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  Skylab 2, Skylab 3 (CM 116/117) main parachutes (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Skylab 2, Skylab 3 (CM 116/117) main parachutes
SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-28-2009 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 4allmankind:
There is a chute on display at the Cradle of Aviation in Long Island labeled as flown on Apollo 17. I have some close-up photos of it if anyone would like them.
Is that the chute co-displayed with the Block I CSM (002)? Definitely - if unable to post here please email my way.

4allmankind
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From: NJ
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posted 05-29-2009 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just sent you the best I had. I hope they help you in some way.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 06-04-2009 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nasamad:
I'm sure I remember a chute hanging on the wall of the space gallery in the London Science Museum about 20-25 years ago. Can't vouch for it being flown though.

There was also one on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England in the 1980s, although no longer.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 06-21-2009 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In corresponding with Bob Fish of the USS Hornet Museum who has had contact with several of the recovery pilots/UDT team members on Apollo 11/12 he reports its likely none of Apollo 11/Columbia's parachutes were retrieved, and an attempt was to grapple one of Apollo 12's chutes but it was extremely challenging to do so given the rotor wash from the SH-3 (the process for chute recovery involved lowering a grapple at the end of a hoist and snaring the canopy).

It does seem on balance, the majority of main parachute canopies were never recovered.

Some interesting comments offered by a couple of recovery team members:

NASA recovery team:

Bob - not much info from here although I do remember on one or two ships I was on we picked up a chute or two but do not recall details. Also know on a later one or two missions ( as noted in your email ) some chutes were picked up. Historically I do know we never encouraged chute retrieval for we believed it might endanger swimmers from entanglement plus we never believed it a highly desirable requirement.

— John

Navy recovery team (Apollo 10 and Apollo 13):

I'll hitchhike on John's email to add one more thought. The first swimmers we launched were tasked with moving the chutes out of the working area. We wanted to make certain one of them didn't "blossom" and get in a tail rotor. A remote possibility, but one that could worry you the whole day.

— Chuck

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 06-22-2009 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Additional first hand confirmation from Wes Chesser, the then UDT OIC for Apollo 10 and recovery team leader for Apollo 11 that all chutes were lost (relayed via Bob Fish).

In retrospect, these collective reports make NASM's decision to destroy 6 of the 9 parachutes transferred to them from JSC very short-sighted.

I know that on Apollo 10 none were recovered. We just watched as those babies sank. Apollo 10 was a picture perfect recovery because I was in charge. Just kidding. But truly, the ship was right on target and the swimmers were on station in helicopters when the spacecraft reentered the atmosphere. We just watched as that comet burned through. It was truly spectacular. Finally, we spotted the spacecraft under 3 parachutes and were literally flying around it awaiting splashdown. I don't believe Apollo 10 ever went into Stable 2. It stayed in Stable 1 after splashdown. Anyway, in regards to the parachutes, once splashdown occurs, the parachutes deflate quickly and start to submerge right away.

There is no bouyancy. Parachute material breathes so water penetrates it quickly. The time from splashdown to parachute submersion and disappearance is fairly quick. There were no instructions to retrieve parachutes and parachute retrieval was never part of our at-sea rehearsals. Believe me, if retrieving parachutes were part of the mission, it would have been rehearsed by the crew in the whale boat launched from the ship.

Parachutes were not retrieved on Apollo 11 and I don't recall any similar effort on Apollo 6. Perhaps on other missions they were retrieved. I know our focus was on the spacecraft, stablizing it with the collar, and then retrieving those astronauts. Retrieving parachutes could serve as a major distraction, I don't know. -Wes

stsmithva
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From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 06-22-2009 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Recovering any of those parachutes would have been a real nightmare. Their sheer size and weight once wet, the possibility of tangling men or equipment in the lines... if NASA really didn't see the need to recover them for examination to prevent possible future problems with reentry, I can understand why the recovery teams would have been happy to see the parachutes sink.

freshspot
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From: Lexington, MA, USA
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 06-23-2009 05:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, I have really enjoyed following this thread. Just wanted to say thanks for doing all the research on this. I think it is so valuable to both the hobby and the Apollo program when those of us with interesting artifacts share them via the web with collectors and researchers.

Well done, sir.

Dave Scott (not the astronaut)
http://www.apolloartifacts.com/

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 08-05-2009 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some relevant information extracted from the Apollo Recovery Operations Manual. In the two images that follow (taken during ASTP recovery operations), team member can be seen struggling to retrieve a chute (extreme left of first image), and all three canopies are visible in the rafts of the second image as they and the Command Module await hoisting onto New Orleans. Thanks to J.L. Pickering and Retrospace Images for making the photographs available (I highly recommend acquiring his Image Disc sets):

Since the main parachutes are not interconnected and the canopies have slightly negative boyancy, they willl float in the area for only 10 minutes before sinking.

Main Parachute Recovery:

(a) Since safe recovery of the crew and the CM is of the utmost importance, helicopters should become involved with main parachute recovery only to the extent of deploying the grappling hook on-man lift raft packages.

(b) As the helicopters approach the CM, they may deploy the grappling hook packages. An appropriate time to do this would be during CM uprighting, Under no circumstances should crew recovery be delayed for ELS (Earth Landing System) component recovery.

(c) As the helicopter is hovering over a visible chute, a crew member opens the grappling hook/one-man life raft package. The raft end is secured within the helicopter and the grappling hook protective covers are removed. The hook is thrown out of the hatch to fall among or below the main parachute shroud lines, or preferably, the canopy. The raft is inflated and deployed.

(d) After the flight crew has been recovered, helicopters may direct small boat crews to the snagged main parachutes. Boat crews should attempt to spill the submerged canopies but cutting half of the shroud lines or the adjacent riser extensions, NASA storage bags are provided to stow the parachutes in as they are recovered.

(e) If the main parachute shroud lines have collapsed onto the CM, a one-man raft should be attached to the parachute. Then the shroud lines should be cut near the water -- the lines on the CM remaining undisturbed. Should any of the ELS components be damaged during retrieval, its is important that a NASA representative be informed.

Please click for higher resolution images:.

Three canopies awaiting recovery on New Orleans - notice the one-man life-rafts which were used for ensnarement and floation of the chutes. Also visible is one of the green NASA recovery bag used to stow the left most canopy in the below image.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-21-2009 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a very amateur attempt to display the chute in the collection room presenting the deployment sequence (pilot chute, Dacron riser, steel riser, deployment bag and finally the main canopy - of which only the upper third is visable).

Any recommendations on how to improve the display are welcome.

Click for larger images:


freshspot
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From: Lexington, MA, USA
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 08-22-2009 05:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott - to improve the display, sell a few of your better items and build a much bigger display room!

Seriously - I think it looks terrific. I'm jealous.

StarDome
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posted 08-22-2009 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, have you ever seen this brochure from 1968 from Northrop?

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 08-22-2009 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had not previously Andy. Would welcome high res scans to my email when available...

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 08-07-2010 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a documentary produced by Northrop Ventura detailing production of the Apollo Earth Landing System (to include manufacture and testing of the main parachute) entitled Project Apollo - The Last 5 Miles Home. Worth a view if you have 15 minutes to spare. It includes sequences of the packing/compression process (although Block I chutes/packs are shown during most of the video).

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 08-07-2010 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That shot about 2:15 into the video of the moon behind the parachutes - someone had a lot of fun setting that up. Great shot.

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-07-2010 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At 5:55-6:00 - in the space of five seconds, three technologies you don't see any more: blackboards, wooden pointers, and slide rules!

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-07-2010 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following (in my opinion, much more fascinating) two part uploaded video provides improved detail on fabrication and packing of a Block II parachute (part 1) with Part 2 showing the complex process of installation in a boilerplate Command Module forward compartment and subsequent airborne drop test.

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-07-2010 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Man...it was great to watch AMERICANS design and build things again.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-22-2014 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Rhinebeck Aerodrome, as part of their original transaction with the National Air and Space Museum, received two parachutes — the aforementioned chute associated with Skylab 3 / S/C 117 (serial number 012) and a second which was also recently accessed into my collection (serial number 007). Records indicate this second chute was flown on S/C 116 ...correlation is provided in the following shots.

James C
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posted 03-22-2014 06:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James C   Click Here to Email James C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome stuff. How do get hold of items like this?

Jeff
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From: Fayetteville, NC, USA
Registered: May 2009

posted 03-22-2014 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jeff   Click Here to Email Jeff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice addition to your collection Scott... Congrats.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 03-22-2014 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the recovery helicopters was struck by a piece of drogue parachute reefing line during the splashdown of CM-116 and the first Skylab crew.

space1
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From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 03-22-2014 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations Scott. I'm glad these rare artifacts are finding a good home.

David Carey
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posted 03-22-2014 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
'chute yeah!

Great add Scott.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-22-2014 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
One of the recovery helicopters was struck by a piece of drogue parachute reefing line during the splashdown of CM-116 and the first Skylab crew.
The probability of such an event would have been originally calculated as extraordinarily low... given that it actually occurred guess the new odds were revised to 1:15 recoveries.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 03-22-2014 11:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Mission Reports for the Apollo "J" missions indicate that:
  • one main parachute was recovered on Apollo 15; the forward heat shield was also recovered
  • all three main parachutes were recovered on Apollo 16
  • all three main parachutes were recovered on Apollo 17; the forward heat shield was also recovered

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-23-2014 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alternative end-state for deployed chutes... the Jedi pose!


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