SP-4011 Skylab: A Chronology

 

[193] PART III: Skylab Development and Operations: February 1970-November 1974

 

a. February 1970 to December 1971.

b. January 1972 to December 1972.

c. January 1973 to November 1974.

 

 

- 1970 -

 

February 17

NASA announced that the Apollo Applications Program had been redesignated the Skylab Program. The name Skylab, a contraction connoting a laboratory in the sky, was proposed by Donald L. Steelman, USAF, while assigned to NASA. The name was proposed following an announcement by NASA in 1968 that they were seeking a new name for AAP. Then NASA decided to postpone renaming the program because of budgetary restrictions. Skylab was later referred to the NASA Project Designation Committee and was approved 17 February 1970.

Memoranda, George E. Mueller, NASA Hq, to J. Scheer, NASA Hq, "Request to NASA Project Designation Committee to Select a New Name for AAP," 15 October 1968; D. D. Myers, NASA Hq, to Deputy Administrator, "New Name for Apollo Applications Program," 23 January 1970; George M. Low, NASA Hq, to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, "Naming of Several Projects," 11 February 1970; J. Scheer to D. D. Myers, 18 February 1970; letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Dist., "Program Name Change," 24 February 1970; NASA News Release 70-30, "NASA AAP Designated Skylab," 24 February 1970; NASA SP-4402, Origins of NASA Names, Washington, 1976.

 

February 17

A ground support equipment meeting was held at MSFC with representatives from NASA Hq, MSC, MSFC, McDonnell Douglas, and General Electric Company participating. Purpose of the meeting was to establish lines of communication and to discuss test and checkout philosophies and responsibilities, ground support equipment status, and problems of common interest. On 18 February a similar meeting was held to discuss ground support equipment associated with the ATM project.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 27 February 1970.

 

February 19

At an AM management review held at McDonnell Douglas, a two-month slip in the AM delivery was predicted. Reason for the slippage was attributed to design changes in the caution and warning system.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 27 February 1970.

 

February 25-26

[194] A meeting was held at MSFC on experiment locations in the Orbital Workshop Representatives from MSC, McDonnell Douglas, Martin Marietta, and MSFC attended. Several Principal Investigators also attended. In general, the experiment locations were considered acceptable.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 5 March 1970.

 

February 26

KSC Director Kurt H. Debus announced administrative changes creating a Center Planning and Future Programs Directorate. G. Merritt Preston, Director of Design Engineering, was named to head the new element. The Center Planning and Future Programs Directorate was responsible for space transportation systems, Earth-orbital vehicles, and planetary manned and unmanned vehicles. The Advanced Programs Office of the AAP Manager's organization, together with AAP supporting research and technology tasks related to future require meets, were transferred to the new group. Also assimilated into the new directorate were portions of the Design Engineering Directorate's Future Studies Office. Grady F. Williams, former Deputy Director of Design Engineering' succeeded Preston as Director of Design Engineering.

Spaceport News, 26 February 1970, p. 1.

 

March 1

Wernher von Braun left MSFC to become NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning in Washington. Eberhard F. M. Rees, who had served as the MSFC Deputy Director Technical since 1963, became Director of MSFC.

MSFC, Marshall Star, 4 March 1970, p. 1.

 

March 7

In a statement from the White House, President Richard M. Nixon announced his proposed space goals for the 1970s. He listed six specific objectives for the program. Objective No. 4 stated: "We should seek to extend man's capability to live and work in space. The experimental space station-a large orbiting work shop-will be an important part of this effort. We are now building such a station-using systems originally developed for the Apollo program-and plan to begin using it for operational missions in the next few years. We expect that men will be working in space for months at a time during the coming decade."

Text of statement by the President, 7 March 1970.

 

March 9

McDonnell Douglas and Martin Marietta were conducting analyses for their areas of hardware responsibility to determine the types, quantities, and location' of materials that might present a fire hazard. They were assessing flash points and propagation mechanisms for the various materials and areas. This would provide the basis for determining the quantity, type, and location of fire sensors for Skylab.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Director, Manned Space Flight Safety, "Semiannual Report of Manned Space Flight Safety Studies and Activities-Skylab Portion," 9 March 1970.

 

March 15

[195] Definition studies for a second Orbital Workshop (Skylab II) were under study. Mission objectives would respond to the following major objectives: continued development and expansion of the ability to live, work, and operate effectively in space; exploitation of space for practical benefits through the observation of Earth and its environment; and the use of space for scientific research.

Letters, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Managers, Apollo Applications, MSFC, MSC, and KSC, "Definition Studies for a Second Workshop," 25 November 1969; P. E. Culbertson, NASA Hq, to MSFC and MSC, "Payload Planning for Skylab II Mission," 15 March 1970.

 

March 18

MSFC recommended disapproval of a space bath on Skylab based on the following:

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, "Space Bath," 18 March 1970; TWX, R. M. Jacobs, McDonnell Douglas, to MSFC, "Space Bath Tub for Whole Body Cleansing," undated.

 

March 23-26

A CSM meeting was held at North American Rockwell. Purpose of the meeting was to review experiment hardware need dates and review experiment test requirements. Displays, controls, and contractor-furnished crew equipment were satisfactory. However, government-furnished crew equipment and several stowage areas lacked some detail. No significant communications or instrumentation design changes were necessary.

MSC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report," 30 March and 7 April 1970.

 

March 31 - April 3

During a NASA management tour of Skylab facilities at McDonnell Douglas, Los Angeles, K. S. Kleinknecht (MSC) recommended that a high fidelity mockup of the OWS be provided at the plant. While MSFC had an engineering mockup that attempted to duplicate changes made to the OWS, Kleinknecht suggested that MSFC was too distant from McDonnell Douglas to maintain up-to-date changes.

Memoranda, Donald K. Slayton, MSC, 19 June 1970; T. U. McElmurry, MSC, 4 September 1970; message, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, 10 September 1970.

 

April 3

NASA Hq issued its policy for delivery, installation, integration testing, and checkout of experiment flight hardware with flight modules before and after delivery to KSC. Flight experiments would be delivered installed in their respective modules or in bonded packages with the flight module to KSC. Experiments not accompanying the modules would be delivered to KSC by the integration center on previously agreed to dates.

[196] Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Managers, Skylab Program, MSFC, MSC, and KSC, "Experiment Flight Hardware and Module Integration Policy," 3 April 1970.

 

April 3

A KSC procurement plan for Skylab Program launch operations requirements for CSM hardware was approved by NAS A Hq. The plan would provide for a new KSC contract covering the period from I December 1970 to 31 December 1972.

KSC, "Weekly Progress Report," 8 April 1970.

 

April 7

A Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting at KSC focused on a second Skylab Program. Issues discussed were whether there should be a Skylab II, and, if so, what its fundamental mission and configuration should be, how long it should stay in orbit, what its experiment payload should be, and how many manned launches should be planned for it. MSC recommended that artificial gravity and expanded Earth-survey experiments be included as major objectives of a second Skylab Program.

MSC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report," 13 April 1970. memorandum, John H. Disher, NASA Hq, to P. Culbertson, NASA Hq, "Narrative Description on Apr. 7 Management Council Discussion of Skylab II," 3 April 1970.

 

April 8-9

An ATM crew station review was held at MSFC. Results of the review included the following:

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 20 April 1970.

 

April 10

A contract was awarded to Itek Corporation by MSC for the design, development, and delivery of multispectral photographic equipment (S190A) for the Skylab Program. The contract called for delivery by July 1971 of a six-lens camera unit which would become part of the Earth resources experiment package in the Skylab missions.

MSC News Release 70-41, 10 April 1970.

 

April 10

The Skylab Program would operate under the following mission constraints:

 

 


[
197]

cutaway drawing of the apollo Telescope mount and components

Sketch of the Apollo telescope mount.

 

Skylab Program Directive No. 43, "Operations Directive for the Skylab Program," 10 April 1970.

 

April 21

NASA might scrap two of its six scheduled Moon flights, the Washington Daily News said. Apollo 18 and 19 might be scrapped because some NASA planners wanted to use the boosters and spaceships already being built to speed the space base and space station programs. Assistant Administrator George M. Low was reported as saying NASA already was studying the possibility of canceling Apollo 19 and using its Saturn V booster and the Apollo spacecraft for a second Skylab. NASA said there was sentiment for using Apollo 18 equipment for an even more ambitious venture-base station-that would stay aloft for 10 years (vs. 1 year for Skylab) and could be added onto until it could accommodate 100 men.

Washington Daily News, 21 April 1970, p. 7.

 

April 22-23

An AM management meeting was held and a crew station review conducted at McDonnell Douglas. Martin Marietta MDA personnel attended the review to ensure some standardization between the AM and the MDA. MSC suggested [198] that the teleprinter be made an inflight replaceable item and that a spare be carried on Skylab 1.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 30 April 1970.

 

April 23

Garrett Corporation, AiResearch Division of Los Angeles, was awarded a contract by MSC for a portable astronaut life support assembly (ALSA) for use in the Skylab Program. The assembly would ensure that astronauts performing extravehicular activity and intravehicular activity would have an adequate supply of oxygen.

MSC News Release 70-43, 23 April 1970.

 

April 27

A directive defining the work to be accomplished in the Skylab Program for Fiscal Year 1970 was issued by NASA Hq. Its mission and major flight hardware summary provided flight numbers and objectives of each flight; assigned by number the launch vehicles and CSM, and designated the launch complexes.

Skylab Program Directive No. 4C, "Skylab Program Work Authorization," 27 April 1970.

 

May 4

A system flexibility study was being conducted of systems and subsystems within the Skylab cluster in order to achieve the best possible flexibility in case of a malfunction. The focus was on those actions available to ensure the rapid return of command and service modules in the event of a malfunction forcing an abort and possible actions that would permit completion of OWS onboard functions to ensure acquisition of maximum experiment data.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 4 May 1970.

 

May 6

North American Rockwell completed a verification evaluation of the CSM hardware for a 120-day capability and transmitted the certification matrices to NASA. If there were no changes in CSM mission performance requirements, verification for a 120-day mission would not present a problem.

"Skylab Program Test Weekly Status Report," 6 May 1970; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 8 May 1970, "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 8 May 1970.

 

May 7

MDA crew station review was held at Martin Marietta. Results of the review showed, among other things, that the MDA docking port heat loss was such that the hatch and tunnel walls could reach a temperature of 216 K (-70°F). Unless the heat loss could be prevented, this temperature would preclude a shirt-sleeve entry.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 25 May 1970.

 

May 7

[199] A design review was conducted of the Spacecraft Acoustic Laboratory at MSC. The review included the physical design of the reverberation chamber, operational features required for the facility, and the expected technical performance capability of the laboratory.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 8 May 1970.

 

May 14

The feasibility of docking a second Orbital Workshop to Skylab 1 had been under consideration. However, the practical problems that would be engendered by such an operation were formidable. They included such items as docking loads, docking control, flight attitude of tandem Skylabs, consumables, and in-orbit storage of Skylab 1.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Docking Skylab II to Skylab 1," 14 May 1970.

 

May 15

NASA Hq announced that both the manned and unmanned (Saturn IB and Saturn V) launches of the Skylab Program would be from KSC LC-39. Previous plans were to conduct the Saturn IB launches from LC-34, a part of the U.S. Air Force Eastern Test Range used by NASA, a tenant at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. However, program studies showed the feasibility of the pedestal concept of launching the Saturn IB from LC-39 and indicated a cost savings of $13.5 million.

The pedestal would be of standard steel structural design; however, there were unique conditions considered. One of these was the requirement to withstand engine exhaust temperatures of 3000 K (5000°F). Another dealt with winds. The pedestal was designed to launch an S-IB at maximum vehicle allowed winds (59.4 km) and to withstand a 200-km per hr hurricane without the launch vehicle.

Launch Complex 34, which became operational in 1961, was placed in a standby condition after the Apollo 7 flight in October 1968. It would have required extensive updating of equipment and repairs to ready it for the Skylab Program.

