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Which cable wrangling technique was okay during NASA's lunar missions?



Answer: Cable Lacing

Today we secure our cables with Velcro straps and the ubiquitous plastic cable ties (also called cable ties). However, in a time before the zipper, cables were more organic and handcrafted.

How organic and handmade? Although there are slight differences in cable lacing techniques in geographic regions and applications, the core of the technique is consistent. The wires are neatly bundled with coils of wax impregnated cotton or linen cord ̵

1; a kind of heavy floss, if you like. Meanwhile, flat braid made of advanced materials such as nylon, polyester, teflon, fiberglass and Nomex with various coatings are sometimes used to improve knot strength.

The string is braided at fixed intervals along the bundle of cables Use a simple node (or in some cases a combination of two types of nodes). This applies to the entire length of the cable run and is also repeated when a new cable is added. The finished product has some advantages even compared to modern cable security techniques. For example, the chances of greatly deforming or scoring the cable insulation are nearly zero, and the cable binding itself adds so little volume to the cable bundle that it is easy to slide the bundle through conduits, as there are hardly any protrusions hanging on the cable ,

Amateur radio enthusiasts, electronics enthusiasts, NASA engineers and others have all used a technique called "cable cords" to secure permanent cable runs. When we brought a man to the moon, all those hundreds of cables deep in the Lunar Lander were meticulously and artistically secured using NASA's precise cable lacing techniques.

Although the method has fallen largely out of favor, it is still practiced by NASA in certain applications (in accordance with NASA standard NASA-STD-8739.4 – crimping, connecting cables, wiring harnesses, and wiring). On the photo here you can see the traditional cable routing of the Curiosity rover on Mars. There has been some revival in technology in recent years, and a fugitive Internet search will reveal dozens of tutorials to show you how to tie your cables in 1969.

Courtesy of NASA.


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