Would the docking probe that caused so much difficulty a week ago during the first docking work now or would Shepard and Mitchell be forced into a space walk in Lunar orbit?
141:45:30 Shepard: Okay. The abort stage is set. Ascent Engine is Armed. 6, 5, 4…
141:45:38 Mitchell: Proceed with the ignition program
141:45:38 Shepard: …3, 2, 1, 0…
141:45:42 Mitchell: Ignition.
141:45:43 Shepard: We have ignition…
141:45:44 Mitchell: What a lift-off!
“It was terribly, terribly frustrating; coming up over that ridge that we were going up, and thinking, finally, that was it; and it wasn’t – suddenly recognizing that, really, you just don’t know where you are.” Ed Mitchell
Silently and carefully, Armstrong raised his left boot over the lip of the footpad and lowered it to the dust. Immediately he tested his weight, bouncing in the gentle gravity, and when he felt firm ground, he was still, one foot on the last vestige of earthly things, the other on the moon. Then he spoke:
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The majority of the second moonwalk was dedicated to reaching the rim of Cone Crater. The wide, deep geological gold mine, which scientists believed was actually the remains of an ancient volcano.
With the Hycon camera down, Roosa would have to step in and use a Hasselblad with a 500 mm lens, to take detailed photos of the Apollo 16 potential landing site. If Roosa did nothing else, he had to return to earth with pictures of Descartes that would be good enough to plan a lunar landing.
The mortar package contained a set of grenades which were planned to be fired to distances of 500, 1000, 3000, and 5000 feet to the north of the ALSEP site.
A small plutonium source was used to power the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) that would provide electric power for the ALSEP experiments. Ed Mitchell performed the delicate maneuver of inserting the fuel capsule into the RTG.