LTV Ingress Procedure
- Ascent Stage completes rendezvous with LTV
At this point, all 3 crew are strapped into couches on the
Ascent Stage and tethered to the Ascent Stage.
Pilot maneuvers Ascent Stage to a simple capture latch; or
alternatively one of the crew members reaches out and grabs a
handrail. (The alternative is rather sporting, but I don't
think it'll work due to the geometry of the two spacecraft.
There also might be an issue with closure rates and human
- Fasten tethers to
tether loops on LTV handrails.
Now they're tethered to both vehicles. On Shuttle suits, there
are two loops on the waist ring for this purpose.
Engage hard latches to affix the Ascent Stage rigidly to LTV.
(We'll reuse the Ascent Stage on the next flight, so
we want to keep it.)
- Break tethers to Ascent Stage.
- Translate along handrails to LTV hatch.
The hatch is the berthing port where the LTV was previously
attached to the airlock. (The airlock is now on the moon.)
Now it's just a door in the end of the module.
- Depressurize LTV, if it's not already depressurized.
I haven't put any thought at all into whether we'd want to
depressurize the LTV when the crew heads for the moon and leave
it that way, or leave it pressurized until they get back.
For this flight we'll depress the LTV by simply venting the
atmosphere to space. That saves the weight and cost of a pump
and another storage tank, at the expense of wasting some
- Open hatch
- Tether to interior of LTV
- Break exterior tether
- Ingress LTV
- Close hatch
- Repress LTV
That might sound like a lot of complicated tether operations. Tethers are
certainly a nusiance, but they're a whole lot better than becoming
disconnected from the spacecraft.
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