Advanced Design, Fabrication, and Testing
December 2NASA had essentially completed negotiations with North
American on the incentive contract. Based on agreements reached with the
contractor during negotiations, Master Development Schedule 9 was published,
which included Block I and Block II spacecraft schedules, SLA schedules, SM
Block II primary structure schedules, and a tabulated list of milestones
containing former and new schedule dates.
Memorandum, C. L. Taylor, MSC, to each ASPO Branch Chief and each Subsystem
Manager, "New NAA Schedule MDS-9," December 2, 1965.
December 2Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, NASA Apollo Program Director,
approved the deletion of the LEM TM-5 from the ground test program. He requested
that MSC consider the following recommendations:
On December 23, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea replied regarding
- A Langley Research Center drop test program using a full-scale LEM as part
of the LEM test program.
- Expansion of the one-sixth scale model tests in the areas of
nonsymmetrical landings and soil landings.
- Planning of mechanism tests on LTA-3 with attention to their timelines.
- Investigation of use of the LTA-3 or LEM-1 for structural elasticity
TWX, Maj. Gen. Samuel C.
Phillips, NASA Headquarters, to MSC, Attn: J. F. Shea, December 2, 1965; letter,
Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips,
"Deletion of TM-5 from LEM Ground Test Program," December 23, 1965,
- Langley had been requested by MSC to support the LEM ground test program
by conducting tests of a simulated LEM on the Langley one-sixth gravity
simulation test rig.
- Additional tests of one-sixth LEM drop models would be conducted to cover
nonsymmetrical landings. Evaluation of LEM landing performance in soil was
starting at MSC in a program that would include both analysis and experimental
- MSC felt that sufficient demonstration of the mechanism capabilities of
the landing gear would be provided by the planned dynamic tower tests and the
Langley tests. The LTA-3 drop tests, however, would be used as a further means
of demonstrating the mechanism's functionability.
- An analytical study to evaluate the structural "elastic spring-back"
effects on LEM landing performance was being conducted by Grumman. If
evaluation of this study showed the need for experimental testing, the use of
the LTA-3 for elasticity tests would be investigated. The use of a flight
article, such as LEM-1, for such tests was not considered desirable because of
the possibility of structural damage.
December 3MSC was considering the use of both water and air bacteria
filters in the LEM to reduce contamination of the lunar surface. Crew Systems
Division (CSD) would attempt to determine by tests what percentage concentration
of micro-organisms would be trapped by the filters. CSD hoped to begin limited
testing in January 1966.
At an MSC meeting attended by ASPO, CSD, and Lunar Sample Receiving
Laboratory representatives, it was decided that the following directions would
be sent to Grumman:
Memorandum, Robert V. Battey, Chief,
Systems Operations Branch, ASPO, to Chief, Systems Engineering Division, ASPO,
"Status of Lunar Surface Contamination," December 3, 1965.
- In order to prolong the prevention of lunar surface contamination,
provisions should be made to store urine and lithium hydroxide canisters in
the descent stage; and
- the portable life support systems and associated extravehicular mobility
items should be dumped onto the lunar surface after all lunar surface
exploration had been completed.
December 3The Flight Readiness Review for Mission A-004 was conducted
at White Sands Test Facility. The board concurred in proceeding with launch
preparations. Subsequent to the review, the failure analysis of the autopilot
subsystem revealed loose solder connections, and the launch was rescheduled for
December 15, from the original December 8 planned launch. The launch was later
scheduled for December 18; then, because of continued problems with the
autopilot, was scrubbed until January. (See January 20, 1966, entry.)
"Project Apollo, Abstract of Proceedings, Mission A-004 (CSM 002/LJ II
12-51-3) Flight Readiness Review, December 3, 1965, at the White Sands Test
Facility," Chairman, F. J. Bailey, Jr.; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report,
December 2-9, 1965"; TWX, Manager, ASPO, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn:
Director, Apollo Program Office, December 22, 1965.
December 3-7The U.S.S.R. launched Luna VIII, an unmanned
spacecraft, toward the moon December 3. The objectives were to test a soft lunar
landing system and scientific research. Weighing 1,552 kg (3,422 lbs), the
spacecraft was following a trajectory close to the calculated one and the
equipment was functioning normally. Luna VIII impacted on the moon
December 7. Indications were that it was destroyed instead of making a soft
landing. Tass reported that "the systems were functioning normally at all stages
of the landing except the final touchdown."
