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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Gemini 7: Surviving spacesuited for 148 hours

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Author Topic:   Gemini 7: Surviving spacesuited for 148 hours
Playalinda
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posted 04-03-2010 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Playalinda   Click Here to Email Playalinda     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just read about the longest Gemini mission -- Gemini 7 -- 148 hours into the flight, Borman got his chance to get out of his space suit to cool down. In the end, the NASA managers decided that there was little benefit in having the crew members suited and so relented after a couple of days.

Borman was wearing his suit and was sweating profusely, but agreed to let Lovell stay out his suit as Lovell was the larger of the two and it required a lot of effort to get in and out of a suit in little more space than the front seat of a car.

I can't imagine that Borman wore his suit 148 hours I mean that's six days from launch and I believe they got to use the restroom as we all do.

Does anybody know how Borman handled this situation?

Lou Chinal
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posted 04-03-2010 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The main entrance zipper of the Gemini suit ran down the back. I'm sure that helped the situation a bit. The original plan was to were flying suits - no spacesuits at all. I don't know who is to blame for that brainchild. What they ended up with was light version of the hood instead of a helmet.

spaced out
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posted 04-03-2010 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When people refer to the early astronauts as heroes for getting into a spacecraft knowing that they could lose their lives I always think that's a bit too simple.

Even knowing the level of risk I think many people would have been prepared to do the same thing given the amazing trips they were going on.

But then there's Gemini 7.

Now that's one mission I really wouldn't have liked to take. There I have to agree that Borman and Lovell were heroes for climbing into that spacecraft. They both deserved seats on man's first trip to the moon for going through that.

astroborg
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posted 04-04-2010 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astroborg   Click Here to Email astroborg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both astronauts are a class act. Incredible what they went through, even more so what Gemini 5 Cooper and Conrad did - going from 8 days to 14 days. True space pioneers.

As a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting Borman back in the 1996 timeframe in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I saw him near the 30's race plane displays (Howard Hughes type planes, etc.) No one seemed to realize it was he, with his wife and another couple. After I told My wife who I thought that was in the museum, she recommended I go ahead and introduce yourself - why miss the opportunity. Shy guy that I was, I went up to his wife first to ask if it would be okay if I could have my three young kids and I interrupt their visit. She said sure - so I did. What a nice lady and guy. Both of them were very gracious. I was so honored to meet one of our nation's heroes, and especially to share it with my kids. Made my day in a big way. No autograph, but that was okay.

Delta7
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posted 04-04-2010 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed that even today Borman and Lovell don't sit too close to each other! (Ah, memories!)

Lou Chinal
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posted 04-05-2010 02:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
But then there's Gemini 7.
Ah yes, I have written before about Gemini 7... and the smell.

ejectr
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posted 04-05-2010 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You would have thought that if NASA made them wear suits for so long, they would have let them depressurize the cabin, open a hatch and throw that stuff out.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 04-05-2010 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't there talk - very quickly dropped -about a crew swap (Lovell for Stafford) after GT-6 became 6A after the Agenda blew up in October 1965, but Borman was dead against anything that detracted from the mission plan, or the chance of completing the primary objective (14 days), and was especially dead against a cabin depress. Am I right in recalling that he saw it as too risky to the overall mission.

ilbasso
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posted 04-05-2010 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
You would have thought that if NASA made them wear suits for so long, they would have let them depressurize the cabin, open a hatch and throw that stuff out.

Unfortunately, that was precisely the point of Gemini VII. The mission was designed to last as long as the longest planned trip to the Moon. No one knew how the human body would function in weightlessness that long. The waste specimens were the "smoking gun" (as it were) of the state of the processes going on within the crew's body as the mission progressed. As such, everything had to be saved for analysis back on the ground.

Lou Chinal
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posted 04-05-2010 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hank, yes both Borman and Schirra were dead set against opening the hatch. The mission of Gemini 7 was to stay up for 14 days.

Bill, I never heard it put quite that way, "smoking gun".

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-06-2010 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do have a memory of the crew being asked about that after the flight, and Jim Lovell saying something about "the smell wasn't so bad as sitting next to Frank Borman for so long a time!"

Jay Chladek
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posted 04-09-2010 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The suits they wore on Gemini 7 were different from all the other Gemini flights anyway as they were something more akin to "bubble boy" type gear rather then full suits that could be shielded against the thermal and direct sunlight effects of outer space. As such, they were much easier to doff and don then the normal Gemini suits (which Conrad and Cooper wore on their eight days or bust mission). Granted they would likely holdup fine in a cabin depressurization situation, but I imagine Frank wasn't too keen on playing that form of Russian roulette just in case.

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