• Short Summary

    The astronauts of Apollo-16 are stepping up preparations for their approaching trip to the Moon.


  • Description

    The astronauts of Apollo-16 are stepping up preparations for their approaching trip to the Moon.

    The mission is due to lift up from Florida on March 17, and John Young, Thomas Mattingley and Charles Duke should go into orbit around the Moon on March 20th 1971.

    John Young and Charles Duke will land on the moon - and make three excursions outside their spacecraft while Thomas Mattingley orbits aboard the Apollo command module.

    The three astronauts have already been quipped with the elaborate space suits they'll wear during their mission.

    So complex are the suits that it takes three months from the time the astronaut is measured at Houston, until his suit is ready to be tested.

    SYNOPSIS: A workshop in Dover, Delaware were spacesuits have been assembled for the three men who in March will take part in the next Apollo Moon mission. It's here that the suite worn by the astronauts are sewn, cemented, assembled - and finally tested. On the Moon, the spacesuit keeps the astronaut alive, and its manufacture calls for precision work - unmatched in any other branch of tailoring.

    The end result from the room - a sophisticated piece if equipment which provides the astronaut with all he needs to stay alive.

    The whole business of building a spacesuit starts in much the same way as the tailoring of any custom-tailored suit. The astronaut is measured. But whereas the conventional tailor might at most require a dozen measurements, the tailor of the spacesuit requires about sixty measurements. And once the measurements are worked out three months work remains before a finished suit can be tested.

    In this production room the inner suit is assembled. It resembles a large balloon -- and is technically referred to as the bladder. Each individual part is assembled to a strict timetable -- that brings all completed pieces together into a finished spacesuit.

    Upstairs -- work on the white outer suit. This complicated equipment consists of seventeen layers -- each has to be cut out and assembled separately. The layers include one of woven teflon to prevent painful rubbing ducting the long hours of wearing. There's a series of nylon restraints to hold the inner suit -- such like the skin of a football. If any of the pieces is as such as thirty-second of an inch out, it must be recut.

    Plaster ???sts are made of the astronaut's hands to ensure that the space gloves are a prefect fit. It taken 160 hours to make a single pair.

    Then to the testing. Each spacesuit is subjected to regears ten times greater than the design requirements of a lunar mission.

    The pressure taste are vital. A suit will be rejected if it shows any sign of leakage once it's pressurised.

    Each of the three men on the Apollo mission has three suits made. One is a training garment -- used until the day of launch.

    The second is the flight suit -- and the third serves as a backup. The last job is the check for fitting. Here, Chorine Duke -- one of the two men who'll walk on the Moon during the Apollo 16 mission tries one of his suits on for size and comfort. The fitting check is done is two parte. First, the inner suit is worn. Then it's taken away for a few hours while adjustments are made. The astronaut returns later in the ??? to try on both the adjusted inner suit and the outer garment. But even here some small fault may be detected - and the suit may go back for further alterations.

    And to the spacesuit is assembled. It's the combined work of many people taking many days of painstaking work. If the suit in lass than perfect to its finishing shape -- it could mean life of death for the astronaut on the Moon.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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