60 votes
Accepted

Was there really a shuttle toilet training device with a "boresight camera"?

Yes, this was the Waste Collection System (WCS) Positional Trainer, located in Building 5 at Johnson Space Center, adjacent to but not part of the Shuttle Mission Simulator Fixed and Motion Bases. ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

Is there a mockup of the ISS on the ground?

There are multiple mock-ups of the ISS, for various purposes: The Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at Johnston space center contains replicas of many modules of the ISS, some of them assembled together. ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
43 votes
Accepted

Apollo simulator practical jokes

From the book "Go Flight!", once the astronauts got an ECG (EKG) of a patient having a heart attack and fed that to the Flight Surgeon during a test run. The surgeon missed it, and was reprimanded for ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
34 votes

Apollo simulator practical jokes

Not exactly a prank, but from an article on Ellison Onizuka: “We were doing simulations of engine-out aborts,” Buchli said. “Most of those wound up in what we called the ‘black zone’ — the area where ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
33 votes

Apollo simulator practical jokes

I don't know if this qualifies as a practical joke or not, but at least it's semi-documented and not too in-jokey. Food and drink was forbidden in the Shuttle Mission Simulator motion base cockpit ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
21 votes

Apollo simulator practical jokes

I can't seem to find the video of it anymore, but at a talk back in (I believe) 2012, STS-135 commander Chris Ferguson described a story from one of his last mission simulator runs. For this ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 17.3k
12 votes
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Were any Apollo-13-specific procedures added to standard training?

Surprisingly, training for contingencies did not increase after Apollo 13. It was more important for astronauts and support crew to follow the same general approach of recognizing problems, ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 47.9k
11 votes
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How do reduced gravity aircraft work?

The "Vomit Comet" and similar zero gravity aircraft, as you say, fly a parabolic trajectory. Here's a description from Wikipedia. Initially, the aircraft climbs with a pitch angle of 45 degrees ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
11 votes
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How many seconds of near-zero gravity are practical with a Reduced Gravity Aircraft?

For the NASA KC-135, this is the trajectory they used to fly, for 25 seconds of 0 G: The Zero-G corporation uses a similar flight plan: Before starting a parabola, G-FORCE ONE flies level to the ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
8 votes

How do reduced gravity aircraft work?

Imagine that you are falling. You would perceive gravity exactly the same way as you would if there were none. (This is one of the reasons that the sensation, even in space, is known as free-fall) ...
BillThePlatypus's user avatar
7 votes

Why didn't NASA re-use more astronaut crew members?

I'm writing this answer as a community wiki. The reasons are manyfold; feel free to add more. @Digger notes that NASA requires Commanders to have previous experience in space. It is therefore ...
7 votes
Accepted

Does NASA no longer own a "Vomit Comet?"

The last NASA reduced gravity aircraft I can find is a C-9, registration N932NA, which is listed as stored (i.e. mothballed at Davis Monthan). This agrees with the note on the Reduced gravity program ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
7 votes

What is the current location of Link-built Apollo Mission Simulators?

Here is a Photograph of the KSC CMS Simulators (x2) and LMS Simulator in the Flight Crew Training Building, from 1968. I toured this building in 1971 with flight crews training in both the CMS and ...
Ross Kuehne's user avatar
7 votes
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Were panoramic images taken during Apollo 15 planned and trained before on Earth?

Unsurprisingly, yes. The book "Science Training History of the Apollo Astronauts" mentions training for photographic panoramas in several places. (These quotes may not be specific to Apollo 15 but it'...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes

How many seconds of near-zero gravity are practical with a Reduced Gravity Aircraft?

50 seconds is actually possible but AFIAK there's no commercial jet with the performance to do it. Every second of zero g produces a downward velocity of 9.8 meters per second. Thus 50 seconds is ...
Loren Pechtel's user avatar
5 votes

How many seconds of near-zero gravity are practical with a Reduced Gravity Aircraft?

Supplemental answer time. OK Go! has just released Gravity is just a habit, the "making of" documentary about the original video OK Go - Upside Down & Inside Out. Not surprisingly, it's ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
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Was it possible to simulate another atmosphere during Shuttle training?

Sure...both nominal and off-nominal Nominal - for shuttle-based EVAs the cabin was depressurized to 10.2 psi for the prebreathe. Both the Single System Trainers (SST) and the Shuttle Mission ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes

Deke Slayton's Molded Mercury Capsule Couch?

There were more than 7 couches made. Image source They were made for "medical personnel" as well as the crew. I have not found an explicit statement on what is shown in the picture in the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Will the Orion glass cockpit with CCD be tested with prospective astronauts on the ground during the upcoming Artemis 1 test flight ? If not, why?

None of what you suggest will be done because the glass cockpit won't be installed for this mission. Instead some kind of funky "tech demo" called Callisto will be flown - which sounds like ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes

Was there really a shuttle toilet training device with a "boresight camera"?

Yes. See the book Packing for Mars by Mary Roach for a detailed and entertaining account. The book is a journalistic journey through the field of human factors in spaceflight.
Alan Barksdale's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Was mission-specific training for Shuttle military flights done at JSC, or somewhere else?

It was done at the Johnson Space Center, in the regular training facilities. The Shuttle Mission Simulator (SMS), for example, (the one I am familiar with) had the capability to run each simulator in ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes
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Deke Slayton's Molded Mercury Capsule Couch?

OrganicMarble's answer shows that there were more couches made than just for the astronauts. The couch labeled "B. NOR" in question's photo most likely belongs to Gilbert B. "Bert" ...
Ludo's user avatar
  • 14.2k
4 votes
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How fast do they spin astronauts these days? Maximum routine g-training for astronauts in the 21st century?

The only centrifuge training received by Shuttle astronauts was a 3g ride in the Brooks Air Force Base facility as new astronauts, followed by optional use of the facility to verify ascent/entry suit ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes

Were panoramic images taken during Apollo 15 planned and trained before on Earth?

From the book "Science Training History of the Apollo Astronauts", link from Organic Marble's excellent answer on page 138: Overlapping the images for a panorama was learned by try and error during ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 48.9k
4 votes
Accepted

What do astronauts have to do for their bodies to withstand launch?

A little expansion on what Digger commented. Assuming you weigh 200lbs, 3 gees will make it feel like you weigh 600lbs. You could imagine it as a 400lb person sitting on you. That's definitely ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
  • 1,042
4 votes
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Payload Specialist Training

This information is from the 2006 version of the Shuttle Crew Training Catalog USA002960 Rev G., which is unfortunately not online. I've put it on my list to upload. You will note a lot of ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

Payload Specialist Training

From NASA's website the payload specialist also must take a comprehensive flight training course to become familiar with Shuttle systems, payload support equipment, crew operations, housekeeping ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
3 votes
Accepted

What happened during this shuttle simulation malfunction involving a failure of a shuttle arm joint while moving the JEF?

tl;dr It went as planned except that vetting of the revised ISS robotics procedure took longer than expected, causing some friction internal to the training team. The setting is an STS-127 joint ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

Are Virgin Galactic tourists asked to take a 6 to 8G centrifuge test to qualify, and if so, what's the point?

https://bis-space.com/membership/voyage/VoyageIssue8-Virgin%20Galactic.pdf confirms that: The Virgin Galactic spaceship is designed to fly almost anyone to space without the need for long term ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
2 votes

What is the current location of Link-built Apollo Mission Simulators?

Don't know if it can help. I found a box with many documents from NASA Gemini and early Apollo mission. Was doing some research and end up to your post. I've got one photo (NASA S-64-20810) taken in ...
Brice's user avatar
  • 21

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