Part 3 (B)

Developing Software Ground Rules

July 1964 through September 1964

1964 July

1964 August

1964 September


July 1

ASPO spelled out operational procedures for the space suit emergency oxygen supply (EOS) units. [The primary function of the EOS was as a backup during extravehicular operations, if the portable life support system failed or if suit leakage was excessive. EOS could also be used to back up the spacecraft environmental control system during short-term emergencies such as crew transfer.] The two units, stowed in the CM, would be worn during crew transfer to the LEM, then stored there. After landing on the moon, the crewmen would wear the EOS during the entire lunar stay. Putting on or taking off the units unassisted would not be required. North American and Grumman were directed to provide suitable stowage areas ih each spacecraft.

TWX, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to NAA, Attn: E. E. Sack, July 1, 1964; TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 14, 1964; memorandum, William C. Kincaide, MSC, to Chief, Crew Systems Div., "Apollo Emergency Oxygen Supply Subsystem (EOSS)," July 24, 1964.

July 2-9

MSC's Operations Planning Division (OPD) examined a 14-day lunar survey mission (a manned Apollo Lunar Orbiter-type of photographic mission). OPD found that the 578-kilowatt-hour capability of the CSM's electrical power system was adequate, provided there were no cryogenic tank failures. If such failures occurred, the maximum mission duration would be 11.8 days (four days in lunar orbit).

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 2-9, 1964;" interview, telephone, Richard H. Kohrs, Houston, March 11, 1970.

July 8

Donald K. Slayton, MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, announced specific assignments for the astronauts. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., was named Chief of the Astronaut Office, Slayton's former job. This office was now divided into three branches, Apollo, Gemini, and Operations and Training: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., was head of the Apollo branch, with James A. McDivitt, Charles Conrad, Jr., Frank Borman, and Edward H. White II assisting him; in the Gemini branch, headed by Virgil I. Grissom, were Walter M. Schirra, Jr., John W. Young, and Thomas P. Stafford; the Operations and Training branch was headed by Neil A. Armstrong, assisted by Elliot M. See, Jr., and James A. Lovell, Jr. (M. Scott Carpenter, currently on duty with the U.S. Navy's Project Sealab, was not given a specific MSC assignment.)

The 14 newest astronauts were given individual assignments within the Operations and Training branch: Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., mission planning (including trajectory analysis and flight plans); William A. Anders, environmental control systems and radiation and thermal protection; Charles A. Bassett II, training and simulators; Alan L. Bean, recovery systems; Eugene A. Cernan, spacecraft propulsion and the Agena; Roger B. Chaffee, communications and the Deep Space Network; Michael Collins, pressure suits and extravehicular experiments; R. Walter Cunningham, electrical and sequential systems and monitoring of unmanned flight experiments in other programs which might relate to MSC programs; Donn F. Eisele, attitude and translation control systems; Theodore C. Freeman, boosters; Richard F. Gordon, Jr., cockpit integration; Russell L. Schweickart, future manned programs and inflight experiments in Gemini and Apollo; David R. Scott, guidance and navigation; and Clifton C. Williams, Jr., range operations and crew safety.

MSC News Release 64-125, July 9, 1964; MSC, Space News Roundup, July 8, 1964, pp. 1, 3.

July 8

Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips called a meeting at NASA Headquarters to discuss disposing of the S-IVB stage and its instrument unit (IU) during lunar missions. Certain restrictions were considered:

  1. the S-IVB/IU must not hit the spacecraft after separation;
  2. it was preferable that the S-IVB/IU not impact either the earth or the moon, but in seeking to prevent this no changes would be made to the space vehicle that might result in weight, cost, or schedule penalties; and
  3. no special provision would be made for tracking the S-IVB/IU after separation from the spacecraft.
"Minutes of Meeting to Review Disposition of the S-IVB/IU and Related Support Requirements During the Post Injection Phase of Lunar Missions," July 15, 1964.

July 8-9

MSC representatives attended the second Block I CSM mockup review at North American. (See April 28- 30.) Although the crew area was decidedly improved, further changes in the suit umbilicals and the restraint system - and significant ones - still were required.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 9-16, 1964."

July 9

ASPO directed Grumman to delete 200 watts, currently appearing on the LEM's power allotment charts, for lighting during television transmission of lunar earthshine scenes. The LEM television camera, which was furnished by the government, would be able to televise all lunar scenes during sunshine or earthshine periods.

TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 9, 1964.

July 16

A NASA-North American Technical Management meeting set the CM control weight (based on an assumed 41,000-kilogram [90,000-pound]-payload capability of the Saturn V) at 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds). MSC then asked and North American agreed to design, test, and qualify the open ring-sail main parachutes for a CM weighing 5,200 kilograms (11,500 pounds).

"Minutes of NASA-NAA Technical Management Meeting, July 14, 1964"; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 30-August 6, 1964."

July 16

Once the decision was made to use Gemini space suits during Apollo earth-orbital flights, NASA took the next step. The space agency gave to the David Clark Company, manufacturer of the Gemini suit, a program for modifying and testing that suit for use in the Apollo program, and designated it the "Aponi" suit. Formal contract awards were scheduled for late in the year.

Memorandum, H. F. Battaglia, MSC, to Chief, MSC Crew Systems Div., "Trip report for visit to David Clark Company, Worcester, Massachusetts concerning Aponi Space Suit Program," July 16, 1964.

July 16-17

Representatives of North American, RCA, and MSC's Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division held a meeting on the status of the CSM television subsystem. A design review covering all electrical, mechanical, and optical aspects of the configuration established that the design was complete, subject only to changes growing out of development and qualification tests.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 16-23, 1964."

July 19-25

North American completed a CM-active docking simulation at its Columbus, Ohio, facility to study propellant consumption, engine duty cycles, and stabilization and control system characteristics and performance. Preliminary results showed that sighting aids mounted on the LEM were needed for a satisfactory docking. Furthermore, during transposition docking the S-IVB's roll rate must be no greater than 0.1 degree. North American would prepare a full-scale, three-dimensional study to evaluate differences in lighting and would design sighting aids (to be tested at Langley Research Center).

