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Day 3, part 2: Entering the LM Journal Home Page Day 4, part 2: Light flash experiment

Apollo 17

Day 4, part 1: Clock update

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 2017 by W. David Woods and Ben Feist. All rights reserved.
Last updated 2017-12-26
048:57:45 - This is Apollo Control at 48 hours, 58 minutes. At present time in Mission Control, Flight Director Gene Kranz is going around the room polling each of his Flight Controllers on the mission status and all the reports are coming up very good. The Orbital Science Officer said that the temperatures in the SIMbay where the various scientific instruments will be used in lunar orbit to observe the Moon from orbit appear to be about as would be expected at this time. During the previous shift, the film in the panoramic and mapping cameras was cycled and this is done once every 24 hours if the cameras are not used, to prevent the pressure points on the film in the transport mechanism from creating striations in the film emulsion, and those cameras are cycled ahead several frames to move that pressure point around on the film emulsion. During Lunar Module housekeeping when the crew entered the LM on the previous shift, everything looked to be in order in that vehicle. And the Guidance and Control officer reports that the midcourse correction maneuver performed earlier in the day - was very close to nominal. Also, the Command Module is running a bit ahead of the Flight Plan schedule as far as Reaction Control System propellent usage and Service Propulsion System propellent usage and we have a bit more than had been predicted for this point in the flight. And the Electrical Environmental Communications Officer, EECOM, said that in general the Command Module - the Command and Service Module appear to be in very good shape. Apollo 17, at this time, is 75,975 nautical miles [140,706 km] from the Moon and we're showing a velocity with respect to the Moon of 3,325 feet per second [1,013 m/s]. We don't anticipate any further conversation with the crew, having said goodnight to them - and we are planning to give them an additional 30 minutes on their rest period if they so desire. The rest period, according to the Flight Plan, is scheduled to end at a Ground Elapsed Time of 56 hours. However, we do not plan to put in a call to the crew until 56 hours, 30 minutes; giving them the option to sleep an additional 30 minutes if they so desire. We showed at 48 hours, 38 minutes, or about 23 minutes ago, that they had turned off the voice subcarriers indicating that they were preparing to bed down and get to sleep. During this sleep shift, we'll plan to have the air-to-ground lines down to minimize the amount of noise on these circuits. We'll be recording any conversation with the crew and will be prepared to bring the lines up in very short order should we have any calls from the crew. At 49 hours, 2 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
049:57:00 - This is Apollo Control at 49 hours, 57 minutes. It's been nearly an hour and a half since we said goodnight to the crew and there's been no change in the status of the spacecraft or operations here in the Control Center. Everything's progressing along very smoothly at this point. We don't expect to put in a call to the crew until 56 hours, 30 minutes Ground Elapsed Time or about 6½ hours from now. Apollo 17 is now 74,098 nautical miles [137,230 km] from the Moon and the spacecraft velocity is 3,317 feet per second [1,011 m/s] with respect to the Moon. The Flight Dynamics Officer has the option of setting up the display which gives us the velocity of the spacecraft and its distance relative to either the Moon or the Earth. And his option is to look at the spacecraft position and velocity with respect to the Moon or to Earth. At the present time, we are looking at those parameters with respect to the Moon. The large display plot up on the large 10 by 20 foot describing plotter display at the front of the Control Center shows us that the spacecraft is now approaching 160,000 nautical miles [300,000 km] from Earth. At 49 hours, 59 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
050:58:00 - This is Apollo Control at 50 hours, 58 minutes. The crew has been in a rest period now for about 2½ hours. The Flight Surgeon, has bio-medical data on the commander Gene Cernan. Indicates that at least Cernan is soundly asleep at this time and we presume that all three crew members are sleeping. Wake up call is scheduled for 56 hours, 30 minutes or about 5½ hours from now. Apollo 17 currently 160,762 nautical miles [297,731 km] from Earth and we're showing the spacecraft 72,200 [nautical] miles [133,714 km] from the Moon and it's continued to be very quiet in Mission Control, almost no conversation on the loops here, and no change in any of the systems aboard the spacecraft - everything going along very smoothly and performing well at this time. The cabin temperature at the point we monitor it, that's where our telemetry which is the outlet of the air flowing into the cabin, shows the temperature at that point to be about 63 degrees [F, 17°C]. The cabin temperature itself would be somewhat warmer than that, probably up around room temperature - 68, 69, 70 degrees [F, 20 to 21°C] - in that area. At 50 hours, 59 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
051:57:00 - This is Apollo Control at 51 hours, 57 minutes. We've had no signs of any activity from the spacecraft and it appears that the crew is sleeping at this time. Apollo 17 some 70,200 nautical miles [130,010 km] from the Moon. And we have a clock counting down to the time at which the crew is scheduled to awake - some 4 hours from now. Actually, that would be the earliest that we would expect to hear from them and prior to beginning the rest period we advised them that we would not plan to put in a call until about 30 minutes later than called for in the Flight Plan. They were about a half hour late beginning the rest period. Tomorrow's schedule is relatively uncluttered and Flight Director Gene Kranz decided to give them the extra 30 minutes of sleep if they desire to take it. On awakening the - one of the main activities in the Flight Plan for today has the crew re-entering the Lunar Module Challenger and partially powering the vehicle up and running some additional checks. And there has been no change in the status of the spacecraft based on the telemetry information we're getting here in Mission Control everything continues to perk along very smoothly. At 51 hours, 59 minutes; this is Apollo Control.
052:57:27 - This is Apollo Control at 52 hours, 57 minutes. We're now midway through a scheduled 8-hour crew sleep period. And it continues to be very quiet here in Mission Control. No signs of activity aboard the spacecraft and everything going along very smoothly. The Flight Dynamics Officer has been working on the trajectory and looking at tracking data as a result of the midcourse correction performed yesterday. And at this point it appears that no further midcourse maneuvers will be required to get Apollo fif - Apollo 17 into lunar orbit at the desired altitude and time. However, the Flight Dynamics Officer is going to reserve final decision on that point probably until tomorrow. Although it does appear certain at this point that there will be no midcourse correction required at the midcourse correction three opportunity. And probably not even at midcourse correction four. Our data displays at this time show Apollo 17 68,237 nautical miles [126,375 km] from the Moon. And on a different display we're reading 165,584 nautical miles [165,584 km] back to Earth. At 52 hours, 59 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
053:57:17 - This is Apollo Control at 53 hours, 57 minutes; continuing very quiet in Mission Control. Now about two and one half hours remaining in the crew sleep period. The Flight Plan calls for the sleep period to end at 56 hours Ground Elapsed Time, however, we don't plan to give them a call until 56:30, giving them the option to sleep for an additional 30 minutes. Apollo 17 now 167,000 nautical miles [309,000 km] from Earth and we are showing velocity with respect to the Moon at 3,293 feet per second [1,004 m/s], some 66,300 nautical miles [122,800 km] from the Moon at this time. This is Apollo Control at 53 hours, 58 minutes.
054:51:20 - This is Apollo Control at 54 hours, 57 minutes; some 1 hour, 33 minutes now from the scheduled crew awakening time. What has been a very uneventful sleep shift for the crew and a very quiet period here in Mission Control. After the crew awakes, one of the activities on their schedule for the day will be to update the clocks for the spacecraft, we'll be updating the clocks here in Mission Control at the same time. This clock update is occasioned by the fact that we lifted off 2 hours, 40 minutes late from Cape Kennedy, however, in order to place the spacecraft in lunar orbit at the same diurnal time or the same Sun time, and retain the lighting conditions desired for the lunar landing, the TransLunar Injection burn was given a slight bit longer burn - just a little bit more energy put into that burn - trip time to the Moon decreased by 2 hours and 40 minutes. The net effect of this is that we now arrive at the Moon at the same time that we would have arrived had the lift-off been on time. One other effect is that the crew has a net 2 hours and 40 minutes less time to accomplish those things that needed to be accomplished in the translunar coast. This is of small consequence because the translunar coast time is relatively a slack period for them. However, in order to avoid any sudden shift in sleep periods and that sort of thing, the time has been made up in two increments - the first one of 1 hour at 45 hours in the Flight Plan. The crew activities were jumped ahead by 1 hour and they essentially began doing those things that were called for 1 hour later in the Flight Plan. They will again jump ahead an hour and 40 minutes and that'll occur at 65 hours. By that time they will have completed all those activities required up through 67 hours, 40 minutes in the Flight Plan. Or, in other words, they'll have completed all of the activities required to get them into lunar orbit 2 hours and 40 minutes early. And in order to make the clocks then agree with where the crew will be in the Flight Plan, we'll jump the clocks ahead 2 hours and 40 minutes. This clock update, which can be likened to going on Daylight Saving Time, only 2 hours and 40 minutes worth of change instead of 1 hour of change as we do on Daylight Saving Time, will occur at 65 hours when the crew will have completed all of those Flight Plan activities up through 67 hours and 40 minutes. This simply involves setting our clocks at 65 hours in the Control Center and aboard the spacecraft at 65 hours, moving them ahead to 67 hours 40 minutes. Then, barring any further changes in the mission timeline from that point on, the elapsed time clocks which are used as the cue to Flight Plan activities, should agree with the Flight Plan and events that - in the Flight Plan are called out for a certain time will happen at that time on the elapsed time clocks in Mission Control and aboard the spacecraft. This is a convenience factor. The other alternative would be to go through the Flight Plan and change all of the Flight Plan times to agree with the clocks. We simply find it easier to change the clocks and avoid having to make all those updates to the Flight Plan. At the present time, Apollo 17 is 64,232 nautical miles [118,958 km] from the Moon and we're showing 169,518 nautical miles [313,947 km] from Earth. Spacecraft velocity at the present time, again with respect to the Moon, is 3,289 feet per second [1,002 m/s]. And we are now 1 hour, 27 minutes away time at which we anticipate the crew will be awakening. At 55 hours, 3 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
055:57:14 - This is Apollo Control at 55 hours, 57 minutes. We're about 30 minutes away from the scheduled crew awakening time. And we've seen no signs of activity aboard the spacecraft at this point, however, we could hear from the crew almost any time between now and the next 30 minutes. And if we haven't heard from them within about 30 minutes, we'll be putting in a call - a wake-up call to the crew. Here in the Control Center, the next team of flight controllers beginning to come on duty. Flight Director Neil Hutchinson will be relieving Flight Director Gene Kranz. And the spacecraft communicator on the upcoming shift is to be astronaut Gordon Fullerton. He'll be replacing CapCom Bob Parker. Apollo 17, at this time, is 62,415 nautical miles [115,593 km] from the Moon and traveling at a speed of some 3,280 feet per second [1,000 m/s] and we show a range to Earth now of 170,650 nautical miles [316,044 km]. We'll bring up the lines and monitor live at this point for any call from the crew. At 55 hours 59 minutes this is Apollo Control, Houston.
056:29:41 - This is Apollo Control. We're getting ready to wake up the crew. Bringing up to the voice circuits in the network at 56 hours, 29 minutes - almost 30 minutes. Timing out to wake-up zero mark.
056:31:17 - We're waiting for the spacecraft to rotate through the next best Omni antenna, before we make the wake-up call.
056:35:40 Parker: [Wakeup Music]
056:36:58 Parker: Good morning, Apollo 17. It's Houston. Over. [No answer.]
056:37:33 - Apparently the crew has not turned on the downlink on their transmitter. That was the University of Kansas Jayhawk Fight Song, which is Ron Evans Alma Mater.
056:38:15 Parker: Apollo 17, Houston. Good morning. [No answer.]
056:39:16 Parker: Apollo 17, this is Houston. Good morning. [No answer.]
056:41:15 Parker: Apollo 17, Houston. Good morning. [No answer.]
Long comm break.
056:45:38 - This is Apollo Control. We're going to try one more time with the Jayhawk Fight song and see if we can get them to turn on the transmitter. 56:45 Ground Elapsed Time standing by. Here we go.
056:45:54 [Music: Jayhawk Fight Song]
056:46:56 Parker: Apollo 17, Houston. Good morning. Are you with us this morning? [No answer.]
Very long comm break.
056:48:43 - As they say in the entertainment music business, one more time. We're going to send crew alert and when we see the voice up carrier up we're going to roll the tape again, the Jayhawk Fight song. Either crew is very sleepy this morning or else they have their volume turned down where they can't hear the music. At 56:49, standing by, this is Apollo Control.
056:55:02 - We are now sending crew alert. Gene Cernan's pulse rate still at about 49 which indicates the klaxon didn't wake him up. No indication yet that the spacecraft transmitter's has been turned on.
056:57:12 - This is Apollo Control. Apparently the crew either does not have their volume turned up enough to hear the calls from the ground or perhaps the ear plug has slipped out of the ear of the crewman who's to monitor last night which I understand was Evans. Therefore, about every 10 minutes, the CapCom is going to give a wake up call to the crew again in an attempt to raise them. Spacecraft Communicator Bob Parker is - has unplugged from the CapCom Console and is being replaced by Gordo Fullerton. And when we see on telemetry that the voice subcarrier from the spacecraft has been turned on, we'll play the old fight song again: Jayhawk Fight Song, University of Kansas. And, eventually we may get these sleepheads awake. At 56:58 Ground Elapsed Time, Apollo 17 is 60,471 nautical miles [111,992 km] out from the Moon, approaching at a velocity of 3,285 [fps, 1,001 m/s] and our slant range in nautical miles from the Earth to the spacecraft is 171,985 nautical miles [318,516 km]. Standing by at 56:58, this is Apollo Control.
056:57:30 Fullerton: Apollo 17, Houston. Good morning. Are you with us this morning? [No answer.]
057:05:02 Fullerton: Good morning, Apollo 17. It's time to rise and shine. Over. [No answer.]
Very long comm break.
057:22:23 - This is Apollo Control at 57 hours, 22 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. The crew is still asleep. Have been unable to raise them until now. They're considering using an oscillator passed directly into the air-to-ground circuit to put a high-pitched tone, that perhaps even with the earplug out they would be able to hear it from a fairly good distance. Presently, Apollo 17 is 59,682 nautical miles [110,531 km] out from the Moon, approaching at a velocity of 3,285 feet per second [1,001 m/s]. Mother Earth is behind them some 172,562 nautical miles [319,585 km]. Here goes another call.
057:23:14 Fullerton: Apollo 17; oh, Apollo 17; it's morning. Time to get up. Over. [No answer.]
057:23:31 Fullerton: Hello, Apollo 17; do you read? Over. [No answer.]
Long comm break.
057:39:14 Fullerton: Here goes the tone up on the air-ground circuit from network.
057:39:35 : (Music: Jayhawk Fight Song)
057:40:32 Fullerton: Hello, 17. Hello, 17. How do you read us this morning?
057:40:42 Schmitt: We're asleep.
057:40:47 Fullerton: That's the understatement of the year.
057:40:53 Schmitt: Never let Evans be on watch.
057:41:02 Fullerton: I think we'll go along with that from here on.
057:41:03 SC: [Garble] good morning.
057:41:06 Schmitt: [Laughter.] That was some party last night, Gordy. Man, that was a humdinger.
057:41:13 Fullerton: Must have been.
Long comm break.
057:45:07 Fullerton: 17, Houston. Over.
057:45:13 SC: Go ahead [garble].
057:45:14 Fullerton: Okay, we're starting out late, as you know; but there's nothing ahead that we can see that's time-critical. So you might try to hurry a little, but don't - don't go to any great lengths to try to catch up with the Flight Plan. We can slip the LM telemetry activation without any problem. Over.
057:45:42 Schmitt: Okay, we got you. Our biggest problem this morning is keeping Ron from going back to sleep.
057:45:48 Fullerton: Roger.
057:45:53 Evans: By the way, my sleep report is [garble] looks like I had about 7½ hours of pretty good sleep.
057:46:02 Schmitt: And if you believe that, you're really a [garble].
Long comm break.
057:52:20 Schmitt: Okay, Houston; 17. I don't know if you're ready for this or not, but we have a few reports for you.
057:52:27 Fullerton: We're ready. Go ahead, Jack.
057:52:34 Schmitt: Okay. On your CDR: PRD, 17028; he claims 7½ hours of good sleep. He had a Seconal before going to bed, and since the last reporting, has had four containers of water.
057:53:01 Fullerton: Roger. [Long pause.]
057:53:14 Schmitt: Okay, with respect to food - let's see, we gave you a intermediate report yesterday. Do you want that repeated?
057:53:28 Fullerton: Negative.
057:53:33 Schmitt: Well, I'm not sure I can differentiate what I said yesterday, so I'd just better give it all to you. This is yesterday's complete report.
057:53:40 Fullerton: Okay.
057:53:41 Schmitt: CDR was scrambled eggs, three bacon squares, peaches, pineapple-grapefruit drink, peanut butter, jelly, bread, chocolate bar, orange drink, apricot - that's dried apricot - one frankfurter, a third of a fruitcake, half a beefsteak, butterscotch pudding, orange drink, and tea.
057:54:20 Fullerton: Okay, we got that.
057:54:23 Schmitt: Let me know if I'm too fast for you.
057:54:27 Fullerton: No, we've got it all on tape. Go ahead.
057:54:42 Schmitt: Okay, with respect to food yesterday - LMP: scrambled eggs, four bacon squares, orange-pineapple drink, cocoa, potato soup, two peanut butter, two jelly, two bread, cherry bar, orange-grapefruit drink, beefsteak, orange drink, and tea.
057:55:18 Fullerton: Okay.
057:55:30 Schmitt: Okay, and the PRD is...
057:55:31 Fullerton: Jack, we're just about to switch antennas now. Why don't you wait until we get through it before continuing.
057:55:40 Schmitt: Roger.
Comm break.
057:57:46 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. You back with us?
057:57:50 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. I think we're back with you again.
057:57:55 Schmitt: Okay; got you. LMP: PRD, 24064; 7½ hours very good sleep, 1 hour intermittent. Had a Seconal. I took two aspirins yesterday. And since the last reporting, I've had four containers of water.
057:58:25 Fullerton: Roger.
057:58:29 Schmitt: Okay. Old CMP - the man of the hour, one might say. Scrambled eggs, bacon squares, peaches, cinnamon toast bread, orange juice, cocoa, peanut butter, jelly, bread, cherry bar, citrus beverage, fruitcake, butterscotch pudding, orange drink, turkey and gravy, two frankfurters, and tea. You might say he was a little logey. Okay. CMP: PRD, 15027; 7 and a - let's - Make that 8 hours of very good sleep. He claims he didn't get to sleep for a while. Seconal, and he's had five containers of water since the last reporting.
058:00:01 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
058:00:20 Fullerton: Jack, if - future reports if it's any easier, we can go to negative reporting. If you're fairly close to the menus, just tell us the differences. Whatever is easiest for you is fine with us.
058:00:41 Schmitt: Okay. Well, now that we're eating well, that may be the best way to do it.
058:00:48 Fullerton: Okay. I have the - your consumables status, if everybody that's interested is listening.
058:00:57 Schmitt: Go ahead, Gordon.
058:00:59 Fullerton: Okay. Your RCS is running right along at 1.3 percent above the Flight Plan line. On your cryos, the O2 tanks 2 and 3 are right on the lines. Tank 1 is still, as before, about 4 percent below - below the line but looking real good. On hydrogen, you're a little above on one tank - on tank 2 - a little bit below on tank 3, but the average is right with the Flight Plan lines. So consumables look good. Over.
058:01:47 Schmitt: Okay. That's good to hear. And, I see that our old SPS oxidizer pressure has dropped some more. I guess the old - the helium is working it's way in there - or out of there.
058:02:03 Fullerton: Okay. That's the way it looks to us. One final thing. Management has informed me that since you've been so late getting to work this morning, we are going to have to dock you all a day's annual leave.
058:02:21 Schmitt: All of us! I can understand - I can understand that for the commander, since he's always the commander, but I do not understand why the LMP loses a day - an hour.
058:02:48 Cernan: Hello, Houston. This is America.
058:02:51 Fullerton: Hello, Geno. Good morning.
058:02:55 Cernan: Hello, Gordo. Request is that I handle the disciplinary problems up here; how's that?
058:03:03 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
058:03:45 Fullerton: Geno, we'll have FAO work on a good time in the Flight Plan later here to work in a captain's mast.
058:03:56 Cernan: Okay; [chuckle] that'll be great. Hey, Gordy, for the record; I swallowed three of those - those gas pills yesterday.
058:04:05 Fullerton: Okay.
Very long comm break.
058:11:46 - This is Apollo Control at 58 hours, 11 minutes Ground Elapsed Time into the mission of Apollo 17. The crew at this time having a belated breakfast, having overslept about an hour, despite many attempts to raise them by playing the Kansas fight song and the crew alarm being sent up on the uplink, which causes a warbling sound in the headsets. However, apparently, Ron Evans, who was on watch, was unable to hear since likely the earplug had fallen out of his ear while stirring around in his sleep. Some amount of levity there is - it was suggested that their pay be docked or they should be charged with one hour of annual leave at any rate. The spacecraft is presently 58,073, it's just now changed, 58,067 nautical miles [107,540 km] out from the Moon, approaching an ever increasing velocity as they draw near the Moon; now 3,284 feet per second [1,001 m/s]. The Earth continuing to get farther away behind them 173,821 nautical miles [321,917 km]. At 58:13 and standing by, this is Apollo Control.
058:18:30 Evans: Houston, 17. [No answer.]
058:18:50 Evans: Houston, 17. [Long pause.]
058:19:10 Fullerton: Okay, Ron, we see the 93s; and you're clear to torque them.
058:19:16 Evans: Okay, we'll torque them at 19:20.
Ron has completed the tenth realignment of the guidance platform at the centre of the IMU in order to correct any drift that had occurred overnight. The necessary two stars that he sighted upon were star 01 (Alpheratz, Alpha Andromedae) and star 36 (Vega, Alpha Lyrae). As a result, the amount of correction required in all three axes of the gimbals were +0.021° in X, -0.108° in Y and -0.005° in Z. The accuracy of Ron's sightings was good as the measured angle between these stars differed from the actual angle by one hundredth of a degree.
058:19:20 Schmitt: And, Houston, I've started the dumping.
058:19:25 Fullerton: Roger. [Long pause.]
058:20:10 Schmitt: And, Houston, we're going to dump A on the water dump - Waste Water Dump.
058:20:14 Fullerton: Okay.
058:28:33 Schmitt: Houston, we're starting a - O2 purge.
058:28:38 Fullerton: Okay, Jack.
058:29:00 Cernan: Hey, Gordo, we'll get everything cleaned up in the Flight Plan, including eating, up to 59 hours where we start checking the Delta-P and pressurizing the CSM for LM entry.
Later today, the crew will open the LM up again and give it another health check. At the end of yesterday's foray into the lander, the Tunnel Vent Valve was left in its LM/CSM Delta-P position and therefore the tunnel and LM cabin were not being vented. The CSM cabin is being brought up to a higher pressure so that its air can be used top up the LM cabin and compensate for any overnight leakage. Apollo spacecraft were not designed to be completely leakproof. Instead, very minor leaks were tolerated as long as the overall flow of replacement oxygen from supply tanks was within set limits. The LM O2 supply is not being used just now and without constant topping up, it is expected that there would be a pressure drop in the LM. It will transpire at 059:25:59 that the LM's pressure drop is so low that raising the CSM's pressure will not be required.
058:29:19 Fullerton: Okay. We see you doing all that now, and we're just checking things off as you call them. Sounds good.
058:29:28 Cernan: Okay. And then when we'll clean all that up - regards to what the time will be, we'll pick up the 59-hour mark then.
058:29:38 Fullerton: Okay.
Comm break.
058:31:33 Schmitt: Okay. Waste water dump is terminated.
058:31:36 Fullerton: Roger.
Long comm break.
058:35:27 Schmitt: Fuel cell purge complete.
058:35:30 Fullerton: Roger on the fuel cell purge.
Long comm break.
058:39:27 Schmitt: Hello, Houston; 17.
058:39:30 Fullerton: Go ahead.
058:39:34 Schmitt: Roger. While we're getting organized to eat a little bit here, I'll give you your morning weather report, if you want it.
058:39:40 Fullerton: Okay, go ahead.
058:39:45 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. That little storm - fairly big storm - that was off the coast of northwest Africa yesterday, has moved inland and presumably is giving those people up there some weather. Might even be getting some snow up in the Atlas Mountains. It's still fairly well organized and inland a few hundred miles - or the edge of it is inland a few hundred miles. The people at the Cape of Good Hope ought to be seeing some clouds that are forerunners of a large circulation system that's south-southwest of them - that, although large, seems to have most of its heavy clouds to the southeast of the center. And they may not get any major weather out of this one. But they'll probably have cloudiness for a few days. The storm that was over Buenos Aires yesterday has apparently moved out to sea and is now west - or east-southeast of that area. Otherwise the - except for those three storm areas, the South Atlantic looks relatively calm. The zero phase point is now off the - east coast of South America, and it looks fairly dull and gray. And I suspect no extensive choppiness in that area.
