Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal


One Small Step EASEP Deployment and Closeout


Mobility and Photography

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Last revised 08 May 2020.


Locations from which Hasselblad images were taken (called camera stations) during the EVA are plotted in Vlad Pustynski's Photogrammetric Map of the landing site and in Brian McInall's Planimetric map derived from a simpler, iterative triangulation method. The photogrammetric analysis is labor intensive but produces high-accuracy results. The triangulation method is not as labor intensive and particularly well suited to mapping the geology stations visited by the later crews. The Apollo 11 site provides an opportunity compare the relative accuracy to the two methods.


Restored Video with 16-mm Film
[Part 2 of Mark Gray's April 2013 YouTube release of the restored video alongside the synched 16-mm film beginning at 110:07:01.]

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Audio Clip from the Public Affairs loop starting at about 110:12:16. Clip courtesy John Stoll, ACR Senior Technician at NASA Johnson.

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110:12:21 McCandless: Neil, this is Houston. Radio check. Over.

110:12:27 Armstrong: Roger, Houston. Loud and clear.

110:12:29 McCandless: Roger. Out.

110:12:30 Aldrin: Loud and clear, Houston.

110:12:32 McCandless: Roger, Buzz. (Long Pause)

[Neil is now at the MESA. As indicated on his checklist, he is preparing to collect the bulk sample and, as well, puts his Hasselblad camera on the MESA about now. The scoop he will use is stowed on the lefthand side of the MESA.]

[Journal Contributor Marv Hein calls attention to the bright, slightly-inclined, vertical streak which is just to the right of the flag, This is an artifact caused by a reflection in the TV camera, as can be seen when Neil adjusts the final pointing at 110:02:26.]

110:13:15 Aldrin: (To Houston) (As per checklist), I'd like to evaluate the various paces that a person can (garbled) traveling on the lunar surface. I believe I'm out of your field-of-view. Is that right, now, Houston?

[Buzz ran toward the west about 10 to 15 meters, then turned and came back toward the MESA. A frame from the 16-mm film shows him back at the MESA, just before he turns to face the TV camera.]
110:13:30 McCandless: That's affirmative, Buzz. (Pause) You're in our field-of-view now.

110:13:42 Aldrin: Okay. You do have to be rather careful to keep track of where your center of mass is. Sometimes, it takes about two or three paces to make sure you've got your feet underneath you. (Pause) About two to three or maybe four easy paces can bring you to a fairly smooth stop. (Pause as he turns at the TV camera and then heads toward the LM) (Garbled) change directions, like a football player, you just have to put a foot out to the side and cut a little bit. (Pause as he turns toward the TV camera and starts to do a two-footed hop.) The so-called kangaroo hop does work, but it seems as though your forward mobility is not quite as good as it is in the more conventional one foot after another. (Pause as he turns at the TV camera and heads back to the LM) As far as saying what a sustained pace might be, I think that one that I'm using now (as he turns at the MESA and runs toward the TV again) would get rather tiring after several hundred (garbled, but probably 'feet'). But this may be a function of this suit, as well as the lack of gravity forces. (Pause)

[Buzz is now at the TV camera and turns to run back to the LM one last time. A frame from the 16-mm film shows Buzz as he approaches the MESA at the end of his mobility tests. Note the arc of dust he kicked forward when he landed on his left foot.]

[Aldrin - "You can't get very specific about (planning) what you're going to do in the way of evaluating mobility. Excepting kind of think about it. You can't script and choreograph left turns and right turns and all of this. But I had felt, really, that there would be a lot more evaluation made of what I was doing and maybe my comments. So when I came back and went through debriefing, I was really kind of disappointed that there wasn't some person or group that had done some evaluations. But, they did or they didn't. And that's it. They took our subjective comments. And we said to later crews, 'take the first couple of minutes and familiarize; and that's all you need.' But I was still kind of disappointed until, twenty years after the flight, I ran into a guy from Japan, named Seki, and he said that (reading from the letter), 'at the time, July 20, 1969, I gazed your jumping on television, holding tightly a stop watch in my hand. The television was the first color television of my home. We bought the instrument for the purpose to see the color of the Moon and to observe the activity - walking, moving - of you on the surface of the Moon. And I was relieved to certify that your jumping steps were just the same order of our calculated values on the Moon, based on our experimental data on Earth.' It (Seki's letter) renewed my faith that people cared about those things. And I got to say that I don't think it's a good testimony to our American way of thoroughness and looking at things that, if we're going to have competition in the world, we're going to have it from people who do do those things."]

[An extended discussion of the various gaits used by the Apollo crews, including comments by Neil and Buzz, is linked here.]

110:15:47 McCandless: Tranquility Base, this is Houston. Could we get both of you on the camera for a minute, please?
[Armstrong - "We were behind."]

[Aldrin - "Possibly, the original schedule hadn't included the plaque and the flag."]

[Armstrong - "That's true (as can be seen in both Neil's and Buzz's checklists)."]

[Aldrin - "And the Oval Office is just about to put us even further behind."]

[Armstrong - "Something like the flag was going to be done, but there was an uncertainty about what the flag would be and how it would be handled."]

[A 1993 NASA Contractor Report 'Where No Flag Has Gone Before' by Anne M. Platoff details the history of the decision to deploy the U.S. flag during the Apollo 11 EVA. Although design of the flag assembly began about three months prior to launch and training versions were delivered to the Kennedy Space Center on 25 June 1969, the final decision was made late enough that the flag and plaque were installed on the Apollo 11 LM on launch day.]

[I asked if there had been many walkthroughs of the EVA.]

[Armstrong - "Quite a few. And they used those to determine the timeline and made measurements of different tasks. And we went through almost start to finish, finally, maybe a couple of times."]

[Aldrin - "But not pressurized."]

[Armstrong - "In the sandbox in Houston. The sandbox was a test and practice area of about 100 feet square, located in one of the buildings at MSC (the Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center). We practiced there a number of times."]

[Aldrin - "But, of course, when you do something in the sandbox you have to make sure all the photographers are kept clear of you."]

[NASA photos S69-32243 and S69-31080 were taken during an 15 April 1969 Training/Public Relations session.]

[Armstrong - "The final one was a real PR event. It was a photo opportunity; but we did go through the whole thing on that occasion, I think."]

[Aldrin - "But it's not the kind of opportunity where you want to note difficulties and then sit there and discuss them in front of the media cameras. And if you don't do it then - we're not taking notes - then not all of it's going to be debriefed afterwards."]

110:16:00 Aldrin: Say again, Houston.

110:16:02 McCandless: Roger...

110:16:03 Armstrong: He wants us (garbled) camera.

110:16:03 McCandless: ...We'd like to get both of you in the field-of-view of the camera for a minute. (Pause) Neil and Buzz, the President of the United States is in his office now and would like to say a few words to you. Over.

110:16:23 Armstrong: That would be an honor.

110:16:25 McCandless: All right. Go ahead, Mr. President. This is Houston. Out.

110:16:30 Nixon: Hello, Neil and Buzz. I'm talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House, and this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made. I just can't tell you how proud we all are of what you (have done; garbled in the Air-to-Ground recording). For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives. And for people all over the world, I am sure they, too, join with Americans in recognizing what an immense feat this is. Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one; one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth. (Pause)

[A frame from the 16-mm film shows Buzz on the left saluting at about 110:17:54, with Neil partially hidden by a LM thruster.]
110:17:44 Armstrong: Thank you, Mr. President. It's a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States but men of peace of all nations, and with interests and the curiosity and with the vision for the future. It's an honor for us to be able to participate here today.

110:18:12 Nixon: And thank you very much and I look forward...All of us look forward to seeing you on the Hornet on Thursday.

