Advanced Design, Fabrication, and Testing
July 1The Development Engineering Inspection (DEI) for Little Joe II
12-51-3 was satisfactorily conducted at General Dynamics Convair, San Diego,
Calif. The vehicle had been assigned for Mission A-004, an abort mission in the
power-on tumbling boundary region. The DEI was conducted with emphasis on
changes which had been effected as a result of the malfunction encountered
during the A-003 mission. The following served on the DEI Board: J. A.
Chamberlin, Chairman, S. A. Sjoberg, R. F. Gordon, F. J. Bailey, R. C. Duncan,
W. M. Bland, R. A. Gardiner, and L. P. Gallagher, Secretary.
Memorandum, Chief, Checkout and Test Division, MSC, to Distr., "Development
Engineering Inspection for LJ II 12-51-3," sgd. James J. Shannon for W. M.
Bland, June 25, 1965; "Weekly Activity Report, June 27-July 3, 1965," sgd.
Joseph F. Shea.
July 1On the basis of information from the two Apollo spacecraft
manufacturers, the Systems Engineering Division (SED) reported a possible
thermal problem with the Saturn V during ascent:
SED laid down study
procedures to determine the best solution to this problem (either by modifying
the spacecraft or the launch trajectory - or both).
- On Saturns 501 and 502, the temperatures of the SM and the adapter would
exceed design limits. (These limits were based on heating rates for 504, a
heavier vehicle with a consequently cooler trajectory.)
- And on 504, heating rates on the adapter would create an "unacceptable
thermal environment" for the spacecraft within.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "Saturn V ascent heating
problem," July 1, 1965; memorandum, Aaron Cohen, MSC, to Chief, Systems
Engineering Division, "Item 2.10, SESAME No. 2 Meeting Minutes, SM and SLA/LEM
Potential Boost Heating Problems," July 26, 1965, with enclosure: "MSC/NAA
Meeting, SM/SLA/LEM Boost Heating," July 15, 1965.
July 1Within its Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA organized an
Apollo Site Selection Board. As an advisory body to the Associate Administrator
for Manned Space Flight, George E. Mueller, the group would recommend landing
sites for Apollo.
Instruction, George E. Mueller, NASA, to Distr., "Establishment of Apollo
Site Selection Board," July 1, 1965.
July 1NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E.
Mueller told MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth he was establishing an Operations
Executive Group. This group would consist of senior executives whose
organizations were carrying out the manned space flight operations.
It was Mueller's objective that the group meet on a regular basis and review
program status, resource requirements, management, and flight operations to
provide executive management with the background needed to make effective policy
decisions. A second objective was to ensure that the executives in the
operations area knew each other well enough to work directly in the rapid
solution of time-critical problems.
Mueller planned that one-day meetings would be held at two to four month
intervals at locations that would acquaint members with facilities and
Letter, Mueller to Gilruth, July 1, 1965.
July 1-8Grumman completed its study of oxygen storage systems for the
LEM (see June 11) and reviewed with MSC the company's recommendation (one
20,684-kilonewton per sq m [3,000 psi] tank in the descent stage, two
6,894-kilonewtons per sq m [1,000 psi] tanks in the ascent stage). One drawback
to the design, which the Crew Systems Division termed an "apparently unavoidable
bad feature," was that, by the time of the final cabin repressurization, the
repressurization time would increase to about 12 minutes (though this was
admittedly a conservative estimate). Although requesting more data from Grumman
on temperatures and cabin pressures, the Center approved the configuration.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 1-8, 1965."
July 2The NASA Director of Bioscience Programs pointed out that the
National Academy of Sciences' report on back contamination placed emphasis on
the potential hazard from the moon because of the short stay on the moon. From
this report, it was evident that NASA had problems which must be solved in the
very near future.
It was recommended that NASA accept the operational responsibility for back
contamination and that there be a clear-cut assignment soon.
