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tv   Reel America Apollo 12 Pinpoint for Science - 1969  CSPAN  February 1, 2021 12:50pm-1:19pm EST

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african-americans. we start with history-makers founder and president juliana richardson who marks her organization's 20th anniversary with a look at its founding, history and current projects. watch tonight beginning at eastern. and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. ♪♪ april 19th, 1967, surveyor 3 landed on the moon in a crater of oceania, the ocean of storms. with surveyor's electronic eye, we view the lunar surface. with its mechanical arm, we dug a small shallow trench in the lunar soil. now on november 14th, 1969, 31 months after surveyor's landing,
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men were leaving the earth to land on the ocean of storms. charles "pete" conrad, richard gordon, alan bean. the crew of "apollo 12." the second man landing on the face of the moon. their target, the site of surveyor 3. ♪♪ >> ignition sequence start. six, five, four, three, two, one. zero! all engines running, commit, liftoff. >> "apollo 12" lifted off in the driving rain. >> pete conrad reports the program is in.
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tower clear. >> permission to roll. this baby is really going. >> 36 seconds later, lightning struck the spacecraft. >> i don't know what happened here. we had everything in the world drop out. i'm not sure if we got hit by lightning. >> okay. we're all organized again. we've had a couple of cardiac arrests down here, too, pete. >> i tell you one thing is that first-class ride. >> you're looking good. >> in space and on earth, they checked out the systems to be sure that the lightning had caused no damage that would endanger the mission. the time for commitment neared.
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the burn to send "apollo 12" to the moon. trance lunar injection, tli. >> "apollo 12," houston, the good word is you're good to go tomorrow tli. >> we didn't expect anything else. we didn't train for anything else, pete. >> you better believe it. >> burn looks good. >> with engine cut off, "apollo 12" was on its way to the moon. now they turned around to dock with the lunar module and pull it free of a now useless booster. >> we got a hard dock, houston. we look good. >> the next burn would place "apollo 12" on a new path to the moon. previous missions had followed a
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trajectory that would allow them to loop around the moon and with no further burns return to earth. "apollo 12," in order to land at the proper site with the proper lighting, it would break out of the free return path. should a failure occur, a burn of the service or lunar module engine would be needed to get them home. >> seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. ignition. okay. [ radio chatter ] very good. >> now they settle down to the routine of the outward flight. >> we're trying all these things that we didn't have in gemini like toothpaste and shaving. we're really having a ball up here. >> roger, all dressed up and no place to go. >> oh, we're going someplace. we see it getting bigger and bigger all the time.
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>> then on november 17th, they prepared for orbit around the moon. >> our ocean to the left is not as apparent as our ocean towards the moon. therefore, we have the decided impression that we're going right into the center of that baby right now. >> okay, houston, we're maneuvering to the burn altitude. >> copy that, 12. >> we're beginning to go into darkness at this time. >> roger 12. >> in fact we're there. >> hello, 12, houston, gopher on the line. >> burn checklist complete to minus six minutes and we're holding a dead point. >> loi, lunar orbit insertion, the burn of the spacecraft rocket engine that would place "apollo 12" into orbit around
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the moon. with this burn occurring behind the moon, there would be no communications with the spacecraft until it came over the lunar horizon. the command module yankee cliffer, the lunar module intrepid. >> "apollo 12," houston. >> houston, yankee clipper with intrepid has arrived on time. >> i guess like everybody else, all three of us are plastered to the windows looking. >> the next day, pete conrad and alan bean entered the lunar module, leaving dick gordon in the command module. now the intrepid and yankee clipper undocked, preparing its descent and landing on the moon. >> okay. here we go again.
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>> back off, dick. there he goes. hey, houston -- [ radio chatter ] >> as with the orbit insertion burn, the burn to begin descent was made behind the moon. mission control again contacted intrepid as it came over the horizon. >> intrepid houston, how do you read? >> roger, we read you loud and clear. we just watched first "earth rise," which was fantastic. >> the surveyor 3 target was located in the middle of five craters arranged like a snowman. the upper crater.
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surveyor 3 is located in this crater. the object, to land as close as possible to surveyor crater. then at 50,000 feet, intrepid's engine fired and began the landing sequence. >> we're out at 19,000 feet. i've got some kind of horizon out there. i've got the craters too, but i don't know where i am yet. i think i see my crater. i'm not sure. p-64, pete. there it is! son of a gun right down the middle of the road. >> outstanding, 42 degrees, peas. i can't believe it. amazing! fantastic. 42 degrees. just keep coming down at about
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99 feet a second. you're looking good. 40 degrees lpd, pete. >> it's so fantastic, i can't believe it. >> you're at 2,000 feet. boys on the ground do okay. 1,800 feet up, 39 degrees. 38 degrees. 36 degrees. you're 1,200 feet, pete. coming down at 30. looks good out there. 32 degrees. you're at 800 feet. 33 degrees. 600 feet. >> it's right where it's supposed to be. beautiful. you're really maneuvering around. come on down, pete. >> okay. >> 10% fuel. coming down at 3. 180 feet. 9%. you're looking good. 96 feet coming down. slow down the descent rate.
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80 feet, coming down at 4. you're looking good. 50 feet, coming down. watch for the dust. you got plenty of gas. hang in there. >> he's got it made. come on in there. 24 feet. contact lights. >> roger, copy contact. >> you got your front engine command override off? >> yes. >> good thing we leveled off high. >> yeah. because i sure couldn't see what was underneath. it's a nice place to land. look at those boulders out there on the horizon, pete. >> as conrad and bean began preparations for their first trip of exploration, men on
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earth began their attempts to fix their exact landing site. they were aided by dick gordon orbiting in yankee clipper. >> i have intrepid, i have intrepid. >> well done, clipper. >> we found the surveyor crater. [ radio chatter ] >> dick gordon using the 28 power sexton. pretty exciting. >> i see surveyor. roger, clipper. good eyeball. well done. >> a major goal of "apollo 12" had been accomplished. for before men can engage in meaningful lunar exploration, they must be able to select a precise site and get there.
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but now it was time to exit the intrepid and begin the exploration and experiments. conrad climbed out first. >> hey, i'll tell you what we're parked next to. we're about 25 feet from the surveyor. >> that's good, that's where we wanted to be. >> i bet you when i get down to the bottom of the ladder i'll see the surveyor. >> okay. [ radio chatter ] you'll never believe it. guess what i see just underside of the crater.
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surveyor, yes, sir. [ laughter ] does that look neat? it can't be any further at 600 feet from here. >> now pete conrad collected a geological sample. >> it seems a little weird. hey, al, you can work out here all day. just take your time. >> now al bean left intrepid to join conrad on the surface of the moon.
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>> if i had landed 25 feet behind it, we'd had landed right smack in that crater. >> inadvertently, the television camera was pointed directly at the sun causing the tube to burn out. the only unsuccessful aspect of the entire mission. >> houston? >> pete, go ahead. >> okay. and we have a flag up. i hope everybody down there is proud of it. >> we're proud of what you're doing. >> they prepared an experiments package to be left on the moon, an automated scientific station called l-sap that would send information to earth for a year powered by a nuclear electric generator. >> okay.
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and we're off. they move to the site selected to set up the station. >> hey, there's another one of those mounds out there. >> hey, you're right. what do you think they are? >> i don't know. it looks like a small volcano. >> they put together the experiment station. >> how far do you estimate? 600 feet? >> an acronym for apollo lunar surface experiments package. piece by piece they assemble the station. the solar wind experiment to measure tommic particles thrown off by the sun as they strike
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the moon. a device to measure the moon's tenuous atmosphere. a magnatometer would measure the moon's magnetic field, which would later be found to be 25 times stronger. and the data station to collect the experimental measurements and transmit them to earth. with alsep deployed, conrad and bean began collecting geological samples. they drove a core tube into the surface to collect soil from various depths.
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we'd like you back to start the closeout in ten minutes. that's at 3 plus one-seven. houston, we're approaching the alsep. >> pete, now we're picking up your heavy footprints going by the seismometer. >> and we got to dust each other off because, man, we are filthy. coming up the ladder. >> yankee clipper, houston.
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all eyes are on you now. we're with you. >> as dick gordon circled the moon, pete conrad and al bean rested for their next expedition. their total time on the lunar surface had been just under four hours. 12 and a half hours later they went out again. >> okay, houston? >> roger, copy, pete. >> before they began their geological expedition to the surrounding craters and to surveyor, they worked around the lunar module getting ready the tools and containers they would need. >> roger, we copy that. >> i wonder what's happened since yesterday. >> i don't know. i think everybody learned -- >> okay. >> as bean readied the equipment, conrad went up to the
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station to check an instrument. >> i'll meet you at head crater. >> houston, pete's on his way to the alsep. >> after conrad checked the alsep experiments they began the geological traverse during which they would cover about a mile and take samples from six craters. >> you're going to get a big surprise when you look at this head crater. it's a heck of a lot deeper than it looks. >> here you go. that's a good rock. >> this is going to be a good rock, houston. okay, houston, i'm coming up on bench crater right now. >> what a fantastic site. al, look in the bottom of that crater. here's some good rock samples right here. why don't we stop here and look
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at the chart a little bit. that looks small back there. >> we show you're 1,200 feet from the lem. >> okay. you know what i feel like, al? >> what? >> do you ever see those pictures of the giraffe running in slow motion? it's exactly what i feel like. >> then they arrived at surveyor, their target. while the surveyor activities were a bonus, they were symbolic, symbolic of the success of "apollo 12." >> we're just going to move to the area. we'll see which way it came in. you're still set there. okay, houston, i'm jiggling. the surveyor is firmly planted
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here. okay, al, we're ready to start getting a tv camera. all right. you see that material disintegrate. that's easy. two more tubes on that tv camera and that baby's ours. >> here you go. didn't think you were going to leave without a scoop. >> so they left surveyor, and after a stop at the crater called walk, they were back at the lunar module collecting the solar wind experiment, stowing the rock boxes. >> i'm trying to blow it off. >> bean re-entered the lunar module first. conrad using a transfer apparatus similar to a clothes
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line reel sent the samples up to him. then, conrad, too, left the lunar surface. >> okay. houston, if you can mark me off the lunar surface. >> roger, we got that, pete, at 3 hours and 50 minutes. >> okay. up the ladder i come. >> but there was no time to rest. the lunar module had to be prepared for liftoff from the moon, and rendezvous with yankee clipper. >> looking good, pete. >> three, two, one, lift off. away we go. we're on our way.
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everything looks good, pete. >> it sure does. >> so they rose to their rendezvous. and from dick gordon and yankee clipper. >> things sure look strange down there with all the sand dunes. >> half a mile, 19 feet a second. >> you're looking better all the time. okay. down three feet a second. >> intrepid now station keeping with the yankee clipper. >> the two vehicles moved together for docking. >> steady as a rock. >> now conrad and bean rejoined
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dick gordon in the command module bringing with them the samples, experiments, and photographs to be returned to earth. the next step, the lunar module, then send it crashing into the moon to help calibrate it on the surface. this was designed to measure the intensity of meteor impacts, moonslides and similar phenomena. >> guidance and control officer reports that the two spacecraft have separated. >> "apollo 12," houston, the lem is on its way down. >> the men on earth monitor the output of the seismometerer waiting for impact.
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>> as for the meaning, i'd rather not make an interpretation right now, but it is as though one had struck a bell, say, in the belfrey of the church and found that the reverberation continued from it for 30 minutes. >> after 55 minutes, the reverberation still had not faded completely. "apollo 12" continued its orbits of the moon gathering photography for scientific study including the fra mauro area, the landing site for "apollo 13." and then it was time to head back to earth. >> roger, roger, on the other side. >> have fun. >> the burn to send them home would take place behind the moon. on earth we waited, waited for "apollo 12" once more. >> "apollo 12," houston.
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>> shortly before re-entry, the crew of "apollo 12" watched the earth move to blot out the sun. >> we're getting a spectacular view. we're using the sub filter, and it's unbelievable. >> then "apollo 12" hit the atmosphere of earth at 25,000 miles an hour. ♪♪ ♪♪ but the log of "apollo 12" does not end with splashdown. it only begins.
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>> i'm looking at a rock that has all crystals in it. >> and on the moon an experimental station called alsap sends back its data. each experiment representing a milestone in our knowledge of the moon. >> it has been turned on and i'm very happy to say is functioning perfectly. >> the solar wind spetrometer is functioning in all respects properly. >> i think it will represent a major discovery completely unanticipated about the moon. >> we're going to have to throw the book away and begin all over
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again. >> "apollo 12" was a milestone in manned extra terrestrial exploration. it achieved its selected target marked by surveyor. it set a pace and a pattern of scientific exploration that future missions will not only follow but will go beyond. the tape recorder has been a big benefit for us in passing time.


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