Encyclopedia Astronautica
Apollo Rescue CSM



aporesc2.jpg
Apollo Rescue CSM
The Apollo Command Module as modified to rescue stranded crews for the Skylab program. Two crew + three rescuees packed like sardines....
American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1970. Influenced by the stranded Skylab crew portrayed in the book and movie 'Marooned', NASA provided a crew rescue capability for the first time in its history.

A kit was developed to fit out an Apollo command module with a total of five crew couches. In the event a Skylab crew developed trouble with its Apollo CSM return craft, a rescue CSM would be prepared and launched to rendezvous with the station. It would dock with the spare second side docking port of the Skylab docking module.

During Skylab 3, one of the thruster quads of the Apollo service module developed leaks. When the same problem developed with a second quad, the possibility existed that the spacecraft would not be maneuverable. Preparation work began to fit out a rescue CSM, and astronauts Vance Brand and Don Lind began preparations to rescue astronauts Bean, Garriott, and Lousma aboard the station. However the problem was localized, workarounds were developed, and the first space rescue mission was not necessary. The Skylab 3 crew returned successfully in their own Apollo CSM at the end of their 59 day mission.

Characteristics

Crew Size: 5. Habitable Volume: 6.17 m3.

Gross mass: 16,800 kg (37,000 lb).
Span: 3.90 m (12.70 ft).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Rescue In the early 1960's, in the hey-day of the X-20 Dynasoar, it seemed that the US military would naturally keep building military aerospacecraft that would just keep going higher and faster. It was also supposed that the pilot would have to be given the equivalent of an ejection seat - some means of bailing out of the spacecraft in case of catastrophic failure or enemy attack. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn I American orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun launch vehicle known as 'Cluster's Last Stand' - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it. More...
  • Saturn IB American orbital launch vehicle. Improved Saturn I, with uprated first stage and Saturn IVB second stage (common with Saturn V) replacing Saturn IV. Used for earth orbit flight tests of Apollo CSM and LM. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

Bibliography
  • Furniss, Tim, Manned Spaceflight Log, Jane's, London, 1986.

Apollo Rescue CSM Chronology


1970 December 23 - .
  • Assessment of crew rescue capability for Skylab. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. An assessment of the feasibility of providing a crew rescue capability for Skylab was conducted by KSC, MSC, and MSFC during 1970. The study culminated in a NASA Hq decision to provide a limited rescue capability should return capability fail while the CSM were docked to the OWS. The rescue vehicle for the first two manned Skylab missions would be the next CSM in flow at KSC. Should a rescue call occur, the CSM next in flow would be modified so as to permit a five- man carrying capacity. It would be launched with a two-man crew and return with the additional three astronauts.

1971 March 4 - .
  • A plan was devised to provide a rescue capability for SkyIab in the event the crew became stranded in the OWS because of failed CSM. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. The rescue capability was based on the assumption that the stranded crew would be able to wait in the Skylab cluster with its ample supply of food, water, and breathing gases until a modified CSM capable of carrying five crewmen could he launched. If a failure occurred which stranded the crewmen in their CSM, this rescue capability would not be possible.

1971 April 15 - .
  • Proposed Skylab rescue mission profile requirements were: The trajectory planning for a rescue mission would be the same as the nominal Skylab mission. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Nominal mission duration from launch to recovery would be limited to five days. The orbital assembly would maneuver to provide acquisition light support for the rescue CSM. The rescue CSM would be capable of rendezvous without very-high frequency ranging. Landing and recovery would be planned for the primary landing area; transfer of the crew from the MDA to the CSM would be in shirt sleeves with no extravehicular activity. The KSC rescue launch response time would vary from 10 to 45 1/2 days, depending on the transpired time into the normal checkout flow.

1971 April 29 - .
  • A Skylab rescue kit preliminary requirements review was held at MSC - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. It was determined that the rescue kit could be installed in one shift, that suits would be worn for reentry, and that the center couch would be ballasted for launch. Studies were being conducted to determine the feasibility of jettisoning disabled CSM from the axial port.

1971 November 2-4 - .
  • A Skylab rescue vehicle preliminary design review was held at North American Rockwell. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. The anticipated reentry mode for the rescue vehicle would be with the crewmen suited, thus providing additional return stowage volume for program-critical items. North American would define the return volume and loading available, while MSC would identify the returnable program-critical items. The rescue command and service modules would be designed for both suited and unsuited reentry and for axial and radial docking. The rescue kit would include provisions for the return of five men.

1972 March 7 - .
  • Skylab rescue mission a definite NASA commitment. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. The Skylab rescue mission was a definite NASA commitment. The hardware, procedures, documentation, and training would need to be available immediately after the launch of Skylab 2 for a potential rescue mission. To accomplish this requirement, the rescue mission would be treated as a separate mission in the Skylab Program. The rescue mission would be established as a standing agenda item for major boards and panels, and its status would be reviewed on a regular basis with other missions.

1972 September 1 - .
  • Tests with the rescue mission configured Skylab command module. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. An MSC team was conducting tests with the rescue mission configured Skylab command module at KSC. Purpose of the test was to evaluate the equipment, techniques, and procedures involved in the egress required by a five-man command module loading. Navy and Air Force helicopters were participating in the test.

1972 September 28 - .
  • CSM 119 would be utilized in a dual role: as a spacecraft rescue vehicle for the Skylab Program and later for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Apollo (ASTP); Skylab Rescue. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Summary: However, CSM 111 would continue to be the primary Apollo- Soyuz Test Project spacecraft..

1973 September - .
  • Skylab Rescue (cancelled) - . Crew: Brand; Lind. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Lind. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab Rescue; Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Influenced by the stranded Skylab crew portrayed in the book and movie 'Marooned', NASA provided a crew rescue capability for the only time in its history. A kit was developed to fit out an Apollo command module with a total of five crew couches. In the event a Skylab crew developed trouble with its Apollo CSM return craft, a rescue CSM would be prepared and launched to rendezvous with the station. It would dock with the spare second side docking port of the Skylab docking module. During Skylab 3, one of the thruster quads of the Apollo service module developed leaks. When the same problem developed with a second quad, the possibility existed that the spacecraft would not be maneuverable. Preparation work began to fit out a rescue CSM, and astronauts Vance Brand and Don Lind began preparations to rescue astronauts Bean, Garriott, and Lousma aboard the station. However the problem was localized, work arounds were developed, and the first space rescue mission was not necessary. The Skylab 3 crew returned successfully in their own Apollo CSM at the end of their 59 day mission.

1973 November 26 - .
  • The Skylab rescue mission hardware was on schedule. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Summary: Vehicle rollout to the launch complex was scheduled for 5 December. Integrated testing and the flight readiness test would be completed about 13 December. Flight readiness review dates would only be established if a rescue launch was required..

1974 February 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • KSC was directed to discontinue plans for the Skylab rescue capability and to move the rescue vehicle (SA-209 and CSM-119) back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Summary: Upon completion of this action, Headquarters responsibility for the SA-209 and CSM-119 would be transferred to the Program Director of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program..

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