So I’m watching Apollo 13 for the nth time and I suddenly notice how they re-enter in a shirt-sleeve environment.
I remember that the Soviets lost a crew during the Apollo era because they weren’t wearing pressure suits during re-entry (a valve opened while they were still in the upper atmosphere and they asphyxiated). It was said that the Russians did this to save money. The re-entry capsule (which in the russian program was separate from the ascent capsule) wasn’t made big enough for the 3 cosmonauts to fit into while wearing their suits.
So why didn’t the Apollo crews wear them? Did NASA just have total faith in the command module?
There are three possibilities that I can think of off-hand:
1.) It’s possible that with all that happened, the astronauts didn’t have time to climb into the suits.
2.) NASA didn’t have them do it because it could slow their escape in an emergency.
3.) Film glitch.
Lovell does do commentary on the DVD about the film, I haven’t listened to it, so it’s possible that he explains it there.
Another possiblity: Maybe parts of the pressure suits were cannibalized for that oxygen filter fix (assuming that that part of the movie was accurate).
cmkeller, I think you’re right, in that they did cannibalize parts from the space suits for the CO[sub]2[/sub] scrubbers. And that part of the movie was accurate as I’ve seen Lovell stating that the pieces they built for the movie looked identical to the things that they built while in space.