Author Topic: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12  (Read 8805 times)

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« on: May 26, 2011, 05:42:05 pm »


Alan Bean hammering core sample tube with flat side of his hammer at Halo crater

It is generally understood that there is no sound on the Moon because its atmosphere is negligible. But what if an atmosphere is brought to the Moon? That was the case with the Apollo astronauts and their space suits; a self contained atmosphere which allowed for voice communications. What is intriguing is that the sound of Alan Bean hammering on the core sample tube, which is external to his space suit, can also be heard. The reason is that the sound vibrations were conducted into his suit with each blow of the hammer, moving on up to his helmet similar, in a way, to sound vibrations on an old style Gramophone. The microphone in Alan Bean's helmet picked up the sound and radioed it back to Mission Control on Earth. 


Old Style Gramophone- eHow.com

Here is a short audio excerpt of Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean driving in the core sample tube at Sharp crater. It is from the Bernie Scrivener Apollo 12 audio tape recording. You can hear several short blows on the audio recording as he is hammering on the tube with the flat side of his hammer. Below is the transcript of the audio recording from the Apollo 12 Surface Journal at Sharp Crater:

"133:02:52 Conrad: And this is core tube number 2.

133:02:54 Bean: Core tube 2 and I'll need the (extension handle to attach to the top of the core tube)...

    [Recall that the extension handle has been serving as the handle for Pete's shovel. Pete is probably removing the scoop head. Later crews will have two extension handles and won't have to remove tool heads quite so often.]

133:02:56 Bean: There you go. Ought to be a good place, Pete. (Pause) In relatively fresh stuff here.

133:03:03 Conrad: Yeah; you'd better believe it. We're good.

133:03:08 Bean: Okay. In this kind of pack you could almost drive it without a hammer; but, if you'll hand it (the hammer) to me, I'll...

133:03:11 Conrad: Yeah, just a second.

133:03:14 Bean: I want to take a couple more shots (that is, photos) of this before we leave. (Pause) There. (Pause) Okay.

133:03:28 Conrad: Get it all the way in (and) I'll get the pictures.

133:03:30 Bean: All right. (The sound of hammering is audible) It's driving in real easy, Houston.

    [Bean - "I didn't know that (they could hear the hammering in Houston)!"]

    [Conrad - "That's neat!"]

    [Bean - "Coming through my hand, I guess..."]

    [Conrad - "Yeah, it's coming through your hand and getting into the air in the suit and it's transmitting all the way (to the microphones)."]

    [Bean - "Isn't that something."]

    [Jones - "Now, you had the Snoopy helmets on over your ears."]

    [Conrad - "Yeah, but the microphones are out here (in front of their lips). I never heard that before, either. You can hear you hammering just loud and clear."]

    [Bean - "I would have said it wasn't possible."]

    [Conrad - "The other guy can't hear it. Did you hear yourself hammering?"]

    [Bean - "I don't remember. I was so concentrated...The problem with hammering is that...Well, I'm a good carpenter, but you can't come straight down (with your arm in the suit). That's why they made the hammer bigger and everybody used the side. You can't do a nice smooth swing. You get it going (straight down) and then the cable cuts in and moves it over. So you try to adjust your swing and then you miss. Lot of missing."]

    [Jones - "From watching the TV of the J-missions, what was possible was kind of a diagonal stroke across the front of your suit. But if you're driving a core tube vertically, I can't imagine that's very efficient."]

    [Conrad - "It's the same thing as with the shovel. As soon as you raise your hand above the horizontal - or your arm or the hand - above the horizontal - you run into the cable and you've got to go over-center. As a matter of fact, remember guys used to have to put their arm out and go up and come back. That's how you got over the cable, which ran like a U over the top of the shoulder. (There is a good example of this motion in the Apollo 15 TV when Dave Scott goes through the motions Pete describes to reach his cooling control.) And if you want to get your arm up over your head, you didn't go straight up in front, because you'd run right smack into the cable. You went out to the side, got it over the cable, then twisted it..."]

    [Bean - "You could feel the cable snap up. It was like going into an 'up' mode, and then you could lift it."]

    [Conrad - "It had a definite over-center."]

133:03:34 Conrad: Going...

133:03:35 Gibson: Roger.

133:03:35 Conrad: ...(garbled) all the way.

133:03:36 Bean: I can't lean down too far now. And we're driving it all the way in pretty easy.

133:03:42 Conrad: That a boy. Wait one. Stop. That's it.

133:03:46 Bean: Okay. Just a second. Let's put this up (that is, put the hammer back on the HTC). Let me take a picture of it, Pete. Make sure we got it documented. "

In a way, Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean act as biological sensors during their Moon walks (EVA).



I emailed Andrew Chaikin, space journalist and author of many Apollo books with a link to the MZ Forum post and here is his reply with permission:

from   Andrew Chaikin
date   Sun, May 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM
subject   Re: Andrew Chaikin Contact: Official NASA Documentation of Apollo 12 Hammer strikes at Sharp crater
signed-by   andrewchaikin.com
   
Hi Tom,

I had heard this during my research for A Man on the Moon back in '85, and was impressed by the fact that the sound transmitted so well through the
hammer, into Alan's suit, and up to the microphone on his Snoopy cap. Thanks for the reminder and for the link to your article, and the audio
clip. I'll keep it in mind for future lectures.

Thanks again for getting in touch.
Andy Chaikin
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 03:14:49 pm by Tom128 »

Geoff

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons. - Hubble.
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 05:57:52 am »
Interesting report, thanks Tom.

jules

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3478
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 12:03:04 pm »
 8) In space no-one can hear you hammer.... ;)

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 04:12:23 pm »
I think NASA may want to revise their article so that the facts are consistent with the hisitorical record:

Lunar Science for Kids

"Sound needs something to travel through to get from one place to another. On the Moon, since there is no air, sound cannot travel above the surface. So, there are no sounds on the surface of the Moon. When the Apollo astronauts were out on the Moon's surface, they could only talk to each other, and to mission control, by using the radios in their air filled helmets. Even when the astronaut in the photo to the right, hit a metal tube into the ground with a hammer, no sound was made."

The photograph is Alan Bean striking the core sample tube with his hammer at Halo Crater.  Maybe no noise there (I have not checked), but there are documented hammer strikes when he was driving the core tube at Sharp crater as discussed above and under the right conditions.




« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 03:56:58 am by Tom128 »

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 05:14:04 pm »
The Moon Zoo team may want to consider adding a short modification to their posting on: "Is there any sound on the Moon?" 

"Is there any sound on the Moon?

NASA Lunar Science Institute

Sound needs something to travel through to get from one place to another. On the Moon, since there is no air, sound cannot travel above the surface. So, there are no sounds on the surface of the Moon. When the Apollo astronauts were out on the Moon’s surface, they could only talk to each other, and to mission control, by using the radios in their air filled helmets. Even when the astronaut in the photo to the right, hit a metal tube into the ground with a hammer, no sound was made."

http://www.moonzoo.org/FAQ_MoonFacts

We now know there are some notable exceptions.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 12:54:57 am by Tom128 »

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2011, 10:06:57 pm »
I put together a short video on the hammer strikes at Sharp crater as a fun little creative project this Saturday afternoon.

jules

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3478
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 10:12:50 pm »
Excellent Tom! I think this needs a wider audience. Definitely IOTW material. ;)

Thomas J

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 980
  • Do the best you can, while you can
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 01:26:19 pm »
Very cool, Tom :)

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 09:20:30 pm »
Thanks Geoff, Jules and Thomas  :)

I emailed Andrew Chaikin, space journalist and author of many Apollo books with a link to the MZ Forum post and here is his reply with permission:

from   Andrew Chaikin
date   Sun, May 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM
subject   Re: Andrew Chaikin Contact: Official NASA Documentation of Apollo 12 Hammer strikes at Sharp crater
signed-by   andrewchaikin.com
   
Hi Tom,

I had heard this during my research for A Man on the Moon back in '85, and was impressed by the fact that the sound transmitted so well through the
hammer, into Alan's suit, and up to the microphone on his Snoopy cap. Thanks for the reminder and for the link to your article, and the audio
clip. I'll keep it in mind for future lectures.

Thanks again for getting in touch.
Andy Chaikin


« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:43:31 pm by Tom128 »

Charaxa

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 10:14:24 pm »
A great find Tom. Thanks. I remember Alan Bean hammering into the lunar surface, and it inspired me to hammer galvanized water pipes into the ground to get my own samples. I still have one of those beat up pipes in my shed.

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 02:32:27 am »
Thanks Charaxa,

I found a lead at another web site to a second sound conductivity example, this time with Apollo 17 -  Bad Astronomy and Universe Today web site Forum dated 7-1- 2002 posted by kucharek.

I went to the Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal and copied the text from the video transcript when the astronauts were at Geology Station 2.  You can hear the hammer strikes. Their hypothesis, in the mission debrief, is that Gene Cernan's space suit is acting like a drum, similar to the Gramophone analogy.  There are at least five or six audible hammer strikes.


http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/AS17-138-21039.jpg

Here is the MPEG link video link of the hammering sound.  They also have as a Real Video file as well.

"143:29:03 Cernan: Now, I want to try to take this piece off first. (Pause as Gene hammers)

143:29:10 Schmitt: Pretty hard, isn't it.

    [Hammering sounds - a soft "plock" - can be heard through Gene's suit. He takes seven whacks at the top of the boulder on the east end.]

    [Cernan - "Although we can hear on the tape that the microphone in my suit was picking up the sound of my hammering, I don't ever remember hearing it. I could certainly feel it; and I've always contended that it's a very fine line between hearing noise and feeling noise. With that hammer, when you hit something the shock went through your whole body; but I'm not sure I ever heard the noise, probably because my ears were covered with the Snoopy helmet."]

   [What seems likely is that, when Gene hits the rock, the hammer rebounds against the palm of the pressurized glove, creating a sound wave in the suit loud enough to be picked up by the microphone at Gene's lips. In brief, the suit acts like a drum.]

143:29:11 Cernan: That boulder's going to roll. Man, that is hard. There's the same clast over there.

    [Cernan - "The boulder was just sitting on the soil and, as I remember, when I hit it with the hammer, it moved. That's how I knew we would be able to roll it if we wanted to."]

    [Gene takes three whacks on the east face.]

143:29:23 Schmitt: Well, we get...

143:29:25 Cernan: That clast is soft!

143:29:27 Schmitt: Can you use your blade end?

143:29:28 Cernan: Yeah. Yeah, let me get that little piece, anyway, to start with.

MP3 Audio Clip ( 16 min 41 sec )

143:29:35 Schmitt: (Grabbing the fragment with the scoop) Got it.

    [Gene hits the east face twice more.]

143:29:38 Cernan: There's two more pieces.

143:29:40 Schmitt: Okay.

143:29:41 Cernan: Before we cover them up, let's get them. I got to get a sample of that mother rock.

    [Jack gets one of the fragments, flexing a knee so that he can get low and skim it off of the surface with the scoop blade.]

143:29:47 Cernan : Okay, there you go. The other one's right there. (Pause)

143:29:53 Schmitt: Okay.

143:29:54 Cernan: Now, Let me see if I can't get a sample...

143:29:55 Schmitt: Want to try to hit that one more time. I think we've got another one coming there.

    [Gene takes two whacks on an east corner.]

143:30:01 Cernan: There's another little one. (Pause)"

   
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 12:04:38 am by Tom128 »

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 06:13:54 pm »
Once one starts looking for the sound conductivity effect in the Apollo voice communications, as the astronauts were performing their tasks on the Moon, it seems to be more of a common occurrence than an unusual exception. Perhaps there was not more discussion about sound conductivity in the past due to all the Lunar conspiracy theories about fake Moon landings that seemed to have hounded Apollo until the arrival of LRO.

I'll leave you with this example from Apollo 15 during the deployment of the ASLEP.  There are no doubt numerous other examples in the audio-video clips from the Apollo missions.



Cmdr. Dave Scott in the lunar rover at ASLEP station. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-85-11471.jpg

This short video clip below is a great example of sound conductivity as Dave Scott throws the heat flow dust cover and then falls over.


Journal Text: 124:47:53      QuickTime Video Clip: (43 seconds; 525KB) by Peter Dayton .

"Dave decides to play with low gravity, but it plays with him. Holding the heat flow experiment (HFE) dust cover in his left hand, he bends sharply to his right and uses the universal handling tool to pick up the HFE pallet. Moving a few feet to the right and transferring the pallet to his left hand, he invites capcom Joe Allen to watch as he performs “a demonstration”. He twists and flings the pallet and dust cover into the air but, while they fly off-camera, he loses his balance and falls onto his right arm, extended to the ground to break his fall. The recovery is more spectacular than the fall. His twisting momentum carries him round and he manages to bounce back up from his extended arm off the ground, twisting up to a standing position. The camera pans left and finds Jim at the rover.

124:47:53 Scott: Now I'll give you a demonstration here, Joe. Got the TV on this pallet here?

124:48:01 Allen: Roger. Right on.

124:48:02 Scott: Here it goes. (Long Pause)

124:48:15 Allen: Spectacular demonstration!

124:48:20 Scott: Yeah. Oh well. Enough of that."
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 10:19:51 pm by Tom128 »

Tom128

  • IOTW posters
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 677
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2011, 10:36:46 pm »
Here is an excellent example of sound conductivity in a short video clip of Apollo 16 LM Orion lifting off from the Lunar surface.



http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/missions/apollo/apollo_16/overview/

Turn up your volume and enjoy the sights and sounds once again.  Wonderful!

http://vimeo.com/24693891

filminco

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: The Sound of Hammering on the Moon with Apollo 12
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 12:40:35 pm »
This thread helped inspire our forthcoming feature documentary film NASA NOT SOUND. Here's the trailer at Youtube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW0NJsMu8kg

downloadable at Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/114090787