Encyclopedia Astronautica
1970.11.24 - MSC Director Robert R Gilruth reported MSC actions on the Apollo 13 Review Board recommendations


MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported MSC actions on the Apollo 13 Review Board recommendations.

- Fan motors had been removed from oxygen storage tanks in the service modules; the electrical leads had been encased in stainless steel sheaths with hermetically sealed headers and had been shielded from contact with the remaining Teflon parts.
- The modified cryogenic oxygen storage system had been subjected to a comprehensive recertification program developed in close coordination by North American Rockwell, Beech Aircraft Corp., and NASA. Requirements were founded on environmental as well as operational factors necessary to prove design capability.
- No major changes had been made in the caution and warning system.
- The LM and CSM consumables and emergency equipment had been reviewed to determine any design changes required to provide a safe return from lunar orbit in the event of a service module cryogenic-oxygen-supply loss. Three design changes were made in the CSM related to the oxygen tanks, an LM descent battery, and a water storage system in the CM.
- MSC had made special tests and analyses to understand the Apollo 13 accident better. The testing had reaffirmed the conclusions reached by the Apollo 13 Review Board.
- Significant anomalies in critical subsystems during final preparation for launch would be analyzed and resolved with authorized and documented corrective action in much the same manner as employed during the missions. An Apollo Program Directive for identification and resolution of significant failures and anomalies had been issued.
- A thorough reexamination of all spacecraft, launch vehicle, and ground systems containing high-density oxygen and other strong oxidizers was being made to identify and evaluate potential combustion hazards.
- Additional research was being conducted on materials compatibility, ignition, and combustion in strong oxidizers at various gravity levels and on the characteristics of supercritical fluids. Arc-ignition tests of the Apollo 14 oxygen-storage-system materials in both normal and overstressed modes indicated a positive margin of safety.
- MSC had organized a system-by-system task team effort and made comprehensive reassessments of each subsystem. Design and qualification of each subsystem was reaffirmed as adequate for current ground test and mission requirements with the exception of a heatshield blowout plug for dumping reaction-control-subsystem propellant for launch aborts.

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