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Apollo Flight Journal

Recent Updates and Additions

These are updates that have been made to the Apollo 15 Flight Journal in recent months.


Changes to Day 4: Lunar Encounter and Science and a Press Conference to reflect new information from Dave Scott that indicate that the three stars in the Apollo star list that were named after the Apollo 1 crew were in fact so named by Jim McDivitt, Dave and Rusty Schweickart about two months after the Apollo 1 fire. This was as a memorial to their dead colleagues. Previously, an erroneous story had circulated that claimed the Apollo 1 crew had named these themselves as a joke.


Thanks to Journal contributor René Cantin for a beautiful montage of shots of Vallis Schröteri.


Flight Manual for SA-510 has been scanned and converted to PDF. Added to Documents list.


Erik Kuulkers and his team from ESA pointed out a typo in Science and a Press Conference where a distance number from the PAO announcer was incorrect. With thank to them all for their help.


While researching about the dataset of the CSM's X-ray spectrometer, a team from ESA, including Erik Kuulkers discovered and pointed out a flaw in my PTC REFSMMAT explanation. At some point, I had inadvertently substituted TLI for TEI when referring to one of the axes used to define this REFSMMAT. My thanks to Eric and his colleagues.


After feedback from Roland Suhr, I've improved the PTC explanation in SPS Troubleshooting and the PTC. Thanks to Roland.


Eagle-eyed Mike Jetzer noticed that I have given the number of ullage motors on the interstage as eight when it should be four. Alteration to Launch and Reaching Earth Orbit has been made.


With the addition of CM DSE transcripts to the following four files, this completes the upgrading of the A15FJ with this document.


Further files have had transcript from the Apollo 15 DSE recordings added:


Journal contributor Phil Karn added an explanation of why PTC roll maneuvers were always unstable and tended to flatten out over time. It has been added to SPS Troubleshooting and the PTC. Our thanks to Phil.


I am currently working through the A15FJ to add the transcript from the DSE voice tracks to the core text. Thus far, the following files have been modified:


Former CSM propulsion supervisor at KSC, John Tribe, helped me find an anomaly report that showed that damage to Apollo 15's failed parachute was probably caused by the burning of RCS propellant and not by hydrogen embrittlement as many had been led to believe. A link to this report has been added to Splashdown Day.


A discussion in the Project Apollo Yahoo group pointed out an error in my explanation of which windows could be seen out of while the Boost Protect Cover was still surrounding the Command Module. I had stated it was windows 1 and 3 whereas it should have been 2 and 3. With thanks to all concerned.


Lennie Waugh's study of Apollo 12 showed that my commentary in
  • Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection on the lamps that enunciate the start of time base 6, the S-IVB restart sequence, contained some errors. This has now been corrected.


    Correction to an explanation of the spacecraft's chilldown procedure prior to entry. I had said that the heat from the CM's water/glycol loop was lost through the upper radiators on the service module. It should have said the two large lower radiators. The upper radiators are part of the fuel cell cooling system.


    Many thanks to journal reader, Richard Croy, who noticed a link error in Rendezvous and Docking.


    A core AFJ site has been set up which will contain material that is relevant across all the Apollo missions. To introduce this site, we are pleased to include a complete version of Volume 1 of the Apollo Operations Handbook for the Command and Service Modules. This comprehensive description of the CSM systems is presented as sixteen PDF files averaging 10 MB in size.


    A couple of small typos in two sections were corrected. With thanks to Don Lind. The sections are Day 3: Leaking Water and the Top of the Hill and Day 4: Lunar Encounter.


    Additional commentary by Charles Wood on an oblique view of Promontorium Laplace in Orbital Science and Crew Rest.


    Kipp Teague has added high resolution images of the Apollo 11 landing site as taken from Endeavour to the Project Apollo Image Archive. I have updated Day 10: Orbital Science to include links to these images.


    We are indebted to Joe O'Dea for compiling an index of all the photographs used in the Apollo 15 Flight Journal.


    Dave Scott joined Frank O'Brien, David Harland and myself for a review of the Apollo 15 mission in February 2004. The following pages have been updated with input from Dave. We would like to thank Dave Scott for his time, input and company during his stay in Scotland.


    Danny Caes pointed out broken links to panoramic frames in Solo Orbital Operations - 3. now fixed and our thanks to him.


    We are grateful to Robin Wheeler for providing us with a guide to the Panoramic and Mapping Cameras. Robin's article is derived from source material from the cameras' manufacturers and describes their impact on lunar mapping.


    Final corrections made to PAD explanations in later files.

    PDF files added for the Flight Plan and the launch, guidance, systems, entry and LM activation checklists. Marc Cecotti helped with this task and we are very grateful for his efforts.


    Further corrections made to PAD explanations and other corrections in most later text files.


    Corrections made to PAD explanations and other corrections in most files.


    Commentary referring to TV transmissions from the spacecraft added to Transposition, Docking and Extraction and Day 2: Entering the LM. Alteration to description of colour TV camera made in former page as it is a field sequential rather than a frame sequential device. (60 fields per second rather than 30 frames per second)


    After more good input from Ronald Hansen, typos in the following files have been fixed. With much thanks.


    Typos in Day 5: Preparations for Landing and Solo Orbital Operations - 3 fixed. The link to Apollo by the Numbers has been updated. Fuller explanation of the timing of the S-II PU shift added to Launch and Reaching Earth Orbit. With much thanks to Ronald Hansen.


    Formatting error in Day 2: Entering the LM fixed. Typo in Lunar Orbit Insertion essay fixed. With thanks to Ronald Hansen.


    A large number of images from the Apollo 15 Mapping and Panoramic Cameras were scanned and donated by Robin Wheeler and they have been implemented throughout the lunar orbital section of the journal. We wish to pass on our sincere thanks to Robin. Small style changes have been made to all the journal text.


    I discovered a subtle distinction between the terms apolune/perilune and apocynthion/pericynthion so Day 4: Lunar Encounter has been altered to take this into account.


    Andrew Field brought to my attention a website by the National Library of Australia which carries a transcript of Captain Cook's Journal which sheds more light on the leak the original Endeavour sustained, as related by Joe Allen in Orbital Science and Crew Rest.


    System Test Meter red-out list in Splashdown Day updated with correct information.


    Index altered to account for new Apollo 8 Flight Journal.


    Errors in the journal explanation index caught and fixed.


    After 061:36:37 in Day 3: Leaking Water and the Top of the Hill, a error in the commentary was well spotted by Harald Kucharek where Henize said 'drips-per-second' not 'drips-per-minute'.


    Repair to Mike Dinn's discussion on communications in Day 4: Lunar Encounter.


    Martin Peters pointed out a discrepancy in the photograph numbers for solar corona photography in Solo Orbital Operations - 2, at 123:03:28. His input is much appreciated.

    03 January 2002

    Error found in explanation of Time Base 6, the S-IVB restart sequence in Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection. The sequence of lamps displayed in the CM and the timings between TB-6 and ignition were found to be wrong and the text has been rewritten.

    23 November 2001

    Another mistake in the Apollo 15 launch commentary was found while working on the AS-503 launch section. Towards the end of the S-II burn, I stated that the "level sense arm" was the signal that initiated the shutdown of the engines. This is incorrect and actually, this is the time that the LVDC (Saturn V computer) arms the shutdown system. The correct version of Launch to Earth Orbit has been uploaded to the site.

    Formatting error in Solo Orbital Operations - 4 fixed.

    05 November 2001

    While working on the AS-503 launch section for the upcoming Apollo 8 Flight Journal, I discovered that the stated number of ullage rockets on the S-II stage of this vehicle was wrong in Launch to Earth Orbit. AS-503 had four ullage rockets, not eight.

    17 October 2001

    After a fine effort from Lennie Waugh (much thanks to him), the following checklists have been added to the Apollo 15 Flight Journal: Error in the stated FDAI reading at launch in Launch to Earth Orbit corrected.

    09 September 2001

    Alexandr Turhanov brought an error to my notice in my calculations for the angular diameter of the Earth as stated in SPS Troubleshooting and the PTC. The stated figure of 14 degrees should be 6 degrees. With thanks to Alexandr.

    20 August 2001

    Extract from premission press briefing added to discussion of why suits were worn during the jettison of the LM. With thanks to Ulrich Lotzmann for bringing this document to my notice. Photo reference at 201:11:13 was found to be incorrect. AS15-99-10972 to 10974 should be AS15-81-10972 to 10974.

    18 August 2001

    Expanded index to journal explanations plus some additional photos in Solo Orbital Operations - 1. All Apollo 15 main pages have been modified to accomodate these changes.

    02 August 2001

    Typo in Lunar Orbit Rendezvous fixed. Thanks to Dave Mason.

    08 May 2001

    Entire site updated to conform to ADA guidelines. This improves the Journal's accessibility when used with specialist browsers.

    Spelling of "Zieglesschmid" corrected in SPS Troubleshooting and the PTC. With thanks to Harald Kucharek.

    14 June 2001

    Second attempt at spelling "Zieglesschmid" properly in SPS Troubleshooting and the PTC. :-) With thanks to Harald Kucharek.

    Star maps and a list of star codes have been added to Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection. Thanks to Dave Mason for prompting me to add this.

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