Apollo Lunar Surface Journal


"That may have been a small one for Neil..." ALSEP Off-load


TV Troubles

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
MP3 audio clips by Ken Glover.
Scan credits in the Image Library
Last revised 4 August 2017.


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RealAudio Clip (35 min 50 sec)

115:54:26 Conrad: Al, can you find the Earth? Where's the Earth? Oh, there it is. I can see it. Hello there, Earth. (TV still)

[Earth is in the eastern sky at an azimuth of 88 degrees and an elevation of 61.4 degrees. Only a thin crescent is lit (80k), with part of Antarctica visible on the right and the entrance to the Persian Gulf visible on the left. Image from Celestia.]

[Pete has offloaded the S-band antenna and, once he picks a spot to deploy it, he will do a rough alignment of the package. See LM Lunar Surface Checklist page 135 and a detailed discussion of the deployment in Working on the Moon.]

115:54:33 Bean: Where is it?

115:54:34 Conrad: Just look at the (LM's) S-band antenna and look up that way; it's right up there.

115:54:38 Bean: I'll have to back up a little.

115:54:40 Conrad: Okay. Now, where did we all agree was the best place to deploy this S-band? Out the Y gear (that is, north), huh?

115:54:45 Bean: Yeah.

115:54:46 Conrad: A little bit further out.

115:54:47 Bean: That ought to be...Here's a good spot.

115:54:48 Conrad: Hey, I don't want to get too far away from the cable. What's the matter with right here?

115:54:52 Bean: That's a good place.

[Pete is deploying the S-Band antenna, which needs to be pointed at Earth within just a few degrees. The final orientation of the antenna is shown in photograph AS12-47-6981, which was taken at the end of EVA-1 at about 118:30:43. The diameter of the parabolic reflector is 3.0 meters (10 feet). Pete has the option of erecting the antenna anywhere in the northwest quadrant about 20 feet from the MESA. Because he needs a clear line-of-sight to Earth and because there is a fair-sized crater west of the LM, he will set the antenna up north and a little west of the plus-Y footpad. See, also, photo AS12-46-6867, which was taken from Al's window before the start of EVA-2. It shows the S-Band shadow and the aforementioned crater. See also, a detailed discussion of S-band deployment Neil did, along with the actual Apollo 12 and 14 deployments on the Moon.]
115:54:53 Conrad: Okay. (Reading a decal on the S-Band package) "Point to Earth." That's what it says. Okay.
[Pete's cuff checklist page CDR-02, under 'S-Band Deploy' merely refers him to 'decals'. The decals can be found on pages 135 and 136 in the LM Lunar Surface Checklist.]

[Pete probably has the antenna package standing upright, resting on its handle. Earth is at an azimuth of 88 degrees east of north and an elevation of 61 degrees. The Sun is at an azimuth of 91 degrees east of north and an elevation of 8 degrees. Here, Pete is merely rotating the package around its vertical axis so that an arrow on the top of the package is pointing at an azimuth of about 88 degrees, just 3 degrees north of the Sun. See Apollo 11 training photo S69-31057 which appears to show Neil doing a rough alignment relative to a mark of some sort on the wall of the training room.]

115:55:00 Bean: I'm glad you didn't land back about 50 feet (on the inner slope of Surveyor Crater).

115:55:02 Conrad: That's what I'm saying, buddy. (Guffaws)

115:55:05 Bean: Hey, you can see some little shiny...

115:55:11 Conrad: Glass.

115:55:12 Bean: ...glass in these rocks.

115:55:14 Conrad: Yeah, I reported that.

[Bean - "This was a big, splattered piece that looked like somebody had melted a ball of glass and let it drop and it spread out in kind of an irregular-edged, quarter-sized thing. They were all around."]

[A US 25-cent piece, usually known as a "quarter", has a diameter of 24 mm.]

115:55:18 Conrad: You can also see some pure glass, if you look around. (Pause)

115:55:24 Bean: You can jump up in the air...

115:55:26 Conrad: Hustle, boy, hustle. We got a lot of work to do.

115:55:29 Bean: I've got to do my 'fam' for 5 minutes here.

115:55:32 Conrad: "Fam" doing some useful work, like getting the TV camera going.

[Al is supposed to take five minutes to get used to moving around in one-sixth g, but Pete wants him to get to work. By the time he starts to move the TV camera at 115:58:21, he will have been on the surface for seven minutes, so this omission of a formal familiarization period was not a factor in the TV camera failure. On the other hand, Pete's urgings that Al 'hustle' may have been a factor.]
115:55:35 Bean: Okay; good idea. (Pause) You really got to be careful when you go out of the light into the dark.

115:55:46 Conrad: Yep. (Pause)

115:55:58 Bean: Okay. (Reading) "Unstow cable, position 20 feet..."

[Al will mount the TV on a tripod and move it out 20 feet from the spacecraft at the 10 o'clock position. 12 o'clock is due west, 3 o'clock is due north, and so on. After he gets the camera positioned, he is supposed to do a panorama, rotating the camera less than the width of the field-of-view and pausing at least 3 seconds before rotating the camera again. He is supposed to omit the up-Sun direction, which is an indication that somebody recognized the vulnerability of the camera to bright light. Al appears briefly at the MESA but goes away again when, after Pete's next transmission, he goes over to help him.]

[Note that, while moving the Apollo 11 TV camera away from the LM at 109:57:53, while trying to avoid the cable, Neil Armstrong mentioned that he didn't want to point the TV at the Sun "if I can avoid it."

115:55:59 Conrad: Hey, I got a...This second thing won't come out. Hey, give me a hand here.

115:56:09 Bean: Yes, sir. What can I do for you?

115:56:11 Conrad: This second S-band thing (one of the two mast sections) won't deploy.

[What may have happened is that Pete made a mistake that Neil previously made during an Apollo 11 training session. The antenna mast consists of two sections: an outer section with orange stripes, and an inner section with the antenna receiving horn at the top. Most of the upper section is out-of-sight inside the outer section. The procedures for deploying the mast are given on page 36 in the Apollo 12 Lunar Surface Operation Plan:
Raise antenna mast:

a. While holding the antenna vertical, grasp antenna horn top plate and raise the first section of the antenna feed support. (Insure the first section only is deploying by applying a 2-finger pressure on outer mast section. The outer section has orange stripes.) CAUTION: Do not touch helix element when extending feed assembly.

b. Check first section fully deployed and locked in detent.

c. Extend the second antenna feed support section in the same manner as the first. Check the second section fully extended and locked in detent.

Apollo 11 training photo S69-31152 shows the inner mast fully raised; and S69-31153 shows both sections of the antenna mast fully raised.

Finally, training photo S69-31058, taken either earlier in the same training session or at a previous session, shows the mast with only the outer section raised. Evidently, Neil either forgot to apply 2-finger pressure to the outer section when he pulled upward on the antenna horn top plate or he didn't apply enough pressure. The result is that both sections of the mast moved in unison, with the inner section still inside the outer section. This may be the same mistake Pete has made. As of the time I'm writing this, I dont know if Pete had to push both sections back into the antenna package or if he was able to squeeze the top of the outer section and draw out the inner section. Which ever was the case, eventually he got the mast fully deployed.]

115:56:13 Bean: Well, do you want me to pull or hold?

115:56:15 Conrad: On this...

115:56:16 Bean: Yeah.

115:56:17 Conrad: ...or this? Pull; pull away from me.

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115:56:19 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

115:56:22 Conrad: Okay, never mind. Forget it.

115:56:23 Bean: You did it?

115:56:24 Conrad: No. I don't think it's...Let go; let go.

115:56:26 Bean: Try a different...

115:56:27 Conrad: I got it; never mind. (Pause) That's not right, is it? Doesn't that thing have two sections to it? (Answering his own question) No; never mind; forget it; let's go. (Pause) Hey, Houston. Does the inner mast...It's just one piece, huh?

115:56:48 Gibson: Copy your question. You want to know if the inner mast is one or two sections.

[Al is back at the MESA. We can see the TV cable wave around in the picture as he pulls the cable out.]

[A labeled detail from AS12-46-6725 shows the TV camera on the MESA.]

[Ulrich Lotzmann notes that, according to a 5 November 1969 NASA Press Release, the Apollo 12 lunar surface color TV camera is the same camera flown in the Apollo 10 Command Module and then refurbished and modified. Lotzmann writes, "The modifications included painting exterior white for thermal control, substituting coated metal gears for plastic gears in the color-wheel drive mechasim, provision for internal heat conduction paths to the camera outer shell for radiation and use of a special bearing lubricant." In addition, the Apollo 12 Command Module TV is the same camera flown in the Apollo 11 Command Module. Lotzmann adds, "It is interesting that only two weeks before the Apollo 12 launch date, it was not crystal clear that the LM camera would be a color camera, as the 'old' AP11 b/w camera is also mentioned in the press release."]

115:56:55 Conrad: Yeah. It seems to me...I'm getting dumb-dumb, maybe. (Pause) It looks shorter than it used to look at practice for some reason...

115:57:05 Gibson: Pete, that inner mast should be two sections.

115:57:06 Conrad: ...more than one section.

115:57:08 Bean: (Hearing Gibson) I think so; you have to pull out the top (garbled). (Pause)

115:57:18 Bean: I'll lay this TV cable over here by the front porch.

[It is not clear what Al means here by 'front porch'. In the Apollo context, the word 'porch' always refers to the platform at the top of the LM ladder. There are three uses of 'front porch' in the Apollo transcripts. Other than Al's useage here, one occurs at 56:15:50 during the Apollo 11 voyage out from Earth and clearly refers to the 'porch' at the top of the ladder. The other use is by Jack Schmitt at 121:38:18 when he is at the LM, laying the core stems on the plus-Z struts, as per LMP-27. He tells Gene, "That rock by your front porch (step) is really a major nuisance." Clearly, he is referring to the ladder footpad as the first step up to the porch. Here, it seems reasonable to assume that Al is also referring to the ladder footpad.]
115:57:22 Conrad: Okay. (Calling Al's attention to what he had done earlier in the EVA) That TV's almost off (the MESA mounting hardware).

115:57:26 Bean: You know, it's significantly easier just to do anything here (than on Earth). Like this arm motion is so simple because you're not fighting the rest of your weight like we are there in one g. (Pause) All set.

115:57:43 Conrad: (Laughing heartily) Look at that; that (antenna) leg doesn't want to...Go on down, leg! (Laughs)

[The fact that Pete is deploying the antenna legs indicates that he now has the mast fully deployed.]
115:57:49 Bean: Okay; I'll get that TV down and show everybody.

115:57:52 Conrad: Wait a minute. (Reading the antenna decal) "Lock inner mast; lock outer mast; extend and lock legs" - we've got. "Align. Remove thermal cover." Okay. (Garbled) one thermal cover. (Pause; throwing the cover) Good-bye. (Pause)

[Bean - "Throwing those things was wonderful, because they just went so far."]

[Conrad - "Oh, it was great. They really hauled ass."]

[Bean - "We were throwing things every chance we got, because they would go so high and so far, and you could throw things with high drag - like a piece of insulation - just as far as you could throw a rock. It was fun to watch. Sort of like a football punt, they were so long in the air."]

115:58:21 Bean: Okay, Houston; I'm going to move the TV camera now.

115:58:24 Gibson: Roger, Al.

[As Al takes the TV off the MESA, we get brief views of his suit and various pieces of the spacecraft. (TV still)]
115:58:28 Bean: Hey, it's real nice moving around up here. You don't seem to get tired. You really hop like a bunny.

115:58:36 Conrad: Where, oh where, is Earth? There it is. (Pause)

[Pete isn't ready to aim the antenna but may be checking that the package is still oriented correctly.]
115:58:41 Bean: Here is the TV. And it's pointing toward the Sun. That's bad. Point it here a minute.
[As mentioned previously, the section of Al's checklist covering the TV panorama says "omit up-Sun" which indicates that the sensitivity of the camera to bright light was known. Nonetheless, as Al sets the camera on the tripod, we see a bit of ground (TV still) and, on that patch of ground, shadows that indicate that the camera is looking up-Sun (TV still). As the view stops changing, the Sun comes into the field-of-view. (TV still). During these few seconds, the top portion of the vidicon tube becomes permanently damaged. It will take some time before Houston and the crew give up on the camera. There is more discussion of the accident below.]
115:58:47 Conrad: Dum dee dum, dum dum dum.

115:58:48 Bean: (Garbled)

115:58:51 Conrad: Dum dee dee dum dum. (Pause) There's that. (Having thrown something, probably either the carry bar or the rib protector) Look at that go. (Laughs) (Pause)

115:59:26 Bean: Hey, Ed; I was going to deploy this 20 feet at 10 (o'clock) but, because of the Sun being where it is, we're going to have to deploy it a little bit more toward the 2 o'clock position. I think that will be okay, though. That will give you a good shot; right in here. I'll see if I can keep the Sun from getting in the camera at all.

[The Apollo 11 camera was deployed at about the 2 o'clock position.]
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115:59:45 Gibson: Al, we have a pretty bright image on the TV; ... (TV still)

[Starting at about 115:59:45, some small, yellowish spots can be seen moving around in the dark part of the image. In late 1993, when I was reviewing the Haskin Video tapes, I thought we might be seeing Al moving in front of the camera. In November 2014, Simon Cutmore suggested that the spots "are reflections off the LM foil covering as these would be the only things bright enough to get past the darkening effect of the automatic light-level control." He notes that the spots start when al is positioning the camera, "dim greatly when he's asked to stop it down at 115:59:52, and disappear at 116:00:15 when Al says, 'The problem is the LM is very reflective'."]
115:59:46 Bean: (Garbled).

115:59:47 Gibson: ...could you either move or stop it down?

115:59:52 Bean: Okay, I'm going to have to stop it down. (Pause) That's as far as it goes, Houston. How does that look to you?

116:00:08 Gibson: No, it still looks the same, Al. Why don't you try shifting the scene?

116:00:15 Bean: Okay, I'm going...The problem is the LM is very reflective. Let me...Well, I got two choices. Let me go over here further to the side, and you check and see if it reflects too much. And if it does, I'll have to go stick it in the shade. And then maybe shine past the LM. Of course, that makes it not be too good either, but it may be the best we can do.

[At about 116:00:30, there is a bit more damage done to the vidicon tube at the upper left in the image, presumably because Al accidentally pointed the camera at the Sun a second time. Thomas Schwagmeier has produced a two-frame animation comparing TV images captured at 116:00:08 and 116:00:37.]
116:00:37 Gibson: Okay, Al. And also, you might try the automatic light control to the Out side. (Pause)
[Journal Contributor Markus Mehring notes, "The TV cameras used during the Apollo program were simple and easy to handle, with nothing more than an On/Off switch, the objective lens, and an In/Out switch. The latter switch set the automatic light control for camera use inside or outside the vehicle"]

[The following discussion begins with comments extracted from the 1969 Technical Debrief and then continues with comments recorded in 1991.]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The next thing I did was get the TV. I think this is where we really got into our first problem. I took the TV off the MESA pretty readily and stuck it on top of the tripod and moved the tripod and the TV over to the deployment place, which was in front of the Commander's window, which would be about 10 o'clock at about 20 or 30 feet. The only problem was that, when I got over there, I realized that, because the LM had landed in about a 10- to 15-degree right yaw, the MESA was now in the Sun and that, to put the camera where it could view the MESA, I would be looking directly into the sunlight. If I put the camera over in the shadow of the LM as we planned to do originally when the MESA was in the shadow, you wouldn't be able to see the MESA. So, I said, 'Well, I think I'll take it over and put it on the opposite side, over about 2 or 3 o'clock.' I carried the camera over to the opposite side, stuck it there, pointed it at the LM, and called the ground. It looked to me like there were some pretty bad reflections off the LM and I was concerned that maybe they'd bother the TV. Apparently, that's just exactly what happened; these reflections were far too bright for the TV to handle and it burned out. At least, that's my guess as to what occurred. (As noted above, the failure actually occurred within seconds of first setting the TV on the tripod and well before the time that Al moved the TV to the 10 o'clock position) Now, it seems to me, this (loss of the TV) was brought about by two main causes. One, I had personally always felt that we were just carrying the TV along to stand it around and show what we were doing; hence, I personally had never done a lot of serious thinking about how to operate it, (about) the backup modes, its specific limitations, and that sort of thing. (Still thinking that the problem had occurred, in part, because of the spacecraft rotation) As a result, when we got in an off-nominal situation, I didn't really have any good plan for it. I didn't think that the TV was going to burn up from being pointed at that descent stage, but I guess I should have been more aware of the possibility before I went. I guess that brings up a point. You don't want to make a move with any equipment on one of these flights, even if you think it's not a particularly significant piece of equipment, if you don't understand 100 percent of its capabilities and limitations. Another point about the TV, which I thought about later on, in looking at our plan for how we were going to use it; namely, we were going to take the TV around in back and position it at approximately 4 o'clock so that we could view the off-loading of the ALSEP. Also, we were going to use the TV for some 360-degree pans. It's my impression now that either operation would have burned out the TV or given it a pretty good shock. I never really thoroughly understood the limitations of the TV. I think that the way we can help a situation such as that, in addition to doing a lot more pre-flight thinking about it, is to get a TV to work with (during training) that's like our flight TV. We need to work with it outside in the Sun using the monitor. If we had done this, I think it would have become very obvious that the TV doesn't have to be in the Sun too long or even point at a bright object too long before the tube is going to saturate and you're going to run into a lot of trouble."]

[The following is derived from the 1991 mission review.]

[Conrad - "It was the first color camera. Neil and Buzz had a black and white camera. And, I think, the real (color) camera showed up three days before the flight. And we never saw it before that. As a matter fact, the first time we saw the real camera was on the lunar surface, if I remember correctly. (To Al) Didn't we have a wooden block that looked like it? That's all we had to train with. What's your remembrance of that?"]

