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Sample Collection Bag (SCB)

Copyright © 2008 by the Editors of Working on the Moon.
Last revised 17 October 2008.

Charlie's SCB and Tool

Detail from AS16-107-17446,
showing Charlie's PLSS from the back;
with an SCB on the right, attached to his tool carrier.
(click on the image for a larger version)

1. Summary

††† Sample Collection Bags, or SCBs, were worn by the Lunar Rover crews - Apollo 15, 16, and 17 - and were devised as one of the ways to take advantage of much longer EVAs done on those missions and of the extra carrying capacity of the Lunar Rover vehicle (LRV).

††† The Lunar Module Pilot (LMP), who sat in the righthand LRV seat, had an SCB attached to the righthand side of his PLSS; the Commander (CDR) wore an SCB on the lefthand side of his PLSS.† The SCB was hooked onto a web of straps, called the Tool Harness or, sometimes, the Tool Carrier, that fit over the PLSS.† The bottom of the SCB was secured with a strap attached to the bottom of the PLSS with Velcro.† Because of problems with SCBs that came loose on both Apollo 15 and 16 and, more importantly, because SCBs fell off John Young's PLSS on two separate occassion during Rover traverses - fortunately without the loss of any samples -† the attachment hardware was modified for Apollo 17.† Details for AS17-143-21857 and AS17-145-22157 show Jack Schmitt wearing his SCB at Taurus-Littrow.

††† When a crew worked as a team to collect samples, one of the astronauts would collect a sample with the rake, tongs, or scoop while his partner got a small, individual sample bag ready to receive it.† Once the sample was in the small bag, the bagger would seal the bag while his partner turned to present his SCB and put it in easy reach.† The bagger would then put the sample in the collector's SCB, which had a lid on top.† If one of the astronauts was doing most of the sample collection, his SCB could quickly fill, in which case the bagger would hand the sealed sample to the collector and turn to present his own SCB.† Because it was difficult to raise one's arm above shoulder height while wearing the pressurized suit,† the astronaut presenting his SCB could either bend his knees or stand on a low bit of ground to give better access.† Experience gained during training made team sampling relatively efficient.

††† An astronaut who was sampling on his own could not use the SCB on his PLSS but, rather, used another SCB which he stood upright on the ground where he was working.† Because of the uneven ground, knocking over an SCB was easy to do, especially when reaching down to pick it up before moving to the next sample.† Charlie Duke did quite a bit of solo sampling and had relatively little difficulty.† Jack Schmitt had a lot of trouble doing solo sampling, in part because of the instability of a standing SCB.† Suggestions (detailed below) were made by the crews for alternate ways of dealing with multiple samples.

††† The SCBs were used not only for sample stowage during the traverses but also to hold core tubes before and after they were used, as well as various small, vacuum containers and core-cap dispensers.

††† A running inventory of SCB contents was an important part of their use.† During the traverses, the crew needed to know where they would find core tubes, caps, and other gear.† Although they had a good working knowledge of† bag contents from pratice sessions conducted at the Cape before the mission, Houston provided an important back-up, particuarly as geologic discoveries or equipment problems arose and plans were modified.† In addition, a running inventory of the samples in each bag helped Houston and the crew make informed decisions during EVA close-out about the disposition of samples between rock boxes and SCBs to be carried up to the cabin.† Inventories were easiest to keep when the crews explicitly reported what they were doing, with a running commentary being nearly as helpful.† It was important, too, that the CapCom and others in Houston had a good feel for what the crew was doing through participation in the training exercises.† Only during Apollo 17 EVA-2 were there notable inventory problems.

2. Lessons Learned

††† The hardware used to secure the SCB on the PLSS on Apollo 15 and 16 proved to be inadequate.† As detailed below, the top of the SCB had a metal strap on the back of the bag, which seated into two, upward-facing, open hooks on the tool harness.† When the astronauts ran or drove across the rough surface, the SCB bounced relative to the PLSS and harness and, on occasion, came loose.† For Apollo 17, the hooks were replaced with a design consisting "of a flat spring and a stop so that the same force is required to install and remove the bag."† This design worked satisfactorily during Apollo 17.† The bottom attachment flown on 15 and 16 consisted of a strap with one end sewn to the bottom of the PLSS. The free end was then passed through a cloth loop on the bottom of the SCB and then secured with Velcro to the bottom of the PLSS.† The Velcro was prone to dust clogging and had to be re-attached on several occasions.† Also, because the Velcro attachment was on the bottom of the PLSS, it could be difficult to reach.† On Apollo 17, the bottom attachment apparently consisted of a shorter strap sewn on the side of the PLSS under the bottom of the SCB.† This attachment came loose a few times but, because of the more-secure top attachment, the risk of the SCB falling off was judged to be small enough that time was taken only occasionally to secure the bottom.

††† When an SCB was nearly full, individual sample bags could - and did on a few occasions - pop out when the astronaut was bouncing around.† The top of the SCB had a reasonably secure pressure closure.† However, opening and closing the top repeatedly at a geology stop was a nuisance and a time waster, so the crews generally left the tops open until they were about to get on the Rover.† In all the instances when sample bags popped out, it was seen by one or both of the astronauts - sometimes in the SCB shadow - or by the CapCom or other personnel in Houston.† The dropped samples were easily retrieved with the tongs or scoop.

††† Team sampling done in the Apollo context worked well.† Each of the missions could be characterized as a brief reconnaisance of a site which would probably not be revisited for a decades or longer.† The astronauts's job was to characterize the site and collect and document a suite of characteristic samples for study by professionals back home.† Team sampling let a crew combine their powers of observation and analysis.† The SCB was designed for sample collection by a two-person team and, other than the hardware problems mentioned above, served the purpose.

††† The SCB as designed was not adequate for solo sampling.† As mentioned, on several occassions during Apollo 16 when John Young was working with the Lunar Portable Magnetometer or own other solo tasks, Charlie Duke did solo sampling.† He had trained for these activities and was relatively efficient.† However, the SCB proved to be too short and too unstable sitting upright on the surface.† During training on Earth, terrestrial gravity helped Charlie bend the suit enough so that he could grab the SCB and, also, probably helped keep the bag upright.† Several times during the mission, Charlie mentioned an idea he and John had during training for a collection bag like a conventional shopping bag with a broad base and handles sitcking up on either side well into reach.† Grabbing the handles would also tend to narrow the opening and make it far less likely for samples to pop out.† On one occasion at Apollo 16 Station 4, Charlie planted the scoop blade in the ground, pushing down on it several times to make sure it was secure, and then hung an SCB from the handle.† This suggests that, during future lunar operations, a standard item in the lunar work kit might be a pointed stake, that could be pushed or hammered into the ground and with a hook or two near the top for hanging collection bags, tool belts, etc.

††† The confusion over SCB contents that plagued Apollo 17 EVA-2 seem to have been due to three factors:† (1) Jack Schmitt grabbed the wrong SCB off the MESA during traverse preparations; (2) the crew wasn't meticulous about keeping Houston informed; and (3) CapCom and others in Houston didn't make sure they had the information they needed.

3. Thoughts for Future Lunar Operations

††† If, as might be expected, the next series of lunar missions are focused on the development of a permanent base, the crews will have the advantage of a fixed base and the luxury of longer stay times, more capable surface vehicles, and time for preliminary examination of geologic samples in the lander/habitat.† And if, as might be expected, initial site reconnaisance is done robotically, any sampling by early crews would be done relatively near the lander/habititat to† confirm and refine the robotic results.† The sampling sites would be close enough to base to be revisited with relative ease, if necessary.† Only later would crews go out on extended, reconnaissance trips to remote sites.

††† Because of the need to limit crews exposure to galactic cosmic rays and to limit suit wear, efficient use of EVA time will be at a premium just as it was during Apollo.† A carry bag will be a necessary part of the work kit, but probably not one fitted on the backpack.† Something like Charlie's Shopping Bag - with or without a stake - would be useful for team sampling, solo sampling, or any other instance where the crew is going to be carrying unspecified, modest-sized articles around a work site.† On arrival at a work site, the crew could get a bag or two off their vehicle and put in any special sample containers, packs of individual sample bags, and other gear they anticipate needing.† Once they are ready to leave the work site, samples can be put in stowage compartments on the vehicle, tools can be returned to their stowage locations, and the carry bags can be put away for the next traverse segment.

4.† SCB Description† and Attachment Hardware

††† The SCBs were made of Beta Cloth, the same white, fire-resistant fabric - made of Teflon-coated yarn - that formed the outer cover of the suits.† Each SCB was 42 cm tall, 22 cm front-to-back, 15 cm side-to-side and had an empty (terrestrial) weight of 762 grams.† The storage capacity was 13.9 liters.† The lid on top had a spring latch, but the tops is often seen in the TV unlatched. Each of the SCBs had a diagonal slit in the top designed for insertion of individual sample bags.† The slits were never used; the astronauts found it easier to simply open the top and drop in individual sample bags.

SCB Latch Details

The top detail shows a claw-like portion of the latch on the inner rim of the SCB cover.† Ulli Lotzmann mentions that this piece "acts like a spring, as it is mounted to the† thin interior metal framework of the cover. That framework is flexible."

The lower image shows a backing plate that secures the handle to the outer rim of the cover.† A rigid bar is fitted to the inside of the top rim of the bag.† The claw-like portion of the latch fits over the bar when the cover is closed.

Photographs of two SCBs used in Training


Image ID


SCB in the Collection of the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum. Photos courtesy Allan Needell and Amanda Young.

Training SCB, Lid Interior, Latch Close-up
(Smithsonian Institution)

Training SCB, Back / PLSS-adjacent Surface
(Smithsonian Institution)
The metal fittings at the top were seated on hooks on the PLSS tool carrier.† The free end of the SCB restraining strap was passed thru the fabric loop at the bottom.† In this view, the SCB lid is hinged on the right
Training SCB, Side view with the PLSS-adjacent surface on the left.
(Smithsonian Institution)
This would be the view from behind the LMP, who wore SCBs on the left side of his PLSS; and it would be the view from in front of the CDR, who wore SCBs on the right side of his PLSS.† The lid hinge is on this side of the SCB.
Training SCB, Front view
(Smithsonian Institution)†
This would be the view of someone facing an astronaut from the side on which the SCB is mounted, showing stowage pockets on the outer surface.
Training SCB, Side view with the PLSS-adjacent surface on the right. A19790791000CP05
(Smithsonian Institution)
This would be the view facing an LMP from the front or a CDR from the back.† The fabric loop at the top is used to raise the lid or to pull it shut.† Part of the latching mechanism can be seen under the loop
Training SCB, top view with open lid
(Smithsonian Institution)
The interior pockets are designed to hold drive tube sections.

Apollo 16 training SCB in a private collection.† Photos courtesy Ulrich Lotzmann

0.8 Mb
The silver rule is about 12 inches long.† The cover is at the top in this image. Judy Allton's Tool Book gives the dimensions as 42 cm high, 22 cm wide, 15 cm deep.† Capacity: 13869 cubic cm.
0.8 Mb
The attachment hardware and cover are at the top of this image
Back Attachment
0.8 Mb
Close-up of the attachment hardware
Open cover
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View into the bag.† View of the latch on the inner surface of the cover.
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The back of the bag with the attachment hardware is on the left in this image.† The cover is at the top.
Cover, closed
1.1 Mb
Samples could be put in the bag through the diagonal slit in the top.† This feature was never used on the Moon.† The front of the bag is at the top in this image.† The cover is hinged on the right.
Cover slit open
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Cover latch 1.2 Mb View of the top of the bag opposite the cover hinge, with the cover slightly open.† The back surface of the latch can be seen on the outside surface of the cover, under the beta-cloth loop.†

††† For Apollo 15 and 16, the SCBs were attached to a "tool carrier" as described in the Summary and as shown in the following diagram from the Apollo 16 Mission Report.† The upper fitting on Charlie's SCB can be seen during the Apollo 16 EVA-1 close-out in a video clip that starts at 125:13:58.† During Apollo 17, the modified attachment hardware was termed the "tool harness".

Fig. 14-62

Figure 14-62 from the Apollo 16 Mission Report. Note that the SCB is mounted on the righthand side, as would be the case for an LMP. (Click on the image for a larger version.)

††† At the start of each EVA, each of the astronauts put an SCB onto his partner's tool harness.† They also hooked one or two spares on the Hand Tool Carrier at the back of the Rover.† If either of the bags the astronauts were wearing got full, it could be removed, stowed under one of the Rover seats or on the back of the Rover, and replaced with a fresh bag.† Stowage of a full bag on the back of the Rover was riskier than stowage under one of the seats.

Detail from 11603
              showing LRV

Detail from AS15-86-11603, taken during Apollo 15 EVA-1 close-out, showing two spare SCBs attached to the Hand Tool Carrier at the back of the Rover. Jim Irwin is on the right. (click on the image for a larger version)

††† Some of the bags contained internal stowage sleeves for drive (core) tube sections.† Thanks to the training sessions they'd done at the Cape, the crews sometimes had a better idea about which bags contained empty drive tubes than Houston did.

Judy's Figure 99

This pre-flight photo shows the interior of an SCB with two drive tubes in stowage sleeves.† The one on the right is labeled "L" for "lower" and the one on the left "U" for "upper".† The rim at the bottom of the "lower" is made of hardened steel to minimize damage when the tube is hammered into the ground.† (click on the image for a larger version)

††† Each of the SCBs was numbered.† Care was taken at the start of each EVA - or after a change-out of a fresh bag for a full one - to make sure that Houston knew which bag each of the astronauts was wearing.† That way, records could be kept about which samples were in which SCB so that Houston could make decisions about which bag should go into a rock box or, once the samples were back in Houston, samples of particular interest could be easily located.

After each EVA, full SCBs were taken up to the cabin either inside one of the Sample Return Containers (SRC or rock box) or wrapped in a relatively clean cover bag (aka a 'sample containment bag') to help limit the amount of dust in the cabin.

