|A Visit to the Snowman||Preparations for EVA-1|
[They are about to start Program 57, with which they would normally align the inertial platform that provides state vector information to the PGNS. Here, they seem to be using a part of the program to recalibrate the AGS. They will start a platform alignment at about 10 minutes. They are on checklist page Sur-3.]MP3 Audio Clip (12 min 01 sec) Starts at about 110:44:50.
RealAudio Clip (0 min 05 sec)
110:45:06 Conrad: Here comes an AGS CAL (calibration) at you, Houston.
110:45:09 Carr: Roger, Intrepid.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (0 min 10 sec)
110:46:10 Conrad: Okay, Houston. Are you copying the Noun 04? And we'll go recycle. It's plus 00476.
110:46:19 Carr: Roger. Copy, Pete.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (0 min 12 sec)
110:47:26 Carr: Intrepid, Houston. You can close your fuel vent, now. The SHE (Supercritical Helium)'s holding.
110:47:37 Conrad: Roger; fuel vent closed.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (0 min 06 sec)
110:49:47 Conrad: Okay, Houston. Are you copying those torquing angles?
110:49:51 Carr: Affirmative, Pete. We got them.
[Comm Break. They are near the bottom of the left-hand column on Sur-3 at "N22 ICDU (Inertial Coupling Data Unit) Angles" N22 indicates Noun 22 while, just three lines up, V32E indicates Verb 32, Enter. Nouns usually denote data while verbs denote actions.]RealAudio Clip (0 min 29 sec)
[On page 50 in his authoritative book, The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC): Architecture and Operation, Frank O'Brien writes, "As the spacecraft rotates, a sensor called a resolver in the (IMU gimbal) pivot bearing senses the angle between the gimbal and the platform and sends it to the Coupling Data Unit (CDU). The CDU, essentially an analog-to-digital converter, takes data from the resolver, converts it to digital pulses and sends them to the AGC ... A CDU is dedicated to each of the three rotational axes of the IMU, plus the shaft and trunnion of the sextant (Command Module) or the rendezvous radar (Lunar Module)." Consequently, the computer had separate storage for two distinct sets of CDU angles. ICDU refers to the angles coming from the IMU.]
110:50:52 Conrad: Houston, did you copy the results of the AGS CAL? (Pause while Carr finishes a brief engineering conversation with Dick Gordon)
110:51:11 Carr: Intrepid; Houston. Go.
110:51:14 Conrad: Did you copy the results of the AGS CAL, down there?
110:51:18 Carr: (Making a mis-identification) That's affirmative, Al.
[Comm Break. Note that NASA is using one CapCom for both spacecraft, as was the case throughout Apollo 11. However, starting with Yankee Clipper's next frontside pass, NASA will go to separate CapComs for the LM and the CSM and will stay in that mode, except for some brief intervals, throughout the remainder of the lunar surface operations. On later missions, there will be so much activity on the part of both the CMP and the surface crew that there will be separate CapComs for virtually the entire time that the LM crew is on the Moon.]RealAudio Clip (1 min 34 sec)
110:55:18 Conrad: Hey, Houston; Intrepid.
110:55:28 Carr: Intrepid; Houston. Go.
110:55:34 Conrad: I think I did something I'd bet I'd never do. I believe I shut that beauty off in the air before touchdown.
110:55:42 Carr: Shame on you! (Pause)
110:55:51 Conrad: No; I was on the gauges! That was the only way I could see where I was going. I saw that blue contact light, and shut that baby down and we zipped in from about six feet.
[Bean - "You're still thinking about the landing, see. And I'm trying to do this (platform alignment). It's kind of funny (because) it shows kind of different (perspectives). (During the landing), you were looking out the window and seeing it; while I was just doing the numbers; so, (to me), it didn't seem so different (from a sim). But to you, it seemed real. Plus you had to do it, while I just stood around. You know, it's like sitting in the backseat and not having to worry about it. You're still up high about that - thinking about it. It's kind of interesting. I had never noticed that. But it makes sense."]110:56:00 Bean: Boy, you can sure see the stars out of this AOT. I'm in detent 1 right now, looking at Sirius, and I can see the whole constellation (Canis Major).
[Al is about to do some star sightings with the Alignment Optical Telescope (AOT). It is basically just a sighting scope, with no magnification and a 60 degree field-of-view. The AOT is ceiling-mounted above the forward instrument panels. In training photo KSC-69P-814, Al has his right hand on the AOT guard. There are six fixed viewing directions (the "detents"). To do the start sightings, Al will look through the AOT and, using two sets of marks called the spiral and cursor, will measure star locations so that the computer can determine LM orientation. On Apollo 11, the locations of the Earth and Sun were such that Buzz could only use two of the detents and, in those, there weren't any bright stars near the center.]
[Apollo 14 and 17 Training Coordinator Tex Ward writes, "There was a small observatory on the roof of building 16A (at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston). It contained the Apollo Optical Telescope (AOT) that the engineering people used and the crews used it some, also, for training."]
[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Al took a quick look around through the AOT and, except for the detents that had the Sun in them, we had lots of stars and no big problem night-adapting to see stars in the AOT."]
[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Star (and) Earth visibility was interesting. We could always see stars at the upper rendezvous window. We could see Dick (Gordon) go by us, also. (With regard to the AOT), I guess Apollo 11 had a different set of circumstances between the Sun and the Earth clobbering up most of their AOT detents. The Earth was above us and behind. The Sun was low and behind, so our front three detents were in excellent shape."]
[As per Sur-4, they have probably removed their helmets and gloves. The line "Window Shades - Up", on Sur-4 means that they are covering the windows so that they can let their eyes adapt to a darkened cabin and start the platform alignment (P57) on Sur-5.]
[Al's comment that they could see stars in the in the upper rendezvous window raises the question of whether or not stellar images could have been captured in any of the lunar surface photography. All of the photos taken out on the surface were taken at an exposure of 1/250th of a second at f/8 or f/11. The two film types were SO 368 Ektachrome MS color-reversal film ASA 64 and 2485 black and white film, ASA 6000. Sky and Telescope Senior Editor Dennis di Cicco states, "Sirius and a few other bright stars might actually be bright enough to have recorded on the exposures, but the images would be impossibly small and hard to find on the original negatives. Furthermore, when such a negative was printed to show the foreground properly, it certainly would not have shown the star(s)." di Cicco notes that it would be easy to perform such an experiment on Earth. "Go out at night with a similar setup used for the lunar photos and take a similar exposure of bright stars. Develop the film and see if you can find any star images. Then, have the negative printed with an exposure that would be proper for a normally exposed daylight negative. I am confident that you'll never, ever see a star on the print!"]
[It is currently 0718 UTC on 19 November 1969. Sirius is at an elevation of roughly 34 degrees on an azimuth of 225, which is directly southwest. The handwritten note on page Sur-5, "Sirius 115" indicates they will use Sirius (Star 15) as the first star and, as per the first digit in "115" will expect to find it in AOT detent No. 1 ]110:56:10 Carr: Roger. Break. (Responding to Pete's comment about the landing) Pete, the Air Force guys here say that was a typical Navy landing.
[Journal Contributor Jack Kozak, a former U.S. Navy Submariner, writes "Interestingly enough, the only Air Force pilot to land a LM, Dave Scott, the Apollo 12 Backup Commander, made the hardest landing of them all. See the Apollo 15 discussion following 104:42:29. During Apollo 16, Air Force LMP Charlie Duke even took a light-hearted jab at Navy landings at 120:26:10. "]110:56:18 Conrad: It's okay. As long as the hook was down and we didn't bolt, I'm happy.
110:56:22 Carr: That's affirm. You didn't get a bolter.
[Long Comm Break. Pete explained that a bolter is a carrier landing in which you miss the arresting wire and have to go around again. Gerald Carr is a Marine Corps pilot.]MP3 Audio Clip (2 min 08 sec) Starts at about 110:56:21.
MP3 Audio Clip (45 min 51 sec) Starts at about 110:58:04.
RealAudio Clip (0 min 46 sec)
111:00:30 Carr: Intrepid; Houston.
111:00:34 Bean: Go, Houston.
111:00:36 Carr: Roger. We'd like to check out a couple of AGS addresses, when you get a chance. Would you read out address 233 and 464 for us, please?
111:00:47 Bean: Okay; there's 233. Plus 00250. 464 is plus 00500.
111:01:01 Carr: Roger. Thank you, Al. (Pause) Those addresses are OK.
111:01:12 Bean: Okay.
[Long Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (0 min 27 sec)
[Conrad - "The stuffiness went away, in our voices, in the gravity field."]
[Bean - "It's starting to drain out of the sinuses."]
111:06:36 Conrad: Hey, Houston; Intrepid.
111:06:40 Carr: Intrepid; Houston. Go.
111:06:44 Conrad: Okay. We were marking on Pollux. And we entered one wrong number and did a Verb 32. Is there any way to wipe out that set of marks, now that we did a Verb 32?
111:06:59 Carr: Stand by, Pete. We'll confer with the experts, here.
[Comm Break]111:08:56 Conrad: Forget it, Houston. I can do the program over again.
[In the handwritten notes in the copy of the Surface checklist used to prepare the Apollo 12 Journal, the navigation stars to be used are referenced by three digit numbers. The first digit indicates which AOT detent in likely to show the star, and the other two digits identify the star in the Apollo 12 list of navigation stars. The first star they are using is 'Sirius 115'. The first digit, '1' means that they should find Sirius in AOT detent 1. The second and third digits indicate that the guidance computer knows Sirius as star number 15. The second star is 'Pollux 200'. Pollux doesn't appear in the Apollo 12 star list but here, it is being used as a convenient target. Star designation '00' in the Star list is available for entry of a particularly suitable object, be it a planet or a star. Here, they are using Pollux as Star 00 and expect to find it in AOT detent 2. Sur-6, the three-axis coordinates for Pollux are written in by hand. These numbers were given to the guidance computer at some point for stowage in the portion of memory devoted to Star 00. There is no mention of Pollux prior to 111:06:44 in the Apollo 12 Technical Air-to-ground transcript, suggesting that use of Pollux for Star 00 was decided before launch from Florida.]
[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Let me make one comment about the AOT alignments. The stars that we had to use were near the extreme edge of the AOT (field-of-view). When a star gets out there, you can't center your eye in the opening of the eyepiece and view those stars and keep them and the cursor in focus. If you have a choice, try to pick stars that will appear right near the center of the AOT. I think by doing this, you can center your eye very well in the eyepiece and you can come up with pretty small star-angle differences (between the measurements and the values that the computer thinks you ought to have)."]
[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "You can do this in advance, and we ought to use the other 400 stars and unit vectors if that's the case. (The implication is that the list of stars that the computer knew how to use was short, a consequence of the limited memory available in the LM computer.) It's a lot better than trying to use an Apollo star, as Al says, and to find one that's somewhat closer to the center of the AOT. I think it will improve alignments, and it's no problem loading unit vectors or doing that portion of the program."]
[What Pete is suggesting is that, rather than rely solely on the list of stars pre-loaded in computer, they select a suitable star near the center of the AOT and then, if it is not in the pre-loaded list, load the celestial coordinates (the position of the star relative to the other stars) from an onboard list or coordinates read up from the ground.]
111:09:04 Carr: Roger. They're asking for thirty more seconds (to consider the problem).
111:09:09 Conrad: Okay; we'll wait. (Pause) All we want to do is get outside, that's all. (Pause)
111:09:23 Carr: Intrepid, Houston. The simplest thing to do is do the program over.
111:09:30 Conrad: We agree. Bye-bye.
111:09:31 Carr: Okay.
[Long Comm Break]111:18:34 Conrad: Okay, Houston. You watching the DSKY?
111:18:40 Carr: Affirmative, Pete.
RealAudio Clip (2 min 50 sec)
111:18:42 Conrad: And there are your torquing angles.
111:18:47 Carr: Roger. They look great. (Long Pause)
111:19:04 Conrad: And there's your Lat(itude), Long(itude), and altitude.
[They are near the middle of checklist page Sur-6. During the 1991 mission review, we tried to figure out what the latitude, longitude and altitude numbers were and how they were determined.]111:19:11 Carr: Roger. Let us look at that for a second.
[Bean - "What we're doing is, we've just figured out, using the AOT, the (lunar) latitude and longitude of where we were. And altitude, I guess."]
[Conrad - "I don't think so. We're doing a(n inertial) platform alignment."]
[Bean - "Well, then, why'd we get a lat, long and altitude?"]
[Conrad - "I think it (the PGNS) still took our own navigation all the way down. We wound up with some state vector."]
[Bean - "Well, we could have given this earlier, then."]
[Conrad - "No, I think it could be off (because of platform drift). You remember what we did is we took what we thought was zero-zero-zero at the landing site and that was the REFSMMAT. And so we came down and, if everything was all still in alignment and we were in the right place, we'd still read very close to zero-zero-zero - except for whatever tilt and so forth we had on the surface. You know, our (8-)ball wouldn't read zero-zero-zero (because they weren't going to land on a perfectly flat surface). And so we went through a local vertical alignment or gravity alignment; but we also marked on the stars, (because the gravity measurement only gave LM orientation relative to one direction). But the AOT couldn't do what the (Command Module) sextant could do. We couldn't navigate... We couldn't find our position (on the lunar surface). All we could do was align the platform (by determining LM orientation relative to the local gravity vector and the stars)."]
[The contents of Noun 89 are the lattitude and half-longitude (longitude divided by two), and altitude. Each is a five-digit number giving the latitude and longitude in thousandths of a degree (XX.XXX degrees) and the altitude in hundredths of a nautical mile (XXX.XX nmi.) The Moon has a radius of 1738 km (938 nmi) and a specification of 0.001 degrees in latitude corresponds to a position specification of only 30 meters. ]
111:19:18 Bean: Looks like Dick did some good (landmark) tracking, with an altitude like that.
111:19:23 Carr: Roger. (Pause)
111:19:31 Bean: Hey, Houston. It's even fun at one-sixth g inside of this spacecraft.
111:19:38 Carr: Don't break anything, Al.
111:19:43 Bean: No. As soon as we landed, we started handling the books like we do in the simulator at one g. We were throwing them off the table (laughing) and over near the circuit breakers and what have you.
[Bean - "It took a while to learn how to handle things in there. Like the pencil: which we couldn't find. 'Cause we'd push it off the table and we'd look down here (where you'd expect it to land); but, really, when we pushed it, it would be over there somewhere because it would fly much further. It just was fun. Don't you remember that? I remember that now. I'd kind of forgotten about it. Now, if you had a big room and played around in one-sixth g, it would be a lot of fun; 'cause you could do all sorts of tumbling and things you couldn't do on Earth."]111:20:02 Carr: Intrepid, Houston. Recommend you accept Noun 89.
[Conrad - "You could have a Skylab-size - like we did - where zero-g was so much fun in Skylab."]
[Bean - "That's right. You could jump. No telling how high you could jump. Somebody ought to compute it. In just your plain clothes, it would be a lot of fun."]
[Jones - "But after only a couple of minutes in one-sixth g, you're ability to hit something..."]
[Bean - "Wasn't good. We probably pitched the books at one another... 'Here's the book' and kind of handed it and it didn't hand right. I remember dropping things and not being able to find them. They were over on the other side."]
[The updated platform alignment is okay. They are near the bottom of Sur-6 and will update the Reference Landing Site (RLS).]111:20:14 Conrad: Okay. That's done, and we're going to P00. (Long Pause) And if it's okay with you, we'll go ahead and do the second P57 right now. (Pause)
111:20:47 Carr: Roger, Intrepid. Go.
111:20:51 Conrad: Okay.
[Long Comm Break. They will do a second alignment check, starting on Sur-7.]RealAudio Clip (0 min 44 sec)
111:27:01 Carr: Intrepid, Houston. Would you read us out AGS address 267?
111:27:09 Conrad: Coming at you. (Pause) Plus 10240.
111:27:20 Carr: Roger. Thank you. (Pause) And Intrepid; Houston. We're just chasing a funny (an apparent peculiarity) in the AGS. We're convinced it's okay; and we're just trying to figure it all out.
111:27:42 Conrad: Okay. No sweat.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (2 min 02 sec)
[Jones - "Was the platform alignment done primarily so that you launched on the right azimuth to catch the Command Module?"]
[Bean - "That was the key thing to have, coming out of there (for rendezvous)."]
[Conrad - "Yeah. Get back in plane."]
[Bean - "If you were out of plane... (you would have to expend a great deal of extra fuel to do the rendezvous). Seems to me that's what we were doing, refining our understanding of the azimuth. And even if you didn't know where you were, exactly, if you could just get in plane with Dick, then you could catch up a little faster or do something else. But, if you ever got out of plane, you didn't have the fuel in the ascent stage to correct even a half degree. I mean, you were sunk. It seems to me that's why we kept fooling with that - and early on - because you never knew when you'd need it. That's why we (would) store it (in the PGNS). We stored it in the AGS, too."]
[According to the margin notes in the Surface checklist, for this alignment they used Procyon, star 116, and Regor, Star 617. "Regor" is "Roger" spelled backwards and is named for Apollo 1 astronaut Roger Chaffee. As detailed in a discussion following 105:11:33 in the A15LSJ, the names were a prank perpetrated by the Apollo 1 crew.]
111:30:15 Conrad: Okay; Houston. There are the torquing angles (from the second P57).
111:30:20 Carr: Roger, Pete. We copy.
111:30:25 Conrad: Want us to torque?
111:30:27 Carr: Roger. Go ahead.
111:30:32 Conrad: Okay. (Long Pause)
[They will now re-align the platform. They are at the middle of Sur-8.]111:31:02 Conrad: Okay. What do you want to do with that one?
111:31:07 Carr: Let's look at it for just a minute, Pete.
111:31:12 Conrad: Okay. (Long Pause)
111:32:04 Carr: Intrepid; Houston. Recommend you reject this Noun 89. Your first one was a little better.
111:32:12 Conrad: Okay. Reject it is.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (6 min 32 sec)
111:33:52 Carr: Intrepid; Houston. If you go P00 and Data; we're ready to fire you up some new (state) vectors.
111:34:00 Conrad: Roger. Just a second.
111:34:06 Bean: (Noun) 047 is plus 37433. And (Noun) 053 is plus 05250.
[These are the numbers indicated on lines 4 and 5 of Sur-9. Al reads them out of the computer so that both Pete and Houston can write them down.]111:34:16 Carr: Roger. Stand by. (Pause) We got them, Al. (Pause)
111:34:28 Bean: Okay.
111:34:30 Carr: Roger. It looks like you better tweak up your steerable (high-gain antenna) a little bit. It looks like we're beginning to lose a little signal.
111:34:39 Bean: Okay, what do you recommend as the best possible angles? (Pause)
111:34:53 Carr: Standby, Al. We'll get them. (Pause) Intrepid; Houston. Try pitch plus 13, yaw minus 26.
111:35:18 Bean: The yaw'll be good, but the pitch isn't even close. Must be somewhere around 110.
111:35:24 Carr: Roger. It's pitch 113. Sorry.
111:35:32 Bean: My fault. That's where we are now, Houston.
111:35:34 Carr: Roger. (Long Pause)
[Bean - "I'm probably saying there that I didn't have it on Auto track or something (that is, that he has a wrong switch setting). Something was wrong there that shouldn't have been. Not that Houston's wrong but somehow I had it not on Auto Track or had it on Auto Track and it wasn't supposed to be on it. Or something. Or maybe I mean 'my fault' for the whole exercise."]111:36:14 Conrad: Okay, Houston. You got P00 and Data.
[Jones - "Normally, I think you're in Slew at this point."]
[Bean - "Probably didn't put the mode switch in the right place or something. Or I hit it, with one of those books I was throwing around."]
111:36:16 Carr: Roger, Pete. (Pause) Intrepid; Houston. I've got the octal data for your P22 work-around procedure.
[In P22, they will use the rendezvous radar (LM-9 photo by Randy Attwood) to track the Command Module and get a better indication of their location. During the 1991 mission review, we concluded that the "work around" was probably a procedure to get the radar antenna pointed in the right direction.]111:36:38 Conrad: Okay. We are ready to copy.
111:36:43 Carr: Okay. Your first one is 04645 Enter. And 35070 Enter.
111:37:00 Conrad: Okay. 04645 Enter and 35070 Enter?
111:37:07 Carr: That's affirmative, Pete. And I've got a DAP (Digital Autopilot) load update for LM weight for you.
111:37:15 Conrad: Okay.
111:37:18 Carr: Roger. Your new LM weight is 10802 (lbs for the Ascent Stage).
111:37:29 Conrad: 10802. Roger. (Pause) And, Houston, are we Stay yet? (Pause)
111:37:49 Carr: Affirmative; stay for T3.
111:37:56 Conrad: Okay. We'll go ahead on (that is, continue) Surface (Checklist page) 9 and start our stay partial power down.
111:38:05 Carr: Roger. (Pause)
[They have nearly finished Sur-9.]111:38:19 Conrad: And do you have a P22 Acq(uisition) time?
111:38:27 Carr: Roger, Pete. It's on your lunar surface Pad. Stand by and I'll read it out to you again.
111:38:33 Bean: We got it.
111:38:34 Conrad: (Responding to Carr) Okay. (Long Pause)
111:38:59 Carr: Intrepid; Houston. We have an update on the P22 Acq time for you. (Pause)
111:39:06 Conrad: Go.
111:39:07 Carr: Okay; figure on 112:24:30.
111:39:17 Conrad: Roger. 112:24:30.
111:39:21 Carr: Affirmative. (Long Pause) Intrepid; Houston. The computer's yours.
MP3 Audio Clip (45 min 10 sec) Starts at about 111:39:35.
111:39:47 Conrad: Roger.
111:39:51 Carr: You have a new RLS (Reference Landing Site) and state vector.
111:39:57 Conrad: Thank you.
[Very Long Comm Break.]RealAudio Clip (2 min 44 sec)
[Having finished with the platform alignment, they will now lower the window shades (uncovering the windows), and reconfigure the circuit breakers for the rest of the stay. Pages Sur-10 through 14 show the various circuit breaker and switch settings that they want to have. On Sur-10 and Sur-11, breakers that need to be open (inactivating the associated circuit) are shown as white dots, while breakers that are supposed to be closed (keeping the associated circuit active) are indicated by black dots. Scientist-Astronaut Ed Gibson takes over as CapCom for the EVA.]
[Jones - "A question for you on support crews. Did Deke Slayton pick people for the support crew or did you have some input into that? That is, people for CapComs and what have you."]
[Conrad - "Well, there was a little philosophy there, I think. I mean, Ed was a scientist-astronaut and he worked the lunar surface with us for a long time. I mean, he was always going to be the CapCom when we were on the lunar surface. So, we worked together as a team. Every time we went out and picked up rocks and stuff, Ed was around."]
[Bean - "That's right, he went on the trips."]
[Conrad - "And he worked with the geologists on the flight plan with us. He went on the trips. He went to Hawaii with us when we ran around and we did this whole stuff in real time - except we weren't suited. We just walked around with radios on. They sat behind the rocks. Deke assigned them ... Or, the Flight Crew Operations Directorate (Deke and Alan Shepard), assigned them but I don't think we... We didn't ask for people, but we didn't refuse anybody. You know, it just sort of worked out."]
[Bean - "And also, we thought maybe that he was... at least I did. I thought maybe Deke was grooming some of these guys for something later."]
[Conrad - "Yeah, that's true."]
[Bean - "You never really knew. (A) lot of times you ended up on a support crew before you got on a backup crew. It was kind of like support crew, then backup crew, prime crew. So, people who showed up on there, you weren't really sure what Deke had in mind. Now, it seemed to me that one guy that came along towards the end was Jack Schmitt. Seems to me he didn't work with us at first and then, somehow, you (Pete) requested him or something when we were having difficulty laying out the traverses. And he shows up and really does a good job of helping us out."]
[Conrad - "I don't remember that."]
[Bean - "He wasn't there at first. It was Ed; and then, all of a sudden... I think you had requested him because we were having some difficulty getting the traverses laid out. Remember. They had one from every corner of the crater and all these different things..."]
[Conrad - "Well, Ed wasn't a geologist; so I think maybe we tried to get efficient and didn't think we were..."]
[Bean - "I think that's right. I think that we just felt like we needed some people in there that had more of a hold on geology than we did - and also more than Ed did, who was kind of more timeline oriented. And I remember Jack coming in and helping us out a lot. When he came in, the timelines got straightened out quite a bit. And we started to get real happy with them. You know, it started to make sense. And then everybody wasn't complaining, saying 'Well, you're not giving me enough of this, and you're spending too much time on the ALSEP, and you're not looking at boulders enough', or whatever. I remember him as being very helpful. And Ed, too."]
[Ed's next call suggests that Houston knows that Pete and Al have completed the circuit breakers and switch re-configurations on pages Sur-10 to Sur-13 and the ECS configuration on Sur-14 and are ready for the window descriptions. At about this time, Pete and Al do the window photography, using B&W film as called out in the last paragraph on Sur-14. Frames AS12-48-7022-27 give the view out the CDR window, while AS12-48-7028-33 give the view out the LMP window.]111:58:43 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston.
111:58:47 Conrad: Go ahead.
111:58:49 Gibson: Well done, Intrepid. You got a bunch of happy geologists in the back room waiting to go. Say, we're standing by with a LM consumables update and also standing by for your description (of the view out the window).
111:59:04 Conrad: Okay. We were just working on that and I'm very close to where I want to be, but I'm trying to pin it down exactly.
111:59:15 Gibson: Roger.
[Comm Break.]RealAudio Clip (0 min 30 sec)
[Pete and Al having been looking out the windows, trying to figure out where they've landed. For reference, the actual landing spot is very close to Q.5/15.2 on the landing site map. Q.5 is halfway between the horizontal "Q" and "R" lines and 15.2 is two-tenths of the way from the vertical "15" line to the "16" line. The Surveyor III spacecraft is near N.3/17.8. The grid lines are 50 meters apart and the distance from the LM to Surveyor III is about 163 meters (535 feet). The map shows four provisional landing spots - labeled with the circled numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. Various traverses were laid out for each of these locations.]
[The LM coordinates are 3.1975 degrees south latitude and 23.3856 degrees west longitude. Note that the lunar lat/long grid has been updated since the time of Apollo.]
[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I was positive (about) where I was. The thing that confused me was that we were so close to the Surveyor Crater. I didn't realize that we were as close to it as we were. The thing that confused both of us in the beginning was the fact that distant objects looked much closer (than they really were). It took us a while to realize that we were seeing many more of the craters that were on our map. They also looked smaller on the lunar surface than they did in looking at them on the map. We had a hard time convincing ourselves that the crater in front of us was Head Crater."]
[A labeled detail ( 237k ) from AS12-46-6855 shows Head Crater along with Bench Crater and a very large crater about 4.5 km west of the LM that is discussed at 112:15:41.]
[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "That's right. When you're sitting on the ground, none of the shadows that are visible from the air are visible - the ones that are down in the bottom of the crater - so you end up always seeing the bright part of the landscape, and it's difficult to find the craters. You look out and say, "There's a crater over there," (and) it's difficult for the other guy to see it for a while until you learn to look for the edge. Our plan was to land, discuss where we were for a few minutes, and then make some out-the-window evaluations. I would recommend, on the next trip, you make a quick evaluation, knowing that you may not be precisely right. Then make a quick judgment of the general geological features out the window. Don't spend more than 5 minutes at the most on it; because, the minute you get out, all these guesses that you were making through the window will be either right or wrong. You can walk behind the LM and look back like Pete did and find that you're standing right next to the Surveyor crater. I think we spent 20 minutes there that we could have better used getting out and getting to work. Then, maybe when we got (in-)between the two EVAs, when we knew exactly where we were, we could give a better geological description if that's what was in order."]
[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We knew where we were within 1500 feet or closer at the time we landed. We were trying to pinpoint precisely where we were, to within 10 or 20 feet, which was ridiculous."]
[Later crews also spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out exactly where they had landed, more out of pilot's pride and curiosity than anything else. Al's suggestion, however is a proper one. On most of the missions, the crew's first task was to deploy scientific instruments 200 to 300 meters west of the spacecraft and it was only on the second EVA - or later in the first EVA in the case of Apollos 16 and 17 - that the crew headed out to do geology. Consequently, there was good reason to do a quick description for the geologists in the Backroom and then get on with the EVA Preps and leave the problem of exactly where they were until they got outside.]
112:01:44 Conrad: I guess, Houston, for planning purposes, we landed very close to the Head of the Snowman. (Mentally orienting the map with west ahead of them) I'm guessing exactly on the same (north-south) line as Selected Site 3 (which is at D.4,14.0), but a little bit further left (south). Let me give you some coordinates here. This is my first offhand cut at it.
[Long Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (4 min 31 sec)
[If Pete is saying that he is south of Site 3, then he thinks he is somewhere on the east side of Head Crater and close to it. This is, indeed, the general area where he landed.]
[Conrad - "We were targeted for the center of the Surveyor crater and we wanted to land right here."]
[Jones - "On the northeast rim of Surveyor Crater, at Site 1 on the EVA planning map (at R.5/18.5)."]
[Conrad - "And it turned out that wasn't suitable..."]
[Bean - "So you flew around, like you said."]
[Conrad - "Yeah. We got into wheeling and dealing. And then we landed. And actually, we were very close to the edge of the (Surveyor) crater. I was really surprised, when I got out and looked, at how close we were."]
[I asked why they had multiple traverse plans.]
[Conrad - "Well, we didn't know how well we were going to be able to move around."]
[Jones - "So you planned detailed traverses for landings on each of the corners of the crater."]
[Bean - "Yes. That was the only four we planned, as I recall. As I say, in retrospect, that's crazy. On studying maps, you lose perspective sometimes. And we didn't know how fast we could move."]
112:06:59 Conrad: Say, Houston; Intrepid.
112:07:03 Gibson: Intrepid; Houston. Go ahead.
112:07:07 Conrad: We're having a little trouble judging distance. How long is my (LM) shadow?
112:07:13 Gibson: (Possibly reading a chart) Intrepid, your shadow length on a level surface is 250 feet. (Pause)
112:07:27 Conrad: (Incredulous) You've got to be kidding me! (Long Pause)
112:07:59 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. We could shorten that a bit to 230. Which way do you think you are?
112:08:07 Conrad: Okay. Well, if my shadow's 230 feet long, we're really misjudging distances (which they are).
112:08:16 Gibson: Roger, Pete. Are you short or long?
112:08:21 Conrad: Well, I'd say that my shadow was much shorter than that.
112:08:29 Gibson: Roger. (Pause)
[It is currently 08:30:29 UTC/GMT on 19 November 1969. The Sun is currently 6.0 degrees above the eastern horizon at an azimuth of 91.1 degrees clockwise from north. The LM, which is 23 feet tall, would be casting a 218-foot shadow on level ground. If the shadow is falling on ground sloping down to the west, it would be longer. As can be seen in Pete's window pan (6 Mb), the farther parts of the shadow are falling in a shallow depression.]112:08:39 Gordon: Houston; Yankee Clipper.
112:08:42 Gibson: Clipper; Houston. Go ahead.
112:08:44 Gordon: Is Intrepid going to do a P22?
112:08:51 Gibson: That's affirmative. (Pause) Intrepid, Houston.
112:09:05 Conrad: Go ahead.
112:09:06 Gibson: A reminder: prior to your P22, I'd like you to execute Verb 41, Noun 72.
112:09:18 Conrad: Okay. Going Verb 41, Noun 72. (Long Pause) What Verb 41, Noun 72 do you want me to do anyhow? I got it (the radar) pointing 270, 180.
112:10:07 Gibson: Stand by, Pete.
[Comm Break]112:11:10 Gibson: Intrepid; Houston. The step you carried out on Surface 9 going to 270/180 is good.
112:11:21 Conrad: Understand.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (2 min 34 sec)
112:13:54 Gibson: Intrepid; Houston.
112:13:59 Conrad: Go.
112:14:00 Gibson: We'll shorten that shadow length up for you a bit. If we assume a 3-1/2-degree slope all the way (up to the west), then you'll come up with a 150-foot shadow.
[Houston has estimated contour maps that were made from Lunar Orbiter pictures taken at different Sun elevations. If the ground rises to the west, the LM shadow would be shorter than it would be on level ground.]112:14:12 Conrad: Okay. Then I'm judging about right. How wide a diameter is the Head of the Snowman? (Long Pause)
112:15:24 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. Diameter of the Head Crater from one inside rim to the other inside rim is around 400 to 500 feet.
112:15:41 Conrad: Okay. Right on the Head of the Snowman, to the left (south), let's use map 7-6 at coordinates M.5 and make it 10.5. I think that's a very sharp, blocky rim crater. Do you agree?
[As he realizes at 112:21:37, Pete is misreading the map and means L.5 and 10.5, which is Bench Crater. However, as suggested by Pete's comments at 112:35:49, the crater which Pete thinks is Bench is probably a 500-meter-diameter crater that is 4.5 kilometers west of them. This crater lies at the intersection of areas 30, 31, 38, and 39 on a large-scale map which shows the area west of the landing site. For reference, the Snowman is in the northeast part of area 6 as shown in a companion map section. Additional detail of the large crater and the enormous blocks surrounding it can be seen in map LSE 7-30 and map LSE 7-31 .]112:16:12 Gibson: Copy. M-5, 10-5.
[A labeled detail ( 237k ) from post-EVA-1 photo AS12-46-6855 shows Head Crater, Bench Crater, and the large crater 4.5 km to the west.]
[Comm Break. Note that, on Sur-15, there is a line, "Determine LM location with Hou(ston) - 5 Min". The location M.5 and 10-5 is halfway from the M line to the N line and halfway from the 10 line to the 11 line on map LSE7-6 .]RealAudio Clip (1 min 26 sec)
112:17:47 Gibson: Intrepid; Houston. The coordinates which you gave us, are those the coordinates of the crater or the coordinates of your present location? And, also, repeat your question related to the blocky rim.
112:18:00 Conrad: Well, I want to know if that crater that I gave you... That's not where I am. I think I have that crater in sight. And it's a very blocky rim crater, and I want to know if the crater that I gave you the coordinates of is a very blocky rim crater. I think I'm sitting right next to the head of the Snowman on the right-hand side at coordinates S... Wait one. Yeah, S.8 and 13.3. I think that's where I landed.
[Pete is still mis-reading the map and means R.2 and 13.3. Note that the coordinate line immediately north of "R" is "B" rather than to "S". In the following, I will use "B" rather than to "S". B.8 would be 8/10ths of the way from B to C, but Pete means 8/10ths from B to R, or 2/10ths from R to B, or R.2. R.2 and 13.3 would put him near the northeast rim of Head crater. At the end of the EVA, at 121:19:56, once he's gotten back in the cabin and has had a chance to think things through, Pete gives a revised location of Q.5/14.1. Post mission analysis puts the actual spot closer to Q.5/15.2. All three of these spots lie within about 100 meters of each other and, because Pete and Al show during the first EVA that they can get around easily enough, any remaining uncertainty in the location won't affect planning for the second EVA.]112:18:36 Gibson: Copy S.8 and 13.3. The coordinates you gave us of the crater are right next to Bench Crater. Do you confirm? Bench Crater being at L.5 rather than M.5.
112:18:57 Conrad: I don't know. Yeah; wait a minute. I got to get on this P22. Hold the phone.
[Comm Break]MP3 Audio Clip (5 min 07 sec) Starts at about 112:19:00.
RealAudio Clip (1 min 10 sec)
112:20:57 Conrad: Okay, Houston. We're standing by to track (the CSM).
112:21:02 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. (Pause)
112:21:16 Conrad: (Still examining the map) Yeah; it's Bench Crater. That's the one I'm referring to. And I think I landed at Head Crater, almost... Just a little bit past one of the traverses that you got laid out there.
112:21:37 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. And we're trying to decide here whether your present position is really R.2 rather than S.8. (Pause)
112:21:57 Conrad: Yeah, you're right. R.2. I'm sorry. I'm reading it backwards. R.2.
112:22:01 Gibson: Roger. Thank you, Pete.
[Comm Break as they eat and wait to acquire the Command Module with the rendezvous radar.]RealAudio Clip (1 min 10 sec)
[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "In appearances, it took us a long time to convince ourselves that some of the craters which looked so close were really much farther away. Once we realized (that), we had ourselves pinpointed and all the craters that we could see."]
["Another thing that threw us a little bit was that, pre-flight, we saw some charts that showed little X's where boulders bigger than 1 meter were located, and we didn't see those boulders. We didn't see a lot of boulders laying around on the ground. Looking down in the craters, we could see a few. I think there will have to be some sort of re-evaluation of what they're showing as boulders on these Surveyor (means Lunar Orbiter) charts."]
[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "They had me convinced that there were 1-meter or bigger boulders lying all over, and it turned out to be untrue. I'm sure Al's right in his estimate that there were many little 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-foot secondary impact craters all over the surface. I'm sure that most of those were being interpreted as boulders."]
[Readers should note that the maps that Pete and Al have with them, such as the Site 2 traverse map, do not have boulders marked. Interestingly, the larger of the two soil mounds just north of Head Crater - which they will photograph and sample during the first EVA - is quite visible at about R.4/13.1, as indicated in a high-quality scan linked here. This mound has the shape of a truncated cone and is about 1.3 meters high, 1.5 meters across at the top, and 5 meters across at the base. With the LM at about Q.5/15.2, the mound is about 115 meters at an azimuth of 300 or 30 degrees north of west.]
[An object reaching the Moon from deep space necessarily hits at greater than the lunar escape speed of 2.3 km/s. Indeed, because the Moon and such impactors orbit the Sun on different paths, a more typical velocity is 20 km/s. Impacts of this kind are called primary impacts. The impacting object is usually vaporized and, unless the impactor strikes the surface at a very shallow angle, the resulting crater is circular and deep. Some of the ejecta from a primary impact - especially the larger fragments that are dug out from deep in the crater - are thrown out at less than escape speed and, when they hit, can create their own craters. These are called secondary craters and they are usually shallow and irregularly shaped. Often, the secondary impactor survives and can be found in the crater or just off to one side. Secondary craters are common at all the landing sites and, with a little training, are easy to recognize.]
112:23:18 Bean: Houston, we're eating right now. We'll give a description here in another 15 minutes or so.
112:23:24 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. And we're standing by with a consumables update. (Long Pause)
[Al Bean is fanatical about Italian food and rarely eats anything else. While I don't have details of the meals he and Pete chose for the flight, Ulli Lotzmann writes "Ernie Reyes, who was responsible for the stowage procedures of Yankee Clipper and Intrepid, told me yesterday (25 May 2000), that Al asked him before the flight to use every free space in both craft for stowing ketchup."]MP3 Audio Clip (7 min 41 sec)
112:24:00 Conrad: I'm getting acquisition (in) P22. Looks good.
112:24:04 Gibson: Roger.
112:24:07 Gordon: Houston, tell him I'm showing him locked on. (Long Pause)
112:24:23 Gibson: Roger, Clipper.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (0 min 56 sec)
112:26:40 Conrad: Hey, Houston. Intrepid has a visual on Yankee Clipper. (Long Pause) Hey, Houston. Relay to Yankee Clipper (that) I've got him visually.
112:27:13 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. Will do.
112:27:17 Gordon: (Garbled)
[The portion of Al's commentary from the 1969 Technical Debrief that is reproduced just prior to 110:56:00, suggests that Pete spotted Yankee Clipper in the rendezvous window which is above his station. Al specifically says that stars were visible in the rendezvous window and, although he doesn't mention seeing stars out the forward windows, such a feat was unlikely given the fact that one's eyes would automatically adapt to the bright landscape that dominates the horizontal view. Al does not have an overhead window and it seems likely that, had he seen the Command Module go by, either he or Pete would have said something to that effect. During the 1991 mission review, both Pete and Al thought that it was Pete who saw Yankee Clipper, through the overhead, rendezvous window. Al does not remember seeing the Command Module.]112:27:26 Gibson: Clipper; Houston. (Pause) Clipper, for your info(rmation), Intrepid has a visual on you.
112:27:33 Gordon: (Faint) Thank you.
[Long Comm Break]MP3 Audio Clip (18 min 44 sec) starts at 112:30:33
[Although Pete has seen the Command Module from the surface, he does not have a direct communications link at this time. On any given pass over the site, Gordon is only above Intrepid's horizon for about twelve minutes.]
[The consumables update that follows is on Sur-19.]
[Note that, at about 112:30:53, Houston interupts the live broadcast for a press conference. The live broadcast resumes at about 113:08.]
[Note that the air-to-ground audio for the period of the press conference is available from a seperate tape.
112:30:55 Gordon: Hello, Houston; Yankee Clipper.
112:30:58 Gibson: Clipper, Houston. Go ahead.
112:31:03 Gordon: Okay. Do you have all the data?
112:31:06 Gibson: Affirmative, Clipper. We have it.
112:31:17 Gordon: Okay. The next time, I want to see you put that Intrepid right in the middle of the sextant.
112:31:21 Conrad: Houston, Intrepid's ready to copy the consumables update.
112:31:26 Gibson: (To Dick) Roger, Clipper. (Responding to Pete) Intrepid, consumables update for GET (1)11 plus 50: RCS A, 80 (percent remaining); B, 75: O2 descent, 87.6 and 97.4 (percent remaining); H2O, 78.7, 99.2 (percent remaining); amp hours (remaining), 1243.3, 572.3.
[Here, Gibson is giving them a rundown on their remaining supplies of maneuvering fuel in the two RCS systems (A & B), oxygen in the tanks in both the descent stage and ascent stage, water in the two stages, and battery power in the two stages. They will not use any of the ascent stage supplies until lift-off.]112:32:12 Conrad: Okay, I got it all, except the only thing that wasn't clear was the time.
112:32:18 Gibson: Roger. That was for 111 plus 50 plus 00.
112:32:26 Conrad: Okay. Got it. Thank you.
112:32:29 Gibson: Roger. (Long Pause)
112:32:42 Conrad: Okay. Are you ready for Verb 74?
[They are going to transfer the results of the radar tracking to Houston. This step is at the top of Sur-20. Note that Pete is very much in control of this mission, watching the checklist and calling Houston whenever he thinks it's time that a particular item should be taken care of. He generally doesn't wait for Houston to make a call.]112:32:52 Gibson: Stand by on that, Pete. We'll be right back with you.
112:32:58 Gibson: Okay, Intrepid. We're ready; Verb 74.
[Comm Break]112:34:21 Conrad: Say, Houston. From your data, where do you think we landed?
112:34:31 Gibson: Stand by on that, Pete. (Changing the subject) We have a good E-MOD dump.