NASA News Release 70-70, "Skylab Launch Site Change," 15 May 1970; MSC News Release, 70-49, 15 May 1970; Chrysler, Report CCSD TR FO-800 8, Study Report Launch of Saturn IB/CSM From Launch Complex 39, 15 April 1970; memoranda for record, T. F. Goldcamp, KSC, "Skylab Saturn IB/CSM Launches from LC-39," 10 May and 19 May 1970; letters, G. F. Williams, KSC, to Manager, Skylab Program, KSC, "AAP Saturn IB/CSM Launches from LC 39," 10 April 1970; W. J. Kapryan, KSC, to Manager, Skylab Program, KSC, "Skylab Saturn IB/CSM Launches from LC-39," 10 April 1970; R. E. Godfrey, MSFC, to T. W. Morgan, KSC, "Utilization of Launch Complex 39 for Skylab Saturn IB Launches," 15 April 1970; J. R. Martin, MSFC, to W. Strickland, MSFC, "Wind Consideration for Saturn IB launch from LC 39," 17 April 1970, R. E. Godfrey to T. W Morgan, 5 May 1970; D. D. Myers, NASA Hq, to NASA Administrator, "Skylab Saturn IB CSM Launches from LC 39," 7 May 1970; T. W. Morgan to Dist., "Skylab Saturn IB Launches from LC-39," 12 May 1970; G. M. Low, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space [200] Flight, "Skylab IB Launches from Launch Complex 39," 14 May 1970; G. M. Low to C. P. Anderson, U.S. Senate, 15 May 1970; E. F. M. Rees, MSFC, to K. H. Debus, KSC, "MSFC assessment of KSC proposal to abandon LC 34 and LC 37 and to commit two mobile launchers to support Skylab launches," 4 June 1970; W. C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Manager, Apollo-Skylab Programs, KSC, "Safety Aspects of Launch of Saturn IBs from Launch Complex 39," 19 June 1970; D. D. Myers to K. H. Debus, 22 June 1970; R. E. Godfrey to T W. Morgan, "Launch of Saturn IB Vehicles from Launch Complex 39," 29 June 1970, D. D. Myers to Deputy Administrator, "Safety Aspects of Skylab Saturn IB/CSM Launches from Launch Complex 39," 30 June 1970; J. D. Phillips, KSC, to R. H. Curtin, NASA Hq, 26 January 1972.

 

May 20

A meeting was held at MSFC to give NASA management direct exposure to two proposed concepts for urine collection and sampling. General Electric Company presented their concept for a urine sampling volume measuring subsystem. Fairchild Hiller Corporation presented their concept for a 24-hour pooling collection and sampling subsystem. A proposed plan for implementation and integration for each of these systems was presented by McDonnell Douglas. Following the presentations it was agreed that MSFC would implement the Fairchild Hiller concept, and that a test model would he constructed for verification in zero gravity on a KC-135 aircraft. On 27 May 1970, a preliminary design review was held, and general agreement was reached on all significant points. Fairchild Hiller had completed a model of the collection and measurement system, and its various functions were effectively displayed.

Letter, W. K. Simmons, Jr., MSFC, to Dist., "Urine Collection Briefing Minutes 20 May 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 5 June 1970.

 

May 20

During a Skylab Workshop management review, McDonnell Douglas was directed to proceed with the design and fabrication of a high-fidelity mockup of the OWS. The mockup and installed equipment would simulate actual equipment to the extent necessary to assess crew tasks and facilitate in-depth reviews of the tasks. The mockup would be located at the McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach facility.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 21 May 1970, NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 25 May 1970.

 

May 26

The AM static structural qualification testing was completed at MSFC, with the successful completion of the 125-percent liftoff loads test. The AM structural test article used for this test was later modified to become the dynamic test article used in the payload assembly vibroacoustic test at MSC.

MSFC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 2 June 1970.

 

May 26

The ATM critical design review was completed, with the Critical Design Review Board meeting at MSFC. This review gave formal approval to the ATM design.

MSFC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report," 21 and 26 May 1970.

 

May 26

[201] A Skylab logistics support status review was held with representatives from NASA Hq, MSFC, KSC, and MSC participating. Primary purpose of the meeting was to establish the nature and degree of the logistics support required from KSC by the design Centers.

Letter, A. F. Hinger, NASA Hq, to J. P. Field, Jr., NASA Hq, "Skylab Logistics Support Status Review," 26 May 1970.

 

May 28

The consolidation of the Skylab and Apollo Program Offices at KSC was approved by T. O. Paine, NASA Administrator. Thomas W. Morgan was appointed Manager of the combined functions. R. C. Hock was named acting Deputy Manager, Apollo-Skylab, on 5 June 1970.

Memoranda, K. H. Debus, KSC, to Dist., "Apollo Program Manager," 1 June 1970; "Designation of Acting Deputy Program Manager," 5 June 1970; KSC, "Weekly Progress Report," 3 June 1970.

 

June 3

The ATM thermal systems unit was delivered to MSC from Marshall. It was subjected to the temperature and vacuum extremes of a space environment in the MSC thermal vacuum chamber as part of the qualification program of the ATM.

MSFC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 9 June 1970.

 

June 4

MSC announced a supplemental agreement to the Apollo contract with North American Rockwell to provide four CSMs for the Skylab Program. The agreement definitized a letter contract issued in March 1969.

MSC News Release 70-62, 4 June 1970.

 

June 5

NASA announced selection of General Electric Company and Singer-General Precision, Inc., for competitive negotiations leading to a contract for development of the crew training simulator for the Skylab Program at MSC. The contract would include design, fabrication, installation, checkout, simulation programs, onsite systems engineering, and supporting documentation.

MSC News Release 70-64, 5 June 1970.

 

June 18

Martin Marietta Corporation was awarded two contract modifications from MSFC. The first one involved work on systems integration for the MDA. The second covered design development, fabrication, assembly, integration, and testing of MDA equipment.

MSFC Contracts Office, Mod. 144 to Contract NAS 8-24000, 9 June 1970, and Mod. 145 to Contract NAS 8-24000, 18 June 1970.

 

June 18

[202] NASA announced selection of Honeywell, Inc., of Boston for award of a contract for the design, development, and delivery of a 10-band multispectral scanner instrument for use in the Skylab Program. The multispectral scanner would be flown as part of Skylab's Earth resources experiment package. Purpose of the scanner would be to detect and measure radiated and reflected solar energy from materials on Earth.

NASA News Release 70-99, 18 June 1970.

 

June 18-19

Representatives from McDonnell Douglas and MSFC attended a meeting at MSC to discuss crew participation in the OWS factory checkout. Crew compartment fit and function was the main topic of discussion. Because of the meeting, McDonnell Douglas was in a better position to plan the man-machine portions of the checkout.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 25 June 1970.

 

June 19

An AM crew station review was held at McDonnell Douglas. A discussion on the content and conduct of the critical design review-crew system review was held. General agreement was reached that the AM/MDA stowage should be reviewed to the maximum extent possible.

"Manned Space Flight Weekly Reports," 22 and 29 June 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 25 June 1970.

 

June 19

General Electric Company, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, was awarded a contract for the design, development, and delivery of a microwave radiometer-scatterometer/altimeter instrument for the Skylab Program. The instrument would be part of the Earth-resources experiment package, which also included a multispectral photographic facility, an infrared scanner, and a 10-band multispectral scanner. Objectives of the microwave radiometer- scatterometer/altimeter experiment would be to determine the usefulness of active and passive microwave systems in providing information on land and sea conditions.

MSFC Contracts Office, memorandum of contract action, 19 June 1970, MSC News Release 70-70, 22 June 1970.

 

June 25

An OWS fire study meeting was held, with astronauts and system safety personnel participating. A study was initiated to cover such items of fire safety as escape routes for the crew; materials and flammability; fire detection and extinguisher locations; suit locations; effect of fire debris on the command module; ground monitoring of fire detection; pressure buildup from a fire; and crew response after 50 days in space.

NASA Hq, "System Safety Weekly Activity Report," 1 July 1970.

 

June 29

[203] MSFC completed installation of a complete functional ventilation system in the OWS mockup and began testing the system. Airflow profiles were being mapped throughout the crew quarters. Preliminary acoustic tests indicated that the noise levels were acceptable.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 29 June 1970; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 29 June 1970.

 

June 29-30

During a press briefing and tour of production facilities at MSFC, NASA Skylab Program Director William S. Schneider said of the project, "[we are] in the critical phase of firming up our designs." Three missions were planned for the eight-month lifetime of the 14.6-m-long Workshop. The primary task of the first mission would be to study physiological and psychological aspects of space flight for 28 days. The second mission, for 56 days, would operate telescopes. The third, also 56 days, would survey Earth resources.

MSFC PAO, Visitors Program Record, 29-30 June 1970.

 

July 1

KSC awarded contracts to AC Electronics Division, General Motors Corporation, and General Electric Company. The AC Electronics contract would provide Apollo CSM and LM guidance and navigation systems test and mission support at KSC for the Apollo and Skylab Programs.

The General Electric contract would provide personnel and equipment for maintenance and operation of acceptance checkout equipment and quick look data systems which were designed and built by General Electric.

Spaceport News, 2 July and 30 July 1970.

 

July 4

Cutler-Hammer, Inc., was awarded a contract for the design and development of an L-band microwave radiometer for use in the Skylab Program. The radiometer would measure brightness and temperature of the terrestrial surface of the Skylab ground track.

MSC News Release 70-86, 4 July 1970.

 

July 7-8

Concern over the Skylab (SL) food program and the habitability aspects of the Orbital Workshop led to an exchange of correspondence and considerable discussion on the subjects during a Skylab Program review held at MSFC. Personnel from NASA Hq, MSC, KSC, and MSFC attended the review. Among the items discussed were elimination of perishable foods, high cost of the food development system, need for an entertainment console, type of lighting, and color scheme of the OWS interior. Prior to the review, a Skylab food systems meeting was held at MSC on 3 June 1970. Items on the agenda included freezer temperature requirements; the food preparation concept; a galley appliance [204] concept; and food stowage requirements. Other items of major interest were the following:

"Minutes of Skylab Program Review," 6 7 July 1970; "Weekly Progress Report for the Administrator Skylab Program," 15 June 1970; memoranda, C. C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to MSC Director, "Habitability of Skylab," 6 April 1970; C. A. Berry, MSC, to Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, "Deletion of requirements of perishable food," 21 April 1970; TWXs, W. C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to K. S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and L. F. Belew, MSFC, "Food System Interface With Orbital Workshop," 28 July 1970; W. C. Schneider to L. F. Belew, K. S. Kleinknecht, and T. W. Morgan, KSC, "OWS Stowage and Food System Changes," 13 July 1970; K. S. Kleinknecht to W. C. Schneider, "Changes in Skylab Program Food System Interface," 13 August 1970; letters, R. R. Gilruth, MSC, to E. F. M. Rees, MSFC, 10 April 1970; W. C. Schneider to R. F. Thompson, MSC, "Inflight Food and Water Systems for AAP," 22 April 1969; W. C. Schneider to K. S. Kleinknecht, "Deletion of requirements for perishable food," 26 May 1970 R. R. Gilruth to E. F. M. Rees, 26 May 1970; E. F. M. Rees to R. R. Gilruth, 27 May 1970; E. F. M. Rees to D. D. Myers, NASA Hq, 15 June 1970; E. F. M. Rees to R. R. Gilruth, 16 June 1970; W. C. Schneider to Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, "Deletion of Requirements for Perishable Food Aboard Skylab," 19 June 1970; D. D. Myers to R. R. Gilruth, 22 June 1970; L. F. Belew to K. S. Kleinknecht, "Engineering Design Change Request-173 Food System and Storage," 23 June 1970; K. S. Kleinknecht to W. C. Schneider, "Food system interface with orbital workshop," 17 July 1970; E. F. M. Rees to C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, 21 July 1970; W. C. Schneider to Managers, Skylab Program, MSC and MSFC, "Transfer of Skylab Food Heater System Responsibility from MSFC to MSC," 25 August 1970.

 

July 8

MSFC modified its existing contract with Martin Marietta Corporation for additional work on the Skylab Program. The contract modification covered development, implementation, and operation of a change integration and configuration control system.

MSFC Contracts Office, MOD 150 to Contract NAS 8-24000, 8 July 1970.

 

July 10

A study was made of the effect of contamination on all critical surfaces of the Skylab vehicle. Potential contamination sources which violated cluster requirements specifications were evaluated by the Contamination Control Working Group. The study indicated that the MOL sieve and the OWS waste tank vents would, in combination, present a potential contamination threat to nearly all the external OWS windows.

[205] Letters, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Manager, Skylab Program, MSFC, "Skylab Contamination Control,' 20 March 1970; Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to W. C. Schneider, "Skylab Contamination Control," 10 July 1970; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 27 July 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator," 27 July 1970.

 

July 16

A meeting was held at NASA Hq to discuss unmanned ATM operations. ATM Principal Investigators and personnel from MSC, MSFC, KSC, and NASA Hq attended. Following presentations by MSC and MSFC and statements by the investigators, a daily eight-hour unmanned operation of the ATM was baselined.

Letters, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Unmanned ATM Experiment Operations Meeting, 20 July 1970 Kenneth S. Kleinknecht to Directors of Flight Operations and Flight Crew Operations, MSC, "Unmanned ATM Operations," 30 July 1970.

