Apollo Lunar Surface Journal


ALSEP Off-load EVA-1 Closeout


ALSEP Deployment

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995, 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
MP3 audio clips by Ken Glover.
Scan credits in the Image Library
Last revised 17 May 2017.


MP3 Audio Clip (31 min 58 sec)

RealAudio Clip ( 33 min 28 sec )

[Brian McInall has created a Planimetric Map covering the ALSEP deployment and the subsequent traverse to Middle Crescent Crater. See, also, Figure 10-50 from the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report (10 Mb.]
116:54:01 Conrad: You just stay back there and take your time. I'll go out here and scout the area.

116:54:08 Bean: You're getting pretty far out.

116:54:09 Conrad: Huh?

116:54:10 Bean: Getting pretty far out.

116:54:13 Gibson: Pete and Al, your LM shadow should be about 110 feet.

116:54:20 Conrad: Okay. I'm looking for...I'm dying to find out what this mound is over here anyhow, Al. (Pause) We got a very peculiar mound sticking up out of the ground, Houston. I want to go look at it. As a matter of fact, I think I'll go take a picture of it. No, my...

116:54:39 Gibson: Roger, Pete. Could you give me your position and distance with respect to the LM?

116:54:46 Conrad: Wait one (minute).

[The mound, which is actually the larger of two near the ALSEP deployment site, can be seen in the site map at R-4, 13.1. The LM is at Q-5, 15.2. the grid lines are 50 meters apart, so the mound is 114 meters from the LM on an azimuth of 293, which is 23 degrees north of west. Thomas Scwagmeier has created a composite from views out each of the windows and one of the maps that show the large mound. They haven't yet noticed the smaller mound.]
116:54:48 Bean: Go ahead, Pete. Do what you're doing. (To Gibson) Pete's about...I'd guess, about 300 feet (90 meters) at 12 o'clock (from the LM) in the bottom of a shallow crater that you're bound to see on your map. It's sort of a doublet. (Pause)

116:55:00 Conrad: I'm headed to the right-hand edge of the Head Crater.

116:55:07 Gibson: Roger. (Pause)

116:55:14 Conrad: Hey, Al. Here's a neat spot to put it out up here.

116:55:17 Bean: Is it flat for a good piece?

116:55:19 Conrad: Oh, you'd better believe it.

116:55:20 Bean: Okay. It's a good long ways away too; it must be at least, what, 500 feet from the LM?

116:55:27 Conrad: I don't know.

116:55:28 Bean: 600?

[Analysis of photos taken at the ALSEP site with the LM in the background - an object of known size - indicates that they deployed the Central Station about 130 meters (roughly 430 feet) from the spacecraft.]
116:55:31 Conrad: It's the world's most peculiar...I got to photograph this thing. I can't imagine what it is. The mound's sticking up; and I can't imagine how it got there or what would make it. (Pause)
[Pete takes a down-Sun photo of the mound, AS12-46-6793, as he approaches.]
116:55:46 Bean: (Probably commenting on Pete's running) Boy, you can cover the ground on this lightweight...at one-sixth g. Really move.

116:55:53 Conrad: I got to get them a stereo of this thing. It's really fantastic! Oops. (Pause)

[Once Pete gets close to the mound, he takes a stereopair, 6794, and 6795, stepping to his right between frames.]
116:56:04 Conrad: How's our timeline going, Houston?

116:56:08 Gibson: Pete, at 1 plus 48 into the EVA, you're looking good. Looks as though you're right on there, if you've just about completed your traverse.

116:56:19 Conrad: We have, Houston. Yeah. Now, look, Al, look over here.

116:56:22 Bean: We're way out from the LM.

116:56:25 Conrad: Over here, Al.

116:56:27 Bean: Okay.

116:56:28 Conrad: See where I'm headed. This great big flat area.

116:56:29 Bean: That's a good...Hey, there's another one of those mounds over there.

116:56:31 Conrad: Where? Hey, you're right! What do you suppose they are?

116:56:35 Bean: I don't know, Houston, what they are; they're just sort of mounds. Looks like - don't take this the wrong way - it looks like a small volcano, only it's just about 4 feet high and, at the top, it's about 5 feet across; and it then slopes from the top on down to the level with the terrain, and that diameter - that circle where it finally becomes level with the terrain - is about 15 or 20 feet. So it looks sort of like a small volcano. There's a couple of them out here. They look like they were formerly made out of mud or something.

116:57:15 Gibson: Al, Roger. We copy.

[The mounds are described in more detail at 118:10:36. Al's comment 'Don't take this the wrong way' at 116:56:35 is probably related to a story that Jack Schmitt told me. During Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin said he saw bright flashes of light at places in the soil - like biotite (a form of mica), he said. He wasn't saying that the material was biotite, only that it flashed as biotite would. According to Schmitt, some geologists were highly critical of Buzz's use of the word - a criticism that Schmitt rejects as being completely unwarranted. Furthermore, Schmitt said that Pete and Al had decided to avoid such controversy by not using technical terms. Pete and Al deny that they made any such decision and, whatever the truth may be, Al's comment here indicates that he was sensitive to the potential for such criticism. By clearly indicating that he doesn't believe the mounds to be volcanic vents, he then uses the term "volcano" to convey a very accurate and useful impression of the shape of the mounds.]
116:57:16 Gibson: Is there any hole or central vent?

116:57:22 Conrad: I don't know. I got to go over...We'll go over after we get the ALSEP out. There's a couple of them here. (Pause) This is a...We couldn't ask for a better spot to put this ALSEP down.

116:57:33 Bean: No. This is nice. Hey, (there are a) lot more rocks up here (than there are around the LM).

116:57:42 Conrad: (To Houston) Listen, there...We could play geologist for two days and never get any further than we are right now. Seeing all different kinds of things.

116:57:51 Bean: Hey, here's a different one.

116:57:52 Conrad: Yeah. It's really neat. Better than any of the geology field trips. Look at that thing. (Laughs) I'm getting a quick pan of the area here to tie down the ALSEP deployment (site). There you go.

[The LM will be in at least one of these pictures and the size and orientation of the LM in the image will help in pinning down the ALSEP location.]
Pete's ALSEP site pan (frames AS12-46-6796 to 6811)

116:58:11 Bean: Okay. Man alive!

[Al may have just joined Pete. He left the LM at 116:52:07 and, deducting 44 seconds for his stop to change to Intermediate cooling, made the 130 meter trip in 5 min 20 sec. His speed was a modest 1.5 km/hr.]
116:58:13 Conrad: Tired?

116:58:14 Bean: No, I'm not so tired. That handle, you know, when you carry this thing around in one g, the ALSEP tends to hang down. But you carry it around up here at one-sixth and, particularly, the RTG tends to rotate the whole pallet. So, in a few minutes, you've got one of them kind of half way up in the air and the other one's down by your left leg, being afraid that the handle's going to come undone. You know, the handle doesn't lock. Okay. (Pause)

[See Al's comments at 116:52:43.]
116:58:48 Bean: What happened to all those...Hey, that's slick. You know these neat little decals we got on here?

116:58:53 Conrad: Uh-huh.

116:58:54 Bean: You can't hardly read them in the sunlight because they don't have enough contrast to them. They're so bright. (Pause)

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "One thing that turned out a little different than I imagined - I had difficulty reading the decals that we had put on the ALSEP. As I recall, looking at it on the surface (means 'in training'), it looked as if there were black writing on a silver background. When I tried to read this on the lunar surface, it was very difficult. The brilliant light reflected off the silver and you couldn't see the black. We had the sequence of laying that ALSEP down pretty good, and I would recommend on the next one, they use a black on orange - or something like that - to decrease the amount of reflected light off the decals. It's going to be needed."]
116:59:06 Bean: Okay, let's move them. (Pause) Okay. Let me make sure now that we're not going to run out into some holes. (Pause) That's pretty good. Pete, I'm going to move just a little bit further to the east - or, correction - to the north, so that I won't end up over in that hole with the SIDE. Okay?

116:59:25 Conrad: All right.

[Using his training experience, Al is visualizing where each piece of equipment will go. The planned layout is shown in Figure 3-6 from the Mission Report. He is now on the checklist page that begins with "1+48, System Interconnect". Procedural details can be found on pages 44 and 45 in the Apollo 12 Lunar Surface Operations Plan (7 Mb).]
116:59:26 Bean: And I think it would be a real good spot. (Long Pause) Okay, I'm...

116:59:52 Conrad: Awfully frustrating.

[As indicated below, Pete is having trouble with the SIDE. He is also at 1+48 in his cuff checklist; and is removing the SIDE from the subpallet he handcarried out from the LM.]
116:59:53 Bean: And I think this is the spot, Pete, right here. (Pause) Let me look and make sure, now, that we're going to have a good place for everything. Yeah, we will. Magnetometer can sit over there and the seismometer will sit in a good flat place. Although, the trouble with the seismometer (is that) we don't have any good solid bedrock or anything to set it on. All we've got is this dirt. And I don't see any area around that has any rock.

117:00:23 Gibson: Roger, Al.

[Jones - "Were you being literal about rock to set the seismometer on?"]

[Conrad - "I think they wanted as hard a surface as possible."]

[Bean - "And then we didn't find any. 'Cause we thought we'd maybe see some dirt and some rocks and things, and we were going to set it on a flat piece of rock. But now we're telling them, 'forget it, all we got is dust up here.'"]

117:00:24 Bean: I'm afraid we're just going to have to take what we can get on this seismometer. (Pause)

117:00:37 Conrad: You know, there must be some thermal expansion or something. I'm having a heck of a time getting this UHT (Universal Handling Tool) in this SIDE. (Pause) It just flat won't go in there.

[Pete may be trying to engage his UHT in a carry socket on the SIDE, turning the UHT into a handle. This is step 'b' under 1+48 on page 44 in the Ops Plan.]
117:00:49 Bean: Well, just pick it up with your hands. I always handled the SIDE (Suprathermal Ion Detector Experiment) with my hands.

117:00:53 Conrad: I can't bend down that far.

117:00:54 Bean: Okey-doke. (Pause)

117:00:57 Conrad: (Garbled) free. (Long Pause)

[Jones - "In one g you could bend down far enough to pick it up?"]

[Conrad - "Sure, you could get a little help (from Earth gravity). Especially with a 70 pound PLSS on your back and everything, you could get down. But up there, you strain..."]

[Bean - "And you're still way up off the ground."]

[Jones - "Could you have done the ALSEP deploy solo?"]

[Conrad - "Yep."]

[Bean - "Sometimes, when you were training, you'd try it. It wasn't that hard. All you had to do was to be able to read the labels - unscrew the Boyd bolts and read the labels. That was about it."]

[Once he gets the SIDE free, Pete will extract the cable reel (step 'e' on page 44), deploy the legs (step 'f') which will keep the experiment off the ground, put the SIDE down on its legs (step 'g'), stow his tongs on the subpallet (step 'h'), and connect the experiment cable to the Central Station (steps 'i' to 'm'). In the meantime, Al will position the RTG.]

117:01:48 Conrad: (Ready to take the SIDE cable to the Central Station as per step 'j'.) Where'd you go, Al?

117:01:49 Bean: I'm right over here, babe.

117:01:50 Conrad: (Turning) Oh, you're miles away.

117:01:52 Bean: Yeah, I am. I moved over here.

117:01:54 Conrad: Oh, son of a gun!

[Apparently, Al has changed his mind about where to put the Central Station and, now, Pete will have to move the SIDE again in order to make an electrical connection. That means engaging the UHT in the carry socket, which has already given him trouble.]
117:01:55 Bean: I had to do it, Pete, so that I'd have a good place for the (garbled). (Pause) Okay, there's a good spot. Looks good. (Long Pause)
[Bean - "It seems to me I set the ALSEP (Central Station) down, and had to go move, for some reason. I don't remember for sure. But that may have been what happened here. It seems to me that, somehow, things didn't look right and I had to move it about three feet."]

[Having done the deployment in practice several times, Pete knows how far Al should be from him at this point. Three feet is enough of a move to notice.]

117:02:18 Gibson: Al, when you deploy that PSE (Passive Seismic Experiment) stool, it would help if you tamp that ground down as well as you could before putting the stool down.
[Figure 3-1 from the Preliminary Science Report is a schematic diagram of the PSE experiment.]
117:02:29 Bean: I'm going to try to do that. This ground, you know, it doesn't get hard as you move down a couple of inches. If you tamp it, and that's what I'm planning to do...But I don't know. We'll just have to see what happens. I'm worried about it getting a thermal short myself.

117:02:49 Gibson: Roger, Al. (Long Pause)

[Bean - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "The first experiment I put out was the passive seismic. I had two anomalies that I know. One was the skirt (which is discussed below)...the second anomaly (and the first in sequence) was that the little dish the passive seismic sits in needs to have a solid bottom so when it is placed on the ground, there is no danger of dirt easing up through the center of it, as there was in the case of our dish, and touching the bottom of the passive seismic itself and causing a thermal short that would ruin it. We spent quite a bit of time tapping out a nice clean hole so this wouldn't occur. Really, I think the fix should be to put a solid bottom on that dish."]

[Conrad - "What you wanted to avoid was making (thermal) contact with the ground. Don't forget, the only way you're going to pass heat one way or another is radiate or conduct. To conduct anything that way, you've got to make a good contact. Remember those things had those skirts around them."]

[Jones - "To keep the Sun off the ground right around the instrument."]

[Conrad - "Sure, because then you're going to get nice and cool underneath."]

[Bean - "I remembered that skirt being there to keep the ground from making thermal noises that was picked up in the seismometer. Now, that may be wrong."]