112:34:35 Conrad: I think it's just a matter of... (Hearing Gibson) Okay. I think it's just a matter of a few hundred feet one way or another. I flew right by the side of the (Surveyor) crater and ground her to a halt and parked it, but that's about my best guess right now where we are.
112:34:50 Gibson: Roger, Pete. We'll be massaging the data and be getting back to you on that. We have the data on the E-MOD. (Long Pause)
112:35:36 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. On your previous question on Bench Crater, from our maps here, we can't tell whether that has a blocky rim.
112:35:49 Conrad: Okay. Well, you can take the Sun line for a reference; (and) that crater's about 5 degrees off to the left of the Sun line of my shadow. And it is a very blocky rim. Big blocks. Depending on how far away it is, there's some blocks over there that may be 8 feet.
112:36:15 Gibson: Roger. Copy. You're looking at the crater which is 5 degrees south of the Sun line?
112:36:26 Conrad: Yes. Five degrees left of the shadow.
112:36:32 Gibson: Roger. (Long Pause)
[Conrad - "This was a big crater that was a long way away - as it turned out - with big rocks. I mean, they were really big rocks."]112:37:07 Conrad: Soon as we get done eating here, we'll get with it. We're pretty hungry.
[Bean - "We thought that would be a good place to go."]
[Conrad - "We would have had to have the buggy (i.e., the Lunar Rover that was first flown on Apollo 15)."]
[Frame AS12-48-7024 is a pre-EVA photo taken out Pete's window. The rim of the large crater is visible on the horizon beyond the LM shadow. Head Crater is also visible beyond the LM shadow but short of the horizon. See Figure 10-13 from the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report. On map LSM 7-BG, the landing site is in area 6 at coordinates N.5, 29.3 while, on adjoining map LSM 7-AG, which covers the region west of the first map, the large crater is centered at L.0/10.0. The grid squares on these maps are 250 meters across. Consequently, the center of the large crater is 19.3 grid squares west and 2.5 grid squares south of the LM, or 7.4 degrees south of west.]
[It is currently 08:58:32 UTC/GMT on 19 November 1969. The Sun is 1.1 degrees south of east, so the LM shadow is necessarily pointed 1.1 degrees north of west. The net result is that the center of the large crater is 8.5 degrees south of the center of the LM shadow.]
112:37:16 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. You deserve it. (Pause)
112:37:24 Gordon: This is Yankee Clipper. (Joking in response to Ed's "You deserve it.") No, they don't. Tell them to get to work.
112:37:32 Gibson: Roger, Clipper.
112:37:36 Gordon: For heaven's sakes, Ed, they're down there having all the fun, and you and I are doing all the work.
112:37:44 Gibson: They'll get with it soon, Clipper. (Long Pause)
RealAudio Clip (3 min 48 sec)
112:38:25 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston.
112:38:31 Conrad: Go.
112:38:32 Gibson: Help us get a better visual pin-down of where you are. Are you able to locate a 50-foot block, approximately 100 foot (sic; means feet) right in front of you; (possibly correcting himself) or an 8- to 10-foot block about 50 feet in front of you? And that will be at R.5/13.1. (Long Pause)
[The "8- to 10-foot block" is the larger of the two mounds north of Head Crater. Thomas Scwagmeier has created a composite from views out each of the windows and one of the maps that shows the large mound.]112:39:23 Conrad: Well, I can't say that there is anything like that. There is one great big block that looks to me like it's 1500 or 2000 feet in front of us that meets that description. It's a really big fellow sitting out there.
112:39:44 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid.
[This is the large block near the 500-meter crater that is 4.5 kilometers (15,000 feet) west of them. It is located at L.4/11.0 on LSE7-31]112:39:45 Conrad: However, what fools you, Houston... Let me say this: there's another large crater (Head Crater) right smack in front of us, but it's not obvious to us. There is no shadow length (that is, the shadow in the bottom of Head is hidden from them). (The) Sun angle is so low that we're sitting here where we don't see any shadows; and, unless we look very carefully, it's not obvious to us that there is a big crater out there. Now, I kind of think that that may be the Head of the Snowman that's sitting out further past me. I'm not sure that I'm not sitting right smack on the other side (meaning the west side) of the Surveyor crater, just a little bit past it. I think really the best thing for us to do is to get out and look around. The sooner we do that, the quicker we'll figure out where we are.
[Having finally noticed Head Crater, Pete is now quite sure of his location.]112:40:47 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. We concur with that, and we're also standing by for your LM description. We have your lift-off times for Rev 16 through 19. When you're ready to copy. (Pause)
[Conrad - "We finally realized there was something out there."]
[Bean - "I remember now that we argued for a while about if that was a crater."]
[Conrad - "Yeah. Yeah. You and I had a long discussion."]
[Bean - "I think you said, 'That's a crater.' And I said 'Where? There's no crater.' Then we talked about it and we finally decided, 'Well, maybe it is a crater.' It wasn't so obvious that... That was the problem with running around out there (even during the EVAs). You never knew for sure - until you kind of got on the edge of it - that there was a crater. And I always felt it was discouraging when you got there that there wasn't a sign saying 'This is Head Crater'. (Laughter) Because, otherwise, I felt you looked in and you thought it was Head Crater but you could have been wrong. Each time. And you could be over here on some separate map doing stuff, (all the while) thinking you were over here. But, you know, that's what other crews got into difficulty on (that is, figuring out where they were). I remember, now, us arguing about it. Trying to decide if that was a crater. And then we finally decided it was."]
[In 2012, Journal Contributor Thomas Schwagmeier documented work he's done to prepare the landing site for the next visitors.]
[They are about 350 feet - roughly twice the LM shadow length - from the northeast rim of Head Crater. At that distance, Head subtends about 60 degrees.]
112:41:14 Bean: Go ahead, Houston.
112:41:20 Gibson: Rev 16, T4 is 114:26:06; Rev 17, T5, 116:24:28; Rev 18, T6, 118:22:46; Rev 19, T7, 120:21:09.
112:41:54 Bean: Roger. 114:26:06, 116:24:28, 118:22:46, 120:21:09.
112:42:04 Gibson: Roger. Readback correct.
[Long Comm Break. Pete's next utterance indicates that they are at the top of the right-hand column of checklist page Surface 15.]RealAudio Clip (3 min 44 sec)
[Jones - "I have a question about the site description. There are three or four pages in the checklist (Sur-15 to Sur-19) that seem to be a wish-list from the geologists on site description. This wish-list is, by far, the longest site description section in any mission checklist. Some of the later ones were a single line. Any comments about the length and detail?"]
[Conrad - "Well, don't forget we were really the first guys to have the time. They hadn't gotten a lot out of Neil and Buzz (due to the limited time the Apollo 11 crew had on the surface), so I think we're the experimenters - so to speak - on this thing and, from what they get out of that, if they didn't want more, they cut it down on the next one. And, those guys (the later crews) got more time outside. Did Ed and Al get that much more time outside?"]
[Jones - "About an hour."]
[Conrad - "See, nothing changed in the PLSSs (Portable Life Support System, the backpack). They were just so conservative that they weren't going to let us (stay out longer than four hours per EVA). (To Al) Remember, we argued (pre-flight) about trying to stay out longer..."]
[Bean - "We should have."]
[Conrad - "...and we never could get it past four hours."]
[Bean - "And that's because they didn't have a way to tell what our water supply was, other than workload..."]
[Conrad - "We had to weigh it (the remaining cooling water) when we got back in. Remember?"]
[Bean - "That's right. So they were always concerned that we'd run out of water for cooling. They had (data on) Neil and Buzz, and then they had us. And then they let Ed and them stay a little longer. But we had plenty of water. I think one of our biggest mistakes (was not asking for EVA extensions)... (Pre-flight) we'd asked them for a little longer second EVA and so, we felt like, 'Well, that's it.'"]
[Conrad - "Yeah."]
[Bean - "But, really, (as we got into the second EVA) I think we should have asked them for another hour. And we could have gotten it, I think. I think that was one of the major mistakes we made..."]
[Conrad - "Yeah."]
[Bean - "...even though, at the time, it would have seemed like unfair play - because they already granted us a little bit more time. We had the consumables. We had the time. We got back in the Lunar Module and were standing around wondering what to do."]
[Conrad - "Well, we went out two hours early (on the second EVA)."]
[Bean - "Oh, that's what we did."]
[Conrad - "The last time. Remember? You had to fix my boot. I woke you up in the middle of the night."]
[Bean - "I remember that part."]
[Conrad - "And then we couldn't go back to sleep. And I just said 'We'll go two hours early - a two-hour rev (that is, go out one Command Module orbit early).'"]
[Bean - "You're right. Well, we should have stayed out longer. See, we could have done... We still didn't do some of the things we were supposed to do."]
[Conrad - "We got out two hours early on our second EVA, and there was no doubt about it. We could have stayed longer."]
[Bean - "We could have done a few more things and, really, overdone what the plan was. Nobody ever overdid the plan out on the lunar surface. We could have done it. But we just didn't. Our sense of fair play, in this situation, was screwed up. We should have asked once again for more."]
112:46:43 Conrad: Houston, this is Intrepid. Al's finishing off eating and, while he does that, I've been sitting here scanning with the monocular. And the first thing I should give you, according to the checklist here (is that), as you already know, we flew right by the side of the Snowman (meaning Surveyor Crater), and landed right past him some little bit. And our yaw angle is 10 degrees (clockwise), and my general impression is that we're in country where I see mostly angular rocks. (There are) very few rocks at hand that are rounded. Everything is angular. Now, I'll let Al talk about the close-up stuff (later). Out on the horizon...
112:47:52 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston.
112:47:55 Conrad: ...horizon. (Stops to answer) Go.
112:47:59 Gibson: Intrepid, we'd like to get to Yankee Clipper before LOS, and we'll be right back with you.
112:48:04 Conrad: Okay.
[The LM yaw axis runs up through the spacecraft from the engine bell to the overhead hatch and, as a consequence of Pete's maneuvers in flying around the north side of Surveyor Crater, he landed with the LM rotated ten degrees north of down-Sun.]112:48:05 Gibson: Yankee Clipper; Houston. (No answer; Long Pause)
[Journal Contributor Ulli Lotzmann notes that the 10x40 monocular was manufactured by Leitz, Germany, and modified by NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) Houston. It was based on the commercial binocular version.]
MP3 Audio Clip (31 min 03 sec) Starts at about 112:48:09.
112:48:43 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. Go ahead with your description of the horizon, and we'll be breaking in to you as soon as we can get back with Yankee Clipper. We've lost comm temporarily.
112:48:54 Conrad: Okay. There are... The blocky rim crater that I previously mentioned... When I look through the monocular, everything has a pure white look; these big blocky boulders look pure white. Now, some of them are really big; and, when I say big, I'm talking 8, 10, maybe 20 feet. Some on the horizon (pause) got to be 20 feet across. (Long Pause)
[As mentioned previously, the crater that Pete is describing is about 4 1/2 kilometers west of them. The largest blocks are readily visible even in Xerox copies of the 1:25,000 Lunar Orbiter photomaps. LSE 7-31 is a 1:5,000 map of the area north and east of the crater and, at L.4/11.0, there is a very large block about 25 meters (80 feet) across.]112:50:03 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. Your Comm is breaking up slightly.
[Conrad - "We're talking about the blocks being 20 feet (across) on the horizon. That sumbitch turned out to be miles away. We never even got close to that thing. It's just that it was a big crater with a lot of big... I mean, big stuff."]
[Bean - "It must have been house-size stuff."]
[Conrad - "Right. We think it's right in front of us; but it's not."]
[Jones - "Well, you've got nothing familiar out there, nothing to give you size scale."]
[Conrad - "That's right."]
[The lack of an atmosphere is also an important factor in underestimating distance. "Travelers having observed the difficulty of judging heights and distances amidst lofty mountains, have generally attributed it to the absence of objects of comparison. It appears to me, that it is fully as much owing to the transparency of the air confounding objects at different distances, and likewise partly to the novelty of an unusual degree of fatigue arising from a little exertion,—habit being thus opposed to the evidence of the senses. I am sure that this extreme clearness of the air gives a peculiar character to the landscape, all objects appearing to be brought nearly into one plane, as in a drawing or panorama. The transparency is, I presume, owing to the equable and high state of atmospheric dryness." - Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, ch. XV, p 347, discussing his experiences traveling in the Andes east of Santiago, Chile, in March 1835.]
112:50:12 Bean: We were laughing about that ourselves. (Long Pause)
[Bean - "Something rings a bell in my mind that we lost lock... You know, that we had some comm problems and we finally put the thing in Manual and pointed it. Or something. It seems to me it wasn't doing what the little placard said. We were doing exactly what the placard said, only we weren't getting good comm. And then we did something else... I've kind of forgotten and maybe we'll talk about it in here. And then it worked okay after that. Probably that's what we were talking about and laughing. We had this neat plan but it was pointing the wrong way or something."]RealAudio Clip (1 min 28 sec)
112:51:15 Conrad: (Comm improves) Okay, Houston. I'm back on the air again. And just a general comment about all these blocks in the surrounding terrain: at first glance out of the spacecraft, I can distinguish absolutely no color difference in anything. About the only difference is looking cross-Sun (north or south) versus down-Sun (west, directly away from the Sun). I'm sure that some of these rocks have different colors and different textures; but, from here, viewing from the spacecraft, they don't appear that way. Looking at all the materials on the horizon and the blocks on the horizon, they all appear to be of the same material, and they all appear to be pure white. Now, we've got a pretty low Sun angle and I'm looking at them at a low angle (so that they reflect a great deal of light back toward the spacecraft), so they (may) have varying other colors; but in this monocular, they all appear white. They are all very blocky. As I said, the size goes all the way up to, I'm guessing, 20 feet. A couple of big ones on the horizon (appear to be that size).
112:52:34 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid.
[Comm Break]112:55:25 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. (No answer; Long Pause) Intrepid, Houston.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (9 min 53 sec)
112:57:23 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston.
112:57:29 Bean: Go ahead.
112:57:32 Gibson: Intrepid, in order to pin down your location a little bit better, would you try to give us the location with respect to the LM - that is, distance and angle from your Z-axis - of the large block that you have on the horizon? And also the large craters, craters that are roughly 20 feet in diameter or larger. That is, slightly larger than the LM shadow width. Also, we ought to press on here fairly quickly, as we are getting a little bit behind our timeline.
[Bean - "One of the best things Ed did was keep us going, keep us going on the timeline, and not let us get behind. The crew can't watch everything at once. Ed was helpful about that."]112:58:08 Bean: (Responding to Gibson's suggestion that they press on with the site description) That's what we think, too. I'll tell you what we're going to do. I'll give you a good description here; and we're going to get ready; and when we get out, we'll take the TV and show you the craters; and I think you'll have a pretty good handle on it (that is, they'll have enough information to pinpoint the landing site). Generally, right now, we're sitting on a... (It's) not a level surface, but we don't see any particularly high hills, either. It's just sort of like an undulating plain? You can see quite far in all directions. There doesn't seem to be any particularly high objects such as mountains or high hills or anything like that that interferes with the view. The only features that are obvious, besides the just general rolling country that we're on, is the blocky rim craters that are visible in almost every direction. Some of them are quite close, and some of them are far away. We got one of them, for example, at 12 o'clock (that) Pete described. (It's) about 2000 or 3000 feet away, (that is, far enough) that if it didn't have these large boulders on it and had a pretty nice raised rim - perhaps maybe even up to (a) 10-feet-high raised rim - we wouldn't be able to see it. I guess the diameter of that crater must be on the order of 600 to 700 feet (actually about 1700 feet). That's at 12 o'clock (west). We've got a number of more weathered craters around us of every size: from one that's just outside the window here at 2 o'clock (out about) 15 feet that's about 6 feet in diameter and about 3 feet deep, all the way up to one (Middle Crescent Crater) that I see over at the 1 o'clock position. It doesn't have a particularly raised rim, but it looks like it could have a diameter in the order of 400 feet (or maybe) 500 feet (actually about 1500 feet). (Pause) There are many rocks that are scattered around on the surface. Most of them are partially buried; and, as they are buried there, you can see that there are little fillets of dirt that has built up around almost all of them.
[In retrospect, it is a little difficult to understand Houston's level of interest in pinning down the exact landing spot. All of the pilots spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out where they had landed, and that is easy to understand in terms of professional pride. But only in the case of Apollo 12 did Houston bring the matter up quite so explicitly. In particular, the traverse wasn't going to happen until the second EVA and, in principle, Houston would have had time after the first EVA to modify the planning for the geology traverse based on the crew's observations during EVA-1 of their location relative to the large craters.]
[Conrad - "There was more than one group interested in our location. Obviously, the geologists in the Backroom wanted to know exactly where we were; but the guidance guys also wanted to know where the hell we were for planning purposes. You got to realize that, at that point in time, nobody realized how easy it was to get around."]
[Bean - "That's right. When you're doing these things the first time, you do all sorts of impractical things. Instead of just doing the practical thing of going out the door and looking and saying, 'Hey, here's where we are,' you're up there doing this stuff, wasting time. We should have been getting on our suits and getting the hell out there and Pete could have said, 'Hey, look; I'm standing by this crater and there's the Surveyor over there.' It's like having those four plans for geology traverses. I mean, those four plans looked reasonable until after we go there and realized 'what the hell did we have four plans for?' It worked okay; but, I mean, it's funny how you get locked up in non-practical things. It's almost like you're too theoretical... You say, 'Let's estimate this with our transit (a type of theodolite),' and some other guy grabs a ruler and puts it on there and says 'It's four inches'. And that ends the discussion. Pete, I think, told me a story long ago about a friend of his who went to work at some company that sold engines... Race car engines, wasn't it? And they had this gas tank and the guy says 'Your first job here as a new engineer is to figure out how much fuel will fit in this tank.' The guy gave him that tank and the plans and went out and he's computing the size of the volumes and the circles and all that stuff. And the guy walks by who owns the place and says 'Take the fucking tank outside and fill it with water and pour it out and measure it.' So this is the same thing we're kind of doing. We're doing all this bullshit instead of letting Pete out to just look."]
[Conrad - "Sounds like a Rathmann story."]
[Bean - "Maybe so. Maybe he was telling it to us. It does sound like a Rathmann story. Because he would have been the guy who would have grabbed the tank and filled it with water. He may have been telling it on himself. Was he an engineer?"]
[Conrad - "No; he never got past the 3rd grade (third year of primary school)."]
[Bean - "Is that right? Well, okay. Maybe we're all overeducated."]
[Journal Contributor - and racing fan - Brian Lawrence notes: "Jim Rathmann was a colorful race car driver who competed in the Indianapolis 500 fourteen times, beginning in 1949. He set both a one-lap record (146.033 mph) and a four-lap record (145.120) in 1956, but both were eclipsed later the same day by Pat Flaherty. In 1960 he set records of 146.371 mph (four-laps) and 146.915 mph (one-lap), and, once again, both were beaten the same day, this time by Eddie Sachs."]
[Rathmann won the race, from the Pole Position, in 1960. Lawrence notes that, after Rathmann retired from racing, he drove the Indy pace car in 1969, 1972-74, 1978, and 1982. His brother, Dick Rathmann, also drove at Indy and started nine races.]
[During the Apollo era, Rathmann owned a car dealership at Cocoa Beach near the Cape. He was a friend of many of the astronauts. He was born in 1928 and, therefore, was only two years older than Pete and four years older than Al. Readers interested in the story of Rathmann and the crew's set of matching gold Corvettess should consult Andrew Chaikin's "A Man on the Moon". NASA photo KSC-69PC-621 shows Pete, Dick, and Al with one of the 'vettes. A Ralph Morse photo shows the crew with all three.]
[As a final note to the Rathmann story, in 2006 Brian Lawrence called attention to the following: "Jim" Rathmann, the winner of the 1960 Indy 500, was born Richard Rathmann in 1928. His elder brother, "Dick" Rathmann, was born James Rathmann in 1926. In 1946, the younger Rathmann wanted to enter a race at the Ascot Speedway in Gardena, California but was not old enough to qualify. He and his older brother swapped identities and it was younger brother Richard "Jim" Rathmann who first ran at Indy in 1949, won in 1960, and was later a friend to the astronauts. Older brother James "Dick" Rathmann first ran at Indy in 1950.]
[Middle Crescent Crater is about 450-m across and the center of it is about 350 meters northwest of Head Crater at about F.0/8.0.]113:01:03 Bean: And I can't tell, of course, if it (the filleting)'s only from this direction or not (that is, he can only see the sides of the rocks facing the LM), but all these rocks seem to have the same characteristics, whether they are small or large. One interesting feature that is directly at our 12 o'clock, about 20 feet, is a whole surface area that's a bit different from the rest in the fact that it's got sort of parallel lines or parallel trenches or skin trenches perhaps an eighth of an inch deep and running what would be north to south to us; and you can see it from about my 2 or 3 o'clock position, all the way over to Pete's window. The left seems to... Some sort of force has apparently caused these traces to be made in the surface. I don't think it was our engine, because, as I say, they are perpendicular to the lines that our engine would have made. We'll be able to get a better look at that when we get out, of course; and we'll also be able to use that close-up stereo camera on it and just get some good pictures of it.
[Many exposed lunar boulders have skirts of dirt surrounding them, called "fillets". On level surfaces away from the LM, the fillets are the result of ejecta from small impacts splashing against the sides of the rock and then building up at the base. To the extent that impacts of various sizes occur at random distances and directions, the fillet will tend to be the same height all the way around the base of the rock. Rocks which have been exposed longer than others will have higher fillets. In addition, a larger-than-normal nearby impact or a large, distant one could create a higher fillet on one side of a rock. On hillsides and on the inner walls of craters, fillets can build up on the upslope sides due to downslope movement of regolith; and, of course, near the LM some filleting would be expected due to the engine exhaust. A detail from AS12-48-7062 is shown in two versions, with the fillet highlighted in the upper version. ]
[A red-blue anaglyph ( 502k ) created by Erik van Meijgaarden from frames 7029 and 7032 shows a striking pattern of parallel, linear features. However, Al described the pattern as running north-south, whereas the pattern in the anaglyph appears to be oriented perhaps 10-20 degrees north of down-Sun.]113:01:54 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid.
[The spacecraft is rotated about 10 degrees clockwise so that, if Al is using a spacecraft centered clock, 12 o'clock would correspond to an azimuth of about 280. If, on the other hand, he is using the LM shadow to define his clock, 12 o'clock would be an azimuth of 270. Each hour on the clock corresponds to 30 degrees of azimuth and, for a spacecraft-centered clock, 1 o'clock would correspond to an azimuth of about 310 which is, indeed, the direction of the center of Middle Crescent Crater.]113:01:58 Bean: Pete also pointed out that there doesn't seem to be any possibility here of seeing anything like a contact between different-colored surfaces. There may be a chance to notice the contacts or different materials by looking at the texture: for example, that area that I described as directly in front of the LM that has those north-south lines on them. But, other than that, it just looks like one uniform surface with many, many craters in it. There's no immediately-apparent white-rim craters near us. Most of the ones that I can see out my window don't have a raised rim at all. They don't have any particular elongation. They seem to be - just from glancing at them - about the same texture as the areas surrounding them. (Pause)
[Bean - "I think the 12 o'clock is referenced to the spacecraft."]
[In the window pans, note that the LM shadow is well to the left of the spacecraft center line.]
[The Close-up stereo camera to which Al referred is the so called Gold Camera, named for physicist Thomas (Tommy) Gold who had long maintained that the lunar surface was covered with a deep layer of very loosely compacted dust. This conjecture was due to radar reflections from the Moon which indicated a "fairy castle" structure. However, the radar waves only penetrated a very short distance into the surface and most people in the space community dismissed Gold's suggestion of a deep dust layer. Pictures transmitted by Luna 9 and by the Surveyor spacecraft showed large rocks sitting on the surface, proving to most people's satisfaction that the loose layer was only millimeters thick at most. The Gold Camera was a relic of the controversy, and was designed to provide close-up, stereo pictures of the surface. The pictures are striking but their scientific value probably doesn't match that of data returned by the other experiments flown during Apollo.]
[Conrad - "I'd forgotten about the Gold camera until I read it, right here. And I don't even remember seeing the pictures from it. And it seems to me you (meaning Al) ran it. Wasn't it something that sat up from the surface?"]
[Bean - "And it had a handle on it and it took stereo pictures close-up. And that's one of the things we didn't do justice to because we ran out of time. It was a low priority. And that's why I say if we could have asked for another hour (that is, a one hour extension on EVA-2), we could have gotten all those photos they wanted. We got a few (according to the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report, Al took fifteen stereo pairs with the Gold Camera); but we didn't take as many as we should have because that was the lowest priority thing. In fact, I think that right before we're getting in, then we ran out and got a few."]
[Bean - (Thinking about the north-south lines he has just described) "In looking at the photos for my paintings, I notice apparent, cross-Sun trenches. And I think maybe what we were seeing is that there's all these millions of little craters around, of all different sizes, and their shadows all kind of line up. I don't know. Maybe it really is like little troughs; or maybe it's just this optical effect of all these little craters lining up their shadows so that we think they're trenches, even though, if you went over and looked down, they'd just be these random things."]
[Conrad - "I think you're right, because I don't ever remember anything after that. I mean, we didn't ever find that stuff (after we went outside), did we?"]
[Bean - "No, I think that later on, when we're running along on (EVA) 2, all of a sudden we comment about it."]
[In fact, Al describes the "linear patterns... running north to south... off in the dirt" during the run to Middle Crescent Crater at about 118:14:46. In our discussion at that point in the mission review, he believed that they were an optical illusion. Note that, in the Preliminary Science Report, the Geology team offers a speculation that the grooves or trenches are real and represent "drainage of fine-grained material into fractures in the underlying bedrock". They also note similar features trending either northeast, northwest, or west that appear in the Apollo 12 photos.]
[Bean - "Well, I see them on photos; because, when I'm painting paintings, I put them in - kind of cross-Sun, shadow suggestions. (Artistically,) it gives a nice vanishing point, but also they're really there in the photos."]
[Whether or not the grooves are real, this discussion of possible optical illusions brings to mind the famous debate about canals on Mars which proved to be the result of telescopic observers, notably Percival Lowell, straining to see detail at the limit of resolution and stringing random dark spots into lines. A similar phenomenon was observed during Apollo 15 when Jim Irwin and Dave Scott saw and photographed striking lineations on the face of Mt. Hadley. These, too, proved to be an optical illusion, in this case overlapping shadows lining up in the down-Sun direction.]
[Craters with white- or light-colored, raised rims would be young craters, not yet worn down by the steady rain of small impactors. The light coloration is due to the presence of a great deal of scattered rock/soil fragments, much as in a shattered car windshield. A high-speed impact will spray light-colored ejecta over the surrounding soil. Over time, the same small impactors that wear down the rims also darken the regolith because they create small clumps of brownish glass which gradually darkens the surface. Consequently, craters with light-colored rims are either very young high-speed-impact craters showing their own light-colored ejecta or are young, lower-speed-impact craters which have dug up light-colored ejecta from some distant high-speed impact - that ejecta having been covered up by the darkening process at the surface. Elongated craters would be the product of either very-low-angle impacts - these are quite rare - or low velocity impacts by ejecta from other impacts. The latter are called secondary impacts and, not surprisingly, the resulting craters are called secondary craters or, more simply, just "secondaries". The landing site is on the edge of a ray of ejecta from the large crater Copernicus, which is 370 kilometers to the north and, because the geologists are hoping to find ejecta from the Copernicus impact, Pete and Al are keeping an eye out for white-rimmed craters that might represent excavations into the Copernican ejecta blanket.]113:03:20 Bean: I think you're going to like this place, though, Houston, because we can see, in the not-too-far distance, some pretty nice-size rocks that are on the edge of some craters that we suspect could be bedrock from below the regolith here. And... Well, I guess we'll have to get outside and find how far we can move and how fast, so that we know which ones of these we can visit. It looks there are going to be some good places out here to the west to put the ALSEP.
[Ulli Lotzmann has provided an annotated telescopic view. Copernicus is the large, rayed crater north of the yellow box.]
113:03:55 Bean: And I think, in general, that just... We're going to be able to gather a lot of good information from where we are. This is a lot better surface, I think, than Pete or I had imagined before we got here. It looks like we're going to be able to move around pretty well and it looks like there's going to be a lot of different types of samples lying about. So I think, probably, with that we'll go ahead and start rigging out.
[Bean - "Before we got there, we were wondering if we would be stumbling over everything..."]113:04:21 Gibson: Roger, Al. That was an excellent description. Before we hustle on here, could you give us one quick answer? What is the distance of the 400-foot crater which you see at 1 o'clock?
[Conrad - "We knew the photographs couldn't show anything smaller than six feet resolution. So we thought it was going to be a lot rougher getting around and there'd be all kinds of blocks..."]
[Bean - "Weren't we on a Copernicus ray? And we worried that this ray material would be all over the place and you'd be treading up and down the rocks."]
[Conrad - "Well, they picked Surveyor III because they wanted us to prove the accurate landing but, the fact that Surveyor III was on the Copernicus ray and they thought they would get material from the bottom of Copernicus helped persuade the geologists that it was an interesting site. So that's why we were where we were. But we had some other site, originally. But I don't even remember where it was. I mean, we had practiced all this based on the other landing site until after Neil landed."]
[Bean - "Where was that?"]
[Conrad - "I forget. It was some shithole someplace in another mare."]
[Bean - "It's funny, though, that I'd forgotten we were going elsewhere."]
[Conrad - (Laughing) "And it was not very inspiring. That's why we forgot."]
[Bean - "It may have been just a plain out there. Some spot (on a mare)."]
[Conrad - "Well, Neil's wasn't any biggie-wow spot, either. I mean, he wasn't ever going in the mountains or any of those places the other guys were going to do later. And we were just going in another mare, which was further west (than the Apollo 11 site) - I think."]
[As Don Wilhelms discusses on pages 213-217 and 345 in his excellent book, To a Rocky Moon, before the decision was made to send Pete and Al to the Surveyor III site, two sites farther west, well out in Procellarum, were under consideration. These sites had great appeal to the geologists because they would provide an opportunity to sample mare material much younger than that sampled at Tranquility. Wilhelms still believes that, from a geologic perspective, passing up this opportunity was a mistake. Additional detail can be found in Phil Stooke's book "International Atlas of Lunar Exploration" starting on page 199. Journal Contributor Jim Scotti has provided a table of the five Lunar Orbiter sites considered for the first two landings. Links are also provided to maps of the five sites along with the landing elipses as visualized in 1967.]
[Bean - "I'd forgotten all about that. Shows how you just work on something and then, when it doesn't work out, you just forget it and start working on the next thing."]
[Conrad - "It wasn't until after July that we got this site. See, the original deal was, if they (Armstrong and Aldrin) didn't make it, we'd go two months later to wherever this other spot was... Or maybe we'd go to their spot. I don't remember. (Having thought it over) No, I think we were going to go to the other mare area. (After the successful Apollo 11 landing) it took 'em (meaning NASA management) two or three weeks to make up their mind that we were going to go someplace else. It was General (Samuel) Phillips (then the Apollo Program Director), I think, that made the decision in Washington. And they came back and said 'okay, you guys are going to go after this Surveyor, but we don't want to make a big deal out of it in case you don't find it.' Then we spent a day at JPL and they gave us a briefing on what the Surveyor looked like. They had the mock-up there (shown here on a California beach). And then they shipped the mock-up to the Cape. And I mean, this all happened fast. We didn't start until about three months before the launch. And they put it in the training room; and you and I used to clomp around on the floor and pick up a few rocks and then go cut pieces off the Surveyor."]
[Bean - "They had it sitting on a slope, an eleven degree slope (to correspond to the slope of the inner wall of the crater where Surveyor III landed). We practiced doing that. It's interesting (that), when they first gave it to us, they didn't know where it was, either (see below). They had ideas of which crater it was in, but they never really worried about it because it wasn't that important. But, once we were going there, they had to establish on the map which one of these craters (was the right one)."]