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, July 19- 25, 1964," p. 4; "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-28,

July 20-21

At Grumman, representatives from MSC's Structures and Mechanics and Systems Engineering Divisions reviewed the design criteria for the LEM's landing gear. The group agreed to study landing stability in various landing conditions. This investigation, and results of MSC Guidance and Control Division's landing simulations, would permit a realistic evaluation of the 406.4-centimeter (160-inch) cantilever gear. (See October 2, 1963.)

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 23-30, 1964."

July 21

MSC approved a configuration that Hamilton Standard had recommended for the power supply for the liquid-cooled portable life support system. This configuration embodied an 11-cell secondary battery and separate conversion devices for each electrical load. The total battery capacity required was 108.8 watt-hours.

TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 21, 1964.

July 21

Grumman held a portable life support system (PLSS) accessibility test in test mockup 1 for the MSC Crew Systems Division. Subjects were able to put the PLSS on and take it off, unassisted, with the suits pressurized and unpressurized.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 23-30, 1964."

July 21

MSC approved Grumman's subcontract with Allison Division of General Motors Corporation for the LEM descent engine tanks. The amount of the cost-plus-incentive-fee contract was $5.48 million.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, July 19-August 22, 1964," p. 41.

July 21

NASA announced that its Office of Space Science and Applications was inviting scientists to participate in a scientific experiment program for manned and unmanned spacecraft. American and foreign scientists from universities, industry, and government were being asked to submit proposals. The earliest Apollo missions that could support this program were anticipated to be the fourth and fifth flights. About 0.06 cubic meter (two cubic feet) of space would be available for instruments and equipment weighing not more than 36 kilograms (80 pounds), but it was expected that additional space and weight would be available in the S-IVB stage during early flights.

NASA News Release 64-177, "NASA Invites World Scientists to Propose Space Experiments," July 21, 1964.

July 23-30

As currently conceived, the LEM's waste management system was designed for direct transfer from the space suit assembly and immediate dumping. If a storage system for the urine were not designed into the LEM, ASPO reported, the spacecraft could be lightened by more than 23 kilograms (50 pounds). MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 23-30, 1964."

July 23-30

At its Reno, Nev., facility, Rocketdyne conducted the first checkout firing (five seconds) of their LEM descent engine at a simulated altitude of 39,600 meters (130,000 feet). A heavyweight, 20.3-millimeter (0.8- inch) thick nozzle extension skirt was used. During the following week, firings of the engine included one of 110 seconds.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 23-30, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 30-August 6, 1964."

July 23-30

Dalmo Victor Company was selected to supply the LEM S-band steerable antenna system to RCA, subcontractor for the LEM communication system. MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 23-30, 1964."

July 24

After comparing capabilities of the space suit assembly with and without the emergency oxygen supply (EOS), the MSC Apollo Portable Life Support Systems Office recommended that the EOS system be retained for crew safety considerations. (See July 1.)

Memorandum, William C. Kinkaide, MSC, to Crew Systems Division, "Apollo Emergency Oxygen Supply Subsystem (EOSS)," July 24, 1964.

July 24

MSC authorized North American to provide a boost protective cover that would completely enclose the conical portion of the CM during launch. As an integral part of the launch escape system (LES), the cover would be jettisoned after atmospheric exit or during an atmospheric abort. Also the cover would satisfy the requirement for clean windows on the CM after LES separation and would protect the CM's thermal coating and docking mechanism from the launch environment. (See January 15-23 and March 19-26.)

Letter, H. P. Yschek, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems Div., "Contract Change Authorization No. 235," July 24, 1964.

July 27

ASPO notified Grumman that spacecraft attitude criteria had been changed to relax thermal design requirements. The former constraints ("worst case orientation") had imposed severe penalties on the design of subsystems and components. The new criteria relieved thermal design problems, but Grumman must ensure that these standards were compatible with other constraints and that they provided adequate operational flexibility.

Letter, W. F, Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Apollo spacecraft thermal design mission," July 27, 1964.

July 28

MSC awarded a $335,791 contract to Lockheed-California Company for transient heat transfer and thermodynamic analyses of the service propulsion system (SPS). Phase I, an analytical study, and Phase II, testing a one-third-scale model of the SPS, were scheduled for completion in January and May. Tests would be run in the Hughes Aircraft Company altitude chamber in a thermal vacuum and under simulated solar radiation.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 13-20, 1964."

July 28

Ranger VII was launched from Cape Kennedy. The 365.6-kilogram (806pound) spacecraft, carrying six television cameras to take close-up pictures of the moon, was boosted into an earth-parking orbit by an Atlas-Agena launch vehicle. The Agena engines then refired to place the spacecraft on a translunar trajectory. On July 31, Ranger VII crashlanded on the moon at 10.7 degrees S, 20.7 degrees W, in the Sea of Clouds. The spacecraft sent back 4,316 pictures, beginning at an altitude of about 800 kilometers (500 miles) and ending at impact.

During the next several weeks, MSC's Space Environment Division, ASPO, Grumman, and Bellcomm studied these photographs in great detail. On October 30, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed Samuel C. Phillips, Deputy Director of the OMSF Apollo Program, that the Ranger VII data had eliminated most of the major uncertainties about the lunar surface that could be resolved by photographic techniques.

The New York Times, July 29, 1964; memorandum, John M. Eggleston, MSC, to Shea, "Preliminary analysis of Ranger 7 photographs," August 13, 1964; memorandum, Shea, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Phillips, "Apollo Mapping and Survey System," October 30, 1964.

July 30

MSC awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract estimated at $365,000 to the Astronautics Division of LTV for Apollo space suit evaluation and thermal development and qualification testing of Gemini space suits in the company's space environment simulator.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, July 19-August 22, 1964," p. 64; memorandum, Robert E. Smylie, MSC, to Chief, Systems Test Branch, "Technical Monitorship of the LTV Space Environment Simulator Contract," August 26, 1964.

July 30

NASA approved Grumman's proposal to use the spacecraft's VHF radios as an "intercom" between the docked LEM and the CM. Early planning had involved the use of a hardline/umbilical arrangement.

TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 30, 1964.

