Encyclopedia Astronautica
1967.03.25 - The Apollo 204 Review Board accepted the final report of its Test Environment Panel (Panel 2)


The Apollo 204 Review Board accepted the final report of its Test Environment Panel (Panel 2).

Panel 2 had been assigned responsibility for the history of all test environments encountered by spacecraft 012 that were considered germane to system validation from a fire hazard standpoint, including qualification testing of systems and subsystems. The panel was particularly to emphasize qualification tests in pure oxygen with regard to pressures, temperature, time of exposure, and simulation of equipment malfunctions. It was also to indicate any deficiencies in the test program related to the problem; comparison with previous tests of appropriate flight, house, or boilerplate spacecraft; and documentation of any problems encountered which related to fire hazard.

The panel reviewed all tests pertinent to the investigation. The qualification tests were reviewed at MSC, covering more than 1,000 documents. Vehicle tests were reviewed at North American Aviation's Downey, Calif., facility, covering more than 500 documents. Summaries of these efforts were reviewed by the panel at KSC to determine any test program deficiencies.

The final report of the panel included six findings and determinations. Among them were:

Finding

Not all crew compartment equipment had been tested as explosion proof.

Determination

Testing of possible ignition sources had been insufficient.

Finding

Some CM equipment exhibited arcing or shorting either during certification or during spacecraft 012 testing. There was no positive way to determine from the records reviewed whether spacecraft anomalies (possibly caused by an arc or a short) were reviewed by system engineers and the test conductor before a test.

Determination

Review of possible ignition sources before manned testing was inadequate.

Finding

Not all equipment installed in CM 012 at the time of the accident was intended for flight (some components were installed for test purposes only).

Determination

The suitability of this equipment in the CM for this test was not established.

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