Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.07.05 - Apollo spacecraft to withstand bending loads due to a failure of engines on the Saturn V booster


ASPO Manager George M. Low asked Aaron Cohen, one of his chief technical assistants, to investigate the ability of the Apollo spacecraft to withstand bending loads imposed by a failure of one or more engines on the Saturn V launch vehicle (as well as actual loads that would be imposed on the spacecraft).

During the previous week, Low and the Configuration Control Board had ruled out making any significant design changes to cope with a Saturn V engine failure. Specifically, Low asked how bending loads on the spacecraft were derived; what bending loads were imposed on the spacecraft during the Apollo 6 mission, where two J-2 engines were cut off during the flight; what was the probability - and criticality - of an S-IC engine's failing and thereby imposing high bending loads; and whether abort limits should be established for an engine failure.

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