It was felt that failure of NASA to establish adequate authority to handle
this problem and thus to satisfy the public, the press, the scientific
community, and other regulatory agencies could result in direct control of back
contamination by those agencies and cause unnecessary constraints upon the
manned lunar and planetary missions.
Memorandum, Director of Bioscience Programs, NASA, to Associate Administrator
for Space Science and Applications, "Responsibility for Space Quarantine," July
July 2ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea ordered Crew Systems Division to
develop some type of protective devices that the astronauts might use to shield
their eyes during a solar flare. ASPO regarded the risk of cataracts during
these solar events as extraordinarily high. Although not mandatory, it was
desirable that the crew could still see while wearing the devices. Should a
flare occur while the crew manned the LEM, mission ground rules called for an
abort back to the safety of the CSM; therefore, such devices would be needed for
the CM alone.
Memorandum, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to Chief, Crew Systems Division, "Incidence
of cataracts in Apollo crewmembers," July 2, 1965.
July 4-10The Weekly Activity Report for the period indicated that
"Weekly Activity Report, July 4-10, 1965," sgd. J. Thomas
Markley for Joseph F. Shea.
- the CM 002 was transferred internally within North American from
manufacturing to the test organization on July 8;
- the CM 009 checkout at North American continued with the central timing
equipment and signal conditioner checkout completed, and the new
40-ampere-hour batteries for CSM 009 and 011 were shipped to KSC and North
American, respectively; and
- the Grumman subcontract to Eagle-Picher for the LEM batteries was approved
July 7-9Langley Research Center completed CSM active docking
simulations and lunar orbital docking runs.
Memorandum, Michael K. Lake, MSC, to Chief, Spacecraft Operations Branch,
"Apollo Docking Simulation," July 23, 1965, with enclosure.
July 7-13Illustrative of continuing design and managerial problems, MSC
and North American representatives attempted to resolve thermal problems with
the Block II environmental control system (ECS), primarily the ECS radiator. The
week-long talks were fruitless. MSC's arguments and supportive evidence
notwithstanding, the contractor steadfastly opposed the water-glycol approach,
favoring a nonfreezing liquid (Freon). MSC, similarly, was hardly satisfied with
North American's intransigence and less so with the company's effort and
performance. "A pertinent observation," reported Crew Systems Division, "is that
. . . it will be extremely difficult to complete any other development in
support of Block II schedules unless their [North American's] attitude is
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 8-15, 1965"; memorandum, Owen E.
Maynard, MSC, to Chief, Crew Systems Division, "Design criteria for backup ECS
radiator development program," July 6, 1965; memorandum, Frank H. Samonski, Jr.,
MSC, to Chief, Systems Engineering Division, "Viscosity data of RS-89A
(water-glycol)," July 23, 1965.
July 8-9At a design review on the VHF radio equipment for the LEM,
conducted by RCA, Grumman refused to vote its approval. Grumman's most serious
objection centered on thermal loads, which under extreme conditions could far
exceed specification limits. RCA thereupon began exploring several approaches,
including new materials, relocation of components, and redesigned heat sinks.
Grumman was asked to keep MSC well informed on problems, corrective actions, and
TWXs, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 12, 16, 19,
and 22, 1965.
July 11An RCS oxidizer tank failed during a test to demonstrate
propellant compatibility with titanium tanks. This was the first of seven tanks
to fail from a group of ten tanks put into test to investigate a failure that
occurred during February 1965. These results caused an intensive investigation
to be undertaken.
Memorandum, Darrell Kendrick, MSC, to Chief, Propulsion and Power Division,
"Trip to Bell Aerosystems Company (BAC) on July 14 and 15, 1965 regarding S/M F
(S/N 26) RCS Tank Shell Failure," July 26, 1965.
July 11-17During the period the NASA/Department of the Army agreement
for use of Army helicopters to airlift LEM adapters was signed by both parties;
the Apollo Block II space suit preliminary design review was successfully held
by David Clark Company; and evaluation testing of the Apollo Block II space
suits submitted by David Clark Company, Hamilton Standard Division and
International Latex was completed, with data being reduced.
