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Apollo 17 Onboard Voice Recorder Transcripts

Eric Hartwell - January 19, 2006

NASA recorded the onboard dialog and the air-to-ground transmissions of the Mercury through Apollo missions. The NASA Mission Transcript Scanning Project produced PDF scans of 80 transcripts totalling nearly 45,000 pages of text covering every US human space flight from the first human Mercury mission through the last lunar landing flight of Apollo 17. These transcripts are available on a two CD-ROM set, or can be downloaded from the Johnson Space Center: Communications Transcripts: Mercury Through Apollo.

The material in this section is my attempt to create a single timeline for the Apollo 17 mission. I have compiled the text from three sources:

  • AS17 CM: Apollo 17 Command Module Onboard Voice Transcription Recorded on the Data Storage Equipment (DSE) MSC-07633, January 1973, 746 pages.
  • AS17 PAO: Apollo 17 Spacecraft Commentary, 1,964 pages.
  • AS17 TEC: Apollo 17 Technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription (GOSS NET 1) MSC-07629, December 1972, 2,461 pages.

The Onboard Voice Transcription contains transcripts from different downloads covering the same period. Where there is an overlap, the onboard transcripts and the PAO and Technical transcripts sometimes disagree on the wording, the speaker, and/or the exact time. I've chosen one transcript as the "Primary" and listed the conflicts to the right, identified by source.

We start with MSC-07633 - APOLLO 17 COMMAND MODULE ONBOARD VOICE TRANSCRIPTION (U) RECORDED ON THE DATA STORAGE EQUIPMENT (DSE):

MSC-07633

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

APOLLO 17
COMMAND MODULE
ONBOARD VOICE
TRANSCRIPTION
(U)

RECORDED ON THE
DATA STORAGE EQUIPMENT
(DSE)

MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER
HOUSTON, TEXAS
 
Security Classification
GROUP 4: Downgraded at 3-year intervals; declassified after 12 years.

The material contained herein has been transcribed into a working paper in order to facilitate review by interested MSC elements. This document, or portions thereof, maybe declassified subject to the following guidelines:

Portions of this document will be classified CONFIDENTIAL, Group 4, to the extent that they: (1) define quantitative performance characteristics of the Apollo Spacecraft, (2) detail critical performance characteristics of Apollo crew systems and equipment, (3) provide technical details of significant launch vehicle malfunctions in actual flight or reveal actual launch trajectory data, (4) reveal medical data on flight crew members which can be considered privileged data, or (5) reveal other data which can be individually determined to require classification under the authority of the Apollo Program Security Classification Guide, SCG-11, Rev. 1, 1/1/66.

This material contains information affecting the national defence of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, Title 18, U.S.C., Secs. 793 and 794, the transmission or revelation of which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.

Introduction

This document is the transcription of the Apollo 17 flight crew communications as recorded on the command module (CM) data storage equipment (DSE) and subsequently transmitted (dumped) to Manned Space Flight Network stations. Magnetic tapes containing dumped voice and onboard-recorded ground elapsed time (GET) were forwarded to the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas. Transcription of these tapes was managed by J. L. Gibbons, Test Division, Apollo Spacecraft Program Office, to whom inquiries regarding this document should be referred.

The transcript is divided into three columns -- time, speaker, and text. The time column consists of four two-digit pairs representing days, hours, minutes, and seconds (e.g., 04 22 34 14). The speaker column indicates the source of a transmission; the text column contains the verbatim transcript of the communications.

The time used by Mission Control Center (MCC) and indicated as GET in the flight plan may be updated to both the spacecraft and MCC computers but will not be updated to the telemetry downlink pulse-code-modulated bitstream or other time-recording devices. This GET updating will be performed only to correct significant changes in flight-plan time occurring as the result of delayed lift-off, midcourse corrections, or spacecraft burn-time differences (trajectory dispersions).

Should these updates occur, the Apollo elapsed time (the true mission-elapsed time) may not agree with flight-plan and MCC times. Users of this transcript are cautioned to apply the appropriate time-update deltas for the updated periods.

The Apollo 17 mission was flown December 7 to 19, 1972; lift-off occurred at 05:33:00.60 GMT (12:33:00.60 a.m., EST.) on December 7. The CM was designated America and the lunar module was called Challenger.

