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Back in the Briar Patch Loading the Rover


Deploying the Rover

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 22 September 2012.


MP3 Audio Clip ( 9 min 21 sec )

119:15:03 Young: Okay. Charlie, I'm gonna off-load the LRV, I guess (as per CDR-5).

119:15:05 Duke: Okay, you be inspecting it. (Pause) And all four (core) stems are out (as per LMP-5).

119:15:21 England: Okay. (Pause)

[Charlie carries the core stems to the plus-Y (north) footpad and that gives him a chance to take a closer look at the crater behind the spacecraft.]
119:15:30 Duke: Tony, if I get 40 feet back to do the pan from the SEQ Bay here (as indicated at the top of LMP-7), I'm going to fall in that big hole. (Pause) Okay, (Reading LMP-5) "ETB to table".

119:16:03 Young: Okay, the aft chassis are (sic) all parallel. The (garbled) are not pre-released. (I'm) releasing the thermal blanket. The walking hinges are locked. Heh, heh; how about that? And the one toward the...

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "Inspection of the vehicle (meaning the Rover) showed that none of the things (wheels, chassis sections, etc.) had pre-deployed, to which I may add a hearty 'thank God'."]

[NASA photo KSC-71P-543 shows Charlie (foreground) and John (beyond the wheels) inspecting the Rover at the Cape on 12 November 1971 while it was being stowed on the Descent stage. Charlie is standing at the hinge connecting the aft and center chassis sections.]

119:16:26 Duke: Okay; Tony, the paint on this side also, below the steerable antenna, is peeled off just like on the other side. I don't see anything wrong with that steerable, I guess it just won't work.

119:16:43 England: Okay.

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I was really expecting to see a 'remove before flight' pin up there, but there wasn't. It was perfectly clean, but it just didn't work in yaw at all."]
119:16:44 Young: Had to reset both sets of...

119:16:48 England: Charlie...

119:16:48 Young: ...walking hinges (as per CDR-6)...(stops to listen)

119:16:49 England: ...we'll have some pictures for you to take of the steerable later, but we'll get that when you take your pan.

119:16:56 Duke: Yeah, I was planning on that. Okay, John. Had the walking hinges fixed, huh?

119:17:05 Young: Yeah, had to fix both sets.

119:17:06 Duke: Okay, I'll help you on this other side.

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "The walking hinges were released, just like on 15. We had to put those back."]

[The walking hinges are fixtures on the outside of the LM that support the bottom of the Rover package. As John and Charlie deploy the Rover, they will let the top part of the Rover package rotate out, away from the LM and, during that part of the deployment, the package pivots on the hinges. On all three of the Rover missions, the Rover packages were found to be off the hinges, probably as a result of getting jarred during landing. They were easily reset. Don McMillan has provided an animation of the hinges on his Virtual Rover in action.]

119:17:09 Duke: Man, what a beautiful landing. I'm glad you weren't 10 feet (farther back)...Whew me!

119:17:14 Young: We were going forward.

119:17:16 Duke: Yeah, we were landing going forward.

119:17:20 Young: That (crater) was what was worrying me.

[All of the Commanders tried to land with a little forward velocity so that they wouldn't drift back onto unseen rocks or craters.]
119:17:23 Duke: Okay; here's your strap over here, John.

119:17:25 Young: Okay. (Pause)

[They will use reel-mounted tapes to slowly release the Rover. John will pull the right-hand tape, which actually lowers the vehicle, while Charlie maintains tension on the left-hand tape.]

[A film clip (8.6Mb) shows Charlie Duke and Bob Parker participating in a shirtsleeve demonstration of Rover deployment. Digitization by Gary Neff.]

[Don McMillan has provided an animation ( 0.7 Mb ) of his Virtual Rover unfolding during deployment.]

119:17:36 Duke: Hey, that big rock under there looks like a vesicular basalt to me. That black one. (Pause) Tony, the engine bell is about 6 inches off the ground and it's not crushed at all.

119:18:00 England: Okay.

[Unlike the other flights, there are no Apollo 16 pictures of the area under the LM.]
119:18:01 Duke: Okay, Tony, here we go (up to the porch).

119:18:03 Young: Wait a minute.

119:18:04 Duke: Okay. (Pause) I'm going up the porch, Tony, to get the Rover. (Pause) What a pretty machine.

[As per LMP-5, Charlie is climbing to the top of the ladder where he will pull a D-ring to release the top of the Rover package and let it rotate out a couple of degrees. A set of Grumman LRV Deployment Cartoons shows various stages of the Rover deployment.]

[Jones - "What can you tell me about the jump up from the footpad to the ladder rungs."]

[Duke - "It was a lot easier than I had expected. You had been concerned about not being able to see your feet; but you just seemed to jump and everything landed right!"]

[Jones - "Was it mostly legs, or arms?"]

[Duke - "You'd jump mostly with your legs to push. And you tried to jump and reach up and grab the side of the ladder. And the feet just seemed to fall in. I was concerned about it at first; but, after I did it the first time, it was a piece of cake."]

119:18:24 Young: I'll just run over here and grab this string, Charlie, and pull on it a little. Okay, on your string up there, there's tension on it, right?

119:18:43 Duke: Yeah.