July 30-August 6

Technicians in MSC's Operations Planning Division (OPD) studied oxygen storage capacities in the two spacecraft to determine whether those supplies exceeded by 50 percent the levels of consumption anticipated during a normal mission (as required by OMSF specifications). On the basis of current design consumption, they found that mission requirements were exceeded by only 45 and 25 percent for the CSM and LEM, respectively. OPD therefore recommended that OMSF's specifications be revised, because oxygen for the fuel cells as well as for breathing was contained in the same tanks. Rather than the 50 percent reserve, OPD said, Headquarters should instead require the oxygen supplies in both spacecraft to be the maximum amount that would be used for environmental control and for generating power during a lunar mission. And, to allow for safe aborts, some alternate or redundant oxygen storage would be provided in each spacecraft.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 30-August 6, 1964."

During the Month

Members of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Lunar Exploration, meeting in Houston, expressed fear about contamination of the lunar surface before Apollo astronauts could secure samples for analysis. Contaminants might come, they noted, from at least two possible sources:

  1. air released when the LEM was depressurized, and
  2. leakage from the space suits.
Elliott S. Harris, head of MSC's Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Hygiene Section, who was present at the meeting, informed Crew Systems Division of the scientists' concern and relayed their recommendations on ways of preventing or controlling such contamination (such as bacteria filters).

Memorandum, Elliott S. Harris, MSC, to Chief, Crew Systems Division, "Lunar contamination," July 31, 1964.

During the Month

At Hamilton Standard and at MSC, testing continued on early versions of the Hamilton Standard liquid-cooled garment as well as an in-house model developed by the Crew Systems Division. (See February 1 and May 8.) While sweating was not yet completely eliminated, these tests nonetheless confirmed the efficacy of using liquid- rather than gas-cooled garments.

MSC, Space News Roundup, June 24, 1964, p. 7; MSC News Release 64-121, July 8, 1964; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, May 17- June 20, 1964," p. 53; memorandum, Gilbert M. Freedman and Francis J. DeVos, MSC, to Apollo Portable Life Support Systems Office, "Trip Report-Contract NAS 9-723," July 8, 1964; MSC, "ASPO Weekly- Management Report, July 2-9, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 16-23, 1964."

August 3

At its new Magic Mountain, Calif., facility, the Marquardt Corporation began development firings on the LEM reaction control system. By using successively more advanced components, the testing program would gradually build toward a complete prototype. Early in September, MSC's Propulsion and Power Division (PPD) reported that Marquardt had suspended testing temporarily because of problems with monitoring equipment (which, the Division grumbled, could have been checked out before the testing started). Two weeks later, PPD reported that contamination of the thrust chamber had forced Marquardt to halt these developmental firings again. Finally, by mid-October, problems with manufacturing and acceptance checking of the thrust chambers at the company's manufacturing plant portended a twenty-week slippage in delivery of the chambers to the Magic Mountain site.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 30-August 6, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 27-September 3, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 10-17, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, October 8-15, 1964."

August 4

ASPO tentatively approved Grumman's recommendation to use electroluminescent lighting for controls and display panels inside the LEM's cabin (with backup floodlighting). "Definitive acceptance," of course, was "dependent upon resolution of actual production hardware capabilities." This action followed a July 16 presentation of the electroluminescent concept by Grumman and a review by MSC representatives (among whom were two astronauts, Richard F. Gordon, Jr., and Charles Conrad, Jr.). [Electroluminescence involved the use of a crystalline phosphor to give off light. Advantages of the concept, which was wholly new to manned spacecraft, were that it used less power and gave off less heat than conventional incandescent bulbs; and, even more significant in the eyes of the astronauts, it was much more even and had an "afterglow" of less than one second.]

Letter, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Lighting Mockup Review," with enclosure: "Abstract of Proceedings, LEM Crew Integration Meeting, GAEC, Bethpage, L. I., New York, Subject: LEM Interior Lighting Review," July 17, 1964.

August 4

At a meeting at MSC on July 23, MIT outlined aids and radar display requirements, as well as landing site selection procedures, for lunar landing. This included the recticular patterns on the LEM window that designated where the vehicle was coming down and which enabled the pilot to make touchdown corrections. There was a good deal of concern that, at some time during the final letdown phase, dust might obscure the astronauts' vision and make the radar data unreliable. To overcome this, MSC ordered Grumman to use inertially derived data to monitor automatic touchdown or as a basis for switching to manual control of the descent.

Letter, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S, Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, NASA Coordination Meeting L8A, Implementation of Decisions," August 4, 1964, with enclosure: "Minutes of NASA Coordination Meeting L8A, July 23, 1964."

August 6

ASPO Deputy Manager Robert O. Piland issued a memorandum concerning the Block II SM, as he put it, "to clear up any confusion which may have existed" - and obviously there was some. (See April 16.) On the basis of revised velocity budget requirements, and as a weight-saving scheme, Piland said, the service propulsion tanks in the Block II SM were being shortened. But he emphasized that the length of the spacecraft per se "will not be reduced," and would thus remain the same as the Block I vehicle.

Memorandum, Piland, MSC, to Addressees, "Block II Service Module Length," August 6, 1964.

August 6-13

To investigate problems that might be encountered during the LEM's "blast off"from the moon, Grumman conducted "fire in the hole" tests using a 1/10th-scale model of the spacecraft. (See February and March 11, 1963.) These tests showed that the initial shock of the ascent engine's ignition could increase the pressure in the engine nozzle by 2 newtons per square centimeter (3 psi), and that this pressure could vary from one side of the nozzle to the other by as much as 0.53 newtons per square centimeter (0.75 psi). This pressure differential would change the thrust vector and cause an overturning moment on the vehicle. Grumman planned additional testing before actual full-scale firings began at WSMR.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 6-13, 1964."

August 7

At North American, engineers from MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD) reviewed the revised CM couch restraint system. (See May.) CSD still considered the restraint harness unacceptable for use with the pressurized suit. Also the harness attachment gave inadequate restraint when the couch angles were changed and would have to be relocated. North American was asked to install a mirror in the CM to help the astronauts in securing the restraint harness.


August 7

ASPO's LEM Project Office authorized Grumman to proceed with its subcontractor effort for attitude indicators for the LEM. Until MSC concluded defining the LEM's guidance equipment (anticipated early in November), Grumman should pursue the analog concept (i.e., visual display instruments). (MSC was in the midst of "tradeoff" studies on digital versus analog indicators.) ASPO thus sought to ensure that the manufacturer did not delay procurement of the devices.