[Conrad - "That could be. But it's really kind of the same thing."]

[Bean - "Stabilizes the (ground) temperature so it isn't doing things that the seismometer picks up as background noise."]

[John Saxon, who served as Operations Supervisor at NASA Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, Australia, during Apollo writes, "I should share one of my best ALSEP tracking stories. One of the nice things about the Manned Spaceflight Network ground equipment was that we could decommutate the Telemetry, and display spacecraft - and astronaut - parameters on strip chart recorders and other devices. After the excitement of the manned sections of the Apollo missions, supporting the ALSEP packages could seem rather routine - so we often checked temperatures, seismic activity, etc. One quiet evening we noticed that one of the usually fairly dull seismometers was outputting apparently random, short, sine-wave activity superimposed on the background activity. These were obviously artificial artifacts, but no one on site could work out what might be causing them. So I checked with the on-duty ALSEP controller at Houston, who came up with the answer immediately. 'Oh - what you are seeing is the Mylar heat insulation which is spread around the seismometer. The sun is just rising in the lunar dawn at the site and the insulation is warming up and pinging as it changes shape'. A bit like a biscuit tin lid when you flex it. So that was an unintended temperature change sensor."]

117:03:08 Bean: Boy, I'll tell you.

117:03:10 Conrad: Man, are you dirty.

117:03:11 Bean: Boy. Sure. (It's from) carrying that ALSEP. Look at the ALSEP.

117:03:16 Conrad: I know.

117:03:17 Bean: Ridiculous (Laughs) I remember how they took care of this white paint. You had to have gloves to touch it. (Pete laughs at the thought; Pause)

[NASA photo S69-34035 shows Pete Conrad and Al Bean examining the Passive Seismometer prior to the flight. The fact that they are wearing white gloves, caps, etc suggests that this is the flight hardware and that it wasn't only the white-painted objects that were handled with great care pior to the flight. The object in the foreground is the folded-up Hand Tool Carrier (HTC).]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I think we're kidding ourselves if we think there is any way to deploy this experiment (that is, the ALSEP) without getting a lot of dirt and dust on it. The pictures are going to show this. They just have to be designed to accept dirt and dust. If they can't accept the dirt and dust, then they are going to have to be packaged in some way so they can be deployed completely and then, the last act would be to pull some sort of pin and flip off the covering that would have all the dirt and dust on it, exposing the nice clean experiment."]

[The only Apollo experiment that rapidly failed from overheating was the Surface Electrical Properties Experiment that was flown on Apollo 17. The SEP rode on the back of the 17 Rover and was housed in a cloth bag that was supposed to keep a radiator on the top of the instrument clean while the crew was driving from one geology stop to the next. At each stop, they would expose the radiator and let it cool the instrument. Unfortunately, the glue failed on the Velcro patch with which the top flap was secured. The radiator accumulated a fine layer of dust and, despite repeated efforts to clean the radiator and secure the flap with tape, the instrument overheated.]

117:03:25 Conrad: I got a kind of a problem here. (Pause) I'm going to have to do this myself. I'll have to do this backwards; but it's going to work right. (Pause) Oops. (Pause)

117:04:00 Bean: Do me a favor, Pete?

117:04:02 Conrad: (Garbled) I'll be with you in a minute.

117:04:07 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

117:04:10 Conrad: You can relieve me in this SIDE right here while I (garbled), because it looks like it might...

117:04:14 Bean: Yeah. Give me that thing. Let me hold it.

117:04:16 Conrad: Easy, easy. That a boy.

117:04:17 Bean: I got it.

117:04:18 Conrad: That a boy. Now, wait.

117:04:20 Bean: Watch for that (garbled) cable.

117:04:21 Conrad: Yeah, but let me get it plugged in.

[Pete is asking Al to hold the SIDE while he plugs its cable into the Central Station. This is the fifth item in the System Interconnect section of his cuff checklist.]
117:04:23 Bean: They (the cables) sure splay around under this one-sixth g, don't they? It's moving around a bunch. (Garbled) Watch it, watch it.

117:04:32 Conrad: Where's the orange stripe?

117:04:35 Bean: Should be (the) same as on that other one.

117:04:37 Conrad: Obviously, it's on the side I can't see.

117:04:40 Bean: Yeah. Blue to blue. (Long Pause) You know, that noise - that whistling - is coming from you, Pete, because every time you move around, it whistles. When you stop, it quits.

117:05:06 Conrad: Is that right?

117:05:07 Bean: Yeah.

117:05:08 Conrad: There it is.

117:05:09 Bean: Is it locked good?

117:05:10 Conrad: Yes, sir.

117:05:11 Bean: Okay, here's...

117:05:12 Conrad: (Garbled)

117:05:13 Bean: Here's yours.

117:05:14 Conrad: (We don't want to) drop that baby (the SIDE?).

117:05:15 Bean: Okay. You got it?

117:05:16 Conrad: Let me have the cable right there.

117:05:17 Bean: All right. Oops! That came out.

117:05:19 Conrad: That's what I wanted.

117:05:20 Bean: Okay.

117:05:21 Conrad: That's what I wanted.

[They may be referring to a lanyard on the SIDE which Pete will pull to release the legs. Pete seems to be doing the deployment step from memory, rather than consulting his checklist. Releasing the SIDE legs is the third item in his 1+48 paragraph.]
117:05:22 Bean: All right. Those legs came out nice.

117:05:24 Conrad: Yup. (Pause) The next thing I got to do is head this way with it, right?

117:05:30 Bean: No. Before you do that, come here a second, would you, please?

117:05:33 Conrad: Yeah, but let me set it down one moment. Uh-oh; the top popped open.

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "When we were deploying the suprathermal ion detector, the lid came open a couple of times. This lid was supposed to be deployed (by) ground command after we had left the (ALSEP deployment) area so that the exposed, mirrored surface would be nice and clean and the two detectors would not get dust in them. I'm pretty sure that we did get some dust on the top of it. I hope it's not enough to bother the operation."]
117:05:39 Conrad: (Is it) supposed to do that?

117:05:41 Bean: No. Not supposed to do that. You can close it, though, before it gets any dirt in it. You can just reach up there and close it.

117:05:49 Conrad: Okay. You better...You better...(garbled under Al)

117:05:51 Bean: (Garbled under Pete)

117:05:52 Conrad: ...close it while I'm holding it.

117:05:53 Bean: Okay.

117:05:54 Conrad: Before we get any dirt on it. Son of a gun. Why did that happen?

117:05:56 Bean: Never saw it do it before. (Garbled) We could still salvage that, though.

117:06:04 Conrad: Wait a minute. The little...The little...

117:06:05 Bean: I see it. I see it.

117:06:07 Conrad: That a boy.

117:06:08 Bean: Now kind of turn it over with your other hand, Pete. So...

117:06:10 Conrad: Wait a minute, (garbled).

117:06:12 Bean: Wrong way.

117:06:14 Conrad: Where do you want to go with it?

117:06:15 Bean: Well, I want to see the...Let me get this. Okay. Now, let's see the other side.

117:06:21 Conrad: This way?

117:06:22 Bean: That's a boy. Yeah; this won't hurt a thing. Now...Wait a second. (Pause)

117:06:27 Conrad: That's it. You got it.

117:06:28 Bean: But just don't touch that. It'll be okay.

117:06:31 Conrad: Okay.

117:06:32 Bean: Didn't hurt a thing.

117:06:33 Conrad: Let me just put this down here.

117:06:36 Bean: Okay.

[Compared with later ALSEP deployments, Pete and Al are having more than their share of difficulties. Readers should keep in mind that Neil and Buzz only deployed two scientific instruments - a passive seismometer and a laser retroreflector. Neil and Buzz had some problems with their deployment - for example, a BB leveling device that refused to operate properly for a while - but Pete and Al are really the first crew to do a full ALSEP deployment and, not surprisingly, are discovering a number of design and procedural flaws which didn't manifest themselves in 1g training. As a result of their experience, design and procedural changes will be made that will give later crews a much easier time of it.]
117:06:38 Gibson: Pete, before you set the Central Station down for the final time, if you would also tamp that ground down, it would help in keeping the dirt off of the thermally-sensitive areas.

117:06:57 Conrad: (To Al) Oh, I did it, I did it. (Laughs)

117:07:00 Bean: You set it down.

117:07:01 Conrad: (Laughing) I set it (meaning the SIDE) down and it didn't fall over. I can't believe it.

[Pete has put the SIDE out of the way so that, later on, Al can carry it out 60 feet SSW of the Central Station for final deployment. According to the Apollo 12 Mission Report, the three legs on the SIDE were too close together for good stability and, consequently, the instrument was easy to tip over.]
117:07:03 Conrad: Here I come. What do you need, Al?

117:07:05 Bean: Use your tongs to hold this (probably ALSEP package 2 which is the base for the RTG) up a minute. It (the RTG)'s a little hot, and I don't want to touch it. Watch (out for) this.

[Al has asked Pete to help him with the RTG package while he removes the bracket holding the RTG cable and attaches the cable to the Central Station. These are the fourth and fifth items under 1+48 on his checklist page. Details can be found on pages 44 and 45 in the Apollo 12 Lunar Surface Operations Plan.]

[Bean - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "We had no trouble putting down the RTG. I did notice, however, that you could feel the heat radiating from the RTG. When I removed the bracket that carried the power cable that ran from the RTG to the Central Station, it felt warm to the touch. I didn't want to keep my fingers there too long, so I handled it with the ALSEP tool (UHT) as opposed to just my gloved hands, as I had been doing in practice. Apparently that bracket can get pretty hot, although we only had the element in it a short time."]

[Conrad - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "I guess the point is, when you fuel that generator, you had better get on the road and get going to wherever you are going to take it. You should get those parts off the fuel element as soon as possible, because they heat at quite a high rate."]

[Readers will note that anything that can be felt as 'warm' through the gloves, must be quite hot and a potential threat to the gloves. It has been about 17 minutes since they fueled the RTG.]

117:07:12 Conrad: Where are my tongs?

117:07:14 Bean: Right there in your...There you got them. Now if you'll just hold it steady, then I can do the rest. (Pause) There, now. That's good. (Pause) Thanks, Pete. Got it.

[Pete usually his tongs at his left hip, attached to a spring-operated, self-rewinding device called the yo-yo. The yo-yo operates very much like a rewinding tape measure and lets him carry the tongs without having to use his hands and, then, when he wants to use them, he just reaches across with his right hand and pulls out as much cable as he needs. When he is done with the tongs, he simply releases them and they spring back onto his hip. His tongs can be seen in the photos Al took of him at the Surveyor on the second EVA. Photo AS12-48-7134 is a good example.]

[Putting the tongs by the SIDE subpallet is the fourth step under 1+48 in Pete's cuff checklist. Al's phrase 'right there in your' suggests that Pete didn't actually take the tongs off the yo-yo clip. When Al asked him to use the tongs to help with the RTG cable deployment, Pete may have been expecting to see them next to the SIDE subpallet where they were supposed to be at this stage of the ALSEP deployment. Alternatively, Pete may have put the tongs next to the subpallet and had forgotten he'd done that.]

117:07:35 Conrad: Okay. I'll go get the rest of the stuff over here. Where (are) we at (in the checklist)?
[Pete's next task is to get the SIDE cable for connection to the Central Station. The tasks that follow that in his checklist - stowing the carry bar, positioning the stool upon which the Passive Seismic Experiment (PSE) will sit, and positioning and aligning package number 1 - are marked with asterisks because they appear on both Pete's and Al's checklists, so that whichever of them is farthest along in his tasks will do them. Pete will retrieve the carry bar at 117:08:42, further indication that he is getting the SIDE cable.]

[Al's next task is to connect the RTG cable to the Central Station and to report the ammeter reading. He doesn't get the cable connected until 117:11:08 and forgets to report the amp reading until Houston reminds him at 117:14:14.]

117:07:39 Bean: Okay. Now we're going to get the easy part.

117:07:42 Conrad: Okay. Take your time.

117:07:43 Bean: Thing's coming out real well.

[Al may be referring to the RTG cable.]
117:07:45 Conrad: The name of the game is to get the ALSEP here. (Running or, at least moving quickly) Whoooom! Up through one crater and over another. (Hearty laugh)

117:07:50 Bean: Oh, man.

117:07:52 Conrad: Does that look as good as it feels?

117:07:55 Bean: It does. Hey, I'll tell you the way to do it. Pete! Tend to rock from side to side as you run. Like that. There you go.

117:08:03 Conrad: (Joyous laugh)

117:08:04 Bean: You really move better that way.

117:08:07 Conrad: Here I come, ready or not. (Pause)

[Evidently, Pete has just run for the first time. He seems to have run for about 20 seconds and is about to return. As discussed after 133:12:31, during the second EVA after having gained some experience in running, Pete and Al ran about 220 meters eastward from Sharp Crater at an average speed of about 4.0 km/hr, of a bit more than one meter per second. Pete probably didn't run that fast this first time and, consequently, ran no more than 20 meters. Evidently, the SIDE subpallet is some distance from where he has been helping Al.]
117:08:15 Bean: Houston, I'm not kidding. We are really getting dirty out here. There's no way to handle all this equipment with all the dust on it. Every time you move something, the dust flies; and, in this low gravity, it really takes off. Goes way up in the air and then comes down and lands on you.

117:08:32 Conrad: How far do you estimate we're from the LM? 600 feet? 700 feet?

117:08:36 Bean: At least.

117:08:37 Conrad: I think you're right. 6(00 or) 700 feet.