119:18:44 Young: Okay, let's just make sure that I've checked all these things.

119:18:46 Duke: Okay.

119:18:47 Young: (Reading very quickly CDR-5) "Unstow left side deployment. Reel OPS tape, drape over struts. Contingency tool to LM strut." (Turning to CDR-6) "Walking hinge latches engaged." (I'll) just verify those one more time. "(Garbled) aft chassis parallel to center chas(sis). Left and right outrigger cables taut." Verify your outrigger cables taut up there...

119:19:03 Duke: Yup; two. Both of them.

119:19:04 Young: Okay. "Want to reel out the tape, right side, and back away from the deploy area." Okay, Charlie.

119:19:12 Duke: Ready?

119:19:14 Young: Yeah.

119:19:15 Duke: Okay, here we come. (Pause)

[Charlie pulls the D-ring as per LMP-5.]
119:19:18 Young: It released.

119:19:18 Duke: We're loose. It released, Houston.

119:19:20 Young: The bottom pins released, too. Both sets of them.

119:19:32 England: Very good.

119:19:34 Young: Get Charlie down the steps.

119:19:36 Duke: Bouncing merrily. Man, it's great.

119:19:38 Young: Isn't that neat?!

119:19:39 Duke: (Expressing his pleasure) Oh!

119:19:40 Young: That has got to be nice.

119:19:45 Duke: Believe it or not, this is like in the training building! The only thing we don't have, Tony, is the linoleum on the floors.

119:19:52 Young: Grab a surface here, Charlie.

119:19:56 England: We'll try to fix that, Charlie.

119:20:58 Duke: (Lost under Tony) wait a minute. I got to...

119:20:00 Young: Pulling?

119:20:01 Duke: Yeah, I'm pulling.

119:20:02 Young: Okay. (Pause) Oh! This is much easier than it was before (in training)! Don't pull so hard, I guess. (Pause)

119:20:18 Duke: Can't believe that big hole back there. John, you picked up the exact bottom of this old crater!!

119:20:25 Young: Well, there weren't any flat places around here, Charlie.

[As indicated in Figure 6-13 in the Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report, they landed in an old, subdued, 150-meter-diameter crater. The rim of this crater forms much of the local horizon.]
119:20:29 Duke: Yeah, but anywhere else we would have landed, we would have been on a great big slope!

119:20:34 Young: Okay, there goes the front (actually the aft) wheels. And the aft chassis is released too, I think.

119:20:39 England: Very good.

[When the Rover package has rotated out about 45 degrees, the aft chassis section, which was folded over the middle chassis section, springs into place and the aft wheels also snap into place. Don McMillan has provided a Virtual LRV animation of the deployment, with a focus on the walking hinges. Training photo 72-HC-57 shows a deployment at about this stage. John is pulling on the righthand deployment tape while Charlie is off-camera to the right and has light tension on a cord attached to the rear edge of the aft section. Note the cooling hoses and comm cables arcing down from the ceiling.]
119:20:40 Duke: The wheels didn't lock into place, John. We'll have to go up there and get the...and push them up.

119:20:44 Young: Okay.

119:20:45 Duke: Okay, you hold that and let me run up and do that.

119:20:48 Duke: Okay. (Pause)

119:20:52 Young: The wheels didn't lock, Houston.

119:20:54 England: Okay; we copy that.

119:20:57 Young: There goes one. Charlie got one. Is it (meaning a latch that holds the wheel in position) in, Charlie?

119:21:05 Duke: Yeah, it is.

119:21:08 Young: Okay. And the hinge pin...This hinge pin isn't in either.

119:21:13 Duke: We'll get that (after they get the Rover on the ground).

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "On Charlie's side, the left rear wheel was knocked down and locked, so Charlie gave that a pull and pulled that down."]

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "The wheels popped open just like they had done in training. There's a gold sleeve collar arrangement that has a couple of pins in it so that, when the wheels are fully out, those pins lock in to hold the wheels in place. That was what was not locked. All you have to do is push on the wheel to extend that mechanism and it locks right in place."]

119:21:14 Young: Okay, see if the other one is in. See if you can't get it.

119:21:21 Duke: Okay; stop pull. (Pause) John, I went just out of minimum on my cooling unit, and it feels a lot better.

119:21:30 Young: Okay; I'll try that in a second here.

[Jones - "Was it a continuous setting on the cooling, rather than having little detents in it?"]

[Duke - "Well, there was some detents but I think you could just edge it out and it would hold. I remember some distinct detents; you could click into medium and then max; but, also, you could just pull it out a little bit and it would hold - there was enough friction on the switch to hold it."]

119:21:33 Duke: Okay; did it get in the walking hinges?

119:21:36 Young: No, I don't think so, Charlie.

119:21:40 Duke: Okay, you see what it did. It didn't look like to me it did.

119:21:44 Young: It didn't get in there. (Pause) Yeah. Yeah, it's sitting...(Pause) Yeah, it's sitting in something there, Charlie.

119:21:57 Duke: Okay, they're in.

119:21:00 Young: Yeah. It looks to me that...

119:22:02 Duke: Wait a minute. This one is not in over here.

119:22:05 Young: Are you sure?

119:22:06 Duke: Yep.

119:22:08 Young: You just took it out of this one over here.

119:22:12 Duke: (Garbled under comm in Houston) Okay; now, this one's in.

119:22:15 Young: But just don't run off with it, Charlie.

119:22:16 Duke: I'm not. Okay; this one's in.

119:22:17 Young: Okay, this one's in.

119:22:23 Duke: Okay. (Pause) Okay, keep going.

[On Apollo 15, Dave Scott operated his tape by standing next to the LM and pulling the tape hand over hand. Jim Irwin operated his by holding it taut and walking backwards away from the LM. On Apollo 17, Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt also used their legs, rather than their arms.]

[Duke - "If I remember, we did it hand-over-hand, so we could stay close enough to watch this. Apparently - it's starting to come back - as it started down, it bounced as we pulled. As it bounced down, we kept having trouble with these walking hinges which, if I remember, was some things at the bottom that the chassis sort of rotated around in. I've got a movie of the deployment of the training model in the MSOB (manned Spacecraft Operations Building) down at the Cape."]

[Jones - "Looking at the LRV Handbook, Figure 1-38, there are walking hinges down at the bottom. And it just pivoted on that. Let's see, that's the aft part of the chassis that's on the outside, that folds out and the forward part is on the inside, and the hinge between the fore and center chassis sections sits on the walking hinge. And it's called the 'walking hinge' because the Rover actually moves out, away from the LM on that."]

[Duke - "Apparently, but I don't remember."]

[Don McMillan has provided a Virtual LRV animation of the walking hinges in action.]

[Jones - "But the main thing is that you did that hand-over-hand. Do you remember anything about whether that was any particular difficulty doing that in a suit."]

[Duke - "No, that was no problem."]

119:22:30 Young: Don't you want to pull some?

119:22:34 Duke: No, it says (Item 2 on LMP-5) "Release pull at aft-chassis unlock"; and that's what I did.

119:22:35 Young: Okay, it just stepped out of those walking hinges.

119:22:38 Duke: I know, and it's bouncing on us. (Pause) Those walking hinges are no longer any good anyway, after we get down to this point.

[In Houston, the Flight Director is told that the Rover is supposed to come out of the hinges at 73 degrees of rotation.]
119:22:46 Young: Okay, now it's sitting in them.

119:22:48 Duke: Okay.

119:22:49 Young: Comes bouncing out.

119:22:50 Duke: Yeah; keep pulling. Watch that big rock there.

119:22:53 Young: Oh, I see what you mean!

[This exchange suggests that John, at least, is now backing away from the LM.]
119:22:54 Duke: About a 50-centimeter boulder right next to the minus-Y (south) footpad. Angular (rock).
[This rock is at the lower left in AS16-107-17441, which is a photo John takes at the start of EVA-2. One of the LRV deployment tapes is hanging down above it. The cosmic ray detector is in the footpad and, above and beyond that is the RTG fuel cask in the horizontal position. The closed SEQ Bay doors are behind the cask.]
119:23:03 Young: Okay, Charlie; do you want me to keep pulling?

119:23:05 Duke: Yeah, keep pulling until you hit the gray.... Until we get the weight off of these things (that is, when there is no longer tension on the tapes). (Pause)

119:23:19 Young: You got to pull it away, Charlie. (Pause)

119:23:24 Duke: There she comes.

119:23:26 Young: Got it.

119:23:27 Duke: I can pick that beauty up right off the ground with this little cable.

119:23:31 Young: Shall I keep pulling?

119:23:32 Duke: Yeah. Until you get that...Okay, that's it, John.

119:23:37 Young: All the cable is slack.

119:23:38 Duke: Yeah, okay; that's great.

119:23:39 Young: Let's go get it.

119:23:40 Duke: Okay, here; you need this.

[Charlie has probably just given John the contingency tool with which they will pull some pins and make sure various latches are secure. See Figures 2-6a and 2-06b in the Lunar Roving Vehicle Operations Handbook.]
119:23:41 Young: Wait a minute, that rear wheel isn't locked.

119:23:44 Duke: Oh, we'll get that. Okay, you lock that side. I'll pull these pins. (Pause) Okay, this one's not locked out, either. (Pause) Okay, now it is. This hinge (lock) pin is in.

119:24:04 Young: And this hinge pin is in. I think this is locked. Ohhh.

119:24:10 Duke: Watch out!

119:24:12 Young: (Almost) turn the car over.

119:24:13 Duke: I know it.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 16 min 44 sec )

119:24:16 Young: Okay, Charlie, let me come back up here and help you. (Pause)

[The front of the Rover is attached to the LM by the saddle and telescoping rods shown in Figure 1-37 in the LRV Operations Handbook. As per LMP-5, Charlie is removing some pins to decouple the Rover from the saddle.]
119:24:23 Duke: Oh, boy, that cooling is so much nicer. Okay, here we go.

119:24:30 Young: Hey, wait a minute, let me get a little further away from it in case it springs off the...

119:24:37 Duke: Hey, you're doing pretty well with that deep-knee-bend stuff.

119:24:41 Young: Yeah, I already picked up a rock to see if it was possible.

119:24:43 Duke: Yeah, I saw you.

