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LM Crew Station


LM Crew Station Development Diary

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LM Crew Station Chronology


1962 December 11 - .
  • Apollo LEM docking study authorized - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: NASA authorized North American's Columbus, Ohio, Division to proceed with a LEM docking study..

1963 June 16-July 20 - .
  • MSC and Grumman assessed crew visibility requirements for the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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.

1963 June 16-July 20 - .
  • Apollo LEM crew to stand - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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.

1963 July 16 - .
  • Study on Apollo LEM visibility - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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.

1963 July 16 - .
  • Extendable boom for Apollo docking - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Docking; LM Crew Station. 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:

    1. The primary mode employed an extendable probe. It would establish initial contact and docking at a separation distance sufficient to prevent dangerous impact as a result of pilot error.
    2. The backup mode consisted of free-flying the two modules together. Mean relative impact velocities established during free-flying docking simulation studies would be used as the design impact velocities.
    North American and Grumman began a hardware testing and flight simulation program in late September to evaluate the feasibility of several types of extendable probe tether systems. The two companies were to determine the stiffness required of the docking structure for compatibility with the stabilization and control system.

1963 August 26 - .
  • MSC received proposals for the visual displays for the Apollo LEM simulator - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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.

1963 October 8 - .
  • Tethered docking of the LEM and Apollo CSM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Docking; LM Crew Station. 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.

1963 October 16-17 - .
  • Commonality of displays and controls between Apollo CSM and LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: MSC discussed commonality of displays and controls with its two principal spacecraft contractors. A review of panel components suggested that Grumman might use the same vendors as North American for such items as switches, potentiometers, and indicators..

1964 January 14 - .
  • Criteria for redundancy of controls and displays in the Apollo LEM crew station - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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:

    1. the LEM must be provisioned so that hover to touchdown could be flown manually by the crew;
    2. no single failure in the controls and displays should cause an abort; and
    3. the unknowns associated with lighting conditions or dust caused by rocket exhaust impingement on the lunar surface might require a joint effort by the crew.
    Although duplication of all equipment was not required, dual flight controls and windows, as well as gross attitude, attitude error, and vehicle rates information, were necessary. Other flight displays should be dual or be readable from either station.

1964 January 15-23 - .
  • Recommendations for Apollo LEM bioinstrumentation - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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.

1964 January 27 - .
  • Apollo LEM's capability as active vehicle for lunar orbit docking - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. 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.

1964 February 20-26 - .
  • Backup mode for the crew getting from the Apollo LEM back to the CM. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Hatch; LM Crew Station. 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.

1964 April 15 - .
  • Flight attitude indicator and associated equipment for the Apollo LEM approved - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: ASPO gave Grumman a go-ahead on procurement of the flight attitude indicator ("8-ball") and associated equipment for the LEM..

1964 October 8-15 - .
  • Electroluminescent lighting on the Apollo LEM for Block II CMs - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Block II; LM Crew Station. Summary: North American representatives visited the Grumman plant to discuss design features and to inspect the electroluminescent lighting on the LEM. North American intended to adopt this same feature on Block II CMs..

1964 October 11-November 10 - .
  • Self-luminous materials found them feasible for use in Apollo LEM docking lighting - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: Grumman lighting experts evaluated self-luminous materials produced by the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company and found them feasible for use in docking lighting..

1964 October 11-November 10 - .
  • Contract with Arma for the Apollo LEM caution and warning electronics assembly - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: Grumman completed contract negotiations with Arma Division, American Bosch Arma Corporation, for the LEM caution and warning electronics assembly..

1964 November 19-26 - .
  • Alignment agreed for the two Apollo spacecraft during docking maneuvers - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Cockpit; LM Crew Station. Summary: North American and Grumman agreed on the alignment of the two spacecraft during docking maneuvers: the LEM's overhead window would be aligned with right-hand docking window of the CM..

