Saturn Illustrated Chronology - Part 8
January 1967 through December 1967
On January 5 MSFC established an S-II Special Task Team to
be located at the contractor site in California and at MTF. The organization
of such a team became necessary when emergence of technical difficulties
resulted in the S-II stage becoming the pacing element in Saturn V development.
MSFC gave this team priority to assure solving S-II technical problems
so that schedule commitments could be met. The Center named Col. Sam Yarchin,
S-II Stage Manager, to head this 18-man team.339
339. MSFC Management Manual, Chapter 2-3-8, "Charter
- S-II Special Task Team," Jan. 5, 1967, with attachments.
IBM began S-IU-503 checkout and systems testing on January
340. Memo, Bill H. Sneed, Chief, Saturn V Program Control
Office, MSFC to Chief, Apollo Program Planning Office, NASA, "Saturn V
Weekly Report No. 3," Jan. 17, 1967; and Saturn V Prog. Off., Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan.-June 1967, p. 76.
324. Instrument unit production,
|On January 11 initial post-static checkout
of the S-II-1 stage ended at MTF.341
341. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 34.
A successful S-IVB-208 stage acceptance firing occurred at
Sacramento on January 12. Mainstage duration was 424.3seconds, with automatic
cutoff initiated because of LOX depletion. All test objectives were achieved.342
342. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
pp. 3, 4, and 5.
The first flight version of a rocket stage to undergo captive
firings at MTF, the S-II-1 stage, left Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on January
16 en route to KSC, where it would become a part of the first Apollo/Saturn
V flight vehicle, scheduled for launch during the second quarter of 1967.343
On this same date, MSFC announced the award to Sanders Associates, Inc.
of a $2,149,548 contract for logistic support of Saturn V operational display
systems used to present information on vehicle status during simulated
and actual launch preparations.344
343. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1966, p. 383.
344. Interview with James B. McPeters, MSFC Contracts
Office, July 22, 1970.
On January 19 the S-IB-9 stage left the CCSD facility at
MAF aboard the Palaemon barge on its trip to MSFC in Huntsville
for static testing.345
345. Don Adams, III, Systems Static Test Branch, Chrysler
Corporation Space Division, Saturn S-IB Stage Final Static Test Report,
Stage S-IB-9, April 11, 1967, p. 5.
||325. S-IB-7, S-IB-9, S-IB-5,
and S-IB-6 in final assembly
326. Saturn V third stage, S-IVB
A Saturn V third stage, S-IVB-503, exploded shortly before
it was scheduled to be ignited in a January 20 test at SACTO. The explosion
completely destroyed the stage at test stand Beta III. Post-accident investigation
revealed that one of the eight ambient temperature helium storage spheres
located on the engine thrust structure exploded because of weld weakness
resulting from use of the wrong weld material.346
346. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 52.
||327. Beta III stand with
At MSFC's ME Lab, technicians completed a device to adapt
the S-IC test stand to receive stages other than the S-IC. This S-IC test
stand adapter ring consisted of approximately 90,000 pounds of welded stainless
steel approximately 33 feet in diameter and 6 feet in height.
The S-II-1 stage arrived on the dock at KSC on January
21. Already at KSC were the AS-501 flight vehicle sections S-IC-1, S-IVB-501,
and S-IU-501.347 Noteworthy about the arrival of the S-II-1
stage was that it arrived at KSC without having undergone final post-static
checkout and modification at MTF, thus eliminating duplicate checkout at
MTF and KSC. NASA officials hoped by this action to save NASA seven to
eight days in the Apollo Saturn 501 launch vehicle erection schedule in
347. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
348. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, pp. 9 and 34; and PAO, Marshall
Star, Vol. 7, No. 16, Jan. 11, 1967, pp. 1 and 4; and Vol. 7, No. 18,
Jan. 25, 1967, p. 1.
MSFC awarded a $100,000 six-month contract to Bell Aerosystems
Company on January 20 for flight testing Bell's "pogo stick" one-man flying
vehicle at Langley Research Center's (LaRC's) gravity test facility. The
vehicle would be evaluated for possible use in an Apollo lunar surface
349. A Chronology of the George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 5.
328. S-II-1 in low bay area of VAB
329. Instrument unit for AS-501
|Following the loss of the S-IVB-503 stage
during testing on January 20, NASA officials amended identification numbers
of subsequent S-IVB stages to fill the vacancy created. The S-IVB-504 became
the S-IVB-503N, S-IVB-505 became S-IVB-504N, and S-IVB-506 became S-IVB-505N.
A replacement stage using an old S-IVB-507 tankage became S-IVB-506, and
S-IVB-507 and subsequent stages retained the old identification.350
(The "N" at the end of the stage identification stands for the word "New,"
a designation that became necessary after an earlier stage version exploded,
necessitating the use of a substitute stage.)
350. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 58; and Memo, Sneed to NASA
Headquarters, "Saturn V Weekly Report, No. 5," Feb. 1, 1967.
A board to investigate the destruction of S-IVB-503 was organized
at the Sacramento Test Center on January 23. Board members included Dr.
Kurt Debus, Chairman; Karl Heimburg, MSFC Test Laboratory Director; and
T. J. Gordon, Douglas Aircraft representative. On this same date KSC technicians
erected the S-IVB-206 stage atop the S-IB-6 stage on LC-37. Stage subsystem
checkout began promptly as technicians prepared for the first integrated
tests of the uprated Saturn 206 vehicle.351
351. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
The S-IVB-503N stage, a replacement for the destroyed S-IVB-503,
arrived at SACTO from DAC's Space Systems Center on January 25, approximately
one week later than scheduled because of engine difficulties in the Super
352. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
330. Assembly area at Huntington
331. S-IVB-505 and S-IVB-211 in
vertical checkout tower at
|The ninth uprated Saturn I booster to be
assembled at Michoud arrived at MSFC on January 26 aboard the barge Palaemon.
After captive firing at MSFC, S-IB-9 would, according to schedule, return
to Michoud for post-firing checkout before shipment to the KSC launch site.
On this same date, as part of the post-static checkout, workmen completed
liquid hydrogen tank inspection of the S-II-1 stage positioned in the VAB
at KSC. At Huntington Beach, workmen completed factory checkout of S-IVB-209
and readied the stage for airlift to SACTO.353
353. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
||332. Palaemon transporting
S-IB to MSFC
333. Michoud, aerial view
with plant in background
The three-man crew for NASA's first manned Apollo space
flight (AS-204) died, apparently instantly, when flash fire on January
27 swept their Apollo 1 spacecraft mated to the uprated Saturn 204 vehicle.
This accident, killing Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Rodger
B. Chaffee, was the worst in the history of the U.S. space program. It
occurred at KSC's LC-34 during the first major rehearsal for the February
||334. Launch complex 34
JPL issued to industry a January 27 request for proposals
on contracts for preliminary design and definition studies of an unmanned
Voyager landing capsule. Two identical Voyager spacecraft would be launched
by a single Saturn V booster in 1973 and in 1975, according to the proposals.
Purpose of the mission to Mars would be to conduct scientific studies of
Mars and search for extra-terrestrial life. From the industrial proposals,
due in March, two to four contractors would be chosen.354
354. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 24.
Also on January 27 the S-II-2 stage left Seal Beach, California,
to pass through the Panama Canal and on to MTF. After its journey lasting
16 days, the S-II would arrive at MTF for two static tests. At SACTO workmen
completed installation of the S-IVB-503N stage on the Beta I test stand.
335. S-IVB-503N in Beta I test
In the first statement concerning Apollo flight missions
since the AS-204 accident, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space
Flight, Dr. George E. Mueller, announced on February 3 that NASA would
proceed with launching of three unmanned Apollo flights scheduled for 1967:
AS-206, AS-501, and AS-502. NASA meanwhile was postponing indefinitely
manned Apollo missions pending the outcome of the Apollo 204 Review Board's
355. Interview with William D. Putnam, Special Staff,
Office of Manned Spacecraft Flight, NASA Headquarters, Feb. 2, 1967.
Also on February 3 NASA signed an incentive contract modification
with the Boeing Company for five additional Saturn V first stages. As a
result of this modification, Boeing was now under contract to fabricate
and assemble 15 of the 7.5 million-pound-thrust boosters, thereby completing
the S-IC stage requirements for the previously announced scheduled launching
of 15 Saturn V space vehicles in the Apollo manned lunar landing program.
