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The last man to stand on the Moon was the astronaut and geologist Dr. Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt. He was also the first and only scientist to visit the Moon. In this programme he talks about the probl...ems of working as a geologist on the lunar surface, and discusses the scientific investigations that he and Captain Eugene Cernan carried out during the Apollo 17 Mission. Jack Schmitt was a member of the team that selected the landing site, and planned the three lunar excursions. he was also the geologist in charge of preparing the pre-mission map of the Valley of Taurus Littrow where the lunar module eventually landed. TV cameras both inside the spacecraft and mounted on the lunar rover were used to record the activities of the astronauts. Of all the missions the video sequence from Apollo 17 are the most interesting and detailed. many of these action shots are used to illustrate the geology and to explain the scientific work of the mission.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S333, Earth science topics and methods
Item code: S333; 16
First transmission date: 19-09-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:20
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Producer: Peter Clark
Contributors: Harrison Schmitt; John Wright
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Apollo 17; Dr Harrison Schmitt; Geology; Lunar surface experiments; Video sequences
Footage description: Film shots of the Apollo 17 take off from Kennedy Space Centre, Dec, 6th, 1972. John Wright (voice over) introduces the programme. Jack Schmitt, geologist and landing craft pilot, reviews some of the earlier unmanned missions (Ranger and Surveyor) which provided information for the Apollo planners. He has with him a full scale mock-up of a Surveyor lander. Schmitt points out some of experiments which were performed by this craft. Jack Schmitt compares manned with unmanned space exploration, pointing out the advantage; and disadvantages of each. Jack Schmitt, using a large photograph of the moon, explains how and why the landing sites for the various Apollo missions were chosen. Schmitt uses a pre-mission geological map of the Apollo 17 landing site to point out some of the geological features of this area. Film shots of the Apollo 17 landing on the moon. Shots of Mission Control and of the lunar surface through the landing module window. Film shots of Apollo 17 astronauts during extra vehicular activity, (EVA). Commentary by Schmitt explains, in general terms, the details and objectives of the Apollo 17 EVAs. After a short Schmitt discusses some of the differences, for the geologist, between working on Earth and working on the Moon. Over film shots of an EVA, he continues his discussion. More film shots of an EVA, this time showing the extraction of core samples. Commentary by Schmitt explains how this was done. Shot of a map of the area around the Apollo 17 landing site with excursion routes marked. More EVA film shots from the various excursions. Film shows astronauts gathering geological samples at various points (South Massif, Shorty Crater, North Massif, etc.) More shots of an EVA. Commentary by Schmitt gives details of the composition of some orange soil which was found at Shorty Crater. He compares this with volcanic glass found in fire fountains of Hawaii. Schmitt speculates on the origins of this soil. More shots of an EVA, this time the North Massif excursion. Commentary by Schmitt explains what was found there. Film shots of the Apollo 17 take off from Moon. Shots from a camera on the surface from one inside the craft. Commentary by Schmitt sums up the programme.
Master spool number: 6HT/72265
Production number: 00525_1222
Videofinder number: 2002
Available to public: no