On March 13, The National Aeronautics Space Agency will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the successful completion of the Apollo 9 Space Flight Mission. Cicoil — the innovator of the Bio-Harnesses worn by the Apollo 9 Astronauts — will be celebrating as well.
The mission demonstrated complete module docking and extraction, which helped prove that the Apollo was fully capable of landing on the Moon and then could successfully return back to Earth. Apollo 9 Commander Jim McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart spent ten days in low Earth Orbit testing several aspects critical to landing on the Moon (Apollo 11), including the Lunar Module engines, backpack life support systems, navigation systems, life-critical Bio-Harnesses and docking maneuvers.
Cicoil’s 26-in. long, zero gravity “Bio-Harnesses” were worn underneath the Intra-Vehicular Constant Wear Garments for all three astronauts while inside the Apollo 9 Spacecraft, and under the extra-vehicular (EV) pressure suit during the Spacewalk activities of astronauts Scott and Schweickart. The Cicoil assembly enabled continuous monitoring of the vital signs, such as blood pressure, respiration, body temperature and pulse rate for each astronaut during flight, orbit, spacewalk, and the “First Step” Moon Landing operations.
Cicoil’s Space Flight approved Biomedical Instrumentation and Telemetry Harnesses were chosen over other design options for their unique ability to separately encase shielded signal pairs to eliminate electronic interference; provide uninterrupted signal integrity during the harsh rigors of space flight; exceptional performance when exposed to temperature extremes (-65° to 260°C); resistance to UV Light, radiation and vibration; high efficiency in dissipating heat between inner cable components; highly flexible and lightweight materials; and high reliability in mission-critical applications.
Cicoil’s Biomedical Harness was the only tested harness design which met IVA (Intravehicular Activity) and EVA (Extravehicular Activity) needs during all phases of the Apollo Space Mission. The flawless operational performance of Cicoil’s Bio-Harness designs were, in NASA’s words, “Vital to the successful achievement” of these history-making flights.
Cicoil’s Flat Cable Harnesses were also “There” for Alan Shepherd to become the First American to Travel in Space – 1961, to help Astronaut John Glenn (Mercury-Atlas 6 – 1962) to become the first American to orbit the Earth, Edward White (Gemini 4 – 1965) to be the First American to Walk in Space, Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11 – 1969) to take his historical “First Step” on the Surface of the Moon and Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) to take his famous Second Walk on the Moon.
In addition to every Apollo Space Flight, Cicoil has manufactured Space Flight Approved cable assemblies for the Mercury and Gemini Space missions, Skylab, Mercury Voyager, The Space Shuttle; and today are utilized on Space Transport Rockets, Probes, Satellites and The International Space Station.
For an Out of This World Experience, be sure to check out the Cicoil Bio-Harnesses worn on the Apollo 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 17 missions at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.