Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Apollo CM-119 (Skylab rescue vehicle)

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

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Apollo CM-119 (Skylab rescue vehicle)
4allmankind
Member

Posts: 715
From: NJ
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 09-18-2007 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have any recent photos of the interior of Command Module-119, the Skylab rescue vehicle, currently at the Kennedy Space Center's Apollo Saturn V Center?

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-19-2007 04:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I shot a photo up the docking tunnel when I was there a couple years ago, but you can't see much except for maybe some lockers in the lower equipment bay. The way the thing is displayed horizontally on the SM with the hatch pointed straight up, it is pretty hard to get an interior photo of it.

Near as I can recall from reading about it, the thing still had all three standard CSM crew couches in it. The difference was that a couple more couches were added to the lower bay beneath the standard couches. Two would fly it up and bring all five astronauts back. Except for that, it would pretty much look like a standard CSM interior.

compass
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 09-19-2007 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for compass   Click Here to Email compass     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read about this rescue capability NASA had with Skylab in Deke Slayton's book "DEKE" and that it was considered a 'luxury' given no other programme had an option of this kind. I was wondering exactly how viable it actually was, what sort time would likely have been required to implement such a rescue... I'd have thought possibly weeks, hardly days. I'm inclined to suspect it was likely a remote option simply because there was a 'spare' CSM because of all the lunar cancellations.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-19-2007 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That brings me to the question of how the CSMs were "stored" during the Skylab missions. Was the CSM that was docked at Skylab during the mission shut down? Or did they keep it running with minimal (or full) power, using power from Skylab?

compass
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 09-19-2007 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for compass   Click Here to Email compass     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Michael Collins mentions in his book 'Lift Off' that the CSM remained docked to the Skylab, he discribed it as a quiet place where a crewman could retreat to for some peace and quiet on his own if he wished. This is the only record I have come accross on this subject. Collins, of course, never visited Skylab. I suspect it may have been ' powered down' to some extent.

Sy Liebergot
Member

Posts: 458
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 09-19-2007 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In some Skylab book, you may learn that we powered the CSM down to a low level called "passivation." The resulting cryo oxygen boiloff was controlled by leaking it into the Skylab through an installed orifice device. I'm sure that the passivated CM was a good retreat.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-19-2007 11:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The CSMs sent to Skylab were also reconfigured for long term storage compared to their lunar cousins (detuned as it were). The biggest external change was the white painted area around the hatch. Reason for this is that due to the orbit of the station, that one side of the capsule would be in sunlight for a longer period of time, resulting in higher heat loads on it. So paint was used on that one part instead of silver mylar tape since the capsule wouldn't be able to do a passive thermal control roll.

From what I recall research wise, internally the Skylab CSMs didn't carry as much CSM fuel for the SPS and the fuel cells were replaced with large storage batteries. As such the amount of cryo carried into orbit also wasn't as much, since it wouldn't be needed to power the fuel cells. One reason for the switch is that fuel cells can't be reactivated once shut down in flight and storage batteries, while not providing as much electrical juice as the fuel cells, work better for long term flights where a powered down state is desireable. Plus I imagine the Skylab was set up to be able to top off the storage batteries from the station's electrical system prior to disconnect (much in the same way that the CSM could top off an LM's battery and Apollo 13 showed the flow could be reversed).

In terms of the Skylab rescue vehicle, its main use as far as I know was to provide a way for astronauts to return to Earth from Skylab if their craft was disabled AT the space station. If something had occurred after undocking or before with no way to deorbit (such as in the film "Marooned") then to my knowledge the rescue CSM wouldn't be ready quick enough. A transfer of crews also would have been trickier since the CSMs can't dock with one another, so an EVA transfer would need to have taken place.

The Skylab 3 CSM's leaking thruster quads provided a textbook case for the use of the rescue craft, since the Skylab crew was safe and sound at Skylab. They just weren't certain if the craft could bring them home when the time was needed. So the preparation of booster hardware for Skylab 4 was accelerated in case that capability was needed (with the rescue CSM using what would have been the Skylab 4 Saturn 1B). Thankfully it wasn't.

The Soyuz used for Salyut missions also evolved along similar lines. The second generation Soyuz craft first tested in the late 1970s featured storage batteries instead of solar panels for similar reasons as a battery equipped craft worked better for long duration flights in a powered down state. By the time they developed the Soyuz TM series (first flown to the MIR), they went back to solar arrays, probably because the newer designs could survive longer periods in powered down states then the original ones. The power life of the battery powered Soyuz by itself was about two days in orbit.

EDIT: Okay, minor clarification. I found out last night that the Skylab CSMs did still have two fuel cell stacks onboard instead of the three used to fly the lunar flights (ASTP also had three). But the reactants were used up and the energy transferred to Skylab via the electrical umbilical while the two crafts were docked. So, a pair of 500 amp hour batteries were also carried to provide enough electrical juice for post docking and deorbit operations. These batteries were topped off at Skylab before undocking. Also, for the side of the docked CSM that faced away from the sun, electrical heaters were provided to keep the critical components in the SM nice and warm during storage.

