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astronautix.com Orbital Workshop

Apollo OWS + ATM
Apollo OWS + ATM

Credit: NASA. 16,972 bytes. 640 x 423 pixels.


Class: Manned. Type: Space Station. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Douglas.

The Orbital Workshop (OWS) was a 1960’s NASA program to create an embryonic space station in orbit using the spent S-IVB rocket stage of a Saturn IB. Once in orbit, the station would be visited by a crew launched by a Saturn IB in an Apollo CSM. The crew would dock with the station, vent the residual propellants from the S-IVB stage, fill the hydrogen tank with a breathable oxygen atmosphere, and then enter the tank and outfit it as a station.

The OWS consisted of (from fore to aft):

This approach was known as the ‘wet’ workshop. Another alternative, the ‘dry’ workshop, involved launching a fully outfitted Workshop in a single Saturn V launch. This was certainly a simpler method, but all Saturn V launch vehicles were earmarked for the Apollo lunar landing program and NASA Administrator Webb gave that top priority.

In the original Orbital Workshop scenario, subsequent Saturn IB launches would deliver the Apollo Telescope Mount and the Apollo Mapping and Surveying System. A series of Apollo CSM flights would dock with these additional instruments, dock them to the Workshop, and then man the station and operate the equipment. Wet workshop flights would be followed by ‘dry’ workshop launches by Saturn V. These missions would extend in rapid sequence for two to three years from the initial launch, resulting in continuous occupation of stations in the final year.

NASA MSFC began serious investigation of the concept of an OWS on 20 August 1965. On 1 December George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, gave MSFC Director Wernher von Braun authorisation upgrade the workshop to the status of a separate project, with William Ferguson as Project Manager.

In those days things moved fast, and within three weeks NASA had decided to use Gemini subsystems for the airlock module (AM) of the Workshop. By 2 August 1966 NASA decided to test the AM as part of the dual-launch Apollo-Saturn 209-210 mission. The AM would be equipped with a docking adapter at one end to permit CSM docking. Oxygen tanks in the module would pressurise the AM and interior of the S-IVB to create a ‘shirt-sleeve’ environment for the crew. The mission would also allow an early 28-day, manned, Earth-orbital flight with 13 engineering, 7 medical, and 6 technology- related experiments. NASA Administrator Webb approved the plan and 17 days later NASA announced formal selection of McDonnell to manufacture the AM. This was followed by approval on 29 August to conduct one ATM flight on Apollo missions 211/212.

Over the next three years NASA entered a period of budget cutbacks, resulting in constant schedule slips and project cutbacks. The program’s decline can be charted as follows:

The end of the ‘wet’ workshop came in July 1969 after the successful lunar landing. It was decided to launch a single ‘dry’ workshop, ATM, and earth resources mapping system atop a Saturn V. This became known as Skylab, and is discussed separately.


Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 3. Design Life: 1 year. Total Mass: 30,500 kg. Electric system: 12.00 total average kW. Electrical System: Solar panels 111 m2.


Orbital Workshop Chronology


20 August 1965 NASA MSFC began serious investigation of the concept of an S-IVB Orbital Workshop (OWS). Program: OWS.

As part of MSFC's activities related to the AES program, designers at the Center began serious investigation of the concept of an S-IVB Orbital Workshop (OWS). This concept, which involved 'in- orbit' conversion of a spent S-IVB stage to a shelter suitable for extended stay and utilization by man, showed great potential for experiment work during the Earth-orbital phase of the AES program. Accordingly, MSFC officials planned a four-month conceptual design effort, to begin immediately, with help and participation from both MSC and the S-IVB stage builder, Douglas Aircraft Company. Additional Details: NASA MSFC began serious investigation of the concept of an S-IVB Orbital Workshop (OWS)..


01 December 1965 Green light to begin the Saturn IVB Orbital Workshop program Program: OWS.

George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, and MSFC Director Wernher von Braun discussed Marshall's briefing on the S-IVB Workshop concept presented at Headquarters the previous day. Mueller asked that MSFC formulate a program development plan and present it at the next meeting of the Manned Space Flight Management Council. Specifically, Mueller demanded that the plan include experiments to be carried aboard the Workshop; funding arrangements; and where development work should be done (in house, or elsewhere). In addition, he asked that MSFC submit two such plans, one for the unpressurized and another for the pressurized version of the Workshop. In effect, Mueller gave Marshall the 'green light' to begin the Orbital Workshop program. At von Braun's request, the Workshop received the status of a separate project, with William Ferguson as Project Manager.


23 December 1965 Gemini subsystems for the airlock of the Apollo Applications Program S-IVB Workshop concept. Program: OWS.

At the December Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller voiced a desire to have McDonnell examine the feasibility of using Gemini subsystems on an airlock experiment in conjunction with the Apollo Applications Program S-IVB Workshop concept. Accordingly, F. L. Williams of the Advanced Systems Office at MSFC solicited the assistance of MSC s Gemini Program Manager, Charles W. Mathews (since his office had procurement responsibility for Gemini), in getting McDonnell to conduct such an analysis. Williams stated that several designs needed investigation and that, of all Gemini hardware, the environmental control system and perhaps the fuel cells would be incorporated into the airlock design. In order to discuss technical details, he asked whether Mathews might arrange a briefing at Huntsville as soon as possible, since deadlines for presenting final experiment plans to Headquarters were most pressing.


01 January 1966 Study grants for AAP astonomical instrumentation to be flown in the 1969-1975 period. Program: OWS.

Homer E. Newell, Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications, announced opportunities for study grants to competent astronomers for conceptual and preliminary design work leading to instrumentation to be flown in the 1969-1975 period. A description of the Apollo telescope mount was included.


14 January 1966 MSFC issued requests for proposals to the aerospace industry for definition studies of integrating experiment hardware into AAP space vehicles. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

MSFC issued requests for proposals to the aerospace industry for definition studies of integrating experiment hardware into AAP space vehicles-i.e., payload integration in the Apollo lunar module, the Saturn instrument unit, and the S-IVB stage of the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles. Following evaluation of the proposals, MSFC would select two or more firms for negotiation of nine-month study contracts to be managed by Huntsville as the Center responsible for payload integration of this portion of AAP. (MSC was responsible for payload integration of the Apollo CSM.)


28 January 1966 AAP objectives related to future manned space flight and national space goals. Program: OWS.

In a letter to MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth, George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, summarized his views of specific AAP objectives within the broader context of future manned space flight and national space goals. AAP, Mueller stated, would provide a foundation for the next major American space effort. Specifically, AAP would provide the experience of extended lunar explorations and long-duration manned operations in Earth orbit through resupply and in-orbit assembly. These objectives he saw as 'logical extensions of the planned Gemini and Apollo accomplishments' that would contribute significantly to the broader goals of United States preeminence in space and of using space for the benefit of mankind. Mueller foresaw that AAP could be shaped to achieve a number of benefits and applications: Improved weather forecasting with attendant benefits for agriculture and industry Improved communications satellites through periodic manned maintenance Improved Earth resources remote sensing and management Solution of air pollution problems Establishment of astronomical observatories in space and on the Moon to explore fundamental questions of the origins on the solar system and of life on Earth Research in the hard vacuum of space on specific materials technology and processes And, finally, Mueller prophesied that AAP could support the international posture of the United States through advances in science and technology and would strengthen America's national security.


