Spacecraft condensation

Prior to re-entry, the crews noticed how the area around the forward hatch up in the CM's apex tended to cool and attract condensation from the atmosphere in the cabin.

"You know, I bet when we splash down out there,'' said Tom Stafford, "this cold water runs all out in that. . .''

"Bet you're right,'' interrupted John Young. "That's probably where all the water comes from.''

"I bet there'll be water galore,'' said Stafford.

"Well, a lot of it's condensing up the hatch, too,'' said Young. "That's a good place for it; there ain't no wires up here. I don't give a shit if we get ice up here as long as there ain't no wiring up there. As long as we don't have to live up there.'' "Good place to put your feet up,'' suggested Stafford.

"If I was designing the spacecraft,'' continued Young, "I'd make the bastard get the water out of it before it ever starts; but once it's designed, that's probably as good a place to have a water separator as anywhere.''

"Did the other spacecraft notice water under there?'' asked Stafford. "I don't know if they ever noticed ice or not. We've got a lot of water up there now, a lot, a lot. Let me get my rag and go up in there and clean it out.''

Small amounts of water were not a problem in the cabin's electrical system, partly as a result of the Apollo 1 fire. One of the changes made to the spacecraft was that all the electrics had to be hermetically sealed. When Odyssey, the Apollo 13 CM, re-entered, its wiring had been chilled for 4 days, gathering condensation that covered every surface, and upon re-entry large quantities of water rained down on the crew.

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