Advanced Design, Fabrication, and Testing
NASA had essentially completed negotiations with North American on the
incentive contract. Based on agreements reached with the contractor
during negotiations, Master Development Schedule 9 was published, which
included Block I and Block II spacecraft schedules, SLA schedules, SM
Block II primary structure schedules, and a tabulated list of milestones
containing former and new schedule dates.
Memorandum, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to each ASPO Branch Chief and each
Subsystem Manager, "New NAA Schedule MDS-9," December 2,
Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, NASA Apollo Program Director, approved the
deletion of the LEM TM-5 from the ground test program. He requested that
MSC consider the following recommendations:
On December 23, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea replied regarding the
- A Langley Research Center drop test program using a full-scale LEM
as part of the LEM test program.
- Expansion of the one-sixth scale model tests in the areas of
nonsymmetrical landings and soil landings.
- Planning of mechanism tests on LTA-3 with attention to their
- Investigation of use of the LTA-3 or LEM-1 for structural elasticity
TWX, Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, NASA Headquarters, to MSC, Attn: J.
F. Shea, December 2, 1965; letter, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to NASA
Headquarters, Attn: Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, "Deletion of
TM-5 from LEM Ground Test Program," December 23, 1965,
- Langley had been requested by MSC to support the LEM ground test
program by conducting tests of a simulated LEM on the Langley one-sixth
gravity simulation test rig.
- Additional tests of one-sixth LEM drop models would be conducted to
cover nonsymmetrical landings. Evaluation of LEM landing performance in
soil was starting at MSC in a program that would include both analysis
and experimental studies.
- MSC felt that sufficient demonstration of the mechanism capabilities
of the landing gear would be provided by the planned dynamic tower tests
and the Langley tests. The LTA-3 drop tests, however, would be used as a
further means of demonstrating the mechanism's functionability.
- An analytical study to evaluate the structural "elastic
spring-back" effects on LEM landing performance was being
conducted by Grumman. If evaluation of this study showed the need for
experimental testing, the use of the LTA-3 for elasticity tests would
be investigated. The use of a flight article, such as LEM-1, for such
tests was not considered desirable because of the possibility of
MSC was considering the use of both water and air bacteria filters in
the LEM to reduce contamination of the lunar surface. Crew Systems
Division (CSD) would attempt to determine by tests what percentage
concentration of micro-organisms would be trapped by the filters. CSD
hoped to begin limited testing in January 1966.
At an MSC meeting attended by ASPO, CSD, and Lunar Sample Receiving
Laboratory representatives, it was decided that the following directions
would be sent to Grumman:
Memorandum, Robert V. Battey, Chief, Systems Operations Branch, ASPO,
to Chief, Systems Engineering Division, ASPO, "Status of Lunar
Surface Contamination," December 3, 1965.
- In order to prolong the prevention of lunar surface contamination,
provisions should be made to store urine and lithium hydroxide canisters
in the descent stage; and
- the portable life support systems and associated extravehicular
mobility items should be dumped onto the lunar surface after all lunar
surface exploration had been completed.
The Flight Readiness Review for Mission A-004 was conducted at White
Sands Test Facility. The board concurred in proceeding with launch
preparations. Subsequent to the review, the failure analysis of the
autopilot subsystem revealed loose solder connections, and the launch
was rescheduled for December 15, from the original December 8 planned
launch. The launch was later scheduled for December 18; then, because of
continued problems with the autopilot, was scrubbed until January. (See
January 20, 1966, entry.)
"Project Apollo, Abstract of Proceedings, Mission A-004 (CSM
002/LJ II 12-51-3) Flight Readiness Review, December 3, 1965, at the
White Sands Test Facility," Chairman, F. J. Bailey, Jr.; MSC,
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 2-9, 1965"; TWX,
Manager, ASPO, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Director, Apollo
Program Office, December 22, 1965.
The U.S.S.R. launched Luna VIII, an unmanned spacecraft,
toward the moon December 3. The objectives were to test a soft lunar
landing system and scientific research. Weighing 1,552 kg (3,422 lbs),
the spacecraft was following a trajectory close to the calculated one
and the equipment was functioning normally. Luna VIII
impacted on the moon December 7. Indications were that it was destroyed
instead of making a soft landing. Tass reported that "the systems
were functioning normally at all stages of the landing except the final
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, pp. 536, 542.
