Apollo Expeditions to the Moon



The targeting data for the Apollo 14 landing site were every bit as good as the data for Apollo 12; but we had to fly around for a little while for the same reason they had to. The landing site was rougher, on direct observation, than the photos had been able to show. So I looked for a smoother area, found one, and landed there.

Our first EVA was similar to those before; we got out, set up the solar-wind experiment and the flag, and deployed the ALSEP. The latter had two new experiments. One was called the "thumper." Ed Mitchell set up an array of geophones, and then walked out along a planned survey line with a device that could be placed against the surface and fired, to create a local impact of known size. Thirteen of the 21 charges went off, registering good results. The other different experiment we had was a grenade launcher, with four grenades to be fired off by radio command some time after we had left the Moon. They were designed to impact at different distances from the launcher, to get a pattern of seismic response to the impact explosions.

While Ed and I were working on our first EVA. Stu was doing the photographic part of the orbital science experiments. One job was to get detailed photographic coverage of the proposed site for the Apollo 15 mission, near the Descartes crater.

He was asked also to get a number of other photos of the lunar surface, in areas that had not been well-covered in earlier missions. Stu produced some great photos of the surface, rotating the command module Kitty Hawk to compensate for the motion of the image. He photographed the area around Lansberg B, which had been the predicted impact site of the Apollo 13 S-IVB stage. It was calculated that the impact could have produced a crater about 200 feet in diameter, and scientists wanted good pictures of the area so they could search for the brand-new crater on the Moon.

Stu also found them another new crater on the back side of the Moon. It was serendipity; he was shooting other pictures and suddenly this very bright, young crater came into view directly under Kitty Hawk. So he swung the camera around, pushed the button, and then went back to his original assignment.

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