25 February 1966 Agreements between NASA Washington and the Centers regarding the S-IVB Workshop project. Program: OWS.

Maurice J. Raffensperger, Director of Manned Earth Orbital Mission Studies at NASA Hq, summarized the outcome of discussions and agreements between Washington and the Centers regarding the S-IVB Workshop project: MSFC had overall responsibility for the Workshop system design and integration, with a design objective of a 30-day flight capability. The Gemini office at MSC had contractual and design responsibility for the airlock module, using basic Gemini components where feasible. (It was anticipated that McDonnell Aircraft Corporation would be the logical contractor.) Also, MSC would manage the CSM portion of the Workshop concept. MSFC was responsible for implementing the S- IVB Workshop experiment program and integrating experiments into the Workshop. Raffensperger called for compilation of a Workshop planning document (something like a short version of a preliminary project development plan) so that NASA Hq could proceed with steps for authorization and definitive implementation of the project.


09 March 1966 Douglas proposal on the airlock for the AAP. Program: OWS.

A team of engineers from Douglas Aircraft Company, headed by Jack Bromberg, presented a technical briefing and cost proposal to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller on the company's design on the airlock for the AAP. Mueller observed that Douglas' idea for a 30-day capability seemed technically sound. He expressed strong interest in the AAP spent-stage experiment because it would establish a solid basis for space station requirements and definition. However, he cautioned that he had not received definite approval from either the Administrator, James E. Webb, or his deputy, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., on the spent-stage concept and admitted that he had 'some selling to do.'


11 March 1966 MSC planners drew up and submitted to NASA Hq the Center's procurement plan for an S-IVB Workshop experiment support module. Program: OWS.

The components of such an experiment comprised an Apollo CSM, an S-IVB stage, and a support module interconnect, which MSC proposed to award to McDonnell for development. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth urged speedy action on the proposal and by the contractor because of the necessity for early definition of hardware interfaces, as well as impending phaseout of the Gemini and subcontractor efforts.


17 March 1966 Approval of the ATM project.

Homer E. Newell, Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications, asked for approval of the ATM project from Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The ATM, Newell explained, was based on an engineering and definition study effort completed 1 April by Ball Brothers Research Corporation, as well as evaluation of the concept by four NASA Field Centers-LaRC, Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), MSFC, and MSC. The Ball Brothers Research Corporation study had been let in September 1965, said Newell, to determine means of providing an accurate pointing capability for high-resolution solar- oriented telescopes aboard an Apollo spacecraft. Further impetus to ATM had come from the agency's cancellation of the Advanced Orbiting Solar Observatory at the end of 1965. The ATM, he said, provided the means to obtain high-resolution data about the Sun during periods of maximum solar activity and served as a basis for evaluating ability to operate as an essential element within a complete manned space science system. The need for quick project approval and hardware development had been recognized by all participating parties, Newell explained, and Goddard Space Flight Center, MSFC, and MSC had all expressed 'deep interest and desire' to manage the project. However, after review within his office, he had decided to select Goddard as the most suitable location for development of the ATM. Accordingly, he asked Seamans to approve the project development plan.


18 March 1966 S IVB spent-stage experiment effort. Program: OWS.

Gemini Program Manager Charles W. Mathews urged upon Edward Z. Gray, Director of Advanced Manned Missions, the necessity of proceeding immediately with certain phases of the S IVB spent-stage experiment effort. Gemini Program Manager Charles W. Mathews urged upon Edward Z. Gray, Director of Advanced Manned Missions, the necessity of proceeding immediately with certain phases of the S IVB spent-stage experiment effort, particularly the McDonnell procurement for the spent-stage experiment support module and the North American study of modifications to the CSM. The situation at McDonnell was especially acute, said Mathews, because of impending phaseout of the Gemini program; also, certain information on the CSM was needed to define the efforts of both contractors on interfacing and spacecraft modifications. In view of these factors, Mathews asked Gray for approval to proceed with the definition and study efforts.


23 March 1966 NASA released the first AAP schedule. It envisioned 26 Saturn IB and 19 Saturn V AAP launches. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.

Among these would be three 'S-IVB/Spent-Stage Experiment Support Modules' (i.e., 'wet' Workshops), three Saturn V-boosted orbital laboratories, and four Apollo telescope mounts. The initial AAP launch was slated for April 1968. The schedule was predicated upon non-interference with the basic Apollo lunar landing program, minimum modifications to basic Apollo hardware, and compatibility with existing Apollo launch vehicles.


05 April 1966 Requests for proposals to Douglas, Grumman, and McDonnell to undertake definition studies on the Saturn S IVB spent-stage experiment support module (SSESM). Program: OWS.

Acting upon authority granted by Headquarters and approval of MSC's statement of work, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC Gemini Program Deputy Manager, informed officials in Washington and Huntsville that Houston had presented requests for proposals to Douglas, Grumman, and McDonnell to undertake definition studies on the Saturn S IVB spent-stage experiment support module (SSESM). Study contracts were issued 18 April. The contractors were ordered to submit definitive statements of work within 60 days proposing a fixed price for one module (with an option for three additional modules). Under these initial study contracts, spacecraft hardware already flight-qualified would be used wherever practicable.


15 April 1966 Evaluation of a Lockheed proposal to launch space probes from orbit using Agena rockets launched from AAP stations in space. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: SLV-3 Atlas / Agena D.

Associate Administrator for Manned Space Fight George E. Mueller informed Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., of the Saturn/Apollo Applications Program Office's evaluation of a Lockheed proposal to launch space probes from orbit using Agena rockets launched from AAP stations in space. The proposal was feasible, Mueller advised, but did not seem a desirable mission for inclusion in the AAP. Additional Details: Evaluation of a Lockheed proposal to launch space probes from orbit using Agena rockets launched from AAP stations in space..


22 April 1966 Development competition for the ATM delayed until the AAP funding picture for the next two fiscal years became clearer. Program: OWS.

NASA Deputy Director Robert C. Seamans, Jr., told Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications Homer E. Newell that he had no choice but to delay initiation of development competition on the ATM until the AAP funding picture for the next two fiscal years became clearer. Because he had been unable to identify any source for the funds that would be required for the project during Fiscal Year 1967, Seamans said, 'I am extremely reluctant to start a competition in industry at a time when we cannot see our way clear to proceeding in a timely fashion.' On the other hand, he said he recognized Newell's deep interest in the ATM project and its scientific value and he was ready to proceed with advanced study work. Accordingly, he said he had signed the sole source award to Ball Brothers Research Corporation to study adapting the ATM for automatic observations in orbit beyond the basic 14-day manned mission and to study adapting the ATM to the Apollo lunar module (LM) for extended manned operations. Seamans expressed his own conviction that, to meet the objectives of the AAP mission at the earliest possible time, it would be best to mount the ATM directly on the Apollo command and service modules. If the present fiscal problem precluded such an arrangement, he told Newell, the agency would then be in a better position at a later date to decide whether the ATM should be included as part of the LM or whether some alternate approach should be used.


06 May 1966 Astronauts voiced concern regarding the purposes and proposed work statement for the S-IVB spent-stage. Program: OWS.

MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton and several astronauts (notably Joseph P. Kerwin) voiced concern regarding the purposes and proposed work statement for the S-IVB spent-stage experiment support module. As well as pointing out the general lack of experiment planning and hardware, Slayton and Kerwin noted a member of operational and safety concerns surrounding purging the stage's hydrogen tank to create a habitable structure in space.


18 May 1966 Major technical planning session on the AAP. Program: OWS.

Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller held a major technical planning session on the AAP with principal Headquarters AAP officials and representatives of the three manned spacecraft Centers. The more fundamental programmatic and design decisions included the concept of a 'dependent' spent- stage experiment support module (SSESM) and S-IVB Workshop (i.e., fuel cells in the CSM would support the entire vehicle); a process by which expendables in the SSESM would be fed to the CSM via external umbilicals; and development of extended-duration fuel cell assemblies for long-duration synchronous and lunar orbit AAP missions. Also, Mueller reaffirmed an early 1968 schedule for availability of the first SSESM; that the first flight article would be a simple structure with no 'follow-on goodies' (such as dual docking capabilities); an unmanned SSESM launch; CSM SSESM orbital stay times of 14 days, with the capability to extend the Rights to 28-day missions; and that the current SSESM definition studies at MSC must produce design specifications adequate for a fixed-price phase II contract to build the first flight article.


