Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal


Driving to Elbow Crater Driving to Station 2


Geology Station 1 at Elbow Crater

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan and panorama assembly credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Except where noted, audio clips by David Shaffer.
Last revised 28 January 2017.


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122:13:15 Scott: Hey, Joe. Give me a comm check on the FM/TV.

122:13:18 Allen: Okay, Dave. Comm check on FM/TV; and is the 16-millimeter (movie camera) off? (Long Pause)

[Fendell has the TV pointed above the back of the Rover, showing only the black sky and the low-gain antenna at the right side of the picture. Fendell pulls back on the zoom and then moves the camera up again.]
122:13:35 Scott: How do you read me, Jim?

122:13:36 Irwin: Loud and clear, Dave.

122:13:37 Scott: (To Jim) Are you reading Houston?

122:13:38 Irwin: No.

122:13:41 Irwin: Okay, I'm taking a pan.

[The location where Jim is taking the pan is indicated in the Station 1 sketch map, which is figure 5-56 in the Preliminary Science Report.]
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122:13:43 Scott: Okay. (Pause; static) Okay, Houston. How do you read on PM1/WB?

122:13:59 Allen: Dave and Jim, we lost comm temporarily here. Stand by. (Pause)

[As of 11 June 2010, we don't have TV from about 122:14:00 to 122:14:50 and don't know if any was recorded.]
122:14:09 Scott: Houston, how do you read?

122:14:11 Allen: Dave, you're very broken and garbled. Stand by 1. We're working. (Static ends)

122:14:20 Scott: Now we lost comm with them, Jim.

122:14:22 Allen: Okay, you're loud and clear now, Dave.

122:14:23 Irwin: Do a quick sample here, and then press on.

122:14:28 Scott: Yeah. Well, I'd like to get the comm back. Did you get your pan?

122:14:35 Irwin: Got the pan.

[Jim's Station 1 pan (assembled by Dave Byrne) consists of frames AS15-85- 11398 to 11415.]

[Frame 11400 is a view up the rille, with Hill 305 in the distance. Journal Contributor Lennie Waugh notes that, as indicated in a detail, the in-bound Rover tracks can be traced to the local horizon. Non-labeled ( 195k ) and labeled ( 196k ) versions are available.]

[Frames 11410 to 11413 show Dave at the left side of the Rover and details of the back of the Rover.]

[In 11411, Dave has just gotten the three-legged gnomon out of its stowage sleeve on the back of his seat. A detail from a frame in Jim's STation 6 pan, AS15-85-11491 shows the stowed gnomon. The gnomon legs support a free swinging rod which provides a length scale, a shadow for orientation and, an indication of the local vertical. One of the gnomon legs holds a grey-scale and color chart for use in photo processing. The gnomon can be seen in most of the documentary photographs taken of the samples.]

[The f-stop settings used relative to the direction of the Sun are shown on decals mounted on the tops of the film magazines. 'HBW' is High-Speed Black-and-White and 'HCEX' is High-Speed Color Exterior.]

[As will be indicated in the text and the appropriate photo captions, at some locations Dave and Jim are in a bit of a hurry and, after placing the gnomon next to a sample, back away to take pictures while the free-swinging rod is still swinging significantly from side to side. The cure for this, of course, is to use the tip of a finger to stop the motions before backing away.]

122:14:36 Allen: Okay, we've got the comm. You're loud and clear, now.

122:14:37 Irwin: Why don't we do a quick sample?

122:14:39 Scott: Yeah.

122:14:40 Irwin: We want a radial sample (that is, a sequence of samples collected as at points on a line pointing away from the center of the crater as per the diagram on LMP/CDR-10.)

122:14:41 Scott: Yeah, okay. I'll go back to FM/TV, and let them (burst of static)...

[Dave knows that they had comm with Houston with the LCRU in the FM/TV mode and, by switching back, knows that Houston will eventually regain contact. Although, as he said, Dave would like to get comm back, the loss of comm is not critical and he and Jim are prepared to continue. See the related discussion after 120:49:39.]
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122:14:50 Irwin: Okay. A quick radial sample here.

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122:14:52 Scott: Yeah. Let me find you one. (Pause) Here, Jimmer. Right over here's one. (Pause, probably as Dave is trying to set the gnomon down next to a sample) I kick dust all over them (that is, the samples) so easy. (Pause) How about that one right there? Think we can get that in a bag?

122:15:16 Irwin: Yeah.

[Journal Contributor David Harland notes that this first sample is being taken just a couple of meters east of the crater rim.]
122:15:20 Allen: Okay. And, Dave and Jim; this is Houston, with a voice check.

122:15:25 Scott: (To Jim) Watch your shadow. (Pause)

[After Dave gets the gnomon in place, he stands north of the gnomon to take cross-Sun "before", or pre-sampling, photographs AS15-86- 11530 and 11531. In the meantime, Jim has taken up a position up-Sun (east) of the gnomon to take a down-Sun stereopair, AS15-85- 11416 and 11417, taking a step to his right between them to get a stereo effect. Note that, thanks to Dave's reminder, he has kept his shadow off the sample.]

[Fendell pans down until we see the back of the Rover with the low-gain at the right, the penetrometer recording drum at center above the console, a second pair of tongs above the left corner of the console, and the 16-mm camera at the left.]

122:15:36 Scott: Okay. (Pause) Got me a bag?

122:15:47 Irwin: Yeah.

[Off-camera, Dave is picking up a rock, probably with the tongs, while Jim opens one of the Teflon bags. Because of the stiffness of the suit arms, sample collection is a very difficult one-person operation but very manageable for two.]

[Dave and I talked a bit about the development of the sampling procedures which, on Apollo 15, were done with a far higher degree of polished teamwork than on prior missions.]

[Scott - "It was part of designing a system, total system, for the Rover that would not only provide the mobility but also carry everything effectively, so that we could bag a little sample, put it in the bag, put it on the Rover, or whatever and minimize the time involved which, again, took a lot of people a lot of time to not only develop the hardware, but the methodology. How do you do that so that, when you go back (to the Moon), you have all this data to work with?"]

[Jones - "During the preparations for 11, let's say, were there field exercises done where people suggested tools and other people tried them out?"]

[Scott - "Yeah."]

[Jones - "And then you get into training for a particular mission and you try things out and maybe some things change. There was certainly a big evolution in the lunar surface equipment from 11 to 15."]

[Scott - "Yeah, and also procedures. For example, I remember at one point, when we started 15, there were just too many photo documentation procedures. It took too long, and, in general, there were too many people involved in designing too many different kinds of procedures for the cameras, the tools, the rakes, the trenchers, etc. We had to consolidate all that and get it focused so that we could integrate this total system that consisted of scientists, procedural guys, hardware guys, people of all different disciplines. And, when J (that is, the three-day J-missions) came along, there were a lot more people, all going down their own trails."]

["Well, the trails had to converge somewhere, and I'll come back to that in a minute. But I remember, in the beginning, some of the procedures took so long that we didn't get anything done. So those were exercised extensively, as were the bags. How do you carry a lot of samples when you're out on the Rover? We had to start with a clean sheet of paper and say, "Gee, I don't know. Do you put them in your pocket?" I remember somebody had, at one point, thought of building big pockets on the suit. Right? Or putting a little pouch around your middle. Or a backpack or whatever. So this all had to be exercised in the field, such that we ended up with the Sample Collection Bag. That wasn't conceived instantaneously. That was the result of following some empty trails."]

[Jones - "Pete and Al, whom you backed up, had saddlebags attached at the hip and they had an ancestor of the SCB in the middle of the Hand Tool Carrier (HTC). How important was it, as the first J-mission crew, that you had backed-up a landing mission?"]

[Scott - "I think very important. Because we had learned a lot from that training run and we had become very familiar with the hardware and procedures upon which we would build to increase the capability of the mission. And we also were able to step into a landing mission with procedural experience running spaceships, so we could focus on the science, having had all that time on 12 to train emergency procedures, the landing, etc. That made it easier for us to step into the geology part, the science part, and spend more time doing that - which required more time because we had so much more to do."]

["The crew ends up integrating everything. That's the neck of the bottle or the throat of the nozzle. In a rocket engine, all the stuff builds up in a chamber and it has get through a throat. And the throat is a narrow little feller, and that's the crew. So we end up being the place where you integrate the whole system. And, having had the experience on 12 made it a lot easier for us to tackle 15. I think! Because we never had any other experience."]

[Jones - "The only other crew that would have preceded you in having trained for a landing mission was Lovell and Haise. They backed up Neil and Buzz. They would have done a 12-like mission - albeit at Fra Mauro with a traverse to Cone Crater - because the handcart wasn't available at that time. But they would have gone in with a lot more surface procedures training than anybody had up to that point."]

[Scott - "Yeah, it took an evolution to get it to be as efficient as it was. How do you tell, because you don't get to do it any other way? But, hopefully, these bags and procedures were eventually designed to minimize the overhead on the Moon; and, even though it looks like a long time to put the Rover together, there were no choices. You've got to put it together in bits and pieces. But, when you look at the limited time you have on the Moon, then you absolutely minimize the overhead of the equipment and the procedures so that you can maximize the science time."]

[Jones - "In looking at 14, because of the crew change - from Gordon Cooper and Mitchell on the 10 backup crew to Shepard and Mitchell on the 14 crew - and because Al had to spend most of his time training to fly the LM, much as Neil did for 11 and Pete did for 12 - 14's kind of a break in the otherwise steady increase in productivity of the surface operations from mission to mission - kind of a plateau between 12 and 14. As I said, the main reason for that was the amount of time that Al had to spend doing the flight training. Whereas you and Jim and the 16 and 17 guys had the backup experience and could go directly into training for the surface operations."]

[Scott - "Good point."]

122:15:52 Allen: Okay, Dave and Jim; Houston with a comm check. Do you read? Over.

122:15:56 Irwin: (Reading the bag number for future identification of the sample at the Lunar Receiving Lab in Houston) Number 156.

122:15:58 Allen: Roger.

122:15:59 Scott: Okay.

122:16:00 Allen: ...Copy 156.

[Fendell begins a clockwise pan, showing us the sunlit summit of Mt. Hadley over the reddish-brown, left-rear fender. Note that the southwest face of Mt. Hadley is still in deep shadow.]
122:16:04 Scott: Boy! It's very friable (that is, it breaks easily). Looks like a breccia all right (see the comment following 122:16:36), quite friable. But, I see a lot of sparklies in there. No glass. Subangular, with lots of dust on it.

122:16:20 Allen: Roger, Dave....

122:16:21 Scott: Did they hear?

122:16:22 Irwin: I suppose they did.

122:16:23 Allen: ...Copy loud and clear. Continue on. And, this is Houston with the comm check.

[Relatively little detail can be seen up-Sun toward the Swann Range, partly because of the dust on the TV lens.]

[Jones- "In Fendell's panning, we can actually see the dust on the camera."]

[Scott - "We should have covered the lens, shouldn't we?"]

