Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.01.11 - Concern over configuration control of Apollo flight hardware


CSM Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht wrote his counterpart at North American Rockwell, Dale D. Myers, to express concern about NR's seeming inability to implement configuration control of flight hardware and ground support equipment.

Some progress had been made recently, Kleinknecht observed, but many steps still had to be taken to achieve effective configuration management on the CSM. The MSC chief pointed especially to North American's inability to ensure that final hardware matched that set forth in engineering documents, a weakness inherent in the separate functions of manufacturing: planning, fabrication, assembly and rework. MSC recommended a check procedure of comparing part numbers of installed equipment to the "as designed" parts list. "In short," Kleinknecht concluded, "I think that we should tolerate no further delay in establishing a simple 'as built' versus 'as designed' checking function, beginning with and including the first manned spacecraft."

North American began a more nearly complete engineering order accountability system, which provided an acceptable method of verifying the "as designed" to the "as built" configuration of each spacecraft. This system was planned to be applicable by the Flight Readiness Review on spacecraft 104 and on subsequent spacecraft at earlier points.

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