Author Topic: Apollo pressure suits.  (Read 2329 times)

Offline BILLR

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Apollo pressure suits.
« on: January 12, 2013, 07:24:24 PM »
After moon EVA, how did the crew re-introduce the commander and LMP pressure suits back into the command module without contaminating the internal atmosphere with possible particles of moon surface material floating around?

Offline BILLR

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 07:35:33 PM »
Sorry, ignore that question. They re-entered with without pressure suits. Stupid of me.

Online Mag40

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 07:37:56 PM »
Sorry, ignore that question. They re-entered with without pressure suits. Stupid of me.

IIRC, the Apollo 12 crew came back in their birthday suits.

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 07:38:16 PM »
They did bring the pressure suits back to Earth inside the CM. I'm not sure how they were cleaned, but it was probably a futile effort.
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Offline Glom

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 07:48:54 PM »
Weren't they all contaminated hence the MQF?

Offline ka9q

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 08:10:49 PM »
Lunar dust contamination was a serious problem. Many astronauts said it's the single most significant technical problem that will have to be addressed by any future lunar exploration program.

Apollo worked out a few procedures to lessen the problem, such as opening a small vent in the LM after docking with the CSM to cause an airflow into the LM that would tend to sweep dust back into the LM. But a lot of dust still ended up in the CM.

Offline Allan F

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 10:37:14 AM »
They did bring the pressure suits back to Earth inside the CM. I'm not sure how they were cleaned, but it was probably a futile effort.

As I understand it, the pressure suits were covered with a specialized garment to protect against abrasion and micrometeroites when it was used on the moon, and the cover was discarded before liftoff, along with outer boots and helmet. All that was retained was the liquid cooled garment and the pressure suit itself.
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Offline ka9q

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 04:49:36 PM »
You sure about that? Aside from gloves, boots, the LEVA and the straps and covers associated with the PLSS, I don't think anything was removed from the suits after the lunar EVAs. The outer layer of the pressure suit is beta cloth, a teflon-coated fiberglass fabric chosen after the Apollo 1 fire for its non-flammability in an oxygen atmosphere. It still seems widely used today.

A special plastic bubble was used to protect the Lexan pressure helmet from scratches before earth liftoff, but it was removed after they were seated in the command module.


Offline Allan F

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 05:23:43 PM »
The suit used inside the spacecrafts weighted around 29 kilos, the add-on suit for EVA weighted an additional 35 kilos. Plus the PLSS and OMS. So yes, I'm pretty sure.

The astronauts wore suits at launch, and they were significally less bulky than the suits worn while on the surface.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline ka9q

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 05:30:20 PM »
Are you accounting for the difference between the EVA suits worn by the CDR and LMP, and the intra-vehicular suit worn by the CMP prior to Apollo 15?

Also, are you looking at the A7L used prior to Apollo 15, or the A7LB used from 15 onward?

Offline Allan F

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 05:35:27 PM »
Figures are from A7LB. And yes, I'm aware they had different suits, relating to their assignments.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline ka9q

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 05:36:19 PM »
If I'm looking at the same figures as you, I think the EVA add-on mass consisted of the LEVA, PLSS, OPS, etc. I simply don't see anything else that could account for such a difference in mass -- except maybe the liquid cooling garment.


« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 05:38:13 PM by ka9q »

Offline Allan F

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 06:22:01 PM »
Reading that again, I see I was mistaken. I had the impression that the 'indoor' suit was complemented by an added exterior tougher shell, when they went outside. Still, some parts of the EVA-suit was discarded before ascent, to save weight.

Edit: So to minimize contamination, the best they could do was to discard the boots, since they were the most contaminated. Wonder why they didn't wear a set of legwraps, which could be discarded like the rip-off visors open-cockpit racecardrivers wear do.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 06:25:19 PM by Allan F »
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline ka9q

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 08:15:53 PM »
The boots were discarded mainly to save weight since they were no longer needed. Same with the PLSS. The OPS and LEVA were kept in case of an emergency EVA transfer from the LM to the CSM, and they were also used during the CMP's EVA on Apollos 15-17.

By the time the seriousness of the dust problem was realized, it was probably too late for any major design innovations to deal with it. And it was serious; just about every Apollo lunar astronaut who was asked for their advice on returning to the moon said it was their single biggest unsolved problem.

Offline Allan F

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Re: Apollo pressure suits.
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 08:48:55 PM »
Like tiny glass shards going everywhere. I really wouldn't like to breathe that. Once in zero-G, didn't the enviromental systems start to take it out of the air?
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.