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ALSEP Deployment

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Except where noted, MP3 audio and RealVideo clips by Ken Glover.
Last revised 1 April 2014.

[They are at 1+57 in Al's checklist, 2+00 in Ed's checklist, and 2+23 into the EVA. On the USGS map, they will deploy the Central Station at the location marked 'CS'.]
MP3 Audio Clip (7 min 41 sec)

116:02:19 Shepard: Okay, Houston. We will start the 16-millimeter going here and...(Pause)

116:02:26 McCandless: Okay, give me a hack.

116:02:28 Shepard: We may have to change magazines.

116:02:30 McCandless: Roger. I'll keep track.

116:02:32 Shepard: I'll give you the hack. (Pause)

116:02:44 McCandless: And if you have a free minute, we would like some commentary on the depth of the MET tracks.

116:02:54 Mitchell: Well, it's...Bruce, let us take a picture for it after a while. We can see the MET track clear back to the LM. They're about three-quarters of an inch deep.

116:03:02 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

[After they finish the ALSEP deployment, Al will take AS14-67- 9367, which shows the MET tracks leading back to the LM.]
116:03:48 Shepard: (Positioning the MET 20 to 30 feet south of the barbell) Can't get any closer without putting it in that crater, Ed.

116:03:52 Mitchell: That's fine right there, Al.

116:03:54 Shepard: Okay. (Long Pause; adjusting the settings on the 16-mm as per checklist) f/8. (one 2)50th (of a second shutter speed), six frames per second. (Long Pause)

116:04:38 Mitchell: I can see that this (ALSEP deployment) is going to be a considerably slower process than I expected.

116:04:45 McCandless: Have you started it yet, Al?

116:04:50 Shepard: Stand by. (Pause)

RealVideo 16-mm Clip courtesy Mark Gray ( 15 min 08 sec )

116:05:03 Shepard: Mark. Camera's running six frames per second.

116:05:07 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause) And, for reference, Al and Ed, you're about two-nine (29) minutes behind the timeline at this point. Over.

RealVideo Clip (2 min 24 sec)

116:05:32 Mitchell: Okay. (Pause)

[The Preliminary Science Report puts them about 180 meters, or 600 feet, from the LM. They wanted to be at least 300 feet away.]

[Mitchell - "We were twice as far from the LM as we expected to be, because the planned location put us right in that depression that we saw us go through. And, by coming up on the other side, we've taken about twice as much time to get out there and find a site."]

[Jones - "Plus the added three or four minutes of figuring out where you were."]

[Al rejoins Ed at the barbells. There is a very bright reflection off some piece of gear on the MET and its image is a completely saturated round blob. The astronauts' images are not completely saturated and gross movements can be discerned.]

116:05:40 Shepard: Okay; Ed is working on the Central Station, and I'm going over for the subpallet.
[The subpallet holds the SIDE (Suprathermal Ion Detector Experiment) and the CCIG (Cold-Cathode Ion Gauge).]
116:05:48 Mitchell: Houston, the RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) cable temperature is 175 degrees.

116:05:53 McCandless: Roger. Out.

[Ed has just looked at a patch called a tempa-label on the cable. It has a series of spots which change color from white to black at successively higher temperatures. A detail from Apollo 13 training photo 70-H-103 (scan by Frederic Artner) shows a tempa-label on the handle of a dome removal tool.]

[Comm Break]

116:07:31 Shepard: Okay. (As per checklist) Subpallet is deployed (10 feet) northeast of the central station.

116:07:36 McCandless: Roger. Out.

116:07:37 Mitchell: Houston, the current reading is 8.

116:07:42 McCandless: Understand 8 amperes before pressing the (shorting) switch.

116:07:49 Mitchell: That's affirmative.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 44 sec)

116:07:50 McCandless: Roger.

[Comm Break. The shorting switch helps keep the RTG from overheating before current is applied to the experiment packages. In essence, the shorting switch provides a resistance equivalent to the full array. Ed's report of the ampere reading is the fourth item in the 2+06 paragraph in his checklist. ]
MP3 Audio Clip (47 min 31 sec)

116:09:00 Shepard: Another one of those beautiful (pause) Boyd bolts is all full of dust.

116:09:10 Mitchell: Yep. That's not (surprising). Everything else is going to be full of dust before long. Be filthy as pigs.

[The Boyd bolts hold the various experiment packages firmly in place on the ALSEP pallets. Each bolt is recessed in a sleeve used to guide the Universal Handling Tool (UHT) onto the bolt. Once the tool has engaged a bolt, the astronaut gives it a turn to release the bolt. Al is reporting that one or more of the Boyd bolt sleeves holding the SIDE on the subpallet is full of dust. Ed tosses something toward the MET, probably a no-longer-needed piece of mounting hardware or a protective cover.]
116:09:17 Shepard: Okay. I'm going to have to lift this (SIDE subpallet) up. You want to help me?

116:09:20 Mitchell: (Joining Al at the subpallet) Okay. What you want to do?

116:09:22 Shepard: I'm going to have to lift it up and shake the dust out of that Boyd bolt; I can't get it otherwise.

116:09:26 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause) (Garbled)

116:09:40 Shepard: Not yet. There we go. Okay, watch that...

116:09:48 Mitchell: Is there anything that's not tied on?

116:09:49 Shepard: That's loose, yeah. I've already taken those out.

116:09:51 Mitchell: Okay, I'll hold it. (Pause)

[They are standing facing each other, with Ed on the right, holding the subpallet between them at about waist height. When they are standing close to each other, their images merge and saturate; but, here, they are well separated and we can see them turn the subpallet upside down to get the dust out of the Boyd bolt sleeves.]
116:09:57 Shepard: Okay. Let's just turn it upside down and shake it.

116:10:05 Mitchell: Well, there's a lot of Boyd bolts falling off.

116:10:08 Shepard: Yeah, but them's (sic) not the ones we've got the problems with. Okay, flop it over a minute. (Pause)

116:10:18 Mitchell: That'll do it?

116:10:20 Shepard: No, it's still not clear. (Pause)

[Mitchell - "That Boyd bolt was one that was buried (that is, surrounded by equipment) and it was in a protected housing."]

[Ed used his hands to indicate that the sleeve was about two inches (5 cm) long and the outer diameter was about the size of a 50 cent piece - about 3 cm.]

[Mitchell - "You had to get the tool down in there and, as I recall, it was a twist to release it and, apparently, that was packed full of dirt. Now, Al was looking at it, trying to see it. And he couldn't get the tool in and couldn't get it released - and couldn't see it. Remember that, on the lunar surface, there's no air to refract the light in there. So, it's either shadow or it's light and, unless you've got a direct sunlight on it, there's no way in hell you can see anything. That's an amazing phenomenon on an airless planet. It's amazing how much we count on reflected and refracted light here. But there, unless you had it directly in sunlight, it was just pitch black. And you couldn't see a damn thing. And that's what he was wrestling with, there. The dirt was packed in around it and, besides that, he couldn't see down in there, unless we picked it up, physically, and twisted it and held it so we could get it in the sunlight. He couldn't see what he was doing."]

[Mitchell - "And the little screw on the Boyd bolt - the release - was probably a quarter of an inch (0.6 cm) or less."]

[In the 1971 Technical Debrief, the crew suggested that, if it could be done without jeopardizing the integrity of the package during the high-vibration of launch, it would be a good idea to eliminate the Boyd bolt that was relatively inaccessible.]

116:10:34 Mitchell: Okay, I believe that will get it.

116:10:36 Shepard: Let me just try it while it's right here.

116:10:37 Mitchell: Okay, I'll hold it. Go ahead. (Pause)

116:10:48 Shepard: Okay.

116:10:49 Mitchell: Got it?

116:10:50 Shepard: Yeah. Let me just get the other one. (Long Pause)

[The NASA Public Affairs commentator reports that Al's heart rate has been in the 90 to 100 beats per minute range, while Ed's has been between 100 and 120, with Ed's showing the effects of carrying the ALSEP packages.]
116:11:17 Shepard: I know it's down in here somewhere.

116:11:20 Mitchell: Say again.

116:11:21 Shepard: I know it's down in here somewhere.

RealVideo Clip (4 min 04 sec)

116:11:26 McCandless: Al, this is Houston. For your information, the 16-millimeter camera is out of film at this time.

116:11:36 Mitchell: (Garbled).

[Some faint, background comm indicates that the signal is coming through the Madrid ground station in Spain. The signal being recorded in Houston is faint, possibly because of a problem at Madrid.]
116:11:40 Mitchell: Let me tilt it down a little more; let me hold it, and you go...
[Ed is holding the subpallet at about waist height but angled so that Al can get at the Boyd bolts with his UHT.]
116:11:41 Shepard: (Garbled). Turn it around and get some sun on it. Can you hold it up a little?

116:11:47 Mitchell: Okay; I got it. (Pause)

[They move counter-clockwise so that Ed is standing west of Al with the Sun shining directly onto the subpallet.]
116:11:56 Shepard: (Garbled) the hole.

116:12:00 Mitchell: What do you want?

116:12:02 Shepard: Oops.

116:12:03 Mitchell: Don't step on the...

116:12:06 Shepard: Just put it down Ed, I guess, is the best way. Let me fuss with it.

116:12:11 Mitchell: Don't step on the PSE cradle there.

116:12:17 Shepard: No. (Pause)

[The seismometer will sit on a stool, which will minimize thermal contact with the ground. The stool may be the bright spot on the ground southeast of Al.]
116:12:21 Shepard: Let it go. (Long Pause)
[Al may have his UHT engaged in the subpallet and gets it on the ground relatively gently without having to bend over.]
116:12:51 Mitchell: (Garbled) did it.