[Rather than covering the TV lens, the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 crews will dust the lens with a small, fine-bristle brush, starting with a dusting near the end of Apollo 15 Station 6 at 144:48:14 suggested by Houston at 144:41:42.]

122:16:28 Scott: Hey, that's a lot better, Joe. I thought we'd lost you there for a minute.
[We get a brief view of Dave, who is facing west, and, to the right of him, Jim's hands. Most of Jim is hidden by the high-gain mast. The automatic irising function then kicks in.]

[At some point, Dave takes a cross-Sun "after" of the first sample site, AS15-86- 11532.]

122:16:31 Allen: We're hearing every word loud and clear.

122:16:36 Scott: Okay, I guess it was in your configuration down there, huh? (Pause) Okay, we'll hop up here and get another one. (Pause) Okay, here's one about the same size. (Pause) (Might) be a little too big (to fit in an individual sample bag). Take this one right here, Jimmer. Oh, I see a large chunk in there.

[Dave's comment about seeing "a large chunk" in the rock indicates that he has seen an inclusion in the rock, a embedded fragment - called a "clast" - which is different from the bulk of the rock material. This suggests to him that, as he said at 122:16:04, the rock is a breccia, a rock made of fragments of various parent rocks which were forced together in a large impact. In fact, this rock is not a breccia but, instead, is a 1.6 kilogram piece of coarse-grained basalt and is probably a piece of the local mare lava.]

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "Back to Geology 101!. One of the challenges of our geology training was the terminology - the meanings of the words and the geologic relationships they implied."]

[Basalts can contain inclusions and variations in structure, so a mistake of this kind is understandable. Dave and Jim make very few errors in identifying rocks.]

[David Harland notes that this sample is being taken about 25 meters east of the crater rim.]
[Fendell continues his clockwise pan and, when the camera iris opens again, we see good detail of the surface toward the south, with the lower slopes of Mt. Hadley Delta in the background. Because we are looking cross-Sun, we have good shadow definition and can see a variety of rocks and small craters. Because the TV camera is only at about waist height on the front of the Rover, the areal density of rocks is not as high as it appears in the TV picture.]
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122:17:16 Irwin: Get a little soil on this one, huh?

122:17:17 Scott: Yeah, man. (Long Pause) Got it?

122:17:34 Irwin: Yeah, I got the down-Sun.

[In this context, a "down-Sun" is a picture of the sample location taken from the east. Dave's cross-Sun stereopair is AS15-86- 11533 and 11534. Jim's down-Sun is AS15-85- 11418, showing Dave at the right taking his pictures.]
122:17:36 Scott: Okay.

122:17:37 Irwin: Get the "location" shot here.

[A "locator" or "location shot" is a picture taken at the sample site showing the Rover or a prominent horizon feature to provide a relative location. In this case, Jim raises his aim and gets AS15-85- 11419 showing Hill 305 on the horizon. By the time Jim gets the "locator", Dave has already picked up the sample, almost certainly with the tongs attached to the yo-yo on his left hip. Note that Dave is slightly out of focus, an indication that Jim has changed settings.]

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "It is probably difficult for current - and future - generations to comprehend the requirement to manually set the f-stop and range for each photo - without a lightmeter or rangefinder built into the camera for either automatic operation or even consultation! When I talk to people 25 years after the flight, they don't understand this exercise. Today, we just point and push the button, and the camera does everything for us. 'Wasn't it always like that', future generations will ask? When one considers the number and scope of the Hasselblad photos from the Apollo missions - and then considers the dust, the manual settings with clumsy gloves, the 'hip-shot pointing, and the continual hurry-up - it's sorta (sic) amazing we got what we got!"]

[Each of the film magazines has a decal on the top which shows recommended f-stop settings for aiming directions relative to the Sun.]

[Fendell is now looking directly down-Sun and, because of all the sunlight being reflected off the far wall of the rille and the nearly complete absence of shadows, the scene is virtually washed out and, indeed, it is all but impossible to tell that we are looking at a canyon 400 meters deep and 1500 meters wide. Jim's beginning and ending pan frames, AS15-85-11398 and 11415 show the area Fendell is currently examining. Bennett Hill is on the horizon.]

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122:17:38 Scott: Okay, Joe. These are buried about an inch or so. The one I have is subangular; it's covered with dust, but beneath the dust - by golly! - it's (pause) it's quite friable and...I see olivine. Look at this, Jim. In the sunlight, would you call that olivine? And, there is a big lath in there. Look at the big lath about a centimeter long and a millimeter wide...

122:18:14 Irwin: Yeah.

122:18:15 Scott: ...(composed) of plage (that is, the mineral plagioclase).

122:18:16 Irwin: Yeah, let me put this (possibly the first sample bag, 156) in your bag (SCB).

[As Fendell pans farther north and Hill 305 comes into view to the northwest, we begin to see the rille, especially the shadowed eastern wall. Jim's pan frames AS15-85- 11399 to 11401 show the view is this direction.]

[Along with soil and smaller fragments, this sample includes two pieces of coarse-grained basalt: 15075 (0.8 kg) and 15076 (0.4 kg).]

122:18:17 Scott: It's a light gray; millimeter-size grains; with like 2 millimeter-size phenocryst in it. Gosh. That one is really something. Look at that ... there.

122:18:30 Allen: Roger; that's critical, Dave. We copy you loud and clear. We need a bag number for that.

122:18:38 Scott: Bag number 157.

122:18:40 Allen: Roger.

[After Fendell reaches the clockwise limit of his pan, looking back over Jim's seat, he reverses directions, stopping for a moment to get a good view of the rille off to the north.]

[Jones - "Ed Fendell, the third man, is looking at the rille."]

[Scott - "So, for the first time, they know we're next to the rille. (Tongue-in-cheek) they know we have landed near the rille."]

[Jones - "There are a lot of little blocks on the surface."]

[Scott - "And you're looking at less than one percent coverage. Those little frags. It's pretty uncluttered, when you think about it."]

[Jones - "But, when you compare with the scene back by the LM, it was almost nothing."]

[Scott - "From this perspective, you see a lot of fragments; but, if you try to take a percentage of the surface coverage, I'd say that made 1 to 5 percent, at the most. So it's really not covered with a lot of debris. The heavily-covered debris areas were localized, around the fresh craters."]

[Jones - "Or on the very edge of the rille."]

[Scott - "Yeah. But those are big blocks, up to the north (at Station 9)."]

[Jones - "I did notice, on the drive down from the LM, Jim commented on large boulders near the edge, virtually the whole way."]

[Scott - "But the rille does have different character at different points. Some points were smooth and uncluttered and other parts, as we mentioned about the other side there all sorts of debris. I was noticing back here, earlier, we didn't see any layering in this area. Which is interesting."]

122:18:41 Scott: Let me get you another one. My goodness! Let's get another one out of here.

122:18:45 Irwin: Okay. (Pause)

122:18:55 Scott: That one's really buried.

122:18:56 Irwin: A little too big to go in there.

122:18:58 Scott: Yeah. There's a little one (probably sample 15076). Okay, let me just stick it in. (Pause)

122:19:08 Irwin: Okay. Going to put any soil in there?

122:19:10 Scott: Yeah, give me the bag. I'll soil it up, too. Dig a little light trench in there, and we'll...I got a feeling that Dr. Schmitt's going to win his bet.

[This is a reference to the naming of St. George Crater, as described in the commentary following 122:04:08. The presence of plagioclase in these pieces of breccia suggest that they are going to find anorthosite - a nearly pure plagioclase rock-type - when they get up the flank of Mt. Hadley Delta. The lunar highlands were believed to contain large amounts of anorthosite formed as part of the primordial lunar crust, and one of the goals of Apollo 15 was to find out if that supposition was true. Dave and Jim's most prominent anorthositic find will be the sample known as the Genesis Rock, which they will collect at Spur Crater during EVA-2.]

[Jim has the scoop and is collecting some soil to put in the bag with samples 15075 and 15076.]

122:19:21 Scott: Not that part, get another part. Not where we picked the rock up; right in front of it. (Pause) Okay, that's good. Hit the spot there. (Pause) Whoo, boy!

122:19:38 Irwin: Okay; a little bit more.

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122:19:39 Scott: Okay, you just try it again. Get another one and just pour real smooth, and I'll catch. (Pause)

[While Jim wields the scoop, Dave is holding an individual sample bag and, as we know from TV coverage of other sampling operations, he is trying to hold the bag low while Jim raises the scoop and tries to get the sample in the bag.]

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "Getting the bag 'down' and the scoop 'up' so that they met was a little tricky at first."]

[During training on Earth, gravity helped Dave get the bag much lower than he is able to here. From material provided by Journal Contributor Mark Gray, Ken Glover has prepared a short Real Video clip showing Dave and Jim sampling from the rim of a small crater that had been prepared for them at the Cape.]

122:19:48 Scott: Okay. That a boy. That a boy. Good show. Okay. That ought to be enough for them to take a look at. (Pause) Okay, 157. Oh! Oh! Good catch.

122:20:15 Irwin: Got it?

122:20:16 Scott: Yeah. Okay, I got it. (Pause) Wait a minute now; let me get the ("after") picture. (Pause) Get the picture. Okay, let's hop on out and get one more. (Pause)

[Dave's cross-Sun "after" of the second sample site is AS15-86- 11535.]

[The third sampling site will be 65 meters east of the crater rim.]

122:20:34 Scott: Yeah, it's pretty sparse out here. Gosh, we're not very far at all. I'm not sure that the ones out here aren't thrown up from nearby (craters).

122:20:42 Irwin: I don't know that this is representative too much of Elbow.

122:20:46 Scott: I don't think so, either. But, let's pick up a couple; one more anyway, since we're out here. I see a little one. (Pause)

[Jones - "Were you saying that you could tell where the Elbow ejecta began to blend in with the surrounding surface?"]

[Irwin - "I don't know, maybe I'm thinking we're too far from the rim of Elbow. That's probably what I'm thinking, (too far) to be a good sampling of Elbow."]

[Jones - "Had there been some discussion of that during training?"]

[Irwin - "Oh yeah."]

[Jones - "You went out to the Nevada Test Site, I think, and looked at some of the craters that had been dug with buried nuclear explosives. Sedan Crater, for example."]

[Craters dug with explosives - chemical or nuclear - share many similarities with craters dug by impacts.]

[Irwin - "Yeah, we had one field trip there. But I don't remember that we ever sampled out there. I think maybe there was a restriction about doing any sampling there, because of radioactive material. We visited there and talked about it. (Laughing) But then we were anxious to get back into Las Vegas."]

[Dave and various other astronauts visited NTS in 1965 as part of their general geology training. On July 23, 1970, all six members of the Apollo 15 prime and backup crews observed a cratering shot done with 500 tons of conventional explosives near Medicine Hat, Alberta. Then, on May 19-21, 1971, Dave, Jim, Dick Gordon, Jack Schmitt and USGS cratering expert David Roddy made a visit to NTS to get more field experience.]

[The following details come from page 243 in William Phinney's Science Training History of the Apollo Astronauts:]

[May 19: All support crews gather at NTS to clear vehicles and equipment at gate and travel to EVA site to set up LM, backrooms and other equipment.]