"Weekly Activity Report, July 11-17, 1965," sgd. J. Thomas Markley for Joseph
July 12Joseph F. Shea, ASPO Manager, informed Flight Crew Operations
that the capability had been firmly established for connecting and disconnecting
the suit oxygen umbilicals in a vacuum. Crew Systems Division was modifying the
connector (using a two-position release) to satisfy this requirement. This
change would ensure safe umbilical operation while in an unpressurized
Memorandum, Donald K. Slayton, MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Lunar Surface
Operations," June 11, 1965; memorandum, Shea, MSC, to Asst. Dir. for Flight Crew
Operations, "Lunar Surface Operations," July 12, 1965.
July 13Crew Systems Division (CSD) completed its study on the
feasibility of controlling the amount of bacteria vented from the LEM. Division
researchers found that, by placing special filters in the environmental control
system (ECS) of the spacecraft, emission levels could be greatly lowered. This
reduction would be meaningless, however, in view of effluents from the
extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) - the moon would still be contaminated by the
space travelers. Because of weight penalties - and because of their dubious
value - CSD recommended that bacteria filters not be added to the LEM's ECS. The
Division further advised that, at present, neither the amount of bacteria
emitted from the EMU nor a means of controlling this effluence was yet known.
Memorandum, Robert E. Smylie, MSC, to Chief, Systems Engineering Division,
"Feasibility of controlling effluent bacteria from the LEM cabin and
environmental control subsystem," July 13, 1965, with enclosure: "Control of
Effluent Micro-Organisms from the LEM Cabin and Environmental Control System"
July 13A Little Joe II failure investigation presentation was made at
MSC July 13 in which General Dynamics/ Convair (GD/C) and MSC's Engineering and
Development (E&D) Directorate presented results of independent failure
investigations of the mishap which occurred during Apollo Mission A-003
(Boilerplate 22) on June 22, 1965, at WSMR.
The GD/C investigation results were presented by J. B. Hurt, Little Joe II
Program Manager, in the form of flight movies and a slide talk. The data made
the following points:
The E&D investigation results were presented by O. P.
Littleton of the Guidance and Control Division. In summary, results of the
E&D investigation were stated to have confirmed the findings of GD/C
although different computer methods were used. Littleton agreed with the
conclusions of GD/C, but emphasized that an electrical malfunction within the
Fin IV hydro-electrical servo-loop could not be discounted as a possible source
of failure at that time.
- At approximately one second after liftoff, the Fin IV elevon moved in a
direction to cause the observed clockwise rotation and at 2.5 seconds reached
the fully deflected position where it remained until vehicle breakup.
- Although computer simulations of the flight with Fin IV fully deflected
did not precisely duplicate the observed dynamic motions, sufficient
correlation existed to conclude that Fins I, II, and III functioned normally
while Fin IV alone caused loss of the mission.
- The complete attitude control system, exclusive of the Fin IV
hydro-electrical servo loop, performed correctly as designed.
- The most probable cause for the failure was a malfunction in Fin IV
hydro-electrical servo-loop due to an internal mechanical failure of the
Memorandum for Record, Bill J. McCarty, MSC, "Little Joe II Failure
Investigation Presentation," July 20, 1965.
July 14Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) presented meteoroid
protection figures for the Apollo CSM. (During April, General Electric [GE] had
developed reliability estimates for the LEM, based on revised design criteria,
for the 8.3-day reference mission. The probability for mission success, GE had
found, was 0.9969.) SMD'S figures were:
The division consequently placed the
meteoroid protection for the entire mission at 0.99417 (Block I, CSM only) and
0.99089 (Block II, CSM and LEM). Apollo's goal was 0.99.
||Block I (14-day earth orbital flight)
||Block II (8.3-day lunar mission)|
All of the above figures, both GE's and SMD's, were derived from the inherent
protection afforded by the spacecraft's structure. Thus no additional meteoroid
shielding was needed. (Meteoroid protection would still be required, of course,
during extravehicular operations.)