116:12:53 Shepard: No, it's not. Could you (garbled) me. (Long Pause) Ohhhhh. (Long Pause)

116:13:39 Mitchell: Maybe your tool is screwed up. Let's see if mine's any better. (Pause) Full of dirt.

116:13:48 Shepard: (Garbled) one. (Pause) (Realizing that they are falling way behind schedule) Let's step on it, babe. (Long Pause)

116:14:22 Mitchell: Why, I'm not even sure there's one (Boyd bolt) down there.

116:14:26 Shepard: Well, there should be. (Pause) Okay. The only thing I can figure out to do at this point is to lift it up. I'll get it (with the UHT).

116:14:44 Mitchell: Okay. Watch the (PSE) stool. (Pause)

116:14:55 Shepard: And get the cover off. (Pause) Yep.

116:15:10 Mitchell: (Is) it there? (Pause)

RealVideo Clip (3 min 30 sec)

116:15:17 Shepard: Yeah, it's there. See it?

116:15:19 Mitchell: I can't see it; but if you think it's there, go get it.

116:15:24 Shepard: It's there.

116:15:26 McCandless: Al, this is Houston. Could you give us some more details of your problem. Is that the SIDE from the subpallet you're working on?

116:15:35 Mitchell: It's the SIDE Boyd bolt that's hidden back in the corner. It apparently got full of dirt, Bruce; and we're having a devil of a time getting it off.

116:15:42 McCandless: Roger.

116:15:44 Mitchell: The one that's deep in the back. Just can't feel it any longer.

116:15:49 McCandless: Roger.

[During this exchange, one of them - possibly Al - has moved around to the north, possibly to try another orientation to get light onto the Boyd bolt.]
116:15:52 Shepard: Let's do this. Hold that circular level...Oh, good. (Garbled). What I want to do is get the Sun shadow (means sunlight to eliminate the shadow) in there. And you had it for a minute. (Pause) Nah. (Pause) Tilt it a little more this way. (Pause) Okay. Just hold it right there?

116:16:24 Mitchell: Okay. I'll try.

116:16:25 Shepard: I see where it's not. (Long Pause) Here.

116:16:50 Mitchell: What do you want?

116:16:54 Shepard: Well, I'm just having no luck at all that way. (Garbled). (Long Pause)

116:17:28 Shepard: I got it.

116:17:29 Mitchell: Got it? Great. Okay. I(t's) one of those days when it takes two of us to do what half of us can (normally) do.

[One of them - whoever is standing to the left, possibly Ed - drops to his knees as he lowers the subpallet to the ground and then rises without apparent effort. As he goes to his knees, he has his center of mass well back over his heels and, when he comes up, does not move his torso at all. On Apollo 16, there is video of John Young doing a similar maneuver as he knelt at the Central Station to examine the connector of a cable that tore loose. He had a UHT with him and used it for leverage. Note that we see Ed kneel again at about 116:38, during the SIDE deployment.]
116:17:38 Shepard: Here you go.

116:17:40 Mitchell: Okay.

116:17:41 McCandless: Did you get it loose, Ed?

116:17:44 Mitchell: Yup, it's loose.

116:17:47 Shepard: Yeah, we got it. (Pause) Okay, let me pull it out. Are you ready to help?

[Ed will now connect the SIDE cable to the Central Station.]
116:17:58 Mitchell: Yeah. I'm ready to get the connector. (Pause) Come on! (Pause) Here it comes.

116:18:13 Shepard: Okay. And here comes the SIDE out the subpallet.

116:18:21 Mitchell: Okay, let me get the connector and...(Pause)

RealVideo Clip (4 min 21 sec)

116:18:38 Mitchell: Wait a minute. Don't drag the connector through the dirt.

116:18:42 Shepard: Why don't you just loosen your thing underneath the tape and pull it up. (Pause) There you go.

116:18:59 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause as Ed takes the connector over to package 1)

116:19:21 McCandless: Ed, this is Houston.

116:19:26 Mitchell: Go ahead.

116:19:27 McCandless: Roger. Your sixteen-millimeter's been running about 9 minutes, now, since it ran out of film. We're using juice from the battery; and, also, we'd like to get the MET turned a few degrees. You've got a specular reflection coming right back to the TV camera. Over.

116:19:42 Mitchell: Okay. I'll go do that right now, Bruce.

116:19:45 Shepard: I'll get it. (Long Pause) Doo do, doo do do, doo do do.

[Before going over to the MET, Al finished deploying the SIDE legs and set the instrument down on the ground. Ed will deploy the experiment after taking care of some other tasks.]
116:20:02 Mitchell: Okay. The SIDE connector is connected. Am I clear to depress the shorting switch, (on the Central Station) Bruce? (Pause)
[Ed is at 2+06 in his checklist.]
116:20:19 Mitchell: Houston?

116:20:20 McCandless: Roger. Go, Ed.

116:20:27 Mitchell: Shorting switch is depressed. Ought to be able to read it in a minute, I think.

116:20:33 Shepard: (Having re-positioned the MET) Is that better on the reflection, Houston?

116:20:37 McCandless: Yes, indeed. That's much better.

116:20:44 Shepard: Okay. (16-mm) camera's off.

116:20:47 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

116:21:25 Shepard: Magazine Charlie-Charlie's off. (Pause) Magazine Echo-Echo will be going on.

[The quality of the signal recorded in Houston improves dramatically.]
116:21:36 McCandless: Rog. Esmeralda, Ecuador. (Pause)

116:21:46 Mitchell: (To Al) He's got a checklist beside him that's got those, Al. There's no way you can beat him at that game.

116:21:53 McCandless: (Chuckles) You'd better believe it.

116:21:55 Shepard: What have we done to deserve this? (Pause) What have we done to deserve this?!

[Ed has changed the orientation of ALSEP package 1, possibly so he can verify the position of shorting switch No. 5. The shorting switch and various experiment connectors are on the back of what will be the base of the Central Station. Ed has package 1 standing on its side so that the switches and connectors are in easy reach.]
116:22:15 McCandless: Just wait until you get to J-J.

116:22:21 Shepard: (Laughs) I'm nervous; I'm nervous already! Okay; f/8, six frames per second, 250th.

RealVideo Clip (4 min 01 sec)

116:22:43 McCandless: Roger. Give me a hack when you start it

116:22:49 Shepard: Okay, Bruce. (Pause) Standby. Hack, hack!

RealVideo 16-mm Clip and courtesy Mark Gray ( 18 min 29 sec )

116:23:01 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

116:23:16 Mitchell: And Houston, I verify that the switch number 5 is clockwise.

116:23:21 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Long Pause)

[Ed has reached 2+09 in his checklist but 2+44 in the EVA. They are down 35 minutes.]

[Mitchell - "Remember the context (in which) we're operating here. It seems like it's cumbersome, slow, and difficult. And it is cumbersome, slow, and difficult. But, remember, we're operating on a foreign surface. Two guys by themselves, who'd never been on that foreign surface before. All the equipment designed in one g - for operation in a one-sixth-g environment. The dust on there is like talcum powder. We're not exactly in first generation spacesuits, but they can't be considered more than second generation. And looking at these films and reviewing them, I'm amazed that we got anything done at all and stayed anywhere close to a timeline. We designed all of those activities to about 110 to 120 percent of the reasonably expected workload. So, in case equipment failed and you had to skip something, you had plenty to do. And yet, every crew that I know of, virtually completed everything on their checklist, in spite of the fact that, one, the checklist was overdesigned and, two, we were working in these incredibly hostile conditions, and, three, working in the suits was cumbersome and difficult. Watching it on the TV, I'm utterly amazed that any crew pulled it off and accomplished what we really set out to accomplish."]

[Jones - "But there is something else to notice. The suits are cumbersome, the work is difficult, it's a hostile environment. But I see two guys out there - despite the fact that you've just had 5 or 10 minutes of agony with that Boyd bolt - having a good time."]

[Mitchell - "Yeah, and that's the next point. In spite of all of that, the inside jokes from the CapComs and the little surprises that the backup crew put in the equipment, those were always important. We didn't break off and double over and fall on the ground laughing. But there's always a little chuckle that comes along; there's always a little bit of levity and you can tell it. It's subtle. It's not knee slapping, ha-ha time. It's subtle things; and breaking into a little (Pete Conrad) dum-dee-dum-dum at an appropriate time keeps your spirits up and shows that, in spite of all the bullshit, we're having a hell of a good time out there. Or maybe it's not so much having a good time as it's feeling a sense of accomplishment. You're getting the job done. And we're goal-oriented people and getting the job done was satisfying."]

116:23:42 Mitchell: And the thumper geophone's coming off, now.

116:23:45 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

[After he deploys the 300-foot geophone line, Ed will make his way back toward the Central Station and, at predetermined intervals, stop and fire a small "thumper" in order to produce a seismic signal which gave researchers back on Earth indications of the thickness of the regolith and of the underlying Fra Mauro formation, the local ejecta of the Imbrium impact. Results reported in the Apollo 14 Preliminary Science Report indicated that the regolith was about 8.5 meters thick and that the bottom of the Fra Mauro formation was somewhere in the range of 45 to 85 meters below the surface. For now, Ed will simply release the thumper geophone and put it on the MET to get it out of the way.]
116:24:10 Shepard: (As Ed throws something in a generally southern direction) Hey! Got pretty good range out of that baby.

116:24:13 Mitchell: Man, that thing really went, didn't it? (Pause)

116:24:21 Shepard: Pretty good range out of that baby. (Long Pause)

[Ed goes to the MET with the thumper geophone.]
116:25:07 McCandless: Al, this is Houston. Could you tell us where you are in the SIDE or PSE sequence?