20 May 1966 Source Evaluation Board (SEB) for the S IVB spent-stage experiment support module (SSESM). Program: OWS.

Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller officially named Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Gemini Program Deputy Manager at MSC, to head the Source Evaluation Board (SEB) for the S IVB spent-stage experiment support module (SSESM). Mueller personally charged Kleinknecht with undertaking this task;, since the SEB had been created before formal approval of either the project or the procurement plans. Under these circumstances, Mueller cautioned Kleinknecht and the Board to avoid any commitment that NASA would pursue the phase II part of the effort or even that one of the phase I contractors would be selected if and when the project were approved. Also, Mueller reminded him of the compressed schedule requirements and limited resources immediately available for the SSESM project. Thus, said Mueller, emphasis should be placed Upon costing and firm schedule commitments on the part of the contractor. The SSESM technical concept and design must be adequate to meet mission requirements, but no cost or schedule penalties should be accepted for 'unnecessary design refinements.''


02 June 1966 The newly created Source Evaluation Board for the SSESM held its first meeting, and members made tours of the three study contractors' plants. Program: OWS.

All three study contractors had completed preliminary design work< and were currently examining design details critical to weight and costs. Program officials already had impressed upon the three firms the crucial importance of low cost. Further, they had been told to concentrate on the SSESM configuration and were requested to study use of cryogenics in the SSESM for reactivation of the SSESM/S IVB Workshop during subsequent flights.


10 June 1966 Evaluation of the proposals for the spent-stage experiment support module expected from Douglas, McDonnell, and Grumman. Program: OWS.

In preparation for upcoming evaluation of spent-stage experiment support module proposals, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Chairman of the SEB, established Technical and Business Management Committees to conduct actual evaluations. Kleinknecht expected that evaluation of the proposals due 17 June would begin as soon as they were received from the initial study contractors, Douglas, McDonnell, and Grumman.


16 June 1966 MSC concern over several crew-safety factors regarding the suitability of the S-IVB hydrogen tank as a habitable structure to support the SSESM program. Program: OWS.

Reflecting MSC's concern over several crew-safety factors regarding the suitability of the S-IVB hydrogen tank as a habitable structure to support the SSESM program, Gemini Program Manager Charles W. Mathews requested that officials at MSFC determine the compatibility of pressurization oxygen with possible out-gassing hydrogen and the possible effects on electrical cabling. Mathews desired such information as soon as possible, since results of this investigation would affect contractor efforts on the SSESM project. (See entry, 6 May 1966.)


01 July 1966 Melvyn Savage named to head Apollo Applications Program Test Directorate Program: Apollo.

Melvyn Savage, Apollo Test Director in NASA Hq., was named to head the Apollo Applications Program Test Directorate. LeRoy E. Day was named to replace Savage in Apollo.


07 July 1966 Three separate study efforts within NASA evaluating the S-IVB stage as a manned laboratory. Program: Skylab.

In a memorandum to Headquarters staff members, Advanced Manned Missions Program Director Edward Z. Gray summarized the three separate study efforts underway within NASA directed toward evaluating the S-IVB stage as a manned laboratory: (1) The spent-stage experiment support module (SSESM) study, a joint effort by MSC and MSFC. (2) A spent S-IVB-stage utilization study at MSFC. (3) A Saturn V single-launch space station. Additional Details: Three separate study efforts within NASA evaluating the S-IVB stage as a manned laboratory..


18 July 1966 Headquarters management responsibility for development of the S-IVB Orbital Workshop and SSESM assigned to David M. Jones. Program: OWS.

George E. Mueller, Associate Director for Manned Space Flight, officially assigned Headquarters management responsibility for development of the S-IVB Orbital Workshop and SSESM to David M. Jones, Acting Saturn/Apollo Applications Program (S/AAP) Director. Experiments as a part of the SSESM and Workshop programs, Mueller said, would still be processed through the Manned Space Flight Experiments Board for approval.


25 July 1966 Choice of location for the ATM narrowed down either to the LM ascent stage or to a specially designed rack structure completely supplanting the LM. Program: OWS.

John H. Disher, Saturn/Apollo Applications Deputy Director, advised his Systems Engineering Director that, on the basis of studies and review within both the OMSF and the OSSA, the choice of location for the ATM had been narrowed down either to the LM ascent stage (with a 'half rack' in place of the descent stage) or to a specially designed rack structure completely supplanting the LM. Disher requested additional information on both of these approaches to help in making final recommendations: (1) A comparison of command and service modules interfaces for the two concepts. (2) An analysis of interfaces between the LM rack and the ascent stage. (3) Descriptions of the subsystem installations for both the LM ATM and rack ATM.


02 August 1966 Mueller requestd approval of the preliminary AAP project development plan. Program: OWS.

George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, advised Robert C. Seamans, Jr., of progress toward selecting the proper location of the ATM with the AAP payload cluster and requested his approval of the preliminary project development plan. Mueller. urged proceeding immediately with the project based upon mounting the ATM on a rack structure that would (1) either supplant the descent stage of the LM (thus using the LM ascent stage for mounting experiment consoles and for supporting the crew during periods of observation) or (2) attach directly to the Apollo CSM. Mueller recommended beginning development work on the ATM project immediately, rather than deferring such action until the end of the year, in order to ensure flight readiness during the 1968-1969 period of maximum solar activity. Also, Mueller strongly supported Seamans' suggestion that much in-house effort and manpower at MSFC could be brought to bear on the ATM development program. Indeed, Mueller stated that such a course was essential to successful prosecution of the ATM project within available resources, even though several important industrial contracts for ATM components were still necessary.


09 August 1966 S-IVB spent-stage experiment renamed the Orbital Workshop. Program: OWS.

Based on confirmation during discussion with Melvin Savage of NASA Hq, MSC Gemini Program Deputy Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht advised of changes in hardware nomenclature for the Apollo Applications Program: The S-IVB spent-stage experiment was now the Orbital Workshop. The spent-stage experiment support module was now the airlock module. The spent S IVB was now the Orbital S-IVB.


19 August 1966 Selection of McDonnell to manufacture an AM for AAP to permit astronauts to enter the empty hydrogen tank of a spent S-IVB Saturn stage. Program: OWS.

NASA announced selection of McDonnell to manufacture an AM Airlock Module for AAP to permit astronauts to enter the empty hydrogen tank of a spent S-IVB Saturn stage. The AM would form an interstage between the spent rocket stage and the Apollo CSM and would contain environmental and life support systems to make the structure habitable in space. Though MSFC had project responsibility for the complete Orbital Workshop, technical and management responsibility for the AM rested with the AAP office at MSC. Contract negotiations with McDonnell were completed in mid-September. Because design of the AM would employ existing Gemini technology and hardware where feasible, MSC Gemini Deputy Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht detailed a number of people from his office to support the AM project.


29 August 1966 Approval to proceed with development and procurement actions to conduct one AAP ATM flight on missions 211/212. Program: OWS.

NASA Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., notified George E. Mueller of approval to proceed with development and procurement actions to conduct one AAP ATM flight on missions 211/212 (as an alternate to the basic Apollo mission assigned to those two vehicles). Since only one ATM flight was thus far approved, Seamans emphasized the importance of focusing all project effort on meeting the existing SA 211/212 schedule. Seamans asked that he be kept fully informed of all major decisions during the system definition phase of the ATM project. He cited a number of points of particular interest: the design concept for the ATM and its rationale; experiments planned for the mission (especially on the assumption of a single ATM flight); operational concepts; procurement phasing with the option for a follow-on ATM if resources permitted; organizational, procurement, and management approaches for the mission; and schedule options available if SA 211 and 212 became available for an alternate ATM mission.


13 September 1966 Mission requirements for the Saturn/Apollo Applications 209 mission, a 28-day, manned, Earth-orbital flight. Program: OWS.

NASA Hq Saturn/Apollo Applications Program Office defined mission requirements and Center responsibilities to successfully carry out a Saturn/Apollo Applications 209 mission, a 28-day, manned, Earth-orbital flight. Candidate experiments for the mission included 13 engineering, 7 medical, and 6 technology- related experiments.


21 September 1966 Gemini extravehicular activity difficulties cause redesigned forward dome hatch in the S-IVB hydrogen tank. Program: OWS.

Prompted by recent operational difficulties involving extravehicular activity during Gemini flights IXA, X, and XI, Deputy Project Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht recommended to Saturn/Apollo Applications Program officials in Washington a redesigned forward dome hatch in the S-IVB hydrogen tank; i.e., one that could be more readily removed. He urged installing a flexible type of airlock seal prior to launch of the stage. These changes, Kleinknecht said, would go far toward minimizing astronaut workload for activating the spent stage once in orbit.


07 October 1966 Alternative methods of activating the SAA-209 Workshop. Program: OWS.

Saturn/Apollo Applications Program Deputy Director John H. Disher, in response to a letter from MSC AAP Assistant Manager Robert F. Thompson regarding the difficult workload imposed on the crewmen during the SAA-209 mission (i.e., opening the S-IVB tank dome cover and installing the airlock boot might be enough to jeopardize the mission), asked both Thompson and Leland F. Belew, S/AAP Manager at MSFC, to explore various alternatives to this method of activating the Workshop. Also, Disher asked that Belew undertake a simulation effort to evaluate definitively the workload involved in activating the present Workshop configuration.


19 October 1966 Reductions by Headquarters in Houston's AAP Project Operating Plan for Fiscal Year 1967. Program: OWS.

Robert F. Thompson, Assistant Apollo Applications Program Manager at MSC, wrote AAP Deputy Director John H. Disher criticizing reductions by Headquarters in Houston's AAP Project Operating Plan for Fiscal Year 1967 for both experiments and the Orbital Workshop mission ($8.6 million for each). Thompson claimed that the current requirement for the Workshop mission was $17 million ($14 million for hardware and mission support and $3 million for currently assigned experiments). He then broke down specific funding requirements for the airlock module, command and service modules modifications, guidance and navigation hardware and software, crew systems, and training requirements. Houston was going ahead with the Workshop mission as speedily as possible, Thompson said. However, 'prompt and adequate funding . . . is required if current schedules are to be met.'


25 October 1966 MSFC distributed its research and development plan for the OWS. Program: OWS.

The development plan defined objectives and basic criteria for the project and established a plan for its technical management (chiefly through MSFC's Propulsion and Vehicle Engineering Division). Officially, the Workshop had won approval for the Saturn/Apollo Applications 209 mission, which was a backup for Apollo-Saturn 209. Primary purpose of SAA-209 was activation of the spent S-IVB stage into a habitable space structure for extended Earth-orbit missions. Additional Details: MSFC distributed its research and development plan for the OWS..


02 November 1966 Mission planning for AAP flights 209 through 212. Program: OWS.

After intensive effort by AAP groups at MSFC and MSC on the ATM and AAP mission planning for Flights 209 through 212, George E. Mueller told the two Center Directors that he now had ample information for a 'reasonable plan' to proceed with AAP. First, Mueller stated that the Orbital Workshop mission could best achieve AAP objectives by launching the complete airlock, Workshop, and multiple docking adapter unmanned into a one-year orbit, with activation to be accomplished by a separately launched crew. The first two AAP missions, said Mueller, would thus provide a three-man, 28-day flight and, at the same time, would establish a large clustered space configuration for use during subsequent missions. Secondly, Mueller posited that the ATM to be developed by MSFC could readily be integrated into an LM ascent stage and could reasonably be scheduled for launch during 1968. He cited the possibility that, by eliminating some equipment from the LM, the complete CSM-LM-ATM vehicle could be launched by a single booster. However, Mueller stated his belief that the correct approach should retain those LM subsystems required to operate the vehicle in a tethered mode, even though normal operation might call for the LM/ATM to be docked to either the Workshop or the CSM. Further, Mueller expressed real concern regarding the likelihood of significant weight growths in the ATM systems. For this reason he favored separate launch of the LM/ATM combination. Mueller planned to present AAP planning along these lines during discussions over the next several days with Administrator James E. Webb and the Director of the Budget regarding NASA's planning for manned space flight in the post-Apollo era.


05 November 1966 Lunar module ascent stage/half-rack Apollo telescope mount (LM/ATM) the baseline configuration for the ATM. Program: OWS.

George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, recommended to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., the lunar module ascent stage/half-rack Apollo telescope mount (LM/ATM) as the baseline configuration for development of the ATM. Mueller explained that a number of 'desirable characteristics' had been examined in comparing the LM ATM with its chief rival, a CSM rack/ ATM: (1) achievement of maximum solar data (through ease of operation, ability to repair, maintain, and reuse, and the capability of adding new instruments on subsequent missions); (2) maximum employment of man's capabilities for orbital astronomy (including pointing, film retrieval, repair and maintenance, and inflight analysis of solar data); (3) modes of manned operations (docked with the Orbital Workshop and separated from the cluster via a tether); (4) minimum cost consistent with accomplishing mission objectives; and (5) highest assurance of achieving program schedules. Comparison studies had shown that both the rack ATM and the LM/ATM should use the Langley-developed control moment gyro system for fine pointing control and that both configurations required a sizable volume to allow crew access to instruments and controls. The rack/ATM concept, Mueller told Seamans, was attractive primarily because of its simplicity. However, the vehicle could not be operated at a distance from the CSM to minimize contamination or motion disturbances (items of particular concern to ATM experimenters). On the other hand, the LM/ATM offered the greatest flexibility for meeting ATM requirements without any impact on the CSM. It could normally be operated while docked to either the CSM or the Workshop or, if experiment requirements so dictated, be either tethered or in free flight. This latter capability was especially valuable, Mueller explained, because it afforded a method of evaluating the range of modes for operating future manned orbiting telescopes and would permit early determination of the most desirable approach. (Mueller had recommended to Seamans approval of the ATM project some three months earlier and Seamans had given his okay shortly thereafter .)


08 November 1966 Approved mission sequence for Apollo Applications missions 209 through 212. Program: OWS.

In accordance with decisions made by Associate Administrator George E. Mueller (see 2 November 1966), Saturn/Apollo Applications Deputy Director John H. Disher notified Robert F. Thompson, Robert C. Hock, and Leland F. Belew, Apollo Applications Program Managers at MSC, KSC, and MSFC, respectively, of the approved mission sequence for missions 209 through 212. SAA-209: manned block II CSM flight of 28-day duration, with the CSM fuel cells providing primary electrical power. SAA-210: launch of the unmanned airlock Orbital Workshop multiple docking adapter combination, with solar cells as the chief source of power. SAA-211: manned CSM flight of 56-day duration. SAA-212: unmanned lunar module-Apollo telescope mount flight. Disher said that mission planning directives were being expedited to implement this mission sequence.


