Encyclopedia Astronautica
1965.02.17 - Increase in the Apollo CM's land landing capability


North American proposed an idea for increasing the CM's land landing capability. This could be done, the company asserted, by raising the water impact limits (thus exceeding normal tolerances) and stiffening the shock struts.

Presently, the spacecraft was incapable of a land landing within established requirements (i.e., in a 46-km (25-nm) wind). While even approximate figures were not available, the maximum wind velocity in which the CM could land - without exceeding crew tolerances - was probably between 19 and 28 km (10 and 15 nm) per hr. (No precise data on land and water landings would be available until after the drop tests of boilerplate 28 late in the year.)

Personnel of the ASPO Crew Integration Branch, however, were pessimistic about the North American scheme. They doubted that shock attenuation could be readily increased, nor did they see as likely any relaxation of crew tolerances. Further, the probability of a land landing introduced tighter constraints on wind conditions at the launch site. As they viewed it, the only feasible way to improve the spacecraft's ground capability was through some mechanism that would further absorb the landing impact.

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