Thursday, November 20, 2008

Alan Bean at Surveyor 3

On the second of their two Apollo 12 moon walks, Pete Conrad and Al Bean visited the Surveyor 3 spacecraft, which landed 3 years beforehand. Pete and Al's planned prank, of using a shutter timer on their camera to photograph both of them at the Surveyor, fell through when they couldn't find the timer in the rock box. So, they had to settle for "super tourist photos" of them individually at the Surveyor.

Back home, the TV networks scrambled to salvage what they could from what was supposed to be a prime time, full-color TV broadcast from the moon. NBC used marionettes to try to illustrate what was going on during the moonwalk. I took this picture of the TV - as you will see from the caption, we were hearing "astronaut voices live from the moon" but only watching a puppet show. It was decidedly low tech, but at least the moonwalk was covered. In subsequent missions, it became increasingly more difficult to find a network that would cover the moonwalks live. This was due both to waning public interest as well as much longer excursions. The Apollo 11 EVA was just over 2 hours, while Apollo 17 astronauts spent 22 hours walking on the moon over three days.

No comments: