Apollo Flight Journal logo
Index Next
Journal Home Page Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection

Apollo 12

Day 1: Launch and Reaching Earth Orbit

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 2004 by W. David Woods and Lennox J. Waugh. All rights reserved.
Last updated 2017-02-10

Download MP3 audio file. 4,685 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control at T minus 1 hour, 48 minutes, 55 seconds and counting. We are still Go with our countdown for Apollo 12 at this time. We are aiming toward our planned T-zero of 11:22 am Eastern Standard Time. The spacecraft commander Astronaut Pete Conrad still busy aboard the Apollo 12 spacecraft, going through the final checks of the various modes of the emergency detection system of the space vehicle. The other astronauts are keeping an eye on activities inside the cabin as we continue our purge and leak checks. That is bringing the cabin atmosphere to the 60-40 oxygen nitrogen atmosphere that we desire for lift-off. The astronauts are breathing of course 100 percent oxygen through their suit circuits. Our countdown picked up at T minus 9 hour Mark at 1:22 am Eastern Standard Time this morning, and we then proceeded here in the firing room to begin the final propellant loading of the Saturn V Launch vehicle. As it stood on the pad at that time, it already had its RP1 fuel aboard the first stage. However, we spent 4½ hours or so bringing in more than three quarters of a million gallons of the cryogenic propellants the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. We started loading oxygen to all three stages from the top down, and then went into the final phase of propellant loading bringing the hydrogen fuel first aboard the second stage and finally aboard the S-IVB, or third stage. All of this work was accomplished by the time we went into our planned built in hold at T minus 3 hours, and 30 minutes. As far as the prime crew is concerned, after a good 8 hours of sleep, they were awakened in the crew quarters by Astronaut, Chief of the Astronaut Office, Tom Stafford, at 6:05 am Eastern this morning. The crew then went down the hall to take their customary brief medical exam on launch morning; they were examined by doctors Alan C. Harder and John T. Teegan. Following the brief examination Dr. Harder declared the astronauts were in great shape and everything is normal. The crew then received a weather briefing from Tom Stafford; his briefing still stands at this time as far as the weather forecast is concerned. The astronauts were told that they would expect the following conditions at launch time; scattered clouds in the Cape Kennedy area of about 2,500 feet, a broken ceiling at about 10,000 feet, we would have winds from the southwest about 15 knots with gusts to 25 knots, a temperature in the launch area of 67 degrees. All of these conditions are acceptable for a launch attempt. Weather on the round the world track in some places a little rough; in the Western Atlantic, particularly; we have 7 foot seas, and winds up to 25 knots. However, looking at all the abort contingency areas, weather is acceptable in those areas also, for a flight attempt this morning. The astronauts sat down to the normal breakfast menu of steak, eggs, orange juice, coffee and toast. They had 5 guests for breakfast. The guests included Tom Stafford, the backup lunar module pilot, Astronaut Jim Irwin, Jim McDivitt, who is the Apollo Program Manager for the Manned Spacecraft Center, Astronaut Paul Weitz is the Support Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 12 mission, and also sits in as the Capsule Communicator with the call sign "Stoney" here in the firing room. The 5th man to join the group was Mr. Chuck Tringali, Mr. Tringali is head of the support-training group for the Apollo 12 crew. A 6th individual in the room was a life size gorilla from what we understand- a stuffed gorilla - that was sent to Pete Conrad by one of his friends. This gorilla had been adopted as a mascot by the crew and he was This gorilla had been adopted as a mascot by the crew and he was rigged up in a flight smock and crash helmet. He was seated on the side in the breakfast room when the crew came in. The crew then departed the quarters after donning and checking out their space suits at the appointed time, 8:10 am Eastern Standard Time, and preceded to the launch pad, up to the 310 foot level where in order, they boarded the spacecrafts follows: First the Commander Pete Conrad, who sits in the left hand seat, followed about 6 minutes later by Astronaut Alan Bean, the Lunar Module Pilot, the right hand seat, and another 7 minutes went by and then Dick Gordon, the final member of the crew was aboard, Dick Gordon is the Command Module Pilot who sits in the middle seat. The hatch was then closed, and the countdown is proceeding satisfactorily since that time. We are 1 hour, 44 minutes and counting. This is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,005 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control. T minus 1 hour, 38 minutes, 55 seconds and counting. Countdown is still progressing satisfactorily at this time. We've completed that rather extensive emergency detection system check with astronaut Pete Conrad working the various checkouts with the Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft crew here at KSC. We've gone through all the various abort modes that could signal trouble to the astronauts on top of the Saturn V, and we are now assured that that system is performing satisfactorily. In the meantime, we have completed the purge of the spacecraft cabin and have completed our leak checks. We know now that the cabin is on a 60 percent oxygen, 40 percent nitrogen environment that we want for lift-off. Once again, of course, the astronauts inside their suits on the spacecraft suit circuit are breathing 100 percent oxygen, but the cabin atmosphere itself is the 60, 40 combination. All still going well. One hour, 37 minutes, 58 seconds and counting. This is launch control."