 

July 17

MSFC issued a contract change order to McDonnell Douglas changing the food management concept from a soft to a canned food package, which provided additional food storage. Modification of the wardroom table to mount a new serving tray with hotplate cavities for heating the food was also included in the change.

Change Order 128, Contract NAS 9-6555, Schedule 11, 17 July 1970.

 

July 23

MSFC modified an existing contract with McDonnell Douglas for additional work on the Skylab airlock. The AM was a 1.6-m-diameter tunnel attached to the top of the Workshop. It provided the major work area and support equipment required to activate and operate the Workshop and also formed a passageway for the astronauts to move from the Apollo CM and MDA into the Workshop. The airlock could also be depressurized and sealed off for exit into space outside the vehicle.

MSFC Contracts Office, MOD 55 to Contract NAS 9-6555 Schedule 1, 23 July 1970.

 

July 27-31

Representatives of government and industry participated in a Skylab AM and MD A crew station review at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis. Storage areas, equipment, and crew operations were discussed. Astronauts attending the review conducted walk-throughs of the AM and MDA, major elements of the Skylab cluster that would also include large solar observatory quarters for long stays in space. McDonnell Douglas was developing the AM. The MDA was being built by MSFC; and Martin Marietta, Denver Division, was integrating equipment and experiments.

MSFC News Release 70-146, 28 July 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 6 August 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 7 August 1970, NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 10 August 1970.

 

July 30

[206] KSC awarded a contract to Reynolds, Smith, and Hills of Jacksonville, Florida, for architectural and engineering services in modification plans for adapting existing Saturn V facilities at Launch Complex 39 to launch Saturn IB space vehicles. A launcher-umbilical tower would require a major modification, and minor modification would be required in the service platforms of the Vehicle Assembly Building, where space vehicles were assembled and checked out before being moved to the launch pad. The firm, fixed-price contract had a performance period of 200 days, with work to be performed at the Center and in Jacksonville.

Spaceport News, 30 July 1970, p. 5.

 

July 30

Skylab Program Managers Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, and Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, approved an inter-Center agreement on the use and control of acceptance checkout equipment-spacecraft (ACE-S/C) for the checkout of the ATM at all locations and the AM downlink at KSC.

"MSC/KSC/MSFC Inter-Center Agreement on the Use and Control of ACE-S/C for the Checkout of ATM at All Locations and AM (Downlink) at KSC," 30 July 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 7 August 1970; KSC, "Weekly Progress Report'" 12 August 1970.

 

July 31

A thermal attitude control system review was held at MSFC. A request by MSC for isolating the 22-bottle cold gas system into two banks to protect the system from leakage was rejected on the basis that adequate attitude control would still be maintained in the event of a depleted gas supply by using control moment gyros for all mission phases except the first eight hours. On 4 August, the Manned Space Flight Management Council sustained the rejection.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 10 August 1970; letter, C. A. Sweeney, NASA Hq, to Dist., "MSF Management Council Action Items From Program Review of August 4, 1970."

 

August 4

A special change review board was established to expedite and finalize decisions needed by contractors. Emphasis would be placed on resolving urgent change. The initial meeting would cover the Orbital Workshop, airlock module, and experiments. Members of the board were William C. Schneider and John H, Disher (NASA Hq), Leland F. Belew (MSFC), Kenneth S. Kleinknecht (MSC), and Thomas W. Morgan (KSC).

TWX, William C. Schneider to Leland F. Belew, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, and Thomas W. Morgan, 4 August 1970.

 

August 6

An MSFC Saturn Program Office review of all Skylab Program directives applicable to the launch vehicle was conducted. Essentially, the review indicated there was no incompatibility between requirements of the Skylab directives and Saturn practices as they pertained to the launch vehicle.

Letter, R. G. Smith, MSFC, to W. C. Schneider, NASA Hq, "MSFC Saturn Program Office Implementation of Skylab Directives," 6 August 1970.

 

August 10-14

[207] A critical design review for the AM was held at McDonnell Douglas. Personnel from NASA Hq, MSC, KSC, MSFC, and McDonnell Douglas participated. The review was a detailed technical examination of the total AM, including the environmental control systems, electrical and power management, data and communications, structural and mechanical, and other miscellaneous and experiment-support systems.

Memorandum, D. M. Green, McDonnell Douglas, "Critical Design Review," 13 August 1970; McDonnell Douglas, "Airlock Program History, 1966-1974"; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 24 August 1970; letter, L. F. Belew, MSFC, to W. C. Schneider, NASA Hq, "Airlock Module Critical Design Review," 22 September 1970.

 

August 14

A meeting was held at MSFC on the OWS in-flight microbiological and odor contamination requirements. Personnel from MSC, MSFC, LaRC, McDonnell Douglas, Martin Marietta, Brown Engineering Company, and the U.S. Public Health Service attended. Considerable discussion centered about the need for a general biocide for disinfecting within the entire Skylab and the requirement for a high-level working group to review and solve microbiological growth problems for the entire cluster.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, "Minutes to the OWS In-Flight Microbiological and Odor Contamination Requirements Review, August 14, 1970," 9 September 1970; D. D. Myers, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 26 August 1970.

 

August 24-27

A week-long critical design review of the Skylab MDA was completed by NASA and its contractor teams at Martin Marietta's Denver division. This was the final technical review before approval for manufacturing flight hardware.

MSFC News Release 70-168, 27 August 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 2 September 1970.

 

August 28

MSFC issued a modification to an existing contract with McDonnell Douglas for Skylab Program work. The modification would pay for the conversion of the original OWS to be launched by a Saturn IB booster to a completely outfitted Workshop to he launched by a Saturn V. Originally the plan was to launch the second stage (S IVB) of a Saturn IB into Earth orbit. The S-IVB would be filled with fuel so that it could propel itself into orbit. Astronauts launched by a second Saturn IB would then rendezvous with the empty stage and convert it into living and working quarters. A decision was made 21 May 1969 to outfit an S-IVB on the ground and launch it ready for use on a Saturn V.

MSFC Contracts Office, MOD 84 to NAS 9-6555 Schedule 11, 27 August 1970.

 

August 28

A group of MSFC engineers successfully completed a week-long testing of Skylab Program hardware in simulated weightlessness aboard a USAF KC-135 four-engine jet research aircraft. Tests included operation of flight-configuration doors...

 


[
208]

cross-sectional illustration of the multiple docking adaptor

Sketch of the multiple docking adapter.

 

...for film cassette compartments, retrieval and replacement of film cassettes, and evaluation of handrails and food restraints. The KC-135 was flown in parabolas, with 30 seconds of weightlessness achieved on each parabola in a technique that closely duplicated zero-g.

MSFC News Release 70-169, 28 August 1970.

 

August 31

NASA published a new Skylab launch readiness and delivery schedule which called for a Skylab 1 launch on 1 November 1972. The change was initiated as a result of the implementation of an interim operating plan which deleted two Apollo missions and called for completion of all Apollo missions by June 1972.

NASA Hq Schedule, 31 August 1970; TWX, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, R. G. Smith, L. B. James, and W. Teir, MSFC, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Skylab Action to Implement the Interim Operating Plan," 3 September 1970; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 8 September 1970.

 

September 2

A study to determine optimum utilization of Launch Complex 39 culminated in the following assignments:

Apollo 14
  • Launcher Umbilical Tower 2
  • High Bay 3
  • Firing Room 1
  • Pad A
Apollo 15 and subsequent
  • Launcher Umbilical Tower 3
  • High Bay 3 (Post-Apollo 14)
  • Firing Room 1
  • Pad A
[209] Skylab 1
  • Launcher Umbilical Tower 2
  • High Bay 2
  • Firing Room 2
  • Pad A
Skylab 2, 3, 4
  • Launcher Umbilical Tower 1
  • High Bay 1
  • Firing Room 3
  • Pad B

 

 

Letter, Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, to Dist., "LC-39 Facility Utilization," 2 September 1970.

 

September 4

An inquiry as to the feasibility of having a crew from another country visit the Skylab in orbit showed that, while there was nothing to indicate such a mission could not be accomplished, a considerable amount of joint planning and design would be required.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "International Cooperation in the Skylab Program," 4 September 1970.

 

September 4

A study, which was initiated in April concerning a second Skylab Program, had generated sufficient data for planning purposes. The study indicated that a second set of Skylab missions would provide a useful and worthwhile continuation of manned space flight in the mid 1970s, even if the hardware were unchanged. It would also offer an economically feasible program option if future funding for the Space Shuttle Program fell behind the anticipated growth rate.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Skylab B Planning Studies," 4 September 1970.

 

September 11

A multiple docking adapter critical design review board met at MSFC with representation from NASA Hq, KSC, MSC, and MSFC. This meeting concluded critical design reviews on the MDA and the

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 21 September 1970; MSC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report,' 18 September 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 16 September 1970; "Minutes of the MDA CDR Board Meeting," 24 September 1970.

 

September 14-18

An Orbital Workshop critical design review was conducted at McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach. Personnel from NASA Hq, MSC, KSC, MSFC, and McDonnell Douglas participated. The review was conducted by panels representing six different technological disciplines. Areas of potential major impact included the urine system, microbiological contamination, the water storage system, and the OWS window vibration test.

KSC, "Weekly Progress Report," 23 September 1970; "Skylab Program Test-Weekly Status Report," 23 September 1970.

 

September 15

Singer-General Precision, Inc., Link Division, Houston, was selected for the award of a contract to design, develop, install, and support a Skylab simulator to provide...

 


[
210]

cross-sectional illustration of the Orbital Workshop

Sketch of the Orbital Workshop.

 

 

...astronaut and ground crew training at MSC. The simulator would serve as a ground-based trainer with controls and displays similar to those used during manned operations. It would also be operated in conjunction with the command module simulator and the Mission Control Center to provide complete mission training.

MSC News Release 70-101, 15 September 1970.

 

September 16

George M Low became Acting Administrator of NASA until a successor could be chosen to replace Thomas O. Paine who had resigned to return to General Electric Company. Low served in that capacity until the appointment of James C. Fletcher as NASA Administrator in March 1971.

TWX, A. P. Alibrando, NASA Hq, to all NASA Installation Public Information Offices, 15 September 1970; Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1971, p. 69.

 

September 21

A Saturn Workshop crew station review began at MSFC as part of the Skylab Program. Nine astronauts participated in the week-long review conducted in a Workshop mockup. Government and industry engineers monitored the astronauts' progress as they "walked through" many of the Workshop tasks. Medical experiments scheduled for the Skylab flight were reviewed.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, 21 October 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Note for Week Ending 25 September 1970."

 

September 24

A technical status review was conducted at North American Rockwell. Among the major topics covered were subsystem, critical parts, stress corrosion, cost reduction, property disposition, and manufacturing and test programs. North [211] American's efforts to retain critical skills and maintain high-quality test and manufacturing operations were also discussed.

NASA, "Manned space Flight Weekly Report", 5 October 1970.

 

September 25

MSFC modified the existing Skylab contract with Martin Marietta. The contract change covered ATM mission support at MSC and MSFC.

MSFC contracts Office, MOD 205 to Contract NAS 8-24000, 25 September 1970.

 

September 25

A Skylab Subsystem Review Team was established with C. W. Mathews (NASA Hq) as chairman. Reviews were scheduled to be conducted at MSFC in November 1970, at MSC during February-- March 1971, and at KSC also during February-March 1971. The subsystem review team was established based on a recommendation of the Apollo 13 Review Board.

Letter, E. W. Mathews to Director, Program Management, MSFC, Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, and Manager, Apollo-Skylab Programs, KSC, "Skylab Subsystems Review," 25 September 1970.

 

September 28-30

Multiple docking adapter tests using flight hardware and a CSM simulator were conducted by MSC, MSFC, and North American Rockwell. Because the docking probe was unable to maintain a constant preload setting it was returned to North American for refurbishment.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report", 8 October 1970.

 

September 29

A Skylab Contamination Control Working Group presented a summary status to the Office of Space Science and Applications, the Office of Advanced Research and Technology, and the Skylab Program Office. MSFC identified sources of contamination within Skylab and noted the actions that had been taken or were underway. W. Stroud (Goddard Space Flight Center) observed that since man's presence created major sources of contamination, failure of any Skylab experiments for this reason would have a significant impact on future manned missions.

Letter, William E. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned space Flight, "Skylab contamination Control," 13 October 1970.

 

October 13

A multiple docking adapter management review was held at Martin Marietta. Areas covered included temperatures in the film vaults, installation of vent valves in the MDA, the window test program, and MDA TV system requirements.

