Encyclopedia Astronautica
1966.12.06 - Apollo LM-to-CSM crew rescue said to be impossible


MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton pointed out to ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that LM-to-CSM crew rescue was impossible. Slayton said

  1. there was no way for the portable life support system and crewman to traverse from the LM front hatch to the CSM side hatch in zero-g docked operations, because there was no restraint system or tether attach points in the vicinity of the CSM hatch to permit the crewman to stabilize himself and work to open the hatch; and
  2. there was no way to control the Apollo inner hatch (35-43 kilograms) to ensure that it would not inadvertently damage its seals, the spacecraft wiring, or the pressure bulkhead.

Slayton added that several spacecraft changes, additional training hardware for valid thermal testing, zero-g simulator demonstration, and crew training effort would be required to permit extravehicular crew rescue from LM to CSM. Until this total rescue capability was implemented, manned LM to CSM operations would constitute an unnecessary risk for the flight crew.

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