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 8-15, 1965."
July 14Willis B. Foster, NASA's Director of Manned Space Science
Programs, informed MSC's Maxime A. Faget that he had asked the following persons
to continue to serve as members of an Ad Hoc Committee as an advisory group to
Foster with regard to the design and construction of the Lunar Sample Receiving
Laboratory: E. C. T. Chao (Chairman), Lorin Clark (alternate chairman), James
Arnold, Clifford Frondel, Briggs Phillips, P. R. Bell, and alternates Jonathan
Klein and Larry Hall.
Letter, Foster to Faget, "Membership of the Headquarters Advisory Committee
on Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory," July 14, 1965.
July 15North American began redesigning the side hatch mechanism in the
CM to satisfy the requirement for extravehicular transfer from Block II
spacecraft. Two basic modifications to the Block I mechanism were required: (1)
enlarging it to overcome thermal warpage; and (2) adding some hinge retention
device to secure the hatch once it was opened.
Memorandum, R. D. Langley, MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Side Access Ablative
Hatch," July 6, 1965; letter, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information
Systems Division, Attn: J. C. Cozad, "Contract NAS 9-150, Shipment of S/C 006
Side Access Ablative Hatch to MSC," July 15, 1965; memorandum, Owen E. Maynard,
MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Side access ablative hatch," July 23, 1965.
July 15ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed Grumman that a proposal
they had made during the LEM Program Review on July 6 regarding broader
qualification scheduling and parts deviations had been reviewed by NASA and it
was considered "not in the best interests of the program to relax the
requirements to the extent proposed by GAEC."
Shea cited a paragraph of the Contract Technical Specification which
specified: "Qualification tests supporting a particular flight vehicle shall be
completed prior to that vehicle being delivered from the Contractor."
It was NASA's desire that LEM program scheduling be such that all ground test
logic constraints required in support of launch dates would be completed at
least six weeks prior to scheduled launch dates. Shea pointed out that the LEM
program schedules as presented by Grumman at the July 6 Review were not in
complete accord with dates previously provided June 7 in a datafax signed by
Shea required the following delivery dates from Grumman: LEM-1, November 15,
1966; LEM-2, February 15, 1967; LEM-3, April 15, 1967; LEM-4, July 15, 1967;
LEM-5, October 15, 1967; LEM-6, December 15, 1967; LEM-7, February 15, 1968;
LEM-8, April 15, 1968; LEM-9, June 15, 1968; LEM-10, August 15, 1968; and
LEM-11, October 15, 1968.
Grumman was requested to provide NASA, no later than August 2, 1965, their
plan for support of a LEM program development schedule which would incorporate
Letter, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS
9-1100, LEM Development Program Requirements," July 15, 1965.
July 16North American recommended to MSC that, for the time being, the
present method for landing the CM (i.e., a passive water landing) be maintained.
However, on the basis of a recent feasibility study, the contractor urged that a
rocket landing system be developed for possible use later on. North American
said that such a system would improve mission reliability through the increase
in impact capability on both land and water.
TWX, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to NAA, Space and Information Systems Division, Attn:
J. C. Cozad, July 9, 1965; NAA, "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-40,
September 1, 1965, pp. 12-13.
July 16MSC directed Grumman to provide stowage within the LEM for those
tools needed for transfer between the two spacecraft (either intra- or
extravehicular). The tool kit, similar to that in the CM, would be stored in the
LEM at earth launch.
Letters, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: John C. Snedeker, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Contract Change Authorization No. 122, Extravehicular Crew Transfer
Provisions," and "Contract NAS 9-1100, Contract Change Authorization No. 123,
Stowage of Inflight Tools in the LEM," July 16, 1965.
July 16-August 15On the basis of wind tunnel tests at Arnold
Engineering Development Center (AEDC), North American now considered as
negligible the effects of structural protuberances on the CM's rolling moment
and on propellant consumption.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-40, pp. 6-7.
July 16-August 15In order to use the LEM as a backup for the service
propulsion system (SPS) to abort the mission during the 15-hour period following
translunar injection, Grumman informed North American that some redesign of the
spacecraft's helium system would likely be required. This information prompted
North American designers to undertake their own analysis of the situation. On
the basis of their own findings, this latter group disagreed with the LEM
The probability of two such failures during
the abort period, North American concluded, was not sufficient to warrant
redesigning the helium system.
- Before transposition and docking, the two spacecraft would already be on a
confirmed free-return trajectory.
- During the 15-hour interval, moreover, LEM propulsion would be required
only in the event of failures in the SPS and some time- dependent,
Ibid., pp. 12-13.
July 18Russia launched Zond III, but neither its
objectives nor its achievements were announced until some time later. About 36
hours after launch, the spacecraft began photographing the far side of the moon
(at a range of between 11,600 and 10,000 km [7,217 and 6,217 mi]). After passing
the moon, it entered a heliocentric orbit and thus became an artificial planet.
On July 29, Zond III transmitted its pictures back to earth, as
planned. Those pictures showed clearly the heavily cratered nature of the
surface. This mission dramatized the advances in space photography that the
U.S.S.R. had made since its first far-side effort six years earlier.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, pp. 337, 378-379, 392-393;
Tikhonravov et al., Ten Years of Space Research in the
USSR, pp. 20-21.
July 19NASA was acquiring eight KC-135 aircraft and three ships to help
maintain communications during Apollo moon flights. In addition, two ships of
the existing DOD instrumentation fleet were being remodeled for support of the
Apollo lunar mission's reentry phase. The KC-135 jet transports would be used
during reentry to combat the effects of the plasma sheath blackout which had
drowned out communications on previous manned launchings. In addition, three
primary ground stations were being prepared at Goldstone, Calif.; Canberra,
Australia; and Madrid, Spain.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 340; memorandum, Samuel
C. Phillips, NASA, to Assoc. Admin. for Manned Space Flight, "Apollo
Instrumentation Ship Schedules," July 23, 1965, with enclosures; memorandum,
Arnold W. Frutkin, NASA, to Julian Scheer, "Designation of Spanish tracking
station," July 23, 1965.
July 19MSC directed Grumman to implement changes in weights of the LEM:
Memorandum, James L. Neal,
MSC, to GAEC, Attn: John C. Snedeker,
||14,515 kg (32,000 lbs)|
|Ascent stage inert
||2,193 kg (4,835 lbs)|
|Descent stage inert
||2,166 kg (4,775 lbs)|
"Contract NAS 9-1100, Contract Change Authorization No. 124, Addition of
Control Weights to Specification," July 19, 1965.
July 19-20North American conducted zero-g tests at Wright-Patterson AFB
to evaluate the design of the CM's unitized crew couch and restraint hardware.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-40, p. 4.
July 19NASA Headquarters authorized North American to subcontract the
Block II CSM fuel cells to Pratt and Whitney. Estimates placed the cost at $30
TWX, George J. Vecchietti, NASA, to NASA Office, Downey, Calif., Attn: George
A. Abbott, July 19, 1965.
July 21At a LEM-1 review held at Bethpage, N.Y., Grumman briefed MSC
officials on the status of design drawings and hardware procurement. Also, the
company prepared a detailed schedule for manufacturing and installation of
various systems on the spacecraft.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 15-22, 1965"; letter, R. Wayne
Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, LEM I Status
Meeting Number Two," August 6, 1965.
July 21North American reported that qualification testing had been
completed on two items of electrical hardware, the CSM battery charger and the
NAA, "Project Apollo Spacecraft Test Program Weekly Activity Report (Period
19 July 1965 through 25 July 1965)," p. 3.
July 21MSC officially notified Grumman that, as part of the Apollo
scientific program, an experiments package would be left on the moon by the
crewmen of the LEM. The Center outlined weight and storage requirements for the
package, which would be stored in the descent stage of the vehicle along with
the lunar geological equipment. And MSC emphasized the need for dissipating
waste heat given off by the system's radioisotope generator. (The radioisotope
generator was a firm requirement, despite the fear voiced by many scientists
that the radiation it gave off would disrupt the experiments.)
