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LM Structural


LM Structural Development Diary

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LM Structural Chronology


1963 - During the second quarter - .
  • Stowage of crew equipment in both the Apollo CM and LEM worked out - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; A7L; CSM Cockpit; LM Structural. MSC reported that stowage of crew equipment, some of which would be used in both the CM and the LEM, had been worked out. Two portable life support systems and three pressure suits and thermal garments were to be stowed in the CM. Smaller equipment and consumables would be distributed between modules according to mission phase requirements.

1963 August - .
  • Apollo LEM test articles LTA-8 and LTA-9 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. At a meeting at MSC, Grumman representatives submitted the cost proposal for LEM test articles LTA-8 and LTA-9, and suggested a testing program for the two vehicles: LTA-8 should be used for restrained integrated systems testing in the altitude propulsion test facilities at the Atlantic Missile Range; LTA-9 should be used for manned atmospheric tethered operation tests. The contractor also recommended an early flight demonstration program to verify the helicopter tether operation potential, which promised greatly increased mission test capability over fixed-base tether facilities. The tether method (helicopter or fixed- base) should be determined after the verification. LTA-8 should be considered as a constraint to LEM-5, and LTA-9 as a constraint to the lunar landing mission.

1963 September 25-26 - .
  • Program reviewed for thermal testing for the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. MSC representatives reviewed Grumman's program for thermal testing for the LEM, to be conducted with the test model 2 (TM-2) vehicle. Because the vehicle's configuration had changed so extensively, the Center canceled the currently planned TM-2 ascent stage and ordered another stage to be substituted. TM-2's descent stage needed only small design changes to make it suitable for the program.

1963 September - .
  • Interrelationships between all major Apollo LEM test vehicles clarified - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. The interrelationships between all major LEM test vehicles, including all test constraints and documentation requirements, were developed. This logic study, prepared by Grumman and forwarded to MSC, stressed the feasibility of alterations in the LEM test program as needed.

1964 April 17 - .
  • Manned Apollo LEM drop tests - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Grumman conducted manned drop tests to determine the LEM crew's ability to land the spacecraft from a standing position. All tests were run with the subject in an unpressurized suit in a "hands off" standing position with no restraint system or arm rests.

1964 November 6 - .
  • Significant milestones for the Apollo LEM planned - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. NASA anticipated five significant milestones for the LEM during the forthcoming year:

    1. A major review of the entire LEM program (with especial emphasis upon the fiscal picture for 1965 and 1966)
    2. Start of production on LEM-1 (the first LEM flight article)
    3. Delivery of LEM Test Article (LTA)-2 (a dynamic test article) to Huntsville
    4. Start of vibration and static testing on the complete LEM structure
    5. Sea level and altitude qualification testing in the continuing development of the LEM's propulsion systems.

1964 November 10 - .
  • Apollo LEM LTA-10 test program reviewed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. MSC's Structures and Mechanics Division and ASPO reviewed the LTA-10 test program to resolve the stop-work imposed upon Grumman. The review resulted in an agreement to have LTA-10 remain in the program with a modified configuration. LTA-10 would be used by North American at Tulsa, Oklahoma, for adapter/LEM modal and separation testing and would consist only of descent stage structure. Subsystems for LTA-10 which were eliminated were the ascent stage, landing gear, ascent propulsion and descent propulsion.

1965 January 12 - .
  • Various designs for the extravehicular mobility unit - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Grumman and Hamilton Standard were exploring various designs for the extravehicular mobility unit. On the basis of some early conclusions, the MSC Crew Systems Division (CSD) recommended that meteoroid and thermal protection be provided by a single garment. Preliminary hypervelocity tests placed the garment's reliability at 0.999. Each would weigh about 7.7 kg (17 lbs), about 2.3 kg (5 lbs) less than the two-garment design. CSD further recommended that the unit be stored either in the LEM's descent stage or in a jettisonable container in the ascent portion.

1965 February 16 - .
  • Apollo LEM tooling program behind schedule - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. In the first of a series of manufacturing review meetings at Bethpage, N.Y., it was learned that Grumman's tooling program was behind schedule (caused primarily by engineering changes). Tool manufacturing might recoup much of the lost time, but this process was highly vulnerable to further design changes. Completion of tooling for the ascent stage of LTA-3 was now set for late April, a production delay of about two months.

1965 February 18 - .
  • Apollo LEM Test Article 2 shipped - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: LEM Test Article 2 was shipped to Marshall Space Flight Center to undergo a series of Saturn booster vibration tests..

1965 February 18 - .
  • Apollo EMU single garment for thermal and meteoroid protection - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. MSC's Crew Systems Division decreed that the extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) would employ a single garment for both thermal and meteoroid protection. By an earlier decision, the penetration probability requirement had been lowered from 0.9999 to 0.999. This change, along with the use of newer, more efficient materials, promised a substantial lightening of the garment (hopefully down to about 7.7 kg (17 lbs), excluding visors, gloves, and boots). The division also deleted the requirement for a separate meteoroid visor, because the thermal and glare visors provided ample protection against meteoroids as well. Tests by Ling-Temco-Vought confirmed the need for thermal protection over the pressure suit during extravehicular transfer by the LEM crewmen.

1965 July 8-9 - .
  • Design review on the VHF radio equipment for the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. At a design review on the VHF radio equipment for the LEM, conducted by RCA, Grumman refused to vote its approval. Grumman's most serious objection centered on thermal loads, which under extreme conditions could far exceed specification limits. RCA thereupon began exploring several approaches, including new materials, relocation of components, and redesigned heat sinks. Grumman was asked to keep MSC well informed on problems, corrective actions, and anticipated impacts.

1965 July - .
  • Three competing Apollo Block II space suits evaluated - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; A7L; LM Structural. Summary: Crew Systems Division completed evaluation of the three Block II space suits submitted by Hamilton Standard, David Clark, and International Latex.. Additional Details: here....

1965 August 19-26 - .
  • Two Apollo LEM test articles to be used - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: MSC assigned two LEM test articles (numbers 10 and 2, respectively) to the SA-501 and SA-502 missions. Prior to flight, the spacecraft would be refurbished by Grumman, which would require four to five months' work on each vehicle..

1966 January 6-13 - .
  • Apollo LEM-adapter SLA thermal coating material to be 24-carat gold - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Apparently the only available spacecraft-LEM-adapter SLA thermal coating material which would meet the emissivity requirements for LEM flights was 24-carat gold. North American Tulsa, Oklahoma was predicting 18-week and 10-week schedule slips, respectively, for the first two Block 11 SLAs and a $10-12 million cost impact. A meeting would be held at Tulsa January 17 between North American, Grumman, and MSC to determine the course of the action to be taken.

1966 June 30 - .
  • Apollo LM thermal shield would have to be modified due to increased fire-in-the-hole conditions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Grumman LM thermodynamics studies showed the LM thermal shield would have to be modified because fire-in-the-hole pressures and temperatures had increased. Portions of the LM descent stage would be redesigned, but modification of the descent stage blast deflector was unlikely.

1966 August 16 - .
  • Apollo LM test model No 3 (TM-3) shipped to Cape Kennedy - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: The mockup of LM test model No. 3 (TM-3) was shipped by Super Guppy aircraft to Cape Kennedy, on the first trip of the Super Guppy from Grumman, Bethpage, N.Y..

1966 Week Ending September 30 - .
  • Apollo LM test model TM-6 and test article LTA-10 shipped - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. LM test model TM-6 and test article LTA-10 were shipped from Grumman on the Pregnant Guppy aircraft. When the Guppy carrying the LTA-10 stopped at Dover, Del., for refueling, a fire broke out inside the aircraft, but it was discovered in time to prevent damage to the LM test article.

1967 April 28 - May 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Apollo spacecraft delivery dates - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: Spacecraft delivery date and ground rule discussions were summarized by MSC ASPO Manager George M. Low in a letter to North American Aviation's Apollo Program Manager Dale D. Myers. . Additional Details: here....

1967 November 2 - .
  • Apollo LM insulation susceptible to degradation from cabin leakage during pressurized conditions - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 11. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: Maxime A. Faget, MSC Director of Engineering and Development, told the ASPO Manager that he had reviewed the LM insulation status and concluded that "the present design is susceptible to degradation from cabin leakage during pressurized conditions. . Additional Details: here....

1967 December 17 - .
  • Apollo LM-5 window shattered during initial pressurization test - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 11. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Ascent Propulsion; LM Structural. A LM test failed in the Grumman ascent stage manufacturing plant December 17. A window in LM-5 shattered during its initial cabin pressurization test, designed to pressurize the cabin to 3.9 newtons per square centimeter (5.65 pounds per square inch). Both inner and outer windows and the plexiglass cover of the right-hand window shattered when the pressure reached 3.5 newtons per sq cm (5.1 psi). An MSC LM engineer and Corning Glass Co. engineers were investigating the damage and cause of failure.

1967 December 20 - .
  • Apollo LM stress corrosion problems - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. ASPO Manager George M. Low pointed out to E. Z. Gray of Grumman that in October 1964 NASA had sent a letter to Grumman voicing concern over possible stress corrosion problems. The Grumman reply on October 30 of that year was unsatisfactory when considered in the light of stress corrosion cracks recently found in the LM aluminum structural members. Low asked what Grumman planned to do to make sure that no other potential stress corrosion problems existed in the LM and asked for a reply by January 1968 on how the problem would be attacked.

