The first Lunar Grand Prix

Houston decided to simply leave the three-section core tube on the surface, to be retrieved later. Scott and Irwin then prepared to perform the LRV Grand Prix, with Scott driving the rover and Irwin filming the performance exercise using the 16 mm Data Acquisition Camera.

"Jim and I decided we'd conduct the drive test like a flight test,'' Scott said in the interview with the author, "the first flight test of an airplane, where you check performance, stability and control. And so we set up this track, which we attempted to film, but the 16 mm camera didn't work. We set up this lunar Grand Prix so that we could evaluate both the performance and the handling qualities in a relatively quick period of time. Jim would photograph everything and we commented as we were doing it. It was a good way to find out how the rover was going to perform before we set out on a traverse.''

During a maximum acceleration run, Scott achieved a rooster tail of lunar dust 3 meters high that shot forward of the rover an equal amount. At one point, Scott succeeded in getting all four wheels of the rover off the lunar surface. He did not detect this, but Irwin made a visual determination. Scott had completed only a portion of the Grand Prix when Irwin realized that the DAC was not working properly, even with a new film magazine. Scott considered putting in a new magazine but then realized that they were under his seat, and it would be too involved to do that and start the Grand Prix over.

"Okay, Dave and Jim, that was a good try,'' Allen acknowledged. "Let's press on towards Station 9. Let's take a good, clean, comfortable look at that Rille.''

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