Catalog of Apollo Experiment Operations

NASA RP - 1317

Thomas A. Sullivan
NASA - Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas
August 18, 1993

This catalogue reviews Apollo mission reports, preliminary science reports, technical crew debriefings, lunar surface operations plans, and various relevant lunar experiment documents, collecting engineering and operation-specific information by experiment. It is organized by discrete experimental and equipment items emplaced or operated on the lunar surface or at 0 gravity during the Apollo missions. It also attempts to summarize some of the general problems encountered on the surface and provides guidelines for the design of future lunar surface experiments with an eye towards operations.

Many of the problems dealt with on the lunar surface originated from just a few novel conditions that manifested themselves in various nasty ways. Low gravity caused cables to stick up and get caught on feet, and also made it easy for instruments to tip over. Dust was a problem and caused abrasion, visibility, and thermal control difficulties. Operating in a pressure suit limited a person's activity, especially in the hands. This document hopes to capture some of the lessons learned from the Apollo era to make the jobs of future astronauts, principle investigators, engineers, and operators of lunar experiments more productive.