"Man Must Explore"

Karl Dodenhoff

Click on each photo for a larger image

I had the idea years ago to modify the Reheat Models Sheppard figure to look like Dave Scott at the ALSEP site at Hadley, working with the Apollo Lunar Surface Drill (ALSD). As many know, he had quite a struggle, and spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to drill the holes for the Heat Flow Experiment, and was only partially successful. The photo of this is AS15-87-11847, along with the photo to the left of it from the pan, which shows the Lunar Surface Magnetometer.

Photo shows my original idea for modifying the Reheat figure.

Sometime in 2015, I broached the idea for this with Pascal Hecker, and he agreed to give it a go. Then Michael Key created the drilling rig in 3D and placed it for sale on Shapeways. Pascal did a wonderful job on the figure, base, and the drill rig. While he was working on it, I decided to go to Spacefest VII in 2016, so Pascal even had a plaque created for Dave Scott to autograph! AMAZING! We worked together for months, tweaking the figure and discussing the lesser known details of the Apollo A7-LB suit. We decided to name the diorama “Man Must Explore”, a quote from Scott’s first words on the surface at the plain at Hadley.

Pascal shipped the diorama to me, and I gleefully unpacked it and I was just floored by it. I repacked it for my trip to Tucson, and off I went to get my autograph.

Dave Scott was REALLY impressed when I presented the diorama to him. It was an incredible experience to see him admiring Pascal’s work, then autographing the base. Later, I also got Al Bean’s autograph on a plaque that Pascal sent to me along with the diorama, for which he had already worked out a deal.

After my return home, I got the idea to take the diorama one step further. So, I contacted Michael Key, and he agreed to create the two ALSEP experiments that are visible in the photos I mentioned from Apollo 15. They were the Lunar Surface Magnetometer, with its gold foil and 3 boom-mounted sensors, and the white, boxy Solar Wind Composition (SWC) experiment. I also asked him to make me a pair of cable reels for the ribbon cables that connected the experiments to the ALSEP Central Station. I sent him pictures and photos of all these items. I also found some Kapton tape that was just the right width for the ribbon cables. It really simulates them very well.

I added all these to the diorama, along with some dark gray pastel powder where the boot prints are, and the result is what you see here. You can see all of the elements in the photos.

Besides what I’ve already mentioned as far as modifications to the original diorama, the only changes I made to Pascal’s work were on the drilling rig. Pascal originally had a drill bore stem resting on top of the rig, but on close examination I realized the item in the photo was what the astronauts referred to as the “rammer jammer”, which was used to insert the Heat Flow Experiment probes down into their intended holes. I also removed the drill wrench from the rig and placed it at Scott’s feet, as in the photo.

This is now one of my most prized possessions, and it wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of work by Pascal and Mike. I still work with both of them on various projects, and it’s always a lot of fun. Thanks a bunch, Guys!

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Sven Knudson