Gemini 9A Model - Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU)

Whole Object Name

Gemini 9A Model - Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU)

Collection

Space Oddities

Description

Part of the model of the rear of Gemini 9A. Used in the filming of the drama-documentary ‘The Last Man on the Moon’, produced by Mark Stewart Productions in 2013. The film focuses on the life of Gene Cernan. As well as being the last man on the Moon, Cernan flew aboard the Gemini 9A mission in 1966. The Model itself is designed to represent the rear of the Gemini spacecraft and the Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU), which Cernan strapped himself into on his EVA (Extravehicular Activities).

The AMU was essentially the first rocket pack for use in space, designed to act as a propulsion system for astronauts on EVAs. The AMU was a backpack that would propel astronauts using hydrogen peroxide, which would come out as a hot gas necessitating extra heat resistant materials to be used on the user’s spacesuit. The model of the AMU attaches to a central framework support, as the authentic device was positioned on the rear of Gemini 9A ready for Gene Cernan to climb out and attach himself to. The model comprises of a seatbelt to hold the astronaut in place, two arms for controlling propulsion and a small saddle seat. On the rear of the unit there are markings that designate where and how to fix the unit to the main framework of the model.

Cernan’s EVA was beset with problems from the start and proved to be one of the most eventful EVA’s in NASA's history. Cernan’s suit proved difficult to use, as once it reached full pressure it became rigid with little flexibility. Planned testing of the use of the umbilical life support tube as a means for moving about in space were unsuccessful and left Cernan tumbling uncontrollably. Having eventually moved to the rear of the spacecraft Cernan managed to reach the AMU and strap himself in, ready for set-up and testing. This also proved difficult in a weightless environment and by the time he had finished, the physical exertion Cernan had used was worrying the medical teams back on Earth. Cernan’s visor had also fogged up so much he had little-to-no visibility. Tom Stafford (the Command Pilot) made the call to abort the full test flight of the AMU and ordered Cernan back inside.

The model was used to film the recreation of these events, against the backdrop of a green-screen to add in CGI effects in post-production.

Object number

2013-3
  • image Model AMU
  • image Gene Cernan training on a simulated AMU inside a KC-135 aircraft, flying parabloic curves to create a weightless environment - Credit: NASA
  • image Model AMU
  • image Gene Cernan training on a simulated AMU inside a KC-135 aircraft, flying parabloic curves to create a weightless environment - Credit: NASA

More information

Comments

    We'd love to hear your thoughts and memories. If you know something we don't, why not let us know!
    AboutHelp the Museum Cookies

    Terms and Conditions

    Donations

    Cookies Policy

         
    Powered by MuseumIndex+ CollectionsOnline