Henk Boshuijer
Member

Posts: 379
From: Netherlands
Registered: May 2007

posted 09-23-2007 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there any (NASA) pictures of the interior of the Skylab rescue vehicle? I would love to see the two extra couches in a CM.

mikej
Member

Posts: 374
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 09-23-2007 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a picture, but a detailed drawing appears in Skylab: A Guidebook.

Henk Boshuijer
Member

Posts: 379
From: Netherlands
Registered: May 2007

posted 09-24-2007 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh yes... I have that book, but seeing pictures would be even nicer. But maybe they never made pics (although I think even for engineering purposes pictures must have been made in the seventies).

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 10-30-2009 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If in the event Vance Brand and Don Lind would have had to rescue the Skylab 3 crew, was the plan for Brand and Lind and one of the Skylab 3 crew to pilot the rescue vehicle back? Or would the Skylab 3 crew have taken over the top three seats and Lind and Brand take the basement seats in the lower equipment bay?

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 946
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 10-30-2009 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I read or heard somewhere that Brand and Lind would fly back in the seats they launched in. The other guys would ride in the cheap seats. Now that I think about it - it was a TV interview. I don't know who got the center couch, maybe they drew straws?

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 10-30-2009 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess since Jack Lousma was command module pilot he may have taken the center seat. Though I suppose since Brand and Lind had trained to fly the spacecraft themselves any of the crew could have taken the spare seat.

I have a hard time believing that Alan Bean as mission commander and senior astronaut would take one of the bottom seats. I hope to get a chance to ask them.

compass
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 11-02-2009 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for compass   Click Here to Email compass     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently read that Ken Mattingly, who was considered an expert in CSM systems, described the ECS on the CSM as marginal, indeed he had reservations when crew members on various lunar missions experimented with physical exercise (the extra heat and body perspiration generated by such activity) increasing the load on the ECS. My understanding is that Mattingly considered the ECS was designed and capable of sustaining 'three marshmallows'. With this in mind and the CO2 problems experienced on Apollo 13 was there any upgrade of the proposed rescue crafts ECS?

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-23-2009 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently was able to speak to Vance Brand about the Skylab rescue mission. Specifically I asked him who was to fly the spacecraft home.

Vance said as fare as he could recall, he and Lind had trained to fly the spacecraft as a two man crew both directions. To his knowledge there was no specific plan in place but as fare as he could remember it was he a Lind’s spacecraft and they would fly it home. He also said he could not remember if there was any plan as to who would share the top seat with he and Lind.

My feeling was that they had trained to fly the spacecraft as a pair and that it really did not matter who shared the third upper seat.

Delta7
Member

Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 11-23-2009 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess is that it would have been Owen Garriott in the middle seat, since that was his normal position. He would have been able to help out as such, even if Brand and Lind were trained and able to do everything themselves.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-23-2009 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what he was saying, I really am not sure they had gone that fare in training. Vance Brand could not recall if they did settle who would fly the third coach, though Garriott would likely make the most sense to me as well.

He said their main concern was working out the flight duties and sharing the work load between two crewmen for launch and landing. They trained to work the check lists for a two man landing even though there would be three on the top seats following the rescue because there was the chance they could abort and have to land with out making the rescue.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-25-2009 01:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Main thing about the assign rescue CSM crew is since they would have trained to fly a CSM carrying a load like that, they would be the best to fly it back compared to a Skylab crew which would have trained to fly back a normal Skylab CSM. Reason being is there were probably some minor alterations in the checklist procedures and perhaps the equipment loadout as well. As such, even I can see Al Bean riding as a passenger given that the drivers of his ride home would know that particular craft better then he did.

Proponent
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 11-25-2009 10:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Proponent   Click Here to Email Proponent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delta7:
My guess is that it would have been Owen Garriott in the middle seat, since that was his normal position.

To go off on a bit of a tangent, why was Garriott in the middle seat in the first place? This seat was usually occupied by a CMP, no? If so, wouldn't it have made more sense for Lousma, a pilot rather than a scientist, to occupy the middle seat?

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-26-2009 08:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I talked to Vance Brand a few weeks ago, he said they had not thought much about who would fly the third upper seat. He and Lind were only concerned about flying the spacecraft as a two crew configuration. They trained to fly a complete mission as a two man crew.

When the rescue was scrubbed he and Lind immediately began working in the Sims on ways to bring the Skylab 3 spacecraft home with the malfunctioning quads.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 12-01-2009 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Proponent:
To go off on a bit of a tangent, why was Garriott in the middle seat in the first place? This seat was usually occupied by a CMP, no? If so, wouldn't it have made more sense for Lousma, a pilot rather than a scientist, to occupy the middle seat?

