeah.

142:12:01 Schmitt: ...much soil?

142:12:02 Cernan: Oh, a little bit...

142:12:03 Schmitt: Okay. I'll get this soil.

142:12:04 Cernan: Couple teaspoonsfull. Twenty-eight Echo, Bob.

142:12:08 Parker: Say again there, 17.

142:12:14 Cernan: Twenty-eight Echo.

142:12:15 Parker: Copy that.

142:12:23 Cernan: And that's primarily a rock fragment. Jack's getting a soil sample with it.

142:12:29 Parker: Copy.

142:12:30 Cernan: Jack, look at the wrinkles over there on the North Massif.

142:12:34 Schmitt: Yeah. There's no question that there are apparent lineations all over these Massifs, in a variety of directions. Hey, look at how that Scarp goes up the side (of the North Massif) there. There's a distinct change in texture.

142:12:45 Cernan: Okay.

[The "locators" for this sample are AS17-135-20649 and AS17-137- 20897. Both are excellent photos and, among other things, show Hanover Crater and, just to the west (left) of it, the Scarp running up onto the North Massif.]
142:12:46 Schmitt: As a matter of fact, the lineations are not present on the Scarp, that we can see, where it crosses the North Massif. There is no sign of those lineations on there.

142:12:58 Cernan: Oh, man; yeah. I can see what you're talking about now.

142:13:00 Schmitt: Look over by Hanover.

142:13:02 Cernan: It looks like the Scarp overlays the North Massif, doesn't it?

142:13:05 Schmitt: Yeah.

[This observation suggests that the Scarp formed after the mountain was raised.]
142:13:06 Cernan: Okay. This last (sample) was 29 Echo.

142:13:10 Parker: Okay. Copy that. And that's the soil.

142:13:12 Cernan: Okay, now I need to get in that bag. (Responding to Bob) That's affirm. (Pause)

[Gene tries to put the two folded Dixie cups in the SCB hanging on the accessory staff. Apparently, he has trouble reaching across and gives the samples to Jack to put in the SCB.]

RealAudio Clip ( 7 min 19 sec )

142:13:18 Cernan: Here's another one. You're going to...Don't lose those.

[Jack may be in danger of losing the LRV sampler.]
142:13:22 Schmitt: I won't. I'll put it down.

142:13:28 Cernan: Okay, Bob, we are rolling.

142:13:29 Parker: Copy that.

142:13:30 Schmitt: And pray for me, Bob, that I don't lose my camera. Okay. Hanover is quite a ways up the (North Massif) slope. I don't think we'd have gotten to it, as we planned that time. But the appearance you have of the Scarp/North Massif contact is one of the Scarp being smoother textured, less cratered, and certainly less lineated. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's, as Gene says, younger.

142:14:12 Parker: Okay, Jack. Copy that.

142:14:13 Schmitt: It's not just the slope, it's the materials on the other side of the Scarp, on the west side. (Pause)

[That is, the North Massif has lineations east of the Scarp, but not at the Scarp itself.]
142:14:30 Schmitt: Okay, I'm going to have to really ease up on pictures. I forgot to give them a frame count. (Static)

142:14:33 Parker: Yeah. We didn't get a frame count. You want to give us a frame count there, Jack?

142:14:39 Schmitt: Well, Bob. The problem is (that) every time I take my hand off, my camera loosens up again.

142:14:47 Parker: Okay; I copy that. And our estimate is that if you continue to go between 50 and 100 meters between frames, we'll make it.

142:15:00 Cernan: (Static clears) Boy, I tell you. Are those Massifs getting to look big now! Holy Smoley!

[Somewhere in here, Gene takes AS17-137- 20898, showing the South Massif and the Scarp. Jack's next next four photos are AS17-135- 20650 to 20653.]
142:15:07 Schmitt: That frame at the LRV sample was about 115.

142:15:12 Parker: Copy that.

142:15:17 Cernan: I'll tell you, that Scarp looks nice over there, too, doesn't it?

142:15:20 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause) Okay, we're back down in our old friend, the dark mantle. And I think the zero-phase point is not as bright as it was. (We're) passing a small crater, but the block population is still way down there in about - Whoops, watch that one - (the) one percent (range).

[Gene is making ten to twelve kilometers per hour on level terrain. However, even "level" terrain has plenty of hummocks formed by the rims of old, subdued craters. In order to maintain speed and get maximum use of their time and supplies of oxygen and cooling water, Gene is driving over blind crests without slowing, keeping his eye on the road so that he can brake and then turn if necessary. All craters big enough to be real hazards to the Rover are shown on the maps and, as well, are usually surrounded by enough ejecta that there is no real danger of coming upon one without warning. However, particularly when driving down-Sun, or when cresting a small rise, they sometimes come upon a small, fresh crater without warning and get quite a jolt. Because of the rough ride, seatbelts are absolutely essential.]

[Cernan - "You couldn't spent very much time sightseeing, and that's why Jack's doing most of the descriptions. Every once in a while you could steal a glance but, if you didn't get right back to watching where you were going, you'd get in trouble...especially the little craters."]

142:15:45 Parker: And, 17, for your benefit, we're showing you with very good net mobility rates here; and things (are) looking quite good.
[That is, their average speed is high enough that they will have plenty of time to complete the planned activities at Nansen before moving on. They are currently 4.3 kilometers from the SEP site and have been driving, stops included, for 45 minutes. Their average range rate is 5.7 km/hr.]
142:15:54 Schmitt: Thank you. Gene's doing a great job.

142:15:59 Cernan: I'll tell you, it takes all your time to drive, though. You look around, and you're in a hole. (Pause)

142:16:12 Schmitt: Okay here's another small crater (with) instant rock, the same little pit (at the center of the crater) and a spattering of glass holding the pit materials together. None of the glass linings look very coherent, Bob. They mainly just seem to be a sprinkling of glass that's coating (pause) the instant rock.

142:16:41 Parker: Okay, I copy that, Jack. (Pause)

142:16:53 Schmitt: The craters at about 10 to 15 meters in diameter seem to have somewhat more blocky material in their rims. But they're not clear-cut blocky rim craters. And here's one that's probably 50 meters across that has a fair number of blocks in the bottom.

[An impact will penetrate to a depth equal to about one-quarter of the diameter of the crater it produces. Blocks in a 50-meter crater would suggest regolith depth of less than 12 meters.]
142:17:15 Schmitt: Looks like it (the impact) might have just about gotten down to where the gabbro starts to be abundant again.
[Schmitt - "In principle, the term 'gabbro' has no genetic meaning but, rather, indicates a crystalline rock composed of roughly equal parts of the minerals pyroxene and plagioclase. However, here we were seeing rocks derived from lava flows that were thick enough that the rock cooled slowly enough that millimeter-sized crystals formed. They aren't very fine-grained like most basalts that cool very quickly, but neither are they as large-grained as the anorthosites found at Apollo 15 which cooled much, much more slowly, at depth within the crust. And, of course, these rocks weren't the breccias characteristic of highlands material."]
142:17:23 Parker: Okay; I copy on that one, Jack.

142:17:24 Cernan: (Static; garbled) start heading toward 12 o'clock (west); and I'm going to work my way up to Hole-in-the-Wall and from there on up, right?

142:17:31 Schmitt: That's good.

142:17:32 Cernan: Take a long, easy turnout.

142:17:33 Schmitt: Yeah.

[AS17-137- 20899 and AS17-135- 20654 to 20656 are photos taken somewhere in this part of the traverse.]
142:17:36 Cernan: Got Hole-in-the-Wall, Bob. It's a very long, very subtle, very gentle slope. We'll just have to get some more words when we get there.

142:17:44 Parker: Okay; we're anxiously awaiting them. (Pause)

[Hole-in-the-Wall is the juncture between a lobe of the Scarp and the main Scarp face, a geologic equivalent of the web of flesh between a person's thumb and forefinger. Avalanche material overlies both features. Hole-in-the-Wall was spotted in pre-mission photographs as a plausible path up to the top of the 80-m-high Scarp.]

[Cernan - "We were concerned about what we were going to find at Hole-in-the-Wall and what path we were going to take to get up the Scarp. I don't remember exactly, but I'm sure we must have looked at the Scarp from orbit."]

142:17:50 Parker: How about a range and bearing while you're at it?

142:17:54 Cernan: I've been making 10 or 12 clicks (kilometers per hour) most of the time. (Pause; listening to Bob) Okay, 082, 5.6 and 4.9.

142:18:04 Parker: Copy 4.9 on the range.

[The average range rate is now 6.3 kph. They are about 0.5 kilometers from Hole-in-the-Wall. The location of Hole-in-the-Wall is shown on a pre-flight map with handwritten feature names. Note the name change from Amundsen to Nansen. The expected view from 1/2 kilometer derived from pre-flight estimates of surface elevations is linked here. The expected views were produced from data extracted from photographs taken from the Apollo 15 Command Module and, despite the low resolution of those photos, these views bear at least some resemblance to what Gene and Jack are seeing.]
142:18:05 Cernan: And about 20 to 22 amps (the electric current to the Rover wheel motors) most of the time.

142:18:13 Parker: Okay, we're losing a little bit of low-gain (signal) there, Geno.

142:18:19 Schmitt: I think you need to tilt it up a little. Probably undershooting the Earth. I don't know.

142:18:24 Cernan: Well, our pitch angle (the Rover's up/down orientation) changes all the time. That's the problem. Bob, I have been within 10 to 20 degrees of you the whole time.

142:18:33 Schmitt: Okay, Bob, we're not in light mantle, I don't think. (Pause) Maybe we are.

142:18:39 Cernan: I think we are, Jack.

142:18:40 Schmitt: Yeah, I guess we are.

142:18:41 Cernan: I think we are.

142:18:42 Schmitt: According to my geology map (garbled). I guess we are. Gosh, I was going to say the craters are whiter than they have been. So, we're back in it. And even the zero-phase point's brighter, too.

[There is a great deal of glass in the lunar soil and, at the down-Sun or "zero-phase" point, the reflected sunlight can be quite bright - more so here on the light mantle than on the dark mantle.]
142:18:53 Cernan: (Static clears) I think that place where we had those small, blocky craters was within the dark mantle. They're not evident here in the lighter stuff.

142:18:58 Schmitt: Yeah, yeah.

142:19:00 Cernan: Boy, is that (South Massif) getting big. Whoo-ee! (Pause) Hold on.

[They're going into a small crater.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 24 min 29 sec )

142:19:07 Schmitt: Whoooee!

142:19:08 Cernan: Oh, boy.

142:19:09 Schmitt: That really gives me a strange feeling. (Jack laughs heartily).

142:19:10 Cernan: Gives me a strange feeling too. (Pause) Those are not intentional.

142:19:17 Schmitt: I understand.

142:19:19 Cernan: I'm not sure I've got enough guts to make them intentional. (Pause) Man, everything's getting to look big the closer you get. (Pause) Hole-in-the-Wall looks more promising, though, Bob.

[Up to this point, they haven't been able to see enough detail to tell whether or not Hole-in-the-Wall will be a good place to climb the Scarp.]
142:19:35 Schmitt: Yeah, I don't think that's going to be any problem.

142:19:37 Cernan: (At least not) until we get up and look back. Oh, man, what a trip this is going to be. Golly. (Pause)

142:19:45 Schmitt: That Min cooling is just about right, isn't it.

142:19:47 Cernan: No, it's just about warm for me.

142:19:49 Schmitt: Yeah.

142:19:51 Cernan: Bob, is my PLSS cooling working all right?

142:19:56 Parker: Rog. It looks like it's working to us.

142:20:01 Cernan: Okay.