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, pp. 536, 542.
December 4-18Gemini VII, the fourth manned mission of that
program, was launched from Cape Kennedy December 4 with command pilot Frank
Borman and pilot James A. Lovell, Jr., as the crew. Their primary objective was
to evaluate the physiological effects of long-duration (14 days) flight on man.
Secondary objectives included: providing a rendezvous target for the
Gemini VI-A spacecraft (see December 15-16 entry), conducting 20
experiments, and evaluating the spacecraft's reentry guidance capability. The
rendezvous was successfully accomplished during the 11th day of the mission. The
crew established another first for American spacemen as first one, then the
other, and finally both flew with their flight suits removed. The landing, on
December 18, was little more than six miles from the planned landing point.
Grimwood, Hacker, with Vorzimmer, "Project Gemini, A Chronology"
(NASA SP-4002), 1969, pp. 224- 226.
December 5Hamilton Standard successfully tested a life-support back
pack designed to meet requirements of the lunar surface suit. The system
functioned as planned for more than three hours inside a vacuum chamber, while
the test subject walked on a treadmill to simulate the metabolic load of an
astronaut on the lunar terrain. The 29.48-kg (65-lb) portable life support
system supplied oxygen, pressurized to a minimum 25,510 newtons per sq m (3.7
lbs psi), controlled its temperature and relative humidity, and circulated it
through the suit and helmet. The pack pumped cooled water through the tubing of
the undergarment for cooling inside the pressure suit. A canister of lithium
hydroxide trapped carbon dioxide and other air contaminants to purify the oxygen
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 540.
December 6George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned
Space Flight, notified MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that NASA Administrator
James E. Webb and Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., had selected
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, The Martin Company, McDonnell Aircraft
Corporation, and Northrop Corporation for Phase I of the Apollo Experiments
Pallet Procurement. The contracts would be for four months and each would be
valued at about $375,000.
Letter, Mueller to Gilruth, December 6, 1965.
December 6-17The Block II CSM Critical Design Review (CDR) was held at
North American, Downey, Calif. The specifications and drawings were reviewed and
the CSM mockup inspected. Review Item Dispositions were written against the
design where it failed to meet the requirements.
As a result of the CDR North American would update the configuration of
mockup 27A for use in zero-g flights at Wright-Patterson AFB. The flights could
not be rescheduled until MSC approved the refurbished mockup as being
representative of the spacecraft configuration.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 16-23, 1965."
December 7ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed North American, Grumman,
and Bell Aerosystems Company that NASA's Associate Administrator for Manned
Space Flight, George E. Mueller, had requested a presentation on the
incompatibility of titanium alloys and nitrogen tetroxide and its impact on the
Apollo Program, this to be done at the NASA Senior Management Council meeting on
In light of recent failures of almost all titanium tanks planned for use in
the Apollo Program when exposed to nitrogen tetroxide under conditions which
might be encountered in flight, the matter was deemed to be of utmost urgency.
A preliminary meeting was scheduled at NASA Headquarters on December 16 and
one responsible representative from each of the prime contractors and
subcontractors was requested to be present. Prior to the December 16 meeting, it
would be necessary for each organization to complete the following tasks:
TWX, Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to D. Myers, NAA; J. Gavin,
Grumman; and J. Piselli, Bell Aerosystems Company, December 7, 1965.
- Tabulate and analyze all tank tests to date and all related materials
- Establish a format for presentation of the effects of time, temperature,
and stress levels on failure.
- Obtain the best correlation between actual tank tests and related
- Establish limits of operation and confidence levels for all current
titanium tanks and relate these to all planned flights.
- Tabulate all titanium tank hardware in inventory and complete costs of
development and manufacture of this hardware to date.
- Consider and recommend a course of action which would alleviate problems
for early flights using existing hardware with minimum cost and schedule
- Consider and recommend a course of action for future flights and indicate
cost and schedule impact.
