• Short Summary

    Constructed from still frames transmitted during the first lunar day operations of the Surveyor VII surface sampler, the film includes six separate sequences.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Constructed from still frames transmitted during the first lunar day operations of the Surveyor VII surface sampler, the film includes six separate sequences. Each still frame is repeated 24 times. Opening frames for each sequence are held for 10 seconds. Total running time 9 minutes, 47 seconds.

    The first sequence shows the operations involved in releasing the alpha scattering instrument, allowing the sensor to deploy to the lunar surface. The deployment mechanism had jammed, and the film shows the surface sampler freeing it and forcing the ASI to the surface. The film compresses into 140 seconds the operation which required 3 hours and 40 minutes on the moon.

    The second sequence shows the repositioning of the alpha scattering instrument from its initial sample to its second, a rock. The lunar operation required 5 hours and 20 minutes, and marked the first time a sample for chemical analysis was selected in advance. Running time 113 seconds.

    The third sequence is the performance of a bearing strength test, and shows the surface sampler scoop positioned above the surface and commanded down in a series of steps, until its motor stalls. The surface sampler extension arm.

    The four sequence is a series depicting the surface sampler action while picking up a rock from the lunar surface. This rock was moved three times during the Surveyor VII mission and was weighed and measured. Running time for this sequence is 42 seconds. can be seen to be bending, and the soil deforms as the scoop penetrates. Motor current is measured during bearing tests to give force-versus-penetration data. Running time 57 seconds.

    The fifth sequence illustrates a test using the magnets in the surface sampler scoop door. The scoop is dragged, with the closed so the magnets contact the surface, through the surface where a dark fragment had been observed. The sequence ends with the fragment stuck to the scoop door, apparently attracted and held there by the magnets. Running time 32 seconds.

    The final sequence is a trenching operation. With the door open, the scoop is driven into the surface and retracted a series of steps, resulting in a trench 30 inches in length. The scoop is then raised, extended back to the head of the trench, lowered and another pass through the trench is completed. After four passes, trench depth is about seven inches. The running time of 182 seconds represents a total operating time of 4 hours and 10 minutes, which took place during two separate days of operations.

    Material in the highlands area of the Moon's surface near the Crater Tycho may be less dense than the lunar maria, scientists reported today in a review of results from the flight of Surveyor VII.

    The highlands material is believed lighter due to lower content of iron and heavy elements.

    Chemical analysis of the Surveyor VII landing site 20 miles north of Tycho indicates that some lunar material once had been in a molten state. Surveyor was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from Cape Kennedy on Jan. 7 and landed on Jan. 9.

    Photographs show debris ejected from Tycho and what scientists describe as a "sequence of flows."
    "Evidence from Orbiter V and Surveyor VII pictures suggests the flows were derived from shock-heated, partially melted ejecta," Dr. Eugene Shoemaker of the U.S. Department of Interior, Geological Survey said. "A younger layer of debris about four inches thick and produced mainly through bombardment by small meteoroids partly covers the older ejected material and flows."
    Discussing the results of a chemical analysis experiment, Dr. Anthony Turkevich of the University of Chicago, declared that "the chemical composition differs from the composition of lunar mare material examined in previous Surveyor missions principally in the smaller amount of the iron group of elements in the highland samples. This could be the reason for the brighter appearance of the Moon's highlands when compared with its maria."
    Dr. Ronald F. Scott of the California Institute of Technology discussed the implications of a film showing the operation of a claw-like soil sampling device. New indication of the weight of lunar material was obtained when the claw picked up and "weighed" a Moon rock.

    "New information has been obtained on the body and chemistry of the Moon," Donald Gault of NASA'a Ames Research Center asserted. He said it offers a great opportunity to learn more about the evolution of Earth and other planetary bodies.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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