[Bean - "I don't know. The thing I remember is that I wasn't worried about pointing it at the Sun. It didn't seem to be a big deal."]

[Conrad - "We were never told it was a big deal."]

[Bean - "I thought it was just like a (photographic) camera. But let me see what I said (in the Technical Debrief). (Reading) '... I put the camera over in the shadow of the LM, as we planned to do originally'. Then, '... when the MESA was in shadow, you wouldn't be able to see the MESA. So I said 'I think I'll take it and put it over on the opposite side.' That isn't when I burned it out, though. (The point is that) I wasn't even worried about it. I was just throwing it around...Well, not throwing it around, but I was..."]

[Conrad - "(You were) moving it around and somehow in moving it around...You weren't even looking..."]

[Bean - "I went through the Sun. I wasn't worried, I wasn't paying attention. I'm probably just carrying it over there and not really worried about it all that much. (Reading from the debrief, again.) 'Well, I think I'll take it over and put it on the opposite side about 2 or 3 o'clock...pointed it at the LM and called the ground. Looked to me like there were pretty bad reflections off the LM.' See, I was just concerned the reflections would bother the TV, not hurt (that is, damage) it. I wasn't worried about it."]

[Conrad - "I wasn't either."]

[Bean - " (Reading) 'At least that's my guess as to what occurred....because I had personally never done a lot of serious thinking...' That's stupid; I should have (thought about it). That's a dumb statement and it shows that I wasn't doing my job. What it sounds like (in the tech debrief) is rationalization. I'm back and feeling guilty and trying to think of reasons that I burned it out. (Reading) 'But I guess I should have been aware of the possibility before I went. And I guess that brings up a point. You don't want to make a move with any equipment on one of these flights, even if you think it's not a particularly significant piece of equipment...' Oh, that's a bad statement, because the TV was significant. (Reading) 'I never really thoroughly understood the limitations of the TV...We need to work with it outside in the Sun using the monitor. If we had done this...' Well, it sounds from this statement like maybe I hadn't thought about it seriously enough, and that there's more to it than I've been telling myself over the 15 years. I didn't take it as serious as I should (have) and I have just kind of ignored that (since the mission) and just said 'well, nobody told me'."]

[Conrad - (To Jones) "You've got a thing in here (in an early draft of these comments) about (the camera being) 'an improvement from 11 but not the good camera used on 15, 16, and 17.' As far as I know, the only thing they did to their camera was to add circuitry that shut the vidicon off when the gain got to some point. So, if they pointed it in the Sun, it was going to turn itself off, until it got the hell back out again and then it would turn itself back on. Otherwise, it was the same camera, I thought."]

[Journal Contributor Markus Mehring notes, "The early B&W and Color cameras made by Westinghouse had a so-called SEC-Tube (Secondary Electron Conduction), which was easy to handle, was low in energy consumption, and provided good pictures even in unhealthy light conditions. However, the SEC-Tube was very sensitive when exposed to direct, bright light. As a consequence of the Apollo 12 incident, Apollo 13 had the same Color camera, but with a lens cap added. A backup, B&W camera - the model used on Apollo 11- was also flown and could have been used in the event the color camera was damaged. For Apollo 14, the Color camera was improved, notably through the replacement of the highly sensitive SEC-Tube by the less sensitive EBS-Tube (Electron Bombarded Silicon), which could no longer be destroyed by bright light. This EBS tube was subsequently built into the Westinghouse TV cameras that were used in the CSM for Apollo 15 to 17."]

["RCA had supplied B&W cameras which were flown in the Apollo 7 and 8 CSM and, on Apollo 15 to 17, new RCA color cameras were mounted on the Lunar Rover. These cameras did not contain the EBS-Tube but, rather, the so-called SIT (Silicon Intensifier Tube), which was more sensitive than the EBS-Tube, but again impossible to destroy by direct sunlight."]

[Conrad - "Maybe it was a better camera on the Rover. Certainly, it could be (remotely) driven from the ground (that is, from Houston). The guys didn't have to run it. Remember good old Ed Fendell, Mr. TV? (Laughing; and then, in unison with Al, saying) Captain Video."]

[Jones - (To Al) "So, how do you feel about it now? Is it basically that the equipment arrived too late?"]

[Bean - "No, I never felt that way. It sounds to me like I didn't know it well enough."]

[Conrad - "The reason we didn't know it was we never had a camera to work with."]

[Bean - "We should have had one. We'd have burned it out and then we would have learned."]

[Conrad - "But we never had a camera to work with."]

[Bean - "So, from a training standpoint, we should have had an operational camera to work with. They could have brought out any TV camera. We could have fooled with it for a while."]

[Conrad - "Instead, we messed with a wooden block. (On second thought) I think maybe we did fuss with a TV camera, but the one we fussed with was Neil's, a black and white one. We never ever saw the color one until we got to the lunar surface. Oh; let me tell you why that 'Sun' comment (specifically, omitting the up-Sun portion of the TV panorama) may be in here (in Al's checklist). That may be referring to Neil's (camera). This checklist would have handled either the black and white or the color, because we didn't know until three days before the flight which camera we were going to have."]

[Bean - "Well, I would have burned out the other one, too."]

[Conrad - "Sure."]

[Bean - "We've said enough about this. There's no answer to it. I had forgotten that I said I took it so lightly - which I think is pretty dumb of me to put it there (in the debrief). (Laughs) It shows me in one of my more honest moments."]

[Conrad - "One of the things I remember is going back to the office, after we got out of the lunar lockup (that is, out of the post-mission quarantine). And right on the top of the pile of paper, some guy wrote a cover-your-ass memo about not pointing this thing into the Sun. And it was dated like 13 November, which would have insured that we would have never seen it. And I'm sure he wrote it on the 20th of November and dated it the 12th."]

[Bean - (Laughing) "I never saw that, but I'm not surprised."]

[Conrad - (Laughing) "It said 'definitely don't point it at the Sun', but nobody ever mentioned the goddamn Sun until after we burned it out."]

[Jones - "I don't want to beat a dead horse, here. But I thought there might something to be learned from the things that go wrong."]

[Bean - "Of course. We should have practiced with a realistic piece of equipment. And we - not 'we', but 'me' - should have taken that piece of equipment as seriously as I did the scientific equipment. Which it sounds like I didn't."]

[Conrad - "But the fact was that we had a piece of wood, Al. How the hell can you take more care of the wood than you did?"]

[Bean - (To Pete) "Let me ask you this question. I've always wondered. Remember, when we were getting near flight, and we had called in every one of the experimenters; and we went through the routine while they watched us? Do you remember that?"]

[Conrad - "Oh, yeah."]

[Bean - "And then the guy looked at it and we said - in the debriefing - did we deploy your experiment right? Did we level your magnetometer? Did we do it like you want? And most of the time we did. It seems to me that a couple of guys said 'we really thought you were really going to do this and this' and we changed it. I don't know if we ever had the TV guys come out there."]

[Conrad - "Uh-uh. No."]

[Bean - "See, that's because I didn't take the TV as serious as the science (equipment). We should have had them come out there, and maybe those guys would have said 'Bean is pointing that thing all over the place. We need to put a cap on it or something until he gets it in position and then take the cap off.' I think that's the way they did it on 14. (True) But we never called them in because we didn't - me, particularly - didn't take it seriously."]

[Conrad - "Here's what I think the problem was. The TV camera was just like it was part of the comm gear. The TV camera, in that sense, belonged to the comm people. Okay? The only experimenters that were going to use anything off the TV were the geologists. But it wasn't their piece of equipment. They were going to get pictures from it. So they told us how they wanted it panned. And remember, the reason they were going to do the pan is they were going to be able to verify where we were. They had some way of analyzing the pictures to say 'Yeah, you're a hundred feet from this crater.' Now, when we did ALSEP and each guy that had a piece of the ALSEP was there, all of that was his gear. But the TV didn't belong to the experimenters (that is, to the geologists). It belonged to operations and they never came out into the field with us. And that's another reason (for the failure)."]

[Bean - "We should have had them come out. Because those other guys (the ALSEP experimenters) wouldn't have come out if you hadn't have asked them. And I don't think we asked the TV guys. And I know why. I said it (in the tech debrief), and I covered it up in my head all these years. It was because I didn't take it (the TV) seriously. It's almost like 'Yeah, we'll take it with us; and, if you want, we'll stand it over there. If you want us to move it, fine. We'll move it, but I don't give a shit.' I'm exaggerating. But that's what it sounds like."]

[Conrad - "Well, now, you're pulsing my memory."]

[Bean - "We did have that kind of attitude about it, by the way."]

[Conrad - "Well, yeah. Because it was ECOM (Electronic Communications). It was PAO (Public Affairs Office). And it was something that wasn't part of any of the experiments, and it wasn't part of the timeline in that sense."]

[Bean - "That's right."]

[Conrad - "And we kept saying, 'Don't go running around telling us to point that goddamn camera at us. Recognize that we're busy. We're going to be out of the field-of-view of that camera...'"]