- If recommendations for future action include coatings, surface
preparation, or alternate materials, present component weight increase and
overall spacecraft increase.
- Consider changes in mission ground rules which would decrease time of
tanks under pressure.
- Consider possibility of venting and repressurization and impact on
pressurization system design, weight, cost and schedule.
- Review all missions and present pressurization times, stress levels, and
thermal environment of all Apollo titanium tanks which contain nitrogen
December 8MSC's Deputy Director George M. Low told Willis B. Foster of
NASA Headquarters that the standing committee appointed by him had performed an
invaluable service to the Center in identifying the requirements to be
incorporated in the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory. Low said, "Additionally,
we are indebted to individual members of that committee for providing detailed
specialized inputs during the preliminary engineering phase just ended."
Low noted that the committee had prepared a report, "Review of the
Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) of the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory
(LSRL) by the Standing Committee of LSRL." He said that an examination of this
report revealed that the committee had addressed itself to a detailed review
task which far exceeded the scope envisioned when Foster conceived the idea for
such a committee.
Low suggested that the committee be "discharged of any further responsibility
relating to the facility design and construction." He added that MSC would look
forward to providing Foster and his staff, as well as interested outside
scientists, periodic briefings and reports of status and progress on the
Letter, Low to Foster, "Manned Space Science Standing Committee for the Lunar
Sample Receiving Laboratory," December 8, 1965.
December 8An 889-kilonewton (200,000-lb) thrust J-2 engine was
captive-fired for 388 sec on a new test stand at MSFC. The J-2 engine would be
used to power the Saturn S-IVB stage for the Saturn V. Ten tests of the liquid
hydrogen-liquid oxygen powered rocket engine had been conducted at MSFC since
the J-2 engine test facility was put into use in August 1965.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 543.
December 8The service propulsion system burn time for AS-502 was
confirmed to be 385 sec flight time. Previously the plan had called for a total
of 515 sec - 310 sec for SPS-1 and 205 sec for SPS-2. This action required that
all mission plans be restudied and revised.
Memorandum, Carl R. Huss, JSC, to JSC Historical Office, "Comments on Volume
III of The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology, "June 6, 1973.
December 9-16Investigations were continuing of the best alternative for
resolving the AS-502 mission incompatibilities. The incompatibilities resulted
from the restriction of the usable life of the Block I service propulsion system
(SPS) engine to 385 to 400 sec total burn time. The alternatives were:
information for reaching a decision among those alternatives was being
- Retain the current mission profile by burning the SPS engine for 500 sec,
the minimum time the Block I engine was to be qualified for in ground tests.
- Decrease the burn time to about 385 sec and permit the apogee of the
AS-502 mission to increase well above the planned 16,668 km (9,000 nmi). The
increased flight time would result in increased dispersions at reentry,
requiring some means to be found to decrease guidance dispersions during
- Plan a primary AS-502 mission which stayed within the 400-sec burn time
limitation and which did not achieve the desired reentry conditions for the
- Put a Block II SPS engine on CM 020. Because of the number of changes in
the SPS subsystem between Block I and Block II, this would probably mean an
extensive rework of the 020 SM.
- Develop engine modifications specifically for the 020 spacecraft that
would permit firing the engine for 500 sec. This would mean a dead-end
development over and above the Block I requirements.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 9-16, 1965."
December 9-16The Block II Apollo food stowage problems were explored at
North American. Methods of restraint were resolved to allow accessibility of the
man-meal assemblies. The contractor, Melpar, Inc., would rework and reposition
mockup man-meal assemblies to conform with suggestions by the Crew Provisions
Office of the MSC Apollo Support Office and North American representatives.
December 9-16Nine review item dispositions were submitted at the Block
II critical design review concerning the earth landing system and shock
attenuation system (struts). Six were on specifications, one on installation
drawings, and two on capability. The two most significant were:
- the contract for Block II parachutes had not been awarded and consequently
top installation drawings were not yet available for review; and
- specifications defining crew couch strut loading tolerances had not been
released but the strut drawings had.
December 9-16Preliminary results of the "fire-till-touchdown" study by
Grumman indicated that this maneuver was not feasible. The engine might be
exploded by driving the shock wave into the nozzles. The base heatshield
temperature would exceed 1,789K (5,000 degrees F), which was high enough to melt
portions of the structure, possibly causing destruction of the foot pads. The
allowable pressure on the nonstructural elements of the base heatshield would be
exceeded; and the descent engine flow field would tend to cause a "POGO" effect
which would cause landing instability and could prevent engine cutoff.
As an outgrowth of the study, the landing probes would have to be made longer
(137.1 to 187.9 cm [54 to 74 in] with automatic cutoff, 228.6 to 304.8 cm [90 to
120 in] with manual cutoff). The probe switches would be moved from the tip of
the probe to the base, which was objectionable from the standpoint of a possible
false reading due to probe dynamics.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 16-23, 1965."
December 10At-sea operational qualification tests, using boilerplate 29
to simulate spacecraft 009, were completed. All mechanical system components
performed satisfactorily, except for the recovery flashing light. Test results
MSC, "ASPO Weekly
Management Report, December 9-16, 1965."
- uprighting system - during the first mission cycle, the vehicle was
uprighted in three minutes, during the second, in two minutes;
- VHF antenna deployment - the antennas were in the erect position when the
test started. Communication was achieved with a fly-by plane;
- the sea dye marker canister deployed as expected when the HF was erected;
- the recovery flashing light was deployed before the test started; when
switched on the light did not flash. Post-test analysis indicated a
water-short in the wiring installed by MSC.
December 15Grumman was invited to provide NASA with a
cost-plus-incentive-fee proposal to provide four LEMs subsequent to LEM-11, with
the proposal due at MSC by the close of business on the following day. The
proposal should be based on a vehicular configuration similar to LEM-11 in all
respects, including supporting activities, contractual provisions, and
specifications applicable to LEM-11. The required shipment dates for the four
vehicles would be December 13, 1968, February 11, 1969, April 11, 1969, and June
10, 1969, respectively.
TWX, James L. Neal, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: J. C. Snedeker, December 15, 1965.
December 15NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science and
Applications Homer E. Newell informed MSC that an experiment proposed by Ames
Research Center had been selected as a space science investigation for, if
possible, the first manned lunar landing as a part of the Apollo Lunar Surface
Experiments Package. Principal investigator of the proposed experiment, the
magnetometer, was C. P. Sonett of Ames with Jerry Modisette of MSC as associate.
The Apollo Program Director was being requested by Newell to authorize the
funding of flight hardware for this experiment.
Letter, Homer E. Newell, NASA Headquarters, to Director, MSC, Attn:
Experiments Program Manager, "Selection of Apollo Lunar Science Magnetic Field
Investigations," December 15, 1965.
December 15CSM ultimate static testing began. A failure occurred at 140
percent of the limit load test which simulated the end of the first-stage Saturn
V boost. The loads were applied at room temperature. Preliminary inspection
revealed a core compression failure and upper face sheet separation of the aft
bulkhead directly beneath both SM oxidizer tank supports.
A second failure was also observed where the radial beams between the
oxidizer and fuel tanks joined the bulkhead and shell. The bulkhead closeouts
were peeled for a distance of approximately two inches. No decisions were made
regarding repairs, test schedule, etc. These tests were constraints on
spacecraft 012. MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 9-16, 1965."
December 15-16Gemini VI-A, the fifth manned flight and
first rendezvous mission in the Gemini Program, was launched from Cape Kennedy
on December 15, with Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr., serving as command pilot
and Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford, pilot. Their primary objective was to
rendezvous with the Gemini VII spacecraft, and secondary objectives
included station-keeping with the other spacecraft, evaluating spacecraft
reentry guidance capability, and performing three experiments.
A coelliptic maneuver was performed 3 hours and 47 minutes after launch; the
terminal initiation was performed an hour-and-a-half later; braking maneuvers
were started at 5 hours and 50 minutes into the flight and rendezvous was
technically accomplished six minutes later. The two spacecraft began
station-keeping maneuvers which continued for three and a half orbits while they
were separated by as much as 100 m and as little as 0.3 m.
Grimwood et al., Project Gemini, A Chronology, 1969, p,
227; Gemini VII/Gemini VI, Long Duration/Rendezvous Missions, MSC
Fact Sheet 291-D, January 1966 [Ivan D. Ertel].
