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Day 6, part 4: Packing up the Kitty Hawk and Crashing Antares Journal Home Page Day 7, part 1: MCC-5 and Trans-Earth Navigation

Apollo 14


Day 6, part 5: Trans-Earth Injection Burn and Getting Ready to Rest

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 2020 by W. David Woods, Ben Feist, Ronald Hansen and Johannes Kemppanen. All rights reserved.
Last updated 2020-10-03
The lunar excursion of Apollo 14 is about to come to an end, with the crew moving behind the Moon to light up the SPS engine for the Trans-Earth Injection burn. If all goes according to the plan, they will soon see the Moon recede behind them with the start of their three-day coast home.
Editor's note: All transcript times are presented according to the GET update at 054:53:36 that saw the mission timer moved forward 40 minutes, 2.90 seconds.
149:15:00 : BEGIN LUNAR REV 35

149:15:43 Roosa (onboard): Normal, one-half.
149:15:55 Roosa (onboard):
149:16:06 Roosa (onboard): Okay ...
149:16:33 Roosa (onboard): Not at all, really.
149:18:29 SC (onboard):
149:19:06 Shepard (onboard): ... point zero ...
149:22:57 Roosa (onboard): Oh, no.
This is Apollo Control, 149 hours, 23 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. 2 minutes, 54 seconds until acquisition of signal assuming a nominal Trans-Earth Injection burn which should have taken place at 149:16 Ground Elapsed Time, approximately 8 minutes ago. At the time of the burn the Command Service Module of Apollo 14 weighed 34,720 pounds. The burn itself consumed more than 10,000 pounds of SPS propellants which brought the gross weight down to 24,646 pounds. That divides out to about 68 pounds per second of propellant going out through the 20,000-pound thrust SPS engine The latest impact figures from the Flight Dynamics Officer for the Lunar Module ascent stage Antares, 3.420 south latitude, line 19.667 west longitude At a Ground Elapsed Time of 148 hours, 22 minutes, 25.4 seconds as the Antares struck the surface the communications engineer here in Mission Control commented that the LM's high gain antenna was sending out high bit rate data right up to the last. Back to the propellant used in the Trans-Earth Injection burn, after the 10,000 pounds is used in this burn, which is the second largest burn required of this engine, in a lunar mission, there's 1,600 pounds of propellant left which is adequate for weather avoidance trans-Earth mid-course corrections. We're still about 39 seconds away from acquisition. We'll bring t - up the line a few moments before we have confirmation of AOS. 7 seconds Let's open the circuit and listen to the air to ground. We've had AOS.
Should the weather at their designated landing area worsen during their coast, a midcourse correction can be performed to change their calculated landing point further away from the bad weather.
149:23:08 SC (onboard):
149:23:28 Roosa (onboard): Yes....
149:23:38 Roosa (onboard): Well ...
149:24:00 Roosa (onboard): Nc. No, I didn't feel that one.
149:24:13 Roosa (onboard): And we want ...
149:24:32 Roosa (onboard):
149:24:42 Roosa (onboard):
149:25:02 Roosa (onboard):
149:25:03 Roosa (onboard): You know .. .
149:25:21 Roosa (onboard): You know ...
149:25:59 Roosa (onboard): I know
149:26:14 Mitchell (onboard): Oh, yes.
149:26:15 Roosa (onboard): Okay, we're ...
149:27:10 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston. How do you read?
149:27:47 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston. How do you - -
149:27:48 Shepard: Hello, Houston; Apollo 14.
149:27:50 Fullerton: Roger, Al. You're loud and clear.
They have now emerged from behind the Moon for the last time, and will be within continuous communications coverage of the MSFN again.
149:27:52 Shepard: Reading you loud and clear, Houston. Okay, Gordo. We had a good burn. Good burn. We're on the way home. Burn time was 1 second long: 2 plus 29; residuals before trimming, plus 0.6, plus 0.8, minus 0.1; residuals after trimming, plus 0.2, plus 0.8, minus 0.1; Delta-VC, minus 21.1; fuel, 25; oxygen, 24; unbalanced decreased 40. Very smooth burn.
149:28:27 Fullerton: Roger , Al. That's good news.
149:28:42 Shepard: You bet. We're making like tourists with the cameras right now.
149:28:39 Fullerton: Roger.
Page 3-228 of the Flight Plan shows a computer-generated view of how the Moon should appear at a particular time after the TEI burn, and indicators of photo frames to cover the lunar globe.
The period immediately following the Trans-Earth Injection burn is filled with photographing the Moon.
This is Apollo Control. At the present time, the crew of Apollo 14 is making photographs of the lunar surface using 500 millimeter lens on the hand-held Hasselblad cameras Apparently, the lunar topographic camera which was planned for some high resolution photography on the going away portion here from the Moon...
149:31:55 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston. We have some flight-plan changes for you. The first of them, though, is not effective until about an hour from now; so, anytime anyone has some free time, I'll read them up.
149:32:14 Roosa: Okay, Gordon. We'll catch them in a little bit, if you want. We're enjoying the view.
149:32:18 Fullerton: Roger, Stu.
Long comm break.
Apollo 14 velocity now 7,462 feet per second, 482 nautical miles above the surface of the Moon and continuing to increase as the trajectory loops out away from the Moon in a slingshot effect.
Their velocity is 2,274 m/s and their distance is 893 kilometers from the Moon.
The high resolution photography with the Hycon camera apparently has been scrubbed because of the malfunction of this camera. This was scheduled at 150 hours 30 minutes and would have yielded some of the highest resolution photography thus far of the lunar surface.
This is Apollo Control. Gold Team Flight Dynamics Officer, Bill Stoval, has passed on to the Flight Director an estimate of the present trajectory. The vacuum perigee at Earth on the present path of this Trans-Earth Injection burn would be 74 nautical miles.
At present, their closest approach to the surface of the Earth would be 137 kilometers.
149:43:42 Shepard: Okay, Houston. 14 is standing by for the flight-plan update.
149:43:46 Fullerton: Okay, Al. Let's see, open the page to 150:30.
149:44:00 Shepard: Okay.
149:44:02 Fullerton: We'd like you to do everything as shown on up to the Verb 48 there at 150:35, or so. And then, we've got another procedure to - for one last-ditch try with the Hycon. The theory behind this is that in a static attitude with the FMC turned off, even though the shutter is malfunctioning, they think they can get an image on the film and then compensate for any exposure - off-nominal exposure to the film by development afterwards. The procedure is not too lengthy, but find some blank paper to write it on there.
149:45:02 Shepard: Gordo, are you really serious about dragging up the Hycon, now? We're just getting ready to go to sleep here, as soon as finish these handheld pictures.
149:45:12 Fullerton: Okay. If - -
149:45:14 Roosa: Hey, Gordon, a little - Hey, Gordon.
149:45:17 Fullerton: Go ahead.
149:45:19 Roosa: A little clarification on that. See, we hadn't planned on it. We've got it all stowed and everything all over it, since we hadn't planned on -on using it. It's pretty tough to get to, now.
149:45:31 Fullerton: Okay. I was instructed to mention it to you. If you had any feelings about it, well, just forget the whole thing; and that's what we'll do - just scrub it. So, after you change the DAP load there, we'd like you to do the procedures, as shown an hour later there at 151:30; go into PTC and presleep; and you're clear to hit the sack after that.
149:46:01 Shepard: Okay. 151:30, PTC, presleep, and rest period.
149:46:06 Fullerton: Right. I don't mean to say you have to wait until 151:30 to do it. The procedures, as shown at that time, you can do those as soon as you're ready.
149:46:17 Shepard: Oh, okay. Thanks. We'll probably do them a little sooner than that, then.
149:46:25 Fullerton: If you'll give us P00 and Accept, we'll give you a PTC REFSMMAT,
They are now updating the computer with the navigational data needed to switch the inertial reference frame to the PTC one, to be used for the duration of the coast home.
149:46:38 Roosa: Okay, you got it, Gordon: P00 and Accept.
149:46:40 Fullerton: Okeydoke.
Comm break.
149:47:24 Fullerton: 14, Houston. At your convenience, we'd like the Noun 93 figures on that last P52, prior to TEI.
149:47:40 Shepard: Stand by 1.
149:48:36 Fullerton: 14, Houston. Uplink's complete. Your computer.
149:48:46 Roosa: Okay; we got it.
149:49:28 Shepard: Okay, Houston, on the last 52: Noun 71, 24, 31; Noun 05, all zeros; Noun 93 is plus .018, minus .091, plus .050; GET torque, 146:58:25.
149:49:54 Fullerton: Okay, A1, we copy that.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control at 149 hours 59 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Apollo 14 homeward bound, now 9,801 nautical miles out from the Moon. Velocity coming toward Earth is 6,022 feet per second. Still up live on air-to-ground until the crew goes to sleep for the night. This is Apollo Control.
Distance from the Moon, 18,151 kilometers.
150:02:44 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
150:02:51 Roosa: Go ahead, Houston.
150:02:54 Fullerton: We notice that you are maneuvering to the attitude listed after that P52 option 1, which might not work for P52.
150:03:11 Roosa: Okay, thank you.
Very long comm break.
150:30:16 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
150:30:45 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
Comm break.
150:33:37 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
Comm break.
150:35:28 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
150:35:40 Fullerton: 14, Houston. If you read, you might cage your BMAGs, go to Rate 2.
Comm break.
150:38:51 Fullerton: 14, Houston. If anybody reads, you're dragging your BMAGs.
Very long comm break.
150:50:02 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
150:56:04 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
Long comm break.
151:08:04 Fullerton: Apollo 14, Houston.
Long comm break.
151:15:34 Roosa: Hello, Houston; 14.
151:15:37 Fullerton: Roger. You're still there, huh?
151:15:44 Roosa: Well, don't know if you been trying to call or not. We've been hustling around on this storage, here.
151:15:52 Fullerton: Roger.
151:15:54 Roosa: And, do our rates look good enough for spinup?
151:16:05 Fullerton: Stand by 1, Stu. Stu, if you'll give us P00 and Accept, we'll get a state vector before we spin up, there.
151:16:24 Roosa: That sounds good.
151:16:27 Fullerton: Also, I guess we're going to have one for you to write down by hand.
151:16:36 Roosa: Okay.
151:16:38 Fullerton: I don't have it yet. For your information, we got a - we got a monster midcourse 5 coming up at TEI plus 17 of 1 foot per second.
Gordon's sarcasm is warranted - the translunar injection was so accurate that only a very minute course correction of 1 f/s is required per their latest tracking of their course.
151:16:59 Roosa: Hey, that's good. TEI plus 17, huh?
151:17:03 Fullerton: Roger.
151:17:06 Roosa: You all sure do good work.
151:17:10 Fullerton: So do you guys. We thought you'd all gone to sleep on us up there.
151:17:17 Roosa: Well, we were working on that, but we didn't have any place to sleep. We?re unindated [sic]. So, we've been scurrying around trying to get things in some sort of order.
151:17:29 Fullerton: Roger. Well, we want to power down your tired bodies, here, as soon as you can arrange it. We have nothing at all programmed for about the next 12 hours. You guys have been doing an outstanding job here in the last couple of days, and we appreciate it.
151:17:47 Roosa: Okay, Deke, I'll pass that on. I'm the only one on the loop right now.
151:17:51 Fullerton: Roger.
151:18:52 Fullerton: Stu, it's your computer. I'll have that PAD in a minute or two.
151:18:59 Roosa: Okay. Thank you.
151:19:43 Fullerton: Stu, on the sleep, we won't wake you until - until an hour or so after the scheduled wake up time unless you're up sooner. Over.
151:20:00 Roosa: All right. Thank you.
151:20:08 Fullerton: And I got the state vector for you.
151:20:13 Roosa: Okay, stand by 1.
151:20:30 Roosa: Okay, Gordon, ready to copy.
151:20:32 Fullerton: Okay, it is a state vector 71. GET of 151:15:00; index 21, and address 2 is 01501, 00002, 03742; line five there is 11325, 76267, 44423; line 10, 77055, 42764, 13266, 10307, 70560; line 15 is 54223, 73757, 44252, 06426; line 21, 32440. Over.
151:23:35 Roosa: Okay, reading state vector Verb 71; 151:15:00; index 21, 01501, 00002, 03742; 11325, 76267, 44423; 77055, 42764, 13266, 10307, 70560; 54223, 73757, 44252, 06426; 32440.
151:24:25 Fullerton: Roger; your readback's correct.
151:25:13 Fullerton: Stu, this is Houston. Computer is yours. The yaw jet's just about to fire; and so, we'll wait a little bit here, on the PTC spinup. Just want to be sure you have all your - your urine dump complete before - before you do it.
151:25:35 Roosa: Okay. Yes, why don't you hold off on that for a little bit and we'll - We're not quite ready to spin it up.
151:25:44 Fullerton: Okay.
151:27:20 Slayton: Hey, Stu; this is Houston. Is your clean happy home still clean?' We haven't heard much comment about any microlunar samples floating around.
Flight Crew Operations Division director and Al's old Mercury 7 colleague Deke Slayton has slipped into the CapCom line to chat with the crew.
151:27:34 Roosa: Yes. It's amazingly clean, Deke, Almost no dust at all. The suits were a little dirty but vacuumed off, and we got almost zero in the Command Module.
151:27:53 Slayton: Outstanding.
This is Apollo Control. Stu Roosa only one with a headset on aboard the spacecraft, is presently setting up the spacecraft in the barbeque roll or passive thermal control as it's called in preparation for going to sleep for the night. Present altitude above the Moon 6,746 nautical miles, velocity 4,806 feet per second. We're going to leave the line up until the crew does sign off for the evening. At 151 hours 39 minutes standing by this is Apollo Control.
151:53:29 Slayton: Apollo 14, Houston.
151:53:34 Roosa: Go ahead, Houston.
151:53:36 Slayton: Yes, Stu. You guys aren't worrying about stowing the probe at the present time, are you?
151:53:45 Roosa: No. No, Deke. We're just getting a little chow and getting - getting squared away - sort of relaxing and looking at the full Moon coming -going away from us and so forth. No, we're in good shape.
151:53:58 Slayton: Okay. Fine. Well, we got a nice exotic procedure to read up to you some time in the next couple of days on final stowage on that thing. And we didn't want you worrying about it.
151:54:09 Roosa: No, we're - We put it in a resting place up in the tunnel. We figured that'd be pretty good until we got back.
151:54:17 Slayton: Okay.
151:54:20 Roosa: And ready to reenter.
151:54:22 Slayton: Roger.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control. 152 hours 12 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Apollo 14 now showing a height above the Moon of 8,149 nautical miles, velocity 4,673 feet per second. The crew presently is eating, and after they're through with their meal they will call the Mission Control Center here for the last minute preparations before the sleep period, which may be extended to about 163 hours elapsed time. They will establish the PTC, passive thermal control or barbeque roll for the night. And, until they sack out we'll leave the line up at 152 12. This is Apollo Control.
152:19:03 Roosa: Houston, 14.
152:19:07 Fullerton: 14, Houston. Go ahead, Stu.
152:19:11 Roosa: Okay, Gordon. We're ready to spin up any time the rates look good to you, and I have some onboard readouts.
152:19:21 Fullerton: Okay. Well, they're taking a check on it. They want to look at it a minute or 2, Go ahead with the readouts.
152:19:30 Roosa: Okay. Yes, they might have some rates, now; I just - maybe want to wait a little bit, but - Okay: Bat C, 37.0; pyro A, 37.2; pyro B, 37.2; RCS, 60, 58, 60, 6o.
152:19:52 Fullerton: Okay. We got all .that.
152:20:03 Fullerton: And, we'd like to remind you that - to be sure when we get the PTC going, to start - to go the -get the comm configured as shown in the checklist.
152:20:09 Roosa: We'll do that. And far as crew status, we're all okay; no medication. And, you ready for an E-MOD dump?
152:20:21 Fullerton: Not yet; we're getting configured.
152:20:26 Roosa: Okay.
152:21:10 Fullerton: We're ready for Verb 74.
Gordon makes a request for the erasable memory dump now.
152:21:17 Roosa: Okay. Coming at you.
152:21:51 Roosa: Houston, 14.
152:21:52 Fullerton: Go ahead.
152:21:56 Roosa: Okay, Gordon. Just to make sure we're all together, you want to use the Omni mode for comm?
Comm break.
152:24:03 Fullerton: Affirmative.
152:24:07 Roosa: Okay.
Comm break.
152:25:03 Fullerton: Stu, would you be sure that that Waste Management Overboard Drain is closed tight. We want to be sure that this one takes, so that we don't have to interrupt your sleep. And, if it is, then you're Go for spinup.
Houston's concern is that any venting from the drain opening might disturb their PTC rotation and require the crew to be roused for reestablishing passive thermal control.
152:25:22 Roosa: Okay.
Very long comm break.
Rest period begins.
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