119:24:46 Young: Piece of cake. Although you got to maintain your c.g. (center of gravity).

119:24:49 England: Okay. (Pause)

[Jones - "A couple of months ago, John told me that he had done some work in the airplane seeing if he could get down to one knee. Do you remember that?"]

[Duke - "Yeah. Uh-huh. And he was good at it. He would jump up and then sort of do a split and then he hit and the momentum would carry him down and he could grab a rock and then, once he got down, the suit tension would pop him back up. He was very good at it. I tried it a couple of times and I wasn't very good at it, so I stopped. I'd looked at it...I could do it in the airplane but, up on the lunar surface, it just seemed like I was always off balance. You know, I'd try to grab and I'd miss it, or I'd grab and it wouldn't come right and it would spin me one direction or the other and I'd end up falling down. So I didn't do much of it; but he did."]

[Jones - "That brings to mind that there is one sequence in the TV (at about 121:48) where you try it when you're doing the drilling."]

[Duke - "I could do it...Just with the rocks I had the tough trouble."]

119:24:54 Duke: Tony, are you copying all this?

119:24:57 England: We sure are. We're all ears. Sure wish we had the TV.

119:25:05 Duke: Well, we'll get it for you in a minute. Sorry about that steerable, but (garbled) breaks. Okay, the Rover is within 2 feet of being on the ground! (Doing a credible W. C. Fields imitation) Ah, the old machine!

[Jones - "Were you a Fields fan when you were a kid?"]

[Duke - "Yeah."]

119:25:22 Young: I believe we're a little upslope here. I get the feeling (that) if I let go of it, it'll roll under the vehicle (meaning the LM).

119:25:29 Duke: Yeah, I do, too. (John chuckles) Okay, there we go, John. It's on the ground, Houston.

119:25:34 England: Okay.

119:25:35 Young: Want us to pull (the Rover) out, Charlie?

119:25:36 Duke: Huh? (Pause) Just like in training, the checklist changes pages on you automatically.

119:25:45 Young: Is that right? (Pause)

[The checklist pages are bound with a wire coil - rather like a small spiral notebook - and the coil, in turn, is attached to a metal band which goes over the forearm just above the wrist. The curvature of the band helps keep the pages from flipping. A detail from Apollo 13 training photo 70-HC-83 is a good side view of Jim Lovell's cuff checklist.]

[Jones - "Your checklist pages had the curved...Which supposedly kept them from turning."]

[Duke - "Yeah. Supposedly; but it didn't."]

[Jones - "Most of the time?"]

[Duke - "Most of the time they stayed. I think, a lot of times, you'd touch it with a hand or brush it with something and that would help it flip over."]

[Charlie wore the cuff checklist on his left arm, as can be seen in AS16-116-18651. Photo AS12-7071 gives us a good view of Pete Conrad's cuff checklist.]

119:25:50 Young: Get that rear hinge off of there.

119:25:52 Duke: Wait a minute. I want to get this page turned; I want to make sure I got everything. Okay, (reading LMP-5) "Pull left pin, pull reel, pull saddle release." Okay. Here's the saddle release coming.

119:26:06 LM Crew: (Garbled as they release the saddle)

119:26:08 Duke: Outstanding!

119:26:09 Young: There you go! Let's pick this baby up and turn it around.

119:26:13 Duke: Okay. (Pause) Oh, look at that!!

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "When we got it on the ground, Charlie and I just picked that baby up and moved it over so we didn't have to back it up (using the wheel motors in reverse)."]
119:26:17 Young: Wait a minute, Charlie. Let me get these (deployment) cables off the front of it. I forgot about them.

119:26:20 Duke: Okay. (Pause) You're all tangled up in that cord, John.

119:26:25 Young: As usual.

119:26:26 Duke: Your right foot...(Correcting himself) Your left foot.

119:26:28 Young: Yeah. Hold what you've got.

119:26:32 Duke: Okay. There it is; it's off. (Pause)

[During the ALSEP deployment, John will catch his foot in the heat flow experiment cable and will tear the cable at connector at the base of the Central Station.]

[Jones - "It's simply miraculous that there weren't more cable accidents."]

[Duke - "Yeah, I know. It was easy to get tangled up in stuff, because you couldn't feel anything and you couldn't see anything on the bottom part of the suit. You just couldn't look down too much and see your feet, so it was really miraculous we didn't get tangled up more than we did. But, looking at one another and keeping track of one another really helped a lot."]

[Jones - "What, in your mind, is the best solution. Stronger connectors? Cable materials that stay flat?"]

[Duke - "Those cables that we had, we told 'em in training that we were going to have problems with those, because they were like spaghetti. The ones in training laid flat because they were used so much. You know, they didn't have their set in them. But the actual ones, you started pulling them out and they kept the set. And we had told them we thought we were going to have a problem, 'cause there were just a lot of cables coming around that Central Station. I think strong connectors, tear-proof cables (are necessary). (That is) certainly something you need to look at in the future, 'cause that's just tragic, you know, to tangle yourself up in a cable and pull it loose just because of some little accident. So we need to design things that lay flat, if we can, and that would be stronger. I think all of that would help."]

