RESULTS OF THE THIRD U.S. MANNED ORBITAL SPACE FLIGHT, OCTOBER 3, 1962

 

APPENDIX: AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATIONS OF THE MA-8 FLIGHT (1/31)

 

[57-120] FIRST PASS

 

The following is a transcript of the MA-8 flight communications taken from the spacecraft onboard type recording. This is, therefore, a transcription of the communications received and transmitted, as well as some inflight comments made by the pilot, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., while in a record-only mode (VOX Record). In some instances, ground-to air communications were not decipherable from the onboard tape. Where possible, these communications were extracted from the Goddard-Mercury Control Center Conference loop tape recording, and are included in the text in brackets followed by the superscript G.

The first column shows the "capsule elapsed time" (c.e.t) from lift-off, in hours, minutes, and seconds at which time the communication was initiated. (The c.e.t. was obtained from the recording of the spacecraft clock commutated time segments which were on the onboard tape. This time was decommutated to analog form and recorded on a special tape, which was processed through a computer). Accuracy of this computed c.e.t. is ± 1/2 second.

At various times throughout the flight, the pilot or range station communicators indicated the precise time of an event by the word "MARK." The exact time at which the word "MARK" was transmitted was determined from the computer and is indicated by the time enclosed in brackets followed by the superscript T.

Communicators are identified as follows:

CC

Space Communicator at the range station.

CF

Flight Director at Cape Canaveral.

CT

Communications Technician at the range station.

P

Pilot.

R

Recovery helicopter from the U.S.S. Kearsarge.

S

Surgeon or medical monitor at the range station

Stony

Blockhouse Communicator.

All temperatures are given in °F; all cabin and suit pressures are in pounds per square inch, absolute (psia); fuel and coolant quantities are expressed in remaining percent of total nominal capacities; oxygen is expressed in hundreds of pounds per square inch (psi, hundreds). Retrosequence times are expressed in "ground elapsed time" g.e.t (hours, minutes, and seconds).

Within the text, a series of dots is used to designate portions of the communication which could not be deciphered. One dash indicates a pause during communication. The station in prime contact with the astronaut is designated at the initiation of communications.

 

CAPE CANAVERAL (FIRST PASS)

Stony

5,4,3.

00 00 02

P

I have the lift-off. Clock has started. And she feels real nice.

00 00 08

CC

Wally, you got a pin for this flight?.

00 00 10

P

Yeah, I got the pins on my office wall. Altimeter's off the peg.

00 00 15

CC

Standby for 20 seconds.

00 00 16

P

Okay.

00 00 18

CC

2,1, MARK [00 00 20]T

00 00 21

P

Roger. Backup started and running good. I'll give you a hack at my 30 [seconds]. Ah, she's riding beautiful, Deke.

00 00 29

CC

Looks real fine from here.

00 00 30

P

MARK 30. Okay. Fuel is okay. Oxygen is okay. All systems appear go, and she's getting noisy.

00 00 42

P

Not at all too noisy. Easy to talk through.

00 00 52

P

Main cabin pressure is remaining on schedule. Fuel is okay. Oxygen is okay. Cabin pressure, 10 psi, and she's really moving.

00 01 16

P

Cape Cap Com, ,Sigma .Seven. Do you read? Over.

00 01 28

P

Cape Cap Com, this is Sigma Seven. How do you read? Over.

00 01 37

P

Cape Cap Com, Sigma Seven. I read you. Over.

00 01 45

P

Cape Cap Com, Sigma Seven. l read. I am broadcasting in the blind; g is building. All systems are go here.

00 01 54

CC

Roger. How do you read now, Wally?

00 01 55

P

I read you beautiful.

00 01 57

CC

You had your transmitter keyed, that's why we couldn't read.

00 02 00

P

l'll be darn. I'm push-to-talk now.

00 02 05

CC

Stand by for staging.

00 02 07

P

I have a RECO. I could see the flash.

00 02 16

CC

Staging.

00 02 17

P

Roger. Staging. Standing by for tower. Fuel looks good. Oxygen looks good.

00 02 25

CC

Roger. Start a new flight.

02 02 27

P

Okay. I'm on push-to-talk, and the sun is coming in the window, now. Okay. There goes the tower.

00 02 35

CC

Roger.

00 02 37

P

Auto retrojett off. This tower really is a sayonara.

00 02 41

CC

That pitch should be about -10 [degrees].

00 02 43

P

Roger. I have about -5 [degrees]. Cabin pressure is holding very well at, right at 6 psia.

00 02 51

CC

Roger.

00 02 52

P

And I'll give an electrical check now.

00 02 54

CC

Roger.

00 03 05

P

Okay, a-c and d-c are all in the green. It looks real good.

00 03 10

CC

Roger.

00 03 14

P

I'll go back on VOX again. How do you read me on VOX now?.

00 03 21

P

Cape Cap Com, Sigma Seven.

00 03 22

CC

Go ahead, Seven.

00 03 24

P

Okay. I'm back on push-to-talk.

00 03 29

CC

Roger. You have a go from Control Center.

00 03 31

P

Roger. Now have a go from me. It's real fat.

00 03 33

CC

Roger. Have a go from here.

00 03 36

P

Roger. It looks real good.

00 03 39

CC

Are you a turtle today?

00 03 41

P

Going to VOX record only. You bet [Correct answer recorded].

00 03 46

CC

Just trying to catch you on that one.

00 03 48

P

Nope-okay. I've finished VOX record.

00 03 51

P

Coming up on 4 minutes. I'll give you a hack.

00 03 54

CC

Good head.

00 04 00

P

MARK. [00 04 00]T.

00 04 01

CC

Roger. Right on the nose ...3 pitch.

00 04 03

P

Okay, and l've got good fuel, about 101-95 [percent]. Oxygen is fat 65-52 [psi in hundreds], correction 72.

00 04 14

CC

Roger.

00 04 22

P

She's starting to build up now.

00 04 25

CC

Roger.

00 04 29

P

Sunlight's in my upper right hand corner of the window, just peeking in at me.

00 04 34

CC

Roger.

00 04 49

P

How is the V/Vr?

00 04 51

CC

I get a 0.8 V/Vr.

00 04 53

P

Good show.

00 04 59

CC

Standby for SECO.

00 05 18

CC

SECO.

00 05 20

P

I have SECO. Cap sep and in aux damp, and it's very pleasant. Going to fly-by-wire, low. Going to fly-by-wire.

00 05 29

CC

Roger. Fly-by-wire.

00 05 32

P

Yaw is answering very nicely. Roll answers nicely. She's turning around very nicely.

00 05 44

CC

You have a go, 7 orbit capability.

00 05 46

P

Say again, I like that kind.

00 05 54

P

I see little ice crystals, I'm sure that's what it is, around me now.

00 06 01

CC

You're a little garbled.

00 06 02

P

Okay. Got a good view of the earth now.

00 06 07

P

Coming around to retroattitude. Corning into retroattitude; and a good shot of the sustainer here. It's right in the window where it belongs .I am pitched up a Iittle bit.

00 06 26

CC

Roger.

00 06 40

P

Okay. Just about into retroattitude.

00 06 46

CC

Roger. We have full communications. Tell me can you confirm retrojett off?

00 06 54

P

That's affirmative. Retrojett is off.

00 06 57

CC

That's fine.

00 06 58

P

Okay. I'm getting set up for yaw. I can see yaw at [- 34] already.

00 07 10

CC

You say you still have some yaw?

00 07 13

P

Roger. I just went into ASCS at about 7 minutes and 10 seconds. The sustainer is silting very steady above me. I should say above, the horizon. And I'm in chimp mode right now and she is flying beautifully.

00 07 34

CC

I'll give you [contingency recovery area] 1-B retro 16 22.

00 07 43

P

Roger. Understand 16 22. Is that correct?

00 07 47

CC

Roger. 16 22.

00 07 51

P

Okay. I've got my chart case out. I'll put that in. I'll send the blood pressure now for the medics.

00 07 59

CC

Roger.

00 08 02

P

Boy! That sustainer looks real cute. I'll pick her up in a moment and track her.

00 08 09

CC

For your information, you are slightly garbled-slightly garbled

00 08 12

P

Okay. I'll use VOX-push-to-talk as much as possible.

00 08 16

CC

Roger.

00 08 21

P

Okay, I'm stopping that blood pressure run. Boy! This ASCS made tracking very nice. The sustainer is very stable. It is not oscillating at all. I see no vapors; it looks very clean

00 08 48

CC

28 25.

00 08 51

P

Say again, Deke.

00 08 56

P

Cape Cap Com Sigma Seven. Say again.

00 09 03

CC

Seven, Cap Com. You are fading-you are fading.

00 09 08

P

Roger.

00 09 15

P

Cape Cap Com. I read you loud and clear.

00 09 29

CC

Sigma Seven, Sigma Seven, Cape Cap Com. How do you read?

00 09 34

P

Cape Cap Com, this is Sigma Seven. I read you loud and clear. How me?

00 10 15

P

Cape Cap Com. Sigma Seven. How do you read?

00 10 31

P

This is Sigma Seven. Squib off. Three retro fuse switches on. Fire-arm on. Going to fly-by-wire, low.

00 11 30

P

This is Sigma Seven. Tracking sustainer very easily in fly-be-wire, low.

00 11 56

P

Am going to manual proportional.

00 12 58

P

This is Sigma Seven. I am now in ASCS auto, retroattitude. Manual proportional works very well.


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