Commander Pete Conrad flew on Gemini 5 in 1965, and as command pilot on Gemini 11 in 1966. Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon Jr. flew with Conrad on Gemini 11. Originally, Conrad’s Lunar Module pilot was Clifton C. Williams Jr. , who was killed in October 1967 when the T-38 he was flying crashed near Tallahassee. When forming his crew, Conrad had wanted Alan L. Bean, a former student of his at the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River NAS, Maryland, but had been told by Director of Flight Crew Operations Deke Slayton that Bean was unavailable due to an assignment to the Apollo Applications Program. After Williams’s death, Conrad asked for Bean again, and this time Slayton yielded.
Each of the little Space eggs resides within its own ring arc--which is a fragmentary ring of Saturn. One hypothesis states that glittering ice crystals swarming around in the ring arc might be floating down to the surface of Methone, filling in its impact craters or other rough topography. This is something that is thought to have occurred on two other small, icy moons of Saturn--Atlas and Pan. Icy stuff swarming around in Saturn's rings apparently piled up around each moonlet's equator. The astronomers observed this effect in the upper layer of the lunar crust, termed the megaregolith. This layer is heavily pockmarked by relatively small craters, measuring only 30 kilometers or less in diameter. In contrast, the deeper layers of lunar crust, that are scarred by larger craters, appear not to have been as badly battered, and are, therefore, less porous and fractured. HST's detection of a site, which appears to show persistent, intermittent plume activity on Europa, provides a promising target for the Europa mission to investigate. Equipped with its new and sophisticated suite of science instruments, the mission can detect whatever may potentially be swimming around in the hidden global ocean sloshing around beneath its secretive crust of ice.