Advanced Design, Fabrication, and Testing
November 1MSC's Engineering and Development Directorate established the
Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory Office as an interim organizational element
pending development of a permanent organization for operation of the laboratory.
MSC Announcement 65-140, "Establishment of the E&D Lunar Sample Receiving
Laboratory Office," November 1, 1965.
November 2Bell Aerosystems Company reported that the LEM ascent engine
bipropellant cooled injector baffle met all basic specification requirements,
including those for combustion efficiency, ablative compatibility, and
stability. Bell conducted a successful firing with an engine that had previously
been vibrated to simulate launch boost and lunar descent. The contractor also
completed a duty cycle firing at AEDC with hardware conditions set to the
maximum temperatures believed attainable during a lunar mission.
GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 34," LPR-10-50, December 10, 1965, pp. 1,
13; letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Bell Aerosystems Contamination Problems," December 9, 1965.
November 4MSC management gave Grumman the go-ahead to implement the LEM
Certification Test Plan effective October 25.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "LEM Certification Test Program
Implementation," November 4, 1965.
November 4In a letter to the Director of Flight Research Center, MSC
Director Robert R. Gilruth said that recent Lunar Landing Research Vehicle LLRV
flight results and problems with the handling qualities of the LEM had focused
high interest on the LLRV activities at FRC.
Gilruth concurred with the recent decision to assemble the second LLRV and
said MSC planned to support the assembly and checkout of the second vehicle with
engineering and contractor personnel assigned to the Flight Crew Operations
Gilruth expressed appreciation for the effort expended by FRC in initiating a
three-month study contract with Bell Aerosystems to provide drawings for a
follow-on vehicle and indicated MSC planned to contract for Lunar Landing
Training Vehicles in June 1966.
Letter, Gilruth to Director, FRC, "Lunar Landing Research and Training
Vehicles," November 4, 1965.
November 4MSC's Configuration Control Board approved the reduction of
maximum translunar flight time from 110 hrs to 100 hrs.
Memorandum, Robert V, Battey, to Manager, ASPO, "Response to your question on
reduction of translunar flight time," November 1, 1965; MSC, "Minutes,
Configuration Control Board Meeting No. 24, November 4, 1965."
November 4-12The design of the Block I space suit helmet ear cup and
attachment was finalized. Based on evaluation of AFRM 007 acoustic test data, it
was determined that existing Gemini-type "soft" ear cups were adequate for Block
I flights. North American and David Clark Company specifications would be
changed to reflect revised requirements. The majority of drawings for the suit
had been reviewed and approved by MSC's Crew Systems Division. Remaining to be
resolved and approved were selection of helmet visor material, installation of
helmet microphones and earphones, communications harness, and fingertip glove
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965"; NAA, "Apollo
Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-44, January 1, 1966, p. 6.
November 5NASA announced that it would negotiate with International
Latex Corporation for an estimated $10 million contract to fabricate the Apollo
space suit consisting of the liquid-cooled undergarment, constant wear garment,
pressure garment assembly, and thermo-micrometeoroid protective overgarment. At
the same time an estimated $20 million contract was negotiated with Hamilton
Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation for continued development and
manufacture of the portable life support system with a four-hour main power
supply subjected to a maximum stowage soak temperature of 328K (130 degrees F).
MSC News Release 65-102, November 5, 1965; TWX, Richard S. Johnston, MSC, to
R. E. Breeding, Hamilton Standard Division, subject: "PLSS Power Supply
Concept," November 8, 1965; NASA News Release 65-346, "NASA to Negotiate for
Apollo Suit, Support System," November 5, 1965; "ASPO Weekly Management Report,
November 4-12, 1965."
November 8The development mission planning panel met to discuss the
general constraints for missions AS-206 and AS-207. AS-206 spacecraft and
operational constraints and mission rules were checked for compatibility. An
investigation of the AS-207 preliminary mission profile showed that the ascent
power requirements far exceeded the capacity of the ascent stage batteries. A
modification to the mission profile was developed which would enable the mission
objectives to be accomplished within the LEM battery capabilities. A tentative
procedure for negotiating MSFC launch vehicle constraints was established
between MSC and MSFC.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965"; memorandum, Robert V.
Battey, MSC, "Minutes of the Mission Constraints Panel Meeting #4," November 23,
1965, with enclosure; memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Distr., "Official
Method for Negotiating Mission Constraints with MSFC," November 16, 1965.
November 9-12Upon examination of the airlock gas connectors at the
Portable Life Support System Emergency Oxygen System Preliminary Design Review,
ASPO representatives discovered a possible catastrophic failure. If an astronaut
unhooked the PLSS supply umbilical before the exhaust line was disconnected the
suit would vent through the PLSS. A request for change was rejected by the
preliminary design review board in spite of this situation. ASPO recommended to
the Crew Systems Division that the connectors be modified or that the problem be
solved another way to preserve crew safety.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, Systems Engineering Division, ASPO, to Apollo
Support Office, Crew Systems Division, "RFC 111-1, Preliminary Design Review,
PLSS/EOS, 9-12 November 1965," December 7, 1965.
November 10North American conducted an Apollo Program Review for key
subcontractors to convey the current status of the program and to discuss the
subcontractors' specific participation and support to the program.
NAA, "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-43, December 1, 1965, p. 3.
November 10A North American layout of the volume swept by the CM couch
and crewmen during landing impact attenuation showed several areas where the
couch and or crewmen struck the CM structure or stowed equipment. One area of
such interference was that the center crewman's helmet could overlap about four
inches into the volume occupied by the portable life support system (PLSS)
stowed beneath the side access hatch. The PLSS stowage was recently changed to
this position at North American's recommendation because the original stowage
position on the aft bulkhead interfered with the couch attenuation envelope. The
contractor was directed by MSC to explain this situation.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965"; TWX, C. L. Taylor, MSC,
to NAA Space and Information Systems Division, Attn: J. C. Cozad, subject:
"Impact Attenuation System Interference," November 10, 1965.
November 11The Block I service propulsion system engine successfully
completed the first altitude qualification tests at AEDC.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 12-18, 1965."
November 11A manned lunar mission metabolic profile test was run in the
Hamilton Standard Division altitude chamber using the development liquid-cooled
portable life support system (PLSS). The system was started at a chamber
altitude of over 60,906 m (200,000 ft), and the subject adjusted the liquid
bypass valve to accommodate the programmed metabolic rates which were achieved
by use of a treadmill. Oxygen was supplied from an external source through the
PLSS bottle and oxygen regulation system. This procedure was used because bottle
qualification was not complete, so pressure was limited to 2,068 kilonewtons per
sq m (300 psig). An external battery was used for power because the new
batteries that were required by the change to the all-battery LEM were not yet
available. The thermal transport system including the porous plate sublimator
was completely self-contained in the PLSS. All systems operated within
specification requirements and the test was considered an unqualified success.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 4-12, 1965."
November 12The portable life support system Preliminary Design Review
was completed. The design was essentially complete and no major discrepancies
were noted during the review.
November 12-18MSC and Grumman representatives reviewed Grumman's
timeline analysis for the intravehicular LEM crew activities subsequent to lunar
landing. This timeline was being rewritten for a test program to be conducted to
determine what crew mobility problems existed within the LEM so that they could
be better evaluated at the Certification Design Review.
"ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 12-18, 1965."
November 12-18MSC directed Ryan Aeronautical Corporation to present to
RCA and Grumman areas in which weight could be saved on the LEM landing radar.
Of specific interest was the power supply and the possibility of its overdesign.
November 15MSC instructed North American to:
Letter, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to
NAA, Space and Information Systems Division, "Contract Change Authorization No.
478," November 15, 1965.
- Submit a preliminary design of Block II CSM jettisonable covers to protect
the radiator and CM heatshield thermal coatings from degradation by the boost
- Furnish preliminary design of nonablative reaction control system (RCS)
plume heat protection to prevent SM coating degradation on Block II CSMs.
- Determine the effect on the overall SM and LEM adapter thermal design of
coating degradation to a level specified by MSC and to propose design changes
or mission constraints for Block I and Block II CSMs.
- Determine the effect on the SM RCS thermal design of coating degradation
to the level specified by MSC and to propose design changes or mission
constraints for Block I and II CSMs.
November 19The manned portion of the coast and maneuver simulation
program was completed, evaluating man-in-the-loop capabilities and their effects
upon maneuver accuracy, maneuver time, and propellant consumption. The maneuvers
and pilot techniques satisfied the midcourse attitude and translation control
requirements for the Block I Spacecraft 012 manned mission. The study was
conducted in eight phases, including more than 950 runs. Preliminary analysis of
the results indicated there was compatibility between the pilots and the
maneuver control equipment.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-44, p. 6.
November 22Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC's Assistant Director for
Flight Operations, outlined results of recent studies of the problems associated
with lunar landing. The programs studied were Surveyor, Lunar Orbiter,
deployment of probes on a simulated manned lunar landing mission, deployment of
probes during lunar orbit on an unmanned mission, and deployment of landing aids
during the manned lunar landing mission.
The studies supported the conclusion that it was still desirable to have an
earth launch window of several days to give launch opportunity flexibility. For
this purpose, it would be necessary to have a group of longitudinally spaced
landing areas available. However, if there were a particular advantage, such as
site certification, in being limited to one area and, consequently, one launch
opportunity per month, this was considered to be acceptable. At least one launch
opportunity per month would be required. Therefore, the certified area would
have to be within the area available from performance consideration. This might
mean a night launch, which was confirmed as feasible.
Although the manned lunar landing mission ought not to depend upon a
successful Surveyor program, information for Apollo as well as general
scientific information should be expected from the program. The concept was not
supported that probes were a necessary prerequisite to a lunar landing nor was
the idea of a separate probe mission approved. If the Surveyor program failed to
provide evidence of the suitability of at least one area and if the consensus
favored gathering additional information from probes, the feasibility of
carrying probes on the actual lunar landing mission should be fully considered,
together with the development of aids to real-time assessment.
Memorandum, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to Manager of Special Design
Efforts, "Problems associated with lunar landing," November 22, 1965.
November 22Little Joe II Program Manager Milton A. Silveira suggested
to ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that if the next Little Joe II flight test was
successful there would be no further requirement for the Little Joe II to
support the Apollo program. Silveira said planning had been made with General
Dynamics Convair to store the remaining three vehicles, parts, and tooling for
one year in case a new requirement from ASPO or NASA should develop. The
additional cost of one-year storage compared to normal program closeout was
estimated to be small. ASPO concurred with the suggestion on December 1.
Memorandums, Silveira to Shea, "Little Joe II program close-out," November
22, 1965; J. Thomas Markley to Silveira, December 1, 1965.
November 23North American informed MSC of a fire in the reaction
control system (RCS) test cell during a CM RCS test for spacecraft 009. The fire
was suspected to have been caused by overheating the test cell when the 10
engines were activated, approximately 30 sec prior to test completion. An
estimated test delay of two to three weeks, due to shutdown of the test cell for
refurbishment, was forecast. MSC informed the Apollo Program Director that an
investigation was underway.
TWX, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Apollo Program
Director, sgd. William A. Lee, November 23, 1965.
November 24MSC notified Grumman that all electrically actuated
explosive devices on the LEM would be fired by the Apollo standard initiator.
This would be a common usage item with the CSM and would be the single wire
configuration developed by NASA and provided as Government-furnished equipment.
Letter, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: John C. Snedeker, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Contract Change Authorization 159, Phase-in of Single Bridge Apollo
Standard Initiator," November 24, 1965.
November 26Grumman was directed by MSC to provide for the disposition
and bacteriological control of the LEM urine containers by off-loading all
containers to the lunar surface immediately prior to LEM ascent, locating them
so their physical integrity would be assured during ascent stage launch.
Incorporation of an appropriate germicide in all LEM urine containers would
effectively sterilize the internal part of the container and the contained
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Disposition and Bacteriological Control of LEM Urine Containers,"
November 26, 1965.
November 28Ordnance separation tests on the first three
spacecraft-LEM-adapters (SLA) in a series of four were completed at North
American's Tulsa facility. The tests successfully demonstrated the deployment of
the SLA's forward panels in preparation for the first spacecraft orbital flight.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report." SID 62-300-44, p. 8; memorandum, Lyle D.
White, MSC, to Chief, Systems Engineering Division, "SLA panel separation
follow-up report," November 8, 1965; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report,
November 18-24, 1965"; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 25-December
November 30Usage of a multiple gas connector (MGC) with the
extravehicular mobility unit (two per suit) was deleted. Instead of the MGC, a
separate inlet and outlet suit umbilical gas connector manufactured by Airlock,
Inc., would be used (two inlets and two outlets per suit). This design change
applied to all Block II space suits, environmental control systems, and portable
life support systems. Hamilton Standard was directed to implement the change by
means of a negotiated revision of a supplemental agreement to its contract.
Letter, R. Wayne Young, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS
9-1100, Deletion of multiple gas connector (substitute separate Airlock, Inc.,
connectors)," November 30, 1965.
November 30Apollo Mission Simulator No. 1 was shipped from Link Group,
General Precision, Binghamton, New York, to MSC.
Memorandum, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to Manager, ASPO, "Apollo Mission Simulator
Status," November 30, 1965; "ASPO Weekly Management Report, November 18-24,
During the MonthGrumman completed negotiations with
Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge for the LEM abort guidance system.
"Monthly Progress Report No, 34," LPR-10-50, p. 19.
During the MonthTen flights were made with the lunar landing research
vehicle. All flights were for attitude control and handling qualities research.
Landings on all flights were made in the lunar landing mode.
Letter, Office of Director, Flight Research Center, to NASA Headquarters,
"Lunar Landing Research Vehicle progress report No. 29 for the period ending
November 30, 1965," sgd. Paul F. Bikle, December 14, 1965.
During the MonthA series of tests were run to determine the cause of
stress corrosion of the reaction control system titanium tanks. Results showed
that tanks exposed to chemically pure nitrogen tetroxide
(N2O4) oxidizer suffered stress corrosion cracking, but
tanks exposed to N2O4 containing small amounts of nitric
oxide did not fail. The qualification testing program would soon resume.
"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-44, p. 10; NAA, "Project Apollo
Spacecraft Test Program Weekly Activity Report (Period 15 November 1965 through
21 November 1965), p. 3.