[A traverse map made from low-periapsis Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera photo M168353795R indicates the Central Station is about 126 m (413 feet) from the LM.]
117:08:40 Bean: (That's the) way to do it.
[It is impossible to know what Pete has just done. Perhaps Al is still watching Pete run. Pete's next checklist item is still connection of the SIDE cable to the Central Station. HIs next transmission indicates that he is not yet at the Central Station.]
117:08:42 Conrad: Here I come. Dee dee, dee dum. (Long Pause) Dum dum, dum dum. Coming after the (Central Station) antenna mast (which had been serving as the carry bar and was left attached to ALSEP Package 1 that includes the Central Station and holds various experiment packages).

117:09:35 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause) Okay. Let me plug this thing (the RTG cable connector) in (the Central Station base), Pete.

[After a careful review of audio and the available documentation, it seems to me that it is most likely that Pete plugged the SIDE cable into the Central Station during the Long Pause in the transmission Al just finished. With the cable plugged in Pete tries to reach down to remove the carry bar.]
117:09:52 Conrad: I can't get down low enough to get it (the carry bar) off.

117:09:54 Bean: I'll get it for you, if you can't.

117:09:56 Conrad: Okay. Wait a minute. Let me move that dust cover for you.

[They are both working at Package 1. The dust cover in question is probably the Central Station connector dust cover that, as per item "l" near the top of the lefthand column on page 45 in the A12 Lunar Surface Ops Plan, Pete would have removed prior to connecting the SIDE cable. Note that the same item appears as item "m" in Al's list of activities in case he was ready to connect the RTG cable before Pete as ready to connect the SIDE cable. Pete may have simply dropped the cover on the ground and, now, notices that it may be in Al's way and picks it up.]
117:09:59 Bean: How's that strike you? Okay. (Garbled)...

117:10:04 Conrad: Hey! Look at that (dust cover) go. (Responding to Al) Strikes me pretty good. I'll be tamping the dirt around this Central Station.

[It is impossible to know what Al meant by 'How's that strike you?' or who threw the dust cover. One possibility is that Pete handed it to Al so he had both hands free to deal with the carry bar. Pete is tamping the dirt around the Central Station in preparation for tilting it down onto its base for levelling and alignment.]
117:10:13 Bean: Okay. (Pause) You're going to have to design things with little legs on them or something, so you can put them down and they stand off the soil. (Laughs)

117:10:23 Conrad: If we had that suit we could bend over in, we'd have the job done by now.

117:10:27 Bean: Hey, can you push down on this side of that?

[Al is having trouble connecting the RTG cable to the Central Station.]
117:10:29 Conrad: Yes. My biggest sweat is trying to bend over. Wait a minute. Ready, get set, push. That on, or not?

117:10:35 Bean: I don't think so.

117:10:36 Conrad: I don't think so.

117:10:38 Bean: No, let me look at it a second. Here we are.

117:10:41 Conrad: Which way do you want this?

117:10:42 Bean: Under there.

117:10:43 Conrad: Under. (Pause) I had to really push that other one (that is, the SIDE cable connector). Look at all that dust! (Pause)

117:10:53 Bean: Okay now... (Pause) Wait a second. Wait a second. Let me get it with you. (Pause)

117:11:01 Conrad: Ready? (Pause) That got her.

117:11:04 Bean: That did it, now.

117:11:05 Conrad: That did it.

117:11:06 Bean: Now we won't touch the shorting button.

[The shorting circuit allows current from the RTG to flow through some resistance without going through the experiments. Only when the experiments are all connected will they push the shorting switch and divert the current flow out of the shorting circuit.]
117:11:08 Bean: (To Houston) Okay. We've connected the RTG to the Central Station, Houston. And we're ready to go to work deploying the experiments.

117:11:15 Conrad: I('ve) got the antenna mast.

117:11:16 Bean: All right.

117:11:17 Conrad: Dee dum, dee dum. (Long Pause)

[Pete is putting the antenna mast on the SIDE subpallet, possibly to keep it out of the dust and/or to make it easy to grab later.]
117:11:33 Gibson: Pete, did you experience any trouble with the dust cover on the SIDE?

117:11:41 Conrad: It opened, Houston, and we closed it again, and we got no dirt on it, fortunately.

117:11:50 Gibson: Roger, Pete. Well done. (Long Pause)

117:12:11 Conrad: Okay. Let me tamp the dirt down underneath the Central Station. Hey, easy does...Whoops! (Laughing) That's me.

117:12:19 Bean: What happened?

117:12:21 Conrad: Oh, I started to walk away with the Central Station attached to the UHT via the little gizzy.

117:12:29 Bean: Okay. The RTG's down and cooking.

117:12:30 Conrad: Okay. I'm tamping the dirt, here.

117:12:33 Bean: Okay.

[Pete is probably still tamping down soil to form a base for the Central Station.]
117:12:34 Conrad: Have I got it tamped pretty good? Look over where I'm tamping. How am I doing?

117:12:38 Bean: Looks good. Need a little bit more this way, I think. The problem with tamping, Pete, it looks like every time you tamp that, as your foot comes up, you know it...

117:12:46 Conrad: Yeah, (garbled)

117:12:47 Bean: ...it redusts the area.

117:12:49 Conrad: Yeah. Okay. (Pause) Here we go, Al. (Pause) Now, take your UHT, there...

117:12:55 Bean: And move that.

117:12:56 Conrad: ...and keep the SIDE cable clear.

117:12:57 Bean: Sounds good.

[ALSEP package 1 has been standing on edge. The base of package 1 is the Central Station. After they remove the experiment packages, Pete will configure the Central Station by raising the top and, with it, a pre-attached thermal curtain. He will then assemble and aim the antenna. For the moment, Pete and Al are tipping package 1 over onto its base so that they can remove the experiment packages. ]
117:12:58 Conrad: All right.

117:12:59 Bean: Go, babe.

117:13:00 Conrad: Here she comes. Over she goes. (Pause) Get it right down the Sun mark.

[Knowing where the Sun is supposed to be at this point in the mission, they can use a shadow device to align the package in a predetermined direction so that, later, Pete's antenna alignment job will be relatively straight forward.]
117:13:07 Bean: No. There you go.

117:13:09 Conrad: How's that?

117:13:10 Bean: That's good.

117:13:12 Conrad: Okay.

117:13:14 Bean: Ready to go to work.

[Al's next task is to deploy the passive seismometer(PSE).]
117:13:15 Conrad: Go. Have at it. (Pause) Okay; what have I got. Let's see. I've got to get the solar wind, huh?
[Pete's next task is on the checklist page that starts with "1+58, SWE Deploy". Apollo 12 carried two solar wind experiments. The first was the Solar Wind Collector (SWC), the foil "window shade" that Al deployed near the LM at the start of the EVA as per his checklist at 0+57. That experiment captures solar wind atoms for return to Earth and determination of the relative abundances of the various constituents. The experiment Pete is about to deploy is the Solar Wind Spectrometer - usually referred to as the SWS but, here, as the SWE - which uses a device called a Faraday Cup to determine the flux (flow rate) of the solar wind as a whole.]
117:13:22 Bean: Solar wind. I'm going to do the... (Pause) I better... (Pause)

117:13:38 Conrad: Houston, how we doing on the timeline? (No answer; Long Pause) Do you read me. Al?

117:13:59 Bean: Sure do.

117:14:00 Conrad: Hello, Houston. How we doing on the timeline? (No answer; Pause)

[They are both at 1 hour 58 minutes in their checklists. They started the final depress at 115:08 and, therefore, they are 2 hours 6 minutes into the EVA. Despite all the problems they have been having, they are only 8 minutes behind schedule.]
117:14:09 Bean: They may be talking to Yankee Clipper. (Not true; Pause)

117:14:14 Gibson: Al, did you have a reading on the shorting amps?

117:14:19 Conrad: Wait a minute. I'll get it.

[Houston wants to know how much current is flowing through the shorting circuit. Al's checklist calls for such a report, but he neglected to do it.]
117:14:20 Conrad: Hold the phone. Do you read me, Houston?

117:14:24 Gibson: Sure do; go ahead.

117:14:29 Conrad: Yeah; I was asking you how we were doing on the timeline? (No answer; Long Pause) Can't see that (shorting amp) needle anywhere. Can you, Al?

117:15:00 Bean: Let me see it. Let me help you. Doesn't it show any amps?

117:15:05 Conrad: Place is covered with dust.

117:15:06 Gibson: Pete and Al, at 2 hours and 7 minutes into the EVA, you're about 5 minutes behind.

117:15:15 Conrad: (Responding to Gibson) Okay.

117:15:16 Bean: Hold me a little bit.

117:15:17 Conrad: Wait a minute. Going back to Min cooling. What do you need?

117:15:22 Bean: Hold me and I'll look.

117:15:24 Conrad: Oh, okay. Easy, don't... (Pause)

[Pete may be holding Al's hand while he tries to get close enough to the meter to see the needle. The meter is on the Central Station base and is only a couple of inches off the ground.]
117:15:29 Bean: I don't even see a needle in there.

117:15:30 Conrad: I don't either. That's what's bothering me. It's not reading zero, and I don't see a needle.

117:15:34 Bean: I don't even see a needle in there. Houston.

117:15:36 Conrad: Yeah. Okay. Let's quit screwing with it. (Pause) (Let's) get on the timeline.

117:15:42 Bean: Wonder where it went. (Long Pause)

117:16:27 Conrad: Houston, did you get our last comment?

117:16:31 Gibson: Negative, Pete. Go ahead.

117:16:36 Conrad: We can't see a needle in the shorting amps (meter) anywhere. It's not at zero. It's not in sight.

117:16:45 Gibson: Roger. We copy. Go ahead. (Long Pause)

117:17:30 Bean: What I've done for the seismometer, Houston, is I've sort of dug a little crater so that, essentially, the hole in the center of the stool has full clearance between it and the ground. Hopefully, this will keep the SIDE (means the seismometer) from getting in (contact with) the ground at all.

117:18:01 Gibson: Roger, Al. That's good. Go ahead.

117:18:04 Bean: I mean the seismometer. (To Gibson) We'll see how it works. It looks like it might work. I tamped it also in the small crater there. (Pause)

[As per the eighth item under 1+48 in Pete's checklist, he was supposed to 'Position PSE Stool'. He didn't report doing that and may have left it for Al to deploy.]
117:18:16 Conrad: Okay. I've got the solar wind deployed here.

117:18:19 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Just a minute. (Pause) Boy, you really have to be careful of these cables, don't you? (Pause) Okay. Looks good. Looks good.

117:18:46 Conrad: Okay. (Pause)

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The only (experiment) I deployed was the solar wind and it went exactly as advertised. I checked the four legs down, took it out the proper distance, aligned it, and turned her loose."]

[As per checklist, Pete takes a photo documenting the SWE deployment. This is AS12-46-6812. Figure 3-6 from the Mission Report shows the SWE location approximately 13 ft (4.0 m) south of the Central Station. Note that the SIDE pallet is near the tip of the SWE's shadow. The current time is 13:40 UTC on 19 November 1969. The solar elevation and azimuth are 91 degrees and 8.6 degrees, respectively. The SWE is 35 cm tall, so its shadow length on level ground is 2.3 meters.]

117:18:50 Conrad: (Consulting his checklist) Okay. After the solar wind, I get an EMU check and I'm down to Min cooling anyhow, and it says "LSM (Lunar Surface Magnetometer) off-load, two Boyd bolts" Wait a minute. Let me by.
[The EMU or Extravehicular Mobility Unit, is the combination of suit, backpack, and everything else they are wearing. An EMU check is, formally, a check of the suit pressure and the remaining oxygen supply. EMU checks are called out at several places in the checklist. On this and later missions, Houston sometimes asked for an unscheduled EMU check and, when they did so, were actually saying that the flight surgeon - who was monitoring their heart rates - thought they were working too hard and needed to slow down for a moment.]

[The reason that Pete asks Al to let him by is that they are both working around the Central Station and need to be aware of the chance of bumping into each other. Pete will offload the magnetometer from the Central Station pallet and Al will remove the seismometer. Pete will deploy the magnetometer about 50 ft (15 m) southeast of the Central Station while Al will deploy the seismometer about 10 feet east.]

[Figure 1-1 from the 1969 ALSEP manual shows the two ALSEP packages resting on their bases. Earlier, Al picked a spot for Package 2 and then placed Package 1 ten feet (3 meters) east of Package 1. The base of package 1 is also the base of the Central Station. The dark arrows indicate the final orientation of the base, with all the electrical connections on the south face. Pete has already removed the SWE experiment and has deployed it 13 feet (4 meters) to the south. Al is removing the PSE canister, which occupies the south-east corner of package 1, and will deploy it ten feet to the east. Pete will remove the Lunar Surface Magnetometer (LSM), which is on the north side of package 1 and, as indicated in the LSM offload procedures from the Lunar Surface Operations Plan, will place it ten feet (3 meters) to the southeast for Al to finish the deployment later. Training film available on the Spacecraft Films Apollo 12 set (ken is making a clip) indicates that Pete offloads the magnetometer while standing on the north side. Pete may be going around the east side of Package 1 to get to the north side.]

117:19:03 Bean: Wait a minute. Okay. (Pause) Say, we have to be careful. Don't move sideways or backwards. You just don't know what's there. You've always got to move forwards.

117:19:14 Conrad: Yeah. (Pause)

[Bean - "You couldn't look down at your feet. And, if you started moving backwards, you're going to run into those cables and stuff."]

[Jones - "Your concern here was specifically about cables?"]

[Bean - "And the experiments. Actually, those things were (in) pretty close quarters when you got your suit and everything on. Because you're thrashing around up there and you're fairly clumsy. And if you started backing up, you'd go over something as John Young found out (when he caught a foot in an experiment cable and pulled it loose). It's hard to miss all that and, if it gets dirt on it, you don't even see it. We were just lucky we didn't."]

[Jones - "How about out on open terrain, just running around?"]

[Bean - "I don't think it makes any difference. You do trip more going backwards. I tripped a couple of times going backwards."]

[Conrad - "Other than falling in a hole you don't see."]

[Bean - "Your balance isn't as good bouncing backwards. Actually, you're in pretty close quarters for two people and all those experiments, although it looked like they're far away (from each other). All those cables are twisting and turning, and some of them are standing up. You know, they're not laying down nice and even."]

[Because of the weak lunar gravity and the long time the cables have been folded or coiled up inside the experiments, they retain memory for quite a long time and don't lie flat on the ground.]

117:19:21 Gibson: Pete, we copy an EMU check.

117:19:23 Bean: (Garbled) this way a little bit.

[Al may have just asked Pete to move the PSE stool. Note that Pete's transmission at 117:20:01 indicates that, by that time, he had released one of the two Boyd bolts holding the magnetometer on Package 1 and, therefore, had been at the north side.]
117:19:27 Conrad: Shove it?

117:19:29 Bean: Just put your thing (UHT) in the holder, and move it over this way a little bit.

117:19:35 Conrad: I'm not sure I can do that; but I'll give it a try.

117:19:41 Bean: Watch it. There you go.

117:19:43 Conrad: How's that for one-footed la-dee-da?

117:19:48 Bean: Pretty good.

[Whatever Pete just did, his next transmission suggests that it has something to do with the SWE cable.]
117:19:50 Conrad: (If) you make me knock my solar wind over, I'm going to be mad at you.
[It is not clear what is going on here. The SWE is 4 meters south of the the Central Station. Pete was standing at the north side of of the Central Station. The only plausible way he could disturb the SWE would be to catch his foot under the cable and pull the instrument out of alignment. The only way Pete could have done that is if he went around the west side of the Central Station and then east to get to the stool.]
117:19:53 Bean: Okay. Here; just a second. Let me give you a hand. (Pause) Let me show you...You hold it there.
[Evidently, Al ended up positioning the stool and asks Pete to use his UHT to hold it in in place while Al gets the seismometer off the Central Station and then places it on the stool.]
117:20:01 Conrad: (Watching Al lift the seismometer) Hey, don't touch that (magnetometer). I've got one Boyd bolt off it.

117:20:05 Bean: (Garbled)

117:20:06 Conrad: Huh?

117:20:07 Bean: (Not sure of what Pete means) Want me to help you move it that way?

117:20:09 Conrad: No. It's got one Boyd bolt out of that magnetometer.

117:20:11 Bean: Okay. Okay. Go ahead.

[Jones - "Can you give me an estimate of how many times you did this deployment in training?"]

[Bean - "I'd say a dozen is a good estimate. We knew how to do this, but those Boyd bolts were always hard. One thing you found out about spaceflight, there's so many things you're doing that things don't always go right. Boyd bolts don't loosen. Sometimes the UHT doesn't fit in the hole."]

[Conrad - "You don't realize how much one g helps you, sometimes. You don't realize that one g's helping you. Putting that tool (UHT) in a Boyd bolt..."]

[Bean - "One g helps you lean over; it helps you push in."]

[Conrad - "Yeah. Helps you lean over; you get a better look at it. And that was another reason I don't think we felt we needed those (guide) collars. We'd have felt better, in one-sixth g, if we'd have been able to just be able to look at the thing, even if you're coming at it from an angle, and then stick it in. You wouldn't have to worry about having it absolutely straight up and down."]

[Bean - "And then, (with the sleeve) you can't see in there."]

[Conrad - "Having it (meaning the UHT) straight up and down was real easy in one g; it wasn't up there."]

[Bean - "And it was a lot darker inside those little collars. So, when you stuck it in the hole, you weren't sure if it was lined up to connect."]

[Conrad - "They were a real pain."]

[Bean - "And that's what's going on here. And I think it's just normal, because you're doing so much stuff. There's no way to make it all just perfect. It's like car repair."]

[Conrad - "The timeline they put together was our really best estimate of how long it was going to take to do something. And, as you can see, we were slowly falling behind. And I think you can pick out all the reasons."]

[Jones - "When you designed the timeline, was it based on how long it took you in one g? Or was there some padding (that is, some allowance for the unexpected) in there?"]

[Conrad - "Well, I think we put a little educated guess in there. But we used to run a four-hour EVA, in one g, weighing 300 pounds. And there were places where weighing 300 pounds bothered us. And there were places where it was helping."]

[Bean - "I don't think it was quite 300, because the backpack was sort of a lightweight (mock-up). (True) Everything else was normal weight, but they had a different kind of backpack."]

[Conrad - "For some reason, I thought they were weighted...Well, maybe not. Maybe that's another reason we were a little bit different standing up in one g than we were up there."]

[Bean - "Because I can remember they (members of the support team) had to follow us with the cooling hose."]

[Jones - "What kind of cooling did you have, air or water?"]

[Conrad - "I believe we had air."]

[Bean - "That's what I think, too. Later on, they changed it (to ice water that was circulated through the Liquid-Cooled Garment, starting with Apollo 16). You just didn't have all that stuff (that is, the oxygen and cooling water and associated fans and pumps). The guys had to carry it around. You couldn't carry all that weight; and, of course, the backpack (sublimator) wouldn't have worked on Earth, anyhow. So they had to carry it (the air-cooling gear) around. And I don't think they had water cooling for us. We didn't put that part of our suit on (meaning the Liquid Cooled Garment or LCG), and they just blew more air through those hoses, sort of like suit ventilators except they just kept doing it. They could pressurize you and (the training) was a lot of hard work. I think that's why the work (on the Moon) didn't bother us, except - like Pete pointed out - that the gravity makes a lot of difference, 'cause you can't bend over as easy, when you need to. One-sixth g has got some advantage; but, if you have to bend over, then it's a disadvantage because you don't bend over so far or so easy."]

[Conrad - "The practice deployments were good physical training."]

[Bean - "Yeah. I can remember the first time we did all this; man, we were just really dragging. And then, as each time we did it - 'cause we'd do it about once a week..."]

[Conrad - "We got physically more adapted to it."]

[Bean - "We could do it better and we physically got better at it."]

[Jones - "Is this in the interval between 11 and your flight, or prior to 11?"]

[Conrad - "Well, we had started some of it before 11. Obviously we were going to have an ALSEP all along. I remember doing it unsuited a lot, in the beginning..."]

[Bean - "To learn how to do it. Probably when we finished (as the backup crew on Apollo) 9, then we started doing these things, as best we could."]

[Conrad - "The thing that came late was the Surveyor."]

[Jones - "Apollo 9 was in March of '69. So you would have had ten months to train as the 12 prime crew."]

[Conrad - "But we were on a schedule to go sooner than we did. Until July, we were on for September (instead of November)."]

[Had the first lunar landing not been accomplished on Apollo 11, a September launch of Apollo 12 and a launch of Apollo 13 in December would have given NASA two more chance to achieve the Kennedy goal of landing before the 'decade was out'. Thanks to the success of Apollo 11, NASA could lengthen the interval between missions to allow more preparation and the addition of new capabilities.]

[Jones - "It was a short training cycle."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, but we had a long cycle on 9. So all of that (spacecraft and flight) stuff we had down cold."]

[Bean - "All the LM..."]

[Conrad - "It wasn't like we were starting cold."]

[Bean - "...doing the rendezvousing, so we were able to take those basic skills we'd developed and put it over on this. Nobody could have done this from a standing start. Just no way to learn it all. There's too much to learn. None of it's hard. There's just a lot."]

[Jones - "One of the advantages the J guys (the crews of Apollo's 15, 16, and 17) had is that they trained as backups to landing missions."]

117:20:15 Conrad: All we're doing is making a mess. You'd be better off...Let me...Listen, can you...Leave it; leave it sit. Let me hold that. You put that stool back here closer.

117:20:23 Bean: Okey-dokey.

[An interpretation of this exchange and the dialog after 117:24:52 is that Pete to leave the magnetometer alone until after he helps Al with the PSE.]
117:20:24 Conrad: Am I over all the cables?

117:20:26 Bean: Okay.

117:20:27 Conrad: Huh?

117:20:28 Bean: Now you're okay.

117:20:29 Conrad: I got it?

117:20:30 Bean: Yeah. (Garbled)

117:20:33 Conrad: Take the clip off.

117:20:34 Bean: Okay.

117:20:35 Conrad: All right. Now; you move your stool back. (Pause)

117:20:45 Bean: (Garbled)

117:20:49 Conrad: Okay. Take your EMU break.

117:20:53 Bean: I am.

[Pete is telling Al to rest for a moment.]
117:20:54 Bean: I'm trying to stay away from...That's a nice job on that solar wind.

117:20:58 Conrad: Thank you.

117:21:01 Bean: You've got to be careful you don't kick dirt on them once we get them set down. I guess the way you could do it is have it some sort of package and the package'd get all the dirt.

117:21:10 Conrad: What are you doing anyhow?

117:21:13 Bean: Well, I had to get this... (Pause) Oh, I'm sorry.

117:21:21 Conrad: Here you go; move it up right here where my footprints are.

117:21:23 Bean: Okay. Wait a minute.

117:21:25 Conrad: That a boy. That a boy. Now, don't...Doing good. There; now, kind of tamp it right around in there. That a boy.

117:21:46 Bean: They took off the central (garbled). (Pause)

[The raw NASA transcript gives Al's words as "It could go off the central peak." In preparation for the Apollo 12 mission review done with Pete and Al in September 1991, I used the mission audio to correct the transcripts and thought I heard Al say "They took off the central BB." In 2013, Thomas Schwagmeier suggested that Al had not said "BB". In listening to the audio again, I agree. Indeed, in the extract from the Crew Technical Debriefing reproduced below, Al specifically mentions having looked at the BB leveling device. The question of what had been removed from the top of the PSE remains unanswered.]

[The PSE was one of two pieces of scientific equipment that the Apollo 11 crew also deployed. On both flights, the experiment had a device on top to help the astronauts get it properly leveled. On 11, that device consisted of a BB - a small metal ball - in a small cup marked with concentric rings. Because of the low gravity field, the BB on Aldrin's PSE wouldn't come to rest in the bottom of the cup while he was trying to get the instrument leveled, and gave him considerable trouble. For Apollo 12, a bubble level was added so that Al could see which method worked best.]

[Bean - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "The addition of the bubble level to the top of the passive seismic was a good one. I noticed it was really easy to level the experiment with that. While I was doing it, I kept an eye on the little BB in the bowl-leveling scheme. It was just rolling all over the place, as it had for Buzz when he tried it on Apollo 11. I don't think that's the way to go for any other leveling. I think this bubble works real well, and it works pretty fast."]

117:21:55 Bean: (Positioning the PSE stool) Now, let's see what happens if we set it right... (Pause)

117:21:59 Conrad: That's good.

117:22:01 Bean: That looks like it'd be okay, doesn't it?

117:22:02 Conrad: Yeah.

117:22:03 Bean: Just a second. Let me do a couple of things. (Pause) Do this; back this out. I take it and knock a little bit out of there.

117:22:12 Conrad: Pull it over a little bit more and level it up.

117:22:16 Bean: Yeah, this doesn't need to be level. Okay. That's got kind of a deeper hole there in the center.

117:22:22 Conrad: Yeah. You're in good shape. That doesn't have to level, huh?

117:22:24 Bean: No, because the other one levels on this stool.

117:22:27 Conrad: Okay. Push it down a little bit.

117:22:29 Bean: Okay. That's a good idea.

117:22:32 Conrad: Seat it. (Pause)

117:22:35 Bean: Looking good. Looking good.

117:22:37 Conrad: Just give me the tongs, and I'll put them away.

117:22:39 Bean: Okay.

[Pete is probably putting the tongs back on his yo-yo.]
117:22:42 Conrad: Get with it and I'll start opening Boyd bolts. (Pause)
[Pete is going back to the Central Station, either to finish releasing the magnetometer or to start on his next task of releasing the Central Station's sunshade.]
117:22:52 Bean: Yup. That's going to do okay, Pete.

117:22:55 Conrad: Thank you.

117:22:56 Bean: Yeah.

117:22:59 Conrad: All righty. (Long Pause) If I wasn't at 3.7 psi, I'd whistle while I work. I can't do it. (Four, short, monotonic, breathy attempts) (Garbled; Long Pause)

[Jones - "Could you whistle?"]

[Conrad - "No, you can't at 3.7. You can't do it at 5, either. Couldn't do it in the spacecraft; and couldn't do it in Skylab."]

MP3 Audio Clip (43 min 20 sec)

117:23:34 Bean: Okay. That seismometer's right in position now. Here's hoping...here's hoping nothing happens to it.

117:23:46 Conrad: Looks real good, Al.

117:23:47 Bean: Yeah, it does. It looks like it's going to clear. Houston, looks like digging that little hole might work. Setting up there nice now. And it looks like maybe it's not going to get down in the hole. Maybe we did it. Let's just see.

117:24:05 Gibson: Roger, Al. We concur; it sounds like a good plan. (Long Pause)

117:24:20 Bean: Whoops. (Pause) You know something? Look at that.

117:24:32 Conrad: What?

117:24:34 Bean: Well, I (should) put a little dirt on it, I guess. When I put out the skirt of this foil, it doesn't want to lie down. I guess because it's been folded so long. I guess I can probably just spread it out. (Pete chuckles; Pause) It acts almost like it gets a little static charge on it. It's resisting the lunar surface. I'm sure that isn't it.

117:24:52 Conrad: Hey, stop one second.

117:24:53 Bean: Watch out. Don't come across...

117:24:54 Conrad: I know. That's why (what) I want you to do is come take it.

117:24:58 Bean: Okay.

[This exchange suggests Pete has just finished releasing the magnetometer and wants Al to take a break from deploying the PSE thermal skirt to get the magnetometer out of the way.]
117:24:59 Conrad: That (connecting) cable isn't even unreeling. See, it's perfect. Take it out there and set it. That a boy.

117:25:06 Bean: It's right behind there. You may...

117:25:08 Conrad: There you go.

117:25:09 Bean: ...want to just take it. (Pause) You might want to trip it off that thing, Pete.

[The cable is draped on something.]
117:25:17 Conrad: Trip it off what?

117:25:18 Bean: It's on that post.

117:25:20 Conrad: Oh. All right. (Pause) (I see) what you're talking about. (Pause)

117:25:23 Bean: (Aligning the PSE or setting the magnetometer down) That shadow's going to be just right. Looking okay.

117:25:30 Conrad: Ah, fiddle dee diddle. Come on. (Pause)

[Bean - "This wasn't what I was used to hearing in training. When things like this happened, Pete usually said things like 'You son of a bitch!' or 'Goddamn Boyd bolts'. And all of a sudden we hear these moderate things. Who's this guy with me in that other suit?"]

[Conrad - "He came to me one day before the flight and he said, 'Aren't you worried about swearing during the flight?' And I said, 'No, I've been doing it all my life. I know when to and when not to. It's guys like you who are going to slip.'"]

[Bean - "You didn't slip."]

[Conrad - "No, but you came close. (Hearty laughter) I had him worried!"]

[Bean - "That's right. You never said one. (Laughing) 'Who is that guy in the other suit over there? With this 'fiddle-dee-dee.' I'm sure I'd never heard that one. He didn't even know how to say it right! He didn't know how to do a mild curse."]

[Journal Contributor Ken Glover notes that Al has already used "damn" once in this EVA and will do so again at 117:42:18.]

[Journal Contributor Andy Chaikin calls attention to the following extract from an interview done with former PAO Director Brian Duff at the National Air and Space Museum in 1989: "Pete Conrad--someone else I'm very fond of--came in before his flight and said that we had to reinstate the ten-second delay, which is one of the devices that protects television people from mistakes on the air. I said, 'Pete, I'm not going to do it. We worked too hard to get this. It's part of the tradition of the space program now. We do not have a delay, we have live air to ground with no delay. They hear it absolutely as it comes down, they hear it at the same time, and they see it at the same time you do.' I said, 'The scientists out JPL don't like it. They want to see this first. We're not going to do that. It's going to come straight down from the spacecraft they're going to see it the same time you see it.' He said, 'I'm going to embarrass you. We can't clean up our language, and we're going to embarrass our families and NASA and the whole space program.' He said, 'You've got to do something to clean it up and cut out the swear words.' I said, 'Pete, we're not going to do it.' He said, 'Well, it's your problem. It's going to be your fault.' I said, 'No, it's going to be your fault.' The result was--if you've ever listened to a tape of that flight, it is the most Boy Scout, full of expressions like 'gee whiz, golly whiskers, holy smoke, gosh, isn't that a great big rock there?' and things like that. Of course there was no swearing."]

117:25:47 Conrad: Hey, everything is going great, but that whistle (on the comm circuit) is driving me nuts. Bothering you?

117:25:54 Bean: A little bit. (Pause) Okay.

117:26:10 Conrad: Oh, darn! I can't help but get dirt on this darn thing, no matter how careful I am.

[Pete is probably releasing the Boyd bolts that are holding down the Central Station top and sunshade. In the process of moving from one to the next, he is kicking dirt onto what will be the top of the Central Station.]
117:26:19 Bean: I don't think there's a way, Pete. I don't think there's a way. (Pause) Unless you got, you know, where you could put it out in a package and then your last step - like the SIDE over there - it just deploys off the thermal wrapping - or your dirt protector - and you end up with a nice, clean experiment sitting there. (Pause)

117:26:48 Conrad: How we doing on the timeline, Houston?

RealAudio Clip ( 38 min 40 sec )

117:26:53 Gibson: Stand by, Pete. (Long Pause)

117:27:09 Conrad: Wheee! (Hearty Laugh)

117:27:12 Bean: What happened?

117:27:14 Conrad: Oh, it's just the way things (one of the Boyd bolts) pop off down here in one-sixth g. (Pause) Won't be long and I'll get to my favorite task, pointing the (Central Station) antenni (sic).

117:27:29 Gibson: Pete, we show you're about 8 to 10 minutes behind but it's no sweat. You've got lots of oxygen and feedwater. We'll give you an update on the time remaining when you finish deploying ALSEP.

117:27:42 LM Crew: Okay.

117:27:43 Bean: Good. Looks like it's going real good. Houston. (On) this seismometer, I'm having a little trouble making the skirt lie down; but, other than that, it looks good. It doesn't want to just lay flat like it does on Earth at one g. It sort of wants to slip up. I guess it's just because it's this memory in it from being folded so long, and...

117:28:08 Gibson: Roger, Al. You can make a two-man task out of that and put a little dirt around the outside edge to hold it down if you like. (Pause) You won't have any trouble getting a little dirt on it, will you?

117:28:20 Bean: Houston, I noticed that if I just... (Pause, hearing the second part of Gibson's remark) I'm pushing it down. (Pause) That'll do it. (Pause) Okay, Pete. Let me level it (the PSE) up. I think it's pretty near level. It's lined up exactly. (Pause) See if I can give it a couple of pushes.

117:28:49 Conrad: I got this feeling there's a couple of Boyd bolts that I haven't done here (garbled). (Long Pause)

[Conrad - "You didn't really know, in fact, that you got a Boyd bolt completely undone with those alignment covers (the guide tubes). You couldn't see in there."]

[Bean - "I remember on Earth we'd do that, sometimes. We'd try to get it out and then we'd have to fool with all of them to find the one that wasn't undone."]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "My experience working the Boyd bolts is that you can do them a heck of a lot faster it they don't have those little alignment tubes on them. I don't know how Pete feels about this, but I recommend that you throw those off and just use the Boyd bolts. I could always stick my tool in there a lot faster when there were no tubes, and I can also see when the little bolts jump up a lot better."]

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The Boyd bolts, as Al pointed out, were no problem, (although) it would probably be easier if the cups were lower (that is, if the guide tubes were shorter). The bolts should be kept covered with tape, though, because of the dust problem."]

[The Apollo 12 guide tubes - or 'sleeves' - were covered with red-orange foil to keep dust out until a UHT was inserted in the sleeve for release of the Boyd bolt. A detail from AS12-46-6814 shows some sleeves on the top of the Central Station with the pierced foil covers still in place. Ken Glover suggests that Pete's comment that "the bolts should be kept covered with tape" means that Pete thinks the foil covering is a good idea and should be retained for future missions.]

117:29:12 Bean: This thing looks level as can be to me. (Pause) Looks good.

117:29:20 Gibson: Roger, Al. Copy. You have the bubble centered. (Pause)

117:29:30 Bean: I'll tell you an interesting thing about this bubble, Houston. (Pause) No. It's okay. It's okay.

[On Apollo 17, the bubble on the Central Station stuck to the edge of its container and Jack Schmitt had some considerable trouble breaking it loose. It is possible that Al's bubble hung up momentarily as he made a final adjustment.]
117:29:44 Conrad: (Slowly enunciating each word) I am not happy here, Al. I'm afraid some of these Boyd bolts...There's not enough of them, and I don't understand why.

117:29:57 Bean: Why, one of them didn't do or what?

117:29:59 Conrad: Well, I don't know. I haven't the foggiest idea. I thought all of them did.

117:30:04 Bean: Looked like you're well ahead of the time.

117:30:06 Bean: Hey, take your stick and kick a little dirt up on it right there (on the skirt).

117:30:11 Conrad: Huh?

117:30:12 Bean: Take your stick and just put a little dirt on the edge. Just on the edge, though. Not much. (Pause)

117:30:21 Conrad: Uh-oh. (Garbled) bad news.

117:30:23 Bean: That's okay.

117:30:23 Conrad: I won't do that anymore.

117:30:24 Bean: That's okay; that skirt'll stay down enough. (Pause) Okay. That's complete. Let me take a couple of pictures. (Pause) Okay. Houston. The passive seismic is down; the alignment is exactly 90 degrees. And I'm going to take a couple pictures of it here.

[Al's PSE documentation photos are AS12-47-6916 to 6918.]

[Bean - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "The aluminum foil, the skirt, didn't want to lie down. It wasn't that it had memory. When I placed it near the ground, the many layers seemed to separate. The skirt seemed to have some kind of static charge to it that would not allow it to touch the ground. It took quite a little pushing to get it to lie down on the ground. The only way I could make it lie flat was to put a little dirt on it, which I tried. But that wasn't a very good idea, because it's difficult to put little clods of dirt on it. I later got some Boyd bolt (sleeves) and made the little alignment tubes sit on it. That worked real well; it held down the skirt pretty well."]

[The Apollo 12 Mission Report repeats Al's comments about separation of the layers and indicates that delamination had been anticipated. "For Apollo 13 and subsequent spacecraft, the shroud lamination will be spot sewed together at intervals around the periphery, a weight will be sewed to each of the six attach-pullout points on the shroud, and a 5-foot diameter Teflon blanket will be added for thermal control to decrease solar degradation."]

117:30:51 Conrad: Hey, Al.

117:30:52 Bean: Yes, sir?

117:30:54 Conrad: I don't know what's the matter, but something is...There it is. (Pause)

117:31:00 Bean: Hey; look and see if the lens on my camera looks clean?

117:31:04 Conrad: Huh? Wait a minute. (Pause)

[Both of them have been kicking up dirt as they move around and Al wonders if any has gotten on his camera lens.]
117:31:13 Bean: There, you got it made.

117:31:15 Conrad: No, I don't either. I don't know what's the matter.

117:31:17 Bean: Want me to hold down this part while you get that other bolt?

117:31:18 Conrad: Push that center down.

117:31:21 Bean: All right. Oops.

117:31:23 Conrad: There it is.

117:31:23 Bean: You got it. That's beautiful.

117:31:25 Conrad: Easy. (Sustained laugh)

117:31:26 Bean: Man alive. It sure wants to come up, doesn't it? Whoo!

[Up to this point, the Central Station has been a flat package with the top held tight to the bottom by the Boyd bolts. Once Pete released the last of the bolts, springs popped the top upwards about 3 feet, carrying the curtain-like sunshade with it. The foil curtain shimmies and shakes for a few seconds. The best TV coverage of this phase of the Central Station deployment is on Apollo 17.]

[Conrad - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "The sunshield deployment worked perfectly well and as advertised in one-sixth g; it popped up, (and) lifted (the entire Central Station) off the ground, actually. It was a real thrill."]

117:31:29 Conrad: That did it.

117:31:30 Bean: That's beautiful.

117:31:31 Conrad: That did it. (Pause) Houston, Central Station's up.

117:31:42 Gibson: Roger. Copy. Central Station up and (confirming Al's report on the PSE alignment) 90 degrees on the PSE gnomon. (Pause)

117:31:56 Conrad: Hey, Al.

117:31:57 Bean: Yes, sir. (Pause)

117:32:01 Conrad: Never mind. I'll get you in a minute.

117:32:04 Bean: Uh-oh. Don't ever move backwards.

117:32:05 Conrad: Hey, we're going to have to do a lot of... (Pause) What did you do, fall over?

117:32:08 Bean: No.

117:32:08 Conrad: No?

117:32:10 Bean: No, but I just... I didn't even come close, actually. It's just that I think it (his warning about moving backward)'s something you want to follow as a rule. (Pause) But don't kick dirt on this (garbled) right there.

117:32:20 Conrad: (Garbled under Al) right there. (Long Pause)

117:32:44 Conrad: (Garbled) One problem (is that) the Central Station is not really level. (Long Pause)

117:33:01 Conrad: Not too bad.

117:33:04 Bean: (I'll) get a good shot of it here, Pete.

117:33:06 Conrad: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Al's picture AS12-47-6919 shows Pete with the antenna mast in his left hand and, in his right hand, the UHT he is using to release the antenna gimbal assembly. The magnetometer, which Al will deploy next, is in the foreground.]
117:33:35 Bean: Okay. I'll take out the magnetometer. (Pause) Central Station went up so nice.

117:33:44 Conrad: Al, those are my last two Boyd bolts.

[With the gimbal assembly now released, he has no more Boyd bolts to manipulate and is glad of it.]
117:33:47 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause) I'm down in a little crater now, Houston. And, sure enough, right in the bottom of the crater there is a lot softer dust than up on the rim. Not much; but it's noticeable. I don't think the sides are slippery at all. I don't think it's going to bother us going over to get our Surveyor.

117:34:32 Gibson: Roger, Al. We copy.

[Jones - "What you're saying here doesn't agree with the impression I've gotten that the softest soil is generally on the rims of craters."]

[Bean - "In that particular crater. We can't categorize... Before missions, we always try to categorize all craters as being one particular way. But this one was softer at the bottom, and some others were harder at the bottom. Some of them had glass at the bottom, some of them had rocks at the bottom. I think we were worried more about the possibility that, on the slopes of Surveyor Crater, it would be slippery. You know, that the dust would be hanging there and you'd get on it and it would slide you down like snow. But it didn't seem to do it, at least not in Surveyor Crater. I would agree that the thickest dust, generally, was on the rim of craters. But, in this case here, I'm sure it wasn't. All these craters are different. And some of them are newer and had the raised rims. Those are the ones that are soft up there. This might have been an old one and it was level (that is, it lacked a raised rim) and the rim had been knocked off by small meteorites and thrown in the middle and you had a soft fill. There were all kinds. Some of them, you looked down in there and they were - like Pete said - they looked like they had glass. So they weren't soft down there, for sure. And the glass wasn't even covered up. We shouldn't always be looking for one answer in this stuff, but people do have a tendency to want to have a single answer to every question, when there aren't. Before we went, they were always arguing about whether the Moon was volcanic or just impact. Instead of taking a more reasonable approach of probably some of each. Just like the Earth. So, some of these craters are soft in the bottom, and some aren't. And maybe someday people will say, 'well, if it's got a raised lip, generally something.' We were more worried about the sides being slippery at Surveyor."]

[Bean - "People reading this may notice a difference of opinion about how to do different things or about looking at craters. And there shouldn't be an effort to try to find out who's right but, rather, there should be a thought that there is a diversity of observations of things. The first position might be 'there is a difference, and there may be other differences' and that's just the way the world runs."]

117:34:33 Gibson: Are you on your way out with the LSM (Lunar Surface Magnetometer)?

117:34:38 Bean: That's right. Got it right in hand; I'm out at the end of the line (50 ft SSE of the Central Station), and I'm deploying the legs right now.

117:34:46 Gibson: Roger. (Pause)

[This same instrument design will be flown on Apollo 15 and 16.]
117:34:55 Conrad: One antenna mast in place, Houston. Going back for my favorite thing.
[Pete is going to install the Central Station antenna aiming mechanism.]
117:35:05 Gibson: Roger, Pete. Copy antenna mast in place and good luck.

117:35:10 Conrad: What'd you...

117:35:11 Bean: Look at that, Pete.

117:35:12 Conrad: What?

117:35:14 Bean: Hey, one of the fun things here, Houston, is all these Styrofoam packing blocks that are put on there to protect it during shipment or launch. When you take them off and throw them, they really sail. These things stay airborne up for 10 seconds, maybe. (Pause)

[Because the Moon has no appreciable atmosphere, a thrown object will follow a symmetrical trajectory, rising for half the time it is in flight and then falling for the same legth of time. Using Al's 10 second estimate of the flight time, the vertical component of the velocity he imparted to the block is simply calculated. As soon as Al released the block, it's vertical speed decreased at a steady 1.62 meters-per-second per second until, after five seconds, it stopped rising and started to fall. The starting vertical speed is, then, 1.62 x 5 = 8.1 meters per second. In those 5 seconds, the block would have risen about 20 meters. If Al had thrown the block at an initial angle of, say, 30 degrees above horizontal, it's horizontal speed would have been 14.0 m/s and, because horizontal speed is unaffected by gravity, it would have flown out about 140 meters before landing. At release, the block's total speed would have been 16.2 m/s (58 km/hr or 37 miles/hr), which doesn't seem unreasonable for what has to have been a sidearm throw in the stiff/inflated suit. Exercise for the student: I neglected the fact that Al released the block at, say, shoulder height. Does this matter much?]

[Styrofoam blocks were used as protective packing material on several flights and, on 16 and 17, after some of the foam blocks had been sitting out on the surface for a while, heating up in the sunlight, gas trapped in the hollows of the foam pressurized and exploded the foam. In fact, Gene Cernan found one piece out about 100 meters from the spacecraft.]

[Pete's picture of Al deploying the magnetometer is AS12-46-6813.]

117:35:40 Conrad: Got any more thoughts on our TV camera, Houston?

117:35:44 Bean: Hey, Pete? Pete?

117:35:46 Conrad: What?

117:35:47 Bean: Watch this. (They both laugh, probably as they watch another piece of Styrofoam sail off into the distance).

117:35:54 Bean: Try that on... Hey, I just threw something. It hasn't hit the ground yet; it might have gone up 300 feet. (Pete laughs) Boing!

[If Al threw the second block after saying 'Watch this', and it landed when he said 'Boing', it was in flight for 13 seconds, would have had an initial vertical speed of 10.5 m/s and would ahve risen 34 meters. Alternatively, if Al made the throw a second, say, before Pete started to laugh, it was in flight for about 10 seconds and would have risen about 20 meters. Clearly, Al's '300 feet' is a considerable overestimate. However, as the first person to thrown a styrofoam cube anything like that far - not to mention being the first person to thrown one on the Moon - he wouldn't have had much experience that would help in making a distance/height estimate.]
117:36:01 Conrad: (Laughing) Stop playing and get to work. (Laughing). Come on. Maybe they'll extend us until 4-1/2 hours. I feel like I could stay out here all day.

117:36:08 Bean: I know it.

117:36:08 Conrad: (Garbled) holds up. (Pause)

[Early in the EVA, Pete's heart rate was between 110 and 120 beats per minute, except for the few minutes when he was hopping around taking the sequence of three panoramas and got his heart rate up to 140-150 beats per minute, his heart rate has been declining steadily, presumably as he learned to move efficiently in one-sixth gravity. His current heart rate is averaging about 95. Al's heart rate is currently about 85-90, having started the EVA at about 100 and having peaked at about 140 while he was doing the LM inspection and again while he was carry the ALSEP packages out to the deployment site.]
117:36:11 Bean: Right there. This is going to be a good place for the magnetometer.

117:36:21 Gibson: Pete, we've been thinking on that (TV) camera, and when you get back (to the LM), we'll have a test for you to run on it. It looks as though part of it's come back. And we're going to try and see what we can salvage.

117:36:34 Conrad: Okay. (Pause)

117:36:42 Bean: What do you think happened to it, Houston? (Pause)

117:36:51 Gibson: Al, we're not sure on that. Why don't you wait until you get back to the LM, and we'll work it out a bit and see if we can determine it?

117:37:05 Bean: All right.

117:37:07 Conrad: Hey, Al?

117:37:08 Bean: Yes.

117:37:10 Conrad: See, that nice ...

117:37:11 Bean: Hey, that's weird. (They both laugh) On Earth, they (magnetometer arms) just flop out in position. Here they don't even want to stay. There they go.

117:37:22 Conrad: (Chuckling) That thing hit the ground and it's still bouncing. (Pause)

[Conrad - "I threw something. I must have thrown something and you were doing the arms and they don't stay down, and then I'm laughing again and said 'that thing hit the ground and it's still bouncing'. So I must have thrown something at the same time you got the arms."]
117:37:34 Bean: (Pleased with how easily the magnetometer is deploying) That's slick. That's really slick! (Pause) Boy, I hope... I hope... (Pause)

117:37:44 Gibson: Hello, Yankee Clipper. Houston.

117:37:54 Conrad: You hope, you hope?

117:37:56 Bean: Oh, I was just thinking about something. (Pause) Pete, no way to keep these things clean; I'm really worried about this white coating. (Pause)

[Bean - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "The magnetometer was a beautiful experiment and it was easy to deploy. It was easy to align and level and it took quite a bit less time than the passive seismic because it was sort of self-contained. You just screwed the legs to make it level. You could grab one of the magnetometer arms and move it around so that it would be in alignment."]
117:38:17 Conrad: Lucky for me that this antenna head is almost (pause) level. (Long Pause)
[With the Central Station aligned and level, Pete's next job is to position a set of gimbals to the pre-determined pointing angles which are printed on a decal on the Central Station and in Pete's cuff checklist.]

[Jones - "You didn't have to do much fine tuning of the gimbals?"]

[Conrad - (Laughing) "Right! Those gimbals were really something."]

[Bean - "You had to get in real close to see them."]

[Conrad - "If you look at the thing in the back (see AS12-47-6926), there was about six little wheels to adjust."]

[Bean - "And your fingers didn't like doing that."]

[Conrad - "It turned out it was real simple up there. Because it was almost level and it went right in. I remember that I didn't have any trouble at all."]

[Jones - "Whereas you'd had a lot of trouble down here."]

[Conrad - "Oh yeah. That was one of the things where I think it turned out one-sixth g helped."]

117:38:44 Bean: You see that? The dot doesn't... It's hard to see. I'll see what I can do with it. (Pause) There it is. There it is! I think. Right there. (The level bubble is) right in the center. Center. (Pause)
[Yankee Clipper has just emerged from behind the Moon.]
117:39:14 Gibson: Yankee Clipper, Houston.

117:39:19 Gordon: Hello, Houston; Clipper here.

117:39:22 Gibson: Dick, the EVA is going pretty well. They're 2-1/2 hours into it; and they've got the ALSEP a good way deployed. Apparently both of them look as though they just crawled out of a coal bin. Other than that, things (are) pretty much nominal.

117:39:40 Gordon: Very good. Thank you.

117:39:42 Bean: Okay, Houston. The magnetometer's deployed; it's level; and it's pointed exactly east. And the little black dot is right in the middle.

117:39:54 Gibson: Roger, Al. Copy.

117:39:57 Bean: Same concern here (is that) there's just a lot of dust on top of the box where the electronics are. Just hope it doesn't bother it too much.

117:40:16 Gibson: Roger, Al.

117:40:18 Gibson: Yankee Clipper, we have a map update for Rev 19.

117:40:26 Gordon: Okay.

117:40:30 Gibson: Rev 19, LOS 118:48:40, 119:13:30, 119:34:33. (Long Pause)

117:40:50 Bean: Okay, Pete, let me take a couple of pictures of this. Ack! I'm really...

117:40:58 Conrad: What are you mumbling about over there?

117:41:00 Bean: Well, I just don't like all that dirt on it; don't know what we can do, though. There's no way to work around it. The radiator's got a little dirt on it, and there's no way to dust it off, there's no way to... All you can do is tap it a little bit and hope some of it falls off and that's about it. Don't want to tap it too hard. (Pause) That's the best I can do. Okay, (that's finished). (Long Pause while he takes the pictures)

[Later crews will carry dustbrushes to clean off radiators, thermal covers and, primarily, each other before they go back into the cabin. They will have two kinds of brushes: small lens brushes made of soft hairs for cleaning camera lens, visors, and other surfaces they don't want to scratch, and a large dust brush - the size of a house-painting brush - for cleaning the suits and other less sensitive surfaces.]

[Al's magnetometer pictures are AS12-47-6920 and 6921. Ulrich Lotzmann has provided a detail of 6921 showing Pete at the Central Station with the magnetometer in the foreground and the smaller of the two mounds in the background.]

117:42:18 Bean: God damn. (Pause) Okay; I'll deploy the SIDE, Pete.

117:42:30 Conrad: Okay.

117:42:31 Bean: It's my last item (on the ALSEP portion of the checklist).

117:42:34 Conrad: (I'm) on my last one.

117:42:35 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Al is at 2+16 in his checklist, and they are 2 hours 27 minutes into the EVA. They have lost very little time, thus far, in the ALSEP deployment.]
117:42:52 Conrad: Does the antenna look like it's pointed at Earth?

117:42:57 Bean: It looks close.

[Bean - "If Earth was near what the stowage position was, then it didn't take you long to move it. But if Earth was up high, you'd be fooling with it (longer). It was hard to do."]

[Conrad - (Looking in the checklist) "We had rough pointing angles in here. This is probably a good example of something designed by somebody that wasn't ever going to see the lunar surface."]

117:43:02 Conrad: That's it. (Pause)

117:43:19 Bean: Okay. (I'll) do the SIDE, right now. (Pause)

[Al will use the UHT to carry the SIDE about 60 feet southwest of the Central Station. The package actually contains two separate pieces of equipment: the SIDE and a smaller experiment called the Cold Cathode Ion Gauge or CCIG. The latter is stowed in a compartment in the side of the SIDE. Al will remove the CCIG and set it down 3 to 5 feet from the SIDE. The experiments are connected by an electrical cable because data from the CCIG is sent to the Central Station via the SIDE ribbon cable. As it will turn out, the CCIG/SIDE connecting cable will retain a great deal of memory and will make it very difficult for the crew to get the CCIG properly pointed. The SIDE/CCIG deployment procedures are detailed in an extract from the Final Lunar Surface Operations Plan.]
117:43:26 Conrad: (Still getting the antenna aligned) Got it.

117:43:27 Bean: Okay. (Pause) Okay. I hope I don't tug on the (Central) station here (with the SIDE cable) as I come out, Pete.

117:43:39 Conrad: If that happens...

117:43:41 Bean: It looks pretty level, by the way. Your station does.

117:43:45 Conrad: Yeah. (Long Pause)

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The antenna alignment went as advertised. I had played with it enough that I knew how to align it correctly. Apparently it is aligned all right, because you are receiving good signals."]

[Pete is probably finishing his Central Station activities by taking documentation photos AS12-46-6814, 6815, 6816, and 6817.]

117:44:20 Bean: I'm nearing the end (of the SIDE cable), I'll bet.

117:44:23 Conrad: I'm done. How's that, ah,... (Pause)

117:44:38 Bean: Gosh, this... (Laughing) They must have doubled the cable length on this one.

117:44:43 Conrad: (Garbled) (Pause)

117:44:53 Bean: That's it.

117:44:54 Conrad: You're at the end. You're at the end.

117:44:55 Bean: Okay. Let me set it down and work on it right here.

117:44:58 Conrad: That does it, old buddy.