December 16The NASA Director of Mission Operations notified the
Directors of MSC, MSFC, and KSC that the communication satellite operational
capability for Apollo mission support was scheduled for September 30, 1966.
Letter, E. E. Christensen, NASA, to KSC, MSFC, and MSC, Attn: Directors,
"Communications Satellite Planning Status," December 16, 1965, with enclosure:
"Communications Service by Communications Satellites for Support of Project
Apollo," November 30, 1965.
December 16Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips said the Apollo
Weight and Performance management system, jointly developed by the Apollo
Program Office and the Centers had proved itself as a useful management tool. He
considered that the system had matured to the point that changes in
organizational responsibility were needed. He set a target date of December 31,
1965, to complete the following actions:
Phillips acknowledged that an important element of the Apollo
Weight and Performance management system had been the prediction analysis
(weight growth) assessment effort performed by GE Apollo Support Division, under
contract to the Apollo Program Control Office. Phillips felt, however, that
weight growth analyses were a Center responsibility, and there was no continuing
need for GE to perform in this area since the prediction analysis methodology
had been established.
- The focal point for the work had been in Apollo Program Control. Since it
was a systems engineering function, Phillips was transferring this
responsibility to his Apollo Systems Engineering organization.
- The APO Directorate of Systems Engineering would provide a quarterly
weight and performance report and a monthly summary report on an integrated
- MSC would be responsible for and provide to the Apollo Program Office the
weight and performance material which had been directed to Apollo Program
Phillips told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that if he wished to continue to
use GE's service in this area, he would support his request with the stipulation
that GE's prediction analysis operation be supervised by MSC personnel.
Letter, Phillips to Shea, December 16, 1965.
December 16-23A working group was formed at MSC to determine the
effects of lunar soil properties on LEM landing performance. Various potential
sources of lunar surface information, including Surveyor spacecraft, would be
investigated in an effort to evaluate LEM landing performance in a lunar soil.
The effect of footpad size and shape on landing performance in soil would also
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 16-23, 1965."
December 16-23The requirement to use the LEM rendezvous radar for
surface or skin track and for tracking in the cooperative mode during powered
LEM mission phases was deleted from the Grumman Technical Specification and the
Master End Item Specification.
December 16-23The following responsibilities were transferred from MIT
to AC Electronics:
- design responsibility for the Block I and Block II eyepiece compartment;
- responsibility for all Block II and LEM system coatings which were exposed
to the spacecraft or space environment; and
- design responsibility for the LEM navigation
December 17The MSC Systems Development Branch rejected a proposal that
the Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) on LEM-3 be deleted for the
Memorandum, Chief, Systems Development Branch, MSC, to Bob
Williams, MSC, "DFI on LEM-3," December 17, 1965.
- LEM-3 would be the first full-weight LEM launched on a Saturn V vehicle.
This would be the only chance of obtaining necessary information about the
responses of LEM during launch.
- The AS-503 mission would offer the only opportunity of obtaining
information on the characteristics of a fully loaded, mated LEM and CSM prior
to attempting a lunar landing.
- Three LEMs with DFI were considered the minimum number acceptable in the
program to provide flexibility in flight planning and ability to accommodate
the loss of LEMs 1 or 2 without a major impact on the
December 19Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips informed J. L.
Atwood, President of North American Aviation, Inc., that he and the team working
with him in examining the Apollo Spacecraft and S-II stage programs had
completed their task "in sufficient detail . . . to formulate reasonably
accurate assessment of the current situation concerning these two programs."
Phillips and a task force had started this study at North American November 22,
Phillips added: "I am definitely not satisfied with the progress and outlook
of either program and am convinced that the right actions now can result in
substantial improvement of position in both programs in the relatively near
"Inclosed are ten copies of the notes which we compiled on the basis of our
visits. They include details not discussed in our briefing and are provided for
your consideration and use.
"The conclusions expressed in our briefing and notes are critical. Even with
due consideration of hopeful signs, I could not find a substantive basis for
confidence in future performance. I believe that a task group drawn from NAA at
large could rather quickly verify the substance of our conclusions, and might be
useful to you in setting the course for improvements.
"The gravity of the situation compels me to ask that you let me know, by the
end of January if possible, the actions you propose to take. . . ."
Letter, Phillips to Atwood, December 15, 1965; Hearings before the Committee
on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, United States Senate, Ninetieth Congress,
First Session, "To Hear Officials of North American Aviation, Inc., Prime
Contractor to NASA in the Apollo Program," Apollo Accident, Part 5, pp. 414-415,
May 4, 1967.
December 20Robert C. Duncan, Chief of MSC's Guidance and Control
Division, revealed that recent discussions between himself, NASA Associate
Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller, and ASPO Manager Joseph
F. Shea had resulted in a decision to continue both radar and optical tracking
systems into the hardware development phase. It was also agreed that some
specific analytical and hardware homework must be done. The hardware action
items were being assigned to Robert A. Gardiner and the analytical action items
to Donald C. Cheatham.
The primary objective was to design, develop, and produce rendezvous sensor
hardware that was on time and would work, Duncan said; second, that "we must
have a rendezvous strategy which takes best advantage of the capability of the
rendezvous sensor (whichever type it might be)."
The greatest difficulty in reducing operating laboratory equipment into
operating spacecraft hardware occurred in the process of packaging and testing
for flight. This milestone had not been reached in either the radar or the
optical tracker programs.
Duncan said, "We want to set up a 'rendezvous sensor olympics' at some
appropriate stage . . . when we have flight-weight equipment available from both
the radar contractor and the optical tracker contractor. This olympics should
consist of exposing the hardware to critical environmental tests, particularly
vibration and thermal-cycling, and to operate the equipment after such
exposure." If one or the other equipment failed to survive the test, it would be
clear which program would be continued and which would be canceled. "If both
successfully pass the olympics, the system which will be chosen will be based
largely upon the results of the analytical effort. . . . If both systems fail
the olympics, it is clear we have lots of work to do," Duncan said.
Memorandum, Robert C. Duncan, MSC, to Engineering and Development
Directorate, Attn: Assistant Chief for Engineering and Development and Assistant
Chief for Project Management, "Competition of radar and optical tracker system
for the LEM," December 20, 1965.
December 21Robert C. Seamans, Jr., was sworn in as Deputy Administrator
of NASA, succeeding Hugh L. Dryden who died December 2. Seamans would also
retain his present position as Associate Administrator for an indefinite period
NASA Administrator James E. Webb administered the oath of office. He had
announced in Austin, Tex., on December 10, that President Lyndon B. Johnson had
accepted his recommendation that Seamans be named to the number two NASA post.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, p. 546; TWX, NASA
Headquarters, Public Information Office, to all NASA Centers and Offices,
December 21, 1965.
December 30Because earth landing system qualification drop tests on
boilerplate 6A and boilerplate 19 had failed to demonstrate that Block I
recovery aids would not be damaged during landing, MSC notified North American
that certain existing interim configuration recovery aid mockups must be
replaced by actual hardware capable of fulfilling test requirements. The
hardware included: two VHF antennas; one flashing light; one RF antenna,
nondeployable; sea marker, swimmer umbilical, nondeployable. In addition,
existing launch escape system tower leg bolts should be replaced by redesigned
Block I tower bolts, including protective covers, to demonstrate that the
redesigned bolts and covers did not degrade the performance of the earth landing
system. North American was to reply with a total change plan by January 5, 1966.
TWX, J. B. Alldredge, MSC, to NAA, Attn: J. C. Cozad, December 30, 1965.
December 30-January 6As a result of joint efforts by the Resident ASPO
and MSFC Resident Manufacturing Representative, a simulated forward bulkhead for
the CM inner-crew compartment was fabricated by North American and sent to MSFC
for use in developing a head for the magnetic hammer which would be compatible
to the extremely thin skins used on the compartment. The need for the magnetic
hammer arose from the "canning" and "wrinkles" found after welding on the
forward bulkhead. A tryout for the magnetic hammer on the simulated bulkhead was
scheduled the first week in January.
MSC, "ASPO Weekly Management Report, December 30, 1965-January 6, 1966."