119:26:40 Duke: Watch that pin there. (Pause)

119:26:48 Young: (Garbled)

119:26:51 Duke: Pick her up. Here we go. (Pause) We are upslope.

119:26:59 Young: Yeah.

119:27:00 Duke: Just a skosh.

119:27:01 Young: Doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

119:27:03 Duke: That's good. Hey, let's get around so you won't be looking in the Sun, John.

119:27:06 Young: No, I'm not looking into the Sun.

119:27:08 Duke: You're gonna be, sitting in the seat!

119:27:10 Young: Sharp thinking, Charlie. (Pause)

119:27:15 Duke: Okay. (Pause) There you go.

119:27:17 Young: You're going to have a little tricky footing with that ALSEP (off-load). (Pause) Okay, (reading CDR-7) old "geology pallet post, release".

[The post is behind the seats and, once John puts it upright, they can fit a mating sleeve on the geopallet over it. See Figures 2-16 and 2-17 in the LRV Operations Handbook. In training photo KSC-71PC-776, the sleeve is below and slightly to the right of the magnetometer legs.]
119:27:30 Young: You got to get the contingency tool to push these two pins in.

119:27:33 Duke: Okay, I'll get it. (Pause)

[Now, they will verify that the locking pins are properly seated, as per Item 2 under "Set Up LRV" on CDR-7 and LMP-6. As per LMP-6, Charlie has been sliding the fender extensions into place. As shown in AS16-107-17446, the rear extensions have flag decals on them.]
119:27:46 Young: That old U.S. flag there on them fenders. Looks good.

119:27:52 Duke: Makes you proud to be an American, Tony: an experience like this.

119:27:59 England: I agree with you, Charlie.

119:28:02 Duke: This one's in, here.

119:28:04 Young: Yeah, but it's out over here. Sock it to me. Don't push it in, if it's already in.

["Sock it to me", is the punchline of a running gag on the U.S. TV program 'Laugh-in' that was very popular at the time of the Apollo missions. The gag is explained in some detail at 139:41:00 in the Apollo 12 transcript. Note that, here, John is using the phrase without any note of fatalism. He is merely asking Charlie to pass over the contingency tool.]
119:28:10 Duke: No, I just was checking (garbled)

119:28:12 Young: No, come on. Give me that. We don't need to do that. (Pause) Careful.

119:28:27 England: Understand all the hinge pins are in?

119:28:33 Young: We're getting them in. (Pause) I think yours is out. I think there's one out on your side a little.

119:28:44 Duke: No, it's in.

119:28:46 Young: In?

119:28:47 Duke: Yeah.

119:28:50 Young: Okay. Both in on my side.

119:28:51 Duke: Okay, I'm gonna get the seat (as per LMP-6).

119:28:58 LM Crew: (Garbled)

119:28:59 Duke: That Velcro's a little hard to pull. Houston, I can pick up the whole vehicle with that piece of Velcro around the seat.

119:29:08 Young: That holds the seat down. Me and Charlie just picked the vehicle up. (Hearty laugh) Ho ho.

[The seat deployment procedures are illustrated in Figure 2-9 in the LRV Operations Handbook.]
119:29:16 England: You just don't know your own strength. (Pause)

119:29:24 Young: The people that put Velcro in don't know its strength, that's the message, Tony. (Pause)

119:29:33 Duke: (Garbled) your seat is up. (Pause) Okay; seatbelt's up. (Long Pause)

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "One thing I'd like to comment on here is that I think they overdesigned the Velcro holding the seats down on the LRV. A 2-inch or 1 1/2-inch wide piece of Velcro is wrapped around on themselves to hold the seat in place. On my side, I started pulling the Velcro to try to get it off of the outboard handhold and the seat, and all I succeeded in doing is picking the vehicle up off the ground. The Velcro wouldn't come loose. Then I tried a couple of snatch loads and, by snatching it, I eventually got the Velcro off. It was a hard job getting that Velcro off. They really over-killed that one."]

[Slayton, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I gather you thought all the Velcro as difficult to work, or (was) excessive."]

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "Yes, I did."]

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "For what we were using it for, it was. Although, we had a couple of cases of these in-house devices (equipment made by NASA) that we will talk about later, where the Velcro was burned off, the glue that attaches the Velcro melted or something. Like on the padded bags, and on the TV sunshade. And there was something else (namely the Sample Collection Bag attachments)."]

[See a discussion of the sunhade/sunshield at 169:20:59.]

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "It was just like you'd expect, Deke. When you wanted the Velcro to work, it wouldn't work; and when you didn't want it to work, you couldn't get the son-of-a-gun off of there."]

119:29:56 Duke: This thing...Going a million miles, John.

119:30:02 Young: Look at that.

[Charlie has just thrown something, possibly one of the Velcro straps that held the seats in place.]
119:30:04 Duke: Here's your seatbelt.

119:30:06 Young: Okay. Seatbelt is up, locked.

119:30:09 Duke: Hey, can you take it over there and drape it over so you won't get all tangled up with two seatbelts?

119:30:15 Young: Take the other one, too?

119:30:16 Duke: No, this is yours.

119:30:19 Young: I'll be darned. (Charlie laughs). Don't want to even think about that.

119:30:25 Duke: Okay, next is the console.

119:30:27 Young: Okay, let's get it. (Pause)

[This is Item 4 on LMP-6. Deployment of the Rover console is illustrated in Figure 2-8 from the LRV Operations Handbook.]
119:30:39 Duke: Okay.

119:30:40 Young: Wait a second, Charlie, I ...

119:30:42 Duke: Okay, mine is out; rotate it 90 (degrees). (Pause)

[They are probably positioning either the inboard armrests or the T-handles.]
119:30:50 Young: Okay, rotate 90.

119:30:54 Duke: Okay.

119:30:55 Young: Beautiful.

119:30:57 Duke: In and locked.

119:30:59 Young: Locked.

119:31:02 Duke: Okay, those are coming out.

119:31:08 Young: Okay, we're removing the pins from this critter. (Pause)

[These are the "tripod apex pins" in Item 7 on CDR-7. Journal Contributor Keith Hearn notes that the two tripods - one on each side - are attached to the Rover chasis and are part of the deployment hardware. John and Charlie are now removing the tripods. Don McMillan's animation of the 'walking hinge' in operation has the tripod closest to the ladder labelled. Two of the three Quick Release pins on that tripod are shown. Figure 2-6 (sheet 2) in the LRV Operations Handbook (40 Mb) and pages 2-13 and 2-14 detail the procedures. In the figure, the 'apex pins' are numbers P4 on the leftside tripod and P10 on the rightside.]

[McMillan adds, "The tripods were attached to the rover chassis which were then connected to the Space Support Equipment on the LM. The tripod apexes were connected to support spools located on the left and right support arms, shown in Figure 1-37 in the LRV Ops Handbook. Once the rover was deployed on the surface the pins were pulled and the tripods were disconnected. This next part is really clever. The center section of each tripod was then used as a toe hold on the appropriate side of the rover (Fig. 1-29 and Section 1.7.8)."

119:31:23 Duke: John, what's that black thing over there?

119:31:27 Young: Over where, Charlie?

119:31:28 Duke: Right in front of my seat. That little black thing.

119:31:31 Young: In front of your seat? That jobber there?

119:31:35 Duke: Yeah. No, right in front of...Under your...(Pause) Doesn't matter; but I was just wondering what it was. (Pause)

119:31:49 Young: It was a little black thing.

119:31:51 Duke: It is a little black thing, (garbled).

119:31:55 Young: (Having fun with it) Houston, we just found one of those little black things.

119:32:00 Duke: A little black disk. It looked like it's probably a bumper guard. Something from the stowage area, Tony. But it's no consequence. (Throwing it) Man, can you sling things a long way. Look at that. Went into that crater. (Pause) Too bad there isn't something to lean on. I have a tough time bending in this suit. (Pause)

[Charlie may be reaching down to free one of the footrests. See Figure 2-7 from the LRV Operations Handbook.]
119:32:36 Duke: Okay, yours (John's footrest) is down and Velcroed.

119:32:39 Young: Okay.

119:32:40 Duke: (Front) fender's out.

119:32:43 Young: Okay.

119:32:44 Duke: (Reviewing LMP-6, starting at Item 6) Okay, "C&W (Caution and Warning flags), drape seat belts, tripod, tool, erect footrest, verify front hinge pins, extend front fender." Okay. Okay, I'm going to get the (70-mm Hasselblad) camera (as per LMP-7).

119:32:54 Young: All righty.

119:32:55 Duke: (Get) the pans.

[Charlie will take a panoramic sequence of photos from a point northeast of the LM.]
119:32:57 Duke: Ya-hoo! Tony, this is so great you can't believe it!

119:33:01 England: Oh, I believe it, Charlie. (Pause) When you get in the middle of your pictures there, you might give me a call and I'll instruct you on some more we'd like.

119:33:18 Duke: Okay.

119:33:20 Young: The LRV checkout (on CDR-8). (Long Pause)

119:33:42 Young: Okay, brake on.

119:33:46 Duke: Okay, Tony...

119:33:46 Young: Reverse off.

119:33:47 Duke: I'm starting with mag Alpha at frame count 39.

119:33:52 Young: Okay, Houston. I'm starting the LRV checkout.

119:33:54 England: Okay. And, Charlie, 39. (Pause)

[In the following sequence, John is reading the LRV Operations Decal which is attached to the console.]
119:34:02 Young: Circuit breakers all going closed except Aux and Nav. (Pause) My personal impression is I'm sitting up higher in this seat right now than I did in that one-sixth-g rig that we made, if you can believe such a thing.

119:34:27 England: Understand.

[Duke - "What he's talking about is a Rover mock-up; and I think it was in the airplane, because that's the only place we had the one-sixth g."]

[The Apollo 15 crew had a great deal of difficulty with their seatbelts because no allowance had been made, in adjusting the lengths, for the fact that, in one-six-g, the suits aren't as compressed as they are in 1 g. To get a good fit, John and Charlie made some airplane flights, climbed on the Rover mock-up during periods of one-six-g, and made sure the belts were properly adjusted.]

119:34:32 Duke: Okay, Tony. I'm gonna be about 60 - 30 - make it 20 meters behind (the LM) between the plus-Y and the minus-Z (struts). If I get right at the SEQ Bay, I'm in that big hole.

