Monday, March 2, 2015

Another strange Apollo 16 conversation

 Capcom: What about the albedo change in the subsurface soil? Of course you saw it first at Flagg and were probably more excited about it there. Was there any difference in it there - and Buster and Alsep and LM?

Duke: No. Around the Alsep it was just in spots. At Plum it seemed to be everywhere. My predominant impression was that the white albedo was (garble) than the fine cover on top.

Capcom: O.K. Just a question for you, John. When you got halfway, or even thought it was halfway, we understand you looped around south, is that right?

Young: That is affirm. We came upon - Barbara.
 
Wilson writes (p.140): "Joseph H. Goodavage, whom included this conversation in a Saga magazine article, comments: "Barbara? That really needs some explanation, so I made an appointment with NASA geologist Farouk El Baz at National Aeronautics and Space Museum. 

Here's how part of our conversation went:

Saga: What do you suppose Young meant when he said they came upon "Barbara"?

El Baz:I can't really say. Code perhaps ...

Saga: But Barbara is an odd name for something on the Moon, isn't it?

El Baz: Yes, an enigma. As I suggested, perhaps a code, but I don't really know."