Download MP3 audio file. 2,588 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control T minus 1 hour, 28 minutes, 55 seconds and counting we are proceeding with the Apollo 12 countdown at this time still aiming at our planned T zero of 11:22 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. At this point in the countdown the close out crew at the 320 foot level at launch pad A now proceeding to break up the white room area. This is the area at the end of that Apollo access on Number 9. The arm that the astronauts use to go across from the mobile launcher to board their spacecraft a while ago. The spacecraft hatch has been closed, the cabin is now at its proper atmosphere, the astronauts have completed several vital tests already, one of them being the emergency detection system checks. These were performed by the spacecraft commander, Astronaut Pete Conrad, working with the launch vehicle and spacecraft teams here at KSC. This was an extensive checkout of the entire detection system that would inform the astronauts of any abort conditions during the powered phase of flight, Pete Conrad now gearing up for a special check that will occur shortly. This is a calibration of what we call the Q ball. It's an angle of attack meter located atop the emergency escape tower which is located, of course, on top of the Command Module. This angle of attack meter does give read-outs to the flight computer during the power phase of flight and Conrad is expected to work adjustments with the launch crew to calibrate that instrument shortly. Our weather conditions still stand. Our forecast is still Go for launch. We expect winds from the southwest getting up to gusts in the area of some 25 knots, a ceiling of about 10,000 feet broken as forecast, however, we are keeping a close eye on this weather front that is in the area. We are Go for launch at this time, however. The astronauts have been up since 6:05 a.m. this morning. They're up now, coming up on about 4 hours and have been working hard in the spacecraft in the final checkouts since they came aboard about 8:30 a.m., a little bit after 8:30 a.m. this morning. Once the checkout crew has completed their work up there on the swing arm we will be ready to bring that swing arm back to a standby position, that is remove it from the spacecraft. This is due to occur according to the procedures at the 43 minute mark in the countdown. All is still going well with our count still a little bit of ahead of the time, in fact, on the spacecraft checks as the countdown proceeds for Apollo 12. We are Go at 1 hour, 26 minutes, 16 seconds in counting. This is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,667 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control, T minus 1 hour and 19 minutes 55 seconds and counting, still proceeding with the Apollo 12 countdown, on time at this time. We are aiming at our projected T zero at 11:22 am Central Standard Time. Astronaut Pete Conrad, the spacecraft commander, is now working with the spacecraft test conductor, Skip Chauvin in preparation for some guidance and control checks that will be coming up in the spacecraft shortly, This is where Conrad checks out the various systems used to fly the spacecraft in the space environment. He checks out that big engine below them on the- Service Module to make sure that it will regimbal, that is swing in response to commands either from the automatic guidance system aboard the spacecraft or manually by the commander himself if required. He has his translational and rotational hand controllers that he uses in these various maneuvers, and he will be exercising these shortly. We are keeping a close watch now on a weather front that is coming in toward us from the northwest. Launch Operations Manager, Paul Donnelly, just a short time ago did advise Conrad that we are keeping a close eye on it. This weather front does have some heavy rain and a little bit of lightning has been noted. An estimate could he that we might get it in this area about noon time. Launch Operations Manager Donnelly informed Pete Conrad we hope to have them off in time and in time to avoid any difficulties with weather. Our forecast of a ceiling of 10,000 feet broken still stands for the lift-off time, but we are keeping a close eye at this point. T minus 1 hours, 18 minutes, 14 seconds and counting, this is Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 873 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control at T minus 1 hour, 8 minutes and 55 seconds and counting. Still Go with Apollo 12 at this time. The Spacecraft Commander Pete Conrad completing his guidance and control checks, working with the Spacecraft Test Conductor here at KSC. The G&C checks, Guidance and Control Checks of the Spacecraft, still appear to be going well at this time. We are keeping a close eye on this weather front that is northwest of us. The forecast now is that there is a very good possibility of having rain in the launch area at launch time. We will continue to keep a close eye on the status of this weather front to determine whether it will interfere with our launch plans. Right now we are still counting and we are still aiming at our planned T zero of 11:22 am Eastern Standard Time."

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - " We noted no sounds whatsoever from the boosters. It was extremely quiet up there. The only noteworthy condition was discussed the previous evening with George Page in the control room. We had discussed the heavy rain and the fact they were going to roll back the White Room. I was concerned about water and he rested assured that the BPC was waterproof and that it was perfectly safe. My other concern was that the upward firing SM RCS thrusters were all going to be full of water. Everybody concluded that this was no problem. During the countdown with the wind blowing up there, it was obvious to me that water was leaking between the BPC and the spacecraft. I could see water on my two windows - windows 1 and 2. We experienced varying amounts passing across these windows, dependent on how heavily it was raining. These were the only things noted up to lift-off. ".]

