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CSM ECS


CSM ECS Development Diary

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CSM ECS Chronology


1958 October 25 - .
  • Stever Committee report on the civilian space program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. The Stever Committee, which had been set up on January 12, submitted its report on the civilian space program to NASA. Among the recommendations:
    • A vigorous, coordinated attack should be made upon the problems of maintaining the performance capabilities of man in the space environment as a prerequisite to sophisticated space exploration.
    • Sustained support should be given to a comprehensive instrumentation development program, establishment of versatile dynamic flight simulators, and provision of a coordinated series of vehicles for testing components and subsystems.
    • Serious study should be made of an equatorial launch capability.
    • Lifting reentry vehicles should be developed.
    • Both the clustered- and single-engine boosters of million-pound thrust should be developed.
    • Research on high-energy propellant systems for launch vehicle upper stages should receive full support.
    • The performance capabilities of various combinations of existing boosters and upper stages should be evaluated, and intensive development concentrated on those promising greatest usefulness in different categories of payload.

1960 April 1-May 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program presented by STG - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Members of STG presented guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers to enlist research assistance in formulating spacecraft and mission design.

    To open these discussions, Director Robert R. Gilruth summarized the guidelines: manned lunar reconnaissance with a lunar mission module, corollary earth orbital missions with a lunar mission module and with a space laboratory, compatibility with the Saturn C-1 or C-2 boosters (weight not to exceed 15,000 pounds for a complete lunar spacecraft and 25,000 pounds for an earth orbiting spacecraft), 14-day flight time, safe recovery from aborts, ground and water landing and avoidance of local hazards, point (ten square-mile) landing, 72-hour postlanding survival period, auxiliary propulsion for maneuvering in space, a "shirtsleeve" environment, a three-man crew, radiation protection, primary command of mission on board, and expanded communications and tracking facilities. In addition, a tentative time schedule was included, projecting multiman earth orbit qualification flights beginning near the end of the first quarter of calendar year 1966.


1960 April 1-May 3 - .
  • Guidelines for human factors in the advanced manned spacecraft program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Stanley C. White of STG outlined at NASA Centers the guidelines for human factors in the advanced manned spacecraft program:
    1. A "shirtsleeve" spacecraft environment would be necessary because of the long duration of the lunar flight. This would call for a highly reliable pressurized cabin and some means of protection against rapid decompression. Such protection might be provided by a quick-donning pressure suit. Problems of supplying oxygen to the spacecraft; removing carbon dioxide, water vapor, toxic gases, and microorganisms from the capsule atmosphere; basic monitoring instrumentation; and restraint and couch design were all under study. In addition, research would be required on noise and vibration in the spacecraft, nutrition, waste disposal, interior arrangement and displays, and bioinstrumentation.
    2. A minimum crew of three men was specified. Studies had indicated that, for a long-duration mission, multiman crews were necessary and that three was the minimum number required.
    3. The crew should not be subjected to more than a safe radiation dose. Studies had shown that it was not yet possible to shield the crew against a solar flare. Research was indicated on structural materials and equipment for radiation protection, solar-flare prediction, minimum radiation trajectories, and the radiation environment in cislunar space.

1960 September 13 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Apollo Study Bidder's Conference - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Bidder's conference for circumlunar Apollo. Specification: Saturn C-2 compatability (6,800 kg mass for circumlunar mission); 14 day flight time; three-man crew in shirt-sleeve environment..

1961 April 10-12 - .
  • Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Instrumentation and Communications drafted guidelines - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Instrumentation and Communications met at STG and drafted an informal set of guidelines and sent them to the other Technical Liaison Groups:

    • Instrumentation requirements: all Groups should submit their requests for measurements to be made on the Apollo missions, including orbital, circumlunar, and lunar landing operations.
    • Television: since full-rate, high-quality television for the missions would add a communications load that could swamp all others and add power and bandwidth requirements not otherwise needed, other Groups should restate their justification for television requirements.
    • Temperature environment; heat normally pumped overboard might be made available for temperature control systems without excessive cost and complexity.
    • Reentry communications; continuous reentry communications were not yet feasible and could not be guaranteed. It was suggested that all Groups plan their systems as though no communications would exist at altitudes between about 250,000 feet and 90,000 feet.
    • Vehicle reentry and recovery: if tracking during reentry were desired, it would be far more economical to use a water landing site along the Atlantic Missile Range or another East Coast site.
    • Digital computer : the onboard digital computer, if it were flexible enough, would permit the examination of telemetry data for bandwidth reduction before transmission.
    • Antenna-pointing information: the spacecraft should have information relative to its orientation so that any high-gain directive antenna could be positioned toward the desired location on earth.
    The Group then discussed the preparation of material for the Apollo spacecraft specification.

1961 April 10-13 - .
  • Apollo spacecraft specification work - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. In preparing background material for the Apollo spacecraft specification at STG, the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Mechanical Systems worked on environmental control systems, reaction control systems, auxiliary power supplies, landing and recovery systems, and space cabin sealing.

1961 April 25 - .
  • Contract for the liquid-hydrogen liquid-oxygen fuel cell - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. A conference was held at Lewis Research Center between STG and Lewis representatives to discuss the research and development contract for the liquid-hydrogen liquid-oxygen fuel cell as the primary spacecraft electrical power source. Lewis had been provided funds approximately $300,000 by NASA Headquarters to negotiate a contract with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation for the development of a fuel cell for the Apollo spacecraft. STG and Lewis representatives agreed that the research and development should be directed toward the liquid-hydrogen - liquid-oxygen fuel cell. Guidelines were provided by STG:

    • Power output requirement for the Apollo spacecraft was estimated at two to three kilowatts.
    • Nominal output voltage should be about 27.5 volts.
    • Regulation should be within +/- 10 percent of nominal output voltage.
    • The fuel cell should be capable of sustained operation at reduced output (10 percent of rated capacity, if possible).
    • The fuel cell and associated system should be capable of operation in a space environment.
    Lewis planned to request a pilot model of the fuel cell of about 250 watts capacity, capable of unattended operation. Contract negotiations were expected to be completed by May 2 and the model delivered within 12 months of the contract award.

1961 August 14 - .
  • Atmospheric requirement for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. STG requested that a program be undertaken by the U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory, Philadelphia, Penna., to validate the atmospheric composition requirement for the Apollo spacecraft. On November 7, the original experimental design was altered by the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). The new objectives were:

    • Establish the required preoxygenation time for a rapid decompression (80 seconds) from sea level to 35,000 feet.
    • Discover the time needed for equilibrium (partial denitrogenation) at the proposed cabin atmosphere for protection in case of rapid decompression to 35,000 feet.
    • Investigate the potential hazard associated with an early mission decompression - i.e., before the equilibrium time was reached, preceded by the determined preoxygenation period.
    • Conduct any additional tests suggested by the results of the foregoing experiments.

1961 October 4 - .
  • Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation progress - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of STG visited the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT for the second monthly progress report meeting on the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation contract. A number of technical topics were presented by Laboratory speakers: space sextant visibility and geometry problems, gear train analysis, vacuum environmental approach, midcourse guidance theory, inertial measurement unit, and gyro. The organization of the Apollo effort at the Laboratory was also discussed. A preliminary estimate of the cost for both Laboratory and industrial support for the Apollo navigation and guidance system was presented: $158.4 million through Fiscal Year 1966.

1962 April 19-20 - .
  • Monthly NAA-NASA Apollo spacecraft design review - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Discussions at the monthly NAA-NASA Apollo spacecraft design review included:

    • Results of an NAA study on environmental control system (ECS) heating capabilities for lunar night operations were presented. The study showed that the system could not provide enough heating and that the integration of ECS and the fuel cell coolant system was the most promising source for supplemental heating.
    • The launch escape system configuration was approved. It embodied a 120inch tower, symmetrical nose cone, jettison motor located forward of the launch escape motor, and an aerodynamic skirt covering the escape motor nozzles. This configuration change in the escape rocket nozzle cant angle was intended to prevent impingement of hot gases on the command module.
    • MSC senior personnel directed NAA to study the technical penalties and scheduling effects of spacecraft design capabilities with direct lunar landing and lunar rendezvous techniques.

1962 June 16-22 - .
  • 100 percent oxygen atmosphere for Apollo would save 30 pounds - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: Results of a preliminary investigation by NAA showed that a 100 percent oxygen atmosphere for the command module would save about 30 pounds in weight and reduce control complexity..

1962 July 10-11 - .
  • Apollo atmosphere to be pure oxygen - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. At the monthly Apollo spacecraft design review meeting with NAA, MSC officials directed NAA to design the spacecraft atmospheric system for 5 psia pure oxygen. From an engineering standpoint, the single-gas atmosphere offered advantages in minimizing weight and leakage, in system simplicity and reliability, and in the extravehicular suit interface. Additional Details: here....

1962 July - .
  • Air recirculation system of Apollo command module rearranged - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Air recirculation system components of the command module were rearranged to accommodate a disconnect fitting and lines for the center crewman's suit. To relieve an obstruction, the cabin pressure regulator was relocated and a design study drawing was completed.

1962 July - .
  • Modified method of cooling Apollo selected - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. A modified method of cooling crew and equipment before launch and during boost was tentatively selected by NAA. Chilled, ground-support-equipment-supplied water-glycol would be pumped through the spacecraft coolant system until 30 seconds before launch, when these lines would be disconnected. After umbilical separation the glycol, as it evaporated at the water boiler, would be chilled by Freon stored in the water tanks.

1962 August - .
  • Limited testing planned of fire hazards in pure oxygen atmosphere for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: A preliminary NAA report was completed on a literature search concerning fire hazards in 100 percent oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres. This report showed that limited testing would be warranted..

1962 September - .
  • External natural environment of the Apollo spacecraft reconsidered - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. The external natural environment of the Apollo spacecraft as defined in the December 18, 1961, Statement of Work had been used in the early Apollo design work. The micrometeoroid, solar proton radiation, and lunar surface characteristics were found to be most critical to the spacecraft design.

1962 September - .
  • Apollo training requirements planning 40 percent complete - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC reported that Apollo training requirements planning was 40 percent complete. The preparation of specific materials would begin during the first quarter of 1964. The crew training equipment included earth launch and reentry, orbital and rendezvous, and navigation and trajectory control part-task trainers, which were special-purpose simulators. An early delivery would allow extensive practice for the crew in those mission functions where crew activity was time-critical and required development of particular skills. The mission simulators had complete mission capability, providing visual as well as instrument environments. Mission simulators would be located at MSC and at Cape Canaveral.

1962 October - .
  • Proposed designs for Apollo view port covers prepared - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Proposed designs for view port covers on the crew-hatch window, docking ports, and earth landing windows were prepared by NAA. Design planning called for these port covers to be removed solely in the space environment. (Crew members would not use such windows during launch and reentry phases.) NAA,

1962 October - .
  • Valves of the Apollo CM environmental control system modified for 5.0 psia oxygen - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. The valves of the command module (CM) environmental control system were modified to meet the 5.0 psia oxygen operating requirements. All oxygen partial pressure controls were deleted from the system and the relief pressure setting of 7 +/- 0.2 psia was changed to 6 +/- 0.2 psia. The CM now could be repressurized from 0 to 5.0 psia in one hour.

1962 December 13 - .
  • Vacuum chamber required at Florida to test Apollo spacecraft systems during prelaunch checkout - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: MSC officials, both in Houston and at the Preflight Operations Division at Cape Canaveral, agreed on a vacuum chamber at the Florida location to test spacecraft systems in a simulated space environment during prelaunch checkout..

1962 December 18 - .
  • Apollo spacecraft atmosphere of pure oxygen at 5 psia acceptable - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the MSF Management Council that tests by Republic Aviation Corporation, the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine SAM at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex., and the U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory (ACEL) at Philadelphia, Pa., had established that, physiologically, a spacecraft atmosphere of pure oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (five pounds per square inch absolute (psia)) was acceptable. During the separate experiments, about 20 people had been exposed to pure oxygen environments for periods of up to two weeks without showing adverse effects. Two fires had occurred, one on September 10 at SAM and the other on November 17 at ACEL. The cause in both cases was faulty test equipment. On July 11, NASA had ordered North American to design the CM for 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5-psia), pure-oxygen atmosphere.

