I used this image in Exactly what was Surveyor 3 doing with a spring-loaded boxing glove-like device? but in the captions for the image on two NASA sites I noticed a disagreement in the identify of the astronaut shown examining the Surveyor 3 lander.

enter image description here

Source: https://moon.nasa.gov/exploration/moon-missions/

Apollo 12 commander Charles Conrad Jr. examines the robotic Surveyor 3 spacecraft during his second extravehicular activity (EVA) on the Moon on 20 November 1969.

Full size available here where the caption says

Apollo 12 astronaut Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot, examines the robotic Surveyor 3 spacecraft during his second extravehicular activity (EVA) on the Moon on 20 November 1969. Surveyor spacecraft pioneered the technology that enabled Apollo astronauts to reach the Moon.

The Lunar Module (LM) Intrepid is in the background (right). This picture was taken by commander Charles Conrad Jr.

Intrepid landed on the Moon's Ocean of Storms on 19 November 1969 only about 600 feet (180 meters) from the Surveyor 3 spacecraft.

The television camera and several other components were taken from Surveyor 3 and brought back to Earth for scientific analysis.

Question: Which astronaut is shown examining the Surveyor 3 lander in this photograph?


1 Answer 1


To be precise, the astronaut is posing for a "tourist picture", rather than examining Surveyor.

This is photo AS12-48-7136 (very similar to -7135, but distinguishable by the position of the Réseau marks), with some contrast changes. According to the Apollo 12 image library, there was some back and forth of cameras and magazines because of a mechanical problem, but this particular shot was of Al Bean, taken by Pete Conrad.

A picture (AS12-48-7133) taken slightly earlier is claimed to be of Conrad, distinguishable at that point in the EVA because he had a set of tongs attached at his waist. Bean doesn't have the tongs. There are detailed notes in the Apollo 12 Lunar Surface Journal at 134:16:14 discussing who's taking pictures of who, and how to be sure. 7135 & 7136 are taken at about 134:17:42.

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  • $\begingroup$ further discussion of "space tourist" photos in How did Apollo-12 manage to land next to Surveyor-3? First “Space-Tourists”? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 30, 2019 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for figuring this out! I'm having trouble spotting the aforementioned tongs, is it possible to help point out where they are somehow? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 30, 2019 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ I think they're the bit that looks like a small broom, below, parallel to, and brighter than the last downward strut of Surveyor's scoop-arm assembly that's the subject of your other question. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2019 at 23:54
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    $\begingroup$ No commander stripes on 12 either, I'm afraid. There's a good discussion in the A12LSJ just before these pics were taken about how to tell them apart. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2019 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ The NASA reference link in the answer about the stripes says they were added for A13 (which obviously didn't have ambiguous lunar surface photography) and subsequent. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2019 at 0:13

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