NASA Podcasts

Historic Recordings: KSC Reports 3, Interview with Don Cromer, Gemini 8 Spacecraft Test Conductor
1966
 
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Sound of rocket engines firing

LAUNCH COMMENTATOR:
Four...

Sound of rocket engines firing

NARRATOR:
KSC Reports -- a weekly coverage of events of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John F. Kennedy Space Center.

NARRATOR:
Gemini Spacecraft 8 is now at the Kennedy Space Center for preparations and testing. Many pieces of special equipment will be installed and checked out to ready the spacecraft for a scheduled test late this month with the target vehicle that will be used during the actual Gemini 8 flight. Gemini 8 Spacecraft Test Conductor Don Cromer says the spacecraft and target vehicle will be placed atop a 50-foot high timber tower for the test.

CROMER:
We're doing a two-day test. The first day, being a functional, both in the docked and undocked modes, to verify system compatibility. The second day will be a mission simulation wherein we'll use the flight crew, the astronauts, and we'll simulate the mission from rendezvous and go through the docking exercise and perform docking maneuvers similar to what they'll use in the actual orbit condition. We will physically dock only partially mechanically in that we can't completely dock due to the one-G environment on the vehicles. We'll try to simulate this as close as possible, however.

NARRATOR:
Extravehicular activity -- EVA -- by astronaut David Scott is scheduled as part of the Gemini 8 mission. Cromer says that the astronaut's life support system for his walk in space will also be tested on the timber tower.

CROMER:
One interesting piece of equipment that we will be checking on the timber tower this time involves the extravehicular life support system that will be used by Scott when he EVAs in orbit. This is a backpack and a chest pack which he hooks up to with a 25 and 75-foot umbilical connection. We'll want to use the Plan X timber tower test to verify the RF compatibility of these EVA cables and the proper operation of the life support system. RF compatibility tells us that the two spacecraft do not interfere with each other electronically in their radiation both communications and tracking devices such as the C-band antennas and so forth. Communications is hardlined through the umbilical and he will be talking using the spacecraft transmitters. He also has a small transceiver in the backpack which he can switch to in case of emergency. Our function will be to check both of these modes of operation and be sure that the radiation environment is not harmed in any way by the other vehicle radiation or by the position of the cables, etcetera.

LAUNCH COMMENTATOR:
Four...

Sound of rocket engines firing

NARRATOR:
This has been KSC Reports... a weekly coverage of events at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John F. Kennedy Space Center.

 
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