1962 December - .
  • Reliability-crew safety design reviews for the Apollo CM environmental control system (ECS) - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. In the first of a series of reliability-crew safety design reviews on all systems for the CM, North American examined the spacecraft's environmental control system (ECS). The Design Review Board approved the overall ECS concept, but made several recommendations for further refinement. Among these were:

    • The ECS should be made simpler and the system's controls should be better marked and located.
    • Because of the pure oxygen environment, all flammable materials inside the cabin should be eliminated.
    • Sources of possible atmospheric contamination should be further reviewed, with emphasis upon detecting and controlling such toxic gases inside the spacecraft.

1963 January 2 - .
  • Contract for large vacuum chambers for Apollo testing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC awarded a $3.69 million contract to the Radio Corporation of America

    RCA Service Company to design and build two vacuum chambers at MSC. The facility was used in astronaut training and spacecraft environmental testing. using carbon arc: lamps, the chambers simulated the sun's intensity, permitting observation of the effects of solar heating encountered on a lunar mission. At the end of July, MSC awarded RCA another contract (worth $3,341,750) for these solar simulators.


1963 March 5 - .
  • Contract to Perkin-Elmer for an Apollo carbon dioxide measurement system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC awarded a $67,000 contract to The Perkin-Elmer Corporation to develop a carbon dioxide measurement system, a device to measure the partial carbon dioxide pressure within the spacecraft's cabin. Two prototype units were to be delivered to MSC for evaluation. About seven months later, a $249,000 definitive contract for fabrication and testing of the sensor was signed.

1963 March 26 - .
  • Beginning of Apollo CM environmental control system tests - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC announced the beginning of CM environmental control system tests at the AiResearch Manufacturing Company simulating prelaunch, ascent, orbital, and reentry pressure effects. Earlier in the month, analysis had indicated that the CM interior temperature could be maintained between 294 K (70 degrees F) and 300 K (80 degrees F) during all flight operations, although prelaunch temperatures might rise to a maximum of 302 K (84 degrees F).

1963 March 26-28 - .
  • Meeting to define Apollo CM-space suit interface problem areas - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; A7L; CSM ECS. A meeting was held at North American to define CM-space suit interface problem areas. Demonstrations of pressurized International Latex suits revealed poor crew mobility and task performance inside the CM, caused in part by the crew's unavoidably interfering with one another.

    Other items received considerable attention: A six-foot umbilical hose would be adequate for the astronaut in the CM. The location of spacecraft water, oxygen, and electrical fittings was judged satisfactory, as were the new couch assist handholds. The astronaut's ability to operate the environmental control system (ECS) oxygen flow control valve while couched and pressurized was questionable. Therefore, it was decided that the ECS valve would remain open and that the astronaut would use the suit control valve to regulate the flow. It was also found that the hand controller must be moved about nine inches forward.


1963 May 6 - .
  • Carbon dioxide sensors to be part of Apollo environmental control system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: NASA authorized North American to procure carbon dioxide sensors as part of the environmental control system instrumentation on early spacecraft flights..

1963 June - .
  • Two portable life support systems to be stowed in the Apollo LEM and one in the CM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; A7L; CSM ECS; LM Electrical. MSC reported that two portable life support systems would be stowed in the LEM and one in the CM. Resupplying water, oxygen, and lithium hydroxide could be done in a matter of minutes; however, battery recharging took considerably longer, and detailed design of a charger was continuing.

1963 June - .
  • Apollo mission success predictions continued to be less than the apportioned values - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: North American reported that mission success predictions continued to be less than the apportioned values. For example, the environmental control subsystem had a predicted mission reliability of 0.9805, compared to a 0.997675 apportionment..

1963 August 21 - .
  • Mission constraints on the flexibility possible with Apollo lunar launch operations studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. John P. Bryant, of the Flight Operations Division's (FOD) Mission Analysis Branch (MAB), reported to FOD that the branch had conducted a rough analysis of the effects of some mission constraints upon the flexibility possible with lunar launch operations. (As a base, MAB used April and May 1968, called "a typical two-month period.") First, Bryant said, MAB used the mission rules demanded for the Apollo lunar landing (e.g., free-return trajectory; predetermined lunar landing sites; and lighting conditions on the moon - "by far the most restrictive of the lot"). Next, MAB included a number of operational constraints, ones "reasonably representative of those expected for a typical flight," but by no means an "exhaustive" list:

    • A minimum daily launch window of three hours.
    • A 26-degree maximum azimuth variation.
    • An earth landing within 40 degrees of the equator.
    • A minimum of three successive daily launch windows.
    • A daylight launch with at least three hours of daylight following liftoff.
    • Transposition and docking in sunlight.
    • Use of but one of the two daily windows available for translunar injection.
    Bryant advised that, taken just by themselves, these various constraints, both mission and operational, had a "restrictive effect" and that operational flexibility was thereby "dramatically curtailed." Moreover, "there are still a number of possible constraints which have not been considered which could still further affect the size of the ultimate launch window" (and the list was "increasing almost daily"): requirements for tracking coverage and for lighting during rendezvous and reentry; and restrictions imposed by solar activity, launch environment, and - no small matter - weather conditions at the launch site.

    "The consequences," Bryant concluded, "of imposing an ever-increasing number of these flight restrictions is obvious - the eventual loss of almost all operational flexibility. The only solution is . . . (a) meticulous examination of every constraint which tends to reduce the number of available launch opportunities," looking toward eliminating "as many as possible."


1963 September 18 - .
  • AiResearch awarded contract for the Apollo CM environmental system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: The AiResearch Manufacturing Company announced that it had been awarded a $20 million definitive contract for the CM environmental system. (AiResearch had been developing the system under a letter contract since 1961..

