|The top detail shows
a claw-like portion of the latch on the inner rim of
the SCB cover. Ulli Lotzmann mentions that
this piece "acts like a spring, as it is mounted to
the thin interior metal framework of the
cover. That framework is flexible."
The lower image shows a backing plate that secures the handle to the outer rim of the cover. A rigid bar is fitted to the inside of the top rim of the bag. The claw-like portion of the latch fits over the bar when the cover is closed.
SCB in the Collection of the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum. Photos courtesy Allan Needell and Amanda Young.
|Training SCB, Lid
Interior, Latch Close-up
|Training SCB, Back /
|The metal fittings at
the top were seated on hooks on the PLSS tool
carrier. The free end of the SCB restraining
strap was passed thru the fabric loop at the
bottom. In this view, the SCB lid is hinged on
|Training SCB, Side view
with the PLSS-adjacent surface on the left.
|This would be the view
from behind the LMP, who wore SCBs on the left side of
his PLSS; and it would be the view from in front of
the CDR, who wore SCBs on the right side of his
PLSS. The lid hinge is on this side of the SCB.
|Training SCB, Front
|This would be the view
of someone facing an astronaut from the side on which
the SCB is mounted, showing stowage pockets on the
|Training SCB, Side view with the PLSS-adjacent surface on the right.||A19790791000CP05
|This would be the view
facing an LMP from the front or a CDR from the
back. The fabric loop at the top is used to
raise the lid or to pull it shut. Part of the
latching mechanism can be seen under the loop
|Training SCB, top view
with open lid
|The interior pockets
are designed to hold drive tube sections.
Apollo 16 training SCB in a private collection. Photos courtesy Ulrich Lotzmann.
||The silver rule is about 12 inches
long. The cover is at the top in this image.
Judy Allton's Tool Book gives the dimensions as 42 cm
high, 22 cm wide, 15 cm deep. Capacity: 13869
||The attachment hardware and cover are
at the top of this image
||Close-up of the attachment hardware
||View into the bag. View of the
latch on the inner surface of the cover.
||The back of the bag with the attachment
hardware is on the left in this image. The cover
is at the top.
||Samples could be put in the bag through
the diagonal slit in the top. This feature was
never used on the Moon. The front of the bag is
at the top in this image. The cover is hinged on
|Cover slit open
|Cover latch||1.2 Mb||View of the top of the bag opposite the cover hinge, with the cover slightly open. The back surface of the latch can be seen on the outside surface of the cover, under the beta-cloth loop.|
Figure 14-62 from the Apollo 16 Mission Report. Note that the SCB is mounted on the righthand side, as would be the case for an LMP. (Click on the image for a larger version.)
Detail from AS15-86-11603, taken during Apollo 15 EVA-1 close-out, showing two spare SCBs attached to the Hand Tool Carrier at the back of the Rover. Jim Irwin is on the right. (click on the image for a larger version)
This pre-flight photo shows the interior of an SCB with two drive tubes in stowage sleeves. The one on the right is labeled "L" for "lower" and the one on the left "U" for "upper". The rim at the bottom of the "lower" is made of hardened steel to minimize damage when the tube is hammered into the ground. (click on the image for a larger version)
|Ground elapsed time
||Putting a fresh bag on a
||In reference to
preparations for the first traverse, Dave said: "The
bags were so fresh and new and stiff that it took me a
while to get your bag on the first time. It kept wanting
to refold to its stowed position. But that was a minor
problem." Note that the bags that they used during
training had gotten well worn.
The cuff checklists include the ID numbers of the bags they are planning to use for this EVA. Later on, the crew is probably in a better position than people in Houston to decide which bags should be used.
||Procedures for using the
SCB worked out during training; solo sampling
versus team sampling
||"Time spent developing
the procedures saves time on the Moon, 'cause we don't
have to talk about where things are and what you do."
|Difficulties reaching up
to get core tubes or put in samples
||Unless the person wearing
the SCBs is standing lower than the person getting the
drive tubes, get them out can be a challenge. TV
of Jim putting the full core tubes into Dave's SCB
shortly after 123:14:30.
At Station 6, Jim has trouble putting a sample in Dave's SCB because Dave is standing on a slight mound.
||Seeing through beta cloth
||Beta cloth is sufficently
translucent that, under favorable lighting conditions,
Houston can see how full an SCB is without bothering the
||Keeping track of SCB
||Back at the LM after the
EVA-1 traverse, CapCom Joe Allen asks Dave to transfer
the unused core tube aand SESC (Special Environmental
Sample Container) from the bag he'd been wearing (SCB-1)
||Keeping track of SCB
||Now out at the ALSEP site
after the EVA-1 traverse and about to head back to the
LM for close-out, Jim consults cuff checklist page LMP-29,
which has them putting Dave's SCB-1 in the rock box
(SRC) and his own (SCB-4) on the MESA. Jim notes
that neither bag is full and asks if Houston wants him
to combine both sets of samples into SCB-1, which also
contains the double core sections they collected at
Station 2. Houston agrees to the suggestion.
Later, at 125:42:41,
when they get back to the LM for close-out, Joe reminds
Jim that Dave had already removed to one unused core
tube from the SCB-1
|Keeping track of SCB
||Keeping track of SCB
contents is necessarily a cooperative venture between
the crew and people in Houston. During
preparations for the first geology traverse, the IDs for
the bags they are supposed to wear are shown in the cuff
checklists. After a while, deviations from plans
will be inevitable.
Generally, the crews are in a good position to make decisions about which bags to use while people in Houston do the bookkeeping, pick up mistakes the crew may make, and offer advice.
