Author Topic: Apollo 12 and Surveyor III  (Read 1046 times)


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Apollo 12 and Surveyor III
« on: April 04, 2015, 03:32:57 am »
Does any one know if Bean and/or Conrad looked for the first and second landing marks of Surveyor III at their site?

Surveyor impacted the moon and bounced 4 times befor settling to where the astronauts found her. After the first impact, surveyour bounced 15-22 meters (traveling 24 seconds), then bounced again, traveling 11-14 meters (12 seconds), the 3rd bounce used up most of the energy and Surveyor came to rest about a third of a meter away. We can all easily find images of the last bounce but I thought the first two bounces would have been on the astronauts lists to look out for and document with a soil impactor gage and photography. The strain gages on each leg registered between 210 and 930 lbs during these bounces. The first touch down was at 10 mph. Traveling approx. in a westerly direction.

I have never been able to find any mention of these bounces, or their footprints in Apollo 12 documentaion. The bounces are only documented in the Surveyor documentation.

Also, aproox. 2 min before landing the main retro solid rocket motor was ejected from the craft. It extended below the spacecraft and would have compromised the landing if it stayed attached. It was ejected about 25,000 feet above the surface, at 240 mph. The rocket motor was 37" in diameter and 58" tall. It's impact site might be visible.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 03:30:30 pm by RickNoll »


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Re: Apollo 12 and Surveyor III
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 07:54:31 am »
Hi RickNoll and welcome to Moon Zoo.

I don't know of any information about the Apollo astronauts checking for Surveyor impacts during their stay on the Moon. Hopefully some one else will post with me information.