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Drilling Tasks

Copyright 2014 by the Editors of Working on the Moon.
Last revised 15 March 2014.

Contents



Introduction

The Apollo Lunar Surface Drill (10 Mb PDF) was flown on Apollo 13, 15, 16, and 17 so that one member of each crew could emplace heat flow probes in two holes drilled to 3 meter depth; and collect a 2-3 m deep core of lunar material.  The battery-powered, rotary percussion drill operated speeds (280 rotations per minute, 2270 blows per minute) low enough that cooling of the bit was not required.  It was capable of drilling into basalt, but was only ever used in lunar regolith. The drill package also included a drill stem rack, a treadle for core drilling and a wrench for decoupling core stems.  A jack was added to the treadle after the Apollo 15 crew had considerable difficulty extracting the core stems by hand without the mechanical advantage a jack could provide. A new wrench was also added for use in keeping stems already in the ground from turning while the drill was being coupled to the stems or was being detached.

In the following discussions, drilling for the Apollo 15 heat-flow experiment is not included because of problems due to the design of the joint between stems which prevented clearing of the drill stem flutes. Those issues are discussed in section 3.7.5.

Lessons

The penetration rates slowed with increasing depth.  The cores confirm that the typical bulk density of lunar regolith tends to increase with depth, probably because of compaction due to episodic shaking by impacts outside the immediate area.

Penetration slowed when buried rocks were encountered.  The drill operator could feel increased torque at the moment of encounter: "I was pushing down and all of sudden it hit something solid; the motor was still running but the bit stopped, so something had to turn.  So, the drill turned backwards."

Overall penetration rates varied from hole to hole and from site to site.

Slower penetration increased drilling time.  The operator's hands tired because of the need to grip the drill handles against the internal pressure of the suit, so slower penetration forced the operator to take more rest breaks.

With the drill off the stems when new stems were being added to a string, the stems in the ground tended to turn more than they had during practice drilling on Earth.  On Earth, it was sometimes possible to keep the stems from turning by raising the front end of a boot and pressing it against the stems.  On the Moon, it was almost always necessary to attach a wrench to the drill string and block the wrench with the calf of one leg.

It was often difficult to release the drill from the top of the drill string, even with the wrench attached and blocked.

Attaching the wrench to the drill string - or detaching it - could be accomplished by several methods: (1) leaning on the detached, upturned drill with one hand and working the wrench with the other; (2) using the drilling string as a prop to get down on both knees, holding the string with one hand and working the wrench with the other; (3) leaning on the drill string with one hand; and (4), bob down almost to one knee and attach or release the wrench before the internal pressure of the suit forced the astronaut upwards.

Time needed to extract the deep core - either by hand in the case of Apollo 15 or by use of the treadle and jack in the cases of Apollo 16 and 17 - tended to correlate with the amount of time spent drilling.  The more time needed to emplace the core string, the more time needed to extract it.

The flimsy drill-stem rack was barely adequate to the purpose.

The jack used to extract the A16 and 17 cores were difficult to engage with the stem threads, although it did seem to get easier with experience.  Long strokes of the jack handle were much more effective than numerous short strokes.

Time devoted to the drilling tasks was dominated by overhead: attaching the wrench, removing the drill, attaching a new stem, reattaching the drill, detaching the wrench.  Working with the wrench close to the ground was a major contributor and, because the astronauts got better at such tasks as they became more familiar with working in the suits at 1/6th-g, it is unfortunate that, on both Apollo 16 and 17, the drilling tasks were done early in the first EVA when the astronauts were relatively inexperienced.


Heat Flow Holes


Heat flow holes were drilled without significant difficulty on both Apollo 16 and Apollo 17.  The second of the two planned heatflow holes on Apollo 16 was abandoned after John Young accidentally tore the heat-flow cable loose from the Central Station.

The bit end of the deepest stem was closed so that heat flow probes could be inserted in the stem string after drilling was completed.  The deepest stem for each hole was 137 cm long.  Two additional stems, each 71 cm long, were then added to each string. Work on each hole began with the driller (Charlie Duke on Apollo 16; Gene Cernan on Apollo 17) threading the 137-cm stem into the drill, stabbing the bit end into the ground, and making sure that the stem was vertical.  The drill was then started and drilling continued until the top of the stem was about 15 cm clear of the ground.  Because the driller had to squeeze his hands closed against the internal pressure of the suit to keep the drill running, the drilling could be hard work.  Cernan took occasional, short breaks to rest his hands. Once the deepest stem was in the ground, the driller got the wrench off the stem rack, attached it to the stem in the ground, blocked the wrench with his leg to keep the stem from turning in the ground, and twisted the drill off the stem. Getting low enough and in a stable position to get the wrench on could be difficult, but each of the driller improved with practice.  With the drill detached, the first of the 71-cm stems was threaded onto the stem in the ground, the drill was attached to the new stem, and the wrench was removed. After the second stem was in the ground far enough, the process was repeated to prepare for drilling the third stem.  Finally, with all three stems in the ground, the drill was removed and the heat-flow probes were inserted into the stem string.

The drilling tasks can be divided into categories
  1. Prep: pick a location, position stem rack, position drill, thread first stem or stem pair into drill;
  2. Drill stem;
  3. Attach wrench to stems, block wrench with leg, detach drill from stems, thread next stem onto stems in the ground, attach drill, remove wrench (repeat 2 and 3 until all stems are in the ground)

The following table summarize the total time spent on each heat-flow hole: preparation time spent attaching the first stem and getting the drill positioned and vertical; time spent with the drill running; time spent resting; and time devoted to 'overhead' (attaching the wrench, removing the drill, threading the next stem, attaching the drill, and removing the wrench).



Apollo 16 Hole 1
Apollo 17 Hole 1
Apollo 17 Hole 2
Total Time (mm:ss)
10:43
13:40
13:50
Prep (mm:ss)
3:01
2:05
0:42
Drilling (mm:ss) 2:21 (49, 38, 54 sec)
4:21(127, 51, 76 sec)
5:59 approx (75, 210, 114 sec)
Resting (mm:ss) 0:00
0:24
1:56
Overhead (mm:ss) 5:21
6:50
5:10 approx



The time spent drilling depended on overall compaction of the soil and on the number and size of buried rocks encountered by the bit. Encounters with rocks could be felt by the astronauts and noticeably slowed drilling.

Cernan - "When the drill's spinning and it hits something, it kicks the drill and spits it back at you.  Not vertically, but rotationally.  It was tough drilling.  I was pushing down and all of sudden it hit something solid; the motor was still running but the bit stopped, so something had to turn.  So, the drill turned backwards."

[In the deep core hole, Cernan  runs into rock-strewn layers at intervals throughout the 3.2 meters
of drilling.  X-radiography performed after the mission shows an  abundance of rock fragments from about 25 cm depth to 110 centimeters,
presumably representing ejecta from the Camelot impact.  Layers of  fragments at 120 and 130 centimeter depths are probably associated
with other nearby impacts, such as Poppie.  The core then has  relatively few fragments to a depth of about 190 cm, with the  interval presumably representing reworked ejecta.  Fragment layers  are then encountered at depths of 250, 280, 290, and 310 centimeters.   Although there are certainly differences in the details between the rock fragment distributions with depth at the core and heat flow holes - dependent on the placement of individual rocks in the various ejecta blankets - a general correlation is likely.  However,  the fact that the deep core is in a shallow depression - coupled  with the random horizontal distribution of rocks in the various  ejecta blankets - makes it difficult to identify a 'hard layer encountered in a heat-flow hole with a particular fragment zone in the core'.]

Time spent with the drill running on the one completed Apollo 16 hole (2 min 21 sec) was much less than time spent drilling either of the Apollo 17 holes (4 min 21 sec; 5 min 59 sec.  The slower drilling rate meant that Cernan had to spend more time gripping the drill handles to keep the drill running and to keep it from turning if the bit hit a rock and stopped rotating.  Gripping was tiring because it meant working against the internal pressure of the suit. Cernan had to take occasional breaks to rest his fingers.

[Cernan - "If you hold a drill, the motor turns the drill stem and the bit.  But if the bit gets hung up, and you let go of the drill, the motor spins the drill.  It was very difficult to keep the drill from rotating; you really had to work at it.  Here on Earth, in your back yard or in your garage, you've at least got full Earth gravity holding you down; but on the Moon, even with the weight of the PLSS you weigh a lot less and it's harder to hold onto the drill when it binds."]

Attaching or removing the wrench meant getting low enough to fit the wrench on the 15-20 cm of stem sticking out of the ground or to grab it by hand and get it off the stem.  Cernan tended to reach down and lean on the drill with one hand and use the other to manipulate the wrench.  Duke preferred to bob down, almost getting on one knee, and getting the wrench on or off before the internal pressure of the suit forced him upright.  Techniques for getting low and related topics are discussed in detail in Chapter 3.3.3.


Removing the drill was often difficult.  With the wrench attached and blocked with a leg to keep the stems from turning, it could take considerable force to break the drill loose.

[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "The only problem I really had (with the core) was when I tried to get the drill head off to add another stem.  It seemed to be real tight and didn't want to unscrew (from the stems).  That happened on all three sections.  I really don't know why.  I checked and it didn't look like I was grauling any of the threads.  The stem threads on the stem side all looked clean and weren't grauled.  When I put them stem to stem, they went together real easy,  but, when I tried to get the drill head off, it was hard to get off. But, once I broke it loose, it unwound easily."]

Cernan: Boy, that sure was drilling in hard stuff because it took a lot to get it (the drill) off (the stem).

Threading the stems while wearing the pressurized suit was more difficult than it was in shirtsleeves on Earth. The threads make a complete circle of the stem in about a half inch of rise and, without the limitations imposed by the suit, the stem sections were very easy to join.

[Cernan - "The (second) drill stem was sticking out of the ground maybe eight or ten inches (20 or 25 cm) or so.  Here on Earth, I could take that third stem and stand above the one in the ground, put those locking thread down in it, twist it, and get it locked.  But on the Moon, with the stiffness of the suit and the lack of dexterity, if you got it slightly misaligned, the threads would cross, even thought they were big threads.  We'd thought about all sorts of things so we wouldn't get them crossed; but it still got wedged.  So you had to get down, probably on two knees, so that you could get your hands right down there where the action was and get that thing in and aligned.  And then, after you were up, then you had to get the drill and put it on.  All those things were physically taxing.  The getting up, getting down, and the little intricate work you had to do with your hands."]

Deep Core Holes


Deep core holes were drilled on Apollo 15, 16, and 17.  The core stems were each about 40 cm in length.  Six stems, emplaced as three pairs, were used on Apollo 15 and Apollo 16.  Eight stems, emplaced as four pairs were used on Apollo 17. Overhead tasks between core-stem pairs are the same as those required between heat-flow stems.


Apollo 15 Deep Core
Apollo 16 Deep Core
Apollo 17 Deep Core
Number of stems
three pairs
three pairs
four pairs
Total Time (mm:ss)
15:21
13:58
23:40
Prep
3:30
no TV nor any transcript clues
3:53
Drilling
2:53
2:20
5:44 (1:00 assumed for first pair)
Resting
0:28

0:41
Overhead
8:30
11:38
13:22

Duke had trouble freeing the drill each time he wanted to add another stem pair.  Cernan had repeated trouble threading stem pairs into the ones  already in the ground.  Both spent considerably more time on overhead than Scott did on Apollo 15.  Apollo 16 drilling (three stem pairs) was very quick (1.7 cm/sec).  Emplacement of the three Apollo 15 stem pairs took 23 percent longer (1.4 cm/sec).  The four Apollo 17 stem pair went in much more slowly (0.9 cm/sec) apparently because of the amount of time spent drilling through rocks.


