Encyclopedia Astronautica
1967.06.19 - Apollo spacecraft/S-IVB rendezvous for AS-205 mission discussed


H. G. Paul, Chief of Marshal Space Flight Center's Propulsion Division, said it had come to the attention of his office that spacecraft/S-IVB rendezvous to within approximately 100 meters was being considered for the AS-205 mission.

The division's position was that, unless the S-IVB stage were made passive, the division could not guarantee the stage would be in a safe condition. After the lifetime of a nonpassivated stage, it was possible that indiscriminant propellant-tank or bottle venting could cause the stage to tumble, thus permitting liquid to enter the propellant-tank vent lines. Another area of concern was the high-pressure bottles on the stage. Should a relief valve fail to function normally, a bottle rupture could result. The Propulsion Division therefore recommended that no rendezvous mission be planned with S-IVB stages of either Saturn IB or Saturn V launch vehicles after the guaranteed lifetime of the stage, unless that stage had been passivated.

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