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Crew Couches

Three crew couches are located in the Command Module.  The couches are produced by the Weber Aircraft Division of Walter Kidde and Co., Burbank, Calif (who also produced a range of aircraft ejection seats and the ejection seats used for Gemini).  The couches are individually adjustable units made of hollow steel tubing and covered with a heavy, fireproof fiberglass cloth (Armalon).  The couches are supported by a head beam and two side stabilizer beams, which are in turn supported by eight attenuator struts (two each for the Y and Z axes and four for the X axis), which absorb the impact of landing.

Image of Crew Couches The couches support the crew during acceleration and deceleration, position the crew at their duty stations, and provide support for the spacecraft's translation and rotation hand controls, lights, and other equipment. A lap belt and shoulder straps are attached to each of the the couches.

 The couches can be folded or adjusted into a number of seat positions. The one used most is the 85-degree position assumed for launch, orbit entry, and landing. The 170-degree (flat-out) position is used primarily for the center couch, so that crewmen can move into the lower equipment bay. The armrests on either side of the center couch can be folded footward so the astronauts from the two outside couches can readilyt slide over them .  The hip pan of the center couch can be disconnected and the couch pivoted around the head beam and laid on the aft bulkhead (floor) of the Command Module. This provides room for the astronauts to stand and provides easier access to the side hatch for extravehicular activity.

The three couches are essentially the same. The head rest can be moved 16 cm (6 1/2 inches) up and down to adjust for crewman height.  Two armrests are attached to the back pan of the left and right couches. The center couch, which is occupied by the Lunar Module Pilot during launch, has no armrests. The translation and rotation controls can be mounted to any of the four arm rests. A support at the end of each armrest rotates 100 degrees to provide proper tilt for the controls. The couch seat pan and leg pan are formed of framing and cloth, and the foot pan is all steel. The foot pan contains a boot restraint device which engages the boot heel and holds it in place.

Diagram of couch

The couch restraint harness consists of a lap belt and two shoulder straps which connect to the lap belt at the buckle. The shoulder straps connect to the shoulder beam of the couch. The lap belt buckle is a lever- operated, three-point release mechanism. By pulling a lever, the shoulder straps and right-lap belt strap will be released. The strap ends and buckle have button snaps which are fastened to mating snaps on the controllers and struts to prevent them from floating during zero gravity.Couch Positions

Couch Positions

Last updated: 2017-02-17