posted 11-05-2017 09:37 AM
On John Glenn's Friendship 7 flight, a signal was picked up in Mission Control that indicated that Friendship 7's landing bag had partially deployed. This news of course created great fear that Friendship 7's heat shield had been jarred loose. In the end however, it was discovered that the landing bag signal was caused by a faulty switch aboard the Mercury spacecraft.
Is it true that the landing bag deployment signal was visible only on Mission Control's end? In other words, Glenn could not see any indication on the spacecraft's control panel indicating that the landing bag had deployed?
And is it also true that the astronauts aboard the Mercury spacecraft could manually activate the landing bag?
Posts: 681 From: Streamwood, IL USA Registered: Feb 2012
posted 11-05-2017 11:06 AM
The diagram of Glenn's Mercury instrument panel shown in Figure 2-4 of Results of the United States Manned Orbital Space Flight February 20, 1962 (no NASA EP or SP number) does indeed show a Landing Bag indication light. Next to it is a switch with positions labelled Auto, Off, and Man.
Posts: 30 From: Lawrenceville, GA 30043 Registered: Feb 2014
posted 11-05-2017 07:37 PM
The Segment 51 error was picked up by the ground tracking stations but Glenn had no visibility to this particular reading. The fact that his internal landing bag deploy light was not illuminated pointed to the Segment 51 error being erroneous.
If I remember correctly, they asked Glenn if he heard any noises from the rear of the spacecraft. He knew something was amiss when he was instructed to leave the retro package on for the reentry.
Posts: 116 From: Registered: Jul 2016
posted 11-05-2017 11:53 PM
Thank you so much for the great answer.