Charlie Duke at Maximum Moonspeed
|Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke is
moving at his maximum footspeed over the Moon, and he will be doing
that a lot the next three days. Even though he and
astronaut John Young parked their ellectrically powered Rover nearby,
they will be using their leg power for the many short excursions that
are required to thouroughly investigate and document an exploration
site. Making the most of every minute of the limited and unbelievely
costly lunar surface exploration time requires rapid movement between
exploration sites before any observations can be made, and samples can
be photographed and collected.
Each exploration site has been carefully chosen by a team of the “best and brightest of lunar exploration” back on planet Earth, the same team that proposed Apollo 16 land in the Descartes region of the Moon so these specific sites could be investigated. The team members felt that these sites presented the most fertile opportunity to answer key questions of why the Moon is as it is now - and why - and how did it get that way. Of course the fundamental purpose is to allow us to better understand our planet Earth and how we got this way.
“Hey John, I'm going to run on out and look at some of those angular ones out there”.
“Tony”, Charlie then said to CapCom Tony England in Mission Control, “those lineations are definitely due to the shadows on the loose regolith”.
Tony replied, “Charlie, we are going to have to hustle you on pretty soon, so you better grab those angular rocks.”
At much more than a million dollars a minute, John and Charlie have got to keep moving.