PI/Engineer: Several PI's for indiv. expt's
Apollo Flight Nos.: 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17
Apollo Exp't No. Supported several exp'ts
Discipline: used to document expt's in several disciplines
Cameras of several types were used to document the activities during the Apollo missions. Scientifically useful information about the situation of a rock or soil about to be sampled was obtained, and post sampling photos further documented the process. Photos were also used to document the orientation of the experiments that were deployed on the surface, specifically by noting the sun compass shadows and level bubbles. A gnomon (see geological tools) was used to record local vertical, and its shadow provided other geometrical data on slope and orientation. One leg of the gnomon had a color or gray scale on it.
One particular type of camera was carried which was called the Apollo Lunar Stereoscopic Closeup Camera (ALCC). This was used for very close up pictures of the soil to document its morphology in place for the soil mechanics investigation. It was also used to document the TDS experiment.
Unloading from the LM:
The cameras and film magazines were transferred from the LM cabin to the surface using an equipment transfer bag (ETB). After the CDR began to exit the cabin, the LMP would hand it to him.
Transporting by foot or MET:
A bracket on the chest-mounted remote control for the PLSS held a camera.
Loading/unloading tools/exp'ts on LRV:
A TV camera and data acquisition camera were carried on the LRV. The TV camera was remotely operable from Earth.
Site selection: NA
Deploying experiment: NA
Check-out of experiment: NA
Operation of experiment:
The A-12 crew commented that both cameras became extremely dusty. It was believed that some dirt was on the lens, but was hard to detect because the lenses were recessed. Cleaning the lens was not possible until A-17, when a lens brush was included. The dust brush had been used before that in an attempt to clean it. Toward the end of the 2nd EVA on A-12, the fluted thumb wheel on the screw that attached the camera to the mounting bracket (on the front of the suit) worked free from the screw. The camera could no longer be mounted to the suit and was not used for the remainder of the EVA. The film was not to be exposed to vacuum for more than 8 hours and was to be kept in the range of 50 to 100deg F. The Lunar Surface Procedures documents include general photo requirements for panoramas, ALSEP documentation, the LRV "grand prix," polarimetric surveys, and other standard techniques.
Repairs to experiment:
On A-15, the LMP's camera did not advance film properly near the end of EVA 2. It failed again on EVA 3 after only 6 pictures had been taken. Inspection in the LM cabin revealed excessive lunar material on the film drive. Also on A-15, the polarizing filter for the Hasselblad electric data camera could not be installed because of excessive dust in the bayonet fitting. A lens brush was used to clean the cameras during EVA. On A-17, the mounting mechanism on the RCU of the LMP came loose on EVA 2, forcing Schmitt to hold the camera by hand. At station 2 the CDR repaired the mount and the camera could again be mounted.
Recovery/take-down of experiment: NA
Stowing experiment for return:
Most cameras were left on the surface. Only the film was returned. Some were bootlegged back to the CM to document the EVA by the CMP during the trans-Earth coast for recovery of the film cartridges (per J. Schmitt.)
Loading/unloading samples on LRV: NA
Loading of exp't/samples into the LM:
Cameras and film magazines were loaded into the ETB for transfer to the LM.
Stowing of package once in the LM: No comments by crew.
Sampling operations - soil, rocks:
The photographic techniques used for documented samples and for documenting core tube samples were: The CDR took a cross-sun stereo pair from 7 feet before sampling while the LMP took a down-sun photo from 11 feet. The CDR then took an after photo cross-sun from 7 feet and the LMP took a cross-sun location photo from 15 feet with the LRV in the background. This procedure assumed that a photo panorama was taken at each science site, showing the position of the LRV. To document a core tube sample, a cross-sun stereo pair from 7 feet and a location photo from 15 feet were taken after the core tube was embedded in the surface. This documentation amounted to ~10% "overhead" in the timeline (guesstimate from J. Schmitt.) Estimate from J. Young was higher, perhaps 20% of the time during geological sampling, depending on the task.
Trenching: see geology, general
Raking: see geology, general
Drilling: see geology, general
landmarks such as the LRV, LM, or other landmark were used to document the location of samples.
Were there any hazards in the experiment?
i.e. hazardous materials (explosive, radioactive, toxic), sharp objects, high voltages, massive, bulky, tripping hazards, temperatures?
Was lighting a problem?
For the 70 mm camera, the recommended settings were f/5.6 for shots into the sun and ~80deg to either side of the sun; f/8 for 80deg to nearly down-sun; and f/11 within ~ 10deg of down-sun. Several different types and speeds of film were used for the several cameras. These are summarized in a photographic summary section in each Preliminary Science Report.
Were the results visible to the crew?
A frame counter was available, some comments were made that the crew knew the film magazines were not advancing. Dust was a problem in seeing the settings.
Would you recommend any design changes?
The A-15 crew commented that, since the camera was at the same height as the area in which one rolls up the sample bags, dirt got in the camera. They thought Beta booties on the top of the camera might help. John Young suggested that a helmet mounted TV camera might be used to totally document the entire scene and operation without specifically requiring any action by the crew, thus saving the overhead operation time of photodocumentation.
Were any special tools required?
A lens brush was used to remove dust.
Was the orientation of the experiment (i.e. horizontal/vertical) important? Difficult?
A chart of desired photos of the ALSEP area was provided to the crews to document the orientation of the instruments.
Was the experiment successful? Yes
Were there related experiments on other flights?
All flights have photos.
Where was it stored during flight? In LM and CM.
Were there any problems photographing the experiment? NA
What pre-launch and cruise req'ts were there?
power, thermal, late access, early recovery?
What was different between training and actual EVA? No comments by crew.
What problems were due to the suit rather than the experiment? No comments by crew.
Any experiences inside the LM of interest from the experiment/operations viewpoint?
No comments by crew.
Preliminary Science Reports have tables of the cameras flown on that mission in a chapter which discusses the photography on the mission.
Apollo Experience Report # 37 - Photographic Equipment and Operations During Manned Spaceflight Programs
Apollo 17 Final Lunar Surface Procedures, Vol. 1: Nominal Plans, MSC, 11/6/72
Apollo 15 Final Lunar Surface Procedures, JSC, July 9, 1971
Apollo 15 Technical Crew Debriefing, 14 August 1971, in JSC History Office
Personal communication with John Young, 1 April, 1993.