Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.10.23 - Two failures of Apollo LM propellant tanks fail during testing


LeRoy E. Day, Apollo Test Director, NASA Hq., informed Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips of two failures of LM propellant tanks during testing, a problem that might have significant program impact on LMs 6 and 7 and subsequent vehicles.

The particular tanks in question were those manufactured by Allison Division of General Motors but reworked under separate contract by Airite Division of Sargent Industries. The two tanks, lightweight SWIP II models slated for LM-6 and subsequent vehicles, had suffered small cracks in the welds. So far, said Day, the weld process used in manufacture of the tanks was "highly suspect." Cryogenic proof-testing probably would be required to validate the tanks and to give confidence in the tank welds. Meantime, he said, the problem was receiving high-level attention both at Grumman and in Houston.

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