A visit to the Snowman
The “Stay for T3” decision that was made 1 hour after Intrepid landed on the Moon concluded Cliff Charlesworth’s shift. He handed the Flight Director’s chair over to Gerry Griffin. At the same time, Ed Gibson took the communications console. One of the small group of scientists hired as astronauts in June 1965, Gibson had worked closely with Jack Schmitt, a geologist from the same group of scientist-astronauts, in planning the moonwalks. “Well done, Intrepid,” Gibson congratulated, referring to the fact that the landing had been made very near the Snowman. “You've got a bunch of happy geologists in the back room waiting to go. We're standing by for your description.” At this point, the flight plan called for Pete Conrad and Al Bean to describe what they could see of the landscape. “We were just working on that,” Conrad replied. Rather than have to rely on his memory for the names of features in the vicinity of the Snowman, shortly prior to the mission Conrad asked Al Chidester, who managed the participation of the US Geological Survey in their training, to provide coloured maps which they could carry on their traverse.1 These were annotated Lunar Orbiter pictures, and Conrad had carried them aboard ship as part of his personal kit. With the assistance of one of these maps they had been trying to identify terrain features to figure out precisely where Intrepid stood. There was a trade-off: they would gain a broader perspective once outside, but they could see much further from inside the elevated cabin. In addition, they took Hasselblad photographs to enable the scientists to interpret the scene for themselves after the mission.