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Traverse to Station 9 Return to the LM


Geology Station 9 at Van Serg

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Audio clips by Dave Shaffer.
Last revised 4 August 2017.


Jack named this crater after Harvard Professor Hugh Exton McKinstry (1896-1961), who used "Van Serg" as a pen name in a series of scientific satires. Journal Contributor Brian Lawrence discovered a discussion of Van Serg in the May 1997 issue of Harvard Magazine in the College Pump section. The item was contributed by mathematician (Harvard AB 1947 and MA 1948) and satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer and is reproduced here with permission from Harvard Magazine Editor John S. Rosenberg.

Lehrer wrote "The geology department was near the Vanserg building, and Professor McKinstry must have known the name. (He may even have dined there, as it was for some years the home of the graduate dining hall.) As far as I know, there is no such name as Van Serg in any language. It is therefore reasonable to assume that he took his pen name from the name of the building, spelling it 'Van Serg' to make it sound more like a surname. The Vanserg building is a 'temporary' building, erected at the end of World War II to house various departments. (The roster has changed over the years; it has included the mathematics department and--currently--expository writing and history and literature.) Since the building was meant to be temporary, there was no benefactor after whom to name it, so they used an acronym of the names of the original tenants, namely Veterans Administration, Naval Science, Electronic Research, and Graduate dining hall. (This fact appears to be known only to those who were around at the time.) Thus there is a crater on the moon which derives its name from a Harvard acronym." The Pump's editor concludes "The Pump is advised by Owen Gingerich, professor of astronomy and the history of science, that the International Astronomical Union lists Van Serg not as a crater but as a 'lunar feature named by an Apollo 17 astronaut.' And who could that have been? The prime suspect has to be Harrison Schmitt, Ph.D. '64."


MP3 Audio Clip starting at 167:55:00 ( 19 min 53 sec )

167:55:10 Schmitt: Van Serg looks like a blocky-rim, fresh impact crater right now.

167:55:16 Parker: Okay. We copy that. How about scuffing your feet and seeing if it looks orange underneath?

167:55:18 Schmitt: Slight differences...(Stops to listen to Bob) Don't worry.

167:55:29 Parker: And, Gene, before you go away, we'd like the rest of the Rover readouts, like batteries. And how about a SEP temp readout before one of you guys leaves there?

167:55:45 Cernan: Can you get that (SEP) on that side, Jack.

167:55:47 Schmitt: I will.

167:55:48 Cernan: (To Bob) Should have TV.

167:55:49 Parker: Rog. We have it, and I'm sure that Ed (Fendell) would like a good dusting job up front.

[TV on. Jack is at the SEP; Gene is leaning over the instrument panel from beside his seat.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 50 sec 1.0 Mb RealVideo or 38 Mb MPEG )

167:55:55 Schmitt: Well, there's so much...

167:55:59 Cernan: I'll dust it if you can't read it.

167:55:59 Schmitt: ...dust.

167:56:00 Cernan: I'll get it.

167:56:01 Schmitt: I've got it.

167:56:02 Cernan: I'll get it.

167:56:03 Schmitt: (I've) wiped the dust off (the SEP) just over the gauge. It's about 125 on the SEP.

167:56:10 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

167:56:11 Schmitt: Boy, everything is really bad now. The (replacement) fender warped.

167:56:14 Cernan: Yeah, the fender dug under. See if you can straighten it out.

[Fendell pans counter-clockwise, past Jack who may be trying to put some fore-aft creases in the fender to prevent the back end from folding under.]
167:56:18 Parker: Okay, and leave the covers...

167:56:18 Cernan: Okay. Amp hours, 82 and 80. Battery, 122 and off-scale low. Forwards are 210, 240; Rears are 225 and 220.

167:56:41 Parker: Okay. We copy that.

167:56:43 Cernan: That's just a sample of the kind of dust we would have got, Jack, if we hadn't of had that fender yesterday. Fender's almost worn out.

[When the replacement fender was installed, the map sheets were quite stiff; they no longer are. Gene brought the replacement fender back to Earth and it is on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Ken Glover has provided a photograph of the underside of the fender, with the aft portion at the left. Glover writes: "From memory, I would describe the abrasion as being along the longitudinal axis, and clearly visible as far as about two inches in from one end. It has the appearance of several dark-coloured scratches. Think sand-blaster. There's also some minor fraying of the centre of the map at the very end. I believe the grid lines are still visible because the map is laminated and -- for the most part -- the plastic coating bore the brunt of the scouring and is still translucent. Obviously, the half that was clamped to the fender would not have signs of this sort of abrasion." MIssion photo AS17-137-20979 shows the top of the replacement fender as it appeared at Station 2. Note that there is tape along the shorter side only at the aft end.]
167:56:51 Schmitt: Can you get a (lens) dustbrush, and let's check our cameras.

167:56:55 Cernan: Stay where you are, and I'll give you a zap-a-reen-o, wherever you are. (Pause)

167:57:13 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) Got it?

167:57:16 Cernan: Yup.

167:57:17 Schmitt: Okay, how many bags do I have.

167:57:19 Cernan: I don't know, but I've got a lot of dusting to do here.

167:57:22 Schmitt: Do you have a lot of bags?

167:57:24 Cernan: Yeah. I must have...I've got four of them is all.

167:57:27 Schmitt: I'd better change my bag (that is, get a new pack of sample bags to hang on his camera).

167:57:31 Cernan: Can't even read the Rover.

167:57:33 Schmitt: Yeah. I have an empty bag (SCB) on me now, right? Collection bag?

167:57:36 Cernan: Empty. (Pause)

167:57:44 Parker: Okay, 17...

167:57:44 Schmitt: Don't know how much time do we have here?

167:57:46 Parker: Okay, 17. We're looking at a nominal Station 9 here. You've got about 25 minutes remaining.

[Fendell pans past Gene, who has the large dustbrush in hand, headed for the LCRU.]
167:58:01 Schmitt: No such thing as a nominal station any more.

167:58:03 Parker: This may be the first and only one of the traverse.

167:58:09 Schmitt: The geology won't let it be nominal. Okay, I've got some new (sample) bags, Bob.

167:58:13 Parker: Okay. We copy that, Jack.

167:58:15 Schmitt: And I guess I'm pretty good on film.

167:58:17 Parker: Okay. And you're going to get a radial sample here...

167:58:19 Schmitt: Well, maybe I'm not.

167:58:19 Parker: ...and so you might check your Rover sample(r) (the LRV Sampler) bag supply.

[Fendell reaches the counter-clockwise stop and reverses direction. The cuff checklist pages pertaining to Van Serg are LMP/CDR-21, LMP/CDR-22, and LMP/CDR-23. Figure 6-123 from the Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report is a plan map showing the position of the Rover relative to the rim.]
167:58:25 Schmitt: That's right. I want to take that.

167:58:27 Parker: And you might give me frame count or check it to make sure you're okay.

167:58:34 Schmitt: I just did, and it's 123.

167:58:35 Parker: Okay, good enough.

167:58:41 Cernan: (Calling to Houston) How do you want the SEP blankets?

167:58:43 Parker: Leave them closed, please, Gene...

167:58:45 Schmitt: Open, I think.

167:58:45 Parker: ...as closed as they'll get.

167:58:47 Schmitt: Closed. (Pause)

167:58:53 Cernan: We been riding with this thing off?

167:58:55 Schmitt: What?

167:58:56 Cernan: SEP?

167:58:58 Schmitt: Yeah, it should be off.

167:58:59 Cernan: Yeah, it is. Doesn't seem like it'd get much data that way. Even if it's hot.

167:59:05 Parker: Yes, but it's automatic...

167:59:06 Schmitt: I guess they're worried about getting it so hot it...

167:59:07 Parker: It shuts itself off when it gets above 108, so it's no good anyway.

167:59:13 Cernan: Are you kidding? Oh, boy.

167:59:17 Parker: We've been hoping all day. It's been off all day, since Station 6. We've been hoping that it would cool down so that we could get some more data, but it's not, obviously.

167:59:27 Cernan: It's not going to make it, Bob.

167:59:29 Parker: That's obvious by now.

Video Clip ( 3 min 13 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 32 Mb MPEG )

167:59:33 Cernan: That's a shame!

