Deploying the DAC

Jim Irwin puts the movie camera on the Rover

Painting Completed 2001
11 1/2 x 15 inches, Textured Acrylic on Aircraft Plywood

Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin has just completed moving the 16 mm Data Acquisition Camera, the DAC, from a stowage compartment on the outside of the lunar module Falcon to the rover. He has mounted it just to the left of his seat (the right one) so he can easily turn it on and off as he and Dave Scott ride between exploration sites. We can see the camera body with film magazine behind the lens, as well as the battery pack on the right side with the hand grip beneath. Just below the reflection of the sun in Jim's gold visor we can see Jim's right arm as he adjusts the camera. We can also recognize the orange left front wheel fender, both seats with the tool carrier and sample bags behind. The instrument console and the hand controller are centered in front of and between the two seats.

Jim and Dave are proud owners of the first car on the Moon. It is a marvel of engineering, a spaceship riding on four woven piano wire tires. It weighs in at about 700 earth pounds (117 pounds on the Moon) when fully loaded with television camera, communication system, experiments, tools, sample bags, and other necessary equipment.

A day earlier Jim and Dave had landed on a small, relatively hummocky plain between the 11, 700 feet high Mount Hadley Delta and the 1,000 feet deep Hadley Rille. An identical DAC had been mounted above the lunar module right hand window to record the descent and touchdown. Viewing these 16 mm films (and the footage from the other Apollo missions) back on planet Earth allows us, and future generations, to forever be witness to some of the most exciting moments of humankind's first exploration of the Moon.