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Encyclopedia Astronautica
1966.11.18 - NASA plans to include the DOD's astronaut maneuvering unit "back pack" aboard AAP flights.


As requested by Robert C. Seamans, Jr., at the monthly program meeting during October, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller summarized the agency's present plans for including the DOD's astronaut maneuvering unit 'back pack' aboard AAP flights.

The unit was first flown aboard the Gemini IX mission, but EVA problems forced an early termination of the experiment. At the end of September 1966, NASA had eliminated the unit from the Gemini XII mission in order to concentrate efforts on investigating the basic fundamentals of EVA. Mueller told Seamans that the astronaut maneuvering unit could be incorporated into AAP flights without compromising primary objectives of the Orbital Workshop mission. At the request of the Air Force, Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc., the unit contractor, was working with both North American and McDonnell to identify modifications needed to integrate the back pack into the Apollo CSM and AM. Although the Air Force had not yet asked that the astronaut maneuvering unit be assigned to AAP, officials were studying the desirability of committing the estimated cost of $2.5 million to $3 million to do so. If indeed the military service made this commitment, Mueller told Seamans, NASA planned to carry one unit aboard the SAA-210 and the SAA-211 and 212 missions.

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