Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Backup Crews

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Backup Crews
New Member


posted 11-02-2004 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Yanksman2001   Click Here to Email Yanksman2001     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was thinking and am curious what others think. Had it been Jim Lovell or Fred Haise who were grounded instead of Ken, would it have been safer in that situation, so close to launch, to substitute both the backup commander and backup LM pilot instead of just the crewman being grounded. I would think that that final 15 minutes before landing, the commander and LM pilot had to count on each other, know what that person was doing without having to ask, know the tone in his voice; two people working as one, that they would not have had enough time training together. Jim and Fred could easily been given their own later mission.
Or do you think that since the backup crews didn't get as much training the one crewman substitution would have been safer. My initial belief is to switch both the commander and LM pilot. Does anyone have any other thoughts on this?

Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-02-2004 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall off the top of my head that the backup crews received just as much training, if not more, than the primary crew, according to Haise's lecture last year. It's just that the primary crew had first dibs on the simulators.

Reason: the prime crew were often off visiting manufacturers and checking out hardware. When they were out of the area, the backup crew used the sims.

Swigert was fully qualified to fly Apollo 13, Haise said, unlike the movie made him out to be. The only thing they had a concern with was being able to "read" each other, and obviously Swigert passed that on short notice. So I think that if Haise or Lovell were switched instead, the results would have been the same.


Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-02-2004 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know the answer, but that is a damn good question!

Have you thought of posting it on Ed Mitchell's Q+A message board and seeing what he says about it? If you do, please share any answer you get here.




Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 11-02-2004 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall reading somewhere that if it was the CDR or LMP that was "grounded" for a medical reason that close to launch (I believe it was 72 hours, for Apollo 13) the mission would have been delayed for a month, which would have been the next available window.
Substituting the CMP that late in the game, was not that critical to the success of the mission.
Russia (and the old Soviet Union) had incidences where the entire back-up crew replaced the prime crew, when a crew member was grounded.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 All rights reserved.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a