Red Ribbons

Jack Schmitt puts his left foot out to the side for balance as he reaches down to his right

Painting Completed 1983
16 x 24 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

Jack Schmitt is deploying the solar-powered transmitter of the Surface Electrical Properties Experiment. It is a cleverly conceived tool which can explore beneath the surface of the Moon by means of electromagnetic radiation. The red ribbons are 75-foot-long antennas used to transmit the radiation. One of the conclusions reached as a result of this experiment was that there was no liquid water beneath the surface for at least 1 mile.

Jack is painted in a rather awkward position as it's difficult to bend over in a spacesuit. With an inside suit pressure of 3.7 pounds-per-square inch, the joints are stiff and bulky and difficult to bend. In addition, the suit with backpack weighs as much as Jack. So it's hard for him to find his exact balance point. Jack knows all this and has helped his situation by placing his right boot in a small crater. This way, he won't have to bend down quite so far to open the experiment cover.