[Driving the Rover takes concentration and a fair amount of effort. As indicated in the table at 151:03:03, while they are riding, Gene's metabolic rate is about 10% higher than Jack's.]
142:20:03 Schmitt: Bob, the rock fragments still look like gabbro. The craters tend to have white walls and white rims, which they don't have in the dark mantled area. The block population is way down, (and covers) one percent (of the surface) or less. However, the bigger craters do have more blocks; but nowhere does that population seem to get above about five percent. And that's on the walls and the rims of the craters, say bigger than 15 meters. There's one probably 20 meters in diameter that has some blocks on it.

142:20:43 Cernan: (Glancing at CDR-10) Have you seen Nemo (Crater)? I think Nemo is right over there, if I'm not mistaken. (Pause) I don't know.

RealAudio Clip ( 7 min 17 sec )

142:20:49 Schmitt: Nemo will be hard to see. But, yeah, it's probably that one right in there.

142:20:56 Cernan: Or back here. There's one back here.

142:20:58 Schmitt: Well, it's pretty...Yeah, well...Yeah, that's close to (the) Scarp. It's probably right off your wing there.

[Schmitt - "Because of the stiffness of the suits, our field-of-view was pretty much restricted to straight ahead. We could turn our heads a little in the suits and could gesture with our arms, but even then, Gene could really only see a gesture if I made it with my inboard arm."]

[Their current position is about 081/5.3. Nemo has a 400 meter diameter They are about 400 meters northwest of the near rim.]

142:21:04 Cernan: Okay, I'm going straight ahead and then I'm going to make a left turn (into Hole-in-the-Wall).

142:21:10 Schmitt: Okay. We're looking at Lara (Crater). Now, Lara...I can see blocks in the northwest rim of Lara. At least, it's rugged terrain; and it looks like blocky terrain. One spot. That's all I see. It looks like it may be a couple hundred meters in average diameter. It starts maybe three-quarters of the way up the wall and goes right up to the rim.

[Schmitt - "Lara is almost certainly a crater that pre-dates the avalanche. The avalanche rode over it and, indeed, in the good photographs you can see some subflows (secondary slides) down the slopes into it."]
142:21:39 Cernan: Hey, Bob, Hole-in-the-Wall seems to be a...

142:21:42 Schmitt: Hey, look at that. Look at that crater!!

142:21:43 Cernan: Right there? Yeah.

142:21:46 Schmitt: That central pit goes down about half the depth of the crater, and the crater is a fresh, 3-meter crater. It almost was a cylindrical pit.

142:22:01 Cernan: Hey, Bob, Hole-in-the-Wall is just a step, headed down to the south or southeast on the Scarp. The Scarp is just about what I think we all expected it to be. It's very rolling and relatively smooth. I don't really see any outcrops (of rock) exposed anywhere out here to the south.

142:22:21 Schmitt: No. You see, now there's Station 3 area right up there.

[The Station 3 stop will be made at the base of the Scarp, just north of Lara, after they finish their activities at Nansen Crater and have driven back down onto the valley floor.]
142:22:25 Cernan: Yep.

142:22:27 Schmitt: Looks like maybe that set of...See that bigger crater over there to the right of Lara? That probably is a good place for Station 3.

142:22:37 Cernan: Yeah, way over there. Okay, we're going to find out something very shortly (about Hole-in-the-Wall).

142:22:42 Schmitt: It doesn't look very rocky, Gene.

142:22:44 Cernan: No.

142:22:45 Schmitt: (Garbled)

142:22:47 Parker: How about bearing and range, guys?

142:22:53 Cernan: Bob, I'll give it to you just as soon as I make my turn. It's not too far - 100 meters.

142:22:56 Schmitt: Are...Are you...Are you going to turn over that or go on closer...

142:22:58 Cernan: No, I'm going right up straight ahead and then go on to the inside of that place.

142:23:04 Schmitt: Yeah. That's more than 100 meters.

142:23:08 Cernan: Yeah.

142:23:09 Schmitt: (Giving a bearing and range to the LM) 081 and 5.6.

142:23:10 Parker: Copy that.

142:23:15 Schmitt: There's...Now the craters are getting very, very light colored in their rims and walls.

142:23:23 Cernan: You notice when we're in the light mantle looking at the Scarp, at this angle, it loses some of its high albedo (that is, its apparent brightness)?

142:23:28 Schmitt: Yeah. Yeah. I think we're getting...

142:23:32 Cernan: We've got a long depression to go around.

142:23:33 Schmitt: ...Your eyes get used to it.

142:23:36 Cernan: Okay, Jack, we got to watch it because I got to go around a long depression. That's a crater over there.

142:23:41 Schmitt: On the right; yeah.

142:23:42 Cernan: I don't know how I can get over there to...

142:23:43 Schmitt: I think...

142:23:44 Cernan: I may have to go up over there. I can't go down that hole. That one's not going to make it.

142:23:49 Schmitt: What's your pitch?

142:23:51 Cernan: Let's go back here. We can't get there. I'm going to go over here.

142:23:54 Schmitt: What was your pitch then, Geno?

142:23:55 Cernan: (Static; garbled) primarily. I can't go there.

142:24:01 Schmitt: Yeah, I think you're right.

142:24:02 Cernan: We'll go up this gentle slope. See what's on top. (Pause) Okay. Let me get my (garbled). (Pause)

142:24:17 Schmitt: (To Houston) We made a turn to the south a little bit at 081 and 5.7. Are you going to try to drive up there?

142:24:25 Cernan: I don't think we're going to have any choice.

[The average range rate is now 6.5 kph. Up to this point in the traverse, Gene has maintained a more or less constant heading of about 260 degrees and, consequently, the range rate is equivalent to the net outbound speed. With the change in heading, the range rate will no longer be a direct measure of the net speed. From here to Nansen, Gene will drive a map distance of 2.2 kilometers in 19 minutes for a net speed of 6.9 kph. Jack's sequence of eight photos taken during the climb up Hole-in-the Wall is AS17-135- 20657 to 20664. The white crater that Jack will mention in a moment in visible in all the photos.]
142:24:27 Schmitt: Okay. Looks to me like just to the left of that...

142:24:31 Cernan: Yeah.

142:24:32 Schmitt: ...white crater is a...Or even (go) right like you're headed now and then bear up to the right.

142:24:36 Cernan: Yeah. (Pause) Find out how this (Rover) climbs in a minute.

142:24:45 Schmitt: Oh, I think you're all right.

142:24:47 Cernan: Okay, Bob, I'm starting up the Scarp at 081, 6.6, and 5.7.

142:24:51 Parker: Okay. Copy that, Geno.

142:24:52 Schmitt: This is the first tongue of the Scarp.

142:24:57 Cernan: I don't even think the Rover knows it's going uphill. I've got about 37 or (3)8 amps. See what's on top here.

142:25:06 Schmitt: You're making about 8 clicks.

142:25:08 Cernan: And I'm full bore.

142:25:11 Schmitt: (Laughs)

142:25:14 Cernan: Well, I'll tell you, this Rover doesn't know it's going up a hill.

142:25:18 Schmitt: Looks to me like you may be able to head just like you're going.

142:25:21 Cernan: Yeah. Hey, Bob, we'll make it.

142:25:23 Schmitt: And get down...Yeah.

142:25:25 Cernan: We will make it. (Pause) Get my (low-gain) antenna adjusted.

142:25:38 Schmitt: Okay. Whatever makes up the light mantle is - at least, the instant rock that it forms - is much lighter than anything we see (elsewhere). Those fragments probably are 30 percent lighter than any fragments we see out on the dark mantle. And that's around the fresh craters. But it is not blocky. (Pause)

142:26:14 Cernan: Bob, are you still reading?

142:26:16 Parker: Roger. Read you loud and clear.

142:26:20 Cernan: Okay, I just wanted to make sure my antenna's working.

142:26:23 Parker: Roger.

142:26:25 Cernan: We're doing a little zig-zag navigation. I literally came up a slope at about a heading of 240 (WSW). We couldn't get through the actual turn to the south because there is a big crater right at the foot of it. So we're just making our way through some relatively local undulating slopes that get pretty steep, but it seems to be no problem.

142:26:45 Schmitt: Yeah, I think we're in good shape. Bob, I can't ...There are not any blocks big enough to really make a statement about what the (underlying) rock is. But it really doesn't look like gabbro anymore.

142:27:00 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

142:27:01 Schmitt: It doesn't have that...

142:27:03 Parker: And a reminder that eventually you're going to have to turn to the south a little bit to pick up the final thing...at Station 2.

[Gene's average heading during the drive from Hole-in-the-Wall to Nansen will be about 225.]
142:27:12 Schmitt: We're not on top of that Scarp, yet. We're still in the Hole-in-the-Wall rim.

142:27:16 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

142:27:22 Schmitt: Bob, as far as lineations in the soil or on the surface that are observable at this range (that is, close at hand), I don't see any. I think there may be a finer raindrop pattern on the light mantle than maybe there was out on the dark. But that's an awfully hard judgment to make.

142:27:45 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

142:27:50 Schmitt: How you doing, Geno?

142:27:52 Cernan: Doing fine. Bob, we've slowed down (to) between about 5 to 8 - maybe 5 to 10 - clicks most of the time. I'm going to head right up there, I think. Get around this crater.

142:28:02 Schmitt: Pretty healthy roll we're going to have here.

142:28:04 Cernan: Yeah, I'm going to head more straight up the hill. Once I get up on top, I'll be all right. I'm going to head down in this hole and then up that way.

142:28:11 Schmitt: Yeah, I think...

142:28:12 Cernan: I don't mind pitch, but I sure don't like roll.

142:28:14 Schmitt: I don't either. (Pause)

142:28:24 Cernan: Now I'm going to head straight up...I'm going to head straight up that slope right there. Okay. (Long Pause)

RealAudio Clip ( 7 min 53 sec )

142:28:49 Schmitt: Bob, It looks like maybe the large fragments in here are still crystalline. They have white zap pits on them. But they do not yet really resemble the gabbros.

["Zap pits" are small craters blasted into the surfaces of rocks by sand-grain-sized impactors. On the gabbros, Jack noted white halos of fractured minerals created around the craters.]
142:29:03 Parker: Okay, Jack. Copy that. Give us a hack when you get up on top of the Scarp there.

142:29:09 Schmitt: Okay.

142:29:10 Cernan: Let me tell you, Bob, I've got to go cross-slope some of the time because the Rover is really working to go uphill now.

[The Rover is designed to handle loose slopes of up to 25 degrees. Steeper slopes can be handled by driving cross slope.]
142:29:18 Parker: All right.

142:29:19 Cernan: But we're almost there.

142:29:22 Schmitt: As I look up the Scarp to the west, there are some big blocks scattered around on our horizon; but, again, I would guess that we're not dealing with more than 2 or 3 percent total coverage of blocks in here, if that.

142:29:45 Cernan: Well, I think, for the most part - for the most part - we're on top.

142:29:49 Schmitt: Yeah, we're...we're on top.

142:29:53 Cernan: Bob, we're at 7.8...Correction: 078, 7.2, and 6.2.

142:29:59 Parker: Copy that.

[Since starting the drive up Hole-in-the-Wall, they've driven about 600 meters in 5 minutes for a net speed of 7 kph. They've climbed about 80 meters up from the valley floor. Jack's photo at the crest is AS17-135- 20665.]
142:30:01 Cernan: Now, Jack, where was Nansen (Crater) with respect to those (boulder) tracks up there (on South Massif)?

142:30:05 Schmitt: Well, they never really had any good tracks pinned down, I don't think. You'll be able to see Nansen, I think, soon as you get over this hill.

[From the LM, Gene and Jack had seen tracks made long ago by boulders as they tumbled downhill from outcrops high on both the North and South Massifs. Some of the North Massif tracks were visible in the pre-mission photography taken from orbit during Apollo 15.]

