SP-4011 Skylab: A Chronology
 

PART II: Apollo Application Program (continued)

a. August 1965 to December 1966.

b. January 1967 to December 1968.

c. January 1969 to February 1970.

 

 

- 1967 -

 

January 4

[103] John H. Disher, Deputy Director of Saturn Apollo Applications, established specific design criteria for the OWS mission. These criteria required MSFC to proceed with the design of the MDA and the integration of experiments into it for launch stowage. It also required MSFC to perform systems engineering analyses on the OWS ensuring its compatibility with the baseline configuration of the MDA. MSC was required to take action necessary for integration of government-furnished solar cells into the MDA and to examine the rechargeable battery capacity required for independent operation from the CSM.

Letter, John H. Disher to R. F. Thompson, MSC, and L. F. Belew, MSFC, "Orbital Workshop Configuration for 1968-1969 AAP Missions," 4 January 1967.

 

January 10

A Science and Applications Directorate was established at MSC to plan and implement MSC programs in space science and applications, act as the MSC focal point in these programs, and provide the Center's point of contact with the scientific community. Establishment of the Science and Application Directorate reflected the growing significance and responsibilities of MSC in these areas. The position of Director for the new organization was not filled at this time. Wilmot N. Hess was later named Director; Robert 0. Piland, Deputy Director.

MSC Announcement 67-7, 10 January 1967; MSC Announcement 67-27, 17 February 1967.

 

January 16

MSC requested assistance from LaRC through use of the Langley full-scale rendezvous docking simulator to provide data for AAP docking requirements. It was anticipated that the docking of the lunar mapping and survey system to the OWS would partially obstruct the pilots' view, and that the CSM payload configuration would have sluggish handling qualities in both translation and rotation. A study using the Langley full-scale rendezvous docking simulator would provide useful data for the AAP docking requirements.

Letter, George M. Low, MSC, for Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to F. L. Thompson, LaRC, "Simulation of Apollo Applications Program docking," 16 January 1967.

 

January 26

At a NASA Hq briefing, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller stated that NASA planned to form an "embryonic space station" in 1968-69 by clustering four AAP payloads launched at different times. The first mission would be the launch of a manned spacecraft followed several days later [104] by a spent S-IVB stage converted into an OWS. After the two spacecraft had docked, the crew would enter the Workshop through an airlock. Twenty-eight days later they would passivate the OWS and return to Earth in their spacecraft. In three to six months, a second manned spacecraft would be launched on a 56-day mission to deliver a resupply module to the OWS and to rendezvous with an unmanned ATM, the fourth and last launch of the series. The cluster would be joined together using the multiple docking adapter. Emphasizing the importance of manning the ATM, Mueller said that "if there is one thing the scientific community is agreed on it is that when you want to have a major telescope instrument in space it needs to be manned."

NASA Apollo Applications Briefing, 26 January 1967

 

January 27

Apollo Spacecraft Program Manager Joseph F. Shea sent a flash report to NASA Hq: "During a simulated countdown for mission AS-204 on January 27, 1967, an accident occurred in CM 012. This was a manned test with the prime astronaut crew onboard. A fire occurred inside the command module resulting in the death of the three astronauts [Virgil I. Grissom, Roger B. Chaffee, and Edward H. White, II] and as yet undetermined damage to the command and service modules." (See also 24 May 1967 entry.)

TWX, Joseph F. Shea to NASA Hq, Attn: Apollo Program Director, 28 January 1967.

 

February 1

Despite the fact that crew assignments for the ATM flight had not yet been made, Saturn/Apollo Applications Program Director Charles W. Mathews recommended to MSC AAP Manager Robert F. Thompson that scientist astronauts who had been participating in the ATM program at Huntsville be given an opportunity to visit a number of leading astronomical observatories in the country. In this manner, Mathews said, potential crew members could derive a better understanding of the equipment being employed, operation techniques being used, and the nature and types of observations being made.

Letter, Charles W. Mathews to Robert F. Thompson, "Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) Scientist/Astronauts' Familiarization with Ground-Based Observatories," 1 February 1967.

 

February 2

The AAP experiments program was divided into two primary phases of activity- definition and development. During the definition phase, one of the major problems was the selection and definition of high-quality experiments from which a well-rounded experiments program could be identified in time to effectively support the planning of future missions and flight programs. Once the experiments were defined and approved for flight, the experiment passed into the development phase with somewhat different problems. During this second phase, such facets as program direction, resource requirements, program status, and problems encountered in experiment implementation were of primary concern.

[105] Letters, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Wernher von Braun, MSFC, 2 February 1967; Wernher von Braun to George E. Mueller, 2 March 1967.

 

February 21

NASA awarded Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company a contract to continue AAP fuel cell work. Under the new agreement, the contractor was to improve system performance leading to a 2500-hour operational lifetime.

NASA News Release 67-33, "Contract Set for Fuel Cell Power System," 21 February 1967.

 

February 23-25

A meeting at NASA Hq reviewed the status of mission configurations for the AAP-l/AAP-2, AAP- 3, and AAP-4. Agreement was reached on a baseline description for the first four flights.

Letter, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Robert F Thompson, MSC, 9 March 1967.

 

February 28

A fundamental principle of AAP planning and implementation was the use of Apollo-developed components, subsystems, and operating procedures with no modifications wherever possible. By rigorous application of this principle, the cost of doing business in manned space exploration would be reduced, thus helping to ensure a continuing program leading to the next generation of manned space systems.

Letters, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Robert F. Thompson, MSC, "CSM Earth Orbital Mission Capabilities," 28 February 1967; Maurice J. Raffensperger, NASA Hq, to W. E. Stoney, MSC, 22 February 1967.

 

March 6

George S. Trimble, Jr., joined NASA as Director of the Advanced Manned Missions Program, Office of Manned Space Flight, succeeding Edward Z. Gray, who resigned. Before joining NASA, Trimble had served as Vice President-Advanced Programs, The Martin Company, Baltimore, since 1960.

NASA News Release 67 -44, "Trimble Appointed in Manned Flight Future Missions," 6 March 1967.

 

March 9

To facilitate program management operations involving inter-Center activities, Saturn/AAP Director Charles W. Mathews created an AAP Inter-Center Interface Panel structure. Panels included mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and communications, and mission evaluation. Two weeks later, Mathews added three more panels to the structure: mission requirements, systems integration, and systems safety.

Letters, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to MSC, Attn: AAP Program Manager, "Establishment of AAP Inter-Center Interface Panel Structure," 9 March 1967, and 24 March 1967; Apollo Applications Program Directive No 7, "Establishment of AAP Inter-Center Interface Panel Organization," 21 September 1967.

 

March 15

[106] The Naval Research Laboratory awarded a subcontract to Ball Brothers Research Corporation for the production of the Apollo telescope mount NRL experiments. Prior subcontracts had been let with Ball for production of the High Altitude Observatory experiment on 11 January 1965, and for the Harvard College Observatory experiment on 27 December 1966. Development responsibility was transferred from Goddard Space Flight Center to MSFC.

NRL Contract N00014-67-C-0470, 1 June 1967.

 

March 17

Donald K. Slayton, MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations, expressed concern over the excessive number of experiments assigned to the first AAP mission. Experimenters had requested 672 man- hours for inflight accomplishment of experiments, where only 429 man-hours were available, creating a deficit of 243 inflight man-hours. The same problem was applicable to premission experiment training. Experimenters were requesting 485 hours per man for premission experiment training, where only 200 hours per man were available, creating a deficit of 285 hours per man.

Memorandum, Donald K. Slayton to Assistant Manager AAP, "Apollo Applications Mission 'A' experiments," 17 March 1967.

 

March 20

MSFC awarded Bendix Corporation a contract for development and production of the ATM pointing control system. The control system would enable astronauts to point a telescope at selected regions of the Sun during periods of maximum solar flare activity. MSFC had earlier awarded American Optical Company a contract to build a dynamic simulator for use in developing the pointing control system.

NASA News Release 67-66, "Bendix Awarded ATM Point-Control System Contract," 20 March 1967.

 

March 24

In response to AAP Assistant Manager Robert F. Thompson's request for technical support for AAP from existing Apollo contractors, Robert G. Chilton of the Guidance and Control Division recommended that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Instrument Laboratory (MIT/IL), designer of the Apollo guidance and navigation system, be given the task of determining the suitability of the Apollo guidance and navigation system to perform the AAP missions. Since this task was of "prime importance at this stage of AAP planning," Chilton recommended that it have "immediate priority."

Memorandum, Robert G. Chilton, MSC, to Assistant Manager, AAP Office, "Apollo Applications Program (AAP) design analysis task for MIT/IL," 24 March 1967.

 

March 24

In accordance with design discussions and decisions reached during discussions several days earlier, AAP Director Charles W. Mathews directed Center AAP Managers to implement a modified OWS electrical power system. Because of increased electrical power requirements resulting from making the OWS a habitable [107] laboratory, solar cell arrays were added to each side of the S IVB stage to provide most of the electrical power used during AAP cluster operation. (Before this design shift, the CSM's fuel cells had been considered the primary source of power.) In addition, the ATM would still have its own solar array panels and power system.

Letter, Charles W. Mathews to R. F. Thompson, MSC, L. F. Belew, MSFC, and R. C. Hock, KSC, "Electrical Power Supply for S-IVB Workshop," 24 March 1967.

 

March 27

NASA stated that the purposes of Apollo Applications missions 3 and 4 were to

AAP Directive No. 5, 27 March 1967.

 

April 3-12

Technicians from MSC's Landing and Recovery Division conducted demonstrations of land- landing at Ft. Hood, Texas, on 6, 11, and 12 April. The demonstrations were part of MSC's effort to develop an advanced system to provide a land-landing capability for the Apollo Applications Program, an improved launch abort situation, and reduced horizontal velocities for water landings.

Memorandum, C. C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to Dist., "Advanced Landing System Operational Demonstration," 3 April 1967.

 

April 6

Donald K. Slayton, MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations, requested that the proposed T-020 "Jet Shoes" experiment be removed from all AAP flights. The "Jet Shoes" experiment was an astronaut maneuvering system consisting of two small thrusters mounted one beneath each foot and oriented so that the thrust vectors passed close to the center of body mass with legs and feet in a comfortable position.

During January, an engineering development model of the "Jet Shoes" was tested by several astronauts on the MSC air bearing facility in cooperation with the Principal Investigator. Although the tests by the astronauts were shirt-sleeve runs, [108] an LaRC test pilot made several runs in an inflated pressure suit. The results were unsatisfactory. In his objections to the experiment, Slayton suggested that its attempted use by an astronaut wearing a life support unit would provide extremely poor visibility.

Memorandum, Donald K. Slayton to Assistant Manager, MSC AAP, "Request for removing the T- 020 'Jet Shoes' Experiment from all AAP flights," 6 April 1967.

 

April 11

An AAP schedules meeting attended by the Center AAP Managers and the Headquarters' Directors was held on 31 March 1967 at NASA Hq. Consensus was that the airlock-multiple docking adapter tasks were well detailed and that the projected schedule for AAP-2 (Orbital Workshop operations) was realistic.