[Bean - "Little did we know."]

[Conrad - "...which is the whole reason why, when they set up TV cameras on the Lunar Rovers, they gave themselves the ability to drive it (that is, operate it remotely) from someplace else. And the guys on the lunar surface didn't have to fool with the camera."]

[Bean - "So I think there was a lot of things - now that we're talking about it - and I can see that it wasn't so much that my attitude towards the camera..."]

[Conrad - (Laughing) "Was poor."]

[Bean - "That's right. It just wasn't the same as my attitude towards the magnetometer."]

[Conrad - "You didn't give it the priority, that's right. And neither did I."]

[Bean - "And as a result, then, I didn't treat it with the same care. I never would have thought of bouncing the magnetometer around, because I knew you couldn't do it."]

[Conrad - "Further more, I think there's another thing here, which is right along with this. If it was something I had to do, I didn't expect Al to worry about it. And he didn't know anything about it. And he didn't care to, 'cause he had enough stuff to worry about. I had to worry about what I had to do; he worried about what he had to do. And we worried about what we both had to do together, together. But, because there were so many things going on, I don't think Al even knew how to deploy the S-Band antenna nor did he ever deploy it. That was going to be my job, so I was going to worry about that. (To Al) So, you shouldn't be unfair to yourself saying you didn't treat the TV camera right. We both...The TV camera was an extraneous thing that was put in there by somebody that wasn't in on our priorities. Because it really was PAO, even though it went through ECOM."]

[Bean - "And Deke (Slayton, the head of the Astronaut Office) fought it. I mean, we had a negative attitude about it. 'Why are we doing this?'."]

[Conrad - "Yeah. It was a pain in the ass. It was something that was going to detract from doing the other things that we were doing, which was why we were really supposed to be on the Moon, which was doing those things (deploying the ALSEP and collecting geology samples) and not running the television for them."]

[Bean - "I think those are good points that I had never thought about in all those years. I think maybe, reading the tech debrief triggered my mind of what I said when I got back. Because I really had not thought that in 15 years, and now I can see I really thought it then. Now I think it's true. I really didn't do a lot of serious thinking about it. I just thought we were carrying the TV along to stand it around to show what we were doing. That's what I thought. You know, we didn't have the insight into what impact the TV was going to make (on the global audience). We saw it with Neil and Buzz; but still, you know, (didn't realize it's importance to Apollo 12). It shows you how hard it is to change your mind and get a new mindset about something. Even though you see it working, you still cling to your old beliefs. It's hard to adjust your attitude. You think you're malleable but you're really not. You want to be...anyway, onward to something else."]

[In 1994, Dave Scott, who was the backup Commander for Apollo 12, called my attention to the fact that all of the Apollo 12 EVA training was done inside the training building. This was another reason for the crew's lack of Sun awareness. However, in a subsequent telephone conversation, Al maintained his opinion that the accident was due primarily to the fact that he hadn't taken the TV seriously, that he hadn't taken the time to understand its limitations.]

116:00:58 Conrad: Okay, Al; watch (as I open the S-band umbrella).

116:01:01 Bean: Wait a second. I got to...How does that look, Houston?

116:01:05 Gibson: Still looks the same, Al. We have a very bright image at the top and blacked out for about 80 percent of the bottom.

116:01:14 Conrad: (Laughing heartily as the S-band umbrella springs into position) Man, oh, man; did that thing deploy! (Laughs)

[A short movie clip shot by Ed Dempsey shows the umbrella springing open during Apollo 14 training.]
116:01:11 Bean: Well, I'll tell you what let me do, Houston. Let me move it around here so the back is to the Sun, and maybe that'll help. Maybe that's the way we're going to have to do it.

116:01:31 Gibson: Okay, Al; go ahead.

116:01:35 Bean: Once we learn the trick here, I think we can do it each time. (Pause) That may do it. That may do it right there, Houston.

116:01:49 Gibson: Al, we haven't seen any change at all. Why don't you go and put your glove in front of the lens, but not over it, to see whether we can get any change at all.

116:02:01 Bean: What do you see now?

116:02:03 Gibson: Still the same, Al. We've got a very bright part - about 20 percent of the top - and black on the bottom.

116:02:15 Bean: Well, got any suggestions?

116:02:19 Gibson: Stand by, Al.

[The Apollo 12 Mission Report contains a technical discussion of the TV camera failure. "(Post-flight) ground tests using an Apollo-type image sensor (secondary electron conducting vidicon tube) exposed the camera system to extreme light levels. The resulting image on a monitor was very similar to that seen after the flight-camera failure. After decontamination and cleaning, the flight camera (which Pete and Al brought back to Earth) was inspected and power was applied. The image, as viewed on a monitor, was the same as that last seen from the lunar surface. The automatic light-level control circuit was (then) disabled by cutting one wire. The camera then reproduced good scene detail in that area of the picture which had previously been black, verifying that the black area of the target was undamaged, as shown in the figure 14-39 (redrawn by Thomas Schwagmeier). The finding also proved that the combination of normal automatic light control action and a damaged image-tube target caused the loss of picture. In the process of moving the camera on the lunar surface, a portion of the target in the secondary electron conductivity vidicon must have received a high solar input, either directly from the sun or from some highly reflective surface. (A 1993 examination of the TV record for the ALSJ showed that Al pointed the TV at the Sun while mounting the camera on the tripod). That portion of the target was destroyed, as was evidenced by the white appearance of the upper part of the picture. Training and operational procedures, including the use of a lens cap, are being changed to reduce the possibility of exposing the image sensor to extreme light levels. In addition, design changes are being considered to include automatic protection, such as the use of an image sensor which is less susceptible to damage from intense light levels."]
116:02:20 Bean: I'm pointing it at a non-bright area. Let me point it away from the Sun here. It may be (electrical) ground problems. I hope it is. (Pause) All the connections look good. (Pause)

RealVideo Clip (3 min 04 sec)

116:02:43 Gibson: Al, why don't you take a good close look at that lens and make sure it's in the right configuration.

116:02:52 Bean: Okay. I've got it on focus at infinity. I've got the zoom at 30 or 40 or 50; I'll put it 75. And I got the f-stop at 22.

116:03:07 Gibson: Roger, Al; we copy. (Pause)

116:03:14 Bean: I've got it pointing exactly opposite the Sun here, so... (Pause)

116:03:26 Gibson: Al, we see no change at all in the scene. Why don't you just give it a little tap? It may be the color wheel is hung up. (Long Pause)

116:03:53 Conrad: I put this (S-band) antenna one foot too close. (Long Pause)

[Pete is probably attaching the cable that connects the S-band to the LM and has found that he has just enough to make the connection. I interpret his comment to mean that, had he deployed the antenna a foot farther away, he wouldn't have had enough cable. See the extract from the 1969 Technical Debrief that is reproduced after 116:05:34.]
116:04:13 Conrad: Hey, Houston; it won't hurt if my PLSS antenna hits this S-band antenna (umbrella), will it?

116:04:24 Gibson: Stand by on that, Pete. (Pause) Pete, that's no problem.

116:04:37 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) Hey, Al.

116:04:49 Bean: Yep.

116:04:50 Conrad: Come over here. You're going to have to help me line up this (S-band) antenna.

116:04:53 Bean: All right. Houston, I'm going to leave the camera just pointed off in the distance. If you get any ideas, I'd be glad to work on it for you.

116:05:01 Gibson: Roger, Al. Try and point it off where you don't get any reflectance into it, and we'll be thinking about it here on the ground.

116:05:09 Bean: Okay. The plug that runs right into the back of the TV, it's sort of a white plastic material and it looks like it's cracked and maybe even melted a little bit. It doesn't look typical of that sort of connector.

116:05:23 Conrad: (To Al, who has joined him at the S-band) Stand around on the back. No, no, no. No, you got to go around. Go around so you can look at the antenna and tell me when I've got it pointed at the Earth.

116:05:30 Bean: All right.

116:05:31 Conrad: No, don't get underneath it. That a boy.

116:05:33 Bean: Okay.

116:05:34 Conrad: Now...Whoops, see what I mean. This thing...You're really going to have to watch that ALSEP. You could tip over this whole antenna without even blinking at it.

[Conrad - "I think I'm saying 'you're really going to have to watch the ALSEP,' meaning that, when we're out doing the ALSEP (deployment), we could have stuff fall over, real easy..."]

[Bean - "Which it did."]

[Conrad - "So we're going to watch it, we're going to have to be careful."]

[Bean - "Later, we're going to have the same problems we're having with this big antenna."]

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I'd like to talk about the S-band antenna. The antenna was no problem to deploy from the descent stage. I took the antenna right around to the agreed position, which was at the plus-Y (north landing) gear, and erected it. It went just as advertised, except for the fact that it was not very stable. It was very easy to tip over. When I finally got the antenna completely erected, I went around and got the cable and plugged it in; and, even when we had anticipated it (I thought I had the antenna right next to the spacecraft), as it turned out, I just barely had enough cable to connect it. The antenna was exactly in the right place, at maximum (cable) distance. At that point, we had anticipated that it was going to be very difficult to try to align the antenna with the Earth. One, the sight doesn't allow any latitude. If the Earth is in the sight, the antenna is perfectly aligned.

If it's not in the sight, you don't know where it is. So, Al came over and helped because the antenna had a tendency to tip over, especially when moving the crank which moved it in azimuth and elevation. The crank, itself, tended to tip the antenna over. The crank was stiff. Al grabbed it (an antenna leg), pressed it into the lunar surface, and held it steady as he could while standing behind it and giving me sort of a GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) on the hand crank. Finally, I picked up a corner of the Earth in the mirror and he still hung on to the antenna while I fine-tuned it. Because we anticipated this problem, it didn't cost us any time."]

[This discussion suggests that the sighting device doesn't have a field of view much larger than the 2 degree diameter of Earth. Consequently, they have to have the antenna rough-pointed to within 2 degrees of the Earth in order to have any part of it in the field-of-view.]

RealVideo Clip (3 min 10 sec)

116:05:42 Bean: Okay, go ahead.

116:05:44 Conrad: Can you see the Earth?

116:05:45 Bean: No.

116:05:46 Conrad: You've got to get around here. The Earth and the Sun are right lined up. You have to look right into the Sun and look up in the sky. Watch it; you're on the TV antenna...I mean (TV) cable.

116:05:56 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

116:06:00 Conrad: See what I'm trying to do? I've got to pitch over now, right?

[This suggests that Pete has the antenna pointed at more or less the right azimuth but too high. As mentioned previously, Earth is at an azimuth of 88 degrees east of north and an elevation of 61 degrees. The Sun is at an azimuth of 91 degrees east of north and an elevation of 8 degrees. Pete wants Al to stand west of the antenna so he can help Pete with the alignment.
116:06:03 Bean: Uh-huh. Oh, there it is. I got you now. (I) wasn't looking high enough.

116:06:08 Conrad: Yeah.

116:06:09 Bean: I tell you where you need to go, Pete. Okay, that's good. Now you need to point...Now you need to rotate the whole thing counter-clockwise (that is, aim it more to the north). That's good. You're getting there. Getting there. The old Earth's just hanging up there. It's amazing.

116:06:28 Conrad: How much further?

116:06:29 Bean: Oh, I'd say another 3 or 4 degrees (in azimuth), maybe. Stop. Good boy. Okay, now. Wait. That looks just good, as far as angles. Now, up and down...I can move in a little closer, if that'd help you. (Pause) Okay, come down with it. (Pause) (Garbled). Go down. Come on down.

116:06:59 Conrad: Coming.

116:07:02 Bean: Okay, stop. Now go clockwise. (Pause) All right, a little more. I think you're pretty close to right on there, Pete.

116:07:12 Conrad: All right, now wait a minute. Don't let me knock it over, but I got to...

116:07:15 Bean: Okay. I'm trying to stabilize it for you (probably by holding one of the antenna legs)

116:07:17 Conrad: Yeah, but every time you do, you push it in the (ground and, thereby, change the pointing).

116:07:19 Bean: Okay. You go ahead. (Pause) That's difficult, because it's so tender (that is, unstable) up here on these legs.

116:07:26 Conrad: Well, I don't see the Earth anywhere in the sight.

116:07:31 Bean: It's close.

116:07:33 Conrad: Have any ideas which way to go?

[Bean - "I think it (the sighting device) was a little bitty old tube and, like we said earlier, if the Earth wasn't in the damn thing, then you didn't know which way to turn."]

[Conrad - "But I think it was also positioned in such a way, in the back of the antenna, that it was hard to use."]

[The sighting device can be seen in a detail from Apollo 11 training photo S69-17211. Note that it is immobile and is oriented horizontally, perpendicular to the elevation axis.]

[Bean - "It seems to me what you did was kind of bring it in close just by looking along the little sight tube (rather than through it). As I remember, we couldn't get really close to the antenna. It would move. If you tried to get your visor up there, you'd bump it and the thing would tip over."]

[Conrad - "We had a real high Earth compared to some other people, because we were near the center of the Moon. And I think what was doing it was we could never get in to look in the tube. That's how I remember it. We sighted it in (along the antenna mast) and they said it was okay. We were looking along it, you know, and we could see the Earth. But when we tried to get up and look in the little (sighting device) hole, we never could look in the little hole, because our helmets would bump the thing over. But even when you looked in the little hole, if the Earth wasn't in there, you didn't have any idea where the Earth was, you didn't know whether to tell the guy to crank it up, crank it down, crank it left. You didn't know what the hell to do."]

[As Pete said in the 1969 Technical debrief extract reproduced just before 116:05:42 he finally was able to get Earth in the sight at about 116:09:40. By 1991, he had forgotten.]

[Apollos 14 and 16 landed closer to lunar longitude/latitude 0/0 than Apollo 12, Apollo 11 as about the same distance out as Apollo 12 but east of the central meridian, and Apollos 15 and 17 were farther out.]

116:07:36 Bean: Yeah. Just like that. (Pause) I tell you, we're going to have to...Let's push these legs in a little bit (and) get this thing more stable. Get this thing in the dirt.

116:07:48 Conrad: Okay. Don't break them. This thing is delicate.

116:07:51 Bean: I know it. Now it's in the dirt. Now, let's line her up.

116:07:55 Conrad: Okay. Can you look right down the mast?

116:07:57 Bean: Yeah. It looks like it's lined up to me. You'll just have to move in and try it, because you're awfully close...

116:08:03 Conrad: How is it in azimuth? And I'll look for it in pitch.

116:08:07 Bean: Come a little bit more clockwise. You're right on it, babe. Stop. Now, run it up and down in pitch, and you're bound to get it. (Pause)

116:08:23 Conrad: (Garbled) go the other way, I guess. (Pause) Whoops! I just told you. Hold it. Take your hands off it.

116:08:32 Bean: I can't; it'll fall over.

116:08:33 Conrad: No,...

116:08:34 Bean: You're pulling on it here.

116:08:35 Conrad: Leave it alone.

116:08:38 Bean: Okay, I've got my hands off it. It's standing there.

116:08:40 Conrad: Ah.

116:08:42 Bean: Be delicate, because this (possibly the crank) pulls on it. See?

116:08:43 Conrad: Yeah.

116:08:45 Bean: Got it? (Pause) You want me to go work on something else now?

116:08:59 Conrad: Yeah.

116:09:00 Bean: Okay. Looks good. Just be careful you don't move in any closer, because the right side of your PLSS is going to bump it.

116:09:07 Conrad: Okay.

116:09:09 Bean: I'll put out the solar wind collector (SWC). (Pause) Before I do, let me get a (70mm) camera out here so I can take the picture (of the solar wind collector), Pete. (Pause) Get out that solar wind collector. (Long Pause)

116:09:40 Conrad: Okay. Earth, I have you in the S-band antenna sight. (Pause) (To himself) Now, what's next?

116:09:51 Bean: Okay. For me, it's solar wind collection (SWC).

116:09:54 Conrad: Okay.

116:09:56 Gibson: Al, when you finish up the solar wind, would you give one more last try on that (TV) camera? Try opening the f-stop all the way and exercising the zoom.

116:10:07 Bean: (To Gibson) I sure will. (To Pete) Boy, we sure don't want to touch those (TV and S-band) cables.

116:10:16 Conrad: No, we've got to stay away from those cables, you're right. (Pause)

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "One thing that continually disturbed us the whole time, particularly Pete, was the fact that the TV cable was right in front of the MESA. Our TV cable laid flat on the ground. It didn't tend to curl up or anything like that (as had been the case with the Apollo 11 cable); but, because it rested on top of the dust and your feet go beneath the dust, you end up pushing the cable around quite a bit. I think this is a completely unsatisfactory situation and I would recommend that the connector for the TV be moved over to quadrant 3 (on the NE face of the LM) or quadrant 1(probably means quadrant 2 on the SE face), so that the TV cable would never have to be in the vicinity of the MESA or the area near the front of the ladder. It's just too highly traveled an area to have something like that TV cable underfoot. We never fell over it, but it was just a constant problem trying to avoid it."]

[No change was made for either Apollo 13 or 14 and, for the later missions, the TV was mounted on the Rover and the TV/S-band cable problems were eliminated entirely.]

116:10:21 Conrad: Got a (70mm) camera with you?

116:10:24 Bean: Yeah, I certainly do.

116:10:25 Conrad: Okay, just hang on to it. (Pause)

[The checklist calls for Al to mount one of the 70 mm cameras on the bracket on the front of his chest-mounted RCU. This will leave his hands free for other tasks. When he needs to take a picture, all he needs to do is squeeze a trigger on the handle which is also attached to the bracket.]
RealVideo Clip (3 min 15 sec)

116:10:30 Conrad: Houston, how long we been out?

116:10:34 Gibson: Pete, you've been out 1 hour and 2 minutes, and you're both running about 2 minutes off nominal - behind.

116:10:44 Conrad: Okay.

[Comm Break]
116:12:25 Bean: Looks like a good place for the solar wind collector, Pete. I think I'll stick it right...(Straining) Boy.

116:12:30 Conrad: Yeah. (Long Pause)

[The checklist calls for SWC deployment 60 feet from the spacecraft, with the aluminum foil collection surface pointed at the Sun. Thomas Schwagmeier notes that as can be seen in photos AS12-47-6899 and AS12-46-6861, Al deployed the SWC NNW of the LM. Note that figure 10-50 in the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report incorrectly shows the SWC NE of the LM. Al did a careful job of tilting the collector to get maximum exposure. An analysis of AS12-47-6899 by the experiment team indicated that the SWC was tilted 10 degrees, a reasonable match to the average solar elevation of 13 degrees during the nineteen hours that the experiment was deployed. The experiment consists of a foil collector 30 cm wide and 140 centimeters tall and captured such components of the solar wind as helium and neon. Among other things, the experimenters were interested in determining in the average modern value of the He3/He4 ratio for possible comparison with ancient ratios derived from gases extracted from lunar rocks or meteorites.]

[Bean, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The next thing we did was deploy the solar wind collector. That was pretty straightforward. I moved out a good distance from the LM, unrolled it, deployed it, stuck it in the ground. It went in about, I guess, 10 inches fairly readily and tilted back; it seemed to hold its position fairly well. Then I started trotting back to the LM. I looked back at it. We were caught in the same predicament of not being able to estimate distances. It didn't look like I had gone out 60 feet, so I walked out, picked it up, carried it out another 20 or 30 feet, and stuck it in the ground quite quickly. Then I stood there, looked at it, and said again, 'Well, it looked like 60 feet, but now it doesn't.' So I pulled it out of the ground again, went another 20 feet and stuck it in. I probably got the thing out 200 feet, but we wanted to make sure that we got it far enough away so it wouldn't be affected by any of the LM outgassing or anything like that. The final time I inserted it, I pushed down with all the force I could get and put it in about 12 inches.".]

[Figure 10-50 in the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report indicates that Al deployed the SWC about 40 meters (130 feet) from the LM.]

[Note that photo AS12-47-6899 was taken at about 116:21:58, after the flag deployment.]

116:12:48 Conrad: Where are you?

116:12:50 Bean: Right here.

116:12:51 Conrad: Okay.

116:12:52 Bean: I'm planting it right here.

116:12:53 Conrad: Okay. (Pause)

116:13:01 Bean: Let's get back on this timeline in a minute.

116:13:02 Conrad: Yeah; let's go. Boy, I knew we were going to run late. (Pause) Ding-a-ling TV doesn't help. (Pause)

116:13:19 Bean: Okay. Solar wind collector (garbled) Sun. (Long Pause as he orients the collector surface perpendicular to the Sun) That looks good.

[Before Al can take any pictures, Pete calls him over to help with the flag deployment. The flag is stowed in a thermal shroud unter the lefthand ladder rail, as can be seen in NASA photo S69-38755 and in Pete's photos of Al on the ladder, such as AS12-46-6726.]
RealVideo Clip (2 min 55 sec)

116:13:40 Conrad: Okay; come here. I've got something for you. Let's go.

116:13:42 Bean: Okay.

[Journal Contributor Ulrich Lotzmann notes that, prior to late October 1969, "The Apollo 12 crew believed that planting the US flag would not be an objective for their mission. A 6 September memo from George Low (Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office) to Robert Gilruth (Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center), proposing that a flag deployment not be done on Apollo 12 and subsequent misisons. "During a 3 October 1969 press conference, when asked about a flag deployment, Al said, "Raisng the US flag was done by Apollo 11 and that's enough; now let us use the valuable lunar surface time for science." Page 3-94 of the 'final' version of the Apollo 12 Flight Plan, released on 15 October 1969, contains no reference to a flag deployment. However, Revision B (containing both Revision A and Revision B pages) lists the flag deployment after Pete deploys the S-Band and Al deploys the SWC. (See, also, a comparison of the lower right corners of the two versions of page 3-94. The upper portions of "REV" would be visible had they been present.) Lastly, the Final Lunar Surface Procedures Book, with a date of October 23, does include the flag deployment on page 18 at 1+02.]
116:13:43 Conrad: A hammer. Now. Take the hammer out.

116:13:46 Bean: Wait, wait. Want me to (garbled, either hang or bang) that TV first?

116:13:48 Conrad: Yeah, yeah.

[Before taking care of Houston's request that he open up the TV f-stop and exercise the zoom, Al helps Pete get the flagstaff into the ground . The Apollo 11 crew had trouble pushing the flagstaff far enough into the ground that it would stand upright, so the 12 crew will hammer theirs in. Anne Platoff's 'Where No Flag Has Gone Before' contains detailed discussions of the flag assembly.]

[Bean - "They (the Apollo 11 crew) put the two sections of their flagstaff together and then tried to push it in (by hand), and they were always afraid it would break. And that's why Neil had so much trouble. Ours was a two-piece flagstaff but the bottom section had a (hardened) top on it where we (actually Al) could pound it in (while Pete held it). Then, when the lower half was in, then we put the upper half in."]

[Conrad - "You've got a great memory, man. I don't remember anything about the flagpole, other than the fact that the thing (the crossbar that holds the flag out straight) broke. It never would latch."]

[Bean - "It never did. And it was broken, probably, when it was made."]

[Conrad - "Yeah, it just never did work."]

[The problem was the locking hinge at the top of the staff that was supposed to hold the crossbar out perpendicular to the staff. The hinge and lock were redesigned for Apollo 13.]

[Jones - "Speaking of the hammer, the J-mission commanders carried the hammer in a shin pocket. On your second EVA, did you carry the hammer around on the Hand Tool Carrier?"]

[Bean - "I think so."]

[Al brought the hammer back to Earth and now uses it in texturing his paintings. Photo by Ulli Lotzmann.]

[Jones - "You didn't have a shin pocket that you kept it in."]

[Conrad - "No, no."]

[Bean - "That's why I think I ran over and got it from the MESA. It was strapped on the top of the MESA before hand; and then, later, we put it in the tool carrier."]

116:13:51 Bean: How about right here?

116:13:53 Conrad: Okay.

116:13:55 Bean: Right here's a good spot.

116:13:56 Conrad: Okay.

116:13:59 Bean: Okay, right here.

116:14:00 Conrad: No.

116:14:03 Bean: Right here?

116:14:04 Conrad: Yeah. (Pause)

116:14:12 Bean: Goes right in the ground.

116:14:14 Conrad: Yup. That's no problem, is it?

116:14:16 Bean: Those poles just drive right in. (Pause) Okay. (Pause)

116:14:32 Conrad: Now you can go whistle (that is, work) on the TV.

116:14:35 Bean: Okay, I'll go work on it a little bit.

116:14:36 Conrad: Okay.

[Now that they have driven the bottom section of the staff into the ground, Pete will put on the top section and attempt to raise the crossbar and get it to latch into place. The use of the word "whistle" to mean "work" undoubtedly derives from the dwarves's song in the Walt Disney feature "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".]
116:14:39 Gibson: Al, we copy your comment on the insertion of that (flag pole) into the ground. How far in are you able to get it?

116:14:47 Bean: Oh, I pounded it in over a foot, I'd say; and it didn't look like it was any harder towards the end than right at the beginning. It's pretty...(garbled under Pete)

[As detailed in Anne Platoff's history of the Apollo 11 Flag, the flagstaff has a diameter of 1 inch and a "hardened, steel point to make it easier to drive into the lunar soil." On Apollo 11, Neil was unable to get more than a couple of inches of penetration when trying to push the flagstaff in by hand. Here, Al has been able to deliver enough force with the hammer to get penetration, even into the compacted material that probably underlies the top few inches.]
116:15:02 Conrad: I'll tell you what, Al...

116:15:03 Bean: Okay, Houston, I'm going to move the focus (on the TV) a bit and see what happens.

116:15:10 Gibson: Roger, Al. Don't spend too much time on it. You're running a tad behind.

116:15:17 Bean: Okay. Well. I'll tell you what. I can feel that the wheel's...When I hold the end of the lens, I can feel the wheel's running, because I can feel something in motion inside. Okay. Now, I just changed completely the settings I had before. The f-stop's set at 22 but I can try something else.

116:15:35 Gibson: Okay, Al, we see no change down here. Why don't you press on?

116:15:40 Bean: Okay, let me try another f-stop, the other way. How's that?

116:15:48 Gibson: There's no change down here, Al. (Pause) That's coming in there, now, Al. Okay, what change did you make?

116:16:02 Bean: I hit it on the top with my hammer. I figured we didn't have a thing to lose.

116:16:08 Gibson: Skillful fix, Al.

116:16:09 Bean: I hit it on the top with this hammer I've got. (Responding to Gibson) Yeah, that's skilled craftsmanship. Got it (garbled)

116:16:17 Conrad: Hey, Al?

116:16:19 Bean: Yes, sir.

116:16:20 Conrad: That part has already sheared this thing.

[Bean - "It's the pin that holds up the horizontal member."]

[Conrad - "That's why our flag's hanging down."]

[Bean - "It went up and it never snapped in place."]

116:16:25 Bean: Never touched it.

116:16:27 Conrad: Okay.

RealVideo Clip (3 min 04 sec)

116:16:28 Bean: What should we do now with the lens, Houston?

116:16:34 Gibson: Okay; why don't you give us one more light rap (with the hammer), and also cut down on the f-stop?

116:16:43 Bean: All right. Will do. Now, is the zoom right for you? (Long Pause)

116:17:04 Bean: (Garbled)

116:17:05 Conrad: Oh, lord. (Pause) Need to jury rig (garbled under Gibson)...

116:17:12 Gibson: Al, we're still not getting a good picture. Why don't you press on, and we'll try to get back to it later, if we have time.

116:17:21 Bean: Okay; I'll pound it a little bit. (Pause) There you go. I'll just leave it like it is. Point it slightly toward the LM here, so that, if you do get a picture, you'll see something. There you go. That ought to give you some sort of a picture that you can think about. I'd be glad to come back and work on it. Got to go to work again.

116:17:43 Conrad: Al?

116:17:44 Bean: Yes, sir.

116:17:45 Conrad: What I need is a piece of tape.

116:17:48 Bean: Good luck.

[The J-mission crews had rolls of gray duct tape on the Rover, which came in very handy for repairs of this sort.]

[Conrad - "We didn't have any rolls of tape. The tape that I'm referring to, I think, is things like (a piece of tape that) held the lid on the canister of the S-Band antenna. And I'm sure that stuff was either trampled on or gone. I don't really remember this, but I was trying to fix the flag."]

116:17:51 Conrad: Boy, there's all kinds of tape around here.

116:17:54 Bean: Okay. (Long Pause)

116:18:40 Conrad: (I've) had it on this thing. (Long Pause) Houston.

RealVideo Clip (1 min 58 sec)

116:19:29 Gibson: Pete, go ahead.

116:19:33 Conrad: Okay, the flag is (more or less) up.

116:19:37 Gibson: Roger, copy. The flag is up.

116:19:38 Conrad: We hope everyone down there is as proud of it as we are...

116:19:39 Gibson: We show you are very close to the nominal time line. How about a EMU check?

116:19:48 Conrad: Okay. We have the flag up. Like I said, hope everybody down there is as proud of it as we are to put it up. (Pause)

116:20:02 Gibson: That's affirmative, Pete. And we're proud of what you're doing. (Pause)

[Journal Contributor James Fincannon has used sunrise-to-sunset sequences of LROC images on the site to demonstrate that, as of 2009-2011, the Apollo 12 flag is still aloft and casting a shadow. The shadow cast by the erectable S-band antenna has also been identified.]
116:20:18 Conrad: Al?

116:20:19 Bean: Yes, sir.

116:20:20 Conrad: Can we have a quickie (tourist photo) here?

116:20:22 Bean: Okay. (Pause)

[Al's pictures of Pete with the flag are AS12-47-6896 and 6897.]

[Conrad - "You can see that I was holding the flag up. Because, if you look at the rest of the pictures, it hangs straight down, because the little pin up broke."]

[Jones - "(To Pete) Did you trade the camera so that you could take one of Al?"]

[Bean - "He didn't take one of me. (Before the mission) he asked me if I wanted to and I didn't want to."]

116:20:32 Conrad: (To Al) Back up a little more ...

116:20:33 Bean: Okay.

116:20:34 Conrad: ...to about 15 feet.

116:20:35 Bean: All right. (Pause)

116:20:40 Conrad: Easy. You're getting into the TV cable!

116:20:43 Bean: Nope, I just went right over it, babe.

116:20:44 Conrad: (Laughs heartily)

[Although it's impossible to know if Al was aware of the TV cable, his self-assured tone-of-voice suggests that he was.]
116:20:45 Bean: Here you are. Take a look, Pete.

116:20:48 Conrad: I can't see you (because Al is standing up-Sun). (Pause) Get it?

116:20:57 Bean: Sure did.

116:20:58 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) Another one?

116:21:04 Bean: Yeah.

116:21:05 Conrad: Wait one. (Pause) Okay.

116:21:17 Bean: Got you.

116:21:20 Conrad: Okay; good.

RealVideo Clip (2 min 44 sec)

116:21:22 Bean: Okay, get back working.

116:21:24 Conrad: I go get my camera. I got some pan shots (to do) and next the ALSEP. (Pause) And, Houston, I'm down on Min cooling.

[Pete will take a panoramic series of 70 mm photos. He can be seen taking the pan in AS12-47-6899, a solar wind photo Al will take in a few moments.]
116:21:41 Gibson: Roger, Pete. How's Al doing? (Pause)

116:21:50 Conrad: Say again.

116:21:53 Gibson: Is Al doing all the work?

[The fact that Pete is on Minimum cooling indicates that he isn't having to expend much energy to get the work done. Readers should recall that this is only the second lunar landing mission and the first with so ambitious an EVA. Gibson's question is partly in jest - that is, is Pete able to use Min cooling because he's making Al do all the hard work - but Pete chooses to interpret it as a serious question.]
116:21:58 Conrad: No, sir. I'm heading out to do the pan photographs right now; and, with any luck at all, we'll get back on the timeline and complete what we need. Al's taking shots of the solar wind. And I'm hopping out here to the number 1 slot.

116:22:18 Gibson: Roger.

[Pete's statement refers to the drawing on page 3 of his cuff checklist. Pete will take panoramic sequences of photos at three positions, with the number one position west of the plus-Z strut. Each pan sequence will consist of about twelve overlapping photos, with centers spaced about 30 degrees around the horizon.]

[Conrad - "That's what I did. I ran over (to position 1, west of the ladder) and did twelve photographs and ran over here (to position 2, 30 degrees east of north or, roughly, NE) and did twelve and ran over here (to position 3, 30 degrees east of south or, roughly, SE ) and did twelve."]

[On pages Surface 44, 45, and 46, there are charts giving camera settings for the twelve photographs in each pan. Readers should note that the numbers preceding the brackets are clock positions for each of the photos. That is, Pete will begin the first sequence by pointing in the 2 o'clock direction (60 degrees north of west). Inside the brackets, the first number is the desired f-stop setting, the second is the focal distance, and the third is the number of photos (here all 1) to be taken in each direction. Note that the 74-foot setting is, essentially, infinity. Note also that the notation '20 ft at 12' indicates that Pete is to take the pan 20 feet from the LM at the 12 o'clock (west) position. The second sequence will be taken at 4 o'clock, and the third at 8 o'clock. The cuff checklist doesn't contain the settings information, but Al remembers that there was a decal on the top of the camera.]

[Bean - "On the top of the camera was a little decal and it had a picture that indicated settings like 'cross-Sun, f/11...'"]

[Conrad - "It had the settings and we had tabs on the camera that we could set. We always shot the same speed, 1/250th. And so we knew (from the decal) that, if we shot down-Sun, it was f/11 which was the most open. If it was cross-Sun, it was f/8. And If we were shooting up-Sun, it was an f/5.6."]

[Pete has mis-spoken. They did use f/11 when they were shooting down-Sun; but the aperature at f/11 was the smallest of the three setting. At f/5.6 the aperature was most open. The reason for this is that the lunar surface is brightest in the down-Sun direction because of the large amount of sunlight being reflected back toward the camera whereas, in the up-Sun direction, the camera is seeing a lot of shadowed surface, so the aperature needs to be increased.]

[Journal Contributor Harald Kucharek notes that the f-stop decal on the top of Al's Hasselblad magazine can be seen in a detail from Pete's best picture of Al at Sharp Crater, AS12-49-7278. The large lettering reads 'Remove Darkslide Before Installing Magazine'. A rectified detail by Markus Mehring allows us to read much of the smaller lettering. Karl Dodenhoff has provided a drawing based on material at the National Air&Space Museum. Other than some details related to Surveyor photography, this A12 decal is similar to the corresponding Apollo 14 decals. In particular, twenty years after the mission, Pete's memory of the f-stop settings used relative to the Sun is perfect. A change in the planned cross-Sun f-stops was made after Apollo 11.]

[Note that the "ALSCC" in Pete's checklist is the Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up Camera - also known as the Gold camera after the Principal Investigator, astronomer Thomas (Tommy) Gold. Pete has forgotten to off-load the Gold camera and will do so only after a reminder from Houston at the end of the EVA.]

116:22:19 Bean: Boy, you sure can move on this surface.
[From all indications, they are no longer walking flat-footed.]
116:22:21 Conrad: Yeah, but watch it when you hit a rock!

116:22:25 Bean: (Garbled).

116:22:29 Conrad: Okay. (Pause) Go. f/11. f/11 it is. (Counting frames and clock positions as he turns) 1, 2, 3. Now f/8. (Pause) 4, 5, 6, 7 ... (Pause, possibly changing to f/5.6) 6, 7

[Apparently, Pete just lost count. He does not repeat any of the pointing in the photo sequence or backtrack, but turns clockwise a short distance between frames.]

[There is a note on checklist page Surface 43 saying "If conditions permit, the following photo trek will reduce (the) number of camera setting changes."]

[Bean - "Somebody invented that and we're not doing it. It would be quicker for us (and easier to keep track of where they were in a sequence) to just start at 12 (o'clock rather than 2 o'clock) each time and change the settings as we needed to."]

Pete's 12 O'Clock Pan ( frames 6730 to 6745 )
[Al's SWC documentation photos are AS12-47-6898 and 6899.]
116:23:34 Gordon: Hello. Houston. This is Yankee Clipper. I'm (garbled).

116:23:44 Gibson: Clipper, you were broken up. Say again.

116:23:50 Conrad: (To Gibson) Who are you talking to?

116:23:53 Gibson: Pete, we have Clipper and you both on the same air-to-ground...

116:23:56 Gordon: Houston, this is Yankee Clipper.

116:23:57 Gibson: Clipper, go ahead. Say again.

RealVideo Clip (46 sec)

116:24:07 Gordon: Houston, Yankee Clipper. I marked off Snowman with the telescope. And we're going to get some good pictures from that one.

116:24:14 Gibson: Roger, Clipper. (Long Pause)

116:24:47 Conrad: Six. (Long Pause)

[Pete is probably working on the 4 o'clock pan.]
Pete's 4 O'Clock Pan ( frames AS12-46-6746 to 6763 )

116:25:18 Bean: Do you hear a little background noise, Pete? Kind of staticky and things?

116:25:21 Conrad: I keep hearing a whistle.

116:25:22 Bean: That's what I hear. Okay. (Long Pause)

[See also 116:38:08. The intermittent noise is audible on the tapes recorded in Houston.]
116:25:44 Conrad: Okay, Houston, two of the pans are done.

116:25:49 Gibson: Roger, Pete. Copy. Two pans. Al, how was the LM inspection?

116:25:56 Bean: I'm working on it right now.

116:25:59 Gibson: Roger. (Pause)

[As per checklist, Al is starting with two photos of the minus-Y (south) footpad and strut. These are AS12-47-6900 and 6901.]
116:26:05 Conrad: (I'm) taking a look at that Surveyor, Al, I suspect we ought to be able to get there quite readily. I'm going to head down into the crater a little bit for this set of pans...Whoops, (garbled)

116:26:14 Bean: Watch yourself; it's easy to slide.

116:26:16 Conrad: Yeah, you can say that again. (Pause) I notice you've been over here, haven't you?

[On this pristine surface, the footprints show exactly where Pete and Al have walked.]
116:26:22 Bean: Uh-huh. (Garbled) (Pause) I don't think this is going to show anything, but I'll give it a go.

116:26:33 Conrad: What's that?

116:26:34 Bean: Oh, I'm trying to show the front gear there and how it planted itself, but it's not bright enough to (get a good photograph). (Pause) Give it a go, though. (Pause)

[Al's photos of the plus-Z (west) footpad are AS12-47-6902 and 6903. As Al expected, much of the detail is lost in the LM shadow.]
116:26:59 Conrad: Uh-oh.

116:27:00 Bean: What happened?

116:27:03 Conrad: I think my camera's...(Long Pause)

[As Pete mentioned at 116:26:05, he walked a short way down into Surveyor Crater to take his 8 o'clock pan. The first three frames are all up-Sun's and suggest that it is at the start of the pan that Pete thinks that his camera may be malfunctioning. Whatever the problem may have been, he is able to finish the pan.]
Pete's 8 O'Clock Pan ( frames AS12-46-6764 to 6782 )

116:27:54 Bean: This (foot)pad bounced. Could be your plus-Y (north footpad) bounced about a pad diameter.

[Al's photos of the plus-Y footpad are AS12-47-6904 to 6906.]
116:28:05 Gibson: Al, do you have any comments on the footpad interaction with the surface?

116:28:11 Bean: Yes, I do. Actually, these pads went in a little bit further than did Neil's. I'd say most of the pads are in about an inch and a half to two; and it sort of looked like we were moving slightly forward (west), and had pretty well killed off our left/right velocity when we touched down. The right-hand (north) footpad seems to have bounced. That'd be the plus Y, the right-hand side one. The others don't seem to have. So it must have, maybe, hit there first, and rocked back and forth or something. (Garbled)

[Al may be referring to a depression immediately south of the footpad that appears to be about the right size to have been an imprint of the 94-cm-diameter footpad. Al took series of four photos of the footpad (AS12-47-6904-5) and the possible imprint 6906-7.]

[In December 2010, Journal Contributor Svein Skasberg wrote to suggest that Al was mistaken about the plus-Y footpad having bounced and that the depression immediately south of the footpad is a pre-existing, natural lunar crater. He noted that the depth of the depression appears to be comparable to the 18-cm height of the footpad, implying penetration much deeper than observed for the other footpads on this and other missions. He called attention to the small rocks lying on the bottom of the depression, rather than having been pressed into the surface by the footpad. And he noted that there are no probe marks asscoated with the crater. While looking into Svein's suggestion, I discovered that the authors of the Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report, on page 163, reached the same conclusion based on what is known about spacecraft motions during the last few seconds of the descent and by the evidence provided by the location and orientation of the surface gouge made by the probe. Figure 10-54 mentioned in the discussion of the landing is AS12-47-6906.]

[Final spacecraft motions are detailed in section 4.2.3 in the Apollo 12 Mission Report. The descent engine stop button was activiated approximately 1.3 seconds before first pad contact; and the LM came to rest about 1.5 seconds after first pad contact. At the time of first contact, the LM was dropping at about 1 m/sec, had a forward (westward) velocity of 0.5 m/sec, a lateral velocity of about 0.12 m/s to the left (south). During the 1.5 seconds between first pad contact and final rest, the LM could have moved no more than 0.75 meters to the west, and 0.18 m to the south. The state-of-motion at first contact makes it unlikely that the depress south of the plus-Y (north) footpad is a footpad imprint. Further, at the time of first pad contact, the LM was tilted three degrees forward and 1.4 degrees to the left. When it came to rest, the LM was tilted back by 3 degrees and to the left by 3.8 degrees to the left (south). These post-contact tilting motions to the east and south also make it unlikely that the plus-Y pad made an imprint south of its final location. Craters of 1 meter diameter are very common on the lunar surface, as can be seen in any of the photographs taken out the LM windows before the first EVA.]

116:28:48 Gibson: Roger, Al. Do you see anything on the surface from the DPS (Descent Propulsion System, the descent engine)?

116:28:56 Bean: No, I don't. The surface under there...It's kind of interesting, the surface under there is clean. It doesn't have the loose dust particles as does the rest of the lunar surface about here. It also has a number of small round dirt clods, if you want, that seem to be rolling off in a radial direction from underneath the skirt of the engine. I'll take a couple of pictures (garbled) good shot, because the skirt's about 8 inches or so off the ground.

[Photos AS12-47-6906 and 6907 show the area under the descent stage as seen from the north. Jack Schmitt mentions in his Apollo 17 commentary that a plausible explanation for the dark appearance of the soil disturbed by the astronauts near the LM is that the descent engine swept away the finest particles, leaving a greater proportion of large particles and making the surface more reflective. Subsequently, when the soil was disturbed, the original size distribution was more or less restored and the surface became less reflective again. In support of this hypothesis, Schmitt cites the fact that, at geology stations several kilometers from the LM, disturbed soil does not appear darker.]
116:29:43 Bean: I think I can get a good one for you, Houston.

116:29:46 Gibson: Roger, Al. It's good description.

116:29:48 Bean: There we go. Hey, you can really move around out here, Houston. That mobile POGO rig that we've got there, and also that one in the centrifuge. Man, it's just like this. You can just run and bounce just like you can on that POGO. It's a real good training device.

[Bean - "We did it two or three weeks before the flight. Came in on a Saturday or something and did it. Apparently I thought it was pretty good. It seems to me that, at the time, I didn't think it was that great. But, apparently, I think so here, which is a good comment."]

[Al has moved around to the back of the LM to photograph the minus-Z footpad and adjacent areas under the LM. The pictures are AS12-47- 6908 to 6911.]

[Conrad, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Now the one comment I made in flight (about the condition of the LM) was that there was a rock about 4 by 3 by 2 inches lying right under the engine bell. It hadn't been blown away. I can't figure how it was lying right there at the skirt edge. We took a photograph of it (AS12-47-6909). I don't know whether it will show or not, but it didn't blow away. I was quite surprised - after seeing all that dust and stuff flying on landing - that it did not blow a rock that size away. We went around and did the pan photographs and I made a mistake there. I got in a hurry, got off the checklist, and I took all my pans at 15 feet (focus). I had Al pick them up (that is, redo them) later so that we wouldn't lose on the timeline."]


"That may have been a small one for Neil..." Apollo 12 Journal ALSEP Off-load