[Conrad - "You have to realize that, when we found the Snowman bunch of craters (during the final approach), there was still some doubt in my mind that the Surveyor was, in fact, in that crater. I mean, they couldn't tell us conclusively it was."]
[Bean - "They figured out which crater it was by looking at the photos. Now, they never did get it by (analyzing) tracking (data from the original landing of the Surveyor). But they had a guy look at photos and he figured out that this was the crater it had to be to make all those photos work. But not 100%."]
[Conrad - "So I was really happy when I found it in the crater, because now, not only did I know that we were in the right place (that is, at the intended landing site, whether or not that was also the place where the Surveyor had landed), but also that they had known where the Surveyor was."]
[Bean - "That's right. Because I remember, that was one of the questions. Is it really going to be there? Of course, you knew you were at the right place."]
[Conrad - "We would have been pissed if it hadn't."]
[Bean - "So would the (entire Apollo) program, really. Because that's all the reporters would want to talk about when you got back to Earth. 'Why didn't you find it? Why has NASA screwed up?' And they would have forgotten the fact that you got there (to the intended target). And that was real late, too. I mean, he kind of had an estimate of (where the Surveyor had landed) and we went along (training for this site) for another month and it was only about a couple months before launch that they conclusively decided this was the best place to find it."]
[Conrad - "Well, it was soon enough that they could make a plaster-of-paris model. Because we had it in the simulator in Houston... I don't think we used the simulator much in Houston. We finally did it all at the Cape."]
[Bean - "That's right. Maybe the old one was in Houston and the new one at the Cape."]
[NASA had two LM simulators - one in Houston and one at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Although the two were supposedly identical, the one at the Cape was usually the most up to date and, during the final stages of their training, the crew for the next scheduled launch would use it almost exclusively.]
[Jones - "The guy who found the Surveyor was Ewan Whitaker."]
[Conrad - "That rings a bell."]
[Bean - "He did a good job. He was right."]
[Don Wilhelms gives a blow-by-blow, geologist's view point on the Apollo 12 site selection in his excellent book, To a Rocky Moon. In brief, the geologists preferred one or the other of a pair of sites on the western reaches of the Ocean of Storms - Apollo Landing Sites (ALS 4 and 5) that would provide samples of what appeared to be extremely young mare surfaces. Interest in landing next to one of the Surveyor spacecraft added the site of the Surveyor I landing to the list of far western sites. However, in the early days of Apollo, mission planners took the view that each of the chosen landing sites had to have a backup farther west in case a launch had to be postponed for a day or two. Because of the need for specific lighting conditions at a chosen landing site, any particular site was available for only about 12 hours each month and, rather than risk having to delay a launch by a full month, they wanted at least one back up site west of the prime site. In the case of the three western Procellarum sites favored by the geologists, no such backup existed with adequate photographic coverage and, as a result, they were ultimately dropped in favor of the Surveyor III site. This decision was not made until the crew of Apollo 11 had returned to Earth and, in the meantime, Pete and Al had probably been training for a landing at either ALS 4 or ALS 5. Until a site was picked, training would have been generic and would not have involved work around a Surveyor. Frank O'Brien has provided an approach map (1090k) and a map showing the landing ellipse (821k) for ALS 5.]
[With regard to the exact location of Surveyor III, Ewan Whitaker was heavily involved in analysis of photographic data from the Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor programs and undertook his successful search for the exact landing in the months immediately following the Surveyor III landing on April 20, 1967. In a 1991 telephone conversation, he told me that guidance and tracking data provided bounds for the search area and that is was then a matter of comparing features seen in pictures taken by the Surveyor III with details in high-resolution Lunar Orbiter pictures of the area. The Surveyor pictures gave information on the size and shape of the crater that the spacecraft had landed in but, of course, there were several craters in the search area that fit the bill. However, the Surveyor pictures also showed a number of rocks - ejecta from Block Crater on the north wall - laid out in a distinctive pattern. Because these rocks were small enough to be near the limit of resolution in the Orbiter pictures, finding a match was not a simple task but eventually, Whitaker was satisfied that he had found the right crater and published his result in the 1967 NASA document "Surveyor III: a preliminary report".]
[Although Whitaker had pinpointed Surveyor Crater in 1967, it is easy to understand the crew's version of the story. From their perspective, the late decision and a briefing from Whitaker at about the same time could have been interpreted as an indication that the analysis was recent. Their meeting with Whitaker would have lasted no more than an hour or two - one brief event in a very busy training schedule - and would probably have included many questions of the "that's all very nice, but are you really sure?" variety.]
[Pete and Al are now starting their EVA preparations, cleaning up the cabin and otherwise getting ready to don their backpacks and depressurize the cabin.]
113:04:33 Bean: Roger. I'd say it's about 500 feet, and it runs from about my 12:30 to my 2 o'clock position. It doesn't look like it has any particular blocks on the rim. I think we'll be able to pinpoint ourselves pretty well when get out and look behind us a little, and maybe walk over to one of these craters.
[The crater in question is Middle Crescent. It is about 450 meters (1500 feet) in diameter and the near rim is about 300 meters (1000 feet) from the spacecraft. As was common during Apollo, Al is underestimating distances and sizes.]113:04:57 Conrad: Also, Houston, I landed - not 20 feet behind me - if I peer around the corner of the window here, I'm right on the edge of another great big crater. (This is, of course, Surveyor Crater.) It falls away at a, oh, I'm going to say 10-degree slope at least, right behind us. We're right on the edge, we landed right past a fairly large crater. I'd say 300 to 400 feet in diameter. (Garbled) apparent to me to look for when I came in for a landing but (garbled) down (garbled) around the back. And I was going to (garbled) to keep them close to my (garbled) back about 50 feet.
113:05:47 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid. That'll give us a lot to work with while you're in the EVA Prep. We're standing by. (Long Pause)
113:06:08 Conrad: I'm sorry, Houston. Say again. We were talking.
113:06:11 Gibson: Intrepid, that'll give us a lot to work with while you're in your EVA Prep. We're standing by for that now.
113:06:21 Conrad: Okay. I guess the next thing is, I got to do P06 and Power down the IMU, if y'all concur.
113:06:38 Gibson: Intrepid, go ahead. We're ready for the Power-down.
113:06:42 Bean: Roger. Go ahead.
[Comm Break. They are on checklist page Sur-20 and powering down the Inertial Measurements Unit - the inertial platform - and are the first crew to do so. They will power it up again during the preparations for launch.]MP3 Audio Clip (6 min 15 sec)
[NASA live feed, which was interrupted at about 112:30:53 for a press conference, resumes at this point.]
RealAudio Clip (0 min 13 sec)
113:08:21 Conrad: Houston, crew status report. No medication; PRD for the Commander, 11018; for the LMP, 04019.
113:08:31 Gibson: Roger, Intrepid.
[Long Comm Break. During this interval they are stowing food bags and other loose items; stowing the surface checklist, getting out the EVA Prep, Post EVA, and Circuit Breaker configuration cards and taping them to the panel in front of them; and clipping the One-Man EVA card to the sextant. These are the activities on page Surface-21 of the checklist.]MP3 Audio Clip (9 min 40 sec) Starts at about 113:14:17.
RealAudio Clip (0 min 57 sec)
113:14:24 Gibson: Intrepid, Houston. (Pause)
113:14:32 Conrad: Go.
113:14:35 Gibson: Say, Al, it sounds as though your cold has cleared up considerably. Have you... Could you give us... (In the background, somebody says "Don't say 'cold'") It sounds as though your stuffed head has cleared up considerably. Could you give us the last time at which you took the Actifed?
113:14:52 Bean: Roger. Took the Actifed just before we put our helmets on prior to DOI. I don't recall exactly what that time was. And it started clearing up along about PDI time, and I think that being in this gravity field right here is helping it a bit. It allows it to drain. As I say, I don't have any cold; it just seems to feel a bit stuffy.
113:15:17 Gibson: Roger, Al. Thank you.
[Comm Break]RealAudio Clip (1 min 20 sec)
[Journal contributor Anil Sahal notes that a factor contributing to the 'fullness of the head' experienced by many astronauts in zero-g is due to the redistribution of blood in the body that occurs in that environment.]
[During this comm break, Pete and Al may be reconfiguring the circuit breakers for the duration of their stay. The new configuration is shown on Sur-22 and Sur-23. Sur-24 lists procedures to be followed in the event that one of the PLSSs is inoperable and only one of them goes out; and Sur-25 lists procedures to be followed in the event that they are unable to repressurize the cabin at the end of the EVA.]
[As per Sur-21, Pete and Al have unstowed the Prep & Post cue cards and propped them against the forward panels. They have also taped the Circuit Breaker Configuration cards above the CB panels; and they have clipped the cue card for Transition to One-Man EVA to the AOT. Although they have stowed the surface checklist and will be using the cue cards for the rest of the EVA Preps, we will reference the Surface Checklist in the commentary. The material on the cue cards is identical to the material in the checklist. However, the cue cards are much larger than the checklist pages and have several pages of material printed on each side.]
113:17:09 Conrad: Houston, what time are we scheduled to go out for EVA?
113:17:15 Gibson: Stand by, Pete. (Long Pause) Intrepid, Houston. You're scheduled for Cabin Depress about 1 hour from now. That's 114:20. (Pause)
113:18:20 Conrad: Okay, Houston. I got you. 114:20. Thank you.
113:18:22 Gibson: Roger.
[Very Long Comm Break. As is discussed at 114:02:14, they will not begin the final depressurization until about 115:08. A brief engineering conversation between Gibson and Gordon is omitted. During this Comm Break, the LM crew is unstowing their backpacks - the Portable Life Support Systems or PLSSs, emptying their urine collection bags, applying an anti-fog agent to the inside of the bubble helmets, putting on their watches and wrist checklists, donning their EVA boots, and otherwise getting ready for PLSS and helmet donning. These activities are listed on pages Sur-26 and Sur-27. The Public Affairs Office reports to the press that the LM cabin pressure is 4.82 psi and the temperature is 63 F.]MP3 Audio Clip (21 min 34 sec) Starts at about 113:23:33 and includes two PAO announcements and, starting at about 113:40:10, a conversation between Ed Gibson and Dick Gordon.
MP3 Audio Clip (18 min 41 sec) Starts at about 113:44:01 and includes a conversation between Ed Gibson and Dick Gordon starting at about 113:47:05, a PAO announcement, and the following exchange between Gibson and Gordon.
113:59:34 Gibson: (To Gordon) Say, Dick. When you're looking for them in the sextant, if you look at the Head Crater, we suspect that they are on the northwest rim of the Head Crater. That's the head of the Snowman.
113:59:40 Gordon: Okay; I understand.
[Comm Break. The LM is actually east of Head Crater, on the NW rim of Surveyor Crater, which forms the Snowman's torso.]
|A Visit to the Snowman||Apollo 12 Journal||Preparations for EVA-1|