Index

The PDF transcript has 746 pages. Automatic OCR has been performed. The hyperlinks in the table below go to my combined version.

Tape pg MET
17-03407 60 0:0:0:03 to 4:54
17-03404 46 0:0:2:26 to 8:43
17-03409 53 0:0:5:48 to 10:49
17-03456 5 0:0:9:40 to 11:54, 15:24 to 50:44
17-03407 60 59:51 to 1:17:34, 1:22:38 to 1:27:49
    0:1:27:49 to 1:21:30:19 - no transcript
17-03412 82 1:21:30:19 to 33:18, 1:21:33:36 to 39:39, 1:21:40:24 to 40:31, 1:21:47:48 to 49:21, 1:21:51:15 to 52:45, 1:21:54:56 to 1:22:00:12, 1:22:00:22 to 03:27, 1:22:04:09 to 09:27, 1:22:09:29 to 14:18, 1:22:14:31 to 19:46, 1:22:20:21 to 24:36, 1:22:24:52 to 24:52
    1:22:24:52 to 2:17:27:26 - no transcript
17-03403 94 2:17:27:26 to 2:18:46:57
17-03419 108 3:09:23:50 to 3:10:08:05
17-03420 123 3:10:08:08 to 14:32
17-03408 124 3:10:07:15 to 07:19, 3:16:42:21 to  48:21
17-03402 129 3:15:55:39 to 3:16:44:38
17-03405 172 3:18:10:49 to 25:17, 3:18:25:28 to 33:44, 3:18:33:48 to 54:58
17-03401 202 3:19:59:39 to  3:20:48:44
17-03427 214 4:07:21:54 to 4:08:13:04, 4:09:26:33 to 54:54
17-03429 226 4:08:09:56 to 4:08:13:05
17-03430 229  
17-03468 235  
17-03466 241  
17-03418 244  
17-03410 247  
17-03437 249  
    252, 255, 261, 268, 274, 278, 283, 285, 287, 289, 291, 297, 303, 305, 310, 344, 351, 358, 370, 378, 383, 407, 413, 416, 430, 437, 448, 473, 487, 513, 526, 531, 545, 562, 564, 570, 585, 588, 599, 602, 610, 616, 645, 651, 660, 673, 686, 695, 708

 

 

 

 

The NASA Mission Transcript Scanning Project

By Glen E. Swanson, Spaceflight Vol 43 February 2001
Sidebar to "We have liftoff! - The story behind the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo air-to-ground transmissions"

 

Available online from NASA Johnson Space Center: Communications Transcripts:
Mercury Through Apollo

AS17 CM Apollo 17 Command Module Onboard Voice Transcription Recorded on the Data Storage Equipment (DSE) MSC-07633, January 1973, 746 pages.
AS17 LM Apollo 17 Lunar Module Onboard Voice Transcription Recorded on the Data Storage Equipment Assembly (DSEA) MSC-07630, January 1973, 411 pages.
AS17_PAC Apollo 17 Mission Commentary - Voice Transmissions, 223 pages
AS17 PAO Apollo 17 Spacecraft Commentary, 1,964 pages.
AS17 PAO CM Apollo 17 Spacecraft Commentary with the Command Module Only, 223 pages.
AS17 TEC Apollo 17 Technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription (GOSS NET 1) MSC-07629, December 1972, 2,461 pages.
   

For the first time ever, NASA has digitally scanned all of the transcripts made from both the onboard tapes and those tape recordings made on the ground from the air-to-ground transmissions of the Mercury through Apollo missions and placed them on a two CD-ROM set. Entitled The Mission Transcript Collection: US Human Space Flight Missions from Mercury Redstone 3 to Apollo 17 (NASA SP-2000-4602) this special CD-ROM collection contains 80 transcripts totalling nearly 45,000 pages of text covering every US human space flight from the first human Mercury mission through the last lunar landing flight of Apollo 17.

Through the combined efforts of the history offices at NASA Headquarters and the Johnson Space Center, searchable Adobe Acrobat PDF scans of these mission transcripts were made from the best available copies housed in NASA's historical archives. The need for a more efficient distribution form of this primary historical resource was prompted by numerous requests from researchers and the public for print copies of the mission transcripts. Because many of these transcripts number thousands of pages in size, producing hardcopies and distributing them is both an expensive and time-consuming task. In addition, duplication exposes the original copies to unnecessary handling and risk of damage. By making high-quality one-time scans and packaging them in a user friendly CDROM, complete sets of these documents become more easily available to the public with the added benefit of allowing users to do text searches using the scanned Adobe Acrobat PDF files or print hard copies that are close to original quality.

The two CD-ROM set includes an index listing each transcript file by name. Some of the transcripts include a detailed explanation of their contents and how they were made. Also included in this collection is a listing of all the original air-to-ground audiotapes housed in NASA's archives from which many of these transcripts were made. Copies of the CD set are available free through NASA by sending a self-addressed, padded envelope with $4.00 affixed in postage (for North American Orders) or $8 affixed in postage for all overseas orders, to: NASA Headquarters Information Center, Mail Code CI-4, 300 E Street SW, Room 1H23, Washington, DC 20546-0001, PH: 202-358-0000.

The Mission Transcript Collection: U.S. Human Spaceflight Missions from Mercury Redstone 3 to Apollo 17 (SP-2000-4602, 2001). Now available commercially from CG Publishing. To order send an International Money Order for $8.00 to CG Publishing Inc, Box 62034, Burlington, Ontario, L7R 4K2, Canada or call 905-637-5737. 

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/series95.html

Apollo 17 Onboard Voice Recordings
Mission: A/17 LOC MET  
Yr Mo Da Tape Catalog start end start end Mission Commentary Description
72 12 06 01 1/4" 765-AAA 01:23 19:30 01:23 02:35 1-54  
72 12 07 02 1/4" 766-AAA 19:30 02:24 02:35 06:00 55-73  
72 12 07 03 1/4" 767-AAA 02:24 05:36 06:00 08:37 74-87  
72 12 07 04 1/4" 768-AAA 05:36 08:10 08:37 11:41 88-96  
72 12 07 05 1/4" 769-AAA 08:10 11:05 11:41 18:00 97-114  
72 12 07 06 1/4" 770-AAA 11:05 17:30 18:00 21:41 115-130  
72 12 07 07 1/4" 771-AAA 17:30 19:15 21:41 24:48 131-142  
72 12 08 08 1/4" 772-AAA 19:15 00:22 24:48 35:07 143-162  
72 12 08 09 1/4" 773-AAA 00:22 10:40 35:07 37:57 163-173  
72 12 08 10 1/4" 774-AAA 10:40 13:30 37:57 41:12 174-185  
72 12 08 11 1/4" 775-AAA 13:30 16:45 41:12 42:52 186-204  
72 12 08 12 1/4" 776-AAA 16:40 20:26 44:52 48:01 205-220  
72 12 09 13 1/4" 777-AAA 20:26 09:16 48:01 57:36 221-238  
72 12 09 14 1/4" 778-AAA 09:16 12:28 57:36 60:55 239-253  
72 12 09 15 1/4" 779-AAA 12:28 15:34 60:55 64:01 254-264  
72 12 09 16 1/4" 780-AAA 15:34 19:00 64:01 70:09 265-279  
72 12 09 17 1/4" 781-AAA 19:00 10:10 70:09 73:17 280-289  
72 12 10 18 1/4" 782-AAA 10:10 08:10 73:17 83:17 290-310  
72 12 10 19 1/4" 783-AAA 08:10 11:20 83:17 86:27 311-321  
72 12 10 20 1/4" 784-AAA 11:20 14:57 86:27 90:05 322-334  
72 12 10 21 1/4" 785-AAA 14:57 19:34 90:05 94:30 335-354  
72 12 10 22 1/4" 786-AAA 19:34 07:58 94:30 107:05 355-380  
72 12 11 23 1/4" 787-AAA 07:58 12:30 107:05 111:37 381-398  
72 12 11 24 1/4" 788-AAA 12:30 16:45 111:37 115:52 399-422 EVA-1 tape 1 of 3
72 12 11 25 1/4" 789-AAA 16:45 21:00 115:52 119:09 423-458 EVA-1 tape 2 of 3 contains "who's been tracking up my lunar
