Tuesday, July 01, 2008

An amazing picture!

"Imagine landing on the Moon, climbing down the ladder of your spacecraft, and looking around the harsh lunar landscape—to see another, older spacecraft standing only 200 yards away.
That's exactly what happened in November 1969, when astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean stepped out of the Apollo 12 lunar module. There, within walking distance on the edge of a small crater, stood Surveyor 3, an unmanned U.S. spacecraft that had landed in April 1967."
I didn't know this...
"Apollo 12's landing site had been chosen deliberately near Surveyor 3. The little lander had spent two and a half years exposed to the worst the Moon had to offer: harsh vacuum, intense cosmic radiation, meteoritic bombardment, extreme temperature swings. Back on Earth, NASA engineers wanted to know how metals, glass and other spacecraft building materials held up to that kind of punishment. Inspecting Surveyor 3 first hand seemed a good way to find out. "
I didn't know this either...
"On their second four-hour EVA, Bean and Conrad walked over to Surveyor 3, took dozens of photographs and measurements, and began snipping off parts of metal tubing and electrical cables. They retrieved a camera. The very last thing they removed was a small scoop at the end of Surveyor's extendable arm, which had dug into the dry moon dust and gravel to make mechanical measurements of lunar soil."
Maybe I was enthralled with the Lunar Landing at the time, after all I was only 15, but when I saw this on S@N forumI was amazed. This was 1969 ... how on earth did they do it?