Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Apollo 14

Lunar Surface Science

As in previous lunar landing missions, a contingency sample of lunar surface material was collected during the first EVA period.

The Apollo 14 landing crew devoted the major portion of the first EVA to deployment of the ALSEP instruments. These instruments remained on the Moon and transmitted scientific data to the Manned Space Flight Network on long-term physical and environmental properties of the Moon. These data could be correlated with known Earth data for further knowledge on the origins of the planets and its satellite.

The ALSEP Array C carried on Apollo 14 contained five experiments:

  1. Passive Seismic Expermient (PSE)
  2. Active Seismic Experiment (ASE)
  3. Suprathermal Ion Detector (SIDE)
  4. Cold Cathode Ion Gauge (CCIG)
  5. Charged Particle Lunar Environmental Experiment (CPLEE)

Additional experiments included the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector (LRRR) and the Lunar Portable Magnetometer (LPM) which was conducted during the second EVA.

From Apollo 14 Press Kit.

Apollo 14

Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET)

Apollo 14

The MET was a two-wheeled vehicle with a tubular structure 86 inches long, 39 inches wide and 32 inches high when deployed ready to use on the lunar surface. The MET had a single handle for towing and has two legs to provide four-point stability at rest.

The MET was stowed during flight in the Modularized Equipment Storage Assembly (MESA) in the LM descent stage, and was used during both EVAs. Equipment was mounted on the MET for the geology traverse included the lunar hand tool carrier and the geology tools it carried, the closeup stereo camera, two 70 mm Hasselblad cameras, a 16 mm data acquisition camera, film magazines, a dispenser for sample bags, a trenching tool, work table, sample weigh bags and the Lunar Portable Magnetometer.

The MET tires were 4 inches wide and 16 inches in diameter, and were inflated with 1.5 psi nitrogen preflight. The tires were baked at 250 degrees F for 24 hours preflight to remove most of the antioxidants in the rubber. Operating limits for the MET tires are -70 deg. F to +250 deg. F.

Empty weight of the MET was 26 pounds, and the vehicle had a useful payload of about 140 pounds (Earth weight) including the lunar soil samples to be brought back to the LM from the geology traverse.

Estimated travel rate of a crewman towing the MET, as determined by tests with the 1/6-g centrifuge rig at MSC, was about 3.5 feet per second, with a one pound of pull required on level sand.

From Press Kit, Release No: 71-3K, Project: Apollo 14.