116:25:18 Shepard: Yes, sir. The legs of the SIDE have been deployed; PSE (Passive Seismic Experiment) stool is being placed 10 feet north from the Central Station.

116:25:28 McCandless: Roger.

[Comm Break. Ed goes back to ALSEP package 1 to release the mortar pack. He has reached 2+15 in his checklist. Al is at 2+08 in his checklist.]
116:26:32 Mitchell: Okay, Houston. The thumper is stowed on the MET. (Because the MET is farther from the ALSEP package than planned) I had to get the first geophone out in order to get it there, but we'll take care of that in a few minutes.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 30 sec)

116:26:41 McCandless: Roger, Ed.

[As Ed gets back to the ALSEP package, Al may be releasing the Passive Seismic Experiment (PSE).]
116:26:47 Mitchell: Now comes the task that tries men's patience. (Pause) Getting the mortar pack off; and it's coming off, now. Incidentally, how much are you able to see, Bruce?

116:27:06 McCandless: Okay, Ed. You're about one-seventh...

116:27:08 Shepard: (Garbled under McCandless).

116:27:13 McCandless: ...the height of our picture.

116:27:15 Mitchell: Yeah; okay. Hmm.

116:27:17 Shepard: Went in, huh?

116:27:18 Mitchell: Yup.

116:27:19 Shepard: Okay. (Pause) (Garbled) (Long Pause)

116:28:07 Shepard: Okay; that's gotta be...

[Comm Break. The mortar pack - M/P in the checklist - contains a set of grenades which were planned to be fired to distances of 500, 1000, 3000, and 5000 feet to the north - after the crew left to Moon, of course - in order to give larger seismic signals to give information to depths of up to 500 meters. Ed moves away from the Central Station, going 10 feet northwest, and deploys the mortar pack as per checklist.]
116:29:07 Mitchell: Okay, Bruce. The mortar pack is in place.

116:29:11 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

[In the 1971 Technical Debrief, Mitchell indicates that, although he had a great deal of difficulty with the mortar pack during training, thanks to a lot of work and complaints to the experiment designers, when it came to the actual deployment, "we had worked with that enough in sims so that it came off about as expected."]
116:29:26 Shepard: And we've had interim deployment of the PSE.

116:29:31 McCandless: Roger, Al. (Long Pause)

[Al has put the stool and the seismometer in place, but will wait until 116:58 before he deploys the reflective skirt which will provide thermal protection.]
116:29:52 Mitchell: You know, I don't think the solar wind is going to blow our (S-band) antenna over like it generally does (in training at the Cape).

116:29:58 Shepard: (Referring to his own deployment of the PSE) How about that. Steady as a rock.

116:30:02 Mitchell: Okay, the CPLEE (Charged Particle Lunar Environment Experiment)'s starting to come off, now.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 41 sec)

116:30:05 Mitchell: Watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it.

116:30:07 Shepard: Yup, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

[In the TV, we see a glint of sunlight off a cable that Al catches with his foot as he goes around the east side of the Central Station. It is almost impossible to see one's feet and it is a minor miracle that only one piece of equipment was lost to a cable pull during all of Apollo. After Ed releases the CPLEE, Al will level and align the Central Station base and then will release 16 Boyd bolts that are holding down the top of the Central Station and the thermal side-curtains. In the following, they may be re-aligning a piece of equipment that moved when Al caught his foot in the cable. Al's statement at 116:30:49 suggests that it was the Central Station that moved.]
116:30:10 Mitchell: Let's see if I can get it back in line. Can you tap it toward me a little? We're a little too close, if we can get this whole thing a little further away. Kind of push it with your foot.

116:30:22 Shepard: I don't want to get too much dust on it. (It's) bad enough as it is.

116:30:35 Mitchell: Yeah. (Pause) About another 8 inches or so. That looks pretty good.

116:30:40 Shepard: Is that about level?

116:30:42 Mitchell: Yeah. It looks pretty level to me, Al. Okay, the CPLEE's coming off.

[Ed has reached 2+20 in his checklist.]
116:30:49 Shepard: No, it's not (level). (Pause) Well, okay. We'll fix it up. When you get that baby (the CPLEE) off there.

116:31:04 Shepard: Okay, Houston. Al is reading 3.75; reading 55 on the O2. I have no flags; I'm on minimum cooling and very comfortable.

116:31:17 McCandless: Roger, Al. Go ahead, Ed.

116:31:23 Mitchell: Okay, hold on here. (Pause) Okay. Ed is reading 3.75. Is reading 43 percent, and has no flags, is on minimum cooling, and feeling very comfortable.

116:31:45 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Pause) And for your information, Antares, those numbers compare very well with our predictions; and it looks like you're going right down the old line.

116:32:03 Mitchell: Very good.

116:32:06 McCandless: And just by way of reference, I show you about 38 minutes behind the nominal timeline at this point.

116:32:16 Mitchell: Okay.

116:32:18 Shepard: Okay. We'll give you a little credit for that, Bruce. Better make up your mind as a television technician.

[Al is telling Houston that part of the 38 minutes was due to Houston's requests for fine-tuning of the TV pointing, zoom, and sensitivity. While Mitchell is deploying the CPLEE, Al is leveling and aligning the Central Station prior to releasing 16 Boyd bolts which will let the spring-loaded top of the Central Station pop up into place at about waist height, raising the thermal curtains in the process. Al has reached 2+14 in his checklist.]
116:32:29 McCandless: Roger. And, we're looking right now at about a 30-minute extension. I'll have more word for you on that later.

116:32:40 Shepard: Okay. We'll keep plugging ahead, here. (Pause) Okay. I have just about the right amount of dirt. Central Station is level. (Long Pause)

[The process of leveling the Central Station is a matter of moving dirt to raise a corner or of scraping dirt away to lower one.]
116:33:33 Mitchell: Okay, Houston. The CPLEE is deployed. The (leveling indicator) ball is in the inner ring. And it is lined up due east.

RealVideo Clip (4 min 19 sec)

116:33:44 McCandless: Roger, Ed.

[Each of the experiments has a gnomon, a short, vertical stick, which provides a shadow. Because the position of the Sun in the sky is well-known and changes only about a half degree per hour, it is possible to know ahead of time where the gnomon shadow should fall when the instrument is properly aligned. Ed is at 2+26 in his checklist.]
116:33:49 Mitchell: And we're going for the SIDE now.

116:33:54 Shepard: And it looks clean and pretty, doesn't it? That little CPLEE all sitting there.

116:34:00 Mitchell: It won't (be clean) long.

116:34:02 Shepard: All trim and proper.

116:34:04 Mitchell: You look very white, trim, and proper yourself. Little tarnished, now, but...

116:34:10 Shepard: Except for the lower extremities, huh? (Pause)

116:34:19 McCandless: Ed, Houston. You confirm interim... (correcting himself) or initial mortar pack deployment.

116:34:27 Mitchell: That's affirmative. I confirm it.

116:34:30 McCandless: Roger.

116:34:33 Mitchell: It's lined up almost due north, Bruce, in order to have a free flight (of the grenades) away from all craters I can see and still miss the ridge that we're worried about.

116:34:44 McCandless: Roger. We copy. (Pause)

116:34:56 Mitchell: (Moving toward the south) And I'm heading out with the SIDE and the CCIG at this point.

116:35:02 McCandless: Roger.

[Ed will deploy the SIDE/CCIG about 55 feet southeast of the Central Station, rather than the northeast location shown in his deployment sketch. Al is releasing Boyd bolts on the Central Station.]
116:35:04 Mitchell: Say, Houston, relative to the CCIG, since we have these ridges to the south of us and this thing is being deployed somewhat in a hollow, is this going to upset the investigators?

116:35:21 McCandless: Stand by. We'll get you an answer on that. (Pause)

116:35:34 Mitchell: I don't really know what else we can do, since this whole area is a bowl.

116:35:39 McCandless: Ed, you can go ahead and deploy in accordance with the nominal plans. We understand and that will not impact the experiment. (Pause) Ed, Houston. Do you copy deploy in accordance with the nominal plans?

[McCandless is probably trying to draw Ed's attention to the fact that he should be deploying the SIDE northeast of the Central Station, rather than southeast. In the meantime, Al has gone over to the MET, perhaps to check the 16-mm camera.]
116:35:59 Mitchell: Okay. Got you, Bruce. Thank you.

116:36:01 McCandless: Roger.

116:36:02 Mitchell: Sorry I was busy at that moment. (Long Pause as Ed begins to deploy the SIDE and Al returns to the Central Station)

116:36:47 Shepard: Okay, Houston. To keep you honest, Al is operating on the Central Station at the moment.

116:36:53 McCandless: Roger, Honest Al. (Al Laughs)

[Mitchell - "One of the problems with watching this on television at this point is remembering that we're operating with great magnification and, although it appears there's not much motion out there, all of the distances are foreshortened. And whereas we're moving 20 or 30 feet, it looks like we're only moving a few inches. It's hard to see our movement. And that's simply because of the long focal length of the lens."]

[Jones - "And some contribution from the bloom of the images."]

[Comm Break. At the end of this comm break, they will be 3 hours into the EVA. Compared with some of the other crews, Shepard and Mitchell are providing only a modest amount of commentary as they go about their work. At one point during this comm break, Ed apparently drops to his knees and, once again, rises easily. Although this image is partly saturated and we can not be certain that he went down on both knees, what is particularly interesting about this case is that he seems to be facing downslope, an orientation that would tend to make rising more difficult than on a flat surface or when facing upslope.]

116:39:21 Shepard: Okay, up comes the Central Station. And that's one for the troops on the ground.

116:39:27 McCandless: Okay. We're watching.

116:39:32 Shepard: Can you actually see it from there?

116:39:35 McCandless: I couldn't see it move up. I can see something, so to speak, flapping in the breeze. I guess that's the foil (that is, the thermal curtains).

RealVideo Clip (3 min 07 sec)

116:39:45 Shepard: Flapping in the what? (Pause)

[On Apollo 17, the Central Station sprang up into position and then the foil curtains shimmered for several seconds. Here, although the image is partly saturated, it appeared that the Central Station sprang up into position more slowly. Subsequent brightness variations are undoubtedly due to motions of the curtains.]
116:39:59 Mitchell: Houston, I'm out here having a wrestling match with the SIDE and the CCIG. The SIDE is so light (and) the cable is sufficiently stiff that every time I touch the CCIG, it almost turns the SIDE over. It's turned it over twice on me, now.
[Conrad and Bean had an identical problem with their SIDE/CCIG. The cable connecting the two pieces of equipment is very stiff and has some loops and kinks in it from the days or weeks that it has been stowed in the LM. Ed is having a tough time getting the CCIG into position and in the right orientation and, in the process, is having the CCIG "tail" disturb the SIDE "dog". After the trouble that Conrad and Bean had with their deployment, a stabilizing leg was added to the SIDE, as can be seen in a comparison of SIDE diagrams from the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 Preliminary Science Reports. It didn't help and a major design change was done prior to Apollo 15.]
116:40:22 Shepard: Want some help up there, Ed?

116:40:24 McCandless: Roger; standby...

116:40:25 Mitchell: Well, give me another minute with it and I'll have it; I think.

116:40:27 Shepard: Okay.

116:40:30 McCandless: Say again on that, Ed.

116:40:35 Mitchell: Say again?

116:40:36 McCandless: Yeah, I missed your last.

116:40:41 Mitchell: I said I've been wrestling with the SIDE and CCIG out here. And the cable is still sufficiently stiff, and the SIDE is sufficiently light - has sufficiently little mass - that it keeps getting tipped over.

116:41:08 McCandless: Can you do anything by moving it back a little bit toward the Central Station to slack off the cable?

116:41:15 Mitchell: No, no, no, no. It's the cable from the CCIG to the SIDE.

116:41:19 McCandless: Oh, okay.

116:41:24 Shepard: A little hysteresis problem, huh?

[In an engineering sense, hysteresis is literally a delayed reaction or a "retardation of effect". Here, Al is referring to the fact that the SIDE/CCIG has retained memory of the coiled state it was in for weeks prior to deployment.]
116:41:28 Mitchell: There it goes again. (Pause) Okay, Houston. I think I have it leveled. Besides that, it's poorly balanced, it turns out; it wants to tip over very easily to the rear. The CCIG is aligned and leveled. (Correcting himself) I mean the SIDE is aligned and leveled; and the corners, I guess I better check those.

116:41:59 McCandless: Okay, Ed. If you have a problem, SIDE is first priority; CCIG comes second.

116:42:08 Mitchell: Rog. (Long Pause)

116:42:24 Mitchell: It's interesting, Bruce, that the dynamics of the SIDE are such that (pause) just pulling this (dust cover) pin on it almost tipped it over again. I had to use a lever technique to get it off.

RealVideo Clip (1 min 41 sec)

116:42:44 McCandless: Roger.

116:42:45 Mitchell: Okay. The SIDE is deployed.

116:42:49 McCandless: Roger. And copy, the dust cover's off.

116:42:56 Mitchell: Okay. We'll head back (to the MET) and get on to the thumper geophone.

116:43:01 McCandless: Okay. What's the status of the CCIG, Ed?

116:43:06 Mitchell: (Moving west to the MET as he talks to McCandless) It's in good shape. It's deployed about 4 feet to the southeast (of the SIDE), and pointing almost due south with a little bit to the west.

116:43:18 McCandless: Beautiful. (Long Pause)

[The checklist calls for deployment of the CCIG 5 feet north of the SIDE; but, evidently, Ed finds that, by putting it southeast of the SIDE, he can get it in the proper orientation without disturbing the SIDE.]

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I had no particular problem getting the SIDE out to the site, after we finally got it off of the subpallet. It eventually ended up to the southeast, with the CCIG to the south as the photographs plainly show. However, it was really a hassle getting the SIDE and the CCIG deployed. The Number One problem was that the leg configuration on the SIDE is totally unstable in one-sixth g. The small mass of all of that equipment makes it so easy to turn over just by a touch. The cable stiffness is still a problem on the SIDE and CCIG. Just by touching the CCIG cable, I turned over the SIDE at least three times - just trying to pick it up and also trying to hold the SIDE, the CCIG, and the ground screen and to manipulate those three things. It had been fairly easy in simulation; I had worked it out (to) where I knew how to handle it. I still got all three of them wrapped up. I had the grounding wire to the ground screen on the CCIG all wrapped around each other, and it was just one hell of a mess. I took quite a bit of time to get all of that sorted out and properly deployed. It finally worked out, but it was very time consuming. The major problem with the instability of the SIDE on the three legs was that it tipped over so easily. The plastic memory in the (CCIG) cable was just very hard to work with."]

[The SIDE/CCIG was totally re-designed for Apollo 15 and, on that flight, was deployed without any notable problems.]

116:43:33 McCandless: Al, this is Houston. I show about 3 to 4 minutes overdue on the magazine on the 16-millimeter camera.

116:43:47 Mitchell: Since I'm heading over there, now, Al, I'll turn it off.

116:43:49 Shepard: Okay. You shut it off, and we'll change the mag later. (Long Pause)

RealVideo Clip (3 min 33 sec)

116:44:05 Mitchell: (Now at the MET) Okay. And Bruce, I'm going to go to Intermediate Cooling just for a few minutes. For a couple of minutes.

116:44:20 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Long Pause)

[Jones - "Your decision to take a rest suggests that you were working pretty hard to get that SIDE/CCIG deployed. I presume that you were having to lean over against the suit pressure."]

[Mitchell - "Yeah, it's an effort trying to move against the suit. And I had a personal policy that, if I felt myself starting to break a sweat - more than just break a sweat - I would go to intermediate cooling. I tried to operate my metabolic rate and the cooling such that I was right on the verge of breaking a sweat. And, if I really started to sweat I went to higher cooling and, if I wasn't really starting to break a sweat, I wasn't working hard enough; so I'd step up my pace. So that was my personal energy management system."]

116:44:36 Mitchell: I've got it in between Low and Intermediate, now.

116:44:46 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Pause)

116:44:53 Mitchell: And I'm going to take penetrometer measurement, now, Houston.

116:44:55 McCandless: Roger.

116:44:56 Mitchell: As I get ready for the thumper. (Long Pause)

[Ed is at 2+36 in his cuff checklist and, since they are 3 hours 5 minutes, into the EVA, he is 30 minutes behind. Unlike Conrad and Bean on Apollo 12, he has deployed the SIDE/CCIG without a great loss of time. Al has just gone over to the subpallet to get the Central Station antenna mast. He is at 2+24 in his checklist.]
116:45:13 Mitchell: Ooh, that new extension handle works well.
[The extension handle flown on Apollos 14 to 17 had a length of 76 cm versus 61 cm on Apollos 11 and 12. The locking mechanism with which the handle was mated to tools was re-designed, as well.]
116:45:21 Mitchell: Houston, I'm taking these measurements now at a site about 15, no, about 25 feet south of the Central...Not of the Central Station but of the RTG. And here goes my first one. One hand. (Pause) And Houston, I can push it in...Well, let's see; it's gone nearly all the way in.

116:45:53 Shepard: (Looking over at the penetrometer) Six marks. Six blacks showing.

116:45:55 Mitchell: Six. 1, 2, 3. 1, 2, 3. A double one and a black and white. A white, a black, and white below the upper double one. Do you understand?

116:46:07 McCandless: Roger. We do.

116:46:11 Mitchell: That's with one hand. (Pause)

[Al has gone over to the subpallet to get the gimbal assembly he will mount on the antenna mast. Ed's image is merged with that of the MET and the combination is too saturated to let us see anything of what he is doing.]
116:46:15 Mitchell: With two hands (pause), I can push it all the way in.

116:46:19 McCandless: Roger.

116:46:22 Mitchell: I'll try it once more.

116:46:24 Shepard: You have about 3 inches left, there.

116:46:26 Mitchell: Well, it was no problem getting it in, Al. It's my fingers won't reach any further.

116:46:29 Shepard: Okay. (Pause)

116:46:34 Mitchell: Okay. Here we go. One hand. (Pause) And I have two white and two black rings going below the upper double ring. Understand?

116:46:51 McCandless: Roger. Understand.

[Al is now back at the Central Station with the gimbal assembly.]
116:46:52 Mitchell: With one hand. And two hands all the way again.

116:46:57 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Pause)

116:47:04 Mitchell: And one more. (Pause) And (at) this site, Houston, I got it all the way to the upper double ring, one hand.

116:47:17 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Pause) And get all...

116:47:21 Mitchell: And again all the way in, two hands.

116:47:24 McCandless: Okay, (time to start) the geophone deployment.

116:47:29 Mitchell: Rog. (Pause) And, Houston, I'm back in Minimum cooling.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 07 sec)

116:47:40 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Long Pause)

[Ed will deploy the 300-foot geophone line toward the southeast. The line has three geophones on it: one near the Central Station, one in the middle, and one at the far end. He goes north, almost to the Central Station and turns to face southeast so that he can pick a specific deployment direction and, probably, a horizon feature to walk towards as he goes. The actual line-of-deployment is shown in the post-flight On the USGS map]
116:48:25 Mitchell: That looks like a pretty good line right out there. (Long Pause)
[In the TV, it appears that Ed emplaces the geophone anchor which will keep him from disturbing the Central Station while he deploys the geophone line. He then goes off to the northwest about 20 feet and turns, probably to sight across the anchor and, possibly, the mortar pack. He then goes over to the MET, perhaps to get a marker flag or a geophone.]
116:49:04 McCandless: Honest Al, this is Houston. How are you doing?

116:49:10 Shepard: Fine, thank you, Honest Abe. I'm in the process of leveling and aligning the (Central Station) antenna.

116:49:17 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

["Honest Abe" is a reference to 19th Century U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who used that self-description in his political campaigns.]

[Having mounted the antenna mast on the Central Station, Al then mounts a set of gimbals on the mast and then, on the gimbals, mounts the antenna. Because the position of the Earth in the local sky changes only slightly and was, of course, determined as soon as the landing site was picked, once Al has the antenna/gimbal assembly level and aligned, he can adjust the gimbals to predetermined pointing angles.]

[In the meantime, Ed goes back to the anchor - perhaps to move it slightly - and then back out to the northwest to double check the intended line of deployment.]

116:50:09 Mitchell: Now, let's see what that site looks like. (Pause)

116:50:16 Shepard: Okay, the antenna is leveled. (Pause) (Garbled). (Pause)

[Shepard, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "As for leveling and erection of the antenna for the Central Station, we may as well cover it all at once. I had no problem doing it. Apparently, everything was going along fine during the first EVA, but we had to go back out again and redo that (alignment) later on (at the end of EVA-2). The only thing I can think of is that somehow it must have gotten jostled - changed its position - and wasn't noticed because (when he went out to re-align it) the numerical settings were still the same as they had been set originally. I could notice that there had been very little change. The only thing to suggest is (that) maybe we ought to have a Go to leave the (ALSEP deployment) area with everybody satisfied with the alignment of that thing; because, if it had been jostled, certainly it would have shown up before we left the area. That would have saved a trip back. They gave me a couple of new numbers (for the re-alignment) which differed slightly. It says (at 2+40 in Al's checklist) confirm the data, which obviously you do (at 116:52:59), 10 minutes after you get the switches turned on; but, then, there's a lot of thrashing around in that area after that, taking pictures and moving over cables and things, and it may be possible to jostle the thing. So there really ought to be a Go to leave the area when you're through with this activity for the last time. It might save a trip back."]
116:50:34 Mitchell: Al, you do take a picture down along this (geophone) line, do you not?

116:50:37 Shepard: Yup.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 21 sec)

116:50:38 Mitchell: Okay. I've got me a site. (Long Pause)

[From his position near the Central Station, Al will take a documentation photo of the geophone line after Ed finishes with the deployment.]

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The only problem we had with the deployment of the thumper was moving it from the (Central) Station. This was because of the geometry of the craters. (At the start of the ALSEP Deployment) we had to park the MET a bit farther away (from the Central Station) than nominal, and I had to pull out considerably past the first geophone to have a place just to set that spool up against the MET. It was no great trick, except the MET was due south of the Central Station, and we would like to get the anchor into the geophone line almost due west so that we would have plenty of west clearance from the Central Station. It took a little bit of time after that to reel off some more cable from the geophone line and to pull that cable back to the west of the Central Station to get adequate clearance (west of the MET). It's just another one of these little things that took time that we hadn't planned on."]

[Ed's cuff checklist deployment map shows the MET parked southwest of the Central Station and the geophone line coming out of the north side of the Central Station and going along the west side for 12 feet to the angle that represents the anchor. Because the MET is south of the Central Station, Ed had to bring the geophone line farther west from the Central Station before taking the line toward the south.]

[Ed goes to a point about midway between the Central Station and the MET and bobs to one knee, perhaps sticking the first geophone in the ground. He then works at this spot for several seconds before going over toward the MET.]

116:51:37 Mitchell: And, Houston, I have my first geophone in the ground. And in this soft ground they go in vertically without any problem, and they push right on in (by stepping on them with a boot).

116:51:48 McCandless: Okay, that's the 10-foot one?

116:51:53 Mitchell: That's affirm.

116:51:55 McCandless: Rog.

116:51:57 Shepard: (Standing on the north side of the Central Station) Okay, Houston. The Central Station antenna is aligned. I'm going to turn switch number 1 clockwise and switch number 5 counter-clockwise. Are you with me?

116:52:12 McCandless: I'm with you. Go. (Pause)

[Al will use his Universal Handling Tool (UHT) to turn the switches, which are at the bottom, left-rear of the Central Station. He is at 2+34.]
116:52:21 Mitchell: Okay Al, will you watch me and keep me honest here.

116:52:28 Shepard: Just a sec, Ed. Number 1, clockwise. (Pause) Number 5, counter-clockwise. Okay. That's where they are, Bruce.

116:52:41 McCandless: Roger. Out. (Long Pause)

116:52:57 Mitchell: I'm going to start moving out, Al.

116:52:58 Shepard: Okay.

116:52:59 McCandless: And, Al, for your information, they're receiving a good...

116:53:00 Shepard: (Garbled) for a minute, Ed.

116:53:00 McCandless: ...signal back from ALSEP.

116:53:07 Shepard: Okay.

116:53:09 Mitchell: See where my first geophone is, Al? Is it okay?

116:53:11 Shepard: Yeah, I'll just line you up, babe. Just a sec.

116:53:15 Mitchell: Okay.

[Al moves northwest to the spot from which Ed sighted along his proposed line.]
116:53:17 Shepard: Okay, a good line for you is the horizon intersection of that crater rim which is out to your right; do you see it?

116:53:28 Mitchell: Yup.

116:53:31 Shepard: That big intersection there.

116:53:32 Mitchell: Okay.

116:53:33 Shepard: That's a perfect line for you.

116:53:34 Mitchell: (Going out of the TV picture to the left) That's where I'm headed.

116:53:36 Shepard: Yeah, beautiful.

[Training photo KSC-70PC-487 shows Back-up LMP Joe Engle with the thumper, which has a cable spool at each end. The cable at the big end carries the fire signals back to the Central Station while the other cable links the three geophones to the Central Station. The large end contains twenty-one small charges, each a single bridgewire, Apollo Standard Initiators (ASI). An initiator selector is on the top of the small end and the arm fire switch is on the shaft just under the strap for Engle's cuff checklist. See Figure 14-31 from the Mission Report.]
116:53:38 Shepard: Okay, Houston, the ALSEP antenna alignment looks good?

RealVideo Clip (4 min 04 sec)

116:53:45 McCandless: Roger; out.

116:53:51 Shepard: Okay, I can press on with the LR-Cubed.

[Al has turned his checklist to the page that starts "LR-Cubed, ALSEP Photos" without having completed his 2+35 tasks on the previous page. Houston is, of course, marking off tasks as they are completed, backing up the crew's own reading of the checklist.]
116:53:57 McCandless: Okay, we've also got the PSE...

116:53:59 Shepard: (Garbled) Houston.

116:53:59 McCandless: ...final deployment.

MP3 Audio Clip (42 min 33 sec)

116:54:09 Shepard: Okay; I will do that now. (Pause) Do da doo do doo. (Pause) Okay. Pull that (garbled) out this way. (Pause) And (garbled) straight; it's laying (pause) flat.

[Comm Break]

[Al is deploying a thermal skirt around the seismometer and is making a final check of the level and alignment. The Public Affairs commentator reports that Al's heart rate is in the 70's and Ed's is in the 90's.]

116:57:19 Mitchell: Okay, Houston. The second geophone is in. And I was a little bit overly optimistic about the ease of which they could be put in. The tension of the cable is such that it didn't want to allow the geophone to hang straight. Rather, the set in the cable (is the problem, rather than the tension).

116:57:40 McCandless: Roger, Ed.

[The location of geophone '2' is shown on the USGS map. The cable connecting one geophone to the next is 150 feet (45 meters) long. Note that the positions indicated in the diagram are slightly inaccurate, with the disance from geophone '1' to geophone '2' being shown as 60 meters and from '2' to '3' being shown as 50 meters.]
116:57:41 Mitchell: The geophone isn't heavy enough to straighten it out. But we got it in.

RealVideo Clip (4 min 42 sec)

116:57:48 McCandless: (What is) this "we" stuff?

116:57:53 Mitchell: That's an editorial "we".

116:57:54 McCandless: Rog. (Pause) And are you getting the...(Listens)

116:58:01 Mitchell: I was really referring to the end of the...(Listens)

116:58:05 McCandless: Are you getting the second flag in there?

116:58:06 Mitchell: I was really referring to the end of the thumper and the...(Listens) Yeah, it's in.

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief, "Deploying the seismometers (more properly called 'geophones') into the surface was a bit of a trick because of the softness of the soil. I had a little bit of difficulty getting them under my boot to push them in. Eventually, in all three cases, I ended up using the thumper plate itself. I would dangle them (the seismometers) above the surface, pick up the thumper plate, and very carefully get the little stake started into the ground. Then I would step on it and push it in. However, the soil was sufficiently light and non-cohesive for the first few inches so that the seismometer had nothing that would hold it in place. This is the reason the second one pulled out. All you had to do was just touch it, and it either would tip over or pull out completely. When we finally got them in place, they were all within the 7-degree constraint. I'm sure they were. The second one was until it got pulled out; but when it was eventually reset, it was all right also."]