Heat Flow Task: Short Summaries


Heat Flow Tasks
Short Summaries



Apollo 16
Apollo 17
Task
Duration
Penetration
Notes
Duration
Penetration
Notes
Thread first stem, position drill for first hole
3:01

137 cm stem; Charlie has some trouble threading the stem in the drill
2:05

137 cm stem
Drill first stem
0:49
2.8 cm/sec
Charlie gets about a foot of penetration before the rate slows dramatically. In Houston, someone comments, "Looks like he hit a rock".

Duke: Guess what?
England: It slowed down.
Duke: It's not going in.  Something hard in there.  (Pause)  Whatever it was, we got through it, Tony.  It's speeding up again.
England: Okay, good show.
Duke: Right on down now.  It's super now.  It must have been a rock.  I'm sure the regolith is covered with...(Pause)

Charlie is speculating that, because the surface is littered with rocks, there are numerous subsurface rocks as well.
2:14
1.0 cm/sec
Drilling sessions of 42, 44, and 48 seconds, with breaks of 11 and 13 second between. Gene takes the breaks to relax his fingers.
Attach wrench, remove drill, attach second stem, attach drill, remove wrench
3:26

Charlie props the toes of his left boot against the stem to keep it from turning while he turns the  drill, but the stem turns anyway.
[Duke - "Sometimes the foot worked.  In training, it would work real good."]
He goes to the rack and gets the wrench. He gets into position a meter or more from the drill, leans forward and puts his left hand on the drill to support himself while he reaches down with his right hand and engages the wrench on the drill stem.  He then stands up, blocks the wrench with the outside of his left leg, and twists the drill off.

Duke: That works like a champ.<p>
England: Right.  That new (post-Apollo 15) wrench is pretty slick.

Charlie bobs down and tries a dynamic grab for the wrench, but misses.  The suit forces him upright.  He moves around the drill-stem and bobs down into what might be described as a partial kneel, grabs the wrench successfully, and springs upright courtesy of the internal pressure of the suit

Duke: Ah ha!
England: Ah, Charlie, such form.<p>
Duke: (Garbled)  How about that? I'm going out for the ballet when I get back.  You learn another line of work up here.


3:45
Drill second stem
0:38
1.9 cm/sec
The second stem is 71 cm long.

Duke: Okay.  Here we go, second one. (Starting) Mark.  Look at that beauty go!  Look at that beauty stop.

Penetration slows momentarily when the join between the stems goes into the ground.

Duke: Look at that beauty go again!
England: Okay, give it time to clean the flutes.
Duke: I'm not leaning on it.  It may appear that I am leaning on it, Tony; but I guarantee you I am not.
England: Okay, we understand.
0:51
1.4 cm/sec
71 cm stem
Attach wrench, remove drill, attach third stem, attach drill
1:55

Charlie attaches the wrench with ease but has to apply considerable force to release the drill from the stems. He then gets the wrench off, gets another 28 inch (71 cm) stem, threads it, and attaches the drill 3:05


Drill third stem
0:54
1.3 cm/sec
The third stem is 71 cm long 0:56
1.3 cm/sec
Sessions of 45 and 11 seconds with a 20 second break for Gene to rest his hands
Remove drill, insert heat flow probes, prepare for second hole
Shortly after Charlie finishes the third stem, John accidentally rips the heat-flow cable off the Central Station.  Charlie abandons heat-flow drilling.
12:42


Drill first stem
1:06
2.1 cm/sec
137 cm stem; Sessions of 40 and 26 seconds, with a 29-sec break between
Prepare for second stem
3:26

While attaching the second stem, Gene manages to pull the first stem completely out of the hole. He is able to re-insert most of it.
Drills second stem
1:27 approx
0.8 cm/sec
71 cm stem; off camera
Prep for third stem
1:44


Drill third stem
1:14 approx
1.0 cm/sec
71 cm; off camera

Deep Core: Short Summaries


Deep Core Task
Short Summaries


Apollo 15
Apollo 16
Apollo 17
Task
Duration (mm:ss)
Penetration rate
Notes
Duration (mm:ss) Penetration rate Notes Duration (mm:ss) Penetration rate Notes
Prep for deep core 3:30


No TV of Prep
No TV of prep, 1st stem pair emplacement, drill removal, stem threading, drill attachment.  Durations estimated from audio.
First stem pair 0:16
4 cm/s

0:05
8 cm/s
Pushes first pair about 30 cm into the ground, leaves 10 cm above ground
Attach wrench, remove drill, attach next stem pair, attach drill, remove wrench 5:11


7:33

Has trouble removing drill and wrench
Second stem pair 1:29 approx
0.9 cm/s approx

0:52
1.3 cm/s
Leaves about 30 cm above ground


Attach wrench, remove drill, attach next stem pair, attach drill, remove wrench 3:00

trouble threading stems
4:05

Some trouble detaching drill
4:16

Has trouble threading 3rd pair and removing wrench
Third stem pair 1:07
1.2 cm/s
28 second break after minute of drilling
1:23
1.0 cm/s
Leaves about 20 cm above ground
1:18 approx
1.0 cm/s

Attach wrench, remove drill, attach next stem pair, attach drill, remove wrench Three pairs only
Three pairs only
2:04

No TV of this interval
Fourth stem pair 2:30
0.7 cm/s

Plug and cap top stem; get treadle and jack in position no jack
5:19


8:37

Includes effort to pull the core upward by grabbing the drill handles and lifting. Gets about 3 inches (8 cm) out
Core extraction
9:38

Pull drill handles by hand, elbows under drill handles, shoulders under handles, grabbing stems and lifting 6:04

Includes three rest periods (18, 41, 24 sec) totaling 83 sec or 4.4 percent of task time 15:22

Begins with 465 seconds of solo effort by Gene, including rest breaks of 22, 52, and 26 seconds, a total of 100 seconds or 22 percent of task time.  Next, 242 seconds of team effort with Jack. Finishes with 215 seconds of solo effort by Gene.




References

Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report, Chapter 7, Soil Mechanics (6 Mb)
Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report, Chapter 8, Soil Mechanics (5 Mb)
Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report, Chapter 8, Soil Mechanics (3 Mb)


Apollo 15 - First Heat Flow Session


Ground Elapsed Time
Task
Duration (min:sec)
Notes
Video Clips
124:49:38
Prep for first heat-flow hole.
6:08
Dave gets the Drill Stem Rack from LRV  and picks a place for Heat-flow hole No. 1. He then extracts two stems from the rack, joins them, fits them in the drill chuck, grabs the drill and stabs the tip of the bottom stem into the surface. 124:49:38
(24 Mb)

124:51:13
(29 Mb)

124:53:56
(27 Mb)
124:55:46
Stems 1&2
less than 0:45
Jim blocked our view for part of this.  Based on what we know about the problems caused by the shallow flutes at the join between stems, the rate of penetration would have slowed as the second stem started in.

124:56:31
Prep for Stems 3&4
2:12
Dave turns the drill to see if the stems will turn, which they do.  He detaches the drill from the stems, switches Jim to Aux water, joins stems 3 and 4 and threads them on the string in the ground, retrieves the drill, and attaches it.
124:56:43
(24 Mb)
124:58:43
Stems 3&4
0:56
Dave has to put some force on the drill to make any progress.

[Scott (From the ALSJ mission review): "People made (a point) during and afterwards (that)  I was pushing on it too hard. They said that was the problem.  But you can't push on it very hard, because you don't weigh very much.  You can't put a lot of force on it, even if you put your whole self on it, because your whole self isn't very much force."  See, however, a discussion by David Carrier, one of the investigators on the Soil Mechanics Team.]
124:59:13
(25 Mb)
124:59:39
Rest and discussion
1:16
Dave is well short of the desired depth and asks Houston if they want him to put in the probes as far as they will go. They agree on that plan but Dave decides to make one more try.

125:00:55
Stems 3&4 (cont.)
0:04
no further progress.

125:00:59
Trying to remove the drill
2:35
Dave is unable to remove the drill from the stems.
125:01:40
(25 Mb)
125:03:34
Rest and discussion
1:49

125:04:16
(27 Mb)
125:05:23
Mis-communication about the "wrench"
1:31
[Scott from the ALSJ mission review - "This was a breakdown in nomenclature, because, boy, we spent a lot of time on nomenclature - identifying things, calling things, naming things - so we'd know what they were.  Since I do not recall the term 'wrench' being part of the pre-flight lingo, nor do I recall a 'wrench' per se in our pack of tools, it seems that the term 'wrench' must have come from someone in the Backroom who may have figured out the solution to the problem, but who probably had not participated in the training and the development of the terminology that was used.  We did spend a fair amount of time attempting to define precise terms to be used during the mission to avoid real-time confusion.  The terminology, acronyms, nomenclature, etc. used during these missions were very carefully crafted by consensus - at least, we tried!"]

125:06:54
Dave uses the 'vise' to detach the drill from the stems
1:33
In this instance, Dave got down on his hands and knees, attached the vise to the stems.  We don't have video of this episode, but he would have had to block the vise, probably with his leg, to keep the stems from turning while he forcefully turned the drill to get it off.
[Scott (from the 1971 Technical Debriefing) - "I finally ended up physically breaking or bending the top half of that third stem to get the drill off."]
On Apollos 16 and 17, use of re-designed drill stems that did not become clogged with cuttings at the joints between stems prevented the drill from binding to the stems and made drill removal much easier.
125:07:06
(18 Mb)
125:08:27
Dave switches to his Auxilliary cooling water supply
0:32


125:08:59
Dave tries to remove the "vise" from the stems
1:23
Good video of Dave reaching down to the side to manipulate the vise. He gives up after about 1 min 23 sec
125:08:59
(32 Mb)
125:10:22
Dave moves the drill and the stem rack to out of the way. Picks up heat-flow probes for emplacement
6:05
Dave has difficulty grabbing the probes lying on the surface.  Says the probes would be easy to get by slipping a UHT handle underneath the cable and lifting.
125:12:43
(29 Mb)

125:15:29
(28 Mb)
125:16:27
Completes first probe emplacement and moves to do the second hole
2:24

125:18:20
(23 Mb)
125:18:51
Starts drilling the second hole
0:13


125:19:04
First stem in
0:28


125:19:33
Second stem in; stands to rest; turns drill to see if stem will rotate
1:00
At the first hole, the first two stems went in in less than 45 seconds.  the exact duration unknown because Jim was blocking our view of Dave.  However, the time for the first two stem here at the second hole is virtually the same at about 41 seconds.

125:20:33
Goes to get "vise", which is still attached to the stems on the first hole; after a minute, stands to rest; Jim blocks our view; as Jim moves out of the way, we see Dave just as he finally gets the vise off the stems
1:23
Fendell pulls back on the zoom, pans right, finds Dave, and zooms in.  Dave has his left leg way out to the side and his right knee bent inward so that he can get down to the drill stem and the wrench.  In his effort to get the wrench off, he is not only turning it parallel to the ground but is also flexing it up and down.  In the process, he is putting considerable stress on the drill stem.  As a result of the Apollo 15 experience, new procedures and tools were developed for the drilling tasks that Charlie Duke and Gene Cernan were to perform on Apollo 16 and 17, respectively.  A wrench was designed specifically for the drill removal task and, after getting the first stem in the ground, they attached the new wrench to the stem, blocked it with an ankle, rotated the drill off, threaded on a new stem, attached the drill and, finally, held the drill while removing the wrench.  Obviously, after the last stem had been completed and the drill had been removed, the wrench had to be removed without benefit of the drill on the stems.  However, because of a change in wrench design and the fact that the drill stems were made of metal rather than the fiberglass laminate, removal was much easier.
125:20:36
(27 Mb)
125:21:56
Dave returns to the second hole, attaches vise, block the vise with his leg; releases drill' vise pops off the stem.
0:49


125:22:45
Dave gets probe; Houston asks Dave to put the probe aside and stop work on the heatflow for the time being
0:41
Dave does a dynamic grab almost dropping onto his right knee, grabbing the probe, and letting the internal pressure of the suit force him far enough up that he can stand easily.
125:23:15
(31 Mb)
125:23:26
End of 1st heatflow session

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "The ground called a halt to the drill...They said they would like to review it and see what would be the best thing to do.  In my mind, I thought at that time we should go ahead and dig a trench and put the heat flow probes in the trench, as we had discussed prior to the flight, if the drill didn't work.  It seemed to me that the amount of time being invested in that particular experiment was already becoming excessive.  Because of the ground calling, wanting a re-evaluation, I terminated the drilling at that time and proceeded to deploy the LR-cubed and take the ALSEP photos."]



Apollo 15 Second Heatflow Session


Ground Elapsed Time
Task
Duration (min:sec) Notes
Video Clips
147:25:15
Discussion with Houston; add another drill stem; attach drill
3:47 Scott: Okay, Joe, I'm ready to go to work.
Allen: Okay, Dave, we want you to try to get the heat flow drill in at least another section. We think that perhaps there might be an extra section added onto the unit you started yesterday.
147:24:42
(25 Mb)

147:27:08
(29 Mb)
147:29:02
Drilling attempt (about 5 seconds); discussion
0:58
Scott: Okay. Okay, Joe, I've got the drill on one extra section now. Run through it again, please, just so I don't (garbled).
Allen: Okay, Dave. We are interested in your starting to drill. We've got a lot of power left in the drill, just run it around several times; and don't bear down on it too much. Let's see how free - (correcting himself) or how freely - it moves in the surficial layer there, first of all.
Scott: Okay. (Pause) Joe, I put very little force on it, and it binds up.
Allen: Roger. Any luck by trying to pull it back a bit out of the hole to free it?
Scott: (Chuckles) No, it pulls me right on down with it.
Allen: Okay, Dave, stand by a second.
Scott: Okay.

147:30:00
At Houston's request, Dave pulls the drill out about 6 inches while it's running.
0:24
Allen: Dave, is it possible at all to clear out the flutes on it by lifting up as you turn the power on?
Scott: I'll try. But it seems to want to pull me with it. (Grunts) There, I got it up.
147:30:04
(33 Mb)
147:30:24
Rest and discussion
1:06
Dave stands still, leaning forward with his arms extended in a plane almost perpendicular to his torso.

Allen: Dave, we wonder if you can just hold it there. Begin it running, and ease it back down into the hole, but without a whole lot of force, down into the hole.

147:31:30

0:45
Dave straightens up, hops to the drill, takes hold of the hand grips, and starts drilling. After about six inches of rapid penetration, progress slows dramatically. A good means of gauging progress is to compare the relative locations of the end of the grip in Dave's left hand and the tip of the rammer-jammer in the foreground.


147:32:15
Dave pulls the drill upwards a few inches; then resumes drilling
0:25
Scott: (Grunting as he pulls the drill a few inches
upward) It starts to bind up every once in a while.

Dave lets the drill run a few seconds and then pulls the drill up again and, this time, turns it counter-clockwise in the hole a fraction of a turn, turns it back to its original orientation and lets it run again.

147:32:40
Brief rest
0:09
Dave releases his grip and backs away from the drill to stand still and get a few seconds of rest. He stands leaning forward with his arms hanging down in front of him. He hasn't made any progress beyond the six inches of penetration he achieved initially.

147:32:49
Resumes drilling
0:37
Dave grabs the drill again, and pulls it up a few inches.

Scott: (Subvocal) Oh, man.

Dave lets the drill run. We can see the grips jump under his hands, but there is no progress. After a short while, he backs away from the drill, hops up and down a couple of times - perhaps to relieve some muscle tightness - and resumes his rest position.

147:33:26
Rest
0:52
Allen: And, Dave, take a breather there.
Scott: Yeah; (chuckling) it's tightening up again, Joe, and I'm not putting any force on it all. It pulls itself down in; and then it starts to bind up.
147:33:26
(27 Mb)
147:34:18
Resumes drilling
0:21
Allen: Dave, as you can tell, that drill is going down. We're going to ask for about 2 more minutes and call it quits, probably. But just take a breather there.
Scott: Oh, no. I just don't want to break it.

Dave's tone of voice is quite normal and cheerful, an indication that frustration has not yet gotten the better of him. During his last transmission, he waved his arms back to loosen the muscles and then hopped up to the drill.

147:34:39
Leans of the drill
1:00
Dave leans on the drill and, this time makes some
noticeable progress. After a few inches of penetration, he moves the drill up and down, slightly, a couple of times. At first, progress remains slow but, then, just a few seconds before Dave's transmission at 147:35:26, the drill shakes in Dave's hands and the penetration rate increases dramatically. He gets the drill stems in another 6 inches or so in about ten seconds.

Scott: Gee, Joe, I think I got through something (Pause)  It's easier.
Allen: Roger, Dave. And we're learning things.

147:35:39
Rest
0:46
Scott: Whew! Yeah, I guess we are. Let me take a little
break here. It just started easing up there and went down a little easier. Like (laughing) we might have got through a layer, huh?
Allen: Roger. (Joking) I hope we're not going to let
the air out (of the Moon).<p>
Scott: (Laughing) Yeah, and me.

In reality, on one of the occasions when Dave pulled up on the drill, he pulled one of the subsurface stem sections out of the one below it and, in this last stage of drilling, the upper section slid past the lower one. See the discussion at 147:45:53.

147:36:25
Remove drill to thread another stem
2:15
Dave tries to keep the stems for rotating in the hole but has to get the 'vise'.  He has trouble regaining his balance when he tries to stand after attaching the vise. the vise pops off the stems as the drill chuck releases.
147:36:15
(24 Mb)
147:38:40
Gets and threads stem, attaches drill
0:55

147:38:40
(25 Mb)
147:39:35
Resumes drilling

Penetration is very slow.

147:40:32
Rest

Allen: Okay, Dave, take heart. You've got just one
minute of drilling left.
Scott: (Chuckling) Okay, Joe. The only things that
give out are the hands. I'll tell you...You know, all this working with the gloves on, after a while...

Dave turns to watch Jim taking pictures.  He stands still, flexing his fingers.  After a few seconds, he hops back to the drill.

147:41:11
Resumes drilling
0:24
Dave starts the drill, pulls it up a few inches, but makes no further progress in a few seconds of drilling before Joe calls.

Allen: And, Dave, we're satisfied with this drill hole. Suggest you stop, pull the drill off, and emplace the heat flow probe.

147:41:08
(30 Mb)
147:41:35
Removing drill
1:07
Dave turns the drill to see if he'll have to use the 'vise'.  Because the top of the drill is about a meter off the ground, he has a hard time.  Extensive discussion after 147:41:35 from the mission review done for the ALSJ. In the end, he manages to jerk on the drill and remove it.

147:42:42
Emplacing the probes
3:51
The probe doesn't go in as far as Dave was expecting.

Scott: Joe, looks like...Hmm. We may have a problem. Let's see. Can always pull those out and put four more in. (Pause) Joe, I don't think I got the probes all way down. I think that probably one of those cores may have been bent or something. What do you think about that?  (See an extract from the Apollo 15 Mission Report reproduced after 147:46:33.
147:45:03
(17 Mb)
147:46:33
Discussion with Houston
1:26
Houston asks Dave to take the probe completely out and see how far in the rammer jammer will go.  The result is that the tip goes in to about a meter below the surface.
147:45:53
(19 Mb)
147:47:59 Emplace the probes again
3:46
The probes go in about the same distance as previously.  Houston has Dave press on the probes with the rammer-jammer.  There is no movement.  Houston asks for a rammer-jammer depth reading and then asks him to tamp the surface around the stems and to make sure the cables are lying flat
147:47:59
(24 Mb)

147:50:24
(26 Mb)
147:51:45
Dave takes the drill stem rack off-screen to the right

After policing the area around the heatflow holes and electronics package, Dave joins Jim to document the area where Jim will dig a trench. Dave starts work on the deep core at 148:02:15.



Apollo 15 Deep Core - Session 1


Page 29 in A15 Final Lunar Surface Procedures has Jim remove SCB 1 from SRC 1 and hangs it on the HTC.  Subsequently, he transfers "6 core stems and core stem cap" to SCB 2, which is also on the HTC

Page 32 describes drilling of the heat-flow holes and mentions six bore stems per hole, assembled in pairs before adding to the string.  The stems are part of the Apollo Lunar Surface Drill (ALSD) package along with the bore tube rack.  The ALSD was stowed in the MESA.  Page 2-3 in the Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report indicates that each of the six stems was about 40 cm long.


Page 33 has the CDR remove two core stems from SCB 2, join them together and drill them into the surface. then the second and third pairs. After each pair, about 15 cm should be above ground.

Ground Elapsed Time
Task
Duration Notes
Video Clip
147:51:43
Complete Heatflow activities

Moves rack to deep core site, then returns to re-align the HFE box and to get the cables as flat as possible. After Jim takes a documentation photo of the box, Dave gets the drill and takes it to the Rover.  He then helps Jim get started on the Station 8 trench
147:50:24 (25 Mb)
148:14:11
Prep for deep core
3:30
Dave is at the back of the Rover, getting two core stems out of an SCB hanging from the tool carrier (see page 33 in Final Lunar Surface Procedures.  At about 148:16:48, Dave moves away from the Rover, carrying the drill by the loop handle, with the pair of core stems already seated in the chuck.  He positions the treadle, which was already in position, with his left foot.  He wants to get it in a spot where he can step on the treadle and have it stay in place. With his right foot on the treadle, he inserts the bit end of the bottom stem through the hole at the center of the treadle.  Jim is blocking the view of the 16mm DAC, which is supposed to film the drilling.  Jim moves slightly to give Houston a view with the TV.
148:12:16
(28 Mb)

148:15:19
(25 Mb)
148:17:41
Starts drilling
0:08
After getting the first stem (40 cm) in the ground, Dave realizes he is still wearing his camera.

148:17:49
Takes Hasselblad to Rover
0:19

148:17:54
(29 Mb)
148:18:08
Resumes drilling
0:08
Dave's gets the stems in another 30 cm is two short bursts of about 4 seconds each.

Stem pair length, 70 cm; drilling time, 16 seconds; average penetration rate, 5 cm/sec.

[Scott - (from the mission review for the ALSJ) Tongue-in-cheek) " You know, with all my training and all my experience, I've never had a chance to use my drill talents since? You'd think somebody would invite me out to drill."]

