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Day 9, part 1: Last Wakeup And Preparations for Reentry Journal Home Page Postflight Events

Apollo 14


Day 9, part 2: Kitty Hawk Returns Home - Reentry and Splashdown

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
Less than an hour remains until Apollo 14's Command Module Kitty Hawk makes her fiery plunge through the atmosphere with her crew of three and the precious cargo of Moon rocks, photographs and data to keep scientists busy for years to come.
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.
This is Apollo Control at 215 hours 30 minutes. We're getting our final status checks in Mission Control now for entry, Apollo 14 traveling at 18,740 feet per second, 9,276 nautical miles from Earth.
Their velocity is up to 5,712 m/s, distance to go, 17,179 kilometers. Just under an hour - 57 minutes or so - remains until reentry begins.
215:30:46 McCandless: Apollo 14, this is Houston. All your systems are looking good from down here, and you're in great shape for the entry. The - the carrier is 5 miles off the target point, so you can go ahead and land right at the target point. Over.
The carrier taking a position a good distance from the target point is a reasonable precaution. The spacecraft have been known to splash down very close to the target point.
215:31:02 Mitchell: They're up - Sun, I hope, - so they'll get a good picture of us.
215:31:10 Shepard: Thank you for your kind words. Everything looks good up here. We are pressing on.
Comm break.
215:33:37 Mitchell: Houston, stand by for a thruster test, ring 2.
215:33:40 McCandless: Roger. We're standing by, Ed.
The crew at this time is performing the final status checks of the Reaction Control System thrusters. Shortly they will begin checking the logic and pyrotechnic devices used in separating the Service Module and in deploying their spacecraft parachutes.
215:34:39 McCandless: Okay. Ring 2 looked good to us.
215:34:44 Mitchell: Okay.
215:35:21 Mitchell: Okay, Houston. They're both good to us.
215:35:35 McCandless: 14, this is Houston. We concur; both rings checked out good on the ground here, and we'd like to hold to the timeline in the entry checklist as far as getting the batteries on, on the remainder of the events, go. Over.
Although the crew is eager to press on with the Flight Plan, it is important for them to save as much battery power as possible. Although Apollo 13 surpassed all previous figures by operating off the Command Module batteries for 2 hours and 44 minutes, the other Apollo spacecraft have averaged 30 minutes before splashdown and turning off onboard power.
215:35:48 Mitchell: Okay. Hold on the batteries, then.
215:35:51 McCandless: Roger.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control at 215 hours 37 minutes. We're coming up now on 51 minutes until entry. The final data passed to the crew shows entry interface to occur at 216 hours 27 minutes 47 seconds and that's no change from our previous figure. A couple of other figures have changed by a matter of one or two seconds. We will begin blackout at 216 hours 28 minutes 05 seconds or 18 seconds following entry interface. The blackout period will end 3 minutes 35 seconds following entry and at 8 minutes 5 seconds after entry we predict the drogue parachutes will be deployed. These are the two parachutes 16½ foot diameter used to provide initial stabilization and braking of the spacecraft in the Earth's atmosphere, and at 8 minutes 53 seconds following entry the main parachutes will deploy with a splashdown predicted for 13 minutes 51 seconds following entry, at a Ground Elapsed Time of 216 hours 41 minutes 38 seconds, and our predicted splash coordinates also remaining virtually unchanged, 27 degrees 1 minute south, 172 degrees 39 minutes west, which would be about 9 miles west of the international dateline, and local time would put the splash down on Wednesday, although of course in terms of Greenwich mean time or central standard time this splashdown time is unchanged. The spacecraft velocity approaching now the 20 000 foot per second mark and continuing to increase ever more rapidly, heading towards a velocity at entry of 36,170 feet per secomd. We're now 7,892 nautical miles from Earth.
Their velocity approximates 6,096 m/s and their distance to go is 14,616 km.
This is Apollo Control at 215 hours 57 minutes. We're coming up now 30 minutes until entry, and in the next few minutes the crew aboard Apollo 14 will be bringing their entry batteries on line, in preparation for separation of the Service Module in about 15 minutes. Of course when the Service Module separates the fuel cells, which are the primary source of electrial power during the bulk of the mission are also separated. Batteries are used from that point on during entry. The crew will also be using, or be checking out the sequential and pyrotecnics systems used in deploying their spacecraft parachutes, before going to separation attitude and separating the Service Module and then finally back into the entry attitude. Apollo 14's velocity is now 2 000, 23,770 feet per second and we're 4,568 nautical miles away from Earth. EECOM now reports the batteries are all on line. The recovery support room here in Mission Control reports that the prime recovery ship is on station and all support aircraft, the 5 helicopters and 4 fixed-wing aircraft, are airborne and on station at this time.
Velocity, 7,245 m/s, distance to go, 8,460 km.
215:59:54 McCandless: 14, for your information, Samoa Rescue 1 and 2 are on station, and helicopters are in the air.
Samoa Rescue 1 and 2 are HC-130 long range aircraft staging from Pago Pago. They are standing by to track the Command Module and to render air dropped assistance should the crew splash down further away from their primary landing target. Five helicopters are in the air, launched from the New Orleans. Their duties include photographing the proceedings, dropping rescue swimmers, and retrieving parachutes and other gear from the sea if possible.
216:00:00 Shepard: Sounds good, Bruce.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control at 216 hours 5 minutes, we're getting a bit of noise on the circuit. As the crew maneuvers the spacecraft to the horizon check attitude. Checking the attitude prior to separation of the Service Module, and that about to occur in about 7 minutes. Apollo 14's velocity has now climbed to 24,042 feet per second, and the spacecraft is now 4,393 nautical miles from Earth. 21 minutes 45 seconds now until entry interface with splashdown to come in about 35 minutes 30 seconds. This is Apollo Control at 216 hours 10 minutes we're now coming up on about three minutes to Service Module separation. Spacecraft velocity is 24,042 feet per second and we'll see that velocity increase by about 12,000 feet per second in the next seventeen minutes. At entry interface we should be reading about 36,170 feet per second, and at entry the spacecraft will be about 1,138 nautical miles from the splashdown point. Guidance officer reports the spacecraft is maneuvering now to the separation attitude, we'll standby for that event, scheduled to occur within the next minute or so. Spacecraft now in separation attitude yawed 45 degrees, from the normal entry attitude. This is to minimize any chance of recontact with the Service Module after separation.
Their velocity is up to 7,328 m/s, and their range to go, 8,136 km.
216:12:28 Shepard: Houston, standing by for Pyro Arm.
216:12:33 McCandless: Go for Pyro Arm.
One final confirmation is needed before the crew can proceed, and it has been given. At this point, two protective covers are removed from the switches labeled CM/SM SEP 1 and 2.
Normal separation sequence.
A complex sequence begins at the crew activation. Pyrotechnic devices separate the electrical, mechanical and structural connections between the Command Module and the Service Module. Electronics boxes installed on the top of the Service Module send a signal to the RCS thrusters to begin firing to take the SM away from the Command Module. Powered by the still operating fuel cells, the RCS will continue to fire until fuel exhaustion to make sure that sufficient distance is created between the two components of the spacecraft.
216:12:54 Shepard: Okay. We've had separation, Houston.
216:12:57 McCandless: Roger.
Long comm break.
A1 Shepard confirming that the Service Module has separated from the Command Module. They'll now reorient into the reentry attitude. And at this time - at this time we show Apollo 14 4393 nautical miles from Earth, 24 042 feet per second velocity. This is Apollo Control at 216 hours 18 minutes, we're now reading the on-board display. The numbers that the crew is reading for entry velocity and range to go, and the computer shows them to be traveling at a velocity of 31,955 feet per second, continuing to increase. 4,000 miles from splashdown.
216:17:42 Shepard (onboard): Don't see any horizon at all, huh?
216:17:43 Roosa (onboard): Not yet, no.
216:17:44 Shepard (onboard): Probably too much light in here. Why don't you flip your floods off and see if you can see a dark horizon.
216:17:51 Roosa (onboard): The Moon is awful bright. I sure don't. All I see is a -
216:18:07 Mitchell (onboard): In other words, it must be shifting. Let's see, we've get - on the tape recorder - we have 30 minutes of high-bit-rate recording, don't we?
216:18:27 Roosa (onboard): 30 minutes? Yes. There's a decal down there that tells you that. You might verify. I think it's 30 minutes for 4 hours or something.
216:18:35 Mitchell (onboard): I thought there was, too, but I don't see it.
216:18:38 Roosa (onboard): Right by the High switch? I saw that somewhere
216:18:42 Mitchell (onboard): That's right. Right, 30 minutes in 2 hours. Okay, we've got 10 minutes to interface and 13 minutes, so with 23, we've got plenty of high-bit-rate time.
216:19:08 Shepard (onboard): Houston, 14.
216:19:21 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, Stu, you - okay, there's the Moon. I've got the Moon in 2. Moonset is 25:15.
216:19:33 Shepard (onboard): Houston, Apollo 14.
216:19:48 Shepard (onboard): Well, I got signal strength.
216:19:49 Mitchell (onboard): Yes-. We're on the right antennas. Everything looks good now.
216:12:01 Shepard (onboard): Hello, Houston; Apollo 14.
Long comm break.
216:20:31 Roosa (onboard): There's the horizon.
216:20:32 Shepard (onboard): Finally found one, huh?
216:20:33 Roosa (onboard): Yes.
216:20:38 Mitchell (onboard): Houston, Apollo 14. Do you read?
216:20:41 McCandless: Apollo 14, this is Houston. Over.
216:20:44 McCandless: Apollo 14, this is Houston. Over.
216:20:46 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, Bruce, we have you now, loud and clear.
216:20:51 Shepard (onboard): Okay, as we reported, we got a good separation; we're back in plane; and we're following the horizon on down. Yes, there it is. Look at the airglow. No. Hell, that's -
216:21:10 Mitchell (onboard): Yes, there's the horizon.
216:21:11 Shepard (onboard): Yes. It's a good solid horizon. You really don't see any airglow.
216:21:16 Mitchell (onboard): Not from the dark side.
216:21:18 McCandless: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Houston. Say again; you're very weak. Over.
216:21:24 Mitchell (onboard): I'll get it. Houston - -
216:21:24 Shepard: Okay, Houston; we have had good separation. We're back in plane, following the horizon down. Over.
216:21:31 McCandless: Roger; we copy you, now, loud and clear. [Pause.]
216:21:39 McCandless: And you're looking very good from down here, 14.
216:21:43 Shepard: Okay. Everything's fine up here.
Comm break.
Apollo 14 now 3,200 miles from the splash point, velocity 33,805 feet per second. This is Apollo Control 4 minutes 45 seconds from entry and it's grown unusually quiet here in the control center. On board the spacecraft crew now reading 2,800 miles until splashdown. Their velocity shows 34,465 feet per second.
216:21:52 Mitchell (onboard): Boy, I hope that Moon, stays in the window here, so ve get the picture.
216:21:56 Shepard (onboard): Supposed to be set on the left-hand side, isn't it?
216:21:58 Mitchell (onboard): Yes. And it's almost sitting out cf my window.
216:21:59 Shepard (onboard): I got it.
216:22:00 Mitchell (onboard): Yes, but it's - my window's the one that's got the camera in it.
216:22:03 Shepard (onboard): Oh, you want it then.
216:22:04 Roosa (onboard): We want to try to get a picture of the Moon sitting there. We show -
216:22:08 Mitchell (onboard): If you could yaw to about 5 degrees -
216:22:09 Shepard (onboard): Give it to me. Give it to me. I'll do it handheld, if you want.
216:22:13 Mitchell (onboard): No, hell, you could - .05gs get you right after that. Let's don't - -
216:22:15 Roosa (onboard): Two minutes.
216:22:16 Mitchell (onboard): Yes, let's don't take the camera out of the bracket. Might not get it back in time.
216:22:19 Shepard (onboard): All right.
216:22:23 Mitchell (onboard): I think it's going to be close enough.
216:22:26 Shepard (onboard): Okay, what's next on the checklist?
216:22:28 Mitchell (onboard): That's it, .05g's next - RET is next, rather.
216:22:33 Roosa (onboard): Okay, Al, here we need - -
216:22:35 Shepard (onboard): Some more light.
216:22:36 Roosa (onboard): Yes. Thank you. Beautiful. We need CMC, Rate Command, in case we go SCS; and, other than that, she looks good.
216:22:53 Shepard (onboard): Need EMS Roll and .05g also.
216:22:56 Roosa (onboard): That's right, and we need this to back up at 32.
216:23:01 Shepard (onboard): If it doesn't work.
216:23:02 Roosa (onboard): If it doesn't work. No matter what that reads, at 32, this switch goes off.
216:23:09 Shepard (onboard): 32?
216:23:12 Roosa (onboard): At 32, right here.
216:23:13 Shepard (onboard): Oh. That's true. If you don't have your .Cog light.
216:23:21 Roosa (onboard): Yes. If - if it didn't start itself. Damn, that Moon's -
216:23:37 Shepard (onboard): It's really hard to see it.
216:23:38 Roosa (onboard): Yes. I think I'll put it back up a little bit. Oh, there's the - the terminator coming.
216:23:44 Shepard (onboard): Yes, if you roll a little bit, Ed'll get it.
216:23:49 Mitchell (onboard): Yes. Yes. Okay, it's coming in nicely new.
216:23:58 McCandless: 14, this is Houston. We show you with 98.4 amp-hours left on the water, and that's 56 hours' endurance. Over.
216:24:00 Mitchell (onboard): Great, great.
216:24:07 Shepard: Okay, 98.4 and 56. Thank you.
With 120 amp hours in the three Command Module batteries, this means that they will consume only a small amount during their reentry and will have plentiful reserves for operating any post-landing equipment needed.
216:24:12 Mitchell (onboard): That's - that's great - -
216:24:12 McCandless: Roger.
216:24:15 Mitchell (onboard): Got a good view.
216:24:16 Roosa (onboard): Okay. There's some airglow.
216:24:20 Mitchell (onboard): Yes. It's starting to glow. We got a - Oh! Man, oh man; you can see it!
216:24:24 Shepard (onboard): Well, we better run the camera.
216:24:26 Mitchell (onboard): No, I don't want to waste film yet. Wait until it starts to set.
216:24:30 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:24:31 Roosa (onboard): Well, let me see. You've got -
216:24:33 Mitchell (onboard): We've got a minute - I've got 45 seconds.
216:24:37 Roosa (onboard): Oh, give it 45 seconds. Now, turn her on.
216:24:39 Mitchell (onboard): No, just a little more; I haven't got that much film.
216:24:40 Shepard (onboard): Oh, turn it On, for Christ's sake. Run it at - -
216:24:44 Mitchell (onboard): I've got my film budgeted.
216:24:46 Shepard (onboard): Run at slower speed, for Christ's sake. Then you could - do something.
216:24:51 Roosa (onboard): Hey, you've only got 30 seconds (laughter).
216:24:53 SC (onboard): (Sound of camera running)
216:24:54 Mitchell (onboard): You bastards are running my film out before I get the chutes.
216:24:57 Roosa (onboard): Oh, I'd rather have that than the chutes.
216:24:58 Mitchell (onboard): Oh, man that sure is pretty. Back home again. Keep it in the window. You're letting it get too high on me - -
216:25:04 Roosa (onboard): All right.
216:25:05 Mitchell (onboard): - - I mean, too far down.
216:25:07 Shepard (onboard): There she goes. The real - -
216:25:10 Roosa: And Moonset, Houston.
216:25:13 Shepard (onboard): The real Moonglow.
216:25:14 McCandless: Roger, Stu.
216:25:16 Spacecraft noise (onboard): (Camera stops)
216:25:16 Roosa: Yes, that was the real Moonglow.
216:25:19 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.
216:25:19 McCandless: Right about on time.
216:25:21 Mitchell (onboard): Right on time. About 2 seconds early.
216:25:25 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Well, we ought to get back in some kind of attitude here.
216:25:32 Mitchell (onboard): Okay. Okay, I'm going - be on my cards here in just a minute. You'll be on your own.
216:25:41 Roosa (onboard): We're at 154, pitch.
216:25:44 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, 154 is your attitude. We're waiting for RRT, which is exactly 2 minutes frcm now.
RRT is another term for reentry interface.
216:25:54 Roosa (onboard): Stu needle looks like she's taking a notion to come off the peg.
216:26:01 Shepard (onboard): The which needle?
216:26:02 Roosa (onboard): The pitch steering needle.
216:26:04 Shepard (onboard): Oh, the steering. You said the Stu needle, and I wondered what the hell - which needle you'd adopted
216:26:09 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, Stu, you're going to have Rate Command, CMC, Auto at .05g, right?
216:26:16 Roosa (onboard): Okay, yes. Yes, well, CMC, anyway. If you want Auto, I'll put her there new.
216:26:19 Mitchell (onboard): Okay,
216:26:21 Roosa (onboard): That should be taken out of the checklist. Put that fills all the squares.
216:26:26 Mitchell (onboard): Yes. You can have Auto whether you need it or not, huh?
216:26:32 Roosa (onboard): That's right. Entry DAP does not look at the Mode switch.
Stu is commenting on the fact that the switch used to select spacecraft control mode is disabled at this point and could be set to any position without affecting the ship.
216:26:35 Shepard (onboard): Oh man, are we coming down!
216:26:35 McCandless: Apollo 14, this is Houston through ARIA 2. How do you read? Over.
216:26:38 Shepard (onboard): Loud and clear, Houston.
216:26:40 Roosa: Loud and clear, Houston.
216:26:42 McCandless: Roger. Reading you the same, 14.
216:26:47 Roosa: Okay, we're standing by for ARIA 2.
216:26:55 McCandless: Roger. Out.
216:26:56 Shepard: And our thanks to the ARIA troops for the memento they sent before launch.
216:27:01 McCandless: Okay, I'll pass it on to the rest of them. I'm sure some of them are monitoring the loop.
This conversation coming to us through one of the Apollo range instrumented aircraft. Our velocity now showing 36,000 feet per second, 1,500 miles from splashdown and we're 24 seconds from entry. We're now at the entry point and in about 18 seconds we should have blackout. That will last until about 3 minutes 35 seconds after entry.
216:27:09 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:27:10 Mitchell (onboard): Okay; 4/.
216:27:17 Shepard (onboard): Needles converging. Nicely. Nicely.
216:27:30 SC (onboard): (Sound of camera running)
216:27:31 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, there's 20 seconds. RRT.
216:27:38 Roosa (onboard): See you're - now, see you're starting it here a good minute before anything happens.
216:27:41 Mitchell (onboard): No. Well, I'll shut it off a little bit more.
216:27:42 SC (onboard): (Camera stops)
216:27:44 Roosa (onboard): When you had - when you had something good going -
216:27:46 Mitchell (onboard): Yes, but I've got to get my hands down right now. 5, 6, 7- RRT?
216:27:51 Roosa (onboard): RET.
216:27:52 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:27:53 Roosa (onboard): About 17, we should start picking up some g's. Okay, troops, we're on our way.
216:27:57 McCandless: Okay, Apollo 14; it's about 8 seconds to beginning of blackout. We'll talk to you when you come out the other side. Over.
216:27:58 Shepard (onboard): Here we go. On the way.
216:28:03 Roosa (onboard): Here she comes.
216:28:05 Mitchell: Okay, Bruce.
216:28:06 Roosa (onboard): Here she comes.
216:28:06 Shepard: That sure sounds good.
216:28:07 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Sounds good.
216:28:08 Roosa (onboard): Okay. We're CMC.
216:28:09 Shepard (onboard): Okay.... - -
216:28:10 Mitchell (onboard): And stand by.
216:28:11 Shepard (onboard): - - zero g.
216:28:15 McCandless: It's 2 seconds ...
And our retro officer has just predicted that the target point will also be the splash point. We're coming up now on about 30 seconds until max g - maximum g force of about 6.2 g's. We're now at 1 minute 20 seconds after entry, about - coming up now on the maximum g forces - 6.2 g's at this time. And we're about 2 minutes from end of blackout. Our return-to-Earth officer has Just estimated that blackout will end about 1 second prior to the predicted time, at an elapsed time of 3 minutes 34 seconds after entry. That will be about 15 seconds from now. And we should have come out of blackout. We'll stand by for reestablishment of communications through the Apollo range instrumented aircraft.CapCom McCandless is putting in a call to the crew now.
216:28:16 Roosa (onboard): Okay. We're CMC Control.
216:28:18 Mitchell (onboard): Mark. .05g.
216:28:19 Shepard (onboard): Mark. .05g.
216:28:21 Roosa (onboard): 32. Okay, I started it.
216:28:23 Shepard (onboard): You got the light?
216:28:26 Roosa (onboard): No. I started it , though.
The EMS scroll should start automatically, but can be activated manually if it does not show start up at the expected moment.
The Entry Monitoring System (EMS) panel.
216:28:29 Shepard (onboard): EMS , .05g, Roll.
216:28:31 Roosa (onboard): I've got them.
216:28:34 Shepard (onboard): Okay, you got the .05g, EMS Roll switch?
216:28:37 Roosa (onboard): That's right. CMC in Rate Command. Okay - -
216:28:40 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:28:41 Roosa (onboard): - - passing one g.
Artist's imagined view of the Command Module plunging into the atmosphere.
The various forces affecting the flight path of the Command Module during reentry.
216:28:42 Shepard (onboard): Okay, 1.4.
216:28:43 Roosa (onboard): Okay, passing 2g's.
216:28:46 Shepard (onboard): 2.
216:28:48 Roosa (onboard): 2.4.
216:28:50 Shepard (onboard): 2.8.
216:28:52 Roosa (onboard): Passing 3g's.
216:28:53 Shepard (onboard): 3.2.
216:28:54 Roosa (onboard): Passing 4g's.
216:28:55 Shepard (onboard): 3.7. Locks good; 4.2.
216:28:56 Roosa (onboard): Passing 5g's.
216:28:57 Shepard (onboard): 4.7, 5.2, 5 - 5.5. Okay.... 5.8.
216:29:06 Roosa (onboard): Locking good.
216:29:07 Shepard (onboard): 6.3.
216:29:08 Roosa (onboard): Okay .
216:29:09 Shepard (onboard): 6.6.
216:29:10 Roosa (onboard): Very good.
216:29:11 Shepard (onboard): 6.7.
216:29:12 Roosa (onboard): It's stiff.
216:29:13 Mitchell (onboard): That should be it.
216:29:14 Shepard (onboard): 6.75.
216:29:15 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:29:16 Shepard (onboard): Coming back off:, 6.7-
216:29:17 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Watch for a roll.
216:29:18 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.
216:29:19 Shepard (onboard): Now, we're starting to roll.
216:29:20 Roosa (onboard): It's commanding a roll.
216:29:21 Shepard (onboard): Starting to roll.
216:29:23 Roosa (onboard): Okay; g's are coming off. Peak g checks well.
216:29:27 Shepard (onboard): Yep. Entered 1 - 180.
216:29:30 Roosa (onboard): Okay, we're at 180. It's falling.
216:29:36 Shepard (onboard): Very good; 4g. How do you look?
216:29:37 Roosa (onboard): I'm steady; 4.
216:29:38 Shepard (onboard): Beautiful. Beautiful.
216:29:39 Roosa (onboard): Steady; 4g.
216:29:39 Shepard (onboard): Beautiful.
216:29:42 Roosa (onboard): On two counts.
216:29:49 Shepard (onboard): Okay; 140, it was. Plus 140. Plus 96.
216:29:54 Roosa (onboard): Good show.
216:29:55 Shepard (onboard): Plus zero.
216:29:56 Roosa (onboard): Good show. Good roll; we've passed VCIRC
They have now decelerated enough that splashdown is now inevitable, with not enough energy left to escape the atmosphere.
216:29:59 Shepard (onboard): Okay. We want zero roll. Zero roll.
216:30:08 Roosa (onboard): Man, it sure dug in there.
216:30:10 Shepard (onboard): Yeah.
216:30:11 Roosa (onboard): Come on. Get past - It's got to stay up or we're going to be short.
216:30:16 Shepard (onboard): Zero roll.
216:30:21 Roosa (onboard): It's getting its potential back.
Stu observes that the Command Module is gaining more range potential, which means, capacity to fly further away. Considering that his earlier remark suggests that they appeared to be heading to a splashdown away from the target point, this is good news to them.
216:30:22 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:30:24 Roosa (onboard): Let's check velocity, if you can reach it.
216:30:26 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:30:27 Roosa (onboard): Noun - -
216:30:28 Shepard (onboard): Verb 06 Noun 74 Enter. 21340.
Verb 6 Noun 74 allows them to display their bank angle, their inertial velocity, and the present drag acceleration. Currently the reading is 21,340 fps or 6,504 meters per second.
216:30:32 Roosa (onboard): Okay. I'll give you - -
216:30:33 Shepard (onboard): 21140. Give me a mark .
216:30:35 Roosa (onboard): Hey, you give me a mark on - because yours is computing.
216:30:40 Shepard (onboard): Okay, 26,24.
216:30:42 Roosa (onboard): Okay, we're good. You can go back - -
216:30:43 Shepard (onboard): 23.
216:30:44 Roosa (onboard): Go back to normal display. It's commanding 60 degrees.
216:30:48 Shepard (onboard): Okay, 60 degrees. (cough).
216:30:49 Roosa (onboard): It's got 60.
216:30:50 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Did CI look good?
216:30:52 Roosa (onboard): Yes. CI was exact.
216:30:53 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Great. 70 by 72.
216:30:55 Roosa (onboard): Okay. It's got its potential back now.
216:30:58 Shepard (onboard): Plus 75.
216:30:59 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:31:00 Shepard (onboard): Plus 76.
216:31:01 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:31:03 Shepard (onboard): Okay, over the top.
216:31:04 Roosa (onboard): It's coming over.
216:31:05 Shepard (onboard): Minus 80. Minus 80, 83.
216:31:12 Roosa (onboard): It's falling.
216:31:13 Shepard (onboard): Minus 90.
216:31:24 Shepard (onboard): Minus 38.
216:31:25 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, we should be in the blackout. Here's 335.
216:31:27 McCandless: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Houston. How do you read? Over.
216:31:28 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:31:30 Mitchell (onboard): We still don't have signal strength.
216:31:33 Roosa (onboard): Okay, we're still on - about 400 on the EMS scroll
216:31:41 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Minus 80. Minus 78.
216:31:42 Roosa (onboard): And it's flying it. Okay, potential's bleeding off.
216:31:44 Shepard (onboard): Minus 66.
216:31:45 Roosa (onboard): Okay, that's good. It's bringing it up.
216:31:47 Shepard (onboard): Minus 64.
216:31:49 Roosa (onboard): Okay. We're still on the dot. We're probably going to go back in for about 3g's here - -
216:31:56 Shepard (onboard): Minus 56. Minus 49.
216:31:59 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:32:02 Shepard (onboard): Minus 38. Houston, Apollo 14. How do you read?
216:32:08 Mitchell (onboard): No signal strength, Al.
216:32:11 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
Ed can see the signal strength indicators on the bottom of his third of the console.
216:32:12 Roosa (onboard): Okay, the EMS is minus 50 - -
216:32:14 Mitchell (onboard): It's starting to come in now.
216:32:15 Roosa (onboard): It's agreeing well. Past 200. It should be leveling it off, and it is.
216:32:21 Shepard (onboard): Minus 50.
216:32:23 Roosa (onboard): Dug in just a little bit.
216:32:24 Shepard (onboard): Yes.
216:32:26 Roosa (onboard): Going right at 3g's.
216:32:28 Shepard (onboard): Aah. That's good.
216:32:29 Roosa (onboard): That's only a g and a half.
216:32:31 Shepard (onboard): Minus 21....
216:32:32 Mitchell (onboard): Houston, Apollo 14. How do you read?
216:32:33 McCandless: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Houston through ARIA 3. How do you read? Over.
216:32:34 Roosa (onboard): Okay, the range potential's beautiful. It's really doing a great job.
216:32:37 Shepard (onboard): Minus 42. Minus 15. Just a little glitch.
216:32:45 Mitchell (onboard): Houston, 14. How do you read?
216:32:45 Shepard: 13; how do you read?
216:32:47 Shepard (onboard): Cross range and down range.
216:32:48 McCandless: Okay, 14. You're coming in loud and a little bit of noise" through ARIA 3. How'd it go?
216:32:54 Mitchell (onboard): Oh, very good. We're pressing right on down.
216:32:55 Shepard: Pretty good. We're - *** ...
216:32:57 Roosa: Things are looking good, Bruce. EMS - CMC checking real well.
216:32:58 Roosa (onboard): Things are looking good, Bruce. EMS, CMC checking real well.
216:33:01 McCandless (onboard): Good show, Stu. On television, looks like a beautiful ***
216:33:02 McCandless: Good show, Stu. On television, looks like a beautiful day out there in the recovery area.
216:33:06 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Minus 48. How do we stand on steam Press?
216:33:11 Mitchell (onboard): Just a minute, I can't get my watch.
216:33:14 Shepard (onboard): Minus 50 - You got so many watches, you can't pull your arm up. Minus 60.
216:33:18 Mitchell (onboard): About a minute to 90K.
216:33:21 Shepard (onboard): Minus 65. 63. Okay!
216:33:28 CC (onboard): 14, Houston. Samoa Rescue 1 has S-Band lock with you.Over.
216:33:30 McCandless: 14, Houston. Samoa Rescue 1 has S-Band lock with you. Over.
216:33:36 Mitchell (onboard): Roger. Thank you.
216:33:36 Shepard: Thank you.
216:33:39 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:33:40 Shepard (onboard): Okay, over the top. Minus -
216:33:41 Roosa (onboard):
216:33:42 Shepard (onboard): Plus 60.
216:33:44 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:33:45 Shepard (onboard): Plus 62.
216:33:48 Shepard: We have 30 seconds ...
We're now 7½ minutes from splash, about 2 minutes - 1½ minutes rather from drogue deploy.
216:33:49 Mitchell (onboard): We estimate 30 seconds from 90K, Bruce.
216:33:53 Roosa (onboard): Okay. We're passing 50-
216:33:57 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Plus 76. Crossrange and downrange are hanging right in there. Burn is 1.0 and plus 145.
216:34:07 Roosa (onboard): Okay. The EMS checks real well with - -
216:34:09 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:34:10 Roosa (onboard): - - what it's doing. It says it's going to head us to target.
216:34:15 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:34:16 McCandless: Okay, 6 plus 28, 14.
216:34:17 CC (onboard): Okay; 6 plus 28, 14.
216:34:21 Mitchell (onboard): Okay. No steam Press pegged yet.
216:34:22 Shepard: Copy for ...
216:34:24 Roosa (onboard): How's ring 1 doing? It's looking good.
216:34:25 McCandless: Roger.
216:34:27 Shepard (onboard): Minus 82.
216:34:28 Roosa (onboard): It's there.
216:34:31 Shepard (onboard): Minus 80. Minus 67; starting back.
216:34:40 Shepard (onboard): There she comes.
216:34:41 Mitchell (onboard): Steam Press starting up.
216:34:42 Shepard: Houston; starting up.
216:34:43 Shepard (onboard): There she comes.
216:34:44 Mitchell (onboard): I got it .
216:34:45 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Minus 62,
216:34:49 Roosa (onboard): EMS is saying an overshoot.
216:34:50 Shepard (onboard): Minus 60.
216:34:52 Mitchell (onboard): Mark; 90K.
216:34:53 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:34:54 Mitchell: Steam press pegged, 90 K.
216:34:56 Roosa (onboard): EMS says we're going to have a slight overshoot.
216:34:59 Shepard (onboard): Okay, over the top; 72.
216:35:00 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:35:03 Shepard (onboard): Okay, and Noun 67, I read 2704, 17269; 2704, 17269.
Verb 16 Noun 67 displays their range to target, plus their present latitude and longitude.
216:35:15 Roosa (onboard): Altimeter's off the peg; 60 grand.
The altimeter functions by measuring the atmospheric pressure outside the spacecraft, and they have now descended enough for it to start displaying.
216:35:16 McCandless: Okay. We copy that, 14. You're looking real good.
216:35:17 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.
216:35:18 CC (onboard): Okay.
216:35:19 Mitchell (onboard): I concur.
216:35:20 CC (onboard): We copy that, 14. You're looking real good.
216:35:21 Shepard: And the altimeter's off the peg. Passing 50 K, Bruce.
216:35:26 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, Cabin Pressure --
216:35:26 McCandless: Roger. Passing 50.
216:35:27 CC (onboard): Roger. Passing 50.
"Those numbers read by A1 Shepard indicate the spacecraft guidance system targeted for a precise splashdown. We should have drogue deploy shortly.
216:35:28 Mitchell (onboard): - - Boost/Entry.
216:35:29 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Pyro's are going armed. Boost/Entry?
216:35:31 Mitchell (onboard): Boost/Entry. Pyros, Arm.
216:35:33 Roosa (onboard): Okay, there's Boost/Entry and the pyro's are armed.
Now at approximately 50,000 feet (15.24 km) an altitude, they set the cabin pressure relief valves to the ENTRY position, which allows for the internal and external pressure to equalize.
216:35:36 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, standing by for -
216:35:38 Mitchell (onboard): 30K.
216:35:39 Roosa (onboard): Okay. We passed - -
216:35:40 Mitchell (onboard): Get me stable at 40.
216:35:41 Roosa (onboard): We're passing 40,
216:35:42 Shepard (onboard): Yes. We're stable.
216:35:43 Mitchell (onboard): Okay. Call 30, then.
216:35:46 Roosa (onboard): All right.
216:35:47 Shepard (onboard): It's still steady as a rock -
216:35:49 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Pyro's are armed. We are Boost/Entry. Okay, about 32.
216:35:55 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, I have you a little earlier - higher than that,.
216:35:57 Roosa (onboard): Okay. There's 30,000.
216:35:59 Mitchell (onboard): ELS Logic, on.
216:36:00 Roosa (onboard): ELS Logic.
216:36:01 Mitchell (onboard): ELS, Auto.
216:36:02 Roosa (onboard): ELS, Auto. I verify them both. Stand by for the drogues.
With ELS Logic On and ELS Auto, they are enabling the parachutes to open automatically based on detection of appropriate atmospheric pressure outside the spacecraft.
216:36:04 Shepard (onboard): Stand by for the drogues.
216:36:05 Mitchell (onboard): All right.
216:36:06 Shepard (onboard): Stand by for apex cover.
216:36:07 Roosa (onboard): Yes, apex cover.
216:36:10 Shepard/Roosa (onboard): There it goes!
216:36:12 Mitchell (onboard): There's the drogue.
216:36:12 Shepard: Drogues are out.
--> nt">
216:36:13 Shepard (onboard): There goes the drogue.
216:36:14 Roosa (onboard): And there goes the drogue.
216:36:15 McCandless: Okay, 14. We copy drogue deploy, and we?ll turn you over to the recovery forces now. Have a happy landing.
216:36:15 Mitchell (onboard): Drogues are out.
216:36:16 Shepard (onboard): Hey. Beautiful.
216:36:22 Shepard: Thank you, Bruce.
Standing by now for the 3 - 83 foot diameter ring sail main chutes to come out.
216:36:23 Shepard (onboard): Nice going, Bruce.
216:36:24 Mitchell (onboard): Real fine job.
216:36:26 Roosa (onboard): Okay. What's the checklist say?
216:36:30 Shepard (onboard): Ed, what's the checklist say?
216:36:31 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, we're just waiting for mains. Stand by. Cabin pressure's going up. Waiting for mains at 10K.
216:36:39 Shepard (onboard): All righty.
216:36:40 Roosa (onboard): Okay, you're passing 14; 13.
216:36:47 Mitchell (onboard): I'm watching your pressure. It's confirming. Cabin pressure's confirming.
216:36:52 Roosa (onboard): Passing 12.
216:36:53 Shepard (onboard): O2 Flow Hi. Ignore it.
The Kitty Hawk's life support system is still operating, and as it detects low pressure in the cabin, the Environmental Control System is attempting to increase the pressure by allowing more oxygen to flow into the cabin from the surge tank.
216:36:54 RELAY: New Orleans, Relay.
216:36:55 Roosa (onboard): No sweat.
216:36:56 NEW: Relay; go.
216:36:57 Mitchell (onboard): Okay, we're about 12,000.
216:36:57 RELAY: New Orleans, Relay. Visual, approximately 130; from the ship, approximately 5 miles; ... 92, relay on station overhead. ...
216:36:58 Roosa (onboard): We're passing 11.
216:37:01 Roosa (onboard): And there go the drogues. And the mains are out free. Oh, we got all three.
216:37:05 Shepard (onboard): Three.
216:37:06 Shepard/Mitchell (onboard): Got all three.
216:37:07 Shepard (onboard): They look great (laughter).
216:37:08 Roosa (onboard): We got three beauties.
216:37:09 Mitchell (onboard): They look great!
216:37:10 Roosa (onboard): They're dereefed.
216:37:12 Mitchell (onboard): Dereefed and - Oh, boy! That's marvelous.
216:37:13 NEW: Roger. ...
216:37:15 Roosa (onboard): Okay, we get three good ones. What do you think of that?
216:37:16 Shepard/Roosa/ Mitchell (onboard): Three.
216:37:17 Roosa (onboard): Aah, look at that - Beautiful! Okay, stay on the checklist. We're passing 8.
216:37:20 Mitchell (onboard): Try to get rid of this camera.
Ed has filmed the parachutes coming out, and now wants to put the DAC 16mm camera away. It should be safely secured before splashdown - on Apollo 12, Alan Bean needed stitches when the camera came off its bracket and hit him on the face.
216:37:20 R-L: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Recovery, Recovery. Over.
216:37:24 Shepard (onboard): Okay.
216:37:26 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.
216:37:27 Roosa (onboard): Beautiful.
216:37:29 Mitchell (onboard): VHF antenna, recovery. Okay.
Their parachute release also pulls out a VHF radio antenna to be used for the recovery communications.
216:37:35 Roosa (onboard): Okay EMS is Off.
216:37:35 P-1: And Photo acquisition.
216:37:37 Mitchell (onboard): VHF A, Simplex.
216:37:39 Shepard (onboard): Roger, Photo.
216:37:39 Shepard: Roger, Photo.
216:37:40 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Surge Tank, Off.
They close the surge tank valve through a knob on Panel 326.
216:37:41 R-L: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Recovery, Recovery. Over.
216:37:45 Shepard (onboard): I got it.
216:37:46 Mitchell (onboard): Repress Package, Off.
Next to be closed is the repress package and its three oxygen bottles.
216:37:46 Shepard: Roger. 14; we're reading you loud and clear.
216:37:47 Shepard (onboard): Apollo 14, Recovery. Reading you loud and clear.
216:37:49 Roosa (onboard): Repress Package is Off.
216:37:50 Mitchell (onboard):
216:37:51 Roosa (onboard): I've done that.
216:37:52 Mitchell (onboard): Direct O2 valve, Open.
216:37:53 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Direct O2 valve coming Open.
Opening the Direct O2 valve facilitates ventilation of the cabin via suit circuit during the final descent.
216:37:56 Mitchell (onboard): Cabin Press, Close.
With the pressure more or less equalized, they now close the cabin relief valves to seal off the spacecraft again. This is in preparation for the RCS propellant dump that will follow momentarily.
216:37:56 Shepard: Read you loud and clear, Recovery.
216:37:59 Shepard (onboard): Reading you loud and clear, Recovery.
216:38:00 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Cabin - Cabin Press, Close. Okay.
216:38:04 R-L: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Recovery, Recovery, Recovery. ... visually. Reactivate recovery beacon. Out.
216:38:05 R (onboard): Apollo 14, Apollo 14. This is Recovery, Recovery, Recovery. We hold you visually. Reactivate recovery beacon. Over.
216:38:15 Roosa (onboard): Okay. Press ahead.
216:38:15 Shepard: Roger.
216:38:16 Shepard (onboard): Roger,
216:38:17 Mitchell (onboard): Okay. We have Command Module RCS Logic ... and Cabin Press, Closed. You got that?
216:38:21 Roosa (onboard): Yes.
216:38:22 Mitchell (onboard): Command Module RCS Logic on.