    On December 21, Low wrote a similar letter to Dale D. Myers of North American Rockwell, reminding him of a letter sent by MSC in September 1964. He said that recent stress corrosion problems had been encountered in the LM and asked that North American make a detailed analysis to ensure that not a single stress corrosion problem existed in the CSM or associated equipment. Again, Low asked for a reply by January 15, 1968.


1967 December 28 - .
  • Glass windows removed from Apollo LM-1 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: Confirming a discussion between George Low and Samuel Phillips on October 27, a decision was made to replace the glass windows in LM-1 with aluminum windows, as a precaution against a failure in flight similar to the one that occurred on LM-5 in testing..

1968 January 8 - .
  • Task team to investigate the problem of stress corrosion in the Apollo LM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller directed MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth to establish a task team to investigate why, in light of extreme precautions taken early in the program, the problem of stress corrosion in the LM was being encountered at such a late stage in Apollo. The problem, Mueller stressed, had been discovered at a most critical point in the program - the launch of the first LM was imminent and two subsequent vehicles were already well along in factory checkout. Any resultant slips in the LM program would seriously impact overall Apollo schedules. Gilruth replied he believed that such a team was not required. He affirmed that the reviews undertaken with the contractors in 1964 to guard against just these problems had proved inadequate when judged against present program demands. "The answer simply is that the job was not handled properly on the last go-round."

1968 January 18-19 - .
  • Review of the Apollo LM thermal vacuum test programs - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Structural; LM Structural. Rolf Lanzkron and Owen Morris, Chiefs of MSC's CSM and LM Project Engineering Divisions, led a review of the 2TV-1 and LTA-8 (thermal vacuum test article and lunar module test article) thermal vacuum test programs at MSC. Chief concerns expressed during the review centered on the heavy concentration of testing during the summer of 1968, the need for simultaneous operation of test chambers A and B, and the lack of adequately trained chamber operations support personnel for dual testing. The review disclosed that maintenance of testing schedules for LTA-8 was most unlikely, even with a seven-day-a-week work schedule. (The central problem was the large number of open items that had to be cleared before start of the tests.)

1968 February 26 - .
  • Stress corrosion and window problems in the Apollo LM resolved - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: Stress corrosion and window problems in the LM had been resolved, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller advised the Administrator in his weekly progress report. . Additional Details: here....

1968 April 22 - .
  • Apollo thermal-vacuum test programs - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth observed that the Engineering and Development Directorate would be conducting two thermal-vacuum test programs during the next several months, following the April 9 shipment of the Block II thermal vacuum test article 2TV-1 to MSC from Downey. (The second test article was the LM counterpart, LTA-8.) Both programs were of major importance, Gilruth told his organization. However, because the 2TV-1 test program directly supported - and constrained - the first manned Apollo mission, he said that, in the event of any conflict between the two test programs, 2TV-1 had clear priority.

1968 May - .
  • Alternative uses for the Apollo LM-2 vehicle recommended - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller recommended to the Administrator several alternative uses for the LM-2 vehicle, since that spacecraft was no longer destined for flight. . Additional Details: here....

1968 July 11 - .
  • Changes in the Apollo LM vibration testing program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: ASPO Manager Low informed Apollo Program Director Phillips of several changes in the LM vibration testing program. . Additional Details: here....

1968 October 17 - .
  • Loss of attitude control caused Apollo LLRV Crash - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV; LM Structural. Two NASA investigation boards had reported that loss of attitude control caused the May 6 accident that destroyed lunar landing research vehicle No. 1, NASA announced. Helium in propellant tanks had been depleted earlier than normal, dropping pressure needed to force hydrogen peroxide propellant to the attitude-control lift rockets and thrusters. Additional Details: here....

1968 November 27 - .
  • Apollo LM-11 midsection assembly collapsed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 16. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. The LM-11 midsection assembly collapsed in the assembly jig during the bulkhead prefitting stage of construction at Grumman. The structure buckled when the bulkheads, which had just been prefitted and drilled, were removed to permit deburring the drilled holes. Jig gates that were supposed to hold up the assembly were not in position, nor was the safety line properly installed. The structure was supported by hand. Damage to the skin of the structure was not severe, although a small radius bend was put in one of the upper skins.

1969 May 7-8 - .
  • The fifth and final drop test of Apollo LM-2 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. The fifth and final drop test of LM-2 was made on May 7. The first four drop tests had been made to establish the proper functioning of all LM systems after a lunar landing. The fifth test was made to qualify the functioning of the pyrotechnics after landing. On May 8, the final test, physically separating the ascent stage, was conducted.

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