148:18:16
Detach drill and thread another pair of stems
5:11
After some difficulty, Dave frees the drill, puts it aside, gets another joined pair of stems, threads those to the ones in the ground, and re-attaches the drill.  During this sequence, Jim helps Dave switch to Aux water on his PLSS.

Allen: And, Dave, you'll want it to drop (meaning
'drill' or 'penetrate') into the ground as slowly as you can easily control.

Scott: Oh, I forgot! I'm sorry. Just in a hurry to get it done, and I just forgot your one inch per second; and I'll do that. (Pause) (With a touch of self-criticism) Some days...

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "As I started out, the soil was very soft, and the drill went very easily and too fast down to the bedrock.  The ground gave a call on the rates, which I had forgotten in my haste to finish up the drill. We were supposed to go an inch per second. I got about a stem and a half in before the ground reminded me of the rate; and I slowed it down to an inch per second. I hit bedrock, or very hard soil, which was a step-jump in hardness as I drilled. From that point on, it was easy to drill on at an inch per second, because that's about as fast as I could get it in anyway. I could feel layering as the drill went in. Some places, it was easier to drill than others as I went through. As a matter of fact, in some places, the drill pulled me down. I could just feel the drill pulling right through the underlying material."]
148:20:49
(26 Mb)
148:23:27
(approx)
resume drilling
1:29
(approx)
Dave is off camera during this drilling session.

Stem pair length, 80 cm; drilling time, 89 sec; penetration rate, 0.9 cm/sec.
148:23:27
(26 Mb)
148:24:56
(approx)
removing drill
3:00
(approx)
When Dave comes back into view, he appears to be just finishing this drilling session.  He immediately removes the drill and goes to the Rover to get the final pair of stems. Dave has trouble getting the stems threaded on those in the ground.  At about 148:27:14, he succeeds and goes to his right to get the drill. When he gets it attached, the handles are at or above shoulder height.

148:27:56
(approx)
resume drilling
0:57
Fendell zoomed in on the treadle, so we don't get a clear indication of when Dave starts drilling. Dave backs away from the drill at about 148:28:53. After about 28 seconds, he resumes.
148:26:04
(25 Mb)
148:28:53
rest
0:28
Allen: Okay, Dave. Take a breather. And I've got one last instruction for you here. Using the drill, we want you to break it loose (meaning 'free the drill string in the hole') and then let the drill and the stem sit there in the surface and we'll pull it out later.

148:29:21
resume drilling
0:11
Scott: Okay. Let me finish it off.

Stem pair length, 80 cm; drilling time, 68 sec; penetration rate, 1.2 cm/sec.

148:29:32
Drilling complete
0:59 Houston asks Dave to make sure "the threads pull from the hole".  He grabs the handles and pulls up sharply, raising the drill about 20 cm.

Scott: (Grunts) Ahh, we can get it! Okay, Joe; we're in good shape.
Allen: Okay, Dave. We want the handle away from the
Sun. And we're ready for you to get back on the Rover.
Scott: Wait a minute Joe.

Dave grabs the drill again, gets his feet on either side of
the drill stem and twice uses his legs to pull up on the drill. He ends up with the chuck just below knee height.

Scott: (Grunting) I'm not sure I'll ever get it out. (Pause) What bothers me, Joe, is...Okay. Handle away from the Sun. (Pause) (The battery) box is sort of dirty.

[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "When I got the drill all the way in, I attempted to pull it out and, not surprisingly, it was very difficult to pull out. We expected that from our training. In certain
cases during training, people observing in shirtsleeves couldn't get the drill out of the ground at the Cape. I wasn't at all surprised to find that, after having drilled through bedrock, I couldn't pull the drill out. I got maybe a foot back out and, at that point, the ground recommended coming back another day to finish. I was somewhat sorry to see that we couldn't get it out any easier than that, because we'd invested so much time in it, and it seemed like a shame to lose that time. On the other hand, there was a question in my mind as to whether we should spend any more time on it at all because of the amount of effort involved."]
148:28:41
(30 Mb)
148:30:31
End of drilling on EVA-2






Apollo 15 Deep Core - Session 2, Core Extraction



Before Dave and Jim head out on the EVA-3 traverse, they will stop at the ALSEP site, pull the deep core out of the ground, and separate the six stems.  When they get to the ALSEP site, Houston wants Dave to photograph the collapsed trench and suggest that, while Dave is taking the photos, Jim "pull the core out of the ground while Dave's doing that, and then he'll give you a hand."

Scott: (To Joe) Okay.  (To Jim) And, let me talk you through pulling that core out, because I think we finally figured it out last week, how to do it.

This is a reference to two half-hour training sessions Dave did with the drill at the Cape on July 21 and 22, the week before the July 26 launch.  At the time of the mission review, I did not have the Apollo 15 training log.  During the mission review done for the ALSJ, I asked Dave if he remembered any sessions with the drill in the week before launch.


[Jones - "It sounds like you were in training, working with the people down at the Cape or wherever on how to extract that core, almost right up to launch.  What do you remember?"

Scott - "Nothing.  I can't imagine we'd spend too much time on the core during the last weeks of training.  There are too many more important things.  The big things - like landing, rendezvous, launch aborts, and all that stuff.  At some point you have to (drop the less important things).  Which is one of the problems.  At some point you have to turn each of the things off in some orderly priority.  You can't discuss everything the day before you go, so you stop discussing certain things at some point.  And I would guess that geology probably got stopped fairly early."]

With regard to other aspects of geology training and planning, they had their last geology field trip on 25-26 June; a last, one-hour session with Gerry Lofgren examining lunar rocks on 28 June, a 4 1/2 hour run-through on EVAs 2 and 3 and a 2 1/2 hour session on orbital geology with Farouk El Baz, both on 19 July; and a final 2 1/2 hour traverse planning session with Swan, Silver and others on 22 July.

Jones - "This line in the dialog suggests that there was something going on with the core."

Scott - "It could have been a ten-minute discussion with somebody."

With Dave driving the Rover and Jim walking, they head out to the ALSEP site starting at about 164:03:40.


Mission Elapsed Time (hhh:mm:ss)
Activity
Duration
Notes
Video Clips
164:05:02
Discussion

Allen: Dave, while you're driving, there, we're going to want you to take apart our core stems.  We'll have Jim pack them away in bag 2, which is under his seat, and then we'll do the Grand Prix photographs before we start driving off toward Station 9.

164:09:26
Partial extraction with elbows under drill handles; with periods of discussion and rest
5:06
Irwin: Dave, I'm thinking, maybe if you get on one side, I'll get on the other.  And maybe the two of us, by hooking an arm under that, can lift it out.
Scott: Okay.  Let's try it.
[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Each of us had a handle of the drill under the crook out our elbow, and we got it up to the point where we could put our shoulders under it."]
Irwin: Okay.  You say when.  1, 2...<p>
Scott: When.
Irwin: ...3. 1, 2, 3.  (Grunting on "3")  A
little bit.

164:14:32
Leveraging the core out with shoulders under the drill handles
1:21
Allen: Dave, how many inches has it moved upwards?
Scott: Well, we've got it up about 3 feet.  And I think we can do it piecemeal, if you're really that interested.  (Chuckles)
Irwin: Let me get down here, and get a shoulder under
it.
Scott: Okay, me too.  Hold it?  Ready?   Oop.  Wait a minute.  1, 2, 3.  Oop, slipped off.  Wait, maybe you can get an arm under it, now.  There you go.  Do this.
Irwin: Oh, this is like isometrics.
[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "Then, with each of us with one handle of the drill on top of our shoulders, we pushed as hard as we could - it must have been at least 400 pounds (of force) - and finally got it to move and got it out."]

164:15:53 Grabbing the drill stem and lifting
0:29
Scott: Okay.  One more.<p>
Irwin: That's too high for me.  I think I can grab it here.  Okay.  You tell me when.

Jim may have taken hold of the drill string.

Scott: Okay, 1, 2, 3.  1, 2, 3.  Let me help you down there.
Irwin: Oh, we can...
Scott: Easy, easy, easy.  Don't auger it; just hold it now.  Don't bend it.  I'll never get it apart.  1, 2, 3.  Okay, 1, 2, 3.
Irwin: It's kind of stuck there.
Scott: Let's take a break.

164:16:22
Rest and helping Houston with the TV
0:40
Irwin: Yeah.  (Both breathing heavily)  (Pause)  Why don't you go to Max cooling?
Scott: Yeah.  Yeah, I just thought of that.  (Pause)
Irwin: Joe, you having trouble with your TV?
Allen: Oh, you better believe.
Scott: Yeah, they're hung down (looking at the ground).
Allen: And, Jim, why don't you take a breather and tip it up for us, please.  Thank you.
Irwin: Dave's tipping it for you.

164:17:02 Resume extraction
0:43
Scott: Nothing like a little PT (Physical Training) to start the day out.  Try it again, here.  Okay.
[Scott, from a 1996 letter - "'PT' is an old Army term."]
Irwin: I'm ready.<p>
Scott: 1, 2, 3.  Okay, it's coming.  It's coming.  Okay. Let me get underneath it here.  Okay, 1, 2, 3.  (Chuckling) Okay.
Irwin: One more.
Scott: 1, 2, 3, okay.  I've got it.  Okay.  Let me have it now.
Irwin: Okay.  You've got it.

[Jim heads to the Rover, thinking Dave can bring the stem along for separation of the stems

And extensive discussion with Dave Scott in 1992 about the effort they put into the core extraction follows 164:17:26
164:17:02
(26 Mb)
164:17:45
Final Effort 0:20
[Dave pulls up on the drill stem with his right hand but is unable to move it.]

Scott: Come and help me pull again, Jim.  I thought I had it.
Irwin: I thought you did, too.

[Jim grabs the drill stem at about waist height with his left hand and bends his legs.]

Scott: It's a two-man job.  Okay.  1, 2, 3.  Oop.  There we go!
Irwin: We almost flew with it.

[When they pulled, the drill stem broke loose and yanked Dave up onto his toes and Jim off the ground by an inch or two.]

Scott: I've got it.
Irwin: Okay.  (Pause)

164:18:05
Extraction complete
17:38

Scott: Man, oh man!

[Dave rotates the tip up to a horizontal position and takes the core to the Rover.]

Including about an minute of effort Dave put into the extraction at the end of EVA-2, The core extraction took a total of 9 min 39 seconds of effort.


Stem separation, first session
Scott: This vise just won't hold.  There's something wrong with it.  (Long Pause)  The vise doesn't work, at all!  (To Jim)  I'll have to have you hold it, the...(Pause as Dave glances at the watch on his left wrist)  How about that:  an hour and 15 minutes into it (meaning the EVA) already.  We're still fiddling with this thing.

164:35:43
Grand Prix and EVA-3 traverse
2:51:59
They have removed and capped two of the drill stems from the string.

Allen: Dave and Jim, put that (four stem) section on the ground, if you would, please.

Dave takes the drill string out of the vise without hesitation once he hears Houston's decision.

166:27:42

166:43:47
Planning for stem separation

Allen: Dave, we're standing by for a mark when you're rolling.  And we'd like for you to press on back towards the drill site. We've got a procedure for you to separate two sections of the deep stem from the other two sections, and we're going to carry the two halves into the LM that way.

Allen: Roger, troops.  We're thinking that when you arrive back at the drill site:  Jim, why don't you hop off and pick up the three important items there: the drill stem, the treadle, and the wrench.  And, Dave, you can drive on back and park by the LM.  Over.
Irwin: (To Dave) Let's see you have all the other stems in the bag.
Scott: Yeah.
Irwin: You have the wrench in there, too, don't you?
Scott: Yeah.  I think so.  If it's not there, I've got it in the bag.
Irwin: It's not here by the treadle.  So all I'll do is pick up the treadle?  (Pause)
Scott: I don't know why we need the treadle.
Irwin: I don't either... Just take it on back.  We might use it as a wrench.
Scott: (Responding to Joe)  Yeah, I guess you could. Alright.
Allen: And that's Walter Mitty plan number 2.  (Long Pause)
Irwin: Okay, I have the treadle (and) stems, and I'm heading back.  (Long Pause)

166:50:55
Stem separation

Scott: I'll take the cap off and go gently.  I'll put the cap back on.  Let's see.  Which way should the treadle...That's right.  I guess it...Easy does it.  (Pause)  No, we'll never...No, wait.  Don't do that.  Don't do that.  We'll never get the treadle off.  No, don't put the treadle on it.  We'd never get it off.  We've got nothing to get it back off with.  Back off.  Pull the treadle off.  Best thing...Joe, will this stem fit in the LM someplace.  I think it will.
Allen: We think so, Dave.
Scott: I think that's what we're going to do.  We're going to take the stem with us, just like it is.  I think if we try and fiddle with it, we're going to mess it up.  (Pause)
Allen: We hear you, Dave.  And our camera's turtled up again.
Scott: Okay.  Ahhhh.!  Now!  Okay.
Irwin: Did you get it?!
Scott: I got one off.
[Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "We fiddled  around with the treadle some.  That was somewhat of a chore, also, but I  think that is inherent in the design of the equipment.  If the drill works  as advertised, it really isn't bad.  But, in summary, the ground being very hard tightened up the drills stems much harder than we'd seen before, and the vise not working on the back of the Rover complicated the separation of the stems.  Finally, we had number 4 stem off about half way; and I finally, just  in gripping the things, unscrewed it by hand."

Irwin, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "I'd taken my protective covers off my gloves before I even went out on EVA-1; so, of course, they were off for this operation.  I was kind of reluctant to grasp that drill (stem) very hard, afraid I might rip the gloves."

Scott, from the 1971 Technical Debrief - "That's a good point.  I had to leave mine on the whole time because of the drill.  The protective covers can restrain you hand movements even more than the gloves.  (Consequently) I had sort of degraded mobility because of those protective covers, all the way.  I finally took them off after we got through with the drill."]

166:53:07
Stem separation complete

Allen: What did you do, Dave?
Scott: Boy, I tell you, my hands (garbled) done.  Well, Joe, I just decided it was time to take that drill (stem) apart, and I took it apart.
Allen: That sounds easy enough.
Scott: So, now we have a three-stem section and three one-stem sections.



Apollo 16 Heat Flow


Ground Elapsed Time (hhh:mm:ss)
Activity
Activity Duration (mm:ss)
Notes
Video Clips
120:55:34
Deploy Heatflow Electronics Package and drilling equipment


120:57:59
(25 Mb)

121:00:34 (28 Mb)

121:03:34
(25 Mb)
121:06:12
Prepares first stem
3:01
Charlie sets the drill down on its handles, opens the drill stem bag after some struggle with the Velcro, removes one drill stem from the bag, leans the bag against the rack, and starts to seat the stem in the drill chuck.  The top of this 54 inch (137 cm) stem is about level with the top of Charlie's helmet.  On his fourth attempt to get the stem threaded, Charlie thinks he has succeeded and picks up the drill by the wire loop, only to have the stem detach.  He puts the drill down again, moves around to the northeast of it - probably to get a better view - and finally gets the stem threaded.

Duke: Whoo!  Finally got it, Tony.

Charlie pushes the bit a few inches into the ground, removes a thermal cover from the drill and tosses it off-camera to our left.

Duke: Okay!! Are you guys ready?!  Here we go!  (Applying power to the drill)  Mark.
121:06:12
(28 Mb)
121:09:38
Drills first stem
0:49
Duke: Hey, that beauty is going right in!

Charlie gets about a foot of penetration before the rate slows dramatically.  Something similar happened on Apollo 15 when the joint between the first and second drill stems went into the surface.  However, in that case, the cause was a faulty drill-stem design which prevented the cuttings from flowing upward past the joint.  The drill stems were re-designed after Apollo 15.  In Houston, someone comments, "Looks like he hit a rock".

Duke: Guess what?
England: It slowed down.
Duke: It's not going in.  Something hard in there.  (Pause)  Whatever it was, we got through it, Tony.  It's speeding up again.
England: Okay, good show.
Duke: Right on down now.  It's super now.  It must have been a rock.  I'm sure the regolith is covered with...(Pause)

Charlie is speculating that, because the surface is littered with rocks, there are numerous subsurface rocks as well.
121:09:13
(25 Mb)
121:10:27
Completes first stem

The average penetration rate was 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) per second.  Charlie props the toes of his left boot against the stem to keep it from turning while he turns the  drill, but the stem turns anyway.

[Duke - "Sometimes the foot worked.  In training, it would work real good."]

He goes to the rack and gets the wrench. He gets into position a meter or more from the drill, leans forward and puts his left hand on the drill to support himself while he reaches down with his right hand and engages the wrench on the drill stem.  He then stands up, blocks the wrench with the outside of his left leg, and twists the drill off.

Duke: That works like a champ.<p>
England: Right.  That new (post-Apollo 15) wrench is pretty slick.

Charlie bobs down and tries a dynamic grab for the wrench, but misses.  The suit forces him upright.  He moves around the drill-stem and bobs down into what might be described as a partial kneel, grabs the wrench successfully, and springs upright courtesy of the internal pressure of the suit

Duke: Ah ha!
England: Ah, Charlie, such form.<p>
Duke: (Garbled)  How about that? I'm going out for the ballet when I get back.  You learn another line of work up here.

Charlie then gets a 28 inch (71 cm) stem, threads it, and, with a bit of trouble,  gets the drill attached.
121:11:53
(11 Mb)
121:13:53
Drills 2nd stem
0:38
Duke: There we go.  Okay.  Here we go, second one. (Starting) Mark.  Look at that beauty go!  Look at that beauty stop.

Progress slows noticeably when the joint between the two stems goes into the ground.

Duke: Look at that beauty go again!
England: Okay, give it time to clean the flutes.
Duke: I'm not leaning on it.  It may appear that I am leaning on it, Tony; but I guarantee you I am not.
England: Okay, we understand.

It does look like Charlie is leaning on the drill.  His feet are slightly back and his legs are straight.  As the drill gets below waist, he bends his knees slightly so that he can keep his grip on the drill without putting more weight on it.  After a few seconds, he splays his feet to the side to get lower still.

Duke: Okay.  It's run into something hard down there.  I can feel the torque;  but whatever it is, it's going through it.  Yep, it was through it.

Stem length, 71 cm; drilling time, 38 sec; penetration rate, 1.9 cm/sec.
121:13:11
(26 Mb)
121:14:31
Finishes 2nd stem
1:55
Charlie attaches the wrench with ease but has to apply considerable force to detach the drill from the stems. He then gets the wrench off, gets another 28 inch (71 cm) stem, threads it, and attaches the drill 121:15:48 (28 Mb)
121:16:26
Starts 3rd stem
0:54
Duke: Tony, it bogs down as it goes down through rocks and things.  Now it's getting really hard.  It's giving me a lot of torque.  Just...The third stem is just about in.

121:17:20
Completes third stem

The average penetration rate was about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) per second.

Charlie attaches the wrench and is removing the drill when Fendell re-aims the TV so Houston can watch John.  Charlie starts to emplace the probes when John accidentally pulls the heat flow cable off the Central Station.  There is no point in Charlie continuing with  the Heat Flow experiment.


Apollo 16 Deep Core


Ground Elapsed Time
Activity
Activity Duration
Notes
Video Clip
121:25:36 Charlie starts the deep core activity. He is off camera.

Duke: (Matter-of-factly)  Okay, Tony, starting on the deep drill.
121:25:36
(32 Mb)
121:25:46 Starts first stem pair
0:05
Fendell pans left to find Charlie, who comes on screen just as he gives Tony a "Mark" when he starts the drill.  Note that, when he starts, the drill handles are below his RCU.  He was supposed to attach a threaded pair of 40-cm stems to the drill. What seems likely is that, when he got the stems in position, he pushed down and got perhaps 30 cm of penetration.  Charlie goes for the wrench as Fendell zooms in on him. He has left only about 10 cm of stem above ground.

stem length, 80-30-10 = 40 cm; drilling time, 5 seconds; penetration rate, 8 cm/sec.

121:25:51 Charlie completes the first stem, is still trying to get the drill off when Fendell pans away at 121:27:31
3:30
Duke: Mark.  That one went in like gangbusters!  (Pause)
England: Okay, we copy that, Charlie, and hold back on that drill a little bit.  It'll probably try to auger in on you a bit.
Duke: Okay, I will.  Yeah, that penetration rate was a little fast.  Thanks for reminding me.

A slower drilling rate will yield a more compact core that will better preserve layering in the soil.

121:29:21
Charlie has the drill off but needs to attach the next stem and remove the wrench
0:31
Duke: Okay, Tony; I had a tough time getting the bit (means the drill) off the first stem.  Got a little dusty in there, but I got it cleaned out.
England: Okay.  (Long Pause)
[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "The only problem I really had (with the core) was when I tried to get the drill head off to add another stem.  It seemed to be real tight and didn't want to unscrew (from the stems).  That happened on all three sections.  I really don't know why.  I checked and it didn't look like I was grauling any of the threads.  The stem threads on the stem side all looked clean and weren't grauled.  When I put them stem to stem, they went together real easy,  but, when I tried to get the drill head off, it was hard to get off. But, once I broke it loose, it unwound easily.    I had to really make a conscious effort to make sure that the drill stem did not unscrew (meaning 'turn') in the ground.    It really wanted to back off.  When I tried to put the wrench on it and unscrew the drill, the whole thing would turn and I really had to make an effort to stop that."]

121:29:52
Off camera, Charlie falls and we see a spray of dust come into the TV field-of-view from the left
3:32
Fendell pans left and, at about 121:30:20, finds Charlie on his hands and knees, trying to get the wrench off the stems. As Charlie hangs the wrench on the rack, Fendell zooms in on John. Fendell returns to Charlie at about 121:31:35.  He has the drill in hand and tries to attach it to the stems.  The drill turns as Charlie tries to thread the drill onto the stems, so he gets the wrench.   He attaches the wrench at about waist height, holding it steady with his left hand while he turns the drill with his right. After he gets the drill attached, he removes the wrench and hangs it on the rack.
121:30:17
(28 Mb)

121:33:11
(35 Mb)
121:33:24
Charlie starts drilling the second stem pair
0:52
Charlie gives Tony a "Mark".  This time, the drill handles are at about shoulder height, indicating he is emplacing a longer length of stem. Charlie has left himself about 30 cm of stem above the ground, which should make it easier to use the wrench and to thread the next stem.

Stem pair length 80+20-30 = 70 cm; drilling time, 52 sec; 1.3 cm/sec

121:34:16
Charlie completes the stem; struggles to get the drill off; attaches the final stem
4:05
Duke: Okay, the second one went in with no problem, Tony.

Charlie gets the wrench and, as he gets ready to attach it, Fendell pans away to look at John.

Duke: Boy, all the sections are like that first one.  (Pause)  (Thinking about extracting the core)  (It feels like I could) pull it right out of the ground; but I don't think that's true.
Duke: (struggling to get the drill off) That beauty just doesn't want to come off.  (Long Pause)  Okay, last one (meaning the fourth drill stem) going on, Tony.

Fendell pans left and finds Charlie threading the third stem pair.  Charlie isn't sure it's secure and drops to his knees, holding onto the drill string with his right hand.  After checking the joint, he rises vertically, using the drill string to keep himself steady and, as he gets vertical, kicking his feet under himself.  This is a good illustration that it is stability and not strength that is the key factor in getting up.  Once up, Charlie grabs the drill. He gets it threaded without having to use the wrench. The handles are a bit above shoulder height.
121:36:49
(24 Mb)
121:38:21
Charlie starts drilling third stem pair
1:23
Duke: Mark.
England: Okay.  (Pause)
Duke: And I feel a little clutch slippage, but not much.
England: Okay.  Just take it slow and easy.
Duke: Slowly going in.  (Responding)  That's what I'm
doing;  just letting it do the work.  (Long Pause)
England: All right, Charlie.  Remember to spin it
free...
Duke: Mark.

Stem pair length, 80-20+30 = 90 cm; drilling time, 83 sec; penetration rate, 1.1 cm/sec.
121:39:42
(26 Mb)
121:39:44 Charlie completes the stem; gets the wrench, removes the drill and sets it aside; runs to the LRV to get the jack-and-treadle.  Once back from the LRV, he removes the wrench, and puts a cap on the top of the core. Off camera, fits a hole in the center of the treadle over the stems and positions the jack.
5:19
England: (As per LMP-19), spin it free for 15 seconds without letting it go down if you can.

Charlie backs away to make sure he has left about 8 inches (20 cm) of stem protruding.

Duke: I am.  I was just going to see if I was down far
enough.England: Okay.  (Pause)

Charlie grabs the handles and pulls up with some force and he runs the drill.  He lifts the drill about 10 to 20 cm.

England: Beautiful.  (Pause)

Charlie gets his hands under the handles and, without the drill running, tries to lift it.  He gets only an inch or two.

England: Don't strain yourself there, Charlie.

Charlie pulls two more times and makes only a little more progress. The drill handles are at about hip height.

Duke: I'm not.  (Pause)  I think I better use the jack.
England: Okay.
Duke: (Getting the wrench)  When I was spinning it free, Tony, I felt like it was going to come right on out; but it's sort of hung up now.
England: Okay, we understand.
Duke: I got it out about one stem width...(Correcting
himself) length.
England: Okay.  (Long Pause)
[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "Once I had it in, I did 15 seconds of clearing the flutes.  While I was doing that, I tried to pull up and the thing just came right on out of the ground.  I pulled up 4 or 5 inches.  It was coming out easy.  I said, 'Man, it is going to be a piece of cake to get this out of the ground.  I stopped the flute-clearing activity and then I tried to pull it out of the ground. Boy, I couldn't budge it.  I took the drill head off, capped it, and used the jack on it.]
121:42:17
(32 Mb)
121:45:03
Charlie uses the jack to get the core out of the ground
1:47
Fendell pans left to watch Charlie.  It takes Charlie a while to get started but, once he gets the lifting mechanism seated, he gets a couple of inches (5 cm) per stroke. There is about 2 meters of core in the ground and, at 5 cm per stroke, it will take more than 40 strokes to complete the task.

Duke: Well, you can't believe it, Tony, but that beauty is coming out.
England: Outstanding.  And we've proved the lever
principle again.
Duke: Yep.

Charlie has the treadle braced with his right foot and is getting about 30 degrees per stroke with his left hand.   It seems to be grabbing on pretty good.  He has his right hand on the core stem and, starting with the 17th stroke, he starts bending his knees on the downstroke and increases the depth of the stroke to 45 degrees.  On the 26th effective stroke - not counting some apparent false strokes - Charlie takes his foot off the treadle and drops all the way to his knees on the downstroke.  This increases the stroke depth to perhaps 60 or 70 degrees.

Duke: Hey, I've learned something.  Let the suit do the work for you on this beauty.
England: Very good.
121:42:17
(32 Mb)

121:45:34
(32 Mb)
121:46:50
After dropping to his knees a second time, Charlie stops to rest and shakes his left hand, which he used to grip the jack handle
0:18
Charlie's breathing is noticeable, but it is not at all
labored. He takes a break after two of the deep strokes.  He flexes his left arm a few times, gets the jack mechanism properly seated on the stem and then resumes the deep strokes. 
[Jones, from the mission review done for the ALSJ - "Is this particularly strenuous?"

Duke - "Yeah.  You see me take my left arm off of it every once in a while?  That's because I was cramping up a little bit in my arm."]

121:47:08
Resumes jacking
0:23


121:47:31
Break, including two more deep strokes and an attempt the pull the core up by hand
0:41
After the 33rd stroke, Charlie takes another break.  We get a glimpse of the top of the core, which is now at about chest height.

England: Looks like it's a good thing we had that jack.
Duke: I think so.  I think, maybe, John and I'd have been able to pull it out; but it would have been a battle.

Charlie does two more deep strokes and then stops.  He puts his right foot on the treadle and, after flexing his left arm, grabs the core with both hands and tries to pull it out.  He doesn't get it to move very far and
resumes the deep strokes.  In between strokes, he puts his right foot on the treadle, apparently steadying it while he gets the lifting mechanism to seat.
[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I'm glad we had the extractor (meaning the jack), because the extractor works great.  I had the same problem with it that I had in training.  Every time you pick it up to try to set the C-clamp (engaging mechanism) back down again, the bottom plate (meaning the treadle) would shift on you.  It wanted to walk clockwise with you.  What I did was put my right foot on the plate and jack with my left hand. That worked great.  It held steady then, and it speeded up the process."]

121:48:12
Charlie resumes jacking
0:39
Tony calls after the 43rd stroke.

121:48:51
Rest requested by Houston
0:24
England: Hey, Charlie, take it easy.  Let's rest for a
minute.
Duke: Okay, how's the old heartbeat?
England: You're up to about 140 (beats per minute).

As he rests, Charlie is leaning forward and the top of the core is about level with the top of his helmet.  Making allowances for his posture, the top of the core is now about 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm) out of the ground - give or take a couple of inches.  My thanks to my Beautiful Australian Bride, Dianne Jones, who measured a conveniently-sized subject who mimicked Charlie's posture for her.

Duke: Okay.  Doesn't feel like hard work.  (Pause)
[Jones from the ALSJ mission review - "Do you still agree with that statement?

Duke - "Yeah, I agree with what I said.  I mean, I was cramped; but, over all, I didn't feel that tired."]
121:48:51
(32 Mb)
121:49:15
Off camera, Charlie makes another attempt to remove the stems by hand
1:32
Duke: Still can't pull that beauty out.  I('ve) got it out 6 feet (1.8 m).

121:50:47
Charlie in the TV field-of-view again)
0:20
Charlie has gotten the core out another half meter or so.  He does a couple of final deep strokes and the core begins to tilt.  He pulls it out the last foot or so.

121:51:07
Core extraction complete
0:57
Charlie removes the jack-and-treadle and discards it. After watching it land, Charlie goes to the stem rack, gets and places a cap for the bit end of the string. He rests the string on the rack.

121:52:04
Uses rammer-jammer to see if the hole stayed open. He then collects a rock that has caught his attention and, finally,  takes the deep core to the Rover, leaving it lying across the back, secured by the vise mounted on the top of the geopallet.  He then goes to help John with deployment of the geophone line
2:30
The rammer-jammer is lying on the ground.  Charlie fails in his first attempt to bob down to one knee so he can grab it before the suit forces him upright; but succeeds on the second attempt. Charlie gets the tip of the rammer-jammer into the core hole and feeds it in slowly.  Once the top of the rammer-jammer reaches waist height, Charlie releases his grip and all but the very top of the rammer-jammer disappears into the hole.

Duke: How about that, Tony!
England: (With a smile in his voice) Outstanding!
Duke: Did you see that?
England: I'd say the hole stayed open.
Duke: All the way down, I just dropped the rammer into it and it just fell in.

The Apollo 17 crew will place a neutron flux experiment in their core hole and, at the end of the mission, will recover the instrument for return to Earth.  Here, Houston is interested in seeing if the Apollo 16 core hole has stayed open so that the 17 hole can be used for just such a purpose.
121:52:04
(28 Mb)
121:54:34
Other activities
32:27
After helping John with the geophone deployment, Charlie takes ALSEP documentation photos. As Charlie returns to the Rover to start breaking down the core, Fendell pans half a f.o.v. to the right, bringing one end of the core string into view.

122:27:01
Get the wrench
0:52
Charlie crosses the TV field-of-view, going to get the wrench off the drill stem rack. He comes into view again after 40 seconds, with the wrench in his right hand.
122:25:42 (25 Mb)
122:27:53
Charlie starts separating the core stems
1:13
Fendell starts to pan left to follow John. Just before the end of the core leaves the f.o.v., it moves, indicating that Charlie has started the disassembly.  As Charlie works at the back of the Rover, we get occasional glimpses of the core string and see the TV picture move up-and-down from time to time.
122:28:24 (26 Mb)
122:29:06
Core string now separated into two halves, caps both halves, stows the string halves on the drill stem rack.

Fendell follows John to our right, giving us a view of Charlie looking into the top of the lower half.

Duke: (Delighted) It's all full, Tony!
England: Outstanding. (Long Pause)

Charlie caps the top of the lower half and the bottom of the upper half.  Each half is about 1.12 meters long

Duke: Okay...(Pause) Delta and Baker on the bottom (two sections). (Pause) We're losing a little bit out of the third section here. (I'll) get the cap on. (Pause) And Echo is on the bottom of the third section. Over.
England: Okay. We copy that. (Pause)
Duke: Man, the trick of the week (is) getting this wrench off of here. (Pause)

Charlie now takes the two halves of the string out to lean them on the drill stem rack.
122:31:08 (30 Mb)
122:32:17
Other activities
2:27:24
Charlie returns to the LRV to prepare for their first geology traverse.

124:59:41
Take core stems back to the LM

After Charlie films John driving the Grand Prix, Charlie grabs the core stems and ran back to the LM.
[Duke, from the 1972 Technical Debrief - "I'd left the core tube standing on the little tripod (that is, leaning on the drill stem rack).  I picked them up and ran back to the LM.  I didn't bother getting back on the LRV - just put them in the bag.  At first, they were a little bit too long for the bag and I couldn't get the Velcro down on the bag.  But, once we got them inside (the LM) and tamped it in, the snaps snapped and the Velcro Velcroed.  We brought those beauties back as advertised."]
Duke: Okay, Tony, I'm jogging back in.


Core stem in bag, placed on ladder foot pad, take up to the cabin

LMP cuff checklist page 29


Stow core tube bag on floor, probably against the midstep.

LM Lunar Surface Checklist page 3-4
LM Lunar Surface Checklist page 7-15

The relevant instruction under "Cabin Clean Up For Launch is probably "Attach BSLSS/Rock Bag to +Z27".  The +Z27 bulkhead is the forward face of the midstep and the act of attaching the BSLSS bag probably secured the core tube bag as well.




Apollo 17 - Heat Flow Holes


Ground Elapsed Time
Task
Duration
Notes
Video Clip
119:20:07
Prep work: positioning the probes and heat flow electronics
6:52
Cernan: Now, I never drilled a hole where there's not a can.
[Schmitt, from the mission review done for the ALSJ - "As I recall, in order to train with the drill, you wanted to drill in a lunar soil simulant.  So we had a big can or drum or bin filled with the stuff - dry and tamped down - and when we got to this point, Gene would go over and drill his hole in the can of simulant."

119:26:59
Configure drill and drill-stem rack; position drill and rack at hole No. 1
3:51
Cernan: Amazing.  Amazing. (Long Pause)  Okay, Bob.  I've got my tools of the trade right here.  I'm ready to go to work.  Now, I put a mark in the deck...(Looking for a spot he scratched on the ground to show where he wanted to drill the first hole)  There it is; right there.  (Pause)

119:30:50 Gene removes first stem from quiver; attaches to drill; lifts and positions drill; removes cover from the drill
2:05
The first stem in 137 cm long, Gene has considerable trouble getting it threaded into the drill chuck.
119:29:48 (27 Mb)
119:32:55
Starts first stem
0:42
Gene is standing so that the drill stem is tilted forward, away from him.  Observers in Houston are concerned that he is putting too much forward force on the drill
119:32:49 (35 Mb)
119:33:37
Gene stops drilling and responds to CapCom Bob Parker.
0:11
Parker:  And, Geno, you're leaning pretty heavy forward on that drill.<p>
Cernan: Okay, Bob.  She's going in like she's in some pretty dense stuff, and then I hit some rock here.  I'll watch it; I won't lean forward.  I'm not putting too much pressure on it.
Parker: Okay.
[Cernan, from the ALSJ mission review - "Because of the weight of the PLSS, you had a tendency to lean forward and put a little torque or bending motion on  the drill stem.  The worry was having it bind up as a result."

Schmitt - "There may also have been some consideration of optimizing power usage.  The motor would have been more efficient at medium power levels than at higher power levels."]

119:33:48
Gene resumes drilling
0:44
Cernan: It sounds to me like she's chipping away through rock.  (Pause)  May be just a little-longer-drilling hole than it was at the Cape.

119:34:32
Gene stops drilling to give his hands a rest
0:13
In order to grip the drill handle - which also serves as the on/off switch - Gene is having to squeeze his fingers closed against the pressure of the suit and that is very tiring.  The top of the stem is at about knee height.

119:34:45
Gene resumes drilling, stooping once briefly to check progress
0:48
Cernan: Bob, she's going in; but not without a little bit of resistance ... Every once in a while she breaks through a soft spot.

Stem length, 137 cm; drilling time, 127 sec; penetration rate, 1.1 cm/sec

119:35:33
Gene stops, gets wrench off rack, removes the drill, removes the wrench,attaches the next stem, attaches the drill.
3:45
The next stem is 71 cm long.
119:36:39 (30 Mb)
119:39:18
Second stem
0:51
Vibration of the drill knocks dust off.
Just before 119:39:39, the drill twists or jumps noticeably in Gene's hands two or three times.

Cernan: Hey, Bob, it's obvious that I'm going through some pretty tough stuff - (through) consolidated material, like rock fragments - and then it breaks through; and then it jumps for about 3 or 4 inches and then I hit some more fragments.

The average penetration rate was about 1.4 cm/sec.

119:40:09
Gene stops drilling and prepares for the next stem
3:05
Cernan: Oh, me.  I got too low on that one.   I thought I had that gauged.  (Pause)
[Ideally, he would have left about a foot of stem sticking out of the ground, but he has left himself only 3 or 4 inches.  He gets the wrench from the rack.]
Cernan: Bob, there would be absolutely no way of breaking this drill from those bores without that tool, I guarantee you that.
119:39:53 (26 Mb)
119:43:14
Third stem
1:16
Progress is slow.  After the drill jumps again, Gene stops at about 119:44:00 to rest his hands. After about 20 seconds he resumes.

The third stem was 71 cm long.  Gene ran the drill for about 56 seconds, giving an average penetration rate of 1.3 cm/sec.
119:42:48 (33 Mb)
119:44:30
Gene completes the stem; attaches the wrench; removes the drill; removes the wrench; inserts the heat flow probe with the rammer-jammer; moves the drill and rack to the site he's picked for the second hole.
12:06

119:46:30 (34 Mb)

119:50:15 (35 Mb)
119:56:36
Gene gets the 137-cm stem for the second hole out of the quiver, threads it into the drill chuck and positions the drill
0:42

119:54:03 (29 Mb)
119:57:18
Gene starts drilling
0:40
Gene has to get up on tiptoes to get the drill stem near vertical.  When the drill starts, dirt comes off.
119:57:09
(28 Mb)
119:57:58
Gene stops to rest his hands and to discuss with Houston and with Jack placement of the deep core hole, which he will work on after finishing the heat flow
0:29
Cernan: (Hey, Bob?) If you're looking at me, what I'm talking about is this depression in here for the core.  Oh, maybe 15, 20 meters out in here.  Jack, what did you have in mind for the neutron flux (probe which Gene will put in the hole after extracting the deep core)?
Schmitt: Either the one (depression) you're down in, there; or next one over behind that rock in front of you over there.<p>
Cernan: Oh yeah, I can go way over there.  (Grasping the drill)  That's not too far probably for...
Schmitt: Well, either way I think is fine, Gene.  But I would suggest behind the rock.<p>
Cernan: For a neutron flux, huh?
[By putting the detector in a depression and behind a sizeable rock, Gene will reduce contamination from the neutron flux from the RTG's  plutonium source.]

119:58:30
While talking to Jack, Gene resumes drilling
0:35
This interval includes a 9-second pause for Gene to check progress and appears to adjust the position of a strap on his right gauntlet just above the glove.

66 seconds of drilling; average penetration rate 3.2 cm/sec.

119:59:05
Gene stops drilling, removes drill, attaches next stem, attaches drill
3:26
Using the drill as a support, Gene easily removes the wrench. Gene uses his foot to try to keep the stem in the ground from turning while attaching the second.

Cernan: Well, that whole bore turns in the ground, it's so loose.  You know how those threads sometimes stick on you a little bit.  (Getting the wrench again)  I got one stuck halfway down and the whole bore is turning, so now I've got to use a wrench on it.
While getting the second stem attached, Gene pulls up on it and all of the first stem comes out of the ground.
Cernan: Bob, how's that for soil mechanics?  I pulled the first bore right on out trying to get this thing on right.
Parker: Well, put it in before your hole fills up there, Geno.<p>
Cernan: Yeah.  Right now I'm interested in getting this second bore on.  (Pause)  Now, let's see if I can get it back in!  (Pause)


120:00:11 (29 Mb)


120:03:25 (29 Mb)
120:02:31
Fendell pans away from Gene, looking for Jack. As Gene goes out of the field-of-view, he is just getting the bottom stem in the hole.
3:30 Cernan: Well, not quite as far, but high enough for me to reach the (drill handle).  It still feels, Bob, like there's a lot of fragmental material down there.
120:06:01
Gene may have finished emplacing the second stem
1:27
Cernan: Oh, Manischewitz.  Whew!

120:07:28
Gene gets the final stem for this heat-flow hole out of the quiver, threads it on, and attaches the drill
1:44
As Jack takes the heat-flow pallet west from the Central Station, Gene comes into view.  The drill is on the ground and Gene is at the drill stem rack.
120:06:38 (26 Mb)
120:09:12
Gene starts drilling
1:14
Fendell pans away from Gene to find Jack.

Cernan: Bob, I occasionally hit stuff and it spits this whole drill back at me.  Knocks it back about a half an inch or so, and then it will bite through it. (Pause) My general impression is that there is an awful lot of fragments I'm busting up down there. (Long Pause)
[Cernan - "When the drill's spinning and it hits something, it kicks the drill and spits it back at you.  Not vertically, but rotationally.  It was tough drilling.  I was pushing down and all of sudden it hit something solid; the motor was still running but the bit stopped, so something had to turn.  So, the drill turned backwards."]
Drilling time, approx. 74 seconds; stem length 71 cm; average penetration rate 1 cm/sec.

120:10:26
Gene finishes the final stem, removes the drill, emplaces the probe.
7:41
Cernan: I'll tell you, Bob, (in) that last 6 inches I really came into something hard; but it's down all the way.<p> 120:09:26 (29 Mb)

120:13:29 (30 Mb)
120:18:07
Gene completes his heatflow tasks




In the deep core hole, which Gene will drill next, he runs into rock-strewn layers at intervals throughout the 3.2 meters of drilling.  X-radiography performed after the mission shows an abundance of rock fragments from about 25 cm depth to 110 centimeters, presumably representing ejecta from the Camelot impact.  Layers of fragments at 120 and 130 centimeter depths are probably associated with other nearby impacts, such as Poppie.  The core then has relatively few fragments to a depth of about 190 cm, with the interval presumably representing reworked ejecta.  Fragment layers are then encountered at depths of 250, 280, 290, and 310 centimeters. Although there are certainly differences in the details between the rock fragment distributions with depth at the core and heat flow holes - dependent on the placement of individual rocks in the various ejecta blankets - a general correlation is likely.  However, the fact that the deep core is in a shallow depression - coupled with the random horizontal distribution of rocks in the various ejecta blankets - makes it difficult to identify his 'hard layer' with a particular fragment zone in the core.


Apollo 17 Deep Core Drilling

The Preliminary Science Report indicates there were eight stem sections, each 40 cm long. They are packed in the stem quiver as four pairs of two. Gene will get a total of 305 cm of penetration.


Ground Elapsed Time
Task
Duration
Notes
Video Clip
120:19:30
Gene moves the drill, rack, wrench, and stem quiver from the second heat flow hole he looks for the right spot to drill the deep core.
4:53 Cernan: Okay.  I'm going to go behind a rock over there.
Schmitt: (Admonishing)  Now, now.
Cernan: In that depression.  Bob, you do want the core in a depression, right?
Parker: Roger.  That's affirmative, Geno.
Cernan: Okay, nobody touch my heat flow.  It's the prettiest job I've ever done.  Okay, I'm going behind a boulder over here.

120:24:23
Gene words 'Oh, oh.  There it went' suggest that the wrench has popped off the drill stem once he broke the drill off the top of the first  stem pair because of tension that built up in the wrench while he was blocking it with his leg.
2:40 Cernan: Oh, oh.  There it went.
Schmitt: What happened?
Cernan: Oh, I lost my vise (wrench).  I see it.  I see it.

120:27:03
Gene is attaching the second stem pair to the pair already in the ground.
2:17
Schmitt: How is it going, Gene?
Cernan: Fine.  I'm on my second stem (pair), here.  Or I'm starting on it.

Fendell has been watching Jack but, by panning counterclockwise, finds Gene at about 120:29:20.  He is just to the left of the line-of-sight past the high-gain antenna mast. He is still trying to thread the second pair into the first.
120:27:01 (28 Mb)



120:29:20
Gene removes the stem pair he has been trying to attach, puts it away and gets another. He attaches that one without trouble, leans on the drill to remove the wrench, puts that on the rack, picks up the drill, and attaches it to the new stem.
2:13
Parker: What's the problem, Geno?  It won't screw on?
Cernan: Oh, yeah.  It's no problem.  You know, it's the same problem you always have.  You get these threads...You get a little side force on them and, you know, with the helmet and gloves and what have you, you can't...Sometimes they go on easy; sometimes they don't.
120:29:20 (40 Mb)
120:31:33
Gene starts drilling
0:56
Parker: That looks pretty good, Geno.
Cernan: Not too bad, Bob.  The first core was awful loose.  I think I could have pulled it back out with my hands.

Gene takes a 4 second break toward the end of this session.

Stem length, 80 cm; drilling time, 52 sec, penetration rate, 1.5 cm/sec

120:32:29
Gene completes the stem, attaches the wrench, takes the drill off
0:33


120:33:02
Gene takes a break
0:18
Cernan: Oh boy, oh boy!  (Tired)  Speaking of "boy, oh boy" (meaning Jack), are you a long way off.
[Cernan - "As I said earlier, when you stop and take a rest, that's when you have a chance to look around.  You've got a second or two to yourself.  You take a deep breath, take a rest for a second, and look around, and that's when you begin to enjoy your environment, look at what Jack's doing, look at the beautiful Earth, or notice just how high the mountains are.  These are the times you can steal for yourself.  But that first 'oh boy' here  definitely referred to how tired my hands were from working with the drill."]
120:33:02
(33 Mb)
120:33:20
Gene attaches the third stem pair
1:46
Gene gets another stem pair.  Gene can't get it seated.  As he tries to thread it, motion of the wrench, which is attached to the stem in the ground, shows that Gene is turning both stems, rather than connecting them. He gets down on his knees, with his right hand on the drill for stability and trying, again, to thread the new stem.  The wrench moves again and, to hold it and the bottom stem still, he puts the wrench's wire loop handle over the drill.  After 25 seconds of effort, he finally gets the top stem seated and, with help from the internal pressure of the suit, hops up, knocking the drill over.  He rests for a second and then retrieves the drill on his second attempt to bob low enough to grab the wire handle.  After positioning the drill, he then uses it for support as he drops to his knees to remove the wrench.  He fails to get it off and hops up to his feet to take a rest.

125:35:06
Gene takes a break
0:23
Cernan: Okay!  Going to stop for a second, Bob.<p>
Parker: Okay.  We've observed your problem there getting the wrench off, Geno.
[Cernan - "In addition to getting tired in the hands and forearms, the other thing that was tiring was getting down and getting up.  In training on Earth, with all the weight of a full backpack in full gravity, it was damn near impossible to get down and get back up.  That's why, a lot of times in training we used lightweight backpacks with hoses supplying oxygen and cooling water so we wouldn't have to carry that weight.  And in one-sixth gravity, even though it's easy enough to get up and down, you were bulky, you were still heavy, and the suit was cumbersome.  That's why you're going to see a lot of this 'Going to take a rest for a minute.'  You just got physically tired.  At the end of the day, particularly that first day, we were really tired."]
Cernan: Well, I had to get down to get that third stem aligned and get it on there.  This is the easy part, but I just got myself behind the power curve for a second.
Parker: All right.  (Pause)
[Cernan - "The drill stem was sticking out of the ground maybe eight or ten inches or so.  Here on Earth, I could take that third stem and stand above the one in the ground, put those locking thread down in it, twist it, and get it locked.  But on the Moon, with the stiffness of the suit and the lack of dexterity, if you got it slightly misaligned, the threads would cross, even thought they were big threads.  We'd thought about all sorts of things so we wouldn't get them crossed; but it still got wedged.  So you had to get down, probably on two knees, so that you could get your hands right down there where the action was and get that thing in and aligned.  And then, after you were up, then you had to get the drill and put it on.  All those things were physically taxing.  The getting up, getting down, and the little intricate work you had to do with your hands."]

120:35:29
Gene uses the drill to support his weight while he removes the wrench
0:46
Gene positions the drill, but knocks it over again.  It takes him two tries to bob low enough to grab it.  Evidently, he doesn't want to use the drill stems for support, probably because he doesn't want to damage them. During the following, Gene has the drill in his right hand, puts it down without letting go, puts his weight on the drill, gets his right knee down and then his left, removes the wrench and stands.
120:36:02
(31 Mb)
120:36:15
On his feet, with the wrench, puts wrench on stem rack, gets drill, attaches to stems.
1:03
Cernan: (On his feet, holding the wrench)  Darn it!  You know, Bob, one of the problems is I'm working in a small crater; and it's just a little difficult to work on these slopes.  Okay.  It's on.  I'm ready to put the drill in.
Parker: Okay, Geno.
Cernan: Okay.  Let me get the dust out of the bit by blurping it (that is, by running the drill motor for a second).  (Pause)  Oh, man; okay.

120:37:18
Gene starts drilling
1:18
[Fendell pans away. Gene has this stem Pair about halfway into the ground.]

120:38:36
Gene may have finished the third stem pair
2:04
Stem pair length, 80 cm; drilling time, approx. 78 sec; penetration rate, 1.0 cm/sec approx.


120:39:05
(43 Mb)
120:40:40
Gene is starting the final stem pair
2:30
When Gene comes into view at about 120:40:45, he has already started drilling, with the handles at about shoulder height.  Because of the slow penetration rate, it might be reasonable to assume he has been drilling for 5 seconds.  About halfway through the session, he takes a 30 second break.  Later, he takes about a 5 second break to rest his hands and check how much of the core is still above the surface.

120:43:10
Gene has completed all four stem pairs

Cernan: Hey, Bob, would you settle for about 8 inches out of the ground?  (Breathing hard)  It's about as low as I can get.

Stem pair length, 80 cm; drilling time, 115 sec; penetration rate, 0.7 cm/sec.
120:43:14 (33 Mb)
120:43:14
Preparation for core extraction






Apollo 17 Core Extraction


Ground Elapsed Time (hhh:mm:ss)
Activity
Duration
Notes
Video Clip
120:43:14 Prep for core extraction
8:37
attach wrench, remove drill.  After getting the drill off, Gene reattaches it and tries to pull the core out. 

Cernan: Okay, Bob, I was able to pull the core out with the drill, about 3 inches.  And it's all jacking material from there out.

Gene removes the drill and, with some difficulty, the wrench.  He then puts a "plug" on the top of the stem.

Cernan: Hey, Bob, (laughing) you'll be interested to know (that) I just put a plug in the top of that core; and it disappeared from sight down the center of the core.  I'll put a cap on it, too; but I want to plug it first...I want to get the rammer to plug it down.

That is, he will use the rammer to push the plug down as far as possible.  Gene goes to the Rover to get the rammer and returns with the rammer, treadle and jack.  He rams the plug onto the top of the soil column  A note to Table 8-II in the Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report indicates that the rammer went in about 30 cm.

Cernan: Bob, I ran that plug three-quarters...(Correcting himself) two-thirds of the way down the rammer, and it hit solid paydirt.

Gene then caps the top stem.  He then attaches the jack to the treadle then slides the hole in the treadle over the exposed stem.
102:43:14
(33 Mb)

120:46:25
(36 Mb)

120:50:02
(34 Mb)
120:51:51
Begins extraction
3:44
Like Charlie Duke on Apollo 16, Gene has some initial trouble getting the jack to engage with the stem flutes. Once he succeeds, he pushes the jack handle down a bit past 45 degrees with each stroke.  He is using his left hand.

Cernan: Let me tell you, (chuckles) it's coming, but this thing is really in something.  (Straining)  Oh.

After a few strokes, he begins leaning into the stroke, bending his left knee, and gets the handle down to about 30 degrees above horizontal.

Cernan: Man, it didn't feel like this stuff was that hard.  (Pause)
[To begin a stroke, Gene stands facing the Rover with the core at his right foot.  With his left hand, he raises the handle to the vertical position, seats it against the core stem and pushes the handle across to his left to about the 45 degree position, at which point the jack bites against the stem.  He then pushes the handle down another 15 or 20 degrees.  Because the fulcrum is very close to the stem, he only raises the stem about an inch.  After a couple of tries, he moves further from the core to his left so that he can get a longer stroke.]
At about 120:54:08, he moves around the stem and starts using his right hand. On his second righthanded stroke, he goes all the way to his knees.  He appears to be holding the stem with his left hand so he can remain on his knees, leaning to his right as he pushes the jack handle all the way to the surface.
120:53:22 (39 Mb)
120:55:35
Rest
0:22
Cernan: I've got a lot of jacking to do.  (Pause)  Man!

The top of the stem is about knee height.

120:55:57
Resume extraction
1:33
Gene gets to his knees, using his right hand on the top of the stems for stability, and pushes the jack handle to the surface, leaning to his left with each stroke.

Parker: Boy, Geno, that's what you call getting down into your work.
Cernan: Bob, I'll save my comments 'til later.  I hope this core is appreciated.
Parker: Roger, Gene.  And I have word from the back room that it is appreciated.
Cernan: Yeah, that makes me feel warm.  I'll get it!  You're going to have to bear with me.  Man, I don't know.
Schmitt: I was afraid that would happen, with all those rocks.

[That is, Jack has been suspecting that there is only a shallow layer of regolith, which would mean drilling into rock, or least, fractured rock.]

Cernan: Yeah, but it didn't go in that hard.
Parker: Hey, Geno, how about slacking off for a minute there.  You're going pretty hard.

[The Surgeon reports that Gene is running at about 150 heart beats per minute and a metabolic rate of about 2000 BTU/hr, about twice the average expected for ALSEP deployment.  He does a total of nine strokes during this session and, not surprisingly, his breathing indicates that pushing the handle down is the hard part.]

Cernan: Okay.  One more turn and I'll get up.  I've got to hit an easy spot sooner or later.

120:57:30
Rest
0:52
Gene gets to his feet, using the core as a crutch.  The top of the stems is at about crotch height.

Cernan: (Breathing quite hard)  Man, I hate to say it, but I had that 25 percent of the way there.  I can feel it (his heart) ticking now.  (Pause)  I'm going cold (that is, to maximum cooling).
120:57:05
(45 Mb)
120:58:22
Resume extraction
0:48
After switching back to intermediate cooling, Gene kneels northwest of the stems, giving us a good view of his grip on the stems. However, he quickly stands, trying to figure out a more effective way to work the jack. 

120:59:10
Rest
0:26
Gene has asked Jack to help and rests a bit while waiting for Jack to join him.

120:59:36 Two-person extraction
4:02
Gene steadies the treadle with his foot while Jack holds onto the stems with his left hand and literally falls on the handle to push it all the way down. After several strokes, Jack loses his balance and tumbles to the ground, spinning to his right as he falls.  The stem is at about waist height.After Gene helps Jack to his feet, Jack does four more strokes, and they then trade places.  Gene goes to his knees and works the jack while Jack keeps the treadle from moving.  The rate of extraction increases dramatically.
121:01:30
(31 Mb)
121:03:38
Gene solo extraction
3:35
Gene tells Jack to go back to taking ALSEP photos. Gene stands and completes the task with his right hand holding the stems while he pushes the handle down only 30-40 degrees per stroke, bending his knees slightly on each stroke.. The jack doesn't seem to be slipping on the flutes. 
121:07:13
Completes extraction

Fendell pans away from Gene before he completes extraction, so the time when he finishes is somewhere between 121:07:04 and 121:07:13.
121:04:31 (23 Mb)

121:06:45
(32 Mb)






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