Dave Scott's ring-bound Lunar Module activation checklist used in lunar orbit and carried to the moon aboard the Lunar Module Falcon during Apollo 15, measures 6 x 8, 56 pages, signed and flight-certified on the front cover in blue felt tip, "Flown aboard the lunar module 'Falcon,' Apollo 15, July 26-Aug 7, 1971 (CDR Copy), Dave Scott, Apollo 15 CDR." The checklist is identified on the front cover with part number "SKB32100115-366" and serial number "1001," and is divided into two major sections: "TLC DAY [Translunar Coast Day]," during which the initial power-up of all systems verifies that the spacecraft has no major problems, and "PDI DAY [Powered Descent Initiation]," during which 35 specific steps are performed to prepare the LM for descent and landing. Several checklist pages feature pencil and ink notations made by Scott, consisting of various times and test and range numbers, as well as an additional step to page 2-6 under a section titled "ECS Activation & Checkout." In fine condition, with some marks to covers, interior pages remain clean.
Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Scott, in part: “I hereby certify that the 'LM Activation Checklist' included with this letter was used to activate the systems on the Lunar Module Falcon prior to landing on the Moon during Apollo 15…Steps and illustrations in this checklist include verifying the initial status of the LM circuit breakers…The checklist also contains a list of all equipment to be transferred from the CSM to the LM, including 13 magazine for the Hasselblad cameras that will be used on the Moon, and 10 magazines of 16-mm movie film for the Lunar Data Acquisition Camera. Of special significance was the point at which CSM guidance data were transferred directly to the LM such that the precise LM orientation relative to inertial space was established. This 'Docked' IMU Course Align' was performed at GET (98:50)…into the mission—the handwritten 'Gimbal Angles' between the LM and CM are shown at the bottom of this page. The specific guidance transfer procedure was a major factor in the safe recovery of Apollo 13."
This checklist was used as a step-by-step timeline of procedures from the beginning of activation of the LM in lunar orbit to the 'Go/No-Go' decision for undocking from the CSM, a time period that lasted three-and-a-half hours, a mere fraction of the four full days it took for the lunar module to land on the moon. Once in lunar orbit, the crew of CDR Scott and LMP Jim Irwin began the extensive procedures for undocking, which included activating the lunar module, updating the guidance computer, and making landmark sightings to improve the accuracy of their proposed Hadley-Apennine landing site. After roughly 11.5 orbits of the moon, the LM undocked and prepared for powered descent of the Falcon, with Scott once more referring to this invaluable manual. Exclusively used and relied upon by the brilliant commander of Apollo 15, this checklist represents a truly one-of-a-kind lunar flown keepsake from what many consider to be NASA’s most scientifically successful mission.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.