[Ed will discover that the middle (second) seismometer has pulled out at 117:18:44.]

116:58:14 Shepard: Okay, the final deployment of the PSE gives us a shadow reading of (pause) 093.

116:58:29 McCandless: Roger. 093 degrees and leveled. Over.

116:58:35 Shepard: 093 degrees and level.

116:58:40 McCandless: Beautiful.

116:58:41 Shepard: Make that...(Pause) You can call it 093.5 if you want, Houston.

116:59:00 McCandless: Roger; out.

[Mitchell - "He couldn't read that to 2 degrees! It was marked in ten degree (increments), I think, on a little rosette. He's just playing."]
116:59:04 Shepard: And the skirt is all deployed very nicely and level; it's flat all the way around.
[Comm Break. Despite his report to Houston, Al looks as though he is continuing to adjust the PSE skirt before starting the LR-Cubed deployment. Ed is continuing to deploy the geophone line. Comm breaks of this length were rare during the later missions. If not commenting on details of the deployment, the later crews tended to comment on the geology or engage Houston in a dialog about upcoming activities. At about 117:01, Al goes over to the MET to get the LR-Cubed and runs west with it, stopping just a few seconds before Ed's next transmission. The spot where Al deploys the LR-Cubed is indicated on the USGS map.]
RealVideo Clip (3 min 59 sec)

117:02:22 Mitchell: Okay, Houston, this is Ed. I'm at the end of my geophone line. Looking back over it, I see the cable has knocked down the second flag. Do you want me to go back and look at it or shall we try one shot and see if everything is working?

117:02:40 McCandless: We'd just as soon go ahead and try a shot and see how it works, Ed. Have you got the third one in the ground, yet?

117:02:49 Mitchell: Yeah, the third one is in the ground. Somehow or another, I'm tangled up on this cable. Just a minute.

117:02:59 McCandless: Roger. (Pause)

117:03:05 Mitchell: There we go. (Pause)

[The following is taken from the Apollo 14 Preliminary Science Report. "Even though geophone 2 was resting on its side during the first five thumper firings, usable seismic data were recorded. The net result of tipping a vertical-component geophone off vertical is to translate the mass and effectively increase the natural frequency. Analysis of the calibration pulse sent before beginning thumping operations showed that the effective natural frequency (that is, the peak-response frequency) of geophone 2 had increased from 7.5 to 13.4 Hz."]
117:03:14 Shepard: Okay. (As per checklistThe LR-Cubed is deployed 100 feet west of the Central Station. It is level, Sun index is zero. The (dust) cover is coming off, now.

117:03:30 McCandless: Roger, Al.

117:03:31 Shepard: The cover is off.

117:03:32 McCandless: And, Ed, this is Houston. Whenever you're ready, we need to get a calibration on the geophone, so if you and Al will just stand still for a moment, then we can give you a Go to commence thumping.

117:03:47 Mitchell: Okay. I'm standing still, now.

117:03:52 Shepard: Okay. So is Al. The cover is off of the laser (reflector), and it's completely clean.

117:03:59 McCandless: Roger.

117:04:08 Shepard: And it did not move during the cover removal.

117:04:12 McCandless: Roger, Al. (Pause)

[They are 3+25 into the EVA. Al is at 2+47 in his checklist while Ed is at 2+51 in his.]

[Three Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector (LRRR or LR-Cubed) were deployed during Apollo; one each by the 11, 14, and 15 crews. As of February 2005, the retroreflectors were still being used in conjunction with a dedicated facility at the MacDondald Observatory in Texas.]

117:04:19 McCandless: And if you can do without moving around, we'd like to get an EMU status report.

117:04:25 Shepard: Okay. This is Al. 3.75 (psi); five-zero (50) percent (oxygen); I have no (warning) flags; Min cooling and I'm comfortable. Everything is beautiful!

117:04:35 McCandless: Roger.

117:04:36 Mitchell: Okay. This is Ed. I'm 3.75; 34 percent. I'm Min cooling, no flags. Feel great.

117:04:50 McCandless: Roger. Got it. (Long Pause) Ed, this is Houston. You're Go for thumper activity. (As per checklist) we will require that you and Al stop 20 seconds beforehand and let it quiet down. They're very sensitive.

[Houston wants them to stand still for 20 seconds to let any seismic noise generated by their movements die down.]
117:05:18 Mitchell: Okay. You're getting them (that is, good signals) from all three geophones, Houston?

117:05:23 McCandless: That's affirmative.

117:05:27 Mitchell: Okay. Here goes the first one.

117:05:31 Shepard: Okay.

117:05:32 Mitchell: Do I need 20 seconds now, Houston?

117:05:33 McCandless: That's affirmative.

117:05:38 Mitchell: Okay. Started counting. (Long Pause)

117:05:52 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2...Start over. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. I didn't feel anything, Houston.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 59 sec)

117:06:16 McCandless: Roger; we copy. Stand by. (Pause)

[The thumper did not fire on this first attempt. There are 22 charges in all. As we will discover, they are numbered from 0 to 21]
117:06:27 Shepard: Ed, I'm going to mosey on back (to the MET to get one of the Hasselblads) and start taking pictures (of the ALSEP experiments) in the meantime.

117:06:30 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause)

117:06:56 McCandless: Ed, this is Houston. We saw an Arm and a Disarm signal on that. We would like for you to attempt to fire squib number 1 again at the same location. Over.

[Al reaches the MET.]
117:07:08 Mitchell: Okay. I haven't moved. Al, if you'll hold your position, we'll give them another go at it.

117:07:14 Shepard: Okay, I'm steady. (Long Pause)

117:07:30 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Okay, we got it that time, Houston.

117:07:40 McCandless: Roger; very good.

117:07:43 Mitchell: Okay. It's a hard trigger, that's all. That was the problem.

117:07:48 McCandless: We copy.

117:07:52 Mitchell: Say again. Okay.

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "In using the thumper geophone, the trigger was very difficult. I started out by selecting zero. That was a moment of confusion. By selecting zero, it took almost more strength than I had to fire those first few initiators. I don't know why. I was having to fire them by putting both hands on the thumper geophone, gripping it between my palms, and squeezing in this fashion. Sometimes it would fire, and sometimes it wouldn't. The first few that fired took every bit of strength that I had to squeeze that trigger. Near the end of the thumps, the last five or six or seven, it operated as I expected it would. It was a very light trigger, and I could do it with one hand very easily. Why the change, I have no idea; but the first ones were very difficult, and the last ones were easy. We had never fired a full sequence of initiators in practice. I probably had fired only one or two just to get the feel of them."]

[See the thumper discussion in the Apollo 14 Misison Report.]

117:08:00 Shepard: Houston, did you know that we were filming that last (16-mm) magazine at six frames per seconds? Did you take that into account?

117:08:09 McCandless: That's affirmative. Six frames per second...

117:08:12 Shepard: Okay; (garbled).

117:08:12 McCandless: ...was nominal 15 minutes, and we ran for almost 20.

117:08:23 Shepard: Okay, the little ball indicator was not indicating empty. Okay.

117:08:26 Mitchell: Okay, Al, I'm ready for another one.

117:08:28 Shepard: Go. (Long Pause)

117:08:47 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. (Pause) Okay, let me try it again. (Pause)

117:09:04 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (pause), Fire. A hair trigger, this isn't.

117:09:20 McCandless: (Chuckles) Okay, Ed...

117:09:22 Shepard: Okay; moving again, Ed.

117:09:23 McCandless: ...We copy it fired on that one, and we see...(Listens for Shepard)

117:09:28 Mitchell: Okay.

117:09:30 Shepard: Okay, Echo-Echo is coming off and Delta-Delta going on.

117:09:36 McCandless: Roger; understand Dover, Delaware, is going on the 16-millimeter camera.

117:09:44 Shepard: (Responding to "Dover Delaware") Oh, dear.

117:09:48 Mitchell: Okay, Al, I'm ready for another one. And, Houston, this is number 2.

117:09:55 McCandless: Should be number 3, Ed.

117:10:00 Mitchell: Okay, counting from zero, it's number 2.

117:10:07 McCandless: Roger; counting from zero, it is number 2.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 47 sec)

117:10:11 Shepard: I'm ready.

117:10:12 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Jones - "There were probably a few reporters in Houston who were thoroughly confused. How about you?"]

[Mitchell - "It was easy to get confused. As I recall, the zero station was supposed to have been a dead station on that marking. It turns out zero was an active station when we got the flight hardware. See, we never fired these things before. It had been simulated firings. So, firing the flight hardware was the first time I'd really ever fired it."]

[Mitchell, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "For some reason or another, I had never noticed that the numbers on the thing went from 0 to 21, which is actually 22 positions. I started out on zero, and I didn't really know at that moment whether zero was a dead position for safety, or whether it actually had a live initiator under it. To my recollection, zero had an initiator on it (which he fired at 117:07:30), and I believe that's the first one I fired. When I got to 22, apparently I still had an initiator left, so I was confused again. Had I fired 21, or had I missed one along the way. It was a little bit of comedy there that was unanticipated."]

117:10:27 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. (Pause)

117:10:42 McCandless: Beautiful, Ed.

117:10:46 Mitchell: Okay.

117:10:49 Shepard: ALSEP photos. (To McCandless) (I'm starting the 70 mm pictures on Hasselblad magazine) Juliett-Juliett. Starting frame is 6.

117:10:57 McCandless: Roger; frame 6, Jakarta, Java.

117:11:05 Shepard: Oh, it's tough to be so prosaic.

117:11:12 Mitchell: Okay, Al, I'm ready when you are.