Late in EVA-3, Dave looks in an SCB on the back of the Rover and doesn't find a tool he expected to find.
||Slow decision from
||Dave asks which SCB he
should put the SESC in. Not getting a prompt
answer, he puts the SESC aside until later.
||Development of the SCB
and procedures for using it evolved because of the extra
carrying capacity of the Rover and longer lunar stays.
||"That's part of the blank
piece of paper we started with on 15. We didn't have all
these bags. So that evolved over the training exercises
because, all of a sudden you have the Rover, and you can
carry more. How do you carry more, what do you do, and
in what sequence? So these extra bags were all new ... A
lot of equipment was new. So, where do you put it, and
how do you use it? And I can remember going through the
exercise of developing those concepts. I don't think
they all showed up at once. I think they showed up
slowly as we went along. So, how can you carry more
rocks with you and not have your hands tied down with
||Securing a loose SCB
||In TV that starts at 145:50:40,
CapCom Joe Allen notices that Jim's SCB has come
loose. Here, Joe reminds Dave to "cinch it
up". Good TV of the gymnastics Dave has to do to
get it re-attached.
||Stowing 'Genesis' SCB
under a seat rather than risk losing it off Jim's loose
||As Dave and Jim prepare
to leave Station 7, they decide to stow Jim's SCB under
his seat so that they don't lose what came to be called
the Genesis Rock. Because there is little room to
spare under the seat, Dave removes an empty SCB and has
Jim attach it to the back of the Rover. No
TV. About a half hour later, at 146:39:18
at the next station, Dave forgets that they didn't put a
fresh SCB on Jim PLSS and thinks they've lost it.
He remembers at 146:43:37.
|These pre-flight photos
show the Hand Tool Carrier (HTC) with two SCBs latched
in place. The HTC - without the legs - was
attached to the back of the Rover on both Apollo 15 and
16. Apollo 16 photo AS16-107-17446
shows the HTC on the back of the Rover, albeit without
any SCBs mounted.
||SCBs placed in cover bags
||Jim reminds Dave that
they need to put the SCBs inside cover bags (aka sample
containment bags) to limit dust in the cabin.
||Handcarry SCBs to porch;
lid comes open
||They had planned to use
the clothesline-like Lunar Equipment Conveyor (LEC) to
move the SCBs up to the cabin, but Dave decides that it
will be easier - and cleaner - to take them up by
hand. At 149:12:05,
the lid of one of the SCBs comes open. Dave closes
it before handing the bag in to Jim.
||Removing the bottom strap
||The strap that held the
bottom of the SCB against the PLSS was sometimes
difficult to reach for either attachment or
removal. Here, Dave has Jim lean forward - bracing
himself at the back of the Rover to keep from falling
forward - to make removal easier.
|TV of typical SCB usage
during team sampling
||When the two astronauts
were working together to collect samples, usually one of
them would collect a sample with a scoop or with tongs
and, after giving it to his partner for bagging, would
turn to put his SCB within easy reach. After his
partner put the individual sample bag in the SCB, they
would take "after" pictures.
||Atypical SCB use during
||In this case, Jim has
started to take the rake off the extension handle and
replace it with the scoop and, rather than interupt him,
Dave goes around Jim to reach Jim's SCB.
||Alternatives to "putting
rocks into little bags and then putting little bags in
||In 1992, while watching
TV of the sampling in the Station 6 crater, Dave
wondered if it was really a good use of their time to
spend so much time (overhead) bagging rocks, rather than
taking documentary photos and putting the rocks directly
in the SCB.
||Keeping track of SCBs and
||John's cuff checklist
indicates that he is to put one of the SCBs in the
sequence SCB-5 to SCB-8 on Charlie's PLSS.
||Disposition of SCB
||During the early stages
of the EVA-1 close-out, there is an ongoing discussion
in Houston about putting the contents of Charlie's SCB
in the rock box, rather than the contents of
John's. By the time they reach a decision, Charlie
has already poured the contents of John's SCB into the
rock box. Charlie tells Houston that he'll
be able to get the contents of both bags in the
box. A decision had been made prior to the flight
to put SCB contents, rather than the entire bag, in the
rock boxes. That made it easier to close the SRC
and, also, made more room for samples. See, also,
Charlie's comment at 152:20:28.
||Deciding which SCB to put
the samples in
||After some momentary
indecision about putting their first Station 4 sample in
John's SCB or Charlie's:
Duke - "You've got core tubes. Let me carry the rocks.
I have an easier time getting the core tubes out if your bag is empty."
This may be an example of SCB protocol which wasn't as well planned as it might have been. However, they had no trouble making a real-time decision based on their knowledge of what they were carrying and what they planned to do during the rest of the EVA.
||Disposition of the
||John has just finished
taking two special samples in the Contact Surface
Sampler but neither he nor Charlie remember where they
are supposed to put the samples. They ask Tony,
who tells them, "They'll go in the SCB that doesn't go
in the SRC
(meaning the Sample Return Container, or rock box, which is on the MESA at the LM)." This tells Charlie what he needs to know, because they've already filled the SCB that's supposed to go in the SRC and it's currently stowed at the back of the Rover
|Keeping track of SCB contents|| At Station 9, Charlie
asks John to get the top for the CSVC (Core Sample
Vacuum Container or "long can") and tells him it's in
They do a considerable amount of re-organizing of the samples during the EVA-2 close-out, explicitly reporting most of what they are doing and not asking for advice. CapCom Tony England checks with them on the location of two unused core tubes. John says he's "glad they asked."
