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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Limp American Flag

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Author Topic:   Limp American Flag
Moonpaws
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posted 02-05-2005 12:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was thumbing through Kipp teague's Apollo Archive and I was totally surprised to see photos of the Apollo 12 American flag flying limp in the lunar atmosphere. Has anyone else ever seen these? What happened to the supporting rod structure.

Vince

nasamad
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From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 02-05-2005 05:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

As far as I can remember the latch which was supposed to hold the support rod out horizontally had broken.

Pete Conrad can be seen holding the flag up in position in his "flag photo".

Ironically Al Bean is the only lunar astronaut not to have a photo of himself on the moon with the flag.

Hope this answers your question.

Adam

spaceuk
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Posts: 2113
From: Staffs, UK
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 02-06-2005 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo-12 flagstaff was in three pieces.The bottom section had a hard top on it where the crew would 'hammer' on it to get it pushed down into lunar surface.Once that was in the lunar ground, they then put on the second part - the upper rod.

However,when they came to put on the third part - the horizontal arm that holds the flag out straight - it had broken at some stage and they could not get it to latch properly. So they did what they could to get it hang from the vertical rod. Alan Bean believed the flag arm latch had been broken since it was made.


Phill Parker
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Duke Of URL
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From: Syracuse, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 02-08-2005 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AHA! It's a trick question! There is no lunar atmosphere!

I'm still looking for that poster.

BLACKARROW
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posted 02-08-2005 09:17 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Several months ago I was talking to Jack Kinzler, the NASA engineer who designed (among other things) the Mercury escape rocket; the Apollo 11 commemorative plaque; the Skylab "parasol" which prevented the station overheating; and the Apollo lunar surface flag deployment system. Jack was a near neighbour and good friend of Pete Conrad. When the flagstaff mechanism on Apollo 12 didn't work, leaving the flag hanging limp, Jack pulled Pete Conrad's leg about it after the crew got home, saying he must have messed up the deployment. I think he probably accepts that the deployment mechanism got damaged somewhere along the line, but he clearly enjoyed pointing the finger at Conrad!

All times are CT (US)

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