Memorandum, C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to M/Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Schedule Assessment of AAP 1-4," 11 April 1967

 

April 13

An informal presentation was made to NASA-KSC by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation proposing Grumman as the integrating contractor for the hardware and facility modification phase at Launch Complex 37 (LC-37) for all phases of AAP activities on LC-37. The presentation defined the work and schedules confronting NASA at LC-37 for the AAP.

Memorandum, L. P. Lopresti and E. T. Barron, Grumman, to G. M. Skurla, KSC, "Proposal to make GAEC the integrating contractor on LC 37 for post LM-1 launch," 13 April 1967.

 

April 18-19

A meeting was held at MSFC to review the S-IVB stage for acceptability as a habitable vehicle. Personnel from MSC and MSFC attended. A presentation on the flammability testing of the liquid hydrogen tank insulation with an aluminum foil flame retardative liner was made by MSFC personnel. During the course of the meeting, various actions were established relating to habitability requirements of the S-IVB.

Minutes of MSC/MSFC Saturn S-IVB Habitability Review, 18 19 April 1967.

 

April 27

NASA awarded contracts to General Electric and Lockheed to conduct four-month parallel studies of a medical laboratory to support AAP missions. Designated the integrated medical and behavioral laboratory measurement system, the laboratory would permit detailed evaluation of body systems and crew functions during flight. It could be flown as a complete laboratory or as selected groups of measurement instruments on specific missions.

NASA News Release 67-102, "Apollo Application Studies Set," 27 April 1967.

 

April 28

The McDonnell Company and Douglas Aircraft Company merged to form McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

[109] Telecon, R. Newkirk, HSCC, with F. Morgan, McDonnell Douglas, 15 October 1974.

 

May 1

Both MSFC and MSC recognized the existence of a potential interference of contaminant materials in the vicinity of manned spacecraft with the optical equipment on the ATM. It was also recognized that certain building materials that might create contaminate problems needed to be avoided in the ATM structure. A considerable activity concerning this contamination problem had already developed at MSFC, MSC, NASA OSSA, some contractor plants, and the ATM Principal Investigators.

Letters, Wernher von Braun, MSFC, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 8 March 1967; Robert R. Gilruth to Wernher von Braun, 1 May 1967.

 

May 2-10

A preliminary design review was conducted at MSFC during 2-10 May 1967 to evaluate the basic design approach of the MSFC/MSC/McDonnell Douglas team relative to the spent-stage aspects of the Orbital Workshop project. Purpose of the review was to define a baseline design on as many subsystems as possible and to define steps leading to a baseline on the remaining subsystems.

Letter, Chairman, Orbital Workshop Preliminary Design Review to Dist., "Minutes of Orbital Workshop (OWS) Preliminary Design Review (PDR) During May 2 - 10, 1967, at MSFC," 24 May 1967.

 

May 4

Confidence in any selected course of action in committing man to the space vehicle environment had grown slowly, based on actual experience. In this respect NASA had followed the philosophy of incremental exposure, generally doubling the duration of successive manned missions as long as no unforeseen medical problems were encountered in crews returning from space flight. This enabled NASA to acquire biomedical information from which to begin formulation of general statements about the effects of the space flight environment on human physiology.

Memoranda, J. Bollerud, NASA Hq, to C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, "Preliminary Ideas Regarding Rotation of Crews in AAP Missions," 10 January 1967; C. W. Mathews to J. Bollerud, "Crew Rotation in AAP Missions," 2 March 1967; A. D. Catterson, MSC, to Julian West, MSC, "Crew Rotation for Long Duration Manned Space Flight," 4 May 1967.

 

May 5

Some significant features of a revised Apollo and AAP-integrated program plan were: CSM would be available to support the first four AAP launches; AAP-1/ AAP-2 in early 1969 were to accomplish OWS objectives; AAP-3/AAP-4 in mid-1969 were to accomplish the 56-day ATM objectives in conjunction with reuse of the OWS. Two additional AAP flights were planned for 1969 to revisit the OWS and the ATM using refurbished command modules flown initially on Earth-orbit Apollo flights in 1968. AAP missions planned for low Earth orbit during 1970 would utilize two dual launches (one manned CSM and one unmanned experiment module per dual launch) and two single-launch, long-duration CSM to establish and maintain near- continuous operation of the OWS cluster and a second ATM.

[110] Memorandum, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Deputy Administrator, "Revised Apollo and AAP Integrated Program Plan," 5 May 1967.

 

May 5

Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation presented to the MSC AAP Office a preliminary statement of work and cost proposal for developing the LM as an ATM for the AAP-4 mission. The AAP staff then began reviewing the proposal which described the work necessary to develop the final LM-ATM spacecraft configuration.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 10 May 1967.

 

May 8

Required changes in the Apollo Applications Program flight schedules resulted in plans for the Earth-orbital test of the lunar mapping and scientific survey (LM&SS) as part of a single launch mission unrelated to the Orbital Workshop. The mission would have the primary objective of conducting manned experiments in space sciences and advanced technology and engineering, including the Earth-orbital simulation of LM&SS lunar operations. The LM&SS would be jettisoned after completing its Earth-orbital test. Planned launch date for the mission was 15 September 1968.

Letter, C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to R. F. Thompson, MSC, "Earth Orbital Test of LM&SS," 8 May 1967.

 

May 11

The AAP Office (NASA Hq) was preparing a draft task definition for a proposed command module modification contract. It would include primary and alternate locations for work; proposed interface of the modification contractor with North American; timing of the work effort; and definition of the work to be performed. Purpose of the proposed contract was to modify and refurbish Apollo hardware for AAP.

Memorandum for record, J. R. Biggs, NASA Hq, "Apollo Procurement, Program, and Organization Action Items," 11 May 1967.

 

May 12

Release of a staff paper by J. Bollerud and C. Berry recommending a 35-kilonewtons-per-sq- m 69-percent-oxygen, 31-percent-nitrogen, shirt-sleeve atmosphere in the OWS initiated a discussion as to its impact on engineering design and operational plans, as well as the physiological response of test subjects to a one-gas (pure oxygen) system over extended periods of time. The consensus was that the 35-kilonewton (5 psia) oxygen-nitrogen for the OWS would best serve the needs of the OWS Earth-orbiting program.

Letters, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Wernher von Braun, MSFC, 22 December 1966; Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to George E Mueller, 12 May 1967; memoranda, D. R. Hagner, Bellcomm, to John H. Disher, NASA Hq, "Comments on Draft Itr. from W. von Braun to G. E. Mueller re two-gas atmosphere in the S-IVB Workshop," 24 January 1967; E. Z. Gray, NASA Hq, to Deputy Associate Administrator (Programs), "Two-Gas Systems," 2 February 1967; J. Bollerud, NASA Hq, and C. Berry, MSC, staff paper, "Two-Gas Atmospheres for Prolonged Manned Space Missions in the S-IVB Workshop," December 1966.

 

May 15

[111] Guidelines and a set of minimum requirements to be met by each Center in establishing their configuration management systems for AAP were prescribed by NASA Hq. Configuration management systems would be progressively applied as individual projects matured. Once documentation such as a program or project baseline description had been officially issued, or documentation approved at formal design reviews such as a preliminary design review or critical design review, changes to such documentation would require formal approval through configuration management procedures, thereby establishing full configuration control at the critical design review.

Letters, C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to R. F. Thompson, MSC, L. F. Belew, MSFC, and R. C. Hock, KSC, "Documentation of Configuration of Hardware at Time of Turnover to AAP from Apollo," 13 March 1967; C. W. Mathews to R. F. Thompson, L. F. Belew, and R. C. Hock, "Configuration Management," 15 May 1967.

 

May 23

Flight training hardware, identical in configuration to the flight hardware except that it need not be flight qualified, was required for training purposes. The training hardware consisted of those components of experiment hardware that required manipulation, handling, observation, or other usage by astronauts during flight. Neutral buoyancy training hardware was also required for underwater zero-g simulation training.

Letter, R. F. Thompson, MSC, to L. F. Belew, MSFC, et al., "Experiment training hardware requirements," 23 May 1967.

 

May 24

The ATM would offer a unique combination of several important advantages over previous manned orbital astronomical experiments, ground-based observatories, and unmanned orbital observatories. It would be the first U.S. manned mission with a primary goal of recovering scientific data. The ability to observe the Sun in previously inaccessible but important regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to observe the details on the solar disk and in the corona for nearly two solar rotations, and to react rapidly to unpredictable and unexpected...

 


an early version of the Apollo
telescope moun

An early version of the Apollo telescope mount.

 

[112] ...occurrences with instruments of high data acquisition capabilities would be an unprecedented combination of opportunities available only to the crewman operating the ATM. However, it was essential to recognize that the crewman's ability to observe, exercise judgment, and efficiently conduct the routine experiment tasks, as well as to rapidly respond to unpredictable phenomena would be contingent upon the existence of displays in the proper wavelength regions with sufficient resolution to observe the important features on the solar disk. Also necessary would be controls which would combine simplicity and versatility to facilitate equipment setup for data acquisition.

Letter, D. K. Slayton, MSC, to R. F. Thompson, MSC, "Flight Crew Operations Directorate Requirements and Philosophy on ATM Displays and Controls," 24 May 1967.

 

May 24

Because of the Apollo 204 accident in January and the resulting program delays, NASA realigned its Apollo and AAP launch schedules. The new AAP schedule called for 25 Saturn IB and 14 Saturn V launches. Major hardware for these launches would be two Workshops flown on Saturn IB vehicles, two Saturn V Workshops, and three ATMs. Under this new schedule, the first Workshop launch would come in January 1969.

NASA Hq Schedule, 24 May 1967.

 

May 29

NASA announced that LaRC had selected Northrop Ventura Company to negotiate a contract to conduct a research program (including flight tests) of a flexible parawing for potential use in manned spacecraft landing systems. Northrop Ventura would evaluate the suitability of using a parawing (instead of conventional parachutes) to allow controlled descent in a shallow glide and thus offer wide flexibility in choosing a touchdown point, as well as provide a soft landing impact. The parawing would be evaluated for possible use on the Apollo Applications Program during the early 1970s to achieve a true land-landing mission capability.

NASA News Release 67-134, "NASA Contracts for Parawing Test Program," 29 May 1967.

 

May 31

A status review of the studies being conducted by North American Aviation on the AAP command and service modules' electrical power system was held at MSC. It was agreed that North American Aviation should pursue a two-regulator power control and regulation configuration and redundant battery changer configuration. The baseline fuel cell for AAP-1 would use 31- cell, ceria-coated, cobalt-activated fuel cells.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 31 May 1967.

 

June 1

The Apollo Applications missions were designed to build upon the base of flight experience, ground facilities, and trained manpower developed in past programs.

[113] Each mission was designed to take full advantage of the Apollo Saturn system to make significant contributions to a wide range of objectives. Missions were planned to gain experience, test theory, perform experiments, and collect data.

Key elements of the planning included the decision to use, modify, and expand Apollo systems capabilities and to reuse basic hardware for multiple missions. Principal objectives of the AAP were the development of an extended flight capability to determine the usefulness of man in space; the conduct of manned astronomical observations from space; and the development of economical space flight through hardware reuse and long-duration flight.

OMSF-NASA, Apollo Applications Program Technical Summary, 1 June 1967.

 

June 1

During an informal discussion held in the Office of the Deputy Administrator, the AAP Office recommended that steps be taken to select a modification and refurbishment contractor to engage in a study of modification and refurbishment task requirements. The study would enable NASA to determine the feasibility of following a modification and refurbishment route for AAP.

Memorandum for record, R. C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Hq, "June 1, 1967, meeting to discuss AAP payloads," 1 June 1967.

 

June 5 -13

An Apollo Applications Program test review group, consisting of personnel from MSC, MSFC, and McDonnell, met in St. Louis on 5 June. The purpose of the meeting was a further definition of the ground rules governing the proposed integrated structural testing of the MDA/AM and to review the test requirements for compatibility. A second meeting of the group was held 13 June to review MSC, MSFC, and McDonnell facilities schedules to select a test site.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 14 June 1967.

 

June 6

Kurt H. Debus, KSC Director, expressed concern that a proposal, if adopted, for a separate command and service modules launch contractor for AAP would create a very difficult operational environment. Debus said it was difficult to see how KSC could have two separate contractor teams responsible for checking out substantially the same kind of stage hardware on the same test equipment, when the schedule would require simultaneous operations or at least intermittent sequential activity by both contractors in the same facilities. KSC was already coping with the challenge of integrating, within common facilities, the work of six Apollo contractors preparing separate stages with separately assigned checkout equipment. A most serious problem would be the interference with ongoing mainline Apollo operations created by the activity of a new contractor attempting to familiarize himself with facilities, equipment, and procedures in the same timeframe as the most critical Apollo missions.

Letter, Kurt H. Debus to George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, 6 June 1967.

 

June 6

[114] At an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting in Washington, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller outlined a number of innovations in AAP to achieve reductions in the unit cost of future space missions: (1) reuse of command modules; (2) land landing, which would greatly facilitate such spacecraft reuse; (3) "double use" of the S-IVB as both a propulsive stage and an OWS once in orbit; (4) repeated use of the OWS during a series of missions; (5) flights of increasingly longer duration (approaching perhaps a year or more); and employment of existing Apollo flight hardware, physical facilities, management expertise, and industrial organizations once they became available. Thus, said Mueller, AAP would evaluate man's usefulness in space at a relatively low cost, and that measurement would be "obtained by doing useful things-astronomical observation, extended exploration of the moon and experiments with sensing equipment that can lead to benefits of enormous significance to all mankind."

Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1967, p. 178.

 

June 19

The purposes of the AAP 1/AAP-2 mission were (1) to conduct a low-altitude, low-inclination, Earth- orbital mission with a crew of three men, open ended to 28 days' duration, using a spent S-IVB stage as an OWS; (2) to provide for reactivation and reuse of the OWS during subsequent missions occurring up to 1 year later; (3) to conduct inflight experiments in the areas of science, applications, technology, engineering, and medicine; and (4) to qualify man, evaluate his support requirements, and determine human task performance capability on long-duration manned space flight missions.

Objectives of the mission were to (1) demonstrate rendezvous and hard docking of the command and service modules to the multiple docking adapter; (2) determine the feasibility of operating the OWS as a habitable space structure for an extended period; and (3) obtain data to evaluate space flight environmental effects on the crew of a mission duration of 28 days.

AAP Directive No. 3B, "Flight Mission Directive for Mission AAP-1/AAP-2," 19 June 1967.

 

June 19-21

MSFC and MSC representatives met with Principal Investigators at MSC where detailed briefings on the ATM were held. This was the final briefing of a series on ATM systems and experiments.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 28 June 1967.

 

June 21

Both North American and Grumman were out of funds on Apollo Applications Program contracts. Procurement plans for follow-on effort with both contractors were in Headquarters for approval. North American was limiting its effort to AAP-1 and AAP 2. No work peculiar to AAP 3 and AAP 4 was being accomplished. Grumman was continuing operations using its own funds.

[115] MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 21 June 1967.

 

June 28

Donald K. Slayton and Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., of MSC stated that it was mandatory, in their opinion, to launch the unmanned vehicle first in the AAP-1/AAP 2 mission. Reasons cited were the following:

Memorandum, C. C. Kraft, Jr., and D. K. Slayton to R. F. Thompson, MSC, "Unmanned versus manned launch sequence for AAP mission 1/2," 28 June 1967.

 

June 30

Prenegotiation fact-finding sessions with Grumman were completed at MSC. Agreement was reached on the statement of work for the final definition (phase C) of the LM for the first LM/ATM mission and continued definition study (phase B) for utilization of the LM. Grumman cost proposals were discussed from the manning aspect only. Dollar figure discussion was delayed pending verification of bid rates.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 5 July 1967.

 

July 3

MSC established an Apollo Applications Program Mission Design Information Group within the Mission Planning and Analysis Division. Function of the new group was to establish mission planning information requirements, acquire the necessary information, and integrate and publish the information in support of mission planning milestones. Data categories included such items as configuration, propulsion, aerodynamics, sequences of events inherent in spacecraft design, consumables, electrical power, environmental control, communications, thrust vector control, guidance and navigation, and mass properties.

MSC Announcement 67-101, "Apollo Applications Program Mission Design Information Group," 3 July 1967.

 

July 5

MSFC and MSC personnel met at MSC to resolve action items from a Headquarters test meeting held on 30 March. The action items involved the LM/ATM thermal vacuum test program. General agreement was reached on test configuration, with MSC supporting the MSFC position that a thermal vacuum test was necessary on the ATM flight unit. MSC agreed to conduct a chamber contamination test with jointly agreed upon procedures.

[116] MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 5 July 1967.

 

July 11

Increased activity and interest in the ATM project created the necessity for conducting ATM monthly project reviews in the Office of Manned Space Flight. MSFC provided the principal inputs on such aspects as schedules, funding, and technical performance. Material covered progress achieved during the month, current problems, and actions taken.

Letter, C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to R. F. Thompson, MSC, "Apollo Telescope Mount Monthly Project Review," 11 July 1967.

 

July 12

Detailed discussions by MSC representatives with Lockheed and Martin were completed on the planned AAP-A and AAP-B carrier definition studies which were to be accomplished during the next 60 days. Discussions had begun on 27 June. A common work statement was prepared and forwarded to MSFC for release to the contractors. Additional meetings were planned with both contractors to familiarize them with MSC engineering and operations organizations.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 12 July 1967.

 

July 24

A fact-finding tour of NASA's major manned space flight facilities at the end of June by Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., and top members of the Administrator's immediate staff produced a broad evaluation of the program roles and workloads of the various Centers in light of coming Apollo accomplishments and transition to other manned space flight programs. In regard to AAP, staff members recommended to Seamans that flight schedules be stretched out to reduce costs, and that the agency investigate the feasibility of including Earthsensing payloads aboard the basic Apollo AAP spacecraft. In part, study of Earth-sensing payloads should include definition of those payloads per se; launch vehicle requirements to achieve high-inclination Earth orbits; development status of the AAP cluster hardware for the Orbital Workshop; definition of biomedical technology; and experiment requirements at MSC.

Letter, C. R. Praktish, NASA Hq, to R. C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Hq, "Report Covering Visits to KSC, MSFC, MTF, Michoud, and MSC-June 26 June 28, 1967," 24 July 1967.

 

July 25-26

An ad hoc committee formed to establish the criteria for combined AM/MDA manned altitude chamber testing met at MSC. Agreement was reached on ground rules for the detailed planning of the mated vehicle test program and for the proposed test flow of the combined vehicle.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 2 August 1967.

 

July 26

NASA selected the Martin Marietta Corporation, Denver Division, for negotiation of a 27-month contract for payload integration of experiments and experiments support equipment in space vehicles for the AAP. Initial work of the contractor [117] involved the OWS and ATM at MSFC; meteorological and Earth resources payloads at MSC; and test integration planning and support for launch operations at KSC.

NASA News Release 67-199, "Contract Set With Martin Co. for AAP," 26 July 1967; memoranda, L. W. Vogel, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Selection of Contractor to Accomplish Apollo Applications Program Payload Integration (Phase D)," 27 July 1967; G. E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Deputy Administrator, "AAP Payload Integration Contractor Selection," 18 July 1967.

 

July 26

NASA Administrator James E. Webb testified on the NASA FY 1968 authorization bill before the Senate Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Independent Offices. Asked by Sen. Spessard Holland (D Fla.) to make a choice between a substantial cut in funding for the Apollo Applications Program and the Voyager program, Webb replied that both were vital to the U.S. space effort. "The Apollo Application is a small investment to expend on something you have already spent $15 billion to get and it seems to me that this is important.

"On the other hand, the United States, if it retires from the exploration of the planetary field, in my view-, . . . [will face] the most serious consequences because the Russians are going to be moving out there and our knowledge of the forces that exist in the Solar System can affect the Earth and can be used for many purposes to serve mankind or for military power ...." Criticized by Sen. Holland for refusing to make a choice, Webb said he did not want "to give aid and comfort to anyone to cut out a program. I think it is essential that we do them both."

U.S. Congress, Senate, Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1968: Hearings on H.R. 12474, 90th Cong., 1st sess., 1967, pp. 76-77.

 

July 26

NASA awarded The Boeing Company a contract for long-lead-time materials (such as propellant ducts and fuel tank components) for two additional Saturn V's. This contract marked the first Saturn V procurement in support of Apollo Applications Program.

NASA News Release 67-200, "NASA Orders 2 Saturn V's for Post-Apollo," 26 July 1967.

 

July 27

MSFC effected a reorganization to meet the needs of systems engineering and integration for AAP. A Systems Engineering Office was established as an integral part of the AAP Office, with responsibility for all AAP systems engineering. In addition, the central Research and Development Systems Engineering Office was strengthened to provide a focal point for the concentration of systems engineering in support of all assigned programs.

Letters, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Wernher von Braun, MSFC, 30 June 1967; Wernher von Braun to George E. Mueller, 27 July 1967.

 

July 27

[118] NASA extended its Science and Technology Advisory Committee for Manned Space Flight for two more years. Purpose of the committee was to advise the Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight on the scientific and technical content of manned space flight programs and on methods for obtaining maximum use of the scientific and engineering talents and knowledge required for the success of the manned space flight program.

NASA News Release 67-202, "Manned Science Group to Serve Two More Years," 27 July 1967.

 

July 28

At a design meeting in Huntsville, designers decided to incorporate the Orbital Workshop's two floors into one common grated floor in the crew quarters to save weight. This concept called for the crew quarters to be on one side of the floor and a large open area on the opposite side permitting intravehicular activity in the hydrogen tank dome.

MSFC, Orbital Workshop Status Meeting minutes, 28 July 1967.

 

August 1

NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight and Office of Advanced Research and Technology were engaged in a cooperative program to develop the technology of flexible wings for spacecraft recovery. The technology was expected to have broad applicability in the Apollo Applications Program, as well as follow-on manned space flight programs. The principal technology effort would concentrate on parawing and sailwing configurations. LaRC would manage the parawing technology program with support from MSC. The sailwing technology effort would be managed by MSC with LaRC providing wind tunnel support.

Memorandum of understanding, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, and M. B. Ames, Jr., NASA Hq, "OMSF/OART Cooperative Parawing/Sailwing Technology Program," 28 July and 1 August 1967.

 

August 1

Representatives of McDonnell Douglas and Grumman met with MSC personnel to discuss the feasibility of installing lunar module radar transponders on the airlock module. Several problems were identified, but the concept appeared feasible. Problems involved the thermal and electrical power interface electronic package with the AM and the electromagnetic radiation pattern of the antenna. McDonnell Douglas and Grumman were to work on the interface problems and MSC was to conduct pattern tests to identify and determine magnitude of the radar null zones.

MSC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 9 August 1967.

 

August 2

NASA decided to terminate all activity associated with the hardware and software procurement, development, and testing for the lunar mapping and survey system. The purpose of the system was to provide site certification capability to the most scientifically interesting areas on the lunar surface for the AAP.

[119] TWX, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Robert F. Thompson, MSC, R. O. Piland, MSC, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, and R. C. Hock, KSC, 2 August 1967.

 

August 2

NASA defined requirements and responsibilities to initiate the actions necessary for the execution of the AAP -IA mission. It defined the mission purpose, mission objectives, and Center responsibilities for implementation of the mission, as well as the general flight plan, configuration, and supporting ground test constraints.

AAP Directive No. 6, "Flight Mission Directive For AAP-1A," 2 August 1967.

 

August 10

Justifying the validity of the Apollo Applications Program (AAP), George E. Mueller discussed the development of AAP. In outlining some of the significant decisions and changes, Mueller showed that the evolution of the program plan had taken place in an orderly fashion, with the Centers participating in the planning process. He stated that the program had progressed in spite of complicating factors such as the impact of the Apollo 204 accident and the adjustments required by congressional funding.

Memorandum, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to NASA Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., 10 August 1967.

 

August 23

The ATM required a closely controlled environment during manufacture, quality checkout, and flight checkout activities. To ensure the required control of cleanliness, temperature, and humidity, two buildings were required at MSFC-one for the manufacturing process, the other for quality checkout. An environmentally controlled area was also required at KSC for flight checkout of the ATM.

Memoranda, E. H. Cagle, MSFC, to C. L. Dykes, MSFC, "Environmentally Controlled Rooms for the ATM," 23 August 1967; E. H. Cagle to Dist., "Minutes of MSFC/MSC ATM Thermal Vacuum Meeting," 22 August 1967.

 

August 29

In a letter to Saturn Apollo Applications Director Charles W. Mathews, MSC's AAP Assistant Manager Robert F. Thompson presented Houston's philosophy regarding major AAP reprogramming. Two factors, Thompson said, underlay the necessity for planning alterations: (1) the likelihood of funding cutbacks during 1968 and 1969 and (2) a clearer picture of how much Apollo hardware AAP might inherit, as Apollo reprogramming matured after the 204 accident. Thompson then set forth MSC's recommendations for the next phase of AAP planning: a manned Earth-orbital mission during 1969; two manned flights of 28 and 56 days using the OWS during 1970; a manned AAP/ATM flight during 1971; long-duration (two months to one year) manned flights during late 1971 and 1972; and manned lunar missions (including surface operations) in the post-Apollo period. In defining the AAP missions, however, Thompson stressed that until the Apollo goal of landing on the Moon had been achieved, AAP must be looked on as an "alternate to" rather than an "addition to" the main thrust of Apollo. It must be clear throughout the NASA manned space flight establishment [120] that Apollo and AAP would not be overlapping programs and that AAP must not compete with or detract from the main Apollo design.

Letter, Robert F. Thompson to Charles W. Mathews, "Apollo Applications Program Planning," 29 August 1967.

 

During the month

The first NASA/North American management meeting was held at Downey, California. At the time, North American was placing major effort on the processing of kit data packages. It was envisioned that a sufficient number of the kits would be processed to cover all AAP requirements. From these, selected ones would be utilized for a specific mission.

History of the Apollo Applications Program, 1966 to September 1, 1968, pp. 2-12.

 

September 1

MSFC returned a McDonnell Douglas-built S-IVB Orbital Workshop mockup to the contractor's Space Systems Center in Huntington Beach, California, for incorporation of a number of design changes. Following modification, the mockup would represent the S IVB stage as a manned space laboratory designed for use in the AAP. The design changes included relocation of a floor separating two sections of the stage's liquid hydrogen tank, addition of a ceiling and other fixtures, and relocation of some of the experiment stations.

MSFC, Skylab Chronology, 1 January-31 December 1967, p. 71.

 

September 5

During a manned space flight program review, AAP contractual actions were discussed. It was pointed out that since June there had been no contractual coverage of the North American activity on AAP. It was also pointed out that the Grumman activity on AAP had never been covered by contract and was being funded by Grumman in anticipation of contractual coverage.

Memorandum, F. Magliato, NASA Hq, to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Hq, "Manned Space Flight Program Review," 13 September 1967.

 

September 20

Martin Marietta's Denver Division completed a 60-day study on AAP Mission 1A. The study defined hardware configuration and developed an approach for integrating NASA-designated experiments into AAP-1A. Objectives of the experiments and mission operations were to (1) perform an early evaluation of the operational feasibility of selected Earth resources, bioscientific, meteorology, and astronomy experiments; (2) verify the enhancement of experiments by the presence of man for monitoring, controlling, and interpreting data obtained on orbit; (3) obtain operating experience with available hardware; and (4) extend experiment and mission coverage to 50° latitude. The study showed how the mission objectives could be met.

Martin Marietta Corp., Final Report, AAP Mission 1A, 60-Day Study, 20 September 1967.

 


[
121]

cutaway drawing of the S-IVB Orbital Workshop

AAP cluster experiments for S-IVB Orbital Workshop.

 

September 21

An interface panel organization was established within the NASA Skylab Program for defining, controlling, and resolving inter-Center problems. Among the panels established were mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and communication, mission requirements, launch operation, test planning, and mission evaluation. Panels were responsible for identifying, resolving, and documenting technical problems in coordination of more than one Center. Panels would take necessary action regarding design, analysis, studies, and test and operations within the scope of their charters, to ensure technical compatibility for physical, environmental, functional, and procedural interfaces.

Skylab Program Directive No 7, 21 September 1967

 

September 22

North American Aviation, Inc., and Rockwell-Standard Corporation merged as North American Rockwell Corporation.

Telecon, R. Newkirk, HSCC, to Lyle Burt, Rockwell International, 15 October 1974.

 

September 29

Thomas W. Morgan, USAF, was designated Apollo Applications Program Manager at KSC. Robert C. Hock, who had been Acting Manager since 10 January, became Deputy Manager in addition to his duties as Chief, Advanced Programs Office.

Announcement, KSC to Dist., "Morgan Named Apollo Applications Program Manager," 29 September 1967.

 

October 2

[122] NASA Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., resigned. He had joined NASA in September 1960 as an Associate Administrator. In December 1965 he had been appointed Deputy Administrator of NASA by President Lyndon B. Johnson. His resignation would become effective 1 January 1968.

NASA News Release 67-257, "Dr. Seamans' Resignation Announced," 2 October 1967.

 

October 3

NASA Hq issued a revised AAP schedule incorporating recent budgetary cutbacks. The schedule reflected the reduction of AAP lunar activity to four missions and of Saturn V Workshop activity to 17 Saturn IB and 7 Saturn V launches. There would be two Workshops launched on Saturn IBs, one Saturn V Workshop, and three ATMs. Launch of the first Workshop was scheduled for March 1970.

NASA Hq Schedule, 3 October 1967.

 

October 20

NASA selected Bendix Corporation for negotiation of a contract for design and development of long-duration cryogenic gas storage tanks for use in the first 56-day AAP flight. The contract was expected to require 18 months for completion.

MSC News Release 67-64, 20 October 1967.

 

October 20

NASA requested that a joint MSFC/MSC document be prepared identifying each potential crew safety hazard, the successful resolution of these hazards, and test result documentation supporting the resolutions. The effort would include the crew safety/health hazards associated with flammability, micrometeoroid penetration, outgassing, and passivation, and would consider propellant, insulation liner, crew quarters thermal curtain, and other nonmetallic material implications. Since crew safety was fundamental to the design of the OWS, the document would be required prior to the OWS preliminary design review.

Letter, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, and Robert F. Thompson, MSC, "Orbital Workshop-Crew Safety Aspects Request for Joint Actions," 20 October 1967.

 

October 23

Minuteman strap-one for the Saturn IB were canceled as part of the AAP. The studies for AAP on the feasibility of the Minuteman strap-one were terminated.

TWX, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, and Robert F. Thompson, MSC, "Minuteman Strap-ons For the Saturn IB," 23 October 1967.

 

October 26

An active cooling system (fluid circulation) was incorporated into the ATM thermal system to meet temperature control requirements

Memorandum for record, R. Ise, MSFC, 3 November 1967.

 

October 31

[123] At KSC, Apollo Applications Program Manager Thomas W. Morgan requested that key personnel in each KSC Directorate participate in design reviews to ensure operational suitability of AAP hardware in the KSC environment, to plan for prelaunch testing of AAP- peculiar hardware and experiments, and to provide general KSC support to AAP.

Memorandum, Thomas W. Morgan to Dist., 31 October 1967.

 

November 15

A NASA Resident Management Office was established as an extension of both MSFC and MSC at Martin Marietta, Denver Division, to serve as a central point of contact to both Martin Marietta and the Air Force Plant Representative on matters involving the Apollo Applications Program, with immediate emphasis on payload integrations In addition, it would serve as a focal point for visitor coordination exchange of information and matters of mutual interest to NASA and Martin Marietta.

Letters, Wernher von Braun, MSFC, and Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to J. D. Rauth, Martin Marietta, 15 November 1967; H. H. Gorman, MSFC, and W. L. Hjornevik, MSC, to F. F. Swan, USAF, 13 November 1967.

 

November 15

Representatives from MSC, MSFC, and Grumman met at Huntsville to discuss the LM/ATM testing to be performed at KSC. Purpose of the meeting was to resolve any differences in the testing procedures for the LM/ATM prior to presenting the requirements to KSC.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Preliminary test requirements LM/ATM," 17 November 1967.

 

November 18-19

During meetings held in Washington and Huntsville, an alternative configurational approach (basis for dry Workshop) for meeting AAP objectives was proposed by MSC as one method of overcoming certain problems that had been identified during the past several months. Following the discussions, it was decided to proceed as programmed. (See 21 May 1968 entry.)

Memorandum for record, John H. Disher, NASA Hq, "Pros and Cons of an Alternate Configurational Approach to Meeting AAP Objectives," 27 November 1967, and "AAP Program Discussion at MSFC on November 19, 1967," 27 November 1967; letters, G. S. Trimble, MSC, for Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, 14 December 1967.

 

November 27-29

NASA's AAP Director Charles W. Mathews stated: "The activities involved in the AAP represent major steps in the utilization of our space capability. The results of this program can serve to establish the direction of future space exploration and applications. In particular, increased knowledge on the effective integration of men into the total system should accomplish much in determining the character, system configurations and operational approach in future programs. The ability to capitalize on the large investments already made in the Apollo program affords the opportunity to carry on this work in Apollo applications in an efficient and economical manner."

[124] Charles W. Mathews, "Apollo Applications-A Progress Report" paper presented at the Astronautics International Symposium sponsored by the American Astronautical Society, New York, 27-29 November 1967.

 

November 30

The NASA Directors of the Apollo and Apollo Applications Programs Samuel C. Phillips and Charles W. Mathews, in a letter to their MSC counterparts, George M. Low and Robert F. Thompson, said: "Within the scope of the AAP program, it is desirable that an in-depth evaluation of a recovered CM be made as early as possible to fully determine the technical feasibility and economy of refurbishment and reuse of recovered Apollo Command Modules . "

They added that as a prerequisite to test and evaluation for refurbishment potential, salt water corrosive effects must be minimized on recovered spacecraft. This would involve some postflight operations to be performed aboard the recovery ship: dropping the aft heat shield, flushing the pressure shell, and drying and packaging for subsequent test and evaluation.

Low and Thompson were requested to coordinate and jointly establish postflight handling and test requirements for spacecraft 020 in a manner ensuring no impact on the Apollo 6 schedule or the postflight evaluation of the recovered spacecraft.

Letter, Samuel C. Phillips and Charles W. Mathews to George M. Low and Robert F. Thompson, "Post Flight Operations and Tests of S/C 020 for Refurbishment Evaluation," 30 November 1967.

 

December 1

NASA presented the ATM program to the Astronomy Missions Board at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Considerable interest was shown by the Board regarding crew participation in the ATM mission. The Board recommended an early crew assignment for ATM, so that adequate training in solar physics could be provided, and also recommended that scientist astronauts be assigned as members of the ATM flight crew.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 11 December 1967.

 

December 4

Robert F. Thompson, Assistant Manager of MSC's Apollo Applications Program Office since its establishment in July 1966, was appointed Manager of that office. The position had been vacant since April 1967 when MSC Deputy Director George M. Low, who had been Acting Manager, became Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office.

MSC Announcement 67-173, "Manager, Apollo Applications Program Office," 4 December 1967.

 

December 7-8

Representatives of MSFC, MSC, Grumman, Martin Marietta, North American, and McDonnell Douglas met at MSC to explore flight vibration levels for application to hardware mounted internal to the spacecraft lunar module adapter (SLA) on an S-IB. All agencies were in agreement that acoustic vibration testing [125] was the most appropriate for design verification of hardware mounted within the SLA in the moderate- to high-frequency region. It was also agreed that the MSC Acoustic Facility was the most desirable for this testing.

NASA, "Apollo Applications Weekly Status Report," 22 December 1967

 

December 11-14

Representatives of NASA and the aerospace industry participated in a four-day meeting on the Orbital Workshop design requirements at MSFC. During the first day, discussions covered structures, mechanical systems, and propulsion. On the second day, instrumentation and communications documentation was reviewed. The third day focused on crew station reviews. On the final day, results were summarized.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 18 December 1967.

 

December 27

Apollo Applications Program Director Charles W. Mathews directed the AAP Managers at the three manned space Centers to halt all activity pertaining to the AAP-IA missions The purpose of the AAP IA mission would be to perform experiments in space sciences and advanced applications in a low- altitude Earth orbit for up to 14 days.

TWX Charles W. Mathews to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Mission IA Termination," 27 December 1967.

 

- 1968 -

 

January 5

A lunar exploration program had been developed which would cover the period from the first lunar landing to the mid-1970s. The program would be divided into four phases:

(1) An Apollo phase employing Apollo hardware.

(2) A lunar exploration phase untilizing an extended LM with increased landed payload weight and staytime capability.

(3) A lunar orbital survey and exploration phase using the AAP-1A carrier or the LM/ATM to mount remote sensors and photographic equipment on a manned polar orbit mission.

(4) A lunar surface rendezvous and exploration phase which would use a modified LM in an unmanned landing to provide increased scientific payload and expendables necessary to extend an accompanying manned LM mission to two weeks duration.

Bellcomm, Inc., Technical Memo, "Lunar Exploration," 5 January 1968.

 

January 8

NASA Administrator James E. Webb recommended a cautious, step-by-step, wait-and-see approach to selection of a contractor for adapting the Apollo CSM to AAP requirements.

Memorandum, James E. Webb to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Adapting the Apollo CSM for AAP," 8 January 1968.

 

January 9

[126] NASA budgetary restraints required an additional cut in AAP launches. The reduced program called for three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches, including one Workshop launched on a Saturn IB, one Saturn V Workshop, and one ATM. Two lunar missions were planned. Launch of the first Workshop would be in April 1970.

NASA Hq Schedule, 9 January 1968.

 

January 9

MSFC awarded Perkin-Elmer Corporation a contract to develop the telescopes for the ATM.

Contract NAS 8-22623, 8 January 1968.

 

January 12

NASA Hq authorized MSC to extend through 15 May 1968 the existing contract with Grumman. Purpose of the contract was a study leading to a preliminary design review of LM modifications for AAP.

TWX, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, "Extension of Present AAP LM Modification Contract," 12 January 1968.

 

January 16

NASA awarded a letter contract to Martin Marietta for the payload integration effort on AAP. (See 26 July 1967 entry.)

Letter, contract NAS 8-24000, 16 January 1968.

 

January 22

A directive to specifically identify responsibilities for planning, conducting, and reporting on audits of reliability, quality, and system safety program activities at all AAP organizational levels was issued by NASA.

AAP Directive No. 9, "Reliability, Quality, and System Safety Auditing," 22 January 1968.

 

January 23

As originally conceived, the AM consisted of a simple tunnel and truss structure that provided access to the S-IVB OWS from the CSM. The AM subsystems provided distribution of power from the CSM to the OWS, a temperature regulated, clean atmosphere for the Workshop, and limited instrumentation.

After a year of program evolution, the AM, although similar in appearance and utilizing more than 60 percent of the effort expended on the original AM, had become physically different, with a considerably more complex role to play. The AM had become the hub and central "engine room" of the cluster by incorporating the electric power conditioning, storage, and distribution system. It was designed to receive and store power from the solar arrays, the CSM, and LM and to make distribution of power to the OWS, AM, MDA, CSM, and, in emergencies, the LM. The AM was designed to provide the central environmental control system for distributing a dehumidified, cleansed, odor free, temperature...

 


[
127]

technician working inside the airlock tunnel

The airlock tunnel assembly was fabricated at the McDonnell Douglas facility in St. Louis. This photo shows the hatch still being tackwelded.

 

...conditioned, oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere to the OWS, AM, MDA, CSM, and LM and to provide coolant loops for its equipment and that in the MDA. In addition, it contained the central command and instrumentation center for the OWS, as well as an overall caution and warning system. The AM was being developed by McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis.

Memorandum for record, T. E. Hanes, "Comparison of the originally contracted Airlock with the scope of present Airlock contract requirements," 23 January 1968.

 

January 25

A study of the LM/ATM was initiated to conduct a critical and constructive review of all aspects of the LM/ATM mission to include cost, scheduling, and complexity. The three-man study team consisted of George E. Mueller (NASA Hq), Ludie G. Richards (MSFC), and George S. Trimble (MSC).

Letter, George S. Trimble to George E. Mueller, 25 January 1968; memoranda, Robert F. Thompson to Dist., "LM/ATM Study," 23 January 1968, and "Ad Hoc Studies of Alternate Apollo Applications Program Plans," 17 January 1968.

 

January 27

A Bellcomm review which summarized the system configuration aspects of operating the LM/ATM independently of the OWS was presented at the AAP review NASA Hq. The review concluded that decoupling was feasible within the framework of the mission objectives.

Memorandum for file, R. K. McFarland, Bellcomm, "Coupled vs. Decoupled LM/ ATM Mission Concepts: System Configuration Aspects," 14 February 1968.

 

January 29

Nomenclature for the OWS included in the AAP presented in the FY 1969 budget was confirmed by NASA. The ground-outfitted OWS to be launched with Saturn V would be designated the "Saturn V Workshop." (This had sometimes been called the "dry Workshop.") The OWS that would be launched by a Saturn IB would be referred to as the "Saturn I Workshop." (Colloquially it had been referred to as the "wet workshop.") Terminology "Uprated Saturn I" would not be used officially. This launch vehicle would be referred to as the "Saturn IB."

[128] Memorandum, W. H. Shapley, NASA Hq, to Heads of Program and Staff Offices, "Nomenclature for AAP Orbital Workshops," 29 January 1968.

 

January 29

An S-IVB residual-propellant dump test was conducted in orbit during the Apollo 5 mission. Test results were applicable to the AAP OWS passivation requirements. The test was performed on the S-IVB after separation of the lunar module. First the liquid oxygen was dumped, then the liquid hydrogen. This was followed by the release of helium in the stage pneumatic system. Preliminary indications were that propellant settling was satisfactory.

NASA, "AAP Weekly Progress and Problem Summary," 29 January 1968.

 

January 31

An MDA preliminary design review was held at MSFC on 16-17 January and resulted in action to integrate the resupply and reuse requirements for AAP-3A and AAP-3/4 experiments. On 26 January an AAP (Mission 2) MDA preliminary design review, Phase II, Technical Review Board convened at MSFC. As a result of discussions of this Board meeting, a joint MSFC MSC study group was proposed to define AAP cluster attitude control pointing capabilities. The study group would define the capabilities of the presently baselined S IVB attitude control system, the Apollo service module reaction control system, and the Apollo telescope mount control moment gyro system to determine if incompatibilities existed with the operations requirements and the proposed experiments and sensors.

NASA, OMSF History of the Apollo Applications Program, 1966 I September 1968; NASA, "AAP Weekly Progress and Problem Summary," 29 January 1968; memoranda, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Dist., "Multiple Docking Adapter Preliminary Design Review," 4 January 1968; Robert F. Thompson to Dist., "Joint MSFC-MSC AAP Cluster Attitude Control Capabilities Study Group," 31 January 1968.

 

February 5

Saturn V OWS study teams were examining a range of concepts in two distinct categories, OWS B and OWS C. OWS B would be a relatively simple, generic evolution from the Saturn I OWS being developed for the first AAP missions. It would retain the basic elements of the Saturn I OWS but would incorporate the ATM solar astronomy payload as an integral part of the OWS. Other modifications to improve overall effectiveness would be incorporated where this could be achieved with small increments of funds or time. OWS C would be a more advanced concept in the evolution toward a flexible operational system for sustained operations in Earth orbit. It would provide living and working quarters for a crew of nine and would be operable for two or more years.

Memorandum, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to F. L. Thompson, LaRC, "Saturn V Workshop Studies," 5 February 1968.

 

February 12

Objectives of the AAP-3/AAP-4 mission were to

AAP Directive No. 5A, "Flight Mission Directive for AAP 3/AAP-4," 12 February 1968.

 

February 26

A management review of the pointing system for the ATM was held with Perkin Elmer Corporation. Conceptual design was completed and approved by MSFC. In addition, the preliminary requirements review for the H-Alpha telescope and pointing system was satisfactorily completed by MSC.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 26 February 1968.

 


astronaut in simulation test

Astronauts and spacecraft designers used this engineering mockup of the Saturn I Workshop during a five-day crew station review at MSFC. The space-suited technician is shown operating a control panel while being held in place by "Dutch Shoes" attached to the mesh floor.

 

February 26

[130] Harold T. Luskin, Chief Advanced Design Engineer at Lockheed-California Company, and former American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics President, was named NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight (Technical) effective 18 March.

NASA News Release 68-39, "Luskin Appointed at NASA," 26 February 1968.

 

February 26

To ensure that at appropriate and progressive points in the AAP life cycle sufficient management visibility was obtained of the status of design, manufacturing, and testing to determine the integrity of the system before a mission, seven key checkpoints were established:

(1) PRR-preliminary requirements review.
(2) PDR-preliminary design review.
(3) CDR-critical design review.
(4) CI-configuration inspection.
(5) COFW-certification of flight worthiness.
(6) DCR-design certification review.
(7) FRR-flight readiness review.

AAP Directive No. 11, "Sequence and Flow of Hardware Development and Key Inspection, Review and Certification Checkpoints," 26 February 1968.

 

February 29

AAP was first presented as a separate Research and Development program in NASA's FY 1968 budget request, which was submitted to Congress in January 1967. As originally conceived, AAP was designed to take full advantage of the Nation's investment in Apollo-developed hardware, facilities, and manpower. However, in making adjustments to considerably lower funding, the program was pared down to the minimum level for maintaining a reasonable manned space flight program in the early part of the next decade and preserving any basic capability for future U.S. manned operations in space.

Memorandum, J. Pemble Field, Jr., to Dist., "History of AAP, Prepared for Congressman Teague," 29 February 1968.

 

February 29

LaRC Director Floyd L. Thompson was appointed Special Assistant to NASA Administrator James E. Webb and Chairman of a Post-Apollo Advisory Committee to evaluate future manned space flight projects. These assignments were in addition to his duties as LaRC Director. Since these additional responsibilities would require Thompson to spend a portion of his time away from Langley, LaRC Deputy Director Charles J. Donlan would serve as Acting Director.

NASA News Release 68-41, 29 February 1968; letter, James E. Webb to Floyd Thompson, 15 February 1968.

 

February 29

An evaluation and selection committee was formed to review the suitability of candidate chambers for ATM thermal vacuum testing. The committee, composed...

 


[
131]

Mockup of the airlock used for training

Manned Spacecraft Center Airlock Module Trainer.

 

...of members from the OMSF Apollo Applications Program Office, MSFC, MSC, Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, would evaluate chambers located at MSC, Arnold Engineering Development Center, The Boeing Company, and General Electric Company, in terms of availability, schedules, capability, modification requirements, contamination control, cost, and logistics.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 4 March 1968.

 

March 4

Funds were released to MSC for support of the Environmental Science Services Administration for the design and fabrication of a preprototype model of the infrared temperature profile radiometer. Recent ESSA reviews indicated that the fabrication of a preprototype instrument at this stage of AAP would be a major advance in the ESSA goal of operational temperature soundings of the atmosphere in the mid 1 970s.

Letter, L. Jaffe, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, "Release of Fiscal Year 1968 Program Authority," 4 March 1968.

 

March 8

Fairchild-Hiller Corporation presented a mockup demonstration and technical discussion of proposed OWS solar arrays at their Germantown, Pennsylvania, plant. MSFC was planning to develop the OWS solar arrays and favored the Fairchild-Hiller design approach, but experience and the details of their patented design would require the establishment of a working arrangement.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 18 March 1968.

 

March 9

[132] The ATM Principal Investigators presented the status of their experiments at Ball Brothers Research Corporation in Boulder, Colorado. They reported good progress in the development of their instruments and presented material to support their assessment that delivery would be on schedule. They also stressed the importance of flying a mission as early as possible during a period of high solar activity.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 18 March 1968.

 

March 11

The first design verification thermal test of the cryogenic gas storage system for AAP was completed at Bendix Corporation. Following the tests, the unit was shipped to MSC for additional thermal vacuum testing to determine actual hydrogen and oxygen performance.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 11 March 1968.

 

March 12

NASA established a Test Definition and Planning Group to assist the respective AAP Managers in the identification and resolution of problems concerned with inter-Center ground testing of space vehicles and associated ground support equipment. The group would perform a technical definition function for ground test activities. Primary emphasis would be on planning associated with coordination of integrated systems test activities where inter-Center functional responsibilities were involved. The group would work with the AAP panels, as required, to develop recommendations for test activity integration.

AAP Directive No. 8, "Establishment of the Apollo Applications Test Definition and Planning Group," 12 March 1968.

 

March 15

MSC and MSFC were responsible, as development Centers, for design, development, fabrication, qualification, acceptance test, and delivery of AAP spacecraft and experiment carriers, assigned experiments, and associated ground support equipment.

KSC was responsible for the development and operation of launch and industrial facilities and associated ground support equipment required to support AAP, and the assembly, test, inspection, checkout, and launch of AAP space vehicles at KSC.

AAP Directive No. 12, "Prelaunch Checkout and Launch of Center Developed (In House) Flight Hardware for the Apollo Applications Program," 15 March 1968.

 

March 15

No central archives were planned for the experiment data from AAP. The experiment records would be kept by the Centers having responsibility for the experiments. However, MSC would establish and maintain a Central Index for AAP experimental data.

[133] Letter, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Robert F. Thompson, MSC, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Data Flow Plan for AAP Missions 1-4," 15 March 1968.

 

March 18

A task team was established to review the requirements and establish a new baseline for the LM and the ATM with the objective of reducing costs and operational complexity. The team was composed of senior members from the OMSF, MSC, MSFC, The Martin Company, and Grumman.

Note, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Charles W. Mathews. NASA Hq, 18 March 1968.

 

March 19

During the OWS preliminary design review, it was suggested that the AAP vehicles contain a library of material of an operational, technical, and recreational nature for use by the flight crews. Loewy and Snaith, Inc., had made a similar suggestion. A survey of AAP crew members was being conducted to determine the type and quantity of such materials the crews might desire so that design engineers could arrive at a preliminary systems approach to an inflight library and evaluate the impact.

Letter, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Donald K. Slayton, MSC, "In-flight library for AAP missions," 19 March 1968.

 

March 19-20

A preliminary design review board met at MSFC to discuss OWS major test items. These included plans for a dynamics test program to determine the dynamics of the cluster and the requirements for flammability, toxicity, and crew hazards analyses and tests. Individual subsystem flammability tests were planned. MSC specifications for crew compartment nonmetallic material selection and testing would be used.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 25 March 1968.

 

March 28

MSC adopted the position that only mixed gas atmospheres should be considered for missions longer than 30 days in duration. Conceding that studies of the physiologic effects of mixed gas atmospheres, other than air, were new in number and controversial in nature, MSC suggested that such evidence as did exist indicated that nitrogen was a superior choice as a second atmospheric constituent from an overall medical standpoint.

Letter, Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to J. S. Bleymaier, USAF, 28 March 1968.

 

April 3-15

Following discussions at the Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting at KSC on 21- 24 March, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller and MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth concluded that, with the stringent funding restraints facing the AAP, the most practical near-term program was a Saturn IB OWS designed to simplify operational modes and [134] techniques in Earth orbit. It was agreed that a special task force would be set up to define and implement any changes necessary to the MDA, incorporate new experiments into the program, and plan and program the critical series of medical experiments required for AAP in order to collect vital data regarding crew performance during the early phases of AAP long-duration flights.

The MDA task force held an initial meeting at MSC on 10-11 April. Requirements for the critical medical experiments were identified, and potential Earth Applications experiments were reviewed. MSFC was requested to make a preliminary design analysis of the impact of incorporating critical medical experiments and to determine which Earth applications experiments could be accommodated.

Letters. George E. Mueller to Robert R. Gilruth, 3 April 1968; Robert R. Gilruth to George E. Mueller, 15 April 1968; Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, 2 April 1968 and 4 April 1968; "Manned Space Flight Weekly Reports," 8 April 1968 and 15 April 1968.

 

April 4

NASA announced the selection of General Electric Company's Apollo Systems Division to negotiate a one-year, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide engineering support for AAP. Responsible to the AAP Office in NASA Hq, General Electric would perform such engineering support in the areas of reliability and quality control, configuration management, testing, and checkout. (General Electric was already fulfilling the same task in support of Apollo.)

NASA News Release 68-61, 4 April 1968.

 

April 16

In a speech before the National Space Club in Washington, AAP Director Charles W. Mathews stated that, beyond the goal of landing on the Moon, NASA's overall plan for manned space exploration comprised "a balanced activity of lunar exploration and extension of man's capabilities in Earth orbit." The AAP, Mathews declared, contained sufficient flexibility so that it could be conducted in harmony with available resources: "We are also prepared to move forward at an increased pace when it is desirable and possible to do so." He said contingency planning left room for both budgetary and mission goal changes, thus answering congressional criticism that NASA had not provided sufficient flexibility regarding long-term goals.

Baltimore Sun, 18 April 1968, p. A-11.

 

April 19

The OWS passivation sequence was described at a flight operations plan meeting held at MSC. Solar arrays would be deployed on the first stateside pass, since the liquid portion of the passivation would have been completed. Gaseous passivation was expected to require approximately 24 hours. The meteoroid bumper would not be deployed until crew arrival because it would interfere thermally with the passivation.

NASA, "AAP Weekly Progress and Problem Summary," 26 April 1968.

 


[
135]

conceptual design drawing for the Earth-orbital spacecraft lunar module adapter laboratory

One of 18 conceptual designs for the Earth-orbital spacecraft lunar module adapter laboratory prepared by spacecraft design experts of the MSC Advanced Spacecraft Technology Division. This configuration was developed to illustrate the extent to which the building block philosophy could be carried. It would utilize both Gemini and Apollo spacecraft and would require 2 unmanned launches and 10 manned logistic launches. The report was published 25 April 1968.

 

April 25

NASA Hq requested MSFC, LaRC, and MSC to perform independent studies to identify the most desirable agency program for the Saturn V Workshop and to provide a project plan.

Letters, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, Wernher von Braun, MSFC, and C. J. Donlan, LaRC, 25 April 1968.

 

April 26

A briefing was held at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on a recovery support study conducted by the Department of Defense Manager for Manned Space Flight Operations. NASA requirements provided for the study were based on two concepts of support. The "current concept" implied support requirements similar to those required for the Gemini program. The other was the "future [136] concept" which would be employed when sufficient reliability of spacecraft systems had been demonstrated. The "future concept" would employ two recovery zones (primary and secondary) as opposed to the four zones designated in the "current concept." Defense forces allocated to meet NASA requirements would be significantly reduced under the "future concept."

NASA, "AAP Weekly Progress and Problem Summary,' 26 April 1968.

 

April 30

A primary objective of the Apollo Applications reliability program would be to identify all significant single failure point potentials of equipment for various modes of operation. Single failure point potentials would be examined for each mission, and a summary of single failure points would be prepared and kept current. Supporting information from the Apollo program would be used to the maximum extent possible.

AAP Directive No. 13, "AAP Failure Mode and Effect Analysis; Single Failure Point Identification and Control," 30 April 1968.

 

May 3

An AAP holding plan was implemented for the remainder of Fiscal Year 1968. The plan was activated in order to maintain a reasonable balance in program content while avoiding major cuts to work in progress. This action became necessary because of funding restraints imposed on AAP.

Letters, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, and Robert F. Thompson, MSC, 3 May 1968.

 

May 10

A major goal of the AAP to accelerate the evolution of the utility of space flights required certain steps to achieve more effective and economical manned space operations, while enhancing the value of information obtained during orbital flights. Some of the more important steps required would be obtaining data on the physiological qualification of man for extended duration in space; providing adequate support systems which would allow man to maintain a high degree of effectiveness; and determining efficient man-machine relationships.

Speech, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Space Technology Conference, "Apollo Applications--The Next Step in Man's Investigation of Space," 8 10 May 1968.

 

May 20

Designers at MSFC' increased the capability of the MDA to provide for crew habitation and to perform certain biomedical experiments in the event the OWS could not be made habitable after reaching orbit.

MSFC, "AAPO Weekly Activity Report," 22 May 1968.

 

May 22

NASA Hq described the purposes of the AAP-3A mission: (1) qualify man, evaluate his support requirements, and determine human task performance capabilities on long-duration manned space night missions; (2) demonstrate the [137] feasibility of reactivating a Saturn I OWS that has been left unattended in Earth orbit for several months and reusing a Saturn I OWS as a base of operations for the conduct of experiments in astronomy, science, applications, technology, engineering, and medicine.

AAP Directive No. 14, "Flight Mission Directive for AAP-3A," 22 May 1968.

 

May 23

NASA Hq issued management procedures to be followed for AAP experiments. The procedures were divided into two phases: planning and implementation. In the planning phase, paperwork reflecting the plans of the development, integration, mission operations, and launch operations centers for an experiment would be submitted to the AAPO for compatibility assessment and implementation planning. The implementation phase would encompass all the activity involved in the acquisition of experiment hardware, preparation of hardware for flight use, performance of flight operations, and disposition of experiment data.

AAP Directive No. 15, "Management Procedures for the Planning and Implementation of AAP Experiments," 23 May 1968.

 

May 25

A LM/ATM Evaluation Board, established to make an in-depth review of the planned LM/ATM module configuration and mission, issued its final report. The Board review concentrated on the operational and programmatic aspects related to use of the LM with the ATM. At a meeting held on 9 March, the ATM experiment status was the subject of discussion. Principal Investigators and the MSFC ATM Program Office representatives summarized progress on each experiment and on the total ATM package.

At meetings held on 15 16 March, presentations were made by MSC and MSFC. MSC stressed the operational complexities of the dual-rendezvous, dualdocking capability of the LM, extravehicular activity, crew training, and mission critical sequencing. MSFC stressed the desirability of the cluster mission and, while recognizing the problems of dual rendezvous, suggested that the system and mission as configured was the best possible choice.

Final Report, LM/ATM Evaluation Board, 25 May 1968.

 

May 27

Center Directors Robert R. Gilruth (MSC) and Kurt H. Debus (KSC) approved a joint memorandum of understanding on MSC KSC relations that laid down guidelines and procedures for execution of Center responsibilities within areas of mutual interest. The document thus sought to ensure an effective programmatic interface between the two Centers and also provided for subsequent agreement, spelling out in detail specific inter-Center policies and procedures.

MSCM 8010, "Program Management Guide," 27 May 1968.

 

May 28

A review of the AM test program was held at MSC to examine the existing baseline AM testing plan in terms of programwide AAP test requirements and [138] guidelines. Participants included representatives from Headquarters, MSFC, MSC, and the AM contractor, McDonnell Douglas. Spokesmen for McDonnell Douglas recommended additional subsystem development testing, as well as thermal-vacuum testing of airlock flight hardware (a recommendation being evaluated by experts at both MSFC and MSC).

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 3 June 1968.

 

June 4

NASA released a new AAP launch readiness and delivery schedule. The schedule decreased the number of Saturn flights to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. It called for three Workshops. One of the Workshops would be launched by a Saturn IB, and another would serve as a backup. The third Workshop would be launched by a Saturn V. The schedule also included one ATM. Launch of the first Workshop would be in November 1970. Lunar missions were no longer planned in the AAP.

NASA Hq Schedule, 14 January 1968.

 

June 8

NASA launched two Aerobee 150 sounding rockets from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The first rocket carried a Naval Research Laboratory and University of Maryland payload to a 179-km altitude to flight test a design verification unit of the high-resolution spectroheliograph planned for use on the ATM. The second rocket carried an American Science and Engineering, Inc., payload to a 150-km altitude to obtain high-resolution x-ray pictures of active regions of the Sun during solar flare and general x-ray emission of solar corona. The rocket and instrumentation performed satisfactorily, but the payload of the first rocket failed to separate, thus preventing functioning of the parachute recovery system.

NASA, "Reports on Sounding Rocket Launchings"; "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 10 June 1968.

 

June 24

An MDA task force, established in March to examine the ability of the MDA to support the operation of critical medical experiments within 24 hours of rendezvous and docking and to examine the feasibility of conducting selected Earth resources and meteorological experiments, made recommendations which resulted in baseline configuration changes to the MDA.

Docking ports 2 and 3 of the MDA would be deleted; four windows in the conical section of the MDA would be deleted; and a viewport would be provided to support unmanned rendezvous and docking.

Letter, H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, and Robert F. Thompson, MSC, "Status of MDA Task Force Activities," 24 June 1968.

 

June 24

The 2.4-m-diameter tank tests at McDonnell Douglas were nearing completion. The test tank which consisted of a waffle-pattern wall structure, internal insulation [139], and aluminum foil liner, successfully passed static firings and launch sequences to evaluate the ability of the materials and structure to withstand the thermal loads under operational conditions. The tank would be shipped to MSFC in July for outgassing tests.

NASA, ''Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 24 June 1968.

 

June 27-28

An experiment review was held at MSC in January to determine what progress had been made in the development of experiment hardware for the AAP. Some key problems identified at the review were the following:

OMSF, History of the Apollo Applications Program, 1966 to I September 1968, pp. 2-2 1 2- 24.

 

July 5

NASA Hq authorized a letter amendment to the AM contract with McDonnell Douglas from 30 June through 31 December 1968. During this six-month extension, MSC was to negotiate a definitized contract incorporating recent program guidelines and covering the total airlock effort beginning in August 1966.

TWX, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, "Airlock Letter Amendment to Contract NAS 9-6555," 5 July 1968.

 

July 8

Apollo Applications Program Managers met at Goddard Space Flight Center. Among the items discussed were coordination and distribution of AAP directives, delineation of management responsibilities, medical experiment support, and the waste management system for the OWS.

Memorandum for record, John H. Disher, NASA Hq, "Summary of Discussions with AAP Program Managers at GSFC," 8 July 1968.

 

July 12

Martin Marietta, Denver Division, completed an Earth resources experiment compatibility analysis and an experiment conceptual analysis. The analyses were conducted in compliance with an MSC AAP payload integration task during the period 16 January 30 June 1968. Results of the study indicated that a selected group of Earth resources experiments could be integrated into the AAP-1 /AAP-2 Orbital Workshop with only minimum design impact.

Martin Marietta Corp., AAP Payload Integration Final Report, 12 July 1968.

 

July 20

[140] The Post Apollo Advisory Committee, authorized by the NASA Administrator to evaluate and make recommendations on post-Apollo space activities, issued its report which confirmed the basic objectives of the AAP and played a deciding role in its later evolution. The Committee, headed by LaRC Director Floyd Thompson, held meetings at MSFC, MSC, NASA Hq, and KSC on 25 January, 15 February, 12 March, and 25-26 March 1968, respectively.

Post Apollo Advisory Committee Report, 20 July 1968; memorandum, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Dist., "Ad Hoc Studies of Alternate Apollo Applications Program Plans," 17 January 1968; letters, James E. Webb, NASA Hq, to F. L. Thompson, MSC, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "AAP 5, 6, and 7 Mission Definition," 1 February 1968.

 

July 23-24

At NASA Hq, movements were underway to select a new name for post-Apollo manned space flight (AAP)-one that would be more descriptive of the agency's real goals and objectives. At the Planning Study Group meeting, Douglas R. Lord, Chairman of the Working Group on Extension of Manned Space Flight, was asked to recommend a new name for NASA's Earth- orbital flight program of the mid-1970s. However, AAP Director Charles W. Mathews urged that the name AAP be retained because NASA had a good deal invested in it. On 26 July, Julian M. West wrote Lord recommending that NASA choose some other name to cover both AAP and an interim space base of the mid-1970s (dubbed the "IOWS" program, for Interim Orbital Workshop). West urged that all such names as "AAP," "Workshop," and "Extension of Manned Space Flight," be dropped because they did not accurately describe what he saw as "the major goal-manned space flight itself." West voted for a name put forward by George Trimble of MSC, "Space Base Program," which he believed covered NASA's mid-1970s missions. "We are establishing a foothold for man in space."

Letter, Julian M. West to NASA Hq, Attn: Chairman of Working Group on Extension of Manned Space Flight, MTD, "Program Name for Post-Apollo Earth Orbital Flight Test Program," 26 July 1968.

 

July 31

Agreement was reached on the availability and utilization of an acceptance checkout equipment station at MSFC for the ATM. Availability of the acceptance checkout equipment station would be contingent upon successful completion of the Apollo program and the assumption that any contingencies that might arise adversely affecting the Apollo schedule would also impact Apollo Applications checkout need dates.

Letters, H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, 31 July 1968; Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to Wernher von Braun, MSFC, 23 July 1968.

 

August 1

Following receipt of NASA direction to limit Saturn V production to Vehicle 515, MSFC began terminating production of engine hardware for the Apollo and Apollo Applications programs. The action involved 27 H-1, eight F-1, and three J-2 rocket engines.

[141] Letters, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to James E. Webb, NASA Hq, "S-1C Long Lead Hardware Procurement Contract," 3 June 1968; James E. Webb to George E. Mueller, "Termination o the Contract for procurement of Long Lead Time Items for Vehicles 516 and 517," 1 August 1968.

 

August 9

ATM film and camera storage during launch, throughout the mission, and during reentry was reviewed. North American representatives covered the command module's capability for film return, and Grumman representatives discussed the lunar module's crew provision storage. Principal Investigators and MSFC ATM personnel attended the presentation.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 16 August 1968.

 

August 9

ATM experiments would be designed to observe and record solar features or regions of interest by using a variety of scientific instruments and recording devices. Observations would be made over a wide range of energy wavelengths in the form of both solar images and solar spectra. They would be preserved for future study by recording them on photographic film or magnetic tape. These experiments would provide new knowledge of the Sun, solar features, solar phenomena, and the solar processes of energy release.

MSC, "ATM Mission Review," 9 August 1968.

 

August 12

MSFC issued a request for proposals to design and develop an actuator system for the ATM. The device, expected to weigh about 9 kg, would deploy the ATM's solar panels once the vehicle was placed in orbit and docked with the Workshop.

MSFC News Release 67 -178, 12 August 1968.

 

August 13

McDonnell Douglas, Grumman, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology made presentations to MSC on an automated rendezvous study effort. It was the final meeting of an ad hoc study group which agreed that automated rendezvous and stationkeeping were feasible and would not impose severe hardware or operational constraints. The MSC AAPO was preparing a report on the study results.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 16 August 1968.

 

August 15

NASA issued a directive providing program standards for achieving uniformity of terms, practices, and criteria to be used throughout the AAP in the generation of nonconformance data that could be readily combined, compared, and assessed for potential program impact.

AAP Directive No. 10, "AAP Nonconformance Reporting and Corrective Action, 15 August 1968.

 

August 28

NASA announced award of a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to Bendix Corporation to develop one prototype and five flight-model star trackers for the ATM.

[142] MSFC News Release 68-196, 28 August 1968.

 

August 28

MSFC informed MSC that General Electric Company had been awarded a contract for "Human Engineering Criteria for Maintenance and Repair Study." The contract would yield data directly applicable to the AAP-2 and AAP-4 flights, as well as later missions. The underwater testing portion of the study required the use of space suits, and it was felt that the most useful data would be achieved if Apollo-type space suits could be used. MSC was requested to furnish two suits for that portion of the study to be performed at General Electric's Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, facility in October 1968.

Letter, J. O. Aberg, MSFC, to Richard Johnson [sic], MSC, "Spacesuit support," 28 August 1968.

 

August 29

NASA established policy for nonmetallic materials selection, control, test, and evaluation in the AAP, emphasizing the importance of the nonmetallic materials program and its relationship to crew safety and mission success. The directive reflected a unified multicenter approach for obtaining maximum benefits from nonmetallic technology.

AAP Directive No. 16, "Apollo Applications Program Nonmetallic Materials Policy," 29 August 1968.

 

September 4

MSFC Director Wernher von Braun performed a full-pressure suit test in the Saturn I Workshop immersed in the Neutral Buoyancy Tank. He reported that the upgraded seals used in the aft dome penetration sealing study were "very good," but recommended additional handholds and tether points.

Memorandum, W. Kuers, MSFC, to D. S. Akens, MSFC, "Historical Data," July- September 1968.

 

September 10

Seeking a better balance between Apollo and AAP workloads, NASA Hq authorized the transfer of program development responsibility for the AM and the LM/ATM from MSC to MSFC. This move represented a major shift in AAP management and placed AAP design and integration responsibilities under a single NASA center. Those responsibilities included not only hardware design, but also systems engineering, development testing, and integration to ensure compatibility between flight hardware and ground support equipment.

Memoranda, Charles W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to James E. Webb, NASA Hq, "AAP Management," 20 August 1968; James E. Webb to George E. Mueller, same subject, 10 September 1968; undated plan, "Delineation of Management Responsibilities, Apollo Applications Program," cosigned by Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, K. H. Debus, KSC, and Wernher von Braun, MSFC.

 

September 17

An AAP experiment-integrated test program and requirements for a fit and function test of experiment flight hardware were established. The program would [143] provide firm need dates of equipment keyed to test dates rather than launch dates; limit the period of continuing engineering modifications and redesign; verify the man and machine interfaces, using flight hardware well in advance of the equipment reaching KSC; and ensure availability of flight-qualified experiments to support assigned missions.

Memoranda, H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, to Dist., "AAP Experiment Flight Article Integrated Testing," 17 September 1968.

 

September 17

Supporting development work in AAP was eliminated, except that of an urgent or critical nature, such as the integrated medical and behavioral laboratory measurement system. This reduction in program supporting development work was the result of budget restrictions when available appropriated funds were reduced from $32.0 million to $18.2 million for Apollo and AAP.

Letter, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 17 September 1 968.

 

September 23-26

A preliminary design review for the ATM was held at MSFC. Working groups composed of scientists, engineers, and astronauts covered specific areas such as pointing control, electrical and electronic support equipment, mission operations requirements, mechanical and thermal considerations, instrumentation, communications, control and display equipment, crew station, experiments, and quality and reliability during testing and manufacture.

Memorandum, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Dist., 11 September 1968; MSFC News Release 68 221, 23 September 1968. NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 7 October 1968.

 

October 2

MSFC and KSC officials agreed upon procedures for maintaining the capability to check out and launch the remaining Saturn IB vehicle inventory. Their joint recommendations included a phasedown on contractor activity following the AS 205 launch; deactivation of Launch Complexes 34 and 37 to allow maximum storage of equipment and minimum maintenance on items remaining in place; and continuance of KSC analysis of manpower required to support the AAP dual launch requirement, with contractor participation at the earliest date.

Memorandum, K. H. Debus, KSC, to Dist., 2 October 1968; KSC, "Weekly Report," 18 October 1968.

 

October 2

A procedure that defined and detailed AAP inter-Center interface management procedures and the operation of a repository for AAP inter-Center interface control documents (ICD's) and interface revision notices was published.

Memorandum, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Dist., "AAP Intercenter ICD Management Procedure," 2 October 1968; AAP Intercenter ICD Management Procedure Document No. IMP001, September 1968.

 

 


[144]

component drawing of the Apollo Applications platform

The AAP cluster as visualized by personnel of NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight in Washington in September 1968.

 

 

October 8

MSFC was requested to proceed with the definition of a system to transmit television from orbiting Apollo Applications spacecraft to selected Manned Space Flight Network ground stations. Design of the system would include use of equipment developed from previous programs and elimination of elaborate tests, qualifications, and paperwork in its definition.

Letter, H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, "An RF TV Link for the AAP," 8 October 1968.

 

October 8-11

A lunar module preliminary design review was held at Grumman. The review indicated that an adequate basis existed for continued design and development. Some decisions on the LM which would require MSFC implementation were simplification, rearrangement, and appropriate relocation of crew provisions, restraints, and controls in the LM crew compartment and updating of plans and specifications for the modifications.

Memorandum, Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Dist., "Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) and AAP LM Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR's)," 11 September 1968; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 21 October 1968.

 

October 21

In the transfer of the AM contract and its management responsibilities from MSC to MSFC, agreements were reached on the content of the work; statement and its appendices, contract- required plans, performance and configuration specification, and list of government-furnished equipment. McDonnell Douglas was requested to proceed with technical briefings for MSFC prior to the formal transfer of [145] management responsibility of the AM from MSC to MSFC. (See 10 September entry.) Transfer of the technical management of the AM from MSC to MSFC would become effective I December.

Letters, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, K. H. Debus KSC, and Wernher von Braun, MSFC, 1 October 1968; Robert F. Thompson, MSC, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, "MSC plans for definitization of the baseline for the Airlock Contract,' 1 October 1968; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 21 October 1 968; TWX, Robert F. Thompson to Leland F. Belew, "Transferring Technical Management of the Airlock Module Contract," 2 December 1968.

 

November 5

MSFC was requested to initiate a study and propose plans for incorporation of a teleprinter in AAP spacecraft. The plans would consider a teleprinter in both the AM and LM; a teleprinter in the AM; a portable teleprinter which would be used in either the AM or the LM.

Letter, H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, "A Teleprinter for AAP Spacecraft," 5 November 1968.

 

November 20

At KSC, program responsibility for the Saturn IB vehicles and LC-34 and LC-37 was transferred from the Apollo Program Manager to the AAP Manager. Among the management functions transferred were chairmanship of the Apollo Applications Launch Operations Panel, KSC cochairman of the Systems Integration Panel, KSC senior member of the Mission Evaluation Panel, Configuration Control Board chairman for Apollo Applications, direct interface with KSC Design Engineering Directorate, and authority to validate performance and requirements specifications.

Memoranda, K. H. Debus, KSC, to George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, 2 October 1968; R. O. Middleton, KSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, to K. H. Debus, 28 October 1968, approved by K. H. Debus, 20 November 1968.

 

November 21

An analysis was made of CSM modifications proposed for AAP. The AAP spacecraft requirements and the subsequent subsystem modifications from the Apollo spacecraft resulted from the longer mission duration, increased mission support, docked attitude constraints, and cost and weight factors involved in AAP.

Letter, H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "CSM Modification Requirements for AAP," 21 November 1968.

 

November 21

MSC responded to a 4 October 1968 request from NASA Hq to further study selected SLA modifications and a short MDA docking tunnel. MSFC asked North American to study two cases involving SLA modifications. In both cases, North American utilized the probe cover configuration: (1) case I utilized a nose cone, rocket jettison motor, a modified Apollo SLA, and the Apollo SLA ordnance separation system; (2) case II utilized a lightweight segmented nose section designed as an integral portion of a modified Apollo SLA. This case also used the Apollo SLA ordnance separation system with a lateral jettison of the integral nose section/SLA enclosure.

[146] Review of this study indicated that in either case, although both could be considered technically feasible, additional analyses would be required including dynamic analysis (recontact), thermodynamic analysis, and modifications to ground support equipment. MSFC had reexamined the possibility of shortening the MDA docking tunnel, which would eliminate the need for a SLA modification. Two constraining factors governing the modification were (1) sufficient tunnel standoff distance from MDA pressure to assure no LM contact with the MDA and (2) launch clearance between the MDA Port I cover and the interior surface of the SLA.

It was felt that any compromises that would necessarily complicate the design and operation of orbiting spacecraft hardware (MDA) as opposed to modification of expendable (SLA) hardware would not be the best choice, and MSFC therefore recommended that the "short tunnel" not be pursued further.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to H. T. Luskin, NASA Hq, "Payload Enclosure for AAP-2 and AAP- 4," 21 November 1968.

 

November 25

Harold T. Luskin, Director of Apollo Applications in NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, died in Bethesda, Maryland, of respiratory illness. He had joined NASA in March 1968 and had become Apollo Applications Director in May.

NASA Special Announcement, 26 November 1968.

 

November 27

MSC awarded a contract to Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company to flightqualify the improved fuel cell electrical power system for AAP. The fuel cell system had been developed under three previous contracts that began in 1962. Under the present contract (to run through February 1970), Allis-Chalmers would try to achieve fuel cell lifetimes of 2500 hours to ensure adequate margins to satisfy 1500-hour manned AAP missions. (See 18 July 1969 entry.)

MSC News Release .No. 68-83, 27 November 1968.

 

December 17

MSC awarded a two-year, cost-plus-incentive-fee support contract to TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, California, for mission trajectory control and spacecraft systems analysis programs. The mission control part of TRW's contract involved flight trajectories and mission simulation, while the latter aspect encompassed systems engineering and analysis of systems and subsystems aboard the spacecraft.

MSC News Release 68-86, 17 December 1968.

 

December 18

William C. Schneider was appointed NASA Director of the Apollo Applications Program, succeeding the late Harold T. Luskin. Schneider had formerly been Mission Director in the Apollo Program and Gemini Program Director.

NASA News Release 68-217, "Schneider Heads AAP," 18 December 1968.

 

December 31

[147] MSC awarded a contract to North American Rockwell, Downey, California, for preliminary design of modifications to the Apollo block II command and service modules for use in long- duration AAP missions.

MSC News Release 68-88, 31 December 1968.

 

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