117:44:59 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause)

117:45:17 Conrad: Okay. Now what do I want to do? (Long Pause as he consults his checklist)

[Pete's next task is to activate the Central Station by depressing the shorting switch to start current flowing through the experiments. He can't do that until Al finishes with the SIDE/CCIG.]

[Now that Al has placed the package on the ground, his next task is to deploy an electromagnetic ground screen, shown in Figure 6-3 from the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report. He will "engage UHT in ground screen socket, rotate clockwise, and lift ground screen from tube." A film clip (7 Mb courtesy Ken Glover) from Apollo 12 training shows Pete with the ground screen hanging from the end of the UHT just a moment after he removed the screen from the tube.]

117:45:36 Bean: (Doesn't) want to do like that, does it?

117:45:39 Conrad: (Did you) pick up the tongs?

117:45:41 Bean: What?

117:45:42 Conrad: Pick up the tongs? Were they with that (SIDE) box? Or do I have them?

117:45:46 Bean: You've probably got them on you.

117:45:48 Conrad: I do.

117:45:50 Bean: I can't see... No, they weren't with that box. We used them for something by your Central Station. (Pause)

117:46:01 Conrad: Ah, yeah, I got them on me.

117:46:03 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

[Bean - "I think (that) a problem in any of this is that you can't see things and you don't have the feel in the gloves; and when you reach for things, your cuff can move it away. So you reach down there to feel for it and that gauntlet pushes it away and you say, 'Hey, I don't have it'; but really it's back there. It's funny (that) I couldn't see it; I guess I was too far away or facing another way. Or it was around behind you, maybe, from all the hassling around."]
117:46:13 Conrad: Okay, Houston, the antenna is up. It's aligned to (pointing angles) 1644 and 525.

117:46:20 Gibson: We copy that, Pete. You got the nominal alignment. (Pause)

117:46:29 Bean: That came out. SIDE screen came out very nice.

117:46:33 Conrad: Okay.

117:46:35 Bean: Popped it out. Looks good.

117:46:38 Conrad: Boy, are you dirty. (Pause) I'm just as dirty.

117:46:45 Bean: Doesn't much want to stay down.

[Here and at 117:47:31, Al seems to be saying that the screen doesn't want to lie flat on the surface. In documentation photo AS12-47-6922, it appears that the center of the screen is up off the surface]
117:46:47 Conrad: (Commenting on the ease of antenna pointing) Okay. That first (garbled); I can't believe it. (Long Pause)

117:47:26 Bean: (Laughing) You got to be kidding.

117:47:29 Conrad: What?

117:47:31 Bean: Boy, anytime you put anything spring-loaded on the Moon you're in trouble. (Pete laughs) This screen has got sort of, you know, a spring to it? Doesn't want to lie down much up here in this gravity.

[As of early 2013, I do not fully understand the following, particularly the phrase "when it goes over center" and what spring-loaded has to do with the problem.]

[Bean - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "A screen comes out of the side of the container in the suprathermal ion detector. It is spring-loaded so that it will hold a flat position when it goes over center. It's a real problem to keep the side of the Suprathermal Ion Detector balanced while you try to make this screen go over center so that it'll lie flat. It took a couple of minutes to get the screen to lie flat. These spring-loaded devices are a real pain up there. You should have one that doesn't have any spring load to it. You (should be able to) open it up and drop it on the ground and it just lies flat from its normal weight, instead of having some spring-loaded, over center device. It just adds time and work trying to get these little devices to work properly."]

117:47:48 Conrad: Okay. Houston, how long we been out?

117:47:53 Gibson: Pete, you've been out 2 plus 40, and the pacing one right now is Al (because he is not yet finished with the SIDE deployment). You're running around 20 minutes behind. And when you can, we'd like an EMU check, and if you'd give us your O2 readings?

117:48:11 Conrad: Okay. My O2 reading is 50 percent. And have you got anything for us? Haven't heard too much from you.

117:48:22 Gibson: Negative on that. You're perking along real well. And we're following your progress. It looks as though you're getting the job done.

117:48:29 Conrad: Okay. Look... How you doing, Al?

117:48:39 Bean: I'm doing good.

117:48:40 Conrad: Okay.

117:48:41 Bean: That little thing just doesn't want to...

117:48:42 Conrad: Houston, let me ask you a question. Can I push in the shorting amps thing?

117:48:51 Gibson: That's affirmative, Pete. We understand you're not able to get a reading. So, go ahead and close it, and we'll stand by for a zero reading.

117:48:59 Conrad: (Responding to the first part of Gibson's reply) All right. You might... (Responding to the second part) Okay, it might be full scale high.

117:49:03 Bean: Hey, you'd better tell them I still haven't put the SIDE down.

117:49:07 Conrad: That doesn't make any difference, does it?

117:49:08 Bean: I don't know.

117:49:09 Conrad: It's all connected. (To Gibson) It's all connected. Does it make any difference, Houston?

117:49:13 Gibson: Stand by. (Pause)

117:49:19 Conrad: You're a big area litter bug. (Laughing) You know that?

117:49:23 Bean: I know it. (Pause)

[Bean - "There was litter all around."]

. [Conrad - "It really did look like a trash bin after you got done."]

[The Apollo 17 crew tried to establish a central trash pile for all the discarded covers, subpallets, etc.]

117:49:30 Gibson: Pete, we'd like you to go ahead and get the full deployment done first before you depress the shorting amps.

117:49:38 Conrad: Okay. (To Al) Boy, you're dirty all the way to your knees. Can I give you any help?

117:49:42 Bean: Sure could.

117:49:44 Conrad: All right; here I come. (Pause)

[At some point before going over to help, Pete takes AS12-46-6818, which shows Al deploying the SIDE/CCIG.]
117:49:50 Gibson: And, Pete and Al, a comment on picture taking. If you would, try to document some of the dirt which has gotten all over the equipment. If you would, try to get close-ups which will show the dirt we might have on thermally-sensitive areas. And, also, when you get done, if you would, take one or two extra pictures showing the ALSEP with the mounds that you described previously in the background. That'll give us a good geometric reference.

117:50:23 Conrad: Okay. I did a pan...

117:50:24 Bean: Hold that, Pete.

117:50:25 Conrad: I did a pan out here at the...

117:50:31 Bean: Okay. Just a second. Now, let me hold this end and you stretch that end out.

[They are having trouble getting the CCIG to sit upright because of cable coiling.]
117:50:35 Conrad: Okay. I got it.

117:50:36 Bean: Go to the right. That's it. Get the coils out of it.

117:50:39 Conrad: Which way's that thing head?

117:50:41 Bean: It's got to head away from the Central Station; away from everything. Probably ought to be a point right over there.

117:50:50 Conrad: Okay.

117:50:51 Bean: But, now, I think if you kind of twirled it a couple times, it would end up uncoiling that twist in the line there. (Pause) That's the right way. Try it that way again. Looks like it might be working. (Pause) That's good. That's doing good! Okay. Let me take and set this thing down, and it's supposed to point to the Earth this way. That'll be good.

117:51:15 Conrad: Get your ground wires wrapped around the legs.

117:51:17 Bean: Okay, I got it. Looks like it's going to be okay.

117:51:21 Gibson: Yankee Clipper, Houston.

117:51:27 Gordon: Go ahead.

117:51:29 Gibson: Yankee Clipper, if you'll give us POO and ACCEPT, we'll ship you up a state vector, a target load, and a REFSMMAT.

117:51:36 Bean: Put it down.

117:51:37 Gordon: You('ve) got it.

117:51:38 Gibson: (To Dick) Roger.

117:51:39 Bean: Okay. Hold on; hold on. (Talking to the experiment package) Don't tip over.

117:51:46 Conrad: Yeah; wait a minute, wait a minute.

117:51:49 Bean: Okay.

117:51:50 Conrad: I got it steadied.

117:51:51 Bean: Okay.

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The suprathermal ion detector and the cold cathode ion gauge, which were combined experiments, were difficult to align, and we knew this before we left. The legs (on the SIDE) are too close together for the height and weight of the experiment. When you try to get it on the ground, it just wants to tip over. The little place where you insert the ALSEP tool (the UHT) is on the end that has one leg. It's a three-legged configuration; and, so, that tends to, if you put any offset of force on that attachment, tip it over. The Cold Cathode Ion Gauge comes out of the side of the Suprathermal Ion Detector. The cable was so stiff that, if you put the gauge in the proper position, the gauge itself was so light and the forces in the cable were so strong, it would just pick up the gauge and move it to a nondesirable position. It ended up with both of us, Pete and I, working together. He held the ion detector (the SIDE) while I tried all sorts of different deployment angles of the ion gauge to finally get one that would work. The only way we could make it work after spending about 5 minutes on a 30-second job - if it had been designed properly - was to lay the ion gauge on its back so that the front end pointed straight up (and at) a distance (from the SIDE) that wasn't nearly as long as the cable itself. This seemed to work pretty well."]
117:51:53 Conrad: There, that's all right.

117:51:54 Bean: Just hold it there just a...

117:51:55 Conrad: Watch it, watch it, watch it.

117:51:56 Bean: Okay. I'm trying to.

117:51:58 Conrad: No, your foot's hung in it. That a boy.

117:52:01 Bean: That did it. Okay. Let me sneak it back on again. Okay.

117:52:06 Conrad: Now, what do you want?

117:52:07 Bean: I want to put that (SIDE) lid back on there. (But) it would probably be best if we just left it off.

117:52:11 Conrad: I think it would be best if you left it alone.

117:52:13 Bean: Okay. Now, you hold it there (either with his foot or a tool) while I (garbled)...

117:52:15 Conrad: I got it. I got it anchored.

117:52:17 Bean: ...because this (the CCIG he is manipulating) is going to want to turn it (the SIDE) over.

117:52:19 Conrad: Yeah. I know.

117:52:21 Gibson: Yankee Clipper, Houston. We're coming up with a load.

117:52:26 Gordon: Yeah.

117:52:30 Conrad: Step on it (either the cable or the CCIG).

117:52:31 Bean: Okay. That's what I think I can do.

117:52:37 Conrad: Those guys got to be kidding about that cable on the... I knew that thing was going to do that. (Long Pause)

117:52:53 Bean: There, maybe that's better. (Pause)

117:52:59 Conrad: Come on, this thing's making us run behind.

117:53:02 Bean: I know it, but I don't see any way to quickly get...

117:53:07 Conrad: (Laughing) All right; now, just a minute. Move your foot. (Pause) That's better.

117:53:14 Bean: Okay. Let me just try it a couple more times. I think if I hold it this way and use this tool, I can probably set it...

117:53:21 Conrad: Hey, it's just like zero g; everything floats up. That baby's going to nose dive into the dirt every time, sure as I'm standing here. That cable's cleverly designed to make it do that.

[The Apollo 12 Mission Report promised that, for Apollo 14, "the wires of the connecting cable will be tied at 6-inch intervals instead of being tied with heavy Mylar tape. This modification not only reduces cable stiffness by 70 percent - which decreases the spring effect - but also decreases cable bulkiness to permit easier stowage." Despite these changes in the cable configuration, the Apollo 14 crew also had trouble deploying the CCIG. Eventually, however, they were able to get it deployed with the instrument in the proper orientation. After the Apollo 14 experience, the experiment was completely re-designed for Apollo 15. The new SIDE leaned on a large, stable brace and the CCIG was connected to the SIDE with a metal bar. The Apollo 15 crew had no trouble at all with their SIDE/CCIG deployment.]
117:53:31 Bean: Let's put it like this. (Pause) Down like that.

117:53:35 Conrad: Don't fall over.

117:53:37 Bean: Okay. (Pause) There's no way (to get it properly oriented).

117:53:40 Conrad: Uh-uh. Just... That a boy. (Pause)

117:53:45 Bean: That thing goes right in the dirt each time...

117:53:47 Conrad: I know, I know. It's going to do that. It's very frustrating. Turn it around and point it the other way. See if it'll point out that way.

117:53:55 Bean: All right. That might be good, too. Okay.

117:53:59 Conrad: I knew that ding-a-ling cable was going to make us spend hours trying to do that.

117:54:08 Bean: (Laughing) Doesn't that make you mad?

117:54:12 Conrad: Yeah; I know. Especially when you know it's going to happen.

117:54:14 Bean: Look, why can't I set it like this? You just let go of the SIDE and come over and step on that thing.

117:54:18 Conrad: Hey, if this SIDE falls over, then I'm really going to be mad. I got that thing firmly planted.

117:54:22 Bean: Just a minute. Wait, wait. Hold it, hold it. Hold her a minute. Okay. If I can get this just arranged.

117:54:35 Conrad: That's it. Now step on it.

117:54:37 Bean: I can't. There's no way.

117:54:41 Conrad: Let go of the string in your hand. That a boy. Now stand...

117:54:47 Bean: It's just...

117:54:48 Conrad: (Talking to the equipment) Don't flop. That's it. Push it in.

117:54:51 Bean: Ah! We made it. I hope. Let's push it real hard in there.

117:54:55 Conrad: Okay.

[The surface soil is loose enough that it can't provide much lateral restraining force. Tools stuck a few inches into the ground will stand upright but the CCIG has too broad a base to go in very far.]
117:54:56 Bean: I think we've got it licked.

117:54:58 Conrad: That a boy. Easy does it.

117:54:59 Bean: (As the experiment falls over again) Aw, you... The thing just jumps right up. (Pause)

117:55:04 Conrad: (Laughing)

117:55:05 Bean: Pete, I'm just afraid that one's... We've had it on this one.

117:55:08 Conrad: (Laughing) You've had it on that one, my friend.

117:55:10 Bean: Hey, here it is here. Look; I don't think it makes any difference if it lays on its side as long as it points its aperture in the right place.

117:55:16 Conrad: Yeah.

117:55:17 Bean: Let's move it around here and just let it lay on its side. (Pause) You know, it doesn't know the difference. (Pause) Just kind of lay it around. Just try to... Yeah; that'll work; that'll work.

117:55:30 Gibson: Al, we concur with that. Go ahead.

117:55:32 Conrad: That work right there?

[The CCIG experiment - which was also called the "Lunar Atmosphere Detector" - was designed to be deployed with its aperture pointed horizontally, away from the LM, in order to minimize the influence of outgassing from the spent descent stage. Although, in the final orientation, the CCIG aperture was pointed mostly upward, it was looking away from the LM and, consequently, the experiment returned useful data. The CCIG essentially measures the density (or, equivalently, the pressure) of the extremely tenuous lunar atmosphere and, as detailed in the Preliminary Science Report, saw not only a background pressure of about 0.01 microtorr but also the cabin depressurization at the start of the second EVA and, a little while later, the exhaust of Pete's backpack as he walked by. The lunar atmosphere is very tenuous indeed. Unfortunately, the Apollo 12 instrument suffered a terminal power failure after 14 hours of operation. The Apollo 14 and 15 instruments, on the other hand, were functioning long after the respective LM launches and returned information on the normal - and extremely tenuous - lunar atmosphere.]
117:55:34 Bean: (Responding to Gibson) Okay. It looks like the only way... This cable has just got too much spring for the weight of the package, and there's just no way. Okay, Pete. Let her go. Now, let me level it (the SIDE). (Pause) No way (is the CCIG going to deploy properly).

117:55:54 Conrad: That's a shame. (Pause) (To himself) What time is it, anyhow? (Pause) (To Al) Let me get over here and get a big picture of this.

[Pete takes a picture of the Central Station and nearby equipment from a distance of perhaps 25 meters to the southwest. This is AS12-46-6819, in which most detail is lost in the glare of the Sun. A comparison ( 282k ) between a level-adjusted detail from 6819 and a detail from 6821 allows us to pick out the key features.]
117:56:08 Gibson: Pete, you're 2 plus 48 into the EVA. (Pause)

117:56:14 Conrad: Okay.

117:56:16 Bean: I'll level this, Pete. (Pause) It's leveling good. Leveling real good. (Pause)

117:56:34 Conrad: That American flag sure looks pretty back here next to the LM, doesn't it? And the S-band?

117:56:38 Bean: Yeah

117:56:39 Conrad: Looks like a model.

117:56:42 Bean: Okay. I think that's going to do it for the SIDE. That's the tough one. (Looking at his checklist to see what photos he needs to take). (f/)11, one (picture taken) cross-Sun.

[Al takes two close-ups of the CCIG - AS12-47-6922 and 6923.]
117:56:47 Conrad: Back off; I got the picture.

117:56:50 Bean: You already got a cross-Sun? Can you see the bubble and everything in it?

117:56:52 Conrad: No....

117:56:53 Bean: Let me get it.

[Al's close-up of the top of the SIDE is AS12-47-6924.]
117:56:56 Conrad: ...I'm just getting one from a distance, here. That a boy. (Pause) (I'll) get (the focus set to ) 74 feet.
[Pete takes AS12-46-6820 of Al getting a close-up and then turns to take a locator shot, 6821, showing the Central Station.]
117:57:00 Gibson: Al, copy you have the SIDE deployed?

117:57:05 Conrad: Yeah. Everything's deployed. I'm going to go get the shorting plug now, Houston.

117:57:09 Gibson: Okay. Standing by.

117:57:12 Conrad: Dum dum. Dum dum, dum dum. Boy, do I like to run up here. This is neat!

117:57:18 Bean: It is fun.

117:57:20 Conrad: The first thing we've got to do is run over to that volcano-looking... or whatever that little jobber-do is. That's interesting.

[Pete is now on his checklist page that starts with "2+25, ALSEP Activation".]
117:57:26 Conrad: Okay, Houston. Here comes the shorting plug. (Long Pause)

117:57:42 Gibson: Yankee Clipper; Houston. The computer is yours.

117:57:50 Conrad: (To Houston, partially garbled under Gordon) How about Astro(naut) switch 1?

117:57:51 Gordon: Yankee Clipper, Roger.

[Apparently, Gibson did not hear Pete's question under Gordon's acknowledgment.]
117:57:57 Conrad: Hey, Al.

117:58:00 Bean: Yes, sir.

117:58:01 Conrad: I need your help over here after a minute.

117:58:04 Bean: I'll be there.

117:58:06 Conrad: Houston, how about Astro switch 1?

117:58:09 Gibson: You're clear to rotate Astro switch 1, Pete.

117:58:15 Conrad: Okay. (Pause)

117:58:19 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause)

[The switch is located at the bottom rear of the Central Station and Pete is probably turning it with his UHT. During the 1991 mission review he said that he wouldn't have been able to get low enough to turn it by hand.]
117:58:33 Bean: Okay.

117:58:34 Conrad: Okay. Gosh, you can't... We('ve) got to re-align that antenna. (Pause) Okay. Houston. Astro switch 1 is rotated. Shorting amp switch is in. I'd be a happy man if you tell me you're getting a signal.

117:58:56 Gibson: Roger, Pete. Stand by.

[Conrad - "I must have moved the station when I turned the switch. And I'm asking him to check the antenna (alignment by checking the signal strength)."]
117:58:58 Bean: Boy, it's all put out. It sure looks nice.

117:59:02 Conrad: How about messing with this one thing right here?

117:59:05 Bean: Okay. I will do it, Pete. Also, I wanted to just look at the numbers (for the CS antenna pointing) with you, too. Hey, just do me a favor. Use your tongs and pick up a couple of these Boyd bolts and set them on the edge of that skirt on the passive seismic. There's about 10 Boyd bolts just near it over there. What did you want me to look at?

117:59:26 Conrad: Just check that antenna; make sure it's level.

117:59:29 Bean: Okay.

117:59:31 Conrad: Okay. Look; you do that (Boyd bolt task). I'll give you the tongs. I'm going to run over and photograph this ding-a-ling looking (mound)...

117:59:37 Bean: All right.

117:59:39 Gibson: Pete and Al.

117:59:40 Conrad: ...want to stay out?

117:59:41 Gibson: Pete and Al, Houston. Looks like you did the job. We're getting data back.

117:59:47 Conrad: Hey, Houston. You just don't know how happy I am.

[Conrad - (From the 1969 Technical Debrief) "I feel we did most of our homework on the ALSEP."]
117:59:51 Bean: Okay. Tell me again the numbers you're supposed to use (for the antenna pointing).

117:59:54 Conrad: 16.44/5.25. Here, turn around.

117:59:58 Bean: Okay.

117:59:59 Conrad: I shouldn't have done that. You're dirty all over, here.

118:00:01 Bean: Okay.

[Pete has probably given Al the tongs.]
118:00:02 Conrad: All right, I'm going over to this mound.

118:00:03 Bean: Okay.

118:00:04 Conrad: I'll be back in a flash. Bye-bye.

118:00:06 Bean: Okay. I'll tell you the numbers I read; you tell me if they're right.

118:00:09 Conrad: Okay.

118:00:11 Bean: I read 52... No, correction, I read 525.

118:00:17 Conrad: That's right.

118:00:18 Bean: Okay. I also read 16 (pause) 42.

118:00:33 Conrad: I don't know what this thing is. It's really weird!

118:00:36 Bean: 1642. Is that it?

118:00:39 Conrad: 1644, Al.

118:00:41 Bean: Okay. Same thing. Looks good, looks good.

118:00:46 Conrad: I don't know what this (mound) is. Let me get the (garbled) feet at f/8.

[Pete is examining the smaller of the two mounds. This one is just north of the Central Station. Here, Pete is deciding what focus distance to use in photographing the first of the mounds. His use of f/8 implies that he is taking a cross-Sun picture. Indeed, his first two photos, AS12-46-6822 and 6823 were taken from the south. After taking the first of the two, Pete steps to his right to take the second, creating a stereo pair. He then moves in closer to take a stereo pair of a large rock that hit the base of the mound sometime after it formed. These pictures are AS12-46-6824 and 6825. Finally, he turns and takes a locator to the Central Station. This is 6826.]
118:00:53 Gordon: Houston; Clipper. (Long Pause)

118:01:08 Gibson: Yankee Clipper; Houston. Go ahead.

118:01:13 Gordon: Houston, are you going to have a maneuver pad for me?

118:01:17 Gibson: That's affirmative. We'll be up with you in about two minutes.

118:01:22 Gordon: (Garbled)

118:01:26 Conrad: I know what it is.

118:01:28 Bean: What is?

118:01:29 Conrad: Well, I think that rock... I think it's a little secondary impact crater. Very funny (garbled). Boy, is that a funny rock; it looks...(Long Pause)

[Some of the comm is lost during next three minutes under a conversation between Houston and Yankee Clipper. That engineering conversation is omitted here.]
118:01:47 Bean: Hey, here's a rock they'll be glad to see in Houston.

118:01:50 Conrad: Good.

118:01:51 Bean: It's an interesting one. It looks like a solid glass chunk. It's a real shiny black. Did you ever see any thing like it before?

118:03:39 Conrad: Put this rock in your pack. (Garbled) look at that, got that glass spatter on it. That's fantastic.

[According to "Apollo 12 Voice Transcript Pertaining to the Geology of the Landing Site" by N. G. Bailey and G. E. Ulrich, this sample is 12017. In the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report, 12017 is described as a 53 gram piece of glass-coated basalt. S70-44098 (2.2 Mb) is an LRL photo of the whole rock.]

[Jones - "With the saddlebag back on your hip, did you have to put samples in each other's saddlebags?"]

[Bean - "I don't think so. You could put them in your own, because there wasn't a lid on it like the later ones. You could put them in each other's; and maybe we even did. But we probably said something if we did. You know, we'd come on over and say 'Let me put this in there.' When we didn't say anything, I suspect we just stuck them in our own."]

[Jones - "And you did not have Dixie cups out with you, so it was just a matter of sticking rock samples in the saddlebags."]

[Bean - "No. We had individual sample bags attached by a ring to saddlebag. Individual little sample bags. You reached back there and pulled one off. In fact, I thought we read the (bag identification) number (to Houston). Then we put the sample in and folded up the little metal thing (a thin metal sealing strip) and then put it in the saddlebag. So I think we mostly put them in our own, because we had to get the sample bag from the very same place. And don't forget, it was right here beside you (on your hip); it wasn't behind you. It was beside you. It was hooked via a metal hook to the same thing (metal attachment ring) that (you hooked) the cables (waist tethers) to that held you down in the spacecraft, you know, for landing. But I think a couple of times we did put samples in the other guy's bag, just because he was nearby. But we probably said something."]

[Jones - "The thing I don't remember is your reading bag numbers to Houston on this EVA. Is there any under (the conversation between) Gibson and Gordon?"]

[Bean - "Well, maybe these bags didn't have numbers. And if we see that picture that Pete took of me running along, you can see the little bags."]

[We asked Pete, who had been out of the room during this short discussion, if he remembered having the little bags on this EVA.]

[Conrad - "They were in the saddlebags, right?"]

[Bean - "Hooked to the saddlebags by a ring."]

[Conrad - "Yeah. Yeah."]

[We looked at photos AS12-46-6820, which shows Al at the SIDE/CCIG with his saddlebag clearly visible, and AS12-49-7286, which shows Al at Halo Crater on the second EVA, with the sample bags hanging off the back of the saddlebag.]

[Bean - "There's the main saddlebag and there are the little sample bags."]

[Jones - "On the back of it."]

[Bean - "And what it is, is the saddlebag has a cloth rib around the edge that you can hold and handle it. And there's a metal ring and then those sample bags are on the metal ring and you pulled one off at a time."]

[Jones - "And you could reach back there."]

[Bean - "Yeah, because it's hooked on the side (and could be pulled forward, if necessary)."]

118:03:50 Bean: Never seen anything like that rock.

118:03:52 Conrad: No, I haven't. No, I haven't.

118:03:54 Conrad: That's great.

118:03:56 Conrad: (Garbled) go.

118:04:01 Conrad: Are you through (with the deployment tasks)? Al?

[Gibson has been reading engineering info to Gordon, and Al may have started to take documentation photos of the ALSEP site.]
118:04:03 Bean: Yeah. I got some pictures to take and that's it.

118:04:07 Gordon: Hey, Houston; Yankee Clipper.

118:04:07 Conrad: (Garbled under Gordon) and I'll meet you over at that big mound. All right?

118:04:10 Bean: All right.

118:04:10 Gibson: Clipper, go ahead.

118:04:13 Gordon: (To Gibson) If you want to talk to me, you'll have to take it off of relay so that Pete and Al won't cut you out.

118:04:22 Conrad: Going to bring the tongs, Al?

118:04:25 Gibson: Okay, Clipper. Understand. You did not copy all of that PAD. Is that affirm?

118:04:31 Gordon: That's affirmative. It's impossible with those guys yakking.

[Comm Break. On later missions, there will be two comm circuits and two CapComs.]

[Al's ALSEP photos include AS12-47-6925 and 6926. Frame 6926 shows the large mound south of the deployment area. AS12-47-6927 is a view across the top of the Central Station toward the SIDE/CCIG.]


ALSEP Off-load Apollo 12 Journal EVA-1 Closeout