Spacecraft Recovery Photos

In the space modelers email list Gary Kitmacher wrote of these photos:

It appears all helicopters used for MR-3, 4 and some for MA-7 are S-58's. I included a color distance shot of the MR-3 helicopter and a close-up of Grissom exiting the doorway of the S-58 on MR-4, showing good details/markings of the area around the doorway.

On MA-6, Glenn was retrieved from the USS Noa by a Piasecki H-25 but I could find no photos of other helicopters in use for MA-6: the capsule was hoisted directly by the Noa onto deck and Glenn got out once he was on deck.

Beginning with MA-7, and on MA-8 and 9, SH-3s were used, but on MA9 the H-3s appeared to be in the minority and the primary helicopters in use were S-56's, which appears in the one MA-9 photo I included.

Beginning with MA-8 and continuing through Gemini & Apollo they were using SH-3's. I found a pretty good view of one of the Gemini 4 crew being hoisted aboard the copter in the horsecollar. If anyone wants shots of the MR4 recovery, I have the complete sequence but it was shot in B/W (my former boss, still working for NASA, was the helicopter pilot who dropped the capsule, Jim Lewis, and I researched this for him years ago. Grissom used the horsecollar but put it on backwards.

MR-3 MR-4 MA-8 MA-9
GT-3 GT-4 GT-4 GT-9
GT-9 GT-11

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Sven Knudson, IPMS#32490