|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1965 - Quarter 2|
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Grumman presented to MSC its recommendations for an all-battery electrical power system for the LEM:
MSC and Grumman reviewed the requirement for a backup mode of entering and leaving the LEM while on the moon. The new rectangular hatch was deemed "inherently highly reliable," and the only failure that was even "remotely possible" was one of the hatch mechanism. The proposal to use the top (or transfer) hatch was impractical, because it would cost 13.6 kg (30 lb) and would impose an undue hazard on both the crew and the spacecraft's thermal shield. References: 16 .
The first stage of the Saturn IB booster (the S-IB-1) underwent its first static firing at Huntsville, Alabama. The stage's eight uprated H-1 engines produced about 71,168-kilonewtons (1.6 million lbs) thrust. On April 23, Marshall and Rocketdyne announced that the uprated H-1 had passed qualification testing and was ready for flight. References: 16 .
Proposed high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. Spacecraft would have been allowed to naturally decay to a re-entry after ten days. Purposes of these flights were to be: geophysical and astronomical research; photography of the solar corona; solar x-ray imagery; medical-biological research; detailed study of the effects of weightlessness on the human organism; dosimetry; and engineering tests of ion flow sensors to be used for orientation of later Soyuz spacecraft. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in Spring 1964. References: 283 , 294 .
Rocketdyne completed qualification tests on two CM reaction control engines. These were successful. One of the nozzle extensions failed to seat, however, and was rejected. Its failure was being analyzed. References: 16 .
George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, announced the transfer of control over manned space flights from Cape Kennedy, Fla., to Houston, Texas. MSC's Mission Control Center would direct the flights from end of liftoff through recovery. References: 16 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Construction workers emplaced the final beam in the structural skeleton of the Vertical Assembly Building at Merritt Island (KSC), Florida. Scheduled for completion in 1966, the cavernous structure (160 m (525 ft) tall and comprising 10,968,476 cu m (129 million cu ft)) would provide a controlled environment for assembling Saturn V launch vehicles and mating them to Apollo spacecraft. References: 16 .
The first firing of the LEM ascent engine test rig (HA-3) was successfully conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. A second firing on April 23 lasted 14.45 sec instead of 10 sec as planned. A third firing, lasting 30 sec, completed the test series. A helium pressurization system would be installed before additional testing could begin. References: 16 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On Co-operation of the USSR and Socialist Countries in the Sphere of Research and Use of Space-international co-operation' was issued. References: 474 .
MSFC conducted the first clustered firing of the Saturn V's first stage (the S-IC). The booster's five F-1 engines burned for about 6½ seconds and produced 33,360 kilonewtons (7.5 million lbs) thrust.
Eight days later, at its static facility in Santa Susana, California, North American first fired the S-II, intermediate stage of the Saturn V. The event was chronicled as the "second major Saturn V milestone" during April. Additional Details: First clustered firing of Saturn V's first stage. References: 16 .
North American completed qualification testing on the fuel tanks for the SM's reaction control system. References: 16 .
Two CSM fuel cells failed qualification testing, the first failing after 101.75 hrs of the vacuum endurance test. Pratt and Whitney Aircraft determined that the failure was caused by a cleaning fluid which contaminated and plugged the oxygen lines and contaminated the oxygen gas at the electrodes. Additional Details: Two Apollo CSM fuel cells failed qualification testing. References: 16 .
North American conducted the final zero-g trials (part of developmental testing on the CM's waste management system) and reported good results for both urine and feces apparatus. References: 16 .
First announced launch of Soviet communications satellite. Television programme transmission and long range two way multi channel telephone and telegraph communications. Orbital characteristics after correction of 2 May 1965. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 64 .
Using boilerplate 14, North American simulated the mission for spacecraft 009. The test was conducted in two phases, with the vehicle on external and then internal power. All data showed satisfactory performance. References: 16 .
North American received CM 009 forward and crew compartment heatshields from Avco Corporation. These heatshields were the first CM heatshields received by the contractor with complete ablative application. References: 16 .
Part II of the Critical Design Review of the crew compartment and docking system for the Block II CM was held at Downey, California, using mockups 28 and 27 A. (Part I had been held on March 23-24.) Additional Details: Apollo CM Block II Critical Design Review Part II. References: 16 .