1965 January 8 - .
  • Reviewing of the control-display systems of the Apollo CSM and LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Cockpit; LM Crew Station. Summary: MSC was reviewing the control-display systems of the CSM and LEM to assess operational constraints. North American was requested to study all controls, displays, and systems functions for manned spacecraft to identify and eliminate single-point failures..

1965 January 19-20 - .
  • Apollo LEM crew restraints tested in zero-g - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. In simulated zero-g conditions aboard KC-135s, technicians evaluated a number of different devices for restraining the LEM crewmen. These trials demonstrated clearly the need for a hip restraint and for a downward force to hold the astronaut securely to the cabin floor. In mid-February a second series of flights tested the combination that seemed most promising: Velcro shoes that would be used together with Velcropile carpeting on the cabin floor of the spacecraft; a harness that enveloped the astronaut's chest and, through an intricate system of cables and pulleys, exerted a constant downward pressure; and a waist strap that secured the harness to the lighting panel immediately facing the crewman. These evaluations permitted Grumman to complete the design of the restraint system.

1965 January 25 - .
  • Operational requirement for propellant gauges in the Apollo LEM descent stage - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: ASPO established an operational requirement for propellant gauges in the LEM descent stage, the exact details to be worked out by Grumman. The gauges must be accurate to within one-half of one percent when less than one-fourth of the propellants remained..

1965 January 28-February 4 - .
  • Initial development testing of Apollo LEM restraint systems completed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Initial development testing of LEM restraint systems was completed. Under zero-g conditions, investigators found, positive restraints for the crew were essential. While the system must be further refined, it consisted essentially of a harness that secured the astronaut's hips (thus providing a pivot point) and held him firmly on the cabin floor.

1965 February 4 - .
  • Constant attitude device added to the Apollo LEM's attitude control system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. A device to maintain the spacecraft in a constant attitude was added to the LEM's primary attitude control system (ACS). The feature brought with it some undesirable handling characteristics, however: it would cause the vehicle to land long. Although this overshoot could be corrected by the pilot, and therefore was not dangerous operationally, it would require closer attention during final approach. The attitude hold, therefore, hardly eased the pilot's control task, which was, after all, its primary function. Instead of moving the device to the backup ACS (the abort section), the Engineering Simulation Branch of MSC's Guidance and Control Division recommended that the system be modified so that, if desired, the pilot could disengage the hold mechanism.

1965 February 8 - .
  • Apollo LEM-active docking simulation reviewed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. MSC, North American, and Grumman reviewed the results of Langley Research Center's LEM-active docking simulation. While the overhead mode of docking had been found to be acceptable, two items still caused some concern: (1) propellant consumption could exceed supply; and (2) angular rates at contact had occasionally exceeded specifications. Phase B (Grumman's portion) of the docking simulations, scheduled to begin in about two weeks, would further investigate these problems. Langley researchers also had evaluated several sighting aids for the LEM and recommended a projected image collimated (parallel in lines of direction) reticle as most practicable. Accordingly, on March 9, MSC directed Grumman to incorporate this type of sighting device into the design of their spacecraft.

1965 February 25-March 4 - .
  • Exterior lighting scheme for the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. On the basis of in-house tests, Grumman recommended a scheme for exterior lighting on the LEM. The design copied standard aeronautical practice (i.e., red, port; green, starboard; and amber, underside). White lights marked the spacecraft, both fore and aft; to distinguish between the two white lights, the aft one contained a flasher.

1965 March 29 - .
  • Grid-type landing point designator for the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. MSC decided upon a grid-type landing point designator for the LEM. Grumman would cooperate in the final design and would manufacture the device; MIT would ensure that the spacecraft's guidance equipment could accept data from the designator and thus change the landing point.

1965 May 13 - .
  • Evaluation of bidders for an optical rendezvous sensor for the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. AC Spark Plug officials presented to MSC their evaluation of bidders to design an optical rendezvous sensor for the LEM. Because three different approaches were planned, AC gained Guidance and Control Division's approval to let three subcontracts. The firms chosen were Perkin-Elmer, Hughes Aircraft, and the Itek Corporation.

1965 July 16 - .
  • Grumman to provide stowage within Apollo LEM for extravehicular tools - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Cockpit; LM Crew Station. Summary: MSC directed Grumman to provide stowage within the LEM for those tools needed for transfer between the two spacecraft (either intra- or extravehicular). The tool kit, similar to that in the CM, would be stored in the LEM at earth launch..

1965 August - .
  • Radiation levels predicted for Apollo LEM-3 crew - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Grumman completed an analysis of radiation levels that would be encountered by the LEM-3 crew during their earth orbital mission. Grumman advised that doses would not be harmful. To lessen these levels even further, the contractor recommended that during some parts of the mission the two astronauts climb back into the CM; also, the planned orbit for the LEM (556 by 2,500 km (300 by 1,350 nm)) could be changed to avoid the worst part of the Van Allen Belt.

1965 August 31-September 1 - .
  • Apollo LEM landing point designator pushed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. At an implementation meeting at MSC on the LEM's guidance and control system, Grumman again made a pitch for its concept for the landing point designator (i.e., scale markings on the vehicle's window). On September 13, the company received MSC's go-ahead. Grumman was told to coordinate closely with both MSC and MIT on the designator's design to ensure that the scale markings would be compatible with the spacecraft's computer.

1965 November 12-18 - .
  • Timeline analysis for the intravehicular Apollo LEM crew activities after lunar landing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. MSC and Grumman representatives reviewed Grumman's timeline analysis for the intravehicular LEM crew activities subsequent to lunar landing. This timeline was being rewritten for a test program to be conducted to determine what crew mobility problems existed within the LEM so that they could be better evaluated at the Certification Design Review.

1965 November 26 - .
  • Apollo LEM urine containers to be off-loaded to the lunar surface - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Grumman was directed by MSC to provide for the disposition and bacteriological control of the LEM urine containers by off-loading all containers to the lunar surface immediately prior to LEM ascent, locating them so their physical integrity would be assured during ascent stage launch. Incorporation of an appropriate germicide in all LEM urine containers would effectively sterilize the internal part of the container and the contained urine.

1965 December 30-January 6 - .
  • Grumman and MSC reached agreement to continue with Freon for prelaunch cooling of Apollo LEM-1 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Grumman and MSC reached agreement to continue with Freon for prelaunch cooling of LEM-1. By changing to a different Freon the additional heat sink capability was obtained with minor changes to flight hardware. The ground support equipment for supplying Freon had to be modified to increase the flow capability, but this was not expected to be difficult. Plans were to use the same prelaunch cooling capability for LEM-2 and LEM-3.

1966 January 3 - .
  • Problem areas with activity within the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Contractor personnel began an exercise to identify problem areas associated with activity within the LEM. Subjects using pressurized suits and portable life support systems ran through various cockpit procedures in the LEM mockup. Evaluations would continue during the week of January 10, using astronauts. The purpose of the exercise was to identify and gather data on problem areas in support of the Critical Design Review scheduled to be held at Grumman in late January.

1966 January 13-20 - .
  • Apollo AS-503 to reduce LEM crewed altitudes - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Mission requirements for AS-503 were reviewed to determine if the LEM test objectives which caused the crew to be in the LEM at high altitudes (3,704 to 12,964 km (2,000 to 7,000 nm)) could be deleted. The reason for keeping the crew out of the LEM at those altitudes was the possibility they might be exposed to a total radiation dose which might prevent them from flying a later lunar mission.

1966 February 25 - .
  • Apollo LEM to use North American Aviation optical alignment sights (OAS) - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. The LEM Configuration Control Panel approved Grumman's request for government-furnished-equipment (North American Aviation-manufactured) optical alignment sights (OAS) for installation in the LEM. A total of 21 OAS units would be required (including 2 spares). Detailed interface requirements between the OAS and LEM would be negotiated between North American and Grumman and delivery dates would be specified during negotiations.