216:38:24 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:38:25 Mitchell (onboard): Command Module Propellant, Dump.
216:38:27 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:38:29 NEW: Recovery, New Orleans requests ... voice report from Apollo 14. Over.
216:38:30 NEW (onboard): Recovery, New Orleans. Request astronaut voice report from Apollo 14. Over.
216:38:35 R-L: Right there. Wait 1. Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Recovery. Over.
216:38:36 R (onboard): Roger. Wait 1. Apollo 14, Apollo 14; this is Recovery. Over.
216:38:41 Roosa (onboard): Hey, Al?
216:38:43 Shepard (onboard): Yes.
216:38:44 Air Boss: ... Photo is about a mile short. All three chutes look good. Appear to be in good shape.
216:38:45 P-1 (onboard): New Orleans, Photo. Photo is about a mile short. All three chutes look good. Appear to be dereefed.
216:38:51 NEW (onboard): Photo, Roger.
216:38:51 P-1: Photo. Roger.
216:38:56 R-L: Photo, this is Recovery. Do you have any ... transmission?
216:38:57 R (onboard): Photo, this is Recovery. Have you heard any voice transmission?
216:39:00 P-1: Negative, negative. Apollo 14, Apollo 14; Photo. Over.
216:39:01 P-1 (onboard): Negative, negative. Apollo 14, Apollo 14, Photo. Over.
216:39:03 Roosa (onboard):
216:39:06 Shepard (onboard): What ?
216:39:07 Mitchell: PLSS off.
216:39:08 P-1 (onboard): No joy.
216:39:08 Shepard: ... switch in Secondary.
216:39:10 NEW (onboard): Roger. Switching to secondary.
216:39:11 P-1 (onboard): Roger, I'll remain there, too.
216:39:11 Mitchell: Roger. I'll remain ...
216:39:14 NEW (onboard): Apollo 14, New Orleans. Over.
216:39:14 NEW: Apollo 14, New Orleans. Over.
216:39:21 R-L: Apollo 14, this is Recovery. Over.
216:39:33 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.
216:39:34 Roosa (onboard): We're back. Four thousand. Plenty of time....
216:39:36 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Purge.
216:39:36 R-L: Apollo 14, ***
216:39:37 NEW (onboard): Apollo 14, Apollo 14, New Orleans. Over.
216:39:39 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:39:40 Shepard (onboard): I read you loud and clear, New Orleans.
216:39:41 NEW (onboard): Roger. Request your report.
216:39:45 Shepard (onboard): Say again, please.
216:39:47 P-1 (onboard): New Orleans, Photo. Apparently dumping RCS at this time.
216:39:53 NEW (onboard): Roger, Photo.
216:39:54 Roosa (onboard): Give me the checklist, Ed.
216:39:55 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.... complete.
216:39:56 NEW (onboard): Apollo 14, New Orleans. Request crew status and voice report. Over.
216:40:00 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:40:01 Mitchell (onboard): Let's get the ... on.
216:40:08 Mitchell (onboard): We're right on schedule.... to 3000.
216:40:15 P-1 (onboard): New Orleans, Photo on station. Three good. chutes
216:40:16 Mitchell (onboard): ... Command Module RCS Auto to Off.
216:40:17 Shepard: Houston and we have completed dumping.
216:40:18 P-1 (onboard): - - Apparently has completed dumping,
216:40:21 Roosa (onboard): Okay.
216:40:23 P-1: Photo; Roger.
216:40:24 NEW (onboard): Photo, Roger.
216:40:24 Shepard: And ... are at 148 radio at 4 and a half.
216:40:25 P-1 (onboard): And my bearing, New Orleans, 148 radio at 4 and a half.
216:40:30 NEW (onboard): Roger. We hold you on radar.
216:40:30 R-L: Roger. We hold you on radar.
216:40:31 Shepard: Roger; Roger.
216:40:32 P-1 (onboard): Roger. Out,
216:40:33 NEW: Apollo 14, Apollo 14; New Orleans. Over.
216:40:34 NEW (onboard): Apollo 14, Apollo 14, New Orleans. Over.
216:40:37 Shepard: This is 14. Read you loud and clear.
216:40:38 Shepard (onboard): This is 14. Read you loud and clear.
216:40:39 R-L: Roger. Request crew status and position.
216:40:40 NEW (onboard): Roger. Request crew status and position.
216:40:44 Shepard (onboard): Okay. The crew is fine, and we have completed the dump and the purge. We're on the checklist, and everybody's in good shape.
216:40:44 Shepard: The crew is fine. We have completed the dump and the purge. We've run the checklist, and everybody's in good shape.
216:40:52 R-L: Roger. Request position.
216:40:53 NEW (onboard): Roger. Request position.
216:40:53 R-L: Apollo 14, New Orleans requests computer read-out.
216:40:54 Roosa (onboard): Shut the fuck up!
216:40:58 Shepard (onboard): Oh, we ...
216:40:59 Mitchell (onboard): Yes.
216:41:00 Shepard (onboard): Okay....
216:41:00 Shepard: Okay; I give you 2701 and 17266; 2701, 17266.
216:41:01 Mitchell (onboard): Okay. You're okay to go ... cabin pressure ...
216:41:09 NEW (onboard): Audio 14, New Orleans. Request computer read-out
216:41:12 Shepard (onboard): Okay. I give you a 2701 and 17266. 2701. 17206.
216:41:17 R-L: We copy.
216:41:19 NEW (onboard): Roger. Copy.
216:41:20 P-1 (onboard): And passing a thousand feet.
216:41:23 NEW (onboard): Okay.
216:41:24 Roosa (onboard): Roger, we're through a thousand.
216:41:26 NEW (onboard): Roger.
216:41:27 Roosa (onboard): Okay, we're through a thousand, Ed. Cabin Press, Closed.
216:41:30 Mitchell (onboard): Okay. They're both Closed. Main Bus Ties coming Off.
As per the checklist, Ed closes the Cabin Repress valves to prevent seawater entering the spacecraft through them. He also unplugs the entry batteries from the main buses.
Main Bus A failed to disconnected due to a motor switch failure when Ed flipped the
216:41:33 Roosa (onboard): Okay, passing 600 feet.
216:41:35 R (onboard): ... approximately one-half mile.
216:41:36 Roosa (onboard): Stand by for a shock; 500 feet, crew.
216:41:40 Shepard (onboard):
216:41:41 Mitchell (onboard): Okay.
216:41:42 P-1 (onboard): Stand by for splash on third mark.
216:41:45 Roosa (onboard): Okay. I got ... 100 feet. I show a hundred feet
216:41:50 Shepard (onboard): 100 -
216:41:53 P-1 (onboard): Mark. Mark.
216:42:00 P-1 (onboard): Mark.
216:42:02 Roosa (onboard): We did it, Ed.
216:42:03 Shepard (onboard): You got it.
216:42:06 Roosa (onboard): Hey, I think we made it!
216:42:07 Shepard (onboard): Hey, we did!
216:42:08 Roosa (onboard): We made it.... Good show!
216:42:11 Shepard (onboard): Okay. Ha ha!
216:42:13 Mitchell (onboard): ... circuit breaker ...
216:42:15 NEW (onboard): Apollo 14, this is New Orleans. Welcome home.
216:42:17 Shepard (onboard): Thank you, sir.
216:42:18 Roosa (onboard): Thank you, sir.
216:42:19 Shepard (onboard): We're Stable I. Everybody's in good shape.
216:42:22 Roosa (onboard): *whooping noises*
Diagram showing the function of the uprighting balloons and the two possible orientations of the Command Module - Stable I for upright position, Stable II for upside down.
Recovery: Roger.
Unknown crewmember: Two chutes detached, one apparently is draped over the Command Module.
Recovery: Rog. I think that's correct. We can see it through our window.
Unknown crewmember: And auto's off plus one note.
Air Boss: Read you Apollo.
Unknown crewmember: Plus 2R3 and that's a midnight wrap-up.
Air Boss: Rog. 1 2 (garble)
Photo:And Photo coming up with second smoke drop (garbled) two moving up for grappling for the main chutes.
Recovery:Photo from Recovery. If you can get through, request a crew condition after splashdown.
Recovery: Roger, Apollo 14 report your crew condition. Over.
Unknown crewmember: We're in good shape in here.
Photo: Roger, did you copy, Recovery?
Recovery: Negative, we got him very weak.
Photo: Roger, they're in good shape.
Swim Three: This is Swim Three. You're getting a little harsh. You've got the radar picture of the Command Module.
Photo One: Photo one, one open (garbled) one chute. They've got the (garbled) operation on the main chute Command Module stable 1 riding easy on the seastate. Over.
Photo One: New Orleans, Photo.
Recovery: Roger, go ahead.
Photo One: Roger, request permission to put swimmers in water when (garbled) Over.
Recovery: Permission granted.
Photo One: Rog.
Photo One: And our grappling hook appears to be imbedded in one chute.
Photo One: And Photo has visual on VHF antennas. Command module flashing light appears to be off.
Spotting the recovery antennas on the top of the Command Module is an important safety cue for the swimmers. Climbing onto the spacecraft with undeployed antennas could dangerous, should the antennas suddenly spring up.
Swim One helicopter, piloted by Commander Paul K. Hine of Alhambra, California, has requested permission to put its swimmers in the water.
Photo: Swim Two from Photo. One main chute, I believe, is too deep to get. The other one is remaining on the Command Module (garbled). Recommend you deploy swimmers.
Photo: Swim two, Roger. (garbled)
Recovery: Roger, you have permission to drop your swimmers in. Recommend dropping two swimmers due to the shroud lines and problems associated with that.
Speaker: (garbled) standby position.
Photo: Roger, request you look up wind for the swim one.
Swim One: Roger.
Swim one requesting permission to drop two swimmers at this time to handle the parachute shroud lines which are in the water.
Swim One: Swimmer's in the water and has his thumbs up.
Swim One: Swimmers approaching the Command Module.
Recovery: Swimmer has moved around the Command Module and has attached the sea anchor and is swimming up wind.
Recovery: Apollo Recovery near by there.
It appears that at least one of the three main parachute shroud lines did not detach from the Command Module; we can still see it attached. Normally those lines would be disconnected primarily to prevent the main parachutes from pulling the spacecraft into the Apex down or upside down attitude, but it does appear to be holding well in the stable one right side up attitude.
Recovery: The anchor is extended to the full length aboard Apollo and is being deployed.
Recovery: Main anchor appears to be deployed. Swimmer is returning to the Command Module now.
And the swimmer reports that the sea anchor has been deployed; he'll be returning to the spacecraft.
Recovery: Swimmer is back at the Command Module. Has come on the Command Module go ahead.
Unknown crewmember: Negative, we have the information.
Recovery: Swimmer is checking over to the Command Module swimming around it.
Prior to attempting to attach the flotation collar, the procedure will be to cut the shroud lines separating the parachute from the spacecraft.
Recovery: Number 2 swimmer is cutting the shroud lines to the main parachute. And the swimmer has cut about half the shroud lines to the main chute. Appears to be one remaining shroud.
Swimmer now cutting the shroud lines attaching the parachute to the spacecraft. One shroud line still remaining.
Recovery: Frogmen swimming back around to the down wind side of the Command Module. Frogman is signaling for a swimmer to (garble) for him. Swimmer two is in ready to position. Frogman 2 moving up for recovery. The swimmers are (garble) the flotation collar. There's only one flotation. Number two (garble) are ready for (garble). Flotation collar is at the Command Module. Got one (garble) collars. Bungy cord is being extended around the Command Module.
The swimmer is now putting stretchable bungy cord around the base of the spacecraft prior to attaching the flotation collar.
Recovery: He has it extended around the Command Module.
Unknown crewmember: Bruce, would you get the collar baggers to help us.
Unknown crewmember: And what was the reaccess, rechecking the [Garble].
Unknown crewmember: [Garble]
Speaker: All right. Roger. Up.
Speaker: Okay.
Speaker: Flotation collar baggers to help them.
Unknown crewmember: Recovery, Apollo 14.
Recovery: This is Recovery reading. Apollo 14, go ahead.
Unknown crewmember: [Garble] I don't see any reason to inflate our bags. Do you agree?
Recovery: This is Recovery. I agree. [Garble] you're waiting in the water and the collar should be on in about 11 minutes.
Unknown crewmember: Sounds great. We'll keep them in.
Recovery: Roger.
Recovery: The flotation collar is approximately half way round the Command Module.
Recovery: And the flotation collar is being extended completely around the Command Module.
Recovery: The flotation collar did hang up somewhat. on the shroud lines hanging down, however the swimmers are untangling those areas.
Recovery: Garble.
Recovery: New Orleans go ahead.
Recovery: Roger, request that the Command Module does not inflate flotation bags, would you check with the capsule to make sure it's all right, over.
Shepard:This is Al let's go ahead, D, RAT.
Recovery: Roger.
Unknown crewmember: This is 14, we read too. We do not intend, do not intend to inflate our bags.
Speaker: The flotation collar is completely around the Command Module and [Garble].
Recovery: Flotation collar appears to be attached, the swimmers are checking for equal spacing.
The swimmers in the water now are from the swim 2 helicopter, piloted by Lieutenant Commander Thomas C. Bartholomew of South Bend, Indiana.
Recovery: Flotation collar appears to be fully inflated.
And we heard that report. The collar appears now fully inflated.
Recovery: Swimmers are checking installation and checking flotation collar support straps.
Recovery: One swimmer is climbing aboard the flotation collar. [Garble].
Swim: Apollo 14, how do you read me?
Unknown crewmember: Go ahead.
Speaker: Roger, did you get a good fuel dump as far as you can tell?
Unknown crewmember: That's affirmative. We got the complete burn to complete dump.
Speaker: Recovery, Roger.
New Orleans: Apollo 14, New Orleans.
Speaker: Garble.
Speaker: Stand by one.
Speaker: Roger, what's verification of ship you have on VOV closure.
Unknown crewmember: Okay, we'll get it for you right now.
Speaker: Roger.
Speaker: And the swimmer is (garble)
Speaker: Reading, that's right.
Speaker: With the coder, we're departing REAR position with the SL.
Speaker: (garble) Recovery, Roger.
Speaker: The first swimmer's in the water.
The three swimmers in the water, now deploying a raft which they'll back off to a distance from the Command Module while the decontamination swimmer is deployed, and he will decontaminate the spacecraft area after the crew is - has gotten out, and he'll also hand in through the open hatch to them the masks that they will wear. The breathing masks, then the clean flight suits that they will don inside the spacecraft.
Speaker: The egress raft appears to be open.
Speaker: The egress raft is being attached to the flotation collar.
The raft currently being attached to the flotation collar is the crew egress raft. This is the raft that the crew will get into after the hatch is open.
Speaker: Egress raft has been attached to flotation collar. The egress raft has been attached to the flotation collar.
Speaker: (Garbled)
Speaker: One raft.
Speaker: (Garbled)
Speaker: Approaches the Command Module.
Speaker: Photo north
Speaker: And one raft is in the water, ready for (garble)
Speaker: Roger. Can you confirm that all 3 canopies, that we can tow away and the empty shroud line that are dangling.
Speaker: We'll try to, that is affirmative. That is affirmative.
Speaker: One has been cut away, only one which is remaining (garble)
Speaker: Roger.
Speaker: (garbled)
Speaker: And they are moving into position. Over.
Speaker: There is one chute was hooker with the grappling hook. (Garble)
The three swimmers, Lt. Junior grade Michael L. Slager, Reno, Navada, Yeoman Third Class Rudy R. Davis of Piketon, Ohio and Gunner's Mate Third Class, Larry F. Fallerof Reading, Pennsylvania, will get into the second raft now, and await the arrival of the decontamination swimmer.
Speaker: (garble) can get at least one up.
Speaker: The swimmer will remove the cover hatch(garble)
Speaker: Want them.
Speaker: The swimmer is at Command Module with the (garbled) line. Over.
Speaker: The swimmer's line is hanging attached to the egress raft.
Speaker: Swimmer is returning to the egress raft.
Speaker: One (garbled) is in line for recovery (garble) ready position..
Speaker: The egress raft is being moved up wind from the Command Module.
Speaker: Swimmer is in the egress raft.
Speaker: (garbled)
Speaker: And Swimmers circling to (garbled), Recovery, for the (garble) decontamination. Recovery is recording a ready position.
Speaker: Swimmer One is (garbled)
Speaker: Recovery approaching the spacecraft. Decontamination swimmer is in the water with the thumbs up. Recovery moving out in (garbled) to ready position. Decontamination swimmer is in the (garbled)
Speaker: Recovery positioning for approach to decontamination gear.
Photo: (garbled)
Recovery: Photo, say again.
Photo: (garbled) Apollo 14, the probe (garbled) is going out now.
Speaker: Roger (garbled)
Speaker: (garbled) decontamination equipment...
Speaker: (garbled)
Speaker: (garbled)
Photo: And Recovery, we're approaching - swimmer has the decontamination equipment (garbled) is approaching to hook up the chutes (garbled)
Speaker: (garbled)
Speaker: (garbled) approaching the swimmer
Speaker: (garbled) on the water, The decontamination (garbled)
Speaker: Decontamination (garbled) Command Module.
Speaker: The decontamination equipment has been removed from the rescue net.
Speaker: (garbled) The rescue net is being returned - returned to (garble)
Speaker: Swimmers are putting on their swim gear.
Speaker: (garbled)
Speaker: Swimmers are continuing to put on their diving gear.
Speaker: [Garble]
Speaker: [Garble] underwater and [Garble] examinations coming off easier.
Speaker: 45 [Garble]
Speaker: 45 [Garble] to the Command Module.
Speaker: [Garble]
Speaker: [Garble] the Command Module.
Speaker: The swimmer is at the Command Module and [Garble].
Speaker: Give them the MOD container. Do they want this color?
Speaker: The contamination equipment has been moved from the LM [Garble] of the [Garble].
Speaker: Garble. The decontamination swimmer is visually checking the astronaut through the hatch.
Speaker: [Garble].
Speaker: Underwater recovery is now in decontamination.
Swimmer: Swimmer now [Garble] going into [Garble].
Speaker: [Garble].
Unknown crewmember: Okay.
Speaker: Decontamination swimmer is removing the decontamination equipment bags.
Unknown crewmember: [Garble]
Speaker: Go ahead.
Speaker: Are the hatches being open. Is the decontamination equipment [Garble].
Speaker: [Garble]
Speaker: The swimmers are now waiting on the Astronauts to complete their clean off area drill. [Garble].
Speaker: [Garble]
The communications with the crew and the description of recovery activities are coming to us from Commander William E. Walker, the pilot of the prime recovery helicopter.
Recovery: The astronauts are still putting on their decontamination suits. (garble) Roger. Report the crew are (garble)
Speaker: Roger.
Recovery: The hatch is being reopened. (garble) We visually sighted the (garble) slight angle that was (garble) the Command Module (garble) and it was between 1/4 mile and one mile (garble). And the first astronaut is outside the Command Module and has a (garble A second astronaut is in egress now.
The Apollo 14 trio onboard the life raft.
Speaker: And the third astronaut has exited from the Command Module, and is in the egress raft.
Speaker: The decontamination swimmer is closing the hatch to the Command Module. (garble) in the raft with the astronauts. And the swimmer is rushing it's way to the recovery. The swimmer is departing the ray of position. And the rescue net is coming out of the aircraft. The recovery approaching the Command Module. The rescue net is approaching the egress raft. The rescue net has been down in the water. And recovery is approaching the egress raft. The Command Module is being blown up on it's (garble). The rescue net is approaching the decontamination swimmer, and he has it. The rescue net is on the egress raft. (garble) complete now, the first astronaut, and I believe, it's astronaut Roosa is aboard the rescue net.
Air Boss: Recovery helicopter reporting astronaut Roosa aboard the recovery net.
Speaker:Next astronaut on his way up. The recovery moving up, and it is astronaut Roosa. That's confirmed, he's on his way up. Astronaut Roosa is half way into recovery hatch. Astronaut Roosa is on deck, and he is safely aboard recovery. Recovery positioning for second pick-up. The rescue mat is out of the hatch, and recovery is approaching the Command Module. The rescue net is approaching the egress raft, and the rescue net has been dropped in the water. The decontamination swimmer has the net, and placing it on the egress raft. The ancor has been placed in the rescue net, and the second astronaut is aboard. The astronaut is on his way up, and it's astronaut Mitchell. He's approximately half way up.
Speaker: Astronaut Ed Mitchell.
Ed Mitchell reported the second crewman on the way up to the recovery helicopter.
Helo I: Astronaut Mitchell is approaching the hatch to (garble)
Helo I: The rescue net is in the hatch. Astronaut Mitchell is safely aboard Recovery.
Helo I: I Recovery repositioning. Prepare to push. Recovery approaching for another pickup.
Helo I: Recovery approaching the Command Module.
Helo I: Rescue net is in the water, has been(garble)
Helo I: And the rescue net is approaching the egress raft.
Helo I: Contamination swimmer has the rescue net aboard the egress raft.
Helo I: The anchor has been placed aside and Astronaut Shepard is aboard the rescue net.
Speaker: The net is about half way
Helo I: Shepard is on the way up. Recovery is moving out from raft. Astronaut Shepard is (garble). Astronaut Shepard is approaching the hatch. Astronaut Shepard is safely aboard recovery.
Speaker: Garble.
Speaker: Roger. Request you resume your original position.
Helo I: New Orleans Recovery, Astronauts aboard and in o.k. condition.
Recovery: New Orleans, Roger.
Speaker: Photo switchback.
Speaker: Okay.
Helo I: And New Orleans, Recovery, (garble).
Speaker: Tower (garble)
Speaker: (garble)
This is Apollo Control. The prime recovery ship reported its estimate on the splashdown coordinates agreed almost precisely with the onboard spacecraft readout, 27 degrees 2 minutes south, 172 degrees 40 minutes west. That splashdown occurred at 216 hours 42 minutes.
NASA bosses captured in jubilation: Robert Gilruth, Center Director of Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC, Houston); George Low ; Dale Myers, Associate Administrator for Manned Spaceflight.
And as the helicopter touched down on the deck we have a delighted crowd in Mission Control here applauding. Shortly the cigars will be lighted up as the crew steps out onto the deck of the recovery ship, the helicopter landing platform NEW ORLEANS.
The helicopter now being towed to the elevator to be taken below deck for the crew to egress and enter the mobile quarantine facility.
Recovery:At this part of the operation wont be rushed because even if seas are relatively smooth as today, the ship does pitch and roll a bit and there's always some small danger of an aircraft that does not have choc blocks around its wheels and still being able to go towards the edge of the carrier. Extra care is taken. Now you see the helicopter being headed out onto the platform of this large elevator that will take it below deck. This carrier the "New Orleans" is probably less than 600 feet long about half the length of the largest carriers afloat. Also, relatively light, about 18 000 tons and its draft, that is the distance it settles into the water, is about 30 feet or so. There you see a shot from hangar deck. The deck to which the helicopter will soon be lowered and there's part of the ceremony being made ready now for the eventual arrival of the recovery helicopter. (music). And there you hear a navy band below deck, striking up in honor of the astronauts. (music)
A Navy band onboard is playing 'Stars and Stripes Forever' by Sousa with enough volume that it is heard on the radio loop.
The USS New Orleans (LPH-11) was an Iwo Jima Class amphibious assault ship, of the first class of ships in the Navy dedicated as helicopter carriers. At 598 feet in length, (182 meters) and displacing 19,431 tons, she was indeed small compared to the 1,070-foot long Forrestal and Kitty Hawk class air craft carriers in service at the time, which displaced up to 81,780 tons while fully laden. The New Orleans would go on to support the recoveries of Skylab 3 in September 1973, Skylab 4 in February 1974, and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975.
Mission Control celebrates with the cigars. Front: Gerry Griffin. Milton Windler is behind Griffin (turned to the other side.) Glynn Lunney and M.P. Frank applaud. Chief of the Astronaut Office Tom Stafford, Director of Flight Crew Operations Deke Slayton and CapCom, astronaut Ron Evans are visible on the next row.
The traditional cigars are being lighted up now by mission control by all the people who supported the mission from the staff support rooms around the periphery of the control center, pour in on the floor here, ready for the crew to step out from the helicopter.
Recovery: Slowly the recovery helicopter is wheeled back off that elevator and into the large, sort of gymnasium size area in the center of this ship that is the hangar deck. It is here on this deck that NASA has established the mobile quarantine facility for the astronauts, they will spend two days in there, while the ship steams northward toward the island of American Samoa. Of course, from there the astronauts go on by plane to Houston. But, both on the ship and on the plane they will be staying in a sort of a modified trailer arrangement called a mobile quarantine facility.
The crew emerging from the recovery helicopter. They are wearing fresh flight suits and protective masks, but no gloves.
Recovery: One NASA doctor went into the mobile quarantine facility here on ship last Thursday evening. That was so he wouldn't get some last minute Earthly illness from someone onboard the recovery ship transfer those Earth germs to the astronauts while he's checking them out for possible Moon germs. Now the recovery helicopter is just about back in the right spot for the astronauts to be allowed out of the helicopter and down these stairs and these are historic stairs, though they may not appear to be. Those stairs have felt the tread of every man who's ever walked on the surface of the Moon. The hatch opening now, and here they come. The Apollo 14 astronauts. Waving, obviously glad to be back; glad it's over. Looking forward to getting all the way home once again. Posing for pictures now, Alan Shepard, Ed Mitchell, and Stuart Roosa. (Applause). The NASA physician entering the quarantine facilities with them and the NASA physiologist outside decontaminating the area by spreading his special disinfectant along the area along which they have walked. The NASA doctor in the mobile quarantine facility will spend about 3-1/2 hours checking over each of the astronauts later today. He conducted physicals on them shortly before their mission and he'll compare the data. The Captain of the ship, Robert Moore.
The Commanding officer of the New Orleans is Captain Robert Edward Moore, holding the post since December 15, 1970.
Captain Moore: Gentlemen, on behalf of officers and crew of the ship and on behalf of all America, welcome back to Earth and especially welcome back to the U.S.S. New Orleans. To give thanks for your safe return our chaplain will now offer prayer.
Chaplain Hill: Oh, Lord God, your blessings of safety to astronauts Shepard, Roosa, and Mitchell and success of their mission stirs world-wide gratitude and rejoicing. Bless the success of our technical progress to the enrichment of our souls. Grant our leaders and society as a whole the wisdom to translate the knowledge gained from this great creative experience into the service of all mankind and to the honor of your holy name. Amen.
Captain Moore: Thank you Chaplain Fred Hill. It's now my pleasure to present Admiral Hayward in charge of the Task Force 130, your recovery force. Admiral Hayward.
Rear Admiral Thomas Bibb Hayward is in command of the recovery task force. He would later become the Chief of Naval Operations from 1978 to 1982. Hayward had also taken part in the Project Mercury astronaut selection program in 1959.
Admiral Hayward:Hello, Al.
Shepard:Tom, how are you doing?
Admiral Hayward: Stu, Ed.
Admiral Hayward: Behind you, hanging from the overhead in a position that unfortunately you can't see at the present time, is a massive banner that stretches almost completely across the width of the hanger deck. And it probably stands 15 feet long and says, "All American welcomes Apollo 14 astronauts, Shepard, Roosa, Mitchell." And these words, brief as they are, represents the deep feelings of all the people who have made up your recovery team. We are Just tremendously impressed with the proceeding that this entire Apollo 14 mission has been carried out and tremendously impressed with how precise this successful splashdown recovery has gone. Your accomplishments and exploits over the last week and a half have reexcited men everywhere around the world and they have reaffirmed that men can still perform miracles if they will pull together in the same direction. And we're Just tremendously impressed. What you have done has proven once more that men have the skill and the technical capability and the courage, the initiative, the stamina, and is willing to take risks, many of which he cannot even fully define in his search for new horizons to conquer and particularly in his peaceful conquests of our universe. I can assure you that nobody - nobody has a greater pride in what you have done, or is more elated in your being back here than the hundreds of people who have made up your recovery team. The men of the United States Navy, United States Air Force, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the many civilians that are here representing industry and the companies of our great country, we all collectively are tremendously proud and honored to have been provided the opportunity by you to play a small part in this just imminently successful mission and we applaud the magnificence in the way you have pulled it off and we salute you as fellow Americans. Now I'd like to introduce to you a man whom you all know, Major General Stevenson, who is director of operations from the office of Manned Space Flight NASA Headquarters in Washington. General Stevenson.
Major General John D. Stevenson became a NASA administrator after retiring from the US Air Force.
General Stevenson: Gentlemen, on behalf of NASA, the Office of Manned Space Flight, and I'm sure I speak for the astronauts, I want to express appreciation for the recovery job that was done by the New Orleans, captain and crew and the officers and men of the helicopter squadron 6. In the business we're in, where there is little room for error, it is obvious that their emphasis on excellence in achievement made them worthy of a part of the Apollo team. A1 and Ed and Stu, you've had a long trip to the Moon. You overcame some major difficulties, you had a lot of nagging minor problems and you whipped all of them and you brought off a huge success for the mission. I want to tell you that the program and the country was never more sorely in need of a successful mission, the one that your brought off. I wonder if the three of you would - you'll probably be asked 1000 times about all the problems that went wrong. How about telling about your most exciting moments and most rewarding moments on your way to the Moon.
Shepard: Okay, let me start out. General Stevenson, thank you very much for your comment, and Tom, thanks a lot for your kind words. It sure is nice to be back home again. We appreciate the pickup, Captain Moore. Appreciate your kind words. We're glad to see the mayor of Houston here aand some other distinguished guests, and let me re-echo your words about that fantastic recovery. We were still trying to get ready to get out when the boys were ready to have us. I don't think we've had a recovery as - handled as efficiently and as speedily and indeed as quick as that one. We've just tickled with it and we appreciate it very much. Of course, we did come kind of close to the target area, but that may be incidental. We have had a terrific flight, as the general points out. It's been just completely super all the way around. We've had a lot of problems - had some problems, but I don't think there is any question about the fact that for me the most thrilling moment is right now, not only because we're back from a trip to the Moon, but also because I'm back home. Ed.