[Evening May 19: Briefing for crews and backroom personnel at hotel in Las Vegas.]

[May 20: Crews, geologists and observers gather at AEC heliport in Las Vegas at 6:15 AM for helicopter transport to traverse locations at NTS. Crews with geology observers and other observers from flight control, mission operations, and NASA Headquarters follow the traverse. Prime crew starts four and one-half hour traverse at 8:00 AM followed by backup crew one-half hour later. EVA I was a rover traverse across the ejecta blanket of Schooner Crater starting at the outermost portion of the blanket. After a LM window description and several tasks in the vicinity of the LM there were 3 stops in the ejecta blanket on the way to the crater rim. Sampling and descriptions along the ride between stops was at the discretion of the crew. At the crater rim there was much to photograph and describe including 500mm photos of the opposite crater wall. Traversing below the rim was suggested insofar as possible to better sample the various layers exposed by the crater and ejected onto the surrounding blanket. Activities included photos, sampling of rocks and soils, trenching, coring, raking, descriptions, polarizing photos, and radial sampling. Following the traverse there was a 45 minute radio debriefing between the crew and backroom regarding the traverse. Following lunch there was a 2 to 3 hour walk-through of the traverse with all interested parties. At this point the support personnel dismantled the tents and equipment and transported them to the site for the following dayÕs exercise.]

[Evening May 20: Briefing for crews and backroom personnel for next dayÕs traverse at Buckboard Mesa.]

[Training at the Danny Boy Crater on Buckboard Mesa scheduled for May 21 was cancelled because of blowing dust.]

Schooner Crater was created by a 30-kiloton (TNT equivalent) explosion at 111.3-m depth in tuff (connsolidated volcanic ash) on 8 December 1968. The crater has a radius of 130 m and a depth of 63 m. See an oblique, post-shot photograph taken from an aircraft and a Google Earth image downloaded in January 2017.

122:20:56 Scott: Got to be careful not to kick the dust all over them when you get there. (Pause) Jim, I see sort of a miniature raindrop here, it looks like.
[Although it is possible that Dave is talking about an area where the soil shows the 'raindrop' surface texturing noted by all the crews, Jim's next statement suggests that Dave is commenting on a glass bead.]
122:21:10 Irwin: Yeah, just behind you is one of those fresh craters, too, with a lot of glass in it.

122:21:13 Scott: Is it really?

122:21:14 Irwin: Yes, right behind you.

122:21:15 Scott: Okay, let's pick up these, get the...

122:21:17 Irwin: Okay.

122:21:18 Scott: ...radial done. (Pause) My yo-yo doesn't cut it out here. Huh. My yo-yo's broken. There went my yo-yo.

[The spring driven-rewind mechanism has broken. The following is taken from the Apollo 15 Mission Report. "Both retractable tethers (yo-yos) failed during lunar surface operations; the Commander's tether cord broke during EVA-1, and the tool clamp came off the end of the Lunar Module Pilot's tether. The Commander carried the standard 3/8-pound pull tether which consists of a case, a negator-spring wound reel-to-reel on two spools, and a 30-pound cord wound on a spool mounted to one of the spring spools (fig. 14-52). A tool clamp is attached to the external end of the cord. The Lunar Module Pilot carried the optional, somewhat larger, 1-pound pull tether of the same design."]

["Disassembly of the Commander's tether showed that the spring had expanded off the spool, snarled, and jammed against the case and as the result of a no-load release of a slack cord. The cord was broken against a sharp edge of the spring when an attempt was made to extend the tether after the jam. The failure mode with the release of the slack cord is repeatable. Disassembly of the LMP's tether showed that both the bowline and figure-eight knot attaching the cord to the clamp had untied, and this allowed the cord to retract into the housing. Changing this knot to an improved clinch knot will provide a more secure and permanent attachment. Crew training will emphasize proper use of the tethers."]

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "this sounds like it was the first time we had ever used the yo-yos and that we had done it wrong! Yo-yos were part of the gear on Apollo 12 (Dave and Jim were on the Apollo 12 backup crew) and were on every field trip (during Apollo 15 training). I never remember any other yo-yo failure!!"]

[Fendell reaches the counter-clockwise limit of his pan, looking over the back of the Rover toward Mt. Hadley, and reverses direction. He goes to maximum zoom for this pan and we get improved up-Sun detail.]

122:21:35 Irwin: I've got so much dust on my camera, I can hardly see the camera settings.

122:21:39 Scott: Okay, got a bag?

122:21:40 Irwin: Yeah. (Long Pause)

[During Dave's next transmission, Fendell pans past him, stops, and moves the camera back so that Houston can watch the sampling. Unfortunately, because Dave and Jim are working up-Sun of the TV and, in addition, the TV lens is quite dirty, little detail can be seen.]

[Dave's cross-Sun stereopair of the third sample is AS15-86- 11536 and 11537. Jim takes three down-Sun photos: AS15-85- 11420, 11421, and 11422, all of them overexposed, probably because of the trouble he is having seeing his camera settings.]

[Scott - "On the cameras, we sometimes forget that these were non-automatic, other than pushing the button and advancing the film. The f-stop and the range were manually set; so, every time we took a picture, we had to guess. And there was no ring sight, no view finder. It was mounted on your chest, so you had to point it and estimate what the range was and what the f-stop should be. People forget that. It took a fair amount of time and practice to learn how to set the camera."]

[Jones - "So, you took a lot of pictures in training, got them processed, and got critiqued."]

[Scott - "If you had an automatic camera, you could take a lot more pictures if you could carry the additional film."]

