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Question about recovery - An small box go first to swimmers. What is that??


There is a detail puzzling me in the recovery process. It happens exactly at

After swimmers have installed the floating collar in the command module and after hatch was opened
Previous to the exit of the crew, they give a small box to the swimmers. This is the transcription from the commentary

305:00:32   RECOV   A swimmer has opened the hatch slightly and is talking to the astronauts. The swimmer has fully opened the egress hatch. The astronauts have passed a box to the swimmers and the swimmers have placed it in the egress raft

The small box is stowed safely and then the crew exits the command module one at a time, after inflating their survive collars
Then transfered to the rescue helicopter and then to the main ship Ticonderoga

All the lunar samples and stuff is stowed in the Command Module. Except this small box which is passed to the swimmers
frist of all. Looks like it may containt important items, not to be lost in case of an accident if the command module get lost
in the process of picking it up to the carrier ship

What does this box may contain? Any experts to explain it ?

Best regards

I think I have found the answer

There was a livestock of mice in a experiment flying in Apollo 17. Noticed that when listening to a talk by Daniel Marin, which is an expert in Astronautics

Further search in Gooogle lead to the paper THE APOLLO 17 POCKET MOUSE EXPERIMENT (BIOCORE)
The paper contains all the details of this experiment, including pictures of the Canister container

There is also a reference to the mice experiment during the TV interview to the crew while returning to earth
This are the comments and time:

284:29:38   Mission Control   And also, Ron, did the squeaking of those mice onboard keep you awake?
284:29:48   Evans   No, the mice really didn't - there are plenty of other things going on inside the spacecraft here that we can hardly even hear the mice. As a matter of fact I really haven't heard them yet.

So, seems that this experiment is the box that the crew gives to the swimmers previous to exit the command module
The paper describes the recovery and what they found. It is interesting to consider that the mice container had to survive
the EVA and command module depresurization

Upon arrival at Pago Pago the flight package was taken to a laboratory at the Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center. On opening the canister about seven hours after splashdown, four of the five mice were found alive, while the fifth (A-3352) was dead. Two of the surviving mice (A-3305 and A-3356) were active and in excellent condition when released from their tubes into a container for observation. The other two surviving mice (A-3326 and A-3400), when first examined, were docile and hunched up, as though exhausted or arousing from torpor. They moved forward only a few steps when prodded.

This confirms again that all is published out there. You just need to investigate and work a little

Best regards


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