Letter, W. F, Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, LEM Attitude Indicator and Gimbal Angle Sequence Transformation Assembly (GASTA)," August 7, 1964.

August 7

At its Potrero, Calif., test facility, Lockheed Propulsion Company began qualification testing on the pitch control motors for the launch escape system. Early in September, when the program ended, about two dozen motors had been successfully fired for full duration. Test and reliability results showed that the motors met procurement specifications and had an average specific impulse three percent higher than required.

Lockheed Propulsion Company, "Qualification Test Report, Apollo Pitch Control Motor," 588-M-50, December 8, 1964, pp. 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 2-11.

August 9-15

The modified ring-sail parachutes for the CM's earth landing system demonstrated their potential when Northrop Ventura conducted its first clustered drop using that type of chute.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 9-15, 1964," p. 2.

August 11

During late July and early August, MSC and its two spacecraft contractors worked out the dimensions of sample containers and other scientific equipment that would be stowed aboard the spacecraft during lunar missions: 48 by 20 by 29 centimeters (19 by 8 by 11.5 inches). MSC asked Grumman for cost and weight estimates for the containers.

Letter, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Results of Meeting on Scientific Equipment Stowage Space," August 11, 1964, with enclosure: "Results of Meeting on Scientific Equipment Stowage Space, July 23, 1964."

August 12

In designing batteries for the LEM electrical power system, ASPO ordered Grumman to assume that, if a fuel cell failed, the mission would be aborted.

TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, August 12, 1964.

August 13-20

The U. S. Navy's Air Crew Equipment Laboratory agreed to conduct a series of tests on the water-cooled undergarment. Part I would determine the garment's suitability for the postlanding phase of the mission; Part II would investigate the CM range of temperature that could be tolerated wearing the garment, with and without a space suit.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 13-20, 1964."

August 13-20

To save money on the Hamilton Standard contract in Fiscal Year 1965, MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD) would take over preliminary development of the meteoroid protective garment. Since there was still too little knowledge about the need for meteoroid protection, CSD believed that a concentrated contractor effort was "unwarranted" at that time. (See November 17-December 21, 1963.)


August 13-September 3

MSC Crew Systems Division engineers evaluated the feasibility of transferring water from the CM to the LEM in lunar orbit. They found that hardware modifications would be needed - either lower water tank pressures in the LEM during transfer or a pump added to the water management system in the CM. Six weeks later, Grumman submitted a report confirming that continuous use of CM water from transposition to separation was more desirable than transferring water to the LEM.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 13-20, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 27-September 3, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, October 1-8, 1964."

August 14

At Baylor University's College of Medicine, investigators presented some results of a joint MSC-Baylor study of human tolerance to low frequency noise (up to 12 cycles per second [cps]). [The study was undertaken because, as launch vehicles for manned spacecraft become larger - i.e., Saturn V and Apollo - they produce higher noise levels, but lower noise frequencies. The possibility of harmful effects upon the crew had to be known.] Audiometry indicated some temporary physiological effect: after three minutes of exposure at levels of about 140 decibels (dB), about half of the twenty test subjects suffered some temporary impairment of their hearing. No serious vestibular effects were encountered during noise levels below 12 cps with a maximum of 144 db; heart and respiration rates of the subjects indicated no severe stresses. Based upon these findings, crew exposure to these noise levels (both - frequency and intensity) was considered acceptable.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 13-20, 1964;" Burrell O. French et al., Effects of Low Frequency Pressure Fluctuations on Human Subjects, NASA TN D-3323, March 1966, pp. 1-2, 7-9.

August 16-September 15

Studies at North American and at MSC disclosed that, during aborts above 9,100 meters (30,000 feet), simultaneous separation of the CM apex cover and the launch escape system (with boost protective cover attached) probably would damage the parachutes or escape hatch. One method of eliminating this hazard was to jettison the apex cover 0.4 second after ignition of the tower jettison motor and firing of the separation bolts. Also being studied were means of sequencing the firing of the jettison motor, the separation bolts, and the heatshield thrusters.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-29, p. 3; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," p. 63.

August 16-September 15

North American recommended an uprighting system for the CM composed of three 0.566-cubic-meter (20- cubic-foot) airbags and an inflation system with an electric pump. Using the bags and flooding the aft compartment would maintain a single-point flotation attitude for both Block I and Block II CMs. MSC Structures and Mechanics Division tests of a 1/5-scale model indicated that all three bags were needed to upright the CM. North American contended that any two bags would usually be sufficient, with the third bag providing a redundant capability. The contractor would conduct further tests with inflatable bags (rather than the rigid foam spheres used previously), while MSC would evaluate the use of an extendable boom with two flotation bags.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-29, p. 8; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," pp. 45-46.

August 18

From Wallops Island, Va., NASA launched another in its series of Scout reentry tests to evaluate the thermal performance of various ablative materials. The material (Avcoat 5026-39, which was being considered for use in the CM's heatshield - see June 10, 1963) was fabricated and bonded in much the same manner as on the actual heatshield. The multi- staged rocket's trajectory propelled the payload into a reentry path that simulated heating loads and shear forces of lunar returns. Though not coming through completely unscathed, the material nonetheless survived.

Data on heating, telemetered from the vehicle, established design limits for the ablative material and, thus, were applied to the design of the CM's thermal protection.

James L. Raper (ed.), Results of a Flight Test of the Apollo Heat-Shield Material at 28,000 Feet Per Second, NASA TM X-1182, February 1966, pp. 1, 5, 11-12, 23; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964"; NASA News Release 64-202, "Re-entry Heating Experiment to be Flown by Scout," August 11, 1964.

August 18

Thiokol Chemical Corporation began qualification testing on the tower jettison motor. The third motor to be fired in the series, on September 9, experienced a failure of the spot welding on the interstage structure. The motor, now freed, broke apart in the test bay. Analysis of the failure and repairs to the test stand followed, but Thiokol reported that testing could not be resumed until about mid-November - "at the earliest." This foreshadowed a probable delay of about two months in the qualification program.

Thiokol Chemical Corporation, Elkton Div., "Apollo Tower Jettison Program, Monthly Progress Report No. 26," A-226, October 14, 1964, pp. ii, 2-12, 32-34; "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-29, p. 16.

August 19

Homer E. Newell, head of NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, informed MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that, as NASA had requested (see April 16), the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences had defined the academic requirements for scientist-astronauts for the Apollo program. These requirements demanded graduate studies to the doctorate level, or equivalent.

Letter, Newell, NASA, to Gilruth, MSC, August 19, 1964.

August 20-27

MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD) appraised crew tolerance to SM abort accelerations for Block I spacecraft. Normal mission limits of + 0.5 g, with total base durations of 50 seconds, were judged tolerable. Under these conditions, CSD estimated that dizziness or visual disturbance would occur in less than 10 percent of the cases. CSD set emergency limits as + 18 g, with base durations not exceeding 40 seconds.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 20-27, 1964."

August 21

ASPO gave Grumman formal approval to proceed with their concept of a mission programmer for the LEM. The concept, which the contractor bad presented in June, involved using the guidance computer as the main sequencing element, with the tape reader as a backup sequencer.

Letter, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, LEM Mission Programmer," August 21, 1964; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 20-27, 1964."

August 23-29

A redesigned thrust chamber (called the "phase C") for the LEM ascent engine was tested in the altitude chamber at Arnold Engineering Development Center. [The "phase C" chamber differed from the "phase B" in that a compression-molded ablative throat section was used.] Firing runs of 60, 380, and five seconds produced only negligible throat erosion. Preliminary data indicated a 2.0-second specific impulse increase over the "phase B" chamber.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-29, 1964."p. 3.

August 23-September 19

MSC proposed a device affixed to the interior of the spacecraft, called a body-mounted attitude gyro (BMAG), as a backup to the inertial platform in the CM. Should the platform fail during reentry, the pilot could take control of the spacecraft and, using this secondary attitude indicator, fly a safe trajectory. Analog computer analysis indicated the BMAG's feasibility, provided the spacecraft did not maintain a constant roll rate during reentry.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," p. 49.

August 23-September 19

MSC-completed negotiations with General Electric Corporation (GE) Apollo Support Department for 10 ground stations for spacecraft checkout. (See March 25.) The figure finally agreed upon, $62,244,657 with a $4.1 million fee, was over $20 million less than GE's March quotation.

Ibid., p. 41.

August 23-September 19

MSC's Technical Services Division (TSD) built a prototype lightweight Apollo couch and test fixture and delivered them to the Crew Systems Division. TSD had designed this couch assembly, as a single unit, to replace previously planned individual couches in the CM, which would save 15.9 kilograms (35 pounds). During subsequent qualification testing, however, the couch did not stand up structurally, and was abandoned. But the concept itself was later useful to North American in the design of their couch arrangement.

Ibid., p. 35; interview, telephone, Ralph Drexel, Houston, March 12, 1970.

August 24-28

At North American, the service propulsion engine was gimbaled during hot firing tests, the first time that the engine had been gimbaled under these conditions. Gimbal operation was satisfactory.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964;" "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-29, pp. 14-15.

August 24-29

MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD) conducted mobility tests on lunar-like surfaces near Bend, Oreg. Three types of terrain were used: loose basaltic rubble, low-density pumice with crusty surface and low bearing load, and loose sand. Several CSD engineers and Astronaut Walter Cunningham wore pressurized Apollo prototype space suits and simulated portable life support systems. Climbing steep slopes covered by loose material proved difficult unless aided by ropes. Not surprisingly, how fast they could walk depended upon the terrain. Simple geophysical tasks at the level of the astronaut's feet were easily accomplished, but those requiring good visibility and dexterity were almost impossible and were better accomplished at a working level of between one and four feet above the ground. The only problems with the space suit were fogging of the visor, inadequate ventilation, and stiffness in the hips and ankles of the suits.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 27-September 3, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964"; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," p. 65; memorandum, Willis B. Foster, NASA, to Assoc. Adm., Manned Space Flight, "Apollo Field Simulations," September 8, 1964; MSC, Space News Roundup, September 2, 1964, p. 1.

August 25

At a Contractor Coordination Meeting on June 9-10, the point had been made that there existed a single- point failure that would preclude the crew's safe return - a disabled crewman in the CM during LEM operations. MSC demanded unequivocally that, even under these circumstances, the two crewmen in the LEM must be able to complete the mission. Therefore, the CSM must be designed for such a contingency; and to limit hardware impact, this must be done by using onboard equipment as much as possible.

Accordingly William F. Rector III, the LEM Project Officer in ASPO, advised Grumman of two operational requirements:

  1. The radar transponder in the CSM must be turned on before the LEM's ascent from the moon and must be pointed toward the LEM during ascent and rendezvous.
  2. The CSM's attitude had to be stabilized during this phase of the mission.
The two prime contractors, Rector said, should decide on some means of controlling remotely the CSM's transponder and its stabilization and control system. The contractors should, however, use the simplest and most reliable arrangement. To initiate these two functions, the CSM would receive commands from the ground. Finally, Rector informed Grumman of a new ground rule on CSM communications: continuous communications, both telemetry and voice, must be maintained whenever the spacecraft was in view of the earth.

Letter, Rector, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Operations Groundrule for Disabled CSM Astronaut," August 25, 1964.

August 25

Apollo operational radiation protection was divided into two categories: personal dosimeters (attached to the space suit) and a portable, hand- held, radiation survey meter. Grumman was directed to provide a readily accessible stowage location aboard the LEM for the meter, which would weigh about 0.5 kilogram (one pound) and measure approximately 51 x 51 x 191 millimeters (2 x 2 x 7.5 inches).

Letter, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Space Allocation for LEM Radiation Instrumentation," August 25, 1964.

August 25

MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD) concluded that, in terms of weight and complexity, the "buddy system" concept for supporting two crewmen on a single portable life support system (see July 28-August 3, 1963) was undesirable. An additional emergency oxygen system seemed more practical. The suit assembly already provided at least five minutes of emergency life support; this extra system would afford another five, at a cost of only 1.4 kilograms (three pounds). Consequently CSD redefined the rescue requirement to mean simply "the capability for the crewman remaining in the spacecraft to egress . . . and attend or retrieve the crewman in distress."