5. Selected References to SCBs in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal and other sources

Ground elapsed time
Topic Notes

Apollo 15


Putting a fresh bag on a PLSS
In reference to preparations for the first traverse, Dave said: "The bags were so fresh and new and stiff that it took me a while to get your bag on the first time. It kept wanting to refold to its stowed position. But that was a minor problem."† Note that the bags that they used during training had gotten well worn.

The cuff checklists include the ID numbers of the bags they are planning to use for this EVA.† Later on, the crew is probably in a better position than people in Houston to decide which bags should be used.
Procedures for using the SCB worked out during training;† solo sampling versus team sampling
"Time spent developing the procedures saves time on the Moon, 'cause we don't have to talk about where things are and what you do."

Difficulties reaching up to get core tubes or put in samples
Unless the person wearing the SCBs is standing lower than the person getting the drive tubes, get them out can be a challenge.† TV of Jim putting the full core tubes into Dave's SCB shortly after 123:14:30.

At Station 6, Jim has trouble putting a sample in Dave's SCB because Dave is standing on a slight mound.
Seeing through beta cloth
Beta cloth is sufficently translucent that, under favorable lighting conditions, Houston can see how full an SCB is without bothering the crew.
Keeping track of SCB contents
Back at the LM after the EVA-1 traverse, CapCom Joe Allen asks Dave to transfer the unused core tube aand SESC (Special Environmental Sample Container) from the bag he'd been wearing (SCB-1) to SCB-2.
Keeping track of SCB contents
Now out at the ALSEP site after the EVA-1 traverse and about to head back to the LM for close-out, Jim consults cuff checklist page LMP-29, which has them putting Dave's SCB-1 in the rock box (SRC) and his own (SCB-4) on the MESA.† Jim notes that neither bag is full and asks if Houston wants him to combine both sets of samples into SCB-1, which also contains the double core sections they collected at Station 2.† Houston agrees to the suggestion.† Later, at 125:42:41, when they get back to the LM for close-out, Joe reminds Jim that Dave had already removed to one unused core tube from the SCB-1


Keeping track of SCB contents
Keeping track of SCB contents is necessarily a cooperative venture between the crew and people in Houston.† During preparations for the first geology traverse, the IDs for the bags they are supposed to wear are shown in the cuff checklists.† After a while, deviations from plans will be inevitable.

Generally, the crews are in a good position to make decisions about which bags to use while people in Houston do the bookkeeping, pick up mistakes the crew may make, and offer advice.

Late in EVA-3, Dave looks in an SCB on the back of the Rover and doesn't find a tool he expected to find.
Slow decision from Houston
Dave asks which SCB he should put the SESC in.† Not getting a prompt answer, he puts the SESC aside until later.
Development of the SCB and procedures for using it evolved because of the extra carrying capacity of the Rover and longer lunar stays.
"That's part of the blank piece of paper we started with on 15. We didn't have all these bags. So that evolved over the training exercises because, all of a sudden you have the Rover, and you can carry more. How do you carry more, what do you do, and in what sequence? So these extra bags were all new ... A lot of equipment was new. So, where do you put it, and how do you use it? And I can remember going through the exercise of developing those concepts. I don't think they all showed up at once. I think they showed up slowly as we went along. So, how can you carry more rocks with you and not have your hands tied down with rocks."
Securing a loose SCB
In TV that starts at 145:50:40, CapCom Joe Allen notices that Jim's SCB has come loose.† Here, Joe reminds Dave to "cinch it up".† Good TV of the gymnastics Dave has to do to get it re-attached.
Stowing 'Genesis' SCB under a seat rather than risk losing it off Jim's loose harness
As Dave and Jim prepare to leave Station 7, they decide to stow Jim's SCB under his seat so that they don't lose what came to be called the Genesis Rock.† Because there is little room to spare under the seat, Dave removes an empty SCB and has Jim attach it to the back of the Rover.† No TV.† About a half hour later, at 146:39:18 at the next station, Dave forgets that they didn't put a fresh SCB on Jim PLSS and thinks they've lost it.† He remembers at 146:43:37.

NASA photos
These pre-flight photos show the Hand Tool Carrier (HTC) with two SCBs latched in place.† The HTC - without the legs - was attached to the back of the Rover on both Apollo 15 and 16.† Apollo 16 photo AS16-107-17446 shows the HTC on the back of the Rover, albeit without any SCBs mounted.
SCBs placed in cover bags
Jim reminds Dave that they need to put the SCBs inside cover bags (aka sample containment bags) to limit dust in the cabin.
Handcarry SCBs to porch; lid comes open
They had planned to use the clothesline-like Lunar Equipment Conveyor (LEC) to move the SCBs up to the cabin, but Dave decides that it will be easier - and cleaner - to take them up by hand.† At 149:12:05, the lid of one of the SCBs comes open.† Dave closes it before handing the bag in to Jim.
Removing the bottom strap
The strap that held the bottom of the SCB against the PLSS was sometimes difficult to reach for either attachment or removal.† Here, Dave has Jim lean forward - bracing himself at the back of the Rover to keep from falling forward -† to make removal easier.


TV of typical SCB usage during team sampling
When the two astronauts were working together to collect samples, usually one of them would collect a sample with a scoop or with tongs and, after giving it to his partner for bagging, would turn to put his SCB within easy reach.† After his partner put the individual sample bag in the SCB, they would take "after" pictures.
Atypical SCB use during team sampling
In this case, Jim has started to take the rake off the extension handle and replace it with the scoop and, rather than interupt him, Dave goes around Jim to reach Jim's SCB.
Alternatives to "putting rocks into little bags and then putting little bags in big bags"
In 1992, while watching TV of the sampling in the Station 6 crater, Dave wondered if it was really a good use of their time to spend so much time (overhead) bagging rocks, rather than taking documentary photos and putting the rocks directly in the SCB.

Apollo 16

Keeping track of SCBs and contents
John's cuff checklist page CDR-30 indicates that he is to put one of the SCBs in the sequence SCB-5 to SCB-8 on Charlie's PLSS.
Disposition of SCB contents
During the early stages of the EVA-1 close-out, there is an ongoing discussion in Houston about putting the contents of Charlie's SCB in the rock box, rather than the contents of John's.† By the time they reach a decision, Charlie has already poured the contents of John's SCB into the rock box.† Charlie tells Houston that he'll be† able to get the contents of both bags in the box.† A decision had been made prior to the flight to put SCB contents, rather than the entire bag, in the rock boxes.† That made it easier to close the SRC and, also, made more room for samples.† See, also, Charlie's comment at 152:20:28.
Deciding which SCB to put the samples in
After some momentary indecision about putting their first Station 4 sample in John's SCB or Charlie's:

Duke - "You've got core tubes.† Let me carry the rocks.
I have an easier time getting the core tubes out if your bag is empty."

