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[i]CONRAD: As soon as we started the pitch maneuver, I proceeded on the computer to enable LPD and immediately went outside the window. For the first couple of seconds, I had no recognition of where we were although the visibility was excellent. It was almost like a black-and-white painting. The shadows were extremely black, illustrating the craters and all of the sudden, when I oriented myself down about the 40-degree line in the LPD, our five-crater chain and the Snowman stood out like a sore thumb. I started asking Al right away for LPD angles; as best as I could tell, we had absolutely zero out-of-plane error. We were targeted right dead smack in the middle of the Surveyor crater and I just left it alone. I didn't LPD for quite a while until we got down around, as I remember, 2300 feet or so. I LPD'd one right to move it off the crater and headed for the landing area short of the crater. At that point, I listened to some more LPD angles from Al and I had the feeling that I was a little high; so I LPD'd two clicks short, and I let it go for a while. Then I decided that I was going to land a little short and Al called out something like "30 seconds worth of LPD remaining". I gave her one click forward, let her go for a while, and decided we were high and fast. I didn't like the size of the area short, where we had normally been trying to land, and I looked for a more suitable place. At the same time I took over manually at about 700 feet and immediately killed the rate of descent. It looked like we were going at the ground like a bullet. I had plenty of gas and I wanted enough time to look around. At that point, Al got a little nervous because I had killed the rate of descent to 3 feet a second at 500 feet. I left a very high pitch angle on it, on the order of 30-degrees, because we were moving quite fast and I wanted to get stopped. I had the horizontal velocity under control about the time I passed the near edge of the Surveyor crater. I saw a suitable landing area between the Surveyor crater and Head crater, which now meant I had to maneuver to my left and sort of fly around the side of the crater, which I started to do. I guess I wheeled it pretty hard, because Al commented a couple of times that I was really cranking her around and I told him it was no problem. I had everything under control and I did increase the rate of descent after he called my attention to the fact that we had leveled off quite high at 500 feet. I got down as soon as I got over the area that I wanted to land on. To me, it looked like a perfectly smooth, good area, between Head crater and Surveyor crater and I started a vertical descent from a relatively high altitude, 300 feet at least. It may turn out that I actually backed up a little bit; but I don't think so. As soon as I got the vehicle stopped in horizontal velocity at 300 feet, we picked up a tremendous amount of dust; much more so than I expected. I could see the boulders through the dust, but the dust went as far as I could see in any direction and completely obliterated craters and anything else. All I knew was there was ground underneath that dust. I had no problem with the dust, determining horizontal or lateral velocities, but I couldn't tell what was underneath me. I knew I was in a generally good area and I was just going to have to bite the bullet and land, because I couldn't tell whether there was a crater down there or not. We came down with a relatively low descent rate. I think I speeded up to about 6 ft/sec and got her down around 100 feet, where Al called it, and I slowed to about 3 ft/sec and started milking her down. At that point, the dust was bad enough and I could obtain absolutely no attitude reference by looking at the horizon and the LM. I had to use the 8-ball. I had attitude excursions in pitch of plus 10 and minus 10, which happened while I was looking out the window making sure that the lateral and horizontal velocities were still nulled. I would allow the attitude of the vehicle to change by plus or minus 10 degrees in pitch and not be aware of it, and I had to go back in the cockpit and keep releveling the attitude of the vehicle on the 8-ball. I was on the gages in the cockpit doing that at the time the LUNAR CONTACT light came on. I had that much confidence in the gages. I was sure we were in a relatively smooth area. I had my head in the cockpit when the LUNAR CONTACT light came on and I instinctively hit the STOP button and that's how we got a shutoff in the air. We were, I'd estimate, 2 or 3 feet in the air still when I shut down the engine and it dropped right on in. We landed on a slight slope; therefore, the right plus-Y gearpad touched first and tipped the vehicle to my left. The vehicle plopped on all four gears at that point with no skid marks that we could determine other than the first pad touchdown. When we set it in for a landing and looked around, it turned out there were more craters around there than we realized, either because we didn't look before the dust started or because the dust obscured them.[/i] [/B][/QUOTE]
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Ultimate Bulletin Board Version 5.47a
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