110:18:21 Aldrin: I look forward to that very much, sir. (Pause)

[Buzz salutes a second time, as does Neil a few seconds later. The Apollo 11 recovery ship is the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet. An article adapted from the National Archives and Records Administration includes the relevant section of the President's Daily Diary and the split-screen TV image seen by most of the watching world.]

[A frame from the 16-mm film shows Neil (right) and Buzz (left) returning to the MESA.]

110:18:31 McCandless: Columbia. Columbia. This is Houston. Over.

110:18:37 Collins: Loud and clear, Houston.

[After being out of sight for just a few seconds, Buzz walks part way toward the flag, turns to face the LM, looks down and kicks at the soil, sending a spray in a southerly direction. This is the "Scuff/Cohesion/Adhesion" activity on his checklist. In the TV view, he is at the extreme right and it is not as easy as in the 16-mm film to tell what he is doing.]

[Buzz now turns to face more or less west and kicks the surface again, probably wanting to see how the spray looks under different lighting conditions. Next Buzz walks beyond the flag to a relatively undisturbed area and kicks a spray of dirt toward the north. From this spot, he launches a half dozen sprays or so. Although Buzz is out of the TV field-of-view, the sprays of dirt can be seen coming from the right and landing in view of the TV.]

[Finally, like a kid at the beach, Buzz switches to a left-footed kick for one last kick before moving farther from the LM at about 110:19:30.]

110:18:39 McCandless: Roger. I got a P22 Auto optics PAD for you. (Pause)

110:18:53 Collins: Roger. Go ahead.

110:18:56 McCandless: Roger. P22 landmark ID, LM: Tl, 110:26:56; T2, 110:32:06. Three miles south. Time of closest approach, 110:33:40. Shaft 353.855, trunnion 46.495, roll zero, pitch 250, yaw zero. Over.

110:19:53 Collins: Roger. Thank you. Readback not required.

110:19:55 McCandless: Roger. Out. (Pause)

[Buzz is now about halfway between the TV camera and the flag and is about to kick some more sprays toward the north. He is just out of the TV field-of-view to the right and, unfortunately, little of the dust he kicks from here comes into the TV view. A 16-mm frame shows one of the kicks.
110:20:06 Aldrin: Houston, it's very interesting to note that when I kick my foot (garbled) material, with no atmosphere here, and this gravity (garbled) they seem to leave, and most of them have about the same angle of departure and velocity. From where I stand, a large portion of them will impact at a certain distance out. Several (garbled) percentage is, of course, that will impact (garbled) different regions out (garbled) it's highly dependent upon (garbled) the initial trajectory upwards (garbled) determine where the majority of the particles come down, (garbled) terrain.

110:21:08 McCandless: Roger, Buzz.

[Aldrin - "It catches your attention."]

[Armstrong - "When you kick the surface, it makes a little fan which, to me, is in the shape of a rose petal or something. The particles all go out, and there's nothing behind 'em. There's just a little ring of particles - nothing behind 'em - no dust, no swirl, no nothing. They just go out in little, like, fans; and they kind of all hit together."]

[Aldrin - "And the ones at the side don't go quite as far, so they hit first..."]

[Armstrong - "It's really unique."]

[Jones - "That description is actually a big help because you can see it several times in the J mission TV, but from such a low angle on the Rover that it's a little hard to see what's actually going on."]

[Aldrin - "And I would guess that, for some reason, there must be an angle of departure when you kick the soil that way, that causes it to all leave at the same angle and velocity. Because, otherwise, it would leave at different angles and velocities and it wouldn't all land in the same ring. You don't see that here (on Earth), and maybe it's because the atmosphere immediately breaks things up into dust (sorts things by size), and there, it doesn't do that."]

[Buzz returns to the LM.]

110:21:09 McCandless: And break, break. Columbia, this is Houston. When you track out of high-gain antenna, then let's request Omni Delta, Omni Delta. Over.

110:21:10 Collins: So be it. (Pause)

110:21:24 Aldrin: I've noticed several times in going from the sunlight into the shadow, that just as I go in, I catch an additional reflection off the LM that, along with the reflection off my face onto the visor, makes visibility very poor just at the transition (garbled) sunlight into the shadow. I essentially have so much glare coming onto my visor (garbled) shadow until (garbled) helmet actually gets in the shadow. Then it takes a short while for my eyes to adapt to the different lighting conditions. (Garbled) inside the shadow area, visibility, as we said before, is not too great, but with both visors up (garbled) you can certainly (garbled) what sort of footprints we have and the general condition of the soil. Then, after being out in the sunlight a while, it takes ... Watch it, Neil! Neil, you're on the (TV) cable.

110:22:40 Armstrong: Okay.

[As can be seen in the shadows in the 16-mm film, Neil has been at the MESA, getting the scoop with which he will collect the bulk sample, a non-selected sample of rock and soil. He has gone a short way north of the LM to get his first sample. Buzz comes over to help him get untangled.]
110:22:41 Aldrin: Yeah. Lift up your right foot. Right foot. It's still...Your toe is still hooked in it.

110:22:45 Armstrong: That one?

110:22:46 Aldrin: Yeah. It's still hooked in it. Wait a minute. Okay. You're clear now.

110:22:51 Armstrong: Thank you.

[The TV cable has been coiled up inside the LM for several weeks and, since being pulled out during the TV deployment, retained memory of the loops it had in storage. The cable loops are visible in AS11-40-5875. Note that each of the bootprints is 33 cm long and has a greatest width of 15 cm.]

[Paul Coan, Manned Spaceflight Center Television Subsystem Manager who was responsible for the equipment used on the Apollo spacecraft, writes, "We were concerned about how much volume the 100-foot lunar TV cable would occupy in the LM. So, Westinghouse worked out a clever double figure-8 pattern for stowing it in a box to minimize the volume. Technicians had to be trained to place the cable in the box using this pattern. Because of weight considerations, the box was never used except for transportation of the cable. For the missions, Grumman worked out the stowage of the cable. I don't recall if they used the double figure-8 pattern.]

110:22:55 Aldrin: (Approaching the MESA) Now, let's move that over this way. (Pause as Buzz gets the cable out of the way) Okay. I've got it. (Long Pause)

[As Buzz comes over to the MESA, Neil turns to face him and, when Buzz suggests that they get the cable out of the way, Neil lifts the cable with the scoop he is carrying and extends the cable so that Buzz can take hold of it. Andy Chaikin has captured a series of 16mm frame details. The first frame (top left) shows Buzz at the left and Neil at the right with the TV cable on his scoop as indicated by the green arrow. In the second frame (top right), Neil has raised the scoop high enough for Buzz to grab the cable, which is indicated by two green arrows. A full frame shows Buzz moving left with the TV cable. A second full frame shows the TV cable more clearly. In a third frame Buzz appears to be pulling the cable into a more-or-less straight line past the flag before getting the excess out of the way under the spacecraft.]

[Aldrin - "This is one of the pitfalls of testing things in one g that you're going to use in reduced-g, because I'm sure that when we uncoiled the cable in one g it would lay flat. But not so there (on the Moon). There may be other reasons why it took a set, but it did not want to lay flat. It was just a trap when you hook a foot into it, because you can't see it too well"]

[Armstrong - "You really can't see your feet."]

