|Apollo vs N1-L3|
Apollo CSM / LM vs L3 Lunar Complex
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Research on 1-million-pound thrust plus engine begun at Rocketdyne, the feasibility of which was established in March 1955.
The feasibility of a million-pound-thrust liquid-fueled rocket engine established by the Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, Inc.
First U.S.-built complete liquid-rocket engine having a thrust in excess of 400,000 pounds was fired for the first time at Santa Susana, Calif.
Rocket test stand capable of testing engines to 1 million pounds thrust activated at Edwards AFB, which became operational in March 1957.
The U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., began studies of a large clustered-engine booster to generate 1.5 million pounds of thrust, as one of a related group of space vehicles. During 1957-1958, approximately 50,000 man-hours were expended in this effort.
Von Braun produces 'Proposal for a National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Plan'. First mention of 1,500,000 lbf booster (Saturn I)
A greatly expanded NACA program of space flight research was proposed in a paper, "A Program for Expansion of NACA Research in Space Flight Technology," written principally by senior engineers of the Lewis Aeronautical Laboratory under the leadership of Abe Silverstein. The goal of the program would be "to provide basic research in support of the development of manned satellites and the travel of man to the moon and nearby planets." The cost of the program was estimated at $241 million per year above the current NACA budget.
The U.S. Air Force contracted with NAA, Rocketdyne Division, for preliminary design of a single-chamber, kerosene and liquid-oxygen rocket engine capable of 1 to 1.5 million pounds of thrust. During the last week in July, Rocketdyne was awarded the contract to develop this engine, designated the F-1.
ARPA gives Von Braun team contract to develop Saturn I (called 'cluster's last stand' due to design concept).
Rocketdyne Division of North American announced an Air Force contract for a 1-million-pound thrust engine.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA provided the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) with authority and initial funding to develop the Juno V (later named Saturn launch vehicle. ARPA Order 14 described the project: "Initiate a development program to provide a large space vehicle booster of approximately 1.5 million pounds of thrust based on a cluster of available rocket engines. The immediate goal of this program is to demonstrate a full-scale captive dynamic firing by the end of calendar year 1959." Within AOMC, the Juno V project was assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal Huntsville, Ala.
Saturn design studies authorized to proceed at Redstone Arsenal for development of 1.5-million-pound-thrust cluster first stage.
A letter contract was signed by NASA with NAA's Rocketdyne Division for the development of the H-1 rocket engine, designed for use in a clustered-engine booster.
Pioneer I, intended as a lunar probe, was launched by a Thor-Able rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range, with the Air Force acting as executive agent to NASA. The 39-pound instrumented payload did not reach escape velocity.
The Stever Committee, which had been set up on January 12, submitted its report on the civilian space program to NASA. Among the recommendations:
NASA requested DX priority for 1.5-million-pound-thrust F-1 engine project and Project Mercury.
A contract was signed by the University of Manchester, Manchester, England, and the Air Force (AF 61(052)-168) for $21,509. Z. Kopal, principal investigator, was to provide topographical information on the lunar surface for production of accurate lunar maps.
The Space Task Group (STG) was officially organized at Langley Field, Va., to implement the manned satellite project (later Project Mercury), NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan had approved the formation of the Group, which had been working together for some months, on October 7. Its members were designated on November 3 by Robert R. Gilruth, Project Manager, and authorization was given by Floyd L. Thompson, Acting Director of Langley Research Center. STG would report directly to NASA Headquarters.
Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker and NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan signed cooperative agreements concerning NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Army Ordnance Missile Command AOMC, and Department of the Army relationships. The agreement covering NASA utilization of the von Braun team made "the AOMC and its subordinate organizations immediately, directly, and continuously responsive to NASA requirements."
Von Braun briefs NASA on plans for booster development at Huntsville with objective of manned lunar landing. Initally proposed using 15 Juno V (Saturn I) boosters to assemble 200,000 kg payload in earth orbit for direct landing on moon.
NASA awarded contract to Rocketdyne of North American to build single-chamber 1.5-million-pound-thrust rocket engine.
Representatives of Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military services, and NASA met to consider the development of future launch vehicle systems. Agreement was reached on the principle of developing a small number of versatile launch vehicle systems of different thrust capabilities, the reliability of which could be expected to be improved through use by both the military services and NASA.
The H-1 engine successfully completed its first full-power firing at NAA's Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park, Calif.
Rocketdyne demonstrated 1-million-pound-thrust liquid-propellant rocket combustion chamber at full power.
In a staff report of the House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration, Wernher von Braun of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency predicted manned circumlunar flight within the next eight to ten years and a manned lunar landing and return mission a few years thereafter. Administrator T. Keith Glennan, Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden, Abe Silverstein, John P. Hagen, and Homer E. Newell, all of NASA, also foresaw manned circumlunar flight within the decade as well as instrumented probes soft-landed on the moon. Roy K. Knutson, Chairman of the Corporate Space Committee, NAA, projected a manned lunar landing expedition for the early 1970's with extensive unmanned instrumented soft lunar landings during the last half of the 1960's.
The Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC), the Air Force, and missile contractors presented to the ARPA-NASA Large Booster Review Committee their views on the quickest and surest way for the United States to attain large booster capability. The Committee decided that the Juno V approach advocated by AOMC was best and NASA started plans to utilize the Juno V booster.
NASA signed a definitive contract with Rocketdyne Division, NAA, for $102 million covering the design and development of a single-chamber, liquid-propellant rocket engine in the 1- to l.5-million-pound-thrust class (the F-1, to be used in the Nova superbooster concept). NASA had announced the selection of Rocketdyne on December 12.
After consultation and discussion with DOD, NASA formulated a national space vehicle program. The central idea of the program was that a single launch vehicle should be developed for use in each series of future space missions. The launch vehicle would thus achieve a high degree of reliability, while the guidance and payload could be varied according to purpose of the mission. Four general-purpose launch vehicles were described: Vega, Centaur, Saturn, and Nova. The Nova booster stage would be powered by a cluster of four F-1 engines, the second stage by a single F-1, and the third stage would be the size of an intercontinental ballistic missile but would use liquid hydrogen as a fuel. This launch vehicle would be the first in a series that could transport a man to the lunar surface and return him safely to earth in a direct ascent mission. Four additional stages would be required in such a mission.
The Army proposed that the name of the large clustered-engine booster be changed from Juno V to Saturn, since Saturn was the next planet after Jupiter. Roy W. Johnson, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, approved the name on February 3.
Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Roy W. Johnson of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) discussed the urgency of early agreement between ARPA and NASA on the configuration of the Saturn upper stages. Several discussions between ARPA and NASA had been held on this subject. Johnson expected to reach agreement with NASA the following week. He agreed that AOMC would participate in the overall upper stage planning to ensure compatibility of the booster and upper stages.
A Working Group on Lunar Exploration was established by NASA at a meeting at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Members of NASA, JPL, Army Ballistic Missile Agency, California Institute of Technology, and the University of California participated in the meeting. The Working Group was assigned the responsibility of preparing a lunar exploration program, which was outlined: circumlunar vehicles, unmanned and manned; hard lunar impact; close lunar satellites; soft lunar landings (instrumented). Preliminary studies showed that the Saturn booster with an intercontinental ballistic missile as a second stage and a Centaur as a third stage, would be capable of launching manned lunar circumnavigation spacecraft and instrumented packages of about one ton to a soft landing on the moon.
NASA issues plan for development in next decade of Vega (later cancelled as too similar to Agena), Centaur, Saturn, and Nova launch vehicles. Juno V renamed Saturn I.
Roy W. Johnson, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), testified before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that DOD and ARPA had no lunar landing program. Herbert F. York, DOD Director of Defense Research and Engineering, testified that exploration of the moon was a NASA responsibility.
In testimony before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden and DeMarquis D. Wyatt described the long-range objectives of the NASA space program: an orbiting space station with several men, operating for several days; a permanent manned orbiting laboratory; unmanned hard-landing and soft-landing lunar probes; manned circumlunar flight; manned lunar landing and return; and, ultimately, interplanetary flight.
H. Kurt Strass and Leo T. Chauvin of STG proposed a heatshield test of a fullscale Mercury spacecraft at lunar reentry speeds. This test, in which the capsule would penetrate the earth's radiation belt, was called Project Boomerang. An advanced version of the Titan missile was to be the launch vehicle. The project was postponed and ultimately dropped because of cost.
The thrust chamber of the F-1 engine was successfully static-fired at the Santa Susana Air Force-Rocketdyne Propulsion Laboratory in California. More than one million pounds of thrust were produced, the greatest amount attained to that time in the United States.
The Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) submitted the "Saturn System Study" which had been requested by the Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA on December 18, 1958. From the 1375 possible configurations screened, and the 14 most promising given detailed study, the Atlas and Titan families were selected as the most attractive for upper staging. Either the 120-inch or the 160inch diameter was acceptable. The study included the statement: "An immediate decision by ARPA as to choice of upper stages on the first generation vehicle is mandatory if flight hardware is to be available to meet the proposed Saturn schedule."
John W. Crowley, Jr., NASA Director of Aeronautical and Space Research, notified the Ames, Lewis, and Langley Research Centers, the High Speed Flight Station (later Flight Research Center), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Office of Space Flight Development that a Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight would be formed. Harry J. Goett of Ames was to be Chairman of the Committee, which would assist NASA Headquarters in carrying out its responsibilities in long-range planning and basic research on manned space flight.
The advanced manned space program to follow Project Mercury was discussed at a NASA Staff Conference held in Williamsburg, Va. Three reasons for such a program were suggested:
NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan requested $3 million for research into rendezvous techniques as part of the NASA budget for Fiscal Year 1960. In subsequent hearings, DeMarquis D. Wyatt, Assistant to the NASA Director of Space Flight Development, explained that these funds would be used to resolve certain key problems in making space rendezvous practical. Among these were the establishment of referencing methods for fixing the relative positions of two vehicles in space; the development of accurate, lightweight target-acquisition equipment to enable the supply craft to locate the space station; the development of very accurate guidance and control systems to permit precisely determined flight paths; and the development of sources of controlled power.
Testifying before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Francis B. Smith, Chief of Tracking Programs for NASA, described the network of stations necessary for tracking a deep-space probe on a 24-hour basis. The stations should be located about 120 degrees apart in longitude. In addition to the Goldstone, Calif., site, two other locations had been selected: South Africa and Woomera, Australia.
Members of the new Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight were nominated by the Ames, Lewis, and Langley Research Centers, the High Speed Flight Station (HSFS) (later Flight Research Center), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Office of Space Flight Development OSFD), and the Office of Aeronautical and Space Research (OASR). They were: Alfred J. Eggers, Jr. (Ames); Bruce T. Lundin (Lewis); Laurence K. Loftin, Jr. (Langley); De E. Beeler (HSFS); Harris M. Schurmeier (JPL); Maxime A. Faget (STG) ; George M. Low of NASA Headquarters OSFD) ; and Milton B. Ames, Jr. (part-time) (OASR).
In response to a request by the DOD-NASA) Saturn Ad Hoc Committee, the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) sent a supplement to the "Saturn System Study" to the Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA describing the use of Titan for Saturn upper stages.
The Army Ordnance Missile Command submitted to NASA a report entitled "Preliminary Study of an Unmanned Lunar Soft Landing Vehicle," recommending the use of the Saturn booster.
The first Rocketdyne H-1 engine for the Saturn arrived at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA ). The H-1 engine was installed in the ABMA test stand on May 7, first test-fired on May 21, and fired for 80 seconds on May 29. The first long-duration firing - 151.03 seconds - was on June 2.
NASA created a committee to study problems of long-range lunar exploration to be headed by Dr. Robert Jastrow.
Milton W. Rosen of NASA Headquarters proposed a plan for obtaining high-resolution photographs of the moon. A three-stage Vega would place the payload within a 500-mile diameter circle on the lunar surface. A stabilized retrorocket fired at 500 miles above the moon would slow the instrument package sufficiently to permit 20 photographs to be transmitted at a rate of one picture per minute.
The first meeting of the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight was held at NASA Headquarters. Members of the Committee attending were: Harry J. Goett, Chairman; Milton B. Ames, Jr. (part-time); De E. Beeler; Alfred J. Eggers, Jr.; Maxime A. Faget; Laurence K. Loftin, Jr.; George M. Low; Bruce T. Lundin; and Harris M. Schurmeier. Observers were John H. Disher, Robert M. Crane, Warren J. North, Milton W. Rosen (part-time), and H. Kurt Strass.
The purpose of the Committee was to take a long-term look at man-in-space problems, leading eventually to recommendations on future missions and on broad aspects of Center research programs to ensure that the Centers were providing proper information. Committee investigations would range beyond Mercury and Dyna-Soar but would not be overly concerned with specific vehicular configurations. The Committee would report directly to the Office of Aeronautical and Space Research.
|LM vs LK - US Lunar Module compared to Soviet LK lunar lander|
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Tentative manned space flight priorities were established by the Research Steering Committee: Project Mercury, ballistic probes, environmental satellite, maneuverable manned satellite, manned space flight laboratory, lunar reconnaissance satellite, lunar landing, Mars Venus reconnaissance, and Mars-Venus landing. The Committee agreed that each NASA Center should study a manned lunar landing and return mission, the study to include the type of propulsion, vehicle configuration, structure, anti guidance requirements. Such a mission was an end objective; it did not have to be supported on the basis that it would lead to a more useful end. It would also focus attention at the Centers on the problems of true space flight.
ABMA static fired a single H-1 Saturn engine at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
Director Robert R. Gilruth met with members of his STG staff (Paul E. Purser, Charles J. Donlan, James A. Chamberlin, Raymond L. Zavasky, W. Kemble Johnson, Charles W. Mathews, Maxime A. Faget, and Charles H. Zimmeman) and George M. Low from NASA Headquarters to discuss the possibility of an advanced manned spacecraft.
A report entitled "Recoverable Interplanetary Space Probe" was issued at the direction of C. Stark Draper, Director of the Instrumentation Laboratory, MIT. Several organizations had participated in this study, which began in 1957.
Construction of the first Saturn launch area, Complex 34, began at Cape Canaveral, FIa.
At an STG staff meeting, Director Robert R. Gilruth suggested that study should be made of a post-Mercury program in which maneuverable Mercury spacecraft would make land landings in limited areas.
NASA authorized $150,000 for Army Ordnance Missile Command studies of a lunar exploration program based on Saturn-boosted systems. To be included were circumlunar vehicles, unmanned and manned; close lunar orbiters; hard lunar impacts; and soft lunar landings with stationary or roving payloads.
Members of STG - including H. Kurt Strass, Robert L. O'Neal, Lawrence W. Enderson, Jr., and David C. Grana - and Thomas E. Dolan of Chance Vought Corporation worked on advanced design concepts of earth orbital and lunar missions. The goal was a manned lunar landing within ten years, rather than an advanced Mercury program.
Members of the Research Steering Committee determined the study and research areas which would require emphasis for manned flight to and from the moon and for intermediate flight steps:
At the second meeting of the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight, held at the Ames Research Center, members presented reports on intermediate steps toward a manned lunar landing and return.
Bruce T. Lundin of the Lewis Research Center reported to members on propulsion requirements for various modes of manned lunar landing missions, assuming a 10,000-pound spacecraft to be returned to earth. Lewis mission studies had shown that a launch into lunar orbit would require less energy than a direct approach and would be more desirable for guidance, landing reliability, etc. From a 500,000 foot orbit around the moon, the spacecraft would descend in free fall, applying a constant-thrust decelerating impulse at the last moment before landing. Research would be needed to develop the variable-thrust rocket engine to be used in the descent. With the use of liquid hydrogen, the launch weight of the lunar rocket and spacecraft would be 10 to 11 million pounds.
A report on a projected manned space station was made to the Research Steering Committee by Laurence K. Loftin, Jr., of the Langley Research Center. In discussion, Chairman Harry J. Goett expressed his opinion that consideration of a space laboratory ought to be an integral and coordinated part of the planning for the lunar landing mission. George M. Low of NASA Headquarters warned that care should be exercised to assure that each step taken toward the goal of a lunar landing was significant, since the number of steps that could be funded was extremely limited.
Alfred J. Eggers, Jr., of the Ames Research Center told the members of the Research Steering Committee of studies on radiation belts, graze and orbit maneuvers on reentry, heat transfer, structural concepts and requirements, lift over drag considerations, and guidance systems which affected various aspects of the manned lunar mission. Eggers said that Ames had concentrated on a landing maneuver involving a reentry approach over one of the poles to lessen radiation exposure, a graze through the outer edge of the atmosphere to begin an earth orbit, and finally reentry and landing.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) directed the Army Ordnance Missile Command to proceed with the static firing of the first Saturn vehicle, the test booster SA-T, in early calendar year 1960 in accordance with the $70 million program and not to accelerate for a January 1960 firing. ARPA asked to be informed of the scheduled firing date.
Meetings of the STG New Projects Panel to discuss an advanced manned space flight program.
The STG New Projects Panel (proposed by H. Kurt Strass in June) held its first meeting to discuss NASA's future manned space program. Present were Strass, Chairman, Alan B. Kehlet, William S. Augerson, Jack Funk, and other STG members. Strass summarized the philosophy behind NASA's proposed objective of a manned lunar landing : maximum utilization of existing technology in a series of carefully chosen projects, each of which would provide a firm basis for the next step and be a significant advance in its own right.
At its second meeting, STG's New Projects Panel decided that the first major project to be investigated would be the second-generation reentry capsule. The Panel was presented a chart outlining the proposed sequence of events for manned lunar mission system analysis. The target date for a manned lunar landing was 1970.
A House Committee Staff Report stated that lunar flights would originate from space platforms in earth orbit according to current planning. The final decision on the method to be used, "which must be made soon," would take into consideration the difficulty of space rendezvous between a space platform and space vehicles as compared with the difficulty of developing single vehicles large enough to proceed directly from the earth to the moon.
McDonnell Aircraft Corporation reported to NASA the results of several company-funded studies of follow-on experiments using Mercury spacecraft with heatshields modified to withstand lunar reentry conditions. In one experiment, a Centaur booster would accelerate a Mercury spacecraft plus a third stage into an eccentric earth orbit with an apogee of about 1,200 miles, so that the capsule would reenter at an angle similar to that required for reentry from lunar orbit. The third stage would then fire, boosting the spacecraft to a speed of 36,000 feet per second as it reentered the atmosphere.
A study of the guidance and control design for a variety of space missions began at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory under a NASA contract.
The ARPA-NASA Booster Evaluation Committee appointed by Herbert F. York, DOD Director of Defense Research and Engineering, April 15, 1959, convened to review plans for advanced launch vehicles. A comparison of the Saturn (C-1) and the Titan-C boosters showed that the Saturn, with its substantially greater payload capacity, would be ready at least one year sooner than the Titan-C. In addition, the cost estimates on the Titan-C proved to be unrealistic. On the basis of the Advanced Research Projects Agency presentation, York agreed to continue the Saturn program but, following the meeting, began negotiations with NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan to transfer the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (and, therefore, Saturn ) to NASA.
At the third meeting of STG's New Projects Panel, Alan B. Kehlet presented suggestions for the multimanned reentry capsule. A lenticular-shaped vehicle was proposed, to ferry three occupants safely to earth from a lunar mission at a velocity of about 36,000 feet per second.
After a meeting with officials concerned with the missile and space program, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced that he intended to transfer to NASA control the Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division personnel and facilities. The transfer, subject to congressional approval, would include the Saturn development program.
President Eisenhower announced his intention of transferring the Saturn project to NASA, which became effective on March 15, 1960.
At an STG meeting, it was decided to begin planning of advanced spacecraft systems. Three primary assignments were made:
In a memorandum to the members of the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight, Chairman Harry J. Goett discussed the increased importance of the weight of the "end vehicle" in the lunar landing mission. This was to be an item on the agenda of the third meeting of the Committee, to be held in early December. Abe Silverstein, Director of the NASA Office of Space Flight Development, had recently mentioned to Goett that a decision would be made within the next few weeks on the configuration of successive generations of Saturn, primarily the upper stages, Silverstein and Goett had discussed the Committee's views on a lunar spacecraft. Goett expressed the hope in the memorandum that members of the Committee would have some specific ideas at their forthcoming meeting about the probable weight of the spacecraft.
In addition, Goett informed the Committee that the Vega had been eliminated as a possible booster for use in one of the intermediate steps leading to the lunar mission. The primary possibility for the earth satellite mission was now the first-generation Saturn and for the lunar flight the second-generation Saturn.
While awaiting the formal transfer of the Saturn program, NASA formed a study group to recommend upper-stage configurations. Membership was to include the DOD Director of Defense Research and Engineering and personnel from NASA, Advanced Research Projects Agency, Army Ballistic Missile Agency, and the Air Force. This group was later known both as the Saturn Vehicle Team and the Silverstein Committee (for Abe Silverstein, Chairman).
The initial plan for transferring the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Saturn to NASA was drafted. It was submitted to President Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 1 1 and was signed by Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker and Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas on December 16 and by NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan on December 17.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA and NASA requested the Army Ordnance Missile Command AOMC to prepare an engineering and cost study for a new Saturn configuration with a second stage of four 20,000-pound-thrust liquid-hydrogen and liquid-oxygen engines (later called the S-IV stage) and a modified Centaur third stage using two of these engines later designated the S-V stage).
At the third meeting of the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight held at Langley Research Center, H. Kurt Strass reported on STG's thinking on steps leading to manned lunar flight and on a particular capsule-laboratory spacecraft. The project steps beyond Mercury were: radiation experiments, minimum space and reentry vehicle (manned), temporary space laboratory (manned), lunar data acquisition (unmanned), lunar circumnavigation or lunar orbiter (unmanned), lunar base supply (unmanned), and manned lunar landing. STG felt that the lunar mission should have a three-man crew. A configuration was described in which a cylindrical laboratory was attached to the reentry capsule. This laboratory would provide working space for the astronauts until it was jettisoned before reentry. Preliminary estimates put the capsule weight at about 6,600 pounds and the capsule plus laboratory at about 10,000 pounds.
H. H. Koelle told members of the Research Steering Committee of mission possibilities being considered at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. These included an engineering satellite, an orbital return capsule, a space crew training vehicle, a manned orbital laboratory, a manned circumlunar vehicle, and a manned lunar landing and return vehicle. He described the current Saturn configurations, including the "C" launch vehicle to be operational in 1967. The Saturn C (larger than the C-1) would be able to boost 85,000 pounds into earth orbit and 25,000 pounds into an escape trajectory.
Several possible configurations for a manned lunar landing by direct ascent being studied at the Lewis Research Center were described to the Research Steering Committee by Seymour C. Himmel. A six-stage launch vehicle would be required, the first three stages to boost the spacecraft to orbital speed, the fourth to attain escape speed, the fifth for lunar landing, and the sixth for lunar escape with a 10,000-pound return vehicle. One representative configuration had an overall height of 320 feet. H. H. Koelle of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency argued that orbital assembly or refueling in orbit (earth orbit rendezvous) was more flexible, more straightforward, and easier than the direct ascent approach. Bruce T. Lundin of the Lewis Research Center felt that refueling in orbit presented formidable problems since handling liquid hydrogen on the ground was still not satisfactory. Lewis was working on handling cryogenic fuels in space.
Committee formed to recommend post-Mercury space program. After four meetings, and studying earth-orbit assembly using Saturn II or direct ascent using Nova, tended to back development of Nova.
NASA team completed study design of upper stages of Saturn launch vehicle.
In a memorandum to Don R. Ostrander, Director of Office of Launch Vehicle Programs, and Abe Silverstein, Director of Office of Space Flight Programs, NASA Associate Administrator Richard E. Horner described the proposed Space Exploration Program Council, which would be concerned primarily with program development and implementation. The Council would be made up of the Directors of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, the Office of Space Flight Programs, and the Office of Launch Vehicle Programs. Horner would be Chairman of the Council which would have its first meeting on January 28-29, 1960 (later changed to February 10-11, 1960).
NASA accepted the recommendations of the Saturn Vehicle Evaluation Committee Silverstein Committee on the Saturn C-1 configuration and on a long-range Saturn program. A research and development plan of ten vehicles was approved. The C-1 configuration would include the S-1 stage (eight H-1 engines clustered, producing 1.5 million pounds of thrust), the S-IV stage (four engines producing 80,000 pounds of thrust), and the S-V stage two engines producing 40,000 pounds of thrust.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower directed NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan "to make a study, to be completed at the earliest date practicable, of the possible need for additional funds for the balance of FY 1960 and for FY 1961 to accelerate the super booster program for which your agency recently was given technical and management responsibility."
In testimony before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Richard E. Horner, Associate Administrator of NASA, presented NASA's ten-year plan for 1960-1970. The essential elements had been recommended by the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight. NASA's Office of Program Planning and Evaluation, headed by Homer J. Stewart, formalized the ten-year plan.
On February 19, NASA officials again presented the ten-year timetable to the House Committee. A lunar soft landing with a mobile vehicle had been added for 1965. On March 28, NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan described the plan to the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences. He estimated the cost of the program to be more than $1 billion in Fiscal Year 1962 and at least $1.5 billion annually over the next five years, for a total cost of $12 to $15 billion.
The Chance Vought Corporation completed a company-funded, independent, classified study on manned lunar landing and return (MALLAR), under the supervision of Thomas E. Dolan. Booster limitations indicated that earth orbit rendezvous would be necessary. A variety of lunar missions were described, including a two-man, 14-day lunar landing and return. This mission called for an entry vehicle of 6,600 pounds, a mission module of 9,000 pounds, and a lunar landing module of 27,000 pounds. It incorporated the idea of lunar orbit rendezvous though not specifically by name.
At a luncheon in Washington, Abe Silverstein, Director of the Office of Space Flight Programs, suggested the name "Apollo" for the manned space flight program that was to follow Mercury. Others at the luncheon were Don R. Ostrander from NASA Headquarters and Robert R. Gilruth, Maxime A. Faget, and Charles J. Donlan from STG.
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency submitted to NASA the study entitled "A Lunar Exploration Program Based Upon Saturn-Boosted Systems." In addition to the subjects specified in the preliminary report of October 1, 1959, it included manned lunar landings.
The first meeting of the NASA Space Exploration Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The objective of the Council was "to provide a mechanism for the timely and direct resolution of technical and managerial problems . . . common to all NASA Centers engaged in the space flight program."
Study issued by Huntsville of lunar landing alternatives using Saturn systems. Huntsville transferred from Army to NASA. Vought study on modular approach to lunar landing. Internally NASA decides on lunar landing as next objective after Mercury.
Eleven companies submitted contract proposals for the Saturn second stage (S-IV): Bell Aircraft Corporation; The Boeing Airplane Company; Chrysler Corporation; General Dynamics Corporation, Convair Astronautics Division; Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.; Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; The Martin Company; McDonnell Aircraft Corporation; North American Aviation, Inc.; and United Aircraft Corporation.
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NASA established the Office of Life Sciences Programs with Clark T. Randt as Director. The Office would assist in the fields of biotechnology and basic medical and behavioral sciences. Proposed biological investigations would include work on the effects of space and planetary environments on living organisms, on evidence of extraterrestrial life forms, and on contamination problems. In addition, the Office would arrange grants and contracts and plan a life sciences research center.
At a NASA staff conference at Monterey, Calif., officials discussed the advanced manned space flight program, the elements of which had been presented to Congress in January. The Goddard Space Flight Center was asked to define the basic assumptions to be used by all groups in the continuing study of the lunar mission. Some problems already raised were: the type of heatshield needed for reentry and tests required to qualify it, the kind of research and development firings, and conditions that would be encountered in cislunar flight.
STG formulated preliminary guidelines by which an "advanced manned spacecraft and system" would be developed. These guidelines were further refined and elaborated; they were formally presented to NASA Centers during April and May.
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division and the Saturn program were transferred to NASA after the expiration of the 60-day limit for congressional action on the President's proposal of January 14. (The President's decision had been made on October 21, 1959.) By Executive Order, the President named the facilities the "George C. Marshall Space Flight Center." Formal transfer took place on July 1.
Thomas E. Dolan of the Chance Vought Corporation prepared a company-funded design study of the lunar orbit rendezvous method for accomplishing the lunar landing mission.
Two of Saturn's first-stage engines passed initial static firing test of 7.83 seconds duration at Huntsville, Ala.
STG's Robert O. Piland, during briefings at NASA Centers, presented a detailed description of the guidelines for missions, propulsion, and flight time in the advanced manned spacecraft program:
Presentation by STG members of the guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers.
Members of STG presented guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers to enlist research assistance in formulating spacecraft and mission design.
To open these discussions, Director Robert R. Gilruth summarized the guidelines: manned lunar reconnaissance with a lunar mission module, corollary earth orbital missions with a lunar mission module and with a space laboratory, compatibility with the Saturn C-1 or C-2 boosters (weight not to exceed 15,000 pounds for a complete lunar spacecraft and 25,000 pounds for an earth orbiting spacecraft), 14-day flight time, safe recovery from aborts, ground and water landing and avoidance of local hazards, point (ten square-mile) landing, 72-hour postlanding survival period, auxiliary propulsion for maneuvering in space, a "shirtsleeve" environment, a three-man crew, radiation protection, primary command of mission on board, and expanded communications and tracking facilities. In addition, a tentative time schedule was included, projecting multiman earth orbit qualification flights beginning near the end of the first quarter of calendar year 1966.
In discussing the advanced manned spacecraft program at NASA Centers, Maxime A. Faget of STG detailed the guidelines for aborted missions and landing:
Stanley C. White of STG outlined at NASA Centers the guidelines for human factors in the advanced manned spacecraft program:
Command and communications guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft program were listed by STG's Robert G. Chilton at NASA Centers:
John C. Houbolt of the Langley Research Center presented a paper at the National Aeronautical Meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers in New York City in which the problems of rendezvous in space with the minimum expenditure of fuel were considered.
Four of the eight H-1 engines of the Saturn C-1 first-stage booster were successfully static-fired at Redstone Arsenal for seven seconds.
Briefings on the guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft program were presented by STG representatives at NASA Headquarters.
STG members, visiting Moffett Field, Calif., briefed representatives of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flight Research Center, and Ames Research Center on the advanced manned spacecraft program. Ames representatives then described work at their Center which would be applicable to the program: preliminary design studies of several aerodynamic configurations for reentry from a lunar trajectory, guidance and control requirements studies, potential reentry heating experiments at near-escape velocity, flight simulation, and pilot display and navigation studies. STG asked Ames to investigate heating and aerodynamics on possible lifting capsule configurations. In addition, Ames offered to tailor a payload applicable to the advanced program for a forthcoming Wallops Station launch.
In a memorandum to NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan, Robert L. King, Executive Secretary of the Space Exploration Program Council (SEPC), reported on the status of certain actions taken up at the first meeting of the Council:
Members of STG visited the Flight Research Center to be briefed on current effort and planned activities there. Of special interest were possibilities of the Flight Research Center's conducting research on large parachutes in cooperation with Ames Research Center, analytical and simulator studies of pilot control of launch vehicles, and full-scale tests of landing capabilities of low lift over drag configurations.
NASA announced the selection of the Douglas Aircraft Company to build the second stage (S-IV) of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle.
At Redstone Arsenal, all eight H-1 engines of the first stage of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle were static-fired simultaneously for the first time and achieved 1.3 million pounds of thrust.
A study report was issued by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory on guidance and control design for a variety of space missions. This report, approved by C. Stark Draper, Director of the Laboratory, showed that a vehicle, manned or unmanned, could have significant onboard navigation and guidance capability.
Members of STG presented the proposed advanced manned spacecraft program to Wernher von Braun and 25 of his staff at Marshall Space Flight Center. During the ensuing discussion, the merits of a completely automatic circumlunar mission were compared with those of a manually operated mission. Further discussions were scheduled.
STG members presented the proposed advanced manned spacecraft program to the Lewis Research Center staff. Work at the Center applicable to the program included: analysis and preliminary development of the onboard propulsion system, trajectory analysis, and development of small rockets for midcourse and attitude control propulsion.
Robcrt R. Gilruth, Paul E. Purser, James A. Chamberlin, Maxime A. Faget, and H. Kurt Strass of STG met with a group from the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation to discuss advanced spacecraft programs. Grumman had been working on guidance requirements for circumlunar flights under the sponsorship of the Navy and presented Strass with a report of this work.
A discussion on the advanced manned spacecraft program was held at the Langley Research Center with members of STG and Langley Research Center, together with George M. Low and Ernest O. Pearson, Jr., of NASA Headquarters and Harry J. Goett of Goddard Space Flight Center. Floyd L. Thompson, Langley Director, said that Langley would be studying the radiation problem, making configuration tests (including a lifting Mercury) , and studying aerodynamics, heating, materials, and structures.
The consensus of the meeting was that the rendezvous technique would be essential in the foreseeable future and that experiments should be made to establish feasibility and develop the technique. There was as yet no funding for my rendezvous flight test program.
STG formed the Advanced Vehicle Team, reporting directly to Robert R. Gilruth, Director of the Mercury program. The Team would conduct research and make preliminary design studies for an advanced multiman spacecraft.
Eight H-1 engines of the first stage of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle were static-fired for 35.16 seconds, producing 1.3 million pounds of thrust. This first public demonstration of the H-1 took place at Marshall Space Flight Center.
Assembly of the first Saturn flight booster, SA-1, began at Marshall Space Flight Center.
NASA selected Rocketdyne Division of NAA to develop the J-2, a 200,000-pound-thrust rocket engine, burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. (A decision was later made to use the J-2 in the upper stages of the Saturn C-5.)
Complete eight-engine static firing of Saturn successfully conducted for 110 seconds at MSFC, the longest firing to date.
The Saturn C-1 first stage successfully completed its first series of static tests at the Marshall Space Flight Center with a 122-second firing of all eight H-1 engines.
H. Kurt Strass of STG and John H. Disher of NASA Headquarters proposed that boilerplate Apollo spacecraft be used in some of the forthcoming Saturn C-1 hunches. (Boilerplates are research and development vehicles which simulate production spacecraft in size, shape, structure, mass, and center of gravity.) These flight tests would provide needed experience with Apollo systems and utilize the Saturn boosters effectively. Four or five such tests were projected. On October 5, agreement was reached between members of Marshall Space Flight Center and STG on tentative Saturn vehicle assignments and flight plans.
Robert O. Piland, Head of the STG Advanced Vehicle Team, and Stanley C. White of STG attended a meeting in Washington, D. C., sponsored by the NASA Office of Life Sciences Programs, to discuss radiation and its effect on manned space flight. Their research showed that it would be impracticable to shield against the inner Van Allen belt radiation but possible to shield against the outer belt with a moderate amount of protection.
The House Committee on Science and Astronautics declared: "A high priority program should be undertaken to place a manned expedition on the moon in this decade. A firm plan with this goal in view should be drawn up and submitted to the Congress by NASA. Such a plan, however, should be completely integrated with other goals, to minimize total costs. The modular concept deserves close study. Particular attention should be paid immediately to long lead-time phases of such a program." The Committee also recommended that development of the F-1 engine be expedited in expectation of the Nova launch vehicle, that there be more research on nuclear engines and less conventional engines before freezing the Nova concept, and that the Orion project be turned over to NASA. It was the view of the Committee that "NASA's 10-year program is a good program, as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Furthermore the space program is not being pushed with sufficient energy."
The third meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The question of a speedup of Saturn C-2 production and the possibility of using nuclear upper stages with the Saturn booster were discussed. The Office of Launch Vehicle Programs would plan a study on the merits of using nuclear propulsion for some of NASA's more sophisticated missions. If the study substantiated such a need, the amount of in-house basic research could then be determined.
NASA Director of Space Flight Programs Abe Silverstein notified Harry J. Goett, Director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, that NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan had approved the name "Apollo" for the advanced manned space flight program. The program would be so designated at the forthcoming NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference.
The first NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference was held in Washington, D.C. The purpose was to give industrial management an overall picture of the NASA program and to establish a basis for subsequent conferences to be held at various NASA Centers. The current status of NASA programs was outlined, including long-range planning, launch vehicles, structures and materials research, manned space flight, and life sciences.
NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden announced that the advanced manned space flight program had been named "Apollo." George M. Low, NASA Chief of Manned Space Flight, stated that circumlunar flight and earth orbit missions would be carried out before 1970. This program would lead eventually to a manned lunar landing and a permanent manned space station.
Name 'Apollo' selected by Silverstein. Conference with aerospace industry outlined NASA's plans for circumlunar and lunar flight.
|Lunar Module 3 view|
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In a memorandum to Abe Silverstein, Director of NASA's Office of Space Flight Programs, Harry J. Goett, Director of Goddard Space Flight Center, outlined the tentative program of the Goddard industry conference to be held on August 30. At this conference, more details of proposed study contracts for an advanced manned spacecraft would be presented. The requirements would follow the guidelines set down by STG and presented to NASA Headquarters during April and May. Three six-month study contracts at $250,000 each would be awarded.
Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton and Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker announced that the U.S. Geological Survey had completed the first known photogeological survey of the surface of the moon.
Army announced completion of a project for mapping lunar landing sites.
The Goddard Space Flight Center GSFC conducted its industry conference in Washington, D.C., presenting details of GSFC projects, current and future. The objectives of the proposed six-month feasibility contracts for an advanced manned spacecraft were announced.
In an organizational change within STG, Maxime A. Faget was appointed Chief of the Flight Systems Division and Robert O. Piland was named Assistant Chief for Advanced Projects. The Apollo Project Office was formed with Piland as Head of the Office; members included John B. Lee, J. Thomas Markley, William W. Petynia,and H. Kurt Strass.
NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan directed that an accelerated joint planning effort be made by persons at NASA Headquarters who were most familiar with the Saturn, Apollo, manned orbital laboratory, and unmanned lunar and planetary programs. They were to determine whether the Saturn and Saturn-use programs were effectively integrated and whether sufficient design study and program development work had been done to support decisions on projected Saturn configurations.
A NASA contract for approximately $44 million was signed by Rocketdyne Division of NAA for the development of the J-2 engine.
A formal agreement was signed by the United States and South Africa providing for the construction of a new deep-space tracking facility at Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg. It would be one of three stations equipped to maintain constant contact with lunar and planetary spacecraft.
Bidder's conference for circumlunar Apollo. Specification: Saturn C-2 compatability (6,800 kg mass for circumlunar mission); 14 day flight time; three-man crew in shirt-sleeve environment.
An STG briefing was held at Langley Field, Va., for prospective bidders on three six-month feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft as part of the Apollo program. A formal Request for Proposal was issued at the conference.
Charles J. Donlan of STG, Chairman of the Evaluation Board which would consider contractors' proposals on feasibility studies for an advanced manned spacecraft, invited the Directors of Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flight Research Center, Lewis Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center to name representatives to the Evaluation Board. The first meeting was to be held on October 10 at Langley Field, Va.
The fourth meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The results of a study on Saturn development and utilization was presented by the Ad Hoc Saturn Study Committee. Objectives of the study were to determine (1) if and when the Saturn C-2 launch vehicle should be developed and (2) if mission and spacecraft planning was consistent with the Saturn vehicle development schedule. No change in the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget was contemplated. The Committee recommended that the Saturn C-2 development should proceed on schedule (S-II stage contract in Fiscal Year 1962, first flight in 1965). The C-2 would be essential, the study reported, for Apollo manned circumlunar missions, lunar unmanned exploration, Mars and Venus orbiters and capsule landers, probes to other planets and out-of- ecliptic, and for orbital starting of nuclear upper stages.
Members were appointed to the Technical Assessment Panels and the Evaluation Board to consider industry proposals for Apollo spacecraft feasibility studies. Members of the Evaluation Board were: Charles J. Donlan (STG), Chairman; Maxime A. Faget (STG) ; Robert O. Piland (STG), Secretary; John H. Disher (NASA Headquarters Office of Space Flight Programs); Alvin Seiff (Ames); John V. Becker (Langley); H. H. Koelle (Marshall); Harry J. Goett (Goddard), ex officio; and Robert R. Gilruth (STG), ex officio.
Members of STG visited the Marshall Space Flight Center to discuss possible Saturn and Apollo guidance integration and potential utilization of Apollo onboard propulsion to provide a reserve capability. Agreement was reached on tentative Saturn vehicle assignments on abort study and lunar entry simulation; on the use of the Saturn guidance system; and on future preparations of tentative flight plans for Saturns SA-6, 8, 9, and 10.
Contractors' proposals on feasibility studies for an advanced manned spacecraft were received by STG. Sixty-four companies expressed interest in the Apollo program, and of these 14 actually submitted proposals: The Boeing Airplane Company; Chance Vought Corporation; Convair/Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation; Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc.; Douglas Aircraft Company; General Electric Company; Goodyear Aircraft Corporation; Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; Guardite Division of American Marietta Company; Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; The Martin Company; North American Aviation, Inc.; and Republic Aviation Corporation. These 14 companies, later reduced to 12 when Cornell and Guardite withdrew, were subsequently invited to submit prime contractor proposals for the Apollo spacecraft development in 1961. The Technical Assessment Panels began evaluation of contractors' proposals on October 10.
In a memorandum to Abe Silverstein, Director of NASA's Office of Space Flight Programs, George M. Low, Chief of Manned Space Flight, described the formation of a working group on the manned lunar landing program: "It has become increasingly apparent that a preliminary program for manned lunar landings should be formulated. This is necessary in order to provide a proper justification for Apollo, and to place Apollo schedules and technical plans on a firmer foundation.
"In order to prepare such a program, I have formed a small working group, consisting of Eldon Hall, Oran Nicks, John Disher, and myself. This group will endeavor to establish ground rules for manned lunar landing missions; to determine reasonable spacecraft weights; to specify launch vehicle requirements; and to prepare an integrated development plan, including the spacecraft, lunar landing and takeoff system, and launch vehicles. This plan should include a time-phasing and funding picture, and should identify areas requiring early studies by field organizations."
The Technical Assessment Panels presented to the Evaluation Board their findings on the contractors' proposals for feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft. On October 24, the Evaluation Board findings and recommendations were presented to the STG Director.
A staff meeting of STG's Flight Systems Division was held to fix additional design constraints for the in- house design study of the Apollo spacecraft.
Fundamental decisions were made as a result of this and a previous meeting on September 20.
Included in the current Saturn flight schedule were: mid-1961, begin first-stage flights with dummy upper stages; early 1963, begin two-stage flights; late 1963, begin three-stage flights; early 1964, conclude ten-vehicle research and development flight test program.
NASA selected three contractors to prepare individual feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft as part of Project Apollo. The contractors were Convair/Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation, General Electric Company, and The Martin Company.
From 16 bids, Convair, General Electric, and Martin selected to conduct $250,000 study contracts. Meanwhile Space Task Group Langley undertakes its own studies, settling on Apollo CM configuration as actually built by October 1960.
Representatives of the General Electric Company, The Martin Company, and Convair/Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation visited STG to conduct negotiations on the Apollo systems study contracts announced on October 25. The discussions clarified or identified areas not completely covered in company proposals. Contracts were awarded on November 15.
Key staff members of NASA Headquarters and the Commander, U.S. Air Force Research and Development Command, met at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Los Angeles, Calif., to attend briefings and discuss matters of mutual concern.
At an executive session, Air Force and NASA programs of orbital rendezvous, refueling, and descent from orbit were discussed. Long-range Air Force studies on a lunar base were in progress as well as research on more immediate missions, such as rendezvous by an unmanned satellite interceptor for inspection purposes, manned maintenance satellites, and reentry methods. NASA plans for the manned lunar landing mission included the possible use of the Saturn booster in an orbital staging operation employing orbital refueling. Reentry studies beyond Mercury were concentrated on reentry at escape speeds and on a spacecraft configuration capable of aerodynamic maneuvering during reentry.
Lunar atlas prepared for USAF by group under technical direction of G. P. Kuiper was released, an "Orthographic Atlas of the Moon" charted 5,000 base points combined with best available photos and grids.
The Department of the Interior announced that the U.S. Geological Survey would undertake detailed studies of lunar geology as part of a new $205,000 program in astrogeology financed by NASA.
At a meeting, Charles J. Donlan of STG and George M. Low, John H. Disher, Milton W. Rosen, and Elliott Mitchell, all of NASA Headquarters, discussed a plan to set up informal technical liaison groups to broaden the base for inter-Center information exchange on the Apollo program with particular reference to onboard propulsion.
STG formulated a plan for the proposed Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. These Groups were to effect systematic liaison in technical areas related to the Apollo project. The objectives and scope of the plan were as follows:
Charles J. Donlan, Associate Director of STG, invited Langley, Ames, Lewis, and Flight Research Centers, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory to participate in Technical Liaison Groups in accordance with the plan drawn up on November 16.
STG held a meeting at Goddard Space Flight Center to discuss a proposed contract with MIT Instrumentation Laboratory for navigation and guidance support for Project Apollo. The proposed six-month contract for $100,000 might fund studies through the preliminary design stage but not actual hardware. Milton B. Trageser of the Instrumentation Laboratory presented a draft work statement which divided the effort into three parts: midcourse guidance, reentry guidance, and a satellite experiment feasibility study using the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory. STG decided that the Instrumentation Laboratory should submit a more detailed draft of a work statement to form the basis of a contract. In a discussion the next day, Robert G. Chilton of STG and Trageser clarified three points:
A joint briefing on the Apollo and Saturn programs was held at Marshall Space Flight Center MSFC, attended by representatives of STG and MSFC. Maxime A. Faget of STG and MSFC Director Wernher von Braun agreed that a joint STG-MSFC program would be developed to accomplish a manned lunar landing. Areas of responsibility were: MSFC launch vehicle and landing on the moon; STG - lunar orbit, landing, and return to earth.
Smith J. DeFrance, Director of the Ames Research Center, designated Ames working members on six of the nine Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. They were Stanley F. Schmidt (Trajectory Analysis), Clarence A. Syvertson (Configurations and Aerodynamics), G. Allen Smith (Guidance and Control), Glen Goodwin (Heating), Charles A. Hermach (Structures and Materials), and Harald S. Smedal (Human Factors).
Eugene J. Manganiello, Associate Director of the Lewis Research Center, appointed Lewis members to six of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. They were Seymour C. Himmel (Trajectory Analysis), Jack B. Esgar (Structures and Materials), Robert E. Tozier (Instrumentation and Communications), Robert F. Seldon (Human Factors), Robert R. Goodman (Mechanical Systems), and Edmund R. Jonash (Onboard Propulsion).
Representatives of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) were assigned to eight of the nine Apollo Technical Liaison Groups by H. H. Koelle, Director, Future Projects Office, MSFC. They were Rudolph F. Hoelker (Trajectory Analysis), Edward L. Linsley (Configurations and Aerodynamics), Werner K. Dahm and Harvey A. Connell (Heating), Erich E. Goerner (Structures and Materials), David M. Hammock and Alexander A. McCool (Onboard Propulsion), Heinz Kampmeier (Instrumentation and Communications), Wilbur G. Thornton (Guidance and Control), and Herman F. Beduerftig (Mechanical Systems). Dual representation on two of the Groups would be necessary because of the division of technical responsibilities within MSFC.
The Director of the Flight Research Center, Paul F. Bikle, nominated Flight Research Center members to eight of the nine Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. They were Donald R. Bellman (Trajectory Analysis), Hubert M. Drake (Configurations and Aerodynamics), Euclid C. Holleman (Guidance and Control), Thomas V. Cooney (Heating), Kenneth C. Sanderson (Instrumentation and Communications), Milton O. Thompson (Human Factors), Perry V. Row (Mechanical Systems) , and Norman E. DeMar (Onboard Propulsion).
A meeting was held by representatives of STG and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory to discuss the scope of the studies to be performed by the Lincoln Laboratory on the ground instrumentation system for the Apollo program. The discussion centered about the draft work statement prepared by STG. In general, those at the meeting agreed that Lincoln Laboratory should conduct an overall analysis of the requirements for the ground system, leading to the formulation of a general systems concept. The study should be completed by the end of December 1961, with interim results available in the middle of 1961 .
First of new series of static firings of Saturn considered only 50 percent successful in 2-second test at MSFC.
Milton B. Trageser of MIT Instrumentation Laboratory transmitted to Charles J. Donlan of STG the outline of a study program on the guidance aspects of Project Apollo. He outlined what might be covered by a formal proposal on the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation contract discussed by STG and Instrumentation Laboratory representatives on November 22.
The first technical review of the General Electric Company Apollo feasibility study was held at the contractor's Missile and Space Vehicle Department. Company representatives presented reports on the study so that STG representatives might review progress, provide General Electric with pertinent information from NASA or other sources, and discuss and advise as to the course of the study.
Floyd L. Thompson, Director of the Langley Research Center, assigned Langley members to eight of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. They were William H. Michael, Jr. (Trajectory Analysis), Eugene S. Love (Configurations and Aerodynamics), John M. Eggleston (Guidance and Control), Robert L. Trimpi
(Heating), Roger A. Anderson (Structures and Materials), Wilford E. Sivertson, Jr. (Instrumentation and Communications), David Adamson (Human Factors), and Joseph G. Thibodaux, Jr. (Onboard Propulsion).
The Martin Company presented the first technical review of its Apollo feasibility study to STG officials in Baltimore, Md. At the suggestion of STG, Martin agreed to reorient the study in several areas: putting more emphasis on lunar orbits, putting man in the system, and considering landing and recovery in the initial design of the spacecraft.
Brian O. Sparks, Deputy Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), designated JPL members to serve on six of the nine Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. They were Victor C. Clarke, Jr. (Trajectory Analysis), Edwin Pounder (Configurations and Aerodynamics), James D. Acord (Guidance and Control), John W. Lucas (Heating), William J. Carley (Structures and Materials), and Duane F. Dipprey (Onboard Propulsion),
Representatives of the Langley Research Center briefed members of STG on the lunar orbit method of accomplishing the lunar landing mission.
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Convair/Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation held its first technical review of the Apollo feasibility study in San Diego, Calif. Brief presentations were made by contractor and subcontractor technical specialists to STG representatives. Convair/Astronautics' first approach was oriented toward the modular concept, but STG suggested that the integral spacecraft concept should be investigated.
Associate Administrator of NASA Robert C. Seamans, Jr., and his staff were briefed by Langley Research Center personnel on the rendezvous method as it related to the national space program. Clinton E. Brown presented an analysis made by himself and Ralph W. Stone, Jr., describing the general operational concept of lunar orbit rendezvous for the manned lunar landing. The advantages of this plan in contrast with the earth orbit rendezvous method, especially in reducing launch vehicle requirements, were illustrated. Others discussing the rendezvous were John C. Houbolt, John D. Bird, and Max C. Kurbjun.
The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory submitted a formal proposal to NASA for a study of a navigation and guidance system for the Apollo spacecraft.
The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation began work on a company- funded lunar orbit rendezvous feasibility study.
During a meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council at NASA Headquarters, the subject of a manned lunar landing was discussed. Following presentations on earth orbit rendezvous (Wernher von Braun, Director of Marshall Space Flight Center), lunar orbit rendezvous (John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center), and direct ascent (Melvyn Savage of NASA Headquarters), the Council decided that NASA should not follow any one of these specific approaches, but should proceed on a broad base to afford flexibility. Another outcome of the discussion was an agreement that NASA should have an orbital rendezvous program which could stand alone as well as being a part of the manned lunar program. A task group was named to define the elements of the program insofar as possible. Members of the group were George M. Low, Chairman, Eldon W. Hall, A. M. Mayo, Ernest O. Pearson, Jr., and Oran W. Nicks, all of NASA Headquarters; Maxime A. Faget of STG; and H. H. Koelle of Marshall Space Flight Center. This group became known as the Low Committee.
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) set up by the Space Exploration Program Council was instructed to prepare a position paper for the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget presentation to Congress. The paper was to be a concise statement of NASA's lunar program for Fiscal Year 1962 and was to present the lunar mission in term of both direct ascent and rendezvous. The rendezvous program would be designed to develop a manned spacecraft capability in near space, regardless of whether such a technique would be needed for manned lunar landing. In addition to answering such questions as the reason for not eliminating one of the two mission approaches, the Group was to estimate the cost of the lunar mission and the date of its accomplishment, though not in specific terms. Although the decision to land a man on the moon had not been approved, it was to be stressed that the development of the scientific and technical capability for a manned lunar landing was a prime NASA goal, though not the only one. The first meeting of the Group was to be held on January 9.
First meetings of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups, formed to coordinate NASA inter-Center information exchange.
Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups held their first meetings at STG (Instrumentation and Communications, Mechanical Systems, and Onboard Propulsion.
The Group for Instrumentation and Communications discussed a set of working guidelines on spacecraft instrumentation and communications, tracking considerations, and deep-space communication requirements. Progress of the three Apollo feasibility study contracts was reviewed and the proposed MIT Lincoln Laboratory study on a systems concept for the ground instrumentation and tracking required for the Apollo mission was discussed. Reports of studies were given by members from the NASA Centers. The Group recommendations were :
At the first meeting of the Manned Lunar Landing Task Group, Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Director of the Office of Space Flight Programs Abe Silverstein, and Director of the Office of Advanced Research Programs Ira H. Abbott outlined the purpose of the Group to the members. After a discussion of the instructions, the Group considered first the objectives of the total NASA program:
Representatives of STG visited Convair Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation to monitor the Apollo feasibility study contract. The meeting consisted of several individual informal discussions between the STG and Convair specialists on configurations and aerodynamics, heating, structures and materials, human factors, trajectory analysis, guidance and control, and operation implementation.
A conference was held at the Langley Research Center between representatives of STG and Langley to discuss the feasibility of incorporating a lunar orbit rendezvous phase into the Apollo program. Attending the meeting for STG were Robert L. O'Neal, Owen E. Maynard, and H. Kurt Strass, and for the Langley Research Center, John C. Houbolt, Clinton E. Brown, Manuel J. Queijo, and Ralph W. Stone, Jr. The presentation by Houbolt centered on a performance analysis which showed the weight saving to be gained by the lunar rendezvous technique as opposed to the direct ascent mode. According to the analysis, a saving in weight of from 20 to 40 percent could be realized with the lunar orbit rendezvous technique.
John Blake of the Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center (ACIC) described to STG representatives the progress made by ACIC in mapping the moon. Lunar maps to the scale of 1: 5,000,000 and 1: 10,000,000 were later requested and received by STG. In addition, the first two sheets of a projected 144 sheet map coverage of the lunar surface on a 1:1,000,000 scale were forwarded to STG by the Center.
J. Thomas Markley of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office reported to Associate Director of STG Charles J. Donlan that an informal briefing had been given to the Saturn Guidance Committee on the Apollo program. The Committee had been formed by Don R. Ostrander, NASA Director of the Office of Launch Vehicle Programs, to survey the broad guidance and control requirements for Saturn. The Committee was to review Marshall Space Flight Center guidance plans, review plans of mission groups who intended to use Saturn, recommend an adequate guidance system for Saturn, and prepare a report of the evaluation and results during January. Members of STG, including Robert O. Piland, Markley, and Robert G. Chilton, presented summaries of the overall Apollo program and guidance requirements for Apollo.
Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups (Trajectory Analysis, Heating, and Human Factors) held their first meetings at the Ames Research Center.
After reviewing the status of the contractors' Apollo feasibility studies, the Group on Trajectory Analysis discussed studies being made at NASA Centers. An urgent requirement was identified for a standard model of the Van Allen radiation belt which could be used in all trajectory analysis related to the Apollo program,
The Group on Heating, after consideration of NASA and contractor studies currently in progress, recommended experimental investigation of control surface heating and determination of the relative importance of the unknowns in the heating area by relating estimated "ignorance" factors to resulting weight penalties in the spacecraft. The next day, three members of this Group met for further discussions and two areas were identified for more study: radiant heat inputs and their effect on the ablation heatshield, and methods of predicting heating on control surfaces, possibly by wind tunnel tests at high Mach numbers.
