Encyclopedia Astronautica
1964.01.15 - Plans for testing the Apollo heatshield under reentry conditions


MSC and Bellcomm agreed upon a plan for testing the Apollo heatshield under reentry conditions. Following Project Fire and Scout tests, the Saturn IB would be used to launch standard "all-up" spacecraft into an elliptical orbit; the SM engine would boost the spacecraft's velocity to 8,839 meters

(29,000 feet) per second.

Two flights were scheduled, one a test of ablator performance and the other a long- range flight to achieve a high total heat load and assess the interaction of the ablator, its backup structure, and other related structural members. This degree of heat rate and loading would permit "demonstration" rather than "development" tests on the Saturn V.

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