"Weekly Progress and Problem summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program", 26 October 1970.

 

October 16

A reliability assessment report on CSM rendezvous maneuvers was released. The report covered critical items of the guidance and navigation control systems, [212] service propulsion system, and service module reaction control system during CSM rendezvous maneuvers. Five mission-success single failure points were identified. Three of these were also crew-safety single failure points.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 26 October 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 26 October 1970.

 

October 20

MSC announced plans to construct a dock and to dredge a channel in Clear Lake adjacent to the east gate of MSC to facilitate shipment of large Skylab test articles. Upon completion of dredging, the waterway would be 2 m deep, 18 m wide, and 914 m long.

MSC News Release 70-117, 20 October 1970.

 

October 21

Russian Cosmonauts Vitaly I. Sevastyanov and Adrian G. Nikolayev were briefed on the Skylab mission during a tour of MSFC. Sevastyanov and Nikolayev had previously been selected by the International Academy of Astronautics for the 1970 Daniel and Florence Guggenheim International Astronautics Award. The award, which was presented annually for outstanding contribution to space research and exploration, was awarded to the cosmonauts for their 17-day Soyuz 9 mission 2-19 June.

MSFC, Process Engineering Laboratory Neutral Buoyancy Simulator Daily Log, 21 October 1970.

 

October 30

George M. Low (NASA Hq) wrote to E. E. Davis, Jr., Science Advisor to the President: "To forego Skylab would have a powerful negative impact on astronomy. and earth resources surveys. It would leave the U.S. without the data base for any future manned mission decisions. It would surrender to the U.S.S.R. the option of having the first real space station in orbit. It would leave underdeveloped the desirable precedent of openly shared manned flight program scientific and technical results, a possibility currently underscored by the discussions in Moscow on the suggestion that the U.S. and U.S.S.R. use common docking hardware in their orbital spacecraft."

Letter, George M. Low, NASA Hq, to E. E. Davis, Jr., Science Advisor to the President, 30 October 1970.

 

November 2

NASA Hq concurred in the transfer of management responsibility from the Apollo Program to the Skylab Program at KSC for Launcher Umbilical Tower 1, High Bay 1, Firing Room 3, and Pad B for Skylab 2, 3, and 4 missions. Approval for the reassignment of Apollo facilities to support the SL-1 mission would be accomplished in later correspondence.

Letter, R. A. Petrone and W. C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Manager, Apollo-Skylab Programs, KSC, "LC-39 Facility Utilization," 2 November 1970.

 

November 5

[213] Launch intervals to be used for trajectory development were 70 days between SL-2 and SL-3 and 102 days between SL-3 and SL-4. The schedule called for an SL-1 launch, 9 November 1972; SL-2, 10 November 1972; SL-3, 19 January 1973, and SL-4, 1 May 1973. The launch intervals would provide for adequate daylight in the launch abort recovery areas and the normal end-of-mission recovery zones.

NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 16 November 1970; "Weekly Progress and Program Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 18 November 1970.

 

November 9-10

A Skylab Program Managers' meeting was held at the Michoud, Louisiana, Assembly Facility. Among the items covered were the issue of static firing of the Saturn IB on Launch Complex 39; modification of the Maurer 16-mm camera to an o-mm frame size; continued need for experiment requirements documents; launch intervals and launch pad access for SL-1; an experiments safety plan; and manpower levels and work-cost relations.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Dist., "Skylab Managers Meeting," 16 November 1970.

 

November 16-20

An EVA critical design review was held at the Skylab mockup area and the neutral buoyancy simulator, MSFC. The week-long EVA review included astronaut performance under normal Earth gravity in the Saturn Workshop mockup and simulated weightlessness in the neutral buoyancy simulator. Ten astronauts from MSC took part in the review activities.

MSFC PAO, Visitors Program Records, 16-19 November 1970; MSFC News Release 70-235, 17 November 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report for Week Ending 17 November 1970"; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 30 November 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 2 December 1970.

 

November 17-18

A 90-day manned test symposium was held at LaRC. Representatives from NASA, industry, and universities attended. Primary subjects covered during the symposium were water management, atmosphere purification, atmosphere contamination, atmosphere supply, waste management, food management, crew selection and training, habitability behavioral studies, acoustics and lighting, medical and physiological aspects, and crew panel discussion.

Letter, E. L. Field, MSFC, to W. K. Simmons, Jr., MSFC, "90-Day Manned Test Symposium," 27 November 1970.

 

November 17-19

A Skylab subsystem review team chaired by C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, met at MSFC. During the meeting, the review team inspected the Skylab mockup area and simulation facilities in the Astrionics and Manufacturing Engineering Laboratories. A number of action items were compiled for MSFC resolution.

[214] Letter, C. W. Mathews to E. F. M. Rees, MSFC, 18 January 1971; MSFC News Release 70- 235, 17 November 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 2 December 1970.

 

November 18

The Skylab MDA flight unit was flown from MSFC to Martin Marietta's Denver division where it was to be outfitted with controls and display panels for solar astronomy and Earth resources experiments, storage vaults for experiment film, and a thruster attitude control system.

MSFC Project Logistics Office, Flight Operations Log, 18 November 1970; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report for Week Ending 24 November 1970."

 

November 18

The NASA Education Programs Office was studying the use of Skylab missions as a focal point for a substantial national education program. Particular interest was being expressed in environmental and ecological education, possibly in cooperation with a new program under the U.S. Office of Education. The educational activities would include teacher workshops and preparatory courses prior to the mission, use of real-time television during the mission, and post-mission use of film and other data.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program, 18 November 1970.

 

November 19

NASA Hq established a flammability, explosion, and toxicity policy for material selection, control, test, and evaluation on the Skylab Program. Continuous emphasis was being given to the importance of the materials program and its relationship to crew safety and mission success.

Skylab Program Directive No. 16A, "Skylab Program Materials Policy," 19 November 1970.

 

November 23

Saturn V launch vehicle SA-515 was designated as the backup launch vehicle for Skylab 1. Management responsibilities for the vehicle would be similar to those for the primary launch vehicle, SA-513.

TWX, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to R. G. Smith and Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Backup Saturn V Launch Vehicle for Skylab," 23 November 1970; letter, William C. Schneider to Leland F. Belew, R. G. Smith, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, and Thomas W. Morgan, "Amendment #2 to October 13, 1969 Memorandum of Understanding Between the Apollo and Skylab Program Offices on Saturn Vehicle Management Interfaces," 2 December 1970.

 

December 2

A presentation on a proposed Skylab medical experiments chamber study was made at NASA Hq. Personnel from NASA Hq, MSC, and Ames Research Center attended. Following the presentation, MSC was authorized to proceed with the planning and design of a 56-day preflight chamber program to be conducted before Skylab 1 and 2. The program would later become known as SMEAT (Skylab medical experiment altitude test).

 


[
215]

technicians working on the Skylab Workshop

Technicians at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics, Huntington Beach, prepare the Skylab Workshop test vehicle for shipment to MSC and MSFC to undergo design verification tests. The test article was subjected to acoustic, vibration, and static forces comparable to those that would be encountered during launch and orbit.

 

Letters, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, "Skylab Medical Experiments Chamber Study," 3 December 1970; Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to Director, Skylab Program, NASA Hq, "Skylab Medical Experiments Chamber Study," 11 January 1971; memorandum, Christopher C. Kraft to Dist., "Skylab Medical Experiments Chamber Study," 11 January 1971.

 

December 4

A ground-test version of the Saturn Workshop was shipped from the McDonnell Douglas facility at Huntington Beach, to the Michoud, Louisiana, Assembly Facility. It would undergo testing there until 30 December and then would be shipped to MSC for extensive ground tests. This Workshop was a version of one that would be used in the Skylab Program to accommodate teams of three astronauts for stays of up to 56 days in Earth orbit. NASA planned to launch the Skylab cluster with a Saturn V vehicle in 1972. Called a "dynamic test article," the Workshop model would be tested at MSC to verify its bending and vibration characteristics. The Workshop was scheduled to arrive at Michoud 17 December and at MSC 5 January.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 6 and 17 November 1970 and 10 and 24 December 1970; MSC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report," 13 November 1970.

 

December 16

A study was underway to determine the advisability of providing the Skylab crews with fresh foods. The main area of concern centered around the probability of invalidating medical experiments because of the chemical instability of the fresh food and the wide variation between the sources of food lots.

[216] Letters, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, to William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, "Perishable foods," 16 December 1970; J. W. Humphreys, Jr., NASA Hq, to Director, Skylab Programs, "Perishable Foods," 8 January 1971.

 

December 20

The payload shroud test article was successfully tested at the Plum Brook Facility of Lewis Research Center. The purpose of the payload shroud would be to cover and protect the ATM MDA, and top portion of the AM as Skylab was launched into an Earth orbit.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 24 December 1970; NASA News Release 70-214, "12-Ton Nose Cone To Be Tested," 21 December 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 5 January 1971.

 

December 23

An assessment of the feasibility of providing a crew rescue capability for Skylab was conducted by KSC, MSC, and MSFC during 1970. The study culminated in a NASA Hq decision to provide a limited rescue capability should return capability fail while the CSM were docked to the OWS. The rescue vehicle for the first two manned Skylab missions would be the next CSM in flow at KSC. Should a rescue call occur, the CSM next in flow would be modified so as to permit a five- man carrying capacity. It would be launched with a two-man crew and return with the additional three astronauts.

TWXs, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Skylab Rescue," 24 September 1970; William C. Schneider to Leland F. Belew, R. G. Smith, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, and Thomas W. Morgan, "Skylab Rescue Study," 24 December 1970; memorandum, William C. Schneider to M. F. Sedlazek, NASA Hq, "Skylab Rescue Study," 22 December 1970; memorandum for record, M. F. Sedlazek, "Meeting-Skylab Rescue," 24 December 1970; letters, William C. Schneider to Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, "Study of Rescue Capability for Skylab," 17 April 1970; William C. Schneider to Managers, Skylab Program, MSFC, MSC, and KSC, "Skylab Rescue Study," 6 January 1970; William C. Schneider to Director, NASA Safety Program, "Input to Semi-Annual Report on MSF Safety Studies and Activities for Congressman Teague," 2 October 1970; KSC, "Weekly Progress Reports," 4 November 1970 and 2 December 1970; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 5 January 1971; North American Rockwell Studies, SD70-263, "Skylab Rescue Vehicle/Third CSM for Skylab B," July 1970; AP70 12, "Skylab Rescue," September 1970; SD 70-263- 1, "Addendum to Skylab Rescue Mission," November 1970; MSC Skylab Rescue Study, 25 November 1970.

 

- 1971 -

 

January 3

The Orbital Workshop dynamic test article arrived at the Clear Lake Creek Basin adjacent to MSC aboard the barge Orion. It was offloaded on 7 January and moved to the MSC acoustic test facility where it was set up for vibroacoustic testing scheduled to start on 20 January. The acoustic test facility had been checked out previously, and the acoustic environments generated met simulated conditions surrounding the Skylab during Skylab I liftoff and Skylab 1 maximum gravity.

"Skylab Program Test Weekly Activity Reports," 6 January 1971 and 13 January 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Reports," 14 January 1971, 22 January 1971, and 27 January 1971; "Weekly Progress and Program Summary Report for the Administrator [217] -Skylab Program," 1 February 1971; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Activity Report," 1 February 1971.

 

January 7

An inter-Center agreement which defined the policies, procedures, and responsibilities for planning and conducting experiment integration activities at module contractors' test sites was approved.

MSC-MSFC Inter-Center Agreement, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and Leland F. Belew, MSFC, "Operations Policy for Checkout of Skylab Experiments at Module Contractors," 7 January 1971.

 

January 14

A technical design review of the operational bioinstrumentation system was held at Martin Marietta's Denver Division. The system would be worn by each crewman during launch, return, intravehicular activities, and extravehicular activities to measure respiration rate, heart rate, body temperature, and electrocardiogram. No significant problems were revealed in the review. A critical design review was scheduled for mid-March.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 27 January 1971.

 

January 14

Policy on the management of experiment resources was elaborated on by NASA Hq. Emphasis was that the real contribution to experiment management would come from careful planning and analysis and the attentive day-to-day management of experiments by the responsible Centers.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Managers, Skylab Program, MSFC and MSC, and Manager, Apollo-Skylab Programs, KSC, "Management of Experiment Resources," 14 January 1971.

 

January 15

A group of potential Skylab crew members was taking a course in solar physics designed to provide a background for operating the Apollo telescope mount. The course was divided into extensive reviews of the introduction of solar phenomena, the quiet Sun, the active Sun, and flares and explosive phenomena. Studies of the Sun in real time were made using closed circuit TV to bring pictures from MSC's solar telescope to the classroom.

