FLOWN APOLLO 16 EVA CUFF CHECKLIST.
ASTRONAUT CHARLES DUKES SPACE SUIT CUFF CHECKLIST.
Cuff checklist, comprising 29 thin plastic printed leaves, spiral-bound and attached to a 7-inch curved metal wrist band ("P/N SEB 33100302-302, S/N 1025"). Each leaf 3½ inches square and with a reference tab on the fore-edge, 2 also with tabs on the top-edge (for immediate access to EVA 3 activities and EMU malfunction trouble-shooting steps). The wrist band has an 18-inch Velcro strap ("P/N SEB 12100030-201, S/N 1087 ASSY"). The whole assembly mounted on a wooden base with plaque reading: "Presented to Fred Haise, EVA cuff checklist, with warmest personal regards from the crew of Apollo 16."
The cuff checklist used by Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke, Jr., during the second and third lunar surface explorations of the Apollo 16 mission. It was exposed directly to the lunar environment for over 12 hours during those exploration periods, and continued the tradition of bringing a smile to the astronauts' faces while providing back-up plans for the first lunar "Grand Prix."
Apollo 16, flown in April 1972, was the fifth lunar landing mission, and targeted the Descartes region of the moon, some 250 miles southwest of the Apollo 11 Tranquility Base site. This area was the first true highland region of the moon visited by Apollo astronauts and has brightly rayed craters with structural features similar to volcanic areas on the earth. Astronauts John Young and Charles Duke were scheduled to spend 73 hours at the Descartes landing site and to perform three EVAs. Just prior to the Lunar Module's descent from lunar orbit down to the landing site, the Command/Service Module developed problems associated with its large rocket engine, known as the Service Propulsion System (SPS). Since the SPS was the only means to leave lunar orbit and return to Earth, the lunar landing was delayed about six hours until the situation was deemed safe to continue the planned mission. This curtailed the overall lunar stay to 71 hours.
Apollo mission planners were well aware of the importance of making every minute productive while astronauts explored the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had a single "page" made of space suit material and placed directly on the left arms of their space suits, listing their surface activities. This was adequate for a single 2 ½ hour EVA, but the flights starting with Apollo 12 planned for at least 2 separate EVAs lasting at least 4 hours each. With the lunar rover flights of Apollos 15, 16, and 17, the exploration times were extended to 7 hours and 3 EVAs. In order to make certain the lunar explorers did not overlook planned tasks, spiral-bound cuff checklists were created to provide a detailed script of each task or activity. This put all the complex procedural steps of an EVA at the astronaut's fingertips. Young and Duke each had two individual cuff check lists for this mission, one for EVA 1 with the ALSEP deployment, and the present checklist for EVAs 2 and 3, which focuses on the true exploration and sample-gathering objectives.
The cover of the present checklist features a black and white Apollo 16 crew emblem. The verso has the printed signatures of those who prepared and approved this checklist, including Charles Duke, and the title "Apollo 16 EVA 2 & 3, Lunar Surface Cuff Checklist LMP." A date of 3/20/72 and LMP ascending page numbers are printed in the inner margin. Eleven and a half leaves are devoted to tasks associated with EVA 2. Two leaves cover steps associated with space suit connections prior to venting the LM's cabin atmosphere. That venting allowed the front hatch to open and the next steps of climbing down to the lunar surface. Once the preparations were completed around the LM and the lunar rover loaded, the crew found a special drawing on the next leaf. It features a drooling space-suited astronaut melting away in the arms of a buxom nude woman. The astronaut says: "Happy Birthday Whatever Your Name Is." This gag illustration continues the tradition started on Apollo 12 with the cuff checklists that had small images of Playboy pinups and Snoopy cartoons. These gags were master-minded by devious back-up and support crew members.
The next six leaves list the activities for lunar sites 4 through 10. These were called "Station Stops" and the checklist pages have plans of craters, placement positions for the rover, and suggested areas to take panoramic photography. Tasks listed include taking core samples, scientific measurements, and notes for geologic observations. Station 4 was located about one mile south of the LM on the slopes of Stone Mountain, and marked the highest point reached during their explorations. Stations 5 and 6 were located along craters at the base of Stone Mountain, with material that landed after the creation of nearby South Ray Crater. Station 7 was dropped as a stop to continue on to Stations 8 and 9, that were either on or very close to a bright ray from South Ray Crater. Station 10 was very close to the LM and was followed by activities to stow collection samples. This is listed on three additional pages (one and a half leaves).
EVA 3 begins with a full 2-page spread reviewing procedures and objectives for sampling lunar rocks and boulders. Three more leaves have the steps similar to the beginning of EVA 2. Six and a half leaves describe tasks planned for Stations 11 through 17. Due to time constraints related to the delayed landing, Young and Duke only explored the areas at Stations 11 and 13. Station 11 was at the very edge of North Ray Crater and was the greatest distance from the Lunar Module. At a boulder the crew called "House Rock" (due to its large size), Young took several pictures while Duke took samples. In those pictures, this checklist opened to the Station 11 pages can clearly be seen on Duke's left arm (a photolithograph is included in the lot). The crew then continued back toward the LM and stopped at Station 13 where they found a spot to gather lunar soil under a large boulder that was "permanently shadowed." This meant that soil was not exposed to millions of years of solar radiation after the boulder fell there from a nearby impact. A full page after the last task for Station 13 features the second gag cartoon. It shows Young blocking the view of the TV camera by hand with a "relieving" look on this face. A caption reads: "Looks Bad, Feels Good." Two additional pages cover steps to close out this final EVA.
As a contingency, a 2-page spread was included at the end of EVA 3 activities listing steps with a diagram for the first lunar "Grand Prix." In case this test was unable to be done in the original plan for EVA 1, a back-up period was set within the EVA 3 timeline. The "Grand Prix" involved Young driving the lunar rover at the highest speeds possible with Duke recording the sprint with a 16mm motion picture camera. Part of the objective was to have a visual record of how the rover bounced around and the amount of lunar dust kicked up by the wheels. This was actually done during EVA 1, thus not required at the end of EVA 3.
The final six leaves list trouble-shooting steps for eleven possible EMU malfunctions such as activation problems or loss of voice communications.
Accompanied by a Typed Letter Signed by Back-up Commander Fred W. Haise, which reads in part: "This Apollo 16 'Cuff Checklist' was presented to me by the crew of Apollo 16 as a thank-you for the role I played as the back-up Commander for this flight. Charlie Duke wore this checklist outside on the lunar surface during the last two exploration periods of Apollo 16, known as EVA 2 and EVA 3. It was exposed directly to the airless lunar environment for over 12 hours and spent approximately 71 total hours on the moon during April 20 to 23, 1972."