Encyclopedia Astronautica
1967.09.22 - Apollo LM weight growth


C. H. Bolender, ASPO Manager for the lunar module, wrote Joseph G. Gavin, Jr., Grumman LM Program Director, that recent LM weights and weight growth trends during the past several months established the need to identify actions that would reduce weight and preclude future weight growth.

He pointed out that the Configuration Control Board (CCB) at MSC had emphasized such actions, while recognizing the specific weight increases associated with design change actions resulting from the AS-204 accident. Several other design corrections or improvements had been implemented, such as increased plume protection, ascent engine reflection protection, descent stage upper-deck structural repair, and landing gear shielding. Bolender told Gavin, "We cannot afford to exercise ultraconservatism as an expedient to problem solving. The modification of the descent stage skin panels may be a case in point. . . . We have already asked that in consideration of minimum weight design, you reassess your recommendation to change to a uniform panel thickness." He requested that the objectives of the recent Super Weight Improvement program (a weight saving "tool" employed by Grumman) be reiterated in design activity and that weight reduction suggestions be solicited and evaluated for implementation. Bolender requested a biweekly review of weight reduction candidate changes and told Gavin he was asking Systems Engineering Division to maintain close coordination with Grumman and to report progress of the weight reduction and control activity at the regular CCB meetings.

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