Encyclopedia Astronautica
1960.10.21 - Design constraints for in-house study of the Apollo spacecraft

A staff meeting of STG's Flight Systems Division was held to fix additional design constraints for the in- house design study of the Apollo spacecraft.

Fundamental decisions were made as a result of this and a previous meeting on September 20.

- The entry vehicle should have a Mercury-type configuration, a lift over drag ratio of 0.35, and an overall heatshield and should follow the modular concept, in which a module containing redundant equipment could be jettisoned before reentry.
- Solid propellant systems should be used throughout for onboard propulsion.
- The nominal design load should be 8 g, with an emergency ultimate of 20 g.
- For flight path control in atmospheric flight, with lift over drag ratio of 0.35 constant, roll control only would be used; for space flight, midcourse corrections should be made by fixed-impulse solid- propellant units.
- Attitude control should be maintained during powered flight by thrust vector, during space flight by control jets, and during atmospheric flight by control jets for damping.
- The onboard guidance system should utilize special purpose computers and inertial reference based on the use of fundamentally manual star- sight systems with provision for automatic use.
- Both parachutes and rotors should be studied for the touchdown mode.
- Further research on the spacecraft atmosphere would be necessary.

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