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In this presentation, we will be taking a comprehensive look at an evidence contradiction from the Apollo 17 mission. Specifically, the discrepancies in NASA's Apollo 17 mission archives highlighted here are related to the hand and finger injuries that astronauts Cernan and Schmitt suffered during their 22 hours and 4 minutes of EVAs outside on the lunar surface.
We begin here by first examining the official NASA archive evidence from Apollo 17 (evidence recorded both during and after the mission) to conclusively demonstrate that the idea of "significant hand trauma" suffered by the Apollo moonwalkers due to the design limitations of their EV pressure gloves was most definitely a very serious and recognized problem that could not be avoided. That evidence is important to appreciate because it clearly establishes both the legitimacy and severity of the declared hand and finger trauma that Apollo 17 astronauts Cernan and Schmitt both extensively admit to suffering from.
The presentation then moves on to more closely examining the discrepancies between what the official historical record tells us happened to Cernan and Schmitt's hands during the mission versus what we see (or rather, do not see) in the available mission archive image evidence. As this examination will show you, the descriptive testimony from Cernan and Schmitt regarding their hand and finger trauma simply does not appear to match the official NASA photographic public archive evidence from their mission.
NASA photo S72-56081 shows the crew preparing to cut a cake aboard the recovery carrier, Ticonderoga. Note the blood under the nails of Jack's middle and ring fingers.
link to original image - next.nasa.gov...
A detail from NASA photo 72-H-1561 taken on-board Ticonderoga shows signs of bleeding under the nail of the little finger on Gene's right hand and, possibly, under the nail on the middle finger.
image link - next.nasa.gov...
image link - next.nasa.gov...
How does one prove these pictures are indeed in the order claimed?
A comprehensive analysis was recently completed of all musculoskeletal injuries and minor trauma sustained
in flight throughout the U.S. space program (Scheuring et al., 2009). This study identified 219 in-flight injuries,
of which 50 resulted from wearing the EVA suit, making this the second leading cause of in-flight injuries.
“Hand injuries were most common among EVA crewmembers, often due to the increased
force needed to move pressurized, stiff gloves or repetitive motion for task completion. Many
astronauts described the gloves causing small blisters and pain across their metacarpophalangeal
(MCP) joints. This could be due to dorsal displacement of the MCP joints against the glove in order
to flex the fingers [Viegas et al., 2004]. While not mission impacting injuries, they can potentially
distract an astronaut from important EVA tasks. Astronauts frequently develop onycholysis
(separation of nail from nail bed) after Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory training sessions, and it
is possible some of these injuries represent exacerbations of underlying ground-based injuries.”
Nine of the 219 in-flight injuries were sustained by Apollo astronauts who were performing lunar surface
EVAs. One Apollo astronaut suffered a wrist laceration from the suit wrist ring while working with drilling
equipment, and another crew member sustained wrist soreness due to the suit sleeve rubbing repeatedly. One
crew member injured his shoulder during a lunar EVA while attempting to complete multiple surface activities
on a tight mission timeline. Unbeknownst to his flight surgeon, this crew member later took large doses
of aspirin to relieve the pain. Many Apollo astronauts noted problems with their hands. One astronaut remarked:
“EVA 1 was clearly the hardest … particularly in the hands. Our fingers were very sore.” Another
Apollo astronaut remarked that his hands were “very sore after each EVA”; while another astronaut stated
that following the third lunar EVA, his MCP and proximal interphalangeal joints (knuckles) were so swollen
and abraded from a poor-fitting glove and/or lack of inner liner or comfort glove that he is certain that a
further EVA would have been very difficult if not impossible. Accordingly, it is no surprise that the Apollo
astronauts were adamant that the glove flexibility, dexterity, and fit be improved (Scheuring et al., 2007).
A study that was conducted from July 2002 to January 2004 identified the frequency and incidence rates of
symptoms by general body location and characterized the mechanisms of injury and effective countermeasures
(Strauss, 2004). During this study, 86 astronaut-subjects were evaluated in the NBL during 770 suited test
sessions. Symptoms were reported by the test subjects in 352, or 45.7%, of the sessions. Of these symptoms,
47% involved hands; 21% involved shoulders; 11% involved feet; 6% each involved arms, legs, and neck;
and 3% involved the trunk. Hand symptoms were primarily fingernail delamination, which was thought to be
secondary to excess moisture in the EVA gloves and axial loading of the fingertips (figure 14-8).