119:34:57 England: Okay, that's fine.

[Charlie's pan consists of frames AS16-113- 18313 to 18330. He starts with a down-Sun (west) photo and turns slightly to his right between frames.]

[Frame 18321 is an up-Sun (east) photo.]

[Frame 18323 shows the crater that John overflew during the final approach; note that the eastern wall is still in shadow.]

[Frame 18325 shows the brightly-lit western wall of the crater; Stone Mountain is in the background.]

[Frame 18327 is a view in the direction of South Ray Crater. Note that, although the white ejecta blanket surrounding South Ray Crater could be seen from the LM windows, from Charlie's vantage point on the surface it is hidden by an intervening ridge. ]

[Frame 18328 shows John sitting on the Rover, preparing to make his first test drive. The minus-Z (east) and minus-Y (south) LM struts can also be seen.]

[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.]

119:34:58 Young: Okay, Houston. The Amp-Hour on (LRV battery) number 1 say 125, and the Amp-Hours on number 2 are off-scale low, and the Volts on number 1 are 85 and the Volts on number 2 are off-scale low. (Pause)

119:35:23 Duke: (Hope) we haven't lost that battery.

[The two batteries provide a total capacity of 242 amp-hours, of which they will use 98 amp-hours during the three EVAs. The zero readings on battery 2 will prove to be due to sensor problems.]
119:35:26 Young: Well, it ain't reading, if we haven't. Maybe we lost the...Of course, the Forward and Rear Motor temperatures are off-scale low (as expected) and...(Pause)

119:35:44 Duke: Okay, pan's complete.

119:35:46 Young: And the Battery Temperatures are off-scale low.

119:35:53 England: Okay, and we'd like you to take pictures of the ablated paint, Charlie.

119:36:00 Duke: Okay, I'll do that. I'll do it at f/8, at about 15 feet.

119:36:11 England: Okay, we'd like f/8 at 250(th of a second exposure) and f/11 at 250 of all of the ablated surfaces.

119:36:20 Duke: Okay. (Pause) (Laughing) If I can bend back that far, Tony.

119:36:28 England: Okay. (Pause)

[Charlie's LM pictures are AS16-113- 18331 to 18338.]

[Frames 18331 and 18332 show buckling of the rear panels on the Ascent Stage, which probably occurred as a result of the six-foot drop to the surface after John shutdown the Descent Engine. Kipp Teague and Wil Taylor call attention to AS16-122-19533, a post-rendezvous picture Ken Mattingly took of the LM showing extensive further damage that undoubtedly occurred at lift-off.]

[Jones - "There is a some Apollo 17 TV which shows Jack doing some LM photography. To get pictures of things at the top of the spacecraft, he got up on his toes, flexed his knees and pushed his chest out."]

[Duke - "Yeah, you had to get in some strange positions. I remember standing there, to take up this way, I had to lean (straining) back and push the bottom of the camera up and sort of...You could rotate the PLSS control box (RCU) it up a little bit and elevate your camera; plus, by bending backward, you could get some more elevation on it. So that's what I'm talking about."]

[Jones - "Did you ever take the camera off the bracket to use it?"]

[Duke - "Yeah, a lot of times...Well, I don't know about that. No, mostly, when I used it, it was on the bracket. I don't remember removing it to point it up. It was easier to leave it on the bracket."]

[Frame 18335 shows the Cosmic Ray Detector mounted on the side of the LM next to the Scientific Equipment (SEQ) Bay, which covered by dark gray door. On the other side of the SEQ Bay, the upright fuel cask holds the plutonium fuel element for the RTG.]

119:36:34 Duke: Tony, you can see the striations caused by the descent plume. It (meaning the Rover)'s running, John!

119:36:42 Young: Look at it go, would you, Charlie!

119:36:44 Duke: You've got all your steering. It's great!

119:36:47 Young: Ah, this is going to be some kind of different ride! (Pause)

119:37:02 Duke: The Rover is running, Houston.

[Duke - "We were always amazed when things worked! (Laughing) Because, in training, half the time it never worked. So it was always 'Eureka!!! It's working!' You know, millions of dollars they spent on this stuff and it was always a big surprise when it all worked for us."]

[As per CDR-8, John will make a counter-clockwise circle around the LM and park at the MESA.]

119:37:05 England: Okay, and when you're over at the S-band, we have a couple of more pictures of that one.

119:37:11 Duke: I just got it, Tony.

119:37:14 England: Okay, there's a particular surface on it we're interested in.

119:37:21 Duke: Stand by. Okay, just a minute.

119:37:26 Young: Let me try it through a few of these little craters here, Charlie. You know, it's hard to get to where you are from here. (Chuckles)

119:37:39 Duke: Okay, the ablated paint surfaces: there were only two, and it's the two above the ascent tank. (Pause) John, you were coming absolutely straight down when you hit. Okay, Tony, go ahead with the S-band.

119:37:54 England: Okay, we want you to take a picture of the white side of the yoke. The yoke has a black side and a white side. (Pause) And on the white side, we want at 1/250th, f/5.6, f/8, and f/11.

119:38:13 Duke: Okay, I've got the f/8 and f/11. I'll do the 5.6 one.

