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  Photo of the week 178 (March 29, 2008)

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Author Topic:   Photo of the week 178 (March 29, 2008)
heng44
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Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
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posted 03-29-2008 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

”Houston, we have a slide-off!” This is a view of the first human test run of the Slide Wire Escape System at Launch Complex 39 Pad A on January 25, 1969 (one month prior to Apollo 9). Riding the cab down from the 320-foot level of the Mobile Launcher are NASA Safety Representative Chuck Billings, astronaut Stuart Roosa and Design Engineering Representative Art Porcher, along with six full-size dummies.

Ed Hengeveld

Tom
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From: New York
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posted 03-29-2008 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Must have been some ride!

Wasn't Charlie Bolden the first astronaut to ride the shuttle escape basket?

Thanks, Ed.

Fra Mauro
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From: Maspeth, NY
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posted 03-29-2008 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Poor Roosa seemed to get the jobs few other astronauts wanted! Too bad he didn't walk on the moon

micropooz
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From: Washington, DC, USA
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posted 03-29-2008 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it interesting that they didn't test it until after Apollo 8...

ApolloAlex
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posted 03-29-2008 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by micropooz:
I find it interesting that they didn't test it until after Apollo 8...

Saying that though if I remember rightly wasn`t there a scene from HBO`s From the Earth to the Moon where you see the Apollo 7 Astronauts do a emergency egress to the Slide Wire Escape System?

And yet again another cracking photo, cheers Ed.

Alex.

------------------
"Why dont you fix your little problem and light this Candle?"

micropooz
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From: Washington, DC, USA
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posted 03-29-2008 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But the Apollo 7 crew went off of Pad 34, not the Pad 39 complex. I can't remember if Pad 34 had a slidewire or not. Even if it did, it would have been considerably shorter than the Pad 39 slidewire.

ApolloAlex
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posted 03-29-2008 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry I just thought they would of had a Slidewire on Pad 34 as well as the Pad 39 complex especially after The Fire.

Cheers, Alex.

------------------
"Why dont you fix your little problem and light this Candle?"

heng44
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posted 03-29-2008 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
@ Tom: Yes, Charlie Bolden was the first to test the Space Shuttle slide wire on July 8, 1988. Two baskets were released. Bolden rode alone in the first one and was joined in the second by closeout crewman Albert Bumgardner and fire rescue crewman George Hoggard.

@ Alex: The Pad 34 slide wire, designed by Chrysler, was 360 meters long and led down from the 65-meter level of the service structure. It was tested on August 16, 1968, by the engineer in charge, Jim Ragusa. It was also tested by astronauts Ron Evans and Bill Pogue. The Apollo 7 crew didn't ride the wire all the way down, but tested only the last portion in September 1968.

Ed

Mr Meek
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From: Chattanooga, TN
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posted 03-29-2008 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the Pad 34 slidewire was more like the Pad 19 wire for the Gemini flights. The astronauts and ground crew could harness themselves to the wire individually, rather than the mass transit systems at Pad 39 A&B.

All of them are a far sight better than the Mercury cherry picker, though.

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 03-30-2008 03:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pity this ain't a color photo.

medaris
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From: United Kingdom
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 03-30-2008 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for medaris   Click Here to Email medaris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a great photo.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-30-2008 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the slide wire ultimately abandoned for the "rubber room" below the pad or were both in place for all the Saturn V launches from LC-39? If both were in use, what dictated the choice between the two? Were there specific emergencies that called for the astronauts to use the slide wire vs. the elevators to the chute that led to the blast room?

divemaster
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posted 03-30-2008 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I recall, Guenter Wendt has talked about riding the Pad 34 slide wire as well as using the slide to the rubber room on Pad 39. I don't recall if he rode the Pad 39 wire - but, knowing Guenter, he probably took the ride.

heng44
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Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 03-31-2008 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both the slide wire and the chute were in place for the Apollo launches, but which system would be used in what type of emergency is not completely clear to me. The slide wire was easier and quicker, according to Charlie Duke, who helped develop both systems. The chute could only be reached by first taking the elevator down to level A of the LUT. There the crewmen could jump in the chute and slide down to the blast-proof room in the base of the concrete launch stand. Total elapsed time was estimated at just under 3 minutes.

There is some great footage of the Apollo 10 crew testing the chute on the Spacecraft Films DVD set.

Ed

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