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Request for Preparation of Interface Control Documents for the Lunar
Surface Experiments Package (LSEP), and the Lunar Geological Equipment," July
21, 1965; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 29-August 5, 1965."
July 21Several lunar surface vehicles received national attention:
NASA News Release
54-245, "NASA Will Not Develop Surveyor Roving Vehicle." July 21, 1965;
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 342.
- NASA announced that it had dropped plans for developing a small rover to
be carried to the moon aboard soft-landing Surveyor spacecraft. This action,
the space agency said, stemmed from a desire to concentrate on the development
of the spacecraft per se and on its scientific instrumentation.
- Bell Aerosystems Company announced that it had designed a rocket-propelled
Lunar Flying Vehicle (LFV) to aid Apollo astronauts in their exploration of
the moon. This work was the result of a year-long study that the company had
conducted for MSFC. The LFV, nicknamed "Hopper," would be able to travel about
80 km (50 mi) without stopping. Bell announced also that it had received
additional funds from NASA (almost a half million dollars) to continue work on
another lunar vehicle, the so-called Manned Flying System. This latter craft,
also primarily a tool for exploration, would be able to transport an astronaut
and about 136 kg (300 lbs) of equipment (or two astronauts) for distances up
to 24 km (15 mi) from the original landing site.
July 22MSC and Grumman discussed the LEM landing gear design and
determined the landing velocity touchdown envelope.
TWX, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, subject: "Structural
Design for Lunar Landing Dynamic Magnification Factor," July 22, 1965; TWXs,
Young to Mullaney, July 30 and August 18, 1965; GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report
No. 30," LPR-10-46, August 10, 1965, p. 8.
July 22Agreements and decisions reached at the MSC briefing on the LEM
optical tracker were:
TWX, Samuel C. Phillips, NASA, to MSC, Attn: Joseph F. Shea,
subject: "LEM Optical Tracker," July 28, 1965.
- Development of the LEM rendezvous radar should be continued.
- One contractor should be selected for development of the optical tracker
with schedules to support installation in early LEMs.
- A decision on the rendezvous radar versus the optical tracker was
July 23MSC authorized North American to make a number of significant
Letters, J. B. Alldredge, MSC,
to NAA, Space and Information Systems Division, "Contract Change Authorizations,
384, 385, 387, 388, 390, 391, 392, and 393," July 23, 1965.
- Delete hardware for transferring water from the CM to the LEM.
- Place filters in the propellant lines of the SM's reaction control system.
- Cease all work on an extravehicular probe (responsibility which MSC now
- Delete from the stabilization and control system (SCS) of all Block II
CSMs the hybrid thrust vector control apparatus. (This change reduced the
functional capability of the SCS and simplified the system's interface with
the guidance and navigation system.)
- Delete the HE orbital antenna from CSMs 012, 014, and all Block II
- Change the propellant mixture in the service propulsion system of Block II
spacecraft. The service propulsion engine would be modified, which would
require additional developmental and qualification testing.
- Go ahead on thermal coating on the adapter (to achieve the desired thermal
environment for the LEM during boost).
July 23MSC defined for Grumman the functions that the LEM's abort
guidance section (AGS) must perform during earth orbital flights:
The basic lunar
mission program still would be used. False position, velocity, and gravity data
would be inserted to make the AGS behave as if it were flying around the moon.
Finally, MSC emphasized that neither the AGS hardware, its permanent or
"hardwired" memory, nor delivery schedules must be altered to meet this earth
- When both spacecraft were unmanned, the AGS must be able to hold the LEM's
attitude during coast or while thrusting; it would not, however, have to
control thrusting itself.