The $120 million supplemental agreement awarded by MSFC extended the Boeing
contract through June 1970. This modification increased the total estimated
value of the Boeing contract to $977 million.356
356. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
|336. S-IVB-206 at pad 37
337. Saturn V first stage (S-IC)
||338. Saturn V vehicle
339. B-2 test stand at MTF
The S-II-2 stage arrived on dock at MTF on February 11.
The S-II-2 stage, part of the second Saturn V vehicle (AS-502) scheduled
for launch from KSC late in 1967, was scheduled for testing at MTF late
in March. Two days later, Corps of Engineers personnel completed construction
of the S-IC B-2 test stand at MTF.357
357. MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
(draft); and Memo, Sneed to NASA Headquarters, "Saturn V Weekly Report,
No. 8," Feb. 21, 1967.
On February 17 the first full-duration test of a cluster
of uprated J-2 engines, S-II battleship test No. 041, lasted 360 seconds.
On this same date requalification of the AS-204 vehicle following de-erection
of the Apollo spacecraft consisted of two tests, the Launch Vehicle (LV)
Emergency Detection System test and the LV Systems Plugs-In test; both
were accomplished successfully with no problems. At Huntington Beach three
days later, after completion of J-2 engine installation, the stage checkout
of S-IVB-505 began. The next day, February 21, the S-IVB-502 left SACTO
358. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 30.
Erection of the AS-501 stages at KSC began on February 23
and was completed with the stacking of the IU on February 25. Schedules
called for the launch vehicle "power on" to begin three days later.359
359. MSFC Press Release No. 67-30, Feb. 3, 1967.
340. Instrument unit for first
Saturn V flight in VAB, KSC
|On February 25 workmen at MTF completed construction
of the S-II A-1 test stand, and the Corps of Engineers accepted beneficial
occupancy with exceptions.360
360. MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
MSFC personnel static fired the uprated Saturn I first stage
S-IB-9 at Huntsville for approximately 35 seconds on February 27. It had
been static-fired for 13.5 seconds on February 24.361
361. CCSD, S-IB-9 Stage Final Static Test Report,
April 11, 1967, p. 1; and Test Lab., MPR, Feb. 1967, p. 1.
On February 27 the S-II stage prime contractor, NAA, gained
beneficial occupancy of three newly constructed buildings at the contractor's
Seal Beach complex. These buildings were the Station I Subassembly Building,
the Multi-purpose Building 81, and the Warehouse and Maintenance Building
86. Meanwhile, overall construction of an eight-storey Administrative Office
Building No. 80 was progressing on schedule.362
362. NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
Jan.-Mar. 1967, pp. IV-6 - IV-7.
Following an extensive systems, subsystems, and total integrated
systems checkout of the B-2 test stand at MTF on March 3, workmen successfully
fired the S-IC battleship/all-systems stage (S-IC-T) for 15 seconds. This
S-IC-T test, the first MTF S-IC firing, proved the total compatibility
of stage, mechanical support equipment, and S-IC test facilities.363
363. MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
(draft); and MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual Prog. Report,
Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 19.
The second Saturn V launch vehicle flight booster, S-IC-2,
left MSFC for KSC by barge on March 3. This was the start of a month of
travel in the Saturn program, exemplifying the program's far-flung activities.
Included in the March travel in the Saturn program were two Saturn boosters
riding side by side on separate barges from New Orleans en route up the
Mississippi River to MSFC. On one of the dual barges rode the Saturn V
test stage, S-IC-T, after its successful 15-second firing on March 3. The
other barge brought the tenth uprated Saturn I booster, S-IB-10, from Michoud
to MSFC for static tests. At KSC the stages of the sixth uprated Saturn,
AS-206, were leaving or preparing to leave LC-37 for return to various
sites for storage. The S-IB-9 stage was leaving MSFC by barge. The second
stage for AS-206 (S-IVB-206) would make better trip time, leaving two weeks
later aboard the Super Guppy aircraft from KSC to Huntington Beach for
storage at the DAC plant. Also in March the instrument unit for AS-206
left by aircraft for the IBM plant in Huntsville for storage. These various
movements came because AS-206 was to have launched an unmanned lunar module
on its first space test, but subsequent scheduling redesignated AS-204
for that mission. AS-206 would remain in storage for use in a subsequent
364. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, pp. 1-25.
On March 7, an erroneous Beckman Digital Data System cutoff
at 3.080 seconds ended the first attempt to fire S-IB-9 in a long-duration
test. Approximately 2.5 hours later, however, technicians at MSFC fired
the stage for long-duration (145.4 seconds) achieving all test objectives.365
During the first week in March, NASA also signed an incentive contract
with the Boeing Company for Saturn V Systems Engineering and Integration
(SE&I) requirements as Schedule II, NAS8-5608, for target costs and
target fees of $720.4 million. This requirement extended the SE&I effort
through December 1968.
365. CCSD, S-IB-9 Stage Final Static Test Report,
April 11, 1967, p. 1.
341. Saturn V S-IC being moved
342. S-IVB-206 on transporter
in VAB, Sacramento
343. S-IVB-206 being loaded
into Super Guppy
|On March 9 DAC airlifted S-IVB-209 from Huntington
Beach to SACTO to undergo acceptance firing.366
366. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
pp. 5 and 47.
AS-500D configuration I testing ended on March 11 with a
special test to verify the flight control system. The configuration I test
program included; roll testing, completed January 16; pitch testing, completed
January 23; yaw testing, completed February 15; and longitudinal testing,
completed February 26.367
367. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 6.
After MSFC completed the series of acceptance test firings
of S-IB-9 at Huntsville, the stage left Huntsville by barge on March 14.
During this same week, the S-IC-2 stage arrived by barge at KSC. Also during
this week scientists at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Tullahoma,
Tennessee, started and restarted a J-2 rocket engine in simulated altitude
tests, a significant accomplishment in improving the engine's readiness
for restart missions in space. Such tests duplicated the extreme temperatures
and other environmental factors of 100,000 feet above earth. Earlier tests
at Tullahoma had confirmed the J-2 engine performance for the uprated Saturn
368. MSFC Press Release No. 67-39, Feb. 28, 1967.
A second S-IC-T firing lasted for 60 seconds on March 17.
This firing validated the flame-bucket-water-flow pattern of the B-2 test
stand and ended the facilities checkout test series at MTF.369
Also on March 17 technicians fired the S-II battleship stage for a mainstage
duration of 29 seconds.370
369. MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
(draft); and MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual Prog. Report,
Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 19.
370. Test Lab., Monthly Progress Report, Mar. 1967,
During the third week in March, two major pieces of Saturn
hardware were in transit. On March 18 the S-IB-9 stage arrived at MAF from
MSFC to undergo post-static modification. Transportation personnel at Redstone
Airport successfully loaded S-IU-502 into the Super Guppy aircraft on March
20 after a delay of four days because of high winds. The aircraft carried
its cargo to KSC.371
371. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 74.
Also on March 20 NASA scheduled use of the AS-204 booster
to launch the first Apollo LM on an unmanned flight in the summer of 1967.
It was the last booster equipped with full R&D instrumentation. Original
plans had been to use the AS-206 booster. Purpose of the first LM mission
would be to obtain data on ascent and descent propulsion systems, including
a restart; verify LM structure; and evaluate staging.372
372. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 81; and DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report,
Mar. 1967, p. 51.
On March 20 MSFC announced assignment of Karl Heimburg,
Director, Test Division, as Acting Director of Test and Evaluation at MTF
for an indefinite period. In this assignment Mr. Heimburg would be the
principal member of MTF management for test plans and procedures, for operation
of test facilities, for overall test safety and success, and for NASA direction
of test programs carried out by the on-site contractors. This assignment
was not construed as a change in current assignments or the organization
structure at MTF even though Mr. Heimburg would have MTF personnel and
a small augmentation group of his own selection from the MSFC Laboratory
373. Memo, E. F. O'Conner, Dir, IO, to Distribution C.,
subj: "Mississippi Test Facility," Mar. 20, 1967.
344a. First stage of AS-204 arrives
344b. Stacking S-IB-204 on pad
for Apollo 5 mission
|Also on March 20 MSFC awarded Bendix Corporation
a $7.4 million cost-plus-award-fee contract for development and production
of the ATM pointing control system (PCS). By this contract Bendix would
produce three units by August. The ATM system would permit Apollo astronauts
to point a telescope to selected regions of the sun during a period of
maximum solar flare activity beginning in late 1968. American Optical Company,
under a $740,460 contract, would build a dynamic simulator for use in developing
374. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1, 1967-Dec. 31,
Boeing personnel removed the S-IC-T from test stand B-2 at
MTF on March 24, following post-static checkout, test stand refurbishment,
and facilities modification. Preparation began for shipment of the stage
375. NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
Jan.-Mar. 1967, p. II-16.
On this same date MSFC Director, Dr. Wernher von Braun, announced
NASA's selection of Lee B. James, Manager of the Saturn I/IB Program, to
serve as NASA's Deputy Program Director of the Apollo Program, Office of
Manned Space Flight. Dr. von Braun also announced appointment of William
Teir, Deputy Manager, Saturn I/IB Operations, to replace Mr. James as Saturn
I/IB Program Manager, and appointment of William F. LaHatte, Deputy Manager,
Saturn I/IB Management, as the new Deputy Manager, Saturn I/IB Program.376
376. Memo, Dr. Wernher von Braun, MSFC Director, to Distribution
D, subj: "Saturn I/IB Program Office Personnel Assignments," March 24,
On March 31, failure of a prevalve to close caused program
officials at MTF to scrub the first attempt to static fire the S-II-2 stage.377
On this same date the S-IC-T traveled from MTF to its destination at MAF
aboard the barge Pearl River. After its arrival at Michoud, dockhands
transferred the stage aboard the covered barge Poseidon for shipment
to MSFC in Huntsville.378
377. TWX, Johnson to Phillips, "Saturn IB Weekly Notes
13-67," April 3, 1967.
378. NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
Jan.-Mar. 1967, pp. III-4 - III-5; and MTF, Historical Report, Jan.
1-Dec. 31, 1967, (draft).
345. Michoud, aerial view of
engineering building and
346. Saturn stage is transported
up the Pearl River
|Battleship testing of the S-II battleship
test stage equipped with five uprated J-2 engines ended with Test 043,
a full-duration test of approximately 360 seconds mainstage operation.379
379. NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
April-June 1967, p. II-6.
In March NASA gave approval to rebuild the Beta III test
stand at SACTO, which was severely damaged January 20 when the S-IVB-503
380. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 33.
On April 1, the S-IB-10 stage departed Michoud for MSFC aboard
the barge Palaemon.381
381. TWX, Johnson to Phillips, "Saturn IB Weekly Notes
13-67," April 3, 1967.
The S-IB-6 stage departed KSC on April 3 aboard the Promise
en route to Michoud for storage. Also on April 3 the Apollo boilerplate
(BP-30) service and command modules arrived at MSFC where they would be
modified for use as a backup payload for AS-501 and AS-502 missions.382
382. A Chronology of the George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, Dec. 31, 1967, p. 33.
347. Damaged platform is
removed from Beta III stand
after S-IVB-503 explosion
|The S-IC-4 stage arrived at MSFC on April
4 aboard the barge Pearl River. The following day Boeing personnel
placed the stage in the MTF S-IC static test stand.383
383. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 23; and Boeing, Annual Prog.
Report, FY 1967, p. 23.
||348. Saturn S-IC production
in manufacturing building,
MTF personnel, on April 6, conducted a successful 368-second
firing of the S-II-2 stage.384 At this same time NASA revised
designations for Apollo and AA missions as follows: (1)all Apollo missions
would be numbered sequentially in the order flown, with the next Apollo
mission to be designated Apollo 4, followed by Apollo 5, etc.; (2) AA missions
would be designated sequentially as AAP-1, AAP-2, etc. Number designations
would not differentiate between manned and unmanned uprated Saturn I and
Saturn V missions.385
384. MTF, Historiocal Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
(draft); and NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report, April-June
1967, p. III-1.
385. Memo, Bart J. Slattery, Chief, Public Affairs, MSFC
to Distribution B, subj: "Implementation of Apollo and AAP Designations,"
April 6, 1967; and NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1967,
SP-4007, p. 125.
The S-IB-6 stage arrived at MAF from KSC on April 7 for storage
pending rescheduling of uprated Saturn I flights.386 Two days
later the S-IB-10 stage, shipped by barge from MAF on April 1, arrived
at MSFC's Huntsville dock.387 Again on April 9, the S-IC-T stage
which left Michoud aboard the Poseidon barge on April 1 arrived
at MSFC where it was stored in the ME Laboratory to await use in research
and development tests.388
386. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967
(draft), p. 4; and TWX, Johnson to Phillips, "Saturn IB Weekly Notes 14-67,"
April 10, 1967.
387. Don Adams, SSTB, CCSD, Saturn S-IB Stage Final
Static Test Report, Stage S-IB-10, June 26, 1967, p. 3.
388. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 21.
349. Saturn S-IB stage is loaded
350. S-IC flight stage, Huntsville
The S-IVB-206 stage, de-erected from LC-37 following
reassignment of the LM-1 mission to the AS-204 vehicle, was shipped from
KSC on April 13 via the Super Guppy aircraft to SACTO where it would be
389. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, June 1967,
On April 15, technicians at MTF successfully static fired
the second flight stage (S-II-2) of the Saturn V space vehicle.390
390. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 36; and NAA S&ID, S-II
Quarterly Progress Report, Jan.-Mar. 1967, p. III-3.
Also on April 15 MSFC completed award of one-year, cost-plus-incentive-fee
(CPIF) contract extensions totaling more than $57 million for engineering,
fabrication, and institutional support services for the Saturn launch vehicle
program. Recipients: Sperry Rand Corporation, $12,695,727; Vitro Corporation,
$5,344,159; Brown Engineering Company, $12,350,140; Spaco, Incorporated,
$5,971,638; Northrop Corporation, $3,905,000; Hayes International Corporation,
$4,969,277; Management Services Incorporated, $5,560,941; Rust Engineering
Company, $599,090; and RCA Service Company, $5,749,907.391
391. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 112.
On April 19, a J-2 engine set a record with the completion
of 103 tests lasting a total of 20,094 seconds. This length of testing
was longer than for any other large rocket engine produced by the Rocketdyne
Division of North American Aviation, Inc. This record-breaking series of
tests was conducted on research and development engine J022-1 on test stand
Delta 2A at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory between December 9, 1966,
and April 19, 1967, with no major hardware changes. The total run duration
was more than five times the designated qualification test time, and the
number of tests was more than triple the number required for qualification.
At the time of this test completion Rocketdyne had delivered 109 J-2 production
model engines to MSFC, responsible for technical direction of the engine
392. Interview with Toon Ferrell, MSFC Engine Program
Office, August 4, 1970.
351. J-2 engine being moved
to test stand for static firing test
|The S-IC-D stage arrived at MTF from Huntsville
on April 23. Workmen at MTF placed the stage in storage pending its use
in the early fall.393
393. MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967
||352. Construction of two-level
On April 27, the Saturn upper stage model outfitted as
a manned orbital workshop arrived at MSFC aboard the Super Guppy aircraft.
Built by Douglas Aircraft at its Space Systems Center, Huntington Beach,
California, the mockup depicted the S-IVB stage as it would be used in
the Apollo Applications Program.394 MSFC announced on April
27 that it had asked industry for proposals concerning a study to determine
the feasibility of developing large television broadcast satellites to
be launched as manned or unmanned Saturn V payloads. Such satellites might
be capable of broadcasting directly to home receivers. The study would
concern itself primarily with satellite technology.395
394. William A. Geiger, Daily Log, Transport Branch,
Projects Logistics Office, MSFC, April 27, 1967.
395. PAO Press Release No. 67-94, April 27, 1967.
||353. Workshop mockup enroute
Also on April 27 MSFC completed a review of three previous
Saturn IB improvement studies and confirmed that it would be feasible to
increase the payload capability of the Saturn IB by use of solid rocket
motor (SRM) strap-ons or by use of SRM's as the first stage booster.396
396. M. A. Page, Advanced Systems Office, MSFC, Study
of Saturn IB Improvement Programs Executive Summary Report, TM X-53604,
April 27, 1967, pp. 1 and 35.
On April 29 the contractor for research and development of
S-IVB stages, the Douglas Aircraft Company, merged with McDonnell Aircraft
Corporation to form McDonnell Douglas Corporation.397
397. Morton T. Eldridge, Marketing Manager of Army Land
Combat Systems and NASA Advanced Systems, McDonnell Douglas Astronautics
Company, Huntsville, Alabama, September 17, 1970.
