Apollo XII Mission - Page 5 of 8
After a brief evaluation of the day's work and some discussion of the next day's plans, Houston signed off and the two astronauts strung up their hammocks and turned in. On Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had difficulty finding a way to sleep comfortably in the cramped LM. Hammocks were added on Apollo 12 and Conrad and Bean found them quite comfortable in lunar gravity. Even in the bulky space suits, their weight was barely enough to sag the Beta-cloth hammocks.

Neither one could get much sleep though. Just as they would fall asleep, the pitch of Intrepid's cooling pumps would change and wake them up. Then there were the space suits, even with the helmets and gloves off, they were uncomfortable to sleep in. They would have preferred to take them off, but with all the dust, there was a risk of clogging a zipper or wrist ring. Conrad was also in pain from a misadjusted suit. The right leg was a little too short, and his suit bore down on his shoulder. Bean spent nearly an hour readjusting Conrad's suit.

During the second EVA, which lasted about four hours, Conrad and Bean covered more than one kilometer (3,300 feet), following a large-scale photographic map prepared for the traverse. On the nearly featureless lunar surface, colors and textures were not always easy to determine, and when they were, the astronauts tended to use nonscientific terms in describing them - probably a symptom of their sensitivity to possible misuse of geological terminology. At one point Conrad noted a rock containing a "ginger-ale-bottle green" crystal (which was probably olivine). After Buzz Aldrin drew criticism from scientists for his misidentification of biotite, Conrad and Bean may have been more sensitive to what they were saying. Conrad later admitted he was fairly sure the sample was olivine, but "he wasn't about to say so," for fear of making a mistake.

Two hours into the traverse, the astronauts were on the edge of the Surveyor crater. The slope of the crater wall was much less than it had appeared the day before, when the low sun cast long, deceptive shadows. Pausing to reload a camera and survey the situation, they decided it would be easier to walk across the slope of the crater wall rather than come down from the rim. Approaching from the side, they could take photographs of the landing-pad imprints and the trenches dug by Surveyor's remotely controlled arm without disturbing the surface. These would be compared with television pictures transmitted from the spacecraft immediately after its landing.

Now that they were at Surveyor, it was time for Conrad and Bean's little surprise. Prior to the mission, they had received an automatic timer for the Hasselblad camera and Conrad had smuggled it onboard in the pocket of his space suit. What they wanted to do was mount the camera on the tool carrier and then pose, side by side, next to the Surveyor. Conrad couldn't wait to hear people ask, "Who took the picture?" Prior to this EVA, Conrad had placed the timer in the tool carrier. The problem was it was now full of rocks and lunar dust. Bean realized too much precious time was being spent looking for it and that it was buried inside the tool bag, lost amidst all the dust.

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