Apollo vs N1-L3
Apollo CSM / LM vs L3 Lunar Complex
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Apollo Lunar Landing American manned lunar expedition. Begun in 1962; first landing on the moon 1969; sixth and final lunar landing 1972. The project that succeeded in putting a man on the moon.|
|Apollo LM American manned lunar lander.|
|Apollo CSM The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions. Manned spacecraft for earth orbit and lunar orbit satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1967 - 1975.|
|Apollo CM American manned spacecraft module. 22 launches, 1964.05.28 (Saturn 6) to 1975.07.15 (Apollo (ASTP)).|
|Apollo SM American manned spacecraft module. 22 launches, 1964.05.28 (Saturn 6) to 1975.07.15 (Apollo (ASTP)).|
|Apollo LM DS American manned spacecraft module. 10 launches, 1968.01.22 (Apollo 5) to 1972.12.07 (Apollo 17).|
|Apollo LM AS American manned spacecraft module. 10 launches, 1968.01.22 (Apollo 5) to 1972.12.07 (Apollo 17).|
|Apollo A American manned space station. Study 1961. Apollo A was a lighter-weight July 1961 version of the Apollo spacecraft.|
|Apollo X American manned space station. Study 1963.|
|Apollo Martin 410 American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. The Model 410 was Martin's preferred design for the Apollo spacecraft.|
|Apollo Direct TLM American manned spacecraft module. Study 1961. Final letdown, translation hover and landing on the lunar surface from 1800 m above the surface was performed by the terminal landing module. Engine thrust could be throttled down to 1546 kgf.|
|Apollo Direct SM American manned spacecraft module. Study 1961. The Service Module housed the fuel cells, environmental control, and other major equipment items required for the mission.|
|Apollo Direct RM American manned spacecraft module. Study 1961. The retrograde module supplied the velocity increments required during the translunar portion of the mission up to a staging point approximately 1800 m above the lunar surface.|
|Apollo Direct CM American manned spacecraft module. Study 1961. Conventional spacecraft structures were employed, following the proven materials and concepts demonstrated in the Mercury and Gemini designs.|
|Apollo Direct 2-Man American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. A direct lunar lander design of 1961, capable of being launched to the moon in a single Saturn V launch through use of a 75% scale 2-man Apollo command module.|
|LM Langley Lighter American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. This early open-cab Langley design used cryogenic propellants. The cryogenic design was estimated to gross 3,284 kg - to be compared with the 15,000 kg / 2 man LM design that eventually was selected.|
|LM Langley Lightest American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. Extremely light-weight open-cab lunar module design considered in early Langley studies.|
|LM Langley Light American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. This early open-cab single-crew Langley lunar lander design used storable propellants, resulting in an all-up mass of 4,372 kg.|
|Apollo ULS American lunar logistics spacecraft. Study 1962. An Apollo unmanned logistic system to aid astronauts on a lunar landing mission was studied.|
|Apollo W-1 American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. Martin's W-1 design for the Apollo spacecraft was an alternative to the preferred L-2C configuration. The 2652 kg command module was a blunt cone lifting body re-entry vehicle, 3.45 m in diameter, 3.61 m long.|
|Apollo M-1 American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. Convair/Astronautics preferred M-1 Apollo design was a three-module lunar-orbiting spacecraft.|
|Apollo D-2 American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1962. The General Electric design for Apollo put all systems and space not necessary for re-entry and recovery into a separate jettisonable 'mission module', joined to the re-entry vehicle by a hatch.|
|Apollo R-3 American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. General Electric's Apollo horizontal-landing alternative to the ballistic D-2 capsule was the R-3 lifting body. This modified lenticular shape provided a lift-to-drag ratio of just 0.|
|Apollo L-2C American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. Martin's L-2C design was the basis for the Apollo spacecraft that ultimately emerged. The 2590 kg command module was a flat-bottomed cone, 3. 91 m in diameter, 2.67 m high, with a rounded apex.|
|Apollo Lenticular American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. The Convair/Astronautics alternate Lenticular Apollo was a flying saucer configuration with the highest hypersonic lift to drag ratio (4.4) of any proposed design.|
|Apollo LLRV American manned lunar lander test vehicle. Bell Aerosystems initially built two manned lunar landing research vehicles (LLRV) for NASA to assess the handling characteristics of Apollo LM-type vehicles on earth.|
|Apollo LLRF American Lunar Landing Research Facility. The huge structure (76.2 m high and 121.9 m long) was used to explore techniques and to forecast various problems of landing on the moon.|
|Apollo LES American test vehicle. Flight tests from a surface pad of the Apollo Launch Escape System using a boilerplate capsule.|
|Apollo LM Shelter American manned lunar habitat. Cancelled 1968. The LM Shelter was essentially an Apollo LM lunar module with ascent stage engine and fuel tanks removed and replaced with consumables and scientific equipment for 14 days extended lunar exploration.|
|Apollo LM Taxi American manned lunar lander. Cancelled 1968. The LM Taxi was essentially the basic Apollo LM modified for extended lunar surface stays.|
|Apollo CSM Boilerplate American manned spacecraft. Boilerplate structural Apollo CSM's were used for various systems and booster tests, especially proving of the LES (launch escape system).|
|Apollo CSM Block I American manned spacecraft. The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions.|
|FIRE American re-entry vehicle technology satellite. 2 launches, 1964.04.14 (FIRE 1) and 1965.05.22 (FIRE 2). Suborbital re-entry test program that used a subscale model of the Apollo Command Module to verify the configuration at high reentry speed. Reentry Technology satellite built by Republic Aviation Corporation for NASA.|
|Apollo LM Truck American lunar logistics spacecraft. Cancelled 1968. The LM Truck was an LM Descent stage adapted for unmanned delivery of payloads of up to 5,000 kg to the lunar surface in support of a lunar base using Apollo technology.|
|Apollo MSS American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1965. The Apollo Mapping and Survey System was a kit of photographic equipment that was at one time part of the basic Apollo Block II configuration.|
|Apollo LM Lab American manned space station. Study 1965. Use of the Apollo LM as an earth-orbiting laboratory was proposed for Apollo Applications Program missions.|
|Apollo SA-11 From September 1962 NASA planned to fly four early manned Apollo spacecraft on Saturn I boosters. Cancelled in October 1963 in order to fly all-up manned Apollo CSM on more powerful Saturn IB.|
|Apollo Experiments Pallet American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1965. The Apollo Experiments Pallet was a sophisticated instrument payload that would have been installed in the Apollo CSM for dedicated lunar or earth orbital resource assessment missions.|
|Apollo LM CSD American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1965. The Apollo Lunar Module was considered for military use in the Covert Space Denial role in 1964.|
|Apollo SA-12 From September 1962 NASA planned to fly four early manned Apollo spacecraft on Saturn I boosters. Cancelled in October 1963 in order to fly all-up manned Apollo CSM on more powerful Saturn IB.|
|Apollo LMSS American manned space station. Cancelled 1967. Under the Apollo Applications Program NASA began hardware and software procurement, development, and testing for a Lunar Mapping and Survey System. The system would be mounted in an Apollo CSM.|
|Apollo SA-13 From September 1962 NASA planned to fly four early manned Apollo spacecraft on Saturn I boosters. Cancelled in October 1963 in order to fly all-up manned Apollo CSM on more powerful Saturn IB.|
|Apollo SA-14 From September 1962 NASA planned to fly four early manned Apollo spacecraft on Saturn I boosters. Cancelled in October 1963 in order to fly all-up manned Apollo CSM on more powerful Saturn IB.|
|Apollo LASS S-IVB American lunar logistics spacecraft. Study 1966. The Douglas Company (DAC) proposed the "Lunar Application of a Spent S-IVB Stage (LASS)". The LASS concept required a landing gear on a S-IVB Stage.|
|Apollo SMLL American lunar logistics spacecraft. Study 1966. North American Aviation (NAA) proposed use of the SM as a lunar logistics vehicle (LLV) in 1966. The configuration, simply stated, put a landing gear on the SM.|
|Apollo CMLS American manned lunar habitat. Study 1966.|
|Apollo 204 The planned first manned flight of the Apollo CSM, the Apollo C category mission. The crew was killed in a fire while testing their capsule on the pad on 27 January 1967, still weeks away from launch. Set back Apollo program by 18 months.|
|Apollo 205 Planned second solo flight test of the Block I Apollo CSM on a Saturn IB. Cancelled after the Apollo 204 fire.|
|Apollo 207 Planned Apollo D mission. Two Saturn IB launches would put Apollo CSM and LM into orbit. CSM crew would dock with LM, test it in earth orbit. Cancelled after Apollo 204 fire.|
|Apollo LTA American technology satellite. 3 launches, 1967.11.09 (LTA-10R) to 1968.12.21 (LTA-B). Apollo Lunar module Test Articles were simple mass/structural models of the Lunar Module.|