Memorandum, Richard S. Johnston, MSC, to Asst. Chief, Systems Engineering Div., "Portable Life Support System emergency operation," August 26, 1964.

August 30

North American reported that qualification testing had been completed on the launch escape motor. In all, 20 motors had been successfully static fired. (See June 19.)

MSC, "Project Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 9 for Period Ending September 30, 1964," p. 17; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964."

August 30-September 5

MSC decided to use total mission elapsed time, instead of Greenwich mean time, as the time reference for mission operations. (See February 27, 1963.) North American and Grumman were directed to provide a common format for this display.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 30-September 5, 1964," p. 3.

August 31

Robert E. Smylie, of MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD), advised that, as a consequence of MSC's canceling the requirement for inflight maintenance, there were no longer any provisions for tools or for a tool belt inside the spacecraft. Smylie reported that CSD was developing a belt for carrying tools and small equipment needed on the lunar surface, which would be stowed along with the scientific equipment in the LEM's descent stage.

Memorandum, Smylie, MSC, to Systems Engineering Div., Attn: Lee N. McMillion, "Extravehicular equipment belt," August 31, 1964.

August 31

Studies of future Gemini and Apollo missions showed that at least four flight directors would be needed. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth named Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., John D. Hodge, Eugene F. Kranz, and Glynn S. Lunney to these positions. The flight directors would manage all flight operations from launch to recovery. Their responsibilities would include making operational decisions on spacecraft performance, implementing flight plans, and ensuring the safety of the astronauts.

MSC Announcement 64-120, "Designation of Flight Directors," August 31, 1964; MSC News Release 64-150, September 4, 1964.

During the Month

During zero g tests at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, subjects wearing pressurized Gemini space suits got into the Apollo crew couch and attached the restraint harness. They entered through a Block II CM tunnel 73.6 centimeters (29 inches) in diameter. One subject made the transfer with a portable life support system (PLSS) strapped on his back and another with the PLSS carried in his hands. One subject also went through the tunnel with an 24.7-meter (81-foot) umbilical hose attached to his suit. These tests demonstrated the feasibility of moving the couch to the earth landing position without readjusting the restraint harness; also they pointed up the need for improving the lap belt.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964."

September 1

MSC Crew Systems Division reported that the present water capacity of the LEM (181 kilograms; 400 pounds) was sufficient for either a 35-hour lunar stay with a nine-hour orbital contingency or for a 44-hour lunar stay with no reserve. No excessive weight growths were needed to accomplish this mission flexibility.

Memorandum, Richard S. Johnston, MSC, to Asst. Chief, Systems Engineering Div., "LEM ECS Water Provisioning," September 1, 1964; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," p. 19.

September 1

NASA and North American signed an amendment to the prime contractor's Apollo contract, extending that agreement to February 15, 1966. The amendment called for production of five additional CSM's (flight articles), three more boilerplate spacecraft, another full-scale mockup, and nine adapters which house the LEM. (See August 14, 1963.) The $496 million amendment increased the estimated value of North American's contract (including cost and fee) to over $1.436 billion. Also, the amendment forecast, beyond that February 1966 date, production of 20 more spacecraft.

Oakley, Historical Summary, S&ID Apollo Program, p. 25; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," p. 40; NASA Note to Editors, "Correction on Release No: 64-277 Friday, Sept. 4, 1964," September 11, 1964.

September 2-9

The alternate mode of escape tower jettison called for firing the launch escape motors. Analyzing the structural integrity of a tower thus jettisoned, MSC Structures and Mechanics Division calculated that it would hold together for 3.5 seconds at least. By that time, it would be 610 meters (2,000 feet) away from the flight path of the spacecraft and launch vehicle. This second method for shedding the tower would be tested on the forthcoming AS-102 mission. (See September 18.)

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964."

September 3

MSC awarded a $2,296,249 contract to Westinghouse Electric Corporation for the LEM television camera. The first test model was scheduled for delivery to Houston in March 1965.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," pp. 42, 58.

September 3

MSC issued a definitive contract to Kollsman Instrument Corporation for the LEM optical subsystem. A statement of work had gone into effect on March 10 and had been implemented by technical directives from MIT to Kollsman. The definitive contract covered work until December 31. After that date, Kollsman would become a subcontractor to AC Spark Plug.

Ibid., p. 40; Kollsman Instrument Corporation, "LEM [Optics] Program Quarterly Technical Progress Report No. 1," September 30, 1964, pp. Kv, K1-1, K2-1.

September 3

To evaluate lunar surface light, Astronauts Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Elliot M. See, Jr., and David R. Scott (accompanied by engineer pilots) began simulated landing approaches over lava flats in southern Idaho. They wore dark glasses that had been modified to permit rapid change to progressively darker (or lighter) filters. Diving in T-33 aircraft from 4,600 meters (15,000 feet), they leveled off at 900 meters (3,000 feet). See, who had also participated in helicopter exercises earlier in California, believed that the reflected earth-shine would be insufficient to allow a LEM pilot to avoid deep surface cracks or large boulders. He also thought that earthshine would limit the crew's visibility to only a short distance. Aldrin, however, felt that this was a pessimistic view. He suggested that the LEM might be equipped with landing lights or flares.

The Houston Post, September 3, 1964; Jim Maloney, The Houston Post, September 12, 1964; interview, telephone, Dean F. Grimm, MSC, January 27, 1970.

September 3-10

Grumman and the Link Division signed a definitive cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (valued at $7,083,022) for two LEM simulators.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964;" "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 10-17, 1964."

September 3-10

North American gave Minneapolis-Honeywell an official go-ahead to begin design work on the Block II CSM stabilization and control system.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 3-10, 1964."

September 4

Representatives of Geonautics, Inc., reported on the status of their study of selenodetic experiments for early lunar surface missions. (See June 9.) Results to date indicated that lunar survey measurements could rely heavily on photographic data acquired on the lunar surface.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964,"p. 65.

