Encyclopedia Astronautica
1969.10.12 - Decision that Apollo 12 mission would examine Surveyor III and recover its TV camera


A portion of the Apollo 12 mission would be devoted to an examination of Surveyor III and recovery of its TV camera and thermal-switch glass mirror fragments, MSC announced.

Recovery of the glass fragments was important to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to provide data for designing thermal switches for the Mercury-Venus Mariners to be flown in 1973. However, recovery of the splinters could easily cause cuts and leaks in the astronauts' gloves; extreme caution would be required. The following procedures were recommended: use of a line during the initial solo descent into the Surveyor III crater, to determine the footing and climbing situation before both crewmen descended into the crater, and recovery of thermal-switch glass fragments by a suitable tool such as tweezers, to prevent glove damage.

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