16 November 1966 Revised criteria for design of a one-year Workshop in space. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

Maurice J. Raffensperger, Earth Orbital Mission Studies Director in NASA Hq, spelled out revised criteria for design of a one-year Workshop in space (criteria to be incorporated by MSFC and MSC planners into their proposed configurations). Maurice J. Raffensperger, Earth Orbital Mission Studies Director in NASA Hq, spelled out revised criteria for design of a one-year Workshop in space (criteria to be incorporated by MSFC and MSC planners into their proposed configurations): This 'interim space station' should be ready for launch in January 1971. The design had to be a minimum-cost structure capable of a two-year survival in low Earth orbit. (Raffensperger speculated that a 'dry-launched' S-IVB stage could be employed without major structural changes.) Initial vehicle subsystems were to consist of flight-qualified Apollo and Manned Orbiting Laboratory hardware capable of one-year operation. Operation of the station during the second year was to be accomplished by means of a long- duration 'developmental systems' module that would be attached to the original space station structure (and would be developed separately as part of the long-duration space station program). Initial launch of the station would be with a Saturn V (and include CSM). This interim space station must be suited for operation in either zero-g or with artificial gravity (using the 'simplest, least expensive' approach). Cost of the hardware must not exceed $200 million (excluding launch vehicle and the long-duration subsystems module). Cargo resupply and crew changes were to be carried out using Apollo Applications- modified CSMs (limited to three Saturn IBs per year).


18 November 1966 NASA plans to include the DOD's astronaut maneuvering unit "back pack" aboard AAP flights. Program: OWS.

As requested by Robert C. Seamans, Jr., at the monthly program meeting during October, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller summarized the agency's present plans for including the DOD's astronaut maneuvering unit 'back pack' aboard AAP flights. Additional Details: NASA plans to include the DOD's astronaut maneuvering unit "back pack" aboard AAP flights..


28 November 1966 NASA announced selection of Bendix Corporation's Eclipse Pioneer Division to negotiate a contract for development and production of a pointing control system for the ATM. Program: OWS.

The work, covering three flight units at an estimated cost of $6.9 million, was directed by MSFC. The pointing system, one of several flight systems to be developed for the ATM program, was based on design of a control moment gyro that Bendix was already developing for Langley.


05 December 1966 NASA Hq issued a schedule which introduced the cluster concept into the AAP design. The cluster concept consisted of a Workshop launch following a manned CSM launch. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

Six months later, a LM/ATM launch would follow a second manned flight. The LM/ATM would rendezvous and dock to the cluster. The first Workshop launch was scheduled for June 1968. As opposed to the habitable OWS and cluster concept which projected a much more complex program, the S-IVB SSESM had been a comparatively simple mission requiring no rendezvous and docking and no habitation equipment. A major similarity between the old S-IVB/SSESM concept and the cluster concept was use of the S-IVB stage to put the payload into orbit before passivation and pressurization of the stage's hydrogen tanks. The new cluster concept embodied the major step of making the Saturn IVB habitable in orbit, incorporating a two-gas atmosphere (oxygen and nitrogen) and a 'shirt- sleeve' environment. The OWS would contain crew quarters in the S IVB hydrogen tank (two floors and walls installed on the ground), which would be modified by Douglas Aircraft Company under MSFC management; an airlock module (previously called the SSESM) attached to the OWS, which would be built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation under MSC management; and a multiple docking adapter (MDA), which would contain five docking ports permitting up to five modules to be docked to the Workshop at any one time. The MDA would also house most OWS astronaut habitability equipment and many experiments. The schedule called for 22 Saturn IB and 15 Saturn V launches. Two of the Saturn IBs would be launched a day apart-one manned, the other unmanned. Flights utilizing two Saturn V Workshops and four LM ATM missions were also scheduled.


22 December 1966 Joint MSC-Hq position regarding selection of atmosphere for the Apollo Applications S-IVB Workshop. Program: OWS.

George E. Mueller wrote MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth and MSFC Director Wernher von Braun advising them of a joint MSC-Hq medical position regarding selection of a gaseous atmosphere for the Apollo Applications S-IVB Workshop. This medical position, based upon retention of the existing 100-percent oxygen environment in the command module, called for a 'shirt-sleeve' atmosphere in the Workshop of 69-percent oxygen and 31-percent nitrogen at 35 kilonewtons per sq m (5 psia). (One-hundred-percent oxygen was still required for spacesuited emergency operation and during extravehicular activities.) Mueller solicited from the Center Directors comments on the engineering design and operational techniques of the Workshop Mission.


30 December 1966 NASA Hq officially promulgated mission objectives of the Apollo Applications AAP-l and AAP-2 flights. Program: OWS.

NASA Hq officially promulgated mission objectives of the AAP-l and AAP-2 flights. They were to conduct a low-altitude, low-inclination Earth-orbital mission with a three-man crew for a maximum of 28 days using a spent S-IVB stage as an OWS; to provide for reactivation and reuse of the OWS for subsequent missions within one year from initial launch; and to perform test operations with the lunar mapping and survey system in Earth orbit.


26 January 1967 NASA planned to form an "embryonic space station" in 1968-69 by clustering four AAP payloads. Program: OWS.

At a NASA Hq briefing, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller stated that NASA planned to form an 'embryonic space station' in 1968-69 by clustering four AAP payloads launched at different times. The first mission would be the launch of a manned spacecraft followed several days later by a spent S-IVB stage converted into an OWS. After the two spacecraft had docked, the crew would enter the Workshop through an airlock. Twenty-eight days later they would passivate the OWS and return to Earth in their spacecraft. In three to six months, a second manned spacecraft would be launched on a 56-day mission to deliver a resupply module to the OWS and to rendezvous with an unmanned ATM, the fourth and last launch of the series. The cluster would be joined together using the multiple docking adapter. Emphasizing the importance of manning the ATM, Mueller said that 'if there is one thing the scientific community is agreed on it is that when you want to have a major telescope instrument in space it needs to be manned.'


15 March 1967 The Naval Research Laboratory awarded a subcontract to Ball Brothers Research Corporation for the production of the Apollo telescope mount NRL experiments. Program: OWS.

Prior subcontracts had been let with Ball for production of the High Altitude Observatory experiment on 11 January 1965, and for the Harvard College Observatory experiment on 27 December 1966. Development responsibility was transferred from Goddard Space Flight Center to MSFC.


17 March 1967 Donald K. Slayton, MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations, expressed concern over the excessive number of experiments assigned to the first AAP mission. Program: OWS.

Experimenters had requested 672 man- hours for inflight accomplishment of experiments, where only 429 man-hours were available, creating a deficit of 243 inflight man-hours. The same problem was applicable to premission experiment training. Experimenters were requesting 485 hours per man for premission experiment training, where only 200 hours per man were available, creating a deficit of 285 hours per man.


27 March 1967 Apollo Applications missions 3 and 4 to increase man's knowledge of the characteristics of the Sun. Program: OWS.

NASA stated that the purposes of Apollo Applications missions 3 and 4 were to Increase man's knowledge of the characteristics of the Sun by conducting solar astronomy observations in space during a time of maximum solar activity. Conduct an operational evaluation of the performance characteristics of a manned solar astronomy system to provide engineering and scientific data essential to the development of advanced orbital solar and stellar observation systems. Demonstrate feasibility of (1) Reactivating an OWS that has been left unattended in Earth orbit for several months. (2) Reusing the OWS as a base of operations for the conduct of experiments in solar astronomy, science, applications, technology, engineering, and medicine. Qualify man, evaluate his support requirements, and determine human task performance capabilities on long-duration manned space flight missions.


06 April 1967 Donald K. Slayton, MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations, requested that the proposed T-020 "Jet Shoes" experiment be removed from all AAP flights. Program: Skylab.

The 'Jet Shoes' experiment was an astronaut maneuvering system consisting of two small thrusters mounted one beneath each foot and oriented so that the thrust vectors passed close to the center of body mass with legs and feet in a comfortable position. During January, an engineering development model of the 'Jet Shoes' was tested by several astronauts on the MSC air bearing facility in cooperation with the Principal Investigator. Although the tests by the astronauts were shirt-sleeve runs, an LaRC test pilot made several runs in an inflated pressure suit. The results were unsatisfactory. In his objections to the experiment, Slayton suggested that its attempted use by an astronaut wearing a life support unit would provide extremely poor visibility.


02 May 1967 Preliminary design review of the spent-stage Orbital Workshop project. Program: OWS.

A preliminary design review was conducted at MSFC during 2-10 May 1967 to evaluate the basic design approach of the MSFC/MSC/McDonnell Douglas team relative to the spent-stage aspects of the Orbital Workshop project. Purpose of the review was to define a baseline design on as many subsystems as possible and to define steps leading to a baseline on the remaining subsystems.


05 May 1967 Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation presented to the MSC AAP Office a preliminary statement of work and cost proposal for developing the LM as an ATM for the AAP-4 mission. Program: OWS.

The AAP staff then began reviewing the proposal which described the work necessary to develop the final LM-ATM spacecraft configuration.


12 May 1967 Release of a staff paper by J. Bollerud and C. Berry recommending a 35-kilonewtons-per-sq- m 69-percent-oxygen, 31-percent-nitrogen, shirt-sleeve atmosphere in the OWS. Program: OWS.

Release of a staff paper by J. Bollerud and C. Berry recommending a 35-kilonewtons-per-sq- m 69-percent-oxygen, 31-percent-nitrogen, shirt-sleeve atmosphere in the OWS initiated a discussion as to its impact on engineering design and operational plans, as well as the physiological response of test subjects to a one-gas (pure oxygen) system over extended periods of time. The consensus was that the 35-kilonewton (5 psia) oxygen-nitrogen for the OWS would best serve the needs of the OWS Earth-orbiting program.


24 May 1967 NASA realigned its Apollo and AAP launch schedules following the Apollo 204 accident in January. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

Because of the Apollo 204 accident in January and the resulting program delays, NASA realigned its Apollo and AAP launch schedules. The new AAP schedule called for 25 Saturn IB and 14 Saturn V launches. Major hardware for these launches would be two Workshops flown on Saturn IB vehicles, two Saturn V Workshops, and three ATMs. Under this new schedule, the first Workshop launch would come in January 1969.


19 June 1967 The purposes of the AAP 1/AAP-2 mission were defined. Program: OWS.

The purposes of the AAP 1/AAP-2 mission were (1) to conduct a low-altitude, low-inclination, Earth- orbital mission with a crew of three men, open ended to 28 days' duration, using a spent S-IVB stage as an OWS; (2) to provide for reactivation and reuse of the OWS during subsequent missions occurring up to 1 year later; (3) to conduct inflight experiments in the areas of science, applications, technology, engineering, and medicine; and (4) to qualify man, evaluate his support requirements, and determine human task performance capability on long-duration manned space flight missions. Additional Details: The purposes of the AAP 1/AAP-2 mission were defined..


28 June 1967 Donald K. Slayton and Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., of MSC stated that it was mandatory, in their opinion, to launch the unmanned vehicle first in the AAP-1/AAP 2 mission. Program: OWS.

Reasons cited were the following: If the unmanned vehicle failed to achieve orbit or could not be made to function once in orbit, the CSM would not be launched as planned. This would eliminate subjecting the flight crew to the potentially hazardous conditions of booster- powered flight, service propulsion system circularization burn, retrofire, reentry, landing, and recovery. It would also save costs, since the CSM could be used for another mission. Operationally, it would be more feasible to ascertain that an unknown configuration could withstand a launch phase than to commit a proven space vehicle without this knowledge.


26 July 1967 NASA Administrator Webb refuses to make choice between substantial cuts in either the Apollo Applications or Voyager programs. Program: Skylab.

NASA Administrator James E. Webb testified on the NASA FY 1968 authorization bill before the Senate Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Independent Offices. Asked by Sen. Spessard Holland (D Fla.) to make a choice between a substantial cut in funding for the Apollo Applications Program and the Voyager program, Webb replied that both were vital to the U.S. space effort. Additional Details: NASA Administrator Webb refuses to make choice between substantial cuts in either the Apollo Applications or Voyager programs..


28 July 1967 At a design meeting in Huntsville, designers decided to incorporate the Orbital Workshop's two floors into one common grated floor in the crew quarters to save weight. Program: OWS.

This concept called for the crew quarters to be on one side of the floor and a large open area on the opposite side permitting intravehicular activity in the hydrogen tank dome.


29 August 1967 Major AAP reprogramming. Program: OWS.

In a letter to Saturn Apollo Applications Director Charles W. Mathews, MSC's AAP Assistant Manager Robert F. Thompson presented Houston's philosophy regarding major AAP reprogramming. Two factors, Thompson said, underlay the necessity for planning alterations: (1) the likelihood of funding cutbacks during 1968 and 1969 and (2) a clearer picture of how much Apollo hardware AAP might inherit, as Apollo reprogramming matured after the 204 accident. Thompson then set forth MSC's recommendations for the next phase of AAP planning: a manned Earth-orbital mission during 1969; two manned flights of 28 and 56 days using the OWS during 1970; a manned AAP/ATM flight during 1971; long-duration (two months to one year) manned flights during late 1971 and 1972; and manned lunar missions (including surface operations) in the post-Apollo period. In defining the AAP missions, however, Thompson stressed that until the Apollo goal of landing on the Moon had been achieved, AAP must be looked on as an 'alternate to' rather than an 'addition to' the main thrust of Apollo. It must be clear throughout the NASA manned space flight establishment that Apollo and AAP would not be overlapping programs and that AAP must not compete with or detract from the main Apollo design.


01 September 1967 S-IVB Orbital Workshop mockup returned for a number of design changes. Program: OWS.

MSFC returned a McDonnell Douglas-built S-IVB Orbital Workshop mockup to the contractor's Space Systems Center in Huntington Beach, California, for incorporation of a number of design changes. Following modification, the mockup would represent the S IVB stage as a manned space laboratory designed for use in the AAP. The design changes included relocation of a floor separating two sections of the stage's liquid hydrogen tank, addition of a ceiling and other fixtures, and relocation of some of the experiment stations.


20 September 1967 Martin study on AAP Mission 1A. Program: OWS.

Martin Marietta's Denver Division completed a 60-day study on AAP Mission 1A. The study defined hardware configuration and developed an approach for integrating NASA-designated experiments into AAP-1A. Objectives of the experiments and mission operations were to (1) perform an early evaluation of the operational feasibility of selected Earth resources, bioscientific, meteorology, and astronomy experiments; (2) verify the enhancement of experiments by the presence of man for monitoring, controlling, and interpreting data obtained on orbit; (3) obtain operating experience with available hardware; and (4) extend experiment and mission coverage to 50° latitude. The study showed how the mission objectives could be met.


03 October 1967 Budgetary cutbacks reduced AAP lunar activity to four missions and Saturn V Workshops to 17 Saturn IB and 7 Saturn V launches. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

NASA Hq issued a revised AAP schedule incorporating recent budgetary cutbacks. The schedule reflected the reduction of AAP lunar activity to four missions and of Saturn V Workshop activity to 17 Saturn IB and 7 Saturn V launches. There would be two Workshops launched on Saturn IBs, one Saturn V Workshop, and three ATMs. Launch of the first Workshop was scheduled for March 1970.


11 December 1967 Representatives of NASA and the aerospace industry participated in a four-day meeting on the Orbital Workshop design requirements at MSFC. Program: OWS.

During the first day, discussions covered structures, mechanical systems, and propulsion. On the second day, instrumentation and communications documentation was reviewed. The third day focused on crew station reviews. On the final day, results were summarized.


27 December 1967 Apollo Applications Program Director Charles W. Mathews directed the AAP Managers at the three manned space Centers to halt all activity pertaining to the AAP-IA missions. Program: OWS.

Apollo Applications Program Director Charles W. Mathews directed the AAP Managers at the three manned space Centers to halt all activity pertaining to the AAP-IA missions The purpose of the AAP IA mission would be to perform experiments in space sciences and advanced applications in a low- altitude Earth orbit for up to 14 days.


09 January 1968 Budgetary restraints required additional cuts in AAP to three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

NASA budgetary restraints required an additional cut in AAP launches. The reduced program called for three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches, including one Workshop launched on a Saturn IB, one Saturn V Workshop, and one ATM. Two lunar missions were planned. Launch of the first Workshop would be in April 1970.


23 January 1968 As originally conceived, the AM consisted of a simple tunnel and truss structure that provided access to the S-IVB OWS from the CSM. Program: OWS.

The AM subsystems provided distribution of power from the CSM to the OWS, a temperature regulated, clean atmosphere for the Workshop, and limited instrumentation. After a year of program evolution, the AM, although similar in appearance and utilizing more than 60 percent of the effort expended on the original AM, had become physically different, with a considerably more complex role to play. The AM had become the hub and central 'engine room' of the cluster by incorporating the electric power conditioning, storage, and distribution system. It was designed to receive and store power from the solar arrays, the CSM, and LM and to make distribution of power to the OWS, AM, MDA, CSM, and, in emergencies, the LM. The AM was designed to provide the central environmental control system for distributing a dehumidified, cleansed, odor free, temperature conditioned, oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere to the OWS, AM, MDA, CSM, and LM and to provide coolant loops for its equipment and that in the MDA. In addition, it contained the central command and instrumentation center for the OWS, as well as an overall caution and warning system. The AM was being developed by McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis.


27 January 1968 A Bellcomm review which summarized the system configuration aspects of operating the LM/ATM independently of the OWS was presented at the AAP review NASA Hq. Program: OWS.

The review concluded that decoupling was feasible within the framework of the mission objectives.


29 January 1968 Saturn V and Saturn I Workshop designations. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

Nomenclature for the OWS included in the AAP presented in the FY 1969 budget was confirmed by NASA. The ground-outfitted OWS to be launched with Saturn V would be designated the 'Saturn V Workshop.' (This had sometimes been called the 'dry Workshop.') The OWS that would be launched by a Saturn IB would be referred to as the 'Saturn I Workshop.' (Colloquially it had been referred to as the 'wet workshop.') Terminology 'Uprated Saturn I' would not be used officially. This launch vehicle would be referred to as the 'Saturn IB.'


31 January 1968 An MDA preliminary design review was held at MSFC on 16-17 January and resulted in action to integrate the resupply and reuse requirements for AAP-3A and AAP-3/4 experiments. Program: OWS.

On 26 January an AAP (Mission 2) MDA preliminary design review, Phase II, Technical Review Board convened at MSFC. As a result of discussions of this Board meeting, a joint MSFC MSC study group was proposed to define AAP cluster attitude control pointing capabilities. The study group would define the capabilities of the presently baselined S IVB attitude control system, the Apollo service module reaction control system, and the Apollo telescope mount control moment gyro system to determine if incompatibilities existed with the operations requirements and the proposed experiments and sensors.


05 February 1968 Saturn V OWS study teams were examining a range of concepts in two distinct categories, OWS B and OWS C. Program: OWS.

OWS B would be a relatively simple, generic evolution from the Saturn I OWS being developed for the first AAP missions. It would retain the basic elements of the Saturn I OWS but would incorporate the ATM solar astronomy payload as an integral part of the OWS. Other modifications to improve overall effectiveness would be incorporated where this could be achieved with small increments of funds or time. OWS C would be a more advanced concept in the evolution toward a flexible operational system for sustained operations in Earth orbit. It would provide living and working quarters for a crew of nine and would be operable for two or more years.


12 February 1968 Objectives of the AAP-3/AAP-4 mission outlined. Program: OWS.

Objectives of the AAP-3/AAP-4 mission were to Obtain scientific data on the physical characteristics of the Sun through observations of various portions of the electromagnetic spectrum made with ATM experiments.. Obtain engineering data from the operation of the ATM attached to a LM ascent stage to support development of an advanced manned orbital observatory. Demonstrate hard dock of the LM/ATM to the MDA of the Saturn I OWS left in orbit from the AAP 1 /AAP-2 mission. Determine feasibility of reactivating and operating a Saturn I OWS as a habitable space structure for a period of up to 56 days from the AAP-3 launch date through evaluation of the CSM/S- IVB/AM/MDA.


29 February 1968 AAP was first presented as a separate Research and Development program in NASA's FY 1968 budget request, which was submitted to Congress in January 1967. Program: OWS.

As originally conceived, AAP was designed to take full advantage of the Nation's investment in Apollo-developed hardware, facilities, and manpower. However, in making adjustments to considerably lower funding, the program was pared down to the minimum level for maintaining a reasonable manned space flight program in the early part of the next decade and preserving any basic capability for future U.S. manned operations in space.


19 March 1968 During the OWS preliminary design review, it was suggested that the AAP vehicles contain a library of material of an operational, technical, and recreational nature for use by the flight crews. Program: OWS.

Loewy and Snaith, Inc., had made a similar suggestion. A survey of AAP crew members was being conducted to determine the type and quantity of such materials the crews might desire so that design engineers could arrive at a preliminary systems approach to an inflight library and evaluate the impact.


28 March 1968 MSC adopted the position that only mixed gas atmospheres should be considered for missions longer than 30 days in duration. Program: OWS.

Conceding that studies of the physiologic effects of mixed gas atmospheres, other than air, were new in number and controversial in nature, MSC suggested that such evidence as did exist indicated that nitrogen was a superior choice as a second atmospheric constituent from an overall medical standpoint.


03 April 1968 Due to stringent funding restraints facing the AAP, the most practical near-term program was a Saturn IB OWS designed to simplify operational modes and techniques in Earth orbit. Program: OWS.

Following discussions at the Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting at KSC on 21- 24 March, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller and MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth concluded that, with the stringent funding restraints facing the AAP, the most practical near-term program was a Saturn IB OWS designed to simplify operational modes and techniques in Earth orbit. It was agreed that a special task force would be set up to define and implement any changes necessary to the MDA, incorporate new experiments into the program, and plan and program the critical series of medical experiments required for AAP in order to collect vital data regarding crew performance during the early phases of AAP long-duration flights. The MDA task force held an initial meeting at MSC on 10-11 April. Requirements for the critical medical experiments were identified, and potential Earth Applications experiments were reviewed. MSFC was requested to make a preliminary design analysis of the impact of incorporating critical medical experiments and to determine which Earth applications experiments could be accommodated.


22 May 1968 NASA Hq described the purposes of the AAP-3A mission. Program: OWS.

NASA Hq described the purposes of the AAP-3A mission: (1) qualify man, evaluate his support requirements, and determine human task performance capabilities on long-duration manned space night missions; (2) demonstrate the feasibility of reactivating a Saturn I OWS that has been left unattended in Earth orbit for several months and reusing a Saturn I OWS as a base of operations for the conduct of experiments in astronomy, science, applications, technology, engineering, and medicine.


04 June 1968 New AAP schedule decreased to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

NASA released a new AAP launch readiness and delivery schedule. The schedule decreased the number of Saturn flights to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. It called for three Workshops. One of the Workshops would be launched by a Saturn IB, and another would serve as a backup. The third Workshop would be launched by a Saturn V. The schedule also included one ATM. Launch of the first Workshop would be in November 1970. Lunar missions were no longer planned in the AAP.


24 June 1968 MDA task force made recommendations which resulted in baseline configuration changes to the MDA. Program: OWS.

An MDA task force, established in March to examine the ability of the MDA to support the operation of critical medical experiments within 24 hours of rendezvous and docking and to examine the feasibility of conducting selected Earth resources and meteorological experiments, made recommendations which resulted in baseline configuration changes to the MDA. Docking ports 2 and 3 of the MDA would be deleted; four windows in the conical section of the MDA would be deleted; and a viewport would be provided to support unmanned rendezvous and docking.


12 July 1968 Martin Marietta, Denver Division, completed an Earth resources experiment compatibility analysis and an experiment conceptual analysis. Program: OWS.

The analyses were conducted in compliance with an MSC AAP payload integration task during the period 16 January 30 June 1968. Results of the study indicated that a selected group of Earth resources experiments could be integrated into the AAP-1 /AAP-2 Orbital Workshop with only minimum design impact.


23 July 1968 At NASA Hq, movements were underway to select a new name for post-Apollo manned space flight (AAP)-one that would be more descriptive of the agency's real goals and objectives. Program: OWS.

At the Planning Study Group meeting, Douglas R. Lord, Chairman of the Working Group on Extension of Manned Space Flight, was asked to recommend a new name for NASA's Earth- orbital flight program of the mid-1970s. However, AAP Director Charles W. Mathews urged that the name AAP be retained because NASA had a good deal invested in it. On 26 July, Julian M. West wrote Lord recommending that NASA choose some other name to cover both AAP and an interim space base of the mid-1970s (dubbed the 'IOWS' program, for Interim Orbital Workshop). West urged that all such names as 'AAP,' 'Workshop,' and 'Extension of Manned Space Flight,' be dropped because they did not accurately describe what he saw as 'the major goal-manned space flight itself.' West voted for a name put forward by George Trimble of MSC, 'Space Base Program,' which he believed covered NASA's mid-1970s missions. 'We are establishing a foothold for man in space.'


09 August 1968 ATM experiments would be designed to observe and record solar features or regions of interest by using a variety of scientific instruments and recording devices. Program: OWS.

Observations would be made over a wide range of energy wavelengths in the form of both solar images and solar spectra. They would be preserved for future study by recording them on photographic film or magnetic tape. These experiments would provide new knowledge of the Sun, solar features, solar phenomena, and the solar processes of energy release.


04 September 1968 Von Braun performed a full-pressure suit test in the Neutral Buoyancy Tank. Program: OWS.

MSFC Director Wernher von Braun performed a full-pressure suit test in the Saturn I Workshop immersed in the Neutral Buoyancy Tank. He reported that the upgraded seals used in the aft dome penetration sealing study were 'very good,' but recommended additional handholds and tether points.


04 February 1969 Orbital Workshop solar array system preliminary requirements review presentations were made 4 February. Program: OWS.

On 5 February problem areas were discussed; no major problems were identified. Primary areas of concern were time of deployment, from power and thermal considerations, and contamination of solar cells after deployment. On 13 February the board convened to dispose of the accepted requests for change. The only request for change of programmatic importance was the need for a checkout of the solar array pointing system at the Sacramento Test Operations Facility.


24 March 1969 A meeting at MSFC examined design changes leading to weight increases in the OWS. Program: OWS.

The major changes were: a high-performance installation on the forward dome that increased weight because of purge requirements producing structural adjustments; thermal extensions to the meteoroid shield to minimize heat leaks; solar array system modification requirements; and updating of the intercommunication system weight.


01 April 1969 The ATM would be a manned solar observatory making measurements of the Sun by telescopes and instruments above the Earth's atmosphere. Program: OWS.

The instruments would obtain data on the transitions occurring in elements ionized in the vicinity of the Sun's surface data contained in the ultraviolet and x-ray spectrum absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. Orbiting telescopes would also observe flares and regions of the corona hidden to Earth-bound telescopes or covered by scattered light.


18 April 1969 MSFC issued requests for proposals for manufacture of solar arrays to convert solar energy into electrical power to operate the OWS. Program: OWS.

The OWS would have two wings covered with solar cells a total area of 111 sq m. Each of the wings would be composed of 120 sections. Together the wings would produce 12 000 watts to power the OWS. A preproposal conference on the requests was scheduled for 1 May at MSFC.


15 May 1969 NASA's ability to carry out the program defined for an integrated OWS/ATM in 1972 questioned. Program: OWS.

In reviewing the last three years of AAP-its changing objectives, late decisions, experiment priority shifts-and in looking forward to the uncertainties of NASA space flight after AAP, MSFC officials found it difficult to visualize that the Office of Manned Space Flight and the manned space flight Centers would be able to carry out a program defined for an integrated OWS/ATM in 1972. A major difficulty would be in keeping AAP from being continually impacted as the leading edge of space station activity.


21 May 1969 Saturn V "dry" Workshop decision. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

Gilruth and Von Braun support decision to fly a complete integrated solution on a single Saturn V launch. Additional Details: Saturn V "dry" Workshop decision..


15 July 1969 A number of organizations were studying the possibility of zero-g showers for use in manned space flight. Program: OWS.

In a letter J. Hall (LaRC), C. C. Johnson (MSC) related the following: 'MSC has some excellent films of Jack Slight showering in the KC-135 at zerogravity. 'The motion pictures of Jack showering are quite revealing-not of Jack, of the action of water at zero-gravity.... The interesting point is that the water strikes Jack, bounces off in droplets, but then recollects as jelly-like globs on various parts of his body. He can brush the water away but it will soon reattach elsewhere.'


18 July 1969 NASA Administrator Paine approved the shift from a "wet" to a "dry" Orbital Workshop for AAP. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB, Saturn V.

NASA Administrator Thomas O. Paine approved the shift from a 'wet' to a 'dry' Orbital Workshop concept for AAP following a review presentation by program officials on the potential benefits of such a change. On 22 July, AAP Director William C. Schneider ordered program managers at the three Centers to implement the change, abandoning the idea of using a spent Saturn IB second stage for a Workshop and adopting the concept of a fully equipped 'dry' configuration-with the ATM integrated into the total payload-launched aboard a Saturn V. Additional Details: NASA Administrator Paine approved the shift from a "wet" to a "dry" Orbital Workshop for AAP..


22 July 1969 NASA formally announced the AAP project reorientation to the "dry" Workshop configuration-both the fully outfitted workshop and integrated ATM launched aboard a single Saturn V. Program: Skylab.

Program objectives for AAP remained unchanged, however. The schedule called for first launch in 1972. The Workshop would be placed in a circular orbit first. About a day later, the three-man crew would ride aboard a Saturn IB into orbit to link up with the Workshop-ATM cluster, thus beginning the manned portion of the mission.



Bibliography:



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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DateFirst LaunchWet WorkshopsDry WorkshopsATM’sSaturn IB’sSaturn V’s
Dec 1966June 1968224222
May 1967Jan 1969223252
Oct 1967Mar 1970111171
Jun 1968Nov 1970111111
Jul 1969Jul 19720113