Video Clip   3 min 07 sec ( 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 28 Mb MPG )

122:21:53 Scott: Okay, Joe. I've got another subangular fragment here. Rough surface texture. And, knock a little dust off of it, and it looks like a very fine-grained, gray, rather solid frag. I don't see any significant pits or any significant-size crystals in there. It might just be because of the surface covering; but just a smooth, fairly hard rock.

122:22:27 Allen: Roger, Dave. Copy.

[This sample is either 15085, a 0.5 kg basalt, or 15086, a 0.2 kilogram piece of regolith breccia. The latter is a rock-like mass of soil that has been highly compressed in an impact. Because they tend to be very weak compared with basalts and conventional breccias, few of the regolith breccia samples collected by the Apollo crews got back to Earth intact.]
122:22:28 Scott: So far, I haven't seen any pits on any of these.
[Rocks which have been exposed on the surface for a significant length of time will have small craters, called "zap pits" blasted into them by the impacts of sand-grain-sized projectiles.]
122:22:33 Scott: And, most of them are about 1/5th buried. Okay, here's another one that's got...Oh, on the underneath side of that...I hope I don't lose these tongs...On the underneath side of this frag, Joe, I can see some soil that is caked on the bottom, about 1 millimeter thick, and maybe down in the place from which I got it, we could sample. Why don't we get a...I'll take a picture and you can scoop that. And there's another one that has a large...
[Unless Dave moves a rock enough to reveal the bottom, he can estimate the buried fraction only roughly and with a large uncertainty. Some of the crews were surprised by large rocks that appeared to be only slightly buried but, in fact, couldn't be moved. However, because the rocks at this location are no more than fist-size, the chance of a major surprise is small.
122:23:03 Allen: Okay, Dave. We copy. Good description. We'd like a bag number from that, and like for you to move out at your next opportunity, please.
[Fendell resumes his clockwise pan.]
122:23:12 Scott: Okay, 158...

122:23:14 Irwin: Okay, Dave,...

122:23:14 Scott: ...is the bag number.

122:23:15 Irwin: ...you want me to scooped that?

122:23:17 Scott: Yeah, Scoop that. I only got one hand now, with that broken yo-yo. (Pause) Wait, wait; let me get a picture. Whoa, whoa. (Pause) Got it. Okay. (Pause)

[Dave's photo is AS15-86- 11538. Note that they have picked up both of the rock fragments that were just east of the sun-facing gnomon leg. Note, also, the color/grey-scale chart.]
122:23:42 Scott: Okay. Good boy. Good shot. (Pause)
[Dave has backed up to take AS15-86- 11539, which shows Jim at the upper left, just having gotten the soil sample with his scoop.]
122:23:46 Scott: Okay; if your yo-yo's working, can you roll the bag up?

122:23:48 Irwin: Yeah.

[Dave can hold the bag open with one hand but needs two to seal it. The bags each have metal strips that run along either side of the open top and with broad metal tabs at the ends. In order to seal the bag, the crews usually folded or rolled the top toward the bottom of the bag a couple of times and then bent the tabs inward to hold the fold/roll closed. On Apollo 17, Jack Schmitt demonstrated another technique in which he held the bag by the tabs and twirled it around an axis running along the top of the bag before folding the tabs. Either way, it's a two-handed job.]

[Journal Contributor Chris Duhon points out that this technique wouldn't work very well on Earth. "Air would get trapped in the bag and you wouldn't be able to twirl it more than a few times before the air pressure prevented further twirling. And you'd end up with a bag that was much too big!" Working in a vacuum has its advantages.]

[Jones - "I gather that you and Dave believed sampling was best done as a team.?"]

[Irwin - "Boy, it sure makes it a lot easier. I don't know how you'd do the sampling in a one-man operation. You've got tongs to lift the rock up, and then you've got to get the bag, with your other hand, off the little ring, open the bag somehow with one hand. The rock is in the tongs, at the end of what was about a two-foot handle, and how do you get that to the bag and then release it to get it in the bag? It can be done, but it's just difficult and time consuming. If you're going to be collecting rock up there at all, I think you need to do it as a two-man operation. Unless we come up with a...I'm sure that, when Man goes back to the Moon, we'll have better suits, better devices for collecting rocks."]

[In a 1996 letter, Dave notes that, here, Jim is probably describing what went into the development of the sampling procedures during training for Apollo 12, the first mission to use formal, two-man sampling and photo documentation procedures.]

[Jones - "You two never did any solo sampling, as far as I know. It was always done as a team."]

[Irwin - "Except for that contingency sample. Did Jack and Gene try some solo operations? I would think Jack would have been inclined to."]

[Jones - "There was one case when Houston modified a station on the fly - that is, gave them an updated set of tasks as they were driving to the next station - and somebody down in Houston didn't think about it and sent them off doing solo operations; and neither of them realized that they should have objected. It was a shambles, about ten minutes of pretty inefficient operations. Most the rest of the time they work together, as you guys did; although, by the third EVA, Jack had learned to do solo sampling relatively efficiently. John and Charlie did a lot of solo sampling."]

[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "We tried to do solo sampling during Apollo 12 training and found it to be okay, but inefficient in comparison with the benefits of two people describing and collecting the sample. There were no feedback comments from the other person during solo sampling! The Buddy System, we thought, was much better. Also, if the sample is to be documented with photos, two samples collected with a two-man operation is much more efficient than with two one-man operations."]

122:23:51 Scott: I'm going to have to hold on to these tongs now. Maybe it's a good idea we have two tongs after all.
[Jones - "Was there some pre-flight discussion whether or not to take a second pair of tongs?"]