- During manned missions, whether or not the LEM itself actually was manned,
the AGS must afford closed-loop control of the vehicle, again both while
coasting and thrusting. Thrusting phases of these flights would demonstrate
the section's guidance and navigational capabilities.
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Abort Guidance Section operational requirements during earth orbital
missions," July 23, 1965.
July 26During a news conference, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Deputy Manager
of the Gemini Project Office at MSC, affirmed that, although no firm decisions
had yet been made, the concept of a circumlunar flight using a Gemini spacecraft
was being seriously studied. The mission would use Titan II and III-C launch
vehicles and would require rendezvousing in earth orbit. NASA, Martin-Marietta
Corporation (builder of the Titan), and Aerojet-General Corporation (which
manufactured upper stages for the III-C) all were studying the feasibility of
such a flight. Later in the year, NASA Administrator James E. Webb eliminated
the possibility of a Gemini circumlunar mission, ". . . our main reliance for
operating at lunar distances . . . is the large Saturn V/Apollo system."
Howard Benedict, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, July 26, 1965;
letter, U.S. Representative Olin E. Teague to James E. Webb, August 18, 1965;
letter, Webb to Teague, September 10, 1965.
July 26At North American's drop facility, a malfunction in the release
mechanism caused boilerplate 1 to impact on land rather than water. After a
recurrence of this accident on August 6, a team of investigators began looking
into the problem. Drops were suspended pending their findings. These incidents
aggravated delays in the test program, which already was seven weeks behind
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, August 5-12, 1965."
July 29Failure of the Little Joe II launch vehicle on Mission A-003 and
subsequent lack of positive failure cause identification and corrective action
led to a lower than desirable confidence level in the capability of the
controlled version of Little Joe II to accomplish the planned A-004 mission. The
test objectives for A-004 were set forth (see Appendix 5).
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to ASPO Manager, "WSMR test requirements
and their relations to the AFRM-002 Mission," sgd. R. W. Williams, July 29,
July 29General Electric (GE) received a supplement to its ACE-S/C
(Acceptance Checkout Equipment-Spacecraft) contract. Total cost and fee for the
amendment, which covered a reliability program for Apollo parts and materials,
was $1,382,600. This brought the total value of GE's contract to $85.6 million.
MSC, "Quarterly Activity Report for Office of the Associate Administrator,
Manned Space Flight, for Period Ending July 31, 1965," pp. 25-26.
July 30MSC advised Grumman that the altitude at which the LEM crewmen
would switch from automatic to manual control of the spacecraft during Phase II
of the landing approach would be 213 m (700 ft).
TWX, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, July 30, 1965.
July 30NASA launched Pegasus III, third of the meteoroid
detection satellites, as scheduled at 8:00 a.m. EST, from Cape Kennedy. (See
February 16 and May 25.) As earlier, an Apollo spacecraft (boilerplate 9) served
as the payload's shroud. This flight (SA-10) marked the end of the Saturn I
program, which during its seven-year lifetime had achieved 10 straight
successful launches and had contributed immeasurably to American rocket
NASA News Release 65-232, "Pegasus C," July 21, 1965; NASA News Release
65-253, "Pegasus III Launch Caps NASA's Saturn I Program," July 30, 1965;
memorandum, George E. Mueller, NASA, to Administrator, "Pegasus III/SA-10 Saturn
I Flight Mission Post Launch Report No. 1," August 16, 1965, with enclosure:
Mission Operation Report No. R-725-65-03 M-931-65-10; "Apollo Monthly Progress
Report," SID 62-300-40, p. 1; TWX, KSC, to Distr., "SA-10 Apollo Flash Report
No. 1," sgd. E. R. Mathews, July 30, 1965.
