Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal Banner


Post-landing Activities

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library
Audio clips by Dave Shaffer. Last revised 17 December 2012.


MP3 Audio Clip ( 11 min 27 sec )

RealAudio Clip (9 min 21 sec)

113:03:49 Schmitt: Where'd you land? (Joking) You never let me look outside at all. Hey, you can see the boulder tracks (on the North Massif)!

[During the 3.9 billion years since the Massifs were raised, boulders have been dislodged occasionally from outcroppings high on the mountains. As they tumbled down toward the valley floor, the boulders carved grooves where they rolled or slid, and cut strings of craters where they bounced. The resulting tracks erode only slowly because of countless small impacts and the downslope movement of soil. AS17-144-21991, which Jack will take from the cabin after EVA-1, shows the most prominent of the North Massif boulder tracks. See, also, the discussion following 127:02:28.]
113:03:58 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. We're standing by for your Go. We look good. We're looking good onboard.
[In this case, "Go" is permission to stay.]
113:04:02 Fullerton: Okay. You're looking great here so far.

113:04:05 Schmitt: There are boulders all over those massifs.

113:04:09 Cernan: God, look at that propellant. We could have gone all around and looked around.

[As mentioned previously, at touchdown they had fuel enough left for about 117 seconds of hovering.]
113:04:12 Schmitt: We should have hovered around a little bit; gone and looked at the Scarp.

113:04:14 Cernan: No, thank you. (Jack laughs) I like it right where we are.

[Cernan - "From about a thousand feet down, the planned landing site looked good. So I was just concerned about spacecraft attitude and spacecraft motion during the final approach. I was not concerned about the terrain we were landing on. It was real nice to be down with lots of propellant left but, while it would have been fun to fly around the valley a little and then land, the important thing was to get the spacecraft down safely. It would have been like flying through a thunderstorm and making a safe landing, and having somebody say, 'Hey, we could have gotten more instrument time in that thunderstorm. And you say 'No, thank you.'"]
113:04:17 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. While you're waiting on that Go, I shot for a spot, around 2 o'clock from Poppie. There's a number of boulders out at 12 o'clock from Poppie, and I really think I'm probably not more than about 100 meters out in front of it, and slightly to the north. Actually, I may be a little bit closer to Trident than I expected Poppie to be. I think I've got Trident right out the left window. And our first cut at the mobility around here in the Rover (is that) it ought to be super.
[Here, Gene is using clock positions, centered on Poppie, with 12 o'clock being west. As Gene remarks at 113:05:13 and 114:30:17, he knew where he was relative to Poppie and other landmarks until he was down to an altitude of about 500 feet. At that point he had to concentrate on a level place to land and lost track of the landmarks. Because frames from the CSM Pan Camera - for example, Pan Camera frame AS17-2309 - show the LM on the surface, we know that Gene landed about 100 meters north and perhaps 20 meters west of the center of Poppie. The planned landing point is about 230 meters west and about 60 meters south of the actual landing site and not far from Geophone Rock. The crater that Gene thinks is the westernmost part of Trident is actually Poppie. The landing site coordinates are 20.1653 degrees north latitude and 30.7658 degrees east longitude. See, also, a discussion of landing site coordinates.]
113:04:53 Fullerton: Okay. Sounds good. (Pause)

113:04:59 Cernan: But I tell you, the Massifs and Bear Mountain are two different products. (Pause)

113:05:08 Schmitt: Sure look it, don't they? (Pause) Of course, they're different slopes, too.

[Unlike either of the Massifs, Bear Mountain has a distinctly wrinkled, hummocky appearance. Jack is reminding Gene that the apparent difference may, in part, be due to lighting effects.]
113:05:13 Cernan: I think you're looking, probably...That may be Rudolph, right there, Jack, out your window.
[Again, Gene is mistaken. Rudolph is actually about 200 meters west and 150 meters north of the LM. The crater visible out Jack's window is unnamed.]
113:05:19 Cernan: I was looking more at those boulders and trying to stay in the spots in between them than I was...

113:05:23 Schmitt: Yeah, you did great, Gene.

113:05:25 Cernan: ...relationship to that crater.

113:05:26 Schmitt: Man, there was practically no dust, just a little bit of a film. You had the ground all the way to the ground.

113:05:31 Cernan: Yeah. I could call touchdown on the shadow. Look at that. (Pause) Really here. (Jack laughs)

[Once they start to deploy the ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package), Gene and Jack will have another discussion about the superb visibility they had during the final phase of the landing. The experiences of other crews are summarized after 121:04:14.]
113:05:46 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. We're hanging in for your Go.
[Cernan - "The ground wasn't about to commit to a three-day stay when we'd only been there ten minutes. They wanted a chance to look at all the spacecraft systems. This initial post-landing phase was the critical one. Did you bust a tank? Was there any helium or fuel leaking? How was the battery power holding up? During these first few minutes, we were ready to launch immediately. They were taking a quick look and, if things looked okay, they would then let us go ahead and reconfigure the computers and the navigation system for a non-emergency lift-off. Then, after a half hour or so, if everything still looked okay, they would let us power down completely."]
113:05:48 Schmitt: (Relishing the thought of doing geology at this magnificent site) It better be a Go!

113:05:49 Cernan: Check everything again. Let's just double check.

113:05:52 Schmitt: Okay.

113:05:53 Schmitt: That hasn't changed.

113:05:54 Cernan: Okay, that's good.

113:05:55 Schmitt: The manifold (pressure) hasn't changed. The RCS hasn't changed. Ascent water hasn't changed. The batteries haven't changed.

113:06:05 Cernan: Oh, my golly!

113:06:07 Schmitt: Only we have changed.

113:06:10 Cernan: You know, you can't see into Camelot, Jack; that rim is Camelot out in front of us.

113:06:14 Schmitt: Yeah.

113:06:15 Cernan: You (garbled under Fullerton)...

113:06:16 Fullerton: Challenger, you'll be glad to hear you're Stay for T-1.

113:06:21 Cernan: Gordy, you're a smooth talker, you know it? We are Stay for T-1. (Pause) (To Jack) Okay. You can forget all I told you about Verb 22 Noun 46.

[T-1 is a pre-programmed opportunity to launch and catch up with the CSM on this orbit. If, during these first minutes, Houston had decided that something was wrong with the spacecraft they would have told the crew to launch at T-1 or even sooner. With the Stay, they will now prepare for T-2, the next pre-programmed launch opportunity.]
113:06:29 Evans: Challenger, understand stay for T-1. Good.

113:06:31 Schmitt: What was that? (Jack laughs)

[Ron is congratulating the Challenger crew. Apparently, Jack was surprised to hear him. My thanks to Journal Contributor Jack A. Kozak, who brought the Evans transmission to my attention.]
113:06:37 Cernan: Okay. Let's find out where we are (in the checklist). Engine stop is reset.

113:06:43 Schmitt: Okay, the AGS is ready for us if we need it.

113:06:44 Cernan: Okay. I need a P12 time as soon as I get (V)60...

113:06:46 Schmitt: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Frank O'Brien provided the following - "P12 is the program for lunar ascent, and Gene is asking for the ascent time. Such information was computed on the ground and relayed to the crew, as it depended on the position of the Command Module - which only Houston knew exactly. There is no P60 on the LM, and since Noun 60 is used only during Ascent, I suppose Gene is referring to Verb 60, which displays the attitude error rates on the FDAI. This would make sense, as this information is necessary for ascent."]
113:07:02 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. You're looking at Noun 43. Copy that down, Jack, right here.

113:07:09 Fullerton: Okay. We've got it.

113:07:11 Cernan: 20:21 and 30:75, and I'm going to P12. (Pause) Okay. I need a P12 time from you. (Pause)

113:07:28 Schmitt: Okay.

113:07:29 Cernan: For T-2.

113:07:31 Schmitt: For T-2, the time is 113...

113:07:35 Cernan: Okay.

113:07:36 Schmitt: 14.

113:07:37 Cernan: 14.

113:07:38 Schmitt: 2491.

113:07:42 Cernan: 2491.

113:07:43 Schmitt: Yes, sir. (Pause)

[Schmitt - "Here we were giving the computer information it would need for T-2. Just prior to descent, Houston had used their best information on the CSM orbit and had read us these times to copy onto a pad for use if we needed them. If we had to get off and get up into orbit at some time other than one of these pre-programmed times, we could have launched into a low orbit so that we would have gradually caught up with him."]
113:07:46 Cernan: I can't feel any difference between one-sixth g and anything else right now.

113:07:48 Schmitt: (Laughing) Well, you still got your restraints on.

[For the landing, they have been wearing restraining cables attached at the waist and to the floor on either side of them. The restraints keep them from being thrown around during the maneuvers.]
113:07:50 Cernan: Okay. 113:14:24.91. You happy with that?

113:07:53 Schmitt: That looks good, sir.

113:07:54 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) I got to change these numbers. (Pause) You didn't get an update on Noun 76, did you? (Pause) I don't think so.

113:08:09 Schmitt: No. No.

113:08:11 Cernan: Okay. No. (Pause) Okay; 5515. Hello, Gordy. How would you like me to handle R-3 of Noun 76?

[Frank O'Brien - "R3 is DSKY display register number three; Noun 76 refers to the ascent parameters: Downrange Velocity, Radial (Vertical) Velocity and Crossrange Distance. Gene's question to Gordon Fullerton is about the crossrange distance."]
113:08:26 Fullerton: Stand by. I'll come back to you.

