Author Topic: Apollo 12 TV — Footage of Pete Erecting the Flag  (Read 7648 times)

Offline Ian R

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Apollo 12 TV — Footage of Pete Erecting the Flag
« on: November 07, 2023, 12:12:12 PM »
I think I may have made a discovery of sorts. As most folks know, Al Bean accidentally pointed the TV camera at the Sun and burned out the upper portion of the vidicon target during Apollo 12's first EVA.

However, after deploying the solar wind collector and then hammering the lower half of the flagstaff into the ground, Al turned his attention back to the TV. Meanwhile, Pete was struggling to latch the US flag into its deployed position.

Al tried opening the TV f-stop to its maximum extent, which prompts a comment from Houston suggesting this was partially successful and that they could see some kind of detail:

Quote
116:15:48 (https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a12/a12.tvtrbls.html#1161548), CAPCOM Ed Gibson: "That's coming in there, now, Al. Okay, what change did you make?".

Al then admits to having given the TV camera a couple of whacks with his hammer. However, despite further changes to the settings, including the f-stop, the camera was again abandoned until the end of the EVA.

CAPCOM’s comment at 116:15:48 has long puzzled me, as the available TV footage does not display any appreciable improvement after Al opens the f-stop. Hitting the camera seems only to have dislodged/shifted the burned-out portion of the vidicon target at the top of the screen.

So, imagine my utter surprise when I came across an NBC news bulletin from November 19, 1969 on YouTube.



At 116:15:48 (the 5 minute mark), when Al opens the f-stop, a very hazy view image comes into view, which appears to show Pete Conrad at the left side of the screen, presumably working on the upper part of the US flag.

https://imgur.com/a/46WrcRH

Unfortunately, the faint image disappears after Al hits the recalcitrant camera with his hammer and subsequently stops down the aperture, as directed by Houston:

Quote
116:16:34 Gibson: Okay; why don't you give us one more light rap (with the hammer), and also cut down on the f-stop?

Other archive video that is more readily available to the public does not seem to have preserved this rare and faint scene; for example, at 1 hr 8 minutes in this clip:



I wonder if enhancement to digital transfers of the original video tapes could reveal more detail? Also, the identity of the bright vertical object in the center of the frame remains a mystery. Is it the bright and bloomed lower half of the flagstaff? The solar wind collector? Or something else?

https://imgur.com/a/HiO1gYl

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Apollo 12 TV — Footage of Pete Erecting the Flag
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2023, 09:26:41 PM »
I think I may have made a discovery of sorts. As most folks know, Al Bean accidentally pointed the TV camera at the Sun and burned out the upper portion of the vidicon target during Apollo 12's first EVA.

However, after deploying the solar wind collector and then hammering the lower half of the flagstaff into the ground, Al turned his attention back to the TV. Meanwhile, Pete was struggling to latch the US flag into its deployed position.

Al tried opening the TV f-stop to its maximum extent, which prompts a comment from Houston suggesting this was partially successful and that they could see some kind of detail:

Quote
116:15:48 (https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a12/a12.tvtrbls.html#1161548), CAPCOM Ed Gibson: "That's coming in there, now, Al. Okay, what change did you make?".

Al then admits to having given the TV camera a couple of whacks with his hammer. However, despite further changes to the settings, including the f-stop, the camera was again abandoned until the end of the EVA.

CAPCOM’s comment at 116:15:48 has long puzzled me, as the available TV footage does not display any appreciable improvement after Al opens the f-stop. Hitting the camera seems only to have dislodged/shifted the burned-out portion of the vidicon target at the top of the screen.

So, imagine my utter surprise when I came across an NBC news bulletin from November 19, 1969 on YouTube.



At 116:15:48 (the 5 minute mark), when Al opens the f-stop, a very hazy view image comes into view, which appears to show Pete Conrad at the left side of the screen, presumably working on the upper part of the US flag.

https://imgur.com/a/46WrcRH

Unfortunately, the faint image disappears after Al hits the recalcitrant camera with his hammer and subsequently stops down the aperture, as directed by Houston:

Quote
116:16:34 Gibson: Okay; why don't you give us one more light rap (with the hammer), and also cut down on the f-stop?

Other archive video that is more readily available to the public does not seem to have preserved this rare and faint scene; for example, at 1 hr 8 minutes in this clip:



I wonder if enhancement to digital transfers of the original video tapes could reveal more detail? Also, the identity of the bright vertical object in the center of the frame remains a mystery. Is it the bright and bloomed lower half of the flagstaff? The solar wind collector? Or something else?

https://imgur.com/a/HiO1gYl

You should suggest this to our member apollo16uvc. He's done some pretty amazing stuff with enhancement of Apollo video.
If you're not a scientist but you think you've destroyed the foundation of a vast scientific edifice with 10 minutes of Googling, you might want to consider the possibility that you're wrong.

Offline Ian R

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Re: Apollo 12 TV — Footage of Pete Erecting the Flag
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2023, 02:46:07 AM »
Thanks for the tip. I'll send him a message!