After a total of 31.6 hours on the moon, the Lunar Module ascent stage fired for about 7 minutes placing Intrepid into an orbit of 10 miles by 54 miles.
Toward the end of January 1967, it was revealed that Lunar Module 1 would not reach the Cape in February, as expected. This meant, the moon landing might be delayed because the lander was not ready. But the mission planners could not wait for the Apollo engineers to iron out all the problems. They had to plan for a landing in 1969 and hope that the hardware would catch up with them.
Conrad and Bean now walked north, up Surveyor Crater’s 14 degree slope. Fatigue set in as Pete and Al walked up the crater wall. The hand tool carrier was nearly full of rocks now and Bean felt the full weight of it.
Surveyor 3 was now to their right, 300 feet away, gleaming in the morning sunlight. Antennas and sensors still reached upward from its tubular frame, just as they had on April 20, 1967, when the spacecraft thumped onto the moon amid blasts from its braking rockets.
The primary objectives of the Surveyor program, were to support the Apollo landings by: (1) developing and validating the technology for landing softly on the Moon; (2) providing data on the compatibility of the Apollo design with conditions encountered on the lunar surface; and (3) adding to the scientific knowledge of the Moon.
The problem with running into the sun was it was so bright that Conrad and Bean could not see the moon’s surface features until they were right on top of them.
While Conrad led the way, Bean watched the ground for something interesting. It wasn’t easy to do ﬁeld geology while running, and on the moon.
Pete and Al could not hear the excited shouts of the geologists in the back room down the hall from mission control, but they knew they had found something signiﬁcant.