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Lunar Lander Dust

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12/17/2012 07:33 AM
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Lunar Lander Dust
[link to www.hq.nasa.gov]

102:44:04 Aldrin: I got the shadow out there.

[Aldrin, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I would estimate (from the transcript) that I called out that shadow business at around 260 feet, and it was certainly large at that point. I would have said that, at 260 feet, the shadow would have been way the hell and gone out there, but it wasn't. I could tell that we had our gear down and that we had an ascent and a descent stage. Had I looked out sooner, I'm sure I could have seen something identified as a shadow at 400 feet; maybe higher, I don't know. But anyway, at this altitude, it was usable. Since the ground is moving away (that is, there is dust blowing out from underneath the spacecraft), the shadow might be of some aid. But of course, you have to have it out your window."]

102:45:17 Aldrin: 40 feet, down 2 1/2. Picking up some dust.

[Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I first noticed that we were, in fact, disturbing the dust on the surface when we were something less than 100 feet; we were beginning to get a transparent sheet of moving dust that obscured visibility a little bit. As we got lower, the visibility continued to decrease. I don't think that the (visual) altitude determination was severely hurt by this blowing dust; but the thing that was confusing to me was that it was hard to pick out what your lateral and downrange velocities were, because you were seeing a lot of moving dust that you had to look through to pick up the stationary rocks and base your translational velocity decisions on that. I found that to be quite difficult. I spent more time trying to arrest translational velocity than I thought would be necessary."]

102:45:21 Aldrin: 30 feet, 2 1/2 down. (Garbled) shadow.

[What Buzz says here is sometimes transcribed as "Faint shadow" but I recently listened, once again, to both the Public Affairs tape and to the onboard tape and feel uncomfortable making a decision, primarily because the transmission is distorted and partially clipped. Buzz first saw the LM shadow when he looked out at 102:44:04, a fact which adds to my discomfort with the usual transcription. In 2006 I listened to the HSK recording of the Net 1 feed from Goldstone and am still not able to make a decision.]

[Fjeld - "Perhaps Buzz did say 'Faint shadow' but was referring to the now fuzzy edge of the shadow on the streaking dust layer."]

[David Harland suggests a transcription of 'Great shadow', but I still do not believe it is possible to definitively pull this one out of the noise.]