This may be an example of SCB protocol which wasn't as well planned as it might have been.† However, they had no trouble making a real-time decision based on their knowledge of what they were carrying and what they planned to do during the rest of the EVA.
Disposition of the Contact samples
John has just finished taking two special samples in the Contact Surface Sampler but neither he nor Charlie remember where they are supposed to put the samples.† They ask Tony, who tells them, "They'll go in the SCB that doesn't go in the SRC
(meaning the Sample Return Container, or rock box, which is on the MESA at the LM)."† This tells Charlie what he needs to know, because they've already filled the SCB that's supposed to go in the SRC and it's currently stowed at the back of the Rover


Keeping track of SCB contents At Station 9, Charlie asks John to get the top for the CSVC (Core Sample Vacuum Container or "long can") and tells him it's in SCB-2.

They do a considerable amount of re-organizing of the samples during the EVA-2 close-out, explicitly reporting most of what they are doing and not asking for advice.† CapCom Tony England checks with them on the location of two unused core tubes.† John says he's "glad they asked."

After the EVA, Tony tells them "We've lost one piece of hardware here.† We wonder where SCB-2 went?"† Charlie reminds him that he emptied that bag into the SRC and put the empty bag back on the Rover for re-use.† "It's just like we did in training."†† However, Charlie hadn't explicity given Houston the bag ID at the time.

Keeping track of SCB contents In preparation for the EVA-3 traverse, they put a particular SCB on John because in contains the Special Environmental Sample Container (SESC).† Note that the cuff checklist pages for the PLSS load-up do not specify which SCBs† they are supposed to wear.† Evidently, they had trained with John wearing the SCB containing the SESC.

As it turns out, this SCB falls off John's PLSS at 166:34:15 during the drive to North Ray Crater.

170:14:54 Managing bag contents; double checking an empty bag Before discarding an empty SCB under the LM, John checks to make sure it's empty, tells Charlie - and, therefore Houston - what he's doing, and mentions the bag number.† A moment later, Charlie does a bag inventory.

Carrying SCBs and SRCs up the ladder by hand
Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "The technique I used (is), I'd stand at the bottom of the ladder and bend down and spring and I could get up to the second rung of the ladder with either the SRC or an SCB in my hand.† That is really the way to fly.† You feel like Superman jumping up off the ground like that."† He used his empty hand for stability by holding onto the ladder.

During the EVA-3 close-out, Charlie takes three SCBs up to the porch while John drives out to the VIP site.
149:20:40 Handcarrying an SCB back to the LM At the end of Station 10, Charlie decides to grabs SCB-2 off his seat and run the 50m back to the LM to start the close-out.

Putting SCBs in containment bags
To control dust in the cabin, after weighing, SCBs that didn't go in a rock box are wrapped in sample containment bags.
Trouble with the SCB latches on the HTC
Charlie has trouble opening one of the latches that holds the SCBs on the back of the Rover, possibly because they are fouled with dust.

NASA photos
These pre-flight photos show the Hand Tool Carrier (HTC) with two SCBs latched in place.† The HTC was attached - without the legs - to the back of the Rover on both Apollo 15 and 16.

Putting† drive tubes in an SCB
TV from EVA-2 close-out of Charlie taking drive tubes from under his seat and putting them in an SCB he's just emptied. John put them there at Station 10.

TV from EVA-3 close-out.
Mounting an SCB on a PLSS
Good TV of John putting an SCB on Charlie's PLSS, beginning at about 2 minutes 5 seconds into the video clip that starts at 165:57:02.
168:05:52 Securing an SCB and tool harness Charlie puts SCB-7, which they've been using, on John's PLSS, making sure that it is secure and that the tool harness is tight.† They don't want to lose the bag as happened with the empty bag John was wearing during the drive from the LM to North Ray.† They wanted to put the SCB under one of the seats, but there is no room for it.
Re-fastening the bottom strap
The strap securing the bottom of Charlie's PLSS has come loose.† Off-camera, John re-attaches it.† Three minutes later, at 146:27:31, John thinks it may be loose again but, after getting Charlie to turn to give him a better look, he reports, "No, it's Velcroed on."
170:00:15 Releasing the bottom attachment Good TV of John releasing the bottom on Charlie's SCB before removing the bag entirely.



Using the SCB during team sampling
John and Charlie did more solo sampling than either the A15 or A17 crews.† The choreography of their team sampling is not as precise, particularly at this first geology stop.† There are several examples in the TV at this station.

Further examples of team sampling at Stations 6, 8. and 9.

Using the SCB during team sampling
During the run out to House Rock, they stop to collect samples.† Charlie uses the rake, pours sample into an individual sample bag John is holding, then turns to present his SCB while John is sealing the small bag.† This example is more like the well-rehearsed choreography of the Apollo 15 and 17 crews.
Using the SCB during team sampling on a slope
They have to be careful about positioning.



Using an SCB while solo sampling
Back at the LM at the end of EVA-3, while John is occupied with the UV Astronomy camera, Houston asks Charlie to do some solo sample.† At the previous station, John had mentioned that Charlie's SCB was just about full, so Charlie gets John's off John's PLSS.† About three minutes of good TV of Charlie doing solo sampling starts at 169:55:49.† He put John's SCB upright on the ground near where he is working.† Charlie doesn't have any trouble with the SCB falling over at this location but there are examples where that is a problem.† Possible solutions are SCB equivalents with a broader base, perhaps with handles as on a large shopping bag (see below), or a stake with a sharp point on the bottom and a hook at the top to put the SCB easily within reach.

There is more good TV of Charlie solo sampling at Station 2, with relatively few difficulties.† Also of John solo sampling at Stations 4 and 8.
167:20:43 Too much equipment to handle while solo sampling at Station 11 At Station 11, Charlie has the tongs in his left hand, an individual-sample-bag dispenser hooked on the little finger of his right hand, and is holding an SCB in his right hand while he tries to take documentation photos with that same hand.† He loses his grip on the SCB.

Young: "Charlie, I think with these equipment problems, we'd better work together, and I'll handle one bag, and you handle the other bag, and (we'll) be able to be more productive.† Don't you?"
168:41:33 Efficient solo sampling at Station 13; putting a large rock on an SCB that was standing upright Duke - "You're working around a rock like that, it was a lot
easier.† I had the tongs; I came prepared.† I had the little sample bag
(SCB) on the ground.† Once you get that way, you don't have to take all those pictures and stuff.† You could work solo, if you had everything.† We've learned a little bit, so we got more efficient at it.† We knew what to take with us."
Core tubes in an SCB help it stay upright
Young: "Okay.† I'm going to leave those two cores in that (extra) bag.† It makes it stand up." The reason may be the extra rigidity the core tubes provide.† See photo AS16-107-17474.
Resting an SCB against a boulder
Using a boulder as a prop makes it much easier to get the SCB to stand upright.
Picking up the SCB while solo sampling
The SCB is almost tall enough for Charlie to grab it without much trouble.† A taller bag would be harder to stand upright on the uneven ground.
167:03:33 Shaping a fresh SCB Unused SCBs are stowed folded and flattened and, to use it while solo sampling, John opens it and sticks his hand in to shape it.