The CMP and LMP seat position roles for launch seemed to get flipped occassionally. It was done in Apollo 11 anyway with Buzz the LMP occupying the middle seat and Mike in the far right seat (where the LMP normally would sit) for launch. Besides, the scientist astronauts were just as well trained as the pilots and Garriott could have done the job just as well regardless of which seat he was in. Garriott also had responsibilities on that flight to call out range and rate data to Al during the Skylab rendezvous and docking, and that is easier accomplished with the two men sitting next to one another. Garriott did the job very well considering their thruster problems hobbled the CSM's response in the manuevers.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 12-24-2009 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The recent thread on the LMP role made me think back to this one. True, the SL-R trained to fly the Command Module as a 2-person crew. But wouldn't the CMP for all of the LM missions (Apollos 9-17) have trained to fly the CSM by himself, if for some reason his crewmates never made it back to the CM because of a LM malfunction?

I would be very interested to learn more about what the CMP would have been able to do by himself in this scenario. Obviously it would be tough for one person to run all those panels by himself, even with Houston looking over his shoulder.

Proponent
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 12-25-2009 02:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Proponent   Click Here to Email Proponent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
When I talked to Vance Brand a few weeks ago, he said they had not thought much about who would fly the third upper seat. He and Lind were only concerned about flying the spacecraft as a two crew configuration. They trained to fly a complete mission as a two man crew.

Would it have been Brand on the left and Lind in the middle?

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 946
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 12-25-2009 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On ASTP the plan was in emergency to stay put. You would fly home in the spacecraft you were in at the time. So all three of the Apollo Astros were trianed to land the CM solo. This raises the question of returning FOUR guys in a Soyuz. The training manuals clearly stated NO EVA were to be attemped. I think(notice I say think)the same was true for an Apollo rescue craft. Brand and Lind had to assume that they were not going to make the rendezvous.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 12-25-2009 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Proponent:
Would it have been Brand on the left and Lind in the middle?
To be honest, I never thought to ask Vance Brand about how he and Lind were configured prior to rendezvous with Skylab. I always assumed Brand would take the commanders seat and Lind would take the CM Pilot seat but it is something I never thought to ask.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 12-28-2009 12:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
I always assumed Brand would take the commanders seat and Lind would take the CM Pilot seat but it is something I never thought to ask.
In orbit it didn't really matter all that much as the second guy could float between the center and right side stations easily to flip switches and monitor instruments as needed. But my assumption is the station utilized for the docking itself by Lind would be the center one. Reason being is the center console is used for RCS management and entering computer commands (both critical for docking). Plus it has a second 8 ball display and can see the other displays on the CDR side easily enough. As such, the crewmember in the center seat has what he needs to fly the CSM, should the CDR not be able to due to a hand control failure.

Shikedants
New Member

Posts: 8
From: Old Tappan, NJ, USA
Registered: Feb 2013

posted 03-03-2013 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shikedants     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I might have a picture from the tunnel down. Not a great one, but one I think I took at KSC in November 1981. I don't know how to post a picture though. Send me an e-mail and I'll forward the picture to you.

mikej
Member

Posts: 374
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 03-03-2013 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've got a couple of photos down the docking tunnel on my web site.

sev8n
Member

Posts: 55
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 03-03-2013 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I photographed CM-119 at KSC in January 2012. Based on what is visible in my photos I'd say the seats are no longer installed.

Delta7
Member

Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 03-04-2013 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did any other Skylab astronaut pair train to fly the rescue mission, if not as a full-fledged backup crew? I would guess there must have been some contingency plan in case the mission was needed and either Brand or Lind couldn't fly for whatever reason. I would assume it would have been another CDR/PLT pair such as Carr/Pogue or Schweikart/McCandless. Or even Conrad/Weitz.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-04-2013 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I asked Vance Brand about the rescue mission at the 2009 ASF show. He said to his recollection he and Don Lind worked the rescue operation in the sim to ensure they could fly the rendezvous up with Skylab as a two man crew.

Once they were sure they could do it, they spent the remainder of their time trying to put themselves out of work by simulating the Skylabs 3's crippled CM with various quad thrusters out. They were able to fly the spacecraft in the sim with out the full array of thrusters so the rescue option was not needed. While I never thought to ask, I suspect only Brand and Lind were involved in actual rescue flight operations sims.

But I could be wrong. As I said I never thought to ask.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 03-04-2013 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since the original thread, I conducted a little research into CSM-119 as part of my space stations book research.

According to the NASA ASTP history book "Handshake in Space" CSM-119 was the engineering backup to the craft that flew the ASTP mission (CSM-111). Part of the budget for ASTP had CSM-119 being retrofitted into a duplicate of CSM-111, so that is likely when the extra crew couches got removed.

As for Vance's recollection, that jives with what is found in the book "Homesteading Space".

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 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement