Advanced Design, Fabrication, and Testing
MSC's Engineering and Development Directorate established the Lunar
Sample Receiving Laboratory Office as an interim organizational element
pending development of a permanent organization for operation of the
MSC Announcement 65-140, "Establishment of the E&D Lunar
Sample Receiving Laboratory Office," November 1, 1965.
Bell Aerosystems Company reported that the LEM ascent engine
bipropellant cooled injector baffle met all basic specification
requirements, including those for combustion efficiency, ablative
compatibility, and stability. Bell conducted a successful firing with an
engine that had previously been vibrated to simulate launch boost and
lunar descent. The contractor also completed a duty cycle firing at AEDC
with hardware conditions set to the maximum temperatures believed
attainable during a lunar mission.
GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 34," LPR-10-50, December
10, 1965, pp. 1, 13; letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S.
Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Bell Aerosystems Contamination
Problems," December 9, 1965.
MSC management gave Grumman the go-ahead to implement the LEM
Certification Test Plan effective October 25.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "LEM Certification
Test Program Implementation," November 4, 1965.
In a letter to the Director of Flight Research Center, MSC Director
Robert R. Gilruth said that recent Lunar Landing Research Vehicle LLRV
flight results and problems with the handling qualities of the LEM had
focused high interest on the LLRV activities at FRC.
Gilruth concurred with the recent decision to assemble the second LLRV
and said MSC planned to support the assembly and checkout of the second
vehicle with engineering and contractor personnel assigned to the Flight
Crew Operations Directorate.
Gilruth expressed appreciation for the effort expended by FRC in
initiating a three-month study contract with Bell Aerosystems to provide
drawings for a follow-on vehicle and indicated MSC planned to contract
for Lunar Landing Training Vehicles in June 1966.
Letter, Gilruth to Director, FRC, "Lunar Landing Research and
Training Vehicles," November 4, 1965.
MSC's Configuration Control Board approved the reduction of maximum
translunar flight time from 110 hrs to 100 hrs.
Memorandum, Robert V, Battey, to Manager, ASPO, "Response to your
question on reduction of translunar flight time," November 1,
1965; MSC, "Minutes, Configuration Control Board Meeting No. 24,
November 4, 1965."
The design of the Block I space suit helmet ear cup and attachment was
finalized. Based on evaluation of AFRM 007 acoustic test data, it was
determined that existing Gemini-type "soft" ear cups were
adequate for Block I flights. North American and David Clark Company
specifications would be changed to reflect revised requirements. The
majority of drawings for the suit had been reviewed and approved by
MSC's Crew Systems Division. Remaining to be resolved and approved were
selection of helmet visor material, installation of helmet microphones
and earphones, communications harness, and fingertip glove lighting
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965";
NAA, "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-44, January
1, 1966, p. 6.
NASA announced that it would negotiate with International Latex
Corporation for an estimated $10 million contract to fabricate the
Apollo space suit consisting of the liquid-cooled undergarment,
constant wear garment, pressure garment assembly, and
thermo-micrometeoroid protective overgarment. At the same time an
estimated $20 million contract was negotiated with Hamilton Standard
Division of United Aircraft Corporation for continued development and
manufacture of the portable life support system with a four-hour main
power supply subjected to a maximum stowage soak temperature of 328K
(130 degrees F).
MSC News Release 65-102, November 5, 1965; TWX, Richard S. Johnston,
MSC, to R. E. Breeding, Hamilton Standard Division, subject: "PLSS
Power Supply Concept," November 8, 1965; NASA News Release 65-346,
"NASA to Negotiate for Apollo Suit, Support System," November
5, 1965; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12,
The development mission planning panel met to discuss the general
constraints for missions AS-206 and AS-207. AS-206 spacecraft and
operational constraints and mission rules were checked for
compatibility. An investigation of the AS-207 preliminary mission
profile showed that the ascent power requirements far exceeded the
capacity of the ascent stage batteries. A modification to the mission
profile was developed which would enable the mission objectives to be
accomplished within the LEM battery capabilities. A tentative procedure
for negotiating MSFC launch vehicle constraints was established between
MSC and MSFC.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965";
memorandum, Robert V. Battey, MSC, "Minutes of the Mission
Constraints Panel Meeting #4," November 23, 1965, with enclosure;
memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "Official Method for
Negotiating Mission Constraints with MSFC," November 16, 1965.
Upon examination of the airlock gas connectors at the Portable Life
Support System Emergency Oxygen System Preliminary Design Review, ASPO
representatives discovered a possible catastrophic failure. If an
astronaut unhooked the PLSS supply umbilical before the exhaust line was
disconnected the suit would vent through the PLSS. A request for change
was rejected by the preliminary design review board in spite of this
situation. ASPO recommended to the Crew Systems Division that the
connectors be modified or that the problem be solved another way to
preserve crew safety.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, Systems Engineering Division, ASPO, to
Apollo Support Office, Crew Systems Division, "RFC 111-1, Preliminary
Design Review, PLSS/EOS, 9-12 November 1965," December 7, 1965.
North American conducted an Apollo Program Review for key subcontractors
to convey the current status of the program and to discuss the
subcontractors' specific participation and support to the program.
NAA, "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-43,
December 1, 1965, p. 3.
A North American layout of the volume swept by the CM couch and crewmen
during landing impact attenuation showed several areas where the couch
and or crewmen struck the CM structure or stowed equipment. One area of
such interference was that the center crewman's helmet could overlap
about four inches into the volume occupied by the portable life support
system (PLSS) stowed beneath the side access hatch. The PLSS stowage was
recently changed to this position at North American's recommendation
because the original stowage position on the aft bulkhead interfered
with the couch attenuation envelope. The contractor was directed by MSC
to explain this situation.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965"; TWX, C.
L. Taylor, MSC, to NAA Space and Information Systems Division, Attn: J.
C. Cozad, subject: "Impact Attenuation System Interference,"
November 10, 1965.
The Block I service propulsion system engine successfully completed the
first altitude qualification tests at AEDC.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 12-18, 1965."
A manned lunar mission metabolic profile test was run in the Hamilton
Standard Division altitude chamber using the development liquid-cooled
portable life support system (PLSS). The system was started at a chamber
altitude of over 60,906 m (200,000 ft), and the subject adjusted the
liquid bypass valve to accommodate the programmed metabolic rates which
were achieved by use of a treadmill. Oxygen was supplied from an
external source through the PLSS bottle and oxygen regulation system.
This procedure was used because bottle qualification was not complete,
so pressure was limited to 2,068 kilonewtons per sq m (300 psig). An
external battery was used for power because the new batteries that were
required by the change to the all-battery LEM were not yet available.
The thermal transport system including the porous plate sublimator was
completely self-contained in the PLSS. All systems operated within
specification requirements and the test was considered an unqualified
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965."
The portable life support system Preliminary Design Review was
completed. The design was essentially complete and no major
discrepancies were noted during the review.
MSC and Grumman representatives reviewed Grumman's timeline analysis for
the intravehicular LEM crew activities subsequent to lunar landing. This
timeline was being rewritten for a test program to be conducted to
determine what crew mobility problems existed within the LEM so that
they could be better evaluated at the Certification Design Review.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 12-18, 1965."
MSC directed Ryan Aeronautical Corporation to present to RCA and Grumman
areas in which weight could be saved on the LEM landing radar. Of
specific interest was the power supply and the possibility of its
MSC instructed North American to:
Letter, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems
Division, "Contract Change Authorization No. 478," November
- Submit a preliminary design of Block II CSM jettisonable covers to
protect the radiator and CM heatshield thermal coatings from degradation
by the boost environment.
- Furnish preliminary design of nonablative reaction control system
(RCS) plume heat protection to prevent SM coating degradation on Block
- Determine the effect on the overall SM and LEM adapter thermal
design of coating degradation to a level specified by MSC and to propose
design changes or mission constraints for Block I and Block II CSMs.
- Determine the effect on the SM RCS thermal design of coating
degradation to the level specified by MSC and to propose design changes
or mission constraints for Block I and II CSMs.
The manned portion of the coast and maneuver simulation program was
completed, evaluating man-in-the-loop capabilities and their effects
upon maneuver accuracy, maneuver time, and propellant consumption. The
maneuvers and pilot techniques satisfied the midcourse attitude and
translation control requirements for the Block I Spacecraft 012 manned
mission. The study was conducted in eight phases, including more than
950 runs. Preliminary analysis of the results indicated there was
compatibility between the pilots and the maneuver control equipment.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-44, p. 6.
Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC's Assistant Director for Flight
Operations, outlined results of recent studies of the problems
associated with lunar landing. The programs studied were Surveyor, Lunar
Orbiter, deployment of probes on a simulated manned lunar landing
mission, deployment of probes during lunar orbit on an unmanned mission,
and deployment of landing aids during the manned lunar landing mission.
The studies supported the conclusion that it was still desirable to have
an earth launch window of several days to give launch opportunity
flexibility. For this purpose, it would be necessary to have a group of
longitudinally spaced landing areas available. However, if there were a
particular advantage, such as site certification, in being limited to
one area and, consequently, one launch opportunity per month, this was
considered to be acceptable. At least one launch opportunity per month
would be required. Therefore, the certified area would have to be within
the area available from performance consideration. This might mean a
night launch, which was confirmed as feasible.
Although the manned lunar landing mission ought not to depend upon a
successful Surveyor program, information for Apollo as well as general
scientific information should be expected from the program. The concept
was not supported that probes were a necessary prerequisite to a lunar
landing nor was the idea of a separate probe mission approved. If the
Surveyor program failed to provide evidence of the suitability of at
least one area and if the consensus favored gathering additional
information from probes, the feasibility of carrying probes on the
actual lunar landing mission should be fully considered, together with
the development of aids to real-time assessment.
Memorandum, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to Manager of Special
Design Efforts, "Problems associated with lunar landing,"
November 22, 1965.
Little Joe II Program Manager Milton A. Silveira suggested to ASPO
Manager Joseph F. Shea that if the next Little Joe II flight test was
successful there would be no further requirement for the Little Joe II
to support the Apollo program. Silveira said planning had been made with
General Dynamics Convair to store the remaining three vehicles, parts,
and tooling for one year in case a new requirement from ASPO or NASA
should develop. The additional cost of one-year storage compared to
normal program closeout was estimated to be small. ASPO concurred with
the suggestion on December 1.
Memorandums, Silveira to Shea, "Little Joe II program
close-out," November 22, 1965; J. Thomas Markley to Silveira,
December 1, 1965.
North American informed MSC of a fire in the reaction control system
(RCS) test cell during a CM RCS test for spacecraft 009. The fire was
suspected to have been caused by overheating the test cell when the 10
engines were activated, approximately 30 sec prior to test completion.
An estimated test delay of two to three weeks, due to shutdown of the
test cell for refurbishment, was forecast. MSC informed the Apollo
Program Director that an investigation was underway.
TWX, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Apollo Program
Director, sgd. William A. Lee, November 23, 1965.
MSC notified Grumman that all electrically actuated explosive devices
on the LEM would be fired by the Apollo standard initiator. This would
be a common usage item with the CSM and would be the single wire
configuration developed by NASA and provided as Government-furnished
Letter, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: John C. Snedeker,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Contract Change Authorization 159, Phase-in
of Single Bridge Apollo Standard Initiator," November 24, 1965.
Grumman was directed by MSC to provide for the disposition and
bacteriological control of the LEM urine containers by off-loading all
containers to the lunar surface immediately prior to LEM ascent,
locating them so their physical integrity would be assured during ascent
stage launch. Incorporation of an appropriate germicide in all LEM urine
containers would effectively sterilize the internal part of the
container and the contained urine.
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Disposition and Bacteriological Control of
LEM Urine Containers," November 26, 1965.
Ordnance separation tests on the first three spacecraft-LEM-adapters
(SLA) in a series of four were completed at North American's Tulsa
facility. The tests successfully demonstrated the deployment of the
SLA's forward panels in preparation for the first spacecraft orbital
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report." SID 62-300-44, p. 8;
memorandum, Lyle D. White, MSC, to Chief, Systems Engineering Division,
"SLA panel separation follow-up report," November 8, 1965;
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 18-24, 1965";
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 25-December 2,
Usage of a multiple gas connector (MGC) with the extravehicular mobility
unit (two per suit) was deleted. Instead of the MGC, a separate inlet
and outlet suit umbilical gas connector manufactured by Airlock, Inc.,
would be used (two inlets and two outlets per suit). This design change
applied to all Block II space suits, environmental control systems, and
portable life support systems. Hamilton Standard was directed to
implement the change by means of a negotiated revision of a supplemental
agreement to its contract.
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney,
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Deletion of multiple gas connector
(substitute separate Airlock, Inc., connectors)," November 30,
Apollo Mission Simulator No. 1 was shipped from Link Group, General
Precision, Binghamton, New York, to MSC.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Apollo
Mission Simulator Status," November 30, 1965; "ASPO Weekly
Management Report, November 18-24, 1965."
During the Month
Grumman completed negotiations with Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge for the LEM
abort guidance system.
"Monthly Progress Report No, 34," LPR-10-50, p. 19.
During the Month
Ten flights were made with the lunar landing research vehicle. All
flights were for attitude control and handling qualities research.
Landings on all flights were made in the lunar landing mode.
Letter, Office of Director, Flight Research Center, to NASA
Headquarters, "Lunar Landing Research Vehicle progress report No.
29 for the period ending November 30, 1965," sgd. Paul F. Bikle,
December 14, 1965.
During the Month
A series of tests were run to determine the cause of stress corrosion
of the reaction control system titanium tanks. Results showed that
tanks exposed to chemically pure nitrogen tetroxide
(N2O4) oxidizer suffered stress corrosion
cracking, but tanks exposed to N2O4 containing
small amounts of nitric oxide did not fail. The qualification testing
program would soon resume.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-44, p. 10; NAA,
"Project Apollo Spacecraft Test Program Weekly Activity Report
(Period 15 November 1965 through 21 November 1965), p. 3.