Soyuz spacecraft: It’s freezing in here !!

The Soyuz training “boilerplate” descent module in its element at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. Wilderness Survival is part of any Soyuz’s cosmo/astro-naut training. The Soyuz “capsules” land, literally, in some quite weather-drastic areas and their crews must be prepared for any eventuality.

Boy, not surprised if I see a bunch stalactites inside my flat.


NASA-Ames AX-3: Music Non Stop.

During the 1970’s NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC) explored the qualities of higher operating pressure (8-psi/55-KPa) space suits technologies which would allow zero prebreathe time when operated for the future Space Shuttle. The ARC’s AX-3 suit was the complete prototype built.

Its designer, Hubert Vykukal, is seen here demonstrating the “semihard-suit” mobility qualities. Some music.

Discovery One’s EVA Pod: Open the Pod bay doors, HAL.

I knew as I was writing the other day the GD LEM mock-up/simulator post I would sin sooner than later. And so it happened yesterday night, the umpteenth time I’ve watched Kubrick’s masterpiece.

To me those spacesuits designed by Harry Lange are as unrivalled as the movie itself. Sadly, Bowman lacks his helmet when he needed most. That helmet was the best feature of the whole suit.

Apollo 4: Givin’ all one’s got.

A day like today, but 50 years ago, Apollo 4 (AS-501) rocket made the first unmanned test flight of the incomparable Saturn V launch vector. The people of NASA was in a hurry (the moon race, you know) and they decided the first test would be an “All Up” effort. That means that contrary to the usual very conservative von Braun team’s approach all rocket stages, spacecraft included, were functional on this initial flight.

Auspicious skies. It was a total success.

Rick Gordon: Apollo 12’s third Moonwalker.

“Conrad, Gordon and Bean: the Fantasy by Alan Bean”

Sadly, I have just heard the sad passing of Command Module, and all around Pilot extraordinaire Dick Gordon. Godspeed.

Lunar Module Pilot turned into artist Alan Bean has always regretted his buddy Dick Gordon couldn’t take that stroll with Pete Conrad and him. So he just made it happens in this funny painting, one of the many “Beano” has created with his experiences. They were the coolest Apollo crew, by very, very far.

General Dynamics LEM: Do you read me, HAL?

A wonderfully convincing view of the General Dynamics’ Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) proposal mock-up/simulator. They sure tried hard, but in the end Grumman won the laurels.
The Commander and the LEM Pilot at that early stage of the LEM development still enjoyed the luxury of a seat. The “LEM pilot” here is wearing the ubiquitous BF Goodrich MK.IV pressure suit while he plays “docking” in the simulator. This US Navy full-pressure suit were usually employed in those days for this kind of work. In fact, the Mercury space suit was developed from it.

Destination Clavius?.

Photo: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.