117:11:14 Shepard: Go ahead. (Long Pause)

[Mitchell is doing the firings at fifteen-foot intervals along the 300-foot geophone line.]

[Al's photo plan is shown on two pages in the checklist. Two pages are visible at any one time and these are placed in the page sequence so that they form a two-page map laid out on Al's arm. Al is presently at the MET and will follow the dashed line in the direction indicated. The solid lines are cables. All the exposures will be 1/250th of a second at f/11.]

117:11:32 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

117:11:43 Shepard: (Garbled).

117:11:46 Mitchell: Hard trigger. This thing has a pretty good kick to it.

117:11:48 McCandless: Okay, good shot, Ed.

117:11:55 Mitchell: Sort of like firing both barrels of a 12-gauge shotgun; and at once.

117:12:00 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

[Al has gone north to a position just beyond the Mortar Pack. As indicated in the photo plan, he sets the focus at 5 feet and takes AS14-67- 9361 toward the Central Station, the Geophone anchor, and the MET.]

[Al moves to the PSE and takes AS14-67- 9362 from the south at a 3-foot focus. He then moves to a location northwest of the PSE and takes 9363 and 5-foot focus.]

117:12:26 Mitchell: Houston, am I on number 5 now?

117:12:30 McCandless: That's affirmative. Counting from 1, you're on number 5. Counting from zero, you'd be on number 4. Over.

117:12:38 Mitchell: Okay, give me the count from zero. That's what I'm marking on.

117:12:42 McCandless: Okay, from zero, you're on number 4.

117:12:45 Mitchell: Okay, Al, I'm ready.

117:12:49 Shepard: Okay, I'm ready, Ed. Go ahead. (Pause)

117:13:00 Mitchell: I'm not being facetious, Bruce. That's the way it's marked!

117:13:03 McCandless: (Good naturedly) Okay, I'm not fighting you! (Pause)

117:13:12 Mitchell: 5. 4, 3, 2...Let's try that one over, it moved. 5. 4, 3, 2, 1. (Pause) Okay, let's try it again. 5. 4, 3, 2, 1...(Pause) Well, I didn't get a fire out of number 4, Bruce. (Pause)

RealVideo Clip (3 min 24 sec)

117:13:44 McCandless: Roger, Ed. Let's go to the next position, next initiator.

117:13:55 Mitchell: Okay. (garbled) 3, 4, 5. I can't get that one to fire either

117:14:06 McCandless: Okay, Ed. What I meant was the next geophone line station with the next initiator.

117:14:16 Mitchell: Okay.

117:14:18 McCandless: So using initiator number 5...

117:14:20 Mitchell: Yeah. Let me try this one...(Listens) Say again what you want me to do, Bruce...

117:14:27 McCandless: Okay, using...

117:14:28 Mitchell: On both number 4 and number 5...(Listens)

117:14:34 McCandless: Using your initiator number 5, you are to move on to the next station, which will be the sixth position - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - and try it again, there.

117:14:45 Mitchell: Okay. Okay.

117:14:54 McCandless: And, Ed and Al, for your information, you've been out 3 hours and 35 minutes, and you're about 35 minutes behind the nominal timeline with a half-hour extension expected.

117:15:10 Shepard: Roger.

[Al has moved over to the CPLEE to take AS14-67- 9364 from 3 feet.]
117:15:12 Mitchell: Okay, Al, I'm ready to try again.

117:15:16 Shepard: Okay. Go ahead, Ed. (Long Pause)

117:15:38 Mitchell: 5. 4, 3, 2, 1...(Pause) It just won't fire! I'll try that initiator once more.

117:15:55 McCandless: Roger; repeat that one, at the same location.

117:16:00 Mitchell: Roger. 1, (2), 3, 4, 5...

117:16:04 McCandless: Okay, and hold in Arm for 10 seconds.

117:16:10 Mitchell: Okay. Let me reinitiate the Arm.

117:16:15 McCandless: Roger.

117:16:20 Mitchell: 1, 2, 3, (4), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

117:16:26 Mitchell: (Grunting) Fire. It won't go, Bruce. (Pause)

[Mitchell - "This is when you want to take contractors out and shoot 'em."]
117:16:36 McCandless: Okay, next ignitor, next geophone station.

117:16:43 Mitchell: Rog. (Long Pause)

[Mitchell - "It's frustrating. We (the taxpayers) paid so much for that damn equipment that there's no reason why this stuff wouldn't fire. No reason why it shouldn't work flawlessly. This is not a complicated piece of equipment."]

[Al moves to a position north of the CPLEE so that he can take a photo - known as a 'locator' - across the experiment toward the Central Station. The picture is AS14-67-9365.]

RealVideo Clip (3 min 30 sec)

117:17:03 Mitchell: Okay, Al, I'm ready.

117:17:05 Shepard: Okay, go ahead.

117:17:11 Mitchell: Bruce, do you want a ten-second Arm on this one, or five?

117:17:13 McCandless: Ten seconds, please. (Long Pause)

117:17:26 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

117:17:31 Mitchell: Fire. Got a good one. 3, 4, 5.

117:17:36 McCandless: Roger, Ed.

117:17:41 Shepard: Hurray, we got one! (Long Pause)

[Al has moved to a position east of the RTG and takes AS14-67-9366 across the top of it to the Central Station. Readers should note that, because of the low resolution of the TV picture, it is difficult to tell exactly when Al takes his pictures and the time estimates given here are only gross approximations. As indicated in the photo plan, Al was to have taken the SIDE/CCIG pictures after the CPLEE picture and before the RTG picture. However, because Ed deployed the SIDE/CCIG southeast of the Central Station rather than northeast, Al has made the simple adjustment of doing the RTG before the SIDE/CCIG so that he moves around the array more or less clockwise as he does the photo sequence.]
117:17:55 Mitchell: It was afraid not to; I told it I was going to break it in half if it didn't fire on that one. Okay, I'm ready for the next one.

117:18:03 Shepard: Okay, go ahead.

117:18:06 Mitchell: Okay, here we go. (Long Pause)

117:18:19 McCandless: Ed, this is Houston. We'd like you to proceed to the central geophone, that is geophone number 2, ignitor number 11...(correcting himself) or make that ignitor number 10, by your count, and fire that one off. Over.

117:18:37 Mitchell: Instead of the one I'm firing right now?

117:18:40 McCandless: That's affirmative.

117:18:44 Mitchell: All right, I was just about to push the trigger. Oh, oh. That's what I was afraid of, Bruce. This one (geophone 2) is pulled out.

117:18:55 McCandless: Which one pulled out?

117:19:00 Mitchell: The middle geophone is not in the ground.

117:19:04 McCandless: Okay, if you can re-emplace it, do so.

117:19:08 Mitchell: I shall. This ground is so soft that apparently, just a tug on the cable lifted it right out.

[Al has turned to face the LM. so that he can take the 'locator' at 74-foot focus as indicated in the photo plan.]
117:19:27 McCandless: Al, this is Houston. What are you photographing now? Over.

117:19:37 Shepard: Right now, I'm taking the 'distance' shot back to the LM from the RTG.

[On other missions, this type of shot is called a 'locator'. The idea is to take a picture of the LM or some other object of known size and location - horizon features qualify - from which analysts can determine the location from which the picture was taken. Al takes two 'locators', AS14-67- 9367 and 9368.]
117:19:44 McCandless: Roger. Out.

117:19:45 Shepard: Getting down to photograph the SIDE.

117:19:49 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

[Ed is probably re-emplacing the middle geophone. Al starts to move toward the SIDE/CCIG and, as he goes, apparently tries to whistle. The result sounds like somebody blowing through their teeth.]

[Mitchell - "He might have been trying to whistle but couldn't pucker or, in that reduced pressure, couldn't make it come out."]

[Jones - "Pete Conrad tried to whistle, too, but couldn't."]

[Just before Ed's next transmission, Al stops north of the SIDE and takes AS14-67- 9369 and 9370.]

RealVideo Clip (3 min 59 sec)

117:20:27 Mitchell: Okay, Houston. Number 11, it is.

117:20:33 McCandless: Roger. Be your ignitor number 10, and you're at the second geophone.

117:20:42 Mitchell: Okay, that's affirm. Al, I'm ready when you are.

117:20:47 Shepard: Go ahead. (Long Pause)

117:21:06 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Mark. Good shot.

117:21:13 McCandless: Roger. Al, you're released from the constraint of holding still for a period of time prior to and after the geophone thumps. Ed must still abide by the 20-second-before-and-5-second-after rule. Over.

117:21:31 Shepard: This is Al. I understand. (Pause)

[Al has moved in to take AS14-67- 9371, a close-up of the SIDE.]
117:21:37 Mitchell: Okay, Bruce. (Long Pause)
[Al takes AS14-67-9372 toward the Central Station at 10-foot focus, and then moves south of the SIDE to take 9373. Compare the latter with AS12-47-6922, a photo of the Apollo 12 SIDE/CCIG.]
117:22:10 McCandless: Ed, this is Houston. We're expecting you to thump at each station from there on in.

117:22:21 Mitchell: Okay. (Long Pause) Okay. Houston, here is number 11 coming up. (Pause)

117:23:07 McCandless: Roger. (Long Pause)

[Al goes toward the MET in order to take additional 'locators' as indicated by the circled "74" with three emerging arrows in the photo plan.]
117:23:24 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot.

117:23:30 McCandless: Roger.

117:23:35 Shepard: You should have threatened it earlier in the game!

117:23:39 Mitchell: You're right. (Long Pause) Okay. Number 12. (Long Pause) 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 59 sec)

117:24:19 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Long Pause)

117:24:33 Mitchell: (To himself) Came through the (garbled). (Long Pause)

[Al's first 'locator' is AS14-67- 9374 and shows Ed operating the thumper.]

