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Thumper/Geophone Experiment Traverse to Station 1


GeoPrep for the EVA-1 Traverse

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1996 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Except where noted, audio clips by Roland Speth.
Last revised 24 April 2017.


MP3 Audio Clip ( 14 min 06 sec )

Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 29 Mb MPEG )

[Fendell pans left and finds John between the drill-stem rack and the magnetometer. He has just kicked a football-sized rock and it rolls 3 or 4 meters, angling off to John's left, probably because he hit it off-center. Fendell continues his counter-clockwise pan.]
122:44:15 Duke: Tony, I'm going over to this crater and get you some of this white soil. I think it is coming off of this rock here, but it looks like caliche. I never thought I'd use that word up here; but that's what the coating looks like. (Pause) It's right here.
[As indicated in Figure 10-3 in the Preliminary Science Report, Charlie has moved his sampling operation to the left rear of the Rover. On Earth, caliche is a calcium carbonate deposit found on rocks, in cracks in rocks, or in subsurface layers and is a result of water evaporation. Because there is no water on the Moon, lunar caliche is an impossibility. Here, Charlie is using the term to convey a visual impression.]

[The white soil location is at about 81.17/CA.60 in Brian McInall's ALSEP Deployment Planimetric Map (10 Mb).]

122:44:34 Young: Let me see that.

122:44:35 Duke: Come and look at it, John! It might be just a total white rock. The cross-Sun...Oh, man, are your settings going to be something terrible. (Pause)

122:44:49 Young: Where did you see it?

122:44:51 Duke: See it? Right there?

122:44:53 Young: Yeah.

[Fendell has the South Ray ejecta blanket in view.]
122:44:58 Duke: Oh, we've had a bag failure, already. That thing. The little pull-tab came off; we can still use them, though.

122:45:09 Duke: Here, hold this for me.

122:45:13 Young: Okay. Charlie, you got my camera?

122:45:15 Duke: Yeah, and it's filthy. Get a little shovelful of that stuff.

122:45:25 Young: Gosh, Charlie, it does look like caliche.

122:45:27 Duke: Doesn't it look like caliche?

122:45:28 Young: Yeah, but it's just a bunch of white frags. I believe.

122:45:33 Duke: I'm going to get this rock here, too.

122:45:36 Young: Put that in there?

122:45:37 Duke: No, go ahead. I'll get another bag for that.

[Charlie's rock is sample 60075, a 184-gram piece of brecciated anorthosite which he will put in bag 373 at about 122:47:33.]
122:45:40 Young: I'm really ill-equipped to help you here. (Pause)
[Fendell reaches the counter-clockwise pan limit without finding the astronauts.]
122:45:50 Young: (To Houston) Okay, that sample of white material is going in bag 355, Houston.

122:45:55 England: Okay, bag 355. (Pause)

[Fendell starts panning clockwise.]
122:46:09 Duke: Okay, John, I got your picture.
[Charlie has taken two "after" pictures, AS16-114- 18385 and 18386, which show the scoop stuck in the ground and, as well, some very deep footprints in the far wall of the crater. He has also taken AS16-114- 18387 and 18388, both of which show John as he works with a sample bag, using the camera top as a table. He is using Charlie's camera and vice-versa.]
122:46:13 Young: Charlie, what are you doing with the dirt? You just threw it all over yourself.

122:46:17 Duke: I didn't mean to; the rock fell out.

122:46:20 Young: You got to clean off your lens - my lens - before we can start here.

122:46:23 Duke: No, I cleaned it off already.

122:46:25 Young: Okay.

122:46:28 Duke: Okay, Tony. It's a white matrix in this rock with some clasts. It's a one-rock breccia. One of the clasts just fell out. But it really looks like a caliche matrix. Sort of friable. (Pause)

122:46:49 Young: Come on, Charlie.

122:46:50 Duke: What do you mean, "Come on?"

122:46:53 Young: Oh. What do you want to do with these samples?

122:46:56 Duke: Put them in this HTC (Hand Tool Carrier) right here (on the back of the Rover).

122:46:58 Young: Okay. This number 2 one?

[What they are actually doing is putting the sample in a Sample Collection Bag (SCB) which is hanging on the HTC.]
122:47:00 Duke: Yeah. That's the one that's going on somebody's back.

122:47:04 Young: Okay. It's got the core tubes in it, so it probably goes on your back.

[These core tubes are thin-walled tubes which Charlie will hammer into the ground at some of the geology stops. Figure 84 from Judy Allton's Apollo Tool Catalog shows an SCB that contains two core tubes and three sample bag dispensers.]
122:47:13 Young: Okay, Houston. The geology config(uration) here.

122:47:20 Duke: How are we doing on the timeline, Tony?

122:47:21 England: Okay. You're just about right on.

[The EVA started at 118:53:33 and, consequently, they are 3 hours 54 minutes into it. According to the timeline printed on page 64 in the Lunar Surface Procedures volume, they had planned to start the geoprep at 3:56 and, despite the disruptions caused by the loss of the heat flow experiment, they are virtually on schedule.]
Video Clip ( 2 min 58 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPEG )

122:47:28 Duke: Okay. This white rock that I picked up is in bag 373.

122:47:33 England: Okay, 373.

[Fendell finds Charlie at the back of the Rover. He is holding an individual sample bag with the tabs between the thumb and forefinger of either hand. He spins the bags several times around the axis formed by the stiffening wire in the top of the bag.]
122:47:39 Duke: It really works when you spin them up, Tony; it's great! (Pause)
[Duke - "It worked real good for us. The bags were like sandwich bags and had some little aluminum clips (tabs) on the end and, normally, people just folded them over and clipped them like a sandwich bag. But we found that just flipping them was quicker and then folding them in and that would lock it closed. That's what we did to every bag, if the sample wasn't so big that you...Sometimes we'd put a rock in there that was too big to do that with and couldn't get it closed at all; but we wanted to identify that rock, so we went ahead and put it in a bag so that they'd know where it was on the surface and we could identify it again. But that flipping it worked real good. I think the sample bags should have been bigger. You know, on future missions I think we ought to have bigger sample bags."]

[Muehlberger, from a 1997 e-mail message - "That technique was one that I suggested while watching them on a training exercise. Glad it worked so well!"]

[Charlie folds the tabs across the top of the bag and heads for the CDR seat. He stops near the left-rear fender and takes the CDR camera off his RCU bracket.]

122:47:52 Duke: Okay, John. I got to change the mag on my camera. Can you give it to me?

122:48:00 Young: Affirmative. (Pause)

[Charlie puts the CDR camera on the floor pan in front of John's seat.]
122:48:04 Duke: What are you going to do, clean me off? Or clean off the LCRU?
[John is off-camera to our right, probably holding a dustbrush.]
122:48:07 Young: Naw; I gonna clean up the camera. Wait a second; let me put this down. Down right here.
[John puts something down in the floor pan and then turns to Charlie with a camera in his hand. The following dialog suggests that this is Charlie's camera, the one John has been using.]
122:48:12 Young: Okay. I wanted to clean the camera off, too.
[John gets the large dustbrush off the floor pan and starts cleaning the LMP camera.]
122:48:25 Young: Get that dust out of there, or we'll never get the mags in. (Pause)
[Charlie raises the CDR seat.]
122:48:33 Young: (Handing the LMP camera to Charlie) Okay?

122:48:35 Duke: Okay, thanks. How about cleaning yours off too. Yours I got really filthy...

122:48:38 Young: Did you change your mag on it?

122:48:40 Duke: Huh? No. Just dust it off.

[Charlie slips the LMP camera onto his RCU bracket.]
122:48:45 Duke: Can you get my gloves a minute, John?

122:48:47 Young: Can I get your gloves?

122:48:48 Duke: Just clean them a minute.

[Charlie puts his hands out and, off-camera, John dusts them off.]
122:48:52 Duke: There you go. Just to get that loose stuff off.

122:48:54 Young: Okay.

122:48:57 Duke: Okay, that's good. Thank you. (Pause) Okay, Tony. Magazine Alfa is going out with 110.

122:49:11 England: Okay. We copy that.

[Charlie has removed magazine A/113 from his camera and is putting it the stowage area under John's seat. John has the CDR camera and is leaning over the CDR floor pan.]
122:49:12 Young: Oh, man.

122:49:16 Duke: Dust is everywhere, John. (Pause)

122:49:21 Young: That's what they (meaning the prior crews) say, all right.

[John steps back from the Rover to dust his camera.]
122:49:27 Duke: Okay. Magazine Golf (G/109) is going on (the LMP camera) at frame count 2.

122:49:30 England: Okay, Golf, 2.

122:49:31 Young: Not a bit (of dust) on the lens, though.

122:49:32 Duke: I know it.

122:49:35 Young: Fantastic. (Pause)

[Charlie removes the dark slide from the new magazine and puts it in the seat pan. He raises the magazine to his faceplate.]
122:49:41 Duke: Third blow (to get dust off something), Tony. (Pause)
[Charlie puts the magazine in the camera and takes a test shot, AS16-109- 17746.]
122:49:50 Duke: Okay, Golf runs.

122:49:52 England: Okay.

122:49:53 Duke: Everything's looking good.

122:49:54 England: Very good. (Pause)

[Charlie reaches into the seat pan, possibly to put the dark slide in magazine 113/A. Then he lowers the CDR seat.]
122:50:06 Young: Okay, Charlie, which (Sample Collection) Bag (SCB) do you want?

122:50:10 Duke: I got to get...There's a set of (individual sample) bags over here (on the LMP seat).

122:50:13 Young: Okay, (reading Item 4 on CDR-30) "5. 6, 7, or 8". I'll get you one.

[Charlie goes around the back of the Rover to the LMP seat. John follows and stops at the back of the vehicle.]
122:50:16 Duke: I'll get them...They're already...I got to load you up.

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122:50:19 Young: Okay. Did you get these cap dispensers. We don't need those, do we?

122:50:24 Duke: I put them in there. I think we got two core tubes.

122:50:29 Young: That big rock right there (next to the Rover on the LMP side) is a breccia - look at all those clasts in there.

122:50:33 Duke: I know it. Most of them in here (at the ALSEP site) are breccias.

122:50:34 Young: Yeah. (Pause)

[The rock next to the Rover can be seen best in AS16-113- 18365.]

[Charlie has gotten a sample bag dispenser off his seat and mounts it on the bottom of his camera.]

122:50:40 Duke: I picked up one...Yeah, that's a - uh-huh - about a two-rock breccia there. (Pause) Okay, I see you on this side.
[Charlie has joined John at the back of the Rover and presents the right side of his PLSS so that John can attach an SCB. Charlie wears his SCB on the right side - and John wears his on the left - so that the bags don't get bumped while John and Charlie are riding.]
122:50:55 Duke: John, you know you lost your little plate? Tony, on that one bag dispenser on John's camera, the little ring came off of it, and the bags are just dangling loose, but we'll be able to use it still.

122:51:11 England: Okay.

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "Several small screws that hold the aluminum plate and the ring that holds the bags to the camera backed out and the whole ring fell off. This allowed the bags to still be held to the camera, but to dangle such that you couldn't reach up and pull one off. We discarded that set of bags. Luckily, we didn't throw them away. We put them on the Rover and used them later on. (I say 'luckily') because we almost ran out of bags. I recommend we have several sets of those 20-bag dispensers because, it you have any failure like that, it really can slow you up. The best thing to do is just discard that set of bags and get a new set. But, the way we were using them, we couldn't afford to do that."]

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I dropped the bags off the camera out of that place. During the first EVA, we had taped them on. Remember? On the second EVA, we forgot to bring the bags back in (to the cabin) and taped them on the same for the third EVA."]

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I had them taped on both cameras, but the tape came up. The gray tape doesn't hold too good on that (dust coated) metal surface."]

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "You need some mechanical latch to hold them on. Probably something that springs up and down. You need some way to keep them from falling off. Mine fell off on the second and third EVAs at least ten times, and that really slows you down. Twice, they fell off when I was driving the Rover. They just vibrated out. Fortunately, it fell on the seat, or we would have lost a couple of 20-bag dispensers right there. I didn't realize that I dropped them until after they were gone. It seems to me like that's a simple fix. The trouble is, they fell off in training, Deke. I kept saying, 'Is this flight (gear)?' Everybody said 'no, the flight one is really stiff and it won't do that."]

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I think it happened more in flight than it did in training."]

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "The system is supposed to handle that, and it didn't."]

[There are actually two problems discussed here. One was the repeated failure of the bracket on the side of the 70-mm Hasselblads.]

[From the Apollo 16 Mission Report - "The dispenser is mounted on an adapter (Figure 14-60) which is inserted in the right sight, tee-slot bracket on the camera. The adapter-to-tee slot interface is horizontal and depends on springs in the tee slot to hold the adapter in the latched position. This latching method is inadequate. The adapter has been re-designed so as to provide a positive lock in the stalled position as shown in Figure 14-60."]

[The other problem was a failure of the bag dispensers.]

["The three screws which fasten the bag ring to the bracket plate had come out on one of the documented sample bag dispensers and consequently came apart when unstowed. The three flat-headed, stainless-steel screws mate with threads in the aluminum ring (Figure 14-61). The heads are stakes to the aluminum bracket plate. Thread sealant materials are not permitted because of the possibility of lunar sample contamination. The Apollo 17 dispensers will be re-inspected to assure proper staking of the screws and tightness of the threads in the aluminum ring."]

[Neither of these problems re-occurred on Apollo 17.]

122:51:12 Young: Oh, man! Look at that.

122:51:13 Duke: (Turning toward John) What? Look at what?

122:51:17 Young: Come here and help me get this bag up here.

[Charlie presents the right side of his PLSS again.]
122:51:19 Duke: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you wanted me to look at something. (Pause) It would be easier to do that without the...

122:51:29 Young: (Seeing a lot of dust on Charlie's PLSS) (Did) you fall down, Charlie?

122:51:30 Duke: Yeah, I fell down. Sorry.

122:51:36 Young: I believe it.

122:51:37 Duke: I'm filthy, huh?

122:51:39 Young: Yeah. Can you bend over very much?

122:51:41 Duke: Yeah. There we go. How's that? (Pause)

[Charlie has leaned forward to raise the bottom of his PLSS and John gets low - probably kneeling - to attach the bottom of the SCB. Much of what John does is hidden behind the Rover.]
122:51:48 Young: We got to walk...just away a little here, so I can bend over without bumping into the Rover (garbled). (Pause)
[Charlie moves a few steps away from the back of the Rover.]
122:52:04 Young: Oh, boy. (Pause)
[John has dropped the SCB and bobs down to his right to get it. In getting up, he has to run a couple of steps forward to get his balance.]
122:52:17 Duke: That's what I tried to do, and that's when I fell down.

122:52:20 Young: Oh. (Pause)

122:52:23 Duke: Let's see, the area is pretty well policed up over there (by the Central Station). When I come back to get the core tubes (at the end of the geology traverse), I'll pick it up.

122:52:32 Young: I can do that there, too.

[John gets down on his knees to attach the bottom of the bag.]
122:52:35 Duke: (Pointing east) There's a good place to do the Grand Prix out here. You'll pole vault yourself right over to Stone.

122:52:44 England: Okay, understand.