058:41:54 Fullerton: Jack, take a breather there. We got an antenna switch coming.
Long comm break.
058:45:10 Fullerton: Okay Jack, we're back with you and listening.
058:45:18 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy, I can't see you right now. I think that was about the extent of it. We'll get some food and, while I'm eating, I'll look at it and see if there are any more details.
058:45:29 Fullerton: Okay.
Long comm break.
058:45:54 - This is Apollo Control. As Lunar Module Pilot Jack Schmitt began describing the global weather systems, as he saw them, from almost 180,000 [nautical] miles [330,000 km] out from Earth, the weather service meterologist here in the Control Center, Allen [Sandy] Sanderson brought in some TIROS weather maps and laid out on the spacecraft communicators console, so that CapCom could follow what Schmitt was describing. The crew still having breakfast at this time. CapCom is going to describe the tracking after the midcourse 2 yesterday. Spacecraft now 56,962 [nautical] miles [105,494 km] from the Moon, approaching at a velocity of 3,284 feet per second [1,001 m/s].
058:51:44 Fullerton: 17, Houston. I have the morning news here, whenever you'd like to hear it - if you would.
058:51:52 Cernan: Go ahead, Gordo. We'd like to hear it now.
058:51:57 Fullerton: Okay. First, a look at the weather in the local area. It's going to be mostly cloudy through Sunday, with a chance of showers here today - but much warmer. I'll have to wait until we get through the Omni switch here, and then I'll be back with you.
Long comm break.
058:55:03 Fullerton: Okay, 17, continuing on with the weather. It should be - get up to the upper 60s [F, approx 18 - 21°C] here in Houston today. It was foggy when I came to work, but I understand the Sun is out now and the fog is burned off. On the international/national scene: There's another reported snag in negotiations between Dr. Henry Kissinger and North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho. The two have discussed the peace terms since Monday; but, so far, little news concerning the talks has been released by either side. They meet again today. A judge in the Pentagon Papers trial of Daniel Ellsburg has declared a mistrial. Judge Matt Burn has asked that a new jury be selected. Both sides in the cases must now go back to the beginning and prepare their arguments again. Former President Harry Truman is still hospitalized with a serious heart condition. Although listed in critical condition, the 88-year-old former Chief Executive has shown some improvement, according to his daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel. President Nixon has completed selection of his new cabinet by announcing that he will keep Richard Kleindienst as Attorney General, There will be a number of major changes, though, in upper levels of the Justice and Interior Departments. Life Magazine will be no more as of the end of December. The pictorial magazine lost over 30 million dollars during the past 4 years. No doubt some of the final pictures to appear in the famous 36-year-old publication will be those of the Apollo 17 mission. An airliner crashed at Midway Airport in Chicago, Friday. Of the 61 persons aboard, only 18 survived the crash. In other national and international highlights: Unemployment figures show a drop to the lowest level in 2 years; 5.6 billion dollars has been released by the Federal Government in the first revenue-sharing payment to the state and local governments; and the NATO foreign ministers have urged the Soviet Union to cut down troop strength and allow freer movement of people over the east-west borders. In local and regional news: New hijack control devices have been installed at Houston Intercontinental Airport. The new metal detectors are being installed in many airports around the United States. New inspection procedures will also begin in January - of all hand luggage carried aboard airliners. And on the sports page: Al Conover is not going to return to Wake Forest as rumored. The Rice coach has met with University President Dr. Norman Hackerman to discuss a firm 5-year contract agreement. Professional football highlights today's sports; the 'Over-the-Hill-Gang' from Washington with Billy Kilmer and Larry Brown will take on the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in Irving. The Cowboys will, no doubt, go with Craig Morton at quarterback. Dallas can ensure itself of a 'wild card' slot in the playoffs with the Redskins, if they win. For Dallas, it's a revenge game. The Skins have won nine straight. Johnny Bench, the Cincinnati Reds all-everything catcher, has been hospitalized for tests. X-rays showed a spot on a lung. Doctors feel sure the lesion is benign, though. The University of Houston basketball team takes on Xavier tonight. The Cougars, with four wins and one loss, will face a Xavier team that likes to play slowdown basketball. The Houston Rockets beat the Portland, Oregon, Trailblazers last night in Hofheinz, 114 to 108. The Big Eight Athletic Conference has joined the Big Ten and the Ohio Athletic Conference in breaking relations with the U.S. Olympic Committee. Back in Houston again: Bill Peterson, the Oiler coach, says he's not planning on new assistant coaches. He says, "The Oilers need more togetherness with their coaches, not new ones." And a final item: the Des Moines, Iowa, post office was emptying a mail pouch. One package fell on the floor, broke open, and spilled all over the place. The contents were Postal Service instructions on how to wrap and mail packages to insure safe transit and delivery.
059:00:02 Schmitt: Very good news report, Gordo...
059:00:06 Cernan: Yes. That crash in Chicago, can you tell me a little bit more about it?
059:00:12 Fullerton: I read real briefly in the paper, just before I came in, that it did crash in a populated area. It was a very brief report. I don't think the final details have been published yet. I'll check to see if we've got anymore in.
059:00:33 Cernan: Okay. And I guess you know where - at least my wishes go for that Cowboy game, don't you?
059:00:48 Fullerton: I'm not sure that I do.
059:00:56 Cernan: I'll just let you make an assumption.
059:00:59 Fullerton: Okay. We've got an antenna switch coming here.
Long comm break.
059:04:21 Fullerton: 17, Houston. I have a little more on the plane crash, if you'd like to hear it.
059:04:28 Cernan: Yes, sir, Gordy. Go ahead.
059:04:30 Fullerton: Okay. It was a United Airlines jet, 61 people aboard. And it crashed into a south-side Chicago neighborhood while trying to land at Midway. Most of the 55 passengers - There were - well, I'm not sure I'm getting all the numbers right here. But it said here that most of the 55 passengers were found dead in the debris of a - and it was a Boeing 737 about a half a mile away from the airport. One of the victims was representative George Collins, a Democrat from Illinois - who was returning from Washington to organize a children's Christmas party. The weather, at the time, was a 500-foot ceiling and 1-mile visibility. And sleet and snow were falling at the time. There were no reports that any occupants of the houses were injured or killed. I turn back to the back of the paper, here. A United spokesman said one of the six crewmembers, a stewardess, was among 16 persons admitted to Holy Cross Hospital. She said there were two infants among the passengers. Jet apparently missed runway 13 at Midway on - and cruised over the neighborhood of bungalow homes at heights of 500 to 1000 feet and then with his nose up and tail down tore into the dwellings. Witnesses said the plane scraped the roofs of two bungalows and sheared through six houses, setting them aflame. The fuselage of the airliner split, but the nose remained intact. A tail section was sticking out of one house. The plummetting airliner sheared through utility lines and a 2-square-mile area was blacked out. Telephone service was knocked out. A power company spokesman said 5,000 homes were affected.
059:06:43 Cernan: Okeydoke.
059:06:50 Fullerton: And a little news about your trajectory. Since the midcourse 2, you've been looking real good. You've - you're homing in on 53½-mile parallel. We're discussing midcourse 4, which - if we do it all - it's going to be very small. It's looking like about a foot and a half per second right now. And I guess if we do it, it will only be because it will save us Delta-V at LOI. Over.
059:07:28 Cernan: Okay, I was just looking. Those dumps really knocked us for a loop, didn't they?
059:07:34 Fullerton: Yes, it - it's driving your PTC out.
059:07:40 Cernan: Yes, we're at almost 40 degrees now.
Long comm break.
059:10:50 Schmitt: Gordy, has the temperature been pretty cold down there?
059:10:55 Fullerton: Here, in Houston, it warmed up considerably last night - yesterday afternoon and last night. And this morning, it's probably in the 60s [F, 16-21°C] somewhere.
059:11:20 Schmitt: Makes it...
Long comm break.
059:12:04 - This is Apollo Control; 59 hours, 12 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Apollo 17 currently is 56,148 nautical miles [103,986 km] out from the Moon, closing on the Moon at 3,284 feet per second [1,001 m/s]. Distance from Earth is now 175,441 nautical miles [324,917 km]. We'll continue to leave the line up as we proceed into today's activities which includes another activation and check out of the Lunar Module and hopefully today the communications noise will be somewhat less than it was yesterday. At 59:13 standing by, this is Apollo Control.
059:18:32 Fullerton: 17, Houston. I have some words about the troubles we had during the LM comm checks yesterday, if you have a free moment to listen.
059:18:47 Cernan: Go ahead, Gordy. We're listening.
059:18:49 Fullerton: Okay. We think we've got a pretty good handle on what the problem was - and that was, that the - the LM communications gear, we think, was jumping on the voice subcarrier, rather than the main carrier. And the symptoms that we had point to that. What would happen is, when I would try to transmit, then it would lose lock as soon as I put modulation on the voice subcarrier. During the checks today, we're going to try to verify that the system is indeed working okay. And we can do it without any changes in the onboard procedures by - purely by procedures that will be handled at the ground site and here at Mission Control. And so that's what we're planning to do. We really don't - The problem that happened has been seen before, evidently; and it's not that unusual. We really don't think there's anything wrong with the onboard equipment. Over.
059:20:07 Schmitt: Sounds good, Gordy. We'll just take her slow and easy when I get over there today and make sure we understand it.
059:20:17 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. And there's no - real no voice check scheduled, and we don't think any are required. We can tell what we need to do without any voice checks from here.
059:20:29 Schmitt: Gordy, you're breaking up. Talk to you as soon as we get another Omni.
059:20:33 Fullerton: Okay.
059:20:41 Schmitt: While I got you, I took three pictures of the Earth I thought I might have moved one of them. And we're on frame 145.
Photo analysis and counting frames on the original scans indicates that these three images are AS17-148-22749 to 22751. Frame 22750 is slightly blurred compared to the other two and that may be the frame that Jack thought the camera had moved when taking the exposure.
AS17-148-22749 - Earth at a distance of approximately 325,500 km (based on photo analysis). South America, Atlantic Ocean and Western Africa - JSC scan
AS17-148-22750 - Earth at a distance of approximately 325,500 km (based on photo analysis). South America, Atlantic Ocean and Western Africa - JSC scan
AS17-148-22751 - Earth at a distance of approximately 325,500 km (based on photo analysis). South America, Atlantic Ocean and Western Africa - JSC scan
059:21:07 Schmitt: Did you copy, Gordy?
059:21:10 Fullerton: That's affirmative, Jack. I copy. You may not be reading me through the Omni switch.
059:21:16 Schmitt: Okay, that was mag November November.
059:21:21 Fullerton: Roger.
059:23:49 Schmitt: Houston, 17. Do you want us to go into a battery B charge?
059:23:55 Fullerton: Let me check, Jack. That's affirmative. Go ahead
059:24:02 Schmitt: Okay.
059:25:23 Schmitt: Battery B is being Charged. And, Gordy, different than the last time - the charger amps is moving up very slowly. Started out at about 0.2 and now is 1 amp - little more - it's still going up. Before, it jumped right up to about 2 amps. is that expected?
059:25:49 Fullerton: Oh [garble] we'll check on that. Stand by.
059:25:59 Cernan: Gordy, the LM/CM Delta-P is 0.6. You still want us to take the Command Module up?
059:26:19 Fullerton: Geno, that'll be fine. You will not have to jack up the Command Module pressure.
The pressure of the tunnel and LM combined is only 0.6 psi lower than that of the CM, itself at about 5 psi. Mission Control consider that there is no need to bring the CSM cabin up to a higher pressure prior to allowing its air through to the tunnel.
059:26:28 Cernan: Okay, I think I'll maneuver at attitude then.
Per page 3-55 of the Flight Plan, the stack is manoeuvred to a specific attitude for the upcoming activation of the LM. This is likely necessary to allow good data communication with the LM and Earth.
059:26:38 Fullerton: Okay; sounds good.
059:28:06 Fullerton: Jack, the way the amps are going to look when you put the charger on is the function of the state of the charge of the battery. And what you described is about what we'd expect, considering where the battery should be.
059:28:24 Schmitt: Okay; that's what I figured. It's up about one and three-quarter amps now.
059:28:28 Fullerton: Roger.
059:28:34 Schmitt: And it appears to be stable.