113:08:30 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Oh, that radar performed super.

113:08:40 Schmitt: How was the view on the way down, Gene?

[Jack laughs because he had his head in the cabin throughout the landing.]
113:08:42 Cernan: You know, after we pitched over, I was just looking for a place to land, (so) I'm not sure. I just didn't want to hit one of those boulders out there which would have been as easy...And look at that. Look at right in front of us. I didn't want to land there either.

113:08:55 Schmitt: I see that one right in front of us.

113:08:56 Cernan: You see that? Now that's a hole.

113:08:57 Schmitt: Oh, the hole. I can't see the hole...

[Possibly a shallow, unnamed crater about 30 meters west and slightly south of the LM. From their position close to the surface, Gene and Jack can't see shadows cast by most rocks or crater rims in the direction opposite the Sun because the shadows are hidden by the objects casting them. This phenomenon, coupled with the general lack of color and contrast, makes it difficult to see much detail in the down-Sun direction. Because they've landed early in the local morning, down-Sun is currently almost due west, but will shift slightly north as the Sun rises about 12 degrees per day.]
113:08:58 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. R-3, cross range, is okay as is.

113:09:05 Cernan: Okay.

113:09:09 Schmitt: Okay. We're coming up...

113:09:11 Cernan: We're in posture for a T-2, Gordy.

113:09:15 Fullerton: Roger.

113:09:18 Schmitt: Okay. I can see the Scarp. I can see Hanover. Good thing we didn't plan to go to Hanover. (Laughs) It's steep.

[Hanover is a sharp, fresh crater on the southwest flank of the North Massif, just east of the trace of the Scarp on the mountain side. Gene and Jack discuss it again during the EVA-2 drives to and from Nansen Crater at the foot of the South Massif. During early phases of mission planning, one of the traverses under discussion would have taken them along the flank of the North Massif to Hanover. Apollo 17 photo AS17-138- 21118 is an excellent picture of Hanover, the Scarp, and the North Massif taken during the drive northward from Nansen at about 144:09.]

[Schmitt - "Hanover was simply too far away for us to have reached; and it had generally been decided that we weren't going to learn much about the Scarp in that area because of the North Massif debris that would have flowed onto it. What we really wanted was a place that would let us collect materials that would be different from what we had landed on, and that's why we went to Nansen."]

113:09:29 Cernan: Look at the boulder, halfway up the hill.

113:09:31 Schmitt: Yeah.

113:09:32 Cernan: Not halfway, just enough...

113:09:33 Schmitt: Yeah, the boulder tracks; they're beautiful.

113:09:35 Cernan: It's sitting right there in the end of the track.

113:09:37 Schmitt: There are tracks all over that hillside.

113:09:39 Cernan: There's a boulder came right down to the surface there. See it?

113:09:41 Schmitt: Yeah.

[Gene is pointing out a boulder that apparently has rolled all the way down to the valley floor.]
113:09:42 Cernan: That one (a boulder track) went right through that little crater...

113:09:43 Schmitt: Yeah.

113:09:44 Cernan: ...(and it's) sitting right there for us to sample. Look at it.

113:09:47 Schmitt: Yes, sir.

[Cernan - "Although Jack's view was basically from a little south of west up to the north and mine was from a little north of west down to the south, I could get to the left corner of my window and look out at least to the northwest and he could do the same to the southwest. And, although it was hard to do until we unstrapped, we could look out each other's windows, too."]
113:09:50 Cernan: I'll bet Bear Mountain and the Sculptured Hills are the same.
[The Sculptured Hills are behind them, out of sight, to the northeast. Gene is suggesting that they will also have a wrinkled, hummocky appearance, which they do in the early morning light.]
113:09:53 Schmitt: Yeah. Well, the slope's different. We'll have to look at it from outside. You may be right.

113:09:57 Cernan: Now I see why they call them "sculptured". My god, they're so hummocky that there's shadow all over them.

113:10:03 Schmitt: Yeah.

[They are passing time, waiting for T-2 and permission to get busy.]
113:10:05 Cernan: God, there are some holes and rocks around here. Who told me this was a flat landing site?

113:10:10 Schmitt: It is flat! For crying out loud. What do you want? An airtight guarantee?

113:10:14 Cernan: Let's see, we got about 2 degrees left (roll) and about 5 degrees pitchup.

113:10:19 Schmitt: We're about what? About 100 meters from Trident?

113:10:25 Cernan: Yeah, less than that. I think Trident's right here.

[Again, Gene is looking at Poppie. Jack's distance estimate is superb.]
113:10:27 Schmitt: Our (LM) shadow's about 100 feet (long), Geno, I think.

113:10:30 Cernan: Yeah, we're only about...Yeah, less than 100 meters then.

113:10:34 Schmitt: It doesn't look that long, but it is...

113:10:36 Cernan: God, there are some holes I'm glad I didn't land in around here, I'll tell you. (Pause) Now, if you look at the (South) Massif, Jack. I don't know if you can see it over here. You see...They're almost like a series of linear boulder tracks, but they come crossways down the slope. So it looks like there may very definitely be some jointed...There's outcrop on top the Massif, too.

113:11:02 Schmitt: Oh, it sure looks like it: gray outcrop. It's a bluish gray compared to the brown- or tan-gray of the massif side.

113:11:13 Cernan: And a lot of that outcrop down on the bottom is boulder.

113:11:15 Schmitt: Yeah.

113:11:16 Cernan: Do you know what that reminds me of, way up on top...that outcrop? It reminds me of Sunset (Crater, a volcanic cinder cone near Flagstaff, Arizona) where you could just get a little piece of outcrop around the cone.

[Gene is probably referring to outcrops of basalt splatter on the Sunset cinder cone.]
113:11:23 Schmitt: That's right.
[Schmitt - "We had done one of our field tests near Sunset Crater, partly because it was volcanic terrain."]

[Cernan - "We didn't use a Rover at Sunset, but we had something that allowed us to be mobile. We did a 'typical' lunar traverse that sort of simulated, out in the field, the kind of traverse we would run through on the Moon. It was all pre-planned, of course; so we had an EVA-1, 2, and 3 where we were to do different things. At stop 1 on EVA-1 we were going to do this, take a sample of the soil, and then do that. Now, that doesn't mean that we were doing an exact replica of our traverse on the Moon. We did some simulated traverses at the Cape, driving around in our suits to three or four little stations doing the mechanics of the stops, but not doing anything that could be called geology. Flagstaff put us in a far more realistic geologic environment; we could take samples and, even though the samples would be grossly different than we might find on the Moon, we'd run into things we hadn't expected to see and find extra tasks that needed to be done. The stations always took longer than what we'd planned and, in that respect, it was very good training."]

113:11:25 Cernan: Okay. Let's see what we're doing. We got 3 minutes for T-2. Let's take another check.

113:11:30 Schmitt: Okay. I just looked at them.

113:11:32 Cernan: Okay. Ascent (stage) looks good. (Pause) Gordy, I noticed something ever since we've landed. The oxidizer quantity went from 7 or 8, and now it's down to 2, and the fuel has stayed constant.

113:11:49 Fullerton: Roger.

113:11:50 Cernan: And the Quantity Light came on somewhere, I believe, after we landed.

113:11:55 Schmitt: Yeah, it did. (Pause) I noticed the Quantity light also. I was thinking "Reg light", though, when I saw it.

[Cernan - "During the landing, there were a lot of things going on, but we knew right away that the quantity light was not something which was particularly urgent. We knew how much fuel we started with, we knew how much we'd been burning, and we knew the ground hadn't seen any changes. Theoretically, by the numbers, we probably should have aborted. But you don't just do things; you don't overreact. It's a good example of what I meant when I was talking about Jack and I working well as a team, about understanding more than the superficial information, about understanding each other, and about understanding where the information was coming from. When Jack gave me numbers, I knew he was not just reading numbers. I knew that he knew where the numbers came from. And the same thing applies to the quantity indicator. I won't say that we ignored it, but there just wasn't anything else at that time to tell us it was important. We both noticed it, I called the ground's attention to it, and that was all."]
113:12:06 Cernan: Oh, man!

113:12:09 Fullerton: Challenger, we'll have a story on that (quantity light) for you later. We don't think we were really low level.

113:12:18 Cernan: Okay. It doesn't make any difference now, Gordy; except to talk about when we get home.

113:12:24 Fullerton: Roger.

[If there really had been a problem other than just an erroneous warning light, it was a problem in the descent stage and, therefore, is no longer of any practical concern to the rest of the mission.]
113:12:27 Cernan: And we're 2 minutes and counting to T-2.

113:12:30 Fullerton: Roger.

113:12:32 Schmitt: We better hurry if they're going to give us the Go. (Long Pause) How about some water?

113:13:02 Cernan: Yeah, you can zap me. (Pause)

[Cernan -"We could put the water gun (photo by Mick Hyde) through a little self-sealing hole in our helmets. It was like a little hatch at the cheek. You had to turn your head to get a drink; and I think Jack probably just took the water gun off the hook (behind him) and gave himself and then me a little squirt of water. This was the first chance we'd had to have anything to drink at all in the whole thing."]
RealAudio Clip (9 min 51 sec)

113:13:10 Cernan: Oh, I tell you. That's something everyone's got to do once in their life.

[That is, land on the Moon.]
113:13:14 Schmitt: We're not going to have much time for T-2...

113:13:18 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. You're Stay for T-2, and Go for the DPS (Descent Propulsion System, pronounced "dips") vent.

113:13:24 LM Crew: Okay.

