Unexpected discoveries

The men were given an extra ten minutes at Station 2, remaining there for over an hour sampling and photographing the area. One of the last photos Cernan took before mounting the rover was the now-famous image of the right rear fender repair, with Schmitt in his seat. Cernan powered down the TV camera and climbed aboard the LRV and they set out for Station 3. Houston requested the astronauts to stop after driving for several minutes to get a gravimeter reading, which required them both to get off the rover so that it was perfectly still to obtain a proper reading. They also took samples and more photos. After eleven minutes at Station 2A, they prepared to leave and continue on to Station 3 while driving over the Lee-Lincoln

Scarp. How the scarp was formed was another of the lunar mysteries the geologic team hoped to get answers to, but the visual descriptions Schmitt and Cernan gave Houston did not unravel the mystery. Even after the mission was over, Muehlberger and the other scientists pored over the mission photos to try to better understand the scarp's formation.

The stop at Station 3 was near the rim of Lara Crater, which had been deformed by the scarp. Here, Cernan drove core tubes into the surface with a hammer, not the drill. He extracted the core tubes and capped them, while Schmitt took samples and bagged them, and dug a trench. He also took a station photographic pan. The astronauts had been out on their second EVA for over four hours and did not feel taxed. They once again returned to the rover and made for Station 4, stopping briefly along the way for Schmitt to take an LRV sample from his seat. The undulating terrain resulted in the LCRU digging into the lunar surface, Cernan reported, but there was no effect on communications. The unit continued to perform perfectly.

The stop at Shorty Crater, the destination for Station 4, would become the most famous of the entire mission. Schmitt made a startling discovery, after making certain that the color of the soil was not the result of reflections from the rover's LCRU.

"There is orange soil!'' Schmitt announced.

"Well, don't move it until I see it,'' Cernan said.

"It's all over! Orange!'' exclaimed Schmitt in disbelief.

"Don't move it until I see it,'' Cernan repeated.

"I stirred it up with my feet,'' Schmitt remarked, ignoring Cernan's request.

"Hey, it is! I can see it from here!'' Cernan agreed. Schmitt immediately set to work digging a trench and photographing the area. Ed Fendell made sure he had the TV camera trained on the astronauts. They were nearly five hours into their EVA and Houston was aware of the walk back constraints imposed by the PLSS. Parker asked Cernan to sink a double core in the area, which he drove in with his hammer. Toward the end of their sampling efforts, Cernan noted a warning flag alerting them that Battery 2 temperature was at 132 degrees F as they finally got on the LRV, but this had been predicted and expected. They had spent just over thirty minutes at Station 4 before heading on to Station 5 and Camelot Crater. During their traverse they spotted Victory Crater and did a rover pan, with Schmitt taking the photographs as Cernan drove the rover in a tight circle. Cernan then stopped the rover to allow Schmitt to gather a sample from his seat with the LRV sampler.

"Time was the most critical thing on the lunar surface,'' Cernan said in his interview with this author. "We never had enough of it but [at least] with the rover, we could not only shorten the distance between places we needed or wanted to go or desired to go, but we could also do some geology on the way - both picture taking and rock sampling while we were on the rover.''

The traverse to Station 5 took them thirty minutes. Parker told Cernan and Schmitt they had twenty-five minutes at Camelot Crater for sampling and photography. Camelot measured roughly 600 m in diameter and the emphasis in sampling was on the sub-floor basalt material. Schmitt walked over to some nearby boulders and wasted no time in giving the science Backroom his observations. The

Line ol cross-section'

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