Mitchell: I think A1 has said all that can be and need be said, but I would like to repeat the thanks to Admiral Hayward and Captain Moore, and General Stevenson for your very kind words. I think we have had a very successful trip. We all enjoyed it immensely. We had a good time doing it and it was worth all those little moments of doubt, when the problems arose, just to conquer them and be back and I would like to thank this recovery team for a beautiful recovery and especially might as well bring in our MOCR team that's done such a good job of getting us here in the first place. Thank you, gentlemen.
Roosa: After all the sentiments, my own personal thanks to everybody involved in the recovery. You know, in- the last 9 days I've seen some rather fantastic sights, but I guess right up among the top of them is the sight of this carrier today, when we looked out of that window of the hatch.
Shepard: That's pretty good for an Air Force man.
Roosa: Yes, and speaking from an Air Force type, it's a real priviledge to fly Navy and we thank all of you.
General Stevenson: Well to take you back a couple of days. Did the surface of the Moon look like about what they had briefed you on before you took off on the mission or were there some changes from you had expected?
Shepard: Well, actually from the standpoint of planform of the target area, General, it looked exactly what we had been practicing with. As soon as the vehicle pitched over for the final stages of the approach, I think Ed and I both simultaneously recognized the target area and recognized that the guidance and steering and trajectory were right - right in there on the target area. I had originally planned to land a little bit south of the targeted point because the maps and the the relief contours showed that to be a little more level, a little more smooth. But in fact it did not appear to be appropriate so we shifted a couple of hundred feet to the north and landed in an area that was smoother. It was on a little slope but after we got out and looked around we realized there really wasn't any level ground around there, so I think that we landed in a good spot and we ._ certainly had a lot of good rocks to collect while we were there.
General Stevenson: Was the trip up Cone Crater rougher or rockier than you had anticipated?
Shepard: I think it Just took us longer. We had no difficulty at any time, either in navigating around the larger rocks, the boulders, and going up the slope, not only withthe vehicle, but also without it, and we took the vehicle all the way with us all the way up. We had no problems in navigating. It's Just that there were so many interesting things to do it Just took us so long to get there. It was just a matter of running out of time. We had a planned time to come back in, as you know, and it was Just a matter of not having enough time to do all the things we wanted.
General Stevenson: Al, today you were the last man out of the Command Module. You were also the first American in space. You have been the earliest and the latest, one of the shortest and qualifying for one of the longest, certainly the shortest and there are some of your friends here that say you can't harken back that far, but how about giving us a comparison between the first Mercury mission and the one you just came back from.
Shepard: Well, General, frankly I'm not really a student of history, and as you pointed out it was a long time ago, and it was a great ride. This last one was a great ride, f- too. Also, fortunately, it will not be the last ride. There will be other flights going - space flights going to the Moon and space laboratories and shuttles and so on, but this was a great thrill, there is no question about it. I would like to say that I've worked with a lot of very talented people in my life, a lot of very dedicated people, but never have I worked with two more talented and dedicated people than I've got in here with me right now. Ed and Stu I think did a tremendous job, not only in the training program but also during the flight. Their dilegence and their hard work certainly contributed to the success of the mission to a tremendous degree and I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank them for doing a fantastic job.
Mitchell: Well, thank you Al. We had a great leader to work with and that helped a lot.
Captain Moore: If I could say again that we welcome you back. I've got to return to the bridge to recover your spacecraft, but Admiral continue, and Admiral has a few questions about - one of our lookouts spotted that coming down and we found it on the flight deck, so maybe you can explain to the Admiral about that.
Admiral Hayward: I don't care what anybody says, it's got to be the longest six iron in the world.
Admiral Hayward: I understand it doesn't hook or slice up there. Is that right?
Shepard:No, straight as a dye.
Admiral Hayward: We hope to have the President on the line to you in the next few minutes, also, later on perhaps we'll get your wives and families on the telephone with you.
Shepard: That will be fine, Tom, thank you.
Speaker: I'd like to ask Stu a question. I've often wonder what the Lone Ranger's feeling like as he's going around the Moon up there all by himself with people on both sides, but there you are, alone.
Roosa: Well, actually I was so busy that you really didn't have time to consider the fact that you're by yourself and I'd also spent so many hours in the simulator by myself that I think I was well prepared for it and by the time I got to the end of that first day in lunar orbit I was well tired and trying to get as much sleep, how little it was, before the next day that I really didn't have time to think - to dwell too much on being alone. I've always liked to fly by myself anyway. I've always considered more than one seat in an air plane too many so I think I was well suited for that.
Speaker: You mean these guys were heckling you throughout the flight?
Shepard: Listen, he had his own special music we wouldn't let him play when we were onboard so he had something to do while we were gone.
Roosa: Yeah, I had to get by myself to play my music.
Speaker: Maybe you can't answer this because I know you do have so many restrictions on what NASA wants you to discuss before a complete debrief, but probably the only major diversion from what you all call a nominal flight was the initial docking effort as you left the Earth orbit and started on your way to the Moon. Did you have any real concern that you were or weren't going to lick the problem and maybe have to abort?
Shepard: Well, there was certainly some concern there, Tom, not only on our part but on the part of the people in Houston who were wrestling with the problem also. We had several - well, at least two alternatives I can think of that were not tried, levels of degree of difficulty perhaps beyond what we finally did. I don't think that really at any time that any of us ever thought that we wouldn't be able to get the two vehicles together, even if we had to open the hatches and go pressurized and reach out and pull them in.
Admiral Hayward: Great. Most of the peole here have been at sea for a few days and unfortunately weren't able to watch on television any of the exploits, although we did get film aboard that showed the liftoff, and I know that the crew would very much appreciate - - - the crew would very much appreciate hearing perhaps Ed you could tell us what was the most Impressive thing as you, made you Moon walk out there. What, what really struck you the most.
Mitchell: I don't think anyone could every be prepared, Admiral. Either by prior discription or photograph with the starkness, the desolation, at the same time the magnificance of the landscapes that you see as you step out on the surface. The sky as opposed to the beautiful blue we have here, is cold black, with no atmosphere it's absolutely black. As compared with a very sharp horizon which is brown, or gray, depending on the lighting at the particular moment, and it is so clear, and it is so stark, and the shadows are so sharp, not, not soften by atmosphere at any way. That it is probably the most stark stark scene and desolution one can immagine, and yet completely magnificant. And there are very, it is very hard to fine the words that would express that same feeling because pictures certainly do not do it.
Admiral Hayward: What do you think of Apollo 15, you leave some work up there for them to do?
Mitchell: Man, there's a lot of work on that Moon to do, Admiral. We need a, a lot of work.
Shepard: A lot of rocks still left up there.
Admiral Hayward: Well, when you got to Cone crater, did you run out of time, or would it had been the problem of getting to the top.
Mitchell: No, the top was too far away. There was just not enough time to do it. We could have spend more time at every stop we made, and we had to rush on and mission control was urging us on, and there were so many craters to look at, so many rocks we could have picked up. We could have gone further up Cone and around Cone and we had to hurry to come lopping back down the hill with out even getting to Cone crater, really the rim of it.
Shepard: Yea, there were some fantastic sights up there and there was no question about that the boulders all looked diffenent than any boulders you've ever seen and the colors looked different as Ed pointed out, it's really very stark black sky, but I think that the crux of the matter is that we collected rocks from very close to the top of the crater and I'm sure that we've got some that were thrown out from that particular crater, which of course was the objective. They didn't necessarily have to come right from the rim, as long as they came from the crater. So, I feel that from that standpoint, that we were entirely successful on that particular part of the job.
Admiral Hayward: We had a lot of thrills during this thing down here, I'll tell you during the recovery it was something to watch, we were able to pick you up, visually a long period of time before the main chutes deployed, and saw you come on down on the drogue chute and the pop the main chute, and I don't suppose I'm one to spectulate on close you were, but it seems to me you broke the record with out much doubt about dropping down on target. You were dead ahead of the ship, and it was just no problem. I don't know if you could see the photo helicopter which was just along side of you when you were up still above the lower cloud deck probably 5 thousand feet and following you all the way down. It was a tremendous recovery and you were right smack on target and a great job.
Shepard: With out even measuring it, Admiral, we'll believe it was a new record.
Mitchell: Yeah, we'll take you word for it Tom.
Shepard: Mayor Welch, we're glad to see you here today. Appreciate you coming out. Bringing your greetings from the city of Houston, we hope to be back in Just a couple of days.
Present also is Louie Welch, the Mayor of Houston from 1964 to 1973.
Admiral Hayward: The skipper of the heli squadron is here some place, where is he, Bill. Well, I guess he ducked, no here he comes. Thought you might like to see the guy whose got these young fellows all charged up. Al, you and I don't remenber that the helicopter pilots can be as charged up as fighter pilots, but this bunch is, and they really do a great job.
Speaker: Do you feel like saying something.
Shepard: Yeah, I really appreciate that pick up, that was smooth.
Speaker: Thank you very much captain. It certainly was a pleasure for our squadron to participate in this event in the space program, and it certainly was a thrill in my life time to be on the receiving end of your trajectory in here.
Speaker: It's pretty obviously, pretty obviously thrills very well. It was a very smooth operation.
Speaker: Well, we had some good instructors. I think they've got it down pat now. We'd be very happy to do it any time.
Speaker: Thank you.
Admiral Hayward: I think we will go ahead and conclude this ceremony. The call hasn't come in yet, and I know the doctors are anxious to get on with the probing and the problems that you've got to put up with.
Mitchell: Keep talking John, keep talking.
Admiral Hayward: Well, I do want to tell you how good it is to have you back here. We all Just tremendously elated over the whole thing and we really ought to say again, that the entire country owes you a great debt of graditude, and the admiration of what you have done, and particularly for showing that free men can still dare to dream and go ahead and fulfill their dreams. And you've done it in the sight of the whold world, and we're just fantasticy proud of ,_ what you've done. We'll see you tomorrow
Tony Sargent: And so all those days of practice by the ships crew, the helicopter pilots, navy swimmers, and NASA officials paid off. After the carrier picks up the Command Module, which it will be doing in Just a few minutes, it goes on to American Samoa and on that island the astronauts board that awaiting Jet plane and then they will be on the last leg of their journey home to Houston. Tony Sargent aboard the carrier New Orleans.
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