Earth is Watching (1983)

Astronaut Jack Schmitt is painted as he pauses for a moment in the shadow of a large boulder to put a 500-millimeter telephoto lens on his Hasselblad camera. It may take him a few minutes because it calls for precise manipulation of lens and camera, yet Jack must perform the task in relatively clumsy gloves. The gloves make subtle finger motion awkward or impossible.

The telephoto lens was along an Apollo 17 to photograph distant objects or places too far away to travel in the rover during the limited time on the lunar surface. For example, a series of photographs of North Massive where we are now shows that this boulder was originally located 500 meters up to the left but broke and slowly slid down during the last 4 billion years or so is not exactly your typical avalanche.

The tires of the rover are not made of rubber but rather a combination of spring wires woven into tire shape. The TV camera on the rover is being directed from mission control in Houston. It was great for us viewers on Earth but a mixed blessing for Jack. It was about this time that mission control again reminded him to lower his gold visor. Jack felt he was a better geologist when he was looking only through the clear Lexan visor.


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