[Scott - "I think we had a discussion about one guy uses the tongs and the other guys does the bag or whatever, and concluded that we'd take two pairs of tongs. But we never considered one set as 'backups', because we never had significant problems before the mission."]

[While Fendell looks at Dave and Jim, he reduces the TV sensitivity and, as he pans past down-Sun, we can see some detail of the rille beyond the shadow of the high-gain antenna.]

122:23:56 Irwin: Yeah, if it's that fragile [the yo-yo], I'm wondering about using mine. Maybe you can use mine.

122:24:03 Scott: No, that's all right.

122:24:04 Irwin: I can go better without it. Just as well without it (because the scoop is Jim's primary tool). Okay, I'll put this in your bag (SCB).

122:24:09 Scott: Yeah.

122:24:10 Irwin: Going to go back to Rover?

122:24:11 Scott: Yeah. Okay, Joe. You want us to press on up to St. George?

122:24:14 Allen: That's affirmative, guys. Move on.

122:24:17 Irwin: Okay, Dave, (the sample's in the SCB.)

[Fendell has zoomed in on the visible portion of the rille off to the north and we can see numerous large boulders on both walls. At maximum zoom, he then does a quick inspection of the east rille rim.]
122:24:19 Scott: (Responding to Joe) Okay. We're on the way. (Having a great time) Oh, boy! This traveling! (Pause) This is a great sport, I'll tell you.

122:24:35 Irwin: (Also having a lot of fun on the way back to the Rover, unfortunately off-camera) The sandpile was never like this!!

122:24:37 Scott: Yeah, man! I wish we could just sit down and play with the rocks for a while. Look at these things! They're shiny! And sparkly! (Pause) Look at all these babies here; gosh! Man!

122:24:54 Irwin: Come on, Dave. There'll be lot of them, let's get back.

Video Clip   1 min 18 sec ( 0.3 Mb RealVideo or 12 Mb MPG )

122:24:57 Scott: Can't resist it. (Pause)

[On the way back to the Rover, Dave takes photos AS15-86-11540, 11541, 11542, and 11543. The group of rocks shown in this series may be the ones beyond Dave's shadow in 11418. As is suggested by the evidence in 11542, Dave may have disturbed some of the soil prior to taking the photo, possibly to see whether the rocks were buried and/or to test the cohesiveness of the soil. Frame 11543 is a stereo companion to 11542.]
122:25:01 Scott: (Let's) go find something neat in St. George. (Long Pause)
[Jones - "You sound like you're having an enormous amount of fun."]

[Scott - "I do. I mean, it is fun. After all, we're out there doing what we were trained to do, and it's interesting stuff. Other than in the labs, we haven't seen the real geology, in the field, at the site. Fascinating, exciting stuff."]

[Jones - "I don't remember if I asked you, but, during training, did you spend time at the Lunar Receiving Lab looking at rocks from the prior missions?"]

[Scott - "Not only that, but we had them brought into the classroom so that we could sit and study them. And we'd sit and look at a rock for maybe an hour. That's another part of what you do. And that's another thing you can do with photos. And the more you look at it, the more you see - as well you know. We did 11's and 12's and probably some of 14's. And we'd go to the classroom and we'd sit there and study a rock, write down what it was, all the descriptive terms, and then we'd have somebody critique us. It was part of the training. It wasn't field training, but it was geology training. We did a fair amount of that. It was very useful."]

[Jones - "I've never had anybody else tell me they did that kind of activity."]

[Scott - "Really? Maybe they didn't."]

[Jones - "Now, Jack obviously did, and Gene probably did, too. Gene was pretty good at the geology; and it's also pretty obvious that you and Jim worked at this intensively. It's fairly clear from the 16 audio and TV that John and Charlie knew the terminology, but I don't know if they spent time in the way you've just described."]

[Scott - "I think we probably got started after Pete and Al came back. We wanted to see their rocks, because we were involved in 12. It was interesting to see what they had gathered; and that evolved into classroom sessions where they would bring mounted rocks in and we'd sit and look at them."]

[Jones - "Who did that with you?"]

[Scott - "As I recall, the guy who did most of that was Uel Clanton. Uel did a lot of that for us, which was, sometimes, boring, tiring laboratory/classroom work; but it was excellent training, I thought, because, not only did we get some experience in analyzing rocks, but we got to look at real lunar rocks! I mean, we'd been out to Hawaii or wherever (looking at basalts and other types of rocks), but now you're getting to look at the real stuff, with a hand lens. I thought it was an excellent training exercise."]

[Jones - "And it gave you a better chance, at Hadley, of seeing either the representative or the distinctive objects and making intelligent choices of samples."]

[Scott - "Right. They were good training sessions, just like all the field sessions were. We did the geology (during the field exercises) and also analyzed the rocks as we collected them. What kind of rock is it? What are the characteristics? You know, angularity, phenocrysts, breccias. Which made it easy when we got to Hadley, because it made it a natural kind of thing. Learning the words, learning the terminology, (and learning to see what's there)."]

[Jones - "It shows."]

[Meanwhile, Fendell has pulled back on the zoom and is panning counter-clockwise. As Jim climbs on the Rover, the image starts to jiggle.]

122:25:30 Irwin: You let my belt out all the way, huh?

122:25:33 Scott: Yeah.

[Jim's statement indicates that the belts could be adjusted but that, even after Dave made the maximum possible adjustment, Jim's was still too short.]
122:25:35 Irwin: Don't know if I'll ever be able to get it (Pause) Listen, I'll tell you. Want me to attach it for you?

122:25:52 Irwin: Here, try it.

122:25:54 Scott: Okay. You need to lean forward some; up and forward. (Pause) Okay, I'll get the TV. (Pause) Okay, Joe. Going PM1/WB.

122:26:09 Allen: Roger, Dave. (Long Pause)

[Dave comes into view briefly and we get a good view of his RCU-mounted camera as he reaches down with his right hand to turn off the TV.]

[Jones - "I don't ever remember you brushing the TV lens."]

[Scott - "Maybe not. And it's clear that somebody from the ground should say, 'Brush the lens.'"]

122:26:25 Scott: Did you get it alright, Jimmer? Huh? Let me get it for you.

122:26:37 Irwin: I just can't get my arm up for it.

122:26:39 Scott: Let me get it. (Pause) Here you go. You're hooked.

122:26:50 Allen: Jim, could we...

122:26:51 Scott: Okay. ... pick up one of those crumbly ones?

122:26:52 Allen: ...have a heading reading as you climb on there?

122:26:56 Irwin: Yeah, heading's 185, Joe.

122:27:00 Allen: It sounds steady as a rock. Thank you.

[Houston wanted to see if the Nav system drifted at all while they were stopped. It hasn't.]
122:27:05 Scott: Oh, my. I just kicked up a hole here. And the rim of this little crater seems to be all white, much lighter albedo.
[Impacts by sizable projectiles shatter a great deal of material, turning it white like a shattered car windshield. Thereafter, impacts by sand grains and smaller particles create little puddles of glass which tend to be darker in color and, as this "aged" surface layer is stirred, it gradually covers the white ejecta. "White" layers were found by all of the crews.]

[Irwin - "It impressed me that, as you disturbed the surface material, it becomes lighter rather than darker. On the Earth, if you disturb the surface, it becomes darker, probably just because of the moisture that's in Earth soil. But on the Moon, if you disturb it, it becomes lighter. Like our lift-off point: you can see it because it's much lighter."]

122:27:15 Scott: Golly day! (Pause)
[Jones - "Your use of 'golly day' as a mild expletive reminds me of a favorite Apollo 12 incident. At some point, Pete uses an equivalent of 'horse feathers' and, because Pete usually uses extremely colorful language, Al says he remembers thinking 'Who is that guy in the other suit?' Was it an easy, almost subconscious thing to realize that you had a hot mike and did that influence your choice of words?"]

[Scott - "Never paid any attention to it and didn't change anything. I'm not as colorful as Pete, admittedly. But, again, this is the way we operated when we did our field exercises. Tried to make everything as absolutely realistic as possible, as professional as possible, and do the job."]

[Jones - "So, in Pete or whoever else it might be, it's the professionalism that kicks in."]

[Scott - "Yeah. Which isn't surprising."]

[Jones - "And it's maybe a subtle indication of the professional mode in which all of this was done. A mark of the excellence of the people involved."]

[Scott - "Well, that's the way we work all the time. That's why it's important, getting ready for these things, to get ready just like you're there. And you have to work at that. That's why, on Apollo 12, when we didn't have the Sun in the simulator building...not that anybody consciously didn't try to be ready - it was one of those things that you forgot, didn't think about. And, after that, people would think through things. You've got to get a room full of guys. You've got to think through everything you're going to do, and then go out and practice it, just like it was the real thing. And that's why it works when we got there."]

[Jones - "Tell me about the Apollo 12 cuff checklists and the Playmate pictures."]

[Scott - "Oh, well, you had to liven it up a little bit."]

[Jones - "Was that a cooperative venture, you and Jim?"]

[Scott - "Yeah, I think it was Jim and I and Al (Worden) and the guys on the support crew and everybody putting in 'What can we do to liven the situation up' Which was sort of fun. And, as I remember, Gerry Carr knew Johnny Hart (creator of the B.C. comic strip), and so he got the B.C. stuff in the flight plan. Johnny Hart did some original cartoons that we put in the Apollo 12 flight plan. They were sort of cute."]

[Jones - "Somebody said that was Charles Schulz."]

[Scott - "Well, on Apollo 12, it was Johnny Hart. 'Cause Gerry Carr knew him. And he went down to South Carolina or wherever Hart was and talked to him and he thought it was a great idea. And he did some originals that we put in the flight plan. On 12, especially with Pete and Al, being as colorful as they are, it was difficult to find something colorful enough to appeal to them. Part of the job."]

[Journal Contributor Ulli Lotzmann has discovered that the cartoons were actually the creation of Ernie Reyes, a member of the crew operations team and responsible for stowing various items in both the Command Module and the Lunar Module.]

122:27:29 Scott: Hey, hold my seatbelt, Jim, and I can hop in quicker.

122:27:32 Irwin: Okay.

122:27:33 Scott: No. That's alright.

122:27:34 Irwin: Here.

122:27:35 Scott: Okay. (Pause)

122:27:40 Allen: Okay, Dave and Jim. Standing by for a mark as you roll.

122:27:46 Irwin: Okay, stand by. (Pause)

122:27:52 Scott: Okay, Joe. The time consumer here is the seatbelt operation. Because we definitely need them; and in one-sixth g, we don't compress the suits enough to be able to squish down and get the seatbelt locked without a certain amount of effort.

122:28:15 Allen: Roger. We understand.

122:28:17 Scott: I'll tell you, it's a good seatbelt design. It's a great seatbelt design. Okay, let's check the Drive Enable. They're all on. Drive Power is on. Steering Forward to Bus A. 15 Volts DC. Ready to go, Jimmy?

122:28:34 Irwin: Ready.


Driving to Elbow Crater Apollo 15 Journal Driving to Station 2