Gemini VII, the fourth manned mission of that program, was
launched from Cape Kennedy December 4 with command pilot Frank Borman
and pilot James A. Lovell, Jr., as the crew. Their primary objective
was to evaluate the physiological effects of long-duration (14 days)
flight on man. Secondary objectives included: providing a rendezvous
target for the Gemini VI-A spacecraft (see December 15-16
entry), conducting 20 experiments, and evaluating the spacecraft's
reentry guidance capability. The rendezvous was successfully
accomplished during the 11th day of the mission. The crew established
another first for American spacemen as first one, then the other, and
finally both flew with their flight suits removed. The landing, on
December 18, was little more than six miles from the planned landing
Grimwood, Hacker, with Vorzimmer, "Project Gemini, A
Chronology" (NASA SP-4002), 1969, pp. 224- 226.
Hamilton Standard successfully tested a life-support back pack designed
to meet requirements of the lunar surface suit. The system functioned as
planned for more than three hours inside a vacuum chamber, while the
test subject walked on a treadmill to simulate the metabolic load of an
astronaut on the lunar terrain. The 29.48-kg (65-lb) portable life
support system supplied oxygen, pressurized to a minimum 25,510 newtons
per sq m (3.7 lbs psi), controlled its temperature and relative
humidity, and circulated it through the suit and helmet. The pack pumped
cooled water through the tubing of the undergarment for cooling inside
the pressure suit. A canister of lithium hydroxide trapped carbon
dioxide and other air contaminants to purify the oxygen for reuse.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 540.
George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight,
notified MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that NASA Administrator James E.
Webb and Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., had selected
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, The Martin Company, McDonnell Aircraft
Corporation, and Northrop Corporation for Phase I of the Apollo
Experiments Pallet Procurement. The contracts would be for four months
and each would be valued at about $375,000.
Letter, Mueller to Gilruth, December 6, 1965.
The Block II CSM Critical Design Review (CDR) was held at North
American, Downey, Calif. The specifications and drawings were reviewed
and the CSM mockup inspected. Review Item Dispositions were written
against the design where it failed to meet the requirements.
As a result of the CDR North American would update the configuration of
mockup 27A for use in zero-g flights at Wright-Patterson AFB. The
flights could not be rescheduled until MSC approved the refurbished
mockup as being representative of the spacecraft configuration.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 16-23, 1965."
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed North American, Grumman, and Bell
Aerosystems Company that NASA's Associate Administrator for Manned Space
Flight, George E. Mueller, had requested a presentation on the
incompatibility of titanium alloys and nitrogen tetroxide and its impact
on the Apollo Program, this to be done at the NASA Senior Management
Council meeting on December 21.
In light of recent failures of almost all titanium tanks planned for use
in the Apollo Program when exposed to nitrogen tetroxide under
conditions which might be encountered in flight, the matter was deemed
to be of utmost urgency.
A preliminary meeting was scheduled at NASA Headquarters on December 16
and one responsible representative from each of the prime contractors
and subcontractors was requested to be present. Prior to the December 16
meeting, it would be necessary for each organization to complete the
TWX, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to D. Myers, NAA; J. Gavin, Grumman; and J.
Piselli, Bell Aerosystems Company, December 7, 1965.
- Tabulate and analyze all tank tests to date and all related
- Establish a format for presentation of the effects of time,
temperature, and stress levels on failure.
- Obtain the best correlation between actual tank tests and related
- Establish limits of operation and confidence levels for all current
titanium tanks and relate these to all planned flights.
- Tabulate all titanium tank hardware in inventory and complete costs
of development and manufacture of this hardware to date.
- Consider and recommend a course of action which would alleviate
problems for early flights using existing hardware with minimum cost and
- Consider and recommend a course of action for future flights and
indicate cost and schedule impact.
- If recommendations for future action include coatings, surface
preparation, or alternate materials, present component weight increase
and overall spacecraft increase.
- Consider changes in mission ground rules which would decrease time
of tanks under pressure.
- Consider possibility of venting and repressurization and impact on
pressurization system design, weight, cost and schedule.
- Review all missions and present pressurization times, stress levels,
and thermal environment of all Apollo titanium tanks which contain
MSC's Deputy Director George M. Low told Willis B. Foster of NASA
Headquarters that the standing committee appointed by him had performed
an invaluable service to the Center in identifying the requirements to
be incorporated in the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory. Low said,
"Additionally, we are indebted to individual members of that committee
for providing detailed specialized inputs during the preliminary
engineering phase just ended."
Low noted that the committee had prepared a report, "Review of the
Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) of the Lunar Sample Receiving
Laboratory (LSRL) by the Standing Committee of LSRL." He said that an
examination of this report revealed that the committee had addressed
itself to a detailed review task which far exceeded the scope envisioned
when Foster conceived the idea for such a committee.
Low suggested that the committee be "discharged of any further
responsibility relating to the facility design and construction." He
added that MSC would look forward to providing Foster and his staff, as
well as interested outside scientists, periodic briefings and reports of
status and progress on the facility.
Letter, Low to Foster, "Manned Space Science Standing Committee
for the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," December 8, 1965.
An 889-kilonewton (200,000-lb) thrust J-2 engine was captive-fired for
388 sec on a new test stand at MSFC. The J-2 engine would be used to
power the Saturn S-IVB stage for the Saturn V. Ten tests of the liquid
hydrogen-liquid oxygen powered rocket engine had been conducted at MSFC
since the J-2 engine test facility was put into use in August 1965.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 543.
The service propulsion system burn time for AS-502 was confirmed to be
385 sec flight time. Previously the plan had called for a total of 515
sec - 310 sec for SPS-1 and 205 sec for SPS-2. This action required that
all mission plans be restudied and revised.
Memorandum, Carl R. Huss, JSC, to JSC Historical Office, "Comments
on Volume III of The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology,
"June 6, 1973.
Investigations were continuing of the best alternative for resolving the
AS-502 mission incompatibilities. The incompatibilities resulted from
the restriction of the usable life of the Block I service propulsion
system (SPS) engine to 385 to 400 sec total burn time. The alternatives
The necessary information for reaching a decision among those
alternatives was being collected.
- Retain the current mission profile by burning the SPS engine for 500
sec, the minimum time the Block I engine was to be qualified for in
- Decrease the burn time to about 385 sec and permit the apogee of the
AS-502 mission to increase well above the planned 16,668 km (9,000 nmi).
The increased flight time would result in increased dispersions at
reentry, requiring some means to be found to decrease guidance
dispersions during flight.
- Plan a primary AS-502 mission which stayed within the 400-sec burn
time limitation and which did not achieve the desired reentry
conditions for the heatshield test.
- Put a Block II SPS engine on CM 020. Because of the number of
changes in the SPS subsystem between Block I and Block II, this would
probably mean an extensive rework of the 020 SM.
- Develop engine modifications specifically for the 020 spacecraft
that would permit firing the engine for 500 sec. This would mean a
dead-end development over and above the Block I requirements.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 9-16, 1965."
The Block II Apollo food stowage problems were explored at North
American. Methods of restraint were resolved to allow accessibility of
the man-meal assemblies. The contractor, Melpar, Inc., would rework and
reposition mockup man-meal assemblies to conform with suggestions by the
Crew Provisions Office of the MSC Apollo Support Office and North
Nine review item dispositions were submitted at the Block II critical
design review concerning the earth landing system and shock attenuation
system (struts). Six were on specifications, one on installation
drawings, and two on capability. The two most significant were:
- the contract for Block II parachutes had not been awarded and
consequently top installation drawings were not yet available for
- specifications defining crew couch strut loading tolerances had not
been released but the strut drawings had.
Preliminary results of the "fire-till-touchdown" study by
Grumman indicated that this maneuver was not feasible. The engine might
be exploded by driving the shock wave into the nozzles. The base
heatshield temperature would exceed 1,789K (5,000 degrees F), which was
high enough to melt portions of the structure, possibly causing
destruction of the foot pads. The allowable pressure on the
nonstructural elements of the base heatshield would be exceeded; and
the descent engine flow field would tend to cause a "POGO"
effect which would cause landing instability and could prevent engine
As an outgrowth of the study, the landing probes would have to be made
longer (137.1 to 187.9 cm [54 to 74 in] with automatic cutoff, 228.6 to
304.8 cm [90 to 120 in] with manual cutoff). The probe switches would be
moved from the tip of the probe to the base, which was objectionable
from the standpoint of a possible false reading due to probe dynamics.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 16-23, 1965."
At-sea operational qualification tests, using boilerplate 29 to simulate
spacecraft 009, were completed. All mechanical system components
performed satisfactorily, except for the recovery flashing light. Test
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 9-16, 1965."
- uprighting system - during the first mission cycle, the vehicle was
uprighted in three minutes, during the second, in two minutes;
- VHF antenna deployment - the antennas were in the erect position
when the test started. Communication was achieved with a fly-by plane;
- the sea dye marker canister deployed as expected when the HF was
- the recovery flashing light was deployed before the test started;
when switched on the light did not flash. Post-test analysis indicated a
water-short in the wiring installed by MSC.
Grumman was invited to provide NASA with a cost-plus-incentive-fee
proposal to provide four LEMs subsequent to LEM-11, with the proposal
due at MSC by the close of business on the following day. The proposal
should be based on a vehicular configuration similar to LEM-11 in all
respects, including supporting activities, contractual provisions, and
specifications applicable to LEM-11. The required shipment dates for the
four vehicles would be December 13, 1968, February 11, 1969, April 11,
1969, and June 10, 1969, respectively.
TWX, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: J. C. Snedeker, December 15,
NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications Homer E.
Newell informed MSC that an experiment proposed by Ames Research Center
had been selected as a space science investigation for, if possible, the
first manned lunar landing as a part of the Apollo Lunar Surface
Experiments Package. Principal investigator of the proposed experiment,
the magnetometer, was C. P. Sonett of Ames with Jerry Modisette of MSC
The Apollo Program Director was being requested by Newell to authorize
the funding of flight hardware for this experiment.
Letter, Homer E. Newell, NASA Headquarters, to Director, MSC, Attn:
Experiments Program Manager, "Selection of Apollo Lunar Science
Magnetic Field Investigations," December 15, 1965.
CSM ultimate static testing began. A failure occurred at 140 percent of
the limit load test which simulated the end of the first-stage Saturn V
boost. The loads were applied at room temperature. Preliminary
inspection revealed a core compression failure and upper face sheet
separation of the aft bulkhead directly beneath both SM oxidizer tank
A second failure was also observed where the radial beams between the
oxidizer and fuel tanks joined the bulkhead and shell. The bulkhead
closeouts were peeled for a distance of approximately two inches. No
decisions were made regarding repairs, test schedule, etc. These tests
were constraints on spacecraft 012. MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management
Report, December 9-16, 1965."
Gemini VI-A, the fifth manned flight and first rendezvous
mission in the Gemini Program, was launched from Cape Kennedy on
December 15, with Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr., serving as command
pilot and Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford, pilot. Their primary objective
was to rendezvous with the Gemini VII spacecraft, and
secondary objectives included station-keeping with the other
spacecraft, evaluating spacecraft reentry guidance capability, and
performing three experiments.
A coelliptic maneuver was performed 3 hours and 47 minutes after
launch; the terminal initiation was performed an hour-and-a-half later;
braking maneuvers were started at 5 hours and 50 minutes into the
flight and rendezvous was technically accomplished six minutes later.
The two spacecraft began station-keeping maneuvers which continued for
three and a half orbits while they were separated by as much as 100 m
and as little as 0.3 m.
Grimwood et al., Project Gemini, A Chronology,
1969, p, 227; Gemini VII/Gemini VI, Long Duration/Rendezvous
Missions, MSC Fact Sheet 291-D, January 1966 [Ivan D. Ertel].
The NASA Director of Mission Operations notified the Directors of MSC,
MSFC, and KSC that the communication satellite operational capability
for Apollo mission support was scheduled for September 30, 1966.
Letter, E. E. Christensen, NASA, to KSC, MSFC, and MSC, Attn:
Directors, "Communications Satellite Planning Status,"
December 16, 1965, with enclosure: "Communications Service by
Communications Satellites for Support of Project Apollo," November
Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips said the Apollo Weight and
Performance management system, jointly developed by the Apollo Program
Office and the Centers had proved itself as a useful management tool. He
considered that the system had matured to the point that changes in
organizational responsibility were needed. He set a target date of
December 31, 1965, to complete the following actions:
Phillips acknowledged that an important element of the Apollo Weight and
Performance management system had been the prediction analysis (weight
growth) assessment effort performed by GE Apollo Support Division, under
contract to the Apollo Program Control Office. Phillips felt, however,
that weight growth analyses were a Center responsibility, and there was
no continuing need for GE to perform in this area since the prediction
analysis methodology had been established.
- The focal point for the work had been in Apollo Program Control.
Since it was a systems engineering function, Phillips was transferring
this responsibility to his Apollo Systems Engineering organization.
- The APO Directorate of Systems Engineering would provide a quarterly
weight and performance report and a monthly summary report on an
integrated program basis.
- MSC would be responsible for and provide to the Apollo Program
Office the weight and performance material which had been directed to
Apollo Program Control.
Phillips told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that if he wished to continue
to use GE's service in this area, he would support his request with the
stipulation that GE's prediction analysis operation be supervised by MSC
Letter, Phillips to Shea, December 16, 1965.
A working group was formed at MSC to determine the effects of lunar soil
properties on LEM landing performance. Various potential sources of
lunar surface information, including Surveyor spacecraft, would be
investigated in an effort to evaluate LEM landing performance in a lunar
soil. The effect of footpad size and shape on landing performance in
soil would also be studied.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 16-23, 1965."
The requirement to use the LEM rendezvous radar for surface or skin
track and for tracking in the cooperative mode during powered LEM
mission phases was deleted from the Grumman Technical Specification and
the Master End Item Specification.
The following responsibilities were transferred from MIT to AC
- design responsibility for the Block I and Block II eyepiece
- responsibility for all Block II and LEM system coatings which were
exposed to the spacecraft or space environment; and
- design responsibility for the LEM navigation base.
The MSC Systems Development Branch rejected a proposal that the
Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) on LEM-3 be deleted for the
Memorandum, Chief, Systems Development Branch, MSC, to Bob Williams,
MSC, "DFI on LEM-3," December 17, 1965.
- LEM-3 would be the first full-weight LEM launched on a Saturn V
vehicle. This would be the only chance of obtaining necessary
information about the responses of LEM during launch.
- The AS-503 mission would offer the only opportunity of obtaining
information on the characteristics of a fully loaded, mated LEM and CSM
prior to attempting a lunar landing.
- Three LEMs with DFI were considered the minimum number acceptable in
the program to provide flexibility in flight planning and ability to
accommodate the loss of LEMs 1 or 2 without a major impact on the
Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips informed J. L. Atwood,
President of North American Aviation, Inc., that he and the team
working with him in examining the Apollo Spacecraft and S-II stage
programs had completed their task "in sufficient detail . . . to
formulate reasonably accurate assessment of the current situation
concerning these two programs." Phillips and a task force had
started this study at North American November 22, 1965.
Phillips added: "I am definitely not satisfied with the progress and
outlook of either program and am convinced that the right actions now
can result in substantial improvement of position in both programs in
the relatively near future.
"Inclosed are ten copies of the notes which we compiled on the
basis of our visits. They include details not discussed in our briefing
and are provided for your consideration and use.
"The conclusions expressed in our briefing and notes are critical.
Even with due consideration of hopeful signs, I could not find a
substantive basis for confidence in future performance. I believe that
a task group drawn from NAA at large could rather quickly verify the
substance of our conclusions, and might be useful to you in setting the
course for improvements.