1963 September 19-25 - .
  • Automatic radiator control added to the Apollo CM's environmental control system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. North American incorporated an automatic radiator control into the CM's environmental control system to eliminate the need for crew attention during lunar orbit.

    Recent load analysis at North American placed the power required for a 14-day mission at 577 kilowatt-hours, a decrease of about 80 kilowatt-hours from earlier estimates.


1963 October 16-November 15 - .
  • Apollo CM humidity study - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Mercury MA-9. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: Because of an electrical equipment failure on Mercury MA-9, North American began a CM humidity study. . Additional Details: here....

1963 November 5 - .
  • Results of a three-month study on radiation instrumentation - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. North American presented to MSC the results of a three-month study on radiation instrumentation. Three general areas were covered: radio-frequency (RF) warning systems, directional instrumentation, and external environment instrumentation. The company concluded that, with the use of an RE system, astronauts would receive about two hours' notice of any impending solar proton event and could take appropriate action. Proper orientation of the spacecraft could reduce doses by 17 percent, but this could be accomplished only by using a directional detection instrument. There was a 70 percent chance that dosages would exceed safe limits unless such an instrument was used. Consequently North American recommended prompt development.

    Despite the contractor's findings, MSC concluded that there was no need for an RE warning system aboard the spacecraft, believing that radiation warning could be handled more effectively by ground systems. But MSC did concur in the recommendation for a combined proton direction and external environment detection system and authorized North American to proceed with its design and development.


1963 November 16-December 15 - .
  • All production drawings for the Apollo CM ECS released - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. All production drawings for the CM environmental control system were released. - AiResearch Manufacturing Company reported the most critical pacing items were the suit heat exchanger, cyclic accumulator selector valve, and the potable and waste water tanks.

1963 December 16 - .
  • Safety for Apollo of breathing 100 percent oxygen at 5 psi for 30 days proven - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Division completed a joint manned environmental experiment at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex. After spending a week in a sea-level atmospheric environment, the test subjects breathed 100 percent oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi) at a simulated altitude of 8,230 meters (27,000 feet) for 30 days. They then reentered the test capsule for observation in a sea-level environment for the next five days. This experiment demonstrated that men could live in a 100 percent oxygen environment under these conditions with no apparent ill effects.

1963 December 16-January 15 - .
  • Apollo CM environmental control system redesign - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; A7L; CSM ECS. MSC directed North American to redesign the CM environmental control system compressor to provide 0.283 cubic meters (10 cubic feet) of air per minute to each space suit at 1.8 newtons per square centimeter (3.5 psi), 16.78 kilograms (37 pounds) per hour total.

1964 January 16-February 15 - .
  • Design completed of all components of Apollo CM ECS - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: AiResearch Manufacturing Company reported that it had completed design effort on all components of the CM environmental control system..

1964 January 23-29 - .
  • Qualification testing of components of the Apollo CM environmental control system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: The AiResearch Manufacturing Company began qualification testing of the first group of components of the CM environmental control system..

1964 February 16-March 15 - .
  • Apollo potable water system was changed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: The potable water system was changed to meter both hot and cold water in one-ounce increments to provide accurate measurements for food rehydration. The previous water valve was a full-flow tap..

1964 March 16-April 15 - .
  • Apollo CM ECS component testing completed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: AiResearch Manufacturing Company completed testing on development components of the CM environmental control system. Specifications for components had been submitted to North American..

1964 April 16-May 15 - .
  • Simulations to evaluate Apollo astronauts' ability to perform attitude change maneuvers - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. North American completed the first of a series of simulations to evaluate the astronauts' ability to perform attitude change maneuvers under varying rates and angles. Subjects were tested in a shirtsleeve environment and in vented and pressurized International Latex Corporation state-of-the-art pressure suits. The subjects had considerable difficulty making large, multi-axis attitude corrections because the pressurized suit restricted manipulation of the rotational hand controller.

1964 October 22-29 - .
  • Heavy black deposits discovered on the environmental control system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Heavy black deposits were discovered on the environmental control system (ECS) cold plates when they were removed from boilerplate 14. Several pinholes were found in the cold plate surfaces, and the aluminum lines were severely pitted. This was, as ASPO admitted, a matter of "extreme concern" to the ECS design people at North American, because the equipment had been charged with coolant for only three weeks. This evidence of excessive corrosion reemphasized the drawbacks of using ethylene glycol as a coolant.

1964 October 23 - .
  • ASPO deleted the requirement for Apollo LEM checkout during the translunar phase of the mission - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM ECS. ASPO deleted the requirement for LEM checkout during the translunar phase of the mission. Thus the length of time that the CM must be capable of maintaining pressure in the LEM (for normal leakage in the docked configuration) was reduced from 10 hours to three.

1964 October 27 - .
  • Apollo drops the buddy system concept - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; A7L; CSM ECS; LM ECS. Because of the redesign of the portable life support system that would be required, MSC directed Grumman and North American to drop the "buddy system" concept for the spacecraft environmental control system (ECS) umbilicals. The two LEM crewmen would transfer from the CM while attached to that module's umbilicals. Hookup with the LEM umbilicals, and ventilation from the LEM ECS, would be achieved before disconnecting the first set of lifelines. MSC requested North American to cooperate with Grumman and Hamilton Standard on the design of the fetal end of the umbilicals. Also, the two spacecraft contractors were directed jointly to determine umbilical lengths and LEM ECS control locations required for such transfer.

1964 November 16 - .
  • Apollo inflight metabolic simulator - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM ECS; LM ECS. Crew Systems Division (CSD) was proceeding with procurement of an inflight metabolic simulator in response to a request by Systems Engineering Division. The simulator would be used to support the LEM mission for SA-206 and would be compatible for use in the CM. Responsibility for the project had been assigned to the Manager of the LEM Environmental Control System Office. It was projected that the Statement of Work would be completed by January 15, 1965; the proposals evaluated by April 1; the contract awarded by June 1, 1965; the prototype delivered by April 1, 1966, with two qualified simulator deliveries by July 1, 1966.

