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The AMU (Astronaut Maneuvering Unit) was a personal maneuvering unit designed to

The United States Air Force (USAF) intended to employ the Gemini spacecraft as part of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL), which is why the Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU) was constructed. The AMU was a backpack that ran on hydrogen peroxide. About three times the MMU's overall delta-v capabilities, the AMU's capability was approximately 76.2 meters per second. The AMU was worn by the astronaut like a backpack, and it was controlled with two hand controllers, just like the later MMU. The astronaut's outfit had to be modified with woven metal "pants" made of Chromel-R metal fabric because of the fuel, which released as a hot gas.

The first test was on Gemini 9. The astronaut, Eugene Cernan, had trouble navigating from the Gemini cabin to the AMU storage area at the back of the spacecraft and overheated, causing his helmet faceplate to fog up. As a result, the AMU carried on the Gemini 9 mission was not tested.

The AMU was canceled two months prior to the mission, although it was still intended to be launched, fly aboard Gemini 12, and operate independently from the Gemini spacecraft.[2] In his memoirs, NASA chief astronaut Deke Slayton later conjectured that the Air Force "thought they might have the chance to inspect somebody else's satellites," which is why the AMU might have been built for the MOL program.

It was also intended for the AMU to be launched and flown aboard Gemini 12 and to fly untethered from the Gemini spacecraft, but two months prior to the mission, it was scrubbed.

The MMU was further developed to the Automatically Stabilized Maneuvering Unit (ASMU), tested inside Skylab, and later to the MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit) tested on Shuttle missions.

Nation: USA
Type / Application:
Operator: USAF, NASA
Contractors: LTV
Propulsion: cold gas thrusters
Power: Batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
AMU 1966-047A 03.06.1966 CC LC-19 Titan-2-GLV with Gemini 9A / not deployed
AMU 2 - not flown CC LC-19 Titan-2-GLV with Gemini 12 / not flown

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