My Last Reflection on a Job Well Done

Painting Completed
February 2011
22  x  25 inches, Textured Acrylic With Moondust On Aircraft Plywood

Well, our second EVA is nearly completed and it is time for me to jump up on the ladder, climb up the nine rungs to the small platform outside the hatch, and crawl carefully back into our lunar module.

Pete is putting the last of the samples we collected on the Ocean of Storms in our special rock box for a safe journey back to planet Earth.

As I have my last look around, i can see our footprints leading out toward our flag. That was only yesterday, but it seems like several days ago. And there are more footprints where we headed out on our first traverse. We made observations, took photos, gathered rock samples and deployed the nuclear generator with its six experiments. Our first EVA went pretty much as planned, but we were tired and needed some food and rest.

There are more footprints where we headed out toward Head Crater and Bench Crater three hours ago. Pete and I worked as a well choreographed team to document and gather more rock and dirt samples. When our exploration time at those sites was up, we moved toward the Surveyor iii unmanned spacecraft that landed nearby some 31 months ago.

We inspected and photographed Surveyor and cut off the TV camera and scoop and several smaller pieces to bring back to earth for analyses. Engineers and scientist wanted to better understand the long term effects of the space environment on optics, insulation, electronics, lubricants, and a number of special materials. We packed up our goodies and headed back to our lunar module.

Our exploration went pretty much as planned largely because of the superb teamwork between Pete and our CapCom Ed Gibson. He kept a skilled eye on the time available for each site, and the work that was to be done. Ed filtered the comments and requests from the engineers and scientists in Mission control, and offered suggestions to help us stay on the timeline. Pete listened carefully, reacted appropriately, and it made all the difference.

I feel real good. We've explored every site we planned pre mission, and we are were ready to head home with our valuable cargo of moon rocks, not to mention our out-of-this-world memories.