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  Lunar surface training at Kennedy Space Center (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Lunar surface training at Kennedy Space Center
LM-12
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posted 11-15-2014 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim Lovell and Deke Slayton can be seen in this 1972 training photo taken at the Kennedy Space Center. Who is wearing the pressure suit?

golddog
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posted 11-16-2014 02:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for golddog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LRV, and red stripes on the PGA, can only be either Scott, Young, or Cernan - or the back up commanders.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-16-2014 05:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not Scott, but could only be Young, Cernan, or even Haise.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 11-16-2014 05:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At first I thought it was Gene Cernan. His suit does not appear pristine and I have seen a number of pictures over the years that show Gene wearing Dave Scott's dust stained flown suit and a back-up PLSS with a cream betacloth cover... but I am sure it is John Young.

The following image numbered KSC-72PC-0143 depicts Charlie Duke on the same training session; March 2nd, 1972.

LM-12
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posted 11-16-2014 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that everyone. You can see Duke partially hidden behind Young.

Delta7
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posted 11-16-2014 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
Not Scott, but could only be Young, Cernan, or even Haise.

Scott was the backup CDR of Apollo 17 until May 1972. So it could be him, but my guess is it's Young.

J.L
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posted 11-16-2014 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is definitely Young... March 2, 1972.

LM-12
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posted 11-16-2014 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the Apollo 13 crew was the first to use the lunar surface training area, located behind what was then the Flight Crew Training Building.

From this 2014 FCTB document:

Between September 25 and December 27, 1969, NASA installed a simulation of the lunar surface, called the Lunar Surface Training Area, to the southeast of the FCTB (Figure No. A-13). Here, astronauts practiced conducting the experiments they were scheduled to perform while on the Moon (Figure No. A-14). They also trained with a one-gravity version of the Lunar Roving Vehicle over a roughly 1.1-mile course, playfully referred to as the 'rover racetrack' (Figure No. A-15).

LM-12
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posted 11-17-2014 06:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like Al Bean may have based his "Helping Hands" painting on this Apollo 17 training photo.

APG85
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posted 11-17-2014 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I assume (judging by the document) that virtually nothing remains of the training area today?

LM-12
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posted 11-18-2014 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
I have seen a number of pictures over the years that show Gene wearing Dave Scott's dust stained flown suit
The best photo I have seen showing that is KSC-72PC-347.

How many astronauts trained to walk on the moon? By my count, it was 16. That includes Lovell, Haise, Engle and Gordon.

Delta7
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posted 11-18-2014 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
How many astronauts trained to walk on the moon?
If you mean those that were assigned to a two-man lunar landing crew as prime and/or backup, the count is 16:

Group 1: Shepard.
Group 2: Armstrong, Conrad, Lovell, Young.
Group 3: Aldrin, Bean, Cernan, Gordon, Scott.
Group 4: Schmitt.
Group 5: Duke, Engle, Haise, Irwin, Mitchell. *

*Carr was briefly assigned with Haise on the Apollo 16 backup crew, but never officially announced.

Fra Mauro
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posted 11-18-2014 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's hard to believe that they used a suit that was on the Moon for training purposes. I guess budget realities took priority over history.

APG85
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posted 11-18-2014 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's been a lot of discussions about the use of that flown suit for training. I believe you can see the effects that the wear and tear of training had on it as it looks today...

LM-12
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posted 11-18-2014 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some of those 16 astronauts trained for three moonwalks.

This Apollo 15 training area photo shows a structure in the background. Might that be the wooden Boresite Range Tower where the Gemini and Agena spacecraft docking exercises were done?

LM-12
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posted 11-18-2014 11:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This webpage has an April 1972 Spaceport News article about the Lunar Surface Training Area at KSC.
At launch time, Young and Duke will have each spent approximately 500 hours on lunar science training, 150 hours of which will have been spent at the Spaceport's Lunar Surface Training Area.

LM-12
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posted 11-22-2014 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by J.L:
That is definitely Young... March 2, 1972.
That was a good month for Deke Slayton. From his NASA biography:
Slayton was restored to full flight status and certified eligible for manned space flights in March 1972, following a comprehensive review of his medical status by NASA's Director of Life Sciences and the Federal Aviation Agency.

LM-12
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posted 12-18-2014 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This image is one of the Apollo 16 crew photos taken on that same day at the Lunar Surface Training Area.

The schedule for March 2 included EVA 2 & 3 training for Young and Duke, and KC-135 training for Mattingly.

Fra Mauro
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posted 12-18-2014 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like it was taken the same day as the cover photo for TV Guide.

LM-12
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posted 12-19-2014 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is that cover photo for comparison.

Are the umbilicals crossed on John Young's suit? One connector is an inlet, and the other is an outlet. You can see him better in this high-res photo.

Ronpur
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posted 12-20-2014 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, missed that, obviously.

LM-12
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posted 12-21-2014 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Golf balls on the moon were preceded by a football at the training area as seen in this Apollo 14 photo of Shepard and Mitchell.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 12-21-2014 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...not to mention an Armadillo!

Ronpur
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posted 12-24-2014 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by APG85:
I assume (judging by the document) that virtually nothing remains of the training area today?
I wish they would have pointed that area out when the tours used to go to the crew training building. Even though there is a lot of sand around Florida, it would have been cool to walk on THAT sand!

LM-12
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posted 12-24-2014 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photo dates have both the Apollo 15 prime and backup CDR/LMP suited up in the Lunar Surface Training Area on the same day.

Photo 71-HC-731 shows Scott and Irwin.
Photo 71-H-1124 shows Gordon and Schmitt.

Both photos are dated 14 May 1971.

J.L
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posted 12-24-2014 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Note "released" on May 14, 1971. Dates on NASA HQ images (H/HC) are rarely correct. KSC would forward prints or negatives of KSC activities to HQ for them to release as well. The date many times would reflect the day that they (HQ) released the print, not necessarily when it was taken. This is not always the case, but it is more often than not.

The prime crew for Apollo 15 suited-up and went through some EVA training for the press with the LRV mock-up on May 11. This was the same day as the rollout.

LM-12
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posted 12-24-2014 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I am reading the training schedule correctly, Gordon and Schmitt were suited up for EVA #1 training on May 14. Scott and Irwin were in Houston.

LM-12
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posted 01-07-2015 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photo KSC-70PC-487 shows Apollo 14 backup LMP Joe Engle suited up at the KSC lunar surface training area in 1970.

According to the ALSJ suit serial numbers chart, his Apollo 14 training suit (#015) is the same suit that Rusty Schweickart wore (#015) on Apollo 9 in 1969.

So is Engle wearing a flown EVA suit in the photo?

hlbjr
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posted 01-10-2015 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And in the background in photo KSC-70PC-487 is the fabled Gemini astronaut suit up trailer in front of the Flight Crew Training Building.

LM-12
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posted 01-25-2015 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some post-flight comments by Dave Scott and Jim Irwin about time spent at the lunar surface training area:
SCOTT: One-g walkthroughs. The rock pile. We've discussed this, particularly on the way back. I don't think we would have traded any one minute of that, particularly the suited operations. That really prepared us for the surface work. There were some suggestions toward the end that we run shirtsleeve. We both decided to run suited up to the end, and I'm glad we did. I think every exercise we had out there in suits was well worthwhile.

IRWIN: The work on the lunar surface was not much different from what we experienced on the rock pile. We didn't sweat as much, but it seemed like the work was about the same.

SCOTT: If we could get LCGs in the training suits, and the training backpacks, we'd have an excellent simulation of the lunar surface, in spite of the fact that you'd have the heavy backpacks. That was excellent training. I agree with Jim. The surface operations were not too much different from what we'd experienced on the rock pile. You gain an awful lot by going out there and working on the rock pile back of the simulator building.

The addition of the geology stops there at the Cape is good. We didn't have the opportunity to exercise all those rocks they'd put out there for us, but I think the following crews will find it very useful to drive the Rover and go through the procedures of getting off the Rover and doing the geology, the sequence of events with the high gain antenna, the LCRU, and everything. It was very good training.

LM-12
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posted 02-03-2015 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Apollo Program Summary Report table shows that Apollo 15 had by far the most lunar surface activity training sessions.

mach3valkyrie
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posted 02-06-2015 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does the same report list the dates and places of the geology field trips? I know some were in Central Oregon, south of Bend, but in the '60's.

LM-12
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posted 02-06-2015 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The APSR doesn't seem to go into those details.

LM-12
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posted 04-29-2015 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This undated gag photo apparently shows James Lovell suited up in the training area. (Heritage Auctions has the autographed photo in their May 22 auction.)

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 04-29-2015 03:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody a notion where I might find the original gag image in hi res... what with Jim Lovell's appearance in the UK later in the year?

Ken Havekotte
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posted 04-29-2015 04:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The gag photo referred to here was shown to Lovell several years ago, however, he told me it wasn't him! I thought perhaps it was Haise (nope it wasn't) or a backup Apollo 13 crewman (either Young or Duke) "jokingly trying" to be the commander of the mission. I never did ask Duke, but will do so next time I see him. Any other thoughts?

LM-12
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posted 04-29-2015 04:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does the Lovell signature look authentic?

Also, it might be an Apollo 14 training photo.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 04-29-2015 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, indeed, the Lovell signature and inscription are authentic. And if I recall, the time-frame on the picture was early 1970 with an Apollo 13 reference.

LM-12
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posted 04-30-2015 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't recall seeing that red marking, whatever it is, on any other LEVA helmet.

J.L
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posted 04-30-2015 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a small ribbon... goes along with the garters.


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