[Frames AS14-67- 9375 to 9377 show the RTG, the Central Station, the geophone anchor and other nearby pieces of equipment.]

117:24:53 Mitchell: Okay, number 13, Houston.

117:24:55 McCandless: Roger. (Pause)

[Al is now near the Central Station, taking AS14-67-9378 from the ESE.]
117:25:03 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. No fire.

117:25:10 McCandless: Okay, Ed. Press on to the next station; the next ignitor.

117:25:17 Mitchell: Okay. (Pause) Are you getting any decent signals back, Bruce?

117:25:32 McCandless: That's affirmative, Ed.

[In simplistic terms, the subsurface structure at the Apollo 14 landing site can be divided into three layers. At the base is a layer of what is presumed to be ejecta from various pre-Imbrium impacts. This is covered by a layer of ejecta from the Imbrium impact, itself; and, at the top, is a layer of fine regolith derived from the Imbrium ejecta by countless subsequent impacts. The thumper/geophone data indicates that the regolith is about 8.5 meters thick under the geophone line and that the bottom of the Imbrium ejecta blanket - also called the Fra Mauro Formation - is at a depth somewhere in the range of 45 to 85 meters.]

[Al takes AS14-67- 9379 from the northeast of the Central Station and both 9380 and 9381 from the north.]

117:25:37 Mitchell: Okay. I'm on ignitor 15.

117:25:40 McCandless: Al, this is Houston. We need to have you stand still again.

117:25:47 Shepard: Okay.

117:25:51 McCandless: And I show that you ought to be on your ignitor number 14, Ed. Unless that was the one you last used.

117:26:01 Mitchell: Okay. (Pause) 5. 4, 2, 1, Fire. No fire. Let me try it once more, Bruce. (Pause) 1. Fire! No fire. Okay, I'm moving on.

117:26:36 McCandless: Roger; move on.

[Jones - "Were there marks on the cable every 15 feet to show you where to fire the thumper?"]

[Mitchell - "Little flags."]

117:26:49 Mitchell: Number 15.

117:26:52 Shepard: Okay. (Long Pause)

117:27:06 Mitchell: 5; 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. No fire. (Pause)

117:27:22 McCandless: Roger; next geophone, next position... (correcting himself) or not "next geophone", next station, next squib.

117:27:34 Mitchell: Rog. (Long Pause) Okay, Al.

117:27:53 Shepard: Go ahead. (Long Pause)

[Al has moved around to the west side of the Central Station to take up-Sun photo AS14-67- 9382.]
RealVideo Clip (3 min 59 sec)

117:28:10 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot.

117:28:18 McCandless: Roger.

117:28:19 Mitchell: 2, 3, 4, 5.

117:28:22 McCandless: Roger; understand good shot on your ignitor 17...(correcting himself) 16.

117:28:28 Mitchell: That's affirm. (Pause) Okay, number 17. (Pause)

[Ed is now visible at the left edge of the TV picture.]
117:28:47 Shepard: Okay. (Long Pause)
[Al has moved around to the south side of the Central Station to take AS14-67- 9383.]
117:29:22 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot. 2, 3, 4, 5.

117:29:35 McCandless: Roger, Ed. (Long Pause)

[Al moves southwest of the Central Station to take AS14-67-9384 at 10-foot focus. He then turns and runs west toward the LR-Cubed.]
117:30:08 Mitchell: Okay, number 18. (Pause)

117:30:15 Shepard: (Stopping as he gets to the LR-Cubed) Okay, go ahead. (Long Pause)

117:30:41 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot. ...

117:30:48 McCandless: Roger.

117:30:50 Mitchell: 3, 4, 5. (Pause) These latter shots are firing like it's supposed to, Bruce.

117:31:03 McCandless: Roger, Ed.

117:31:05 Mitchell: Good easy pull (on the trigger) and it doesn't seem to be kicking quite so hard. Maybe I'm just pushing on it harder. (Pause) Okay, Al.

117:31:19 Shepard: Okay, go ahead. (Long Pause)

[Al's close-ups of the LR-Cubed are a three-footer AS14-67- 9385 and 9386.]
117:31:35 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot. 2, 3, 4, 5.

117:31:47 McCandless: Roger, Ed.

[Al moves west of the LR-Cubed and takes AS14-67-9387, an up-Sun picture showing Ed near the MET.]
117:31:52 Mitchell: And we only have one left, Bruce.

RealVideo Clip (4 min 07 sec)

117:31:56 McCandless: Okay, how many positions do you have to go?

117:32:02 Mitchell: Well, I'm on 20; and (pause) I'm on my last position.

117:32:10 McCandless: Beautiful!

117:32:11 Mitchell: I'm at the last geophone.

117:32:12 McCandless: Beautiful.

117:32:15 Mitchell: And I'm...(listens) Okay. What I'm saying is we got a shot to spare, but we must have had 22 charges.

117:32:24 McCandless: Ed, this is Houston. We'd like both of you to stand still...

117:32: Shepard: Okay; I'm ready.

117:32: McCandless: ...for a minute here until we get a calibration curve.

117:32:32 Mitchell: Okay.

[Al had started back to the Central Station from the LR-Cubed but now stops.]
117:32:33 McCandless: And bear in mind that you told me that you started with charge number zero. So zero to 20 is 21 charges, and we come out even.

117:32:43 Mitchell: Yeah, I understand that. I've never seen one fire on zero before. (Pause) Of course, I've never fired flight hardware before. (Pause)

117:33:09 McCandless: Ed, now are you both holding still for the calibration here?

117:33:15 Shepard: Affirmative. (Long Pause) Fans and the pumps are running on our PLSS.

117:33:32 McCandless: Well, we wouldn't want you to shut those off!

117:33:38 Shepard: Thank you.

117:33:40 McCandless: Okay, go ahead with the last shot, Ed.

117:33:46 Mitchell: Okay, here we go.

117:33:47 Shepard: I'm ready. (Pause)

117:34:01 Mitchell: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Fire. Good shot.

117:34:08 McCandless: Good show.

117:34:09 Mitchell: 3, 4, 5. Okay. (Pause)

117:34:17 Shepard: (Now near the Central Station) Okay, Al has completed the photographic coverage of the ALSEP; and (pause) Juliett-Juliett (is) at (frame) counter number 34. And would you tell us how much longer we have before we have to be back at the MET (means MESA) for closeout?

117:34:47 McCandless: Roger. Counter 34, and stand by.

[Because of a combination of dust and shadows, Al is having a little trouble reading his frame counter.]

[Shepard, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "One comment about lighting that's pretty much the same as everybody else has said. There are, obviously, two areas where it's difficult to see on the surface. One is looking directly into the Sun (up-Sun), and the other is looking directly down-Sun. The only time it becomes a problem is in trying to read the quantity of oxygen remaining, for example, on the RCU. If you're (facing) down-Sun, the shadow is such that there's no way you can see that needle. You've got to turn cross-Sun to pick it up. With respect to looking up-Sun, I noticed that, as we were progressing in our traverse up to Cone (Crater), we were going just about into the Sun; and the geologic features and differences in craters, surface textures, and so forth were harder to notice - harder to pick up looking directly into the Sun. If we had known this ahead of time and, consequently, had planned to do most of our observing of craters looking down-Sun, and had we gotten up to the top of Cone, we would have done it the same way. It's just something that everybody should realize. Those are the two places (means "directions") where you can't see very well - directly into the Sun and directly down-Sun. Of course, once you realize that, I think you can adapt to it fairly quickly."]

[Ed tosses something, probably the thumper, a short distance south or southwest of the MET.]

117:34:55 Shepard: (To Ed, referring to the performance of the thumper/geophone) Well, babe, not a bad batting average.

117:34:57 Mitchell: Nope.

117:34:58 Shepard: Big-league stuff.

117:35:06 Mitchell: I was hoping to get a few more shots off than that.

[Ed had 13 successful shots out of 21 possible. There were five misfirings and three that were skipped when Houston asked Ed to move directly to the middle geophone at 117:18:19. The explosive charges in the thumper were Apollo Standard Initiators, which were also used in the explosive bolts that held the LM stages together and in many other applications. Ed started deploying the geophone line at about 116:23 and, therefore, has devoted about an hour and ten minutes to the experiment. Because the data it provided gave critical insights into the thickness of the regolith and the deeper layers, the thumper geophone was reflown on Apollo 16 and, on Apollo 17, was replaced with an experiment in which the crew deployed larger charges as they drove along on their geology traverses. In general, these active seismic experiments and the related Traverse Gravimeter experiment flown on Apollo 17 gave a large return for a modest investment of time.]

[The Apollo 14 Mission Report contains the following discussion of the thumper misfires: "The most likely causes of the problem are associated with the detent portion of the selector switch and dirt on the firing switch actuator bearing surface. The selector switch dial can re-position out of detent in the course of normal handling because of the lack of positive seating in the detent for each initiator position. For an initiator to be fired, the selector switch must provide (electrical ) contact to the proper unfired initiator position. Examination of the qualification unit has shown that the detent is positioned at the leading edge of the contact surface so that any movement toward the previous position will break the contact. Also, the lightening holes in the firing switch knob made it possible for dirt to get onto the Teflon bearing surfaces, temporarily increasing the force required to close the switch. Corrective action for Apollo 16 consists of adding a positive detent mechanism, properly aligned with the selector switch contacts, and dust protection for the firing switch actuator assembly." Evidently, these fixes did the job because all 19 of the Apollo 16 charges fired properly.]

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