Looking out of the window

Responsibilities in the LM were tightly defined, especially during the approach and final phase. The commander wanted to keep his eyes out of the window, watching where the spacecraft was going. The LMP, on the other hand, generally had to keep his attention inside the cabin. His responsibility was to vocally feed whatever relevant information the commander would require at a given point in the descent. The details of this were worked out by each crew individually over the months of training and simulation.

As Orion descended, Charlie Duke managed to steal a little time looking out at the landing site as they reached P64.

''Pitchover,'' he shouted. ''Hey, there it is. Gator, Lone Star. Right on!'' These were craters around the landing site that he and Young had named when drawing up their map. Being on the right side of the westward-flying spacecraft, he was able to see the northern half of the site.

''Call me the things, Charlie,'' said Young, bringing Duke's attention back into the cabin to call out the LPD angles.

Young was delighted with the way the LPD worked, as he recounted after the mission. ''I think the LPD was perfect. I don't have any gripes there whatsoever. When we pitched over, we were north and long and you could see that. I was just letting the LM float in there until I could see where it was going.''

As they came in, Duke took further opportunities to glance outside where he recognised more craters. "Palmetto and Dot; North Ray,'' he called out to Young. "Looks like we're going to be able to make it, John. There's not too many blocks up there.'' He was thinking about how easy it would be for Young to drive the lunar rover around the site. It had not been possible to infer this from the limited orbital imagery.

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