The Group on Human Factors considered contractors' studies and investigations being done at NASA Centers. In particular, the Group discussed the STG document, "Project Apollo Life Support Programs," which proposed 41 research projects. These projects were to be carried out by various organizations, including NASA, DOD, industry, and universities. Medical support experience which might be applicable to Apollo was also reviewed.
President-elect John F. Kennedy released a report made to him by his Ad Hoc Committee on Space named to review the U.S. space and missile programs and identify personnel, technical, or administrative problems which would require the prompt attention of the Kennedy Administration. The Committee, whose chairman was Jerome B. Wiesner of MIT, concluded that the national space program required a redefinition of objectives, that the National Aeronautics and Space Council should be made an effective agency for managing the space program, that there should be a single responsible agency within the military establishment to manage the military part of the space program, that NASA management should be reorganized with stronger emphasis on technical direction, and that organizational machinery should be set up within the government to administer an industry-government civilian space program.
Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups Structures and Materials, Configurations and Aerodynamics, and Guidance and Control held their first meetings at the Ames Research Center.
The Group on Structures and Materials, after reviewing contractors' progress on the Apollo feasibility studies, considered reports on Apollo-related activities at NASA Centers. Among these activities were work on the radiative properties of material suitable for temperature control of spacecraft (Ames), investigation of low-level cooling systems in the reentry module (Langley), experiments on the landing impact of proposed reentry module shapes (Langley), meteoroid damage studies (Lewis), and the definition of suitable design criteria and safety factors to ensure the structural integrity of the spacecraft STG.
The Group on Configurations and Aerodynamics recommended :
Representatives of STG visited The Martin Company in Baltimore, Md., to review the progress of the Apollo feasibility study contract. Discussions on preliminary design of the spacecraft, human factors, propulsion, power supplies, guidance and control, structures, and landing and recovery were held with members of the Martin staff.
At the second meeting of the Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee), a draft position paper was presented by George M. Low, Chairman. A series of reports on launch vehicle capabilities, spacecraft, and lunar program support were presented and considered for possible inclusion in the position paper.
The Marshall Space Flight Center awarded contracts to the Douglas Aircraft Company and Chance Vought Corporation to study the launching of manned exploratory expeditions into lunar and interplanetary space from earth orbits.
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) submitted its first draft report to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. A section on detailed costs and schedules still was in preparation and a detailed itemized backup report was expected to be available in mid- February.
NASA announced that the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation had been awarded a contract by the Marshall Space Flight Center to study the feasibility of refueling a spacecraft in orbit.
Wernher von Braun, Director of Marshall Space Flight Center, proposed that the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle be changed from a three-stage to a two-stage configuration to meet Apollo program schedules. The planned third stage (S-V) would be dropped.
President John F. Kennedy announced that he was nominating James E. Webb as Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Hugh L. Dryden as Deputy Administrator, Senate confirmation followed on February 9 and they were sworn in on February 14.
Members of STG met with representatives of the Convair Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation and Avco Corporation to monitor the progress of the Apollo feasibility study. Configurations and aerodynamics and Apollo heating studies were discussed. Current plans indicated that final selection of their proposed spacecraft configuration would be made by Convair Astronautics within a week. The status of the spacecraft reentry studies was described by Avco specialists.
Marshall Space Flight Center awarded contracts to NAA and Ryan Aeronautical Corporation to investigate the feasibility of recovering the first stage (S-I) of the Saturn launch vehicle by using a Rogallo wing paraglider.
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) transmitted its final report to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The Group found that the manned lunar landing mission could be accomplished during the decade, using either the earth orbit rendezvous or direct ascent technique. Multiple launchings of Saturn C-2 launch vehicles would be necessary in the earth orbital mode, while the direct ascent technique would require the development of a Nova-class vehicle. Information to be obtained through supporting unmanned lunar exploration programs, such as Ranger and Surveyor, was felt to be essential in carrying out the manned lunar mission. Total funding for the program was estimated at just under $7 billion through Fiscal Year 1968.
NASA selected the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT for a six-month study of a navigation and guidance system for the Apollo spacecraft.
Rocketdyne Division's first static test of a prototype thrust chamber for the F-1 engine achieved a thrust of 1.550 million pounds in a few seconds at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
A voice message was sent from Washington, D.C., to Woomera, Australia, by way of the moon. NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden spoke by telephone to Goldstone, Calif., which "bounced" it to the deep-space instrumentation station at Woomera. The operation was conducted as part of the official opening ceremony of the Australian facility.
A NASA inter-Center meeting on space rendezvous was held in Washington, D.C. Air Force and NASA programs were discussed and the status of current studies was presented by NASA Centers. Members of the Langley Research Center outlined the basic concepts of the lunar orbit rendezvous method of accomplishing the lunar landing mission.
The current Saturn launch vehicle configurations were announced:
The midterm review of the Apollo feasibility studies was held at STG. Oral status reports were made by officials of Convair Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation on March 1, The Martin Company on March 2, and the General Electric Company on March 3. The reports described the work accomplished, problems unsolved, and future plans. Representatives of all NASA Centers attended the meetings, including a majority of the members of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups. Members of these Groups formed the nucleus of the mid-term review groups which met during the three-day period and compiled lists of comments on the presentations for later discussions with the contractors.
First flight model of Saturn booster (SA-1) installed on static test stand for preflight checkout, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville.
|Apollo CSM Interior - Interior of the Apollo Command Service Module on display at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.|
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Management personnel from NASA Headquarters and STG met to plan general requirements for a proposal for advanced manned spacecraft development.
Representatives of Marshall Space Flight Center recommended configuration changes for the Saturn C-1 launch vehicles to NASA Headquarters. These included:
President John F. Kennedy submitted to Congress an amended budget request for NASA which totaled $1,235,300,000. This total was $125,670,000 greater than the Eisenhower Administration's request. The increase included $56 million for Saturn research and development and $11 million for the extension of Cape Canaveral facilities.
William W. Petynia of STG visited the Convair Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation to monitor the Apollo feasibility study contract. A selection of the M-1 in preference to the lenticular configuration had been made by Convair. May 17 was set as the date for the final Convair presentation to NASA.
The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences submitted to President John F. Kennedy its recommendation that "scientific exploration of the moon and planets should be clearly stated as the ultimate objective of the U.S. space program for the foreseeable future." While stressing the importance of the scientific goals of the program, the Board also emphasized other factors such as "the sense of national leadership emergent from bold and imaginative U.S. space activity." The recommendations of the Board had been adopted at a meeting on February 10-11 and were made public on August 7.
The Marshall Space Flight Center announced that 1.640 million pounds of thrust was achieved in a static- firing of the F-1 engine thrust chamber at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. This was a record thrust for a single chamber.
The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Structures and Materials discussed at STG the preparation of material for the Apollo spacecraft specification. It decided that most of the items proposed for its study could not be specified at that time and also that many of the items did not fall within the structures and materials area. A number of general areas of concern were added to the work plan: heat protection, meteoroid protection, radiation effects, and vibration and acoustics.
Meeting at STG, the Guidance and Control Group changed its name to the "Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Navigation, Guidance, and Control." Definitions were established for "navigation" (the determination of position and velocity), "guidance" (velocity vector control), and "control" (control of rotational orientation about the center of gravity - i.e., attitude control). Work was started on the preparation of the navigation, guidance, and control specifications for the Apollo spacecraft.
The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Trajectory Analysis met at STG and began preparing material for the Apollo spacecraft specification. It recommended:
In preparing background material for the Apollo spacecraft specification at STG, the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Mechanical Systems worked on environmental control systems, reaction control systems, auxiliary power supplies, landing and recovery systems, and space cabin sealing.
The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Onboard Propulsion met at STG and considered preparation of background material for the Apollo spacecraft specification. It agreed that there were several problem areas for study before onboard propulsion final specifications could be drafted : cryogenic propellant storage problems, booster explosion hazards and assessment thereof, spacecraft system abort modes, propulsion system temperature control, propellant leakage, ignition in a confined space, zero suction pump proposals for cryogenic liquid bipropellant main engine systems, and propellant utilization and measurement system.
The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Instrumentation and Communications met at STG and drafted an informal set of guidelines and sent them to the other Technical Liaison Groups:
At STG the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Human Factors discussed the proposed outline for the spacecraft specification. Its recommendations included:
The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Heating heard reports at STG by Group members on current studies at the NASA Centers. Recommendations concerning the spacecraft specification included:
At the second meeting of the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Configurations and Aerodynamics at STG, presentations were made on Apollo-related activities at the NASA Centers: heatshield tests (Ames Research Center); reentry configurations (Marshall Space Flight Center); reentry configurations, especially lenticular (modified) and spherically blunted, paraglider soft-landing system, dynamic stability tests, and heat transfer tests (Langley Research Center); tumbling entries in planetary atmospheres (Mars and Venus) (Jet Propulsion Laboratory); air launch technique for Dyna-Soar (Flight Research Center); and steerable parachute system and reentry spacecraft configuration (STG). Work began on the background material for the Apollo spacecraft specification.
A joint meeting of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups was held at STG. NASA Headquarters and STG representatives briefed members of the Groups on the status of the Apollo program. The individual Liaison Groups were asked to reexamine the Apollo guidelines in the light of NASA and contractor studies conducted during the past year and to help gather detailed technical information for use as background material in the preparation of the Apollo spacecraft specification.
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., established the permanent Saturn Program Requirements Committee. Members were William A. Fleming, Chairman; John L. Sloop, Deputy Chairman; Richard B. Canright; John H. Disher; Eldon W. Hall; A. M. Mayo; and Addison M. Rothrock, all of NASA Headquarters. The Committee would review on a continuing basis the mission planning for the utilization of the Saturn and correlate such planning with the Saturn development and procurement plans.
President John F. Kennedy, in his regular press conference, stated that "no one is more tired than I am" of seeing the United States second to Russia in space. "They secured large boosters which have led to their being first in Sputnik, and led to their first putting their man in space. We are, I hope, going to be able to carry out our efforts, with due regard to the problem of the life of the men involved, this year. But we are behind . . . the news will be worse before it is better, and it will be some time before we catch up. . . ."
In response to questioning by the House Science and Astronautics Committee, Associate NASA Administrator Seamans repeated the general estimate of $20 to $40 billion as the cost for the total effort required to achieve a lunar landing, that an all-out program might cost more, and that 1967 could be considered only as a possible planning date at this stage of such a complex task.
Recommendations on immediate steps to be taken so that the three key projects - MORAD (Manned Orbital Rendezvous and Docking), ARP (Apollo Rendezvous Phases), and MALLIR (Manned Lunar Landing Involving Rendezvous) - could get under way were:
John C. Houbolt and members of the Langley Research Center subcommittee on rendezvous outlined the objectives of a rendezvous program that would lead ultimately to a manned lunar landing:
A circular, "Manned Lunar Landing via Rendezvous," was prepared by John C. Houbolt from material supplied by himself, John D. Bird, Max C. Kurbjun, and Arthur W. Vogeley, who were members of the Langley Research Center space station subcommittee on rendezvous. Other members of the subcommittee at various times included W. Hewitt Phillips, John M. Eggleston, John A. Dodgen, and William D. Mace.
A conference was held at NASA Headquarters on the relationship between the Prospector and Apollo programs. Representatives of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and STG discussed the possible redirection of Prospector planning to support more directly the manned space program. The Prospector spacecraft was intended to soft-land about 2,500 pounds on the lunar surface with an accuracy of +/-1 kilometer anywhere on the visible side of the moon. An essential feature of Prospector was the development of an automatic roving vehicle weighing about 1500 pounds which would permit detailed reconnaissance of the lunar surface over a wide area.
A conference was held at Lewis Research Center between STG and Lewis representatives to discuss the research and development contract for the liquid-hydrogen liquid-oxygen fuel cell as the primary spacecraft electrical power source. Lewis had been provided funds approximately $300,000 by NASA Headquarters to negotiate a contract with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation for the development of a fuel cell for the Apollo spacecraft. STG and Lewis representatives agreed that the research and development should be directed toward the liquid-hydrogen - liquid-oxygen fuel cell. Guidelines were provided by STG:
The first successful flight qualification test of the Saturn SA-1 booster took place in an eight-engine test lasting 30 seconds.
The Douglas Aircraft Company reported that air transport of the Saturn C-1 second stage (S-IV) was feasible.
Anticipating the expanded scope of manned space flight programs, STG proposed a manned spacecraft development center. The nucleus for a center existed in STG, which was handling the Mercury project. A program of much greater magnitude would require a substantial expansion of staff and facilities and of organization and management controls.
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., established the Ad Hoc Task Group for a Manned Lunar Landing Study, to be chaired by William A. Fleming of NASA Headquarters. The study was expected to produce the following information:
The engineering sketch drawn by John D. Bird of Langley Research Center on May 3, 1961, indicated the thinking of that period: By launching two Saturn C-2's, the lunar landing mission could be accomplished by using both earth rendezvous and lunar rendezvous at various stages of the mission.
STG completed the first draft of "Project Apollo, Phase A, General Requirements for a Proposal for a Manned Space Vehicle and System" (Statement of Work), an early step toward the spacecraft specification. A circumlunar mission was the basis for planning.
In initial study contracts, Martin proposed vehicle similar to the Apollo configuration that would eventually fly and closest to STG concepts. GE proposed design that would lead directly to Soyuz. Convair proposed a lifting body concept. All bidders were influenced by STG mid-term review that complained that they were not paying enough attention to conical blunt-body CM as envisioned by STG.
Albert C. Hall of The Martin Company proposed to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator, that the Titan II be considered as a launch vehicle in the lunar landing program. Although skeptical, Seamans arranged for a more formal presentation the next day. Abe Silverstein, NASA's Director of Space Flight Programs, was sufficiently impressed to ask Director Robert R. Gilruth and STG to study the possible uses of Titan II. Silverstein shortly informed Seamans of the possibility of using the Titan II to launch a scaled-up Mercury spacecraft.
After study and discussion by STG and Marshal! Space Flight Center officials, STG concluded that the current 154-inch diameter of the second stage (S-IV) adapter for the Apollo spacecraft would be satisfactory for the Apollo missions on Saturn flights SA-7, SA-8, SA-9, and SA-10.
The final reports on the feasibility study contracts for the advanced manned spacecraft were submitted to STG at Langley Field, Va., by the General Electric Company, Convair Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation, and The Martin Company. These studies had begun in November 1960.
The second draft of a Statement of Work for the development of an advanced manned spacecraft was completed, incorporating results from NASA in-house and contractor feasibility studies.
President Kennedy, in a major message to Congress, called for a vastly accelerated space program based on a long-range national goal of landing a man on the moon and bringing him safely back to Earth. For this and associated projects in space technology, the President requested additional appropriations totaling $611 million for NASA and the Department of Defense.
Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator, requested the Directors of the Office of Launch Vehicle Programs and the Office of Advanced Research Programs to bring together members of their staffs with other persons from NASA Headquarters to assess a wide variety of possible ways of accomplishing the lunar landing mission. This study was to supplement the one being done by the Ad Hoc Task Group for Manned Lunar Landing Study (Fleming Committee) but was to be separate from it.
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STG submitted to NASA Headquarters recommendations on crew selection and training:
The Marshall Space Flight Center began reevaluation of the Saturn C-2 configuration capability to support circumlunar missions. Results showed that a Saturn vehicle of even greater performance would be desirable.
Basic concepts of the lunar orbit rendezvous plan were presented to the Lundin Committee by John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center.
NASA announced a change in the Saturn C-1 vehicle configuration. The first ten research and development flights would have two stages, instead of three, because of the changed second stage (S-IV) and, starting with the seventh flight vehicle, increased propellant capacity in the first stage (S-1) booster.
A meeting to discuss Project Apollo plans and programs was held at NASA Headquarters. Abe Silverstein, Warren J. North, John H. Disher, and George M. Low of NASA Headquarters and Robert R. Gilruth, Walter C. Williams, Maxime A. Faget, James A. Chamberlin, and Robert O. Piland of STG participated in the discussions. Six prime contract areas were defined: spacecraft (command center), onboard propulsion, lunar landing propulsion, launch vehicle (probably several prime contracts), tracking and communications network, and launch facilities and equipment. The prime contractor for the spacecraft would be responsible for the design, engineering, and fabrication of the spacecraft; for the integration of the onboard and lunar landing propulsion systems: and for the integration of the entire spacecraft system with the launch vehicle. In connection with the prime contract, STG would:
Collapse of a lock in the Wheeler Dam below Huntsville on the Tennessee River interdicted the planned water route of the first Saturn space booster from Marshall Space Flight Center to Cape Canaveral on the barge Palaemon.
Huge Saturn launch complex at Cape Canaveral dedicated in brief ceremony by NASA, construction of which was supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. Giant gantry, weighing 2,800 tons and being 310 feet high, is largest movable land structure in North America.
The Flight Vehicles Integration Branch was organized within STG. Members included H. Kurt Strass, Robert L. O'Neal, and Charles H. Wilson. Maxime A. Faget, Chief, Flight Systems Division, also served as temporary Branch Chief. The Branch was to provide technical aid to STG in solving compatibility requirements for spacecraft and launch vehicles for manned flight missions.
A preliminary study of a fin-stabilized solid-fuel rocket booster, the Little Joe Senior, was completed by members of STG. The booster would be capable of propelling a full-size Apollo reentry spacecraft to velocities sufficient to match critical portions of the Saturn trajectory.
'The Lundin Committee completed its study of various vehicle systems for the manned lunar landing mission, as requested on May 25 by NASA associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The Committee had considered alternative methods of rendezvous: earth orbit, lunar orbit, a combination of earth and lunar orbit, and lunar surface. Launch vehicles studied were the Saturn C-2 and C-3. Conclusion was that 43,000 kg stage (85% fuel) was needed for a lunar landing mission. The concept of a low- altitude earth orbit rendezvous using two or three C-3's was clearly preferred by the Committee. Reasons for this preference were the small number of launches and orbital operations required and the fact that the Saturn C- 3 was considered to be an efficient launch vehicle of great utility and future growth.
The Fleming Committee, which had been appointed on May 2, submitted its report to NASA associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., on the feasibility of a manned lunar landing program. The Committee concluded that the lunar mission could be accomplished within the decade. Chief pacing items were the first stage of the launch vehicle and the facilities for testing and launching the booster. It also concluded that information on solar flare radiation and lunar surface characteristics should be obtained as soon as possible, since these factors would influence spacecraft design. Special mention was made of the need for a strong management organization.
Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Associate Administrator, notified the Directors of Launch Vehicle Program, Space Flight Programs, Advanced Research Programs, and Life Sciences Programs that Donald H. Heaton had been appointed Chairman of an Ad Hoc Task Group. It would establish program plans and supporting resources necessary to accomplish the manned lunar landing mission by the use of rendezvous techniques, using the Saturn C-3 launch vehicle, with a target date of 1967. Guidelines and operating methods were similar to those of the Fleming Committee. Members of the Task Group would be appointed from the Offices of Launch Vehicle Programs, Space Flight Program, Advanced Research Programs, and Life Sciences Programs. The work of the Group (Heaton Committee) would be reviewed weekly. The study was completed during August.
Deputy NASA Administrator Dryden sent an explanatory letter to Chairman Robert S. Kerr, of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, on the broad scientific and technological gains to be achieved in landing a man on the Moon and returning him to Earth. Dr. Dryden pointed out that this difficult goal "has the highly important role of accelerating the development of space science and technology, motivating the scientists and engineers who are engaged in this effort to move forward with urgency, and integrating their efforts in a way that cannot be accomplished by a disconnected series of research investigations in several fields. It is important to realize, however, that the real values and purposes are not in the mere accomplishment of man setting foot on the Moon but rather in the great cooperative national effort in the development of science and technology which is stimulated by this goal." Dr. Dryden pointed out that "the billions of dollars required in this effort are not spent on the Moon; they are spent in the factories, workshops, and laboratories of our people for salaries, for new materials, and supplies, which in turn represent income for others. . . . The national enterprise involved in the goal of manned lunar landing and return within this decade is an activity of critical impact on the future of this Nation as an industrial and military power, and as a leader of a free world."
Meeting with Webb/Dryden, work on Saturn C-2 stopped; preliminary design of C-3 and continuing studies of larger vehicles for landing missions requested. STG push for 4 x 6.6 m diameter solid cluster first stage rejected for safety and ground handling reasons.
NASA-DOD Executive Committee for Joint Lunar Study and a Joint Lunar Study Program Office established by letter directive to work out and define support requirements for the U.S. manned lunar landing program.
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., requested Kurt H. Debus, Director of the NASA Launch Operations Directorate, and Maj. Gen. Leighton I. Davis, Commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center, to make a joint analysis of all major factors regarding the launch requirements, methods, and procedures needed in support of an early manned lunar landing. The schedules and early requirements were to be considered in two phases:
NASA announced that further engineering design work on the Saturn C-2 configuration would be discontinued and that effort instead would be redirected toward clarification of the Saturn C-3 and Nova concepts. Investigations were specifically directed toward determining capabilities of the proposed C-3 configuration in supporting the Apollo mission.
NASA announced that the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle, which could place ten-ton payloads in earth orbit, would be operational in 1964.
Maxime A. Faget, Paul E. Purser, and Charles J. Donlan of STG met with Arthur W. Vogeley, Clinton E. Brown, and Laurence K. Loftin, Jr., of Langley Research Center on a "lunar landing" paper. Faget's outline was to be used, with part of the information to be worked up by Vogeley.
A Navy YFNB barge was obtained by NASA to serve as a replacement for the Palaemon in transporting of the Saturn booster to Cape Canaveral.
Members of Langley Research Center briefed the Heaton Committee on the lunar orbit rendezvous method of accomplishing the manned lunar landing mission.
Construction began at Langley Research Center of facilities specifically oriented toward the Apollo program, including a lunar landing simulator.
STG completed a detailed assessment of the results of the Project Apollo feasibility studies submitted by the three study contractors: the General Electric Company, Convair/Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation, and The Martin Company. (Their findings were reflected in the Statement of Work sent to prospective bidders on the spacecraft contract on July 28.)
Space Task Group engineers James A. Chamberlin and James T. Rose proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound 'lunar lander.' This payload would be launched by a Saturn C-3 in the lunar-orbit-rendezvous mode. The proposal was in direct competition with the Apollo proposals that favored direct landing on the Moon with a 150,000-pound payload launched by a Nova-class vehicle of approximately 12 million pounds of thrust.
At NASA Headquarters, the first meeting was held of the Manned Lunar Landing Coordination Group, attended by NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Ira H. Abbott, Don R. Ostrander, Charles H. Roadman, William A. Fleming, DeMarquis D. Wyatt (part-time), and George M. Low (in place of Abe Silverstein). This Headquarters Group, appointed by Seamans, was to coordinate problems that jointly affected several NASA Offices, during the interim period while the manned space flight organization was being formed. Members of the steering group included NASA program directors, with participation by Wernher von Braun of Marshall Space Flight Center, Robert R. Gilruth of STG, and Wyatt and Abraham Hyatt of NASA Headquarters, as required. Fleming acted as Secretary of the Group. A list of decisions and actions required to implement an accelerated lunar landing program was drawn up as a tentative agenda for the next meeting:
The NASA Administrator and the Secretary of Defense concluded an agreement to study development of large launch vehicles for the national space program. For this purpose, the DOD-NASA Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group was created, reporting to the Associate Administrator of NASA and to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering).
NASA announced that a complete F-1 engine had begun a series of static test firings at Edwards Rocket Test Center, Calif.
1,000 persons from 300 potential Project Apollo contractors and government agencies attended the conference. STG pushed the conical CM shape, in defiance of Gilruth's preference for the competitive blunt body/lifting body designs. Scientists from NASA, the General Electric Company, The Martin Company, and General Dynamics/Astronautics presented the results of studies on Apollo requirements. Within the next four to six weeks NASA was expected to draw up the final details and specifications for the Apollo spacecraft.
The Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group, established on July 7, 1961, began its formal existence with seven DOD and seven NASA members and alternates.
Changes in Saturn launch vehicle configurations were announced :
NASA invited 12 companies to submit prime contractor proposals for the Apollo spacecraft by October 9: The Boeing Airplane Company, Chance Vought Corporation, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Dynamics/Convair, the General Electric Company, Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, The Martin Company, North American Aviation, Inc., and Republic Aviation Corporation.
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., appointed members to the Source Evaluation Board to evaluate contractors' proposals for the Apollo spacecraft. Walter C. Williams of STG served as Chairman, and members included Robert O. Piland, Wesley L. Hjornevik, Maxime A. Faget, James A. Chamberlin, Charles W. Mathews, and Dave W. Lang, all of STG; George M. Low, Brooks C. Preacher, and James T. Koppenhaver (nonvoting member) from NASA Headquarters; and Oswald H. Lange from Marshall Space Flight Center. On November 2, Faget became the Chairman, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht was added as a member, and Williams was relieved from his assignment.
Langley Research Center simulated spacecraft flights at speeds of 8,200 to 8,700 feet per second in approaching the moon's surface. With instruments preset to miss the moon's surface by 40 to 80 miles, pilots with control of thrust and torques about all three axes of the craft learned to establish orbits 10 to 90 miles above the surface, using a graph of vehicle rate of descent and circumferential velocity, an altimeter, and vehicle attitude and rate meters, as reported by Manuel J. Queijo and Donald R. Riley of Langley.
The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and NASA completed the work statements for the Laboratory's program on the Apollo guidance and navigation system and the request for quotation for industrial support was prepared.
James A. Chamberlin and James T. Rose of STG proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound "lunar lander." This payload would be launched by a Saturn C-3 in the lunar orbit rendezvous mode. The proposal was in direct competition with the Apollo proposals that favored direct landing on the moon and involved a 150,000-pound payload launched by a Nova-class vehicle with approximately 12 million pounds of thrust.
Ralph Ragan of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, former director of the Polaris guidance and navigation program, in cooperation with Milton B. Trageser of the Laboratory and with Robert O. Piland, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., and Robert G. Chilton, all of NASA, had completed a study of what had been done on the Polaris program in concept and design of a guidance and navigation system and the documentation necessary for putting such a system into production on an extremely tight schedule. Using this study, the group worked out a rough schedule for a similar program on Apollo.
Phase I of a joint NASA-DOD report on facilities and resources required at launch sites to support the manned lunar landing program was submitted to Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., by Kurt H. Debus, Director, Launch Operations Directorate, and Maj. Gen. Leighton I. Davis, Commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center. The report, requested by Seamans on June 23, was based on the use of Nova- class launch vehicles for the manned lunar landing in a direct ascent mode, with the Saturn C-3 in supporting missions. Eight launch sites were considered: Cape Canaveral (on-shore); Cape Canaveral (off- shore); Mayaguana Island (Atlantic Missile Range downrange); Cumberland Island, Ga.; Brownsville, Tex.; White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex.; Christmas Island, Pacific Ocean; and South Point, Hawaii. On the basis of minimum cost and use of existing national resources, and taking into consideration the stringent time schedule, White Sands Missile Range and Cape Canaveral (on-shore) were favored. White Sands presented serious limitations on launch azimuths because of first-stage impact hazards on populated areas.
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NASA headquarters announced that it was making a world-wide study of possible launching sites for Moon vehicles; the size, power, noise, and possible hazards of Saturn-Nova type rockets requiring greater isolation for public safety than presently available.
First Saturn (SA-1) booster began water trip to Cape Canaveral on Navy barge Compromise after overland detour around Wheeler Dam.
STG appointed members to the Technical Subcommittee and to the Technical Assessment Panels for evaluation of industry proposals for the development of the Apollo spacecraft.
NASA selected MIT's Instrumentation Laboratory to develop the guidance-navigation system for Project Apollo spacecraft. This first major Apollo contract was required since guidance-navigation system is basic to overall Apollo mission. The Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT, a nonprofit organization headed by C. Stark Draper, has been involved in a variety of guidance and navigation systems developments for 20 years. This first major Apollo contract had a long lead-time, was basic to the overall Apollo mission, and would be directed by STG.
Navy barge Compromise, carrying first Saturn booster, stuck in the mud in the Indian River just south of Cape Canaveral. Released several hours later, the Saturn was delayed only 24 hours in its 2,200-mile journey from Huntsville.
STG held a pre-proposal briefing at Langley Field, Va., to answer bidders' questions pertaining to the Request for Proposal for the development of the Apollo spacecraft. 14 companies (Boeing, Vought, Douglas, GD, Goodyear, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin, McDonnell, Radio Corp, Republic, STL) attended. The winning bidder would receive contract for CSM (but not LM, if any) and integrate spacecraft with launch vehicle.
STG requested that a program be undertaken by the U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory, Philadelphia, Penna., to validate the atmospheric composition requirement for the Apollo spacecraft. On November 7, the original experimental design was altered by the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). The new objectives were:
F-1 rocket engine tested in first of firing series of the complete flight system.
STG appointed members to the Business Subcommittee and to the Business Assessment Panels for evaluation of industry proposals for the development of the Apollo spacecraft.
The Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group (Golovin Committee) notified the Marshal! Space Flight Center (MSFC), Langley Research Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that the Group was planning to undertake a comparative evaluation of three types of rendezvous operations and direct flight for manned lunar landing. Rendezvous methods were earth orbit, lunar orbit, and lunar surface. MSFC was requested to study earth orbit rendezvous, Langley to study lunar orbit rendezvous, and JPL to study lunar surface rendezvous. The NASA Office of Launch Vehicle Programs would provide similar information on direct ascent.
After considering Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral-Merritt Island, Mayaguana-Bahamas, Cumberland-Georgia, Brownville-Texas, Christmas Island, Hawaii, and White Sands, Merritt Island selected as launch site for manned lunar flights and other missions requiring Saturn and Nova class vehicles. Based upon national space goals announced by the President in May, NASA plans called for acquisition of 80,000 acres north and west of AFMTC, to be administered by the USAF as agent for NASA and as a part of the Atlantic Missile Range.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory selected the Blaw Knox Company of Pittsburgh, Penna., for second-phase feasibility and design studies of an antenna in the 200-to 250-foot diameter class. The first of these antennas, which were to be used in acquiring data from advanced lunar and planetary exploration programs, would be operational at Goldstone, Calif., by early 1965.
The deep-space tracking station at Hartebeesthoek, South Africa, was completed. Dedication took place on September 8. NASA thus gained the capacity for continuous line-of-sight communication with lunar and interplanetary probes despite the earth's rotation. The other deep-space tracking stations were at Goldstone, Calif., and Woomera, Australia.
Landing by Gemini using 4,000 kg wet/680 kg empty lander and Saturn C-3 booster. Landing by January 1966.
The Ad Hoc Task Group for Study of Manned Lunar Landing by Rendezvous Techniques, Donald H. Heaton, Chairman, reported its conclusions: rendezvous offered the earliest possibility for a successful lunar landing, the proposed Saturn C-4 configuration should offer a higher probability of an earlier successful manned lunar landing than the C-3, the rendezvous technique recommended involved rendezvous and docking in earth orbit of a propulsion unit and a manned spacecraft, the cost of the total program through first lunar landing by rendezvous was significantly less than by direct ascent.
C. Stark Draper, Director of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, at a meeting with NASA Administrator James E. Webb, Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden, and Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., at NASA Headquarters proposed that at least one of the Apollo astronauts should be a scientifically trained individual since it would be easier to train a scientist to perform a pilot's function than vice versa. (In a letter to Seamans on November 7, Draper further proposed that he be that individual.)
Authorization for NASA to acquire necessary land for additional launch facilities at Cape Canaveral was approved by the Senate.
NASA announced that the government-owned Michoud Ordnance Plant near New Orleans, La., would be the site for fabrication and assembly of the Saturn C-3 first stage as well as larger vehicles. Finalists were two government-owned plants in St. Louis and New Orleans. The height of the factory roof at Michoud meant that an 8 x F-1 engined vehicle could not be built; 4 or 5 engines would have to be the maximum.
NASA selected NAA to develop the second stage (S-II) for the advanced Saturn launch vehicle. The cost, including development of at least ten vehicles, would total about $140 million. The S-II configuration provided for four J-2 liquid-oxygen - liquid-hydrogen engines, each delivering 200,000 pounds of thrust.
Representatives of STG and NASA Headquarters visited the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT to discuss the contract awarded to the Laboratory on August 9 and progress in the design and development of the Apollo spacecraft navigation and guidance system. They mutually decided that a draft of the final contract should be completed for review at Instrumentation Laboratory by October 2 and the contract resolved by October 9. Revisions were to be made in the Statement of Work to define more clearly details of the contract. Milton B. Trageser of the Laboratory, in the first month's technical progress report, gave a brief description of the first approach to the navigation and guidance equipment and the arrangement of the equipment within the spacecraft. He also presented the phases of the lunar flight and the navigation and guidance functions or tasks to be performed. Other matters discussed were a space sextant and making visual observations of landmarks through cloud cover.
In a memorandum to the Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group (LLVPG) staff, Harvey Hall of NASA described the studies being done by the Centers on rendezvous modes for accomplishing a manned lunar landing. These studies had been requested from Langley Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on August 23. STG was preparing separate documentation on the lunar orbit rendezvous mode. An LLVPG team to undertake a comparative evaluation of rendezvous and direct ascent techniques had been set up. Members of the team included Hall and Norman Rafel of NASA and H. Braham and L. M. Weeks of Aerospace Corporation.
The evaluation would consider:
NASA invited 36 companies to bid on a contract to produce the first stage of the advanced Saturn launch vehicle. Representatives of interested companies would attend a pre-proposal conference in New Orleans, La., on September 26. Bids were to be submitted by October 16 and NASA would then select the contractor, probably in November.
NASA Administrator Webb announced that location of the new Manned Spacecraft Center would be in Houston, Tex., the conclusion of an intensive nationwide study by a site selection team. The Manned Spacecraft Center would be the command center for the manned lunar landing mission and all follow-on manned space flight missions. This announcement was the third basic decision on major facilities required for the expanded U.S. Range and the establishment of the spacecraft fabrication center at the Michoud Ordnance Plant near New Orleans, La.
A major reorganization of NASA Headquarters was announced by Administrator James E. Webb. Four new program offices were to be formed, effective November 1: the Office of Advanced Research and Technology, Ira H. Abbott, Director; the Office of Space Sciences, Homer E. Newell, Director; the Office of Manned Space Flight, D. Brainerd Holmes, Director; and the Office of Applications, directorship vacant. Holmes' appointment had been announced on September 20. He had been General Manager of the Major Defense Systems Division of the Radio Corporation of America. The new Directors would report to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator.
At the same time, Robert R. Gilruth was named Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center to be located in Houston, Tex. The Directors of NASA's nine field centers would, like the newly appointed program Directors, report to Seamans.
Dr. George N. Constan of Marshall Space Flight Center named as acting manager of the new NASA Saturn fabrication plant near New Orleans by Director von Braun of Marshall Space Flight Center.
NASA bidders conference on a contract to produce the booster (S-I) stage of the Saturn vehicle was held at the Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans.
Richard H. Battin published MIT Instrumentation Laboratory Report R-341, "A Statistical Optimizing Navigation Procedure for Space Flight," describing the concepts by which Apollo navigation equipment could make accurate computations of position and velocity with an onboard computer of reasonable size.
The MSFC-STG Space Vehicle Board at NASA Headquarters discussed the S- IVB stage, which would be modified by the Douglas Aircraft Company to replace the six LR-115 engines with a single J-2 engine. Funds of $500,000 were allocated for this study to be completed in March 1962.
The Charter of the MSFC-STG Space Vehicle Board, prepared jointly by Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and STG, was approved at the first meeting of the Board at NASA Headquarters. The purpose of the Space Vehicle Board was to assure complete coordination and cooperation between all levels of the MSFC and STG management for the NASA manned space flight programs in which both Centers had responsibilities. Members of the Board were the Directors of MSFC and STG (Wernher von Braun and Robert R. Gilruth), the Deputy Director for Research and Development, MSFC (Eberhard F. M. Rees), and the STG Associate Director (Walter C. Williams). The Board was responsible for:
The Sub-Board would :
Four Saturn-Apollo Coordination Panels were established to make available the technical competence of MSFC and STG for the solution of interrelated problems of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft. The four included the Launch Operations, Mechanical Design, Electrical and Electronics Design, and Flight Mechanics, Dynamics, and Control Coordination Panels. Although these Panels were designated as new Panels, the members selected by STG and MSFC represented key technical personnel who had been included in the Mercury-Redstone Panels, the Mercury-Atlas Program Panels, the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups, and the Saturn working groups. The Charter was signed by von Braun and Gilruth. Charter of the MSFC-STG Space Vehicle Board, October 3, 1961.
Representatives of STG visited the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT for the second monthly progress report meeting on the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation contract. A number of technical topics were presented by Laboratory speakers: space sextant visibility and geometry problems, gear train analysis, vacuum environmental approach, midcourse guidance theory, inertial measurement unit, and gyro. The organization of the Apollo effort at the Laboratory was also discussed. A preliminary estimate of the cost for both Laboratory and industrial support for the Apollo navigation and guidance system was presented: $158.4 million through Fiscal Year 1966.
Five Bidding Teams: GD/Avco; GE/Douglas/Grumman/STL; McDonnell/Lockheed/Hughes/Vought; Martin/North American
Officials of STG heard oral reports from representatives of five industrial teams bidding on the contract for the Apollo spacecraft: General Dynamics/Astronautics in conjunction with the Avco Corporation; General Electric Company, Missile and Space Vehicle Department, in conjunction with Douglas Aircraft Company, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, and Space Technology Laboratories, Inc.; McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in conjunction with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Company, and Chance Vought Corporation of Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc.; The Martin Company; and North American Aviation, Inc.
The MSFC-STG Advanced Program Coordination Board met at STG and discussed the question of the development of an automatic checkout system which would include the entire launch vehicle program from the Saturn C-1 through the Nova. It agreed that the Apollo contractor should be instructed to make the spacecraft electrical subsystems compatible with the Saturn complex.
In further discussion, Paul J. DeFries of Marshall Space Flight Center MSFC presented a list of proposed guidelines for use in studying early manned lunar landing missions:
Studies of "unconventional" rockets using liquid fuels in the thrust range from 2 to 24 million pounds announced by NASA; 2 contracts being carried out by Aerojet-General and Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation.
NASA selected Pearl River site in southwestern Mississippi, 35 miles from Michoud plant in New Orleans, for static test facility for Saturn and Nova-class vehicles, completed facility to operate under direction of Marshall Space Flight Center.
Largest known rocket launch to date, the Saturn I 1st stage booster, successful on first test flight from Atlantic Missile Range. With its eight clustered engines developing almost 1.3 million pounds of thrust at launch, the Saturn (SA-1) hurled waterfilled dummy upper stages to an altitude of 84.8 miles and 214.7 miles down range. In a postlaunch statement, Administrator Webb said: "The flight today was a splendid demonstration of the strength of our national space program and an important milestone in the buildup of our national capacity to launch heavy payloads necessary to carry out the program projected by President Kennedy on May 25.".
Robert G. Chilton of STG gave the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory new information based on NASA in- house studies on the Apollo spacecraft roll inertia, pitch and yaw inertia, and attitude jets.
David G. Hoag, MIT, personal notes, October 1961.
|Apollo CSM and LM|
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Under the direction of John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center, a two-volume work entitled "Manned Lunar-Landing through use of Lunar-Orbit Rendezvous" was presented to the Golovin Committee (organized on July 20). The study had been prepared by Houbolt, John D. Bird, Arthur W. Vogeley, Ralph W. Stone, Jr., Manuel J. Queijo, William H. Michael, Jr., Max C. Kurbjun, Roy F. Brissenden, John A. Dodgen, William D. Mace, and others of Langley. The Golovin Committee had requested a mission plan using the lunar orbit rendezvous concept. Bird, Michael, and Robert H. Tolson appeared before the Committee in Washington to explain certain matters of trajectory and lunar stay time not covered in the document.
The Space Task Group was formally redesignated the Manned Spacecraft Center, Robert R. Gilruth, Director.
Marshall Space Flight Center directed NAA to redesign the advanced Saturn second stage (S-II) to incorporate five rather than four J-2 engines, to provide a million pounds of thrust.
In a memorandum to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, OMSF, described the organization of a working group to recommend to the Director a large launch vehicle program which would meet the requirements of manned space flight and which would have broad and continuing national utility for other NASA and DOD programs. The group would include members from the NASA Office of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion (Rosen, Chairman, Richard B. Canright, Eldon W. Hall, Elliott Mitchell, Norman Rafel, Melvyn Savage, and Adelbert O. Tischler); from the Marshall Space Flight Center (William A. Mrazek, Hans H. Maus, and James B. Bramlet); and from the NASA Office of Spacecraft and Flight Missions (John H. Disher). (David M. Hammock of MSC was later added to the group.) The principal background material to be used by the group would consist of reports of the Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group (Golovin Committee), the Fleming Committee, the Lundin Committee, the Heaton Committee, and the Debus-Davis Committee. Some of the subjects the group would be considering were:
An Apollo Egress Working Group, consisting of personnel from Marshall Space Flight Center, Launch Operations Directorate, and Atlantic Missile Range, was formed on November 2. Meetings on that date and on November 6 resulted in publication of a seven-page document, "Apollo Egress Criteria." The Group established ground rules, operations and control procedures criteria, and space vehicle design criteria and provided requirements for implementation of emergency egress system.
Representatives of MSC and NASA Headquarters visited the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory to discuss clauses in the contract for the Apollo navigation and guidance system, technical questions proposed by MSC, and work in progress. Topics discussed included the trajectories for the SA-7 and SA-8 flights and the estimated propellant requirements for guidance attitude maneuvers and velocity changes for the lunar landing mission. Presentations were made on the following subjects by members of the Laboratory staff: the spacecraft gyro, Apollo guidance computer logic design, computer displays and interfaces, guidance computer programming, horizon sensor experiments, and reentry guidance.
The four MSC-MSFC Coordination Panels held their first meeting at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). A significant event was the decision to modify the Electrical and Electronics Design Panel by creating two new Panels: the Electrical Systems Integration Panel and the Instrumentation and Communications Panel. In succeeding months, the Panels met at regular intervals.
In a letter to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center presented the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) plan and outlined certain deficiencies in the national booster and manned rendezvous programs. This letter protested exclusion of the LOR plan from serious consideration by committees responsible for the definition of the national program for lunar exploration.
Golovin Committe studies launch vehicles through summer, but found the issue to be completely entertwined with mode (earth-orbit, lunar-orbit, lunar-surface rendezvous or direct flight. Two factions: large solids for direct flight; all-chemical with 4 or 5 F-1's in first stage for rendezvous options. In the end Webb and McNamara ordered development of C-4 and as a backup, in case of failure of F-1 in development, build of 6.1 m+ solid rocket motors by USAF.
NASA announced that the Chrysler Corporation had been chosen to build 20 Saturn first-stage (S-1) boosters similar to the one tested successfully on October 27 . They would be constructed at the Michoud facility near New Orleans, La. The contract, worth about $200 million, would run through 1966, with delivery of the first booster scheduled for early 1964.
Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), submitted to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, OMSF, the report of the working group which had been set up on November 6.
Bid ratings: Martin 6.9; GD 6.6; North American 6.6; GE 6.4; McDonnell 6.4
The original Apollo spacecraft Statement of Work of July 28 had been substantially expanded, including a single-engine service module propulsion system using Earth-storable, hypergolic propellants.
Despite an announcement at Martin on 27 November that they had won the Apollo program, the decision was reversed at the highest levels of the US government. NASA announced instead that the Space and Information Systems Division of North American Aviation, Inc., had been selected to design and build the Apollo spacecraft. The official line: 'the decision by NASA Administrator James E. Webb followed a comprehensive evaluation of five industry proposals by nearly 200 scientists and engineers representing both NASA and DOD. Webb had received the Source Evaluation Board findings on November 24. Although technical evaluations were very close, NAA had been selected on the basis of experience, technical competence, and cost'. NAA would be responsible for the design and development of the command module and service module. NASA expected that a separate contract for the lunar landing system would be awarded within the next six months. The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory had previously been assigned the development of the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation system. Both the NAA and MIT contracts would be under the direction of MSC.
On a visit to Marshall Space Flight Center by MIT Instrumentation Laboratory representatives, the possibility was discussed of emergency switchover from Saturn to Apollo guidance systems as backup for launch vehicle guidance.
The Project Apollo Statement of Work for development of the Apollo spacecraft was completed. A draft letter based on this Statement of Work was presented to NAA for review. A prenegotiation conference on the development of the Apollo spacecraft was held at Langley Field, Va.
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., commented to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, Office of Manned Space Flight, on the report of the Rosen working group on launch vehicles, which had been submitted on November 20. Seamans expressed himself as essentially in accord with the group's recommendations.
NASA negotiations with NAA on the Apollo spacecraft contract were held at Williamsburg, Va. Nine Technical Panels met on December 11 and 12 to review Part 3, Technical Approach, of the Statement of Work. These Panels reported their recommended changes and unresolved questions to the Technical Subcommittee for action. Later in the negotiations, NASA and NAA representatives agreed on changes intended to clarify the original Statement of Work. Among these was the addition of the boilerplate program. Two distinct types of boilerplates were to be fabricated: those of a simple cold-rolled steel construction for drop impact tests and the more complex models to be used with the Little Joe II and Saturn launch vehicles. The Little Joe II, originally conceived in June 1961, was a solid-fuel rocket booster which would be used to man-rate the launch escape system for the command module.
In addition, the Apollo Project Office, which had been part of the MSC Flight Systems Division, would now report directly to the MSC Director and would be responsible for planning and directing all activities associated with the completion of the Apollo spacecraft project. Primary functions to be performed by the Office would include:
Letter contract No. NAS 9-150, authorizing work on the Apollo development program to begin on January 1, 1962, was signed by NASA and NAA on December 21. Under this contract, NAA was assigned the design and development of the command and service modules, the spacecraft adapter, associated ground support equipment, and spacecraft integration. Formal signing of the contract followed on December 31.
NASA selected Mason-Rust as the contractor to provide support services at NASA's Michoud plant near New Orleans, providing housekeeping services through June 30, 1962 for the three contractors who would produce the Saturn S-I and S-IB boosters and the Rift nuclear upper-stage vehicle.
NASA announced that The Boeing Company had been selected for negotiations as a possible prime contractor for the first stage (S-IC) of the advanced Saturn hunch vehicle. The S-IC stage, powered by five F-1 engines, would be 35 feet in diameter and about 140 feet high. The $300-million contract, to run through 1966, called for the development, construction, and testing of 24 flight stages and one ground test stage. The booster would be assembled at the NASA Michoud Operations Plant near New Orleans, La., under the direction of the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Fred T. Pearce, Jr., of MSC visited the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory to discuss the first design-study space sextant produced at the Laboratory, The instrument was intended to be used with the guidance computer. The working mockup was demonstrated and the problem of the effect of the vehicle motion on the sextant was discussed.
The General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously adopted Resolution 1721 (XIV) on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
NASA announced that Douglas Aircraft had been selected for negotiation of a contract to modify the Saturn S-IV stage by installing a single 200,000-pound-thrust, Rocketdyne J-2 liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen engine instead of six 15,000-pound-thrust P. & W. hydrogen/oxygen engines. Known as S-IVB, this modified stage will be used in advanced Saturn configurations for manned circumlunar Apollo missions.
D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, announced the formation of the Manned Space Flight Management Council. The Council, which was to meet at least once a month, was to identify and resolve difficulties and to coordinate the interface problems in the manned space flight program. Members of the Council, in addition to Holmes, were: from MSC, Robert R. Gilruth and Walter C. Williams, Director and Associate Director; from Marshall Space Flight Center, Wernher von Braun, Director, and Eberhard F. M. Rees, Deputy Director for Research and Development; from NASA Headquarters, George M. Low, Director of Spacecraft and Flight Missions; Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion; Charles H. Roadman, Director of Aerospace Medicine; William E. Lilly, Director of Program Review and Resources Management; and Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director for Systems Engineering, Shea, formerly Space Programs Director for Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., had recently joined NASA.
NAA's Space and Information Systems Division selected four companies as subcontractors to design and build four of the major Apollo spacecraft systems. The Collins Radio Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the telecommunications systems contract, worth more than $40 million; Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company, Minneapolis, Minn., received the stabilization and control systems contract, $30 million; AiResearch Manufacturing Company, division of The Garrett Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif., was awarded the environmental control system contract, $10 million; and Radioplane Division of Northrop Corporation, Van Nuys, Calif., was selected for the parachute landing system contract, worth more than $1 million. The total cost for the initial phase of the NAA contract was expected to exceed $400 million.
Rosen Committee studies in November and December indicated that the most flexible choice for Apollo was the Saturn C-4, with two required for the earth orbit rendezvous approach or one for the lunar orbit rendezvous mission, with a smaller landed payload. The panel rejected solid motors again, but Rosen himself still pushed for Nova. An extra F-1 engine was 'slid in' for insurance, resulting in the Saturn C-5 configuration. The Manned Space Flight Management Council decided at its first meeting that the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle would have a first stage configuration of five F-1 engines and a second stage configuration of five J-2 engines. The third stage would be the S-IVB with one J-2 engine. It recommended that the contractor for stage integration of the Saturn C-1 be Chrysler Corporation and that the contractor for stage integration of the Saturn C-5 be The Boeing Company. Contractor work on the Saturn C-5 should proceed immediately to provide a complete design study and a detailed development plan before letting final contracts and assigning large numbers of contractor personnel to Marshall Space Flight Center or Michoud.
Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator of NASA, speaking in Denver before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said: "The sheer magnitude of the manned lunar exploration program, amounting as it will to $3 billion or more (in fiscal year 1963), represents a significant application of the Nation's resources. These billions of dollars will be spent in the laboratories, workshops, and factories of the Nation and thus constitute a significant factor in the Nation's employment and economy generally. The personnel in the space program are not all scientists and engineers but come from every walk of life."
The Requests for Quotation on production contracts for major components of the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation system, comprising seven separate items, were released to industry by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. (The Source Evaluation Board, appointed on January 31, began its work during the week of March 5 and contractors were selected on May 8.)
The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation developed a detailed, company-funded study on the lunar orbit rendezvous technique: characteristics of the system (relative cost of direct ascent, earth orbit rendezvous, and lunar orbit rendezvous); developmental problems (communications, propulsion); and elements of the system (tracking facilities, etc.). Joseph M. Gavin was appointed in the spring to head the effort, and Robert E. Mullaney was designated program manager.
NASA made public the drawings of the three-man Apollo spacecraft to be used in the lunar landing development program, On January 9, NASA announced its decision that the Saturn C-5 would be the lunar launch vehicle.
In his State of the Union message to the Congress, President John F . Kennedy said: "With the approval of this Congress, we have undertaken in the past year a great new effort in outer space. Our aim is not simply to be first on the moon, any more than Charles Lindbergh's real aim was to be first to Paris. His aim was to develop the techniques and the authority of this country and other countries in the field of the air and the atmosphere, and our objective in making this effort, which we hope will place one of our citizens on the moon, is to develop in a new frontier of science, commerce and cooperation, the position of the United States and the free world. This nation belongs among the first to explore it. And among the first - if not the first - we shall be."
The Apollo Spacecraft Project Office (ASPO) was established at MSC. Charles W. Frick was selected as Manager of the new Office, to assume his duties in February. Frick had been Chief of Technical Staff for General Dynamics Convair. Robert O. Piland was appointed Deputy Manager of ASPO and would serve as Acting Manager until Frick's arrival. ASPO would be responsible for the technical direction of NAA and other industrial contractors assigned to work on the Apollo spacecraft.
The first Apollo engineering order was issued to fabricate mockups of the Apollo command and service modules.
NAA engineers began preliminary layouts to define the elements of the command module (CM) configuration. Additional requirements and limitations imposed on the CM included reduction in diameter, paraglider compatibility, 250 pounds of radiation protection water, redundant propellant tankage for the attitude control system, and an increase in system weight and volume.
Command module heatshield requirements, including heating versus time curves, were established by NAA for several design trajectories. A computer program method of analyzing the charring ablation process had been developed. By this means, it was possible to calculate the mass loss, surface char layer temperature, amount of heat conducted through the uncharred ablation material and insulation into the cabin, and temperature profile through the ablator and insulation layers. In February, NAA determined that a new and more refined computer program would be needed.
The solid propellant called for in the original NAA proposal on the service module propulsion system was replaced by a storable, hypergolic propellant. Multitank configurations under study appeared to present offloading capabilities for alternative missions.
John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center and Charles W. Mathews of MSC made a presentation of lunar orbit rendezvous versus earth orbit rendezvous to the Manned Space Flight Management Council.
On the basis of a study by NAA, a single-engine configuration was chosen as the optimum approach for the service module propulsion subsystem. The results of the study were presented to MSC representatives and NAA was authorized to issue a work statement to begin procurement of an engine for this configuration. Agreement was also reached at this meeting on a vacuum thrust level of 20,000 pounds for the engine. This would maintain a thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.4 and allow a considerable increase in the lunar liftoff weight of the spacecraft.
At his regular press conference, President John F. Kennedy was asked for his "evaluation of our progress in space at this time" and whether the United States had changed its "timetable for landing a man on the moon." He replied: "As I said from the beginning, we have been behind . . . and we are running into the difficulties which came from starting late, We, however, are going to proceed by making a maximum effort. As you know, the expenditures in our space program are enormous . . . the time schedule, at least our hope, has not been changed by the recent setbacks (Ranger failures)."
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NASA announced that the General Electric Company had been selected for a major supporting role in the Apollo project, to provide integration analysis of the total space vehicle (including booster-spacecraft interface), ensure reliability of the entire space vehicle, and develop and operate a checkout system.
Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director, in a letter to NASA Headquarters, described the Ad Hoc Lunar Landing Module Working Group which was to be under the direction of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office. The Group would determine what constraints on the design of the lunar landing module were applicable to the effort of the Lewis Research Center. Gilruth asked that Eldon W. Hall represent NASA Headquarters in this Working Group. (At this time, the lunar landing module was conceived as being that part of the spacecraft which would actually land on the moon and which would contain the propulsion system necessary for launch from the lunar surface and injection into transearth trajectory. Pending a decision on the lunar mission mode, the actual configuration of the module was not yet clearly defined.)
A contract for the escape rocket of the Apollo spacecraft launch escape system was awarded to the Lockheed Propulsion Company by NAA. The initial requirements were for a 200,000-pound-thrust solid- propellant rocket motor with an active thrust-vector-control subsystem.
A meeting on the technical aspects of earth orbit rendezvous was held at NASA Headquarters. Representatives from various NASA offices attended: Arthur L. Rudolph, Paul J. DeFries, Fred L. Digesu, Ludie G. Richard, John W. Hardin, Jr., Ernst D. Geissler, and Wilson B. Schramm of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC); James T. Rose of MSC; Friedrich O. Vonbun, Joseph W. Siry, and James J. Donegan of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Douglas R. Lord, James E. O'Neill, Richard J. Hayes, Warren J. North, and Daniel D. McKee of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF). Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director for Systems, OMSF, who had called the meeting, defined in general terms the goal of the meeting: to achieve agreement on the approach to be used in developing the earth orbit rendezvous technique. After two days of discussions and presentations, the Group approved conclusions and recommendations:
NASA signed a contract with The Boeing Company for indoctrination, familiarization, and planning, expected to lead to a follow-on contract for design, development, manufacture, test, and launch operations of the first stage S-IC of the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle.
NASA announced Project Fire, a high-speed reentry heat research program to obtain data on materials, heating rates, and radio signal attenuation on spacecraft reentering the atmosphere at speeds of about 24,500 miles per hour. Information from the program would support technology for manned and unmanned reentry from lunar missions. Under the management of the Langley Research Center, Project Fire would use Atlas D boosters and the reentry package would be powered by an Antares solid-fuel motor (third stage of the Scout).
The preparation of schedules based on the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget (including the proposed supplemental appropriation), the Fiscal Year 1963 budget as submitted to Congress, and Fiscal Year 1964 and subsequent funding was discussed at the Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting. Program assumptions as presented by Wernher von Braun, Director, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), were approved for use in preparation of the schedules :
A NASA Apollo Office was established at NAA's Space and Information Systems Division, under the direction of J. Thomas Markley of MSC. The Office would serve primarily as liaison between the prime contractor and the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office at MSC.
The command module crew couch was repositioned and redesigned because of numerous problems. In the new design, an adjustable hand controller, similar to that used on the X-15, would be attached to an adjustable arm rest. The head rest could be regulated for an approximate four-inch movement, while the side head support was limited in movement for couch-module clearance. The adjustable leg support included a foot controller which could be folded up.
The center couch, including the crewman parachute and survival kit, could be folded out to a sleep position and stowed under either remaining couch. Allowance was made for the crewman to turn over.
Principal problems remaining were the difficulty of removing the center couch and providing the clearances needed for the couch positions specified for various phases of the lunar mission.
NASA wind tunnel data on the adaptation of the Project Mercury Little Joe booster to the Apollo launch escape system were analyzed. The booster fins were ineffective in maintaining the stability of the configuration and the project was canceled. The later Little Joe II depended on the inherent stability of the total vehicle to attain a successful ballistic trajectory to test altitude.
NASA Headquarters selected the Chance Vought Corporation of Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc., as a contractor to study spacecraft rendezvous. A primary part of the contract would be a flight simulation study exploring the capability of an astronaut to control an Apollo-type spacecraft.
The Marquardt Corporation was selected by NAA's Space and Information Systems Division to design and build the reaction control rocket engines for the Apollo spacecraft. The contract was signed during April.
The Aerojet-General Corporation was named by NAA as a subcontractor for the Apollo service module propulsion system.
The organizational elements and staffing for the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office was announced:
Robert O. Piland, Deputy Project Manager
William F. Rector, Special Assistant
Calvin H. Perrine, Flight Technology
Lee N. McMillion, Crew Systems
David L. Winterhalter, Sr., Power Systems
Wallace D. Graves, Mechanical Systems
Milton C. Kingsley, Electrical Systems
(Vacant), Ground Support Equipment
Jack Barnard, Apollo Office at MIT
(Vacant), Reliability and Quality Control
Emory F. Harris, Operations Requirements
Robert P. Smith, Launch Vehicle Integration
Owen G. Morris, Mission Engineering
Marion R. Franklin, Ground Operational Support Systems
Alan B. Kehlet, Engineering
Alan B. Kehlet, Acting Manager, Quality Control and Engineering
Herbert R. Ash, Acting Manager, Business Administration
NAA awarded a development contract for the Apollo spacecraft fuel cell to Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation.
Primary MSC activities for the Apollo program were relocated from Langley Field, Va., to the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Tex.
A NASA Headquarters-MSC management meeting was held to discuss the general status of the Apollo project, Apollo Spacecraft Project Office organization, mission and engineering studies, and budgets and schedules. Participants at the meeting agreed that a staged lunar landing propulsion module would be studied.
James E. Webb, NASA Administrator, recommended to President John F. Kennedy that the Apollo program be given DX priority (highest priority in the procurement of critical materials). He also sent a memorandum to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, requesting that the Council consider advising the President to add the Apollo program to the DX priority list.
NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced the selection of the Military Electronics Division of Motorola, Inc., as the contractor to manufacture and test radio equipment in the first two phases of a program to augment the Deep Space Instrumentation Facility (DSIF) by providing "S" band capability for stations at Goldstone, Calif., Woomera, Australia, and near Johannesburg, South Africa. With these stations located some 120 degrees apart around the earth, DSIF would have a high-gain, narrow-beam-width, high-frequency system, with very little interference from cosmic noise and would provide much improved telemetering and tracking of satellites as far out as the moon and nearby planets.
Charles W. Frick, Manager of the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office, together with Maxime A. Faget, Charles W. Mathews, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., John B. Lee, Owen E. Maynard, and Alan B. Kehlet of MSC and George M. Low of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, visited NAA at Downey, Calif. This was the first monthly meeting of the Apollo design and review team to survey NAA's progress in various areas, including the Apollo spacecraft heatshield, fuel cells, and service module.
Marshall Space Flight Center's latest schedule on the Saturn C-5 called for the first launch in the last quarter of 1965 and the first manned launch in the last quarter of 1967. If the C-5 could be man-rated on the eighth research and development flight in the second quarter of 1967, the spacecraft lead time would be substantially reduced.
The Avco Corporation was selected by NAA to design and install the ablative material on the Apollo spacecraft outer surface.
Wind tunnel tests were completed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at Langley Research Center on two early configurations of Apollo spacecraft models.
NASA Headquarters approved plans for the development of the Little Joe II test launch vehicle. Prospective bidders were notified of a briefing to be held at MSC on April 6, at which time Requests for Proposals would be distributed.
Members of Langley Research Center briefed representatives of the Chance Vought Corporation of Ling- Temco-Vought, Inc., on the lunar orbit rendezvous method of accomplishing the lunar landing mission. The briefing was made in connection with the study contract on spacecraft rendezvous awarded by NASA Headquarters to Chance Vought on March 1.
NASA announced that a $5 million contract would be awarded to Republic Aviation Corporation for the construction of two experimental reentry spacecraft. Republic was selected from eight companies that submitted bids on March 12. The contract was part of Project Fire, to develop a spacecraft capable of withstanding reentry into the earth's atmosphere from a lunar mission. Plans called for the spacecraft to be tested during the second half of 1963.
The Apollo guidance and navigation system was defined in more detail as more information from NASA MIT studies was received on new requirements for the system. As a result, the scope of the component development tasks given to all the guidance and navigation subcontractors was substantially increased.
A small group within the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office developed a preliminary program schedule for three approaches to the lunar landing mission: earth orbit rendezvous, direct ascent, and lunar orbit rendezvous. The exercise established a number of ground rules :
NAA was directed by the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office to begin a study to define the configuration and design criteria of the service module which would make the lunar landing maneuver and touchdown.
A meeting to review the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) technique as a possible mission mode for Project Apollo was held at NASA Headquarters. Representatives from various NASA offices attended: Joseph F. Shea, Eldon W. Hall, William A. Lee, Douglas R. Lord, James E. O'Neill, James Turnock, Richard J. Hayes, Richard C. Henry, and Melvyn Savage of NASA Headquarters; Friedrich O. Vonbun of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Harris M. Schurmeier of Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Arthur V. Zimmeman of Lewis Research Center; Jack Funk, Charles W. Mathews, Owen E. Maynard, and William F. Rector of MSC; Paul J. DeFries, Ernst D. Geissler, and Helmut J. Horn of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC); Clinton E. Brown, John C. Houbolt, and William H. Michael, Jr., of Langley Research Center; and Merrill H. Mead of Ames Research Center. Each phase of the LOR mission was discussed separately.
The launch vehicle required was a single Saturn C-5, consisting of the S-IC, S-II, and S-IVB stages. To provide a maximum launch window, a low earth parking orbit was recommended. For greater reliability, the two-stage-to-orbit technique was recommended rather than requiring reignition of the S-IVB to escape from parking orbit.
The current concepts of the Apollo command and service modules would not be altered. The lunar excursion vehicle (LEV), under intensive study in 1961, would be aft of the service module and in front of the S-IVB stage. For crew safety, an escape tower would be used during launch. Access to the LEV would be provided while the entire vehicle was on the launch pad.
Both Apollo and Saturn guidance and control systems would be operating during the launch phase. The Saturn guidance and control system in the S-IVB would be "primary" for injection into the earth parking orbit and from earth orbit to escape. Provisions for takeover of the Saturn guidance and control system should be provided in the command module. Ground tracking was necessary during launch and establishment of the parking orbit, MSFC and GSFC would study the altitude and type of low earth orbit.
The LEV would be moved in front of the command module "early" in the translunar trajectory. After the S-IVB was staged off the spacecraft following injection into the translunar trajectory, the service module would be used for midcourse corrections. Current plans were for five such corrections. If possible, a symmetric configuration along the vertical center line of the vehicle would be considered for the LEV. Ingress to the LEV from the command module should be possible during the translunar phase. The LEV would have a pressurized cabin capability during the translunar phase. A "hard dock" mechanism was considered, possibly using the support structure needed for the launch escape tower. The mechanism for relocation of the LEV to the top of the command module required further study. Two possibilities were discussed: mechanical linkage and rotating the command module by use of the attitude control system. The S-IVB could be used to stabilize the LEV during this maneuver.
The service module propulsion would be used to decelerate the spacecraft into a lunar orbit. Selection of the altitude and type of lunar orbit needed more study, although a 100-nautical-mile orbit seemed desirable for abort considerations.
The LEV would have a "point" landing (±½ mile) capability. The landing site, selected before liftoff, would previously have been examined by unmanned instrumented spacecraft. It was agreed that the LEV would have redundant guidance and control capability for each phase of the lunar maneuvers. Two types of LEV guidance and control systems were recommended for further analysis. These were an automatic system employing an inertial platform plus radio aids and a manually controlled system which could be used if the automatic system failed or as a primary system.
The service module would provide the prime propulsion for establishing the entire spacecraft in lunar orbit and for escape from the lunar orbit to earth trajectory. The LEV propulsion system was discussed and the general consensus was that this area would require further study. It was agreed that the propulsion system should have a hover capability near the lunar surface but that this requirement also needed more study.
It was recommended that two men be in the LEV, which would descend to the lunar surface, and that both men should be able to leave the LEV at the same time. It was agreed that the LEV should have a pressurized cabin which would have the capability for one week's operation, even though a normal LOR mission would be 24 hours. The question of lunar stay time was discussed and it was agreed that Langley should continue to analyze the situation. Requirements for sterilization procedures were discussed and referred for further study. The time for lunar landing was not resolved.
In the discussion of rendezvous requirements, it was agreed that two systems be studied, one automatic and one providing for a degree of manual capability. A line of sight between the LEV and the orbiting spacecraft should exist before lunar takeoff. A question about hard-docking or soft-docking technique brought up the possibility of keeping the LEV attached to the spacecraft during the transearth phase. This procedure would provide some command module subsystem redundancy.
Direct link communications from earth to the LEV and from earth to the spacecraft, except when it was in the shadow of the moon, was recommended. Voice communications should be provided from the earth to the lunar surface and the possibility of television coverage would be considered.
A number of problems associated with the proposed mission plan were outlined for NASA Center investigation. Work on most of the problems was already under way and the needed information was expected to be compiled in about one month.
(This meeting, like the one held February 13-15, was part of a continuing effort to select the lunar mission mode).
A mockup of the Apollo command module, built by the Space and Information Systems Division of NAA, was made public for the first time during a visit to NAA by news media representatives.
The Thiokol Chemical Corporation was selected by NAA to build the solid-fuel rocket motor to be used to jettison the Apollo launch escape tower following a launch abort or during a normal mission.
The request for a proposal on the Little Joe II test launch vehicle was submitted to bidders by a letter from MSC, together with a Work Statement. Five launches, which were to test boilerplate models of the Apollo spacecraft command module in abort situations, were called for: three in 1963 and two in 1964.
|Apollo CSM - Apollo CSM with Launch Escape Tower|
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Representatives of MSC made a formal presentation at Marshall Space Flight Center on the lunar orbit rendezvous technique for accomplishing the lunar mission.
Discussions at the monthly NAA-NASA Apollo spacecraft design review included:
Milton W. Rosen, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, recommended that the S-IVB stage be designed specifically as the third stage of the Saturn C-5 and that the C-5 be designed specifically for the manned lunar landing using the lunar orbit rendezvous technique. The S-IVB stage would inject the spacecraft into a parking orbit and would be restarted in space to place the lunar mission payload into a translunar trajectory. Rosen also recommended that the S- IVB stage be used as a flight test vehicle to exercise the command module (CM), service module (SM), and lunar excursion module (LEM) (previously referred to as the lunar excursion vehicle (LEV)) in earth orbit missions. The Saturn C-1 vehicle, in combination with the CM, SM, LEM, and S-IVB stage, would be used on the most realistic mission simulation possible. This combination would also permit the most nearly complete operational mating of the CM, SM, LEM, and S-IVB prior to actual mission flight.
The Manned Space Flight Management Council decided to delay the awarding of a Nova launch vehicle study contract until July 1 at the earliest to allow time for an in-house study of bids submitted and for further examination of the schedule for a manned lunar landing using the direct ascent technique.
MSC Associate Director Walter C. William reported to the Manned Space Flight Management Council that the lack of a decision on the lunar mission mode was causing delays in various areas of the Apollo spacecraft program, especially the requirements for the portions of the spacecraft being furnished by NAA.
John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center, writing in the April issue of Astronautics, outlined the advantages of lunar orbit rendezvous for a manned lunar landing as opposed to direct flight from earth or earth orbit rendezvous. Under this concept, an Apollo-type spacecraft would fly directly to the moon, go into lunar orbit, detach a small landing craft which would land on the moon and then return to the mother craft, which would then return to earth. The advantages would be the much smaller craft performing the difficult lunar landing and takeoff, the possibility of optimizing the smaller craft for this one function, the safe return of the mother craft in event of a landing accident, and even the possibility of using two of the small craft to provide a rescue capability.
The contract for the Apollo service module propulsion engine was awarded by NAA to Aerojet-General Corporation. The estimated cost of the contract was $12 million. NAA had given Aerojet-General authority April 9 to begin work.
NAA determined that preliminary inflight nuclear radiation instrumentation would consist of an onboard system to detect solar x-ray or ultraviolet radiation and a ground visual system for telemetering solar flare warning signals to the command module. The crew would have eight to ten minutes warning to take protective action before the arrival of solar flare proton radiation.
NAA studies resulted in significant changes in the command module environmental control system (ECS).
Three major changes were made by NAA in the Apollo space-suit circuit:
NAA developed a concept for shock attenuation along the command module Y-Y axis by the use of aluminum honeycomb material. Cylinders mounted on the outboard edge of the left and right couches would extend mechanically to bear against the side compartment walls.
The basic design configuration of the command module forward compartment was changed by the relocation of two attitude control engines from the lower to the upper compartment area, where less heat flux would be experienced during reentry.
A purchase request was being prepared by NASA for wind tunnel support services from the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center in the amount of approximately $222,000. These wind tunnel tests were to provide design parameter data on static stability, dynamic stability, pressure stability, and heat transfer for the Apollo program. The funds were to cover tests during June and July 1962. Approximately $632,000 would be required in Fiscal Year 1963 to fund the tests scheduled to December 1962.
A presentation on the lunar orbit rendezvous technique was made to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, by representatives of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office. A similar presentation to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., followed on May 31.
The Source Evaluation Board for selecting Apollo navigation and guidance components subcontractors completed its evaluation of bids and technical proposals and submitted its findings to NASA Headquarters. Preliminary presentation of the Board's findings had been made to NASA Administrator James E. Webb on April 5.
At the monthly Apollo spacecraft design review meeting at NAA, MSC representatives recommended that NAA and Avco Corporation prepare a comprehensive test plan for verifying the overall integrity of the heatshield including flight tests deemed necessary, without regard for anticipated hunch vehicle availability.
MSC processed a purchase request to increase NAA's spacecraft letter contract from $32 million to $55 million to cover NAA's costs to June 30, 1962. (Pending the execution of a definitive contract (signed August 14, 1963), actions of this type were necessary).
A preliminary Statement of Work for a proposed lunar excursion module was completed, although the mission mode had not yet been selected.
NASA announced the selection of three companies for the negotiation of production contracts for major components of the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation system under development by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. The largest of the contracts, for $16 million, would be negotiated with AC Spark Plug Division of General Motor Corporation for fabrication of the inertial, gyroscope-stabilized platform of the Apollo spacecraft; for development and construction of ground support and checkout equipment; and for assembling and testing all parts of the system. The second contract, for $2 million, would be negotiated with the Raytheon Company to manufacture the digital computer aboard the spacecraft. Under the third contract, for about $2 million, Kollsman Instrument Corporation would build the optical subsystems, including a space sextant, sunfinders, and navigation display equipment.
NASA awarded a letter contract to General Dynamics/Convair to design and manufacture the Little Joe II test launch vehicle which would be used to boost the Apollo spacecraft on unmanned suborbital test flights. The Little Joe II would be powered by clustered solid-fuel engines. At the same time, a separate 30-day contract was awarded to Convair to study the control system requirements. White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex., had been selected for the Little Joe II max q abort and high-altitude abort missions.
D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA's Director of Manned Space Flight, requested the Directors of Launch Operations Center, Manned Spacecraft Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to prepare supporting component schedules and cost breakdowns through Fiscal Year 1967 for each of the proposed lunar landing modes: earth orbit rendezvous, lunar orbit rendezvous, and direct ascent. For direct ascent, a Saturn C-8 launch vehicle was planned, using a configuration of eight F-1 engines, eight J-2 engines, and one J-2 engine. MSFC was also requested to submit a proposed schedule and summary of costs for the Nova launch vehicle, using the configuration of eight F-1 engines, two M-1 engines, and one J-2 engine. Each Center was asked to make an evaluation of the schedules as to possibilities of achievement, major problem areas, and recommendations for deviations.
The F-1 engine was first fired at full power more than 1.5 million pounds of thrust) for 2.5 minutes at Edwards Rocket Site, Calif.
The Manned Space Flight Management Council approved the mobile launcher concept for the Saturn C-5 at Launch Complex 39, Merritt Island, Fla.
A schedule for the letting of a contract for the development of a lunar excursion module was presented to the Manned Space Flight Management Council by MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth in anticipation of a possible decision to employ the lunar rendezvous technique in the lunar landing mission.
NAA studies on the prototype crew couch included one on the use of the center couch for supporting a crewman at the astrosextant during lunar approach and another on the displacement of outboard couches for access to equipment areas.
NAA decided to retain the inward-opening pull-down concept for the spacecraft crew hatch, which would use plain through bolts for lower sill attachment and a manual jack-screw device to supply the force necessary to seat and unseat the hatch.
Concurrently, a number of NAA latching concepts were in preparation for presentation to NASA, including that of an outward-opening, quick- opening crew door without an outer emergency panel. This design, however, had weight and complexity disadvantages, as well as requiring explosive charges.
NAA began compiling a list of command module materials to be classified selectively for potentially toxic properties. These materials would be investigated to determine location (related to possible venting of gases), fire resistance, exposure to excessive temperatures, gases resulting from thermal decomposition, and toxicity of gases released under normal and material-failure conditions. Although a complete examination of every material was not feasible, materials could be grouped according to chemical constituency and quantity of gases released.
The basic spacecraft adapter structure was defined as consisting of six aluminum honeycomb panels, six longerons, and forward and aft bulkheads. The design of the honeycomb panels for the test requirements program was complete.
A feasibility study was completed by NAA on the ballistic (zero-lift) maneuver as a possible emergency flight mode for lunar mission reentry. Based upon single-pass and 12 g maximum load-factor criteria, the guidance corridor would be nine nautical miles. When atmospheric density deviations were considered (+/- 50 percent from standard), the allowable corridor would be reduced to four nautical miles. Touchdown dispersions within the defined corridor exceeded 2500 nautical miles.
NAA completed a preliminary requirement outline for spacecraft docking. The outline specified that the two spacecraft be navigated to within a few feet of each other and held to a relative velocity of less than six inches per second and that they be steered to within a few inches of axial alignment and parallelism. The crewman in the airlock was assumed to be adequately protected against radiation and meteoric bombardment and to be able to grasp the docking spacecraft and maneuver it to the sealing faces for final clamp.
Layouts of three command module observation window configurations were made by NAA. A study disclosed that sufficient direct vision for lunar landing was not feasible and that windows could not be uncovered during reentry.
Two NAA analyses showed that the urine management system would prevent a rise in the command module humidity load and atmospheric contamination and that freeze-up of the line used for daily evacuation of urine to the vacuum of space could be prevented by proper orificing of the line.
The first reliability prediction study for the Apollo spacecraft was completed by NAA. Assuming all systems as series elements and excluding consideration of alternative modes, redundancies, or inflight maintenance provisions, the study gave a reliability estimate of 0.731. This analysis provided a basis from which means of improving reliability would be evaluated and formulated.
Telescope requirements for the spacecraft were modified after two study programs had been completed by NAA.
A study on the direct vision requirement for lunar landing showed that, to have a simultaneous direct view of the lunar landing point and the landing feet without changing the spacecraft configuration, a periscope with a large field of view integrated with a side window would be needed. A similar requirement on the general-purpose telescope could thus be eliminated, reducing the complexity of the telescope design.
Another study showed that, with an additional weight penalty of from five to ten pounds, an optical drift indicator for use after parachute deployment could easily be incorporated into the general-purpose telescope.
NAA evaluated the possibility of integrating the fuel cell and environmental control system heat rejection into one system. The integrated system proved to be unsatisfactory, being 300 pounds heavier and considerably more complex than the two separate systems. A preliminary design of separate fuel cell radiators, possibly located on the service module, was started by NAA.
The command module reaction control system (RCS) selected by NAA was a dual system without interconnections. Either would be sufficient for the entire mission.
For the service module RCS, a quadruple arrangement was chosen which was basically similar to the command module RCS except that squib valves and burst discs were eliminated.
Wernher von Braun, Director, Marshall Space Flight Center, recommended to the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight that the lunar orbit rendezvous mode be adopted for the lunar landing mission. He also recommended the development of an unmanned, fully automatic, one-way Saturn C-5 logistics vehicle in support of the lunar expedition; the acceleration of the Saturn C-1B program; the development of high-energy propulsion systems as a backup for the service module and possibly the lunar excursion module; and further development of the F-1 and J-2 engines to increase thrust or specific impulse.
NAA was directed by the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office at the monthly design review meeting to design an earth landing system for a passive touchdown mode to include the command module cant angle limited to about five degrees and favoring offset center of gravity, no roll orientation control, no deployable heatshield, and depressurization of the reaction control system propellant prior to impact. At the same meeting, NAA was requested to use a single "kicker" rocket and a passive thrust-vector-control system for the spacecraft launch escape system.
Results of a preliminary investigation by NAA showed that a 100 percent oxygen atmosphere for the command module would save about 30 pounds in weight and reduce control complexity.
NASA announced that the Apollo service module propulsion system would be tested at a new facility at White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex.
As the result of considerable joint engineering effort and discussion by NAA and MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, the location of the onboard space sextant in the command module was changed from the main instrument panel to the wall of the lower equipment bay. The instrument would penetrate the hull on the hot side during reentry and the navigator would have to leave his couch to make navigation sightings and to align the inertial measurement unit.
NASA and MIT agreed that the Instrumentation Laboratory would use the microcircuit for the prototype Apollo onboard computer. The Fairchild Controls Corporation microcircuit was the only one available in the United States.
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After an extended discussion, the Manned Space Flight Management Council unanimously decided:
Joseph F. Shea, NASA Deputy Director of Manned Space Flight (Systems), presented to the Manned Space Flight Management Council the results of the study on lunar mission mode selection. The study included work by personnel in Shea's office, MSC, and Marshall Space Flight Center. The criteria used in evaluating the direct ascent technique, earth orbit rendezvous connecting and fueling modes, and lunar orbit rendezvous were: the mission itself, weight margins, guidance accuracy, communications and tracking requirements, reliability (abort problems), development complexity, schedules, costs, flexibility, growth potential, and military implications.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the Manned Space Flight Management Council that the selection of the ablative material for the Apollo spacecraft heatshield would be made by September 1. The leading contender for the forebody ablative material was an epoxy resin with silica fibers for improving char strength and phenolic microballoons for reducing density.
In addition, Gilruth noted that a reevaluation of the Saturn C-1 and C-1B launch capabilities appeared to indicate that neither vehicle would be able to test the complete Apollo spacecraft configuration, including the lunar excursion module. Complete spacecraft qualification would require the use of the Saturn C-5.
A thermal coverall for use in extravehicular space suit design was completed in-house and would be shipped to Vought Astronautics for use in the MSC evaluation contract.
Five NASA scientists, dressed in pressure suits, completed an exploratory study at Rocketdyne Division of the feasibility of repairing, replacing, maintaining, and adjusting components of the J-2 rocket while in space. The scientific team also investigated the design of special maintenance tools and the effectiveness of different pressure suits in performing maintenance work in space.
The delta V (rate of incremental change in velocity) requirements for the lunar landing mission were established and coordinated with NAA by the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office.
Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation selected by NASA to develop the Apollo space suit.
NASA awarded three contracts totaling an estimated $289 million to NAA's Rocketdyne Division for the further development and production of the F-1 and J-2 rocket engines.
The document entitled "Charter of the MSFC-STG Space Vehicle Board," adopted on October 3, 1961, was revised to read "Spacecraft Launch Vehicle Coordination Charter for the Apollo Program MSFC-MSC." The reasons for the revision were: to include the recently formed Management Council, to include the Electrical Systems Integration Panel and Instrumentation and Communications Panel responsibilities, and to establish Integration Offices within MSC and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to manage the Panels.
Employment at NAA's Space and Information Systems Division reached 14,119, an increase of 7,000 in seven months.
Charles W. Frick, MSC Apollo Project Office Manager, assigned MIT Instrumentation Laboratory to report on a simulated lunar landing trainer using guidance and navigation equipment and other displays as necessary or proposed.
At the monthly Apollo spacecraft design review meeting with NAA, MSC officials directed NAA to design the spacecraft atmospheric system for 5 psia pure oxygen. From an engineering standpoint, the single-gas atmosphere offered advantages in minimizing weight and leakage, in system simplicity and reliability, and in the extravehicular suit interface.
The first Apollo spacecraft mockup inspection was held at NAA's Space and Information Systems Division. In attendance were Robert R. Gilruth, Director, MSC; Charles W. Frick, Apollo Program Manager, MSC; and Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom.
NASA officials announced the basic decision for the manned lunar exploration program that Project Apollo shall proceed using the lunar orbit rendezvous as the prime mission mode. Based on more than a year of intensive study, this decision for the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR), rather than for the alternative direct ascent or earth orbit rendezvous modes, enables immediate planning, research and development, procurement, and testing programs for the next phase of space exploration to proceed on a firm basis.
Following a long controversy NASA selected Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) as the fastest, cheapest, and safest mode to accomplish the Apollo mission. LOR solved the engineering problem of how to land. The EOR or Direct Landing approaches required the Apollo crew to be on their backs during the landing and having to use television or mirrors to see the lunar surface. A lunar crasher stage approach had finally emerged as lesser of evils but raised other issues. LOR allowed a purpose-built lander with a logical helicopter-like crew station layout. Studies indicated LOR would allow landing 6-8 months earlier and cost $9.2 billion vs $ 10.6 billion for EOR or direct. Direct flight by this time would not involve Nova, but a scaled-down two-man spacecraft that could be launched by the Saturn C-5.
Beech Aircraft Corporation was selected by NASA to build the spherical pressure vessels that would be used to store in the supercritical state the hydrogen-oxygen reactants for the spacecraft fuel cell power supply.
In an address to the American Rocket Society lunar missions meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, James A. Van Allen, Chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, State University of Iowa, said that protons of the inner radiation belt could be a serious hazard for extended manned space flight and that nuclear detonations might be able to clean out these inner belt protons, perhaps for a prolonged period, making possible manned orbits about 300 miles above the earth.
Joseph F. Shea, NASA Deputy Director of Manned Space Flight (Systems) , told an American Rocket Society meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, that the first American astronauts to land on the moon would come down in an area within ten degrees on either side of the lunar equator and between longitudes 270 and 260 degrees. Shea said that the actual site would be chosen for its apparent scientific potential and that the Ranger and Surveyor programs would provide badly needed information on the lunar surface. Maps on the scale of two fifths of a mile to the inch would be required, based on photographs which would show lunar features down to five or six feet in size. The smallest objects on the lunar surface yet identified by telescope were about the size of a football field.
NASA Administrator James E. Webb announced that the Mission Control Center for future manned space flights would be located at MSC. The Center would be operational in time for Gemini rendezvous flights in 1964 and later Apollo lunar missions. The overriding factor in the choice of MSC was the existing location of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office, the astronauts, and Flight Operations Division at Houston.
NASA announced plans for an advanced Saturn launch complex to be built on 80,000 acres northwest of Cape Canaveral. The new facility, Launch Complex 39, would include a building large enough for the vertical assembly of a complete Saturn launch vehicle and Apollo spacecraft.
MSC invited 11 firms to submit research and development proposals for the lunar excursion module (LEM) for the manned lunar landing mission. The firms were Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, The Boeing Airplane Company, Northrop Corporation, Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc., Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Dynamics Corporation, Republic Aviation Corporation, Martin- Marietta Company, North American Aviation, Inc., and McDonnell Aircraft Corporation.
As a result of an MSC in-house technical review, NAA was directed to investigate the adaptation of the Gemini-type heatshield to the Apollo spacecraft.
The Office of Systems under NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight summarized its conclusions on the selection of a lunar mission mode based on NASA and industry studies conducted in 1961 and 1962:
A modified method of cooling crew and equipment before launch and during boost was tentatively selected by NAA. Chilled, ground-support-equipment-supplied water-glycol would be pumped through the spacecraft coolant system until 30 seconds before launch, when these lines would be disconnected. After umbilical separation the glycol, as it evaporated at the water boiler, would be chilled by Freon stored in the water tanks.
After the determination of the basic design of the spacecraft sequencer schematic, the effect of the deployment of the forward heatshield before tower jettison was studied by NAA. The sequence of events of both the launch escape system and earth landing system would be affected, making necessary the selection of different sequences for normal flights and abort conditions. A schematic was prepared to provide for these sequencing alternatives.
NAA's evaluation of the emergency blow-out hatch study showed that the linear-shaped explosive charge should be installed on the outside of the command module, with a backup structure and an epoxy-foam-filled annulus on the inside of the module to trap fragmentation and gases. Detail drawings of the crew hatch were prepared for fabrication of actual test sections.
NAA completed control layouts for all three command module windows, including heatshield windows and sightlines. Structural penalties were investigated, window-panes sized, and a weight-comparison chart prepared.
The control layout of the command module aft compartment was released by NAA. This revised drawing incorporated the new umbilical locations in the lower heatshield, relocated the pitch-and-yaw engines symmetrically, eliminated the ground support equipment tower umbilical, and showed the resulting repositioning of tanks and equipment.
A study was made by NAA to determine optimum location and configuration of the spacecraft transponder equipment. The study showed that, if a single deep space instrumentation facility transponder and power amplifier were carried in the command module instead of two complete systems in the service module, spacecraft weight would be reduced, the system would be simplified, and command and service module interface problems would be minimized. Spares in excess of normal would be provided to ensure reliability.
NAA selected the lunar landing radar and completed the block diagram for the spacecraft rendezvous radar. Preliminary design was in progress on both types of radar.
A 70-mm pulse camera was selected by NAA for mission photodocumentation. The camera was to be carried in the upper parachute compartment. Because of the lack of space and the need for a constant power supply for a 35-watt heating element, NAA was considering placing the camera behind the main display panel. The advantages of this arrangement were that the camera would require less power, be available for changing magazines, and could be removed for use outside the spacecraft.
One 16-mm camera was also planned for the spacecraft. This camera would be positioned level with the commander's head and directed at the main display panel. It could be secured to the telescope for recording motion events in real time such as rendezvous, docking, launch and recovery of a lunar excursion module, and earth landing; it could be hand-held for extravehicular activity.
The Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation was selected by NASA as the prime contractor for the Apollo space suit assembly. Hamilton's principal subcontractor was International Latex Corporation, which would fabricate the pressure garment. The contract was signed on October 5.
NAA investigated several docking methods. These included extendable probes to draw the modules together; shock-strut arms on the lunar excursion module with ball locators to position the modules until the spring latch caught, fastening them together; and inflatable Mylar and polyethylene plastic tubing. Also considered was a system in which a crewman, secured by a lanyard, would transfer into the open lunar excursion module. Another crewman in the open command module airlock would then reel in the lanyard to bring the modules together.
Command module (CM) flotation studies were made by NAA, in which the heatshield was assumed to be upright with no flooding having occurred between the CM inner and outer walls. The spacecraft was found to have two stable attitudes: the desired upright position and an unacceptable on-the-side position 128 degrees from the vertical. Further studies were scheduled to determine how much lower the CM center of gravity would have to be to eliminate the unacceptable stable condition and to measure the overall flotation stability when the CM heatshield was extended.
Final design of the command module forward heatshield release mechanism was completed by NAA.
The Manned Space Flight Management Council decided that the Apollo spacecraft design criteria should be worked out under the guidance of the Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF) Office of Systems. These criteria should be included in the systems specifications to be developed. A monthly exchange of information on spacecraft weight status should take place among the Centers and OMSF. Eldon W. Hall of the Office of Space Systems would be responsible for control of the detailed system weights.
Air recirculation system components of the command module were rearranged to accommodate a disconnect fitting and lines for the center crewman's suit. To relieve an obstruction, the cabin pressure regulator was relocated and a design study drawing was completed.
NAA completed the analysis and design of the Fibreglass heatshield. It duplicated the stiffness of the aluminum heatshield and would be used on all boilerplate spacecraft.
At MSC, J. Thomas Markley was appointed Project Officer for the Apollo spacecraft command and service modules contract, and William F. Rector was named Project Officer for the lunar excursion module contract.
NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight issued Requests for Proposals for a study of the lunar "bus" and studies for payloads which could be handled by the C-1B and C-5 launch vehicles. Contract awards were expected by September 1 and completion of the studies by December 1.
The heatshield for Apollo command module boilerplate model 1 was completed five days ahead of schedule.
The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory ordered a Honeywell 1800 electronic computer from the Minneapolis- Honeywell Regulator Company's Electronic Data Processing Division for work on the Apollo spacecraft navigation system. After installation in 1963, the computer would aid in circuitry design of the Apollo spacecraft computer and would also simulate full operation of a spaceborne computer during ground tests.
The first completed boilerplate model of the Apollo command module, BP- 25, was subjected to a one-fourth-scale impact test in the Pacific Ocean near the entrance to Los Angeles Harbor. Three additional tests were conducted on August 9.
NASA awarded a $141.1 million contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company for design, development, fabrication, and testing of the S-IVB stage, the third stage of the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle. The contract called for 11 S-IVB units, including three for ground tests, two for inert flight, and six for powered flight.
Representatives of the MSC Gemini Project Office and Facilities Division inspected the proposed hangar and office facilities to be refurbished at El Centro Naval Air Facility, Calif., for joint use in the Apollo and Gemini drop-test programs.
At a bidders' conference held at NASA Headquarters, proposals were requested from Centers and industry for two lunar logistic studies: a spacecraft "bus" concept that could be adapted for use first on the Saturn C-1B and later on the Saturn C-5 launch vehicles and a variety of payloads which could be soft-landed near manned Apollo missions. The latter study would determine how a crew's stay on the moon might be extended, how human capability for scientific investigation of the moon might be increased, and how man's mobility on the moon might be facilitated.
|Apollo - Artist concept of Apollo Lunar Mission Touchdown on Lunar Surface|
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MSC requested the reprogramming of $100,000 of Fiscal Year 1963 funds for advance design on construction facilities. The funds would be transferred from Launch Operations Center to MSC for use on the Little Joe II program at White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex., and would cover Army Corps of Engineers design work on the launch facility.
NASA selected the Aerojet-General Algol solid-propellant motor to power the Little Joe II booster, which would be used to flight-test the command and service modules of the Apollo spacecraft.
A NASA program schedule for the Apollo spacecraft command and service modules through calendar year 1965 was established for financial planning purposes and distributed to the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, Marshall Space Flight Center, and MSC. The key dates were: complete service module drawing release, May 1, 1963; complete command module drawing release, June 15, 1963; manufacture complete on the first spacecraft, February 1, 1964; first manned orbital flight, May 15, 1965. This tentative schedule depended on budget appropriations.
Of the 11 companies invited to bid on the lunar excursion module on July 25, eight planned to respond. NAA had notified MSC that it would not bid on the contract. No information had been received from the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and it was questionable whether the Northrop Corporation would respond.
Ten Air Force pilots emerged from a simulated space cabin in which they had spent the previous month participating in a psychological test to determine how long a team of astronauts could work efficiently on a prolonged mission in space. Project Director Earl Alluisi said the experiment had "far exceeded our expectations" and that the men could have stayed in the cabin for 40 days with no difficulty.
NAA suggested that the pitch, roll, and yaw rates required for the Apollo guidance and navigation system would permit reduction in the reaction control thrust.
The NAA spacecraft Statement of Work was revised to include the requirements for the lunar excursion module (LEM) as well as other modifications. The LEM requirements were identical with those given in the LEM Development Statement of Work of July 24.
The command module (CM) would now be required to provide the crew with a one-day habitable environment and a survival environment for one week after touching down on land or water. In case of a landing at sea, the CM should be able to recover from any attitude and float upright with egress hatches free of water.
The first Apollo boilerplate command module, BP-25, was delivered to MSC for water recovery and handling tests. Flotation, water stability, and towing tests were conducted with good results. J. Thomas Markley of MSC described all spacecraft structural tests thus far as "successful."
The second stage (S-IV) of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle was successfully static-fired for the first time in a ten-second test at the Sacramento, Calif., facility by the Douglas Aircraft Company.
Carl Sagan, University of California astronomer, warned scientists at a lunar exploration conference, Blacksburg, Va., of the need for sterilization of lunar spacecraft and decontamination of Apollo crewmen, pointing out that Lunik II and Ranger IV probably had deposited terrestrial microorganisms on the moon. Even more serious, he said, was the possibility that lunar microorganisms might be brought to earth where they could multiply explosively.
Responsibility for the design and manufacture of the reaction controls for the Apollo command module was shifted from The Marquardt Corporation to the Rocketdyne Division of NAA, with NASA concurrence.
The length of the Apollo service module was increased from 11 feet 8 inches to 12 feet 11 inches to provide space for additional fuel.
The launch escape thrust-vector-control system was replaced by a passive system using a "kicker" rocket as directed by NASA at the June 10-11 design review meeting, The rocket would be mounted at the top of the launch escape system tower and fired tangentially to impart the necessary pitchover motion during the initial phase of abort. The main motor thrust was revised downward from 180, 000 to 155, 000 pounds and aligned 2.8 degrees off the center line. A downrange abort direction was selected; during abort the spacecraft and astronauts would rotate in a heels over head movement.
Robert R. Gilruth, Director of MSC, presented details of the Apollo spacecraft at the Institute of the Aerospace Sciences meeting in Seattle, Wash. During launch and reentry, the three-man crew would be seated in adjacent couches; during other phases of flight, the center couch would be stowed to permit more freedom of movement. The Apollo command module cabin would have 365 cubic feet of volume, with 22 cubic feet of free area available to the crew: "The small end of the command module may contain an airlock; when the lunar excursion module is not attached, the airlock would permit a pressure-suited crewman to exit to free space without decompressing the cabin. Crew ingress and egress while on earth will be through a hatch in the side of the command module."
A preliminary NAA report was completed on a literature search concerning fire hazards in 100 percent oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres. This report showed that limited testing would be warranted.
NAA completed attitude orientation studies, including one on the control of a tumbling command module (CM) following high-altitude abort above 125,000 feet. The studies indicated that the CM stabilization and control system would be adequate during the reentry phase with the CM in either of the two possible trim configurations.
The revised NAA Summary Definitions and Objectives Document was released. This revision incorporated the lunar orbit rendezvous concept, without lunar excursion module integration, and a revised master phasing schedule, reflecting the deletion of the second-stage service module. The NAA Apollo Mission Requirements and Apollo Requirements Specifications were also similarly re-oriented and released.
Preliminary studies were made by NAA to determine radiation instrument location, feasibility of shadow-shielding, and methods of determining direction of incidence of radiation. Preliminary requirements were established for the number and location of detectors and for information display.
NAA established design criteria for materials and processes used in food reconstitution bags. An order was placed for polypropylene material with a contoured mouthpiece. This material would be machined and then heat-fused to a thermoplastic bag.
Layouts of a command module (CM) telescope installation in the unpressurized upper parachute compartment were completed by NAA. The concept was for the telescope to extend ten inches from the left side of the spacecraft. The light path would enter the upper bulkhead through the main display panel to an eyepiece presentation on the commander's side of the spacecraft. A static seal (one-half-inch-thick window) would be used to prevent leakage in the pressurized compartment. The installation was suitable for use in the lunar orbit rendezvous mission and would allow one man in the CM to accomplish docking with full visual control.
A final decision was made by NAA to redesign the command module fuel cell radiator and associated tubing to accommodate a 30-psi maximum pressure drop. Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division agreed to redesign their pump for this level.
The establishment of a basic command module (CM) airlock and docking design criteria were discussed by NAA and NASA representatives. While NASA preferred a closed-hatch, one-man airlock system, NAA had based its design on an open-hatch, two-man airlock operation.
Another closed-hatch configuration under consideration would entirely eliminate the CM airlock. Astronauts transferring to and from the lunar excursion module would be in a pressurized environment constantly.
The command module waste management system analysis, including a new selection valve, revised tubing lengths, odor removal filter, and three check valves, was completed by NAA for a 5 psia pressure. There was only a small change in the flow rates through the separate branches as a result of the change to 5 psia.
The first tests incorporating data acquisition in the Apollo test program were conducted at El Centro, Calif. They consisted of monitoring data returned by telemetry during a parachute dummy-load test.
An NAA study indicated that the effects of crew motions on spacecraft attitude control would be negligible.
NAA finished structural requirements for a lunar excursion module adapter mating the 154-inch diameter service module to the 260-inch diameter S-IVB stage.
An interim Apollo flight operation plan for Fiscal Year 1963, dated August 28, calling for funding of $489.9 million, was transmitted to NASA Headquarters from MSC. System requirements were under study to determine the feasibility of cost reduction to avoid schedule slippage.
Nine industry proposals for the lunar excursion module were received from The Boeing Company, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Dynamics Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc., Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Martin-Marietta Corporation, Northrop Corporation, and Republic Aviation Corporation. NASA evaluation began the next day.
Two three-month studies of an unmanned logistic system to aid astronauts on a lunar landing mission would be negotiated with three companies, NASA announced. Under a $150,000 contract, Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., would look into the feasibility of developing a general-purpose spacecraft into which varieties of payloads could be fitted. Under two $75,000 contracts, Northrop Space laboratories and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation would study the possible cargoes that such a spacecraft might carry. NASA Centers simultaneously would study lunar logistic: trajectories, launch vehicle adaptation, lunar landing touchdown dynamics, scheduling, and use of roving vehicles on the lunar surface.
Apollo Spacecraft Project Office requested NAA to perform a study of command module-lunar excursion module (CM-LEM) docking and crew transfer operations and recommend a preferred mode, establish docking design criteria, and define the CM-LEM interface. Both translunar and lunar orbital docking maneuvers were to be considered. The docking concept finally selected would satisfy the requirements of minimum weight, design and functional simplicity, maximum docking reliability, minimum docking time, and maximum visibility.
The mission constraints to be used for this study were :
NASA deleted five Apollo mockups, three boilerplate spacecraft, and several ground support equipment items from the NAA contract because of funding limitations.
Apollo command module boilerplate model BP-1 was accepted by NASA and delivered to the NAA Engineering Development Laboratory for land and water impact tests. On September 25, BP-1 was drop-tested with good results. Earth-impact attenuation and crew shock absorption data were obtained.
Apollo command module boilerplate model BP-3, showing the arrangement of the cabin interior, was shipped to MSC.
Fire broke out in a simulated space cabin at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base, Tex., on the 13th day of a 14-day experiment to determine the effects of breathing pure oxygen in a long-duration space flight. One of the two Air Force officers was seriously injured. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined. The experiment was part of a NASA program to validate the use of a 5 psia pure oxygen atmosphere for the Gemini and Apollo spacecraft.
MSC reported that it had received a completed wooden mockup of the interior arrangement of the Apollo command module (CM). An identical mockup was retained at NAA for design control. Seven additional CM and service module (SM) mockups were planned: a partial SM and partial adapter interface, CM for exterior cabin equipment, complete SM, spacecraft for handling and transportation (two), crew support system, and complete CSM's. A mockup of the navigation and guidance equipment had been completed. A wooden mockup of the lunar excursion module exterior configuration was fabricated by NAA as part of an early study of spacecraft compatibility requirements.
J. Thomas Markley, command and service module Project Officer at MSC, announced details of the space facility to be established by NASA at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). To be used in testing the Apollo spacecraft's propulsion and abort systems, the WSMR site facilities would include two static-test-firing stands, a control center blockhouse, various storage and other utility buildings, and an administrative services area.
President John F. Kennedy spoke at Rice University, Houston, Tex., where he said:
"Man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space. . . .
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
"It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency. . . ."
NASA contracted with the Armour Research Foundation for an investigation of conditions likely to be found on the lunar surface. Research would concentrate first on evaluating the effects of landing velocity, size of the landing area, and shape of the landing object with regard to properties of the lunar soils. Earlier studies by Armour had indicated that the lunar surface might be composed of very strong material. Amour reported its findings during the first week of November.
Deletion of non-critical equipment and improvement of existing systems reduced the weight of the command and service modules by 1,239 pounds, with a target reduction of 1,500 pounds.
Among the items deleted from the command module (CM) were exercise and recreation equipment, personal parachutes and parachute containers located in the couches, individual survival kits, solar radiation garments, and eight-ball displays. A telescope, cameras and magazines considered scientific equipment, and a television monitor were deleted from the CM instrumentation system.
General Dynamics/Convair recommended and obtained NASA's concurrence that the first Little Joe II launch vehicle be used for qualification, employing a dummy payload.
NASA announced that it had completed preliminary plans for the development of the $500-million Mississippi Test Facility. The first phase of a three-phase construction program would begin in 1962 and would include four test stands for static-firing the Saturn C-5 S-IC and S-II stages; about 20 support and service buildings would be built in the first phase. A water transportation system had been selected, calling for improvement of about 15 miles of river channel and construction of about 15 miles of canals at the facility.
The Apollo wind tunnel program was in its eighth month. To date, 2,800 hours of time had been used in 30 government and private facilities.
MSC reported that the three liquid-hydrogen-liquid-oxygen fuel cells would supply the main and emergency power through the Apollo mission except for the earth reentry phase. Two of the fuel cells would carry normal electrical loads and one would supply emergency power. Performance predictions had been met and exceeded in single-cell tests. Complete module tests would begin during the next quarter. The liquid-hydrogen liquid-oxygen reactants for the fuel cell power supply were stored in the supercritical state in spherical pressure vessels. A recent decision had been made to provide heat input to the storage vessels with electrical heaters rather than the water-glycol loop. Three zinc-silver oxide batteries would supply power for all the electrical loads during reentry and during the brief periods of peak loads. One of the batteries was reserved exclusively for the postlanding phase. Eagle Picher Company, Joplin, Mo., had been selected in August as subcontractor for the batteries.
MIT's Lincoln Laboratory began a study program to define Apollo data processing requirements and to examine the problems associated with the unified telecommunications system. The system would permit the use of the lunar mission transponder during near-earth operations and eliminate the general transmitters required by the current spacecraft concept, thus reducing weight, complexity, and cost of the spacecraft system.
MSC reported that Apollo training requirements planning was 40 percent complete. The preparation of specific materials would begin during the first quarter of 1964. The crew training equipment included earth launch and reentry, orbital and rendezvous, and navigation and trajectory control part-task trainers, which were special-purpose simulators. An early delivery would allow extensive practice for the crew in those mission functions where crew activity was time-critical and required development of particular skills. The mission simulators had complete mission capability, providing visual as well as instrument environments. Mission simulators would be located at MSC and at Cape Canaveral.
|Apollo - Artist concept of Apollo Lunar Mission Exploration of Lunar Surface|
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MSC outlined a tentative Apollo flight plan:
The freeze-dried food that would be used in the Gemini program would also be provided for the Apollo program. Forty-two pounds of food would be necessary for a 14-day lunar landing mission. Potable water would be supplied by the fuel cells and processed by the environmental control system. A one-day water supply of six pounds per man would be provided at launch as an emergency ration if needed before the fuel cells were fully operative.
The Apollo spacecraft weights had been apportioned within an assumed 90,000 pound limit. This weight was termed a "design allowable." A lower target weight for each module had been assigned. Achievement of the target weight would allow for increased fuel loading and therefore greater operational flexibility and mission reliability. The design allowable for the command module was 9,500 pounds; the target weight was 8,500 pounds. The service module design allowable was 11,500 pounds; the target weight was 11,000 pounds. The S-IVB adapter design allowable and target weight was 3,200 pounds. The amount of service module useful propellant was 40,300 pounds design allowable; the target weight was 37,120 pounds. The lunar excursion module design allowable was 25,500 pounds; the target weight was 24,500 pounds.
MSC reported that Arnold Engineering Development Center facilities at Tullahoma, Tenn., were being scheduled for use in the development of the Apollo reaction control and propulsion systems. The use of the Mark I altitude chamber for environmental tests of the command and service modules was also planned.
The lunar excursion module was defined as consisting of 12 principal systems: guidance and navigation, stabilization and control, propulsion, reaction control, lunar touchdown, structure including landing and docking systems, crew, environmental control, electrical power, communications, instrumentation, and experimental instrumentation. A consideration of prime importance to practically all systems was the possibility of using components from Project Mercury or those under development for Project Gemini.
MSC reported that the lunar excursion module guidance system was expected to use as many components as possible identical to those in the command and service modules. Studies at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory indicated that the changes required would simplify the computer and continue the use of the same inertial measurement unit and scanning telescope.
Release of the structural design of the Apollo command module was 65 percent complete; 100 percent release was scheduled for January 1 963.
MSC reported that renovation of available buildings at the El Centro Joint Service Parachute Facility was required to support the Apollo earth recovery tests. The Air Force's commitment of a C-133A aircraft to support the qualification tests had been obtained.
MSC reported that the reliability goal for design purposes in the spacecraft Statement of Work for the Apollo mission was 0.9. The probability that the crew would not be subjected to conditions in excess of the stated limits was 0.9, and the probability that the crew would not be subjected to emergency limits was 0.999. The initial Work Statement apportionment for the lunar excursion module was 0.984 for mission success and 0.9995 for crew safety. Other major system elements would require reapportionment to reflect the lunar orbit mission.
MSC reported that meteoroid tests and ballistic ranges had been established at the Ames Research Center, Langley Research Center, and NAA. These facilities could achieve only about one half of the expected velocity of 75,000 feet per second for the critical-sized meteoroid. A measured improvement in the capability to predict penetration would come from a test program being negotiated by NAA with General Motors Corporation, whose facility was capable of achieving particle velocities of 75,000 feet per second.
The external natural environment of the Apollo spacecraft as defined in the December 18, 1961, Statement of Work had been used in the early Apollo design work. The micrometeoroid, solar proton radiation, and lunar surface characteristics were found to be most critical to the spacecraft design.
The pad abort boilerplate command module, BP-6, to qualify the launch escape system, was scheduled for delivery to White Sands Missile Range by mid-April 1963. A pad abort test of BP-6 was scheduled for May 15, 1963.
Rocketdyne Division successfully completed the first full-duration (250-seconds) static firing of the J-2 engine.
NASA signed a $l.55-million contract with Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation and International Latex Corporation for the development of a space suit for the Apollo crewmen. As the prime contractor, Hamilton Standard would have management responsibility for the overall program and would develop a life-support, backpack system to be worn by crewmen during lunar expeditions. International Latex Corporation as subcontractor would fabricate the suit, with Republic Aviation Corporation furnishing human factors information and environmental testing. The suit would allow a crewman greater mobility than previous space suits, enabling him to walk, climb, and bend with relative ease.
The Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company letter subcontract for the Apollo stabilization and control system was suspended by NAA and amended in accordance with the current design concepts,
NASA announced the selection of the International Business Machines Corporation to provide a ground-based computer system for Projects Gemini and Apollo. The computer complex would be part of the mission control center at MSC.
The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona, directed by Gerard P. Kuiper, reported that its analysis of lunar photographs taken by Lunik III differed from that announced by Soviet scientists. The most extensive feature of the moon's far side, photographed in 1959, had been named "The Soviet Mountains"; this feature was identified by the Arizona laboratory as an elongated area of bright patches and rays, possibly flat. Another feature, named the "Joliot-Curie Crater" by Soviet scientists, was re-identified by the Arizona laboratory as Mare Novum (New Sea), first identified by German astronomer Julius Franz near the turn of the century.
At the request of NASA, about 300 pieces of Gemini ground support equipment were examined by NAA engineers. It appeared that about 190 items would be usable on the Apollo program.
Faced by opposition of mode selection by Jerome Wiesner, Kennedy's science adviser, NASA let contracts to McDonnell and STL for direct two-man flight modes. Both concluded that it was feasible but would require LH2/LOX stages for descent and ascent from lunar surface, which NASA/STG adamantly opposed. This was also the last stab - for the time being - at 'lunar Gemini'.
The Office of Systems under NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight completed a manned lunar landing mode comparison embodying the most recent studies by contractors and NASA Centers. The report was the outgrowth of the decision announced by NASA on July 11 to continue studies on lunar landing modes while basing planning and procurement primarily on the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) technique.
Republic Aviation Corporation selected the Radio Corporation of America to design and build the data acquisition and communications subsystem for Project Fire.
Flight missions of the Apollo spacecraft were to be numerically identified in the future according to the following scheme :
Pad aborts: PA-1, PA-2, etc.
Missions using Little Joe II launch vehicles: A-001, A-002, etc. Missions using Saturn C-1 launch vehicles: A-101, A-102, etc. Missions using Saturn C-1B launch vehicles: A-201, A-202, etc. Missions using Saturn C-5 launch vehicles: A-501, A-502, etc.
The 'A' denoted Apollo, the first digit stood for launch vehicle type or series, and the last two digits designated the order of Apollo spacecraft flights within a vehicle series.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the Manned Space Flight Management Council that the Apollo drogue parachutes would be tested in the Langley Research Center wind tunnels.
NASA announced the signing of a contract with the Space and Information Systems Division of NAA for the development and production of the second stage (S-II) of the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle. The $319.9-million contract, under the direction of Marshall Space Flight Center, covered the production of nine live flight stages, one inert flight stage, and several ground-test units for the advanced Saturn launch vehicle. NAA had been selected on September 11, 1961, to develop the S-II.
NASA announced the realignment of functions under Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. D. Brainerd Holmes assumed new duties as a Deputy Associate Administrator while retaining his responsibilities as Director of the Office of Manned Space Flight. NASA field installations engaged principally in manned space flight projects (Marshall Space Flight Center Manned Spacecraft Center, and Launch Operations Center) would report to Holmes; installations engaged principally in other projects (Ames, Langley, Lewis, and Flight Research Centers, Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Wallops Station) would report to Thomas F. Dixon, Deputy Associate Administrator for the past year. Previously most field center directors had reported directly to Seamans on institutional matters beyond program and contractual administration.
Elimination of the requirement for personal parachutes nullified consideration of a command module (CM) blowout emergency escape hatch. A set of quick-acting latches for the inward-opening crew hatch would be needed, however, to provide a means of egress following a forced landing. The latches would be operable from outside as well as inside the pressure vessel. Outside hardware for securing the ablative panel over the crew door would be required as well as a method of releasing the panel from inside the CM.
Incandescent lamps would be used for floodlighting the command module because they weighed less than fluorescent lamps and took up less space while increasing reliability and reducing system complexity. A 28- volt lamp was most desirable because of its compatibility with the spacecraft 28-volt dc power system. Laboratory tests with a 28-volt incandescent lamp showed that heat dissipation would not be a problem in the vacuum environment but that a filament or shock mount would have to be developed to withstand vibration. An incandescent quartz lamp was studied because of its small size and high concentration of light.
An NAA digital computer program for calculating command module heatshield and couch system loads and landing stability was successful. Results showed that a five-degree negative-pitch attitude was preferable for land landings.
NAA completed a preliminary design for the deployment of the spacecraft deep space instrumentation facility antenna to the Y axis. The antenna would be shifted into the deploy position by actuation of a spring-loaded swing-out arm.
The revised NAA recommendation for a personal communications system consisted of a duplex capability with a simplex backup. Simultaneous transmission of voice and biomedical data with a break-in capability would be possible. Two changes in spacecraft VHF equipment would be needed: a dual-channel in place of a single-channel receiver, and a diplexer for use during duplex operation.
The feasibility of using the Gemini fuel cell for the lunar excursion module was studied by NAA. However, because of modifications to meet Apollo control and auxiliary requirements, the much lighter Gemini system would ultimately weigh about as much as the Apollo fuel cell. In addition, the Gemini fuel cell schedule would slip if the system had to be adapted to the Apollo mission.
An NAA study on the shift of the command module center of gravity during reentry proposed moving the crew and couches about ten inches toward the aft equipment bay and then repositioning them for landing impact.
A review of body angles used for the current couch geometry disclosed that the thigh-to-torso angle could be closed sufficiently for a brief period during reentry to shorten the overall couch length by the required travel along the Z-Z axis. The more acute angle was desirable for high g conditions. This change in the couch adjustment range, as well as a revision in the lower leg angle to gain structure clearance, would necessitate considerable couch redesign.
Proposed designs for view port covers on the crew-hatch window, docking ports, and earth landing windows were prepared by NAA. Design planning called for these port covers to be removed solely in the space environment. (Crew members would not use such windows during launch and reentry phases.) NAA,
NASA announced that the Douglas Aircraft Company had been awarded a $2.25million contract to modify the S-IVB stage for use in the Saturn C- 1B program.
NAA completed the firm-cost proposal for the definitive Apollo program and submitted it to NASA. MSC had reviewed the contract package and negotiated a program plan position with NAA.
The valves of the command module (CM) environmental control system were modified to meet the 5.0 psia oxygen operating requirements. All oxygen partial pressure controls were deleted from the system and the relief pressure setting of 7 +/- 0.2 psia was changed to 6 +/- 0.2 psia. The CM now could be repressurized from 0 to 5.0 psia in one hour.
NAA completed a study of reentry temperatures. Without additional cooling, space suit inlet temperatures were expected to increase from 50 degrees F at 100,000 feet to 90 degrees F at spacecraft parachute deployment. The average heat of the command module inner wall was predicted not to exceed 75 degrees F at parachute deployment and 95 degrees F on landing, but then to rise to nearly 150 degrees F.
The technique tentatively selected by NAA for separating the command and service modules from lower stages during an abort consisted of firing four 2000-pound-thrust posigrade rockets mounted on the service module adapter. With this technique, no retrorockets would be needed on the S-IV or S-IVB stages. Normal separation from the S-IVB would be accomplished with the service module reaction control system.
A new launch escape tower configuration with an internal structure that would clear the launch escape motor exhaust plume at 30,000 feet was designed and analyzed by NAA. Exhaust impingement was avoided by slanting the diagonal members in the upper bay toward the interior of the tower and attaching them to a ring.
NAA completed the release of the layout and preliminary design of command module crew accessories and survival equipment.
The Amour Research Foundation reported to NASA that the surface of the moon might not be covered with layers of dust. The first Armour studies showed that dust particles become harder and denser in a higher vacuum environment such as that of the moon, but the studies had not proved that particles eventually become bonded together in a rocket substance as the vacuum increases.
Four "hot spots" on the moon were reported to have been discovered by Bruce C. Murray and Robert L. Wildey of California Institute of Technology, using a new telescope with a heat-sensitive, gold-plated mirror to detect infrared radiation. The two space scientists speculated that hot spots could indicate large areas of bare rock exposed on the lunar surface. The spots were discovered during a survey of the moon which also revealed that the lunar surface became colder at night than previously believed, -270 degrees F compared to -243 degrees F recorded by earlier heat measuring devices. Murray said the new evidence could mean that there were prominences of heat-retaining rock protruding through a thick dust layer on the lunar surface.
William L. Gill, Chief of Crew Systems Division's Radiation Branch, MSC, said that the walls of the Apollo spacecraft would provide most of the radiation shielding required for the crew. Astronauts would have special shielding devices only for their eyes.
NASA announced that the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation had been selected to build the lunar excursion module of the three-man Apollo spacecraft under the direction of MSC. The contract, still to be negotiated, was expected to be worth about $350 million, with estimates as high as $1 billion by the time the project would be completed.
"Not one or two men will make the landing on the moon, but, figuratively, the entire Nation." That is how NASA's Deputy Administrator, Hugh L. Dryden, described America's commitment to Apollo during a speech in Washington, D.C. "What we are buying in our national space program," Dryden said, "is the knowledge, the experience, the skills, the industrial facilities, and the experimental hardware that will make the United States first in every field of space exploration. . . . The investment in space progress is big and will grow, but the potential returns on the investment are even larger. And because it concerns us all, scientific progress is everyone's responsibility. Every citizen should understand what the space program really is about and what it can do."
The Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) and the Raytheon Company came to terms on the definitive contract for the Apollo spacecraft guidance computer.
North American Aviation, Inc., selected the Aerospace Electrical Division of Westinghouse Electric Corporation to build the power conversion units for the command module (CM) electrical system. The units would convert direct current from the fuel cells to alternating current.
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The Aerojet-General Corporation reported completion of successful firings of the prototype service propulsion engine. The restartable engine, with an ablative thrust chamber, reached thrusts up to 21,500 pounds. (Normal thrust rating for the service propulsion engine is 20,500.)
Four Navy officers were injured when an electrical spark ignited a fire in an altitude chamber, near the end of a 14-day experiment at the U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory, Philadelphia, Pa. The men were participating in a NASA experiment to determine the effect on humans of breathing pure oxygen for 14 days at simulated altitudes.
About 100 Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation and MSC representatives began seven weeks of negotiations on the lunar excursion module (LEM) contract. After agreeing on the scope of work and on operating and coordination procedures, the two sides reached fiscal accord. Negotiations were completed on January 3, 1963. Eleven days later, NASA authorized Grumman to proceed with LEM development.
North American defined requirements for the command and service modules (CSM) stabilization and control system.
NASA invited ten industrial firms to submit bids by December 7 for a contract to build a control center at MSC and to integrate ground operational support systems for Apollo and the rendezvous phases of Gemini. On January 28, 1963, NASA announced that the contract had been awarded to the Philco Corporation, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company.
A Goddard Space Flight Center report summarizing recommendations for ground instrumentation support for the near-earth phases of the Apollo missions was forwarded to the Apollo Task Group of the NASA Headquarters Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition (OTDA). This report presented a preliminary conception of the Apollo network.
The tracking network would consist of stations equipped with 9-meter (30foot) antennas for near-earth tracking and communications and of stations having 26-meter (85-foot) antennas for use at lunar distances. A unified S-band system, capable of receiving and transmitting voice, telemetry, and television on a single radio-frequency band, was the basis of the network operation.
On March 12, 1963, during testimony before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Edmond C. Buckley, Director of OTDA, described additional network facilities that would be required as the Apollo program progressed. Three Deep Space Instrumentation Facilities with 26-meter (85- foot) antennas were planned: Goldstone, Calif. (completed); Canberra, Australia (to be built); and a site in southern Europe (to be selected). Three new tracking ships and special equipment at several existing network stations for earth-orbit checkout of the spacecraft would also be needed.
At a news conference in Cleveland, Ohio, during the 10-day Space Science Fair there, NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden stated that inflight practice at orbital maneuvering was essential for lunar missions. He believed that landings would follow reconnaissance of the moon by circumlunar and near- lunar-surface flights.
NASA awarded a $2.56 million contract to Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc. (LTV), to develop the velocity package for Project Fire, to simulate reentry from a lunar mission. An Atlas D booster would lift an instrumented payload (looking like a miniature Apollo CM) to an altitude of 122,000 meters (400,000 feet). The velocity package would then fire the reentry vehicle into a minus 15 degree trajectory at a velocity of 11,300 meters (37,000 feet) per second. On December 17, Republic Aviation Corporation, developer of the reentry vehicle, reported that design was 95 percent complete and that fabrication had already begun.
MSC released a sketch of the space suit assembly to be worn on the lunar surface. It included a portable life support system which would supply oxygen and pressurization and would control temperature, humidity, and air contaminants. The suit would protect the astronaut against solar radiation and extreme temperatures. The helmet faceplate would shield him against solar glare and would be defrosted for good visibility at very low temperatures. An emergency oxygen supply was also part of the assembly.
Four days earlier, MSC had added specifications for an extravehicular suit communications and telemetry (EVSCT) system to the space suit contract with Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation. The EVSCT system included equipment for three major operations:
Representatives of Hamilton Standard and International Latex Corporation (ILC) met to discuss mating the portable life support system to the ILC space suit configuration. As a result of mockup demonstrations and other studies, over-the-shoulder straps similar to those in the mockup were substituted for the rigid "horns."
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the Manned Space Flight (MSF) Management Council that formal negotiations between NASA and North American on the Apollo spacecraft development contract would begin in January 1963. He further informed the council that the design release for all Apollo systems, with the exception of the space suit, was scheduled for mid-1963; the suit was scheduled for January 1964.
MSC officials met with representatives of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the NASA Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition (OTDA). They discussed locating the third Deep Space Instrumentation Facility (DSIF) in Europe instead of at a previously selected South African site. JPL had investigated several European sites and noted the communications gap for each. MSC stated that a coverage gap of up to two hours was undesirable but not prohibitive. JPL and OTDA agreed to place the European station where the coverage gap would be minimal or nonexistent. However, the existence of a communications loss at a particular location would not be an overriding factor against a site which promised effective technical and logistic support and political stability. MSC agreed that this was a reasonable approach.
North American completed a study of CSM-LEM transposition and docking. During a lunar mission, after the spacecraft was fired into a trajectory toward the moon, the CSM would separate from the adapter section containing the LEM. It would then turn around, dock with the LEM, and pull the second vehicle free from the adapter. The contractor studied three methods of completing this maneuver: free fly-around, tethered fly- around, and mechanical repositioning. Of the three, the company recommended the free fly-around, based on NASA's criteria of minimum weight, simplicity of design, maximum docking reliability, minimum time of operation, and maximum visibility.
Also investigated was crew transfer from the CM to the LEM, to determine the requirements for crew performance and, from this, to define human engineering needs. North American concluded that a separate LEM airlock was not needed but that the CSM oxygen supply system's capacity should be increased to effect LEM pressurization.
On November 29, North American presented the results of docking simulations, which showed that the free flight docking mode was feasible and that the 45-kilogram (100-pound) service module (SM) reaction control system engines were adequate for the terminal phase of docking. The simulations also showed that overall performance of the maneuver was improved by providing the astronaut with an attitude display and some form of alignment aid, such as probe.
AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors Corporation assembled the first CM inertial reference integrating gyro (IRIG) for final tests and calibration. Three IRIGs in the CM navigation and guidance system provided a reference from which velocity and attitude changes could be sensed. Delivery of the unit was scheduled for February 1963.
North American reported several problems involving the CM's aerodynamic characteristics; their analysis of CM dynamics verified that the spacecraft could - and on one occasion did - descend in an apex-forward attitude. The CM's landing speed then exceeded the capacity of the drogue parachutes to reorient the vehicle; also, in this attitude, the apex cover could not be jettisoned under all conditions. During low-altitude aborts, North American went on, the drogue parachutes produced unfavorable conditions for main parachute deployment.
Extensive material and thermal property tests indicated that a Fiberglas honeycomb matrix bonded to the steel substructure was a promising approach for a new heatshield design for the CM.
North American made a number of changes in the layout of the CM:
MSC awarded a $222,000 contract to the Air Force Systems Command for wind tunnel tests of the Apollo spacecraft at its Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tullahoma, Tenn.
Collins Radio Company selected Motorola, Inc., Military Electronics Division, to develop and produce the spacecraft S-band transponder. The transponder would aid in tracking the spacecraft in deep space; also, it would be used to transmit and receive telemetry signals and to communicate between ground stations and the spacecraft by FM voice and television links. The formal contract with Motorola was awarded in mid-February 1963.
Also, Collins awarded a contract to the Leach Corporation for the development of command and service module (CSM) data storage equipment. The tape recorders must have a five-hour capacity for collection and storage of data, draw less than 20 watts of power, and be designed for in-flight reel changes.
The MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office (ASPO) outlined the photographic equipment needed for Apollo missions. This included two motion picture cameras (16- and 70-mm) and a 35-mm still camera. It was essential that the camera, including film loading, be operable by an astronaut wearing pressurized gloves. On February 25, 1963, NASA informed North American that the cameras would be government furnished equipment.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, acting for NASA, awarded a $3.332 million contract to four New York architectural engineering firms to design the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) at Cape Canaveral. The massive VAB became a space-age hangar, capable of housing four complete Saturn V launch vehicles and Apollo spacecraft where they could be assembled and checked out. The facility would be 158.5 meters (520 feet high) and would cost about $100 million to build. Subsequently, the Corps of Engineers selected Morrison-Knudson Company, Perini Corp., and Paul Hardeman, Inc., to construct tile VAB.
The first test of the Apollo main parachute system, conducted at the Naval Air Facility, El Centro, Calif., foreshadowed lengthy troubles with the landing apparatus for the spacecraft. One parachute failed to inflate fully, another disreefed prematurely, and the third disreefed and inflated only after some delay. No data reduction was possible because of poor telemetry. North American was investigating.
At a meeting held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Instrumentation Laboratory, representatives of MIT, MSC, Hamilton Standard Division, and International Latex Corporation examined the problem of an astronaut's use of optical navigation equipment while in a pressurized suit with helmet visor down. MSC was studying helmet designs that would allow the astronaut to place his face directly against the helmet visor; this might avoid an increase in the weight of the eyepiece. In February 1963, Hamilton Standard recommended adding corrective devices to the optical system rather than adding corrective devices to the helmet or redesigning the helmet. In the same month, ASPO set 52.32 millimeters 2.06 inches as the distance of the astronaut's eye away from the helmet. MIT began designing a lightweight adapter for the navigation instruments to provide for distances of up to 76.2 millimeters (3 inches).
The General Electric Policy Review Board, established by the MSF Management Council, held its first meeting. On February 9, the General Electric Company (GE) had been selected by NASA to provide integration analysis (including booster-spacecraft interface), ensure reliability of the entire space vehicle, and develop and operate a checkout system. The Policy Review Board was organized to oversee the entire GE Apollo effort.
With NASA's concurrence, North American released the Request For Proposals on the Apollo mission simulator. A simulated CM, an instructor's console, and a computer complex now supplanted the three part- task trainers originally planned. An additional part-task trainer was also approved. A preliminary report describing the device had been submitted to NASA by North American. The trainer was scheduled to be completed by March 1964.
NASA Administrator James E. Webb, in a letter to the President, explained the rationale behind the Agency's selection of lunar orbit rendezvous (rather than either direct ascent or earth orbit rendezvous) as the mode for landing Apollo astronauts on the moon. Arguments for and against any of the three modes could have been interminable: "We are dealing with a matter that cannot be conclusively proved before the fact," Webb said. "The decision on the mode . . . had to be made at this time in order to maintain our schedules, which aim at a landing attempt in late 1967."
The first static firing of the Apollo tower jettison motor, under development by Thiokol Chemical Corporation, was successfully performed.
NASA authorized North American's Columbus, Ohio, Division to proceed with a LEM docking study.
Northrop Corporation's Ventura Division, prime contractor for the development of sea-markers to indicate the location of the spacecraft after a water landing, suggested three possible approaches:
MSC officials, both in Houston and at the Preflight Operations Division at Cape Canaveral, agreed on a vacuum chamber at the Florida location to test spacecraft systems in a simulated space environment during prelaunch checkout.
The first working model of the crew couch was demonstrated during an inspection of CM mockups at North American. As a result, the contractor began redesigning the couch to make it lighter and simpler to adjust. Design investigation was continuing on crew restraint systems in light of the couch changes. An analysis of acceleration forces imposed on crew members during reentry at various couch back and CM angles of attack was nearing completion.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the MSF Management Council that tests by Republic Aviation Corporation, the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine SAM at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex., and the U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory (ACEL) at Philadelphia, Pa., had established that, physiologically, a spacecraft atmosphere of pure oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (five pounds per square inch absolute (psia)) was acceptable. During the separate experiments, about 20 people had been exposed to pure oxygen environments for periods of up to two weeks without showing adverse effects. Two fires had occurred, one on September 10 at SAM and the other on November 17 at ACEL. The cause in both cases was faulty test equipment. On July 11, NASA had ordered North American to design the CM for 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5-psia), pure-oxygen atmosphere.
MSC prognosticated that, during landing, exhaust from the LEM's descent engine would kick up dust on the moon's surface, creating a dust storm. Landings should be made where surface dust would be thinnest.
North American delivered CM boilerplate (BP) 3, to Northrop Ventura, for installation of an earth-landing system. BP-3 was scheduled to undergo parachute tests at El Centro, Calif., during early 1963.
The Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company submitted to North American cost proposal and design specifications on the Apollo stabilization and control system, based upon the new Statement of Work drawn up on December 17.
North American selected Radiation, Inc., to develop the CM pulse code modulation (PCM) telemetry system. The PCM telemetry would encode spacecraft data into digital signals for transmission to ground stations. The $4.3 million contract was officially announced on February 15, 1963.
Lockheed Propulsion Company successfully static fired four launch escape system pitch-control motors. In an off-the-pad or low-altitude abort, the pitch-control motor would fix the trajectory of the CM after its separation from the launch vehicle.
North American's Rocketdyne Division completed the first test firings of the CM reaction control engines.
MSC reported that the general arrangement of the CM instrument panel had been designed to permit maximum manual control and flight observation by the astronauts.
North American reported three successful static firings of the launch escape motor. The motor would pull the CM away from the launch vehicle if there were an abort early in a mission.
In the first of a series of reliability-crew safety design reviews on all systems for the CM, North American examined the spacecraft's environmental control system (ECS). The Design Review Board approved the overall ECS concept, but made several recommendations for further refinement. Among these were:
|Apollo - Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. artist's concept of Lunar Module 5|
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MSC Flight Operations Division examined the operational factors involved in Apollo water and land landings. Analysis of some of the problems leading to a preference for water landing disclosed that:
The contract for the development and production of the CSM C-band transponder was awarded to American Car and Foundry Industries, Inc., by Collins Radio Company. The C-band transponder was used for tracking the spacecraft. Operating in conjunction with conventional, earth-based, radar equipment, it transmitted response pulses to the Manned Space Flight Network,
Grumman agreed to use existing Apollo components and subsystems, where practicable, in the LEM This promised to simplify checkout and maintenance of spacecraft systems.
NASA and General Dynamics/Convair (GD/C) began contract negotiations on the Little Joe II launch vehicle, which was used to flight-test the Apollo launch escape system. The negotiated cost was nearly $6 million. GD/C had already completed the basic structural design of the vehicle.
MSC prepared the Project Apollo lunar landing mission design. This plan outlined ground rules, trajectory analyses, sequences of events, crew activities, and contingency operations. It also predicted possible planning changes in later Apollo flights.
MSC awarded a $3.69 million contract to the Radio Corporation of America
RCA Service Company to design and build two vacuum chambers at MSC. The facility was used in astronaut training and spacecraft environmental testing. using carbon arc: lamps, the chambers simulated the sun's intensity, permitting observation of the effects of solar heating encountered on a lunar mission. At the end of July, MSC awarded RCA another contract (worth $3,341,750) for these solar simulators.
After studying the present radar coverage provided by ground stations for representative Apollo trajectories, North American recommended that existing C-band radars be modified to increase ranging limits. The current capability for tracking to 920 kilometers (500 nautical miles), while satisfactory for near-earth trajectories, was wholly inadequate for later Apollo missions. Tracking capability should be extended to 59,000 kilometers (32,000 nautical miles), North American said; and to improve tracking accuracy, transmitter power and receiver sensitivity should be increased.
Joseph F. Shea, Director of the Office of Systems in NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), briefed MSC officials on the nature and scope of NASA's contract with Bellcomm for systems engineering support. Also, Shea familiarized them with the organization and operation of the Office of Systems vis-a-vis Bellcomm. (Bellcomm, a separate corporation formed by American Telephone and Telegraph and Western Electric early in 1962, specifically at NASA's request, furnished engineering support to the overall Apollo program.) Bellcomm's studies, either in progress or planned, included computer support, environmental hazards, mission safety and reliability, communications and tracking, trajectory analyses, and lunar surface vehicles.
MSC and OMSF agreed that an unmanned Apollo spacecraft must be flown on the Saturn C-1 before a manned flight. SA-10 was scheduled to be the unmanned flight and SA-111, the first manned mission.
North American awarded Airborne Instruments Laboratory, a division of Cutler-Hammer, Inc., a contract for the CM recovery antenna system. NAA,
The MSC Flight Operations Division's Mission Analysis Branch analyzed three operational procedures for the first phase of descent from lunar orbit:
(Apocynthion and pericynthion are the high and low points, respectively, of an object in orbit around the moon (as, for example, a spacecraft sent from earth). Apolune and perilune also refer to these orbital parameters, but these latter two words apply specifically to an object launched from the moon itself.)
Representatives of North American, Langley Research Center, Ames Research Center, and MSC discussed CM reentry heating rates. They agreed on estimates of heating on the CM blunt face, which absorbed the brunt of reentry, but afterbody heating rates were not as clearly defined. North American was studying Project Mercury flight data and recent Apollo wind tunnel tests to arrive at revised estimates.
President John F. Kennedy sent his budget request for Fiscal Year 1964 to Congress. The President recommended a NASA appropriation of $5.712 billion, $3.193 billion of which was for manned space flight. Apollo received a dramatic increase - $1.207 billion compared with $435 million the previous year. NASA Administrator James E. Webb nonetheless characterized the budget, about half a billion dollars less than earlier considered, as one of "austerity." While it would not appreciably speed up the lunar landing timetable, he said, NASA could achieve the goal of placing a man on the moon within the decade.
Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., of MSC's Flight Operations Division (FOD), advised ASPO that the digital up-data link being developed for the Gemini program appeared acceptable for Apollo as well. In late October 1962, representatives of FOD and ASPO had agreed that an independent up-data link a means by which the ground could feed current information to the spacecraft's computer during a mission was essential for manned Apollo flights. Kraft proposed that the Gemini-type link be used for Apollo as well, and on June 13 MSC ordered North American to include the device in the CM.
NASA's Flight Research Center (FRC) announced the award of a $3.61 million contract to Bell Aerosystems Company of Bell Aerospace Corporation for the design and construction of two manned lunar landing research vehicles. The vehicles would be able to take off and land under their own power, reach an altitude of about 1,220 meters (4,000 feet), hover, and fly horizontally. A fan turbojet engine would supply a constant upward push of five-sixths the weight of the vehicle to simulate the one-sixth gravity of the lunar surface. Tests would be conducted at FRC.
Two aerodynamic strakes were added to the CM to eliminate the danger of a hypersonic apex-forward trim point on reentry. (During a high-altitude launch escape system (LES) abort, the crew would undergo excessive g forces if the CM were to trim apex forward. During a low-altitude abort, there was the potential problem of the apex cover not clearing the CM. The strakes, located in the yaw plane, had a maximum span of one foot and resulted in significant weight penalties.
The Hamilton Standard space suit contract was amended to include supplying space suit communications and telemetry equipment.
The first evaluation of crew mobility in the International Latex Corporation (ILC) pressure suit was conducted at North American to identify interface problems. Three test subjects performed simulated flight tasks inside a CM mockup. CM spatial restrictions on mobility were shown. Problems involving suit sizes, crew couch dimensions, and restraint harness attachment, adjustment, and release were appraised. Numerous items that conflicted with Apollo systems were noted and passed along to ILC for correction in the continuing suit development program.
MSC announced new assignments for the seven original astronauts: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and Alan B. Shepard, Jr., would be responsible for the remaining pilot phases of Project Mercury; Virgil I. Grissom would specialize in Project Gemini; John H. Glenn, Jr., would concentrate on Project Apollo; M. Scott Carpenter would cover lunar excursion training; and Walter M. Schirra, Jr., would be responsible for Gemini and Apollo operations and training. As Coordinator for Astronaut Activities, Donald K. Slayton would maintain overall supervision of astronaut duties.
Specialty areas for the second generation were: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery system, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H. White II; and environmental control systems, personal equipment, and survival equipment, John W. Young.
Following a technical conference on the LEM electrical power system (EPS), Grumman began a study to define the EPS configuration. Included was an analysis of EPS requirements and of weight and reliability for fuel cells and batteries. Total energy required for the LEM mission, including the translunar phase, was estimated at 61.3 kilowatt-hours. Upon completion of this and a similar study by MSC, Grumman decided upon a three-cell arrangement with an auxiliary battery. Capacity would be determined when the EPS load analysis was completed.
NASA announced the selection of the Philco Corporation as prime contractor for the Mission Control Center (MCC) at MSC. To be operational in mid-1964, MCC would link the spacecraft with ground controllers at MSC through the worldwide tracking network.
Grumman and NASA announced the selection of four companies as major LEM subcontractors:
MSC awarded a contract to Chance Vought Corporation for a study of guidance system techniques for the LEM in an abort during lunar landing.
NASA authorized North American to extend until June 10 the CM heatshield development program. This gave the company time to evaluate and recommend one of the three ablative materials still under consideration. The materials were subjected to tests of thermal performance, physical and mechanical properties, and structural compatibility with the existing heatshield substructure. North American sought also to determine the manufacturing feasibility of placing the materials in a Fiberglas honeycomb matrix bonded to a steel substructure.
Walter C. Williams, MSC's Associate Director, defined the Center's criteria on the location of earth landing sites for Gemini and Apollo spacecraft: site selection as well as mode of landing (i.e., land versus water) for each mission should be considered separately. Constraints on trajectory, landing accuracy, and landing systems must be considered, as well as lead time needed to construct landing area facilities. Both Gemini and Apollo flight planning had to include water as well as land landing modes.Although the Apollo earth landing system was designed to withstand the shock of coming down on varying terrains, some experience was necessary to verify this capability. Because of the complexity of the Apollo mission and because the earth landing system did not provide a means of avoiding obstacles, landing accuracy was even more significant for Apollo than for Gemini. With so many variables involved, Williams recommended that specific landing locations for future missions not be immediately designated.
Aerojet-General Corporation, Sacramento, Calif., began full-scale firings of a service propulsion engine with a redesigned injector baffle.
NASA announced a simplified terminology for the Saturn booster series: Saturn C-1 became "Saturn I," Saturn C-1B became "Saturn IB," and Saturn C-5 became "Saturn V."
MSC issued a definitive contract for $15,029,420 to the Raytheon Company, Space and Information Systems Division, to design and develop the CM onboard digital computer. The contract was in support of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which was developing the Apollo guidance and navigation systems. Announcement of the contract was made on February 11.
The first inertial reference integrating gyro produced by AC Spark Plug was accepted by NASA and delivered to the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory.
NASA selected the Marion Power Shovel Company to design and build the crawler-transport, a device to haul the Apollo space vehicle (Saturn V, complete with spacecraft and associated launch equipment) from the Vertical Assembly Building to the Merritt Island, Fla., launch pad, a distance of about 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles). The crawler would be 39.6 meters (130 feet) long, 35 meters (115 feet) wide, and 6 meters (20 feet) high, and would weight 2.5 million kilograms (5.5 million pounds). NASA planned to buy two crawlers at a cost of $4 to 5 million each. Formal negotiations began on February 20 and the contract was signed on March 29.
In a reorganization of ASPO, MSC announced the appointment of two deputy managers. Robert O. Piland, deputy for the LEM, and James L. Decker, deputy for the CSM, would supervise cost, schedule, technical design, and production. J. Thomas Markley was named Special Assistant to the Apollo Manager, Charles W. Frick. Also appointed to newly created positions were Caldwell C. Johnson, Manager, Spacecraft Systems Office, CSM; Owen E. Maynard, Acting Manager, Spacecraft Systems Office, LEM; and David W. Gilbert, Manager, Spacecraft Systems Office, Guidance and Navigation.
Grumman began discussions with Rocketdyne on the development of a throttleable LEM descent engine. Engine specifications (helium injected, 10:1 thrust variation) had been laid down by MSC.
The North American Apollo impact test facility at Downey, Calif., was completed. This facility consisted mainly of a large pool with overhead framework and mechanisms for hydrodynamic drop tests of the CM. Testing at the facility began with the drop of boilerplate 3 on March 11.
NASA issued a definitive contract for $6,322,643 to General Dynamics Convair for the Little Joe II test vehicle. A number of changes defined by contract change proposals were incorporated into the final document:
North American selected Bell Aerosystems Company to provide propellant tanks for the CSM reaction control system. These tanks were to be the "positive expulsion" type (i.e., fuel and oxidizer would be contained inside flexible bladder; pressure against one side of the device would force the propellant through the RCS lines).
North American shipped CM boilerplate 19 to Northrop Ventura for use as a parachute test vehicle.
At a meeting of the MSC-MSFC Flight Mechanics Panel, it was agreed that Marshall would investigate "engine-out" capability (i.e., the vehicle's performance should one of its engines fail) for use in abort studies or alternative missions. Not all Saturn I, IB, and V missions included this engine-out capability. Also, the panel decided that the launch escape system would be jettisoned ten seconds after S-IV ignition on Saturn I launch vehicles.
In a reorganization of OMSF, Director D. Brainerd Holmes appointed Joseph F. Shea as Deputy Director for Systems and George M. Low as Deputy Director for Programs. All major OMSF directorates had previously reported directly to Holmes. In the new organizational structure, Director of Systems Studies William A. Lee, Director of Systems Engineering John A. Gautraud, and Director of Integration and Checkout James E. Sloan would report to Shea. Director of Launch Vehicles Milton W. Rosen, Director of Space Medicine Charles H. Roadman, and the Director of Spacecraft and Flight Missions (then vacant) would report to Low. William E. Lilly, Director of Administration, would provide administrative support in both major areas.
MSC issued a Request for Proposals (due by March 13) for a radiation altimeter system. Greater accuracy than that provided by available radar would be needed during the descent to the lunar surface, especially in the last moments before touchdown. Preliminary MSC studies had indicated the general feasibility of an altimeter system using a source-detector-electronics package. After final selection and visual observation of the landing site, radioactive material would be released at an altitude of about 30 meters 100 feet and allowed to fall to the surface. The detector would operate in conjunction with electronic circuitry to compute the spacecraft's altitude. Studies were also under way at MSC on the possibility of using laser beams for range determination.
The MSC Lunar Surface Experiments Panel held its first meeting. This group was formed to study and evaluate lunar surface experiments and the adaptability of Surveyor and other unmanned probes for use with manned missions.
MSC ordered North American to provide batteries, wholly independent of the main electrical system in the CM, to fire all pyrotechnics aboard the spacecraft.
|Apollo - Artist's concept of a Saturn launch|
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NASA announced the signing of a formal contract with The Boeing Company for the S-IC (first stage) of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the largest rocket unit under development in the United States. The $418,820,967 agreement called for the development and manufacture of one ground test and ten flight articles. Preliminary development of the S-IC, which was powered by five F-1 engines, had been in progress since December 1961 under a $50 million interim contract. Booster fabrication would take place primarily at the Michoud Operations Plant, New Orleans, La., but some advance testing would be done at MSFC and the Mississippi Test Operations facility.
Grumman began initial talks with the Bell Aerosystems Company on development of the LEM ascent engine. Complete specifications were expected by March 2.
NASA selected Ford, Bacon, and Davis, Inc., to design MSC's flight acceleration facility, including a centrifuge capable of spinning a simulated CM and its crew at gravity forces equal to those experienced in space flight.
Two aerospace technologists at MSC, James A. Ferrando and Edgar C. Lineberry, Jr., analyzed orbital constraints on the CSM imposed by the abort capability of the LEM during the descent and hover phases of a lunar mission. Their study concerned the feasibility of rendezvous should an emergency demand an immediate return to the CSM.
Ferrando and Lineberry found that, once abort factors are considered, there exist "very few" orbits that are acceptable from which to begin the descent. They reported that the most advantageous orbit for the CSM would be a 147-kilometer (80-nautical-mile) circular one.
The Apollo Mission Planning Panel held its organizational meeting at MSC. The panel's function was to develop the lunar landing mission design, coordinate trajectory analyses for all Saturn missions, and develop contingency plans for all manned Apollo missions.
Membership on the panel included representatives from MSC, MSFC, NASA Headquarters, North American, Grumman, and MIT, with other NASA Centers being called on when necessary. By outlining the most accurate mission plan possible, the panel would ensure that the spacecraft could satisfy Apollo's anticipated mission objectives. Most of the panel's influence on spacecraft design would relate to the LEM, which was at an earlier stage of development than the CSM. The panel was not given responsibility for preparing operational plans to be used on actual Apollo missions, however.
Aviation Daily reported an announcement by Frank Canning, Assistant LEM Project Manager at Grumman, that a Request for Proposals would be issued in about two weeks for the development of an alternate descent propulsion system. Because the descent stage presented what he called the LEM's "biggest development problem," Canning said that the parallel program was essential.
Elgin National Watch Company received a subcontract from North American for the design and development of central timing equipment for the Apollo spacecraft. (This equipment provided time-correlation of all spacecraft time-sensitive events. Originally, Greenwich Mean Time was to be used to record all events, but this was later changed.
Grumman began fabrication of a one-tenth scale model of the LEM for stage separation tests. In launching from the lunar surface, the LEM's ascent engine fires just after pyrotechnic severance of all connections between the two stages, a maneuver aptly called "fire in the hole."
Also, Grumman advised that, from the standpoint of landing stability, a five-legged LEM was unsatisfactory. Under investigation were a number of landing gear configurations, including retractable legs.
NASA amended the GE contract, authorizing the company's Apollo Support Department to proceed with the PACE program. PACE (prelaunch automatic checkout equipment) would be used for spacecraft checkout. It would be computer-directed and operated by remote control.
Grumman began initial discussions with Hamilton Standard on the development of the LEM environmental control system.
MSC "acquired" under a loan agreement an amphibious landing craft from the Army. Equipment to retrieve Apollo boilerplate spacecraft and other objects used in air drops and flotation tests was installed. The vessel, later named the Retriever, arrived at its Seabrook, Tex., docking facility late in June.
As a parallel to the existing Northrop Ventura contract, and upon authorization by NASA, North American awarded a contract for a solid parachute program to the Pioneer Parachute Company. (A solid parachute is one with solid (unbroken) gores; the sole opening in the canopy is a vent at the top. Ringsail parachutes (used on the Northrop Ventura recovery system) have slotted gores. In effect, each panel formed on the gores becomes a "sail.")
The Mission Analysis Branch (MAB) of MSC's Flight Operations Division cited the principal disadvantages of the land recovery mode for Apollo missions. Of primary concern was the possibility of landing in an unplanned area and the concomitant dangers involved. For water recovery, the main disadvantages were the establishment of suitable landing areas in the southern hemisphere and the apex-down flotation problem. MAB believed no insurmountable obstacles existed for either approach.
MSC awarded a $67,000 contract to The Perkin-Elmer Corporation to develop a carbon dioxide measurement system, a device to measure the partial carbon dioxide pressure within the spacecraft's cabin. Two prototype units were to be delivered to MSC for evaluation. About seven months later, a $249,000 definitive contract for fabrication and testing of the sensor was signed.
NASA announced an American agreement with Australia, signed on February 26, that permitted the space agency to build and operate several new tracking stations "down under." A key link in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's network of Deep Space Instrumentation Facilities would be constructed in Tidbinbilla Valley, 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Canberra. Equipment at this site included a 26-meter (85-foot) parabolic dish antenna and electronic equipment for transmitting, receiving, and processing radio signals from spacecraft. Tracking stations would be built also at Carnarvon and Darwin.
The first Block I Apollo pulsed integrating pendulum accelerometer, produced by the Sperry Gyroscope Company, was delivered to the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. (Three accelerometers were part of the guidance and navigation system. Their function was to sense changes in spacecraft velocity.)
North American completed construction of Apollo boilerplate (BP) 9, consisting of launch escape tower and CSM. It was delivered to MSC on March 18, where dynamic testing on the vehicle began two days later. On April 8, BP-9 was sent to MSFC for compatibility tests with the Saturn I launch vehicle.
Grumman representatives presented their technical study report on power sources for the LEM. They recommended three fuel cells in the descent stage (one cell to meet emergency requirements), two sets of fluid tanks, and two batteries for peak power loads. For industrial competition to develop the power sources, Grumman suggested Pratt and Whitney Aircraft and GE for the fuel cells, and Eagle-Picher, Electrical Storage Battery, Yardney, Gulton, and Delco-Remy for the batteries.
North American moved CM boilerplate (BP) 6 from the manufacturing facilities to the Apollo Test Preparation Interim Area at Downey, Calif. During the next several weeks, BP-6 was fitted with a pad adapter, an inert launch escape system, and a nose cone, interstage structure, and motor skirt.
Grumman presented its first monthly progress report on the LEM. In accordance with NASA's list of high-priority items, principal engineering work was concentrated on spacecraft and subsystem configuration studies, mission plans and test program investigations, common usage equipment surveys, and preparation for implementing subcontractor efforts.
Grumman began early contract talks with the Marquardt Corporation for development of the LEM reaction control system.
Grumman completed its first "fire-in-the-hole" model test. Even though preliminary data agreed with predicted values, they nonetheless planned to have a support contractor, the Martin Company, verify the findings.
NASA announced signing of the contract with Grumman for development of the LEM. Company officials had signed the document on January 21 and, following legal reviews, NASA Headquarters had formally approved the agreement on March 7. Under the fixed-fee contract (NAS 9-1100) ($362.5 million for costs and $25.4 million in fees) Grumman was authorized to design, fabricate, and deliver nine ground test and 11 flight vehicles. The contractor would also provide mission support for Apollo flights. MSC outlined a developmental approach, incorporated into the contract as "Exhibit B, Technical Approach," that became the "framework within which the initial design and operational modes" of the LEM were developed.
The first stage of the Saturn SA-5 launch vehicle was static fired at MSFC for 144.44 seconds in the first long-duration test for a Block II S-1. The cluster of eight H-1 engines produced 680 thousand kilograms (1.5 million pounds) of thrust. An analysis disclosed anomalies in the propulsion system. In a final qualification test two weeks later, when the engines were fired for 143.47 seconds, the propulsion problems had been corrected.
Homer E. Newell, Director of NASA's Office of Space Sciences, summarized results of studies by Langley Research Center and Space Technology Laboratories on an unmanned lunar orbiter spacecraft. These studies had been prompted by questions of the reliability and photographic capabilities of such spacecraft. Both studies indicated that, on a five-shot program, the probability was 0.93 for one and 0.81 for two successful missions; they also confirmed that the spacecraft would be capable of photographing a landed Surveyor to assist in Apollo site verification.
A bidders' conference was held at Grumman for a LEM mechanically throttled descent engine to be developed concurrently with Rocketdyne's helium injection descent engine. Corporations represented were Space Technology Laboratories; United Technology Center, a division of United Aircraft Corporation; Reaction Motors Division, Thiokol Chemical Corporation; and Aerojet-General Corporation. Technical and cost proposals were due at Grumman on April 8.
John A. Hornbeck, president of Bellcomm, testified before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics' Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight concerning the nature and scope of Bellcomm's support for NASA's Apollo program. In answer to the question as to how Bellcomm would decide "which area would be the most feasible" for a lunar landing, Hornbeck replied, ". . . the safety of the landing - that will be the paramount thing." He said that his company was studying a number of likely areas, but would "not recommend a specific site at the moment." Further, "Preliminary studies . . . suggest that the characteristics of a 'good' site for early exploration might be (1) on a lunar sea, (2) 10 miles (16 kilometers) from a continent, and (3) 10 miles (16 kilometers) from a postmarial crater." This type of site, Hornbeck said, would permit the most scientific activity practicable, and would enable NASA's planners to design future missions for even greater scientific returns.
MSC awarded the Philco Corporation a definitive contract (worth almost $33.8 million) to provide flight information and flight control display equipment (with the exception of the realtime computer complex) for the Mission Control Center at MSC. NASA Headquarters approved the contract at the end of the month.
General Dynamics Convair completed structural assembly of the first launcher for the Little Joe II test program. During the next few weeks, electrical equipment installation, vehicle mating, and checkout were completed. The launcher was then disassembled and delivered to WSMR on April 25, 1963.
North American analyzed lighting conditions in the CM and found that glossy or light-colored garments and pressure suits produced unsatisfactory reflections on glass surfaces. A series of tests were planned to define the allowable limits of reflection on windows and display panel faces to preclude interference with crew performance.
A meeting was held at North American to define CM-space suit interface problem areas. Demonstrations of pressurized International Latex suits revealed poor crew mobility and task performance inside the CM, caused in part by the crew's unavoidably interfering with one another.
Other items received considerable attention: A six-foot umbilical hose would be adequate for the astronaut in the CM. The location of spacecraft water, oxygen, and electrical fittings was judged satisfactory, as were the new couch assist handholds. The astronaut's ability to operate the environmental control system (ECS) oxygen flow control valve while couched and pressurized was questionable. Therefore, it was decided that the ECS valve would remain open and that the astronaut would use the suit control valve to regulate the flow. It was also found that the hand controller must be moved about nine inches forward.
Hamilton Standard Division awarded a contract to ITT/Kellogg for the design and manufacture of a prototype extravehicular suit telemetry and communications system to be used with the portable life support system.
MSC announced the beginning of CM environmental control system tests at the AiResearch Manufacturing Company simulating prelaunch, ascent, orbital, and reentry pressure effects. Earlier in the month, analysis had indicated that the CM interior temperature could be maintained between 294 K (70 degrees F) and 300 K (80 degrees F) during all flight operations, although prelaunch temperatures might rise to a maximum of 302 K (84 degrees F).
The Apollo Mission Planning Panel set forth two firm requirements for the lunar landing mission. First, both LEM crewmen must be able to function on the lunar surface simultaneously. MSC contractors were directed to embody this requirement in the design and development of the Apollo spacecraft systems. Second, the panel established duration limits for lunar operations. These limits, based upon the 48-hour LEM operation requirement, were 24 hours on the lunar surface and 24 hours in flight on one extreme, and 45 surface hours and 3 flight hours on the other. Grumman was directed to design the LEM to perform throughout this range of mission profiles.
Fourth suborbital test of Saturn I. The S-I Saturn stage reached an altitude of 129 kilometers (80 statute miles) and a peak velocity of 5,906 kilometers (3,660 miles) per hour. This was the last of four successful tests for the first stage of the Saturn I vehicle. After 100 seconds of flight, No. 5 of the booster's eight engines was cut off by a preset timer. That engine's propellants were rerouted to the remaining seven, which continued to burn. This experiment confirmed the "engine-out" capability that MSFC engineers had designed into the Saturn I.
MSC reported that stowage of crew equipment, some of which would be used in both the CM and the LEM, had been worked out. Two portable life support systems and three pressure suits and thermal garments were to be stowed in the CM. Smaller equipment and consumables would be distributed between modules according to mission phase requirements.
Grumman met with representatives of North American, Collins Radio Company, and Motorola, Inc., to discuss common usage and preliminary design specifications for the LEM communications system. These discussions led to a simpler design for the S-band receiver and to modifications to the S-band transmitter (required because of North American's design approach).
MSC sent MIT and Grumman radar configuration requirements for the LEM. The descent equipment would be a three-beam doppler radar with a two-position antenna. Operating independently of the primary guidance and navigation system, it would determine altitude, rate of descent, and horizontal velocity from 7,000 meters (20,000 feet) above the lunar surface. The LEM rendezvous radar, a gimbaled antenna with a two-axis freedom of movement, and the rendezvous transponder mounted on the antenna would provide tracking data, thus aiding the LEM to intercept the orbiting CM. The SM would be equipped with an identical rendezvous radar and transponder.
RCA completed a study on ablative versus regenerative cooling for the thrust chamber of the LEM ascent engine. Because of low cooling margins available with regenerative cooling, Grumman selected the ablative method, which permitted the use of either ablation or radiation cooling for the nozzle extension.
MSC reported that preliminary plans for Apollo scientific instrumentation had been prepared with the cooperation of NASA Headquarters, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Goddard Space Flight Center. The first experiments would not be selected until about December 1963, allowing scientists time to prepare proposals. Prime consideration would be given to experiments that promised the maximum return for the least weight and complexity, and to those that were man-oriented and compatible with spacecraft restraints. Among those already suggested were seismic devices (active and passive), and instruments to measure the surface bearing strength, magnetic field, radiation spectrum, soil density, and gravitational field. MSC planned to procure most of this equipment through the scientific community and through other NASA and government organizations.
To provide a more physiologically acceptable load factor orientation during reentry and abort, MSC was considering revised angles for the crew couch in the CM. To reduce the couch's complexity, North American had proposed adjustments which included removable calf pads and a movable head pad.
North American selected two subcontractors to build tankage for the SM: Allison Division of General Motors Corporation to fabricate the fuel and oxidizer tanks; and Airite Products, Inc., those for helium storage.
Grumman began "Lunar Hover and Landing Simulation IIIA," a series of tests simulating a LEM landing. Crew station configuration and instrument panel layout were representative of the actual vehicle.
Through this simulation, Grumman sought primarily to evaluate the astronauts' ability to perform the landing maneuver manually, using semiautomatic as well as degraded attitude control modes. Other items evaluated included the flight control system parameters, the attitude and thrust controller configurations, the pressure suit's constraint during landing maneuvers, the handling qualities and operation of LEM test article 9 as a freeflight vehicle, and manual abort initiation during the terminal landing maneuver.
|Apollo - Artist's concept of a Saturn launch|
Credit: NASA. 22,359 bytes. 341 x 459 pixels.
Use of the fixed couch required relocation of the main and side display panels and repositioning of the translational and rotational hand controllers. During rendezvous and docking operations, the crew would still have to adjust their normal body position for proper viewing.
Charles W. Frick resigned as ASPO Manager and Robert O. Piland was named Acting ASPO Manager.
North American awarded a $9.5 million letter contract to the Link Division of General Precision, Inc., for the development and installation of two spacecraft simulators, one at MSC and the other at the Launch Operations Center. Except for weightlessness, the trainers would simulate the entire lunar mission, including sound and lighting effects.
Wesley E. Messing, MSC WSMR Operations Manager, notified NASA, North American, and General Dynamics/Convair (GD/C) that Phase I of the range's launch complex was completed. GD/C and North American could now install equipment for the launch of boilerplate 6 and the Little Joe II vehicle.
North American simplified the CM water management system by separating it from the freon system. A 4.5- kilogram (10-pound) freon tank was installed in the left-hand equipment bay. Waste water formed during prelaunch and boost, previously ejected overboard, could now be used as an emergency coolant. The storage capacity of the potable water tank was reduced from 29 to 16 kilograms (64 to 36 pounds) and the tank was moved to the lower equipment bay to protect it from potential damage during landing. These and other minor changes caused a reduction in CM weight and an increase in the reliability of the CM's water management system.
North American chose Simmonds Precision Products, Inc., to design and build an electronic measurement and display system to gauge the service propulsion system propellants. Both a primary and a backup system were required by the contract, which was expected to cost about 2 million.
On the basis of wind tunnel tests and analytical studies, North American recommended a change in the planned test of the launch escape system (LES) using boilerplate 22. In an LES abort, the contractor reported, 18,300 meters (60,000 feet) was the maximum altitude at which high dynamic pressure had to be considered. Therefore North American proposed an abort simulation at that altitude, where maximum dynamic pressures were reached, at a speed of Mach 2. 5.
The abort test would demonstrate two possibly critical areas:
At a mechanical systems meeting at MSC, customer and contractor achieved a preliminary configuration freeze for the LEM. Several features of the design of the two stages were agreed upon:
North American signed a 6 million definitive contract with Lockheed Propulsion Company for the development of solid propellant motors for the launch escape system. Work on the motors had begun on February 13, 1962, when Lockheed was selected.
At ASPO's request, Wayne E. Koons of the Flight Operations Division visited North American to discuss several features of spacecraft landing and recovery procedures. Koon's objective, in short, was to recommend a solution when ASPO and the contractor disagreed on specific points, and to suggest alternate courses when the two organizations agreed. A question had arisen about a recovery hoisting loop. Neither group wanted one, as its installation added weight and caused design changes. In another area, North American wanted to do an elaborate study of the flotation characteristics of the CM. Koons recommended to ASPO that a full-scale model of the CM be tested in an open-sea environment.
There were a number of other cases wherein North American and ASPO agreed on procedures which simply required formal statements of what would be done. Examples of these were:
The Apollo Spacecraft Mission Trajectory Sub-Panel discussed earth parking orbit requirements for the lunar mission. The maximum number of orbits was fixed by the S-IVB's 4.5-hour duration limit. Normally, translunar injection (TLI) would be made during the second orbit. The panel directed North American to investigate the trajectory that would result from injection from the third, or contingency, orbit. The contractor's study must reckon also with the effects of a contingency TLI upon the constraints of a free return trajectory and fixed lunar landing sites.
NASA and General Dynamics/Convair (GD/C) negotiated a second Little Joe II launch vehicle contract. For an additional $337,456, GD/C expanded its program to include the launch of a qualification test vehicle before the scheduled Apollo tests. This called for an accelerated production schedule for the four launch vehicles and their pair of launchers. An additional telemetry system and an instrumentation transmitter system were incorporated in the qualification test vehicle, which was equipped with a simulated payload. At the same time, NASA established earlier launch dates for the first two Apollo Little Joe II missions.
NASA issued a technical note reporting that scientists at Ames Research Center Hypervelocity Ballistic Range, Moffett Field, Calif., were conducting experiments simulating the impact of micrometeoroids on the lunar surface. The experimenters examined the threat of surface debris, called secondary ejecta, that would be thrown from resultant craters. Data indicated that secondary particles capable of penetrating an astronaut's space suit nearly equaled the number of primary micrometeoroids. Thus the danger of micrometeoroid impact to astronauts on the moon may be almost double what was previously thought.
Grumman reported to MSC the results of studies on common usage of communications. Television cameras for the two spacecraft would be identical; the LEM transponder would be as similar as possible to that in the CSM.
Grumman recommended that the LEM reaction control system (RCS) be equipped with dual interconnected tanks, separately pressurized and employing positive expulsion bladders. The design would provide for an emergency supply of propellants from the main ascent propulsion tanks. The RCS oxidizer to fuel ratio would be changed from 2.0:1 to 1.6:1. MSC approved both of these changes.
Grumman reported that it had advised North American's Rocketdyne Division to go ahead with the lunar excursion module descent engine development program. Negotiations were complete and the contract was being prepared for MSC's review and approval. The go-ahead was formally issued on May 2.
NASA, North American, Grumman, and RCA representatives determined the alterations needed to make the CM television camera compatible with that in the LEM: an additional oscillator to provide synchronization, conversion of operating voltage from 115 AC to 28 DC, and reduction of the lines per frame from 400 to 320.
At El Centro, Calif., Northrop Ventura conducted the first of a series of qualification tests for the Apollo earth landing system (ELS). The test article, CM boilerplate 3, was dropped from a specially modified Air Force C-133. The test was entirely successful. The ELS's three main parachutes reduced the spacecraft's rate of descent to about 9.1 meters (30 feet) per second at impact, within acceptable limits.
Astronauts M. Scott Carpenter, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Neil A. Armstrong, James A. McDivitt, Elliot M. See, Jr., Edward H. White II, Charles Conrad, Jr., and John W. Young participated in a study in LTV's Manned Space Flight Simulator at Dallas, Tex. Under an MSC contract, LTV was studying the astronauts' ability to control the LEM manually and to rendezvous with the CM if the primary guidance system failed during descent.
NASA authorized North American to procure carbon dioxide sensors as part of the environmental control system instrumentation on early spacecraft flights.
MSC announced a reorganization of ASPO:
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., directed that a Communications and Tracking Steering Panel and a Working Group be organized. They would develop specifications, performance requirements, and implementation plans for the Manned Space Flight Network in support of the Apollo flight missions.
The first meeting of the LEM Flight Technology Systems Panel was held at MSC. The panel was formed to coordinate discussions on all problems involving weight control, engineering simulation, and environment. The meeting was devoted to a review of the status of LEM engineering programs.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth announced a division of management responsibilities between operations and development within MSC. Walter C. Williams, Deputy Director for Mission Requirements and Flight Operations, would develop mission plans and rules, crew training, ground support and mission control complexes, and would manage all MSC flight operations. At the same time, he would serve as Director of Flight Operations in the NASA Headquarters OMSF with complete mission authority during flight tests of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. James C. Elms, Deputy Director for Development and Programs, would manage all MSC manned space flight projects and would plan, organize, and direct MSC administrative and technical support.
Grumman selected Space Technology Laboratories (STL) to develop and fabricate a mechanically throttled descent engine for the LEM, paralleling Rocketdyne's effort. Following NASA and MSC concurrence, Grumman began negotiations with STL on June 1.
Grumman submitted to NASA a Quality Control Program Plan for the LEM, detailing efforts in management, documentation, training, procurement, and fabrication.
Grumman, reporting on the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle's (LLRV) application to the LEM development program, stated the LLRV could be used profitably to test LEM hardware. Also included was a development schedule indicating the availability of LEM equipment and the desired testing period.
In support of NASA's manned space flight programs, Ames Research Center awarded a $150,000 contract to Westinghouse Electric Corporation for a one-year study of potential physiological damage in space caused by cosmic radiation.
At a meeting on mechanical systems at MSC, Grumman presented a status report on the LEM landing gear design and LEM stowage height. On May 9, NASA had directed the contractor to consider a more favorable lunar surface than that described in the original Statement of Work. Accordingly, Grumman recommended an envelope of LEM S-IVB clearance of 152.4 centimeters (40 inches) for a landing gear radius of 457 centimeters (180 inches). Beyond this radius, a different gear scheme was considered more suitable but would require greater clearances. The landing gear envelope study was extended for one month to establish a stowed height of the LEM above the S-IVB for adapter design.
Grumman representatives met with the ASPO Electrical Systems Panel (ESP). From ESP, the contractor learned that the communications link would handle voice only. Transmission of physiological and space suit data from the LEM to the CM was no longer required. VHF reception of this data and S-band transmission to ground stations was still necessary. In addition, Grumman was asked to study the feasibility of a backup voice transmitter for communications with crewmen on the lunar surface should the main VHF transmitter fail.
NASA Headquarters, MSC, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MSFC, North American, and Grumman agreed that the LEM and CSM would incorporate phase-coherent S-band transponders. (The S-band system provides a variety of communications services. Being phase-coherent meant that it could also provide Mission Control Center with information about the vehicle's velocity and position, and thus was a means of tracking the spacecraft.) Each would have its own allocated frequencies and would be compatible with Deep Space Instrumentation Facilities.
MIT suggested a major redesign of the Apollo guidance computer to make the CM and LEM computers as similar as possible. NASA approved the redesign and the Raytheon Company, subcontractor for the computer, began work.
Meeting in Bethpage, N. Y., officials from MSC, Grumman, Hamilton Standard, International Latex, and North American examined LEM-space suit interface problems. This session resulted in several significant decisions:
North American demonstrated problems with side-arm controller location and armrest design inside the CM. Major difficulties were found when the subject tried to manipulate controls while wearing a pressurized suit. North American had scheduled further study of these design problems.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the MSF Management Council that the lunar landing mission duration profiles, on which North American would base the reliability design objectives for mission success and crew safety and which assumed a 14-day mission, had been documented and approved. The contractor had also been asked to study two other mission profile extremes, a 14-day mission with 110-hour transearth and translunar transfer times and the fastest practicable lunar landing mission.
The Operational Evaluation and Test Branch of MSC's Flight Operations Division considered three methods of providing a recovery hoisting loop on the CM: loop separate from the spacecraft and attached after landing, use of the existing parachute bridle, and loop installed as part of the CM equipment similar to Mercury and Gemini. Studies showed that the third method was preferable.
Grumman presented its LEM engineering and simulation plans to MSC, stating that their existing facilities and contracted facilities at North American in Columbus, Ohio, and at LTV would be used throughout 1963. Two part-task LEM simulators would be operational at Grumman early in 1964, with a complete mission simulator available in 1965. MSC had approved the contractor's procurement of two visual display systems for use in the simulators.
Rocketdyne reported to Grumman on the LEM descent stage engine development program. Revised measurements for the engine were: diameter, 137 centimeters (54 inches); length, 221 centimeters (87 inches) (30.5 centimeters (twelve inches) more than the original constraint that Grumman had imposed on Rocketdyne).
After a detailed comparison of titanium and aluminum propellant tanks for the LEM descent stage, Grumman selected the lighter titanium.
In its first estimates of reliability for the LEM, Grumman reported a 0.90 probability for mission success and 0.994 for crew safety. (The probabilities required by NASA were 0.984 and 0.9995, respectively.)
Grumman studied the possibility of using the portable life support system lithium hydroxide cartridges in the LEM environmental control system, and determined that such common usage was feasible. This analysis would be verified by tests at Hamilton Standard.
NASA and General Dynamics Convair negotiated a major change on the Little Joe II launch vehicle contract. It provided for two additional launch vehicles which would incorporate the attitude control subsystem (as opposed to the early fixed-fin version). On November 1, MSC announced that the contract amendment was being issued. NASA Headquarters' approval followed a week later.
Grumman completed the LEM M-1 mockup and began installing equipment in the vehicle. Also, the contractor began revising cabin front design to permit comparisons of visibility.
Most CM subsystem designs frozen.
North American announced that it had selected ITT's Industrial Products Division to provide battery chargers for the CSM, designed for an operational lifetime of 40,000 hours.
MSC informed MSFC that the length of the spacecraft-Saturn V adapter had been increased from 807.7 centimeters to 889 centimeters (318 inches to 350 inches). The LEM would be supported in the adapter from a fixed structure on the landing gear.
The $889.3 million definitive Apollo contract with North American was delivered to NASA Headquarters for review and approval. The target date for approval was extended to June 30.
|Apollo - Little Joe II liftoff from launch area #3 at White Sands|
Credit: NASA. 26,726 bytes. 370 x 433 pixels.
NASA announced that it would select 10 to 15 new astronauts to begin training in October. Civilian applications were due July 1; those from military personnel, prescreened by their services, were due July 15. New selection criteria reduced the maximum age to 35 years and eliminated the requirement for test pilot certifications.
The Operational Evaluation and Test Branch of MSC's Flight Operations Division made the following recommendations on Apollo postlanding water survival equipment:
Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., of the MSC Flight Operations Division, urged that an up-data link (UDL) be included on the LEM. In general, the UDL would function when a great deal of data had to be transmitted during a time-critical phase. It would also permit utilization of the ground operational support system as a relay station for the transmission of data between the CM and LEM. In case of power failure aboard the LEM, the UDL could start the computer faster and more reliably than a manual voice link, and it could be used to resume synchronization in the computer timing system.
North American completed a backup testing program (authorized by MSC on November 20, 1962) on a number of ablative materials for the CM heatshield. Only one of the materials (Avcoat 5026-39) performed satisfactorily at low temperatures. During a meeting on June 18 at MSC, company representatives discussed the status of the backup heatshield program. This was followed by an Avco Corporation presentation on the primary heatshield development. As a result, MSC directed North American to terminate its backup program. Shortly thereafter, MSC approved the use of an airgun to fill the honeycomb core of the heatshield with ablative material.
NASA issued a $1,946,450 definitive contract to Aerojet-General Corporation for Algol solid-propellant motors for GD/C's Little Joe II vehicles.
D. Brainerd-Holmes announced his resignation as NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator and Director of Manned Space Flight, effective sometime in the fall. He had joined NASA in 1961 and was returning to industry.
The Mission Analysis Branch (MAB) of MSC's Flight Operations Division studied the phenomenon of a spacecraft's "skip" when reentering the earth's atmosphere from lunar trajectories and how that skip relates to landing accuracies.
MSC conducted the final inspection of the Little Joe II launch complex at WSMR.
At its plant in Binghampton, N. Y., Link Division of General Precision, Inc., held a mockup review of the Apollo mission simulator. A number of modifications in the instructor's console were suggested.
NASA Headquarters approved a definitive contract for $35,844,550 with AC Spark Plug for the manufacture and testing of navigation and guidance equipment for the CM. This superseded a letter contract of May 30, 1962.
MSC and Grumman assessed crew visibility requirements for the LEM. The study included a series of helicopter flights in which simulated earthshine lighting conditions and LEM window configurations were combined with helicopter landings along representative LEM trajectories. These flights simulated the LEM's attitude, velocity, range, and dive angle in the final approach trajectory.
MSC reported that crew systems engineers at the Center were assessing feasibility of having the LEM crew stand rather than sit. MSC requested Grumman also to look into having the crew fly the vehicle from a standing position. The concept was formally proposed at the August 27 crew systems meeting and was approved at the NASA-Grumman review of the LEM M-1 mockup on September 16-18.
North American signed (and NASA approved) a definitive contract with Allison Division of General Motors for the service propulsion system propellant tanks.
North American awarded a contract, valued at $2.8 million, to Avien, Inc., to develop the steerable S-band antenna for the CSM.
MSC met with those contractors participating in the development of the LEM guidance and navigation system. Statements of Work for the LEM design concept were agreed upon. (Technical directives covering most of the work had been received earlier by the contractors.)
North American officially froze the design of the CM's stabilization and control system.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the MSF Management Council that the LEM landing gear design freeze was now scheduled for August 31. Grumman had originally proposed a LEM configuration with five fixed legs, but LEM changes had made this concept impractical. The weight and overall height of the LEM had increased, the center of gravity had been moved upward, the LEM stability analysis had expanded to cover a wider range of landing conditions, the cruciform descent stage had been selected, and the interpretation of the lunar model had been revised. These changes necessitated a larger gear diameter than at first proposed. This, in turn, required deployable rather than fixed legs so the larger gear could be stored in the Saturn V adapter. MSC had therefore adopted a four-legged deployable gear, which was lighter and more reliable than the five-legged configuration.
The first full-scale firing of the SM engine was conducted at the Arnold Engineering Development Center. At the start of the shutdown sequence, the engine thrust chamber valve remained open because of an electrical wiring error in the test facility. Consequently the engine ran at a reduced chamber pressure while the propellant in the fuel line was exhausted. During this shutdown transient, the engine's nozzle extension collapsed as a result of excessive pressure differential across the nozzle skin.
MSC announced that it had contracted with the Martin Company to develop a frictionless platform to simulate the reactions of an extravehicular astronaut in five degrees of freedom-pitch, yaw, roll, forward-backward, and side-to-side. MSC Crew Systems Division would use the simulator to test and evaluate space suits, stabilization devices, tethering lines, and tools.
The CSM data storage equipment was modified to incorporate a fast-dump capability. Data could thus be recorded at a low speed for later playback at high speed to ground stations.
NASA announced its concurrence in Grumman's selection of RCA as subcontractor for the LEM electronics subsystems and for engineering support. Under the $40 million contract, RCA was responsible for five LEM subsystem areas: systems engineering support, communications, radar, inflight testing, and ground support. RCA would also fabricate electronic components of the LEM stabilization and control system. (Engineers and scientists from RCA had been working at Grumman on specific projects since February.)
A cluster of two Pioneer tri-conical solid parachutes was tested; both parachutes failed. Because of this unsatisfactory performance, the Pioneer solid-parachute program was officially canceled on July 15.
MSC reported that two portable life support systems would be stowed in the LEM and one in the CM. Resupplying water, oxygen, and lithium hydroxide could be done in a matter of minutes; however, battery recharging took considerably longer, and detailed design of a charger was continuing.
North American reported that mission success predictions continued to be less than the apportioned values. For example, the environmental control subsystem had a predicted mission reliability of 0.9805, compared to a 0.997675 apportionment.
Planning and final details of LTV abort simulation negotiations with Grumman were completed. The abort experiments, to be conducted at LTV's aerospace simulation facility in Dallas, Tex., were scheduled to begin in October.
Grumman completed the LEM circuit design for suit and cabin pressure control systems. Also the contractor formulated a detailed plan for the evaluation of red and white cockpit lighting; equipment for the test had already been received.
North American shipped Apollo CM boilerplate 6 and its ground support equipment to WSMR.
Aero Spacelines' "Pregnant Guppy," a modified Boeing Stratocruiser, won airworthiness certification by the Federal Aviation Agency. The aircraft would be used to transport major Apollo spacecraft and launch vehicle components.
Space Technology Laboratories received Grumman's go-ahead to develop the parallel descent engine for the LEM. At the same time, Grumman ordered Bell Aerosystems Company to proceed with the LEM ascent engine. The contracts were estimated at $18,742,820 and $11,205,415, respectively.
North American held a review of the CM main display console, which would be compatible with the fixed couch and new panel location. The contractor's drawings and comments by the astronauts were then reviewed by MSC.
As proposed by Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director (Systems), OMSF, about six weeks earlier, the MSF Management Council established the Panel Review Board with broad supervisory and appeal powers over inter-Center panels. Board members were the Deputy Director (Systems), OMSF, and technical experts from MSC, MSFC, and the Launch Operations Center. OMSF's representative was the chairman.
Recommendations of the board were not binding. If a Center Director decided against a board recommendation, he would, however, discuss and clear the proposed action with the Director of OMSF.
When the Panel Review Board assumed its duties, the Space Vehicle Review Board was abolished.
The Marquardt Corporation began testing the prototype engine for the SM reaction control system. Preliminary data showed a specific impulse slightly less than 300 seconds.
North American reported that it had tried several types of restraint systems for the sleeping area in the equipment bay area of the CM. A "net" arrangement worked fairly well and was adaptable to the constant wear garment worn by the crew. However, North American believed that a simpler restraint system was needed, and was pursuing several other concepts.
MSC signed a definitive contract, valued at $36.2 million, with International Business Machines (IBM) for the realtime computer complex in the MSC Mission Control Center. IBM was responsible for the design of the computer center, mission and mathematical analyses, programming equipment engineering, computer and program testing, maintenance and operation, and documentation. The complex, consisting of four IBM 7094 computers with their associated equipment, would monitor and analyze data from Gemini and Apollo missions.
MSC had received 271 applications for the astronaut program. Seventy-one were military pilots (one from the Army, 34 from the Navy, 26 from the Air Force, and 10 from the Marines). Of the 200 civilians applying, three were women.
The Little Joe II qualification test vehicle was shipped from the General Dynamics Convair plant to WSMR, where the test launch was scheduled for August.
North American reported that Lockheed Propulsion Company had successfully completed development testing of the launch escape system pitch control motor.
Grumman presented the results of a study on LEM visibility. A front-face configuration with triangular windows was tentatively accepted by MSC for the ascent stage. Further investigation would be directed toward eliminating the "dead spots" to improve the configuration's visibility.
MSC directed North American to concentrate on the extendable boom concept for CSM docking with the LEM. The original impact type of docking had been modified:
MSC authorized North American to fit the launch escape system with a redundant tower separation device. This equipment incorporated an explosive bolt and shaped charge cutter.
North American, Grumman, and Hamilton Standard, meeting at MSC with Crew Systems Division engineers, agreed that the portable life support system (PLSS) would have three attaching points for stowage in the spacecraft. In addition, it was agreed that the PLSS should not be used for shoulder restraint in the LEM.
Grumman selected Pratt and Whitney to develop fuel cells for the LEM. Current LEM design called for three cells, supplemented by a battery for power during peak consumption beyond what the cells could deliver. Grumman and Pratt and Whitney completed contract negotiations on August 27, and MSC issued a letter go-ahead on September 5. Including fees and royalties, the contract was worth $9.411 million.
Grumman directed the Marquardt Corporation to begin development of the LEM reaction control system thrusters. Negotiations had begun on March 11 on the definitive subcontract, a cost-plus-incentive-fee type with a total estimated cost of $10,871,186.
George E. Mueller, Vice President for Research and Development of Space Technology Laboratories, was named NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight to succeed D. Brainerd Holmes, effective September 1.
Grumman authorized Hamilton Standard to begin development of the environmental control system (ECS) for the LEM. The cost-plus-incentive-fee contract was valued at $8,371,465. The parts of the ECS to be supplied by Hamilton Standard were specified by Grumman.
ASPO ordered Grumman to design identical connectors for both ends of the space suit hoses in the LEM. This arrangement, called the "buddy concept," would permit one portable life support system to support two crewmen and thus would eliminate the need for a special suit-to-suit hose.
ASPO reported that a different type of stainless steel would be used for the CM heatshield. The previous type proved too brittle at cryogenic temperatures. Aside from their low temperature properties, the two metals were quite; similar and no fabrication problems were anticipated.
MIT and Grumman representatives discussed installing the inertial measurement unit and the optical telescope in the LEM. Of several possible locations, the top centerline of the cabin seemed most promising. Grumman agreed to provide a preliminary structural arrangement of the guidance components so that MIT could study problems of installation and integration.
North American, NASA, and Grumman representatives discussed three methods of descent from lunar parking orbit:
North American asked MSC if Grumman was designing the LEM to have a thrusting capability with the CSM attached and, if not, did NASA intend to require the additional effort by Grumman to provide this capability. North American had been proceeding on the assumption that, should the service propulsion system (SPS) fail during translunar flight, the LEM would make any course corrections needed to ensure a safe return trajectory.
In what was to have been an acceptance test, the Douglas Aircraft Company static fired the first Saturn S-IV flight stage at Sacramento, Calif. An indication of fire in the engine area forced technicians to shut down the stage after little more than one minute's firing. A week later the acceptance test was repeated, this time without incident, when the vehicle was fired for over seven minutes. (The stage became part of the SA-5 launch vehicle, the first complete Saturn I to fly.)
|Apollo - View of the liftoff of Little Joe II|
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The Panel Review Board held its first meeting at the Launch Operations Center (LOC). The board established an Executive Secretariat, composed of Bert A. Denicke (OMSF), Joachim P. Kuettner (MSFC), Emil P. Bertram (LOC), and Philip R. Maloney (MSC). Among other actions, the board abolished the GE Policy Review Board.
NASA Administrator James E. Webb signed the definitive contract with North American for the development of the Apollo CSM. This followed by almost two years North American's selection as prime contractor, The $938.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee agreement was the most valuable single research and development contract in American history. The contract called for the initial production (i.e., through May 15, 1965) of 11 mockups, 15 boilerplate vehicles, and 11 production articles.
ITT's Kellogg Division delivered to Hamilton Standard the first operational prototype space suit communications system.
At a meeting on the LEM electrical power system, Grumman presented its latest load analysis, which placed the LEM's mission energy requirements at 76.53 kilowatt-hours. The control energy level for the complete LEM mission had been set at 54 kilowatt-hours and the target energy level at 47.12 kilowatt-hours. Grumman and MSC were jointly establishing ground rules for an electrical power reduction program.
MSC Crew Systems Division conducted mobility tests of the Apollo prototype space suit inside a mockup of the CM. Technicians also tested the suit on a treadmill. The subjects' carbon dioxide buildup did not exceed two percent; their metabolic rates were about 897,000 joules (850 BTU) per hour at vent pressure, 1,688,000 joules at 2.4 newtons per square centimeter (1,600 BTU at 3.5 psi), and 2,320,000 joules at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (2,200 BTU at 5.0 psi).
MSC completed a comparison of 17-volt and 28-volt batteries for the portable life support system. The study showed that a 28-volt battery would provide comparable energy levels without increase in size and weight and would be compatible with the spacecraft electrical system.
John P. Bryant, of the Flight Operations Division's (FOD) Mission Analysis Branch (MAB), reported to FOD that the branch had conducted a rough analysis of the effects of some mission constraints upon the flexibility possible with lunar launch operations. (As a base, MAB used April and May 1968, called "a typical two-month period.") First, Bryant said, MAB used the mission rules demanded for the Apollo lunar landing (e.g., free-return trajectory; predetermined lunar landing sites; and lighting conditions on the moon - "by far the most restrictive of the lot"). Next, MAB included a number of operational constraints, ones "reasonably representative of those expected for a typical flight," but by no means an "exhaustive" list:
"The consequences," Bryant concluded, "of imposing an ever-increasing number of these flight restrictions is obvious - the eventual loss of almost all operational flexibility. The only solution is . . . (a) meticulous examination of every constraint which tends to reduce the number of available launch opportunities," looking toward eliminating "as many as possible."
An Ad Hoc Rendezvous Working Group was formed at MSC to study the possibility of substituting a unified S-band system for the rendezvous X-band radar on the LEM and CSM.
MSC received proposals for the visual displays for the LEM simulator. Because of the changed shape of that vehicle's windows, however, Grumman had to return those proposals to the original bidders, sending revised proposals to MSC in December. Farrand Optical Company was selected to develop the display, and the Center approved Grumman's choice. Negotiations between Grumman and Farrand were completed during March 1964.
A LEM crew systems meeting was held at Grumman. The standing arrangement proposed for the crew promised to reduce the weight of the LEM by as much as 27.2 kilograms (60 pounds), and would improve crew mobility, visibility, control accessibility, and ingress-egress. Pending more comprehensive analysis, crew systems designers also favored the revised front-face configuration.
The MSF Management Council decided that, as part of the proposed reorganization of NASA Headquarters, a Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight would become responsible for all manned space flight activities within NASA.
The Little Joe II qualification test vehicle was launched from White Sands Missile Range, N Mexico. Its objectives were to prove the Little Joe's capability as an Apollo spacecraft test vehicle and to determine base pressures and heating on the missile. These aims were achieved. The lone failure was a malfunction in the destruct system.
North American defined the maximum, nominal, and minimum CM ablation heatshield thicknesses for lunar reentry. The maximum and minimum limits represented variations that might arise as studies progressed.
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., approved the Lunar Orbiter program. Objectives of the program were reconnaissance of the moon's topography, investigation of its environment, and collection of selenodetic information.
The document called for five flight and three test articles. The Lunar Orbiter spacecraft would be capable of photographing the moon from a distance of 22 miles above the surface. Overall cost of the program was estimated at between $150 and $200 million.
Grumman built a full-scale cardboard model of the LEM to aid in studying problems of cockpit geometry, specifically the arrangement of display panels. This mockup was reviewed by MSC astronauts and the layout of the cockpit was revised according to some of their suggestions.
Also Grumman reported that a preliminary analysis showed the reaction control system plume heating of the LEM landing gear was not a severe problem. (This difficulty had been greatly alleviated by the change from five to four landing legs on the vehicle.
At a meeting at MSC, Grumman representatives submitted the cost proposal for LEM test articles LTA-8 and LTA-9, and suggested a testing program for the two vehicles: LTA-8 should be used for restrained integrated systems testing in the altitude propulsion test facilities at the Atlantic Missile Range; LTA-9 should be used for manned atmospheric tethered operation tests. The contractor also recommended an early flight demonstration program to verify the helicopter tether operation potential, which promised greatly increased mission test capability over fixed-base tether facilities. The tether method (helicopter or fixed- base) should be determined after the verification. LTA-8 should be considered as a constraint to LEM-5, and LTA-9 as a constraint to the lunar landing mission.
MSC reported that design of the control and displays panel for the CM was about 90 percent complete. North American was expected to release the design by September 20. Qualification testing of the panels would begin around December 1.
MSC Flight Operations Division (FOD) recommended a series of water impact tests to establish confidence in the CM's recovery systems under a variety of operating conditions. FOD suggested several air drops with water landings under various test conditions. Among these were release of the main parachutes at impact, deployment of the postlanding antennas, actuation of the mechanical location aids, and activation of the recovery radio equipment.
Director Robert R. Gilruth established the MSC Manned Spacecraft Criteria Board to set up engineering, design, and procedural standards for manned spacecraft and associated systems. The board was composed of Maxime A. Faget, Chairman; James A. Chamberlin; Kenneth S. Kleinknecht; F. John Bailey, Jr.; G. Barry Graves; Jacob C. Moser; and Norman F. Smith, Secretary. Board criteria would become MSC policy; and - unless specific waivers were obtained, compliance by project offices was mandatory.
MSC began a study to define the stability limits of a 457-centimeter (180inch) radius LEM gear configuration. The study, in two phases, sought to examine factors affecting stability (such as lunar slope, touchdown velocity and direction, and the effects of soil mechanics) in direct support of the one-sixth model and full-scale drop test programs and to complete definition of landing capabilities of the LEM.
At El Centro, Calif., CM boilerplate (BP) 3, a parachute test vehicle, was destroyed during tests simulating the new BP-6 configuration (without strakes or apex cover). Drogue parachute descent, disconnect, and pilot mortar fire appeared normal. However, one pilot parachute was cut by contact with the vehicle and its main parachute did not deploy. Because of harness damage, the remaining two main parachutes failed while reefed. Investigation of the BP-3 failure resulting in rigging and design changes on BP-6 and BP-19.
MSC Flight Operations Division (FOD) established a 72-hour lifetime for Apollo recovery aids. This limitation was derived from considerations of possible landing footprints, staging bases, and aircraft range and flying time to the landing areas. Primary location aids were the spacecraft equipment (VHF AM transceiver, VHF recovery beacon, and HE transceiver) and the VHF survival radio. Because of battery limitations, current planning called for only a 24-hour usage of the VHF recovery beacon. If electronic aids were needed beyond this time the VHF survival radio would be used. If the spacecraft were damaged or lost, the VHF survival radio would be the only electronic location aid available. MSC had recently selected the Sperry Phoenix Company to produce the Gemini VHF survival radio, which was expected to meet the Apollo requirements. FOD recommended that the current contract with Sperry Phoenix be extended to provide the units needed for Apollo missions.
MSC announced a $7.658 million definitive contract with Kollsman Instrument Corporation for the CM guidance and navigation optical equipment, including a scanning telescope, sextant, map and data viewer, and related ground support equipment. MSC had awarded Kollsman a letter contract on May 28, 1962, and had completed negotiations for the definitive contract on March 29, 1963. "The newly signed contract calls for delivery of all hardware to AC Spark Plug by August 1, 1964."
MSC ordered North American to make provisions in the CM to permit charging the 28-volt portable life support system battery from the spacecraft battery charger.
On the following day, the Center informed North American also that a new mechanical clock timer system would be provided in the CM for indicating elapsed time from liftoff and predicting time to and duration of various events during the mission.
NASA announced that, in the future, unmanned lunar landing spacecraft e.g., Rangers and Surveyors) will be assembled in "clean rooms" and treated with germ-killing substances to reduce the number of microbes on exposed surfaces. These sterilization procedures, less stringent than earlier methods, were intended to prevent contamination of the lunar surface and, at the same time, avoid damage to sensitive electronic components. Heat sterilization was suspected as one of the reasons for the failure of Ranger spacecraft.
The launch escape system was modified so that, under normal flight conditions, the crew could jettison the tower. On unmanned Saturn I flights, tower jettison was initiated by a signal from the instrument unit of the S-IV (second) stage.
NASA representatives held a formal review of Grumman's LEM M-1 mockup, a full-scale representation of the LEM's crew compartment. MSC decided that (1) the window shape (triangular) and visibility were satisfactory; (2) a standing position for the crew was approved, although, in general, it was believed that restraints restricted crew mobility; (3) the controllers were positioned too low and lacked suitable arm support for fine control; and (4) crew station arrangement was generally acceptable, although specific details required further study.
A tone warning signal was added to the CM instrumentation system. If a system malfunctioned, this warning would be heard through both the master caution and warning subsystem and the astronauts' earphones.
LTV presented the preliminary results of a manual rendezvous simulation study. Their studies indicated that a pilot trained in the technique could accomplish lunar launch and rendezvous while using only two to three percent more fuel than the automatic system.
The AiResearch Manufacturing Company announced that it had been awarded a $20 million definitive contract for the CM environmental system. (AiResearch had been developing the system under a letter contract since 1961.
The space suit umbilical disconnects were being redesigned to the "buddy concept" and for interchangeability between the CM and the LEM. MSC was reviewing methods for a crewman to return to the LEM following space suit failure on the lunar surface.
North American incorporated an automatic radiator control into the CM's environmental control system to eliminate the need for crew attention during lunar orbit.
Recent load analysis at North American placed the power required for a 14-day mission at 577 kilowatt-hours, a decrease of about 80 kilowatt-hours from earlier estimates.
Grumman directed Bell Aerosystems Company to establish the ablative nozzle extension as the primary design for the LEM's ascent stage engine. The radiation-cooled nozzle design, a weight-saving alternative, must be approved by NASA.
MSC made several changes in the CM's landing requirements. Impact attenuation would be passive, except for that afforded by the crew couches and the suspension system. The spacecraft would be suspended from the landing parachutes in a pitch attitude that imposed minimum accelerations on the crew. A crushable structure to absorb landing shock was required in the aft equipment bay area.
President John F. Kennedy, during an address before the United Nations General Assembly, suggested the possibility of Russian-American "cooperation" in space. Though not proposing any specific program, Kennedy stated that, "in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity - the field of space - there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities," he said, "a joint expedition to the moon. . . . Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries - indeed, of all the world - cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending some day in this decade to the moon, not the representatives of a single nation, but the representatives of all humanity."
North American checked out the test fixture that was slated for the astronaut centrifuge training program, resolving interfaces between test fixture, centrifuge, and the test conductor's console, and familiarizing astronauts with controls and displays inside the spacecraft.
On October 1, North American delivered the test fixture to the U.S. Navy Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory, where the first phase of the manned centrifuge program was scheduled to begin that month.
MSC advised North American that the television camera in the CM was being modified so that ground personnel could observe the astronauts and flight operations. Television images would be transmitted directly to earth via the Deep Space Instrumentation Facility.
MSC representatives reviewed Grumman's program for thermal testing for the LEM, to be conducted with the test model 2 (TM-2) vehicle. Because the vehicle's configuration had changed so extensively, the Center canceled the currently planned TM-2 ascent stage and ordered another stage to be substituted. TM-2's descent stage needed only small design changes to make it suitable for the program.
North American recommended that the portable life support system in the CM be deleted. Current planning placed two units in the LEM and one in the CM.
At a meeting at MSC, Grumman representatives presented 18 configurations of the LEM electrical power system, recommending a change from three to two fuel cells, still supplemented by an auxiliary battery system, with continued study on tankage design. On December 10, ASPO authorized the contractor to proceed with this configuration.
MSC representatives visited Grumman for a preliminary evaluation of the Apollo space suit integration into the LEM. A suit failure ended the exercise prematurely. Nonetheless, leg and foot mobility was good, but the upper torso and shoulder needed improvement.
On October 11, MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) tested the suit's mobility with the portable life support system (PLSS). CSD researchers found that the PLSS did not restrict the wearer's movement because the suit supported the weight of the PLSS. Shifts in the center of gravity appeared insignificant. The PLSS controls, because of their location, were difficult to operate, which demanded further investigation.
OMSF, MSC, and Bellcomm representatives, meeting in Washington, D.C., discussed Apollo mission plans: OMSF introduced a requirement that the first manned flight in the Saturn IB program include a LEM. ASPO had planned this flight as a CSM maximum duration mission only.
The interrelationships between all major LEM test vehicles, including all test constraints and documentation requirements, were developed. This logic study, prepared by Grumman and forwarded to MSC, stressed the feasibility of alterations in the LEM test program as needed.
|Apollo - Boilerplate 6 and firing sequence of Apollo-Little Joe|
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Qualification testing began on fuel tanks for the service propulsion system (SPS). The first article tested developed a small crack below the bottom weld, which was being investigated, but pressurization caused no expansion of the tank. During mid-October, several tanks underwent proof testing. And, on November 1, the first SPS helium tank was burst-tested.
MSC awarded Texas Instruments, Inc., a $194,000 contract to study experiments and equipment needed for scientific exploration of the lunar surface. The analysis was to be completed by the end of May 1964.
At a LEM Mechanical Systems Meeting in Houston, Grumman and MSC agreed upon a preliminary configuration freeze for the LEM-adapter arrangement. The adapter would be a truncated cone, 876 centimeters (345 inches) long. The LEM would be mounted inside the adapter by means of the outrigger trusses on the spacecraft's landing gear. This configuration provided ample clearance for the spacecraft, both top and bottom (i.e., between the service propulsion engine bell and the instrument unit of the S-IVB).
At this same meeting, Grumman presented a comparison of radially and laterally folded landing gears (both of 457-centimeter (180-inch) radius). The radial-fold configuration, MSC reported, promised a weight savings of 22-2 kilograms (49 pounds). MSC approved the concept, with an 876-centimeter (345-inch) adapter. Further, an adapter of that length would accommodate a larger, lateral fold gear (508 centimeters (200 inches)), if necessary. During the next several weeks, Grumman studied a variety of gear arrangements (sizes, means of deployment, stability, and even a "bending" gear). At a subsequent LEM Mechanical Systems Meeting, on November 10, Grumman presented data (design, performance, and weight) on several other four-legged gear arrangements - a 457-centimeter (180-inch), radial fold "tripod" gear (i.e., attached to the vehicle by three struts), and 406.4-centimeter (160-inch) and 457-centimeter (180-inch) cantilevered gears. As it turned out, the 406.4-centimeter (160-inch) cantilevered gear, while still meeting requirements demanded in the work statement, in several respects was more stable than the larger tripod gear. In addition to being considerably lighter, the cantilevered design offered several added advantages:
Verne C. Fryklund, Jr., of NASA's Office of Space Sciences (OSS), in a memorandum to MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth, recommended some general guidelines for Apollo scientific investigations of the moon (which OSS already was using). "These guidelines," Fryklund told Gilruth, ". . . should be followed in the preparation of your plans," and thus were "intended to place some specific constraints on studies. . . . The primary scientific objective of the Apollo project," Fryklund said, was, of course, the "acquisition of comprehensive data about the moon." With this as a starting point, he went on, ". . . it follows that the structure of the moon's surface, gross body properties and large-scale measurements of physical and chemical characteristics, and observation of whatever phenomena may occur at the actual surface will be the prime scientific objectives." Basically, OSS's guidelines spelled out what types of activity were and were not part of Apollo's immediate goals. These activities were presumed to be mostly reconnaissance, "to acquire knowledge of as large an area as possible, and by as simple a means as possible, in the limited time available." The three principal scientific activities "listed in order of decreasing importance" were: (1) "comprehensive observation of lunar phenomena," (2) "collection of representative samples," and (3) "emplacement of monitoring equipment."
These guidelines had been arrived at after extensive consultation within NASA as a whole as well as with the scientific community.
NASA announced the appointment of Joseph F. Shea as ASPO Manager effective October 22. He had been Deputy Director (Systems) in OMSF. George M. Low, OMSF Deputy Director (Programs), would direct the Systems office as well as his own. Robert O. Piland, Acting Manager of ASPO since April 3, resumed his former duties as Deputy Manager.
At MSC, the Spacecraft Technology Division reported to ASPO the results of a study on tethered docking of the LEM and CSM. The technology people found that a cable did not reduce the impact velocities below those that a pilot could achieve during free flyaround, nor was fuel consumption reduced. In fact, when direct control of the spacecraft was attempted, the tether proved a hindrance and actually increased the amount of fuel required.
NASA Administrator James E. Webb announced a major reorganization of NASA Headquarters, effective November 1, to consolidate management of major programs and direction of research and development centers and to realign Headquarters management of agency-wide support functions. On October 28, NASA Headquarters announced a similar reorganization within OMSF, also to take effect on November I, to strengthen NASA Headquarters' control of the agency's manned space flight programs. In effect, these administrative adjustments "recombined program and institutional management by placing the field centers under the Headquarters program directors instead of under general management (i.e., the Associate Administrator)."
LTV announced the results of tests performed by astronauts in the Manned Space Flight Mission Simulator in Dallas, Tex. These indicated that, should the primary guidance and navigation system fail, LEM pilots could rendezvous with the CM by using a circular slide rule to process LEM radar data.
Langley Research Center's Lunar Landing Research Facility was nearing completion. A gantry structure 121.9 meters (400 feet) long and 76.2 meters (250 feet) high would suspend a model of the LEM. It would sustain five-sixths of the model's weight, simulating lunar gravity, and thus would enable astronauts to practice lunar landings.
ASPO established criteria for combustion stability in the service propulsion engine. The engine had to recover from any instability, whether induced or spontaneous, within 20 milliseconds during qualification testing.
The Guidance and Performance Sub-Panel, at its first meeting, began coordinating work at MSC and MSFC. The sub-panel outlined tasks for eac Center: MSFC would define the dispersions comprising the launch vehicle performance reserves, prepare a set of typical translunar injection errors for the Saturn V launch vehicle, and give MSC a typical Saturn V guidance computation for injection into an earth parking orbit. MSC would identify the constraints required for free-return trajectories and provide MSFC with details of the MIT guidance method. Further, the two Centers would exchange data each month showing current launch vehicle and spacecraft performance capability. (For operational vehicles, studies of other than performance capability would be based on control weights and would not reflect the current weight status.)
MSC discussed commonality of displays and controls with its two principal spacecraft contractors. A review of panel components suggested that Grumman might use the same vendors as North American for such items as switches, potentiometers, and indicators.
Because of an electrical equipment failure on Mercury MA-9, North American began a CM humidity study. The company found in the crew compartment major spacecraft systems which were not designed for operation in the presence of corrosive moisture. (The environmental control system did not guarantee complete humidity control.) Investigators also examined in minute detail all electrical electronic components. North American was considering design changes that would protect all components from moisture.
An MSC Spacecraft Technology Division Working Group reexamined Apollo mission requirements and suggested a number of ways to reduce spacecraft weight: eliminate the free-return trajectory; design for slower return times; use the Hohmann descent technique, rather than the equal period orbit method, yet size the tanks for the equal period mode; eliminate the CSM/LEM dual rendezvous capability; reduce the orbital contingency time for the LEM (the period of time during which the LEM could remain in orbit before rendezvousing with the CSM); reduce the LEM lifetime.
NASA and GD/C negotiated amendments totaling $354,737 to Little Joe II contract. This sum covered study activity and several relatively small changes that came out of a Design Engineering Inspection on May 3. More ground support equipment was authorized, as was fabrication of an additional breadboard autopilot system for use at MSC. The dummy payload was deleted and the instrumentation was limited to a control system on the vehicle to be used for Mission A-002 (BP-23).
NASA Headquarters announced the selection of five organizations for contract negotiations totaling $60 million for the development, fabrication, and testing of LEM guidance and navigation equipment: (1) MIT, overall direction; (2) Raytheon, LEM guidance computer; (3) AC Spark Plug, inertial measurement unit, gyroscopes, navigation base, power and servo assembly, coupling display unit, and assembly and testing of the complete guidance and navigation system; (4) Kollsman Instrument Corporation, scanning telescope, sextant, and map and data viewer; and (5) Sperry Gyroscope Company, accelerometers. (All five had responsibility for similar equipment for the CSM as well.)
NASA announced the selection of 14 astronauts for Projects Gemini and Apollo, bringing to 30 the total number of American spacemen. They were Maj. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Capt. William A. Anders, Capt. Charles A. Bassett II, Capt. Michael Collins, Capt. Donn F. Eisele, Capt. Theodore C. Freeman, and Capt. David R. Scott of the Air Force; Lt. Cdr. Richard F. Gordon, Jr., Lt. Alan L. Bean, Lt. Eugene A. Cernan, and Lt. Roger B. Chaffee of the Navy; Capt. Clifton C. Williams, Jr., of the Marine Corps; R. Walter Cunningham, research scientist for the Rand Corporation; and Russell L. Schweickart, research scientist for MIT.
MSC reported that preliminary testing had begun on the first prototype extravehicular suit telemetry and communications system and on the portable life support system of which it was an integral part. The hardware had recently been received from the prime contractor, Hamilton Standard.
The second prototype space suit was received by MSC's Crew Systems Division. Preliminary tests showed little improvement in mobility over the first suit. On October 24-25, a space suit mobility demonstration was held at North American. The results showed that the suit had less shoulder mobility than the earlier version, but more lower limb mobility. Astronaut John W. Young, wearing the pressurized suit and a mockup portable life support system (PLSS), attempted an egress through the CM hatch but encountered considerable difficulty. At the same time, tests of the suit-couch- restraint system interfaces and control display layout were begun at the Navy's Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory centrifuge in Johnsville, Pa. Major problems were restriction of downward vision by the helmet, extension of the suit elbow arm beyond the couch, and awkward reach patterns to the lower part of the control panel. On October 30-November 1, lunar task studies with the suit were carried out at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in a KC-135 aircraft at simulated lunar gravity. Mobility tests were made with the suit pressurized and a PLSS attached.
George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, appointed Walter C. Williams Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight in OMSF. Williams would direct operations at MSC, MSFC, and LOC for all manned space flight missions.
MSC Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division awarded a $50,000 contract to the Hughes Aircraft Company for a study of backup high gain directable antennas for the LEM lunar surface equipment.
MSC Flight Operations Division defined systems and outlined ground rules for the lunar landing mission. System definitions were: (1) primary, most efficient or economic; (2) alternate, either redundant (identical to but independent of the primary) or backup (not identical but would perform the same function); (3) critical (failure would jeopardize crew safety); (4) repairable (for which tools and spares were carried and which the crew could service in flight); and (5) operational, which must be working to carry out a mission.
Mission rules established crew safety as the major consideration in all mission decisions and detailed actions to be taken in the event of a failure in any system or subsystem.
Because OMSF had requested OSSA to provide lunar surface microrelief and bearing strength data to support LEM landing site selection and to permit LEM landing-gear design validation, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Follow-On Surveyor Instrumentation met at NASA Headquarters. Attending were Chairman Verne C. Fryklund, Clark Goodman, Martin Swetnick, and Paul Brockman of the NASA Office of Space Sciences and Applications; Harry Hess and George Derbyshire of the National Acadamy of Sciences; Dennis James of Bellcomm (for OMSF); and Milton Beilock of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The group proposed "a fresh look at the problem of instrumenting payloads of Surveyor spacecraft that may follow the currently approved developmental and operational flights, so that these spacecraft will be able to determine that a particular lunar site is suitable for an Apollo landing." The study was assigned to JPL.
The NASA-Industry Apollo Executives Group, composed of top managers in OMSF and executives of the major Apollo contractors, met for the first time. The group met with George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, for status briefings and problem discussions. In this manner, NASA sought to make executives personally aware of major problems in the program.
MSC directed Grumman to schedule manned environmental control system (ECS) development tests, using a welded-shell cabin boilerplate and air lock. At about the same time, the company was also requested to quote cost and delivery schedule for a second boilerplate vessel, complete with prototype ECS. Although this vessel would be used by the MSC Crew Systems Division for in-house investigation and evaluation of ECS development problems, its major purpose was to serve as a tool for trouble-shooting during the operational phase.
After a program review at an MSF Management Council meeting, George E. Mueller, head of OMSF, suggested several testing procedures. To meet schedules, "dead-end" testing, that is, "tests involving components or systems that (would) not fly operationally without major modification," should be minimized. Henceforth, Mueller said, NASA would concentrate on "all-up" testing. (In"all-up" testing, the complete spacecraft and launch vehicle configuration would be used on each flight. Previously, NASA plans had called for a gradual buildup of subsystems, systems stages, and modules in successive flight tests.) To simplify both testing and checkout at Cape Canaveral, complete systems should be delivered. An instrumentation task force with senior representatives from each Center, one outside member, and Walter C. Williams of OMSF should be set up immediately; a second task force, to study storable fuels and small motors, would include members from Lewis Research Center, MSC, MSFC, as well as representatives from outside the government.
NASA canceled four manned earth orbital flights with the Saturn I launch vehicle. Six of a series of 10 unmanned Saturn I development flights were still scheduled. Development of the Saturn IB for manned flight would be accelerated and "all-up" testing would be started. This action followed Bellcomm's recommendation of a number of changes in the Apollo spacecraft flight test program. The program should be transferred from Saturn I to Saturn IB launch vehicles; the Saturn I program should end with flight SA-10. All Saturn IB flights, beginning with SA-201, should carry operational spacecraft, including equipment for extensive testing of the spacecraft systems in earth orbit.
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller had recommended the changeover from the Saturn I to the Saturn IB to NASA Administrator James E. Webb on October 26. Webb's concurrence came two days later.
The first production F-1 engine for the Apollo Saturn V was flown from Rocketdyne's Canoga Park, Calif., facility, where it was manufactured, to MSFC aboard Aero Spacelines' "Pregnant Guppy."
NASA tentatively approved Project Luster, a program designed to capture lunar dust deflected from the moon by meteorites and spun into orbit around the earth. An Aerobee 150 sounding rocket containing scientific equipment built by Electro-Optical Systems, Inc., was scheduled for launch in late 1964.
The Marquardt Corporation received a definitive $9,353,200 contract from North American for development and production of reaction control engines for the SM. Marquardt, working under a letter contract since April 1962, had delivered the first engine to North American that November.
MSC Flight Operations Division outlined the advantages inherent in the CSM's capability to use the HF transceiver during earth orbit. The HF transceiver would allow the CSM to communicate with any one tracking station at any time during earth orbit, even when the spacecraft had line-of-sight (LOS) contact with only one or two ground stations in some orbits. It would give the astronauts an additional communications circuit. Most important, this HF capability could alert the network about any trouble in the spacecraft and give the Flight Director more time to make a decision while the spacecraft was out of LOS communication with the ground stations.
NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller notified the Directors of MSC, MSFC, and LOC that he intended to plan a flight schedule which would have a good chance of being met or exceeded. To this end, he directed that "all-up" spacecraft and launch vehicle tests be started as soon as possible; all Saturn IB flights would carry CSM and CSM LEM configurations; and two successful unmanned flights would be flown before a manned mission on either the Saturn IB or Saturn V.
On November 18, Mueller further defined the flight schedule planning. Early Saturn IB flights might not be able to include the LEM, but every effort must be made to phase the LEM into the picture as early as possible. Launch vehicle payload capability must be reached as quickly as practicable. Subsystems for the early flights should be the same as those intended for lunar missions. To conserve funds, the first Saturn V vehicle would be used to obtain reentry data early in the Saturn test program.
North American presented to MSC the results of a three-month study on radiation instrumentation. Three general areas were covered: radio-frequency (RF) warning systems, directional instrumentation, and external environment instrumentation. The company concluded that, with the use of an RE system, astronauts would receive about two hours' notice of any impending solar proton event and could take appropriate action. Proper orientation of the spacecraft could reduce doses by 17 percent, but this could be accomplished only by using a directional detection instrument. There was a 70 percent chance that dosages would exceed safe limits unless such an instrument was used. Consequently North American recommended prompt development.
Despite the contractor's findings, MSC concluded that there was no need for an RE warning system aboard the spacecraft, believing that radiation warning could be handled more effectively by ground systems. But MSC did concur in the recommendation for a combined proton direction and external environment detection system and authorized North American to proceed with its design and development.
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MSC accepted the final items of a $237,000 vibration test system from the LTV Electronics Division to be used in testing spacecraft parts.
On this same day, MSC awarded a $183,152 contract to Wyle Laboratories to construct a high-intensity acoustic facility, also for testing spacecraft parts. The facility would generate noise that might be encountered in space flight.
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth announced a reorganization of MSC to strengthen the management of the Apollo and Gemini programs. Under Gilruth and Deputy Director James C. Elms, there were now four Assistant Directors, Managers for both the Gemini and Apollo programs, and a Manager for MSC's Florida Operations. Assigned to these positions were:
Maxime A. Faget, Assistant Director for Engineering and Development Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Assistant Director for Flight Operations Donald K. Slayton, Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Wesley L. Hjornevik, Assistant Director for Administration Joseph F. Shea, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program Office Charles W. Mathews, Manager, Gemini Program Office and G. Merritt Preston, Manager, MSC Florida Operations.
Apollo Pad Abort Mission I (PA-1), the first off-the-pad abort test of the launch escape system (LES), was conducted at WSMR. PA-1 used CM boilerplate 6 and an LES for this test.
All sequencing was normal. The tower-jettison motor sent the escape tower into a proper ballistic trajectory. The drogue parachute deployed as programmed, followed by the pilot parachute and main parachutes. The test lasted 165.1 seconds. The postflight investigation disclosed only one significant problem: exhaust impingement that resulted in soot deposits on the CM.
MSFC directed Rocketdyne to develop an uprated H-1 engine to be used in the first stage of the Saturn IB. In August, Rocketdyne had proposed that the H-1 be uprated from 85,275 to 90,718 kilograms (188,000 to 200,000 pounds) of thrust. The uprated engine promised a 907-kilogram (2,000 pound) increase in the Saturn IB's orbital payload, yet required no major systems changes and only minor structural modifications.
Grumman issued a go-ahead to RCA to develop the LEM radar. Negotiations on the $23.461 million cost- plus-fixed-fee contract were completed on December 10. Areas yet to be negotiated between the two companies were LEM communications, inflight test, ground support, and parts of the stabilization and control systems.
MSC Crew Systems Division, conducting flammability tests on the constant wear garment material in a 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi), 100 percent oxygen atmosphere, reported that no fires had been experienced thus far.
At El Centro, Calif., a drop test was conducted to evaluate a dual drogue parachute arrangement for the CM. The two drogues functioned satisfactorily. The cargo parachute used for recovery, however, failed to fully inflate, and the vehicle was damaged at impact. This failure was unrelated to the test objectives.
North American representatives reviewed Farrand Optical Company's subcontract with Link for visual displays in the Apollo Mission Simulator. MSC officials attended the technical portion of the meeting, which was held at Link. Farrand and Link had established window fields of view and optical axis orientations. Designs were to be reviewed to verify accuracy and currency of window locations and crew eye position parameters.
A joint North American-MSC meeting reviewed the tower flap versus canard concept for the earth landing system (ELS). During a low-altitude abort, MSC thought, the ELS could be deployed apex forward with a very high probability of mission success by using the tower flap configuration. The parachute system proposed for this mode would be very reliable, even though this was not the most desirable position for deploying parachutes. Dynamic stability of the tower flap configuration during high- altitude aborts required further wind tunnel testing at Ames Research Center. Two basic unknowns in the canard system were deployment reliability, and the probability of the crew's being able to establish the flight direction and trim the CM within its stability limits for a safe reentry. Design areas to be resolved were a simple deployment scheme and a spacecraft system that would give the crew a direction reference.
MSC directed North American to proceed with the tower flap as its prime effort, and attempt to solve the stability problem at the earliest possible date. MSC's Engineering and Development Directorate resumed its study of both configurations, with an in-depth analysis of the canard system, in case the stability problem on the tower flap could not be solved by the end of the year.
NASA awarded a $19.2 million contract to Blount Brothers Corporation and M. M. Sundt Construction Company for the construction of Pad A, part of the Saturn V Launch Complex 39 at LOC.
The Boeing Company and NASA signed a $27.4 million supplemental agreement to the contract for development, fabrication, and test of the S-IC (first) stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
ASPO reviewed Grumman's evaluation of series and parallel propellant feed systems for the LEM ascent stage. Because of the complications involved in minimizing propellant residuals in a parallel system, a series feed appeared preferable, despite an increase in LEM structural weight. Further study of the vehicle showed the feasibility of a two-tank configuration which would be lighter and have about the same propellant residual as the four-tank series-feed arrangement.
After careful study, Grumman proposed to MSC 15 possible means for reducing the weight of the LEM. These involved eliminating a number of hardware items in the spacecraft; two propellant tanks in the vehicle's ascent stage and consequent changes in the feed system; two rather than three fuel cells; and reducing reaction control system propellants and, consequently, velocity budgets for the spacecraft. If all these proposed changes were made, Grumman advised, the LEM could be lightened significantly, perhaps by as much as 454 kilograms (1000 pounds).
ASPO revised the normal and emergency impact limits (20 and 40 g, respectively) to be used as human tolerance criteria for spacecraft design. (These limits superseded those established in the August 14, 1963, North American contract and subsequent correspondence.)
NASA and contractor studies showed that, in the event of an engine hard-over failure during maximum q, a manual abort was impractical for the Saturn I and IB, and must be carried out by automatic devices. Studies were continuing to determine whether, in a similar situation, a manual abort was possible from a Saturn V.
All production drawings for the CM environmental control system were released. - AiResearch Manufacturing Company reported the most critical pacing items were the suit heat exchanger, cyclic accumulator selector valve, and the potable and waste water tanks.
North American conducted an eight-day trial of the prototype Apollo diet. Three test subjects, who continued their normal activities rather than being confined, were given performance and oxygen consumption tests and lean body mass and body compartment water evaluations. The results showed insignificant changes in weight and physiology.
As a result of an MSC Crew Systems Division-Hamilton Standard meeting on the space suit, MSC directed the company to develop a micrometeoroid protective garment to be worn over the suit.
At a meeting of the Apollo Docking Interface Panel, North American recommended and Grumman concurred that the center probe and drogue docking concept be adopted.MSC emphasized that docking systems must not compromise any other subsystem operations nor increase the complexity of emergency operations. In mid-December, MSC/ASPO notified Grumman and North American of its agreement. At the same time, ASPO laid down docking interface ground rules and performance criteria which must be incorporated into the spacecraft specifications.
There would be two ways for the astronauts to get from one spacecraft to the other. The primary mode involved docking and passage through the transfer tunnel. An emergency method entailed crew and payload transfer through free space. The CSM would take an active part in translunar docking, but both spacecraft must be able to take the primary role in the lunar orbit docking maneuver. A single crewman must be able to carry out the docking maneuver and crew transfer.
MSC approved Grumman's $19,383,822 cost-plus-fixed-fee subcontract with Rocketdyne for the LEM descent engine development program.
MSC's Space Environment Division (SED) recommended (subject to reconnaissance verification) 10 lunar landing areas for the Apollo program:
ASPO developed ground rules and guidelines for the Spacecraft Development Test Program being conducted by Grumman, North American, and MIT Instrumentation Laboratory.
At its Santa Susana facility, Rocketdyne conducted the first long-duration (508 seconds) test firing of a J-2 engine. In May 1962 the J-2's required firing time was increased from 250 to 500 seconds.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea asked NASA Headquarters to revise velocity budgets for the Apollo spacecraft. (Studies had indicated that those budgets could be reduced without degrading performance.) He proposed that the 10 percent safety margin applied to the original budget be eliminated in favor of specific allowances for each identifiable uncertainty and contingency; but, to provide for maneuvers which might be desired on later Apollo missions, the LEM's propellant tanks should be oversized.
The ASPO Manager's proposal resulted from experience that had arisen because of unfortunate terminology used to designate the extra fuel. Originally the fuel budget for various phases of the mission had been analyzed and a 10 percent allowance had been made to cover - at that time, unspecified - contingencies, dispersions, and uncertainties. Mistakenly this fuel addition became known as a "10% reserve"! John P. Mayer and his men in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division worried because engineers at North American, Grumman, and NASA had "been freely 'eating' off the so-called 'reserve'" before studies had been completed to define what some of the contingencies might be and to apportion some fuel for that specific situation. Mayer wanted the item labeled a "10% uncertainty."
Shea recommended also that the capacity of the LEM descent tanks be sufficient to achieve an equiperiod orbit, should this become desirable. However, the spacecraft should carry only enough propellant for a Hohmann transfer. This was believed adequate, because the ascent engine was available for abort maneuvers if the descent engine failed and because a low altitude pass over the landing site was no longer considered necessary. By restricting lunar landing sites to the area between ±5 degrees latitude and by limiting the lunar stay time to less than 48 hours, a one-half-degree, rather than two-degree, plane change was sufficient.
In the meantime, Shea reported, his office was investigating how much weight could be saved by these propellant reductions.
MSC reviewed a North American proposal for adding an active thermal control system to the SM to maintain satisfactory temperatures in the propulsion and reaction control engines. The company's scheme involved two water-glycol heat transport loops with appropriate nuclear heaters and radiators. During December, MSC directed North American to begin preliminary design of a system for earth orbit only. Approval for spacecraft intended for lunar missions was deferred pending a comprehensive review of requirements.
In honor of the late President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated six days earlier, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that LOC and Station No. 1 of the Atlantic Missile Range would be designated the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), ". . . to honor his memory, and the future of the works he started . . . ," Johnson said. On the following day, he signed an executive order making this change official. With the concurrence of Florida Governor Farris Bryant, he also changed the name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy.
After a meeting with Grumman officials on November 27, ASPO directed the contractor to begin a Grumman-directed Apollo mission plan development study.
Verne C. Fryklund of NASA's Manned Space Sciences Division advised Bellcomm of the procedure for determining Apollo landing sites on the moon. The Manned Space Sciences chief outlined an elimination for the site selection process. For the first step, extant selenographic material would be used to pick targets of interest for Lunar Orbiter spacecraft photography. After study of the Lunar Orbiter photography, a narrower choice of targets then became the object of Surveyor spacecraft lunar missions, with final choice of potential landing sites to be made after the Surveyor program.
The selection criteria at all stages were determined by lunar surface requirements prepared by OMSF. Fryklund emphasized that a landing at the least hazardous spot, rather than in the area with the most scientific interest, was the chief aim of the site selection process.
MSC directed Grumman to halt work on LEM test article 9, pending determination of its status as a tethered flight vehicle. As a result, the proposed flight demonstration of the tether coupler, using an S-64A Skycrane helicopter, was canceled.
Ames Research Center performed simulated meteoroid impact tests on the Avco Corporation heatshield structure. Four targets of ablator bonded to a stainless steel backup structure were tested. The ablator, in a Fiberglas honeycomb matrix, was 4.369 millimeters (0.172 inch) thick in two targets and 17.424 millimeters (0.686 inch) thick in the other two. Each ablator was tested at 116.48 K (-250 degrees F) and at room temperature, with no apparent difference in damage.
Penetration of the thicker targets was about 13.970 millimeters (0.55 inch). In the thinner targets, the ablator was pierced. Debris tore through the steel honeycomb and produced pinholes on the rear steel sheet. Damage to the ablator was confined to two or three honeycomb cells and there was no cracking or spalling on the surface.
