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  collectSPACE: Messages
  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Gemini spacecraft thermal protection system

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Author Topic:   Gemini spacecraft thermal protection system
PeterO
Member

Posts: 191
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-13-2012 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two Gemini thermal protection system questions:
  1. How were the thermal blankets covering the equipment module held in place? There must have been a circular frame in the center. Were there radial supports running from the periphery of the module to the center, or did the shape of the blankets hold the shape on their own?

  2. What color was the Gemini heatshield? I would guess the same brown phenolic color as the orbital Mercury heatshield, but I don't ever recall seeing a preflight photo.

mikej
Member

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

posted 05-13-2012 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An unflown Gemini heat shield is actually white.

I've got some photos of Gemini heat shield material on a Gemini trainer at Goddard Space Flight Center and on Gemini 9 at KSC.

Headshot
Member

Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 05-14-2012 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A segment in Spacefilms' Project Gemini DVD set shows a technician installing the thermal blanket at the aft end of an equipment adapter. It is in the bonus materials.

Headshot
Member

Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 05-14-2012 07:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone tell me what the thickness of Gemini's heat shield was before re-entry and after re-entry? I have searched the two Gemini Program conference volumes and the Volume 2 Familiarization Manual. Either I missed it or there's nothing there.

PeterO
Member

Posts: 191
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-14-2012 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the information! I've done more searching, and came up with these Gemini B heat shield photos.

I also have the Spacecraft Films Gemini set, so I'll be checking it out tonight.

space1
Member

Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 05-15-2012 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The adapter insulation was supported in the center by an aluminum tubular ring. Wires were run from this ring upward to the inner adapter structure, with turnbuckles to adjust wire tension. The tension was adjusted to allow the insulation blanket assembly to sag about 3/4 inch. The insulation was retained at the perimeter of the adapter using Velcro.

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John Fongheiser
Historic Space Systems

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