Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.02.14 - Concern of inadvertent Saturn V abort


In discussing the results of a manned test with MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth, George M. Low mentioned that a single 45-degree motion of the abort handle was required to initiate a launch abort in Apollo. Gilruth voiced concern that an abort could be caused by a single motion.

Low asked Donald K. Slayton for comments on the subject. Slayton replied March 1 that "this item had also been a concern of the flight crews during the early design of the system." But he said: "The handle forces to actuate the abort sequence have been subjectively evaluated and are considered high enough to prevent inadvertent actuation. Additionally, the outboard rotation (counter clockwise) was chosen over an inboard rotation (clockwise) as being the more unnatural of the two motions. . . . Crew training for launch aborts in the Dynamic Crew Procedures Simulator has not shown this design to be a problem."

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