12/15/97 L-15 weeks Water survival training
This week we had the opportunity to practice some of our contingency skills. It is possible, under controlled, level gliding conditions, to bail out of a damaged orbiter using an escape pole deployed from the orbiter side hatch. Each crewmember's suit is pressurized with oxygen, and we wear survival gear during launch and entry. The entire package weighs about 80 lbs.
In JSC's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory we're hoisted up by our parachute harness and dropped (with great ceremony) into the pool. Its then time to practice using the liferaft, radios, signalling devices and food that make up our survival gear. Siphon hoses are very effective for bailing out a raft or dousing your crew mate. A couple of practice tumbles into the pool through a simulated orbiter hatch completes the training.
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