[Aldrin - "The same sort of thing came up later on, with the leveling BB (on the seismometer). The experiment (originally) had a fluid bubble, but they came up with a new and different way of doing it. It had a depression with a BB in it, because they didn't want to deal with the fluid for some reason. Well, when I looked down at it, the damn thing was just going around and around and around at the top. It wouldn't do that in one g because it would be pulled down from there. (So, both the TV cable and the leveling BB demonstrate that), if you build something and it's a little different and you test it in one g, that isn't the way it's going to perform, necessarily, at one-sixth."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The TV was operated as planned with no particular difficulties. The one thing that gave us more trouble than we expected was the TV cable; I kept getting my feet tangled up in it. It's a white cable and was easily observable for a while. But it soon picked up the black dust which blended it in with the terrain, and it seemed that I was forever getting my foot caught in it. Fortunately, Buzz was able to notice this and keep me untangled. Here was good justification for the two men helping each other. There was no question about that, either; he was able to tell me which way to move my foot to keep out of trouble. We knew this might be a problem from our simulations, but there just was no way that we could avoid crossing back and forth across that cable. There was no camera location that could prevent a certain amount of traverse of this kind."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Neil initially pulled out about 20 feet of cable and, then, I pulled out the rest of it. It seemed to reach a stop; it seemed to have a certain amount of resistance, and I thought that was the end of the cable. However, when I pulled normal to the opening, I found that I could then extract the cable to the point where I saw the black and white marks on it. The cable, being wound around the mounting inside the MESA, developed a set to it so that, when it was lying on the surface in one-sixth g, it continued to have a spiral set to it which would leave it sticking up from the surface 3 or 4 inches. It would be advantageous if we could get rid of that some way."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Your foot is continually going underneath it as you walk, rather than over the top of it."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "One time when Neil did get the cable wrapped around his foot, the cable very nearly wrapped itself over the top of the tab on the back of the boot. That created a problem in disentanglement. I don't know whether it's worth moving that tab or not."]

[One of Neil's photos of Buzz and the flag, AS11-40- 5875 shows the loops in the TV cable.]

[Like Neil and Buzz, the Apollo 12 and 14 crews had a continual problem with the TV cable and with the cable for the large, umbrella-shaped S-band antenna which they erected on each of the missions. For the J missions, the TV camera and high-gain antenna were mounted on the Rover and there were, of course, no cables connecting the Rover comm system to the LM. The changeover to the wireless, Rover-based comm eliminated cable problems around the LM. However, later crews had to contend with connecting cables on the much more elaborate arrays of scientific gear that they deployed and, on one occasion during the Apollo 16 ALSEP deployment, a cable was actually torn loose, disabling the experiment.]

110:23:32 Aldrin: The blue color of my boots has completely disappeared now into this...Still don't know exactly what color to describe this other than (a) grayish-cocoa color. It seems to be covering most of the lighter part of the boot (garbled) color that (garbled) very fine particles. (Garbled).
[Buzz is about to perform the boot penetration task, "Pene-Photo Footprint" task on his checklist and will be using the Hasselblad camera. Neil put it down on the MESA earlier, and Buzz picks it up at some point between 110:23:54, when we last see Buzz approaching the MESA without the Hasselblad (16 mm frame), and 110:25:17, when Buzz re-appears with the Hasselblad in his right hand.]

[Neil continues to collect samples in general vicinity of the MESA.]

110:24:11 McCandless: Buzz, this is Houston. You're cutting out on the end of your transmissions. Can you speak a little more closely into your microphone? Over.

110:24:23 Aldrin: Roger. I'll try that.

110:24:25 McCandless: Beautiful.

110:24:30 Aldrin: Well, I had that one inside my mouth that time.

110:24:35 McCandless: It sounded a little wet. (Long Pause)

[Training photo S69-31230 gives a good view of Buzz's microphones.]

[A frame from the 16-mm film shows Neil with the scoop.]

[Ken Glover calls attention to a representative TV frame at 110:24:35, which shows Buzz at the MESA, reaching to the left and probably getting the Hasselblad. Note that Neil is working with the scoop well away from the MESA and that, at least during this camera transfer, Neil did not hand the camera to Buzz. See, also, Keith Wilson's comments on this camera transfer.]

110:25:09 Aldrin (at the MESA): In general, time spent in the shadow doesn't seem to have any (garbled) thermal effects. (garbled) feel inside the suit. There is a difference, of course, in the (garbled) radiation and the helmet. So I think there's a tendency to feel a little cooler in the shadow than we feel out in the Sun. (Pause)

[Buzz is about to do the Bootprint Penetration Experiment for the soil mechanics experts. He will take five photos, AS11-40-5876 to 80.]

[In the 16-mm film, the shadow of the Hasselblad lens can be seen at the left edge of the frame, with a small, sunlit portion of Buzz's suit just above it. About 16 seconds later, Buzz moves down-Sun with the camera in his right hand. He disappears from the 16-mm frame to the left, again, at about 110:25:49. At this point, he probably takes AS11-40- 5876, which shows an undisturbed patch of soil. At about 110:26:05, his right leg comes into view as he plants his right boot deliberately on the pristine patch. A frame from the 16-mm film taken at about 110:26:08 shows him with his leg extended and his boot planted. He then lifts his foot and backs out of the 16-mm field-of-view and takes two "after" pictures of the bootprint: 5877 and 5878. He took the second of these from slightly farther away and got better focus. Erwin D'Hoore has combined them as a red-blue anaglyph. The length of the boot is about 33 cm and its greatest width is about 15 cm.]

[At about 110:27:00 Buzz steps back into view at the left and plants his boot just beyond the previous bootprint. In a frame from the 16-mm film taken at about 110:27:02, the first bootprint in just behind Buzz's boot. He now takes two pictures of his boot and the new print: 5879 and 5880. The 5-cm rock next to Buzz's boot in the Hasselblad images can be picked out in the 16-mm frame. Journal Contributor John Hancock was combined 5879 and 80 to give a somewhat larger field-of-view.]

[In November 2010, Journal Contributor Vlad Pustynski, during the course of his massive photogrammetric re-evaluation of the landing site, was able to identify these two bootprints in photos taken later in the EVA and in post-EVA window shots. In a detail from pre-EVA photo AS11-39-5771, Vlad has labeled four small rocks associated with the bootprints. Three of these small rocks appear in a labeled version of AS11-40-5877, which is Buzz's documentation photo taken after he made the first bootprint. A labeled detail from the 110:27:02 DAC frame shows rocks 435 and 437 near the second bootprint. Perhaps surprisingly, both bootprints survived all the later activity around the LM. A labeled detail from AS11-40-5885, a frame from Buzz's plus-Z pan shows both bootprints and two of the small rocks. Finally, a labeled detail from AS11-37-5484, a post-EVA shot Buzz took out his window shows the same scene from a different perspective. [Readers should note that Buzz is following his checklist fairly closely and that the footprint photos are one of his tasks. During the 1991 mission review, he remembered that he was the one who took them.]

110:25:41 McCandless: Columbia, this is Houston. Over. (No answer; Long Pause) Columbia, this is Houston. Over. (No answer; Long Pause) Columbia, this is Houston. Over.

110:27:03 Collins: Houston, Columbia in (Omni) Delta.

110:27:05 McCandless: Roger. You should have VHF AOS with the LM right about now. VHF LOS will be about (110 hours) 40 minutes 15 seconds. Over.

110:27:20 Collins: Thank you.

[Comm Break]

[Neil is going out some distance from the MESA to get material for the bulk sample, mostly in the area of the Solar Wind Collector, but also off-camera to the left.]

[Armstrong - "We wanted to not take too much time to collect that (bulk) sample but, at the same time, we wanted to minimize contamination from engine exhaust and tried to go out into areas that were, one, untrampled and, second, a little bit farther out."]

[I asked if he made any attempt to get a representative set of samples.]

[Armstrong - "In the bulk we were just supposed to get..."]

[Aldrin - "Where was that close-up camera (Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up Camera or ALSCC)? Has that been used at this point?"]

[Armstrong - "No. We get to it at the end, (chuckling) with great reluctance. They get nervous about that one at the end, if you remember."]

[The close-up camera, shown in detail by Thomas Schwagmeier from AS11-40-5931, was also known as the Gold camera, after the Principal Investigator, Dr. Thomas (Tommy) Gold. Apollo 13 photo KSC-70PC-11 shows Fred Haise training with the Gold Camera. I asked Neil and Buzz why they were reluctant to use it.]

[Armstrong - "Prof. Gold got his camera placed on the manifest very late and over crew objections. He hoped to support his erroneous theory of a 'cotton candy' surface. We had little enthusiasm for the intruder."]

[Thomas Gold was a long-standing proponent of a theory - based in part on radio astronomical observations of the Moon - that the surface was covered with a deep layer of fine dust into which spacecraft and astronauts might sink into oblivion. Unfortunately, neither the fact that pictures of the Moon taken by the Ranger spacecraft showed small craters that would not have survived in Gold's dust sea nor the fact the Surveyor spacecraft all landed safely on very firm surfaces kept Gold from intense lobbying to get his close-up camera flown. The close-up camera was designed to take very high resolution pictures of very small surface areas and, indeed, they showed that the top millimeter or two usually had a "fairy castle structure" that would explain the radio returns. However, the scientific return from the experiment probably did not match that of the other experiments flown during Apollo.]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The bulk sample took longer than in the simulations because the area where the bulk sample was collected was significantly farther from the MESA table than the way we had done it in training. The MESA table was in deep shadow and collecting samples in that area was far less desirable than collecting them out there in the sunlight where we could see what we were doing. In addition, (by going farther from the MESA) we were farther from the exhaust plume and the contamination of propellants. So I made a number of trips back and forth in the sunlight, and then carried the sample back over to the scale where the sample bag was mounted. I probably made 20 trips back and forth from sunlight to shade. I took a lot longer, but by doing it that way, I was able to pick up both a hard rock and ground mass (soil) in almost every scoopful. I tried to choose various types of hard rocks out there so that, if we never got to the documented sample, at least we would have a variety of types of hard rock in the bulk sample. This was at the cost of probably double the amount of time that we normally would take for the bulk sample."]

[Jack Schmitt, Jim Gooding (NASA's Lunar Sample Curator) and others have told me that Neil did a superb job of gathering a large, representative collection of samples in a relatively short period of time. Indeed, the fact that they are so representative of the site and of mare sites in general has meant that, over the years when researchers have wanted mare samples for use in procedures that would result in sample destruction, frequently, they were given Apollo 11 samples. One example that comes easily to mind is T.D. Lin, a researcher at Construction Technology Laboratories, who was looking into the feasibility of using lunar soil in the manufacture of concrete on the Moon - a process that could greatly reduce construction costs at a lunar base. After doing a great deal of preliminary work on simulated lunar soil made by breaking up terrestrial basalt, he requested a small quantity of lunar soil for a final test. Because Neil had collected such a large quantity of representative soil, in 1986 NASA decided that it would be useful to give Lin a small amount for his experiments, knowing that there was plenty left for future work.]

[Neil's sampling work also received high praise from geologist Lee Silver during in his 2002 JSC Oral History: "... Apollo 11 had the one guy who (then was) not a military pilot, and that was Neil (A. Armstrong), and I have to tell you that what Neil did in the shortest period of time that anybody (had) was so brilliant from this point of view of providing the materials to the scientists, that nobody can claim to have exceeded it in production per minute. He was really outstanding. And I had nothing to do with it; it doesn't reflect on my work at all. And we didn't even begin to realize what he had done. He broke rules."]

["He had a very strict protocol, which said, 'You will never leave the field of (view of) the (TV) camera.' Neil Armstrong recognized that just beyond the field of the camera was a rim of craters covered with rocks and dust, which had been excavated from a little deeper than everywhere else, and he had a very special box for bringing back good samples with a special seal on it, and for about seven or eight minutes, you couldn't see Neil. The focus was on the second man, (Buzz Aldrin). What was Neil doing? He stuffed that box so fast and so full (of lunar samples), and that has yielded so much material of value to science that I don't think anybody's, at the rate that Neil did, achieved efficiency. And that (was in) eight or ten minutes, you know."]

110:28:22 Aldrin: As I look around the area, the contrast, in general, is...comes about completely by virtue of the shadows. Almost (garbled) looking down-Sun at zero-phase very light-colored gray, light gray color (garbled) a halo around my own shadow, around the shadow of my helmet.
[Buzz is following his checklist in making comments about the lighting. The halo around Neil's shadow is shown best in AS11-40-5930, a picture that starts a pan he takes while Buzz is off-loading the science packages from the back of the LM. Buzz is out of the TV field-of-view, off-camera to the right. At one point during the following, Neil also goes off-camera to the right, presumably to collect more material for the bulk sample.]
110:28:40 Aldrin: Then, as I look off cross-Sun, the contrast becomes strongest in that the surrounding color is still fairly light. As you look down into the Sun (garbled) a larger amount of (garbled) shadowed area is looking toward us. The general color of the (garbled) surrounding (garbled) darker than cross-Sun. The contrast is not as great. Surveying all the dusty area that we've kicked up (garbled) considerably darker in texture. Now, I've kicked up one, and I imagine that this is (garbled). The same is true when I survey cross-Sun along the area that we're walking. In general, in addition to the fact that there are footprints there, the general terrain where I've been kicking up a lot of this surface material is generally of a darker contrast (garbled) color. (Long Pause)
[On the later flights where the actual landing site was known soon after touchdown, photographs show that the surface around the LM appears to be significantly brighter than the surrounding soils. In addition, each of the last three crews climbed hillsides several kilometers from their LM's and, with long focal length lens, took pictures of the spacecraft. In these pictures, too, the ground near the LM is light in color. In his commentary on Apollo 17, Jack Schmitt suggests that, during the landing, the engine plume sweeps the surface of small particles, increasing the proportion of larger particles and, hence, the amount of reflected sunlight. In places where the soil is subsequently disturbed by footprints or Rover tracks, the original state of the soil is more or less restored and those disturbed areas appear darker against the lightened soil. In support of this contention, he notes that areas of disturbed soil well away from the LM do not appear darker.]
110:31:28 Aldrin: (Garbled) panorama I'll be taking is about 30 to 40 feet out the plus (garbled)...

110:31:39 McCandless: Say again which strut, Buzz?

110:31:43 Aldrin: The plus-Z strut.

110:31:47 McCandless: Roger.

[Buzz is taking the first of two planned panoramic sequence of photos and, when Bruce asks, "Say again which strut, Buzz", he is asking Buzz which of the pans he is taking.]
Pan 2 (Plus-Z) (frames 5881 to 5891)

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I took the first panorama out in front without having the camera mounted on the RCU, and it did not appear to be unnatural to do so. It's much easier to operate with it mounted; however, I didn't find that the weight of the camera was as much a hindrance to operation as pre-flight simulations indicated it would be. There is no doubt that having the mount frees you to operate with both hands on other tasks. The handle is adequate to perform the job of pointing the camera. I don't think we took as many inadvertent pictures as some pre-flight simulations would have indicated. It seems as though, in all the simulations where we picked up the camera, we always managed to take (unintended) pictures. I don't think that was the case in this mission as much as we thought it was going to be. We'll know if a number of pictures taken are pointed at odd angles."]

[There is only one accidental picture: AS11-40-5904.]

[NASA training photo 69-H-666 shows Buzz practicing with the Hasselblad camera while Neil watches. As can be seen in the reflection in Buzz's faceplate, they are facing the LM mockup between the plus-Y and minus-Z struts. On the Moon, this would be a location northeast of the spacecraft. A discussion of the f-stops planned relative to the direction of the Sun follows 109:32:26.]

[For many years after the mission, NASA contended that Buzz never had the camera and, consequently, never took a picture of Neil. In fact, frame 5886 from Buzz's plus-Z pan shows Neil at the MESA. An extensive discussion with Neil and Buzz about this photo and about NASA's mis-conceptions about who had the camera at this time is linked below.]

[A thorough discussion of AS11-40-5886 is linked here.]

110:31:48 Aldrin: And right in this area, there are two craters. The one that's right in front of me now as I look off in about the eleven o'clock position from the spacecraft, (is) about 30 to 35 feet across. There's several rocks to boulders (that is, pieces that could be called rocks or boulders) 6 to 8 inches across (garbled) sizes.

[Comm Break]

[In Houston, the PAO commentator mistakenly says that Buzz is behind the spacecraft at the minus-Z strut.]

[Buzz comes into view from the right side of the TV image and stops beyond the ladder strut, looking east.]

110:34:13 Aldrin: I'm now in the area of the minus-Y strut, taking some "inspection" photographs.

[Comm Break]

[Buzz is inspecting the spacecraft as per the "LM Inspect - Quad I" task in his checklist. The notation "Quad I" refers to the area of the LM between the ladder strut (plus-Z) and the south strut (minus-Y). The photos that Buzz takes of this area are AS11-40-5892 to 5896. The last two of these shows Neil's legs.]

[In 1994, Andrew Chaikin pointed out to me that Neil can be seen at the MESA in the deep shadow at the lower left in 5894. A detail shows Neil at the MESA. An enhanced version by Ulli Lotzmann shows that Neil has his side visor down and his gold visor up]

[The next item in Buzz's checklist is "Photo Blk Sam Area".]

110:35:52 Aldrin: How's the bulk sample coming, Neil?
[Buzz enters the LM shadow from the south and takes up a position west of the ladder.]
110:35:56 Armstrong: Bulk sample is just being sealed (as per checklist).
[Comm Break]

[I asked Neil if the bulk sample went directly into the SRC, or into a bag first.]

[Armstrong - "We had individual bags for documented samples which we didn't use very much. I didn't take the boxes away from the MESA with me out when I was making collections."]

[We looked at figures 101 ,102 , and 103 in Judy Allton's geology tool catalog, which show weigh bags. Based on Neil's comment from the 1969 Technical Debrief, which is reproduced after the Comm Break at 110:27:20, I had the impression that one of these hung from the MESA to receive the bulk sample.]

[Armstrong - "Yeah, I think this kind of thing (in figure 101) is the kind of thing we used. That's not me in the picture (perhaps referring to figure 102), but it was something like that."]

[Neil is mistaken. We were examining a printed copy of the tool catalog and no face is visible in the reproduction used in Figure 101, A good color scan of the source image, S69-32248 clearly shows it is Neil pouring material into the bag. Similarly, a good scan of S69-32242 shows Neil handling a bag in figure 102.]

[I noted that, by the end of the bulk sample collection, Neil seemed to be moving with some ease and asked about any problems carrying soil in the scoop.]

[Armstrong - "It was a process in which one had to use some care, or you would lose the sample in the transition from the surface up to the collection device (bag). It was a fixed head scoop, quite small."]

[I showed Neil figures 40 and 41 in Judy's tool catalog, both showing a large, box-shaped scoop. Figure 42 shows that scoop being used in the training building. Thomas Schawagmeier notes that the image in the tool catalog is left-right reversed. Here is a corrected version. The original image is S69-32243. It is Buzz wielding the scoop while Neil holds a sample bag open.]

[Armstrong - "Somehow, something doesn't seem quite right, but I can't figure out what it is. Figure 45 (showing a small scoop flown on Apollo 15) isn't it. Yeah, I think it was this one (Figure 40) or one very much like that."]

[Buzz has moved in closer to the ladder and remains there during the following discussion between Bruce and Mike. Buzz is probably still inspecting the LM.]

110:36:58 Collins: Houston, Columbia.

110:37:01 McCandless: Columbia, this is Houston. Go ahead. Over.

110:37:09 Collins: Roger. No marks on the LM that time. I did see a suspiciously-small white object whose coordinates are...

110:37:25 McCandless: Go ahead with the coordinates on the small white object.

110:37:28 Collins: Easy (an alternative to the more commonly used Echo) 0.3, 7.6, but I (garbled) and it's right on the southwest rim of a crater. I think they would know it if they were in such a location. It looks like their LM would be pitched up quite a degree. It's on the southwest wall of a smallish crater.

[The LM is actually at Juliett 0.65/7.52. Mike is describing a spot about 4.4 kilometers too far south. He circled the crater at E.3/7.6 and also one at E.8/7.7 on the flown copy of LAM-2. To the left of the crater at E.3/7.6, he wrote 'SW Rim'.]

[At about this time, Buzz moves to the northern edge of the LM shadow and partially into the sun as he continues his inspection. After a short while, he moves back into the shadow near the ladder. Neil is still at the MESA.]

110:37:58 McCandless: Roger. Copy Echo 0.3 and 7.6. (Long Pause) Columbia, this is Houston. While I'm talking to you, LOS will be at 111:19:31; AOS, 112:05:43. Over. (Pause) Columbia, this is Houston. Did you copy LOS (and) AOS times? Over.

110:39:14 Collins: Negative, Houston. You broke. And disregard. I'll get them off the flight plan.

110:39:19 McCandless: Roger. Out. (Long Pause)

[Neil leaves the MESA and joins Buzz near the ladder.]
110:39:56 Aldrin: The exhaust deflector that's mounted on quad 1 seems to be a good bit more wrinkled (garbled) on quad 4.

[Colin Mackellar has provided a detail from the restored video showing the crew activity near the ladder. Buzz has been holding the camera in his hand.]

Video Clip

Click to open in a new, pop-up window

110:40:12 McCandless: You're breaking up again, Buzz.

[Had communications between the crew and Houston been unsatisfactory during the EVA, they had the option of deploying a large, umbrella-shaped S-band antenna. On Apollos 12 and 14, the S-band antenna was deployed, primarily to provide good signals from the color TV camera. However, because the deployment would have taken 20 minutes and comm was acceptable, the Apollo 11 antenna was never deployed.]

[Armstrong - "It takes a while to put that thing up."]

[Jones - "On both 12 and 14, it was basically a two-man operation getting it set up and aligned."]

[Armstrong - "My recollection is that I always practiced doing that alone. (See NASA training photo 69-H-663.) Is that right, Buzz? You were always doing something else at the time I was fiddling with that."]

[Aldrin - "The only time I remember screwing around with that was at the factory."]

[Armstrong -"Unless we had a problem, I was expected to do it myself."]

[Jones - "What the 12 and 14 crews found was that, as you turned the crank, the thing tended to tip over and so you needed to have the other guy hold it down."]

[Armstrong - "Was that a characteristic of the lunar gravity that made it (behave) different?"]

[Jones - "I would think so. Thank you; I didn't know they were planning on doing it as a one-man operation."]

[Armstrong -(Laughing) "It would probably have toppled over."]

[Aldrin - "Wise choice (not to deploy it)!"]

110:40:18 Aldrin: I say the jets deflector that's mounted on quad 4 seems to be...the surface of it seems to be more wrinkled than the one that's on quad 1. Generally, underneath part of the LM seems to have stood up quite well to the (garbled) pictures in the aft part of the LM that will illuminate the thermal effects much better than we could get them up here in the front.

110:40:53 McCandless: Roger. Out.

[Buzz starts for the MESA, carrying the Hasselblad by hand.]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I don't think we noticed anything that was abnormal. I guess the only thing that I noticed that I made a note of was the jet plume deflectors. The one of the right side as I was looking at the LM - which would make it Quad 1 (outside Neil's window) - appeared to be a bit more wrinkled than the one on Quad 4 (outside Buzz's window). Of course, there's nothing to compare it with, because I'd never seen them before. As a matter of fact, the first time we really saw them was when we looked out of the Command Module and got a pretty good idea of their structure."]

[Superficial damage to the descent stage resulting from firings of the LM RCS jets was noticed during the Apollo 9, which was flown in Earth orbit from March 3 to March 13, 1969. As a result of that damage, a decision was made to install plume deflectors on Eagle, which had not yet been installed in its S-IVB adapter. The Apollo 10 LM, Snoopy, which had been installed in its adapter in January, flew without deflectors. Apollo 11 photo AS11-44-6574 shows Eagle in lunar orbit prior to descent and the plume deflectors under the RCS clusters on either side of the cabin are clearly visible. Apollo 10 photo AS10-34-5085 is a similar photo of Snoopy and, although the LM image is smaller and less distinct, a careful comparison of the two photos, particularly in the area to the right of the Commander's window, confirms that there were no deflectors on Snoopy. Finally, there is a clear statement in the Apollo 11 Mission Report that the deflectors were an addition to Eagle. My thanks to Marv Hein for bringing this little mystery to my attention, and to Mike Gentry and Linda Fisk at NASA Johnson for locating the images.]

[In August 1996, Frank O'Brien brought to my attention the following statement from an article by Robert F. Stengel, "Manual Attitude Control of the Lunar Module", which was published in the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 7, No. 8, August 1970, pp. 941-947: "Tests of an early version of the Apollo 11 LGC (Lunar Guidance Computer) program uncovered an excessive on-time of the RCS thrusters during manual landing simulations. The additional RCS propellant usage was discomforting, but the primary concern was the cumulative heating of the descent stage which would be caused by exhaust impingement of the down-firing (+X) RCS thrusters. Inhibiting the +X jets for small rate errors was proposed as a solution; however, the deterioration in handling qualities was unacceptable. In simulations, pilots were forced to use large rates more often, bringing the +X jets back into use. As a result, the on-time savings were unpredictable. This was one indication that handling qualities were at the base of the problem."]

[Although Stengel does not explicitly discuss the RCS deflectors, they were probably part of the solution.]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The only abnormality I noticed - and it wasn't an abnormality - was that the insulation had been thermally damaged and broken on the secondary (horizontal) struts of the forward leg."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "This is true in the rear, also."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We didn't carefully check every secondary strut, but the primary struts didn't seem to be damaged."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "There was a sooting or darkening or carboning; I don't know what you call it. At least, I feel it was a deposit rather than just a baking or singeing of the material."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We have some pictures of the struts."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The part ... I didn't notice anything peculiar about the (descent stage fuel and oxidizer) vents. There didn't seem to be anything at all deposited on the surface from any of the vents underneath or from the oxidizer (and) fuel vent(s) above."]

[As Ed Mitchell mentions in his Apollo 14 commentary following 108:15:49, the crews vented the pressurizing helium from the descent system. None of the hypergolyic propellants were vented, to avoid contamination of the samples, the suits, or anything that would be taken back into the cabin.]

[Buzz has examined six vents to make sure there are no indication of fuel or oxidizer leakage. Paul Fjeld calls attention of four, fuel-only, descent engine vents at the bottom edge of the descent stage just aft of the plus-Y strut. These can be seen in a labeled detail from Apollo 14 photo AS14-66-9255. These are the vents "underneath". Also labeled in the detail is the helium vent associated with the fuel tanks. It is pointing north (plus-Y). A similar vent associated with the oxygen tanks is in a similar position relative to the minus-Z strut, and points east. This vent can be seen in a labeled detail from Apollo 15 photo AS15-87-11840. The two helium vents are "above" head height. For completeness, the vent for the Supercritical Helium Tank's Burst Disk is labeled in the Apollo 14 photo. Finally, Fjeld has provided a Grumman photo of Eagle with the three descent stage vents circled in yellow, along with two on the ascent stage.]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The most pronounced insulation damage was on the front, plus-Z strut. Its being in deep shadow obviated the possibility of getting a good close-up picture in that dark environment."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I think the best pictures we got were of the minus-Z strut."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "There was less damage than on the examples we looked at pre-flight. Just the very outer layers were penetrated."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "From what I could see of the probes, they had just bent or broken at the upper attach point. I didn't observe that they had any other fractures in them. One of them - on the minus-Y strut - was sticking almost straight up."]

[Buzz has moved over to the front of the ladder and is holding the camera high over the center of the footpad in order to take clear pictures of the plaque. These are frames 5897 to 5899.]

[Frame 5900 was taken from a position further left of the ladder than the plaque shots. Ulli Lotzmann provides a detail with the flag container, its attachment bracket, and the plaque cover labelled.]

[After a few steps toward the MESA, Buzz turns to his right to offer the camera to Neil.]

110:40:58 Aldrin: Want to get some particular photographs of the bulk sample area, Neil?

110:41:07 McCandless: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Buzz's checklist indicates that he was supposed to have taken pictures of the bulk sample area ("Photo Blk Sam Area") but, perhaps because Neil did the sampling, he is suggesting that Neil could make a better choice of shots. Neil moves in toward Buzz. Buzz has his back toward us and blocks our view of the camera exchange.]

[As revealed in the enhanced 16-mm DAC footage provided by Robert Godwin in 2019, this is the point where Buzz transfers the Hasselblad camera to Neil. Neil then mounts the camera onto his own RCU bracket.]

Video Clip

Click to open in a new, pop-up window

[Buzz stops before he gets to the MESA.]

110:41:25 Aldrin: And, Houston, Buzz here. (looking at the top of his RCU) I'm showing 3.78 psi; 63 percent (oxygen); no flags; (garbled, possibly 'cooling') adequate; slight warming of the fingers. (Long Pause)

[Journal Contributor Bill Wood has provided a Polaroid still taken at Goldstone at about the time Buzz says ' fingers', which is roughly 110:41:48.]

[Buzz moves out of the TV field-of-view to the left.]

110:42:01 Armstrong: Roger. And Neil has 66 percent O2, no flags, minimum cooling, and the suit pressure is 3.82.

110:42:14 McCandless: Houston. Roger. Out. (Long Pause)

[As indicated in Figure 3-15 from the Preliminary Science Report, Neil takes a couple of photographs of the bulk sample area from his present position. The two photos are AS11-40-5901 and 5902, which can be combined in a mini-pan. The second/upper photo shows Buzz beyond the plus-Y strut. Note the distinguishing smudges of dirt on his knees. Neil moves toward the MESA.]

[Errors in the raw transcript for the next two minutes or so of the mission may have contributed to confusion about whether or not Buzz took any pictures during the EVA. A comparison is provided.]

[Neil stops at the MESA and, at the start of Bruce's next transmission takes AS11-40-5903, the full-length portrait of Buzz that is, undoubtedly, the best known of all Apollo photographs. Ulli Lotzmann has captured a frame from the 16mm film that shows Neil taking the photo.]