After the EVA, Tony tells them "We've lost one piece of hardware here. We wonder where SCB-2 went?" Charlie reminds him that he emptied that bag into the SRC and put the empty bag back on the Rover for re-use. "It's just like we did in training." However, Charlie hadn't explicity given Houston the bag ID at the time.
|Keeping track of SCB contents||In preparation for the
EVA-3 traverse, they put a particular SCB on John
because in contains the Special Environmental Sample
Container (SESC). Note that the cuff
pages for the PLSS load-up do not specify which
SCBs they are supposed to wear. Evidently,
they had trained with John wearing the SCB containing
As it turns out, this SCB falls off John's PLSS at 166:34:15 during the drive to North Ray Crater.
|170:14:54||Managing bag contents; double checking an empty bag||Before discarding an empty SCB under the LM, John checks to make sure it's empty, tells Charlie - and, therefore Houston - what he's doing, and mentions the bag number. A moment later, Charlie does a bag inventory.|
|Carrying SCBs and SRCs up
the ladder by hand
||Young, from the 1972
Technical Debrief - "The technique I used (is), I'd
stand at the bottom of the ladder and bend down and
spring and I could get up to the second rung of the
ladder with either the SRC or an SCB in my hand.
That is really the way to fly. You feel like
Superman jumping up off the ground like that." He
used his empty hand for stability by holding onto the
During the EVA-3 close-out, Charlie takes three SCBs up to the porch while John drives out to the VIP site.
|149:20:40||Handcarrying an SCB back to the LM||At the end of Station 10, Charlie decides to grabs SCB-2 off his seat and run the 50m back to the LM to start the close-out.|
|Putting SCBs in
||To control dust in the
cabin, after weighing, SCBs that didn't go in a rock box
are wrapped in sample containment bags.
||Trouble with the SCB
latches on the HTC
||Charlie has trouble
opening one of the latches that holds the SCBs on the
back of the Rover, possibly because they are fouled with
|These pre-flight photos show the Hand Tool Carrier (HTC) with two SCBs latched in place. The HTC was attached - without the legs - to the back of the Rover on both Apollo 15 and 16.|
|Putting drive tubes
in an SCB
||TV from EVA-2 close-out
of Charlie taking drive tubes from under his seat and
putting them in an SCB he's just emptied. John put them
there at Station 10.
TV from EVA-3 close-out.
||Mounting an SCB on a PLSS
||Good TV of John putting
an SCB on Charlie's PLSS, beginning at about 2 minutes 5
seconds into the video
clip that starts at 165:57:02.
|168:05:52||Securing an SCB and tool harness||Charlie puts SCB-7, which they've been using, on John's PLSS, making sure that it is secure and that the tool harness is tight. They don't want to lose the bag as happened with the empty bag John was wearing during the drive from the LM to North Ray. They wanted to put the SCB under one of the seats, but there is no room for it.|
||Re-fastening the bottom
||The strap securing the
bottom of Charlie's PLSS has come loose.
Off-camera, John re-attaches it. Three minutes
later, at 146:27:31,
John thinks it may be loose again but, after getting
Charlie to turn to give him a better look, he reports,
"No, it's Velcroed on."
|170:00:15||Releasing the bottom attachment||Good TV of John releasing the bottom on Charlie's SCB before removing the bag entirely.|
|Using the SCB during team
||John and Charlie did more
solo sampling than either the A15 or A17 crews.
The choreography of their team sampling is not as
precise, particularly at this first geology stop.
There are several examples in the TV at this station.
Further examples of team sampling at Stations 6, 8. and 9.
||Using the SCB during team
||During the run out to
House Rock, they stop to collect samples. Charlie
uses the rake, pours sample into an individual sample
bag John is holding, then turns to present his SCB while
John is sealing the small bag. This example is
more like the well-rehearsed choreography of the Apollo
15 and 17 crews.
||Using the SCB during team
sampling on a slope
||They have to be careful
|Using an SCB while solo
||Back at the LM at the end
of EVA-3, while John is occupied with the UV Astronomy
camera, Houston asks Charlie to do some solo
sample. At the previous station, John had
mentioned that Charlie's SCB was just about full, so
Charlie gets John's off John's PLSS. About three
minutes of good TV of Charlie doing solo sampling starts
upright on the ground near where he is working.
Charlie doesn't have any trouble with the SCB falling
over at this location but there are examples where that
is a problem. Possible solutions are SCB
equivalents with a broader base, perhaps with handles as
on a large shopping bag (see below), or a stake with a
sharp point on the bottom and a hook at the top to put
the SCB easily within reach.
There is more good TV of Charlie solo sampling at Station 2, with relatively few difficulties. Also of John solo sampling at Stations 4 and 8.
|167:20:43||Too much equipment to handle while solo sampling at Station 11||At Station 11, Charlie
has the tongs in his left hand, an individual-sample-bag
dispenser hooked on the little finger of his right hand,
and is holding an SCB in his right hand while he tries
to take documentation photos with that same hand.
He loses his grip on the SCB.
Young: "Charlie, I think with these equipment problems, we'd better work together, and I'll handle one bag, and you handle the other bag, and (we'll) be able to be more productive. Don't you?"
|168:41:33||Efficient solo sampling at Station 13; putting a large rock on an SCB that was standing upright||Duke - "You're working
around a rock like that, it was a lot
easier. I had the tongs; I came prepared. I had the little sample bag
(SCB) on the ground. Once you get that way, you don't have to take all those pictures and stuff. You could work solo, if you had everything. We've learned a little bit, so we got more efficient at it. We knew what to take with us."
||Core tubes in an SCB help
it stay upright
|| Young: "Okay. I'm
going to leave those two cores in that (extra)
bag. It makes it stand up." The reason may be the
extra rigidity the core tubes provide. See photo AS16-107-17474.
||Resting an SCB against a
||Using a boulder as a prop
makes it much easier to get the SCB to stand upright.
||Picking up the SCB while
||The SCB is almost tall
enough for Charlie to grab it without much
trouble. A taller bag would be harder to stand
upright on the uneven ground.
|167:03:33||Shaping a fresh SCB||Unused SCBs are stowed folded and flattened and, to use it while solo sampling, John opens it and sticks his hand in to shape it.|
|Unplanned uses||At Station 11 on the rim
of North Ray Crater, Charlie will take photos at two
locations with both his chest-mounted Hassellblad and
one equipped with a 500-mm lens. Charlie will put
the 500-mm in an SCB so he can put it down while he uses
his chest-mounted camera. He leaves the Rover at 167:00:34.
put the SCB upright on the uneven ground with the camera
in it at 167:08:00,
the weight of the long lens makes the bag fall
over. Off-camera at 167:13:09,
he falls trying to retrieve the fallen bag.
John puts an SCB next to a sample to provide scale in documentary photos
|General troubles||Duke: These things
(meaning the SCBs) are giving us more trouble than the
Duke - The hooks for the Sample Collection Bag on the side of the PLSS was a real headache - to get it on and to get it off. It seemed like it took you forever to get it on and then it would just fall off! Or, you'd try to get it off, and you couldn't get it off. And it just never seemed to be any rhyme or reason; so, I think, as you go on more extended EVAs, we've got to pay careful attention to the design and development of the latching mechanisms of the sample containers and the hooking mechanism for the backpack - or the shopping bag concept or whatever is decided. There's got to be a lot of attention to detail put into that. It's not just a simple matter to get those samples into the bags and the bags collected and stored
Apollo Mission Report Section 14.4.8
Mission Report Figure 14-62
|SCB falls off PLSS||When they arrive at
Station 10, late in EVA-2, John discovers that SCB-4
fell off his PLSS during the drive but, fortunately,
wedged between the Rover frame and the inside of the
left-rear fender. It was full of samples from
Station 9. "Somebody up there likes us." John
won't need an SCB for the rest of the EVA, so they don't
take the time to put one on him.
At 166:34:15, during the drive from the LM to Station 11 at the start of EVA-3, with their shadow off to their left where it's in John's field-of-view, he sees his SCB fall off his PLSS. Fortunately, it didn't contain any samples.
To prevent a recurrence during Apollo 17, the upper attachment hooks were re-designed.
|Trouble opening the top
of an SCB mounted on the back of the Rover
||This is probably a fresh
bag that hadn't been previously open. Charlie
needs to open it to get at the unused core tubes it
At Station 9 after John collected the Contact samples, Charlie has trouble opening the top of a fresh bag that he put on John's PLSS just before they left Station 8.
|124:04:59||Accidentally pulling John's SCB off his PLSS||While holding a relatively large rock he wants to put, unwrapped, in John's SCB, Charlie has trouble getting the top open. He manages to pull the SCB off the top attachment hooks. He decides against trying to re-attach the SCB where they are on the far side of Plum Crater, so John carries it back to the Rover. John won't need an SCB for the rest of the EVA, so they stow it under his seat.|
|Individual sample bag falling out of an SCB||Generally, the crews did
not bother using the spring latch to keep the SCB cover
closed. Off-camera at Station 1, a bag has probably
bounced out of Charlie's SCB.
On-camera at station 8, a bag pops out of Charlie's SCB. Tony saw it come out and alerts the crew.
A few minutes later, Charlie falls while trying to retrieve the hammer he dropped. As John helps him get up, two bags come out of Charlie's SCB, which they both see. Because both SCBs are virtually full, they decided that they will have to "trade them out" for fresh bags.
|143:20:03||Trouble getting the free end of the bottom strap attached to the bottom on the PLSS||The free end of the strap has a patch of Velcro sewn on it, which is supposed to stick to a mating patch sewn on the bottom of the PLSS. One or both may be fouled with dust. Alternatively, reaching under John's PLSS to secure the Velcro requires a certain amount of gynmastics and that could be the problem. Charlie gets the strap secured after about one and a half minutes of effort.|
||Excessive amount of time spent changing two SCBs||They spent nine minutes
taking off the two full SCBs, stowing those on the
inside of the gate and the back of the Rover, and
putting on new bags.
Duke - "We've been around the Rover, now, five minutes or more, just changing out the bags. It was really a frustrating and a time consuming and a very wasteful effort to change out the SCBs and break out the new ones. Time is so valuable up there, we really should have put more thought into how we store the individual sample bags and what we do with the design of the doffing and donning of the SCBs. And, in the future, you really ought to look at some sort of a quick disconnect and connect operation - if you're going to hang 'em on your back. I personally think the best thing is a little shopping bag deal (see below) where you carry it around with you and make it broad enough base so that, when you plop it down, it just stays there."
Jones - "And then just have a little slot on the back of the Rover you can stick it in..."
Duke - "Or under the seat where you can just throw it in and leave it. Or, when you get back, you know, have something permanently there on the Rover that, when you get back, you just pour everything in and that leaves you with the empty bag again. It turned out it was very, very wasteful of time - more than five minutes here and we didn't get anything done. We're just screwing around trying to get some fresh bags."
|Shopping bag idea
||Duke - "We wasted a lot
of time, here (at Station 1). John got this
sample; then I had to walk over and turn sideways to him
and he had to drop it in my bag and then I had to go
back and get another sample. Our idea in training
- and they never would approve - was the old shopping
bag. You know, with the straps. And when you pick
it up it closes up. They didn't buy that idea; and
we ended up taking the sample bags (meaning the SCBs)
and running around the Moon and just putting them on the
ground. And we could open it up and put our own
bags in, and that was really helpful when we sampled by
Jones - "There's a discussion of shopping bags at Shadow Rock (at 168:33:52). I thought that was spur of the moment; but you actually had talked about it before the flight?"