Unplanned uses At Station 11 on the rim of North Ray Crater, Charlie will take photos at two locations with both his chest-mounted Hassellblad and one equipped with a 500-mm lens.† Charlie will put the 500-mm in an SCB so he can put it down while he uses his chest-mounted camera.† He leaves the Rover at 167:00:34.† When Charlie tries to put the SCB upright on the uneven ground with the camera in it at 167:08:00, the weight of the long lens makes the bag fall over.† Off-camera at 167:13:09, he falls trying to retrieve the fallen bag.

John puts an SCB next to a sample to provide scale in documentary photos

General troubles Duke: These things (meaning the SCBs) are giving us more trouble than the whole...

Duke - The hooks for the Sample Collection Bag on the side of the PLSS was a real headache - to get it on and to get it off.† It seemed like it took you forever to get it on and then it would just fall off!† Or, you'd try to get it off, and you couldn't get it off.† And it just never seemed to be any rhyme or reason; so, I think, as you go on more extended EVAs, we've got to pay careful attention to the design and development of the latching mechanisms of the sample containers and the hooking mechanism for the backpack - or the shopping bag concept or whatever is decided.† There's got to be a lot of attention to detail put into that.† It's not just a simple matter to get those samples into the bags and the bags collected and stored


Apollo Mission Report Section 14.4.8

Mission Report Figure 14-62
SCB falls off PLSS When they arrive at Station 10, late in EVA-2, John discovers that SCB-4 fell off his PLSS during the drive but, fortunately, wedged between the Rover frame and the inside of the left-rear fender.† It was full of samples from Station 9. "Somebody up there likes us."† John won't need an SCB for the rest of the EVA, so they don't take the time to put one on him.

At 166:34:15, during the drive from the LM to Station 11 at the start of EVA-3, with their shadow off to their left where it's in John's field-of-view, he sees his SCB fall off his PLSS.† Fortunately, it didn't contain any samples.

To prevent a recurrence during Apollo 17, the upper attachment hooks were re-designed.

Trouble opening the top of an SCB mounted on the back of the Rover
This is probably a fresh bag that hadn't been previously open.† Charlie needs to open it to get at the unused core tubes it contains.

At Station 9 after John collected the Contact samples, Charlie has trouble opening the top of a fresh bag that he put on John's PLSS just before they left Station 8.
124:04:59 Accidentally pulling† John's SCB off his PLSS While holding a relatively large rock he wants to put, unwrapped, in John's SCB, Charlie has trouble getting the top open.† He manages to pull the SCB off the top attachment hooks.† He decides against trying to re-attach the SCB where they are on the far side of Plum Crater, so John carries it back to the Rover.† John won't need an SCB for the rest of the EVA, so they stow it under his seat.


Individual sample bag falling out of an SCB Generally, the crews did not bother using the spring latch to keep the SCB cover closed. Off-camera at Station 1, a bag has probably bounced out of Charlie's SCB.

On-camera at station 8, a bag pops out of Charlie's SCB.† Tony saw it come out and alerts the crew.

A few minutes later, Charlie falls while trying to retrieve the hammer he dropped.† As John helps him get up, two bags come out of Charlie's SCB, which they both see.† Because both SCBs are virtually full, they decided that they will have to "trade them out" for fresh bags.
143:20:03 Trouble getting the free end of the bottom strap attached to the bottom on the PLSS The free end of the strap has a patch of Velcro sewn on it, which is supposed to stick to a mating patch sewn on the bottom of the PLSS.† One or both may be fouled with dust.† Alternatively, reaching under John's PLSS to secure the Velcro requires a certain amount of gynmastics and that could be the problem.† Charlie gets the strap secured after about one and a half minutes of effort.
Excessive amount of time spent changing two SCBs They spent nine minutes taking off the two full SCBs, stowing those on the inside of the gate and the back of the Rover, and putting on new bags.

Duke - "We've been around the Rover, now, five minutes or more, just changing out the bags.† It was really a frustrating and a time consuming and a very wasteful effort to change out the SCBs and break out the new ones.† Time is so valuable up there, we really should have put more thought into how we store the individual sample bags and what we do with the design of the doffing and donning of the SCBs.† And, in the future, you really ought to look at some sort of a quick disconnect and connect operation - if you're going to hang 'em on your back.† I personally think the best thing is a little shopping bag deal (see below) where you carry it around with you and make it broad enough base so that, when you plop it down, it just stays there."

Jones - "And then just have a little slot on the back of the Rover you can stick it in..."

Duke - "Or under the seat where you can just throw it in and leave it.† Or, when you get back, you know, have something permanently there on the Rover that, when you get back, you just pour everything in and that leaves you with the empty bag again.† It turned out it was very, very wasteful of time - more than five minutes here and we didn't get anything done.† We're just screwing around trying to get some fresh bags."

Shopping bag idea
Duke - "We wasted a lot of time, here (at Station 1).† John got this sample; then I had to walk over and turn sideways to him and he had to drop it in my bag and then I had to go back and get another sample.† Our idea in training - and they never would approve - was the old shopping bag. You know, with the straps.† And when you pick it up it closes up.† They didn't buy that idea; and we ended up taking the sample bags (meaning the SCBs) and running around the Moon and just putting them on the ground.† And we could open it up and put our own bags in, and that was really helpful when we sampled by ourselves."

Jones - "There's a discussion of shopping bags at Shadow Rock (at 168:33:52).† I thought that was spur of the moment; but you actually had talked about it before the flight?"

Duke - "Yeah, we talked about it."
144:56:25 Hanging an SCB on the scoop handle Charlie plants the scoop, pushing down on the handle a few times to make sure it is secure, and then hangs an SCB from it.† This action - which can be found about one minute into the video clip starting at 144:55:24 - suggests that a standard part of the geology tool kit could be a stake with a hook at the top so that the stake could be planted at a sampling site with a bag hanging in easy reach.

Apollo 17




Disposition of samples
At EVA-1 close-out, CapCom Bob Parker tells them to pour the samples in Gene's SCB into Jack's, plus the samples they have under the seat.† Jack's SCB will then go into the rock box.

A few minutes later, Bob asks Jack if he wants to take the "big bag" - the Sample Return Bag (SRB), which is a long version of the SCB that has been hanging on the front of the MESA - up to the cabin.† It contains the football-sized rock Jack collected at 123:13:39 on his 100-m run back to the LM from the SEP site.† The rock is "roughly tabular" with dimensions of 15 by 25 by 5-7 cm.† Jack says he wants to take the rock up to the cabin so he can examine it with a hand lens.† He and Bob decide that it will fit in SCB-2, which is now empty.† That will eliminate the need to bring the SRB back out at the start of EVA-2.† A few minutes later, Jack has second thoughts.

After a fair bit of confusion about the SCBs (discussed below),
Jack reports that SCB-6 and SCB-8 are ready to go up to the cabin.† Bob has him confirm that empty bag SCB-5 is on the gate and that empty bag SCB-7 is under the LMP seat.† Gene adds empty bag SCB-4 will also go on the gate.

During EVA-3 close-out, Jack reports he is putting core tubes (aka drive tubes) in SCB-7.† Although they provide a running commentary about what they are doing during the close-out, at 169:27:40, Bob asks that they provide "inventories of the stuff as it comes off the Rover and where you put it over there by the footpad, so we can help you keep track of it."
Disposition of SESC
They have not yet filled the Special Environmental Sample Container ("short can") and, because they are organizing the SCBs to go up to the porch need to decide which bag to hold back to receive it.† They suggest using SCB-5, which Jack was wearing, and Houston concurs.† They then decide to fill the SESC immeidately to "get it out of the way".† Houston concurs.
144:42:30 Making sure needed gear will be available After collecting a core sample at Station 3, Gene needs to get some caps.† During the Rover preps at 141:03:27 , as per checklist, Gene put a core cap dispenser on SCB-7 which, at 141:05:46, he then put under Jack's seat.† At 141:16:00 he put another dispenser on the SCB-8, which Jack wore until the end of Station 2 at 143:42:42.† After taking SCB-8 off Jack's PLSS Gene briefly hung it on the tool gate but then, at Houston's suggestion, they put it under Jack's seat.† He then put SCB-4 on Jack's PLSS.

Because both SCBs 7 and 8 are under Jack's seat, Gene says† "I don't want to get under your seat.† We got those bags packed in there like gangbusters."† Jack is under the impression that there are caps on the gate but Gene tells him, "No, they're not.† I took them out (of SCB-8) and put them on you (meaning SCB-4, which Jack is wearing on his PLSS)."
145:41:19 Keeping track of SCB contents As Gene finishes hammering a double core into the orange soil, Jack asks, "Okay, do I have core tubes on me now (meaning on SCB-4)?† I mean caps? ... And the rammer?"† Gene assures him that he does.† Gene gets then off Jack's SCB at 145:45:28.† Note that, a moment before, Bob had advised Gene that there were core caps in SCB-7, under Jack's set, either not having heard the discussion about core caps being 'on' Jack, or not having understood.


SCB management during EVA-1
Gene opens the EVA-1 rock box at the MESA and removes SCB-1, which was stored inside.† He will hang the SCB on the gate at the back of the Rover about two minutes later.

After completing the ALSEP deployment, Gene begins his part of preparations for the traverse by taking a pack of individual sample bags out of SCB-1 and mounting it on his camera.† Jack tells Gene, "I've got mine on."† A moment later, Gene removes a core cap dispnser from SCB-1 and stows that in a slot on the gate.

Gene puts SCB-2, which had been stowed on the geopallet before the flight - † on Jack's PLSS. Jack's tool hraness is loose, so Gene has to secure it.†† They are largely hidden by equipment between the TV camera and the back of the Rover.

Next, Jack puts SCB-1 on Gene's PLSS. Although Jack is between us and Gene's PLSS much of the time, we do get to see part of the process, especially the redesigned attachment of the bottom of the SCB at about 121:33:00. Jack's comment that "those hooks weren't designed for new bags" indicates that, while they worked well for the broken-in bags used during training, the stiff, fresh bags are harder to secure.

Because they didn't have to change out either of the SCBs during this traverse, EVA-1 clsoeout is straightforward, as indicated above.



Seeds of later confusion
Preparations for the EVA-2 traverse were somewhat disrupted by the need to install the replacment fender.† While Jack takes some scheduled panoramas, Gene takes SCB-7, as per checklist, to the gate where he transfers some equipment from SCB-5 into SCB-7 before stowing SCB-7 under Jack's seat. Next, they were scheduled to put SCB-5 on Gene's PLSS, SCB-6 on the gate, with SCB-4 going on Jack's PLSS.† However, because work on the fender will be easier if they aren't wearing cameras or SCBs, Houston tells them to defer† the rest of the Geoprep until after they finish with the fender.

After they finish with the fender, Jack goes to the MESA to get an SCB.† This was to have been Gene's job but, because of the time they've lost because of the fender, Jack decides to take care of the task.† Unfortunately, he grabs the wrong bag.† Schmitt - "The empty bags were stowed in the MESA and you would think that an intelligent human being would be able to grab the right one."† Together, Gene, Jack and Bob decide that putting SCB-8 on Jack's PLSS - instead of SCB-4 - won't be a problem.† Bob says, "Yeah, I don't see there's any reason why you shouldn't be able to use that, Jack.† Go ahead.† We'll just mark it down."† They then put SCB-5 on Gene and SCB-4 on the gate.

In summary, they were supposed to have SCB-4 on Jack's PLSS, SCB-5 on Gene's, SCB-6 on the gate, and SCB-7 under Jack's seat.† They end up with SCB-8 on Jack's PLSS, SCB-5 on Gene's, SCB-4 on the gate, and SCB-7 under Jack's seat. As we will discover later, Jack also put SCB-6 somewhere on the Rover.

Photo AS17-135-20542, which Jack took of the back of the Rover just before they departed the LM on the EVA-2 traverse, shows one fresh bag on the gate, almost certainly SCB-4.

By the end of Station 2, Jack's SCB is full, so they put that bag, SCB-8, on the gate, take SCB-4 off the gate and put it on Jack's PLSS.† A moment later, Bob says that John and Charlie recommend putting the full bag under one of the seats.† Gene and Jack take that advice,† after overcoming baulky, dust-clogged SCB latch.

At Station 3, Houston tells Jack to do some solo sampling.† He gets an SCB off the Rover and puts it upright on the ground next to him.† He never mentions which bag this is, but the dialog from the EVA-2 close-out indicates that it is SCB-6, which one of them must have put on the Rover during the traverse preps without reporting the fact.† Once Jack is back and the Rover and they are preparing to leave, Jack asks Gene to lock the bag he's been using on the back of the Rover.† Gene doesn't report which bag it is, either.† Nor did anyone in Houston think to ask Jack which bag he's been using.† After some difficulty, Gene secures the bag to the back of the Rover on the left-hand side.† Evidence at 147:23:44, during the EVA-2 close-out, indicates that, at that time, SCB-6 is on the gate.

SCB confusion at EVA-2 Close-out
Gene asks Houston which bag they want to go in the rock box.† Bob tells them† to put the long can and the four (means 'three') core (aka 'drive') tubes in the SRC; and then the samples from SCB-4, meaning the trench samples collected at Shorty Crater. If there's room left after that, they should add samples from SCB-5. They won't actually put an SCB in the box.† Note that, at 147:24:54, Bob indicates Houston's uncertainty about bag contents by asking, "Okay, and then, 17, do you guys remember where the trench samples - the three trench soil samples - which bag (SCB) those were put in?† (The one's) from Station 4?† Over."† Gene replies, "Yeah, let's see.† I'm the only one who had (sample) bags, so I bagged them and put them in whatever bag Jack had (that is, SCB-4).† I think." Jack agrees.

After Gene gets all of the samples out of SCB-4 and puts them in the rock box, Jack takes the empty bag back to the Rover.† He sees SCB-6 and, probably rhetorically, asks "What's in (SCB) 6?"† Bob answers, "Six? Probably nothing. But tell us ..." By now, Jack has actually looked in SCB-6 and finds samples, probably those he collected while solo sampling at Ballet Crater.† And Bob tells him, "You should also have SCB-8 under your seat with samples in it."† Clearly the system for keeping track of samples and bags - both on the Moon and in Houston - is in disarray.† Gene's grasp of the situation is better than anyone else's.

At 147:31:01, having closed and latched the rock box, Gene comments, "Okay.† Now where was I?† You (meaning Jack) got me all out of whack, here.".† To which Parker replies, dryly, "That's affirm."

At 147:37:24, Jack adds, "Man, we are so far off nominal on what bags (SCBs we've used)... (Laughs) I sort of didn't think.† The checklist is going to have to be updated, I guess."† Bob replies, "Totally."

By the end of the close-out, the disposition of the samples between the rock box and the bags (SCB-6 aand SCB-8) going up to the cabin seems to have been sorted out.† They will leave empty bag SCB-7 under Jack's seat, empty bags SCB-5 and SCB-6 on the gate, and SC-3, which is also now empty, on the accessory staff.





SCB management during EVA-3
No attempt was made during the time Gene and Jack were in the cabin to change the bag numbers indicated in the EVA-3 cuff checklist.† Bag management begins when, as per checklist, Gene takes the big bag to the gate and, as suggested by Houston, ends up opening the geopallet (to which the gate is attached), and mounting the big bag on the forward surface of the geopallet.

A few minutes later, as per checklist, Gene gets SCB-7 out from under Jack's seat and removes packs of sample bags and a core-cap dispenser.† Gene was suppoosed to put SCB-7 on the gate but, because SCB-4 and SCB-5 are already on the gate, he leaves it under Jack's seat.† He asks Houston which bag they want on Jack and it told either SCB-4 or SCB-5.† A few minutes later, Gene is told that they want SCB-7 on his PLSS.

Jack picks up SCB-7 and tells Gene, "your bag's going to have two lowers and one upper (drive tube)."† Parker remarks, "Our understanding was there were two uppers and one lower in bag 7, and two lowers under the LMP seat.† Did you re-sort things there? ... I just wanted to make sure that we know what you are so we don't let you get away too far (from the Rover) with two uppers and a lower.† Two lowers and an upper is certainly better than two uppers and a lower.† As long as we know what it is."

A couple of minutes later, Gene tells Houston he's putting SCB-4 on Jack and then adds the core-cap dispenser he'd left under Jack's seat.

Just before they leave Station 8, Gene removes Jack's very full SCB and puts it under Jack's seat.† They put SCB-5 on Jack.

When they get to Station 9, Jack asks Gene for confirmation that "I have an empty bag on me now, right?† Collection Bag?"† Tewo minutes later, Gene asks Jack, "(Does) my bag look all right to you?"† Gene's is nearly full and, undoubtedly, he wants to know that the top is securely closed and is secure on the tool carrier.† Jack replies, "Yeah, it's still closed."

During the EVA-3 close-out, they put the Station 9 core tubes in SCB-7, the bag that Gene wore throughout the EVA.† He then takes it to the ladder footpad.† Shortly after, he takes another bag, SCB-5 to the footpad..† Finally, Gene takes SCB-5 off Jack.† After they pour the LRV samples out of SCB-3 into SCB-5, they collect the SESC (short can) sample and add it to SCB-5.† Next, they take SCB-5 to the footpad and, with Bob's participation, take an inventory.† Finally, they put some large rocks in the big bag, including an 8.1 kilogram breccia Gene collected at Station 9.
Sample bag pops out of Jack's SCB
Jack's SCB is very full and he is headed to the Rover so Gene can take the full bag off him and stow it under the LMP seat.† Gene had closed the top of Jack's SCB, but the top came open and a sample bag popped out.† Then a second bag.† Jack could see them come out in his shadow.† Gene retrieves them with the tongs.† After Gene grabs the fallen bags, the head for the Rover again and yet another bag pops out.




Loose SCB
In the TV, we see that the bottom of Jack's SCB comes loose. If anyone in Houston noticed this, Bob did not mention it to the crew.

Gene notices that, despite the re-design of the SCB attachment hardware following Apollo 16, a hook on Jack's has come loose.† "(Might) just as well fix this bag now.† Let me get this bag.† It's going to come off at the bottom if I don't.† It's going to come off again.† I don't think the harness is tight enough now."† However, after a minute, Bob tells them, "Okay, don't worry about it too much, guys; I'm sure the bag will stay on without the hook."† This suggests there is something Editor Jones doesn't understand.

Gene takes a moment to either secure the lid on Jack's SCB or to adjust the attachment to the tool carrier.

During Station 6, someone in Houston notices that the bottom of Jack's SCB has come loose.† Bob tells them about it at 165:29:30.† During this same interval, Jack comments that the top of Gene's SCB won't latch.† Gene's notices that the top of Jack's SCB is "hanging by one hook," but doesn't notice the bottom is loose, too.† Early TV from Station 7, at 166:14:03, shows that, while Gene's SCB is securely attached at the botto, Jack's is bobbing around, loose.

Just before they leave Station 7, Bob asks Gene to secure Jack's SCB.† Gene discovers that, "The bottom's off, but the bottom is not going to stay on.† And it's not...You're not going to lose it.† The tops are so tight you'll...Your bottom's loose, but that's because your harness shrunk a little bit."† He does get the bottom of the bag hooked but says "the bottom is not going to stay (hooked)."

Big Bag, aka Sample Return Bag (SRB)
The big bag has about the same horizontal cross section as an SCB but is twice as long. Early in EVA-1, Jack deployed the SRB by hanging it from the MESA, where it stayed until they moved it to the back of the Rover during preparation for the EVA-3 traverse.

The sample return bag can be seen mounted on the inside of the open geopallet in AS17-143-21924, taken late in EVA-3. (The square bag mounted on the back of Gene's seat is the unrelated BSLSS bag.)††

The extra length of the big bag gave Jack some trouble when he tried to take out a football-sized rock during EVA-1 close-out. "I couldn't get a grip on the rock to get it out, and I needed to have Gene hold the bag still."



Taking SCBs up the ladder to the porch
During the EVA-1 close-out, Jack takes SCB-2 and the core-stem bag up to the porch.† No TV.

During the EVA-2 close-out, Jack takes SCB-6 and SCB-8 up the ladder, Commenting "You wonder why it's hard to get up the ladder."† As Jack starts to take hold of one of the bags, Gene says, "Don't take it by the cover.† The (SCB) cover's going to come open.† Take it by this."† No TV.

During the EVA-3 close-out, Jack gets up on the bottom rung of the ladder and has Gene hand up at least two bags for him to take up to the porch.† Once he's in the cabin, Gene brings up some more gear.† No TV.

On those occasions when a CDR carries and SCB up the ladder, he has to push it far enough through the hatch that the LMP can grab it.† Leaning down in the pressurize suit is not easy and, because of the control panels stick out into the cabin right above the hatch, the SCB has to be pushed far enough in that the LMP doesn't have to reach under the panels.† Once the LMP has hold of the bag, he stows it out somewhere were it won't interfer with the CDR coming into the cabin.

During the EVA-3 close-out at 170:39:55, Jack reports that he has the big bag, three SCBs and the neutron flux bag in the cabin with him.





SCB latches on the gate frozen with dust
During preparations for the EVA-2 traverse, Gene puts SCB-5 (and possibly SCB-7 as well) on the gate and doesn't report any problems with the latches.

At Station 2, they have trouble getting the latches to either open or close.† Gene says he will dust them at Station 3.

Just before they leave Station 3, Gene reports that the right-hand bag latch is non-functional because of the dust and that "the left one is almost non-functional."

Back at the LM, Gene reports, "You know, here's a problem for you tonight.† You got any way of freeing up these gate hinges that lock the bags on?† I'm dusting them, but they're not going to lock, any of them.† They're frozen tight, just about."

During preparations for the EVA-3 traverse, Bob has some suggestions regarding stowage of the big bag on the gate. "A couple of things on that, Geno.† You might try tapping the thing (meaning the bag latch) to see if that loosens the dust.† There's also the hook business on the inside (forward surface) of the pallet that you could hook it (the big bag) on.† Caution:† if you open the pallet, be careful not to knock the clamps off the fender.† But you can also reach over the pallet to put the big bag on."† Gene ends up opening the geopallet and hooking the big bag to the forward surface.

Befroe they leave Station 7, Gene needs to retrieve the big bag, but has trouble with the gate latch because of the dust.
Contingency for a walking traverse
If the Rover had failed, they would have conducted an abbreviated, walking traverse.† In 1992, Jack commented, "You knew basically where you wanted to go and you just would have to see how well you were doing and how much energy it was going to take. We couldn't have taken all of the equipment, but we had the bags for samples. I'm not sure we could have mounted SCBs on both sides of the PLSSs - might only have had one apiece -† but we could have put quite a bit of equipment in one SCB and samples in the other.† It would have been awkward, but there would be no question that we would have gotten something done."
SCB for LRV Sampler
During the drives, Jack carried a special sampler which would allow him to collected soi and small rocks from his seat during brief stops along the way.† The LRV Sampler was fitted with a stack of "Dixie Cup" sample bags which could be removed, sealed and thrown in an SCB hanging from a "accessory" staff mounted on the handhold† on Jack's side of the Rover Console.† Training photo KSC-72P-363 shows Jack with his finger on the top of the accessory staff with an SCB hanging from the staff.† Jack put SCB-3 on the staff at 118:08:56, where it stayed until the EVA-3 close-out.







SCB use during team sampling
At Station 1, Gene and Jack get used to sampling under lunar conditions.

Cernan - "Early in training, we learned from working together that when the other guy is wrapping up a sample, you should turn your back and lean over so that he can drop the sample in the SCB.† If you just walk away to do something else, he's left standing there with his hands full.† The reason you have to lean over is mostly because the suit makes it difficult to reach up very high.† Now, Jack isn't the tallest guy in the world, but the suit made it even harder for him.† You just can't get your hand much above your shoulder unless you rotate your body to the side."

Schmitt - "Once we got into operational training, we'd wear backpacks with SCBs even when we weren't wearing suits; and it quickly became second nature, a part of the routine, to turn and bend over so the guy wrapping the sample could put it in your bag."

The first part of their activities at Station 2 are hidden by the back of the Rover, but we get a reasonable view of them collecting a rake sample.

Sampling the orange soil at Shorty Crater.† Most of the samples go in SCB-4, which is on Jack's PLSS.† At one point, Gene goes to the Rover to get both upper and lower core tubes out of an unspecified SCB.

As Station 5, they sample in a boulder field.

Sampling on the steep slopes around the Station 6 Split Boulder proves to be challenging.

Although the slope at Station 7 is relatively steep, there is only one sizeable boulder, so the sampling task is easier than at Station 6.

Working on a hillside above the Rover at Station 8.

When they arrive at Station 9, Jack is wearing an empty SCB whereas Gene's is almost full.† They only put two more samples in Gene's and all the rest in Jack's.† They collect a doulbe core, using tubes that were in Gene's SCB.
Comment on the weight of a full SCB hanging on the PLSS
Cernan - "We tried to distribute loads but, compared with the weight of the backpack, the weight of the SCB never bothered me.† In one-sixth gravity you just couldn't put that much into one of the SCBs and I just never felt like I was carrying any extra weight."

At the end of the EVA - and after some redistribution of samples - they report SCB weights of 24 and 35 terrestrial pounds.† At the end of EVA-3, they report two other bags at 32 pounds each.† In lunar gravity, then, a full SCB would weigh 5 or 6 pounds and, while the extra weight was noticeable hanging from the side of the PLSS, it was not troublesome.

Changing out a full SCB
Gene wants to defer the change out until they get to Station 3, because they are close to the walkback constraint.

Schmitt - "I suspect that I didn't want to drive a long
distance on the Rover with a full SCB; if the top came open we could have lost samples."

Gene changes his mind and they latch the full bag on the gate.† He puts SCB-4 on Jack's PLSS

At Station 8, Gene decides that they need to take the nearly full bag off Jack's PLSS and stow it under Jack's seat.
Comment on the weight of a full SCB during removal
The weight of a full SCB reported after the EVA is about 14.5 terrestrial kilograms (32 pounds).† Although the lunar weight is only 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) neither of them has lifted anything nearly that heavy sine they finished the ALSEP deployment.† Gene's comment on the weight of the bag is "Holy Smoley!"
Checking the SCB tops
Gene and Jack check to make sure the tops of the SCBs are secure before they climb on the Rover.† Comments about increased efficiency after 2 1/2 EVA-2.
"Twinkletoes" Schmitt has trouble† solo sampling at Ballet Crater (Station 3)
While Gene gets core and puts in the Core Sample Vacuum Container (CSVC), Jack will do some solo sampling.† He has had little practice doing solo sampling and is also showing signs of fatigue, due in part to the fact that his camera handle came loose during the hour-long drive out from the LM, forcing him to grip the camera against the internal pressure of the suit through nearly the entire drive.† During this solo sampling exercise, he has a great deal of trouble, especially with SCBs.† He starts by digging a trench on the rim of the crater, collects a sample with the scoop and, after having some difficulty pouring it into a sample bag, realizes that he needs an SCB.† He gets one off the Rover but doesn't report which one he has taken.† At 144:46:03, we have TV of the bag standing upright on the ground beside Jack.

During the next few minutes he has considerable trouble not only puring samples into individual sample bags but, also, repeatedly dropping the scoop, the sample bags and, finally, at 144:50:52, knocking over the SCB.† After gathering up the scatter of small bags that came out of the SCB and putting them back in, he rises to his feet, only to drop the SCB.† To help him regain his composure and get a bit of a rest, Houston asks him to take a panorama.

At 144:56:23, Bob jokingly tells Jack that, "the switchboard here at MSC (Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center) has been lit up by calls from the Houston Ballet Foundation requesting your services for next season.".† This remark and Jack's antics gave the crater it's name:† Ballet Crater.

During EVA-3, Jack will have fewer equipment problems and will do some relatively efficient solo sampling at Station 7.
TV of SCB pockets
Good view of the pockets on the outside of Gene's SCB.
169:22:03 TV of SCB removal TV of Gene removing Jack's SCB during EVA-3 close-out.† It is attached only at the top.

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