354. Study for uprating the
|In April NASA awarded CCSD Contract NAS8-21107
in the amount of $113,400 for the purpose of CCSD's continuing for eight
months a Saturn IB Improvement Study. Object of the study was to provide
more detailed data on a projected Saturn IB system with a 120-inch SRM
having 7 and one third segments. The contractor would also investigate
the option of launching the vehicle with four , two, or no SRM's depending
on mission requirements. The study would end in December 1967.398
In still another April contract NASA awarded Contract NAS8-21076 to IBM
in the amount of $222,000 to perform a companion and supporting study to
CCSD's Saturn IB Improvement Study. IBM's effort lasting seven months would
involve definition of astrionics systems required to implement selected
398. M. A. Page, Advanced Systems Office, MSFC, Study
of Saturn IB Improvement Programs Executive Summary Report, TM X-53604,
April 27, 1967, p. 2.
399. M. A. Page, Advanced Systems Office, MSFC, Study
of Saturn IB Improvement Programs Executive Summary Report, TM X-53604,
April 27, 1967, p. 2.
Thirteen astronauts attended the Saturn V launch vehicle
systems and performance briefing April 27 and 28 at MSFC. Representatives
of various MSFC laboratories made presentations to the astronauts. The
Astrionics Laboratory presented material on navigation and guidance control.
The Aero-Astrodynamics Laboratory presented information on profiles and
made presentations on propulsion systems and engine restarts.400
400. Edwin L. Riddick, Visitors Program Record, Protocol
Branch, Public Affairs Office, MSFC, April 27-28, 1967.
Twelve astronauts visited MSFC from May 2 through May 5 and
evaluated modifications proposed for converting the S-IVB liquid hydrogen
tank into a space station. The astronauts practiced some of the tasks they
would perform while orbiting in 10,000 cubic feet of living and working
space. Workmen disassembled the mockup, about 60 feet long and 22 feet
in diameter, and the astronauts, dressed in space suits, practiced putting
it back together in much the same manner as if they had to do it in space.
Such a converted S-IVB stage would provide space in which the astronauts
could live and work for an initial 28 days in space. Then the astronauts
would "store" the workshop in space for reuse later for longer periods.
Douglas Aircraft assembled the mockup at its Huntington Beach, California,
facility and airlifted it to MSFC aboard the Super Guppy aircraft.401
401. Vivian S. Whitley, Visitors Program Record, Protocol
Branch, Public Affairs Office, MSFC, May 2-5, 1967.
Meanwhile, at SACTO technicians successfully acceptance-fired
the S-IVB-503N stage for 446.9 seconds.402 After the successful
firing of S-IVB-503N, technicians transferred the stage to the Vertical
Checkout Laboratory for post-firing modifications and preparations for
checkout. The stage's All-Systems Checkout would come approximately 60
402. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 59.
403. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 59.
355. S-IVB acceptance firing
|On May 9 technicians at Huntsville successfully
acceptance-fired the S-IB-10 stage a short-duration of 35.424 seconds.404
404. CCSD, S-IB-10 Stage Final Static Test Report,
June 26, 1967, p. 1.
NASA, on May 10, awarded Douglas Aircraft a $4,665,000 modification
to an existing contract for reliability and verification testing of Saturn
S-IVB stage components.405
405. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 149.
On May 15 MSFC asked Boeing, General Electric, and TRW Systems
to submit proposals for parallel contracts for further project definition
work in Voyager interplanetary exploration. Proposals would be due May
19. Boeing, General Electric, and TRW Systems had been conducting parallel
Voyager project definition study contracts since early 1965 for Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and this would be a continuation of that
406. PAO Press Release No. 67-109, May 15, 1967.
At MTF on May 16 there was a successful 125-second-duration
acceptance firing of the S-IC-4 stage. After an engine alignment optical
check, the stage, the first flight S-IC to be tested at MTF, would be returned
to MAF for post-static modification and checkout.407
407. MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
(draft): MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 10; and
Boeing, Annual Prog. Report, FY 1967, p. 23.
The S-II-2 stage, aboard the barge Poseidon, left
MTF on May 20 en route to KSC.408
408. NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
April-June 1967, p. III-2; and Test Lab, Monthly Progress Report,
May 1967, p. 3.
356. F-1 engines are prepared
for static test firing at MSFC
357. J-2 engines of S-II-2,
second stage for AS-502
|Vice-President Hubert Humphrey visited MSFC
on Monday afternoon, May 22. After the Vice-President spoke to employees
and guests in front of Building 4200, his motorcade traveled to Buiding
4755 where Dr. von Braun described to him several mockups related to the
Apollo Applications Program and conducted a tour of space vehicle engineering
models and test "hardware." The Vice-President and his party later watched
a static firing of an uprated Saturn I first stage from the East Observation
Bunker. The full-duration test lasted 145.6 seconds.409
409. CCSD, S-IB-10 Stage Final Static Test Report,
June 26, 1967, p. 1.
NASA announced on May 24 that the second stage of the first
Saturn V launch vehicle would be dismantled at KSC to check for any "hairline"
cracks. NASA made this decision after finding similar cracks in an identical
stage of the vehicle at the North American Aviation, Seal Beach, California,
plant. The space agency did not expect additional checks to delay the first
Saturn V flight - an unmanned mission scheduled for mid-August - by "more
than a week or so."410
410. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 410.
The S-II battleship transition and full-duration testing
during the first half of 1967 ended with the seventh test, May 26, 1967.
Firings had included a 1.8-second transition test on February 8; the first
full-duration test (360 seconds) on February 17; four full-duration tests
of 355 or more seconds on March 17, March 31, April 26, and May 26; and
another transition test of 50 seconds duration May 12.411
411. Boeing, Annual Prog. Report, FY 1967, p.
During May the highlight of the orbital workshop design progress
was the intensive three-day S-IVB orbital workshop design review held at
MSFC early in May with more than 200 engineering and management representatives
participating. Organizations represented at the preliminary design review
included NASA Headquarters, Manned Spacecraft Center, Kennedy Space Center,
MSFC, and Douglas Aircraft Company, manufacturer of the S-IVB stage. The
review featured an S-IVB mockup built by Douglas and shipped recently to
MSFC. Made of non-flight S-IVB hardware, the mockup was outfitted according
to the preliminary design of the manned orbital workshop.412
412. PAO, "Marshall Star" Vol. 7, No. 34, May 17, 1967.
358. Mockup of Saturn workshop
June began with considerable movement of Saturn stages. On
June 2, technicians at Cape Kennedy de-stacked the AS-501 to check for
imperfections in the propellant tanks of the S-II stage. They made X-rays
and, after finding twelve imperfections, they instigated repairs by burnishing.413
On June 6 the S-IC-4 flight stage returned to Michoud aboard the barge
Pearl River. Upon its arrival, workers unloaded it and transported
the stage to the Stage Test Building for refurbishment and post-static
checkout.414 One day later workmen removed the S-IB-10 stage
from the MSFC static test tower and prepared the stage for return shipment
to MAF on June 8.415
413. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 9.
414. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 23.
415. CCSD, S-IB-10 Stage Final Static Test Report,
June 26, 1967.
NASA changed the charter on June 8 to reflect the change
of name from Michoud Operations to Michoud Assembly Facility.416
416. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
On June 13 the S-IB-10 stage arrived at MAF aboard the Palaemon
barge from MSFC where it had undergone acceptance tests.417
417. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
p. 4; and Test Lab., Monthly Progress Report, June 1967, p. 1.
The Center announced on June 14 that successful F-1 engine
tests had reached the 4,000 mark in number of tests. This 4,000th test
occurred when an F-1 engine at Edwards Field Laboratory, California, ran
165 seconds at 1,542,000 pounds of thrust. The total of 4,000 firings included
2,035 engine firings and 1,965 thrust chamber injection assembly firings.
Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, Inc., developed the engine.
Engine number 103-1 made the 4,000th run, almost 7 years after the first
F-1 firing at Edwards.418
418. PAO, "Marshall Star" Vol. 7, No. 38, June 14, 1967.
359. F-1 engine for Saturn V
360. F-1 engine test stand at
Edwards Field Labratory
|S-IVB-504N arrived at the Sacramento Test
Center via the Super Guppy aircraft on June 16.419 Also on June
16 NASA and Boeing signed a $20 million letter contract extending the scope
of Boeing's work with NASA to include integration of the Apollo spacecraft's
three modules with the Saturn V launch vehicle. Under terms of this contract
Boeing would: (1) assist and support NASA and its three manned spaceflight
centers - MSC, MSFC, and KSC - in performance of certain technical tasks
for Apollo missions AS-501 through AS-515; and (2) be responsible for supporting
the Apollo Program Office in integrating the Saturn V booster with the
Apollo CM, SM, and LM.420
419. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 61.
420. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 189.
Technicians at KSC completed erection of the AS-501 spacecraft
and electrical mating of AS-501 on June 20, as the payload, Apollo spacecraft
017, went atop the rocket. This first flight vehicle, known as AS-501,
was scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 1967. It would be an unmanned
test in which the complete vehicle would be "live." The spacecraft would
reenter following a flight of several thousand miles from earth.421
421. Saturn V Weekly Report No. 24, June 21, 1967.
The S-IVB-209 stage was successfully static-fired for
a mainstage duration of 456 seconds on June 20 in the Beta I test stand
at SACTO. The firing was terminated by LOX depletion cutoff as planned.422
422. A Chronology of the George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 50.
On June 21 the Pearl River barge transported the S-IC-5
stage from MAF's Stage Test Building, where it had undergone post-manufacturing
checkout and modification, to MTF for additional changes and static tests.423
423. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, p. 25; and Boeing, Annual Prog.
Report, FY 1967, p. 24.
|361a-e. Stacking of AS-501,
362. AS-501 in VAB, KSC
|MSFC announced on June 22 that the Bendix
Corporation and the Boeing Company had received contract extensions for
further study of lunar surface vehicles. Bendix would receive $149,914
for the extension and Boeing would receive $149,485. The two firms would
perform specified design study tasks on the vehicle, called a Local Scientific
Survey Module (LSSM). MSFC had awarded the two firms parallel six-month
contracts, totaling $350,000 each, on June 29, 1966. These new modifications
extended the contract through August 1967.424
424. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 193; and PAO Press Release No. 67-130, June 26, 1967.
The first flight model of the Apollo LM arrived at KSC on
June 23 aboard the Pregnant Guppy aircraft. This was the payload for AS-204,
then on the pad at LC-37. The lunar module would be in KSC's industrial
area for about 45 days before installation atop the launch vehicle.425
425. William A. Geiger, Daily Log, Transport Branch,
Project Logistics Office, MSFC, June 23, 1967.
363. S-IVB-209 awaits testing
364. Static firing S-IC-5 at MTF
365a. LM-1 arrives at KSC
365b. Stacking LM-1 on AS-204
Officials at NASA's rocket engine test site at Edwards
Air Force Base, California, held brief ceremonies on June 28, marking the
delivery of the millionth ton of cryogenic rocket propellants and pressurants.
NASA had used the liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen to test F-1 rocket
engines during the past six years. (The first engine test had been in 1961.)
Peak testing was in 1965 when as many as 35,300 tons were delivered in
a single month.426
426. PAO Press Release No. 67-139, 1967.
NASA announced on June 30 that it had signed a two-month
extension of a contract modification with the Chrysler Corporation for
procurement of long-lead-time items for additional uprated Saturn I first
stages. The $2.4 million extension, to continue in force through August
31, 1967, enabled Chrysler to continue procuring the materials, components,
and engineering support necessary to maintain its capability for assembling
four uprated Saturn I boosters per year. The initial long-lead-time supplemental
agreement, valued at $7.2 million, had been awarded in December 1966. At
the time of this extension award, Chrysler was under contract to assemble
and test twelve 1.6 million-pound-thrust stages at MAF in New Orleans.427
427. A Chronology of the George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 53.
MSFC announced also on June 30 the award by NASA of a $14,811,540
fixed-price-incentive-fee contract to North American Aviation for 60 additional
H-1 rocket engines for use on first stages of uprated Saturn I vehicles.
This order increased the total number of engines purchased to 322. Delivery
would continue through September 1968.428
428. Paul Anderson, Contract NAS8-18741, Contracts Office,
MSFC, June 30, 1967.
During June special tests to determine the best way to recover
and reuse the Saturn V first stage (S-IC) were being conducted at MSFC.
In these tests 1/10 scale models of the S-IC were dropped from altitudes
of as much as 156 feet into a 20-foot-deep water tank to simulate descent
of the stage through the earth's atmosphere and into the ocean. Purpose
of the tests was to study a "soft splash" concept designed to bring back
the S-IC with minimal damage. MSFC engineers said a workable recovery method
would save "millions of dollars" in future years.429
429. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 187.
366. Saturn V S-IC recovery study
|Four test firings of the S-IVB battleship
stage occurred at MSFC in the January to June 1967 period as follows: Test
S-IVB-042 on April 21, for 235.8 seconds; Test S-IVB-043 on May 2, for
150 seconds; Test S-IVB-044 on May 18, for 4.7 seconds; and Test S-IVB-045
on June 26, for 199 seconds.430
430. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, pp. 50-51.
Records at the end of June indicated that during the first
six months of 1967 Rocketdyne conducted 1,838 R&D F-1 engine tests
for a total firing time of 149,483 seconds. The tests were performed at
Edwards Field Laboratory and at MSFC's West Area F-1 test stand. Rocketdyne
delivered 11 F-1 production engines to Boeing during the same six-month
period: one for the S-IC-7 stage, five for the S-IC-8 stage, three for
the S-IC-9 stage, and two as S-IC flight stage spares.431
431. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, pp. 50-66.
||367. Mounting F-1 engine
Saturn V S-IC stage at Michoud
368. J-2 engine being prepared
for static test firing
Records at the end of June also indicated that during
the January to June 1967 period Rocketdyne conducted 103 J-2 engine R&D
tests at Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) for a total firing time of
18,904.5 seconds; conducted 66 J-2 engine production tests for a total
duration of 10,443 seconds; and continued J-2 engine environmental testing
at AEDC, including S-IVB-501 verification tests proving restart capability
and S-II-501 verification tests. In this same period NASA accepted 19 J-2
production engines, allocated 17 of these as government furnished equipment
to NAA for S-II flight stages and one as an S-II spare, and provided the
other engine to DAC as an S-IVB flight stage engine.432
432. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1967, pp. 68-72.
MSFC awarded McDonnell Douglas a $496,024 contract on July
1 to study advanced versions of the Saturn S-IVB orbital workshop. Under
terms of this contract, the contractor would explore concepts for a follow-on
workshop for the uprated Saturn I program and several more sophisticated
versions of the Saturn V, with initial emphasis on uses of the stage in
the AA program.433
433. PAO Press Release No. 67-147, July 11, 1967.
NASA began the last half of 1967 with Saturn IB stages for
AS-205, AS-206, and AS-208 in storage. AS-209 was in various stages of
development. For example, post-static checkout of S-IB-9 and also S-IVB-209
was continuing. The S-IVB-209 stage had undergone a successful static firing
the previous month, on June 20, as scheduled for a mainstage duration of
approximately 456 seconds. S-IU-209 assembly previously scheduled for completion
on June 26 was delayed to July 10 because of shortage of assembly supplies,
including lack of some distributors. At this same time the later Saturn
IB vehicle, AS-210, was under development. S-IB-10 was undergoing post-static
modification and repair. S-IVB-210 was in storage at Huntington Beach awaiting
availability of Beta 3 test stand at SACTO. Fabrication of S-IU-210 had
been completed June 21, 1967, and assembly operations were in process.434
434. Saturn IB Weekly Notes 25-67, June 26, 1967.
On July 11 the first and second stages of the second Saturn
V booster were mechanically mated at KSC in preparation for the AS-502
unmanned mission to test the Apollo spacecraft's reentry heat shield. The
third stage was added on July 13 and instrument unit on July 14.435
435. NAA S&ID, S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
July-Dec. 1967, p. IV-2; and MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V
Semiannual Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 16.