|Apollo 503 Cancelled Apollo E mission - test of the Apollo lunar module in high earth orbit. Lunar module was not ready. Instead mission flown only with CSM into lunar orbit as Apollo 8.|
|Apollo RM American logistics spacecraft. Study 1967. In 1967 it was planned that Saturn IB-launched Orbital Workshops would be supplied by Apollo CSM spacecraft and Resupply Modules (RM) with up to three metric tons of supplies and instruments.|
|Apollo 7 First manned test of the Apollo spacecraft. Although the systems worked well, the crew became grumpy with head colds and talked back to the ground. As a result, NASA management determined that none of them would fly again.|
|Apollo 8 First manned flight to lunar orbit. Speed (10,807 m/s) and altitude (378,504 km) records. Mission resulted from audacious decision to send crew around moon to beat Soviets on only second manned Apollo CSM mission and third Saturn V launch.|
|Apollo 120 in Telescope American manned space station. Study 1968. Concept for use of a Saturn V-launched Apollo CSM with an enormous 10 m diameter space laboratory equipped with a 3 m diameter astronomical telescope.|
|Apollo LMAL American manned space station. Study 1968.|
|Apollo LPM American lunar logistics spacecraft. Study 1968. The unmanned portion of the Lunar Surface Rendezvous and Exploration Phase of Apollo envisioned in 1969 was the Lunar Payload Module (LPM).|
|Apollo LASS American manned lunar habitat. Cancelled 1968. In the LASS (LM Adapter Surface Station) lunar shelter concept, the LM ascent stage was replaced by an SLA 'mini-base' and the position of the Apollo Service Module (SM) was reversed.|
|Apollo ELS American manned lunar habitat. Cancelled 1968. The capabilities of a lunar shelter not derived from Apollo hardware were surveyed in the Early Lunar Shelter Study (ELS), completed in February 1967 by AiResearch.|
|Apollo 9 First manned test of the Lunar Module. First test of the Apollo space suits. First manned flight of a spacecraft incapable of returning to earth. If rendezvous of the Lunar Module with the Apollo CSM had failed, crew would have been stranded in orbit.|
|Apollo 10 Final dress rehearsal in lunar orbit for landing on moon. LM separated and descended to 10 km from surface of moon but did not land. Speed record (11,107 m/s).|
|Apollo 11 First manned lunar landing. The end of the moon race and public support for large space programs. The many changes made after the Apollo 204 fire paid off; all went according to plan, virtually no problems.|
|Apollo ALSEP American lunar lander. 7 launches, 1969.07.16 (EASEP) to 1972.12.07 (ALSEP). ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package) was the array of connected scientific instruments left behind on the lunar surface by each Apollo expedition.|
|Apollo LRM American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1969. Grumman proposed to use the LM as a lunar reconnaissance module. But NASA had already considered this and many other possibilities (Apollo MSS, Apollo LMSS); and there was no budget available for any of them.|
|Apollo 12 Second manned lunar landing. Precision landing near Surveyor 3 that landed in 1967. Lightning struck the booster twice during ascent. Decision was made to press on to moon, despite possibility landing pyrotechnics damaged.|
|Apollo MET American lunar hand cart. Flown 1971. NASA designed the MET lunar hand cart to help with problems such as the Apollo 12 astronauts had in carrying hand tools, sample boxes and bags, a stereo camera, and other equipment on the lunar surface.|
|Apollo 13 Fuel cell tank exploded en route to the moon, resulting in loss of all power and oxygen. Only through use of the still-attached LM as a lifeboat could the crew survive to return to earth. Altitude (401,056 km) record.|
|Apollo: Soviets Recovered an Apollo Capsule! The truth only emerged 32 years later - the Soviets recovered an Apollo space capsule in 1970… the original article.|
|Apollo Rescue CSM American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1970. Influenced by the stranded Skylab crew portrayed in the book and movie 'Marooned', NASA provided a crew rescue capability for the first time in its history.|
|Apollo 14 Third manned lunar landing. Only Mercury astronaut to reach moon. Five attempts to dock the command module with the lunar module failed for no apparent reason - mission saved when sixth was successful. Hike to Cone Crater frustrating; rim not reached.|
|Apollo LRV American manned lunar rover. The Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle was one of those sweet pieces of hardware that NASA and its contractors seemed to be able to develop so effortlessly during the short maturity of the Apollo program. The Lunar Rover was the only piece of equipment from NASA's ambitious post-Apollo lunar exploration plans to actually fly in space, being used on Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17 in 1971-1972. The design was based on three years of studies for light, two-crew, open-cockpit 'Local Science Survey Modules'. Although Bendix built a prototype, Boeing ended up with the production contract.|
|Apollo 15 First use of lunar rover on moon. Beautiful images of crew prospecting at edge of Hadley Rill. One of the three main parachutes failed, causing a hard but survivable splashdown.|
|Apollo 16 Second Apollo mission with lunar rover. CSM main engine failure detected in lunar orbit. Landing almost aborted.|
|Apollo 17 Final Apollo lunar landing mission. First geologist to walk on the moon.|
|Apollo 18 Apollo 18 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in the moon's Schroter's Valley, a river-like channel-way. The original February 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970. Apollo 18 in turn cancelled on 2 September 1970 because of congressional cuts in FY 1971 NASA appropriations.|
|Apollo 19 Apollo 19 was originally planned to land in the Hyginus Rille region, which would allow study of lunar linear rilles and craters. Apollo 19 in turn cancelled on 2 September 1970 because of congressional cuts in FY 1971 NASA appropriations.|
|Apollo 20 Apollo 20 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in Crater Copernicus, a spectacular large crater impact area. Later Copernicus was assigned to Apollo 19, and the preferred landing site for Apollo 20 was the Marius Hills, or, if the operational constraints were relaxed, the bright crater Tycho. The planned December 1972 flight was cancelled on January 4, 1970, before any crew assignments were made.|
|Apollo ASTP Docking Module American manned space station module. Docking Module 2. The ASTP docking module was basically an airlock with docking facilities on each end to allow crew transfer between the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft.|
|Apollo CM Escape Concept American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1976. Escape capsule using Apollo command module studied by Rockwell for NASA for use with the shuttle in the 1970's-80's. Mass per crew: 750 kg.|
|Apollo with Vanes|
|LM vs LK|
US Lunar Module compared to Soviet LK lunar lander
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Lunar Module 3 view|
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Apollo CSM and LM|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Apollo CSM Interior|
Interior of the Apollo Command Service Module on display at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida.
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Apollo Lunar Module|
Credit: © Mark Wade
Apollo CSM with Launch Escape Tower
Credit: © Mark Wade
Lunar Module front view
Credit: © Mark Wade
Artist concept of Apollo Lunar Mission Touchdown on Lunar Surface
Artist concept of Apollo Lunar Mission Exploration of Lunar Surface
One-twentieth size engineering model of the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. artist's concept of Lunar Module 5
Artist's concept of a Saturn launch
Artist's concept of a Saturn launch
Little Joe II lift-off from launch area #3 at White Sands
View of the lift-off of Little Joe II
Boilerplate 6 and firing sequence of Apollo-Little Joe
Apollo Mission (BP-6) composite
Launch of Saturn 7 at Launch Complex 37, Merritt Island launch area, Florid
First night launch of a Saturn I launch vehicle
Night time view of Apollo Spacecraft 009 atop Saturn 1B launch vehicle
Apollo/Saturn 201 launched from Kennedy Space Center
KSC Launch Complex 34 during Apollo/Saturn Mission 202 pre-launch alert
Apollo/Saturn Mission 202 launch
Lift-off of Saturn Mission 203
Artist's concept of prototype of Apollo Space suit
Space suit A-3H-024 with Lunar Excursion Module astronaut restraint harness
Test subject wears Apollo overgarment designed for use on lunar surface
Astronaut John Bull wears newly designed Apollo pressure suit
Portrait of Scientist-Astronauts whose selection was announced June 29, 196
Lunar Landing Training vehicle piloted by Neil Armstrong during training
Early morning view of Apollo 4 unmanned spacecraft on launch pad
Apollo 4 unmanned mission launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39
Launching of the Apollo 4 unmanned space mission
Apollo 4 unmanned mission launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39
Brazil, Atlantic Ocean, Africa, Sahara & Antarctica seen from Apollo 4
Brazil, Atlantic Ocean, Africa & Antarctica seen from Apollo 4
Atlantic Ocean, Antarctica as seen from the Apollo 4 unmanned spacecraft
Apollo spacecraft 017 is hoisted aboard U.S.S. Bennington
Mating of Lunar Module-1 with Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter-7
Apollo 5 lift-off
Apollo 5 lift-off
Apollo 5 lift-off
F-1 engines of Apollo/Saturn V first stage leave trail of flame after lift-off
Recovery of Apollo 6 unmanned spacecraft
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.
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.
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.
The Stever Committee, which had been set up on January 12, submitted its report on the civilian space program to NASA. Among the recommendations:
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. Additional Details: here....
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."
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.
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.
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.
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." Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
The national booster program, Dyna-Soar, and Project Mercury were discussed by the Research Steering Committee. Members also presented reviews of Center programs related to manned space flight. Maxime A. Faget of STG endorsed lunar exploration as the present goal of the Committee although recognizing the end objective as manned interplanetary travel. George M. Low of NASA Headquarters recommended that the Committee:
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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). Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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 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.
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." Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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:
Command and communications guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft program were listed by STG's Robert G. Chilton at 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:
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
Fundamental decisions were made as a result of this and a previous meeting on September 20.. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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).
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 .
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 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).
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 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),
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Trajectory Analysis met at STG and began preparing material for the Apollo spacecraft specification. It recommended:
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.
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.
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.
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 Heating heard reports at STG by Group members on current studies at the NASA Centers. Recommendations concerning the spacecraft specification included:
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 Instrumentation and Communications met at STG and drafted an informal set of guidelines and sent them to the other Technical Liaison Groups:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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. Additional Details: here....
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Following Gagarin's flight and Bay of Pigs failure, Kennedy announces the objective of landing an American on the moon by end of the decade. In his second State of the Union Message President Kennedy said: "With the advice of the Vice President, who is Chairman of the National Space Council, we have examined where we (United States) are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not. . . . Now is the time to take longer strides-time for a great new American enterprise-time for this Nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth." President Kennedy set forth an accelerated space program based upon the long-range national goals of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth; early development of the Rover nuclear rocket; speed up the use of Earth satellites for worldwide communications; and provide "at the earliest possible time a satellite system for worldwide weather observation." An additional $549 million was requested for NASA over the new administration March budget requests; $62 million was requested for DOD for starting development of a solid-propellant booster of the Nova class.
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. Additional Details: here....
STG submitted to NASA Headquarters recommendations on crew selection and training:
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:
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. Additional Details: here....
'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 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 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:
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.
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.)
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).
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.)
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 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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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:
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.
David G. Hoag, MIT, personal notes, October 1961..
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 launch 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.)
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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)."
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 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:
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. Additional Details: here....
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 :
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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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 :
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 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).
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NAA studies resulted in significant changes in the command module environmental control system (ECS).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After an extended discussion, the Manned Space Flight Management Council unanimously decided:
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 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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 outlined a tentative Apollo flight plan:
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
North American made a number of changes in the layout of the CM:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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."
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:
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.
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.
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 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,
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
Grumman and NASA announced the selection of four companies as major LEM subcontractors:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.")
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
At a North American design review, NASA representatives expressed a preference for a fixed CM crew couch. This would have the advantages of simplified design, elimination of couch adjustments by the crew, and better placement of the astronauts to withstand reentry loads. NASA authorized North American to adopt the concept following a three-week study by the company to determine whether a favorable center of gravity could be achieved without a movable couch.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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 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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.)
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.
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).
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 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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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." Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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 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.
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.)
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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's Space Environment Division (SED) recommended (subject to reconnaissance verification) 10 lunar landing areas for the Apollo program:
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.
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.
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).
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 Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Experiments submitted its final recommendations on what should be Apollo's principal scientific objectives:
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.
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.
MSC directed North American to redesign the CM environmental control system compressor to provide 0.283 cubic meters (10 cubic feet) of air per minute to each space suit at 1.8 newtons per square centimeter (3.5 psi), 16.78 kilograms (37 pounds) per hour total.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.")
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'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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Block II CSM configuration was based on three classes of changes: mandatory changes necessary to meet the
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OMSF outlined launch vehicle development, spacecraft development, and crew performance demonstration missions, using the Saturn IB and Saturn V:
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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 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.
The MSC Operations Planning Division (OPD) reviewed recent revisions by OMSF to Apollo's communications requirements:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
Officials from ASPO, Flight Crew Operations Directorate, Crew Systems Division, and Hamilton Standard established the basic ground rules for Apollo space suit operation:
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
MSC's Systems Engineering Division reported on the consequences of eliminating the command and service module (CSM) rendezvous radar:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NASA anticipated five significant milestones for the LEM during the forthcoming year:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
MSC defined the requirements for visual docking aids on both of the Apollo spacecraft:
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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 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.
The MSC-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Guidance and Control Implementation Sub-Panel set forth several procedural rules for translunar injection (TLI):
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'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.
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 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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Additional Details: here....
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. Additional Details: here....