water egress training

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June 1966, The Apollo 1 astronauts during water egress training.

Apollo 1, initially designated AS-204, was the first manned mission of the United States Apollo program, which had as its ultimate goal a manned lunar landing. The low Earth orbital test of the Apollo Command/Service Module never made its target launch date of February 21, 1967. 

A cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test on January 27 at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 killed all three crew members—Command Pilot Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee—and destroyed the Command Module (CM). 

The name Apollo 1, chosen by the crew, was officially retired by NASA in commemoration of them on April 24, 1967.

(5 May 1971) — The Apollo 16 prime crew relax aboard the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever during water egress training activity in the Gulf of Mexico. They are, left to right, astronauts Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot; John W. Young, commander; and Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot. The Command Module trainer was used in the training exercise.

(18 June 1966) — Astronaut John W. Young, prime crew command pilot for the Gemini-10 spaceflight, sits in Static Article 5 during water egress training activity onboard the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever. The SA-5 will be placed in the water and he and astronaut Michael Collins will then practice egress and water survival techniques. At right is Gordon Harvey, Spacecraft Operations Branch, Flight Crew Support Division. Photo credit: NASA

(5 Aug. 1968) — The prime crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7, participates in water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. In hatch of the Apollo egress trainer (command module) is astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr. Sitting in life raft are astronauts Walter Cunningham (on left) and Donn F. Eisele. A team of MSC swimmers assisted with the training exercise. The inflated bags were used to upright the trainer prior to egress.

Water Egress Training

Astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr., Gemini 5 pilot, sits in the Gemini Static Article 5 spacecraft and prepares to be lowered from the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever for water egress training. The rubber hat on Conrad’s head is a neck dam and pulls down and fits tightly around the collar of his suit to prevent water from entering the suit.

Image Credit: NASA