Under NASA contract, proton irradiation of primates tests were conducted on the Oak Ridge cyclotron by a team from Brooks AFB and Crew Systems Division. During this period, 136 monkeys and 900 mice were irradiated. References: 16 .
Joseph F. Shea, ASPO Manager, approved Crew Systems Division's recommendation to retain the "shirtsleeve" environment for the CM. The design was simpler and promised greater overall mission reliability; also, it would be more comfortable for the crewmen. Additional Details: Shirtsleeve environment in the Apollo CM. References: 16 .
At the time the Dynasoar project was cancelled, completion of the first spacecraft was planned for summer 1964. Air-drop tests from a B-52 carrier aircraft were planned to begin in May 1965. Twenty such drop tests would be conducted up to the first orbital flight in July 1966. References: 26 , 152 .
The Apollo earth landing system (ELS) was tested in a drop of boilerplate (BP) 19 at El Centro, Calif. The drop removed constraints on the ELS for BP-22; also, it was a "prequalification" trial of the main parachutes before the start of the full qualification test program. References: 16 .
Structures and Mechanics Division engineers determined that the spacecraft-LEM-adapter would not survive a service propulsion system abort immediately after jettisoning of the launch escape tower. North American planned to strengthen the upper hinges and fasteners and to resize the shock attenuators on spacecraft 009. References: 16 .
Launch escape system (LES) installation for CSM 009 was completed, marking the first LES completion. References: 16 .
Soft lunar landing attempt. The retrorocket system failed, and the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface at the Sea of Clouds. Western observers, among them England's Sir Bernard Lovell, correctly speculated that the craft's mission was a soft landing. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 64 , 296 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Developmental testing began on a new landing device for the CM, one using rockets (mounted on the heatshield) that would be ignited immediately before impact. The current method for ensuring the integrity of the spacecraft during a landing in rough water involved strengthening of the aft structure. The new concept, should it prove practicable, would offer a twofold advantage: first, it would lighten the CM considerably; second, it would provide an improved emergency landing capability. References: 16 .
MSFC informed MSC that the thrust of the H-1 engine was being uprated to 1,000 kilonewtons (205,000 lbs), thus increasing the Saturn IB's payload capability. References: 16 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On establishment of the Institute of Space Research in the USSR Academy of Sciences on July 14. 1965' was issued. References: 474 .
North American conducted the third in a series of water impact tests on boilerplate 1 to measure pressures on forward portions of the spacecraft. Data from the series supported those from tests with one- tenth scale models of the CM. The manufacturer reported, therefore, that it planned no further full-scale testing. References: 16 .
Apollo mission A-003, a planned high-altitude abort test, was flown at WSMR. About 25 seconds after launch, and at an altitude of about three miles, the Little Joe II booster disintegrated as a result of violent - and unprogrammed - roll. The launch escape system (LES) functioned perfectly, however, and lifted the spacecraft (boilerplate 22) clear of the vehicle. ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea, while acknowledging that A-003's "prime objectives . . . were not met," rightly observed that the LES nonetheless "proved its mettle in an actual emergency," References: 16 .
Marquardt Corporation completed preliminary flight rating tests on the reaction control engine for the SM. References: 16 .
Suborbital reentry heating experiment using the FIRE subscale Apollo capsule. An Atlas D booster propelled the instrumented probe, called a "flying thermometer," into a ballistic trajectory over 805 km (500 mi) high. After 26 minutes of flight, when the spacecraft began its descent, a solid-fueled Antares rocket accelerated its fall.
The probe entered the atmosphere at a speed of 40,877 km (25,400 mph) and generated temperatures of about 11,206K (20,000 degrees F). Data on heating were transmitted to ground stations throughout the descent. Thirty-two minutes after the launch - and but six minutes after the Antares was fired - the device impacted in the Atlantic about 8,256 km (5,130 mi) southeast of the Cape. References: 5 , 16 , 26 , 27 , 278 .
The Life Sciences Committee of the National Academy of Sciences' Space Science Board recommended to NASA that American astronauts returning from the moon and planets be kept in quarantine for at least three weeks to prevent possible contamination of the earth by extraterrestrial organisms, Additional Details: American Apollo astronauts returning from the moon to be quarantined. References: 16 .
Pegasus 2 was a meteoroid detection satellite. The Saturn I launch vehicle (SA-8) placed the spacecraft, protected by a boilerplate CSM (BP-26), into a 740-by-509-km (460-by-316-mi) orbit. Once in orbit, the dummy CSM was jettisoned. Pegasus 2, still attached to the second stage of the launch vehicle, then deployed its 29-m (96-ft) winglike panels. Within several hours, the device began registering meteoroid hits. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 26 , 27 .
ASPO requested the Apollo Program Director to revise the LEM control weight at translunar injection as follows:
Thiokol Chemical Company completed qualification testing on the tower jettison motor. An ignition delay on February 22 had necessitated a redesign of the igniter cartridge. Subsequently, Thiokol developed a modified pyrogen seal, which the firm tested during late August and early September. References: 16 .
Three flights were made with the lunar landing research vehicle (LLRV) by FRC pilot Don Mallick for the purpose of checking the initial weighing, the thrust-to-weight, and the automatic throttle systems.
General Electric would update the LLRV CF-700 jet engines at their Edwards AFB facility rather than at Lynn, Mass. The change in work location would mean an earlier delivery date and a significant cost reduction. The updating would make the engines comparable to the production engines and would add an additional 890 newtons (200 lbs) of thrust. References: 16 .
With the cancellation of Chelomei's desultory R spaceplane development, the job is handed to 'the profis' - the fighter design bureaus of MiG and Sukhoi. Both would use an air breathing first stage (the XB-70 clone T-4 in Sukhoi's case, a huge new Tupolev hypersonic aircraft 'to be developed' in MiG's case). Second stage would be a conventional expendable rocket stage which would carry the relatively small Spiral spaceplane into orbit. Korolev had been doing some 'back door' work with MiG in competition to Chelomei's R project for some time (Began with 1962 Mikoyan study '50-50': Hypersonic first stage to Mach 5.5; rocket stage with one man), and immediately proposed tests from atop R-7 rockets as early as 1967. At the time all this was begun Dyna Soar was still an active US program. References: 83 .
Proposed Vostok flight to conduct extra-vehicular activity tests. The Vostok would be modified by having the ejection seat removed and an airlock built into the spacecraft. A braking rocket carried in the parachute lines would provide a soft landing (as was later used on Voskhod). The single cosmonaut would have conducted the first spacewalk in 1965. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in Spring 1964. References: 283 , 294 .
First American walk in space; tested spacesuit and ability to manoeuvre. References: 66 .
The second manned and first long-duration mission in the Gemini program. Major objectives of the four-day mission were demonstrating and evaluating the performance of spacecraft systems in a long-duration flight and evaluating effects on the crew of prolonged exposure to the space environment. Secondary objectives included demonstrating extravehicular activity (EVA) in space, conducting stationkeeping and rendezvous maneuvers with the second stage of the launch vehicle, performing significant in-plane and out-of-plane maneuvers, demonstrating the ability of the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) to back up the retrorockets, and executing 11 experiments. The stationkeeping exercise was terminated at the end of the first revolution because most of the OAMS propellant allocated for the exercise had been used; further efforts would jeopardize primary mission objectives and could mean the cancellation of several secondary objectives. No rendezvous was attempted. The only other major problem to mar the mission was the inadvertent alteration of the computer memory during the 48th revolution in an attempt to correct an apparent malfunction. This made the planned computer-controlled reentry impossible and required an open-loop ballistic reentry. All other mission objectives were met. The flight crew began preparing for EVA immediately after terminating the stationkeeping exercise. Although preparations went smoothly, McDivitt decided to delay EVA for one revolution, both because of the high level of activity required and because deletion of the rendezvous attempt reduced the tightness of the schedule. Ground control approved the decision. The spacecraft hatch was opened at 4 hours 18 minutes into the flight and White exited 12 minutes later, using a hand-held maneuvering gun. White reentered the spacecraft 20 minutes after leaving it. The hatch was closed at 4 hours 54 minutes ground elapsed time. Drifting flight was maintained for the next two and one-half days to conserve propellant. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 725 km east of Cape Kennedy - some 65 km from its nominal landing point. The crew boarded a helicopter 34 minutes after landing and was transported to the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. Spacecraft recovery was completed at 2:28 p.m., a little more than 100 hours after Gemini 4 had been launched. Gemini 4 was the first mission to be controlled from the mission control center in Houston.
The space walk was hurriedly included after the Russian first in Voskhod 2. White seemed to have a lot more fun than Leonov and McDivitt took the pictures that came to symbolize man in space. With this flight the US finally started to match Russian flight durations. Additional Details: Gemini 4. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 26 , 33 , 60 .
Northrop-Ventura began qualification testing of the earth landing system for Apollo with a drop of boilerplate 19 at El Centro, Calif. The entire landing sequence took place as planned; all parachutes performed well. References: 16 .
George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, approved procurement of the lunar surface experiments package (LSEP). The package, to be deployed on the moon by each LEM crew that landed there, would transmit geophysical and other scientific data back to earth. NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications would make the final selection of experiments. Mueller emphasized that the LSEP must be ready in time for the first lunar landing mission. Management responsibility for the project was assigned to MSC's Experiments Program Office. References: 16 .
North American's Rocketdyne Division began qualification testing on the CM's reaction control system engines. References: 16 .
MSC directed NAA to make a "predesign" study of a rocket landing system for the Block II CM. (The Center had already studied the system's feasibility and had conducted full-scale drop tests.) References: 16 .
Attempted unmanned lunar soft lander. Tass reported that all onboard equipment was functioning normally. Two days into the flight, however, the spacecraft's engine failed to shut down following a midcourse correction. This failure caused Luna 6 to miss its target by 159,612.8 Km. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 296 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Independent studies were made at MSC and North American to determine effects and impact of off-loading certain Block II service propulsion system components for Saturn IB missions. The contractor was requested to determine the weight change involved and schedule and cost impact of removing one oxidizer tank, one fuel tank, one helium tank and all associated hardware (fuel and oxidizer transfer lines, propellant quantity sensors and certain gaging wire harnesses) from CSM 101 and CSM 103. The MSC study was oriented toward determining technical problems associated with such a change and the effects on spacecraft operational requirements. The North American study indicated that removing the equipment would save about 690 000, along with a weight reduction of approximately 454 kg (1,000 lbs). Additional Details: Reduced Apollo Block II service propulsion system for Saturn IB missions. References: 16 .
North American reported two service propulsion engine failures at AEDC and a third at WSMR. At the first location, both failures were attributed to separation of the thrust chamber from the injector assembly; in the latter instance, weld deficiencies were the culprit. Analysis of all these failures was continuing. References: 16 .
Crew Systems Division began evaluating space suits for the Apollo program (submitted by Hamilton Standard, David Clark, and International Latex). References: 16 .
LaRC awarded Douglas Aircraft Company a follow-on study contract for the MORL, emphasizing use of the AES program as a prerequisite to the MORL. Douglas was to examine particularly interfaces between AES experiments and missions and the MORL program.
North American's Rocketdyne Division conducted the 1,000th test firing of the Saturn V's first-stage engine, the F-1. References: 16 .
Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 'On Preparations in 1965-66 of 18 Small Unifunctional Earth Satellites for Carrying out Scientific Investigations-creation of small scientific satellites at OKB-586' was issued. References: 474 .
Gemini contractors proposed to launch a refurbished, modified Gemini around the moon by April 1967 for $ 350 million. The Titan 2-launched Gemini would rendezvous and dock with a Titan 3C-launched 'Double Transtage', which would propel the Gemini into a circumlunar trajectory. McDonnell-Douglas and Martin Marrietta's proposal was suppressed by NASA as a threat to the Apollo program.
NASA announced negotiations with Douglas Aircraft Company for nine additional S-IVB stages to be used as the third stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center. Work was to include related spares and launch support services. The S-IVB contract, presently valued at $312 million, would be increased by $150 million for the additional work. References: 16 .
NASA launched Apollo mission PA-2, a test of the launch escape system (LES) simulating a pad abort at WSMR. All test objectives were met. The escape rocket lifted the spacecraft (boilerplate 23A) more than 1,524 m (5,000 ft) above the pad. The earth landing system functioned normally, lowering the vehicle back to earth. This flight was similar to the first pad abort test on November 7, 1963, except for the addition of canards to the LES (to orient the spacecraft blunt end forward after engine burnout) and a boost protective cover on the CM. PA-2 was the fifth of six scheduled flights to prove out the LES. References: 16 .
Langley Research Center put into operation its 3.5 million Lunar Landing Research Facility. The huge structure (76.2 m (250 ft) high and 121.9 m (400 ft) long) would be used to explore techniques and to forecast various problems of landing on the moon. The facility would enable a test vehicle to be operated under one-sixth g conditions. References: 16 .
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