Big Al and his Rickshaw

Al Shepard holds a double core horizontally so that none of the content will fall out

Painting Completed 1983
24 x 48 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

In this painting, Al Shepard is about to disassemble a double core tube. The core tube is a hollow pipe with a sharp front edge so that he could pound it into the lunar soil. After Al pounded the core tube down as far as he could, he withdrew it and, with any luck at all, the subsurface soil inside the tube came up in layers in the same order they actually are under the lunar surface. When it is returned to Earth, the geologists can tell more about the history of that area than using surface samples alone.

The Modularized Equipment Transporter, or MET, in the foreground was the first wheeled vehicle on the Moon. It was designed to carry tools and equipment to the work sites and return rock and soil samples to the lunar module. Al and Ed Mitchell took turns pulling it as they moved about the Moon. It was easy to pull as long as the surface was level and the dust was thin; but the going got tough in the deep dust leading up to the top of Cone Crater. Al said, "I would pull for awhile while Ed lifted and shoved from the back. After awhile, we would change places - he'd pull and I'd carry." The MET was difficult to draw and paint, too. It took me a whole week to complete the drawing before I could paint it.