Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Aerospace Astronauts position in reentry capsule

  1. Oct 22, 2009 #1
    I found this diagram of the Gemini capsule, showing the position of the astronauts:

    http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/3051/gemini.jpg [Broken]

    I understand that the astronauts are facing back, since drag will be large. Max g's during Gemini's entry were about 5, and L/D ~ 0.2. However, why are they upside-down? Lift will pull blood to their heads, and I always thought this is a big no-no. Am I missing something here?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2009 #2
    I don't know a lot about this- but isn't it better to have blood in the head than blood in your legs, for fear of unconsciousness?
  4. Oct 22, 2009 #3
    My guess would be because the g-forces will pull the blood away from their heads, so this mitigates the g-effect.
  5. Oct 23, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Just looking at the diagram, the resultant force on the capsule will be somewhere between the lift and drag vector. If the drag is predominant then the line of action is pretty much perpendicular to the astronaut's body which seems to make sense to me. G-suits help prevent pooling in the extremities and keep it near the core and the brain.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook