Thursday, November 22, 2012

The RV Astrovan

When an astronaut needs to go to the pad for launch, the vehicle of choice is the Astrovan.

The Apollo-era astronauts used a Cortez motorhome built by the Clark Equipment Company.


The Apollo 10 crew board the Cortez Astrovan on May 18, 1969.

Because it could carry up to four astronauts, the Cortez was also used for the first six Space Shuttle missions, which carried from two to four astronauts.

Beginning with STS-9 in November 1983, the Astrovan was an Airstream Excella motor home.


The STS-135 crew board the Airstream Astrovan on July 8, 2011. It was the final flight in the Space Shuttle program.

The Airstream was used for every Shuttle launch from STS-9 through STS-135, which ended the program in July 2011.

But Houston, we have a problem.

STS-7 and STS-8 had five-member crews — too large to fit in the Cortez, and the Airstream wasn't available.

Videos of those two missions show a recreational vehicle being used to transport the astronauts:


Click the arrow to watch a video of the “RV Astrovan” on YouTube.

I've been unable to find any information on this vehicle.

If you know anything about it, please post here or e-mail me at spacekscblog@gmail.com.

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