Duke - "Yeah, we talked about it."
|144:56:25||Hanging an SCB on the scoop handle||Charlie plants the scoop, pushing down on the handle a few times to make sure it is secure, and then hangs an SCB from it. This action - which can be found about one minute into the video clip starting at 144:55:24 - suggests that a standard part of the geology tool kit could be a stake with a hook at the top so that the stake could be planted at a sampling site with a bag hanging in easy reach.|
|Disposition of samples
||At EVA-1 close-out,
CapCom Bob Parker tells them to pour the samples in
Gene's SCB into Jack's, plus the samples they have under
the seat. Jack's SCB will then go into the rock
A few minutes later, Bob asks Jack if he wants to take the "big bag" - the Sample Return Bag (SRB), which is a long version of the SCB that has been hanging on the front of the MESA - up to the cabin. It contains the football-sized rock Jack collected at 123:13:39 on his 100-m run back to the LM from the SEP site. The rock is "roughly tabular" with dimensions of 15 by 25 by 5-7 cm. Jack says he wants to take the rock up to the cabin so he can examine it with a hand lens. He and Bob decide that it will fit in SCB-2, which is now empty. That will eliminate the need to bring the SRB back out at the start of EVA-2. A few minutes later, Jack has second thoughts.
After a fair bit of confusion about the SCBs (discussed below),
Jack reports that SCB-6 and SCB-8 are ready to go up to the cabin. Bob has him confirm that empty bag SCB-5 is on the gate and that empty bag SCB-7 is under the LMP seat. Gene adds empty bag SCB-4 will also go on the gate.
During EVA-3 close-out, Jack reports he is putting core tubes (aka drive tubes) in SCB-7. Although they provide a running commentary about what they are doing during the close-out, at 169:27:40, Bob asks that they provide "inventories of the stuff as it comes off the Rover and where you put it over there by the footpad, so we can help you keep track of it."
||Disposition of SESC
||They have not yet filled
the Special Environmental Sample Container ("short can")
and, because they are organizing the SCBs to go up to
the porch need to decide which bag to hold back to
receive it. They suggest using SCB-5, which Jack
was wearing, and Houston concurs. They then decide
to fill the SESC immeidately to "get it out of the
way". Houston concurs.
|144:42:30||Making sure needed gear will be available||After collecting a core
sample at Station 3, Gene needs to get some caps.
During the Rover preps at 141:03:27
, as per checklist, Gene put a core cap dispenser on
SCB-7 which, at 141:05:46, he then put under Jack's
seat. At 141:16:00
he put another dispenser on the SCB-8, which Jack wore
until the end of Station 2 at 143:42:42. After
taking SCB-8 off Jack's PLSS Gene briefly hung it on the
tool gate but then, at Houston's suggestion, they put it
under Jack's seat. He then put SCB-4 on Jack's
Because both SCBs 7 and 8 are under Jack's seat, Gene says "I don't want to get under your seat. We got those bags packed in there like gangbusters." Jack is under the impression that there are caps on the gate but Gene tells him, "No, they're not. I took them out (of SCB-8) and put them on you (meaning SCB-4, which Jack is wearing on his PLSS)."
|145:41:19||Keeping track of SCB contents||As Gene finishes
hammering a double core into the orange soil, Jack asks,
"Okay, do I have core tubes on me now (meaning on
SCB-4)? I mean caps? ... And the rammer?"
Gene assures him that he does. Gene gets then off
Jack's SCB at 145:45:28.
before, Bob had advised Gene that there were core caps
in SCB-7, under Jack's set, either not having heard the
discussion about core caps being 'on' Jack, or not
|SCB management during
||Gene opens the EVA-1 rock
box at the MESA and removes SCB-1, which was stored
inside. He will hang the SCB on the gate at the
back of the Rover about two minutes later.
After completing the ALSEP deployment, Gene begins his part of preparations for the traverse by taking a pack of individual sample bags out of SCB-1 and mounting it on his camera. Jack tells Gene, "I've got mine on." A moment later, Gene removes a core cap dispnser from SCB-1 and stows that in a slot on the gate.
Gene puts SCB-2, which had been stowed on the geopallet before the flight - on Jack's PLSS. Jack's tool hraness is loose, so Gene has to secure it. They are largely hidden by equipment between the TV camera and the back of the Rover.
Next, Jack puts SCB-1 on Gene's PLSS. Although Jack is between us and Gene's PLSS much of the time, we do get to see part of the process, especially the redesigned attachment of the bottom of the SCB at about 121:33:00. Jack's comment that "those hooks weren't designed for new bags" indicates that, while they worked well for the broken-in bags used during training, the stiff, fresh bags are harder to secure.
Because they didn't have to change out either of the SCBs during this traverse, EVA-1 clsoeout is straightforward, as indicated above.
|Seeds of later confusion
||Preparations for the
EVA-2 traverse were somewhat disrupted by the need to
install the replacment fender. While Jack takes
some scheduled panoramas, Gene takes SCB-7, as per
checklist, to the gate where he transfers some equipment
from SCB-5 into SCB-7 before stowing SCB-7 under Jack's
seat. Next, they were scheduled to put SCB-5 on Gene's
PLSS, SCB-6 on the gate, with SCB-4 going on Jack's
PLSS. However, because work on the fender will be
easier if they aren't wearing cameras or SCBs, Houston
tells them to defer the rest of the Geoprep until
after they finish with the fender.
After they finish with the fender, Jack goes to the MESA to get an SCB. This was to have been Gene's job but, because of the time they've lost because of the fender, Jack decides to take care of the task. Unfortunately, he grabs the wrong bag. Schmitt - "The empty bags were stowed in the MESA and you would think that an intelligent human being would be able to grab the right one." Together, Gene, Jack and Bob decide that putting SCB-8 on Jack's PLSS - instead of SCB-4 - won't be a problem. Bob says, "Yeah, I don't see there's any reason why you shouldn't be able to use that, Jack. Go ahead. We'll just mark it down." They then put SCB-5 on Gene and SCB-4 on the gate.
In summary, they were supposed to have SCB-4 on Jack's PLSS, SCB-5 on Gene's, SCB-6 on the gate, and SCB-7 under Jack's seat. They end up with SCB-8 on Jack's PLSS, SCB-5 on Gene's, SCB-4 on the gate, and SCB-7 under Jack's seat. As we will discover later, Jack also put SCB-6 somewhere on the Rover.
Photo AS17-135-20542, which Jack took of the back of the Rover just before they departed the LM on the EVA-2 traverse, shows one fresh bag on the gate, almost certainly SCB-4.
By the end of Station 2, Jack's SCB is full, so they put that bag, SCB-8, on the gate, take SCB-4 off the gate and put it on Jack's PLSS. A moment later, Bob says that John and Charlie recommend putting the full bag under one of the seats. Gene and Jack take that advice, after overcoming baulky, dust-clogged SCB latch.
At Station 3, Houston tells Jack to do some solo sampling. He gets an SCB off the Rover and puts it upright on the ground next to him. He never mentions which bag this is, but the dialog from the EVA-2 close-out indicates that it is SCB-6, which one of them must have put on the Rover during the traverse preps without reporting the fact. Once Jack is back and the Rover and they are preparing to leave, Jack asks Gene to lock the bag he's been using on the back of the Rover. Gene doesn't report which bag it is, either. Nor did anyone in Houston think to ask Jack which bag he's been using. After some difficulty, Gene secures the bag to the back of the Rover on the left-hand side. Evidence at 147:23:44, during the EVA-2 close-out, indicates that, at that time, SCB-6 is on the gate.
|SCB confusion at EVA-2
||Gene asks Houston which
bag they want to go in the rock box. Bob tells
them to put the long can and the four (means
'three') core (aka 'drive') tubes in the SRC; and then
the samples from SCB-4, meaning the trench samples
collected at Shorty Crater. If there's room left after
that, they should add samples from SCB-5. They won't
actually put an SCB in the box. Note that, at 147:24:54,
Bob indicates Houston's uncertainty about bag contents
by asking, "Okay, and then, 17, do you guys remember
where the trench samples - the three trench soil samples
- which bag (SCB) those were put in? (The one's)
from Station 4? Over." Gene replies, "Yeah,
let's see. I'm the only one who had (sample) bags,
so I bagged them and put them in whatever bag Jack had
(that is, SCB-4). I think." Jack agrees.
After Gene gets all of the samples out of SCB-4 and puts them in the rock box, Jack takes the empty bag back to the Rover. He sees SCB-6 and, probably rhetorically, asks "What's in (SCB) 6?" Bob answers, "Six? Probably nothing. But tell us ..." By now, Jack has actually looked in SCB-6 and finds samples, probably those he collected while solo sampling at Ballet Crater. And Bob tells him, "You should also have SCB-8 under your seat with samples in it." Clearly the system for keeping track of samples and bags - both on the Moon and in Houston - is in disarray. Gene's grasp of the situation is better than anyone else's.
At 147:31:01, having closed and latched the rock box, Gene comments, "Okay. Now where was I? You (meaning Jack) got me all out of whack, here.". To which Parker replies, dryly, "That's affirm."
At 147:37:24, Jack adds, "Man, we are so far off nominal on what bags (SCBs we've used)... (Laughs) I sort of didn't think. The checklist is going to have to be updated, I guess." Bob replies, "Totally."
By the end of the close-out, the disposition of the samples between the rock box and the bags (SCB-6 aand SCB-8) going up to the cabin seems to have been sorted out. They will leave empty bag SCB-7 under Jack's seat, empty bags SCB-5 and SCB-6 on the gate, and SC-3, which is also now empty, on the accessory staff.
|SCB management during
||No attempt was made
during the time Gene and Jack were in the cabin to
change the bag numbers indicated in the EVA-3 cuff
checklist. Bag management begins when, as per
checklist, Gene takes the big bag to the gate and, as
suggested by Houston, ends up opening the geopallet (to
which the gate is attached), and mounting the big bag on
the forward surface of the geopallet.
A few minutes later, as per checklist, Gene gets SCB-7 out from under Jack's seat and removes packs of sample bags and a core-cap dispenser. Gene was suppoosed to put SCB-7 on the gate but, because SCB-4 and SCB-5 are already on the gate, he leaves it under Jack's seat. He asks Houston which bag they want on Jack and it told either SCB-4 or SCB-5. A few minutes later, Gene is told that they want SCB-7 on his PLSS.
Jack picks up SCB-7 and tells Gene, "your bag's going to have two lowers and one upper (drive tube)." Parker remarks, "Our understanding was there were two uppers and one lower in bag 7, and two lowers under the LMP seat. Did you re-sort things there? ... I just wanted to make sure that we know what you are so we don't let you get away too far (from the Rover) with two uppers and a lower. Two lowers and an upper is certainly better than two uppers and a lower. As long as we know what it is."
A couple of minutes later, Gene tells Houston he's putting SCB-4 on Jack and then adds the core-cap dispenser he'd left under Jack's seat.
Just before they leave Station 8, Gene removes Jack's very full SCB and puts it under Jack's seat. They put SCB-5 on Jack.
When they get to Station 9, Jack asks Gene for confirmation that "I have an empty bag on me now, right? Collection Bag?" Tewo minutes later, Gene asks Jack, "(Does) my bag look all right to you?" Gene's is nearly full and, undoubtedly, he wants to know that the top is securely closed and is secure on the tool carrier. Jack replies, "Yeah, it's still closed."
During the EVA-3 close-out, they put the Station 9 core tubes in SCB-7, the bag that Gene wore throughout the EVA. He then takes it to the ladder footpad. Shortly after, he takes another bag, SCB-5 to the footpad.. Finally, Gene takes SCB-5 off Jack. After they pour the LRV samples out of SCB-3 into SCB-5, they collect the SESC (short can) sample and add it to SCB-5. Next, they take SCB-5 to the footpad and, with Bob's participation, take an inventory. Finally, they put some large rocks in the big bag, including an 8.1 kilogram breccia Gene collected at Station 9.
||Sample bag pops out of
||Jack's SCB is very full
and he is headed to the Rover so Gene can take the full
bag off him and stow it under the LMP seat. Gene
had closed the top of Jack's SCB, but the top came open
and a sample bag popped out. Then a second
bag. Jack could see them come out in his
shadow. Gene retrieves them with the tongs.
After Gene grabs the fallen bags, the head for the Rover
again and yet another bag pops out.
||In the TV, we see that
the bottom of Jack's SCB comes loose. If anyone in
Houston noticed this, Bob did not mention it to the
Gene notices that, despite the re-design of the SCB attachment hardware following Apollo 16, a hook on Jack's has come loose. "(Might) just as well fix this bag now. Let me get this bag. It's going to come off at the bottom if I don't. It's going to come off again. I don't think the harness is tight enough now." However, after a minute, Bob tells them, "Okay, don't worry about it too much, guys; I'm sure the bag will stay on without the hook." This suggests there is something Editor Jones doesn't understand.
Gene takes a moment to either secure the lid on Jack's SCB or to adjust the attachment to the tool carrier.
During Station 6, someone in Houston notices that the bottom of Jack's SCB has come loose. Bob tells them about it at 165:29:30. During this same interval, Jack comments that the top of Gene's SCB won't latch. Gene's notices that the top of Jack's SCB is "hanging by one hook," but doesn't notice the bottom is loose, too. Early TV from Station 7, at 166:14:03, shows that, while Gene's SCB is securely attached at the botto, Jack's is bobbing around, loose.
Just before they leave Station 7, Bob asks Gene to secure Jack's SCB. Gene discovers that, "The bottom's off, but the bottom is not going to stay on. And it's not...You're not going to lose it. The tops are so tight you'll...Your bottom's loose, but that's because your harness shrunk a little bit." He does get the bottom of the bag hooked but says "the bottom is not going to stay (hooked)."
|Big Bag, aka Sample
Return Bag (SRB)
||The big bag has about the
same horizontal cross section as an SCB but is twice as
long. Early in EVA-1, Jack deployed the SRB by hanging
it from the MESA, where it stayed until they moved it to
the back of the Rover during preparation for the EVA-3
The sample return bag can be seen mounted on the inside of the open geopallet in AS17-143-21924, taken late in EVA-3. (The square bag mounted on the back of Gene's seat is the unrelated BSLSS bag.)
The extra length of the big bag gave Jack some trouble when he tried to take out a football-sized rock during EVA-1 close-out. "I couldn't get a grip on the rock to get it out, and I needed to have Gene hold the bag still."
|Taking SCBs up the ladder
to the porch
||During the EVA-1
close-out, Jack takes SCB-2 and the core-stem bag up to
the porch. No TV.
During the EVA-2 close-out, Jack takes SCB-6 and SCB-8 up the ladder, Commenting "You wonder why it's hard to get up the ladder." As Jack starts to take hold of one of the bags, Gene says, "Don't take it by the cover. The (SCB) cover's going to come open. Take it by this." No TV.
During the EVA-3 close-out, Jack gets up on the bottom rung of the ladder and has Gene hand up at least two bags for him to take up to the porch. Once he's in the cabin, Gene brings up some more gear. No TV.
On those occasions when a CDR carries and SCB up the ladder, he has to push it far enough through the hatch that the LMP can grab it. Leaning down in the pressurize suit is not easy and, because of the control panels stick out into the cabin right above the hatch, the SCB has to be pushed far enough in that the LMP doesn't have to reach under the panels. Once the LMP has hold of the bag, he stows it out somewhere were it won't interfer with the CDR coming into the cabin.
During the EVA-3 close-out at 170:39:55, Jack reports that he has the big bag, three SCBs and the neutron flux bag in the cabin with him.
|SCB latches on the gate
frozen with dust
||During preparations for
the EVA-2 traverse, Gene puts SCB-5 (and possibly SCB-7
as well) on the gate and doesn't report any problems
with the latches.
At Station 2, they have trouble getting the latches to either open or close. Gene says he will dust them at Station 3.
Just before they leave Station 3, Gene reports that the right-hand bag latch is non-functional because of the dust and that "the left one is almost non-functional."
Back at the LM, Gene reports, "You know, here's a problem for you tonight. You got any way of freeing up these gate hinges that lock the bags on? I'm dusting them, but they're not going to lock, any of them. They're frozen tight, just about."
During preparations for the EVA-3 traverse, Bob has some suggestions regarding stowage of the big bag on the gate. "A couple of things on that, Geno. You might try tapping the thing (meaning the bag latch) to see if that loosens the dust. There's also the hook business on the inside (forward surface) of the pallet that you could hook it (the big bag) on. Caution: if you open the pallet, be careful not to knock the clamps off the fender. But you can also reach over the pallet to put the big bag on." Gene ends up opening the geopallet and hooking the big bag to the forward surface.
Befroe they leave Station 7, Gene needs to retrieve the big bag, but has trouble with the gate latch because of the dust.
||Contingency for a walking
||If the Rover had failed,
they would have conducted an abbreviated, walking
traverse. In 1992, Jack commented, "You knew
basically where you wanted to go and you just would have
to see how well you were doing and how much energy it
was going to take. We couldn't have taken all of the
equipment, but we had the bags for samples. I'm not sure
we could have mounted SCBs on both sides of the PLSSs -
might only have had one apiece - but we could have
put quite a bit of equipment in one SCB and samples in
the other. It would have been awkward, but there
would be no question that we would have gotten something
||SCB for LRV Sampler
||During the drives, Jack
carried a special sampler which would allow him to
collected soi and small rocks from his seat during brief
stops along the way. The LRV
Sampler was fitted with a stack of "Dixie Cup"
sample bags which could be removed, sealed and thrown in
an SCB hanging from a "accessory" staff mounted on the
handhold on Jack's side of the Rover
Console. Training photo KSC-72P-363
shows Jack with his finger on the top of the accessory
staff with an SCB hanging from the staff. Jack put
SCB-3 on the staff at 118:08:56,
where it stayed until the EVA-3 close-out.
|SCB use during team
||At Station 1, Gene and
Jack get used to sampling under lunar conditions.
Cernan - "Early in training, we learned from working together that when the other guy is wrapping up a sample, you should turn your back and lean over so that he can drop the sample in the SCB. If you just walk away to do something else, he's left standing there with his hands full. The reason you have to lean over is mostly because the suit makes it difficult to reach up very high. Now, Jack isn't the tallest guy in the world, but the suit made it even harder for him. You just can't get your hand much above your shoulder unless you rotate your body to the side."
Schmitt - "Once we got into operational training, we'd wear backpacks with SCBs even when we weren't wearing suits; and it quickly became second nature, a part of the routine, to turn and bend over so the guy wrapping the sample could put it in your bag."
The first part of their activities at Station 2 are hidden by the back of the Rover, but we get a reasonable view of them collecting a rake sample.
Sampling the orange soil at Shorty Crater. Most of the samples go in SCB-4, which is on Jack's PLSS. At one point, Gene goes to the Rover to get both upper and lower core tubes out of an unspecified SCB.
As Station 5, they sample in a boulder field.
Sampling on the steep slopes around the Station 6 Split Boulder proves to be challenging.
Although the slope at Station 7 is relatively steep, there is only one sizeable boulder, so the sampling task is easier than at Station 6.
Working on a hillside above the Rover at Station 8.
When they arrive at Station 9, Jack is wearing an empty SCB whereas Gene's is almost full. They only put two more samples in Gene's and all the rest in Jack's. They collect a doulbe core, using tubes that were in Gene's SCB.
||Comment on the weight of
a full SCB hanging on the PLSS
||Cernan - "We tried to
distribute loads but, compared with the weight of the
backpack, the weight of the SCB never bothered me.
In one-sixth gravity you just couldn't put that much
into one of the SCBs and I just never felt like I was
carrying any extra weight."
At the end of the EVA - and after some redistribution of samples - they report SCB weights of 24 and 35 terrestrial pounds. At the end of EVA-3, they report two other bags at 32 pounds each. In lunar gravity, then, a full SCB would weigh 5 or 6 pounds and, while the extra weight was noticeable hanging from the side of the PLSS, it was not troublesome.
|Changing out a full SCB
||Gene wants to defer the
change out until they get to Station 3, because they are
close to the walkback constraint.
Schmitt - "I suspect that I didn't want to drive a long
distance on the Rover with a full SCB; if the top came open we could have lost samples."
Gene changes his mind and they latch the full bag on the gate. He puts SCB-4 on Jack's PLSS
At Station 8, Gene decides that they need to take the nearly full bag off Jack's PLSS and stow it under Jack's seat.
||Comment on the weight of
a full SCB during removal
||The weight of a full SCB
reported after the EVA is about 14.5 terrestrial
kilograms (32 pounds). Although the lunar weight
is only 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) neither of them has
lifted anything nearly that heavy sine they finished the
ALSEP deployment. Gene's comment on the weight of
the bag is "Holy Smoley!"
||Checking the SCB tops
||Gene and Jack check to
make sure the tops of the SCBs are secure before they
climb on the Rover. Comments about increased
efficiency after 2 1/2 EVA-2.
||"Twinkletoes" Schmitt has
trouble solo sampling at Ballet Crater (Station 3)
||While Gene gets core and
puts in the Core Sample Vacuum Container (CSVC), Jack
will do some solo sampling. He has had little
practice doing solo sampling and is also showing signs
of fatigue, due in part to the fact that his camera
handle came loose during the hour-long drive out from
the LM, forcing him to grip the camera against the
internal pressure of the suit through nearly the entire
drive. During this solo sampling exercise, he has
a great deal of trouble, especially with SCBs. He
starts by digging a trench on the rim of the crater,
collects a sample with the scoop and, after having some
difficulty pouring it into a sample bag, realizes that
he needs an SCB. He gets one off the Rover but
doesn't report which one he has taken. At 144:46:03,
we have TV of the bag standing upright on the ground
During the next few minutes he has considerable trouble not only puring samples into individual sample bags but, also, repeatedly dropping the scoop, the sample bags and, finally, at 144:50:52, knocking over the SCB. After gathering up the scatter of small bags that came out of the SCB and putting them back in, he rises to his feet, only to drop the SCB. To help him regain his composure and get a bit of a rest, Houston asks him to take a panorama.
At 144:56:23, Bob jokingly tells Jack that, "the switchboard here at MSC (Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center) has been lit up by calls from the Houston Ballet Foundation requesting your services for next season.". This remark and Jack's antics gave the crater it's name: Ballet Crater.
During EVA-3, Jack will have fewer equipment problems and will do some relatively efficient solo sampling at Station 7.
||TV of SCB pockets
||Good view of the pockets
on the outside of Gene's SCB.
|169:22:03||TV of SCB removal||TV of Gene removing Jack's SCB during EVA-3 close-out. It is attached only at the top.|