Duct tape saved Apollo 17 moonbuggy, while on the moon.

martedì, aprile 22nd, 2008


Posted by Xeni Jardin, April 21, 2008 1:00 PM


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On the NASA website today, a tale in praise of the many merits of duct tape when one is on the moon with a busted buggy:

The date was Dec. 11, 1972. Astronauts Gene Cernan and
Jack Schmitt had just landed their lunar module Challenger in a
beautiful mountain-ringed valley named Taurus-Littrow on the edge of
the Sea of Serenity. (…)

Cernan:
"Okay. I can’t say I’m very adept at putting fenders
back on. But I sure don’t want to start without it. I’m just
going to put a couple of pieces of good old-fashioned American
gray tape on it…(and) see whether we can’t make sure it
stays."

In
spite of his thick gloves, Cernan managed to unroll and tear
off the needed pieces, but moondust foiled his first repair:

Cernan:
"…good old-fashioned gray tape doesn’t want to stick
very well." (At a post flight briefing he explained:
"Because there was dust on everything, once you got a
piece of tape off the roll, the first thing the tape stuck
to was dust; and then it didn’t stick to anything else.")

His
second attempt succeeded, however. "I am done!"
crowed Cernan. "If that fender stays on … I’d like
some sort of mending award." And with that, they were
off.

Link. Image: The Apollo 17 moonbuggy fender repaired with duct tape.

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