122:52:47 Duke: Tony, looking up-Sun towards the eastern part of Stone Mountain, you cannot see those lineations, but, as we look across-Sun, those lineations are there...

122:53:00 Young: Can you bend over some, Charlie?

122:53:03 Duke: Yeah. (To Tony) And they trend sort of upslope to the northwest, or to the...

122:53:09 Young: Okay.

122:53:10 Duke: Got it?

122:53:11 Young: Got you.

122:53:12 Duke: Okay. (Pause)

[John stands up and Charlie gets an SCB off the back of the Rover to put on John's PLSS.]
Video Clip ( 2 min 55 sec 0.7 Mb RealVideo or 26 Mb MPEG )

122:53:17 England: Yeah, it's funny. It trends the same as Hadley.

122:53:22 Duke: Yeah, it does exactly! And it goes right up over the ridge - a ridge line - and back down the ridge -the one that's got Cinco craters on it - and then back down into the ridge where...(Pause)

[AS15-90-12208 is a good picture of the prominent lineations noted on Mt. Hadley by Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. They are probably lighting effects. The lineations on Stone Mountain can be seen in AS16-113- 18365. They are not as prominent as the lineations on Mt. Hadley.]

[While he waits for Charlie, John is looking north at Smoky Mountain.]

122:53:39 Young: Boy, Charlie, it looks like we could just...Smoky and Stone Mountain look like they're 10 feet away from us.

122:53:44 Duke: I know it. You'd just run right over there. (Pause)

[Off-camera, Charlie is having trouble getting the SCB off the clip on the tool carrier. John comes to help.]
123:53:52 Duke: The thing wouldn't stay on a minute ago; now it won't come off.

122:53:55 Young: Now, you can't get it off. (Pause)

122:54:02 Duke: Maybe if I unlock it. That might be the problem. (Pause)

[Charlie frees the SCB and John presents the left side of his PLSS.]
122:54:15 Duke: Turn around.

122:54:17 Young: Which way?

122:54:18 Duke: To your right.

[John is unsure which way is his right.]
122:54:20 Duke: Other right. There you go.
[John turns right but then, almost immediately, turns the other way.]
122:54:21 Duke: No, you're (meaning 'you were') right. (John chuckles and turns properly) Okay, now bend over.
[John leans forward so that Charlie can secure the bottom of the SCB.]
122:55:24 Duke: Okay, I got the strap. Stand by. (Pause) Just a moment. (Long Pause)
[Fendell zooms in and pans right. We get a good close-up of the two pairs of tongs mounted on the tool carrier.]
122:55:04 Duke: Ah ha! (Pause) Okay. You got it.

122:55:13 Young: Okay.

122:55:15 Duke: Let's go.

122:55:16 Young: Do it.

[Off-camera, Charlie goes to his seat and reads the console (6 Mb) as per LMP-20. John crosses the TV picture, going to his seat.]
122:55:18 Duke: Okay, Tony, our heading was 195. Hasn't changed.

122:55:23 England: Good show.

122:55:24 Duke: We're mounting up.

[As indicated on CDR-30, there is an operations decal on the Rover console.]
122:55:25 England: Okay. We'd like a full set of readouts here; and we'd also like to verify that you have the front drive on bus A. Drive Power.

122:55:39 Young: Front Drive is on bus A and...Yeah, I changed that back a while back.

122:55:46 England: Rog. (Pause)

122:55:53 Young: Okay. We're going to (LCRU) Mode switch 1. Will that mess you up on getting this front-drive stuff?

122:56:01 England: No, that's okay.

122:56:03 Young: Houston, we're going to Mode 1. Okay? Okay?

122:56:05 England: Okay.

[TV off.]
122:56:10 Young: Okay, do y'all want to be checked with before we do that, or you just want to go ahead and do it? (Pause; no answer) You ready to go, Charlie?

122:56:38 Duke: Not yet.

122:56:43 Young: (Garbled) there.


Thumper/Geophone Experiment Apollo 16 Journal Traverse to Station 1