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Gemini / Apollo Recovery Interphones | by jurvetson
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Gemini / Apollo Recovery Interphones

While talking about space, it’s good to have the red phones. (detailed photos below)


From Lunar Legacies: “Two original Gemini/Apollo Recovery Interphones from ITT Kellogg Communications Systems that were used by the recovery divers for communication with the astronauts and the recovery force. At the end of each cord is a brass fitting for plugging into the outside of the spacecraft.”


While they were used for Gemini, and the metal name plates are clearly hopeful for their role in Apollo, I found in a NASA Technical Note entitled APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT - DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF SPECIALIZED RADIO EQUIPMENT FOR APOLLO RECOVERY OPERATIONS that “the Apollo swimmer radio, was developed in time to be used during recovery of the crew and CM of Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission. A swimmer interphone that had been developed before the Gemini Program to provide hardline communications between swimmers and the astronauts before hatch opening was used successfully throughout the Gemini Program and was designed to be compatible with the Apollo CM. However, it became evident during the Gemini Program that the pararescue and swimmer personnel needed the capability to communicate with recovery aircraft, as well as the astronauts, during the recovery operations; therefore, the Apollo swimmer radio was substituted as the primary instrument for swimmer communications.”


Alas, they went wireless, relegating the hard line to the Matrix.


These are pretty unusual, and the space auction house had never seen them before. Any leads or information about them is very welcome!


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Taken on August 31, 2011