The Sunday Herald from Provo, Utah on December 15, 1968 · Page 59
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The Sunday Herald from Provo, Utah · Page 59

Provo, Utah
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 15, 1968
Page 59
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Page 59 article text (OCR)

photographs from the hatchway, his partner steps solidly on the surface. Moving deliberately to the Lunar Module's body, he opens a fold-out shelf and retrieves replacement air filters and batteries. Finally the pilot pulls out a strange cup, resembling a long-handled beer stein. This is a crucial item, for it represents more insurance against aborting the mission. Stooping slightly, the pilot scoops the cup along the ground, gouging out pebbles, dust, loose dirt, and chunks of the moon. When the cup is full, he caps it tightly. A one-kilogram contingency sample of moon material is now secured. Wht>n these) items are stowed in the cabin, it is time for the commander to descend. Together they perform a careful walk-around inspection of their craft, looking for damage and taking pictures. By this time, exploration is well into its second hour. The astronauts separate. Each has 30 minutes for his next task. The Lunar Module pilot returns to the open compartment where he began his work. From it, he removes a metal container and tubular sections that fit to- geth,er to become a most versatile walking •tick nicknamed "Jacob's Staff." In a matter of minutes, a still camera is mounted to the top. of the staff, and a carrier for geologist's tools is attached to it. With "Jacob's Staff" in one hand and metal container in the other the pilot selects the most significant rock samples in the vicinity, photographing, labeling, and placing them in the container. lock of HM Lunar Module, the commander is equally busy. From another exterior storage compartment, he removes a large cylindrical package.. Folded inside is a 10-foot parabolic antenna mounted atop a collapsible metal stand. Once this antenna is operating, communications with Earth will improve markedly, and tv transmissions can begin. The antenna pops open. Using simple hand cranks, the commander moves it un- til it points directly toward the massive Earth glowing above. Then he pulls a cable from the Lunar Module body and completes the connection. Finally the commander returns to the cabin to turn on power and hand a tiny 7%-pound tv camera down to the pilot. For the next several minutes, tv sets all over the world will receive live broadcasts of events on the moon. 11w IHr* tv transmission complete, the lunar walkers now have two major tasks: deployment of a series of experimental instruments and methodical collection of additional geological samples. The instruments include a 100-pound seismometer to measure lunar quakes, a 70-pound optical-reflector target to return signals from an Earth-based laser system, and a one pound aluminum foil to capture rare gases from the solar wind. Later Apollo flights will be programmed for greater exploration, more extensive rock collecting, and the depositing of more sophisticated scientific equipment—as well as a longer stay on the lunar surface. Their surface mission accomplished, the astronauts reseal the cabin and strap in for the lift-off and rendezvous with the orbiting Command Module. The final, tricky phase of the mission now begins. Most astronauts scoff—at least publicly —at the alleged danger; they know that every contingency has been covered. Both the Lunar and Command Modules are equipped with back-up or alternate systems should any primary equipment fail. Now, while in constant 'radio contact with Mission Control in Houston and with each other, the Lunar Module makes the crucial coupling with the mother ship. Closer—the two spacecraft approach each other. Link-up! A successful docking. Amid hearty "well dones" from Houston, the Lunar Module is jettisoned, rockets are fired, and the Command Module turns toward Earth for the long trip hpme. The conquest of space has begun, • Family , Dtc*mb*r IS, 199» If instant asthma relief starts in seconds! 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