In the Apollo 13 movie, the crew take refuge in the Lunar Module, the temperature drops and they suffer the cold in their shirtsleeves.

Is this accurate? Is there a reason they couldn't wear their A7L pressure suits to keep warm? I don't mean powered up with their helmets on, just the main body of the suit to provide some extra insulation

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    $\begingroup$ Donning and wearing a pressure suit with three persons in the very small LM cabin designed for only two astronauts would have been difficult. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 11:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Uwe Couldn't they don them in the CM and move to the LM? I know space was tight in the LM, but there were places for the two lander crew at their flight stations, and the diagram on Wikipedia shows a crewman sitting on the engine cover - upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/LEM-linedrawing.png $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


The cold was unpleasant but tolerable. Trying to function in space suits for days would have been worse. As Uwe said in the comments, they are bulky. They are also uncomfortable and stiff (although the greatest stiffness comes from pressurization). And, probably not least, they are not designed to accept and retain human waste for days. Taking them off every time you needed to go would have been a huge hassle.

I've read Lost Moon/Apollo 13 and also the earlier book Thirteen: The Apollo Flight that Failed, and it doesn't sound like the idea of using space suits as overcoats was even considered.

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    $\begingroup$ As I recall, at least one of the Apollo crews spent much of the transit time au naturel due to the hassles of waste management. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 0:06
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexHajnal citation needed $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Will provide if I can track it down $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 0:06

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