1966 June 30 - .
  • Crew procedures in the Apollo LM during lunar stay were completed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: Crew procedures in the LM during lunar stay were reported completed and documented for presentation to NASA Hq. personnel..

1966 December 6 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Study of visibility from the Apollo CSM during extraction of the LM from the S-IVB stage - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Cockpit; LM Crew Station. Langley Research Center reported on its November study of visibility from the CSM during extraction of the LM from the S-IVB stage. The study had been made in support of the AS-207/208A mission, with assistance of MSC and North American Aviation personnel, to

    1. determine if the CSM pilot could detect the signal indicating that the CSM had detached from the S-IVB,
    2. determine if he could recognize a misalignment between the CSM/LM combination and the S-IVB during withdrawal, and
    3. investigate simple aid techniques to make the pilot's task easier.
    Results indicated that

    1. LM docking did not provide adequate indication of detachment of the LM from the S-IVB, but
    2. in misalignment tests subjects could recognize errors as small as two to three degrees in yaw and five to seven centimeters in lateral translation except when the CSM/LM was yawed right and translated left relative to the S-IVB.
    The configuration of the model used prevented studying pitch, roll, or vertical translation misalignments.

1967 February 7 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Study at Langley to familiarize flight crews with Apollo CM active docking - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Block II; LM Crew Station. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth asked LaRC Director Floyd Thompson to conduct a study at Langley to familiarize flight crews with CM active docking and to explore problems in CM recontact with the LM and also LM withdrawal. MSC would provide astronaut and pilot-engineer support for the study. Apollo Block II missions called for CM active docking with the LM and withdrawal of the LM from the S-IVB stage, requiring development of optimum techniques and procedures to ensure crew safety and to minimize propellant utilization. LM withdrawal was a critical area because of clearances, marginal flight crew visibility, and mission constraints. Previous simulations at LaRC indicated the possibility of using the Rendezvous Docking Simulator.

1967 September 26 - .
  • Flammability Test Review Board for Apollo LM M-6 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. The Flammability Test Review Board met at MSC to determine if the M-6 vehicle (a full-scale mockup of the LM cabin interior) was ready for test and that the ignition points, configuration, instrumentation, and test facility were acceptable for verifying the fire safety of LTA-8 and LM-2 vehicles. Additional Details: here....

1968 June 3 - .
  • Test to detect toxic hazards inside Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Block II; LM Crew Station. ASPO Manager George Low advised Apollo program officials at KSC that, to collect adequate data for evaluating any potential toxicological hazard inside the spacecraft, collection of gas samples of the cabin atmosphere must be made for 12 hours during the unmanned altitude chamber test with all systems operating. Low asked that this requirement be included in the spacecraft test procedures. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 15-17 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Final flight program for Apollo 9 verified - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: The final flight program for Apollo 9 was verified; the emergency egress test with the prime and backup crew was conducted; and the software integration test between the lunar module and Mission Control Center, MSC, was completed on January 15. . Additional Details: here....

1969 January 31 - .
  • Apollo potential catastrophic switch problem - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Cockpit; LM Crew Station. During integrated testing of the Apollo spacecraft, a well-qualified test pilot accidentally threw two guarded switches marked "CM/SM Separation" instead of the intended adjacent switches marked "CSM/LM Final Sep" to separate the lunar module from the command and service modules. Had the error occurred in a lunar flight, the CM would have separated from the SM, with a high probability of leaving the crew stranded in lunar orbit. Studies of methods to preclude such an accident in actual flight led later to provisions for visual differences in switch covers.

1969 February 3 - .
  • Lunar samples would cool the Apollo LM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: In response to a query, a study indicated that, because of the temperature on the moon's surface, lunar samples would cool the LM cabin when placed in the rock box inside the cabin..

1969 November 4-7 - .
  • Preparations for a November 14 launch of Apollo 12 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 12. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. Summary: Preparations for a November 14 launch of Apollo 12 continued on schedule. . Additional Details: here....

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