1964 November 30 - .
  • Acceptance testing completed on three principal systems trainers for the Apollo CSM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Acceptance testing was completed at Downey, California, on three principal systems trainers for the CSM (the environmental control, stabilization and control, and electrical power systems). The trainers were then shipped to Houston and installed at the site, arriving there December 8. They were constructed under the basic Apollo Spacecraft contract at a cost of $953,024.

1964 December 3-10 - .
  • Dumping helium into cabin during an emergency studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Engineering and medical experts of the Crew Systems Division reviewed dumping helium from the CM's gas chromatograph into the cabin during reentry or in a pad abort. Reviewers decided that the resultant atmosphere (9.995 kilonewtons (1.45 psi) helium and 31.349 kilonewtons (4.55 psia) oxygen) posed no hazard for the crew. Systems Engineering Division recommended, however, that dump time be reduced from 15 minutes to three, which could readily be done.

1965 January 14-21 - .
  • Meteoroid environment in cislunar space defined for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. OMSF asked MSC to provide NASA Headquarters with a statement of "the minimum definition of meteoroid environment in cislunar space" which would be necessary for confidence that Apollo could withstand the meteoroid flux. The "desirable degree of definition" was also requested. This material was to be used as inputs to the current cislunar Pegasus studies being conducted by OMSF.

1965 February 3 - .
  • ASPO established radiation reliability goals for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO established radiation reliability goals for Apollo. These figures would be used to coordinate the radiation program, to define the allowable dosages, and to determine the effect of radiation on mission success. The crew safety goal (defined as the probability of a crewman's not suffering permanent injury or worse, nor his being incapacitated and thus no longer able to perform his duties) was set at 0.99999. The major hazard of a radiation environment, it was felt, was not the chance of fatal doses. It was, rather, the possibility of acute radiation sickness during the mission. The second reliability goal, that for success of the mission (the probability that the mission would not be aborted because of radiation environment), was placed at 0.98.

    These values, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea emphasized, were based on the 8.3-day reference mission and on emergency dose limits previously set forth. They were not to be included in overall reliability goals for the spacecraft, nor were they to be met by weight increases or equipment relocations.


1965 February 4-11 - .
  • Use of high purity oxygen during manned ground testing of the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. MSC questioned the necessity of using highly purified (and expensive) fuel-cell-type oxygen to maintain the cabin atmosphere during manned ground testing of the spacecraft. The Center, therefore, undertook a study of the resultant impurities and effect on crew habitability of using a commercial grade of aviation oxygen.

1965 February 12 - .
  • Corrosion in the Apollo coolant loops due to glycol - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM ECS; LM ECS. MSC's Systems Engineering Division (SED) requested support from the Structures and Mechanics Division in determining the existence or extent of corrosion in the coolant loops of the SM electrical power subsystem (EPS) and the CM and LEM environmental control subsystems (ECS), resulting from the use of water glycol as coolant fluid. Informal contact had been made with W. R. Downs of the Structures and Mechanics Division and he had been given copies of contractor reports and correspondence between MSC, North American, and MIT pertaining to the problem. The contractors had conflicting positions regarding the extent and seriousness of glycol corrosion.

    SED requested that a study be initiated to:

    1. determine the existence or extent of corrosion in the EPS and ECS coolant loops; and
    2. make recommendations regarding alternate materials, inhibitors, or fluids, and other tests or remedial actions if it were determined that a problem existed.

1965 February 16 - .
  • Specialty areas for 13 astronauts not assigned to Gemini - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Anders; Bassett; Bean; Cernan; Chaffee; Collins; Cunningham; Eisele; Freeman; Gordon; Schweickart; Scott; Williams, Clifton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM ECS; LM Communications; LM ECS; LM Guidance. MSC announced a realignment of specialty areas for the 13 astronauts not assigned to forthcoming Gemini missions (GT 3 through 5) or to strictly administrative positions:

    Operations and Training
    Edwin E. Aldrin, branch chief - mission planning

    Charles A. Bassett - operations handbooks, training, and simulators

    Alan L. Bean - recovery systems

    Michael Collins - pressure suits and extravehicular activity

    David R. Scott - mission planning and guidance and navigation

    Clifton C. Williams - range operations, deep space instrumentation, and crew safety.

    Project Apollo
    Richard F. Gordon, branch chief - overall astronaut activities in Apollo area and liaison for CSM development

    Donn F. Eisele - CSM and LEM

    William A. Anders - environmental control system and radiation and thermal systems

    Eugene A. Cernan - boosters, spacecraft propulsion, and the Agena stage

    Roger B. Chaffee - communications, flight controls, and docking

    R. Walter Cunningham - electrical and sequential systems and non-flight experiments

    Russell L. Schweickart - in-flight experiments and future programs.


1965 March 17 - .
  • Shirtsleeve environment to be retained in Apollo CM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; A7L; CSM ECS. After extensive analysis, Crew Systems Division recommended that the "shirtsleeve" environment be kept in the CM. Such a design was simpler and more reliable, and promised much greater personal comfort than wearing the space suit during the entire mission.

1965 March 24 - .
  • Study of coolant loop corrosion in the Apollo CM's environmental control system - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Maynard. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO requested the Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) to study the problem of corrosion in the coolant loops of the CM's environmental control system, and to search for effective inhibitors. Current efforts at North American to lessen corrosion included improved hardware and operating procedures, but stopped short of extensive redesigning; and it would be some time before conclusive results could be expected. Early in May, Owen E. Maynard, chief of the Systems Engineering Division, directed SMD immediately to begin its search for inhibitors. If by July 1966 the corrosion problem remained unresolved, SMD could thus recommend stopgap measures for the early spacecraft.

1965 April 29-May 6 - .
  • Change in the Apollo checkout procedure at Merritt Island - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. The Flight Projects Division (FPD) proposed a change in the checkout procedure at Merritt Island (KSC). The idea, drawn from Gemini, would eliminate checkout at the environmental control system (ECS) facility. Basically, FPD's plan was to transport the mated CSM directly from the Operations and Checkout Building to the altitude chamber, where the ECS would be tested. Officials at North American approved the new procedure, and FPD requested the Checkout and Test Division to study its feasibility.

