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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Abating the cold temperatures on Apollo 13

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Author Topic:   Abating the cold temperatures on Apollo 13
Careos
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Posts: 13
From: Dayton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 06-01-2017 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Careos   Click Here to Email Careos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing various things regarding Apollo 13. One of our shared questions was when it was so cold in the lunar module and command module, why did they not don their pressure suits?

Even just having them on should have afforded some level of insulation against the cold. Seems odd they would have just sat there in their coveralls and shivered.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38545
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-01-2017 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA flight controller Robert Frost replied to a similar question on Quora on 2013:
1) There wouldn't be room in the module for the three of them, suited up and connected to the PLSS (Portable Life Support System) to move around and do their work.

2) The suits require a power supply for the circulation system. They didn't have the power to spare. Without that circulation system they would have quickly overheated.

3) They did use parts of the suit circulation system to circulate air in the cabin while the cabin fans were turned off, to save power.

4) They also needed to use the PLSS to produce water.

Careos
Member

Posts: 13
From: Dayton, OH, USA
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 06-01-2017 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Careos   Click Here to Email Careos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting, you would have thought wearing them without the PLSS (even just part of them) would have kept them warm and not required any external resources.

I was just thinking of like a space snuggie as opposed to a functioning suit.

MCroft04
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Posts: 1525
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 06-01-2017 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I sat at a table for lunch with Fred Haise once and someone asked him the same question. Fred stated that he and Jim did don their lunar over boots to help keep warm. I asked him if he shared his boots with Jack S. With a wry smile, one of the nicest and kindest astronauts I have ever met responded, "no."

Jim_Voce
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From:
Registered: Jul 2016

posted 12-30-2017 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Voce   Click Here to Email Jim_Voce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It has been noted how cold the temperatures were aboard the CSM and the LM on Apollo 13. I have two questions here:

The LM was working perfectly during the mission and therefore, should have been able to have maintained a comfortable temperature for the astronauts. But perhaps the temperatures in the LM were compromised by cool air coming over from the CSM and the LM did not have sufficient output to compensate for that. Is that correct?

Secondly, the astronauts had their pressure suits available but did not wear them for the duration of the flight. I would have assumed that the pressure suits would have given them a heavy layer of warmth. It is true that the LM would not have been able to hold three men in pressure suits, but Haise spent most of his time inside of the CSM convalescing with an infection. So all three men could have worn their pressure suits. Any idea why they did not wear them?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1178
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 12-30-2017 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim_Voce:
The LM was working perfectly during the mission...
No, it wasn't working "perfectly." The LM was operating at low power levels and wasn't producing enough heat. Also, the vehicle attitude was not conducive to heating. The CSM had nothing to do with it.
quote:
Any idea why they did not wear them?
See above. Also, Haise was not in the CM. Too cold and no working ECS (No O2 added, no CO2 removed, no H2O removed and air movement).

All times are CT (US)

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