Encyclopedia Astronautica
1964.01.13 - Gemini spacecraft No. 2 began Spacecraft Systems Tests (SST) at McDonnell.


Phase I of SST comprised module tests. Since spacecraft No. 1 had passed through SST, checkout had been radically altered.

All test activity, including manufacturing after testing had begun on a module, was performed under the direction of a Launch Preparations Group (LPG) headed by the NASA-MSC Florida Operations Assistant Manager for Gemini. The group, which included both McDonnell and NASA operators and quality control personnel from Cape Kennedy, was temporarily located in St. Louis to review and approve test procedures and to perform the various tests on spacecraft Nos. 2 and 3. The St. Louis crew originally assigned to perform this function worked with the LPG through SST on these two spacecraft, then took over SST operations when spacecraft No. 4 entered SST. Primary purpose of the change was to improve scheduling by eliminating redundant testing. Once module testing was completed, modules would be permanently mated and only mated checks would be performed on the spacecraft though the remainder of SST and throughout its checkout at the Cape. Numerous problems encountered in the modular SST of spacecraft No. 2 required troubleshooting, equipment and structural changes, and retesting, delaying the beginning of Phase II mated SST until July.

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