Tests at Ames of thermal performance of the ablation material under high shear stress yielded favorable preliminary results.
Grumman selected AiResearch Manufacturing Company to supply cryogenic storage tanks for the LEM electrical power system. Final negotiations on the cost-plus-incentive-fee contract were held in June 1964.
On this same date, Grumman concluded negotiations with Allison Division of General Motors Corporation for design and fabrication of the LEM descent engine propellant storage tanks (at a cost of $5,479,560).
A design review of the CSM part-task trainer was held at North American. Briefings included general design criteria and requirements, physical configuration, simulation models, and scheduling. The trainer was expected to be operational in December 1964.
Primarily to save weight, the length of the adapter was shortened to 853 centimeters (336 inches), as recommended by Grumman.
ASPO requested that Grumman make a layout for transmittal to MSFC showing space required in the S-IVB instrument unit for 406.4- and 457-centimeter (160- and 180-inch) cantilevered gears and for 508-centimeter (200-inch)-radius lateral fold gears.
As a result of wind tunnel tests, Langley Research Center researchers found the LEM Little Joe II configuration to be aerodynamically unstable. To achieve stability, larger booster fins were needed. However, bigger fins caused more drag, shortening the length of the flight. MSC was investigating the possibility of using more powerful rocket engines to overcome this performance degradation.
The MSC Operations Planning Division (OPD) reviewed the operational demands upon the CM from the time of CM-SM separation until splashdown. OPD concluded that the CM should be designed to operate for 45 minutes during this phase of the mission.
NASA Headquarters approved a $48,064,658 supplement to the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., contract for 10 additional S-IVB stages, four for the Saturn IB and six for the Saturn V missions.
The Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Experiments submitted its final recommendations on what should be Apollo's principal scientific objectives:
MSC and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Division completed a joint manned environmental experiment at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex. After spending a week in a sea-level atmospheric environment, the test subjects breathed 100 percent oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi) at a simulated altitude of 8,230 meters (27,000 feet) for 30 days. They then reentered the test capsule for observation in a sea-level environment for the next five days. This experiment demonstrated that men could live in a 100 percent oxygen environment under these conditions with no apparent ill effects.
North American completed a study to determine, for automatic modes of reentry, adequacy of the current CM reaction control system (RCS) and compatibility of the RCS with other reentry subsystems.
ASPO concurred in Grumman's recommendation to delete the redundant gimbal actuation system in the LEM's descent engine. A nonredundant configuration would normally require mission abort in case of actuator failure. Consequently, in making this change, Grumman must ensure that mission abort and the associated staging operation would not compromise crew survival and mission reliability.
Phase I of the Apollo manned centrifuge program was completed at the U.S. Navy Aerospace Medical Acceleration Laboratory, Philadelphia, Pa. The tests pointed up interface problems between couch, suit, and astronaut. For example, pressurizing the suit increased the difficulty of seeing the lower part of the instrument panel. The test fixture was disassembled and the couch, framework, and empty instrument panel were shipped to International Latex Corporation to serve as a mockup for further study.
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To ensure MSC's use of its manpower resources to the fullest extent possible, the Engineering and Development Directorate (EDD) assigned a subsystem manager to each of the major subsystems in the Apollo program. EDD provided such support as was needed for him to carry out his assignment effectively. These subsystem managers were responsible to ASPO for the development of systems within the cost and schedule constraints of the program. Primary duties were management of contractor efforts and testing.
General Dynamics Corporation announced the receipt of a contract (worth about $4 million) from the Philco Corporation for fabrication of the computer display equipment for the Integrated Mission Control Center at MSC.
Grumman proposed a two-tank ascent stage configuration for the LEM. On January 17, 1964, ASPO formally concurred and authorized Grumman to go ahead with the design. The change was expected to reduce spacecraft weight by about 45 kilograms (100 pounds) and would make for a simpler, more reliable ascent propulsion system. ASPO also concurred in the selection of titanium for the two propellant tanks.
MSC directed North American to assign bioinstrumentation channels to the CM for early manned flights for monitoring the crew's pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration, and temperature. These readings could be obtained simultaneously on any one crew member and by switching from man to man for monitoring the entire crew.
The System Engineering Division (SED) examined the feasibility of performing an unmanned earth orbital mission without the guidance and navigation system. SED concluded that the stabilization and control system could be used as an attitude reference for one to two orbits and would have accuracies at retrofire suitable for recovery. The number of orbits depended upon the number of maneuvers performed by the vehicle, since the gyros tended to drift.
Pratt and Whitney Aircraft delivered the first three prototype-A fuel cells to North American.
MSC announced that Grumman and Hamilton Standard had signed an $8,371,465 definitive contract for the LEM environmental control system. A go-ahead had been issued to Hamilton Standard on July 23.
MSC awarded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracts valued at $4,211,377 (to be subcontracted to W. S. Bellows Construction Corporation and Peter Kiewit and Sons, Inc.) for the construction of the MSC Mission and Training Facility and for additions to several existing facilities at the Center.
NASA selected The Boeing Company to build five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Beginning in 1966, Lunar Orbiters would take close-range photographs of the moon and transmit them by telemetry back to earth. The spacecraft would also detect radiation and micrometeoroid density and supply tracking data on the gravitational field of the moon. Information derived from the project (managed by Langley Research Center) would aid in the selection of lunar landing sites.
MSC defined the LEM terminal rendezvous maneuvers. That phase of the mission would begin at a range of 9.3 kilometers (five nautical miles) from the CSM and terminate at a range of 152.4 meters (500 feet). Before rendezvous initiation, closing velocity should be reduced to 61 meters (200 feet) per second by use of the ascent engine. The reaction control system should be used exclusively thereafter.
Motorola, Inc., received a follow-on contract from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the manufacture and integration of at least three S-band receiving subsystems for NASA's Deep Space Network and Manned Space Flight Network ground stations. Within the unified S-band system adopted by NASA, receiving equipment of the two networks would be identical except for a slight difference in operating frequency. This enabled all communications between ground stations and spacecraft to be on a single frequency. It also allowed more efficient power transfer between the directive antennas and the spacecraft and would greatly reduce galactic noise encountered with UHF frequencies.
Based upon centrifuge test results, MSC directed Hamilton Standard to modify the space suit helmet. The vomitus port and other obstructions to the line of sight in the downward direction were deleted.
NASA announced the appointment of Air Force Brig. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips as Deputy Director of the NASA Headquarters Apollo Program Office. General Phillips assumed management of the manned lunar landing program, working under George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator of Manned Space Flight and Director of the Apollo Program Office.
MSC decided to supply television cameras for the LEM as government-furnished items. Grumman was ordered to cease its effort on this component.
Resizing of the LEM propulsion tanks was completed by Grumman. The cylindrical section of the descent tank was extended 34.04 millimeters (1.34 inches), for a total of 36.27 centimeters (14.28 inches) between the spherical end bells. The ascent tanks (two-tank series) were 1240.54 centimeters (48.84 inches) in diameter.
RCA, contractor to Grumman for the LEM rendezvous and landing radars, chose Ryan Aeronautical Company as vendor for the landing radar. The contract was signed March 16, 1964.
North American, Grumman, and MIT Instrumentation Laboratory summarized results of a six-week study, conducted at ASPO's request, on requirements for a Spacecraft Development Program. Purpose of the study was to define joint contractor recommendations for an overall development test plan within resource constraints set down by NASA. ASPO required that the plan define individual ground test and mission objectives, mission descriptions, hardware requirements (including ground support equipment), test milestones, and individual subsystem test histories.
Intermediate objectives for the Apollo program were outlined: the qualification of a manned CSM capable of earth reentry at parabolic velocities after an extended space mission; qualification of a manned LEM both physically and functionally compatible with the CSM; and demonstration of manned operations in deep space, including lunar orbit. The most significant basic test plan objective formulated during the study was the need for flexibility to capitalize on unusual success or to compensate for unexpected difficulties with minimum impact on the program.
Only one major issue in the test plan remained unresolved - lunar descent radar performance and actual lunar touchdown. Two possible solutions were suggested:
The complete findings of this joint study were contained in a five-volume report issued by North American and submitted to MSC early in February 1964. (This document became known informally as the "Project Christmas Present Report.")
MSC forwarded a $1.4 million contract to Control Data Corporation for two computer systems and peripheral equipment which would be supplied to GE as part of the preflight acceptance checkout equipment.
ASPO directed Grumman to implement a number of recommendations on space suit oxygen umbilical hoses discussed at a joint Grumman/North American meeting and forwarded to ASPO on December 4, 1963:
MSC directed Grumman to integrate LEM translation and descent engine thrust controllers. The integrated controller would be lighter and easier to install; also it would permit simultaneous reaction control system translation and descent engine control. Grumman had predicted that such a capability might be required for touchdown.
The Flight Data Systems Branch of the Engineering and Development Directorate provided ASPO's Lunar Mission Planning Branch with information about the LEM extravehicular suit telemetry and communications system. No line of sight (LOS) communications were possible, and there would be no ground wave propagation and no atmospheric reflection. The link between astronaut and LEM would be limited to LOS of the two antennas, and surface activities by an extravehicular astronaut must be planned accordingly.
Three U. S. Air Force test pilots began a five-week training period at the Martin Company leading to their participation in a simulated seven- day lunar landing mission. This was part of Martin's year-long study of crew performance during simulated Apollo missions (under a $771,000 contract from NASA).
Based on the LEM mockup review of September 16-18, 1963, MSC established criteria for redundancy of controls and displays in the LEM crew station. Within the framework of apportioned reliability requirements for mission success and crew safety, these guidelines applied:
At an MSC-North American meeting, spacecraft communications problems were reviewed. Testing had indicated that considerable redesign was essential to ensure equipment operation in a high-humidity environment. Also antenna designs had created several problem areas, such as the scimitar antenna's causing the CM to roll during reentry. The amount of propellant consumed in counteracting this roll exceeded reentry allowances. Further, because the CM could float upside down, the recovery antenna might be pointed at the ocean floor. In fact, many at this meeting doubted whether the overall communications concept was satisfactory "without having detailed ground receiver characteristics." The situation derived from "one of the primary problems in the area of communications system design . . . the lack of functional requirements specifications."
MSC and Bellcomm agreed upon a plan for testing the Apollo heatshield under reentry conditions. Following Project Fire and Scout tests, the Saturn IB would be used to launch standard "all-up" spacecraft into an elliptical orbit; the SM engine would boost the spacecraft's velocity to 8,839 meters
(29,000 feet) per second.
MSC's Center Medical Office was reevaluating recommendations for LEM bioinstrumentation. The original request was for three high-frequency channels (two electrocardiogram and one respiration) that could be switched to monitor all crew members. Grumman wanted to provide one channel for each astronaut with no switching.
The first fuel cell module delivered by Pratt and Whitney Aircraft to North American was started and put on load. The module operated normally and all test objectives were accomplished. Total operating time was four hours six minutes, with one hour at each of four loads-20, 30, 40, and 50 amperes. The fuel cell was shut down without incident and approximately 1,500 cubic centimeters (1.6 quarts) of water were collected.
Bendix Products Aerospace Division was awarded a 99973 contract by MSC to study crushable aluminum honeycomb, a lightweight, almost non-elastic, shock-absorbing material for LEM landing gears. Bendix would test the honeycomb structures in a simulated lunar environment.
MSC's Systems Engineering Division met with a number of astronauts to get their comments on the feasibility of the manual reorientation maneuver required by the canard abort system concept. The astronauts affirmed that they could accomplish the maneuver and that manual control during high-altitude aborts was an acceptable part of a launch escape system design. They pointed out the need to eliminate any possibility of sooting of the windows during normal and abort flight. Although the current design did not preclude such sooting, a contemplated boost protective cover might satisfy this requirement.
ASPO asked the Flight Crew Operations Directorate to study whatever was necessary to ensure that the LEM crew could reorient their spacecraft manually in an abort 36,600 meters (120,000 feet) above the moon.
ASPO and the Astronaut Office agreed to provide the crew with food that could be eaten in a liquid or semi-liquid form during emergency pressurized operation. This would permit considerable reduction in the diameter of the emergency feeding port in the helmet visor.
Two astronauts took part in tests conducted by North American to evaluate equipment stowage locations in CM mockup 2. Working as a team, the astronauts simulated the removal and storage of docking mechanisms. Preliminary results indicated this equipment could be stowed in the sleeping station. When his suit was deflated, the subject in the left couch could reach, remove, and install the backup controllers if they were stowed in the bulkhead, couch side, or headrest areas. When his suit was pressurized, he had difficulty with the bulkhead and couch side locations. The subject in the center couch, whose suit was pressurized, was unable to be of assistance.
The first full-throttle firing of Space Technology Laboratories' LEM descent engine (being developed as a parallel effort to the Rocketdyne engine) was carried out. The test lasted 214 seconds, with chamber pressures from 66.2 to 6.9 newtons per square centimeter (96 to 10 psi). Engine performance was about five percent below the required level.
Grumman presented to MSC the first monthly progress report on the Lunar Mission Planning Study. The planning group, designated the Apollo Mission Planning Task Force (AMPTF), established ground rules and constraints to serve as a base line around which mission flexibilities and contingency analyses could be built. Main topics of discussion at the meeting were the reference mission, study ground rules, task assignments, and future plans. The following week, MSC Flight Operations Directorate provided a reference trajectory for the AMPTF's use. Major constraints were daylight launch, translunar injection during the second earth parking orbit, free-return trajectory, daylight landing near the lunar equator, 24-hour lunar surface staytime, and a water landing on earth.
Representatives of Grumman, MSC's Instrumentation and Electronics Systems Division, ASPO, and Resident Apollo Spacecraft Program Office (RASPO) at Bethpage met at Grumman to plan the LEM's electrical power system. The current configuration was composed of three fuel cell generators with a maximum power output of 900 watts each, spiking stabilizing batteries, one primary general-purpose AC inverter, and a conventional bus arrangement. To establish general design criteria, the primary lunar mission of the LEM-10 vehicle was analyzed. This "critical" mission appeared to be the "worst case" for the electrical power system and established maximum power and usage rate requirements.
Those attending the meeting foresaw a number of problems:
AiResearch Manufacturing Company reported that it had completed design effort on all components of the CM environmental control system.
Grumman was studying problems of transmitting data if the LEM missed rendezvous with the CSM after lunar launch. This meant that the LEM had to orbit the moon and a data transmission blackout would occur while the LEM was on the far side of the moon. There were two possible solutions, an onboard data recorder or dual transmission to the CSM and the earth. This redundancy had not previously been planned upon, however.
A design review of the CM reaction control system (RCS) was held. Included was a discussion of possible exposure of the crew to hazardous fumes from propellants if the RCS ruptured at earth impact. For the time being, the RCS design would not be changed, but no manned flights would be conducted until the matter had been satisfactorily resolved. A detailed study would be made on whether to eliminate, reduce, or accept this crew safety hazard.
NASA assigned George M. Low to the position of Deputy Director of MSC. He would replace James C. Elms, who had resigned on January 17 to return to private industry. Although Low continued as Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA Headquarters until May 1, he assumed his new duties at MSC the first part of February.
North American gave a presentation at MSC on the block change concept with emphasis on Block II CSM changes. These were defined as modifications necessary for compatibility with the LEM, structural changes to reduce weight or improve CSM center of gravity, and critical systems changes. (Block I spacecraft would carry no rendezvous and docking equipment and would be earth-orbital only. Block II spacecraft would be flight-ready vehicles with the final design configuration for the lunar missions.)
Representatives of MSC, North American, Collins Radio Company, and Motorola, Inc., met in Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss a proposed redesign of the unified S-band to make it compatible with the Manned Space Flight Network. To ensure that there would be no schedule impact, North American proposed only a limited capability on the Block I vehicles. MSC deferred a decision on the redesign pending equipment compatibility tests at Motorola; spacecraft network compatibility tests by MSC, North American, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and cost analyses.
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MSC issued a $9.2 million contract amendment to North American for the construction and modification of buildings at Downey, Calif., and for research and development work on the CM.
NASA and North American discussed visibility requirements on the CM and came to the following conclusions: the contractor would provide four portholes in the protective shroud so the astronauts could see through both side and forward viewing windows, and ensure that all windows were clean after launch escape tower separation. North American proposed the addition to Block II CM of a collimated optical device for orientation and alignment during docking. MSC Flight Crew Operations Directorate recommended that mirrors be added to increase external and internal field of vision.
The AiResearch Manufacturing Company began qualification testing of the first group of components of the CM environmental control system.
The second phase of docking simulation studies ended at North American- Columbus (Ohio). Tests included 170 runs simulating transposition and lunar orbital docking with stable and unstable targets, and two extendible probe concepts: cable and rigid boom.
A design review of crew systems checkout for the CM waste management system was held at North American. As a result, MSC established specific requirements for leakage flow measurement and for checkout at North American and Cape Kennedy. The current capability of the checkout unit restricted it to measuring only gross leakage of segments of the system.
Further analysis of the management system was necessary to determine changes needed in the checkout unit.
MSC authorized AiResearch Manufacturing Company and the Linde Company to manufacture high- pressure insulated tanks. This hardware, to be available about May 15, would be used in a study of the feasibility of a supercritical helium pressurization system for the LEM.
Studies on the LEM's capability to serve as the active vehicle for lunar orbit docking showed the forward docking tunnel to be the best means of accomplishing this. ASPO requested Grumman to investigate the possibility of this docking approach and the effect it might have on the spacecraft's configuration.
ASPO asked Grumman to study whether attitude control of the docked vehicles was practicable using the LEM's stabilization and control system (RCS). Grumman also was to evaluate the RCS fuel requirements for a five-minute alignment period to permit two star sightings. ASPO further directed the contractor to determine RCS fuel requirements for a second alignment of the LEM's inertial measurement unit during descent coast. This second alignment was needed for the required landing accuracy from a Hohmann descent.
The United States and Spain agreed to the construction and operation of a $1.5 million space tracking and data acquisition station about 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Madrid, Spain. Linked with the NASA Deep Space Instrumentation Facility, the station included a 26-meter (85-foot)-diameter parabolic antenna and equipment for transmitting, receiving, recording, data handling, and communications with the spacecraft.
First first mission of Block II Saturn with two live stages. SA-5, a vehicle development flight, was launched from Cape Kennedy Complex 37B at 11:25:01.41, e.s.t. This was the first flight of the Saturn I Block II configuration (i.e., lengthened fuel tanks in the S-1 and stabilizing tail fins), as well as the first flight of a live (powered) S-IV upper stage. The S-1, powered by eight H-1 engines, reached a full thrust of over 680,400 kilograms (1.5 million pounds) the first time in flight. The S-IV's 41,000 kilogram (90,000-pound-thrust cluster of six liquid-hydrogen RL-10 engines performed as expected. The Block II SA-5 was also the first flight test of the Saturn I guidance system.
NASA announced the award of a $1.356 million contract to the Blaw-Knox Company for design and construction of three parabolic antennas, each 26 meters (85 feet) in diameter, for the Manned Space Flight Network stations at Goldstone, Calif.; Canberra, Australia; and near Madrid, Spain.
MSC and North American representatives discussed preliminary analysis of the probabilities of mission success if the spacecraft were hit by meteoroids. The contractor believed that pressurized tankage in the SM must be penetrated before a failure was assumed. To MSC, this view appeared overly optimistic. MSC held that, as the failure criterion, no debris should result from meteoroid impact of the SM outer structure. (This change in criteria would cost several hundred pounds in meteoroid protection weight in the SM and LEM.) North American thought that penetration of one half the depth of the heatshield on the conical surface of the CM was a failure. Here, MSC thought the contractor too conservative; full penetration could probably be allowed.
Grumman began initial talks with Bell Aerosystems Company looking toward concentrating on the all-ablative concept for the LEM's ascent engine, thus abandoning the hope of using the lighter, radiatively cooled nozzle extension. These talks culminated in July, when Bell submitted to Grumman a revised development and test plan for the engine, now an all-ablative design.
At an Apollo Program Review held at MSC, Maxime A. Faget reported that Crew Systems Division had learned that the metabolic rate of a man walking in an unpressurized suit was twice that of a man in everyday clothes. When the suit was pressurized to 1.8 newtons per square centimeter (3.5 psi), the rate was about four times as much. To counteract this, a watercooled undergarment developed by the British Ministry of Aviation's Royal Aircraft Establishment was being tested at Hamilton Standard. These "space-age long johns" had a network of small tubes through which water circulated and absorbed body heat. Advantages of the system were improved heat transfer, low circulating noise levels, and relatively moderate flow rates required. An MSC study on integration of the suit with the LEM environmental control system showed a possible weight savings of 9 kilograms (20 pounds).
Fourteen new astronauts, chosen in October 1963, reported at MSC for training for the Gemini and Apollo programs.
MSC and MSFC officials discussed development flight tests for Apollo heatshield qualification. Engineers from the Houston group outlined desired mission profiles and the number of missions needed to qualify the component. MSFC needed this information to judge its launch vehicle development test requirements against those of MSC to qualify the heatshield. By the middle of the month, Richard D. Nelson of the Mission Planning and Analysis Division (MPAD) had summarized the profiles to be flown with the Saturn V that satisfied MSC's needs. Nelson compiled data for three trajectories that could provide reentry speeds of around 11,000 meters (36,000 feet) per second, simulating lunar return. As an example, "Trajectory 1" would use two of the booster's stages to fire into a suborbital ballistic path, and then use a third stage to accelerate to the desired reentry speed.
Flight profiles for Saturn IB missions for heatshield qualification purposes proved to be a little more difficult because "nobody would or could define the requirements or constraints, or test objectives." In other words, MSFC requirements for booster development test objectives and those of MSC for the spacecraft heatshield conflicted. So compromises had to be forged. Finally Ted H. Skopinski and other members of MPAD bundled up all of ASPO's correspondence on the subject generated from the various pertinent sources: MSFC, MSC, and contractors. From this, the Skopinski group drafted "broad term test objectives and constraints" for the first two Saturn IB flights (missions 201 and 202). Generally, these were to man-rate the launch vehicle and the CSM and to "conduct entry tests at superorbital entry velocities" (8,500 to 8,800 meters per second) (28,000 to 29,000 feet per second). Skopinski also enumerated specific test objectives covering the whole spacecraft-launch vehicle development test program. These were first distributed on March 27, and adjustments were made several times later in the year.
Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company reported it had developed an all-attitude display unit for the CM to monitor the guidance and navigation system and provide backup through the stabilization and control system. The Flight Director Attitude Indicator (or "eight-ball") would give enough information for all spacecraft attitude maneuvers during the entire mission to be executed manually, if necessary.
Grumman received MSC's response to the "Project Christmas Present Report", and accordingly reevaluated its testing concept for the LEM. On February 19, the contractor proposed to ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea a flight program schedule, which was tentatively approved. ASPO's forthcoming proposal was identical to Grumman's proposal. It called for 11 LEMs (which were now renumbered consecutively) and two flight test articles. All LEMs were to have full mission capability, but numbers one through three had to be capable of either manned or unmanned flight.
During a meeting at MSC, North American and MSC Crew Systems Division agreed that there should be a central authority with total cognizance over Gemini and Apollo food and survival equipment, and that all this equipment should be government furnished.
Engineers from ASPO and Engineering and Development Directorate (EDD) discussed the current status of the tower flap versus the canard launch escape vehicle (LEV) configurations. Their aim was to select one of the two LEV configurations for Block I spacecraft. ASPO and EDD concluded that the canard was aerodynamically superior; that arguments against the canard, based on sequencing, mechanical complexity, or schedule effect, were not sufficient to override this aerodynamic advantage; and that this configuration should be adopted for Block I spacecraft. However, further analysis was needed to choose the design for the Block II LEV.
MSC directed Grumman to stop all work on the LEM Little Joe II program. This action followed the ASPO Manager's decision against a testing program for the LEM comparable to that for the CSM.
ASPO directed Grumman to provide an abort guidance system (AGS) in the LEM using an inertial reference system attached to the structure of the vehicle. Should the spacecraft's navigation and guidance system fail, the crew could use the AGS to effect an abort. Such a device eliminated the need for redundancy in the primary guidance system (and proved to be a lighter and simpler arrangement).
NASA gave credit to two MSC engineers, George C. Franklin and Louie G. Richard, for designing a harness system for the LEM that enabled the crew to fly the vehicle from a standing position. Eliminating the seats reduced the LEM's weight and gave the crew better visibility and closer observation of controls and instruments.
Boilerplate (BP) 13 spacecraft was flown from North American, Downey, Calif., to MSC's Florida Operations facility at Cape Kennedy, where the vehicle was inspected and checked out. On April 2, the spacecraft and launch escape system were moved to the pad and mated to the launch vehicle, SA-6. After exhaustive testing, a Flight Readiness Review on May 19 established that BP-13 was ready for launch.
The Block II CSM configuration was based on three classes of changes: mandatory changes necessary to meet the
MSC issued Requests for Proposals to more than 50 firms asking for studies and recommendations on how the lunar surface should be explored. Studies should show how lunar surveys could be performed and how points on the lunar surface might be located for future lunar navigation. Maximum use of equipment planned for the LEM and CM was expected. Part of the scientific apparatus aboard the LEM would be selenodetic equipment. The study would not include actual fabrication of hardware but might give estimates of cost and development times.
MSC ordered North American to design the SM's reaction control system with the capability for emergency retrograde from earth orbit.
North American completed its initial phase of crew transfer tests using a mockup of the CM/LEM transfer tunnel. Subjects wearing pressure suits were suspended and counterbalanced in a special torso harness to simulate weightlessness; hatches and docking mechanisms were supported by counterweight devices. The entire tunnel mockup was mounted on an air-bearing, frictionless table. Preliminary results showed that the crew could remove and install the hatches and docking mechanisms fairly easily.
MSC completed and forwarded to NASA Headquarters a plan for changing the relationship of the navigation and guidance contractors. AC Spark Plug would become the principal contractor, with the Raytheon Company and Kollsman Instrument Corporation as subcontractors. MIT would still have primary responsibility for system design and analysis.
MSC gave its formal consent to two of Grumman's subcontracts for engines for the LEM: (1) With Bell Aerosystems for the ascent engine ($11,205,416 incentive-fee contract) (2) With Space Technology Laboratories for a descent engine to parallel that being developed by Rocketdyne ($18,742,820 fixed-fee contract).
The potable water system was changed to meter both hot and cold water in one-ounce increments to provide accurate measurements for food rehydration. The previous water valve was a full-flow tap.
Motorola, Inc., submitted a proposal to NASA for the Apollo Unified S-band Test Program, a series of tests on the unified S-band transponder and premodulation processor. Motorola had already begun test plans, analytical studies, and fabrication of special test equipment.
General Dynamics Convair delivered to White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) the second Little Joe II launch vehicle, the first Little Joe II scheduled to fly with a production Apollo spacecraft.
MSC announced that, during a 14-day lunar mission, fuel cells in the Apollo CSM would produce about 220 liters (60 gallons) of potable water while furnishing power to operate the electronic equipment.
MSC officials conducted acceptance testing of the 024 prototype space suit at the International Latex Corporation. (Reviewers identified several faults, but they were minor and the suit was accepted.)
Trajectory analyses by North American indicated that, with the tower flap configuration, it was highly probable that crew acceleration limits would be exceeded during high-altitude abort.
ASPO decided upon transfer through free space as the backup mode for the crew's getting from the LEM back to the CM if the two spacecraft could not be pressurized. North American had not designed the CM for extravehicular activity nor for passage through the docking tunnel in a pressurized suit. Thus there was no way for the LEM crew to transfer to the CM unless docking was successfully accomplished. ASPO considered crew transfer in a pressurized suit both through the docking tunnel and through space to be a double redundancy that could not be afforded.
North American conducted three tests (4, 20, and 88 hours) on the CSM fuel cell. The third ended prematurely because of a sudden drop in output. (Specification life on the modules was 100 hours.)
During this same week, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft tested a LEM-type fuel cell for 400 hours without shutdown and reported no leaks.
Grumman completed negotiations with Bell Aerosystems Company for the LEM's reaction control system propellant tanks.
North American submitted to ASPO a proposal for dynamic testing of the docking subsystem, which called for a full-scale air-supported test vehicle. The contractor estimated the program cost at $2.7 million for facilities, vehicle design, construction, and operation.
George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, summarized recent studies of the dangers of meteoroids and radiation in the Apollo program. Data from the Explorer XVI satellite and ground observations indicated that meteoroids would not be a major hazard. Clouds of protons ejected by solar flares would present a risk to astronauts, but studies of the largest solar flares recorded since 1959 showed that maximum radiation dosages in the CM and the Apollo space suit would have been far below acceptable limits (set in July 1962 by the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences). Cosmic rays would not be a hazard because of their rarity. Radiation in the Van Allen belts was not dangerous because the spacecraft would fly through the belts at high speeds.
RCA presented results of a weight and power tradeoff study on the LEM's radar systems, which were over Grumman's specification in varying amounts from 100 to 300 percent. RCA proposed that the accuracy requirements be relaxed to cope with this problem. MSC requested Grumman, on the basis of this report, to estimate a slippage in the schedule and the effects of additional weight and power.
MSC conducted a Design Engineering Inspection of the LEM timing equipment at the Elgin National Watch Company.
Grumman and RCA signed a contract on the LEM communications subsystem.
At a NASA-North American Technical Management Meeting at Downey, Calif., North American recommended that Apollo earth landings be primarily on water. On the basis of analytical studies and impact tests, the contractor had determined that "land impact problems are so severe that they require abandoning this mode as a primary landing mode." In these landings, North American had advised, it was highly probable that the spacecraft's impact limits would be surpassed. In fact, even in water landings "there may be impact damage which would result in leakage of the capsule." (ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea, at this meeting, "stated that MSC concurs that land impact problems have not been solved, and that planning to utilize water impact is satisfactory."
Three days later, Shea reported to the MSC Senior Staff that Apollo landings would be primarily on water. The only exceptions, he said, would be pad aborts and emergency landings. With this question of "wet" versus "dry" landing modes settled, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Assistant Director for Flight Operations, brought up the unpleasant problem of the CM's having two stable attitudes while afloat - and especially the apex-down one. This upside-down attitude, Kraft emphasized, submerged the vehicle's recovery antennas and posed a very real possibility of flooding in rough seas. Shea countered that these problems could be "put to bed" by using some type of inflatable device to upright the spacecraft.
|Apollo - Nighttime view of Apollo Spacecraft 009 atop Saturn 1B launch vehicle|
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At a NASA-North American technical management meeting, the tower flap versus canard configuration for the launch escape vehicle was settled. ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea decided that canards should be the approach for Block I vehicles, with continued study on eliminating this device on Block II vehicles.
A joint Grumman, RCA, Ryan Aeronautical Company, ASPO, and Flight Crew Support Division (FCSD) meeting was held at Bethpage to review capability of the LEM landing radar to meet FCSD's requirements for ascent and for orbit circularization. A preliminary (unfunded) Ryan study (requested by ASPO earlier in the month) indicated some doubt that those accuracy requirements could be met. RCA advised that it would be possible to make these measurements with the rendezvous radar, if necessary. A large weight penalty, about 38 to 56 kilograms (84 to 124 pounds), would be incurred if the landing radar were moved from the descent to the ascent stage to become part of the abort guidance system. Adding this weight to the ascent stage would have to be justified either by improved abort performance or added crew safety. MSC authorized RCA and Ryan to study this problem at greater length. In the meantime, ASPO and FCSD would analyze weights, radar accuracies, and abort guidance performance capability.
Representatives from MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) visited Hamilton Standard to discuss space suit development. The prototype suit (024) was demonstrated and its features compared with the Gemini suit. Deficiencies in the Apollo helmet were noted and suggestions were made on how to improve the design. (At this time, CSD began looking into the possibility of using Gemini suits during Apollo earth orbital flights, and during the next several weeks began testing Gemini suits in Apollo environments.)
The MSC Primary Propulsion Branch (PPB) completed a study on the current LEM ascent engine and performance that might be gained if the chamber pressure and characteristic exhaust velocity efficiency were increased. PPB also evaluated the use of hard versus soft chamber throats. A study by Bell Aerosystems Company had predicted a slightly lower performance than the MSC investigation (which estimated a drop of about six points below specification values if the current design were retained). PPB thought that specifications might be reached by increasing the chamber pressure to 82.7 newtons per square centimeter (120 psia) and the exhaust velocity efficiency to 97.3 percent, and by using a hard, rather than a soft, throat.
MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) received an improved version of the Apollo space suit (the A-3H-024 Phase B). In the course of the following week, CSD engineers examined the suit for weight, leakage, donning, and mobility.
MSC and AC Spark Plug negotiated amendments to AC's contract for a research and development program for inertial reference integrating gyroscopes. The amendments covered cost overruns, an additional 30 pieces of hardware, and conversion of the contract to an incentive-fee type (target price, $3.465 million; ceiling price, $3.65 million).
Boilerplate (BP) 19 was drop tested at El Centro, Calif., simulating flight conditions and recovery of BP-12. A second BP-19 drop, on April 8, removed all constraints on the BP-12 configuration and earth landing system. Another aim, to obtain information on vehicle dynamics, was not accomplished because of the early firing of a backup drogue parachute.
At North American, a mockup of the crew transfer tunnel was reviewed informally. The mockup was configured to the North American-proposed Block II design (in which the tunnel was larger in diameter and shorter in length than on the existing spacecraft). MSC asked the contractor to place an adapter in the tunnel to represent the physical constraints of the current design, which would permit the present design to be thoroughly investigated and to provide a comparison with the Block II proposal.
MSC received an additional $1.035 million in Fiscal Year 1964 funds to cover development of equipment and operational techniques for scientific exploration of the moon:
Grumman and North American began working out ways for common usage of ground support equipment (GSE). Through informal meetings and telephone discussions, the two prime contractors agreed to a formal procedure for the GSE's use, maintenance, and training procedures.
Grumman completed negotiations with Yardney Electric Corporation for an auxiliary battery for the LEM. A contract would be awarded when size requirements were determined by Grumman and MSC.
NASA completed formal negotiations with Aerojet-General Corporation for 12 Algol 1-D solid rocket motors, to be used in the Little Joe II vehicles. The contract was a fixed-price-plus-incentive-fee type with a target price of about $1.4 million. A maximum price of 20 percent more than the target cost was allowed.
North American was directed by NASA to study feasibility of using the LEM propulsion system as backup to the SM propulsion system. The most important item in the contractor's analysis was strength of the docking structure and its ability to withstand LEM main-engine and reaction control system thrusting.
Grumman completed negotiations with Kearfott Products Division, General Precision, Inc., for the LEM rate gyro assembly, and a contract was awarded later in the month.
Primarily as a weight-saving measure, the gas storage pressure in the LEM's descent stage helium tank was reduced from 3,103 to 2,413 newtons per square centimeter (4,500 to 3,500 psia). This allowed the thickness of the tank wall to be reduced.
Goddard Space Flight Center awarded a $1.963 million contract to the Commonwealth of Australia's Department of Supply to construct and install a data acquisition facility, including an antenna 26 meters (85 feet) in diameter, at Canberra, Australia. The station would become part of the NASA Space Tracking and Data Acquisition Network to track unmanned satellites and part of the Deep Space Network to track lunar and planetary probes. Unified S-band equipment was later installed to support the Manned Space Flight Network during Apollo lunar missions.
First flight test of Little Joe II using a command module (CM) boilerplate (BP-12) at White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex.
ASPO notified Grumman that certain items were no longer to be considered in the weight saving program: guidance and navigation components, drinking water tankage, scientific equipment, pyrotechnic batteries, among others.
North American held a design review of the CM heatshield substructure. Use of titanium in place of stainless steel was being evaluated as part of a weight reduction study for the Block II spacecraft. Added reliability and a weight saving of several hundred pounds might be achieved thereby. Three factors would be considered: the brittleness of stainless steel at extremely cold temperatures, the higher cost of titanium, and the verification of diffusion bonding of titanium honeycomb.
Ryan Aeronautical Company signed a contract with RCA for the LEM lunar landing radar. Ryan was instructed to design for altitudes of 21,300 meters (70,000 feet) and accuracies of 0.5 percent.
AiResearch Manufacturing Company completed testing on development components of the CM environmental control system. Specifications for components had been submitted to North American.
The first prototype of the CM battery for use during reentry was delivered to North American by Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc.
Texas Instruments, Inc., presented a progress report on their lunar surface experiments study to the MSC Lunar Surface Experiments Panel. Thus far, the company had been surveying and rating measurements to be made on the lunar surface. Areas covered included soil mechanics, mapping, geophysics, magnetism, electricity, and radiation. Equipment for gathering information, such as hand tools, sample return containers, dosimeters, particle spectrometers, data recording systems, seismometers, gravity meters, cameras, pentrometers, and mass spectrometers had been considered. The next phase of the study involved integrating and defining the measurements and instruments according to implementation problems, mission needs, lunar environment limitations, and relative importance to a particular mission. Texas Instruments would recommend a sequence for performing the experiments.
NASA instructed North American to fix the CM crew couches along all axes during normal and emergency acceleration, except at impact. During nonacceleration mission phases, the couches would be adjustable for crew comfort.
Grumman reported to MSC the current load status and projected load growth for the LEM's electrical power system, requesting a mission profile of 121 kilowatt-hours total energy. The company also presented its latest recommendation for the LEM power generation subsystem configuration: two 900-watt fuel cells, a descent stage peaking battery, an ascent stage survival battery, and four cryogenic storage tanks. To compensate for voltage drops in the power distribution subsystem, Grumman recommended that two cells be added to the current fuel cell stack; however, on March 23 ASPO directed the contractor to continue development of the 900-watt, three-fuel-cell assembly and a five-tank cryogenic storage system. MSC's position derived from the belief that the load growth would make the two-cell arrangement inadequate. Also the three-cell configuration, through greater redundancy, afforded greater safety and chances of mission success: the mission could continue in spite of a failure in one of the cells; should two cells fail, the mission could be aborted on the final power source. The cryogenic tanks should be sized for a usable total energy of 121 kilowatt-hours to permit immediate tank procurement.
After the decision to use canards instead of tower flaps, North American returned to the concept of a hard boost protective cover. The tower jettison motor would remove the cover along with the tower.
MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) evaluated a CM couch width of 58.4 centimeters (23 inches). CSD found that the couch hampered an astronaut's movement in an unpressurized suit and totally restricted him if his suit was pressurized.
Tests at North American demonstrated the possibility of using onboard tools to break the CM hatch windows for postlanding ventilation of the spacecraft.
NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications began organizing several groups of scientists to assist the agency in defining more specifically the scientific objectives of Project Apollo. In a number of letters to prominent American scientists, Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications Homer E. Newell asked them to propose suitable experiments in such fields as geology, geophysics, geochemistry, biology, and atmospheric science. This broadly based set of proposals, Newell explained, is "for the purpose of assuring that the final Apollo science program is well balanced, as complete as possible, and that all potential investigators have been given an opportunity to propose experiments." The proposals would then be reviewed by subcommittees of NASA's Space Sciences Steering Committee.
Members of the Gemini Flights Experiments Review Panel discussed procedures for incorporating Apollo-type experiments into the Gemini program, experiments that directly supported the three-man space program. These experiments encompassed crew observations, photography, and photometry.
OMSF outlined launch vehicle development, spacecraft development, and crew performance demonstration missions, using the Saturn IB and Saturn V:
To verify a narrower hatch configuration proposed for Block II spacecraft, North American evaluated the capability of an astronaut wearing a pressurized space suit and a portable life support system to pass through the main hatch of the CM for extravehicular activities. Subjects were able to enter and leave the mockup without undue difficulty despite the presence of gravity.
The first formal inspection and review of the LEM test mockup TM-1 was held at Grumman. TM-1 allowed early assessment of crew mobility, ingress, and egress. It was a full-size representation of crew stations, support and restraint systems, cabin equipment arrangement, lighting, display panels and instrument locations, and hatches. The TM-1 evaluation became the basis for the final LEM mockup, TM-5, from which actual hardware fabrication would be made.
The Boeing Company received NASA's go-ahead to develop the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Two significant changes were made in the original Statement of Work:
The General Electric (GE) Company submitted its cost quotations to NASA, starting the final phase of a program to provide Acceptance Checkout Equipment (ACE - formerly PACE (see February 1963)) ground stations for Apollo spacecraft. The overall "ACE" plan slated three ground stations for North American, two for Grumman, four for Cape Kennedy, and one for MSC. GE's contract called for spacecraft systems integration and checkout and for maintenance of the ACE stations. Much of the ACE equipment was government furnished and had been procured by NASA from several sources: Control Data Corporation - computer; Radiation, Inc. - "decommutators and pulse code modulation simulators." By May, GE had set up and commenced operating an experimental ACE station at Cape Kennedy.
Because of the pure oxygen atmosphere specified for the spacecraft, North American reviewed its requirements for component testing. Recent evaluation of the CM circuit breakers had indicated a high probability that they would cause a fire. The company's reliability office recommended more flammability testing, not only on circuit breakers but on the control and display components as well. The reliability people recommended also that procurement specifications be amended to include such testing.
Impact tests indicated that, because of oscillations and consequent high angles of attack, the CM might not withstand water impact and could sink. North American planned a series of water impact tests using boilerplate 28 to study the problem.
CSM boilerplate 12 (with launch escape system) was mated to its Little Joe II launch vehicle.
MSFC awarded Rocketdyne a definitive contract (valued at $158.4 million) for the production of 76 F-1 engines for the first stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle and for delivery of ground support equipment.
MSC negotiated a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract, valued at $1.65 million, with Hamilton Standard for 27 prototype Apollo space suits and 12 pairs of gloves.
The MSC Operations Planning Division (OPD) reviewed recent revisions by OMSF to Apollo's communications requirements:
Space Technology Laboratories (STL) began using its new San Juan Capistrano, Calif., test facility to static fire the firm's LEM descent engine. Hereafter, the bulk of STL's development firings were made at this site.
Grumman issued a letter contract to AiResearch Manufacturing Company to start design of cryogenic tank assemblies for the LEM fuel cells. AiResearch received the formal contract on June 23.
At the April 7-8 NASA-North American Technical Management Meeting (the first of these meetings to be held at MSC's new home, "NASA Clear Lake Site 1"), ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea summarized his office's recent activities concerning the Block II spacecraft. He spelled out those areas that ASPO was investigating - which included virtually the whole vehicle between escape tower and service engine bell. Shea outlined procedures for "customer and contractor" to work out the definitive Block II design, aiming at a target date of mid-May 1965. These procedures included NASA's giving North American descriptions of its Block II work, estimates of weight reduction, and a set of ground rules for the Block II design. And to ensure that both sides cooperated as closely as possible in this work, Shea named Owen E. Maynard, Chief of MSC's Systems Engineering Division, and his counterpart at Downey, Norman J. Ryker, Jr., to "honcho" the effort.
Bell Aerosystems Company completed the first of two lunar landing research vehicles, to be delivered to the NASA Flight Research Center for testing.
|Apollo - Apollo/Saturn 201 launched from Kennedy Space Center|
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ASPO gave Grumman specific instructions on insulating wiring in the LEM: Teflon-insulated wiring was mandatory in a pure oxygen atmosphere. If the standard-thickness Teflon insulation was too heavy, a thin- wall Teflon-insulated wiring with abrasion-resistant coating should be considered. Teflon-insulated wiring should also be used outside the pressurized cabin, wherever that wiring was exposed. Any approved spacecraft insulation could be used within subsystem modules which were hermetically sealed in an inert gas atmosphere or potted within the case.
Firings at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) and at Aerojet-General Corporation's Sacramento test site completed Phase I development tests of the SM propulsion engine. The last simulated altitude test at AEDC was a sustained burn of 635 seconds, which demonstrated the engine's capability for long-duration firing. Preliminary data indicated that performance was about three percent below specification, but analysis was in progress to see if it could be improved.
FIRE was a subscale model of the Apollo capsule used to verify the spacecraft's hypersonic flight and thermal characteristics. An Atlas D launch vehicle lifted a Project Fire spacecraft from Cape Kennedy in the first test of the heat that would be encountered by a spacecraft reentering the atmosphere at lunar-return velocity. During the spacecraft's fall toward earth, a solid-fuel Antares II rocket behind the payload fired for 30 seconds, increasing the descent speed to 40,501 kilometers (25,166 miles) per hour. Instruments in the spacecraft radioed temperature data to the ground. The spacecraft exterior reached an estimated temperature of 11,400 K (20,000 degrees F). About 32 minutes after launch, the spacecraft impacted into the Atlantic Ocean. The mission, sponsored by Langley Research Center, provided reentry heating measurements needed to evaluate heatshield materials and information on the communications blackout during reentry.
ASPO asked North American to investigate the possibility of designing apex-upright, stable flotation attitude into Block I and Block II CM's.
ASPO gave Grumman a go-ahead on procurement of the flight attitude indicator ("8-ball") and associated equipment for the LEM.
Grumman completed an environmental control system water management configuration study and concluded that a revised design would significantly improve the probability of mission success and crew safety. This design would combine water tanks for the water management functions into one easily accessible package.
MSC Crew Systems Division representatives attended a demonstration at Grumman of Apollo Phase B and Gemini space suits using the LEM TM-1 mockup and a mockup portable life support system. Tests demonstrated ingress egress capability through the forward and top hatches, operation of controls and displays, and methods of getting out on the lunar surface and returning to the spacecraft. Generally, the A7L Space Suit proved sufficiently mobile for all these tasks, though there was no great difference between its performance and that of the Gemini suit during these trials.
Dale D. Myers, North American's Space and Information Systems Division vice president, succeeded John W. Paup as the contractor's program manager for the CM.
NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) were planning a scientist-astronaut program. The screening-for-selection process could be scheduled for February 1965.
North American conducted a preliminary study on removal of one of three fuel cells from the Block II CSM. The contractor predicted a total weight saving of about 168 kilograms (370 pounds), with potential indirect reductions in the cryogenic systems, but this change would require a significant increase in reliability.
North American completed the first of a series of simulations to evaluate the astronauts' ability to perform attitude change maneuvers under varying rates and angles. Subjects were tested in a shirtsleeve environment and in vented and pressurized International Latex Corporation state-of-the-art pressure suits. The subjects had considerable difficulty making large, multi-axis attitude corrections because the pressurized suit restricted manipulation of the rotational hand controller.
MSC, North American, and Grumman reviewed development problems in the LEM and SM reaction control thrust chambers. They agreed that a reassessment of the chambers' operational and thermal parameters was necessary.
Joseph F. Shea, ASPO Manager, in a letter to North American's Apollo Program Manager, summarized MSC's review of the weight status of the Block I and the design changes projected for Block II CSM's.
The Block II design arose from the need to add docking and crew transfer capability to the CM. Reduction of the CM control weight (from 9,500 to 9,100 kilograms (21,000 to 20,000 pounds)) and deficiencies in several major subsystems added to the scope of the redesign.
Grumman conducted manned drop tests to determine the LEM crew's ability to land the spacecraft from a standing position. All tests were run with the subject in an unpressurized suit in a "hands off" standing position with no restraint system or arm rests.
NASA selected IBM, Federal Systems Division, to develop and build the instrument units (IU) for the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles. (IBM had been chosen by NASA in October 1963 to design and build the IU data adapters and digital guidance computers and to integrate and check out the IUs.) Under this new contract, expected to be worth over $175 million, IBM would supply the structure and the environmental control system. NASA would furnish the telemetry system and the stabilized platform (ST-124M) of the guidance system. MSFC would manage the contract.
ASPO directed Hamilton Standard to provide urine storage in the Apollo space suit for prelaunch and launch. The contractor was to investigate the suitability of a Mercury-Gemini type urinal for storage and subsequent disposal.
Officials from ASPO, Flight Crew Operations Directorate, Crew Systems Division, and Hamilton Standard established the basic ground rules for Apollo space suit operation:
Rocketdyne conducted the first firing of the prototype thrust chamber assembly for its LEM descent engine.
Grumman redesigned the LEM environmental control system to incorporate a replaceable lithium hydroxide cartridge with a portable life support system cartridge in parallel for emergency backup. The LEM cartridge would be replaced once during a two-day mission.
Also MSC advised Grumman that estimates of the metabolic rates for astronauts on the lunar surface had been increased. The major effect of this change was an increase in the requirements for oxygen and water for the portable life support system.
After completing estimates of the heating conditions for a series of MIT guided reentry trajectories, the MSC Engineering and Development Directorate recommended that the heatshield design philosophy be modified from the current "worst possible entry" to the "worst possible entry using either the primary or backup guidance mode." North American had drawn up the requirements early in 1962, with the intent of providing a heatshield that would not be a constraint on reentry. However, it was now deemed extremely unlikely that an entry, employing either the primary or backup guidance mode, would ever experience the heat loads that the contractor had designed for earlier. The ablator weight savings, using the MIT trajectories, could amount to several hundred pounds.
To train astronauts in various mission procedures, LTV had completed simulations of manual abort and, within a week, would be able to conduct simulated final maneuver phases of a rendezvous.
NASA definitized the letter contract with the Philco Corporation Techrep Division for spacecraft flight control support. The definitive contract covered the period from September 16, 1963, through March 31, 1965, and the total cost-plus-fixed-fee was $720,624.
The NASA Manned Space Science Division was planning a scientific experiments program for manned and unmanned earth orbital flights. The manned program would be a direct outgrowth of the Gemini experiments program.
Representatives from a number of elements within MSC (including systems and structural engineers, advanced systems and rendezvous experts, and two astronauts, Edward H. White II and Elliot M. See, Jr.) discussed the idea of deleting the LEM's front docking capability (an idea spawned by the recent TM-1 mockup review). Rather than nose-to-nose docking, the LEM crew might be able to perform the rendezvous and docking maneuver, docking at the spacecraft's upper (transfer) hatch, by using a window above the LEM commander's head to enable him to see his target.
At Downey, Calif., MSC and North American officials conducted a mockup review on the Block I CSM. Major items reviewed were:
For the first time, three representative Apollo space suits were used in the CM couches. Pressurized suit demonstrations, with three suited astronauts lying side by side in the couches, showed that the prototype suit shoulders and elbows overlapped and prevented effective operation of the CM displays and controls. Previous tests, using only one suited subject, had indicated that suit mobility was adequate. Gemini suits, tested under the same conditions, proved much more usable. Moreover, using Gemini suits for Apollo earth orbital missions promised a substantial financial saving. As a result of further tests conducted in May, the decision was made to use the Gemini suits for these missions. The existing Apollo space suit contract effort was redirected to concentrate on later Apollo flights. A redesign of the Apollo suit shoulders and elbows also was begun.
Apollo Mission Planning Task Force specified the program's mission objectives and ground rules.
Apollo Saturn Mission A-101, using CM BP-13 atop SA-6 Saturn I launch vehicle, launched at Cape Kennedy, Fla., to prove spacecraft/launch vehicle compatibility. Boilerplate CSM, LM adapter, LES. LES jettison demonstrated.
NASA directed North American Aviation, Inc. (NAA), to make certain mandatory changes to both Block I and Block II spacecraft systems.
Ground rules for lunar excursion module guidance and control system firmly defined.
Apollo Mission A-102, using BP-15 for the command and service modules (CSM) and SA-7 for the launch vehicle, confirmed Saturn Block II and CSM compatibility as well as the launch escape vehicle system.
Apollo systems test. Third orbital test. First closed-loop guidance test.
NAA conducted formal inspection and review of Block II CSM mockup.
On the basis of new abort criteria (failure of one fuel cell), extended operating periods, and additional data on fuel cell performance, Grumman recommended a 20.4 kg (45-lb), 1,800 watt-hour auxiliary battery for the LEM. MSC approved the recommendation and Grumman completed the redesign of the electrical power distribution system and resizing of the battery during late October and early November.
North American switched to a spring-activated pop-up antenna for the command module (CM) high-frequency recovery radio.
Ceremonies in Washington marked the sixth anniversary of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Administrator James E. Webb reminded those present of NASA's unique contribution to America's mission and destiny, then read a message from President Johnson: "We must be first in space and in aeronautics," the President said, "to maintain first place on earth. . . . Significant as our success has been, it is but indicative of the far greater advances that mankind can expect from our aeronautical and space efforts in the coming years. We have reached a new threshold . . . which opens to us the widest possibilities for the future." Two days later, in an address in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Webb observed that "as the national space program moves into its seventh year, the United States has reached the half-way point in the broad-based accelerated program for the present decade." America was halfway to the moon.
Representatives from Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, North American Aviation, Inc., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Instrumentation Laboratory, three of the Manned Spacecraft Center's (MSC) principal contractors, met with radar and guidance and navigation experts from Houston and Cape Kennedy. They formulated a detailed plan for testing and checkout of the lunar excursion module (LEM) rendezvous and landing radar systems both at the factory and at the launch site.
MSC's Apollo Spacecraft Program Office (ASPO) approved a plan (put forward by the MSC Advanced Spacecraft Technology Division to verify the CM's radiation shielding. Checkout of the radiation instrumentation would be made during manned earth orbital flights. The spacecraft would then be subjected to a radiation environment during the first two unmanned Saturn V flights. These missions, 501 and 502, with apogees of about 18,520 km (10,000 nm), would verify the shielding. Gamma probe verification, using spacecraft 008, would be performed in Houston during 1966. Only Block I CM's would be used in these ground and flight tests. Radiation shielding would be unaffected by the change to Block II status.
MSC submitted a Request for Proposals to General Electric Company (GE) for two additional spacecraft acceptance checkout ground stations. Eight million dollars was the estimated cost of the added equipment.
ASPO notified Grumman and North American that it had canceled requirements for Apollo part task trainers.
NASA conducted a formal review of the LEM mockup M-5 at the Grumman factory. This inspection was intended to affirm that the M-5 configuration reflected all design requirements and to definitize the LEM configuration. Members of the Mockup Review Board were Chairman Owen E. Maynard, Chief, Systems Engineering Division, ASPO; R. W. Carbee, LEM Subsystem Project Engineer, Grumman; Maxime A. Faget, Assistant Director for Engineering and Development, MSC; Thomas J. Kelly, LEM Project Engineer, Grumman; Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. (represented by Sigurd A. Sjoberg), Assistant Director for Flight Operations, MSC; Owen G. Morris, Chief, Reliability and Quality Assurance Division, ASPO; William F. Rector III, LEM Project Officer, ASPO; and Donald K. Slayton, Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, MSC.
The astronauts' review was held on October 5 and 6. It included demonstrations of entering and getting out of the LEM, techniques for climbing and descending the ladder, and crew mobility inside the spacecraft. The general inspection was held on the 7th and the Review Board met on the 8th. Those attending the review used request for change (RFC) forms to propose spacecraft design alterations. Before submission to the Board, these requests were discussed by contractor personnel and NASA coordinators to assess their effect upon system design, interfaces, weight, and reliability.
The inspection categories were crew provisions; controls, displays, and lighting; the stabilization and control system and the guidance and navigation radar; electrical power; propulsion (ascent, descent, reaction control system, and pyrotechnics ; power generation cryogenic storage and fuel cell assemblies ; environmental control; communications and instrumentation; structures and landing gear; scientific equipment; and reliability and quality' control. A total of 148 RFCs were submitted. Most were aimed at enhancing the spacecraft's operational capability; considerable attention also was given to quality and reliability and to ground checkout of various systems. No major redesigns of the configuration were suggested.
As a result of this review, the Board recommended that Grumman take immediate action on those RFC's which it had approved. Further, the LEM contractor and MSC should promptly investigate those items which the Board had assigned for further study. On the basis of the revised M-5 configuration, Grumman could proceed with LEM development and qualification. This updated mockup would be the basis for tooling and fabrication of the initial hardware as well.
Radio Corporation of America's (RCA) Aerospace Systems Division received a 9 million contract from Grumman for the LEM attitude translation control assembly (ATCA). The ATCA, a device to maintain the spacecraft's attitude, would fire the reaction control system motors in response to signals from the primary guidance system.
On the basis of reentry simulations, North American recommended several CM instrument changes. An additional reaction control system display was needed, the company reported. Further, the flight attitude and the stabilization and control system indicators must be modified to warn of a system failure before it became catastrophic. The entry monitor system for Block I spacecraft would have to be replaced and the sample g-meter was not wholly satisfactory.
RCA reduced the weight of the LEM rendezvous radar from 39.9 to 31.98 kg (88 to 70.5 lbs).
North American representatives visited the Grumman plant to discuss design features and to inspect the electroluminescent lighting on the LEM. North American intended to adopt this same feature on Block II CMs.
|Apollo - KSC Launch Complex 34 during Apollo/Saturn Mission 202 pre-launch alert|
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MSC established the configuration of the reaction control system engines for both the service module (SM) and the LEM, and informed North American and Grumman accordingly. The Center also directed North American to propose a design for an electric heater that would provide thermal control in lunar orbit and during contingency operations. The design would be evaluated for use in Block I spacecraft as well.
NASA and Grumman representatives discussed a weight reduction program for the LEM. Changes approved at the M-5 mockup review portended an increase in LEM separation weight of from 68 to 453 kg (150 to 1,000 lbs). Both parties agreed to evaluate the alternatives of either resizing the spacecraft or finding ways to lighten it about nine percent, thus keeping the improved LEM within the present control weight.
NASA approved Grumman's selection of Airite to supply the LEM helium tanks, and the two firms started negotiations.
Grumman lighting experts evaluated self-luminous materials produced by the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company and found them feasible for use in docking lighting.
Grumman completed contract negotiations with Arma Division, American Bosch Arma Corporation, for the LEM caution and warning electronics assembly.
At a North American-Grumman interface meeting on September 23-24, two possible relative role alignments for CSM-active docking were agreed upon. The major item blocking final selection was the effect of the SM's reaction control system engines upon the LEM antennas. ASPO requested Grumman to investigate the problem, to analyze the design penalties of the two-attitude docking mode, and to report any other factors that would influence the final attitude selection.
MSC notified Grumman of several additional LEM guidance and navigation ground rules that were applicable to the coasting phase of the mission. During this portion of the flight, the LEM abort guidance system must be capable of giving attitude information and of measuring velocity changes. Navigational data required to take the LEM out of the coasting phase and to put it on an intercept course with the CSM would be provided by the CSM's rendezvous radar and its guidance and navigation system, and through the Manned Space Flight Network back on earth.
North American and MIT Instrumentation Laboratory representatives met in Houston to discuss electrical power requirements for the guidance and control systems in Block II CMs. They had determined the additional electrical power needed for the guidance and control system 24 volts was available,
In a letter to NASA Administrator James E. Webb, AC Spark Plug reported that the first Apollo guidance system completed acceptance testing and was shipped at 11:30 p.m. and arrived at Downey, California, early the following day. AC reported that in more than 2,000 hours of operation they had found the system to be "remarkably reliable, accurate and simple to operate."
Eagle-Picher Company completed qualification testing on the 25-amperehour reentry batteries for the CM. Shortly thereafter, Eagle-Picher received authorization from North American to proceed with design and development of the larger 40-ampere-hour batteries needed for the later Block I and all Block II spacecraft.
In a letter to Apollo Program Director General Samuel C. Phillips, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea pointed out that Bellcomm, under contract to NASA, had a subcontract with Space Technology Laboratories (STL) and that MSC had a contract with STL covering the same basic areas as the Bellcomm-STL subcontract. Shea told Phillips that STL was not allowed to use the information on the MSC contract which had been obtained on the Bellcomm contract, and requested that STL be permitted to use the information on the MSC contract.
Grumman completed the fuel cell assembly thermal study and was preparing a specific directive to Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Company which would incorporate changes recommended by the study. These changes would include the cooling of electrical components with hydrogen and the shifting of other components (water shutoff valves, and oxygen purge valve) so that they would operate at their higher design temperatures.
Because they were unable to find a satisfactory means of plating the magnesium castings for the CM data storage equipment (to fulfil the one percent salt spray requirement), Collins Radio Company and the Leach Corporation were forced to use aluminum as an alternative. This change would increase the weight of the structure by about 2.3 kg (5 lbs) and, perhaps even more significant, could produce flutter when the recorder was subjected to vibration tests. These potential problems would be pursued when a finished aluminum casting was available.
The Air Force Eastern Test Command concurred in the elimination of propellant dispersal systems for the SM and the LEM. Costs, schedules, and spacecraft designs, NASA felt, would all benefit from this action. ASPO thus notified the appropriate module contractors.
Remote operation of the CSM's rendezvous radar transponder and its stabilization and control system (SCS) was not necessary, ASPO told North American. Should the CSM pilot be incapacitated, it was assumed that he could perform several tasks before becoming totally disabled, including turning on the transponder and the SCS. No maneuvers by the CSM would be required during this period. However, the vehicle would have to be stabilized during LEM ascent, rendezvous, and docking.
MSC's Systems Engineering Division reported on the consequences of eliminating the command and service module (CSM) rendezvous radar:
Representatives from the MSC Astronaut Office, and ASPO's Systems Engineering, Crew Systems, and Mission Planning divisions made several significant decisions on crew transfer and space suit procedures:
A number of outstanding points were resolved at a joint MSC-Grumman meeting on LEM communications. Most significant, the VHF key mode was deleted, and it was decided that, during rendezvous, voice links must have priority over all other VHF transmissions. Further, the echo feature of the current configuration (i.e., voice sent to the LEM by the ground operational support system, then relayed back via the S-band link) was undesirable.
The Guidance and Control Implementation Sub-Panel of the MSC-MSFC Flight Mechanics Panel defined the guidance and control interfaces for Block I and II missions. In Block II missions the CSM's guidance system would guide the three stages of the Saturn V vehicle; it would control the S- IVB (third stage) and the CSM while in earth orbit; and it would perform the injection into a lunar trajectory. In all of this, the CSM guidance backed up the Saturn ST-124 platform. Actual sequencing was performed by the Saturn V computer.
North American and Honeywell reviewed the Block II CSM entry monitor subsystem's compatibility with the stabilization and control system. The proposed configuration, they found, combined maximum reliability with minimum size and weight and would provide adequate mission performance.
Three Pratt and Whitney fuel cells were operated in a simulated space vacuum at North American for 19, 20, and 21 hours. This was the first time three cells were operated as an electrical power generating subsystem.
In a letter on August 25, 1964, the LEM Project Office had requested Grumman to define the means by which CSM stabilization and rendezvous radar transponder operation could be provided remotely in the event the CSM crewman was disabled.
In another letter on October 16, the Project Office notified Grumman that no requirement existed for remote operation of either the rendezvous radar transponder or the stabilization and control system. The letter added, however, that the possibility of an incapacitated CSM astronaut must be considered and that for design purposes Grumman should assume that the astronaut would perform certain functions prior to becoming completely disabled. These functions could include turning on the transponder and the SCS. No CSM maneuvers would be required during the period in which the CSM astronaut was disabled but the CSM must remain stabilized during LEM ascent coast and rendezvous and docking phases.
MSC and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) negotiated a $1,500,000 fixed-price contract for the Apollo guidance and navigation system backup computer.
On October 19, a supplemental agreement in the amount of $115,000,000 was issued to North American, bringing the total funded amount of the CSM contract to $1,136,890,000.
MSC ordered Grumman to halt work on the LEM test article (LTA) 10. The LTA-10's descent stage would be replaced with one cannibalized from LEM test mockup 5.
Heavy black deposits were discovered on the environmental control system (ECS) cold plates when they were removed from boilerplate 14. Several pinholes were found in the cold plate surfaces, and the aluminum lines were severely pitted. This was, as ASPO admitted, a matter of "extreme concern" to the ECS design people at North American, because the equipment had been charged with coolant for only three weeks. This evidence of excessive corrosion reemphasized the drawbacks of using ethylene glycol as a coolant.
MSC's Crew Systems Division investigated environmental control system (ECS) implications of using Gemini suits in Block I missions. The results indicated that the ECS was capable of maintaining nominal cabin temperature and carbon dioxide partial pressure levels; however, this mode of operation always had an adverse effect on cabin dewpoint temperature and water condensation rate.
In response to inquiries from General Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Deputy Director, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea declared that, for Apollo, no lunar mapping or survey capability was necessary. Shea reported that the Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter programs should give ample information about the moon's surface. For scientific purposes, he said, a simpler photographic system could be included without requiring any significant design changes in the spacecraft.
ASPO deleted the requirement for LEM checkout during the translunar phase of the mission. Thus the length of time that the CM must be capable of maintaining pressure in the LEM (for normal leakage in the docked configuration) was reduced from 10 hours to three.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed a meeting on October 29 between representatives of NASA Headquarters, Bellcomm, MSC, MIT, and JPL to present the requirements and status of projects underway as they related to the landing aid problem. The Surveyor Block II study effort was concentrating on determining needs of obtaining data on the lunar surface and environment for Apollo.
The trajectory summary of the Design Reference Mission (DRM) prepared by the Apollo Mission Planning Task Force was sent to Grumman by the LEM Project Office with a note that the operational sequence-of-events would be forwarded in November.
It was acknowledged that a single mission could not serve to "completely define all the spacecraft functional requirements" but "such a mission has considerable value as a standard for various purposes on the Apollo Program."
Specifically, the DRM would be used for weight reporting, electrical power reporting, reliability modeling, engineering simulation, crew task analyses, mission-related Interface Control Documents, and trade-off studies.
Because of the redesign of the portable life support system that would be required, MSC directed Grumman and North American to drop the "buddy system" concept for the spacecraft environmental control system (ECS) umbilicals. The two LEM crewmen would transfer from the CM while attached to that module's umbilicals. Hookup with the LEM umbilicals, and ventilation from the LEM ECS, would be achieved before disconnecting the first set of lifelines. MSC requested North American to cooperate with Grumman and Hamilton Standard on the design of the fetal end of the umbilicals. Also, the two spacecraft contractors were directed jointly to determine umbilical lengths and LEM ECS control locations required for such transfer.
ASPO requested Grumman to list all single-point failures that would cause loss of the crew during a lunar orbit rendezvous mission. Grumman was to consider only the equipment that it was responsible for.
NASA announced the appointment of Major General Samuel C. Phillips as Director of the Apollo Program. Phillips thus assumed part of the duties of George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator of Manned Space Flight, who had been serving as Apollo Director as well. Phillips had been Deputy Director since January 15.
MSC ordered North American to halt procurement of a CM simulator. Instead, the company was to begin a simulator program using the two existing evaluator-type CMs in conjunction with the digital-analog computer facility. These evaluators would be used to verify the guidance and navigation and stabilization and control system software, and to analyze crew tasks and failure effects.
Testing of the first flight-weight 15-cell stack of the LEM fuel cell assembly began. Although the voltage was three percent below design, the unit had a 980-watt capability. Earlier, the unit completed 150 hours of operation, and single cell life had reached 662 hours.
At Langley Research Center, representatives from Langley, MSC, Ames Research Center, Avco Corporation, and North American met to discuss their independent conclusions of the data gathered from the Scout test of the Apollo heatshield material and to determine whether a second test was advisable. Langley's report revealed that: the heatshield materials performed as predicted within the flight condition appropriate to Apollo; the excessive recession rates occurred during flight conditions which were more severe than those considered for the design of the heatshield or expected during Apollo reentries.
Each group represented had a different interpretation of the reasons for the excessively high surface recession. The conclusion was that a second flight of the heatshield materials on the Scout would not particularly improve the understanding of the material's performance because of the limited variation in reentry trajectory and flight conditions obtainable with the Scout vehicle.
ASPO's Operations Planning Division defined the current Apollo mission programming as envisioned by MSC. The overall Apollo flight program was described in terms of its major phases: Little Joe II flights (unmanned Little Joe II development and launch escape vehicle development); Saturn IB flights (unmanned Saturn IB and Block I CSM development, Block I CSM earth orbital operations, unmanned LEM development, and manned Block II CSM/LEM earth orbital operations); and Saturn V flights (unmanned Saturn V and Block II CSM development, manned Block II CSM/LEM earth orbital operations, and manned lunar missions).
MSC conducted a week-long salt spray test on the CM television camera's magnesium housing. This was necessitated by similar tests on the Leach data storage structure, which had disclosed the inadequacy of that equipment's nickel plating. The television camera, with its protective coating (AMS 2478, Dow 17 treatment), withstood the ordeal quite well. MSC therefore decided that the magnesium housing was acceptable.
Grumman reported to MSC the results of development tests on the welding of the LEM cabin's thin-gauge aluminum alloy. The stress and corrosion resistance of the metal, Grumman found, was not lessened by environments of pure oxygen, varying temperatures, and high humidity.
|Apollo - Apollo/Saturn Mission 202 launch|
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North American conducted the first operational deployment of the launch escape system canards. No problems were encountered with the wiring or the mechanism. Two more operational tests remained to complete the minimum airworthiness test program, a constraint on boilerplate 23.
MSC directed North American to halt development of a portable light assembly for the CM. It was not required, the Center said, because the spaceship's primary lighting system included extendable floodlights. Small lights on the fingertips of the space suit and a flashlight in the survival kit were also available if needed.
After studying the merits of three flush-mounted versus two scimitar VHF antennas for the Block II CSM, the MSC Instrumentation and Electronics Systems Division recommended the flush-mounted type.
North American conferred with representatives from Shell Chemical Company, Narmco, Epoxylite, and Ablestick on the problems of bonding the secondary structure to the CM. They agreed on improved methods of curing and clamping to strengthen the bond and prevent peeling.
The MSC Meteoroid Technology Branch inspected a hard shell meteoroid garment built by the Center's Crew Systems Division. It was only a crude prototype, yet it in no way hampered mobility of the pressurized suit. The Meteoroid Technology people were satisfied that, should a hard garment be necessary for protection of the Apollo extravehicular mobility unit, this concept was adequate. The garment might present stowage problems, however, and investigations were underway to determine the minimum area in the LEM that would be required.
An MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) medical representative attended a meeting on U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) participation in those NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF) and MSC radiobiology pro grams aimed at delineating the effects of high doses of whole-body radiation on man. The meeting was attended by NASA's Dr. W. R. Lovelace, Director, Office of Space Medicine; Dr. Dunham, Medical Director of the AEC; Dr. Grahn, head of the Argonne National Laboratory, Biology Division; Dr. Gould Andrews, Chief, Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies, Medicine Division; and OMSF and NASA Office of Advanced Research and Technology. CSD requested that the AEC whole-body radiation analysis be extended to include all future cases throughout the country and that the low dose rates being planned for a number of clinical conditions particularly be included. The ultimate objective was a computer, for MSC use, which would accept sequential radiation flux and type information and predict the occurrence of subsequent acute or chronic radiation illness or death. The program was agreed by everyone to be highly desirable. Dr. Dunham said that the AEC would not undertake it unless he had reasonable assurance of long-term support from NASA. A letter giving such assurance was being prepared for Dr. George E. Mueller's signature.
North American conducted the first drop test of boilerplate 28 at Downey, Calif. The test simulated the worst conditions that were anticipated in a three-parachute descent and water landing. The second drop, it was expected, would likewise simulate a landing on two parachutes. The drop appeared normal, but the spacecraft sank less than four minutes after hitting the water.
Astronaut Theodore C. Freeman died in an aircraft accident at Ellington Air Force Base, near Houston. Freeman, an Air Force captain and a member of NASA's third group of spacemen, was preparing to land his T-38 training jet when it struck a goose and lost power. He ejected from his aircraft, but did not have sufficient altitude for his parachute to open. Freeman thus became the first American astronaut to lose his life in the quest for the moon.
MSC spelled out additional details of the LEM environmental control system (ECS) umbilical arrangements. The hoses were to be permanently bonded to the ECS; a crossover valve, to permit flow reversal, was mandatory; and a bypass relief would be added, if necessary, to prevent fan surge. Grumman was to coordinate with North American to ensure that all umbilicals were long enough for crew transfer and to determine the optimum location for the spacecraft's ECS switches.
Bellcomm, Inc., presented its evaluation of the requirement for a q-ball in the emergency detection system. (The device, enclosed in the nose cone atop the launch escape tower, measured dynamic pressures and thus monitored the vehicle's angle of attack, and was designed to warn the crew of an impending breakup of the vehicle.) Bellcomm's findings confirmed that the q-ball was absolutely essential and that the device was ideally suited to its task.
NASA announced the appointment of Brig. Gen. David M. Jones as Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight (effective December 15). Most recently, Jones had been Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems, in the Air Force Systems Command. He would be "primarily concerned with major development problems in the Gemini and Apollo Programs, the planning for Advanced Missions and all Mission Operations." Further, Jones would "work with other NASA program offices to insure optimum use of other elements of NASA to accomplish program objectives."
International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT) Federal Laboratories' Astrionics Center received a $125,000 contract from Collins Radio for the S-band acquisition receivers that position the ground-based dish antennas toward the spacecraft.
Engineers from the MSC Crew Systems Division and from North American discussed testing of the breadboard environmental control system. During all flights - both manned and unmanned - North American must monitor the cabin atmosphere by gas chromatography and mass spectrography. The company should also compare the materials for the breadboard with those for Mercury, Gemini, and other applicable space chambers.
MSC authorized Grumman to proceed with procurement of a battery charger for the LEM, to replenish the portable life support system's power source. On the following day, Houston informed North American such a device was no longer needed in the CSM.
The Apollo Space Suit Assembly received a new designation, the Apollo Extravehicular Mobility Unit. The purpose of the change was to make it more descriptive of its function in the Apollo mission.
Engineers from Grumman and the MSC Instrumentation and Electronics Systems Division (IESD) reviewed the coverage requirements for the LEM's S-band radio and the incompatibility of those requirements with the present location of the steerable antenna. Most observers felt that a deployable boom was the only feasible solution. The two groups therefore recommended that IESD verify with ASPO the S-band coverage requirements and that Grumman analyze the design effects of such a boom. In the meantime, Dalmo-Victor, the antenna vendor, should continue its design effort on the basis of the current location.
During a mechanical loading test (simulating a 20-g reentry) the CM aft heatshield failed at 120 percent of maximum load. Structures and Mechanics Division engineers inspected the structure. They found that the inner skin had buckled, the damage extending three quarters of the way around the bolt circle that secured the heatshield to the spacecraft's inner structure. Their findings would be used along with data from the recent drop of boilerplate 28 to determine what redesign was necessary.
MSC informed North American that a flashing light on the CSM, as an aid for visual rendezvous, was not required. (A request for some such device had been generated at the Block II mockup review.) Houston's position was based on the current CSM/LEM configuration, which called for rendezvous radar on both spacecraft and the ability of both vehicles to effect the rendezvous using either its own radar or that in the target vehicle.
ASPO officials completed a preliminary evaluation of the design and weight implications of an all-battery electrical power system (EPS) for the LEM. Investigators reviewed those factors that resulted in the decision (in March 1963) to employ fuel cells; also, they surveyed recent technological improvements in silver-zinc batteries.
At about the same time, Grumman was analyzing the auxiliary battery requirements of the spacecraft. The contractor found that, under the worst possible conditions (i.e., lunar abort), the LEM would need about 1,700 watt-hours of auxiliary power. Accordingly, Grumman recommended one 1,700 watt-hour or two 850 watt-hour batteries (23 and 29.5 kg (50 and 65 lbs), respectively) in the spacecraft's ascent stage.
NASA anticipated five significant milestones for the LEM during the forthcoming year:
NASA and AC Spark Plug amended the company's contract for guidance and navigation equipment. The change embodied an incentive clause, based on a cost-schedule-performance scheme, and placed the estimated cost of the contract at $235,000,000.
Joseph G. Thibodaux, Jr., MSC Propulsion and Power Division, reported at an Apollo Engineering and Development technical management meeting that the first J-2 firing of the service propulsion system engine was conducted at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Two fuel cell endurance tests of greater than 400 hours were completed at Pratt and Whitney. MSC would receive a single cell for testing during the month.
MSC's Structures and Mechanics Division and ASPO reviewed the LTA-10 test program to resolve the stop-work imposed upon Grumman. The review resulted in an agreement to have LTA-10 remain in the program with a modified configuration. LTA-10 would be used by North American at Tulsa, Oklahoma, for adapter/LEM modal and separation testing and would consist only of descent stage structure. Subsystems for LTA-10 which were eliminated were the ascent stage, landing gear, ascent propulsion and descent propulsion.
MSC analyzed Grumman's report on their program to resize the LEM. On the basis of this information, ASPO recommended that the propellant tanks be resized for separation and lunar liftoff weights of 14,742 and 4,908 kg (32,500 and 10,820 lbs), respectively. Studies should investigate the feasibility of an optical rendezvous device and the substitution of batteries for fuel cells. And finally, engineering managers from both Grumman and MSC should examine a selected list of weight reduction changes to determine whether they could immediately be implemented.
Shorting had become a significant problem in the LEM fuel cells, and exemplified the continuing difficulties that plagued the system's development.
In its search for some method of reducing water impact pressures, North American was considering adding a 15- to 30.5-cm (6- to 12-in) "lump" to the CM's blunt face. The spacecraft manufacturer was also investigating such consequent factors as additional wind tunnel testing, the effect on heatshield design, and impact upon the overall Apollo program.
MSC reviewed a number of alternatives to the current design of the space suit helmet. Engineers selected a modified concept, one with the smallest feasible dimensions and began fabricating a thin fiber glass shell. The product would serve as the test article in a series of tests of an immobile, bubble-type helmet. The whole of this effort would support MSC's in-house program to find the best possible helmet design.
More careful examination of the boilerplate 28 aft heatshield indicated that the shear failures were in the face sheet splices which were not in the same locations as the core splices.
There appeared to be some confusion and/or disagreement concerning whether one or two successful Saturn V reentry tests were required to qualify the CM heatshield. A number of documents relating to instrumentation planning for the 501 and 502 flight indicated that two successful reentries would be required. The preliminary mission requirements document indicated that only a single successful reentry trajectory would be necessary. The decision would influence the measurement range capability of some heatshield transducers and the mission planning activity being conducted by the Apollo Trajectory Support Office. The Structures and Mechanics Division had been requested to provide Systems Engineering with its recommendation.
MSC defined the requirements for visual docking aids on both of the Apollo spacecraft:
Robert E. Smylie, of the MSC Crew Systems Division, cited Hamilton Standard's reliability figures for the Apollo space suit assembly, including the suit per se and the portable life support system (PLSS):
|Item||Mission Success||Crew Safety|
|PLSS (Liquid cooled)||0.9995||0.99999|
NASA test pilot Joseph A. Walker flew the LLRV for the second time. The first attempted liftoff, into a 9.26-km (5-nm) breeze, was stopped because of excessive drift to the rear. The vehicle was then turned to head downwind and liftoff was accomplished. While airborne the LLRV drifted with the wind and descent to touchdown was accomplished. Touchdown and resulting rollout (at that time the vehicle was on casters) took the LLRV over an iron-door-covered pit. One door blew off but did not strike the vehicle.
Crew Systems Division (CSD) was proceeding with procurement of an inflight metabolic simulator in response to a request by Systems Engineering Division. The simulator would be used to support the LEM mission for SA-206 and would be compatible for use in the CM. Responsibility for the project had been assigned to the Manager of the LEM Environmental Control System Office. It was projected that the Statement of Work would be completed by January 15, 1965; the proposals evaluated by April 1; the contract awarded by June 1, 1965; the prototype delivered by April 1, 1966, with two qualified simulator deliveries by July 1, 1966.
After investigating the maximum radiation levels that were anticipated during Apollo earth orbit missions, North American confirmed the need for some type of nuclear particle detection system (NPDS). Except for periods of extremely high flux rates, the current design of the NPDS was considered adequate. During the same reporting period, North American awarded a contract to Philco to build the system.
The Apollo Mission Planning Task Force met in Bethpage, New York, to define prelaunch handling procedures at the launch complex during lunar missions. At the meeting were representatives of those groups most intimately concerned with pad operations ASPO and the MSC Flight Operations Directorate, Grumman, North American, GE, and the Kennedy launch center. The task force agreed on several fundamental items:
The Emergency Detection System (EDS) Design Sub-Panel of the Apollo-Saturn Electrical Systems Integration Panel held its first meeting at North American's Systems and Information Division facility at Downey, Calif. A. Dennett of MSC and W. G. Shields of MSFC co-chaired the meeting.
Personnel from MSC, MSFC, KSC, OMSF, and North American attended the meeting. Included in the discussions were a review of the EDS design for both the launch vehicle and spacecraft along with related ground support equipment; a review of the differences of design and checkout concepts; and a review of EDS status lights in the spacecraft.
Ling-Temco-Vought received a contract from MSC, valued at $365,000, for unmanned testing of Gemini and Apollo space suits in the firm's space environment simulator.
The MSC Crew Systems Division reviewed the extravehicular mobility unit micrometeoroid protection garment. It was estimated a total weight of 13 to 18 kg (30 to 40 lbs) would be required for the two micrometeoroid protection garments which had a crew safety reliability goal of 0.9999 for the meteoroid hazard. Ground rules for their design were being defined.
MSC's Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, Donald K. Slayton, told the Apollo Program Manager that the current display and keyboard (DSKY) for the Block II CSM and for the LEM were not compatible with existing display panel design of both vehicles from the standpoint of lighting, nomenclature presentation, and caution warning philosophy. In his memorandum, Slayton pointed out mandatory operational requirements of the DSKY to ensure compatibility and consistency with the existing spacecraft display panel design.
With reference to lighting, he said all numerics should be green, nomenclature and status lights white, and caution lights should be aviation yellow. All panel lighting should be dimmable throughout the entire range of brightness, including off.
In regard to nomenclature, Slayton pointed out that abbreviations on the DSKY should conform to the North American Interface Control Document (ICD). The referenced ICD was being reviewed by Grumman and North American and was scheduled to be signed December 1, 1964.
Referring to the caution and warning system, he pointed out that all caution lights on the DSKY should be gated into the primary navigation and guidance system (PNGS) caution light on the main instrument panel of both vehicles and into the PNGS caution light on the lower equipment bay panel of the CM.
Slayton requested that preliminary designs of the DSKY panel be submitted to the Subsystem Managers for Controls and Displays for review and approval.
The MSC-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Guidance and Control Implementation Sub-Panel set forth several procedural rules for translunar injection (TLI):
|Apollo - Liftoff of Saturn Mission 203|
Credit: NASA. 12,773 bytes. 243 x 469 pixels.
MSC determined that the lights on the fingertips of the space suits were adequate to supplement the CM's interior lighting. Thus North American's efforts to develop a portable light in the spacecraft were canceled. The exact requirements for those fingertip lights now had to be defined. The astronauts preferred red bulbs, which would necessitate a redesign of the existing Gemini system. (See October 29-November 5.)
MSC conducted studies to determine problems in donning and doffing the Apollo external thermal garment (ETG) and portable life support system (PLSS) by a subject in a full-pressure suit. The subject donned and doffed the ETG and PLSS unassisted with the suit in a vented condition and with assistance while the suit was pressurized to 25.5 kilonewtons per sq m (3.7 psig). Tests showed the necessity of redesigning the ETG in the neck and chest area to prevent a gathering of excess material which restricted downward visibility.
To ensure that the redesigned landing gear on the resized LEM would be consistent with earlier criteria, MSC sent to Grumman revisions to those design criteria:
In flights that simulated the moon's gravity, MSC technicians evaluated the astronaut's ability to remove scientific packages from the descent stage of the LEM. They affirmed the relative ease with which large containers (about 0.226 cu m (8 cu ft) and weighing 81.65 kg (180 lbs)) could be extracted and carried about.
The current thrust buildup time for the LEM ascent engine was 0.3 second. To avoid redesigning the engine valve-which was already the pacing item in the ascent engine's development - MSC directed Grumman simply to change the specification value from 0.2 to 0.3 second.
At the same time, engineers at the Center began studying ways to increase the engine's thrust. Because of the LEM's weight gains, the engine must either be uprated or it would have to burn longer. Preliminary studies showed that, by using a phase "B" chamber (designed for a chamber pressure of 689.5 kilonewtons per sq m (100 psia)), thus producing chamber pressure of about 792.9 kilonewtons (115 psia), the thrust could be increased from 1,587 to 1,814 kg (3,500 to 4,000 lbs). Moreover, this could be accomplished with the present pressurization and propellant feed systems.
Officials from North American and MSC Crew Systems Division defined the container design and stowage of survival kits in the Block II CM. The equipment would be packed in fabric rucksacks and would be installed in the spacecraft's stowage compartment. (This method eliminated a removable hard container used in the Block I vehicle and would save weight.)
MSC asked Grumman to design and fabricate a prototype for a lunar sample return container. This effort would explore handling procedures and compatibility with both spacecraft. Concurrently, the Center's Advanced Spacecraft Technology Division was studying structural and packaging requirements for such a container.
MSC was giving serious thought to using radioisotope generators to power the Apollo lunar surface experiments packages. If some method could be found to control waste heat, such a device would be the lightest source of power available. Accordingly, the Center asked Grumman to study the feasibility of incorporating it into the LEM's scientific payload. The company should analyze thermal and radiological problems, as well as methods of stowage, together with the possibility of using the generator for power and heat during the flight. To minimize the problem of integration, Grumman was allowed much flexibility in designing the unit. Basically, however, it would measure about 0.07 cu m (2.5 cu ft) and would weigh between 13 and 18 kg (30 and 40 lbs). Its energy source (plutonium 238) would produce about 50 watts of electricity (29 volts, direct current).
MSC and Grumman representatives reviewed individual subsystem test logics for the LEM and agreed on test logic and associated hardware requirements for the entire subsystem development. Agreement was also reached on the vehicle ground test program which Grumman proposed to implement with their respective subcontractors during December. Cost and effort associated with the revised program would be jointly reviewed by MSC and Grumman during January and February 1965.
To solve the persisting problem of the integrity of the CM's aft heatshield during water impacts, MSC engineers were investigating several approaches: increasing the thickness of the face sheet (but with no change to the core itself); and replacing the stainless-steel honeycomb with a type of gridwork shell. Technicians felt that, of these two possibilities, the first seemed more efficient structurally.
North American received NASA's formal go-ahead on manufacture of the Block II spacecraft.
The CSM Configuration Control Panel, at its first meeting, approved several engineering changes. Perhaps the most significant was the substitution of an elapsed time display for the clock on the main display console.
MSC and Grumman reviewed the ground test program for the LEM guidance and navigation subsystem (including radar). All major milestones for hardware qualification would be met by the revised test logic, and both LEM and CSM radar were expected to be delivered on time. The major problem area was permissible deviations from fully qualified parts for pre-production equipment. Since this was apparently true for all LEM electronics equipment, it was recommended that an overall plan be approved by ASPO.
A "pre-FRR" laid some preliminaries for the formal Flight Readiness Review (ERR) of boilerplate 23 (held at WSMR on December 4, 1964). Because the boost protective cover had not been designed to sustain the dynamic pressures that would follow deployment of the canards and vehicle "turn-around," North American was asked to analyze the possibility of its failing.
Several other problems were aired - fluttering of the canards and the likelihood of damage to the parachute compartment during jettisoning of the launch escape tower and the boost cover. Joseph N. Kotanchik, chief of the Structures and Mechanics Division, confidently reported to ASPO that "these items will also be resolved prior to the ERR."
Grumman and MSC representatives met at Bethpage, New York, to establish requirements for a new hardware delivery schedule for the LEM ground development test program. This program would involve changes in the workload at the subcontractors, WSMR, AEDC, and Grumman. New delivery schedules for flight engines were also finalized at the meeting.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips that it was his desire to review the progress of the two subcontractors (Space Technology Laboratory and Rocketdyne) prior to the final evaluation and selection of a subcontractor for the LEM descent engine.
Shea had asked MSC's Maxime A. Faget to be chairman of a committee to accomplish the review, and would also ask the following individuals to serve: C. H. Lambert, W. F. Rector III, and J. G. Thibodaux, all of MSC; L. F. Belew, MSFC; M. Dandridge and J. A. Gavin, Grumman; I. A. Johnsen, Lewis Research Center; C. H. King, OMSF; Maj. W. R. Moe, Edwards Rocket Research Laboratory; and A. O. Tischler, NASA Office of Advanced Research and Technology.
The Committee should
The Configuration Control Panel approved a deployment angle of 45 degrees for the adapter panels on Block I flights. North American anticipated no schedule impact. MSC and North American were jointly evaluating the acceptability of this angle for Block II missions as well. A most important consideration was the necessity to communicate via the CM's high-gain antenna during the transposition and docking phase of the flight.
Because of heat from the service propulsion engine (especially during insertion into lunar orbit), a serious thermal problem existed for equipment in the rear of the SM. Reviewing the rendezvous radar's installation, the Guidance and Control Division felt that a heatshield might be needed to protect the equipment. Similar problems might also be encountered with the steerable antenna.
MSC informed North American that the Center would furnish a VHF transmitter to serve as a telemetry dump for all manned Block I flights. This would permit wide flexibility in testing the CSM S-band's compatibility with the Manned Space Flight Network prior to Block II missions.
Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers evaluated the radiator for the environmental control system in Block I CSM's. The division was certain that, because of that item's inadequacy, Block I missions would have to be shortened.
During the same period, however, the Systems Engineering Division (SED) reported "progress" in solving the radiator problem. SED stated that some "disagreement" existed on the radiator's capability. North American predicted a five-day capability; CSD placed the mission's limit at about two days. SED ordered further testing on the equipment to reconcile this difference.
Crew Systems Division gave space suit manufacturers the responsibility of providing personal communications equipment in their products.
Bell Aerosystems Company tested a high-performance injector for the LEM ascent engine. The new design was similar to the current one, except that the mixture ratio of the barrier flow along the chamber wall had been changed from 0.85 to 1.05. Bell reported a performance increase of 0.8 percent (about 2.5 sec of specific impulse). Subsequent testing, however, produced excessive erosion in the ablative wall of the thrust chamber caused by the higher temperature. The MSC Propulsion and Power Division (PPD) felt this method of increasing the ascent engine's performance might not be practicable.
At the same time, PPD reported that Bell had canceled its effort to find a lighter ablative material (part of the weight reduction program). A number of tests had been conducted on such materials; none was successful.
MSC's Flight Operations Directorate accepted KSC's proposal for emergency nitrogen deluge into the SM and spacecraft LEM adapter (SLA) in case of a hydrogen leak on the pad. The proposal was based upon no changes to the spacecraft and insertion to the SM SLA area in about three minutes. However, errors in volume estimation and inlet conditions in the spacecraft required reevaluation of the proposal to assure that insertion could be accomplished in a reasonable length of time without changes in the spacecraft.
Grumman selected the Leach Corporation to supply data storage electronics assemblies for the LEM. Conclusion of contract negotiations was anticipated about February 1, 1965. The resident Apollo office at Grumman gave its approval to the selection, with only two conditions:
General Precision's Link Group received a $7 million contract from NASA, through a subcontract with Grumman, for two LEM simulators, one at Houston and the other at Cape Kennedy. Along with comparable equipment for the CSM (also being developed by Link), the machines would serve as trainers for Apollo astronauts. The devices would duplicate the interior of the spacecraft; and visual displays would realistically simulate every phase of the mission.
Six flights of the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) were made during the month, bringing the total number to seven. The project pilot, Joseph Walker, made all flights and demonstrated a rapid increase in the ease and skill with which he handled the craft as the flights progressed.
Altitudes to between 18 and 21 m (60 and 70 ft) and flight duration up to three minutes were attained.
Acceptance testing was completed at Downey, California, on three principal systems trainers for the CSM (the environmental control, stabilization and control, and electrical power systems). The trainers were then shipped to Houston and installed at the site, arriving there December 8. They were constructed under the basic Apollo Spacecraft contract at a cost of $953,024.
North American tested the canard thrusters for the launch escape system, using both single and dual cartridges. These tests were to determine whether the pressure of residual gases was sufficient to maintain the canards in a fully deployed position. Investigators found that residual pressures remained fairly constant; further, the firing of a single cartridge produced ample pressure to keep the canards deployed.
MSC froze the design of the drogue mortar for the launch escape system. Laboratory qualification was scheduled to begin about the middle of the month. Qualification of the mortars for the pilot parachute would then follow.
After studying increased thrust versus increased burn time, Grumman ordered Bell Aerosystems Company to redesign the LEM's ascent engine for a longer firing duration.
MSC approved plans put forth by North American for mockups of the Block II CSM. For the crew compartment mockup, the company proposed using the metal shell that had originally been planned as a simulator. Except for the transfer tunnel and lighting, it would be complete, including mockups of all crew equipment.
Engineering and medical experts of the Crew Systems Division reviewed dumping helium from the CM's gas chromatograph into the cabin during reentry or in a pad abort. Reviewers decided that the resultant atmosphere (9.995 kilonewtons (1.45 psi) helium and 31.349 kilonewtons (4.55 psia) oxygen) posed no hazard for the crew. Systems Engineering Division recommended, however, that dump time be reduced from 15 minutes to three, which could readily be done.
At its Sacramento test site, Douglas Aircraft Company static-fired a "battleship" S-IVB second stage of the Saturn IB vehicle, for 10 sec. (A battleship rocket stage was roughly the vehicle's equivalent to a boilerplate spacecraft.) On January 4, 1965, after further testing of the stage's J-2 engine, the stage underwent its first full-duration firing, 480 sec.
MSC ordered North American to fix the rotation angle of the adapter panels at 45 degrees. (This angle should give ample clearance during an SM abort.) Also, so that each panel would have two attenuators, North American should include such a device at each thruster location.
On the same day, the Center directed North American to put a standard mechanical clock (displaying Greenwich Mean Time) in the lower equipment bay of the CM. (The spacecraft also had an elapsed time device on the main display console.)
Douglas Aircraft Company delivered the first S-IVB stage to Marshall Space Flight Center for extensive vibration, bending, and torsional testing. The stage was not an actual flight stage and contained mockups of the engine and other components, but it duplicated the flight article in weight, mass, center of gravity, and stiffness.
MSC advised Grumman that, normally, the LEM would be the active vehicle during lunar rendezvous. This would conserve reaction control system propellants aboard the CSM.
The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences was asked to give NASA an independent evaluation of the need for a lunar sampling handling facility at Houston. NASA asked that the following questions be answered:
Representatives of MSC's Information and Electronic Systems Division, Flight Operations Division, Flight Crew Operations Division, Guidance and Control Division, Astronaut Office, and ASPO, Goddard Space Flight Center, and Bellcomm, Inc., met to discuss communications during LEM and CSM rendezvous.
Capability of the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) to provide data for rendezvous was studied. Aaron Cohen of ASPO stated sufficient data could be collected, processed, and transmitted via MSFN to the LEM to achieve rendezvous. Dr. F. O. Vonbun of Goddard showed that MSFN data did little to improve data already available in the LEM before launch. Although five tracking stations would communicate with the LEM during ascent and the first 10 minutes of orbit, there would be only a slight improvement in spacecraft position and motion data over the data already contained in the LEM computer. No decision was made concerning the MSFN's capability.
Alternate rendezvous methods were discussed.
Boilerplate 23, Mission A-002, was successfully launched from WSMR by a Little Joe II launch vehicle. The test was to demonstrate satisfactory launch escape vehicle performance utilizing the canard subsystem and boost protective cover, and to verify the abort capability in the maximum dynamic pressure region with conditions approximating emergency detection subsystem limits.
A single main parachute was drop-tested at El Centro, Calif., to verify the ultimate strength. The parachute was designed for a disreef load of 11,703 kg (25,800 lbs) and a 1.35 safety factor. The test conditions were to achieve a disreef load of 15,876 kg (35,000 lbs. Preliminary information indicated the parachute deployed normally to the reefed shape (78,017 kg (17,200 lbs) force), disreefed after the programmed three seconds, and achieved an inflated load of 16,193 kg (35,700 lbs), after which the canopy failed.
MSC revised the weight allocation for the LEM's R&D instrumentation to bring it in line with current mission planning. Limitations established were 295 kg (650 lbs) for 206A and 181 kg (400 lbs) for all other missions.
Grumman and LEM Project Office representatives met to discuss the split bus distribution system. They decided there would be two circuit breaker panels similar to those of Mockup 5. All power distribution system controls would be located on the system engineer's center side console with remote controls and valves on the commander's center side console.
|Apollo - Artist's concept of prototype of Apollo Space suit|
Credit: NASA. 19,402 bytes. 224 x 459 pixels.
Grumman received from Houston criteria for firing times of the SM reaction control system (RCS). These served as a basis for the design of the LEM's steerable antenna. The thermal design proposed by Dalmo-Victor, the vendor, appeared feasible to watchdogs in MSC's Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division. On the other hand, the unbalanced wind torque produced by the RCS engines was still a problem. RCA and Dalmo-Victor's estimates of the amount of torque varied considerably, and Grumman consequently undertook a study of this problem.
MSC approved the use of one 23.68-kg (50-lb) auxiliary battery for the LEM, as recommended by Grumman, and preparations began for negotiations with Yardney Electric Corp.
Avco Corporation was under a 10-month contract amounting to $124,578 to MSC to study the effects of solar radiation and ultra-high vacuum on the materials and components of space suits. Testing would be performed in the Avco space environment chamber.
By improving filling and preparation procedures and by using nickel foil in the oxygen electrode, Pratt and Whitney eliminated both short- and long-term plugging in the LEM's fuel cell assembly. Since then, Pratt and Whitney had consistently operated single cells for over 400 hours and - as far as the company was concerned - felt this settled the matter.
Crew Systems Division received from North American a mockup of the proposed design of the food stowage compartment in the Block II CSM. This article would be used for packaging studies in preparation for the lower equipment bay mockup review in February.
Because of faults in both design and in testing procedures, the positive expulsion tanks for the CSM reaction control system failed their verification tests (begun during the preceding month).
The resident Apollo office at North American discussed the company's tooling concepts for the Block II spacecraft with the chief of Marshall's Planning and Tool Engineering Division and the local Marshall representative. These reviewers agreed on the suitability of North American's basic approach. Though they recognized that the initial tooling cost would be high, they nonetheless felt that the total costs of manufacturing would not be appreciably affected. The substitution of mechanical for optical checking devices, it was agreed, would eliminate much of the "judgment factor" from the inspection process; mechanical checking also would assure uniformity of major components or subsystems.
MSC directed Grummann to provide a LEM abort guidance section (AGS) having
From MSC, Grumman received updated criteria to be used in the design of the LEM's landing gear. The gear must be designed to absorb completely the landing impact; it must also provide adequate stability for the vehicle under varying surface conditions, which were spelled out in precise detail.) Maximum conditions that MSC anticipated at touchdown were:
vertical velocity - 3.05 m (10 ft) per sec
horizontal velocity - 1.22 m (4 ft) per sec
pitch - 3 degrees
roll - 3 degrees
yaw - random
attitude rates - 3 degrees per sec
At touchdown, all engines (descent and reaction control would be off. "It must be recognized," MSC emphasized, "that the vertical and horizontal velocity values . . . are also constraints on the flight control system."
ASPO's Operations Planning Division directed Grumman to provide six recharges of the portable life support system (PLSS) and three PLSS batteries (rechargeable and replaceable).
Dalmo-Victor studied thermal-demanded weight increases for the LEM's steerable antenna. Investigators reported to Grumman and RCA that, in the plume of the CSM's reaction control engines, 1.18 kg (2.5 lbs) was necessary merely for the survival of the antenna; another 1.18 kg would be required for tracking during this impingement.
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller informed MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that the Integrated Mission Control Center at MSC should be renamed Mission Control Center. He said, "By calling it the Mission Control Center, it has the advantage of retaining as much as possible of the original name which has become so well known to the press, the Congress and the public."
Phase II service propulsion system engine tests at Arnold Engineering Development Center were begun under simulated high altitude conditions with a successful first firing of 30 seconds. A total of nine firings were completed.
A mission planning presentation was given to ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea, Assistant Director for Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., and Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton covering missions AS-201, AS-202, and AS-203. Shea said he wanted either a natural decaying orbit of proper lifetime or reaction control system deorbit capability for the first manned missions. It was decided not to put a C-band beacon on the SM for the post CM/SM separation tracking. This decision came back to haunt the program much later.
Aboard a KC-135 from Wright-Patterson AFB, the fecal canister and urine relief tube were first tested under zero-g conditions. Similar manned tests of a complete unit were scheduled for February 1965.
Ames researchers conducted 23 runs in the Center's wind tunnel to confirm the flight test instrumentation's compatibility with the aft heatshield of the CM. The instrumentation performed satisfactorily.
NASA announced the selection of two firms to supply electronics equipment for the Manned Space Flight Network:
North American delivered spacecraft 001's CM to White Sands. The SM was shipped several days later, and would be used for propulsion engine development. Aerojet-General shipped the service propulsion engine to the facility on January 6, 1965.
NASA Administrator James E. Webb thanked Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara for providing aircraft support for the Apollo program. Webb informed McNamara that NASA had transferred $600,000 to the Electronic Systems Division of the Air Force, and "this should provide us the ability to initiate the definition phase of the C-135 Apollo support aircraft program." The aircraft would be used to supplement telemetry and communications coverage of the pre-injection phase of the flights.
Webb added that the Bureau of the Budget had the question of identifying four additional C-135's well on its way toward resolution; and that NASA would continue planning on the basis of 12 C-135 aircraft for the Apollo program.
McNamara had written Webb on November 27, 1964, that "The Air Force has completed a study of a number of alternative combinations of aircraft to meet Apollo requirements. They conclude that the optimum solution is to equip twelve C-135's to support Apollo . . ." Total cost of instrumenting 12 C-135's was estimated to cost $27.7 million, including the $600,000 for the definition phase.
Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers, in their continuing effort to improve the design of the space suit, recommended a number of modifications to the thermal garment for example, a larger sleeve opening to facilitate inserting the second arm; and alterations to the neck and chest to increase the astronaut's downward view. By the middle of January, CSD's Robert E. Smylie could report several major design changes improved greatly the suit's don doff characteristics and made it less bulky.
The Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) summarized the thermal status of antennas for the Apollo spacecraft (both CSM and LEM). Generally, most troubles stemmed from plume impingement by the reaction control or radiation from the service propulsion engines. These problems, SMD reported, were being solved by increasing the weight of an antenna either its structural weight or its insulation; by shielding it from the engines' exhaust; by isolating its more critical components; or by a combination of these methods.
In response to MSC's new criteria for the landing gear of the LEM, Grumman representatives met with Center officials in Houston to revise the design. Grumman had formulated a concept for a 419-cm (165-in) radius, cantilever-type configuration, In analyzing its performance, Grumman and Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) engineers, working separately, had reached the same conclusion: namely, that it did not provide sufficient stability nor did it absorb enough of the landing impact. Both parties to this meeting agreed that the gear's performance could be improved by redesigning the foot pads and beefing up the gear struts. Grumman was modifying other parts of the spacecraft's undercarriage accordingly.
At the same time, Grumman advised MSC that it considered impractical a contrivance to simulate lunar gravity in the drop program for test Mockup 5. Grumman put forth another idea: use a full-sized LEM, the company said, but one weighing only one-sixth as much as a flight-ready vehicle. SMD officials were evaluating this latest idea, while they were reviewing the entire TM-5 program.
NASA Technical Services constructed the molds that would be used to make the one-piece bubble helmets for the Apollo space suits. These forms would be delivered to General Electric and to Texstar, the two firms that would actually fabricate the helmets, with the first shell expected about mid-January.
At the same time, Crew Systems Division completed drop tests on the new helmet concept. The division's engineers also began designing and fabrication of support items (neck rings, feed ports, and skull caps), as well as exploring methods of maintaining the helmet's hygiene and habitability.
To strengthen the Agency's managerial organization, NASA announced a realignment within the Office of Manned Space Flight:
MSC directed North American to modify the CM so that the sight assembly could be used from either docking window.
The Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory, currently being planned for construction at MSC, would support - in addition to its vital role as a quarantine area - two important activities:
In September 1964, Hamilton Standard, manufacturer of the portable life support system (PLSS), had established a 108-watt-hour capacity for the system's batteries. And on the basis of that figure, Grumman had been authorized to proceed with the development of the LEM's battery charger. (The size of the charger was determined by several factors, but primarily by the size of the battery and time limits for recharging.)
During November, however, Hamilton Standard and Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers advised the Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division (IESD) that the PLSS's power requirements had increased to about 200 watt-hours. (CSD had jurisdiction over the PLSS, including battery requirements; IESD was responsible for the charger.) Hamilton Standard placed most of the blame on the cooling pump motor, which proved far less efficient than anticipated, as well as on the addition of biosensor equipment. ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea, reviewing the company's explanation, commented that "this says what happened . . . but is far from a justification - this is the type of thing we should understand well enough to anticipate." "How can this happen," he wondered, ". . . in an area which has been subjected to so much discussion and delay?"
Representatives from Grumman and Hamilton Standard, meeting at MSC on December 17, redefined PLSS battery and charging requirements, and Grumman was directed to proceed with the development of the battery charger. This episode was accompanied by some sense of urgency, since Grumman had to have firm requirements before the end of year to prevent a schedule slippage.
Ling-Temco-Vought began large-scale developmental testing of the radiator for the Block II CSM environmental control system. One problem immediately apparent was the radiator's performance under extreme conditions.
Crew Systems Division approved the use of modified Gemini space suits in Block I Apollo spacecraft. MSC and David Clark Company amended their Gemini suit contract to cover design and fabrication of a prototype Block I suit.
Grumman ordered its major subcontractors supplying electronic equipment for the LEM to implement revised test programs and hardware schedules (in line with the new design approach). A similar directive went to RCA to modify the attitude and translation and the descent engine control assemblies as required for the new concept of an integrated assembly for guidance, navigation, and control of the spacecraft.
After conferring with the Space Medicine Branch and with the Gemini and Apollo support offices, Crew Systems Division officials opted for identical bioinstrumentation in both blocks of Apollo spacecraft. Hamilton Standard would also try to use identical harnesses.
MSC's Guidance and Control Division conducted a pilot simulation study to determine whether a pilot could take over manual control of the LEM between 4,572 and 3,048 m (15,000 and 10,000 ft) above the lunar surface and satisfactorily land the vehicle.
North American and Lockheed summarized the qualification program for the launch escape and pitch control motors. While several performance deviations were reported, these were minor and, in general, the presentation was deemed satisfactory. North American followed up on the discrepancies and, on March 22, the motors were declared flight-qualified.
At the fourth meeting of the Reference Trajectory Sub-Panel, MSC and MSFC members agreed on a trajectory with a launch azimuth of 108 degrees. Translunar injection would be performed over the Pacific Ocean during the first or second orbits. First-orbit injection would fix the minimum time required before the maneuver. Injection on the second pass would determine consequent penalties. The actions were initiated by Mission Planning and Analysis Division (MPAD) and were required to solidify and minimize analytical studies and operational planning.
William A. Lee, chief of ASPO's Operations Planning Division, outlined the space suit design criteria for Apollo missions 204 and 205. Modified Gemini space suits were to be used.
ASPO's Systems Engineering Division (SED) investigated the possibility of partial donning of the space suit (sans helmet and gloves) and the consequent effects upon operation of the CM environmental control system (ECS). (Current ECS design called for shirtsleeve and full-suited operations.) The systems engineers found that, with vehicle reliability based upon shirtsleeve environments, wearing part of the suit contributed little toward protecting the astronaut against loss of cabin pressure.
Most pressure-seal failures in the spacecraft would still allow the astronaut time to don the complete suit. Catastrophic failures (i.e., loss of windows or hatches) were highly improbable, but if one of this type occurred, depressurization would be so rapid as to preclude the astronaut's donning even a part of the suit. Actually, overall mission reliability was greatest with the shirtsleeve environment; continuous suit wear degraded the garment's reliability for the lunar exploration phase of the flight. Moreover, a number of design changes in the spacecraft would be required by partial suit wear.
SED concluded that, to build confidence in the spacecraft's pressurization system, Block I CM's should be outfitted for partial suit wear. In Block II vehicles the suit should not be worn during translunar mission phases (again because of mission reliability). SED recommended to the ASPO Manager, therefore, that he direct North American to incorporate provisions for partial suit wear in Block I and to retain the shirtsleeve concept for the Block II spacecraft.
The Preliminary Design Review of the Block II CM was held at North American's Downey, Calif., plant. Ten working groups evaluated the spacecraft design and resolved numerous minor details. They then reported to a review board of NASA and North American officials.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips that he planned to conduct a program review with MIT during January 1965, similar to the North American, AC Spark Plug, and Grumman program reviews, but with certain differences, since MIT was a non- profit organization and the scope of its work much narrower than the prime hardware contractors. Shea pointed out that 1965 would be the most critical year of the MIT effort; during that year all drawings for the Block I, Block II, and LEM guidance navigation and control programs should be released. Consequently, the program review at MIT would examine only that one year.
Shea said he would meet with C. Stark Draper on January 14 and discuss with him "where we stand with respect to the MIT work of the past and our concerns for the future." During the week of January 18, MSC would send 14 teams to MIT to meet with their counterparts, and the following week a review board, chaired by R. C. Duncan of MSC, would go over the work of the individual MIT-NASA teams in depth and agree upon the program for 1965. The 14 teams would be: Reliability and Quality Assurance, Field Operations, Documentation and Configuration Management, Systems Assembly and Test, Guidance and Mission Analysis, Simulation, Ground Support Equipment, Optics, Inertial Systems and Sensors, Computer, Radar, Training; Terms, Conditions, Rates and Factors; and Statement of Work Integration.
Shea felt that the review would give MIT a clearer understanding of their part in the guidance, navigation, and control system development. He recommended that Phillips discuss the general nature of the program review with George E. Mueller and Robert C. Seamans, Jr., so they would both understand ASPO's objectives.
Phillips forwarded the letter to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller along with his comments on the proposal. He said, "I think it is a good plan and that the results will be beneficial to the program. I urge your support should it become necessary."
|Apollo - Space suit A-3H-024 with Lunar Excursion Module astronaut restraint harnes|
Credit: NASA. 26,465 bytes. 214 x 437 pixels.
Changing the CM back-face temperature requirement from 600 degrees F at touchdown to 600 degrees F at parachute deployment threatened to increase the cabin air temperature. Physiologists at MSC had previously declared that the cabin temperature should not exceed 100 degrees F. The proposed change in the back-face requirement, North American reported, would raise the cabin's interior to 125 degrees F. MSC's Crew Systems Division reviewed these factors and decided the increased cabin temperature would not be acceptable.
William A. Lee, chief of ASPO's Operations Planning Division, announced a revised Apollo launch schedule for 1966 and 1967. In 1968, a week-long earth orbital flight would be a dress rehearsal for the lunar mission. "Then the moon," Lee predicted. "We have a fighting chance to make it by 1970," he said, "and also stay within the 20 billion price tag set . . . by former President Kennedy."
MSC was reviewing the control-display systems of the CSM and LEM to assess operational constraints. North American was requested to study all controls, displays, and systems functions for manned spacecraft to identify and eliminate single-point failures.
North American selected Dalmo-Victor to supply S-band high-gain antennas for Apollo CSM's. (The deployable antenna would be used beyond 14,816 km (8,000 nm) from the earth.) Dalmo-Victor would complete the antenna design and carry out the development work, and North American would procure production units under a supplemental contract.
NASA announced that Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 16, a Titan missile facility, would be converted into static test stands for Apollo spacecraft. This decision eliminated the need for such a facility originally planned on Merritt Island and, it was predicted, would cost little more than a fourth of the $7 million estimated for the new site.
Grumman and Hamilton Standard were exploring various designs for the extravehicular mobility unit. On the basis of some early conclusions, the MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) recommended that meteoroid and thermal protection be provided by a single garment. Preliminary hypervelocity tests placed the garment's reliability at 0.999. Each would weigh about 7.7 kg (17 lbs), about 2.3 kg (5 lbs) less than the two-garment design. CSD further recommended that the unit be stored either in the LEM's descent stage or in a jettisonable container in the ascent portion.
Donald K. Slayton, MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, pointed out to Managers of the ASPO and the Gemini Program Office that a number of units of spacecraft control and display equipment were needed to support the Spacecraft Control Office in the areas of spacecraft crew procedures development, crew station equipment development, flight crew familiarization, training, and spacecraft mission preparation. Such equipment was needed within MSC, at other NASA Centers, and at contractor facilities to support centrifuge programs, research vehicle programs, launch abort simulations, rendezvous and docking simulations, retrofire and reentry simulations, and other mission phase simulations. Slayton emphasized that uncoordinated requests for hardware procurement to support these programs were excessively costly in terms of equipment.
Slayton said that a "satisfactory method to reduce costs and increase equipment utilization and effectiveness is to assign responsibility as custodian to one technically cognizant organization which will ascertain the total requirement for equipment and be responsible for coordinating procurement and allocating and transferring hardware assignment required to meet program requirements." He recommended that the Crew Station Branch of Flight Crew Support Division be given the consolidated responsibilities.
MSC evaluated the VHF communications requirements and determined that there was no requirement for the LEM to communicate simultaneously over VHF with:
The first meeting of the Configuration Control Board was held at MSC with ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea as chairman. Approval was given to delete 10 Apollo guidance and navigation systems; and W. F. Rector III was directed to look into the use of computers and prototype units for electronic systems integration. In other actions, a decision on changes to CSM specifications to provide for the heavyweight LEM (a proposed increase from 12,705 to 14,515 kg (28,000 to 32,000 lbs)) was deferred until the next meeting; and Owen Maynard was directed to identify all Block II changes that must be implemented regardless of impact and have them ready for Board action by February 18, 1965.
Development firings of the launch escape system's drogue and pilot parachute mortars were completed, and the units were slated for qualification trials the following month.
OMSF asked MSC to provide NASA Headquarters with a statement of "the minimum definition of meteoroid environment in cislunar space" which would be necessary for confidence that Apollo could withstand the meteoroid flux. The "desirable degree of definition" was also requested. This material was to be used as inputs to the current cislunar Pegasus studies being conducted by OMSF.
Significant agreements from the Eleventh MSC-MSFC Flight Mechanics, Dynamics, Guidance and Control Panel meeting were:
During testing, it was found that blast effects of the linear charge for the CM/SM umbilical cutter caused considerable damage to the heatshield. To circumvent this problem, North American designed a vastly improved pyrotechnic-driven, guillotine-type cutter. MSC readily approved the new' device for both Block I and II spacecraft.
North American completed acceptance tests for the CSM sequential and propulsion systems trainers. On January 15 the equipment was shipped to MSC, where it was installed the following week. This terminated the procurement program for the Apollo systems trainer.
After reviewing the requirement for extravehicular transfer (EVT) from the LEM to the CM, MSC reaffirmed its validity. The Center already had approved additional fuel for the CM, to lengthen its rendezvousing range, and modifications of the vehicle's hatch to permit exterior operation. The need for a greater protection for the astronaut during EVT would be determined largely by current thermal tests of the pressure suit being conducted by NASA and Hamilton Standard. While the emergency oxygen system was unnecessary during normal transfer from one vehicle to the other, it was essential during EVT or lunar surface activities.
MSC was studying several approaches to the problems of automatic thermal control and automatic reacquisition of the earth by the S-band high-gain antenna while the CSM circled the moon. (The Block II spacecraft, MSC had stated, must have the ability to perform these functions wholly on its own. During an extended stay of the LEM on the lunar surface, when the CSM pilot needed uninterrupted sleep periods, antenna reacquisition was absolutely essential for telemetering data back to earth. And although the requirements for passive thermal control were not yet well defined, the spacecraft's attitude must likewise be automatically controlled.)
Robert C. Duncan, chief of the MSC Guidance and Control Division, presented his section's recommendations for solving these problems, which ultimately won ASPO's concurrence. Precise spacecraft body rates, Duncan said, should be maintained by the stabilization and control system. The position of the S-band antenna should be telemetered to the ground, where the angle required for reacquisition would be computed. The antenna would then be repositioned by commands sent through the updata link.
MSC White Sands Missile Operations was renamed MSC White Sands Operations to eliminate the similarity to the Army's White Sands Missile Range.
General Motors' Allison Division completed qualification testing of the propellant tanks for the service propulsion system.
The Structures and Mechanics Division approved a low-burst factor for the gaseous helium tanks on the LEM (as recommended by Grumman). This change permitted a substantial lightening of the spacecraft's propulsion systems: descent 45 kg (99 lbs); ascent, 13 kg (29 lbs); reaction control, 2.3 kg (5 lbs).
The MSC Mission Planning and Analysis Division made a presentation to Joseph F. Shea, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., and Donald K. Slayton on Apollo Missions 201, 202, 204, 206, 207, 501, 503, and 504. It was stated that 204B was to be a repeat of 202; 204C was to be a repeat of 201; and 204D was to be the same as 204A but would be flown unmanned.
In simulated zero-g conditions aboard KC-135s, technicians evaluated a number of different devices for restraining the LEM crewmen. These trials demonstrated clearly the need for a hip restraint and for a downward force to hold the astronaut securely to the cabin floor. In mid-February a second series of flights tested the combination that seemed most promising: Velcro shoes that would be used together with Velcropile carpeting on the cabin floor of the spacecraft; a harness that enveloped the astronaut's chest and, through an intricate system of cables and pulleys, exerted a constant downward pressure; and a waist strap that secured the harness to the lighting panel immediately facing the crewman. These evaluations permitted Grumman to complete the design of the restraint system.
The test altitude for mission A-004 was decreased from 22,860 to 19,507 m (75,000 to 64,000 ft) to ensure the attainment of limit loads on the CM during a tumbling power-on abort.
The new membership of the MSC Manned Spacecraft Criteria and Standards Board, established September 4, 1963, was: F. John Bailey, Jr., Chairman; James W. Donnell, Secretary; James A. Chamberlin, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, W. R. Durrett, William M. Bland, and Norman F. Smith.
Northrop-Ventura verified the strength of the dual drogue parachutes in a drop test at El Centro, Calif. This was also the first airborne test of the new mortar by which the drogues were deployed and of the new pilot parachute risers, made of steel cables. All planned objectives were met.
Space Ordnance Systems was selected to develop the explosive bolts that held the LEM's two stages together.
Parallel development of the LEM descent engine was halted. Space Technology Laboratories was named the sole contractor; the Rocketdyne contract was canceled. Grumman estimated that the cost of Rocketdyne's program would be about $25 million at termination.
Two underwater firings verified the design concept of the main parachute disconnects.
At the request of Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, ASPO reexamined the performance requirements for spacecraft slated for launch with Saturn IBs. MSC currently assessed that the launch vehicle was able to put 16,102 kg (35,500 lbs) into a circular orbit 105 nm above the earth. Based on the spacecraft control weights, however, it appeared that the total injected weight of the modules would exceed this amount by some 395 kg (870 lbs).
The persistent problem of combustion instability in the LEM ascent engine, unyielding to several major injector redesigns, was still present during test firings at Bell Aerosystems. Following reviews by MSC and Grumman, the "mainstream effort" in the injector program was "reoriented" to a design that included baffles on the face of the injector. Largely because of this troublesome factor, it now appeared that the ascent engine's development cost, which only four months earlier Bell and Grumman had estimated at $20 million, would probably approach $34 million. Bell also forecast a 15.4-kg (34-lb) weight increase for the engine because of a longer burn design and a strengthened nozzle extension.
Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips forecast "heavy ground testing" for Apollo during 1965. The coming months, he said, should see the completion of testing on the first Apollo spacecraft intended for manned space flight, as well as flight qualification of the Saturn IB and initial testing of the Saturn V launch vehicles.
Two construction companies, Blount Brothers Corporation, Montgomery, Ala., and Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, Oak Park, Ill., received a joint contract (worth $5,178,000) for construction of a vacuum chamber at the Lewis Research Center's Plum Brook Station. The facility, which would be used for spacecraft and propulsion system testing, would be one of the largest such simulators in the world.
The MSC-MSFC Mechanical Integration Panel discussed the possibility that, when deployed, the LEM adapter panels might interfere with radio communications via the S-band high-gain antenna. On earth-orbital missions, the panel found, the S-band antenna would be rendere useless. They recommended that MSC's Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division investigate alternative modes for communications during the transposition and docking phase of the flight. During lunar missions, on the other hand, the panel found that, with panels deployed at a 45 degree angle, the high-gain antenna could be used as early as 15 minutes after translunar injection. Spacecraft-to-ground communications during transposition and docking could thus be available and manual tracking would not be needed. North American was informed that the high-gain antenna would be used during this maneuver, and was directed to fix the panel deployment angle for all Block II spacecraft at 45 degrees.
ASPO approved the technique for LEM S-IVB separation during manned missions, a method recommended jointly by North American and Grumman. After the CSM docked with the LEM, the necessary electrical circuit between the two spacecraft would be closed manually. Explosive charges would then free the LEM from the adapter on the S-IVB.
The optimism that permeated the Apollo program was reflected in statements by NASA's Associate Administrator, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., during budget briefings for the forthcoming year. He was "greatly encouraged" by recent design freezes and "very reassured" by testing of propulsion systems and launch vehicle stages. "We really feel," Seamans said, ". . . that we can get off the (lunar landing) flight on an earlier mission than I would have said a year ago?' Certainly it was "conceivable" that the moon landing could come "in early 1970."
Dalmo-Victor, vendor of the LEM S-band antenna, was given firm requirements for tracking and coverage, thus enabling the company to freeze the antenna design.
To determine flotation characteristics of the spacecraft, the Stevens Institute of Technology began a testing program using one-tenth scale models of the CM. Researchers found that the sequence in which the uprighting bags were deployed was equally critical in both a calm sea and in various wave conditions; improper deployment caused the vehicle to assume an apex-down position. These trials disproved predictions that wave action would upright the spacecraft from this attitude.
Further testing during the following month reinforced these findings. But because sequential deployment would degrade reliability of the system, North American held that the bags must upright the spacecraft irrespective of the order of their inflation. Stevens' investigators would continue their program, examining the CM's characteristics under a variety of weight and center of gravity conditions.
MSC negotiated a backup Block II space suit development program with David Clark Company, which paralleled the Hamilton Standard program, at a cost of $176,000. Criteria for selecting the suit for ultimate development for Block II would be taken from the Extravehicular Mobility Unit Design and Performance Specification. A selection test program would be conducted at MSC using the CM mockup, the lunar simulation facility, and the LEM mockup.
ASPO established an operational requirement for propellant gauges in the LEM descent stage, the exact details to be worked out by Grumman. The gauges must be accurate to within one-half of one percent when less than one-fourth of the propellants remained.
Warren J. North, Chairman of the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) Coordination Panel, reported to MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that the LLRV had been flown 10 times by Flight Research Center pilots - eight times by Joe Walker and twice by Don Mallick. Maximum altitude achieved was 91 m (300 ft) and maximum forward velocity was 12 m (40 ft) per sec.
At a meeting held at Grumman, RCA presented its study on thermal effects for a fixed rendezvous radar antenna assembly which would be protected from the CSM service propulsion system by a thermal shield.
MSC evaluated Grumman's proposal to stage components of the extravehicular mobility unit to achieve a substantial weight reduction.
The first major Saturn V flight component, a 10-m (33-ft) diameter, 27,215 kg (60,000 lb corrugated tail section which would support the booster's 6,672 kilonewtons (1.5-million-lb) thrust engines, arrived at MSFC from NASA's Michoud Operations near New Orleans. The section was one of five major structural units comprising Saturn V's first stage.
MSC canceled plans (originally proposed by North American) for a device to detect failures in the reaction control system (RCS) for Block I CSMs. This was done partly because of impending weight, cost, and schedule penalties, but also because, given an RCS failure during earth orbit, the crew could detect it in time to return to earth safely even without the proposed device. This action in no way affected the effort to devise such a detection system for the Block II CSM or the LEM, however.
|Apollo - Test subject wears Apollo overgarment designed for use on lunar surface|
Credit: NASA. 16,092 bytes. 210 x 436 pixels.
Initial development testing of LEM restraint systems was completed. Under zero-g conditions, investigators found, positive restraints for the crew were essential. While the system must be further refined, it consisted essentially of a harness that secured the astronaut's hips (thus providing a pivot point) and held him firmly on the cabin floor.
After examining the CM's potable water system, engineers in the MSC Crew Systems Division found that the Gemini pistol-type water dispenser could not be used in the Apollo spacecraft without some changes in the dispenser design.
Apollo boilerplate 28 underwent its second water impact test. Despite its strengthened aft structure, in this and a subsequent drop on February 9 the vehicle again suffered damage to the aft heatshield and bulkhead, though far less severe than that experienced in its initial test. The impact problem, it was obvious, was not yet solved.
ASPO concurred with the requirement to provide an emergency defecation capability aboard the LEM as established by MSC's Center Medical Programs Office. The addition of a Gemini-type defecation glove appeared to present a satisfactory solution. Crew Systems Division was directed to proceed with their recommendation and add the Gemini gloves to the LEM crew provisions.
Nine areas of scientific experiments for the first manned Apollo lunar landing mission had been summarized and experimenters were defining them for NASA. Space sciences project group expected to publish the complete report by March 1, to be followed by requests for proposals from industry on designing and producing instrument packages. A major effort was under way by a NASA task force making a time-motion study of how best to use the limited lunar stay-time of two hours' minimum for the first flight.
To make it easier to get in and out of the spacecraft, Grumman modified the LEM's forward hatch. During mobility tests on the company's mockup, a hinged, trapezoidal-shaped door had proved superior to the original circular hatch, so the earlier design was dropped.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea reiterated the space agency's phasic view of the Apollo program. He was well pleased with the pace of the program and reported that ground testing of all CSM subsystems was "well along." Reflecting on the year just past, Shea observed that it was one in which Apollo objectives were achieved "milestone by milestone?' He was equally optimistic about Apollo's progress during the coming months, predicting that there would be "three Apollo spacecraft in continuous ground testing" by the end of the year.
Pacific Crane and Rigging Company received a NASA contract, worth $8.3 million, to install ground equipment at Kennedy Space Center's Saturn V facility, Launch Complex 39. On the following day, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $2,179,000 contract to R. E. Carlson Corporation, St. Petersburg, Fla., to modify Launch Complex 34 to handle the Saturn IB.
The Apollo-Saturn Crew Safety Panel decided on a number of emergency detection system (EDS) and abort procedures for the early Apollo flights:
ASPO established radiation reliability goals for Apollo. These figures would be used to coordinate the radiation program, to define the allowable dosages, and to determine the effect of radiation on mission success. The crew safety goal (defined as the probability of a crewman's not suffering permanent injury or worse, nor his being incapacitated and thus no longer able to perform his duties) was set at 0.99999. The major hazard of a radiation environment, it was felt, was not the chance of fatal doses. It was, rather, the possibility of acute radiation sickness during the mission. The second reliability goal, that for success of the mission (the probability that the mission would not be aborted because of radiation environment), was placed at 0.98.
These values, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea emphasized, were based on the 8.3-day reference mission and on emergency dose limits previously set forth. They were not to be included in overall reliability goals for the spacecraft, nor were they to be met by weight increases or equipment relocations.
MSC questioned the necessity of using highly purified (and expensive) fuel-cell-type oxygen to maintain the cabin atmosphere during manned ground testing of the spacecraft. The Center, therefore, undertook a study of the resultant impurities and effect on crew habitability of using a commercial grade of aviation oxygen.
A device to maintain the spacecraft in a constant attitude was added to the LEM's primary attitude control system (ACS). The feature brought with it some undesirable handling characteristics, however: it would cause the vehicle to land long. Although this overshoot could be corrected by the pilot, and therefore was not dangerous operationally, it would require closer attention during final approach. The attitude hold, therefore, hardly eased the pilot's control task, which was, after all, its primary function. Instead of moving the device to the backup ACS (the abort section), the Engineering Simulation Branch of MSC's Guidance and Control Division recommended that the system be modified so that, if desired, the pilot could disengage the hold mechanism.
After considering possible impacts, MSC directed North American to implement real-time commands to the up-data link equipment on command modules 012 and 014.
SM 001's service propulsion engine was static-fired for 10 sec at White Sands. The firing was the first in a program to verify the mission profiles for later flight tests of the module. (SM 001 was the first major piece of flight-weight Apollo hardware.)
MSC, North American, and Grumman reviewed the results of Langley Research Center's LEM-active docking simulation. While the overhead mode of docking had been found to be acceptable, two items still caused some concern: (1) propellant consumption could exceed supply; and (2) angular rates at contact had occasionally exceeded specifications. Phase B (Grumman's portion) of the docking simulations, scheduled to begin in about two weeks, would further investigate these problems. Langley researchers also had evaluated several sighting aids for the LEM and recommended a projected image collimated (parallel in lines of direction) reticle as most practicable. Accordingly, on March 9, MSC directed Grumman to incorporate this type of sighting device into the design of their spacecraft.
Development tests recently completed by AiResearch on the water evaporator control system for the space suit heat exchanger disclosed its inadequacy because of its slow response time. To solve this problem, AiResearch and North American proposed an alternate control system approach similar to the glycol evaporator scheme used elsewhere in the environmental control system. This alternate design, which was tested and appeared a more desirable approach, would be incorporated on airframes 008 and 012 through Block II spacecraft. No schedule impact was anticipated.
NASA invited 113 scientists and 23 national space organizations to a conference at MSC to brief them on the Gemini and Apollo missions. As a result of the conference, NASA hoped to receive proposals for biomedical experiments to be performed in Gemini and Apollo spacecraft.
MSC deleted the requirement for a rendezvous radar in the CSM.
North American completed the first ground test model of the S-II stage of the Saturn V.
ASPO evaluated Grumman's proposal for an "all battery" system for the LEM descent stage. ASPO was aiming at a 35-hour lunar stay for the least weight; savings were realized by lessening battery capacities, by making the water tanks smaller, and by reducing some of the spacecraft's structural requirements.
ASPO and the MSC Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division (IESD) formulated a program for electromagnetic compatibility testing of hardware aboard the CSM and LEM. The equipment would be mounted in spacecraft mockups, which would then be placed in the Center's anechoic chamber. In these tests, scheduled to begin about the first of September, IESD was to evaluate the compatibility of the spacecraft in docked and near-docked configurations, and of Block I spacecraft with the launch vehicle. The division was also to recommend testing procedures for the launch complex.
MSC modified its bubble helmet design to fit on an International Latex "state-of-the-art" space suit. A mockup of the helmet was used in don doff tests. Mean donning time was 4.2 sec; doff time averaged 1.47 sec. Further tests would be performed when a prototype helmet was completed (expected by February 26).
Evaluations of the three-foot probes on the LEM landing gear showed that the task of shutting off the engine prior to actual touchdown was even more difficult than controlling the vehicle's rate of descent. During simulated landings, about 70 percent of the time the spacecraft was less than 0.3 m (1 ft) high when shutdown came; on 20 percent of the runs, the engine was still burning at touchdown. Some change, either in switch location or in procedure, thus appeared necessary to shorten the delay between contact light and engine cutoff (an average of 0.7 sec).
North American selected the Ordnance Division of General Precision Link Group to supply the panel thrusters for the spacecraft lunar adapter.
To make room for a rendezvous study, MSC was forced to end, prematurely, its simulations of employing the LEM as a backup for the service propulsion system. Nonetheless, the LEM was evaluated in both manual and automatic operation. Although some sizable attitude changes were required, investigators found no serious problems with either steering accuracy or dynamic stability.
A drop test at EI Centro, Calif., demonstrated the ability of the drogue parachutes to sustain the ultimate disreefed load that would be imposed upon them during reentry. (For the current CM weight, that maximum load would be 7,711 kg (17,000 lbs) per parachute.) Preliminary data indicated that the two drogues had withstood loads of 8,803 and 8,165 kg (19,600 and 18,000 lbs). One of the drogues emerged unscathed; the other suffered only minor damage near the pocket of the reefing cutter.
Hamilton Standard, the extravehicular mobility unit contractor, completed a two-week wearing test of the Apollo liquid-cooled undergarment. Investigators found that the garment could be worn for the entire lunar mission without any serious discomfort.
MSC's Systems Engineering Division (SED) requested support from the Structures and Mechanics Division in determining the existence or extent of corrosion in the coolant loops of the SM electrical power subsystem (EPS) and the CM and LEM environmental control subsystems (ECS), resulting from the use of water glycol as coolant fluid. Informal contact had been made with W. R. Downs of the Structures and Mechanics Division and he had been given copies of contractor reports and correspondence between MSC, North American, and MIT pertaining to the problem. The contractors had conflicting positions regarding the extent and seriousness of glycol corrosion.
SED requested that a study be initiated to:
MSC relayed to NASA Headquarters North American's cost estimates for airlocks on the Apollo CM:
|Blocks I & II||$1,050,000||$111,000|
During late February and early March, North American completed a conceptual design study of an airlock for the Block I CMs. Designers found that such a device could be incorporated into the side access hatch. A substitute cover for the inner hatch and a panel to replace the window on the outer hatch would have to be developed, but these modifications would not interfere with the basic design of the spacecraft.
A study by General Electric affirmed the necessity for the steerable S-band antenna for communications between the spacecraft and the ground at lunar distances. Communications margins were so small that, at those distances, any degradation of equipment would seriously affect the spacecraft's contact with earth.
Crew Systems Division (CSD) informed the Astronaut Office that the requirements submitted by Astronaut Michael Collins on February 5 had been included in the Block II suit program plans. Those requirements for astronaut training suits were:
|Suit Quantity||Type||Date Available|
|6||A-5H||December 1965 (or sooner if possible)|
The CM's waste management system demonstrated its feasibility under zero-g conditions during flights from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The system successfully contained both solid and liquid wastes and did not leak even when filled to capacity.
NASA awarded an $8,879,832 fixed-price contract to the Univac Division of Sperry Rand Corporation for digital data processors for the Apollo project. Univac also would assist in modifying extant computer programs to meet Apollo requirements.
In a memorandum to ASPO, Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, inquired about realigning the schedules of contractors to meet revised delivery and launch timetables for Apollo. Phillips tentatively set forth deliveries of six spacecraft (CSM/LEMs) during 1967 and eight during each succeeding year; he outlined eight manned launches per year also, starting in 1969.
In the first of a series of manufacturing review meetings at Bethpage, N.Y., it was learned that Grumman's tooling program was behind schedule (caused primarily by engineering changes). Tool manufacturing might recoup much of the lost time, but this process was highly vulnerable to further design changes. Completion of tooling for the ascent stage of LTA-3 was now set for late April, a production delay of about two months.
A Saturn I vehicle SA-9 launched a multiple payload into a high 744 by 496 km (462 by 308 mi) earth orbit. The rocket carried a boilerplate (BP) CSM (BP-16) and, fitted inside the SM, the Pegasus I meteoroid detection satellite. This was the eighth successful Saturn flight in a row, and the first to carry an active payload. BP-16's launch escape tower was jettisoned following second-stage S-IV ignition. After attaining orbit, the spacecraft were separated from the S-IV. Thereupon the Pegasus I's panels were deployed and were ready to perform their task, i.e., registering meteoroid impact and relaying the information to the ground.
MSC announced a realignment of specialty areas for the 13 astronauts not assigned to forthcoming Gemini missions (GT 3 through 5) or to strictly administrative positions:
Charles A. Bassett - operations handbooks, training, and simulators
Alan L. Bean - recovery systems
Michael Collins - pressure suits and extravehicular activity
David R. Scott - mission planning and guidance and navigation
Clifton C. Williams - range operations, deep space instrumentation, and crew safety.
Donn F. Eisele - CSM and LEM
William A. Anders - environmental control system and radiation and thermal systems
Eugene A. Cernan - boosters, spacecraft propulsion, and the Agena stage
Roger B. Chaffee - communications, flight controls, and docking
R. Walter Cunningham - electrical and sequential systems and non-flight experiments
Russell L. Schweickart - in-flight experiments and future programs.
North American proposed an idea for increasing the CM's land landing capability. This could be done, the company asserted, by raising the water impact limits (thus exceeding normal tolerances) and stiffening the shock struts.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea clarified the manned unmanned capabilities required of Block I CSM spacecraft to ensure that end-item specifications appropriately reflect those capabilities.
CSMs 017 and 020 would fly unmanned entry tests on the Saturn V and need not be capable of manned missions. CSMs 012 and 014 were to be delivered to KSC for manned orbital missions on the Saturn IB but must be capable of being modified to fly unmanned missions.
The planning for CSM 012 should be such that the mission type could be selected 5½ months prior to the scheduled launch of the 204 mission, yet not delay the launch.
MSC directed North American to delete the rendezvous radar from Block II CSMs. On those spacecraft North American instead would install LEM rendezvous radar transponders. Grumman, in turn, was ordered to halt its work on the CSM rendezvous radar (both in-house and at RCA) as well as all support efforts. At the same time, however, the company was directed to incorporate a tracking light on the LEM (compatible with the CSM telescope sextant) and to modify the spacecraft's VHF equipment to permit range extraction in the CSM.
The U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory began testing the Gemini Block I Apollo space suit in a wide range of environmental temperatures to determine the comfort and physiological responses of the wearer. The program, delayed because of difficulties with humidity control, was to be completed in three to four weeks.
|Apollo - Astronaut John Bull wears newly designed Apollo pressure suit|
Credit: NASA. 21,789 bytes. 198 x 417 pixels.
MSC's Crew Systems Division decreed that the extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) would employ a single garment for both thermal and meteoroid protection. By an earlier decision, the penetration probability requirement had been lowered from 0.9999 to 0.999. This change, along with the use of newer, more efficient materials, promised a substantial lightening of the garment (hopefully down to about 7.7 kg (17 lbs), excluding visors, gloves, and boots). The division also deleted the requirement for a separate meteoroid visor, because the thermal and glare visors provided ample protection against meteoroids as well. Tests by Ling-Temco-Vought confirmed the need for thermal protection over the pressure suit during extravehicular transfer by the LEM crewmen.
Because of the CM's recent weight growth, the launch escape system (LES) was incapable of lifting the spacecraft the "specification" distance away from the booster. The performance required of the LES was being studied further; investigators were especially concerned with the heat and blast effects of an exploding booster, and possible deleterious effects upon the parachutes.
LEM Test Article 2 was shipped to Marshall Space Flight Center to undergo a series of Saturn booster vibration tests.
NASA selected Philco's Aeronutronic Division to design a penetrometer for possible use in the Apollo program. Impacting on the moon, the device would measure the firmness and bearing strength of the surface. Used in conjunction with an orbiting spacecraft, the system could provide scientific information about areas of the moon that were inaccessible by any other means. Langley Research Center would negotiate and manage the contract, estimated to be worth $1 million.
To eliminate interference between the S-IVB stage and the instrument unit, MSC directed North American to modify the deployment angle of the adapter panels. Originally designed to rotate 170 degrees, the panels should open but 45 degrees (60 degrees during abort), where they were to be secured while the CSM docked with and extracted the LEM.
But at this smaller angle, the panels now blocked the CM's four flush- mounted omnidirectional antennas, used during near-earth phases of the mission. While turning around and docking, the astronauts thus had to communicate with the ground via the steerable high gain antenna. For Block II spacecraft, therefore, MSC concurrently ordered North American to broaden the S-band equipment's capability to permit it to operate within 4,630 km (2,500 nm) of earth.
William F. Rector III, MSC's LEM Project Officer, reported at an ASPO Manager's Staff Meeting that the expected firing date for the heavyweight ascent (HA) rig #3 at WSTF had been slipped from March 18, 1965, until April 13. Grumman personnel at White Sands said the slip was necessary because
MSC and North American conducted Part 2 of the mockup review of the CM's forward compartment and lower equipment bay. (Part 1 was accomplished January 14-15. This staged procedure was in line with the contractor's proposal for a progressive review program leading up to the Critical Design Review scheduled for July 19-23.) Except for minor changes, the design was acceptable.
NASA awarded a fixed-price contract (worth l.5 million) to IBM to design a backup guidance and navigation computer for the Apollo CM.
MSC's Procurement and Contracts Division notified ASPO that John B. Alldredge had been assigned as the Contracting Officer for Contract NAS 9-150 (the North American contract), replacing Henry P. Yschek.
NASA awarded a $2,740,000 fixed-price contract to the Collins Radio Company for S-band telemetry equipment. Collins would install the equipment at three antenna facilities that supported Apollo lunar missions (at Goldstone, Calif.; Canberra, Australia; and Madrid, Spain).
On the basis of in-house tests, Grumman recommended a scheme for exterior lighting on the LEM. The design copied standard aeronautical practice (i.e., red, port; green, starboard; and amber, underside). White lights marked the spacecraft, both fore and aft; to distinguish between the two white lights, the aft one contained a flasher.
MSC and the David Clark Company reached an agreement on a contract for Apollo Block I space suits. The first suits, expected by July 1, would go to North American for testing.
KSC supplemented Chrysler Corporation's contract for support services for the Saturn I and IB launch programs. Effective through June 30, 1968, the agreement would cost NASA $41 million plus an award fee.
Using a mockup Apollo CM, MSC Crew Systems Division tested the time in which an astronaut could don and doff the Block I pressure garment assembly while at various stations inside the spacecraft. The two subjects' average donning times were nine min 33 sec and 10 min; mean doffing times were four min five sec and five min 23 sec.
DeHavilland completed deployment tests of the CM's pop-up recovery antenna.
To determine thermal and vacuum effects on the CM's parachutes, MSC Structures and Mechanics Division tested nylon samples in a vacuum under varying temperature conditions. After two weeks of exposure to this spacelike environment, the samples exhibited only a 16 percent loss of strength (as against a design allowable of 25 percent).
Louis Walter, Goddard Space Flight Center geochemist, reported that his research with tektites indicated the lunar surface may be sandlike. Waiter had discovered the presence of coesite in tektites, believed to be particles of the moon sent into space when meteorites impact the lunar surface. Coesite, also found at known meteorite craters, is a form of silicon dioxide - a major constituent of sand - produced under high pressure. "If we accept the lunar origin of tektites," Walter said, "this would prove or indicate that the parent material on the moon is something like the welded tuft that we find in Yellowstone Park, Iceland, New Zealand, and elsewhere." Welded tuft was said to have some of the qualities of beach sand.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea named William A. Lee as an assistant program manager. Lee, who previously headed the Operations Planning Division (which had been absorbed into Owen E. Maynard's Systems Engineering Division), now assumed responsibility for Apollo Operations (both the flight-test program and the lunar mission). Lee thus joined Harry L. Reynolds, also an assistant manager, who was assigned to the LEM's development. Deputy Manager Robert O. Piland continued overseeing the CSM's development and, along with Shea, overall program management.
Because of a change in the size of the entry corridor, North American technicians sought to determine whether they might relax the requirements for pointing accuracy of the stabilization and control system at transearth injection. They could not. To ensure a delta-V reserve, the accuracy requirement must remain unchanged.
Grumman reported three major problems with the LEM:
ASPO organized a new management group, the Configuration Control Board, to oversee proposals for engineering changes. The board comprised groups representing management, the three Apollo modules, and critical Apollo systems (guidance and navigation, spacecraft checkout equipment, and the extravehicular mobility unit).
MSC Structures and Mechanics Division presented their findings on the possibility of qualifying the spacecraft's thermal protection in a single mission. While one flight was adequate to prove the ablator's performance, the division asserted, it would not satisfy the requirements as defined in the specification.
MSC decided in favor of an "all-battery" LEM (i.e., batteries rather than fuel cells in both stages of the vehicle) and notified Grumman accordingly. Pratt and Whitney's subcontract for fuel cells would be terminated on April 1; also, Grumman would assume parenthood of GE's contract (originally let by Pratt and Whitney) for the electrical control assembly.
To prevent radiator freezing - and consequent performance degradation - in the Block I environmental control system, MSC ordered North American to supplement the system's coolant. Forty-five kg (100 lbs) of water would be stored in the SMs of airframes 012 and 014.
NASA and General Motors' AC Spark Plug Division signed the definitive contract (cost-plus-incentive-fee type) for primary guidance and navigation systems for the Apollo spacecraft (both CMs and LEMs). The agreement, extending through December 1969, covered manufacturing and testing of the systems.
North American gave boilerplate 28 its third water drop test. Upon impact, the spacecraft again suffered some structural damage to the heatshield and the core, though much less than it had experienced on its initial drop. Conditions in this test were at least as severe as in previous ones, yet the vehicle remained watertight.
Researchers at Ames Research Center began testing the stability of the Block II CM and escape tower (with canards) in the Center's wind tunnel. Tests would be conducted on the CM itself and while mated with the tower.
Northrop-Ventura began qualification testing of the CM's earth landing sequence controller.
Missiles and Rockets reported a statement by Joseph F. Shea, ASPO manager, that MSC had no serious weight problems with the Apollo spacecraft. The current weight, he said, was 454 kg (1,000 lbs) under the 40,823 kg (90,000 lb) goal. Moreover, the increased payload of the Saturn V to 43,091 kg (95,000 lbs) permitted further increases. Shea admitted, however, that the LEM was growing; recent decisions in favor of safety and redundancy could raise the module's weight from 13,381 kg to 14,575 kg (29,500 lbs to 32,000 lbs).
Preliminary investigation by Grumman indicated that, with an all-battery LEM, passive thermal control of the spacecraft was doubtful. (And this analysis did not include the scientific experiments package, which, with its radioisotope generator, only increased the problem. Grumman and MSC Structures and Mechanics Division engineers were investigating alternate locations for the batteries and modifications to the surface coatings of the spacecraft as possible solutions.
Avco found that cracking of the ablator during cure was caused by incomplete filling, leaving small voids in the material. The company ordered several changes in the manufacturing process: a different shape for the tip of the "filling gun" to facilitate filling those cells that were slightly distorted; manual rather than automatic retraction of the gun; and x-raying of the ablator prior to curing. Using these new methods, Avco repaired the aft heatshield and toroidal corner of airframe 006, which was then re-cured. No cracking was visible. The crew compartment heatshield for airframe 009 came through its cure equally well. Voids in the ablator had been reduced to about two percent. "It appears," Structures and Mechanics Division reported, "that the problem of cracking . . . has been solved by better manufacturing."
Initial flights of the LLRV interested MSC's Guidance and Control Division because they represented first flight tests of a vehicle with control characteristics similar to the LEM. The Division recommended the following specific items for inclusion in the LLRV flight test program:
NASA announced that it had awarded a$3,713,400 contract to Raytheon Company for digital systems for the Apollo program. The equipment, which would be installed at control and tracking stations, would display information telemetered from the spacecraft, and thus would support mission decisions on the ground.
During the flight of boilerplate (BP) 23, the Little Joe II's control system had coupled with the first lateral bending mode of the vehicle. To ensure against any recurrence of this problem on the forthcoming flight of BP-22, MSC asked North American to submit their latest figures on the stiffness of the spacecraft and its escape tower. These data would be used to compute the first bending mode of BP-22 and its launch vehicle.
MSC concurred in North American's recommendation that the 27½ degrees hang angle during parachute descent be retained. (Tests with one-tenth scale models of the CM indicated that, at the higher impact angles, excessive pressures would be exerted on the sidewalls of the vehicle.) Provisions for a "dual hang angle" were still in effect for Block I spacecraft up to airframe 017. Beginning with that number, the face sheets on the aft heatshield would be modified to conform to the 27½ degree impact angle.
Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers were studying several items that, though intended specifically for the Gemini program, were applicable to Apollo as well:
MSC's Structures and Mechanics Division was conducting studies of lunar landing conditions. In one study, mathematical data concerning the lunar surface, LEM descent velocity, and physical properties of LEM landing gear and engine skirt were compiled. A computer was programmed with these data, producing images on a video screen, allowing engineers to review hypothetical landings in slow motion.
In another study, a one-sixth scale model of the LEM landing gear was dropped from several feet to a platform which could be adjusted to different slopes. Impact data, gross stability, acceleration, and stroke of the landing gear were recorded. Although the platform landing surface could not duplicate the lunar surface as well as the computer, the drop could verify data developed in the computer program. The results of these studies would aid in establishing ground rules for lunar landings.
MSC notified Grumman that a device to recharge the portable life support system's (PLSS) batteries was no longer required in the LEM. Instead, three additional batteries would be stored in the spacecraft (bringing the total number of PLSS batteries to six).
MSC directed North American to incorporate the capability for storing a kit-type mapping and survey system into the basic Block II configuration. The actual hardware, which would be installed in the equipment bay of certain SMs (designated by MSC), would weigh up to 680 kg (1,500 lbs).
During a pad abort, propellants from the CM's reaction control system (RCS) would be dumped overboard. Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) therefore established a test program to evaluate possible deleterious effects on the strength of the earth landing system's nylon components. SMD engineers would expose test specimens to RCS fuel (monomethyl hydrazine) and oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide). This testing series would encompass a number of variables: the length of exposure; the time period between that exposure and the strength test; the concentration of propellant; and the rate and direction of the air flow. Testing was completed near the end of the month. SMD reported that "no significant degradation was produced by any of the test exposure conditions."
MSC defined the functional and design requirements for the tracking light on the LEM:
|Apollo - Portrait of Scientist-Astronauts whose selection was announced June 29, 196|
Credit: NASA. 37,368 bytes. 625 x 369 pixels.
North American conducted acoustic tests on the spacecraft's interior, using boilerplate (BP) 14. Noise levels generated by the spacecraft's equipment exceeded specifications. Prime culprits appeared to be the suit compressor and the cabin fans. North American engineers asserted, however, that the test vehicle itself, because of its sheet metal construction, compounded the problem. These tests with BP-14, they affirmed, were not representative of conditions in flight hardware. Data on communications inside the spacecraft were inconclusive and required further analysis, but the warning alarm was sufficiently loud to be heard by the crewmen.
In November 1964, MSC asked Grumman to conduct a study on the feasibility of carrying a radioisotope power supply as part of the LEM's scientific equipment. The subsequent decision to use batteries in the LEM power system caused an additional heat load in the descent stage. Therefore, MSC requested the contractor to continue the study using the following ground rules: consider the radioisotope power supply a requirement for the purpose of preliminary design efforts on descent stage configuration; determine impact of the radioisotope power supply - in particular its effect on passive thermal control of the descent stage; and specify which characteristics would be acceptable if any existing characteristics of the radioisotope power supply had an adverse effect. The radioisotope power was used only to supply power for the descent stage.
MSC eliminated the requirement for relaying, via the LEM/CSM VHF link, transmissions from a moon-exploring astronaut to the earth. This change allowed the 279.0 megacycle (Mc) transmitters in both vehicles to be eliminated; cleared the way for a common VHF configuration; and permitted duplex voice communications between astronaut and spacecraft. For communicating with the LEM, MSC directed North American to provide a 259.7 Mc transmitter in the CSM.
MSC directed North American to include nine scientific experiments on SA 204/Airframe 012: cardiovascular reflex conditioning, bone demineralization, vestibular effects, exercise ergometer, inflight cardiac output, inflight vector cardiogram, measurement of metabolic rate during flight, inflight pulmonary functions, and synoptic terrain photography. On June 25, the last five experiments were deleted and a cytogenic blood studies experiment was added.
MSC estimated the number of navigational sightings that Apollo crewmen would have to make during a lunar landing mission:
ASPO proposed deletion of a liftoff light in the Block II CM. The Block I design provided a redundant panel light which came ON at liftoff as a part of the emergency detection system (EDS). This light gave a cue to the pilot to verify enabling of the EDS automatic abort, for which manual backup was provided. The Block II CM would incorporate improved EDS circuitry without manual backup. Deletion of the liftoff light in the CM was proposed to save weight, power, space, and reliability, and to eliminate a crew distraction during the boost phase of flight.
North American dropped boilerplate 1 twice to measure the maximum pressures the CM would generate during a high-angle water impact. These figures agreed quite well with those obtained from similar tests with a one-tenth scale model of the spacecraft, and supported data from the model on side wall and tunnel pressures.
Because the adapter panels, when deployed to 45 degrees, would block the command link with the LEM, a command antenna system on the adapter was mandatory. MSC therefore directed North American to provide such a device on the adapters for spacecraft 014, 101, and 102. This would permit command acquisition of the LEM in the interval between panel deployment and the spacecraft's clearing the adapter.
After extensive analysis, Crew Systems Division recommended that the "shirtsleeve" environment be kept in the CM. Such a design was simpler and more reliable, and promised much greater personal comfort than wearing the space suit during the entire mission.
The Atomic Energy Commission evaluated proposals by Radio Corporation of America and General Electric (GE) for an isotope generator for the Surveyor lunar roving vehicle, and assigned follow-on work to the latter firm. GE's concept, it was felt, was compatible with the possible requirement that the fuel source might have to be carried separately aboard the LEM. MSC's Propulsion and Power Division reported that the generator's "prospects . . . look(ed) very promising."
Because of continuing developmental problems, Hamilton Standard chose B. F. Goodrich to replace International Latex as subcontractor for the garment portion of the Apollo space suit.
Lawrence B. Hall, Special Assistant for Planetary Quarantine, Bioscience Programs, Office of Space Science and Applications, NASA Headquarters, listed preliminary requirements for space in the Lunar Sample Receiving Station as recommended by the Communicable Disease Center of the Public Health Service. The estimates were based on CDC experience involving the design, construction, and operation of similar biological facilities and called for net space amounting to 7,201 sq m (77,492 sq ft) for laboratories, scientific support service facilities, offices and other areas, and did not reflect requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or experimenters who could justify their work being done under quarantine conditions. Hall noted that Dr. Randolph Lovelace and the Chief of CDC were in agreement that the facility should be isolated, certainly not in or near a metropolitan area, and that an island would be favored.
Structures and Mechanics Division engineers were studying several schemes for achieving the optimum weight of Block II CMs without compromising landing reliability: reducing velocity by retrorockets or "explosions" in the parachutes; controlling roll attitude to 0 degrees at impact through a "rotatable pot" structure; changing landing medium (i.e., shape hole in water and/or aeration of the water).
Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers, continuing their evaluation of liquid-cooled garments (LCG), tested Hamilton Standard's newest version (the LCG-8). The manufacturer had modified placement of the tubes and had used a stretchable, more closely knit fabric. CSD found this style an improvement over its predecessor (the LCG-3): it was more efficient, more comfortable, and easier to don and doff. CSD officials accordingly froze the configuration of the garment around this latest model. Further design work would be minimal (chiefly interface modifications and improvements in fabrication techniques).
Grumman officials presented their findings on supercritical versus gaseous oxygen storage systems for the LEM (supercritical: state of homogeneous mixture at a certain pressure and temperature, being neither gas nor liquid). After studying factors of weight, reliability, and thermal control, as well as cost and schedule impacts, they recommended gaseous tanks in the ascent stage and a supercritical tank in the descent stage. They stressed that this configuration would be about 35.66 kg (117 lbs) lighter than an all-gaseous one. Though these spokesmen denied any schedule impact, they estimated that this approach would cost about 2 million more than the all-gaseous mode. MSC was reviewing Grumman's proposal.
During the latter part of the month, Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers also looked into the several approaches. In contrast to Grumman, CSD calculated that, at most, an all-gaseous system would be but 4.08 kg (9 lbs) heavier than a supercritical one. CSD nonetheless recommended the former. It was felt that the heightened reliability, improved schedules, and "substantial" cost savings that accompanied the all-gaseous approach offset its slim weight disadvantage.
During late April, MSC ordered Grumman to adopt CSD's approach (gaseous systems in both stages of the vehicle). (Another factor involved in this decision was the lessened oxygen requirement that followed substitution of batteries for fuel cells in the LEM.)
Bell Aerosystems Company reported that a study had been made to determine if it were practical to significantly increase simulation time without major changes to the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV). This study had been made after MSC personnel had expressed an interest in increased simulation time for a trainer version of the LLRV. The current LLRV was capable of about 10 minutes of flight time and two minutes of lunar simulation with the lift rockets providing one-sixth of the lift. It was concluded that lunar simulation time approaching seven minutes could be obtained by doubling the 272-kg (600-lb) peroxide load and employing the jet engine to simulate one-half of the rocket lift needed for simulation.
A major limiting factor, however, was the normal weather conditions at Houston, where such a training vehicle would be located. A study showed that in order to use a maximum peroxide load of 544 kg (1,200 lbs), the temperature could not exceed 313K (40 degrees F); and at 332K (59 degrees F) the maximum load must be limited to 465 kg (1,025 lbs) of peroxide. On the basis of existing weather records it was determined there would be enough days on which flights could be made in Houston on the basis of 544 kg (1,200 lbs) peroxide at 313K (40 degrees F), 465 kg (1,025 lbs) at 332K (59 degrees F), and 354 kg (775 lbs) at 353K (80 degrees F) to make provisions for such loads.
ASPO summarized their requirements for entry monitoring and backup reentry range control:
Glynn S. Lunney was named by MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth as Assistant Flight Director for Apollo missions 201 and 202. Lunney would continue to serve as Chief of the Flight Dynamics Branch, Flight Control Division, and as MSC Range Safety Coordinator with the U.S. Air Force Eastern Test Range.
The change from LEM fuel cells to batteries eliminated the need for a hard-line interstage umbilical for that system and the effort on a cryogenic umbilical disconnect was canceled. The entire LEM pyrotechnic effort was redefined during the program review and levels of effort and purchased parts cost were agreed upon.
MSC ordered Grumman to halt development of linear-shaped charge cutters for the LEM's interstage umbilical separation system, and to concentrate instead on redundant explosive-driven guillotines. By eliminating this parallel approach, and by capitalizing on technology already worked out by North American on the CSM umbilical cutter, this decision promised to simplify hardware development and testing. Further, it promised to effect significant schedule improvements and reductions in cost.
Part I of the Critical Design Review of the crew compartment and the docking system in the Block II CM was held at North American. Systems Engineering (SED) and Structures and Mechanics (SMD) divisions, respectively, evaluated the two areas.
Grumman ordered Space Technology Laboratories to increase the lifetime of the thrust chamber in the LEM's descent engine. This required substantial redesigning and was expected to delay the engine's qualification date about seven months.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea said that the first major test of an Apollo spacecraft AFRM 009 tended to pace the CSM program and therefore had taken on a special program significance. Reflecting this significance, both MSC and North American had applied specific additional senior management and project engineering effort to that spacecraft. In the fall of 1965, Robert O. Piland, ASPO Deputy Manager, was assigned to give priority to AFRM 009 to complement and support the normal ASPO project engineering activities. North American simultaneously gave a special assignment regarding 009 to Assistant Program Manager Charles Feltz.
Recently North American had assigned a Chief Project Engineer to a full-time assignment on 009. ASPO's current management and project engineering plan for the spacecraft was: Piland would continue to give priority attention to 009, in addition to his normal duties, and would deal directly with Feltz. The ASPO Chief Project Engineer Rolf W. Lanzkron would be responsible for all ASPO project engineering activities for all spacecraft to be launched at KSC. He would give priority attention to all Block I spacecraft, ensuring schedules through adequate planning, timely decisions, and rapid referral of problems to the Deputy Manager where appropriate. Lanzkron would coordinate with North American's Chief Project Engineer, Ray Pyle, on matters pertaining to 009. Lanzkron would be supported in the Block I project engineering effort by a group headed by William Petynia.
ASPO requested the Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) to study the problem of corrosion in the coolant loops of the CM's environmental control system, and to search for effective inhibitors. Current efforts at North American to lessen corrosion included improved hardware and operating procedures, but stopped short of extensive redesigning; and it would be some time before conclusive results could be expected. Early in May, Owen E. Maynard, chief of the Systems Engineering Division, directed SMD immediately to begin its search for inhibitors. If by July 1966 the corrosion problem remained unresolved, SMD could thus recommend stopgap measures for the early spacecraft.
MSC contacted Grumman with reference to the LEM ascent engine environmental tests at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), scheduled for cell occupancy there from May 1, 1965, until September 1, 1965. It was MSC's understanding that the tests might begin without a baffled injector. It was pointed out, however, that the first test was expected to begin July 1, and since the recent baffle injector design selection had been made, time remained for the fabrication of the injector, checkout of the unit, and shipment to AEDC for use in the first test.
Since the baffled injector represented the final hardware configuration, it was highly desirable to use the design for these tests. MSC requested that availability of the injector constrain the tests and that Grumman take necessary action to ensure compliance.
After further design studies following the M-5 mockup review (October 5-8, 1964), Grumman reconfigured the boarding ladder on the forward gear leg of the LEM. The structure was flattened, to fit closer to the strut. Two stirrup-type steps were being added to ease stepping from the top rung to the platform or "porch" in front of the hatch.
Crew Systems Division confirmed the feasibility of commonality of personal communications equipment for the entire Apollo program.
North American completed negotiations with Ling-Temco-Vought for design support on the environmental control radiators for Block II CSMs.
North American began a series of water impact tests with boilerplate 1 to obtain pressure data on the upper portions of the CM. Data on the side walls and tunnel agreed fairly well with those obtained from 1/10 scale model drops; this was not the case with pressures on the top deck, however.
Test Series I on spacecraft 001 was completed at WSTF Propulsion Systems Development Facility. Vehicle and facility updating in progress consisted of activating the gimbal subsystem and installing a baffled injector and pneumatic engine propellant valve. The individual test operations were conducted satisfactorily, and data indicated that all subsystems operated normally. Total engine firing time was 765 seconds.
Beech Aircraft Corporation stopped all end-item acceptance tests of hydrogen and oxygen tanks as a result of interim failure reports issued against three tanks undergoing tests. Failures ranged from exceeding specification tolerances and failure to meet heat leak requirements to weld failure on the H2 tank. Beech would resume testing when corrective action was established and approved by North American.
William F. Rector, the LEM Project Officer in ASPO, replied to Grumman's weight reduction study (submitted to MSC on December 15, 1964). Rector approved a number of the manufacturer's suggestions:
MSC decided upon a grid-type landing point designator for the LEM. Grumman would cooperate in the final design and would manufacture the device; MIT would ensure that the spacecraft's guidance equipment could accept data from the designator and thus change the landing point.
MSC requested that Grumman incorporate in the command list for LEMs 1, 2, and 3 the capability for turning the LEM transponder off and on by real-time radio command from the Manned Space Flight Network. Necessity for capability of radio command for turning the LEM transponder on after LEM separation resulted from ASPO's decision that the LEM and Saturn instrument unit S-band transponders would use the same transmission and reception frequencies.
|Apollo LLTV - Lunar Landing Training vehicle piloted by Neil Armstrong during training|
Credit: NASA. 22,535 bytes. 310 x 333 pixels.
Bell Aerosystems Company received Grumman's go-ahead to resume work on the thrust chamber of the LEM ascent engine. Bell conducted a dozen stability tests using an injector fitted with a 31.75 mm (1.25 in), Y-shaped baffle. Thus far, the design had recovered from every induced disturbance (including widely varied fuel-to-oxygen ratios). Also, to ease the thermal soakback problem, Bell planned to thicken the chamber wall.
Grumman recommended to MSC that the stroking gear pad be used on the LEM and that design effort to refine crushing performance should continue.
MSC directed Grumman to use supercritical helium only in the descent stage of the LEM; Grumman completed negotiations with AiResearch for the storage system.
Grumman reported the status of their development program on the LEM landing gear.
Space Technology Laboratories' major problems with the LEM descent engine, Grumman reported, were attaining high performance and good erosion characteristics over the entire throttling range.
Three flights were made with the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) for the purpose of checking the automatic systems that control the attitude of the jet engine and adjusting the throttle so the jet engine would support five-sixths of the vehicle weight.
On March 11 representatives of Flight Research Center (FRC) visited MSC to discuss future programs with Warren North and Dean Grimm of Flight Crew Support Division. A budget for operating the LLRV at FRC through fiscal year 1966 was presented. Consideration was being given to terminating the work at FRC on June 30, 1966, and moving the vehicles and equipment to MSC.
The cryoformed steel bottle for the portable life support system, manufactured by Arde-Portland, Inc., passed its first burst and cycling tests, which Crew Systems Division called a "major milestone" in its development.
H. I. Thompson Company's first combustion chamber with a tape-wrapped throat successfully withstood a series of four test firings. If further testing confirmed its performance, reported the resident Apollo office at Bethpage, N.Y., the design would be used in the LEM's ascent engine. (It would replace the current compression-molded throat, which suffered from excessive cracking.)
The thrust mount for the LEM ascent engine cracked during vibration testing. The mount would be strengthened.
During the same period, Bell tested the first one-piece ablative chamber for the ascent engine (designed to replace the molded-throat design, which developed cracks during testing . In firings that totaled over eight minutes, Bell engineers found that the unit suffered only negligible throat erosion and decay of chamber pressure.
Grumman presented to MSC its recommendations for an all-battery electrical power system for the LEM:
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.
Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that Bellcomm, Inc., was conducting a systems engineering study of lunar landing dynamics to determine "functional compatibility of the navigation, guidance, control, crew, and landing gear systems involved in Apollo lunar landing." Phillips asked that he be advised of any specific assignments in these areas which would prove useful in support of the ASPO operation.
Shea replied, "We are currently evaluating the LEM lunar landing system with the Apollo contractors and the NASA Centers. We believe that the landing problem is being covered adequately by ourselves and these contractors." Shea added that a meeting would be held at Grumman April 21 and 22 to determine if there were any deficiencies in the program, and that he would be pleased to have Bellcomm attend the meeting and later make comments and recommendations.
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.
North American reviewed nondestructive techniques for testing honeycomb structures. The principal method involved ultrasonic testing, but this approach was highly dependent upon equipment and procedure. At best, ultrasonic testing could do no more than indicate faulty bond areas, and these could be confirmed only through destructive tests. A number of promising nondestructive methods were being investigated, but thus far none was satisfactory. The danger in this situation was that, if design allowables had to be lowered to meet the results of strength distribution tests, the weight advantage of honeycomb construction might be lost.
Following a presentation by North American on the status of the adapter, MSC spelled out specific and detailed design changes required.
North American presented final results of their modification to the electrical power system for spacecraft 011 to solve the power and energy problem. This consisted of the addition of three batteries which would be mounted on the center platform and used to supply instrumentation and mission control programmer loads during flight. These batteries would be paralleled with the entry and landing batteries at impact to provide power for postlanding recovery loads. MSC concurred with this approach.
To evaluate the Block 11 CSM's manual thrust vector control, five pilots, among them two astronauts, flew the Apollo simulator at Honeywell. These mock flights demonstrated that the manual control was sufficiently accurate for transearth injection. Also, researchers determined that the optical alignment sight provided the crewmen with attitude references adequate for midcourse maneuvers.
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.
Quality verification vibration tests were completed on the command module of spacecraft 006.
A LEM/CSM interface meeting uncovered a numbe