[Schmitt - "What we were about to do here was depressurize the descent stage tanks by venting the helium. You didn't want to actually empty the tanks and vent hydrazine and nitrous oxide onto the surface and contaminate the area. And you also didn't want the tanks to heat up and pressurize and possibly rupture during the three-day stay. So you depressurized them."]
113:13:25 Cernan: Okay. Understand. Stay for T-2, and Go for the DPS (pronounced "dips") vent. Let me get out of...Okay, we can't hack that. I'm going to get out of P12.

113:13:34 Schmitt: Excuse me, Gene. (Pause)

113:13:46 Cernan: Okay. You can unzap that water, if you'd like. And let's go off VOX. Let's go on PTT. Tape recorder, Off.

[Comm Break. VOX is the voice-actuated mode of communications. PTT or "Push-to-Talk" is the alternative. In the PTT mode, astronauts can only talk to Houston by manually activating the microphones that were part of the "Snoopy" helmets that they each wore. The tape recorder has only a limited amount of tape available and has been on since before undocking. They will turn the recorder on at about 116:23:07 during the preparations for EVA-1.]

[Schmitt - "The key for the microphone was a big blue knob on a cable at your side, so that if you leaned forward you might hit it and unintentionally let the ground listen in."]

[There is also a trigger-type key on the handcontrollers.]

113:14:41 Schmitt: Okay. Regulator 1 is Closed, Houston; Oxidizer (and) Fuel Vents coming Open.

113:14:43 Fullerton: Roger.

113:14:44 Schmitt: Master Arm, On. Master Arm's coming On.

113:14:49 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. I got two good lights.

113:14:51 Fullerton: Roger.

113:14:52 Schmitt: Descent Vent, Fire. (Pause)

[Schmitt - "The vents were opened with a little pyrotechnic device called the Apollo Standard Initiator."]
113:14:59 Cernan: Okay. Mark it. We did not hear anything on that one, Gordy.
[There was no audible bang when it fired.]
113:15:04 Fullerton: Roger. (Pause)

113:15:11 Schmitt: Pressure's coming down, though. Pressure's coming down. (Pause)

[Gene's half of the following conversation is not audible; only Jack is on VOX, a conscious choice so that Houston can follow along. They are configuring the cabin for unsuited stay, and will take their helmets off fairly soon. Most terms in the following paragraphs will be defined during preparations for the EVA.]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 34 min 32 sec )

113:15:20 Schmitt: (Reading from the checklist as they reconfigure the LM) Okay. Master Arm, Off. Okay. We'll monitor oxidizer pressure until 20 to 40 (psi), and then Ox Vent, Closed; fuel pressure to less than 8 (psi). Fuel Vent. (Pause) Descent Quantity light...(correcting himself) Reg light. Excuse me. (Pause) Okay. Mode Control, two to Att Hold. Well, we just keep going, I guess. (Pause) Yeah. Hey, we can press on. (Pause) Okay. (Pause) Okay. Now wait a minute. Here we go. Let's get that. Go up here first. (Pause) Because I haven't selected it. (Pause)

113:16:03 Schmitt: (Gene is now reading from the checklist as Jack sets controls on his side of the spacecraft) Okay. ECA Control is Closed. (Pause) (Battery) 3 is back on. Battery 5 is Off/Reset, and it's off the line. Battery 6, Off/Reset, and it's off the line. (Pause) Inverter number 2 breaker is In. Inverter 2. Let me check the voltage. Voltage is great. (Pause) Okay. Keep going. (Pause) Descent Engine Override's Open. (Pause) Ascent ECA Control's Open. (Pause) CWEA (Caution and Warning Electronics Assembly, pronounced "seewee") cycling, cycled; both lights are out. Okay. Cabin pressure is good. Okay.

113:17:04 Schmitt: And then, (Pressure Regulators) A and B going to Cabin. (Pause) A is to Cabin. B is to Cabin. Pull-Egress. (Pause) (Cabin Gas) Return (Valve) is Egress. (Pause) (Cabin) Repress (valve) going to Auto. (Pause) Stand by for a noise. There you go. It's in Auto. Okay. Now it's your turn. Verify...(Pause) Wonder where it's going? (Laughs) Out, I guess. (Pause)

[Schmitt - "When you go to Repress, Auto, you get a little bit of gas flow across the valve; maybe we saw something that it ejected. Or maybe I was just wondering where the gas was going."]

[Details of the LM Environmental Control System (ECS) are discussed in the Introduction. For present purposes, we note that, during the descent, Gene and Jack wore their suits, gloves, and helmets - albeit with the suits unpressurized so that they didn't have to move their arms and fingers against the stiffness of any internal suit pressure. By setting the redundant oxygen demand regulators (A and B) to the Cabin position, they are telling the ECS to supply enough oxygen to maintain the cabin pressure at 4.8 psi. By setting the Suit Gas Diverter Valve to Egress, they are preventing any interchange of gas between the cabin and the suit circuit. However, in just a few seconds Gene and Jack will remove their helmets and gloves, resulting in gas flow through the neckrings and at the wrists. By setting the Cabin Repressurization Valve to Auto, they are preparing the ECS for an emergency cabin repressurization in the unlikely event that one should become necessary.]

113:17:51 Schmitt: Inverter 2 is selected. (Pause) Okay. And DECA Power, Open. (Pause) And guess what? Take your helmet and gloves off.
[Comm Break]
113:18:59 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. We're on page 1-1 (of the Lunar Surface Checklist). Helmets and gloves are off. Diverter Valves are IV (Intravehicular).

113:19:09 Fullerton: Okay. We're right with you. (Pause)

113:19:16 Cernan: And you're looking at Noun 20. (Long Pause)

[Gene is about to take star sightings to verify the alignment of the inertial guidance platform. The Alignment Optical Telescope ( AOT) is mounted on the wall between them, at about Gene's eye level. Noun 20 may be information about the current platform alignment.]
113:19:58 Schmitt: Window shades are going close. I'm using it instead of a light switch because I've got it covered up. (Long Pause)
[Jack is probably adjusting the window shade to let in a little light for his own activities while keeping the cabin dark enough for Gene to do the star sightings. Jack seems to be saying that he can't get to the light switch, probably because it is covered by his helmet and/or gloves. The shade on Gene's window and on the overhead rendezvous window are denoted in AS17-145-22225 as labelled by Lennie Waugh.]

[Schmitt - "We couldn't see the stars out the window or when we were out on the surface. It took the collimation of the telescope to eliminate all of the reflected light reaching your eye from your surroundings. Even in the LM shadow, there were too many bright things in your field-of-view for the stars to be visible."]

[A telescope - or any long, straight tube - admits only light rays coming from a small range of directions. The light rays that reach the end of the tube are virtually parallel to each other and to the long axis of the tube and, therefore, have been "collimated".]

[Cernan - "When you were in the lunar module, looking out the window, you certainly couldn't see stars. Using the telescope was sort of like being in a deep well; it cut out all the reflected light and let you see the stars. It was also generally true that, when you were on the surface in the LM's shadow, there were too many bright things in your field-of-view for the stars to be visible. But I remember that I wanted to see whether I could see stars, and there were times out on the surface when I found that, if you allowed yourself to just focus and maybe even just shielded your eyes to some degree, even outside the LM shadow you could see stars in the sky. And, quite frankly, under the right conditions here on Earth on a bright sunlit day, you can do the same thing. I could see stars through my helmet visor; not easily, but it can be done."]

[A related issue is 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 preform 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!"]

113:20:22 Cernan: Gordy, you got Noun 20?

113:20:26 Fullerton: That's affirmative. We copy Noun 20.

113:20:30 Cernan: Okay. Jack's going to pick up the AGS - on the right side of that page - and I'll park the (rendezvous radar) antenna (LM-9 photo by Randy Attwood).

113:20:36 Fullerton: Roger.

[Schmitt - "We had the antenna in a ready condition during the descent and landing and, here, we may be parking it in a configuration to minimize heating on critical elements."]

[A notation at the bottom on Surface Checklist page 1-1, left column, suggests that, here, they are parking the rendezvous radar antenna in a position where it won't interfere with the star sightings. After they finish P57, near the top of the left column on Surface 1-3, they will re-park the radar, this time pointing up.]

[Comm Break]

RealAudio Clip (4 min 40 sec)

113:23:01 Cernan: P20's in work. Correction, P57's in work. (Pause)

[P57 is the platform alignment program. It begins with a determination of the direction of the local gravity vector in relation to the spacecraft and then uses the data from Gene's star sightings.]
113:23:13 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. Your DPS Oxidizer Pressure is 40 (psi) or less. You can close it.

113:23:22 Cernan: Thank you, Gordy. (Pause) Gordy, while the P57 is doing its gravity work, let me say that the L&A (see below) and the landing site, from a relief point of view, I think, are identical. I couldn't say enough for the L&A. I actually didn't look around nearly as much as I thought I would, or as I wanted to, because I had fixation on a reasonable spot to land. They're not all reasonable in that there's some very subtle, hummocky-like craters right in and around where we are. And there's not a lot of boulders laying on the surface, but there's a lot of what appear to be boulders that are covered up by some of the dark mantle. Numerous enough that you would not like to take a chance at putting a pad down on one of them or in one of those hummocky, subtle craters. As a result, I really didn't have a chance to look all around at where I wanted to except to put the bird down where I wanted it.

113:24:36 Fullerton: Okay. We've got no complaint with that. (Pause)

[Schmitt - "The L&A (Landing and Ascent) was a model constructed by the Army Topographic Command for use in the simulator. It was made from data they extracted from Apollo 15 stereo photography. It was a fairly detailed model, mounted upside down on a ceiling. A TV camera "flew" to it as we "flew" the LM simulator and the picture was merged into our visual displays in our windows in the simulator. It was pretty good size; it covered the whole valley - past the Scarp, I know - and part way up the sides of the massifs."]

[Cernan - "The L&A simulations of the landing sites always tended to come fairly late in training, but I don't recall us having a great problem with it being extremely late. It may not have seemed adequate at the time, but it certainly was adequate."]

[The following paragraph has been edited for clarity.]

113:24:47 Cernan: I guess the thing that probably surprised me most about the site, as far as landing is concerned, is the fact that there were these buried, massive pieces of rock out here in the plains area, partially covered and filleted by the dark mantle. I hesitate to say they're outcrops but certainly they're buried massive pieces of rock (and we'll have to wait to find out) whether they're boulders or not. I expected to find a number of craters, but I guess I really didn't expect to find the rock types (that is, buried boulders) around. And we're talking about anywhere from 1 to 2 meters down to, oh, 2 or 3 feet, which, when they're sticking out and on the sides of some of these subtle craters, look pretty menacing. But that probably is the one thing that surprised me most.

113:25:44 Fullerton: Roger, Gene.

113:25:49 Cernan: The visibility prior to pitchover was such that I could see Nansen. I could see the Scarp. I could see Lara. I could not see Camelot until after pitchover. However, once I had pitchover, if I could have froze(n) it right there like we do in the simulator occasionally, I could have picked out everything there was to see. Even at 6000 feet, the small triangle with Frosty and Rudolph and Punk were visible to me. I had Poppie from orbit, as a matter of fact, so it was easy to see. Barjea was a very sharp, round crater just as depicted on the L&A. The thing I really didn't get a good look at, because I didn't pay too much attention to it, was from Trident on to the south.

113:26:36 Fullerton: Roger.

113:26:37 Schmitt: Gordy, this is the LMP. Let me say that the inside of the spacecraft looked just like the simulator.

113:26:47 Fullerton: Very good, Jack. (Pause)

[Once again, Jack is lamenting that, rather than get a chance to look at the Moon during the descent, he'd had his eyes glued to the instruments.]
113:27:05 Cernan: Another interesting thing, Gordy. All the way through PDI prior to pitchover, Jack and I had the real America - or the other America - right smack out the front window all the way down, which was pretty spectacular.
[Cernan - "Because we were landing early in the morning at a site so far east, we landed at a very early phase of the Moon and almost the entire Earth was sunlit. We took the picture of the fullest Earth that any crew saw because we left Earth almost at the New Moon. As we stayed there, the fraction of the Earth that was sunlit got less and less and it got to be a three-quarters Earth and then a Half Earth by the time we left lunar orbit to come home. On the surface, when we went to bed at night, we could see the American flag out Jack's window and (out Gene's window) we could see the Earth sitting right on top of the South Massif. Because of where we landed, the Earth was fairly low in the sky and was always part of the scene. Looking at the Earth was something you could do casually, and you would do many times without even realizing it. That was the neat part about it being so low in the sky."]

[Schmitt - "Actually, what he could see was mostly the southern hemisphere because, when we landed, the Moon was below the plane of the Earth's equator. During the final phases of the landing, I had the center section of the LM blocking me. All I could look at was the North Massif. I took one look, but Gene had me so drilled on giving him those numbers I missed the whole landing."]

[Cernan - "I'm proud of that. That's professionalism. I don't think we have to take a back seat to anybody for any (aspect) of the mission."]

[Readers will note that Jack saw Earth out his window at 112:55:41 which was about 5:45 into the burn. At that time, however, the LM was yawed left about 20 degrees for comm purposes. Less than a minute later, at 112:56:33, Gene went to a yaw of zero for the final approach and Earth rotated out of Jack's field-of-view.]

113:27:21 Fullerton: I bet it was. And you can consider yourself Stay for T-3.

113:27:28 Cernan: Thank you, sir. You're getting smoother (that is, becoming a smoother talker) all the time. If you're happy with Noun 22, I'll Pro(ceed).

113:27:39 Fullerton: Stand by one. (Pause) You're clear to Pro.

[Cernan - "You could align the inertial platform either with the stars or with gravity. Here, we were gravity aligning. I think Noun 22 showed you the new alignment angles (in yaw, pitch and roll, in tenths of a degree), and it gave you a chance to look at it and say 'Yes, I want it; I'll accept it,' or 'No, I'll keep my old alignment.' The fact that we were still aligning the platform means that we were still in a mode to leave the lunar surface on a contingent basis. We'd taken our helmets and gloves off, but still hadn't really powered down for a long lunar stay. In the worst case we could have lifted off without helmets and gloves; if you had to go, you went, as long as you had certain minimum things powered up in the lunar module. Now, eventually, we powered it all down - the computers, the platform - and, then we were really in a state of saying, 'We're comfortable here.'"]

[Comm Break]

113:28:41 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. I had the angles matched on the steerable high-gain antenna and went to Slew, and it (the signal strength) held for a few seconds and then dropped off.

113:28:52 Fullerton: Okay. It looks pretty good (his tone of voice suggests "but not optimal"). You might try to peak it up just a little more.

[Fullerton is suggesting that Jack adjust the antenna pointing for a maximum signal strength from Earth.]
113:29:01 Schmitt: No, we're on an omni(-directional antenna) now.

113:29:06 Fullerton: Rog.

113:29:11 Schmitt: I'll try the steerable one more time here. (Pause)

113:29:21 Fullerton: Okay, you should be...

113:29:22 Schmitt: Okay. We're on the steerable, and I'm not going to touch it. (Pause) It's Steerable and it's Slew, and I got 3.8 (carrier signal strength).

113:29:40 Fullerton: Okay. That looks good to us, Jack. (Long Pause) Jack, we'd like you to verify the tape recorder, Off.

113:30:12 Schmitt: Yeah, that's verified, Gordy. (Long Pause)

[Cernan - "This was a non-voice recorder for LM engineering data. A lot of times, when you were out of line-of-sight communications, or you had to drop off a communication signal, the tape recorder would continue to record all the engineering data about all the systems that would normally have been transmitted back to Earth as telemetry. That way the ground eventually had a totally uninterrupted scan of information of how the systems had been operating. But, when we were on the lunar surface, they didn't need the tape recorder because we had good, real-time communications all the time."]
113:30:58 Cernan: Gordy, how does the fuel vent look to you?

113:31:04 Fullerton: Okay. Looks like 8 (psi) to us. You can go ahead and close it.

113:31:07 Cernan: Anyway, it...(Hearing Fullerton) Okay. I already did.

[Long Comm Break. Gene is now taking star sightings.]
113:38:28 Cernan: Gordy, I guess I'm puzzled on that one. I had the right star. (Pause) You see anything we did wrong?

113:38:41 Fullerton: Stand by. We're checking.

[Comm Break]
113:39:52 Fullerton: Gene, our only guess is that you might have loaded Noun 88 wrong. We'd like you to start over, and we'll watch you real close again.

113:40:05 Cernan: Gordy. Listen, I think we know what we did. We loaded Spiral for Cursor, and Cursor for Spiral. How would it be if we went through the P57 again and...(Pause) I guess we got to do it all over. Those old numbers are no good anymore.

113:40:25 Fullerton: Okay.

[Schmitt - "P57 was the star-sighting program and, in the telescope, you had a cross-hair which was the cursor and also an unwinding spiral overlaying it. And I guess that, at any particularly time, every star had a known set of inertial coordinates related to that cursor and spiral. As I remember, you loaded the coordinates of the star you were going to sight in the computer so that it could drive the telescope to the expected position; and, then, once you were sure that you had the right star, you zeroed-out the pointing and allowed the computer to take the refined information into account."]
113:40:28 Cernan: I'm sure that's what we did. We loaded Cursor for Spiral, and Spiral for Cursor.

113:40:36 Fullerton: Okay. And it's our fault, too. We should have watched that.

[Comm Break]
113:41:47 Fullerton: Jack, this is Houston. We do have the pre-PDI AGS cal numbers. You won't need to read them to us.
[That is, Jack can skip the readout called for in the checklist at the bottom, right-hand column, of page 1-2.]
113:41:59 Schmitt: Okay.

113:42:03 Cernan: Gordy, you going to want a recycle on this gravity measurement? I doubt if it (the computer) will need it.

113:42:12 Fullerton: Stand by. (Pause) No; no recycle necessary this time through.

113:42:23 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

[Cernan - "There was a program in the computer that literally could align the inertial platform to a local vertical defined by lunar gravity; or, of course, we could align it on the stars. But, generally, we would always tend to check the gravity alignment with stars, and then utilized both to align the platform."]
MP3 Audio Clip ( 22 min 15 sec )

113:42:32 Schmitt: Gordy, ED Batts are (still) 37.2. (Long Pause)

113:42:49 Cernan: Gordy, let me comment about the handling of the bird. After you once fly it (the LM) around in orbit a little bit, you get accustomed to the thrusters, and it came back to me quite a bit from (Apollo) 10, anyway. And you get a feel for acceleration and deceleration as well as the attitude-hold capability. And, really, the response, even with a heavy descent stage near the surface, is phenomenal. Responded exactly in the direction I wanted, held attitude very good. And, let me tell you, the LLTV (Lunar Landing Training Vehicle) played no small part in this landing as far as I'm concerned.

113:43:32 Fullerton: Roger, Gene. (Pause)

113:43:45 Cernan: Okay. Noun 22 again. I'll go ahead and torque them.

113:43:49 Fullerton: Okay. Go ahead.

[Long Comm Break]

[Jack and Gene and I then had an extended discussion of LLTV training.]

[Gene has been making a new gravity measurement during the Comm Break.]

113:50:18 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. It's a little better.

113:50:22 Fullerton: Rog. Looks good.

113:50:28 Cernan: Okay, there's Noun 93. (Long Pause)

113:50:48 Fullerton: Okay. Torque it. (Long Pause)

[Cernan - "We aligned the LM inertial platform in orbit before we landed. Theoretically, it should have maintained its alignment, but a lot of things happened during landing which could have changed it. We fired engines; and all the little perturbations could have driven the alignment off just a little bit. So when I said, 'O.K., Gordy, it's a little better' I was referring to the angular difference between where the computer thought the inertial platform was aligned and where we now knew it was aligned based upon our gravity measurements and star sightings. There might have been only a few hundredths of a degree difference or something like that, and that looked a lot more realistic than it had when I got the cursor and spiral mixed up."]

[Gene is at the bottom, left-hand column, of Surface 1-2.]

113:51:32 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We're standing by for the (computer memory) dumps.

113:51:38 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. I'm ready to give the E-mem...(Hearing Fullerton) Coming at you. Mark it. It's on the way.

[Comm Break; they are now at the top of Surface 1-3.]
113:52:58 Cernan: Gordy, one other thing about the landing. I saw the (Contact) light, I think. And I heard Jack call it, the Contact light. I think I waited about a second and hit the Stop button. She shut down immediately. And, of course, you could feel the fall. I don't really feel we fell that much, but it was quite a change in acceleration at that point.

113:53:32 Fullerton: Roger, Gene.

[Cernan - "You hit the stop button when you're ten feet above the lunar surface, the length of the probes sticking down from each of the struts. You're coming down at two or three feet per second, and you've got noise, and the engine is effectively holding you up. True, you're in one-sixth gravity and you don't tend to fall very fast. But all of a sudden, one of the probes touches, you get the contact light, you shut that thing down and boom, your stomach goes up in your throat for a split-split second. You've shut down all your thrust - and it shuts down immediately - and you go 'burrup'. It was quite a change in acceleration. You wouldn't get that if you could fly all the way down to the surface smoothly and then shut down; but we weren't afforded that luxury for the Apollo landings because we wanted to shut the engine down before we actually touched down. There was always the potential problem of the descent engine digging into the soft sand if you landed at an angle or there was a mound below you. If you dug in the engine and it was running - with all the fire and brimstone coming out of it - it could have exploded on you because of back pressure. So you wanted to shut it down just a couple of feet into the air. You knew the drop was coming, but there was still a definite, abrupt physical sensation."]
113:53:36 Cernan: And I guess I had, from what I would guess, a foot or two per second forward speed on that one.

113:53:44 Fullerton: Okay. Sounds good.

[Cernan - "As for the forward velocity, which we talked about earlier, my plan was to have about a foot per second forward. Now, I suppose, accurately, I could have been looking at the gauges at that time, it would have told me; but, probably, from 60 or so feet on down I hadn't planned to look at the gauges because, once you get right down to that point, you use your eyeballs and you take what you get. If you're set up properly, you'll end up right. If you're not set up properly, you're going to end up improperly."]

["There was a reason why I used the 'think' emphasis, 'I think I saw the contact light, and I think I waited about a second and hit the stop button.' You're not a robot, but you are so familiar with what needs to happen, with what needs to be done, that you go ahead and do them on a reaction basis at the right times. You don't have to analyze them and think through each one of them. So when I reflected upon this, I said, 'I think I waited about a second and hit the stop button.' It might have been a half second, who knows what it might have been. As another example, on lift off from the lunar surface, the computer gives the ignition signal to the engine. However, whether it gets it or not, there's a backup because the command pilot hits manual ignition. Just as a backup. And one of the flight controllers told me I was like a tenth of a millisecond behind the computer. I was so close that they almost couldn't tell. They told me, 'We're not sure whether the computer hit it at T-Zero, or whether you hit it at T-Zero, because one was right on top of the other.' So you react to doing some of these things. After we lifted off, we don't want to overburn either; and if the computer didn't shut the thing off right when it should, you had to be right there when you wanted it shut off. Boom; you shut it off. Those were reactions you took almost involuntarily because you'd trained to do that. They weren't robotic responses because you thought through them before they happened; but then, when they happened, they made logical sense and, as soon as you got the contact lights, you started throwing switches."]

113:54:06 Cernan: And let me know when I can have the computer, please.

113:54:13 Fullerton: Okay. It's your computer.

[The computer has been in a dump mode, sending information to Houston. Here, Cernan wants to be told when the dump is finished so that he can use the computer again.]
113:54:15 Fullerton: And I'm standing by with parking angles when you're ready to load them.

113:54:20 Cernan: Okay. We'll be ready in a second. (Long Pause)

[These are parking angles for the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), the inertial platform.]
113:55:00 Schmitt: Go ahead with the angles.

113:55:02 Fullerton: Okay. These are the IMU parking angles. Plus 295.86. (Pause) I see you loading the radar. Do you just want to load these or write them down?

113:55:29 Schmitt: Go ahead. I'm writing.

113:55:31 Fullerton: Okay. Y will be plus all zeros. And plus 084.14. Over.

113:55:45 Schmitt: Okay. Noun 20 will be plus 295.86, plus all zeros, plus 084.14.

113:55:52 Fullerton: That's correct. (Long Pause)

113:56:16 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. I'm going to power down the AGS, if you're willing. (Pause)

113:56:27 Fullerton: Not yet, Jack. We'd like you to read out 047 and 053 to us.

113:56:36 Schmitt: Okay. You want the new ones. (Pause)

113:56:46 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. If you're happy with Noun 22, I'll Enter them. (Pause)

113:56:52 Fullerton: We're happy.

113:56:56 Cernan: Okay. And it just dawned on me. I'm sorry about the zero on the Noun 69. (Jack laughs)

113:57:04 Fullerton: That's okay. You're forgiven.

113:57:09 Cernan: I appreciate that. (Long Pause)

113:57:24 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. We got 047 and 053.

113:57:31 Schmitt: Okay. Am I Go to pull the (AGS circuit) breaker? (No response; Long Pause)

113:58:04 Cernan: Okay. Are you happy with Noun 20? (Pause)

113:58:14 Fullerton: Okay. We're happy with Noun 20, and you're clear to power down the AGS.

113:58:23 Schmitt: Okay.

[Cernan - "As I remember, we put Noun 20 in the computer, the computer did something with it, and then gave back a Noun 22. Then, if everybody was happy with the Noun 22, we'd go ahead, enter the Noun 20 into the working part of the computer, and power down the Abort Guidance System."]

[Comm Break]

113:59:37 Cernan: Gordy, the breakers are coming Open on 1-4 and 1-5.

113:59:40 Fullerton: Roger.

[Comm Break. 1-4 and 1-5 are checklist pages showing the "powerdown" configuration of the two circuit breaker panels.]
114:02:11 Cernan: Gordo, we're on 1-6.

114:02:14 Fullerton: Okay. Thank you.

[Long Comm Break. They are now configuring spacecraft switches for the lunar stay. During this interval, there is a change-of-shift Briefing for the press and the Public Affairs version of the audio tape used to prepare this transcript was made in a voice-activated mode. That is, the tape ran only when there was something to record. The original NASA transcript includes some times of utterances but it is impossible to interpolate the times of other utterances without reference to continuous tapes.]
114:11:31 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. We're at the bottom of (page) 1-8, and I'm standing by for your lift-off times.
[Checklist page 1-8 gives the configuration of the Environmental Control system (ECS).]
114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, Jack. Lift-off time for rev 15 is 116:55:51; 16 is 118:54:28; 120:53:04; 122:51:40; 124:50:17; 126:48:53. Over.

114:xx:xx Schmitt: Okay. Starting with rev 15, 116:55:51; 118:54:28; 120:53:04; 122:51:40; 124:50:17; 126:48:53.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: That's a good readback.

[Comm Break. These are nominal lift-off times for upcoming orbits. Jack is entering the numbers in the on-board flight plan in case of a loss of communications. In an emergency, of course, they could lift off at almost any time; and, once on orbit, Evans could maneuver to pick them up. Next, Gene and Jack will reconfigure the cabin for their three-day stay on the Moon. The detail can be found on checklist page Surface 1-9.]
114:15:11 Cernan: Gordo, the PLSS is against the hatch, and we're installing the BRA.

114:15:15 Fullerton: Roger on that.

[Very Long Comm Break. The BRA is a restraining device, made of loose webbing, which they are installing across the front of the cabin. It contains two large pouches, one for each of the helmets. The name, of course, came from the resemblance of the BRA to a woman's brassiere. The PLSS (Portable Life Support System - the backpack) in question is Jack's, and has been strapped to the floor between them. Gene's is attached to the leftside bulkhead behind his left shoulder.]
xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We've got three questions for you to help pin down your exact position, any time it's convenient. Maybe when you're taking the out-the-window pictures. Over.

xxx:xx:xx Cernan: Okay, Gordo. I think we can give it to you. Why don't you wait? We're just getting the mag (film magazine) bag out and jett(ison) bags out from behind the engine cover here, to give you an idea where we are (in the checklists).

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay. No hurry at all.

[They are near the bottom of the left-hand column of Surface 1-9.]
xxx:xx:xx Cernan: (Answering Fullerton's earlier question) I had it (the landing position) pinned down for you until I got to about 500 feet, when I changed my mind.

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Roger.

114:30:17 Cernan: Gordy, we're not going any further, and we'll answer your questions here when we get some time. My best guess is 150 meters from Poppie at 1 to 2 o'clock.

[Gene is giving a clock position relative to the crater, with 12 o'clock due west.]
xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay. We copy that.

xxx:xx:xx Cernan: And I'll bet on that one. But we'll get with you in a minute.

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay. 150 northwest of Poppie.

xxx:xx:xx Cernan: Yeah. Mostly west, but slightly north.

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Roger.

xxx:xx:xx Cernan: I'll tell you, we're abeam, I think, just about abeam of Trident 1. I can see it out there, but I can't really define Trident 1 from Trident 2. And the thing that is a little different is that I appear to be closer to it than I normally would have expected to be.

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay.

xxx:xx:xx Cernan: That's probably as close as the Navy Captain can ever guess where he is anyway.

114:31:56 Fullerton: Rog. (Laughs)

[Long Comm Break. Again, Gene doesn't realize that he is actually about 100 meters north of Poppie and is mistaking it for the westernmost part of Trident. Had he landed at the target point, Trident 1 would have been about 400 meters to the south.]
114:38:37 Schmitt: Okay, Houston, we're just starting our eat period. Sorry to be a little behind. PRD (Personal Radiation Dosimeter) readings are 17037 and LMP is 24117.

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, Jack. We got that. (Long Pause) Would you verify you're Biomed, Right?

xxx:xx:xx Schmitt: Yeah, that's verified. How does it look?

xxx:xx:xx Fullerton: Looks good.

[Houston can only read biomedical sensors on one of the astronauts at a time, not both. Houston thinks they are recording Schmitt's vital signs and wants to make sure. "Right" refers to Jack's station on the right side of the spacecraft, facing forward; "left" would be Gene. They were supposed to start their meal break at about 114;12 and, therefore, are only about 20 minutes behind the timeline. Comm Break]
114:41:11 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. We're starting to cut into a little lunch here and, if you've got any questions, why don't you come up with them now?
[Cernan - "'Cutting into a little lunch' was a literal statement; we had to use scissors to cut open the plastic food bags."]
114:41:20 Fullerton: Okay. We're wondering if you can give us estimate of the angular position - clock position - of Rudolph. And can you line up Rudolph with a horizontal feature out beyond it? (Pause) I should say "horizon feature" - out in the distance - not "horizontal".

114:xx:xx Cernan: Okay. I thought Rudolph was right out there at 3 o'clock. Jack's looking at it and he said, yes, that is Rudolph right at 3 o'clock out his right-hand window.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay.

114:xx:xx Cernan: I don't know if it'll mean anything to you, but (on) the shadow of the LM, the rendezvous radar antenna is pointing about one-third of the way down from the peak of (West) Family (Mountain). And that, I know, is pretty gross. And, Gordo, I must be right here abeam of Trident 1. The only reason I hesitate is that I'm so close; but it's probably, well I guess it's close to 100 meters - 80 meters anyway - to where the rim of Trident 1 falls off. And I am abeam of the center of Trident 1, and that's the only possible thing it could be. And that would put Poppie just about where I expected it to be.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay. (Pause) We just want to confirm. You're referring to Trident 1 as the easternmost part of Trident, is that right?

114:xx:xx Cernan: No, sir, Gordo. It's always been the westernmost part of Trident. The (planned) landing site was on a line between Trident 1 and Rudolph and judging from what Jack's got out his right-hand window and what I got on my left-hand window we're right there, except possibly a skosh further south on that line.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, understand.

114:xx:xx Cernan: And the target point that was in the PGNS was right up where we all had expected it to be, about halfway between here and what we're calling the rim of Camelot. We can't see into Camelot; we can just see the rim of it. It's several, oh, at least 2 to 300 meters up there, I expect.

[The near rim of Camelot is about 800 meters due west of them.]

[Cernan - "This was typical of the problems you had judging size and distance on the lunar surface. Everything looked almost an order of magnitude (factor of ten) smaller than it really was. Certainly two to three times smaller and a lot closer than it really was. You had no telephone poles, no roads, no houses, no buildings to really judge distance by. Everything you looked at, you'd almost say, 'Well, it's just out there a few hundred feet', but it was probably a mile away. A boulder that looked like it was four or five feet tall might be a mile away and be 30 feet tall. You learned very quickly that you had no good way to judge of distance or size. Of course, after enough times of underestimating things you sort of recalibrated your system. You said, 'I know it looks like so and so, but it's probably so and so.' And even when we drove places, it didn't look like it was that far, but we kept driving, and driving, and driving before we got there. So, I'm not surprised that I was off by a factor of three here."]

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, what o'clock position is the west...(Correcting himself) the nearest part of the rim of Camelot? Or maybe, if it's better defined,...

114:xx:xx Cernan: 12 o'clock.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: ...define the south rim. Can you see the south rim of it?

114:xx:xx Cernan: Yeah, Gordy, but it blends in so well; all we're seeing is an undulating high as the rim. And to the best of my knowledge, we've got the south rim at - or correction, the east rim - right at 12 o'clock.

114:xx:xx Schmitt: Hey, Gordy, right at 12 o'clock, also, is a boulder that's at least 3 meters (high) and maybe 5, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you can find it (in the overhead photography). It's on a line between us and the intersection of the South Massif and the (West) Family Mountain horizon. Just slightly left of that line or south of that line. And that boulder ought to show up on your best photography.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, Jack. We'll take a look. One other question...

114:xx:xx Schmitt: And that boulder's at least 200 meters away.

[This is Geophone Rock, and Jack has made an excellent estimate of it's size (3 meters) and distance. Like the LM, Geophone Rock is visible in one of the high resolution pictures taken by Ron Evans from orbit. It is one of the few rocks on the valley floor big enough to cast a shadow discernible in the photograph.]

[Schmitt - "I knew how long the LM shadow was at the time of touchdown, and I just adjusted my estimates accordingly. Nothing ever looked as long as it was. I think my own judgments would have been off by a third, maybe, if I hadn't applied the known shadow length. Everything looked smaller. Just as distances look shorter in clear air of the Western U.S. than they do in the East, the lack of haze and references on the Moon made estimates difficult."]

[In 1835, Charles Darwin had a similar problem judging distances while traveling in the Andes east of Santiago, Chile, in March 1835: "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." - from The Voyage of the Beagle, p. 347.]

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay. Can you see the west rim of Trident, and can you give us a clock position on the west rim of West Trident?

114:xx:xx Cernan: Okay, Gordy. The west rim of Trident - which, by the way, is full of outcropping-looking boulders - is at 10 o'clock.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, Gene...

114:xx:xx Cernan: Okay, I can look back around the corner now (straining forward against the LM window so that he can look as far to the rear as he can) and I can see where the east - where Trident 1 rose up to its rim on the east side, and I would say we're abeam of a point one-third the way from east to west up the center of Trident; that is, we've covered one-third of Trident 1 and we're abeam of a point of a line that goes through the one-third point from east to west of Trident 1.

[Actually, they are just about on a north-south line through the center of Poppie.]
MP3 Audio Clip (16 min 22 sec)

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay, Gene; that's very clear. I think we've got you pretty well nailed down. And you're pretty close to the planned landing site.

114:xx:xx Cernan: Yeah, I think it's very close to our planned landing site and I'm...(Chuckles) I'm anxious to see where Poppie is, because I think what I said earlier is true.

114:xx:xx Fullerton: Okay. That's all the questions now. Enjoy your dinner.

[All of the Apollo crews, with the exception of Armstrong and Aldrin who had no specific target point, spent a significant amount of time after landing trying to figure out exactly where they were.]

[Cernan - "It absolutely amazes me that you can travel a quarter of a million miles and still worry about whether you're a hundred or two hundred feet short or long, or left or right of where you should have landed."]

[Long Comm Break]

114:50:24 Schmitt: Houston, I have calmed down, but be advised that our dinner is corn chowder.
[Jack says that a serving of corn chowder eaten during the trip out from Earth had given him a bad case of intestinal gas, much to the distress of Gene and Ron who, in the tiny Command Module, had no way of getting away from the resulting smell.]
114:50:34 Fullerton: Roger.

114:50:41 Cernan: He went to Captain's Mast for (flatulence from) eating that the other day.

[A Captain's Mast is a disciplinary hearing chaired by a naval unit's commanding officer.]

[Long Comm Break. At 114:56:45, Ron Evans passes over the landing site for the first time since touchdown and reports "Hey, I think I can see a light spot down there on the landing site where they might have blown off some of that halo stuff. It's between Sherlock and Camelot." A few moments later, he gives a coordinate of DN83.3 on map TL25-8, a position on the north rim of Poppie. A further conversation on this matter is reproduced just prior to 115:09:06.]

114:56:09 Schmitt: Gordy...Houston, 17. Houston, how do you read - (Correcting himself) "Challenger" - or whoever we are?

114:56:15 Fullerton: "Whoever you are", you're loud and clear.

114:56:20 Schmitt: I took the monocular and looked at some large boulders at our 12 o'clock position. They're probably on the order of a half meter to 2 meters, buried but without strong filleting.

[On level ground, ejecta from small impacts in the surrounding regolith splash on the side of a rock and building up a skirt - called a fillet - around it's base. On a sloping surface there is also a contribution to filleting from downhill soil movement.]

[Journal Contributor Ulli Lotzmann notes that the 10x40 monocular was manufactured by Leitz, Germany, and modified by NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) Houston.]

114:56:30 Schmitt: And most of them that I could see had the same mottled light-gray and medium-gray texture, and it looked like there's a lineation in it. And whatever the mottling is, it's on a grain size or fragment size of a few centimeters, and it looks as if it's very uniform in that mottling; that is, there's one fragment size.

114:57:10 Fullerton: Okay.

[Schmitt - "I think that the mottling is due to an irregular, brown-glass patina that covers the rock surface. Each time a micrometeorite hits a rock, it splashes melt-glass onto the surrounding rock surface, building up the patina. However, each of the impacts also cleans off a small patch of the patina right at the impact point; and I suspect that that is what this mottled appearance is."]
114:57:13 Schmitt: There are a few (boulders) near one crater out at 12 o'clock (that are) dark-gray rock that may be glass coated. Matter of fact, one of them looks like it's right at the rim and might have been part of a projectile that made the crater.

114:57:34 Fullerton: Roger. (Long Pause)

[Schmitt - "This was probably a secondary crater, one made by a piece of ejecta from another impact. Clues that a crater is a secondary rather than a primary are an irregular crater shape and/or the presence of the boulder that made the crater. In this case, the glass on the boulder suggested that it had been thrown out of a high speed impact before it landed where we found it."]
114:57:47 Schmitt: The large boulder that I mentioned that's several meters in diameter...I'm not even sure it's a boulder. It does have a well-developed fillet. It's highly fractured. It looks like the fractures generally are north-south. At least we can't see end on into the fractures. And it's too far away to be sure, but it looks like it's mottled also, although there did appear in the monocular to be a more heterogeneous mottling. It might be a breccia.
[Geophone Rock is not a breccia and, on closer examination, Jack will describe it as a vesicular gabbro, a coarse-grained basalt containing small, spherical cavities (vesicles) left by bubbles of gas trapped in the rock as it cooled.]
114:58:27 Fullerton: Okay.

114:58:31 Schmitt: That boulder ought to be very close to the ALSEP site.

[Jack will need to pick an ALSEP site at least 300 feet (100 meters) west of the LM in order to minimize effects of the lift-off plume. When the time comes, he will put the ALSEP Central Station about 40 meters north of Geophone Rock.]
114:58:38 Fullerton: Roger. (Pause)

114:58:44 Cernan: (This paragraph has been edited for clarity) Gordo, in reference to these boulders, everywhere I can see out of my left window and out ahead of me - in referring to that boulder (Geophone Rock) Jack's talking about which is just a little bit on my side at 12 o'clock - it appears that the dark mantle has filleted and, for the most part, has covered part of or is up on top of some of the crevices and the crannies in the boulders themselves, with the exception of - well, I'll take that back - even the very small ones. I'd say (that) boulders of the size Jack's talking about - (boulders of a size) anywhere from 1 to 2 to 3 meters - that are visible through the surface, (cover) a very small percentage (of the surface), but when you look at them at our level, it looks like they are quite populous. I'd say there are maybe about 25 of them in view between myself and where the horizon falls off down away from us towards the South Massif (slightly south of west). The area back towards Station 1, at least the other side of Trident (off to the south and southeast), looks like it's more heavily strewn with some of these filleted and partially-mantled large fragments.

115:00:15 Fullerton: Roger, Gene.

[Schmitt - "In the pre-mission photographs, the area looked like it was covered with dark material. There also seemed to be fewer craters, most of them relatively subdued. So we were anticipating that there might be a mantling of dark, pyroclastic material. It turned out that there had been such deposits in the area, but that they were 3.5 billion years old and were mostly long-since buried. Some of the buried dark material had been mixed to the surface by impacting; and, so, the dark color is a marker for pyroclastic deposits, just not recent ones."]
115:00:20 Cernan: To say that there is a boulder, as such, actually sitting on the surface, I really can't find one, unless they're around some of these very small and possibly younger craters. But I think for the most part everything is somewhat mantled.

115:00:35 Fullerton: Okay. (Pause)

[Schmitt - "I think that the prevalence of buried boulders and the lack of any clearly sitting on the surface is part of a normal process. When it landed, a boulder would normally dig at least a little crater for itself; and as the fillet formed and the crater filled in, the boulder wouldn't look like it was sitting on the surface. Boulders actually sitting on the surface would have been rare."]
115:00:48 Schmitt: Gordy, I think maybe the predictions of a fairly thin regolith (the soil layer) were good. I have a crater at about, oh, 130 feet (from the LM). It looks like it's not more than a meter deep.
[Schmitt - "Normally I would have talked in meters but, for some reason, I knew the length of the LM shadow in feet. It was 110 feet long, I remember; and, apparently, the crater was down-Sun and next to the shadow."]
115:01:00 Schmitt: It's very fresh, has a bright halo around it, and it's very rocky in its interior and has some rocks that are at least 10 or 20 centimeters in diameter on the rim. It looks like it's penetrated into some much rockier substrate than what we're seeing on the surface. The surface itself looks like (it has), oh, probably 15 percent (coverage by) fragments greater than half a centimeter.
[Schmitt - "This was a bad interpretation on my part. These fragments were mostly regolith breccia (impact-compacted soil) like what we saw on EVA-3 at Van Serg Crater."]
115:01:56 Fullerton: Okay, Jack.

115:01:57 Schmitt: I don't see any general size sorting. I do have a crater out here that's maybe a meter in diameter - fairly fresh, although not bright halo(ed) - that has not penetrated to blocky material. And it looks like that the saturation crater size is very small in the area we can see; that is, there don't seem to be any old or very subdued craters. (Pause) Well, let me think about how to put that again. It's obviously saturated with craters a few centimeters in diameter, but when you get bigger than that, there seems to be more of a clear distribution rather than a saturation.

115:02:56 Fullerton: Okay.

[Because small craters are made much more frequently than large craters, a fresh surface will "saturate" first at the small end of the size range. That is, after a while there will be few spots not covered by centimeter-sized craters and, after a longer period of time, overlapping foot-sized craters will cover most of the surface.]

[Schmitt - "The saturation size should tell you something about the age of a surface. But you have to assume things like a time-invariant size distribution and that nothing has been spread over the local surface to reset the clock. There are just too many variables to use the concept of saturation size at this scale. It's one thing to use it at an orbital scale (for craters of kilometer size and up); it's another thing to use it down here 'among the trees'."]

[For the next several minutes, Gene will describe the general view out his window. Corresponding photos are AS17-147- 22479 to 22491. Readers unfamiliar with the dominant landmarks may find it useful to look at shadows cast by foreground rocks to get an idea of direction. It is early morning, and all the shadows are pointing west, toward 12 o'clock. As Gene mentioned, (West) Family Mountain is due west of them. The South Massif is the very large, apparently flat-topped mountain next to the southwest, and Bear Mountain is south of them, over the RCS thruster that appears in the south-looking photos. Note that the pictures out Gene's window were taken after the pictures taken out Jack's window but are discussed first because of the order in which Gene and Jack give their descriptions. Jack's description begins at 115:09:06.]

[Dave Byrne has created a composite window pan.]

115:03:02 Cernan: Gordy, let me give you a quick (description of the) "far horizon". At 12 o'clock, I've got (West) Family Mountain. It and South Massif are a replica from their plane form from where I am, except that (West) Family Mountain is much more symmetrical and rounds off to a very more definite peak. The South Massif, in turn, has got a high plateau, a high flat peak on top. My far horizon then, at 12 o'clock, from about 12 to 11:30 is dominated by (West) Family Mountain. It's - well, I hate to use the word "anorthosite" without getting out of the spacecraft - but it sure is white. (Pause)
[The very light-colored highlands that cover most of the Moon's surface - in contrast to the darker mare or seas - are thought to be composed largely of anorthositic rocks which formed deep within the Moon, early in its history. Apollo 15's Genesis Rock is a piece of virtually pristine anorthosite recovered on the lower slopes of Mount Hadley Delta.]
115:03:48 Cernan: It sure is white, but it's varied shades of white with sort of a tendency on its southern or southeastern slope to sort of be marble caked with a darker material much the same color as the mantle that we've landed on. (West) Family Mountain disappears just about at the level of the rim of Camelot on my far horizon and just in front of it. That's at about 11 o'clock, just where the South Massif starts up very abruptly...Well, I'll try not to overestimate (the slope), but certainly 30 degrees, I'd say. Very abruptly to a very impressive altitude. I know I was at 13,000 (feet) when I said I was at their level, but it sure looked it from there. It plateaus off from about 10:30 to about 9:30, and then it starts sloping back down towards the east at about the same angle. Very symmetrical.
[The actual slope of South Massif is about 26 degrees. The summit height is 2300 meters or 7500 feet.]
115:05:12 Cernan: There are several places where you can see what appear to be outcrops. I say "several" - about a dozen anyway - where you can see relatively large areas of outcrop on the South Massif. That outcrop is of a darker gray color than the white-gray of the Massif itself. The one most dominant outcrop is right at the change in slope to the west, where it goes upslope and then plateaus off, and there's a definite outcrop. And you can see several boulders on all levels of the Massif that have come apparently from outcrops and I feel certain we will be able to get to some of those that have come all the way down. South Massif, too, appears to be, in areas, marbly caked dirty, such as if it was sprinkled with a dirty or a darker covering, and that covering is more evident as it slopes back (down) here towards the east.

115:06:26 Cernan: As (for) the far horizon now, I can see the South Massif all the way to 9 o'clock, but then behind it, there's just a little breadloaf-type dome of a much darker, much-more-hummocky mound back there, relatively big. It's probably, from where I stand, at least 10 percent the size of the South Massif. Gray in texture (means "color"). There appear to be some lineations running...Well, as I'm looking at them, they're dipping down into the west at about 20 degrees, but that may be a Sun-angle problem. But they're definitely there.

115:07:15 Cernan: And then, contrasting that is Bear Mountain which is also much darker gray, much different than the Massif from where I stand, much more hummocky surface. It appears to be to me what I would expect Sculptured Hills to be like.

[The Sculptured Hills are out of sight, behind them to the east. The LM has only forward-facing windows.]
115:07:30 Cernan: One other thing about the South Massif is that - as I look at it at about 9:30 to 10:30 - there is a little knob of the South Massif that sort of flows towards the east or slightly towards the northeast. That's the one that tends to be a little bit more heavily covered with the darker, dusty material...

115:08:06 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston, over.

115:08:08 Cernan: There are...(Hearing Fullerton) Go ahead.

115:08:12 Fullerton: Okay. We're about 12 (to) 13 minutes behind the timeline for starting cabin preps. And (the) Backroom is enjoying your descriptions, but we think we'd rather you press on with the preps and get ready to get out for a really good view. Over.

[The 'Backroom' is the Science Support Room.]
115:08:31 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. (Talking faster) We're doing this and eating too. We're trying to do them both at the same time, and we are pressing. Just want to say one other thing about the Massif. I can see a couple of places where very small craters have penetrated the Massif - craters maybe a meter or 2 in size, some (of them) 5 meters - and there's a lot of rock debris around them, which tends to (make me) believe that there is very little, if any, soft covering on that Massif. (Pause)

115:09:03 Fullerton: Roger.

[It is now Gene's turn to eat while Jack talks.]

[Cernan - "Obviously, Jack could draw a lot upon his geology background to be able to recognize and describe some of these features on the Moon. It was a tremendous advantage. But I also think that my training was certainly more than adequate for what I had to do. It was comprehensive and I spent a lot of time at it. In fact, I got some general geology training even before Apollo 10 and then specifically got involved for Apollo 14 and then again with Apollo 17. We spent a lot of time studying various aspects of geology, mostly by going out in the field but also - at least a little - by looking at photographs and samples from prior missions. I think Jack probably did more of that than anybody, primarily because of his interest but also because he was staying in the geology side of the business, analyzing the material coming back from each of the missions. I think it was recognized that we didn't have much time to be much else besides observers. If we had enough background and training to recognize that something was different and unusual, then we could photograph it and bring a sample back. That's about all you had time to do on the Moon anyway, no matter whether you were a fully trained geologist or not. Even if we had had more time for geology training, at some point you have to ask at what time do you stop becoming that much more qualified as a lunar geology observer."]

["One of the important parts of the training was getting exposed to a lot of different things here on Earth so that, when you saw something on the Moon, you could say, 'Hey, this is similar to Sunset Crater at Flagstaff'; or 'This is similar to that impact crater I saw west of El Paso'; or 'This is similar in structure to the craters at the Nevada Test Site' or whatever. To me, the best way to be an observer is to have enough experience that you can describe whatever you're looking (at) in terms of something that people on the ground are familiar with. Of course, you can bring the pictures and samples back; but in real time, you can say, 'Hey, I'm standing in a crater and it looks just like Sunset Crater, or just like those craters we saw in Canada, or this rock is just like the pahoehoe we saw in Hawaii.' Then someone back on Earth who's seen the same things will know exactly what you're talking about. But, if you don't go to those places in training, if you don't have that exposure, it's hard to relate what a stream of pahoehoe looks like. If you can say, 'Gee, this is black just like that black car you're driving,' then they know what color black it is. But if you say, 'Well, it's sort of a grayish silver black,' it could be anything."]

["Geology was part of my job in this period of time in my life, but I'm sure that Jack will have a far deeper recollection of the lunar geology. That's his business; that's his profession. I've had a lot to say about the descent, because that's my profession. And I can sit all day and talk about what it felt like to be on the Moon, what it looked like, what it meant; but I probably won't recall a lot of the details of our lunar geologic traverses. Maybe I'll surprise myself. I don't know. As I've read some of what I said about what things looked like out the window, I do recall some of it, and it does mean something to me. And I think that means I was pretty well trained to be a geologic observer. I think that was true in the case of most everybody who went; but I had the advantage of having a professional geologist with me."]

[At this point, Ron Evans is having a further conversation with Houston about his visual observations of the landing site at 114:56:45.]

CapCom - America, while we're waiting for this lunar sounder to operate for 2 minutes, could you say again those map coordinates you gave us (for the light spot made by the descent plume). I dug out the map TL 25-8, and I got the 83.3, but what was the azimuth coordinate on that, Ron?

Evans - It was Dog November, and maybe just a little to the right (north) of Dog November.

[Ron has the map oriented along his flight path, with west up and north to the right. The actual landing site is very close to DN.3, 83.3.]

CapCom - Okay; Dog November. Thank you. And you think that's where they are, huh?

Evans - Yes.

CapCom - Okay.

Evans - Well, there's the...There's a real white spot down there, you know. And I didn't have...I only got a short...I only got a look at that thing for about 30 seconds before I had to do something else. But I'm recalling in my mind where the white spot is with respect to those...(Looking at the map) There's Camelot, and there's Sherlock. And, then from Camelot to Sherlock there were two other craters, and they were just a little bit closer to Camelot, but between those other two craters there.

CapCom - Good show. Roger.

[It's a little hard to identify the two craters between Camelot and Sherlock - possibly Trident and the unnamed feature north of Poppie.]

Evans - There's a white spot...Yes, there's a white spot on the...Like it might have been dust blowing or something, you know.

CapCom - Roger. That may be the rocket exhaust. It might be just a little off that light spot.

Evans - Yes.

[Based on Gene's statements about the landing site, Houston is under the impression that the LM is a bit west of the white spot, while Evans has the landing place identified to within 20 meters or so. It is a bit puzzling that Houston never tells the LM crew about this observation. Had Gene been told, he might have been able to shift his frame of reference and get oriented before starting the drive to Station 1. Evans will reconfirm this initial observation at 116:56. However, at 120:52 he will report that he cannot see the white spot any more. There is, however, no doubt that he has seen the patch of ground scoured by the descent plume. Photo AS17-139-21203 will be taken by Jack while he and Gene are working at Station 6 on the lower slopes of the North Massif. It will be taken through a 500-mm lens and shows the LM and the lighter color of the scoured area surrounding the spacecraft.]

[The photographs taken out Jack's window are AS17-147- 22469 to 22478. He began with a normal horizon sequence and then lowered his aim and took a second sequence showing the near surface.]

[Dave Byrne has created a composite window pan.]

115:09:06 Schmitt: Gordy, just a couple more words about the North Massif. It looks like (there is) a good distribution of boulder tracks. Many of the boulders are accessible. The tracks can be traced up at least to midslope. That's at my 3 o'clock position. And occasionally, at that midslope position, particularly northwest of Henson, you can see abundant boulders suggestive of outcrop. That's something that we had missed seeing on the pre-mission photos. And it isn't as abundant as on the South Massif, but there are apparent ledge formers about midslope. (Pause)
[Henson is a 300 meter crater on the lower slopes of the North Massif at about Jack's 2 o'clock position. It is not to be confused with Hanover Crater which is farther west, but also on the lower slopes of the North Massif.]

[Schmitt - "Ledge formers are just outcrops that line up in an apparent ledge."]

115:10:08 LM Crew: (Occasionally keying their microphones by accident) Yeah, let's make (garbled) I don't know (garbled) a lot of (garbled). (Pause) (Garbled) it could be one. (Pause) Give me that to throw away. (Pause)

115:11:03 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. There's also a few very bright sparkles from the surface - not abundant, but a few.

[These were almost certainly glass beads.]
115:11:17 Schmitt: (Unintentional key) Well, let me...I need these.

[Comm Break]
115:13:52 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. I'm going to hand you over to the good Dr. Parker here. Have a good trip outside there.

115:14:00 Cernan: Gordy, thank you. You do outstanding work and we sure do appreciate it, babe.

115:14:06 Fullerton: My pleasure.

[Cernan - "We had a nine-man crew. We had the Prime Crew (Cernan, Evans, Schmitt), the Backup Crew (Young, Roosa, and Duke), and then the three-man Support Crew (Overmyer, Parker, and Fullerton). And there was also a group of supporting engineers. Traditionally, the Support Crew became the principle CapComs because they usually knew more about what was going on during the flight than anybody. Maybe that changed here and there, but for the most part, we had Gordo (Fullerton), (Bob) Parker, Bob Overmyer, and also Joe Allen, who was one of our support scientists. They knew us; they knew how we talked; and they knew our mission. They worked with us in the simulations a good part of the time; and they worked with us virtually all the time once we started the full-scale mission simulations."]

[Comm Break. During this interval, the Public Affairs commentator gives the press an estimated landing site of DM.8 and 82.7, which is 100 meters west of Poppie, a location corresponding to Gene's erroneous estimate.]


Journal Home Page Apollo 17 Journal Index EVA-1 Preparations