059:28:37 Fullerton: Okay.
059:28:39 Schmitt: Gordy, I'm in the process of - I'm in the process of putting biomed sensors on.
059:28:44 Fullerton: Roger.
Comm break.
059:30:44 Evans: Hey, Houston; 17. Thanks to a little South Carolina boy we had up here last time, we've got some grits up here. And they're really not too bad. A little butter on them and - A little bit dry. Of course, you could add a little more water to them and they'd be a little better, but not bad at all.
059:31:06 Fullerton: I can't believe I'm hearing that from a real Yankee
059:31:13 Evans: Of course, Kansas is not exactly Yankee.
059:31:16 Cernan: Let me tell you, that does not apply to the little old farm boy from Chicago.
059:31:23 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
059:31:30 Schmitt: As you students of American history may recall, Kansas caused a lot of the problem we had with those two people.
059:31:41 Fullerton: Roger.
059:31:46 Cernan: And grits is causing the rest of it. [Long pause.]
059:32:38 Fullerton: 17, Houston. We see that you're making a maneuver uncoupled in pitch, and we'd rather you make it coupled to keep FDO happy. Over.
059:32:50 Schmitt: Okay.
059:32:54 Cernan: Yes, that was my fault, Gordo. I screwed up here.
Long comm break.
If a rotation is effected by firing just one thruster, then a component of its thrust will produce a translation movement as well as rotation. In some contexts, this small force is of little consequence. However, in the middle of a long coast in cislunar space, where a slight deviation in the trajectory at one point can have a profound effect on the conditions at the destination, such translation effects are undesirable. Instead, by firing two opposing thrusters, the translation forces are largely cancelled out.
059:42:50 Evans: Houston, Emergency Cab Repress is Off.
059:42:56 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
059:43:04 Evans: Okay, Repress Package valve is Off.
059:43:08 Fullerton: Say again, Ron.
059:43:09 Cernan: Hello, Gordy. You with us?
059:43:10 Fullerton: Yes. How do you read?
059:43:15 Cernan: We're reading you loud and clear. The Emergency Cabin Pressure Select is Off. And we're about ready to open the Equalisation valve.
059:43:25 Fullerton: Okay. And we're ready for the High Gain.
059:43:32 Evans: Okay.
Comm break.
059:44:30 - This is Apollo Control; 59 hours, 44 minutes Ground Elapsed Time into the mission of Apollo 17. The crew, at this time, making preparations for entry into the Lunar Module.
059:44:44 Schmitt: Gordy, that's the High Gain. How do you like it?
059:44:48 Fullerton: Looking good. [Long pause.]
059:45:20 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. I was reading 0.2 on the Delta-P and the hatch is cracked.
059:45:25 Fullerton: Roger, Gene.
Long comm break.
059:48:40 Schmitt: Hey, Houston; 17. How do you read the LMP's biomed?
059:48:46 Fullerton: Let me check. [Long pause.]
059:49:08 Fullerton: Jack, the EKG looks great. Your ZPN looks like a sensor may be loose.
059:49:25 Fullerton: And we'll be handing over here in...
059:49:27 Schmitt: [Garble] loose sensor [garble].
059:49:28 Fullerton: ...about 30 seconds.
059:49:31 Schmitt: Okay. We're in the process of getting the probe and drogue out. I pushed on the sensors real hard again, and see if that helps it.
059:49:40 Fullerton: Okay. We'll take a look. [Pause.]
059:49:53 Fullerton: That helped it. Don't worry about it, until we call you again.
059:50:05 Cernan: [Garble] on that one, Gordy. You've always been one of those smooth talkers.
Long comm break.
059:54:50 Evans: There's all - yes - they're down there somewhere.
059:54:54 Evans: Okay. The probe is out. And we'll try the drogue now.
059:54:58 Fullerton: Okay, Ron.
Comm break.
059:57:53 Cernan: Okay, the - the drogue is out, and we're going up to take another look at Challenger.
059:58:03 Fullerton: Okay, Gene.
059:59:31 Schmitt: Somebody left their lights on in here.
059:59:37 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
059:59:44 Schmitt: It's just like a refrigerator.
059:59:49 Fullerton: Roger. [Long pause.]
060:00:36 Schmitt: Docking index is unchanged. [Pause.]
060:00:40 Fullerton: Okay. It's a plus 1.2. Right?
060:00:45 Schmitt: That's affirm.
Comm break.
060:03:18 Fullerton: Ron, Houston. Over.
060:03:23 Evans: Go ahead.
060:03:25 Fullerton: Okay, Ron. When you get a - a moment, when it's convenient, we'd like you to go up to the latch number 4 there, the one that's been giving us trouble, and we'd like you - well, we think it's just half cocked and we'd like you to stroke it. We think it will probably cock on one - with one more stroke. We'd like you to stroke it at least twice more to verify that it is fully cocked. And as you do stroke the handle, we'd like you to notice approximately what point in the - in the throw that the resistance increases. I think that summarizes what we want you to do, if you keep us advised as you go along.
060:04:21 Evans: Okay.
060:04:23 Fullerton: We - we're going to leave it cocked then from here on until redocking after rendezvous. Well - we don't want to - we don't want you to fire it.
060:04:38 Evans: Sure. Understand. [Long pause.]
060:05:08 Schmitt: Houston, we're transferring to LM Power.
060:05:11 Fullerton: Roger.
060:05:14 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. I'm going to give them LM Power. I'm going to go Reset and Off.
060:05:22 Schmitt: And we have LM power.
060:05:25 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
060:05:49 Cernan: Gordo, this is Geno.
060:05:51 Fullerton: Go ahead, Gene.
060:05:55 Cernan: Okay. While my compatriots are carrying out their respective tasks, I'm going to go off the air here for a - a few short minutes. And give you a call when I get back.
060:06:07 Fullerton: Okay.
060:06:10 Schmitt: And I'm in step 3, Gordy, on 2-2.
060:06:15 Fullerton: Roger.
Comm break.
060:07:25 Evans: Okay, Houston. America here. I'm on nor docking latch number 4 now.
060:07:31 Fullerton: Okay, Ron. [Long pause.]
060:07:50 Evans: Okay, the handle itself is free swinging at - to a point about 1 inch beyond the backside of the J-hook.
060:08:10 Fullerton: Roger.
060:08:11 Evans: And, I'll go ahead and try to cock it now.
060:08:19 Schmitt: Gordy, ED Bats are 37.2 and 37.2, and the Bus Voltages are 26.2 and I'll bring on the high taps.
060:08:36 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. Sounds good.
Jack has checked the open-circuit voltages of the batteries that are used to energise the LM's explosive devices (EDs) and they are good. The intended voltage for the main supply bus is 28V. Up to now, it has been supplied from 17 of the 20 cells in one of the LM's main batteries. This feed is called the low voltage tap. By tapping off the power from the last of the 20 cells in the battery, Jack will bring the voltage back up. This is the high voltage tap.
060:08:41 Evans: And, Houston, as we all suspected, it has one cock on it, or it had one cock. Now it's fully cocked. And the handle itself is free swinging. The plunger has depressed, oh, almost three-quarters of an inch from the top. And it is no longer parallel with the surface.
060:09:14 Fullerton: Roger, Ron.
060:09:18 Evans: Okay. When you look back in the side of it there, that little J-hook with the snowman in it, the snowman's head points - as you look directly at the side of it, it points - the snowman's head is at 8 o'clock and the connecting link from the one that connects - the one that goes into the plunger to - to the little fat J-bar there, is parallel with that slot, so that the point of the J sticks out. So it is, indeed, fully cocked.
060:10:00 Fullerton: Okay, Ron. Sounds good and that's where we'd like to leave it.
060:10:05 Evans: Okay. Will do. [Long pause.]
060:10:21 Schmitt: Okay. Step 5, 2-3.
060:10:24 Fullerton: Roger. [Long pause.]
060:11:20 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. Step 5 complete. Glycol pressure is 21. It's down about a psi from yesterday.
060:11:28 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. Copy.
060:11:34 Evans: And, Houston, is magazine II a good one to use for a - some opportunity interior photos?
060:11:44 Fullerton: Let me check, Ron.
060:11:57 Fullerton: That's affirm; II sounds good.
Magazine II is one of the 16-mm movie magazines. It holds high speed Ektachrome film (type SO168, speed 160ASA/ISO) that has been colour balanced for interior lighting.
060:12:04 Evans: Hope so. Looks like that's the only one I have.
060:12:12 Fullerton: Do you - do you recall when you did the heat flow on HH, if you used all of HH up on that experiment?
060:12:23 Fullerton: Don't get it out to look, but I just wondered if you remembered.
060:12:24 Evans: That's affirm. It - No, it ran out. It didn't - I got the complete cooldown part of the ex - of the experiment on HH and then switched to High. And I got about 2 minutes of High before the film ran out again. Had that at High power on the - on the...
060:12:50 Fullerton: Okay, Ron. Thank you.
060:12:53 Evans: After the main part of the experiment was complete.
060:12:56 Fullerton: Roger.
060:13:02 Fullerton: And, Jack, we're copying LM data now.
060:13:04 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. Beautiful. I was just going to say step 6 is complete.
Long comm break.
060:16:46 Schmitt: Houston, 17.
060:16:48 Fullerton: Go ahead.
060:16:54 Schmitt: Roger. I just was thinking while I was waiting here that the cleanliness of these two spacecraft is certainly a tribute to the - all the people at Grumman and Downey and at the Cape, who worked so hard to put them that way.
060:17:14 Fullerton: Okay. We'll make sure they hear about it.
Comm break.
060:19:32 Fullerton: Challenger, Houston. We're - we've looked at the LM data and it looks perfect, no problems at all. What we're doing right now, though, is - is - the checkout on the carrier and subcarrier lockups on the LM comm. So far, we've had no trouble with it, but we haven't quite completed the routine we wanted to try. Over.
060:20:00 Schmitt: Okay. I understand, Gordy. No - no hurry here.
Long comm break.
060:25:34 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. We've completed our investigation of the comm, there. It all looked good. You can press on page 2-4.
060:25:47 Schmitt: Roger.
Long comm break.
060:27:14 Schmitt: Say, Gordy, I see I neglected to pull the Bal Load circuit breaker when I went to - after going to high taps. You want me to go back and show you that again?
060:27:27 Fullerton: Stand by.
060:27:38 Schmitt: That's the Bal Loads breaker on 16, so the buses were tied together.
060:27:42 Fullerton: Roger. I understand.
060:27:53 Fullerton: Jack, there's no need to go back. Just keep on going.
060:28:00 Schmitt: Okay. Sorry about that.
060:28:03 Fullerton: No problem.
Long comm break.
060:31:40 Fullerton: America, Houston. We're all ready for the E-MOD dump, if it's convenient to you. [Long pause.]
060:32:18 Evans: Houston, this is America. I guess that's for me, isn't it?
060:32:24 Fullerton: That's right, for Captain America.
060:32:28 Evans: [Laughter.] Okay. We'll get her here.
060:32:39 Evans: Okay, Verb 74 Enter.
060:32:46 Fullerton: Okay, we're getting it.
060:32:52 Evans: Okay.
060:33:11 Evans: And, Houston, we have 50 percent remaining on magazine India India.
060:33:18 Fullerton: Roger.
060:33:23 Evans: And they're all taken at 6 frames a second.
060:33:29 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
060:33:55 Fullerton: Okay, America, we've got the dump.
060:34:04 Evans: Okay. Understand; you have the dump.
Long comm break.
060:35:45 - This is Apollo Control at 60 hours, 35 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. LM checkout apparently going along quite well at this time. The balky docking latch has been recocked and will be left in that position until redocking after lunar orbit insertion after the landing. Apollo 17 is now 53,438 nautical miles [98,967 km] out from the Moon. Velocity now 3,286 feet per second [1,002 m/s]. Meanwhile, back at the Earth, the spacecraft is now 177,980 nautical miles [329,619 km] from the Earth. At 60:36, standing by; this is Apollo Control.
060:37:34 Cernan: Hello, Gordo. This is Geno. I'm - back on the line.
060:37:39 Fullerton: Okay. Welcome back.
060:37:45 Cernan: Yes, I was just testing out survival techniques in space.
060:37:51 Fullerton: Roger. Did you survive?
060:37:58 Cernan: Well, so far.
060:38:01 Cernan: And we've got the LM back on CSM power.
060:38:05 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
060:38:30 Cernan: Gordo, it's called education of necessity.
060:38:35 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
060:38:43 Cernan: Okay. I guess the LM looked pretty good to you, huh?