1965 June 10-17 - .
  • Physiological aspects of pure-oxygen environments - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. NASA hired the U.S. Navy's Air Crew Equipment Laboratory (ACEL) to study several physiological aspects of pure-oxygen environments. Primarily, ACEL's study would try to determine: (1) whether known effects (such as lung collapse) could somehow be reversed; and (2) whether such environments enhanced respiratory infections.

1965 July 7-13 - .
  • Thermal problems with Apollo Block II environmental control system (ECS) - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Illustrative 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 changed."

1965 December 7 - .
  • Incompatibility of titanium alloys and nitrogen tetroxide - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Shea. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO 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 December 21.

    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:

    • Tabulate and analyze all tank tests to date and all related materials tests.
    • 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 materials tests.
    • 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 impact.
    • 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 tetroxide.

1965 December 20 - .
  • Both radar and optical tracking systems included in the Apollo hardware development phase - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Robert 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.


1966 May 19 - .
  • Fire in the Apollo environmental control system unit - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. As a result of a fire in the environmental control system (ECS) unit at AiResearch Co., a concerted effort was under way to identify nonmetallic materials as well as other potential fire problems. MSC told North American Aviation it appeared that at least some modifications would be required in Block I spacecraft and that modifications could be considered only as temporary expedients to correct conditions that could be more readily resolved in the original design. MSC requested that North American eliminate or restrict as far as possible combustible materials in the following categories in the Block II spacecraft:

    1. materials contained in sufficient quantities to contribute materially to a fire once started,
    2. materials present in lengths which could propagate a flame front over 46 centimeters,
    3. materials used with the electrical system, and
    4. materials that could be ignited by a spark source.
    Additionally, North American Aviation was requested to review, evaluate, and institute design measures to eliminate other potential fire hazards, such as hydrogen leakage from batteries, overheated lamps, and large areas of exposed fabric or foam.

1966 October 12 - .
  • Apollo environment control unit in serious trouble - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips told Mark E. Bradley, Vice President and Assistant to the President of The Garrett Corp., that "the environment control unit, developed and produced by Garrett's AiResearch Division under subcontract to North American Aviation for the Apollo spacecraft was again in serious trouble and threatened a major delay in the first flight of Apollo." Additional Details: here....

1967 January 27 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
1967 January 31 - .
  • Launch preparation for Apollo AS-501 to proceed as planned - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. A TWX from NASA Headquarters to MSC, MSFC, and KSC ordered checkout and launch preparation of AS-501 to proceed as planned, except that the CM would not be pressurized in an oxygen environment pending further direction. If AS-501 support, facility, or work force should conflict with the activities of the AS-204 Review Board, the Board would be given priority.

1967 March 27 - .
  • Apollo fire detection systems and fire extinguishers considered - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. A meeting at MSC considered fire detection systems and fire extinguishers. Participants were G. M. Low, K. S. Kleinknecht, A. C. Bond, J. N. Kotanchik, J. W. Craig, M. W. Lippitt, and G. W. S. Abbey. Craig and Lippitt had visited Wright Field, Ohio, and from their findings the following conclusions were reached:

    1. no fire detection system was available for incorporation into the Apollo spacecraft;
    2. a reliable system would be desirable, but the system must not give false alarms when used in a closed spacecraft environment and yet must give adequate warning of fire;
    3. two kinds of systems appeared to be in varying states of development - systems using infrared or ultraviolet sensors and systems sensing ionized particles or condensation nucleii in the atmosphere;
    4. a work statement should be prepared, with the help of personnel at Wright Field, for the purpose of receiving specific proposals on available systems; and
    5. the ultimate goal should be to develop a system ready for flight use within six months.

1967 April 14 - .
  • Apollo CM tests show burning in pure oxygen - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. CM mockup tests by the Structures and Mechanics Division at the MSC Thermochemical Test Area had shown that significant burning occurred in oxygen environments at a pressure of 11.4 newtons per square centimeter (16.5 psia). The tests, in which most of the major crew bay materials had been replaced by Teflon or Beta cloth, consisted of deliberately igniting crew bay materials sequentially in two places. The Division recommended that operation with oxygen at 11.4 newtons in the crew compartment be eliminated and that either air or oxygen at 3.5 newtons per sq cm (5 psia) be used. In reply, the ASPO Manager pointed out that "Dr. Gilruth has indicated a strong desire to avoid the use of air on the pad which requires subsequent spacecraft purges. Accordingly, we should maintain the option of launching with a pure oxygen cabin environment until such time as additional tests indicate it would not be feasible."

1967 May 26 - .
  • No substitute for glycol in the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO Manager George Low told Charles A. Berry, MSC Director of Medical Research and Operations, that it had been determined there was no suitable substitute for water glycol as a coolant and it would continue to be used in the Apollo spacecraft. Low recognized that it was "essential that the effects of any possible glycol spill be well defined and that procedures be established to avoid any hazardous conditions." He asked Berry's office to define the limits of exposure for glycol spills of varying quantities and for recommendations concerning cabin purge in the event of a spill. Low also wondered, assuming development of a smelling agent, if it would be possible to determine the concentration of water glycol by the strength of the smell in the spacecraft. Berry's office replied June 22 that it was working with Crew Systems Division to identify an odor additive for leak detection. They would begin a program to establish a safe upper limit for human exposure to ethylene glycol and had asked the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Toxicity for information. Animal exposure tests probably would be necessary; if they were needed, a test plan would be submitted before July 1.

1967 June 28 - .
  • Apollo materials replacement and boilerplate tests - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Dale D. Myers, Apollo CSM Manager for North American Aviation, Inc., requested a meeting with ASPO Manager George M. Low and ASPO CSM Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht to resolve issues concerning materials replacement and objectives for boilerplate tests. In reply, on July 6, Low said that Kleinknecht had conducted a complete review of flammable materials since receipt of Myers' June 28 letter and that a number of telephone conversations had been held on the subject. MSC recommended that the insulation on the environmental control unit be covered with nickel foil and that silicone-rubber wire-harness clamps could possibly be covered with a combination of "Laddicote" and nitroso rubber. Plans were for the boilerplate mockup tests to use an overloaded wire in a wire bundle as an ignition source. At Myers' suggestion, MSC was also looking into the use of electric arcs, or sparks, as a possible ignition source. Low said: "As you know, our goal in the mockup tests will be to demonstrate that any fire in a 6 psi (4.1 newtons per square centimeter) oxygen atmosphere extinguishes itself. . . . If we can demonstrate that in the 6 psi oxygen atmosphere a fire would spread very slowly so that the crew could easily get out of the spacecraft while on the pad . . . , then I believe that we should also be satisfied."

