1. Apollo 17: Diary of the 12th Man, Part 1

Apollo 17 Saturn V on launch pad 39A at dusk on Nov. 21, 1972 ca. 2+ weeks before launch (NASA photo KSC-72PC-589).


I have undertaken a long-running project to write a personal account of the Apollo 17 Mission on which I flew to the Moon as the Lunar Module Pilot and scientist. This diary also attempts to integrate much of the mission’s scientific results to date with the operations that were necessary to explore the valley of Taurus-Littrow.

“30 Days and Counting” constitutes the first installment of Apollo 17: Diary of the Twelfth Man, commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the December 7, 1972 launch of the Apollo 17 Mission. “30 days and Counting” is Chapter 4 of the diary with other chapters to follow as soon as time permits. It was chosen as the initial installment because the interval between its online publication date and the launch date coincides with the chapter title.

A wide variety of sources have contributed to the preparation of this diary, including transcripts; checklists; stowage records; training schedules; USGS and NASA records of field simulations; books published by other Apollo participants and historians; a vast array of scientific publications; and, of course, the author’s memory and personal field geological perspectives. A complication to reading diaries is their instantaneous jump from subject to subject. In addition to the liberal use of endnotes, distinguishing between subjects and sources is aided by the consistent use of different font styles and colors in the text. The first endnote of each chapter repeats the explanation of these color codes.

To continue reading, click “5. Chapter 4…” under the main header in the “Pages” sidebar at upper right, or here.

One can also begin the whole Diary by clicking on the header, “1. Apollo 17: Diary of the 12th Man”, in the “Pages” sidebar at upper right.

Copyright © by Harrison H. Schmitt, 2017. All rights reserved.