December 30-January 6A potential problem still existed with the boost
environment for the LEM and the associated spacecraft-LEM-adapter (SLA) thermal
coating. Systems Engineering Division authorized North American to proceed with
implementation of an SLA thermal coating to meet the currently understood SLA
requirements. Grumman would review the North American study in detail for
possible adverse impact on the LEM and would negotiate with MSC.
December 30-January 6Grumman and MSC reached agreement to continue with
Freon for prelaunch cooling of LEM-1. By changing to a different Freon the
additional heat sink capability was obtained with minor changes to flight
hardware. The ground support equipment for supplying Freon had to be modified to
increase the flow capability, but this was not expected to be difficult. Plans
were to use the same prelaunch cooling capability for LEM-2 and LEM-3.
December 30-January 6NASA Headquarters had directed that crew water
intake be recorded on all Apollo flights. To meet this requirement the
Government-furnished water gun would have to be modified to include a metering
capability. A gun with this capability was successfully flown on the Gemini VI
and Gemini VII flights and could be used without change in the CM and LEM if it
could withstand the higher water pressure. Incorporation of the gun could
require bracket changes in the CM and the LEM.
December 31The SM reaction control system engine qualification was
completed with no apparent failures.
During the MonthDuring the month 16 flights were made in the LLRV. Of
these, 11 were devoted to concluding the handling qualities evaluation of the
rate- command vehicle attitude control system. The other five flights were
required to check out a new pilot, Lt. Col. E. E. Kluever of the Army, who would
participate in the remaining research flight testing performed on the LLRV at
Flight Research Center. On December 15 the craft was grounded for cockpit
modifications which would make the pilot display and controllers more like those
of the LEM.
Letter, Office of Director, Flight Research Center, to NASA Headquarters,
"Lunar Landing Research Vehicle progress report No. 30 for the period ending
December 31, 1965," sgd. Joseph Weil, January 19, 1966.
During the MonthMSC and Grumman completed negotiations to convert the
LEM contract from cost-plus-fixed-fee to cost- plus-incentive fee. In addition
to schedule and performance incentives, bonus points would be awarded for cost
control during FY 66 and FY 67. Four LEMs were also added to the program. LEM
mockup-3 would be used as the KSC verification vehicle; LEM test article-2 and
LEM test article-10 (refurbished vehicles) would be used in the first two
flights of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
A total of 167 contract change authorizations (CCAs) to the Grumman contract
had been issued by December 31. Negotiation of the proposal for the conversion
to a cost-plus-incentive-fee included all CCAs through No. 162, and CCA
amendments dated before December 9. Proposals for CCAs 163167 were in process
and would be submitted according to contract change procedures.
Ibid., pp. 1, 22.
During the QuarterASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea reported to Apollo
Program Director Samuel C. Phillips on changes in spacecraft weights:
Joseph F. Shea, MSC, to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips,
"Weight and Performance Data Submittal (January 1966)," January 22, 1966.
- The CM control weight was 4,989 kg (11,000 lbs) and current weight 4,954
kg (10,920 lbs), up 126.55 kg (279 lbs) from September.
- The SM control weight was 4,627 kg (10,200 lbs), and current weight was
4,591 kg (10,122 lbs), down 44.45 kg (98 lbs). The total amount of usable
propellant, control weight, was 16,642 kg (36,690 lbs), and current weight was
16,468 kg (36,305 lbs), up 53.98 kg (119 lbs).
- The LEM control weight was 14,515 kg (32,000 lbs) and current weight was
14,333 kg (31,599 lbs), down 81.65 kg (180 lbs).
- The spacecraft-LEM-adapter control weight was 1,724 kg (3,800 lbs) and the
current weight was 1,624 kg (3,580 lbs), up 22.68 kg (50 lbs).
- The total spacecraft injected control weight was 43,091 kg (95,000 lbs),
and current weight was 42,422 kg (93,526 lbs), up 77.11 kg (170 lbs).
- The launch escape system control weight was 3,719 kg (8,200 lbs), and
current weight 3,741 kg (8,245 lbs), up 20.41 kg (45 lbs).
- The total launch control weight was 46,811 kg (103,200 lbs), and current
weight was 46,163 kg (101,771 lbs), up 97.52 kg (215 lbs).