Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.11.08 - Proper spacecraft deployment during the Apollo 8 flight

ASPO Manager George M. Low asked Rocco A. Petrone, Launch Operations Director at KSC, to set up a special task team to review all paperwork and to inspect visually all hardware, to ensure proper spacecraft deployment during the Apollo 8 flight.

Apollo 8 contained a novel set of mechanical and electrical interfaces (CSM, LTA-B lunar module dummy, launch adapter, and Saturn V vehicle), Low observed. Furthermore, concern about these complex interfaces had increased because one of the adapter panels on Apollo 7 had not opened properly. What Low - as well as MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth - desired foremost was to preclude repetition of another situation such as had occurred during the Gemini IX mission, when the shroud panels covering the Agena target vehicle had only partially deployed and had produced the "angry alligator" that forced cancellation of docking plans on that earlier flight.

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