[Cernan - "As I recall, from orbit you really had to look for the tracks. If you could find one of the very big boulders you could trace the tracks on the slopes of the massifs. On the surface they were relatively easy to see from the LM. I don't think most of them jumped right out at you because there is so much subtlety. But, especially if you could find a boulder, you could see the tracks pretty readily."]

142:30:13 Cernan: Boy, I tell you, when we look back (into the valley toward the LM), that's going to be quite a sight if we can see into that Sun. We have been coming uphill! Well, I'd say this is the last straw to the top. And is she working! Come on, baby. (Pause)

142:30:33 Schmitt: Okay. I think you bear...

142:30:36 Cernan: I'm going to try to get over along (means "to") the base of the massif now.

142:30:39 Schmitt: Yeah. Head towards that track area there, anyway. (To Bob) There are a lot of boulder tracks coming down from the blue-gray rocks, Bob. We'll see whether or not we're going to get to those tracks at Nansen, or we might want to move over to the tracks and see if we can find the boulder that made them.

[By sampling boulders that are clearly identified with boulder tracks, they can be sure of sampling rocks derived from outcrops high on the mountain.]
142:30:59 Parker: Okay; if they're in the vicinity, it might be a nice idea.

142:31:02 Schmitt: But there's no question where those tracks come from.

[Jack's next six photos, taken during the drive toward Nansen, are AS17-135- 20666 to 20671.]
142:31:05 Parker: And we gather you're slowing down to about 5 clicks now, coming up this last rise.

142:31:10 Cernan: Yeah. I'm back up to about 7 to 10 now, Bob. The slowdown is because that's about all it will take!

142:31:18 Schmitt: Bob, I have the impression that there is a dipping (meaning "not horizontal") zone of blue-gray outcrops or block concentrations up there on the Massif that trends from the high point just beneath the Earth cross-slope; and probably the apparent dip is - oh, I don't know - 10 or 15 degrees (down) to the east. It looks like those outcrops may match up along that trend.

[From a position at the base of the Scarp, it will be impossible to prove whether these were true outcrops of bedrock or just concentrations of partially buried boulders. However, given the steepness of the slopes on the upper mountain and the fact that the visible boulders are bigger than any plausible thickness of the regolith, the odds are very good that these are genuine outcrops.]
142:31:57 Parker: Okay.

142:31:58 Cernan: Jack, I'm going to head right along this ridge because I think that's the depression we were talking about.

142:32:01 Schmitt: Yep, that's Nansen down there.

>i>[Although they have finished climbing the scarp, they still can't see the base of the South Massif. There is a trench-like depression at the base of the mountain and they will need to get closer before they will be able to see the planned Station 2 location.]
142:32:02 Cernan: Where are you looking? Right there?

142:32:04 Schmitt: I think, right below...

142:32:06 Cernan: I think you're right. I think that's it. Let me get over here, and then I'll head a little bit to the south.

142:32:12 Schmitt: Yeah, we're a little more west, I think, than we intended to be.

142:32:18 Cernan: Yeah, I think you're right. (Pause)

142:32:25 Schmitt: Bob...(Trying to read the instruments) What is it? 078 and 6.5? (Pause)

142:32:36 Schmitt: Bob, I've had an impression, and I can't prove it yet, that we're dealing with more heterogeneous rock. Possibly there are breccias in here. But it's awfully hard to tell right now. They're very light-colored rocks, I think even lighter colored than the gabbros.

[Lunar breccias are rocks made up of fragments of other rocks, and even soils, welded together during large impact events.]
142:33:06 Parker: Okay. We'll soon find out.

142:33:12 Schmitt: I'm afraid those...I think we can follow those (boulder) tracks. The pictures, maybe...

[Jack means that they can visually follow the tracks from the boulders up to the source outcrop.]
142:33:18 Cernan: Yeah, I think we can see some of those coming down.

142:33:22 Schmitt: I think the ones from the big outcrop of blue-gray rock, though, are the ones going into Nansen.

142:33:29 Cernan: Bob, my best guess - let's see, 077, 7.7, 6.6 - is that we're coming up on the northern side of Nansen.

142:33:37 Parker: Okay. We copy that, Geno.

[A box of Apollo 17 planning material given by Bob Parker to the Johnson Space Center History Office contains a large map of Taurus-Littrow with the names of features written in with a colored, felt-tipped pen. From the evidence of that map, the original name of the feature Gene and Jack are approaching was "Amundsen", but that name was then crossed out and replaced with "Nansen". They are currently about 500 meters from the north edge of Nansen.]

[Schmitt - "The printing on the map is not mine and I don't specifically remember changing the name; but I wouldn't be surprised if I oscillated back and forth between Amundsen and Nansen. Amundsen gets so much credit, at least in the United States, that I may have decided that Nansen was the unsung hero of Arctic exploration. Or, somebody may have pointed out that Amundsen already has a crater at the Moon's South Pole."]

142:33:42 Cernan: And, let me tell you, this is quite a Rover ride.

142:33:45 Parker: It sure sounds like it.

142:33:52 Cernan: But it's quite a machine, I tell you! I think it would do a lot more than we'd let it.

142:34:01 Schmitt: (Laughing) That's right. (Pause) I think that big crater up there on the side (of the mountain) is the one that you can see in the photographs, just above Station 2.

[This crater shows well in AS17-135- 20672 which was taken at about this point in the drive. Station 2 is just out of sight below the center of the image.]
142:34:16 Cernan: Yeah. I think if I come up here, do a hard left turn; you unbuckle your belt, you'll roll right down into the bottom of Nansen.

142:34:20 Schmitt: I'm afraid you're right...

142:34:23 Parker: Okay. And remember we're going to about 068 (bearing) and about 7.4 (range) will be Station 2 (with the actual position being 071/7.6). At least that's our estimate.

142:34:32 Cernan: Okay, there's Nansen over there, huh?

142:34:34 Schmitt: Well, I think so.

142:34:35 Cernan: Yeah. I think you're right. It's got to be it. Got to be it.

[They are only seeing the upper parts of Nansen.]
142:34:43 Schmitt: Yeah, Bob, I think we're into a breccia population now. I think the blocks in the light mantle are largely breccias. They're mottled in their characteristics. The white zaps do not seem to be nearly as apparent. They tend to be chalky when they get hit. At least, in the large craters (meaning "large zap pits"), the walls are chalky looking. (Pause) Oh, yeah! We've got boulders in Station 2.

142:35:16 Cernan: Yeah, they're there.

142:35:20 Schmitt: Yeah, sir. (Pause) Boy, I tell you, if I hang on to this camera until you stop and can tighten it up, it'll be a miracle.

[Throughout most of the drive, Jack has had to keep a hand tightly closed around the camera. Because he has had to grip constantly against the stiffness of the pressurized suit, his hands are now aching, despite switching them as often as seemed prudent.]
142:35:28 Cernan: Bob, how long have we been driving?

142:35:30 Parker: Stand by. We estimate you've got about a kilometer and a half to go - a little over a kilometer, anyway. Stand by, we'll check on the time. You're doing great.

142:35:44 Schmitt: Man, this has been a trip.

142:35:46 Cernan: Man, I tell you. You know, we're really up on top of this thing. Whoo!

142:35:49 Parker: You guys have been driving 64 minutes, and that counts the time to stop and deploy the (explosive) charge (for a seismic experiment) and pick up the Rover samples.

142:35:59 Schmitt: Hey, Bob. We're very clearly going downhill now, into the trough area that surrounds the Massif, between the mantle and the massif. But the trough is much greater in extent than just Nansen scale. It's probably a kilometer wide. I never realized that it was so much of a depression in here.

[Jack's final three photos taken during the approach to Nansen are AS17-135- 20673 to 20675. Frame 20674 shows the trough, with the two large Station 2 boulders near the right edge of the frame. Nansen is off the frame to the right.]

[Schmitt - "Nansen isn't actually an impact crater but, rather, is an anomalously-deep, elongated depression that is part of the trough. It isn't filled as much as other parts of the trough. From the gravity measurements we know that, just before the mare lavas filled the valley, the difference in elevation from the valley floor to the tops of the South Massif may have been something of the order of four to five kilometers. That is, there appears to be now about two kilometers of mare basalt filling the valley. Originally the elevation difference was even more than four or five kilometers because there is strong evidence that the mountains have been subsiding over time, enough so that you never accumulate a talus at the base. The evidence of this is the trough that runs along the base of the massif. If you imagine a steeply dipping-fault between the South Massif and the original valley and the mountain subsiding relative to the valley, then the fault tends to open and either the talus tends to accumulate or you get a trough or both. Most people think that, once those mountains formed, they stayed relatively quiet; but the trough implies that there's been activity essentially up to the present. Otherwise, you would have filled up those troughs. Essentially, the gap is opening up as fast - or faster - than talus is accumulating, from a volume point of view. The average exposure age of the talus material is very low and does not correspond to the age of the mountain. The mountain formed 3.9 billion years ago and the exposure age of the soils in the trough is a few hundred thousand years."]

142:36:30 Parker: Okay. How about a range and bearing readout.

142:36:31 Schmitt: I'm not sure we're going to be able to see the LM.

RealAudio Clip ( 6 min 48 sec )

142:36:35 Cernan: (Responding to Bob) 074, 8.2, 6.9.

142:36:38 Parker: Copy that.

142:36:39 Cernan: We won't be able to see the LM from down here. We'll be too low to see it. Fact is, I don't think I can see that far. (Pause)

[Cernan - "I'm an engineer and I think the greatest asset that education gave me was the ability to think logically and, rather than getting engrossed in the detail of a problem, be able to back off and start to figure out where you are, what it's all about, and start to focus in on the important parts. Too many people try to put the screw in the hole before they find out it's the wrong screw for the hole. In looking at the valley from orbit, I started out looking at it geographically and then topographically; and then, when we got down in among 'em - among the rocks and boulder - I could start to look at it geologically. To start with, I wanted to be sure that when I got down in that valley I would always know where I was. When I was near Nansen, I wanted to be sure in my mind what was to the north and what was back to the east, even if I couldn't see very far in those directions from the ground. I wanted to have a feel for where I was; not from a navigation point of view but from a geographic point of view. And then I wanted to understand the topography, which you can't fully appreciate until you literally get down to the surface. From orbit, Tracy's Rock (at Station 6) doesn't mean anything; but, when you get down in there, you can appreciate the slopes and the sizes of the boulders and the craters. And then, once you have the big picture, you can get into the geology. Basically, I'm a pilot. I was also a well-trained geologic observer, but I wasn't a geologist and probably never would have been and never will be. So, being a pilot, I like to know where I am all the time; I like to know what my surroundings are; I like to know what environment I'm in; I like to be able to anticipate; I like to be able to prepare. When you're a flyer, the environment that surrounds you - if you will, the 'geography' - includes the weather and the traffic. Not just the mountains, but a lot of things. And on the Moon, if you have a feel for the geography and the topography, when you start rambling through this valley you're not going to be too surprised by what you find. You're going to anticipate - which is very important - and, in many cases, you're going to know what to expect. Now, when you get on the slopes, and you get among the boulders, and you pass over the rims of those craters, those are the things you can't see or feel from orbit. So the Moon does take on a new dimension at the surface; but, at least you've got this background, this feel for the environment that you got from orbit; and that helps you."]

["People ask all the time if I was ever scared; and my answer to that, without hesitation, is 'No.' Apprehensive? 'Yes.' But I was never scared. Because, to me, fear is what happens when you're confronted with the unknown. Now, it's not that we didn't have many surprises on our flights. But we were aware of where we were, of what we were doing, and of what the risks were. We had a broad knowledge of our own personal capabilities and had confidence in our abilities to handle the unknowns. We had a broad knowledge of the hardware we were flying and how to manipulate it around problems. Could the Saturn V have blown up on lift-off, could we have not had ignition on the lift-off from the Moon, could a suit have sprung a leak? Sure, all those things could have happened. But you don't sit and worry about them. If I tell you to walk through a door into a dark room and walk out a door on the other side without telling you whether there's bears, rattlesnakes, alligators, or bogeymen in that room, you're probably going to be scared. But if I say 'This room has a Grizzly Bear over in one corner' - and you're dedicated to getting to the other side - you're going to learn all about the life of a Grizzly Bear: when he eats, when he sleeps, what he does in the darkness. You're going to understand all those things and you're going to develop confidence in you're ability to deal with him. Now, a Grizzly Bear can act in an unusual way just as a spacecraft can; but, while you may be apprehensive as hell when you open that door, you won't be scared because you will have thought through all of the things that are likely to happen."]

142:36:55 Schmitt: The surface patterns are still the same, Bob. The main difference being that we're getting probably a gradual increase in block population; and the blocks seem to be of a different character. They may be breccias.

142:37:14 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

142:37:15 Schmitt: And around the crater here that's maybe 75 meters in diameter, there's probably 5 percent blocks - fragments, I should say - greater than a centimeter (in size).

142:37:29 Cernan: Boy, look at all the dust without that fender (meaning "with the replacement fender on"). I hate to think of what it would have been like with that (replacement) fender gone.

[Gene can see how much dust the front wheels are throwing up under the fender and is thinking what it would be like driving without the replacement.]
142:37:34 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause) There's a good-sized block, sort of blue-gray.

142:37:40 Cernan: Looking up there, Jack, I ought to get some 500s looking right up that hill, but...

142:37:45 Schmitt: Well, you may want to do that out a ways (from the Massif).

[Gene is talking about getting pictures with the 500-mm camera; Jack is suggesting that they would get a better view from a position farther to the north.]
142:37:48 Cernan: Some of that stuff is mantled, or buried, in the massif material. Some of (the rocks) just seems to be laying on it, of course.

142:37:58 Schmitt: Yeah. Well, I think it has to do with how long it's been there. You'll tend to get the downslope movements forming uphill fillets, and that's what a lot of it looks like.

[Out on the valley floor, fillets are formed exclusively by ejecta from local impacts splashing against the sides of rocks and building up skirts of soil. On steep slopes, downhill movement of regolith can also contribute to fillet formation.]
142:38:09 Cernan: Most of it is uphill fillets. Most of it is pretty sharp. (To Bob) But my guess, from back at the LM, that those blocks on the massif were much more angular, I think, is a good guess because that's what they look like to me here.

142:38:28 Schmitt: And looking up into our blue-gray outcrop area, I still have even more the impression that there's a planar orientation that dips off to the southeast. Maybe just fracturing, but (it's) pretty clear up there, I think. (Pause) It may be shadows.

142:38:51 Cernan: The LM (means "the Earth") is now 50 percent of the massif height away from the massif. How's that? I think we will keep it (Earth) on top. (Pause)

[From the spacecraft, the Massif summit is at an elevation of 11 degrees and the Earth at 45 degrees. Now, as they get closer and closer to the base of the mountain, the summit fills more of the sky and Gene's first statement suggests that the summit elevation from their current position is about two-thirds of 45 degrees, or 30 degrees. At 143:20:14, Fendell will use the TV to look at Earth and one can estimate that it is about 20 degrees above the apparent summit and, therefore that the apparent summit is at an elevation of about 25 degrees at Station 2. The agreement with Gene's estimate is quite satisfactory. Another reason to believe that Gene is not talking about the LM is the fact that he is driving southwest, away from the spacecraft so that, even if they were not down in the trough, he wouldn't be able to see it. As for the second half of Gene's statement, if the Earth disappeared behind the mountain, they would have to communicate with Houston through the LM, probably at a considerable loss of signal quality, so he'd rather not lose sight of Earth.]
142:39:01 Schmitt: That is a high mountain!

142:39:03 Cernan: Jimmeny Christmas! Listen, if the Earth goes behind it, we're changing Station 2. (Laughter)

142:39:11 Schmitt: Gonna be nip and tuck, pardon the expression.

[The North and South Massifs are 2000m and 2300m tall, respectively. In English units, the elevations are about 6500 ft and 7500 feet.]

[Cernan - "I think some mountains on Earth impress you as being taller than the Massifs. Up to the west of Calgary, the northern Rockies look very tall and impressive and they do rise up to 11 or 12,000 feet above sea level. But there, you're in a valley that is probably already at 6 or 7,000 feet and, so, the peaks are really only 4 or 5,000 feet above you. The Massifs, on the other hand, rise maybe 8,000 feet straight up from the valley floor. What was really impressive about the Massifs, however, was how massive they were; they were so massive they overpowered you. Visually, they weren't overly impressive; they didn't have the cliffs and abrupt breaks and snow-cover that you see in the Rockies; but they were massive, jumbo mountains. I use the word 'jumbo' because they weren't antagonistic-looking mountains; they weren't jagged; they weren't rugged; they were just jumbo in size. Mt. Rainier (4392 m) near Seattle gives you something of the same feeling. Not from Seattle, itself, because that's too far away, but maybe from twenty or thirty miles from the mountain. But Rainier is just one mountain and we were in a valley surrounded by jumbo mountains. On Earth, I've certainly never seen anything else like them."]

[Like Mt. Rainier, Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania is a volcanic peak that stands by itself in relatively flat country. The summit elevation is 5830 m and, although the surrounding countryside has an elevation of about 2000 meters, the vertical rise of 3800 m is actually greater than the 2300 m of the South Massif. At its base, the South Massif is about 20 kilometers across, while Kilimanjaro is about 60 km across.]

142:39:15 Schmitt: Okay. As we get closer, actually, we're out of the block area. And that blocky region of 5 percent may have been just associated with that crater. I still see no lineations, although...

142:39:32 Cernan: Look at these wrinkles (on the Massif), though, Jack...

142:39:34 Schmitt: Yeah. I was talking about the mantle.

142:39:35 Cernan: Oh.

142:39:36 Schmitt: But you're right about on the Massif.

142:39:39 Cernan: The same wrinkled lineations we saw sloping uphill to the west on the eastern half of the Massif are still very evident at this Sun angle (and, therefore, may be real and not an optical illusion).

142:39:51 Parker: Okay, 17; And we're estimating that you should be there within...

142:39:54 Schmitt: (To Gene) Come back up!

142:39:55 Parker: ...about 5 minutes to meet the walkback constraints.

[During mission planning, it was assumed that, should the Rover fail at any point during the traverse, the astronauts could walk back to the LM at an average speed of 2.7 km/hr, using cooling water and oxygen about 25 percent faster than they would have during normal activities (1290 BTU/hr rather than 1000 BTU/hr). On this traverse, the longest ever conducted during Apollo, cooling water budgets are rather tight and, at Station 2, Gene and Jack are about as far as they can get from the LM and still have a reasonable amount of time to do geology.]

[In this case, I believe Bob is referring not to walkback but to 'driveback' in the case of a PLSS failure, which would force them to drive back sharing cooling water from the good PLSS and using the OPS on the top of the failed PLSS to provide oxygen at low-flow. As indicated in Section 4.4 of the Apollo 17 Final Lunar Surface Procedures, the OPSs each contained 5.34 pounds of usable oxygen in the low-flow mode and expended it at the rate of 3.8 lb/hr, giving the astronauts 80 minutes to get back to the Rover, get the BLSS hoses hooked up, drive back to the LM, and get into the cabin and get it pressurized. It has been about 70 minutes since they left the LM and Bob seems to be saying that the drive can't go on much longer or there won't be enough time for an emergency return.]

[Cernan - "We had lots of discussions about walkback and the rules that we came up with were generally compromises. If some of the real conservative people had had their way, we wouldn't have gone more than a mile from the LM; but we finally decided that we wouldn't consider a worst-case worst case of both the Rover and one of the PLSSs failing. Otherwise, there wouldn't have been much point in taking the Rover. If you didn't fight for what you thought was right, you'd go all the way to the Moon but be so limited in your capabilities that you couldn't get anything done because you were afraid of a failure. When you go all the way to the Moon, you've got to take some risks. It's like having a two-foot putt to win the Masters and then lagging it because you don't want to three-putt. You don't want to take unnecessary risks; but the Rover had four drive motors and two sets of batteries and the chance of both the Rover and one of the PLSSs failing was pretty small."]

142:40:00 Cernan: Well, we're...Bob, we're almost ready to park.

142:40:04 Parker: Okay. Beautiful. (Pause)

142:40:12 Schmitt: (Responding to Gene) Well, I wouldn't have gone so far as to say that.

142:40:15 Cernan: Well...

142:40:16 Schmitt: We're getting close.

142:40:19 Cernan: I'll give them their 5 minutes. We'll make it by then.

142:40:24 Schmitt: Bob, the boulder tracks are really just chains of small craters, for the most part. (Pause)

142:40:43 Parker: Okay; copy that. That's interesting.

142:40:46 Cernan: I don't think they can tilt the television camera high enough to see the top of the Massif. (Pause) Jack, we're on the edge here, but I don't know. Is that the...Well, let me go up here.

142:41:07 Schmitt: No, you're doing great.

142:41:08 Cernan: We're 071, 8.9, and 7.4.

142:41:12 Schmitt: See, there's Nansen off to my right now.

142:41:14 Cernan: Yeah, I just want to make sure that I'm not driving down a hole here...which I am, but...I don't want to drive down(into) Nansen.

142:41:23 Schmitt: No, you won't. The end of Nansen is over there near those blocks. Right over there. (Pause)

142:41:39 Schmitt: Look at those blocks! Unfortunately, the good boulder tracks are over into Nansen.

[That is, on the steep Massif slope that rises up out of the south side of Nansen.]
142:41:49 Cernan: Going down here very slowly.

142:41:52 Schmitt: I think (a) station (pause) just about anywhere near the big blocks...

142:41:59 Cernan: Yeah, that's where I'm going to put it.

142:42:00 Schmitt: ...would be a good Station 2.

142:42:02 Cernan: That's where I'm going to put it. (Pause)

142:42:08 Schmitt: We could try to...Let's see. (Pause)

142:42:15 Cernan: Yeah, that's where we're going to make Station 2; right up there.

142:42:16 Schmitt: What? Straight ahead?

142:42:18 Cernan: Yep.

142:42:19 Schmitt: Yep. Okay.

142:42:21 Cernan: Boy, you're looking right into Nansen.

142:42:25 Schmitt: Yeah. We're right where we wanted to be for Station 2. And it looks like a great place. Big blocks. It looks like quite a bit of variety from here. Different colors, anyway. Grays and lighter-colored tans.

142:42:41 Cernan: Okay, Jack, I'm going to do a 180 (degree turn) and park the Rover at 045.

[Gene will park the Rover pointing northeast. The main reason for this is that the high-gain antenna will then point back over the Rover and Gene will be able to look into the boresight while standing comfortably in front. The checklist pages describing the stop at Nansen are LMP-11, LMP-12, and LMP-13. Gene has identical pages. Generally, the items listed for the Apollo 17 geology stops are generic tasks which leave plenty of room for real-time decisions by the crew and the Backroom.]
142:42:50 Schmitt: There's a blue-gray rock and a lighter-colored tan rock.

142:42:55 Cernan: See where they can look in here.

142:42:56 Schmitt: Are you going to park it?

142:42:58 Cernan: Right on the other side of this little crater heading (garbled).

[There is a burst of static as Gene does his turn.]
142:43:10 Parker: (Garbled) heading.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 21 min 43 sec )

142:43:20 Cernan: (Garbled) 45 (garbled). Okay, Bob you ought to have us again. 045 (garbled). (Static fades as Gene re-aligns the antenna) 9.1, 7.6. Are you reading, by the way?

142:43:31 Parker: Roger. Reading you loud and clear.

["045" refers to the northeast heading at which Gene has parked the Rover.]

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