Advanced Design, Fabrication, and Testing
The Development Engineering Inspection (DEI) for Little Joe II 12-51-3
was satisfactorily conducted at General Dynamics Convair, San Diego,
Calif. The vehicle had been assigned for Mission A-004, an abort
mission in the power-on tumbling boundary region. The DEI was conducted
with emphasis on changes which had been effected as a result of the
malfunction encountered during the A-003 mission. The following served
on the DEI Board: J. A. Chamberlin, Chairman, S. A. Sjoberg, R. F.
Gordon, F. J. Bailey, R. C. Duncan, W. M. Bland, R. A. Gardiner, and L.
P. Gallagher, Secretary.
Memorandum, Chief, Checkout and Test Division, MSC, to Distr.,
"Development Engineering Inspection for LJ II 12-51-3," sgd.
James J. Shannon for W. M. Bland, June 25, 1965; "Weekly Activity
Report, June 27-July 3, 1965," sgd. Joseph F. Shea.
On the basis of information from the two Apollo spacecraft
manufacturers, the Systems Engineering Division (SED) reported a
possible thermal problem with the Saturn V during ascent:
SED laid down study procedures to determine the best solution to this
problem (either by modifying the spacecraft or the launch trajectory -
- On Saturns 501 and 502, the temperatures of the SM and the adapter
would exceed design limits. (These limits were based on heating rates
for 504, a heavier vehicle with a consequently cooler trajectory.)
- And on 504, heating rates on the adapter would create an
"unacceptable thermal environment" for the spacecraft within.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "Saturn V ascent
heating problem," July 1, 1965; memorandum, Aaron Cohen, MSC, to
Chief, Systems Engineering Division, "Item 2.10, SESAME No. 2
Meeting Minutes, SM and SLA/LEM Potential Boost Heating Problems,"
July 26, 1965, with enclosure: "MSC/NAA Meeting, SM/SLA/LEM Boost
Heating," July 15, 1965.
Within its Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA organized an Apollo Site
Selection Board. As an advisory body to the Associate Administrator for
Manned Space Flight, George E. Mueller, the group would recommend
landing sites for Apollo.
Instruction, George E. Mueller, NASA, to Distr., "Establishment of
Apollo Site Selection Board," July 1, 1965.
NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller
told MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth he was establishing an Operations
Executive Group. This group would consist of senior executives whose
organizations were carrying out the manned space flight operations.
It was Mueller's objective that the group meet on a regular basis and
review program status, resource requirements, management, and flight
operations to provide executive management with the background needed to
make effective policy decisions. A second objective was to ensure that
the executives in the operations area knew each other well enough to
work directly in the rapid solution of time-critical problems.
Mueller planned that one-day meetings would be held at two to four month
intervals at locations that would acquaint members with facilities and
Letter, Mueller to Gilruth, July 1, 1965.
Grumman completed its study of oxygen storage systems for the LEM (see
June 11) and reviewed with MSC the company's recommendation (one
20,684-kilonewton per sq m [3,000 psi] tank in the descent stage, two
6,894-kilonewtons per sq m [1,000 psi] tanks in the ascent stage). One
drawback to the design, which the Crew Systems Division termed an
"apparently unavoidable bad feature," was that, by the time
of the final cabin repressurization, the repressurization time would
increase to about 12 minutes (though this was admittedly a conservative
estimate). Although requesting more data from Grumman on temperatures
and cabin pressures, the Center approved the configuration.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 1-8, 1965."
The NASA Director of Bioscience Programs pointed out that the National
Academy of Sciences' report on back contamination placed emphasis on the
potential hazard from the moon because of the short stay on the moon.
From this report, it was evident that NASA had problems which must be
solved in the very near future.
It was recommended that NASA accept the operational responsibility for
back contamination and that there be a clear-cut assignment soon.
It was felt that failure of NASA to establish adequate authority to
handle this problem and thus to satisfy the public, the press, the
scientific community, and other regulatory agencies could result in
direct control of back contamination by those agencies and cause
unnecessary constraints upon the manned lunar and planetary missions.
Memorandum, Director of Bioscience Programs, NASA, to Associate
Administrator for Space Science and Applications, "Responsibility
for Space Quarantine," July 2, 1965.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea ordered Crew Systems Division to develop
some type of protective devices that the astronauts might use to shield
their eyes during a solar flare. ASPO regarded the risk of cataracts
during these solar events as extraordinarily high. Although not
mandatory, it was desirable that the crew could still see while wearing
the devices. Should a flare occur while the crew manned the LEM, mission
ground rules called for an abort back to the safety of the CSM;
therefore, such devices would be needed for the CM alone.
Memorandum, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to Chief, Crew Systems Division,
"Incidence of cataracts in Apollo crewmembers," July 2,
The Weekly Activity Report for the period indicated that
"Weekly Activity Report, July 4-10, 1965," sgd. J. Thomas
Markley for Joseph F. Shea.
- the CM 002 was transferred internally within North American from
manufacturing to the test organization on July 8;
- the CM 009 checkout at North American continued with the central
timing equipment and signal conditioner checkout completed, and the new
40-ampere-hour batteries for CSM 009 and 011 were shipped to KSC and
North American, respectively; and
- the Grumman subcontract to Eagle-Picher for the LEM batteries was
approved by NASA.
Langley Research Center completed CSM active docking simulations and
lunar orbital docking runs.
Memorandum, Michael K. Lake, MSC, to Chief, Spacecraft Operations
Branch, "Apollo Docking Simulation," July 23, 1965, with
Illustrative of continuing design and managerial problems, MSC and
North American representatives attempted to resolve thermal problems
with the Block II environmental control system (ECS), primarily the ECS
radiator. The week-long talks were fruitless. MSC's arguments and
supportive evidence notwithstanding, the contractor steadfastly opposed
the water-glycol approach, favoring a nonfreezing liquid (Freon). MSC,
similarly, was hardly satisfied with North American's intransigence and
less so with the company's effort and performance. "A pertinent
observation," reported Crew Systems Division, "is that . . .
it will be extremely difficult to complete any other development in
support of Block II schedules unless their [North American's] attitude
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 8-15, 1965"; memorandum,
Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Chief, Crew Systems Division, "Design
criteria for backup ECS radiator development program," July 6,
1965; memorandum, Frank H. Samonski, Jr., MSC, to Chief, Systems
Engineering Division, "Viscosity data of RS-89A
(water-glycol)," July 23, 1965.
At a design review on the VHF radio equipment for the LEM, conducted by
RCA, Grumman refused to vote its approval. Grumman's most serious
objection centered on thermal loads, which under extreme conditions
could far exceed specification limits. RCA thereupon began exploring
several approaches, including new materials, relocation of components,
and redesigned heat sinks. Grumman was asked to keep MSC well informed
on problems, corrective actions, and anticipated impacts.
TWXs, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 12, 16,
19, and 22, 1965.
An RCS oxidizer tank failed during a test to demonstrate propellant
compatibility with titanium tanks. This was the first of seven tanks to
fail from a group of ten tanks put into test to investigate a failure
that occurred during February 1965. These results caused an intensive
investigation to be undertaken.
Memorandum, Darrell Kendrick, MSC, to Chief, Propulsion and Power
Division, "Trip to Bell Aerosystems Company (BAC) on July 14 and
15, 1965 regarding S/M F (S/N 26) RCS Tank Shell Failure," July
During the period the NASA/Department of the Army agreement for use of
Army helicopters to airlift LEM adapters was signed by both parties; the
Apollo Block II space suit preliminary design review was successfully
held by David Clark Company; and evaluation testing of the Apollo Block
II space suits submitted by David Clark Company, Hamilton Standard
Division and International Latex was completed, with data being reduced.
"Weekly Activity Report, July 11-17, 1965," sgd. J. Thomas
Markley for Joseph F. Shea.
Joseph F. Shea, ASPO Manager, informed Flight Crew Operations that the
capability had been firmly established for connecting and disconnecting
the suit oxygen umbilicals in a vacuum. Crew Systems Division was
modifying the connector (using a two-position release) to satisfy this
requirement. This change would ensure safe umbilical operation while in
an unpressurized spacecraft.
Memorandum, Donald K. Slayton, MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Lunar
Surface Operations," June 11, 1965; memorandum, Shea, MSC, to
Asst. Dir. for Flight Crew Operations, "Lunar Surface
Operations," July 12, 1965.
Crew Systems Division (CSD) completed its study on the feasibility of
controlling the amount of bacteria vented from the LEM. Division
researchers found that, by placing special filters in the environmental
control system (ECS) of the spacecraft, emission levels could be greatly
lowered. This reduction would be meaningless, however, in view of
effluents from the extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) - the moon would
still be contaminated by the space travelers. Because of weight
penalties - and because of their dubious value - CSD recommended that
bacteria filters not be added to the LEM's ECS. The Division further
advised that, at present, neither the amount of bacteria emitted from
the EMU nor a means of controlling this effluence was yet known.
Memorandum, Robert E. Smylie, MSC, to Chief, Systems Engineering
Division, "Feasibility of controlling effluent bacteria from the
LEM cabin and environmental control subsystem," July 13, 1965,
with enclosure: "Control of Effluent Micro-Organisms from the LEM
Cabin and Environmental Control System"
A Little Joe II failure investigation presentation was made at MSC July
13 in which General Dynamics/ Convair (GD/C) and MSC's Engineering and
Development (E&D) Directorate presented results of independent failure
investigations of the mishap which occurred during Apollo Mission A-003
(Boilerplate 22) on June 22, 1965, at WSMR.
The GD/C investigation results were presented by J. B. Hurt, Little Joe
II Program Manager, in the form of flight movies and a slide talk. The
data made the following points:
The E&D investigation results were presented by O. P. Littleton of
the Guidance and Control Division. In summary, results of the E&D
investigation were stated to have confirmed the findings of GD/C
although different computer methods were used. Littleton agreed with
the conclusions of GD/C, but emphasized that an electrical malfunction
within the Fin IV hydro-electrical servo-loop could not be discounted
as a possible source of failure at that time.
- At approximately one second after liftoff, the Fin IV elevon moved
in a direction to cause the observed clockwise rotation and at 2.5
seconds reached the fully deflected position where it remained until
- Although computer simulations of the flight with Fin IV fully
deflected did not precisely duplicate the observed dynamic motions,
sufficient correlation existed to conclude that Fins I, II, and III
functioned normally while Fin IV alone caused loss of the mission.
- The complete attitude control system, exclusive of the Fin IV
hydro-electrical servo loop, performed correctly as designed.
- The most probable cause for the failure was a malfunction in Fin IV
hydro-electrical servo-loop due to an internal mechanical failure of
Memorandum for Record, Bill J. McCarty, MSC, "Little Joe II
Failure Investigation Presentation," July 20, 1965.
Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) presented meteoroid protection
figures for the Apollo CSM. (During April, General Electric [GE] had
developed reliability estimates for the LEM, based on revised design
criteria, for the 8.3-day reference mission. The probability for
mission success, GE had found, was 0.9969.) SMD'S figures were:
The division consequently placed the meteoroid protection for the
entire mission at 0.99417 (Block I, CSM only) and 0.99089 (Block II,
CSM and LEM). Apollo's goal was 0.99.
|Block I (14-day earth orbital flight)||Block II (8.3-day lunar mission)|
All of the above figures, both GE's and SMD's, were derived from the
inherent protection afforded by the spacecraft's structure. Thus no
additional meteoroid shielding was needed. (Meteoroid protection would
still be required, of course, during extravehicular operations.)
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 8-15, 1965."
Willis B. Foster, NASA's Director of Manned Space Science Programs,
informed MSC's Maxime A. Faget that he had asked the following persons
to continue to serve as members of an Ad Hoc Committee as an advisory
group to Foster with regard to the design and construction of the Lunar
Sample Receiving Laboratory: E. C. T. Chao (Chairman), Lorin Clark
(alternate chairman), James Arnold, Clifford Frondel, Briggs Phillips,
P. R. Bell, and alternates Jonathan Klein and Larry Hall.
Letter, Foster to Faget, "Membership of the Headquarters Advisory
Committee on Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," July 14, 1965.
North American began redesigning the side hatch mechanism in the CM to
satisfy the requirement for extravehicular transfer from Block II
spacecraft. Two basic modifications to the Block I mechanism were
required: (1) enlarging it to overcome thermal warpage; and (2) adding
some hinge retention device to secure the hatch once it was opened.
Memorandum, R. D. Langley, MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Side Access
Ablative Hatch," July 6, 1965; letter, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to NAA,
Space and Information Systems Division, Attn: J. C. Cozad,
"Contract NAS 9-150, Shipment of S/C 006 Side Access Ablative
Hatch to MSC," July 15, 1965; memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to
Manager, ASPO, "Side access ablative hatch," July 23,
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed Grumman that a proposal they had
made during the LEM Program Review on July 6 regarding broader
qualification scheduling and parts deviations had been reviewed by NASA
and it was considered "not in the best interests of the program to
relax the requirements to the extent proposed by GAEC."
Shea cited a paragraph of the Contract Technical Specification which
specified: "Qualification tests supporting a particular flight
vehicle shall be completed prior to that vehicle being delivered from
It was NASA's desire that LEM program scheduling be such that all
ground test logic constraints required in support of launch dates would
be completed at least six weeks prior to scheduled launch dates. Shea
pointed out that the LEM program schedules as presented by Grumman at
the July 6 Review were not in complete accord with dates previously
provided June 7 in a datafax signed by Shea.
Shea required the following delivery dates from Grumman: LEM-1,
November 15, 1966; LEM-2, February 15, 1967; LEM-3, April 15, 1967;
LEM-4, July 15, 1967; LEM-5, October 15, 1967; LEM-6, December 15,
1967; LEM-7, February 15, 1968; LEM-8, April 15, 1968; LEM-9, June 15,
1968; LEM-10, August 15, 1968; and LEM-11, October 15, 1968.
Grumman was requested to provide NASA, no later than August 2, 1965,
their plan for support of a LEM program development schedule which
would incorporate these requirements.
Letter, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, LEM Development Program Requirements,"
July 15, 1965.
North American recommended to MSC that, for the time being, the present
method for landing the CM (i.e., a passive water landing) be maintained.
However, on the basis of a recent feasibility study, the contractor
urged that a rocket landing system be developed for possible use later
on. North American said that such a system would improve mission
reliability through the increase in impact capability on both land and
TWX, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems Division,
Attn: J. C. Cozad, July 9, 1965; NAA, "Apollo Monthly Progress
Report," SID 62-300-40, September 1, 1965, pp. 12-13.
MSC directed Grumman to provide stowage within the LEM for those tools
needed for transfer between the two spacecraft (either intra- or
extravehicular). The tool kit, similar to that in the CM, would be
stored in the LEM at earth launch.
Letters, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: John C. Snedeker,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Contract Change Authorization No. 122,
Extravehicular Crew Transfer Provisions," and "Contract NAS
9-1100, Contract Change Authorization No. 123, Stowage of Inflight
Tools in the LEM," July 16, 1965.
July 16-August 15
On the basis of wind tunnel tests at Arnold Engineering Development
Center (AEDC), North American now considered as negligible the effects
of structural protuberances on the CM's rolling moment and on propellant
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-40, pp. 6-7.
July 16-August 15
In order to use the LEM as a backup for the service propulsion system
(SPS) to abort the mission during the 15-hour period following
translunar injection, Grumman informed North American that some redesign
of the spacecraft's helium system would likely be required. This
information prompted North American designers to undertake their own
analysis of the situation. On the basis of their own findings, this
latter group disagreed with the LEM manufacturer:
The probability of two such failures during the abort period, North American concluded, was not sufficient to warrant redesigning the helium
- Before transposition and docking, the two spacecraft would already
be on a confirmed free-return trajectory.
- During the 15-hour interval, moreover, LEM propulsion would be
required only in the event of failures in the SPS and some time-
dependent, mission-critical system.
Ibid., pp. 12-13.
Russia launched Zond III, but neither its objectives nor
its achievements were announced until some time later. About 36 hours
after launch, the spacecraft began photographing the far side of the
moon (at a range of between 11,600 and 10,000 km [7,217 and 6,217 mi]).
After passing the moon, it entered a heliocentric orbit and thus became
an artificial planet. On July 29, Zond III transmitted its
pictures back to earth, as planned. Those pictures showed clearly the
heavily cratered nature of the surface. This mission dramatized the
advances in space photography that the U.S.S.R. had made since its
first far-side effort six years earlier.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, pp. 337, 378-379,
392-393; Tikhonravov et al., Ten Years of Space
Research in the USSR, pp. 20-21.
NASA was acquiring eight KC-135 aircraft and three ships to help
maintain communications during Apollo moon flights. In addition, two
ships of the existing DOD instrumentation fleet were being remodeled for
support of the Apollo lunar mission's reentry phase. The KC-135 jet
transports would be used during reentry to combat the effects of the
plasma sheath blackout which had drowned out communications on previous
manned launchings. In addition, three primary ground stations were being
prepared at Goldstone, Calif.; Canberra, Australia; and Madrid, Spain.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 340; memorandum,
Samuel C. Phillips, NASA, to Assoc. Admin. for Manned Space Flight,
"Apollo Instrumentation Ship Schedules," July 23, 1965, with
enclosures; memorandum, Arnold W. Frutkin, NASA, to Julian Scheer,
"Designation of Spanish tracking station," July 23, 1965.
MSC directed Grumman to implement changes in weights of the LEM:
Memorandum, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: John C. Snedeker,
|Total LEM||14,515 kg (32,000 lbs)|
|Ascent stage inert||2,193 kg (4,835 lbs)|
|Descent stage inert||2,166 kg (4,775 lbs)|
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Contract Change Authorization No. 124,
Addition of Control Weights to Specification," July 19, 1965.
North American conducted zero-g tests at Wright-Patterson AFB to
evaluate the design of the CM's unitized crew couch and restraint
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-40, p. 4.
NASA Headquarters authorized North American to subcontract the Block II
CSM fuel cells to Pratt and Whitney. Estimates placed the cost at $30
TWX, George J. Vecchietti, NASA, to NASA Office, Downey, Calif., Attn:
George A. Abbott, July 19, 1965.
At a LEM-1 review held at Bethpage, N.Y., Grumman briefed MSC officials
on the status of design drawings and hardware procurement. Also, the
company prepared a detailed schedule for manufacturing and installation
of various systems on the spacecraft.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 15-22, 1965";
letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, LEM I Status Meeting Number Two,"
August 6, 1965.
North American reported that qualification testing had been completed on
two items of electrical hardware, the CSM battery charger and the
NAA, "Project Apollo Spacecraft Test Program Weekly Activity
Report (Period 19 July 1965 through 25 July 1965)," p. 3.
MSC officially notified Grumman that, as part of the Apollo scientific
program, an experiments package would be left on the moon by the crewmen
of the LEM. The Center outlined weight and storage requirements for the
package, which would be stored in the descent stage of the vehicle along
with the lunar geological equipment. And MSC emphasized the need for
dissipating waste heat given off by the system's radioisotope generator.
(The radioisotope generator was a firm requirement, despite the fear
voiced by many scientists that the radiation it gave off would disrupt
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Request for Preparation of Interface Control
Documents for the Lunar Surface Experiments Package (LSEP), and the
Lunar Geological Equipment," July 21, 1965; MSC, "ASPO Weekly
Management Report, July 29-August 5, 1965."
Several lunar surface vehicles received national attention:
NASA News Release 54-245, "NASA Will Not Develop Surveyor Roving
Vehicle." July 21, 1965; Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1965, p. 342.
- NASA announced that it had dropped plans for developing a small
rover to be carried to the moon aboard soft-landing Surveyor spacecraft.
This action, the space agency said, stemmed from a desire to concentrate
on the development of the spacecraft per se and on its scientific
- Bell Aerosystems Company announced that it had designed a
rocket-propelled Lunar Flying Vehicle (LFV) to aid Apollo astronauts in
their exploration of the moon. This work was the result of a year-long
study that the company had conducted for MSFC. The LFV, nicknamed
"Hopper," would be able to travel about 80 km (50 mi) without
stopping. Bell announced also that it had received additional funds
from NASA (almost a half million dollars) to continue work on another
lunar vehicle, the so-called Manned Flying System. This latter craft,
also primarily a tool for exploration, would be able to transport an
astronaut and about 136 kg (300 lbs) of equipment (or two astronauts)
for distances up to 24 km (15 mi) from the original landing site.
MSC and Grumman discussed the LEM landing gear design and determined
the landing velocity touchdown envelope.
TWX, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, subject:
"Structural Design for Lunar Landing Dynamic Magnification
Factor," July 22, 1965; TWXs, Young to Mullaney, July 30 and
August 18, 1965; GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 30,"
LPR-10-46, August 10, 1965, p. 8.
Agreements and decisions reached at the MSC briefing on the LEM optical
TWX, Samuel C. Phillips, NASA, to MSC, Attn: Joseph F. Shea, subject:
"LEM Optical Tracker," July 28, 1965.
- Development of the LEM rendezvous radar should be continued.
- One contractor should be selected for development of the optical
tracker with schedules to support installation in early LEMs.
- A decision on the rendezvous radar versus the optical tracker was
MSC authorized North American to make a number of significant hardware
Letters, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems
Division, "Contract Change Authorizations, 384, 385, 387, 388,
390, 391, 392, and 393," July 23, 1965.
- Delete hardware for transferring water from the CM to the LEM.
- Place filters in the propellant lines of the SM's reaction control
- Cease all work on an extravehicular probe (responsibility which MSC
- Delete from the stabilization and control system (SCS) of all Block
II CSMs the hybrid thrust vector control apparatus. (This change reduced
the functional capability of the SCS and simplified the system's
interface with the guidance and navigation system.)
- Delete the HE orbital antenna from CSMs 012, 014, and all Block II
- Change the propellant mixture in the service propulsion system of
Block II spacecraft. The service propulsion engine would be modified,
which would require additional developmental and qualification testing.
- Go ahead on thermal coating on the adapter (to achieve the desired
thermal environment for the LEM during boost).
MSC defined for Grumman the functions that the LEM's abort guidance
section (AGS) must perform during earth orbital flights:
The basic lunar mission program still would be used. False position,
velocity, and gravity data would be inserted to make the AGS behave as
if it were flying around the moon. Finally, MSC emphasized that neither
the AGS hardware, its permanent or "hardwired" memory, nor
delivery schedules must be altered to meet this earth orbital
- When both spacecraft were unmanned, the AGS must be able to hold the
LEM's attitude during coast or while thrusting; it would not, however,
have to control thrusting itself.
- During manned missions, whether or not the LEM itself actually was
manned, the AGS must afford closed-loop control of the vehicle, again
both while coasting and thrusting. Thrusting phases of these flights
would demonstrate the section's guidance and navigational capabilities.
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Abort Guidance Section operational
requirements during earth orbital missions," July 23, 1965.
During a news conference, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Deputy Manager of the
Gemini Project Office at MSC, affirmed that, although no firm decisions
had yet been made, the concept of a circumlunar flight using a Gemini
spacecraft was being seriously studied. The mission would use Titan II
and III-C launch vehicles and would require rendezvousing in earth
orbit. NASA, Martin-Marietta Corporation (builder of the Titan), and
Aerojet-General Corporation (which manufactured upper stages for the
III-C) all were studying the feasibility of such a flight. Later in the
year, NASA Administrator James E. Webb eliminated the possibility of a
Gemini circumlunar mission, ". . . our main reliance for operating
at lunar distances . . . is the large Saturn V/Apollo system."
Howard Benedict, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, July 26,
1965; letter, U.S. Representative Olin E. Teague to James E. Webb,
August 18, 1965; letter, Webb to Teague, September 10, 1965.
At North American's drop facility, a malfunction in the release
mechanism caused boilerplate 1 to impact on land rather than water.
After a recurrence of this accident on August 6, a team of investigators
began looking into the problem. Drops were suspended pending their
findings. These incidents aggravated delays in the test program, which
already was seven weeks behind schedule.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 5-12, 1965."
Failure of the Little Joe II launch vehicle on Mission A-003 and
subsequent lack of positive failure cause identification and corrective
action led to a lower than desirable confidence level in the capability
of the controlled version of Little Joe II to accomplish the planned
A-004 mission. The test objectives for A-004 were set forth (see
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to ASPO Manager, "WSMR test
requirements and their relations to the AFRM-002 Mission," sgd. R.
W. Williams, July 29, 1965.
General Electric (GE) received a supplement to its ACE-S/C (Acceptance
Checkout Equipment-Spacecraft) contract. Total cost and fee for the
amendment, which covered a reliability program for Apollo parts and
materials, was $1,382,600. This brought the total value of GE's contract
to $85.6 million.
MSC, "Quarterly Activity Report for Office of the Associate
Administrator, Manned Space Flight, for Period Ending July 31,
1965," pp. 25-26.
MSC advised Grumman that the altitude at which the LEM crewmen would
switch from automatic to manual control of the spacecraft during Phase
II of the landing approach would be 213 m (700 ft).
TWX, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 30,
NASA launched Pegasus III, third of the meteoroid
detection satellites, as scheduled at 8:00 a.m. EST, from Cape Kennedy.
(See February 16 and May 25.) As earlier, an Apollo spacecraft
(boilerplate 9) served as the payload's shroud. This flight (SA-10)
marked the end of the Saturn I program, which during its seven-year
lifetime had achieved 10 straight successful launches and had
contributed immeasurably to American rocket technology.
NASA News Release 65-232, "Pegasus C," July 21, 1965; NASA
News Release 65-253, "Pegasus III Launch Caps NASA's Saturn I
Program," July 30, 1965; memorandum, George E. Mueller, NASA, to
Administrator, "Pegasus III/SA-10 Saturn I Flight Mission Post
Launch Report No. 1," August 16, 1965, with enclosure: Mission
Operation Report No. R-725-65-03 M-931-65-10; "Apollo Monthly
Progress Report," SID 62-300-40, p. 1; TWX, KSC, to Distr.,
"SA-10 Apollo Flash Report No. 1," sgd. E. R. Mathews, July
During the preceding six months, officials in ASPO and the Engineering
and Development Directorate evaluated the performance of the launch
escape vehicle (LEV) during aborts on and near the launch pad. That
performance, they had determined, was inadequate. To solve this problem,
MSC ordered North American to incorporate a number of design changes in
both the LEV and the spacecraft:
Memoranda, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "LEV pad and near pad
abort additional analysis and or testing required for implementation of
a 609.6 m (2000 ft) constant altitude main chute deployment,"
April 23, 1965; John D. Hodge, MSC, to Asst. Dir. for Flight
Operations, "Implementation of a 609.6 m (2000 ft) constant
altitude main chute deployment," June 8, 1965; Christopher C.
Kraft, Jr., MSC, to ASPO, Attn: O. E. Maynard, "Apollo Launch
Escape Vehicle (LEV) pad and near-pad abort capability,'July 16, 1965;
letter, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems
Division, "Contract Change Authorization No. 397," July 30,
- provide the capability for manual override of the main parachute
deployment timer and for manual deployment of those parachutes (for both
Saturn IB and V flights)
- Provide for dumping helium from the CM's reaction control system
- Modify the CM RCS to permit rapid dumping of its fuel (similar to
the existing oxidizer dump). But fuel and oxidizer must not be dumped
simultaneously. (This change applied only to Block II CMs.)
- Provide the capability to cut out the LEV's pitch control motor on
Block I vehicles (similar to that already in Block II spacecraft)
- Design a removable device that, while on the pad, would keep the
launch escape motor's propellant temperature above 70 degrees.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed LEM Subsystems Managers that recent
LEM schedule changes and program review activities had led to some
confusion with regard to schedule requirements and policies. Shea
pointed out that in some instances subsystem delivery schedules had been
established which were inconsistent with the overall program. Where this
had occurred, prompt action by the Subsystems Managers was required to
recover lost ground. Shea then laid down specific ground rules to be
followed, and requested that waivers of these ground rules be submitted
no later than August 15, along with a demonstration that reasonable
alternatives had been investigated. Only the ASPO Manager would approve
Memorandum, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to LEM Subsystems Managers,
"Subsystem Qualification and Delivery Schedules," July 31,
At a meeting between representatives of NASA and Public Health Service
representatives, it was agreed:
James Goddard, Chief of the Communicable Disease Center of the PHS,
stated he was prepared to staff any required quarantine activity at the
Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory but there was no discussion of the
source of the personnel.
- That the PHS had responsibility for the health of the nation and for
any potential threat to that health from extraterrestrial life,
particularly from back contamination.
- That the Office of the Surgeon General, PHS, would submit to the
NASA Administrator a proposal for action deemed necessary.
- That the Department of Agriculture had a similar responsibility for
the nation's crops and animals of economic importance and that the
Department of Agriculture would probably accept arrangements made by
PHS, and be brought into the matter at the point they considered action
to be necessary.
Memorandum for the Record, Orr E. Reynolds, NASA Headquarters, August
During the Month
Two change orders were issued to Grumman under the LEM contract, which
brought the total estimated cost and fixed fee to $573,246,377.
"Quarterly Activity Report for Office of the Associate
Administrator, Manned Space Flight, for Period Ending July 31,
1965," p. 25.
During the Month
Several astronauts participated in landing touchdown studies conducted
in the LEM landing simulator to verify data collected in previous
studies and to determine changes in controls and displays to improve
the touchdown envelope. Studies involved landing runs from an altitude
of 305 m (1,000 ft) with manual takeover at 213 m (700 ft), at which
time the pilot could select a precise landing site.
"Monthly Progress Report No. 30," LPR-10-46, p. 4.
During the Month
Crew Systems Division completed evaluation of the three Block II space
suits submitted by Hamilton Standard, David Clark, and International
Latex. Also, the contractor presented to MSC the results of drop tests
with the LEM's support and restraint system.
North American technicians began installing a CM mockup aboard a KC-135
at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The structure would be used in a
zero-g flight test program (scheduled to begin within a week) to
evaluate the Block I space suit re mobility, crew performance,
and interfaces with the couch and restraints and with the guidance and
navigation station. (See July 19.) Ibid., p. 5; "ASPO Weekly
Management Report, July 8-15, 1965."