Saturn transportation personnel found themselves unusually
busy in the middle of July. The second stage of the third Saturn V flight
vehicle (S-II-3) departed its manufacturing site at Seal Beach, California,
on July 12 for a 13-day trip to MTF. The one-million-pound-thrust S-II
made the voyage aboard the U.S. Naval ship Point Barrow which NASA
used for transporting the stages from the West Coast. Schedules called
for the S-II-3 to reach MTF July 26 where it would be ground-fired by NAA,
and later shipped to KSC for mating with the other stages of the Saturn
V. Meanwhile, MSFC announced on July 12 that F-1 engines for Saturn V rockets
were now being transported from Canoga Park, California, to New Orleans,
Louisiana, by highway instead of air. The MSFC announcement stated that
the first engine was already en route to New Orleans. Previous shipments
of the engines had been made by specially adapted aircraft.436
436. Saturn V Weekly Report No. 26, July 12, 1967.
On July 24, MSFC awarded Astro Space Labs., Inc., a $93,136
contract for further development and testing of a remotely controlled device
to handle tools, equipment, and men in space. It consisted of links connected
by powered hinges, which could be remotely controlled from either end of
the device. One end would be connected to the spacecraft, and one would
be free. Small versions of the device could be powered by hand pump or
batteries; larger versions, by electric motors.437
437. A Chronology of the George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 59.
369. S-IVB's in storage at SACTO
370a. Stacking of S-II-502 in VAB
370b. S-IU-2 is mated to S-IVB
371. S-IC being transported by barge
|MSFC announced on July 26 that NASA had awarded
a $2.275 million contract to the Boeing Company for procurement of long-lead-time
materials for two additional Saturn V flight boosters. The CPFF contract
was the first Saturn V procurement in support of NASA's Apollo Applications
Program. Boeing, prime contractor for the 7.5 million-pound-thrust first
stage (S-IC) of the Saturn V launch vehicle, was manufacturing 12 stages
at MAF, for the Apollo manned lunar exploration program. Boeing would begin
acquiring such items as propellant ducts, liquid oxygen tunnels, and fuel
tank components for the 16th and 17th stages. The contract would expire
on January 1, 1968.438
438. PAO Press Release No. 67-155, July 26, 1967.
||372. Assembly of Saturn
stages at Michoud
Also on July 26 NASA selected Martin Marietta Corporation
to negotiate a 27-month, $98 million CPIF contract for payload integration
of experiments and experiment support equipment on AA spacecraft. Tasks
would be performed at NASA's three manned spaceflight centers: (1) MSFC
work would involve the orbital workshop ATM; (2) MSC work would involve
the meteorological and earth resources payloads, and (3) KSC work would
involve the test integration planning and support for launch operations.439
439. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 220; and PAO "Marshall Star", Vol. 7, No. 45, p.
The S-II-3 stage for AS-503 arrived at MTF on July 27, where
it would become the first flight S-II to be static fired in the A-1 test
stand, a third stand to be completed at MTF and the second operational
as of that date for testing of S-II stages. Begun in December 1964, the
A-1 test stand was built by a division of the Koppers Company, Inc., at
a cost of more than $8 million. MTF personnel static-fired the first and
second flight versions of the S-II in the previously completed A-2 test
stand December 1 and 30, 1966, and April 6 and 15, 1967. After checkout
of the A-1 stand and the S-II-3 stage, schedules called for the rocket
to be static-fired for the normal "burntime" of six minutes. During that
time the stage's five rocket engines were expected to develop one million
pounds of thrust as they would in space. Schedules called for 12 more stage
rockets to be tested at MTF as part of the Apollo Program.440
440. Saturn V Weekly Report No. 30, August 3,
373. S-II stage is lifted into A-1
test stand at MTF for static firing
|MSFC and KSC on July 31 signed a formal Memorandum
of Agreement concerning "KSC Use of Selected MSFC Personnel." The agreement
laid the ground rules for use of MSFC personnel by KSC to (1) support the
AS-501 launch scheduled for September 1967, and (2) to support projects
of mutual interest and importance to both Centers which would require additional
specialized personnel for temporary periods of time.441
441. Memo, Harry H. Gorman, Dep. Dir, Adm., MSFC to Distribution
SDL-2, subj: "Memorandum of Agreement - KSC Utilization of Selected MSFC
Personnel," August 2, 1967 w/enc. of same subj., signed July 28, 1967,
by George A. Van Staden, Dir. of Adm., KSC, and July 31, 1967, by Edward
D. Mohlere, Asst. to Dep. Dir., Tech., MSFC.
The S-IC-T battleship/all-systems stage fired for 41.74 seconds
in Test No. 22 on August 3, the third attempt in two days to complete a
40-second captive firing at MSFC's S-IC test complex. The test demonstrated
the operational readiness of the test complex, the S-IC-T stage, and the
ground support equipment. It also provided training for KSC launch crews
and demonstrated the launch integrity of the Saturn V liftoff switch.442
442. Saturn V Ground Test Plan and Status Summary,
Rev. A., Sept. 15, 1967, p. 20; and MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn
V Semiannual Prog. Report, July-Dec. 1967, p. 21.
MSFC announced on August 3 the successful completion of a
dynamic test program of the Apollo/Saturn V, in effect giving "the green
light" for the launch of the first Apollo/Saturn V later in the year as
far as dynamics and structures were concerned. Boeing conducted the test
program at MSFC under the direction of MSFC engineering personnel, the
latter providing test criteria and monitoring of effort. Initial dynamic
tests had started with the first stage of the Saturn V. Subsequent tests
included the second and third stage, instrument unit, and the Apollo spacecraft.
MSFC made several slight modifications to the space vehicle as a result
of the dynamic program. These tests included determination of the bending
and vibration characteristics of the complete vehicle. Tests were carried
out in a 400-foot-high tower in the Center's Test Laboratory.443
443. PAO Press Release No. 67-161, August 3, 1967; Press
Release No. 67-162, August 4, 1967.
On August 7 NASA issued three modifications totaling $30.9
million to the NAA contract for the Saturn V second (S-II) stage. The first
modification, valued at $5.5 million, provided for equitable adjustment
of second stage changes previously ordered; the second modification, valued
at $5.8 million, covered seven changes involving KSC ground support equipment;
and the third modification, valued at $19.4 million, was for 12 changes
covering alterations of selector switches and insulation of the entire
444. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 235; and PAO, "Marshall Star," Vol. 7, No. 46, Aug.
9, 1967, p. 4.
MSFC announced on August 10 that NASA had converted the systems
integration portion of the Chrysler Corporation's uprated Saturn I to a
cost-plus-incentive-fee agreement. With this $22 million conversion, the
total value of the systems integration segment of Chrysler's six-part uprated
Saturn I contract was $35.5 million. Under this arrangement Chrysler's
fee was judged according to the quality and timeliness in which Chrysler
accomplished its work. Chrysler's major responsibilities also included
flight technology, guidance and control, and propulsion systems engineering.
Chrysler would also provide systems analysis, and documentation services.
In addition Chrysler personnel would perform their assignments at both
MSFC and Michoud. The contract would be effective through April 1969.445
445. PAO Press Release No. 67-168, August 10, 1967.
The S-IVB-505N stage was loaded aboard the Super Guppy aircraft
at Huntington Beach on August 17 and transported to SACTO for acceptance
446. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, pp. 67 and 69; and DAC, S-IVB
Quarterly Progress Report, Sept. 1967, p. 5.
An MSFC August 18 announcement stated that NASA had awarded
a $1.4 million contract to the Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation,
Inc., for continued technological investigation of the advanced aerospike
rocket engine. In the aerospike engine a doughnut-shaped combustion chamber
discharges gases against the surface of a short center cone. This contrasts
with conventional rocket engines in which gases are expanded inside long,
bell-shaped nozzles. The concept for the aerospike engine resulted from
studies of unconventional engines undertaken by MSFC. Early designs called
for the engine to be about eight feet in diameter and four and one-half
feet high, about 50 percent shorter than conventional bell nozzle engines.
Work on the aerospike engine was at Rocketdyne's Canoga Park, California,
plant and at field laboratories. Contract completion date was scheduled
for May 31, 1968. The chamber was first tested in May of 1967.447
447. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Sept. 1967,
pp. 4 and 6.
On August 23 indication of "fire" in the J-2 engine caused
termination of the S-IVB-504N acceptance firing at 51.23 seconds. Post-test
investigation revealed that there had been an inadvertent indication of
"fire" caused by improper wiring of the fire detection monitor.
On August 25 S-IC-5 underwent a full-duration acceptance
firing test at MTF. Despite several problems, the test was considered satisfactory
with all major objectives having been achieved. The following day in the
Beta I stand at SACTO the S-IVB-504N stage successfully underwent an acceptance
firing of approximately 438 seconds duration.448
448. DAC, S-IVB Quarterly Progress Report, Sept. 1967;
and Saturn IB Weekly Notes 34-67.
"Rollout" of AS-501 occurred August 26 at Kennedy Space Center.
Representatives from MSFC and other NASA organizations, and newsmen, were
present when a huge door of the Vehicle Assembly Building was raised to
allow passage of this first flight vehicle. The rocket and its mobile launch
platform and tower, weighing 12.2 million pounds, crept to the launch pad
3.5 miles away at a top speed of less than 0.5 mile an hour. Workmen secured
AS-501 over the flame trench within approximately four hours after it had
reached the launch pad. Then on August 28 workmen at KSC placed the nine-million-pound
mobile service structure around the 363-foot-tall vehicle, providing work
platforms and other access during the seven weeks prior to launch date.449
449. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, pp. 8-9.
|374. S-IC stage at MTF B-2
375. AS-501 ready for rollout
to pad 39A
376. AS-501, Apollo 4, moves
up the incline to top of pad 39A
377. MSS moves up to AS-501
On September 18 the NASA procurement officer executed a contract
modification (supplemental agreement 813) for five additional S-II flight
stages (S-II-11 through S-II-15) to become effective on October 3. Authorization
and funding to procure long-lead-time hardware for these stages had been
given previously, during the first quarter of 1967. This was a $159,716,477
contract modification for the fabrication of the five Saturn V second stages.
Purchase of these five stages completed the S-II requirements for the 15
Saturn V launch vehicles approved for development in the Apollo program.
Schedules called for the first of the stages to be delivered to NASA in
February 1969. The total value of the S-II stage contract with North American
was approximately $1.2 billion.450
450. Memo, Sneed to NASA Headquarters, subj: "Saturn
V Weekly Report, No. 38, Sept. 28, 1967; and MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off.,
Saturn V Semiannual Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, pp. 41-42.
The S-II-3 stage fired for approximately 65 seconds during
its first acceptance test, September 19. Primary objectives that were achieved
included qualification of the A-1 test stand flame bucket and demonstration
of the stage, stand, and control room compatibility. Special objectives
that were accomplished included evaluation of the slow chill of the liquid
hydrogen tank, achievement of a 3,800-gallon-per-minute maximum LOX fill
rate in the fast-fill mode, and verification of the liquid hydrogen fast-fill
and over-fill sensors.451
451. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 41.
The major S-II stage contractor, North American Aviation,
Inc., merged with Rockwell-Standard Corporation on September 22 to form
the North American Rockwell (NAR) Corporation.452
452. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 278.
The S-II-3 stage underwent a full-duration (358 seconds)
static firing on September 27 with termination automatically initiated
by LOX depletion. The firing demonstrated the functional integrity of the
stage under static firing conditions and verified that the stage met specified
acceptance test requirements.453
453. Memo, Sneed to NASA Headquarters, subj: "Saturn
V Weekly Report No. 38," Sept. 28, 1967; and MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off.,
Saturn V Semiannual Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, pp. 41-42.
NASA announced on October 4 that in support of the Saturn
V program it was purchasing nine additional S-IVB stages from the McDonnell
Douglas Corporation for $146.5 million, fulfilling requirements for currently
approved 15 Saturn V and 12 uprated Saturn I launch vehicles. Delivery
would begin in April 1968 and end in May 1970. The purchase brought the
total S-IVB contract value for both vehicles to $957,182,093 and the total
number of stages purchased to 27. McDonnell Douglas also received a $24
million cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF) contract extension for S-IVB launch
services at KSC, which increased the total value of the contract to $34
million. Included were stage receipt, checkout, launch, and launch evaluation.454
454. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 28.
Also on October 4 NASA informed the Boeing Company that it
was terminating procurement of 10 S-IC stages, S-IC-16 through S-IC-25.
Boeing had submitted a proposal on July 3 and an adjusted proposal on September
20 covering the necessary supplies and services for fabrication and delivery
of the stages.455
455. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
||378. Saturn V S-IC stage
in storage at Michoud
NASA announced, also on October 4, that MSFC had used
AEDC facilities to investigate preparation of a spent rocket stage for
human occupancy in space. The investigation involved dumping 840 gallons
of super-cold liquid nitrogen (LN) through a "dead" or inactive J-2 rocket
engine. Conducted at a simulated 100,000-foot altitude, this dumping experiment
would pave the way for astronauts to move inside an orbiting stage and
use tanks as living quarters for a space station.456
456. PAO Press Release No. 67-203, Oct. 4, 1967.
A NASA spokesman announced on October 10 that the planned
launch of the Saturn V/Apollo 4 vehicle AS-501, scheduled for October 17,
would be postponed until early November. Troubles with ground support equipment
had stalled the countdown rehearsal. Once rehearsal was finished, engineers
would evaluate results and set the date for the unmanned launch.457
The countdown rehearsal for Apollo 4 (AS-501) ended on October 14; final
flight preparations were to be completed for scheduled launch in about
457. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 298.
458. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, announced
on October 26 that the first flight test of Saturn V, designated Apollo
4, could be scheduled no earlier than November 7. "This is a target date,"
he said. "We are in a very complex learning process and we are going to
take all the time we need on this first launch." Key objectives of the
flight planned for November 7 would be evaluation of Apollo command module
heat shield under conditions encountered on return from the moon mission.
The Apollo 4 flight plan would call for the Saturn V to place the spacecraft
and launch vehicle third stage (S-IVB) into a 117-mile circular orbit.
After completing two orbits, the third stage would be re-ignited to place
the spacecraft into an orbit with an apogee of 10,800 miles. After separation
from the third stage, the service module propulsion system would be fired
to raise the spacecraft apogee to 11,400 miles.459
459. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
On November 1 NASA selected Bendix Corporation to negotiate
a contract for design, development, qualification, and delivery of long-duration,
cryogenic gas storage tanks for the first 56-day manned flight in the AAP.
The tanks would be a critical pacing item for long-duration manned flights
in AAP. Completion of negotiations would permit an early award if the project
were continued by NASA as programmed.460
460. PAO, "Marshall Star," Vol. 8, No. 7, Nov. 1, 1967,
NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, Dr.
George Mueller, announced on November 4 a revised Apollo mission schedule
that called for six flights in 1968 and five in 1969 using the "200-series"
(uprated Saturn I) and the "500-series" (Saturn V) launch vehicles to test
and qualify Command, Service, and Lunar Modules (CSM and LM). The schedule
for 1968 would include: Apollo/Saturn 204 (AS-204), first unmanned test
of the LM in earth orbit; AS-502, second unmanned flight test of Saturn
V and Apollo CSM; AS-503, third unmanned test of the Saturn V and CSM;
AS-206, second unmanned flight test of the LM in earth orbit; AS-205, first
manned Apollo flight, a 10-day mission to qualify the CSM for further manned
operations; and AS-504, first manned Apollo flight with the Saturn V, to
provide experience with both the CSM and LM, including crew transfer from
CSM to LM and rendezvous and docking. The schedule for 1969 would include
five manned flights (AS-505 through AS-509) with the first four programmed
as lunar mission development flights or lunar mission simulations - AS-509
being the flight in which the lunar landing would be made.461
461. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 331; and PAO, "Marshall Star," Vol. 8, No. 8, Nov.
8, 1967, p. 1.
||379. Typical profile of
Also on November 4 came the start of the first part of
the two-part terminal countdown for the AS-501 launch, a countdown known
as the launch vehicle pre-count.462
462. Saturn FEWG, Saturn V AS-501 Flight Evaluation,
MPR-SAT-FE-68-1, Jan. 15, 1968, p. 3-3.
The second part of the terminal countdown for the AS-501
launch progressed normally through all scheduled holds on November 6.463
463. Saturn FEWG, Saturn V AS-501 Flight Evaluation,
MPR-SAT-FE-68-1, Jan. 15, 1968, p. 3-3.
NASA reached a critical point in the Apollo Program with
the Apollo 4 flight (AS-501) on November 9, an "all-up" launch from LC-39
at KSC. The flight, termed "perfect" based on evaluation of flight data,
demonstrated that the spacecraft, heat shield, and lunar rocket met program
requirements. S-IC stage LOX depletion sensors signaled S-IC outboard engine
cutoff at 150.8 seconds after launch. The second burn of the S-IVB J-2,
lasting 300 seconds, injected the spacecraft into an orbit with an apogee
of 9,301 nautical miles. Spacecraft reentry occurred at 400,000 feet, at
a flight path angle of -7.077 degrees with an internal velocity of 36,537
feet per second. The CM landed upright within nine nautical miles of the
planned landing point in the Pacific Ocean, 8 hours 37 minutes 8 seconds
after launch. The CM was recovered by divers from the carrier USS Bennington
2 hours 14 minutes after splashdown. Post-launch examination revealed that
the aft heat shield was heavily charred but that crew-compartment-heat-shield
charring was less than expected. The spacecraft windows were undamaged,
but moisture existed between the micrometeoroid and heat shield panes of
the rendezvous window, and the spacecraft contained approximately two quarts
of sea water taken through the relief valve. Apollo 4's flight was the
first of two to three missions designed to qualify Saturn V for manned
flight, and the first test of the structural integrity and compatibility
of launch vehicle and spacecraft. Heat shield design, S-IVB restart, structural/thermal
integrity, compatibility of launch vehicle and spacecraft, and ground support
had been proven.464
464. 18th Semiannual Report to Congress, July 1-Dec.
31, 1967, NASA, GPO, p. 3; MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July-Dec. 1967, pp. 11-15; Saturn FEWG, Saturn V AS-501
Flight Evaluation, MPR-SAT-FE-68-1, Jan. 15, 1968, pp. xxxviii-xlii;
and NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1967, SP-4007,
||380. AS-501, Apollo 4, on pad
381a-b. Launch of AS-501
382. AS-501 mission profile
The blastoff of the Saturn V at KSC produced one of the
loudest noises in history, natural or man-made, according to a November
9 announcement by Columia University's Lamont Geological Observatory, located
at Palisades, New York. Observatory physicist Dr. William Donn labeled
U.S. and U.S.S.R. nuclear explosions as the only louder man-made sounds,
and the 1883 fall of the Great Siberian meteorite as the only louder natural
sound on record.465
465. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 341.
On November 20 NASA named crews for the first two manned
Saturn V/Apollo flights. As prime crew for AS-504 (first mission), scheduled
for 1968, it named: James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, CM pilot;
and Russel L. Schweickart, LM pilot. Backup crew would be Charles Conrad,
Jr., commander; Richard F. Gordon, CM pilot; and Alan L. Bean, LM pilot.
Prime crew for AS-505 (second mission), scheduled for 1969, would be: Frank
Borman, commander; Michael Collins, CM pilot; and William A. Anders, LM
pilot. Backup crew would be Neil A. Armstrong, commander; James A. Lovell,
CM pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin, LM pilot. A three-astronaut support team
was named for each flight crew: for AS-504 - Edgar D. Mitchell, Fred W.
Haise, Jr., and Alfred M. Worden; and for AS-505 - Thomas F. Mattingly
II, Gerald P. Carr, and John S. Bull.466
466. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 350.
The S-II-4 stage, more powerful and somewhat lighter than
previous S-II flight stages, arrived at MTF on November 26 from the NAR
Corporation, Seal Beach, California. Each J-2 engine of this stage had
been uprated to produce 5,000 more pounds of thrust than had been developed
by previous J-2 engines. The lighter weight resulted from the use of thinner
propellant tank walls and lighter weight structures.467
467. Memo, Sneed to NASA Headquarters, subj: "Saturn
V Weekly Report No. 46," Nov. 29, 1967; and PAO, "Marshall Star," Vol.
8, No. 10, Nov. 22, 1967, pp. 1 and 10.
383. S-II is lifted into test stand
NASA announced on December 3 that evaluation of the Apollo
4 mission data continued to confirm initial reports that spacecraft 017
met all flight objectives without problems. Detailed systems analyses were
still being processed, but evidence to date indicated that the spacecraft
systems operated properly during the November 9 mission and met all specifications.468
468. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 365.
On December 5 IBM received a supplement of $1,292,218, bringing
the IU contract total to $200,644,441. IBM received the supplement for
configuration management of 27 IU's for use on the uprated Saturn I and
469. PAO Press Release No. 67-236, Dec. 5, 1967; PAO,
"Marshall Star," Vol. 8, No. 13, Dec. 13, 1967, p. 1.
Erection of the spacecraft atop the AS-502 vehicle occurred
in the VAB High Bay 3 at KSC on December 9.470
470. A Chronology of the George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 103.
384. Apollo 6 spacecraft in
transfer aisle of VAB
385. Activity simulations in
|Approximately 100 representatives of Government
and industry attended an Orbital Workshop design meeting at MSFC on December
11-14 to discuss structures, mechanical systems, propulsion, instrumentation,
communications, crew station, and electrical systems. At this workshop
members formulated plans for a five-day Orbital Workshop mockup review
to be held in late January 1968 with a McDonnell Douglas Corporation mockup
containing the most recent design concepts on display.471
471. NASA Release 67-239.
President Lyndon B. Johnson, accompanied by NASA Administrator
and Mrs. James E. Webb, other officials from NASA Headquarters, MSFC officials,
and Louisiana's Governor John J. McKeithen, toured the Michoud Assembly
Facility on December 12. While at MAF the President spoke to some 2,600
spectators, stating: "We Americans are the first to really enter and the
first to understand the Twentieth Century. We will never evacuate the frontiers
of space to any other nation. We will be - we must be - the pioneers who
lead the way to the stars."472
472. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
|NASA Administrator James E. Webb and other
officials of NASA stopped briefly at MSFC on December 13 on their way back
to Washington, D.C., from Michoud. During his stopover Mr. Webb toured
the AAP mockup area and received a briefing, by Dr. von Braun and other
MSFC executives, on various aspects of the work.473
473. PAO, "Marshall Star," Vol. 8, No. 14, Dec. 20, 1967,
The Boeing Company completed an eight-month study on December
17 to define performance growth potential of the Saturn V and to determine
alternate uprating methods to meet future missions of the Saturn program.474
474. Boeing Co., Space Division, Final Report - Saturn
V Vehicle with 260-inch Diameter Solid Motor Study - Summary, 05-134081-1,
Dec. 18, 1967, p. 1-1.
Chrysler Corporation personnel at MSFC successfully static-fired
the uprated Saturn I booster (S-IB-11) for 35 seconds on December 19. The
stage would be shipped to Michoud Assembly Facility for post-firing checkout
upon completion of a 145-second, full-duration captive firing.475
475. NASA Hist. Off., Astronautics and Aeronautics,
1967, SP-4007, p. 382.
On December 21 the S-IC-3 stage was loaded onto the barge
Poseidon at Michoud for shipment to KSC476 and the S-II-3
stage departed MTF aboard the barge Point Barrow, en route to KSC.477
476. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 23.
477. NAA S&ID., S-II Quarterly Progress Report,
Oct.-Dec. 1967, p. III-1; and MTF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec.
31, 1967, (draft).
On December 29 MSFC announced start of negotiations with
CCSD for an extension to the S-IB stage contract to cover four additional
S-IB flight stages and related services at an estimated cost of $2.5 million.
This would bring to 16 the total number of S-IB flight stages to be developed
by CCSD for MSFC.478
478. MAF, Historical Report, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1967,
The S-IVB-503N stage, shipped from SACTO via the Super Guppy
aircraft, arrived at KSC on December 30.479
479. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 65.
NASA announced on December 31 that in the final six months
of 1967 Rocketdyne conducted 100 J-2 engine R&D tests accumulating
14,675 seconds firing time at SSFL and also conducted 35 production engine
tests having a total firing duration of 4,449 seconds.480 During
this same time Rocketdyne conducted 122 R&D F-1 engine tests at Edwards
Field Laboratory (EFL) for an accumulated firing time of 13,254 seconds;
and at MSFC's West Area test stand it conducted eight F-1 engine R&D
tests that totaled 340 seconds of firing time. Rocketdyne meanwhile conducted
36 production engine tests at EFL totalling 2,983 seconds firing time and
delivered 11 production engines to NASA.481
480. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, pp. 76-79.
481. MSFC Saturn V Prog. Off., Saturn V Semiannual
Prog. Report, July 31-Dec. 31, 1967, p. 65.
386. S-IVB-503 being unloaded
from Super Guppy
387. F-1 engine ready for test firing
|During December NASA extended for one year
the fixed-price contract of AeroSpacelines, Inc., for air cargo services.
The $2,725,000 extension brought the total value of the contract to $11,591,633
and provided air transport services for over-sized cargo of the Saturn
I and Saturn V launch vehicles through November 1968.482
482. Ancil Kent, Contract NAS8-15476, Modification 42,
Mission Support Office, Contracts Office, MSFC, Dec. 1967.