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  [Photos] John Young in Apollo 1-style spacesuit

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Author Topic:   [Photos] John Young in Apollo 1-style spacesuit
carmelo
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Posts: 792
From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 12-05-2011 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does there exist a spacesuit that John Young has not worn? (Maybe a Mercury suit...)

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 12-05-2011 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't believe Young was ever fitted for an LES or ACES suit (even though he was technically still an astronaut during the post Challenger days and I suppose could have been fitted for an early LES so he could evaluate it himself).

Young was on the backup crew for Wally Schirra's Apollo crew when it was going to fly the second block 1 manned flight after Grissom's. So it isn't surprising he got fitted for a suit. It was the crew of Stafford, Young and Cernan (and Gene I recall has told stories of suiting up in support of the earliest Apollo flights as I believe the group was in Downey testing an Apollo CSM when they were called and told about the fire.

Of course, when Wally got the second manned block 1 Apollo flight cancelled, Stafford, Young and Cernan became a support crew, but they were still active in system testing. And of course, they became the Apollo 10 crew (and the backups for Apollo 7) after the fire.

Skylon
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posted 12-05-2011 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not totally right. Apollo 205 (Schirra's flight, the second Block I spacecraft flight) was backed up by Borman, Stafford and Collins. After 205 was canceled, and Schirra's crew became Grissom's backups, Tom Stafford picked up his own crew of John Young and Gene Cernan, and became backups to Jim McDivitt's crew. As you note, after the fire, they became the Apollo 7 backups.

I've seen this picture before, and it always looked to me like Young was wearing simply a Gemini suit in that photo. Maybe his CMP suit wasn't ready yet?

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 12-07-2011 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the clarification.

Well, considering how close in design the suits were to one another, it wouldn't surprise me if he was wearing a Gemini suit (they worked, so why not). I read somewhere else (I believe it was a cS posting) that the Apollo block 1 helmets would fit the Gemini suits as the designs were very much similar except for the head covering to keep the visors from getting scratched on the consoles.

The Block 1 Apollo suits were pretty much just place holders anyway until the ILC suits were ready. Granted NASA had the ILC suits available when they resumed flying after the fire. But I am curious as to if the Block 1 style suits would have been used for the earliest missions if the fire had not happened and the Block 2 spacecraft were ready for flight testing in early 1968.

kr4mula
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From: Cinci, OH
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posted 12-09-2011 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep in mind that John Young was one of several astronauts that spent time with spacesuits as a technical assignment. In that position, he would be the guy fitted for many of the early developmental suits, which were coming fast and furiously in the late Mercury/early Gemini-Apollo era. So you see him in an odd assortment of suits from time to time, more so than many other astronauts.

nasamad
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From: Essex, UK
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posted 12-09-2011 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speaking of John Young in spacesuits, Retro Space Images has just posted on Facebook a great pic of him suiting up in an Apollo suit in 1999!

DG27
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From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 12-10-2011 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a great photo of Young suiting up in the A7LB. (Probably one of the last times those suits were used as they were 25 years old or so by that time).

There are also some interesting photos of Young in an Apollo A2H suit in the Life Photo archive where he and Stafford are suited up.

Regarding the photo of Young in the Gemini style suit which started this thread, the photo shows the crew members on either side of Young wearing modified A6L suits. I'll call these "transitional A6L" suits as these were A6L suits modified with a development Beta cloth TMG to provide full torso coverage, and was not yet the final TMG design used for the A7L suits. Note the open unprotected area around the pressure gauge as well as the absence of Beta TMG covers for the A6L gloves they are wearing.

I agree that (depending on when this photo was taken) John Young may not have had a regular A6L suit to wear at this stage in the program. If so that could be the reason he is in a "Gemini" type suit. It would be interesting to know what was being done when the photo was taken.

The suit torso he is wearing is most likely an Apollo AIC suit as it has the chest mounted snaps for the LPU. However he could be wearing a modified Gemini suit. Since the Gemini program was over and the Gemini suits were excess at this point, several Gemini IVA suits were modified with the LPU snaps for Apollo training use (leading up to Apollo 1).

Also note that the suit is not sized to Young as it bears the "Medium Regular" tag in lieu of the name tag. Is there a date on the photo and a NASA text description that goes with this photo?

Skylon
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posted 12-10-2011 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nasamad:
Speaking of John Young in spacesuits, Retro Space Images has just posted on Facebook a great pic of him suiting up in an Apollo suit in 1999!
Cool! Any specific reason for Young trying on an Apollo era suit at in 1999? Photo-op related to the 30th anniversary of Apollo 11?
quote:
Also note that the suit is not sized to Young as it bears the "Medium Regular" tag in lieu of the name tag. Is there a date on the photo and a NASA text description that goes with this photo?
That would point to it being less likely that Young's wearing a Gemini suit, as he trained on three Gemini crews (prime on GT 3 and 10, backup on 6). One would have probably been tagged for him. Of course, there's a photo from MSFC of Joe Kerwin (with Anna Fisher) wearing a suit tagged "Schweickart" for some reason. So Young's could have been gone, or re-tagged as based on size.

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