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Reprocessing Historical Images, Looking for REALLY big challenges?
Ian R
post Dec 1 2005, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Nov 24 2005, 02:59 PM)
This is part of the reprocessed Surveyor 3 panorama showing the footpad imprints uphill from the landing point.

According to the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal the astronauts never mentioned seeing the uphill imprints at all.  Their attention was solely on the spacecraft and regolith immediately around it (trenches, prints from the last little bounce). 

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Phil,

I don't know if this image is of any use (it's a crop of AS12-48-7144), but it's a pretty unique and interesting view of Surveyor, anyway. wink.gif

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Ian.


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Ian R
post Dec 1 2005, 12:37 PM
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Here's a magnified view of Surveyor from Block Crater, made by combining a couple of photographs at 200%.
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Phil Stooke
post Dec 1 2005, 04:22 PM
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Thanks, Ian R - very nice images. I played with them a bit... possibly the uphill footpad imprints are visible - the 'second landing' set, also visible in the Surveyor 3 pan. The first landing set might be resolved (especially if the original neg could be used!) - but it would not be easy to identify them unambiguously on this. I'll post something on it later. Thanks again for a very nice view of this area.

Phil


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 2 2005, 06:45 AM
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Several years ago I enquired of the University of North Dakota's space-history magazine "Quest" whether the Apollo 12 astronauts had gotten ANY color photos of Surveyor 3 on the lunar surface -- given that the goofballs managed not only to burn out their color TV camera before getting a chance to point it in that direction, but also (according to "Time" magazine) forgot to reload their Hasselblads with color film, as they were supposed to, when they walked up to Surveyor and began photographing it. (From what we now know, I suspect they were too busy trying unsucessfully to find the automatic camera timer Conrad had brought with him in order to stage a practical joke by taking a photo with both astronauts in the frame. I also remember that Tommy Gold was furious that they didn't take his closeup camera along to photograph the delicate waffled pattern that one footpad had left in the soil after its final very short bounce on the surface, in order to look for changes in it -- and for once I'm sympathetic with him.)

Anway, I was told that you can see Surveyor -- just barely -- in some of the 360-degree color panoramas that they took during the first EVA.

I have some fondness for "Quest" anyway, since it's where I got my very first print article published (even if they didn't pay me anything for it). It was on the now-forgotten plans to put Apollo 9 into a highly elliptical Earth orbit, which were then changed to make it the first manned lunar mission -- just before they decided instead to turn Apollo 8 into a LM-free lunar mission and move its planned low-Earth-orbit test of the complete Apollo to Apollo 9 instead. Had they not done so, the first crew to travel to the Moon would have been Borman, Anders and Michael Collins -- and Conrad and Bean would have been the first men to walk on the Moon, with Armstrong, Aldrin and Lovell being the Apollo 12 crew. One does wonder what Conrad would have said when he became the first man to set foot on the Moon. (One also wonders whether he would have tried to moon the camera at some point during the walk.)
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dvandorn
post Dec 2 2005, 07:09 AM
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You can, indeed, see Surveyor in the EVA 1 color pans from Apollo 12 -- the top two and a half feet of it, anyway. The solar panel and antenna, and a bit of the mast, were in sunlight, while the rest of Surveyor was in shadow during the first EVA. (The sun angle during EVA 1 was only about 6 degrees above the horizon, so the entire east wall of the Surveyor Crater was in shadow. That's also why it was so jard to avoid pointing the TV camera at the sun -- it was sitting just a smidge over the eastern horizon.) You can just barely see the solar panel and antenna in those pan images, the rest of the craft is hopelessly lost in the shadow.

As for the Apollo 8/9 switch -- you're exactly right, except that Lovell would have flown on Apollo 9 and Collins on Apollo 12. Collins' neck surgery took him off of Borman's crew in July of 1968, well before the switch occurred. He would have been healthy enough to fly Apollo 9, but would have lost too much training time.

As for Pete being the first man on the Moon -- Deke would have approved the crew selection, but NASA PAO would have been sweating the entire flight, worried that the first words spoken by a man standing on the lunar surface would have been "Holy sh*t, I'm standing on the f**king Moon!" (Conrad, to his dying day, swears he actually said "Oh, sh*t!" after he shut his engine down and his LM fell the final six feet to the surface. He thought that maybe he said it softly enough that the VOX circuit didn't pick it up.)

-the other Doug


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dvandorn
post Dec 2 2005, 07:23 AM
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As a follow-up, it's very possible that had LM-3 been ready for a December flight (the original Apollo 8, McDivitt's crew testing the LM in LEO), and Apollo 9 been the first manned lunar-orbit flight, it's quite possible that Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan would have been the first men to walk on the Moon. Borman's crew would have used LM-4, which eventually flew on Apollo 10. The first LM configured to land, LM-5, would then have been assigned to Stafford's Apollo 10.

Instead of flying the C, C-prime, D, and F missions before flying the G mission (the landing mission), they would have ended up flying the C, D, and F missions prior to the G mission. Either way, the E mission just wouldn't have ended up being flown... and without it, Conrad would've been screwed out of the first landing, either way.

-the other Doug


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Ian R
post Dec 2 2005, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Dec 1 2005, 04:22 PM)
Thanks, Ian R - very nice images.  I played with them a bit... possibly the uphill footpad imprints are visible - the 'second landing' set, also visible in the Surveyor 3 pan.  The first landing set might be resolved (especially if the original neg could be used!) - but it would not be easy to identify them unambiguously on this.  I'll post something on it later.  Thanks again for a very nice view of this area.

Phil
*


You're welcome Phil. Glad to be of assistance.

Here are a few other Apollo 12 photographs that might help you to pinpoint the exact position of the footpad imprints:

AS12-48-7084
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Ian R
post Dec 2 2005, 11:17 AM
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AS12-48-7088
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AS12-48-7091
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Ian R
post Dec 2 2005, 11:25 AM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Dec 2 2005, 07:09 AM)
You can, indeed, see Surveyor in the EVA 1 color pans from Apollo 12 -- the top two and a half feet of it, anyway.  The solar panel and antenna, and a bit of the mast, were in sunlight, while the rest of Surveyor was in shadow during the first EVA. 
-the other Doug
*


Although only the mast and solar panels were iilluminated by direct sunlight, the rest of Surveyor is visible thanks to reflected light from the western wall of the crater.

I've attached a cropped version of a photo taken during EVA-1 showing Surveyor Crater (and the shadow of Intrepid in the foreground). I've brightened the area around the probe to show a bit more detail. It looks to me that the body of the spacecraft is clearly visible in the darkness:


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Ian.


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Bob Shaw
post Dec 2 2005, 11:44 AM
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QUOTE (Ian R @ Dec 2 2005, 12:25 PM)
Although only the mast and solar panels were iilluminated by direct sunlight, the rest of Surveyor is visible thanks to reflected light from the western wall of the crater.

I've attached a cropped version of a photo taken during EVA-1 showing Surveyor Crater (and the shadow of Intrepid in the foreground). I've brightened the area around the probe to show a bit more detail. It looks to me that the body of the spacecraft is clearly visible in the darkness:


Attached Image


Ian.
*



Ian:

Great sleuthing! The Surveyor 3 uphill images were indeed the ones I had vague memories of, and do look as though the imprints of at least the last bounce should be visible - note the FOV of Phil's image as compared to the actual position of the TV camera on the spacecraft - it has to be looking uphill across the images taken by the Apollo 12 astronauts.

I'm sure Phil will have his bits of string and lodestone out by now, not to mention his lump of Iceland Spar to locate the sun behind them there clouds. He must get through a lot of chickens with those sacrifices to the Gods of Cartography (not to mention the virgins (I promised not to, see?)).

Bob Shaw


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dvandorn
post Dec 3 2005, 04:45 AM
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I've seen the original picture, and yeah, there was always the hint of the spacecraft structure in the shadows, lit by light reflected off the western crater wall. Your brightening makes it a good deal more obvious than in the non-enhanced image.

I always knew the whole of Surveyor was quite visible and evident to the eye, though -- Pete spotted it almost immediately when looking behind the LM, less than a minute after he set foot on the Moon. But the eye is a superior instrument to the camera, and can see in a greater dynamic lighting range. I'll bet the eye could see all of the Surveyor quite clearly, even half in shadow.

The more interesting thing is that both Conrad and Bean thought the slope of the crater wall upon which the Surveyor rested was a good deal steeper than advertised -- when they saw it in shadow. The next day, when the sun had cleared the eastern rim, it appeared far less steep. I have to admit, you sort of get that impression, of greater steepness, looking at this image, too.

-the other Doug


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edstrick
post Dec 3 2005, 09:28 AM
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Great to see the Surveyor 3 pics. Pre-Vandalized, that is. Did they take any pics post-vandalization?
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Bob Shaw
post Dec 3 2005, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (edstrick @ Dec 3 2005, 10:28 AM)
Great to see the Surveyor 3 pics.  Pre-Vandalized, that is.  Did they take any pics post-vandalization?
*


Yes - and of the act itself!

At least they didn't get tempted to write anyone's name on it...

Bob Shaw


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edstrick
post Dec 4 2005, 08:22 AM
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There was an interesting "post mortem" on Surveyor 3 from the "autopsy" of the camera the Apollo 12 crew brought back. This was reported in the NASA-SP series report on examination of Surveyor 3 pieces returned to Earth. (I don't have that one... a significant gap in my collection.)

Surveyor 3 was the only vehicle that didn't transmit at least briefly after lunar night. Surveyors 1 and 7 returned images on the second day, Surveyor 5 returned images on the 2'nd and 4'th lunar days. Surveyor 6 transmitted briefly on it's second day, then went silent, but as they were trying to get it to talk again, Surveyor 1 transmitted briefly on it's 7'th lunar day!

The Surveyor's had bimetallic "thermal switches" that thermally connected the electronics boxes to the second-surface mirrors on top. The mirrors reflected sunlight so the glass above the mirrors was cool, and with the switches "closed", the spacecraft could radiate electrically generated heat from the top of the boxes. The switches were supposed to open after sunset as the boxes cooled, but they turned out to be sticky and many didn't open. Surveyor 3 and 6 had the most and second most "failed shut" switches, and were the two that never returned images on later lunar days. Statistics of Small Numbers, but maybe not cooincidence...

ANYWAY.... During the second or some later lunar day, though Surveyor 3 was never heard from again, power to the camera was turned on, and the filter wheel was stepped to a position different from the (I think opaque, protective position) setting that it was left at, leaving the vidicon detector directly exposed for 2+ years to reflected sunlight from the lunar surface, causing the illuminated vidicon area to evaporate! There was some life in the bird, or maybe it was the cadaver twitching....
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tedstryk
post Dec 15 2005, 04:20 AM
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I have been working on a super-resolution view of North Knob from Pathfinder. It was the second closes topographic feature to the lander, but was obscured by the foreground. Here is the view that is typically shown of it:



I took super-pan data, and produced this cleaned-up view.



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