Flight control performance was satisfactory in providing timely operational support. Some problems were encountered and most are discussed in other sections of the report. Only those problems that are of particular concern to flight control operations or are not reported elsewhere are reported in this section.

All launch vehicle instrument unit analog data were lost just prior to lift-off. A faulty multiplexer within the instrument unit that processes the analog flight control data had failed. The flight controllers were able to recover most of the analog data from the S-IVB VHF downlink; however, because of its limited range, an early loss of data was experienced at 4 hours 27 minutes.

All launch vehicle digital computer data were lost at 3 hours and 5 minutes after launch. The vehicle, however, executed a normal propulsive vent about 29 minutes later indicating that the computer was operating properly. As a result of the loss of digital computer data, commands to the S-IVB had to be transmitted without verification of proper execution. The crew provided visual attitude information for the evasive maneuver.

High-gain antenna lockup problems were noted during revolution 12 lunar orbit operations. Because of this problem, a data storage equipment dump could not be accomplished to obtain data from the revolution 12 law-altitude landmark tracking operation. These data were to be used for powered descent targeting.

During revolution 12, the planned voice updates fell behind the timeline because of problems with the lunar module steerable antenna. Consequently, the powered descent was performed using the spacecraft forward and aft omnidirectional antennas and the 210-foot ground receiving antenna. Receiving of communications and high-bit-rate data were satisfactory except for some small losses when switching to the aft antenna late in the descent phase.

An abort command was set in the lunar module guidance computer and the indication was observed by Flight Control during lunar module activation, about 4 hours prior to scheduled powered descent initiation. A procedure was uplinked to the crew which reset the abort command and led to the- conclusion that the abort switch had malfunctioned. Subsequently, the abort command reappeared three times and, each time, the command was reset by tapping on the panel near the abort switch. A procedure to inhibit the primary guidance system from going into an abort program was developed in the interval prior to powered descent, and was uplinked to the crew for manual entry into the computer. The first part of the fourpart procedure was entered just prior to powered descent initiation and the other parts after throttle-up of the descent engine. Had an abort been required, it would have been accomplished using the abort guidance system and would have allowed reestablishment of the primary guidance system by keyboard entry after the abort.

A delay of approximately 50 minutes occurred in the first extravehicular activity because of the lack of satisfactory communications. The crew were receiving ground communications but the Mission Control Center was not receiving crew communications. The problem was corrected by resetting the Commander's audio circuit breaker which was not engaged.

The color television camera resolution gradually degraded during the latter portions of the first.extravehicular activity. The degradation was caused by overheating resulting from 1.5 hours of operation while in the modular equipment stawage assembly prior to its deployment. The camera was turned off between the extravehicular periods for cooling, instead of leaving it operating as required by the flight plan. The camera picture resolution was satisfactory during the second extravehicular activity.

Three problems developed during the Apollo 14 mission that, had the crew not been present, would have prevented the achievement of the mission objectives. These problems involved the docking probe (section 7.1), the landing radar (section 8.4) and the lunar module guidance computer, described above. In each case, the crew provided ground personnel with vital information and data for failure analysis and development of alternate procedures. The crew performed the necessary activities and the required work-around procedures that allowed the mission to be completed as planned.


The Mission Control Center and the Manned Space Flight Network provided excellent support. There were only two significant problems. A defective transfer switch component caused a power outage at the Goddard Space Flight Center during lunar orbit. The power loss resulted in a 4 1/2minute data loss. On lunar revolution 12, a power amplifier failure occurred at the Goldstone station. The problem was corrected by switching to a redundant system. The Network Controller's Mission Report for Apollo 14, dated March 19, 1971, published by the Manned Spacecraft Center, Flight Support Division, contains a summary of all Manned Space Flight Network problems which occurred during the mission.


The Department of Defense provided recovery support commensurate with mission planning for Apollo 14. Ship support for the primary landing area in the Pacific Ocean was provided by the helicopter carrier USS New Orleans. Active air support consisted of five SH-3A helicopters from the New Orleans and two HC-130 rescue aircraft staged from Pago Pago, Samoa. Two of the helicopters, designated "Swim 1" and "Swim 2", caxried underwater demolition team personnel and the required recovery equipment. The third helicopter, designated "Recovery", carried the decontamination swimmer and the flight surgeon, and was utilized for the retrieval of the flight crew. The fourth helicopter, designated "Photo", served as a photographic platform for both motion-picture photography and live television coverage. The fifth helicopter, designated "Relay", served as a communications-relay aircraft. The ship-based aircraft were initially positioned relative to the target point; they departed station to commence recovery operations after the command module had been visually acquired. The two HC-130 aircraft, designated "Samoa Rescue 1" and "Samoa Rescue 2", were positioned to track the command module after it had exited from S-band blackout, as well as provide pararescue capability had the command module landed uprange or downrange of the target point. All recovery forces dedicated for Apollo 14 support are listed in table 11-I. Figure 11-1 illustrates the recovery force positions prior to predicted S-band acquisition time.

Table 11-I - Apollo 14 Recovery Support

Type Number Ship name/
aircraft staging base
Area Supported
USS Paiute

Launch site area
DD 1 USS Hawkins Launch abort area and West Atlantic earth-orbital recovery zone
LSD 1 USS Spiegel Grove Deep-space secondary landing areas on the Atlantic Ocean line
DD 1 USS Carpenter Mid-Pacific earth-orbital recovery zone
LPH 1 USS New Orleans Deep-space secondary landing areass on the mid-Pacific line and the primary end-of-mission landing area
HH-53C 3 Patrick Air Force Base Launch site area
HC-130 1(a) McCoy Air Force Base Launch abort area, West Atlantic recovery zone, contingency landing area
HC-130 1(a) Pease Air Force Base Launch abort area, West Atlantic recovery zone
HC-130 1(a) Lajes Field, Azores Launch abort area, earth orbital contingency landing area
HC-130 1(a) Ascension Island Atlantic Ocean line and contingency landing area
HC-130 2(a) Hickam Air Force Base Mid-Pacific earth orbital recovery zone, deep-space secondary landing area and primary end-of-mission landing area
SH-3A 5 USS New Orleans Deep-space secondary landing area and primary end-of-mission landing area
(a) Plus one backup

Figure 11-1.- End-of-mission recovery support.

11.3.1 Command Module Location and Retrieval

The New Orleans' position was established using a navigation satellite (SRN-9) fix obtained at 2118 G.m.t. The ship's position at the time of command module landing was determined to be 26 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds south latitude and 172 degrees 41 minutes west longitude. The command module landing point was calculated by recovery forces to be 27 degrees 0 minutes 45 seconds south latitude and 172 degrees 39 minutes 30 seconds west longitude.

The first electronic contact reported by the recovery forces was an S-band contact by Samoa Rescue 1. Radar contact was then reported by the New Orleans. A visual sighting was reported by the communicationsrelay helicopter and then by the New Orleans, Recovery, Swim 1 and Swim 2. Shortly thereafter, voice transmissions from the command module were received by the New Orleans.

The command module landed February 9, 1971, at 2105 G.m.t. and remained in the stable I flotation attitude. The VHF recovery beacon was activated shortly after landing, and beacon contact was reported by Recovery at 2107 G.m.t. The crew then turned off the beacon as they knew the recovery forces had visual contact.

After confirming that the command module and the crew were in good condition, Swim 2 attempted to retrieve the main parachutes, and swimmers were deployed to the command module to install the flotation collar. Recovery forces were unable to retrieve any of the main parachutes, but did retrieve two drogue parachute covers and one sabot. The decontaxaination swimmer was deployed to pass flight suits and respirators to the crew and assist them from the command module into the life raft. The flight crew were onboard the recovery helicopter 7 minutes after they had egressed the command module and were aboard the New Orleans 5 minutes later. Command module retrieval took place at 27 degrees 2 minutes south latitude and 172 degrees 4 minutes west longitude at 2309 G.m.t.

The flight crew remained aboard the New Orleans in the mobile quarantine facility until they were flown to Pago Pago, Samoa, where they transferred to a second mobile quarantine facility aboard a C-141 aircraft. The crew was flown to Ellington Air Force Base, with a stop at Norton Air Force Base, California, where the aircraft was refueled.

After arrival of the New Orleans at Hawaii, the command module was offloaded and taken to Hickam Air Force Base for deactivation. Upon completion of deactivation, the command module was transferred to Ellington Air Force Base via a C-133 aircraft, arriving on February 22, 1971.

The following is a chronological listing of events during the recovery and quarantine operations.

Table - Recovery and Quarantine Events

Evant Time
Time relative to landing
Feb. 9, 1971
S-band contact by Samoa Rescue 1 2055 -0:00:10
Radar contact by New Orleans 2056 -0:00:09
Visual contact by "Relay" helicopter 2100 -0:00:05
Voice contact with flight crew 2101 -0:00:04
Command module landing 2105 0:00:00
Swimmers deployed to command module 2112 0:00:07
Flotation collar installed and inflated 2120 0:00:15
Decontamination swimmer deployed 2127 0:00:22
Hatch opened for crew egress 2140 0:00:35
Flight crew in egress raft 2141 0:00:36
Flight crew aboard helicopter 2148 0:00:43
Flight crew aboard New Orleans 2153 0:00:48
Flight crew in mobile quarantine facility 2203 0:00:58
Command module aboard New Orleans 2309 0:02:04
Feb, 11, 1971
First sample flight departed ship 0355 1:05:00
Flight crew departed ship 1746 1:18:51
First sample flight arrived Houston
(via Samoa and Hawaii)
2057 1:22:02
Feb. 12, 1971
Flight crew arrived Houston 0934 2:10:39
Flight crew arrived at
Lunar Receiving Laboratory
1135 2:12:40
Feb. 17, 1971
Mobile quarantine facility and command module offloaded in Hawaii 2130 7:22:35
Feb. 18, 1971
Mobile quarantine facility arrived Houston 0740 8:08:45
Feb. 19, 1971
Reaction control system deactivation completed 2300 10:00:05
Feb. 22, 1971
Command module arrived Houston 2145 12:22:50
Command module delivered to
Lunar Receiving Laboratory
2330 13:00:35

11.3.2 Postrecovery Inspection

The docking probe was removed from the command module and secured in the mobile quarantine facility for return to Houston. Otherwise, all aspects of the command module postrecovery operations, the mobile quarantine facility operations and lunar sample return operations were normal with the exception of the following discrepancies noted during command module inspection.

a. There was an apparent chip (1-inch wide, 3-inches long, and 1/2inch deep) in the minus Z quadrant of the heat shield adjacent to the small heat sensor, about 30-inches inboard from the lip of the heat shield. However, the heat shield can be considered to be in normal post-reentry condition.

b. There was a film layer on all windows ranging from approximately 10percent coverage on the left side window to 100-percent on the right side window.

c. The backup method was used to obtain the water samples because the direct oxygen valve had been left slightly open, causing the primary pressurization system to lose pressure.

d. The chlorine content of the potable water was not analyzed on the ship because of lack of time.

e. The Commander's radiation dosimeter was broken and no reading was obtained. The other two dosimeters were left aboard the command module.

Chapter 12 - Assessment of Mission Objectives Table of Contents Apollo 14 Journal Index