Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black. I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands. Instead, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

American astronaut seat liner shifted to Dragon temporarily

Though NASA has not issued an update, the Soyuz seat liner used by American astronaut Frank Rubio was supposed to be shifted from the leaking Soyuz capsule to Endurance today, just in case that Soyuz needs to be used as a lifeboat. From the January 13th ISS update:

On Thursday, Jan. 12, the International Space Station mission management team polled “go” to move NASA astronaut Frank Rubio’s Soyuz seat liner from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft to Dragon Endurance to provide lifeboat capabilities in the event Rubio would need to return to Earth because of an emergency evacuation from the space station. The seat liner move is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 17, with installation and configuration continuing through most of the day Wednesday, Jan. 18. The change allows for increased crew protection by reducing the heat load inside the MS-22 spacecraft for cosmonauts Prokopyev and Petelin in the event of an emergency return to Earth.

Once the replacement Soyuz MS-23 arrives at the space station on Feb. 22, Rubio’s seat liner will be transferred to the new Soyuz and the seat liners for Prokopyev and Petelin will be moved from MS-22 to MS-23 ahead of their return in the Soyuz.

I expect that once this work is completed tomorrow NASA will issue an update.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Patrick Underwood

    I wonder how they will integrate the Russian suit with the Dragon. Power, comms, gasses etc.

    They certainly won’t let the guy ride shirtsleeve while everyone else is suited up.

  • Ok, they moved the Soyuz seat liner, but what seat are they using? There are only four seats installed in this Dragon, and they are all occupied. So where is this seat liner being mounted inside Dragon?

    I suspect some sort of jury-rigged attachment to hold the Soyuz seat liner. Shades of Apollo 13…

  • Edward

    Steve Golson,
    There may have been some previous thought about this kind of situation. NASA has a tendancy to think about contingencies in advance so that they don’t have to think as hard or as fast if unexpected things happen. Scott Manley examined what NASA did when they were worried that there could be stranded astronauts during the Skylab mission: (14 minutes)

  • pzatchok

    Is this just a move of the soft seat padding or are they moving the frame and all? Or at least some form of ridged structure.

    If its just padding then NASA must think that simple airbags would also work but just have not designed them yet.
    The airbags could even be in the shape of seats.

  • David M. Cook

    Yet another example of NASA‘s need to super-complicate a simple item. Can‘t they make a seat that will allow anyone to sit anywhere with any type of suit? No! It must be WAY more complicated to be of use to NASA. They need to adopt the KISS approach: keep it simple, stupid!

  • David M. Cook: this isn’t NASA, it’s Russia. Soyuz has individual seat liners custom-molded for each astro/cosmonaut. When the cosmonaut switches vehicles, the seat liner has to be moved and installed in their new ride.

  • Ray Van Dune

    When Dragon 2 was first unveiled by Elon, he climbed in and pulled the display panel down to be immediately in front of his seated position. In the production model, the seats lift up to the displays once the crew is seated.

    I wonder what the impact of this choice is on ultimate / emergency crew capacity? And surely the mechanism to move the seats loaded with four crew must be more massive and complex than that required to move the displays?! Seems like a strange choice.

  • James Street

    I’m surprised this works at all, like trying to put a Chevy front seat in a Ford.

    Unless it involves duct tape.

    Rule 1: Duct tape fixes all problems.
    Rule 2: If duct tape doesn’t fix the problem, you’re not using enough duct tape.

  • John hare

    I suspect that in a real life or death situation, people would find a way to squeeze in, seat or no seat.

  • pzatchok

    Duct Tape is like the force.
    It has both a light and dark side and binds everything together.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *