A spectacular discovery at Station

Scott did succeed in taking a sample from the boulder, which had a subtle green cast from an abundance of magnesium oxide present - a totally unexpected find. After collecting samples from the boulder, Scott drove the rover to a more level surface, Irwin got on, and they drove on to Spur Crater and Station 7. The crew had spent just under half-an-hour at Station 6A, but it had been a nervous time for Mission Control without any ''eyes'' to see what Scott and Irwin had to deal with there.

At Station 7, the first order of business was aligning the antenna, and once again Houston had eyes on the Moon. The two astronauts were taking samples near the rim of the crater when they made one of the most momentous discoveries of the mission as they examined one sample in particular.

''Almost see twinning in there!'' Irwin remarked.

"Guess what we just found. Guess what we just found!'' Scott told Allen excitedly. "I think we found what we came for.''

"Crystalline rock, huh?" Irwin asked.

"Yes, sir. You better believe it,'' Scott replied.

Scott and Irwin had discovered an anorthosite with a crystalline structure known as twinning. This meant it was in all likelihood a piece of the Moon's early crust. They carefully bagged this and noted the bag number for Houston. Dating the sample back on Earth revealed that it was more than four billion years old. They took rock, soil and rake samples, as well as a chipped sample from a boulder at Station 7. After three-quarters of an hour there, Joe Allen implored them to head on to the original Station 4 on the south rim of Dune Crater for samples and photography before heading back to the LM. They reached the planned Station 4 stop and, with Houston's concurrence, agreed to forego the antenna alignment and TV transmission due to the brevity of the stop (planned at ten minutes) they would make for sample collection and photography. The actual time spent at the station was seventeen minutes, after which the astronauts re-boarded the rover and headed back to Falcon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle was also proving to aid the astronauts by providing a welcome period of rest as they traveled between stations. They could see the Lunar Module in the distance, and beyond it, the Pluton Crater and the North Complex were visible. The astronauts liked crediting certain lunar features after the geologists who worked with them in planning the traverses, and Scott took this moment to recognize Gerald "Jerry" Schaber.

"Okay, now we'll take a little left here, and ... we can look at Pluton,'' Scott commented. "We'll see Pluton all the way and the LM is silhouetted right against the base of the crater so we can't miss that. Just to the right of it is Schaber Hill which we'll be heading for tomorrow.''

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