Download MP3 audio file. 1,551 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control at 58 minutes, 56 seconds, and counting. We're into the last hour of the Apollo 12 countdown with the exception of that weather front that we're keeping a close eye on. All still going well with the countdown. The crew at the 320-foot level is ready to depart from the white room on call. They've performed all their final checks. In the meantime, here in the firing room we've completed some of the launch vehicle final telemetry checks, and astronaut Pete Conrad still working with spacecraft test conductor Skip Chauvin on the final guidance and control checks. These are final refinements. The instrumentation used for that stabilization and control system and the guidance and navigation system that is vital during the time of flight that the astronauts are in space and, of course, in lunar orbit. Our testing is going well. We understand that the rain line on this weather front is probably about 8 miles west of us, and we're just going to keep a close eye on it as the countdown proceeds. In the meantime, the Vice President of the United States now has arrived in the firing room, and we understand the President of the United States, Air Force 1, his aircraft is now in the area, and the President is expected to land shortly. Our countdown still proceeding. We're still aiming toward 11:22 a.m. keeping a close eye over our shoulder to the northwest for that weather front to see whether it will have any effect on our launch attempt here at the opening of the window. We're now at T minus 57 minutes, 22 seconds and counting. This is Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,431 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control. We have just passed the 49-minute mark in our countdown. We are now T minus 48 minutes and 53 seconds and counting. The count is going well, but the weather appears to be deteriorating. However, we are still counting. The front that has been northwest of us appears to be coming in. We'll be standing by. The Launch Director Walt Caprian is getting direct reports on the weather, and if any determination is made it will be announced immediately. In the meantime, we are still counting at this time. Pete Conrad has completed his guidance and control checks in the spacecraft and made some verifications of the entry monitoring system, one of the systems that would be used on reentry either from an abort condition or the normal reentry from their flight to the moon and back some 10 days after lift-off. We'll be keeping a close eye on the weather as the countdown that the President of the United States has arrived aboard Air Force 1 at Patrick Air Force Base, coming off the plane at about 10:29 am Eastern Standard Time, and is on his way with Mrs. Nixon via helicopter to the Kennedy Space Center. We will be standing by, particularly keeping a close eye on the weather. As far as the count is concerned, the Apollo 12 spacecraft and that Saturn V launch vehicle at Pad A still all going well at this time. 47 minutes, 30 seconds and counting, this is Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 892 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control. T minus 43 minutes, 56 seconds and counting. The launch director still receiving advisories at this time on the weather status. We expect determination to be made shortly on what our plan will be. One possibility will be, if required, to hold the countdown at the 24 minute mark but this exact determination has not been made. Repeat, has not been made at this time. As far as the status of the Apollo 12 astronauts are concerned that determination also will be made if a hold is required whether or not the crew will remain on board. We'll stand by for these decisions and as soon as these are made they will be passed on to you. We are standing by at this time, the count still going at this point and all still well with all technical phases of the count. 43 minutes 6 seconds and counting. This is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,106 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control, T minus 38 minutes, 56 seconds and counting. Still proceeding, the countdown clock going at this time. Our weather conditions are just about the same, basically, we are in a touch and go condition, standing by for continuing reports on the progress of this weather front and how it is going to affect us, about 35 minutes from now, or 38 minutes from now, at the T zero time of 11:22 am Eastern Standard Time. If a hold is necessary, it will be declared, perhaps, about the 24 minute mark, however, we are going to keep an eye on it as the countdown continues. It appears that if we do have to hold for this front, the time element would be such that it is possible the Apollo 12 crew may elect to remain in the spacecraft. Obviously if the front was more severe, with lightning involved, the crew would be removed. No decision has been made on this at this time, and this matter is still up in the air at this time, because the clock is still moving and we are still standing by for further reports. We are 37 minutes, 50 seconds, and counting; this is Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,528 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control. We've just passed the 30-minute mark in our countdown. We're now T minus 29 minutes, 54 seconds and counting. The countdown for Apollo 12 still going at this time. Project officials are still keeping a close eye on this weather front that has moved into the area more rapidly than anticipated earlier this morning. The weather front actually speeded up a little later in the morning. Our determination has been made to continue this countdown at least down to the 10 minute mark in the count. We'll be getting recurring reports on weather conditions as we continue and determinations will be made. We will count at least to the 10 minute mark and either hold at that point, or if conditions are such, continue still aiming toward our planned lift-off at 11:22 a.m. eastern standard time. The Apollo 12 crew of Astronauts Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon, and Alan Bean aboard the Apollo 12 spacecraft up there at the 320-foot level of the pad have been informed of this decision, and they are in accord and our countdown continues. The Apollo access arm swing on number 9 that up to this time has been attached to the spacecraft now has been moved to its standby position some 12 degrees or 6 feet from the spacecraft. In the event that we had an emergency egress situation this swing arm could be brought back rapidly so that the astronauts could depart. Our countdown is continuing at this time, and we are standing by keeping a close watch on weather conditions. T minus 28 minutes, 25 seconds and counting. This is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,461 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control. We've passed the 24-minute mark in our countdown, now T minus 23 minutes, 53 seconds and counting. Still counting at this time. All aspects of the flight, with the exception of weather, looking very good. We have no problems other than this weather front that is upon us. The countdown continuing, we will count if we can down to the 10 minute mark at least where the final determination will be made. At this time in the spacecraft at the 320-foot level, the Command Module Pilot, astronaut Dick Gordon, sitting in the middle seat, completing some final checks of the reaction control system of the spacecraft. These are those thrusters that are used to enable the spacecraft to maneuver in space. We pressurize the propellants prior to launch to assure that they will work properly when required on the flight to the Moon. In the meantime, with the launch vehicle we have made some final checks of the range safety command destruct system. These are the destruct packages aboard the rocket that if the vehicle did fly off trajectory and became a danger to land areas, the vehicle could be destroyed. Of course, this would occur after the astronauts were safely separated from the faulty launch vehicle, using that escape tower atop the vehicle. That escape tower also has been armed at this time. Our countdown still continuing, weather reports still coming in, 22 minutes, 30 seconds and counting, this is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,672 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control T minus 18 minutes, 40 seconds and counting. Countdown still proceeding at this time although it is touch and go at this time we are still not below our minimum margins for launch. The countdown proceeding as reported earlier. We do plan to count down to the 10 minute mark unless we get information prior to that time that would show us we could not go. Out at that spacecraft Commander Pete Conrad still appears to be very cheerful in the spacecraft as he reports back on the settings, the final settings of the stabilization and control system switches. These are the switch panels concerned with the propulsion system that is used in orbit and of course on the way to the moon for spacecraft maneuvers once for Saturn V launch vehicle has placed the spacecraft on its proper trajectory. We are conditioning the tanks of the third stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle with some super cold helium to prepare it for engine ignition, which of course would occur during the powered phase of flight. Since that liquid hydrogen fuel must be maintained at 423 degrees below zero we want to introduce a cold atmosphere to the tank itself and the engine chamber so that ignition will be proper when it occurs during the powered flight although we are looking a little bad outside here at the present time. Our countdown is still proceeding. We're giving reports to the astronauts on our status. They are performing their normal functions at this time as the countdown continues. Coming up in several minutes the spacecraft will go on full internal power with the fuel cells. We're now coming up on the 17-minute mark. Mark. T minus 17 minutes and counting on Apollo 12."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,572 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control; T minus 14 minutes, 16 seconds and counting. We are Go on Apollo 12; we are aiming toward our planned lift-off at 11:22 am Eastern Standard Time. The countdown will continue; our latest weather advisors are such that conditions are predicted to be acceptable for a launch attempt at 11:22 am. Although we do have rain in the area, our minimums are acceptable, the top of the weather front is about 23,000 feet, and we have confirmation of very low turbulence concerned with this front. All of these matters related with many other determinations concerned with our mission rules, the Launch Director Walt Kapryan has given a Go to continue the count. The astronauts have been given the word; they are busy in the spacecraft at this time, because the spacecraft has just gone on full internal power with the fuel cells. Up to this time we have been sharing the load of the power of the spacecraft with the external power source. The astronauts also are making their final read-outs from the stabilization control system with Pete Conrad reporting back to the Spacecraft Test Conductor Skip Chauvin. The astronauts will arm their rotational hand controllers, those hand controllers that are used to perform the various maneuvers in space as the countdown continues. Mission Control in Houston, to assure that Houston will be able to send proper commands to the spacecraft once we have lift-off. Our countdown is proceeding; 12 minutes, 42 seconds and counting. This is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,442 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control. We've just passed the 9-minute mark in our countdown, T minus 8 minutes, 54 seconds and counting. Right at this point, Astronaut Tom Stafford here in the firing room is talking with Pete Conrad bringing him up to date on the weather conditions. The weather conditions as reported on the last announcement, that is, we have a top of this weather front of about 23,000 feet, a very low turbulence associated with it. Pete Conrad has just reported back. Sounds good to him. Our count still proceeding at this time as Pete Conrad reports back to Tom Stafford. At this point also, Alan Bean and the Lunar Module Pilot in the right-hand seat has given some up to date read-outs on the status of our fuel cells, the Power system for the spacecraft, and they've been recorded by the spacecraft check-out personnel. We've taken a look at the Lunar Module for about 20 minutes. We powered it up at the T minus 30 minute mark in the count. Powered up all systems with the 4 batteries in the descent stage and the two batteries in the ascent stage. The Lunar Module, of course, which will have. the call sign Intrepid when it separates from the Command Module in flight. Intrepid is go at this time, and we're now powering down the instrumentation. Spacecraft Test Conductor, Skip Chauvin, now performing a status check, so are the personnel in the spacecraft control room. All report Go at this time, and the spacecraft ready light should be coming up shortly. We are still go at this time, 7 minutes, 30 seconds and counting. This is Kennedy Launch Control."

Download MP3 audio file. 641 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control; T minus 6 minutes, 30 seconds and counting. We're still proceeding satisfactorily with our countdown at this time. The emergency detection system that can warn the astronauts of difficulties during the powered flight now has gone on its automatic sequence. We have power on with the EDS as the countdown continues. The spacecraft ready light is on. The EDS light is on meaning the emergency detection system also is go as the countdown continues. The astronauts now standing by in the spacecraft. Coming up shortly will be some status checks here in the firing room. This is Kennedy Launch Control still go with Apollo 12 at 5 minutes, 52 seconds and counting."