72 12 11 26 1/4" 790-AAA 21:00 23:01 119:09 122:07 459-478 EVA-1 tape 3 of 3
72 12 11 27 1/4" 791-AAA 23:01 02:37 122:07 125:44 479-495  
72 12 12 28 1/4" 792-AAA 02:37 05:50 125:44 128:57 496-506  
72 12 12 29 1/4" 793-AAA 05:50 13:08 128:57 136:15 507-527  
72 12 12 30 1/4" 794-AAA 13:08 16:24 136:15 139:31 528-542 EVA-2 tape 1 of 4
72 12 12 31 1/4" 795-AAA 16:24 17:34 139:31 140:41 543-547 EVA-2 tape 2 of 4
72 12 12 32 1/4" 796-AAA 17:34 20:45 140:41 143:52 548-568 EVA-2 tape 3 of 4
72 12 12 33 1/4" 797-AAA 20:45 23:57 143:52 147:04 569-588 EVA-2 tape 4 of 4
72 12 12 34 1/4" 798-AAA 23:57 03:31 147:04 150:38 589-603  
72 12 13 35 1/4" 799-AAA 03:31 09:21 150:38 156:28 604-613  
72 12 13 36 1/4" 800-AAA 09:21 13:50 156:28 160:57 614-636  
72 12 13 37 1/4" 801-AAA 13:50 16:35 160:57 163:42 637-651 EVA-3 tape 1 of 4
72 12 13 38 1/4" 802-AAA 16:35 19:45 163:42 166:55 652-671 EVA-3 tape 1 of 3
72 12 13 39 1/4" 803-AAA 19:45 22:56 166:55 170:01 672-691 EVA-3 tape 2 of 3 contains "Children of the World Rock"
72 12 13 40 1/4" 804-AAA 22:56 23:32 170:01 170:40 692-696 EVA-3 tape 3 of 3
72 12 13 41 1/4" 805-AAA 23:32 03:16 170:40 174:24 697-709  
72 12 14 42 1/4" 806-AAA 03:16 11:20 174:24 182:27 710-726  
72 12 14 43 1/4" 807-AAA 11:20 14:45 182:27 185:52 727-739  
72 12 14 45 1/4" 809-AAA 18:27 22:52 189:33   761-781  
72 12 14 46 1/4" 810-AAA 22:52 03:29 193:59 198:36 782-797  
72 12 15 47 1/4" 811-AAA 03:29 14:44 198:36 209:54 798-817  
72 12 15 48 1/4" 812-AAA 14:44 18:50 209:54 213:57 818-836  
72 12 15 49 1/4" 813-AAA 18:50 23:00 213:57 218:06 837-854  
72 12 15 50 1/4" 814-AAA 23:00 12:23 218:06 231:30 855-875  
72 12 15 51 1/4" 815-AAA 12:23 17:23 231:30 236:30 876-897  
72 12 16 52 1/4" 816-AAA 16:54 18:27 236:01 239:33 898-910  
72 12 16 53 1/4" 817-AAA 18:27 23:36 239:33 242:42 911-917  
72 12 16 54 1/4" 818-AAA 23:36 09:50 242:42 252:59 918-932  
72 12 17 55 1/4" 819-AAA 09:50 13:01 252:59 256:08 933-945 Contains Trans Earth EVA
72 12 17 56 1/4" 820-AAA 13:01 17:45 256:08 260:51 946-964  
72 12 17 57 1/4" 821-AAA 17:45 20:55 260:51 264:02 965-972  
72 12 17 58 1/4" 822-AAA 20:55 24:00 264:02 267:09 973-980  
72 12 17 59 1/4" 823-AAA 24:00 10:06 267:09 277:13 981-1000  
72 12 18 60 1/4" 824-AAA 10:06 13:16 277:13 280:23 1001-1011  
72 12 18 61 1/4" 825-AAA 13:16 16:27 280:23 283:30 1011-l022  
72 12 18 62 1/4" 826-AAA 16:27 19:20 283:30 286:32 1023-1031  
72 12 18 63 1/4" 827-AAA 19:20 22:30 286:32 289:36 1031-1037  
72 12 18 64 1/4" 828-AAA 22:30 08:21 289:36 299:28 1038-1052  
72 12 18 65 1/4" 829-AAA 08:21 11:30 299:28 302:37 1053-1067  
72 12 19 66 1/4" 830-AAA* 11:30 14:30 302:37 305:36 1067-1084 /EOM

http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/history/default.htm

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