Apollo Expeditions to the Moon|
LITTLE CLOUDS AROUND YOUR FEETAnd the dust! Dust got into everything. You walked in a pair of little dust clouds kicked up around your feet. We were concerned about getting dust into the working parts of the spacesuits and into the lunar module, so we elected to remain in the suits between our two EVAs. We thought that it would be less risky that way than taking them off and putting them back on again.
On the first EVA, the first thing I did was to take the contingency sample. When Al joined me on the surface, we started with the experimental setups. We set out the solar wind experiment and the ALSEP items. We planted the passive seismic experiment, deployed and aligned antennas, laid out the lunar surface magnetometer, and took core samples. Some of the experiments started working right away as planned, sending data back. Others weren't set to start operating until after we had left.
We were continually describing what we were doing; we kept up a stream of chatter so that people on the ground could follow what was going on if we were to lose the video signal. And we did lose it, too, soon after we landed. That was hard to take.
One strange surface phenomenon was a group of conical mounds, looking for all the world like small volcanoes. They were maybe five feet tall and about fifteen feet in diameter at the base. Both of us really enjoyed working on the surface; we took a lot of kidding later about the way we reacted. But it was exciting; there we were, the third and fourth people on the Moon, doing what we were supposed to do, what we had planned to do, and keeping within schedule. Add to that the excitement of just being there, and I think we could be forgiven for reacting with enthusiasm.
Our second EVA was heavily scheduled. We were to make visual observations, collect a lot more samples, document photographically the area around the Ocean of Storms, and- if we could- bring back pieces of the Surveyor III spacecraft. We had rehearsed that part with a very detailed mockup before the flight, and were well prepared.
We moved on a traverse, picking up samples and describing them and the terrain around them, as well as documenting the specific sites with photography. We rolled a rock into a crater so that scientists back on Earth could sec if the seismic experiment was working. (It was sensitive enough to pick up my steps as I walked nearby.) Anyway, we rolled the rock and they got a jiggle or two, indicating that experiment was off and running.