Download MP3 audio file. 2,493 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "This is Apollo Saturn Launch Control; T minus 5 minutes and counting. At T minus 5 that swing arm number 9 will now be coming back to its fully retracted position at the pad. Mark the swing arm now moving back from the spacecraft as planned at the 5-minute mark in the count. Just before coming up on the swing arm removal, we went through our final status checks and received a loud and strong go from the Mission Director, Chet Lee, Launch Operations Manager, Paul Donnelly, and Launch Director Walt Kapryan responding to the request from the test supervisor. The lights now will be coming on the abort panels of Astronaut Pete Conrad. These are his cue lights for the five engines in the first stage. These five lights remain on. When we get proper thrust for lift-off the lights go out informing the spacecraft commander that he has good thrust beneath him. We're coming up now on the 4-minute mark. Pete Conrad reports his lights are on. Spacecraft Test Conductor Skip Chauvin has said, 'Have a good trip, Pete.' Pete reported back, 'We appreciate everything everyone has done.' Four minutes and counting. Still proceeding at this time. We'll be coming up on our automatic sequence at 3 minutes and 10 seconds in the countdown. We're going through our final astronauts checks at this time as the countdown continues. During these checks just now the Launch Operations Manager Paul Donnelly said to Pete Conrad, 'The launch team wishes you good luck. May the wind be always behind you.' Pete Conrad said, 'Thank you very much.' Count still continuing. Final checks of the guidance and navigation system going on now. Pete Conrad reporting back on their status. We'll be coming up on the automatic sequence in about 10 seconds. From that time on down we are completely automatic leading up to 8.9 - the 8.9 second mark in the count when we get the ignition sequence. Mark firing command, launch sequence start. We have the firing command. We're on automatic sequence. T minus 3 minutes and counting, T minus 3. Once the automatic sequence began we've begun pressurizing those big fuel and oxidizer tanks, the overall propellant tanks in the 3 stages of the Saturn V launch vehicle. This will lead us up to 8.9 seconds when the engine ignition sequence begins. The five engines in the first stage will ignite building up 7.6 million pounds thrust total. This should occur at the zero mark in the count. We will get verification through the computer that we have proper start thrust, the hold down arms will release, and we'll be off with Apollo 12."

Download MP3 audio file. 839 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "Two minutes, 20 seconds and counting at this time. Two minutes, 10 seconds at this time. We see that the stages are now beginning to pressurize as our countdown proceeds. Coming up on the 2 minute mark in the count. T minus 2 minutes and counting, T minus 2. Spacecraft commander now has placed the Environmental Control System of the spacecraft on internal. Up to this time we have been providing external sources for the environmental control system. We're checking the hydraulics of the first stage of the launch vehicle now. We are still Go. One minute, 40 seconds and counting at this time. T minus 90 seconds and counting, T minus 90, still Go. Our status board here in firing room 2 indicates all is still well with the countdown. Third stage tanks now pressurized as the automatic sequence continues."

Download MP3 audio file. 1,216 kB.
Public Affairs Office - "One minute, 15 seconds and counting. Astronaut Alan Bean has just brought the entry batteries on the main power source on the spacecraft. We've conserved those batteries up to this time. We're coming up on 60 seconds. Mark; T minus 60 seconds and counting. T minus 60. Alan Bean running up the volume on his VHF. 50 seconds and counting. 50. We've now gone internal power with the launch vehicle. We are on the internal batteries in the 3 stages of the Saturn IV. T minus 40 seconds and counting. The spacecraft Commander now performing his final function, pressing the button to align the guidance and control system of the spacecraft. Coming up on 30. Mark, T minus 30 seconds and counting. T minus 30. 25 seconds and counting. We are still proceeding. T minus 20. 17 seconds. One arm back; we have guidance internal. 10, 9, 8, ignition."

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The three of us felt that the noise level was lower than anticipated. None of us wore anything except the normal helmets. We had no earpieces or eartubes as some previous crews had used. Throughout the atmospheric portion of powered flight where you can expect high noise levels, we didn't find it particularly noisy. The flight was extremely normal for the first 36 seconds and after that it got very interesting."]

Download MP3 audio file. 581 kB.
000:00:00 Conrad: Lift-off. The clock's running.

000:00:05 Conrad: I got a yaw program. [pause.]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "The launch vehicle lights went out as advertised in the proper sequence. They are slightly staggered and it was about a second and a half before lift-off - all the lights were out and we had lift-off."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I want to say there were very good physical cues and there was no doubt in anybody's mind that lift-off had occurred. The cues were there, and you knew when lift-off had occurred regardless of the clock and the lift-off call from LCC."]

000:00:06 Bean (onboard): Six seconds.

000:00:10 Bean (onboard): There's 10 seconds.

000:00:12 Gordon (onboard): Clear the tower.

000:00:14 Conrad: Roger. Clear the tower. I got a pitch and a roll program, and this baby's really going.

Public Affairs Office - "Pete Conrad reports the yaw program is in. Tower clear."

000:00:18 Gordon (onboard): Man, is it ever.

000:00:20 Carr: Roger, Pete.

000:00:20 Gordon (onboard): Twenty seconds.

000:00:22 Conrad: It's a lovely lift-off. It's not bad at all. [Pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Pete Conrad reporting the pitch and roll program to put Apollo 12 on the proper course. Altitude at one half mile."

000:00:24 Gordon (onboard): Everything's looking great. Sky's getting lighter.

000:00:26 Conrad (onboard): Okay.

000:00:30 Bean (onboard): Thirty seconds.

000:00:31 Conrad (onboard): Looks good.

000:00:33 Conrad: Roll's complete.

000:00:33 Bean (onboard): This thing moves, doesn't it?

000:00:34 Carr: Roger, Pete. [Pause.]

000:00:37 Gordon (onboard): What the hell was that?

000:00:38 Conrad (onboard): Huh?

000:00:39 Gordon (onboard): I lost a whole bunch of stuff; I don't know ...

000:00:40 Conrad (onboard): Turn off the buses.

Public Affairs Office - "40 seconds."

000:00:42 Carr: Mark.

000:00:43 Carr: One Bravo.

000:00:43 Conrad (onboard): Roger. We had a whole bunch of buses drop out.

000:00:44 Conrad: Roger. We [garble] on that. [Long pause.]

000:00:45 Bean (onboard): There's nothing - it's nothing ...

000:00:47 Gordon (onboard): A circuit ...

000:00:48 Conrad (onboard): Where are we going?

000:00:50 Gordon (onboard): I can't see; there's something wrong.

000:00:51 Conrad (onboard): AC Bus 1 light, all the fuel cells ...

000:00:56 Conrad (onboard): I just lost the platform.

Public Affairs Office - "Altitude a mile and a half now. Velocity 1,592 feet per second."

000:01:00 Bean: [Garble] Got your GDC.

000:01:02 Conrad: Okay, we just lost the platform, gang. I don't know what happened here; we had everything in the world drop out.

000:01:08 Carr: Roger.

Public Affairs Office - "Plus one."

000:01:09 Gordon (onboard): I can't - There's nothing I can tell is wrong, Pete.

