The whole stripped-down rover weighed about 455 pounds on Earth but only 76 pounds on the moon and was built to carry 2 1/2 times its weight at a maximum speed of about 10 miles per hour.
After a good nights sleep, Houston woke the astronauts up an hour early the next morning because of a slight oxygen leak.
It was immediately clear that Falcon had landed on uneven ground, right on the rim of a small crater; the LM was tipped backward at a slight angle. It turned out that one of the rear feet had landed in a shallow crater.
Craning to look through the triangular window for a glimpse of the land ahead, Scott saw no sign of Hadley Rille.
The SPS engine was used for all the future burns. It was the astronauts ticket home. Any doubt as to whether it could fire raised the question as to whether the mission could continue.
For Scott all feelings were forgotten. All senses except sight were subordinated. All Scott’s concentration was focused on hearing information from Irwin, Worden and Mission Control about the status of the spacecraft and the Saturn V.
The last face they saw was Guenter’s, smiling and waving an enormous crescent wrench. Then the heavy hatch closed with a deep thunk.
As Command Module Pilot for Apollo 9, Scott’s responsibilities were heavy. The Lunar Module was to separate from the Command and Service Module during the mission; if it failed to return, Scott would have to run the entire spacecraft for reentry, normally a three-man job.