[In 5903, Buzz has his left arm raised and is probably reading the checklist sewn on the wrist cover of his glove, as shown in a detail. See, also, a pre-flight photo of Buzz's left glove, S69-38937. Note the dirt smudges on Buzz's knees. Note, also, that he is moving his right foot forward and is pushing dirt with it as he goes. Neil's reflection can be seen in Buzz's visor and Journal Contributor Markus Mehring has produced a rectified close-up. "I scanned the best and largest print I had available, removed the roughly 5 degree tilt that the original has in relation to the horizon, mirrored it, adjusted color in order to somewhat get rid of the golden tint of the visor, and re-projected it flat in order to kill as much spherical appearance as tolerable - hence the smear on the edges, which is impossible to avoid." In examining 5903, note that Neil was much closer to the plus-Y footpad than he was when he took 5901 and 5902, as is indicated in Figure 3-15 from the Preliminary Science Report.]

[While studying the copy of 5903 that graces the cover of the original edition of NASA SP-350, "Apollo Expeditions to the Moon", Journal Contributor Joonas Helminen noticed that there seemed to be no sign of the OPS antenna. An extended discussion is linked here.]

[After taking 5903, Neil turns toward the MESA, perhaps removing the Hasselblad from his RCU bracket as he does so. Next, he probably puts the camera down on the MESA.]

110:42:39 McCandless: Buzz, this is Houston. Have you removed the close-up camera from the MESA yet? Over.
[Buzz comes into view and joins Neil at the MESA.]
110:42:50 Aldrin: Negative. Thank you. (Long Pause)
[This is the Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up Camera (ALSCC). See the discussion following 110:27:20. The accompanying photo (courtesy Ken Glover), shows a training version of the Gold Camera (lower left) on display at the National Air and Space Museum along with the suits that Neil and Buzz wore on the Moon.]

[Armstrong - "The Gold camera got added very late. It was an irritation. It was not that the crew was inflexible or anything. But, over the previous years and other flights, our history had told us that, when we added experiments or procedures very late - without the chance of having to find out how they interacted with other events on the timeline - we inevitably found ourselves in difficulty in flight as a result of those additions. So, we grew a natural reluctance to accept additional items late in the game."]

[Aldrin - "They're saying they want this thing out now, before we deployed the EASEP?"]

[Armstrong - "Yeah. I'm sure Tommy was urging them through the Backroom."]

110:43:18 Aldrin: (Garbled) get the panorama (garbled)
[Here, Buzz may be suggesting that Neil stay at the MESA and offload the close-up camera while he, Buzz, takes the Hasselblad and starts a pan from a spot north of the spacecraft, as per checklist.]
110:43:20 Armstrong: Okay. (Pause) Got it?
["It" may be the Hasselblad.]
110:43:33 Aldrin: Okay, got it. (Long Pause)

[When Buzz got the Hasselblad camera - either directly from Neil or by picking it up off the MESA where Neil may have put it as per his cuff checklist - he took an accidental frame. This picture is AS11-40-5904.]

[In the 16-mm record we see Buzz's shadow as he moves away from the MESA and it is clear that he has the Hasselblad at this point.]

[During the 1991 mission review, we did not realize that this camera exchange took place and, so, got confused. Incorrectly, we concluded that Buzz did not take any pictures after AS11-40-5896.]

[Aldrin - "For all the panorama that I was supposed to be doing and I maybe was doing in here, there are damn few pictures that show up that indicate that that many were taken."]

[We recognized that frames AS11-40-5905 to 5916 make up a pan taken north of the spacecraft but, not realizing that Buzz had taken the camera back, decided that the camera had malfunctioned after 5904 and that the pan was taken by Neil after he finished with the Gold Camera. A more careful analysis of the dialog and the video tape strongly indicates that Buzz took the north pan and a number of subsequent pictures.]

[Buzz moves away from the MESA and, during his next transmission, stands near the north strut, possibly mounting the Hasselblad on his RCU bracket.]

Buzz's Plus-Y Pan

(frames 5905 to 5916)

110:43:50 Aldrin: Houston, how does our timeline appear to be going?

110:43:55 McCandless: Roger. It looks like you're about a half hour slow on it. We're working on consumables. Over.

110:44:03 Aldrin: All right. (Long Pause)

[Neil removes the Gold camera from the MESA and takes his first picture between the MESA and the north (plus-Y) footpad. He then moves off to the northeast. This sequence represents a slight departure from the checklists in that Buzz was to have off-loaded the ALSCC before taking his second panorama.]

[The final frame of Buzz's plus-Y pan, AS11-40-5916, shows the back of Neil's suit and legs. Unfortunately, there is no sign of the Gold Camera in the image. Pan assembly by Brian McInall.]

[The interval between the time that Neil starts his first Gold-camera photo and the time he starts the second is about 25 seconds. In all, Neil took 17 pictures - each of them actually a stereopair.]

110:44:45 McCandless: Neil and Buzz, this is Houston. To clarify my last (transmission), your consumables are in good shape at this time. The 30-minute reference was with respect to the nominal timeline. Over.

110:45:03 Aldrin: Roger. I understand that.

[Comm Break]

[Armstrong - "The close-up camera was a stereo, three-D camera. They really wanted three-dimensional pictures of small particles. He (Gold) had no interest in the exhaust plume or anything like that. He was interested in the character of the lunar soil. I think he was really looking for a defense of his cotton-candy-surface theory. I think I was just looking for different kinds of surface contours. If that's what I was doing there. My recollection was that I did it rather later in the EVA. But, it could be (here)."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The stereo camera worked fine. We had no problems with it; however, it was hard to operate. I found that the angle that I had to put my hand on the handle to pull (the trigger) and the force that it took was excessive...I found my hand getting tired very soon while taking pictures with that camera. It was wearing out my grip."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Would you say that the angle was too horizontal?"]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Yes."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "You would like to have had it sloped down more towards you."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Yes. It was requiring the wrist to be cocked down."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The initial opening up or deploying of it went quite smoothly. The extension of the handle and the opening up of the case was quite well engineered. Separating the cover, taking it off, cutting the film, and removing the cassette also went quite smoothly. I think that the big area for re-engineering might be just a change in the angle that the handle comes out. We might have to add a hinge or something like that to it. What about the height of the handle? That would probably not be too bad."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I think that probably was reasonable. The other problem we had with the camera is that it was falling over all the time. I think this was the result of a little bit of difficulty in figuring out the local vertical."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Yes."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "You'd set it down and think it was level; but apparently it wasn't because, the next time you looked, it would be laying over on its side. Or you would bump it inadvertently while you were looking somewhere else and knock it over. I picked it up three different times off the surface and it's a major effort to get down to the surface to pick the thing up."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "How'd you do that? By going down on the knee?"]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "On one occasion I got it with the knee, one time I got it with the tongs, and the last time I had something else in my hand like a scoop or something that I could lean on and go down and get it. In general, there were a lot of times that I wanted to get down closer to the surface for one reason or another. I wanted to get my hand down to the surface to pick up something. This was one thing that restricted us more than we'd like. We really didn't have complete clearance to go put our knees on the surface any time we wanted. We thought the suit was qualified to do that in an emergency, but it wasn't planned as a normal operation."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We didn't let ourselves settle on our knees a lot of the times to get our hand on the surface. Now I think that is one thing that should be done more on future flights. We should clear that suit so that you could go down to your knees, and we should work more on being able to do things on the surface with your hands. That will make our time a lot more productive, and we will be less concerned about little inadvertent things that happen."]

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Now we can say that we have the confidence to know that we could get back up from the surface. You might have to put your hand down into all this. The thing that discouraged me was the powdery nature of the surface and the way that it adhered to everything. I didn't see any real need in getting down. I had no concern about doing it. But I agree. I think if we need something on the suit to qualify it to do this, then we ought to go ahead and do that. If it doesn't, if it just requires looking at the suits that we brought back and saying that they're qualified for kneeling, we ought to do that."]

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "If you have a grip on something like a scoop, or a stick to hold on, then there's no problem at all in getting back up. You can go right down and just push on your hand and push yourself right back up. It was easy the one time I did it with the scoop in my hand. That's one thing that we hadn't done a lot in our simulations, and it would be a help, I think."]

[Astronauts on later mission found that, if they fell, they could get up relatively easily by getting on their hands and knees and then pushing back with their hands until their center of mass had rotated over their feet, at which point they could stand with the help of the internal pressure of the suit.]

110:46:36 Armstrong: (Still northeast of the LM, taking a break from the Close-up photos and performing the "LM Inspect" item in his checklist) I don't note any abnormalities in the LM. The quads seem to be in good shape. The primary and secondary struts are in good shape. Antennas are all in place. There's no evidence of problem underneath the LM due to either engine exhaust or drainage of any kind.

110:47:17 McCandless: Roger. Out.

[After finishing the plus-Y pan, Buzz will take some more pictures of the spacecraft. However, during the 1991 mission review, we thought it was Neil who took those pictures, a conclusion influenced, in part, by Neil's statement at 110:46:36 and others that follow.]
110:47:18 Aldrin: It's very surprising, the very surprising lack of penetration of all four of the foot pads. I'd say if we were to try and determine just how far below the surface they would have penetrated, you'd measure (depths of) two or three inches, wouldn't you say, Neil?

110:47:37 Armstrong: At the most, yes. That Y-strut there is probably even less than that. (Long Pause)

[Buzz comes back to the LM near the plus-Y (north) strut and takes AS11-40-5917 and 5918, which are both close-ups of the plus-Y footpad. Journal Contributor Ken MacTaggart has noticed that the apparent, triangular-shaped imprint next to the footpad in 5917 can also be seen in Neil's full-length portrait of Buzz, AS11-40-5903. Journal Contributor Haig Ensanian suggests that the imprint was made by the crinkled covering of the sides and bottom of the footpad. See a discussion linked here.]
110:47:55 Collins: (Garbled) (Pause)

110:48:05 Aldrin: (Going east of the strut) I'll get a picture of the plus-Y strut taken from near the descent stage, and I think we'll be able to see a little bit better what the thermal effects are. Seem to be quite minimal. (Long Pause, then turning to look under the spacecraft) There's one picture taken (pause) in the right rear of the spacecraft looking at the skirt of the descent stage, shows a slight darkening of the surface color, a rather minimal amount of radiating or etching away or erosion of the surface. On descent, both of us remarked that we could see a large amount of very fine dust particles moving out. (Pause) It was reported beforehand that we would probably see an outgassing from the surface after actual engine shutdown, but as I recall, I was unable to verify that. (Long Pause)

[AS11-40-5919 is a picture of the plus-Y strut, and 5920 is a picture of the strut from the east. Frame 5921 is a picture under the Descent Stage while 5922 shows the cluster of thrusters between plus-Y and minus-Z. Buzz has moved out of the TV field-of-view to the left.]

[Part 3 of Mark Gray's April 2013 YouTube release of the restored video alongside the synched 16-mm film starts at 110:49:52, 34 seconds before Buzz's next transmission.]

Click to view in new, pop-up window.

110:50:26 Aldrin: Just too big an angle, Neil.

110:50:34 Armstrong: Yeah. I think you are right. (Long Pause)

[The idea was to point the camera up at the Earth and Buzz isn't sure that it is possible to do so. Certainly, with the Earth nearly overhead, Buzz had to take the camera off the RCU bracket and then either guess at the pointing or lean far enough back that he could hold the camera over his head and sight along it. Because of the stiffness of the suit, it was very difficult to lean far enough back. One puzzling aspect of these pictures is the fact that, during the 1991 mission review, Neil said that it was he that took the Earth pictures. One possible explanation of this memory is that Buzz took the camera off, decided that he couldn't get the pictures, and then Neil took the camera for a moment, took frames AS11-40-5923 and 5924, and then gave the camera back to Buzz. Another possibility is that Neil is mistaken about having taken Earth pictures during the EVA. Certainly, after the EVA at about 112:20, he took pictures of Earth through the overhead rendezvous window - these pictures are AS11-37-5506 to 5509 - and, twenty years after the fact, he may have gotten the memories mixed up. After reading a draft of the discussion in 1995, Neil said he had nothing more to add to the solution of this minor mystery.]

[In the Earth images, Australia is in sunlight on the left. Compare these images with a Starry Night view of Earth from Tranquility Base at 110:51.]

[Just prior to Buzz's next transmission, an astronaut comes into view near the east footpad. The picture is very grainy, but it appears to be Neil, still using the close-up camera. This astronaut goes out of the TV field-of-view after a few seconds and then, after a few more seconds, an astronaut - this time, probably Buzz - comes into the field-of-view.]

110:51:29 Aldrin: We're back at the minus-Z strut now. (The) stereopair we're taking (of the) footpad will (garbled) very little force of impact that we actually had. (Long Pause)

110:52:00 Aldrin: And, Neil, if you'll take the camera (as indicated in Neil's checklist), I'll ...

110:52:03 Armstrong: Okay.

110:52:03 Aldrin: ... get to work on the SEQ (Scientific Equipment) bay.

110:52:05 Armstrong: Okay.

[AS11-40-5925 and 5926 are pictures of the minus-Z strut and footpad. Buzz took one picture, then stepped to his left and took another to give a stereo effect. Other crews will use this technique repeatedly as they document geology samples prior to collection.]

[The SEQ Bay in LM Quad II holds the Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package (EASEP).]

[Training photo S69-18994 shows Astronaut Don Lind during a trial deployment on 21 January 1969.]

110:52:07 McCandless: Columbia. Columbia. This is Houston.

110:52:08 Aldrin: Houston, I notice that...(Listens)

110:52:16 McCandless: Go ahead, Buzz.

[At this point in the TV record, we see Buzz hand the Hasselblad camera to Neil, who has just come back into the TV picture. Buzz's next task is to off-load the EASEP (Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package) while Neil takes documentation photos of the off-load.]
110:52:20 Aldrin: (To Neil, who still has the Gold Camera) Try to get some close-up pictures (meaning Gold-camera photos) of that rock. (To McCandless) I was saying that, Houston, (garbled) stop and take a photograph or something and then want to start moving again sideways, there's quite a tendency to start doing it with just gradual sideways hops until you start getting momentum.

110:52:47 McCandless: Roger.

[As noted by Journal Contributor Markus Mehring, at the end of Buzz's transmission, we see him working at the SEQ Bay and discarding something to his right, which ends up next to the minus-Z (east) strut, as can be seen in a detail from AS11-40-5927. Contributor Paul Fjeld writes that the discarded object is "a small sheet of 5-mil (0.005 inches or 0.127 mm), aluminized kapton with two little handles that covered the door-deployment tapes. In 5927, you can see the tapes coming out of the SEQ bay structure nearest the -Z gear."]

[Fjeld - "There was a similar 5-mil sheet that covered the S-band deployable antenna on Quad 1. The new scans of mag S (from original film in 2004) show the detail of the Quad 1 installation really well. (See a labeled detail from 5864 provided by Journal Contributor Thomas Schwagmeier.) You can see a single handle on the left-bottom part of the quad near the downlock latch shield (little white rectangle) and I can even convince myself that I can make out the little 'fingers' that held the blanket on (with tape to hold them). The astronaut yanked the handle(s) revealing deployment lanyards velcroed inside which pulled out the two 'Antenna Release Pins', the label of which we can now read thanks to Kipp's good work. I re-did the LM-13 blanket at the Cradle Museum after I saw those shots (thanks Kipp!)."]


One Small Step Apollo 11 Journal EASEP Deployment and Closeout