167:59:34 Schmitt: (Changing subjects) This is starting to look like a (U.S.) Geological Survey expedition. The vehicles are all covered with dust. (Long Pause)

[Fendell examines a small, blocky-rimmed crater near the Rover.]
168:00:03 Cernan: Oh, look what's in there. (Long Pause) I don't think I can read that unless I dust it with a lens brush. (Pause)

168:00:32 Schmitt: Okay. Get my...(Pause)

168:00:43 Cernan: Okay, can I get by you here? (Does) my bag (that is, his SCB) look all right to you?

168:00:49 Schmitt: Yeah, it's still closed.

168:00:51 Cernan: Okay.

[Fendell finds Jack at the gate; Gene at his own seat.]
168:00:53 Schmitt: Okay. What are we going to do here? (Consulting checklist) We're going to go up there and sample on the rim; look at the walls and the floor, and miscellaneous, and...

168:01:07 Cernan: Well, we are on the rim (garbled).

168:01:08 Schmitt: ...then you're going to take 500 millimeters when you get back to the Rover while I do a radial sample.

168:01:16 Cernan: (Flipping a checklist page) Okay.

168:01:17 Schmitt: But the first thing we do is go up to the crater. Bob, I think the mantle objective here really is immaterial, because the blocky ejecta around the crater covers...Oh, boy...

168:01:40 Schmitt: (Stepping back from the Rover to look around) Well, it looks like it extends several hundred meters out from the rim. Say a couple of hundred meters.

168:01:50 Parker: All right. Copy that, Jack.

168:01:52 Schmitt: We're pretty close to the rim.

168:01:55 Parker: Yeah, we can see that.

[Gene get the gnomon from behind his seat and then gets the dustbrush from under his seat and brushes the gnomon, trying to clean the color chart and the gray scale. After brushing for a moment, Gene taps the color chart with the brush to get some more dust off.]
168:02:01 Schmitt: I'll go up on the rim, Gene, and see what we've got. (Long Pause)
[Gene stows the dustbrush and goes to the gate.]
168:02:23 Schmitt: (Singing) "Tiptoe through the tulips. Du-de-du-du, Du-de..."
[Tiptoe Through the Tulips was written by Joe Burke and Al Dubin. It first became popular in 1929 in a recording by Nick Lucas. Over two million copies of the sheet music were sold, particularly after a Lucas rendition was featured in an early 'talkie' motion picture called Gold Diggers of Broadway. The song re-emerged to popularity in 1968 as the signature song of the eccentric, falsetto-voiced, ukulele-playing personality Tiny Tim (real name Herbert Khaury, 1932-1996, who probably took the stage name from the character in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol). Tiny Tim appeared regularly on the popular NBC television program The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1968 and 1969. His fame/notoriety probably peaked with his on-air wedding on the Carson Show on December 17, 1969.]
168:02:26 Parker: Okay. Let's get Grav (TGE) before you guys leave.

168:02:31 Cernan: (Cheerfully) I'm getting it right now! Let me see; anything else you want me to do while I'm here (at the Rover)?

168:02:37 Parker: Negative.

Video Clip ( 3 min 27 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 34 Mb MPEG )

168:02:44 Schmitt: Sure look like shocked rocks to me. (Pause)

[Gene goes to his seat, gets the tongs and attaches them to his yo-yo.]
168:02:53 Cernan: Lot of glass splattered on some of these, Jack.

168:02:55 Schmitt: Yep. (Pause) We might even find some shatter cones. But don't tell anybody. (Pause) Well, I'll say one thing for old Van Serg: it's blocky. Whoo!!

168:03:22 Cernan: (At the gate) Mark. Gravimeter.

168:03:24 Parker: Copy that.

[Gene goes past the front of the Rover, headed for the crater rim.]
RealVideo Clip by Mick Hyde ( 1 min 57 sec )

168:03:30 Schmitt: Bob. This is about...I think this is the only clearly...(Pause) Well, I won't even say that. This is at least a large, blocky-rim crater. But even it has the mantle dust material covering the rim, partially burying the rocks. And it's down on the floor, as near as I can tell, and on the walls. The crater itself has a central mound of blocks that's probably 50 meters in diameter - that's a little high - 30 meters in diameter.

[Fendell finds Jack, standing on the rim; Gene has almost reached him.]
168:04:27 Schmitt: Many of the blocks are...

168:04:30 Cernan: (Arriving at the rim) Holy Smoley!

[Cernan - "This is recall to me. This I've seen before. We're just over the rim of the crater."]

[Schmitt - "You can remember walking up and, the first time you look in the crater, there's a lot more crater there than you think there is. I remember Van Serg pretty well."]

[Gene and Jack will both take pans of the interior of the crater. Jack's first Station 9 pan consists of frames AS17-142- 21798 to 21824 and will be taken at 168:20:21. Frame 21802 shows the mound at the bottom of the crater.]

168:04:31 Schmitt: ...intensely shattered in that area, as (are) the ones that are on the walls. I don't see any sign of organization to the blocks in the walls, right now. There's a possibility that, on the west wall, there's an indication that there's slightly darker gray rocks starting about halfway down the crater. And that level is coincident with what appears to be a bench on the northwest wall. And hints of that bench - it's not continuous - but hints of it are around on the north wall and, I think, right below us. Yeah, on the southeast wall. (Pause) The rocks are pretty badly broken in many cases. Well, I haven't seen any real glass yet. Yet. (Pause) We'll start looking at them a little more carefully. Some of them...That looks like a breccia right there in front of us.
[Gene has put the gnomon down and is taking cross-Sun "before" pictures AS17-146- 22413 and 22414. Jack is taking down-Sun photo AS17-142- 21791.]
168:05:54 Cernan: Yeah. There's some interesting patterns on the surface. (Pause)
[Gene starts to move in before Jack finishes his down-Sun picture. He may be having trouble with either the f-stop or focus.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

168:06:00 Schmitt: Stand by. Wait, wait, wait. I keep...Aw! (Pause) Sorry, Geno, but...

168:06:18 Cernan: Okay?

168:06:19 Schmitt: (Turning toward the Rover) (I'd better take a) "locator". Afraid I haven't been doing my duty on "locators", occasionally. (Pause)

[AS17-142- 21792, 21793, and 21794 are Jack's "locators" to the Rover.]
168:06:40 Cernan: (Garbled) that?

168:06:41 Schmitt: Yup. I got it.

[Gene has moved beyond the rim crest and is now only visible from about the shoulders up.]
168:06:45 Schmitt: Okay, Gene's tearing apart one of the...

168:06:49 Cernan: Here. There you go.

168:06:50 Schmitt: ...very intensely fractured rocks. And it comes off in small flakes. Let's get this one, because this will be the best oriented one for documentation. Plus, why don't you get that one you've got inside there?

168:07:05 Cernan: Yeah, I am.

168:07:08 Schmitt: (Holding a sample in his scoop) Got a bag?

168:07:14 Cernan: Bag 568 is a fragment from the surface.

168:07:20 Schmitt: Yeah, that's a corner, I think, off the block that Gene documented here.

168:07:25 Cernan: Yeah; it is.

168:07:27 Schmitt: (Presenting his SCB) We'll get another sample that'll be from inside the block. (Pause)

168:07:39 Cernan: (I can) get it with this (the tongs) real easy. (Pause)

[Jack gets another sample with the scoop.]
168:07:49 Cernan: Here's a whole big...We ought to take that just as is. (Pause) Well, put a bag around one end if we can. Here, the other end is smaller.

168:08:01 Schmitt: Yeah (garbled)...

168:08:02 Cernan: Let me hold this end. Let me hold it, and you put the bag on. (Pause) That's breccia, too. That's...

168:08:08 Schmitt: Well, it's...

168:08:09 Cernan: Well, see that? See the white fragments in there?

168:08:11 Schmitt: Yeah. It certainly...

168:08:12 Cernan: It's got a lot of very small...

168:08:13 Schmitt: It looks like this big one over here. (To Bob) You know, it might be that these might be pieces of the projectile. I don't know. 'Cause it doesn't look like...It's not subfloor. (Pause) (To Gene) Okay. Pin it down. (Pause)

[Schmitt - "It's a big rock - too big for a bag. The bag's on one end and I'm trying to get it down in the bottom of his SCB so that the bag stays attached."]

[Cernan - "We did that a number of times, to protect or identify a rock."]

168:08:35 Cernan: Well, that's wrapped in...

168:08:37 Schmitt: If you put it end down, it may stay in the bag.

168:08:42 Cernan: I doubt it.

168:08:43 Schmitt: What's the number?

168:08:45 Cernan: It's 480, and it's a relatively tabular shape, and it's about...

168:08:54 Schmitt: (Presenting his SCB) And it's going to ....

168:08:55 Cernan: ...10 inches long.

168:08:56 Schmitt: And it's highly friable. It breaks apart.

168:08:59 Cernan: Oh, not so much.

168:09:01 Schmitt: In small chips. Well, you did it with your hands there. I call that "being friable", compared to what we've seen anyway.

Video Clip ( 3 min 04 sec 0.8 Mb RealVideo or 30 Mb MPEG )

168:09:10 Cernan: Okay, and let me get an "after" or two.

[AS17-146- 22415 and 22416 are Gene's "afters". He moved in and to his right between the frames.]
168:09:11 Schmitt: Let me get a soil right over here. (Pause; having difficulty with the scoop head again) Okay. The soil next to the boulder, down to about 3 centimeters, is in bag 569.

168:09:35 Parker: Copy that.

168:09:37 Schmitt: (To Gene) Okay. (To Bob) And the soil and chips about two-thirds of a meter from the boulder...(To Gene) Get another one?

168:09:50 Cernan: Yeah

168:09:56 Schmitt: (The samples) are in bag 570.

168:09:59 Parker: Copy that. (Pause)

168:10:10 Cernan: Okay?

168:10:11 Schmitt: (Presenting his SCB) Let me get over here. (Pause) You're going to step on your gnomon there.

168:10:15 Cernan: Oh, I wouldn't step on my gnomon. I'm going to get this one crimped.

[Gene seals this sample bag by twisting the tabs, rather than flipping the bag.]
168:10:24 Schmitt: Okay. (To Bob) There, very clearly, is a central mound. And now that we've looked at this one, the mound looks like it's composed of gray fragment breccias much like what we've just sampled...

168:10:37 Cernan: Stay still.

168:10:38 Schmitt: ...Dark gray. And again it might be related...

168:10:42 Cernan: Jack.

[Jack moves out of the way so that Gene can take "after" photos AS17-146- 22417 and 22418. He stepped to his right and turned slightly to his left between the frames.]
168:10:43 Schmitt: Oh, excuse me. I didn't hear you. (Finishing his prior thought)...related to the projectile. Now, we've got to see if there is subfloor up here, or whether we're dealing with another unit somewhere. (Pause) Got your "after".

168:10:53 Cernan: Okay. I don't see any...

168:10:58 Schmitt: Well, the more coherent rocks...This looks like subfloor.

168:11:00 Cernan: I don't see any orange material either.

168:11:02 Schmitt: Not yet. (Pause)

168:11:08 Cernan: This particular rock we've sampled has tabular fractures (that is, a set of parallel fractures), and in one-half of the rock, they are definitely oriented. (Pause)

[They both look around, looking for Shorty-like features and/or pieces of subfloor gabbro.]
168:11:26 Schmitt: Boy, I'll tell you, I don't...(Pause) (To Bob) There's more dust on these rocks. It's harder to see a fresh surface. They're not as clean. (Pause)
[Jack moves farther beyond the rim crest and goes out of sight.]
168:11:40 Schmitt: That's subfloor.

168:11:42 Cernan: Lookit. And even the floor of the crater is mantled down there.

168:11:44 Schmitt: You know, that seems...Yeah. That seems like a...what you got? A piece of glass?

168:11:51 Cernan: Yeah, I think it is glass. At least it's glass covered. Just glass covered. Houston, I've got an undocumented sample. It's about 2 meters west of where we just sampled. It's a glass-covered, oh, baseball-size rock in 571.

Video Clip ( 1 min 18 sec 0.3 Mb RealVideo or 13 Mb MPEG )

168:12:09 Parker: Copy that. (Pause)

[Jack moves southwest, parallel to the rim, his head and shoulders coming into view.]
168:12:14 Schmitt: A lot of these blocks up here, Houston - particularly the more fractured ones, but even some that aren't - are a gray-matrix, fragment (means 'clast') breccia. And it looks like, really, the fragments are quite fine. On the rim anyway, we haven't seen any large fragments. The largest I've seen is about 2 centimeters. But down in the (central) mound you can see some fragments that are probably half a meter in diameter.
[Schmitt - "For clarification, in this paragraph my use of the word 'fragment' is confusing. I had started to use 'fragment' when I should have been using 'clast'. A 'fragment' is sort of a loose piece of rock lying around; these were pieces in a breccia, so they're 'clasts'. I never found out what the light-colored clasts are; I don't think I ever looked into it. There was a mixture of material thrown from the sides of the North Massif and the subfloor-(derived) regolith, so the light-colored clasts are probably the pulverized and reworked material from the North Massif bound up in a matrix of regolith breccia."]

[According to the Preliminary Science Report, the Van Serg "soil breccias" contain "a variety of clasts, including basalts, several types of glasses, some breccia fragments with accretionary coats, and a variety of recrystallized felspathic rocks presumed to be derived from the surrounding highlands." The caption to figure 7-4 suggests that at least some of "light-gray" clasts are the pieces of felspathic breccias.]

168:12:57 Cernan: (Having joined Jack) Jack, are you going around that rim of the crater up there?

168:13:00 Schmitt: I was just looking at rocks.

168:13:01 Cernan: Well, okay.

168:13:02 Schmitt: We...

168:13:03 Cernan: I want to get a pan before I leave back there.

168:13:05 Schmitt: Oh, yeah. We need to see if we can get some of the subfloor. I'm not sure I understand what's happened here, yet. This should have brought up subfloor according to the theory, and it hasn't.

[Because they are well out on the valley floor and shouldn't be standing on more than a few meters of regolith and/or mantling, an impact the size of Van Serg should have brought up subfloor gabbro.]
168:13:16 Cernan: That looks like some of the...Look at some of the breccias, the blue breccias with the big old slabby white...(Look at) the fracture face with the white inclusions.
[Schmitt - "What Gene's referring to, here, is that this stuff looked a little bit like the blue breccias up on the North Massif (at Stations 6 and 7) because, in appearance, it was dark, bluish-gray with the white clasts. As it turns out - and I don't remember if we came to the conclusion before we left (the Moon) or not - these were those regolith breccias."]
Video Clip ( 3 min 27 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 34 Mb MPEG )

168:13:25 Schmitt: Down there.

168:13:26 Cernan: Yeah, down in the floor itself.

168:13:28 Schmitt: Yeah, it has that appearance all right. Hey, Gene...

168:13:30 Cernan: Do you see that rock...

168:13:30 Schmitt: (Garbled)

168:13:31 Cernan: ...that rock that's fractured in sort of a pyramid shape down there? Out here on the right? The right end of the floor down there. That big one?

168:13:39 Schmitt: Yeah.

168:13:40 Cernan: It's sort of pointing west...

168:13:41 Schmitt: Yeah.

168:13:42 Cernan: ...(Correcting himself) Pointing east. That's a unique fracture, isn't it?

168:13:45 Parker: Roger, 17...

168:13:45 Cernan: And there's another one that's fractured almost in a...(Stops to listen to Bob)

168:13:46 Parker: ...And we'd like to be moving from here in about 10 minutes, so we probably better be trending back toward the Rover, unless you're seeing something really great out there.

168:13:54 Schmitt: Well...Hey, Bob, we ought to find out whether or not...(We) ought to find out what the rock is here, if you've got a little time.

168:14:02 Cernan: Jack, let me to put this in your bag and start...I'm sorry.

168:14:02 Parker: Rog. You got 10 minutes. I'm just telling you to start thinking about getting back.

168:14:10 Schmitt: Yeah. We're always thinking that way.

[Jack finally presents his SCB to receive Gene's glass sample.]
168:14:11 Cernan: Okay, Bob. One thing I noticed we do uncover. There's a lot of, oh, 2-, 3-, 4-millimeter-size fragments of glass we're kicking up all over the place.

168:14:23 Schmitt: Yeah.

168:14:24 Cernan: Little glass balls.

168:14:25 Schmitt: (Moving southeast along the rim crest) Hey, Gene?

168:14:26 Cernan: Almost like Pele's (Tears)...

[Pele's Tears are small drops of volcanic glass, a reference to the Hawaiian volcano goddess and to geology field trips Gene took to the island of Hawaii - also known as the Big Island - during training for both Apollo 14 and Apollo 17.]
168:14:27 Schmitt: Gene?

168:14:28 Cernan: Yeah.

168:14:29 Schmitt: Can you come over here? I think there's some subfloor here. We ought to...

168:14:33 Cernan: Okay.

168:14:34 Schmitt: We ought to try to document it. But I tell you, most of the rocks are the fine-fragment breccias.

168:14:40 Cernan: Let me see if I can't get one of those little...

168:14:42 Schmitt: There's some glass. Hey...

168:14:43 Cernan: (Stopping about 4 meters northwest of Jack) You see, if they're like Pele's...

168:14:45 Schmitt: Okay.

168:14:46 Cernan: ...Eyeballs or whatever they are.

168:14:49 Schmitt: I think we can get some over here. If you're careful coming over here, we can get glass that looks like it may have crystallized (that is, solidified) in place here.

168:14:55 Cernan: (Joining Jack) Okay. I'm talking about those little balls, too.

168:15:01 Schmitt: See that...Whoo, take it easy...Take it easy.

168:15:03 Cernan: Where are you? Right there?

168:15:04 Schmitt: (Pointing with the scoop) Yeah, but put your gnomon right over here, and we can get (indicating) that for glass and that for subfloor.

168:15:10 Cernan: Okay. Let me...

168:15:11 Schmitt: But I'm not sure that is. It may be breccia. Everything is covered with dust here, and it's hard to tell the types. Most of the rocks we're seeing are breccias. (Pause) Make sure that glass is in your stereo. (Long Pause)

[Jack takes down-Sun picture AS17-142- 21795; Gene gets cross-Sun stereopair AS17-146- 22419 and 22420.]
168:15:43 Cernan: (Finished with his stereo pictures) Okay.

168:15:45 Schmitt: Be careful with it. (Pause)

[Jack turns toward the Rover to take "locator" photos AS17-142- 21796 and 21797; Gene moves in with the tongs to collect the sample.]
168:15:48 Schmitt: Oh, shoot! (Long Pause)

168:16:04 Cernan: I don't have any bags so...

168:16:06 Schmitt: (To Bob) Okay, the glass looks like a glass agglutinate. (Pause)

[Jack takes the glass sample, but drops it.]

[Gene has used the last of the sample bags in the bag holder attached to his camera. We can see the empty holderstill attached to his camera until about 168:19:06.]

MP3 Audio Clip ( 15 min 23 sec )

168:16:12 Schmitt: Oh, no!

168:16:15 Cernan: It break?

168:16:17 Schmitt: (Relieved that it didn't break) Good. I think that will survive going back (to Earth) now. (Pause)

[Gene retrieves the sample with the tongs and Jack takes it again.]
168:16:24 Schmitt: Okay. It's a frothy glass agglutinate; it's going to be in bag 481.

168:16:37 Parker: Copy that.

Video Clip ( 3 min 27 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 34 Mb MPEG )

168:16:40 Schmitt: And it looks almost like a cowpie-type of bomb, Bob, if you'll pardon the expression.

168:16:50 Parker: I will. I don't know about anybody else.

168:16:50 Schmitt: Although it's not flattened. It's an aggregate of glass in...Or, it's a pile of about four fragments, much like the one we're sampling. (Pause)

168:17:10 Cernan: Jack, we want to get a good scoop sample here. Maybe can we get some of those little fine pieces of glass around.

168:17:19 Schmitt: And it (the agglutinate) looks like it's in place from the day it was born.

168:17:20 Parker: Copy that.

[Fendell de-zooms and it's hard to see any detail of what they are doing.]
168:17:21 Cernan: Oh, God, ding dumb! (Pause)

168:17:27 Schmitt: I'm having a hard time with this one.

168:17:31 Cernan: (I'll get) a piece of that rock right behind it. (Pause) (Garbled) (Pause)

168:17:45 Schmitt: Want a bag? (Pause)

[Fendell zooms in again. Gene gets a sample bag from Jack's supply.]
168:17:48 Cernan: Yup. Let me turn around. (Pause)

168:17:56 Schmitt: (Trying to fit the rock in a sample bag) Just not going to be able to get that one in the bag, I don't think. (Long Pause)

[Schmitt - "The sample was just a little too big for the bag."]
168:18:15 Cernan: Okay, Houston. My sample's in 482. It's a rock, but it doesn't look like subfloor. It looks like the blue-gray material we've been seeing...the breccia-type material.

168:18:27 Schmitt: Yeah.

168:18:28 Cernan: I don't think there's any difference (if the sample bag is sealed or not). (Pause) Got it in! (You) might just as well throw them in my bag. (Pause)

[Gene presents his SCB.]

[Cernan - "At this stage of the game you get frustrated trying to use your hands. Not that the enthusiasm isn't there. During the first EVA you probably would have shoved it in there but it gets to the point where its difficult. Your dexterity is not what you want it to be. I think you're probably more efficient with your hands; you learn to adapt with your hands as well as with anything else, but now you're fighting (fatigue)."]

[Schmitt - (To Gene) "In terms of what you could do ungloved, how much less efficient are you?"]

[Cernan - "Less than half."]

[We then asked Gene if, compared with the start of the EVA, he was taking longer to do tasks or had lost the ability to do certain tasks.]

[Cernan - "I don't think you lose your ability; you just get frustrated. You're probably smarter in the use of your hands. You know what you can't do, so you don't try to do those things. So you say, 'Well, it's almost done, so I'm not going to worry about the rest of it.' I can almost hear the frustration. Three consecutive days, twelve hours a day in a suit, is a long time."]

168:18:42 Parker: Okay, and...

168:18:43 Cernan: You want a scoop out of here, though, Jack.

168:18:45 Parker: ...17, why don't we get that scoop sample as the first sample of Jack's radial sample, 17?

168:18:54 Cernan: Okay. (To Jack) That's right. You're getting a radial sample. That's fine. I forgot you were doing that.

168:19:00 Schmitt: Oh, man.

168:19:01 Cernan: That's all right, Jack. That won't come out. Just put it in there. (Pause)

[Just before Jack moves close to Gene we get our last look at the empty bag holder attached to Gene's camera. We get our next look at Gene's camera a 168:20:13. At some point during this interval Gene removes the bag holder and tosses it into Van Serg. It can be seen in a detail (222k) from frame 21805 in Jack's pan.]
168:19:12 Schmitt: (Stowing the sample in Gene's SCB) Oh, boy. Okay. Let's let that one be the last...

168:19:16 Cernan: (Handing Jack the other sample) Here's one.

168:19:17 Schmitt: Well, okay. (Pause) Those are the last ones that you can take (in the CDR SCB).

168:19:24 Cernan: Gonna lock?

168:19:27 Schmitt: No, I don't...Stand by. I'm working on that. (Pause)

[Gene takes a step farther away from the Rover, a maneuver that puts him a bit lower than Jack and makes working on the SCB a bit easier.]
168:19:37 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) Okay, before you go back...

168:19:47 Cernan: I got to get an "after" a picture here. And I want to get a pan of this thing (the crater). We can get a stereo pan as you start your radial sample.

[They will each take a pan, the distance between them giving a wide stereo of the crater. Gene's "after", cross-Sun stereopair is AS17-146-22421 and 22422. He stepped to his right between frames.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 30 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 35 Mb MPEG )

168:19:57 Schmitt: Yeah. You take the "after" from there, and I'll go over here and...

168:20:04 Cernan: Okay. You...

168:20:05 Schmitt: Well, wait a minute.

168:20:05 Cernan: ...you need the gnomon?

168:20:06 Schmitt: No.

168:20:07 Cernan: Okay. I'm going to go over behind me and take part of the stereo.

168:20:10 Schmitt: Where are you going to take your pan? Let me see.

168:20:12 Cernan: From behind me, where we were.

168:20:14 Schmitt: (Moving 15 feet south of Gene, along the rim crest) Well, I think I'll just take my radial right from here to the Rover.

168:20:17 Cernan: That's great. That's great. Just do that, and then you'll be right back at the Rover.

168:20:21 Schmitt: (Planting his scoop) And I'll take my pan from here, so you...(Long Pause)

[Gene moves northeast, along the rim, using the loping, foot-to-foot stride; Fendell follows him. Jack's first Station 9 pan consists of frames AS17-142- 21798 to 21824.]

[David Harland has assembled the portion showing Gene and the Rover.]

[Frame 21802 shows the central mound in the crater.]

[The man-made object in 21802, 21804, 21805, and 21806 is a sample bag dispenser. A high-resolution detail ( 222k ) from 21805 shows the empty dispenser most clearly. Gene may have discarded it at about 168:16:04.]

[Frames 21811, 21812, and 21813 show Gene taking his pan.]

[Frame 21817 shows the Rover.]

168:20:42 Cernan: (Now skipping) Man, there's about four or five different modes of travel out here.
[Comm Break. Back in Houston, the Flight Director is told that Jack's remaining oxygen supply will limit the EVA to between 7 hours 15 minutes and 7 hours 30 minutes. Gene starts a photo pan (assembled by Dave Byrne). Gene's pan photos are AS17-146-22423 to 22450. David Harland has assembled the portion showing the crater.]

[Fendell pans the TV clockwise, away from Gene.]

168:22:06 Cernan: I don't believe it.

168:22:08 Schmitt: What?

168:22:09 Cernan: I think I'm out of film.

168:22:11 Schmitt: You're out of film? (Pause)

168:22:15 Cernan: 150. And it stopped clicking. Jack, I didn't get the rest of that crater down there.

168:22:22 Schmitt: Okay.

168:22:23 Cernan: I only got it (from) 12 o'clock (that is, down-Sun) and around (through north). Well, shucks.

168:22:31 Schmitt: I can get it. (Pause)

168:22:34 Cernan: Well, here's where I...

168:22:36 Schmitt: Well, I'm going to be out of film, too, here before long.

168:22:38 Cernan: Okay. Just don't worry about it then. Just press on with your radial samples.

[Fendell examines individual boulders.]
168:22:41 Schmitt: I got a good pan over here. Did you get the crater at all?

168:22:44 Cernan: I got the right (north) half of it and probably two-thirds of it, so I'm just going to have to let that do. (Pause) Okay. I'm going to see if I can get some 500's while you're doing that (radial sample).

168:23:02 Schmitt: Hey, this isn't going to be an ideal radial sample; but it will have to do. (Pause)

Video Clip ( 3 min 33 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 35 Mb MPEG )

168:23:14 Cernan: (Singing as he heads back to the Rover, using the kangaroo or bunny hop) Hippity-hopping over hill and dale. Dadadadada. Dada. Dada. Dadadada, Dada. (Pause)

[Gene previously sang part of "Mule Train" at Station 5 at 146:50:40, also as he was making his way back to the Rover. Fendell finds him halfway back.]
168:23:39 Cernan: Bob, would you tell me what your primary desires are again on the 500, based upon what we have?
[Gene reaches the Rover; Fendell zooms in on Jack, who is still at the crater rim.]
168:23:47 Parker: Okay. The primary desire will be the North Massif: the blocks, and the (boulder) trails.

168:23:55 Cernan: Okay!

168:23:59 Parker: And while you're at the Rover, they want you to take the gravimeter off again, and we'll get another "Rover"...(Correcting himself) Well, another surface measurement here, as well, to check against the "Rover".

[Gene has taken a measurement with the TGE on the Rover and will now make one with the TGE on the ground to see if there is any significant difference. The second measurement is 670, 057, 101 at 168:29:42.]

[Jack gets his scoop and climbs to the rim, having been slightly beyond the crest.]

168:24:16 Cernan: Okay! (Pause) Here's a reading. I think I owe you one of those, don't I?

168:24:23 Parker: Roger.

168:24:25 Cernan: 670, 037, 801; 670, 037, 801.

168:24:32 Parker: Copy that.

[Jack plants the scoop and starts to use the LRV Sampler which is attached to his yo-yo. As Bob indicates at 167:57:40, because the radial sample is nominally a solo activity, Jack had planned to use the LRV sampler. This is the reason he is wearing it here.]

[Schmitt - "About the only time I ever used the yo-yo was for my LRV sampler."]

168:24:37 Cernan: I didn't know we were going to do both of these things. I thought we were going to do one or the other. But, if we're going to do it, we might as well do it right! (Pause) Mark it. It's flashing. (Pause)
[Jack takes AS17-142- 21825 and 21826, which show Gene at the Rover, taking the TGE off the back. He probably intended these two photos as "locators".]
168:25:06 Schmitt: (Taking the bag off the LRV Sampler) Okay, bag...Standby. 52 Yankee is at the rim crest.

168:25:21 Parker: Copy that. (Long Pause)

168:25:35 Cernan: Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to use the Rover to steady the 500, and see what happens. (Long Pause)

[Jack puts the sample in his shin pocket, gets the scoop and moves northeast, rather than radially.]

[Gene's 500mm photos of the North Massif are AS17-139- 21212 to 21229. Frame 21219 is a good photo of one of the North Massif outcrops.]

[Frames 21230 to 21248 are photos of the easternmost peak on the North Massif and a series down the face. This peak is immediately west of Wessex Cleft.]

[Frames 21249 to 21268 are photos of the North Massif outcrops and boulder tracks. Frame 21255 is probably the best of these.]

168:26:21 Schmitt: (To Gene) Oh, I should have let you take this scoop back. Oh, no!
[The scoop head has just come off the extension handle.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 21 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

168:26:26 Schmitt: Oh, me! Well, shoot! This (radial sample) isn't working out too well, Dr. Parker.

168:26:40 Parker: Say again there, Jack. (Pause)

[Jack leans on the extension handle to retrieve the scoop head. As he rises, he has to run forward several steps to maintain his balance.]

[Schmitt - "I used the extension handle as a prop so that I could reach down, in a dynamic fashion, grab the scoop and regain my balance. I did avoid sticking the female end of the extension handle in the ground. I didn't want to fill it with dust, so I turned it around and used the handle end. This exercise may be an indication of me getting tired and getting a little bit careless in the way I retrieved that scoop because, if I'd tripped, I'd have been on my face...I would have been in Van Serg. Either it was a very dumb thing to do or I had a hell of a lot of confidence in my ability to do it. I suspect it was the former."]

[Cernan - "I think that, all through this station, you can see us getting tired. You can go back to the start of the station and see where everything was going 'normal'. But, here, we're saying thing like 'Well, it'll have to do.' And we wouldn't have been saying that earlier."]

[Schmitt - "We sort of hit a wall here. We'd been out for five hours and, while I don't remember it so much in the first EVA, in the second we had this same emotional up and down. I don't know whether we'll come back up again, here. But we did on the second EVA. We went down (emotionally) at (Station) 3 and back up at 4 and then there was a let down again (during the drive from Shorty to Victory) and then back up at 5."]

[Cernan - "I think this is a combination of the amount of work we did on this EVA on those hillsides and of three solid days of working - and not the greatest amount of sleep. I would predict that if we went out on a fourth day or a fifth day, the total slope (that is, the average trend of their emotional state) - not the up and down of a single EVA, but the total slope - would start darting back up. Who knows? I'm not tired of watching what we were doing, but I sympathize with the amount of effort we were putting out on this third day."]

[Schmitt - "This had to be our most physical day. We rode (and rested) on the Rover for a solid hour getting out to Station 2 on the second day and, here, we only had fifteen or twenty minutes between demanding stations."]

[Cernan - "And they were demanding stations. We haven't had a piece of level ground (during this EVA) until now "]

168:26:53 Schmitt: This isn't working out too well. I've got to get rid of this scoop.
[Jack strides back to the Rover.]
168:26:57 Cernan: Just set it there and take your sample. We'll get it.

168:27:01 Schmitt: I'll take the samples going back. (Long Pause)

168:27:41 Schmitt: (At the Rover) Just like in training, the scoop doesn't stay locked to the extension (handle). (Long Pause)

[Fendell pans the TV camera to Gene, who is still using the 500 mm camera.]
168:28:22 Parker: (After a great deal of discussion in Houston) Okay, 17. We'd like you to press on. We'll abort the radial sample. We'd like to leave here immediately, if not sooner, to head for Station 10. Enough of the 500 millimeters, Gene. And we'll give you some information here on (film) mags. We need the gravimeter put back on the Rover, if you haven't already. If it's on the ground, we didn't get the mark, but it's probably done by now. And we're going to take the DSEA (the SEP data storage unit) out of the tape recorder here, and we'd like to get that all done pronto.
[Gene has put the lens cap on the 500 and is now putting the camera under his seat. He did give a mark on the gravimeter, at 168:24:37.]
168:29:01 Cernan: Okay. 85 is the mag count on the 500.

168:29:04 Parker: Copy 85 on the 500.

168:29:06 Schmitt: I think that's a smart move, Bob. I don't think the radial sample's going to tell you much here.

168:29:11 Parker: Okay. Let's take a...

168:29:14 Schmitt: I don't under...I...I...

168:29:16 Parker: Go ahead. (Pause)

168:29:21 Cernan: Jack, you ought to get a scoop of that dirt, though.

168:29:24 Schmitt: Well, there's...

168:29:25 Cernan: One scoop.

[Schmitt - "Here, I was probably thinking about the sample I'd taken up on the rim."]
168:29:26 Cernan: We don't have a scoop of it, do we?

168:29:27 Schmitt: Look what's underneath it.

[Schmitt - "While he was talking, I must have taken a swipe into the dirt near the Rover."]
168:29:29 Cernan: Well, I don't know what's underneath it.

168:29:30 Schmitt: It's white.

168:29:31 Cernan: Well, I wanted to make sure we got some of those small glass balls.

[Cernan - "I was still thinking about getting some of the glass balls. I wasn't impressed by the white."]

[Schmitt - "I don't think you'd seen it yet. You were on one side of the Rover and I was on the other. In fact, I think I remember that."]

[Fendell pans clockwise.]

168:29:36 Schmitt: Yeah, we'll get a scoop of it.

168:29:38 Cernan: (Putting the gravimeter on the Rover) Up on the top.

Video Clip ( 3 min 24 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

168:29:39 Parker: 17, we're anxious for you guys to get going.

168:29:42 Cernan: Okay. Here's your gravimeter reading from the surface; 670, 057, 101; 670, 057, 101.

168:29:55 Parker: Copy that.

168:29:56 Cernan: You want me to change my mag at the next station?

168:29:59 Schmitt: Come here, Gene, quickly. We can't leave this.

168:30:02 Cernan: What do you got?

168:30:06 Schmitt: This may be the youngest mantle over whatever was...

[Schmitt - "While Gene was reading the gravimeter and was talking to Bob, I must have started to dig a trench. I could dig those trenches pretty fast. In what - maybe twenty seconds - I was able to get several scoops out and I had a flat wall trench."]

[It wasn't obvious at this point in the review whether Jack had been able to get the scoop back on the extension handle. Momentarily, Fendell will find them and, as soon as he does, it is immediately obvious that Jack is using the scoop rather than the LRV Sampler.]

168:30:09 Cernan: Take pictures of it. I don't have any film.

168:30:11 Schmitt: ...was thrown out of the crater.

168:30:13 Cernan: Take pictures of it. (To Bob) Bob, we've got to take 5 more minutes. We'll be right with you.

[AS17-142-21827 to 21829 are Jack's photos of the Station 9 trench.]
168:30:20 Cernan: What Jack's done is, he dug a trench in a southwest-northeast direction, and he discovered - about 3 inches below, 4 inches below the surface - a very light-gray material.

168:30:37 Schmitt: (To Bob) Possibility here...Careful, Geno.

168:30:40 Cernan: Yup. (Pause)

[Schmitt - (Laughing) "It doesn't take much to get your enthusiasm back up. Because, all of a sudden, there's a whole different tone in my voice. It may be a combination of having seen something different and the fact that Houston's now put some pressure on us to get out of there."]

[Cernan - "It also shows that you've got to have someone on the spot to make a decision. They're saying get out and we're saying 'Sorry, guys, we're not going to get out for five minutes because we've got something we think is worthwhile.' That's the way you have to operate. The ground is an advisor; it's a flight planner; it's a lot of things. But you've got to make the decisions of what you're going to do with your time."]

[I then mentioned a conversation with Conrad and Bean in which they indicated that they had trained very tightly to their timeline. They had a great deal to do, in a small area, and not much time to be on the Moon. I noted that, on the longer missions, the tasks were not spelled out in such detail and asked for comments.]

[Cernan - "It's a natural maturation of the program. More time gives you more flexibility. But, as Jack mentioned earlier, we never did have a nominal station. They give you thirty minutes and they want an hour's worth of work. It's just normal. Using the time is never a problem."]

[Fendell finds them west of the Rover. The lighting conditions emphasize that Gene has gotten very dirty by this late in the mission.]

RealVideo Clip by Mick Hyde ( 2 min 09 sec )

168:30:49 Cernan: Take that crust.

168:30:50 Schmitt: Well, I'm trying to get the upper portion there. There we go. (To Bob) The first 2 centimeters (is going in) bag 483.

168:30:52 Parker: Copy, 483. (Pause)

168:31:05 Schmitt: The next 5 (centimeters)...Ahhh...(Pause)

[Gene gets a sample bag from Jack's camera holder.]
168:31:21 Schmitt: ...in 484. (Pause)

168:31:29 Schmitt: (Spilling about half of the sample) Augh! Get some?

168:31:30 Cernan: I got quite a bit.

168:31:31 Schmitt: That's enough.

168:31:33 Cernan: I got quite a bit. (Pause)

168:31:37 Schmitt: Here, you got to put that away, don't you?

168:31:38 Cernan: Yup.

168:31:40 Schmitt: (Presenting his SCB) And the next 10 centimeters of the light-gray material, will be, probably, in 486. If we're lucky. (If I can) get it (the sample bag) off. (Pause)

[Fendell zooms in on the trench.]
168:32:00 Cernan: Okay.

168:32:01 Schmitt: I think it is 486, right?

168:32:02 Cernan: Yup. (Pause) 485!

168:32:03 Schmitt: 485. Okay. What did I say (for the prior sample) 483, 484? Okay. (Pause)

168:32:11 Cernan: You with us, Bob?

168:32:12 Parker: Roger. We're with you.

168:32:13 Schmitt: He's mad at us now (for overstaying the station).

168:32:16 Parker: (Softly, in a friendly tone) How'd you guess?

[Houston has been discussing a possible extension at this station. However, the Flight Director is concerned about tired hands.]

[Schmitt - "While we were doing this sampling, in the background on the video tape we can hear Gerry Griffin acting like a Flight Director. In trying to be objective about what we've seen here at this station, I thought he might have taken hold of the apparent fatigue a little bit sooner."]

168:32:19 Cernan: Okay. The third sample is in 485.

168:32:21 Parker: Copy that.

168:32:24 Schmitt: (Ready to pour the sample) Okay. Whoops, sorry.

168:32:29 Schmitt: (Presenting his SCB) Bob, a possibility here is that this upper 6 inches of gray material, in here, is the latest mantling in the area and the light-colored debris may be what's left over from the (Van Serg) impact.

Video Clip ( 4 min 21 sec 1.1 Mb RealVideo or 43 Mb MPEG )

168:32:45 Parker: Okay, I copy. I understand. But we'd like to get you going. (Pause) In case you didn't get the clue.

168:32:51 Schmitt: I know.

168:32:52 Cernan: We're going. Okay. (Pause)

168:32:58 Schmitt: All right. What else? Magazines.

[Fendell pans clockwise.]
168:33:00 Cernan: No, we'll change them at the next station. Isn't that right, Bob?

168:33:02 Schmitt: No, I've got to have some. I got to get some, or I can't take...

[Jack needs to take occasional photos documenting the traverse.]
168:33:06 Parker: Okay, 17. We need Jack to put on magazine Nancy (Apollo magazine 143). And we'd like, Gene, for you to pull out the DSEA tape recorder at this station.

168:33:18 Cernan: Okay, I need a magazine too, Bob. I don't have any film at all.

168:33:22 Parker: Roger. That'll be Bravo (Apollo magazine 134, which Gene used during the first EVA) if you change yours here, or you could change it at Station 10.

168:33:29 Cernan: I'll change it here. It's just as easy while we're in there; (that is, while they have Gene's seat raised to get a magazine for Jack).

168:33:32 Parker: Okay.

168:33:35 Schmitt: (To Gene) Okay. You want Bravo, huh?

168:33:37 Cernan: Bravo. And I'll get the DSEA. (Pause) Bravo was outside there; I saw it.

168:33:48 Schmitt: There you go.

[Fendell finds both of them at Gene's seat.]
168:33:50 Cernan: Let me get this...Hold it long enough for me to get this (dark slide). Then I can get rid of this all at one time.

168:33:55 Schmitt: Okay.

168:33:56 Cernan: (The dark slide falls out) Oh!

168:33:57 Schmitt: Well, that's all right.

168:33:59 Cernan: I can't put that back in.

168:34:02 Schmitt: Got it?

168:34:03 Cernan: I got Bravo.

168:34:04 Schmitt: Okay. I got that one.

168:34:07 Cernan: (To Bob) We lost the dark slide out of Bravo, and it's in the dirt. I'm not going to pick it up.

168:34:13 Parker: All right. Copy that. There's no point in putting it back in. It probably wouldn't go in anyway.

168:34:18 Cernan: No, not dirty. Okay. I'm changed. (Going to the gate) And I don't know what the mag count is, but let me get the DSEA. If this thing is true to form, I'm going to have to get in there...I got to...(Surprised) The bow is tripped! (Pause)

[Schmitt - "I don't know why I remember this, but I think that the DSEA - which was the SEP recording tape - had a locking bolt that came up into a slot with a little winged, butterfly-shaped bow that you screwed down. And I think that what Gene found is that it was just sitting in there - that the bow had tripped."]
168:34:30 Cernan: Well, now what's...Hey, we got some rocks in that big bag. Okay. We're done with the SEP. DSEA is coming out. I hope there's something on it. (Long Pause) Oh, Jiminy Christmas. I can't even pick up that big bag to close the gate! (Pause) I've got to trip that latch with tongs or something to lock it.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 11 min 38 sec )

168:35:50 Parker: Okay. And, Jack; Houston. Over.

168:35:56 Schmitt: Go ahead.

[Gene goes to Jack's seat.]
168:35:58 Parker: Okay, we've...

168:36:00 Schmitt: Go ahead.

168:36:00 Parker: ...had a change of heart here again, as usual. And we're going to drop Station 10 now that we've hurried you so much, and we're going to get a double core here. And we'd like to get some football-size rocks while you're doing that. But double core here, and then we're going to leave here and go back to the LM.

[Schmitt - "I think that ground is showing some sensible decision making, here. Their taking new information - namely the white underneath the dark that we just discovered and sampled - and deciding to take a double core here, rather than taking pot luck at some other place. A bird-in-the-hand type philosophy."]
168:36:19 Schmitt: You don't want a double core here. I don't think we can do it, Bob. It's too rocky.

168:36:27 Cernan: (To Jack) You don't think we'll get through that stuff you just trenched?

168:36:30 Schmitt: Well, I'm afraid there are rocks all through it, Gene. We can try, but...

168:36:34 Cernan: (Going to the gate) Let's try it.

168:36:36 Schmitt: Well, I don't like to try things that there's a probability of failure on, if you can...You're just going to lose some time. Okay, mag Nancy is on the LMP's camera.

168:36:44 Parker: Copy that. (Pause)

[Gene takes the scoop off the extension handle.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 35 sec 1.0 Mb RealVideo or 36 Mb MPEG )

168:36:53 Schmitt: (Looking around) Well, you can see the rock population here, Houston. (Pause) But we can try it.

168:37:09 Cernan: It's all right. If we get a single, we get a single out of it.

168:37:12 Schmitt: (Going around the front of the Rover to his seat) Oh, you're doing it, huh?

168:37:14 Cernan: I've got it started.

168:37:15 Schmitt: Well, you're not even...Okay. Not even going to debate the issue?

168:37:18 Cernan: (Cheerfully) Nope. It takes too much time debating it.

168:37:20 Schmitt: Well, let's see how much time it takes. I hope you're right.

[Schmitt - "I think this exchange is another symptom of my being tired."]

[Cernan - " It was a symptom of being tired. My willingness to do the core had nothing to do with my geologic expectations. I was just saying, 'Whatever we're going to do, let's just get on with it'."]

[Schmitt - "Had I really been thinking, (I would have realized that) those rocks are so soft you'd go through them (with the core) anyway."]

168:37:24 Parker: Okay. And...

168:37:26 Cernan: Okay, and we need a "lower" out of my bag.

168:37:29 Schmitt: Let me get the core.

168:37:34 Cernan: A "lower" out of my bag is all we need.

168:37:33 Schmitt: Watch it. You're in a crater almost.

168:37:35 Cernan: Yeah I want to get (garbled) for you.

[Jack gets a core tube out of Gene's SCB. Gene is holding an upper section.]
168:37:37 Parker: Okay. We have to have you guys moving in 10 minutes. And we'd like to also deploy EP number 5 here.

168:37:44 Cernan: Okay. I'll start on the (garbled under Jack).

168:37:49 Schmitt: ...(Garbled) the lower? (Pause) This is a lower, right?

168:37:54 Cernan: Yup.

168:37:55 Schmitt: You got an upper?

[They connect the core tube sections.]
168:37:57 Cernan: Yeah. (Pause) Why don't you get (seismic package number) 5 out, and I'll start on the core.

168:38:05 Schmitt: I'll get that. And I'll put that right there.

168:38:11 Cernan: (Holding the core in front of the TV lens, fitting them together) Okay. The lower is 50; the upper is 37.

168:38:16 Parker: Copy. 50 and 37.

168:38:21 Cernan: Is that "5", Jack?

168:38:22 Schmitt: Yup.

168:38:23 Cernan: Okay. (Pause)

168:38:31 Schmitt: Why don't you put it up...Well...You put the gnomon away. Put it fairly near that trench. At least there is some documentation there.

168:38:40 Cernan: Yup.

[Gene goes around the front of the Rover; Fendell follows him.]
168:38:41 Schmitt: I'll try to have the pan going while you're doing it. Okay, Houston...(To Gene) Which way you going to drive out of here?

168:38:50 Cernan: I'm driving out of here...

168:38:53 Schmitt: Left or right?

[Jack wants to put the explosives package somewhere where it won't get in Gene's way as they leave.]
168:38:56 Cernan: I've got to go right. I got to go right.

168:39:00 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause) Pin 1 is pulled and safe. Pin 2 is pulled (and) safe. Pin 3 is pulled and safe. (Pause)

[Fendell finds Gene hammering the drive tube, north of the Rover.]
RealVideo Clip by Mick Hyde ( 2 min 55 sec )

168:39:28 Parker: Okay, Jack. And we'll document it back to the Rover, I guess is the best way. That doesn't look too hard, Gene.

[Just as Bob says this, the tube penetration comes to a halt.]
168:39:33 Parker: Until just now.
[After two more hammer blows, Gene seems to break through whatever was blocking progress and the core begins penetrating again.]
168:39:35 Schmitt: Try to...Oops, looks like you proved me wrong!

168:39:42 Cernan: The first core was easy; the second one a little tougher; and then it got tough down at the end.

[Gene stows the hammer in his shin pocket.]
168:39:47 Schmitt: Stay there, I'm getting a picture of you. Okay?

168:39:49 Cernan: Okay.

[Frames AS17-143- 21836 to 21858 are Jack's second Station 9 pan taken near the Rover.]

[Frames 21836 and 21837 show Gene hammering the core.]

[Frame 21838 shows the seismic charge.]

[David Harland has assembled frames 21836 to 21841, which show Gene collectiing the core.]

[Frame 21857 shows Gene with the core at the back of the Rover. A detail gives good views of the charge transporter, the extension handle attachment to the upper drive tube, and the replacement fender.]

[David Harland has assembled frames 21856 and 21858, which show Gene carrying the core tube back to the Rover at about 168:40:28.]

168:39:53 Schmitt: I got it.

168:39:55 Cernan: You got it from here?

168:39:56 Schmitt: Yeah.

168:39:57 Cernan: Okay. (Long Pause)

[Gene pulls the core out of the ground with his left hand. It takes about 12 seconds. Gene then rotates the core so that it is parallel to the ground and examines the outside from the top down toward the bit. As he finishes the examination, he lightly touches his forefinger to the soil exposed at the tip.]
Video Clip ( 3 min 13 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 32 Mb MPEG )

168:40:28 Cernan: (It's) full, but it wants to slide out. It's full. No rocks in it. It looks like just the same stuff we've been traveling through.

[Gene goes to the Rover, using his forefinger as a core plug.]
168:40:40 Parker: Okay, Jack. I think you better help Gene with recovering that core there where he thinks it's going to fall out.

168:40:48 Schmitt: You know, I think you're right. And if you'll just wait until I finish the pan, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

168:40:54 Parker: Okay. I didn't know what you were doing.

168:40:56 Cernan: Bob, it's capped.

168:40:57 Parker: Got you. Okay. (Pause)

[That is, Gene has capped the bit end of the lower section.]
168:41:05 Cernan: (To Jack) Just hold the (extension) handle. (Pause)

168:41:12 Schmitt: Okay?

168:41:13 Cernan: I can take this one off. (Pause) It's very loose soil, Jack. And it's...Just any little movement and you'll lose some of it. Let me cap that end. Don't move it.

[Fendell finds them at the gate.]
168:41:23 Schmitt: Uh-oh, you almost knocked some out. Get your...you know where your thing (the rammer) is?

168:41:27 Cernan: Yeah, but I need you...The cap's on you. The last one's gone off the Rover.

168:41:31 Schmitt: That's all right. I'll stay here. Go put your top in. I won't move it. (Long Pause)

[Gene goes to Jack's seat with the lower section. He gets a cap and screws it on, then puts the section under the seat. Jack turns to present the left side of his PLSS. Gene gets a cap for the upper section that Jack has been holding.]
168:42:06 Cernan: Any little movement and that stuff starts...

168:42:07 Schmitt: Yep. (Pause)

168:42:13 Cernan: Okay. (Pause) Turn around. I'll get the rammer (off the back of Jack's PLSS).

168:42:22 Schmitt: Okay.

168:42:24 Cernan: Oh, man! Even these pins are getting stiff. (Pause)

[Gene is talking about the pins that hold the extension handle to the upper section. This is the extension handle which is normally attached to the rake. Gene gets the rammer and goes to Jack's seat; Jack goes to the gate.]
168:42:34 Cernan: Okay, Bob. The top rammed down, oh, almost half way without any effort. (Pause)

168:42:50 Parker: Copy that.

168:42:52 Schmitt: The scoop's back on (the extension handle). (Pause)

168:42:57 Cernan: The bottom rammed down about an inch.

168:43:00 Parker: Copy that. (Pause)

168:43:07 Schmitt: Okay, Robert. Let's see...

168:43:11 Cernan: Turn around and I'll get this.

168:43:12 Schmitt: What was the last thing - let's see - we had to do?

168:43:14 Cernan: A couple of football-size rocks.

168:43:16 Schmitt: You got the D. S. E. A.?

168:43:18 Cernan: I got it.

168:43:19 Schmitt: I got the charge. You got the double core.

168:43:21 Cernan: I got the double core.

168:43:23 Schmitt: And I got one sample of a radial sample.

[Jack giggles at the thought.]
168:43:26 Parker: That's a unique one.

Video Clip ( 3 min 18 sec 0.9 Mb RealVideo or 33 Mb MPEG )

168:43:28 Schmitt: (Laughing) (And the sample is) in my pocket.

168:43:30 Parker: And have we got the gravimeter back on the Rover?

168:43:34 Schmitt: Yes; it's on.

168:43:35 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

168:43:37 Schmitt: And we want to get a large block. Why don't we...

168:43:39 Parker: Okay, and there's a...

168:43:41 Cernan: No, let's get a couple of them. I've got one.

168:43:41 Parker: ...(garbled) here for a SESC from the shallow trench. We'd also like to have you moving in 4 minutes. That's with wheels rolling in 4 minutes.

168:43:51 Schmitt: SESC, huh?

168:43:52 Parker: Roger; but we have to have the wheels rolling...

168:43:54 Schmitt: I don't know if we can do that. We can try it.

168:43:56 Parker: We want the wheels rolling in 4 minutes, so I don't think it's practical at this time.

168:44:02 Cernan: Bob, we cannot get an SESC in 4 minutes...

168:44:04 Parker: Okay. Copy that...

168:44:05 Cernan: ...and roll...

168:44:06 Parker: ...Copy that.

168:44:06 Cernan: ...at the same time. (Pause)

168:44:13 Cernan: Now, I've got to push this latch on the gate...(correcting himself) on the pallet to get it locked.

168:44:18 Schmitt: Need some help?

168:44:20 Cernan: Push the pallet while I trip the latch, will you? Because I got to trip the latch. There's so much dust in that core. (Pause)

168:44:30 Schmitt: Get it?

168:44:31 Cernan: No. No. Wait a minute. Open it up. (Pause)

168:44:40 Schmitt: Wait a minute. Okay.

168:44:45 Cernan: Now...Now that's where...Now let me trip it. (Pause) Okay. Try it. (Pause) Locked?

168:44:58 Schmitt: Yeah.

168:44:59 Cernan: Should be locked now.

RealVideo Clip by Mick Hyde ( 1 min 00 sec )

168:45:01 Schmitt: That got it. That got it. (Pause) Okay.

168:45:10 Cernan: Got a big rock there, too?

168:45:12 Schmitt: Well, you know, the thing that amazes me is that there's no subfloor around here.

168:45:19 Cernan: I got one here. (Pause) Okay. I'm about ready to clean up the Rover here. (Pause)

[Fendell is looking in the direction of the marker flag on the Explosives Package. It is orange. When Fendell first pointed the TV at the horizon beyond it, he was at minimum zoom and the flag was just a few picture elements across and, therefore, just a faint blur of color. After a while, someone noticed the patch of color and Fendell zooms in to see what it is. Because it is actually in the very near field, rather than in the far field, zooming only blurred it more.]
168:45:36 Parker: Okay, 17. What's out there in the distance on a hillside in the field-of-view of the camera? The camera is pointing at it. (Pause) Oh, I'll bet that's the Italian (flag)...

168:45:48 Cernan: We've got to get a distance. Which hill? Let me see where you're...

168:45:49 Parker: ...that's the flag, I bet. On the charge.

[There are prior references to the "Italian Flag" at 147:01:36 during the drive back to the LM at the end of the second EVA. The flag is shown here in AS17-143- 21837. The actual color is international orange.]

[Schmitt - "I think that it was Bob who told me that they really didn't have any idea - when he started to call us - of what that was. None! And I don't think I've ever seen this sequence in a NASA tape."]

[Cernan - "I have never seen this picture until just now. Never. Never!"]

168:45:54 Cernan: Yeah, you're looking right at it, but it's only 10 meters away.

168:45:59 Parker: Okay. It's hanging in front of the hills. That's the problem.

168:46:01 Cernan: You're looking right at the flag.

168:46:03 Parker: Okay. It's hanging in front of the hills. We thought we had an artifact (in the TV) or something like that. Okay. Press on. (Pause)

168:46:13 Schmitt: Bob, bag 486 is a light-colored rock taken about 3 meters to the right of the Rover. You should be able to pick it out in that last pan, unless the focus was bad.

168:46:30 Cernan: Bob, you got all your TGE readings?

168:46:33 Parker: Roger. We've got that. We'd like to have you climb on.

168:46:40 Cernan: You want the LCRU off?

168:46:42 Parker: Roger. Let's go to LCRU power off.

[TV off; static]
168:46:44 Cernan: Okay, Jack, (pause) we better get going.

168:46:50 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause) You know, I don't think there is any subfloor in here. The rocks are so dust covered that it's hard to be sure, but no rock I picked up looked like subfloor.

168:47:03 Cernan: Get on there one time. (Pause)

[Gene goes to the front of the Rover to take pictures of Jack jumping in his seat. The three pictures are AS17-134- 20452, 20453, and 20454.]

[Cernan - "It was sort of a target of opportunity. It was just one of those (unplanned) things you do. And it's a pretty good picture."]

168:47:08 Schmitt: Ready? (Pause)

168:47:12 Cernan: I got three of them that time.

168:47:15 Schmitt: (Laughs)

168:47:16 Parker: 17, Houston. Do you read me through the LM?

168:47:20 Schmitt: You're loud and clear.

168:47:22 Parker: Roger. Thank you.

168:47:25 Cernan: I hope they (the pictures) came out.

168:47:32 Schmitt: Okay. I hope it (the seatbelt)'s untwisted this time, so I can get off.

168:47:38 Cernan: Oh, let's see. If old "twinkletoes" (Gene, himself) can do it. Jack, there's a big one (a rock) right there, in my floor pan. (Pause) That's what I did last time.

[Cernan - "I did whatever I'd done the last time (at Station 8 when he fell as he tried to mount the Rover) - got my foot caught on something, or whatever."]
168:47:53 Schmitt: Okay. I'm on, strangely enough. (Pause) Okay. (Pause)

168:48:05 Cernan: Let's see. Okay. The charge is off to the right. (Pause)

[Because of the four-wheel steering, Gene will turn toward the charge to get around it. If he turned left, the back wheels of the Rover would turn toward the charge - although, in this case, the separation is substantial.]
168:48:23 Schmitt: Yeah, you're all right. You can clear it this way or...

168:48:31 Cernan: Yeah. I see it.

168:48:33 Schmitt: Okay. (Pause, thinking back to Houston's mistaken impression that the out-of focus flag was a background object) I bet you they thought there was some more orange soil over there on the hills. (Pause)

168:48:51 Cernan: Get out of this block field, we'll be able to move it (that is, speed up) a little bit.


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