1967 July 18 - .
  • Apollo CSM flammability mockup testing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. CSM flammability mockup testing was discussed at a program review. It was pointed out that boilerplate testing was being conducted at Downey and that an all-up test should not be performed until all individual tests were completed and the final configuration was completely established.

1967 July 22 - .
  • Apollo oxygen purge system (OPS) transfer runs were conducted in the Water Immersion Facility - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. A series of oxygen purge system (OPS) transfer runs were conducted in the Water Immersion Facility at MSC. Preliminary reports indicated the results of the tests were highly satisfactory, but an assessment of pad abort procedures following several runs in the Apollo Mission Simulator were not so promising. Further work and study in this area was in progress.

1967 July 24 - .
  • Changes resulting from AS-204 investigation - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Electrical; CSM Hatch. ASPO Manager George M. Low issued instructions that the changes and actions to be carried out by MSC as a result of the AS-204 accident investigation were the responsibility of CSM Manager Kenneth S. Kleinknecht. The changes and actions were summarized in Apollo Program Directive No. 29, dated July 6, 1967.

1967 October 28 - .
  • Pure oxygen in the Apollo CSM cabin during prelaunch - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Plans were to use 100-percent oxygen in the CSM cabin during prelaunch operations for manned flights but, since flammability tests of the CSM were not finished, the possibility existed that air might be used instead of pure oxygen. Therefore, contingency plans would be developed to use air in the cabin during the prelaunch operations so that a change would not delay the program.

1967 November 8 - .
  • Full scale Apollo CSM be tested to evaluate fire propagation in orbit and on the ground - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. The MSC Director of Engineering and Development pointed out that a fullscale CSM would soon be tested to evaluate the hazard of fire propagation both in orbit (cabin atmosphere of oxygen at pressure of 3.8 newtons per square centimeter - 5.5 pounds per square inch absolute) and on the pad (oxygen at 11.4 newtons per sq cm-16.5 psia). There was a reasonable probability that the CSM might qualify in the first but not the second case. In such event, it was proposed that the prelaunch cabin atmosphere be changed from 100-percent oxygen to a mixture of 60-percent oxygen and 40percent helium or to a mixture of 60-percent oxygen and 40-percent nitrogen. This proposal was made on the assumption that those mixtures at 11.4 newtons per sq cm would not offer more of a fire hazard than 100percent oxygen at 3.8 newtons. It was also assumed that these mixtures would be physiologically suitable after being bled down to orbital pressure without subsequent purging or being enriched with additional oxygen. Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) was requested to make flammability tests to determine the relative merit of the two mixtures and to outline a minimum test program to provide confidence that the mixed gas atmosphere might be considered equivalent to oxygen at 3.8 newtons.

1967 November 16 - .
  • Status of Apollo environmental control unit - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Robert R. Gilruth, George M. Low, and Maxime A. Faget, with other MSC personnel and North American Rockwell management officials visited AiResearch to review the status of the Apollo environmental control unit electronic components. There had been serious concern about AiResearch capabilities in this area. The review indicated that AiResearch circuit designs were satisfactory; that the electronic parts used were not satisfactory , but that substitutions of high-reliability parts could be made; and that AiResearch's capability in the manufacture of electronic components was substandard insofar as the aerospace industry was concerned. AiResearch was directed to obtain a subcontractor to build the most critical electronic controller in accordance with AiResearch designs and parts lists. All other electronic components were still under review and additional ones might be added to the backup contractor at a later date.

1967 November 17 - .
  • Results of Apollo survey at North American Rockwell - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rees. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Summary: Eberhard F. M. Rees of MSFC sent MSC ASPO Manager George M. Low the results of a brief survey he had made at North American Rockwell. . Additional Details: here....

1968 February 3 - .
  • Reexamination of all interconnecting systems of the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Mrazek. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO Manager George M. Low advised Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips that, in accordance with an action item resulting from the spacecraft environmental testing review at MSFC on January 10, he was reexamining the design, fabrication, and inspection of all interconnecting systems of the spacecraft to determine what further steps might be taken to ensure the integrity of those systems. Low had requested William Mrazek of MSFC to direct this effort, using a small task team to review the design of all spacecraft wiring and plumbing systems, their fabrication, and quality assurance and inspection techniques.

1968 February 15 - .
  • Selection of a prelaunch atmosphere for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips wrote ASPO Manager George M. Low setting forth a strategy for announcing selection of a prelaunch atmosphere for the spacecraft. Because the decision undoubtedly would draw much public attention, Phillips said, it was important that the decision be based on comprehensive study and be fully documented to explain the rationale for the decision both to NASA's management and to the general public. Foremost, he said, that rationale must include a clear statement of physiological requirements for the mission and for aborts. Secondly, it must also cover flammability factors in cabin atmosphere selection. Finally, the decision rationale must explain engineering factors related to hardware capability and crew procedures, as well as operational factors and how they affected the choice of atmosphere during prelaunch and launch phases of the mission.

1968 February 19 - .
  • Task team on water requirements aboard Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO Manager George Low appointed Douglas R. Broome to head a special task team to resolve the problem of water requirements aboard the Apollo spacecraft. For some six months, Low noted, numerous discussions had surrounded the question of water purity requirements and loading procedures. Several meetings and reviews, including one at MSC on January 16 and another at KSC on February 13, had failed to resolve the problem, and Low thus instructed Broome's team to reach a "final and definite agreement" on acceptable water specifications and loading procedures. Much unnecessary time and effort had been expended on this problem, Low said, and he expected the team "to put this problem to rest once and for all."