July 30During the preceding six months, officials in ASPO and the
Engineering and Development Directorate evaluated the performance of the launch
escape vehicle (LEV) during aborts on and near the launch pad. That performance,
they had determined, was inadequate. To solve this problem, MSC ordered North
American to incorporate a number of design changes in both the LEV and the
E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "LEV pad and near pad abort additional analysis and
or testing required for implementation of a 609.6 m (2000 ft) constant altitude
main chute deployment," April 23, 1965; John D. Hodge, MSC, to Asst. Dir. for
Flight Operations, "Implementation of a 609.6 m (2000 ft) constant altitude main
chute deployment," June 8, 1965; Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to ASPO, Attn:
O. E. Maynard, "Apollo Launch Escape Vehicle (LEV) pad and near-pad abort
capability,'July 16, 1965; letter, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to NAA, Space and
Information Systems Division, "Contract Change Authorization No. 397," July 30,
- provide the capability for manual override of the main parachute
deployment timer and for manual deployment of those parachutes (for both
Saturn IB and V flights)
- Provide for dumping helium from the CM's reaction control system (RCS)
- Modify the CM RCS to permit rapid dumping of its fuel (similar to the
existing oxidizer dump). But fuel and oxidizer must not be dumped
simultaneously. (This change applied only to Block II CMs.)
- Provide the capability to cut out the LEV's pitch control motor on Block I
vehicles (similar to that already in Block II spacecraft)
- Design a removable device that, while on the pad, would keep the launch
escape motor's propellant temperature above 70 degrees.
July 31ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed LEM Subsystems Managers
that recent LEM schedule changes and program review activities had led to some
confusion with regard to schedule requirements and policies. Shea pointed out
that in some instances subsystem delivery schedules had been established which
were inconsistent with the overall program. Where this had occurred, prompt
action by the Subsystems Managers was required to recover lost ground. Shea then
laid down specific ground rules to be followed, and requested that waivers of
these ground rules be submitted no later than August 15, along with a
demonstration that reasonable alternatives had been investigated. Only the ASPO
Manager would approve any waivers.
Memorandum, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to LEM Subsystems Managers, "Subsystem
Qualification and Delivery Schedules," July 31, 1965.
July 31At a meeting between representatives of NASA and Public Health
Service representatives, it was agreed:
James Goddard, Chief of the Communicable Disease Center of
the PHS, stated he was prepared to staff any required quarantine activity at the
Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory but there was no discussion of the source of
- That the PHS had responsibility for the health of the nation and for any
potential threat to that health from extraterrestrial life, particularly from
- That the Office of the Surgeon General, PHS, would submit to the NASA
Administrator a proposal for action deemed necessary.
- That the Department of Agriculture had a similar responsibility for the
nation's crops and animals of economic importance and that the Department of
Agriculture would probably accept arrangements made by PHS, and be brought
into the matter at the point they considered action to be
Memorandum for the Record, Orr E. Reynolds, NASA Headquarters, August 17,
During the MonthTwo change orders were issued to Grumman under the LEM
contract, which brought the total estimated cost and fixed fee to $573,246,377.
"Quarterly Activity Report for Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned
Space Flight, for Period Ending July 31, 1965," p. 25.
During the MonthSeveral astronauts participated in landing touchdown
studies conducted in the LEM landing simulator to verify data collected in
previous studies and to determine changes in controls and displays to improve
the touchdown envelope. Studies involved landing runs from an altitude of 305 m
(1,000 ft) with manual takeover at 213 m (700 ft), at which time the pilot could
select a precise landing site.
"Monthly Progress Report No. 30," LPR-10-46, p. 4.
During the MonthCrew Systems Division completed evaluation of the three
Block II space suits submitted by Hamilton Standard, David Clark, and
International Latex. Also, the contractor presented to MSC the results of drop
tests with the LEM's support and restraint system.
North American technicians began installing a CM mockup aboard a KC-135 at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The structure would be used in a zero-g flight
test program (scheduled to begin within a week) to evaluate the Block I space
suit re mobility, crew performance, and interfaces with the couch and
restraints and with the guidance and navigation station. (See July 19.) Ibid.,
p. 5; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, July 8-15, 1965."