000:01:12 Conrad: I got three fuel cell lights, an AC bus light, a fuel cell disconnect, AC bus overload 1 and 2, Main Bus A and B out. [Long pause.]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I didn't notice the rate changes, because, at 36 seconds, I first noticed that something had happened outside the spacecraft . I was aware of a white light . I knew that we were in the clouds; and, although I was watching the gauges I was aware of a white light. The next thing I noted was that I heard the Master Alarm ringing in my ears and I glanced over to the caution and warning panel and it was a sight to behold. There's a little disagreement among us and I'll have to look at the tapes, but my recollection of what I called out was three Fuel Cell lights, both AC 1 Bus and AC 1 Overload, Fuel Cell Disconnect, Main A and B Bus Overload lights, and I was not aware of AC 2 lights. Dick thought they were on. I don't think they were because I remember thinking that the only lights that weren't on of the electrical system was AC 2 and maybe I ought to configure for an AC Bus 1 out."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Let me make a comment here. A considerable length of time elapsed between the time those lights came on and when Pete read them off to the ground. I can't swear positively that they were all on. To help Al, my usual habit was, when any light came on during the boost phase, to read it out so that he didn't have to be concerned with which light it was. My recollection is that when I first glanced up there I didn't read any of them to him, but I scanned all of them and the only thing I said to him was, " Al, all the lights are on." I am under the impression that at one time, or initially at least, they were all on. Pete read it out quite a bit later. We'd talked about it and you read them out a minute or so later."]

000:01:21 Bean (onboard): I got AC.

000:01:22 Conrad (onboard): We got AC?

000:01:23 Bean (onboard): Yes.

000:01:24 Conrad (onboard): Maybe it's just the indicator. What do you got on the main bus?

000:01:26 Bean (onboard): Main bus is - The volt indicated is 24 volts.

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I went back to my gauges and ascertained that everything was running on my side. About this time, the platform tumbled. The next thing I noted was that the ISS light was on. This was obvious because my number 1 ball was doing 360s (that is, spinning round and round. Ed.). I even took the time to peek under the card and we had a Program Alarm light, the Gimbal light, and a No Att light. So we lit up just about everything in the spacecraft. Since that time, we found out that we were hit a second time and that's probably what did the platform in. When the platform went, Al was telling me that we had voltage on all buses and that we had all buses. I remember him telling me that the voltage was low - 24 volts."]

[Bean from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We got all the lights. I didn't have an idea in the world what happened. My first thought was that we might have aborted, but I didn't feel any g's, so I didn't think that was what had happened. My second thought was that somehow the electrical connection between the Command Module and the Service Module had separated, because all three fuel cells had plopped off and everything else had gone. I immediately started working the problem from the low end of the pole. I looked at both AC buses and they looked okay, so that was a little confusing."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "You looked at the voltage meters, not the lights."]

[Bean from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Yes, that's right. I looked at the volts - the lights were on. I looked a t the voltage and the voltage on all phases was good. This was a little confusing. Usually when you see an ac over-voltage light, either a inverter goes off or you have one of the ac phases reading zero and you have to take the inverter off. In this case, they all looked good and that was a bit confusing. I switched over and took a look at the main buses. There was power on both, although the voltage was down to about 24, which was a lot lower than normal. I looked at the fuel cells and they weren't putting out a thing. I looked at the battery buses and they were putting out the same 24 volts. They were hooked into the mains and it turned out that they were supplying the load. As I did this, I kept telling Pete we had power on all these buses. One of the rules of space flight is you don't make any switch-a-roos with that electrical system unless you've got a good idea why you're doing it. If you don't have power at all, you might change a couple of switches to see what will happen. When you have power and everything is working, you don't want to switch too much. I didn't have any idea what had happened. I wasn't aware anything had taken place outside of the spacecraft. I was visualizing something down in the electrical systems."]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "We had a crew rule to handle electrical emergencies. Al did not do any switching without first telling me what he was going to do. When he told me that we had power on all buses, I remember making the comment to him not to do anything until we got through staging."]

000:01:29 Conrad (onboard): Huh?

000:01:30 Bean (onboard): Twenty-four volts, which is low.

000:01:33 Conrad (onboard): We've got a short on it of some kind. But I can't believe the volt...

000:01:36 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. Try SCE to auxiliary. Over.

000:01:39 Conrad: Try FCE to Auxiliary. What the hell is that?

000:01:41 Conrad: NCE to auxiliary...

000:01:42 Gordon (onboard): Fuel cell...

000:01:43 Carr: SCE, SCE to auxiliary. [Long pause.]

000:01:45 Conrad (onboard): Try the buses. Get the buses back on the line.

000:01:48 Bean (onboard): It looks - Everything looks good.

000:01:50 Conrad (onboard): SCE to Aux.

000:01:52 Gordon (onboard): The GDC is good.

000:01:54 Conrad (onboard): Stand by for the - I've lost the event timer; I've lost the...

Public Affairs Office - "Comm reports the reading is back."

000:01:57 Carr: Mark. One Charlie.

000:02:00 Conrad: One Charlie.

000:02:01 Gordon (onboard): Two minutes. EDS, Auto, is Off.

000:02:03 Conrad (onboard): Yes.

000:02:04 Conrad (onboard): EDS, Auto...

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Let me inject something here. During this time, we didn't have any roll or any calls from the ground or anything. I didn't hear I-B called out; during all the confusion of all the lights, I did not throw the RCS propellant command to RCS. I missed that switch. The next thing I recall being called from the ground after this electrical problem got sorted out in everybody's mind was a I-C call and I thought, "I've got to get over here," and I turned off the RCS propellant command at that time. Then, in 2 minutes, I got the EDS. I guess the rules say that when you lose a fuel cell you turn off the EDS; but there was so much confusion at that time that I just got the EDS functions at the 2 minute time."]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I guess the most serious thing was the second lightning strike, which we weren't aware of. I was under the impression we lost the platform simply because of low voltage but apparently that's not the case. Apparently we got hit a second time at that point. Dick's right with that EDS Auto enabled. All we needed to do was blow a battery off the line and I have a decided impression we would have gotten an Auto abort."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "No, you need two of them."]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I think because of previous crew briefings, there were no surprises in S-IC staging. We got all the good things that most people mentioned and so much for that."]

000:02:06 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. Go for staging.

000:02:10 Conrad: Roger. Go for staging we had some really big glitch, gang?

Public Affairs Office - "Flight Director Gerry Griffin taking a staging status now; Apollo 12 down range 17 miles. Altitude 20 miles."

000:02:13 Gordon (onboard): What do the buses read, Al?

000:02:15 Bean (onboard): Stand by.

000:02:16 Conrad: Inboard [center] engines.

000:02:17 Gordon (onboard): Okay.

000:02:19 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. Try to reset your fuel cells now. [Long pause.]

000:02:20 Bean (onboard): Reset the fuel cells.

000:02:21 Gordon (onboard): Wait for staging.

000:02:22 Conrad (onboard): Wait for staging, yes.

000:02:23 Gordon (onboard): Hang on.

000:02:24 Conrad (onboard): Hang on.

000:02:25 Gordon (onboard): 25 - 27 - 32.

000:02:38 Conrad (onboard): Got a clock running over here?

000:02:39 Bean (onboard): Yes. Hang on.

000:02:41 Gordon (onboard): There's 41. Hang on, there it is.

000:02:43 Bean (onboard): That's it.

000:02:44 Conrad Gordon (onboard): That's it. That's it.

000:02:45 Bean (onboard): Staging.

000:02:46 Gordon (onboard): Hang on.

000:02:47 Conrad (onboard): Okay, GDC is good.

000:02:48 Conrad: Got a good S-II, gang.

000:02:50 Carr: Roger. We copy, Pete. You're looking good.

Public Affairs Office - "Good staging and good thrust on the second stage."

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "S-II engine ignition was smooth and the ride throughout the S-II flight was as advertised except for a 1 to 2 Hz vibration we felt throughout the whole burn."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "It was not necessarily longitudinal and was just a general vibration."]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I don't really know what it was. I was just aware of it. I don't think any of us noticed the mixture ratio shift on the S-11. We did notice it on the S-IVB. The tower and BPC went as advertised; but, when they did they unloaded a whole pile of water on the spacecraft again and this water streaked down the windows and froze immediately. At the same time, the water picked up particles from the LET jettison motor and deposited a white ash in the form of oil droplets and streaks all over windows 1, 2, and 3; a little on 4, and none on 5, which was our best window. The ice sublimated later enroute to the Moon after TLI,. but it left white deposits in the form of spiderweblike things in the corner crevices and as a white deposit on the windows. The S-I1 center engine shutdown came as advertised and S-I1 shutdown came on time."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Number 1 window picked up some ice right in the center sometime after launch. The ice looked like it was about 3 inches in diameter and was located on the inside of the outer pane. It actually sublimated off during our first night and was gone the morning of the second day."]

000:02:51 Bean (onboard): Cabin pressure's okay.

000:02:52 Gordon (onboard): We're okay.

000:02:53 Conrad: Okay. Now we'll straighten out our problems here. I don't know what happened; I'm not sure we didn't get hit by lightning.

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "Because I could see outside, I made the comment to them several times. I told the ground that I thought we had been hit by lightning. I was the only one that had any outside indications. Dick didn't note anything over his little hole in his center window. I was the only one who noticed anything and that was only the first time. I was aware that something external to the spacecraft had happened. I had the decided impression that I not only saw it, but felt it and heard it."]

000:03:01 Carr: Your thrust is looking good, Pete.

000:03:03 Conrad: Okay. I have a good GDC, and Al has got the fuel cells back on, and we'll be working on our AC buses.

[Bean from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I knew we had power, so I didn't want to make any changes. I figured we could fly into orbit just like that and that's exactly what we did. The ground came up a little later and said to put the fuel cells back on the line. I was a little hesitant about doing that, because I didn't understand that we had been hit by lightning. I gave it a go and, sure enough, things started working very well after that."]

[Bean from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I think the one thing I should have done was put battery C on both buses. I don't think you're going to hurt yourself doing this. I would not have tried to reset the fuel cells or anything else any faster than when the ground called up, because everything was working fairly well and we were in a critical flight phase. I didn't want to take a chance of taking out a Bus with a bad switch."]

[Gordon from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I think it was a smart decision. We've all learned that by arbitrarily switching the electrical system around, you can get yourself into more trouble."]

[Bean from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "You could lose the whole ballgame and we had the whole ballgame. We were in pretty good shape."]

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I never considered any kind of an abort. The only concern that passed my mind was winding up in orbit with that dead spacecraft. As far as I could see, as long as Al said he had power on the buses and the Comm was good, we'd press on. We had a long time to go before we could do a mode 2 and so the thought never crossed my mind about aborting at any point. I wanted to make sure we had enough time to psych it out. The main concern I had was getting through staging where we got the g levels back down again and we had a little more time to sort out what was going on. So we can back up and say that we heard cabin pressure venting. Engine gimbaling was apparent to everybody in the first 15 or 20 seconds of powered flight, especially going by the tower. The 'Tower Clear' call was loud and clear."]

000:03:10 Carr: Right, Pete. Your fuel cells look good down here.

000:03:12 Bean (onboard): Everything looks good.

000:03:13 Gordon (onboard): Stand by.

000:03:17 Conrad: Think we need to do a little more all-weather testing.

000:03:18 Gordon (onboard): Tower Jett.

000:03:19 Bean (onboard): Tower Jett.

000:03:19 Carr: Amen.

000:03:20 Gordon (onboard): Okay.

000:03:22 Conrad (onboard): There goes the tower, gang; that's away clean. It looked good.

000:03:24 Conrad: Did you notice the tower, gang, after we cleared? It looked good.

000:03:28 Carr: Good show, Pete. You're in mode 2.

Public Affairs Office - "Launch escape tower has been jettisoned on schedule. And we confirm the engines for separation also. Down range 122 miles; altitude 61 miles; velocity 10,000 feet per second."

000:03:30 Conrad: Roger. In mode 2. No sweat. [Long pause.]

000:03:31 Gordon (onboard): PPO2 High.

000:03:34 Bean (onboard): I think that's probably the [garble].

000:03:35 Gordon (onboard): I'll tell you what I think happened. We lost all the fuel cells.

000:03:39 Conrad (onboard): They sure did; they dropped right off the...

000:03:40 Gordon (onboard): We still got them back? We got them back now?

000:03:41 Conrad (onboard): Yes.

000:03:42 Bean (onboard): Yes, they look okay.

000:03:46 Conrad: Okay. We've got an ISS light on, and we have a cycling CO2 partial pressure high, which I don't - bother me particularly, and we have reset all the fuel cells. We have all the buses back on the line, and we'll just square up the platform when we get into orbit.

000:04:03 Carr: Roger, Pete. That sounds good.

000:04:04 Gordon (onboard): What's that PPO2 I want?

000:04:07 Conrad: Hey, that's one of the better SIM's, believe me.

000:04:XX Conrad (onboard): Phew! Man alive! I'll tell you what happened...

000:04:13 Carr: We've had a couple of cardiac arrests down here, too, Pete.

000:04:16 Conrad: There wasn't any time for that up here. We've got a good clock running here, and correct me, I'm going to give you a mark at 4 plus 30. I've lost my event timer. And...

000:04:30 Conrad: Mark.

000:04:31 Conrad: 4 plus 30.

000:04:34 Carr: Looks good, Pete.

000:04:36 Conrad: Okay. We're all organized again, gang.

000:04:39 Gordon: The only thing we've lost now is the ISS. That number 1 ball is just drifting all over the place, and we'll have to catch it later.

000:04:42 Carr: Roger, Dick.

000:04:44 Conrad: We'd like to have the G&C guys think about how we're going to get that thing, because it's just drifting, just floating.

000:04:49 Carr: Okay. We're thinking. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "The trajectory is right down the lines on the plot board. Altitude is 85 miles now."

000:04:52 Gordon (onboard): Stand by 5 minutes.

000:04:55 Bean (onboard): Can't say that I've ever seen that before. Man alive...