1968 March 4 - .
  • Results of the Apollo CSM flammability tests conducted on boilerplate 1224 assessed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. The MSC Flammability Review Board met to assess results of the CSM flammability tests conducted on boilerplate 1224. The Board unanimously recommended using a 60-percent-oxygen and 40-percent-nitrogen atmosphere in the spacecraft cabin during launch, but continued use of a pure oxygen atmosphere at pressure of 4.1 newtons per square centimeter (6 pounds per square inch) during flight. Members concluded that this mixed-gas environment offered the best protection for the crew on the pad and during launch operations, while still meeting physiological and operational requirements. During the final stages of the flammability test program, tests had indicated that combustion characteristics for the 11-newtons-per-sq-cm (16-psi), 60-40 atmosphere and for the 4.1-newton pure oxygen atmosphere were remarkably similar. Also, full-scale trials had demonstrated that in an emergency the crew could get out of the spacecraft quickly and safely.

1968 March 27-28 - .
  • Apollo LM prelaunch atmosphere selection - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM ECS; LM ECS. A LM prelaunch atmosphere selection and repressurization meeting was held at MSC, attended by representatives of MSC, MSFC, KSC, North American Rockwell, and Grumman. The rationale for MSC selection of 100 percent oxygen as the LM cabin launch atmosphere was based on three factors: use of other than 100 percent oxygen in the LM cabin would entail additional crew procedural workloads at transposition and docking; excessive risk to crew due to depletion of the CM emergency oxygen consumables would be added; and it would require use of 2.7 kilograms of onboard CM oxygen. Two problems were identified with use of 100 percent oxygen in the LM cabin at launch: LM cabin flammability on the pad and LM venting oxygen into the SLA during boost. If air were used in the LM cabin at launch and the LM vent valve opened during boost, the full CM stored-oxygen capacity would be required to pressurize the LM and LM tunnel for umbilical mating. For a lunar mission, this situation would be similar to that before lunar orbital insertion, but would subject the crew to a condition of no stored oxygen for an emergency. For an earth-orbital mission this situation would be objectionable because CM stored oxygen would be lacking for an emergency entry into the atmosphere.

1968 March 27 - .
  • Nitrogen in the Apollo spacecraft's cabin atmosphere - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. ASPO documented its reasons for using nitrogen rather than helium (as the Air Force had done) as the diluent in the Apollo spacecraft's cabin atmosphere, in response to a suggestion from Julian M. West of NASA Hq. Aaron Cohen, Assistant Chief of the MSC Systems Engineering Division, recounted that the Atmosphere Selection Task Team had addressed the question of nitrogen versus helium (regardless of percentage) and had rejected helium because of uncertainty of the compatibility of spacecraft equipment with helium. Further, helium presented the same physiological problems as did nitrogen, and whatever flammabilities advantages helium possessed were extremely small. For all these reasons, Cohen explained, the team had early elected to concentrate on nitrogen- mixed atmospheres.

1968 April 2 - .
  • 40 percent nitrogen for the Apollo CM cabin in prelaunch operations - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. NASA Hq. confirmed oral instructions to MSC and KSC to use 60 percent oxygen and 40 percent nitrogen to pressurize the Apollo CM cabin in prelaunch checkout operations and during manned chamber testing, as recommended by the Design Certification Review Board on March 7 and confirmed by the NASA Administrator on March 12. This instruction was applicable to flight and test articles at all locations.

1968 April 2 - .
  • Design review of the Apollo CM water sterilization system - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rees. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Eberhard F. M. Rees, Director of the Special Task Team at North American Rockwell, spearheaded a design review of the CM water sterilization system at Downey, Calif. (The review had resulted as an action item from the March 21 Configuration Control Board meeting in Downey.) Rees and a team of North American engineers reviewed the design of the system and test results and problems to date. Chief among performance concerns seemed to be compatibility of the chlorine solution with several materials in the system, maximum allowable concentration of chlorine in the water supply from the medical aspect, and contamination of the system during storage, handling, and filling. Assuming North American's successful completion of qualification testing and attention to the foregoing action items, said Rees, the system design was judged satisfactory.

1968 April 16 - .
  • Results of Apollo boilerplate 1224 tests in a 60%-oxygen / 40% nitrogen cabin atmosphere - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. A meeting at MSC with Irving Pinkel of Lewis Research Center and Robert Van Dolah of the Bureau of Mines reviewed results of boilerplate 1224 tests at 11.4 newtons per square centimeter (16.5 pounds per square inch) in a 60-percent-oxygen and 40-percent-nitrogen atmosphere. Additional Details: here....

1969 February 14 - .
  • Flammability tests of the Sony Apollo tape/voice recorder - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Flammability tests of the Sony tape/voice recorder were made to determine if the recorder met crew-cabin use requirements. Testing was by electrical overloads of nichrome wire ignitors in an atmosphere of 100 percent oxygen at 4.3 newtons per square centimeter (6.2 psia). Post-test evaluations indicated that flammability requirements had been met, since ignitions were self-extinguishing and only localized internal damage occurred.

1969 July 9 - .
  • Apollo costs could be reduced - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. The ASPO Manager for the command and service modules expressed belief that costs could be reduced and others avoided by the effective use of agency resources in many areas. However, he pointed out that the very nature of the program - that is, one operating in a research and development atmosphere - would result in higher costs than would a mass-production program.

1969 November 3 - .
  • In-house review reevaluates the Apollo secondary life support system - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, suggested that an in-house review reevaluate the Apollo secondary life support system, because of its complexity and cost of development, and at the same time reexamine the possibilities of an expanded oxygen purge system using identical concepts.

1970 August 7 - .
  • William B Bergen named North American's Group Vice President - Aerospace and Systems - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. North American Rockwell announced that William B. Bergen, who had been serving as president of North American's Space Division, would become a corporate vice president with the title Group Vice President - Aerospace and Systems. This was one of a number of key organizational steps taken since January to improve and strengthen the North American management structure in response to significant changes that had occurred in the aerospace environment.

1970 November 24 - .
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