Shuttle Astronauts and their Seat Belts

Astronauts get help from crew strapping in with seat belts.
Astronauts climbing into a space shuttle are typically thinking about lots of things. From trajectories and abort scenarios to systems and when to talk to the launch team and mission controllers. Not to mention the pure excitement that comes with getting ready to go into orbit.
They might not be thinking so much about strapping themselves into the seats on the shuttle.
“You’ve got your mind on a lot of stuff when you’re getting into the shuttle and getting ready to launch into space,” said astronaut Stan Love, a mission specialist on the STS-122 mission. ” And hooking up connections isn’t always top of your priority list.”
That’s why the crew gets help from other astronauts who get into the shuttle with them but have no intention of flying that day. Those astronauts are known formally as Astronaut Support Personnel. They go by several names, including ASPs, Cape Crusaders because they are assigned to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, or just C-squareds.
Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who flew on STS-74 and STS-100, worked as an ASP before his first flight. He credits the experience with teaching him the details of launch day.
“Working at the Cape as a Cape Crusader, C-squared, whatever you want to call it,” Hadfield said, “I learned so much about how the vehicles get ready, about the attitude at KSC. And about what it is to be one of the crew members getting in and out of the vehicle.”
It’s not as easy as putting on a seat belt, after all. For one thing, on launch day the shuttle’s nose is pointed skyward, so the crew really does have to climb into their seats because they are tilted 90 degrees. Getting in place means wriggling in on their backs and lifting their legs over their heads…
To read more, click here: