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Wayne Morsfield


Wayne MorsfieldFinding Apollo Lunar Surface Journal has been very exciting to me as I was an electrical engineer working for Bendix Aerospace in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent two years in the design, assembly and testing of the LACE experiment. During this phase of the mission, it was called the Lunar Mass Spectrometer [LMS]. Skimming thru the journal and the Scientific report has brought back a lot of memories!

One of the buildings at Bendix Aerospace contained a large space chamber ( 20' diam by 40' long, as I recall) in which the 10 or more experiments to be deployed on the Moon were placed, with the nuclear power source, then activated and tested at the lowest vacuum possible, while cycling the ambient temperature over the plus and minus temperatures of the lunar surface to simulate a Lunar night and day ( 30 earth days).One of my assignments was as the engineer supporting "my " experiment, the Lunar Mass Spectrometer (later renamed as LACE) during this test period. System functions were monitored by telemetry and any discrepancies could only be addressed by the Apollo communications systems associated with the Experiments package as the 30 days of testing had to be continuous, with no interrupts of the environment. I had lost touch with the results of this experiment and was not able to find much detail on the Web until coming across your very detailed journal and its references to the NASA scientific reports.

I have told many people, especially my 5 children and 9 grandchildren, that this project was the highlight of my career. I now have a documented source to point them to for the detailed technical and personal aspects of the Space mission. Although I have since done some interesting projects in electronics, not many designers can say their circuits are on the Moon!

Sadly, the Bendix Aerospace division was closed in Ann Arbor about 10 years after the 17 landed, as the aerospace business slowed down. This division had built the scientific instruments for Apollo 12 thru 17. Two years ago the buildings were torn down and returned to grass. Sad to see for those of us who had been part of the magic of manned Space exploration!

October 2009