119:38:17 England: Good show.

119:38:21 Duke: John, you're sure going slow.

119:38:23 Young: Yeah, the wheels are skidding, Charlie.

119:38:25 Duke: Okay, your rear steering's off.

119:38:27 Young: Huh?

119:38:28 Duke: You don't have any rear steering.

119:38:30 Young: Is that what the problem is?

119:38:31 Duke: Yeah.

[The Apollo 15 crew had no front steering during the first EVA. At the start of EVA-2, however, it was working normally. On the Apollo 16 Rover, the rear steering starts working when John leaves the LM for the ALSEP deployment site at 120:45:21.]

[In the Apollo 16 Mission Report, after discussions of possible causes of the rear-steering anomaly, the following discussion focuses on a possible warm-up phenomenon. "Another possible cause of the anomalous condition is in the steering servo system (Figure 14-70). A signal generated by the handcontroller is coupled to the input servo amplifier as an error signal across a bridge. This signal is amplified and applied to the steering-motor field coils in a direction determined by the polarity of the input signal which depends upon the direction of the handcontroller deflection. The feedback potentiometer is driven by the steering motor in a direction to balance the bridge, thus canceling the original error signal. A non-conductive lubricant, DC40, is applied to the wiper and resistive element of the potentiometers (in the handcontroller) to produce smooth operation and reduce noise. At low temperatures, the lubricant could become more viscous and insulate the wiper from the resistive element. No error signal would then be present at the input to the servo amplifier, although the handcontroller was deflected. As the steering electronics heat up, the lubricant becomes less viscous. Exercising the handcontroller then cleans the lubricant from the wiper and resistive element, allowing contact to be made. This would account for the anomalous condition. Tests will be conducted to determine the effect of the lubricant on the potentiometers at low temperatures."]

[Readers should note that this explanation begs the question of why the rear steering was affected but not the front and why, in the Apollo 15 case, front steering became operable at the start of the second EVA. On both flights, sun angle may have played a role in warming the lubricant. Changes may have been made to the steering system after Apollo 16 because no similar problems were experienced on Apollo 17.]

119:38:32 Young: I thought you said both steerings was (sic) working?

119:38:33 Duke: It looked it to me, but it's not now.

119:38:36 Young: You know why it's not working?

119:38:37 Duke: We don't have a battery.

119:38:39 Young: Huh?

119:38:42 Duke: Huh? (Pause) Shift it to the other battery. (Pause)

119:38:50 Young: How's it doing now?

119:38:53 Duke: Nope. Front's working, but the rear's not.

119:38:58 Young: Well, I just checked Bus B and Bus D. We don't...Okay, let me go to primary. (Pause) That make any difference?

119:39:08 Duke: Nope. Rear steering's not working.

119:39:10 Young: Okay. I'm gonna park it anyway. We can't trouble-shoot it now.

119:39:14 Duke: Okay, could you...That's good; that's a good position. Okay, Tony. The rear steering is not working.

119:39:20 England: Okay, we copy that. (Long Pause)

[Young, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I wasn't particularly concerned about the rear steering not working, because we sort of planned not to use rear steering. In fact, if the rear and front steering had gone out, we planned to go in a straight line as far as we could, get out, pick the thing up, and point it in the right direction and keep right on going. On that particular site, that would have been hairy. We'd have been doing a lot of getting out and picking up. But I still think, if we had to do it for any reasonable amount of time, it would have been a lot better than walking."]

[As can be seen in AS16-113- 18339, John parked the Rover north of the plus-Y (north) strut with the vehicle pointed more or less toward the west. Charlie will take this excellent photo at about 120:25:35. Note that John has jumped perhaps a half meter off the ground. The UV camera is in the LM shadow behind him and Stone Mountain is in the background. The MESA is on the northwest face of the Descent Stage beyond the front of the Rover. What appears to be the gnomon is on the ground under the ladder and the LEC is draped on the ladder strut support. The steerable antenna is the dark disk at the upper left of the Ascent Stage.]

119:39:33 Duke: Okay, Tony, the pan is complete. The LM just looks super. It's in perfect shape. No problem. The soil around here is very fine grained. Dusty, much like all the regolith that we've seen samples of from the other sites. The rocks are scattered. Perhaps 20 or 30 percent of the surface is covered by boulders up to 25 centimeters. Small craters pock mark the whole place; meter to 2-meter size, covering perhaps 70 percent of the surface.

119:40:12 Young: Charlie, I ought to be able to get a Nav align from right here. Okay, I got the LRV parked by the MESA. And, except for the rear steering, it works pretty good. I don't understand that.

119:40:28 Young: Don't ask me to check if the rear coupling's been pulled. Don't ask me to do that. Oh. (Pause, probably as he dismounted) That pin is still taped down for the rear steering (as it should be, apparently). (Pause)

[Duke - "(With regard to John's 'don't ask me to check') It was some mechanism back in there; you know, it was like a rack-and-pinion deal. But I don't remember exactly what it was."]

[Jones - "But it would have meant getting down to look under the Rover."]

[Duke - "Well, yeah; and I forget exactly how you do it, but it was tough to get to. We looked at in training to see if we could fix something, but it was just a pain."]


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