September 8-11

The resident Apollo office at Grumman reported that Pratt and Whitney had achieved reliable 100-hour operation of the LEM fuel cell through the use of new filling methods. This "apparently" had solved the problem of potassium hydroxide deposits stopping up the cell, the cause of early plugging failures (i.e., after only 10 hours of operation). Some cells, in fact, had run between 200 and 400 hours before failing, the office reported. On the other hand, carbonate plugging was still a problem.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 10-17, 1964."

September 9

Robert E. Smylie, of MSC's Crew Systems Division, asked the Crew Performance Section of the Center's Space Medicine Branch to test the capability of men in space suits to roll over in 1/6 g. In a previous test, using a mockup portable life support system (PLSS), a subject lying on his back had been unable to turn over. Two different PLSS configurations and two kinds of thermal garments would be tested with the Apollo suit. Also an emergency oxygen system mockup would be attached to the helmet.

Memorandum, Smylie, MSC, to Chief, Space Medicine Branch, "Testing of Apollo SSA roll-over capability in 1/6 g," September 9, 1964.

September 9

NASA directed North American to add the electronics equipment needed to enable the crew to gimbal the service propulsion engine by using the rotational hand controller.

Letter, H. P. Yschek, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems Div., "Contract Change Authorization No. 250," September 9, 1964.

September 11

MSC issued a definitive contract to AC Spark Plug for LEM guidance and navigation equipment. (See October 18, 1963, and June 12.) Estimated cost and fee of the contract was $2.316 million.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, August 23-September 19, 1964," p. 40.

September 14

MSC issued three amendments (worth $6,134,113) to Grumman's LEM contract. These amendments provided funds for data acquisition equipment that MSC formerly was to have furnished; for static test stands at WSMR; and for additional systems engineering studies by Grumman.


September 14

ASPO issued ground rules for Grumman and MIT to use when defining the LEM guidance and control system. MSC's concerns related to provision for lunar landing aborts and recognition of guidance and control equipment failures. An example of rules during an abort stated that the system should be able to provide information for the astronauts to fire the engines and gain orbital flight on the first effort after initiating an abort. If the first attempt failed, procedures had to specify how the crew could use the system to achieve orbit and then rendezvous and dock with the CM. The second matter concerned investigations to assure that failures in the guidance and control system could be detected and to define what responses the crew must make to those failures.

Letter, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Ground Rules for LEM Guidance and Navigation Operation and Monitoring," September 14, 1964.

September 14

North American completed modifications to CM boilerplate (BP) 6, which had been used in Apollo mission PA-1 (see November 7, 1963). The spacecraft, now designated BP-6A, was then delivered to Northrop Ventura for use as a parachute test vehicle.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-29, p. 1.

September 14

The first attitude-controlled Little Joe II (see May 1963) was shipped to WSMR. This vehicle would be used for Mission A-002, scheduled for December 1964.

Little Joe II Test Launch Vehicle, NASA Project Apollo, Final Report, p. 1-6,

September 15

William A. Lee of ASPO outlined minimum communications requirements for "near-lunar" operations. Those of a general nature included two-way voice communication between spacecraft and ground at any time when a line-of-sight existed with the tracking network. Also there should be provisions so that the crew could maneuver the spacecraft to control antenna position when needing to acquire or reacquire the communication link with the ground.

Requirements for specific phases of the mission - the trip from earth to moon, lunar orbit, and the flight to earth - were also covered:

Memorandum, Lee, MSC, to Addressees, "CSM Lunar Mission Communications Requirements," September 15, 1964.

September 16

The Air Force released Launch Complex 16 of its Eastern Test Range to NASA for use as a service propulsion system test facility and static firing stand.

"Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 9," p. 47.

September 17

The first production CM environmental control system was installed in boilerplate 14, and pressurization tests on the water-glycol system were begun. Contamination checks, servicing, and checkout were completed near the end of the month.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 10-17, 1964"; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 24-October 1, 1964"; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 9," p. 47.

September 17-24

MSC's Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division (IESD) advised ASPO that it would probably recommend a second steerable S-band high gain antenna on the CSM. IESD based this assertion upon the operational requirements for communications, the need for reliability, and constraints imposed by the spacecraft's attitude. The division was giving Lockheed Electronics Company the job of analyzing the problems of acquisition and tracking with the high gain antennas on both spacecraft, and thus made the dual-antenna concept for the CSM a part of that study. Also included in Lockheed's study were: an RF (radio frequency) tracking system, comparing it with the current infrared concept; and an inertial reference system for acquisition.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 17-24, 1964."

September 18

Apollo Mission A-102, the second flight of an Apollo spacecraft with a Saturn I (SA-7) launch vehicle, was launched from Complex 37B of the Eastern Test Range at 11:22:43 a.m., e.s.t. [The first such flight was Mission A-101, with boilerplate (BP) 13, launched on May 28.] A-102 used BP-15, essentially the same configuration as BP-13 except that one of the SM's simulated reaction control system quadrant assemblies was instrumented to measure launch temperatures and vibrations. The mission was intended to demonstrate

  1. spacecraft launch vehicle compatibility,
  2. launch and exit parameters to verify design, and
  3. the alternate mode of escape-tower jettison (i.e., using the launch escape and pitch control motors).
The launch azimuth was again 105 degrees. The S-1 stage shut down at T+147.4 seconds, only 0.7 second later than planned. The S-1 and S-IV stages separated at T+148.2 seconds, and the S-IV stage ignited 1.7 seconds after that. The launch escape tower was jettisoned at T+160.2 seconds. S-IV cutoff took place at T+621.1 seconds, burning l.3 seconds longer than anticipated. The spacecraft and S-IV were inserted into orbit at 631.1 seconds (2.0 seconds late), at a velocity of 7,810.05 meters (25,623.54 feet) per second. The spacecraft weight at insertion was 7,815.9 kilograms (17,231 pounds). Orbital parameters were 212.66 and 226.50 kilometers (114.85 and 122.37 nautical miles), and the period 88.64 minutes.

All spacecraft test objectives were met. Satisfactory engineering data verified the launch and exit design criteria. The launch escape and pitch control motors moved the launch escape system safely out of the path of the spacecraft. The Manned Space Flight Network obtained telemetry data into the fifth orbit, at which time the transponders stopped working, but several stations continued to track the vehicle until it reentered over the Indian Ocean on its 59th journey around the earth. As with BP-13, no recovery of the spacecraft was planned.

MSC,"Postlaunch Report for Apollo Mission A-102 (BP-15)," MSC-R-A-64-3 (October 10, 1964), pp. 1-1, 2-1, 3-4, 3-5, 3-6, 5-1, 6-1, 7-15.

September 18

ASPO asked Grumman to investigate automatic switching mechanisms for LEM VHF and S-band omnidirectional antennas. If such devices were used in manned flights, the crew would need to pay only minimum attention to antenna selection; on unmanned flights, it would improve communication operations and range. TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, September 18, 1964.

September 20-26

"Fire-in-the-hole" tests of the LEM's ascent engine (see February 1963) were completed at Arnold Engineering Development Center after 18 successful runs. Visual inspection showed no damage to the thrust chamber. Grumman confidently reported to MSC that these tests indicated that "the ascent engine can handle the shock" of ignition with its exhaust nozzle enclosed by the descent stage of the vehicle.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, September 20-26, 1964," p. 3; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report,

September 17-24, 1964;" GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 20," LPR-10-36, October 10, 1964, p. 20.

September 20-30

Joseph F. Shea directed that the LEM's television camera built by Westinghouse (see September 3) also be used in the Block II CM. (RCA was the contractor for the Block I's camera.) Engineers from North American and MSC met with Westinghouse representatives to work out the design details (such as mounting, since Westinghouse's camera was larger - and more versatile - than was RCA's).

"Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 9," p. 2; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, September 20-October 17, 1964," p.52; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, October 1-8, 1964"; interview, telephone, Milton G. Kingsley, Houston, March 13, 1970.

September 20-26

Rocketdyne conducted its first firing of the prototype LEM descent engine using a new dome manifold injector, called the "Block II" engine (in comparison to the previously tested circumferential manifold type). Rocketdyne reported, in Grumman's words, "no noticeable change in the combustion chamber pattern thrust chamber erosion."

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, September 20-26, 1964,"p. 3; "Monthly Progress Report No. 20," LPR-1036, p. 20; interview, telephone, C. Harold Lambert, Jr., Houston, March 19, 1970.

September 21

NASA approved Grumman's subcontract with RCA for the LEM attitude and translation control assembly. (See May 1.) The cost-plus-incentive-fee subcontract was valued at $9,038,875.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, September 20-October 17, 1964," p. 39.

September 21-24

North American, MIT, and NASA jointly conducted a series of tests at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The tests, in which four astronauts participated, evaluated suit mobility, manipulation of controls, and adjustment of couch and restraints.

NAA, "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-30, November 1, 1964, pp. 7-8.

September 22

The first SM propulsion engine firing in the F-2 text fixture at WSMR was unsuccessful. Although analysis was incomplete, improper functioning of the engine's main propellant valve might have delayed full combustion until eight seconds after fire signal. In a second test on October I, the engine was fired for 10 seconds. The engine performed satisfactorily this time, even though oxidizer inlet pressure was below normal.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 17-24, 1964"; "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-30, pp. 16, 32.

September 24-27

North American and MSC officials negotiated the specifications for the overall Block I CSM system, including special needs for some spacecraft to provide for specific mission objectives. The documents subsequently were incorporated into the North American contract. (See Volume I, July 28 and November 7, 1962; April 28-30, 1964.)

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-30, p. 27.

September 25

NASA approved a $14,185,848 contract with North American for spare parts (for Apollo spacecraft and ground support equipment) to expedite repairing of the CSM at WSMR and Cape Kennedy. Spares would include complete electronic packages, hydraulic and mechanical components, reaction control engines, and equipment needed to service the spacecraft.

MSC News Release 64-159, September 25, 1964.

September 25

MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth approved a Structures and Mechanics Division proposal for three- dimensional dynamic testing of the Apollo docking system in a thermal-vacuum environment. Tests were scheduled for late 1965 in the Center's Space Environment Simulation Laboratory.

MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, September 24-October 1, 1964"; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 9," p. 8.

September 28

MSC's Crew Systems Division (CSD) advised against increasing the capacity of the portable life support system. CSD contended that the current design was capable of performing a variety of lunar missions (at the maximum design metabolic load of 1,600 BTUs per hour) and that the minimum 30 minutes of contingency time was sufficient.

Memorandum, Richard S. Johnston, MSC, to Systems Engineering Division, "Contingent operation of the Portable Life Support System," September 28, 1964.

September 29

Richard S. Johnston, Chief of Crew Systems Division, provided Hamilton Standard with some new guidelines and operating procedures formulated by MSC concerning crew transfer from CM to LEM. One major item related to suit umbilicals. A former requirement for end-to-end interchangeability (called the "buddy system") was deleted (see September 19-25, 1963), as was the requirement for quick disconnects at the environmental control system (ECS) outlet. Under MSC's new rules, the crew would transfer with the two cabins unpressurized. Both CM and LEM umbilicals had to be long enough to enable the astronauts to reach the LEM's ECS controls.

TWX, W. F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, September 29, 1964; TWX, Richard S. Johnston, MSC, to Hamilton Standard, Attn: R. Breeding, October 8, 1964.

September 30

NASA conducted a formal inspection and review of the Block II CSM mockup. [The design resulted from a number of meetings earlier in the year (see April 16 and June 11), a three-month program definition study, and additional investigations requested by NASA.]

North American presented mockups of the CM interior, upper deck, lower equipment bay, and the SM with two bays exposed. Actual hardware was simulated. The couches from the Block I review in April were used, with revised harnesses. The Block I inner and outer hatches were displayed, while the CM exterior showed only changes from Block I.

North American explained that this mockup had been designed to depict only volume, space allocations, and arrangements of the CSM. New systems required for Block II were defined only as to maximum size. A detailed mockup, showing actual hardware configuration, of the Block II CSM interior and exterior would be available in February and April, respectively.

Letter, H. P. Yschek, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems Div., "Contract Change Authorization No. 254," October 1, 1964; MSC, "Command and Service Modules: Project Apollo, Board Report for NASA Inspection and Review of Block II Mockup, September 29-October 1, 1964," pp. 1-4.

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