060:38:48 Fullerton: Yes, sir. It looked perfect. And we also went through the little communications main carrier sub carrier lockup check, and the - and the comm system worked perfectly, so there's no problems at all to report.
060:39:09 Cernan: Okay, fine. We'll start in - with the - Jack donning the PGA, and then I'll follow him.
060:39:18 Fullerton: Okay.
Comm break.
060:40:38 Schmitt: Gordy, how'd that ZPN turn out?
060:40:42 Fullerton: Let me get another check, here. [Long pause.]
060:41:21 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. It looks fairly good right now. Don't bother changing anything.
060:41:30 Schmitt: Well, I'm just going to be in a position to work on it in a little while and if the occasion arises, I could.
060:41:40 Fullerton: Okay, we'll keep that in mind, although it looks reasonable at the moment. It has shown some - at some times, it's gone to - from edge to edge on their scale but it's come back in right now. I'll find out later if they want to do anything.
060:42:02 Schmitt: Okay, the - the electrolyte pads may be still expanding a little bit so I'm going off the air briefly to start getting into the suit. And I'll talk to you in a little while.
060:42:15 Fullerton: Okay.
Very long comm break.
AS17-148-22752 - CM side hatch exterior viewed from the LM. Note fogging in the centre of the hatch window - JSC scan
AS17-148-22753 - CM and lunar sounder VHF antenna viewed from the LM - JSC scan
AS17-148-22754 - CM and EVA light viewed from the LM - JSC scan
AS17-148-22755 - CM exterior and RHS rendezvous window (window 4) viewed from the LM - JSC scan
AS17-148-22756 - CM exterior and RHS rendezvous window (window 4) viewed from the LM - JSC scan
AS17-148-22757 - CM side hatch exterior viewed from the LM. Note fogging in the centre of the hatch window - JSC scan
060:53:48 Cernan: Hello, Gordo.
060:53:51 Fullerton: Hello.
060:53:56 Cernan: Okay. We're up to frame count 151 on magazine November November. They've been pictures of the - primarily of the CSM out the LM windows by the CMP.
060:54:13 Fullerton: Okay.
060:54:19 Cernan: He's been up there fooling around for a while. We may have to check it out and see what he did.
Long comm break.
060:57:42 Fullerton: America, Houston.
060:57:47 Cernan: Go ahead, Gordo.
060:57:48 Fullerton: That dropout there was because Ascension had a problem. We're now over on Madrid, and you're sounding good.
060:57:59 Cernan: Okay.
Long comm break.
061:01:14 Cernan: Okay, Gordo. Jack is in his suit, unzipped at this time. I'm going off the air, and Ron will come on and keep you informed as to how we're going.
061:01:30 Fullerton: Okay. Fine.
Comm break.
061:03:07 Schmitt: Houston. How do you read the LMP?
061:03:10 Fullerton: Loud and clear, Jack.
061:03:14 Schmitt: Okay. I'm in my suit, presently unzipped. Didn't seem to be any problem at all.
061:03:22 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
061:04:07 Schmitt: And, Gordy, I think I found a problem with the biomed sensors. And when I come out of the suit, I can fix it. I put a little of that bacterial cream on the sensor places last night as a preventive mechanism, and I think it's just a little greasy to hold the sensor.
061:04:29 Fullerton: Okay.
Long comm break.
061:09:08 Evans: Okay. Gene's got his suit on and he's going across to the LM now.
061:09:12 Fullerton: Roger, Ron.
Long comm break.
061:15:26 Evans: Okay. This is CMP. I'll go off the line here, for a little bit, until I can get my suit on again.
061:15:32 Fullerton: Okay, Ron.
061:15:36 Evans: And Jack's still on the line up there in the 124 though.
061:15:39 Fullerton: Okay.
Comm break.
061:17:37 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. We're both zipped now, and it went quite easily.
061:17:43 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. Sounds super.
Very long comm break.
061:21:03 - This is Apollo Control at 61:21 Ground Elapsed Time. Position and velocity on the spacecraft: now 51,982 nautical miles [96,271 km] from the Moon; velocity, 3,288 feet per second [1,002 m/s]; distance from Earth, 179,437 nautical miles [332,317 km]. Crew completing their checkout of the Lunar Module, getting partially suited in their pressure garment assemblies or space suits, if you will, for the installation of the probe and drogue, and closeout of the tunnel into the Lunar Module. At 61:22 up and live on the air-ground circuit, this is Apollo Control.
061:29:38 Evans: This is CMP. I finally got my suit on now.
061:29:43 Fullerton: Go ahead. [Pause.]
061:29:55 Fullerton: America, Houston. Did you call?
061:30:02 Evans: No, I was just saying - the CMP. Got my suit on now. And I had a little trouble with the donning liners getting stuck - stuck in the zipper; but I figured out how to get them out of the way now.
061:30:16 Fullerton: Okay.
Long comm break.
061:38:40 Evans: Okay, Houston. Gene has his suit pretty well on now.
061:38:47 Fullerton: Okay, Ron.
061:38:53 Fullerton: We reviewed the data on the E-MOD. Everything looks normal. One thing you might do is - no big thing, but you might zero Noun 26. It's still loaded, left over from the EMP you used in the P23 yesterday.
Noun 26 is listed as 'PRIO/DELAY, ADRES, BBCON', three registers that were used to specify parameters for running an ad-hoc or Erasable Memory Program (EMP). Based on notes from Journal contributor Frank O'Brien, author of the book The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation, while Ron was carrying out his P23, he ran an EMP. It is likely that Mission Control had uploaded it directly into the 2 kiloword erasable memory. To run the program, a few things are required: the priority of the program and any delay in its execution (PRIO/DELAY), the memory location from where the software should be started (ADRES), control data for the utilisation of memory banks used for the software (BBCON). These are all contained in the three registers of Noun 26. Fullerton would like Ron to enter '00000' into all three, essentially as a tidy-up task.
061:39:13 Evans: Okay. Thank you much. [Long pause.]
061:39:48 Schmitt: Gordy, this is the LMP. How do you read?
061:39:51 Fullerton: Loud and clear, Jack.
061:39:55 Schmitt: Say, when I was switching batteries, I noticed switching from low to high taps that there were some reverse-current indications. Sure that's nothing to be concerned about; you probably expected those, right?
061:40:13 Fullerton: That's affirmative, Jack. That's normal.
061:40:19 Schmitt: Right.
Very long comm break.
061:49:38 - This is Apollo Control. From all indications on telemetry here in Mission Control, the crew, at this time, have - has closed the Lunar Module hatch and at - should be reinstalling the probe and drogue assemblies. And finally the Command Module hatch, thereby closing out the tunnel. Apollo 17 now 177, whoops, would you believe our space digitals have gone back to Earth reference momentarily. At any rate the spacecraft is 177,966 nautical miles [329,593 km] from Earth, traveling at a velocity of 2,652 feet per second [808 m/s] in - with reference to the Earth. And as soon as the space digital display goes back to the Moon reference, we'll read those numbers off. We're waiting for the call from the crew that they have completed stowing or installing the probe and drogue assembly in closing out the tunnel. At 61:51, standing by; this is Apollo Control.
This number from the PAO announcer is wrong as it departs markedly from the trend of readings he has offered recently. In particular, it is smaller than the previous reading of 179,437 nm and distance ought to be increasing. His subsequent readings will also follow an altered trend. It seems likely he misread the third digit as a seven when it ought to be a nine.
061:55:30 Fullerton: America, Houston. We'd like to terminate the charge on battery B.
061:55:40 Evans: Okay; stand by 1.
061:55:44 Cernan: Okay, we'll get that in a minute, Gordo.
061:55:46 Fullerton: Okay.
Long comm break.
061:58:49 Cernan: Okay, Gordo, the charge should be terminated on Bat B.
061:58:54 Fullerton: Okay.
061:58:56 Cernan: And 7 Alpha's still - 7 Alpha's still 0.6.
061:59:01 Fullerton: Roger.
Long comm break.
062:04:02 Cernan: Okay, Gordy, I - I'm looking around, but I can't figure out what that Master Alarm is. I didn't see any O2 High Flow and I didn't see any lights, and we did get it down in the LEB.
062:04:13 Fullerton: Okay, Gene.
062:04:18 Cernan: And there it is again.
062:04:22 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
062:04:30 Cernan: And again.
062:04:34 Fullerton: Roger.
062:04:35 Cernan: Okay, I saw SPS Pressure blink on that one.
062:04:42 Fullerton: Roger.
062:04:45 Cernan: Yeah, Gordy, she's triggering continually on SPS Pressure.
062:04:59 Cernan: Yeah. I can't reset it, and a minute later she's coming up with a blink on SPS Pressure.
062:05:12 Fullerton: Okay, Gene. We think it's the - well - well, we - we're sure that it's the oxidizer pressure is right on the trip limit. We're almost certain it's due to helium absorption.
062:05:27 Cernan: Yeah, we're reading 155 right now.
062:05:31 Fullerton: Roger.
Comm break.
062:08:26 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. We got the SPS Pressure light on steady now.
062:08:30 Fullerton: Roger.
Long comm break.
062:15:25 Fullerton: America, Houston. If you give us Accept, we'll give you a new state vector. Nothing much wrong with the one you've got, but we're just going to tweak it up.
062:15:37 Cernan: Okay, Gordy, you've got it.
062:15:39 Fullerton: And one other question. Do you have the LM closed up now? We're seeing some heater currents that are a little higher indicating maybe the light's still on. And we're just trying to understand where the LM is at the present time.
062:15:57 Evans: Okay, I just closed the hatch, just about the time you started talking there.
062:16:02 Fullerton: Okay, we'll take a look at the currents now.
Comm break.
062:18:03 Fullerton: America, it's your computer, and we did the Verb 66.
062:18:11 Cernan: Okay.
Very long comm break.
The CSM's erasable has space set aside not only to keep a note of the CSM's state vector but also the LM's. Verb 66 makes a copy in the LM slots of the state vector stored in the CSM slots.
062:29:02 Cernan: Say, Gordo, what's the trend in thinking on that SPS light - to leave it lit or to bump the pressure up?
062:29:12 Fullerton: Well, I - Ed Mitchell must be at work, because we were just talking about that subject. I'll call you when they come up with a final decision.
062:29:26 Cernan: Okay. And Ron has put the - has closed the LM hatch. He's put the drogue in. He's put the probe in, and he's putting the CSM hatch in as a one-man exercise - suited. So he's doing the whole thing, and he's still in his suit. Our suits are stowed.
062:29:47 Fullerton: Okay, Gene. We got one question here, that - just - just waiting for a convenient time to ask, and that was - wondered if, with reference to the wakeup problems we had this morning, if you'd clarify just exactly why Ron didn't hear our crew-alert Master Alarm. You know exactly why? [Pause.]
062:30:20 Evans: Well, it's not the Seconal. As much as I hate to admit it, the Power/Audio Tone was Off [chuckle] in my headset.
062:30:42 Fullerton: Okay. We kind of suspected that - that one.
062:30:44 Evans: So - Okay; that lets you rest a little bit easier. And just to prevent something like that from happening again - or if it should happen again - what we'll do, we'll hook up the tone booster, which we didn't have hooked up last night.
062:31:02 Fullerton: Okay. We concur. Sounds good. [Long pause.]
062:31:22 Evans: Yeah. I woke up and I saw that light there and I thought, "Gee-whiz, I just got it in time." Until I tried to push - push out that caution and warning Master Alarm. And burned my end of my finger.
For Ron to burn the end of his finger, the light, illuminated by an incandescent bulb, had clearly been on for a long time.
062:31:33 Fullerton: (Laughter)
062:31:50 Evans: I was also in a sleep restraint and upside down with a zipper in the back. And I had a little problem getting my hands out to start with, also.
062:32:01 Fullerton: Rog. [Long pause.]
062:32:40 Evans: Hey, Houston, Cabin Repress is back to Both now - I mean Emergency Cabin Repress.
062:32:48 Fullerton: Roger, Ron.
Long comm break.
062:36:20 Schmitt: Gordo, if you don't have any objections, we'd like to ge ahead and secure the High Gain, and go on to PTC while Ron's doffing his PGA.
062:36:33 Fullerton: Let me check and see if we have any. [Long pause.]
062:37:20 Fullerton: Sounds good to us. Go ahead and, per Flight Plan, spin it up.
062:37:29 Schmitt: Okay.
062:37:34 Fullerton: And I didn't want to mislead you. I mean, you can get ready to spin it up. We'll give you the Go to spin up.
062:37:42 Schmitt: Okay.
Comm break.
062:39:05 Schmitt: Okay, Gordy. You want to leave the High Gain 'til you call? [Pause.]
062:39:15 Fullerton: Stand by.
062:39:24 Fullerton: Okay. Jack, this is a good attitude to go to Omni Bravo, and you can go ahead and secure the High Gain.
062:39:33 Schmitt: Okay.
Long comm break.
062:44:43 Fullerton: America, Houston. The rates look good; you're Go for spinup.
062:44:50 Cernan: Okay; great, Gordo; we're Go for spinup. We've - we've got a show in here that very few men have ever seen, and that's a CMP trying to get out of his suit by himself.
062:45:05 Fullerton: Wish I was there to watch.
062:45:10 Cernan: It really is a story to behold.
062:45:15 Schmitt: Needless to say, we're both very impressed.
062:45:19 Fullerton: I can tell. [Long pause.]
062:45:53 Fullerton: America, Houston. Use B/D roll for spinup.
062:45:59 Cernan: Okay. [Long pause.]
Based on their understanding of the remaining propellant in the four RCS thruster quads around the SM, Mission Control decide which pair can be used to initiate the Passive Thermal Control rotation.
062:46:31 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. This is the LMP on biomed. How do you read?
062:46:39 Fullerton: Okay, Jack. Let's take a point check here. [Long pause.]
062:47:09 Fullerton: America, D-2 Roll is not on. You need the Delta Roll jet.
062:47:17 Cernan: Yeah, I'm still working on it, Gordo. I was just deciding whether to spin minus or plus; but I guess we ought to spin minus, as per the Flight Plan.
062:47:25 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
062:48:13 Cernan: We're on our way.
062:48:17 Fullerton: Okay. Okay, - the LMP's EKG and ZPN look good. And on the SPS light, we recommend not doing anything with the system. We want you to go to Acknowledge so the - get the light out of your eyes, and then just fly there in Acknowledge on the Caution and Warning. [Long pause.]
062:48:53 Cernan: Okay, Gordy. We're in Acknowledge, and - I presume, probably after LOI, we'll be able to go back to Normal, right?
062:49:08 Fullerton: That's affirmative.
062:49:13 Cernan: Is that an abnormal amount of helium ingestion [sic], or do you think that's about right?
062:49:19 Fullerton: It's - it's absorption, and that's normal.
Comm break.
062:52:04 Cernan: Hello, Houston. Do you read?
062:52:06 Fullerton: Loud and clear.
062:52:11 Cernan: Okay, now that we got another look at you, Gordy, it looks like Houston might be right on the fringes of either being clear or clearer. The entire Gulf is pretty nice. Florida looks pretty clear, and Mexico looks pretty clear. There's a big air mass of clouds that looks like it picks up somewhere around the coast at Houston, heads on up north, and then covers most of the Midwest and the East, from about the middle of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia on north. It's clear enough now to even see the coral reefs down off of Florida. And it looks like west Texas is probably also pretty clear, at least in a run from east to west. We can see Baja, and on up the coast of California up north.
062:53:09 Fullerton: Okay, sounds like the whole crew is turning into weathermen. [Long pause.]
062:53:25 Cernan: It's one of the better views we've had of the States, I think, even though we're quite a ways out.
062:53:46 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.] Looks like your subso - subspacecraft point is just about Peru right now.
062:53:57 Cernan: Yeah, we're - looks like we're looking straight down on the center of South America, pretty close to what you're saying. [Long pause.]
062:54:47 Cernan: Gordy, you want to bring us up to date briefly on how you plan on handling this time update again?
062:54:57 Fullerton: Okay. I'll do that. Let me - but let me practice before I start here. Just a minute.
062:55:04 Cernan: Okay. I'm primarily interested in those parts of the Flight Plan which we're going to eliminate.
062:55:14 Fullerton: Okay. Just one second.
Comm break.
062:57:33 Fullerton: Geno, I'll read you the PAO release; they summed up pretty well, and I'll just use their words here. The time has been made up in two increments. The first one of 1 hour and 45 minutes in the Flight Plan. The crew activities were jumped ahead by 1 hour, and they essentially began doing those things that were called for 1 hour later in the Flight Plan. They will again jump ahead an hour and 40 minutes, and that will occur at 65 hours. By that time they will have completed all those activities required up through 67 hours and 40 minutes in the Flight Plan. Or, in other words, they will have completed all the activities required to get them into lunar orbit, 2 hours and 40 minutes early, and in order to make the clocks then agree with where the crew will be in the Flight Plan, we'll jump the clocks ahead 2 hours and 40 minutes. This clock update, which can be likened to going on Daylight Saving Time, only 2 hours and 40 minutes worth of change instead of 1 hour of change as we do on Daylight Savings Time, will occur at 65 hours when the crew will have completed all of those Flight Plan activities up through 67 hours and 40 minutes. [Chuckle] This simply involves setting our clock to 65 hours in the Control Center and aboard the spacecraft to 65 hours, moving them ahead to 67 hours and 40 minutes. Then, barring any further changes in the mission time line, from that point on, the elapsed time clocks, which are used as a cue to Flight Plan activities, should agree with the Flight Plan and events that, in the Flight Plan are called out for a certain time will happen at that time on the elapsed time clocks [laughter] in Mission Control and aboard the spacecraft. [Laughter.] This is a convenience factor.
062:59:15 Cernan: You're lucky; we're going to lose an Omni.
062:59:19 Fullerton: Okay. I'll hold off there for the rest.
062:59:25 Cernan: Gordy, never mind. I think I got the gist of it.
Long comm break.
063:04:13 Cernan: Did you give up, Gordy?
063:04:19 Fullerton: Okay. What we're really going to do is - [chuckle] really is simple. At 65 hours, we're going to do the update of 2 hours and 40 minutes. And the procedures are shown in the Flight Plan at 67:35. There just happens - happens to be really no - no activities we have to reschedule in the intervening time. So, after the update is complete, we'll be right on the Flight Plan, both time-wise and activity-wise. Over.
063:05:05 Cernan: Okay. We're looking at it. Going to have to squeeze my shave in somewhere else, I guess.
Comm break.
AS17-162-24064
AS17-162-24064 - CM Interior, Cernan Shaving - JSC scan
063:07:38 Duke: Hey, Gene; Houston.
063:07:44 Cernan: Go ahead.
063:07:45 Duke: Hey, you got to break - you can cast the tying vote. Which was the best description: the water bag or the clock one? [Long pause.]
063:08:10 Cernan: Oh yeah. Now I remember. You got a little - give a little credit on this last one, I guess, to - to Public Affairs, because I don't think Gordo could have thought that one up all by himself. [Pause.]
063:08:36 Duke: Very diplomatic.
063:08:38 Cernan: [Garble] Considering I - I was trying to do - to do Charlie's technique step by step, I guess I got to give him little bit more credit from the gymnastic point of view.
063:09:00 Schmitt: That sounded like one of Gordy's aircraft schedules.
063:09:06 Duke: Amen. [Long pause.]
063:09:18 - This is Apollo Control at 63 hours, 9 minutes...
063:09:26 Cernan: [Garble] they were moving another Saturn V out on the pad.
063:09:37 Fullerton: Jack, we lost all of that due to the antenna switch. Say again. [Long pause.]
063:09:58 Fullerton: Jack, we missed your last transmission...
063:10:00 Cernan: Gordy, you listening?
063:10:01 Fullerton: ...due to the antenna switch.
063:10:06 Cernan: You say you got it, or you're getting it?
063:10:09 Fullerton: No, we missed it.
063:10:15 Cernan: Okay. I said you can look right down at the Cape area - that's the Cape that we know - in Florida, and - little disheartening because the last time I was up here looking back from this angle, they were moving another Saturn V for another Moon trip out on the pad already. But I guess they're working pretty feverishly out there on B.
Comm break.
AS17-162-24065
AS17-162-24065 - CM Interior, Evans Shaving - JSC scan
063:11:19 - This is Apollo Control; 63 hours, 11 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Charlie Duke was on the spacecraft's communicators console for a while there, discussing the clock update description that had been read up earlier by Gordo Fullerton asking for a judgement on the part of the crew as to whether that description was better than...
063:11:52 Schmitt: Gordy, this is Jack. I think Gene was right. You got some - probably scattered cloud weather, but not very far away from you there's a pretty heavy mass of clouds. It may be the forerunner of that dry cold front you were talking about yesterday, which I can see stretching over into Sonora. But where it hits the stateside, it's got quite a mass of clouds associated with it. It looks like they're moving in your direction.
063:12:24 Fullerton: Okay, Jack, thanks for the warning.
063:12:30 Schmitt: Clear behind it, in Arizona and New Mexico and maybe southern Colorado, it looks like there may be another front stretching, or maybe it hits northern Arizona and Utah and up through northern Colorado, and on in to Canada, trending northeast.
063:12:57 Schmitt: You're calling it right on, Jack. I'm looking at the surface chart, and that's about what we see. [Long pause.]
063:13:20 Schmitt: Looks like a low might be developing on that one - a wave up in northern Colorado and - although the clouds are a little hard to read.
063:13:31 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
063:13:41 - And that was Lunar Module pilot, Jack Schmitt.
063:13:45 Schmitt: Our sub - or our zero phase point [pause] About 20 degrees west of Bolivia, our sub - our zero - zero phase point, and it is quite a bit brighter than yesterday and looks as if, and more general, as if maybe the seas have picked up in that region a little bit.
063:14:18 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
063:14:26 - Some more real-time weather reporting.
063:14:29 Schmitt: One of the more unusual features is developed - as I see - developed in the southeast Pacific just north of the Ross Sea and that is a very striking mushroom pattern on a very large scale. It has north/south clouds streaming - streamers from the Ross Sea. And when it gets up about the latitude of Tierra del Fuego, but quite a bit west of that land, it branches out to the east and west in a large mushroom pattern. And it looks like the top of that mushroom may be a curved cold front that's pushing its way up into the southeast Pacific. It currently - the eastern edge of that front is probably 10 degrees longitude from Tierra del Fuego, and it looks like that land in southern Chile is picking up high clouds, probably associated with that front's movement.
063:15:49 Fullerton: Roger. [Pause.]
063:15:56 Schmitt: I'll get some shots of that next time around. That's a spectacular pattern. You almost get the feeling that the cold airmass moving out of Antarctica streams for a while north/south. And then it picks - The cloud patterns change and as it starts to migrate, the winds start to change from east to west, Maybe that's where it encounters the jetstream.
063:16:25 Fullerton: Rog.
Long comm break.
063:18:04 - This is Apollo Control. Going through an antenna switch at the present time.
063:19:29 Fullerton: America, Houston. I have a couple of miscellaneous items here.
063:19:46 Evans: Okay; go ahead.
063:19:47 Fullerton: Okay. We'd like you to disable B2 and D2 just for a drill here.
063:19:58 Cernan: Oh, thank you, Gordo.
063:20:01 Fullerton: Also, the SHe tank looks exactly nominal, as far as the rise rate goes, to us. [Pause]
063:20:16 Cernan: Can't argue with that.
SHe is short for supercritical helium. The propellant tanks of the LM descent stage are pressurised with helium which is stored in a tank at high pressure. During engine operation, this helium is bled off as required to maintain propellant tank pressures as the quantity of liquid decreases. If the helium required for the task were merely compressed at ambient temperatures, the resulting storage vessel would have been excessively heavy.
For Apollo, engineers mastered the technique of both cooling and pressurising the helium to make it adopt a supercritical state, neither liquid or gas, that allowed more of the substance to be stored. As the mission progresses, heat will leak into the SHe tank, causing its pressure to rise. As long as that rise is within limits before the descent engine is used for landing, the tank should be able to hold it. If, as happened on Apollo 13, the descent engine isn't used to its full extent, the SHe tank pressure will continue to rise and so the system is protected by a disk that will deliberately burst before the tank does. The use of supercritical helium technology saved 100 kg from the mass of the LM.
063:20:19 Fullerton: And to summarize your film budget situation, have three magazines: KK, LL, and MM are budgeted for the scheduled photos such that they have only five, 19, and one, respectively, frames left over after you've done all the scheduled pictures. And November November, we think, has just - has just nine frames remaining now. The two nonscheduled magazines are OO and PP; 160 frames each. Those are the ones provided for optional use. We have 44 additional frames scheduled out of November November, scheduled during lunar orbit. There's only nine left in it now, so we'd like to save at least 60 frames out of either Oscar Oscar or Papa Papa, the two optional magazines, to cover the scheduled frames. Guess what we're saying is there's no problem. We've still got plenty of film, but you will have to use some of your optional mags for scheduled pictures. Sixty frames is what we want to save.
063:21:58 Evans: Okay; mighty fine, Gordo. Plan on Oscar Oscar for that magazine.
063:22:05 Fullerton: Okay.
Very long comm break.
063:23:04 - This is Apollo Control at 63:23 Ground Elapsed Time. The space digitals display here in the Control Center still showing Earth to spacecraft distance and velocity. Distance 180,309 nautical miles [333,932 km], velocity relative to Earth 2,593 feet per second [790 m/s]. A few moments ago the Lunar Module pilot Jack Schmitt who is a professional geologist, put on his hat as an amateur meteorologist and described some of the global weather systems visible from their vantage point out beyond 180,000 miles from Earth. Still up live and standing by at 63:24 Ground Elapsed Time, this is Apollo Control.
063:34:01 Schmitt: Gordy; this is Jack.
063:34:04 Fullerton: Go ahead, Jack.
063:34:08 Schmitt: I - Cal Tech will never forgive me; I'm a little hesitant on my elementry optics. But I just put Ron's polarizing filter in front of the monocular, looking at the Earth and rotate 90 degrees, and from max to min in terms of brightness, there's a remarkable change. And I suspect that means that the Earth is polarizing light enough to see it. The main thing that happens is that the oceans get considerably darker when I rotate the filter towards the dark position anyway. The continents don't seem to show any obvious change, but the oceans and the zero phase point darken - oh, I would guess by a factor of two in brightness. Maybe that's an extreme, but I think it's that.
063:35:10 Fullerton: Rog. I was just trying to think of a reason. Is it uniform change over all ocean areas, or is it more of a change in some areas than others?
063:35:24 Schmitt: Well, I'd say that the subsolar point shows the greatest change, but you can still - the zero phase point shows the greatest change. But all the oceans get darker.
063:35:39 Fullerton: Very interesting. We are just about to switch Omnis.
Long comm break.
Photographers who are used to wielding polarising filters in front of their cameras will be aware that the effect that Jack is describing is exactly what would be expected.
Electromagnetic radiation, including light, is said to be a transverse wave and can be likened to a long skipping rope being wiggled from side to side sending waves along its length. The direction of the side-to-side movement is said to be its polarisation. Light can also be polarised with one particular direction of vibration becoming dominant. This polarisation can occur when unpolarised light reflects off an object at an oblique angle; for example, the surface of a body of water. Blue sky light is also polarised with the maximum effect occuring at right angles to the Sun. Normally, polarisation is invisible but if we use a filter that favours passing one particular direction of polarisation, then we can see when it is occuring because the filter can be used to block strongly polarised light. The effect of Jack's filter on the whole Earth is to darken the oceans, especially the specular reflection at what he labels as the zero-phase point.
An additional effect of a polarising filter is to enhance the colour saturation of the image. This is because it is removing the specular reflections from many of the objects in the field of view, thereby allowing the inherent colour of the object to come through. This occurs especially well with grass and leaves, as each one loses its surface reflection of the Sun or skylight, and instead the depth of its green is revealed.
063:42:00 Schmitt: Houston, 17.
063:42:02 Fullerton: Go ahead.
063:42:06 Schmitt: Gordy, I figure you're getting an optics briefing ready for me, right?
063:42:11 Fullerton: I haven't had anybody volunteer one. Strictly some layman theories going around, but nothing official.
063:42:25 Schmitt: Okay.
Long comm break.
063:45:48 Fullerton: America, Houston. Just got started on the Cowboy-Redskin game, about 5 minutes into it. The Cowboys are ahead 7 to nothing. They scored the first time they got the ball. [Long pause.]
063:46:16 Schmitt: Gordy, you started talking before we had an Omni. Try it again.
063:46:21 Fullerton: Okay. The Cowboy-Redskin game just got started. It's now 7 to nothing, Cowboys. They scored the first time they got their hands on the ball. [Pause.]
063:46:38 Schmitt: Okay. I think we got most of that. It happened again, though.
063:46:45 Cernan: Did you say it was 7 to nothing, Cowboys?
063:46:48 Fullerton: That's what I said. They scored the first time they got the ball. It's - the game's just about 5 minutes old.
063:46:57 Cernan: Outstanding. I thought this was Saturday. isn't - isn't today Saturday?
063:47:03 Fullerton: It is, but the college is all through, so the pros are playing on Saturday now.
063:47:11 Cernan: Beautiful. Seven to nothing, huh? Go get 'em, Cowboys. [Pause.]
063:47:20 Schmitt: But, he would say the same thing for Washington, I'm sure.
063:47:26 Cernan: Nosiree. Go get 'em, Cowboys.
Comm break.
063:48:39 Evans: Houston, 17.
063:48:41 Fullerton: Go ahead, Ron.
063:48:46 Evans: Okay, Gordo, my apologies on the CMP's in-suit drinking bag. There was, in fact, water in it. However, somehow, when we put the suit on, the water bag had gotten turned sideways, I guess, is the way to explain it. It got turned sideways such that the suction tube was crimped sideways. And, as a result, there's no way that you could get any water to go through the tube.
063:49:25 Fullerton: Okay. You're talking about the problem we had there just before launch, right?
063:49:32 Evans: That's affirmative - prelaunch.
063:49:36 Fullerton: Okay, and for your information, the PTC looks good. It ought to hold.
063:49:46 Evans: Okay. Mighty fine. I lost my scissors. If there's anything you can do to help me find them, it'd be appreciated.
From the ALSJ - The preparations for lunch took a bit longer than usual and the reason was that Evans couldn't find his scissors. The food, much of it dehydrated, was sealed in tough plastic bags. Each of them carried a pair of good quality surgical scissors so that they could cut the bags and get at the food. Without his scissors, Evans would get mighty hungry and his one hope, short of finding his own, was that Cernan or Schmitt would lend him a pair while they were down on the surface. After some joking about his predicament, they agreed to leave a pair behind.
063:49:59 Fullerton: Okay.
063:50:03 Evans: [Laughing.] Okay.
Comm break.
063:52:20 Fullerton: Got a game plan update for you here. It's now 14-nothing, Dallas; still in the first quarter.
063:52:30 Cernan: God, you're sure a bearer of good news, Gordy. That's great.
063:52:41 Schmitt: Gordy, I just - this is Jack. I just tried the red filter on the front of the monocular and about the only major thing I noticed was that the cloud patterns over the landmasses seemed to be enhanced. The contrast between cloud and land, particularly green land is enhanced. Otherwise, all it does is make the red - the Earth look a little red.
063:53:17 Fullerton: Roger, Jack.
Very long comm break.
Again, Jack's observations fit with what photographers have known about for decades. If a monochrome photograph is taken through a strong red filter, then the parts of the image that are strongly blue will be darkened with respect to those that contain reddish light. The clouds reflect sunlight relatively equally across the visible spectrum so they stay relatively light while the blue sky is darkened. It was a way of making clouds stand out more clearly in black and white photographs. The same happens for Jack when looking at Earth. Where the oceans are visible through the clouds, they are illuminated by the blue sky above and thus appear bluish. (That's why the sea is often characterised as being blue. On a grey, cloud-covered day, the sea will be grey - it merely reflects the colour of the sky above.) Since the red end of the spectrum is depleted over these areas of ocean, their image through a red filter will appear relatively dark.
063:56:04 - This is Apollo Control at 63 hours, 56 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Space digital display still showing the Earth reference numbers. 181,123 nautical miles [335,440 km] out from Earth. Velocity, 2,573 feet per second relative to the Earth. There will be a change of shift press conference in the News Center Briefing Room at approximately 4:15 with Flight Director Neil Hutchinson. And at 63:56, standing by; this is Apollo Control.
064:04:13 Cernan: Hey, Gordo; this is Gene. [No answer,]
064:04:32 Cernan: Hey, Houston; this is 17.
064:04:37 Fullerton: Roger, Geno. I think we've got you now. Go ahead. [No answer,]
064:05:01 Fullerton: Okay, Geno. I think we got you...
064:05:02 Cernan: [Garble] 17.
064:05:03 Fullerton: ...Now. Go ahead.
064:05:06 Cernan: Okay. I just happened to be throwing a few switches, and I see our helium tank temperature on quad A is about 95 or so. And the others are quite low. is that because of our attitude there during - the LM checkout?
064:05:28 Fullerton: That's affirmative. That's the reason.
064:05:33 Cernan: Okay. I also see the tank that - package temperature a little higher on that quad too. But, being close to a hundred it seemed a little unusual. You're - you're happy, right?
064:05:46 Fullerton: That's affirm. No problem. We've been watching it, and it seems to be coming down now.
064:05:55 Cernan: Okay. Fine. Thank you.
Long comm break.
064:09:07 Schmitt: Houston, you want the H2 Heaters to Auto and the Fan 3, Off, now? [Long pause.]
064:09:29 Fullerton: Stand by, Jack. [Long pause.]
064:09:46 Fullerton: That's affirmative, Jack. Go ahead. [Pause.]
064:09:54 Schmitt: Okay. That's done. [Pause.]
064:10:04 Fullerton: It's now 21 to nothing, Cowboys. Second quarter. [Pause.]
064:10:13 Cernan: Super Bowl, here they come. Watch out now.
064:10:23 Fullerton: Should remind you that the Commander in Chief is a Redskin fan.
064:10:33 Cernan: I read about that. That's why the Cowboys need as much help as they can get.
064:10:52 Schmitt: Gordy, in the continuing saga of looking at the Earth through rose-colored glasses, I tried a blue-colored glass, and it - as you might expect, completely masks out the continent. The land areas are just not visible through the blue. Otherwise, the ocean and clouds - or the contrasting ocean and clouds remains about the same.
064:11:21 Fullerton: Roger, Jack. [Long pause.]
064:11:35 Schmitt: And, Gordy, I tried putting all the filters we had together to check the Sun for sunspots, but just not quite enough light attenuation to do that.
064:11:49 Fullerton: Okay. For a while I thought you were a human weather satellite. Now I think you're a human Earth resources satellite.
064:12:01 Schmitt: Well, about all I can say is I'm a satellite I guess. [Long pause.]
Earth resources satellites use the ability to image Earth in specific types of light (colours if you will) to discriminate between the various types of surfaces. The use of colour filters is a very crude example of this.
064:12:26 Schmitt: Gordy, it looks as if the distribution of water and ice in the ri - Ross Sea has changed in the last day or two. I didn't - don't remember looking at it yesterday specifically, but it seems to be different today than it was the first day.
064:12:44 Fullerton: Roger.
Long comm break.
064:19:49 Schmitt: Houston, 17.
064:19:52 Fullerton: Go ahead, Jack.
064:19:57 Schmitt: Yeah, about this icepack in the Ross Sea. The - as I remember a couple days ago, there were two clear areas, triangular in shape and quite elongate, that were projecting out into the sea from the innermost part of the bay, or of the - from the continent. Today those are not apparent, at least the first look I made. And it looks like there is an elongate, more irregular clear area that is roughly parallel to the Antarctic coastline within the sea itself. We'll check that a little more closely and see if that's right.
064:20:56 Fullerton: Okay. Seems like kind of a quick change for something like ice, doesn't it?
064:21:06 Schmitt: Yeah, and that's what bothers me. That's why I wonder if I'm not being fooled by cloud patterns or something.
064:21:13 Fullerton: I'm looking at a satellite picture here, which I guess is around 12 hours old though. But over to the east of Australia, maybe about a continent width east of Australia, there's a really striking long frontal system - striking because it's so long and so straight, sort of west-northwest, trending west-northwest and east-southeast trending. Can you see that?
Comm break.
064:23:33 Cernan: Gordo, are you there?
064:23:36 Fullerton: Yes, sir, right here.
064:23:41 Cernan: Okay. Now Jack and I may be talking about two different frontal systems or patterns, but the one I think you might be referring to is the one I referred to yesterday as a ruffled parrot's beak. Actually two of them tied together, one starting up probably southeast of Australia and - and then heading down with a long arcing frontal system to another clockwise rotational parrot's - parrot's cone, I should say, down around - near the tip of South America, between it and Antarctica. There is one strong tributary front heading up to the north-northwest from the western side of this big, arcing, frontal mass. And I think that's probably what you're referring to. I'm not sure. I can't quite see Australia coming up over the - over the horizon yet.
064:24:53 Fullerton: Okay. I - my picture cuts off right about the - oh, two-thirds of the way south in Australia, that latitude. So most likely we're talking about the same thing, but I can't verify the southern part of it.
064:25:15 Cernan: There is some tremendous - western side of that curve front is a tremendous clockwise rotational airmass. It must cover hundreds of square miles. The one down near - near the continent of Antarctica, down there, near the tip of South America, seemed to be squashed slightly as if there is possibly some - some squashing or effect coming off - off the South Pole area near Antarctica. I think, if I turn around and look at it the way Jack was looking at it, it's a cap of a mushroom. Only instead of simply curving in underneath the cap, it has clockwise rotations on both sides as it curves under.
064:26:18 Fullerton: Roger.
Comm break.
064:26:46 - This is Apollo Control at 64:26 Ground Elapsed Time. The space digitals, meanwhile, has come back to Moon reference numbers. Our distance now from the Moon is 45,955 nautical miles [85,109 km]. Velocity, 3,300 feet per second [1,006 m/s]. And the Earth is 183,365 nautical miles [339,592 km] behind Apollo 17. Shift change press conference at 4:15 with Flight Director Neil Hutchinson. Chuck Lewis taking over now, with his team of flight controllers. And at 64:27, and continuing to stay up live on the Air-to-Ground, this Apollo Control.
064:28:22 Schmitt: Gordy, I just took two pictures of the Earth at the present time, and those are, right now the camera is on frame 153.
064:28:38 Fullerton: Okay; 153.
Jack's frame count on magazine NN combined with analysis of the image size indicate that he just took frames AS17-148-22758 and 22759.
AS17-148-22758 - North and South America, and Antarctica. Taken at 340,000 km - JSC scan
AS17-148-22759 - North and South America, and Antarctica. Taken at 340,000 km - JSC scan
064:29:28 Schmitt: Gordy, where did you say your ATS satellite picture left off to the west?
064:29:34 Fullerton: Okay. To the west, it goes clear on over to Africa. But to the south, it cuts off about 30 south, or not quite all of Australia. [Pause.]
064:29:54 Schmitt: Okay. Yeah, that mushroom pattern we've been talking about, on either edge - either end of the cap - and the mushroom points north - is a major cyclone circulation system. And also taking - moving, in one case - or trending, in one case, to the northwest and the other to the northeast, there are linear cloud patterns. Gives it a very symmetrical and a striking appearance. I hope it shows on those pictures.
064:30:43 Fullerton: Okay. It doesn't show on the one I got. Maybe a later version will have that one. Because it cuts - it's cut off on this one.
Comm break.
064:32:59 Cernan: [Chuckle] Hey, Gordo. This is Geno.
064:33:03 Fullerton: Go ahead.
064:33:06 Cernan: To put this update in simple terms - at 65, I guess on our clocks, you'll update us to about 67:40, right?
064:33:13 Fullerton: That's affirmative.
064:33:17 Cernan: Does that mean we have to eat 2 hours and 40 minutes earlier?
064:33:25 Fullerton: Oh, you got me there. I - You haven't been eating - you haven't eaten since breakfast. is that right?
064:33:32 Cernan: Oh, yes, sir. We just finished. We'll take another go at it, but I feel I've spending my life here eating.
064:33:47 Fullerton: Yeah. Well, we'll leave it up to you on this special case here.
064:33:53 Cernan: Okay, I think we'll take - a - a jab at supper here later in the day as per the Flight Plan.
064:34:00 Fullerton: All right. [Pause.]
064:34:09 Cernan: Gordy - the whole suiting operation - I was really very pleased with. Jack and I both got in our suits very easily, and one by one we went into the LM, and that's where we zipped each other up. And we really had little or no trouble. We took our time. We got all configured in terms of changing our pockets around and whatever else we needed to do. And, actually, I think it's much easier to get suited than it is to get unsuited, personally.
064:34:49 Fullerton: Okay. Sounds good.
064:34:55 Cernan: Ron stayed suited and did the entire tunnel work. And then went - did it by himself - and then totally doffed his suit and stowed it by himself, also, to sort of extend that little exercise.
064:35:13 Fullerton: Roger.
Very long comm break.
064:43:22 - This is Apollo Control at 64 hours, 43 minutes. The change of shift News Conference is ready to begin in the News Center briefing room. We'll take this line down now and tape for the duration of the News Conference.
064:46:31 Fullerton: America, Houston. The halftime score is 28 to 3, Cowboys.
064:46:39 Cernan: Keep talking, Gordo.
064:46:42 Fullerton: Okay, I'll keep talking [laughter]. The - I've learned that when you get to the ALFMED and pull it out there, you'll see some tape around the emulsion shields. Those are three rectangular areas in front of your eyes and to either side that contain the photographic emulsion. This tape is around the edges of each of those three areas to help seal out light leaks. You haven't seen it before. Leave the tape on there. Don't pull it off. Over.
064:47:16 Cernan: Okay. [Long pause.]
064:48:12 Schmitt: Gordy, I just took a series of pictures of the Earth with the 35-millimeter using the polarizing filter in the two positions. And the frame count is now 39. I took six pictures. And with the filter, on the first of each pair, in the Down position. The second's in the Up position. And I changed the f-stop from - the first set at f/4, the second set at f/2, and the third set at f/8.
064:49:01 Fullerton: Okay; we got all that, Jack.
The six images taken by Jack are presented here as they were scanned by staff at the Johnson Space Center decades later, and no correction for colour or levels has been applied.
AS17-162-24066
AS17-162-24066 - Earth, F/4, Polarised filter, vertical - uncorrected JSC scan
AS17-162-24067
AS17-162-24067 - Earth, F/4, Polarised filter, horizontal - uncorrected JSC scan
AS17-162-24068
AS17-162-24068 - Earth, F/2, Polarised filter, vertical - uncorrected JSC scan
AS17-162-24069
AS17-162-24069 - Earth, F/2, Polarised filter, horizontal - uncorrected JSC scan
AS17-162-24070
AS17-162-24070 - Earth, F/8, Polarised filter, vertical - uncorrected JSC scan
AS17-162-24071
AS17-162-24071 - Earth, F/8, Polarised filter, horizontal - uncorrected JSC scan
064:49:06 Schmitt: And, Gordy, you might ask one of the experts around there in - is the lightmeter in the 35-millimeter integrating over the interior spot, or over the hairline spot? The larger one.
064:49:24 Fullerton: Okay, I'll ask.
064:49:30 Schmitt: It acts as if it's the interior one, but [garble].
064:49:35 Fullerton: Okay. [Long pause.]
064:49:52 Fullerton: Jack. The answer to your question is the center spot is weighted for 60 percent of the reading and the rest of it for 40 percent. Over.
064:50:04 Schmitt: Okay. That - that makes sense. That would explain why the needle moved as I moved it across the series of spots.
064:50:11 Fullerton: Roger.
Very long comm break.
As has been discussed repeatedly in the transcript, the GET clock in Mission Control is updated to account for the late launch of Apollo 17 and to therefore place all subsequent events in the Flight Plan where they should be both in Ground Elapsed Time and in Universal Time (or GMT). This occurs at 65 hours and the clock is advanced to 067:40. They had ensured that all the necessary tasks had been completed by 65 hours and so from the update onwards, they could conduct the mission as if there had been no launch delay.
067:40:42 Cernan: Gordo, we're - we're ready any time you are for that update. And after we get the TFM and everything squared away, we'll go into ALFMED.
067:40:53 Overmyer: Roger. Stand by on that, Geno; and we'll be with you in a minute.
067:40:59 Cernan: Hello, Robert. How are you today?
067:41:00 Overmyer: Real fine, Gene. You're sounding great.
067:41:06 Cernan: Doing great out here. [Long pause.]
Comm break.
067:43:43 Overmyer: Geno, we're ready for the clock update. We'd like P00 and Accept. And we've got two loads to put in, so it will take a couple of minutes here.
067:43:55 Evans: Okay, you got it?
067:43:56 Overmyer: Thank you, Ron.
Comm break.
067:45:26 - This is Apollo Control at 67 hours, 45 minutes. We have advanced the Ground Elapsed Time clock in the Control Center and, on the Flight Plan, are operating at the point indicated for that time. In the News Center, the monitors, the actual GET time will be shown on the Time Base 5 clock. The GET clock will now show the Flight Plan GET time. And in the Flight Plan, the Central Standard Times and GET times listed will now agree and be correct. We accumulated a few minutes of tape during the News Conference and we'll play that for you now.
067:46:08 Overmyer: 17, Houston. I've got an update on your flyby maneuver PAD due to this clock update. Would you like to copy it?
067:46:20 Cernan: Stand by just 1 second [music].
067:46:28 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. Go ahead with the flyby PAD.
067:46:34 Overmyer: Okay, stand by 1 on that - on our end. We're done with the - we're done with the upload. The computer is yours, and we need a read-out on the TFM.
067:46:46 Schmitt: Okay, that's in work. [Pause.]
067:46:55 Overmyer: Okay, we've got the read-out.
Long comm break.
067:50:05 Overmyer: 17, Houston. The data looks good, and you're Go to copy it, and recommend you copy it into the Flight Plan Supplement. And that's on page 1-43 of the supplement.
067:50:21 Schmitt: Okay, Houston. We have it.
Comm break.
067:51:49 Overmyer: And, 17, we got that flyby PAD now. If you're still ready, we're ready. [Pause.]
067:52:03 Schmitt: Okay. Is this a full PAD or just a change to the other one?
067:52:06 Overmyer: It's just a change, Jack. It's a change to Noun 83, the GETI, and a change to the bottom line, the GET of .05g. Just two changes.
067:52:29 Schmitt: Okay, go ahead.
067:52:32 Overmyer: Jack, if you'll just add 2 hours and 40 minutes to each one of them, that's it. The GETI is 081:54:43.49. The GET of .05g, 156:04:03 - Jack, I guess I read 81. I was looking at the old PAD. It's 83 - 083 - on the GETI.
067:53:10 Schmitt: You're too fast for me. I was just going to chew you out.
067:53:15 Overmyer: Sorry about that, Jack. I got it around the room.
067:53:16 Schmitt: 083 - [laughter] 083:54:43.49; 156:04:03.
067:53:29 Overmyer: Roger. [Long pause.]
067:54:08 Cernan: Okay, Bob. We got all of our clocks set onboard.
067:54:14 Overmyer: Roger. Understand.
067:54:18 Cernan: What was the exact amount of that update time?
067:54:24 Overmyer: Two hours, 40 minutes; 2 plus 40. [Pause.]
067:54:35 Cernan: Okay, 2 plus 40, exactly. Thank you. [Long pause.]
067:55:08 Schmitt: Okay, Bob. We're going to work up an appetite with the ALFMED today.
067:55:13 Overmyer: Roger. [Long pause.]
067:55:33 Cernan: Hey, Bob. May be a little premature - but I don't think so - but I think there was some good thinking into that update, looking at the Flight Plan up until now and where we go from here. I don't think we - we overlooked a thing.
067:55:48 Overmyer: Roger. Like I said the other night, we gave Tommy a gold star on that one.
067:55:54 Cernan: Except I think he and Rita got in - in cahoots.
067:56:00 Overmyer: A little soon for supper, huh?
067:56:05 Cernan: Yeah. We just finished lunch, and it's about time to eat again.
067:56:09 Overmyer: That's known as the simulator step-ahead. [Pause]
067:56:21 Schmitt: Can you give us our distance from the Moon - from the Earth?
067:56:28 Overmyer: Roger. Stand by on that.
067:56:40 Schmitt: Are we about 5,000 miles closer now?
067:56:45 Overmyer: Don't you wish.
067:56:50 Schmitt: Well, isn't that what - isn't that the way these step-aheads work?
067:56:54 Overmyer: Normally, yes. But this one didn't work that way. [Pause.] Jack, you're at 183,000 miles. It's really amazing how time flies when you're interested in your work, isn't it?
Comm break.
067:58:36 Overmyer: Jack, Houston. Did you read your - my last call with the distance?
068:01:37 - This is Apollo Control at 68 hours 1 minute. Apollo 17 is 183,211 nautical miles [339,306 km] from Earth. Velocity is 2,521 feet per second. The spacecraft communicator now is Bob Overmyer. Stu Roosa the backup Command Module Pilot for Apollo 17 is also at the CapCom console with Overmyer.
Since about 62 hours, the numbers being given by the PAO announcer for the distance to Earth have become somewhat erratic.
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