000:04:58 Conrad (onboard): How about - Let me give it a Verb 40 Noun 20?

000:05:00 Gordon (onboard): Let's not - let's not do anything until we get into orbit...

000:05:01 Bean (onboard): Yes.

000:05:02 Conrad (onboard): Let's just lock it up.

000:05:03 Gordon (onboard): Huh?

000:05:04 Conrad (onboard): Let's lock it up.

000:05:05 Gordon (onboard): No, let's let the ground worry about...

000:05:06 Carr: 12, Houston. We won't be sending you an S-IVB to COI call.

000:05:10 Conrad: Okay, understand. And can you give us the good words like let's get that DSKY - I mean the IMU calmed down. It's rolling all over the place.

000:05:20 Carr: Pete. And if you do a mode 4, it'll be on the backup.

000:05:24 Conrad: Yes, no sweat. I got a good SCS.

000:05:26 Carr: Okay. Good show.

000:05:29 Conrad: I got a little vibration of some kind - She's chugging along here, minding her own business, though.

000:05:33 Gordon (onboard): How's the pressures?

000:05:36 Carr: Okay, Pete.

Public Affairs Office - "Velocity is 13,500 feet per second now. Altitude 92 miles; Apollo 12 down range 345 miles."

000:05:38 Gordon (onboard): How are the pressures?

000:05:39 Conrad (onboard): What pressures? Oh, those ...

000:05:41 Gordon (onboard): Tank pressures.

000:05:42 Conrad (onboard): Fine. Well ...

000:05:44 Bean (onboard): Cabin pressure's good.

000:05:46 Conrad (onboard): ...I got to get - I got to get organized. What time is it?

000:05:49 Gordon (onboard): Call it 04:59.

000:05:50 Bean (onboard): 05:50.

000:05:51 Gordon (onboard): 05:50.

000:05:52 Gordon: Stand by for the gimbal motors, Houston at 06:00.

000:05:53 Gordon (onboard): 05:50.

000:05:54 Conrad (onboard): Okay.

000:05:55 Gordon (onboard): Stand by, Al, for gim...

000:05:56 Carr: Roger, 12. [Pause.]

000:05:57 Gordon (onboard): God darn Almighty! Wasn't that something, babe?

000:05:59 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter]

000:06:00 Gordon (onboard): You know what it did? I know what it is; it knocked - it just took all the fuel cells off the line...

000:06:04 Conrad (onboard): Yes, it did.

000:06:05 Bean (onboard): Yes, but what the hell did it?

000:06:06 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. Level sense arm, 8 plus 37; cut-off, 9 plus 11.

000:06:13 Conrad: Okay. Here comes the gimbal motors. [Long pause.]

000:06:14 Conrad (onboard): Ready, Al, Pitch 1.

000:06:15 Bean (onboard): Go, babe.

000:06:16 Gordon (onboard): 06:16.

000:06:17 Bean (onboard): You got it.

000:06:18 Conrad (onboard): Okay. Yaw 1.

000:06:19 Bean (onboard): You got it.

000:06:20 Conrad (onboard): Okay. Here comes 2.

000:06:24 Bean (onboard): Yes.

000:06:25 Conrad (onboard): And here comes 2. Okay. I think the thing that probably got the ISS was the low voltage. I don't know.

Public Affairs Office - "The level sense arm initiates the staging sequence that will be at 8 minutes, 37 seconds. We are in 6:25 now."

000:06:32 Gordon (onboard): Yes. Yes, it just fell open.

000:06:38 Carr: Mark.

000:06:39 Carr: S-IVB to orbit.

000:06:41 Conrad: S-IVB to orbit. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "The S-IVB now has the capability to put the Apollo 12 spacecraft into orbit should something happen to the second stage."

000:06:43 Gordon (onboard): Man, oh man ...

000:06:44 Bean (onboard): Isn't that a ...

000:06:45 Conrad (onboard): Wasn't that a SIM they ever gave us?

000:06:46 Gordon (onboard): Jesus!

000:06:50 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter].

000:06:51 Gordon (onboard): That was something else. I never saw so many...

000:06:52 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter].

000:06:54 Gordon (onboard): ...There were so many lights up there, I couldn't even read them all.

000:06:55 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter].

000:06:57 Gordon (onboard): There was no sense reading them because there was - I was - I was looking at this; Al was looking over there ...

000:07:02 Conrad (onboard): Everything looked great [laughter] except we had all the lights on...

000:07:05 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. You're right smack dab on the trajectory; your IU is doing a beautiful job.

000:07:10 Conrad: Okay. We're all chuckling up here over the lights. We all said there were so many on we couldn't read them. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Downrange, 557 miles now."

000:07:24 Conrad (onboard): How about a Verb 40 Noun 20 or something to - to lock up that...

000:07:29 Carr: 12, Houston. Give us Omni Delta.

000:07:31 Bean (onboard): Okay.

000:07:32 Conrad: Roger. Going to Omni Delta. [Pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Altitude 100 miles. Velocity 18,417 feet per second."

000:07:33 Bean (onboard): How about your...

000:07:34 Conrad (onboard): Hey, how about that? Get that on. Yes.

000:07:35 Gordon (onboard): Got them. I got them on a while ago.

000:07:36 Conrad (onboard): Okay. Good show.

000:07:38 Bean (onboard): Son of a gun.

000:07:39 Gordon (onboard): What are we up to, 2g's?

000:07:40 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter]

000:07:41 Gordon (onboard): Oops! Oops, center engine.

000:07:43 Conrad: Center engine. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Center engine out on schedule."

000:07:43 Gordon (onboard): Wake up!

000:07:44 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter]

000:07:46 Conrad (onboard): [Garble] is something! [Laughter]

000:07:47 Bean (onboard): That's known as the LMP's nightmare [laughter].

000:07:50 Conrad (onboard): [Laughter]

000:07:52 Bean (onboard): Sure it is.

000:07:53 Gordon (onboard): Well, I'm - I'm starting to worry about this platform now, gang.

000:07:55 Conrad (onboard): Yes.

000:07:57 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. We can start getting that platform squared away. Go IMU power, Standby, and then back to on, and we’ll get her caged up. [Pause.]

000:08:05 Gordon (onboard): IMU, Power.

000:08:07 Conrad (onboard): Power. Okay.

000:08:11 Gordon (onboard): Standby, Proceed.

000:08:17 Conrad: We'll wait until we get through staging here, I think, Houston.

000:08:20 Carr: Okay. Soon as you can reach it; that's the way to go.

000:08:22 Gordon (onboard): Where the hell is it?

000:08:23 Conrad (onboard): IMU Power's over on [garble]...

000:08:24 Gordon (onboard): Oh, [gable] side.

000:08:25 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. Go for staging.

000:08:28 Conrad: Roger. We are go for staging.

