[FPSPACE] Re Apollo Soyuz

James Oberg jeoberg at comcast.net
Sat Jul 17 08:46:56 EDT 2010

As has been explained to me from multiple sources, the switch configuration was so fouled up that without manual intervention the chutes would never have deployed. Had all three crewmembers lost consciousness or even got temporarilly confused, they would have augured straight into the water. Stafford saved the day (and their lives) by retaining consciousness. But that would never have been necessary (the chutes were supposed to deploy even with an incapacitated crew) had the set-up been done correctly, or if the incorrect set-up had been noticed and fixed prior to the gassing of the crew.

Apparently, however, the incident was very helpful to Slayton's health. The consequently more rigorous than normal medical checkups, especially re lungs, detected a previously unknown medical condition that he was able to get remediative treatment for.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: John 
  To: James Oberg 
  Cc: Robert Law ; fpspace at friends-partners.org 
  Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 7:29 PM
  Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Re Apollo Soyuz

  I've always believed I'd heard the straight skinny on this dramatic event from the public accounts, and to a layman it seemed as complete as possible short of reenacting it in a simulator. Which details have we missed?

  On Jul 16, 2010, at 18:53, "James Oberg" <jeoberg at comcast.net> wrote:

    One of the unsung near-misses of mannerd spaceflight occurred at the very end of the mission -- the three astronauts were very nearly killed by a sequence of crew errors during final aero descent. As far as I can tell, NASA (and the flight crew) has been very reluctant to provide full details of this. 
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