"The gravity of the situation compels me to ask that you let me
know, by the end of January if possible, the actions you propose to
take. . . ."
Letter, Phillips to Atwood, December 15, 1965; Hearings before the
Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, United States Senate,
Ninetieth Congress, First Session, "To Hear Officials of North
American Aviation, Inc., Prime Contractor to NASA in the Apollo
Program," Apollo Accident, Part 5, pp. 414-415, May 4, 1967.
Robert C. Duncan, Chief of MSC's Guidance and Control Division, revealed
that recent discussions between himself, NASA Associate Administrator
for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller, and ASPO Manager Joseph F.
Shea had resulted in a decision to continue both radar and optical
tracking systems into the hardware development phase. It was also agreed
that some specific analytical and hardware homework must be done. The
hardware action items were being assigned to Robert A. Gardiner and the
analytical action items to Donald C. Cheatham.
The primary objective was to design, develop, and produce rendezvous
sensor hardware that was on time and would work, Duncan said; second,
that "we must have a rendezvous strategy which takes best
advantage of the capability of the rendezvous sensor (whichever type it
The greatest difficulty in reducing operating laboratory equipment into
operating spacecraft hardware occurred in the process of packaging and
testing for flight. This milestone had not been reached in either the
radar or the optical tracker programs.
Duncan said, "We want to set up a 'rendezvous sensor olympics' at
some appropriate stage . . . when we have flight-weight equipment
available from both the radar contractor and the optical tracker
contractor. This olympics should consist of exposing the hardware to
critical environmental tests, particularly vibration and
thermal-cycling, and to operate the equipment after such
exposure." If one or the other equipment failed to survive the
test, it would be clear which program would be continued and which
would be canceled. "If both successfully pass the olympics, the
system which will be chosen will be based largely upon the results of
the analytical effort. . . . If both systems fail the olympics, it is
clear we have lots of work to do," Duncan said.
Memorandum, Robert C. Duncan, MSC, to Engineering and Development
Directorate, Attn: Assistant Chief for Engineering and Development and
Assistant Chief for Project Management, "Competition of radar and
optical tracker system for the LEM," December 20, 1965.
Robert C. Seamans, Jr., was sworn in as Deputy Administrator of NASA,
succeeding Hugh L. Dryden who died December 2. Seamans would also retain
his present position as Associate Administrator for an indefinite period
NASA Administrator James E. Webb administered the oath of office. He had
announced in Austin, Tex., on December 10, that President Lyndon B.
Johnson had accepted his recommendation that Seamans be named to the
number two NASA post.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 546; TWX, NASA
Headquarters, Public Information Office, to all NASA Centers and
Offices, December 21, 1965.
Because earth landing system qualification drop tests on boilerplate 6A
and boilerplate 19 had failed to demonstrate that Block I recovery aids
would not be damaged during landing, MSC notified North American that
certain existing interim configuration recovery aid mockups must be
replaced by actual hardware capable of fulfilling test requirements. The
hardware included: two VHF antennas; one flashing light; one RF antenna,
nondeployable; sea marker, swimmer umbilical, nondeployable. In
addition, existing launch escape system tower leg bolts should be
replaced by redesigned Block I tower bolts, including protective covers,
to demonstrate that the redesigned bolts and covers did not degrade the
performance of the earth landing system. North American was to reply
with a total change plan by January 5, 1966.
TWX, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to NAA, Attn: J. C. Cozad, December 30, 1965.
December 30-January 6
As a result of joint efforts by the Resident ASPO and MSFC Resident
Manufacturing Representative, a simulated forward bulkhead for the CM
inner-crew compartment was fabricated by North American and sent to
MSFC for use in developing a head for the magnetic hammer which would
be compatible to the extremely thin skins used on the compartment. The
need for the magnetic hammer arose from the "canning" and
"wrinkles" found after welding on the forward bulkhead. A
tryout for the magnetic hammer on the simulated bulkhead was scheduled
the first week in January.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 30, 1965-January 6,
December 30-January 6
A potential problem still existed with the boost environment for the LEM
and the associated spacecraft-LEM-adapter (SLA) thermal coating.
Systems Engineering Division authorized North American to proceed with
implementation of an SLA thermal coating to meet the currently
understood SLA requirements. Grumman would review the North American
study in detail for possible adverse impact on the LEM and would
negotiate with MSC.
December 30-January 6
Grumman and MSC reached agreement to continue with Freon for prelaunch
cooling of LEM-1. By changing to a different Freon the additional heat
sink capability was obtained with minor changes to flight hardware. The
ground support equipment for supplying Freon had to be modified to
increase the flow capability, but this was not expected to be difficult.
Plans were to use the same prelaunch cooling capability for LEM-2 and
December 30-January 6
NASA Headquarters had directed that crew water intake be recorded on all
Apollo flights. To meet this requirement the Government-furnished water
gun would have to be modified to include a metering capability. A gun
with this capability was successfully flown on the Gemini VI and Gemini
VII flights and could be used without change in the CM and LEM if it
could withstand the higher water pressure. Incorporation of the gun
could require bracket changes in the CM and the LEM.
The SM reaction control system engine qualification was completed with
no apparent failures.
During the Month
During the month 16 flights were made in the LLRV. Of these, 11 were
devoted to concluding the handling qualities evaluation of the rate-
command vehicle attitude control system. The other five flights were
required to check out a new pilot, Lt. Col. E. E. Kluever of the Army,
who would participate in the remaining research flight testing performed
on the LLRV at Flight Research Center. On December 15 the craft was
grounded for cockpit modifications which would make the pilot display
and controllers more like those of the LEM.
Letter, Office of Director, Flight Research Center, to NASA
Headquarters, "Lunar Landing Research Vehicle progress report No.
30 for the period ending December 31, 1965," sgd. Joseph Weil,
January 19, 1966.
During the Month
MSC and Grumman completed negotiations to convert the LEM contract from
cost-plus-fixed-fee to cost- plus-incentive fee. In addition to schedule
and performance incentives, bonus points would be awarded for cost
control during FY 66 and FY 67. Four LEMs were also added to the
program. LEM mockup-3 would be used as the KSC verification vehicle; LEM
test article-2 and LEM test article-10 (refurbished vehicles) would be
used in the first two flights of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
A total of 167 contract change authorizations (CCAs) to the Grumman
contract had been issued by December 31. Negotiation of the proposal for
the conversion to a cost-plus-incentive-fee included all CCAs through
No. 162, and CCA amendments dated before December 9. Proposals for CCAs
163167 were in process and would be submitted according to contract
Ibid., pp. 1, 22.
During the Quarter
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea reported to Apollo Program Director Samuel
C. Phillips on changes in spacecraft weights:
Memorandum, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Maj. Gen.
Samuel C. Phillips, "Weight and Performance Data Submittal
(January 1966)," January 22, 1966.
- The CM control weight was 4,989 kg (11,000 lbs) and current weight
4,954 kg (10,920 lbs), up 126.55 kg (279 lbs) from September.
- The SM control weight was 4,627 kg (10,200 lbs), and current weight
was 4,591 kg (10,122 lbs), down 44.45 kg (98 lbs). The total amount of
usable propellant, control weight, was 16,642 kg (36,690 lbs), and
current weight was 16,468 kg (36,305 lbs), up 53.98 kg (119 lbs).
- The LEM control weight was 14,515 kg (32,000 lbs) and current weight
was 14,333 kg (31,599 lbs), down 81.65 kg (180 lbs).
- The spacecraft-LEM-adapter control weight was 1,724 kg (3,800 lbs)
and the current weight was 1,624 kg (3,580 lbs), up 22.68 kg (50 lbs).
- The total spacecraft injected control weight was 43,091 kg (95,000
lbs), and current weight was 42,422 kg (93,526 lbs), up 77.11 kg (170
- The launch escape system control weight was 3,719 kg (8,200 lbs),
and current weight 3,741 kg (8,245 lbs), up 20.41 kg (45 lbs).
- The total launch control weight was 46,811 kg (103,200 lbs), and
current weight was 46,163 kg (101,771 lbs), up 97.52 kg (215 lbs).