[Conrad from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "S-II and S-IVB separations were smooth and normal. S-IVB ignition was smooth. The ride on the S-IVB was very nice. Communications throughout the whole launch were outstanding. One other anomaly during all this mess with the lights: We had several Master Alarms after the initial one that turned out to be the CO2 sensor. It flashed on and off several times: when we looked at the gauge, it was just cycling from zero to full scale. It finally quivered one more time and gave up the ghost and died somewhere in the powered flight, never to be heard from again for the rest of the mission. The remaining controls displays operated as normal until we were in flight, when we noticed we had a failure of our service module RCS quantity gauge. This must have been a gauge failure because it failed for all four quads. As far as any other sensations through powered flight were concerned, we felt that they were all normal per previous crew briefings."]
000:08:31 Bean (onboard): [Garble] G&N Power [garble]?

000:08:35 Gordon (onboard): Yes.

000:08:36 Conrad: Okay. You want the LMP to turn off the G&N power and then bring it back on, and you want me to use IMU cage switch, is that right?

000:08:XX Gordon (onboard): No. Don't hit that Caging switch ...

000:08:XX Bean (onboard): No, no, no.

000:08:44 Carr: Stand by on that, Pete. [Long pause.]

000:08:47 Gordon (onboard): Don't hit that Cage switch.

000:08:48 Bean (onboard): 08:48.

000:08:50 Conrad (onboard): Okay. Stand by.

000:08:51 Bean (onboard): 08:50.

000:08:54 Conrad (onboard): 09:11 is shutdown? Huh?

000:08:58 Gordon (onboard): Yes, 09:11.

Public Affairs Office - "Second stage engine shutdown is predicted for 9 minutes, 11 seconds. We are at 9 minutes now."

000:09:02 Conrad (onboard): I think we got hit by lightning.

000:09:04 Gordon Bean (onboard): I do, too.

000:09:06 Gordon (onboard): Something took care of those panels, I'll say that for it.

000:09:11 Bean (onboard): 09:10.

000:09:12 Bean (onboard): 09:11, Dick.

000:09:13 Conrad (onboard): Two [garble].

000:09:15 Conrad (onboard): Okay. Looks good.

000:09:16 Bean (onboard): You staging

000:09:18 Gordon (onboard): Yes. See the throttle?

000:09:19 Conrad: Got a good S-IVB; nice smooth staging.

000:09:21 Bean (onboard): Look at that stuff go by.

000:09:22 Carr: Roger, Pete. Your thrust looks good.

000:09:24 Conrad: Okay. Give us some more words on the IMU now. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Velocity is 23,000 feet per second. Down range 967 miles. Altitude 102 miles."

000:09:30 Bean (onboard): I got ice all over the windows out here, y'all. I got the horiz- don't have the horizon, but I got the sky.

000:09:38 Conrad (onboard): Pointed down pretty good.

000:09:39 Bean (onboard): Hope those thrusters don't have the ice...

000:09:41 Carr: Stand by a minute, Pete. We're still talking.

000:09:43 Conrad: Okay. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Good trajectory; good thrust."

000:09:44 Bean (onboard): No, we're - we're in good shape. Where's your card here, Dick? We're at the 9...

000:09:47 Gordon (onboard): Okay. Hold still.

000:09:48 Bean (onboard):...[garble] low.

000:09:51 Gordon (onboard): Yes. Okay. In 10 minutes, we should be at 246.

000:09:56 Conrad (onboard): That was right on the profile. Good [garble].

000:09:59 Gordon (onboard): Ten minutes.

000:10:01 Conrad (onboard): All right. Get your - get your shutoff checklist out.

000:10:04 Bean (onboard): I got it. Now, listen, Dick, all this - best thing I can...

000:10:06 Gordon (onboard): You haven't pushed this G&N Power, by the way.

000:10:07 Bean (onboard): Yes, yes...

000:10:10 Carr: Mark.

000:10:11 Carr: Mode 4.

000:10:12 Conrad: Roger. Mode 4.

Public Affairs Office - "Mode 4. Apollo 12 could get into orbit now using the Service Propulsion System. Down range 1,160 miles, velocity is 24,157 feet per second, altitude 103 miles."

000:10:14 Gordon (onboard): I got a restart - I got a Restart Program alarm, and all [garble] - there's the Gimbal Lock. Get it out of Gimbal lock [garble] my timer, I [garble].

000:10:28 Bean (onboard): Well, this one's running.

000:10:36 Bean (onboard): [Garble] 36.

000:10:38 Gordon (onboard): Shutdown. We've got less than a minute to shutdown.

000:10:45 Conrad (onboard): Now get the gimbal motors off...

000:10:48 Bean (onboard): Got about a half a g.

000:10:50 Gordon (onboard): Yes, sir. We're getting [garble]...

000:10:52 Conrad: Well, I'll tell you one thing. This is a first-class ride, Houston.

000:10:53 Gordon (onboard): [Garble] just do it right.

000:10:54 Bean (onboard): ...[garble] right.

000:10:57 Carr: Kind of a rough start.

000:11:00 Conrad: Yes. I always like to start out behind the eight-ball and get ahead.

Public Affairs Office - " Estimating cut-off at 11 minutes, 35 seconds."

000:11:05 Bean (onboard): Cabin pressure looks good.

000:11:08 Conrad (onboard): Yes, we ought to get shutdown here in about...

000:11:09 Carr: 12, Houston. Cut-off, 11 plus 35.

000:11:12 Gordon (onboard): 35.

000:11:14 Conrad: 11 plus 35. Roger. Roger. [Long pause.]

000:11:XX Conrad (onboard): We get this platform – turned up on the S-IVB.

000:11:13 Gordon (onboard): I hope we can iron out [garble]

000:11:19 Conrad (onboard): I hope.

000:11:21 Gordon (onboard): Yes, I do too. [garble].

000:11:24 Bean (onboard): I don't either. I think it was the low voltage; it just fell off. Maybe it got hit.

000:11:29 Conrad (onboard): Okay. Stand by for shutdown.

000:11:30 Gordon (onboard): Stand by. 31, 32 [garble].

000:11:32 Conrad (onboard): There it is...

000:11:33 Conrad (onboard): Shutdown.

000:11:35 Conrad: Shutdown. 11 plus 33, Houston.

000:11:37 Carr: Roger, Pete. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "Flight Dynamics reported it looks like a good orbit. Showing velocity 25,561 feet per second. Down range 1,450. FIDO. FIDO says we are Go."

000:12:16 Carr: Apollo 12, Houston. Before you get down there to work on that switch, try pulling on panel 5, your IMU main A and main B breakers.

000:12:30 Gordon: Okay. That did it. They're both out. Now what do you want us to do?

000:12:37 Carr: Your S-IVB safe now. Stand by.

000:12:39 Conrad: Okay.

000:12:41 Carr: You've got a go orbit. You're looking good. [Long pause.]

Public Affairs Office - "That's CapCom Jerry Carr talking to Pete Conrad. The backup crew commander Dave Scott is also at the CapCom console here."

Index Next
Journal Home Page Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection