Encyclopedia Astronautica
Apollo LTA



10074959.jpg
Apollo LTA
View of the Saturn V third stage from which the Apollo 8 has separated
Credit: NASA
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.

Several were used in test flights of Saturn launch vehicles, most famously in Apollo 8.

AKA: Lunar module Test Article.
First Launch: 1967.11.09.
Last Launch: 1968.12.21.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Bibliography
  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.

Apollo LTA Chronology


1968 August 9 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Senior Apollo porject management backs Apollo 8 lunar mission concept - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7; Apollo 8; Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LTA; Apollo CSM. Summary: August 9 was probably one of the busiest days in George Low's life; the activities of that and the following days enabled the United States to meet the "in this decade" goal.. Additional Details: here....

1968 August 10 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • North American not enthusiastic about plan to send Apollo 8 to moon. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7; Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LTA; Apollo CSM. Summary: More detailed reviews within NASA showed there were still no obvious insurmountable problems that might block the plan. However North American was not too receptive to the idea.. Additional Details: here....

1968 August 12 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo 8 lunar mission scheduled for December 20. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LTA; Apollo CSM. On August 12 Kraft informed Low that December 20 was the day if they wanted to launch in daylight. With everyone agreeing to a daylight launch, the launch was planned for December 1 with a "built-in hold" until the 20th, which would have the effect of giving assurance of meeting the schedule. LTA (LM test article)-B was considered as a substitute; it had been through a dynamic test vehicle program, and all except Kotanchik agreed this would be a good substitute. Grumman suggested LTA-4 but Low decided on LTA-B.

1968 August 27 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Decision to use Apollo LTA-B as payload ballast on the AS-503 flight - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LTA; LM Weight. George M. Low, ASPO Manager, set forth the rationale for using LTA-B (as opposed to some other LM test article or even a full-blown LM) as payload ballast on the AS-503 mission. That decision had been a joint one by Headquarters, MSFC, and MSC. Perhaps the chief reason for the decision was Marshall's position that the Saturn V's control system was extremely sensitive to payload weight. Numerous tests had been made for payloads of around 38,555 kilograms but none for those in the 29,435- to 31,750-kilogram range. MSFC had therefore asked that the minimum payload for AS-503 be set at 38,555 kilograms. Additional Details: here....

1968 November 10 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Success of Apollo 7 clears way for Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission in December. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7; Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo LTA. Apollo 7 - flown October 11-22 - far exceeded Low's expectations in results and left no doubts that they should go for lunar orbit on Apollo 8. At the November 10 Apollo Executive meeting Phillips presented a summary of the activities; James gave the launch vehicle status; Low reported on the spacecraft status and said he was impressed with the way KSC had handled its tight checkout schedule; Slayton reported on the flight plan; and Petrone on checkout readiness. Petrone said KSC could launch as early as December 10 or 12. Phillips said he would recommend to the Management Council the next day for Apollo 8 to go lunar orbit. Additional Details: here....

1968 November 11 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Paine gives Apollo 8 go-ahead for lunar orbit mission. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Paine; Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LTA; Apollo CSM. Summary: Low's initiative had paid off; the final decision to go to the moon in 1968 was made with the blessings of all of NASA's decision-makers, the Apollo Executive Committee, STAC, and PSAC..

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