MSC News Release 71-01, 15 January 1971.

 

January 19

NASA requested proposals from potential U. S. and foreign experimenters for investigations of data to be acquired from the Earth resources experiment package to fly on the manned Skylab spacecraft in late 1972. Data would be used in assessing the value and direct applications of space observations in agriculture, geography, forestry, geology, hydrology, oceanography, and cartography. Objectives of EREP were to extend use of sensors; use man to observe, discriminate, and select study areas; and provide an early source of unique research data for analysis.

[218] NASA News Release 71-5, 19 January 1971.

 

January 19

A meeting at MSC reviewed Skylab fire extinguisher requirements. Representatives from MSC, MSFC, and NASA Hq attended. MSFC described the physical distribution of flammable materials within the OWS, AM, and MDA. MSC and MSFC representatives agreed to a joint tour of module contractor facilities, beginning 22 January, to review the location of flammable items. Recommendations would be developed from these reviews for the number and locations of fire extinguishers required for Skylab.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 27 January 1971.

 

January 19

NASA Hq issued a directive which established, for the Skylab Program, the Headquarters-to-Center relationship in the area of configuration management, as well as pertinent configuration control board (CCB) controls and reporting requirements.

Open work at KSC, associated with hardware and software delivered to KSC, would be kept to a minimum. All hardware and software, including changes approved for incorporation, would be completed in the contractors' plants before delivery unless specific approval to the contrary was granted to the responsible Center. The concurrence of the KSC Skylab Program Manager would be required in all such actions.

Skylab Program Directive No. 34, "Skylab Program CCB Controls and Reporting Requirements," 19 January 1971.

 

January 19-21

The solar array system critical design review was held at TRW. Significant discussion concerned

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 1 February 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 8 February 1971.

 

January 20

MSFC reviewed options for obtaining television surveillance of EVA and the exterior of the Skylab for scientific and operational purposes. These included TV camera cable dragout from the AM TV input station through the EVA hatch; externally mounted TV input stations and mounts requiring an astronaut to connect the camera cable to the stations; and a TV camera mounted on the [219] experiment T027/S073 (ATM contamination measurement) photometer extension mechanism Of the three, MSFC favored the T027/S073 concept.

TWX, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Addition of External TV to the Skylab Program's Basic TV Capability," 20 January 1971.

 

January 21

Status of the Orbital Workshop potable water system design and development testing was the subject of a meeting at McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach. Completed tests failed to indicate either the presence or absence of any system problems such as corrosion, rapid iodine depletion, and high ionic content. McDonnell Douglas was unable to determine the expected ionic levels for various metallics developed in an ion-exchange bed to remove undesirable metallic ions.

MSC, "Skylab Office Weekly Activity Report," 29 January 1971.

 

January 25

An MSC-MSFC Skylab mission data-interface agreement describing the division of responsibilities, mutual support, and interface procedures established between MSFC and MSC in the execution of their mission data handling tasks was approved by Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., for MSC, and Eberhard F. M. Rees, for MSFC.

MSCM 8010, Program Management Guide, 25 January 1971.

 

January 26-27

An ATM experiments Principal Investigator meeting was held at Boulder, Colorado. It was designed to ensure total agreement on experiment objectives, development, operations, and data analysis, as well as to ensure that crew and mission operations requirements would be met. Representatives of MSFC, MSC, and Martin Marietta attended the meeting. The scientists who proposed the six solar astronomy experiments also attended the meeting. An update of the proposed Martin Marietta facilities designed to support Skylab was presented The solar data from ground observatories needed to support mission operations were described by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration personnel, and their recommendations were agreed to, with the stipulation that additional data were needed. The ATM film study identified some problem areas to be resolved, such as temperature control and radiation protection for film.

"Minutes of ATM PI Executive Meeting," 26 27 January 1971; MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 5 February 1971.

 

January 28

KSC awarded a contract to The Boeing Company for the reactivation, operation, and maintenance of Launch Complex 39 launch support equipment in support of Skylab.

KSC Scheduling and Review Procedure, 3 February 1971.

 

January 29

[220] A Skylab trainer review was held with representatives from MSC, MSFC, and the contractors to review the trainer module status and delivery schedules, the trainer configuration management program, and the contents of the trainer turnover data packages. Due to the slip in the Skylab launch date into 1973, all module trainer delivery dates were being reassessed. (See 13 April 1971 entry.)

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 12 February 1971.

 

February 2

During recent OWS progressive crew station reviews, concern had been expressed about a trash airlock failure, contingency trash disposal methods, and the possibility of repairing a failed airlock. In an effort to alleviate the concern, the MSC Systems Safety Office made an analysis of the problem. As a result of the study, the Systems Safety Office recommended that the following be considered for adoption within the mission rules for Skylab:

Memorandum, M. L. Raines, MSC, to Manager, Skylab Program Office, MSC, "System Safety Analysis of the Orbital Workshop trash disposal airlock," 24 February 1971; study, K. W. Irwin, Boeing, "System Safety Analyses of the Orbital Workshop Trash Disposal Airlock," 2 February 1971.

 

February 2

Martin Marietta's biomedical storage cabinet design was reviewed to establish acceptable constraints for use of molded polyurethane foam in storage drawers. The drawers were found to be insufficiently tight when closed, creating a potential hazard by allowing an unlimited oxygen supply should the foam be ignited. It was also suggested that free foam particles would be created by storage container use because of shape cutouts in the foam. Investigation of nonflammable corrugated cardboard as an alternative to the foam was progressing.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 5 February 1971.

 

February 3

An MSFC/KSC inter-Center review of the OWS ground support equipment was held at McDonnell Douglas. No design changes were identified.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 12 February 1971.

 

February 3

A Skylab briefing was held at the MSC News Center. Participants included William C. Schneider (NASA Hq), A. J. Calio (MSC), C. A. Berry (MSC), and [221] O. K. Garriott (MSC). Main theme of the briefing was the scientific applications and medical experiments that would be conducted during the Skylab Program.

"Transcript, Skylab Briefing," 3 February 1971.

 

February 5

The acoustic test of the OWS dynamic test article reached the halfway point when the last of the liftoff acoustic sequence was performed at MSC. During this sequence, the dynamic test article was exposed to the full intensity of the liftoff acoustic environment for 15 seconds to qualify the OWS structural design. A quick look at the hardware indicated no major problems. The most significant discrepancy noted was that some tie rods stabilizing the top of the floor-mounted cabinets had loosened.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 12 February 1971, "Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 10 February 1971.

 

February 9

An Orbital Workshop management review was conducted at McDonnell Douglas. Representatives from McDonnell Douglas, NASA Hq, KSC, MSFC, and MSC attended. Significant agenda items included the program schedule, engineering changes, design status, component tests, and procurement status. The OWS flight module was about three months behind schedule. The component development and qualification testing was also behind schedule. McDonnell Douglas reorganized the procurement activity and was making a significant effort to improve this area since it directly impacted the schedule slip.

"Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 10 February 1971.

 

February 9

A high-level advisory board responsible for guiding NASA in all aspects of mission safety held a two-day meeting at MSFC. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, appointed by the NASA Administrator, was headed by Charles D. Harrington, President, Douglas United Nuclear, Richland, Washington. The group discussed safety aspects of the lunar roving vehicle, the Skylab cluster of spacecraft, and the proposed reusable space vehicle (space shuttle).

MSFC PAO, Visitors Program Record, 8-9 February 1971.

 

February 10

KSC awarded a contract to the Holloway Corporation of Titusville, Florida, to construct a launcher-pedestal for the Skylab Program. The 38.7-m-tall pedestal adapted to an existing launcher-umbilical tower so that manned Saturn IB space vehicles could be launched from facilities supporting the larger Saturn V rockets. Holloway contracted to construct the launcher- pedestal in 180 days after receiving notice to proceed.

KSC Scheduling and Review Procedure, 31 March 1971.

 

February 10

William R. Lucas was appointed Deputy Director, Technical, Marshall Space Flight Center. He would assume his new duties effective 15 February. Before [222] appointment as Deputy Director, Lucas was Director of Program Development at MSFC.

Erich W. Neubert-serving in the capacity of Acting Deputy Center Director, Technical, as a temporary assignment-returned to his former position as Associate Deputy Director, Technical.

The position of the Director, Program Development, vacated by Lucas, was assumed by James T. Murphy in an acting capacity.

MSFC Organization Announcement No. 0101-6, "MSFC Key Personnel Announcement," 10 February 1971; letter, E. Rees, MSFC, to R. R. Gilruth, MSC, 24 February 1971.

 

February 10-11

An MSFC in-house review of experiment and cluster system compatibility found significant discrepancies between controlling documents for experiments. Since Martin Marietta supported both MSFC and MSC in configuration management and integration/development, MSFC recommended that Martin Marietta be directed to proceed with preparation of complete change packages for all experiments, to bring them up to date.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, "Experiment Document Discrepancies," 25 February 1971; "Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 3 March 1971.

 

February 12

Acoustic testing of the OWS dynamic test article was completed at MSC. During the final testing, the dynamic test article was exposed to the full intensity of the aerodynamic acoustic environment to qualify the Workshop structural design. No major problems were encountered. However, vibration levels in some areas exceeded the established criteria. The new vibration levels were given to McDonnell Douglas, and adjustments in the qualification test criteria were made as appropriate.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Reports," 18 and 24 February 1971; NASA, "Manned Space Flight Weekly Report," 22 February 1971; MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 22 January 1971; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 24 February 1971.

 

February 16-17

A meeting was held at McDonnell Douglas with representatives from NASA Hq, MSFC, Martin Marietta, and McDonnell Douglas. Purpose of the meeting was to resolve AM open issues resulting from a Martin Marietta/NASA Hq review. Significant issues resolved were adequate definition of contaminant levels, adequacy of existing design and verification for meteoroid protection, and temperature and humidity control through the environmental control system.

"Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 3 March 1971.

 

February 17-18

[223] A preliminary design review of the inflight medical support system was conducted at MSC. The system was being designed and built in house by MSC using off-the-shelf hardware to the maximum extent possible. It would provide a capability to treat minor illness or injury that could be reasonably diagnosed and treated in Earth orbit, to permit Skylab mission completion.

A preliminary design review of the Skylab food system was also conducted at MSC in conjunction with the inflight medical support system review. The food system would consist primarily of the food, food containers, and food canisters. It was being developed under contract by Whirlpool Corporation. Principal areas of concern were compatibility of the food system to medical experiments and menu planning to ensure proper variety of menu.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 20 February 1971.

 

February 23

MSFC granted International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) a contract modification for the manufacture of instrument units (IU) for Saturn launch vehicles. The modification would extend IBM's delivery schedule for IUs through 31 December 1973, to be compatible with the extended Apollo and Skylab Program launch schedules. IBM was under NASA contract to build 27 IUs for Saturn vehicles: 12 Saturn IBs and 15 Saturn Vs. Ten of the Saturn IB units and 12 Saturn V units had been completed. All work was being done at the company's facilities in Huntsville. The original IU contract had been granted to IBM in March 1965 for the fabrication, assembly, checkout, and delivery of the 27 units and related support functions.

MSFC Contracts Office, MOD 1915 to Contract NAS 8-14000, 23 February 1971.

 

March 3

George M. Low, Acting NASA Administrator, presented NASA's FY 1972 budget request to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics: FY 1972 projects-including Apollo 15 and 16, two Mariner spacecraft, the first Earth Resources Technology Satellite, and continuing work toward future flights of Apollo 17, Skylab, Earth resources and Applications Technology Satellites, and Viking probes-represented "the fulfillment of enterprises of the 1960s, the tailing off to completion of work in progress for many years. By 1974 the number of NASA space launches per year will have declined from 26 in 1966 to 8. After the Skylab missions in 1973, we face at least four years in which there will be no United States manned flight.

"Five years ago there were over 390 000 people in industry employed on NASA work By the end of FY 1971 that figure will be about 108000. The decline will continue for a few more months, but we expect it to start increasing by the middle of FY 1972, with the end-of-the-year total being about equal to that at the beginning." U.S. was "running a serious risk of losing too much of the aero [224] space capability that is an essential ingredient of our long term national strength and security."

U.S. Congress, House, Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, HUD Space-Science Appropriation; for 1972: Hearings 92d Cong., 1st sess., 1971, pp. 1022, 1054.

 

March 3-4

A Skylab experiment ground support equipment review was conducted at KSC with representatives from KSC, MSC, MSFC, and affected contractors. The ground support equipment, test support equipment, and facilities required to support experiment test and checkout at KSC were identified. Experiment development Centers would furnish experiment- peculiar ground support equipment, and KSC would furnish the test support equipment and facilities.

KSC, "Weekly Progress Report," 10 March 1971.

 

March 4

A plan was devised to provide a rescue capability for SkyIab in the event the crew became stranded in the OWS because of failed CSM. The rescue capability was based on the assumption that the stranded crew would be able to wait in the Skylab cluster with its ample supply of food, water, and breathing gases until a modified CSM capable of carrying five crewmen could he launched. If a failure occurred which stranded the crewmen in their CSM, this rescue capability would not be possible.

NASA Fact Sheet, "Skylab Rescue Capability," 4 March 1971; memorandum for record, John H. Disher, NASA Hq. "Skylab Rescue Briefing," 1 March 1971; TWX, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, Leland F. Belew and R. G. Smith, MSFC, and Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, "Skylab Rescue Capability," 10 March 1971.

 

March 4

Dale D. Myers, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, testified before the House Committee 011 Science and astronautics during hearings on NASA's FY 1972 authorization bill. During the past Near, design and essentially all phases of development testing had been completed for Skylab, and flight hardware was in fabrication. Definition of Space Shuttle was nearing completion. To develop a limited capability to rescue Skylab astronauts from space, NASA had initiated design action on a modification kit to give Skylab the capacity to carry two men up to orbit and five men back to Earth. Stranded astronauts could use the SkyIab cluster as shelter while the modification kit was installed and the Apollo-Saturn IB launch vehicle assigned to next revisit was made ready for launch.

U.S. Congress, House Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1972 NASA Authorization: Hearings on H.R. 398/ (Superseded by H.R. 7109), 9 id Cong., 1st sess., 1971, pp. 1 and ff.

 

March 5

A Skylab configuration control board teleconference was held, with MSC, MSFC, KSC, and Headquarters program offices participating. Four items were [225] discussed: CSM micrometeoroid protection, voice scrambler, CSM schedules, and fuel cell operation/cryoventing. A test program in which sample structure cross sections of the CSM would be impacted by simulated micrometeoroid was approved. Test data would support resolution of the CSM's predicted capability to meet mission safety requirements.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary Report for the Administrator-Skylab Program, " 5 March 1971.

 

March 5

With the issuance of the Launch Complex 34/37 Phaseout Plan, Skylab Program management responsibility- for these two launch complexes was terminated. Although use of Launch Complex 37 for Space Shuttle engine testing had been considered, other options were chosen, and the complexes were to be removed from NASA operational facilities inventory.

KSC Scheduling and Review Procedure, 31 March 1971.

 

March 8

A meeting was held at MSC to identify the facilities required to support Skylab medical preflight and postflight activities. Representatives from KSC, MSC, and NASA Hq participated. It was determined that the capabilities of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory- and the one-g trainer would be adequate for preflight and postflight activities when the crew was at MSC. The KSC facilities used to support Apollo would also suffice; however, minor modifications would he required for plumbing and electrical services, added workbenches, and perhaps some unique laboratory equipment.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 12 March 1971.

 

March 10

MSFC modified a contract with Chrysler Corporation to authorize additional work in the Saturn IB program. Chrysler was the prime contractor for the first stage of the Saturn IB, which was assembled at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Under the current modification, the company would maintain nine Saturn IB boosters in storage. Three of the nine vehicles were for the Skylab Program and would be launched in 1973. Those three, plus a fourth that would serve as a backup, would be maintained and modified as necessary under terms of this contract. Prelaunch checkout of the Skylab vehicles would also be accomplished under this modification. The period of performance was from 1 January 1971 to 15 August 1973. Six of the vehicles were located at the Michoud Facility; the other three were at MSFC in Huntsville.

MSFC Contracts Office, MOD MICH-425 to Contract NAS 8-4016 Schedule I, 10 March 1971.

 

March 10

Agreement was reached between KSC and MSFC that the Centers would perform the Skylab cluster design verification tests at KSC and integrate these tests with basic prelaunch cluster integrated system checkout activities. In this way the [226] development Center would be provided adequate participation, knowledge, and data to ensure that cluster design verification was accomplished and that requirements and objectives of both the development Centers and the launch operation Centers would be satisfied.

MSFC/KSC Memorandum of Understanding for Skylab Cluster Integrated System Tests, 10 March 1971; letter, Thomas W. Morgan, KSC, to Manager, Skylab Program Office, MSFC, 16 March 1971.

 

March 11

NASA Hq issued guidelines for the EREP program. Among the guidelines offered were the following:

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Managers, Skylab Program, MSC and MSFC, "EREP Costs," 11 March 1971.

 

March 11

Orbital Workshop vibration test objectives, test article status, test facility preparation status, and test schedules were reviewed by MSFC and MSC during a test readiness review prior to a Skylab OWS vibration test at MSC. The review board concluded, upon resolution of one test constraint, that the initial run could proceed on schedule on 19 March.

Memorandum ES6 3/71 027, R. E. Vale, 18 March 1971.

 

March 15

An inter-Center agreement defining the policies, procedures, and responsibilities for planning and conducting experiment integration activities at module contractors' test sites was approved by Skylab Program Managers Kenneth S. Kleinknecht (MSC) and Leland F. Belew (MSFC).

MSCM 8010, Program Management Guide, 15 March 1971.

 

March 15

A Skylab trainer meeting with representatives from MSC and MSFC reviewed the delivery schedule for the major Skylab trainer modules and experiment trainers, the schedule for initial acceptance, and the training hardware acceptance data package requirements. Delivery dates were reviewed, and a delivery schedule established. It was agreed that MSC would develop a list of trainer hardware, identify trainer systems, and develop the trainer acceptance checkout procedures. The following Skylab training modules would be delivered to MSC: OWS one-g trainer; airlock one-g trainer; airlock zero-g trainer; airlock neutral buoyancy [227] trainer; airlock; one-g support stand; neutral buoyancy deployment assembly; MDA trainer; ATM one-g trainer; ATM zero-g trainer; and ATM neutral buoyancy trainer.

"Minutes of Skylab Trainer Review," 16 April 1971.

 

March 17

MSC completed a study for the use of uncommitted flight hardware from the Apollo and Skylab programs. The study was limited to low-Earth-orbit manned missions to be down prior to the start of Space Shuttle operations in the late 1970s. Based on various considerations, the study recommended three missions: two Earth resources surveys and the Apollo-Soyuz mission. A further study would be made to determine a specific mission for the fourth available spacecraft.

MSC, "Post-Skylab Missions Summary Report," 17 March 1971; letter, Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, 25 March 1971.

 

March 26

A joint MSFC MSC-Martin Marietta meeting was held at Denver to discuss Earth resources experiments package testing at Martin Marietta. A test program with appropriate delivery dates was established compatible with the experiment integration requirements test specification.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 1 April 1971; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 2 April 1971.

 

March 26

NASA Hq issued a directive which enabled the Skylab Program Director to communicate mission objectives and mission requirements to the implementing Centers and offices. It provided the basic plan identifying programwide objectives and requirements, listed key operational documents, and stated responsibilities pertaining to the key documents. Objectives and requirements for each Skylab mission were also included, as well as detailed instructions for planning and performing the Skylab experiments.

Skylab Program Directive No. 43A, "Operations Directive," 26 March 1971; "Weekly Progress and Program Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 2 April 1971.

 

March 29-30

A Skylab subsystem and experiment review was held at MSC with representatives from NASA Hq, KSC, MSFC, and MSC. Items discussed included the Earth resources experiment package, integrated testing at KSC, and the problem of contamination.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report," 2 April 1971; Ietters, A. C. Bond, MSC, to Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Skylab Subsystem Review," 13 April 1971; C. W. Mathews, NASA Hq, to R. R. Gilruth, MSC, and K. H. Debus, KSC, "Skylabs Subsystems Reviews," 22 February 1971; E. F. M. Rees, MSFC, to C. W. Mathews, 11 March 1971.

 

March 30

Dale D. Myers, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, testifying before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, said that in [228] the Skylab Program three separate three-man Skylab; flight crews would be selected during the coming year. Scientist astronauts would he included and would perform about 50 experiments in various disciplines. Twenty of these would be in the life sciences, to determine how human beings adjust and perform under conditions of prolonged space flight, up to two months' duration. The scientist astronauts would also operate the Skylab Earth resources experiment package in the second space flight phase of NASA's Earth resources program. These observations would be in conjunction with and complementary to those of the automated Earth Resources Test Satellite (ERTS) to be launched in 1972.

U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, NASA Authorization for Fiscal Year 1972: Hearings on S. 720, 92d Cong, 1st sess., 1971, pp. 110-141, 146.

 

During the month

McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach, conducted a 90-day experiment with four volunteer crewmen confined in a space station simulator. The purpose of the space station simulation was to provide an artificial environment in which man could live and work; with minimal stress and compromise to a normal existence. Test objectives were met. Medical and physiological data accumulated during the test would serve as an effective control in future experiments on the long-term effects of confinement and exposure to an elevated carbon dioxide partial pressure atmosphere that would probably be encountered in a long-duration space flight.

John Hall (90-day -crewman), "A Summer Trip to Nowhere-90 Days in Space," McDonnell Douglas Paper WD 1591, March 1971.

 

April 1

A food heating tray critical design review was conducted at Whirlpool Corporation. Concern was expressed about the material used to cover the tray deck. Whirlpool was directed to determine the impact in design, schedule, and cost to change the tray deck and tray lid liner to micarta.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report," 9 April 1971, MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 1 April 1971.

 

April 9

Martin Marietta, in conjunction with The Boeing Company, was performing sneak circuit analyses of the AM, OWS, MDA, ATM, CSM, electrical support equipment, and instrument unit. Work would be completed in December 1972, with a final report in January 1973. Prior work under Apollo identified 91 sneak circuits. With the greater complexity of Skylab, the effort was considered necessary to successful performance of the electrical system.

Sneak circuits were electrical anomalies that would occur as a result of abnormal (unplanned) combinations of commands and switch/relay operations and timing and ambiguous labeling. They were not component failures/malfunctions.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 9 April 1971.

 

April 12

[229] Space engineers and astronauts studied Skylab Workshop storage facilities in a review at MSFC. Astronauts taking part performed Workshop activation procedures, reviewing each compartment's storage areas and running through deactivation procedures.

MSFC Skylab Office, PM- SL-SW-508-71, "Final Review Board Minutes of the Crew Compartment Storage Review," 7 May 1971.

 

April 13

NASA published a Skylab Launch Readiness and Delivery Schedule which moved the scheduled Skylab launch date from 1 November 1972 to 30 April 1973.

NASA Hq Schedule, 13 April 1971

 

April 15

Proposed Skylab rescue mission profile requirements were:

"Weekly Progress and Program Summary Report for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 15 April 1971.

 

April 16

Following the results of a review of Skylab windows by MSC, a presentation was made at MSFC. During the presentation, MSC made the following recommendations.

Memorandum for record, W. H. Mann, MSFC, "MSC Presentation on Skylab Window Review," 5 May 1971.

 

April 19

[230] A meeting was held at McDonnell Douglas to discuss plans for the Skylab backup hardware. Representatives from NASA Hq, MSC, KSC, MSFC, McDonnell Douglas, and Martin Marietta attended. Initial plans were formulated for the flow and testing of backup hardware to meet a [O-month launch turnaround after Skylab 1, 2, or 3.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 29 April 1971.

 

April 23

MSC was reviewing the design of all Skylab pressure vessels associated with experiments/subsystems for which MSC had direct responsibility. The review would lead to a single listing of all hazardous pressure vessels, along with appropriate configuration, analysis, and test data that would allow evaluation from the fracture mechanics viewpoint.

Letter, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, to Manager, Skylab Program, MSFC, "Skylab Pressure Vessels," 23 April 1971.

 

April 27

A technical design review on the Skylab fire extinguishers was held at the Southwest Research Institute. No major problems were encountered. The flight units would be changed before installation around launch minus 60 days-to limit any possible emulsion degradations.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 27 April 1971; "Weekly Progress and Program Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 14 May 1971.

 

April 27-28

A review of the coolanol system of the AM was held at McDonnell Douglas. Representatives from KSC, MSFC, MSC, and NASA Hq attended. It was agreed that MSFC would implement a 1OO- percent government inspection of all coolanol line assemblies and installations; astronaut repair or tightening of nuts was not feasible, since less than 15 percent of the internal fittings were accessible; recommendations against the use of leak tracers would be made; additional surveys and reviews would be made of vendor facilities, requirements, and procedures.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 6 May 1971.

 

April 29

A Skylab rescue kit preliminary requirements review was held at MSC. It was determined that the rescue kit could be installed in one shift, that suits would be worn for reentry, and that the center couch would be ballasted for launch. Studies were being conducted to determine the feasibility of jettisoning disabled CSM from the axial port.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 7 May 1971.

 

May 1

After a simulated 144-day Skylab mission, the reaction control system engines were fired at the White Sands Test Facility, to deplete the propellant supply [231] module in a backup deorbit propulsive mode. The firing was made without problems. Depletion of both oxidizer and fuel occurred at about the same time.

Letters, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for the Office of Manned Space Flight, "Skylab RCS Test Program at White Sands Test Facility," 5 May 1971; William C. Schneider to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, 10 May 1971.

 

May 3

NASA Hq approved an external TV system for Skylab. The system would use experiment T027 (Apollo telescope mount contamination measurement) photometer extendable boom to extend a television camera and motorized lens system through either of the scientific airlocks in the Workshop. The addition of the camera on the T027 boom would permit observations of targets of scientific interest, Earth, extravehicular operations, and operations of various spacecraft assemblies. The previously baselined Skylab color television system would permit observation of experiments and crew activities and provide virtually unlimited internal coverage.

MSFC, "Skylab Program Manager's Monthly Review," 3 May 1971.

 

May 7

In the past, NASA policy was to release all air-to-ground voice communications to the news media in real time, or as close to real time as practicable. However, because of the long duration and the medical research aspects of the Skylab Program missions, deviations would be made to this policy to allow flight crews to speak privately with their families and on a regular daily basis with the Flight Surgeon.

Letters, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, to Director, Skylab Program, "Private Air-to-Ground Voice Communication," 7 May 1971; William C. Schneider to Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, "Skylab Air-to-Ground Communications," 18 June 1971.

 

May 7 and 21

An atmospheric leak locator was developed by J. T. Sawyer, MSFC. The concept, which is based on vacuum sensing, was developed after Martin Marietta classified 120 potential atmospheric leak locations in the OWS, MDA, and AM due to such factors as cable penetrations. Martin Marietta submitted a study to MSFC that determined the adapters that would be required for the device to sense leakage at various types of cluster penetration points.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary Reports for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 7 May 1971 and 21 May 1971.

 

May 9

A full-scale flight hardware meteoroid shield deployment test was performed on the Workshop flight article. The shield did not deploy fully and took longer than nominal for the deployment. However, it was concluded that the deployment would have been successful if performed in orbit. All components of the shield had previously passed development tests.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 13 May 1971; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 14 May 1971.

 

May 19

[232] A mission analysis simulation technique was designed to evaluate and optimize the Earth resources experiment package program. Factors influencing available opportunities such as orbital parameters, solar lighting at the target, and systems limitations were incorporated in the simulation and analyzed to determine their effect. The United States was considered as the prime target. Optimization for various mission parameters, such as orbital inclination, launch time, and launch date were included. A 50° inclined circular orbit at 435-km altitude was analyzed in depth.

NASA TM-X-64598, E. H. Bauer and B. S. Perrine, Jr., MSFC, "An Evaluation of Earth Resources Observation Opportunities from an Orbiting Satellite," l9 May 1971.

 

May 21

A discussion on Apollo-Skylab inflight contamination measurements was held with representatives from NASA Hq, MSC, and MSFC. Decisions were made to take the following actions:

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary Report for the Administrator Skylab Program," 27 May 1971; Ietter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Managers, Apollo Spacecraft Program and Skylab Program, MSC, "Apollo 15 Motion Camera Coverage of a Liquid Venting to Space,' 5 April 1971; memorandum, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to NASA Directors of Apollo and Skylab Programs, "Apollo-Skylab Contamination Measurements,' 17 May 1971; TWX, Leland F. Belew to John H. Disher, NASA Hq, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, J. A. Mc Divitt, and R. W. Kubicki, MSC, "Contamination Measurements on Apollo," 13 May 1971.

 

May 25

MSC initiated a plan for Principal Investigators of Skylab experiments to view Apollo 15, 16, or 17 mission operations. This would permit them to obtain necessary exposure to MSC operational procedures before initiation of the mission operations phase of Skylab.

Letter, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, to William C. Schneider, 25 May 1971.

 

May 26

An Orbital Workshop design and development status review was conducted at McDonnell Douglas. Incorporation of the cation absorber into the water feed system was discussed. The purpose of this absorber was to remove the metal ions released into the water by the iodine depletion reaction. Hydrogen and potassium exchange resins were tested. The potassium type was selected to minimize the acidity and corrosivity of the effluent. Final location of the absorber had not been definitely determined, but preliminary procedures for deactivation were established. Test results on iodine depletion in the OWS water system w ere also reviewed. These results supported an earlier view that the iodine....

 


[
233]

photo of the orbital workshop under construction

Activity at the McDonnell Douglas facility at Huntington Beach as work progressed on the Orbital Workshop flight unit.

 

....depletion rate in the system could be dealt with satisfactorily. The onboard system would provide the capability of replacing the depleted iodine, if it became necessary, by reinjecting a concentrated iodine solution directly into the water tanks and mixing, sampling, and testing the resultant mixture.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Status Report," 16 June 1971.

 

May 26-27

An airlock module review of crew--station-related changes was held at McDonnell Douglas. Some subsystem changes were identified: one for McDonnell Douglas/ MSFC on the AM tape recorder overloading the converters; another for MSFC to identify a configuration management method for intermodule trainer hardware.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 4 June 1971.

 

May 28

Robert C. Hock was appointed Manager, KSC Apollo-Skylab Programs, succeeding Thomas W. Morgan. Morgan's reassignment as Vice Commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Organization, Los Angeles, had been announced previously by the Air Force.

KSC Announcement, "Mr. Robert C. Hock Named Manager, Apollo-Skylab Programs, KSC," 28 May 1971; letter, Kurt H. Debus, KSC, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 1 June 1971.

 

May 28

MSC published a document on the trajectory and attitude control sequence of events, data flow, and real-time decision logic for the manned Skylab launch [234] phase aborts. Purpose was to ensure compatibility of all related MSC, other NASA Centers, and supporting contractor activities.

MSC Internal Note (MSC-04318), "Preliminary Manned Skylab Launch Abort Mission Techniques," 28 May 1971.

 

June 3

The Medical Research and Operations Directorate at MSC ordered five U.S. Army self-contained, transportable, mobile units to be used as a mobile facility to support Skylab preflight medical operations and experiment requirements. The facility would be set up and activated at MSC to support Skylab preflight activities and would be flown to the recovery site for use on board the recovery ship to support the immediate postflight medical requirements.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 3 June 1971.

 

June 3-4

Representatives from Ames Research Center, Arkon Scientific Laboratories, and MSC met at Ames to initiate action required to develop a carbon monoxide sensor for the Skylab Program. A two-phase program for developing the sensor was approved. The first phase was for a unit to be used during the Skylab medical experiments altitude test; the second was for flight and backup sensors for Skylab.

Memorandum for record, E. S. Harris and M. W. Lippitt, Jr., MSC, "Skylab Carbon Monoxide Sensor Coordination Meeting," 10 June 1971; letter, H. Mark, Ames Research Center, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 21 July 1971.

 

June 4

The OWS dynamic test article was offloaded from the barge Orion at MSFC where installation of strain gauges and other modifications necessary to support a structural test program were being made. The dynamic test article was shipped from MSC on 23 May following completion of the Phase I vibro-acoustic test program.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program," 27 May 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Reports," 10 and 16 June 1971; MSFC, Project Logistics Office Marine Operation Log, 3 June 1971.

 

June 7

The MDA dynamic test article was completed at Martin Marietta on 3 June, well ahead of the contractual delivery date. Following an acceptance review of the dynamic test article, it was flown by Guppy aircraft to MSC where it was prepared for stacking and testing.

"Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 9 June 1971; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 21 May 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 10 June 1971.

 

June 6-7

In a start toward building orbital space stations, the Soviet Union's manned Soyuz 11 linked with the space laboratory Salyut 1, launched two weeks earlier, [235] and three cosmonauts from Soyuz 11 went aboard the Salyut. The combined craft formed a vehicle 18.2 m long, 3.6 m in diameter, and weighing 20.4 metric tons (22.5 U.S. tons). The Russian news agency Tass declared that "a Soviet manned orbital scientific station is functioning." The linkup climaxed a chase through space lasting more than 25 hours. Salyut I was launched 19 April and Soyuz 11 on 6 June for the 7 June linkup. The three cosmonauts aboard were Viktor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov, and Georgy Dobrovolsky.

Associated Press, Huntsville Times, 7 June 1971, p. 1.

 

June 8

A Skylab weight teleconference was held with representatives from NASA Hq, KSC, MSFC, and MSC participating. During the conference, a weight control limit of 86 000 kg was imposed.

TWX, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, and R. C. Hock, KSC, "Weights Telecon on June 8, 1971," 10 June 1971; "Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 16 June 1971.

 

June 9

During a Manned Space Flight Management Council Meeting at MSFC, it was decided to retain a 10-month reaction time requirement for a backup Workshop launch. To accomplish this schedule, the backup OWS, MDA, AM, and payload shroud would be delivered to KSC upon completion of manufacture and manufacturing verification. Acceptance testing would be performed at KSC.

TWXs, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Leland F. Belew, MSFC, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, R. C. Hock, KSC, et al., "Skylab Workshop Backup Hardware," 23 June 1971; William C. Schneider to Leland F. Belew, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, and R. C. flock, "Skylab Workshop Backup Hardware," 7 July 1971.

 

June 14

MSC was requested to provide preliminary assessment of the technical feasibility of Earth resources technology satellite (ERTS) and EREP proposals and to support evaluation panels that were being organized to review ERTS and EREP proposals. Between 11 March and 14 June, MSC had evaluated 239 proposals and submitted reports on them to Headquarters.

Letters, Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 11 March 1971; Robert R. Gilruth to Dale D. Myers, 7 May 1971; J. M. DeNoyer, NASA Hq, to MSC Director of Science and Applications, "Additional Guidelines for OMSF Center Involvement in EREP Proposal Evaluation and Implementation," 3 June 1971; Robert R. Gilruth to Dale D. Myers, 14 June 1971; TWX, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Skylab Program Managers, MSC and MSFC, 11 June 1971.

 

June 14-17

In an exchange of letters between MSFC and MSC, agreement was reached for the maximum use of MSC's existing facilities for MSFC's manned altitude chamber tests.

Letters, C. A. Berry, MSC, to G. D. Hopson, MSFC, 14 June 1971; W. R. Lucas, MSFC, to C. C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, 17 June 1971.

 

June 16

[236] John L. Disher, Deputy Director of the NASA Skylab Program, approved a configuration control board change which would provide the capability to switch control of the Skylab vehicle back to the instrument unit after the initial transfer to the Apollo telescope mount digital computer control. The current configuration would preclude a switchboard and prevent the use of the IU control system should problems arise during the first critical hours of active ATM DC control. Concern over the inability to make the switchback was constantly expressed by MSC because unexpected previously unidentifiable failures occurred during actual flight in every computing system used-e.g., lunar module guidance computer, command computer IU, real- time computer complex, and the Gemini computer.

Letters, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, to William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, "ATMDC to IU Switchback Capability," 25 March 1971; William C. Schneider to Skylab Program Managers, MSC and MSFC, "ATMDC to IU Switchback," 13 April 1971; memorandum, F. S. Roberts, NASA Hq, to Dist., "Minutes of Level I CCB Meeting," 16 June 1973; memorandum for file, John H. Disher, NASA Hq, "ATMDC to IU Switchback," 17 June 1971.

 

June 17

The Office of the Comptroller General prepared a report on the analysis of estimated cost changes for the Skylab Program. The system used by NASA to cost the program, as well as the rationale for the changes, was contained in the report.

Letter, E. B. Staats, U.S. Comptroller General, to J. C. Fletcher, NASA Hq, 17 June 1971.

 

June 17

An optical efficiency problem was reported in the Naval Research Laboratory ATM flight instrument at Ball Brothers Research Corporation. A failure analysis review attended by experts from Bausch & Lomb, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, Goddard Space Flight Center, Naval Research Laboratory, and MSC concluded that failure was due to the "Purple Plague," an aluminum coating overcoating on gold. An alert would be released by Goddard for dissemination throughout NASA and the Air Force to preclude further use of this particular method of coating optics.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summaries for the Administrator Skylab Program," 27 May and 17 June 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Reports," 26 May and 3 June 1971.

 

June 17

Vibration testing was successfully completed on the ATM vibration unit at MSFC. Following testing, the unit was prepared for shipment to MSC where it would be used in the payload assembly vibroacoustic test.

MSFC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 22 June 1971.

 

June 24

A study indicated that if the Skylab airlock could not be used for a normal extravehicular activity, contingency modes were possible. One would be a [237] two-man EVA to the ATM using oxygen, water, and electrical umbilical connections in the structural transition section of the airlock. Another possibility would be a one-man EVA from the CM. Selection of a contingency EVA mode would depend on the failure that prevented the nominal operation.

W. W. Hough, "Contingency EVA on Skylab, Case 620," Bellcomm Study, 24 June 1971.

 

June 25

Authority to proceed on the calibration rocket program was given by NASA to determine the amount of degradation of Harvard College Observatory and Naval Research Laboratory experiment data to be expected during the Skylab mission. Degradation due to decrease in mirror reflectivity, changes in photographic film sensitivity, gamma and background fogging, and aging of filters and gratings could cause misinterpretation of the solar data. To improve data evaluation, sounding rocket launchings during the mission were proposed, to carry instruments similar to those in the ATM and calibrated to a known light source. These instruments would be pointed to some of the same solar areas as were the ATM and the returned data would be compared to the ATM data.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, et al., 25 June 1971.

 

June 29 - July 1

The astronaut life support assembly first-article configuration inspection was conducted at AiResearch Division, Garrett Corporation. No major problem areas that could affect the hardware design were noted. First-article acceptance testing was completed. The only problem of significance that had appeared during the testing was excessive leakage of the high-pressure oxygen regulator in the secondary oxygen package. AiResearch replaced the regulator before completion of acceptance testing on this unit. The astronaut life support assembly appeared to be in satisfactory condition

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 6 July 1971.

 

June 30

George M. Low, NASA Deputy Administrator, expressed regrets over the deaths of three cosmonauts, Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev. Low speculated that Russia's worst space tragedy was caused by failure of the spacecraft. He said that he did not anticipate any changes in the Skylab Program because of the accident. The accident occurred as the three cosmonauts were returning to Earth in Soyuz 11 from a record of nearly 24 days in space in the world's first manned orbital space laboratory.

NASA Activities, 15 July 1971, p. 107.

 

July 7

The Spacecraft Acoustic Test Laboratory of the Vibration and Acoustic Test Facility at MSC was modified on a temporary basis to accommodate specific test requirements for the Orbital Workshop and payload assembly. However, because [238] of the exceptional quality of the Facility's performance, it would appear desirable to maintain the Facility in an operational status to provide acoustical test facilities for the Space Shuttle and space station base programs.

Letter, Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, 7 July 1971.

 

July 8-9

The final Skylab subsystem review was conducted in Washington. These reviews, which began 17 November 1970, were an in-depth look at the Skylab subsystems by NASA top management. NASA Hq set the requirement for these following the Apollo 13 Accident Review Board recommendation to ensure that the Skylab mission had adequate safety and reliability in its development. All formal action items from the previous reviews were closed out at the meeting.

"Skylab Subsystem Review Action Item Response," 8 July 1971; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator Skylab Program," 15 July 1971; letter, A. C. Bond, MSC, to Deputy Associate Administrator of Manned Space Flight, "Skylab Subsystem Review, July 8 and 9, 1971," 29 July 1971.

 

July 14

An Orbital Workshop wardroom window design review was held at McDonnell Douglas. McDonnell Douglas presented a design concept for a tempered-glass protective interior shield for the wardroom window. MSFC representatives discussed the possibility of adding a pressure plate to protect the window from internal damage and to limit the delta pressure across the glazings.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Report," 23 July 1971.

 


photo of the Shroud nose cone being mounted by workmen

Work is shown in progress as the fixed airlock payload shroud flight unit nose cone is mounted following installation of electrical, ordnance, and air conditioning components at the McDonnell Douglas plant, Huntington Beach.

 

July 15

[239] Representatives from NASA Hq and MSFC attended a briefing at the Goddard Space Flight Center on contamination problems in unmanned spacecraft. Causes and cures for inflight contamination effects such as unwanted light scattering, ice formation, and high-voltage corona were discussed. The discussions were based on experiences with the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory, Orbiting Solar Observatory, and Nimbus programs. Suggestions for preventing similar contamination problems on Skylab were discussed.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary for the Administrator-Skylab Program, 15 July 1971; letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Managers of Apollo and Skylab Programs, MSC, "Background and Justification for Apollo 16 Skylab Data Request," 10 September 1971.

 

July 16

The official Skylab launch and mission designations were announced:

 

Acceptable for use outside NASA and for nonoperational NASA use

Acceptable for operational use

.

Launch

Mission

Workshop launch

SL-1

SL-1/SL-2

First manned visit

SL-2

SL-1/SL-2

Second manned visit

SL-3

SL-3

Third manned visit

SL-4

SL-4

 

Memoranda, Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, to Assistant Executive Secretary, "Naming of the Skylab Missions," 7 May 1971: George M. Low, NASA Hq, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Naming of Skylab Missions," 18 May 1971; Dale D. Myers to George M. Low, "Naming of Skylab Missions," 7 June 1971; William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Public Affairs Officer for Manned Space Flight, "Naming of Skylab Missions," 16 July 1971; letter, William C. Schneider to Dist., "Skylab Launch and Mission Designations," l July 1971.

 

July 16

NASA approved the award to The Boeing Company of a contract modification for systems engineering and integration work on the Saturn V launch vehicle. The modification would extend Boeing's integration work through 31 December 1972. The basic contract began in September 1964. Included in the modification was work on requirements for Saturn V vehicles that would launch the remaining Apollo lunar exploration missions (Apollo 15, 16, and 17) and the Skylab Program's Saturn Workshop. Boeing's systems engineering and integration work at the time of this modification award included requirements and documentation for presettings for onboard computers that determined launch events, propellant loadings for all three vehicle stages, vehicle structural integrity, expected heating environments, range safety, tracking and communication data, and postflight reconstruction of launch data. Boeing was also MSFC's contractor for manufacture and testing of the first (S IC) stage of the Saturn V.

MSFC Contract Office MOD 492 to Contract NAS 8-4608, Schedule 11, 16 July 1971.

 

July 20

[240] An airlock module management meeting was held at McDonnell Douglas. Electrical fabrication and coolant loop design problems were in the process of being solved. A seven-day workweek was being continued to meet schedules.

"Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 27 July 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 28 July 1971; "Weekly Progress and Problem Summary," 29 July 1971.

 

July 27

A study was made to determine if the Super Guppy aircraft was capable of flying the combined airlock-multiple docking adapter and ground support equipment from St. Louis to KSC. The study revealed that the Guppy capabilities were exceeded by over 1800 kg. McDonnell Douglas and MSFC were considering shipment by barge. This would, however, delay delivery by 10 days.

"Weekly Progress and Problem Summary," 29 July 1971; "Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 27 July 1971.

 

July 27

The U.S. Geological Survey submitted to NASA a formal investigative proposal defining studies to be accomplished using photography acquired with the Earth terrain camera on Skylab missions. MSC and MSFC would review the proposal to ensure compatibility of the requirements as outlined.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, 27 July 1971.

 

August 2

In response to specific queries concerning the Skylab biomedical experiments program, the following response was made:

Letters, Walter F. Mondale, U.S. Senate, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 15 July 1971; Robert R. Gilruth to Walter F. Mondale, 2 August 1971.

 

August 5

MSC surveyed equipment and experiments aboard Apollo 16 and 17 which might make contamination measurements useful to Skylab. In addition to command module cameras, Apollo 16 would carry a mass spectrometer and Apollo 17 would carry a far-ultraviolet spectrometer and an infrared scanning radiometer. These might be able to provide contamination data.

"Skylab Program Office Weekly Progress and Problem Summary," 5 August 1971.

 

August 6

[241] George M. Low recommended:

Recommendations were made following a program discussion with astronauts.

Memorandum for the record, George M. Low, NASA Hq, "Skylab Discussion with Pete Conrad," 6 August 1971.

 

The acoustics portion of the vibroacoustic test at MSC began on the Skylab payload assembly which consisted of the airlock, multiple docking adapter, and payload shroud test articles.

MSC, Schedules and Status Summary Report, 31 August 1971.

 

August 11

Proposals were made at an OSSA-sponsored meeting at Goddard Space Flight Center on methods for managing ERTS and EREP programs. One proposal was that both ERTS and EREP contracts be managed by NASA Centers on a regional basis because of the scope and magnitude of the programs. However, MSC felt that, since the overall program management and operational responsibility belonged to MSC, it should be responsible for all the major contracts associated with EREP.

Letters, Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, 11 August 1971; Dale D. Myers to Robert R. Gilruth, 22 September 1971.

 

August 11

An in-resident Orbital Workshop test team was established at McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach, by MSFC. The team's purpose was to provide timely programmatic and technical interface with, and response to, the contractor in matters relating to hardware design, development, qualification, manufacture, and checkout. William K. Simmons, Jr., MSFC Orbital Workshop Project Manager, was appointed leader of the team whose members represented the various MSFC technical disciplines. Because of the significant number of MSC operational and hardware interfaces with the Workshop, MSC assigned James C. Shows and Richard H. Truly as members of the team.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to MDAC-W, 11 August 1971; George C. Marshall Space Flight Center Charter, MM1142.2, "Orbital Workshop Task Team," 11 August 1971.

 

August 19

[242] The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics devoted a major portion of the June issue of their journal to articles on the Skylab Program.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Members of the Skylab Scientific Investigations Team, 19 August 1971.

 

August 23

Concern was expressed that the material to be used for the top of food trays in the Skylab wardroom was still not selected six weeks after a decision was made to change the material. Subsequently, it was reported that a material, polyamide, had been selected by food tray contractor Whirlpool Corporation and that efforts were underway to procure the material.

MSC, Skylab Program Office Manager's Staff Meeting, K S. Kleinknecht, MSC, 23 August 1971.

 

August 27

Missions still under consideration for the immediate post-Skylab period included the following:

Letter, P. E. Culbertson, NASA Hq, to R. A. Berglund, MSC, 27 August 1971.

 

August 30

A study was conducted at MSFC on the effects of various pitch attitudes at the time of the Skylab payload shroud jettison on the possibility that the shroud would collide with the Skylab at a later date. Based on the study, a 10-degree attitude error constraint on a 90-degree-pitch (nose down) shroud separation attitude was recommended to preclude such a collision.

Letter, B. S. Perrine, Jr., MSFC, to Dist., "Effect of the Skylab/Shroud Recontact Analysis," 30 August 1971.

 

August 31

A review of the Orbital Workshop waste management subsystem was held at McDonnell Douglas. Recent design changes to the urine sample tray were accepted. A test was established, at the request of MSC, which would subject the production system hardware to flight conditions for a period of 56 days.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 1 September 1971.

 

August 31

A Skylab food subsystem management plan was agreed to by Charles A. Berry, M.D., MSC Director of Medical Research and Operations; Maxime A. Faget, [243] MSC Director of Engineering and Development; and Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC Skylab Program Manager. In the plan, the Medical Research and Operations Directorate would provide the technical management for the Government-contractor team in planning, development, procurement, and integration of the food subsystem, including ancillary equipment, within constraints and guidelines of the Skylab Program.

MSCM 8010, Program Management Guide, 31 August 1971.

 

September 8-30

Cold weather environment tests began at the Climatic Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on the performance of the Skylab command module postlanding and recovery systems. Because Skylab flights would be launched on a 50-degree inclination, the spacecraft would pass over regions of the Earth considerably colder than experienced before. Tests would determine the cold weather limitations of the crew and command module should an emergency or major system malfunction force the spacecraft to land in these areas.

MSC News Release 71 -70, 17 September 1971; Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, "Manned Space Flight Program Status Review," 6 October 1971.

 

September 13

Skylab crewmen would wear soft suits on reentry for both regular and rescue missions in order to provide stowage space for maximum data return. All available stowage space in the command module would be needed for film, experiment samples and specimens, flight data files, life support equipment, and supplies.

Note, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, 13 September 1971.

 

September 13-17

A multiple docking adapter crew compartment storage review was held at Martin Marietta. Representatives from NASA Hq, KSC, MSFC, MSC, and Martin Marietta attended. It was anticipated that three or four review item discrepancies, which would cause only minor impact, would be submitted on the MDA.

Immediately following the MDA crew compartment stowage review, the MDA one-g trainer final acceptance review was held.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 21 September 1971; "Minutes of the MDA 1-G Trainer Pre- Shipment Acceptance Review," 15- 17 September 1971.

 

September 14

An Apollo telescope mount final acceptance review for the ATM one-g and zero-g trainers was held at MSFC. Representatives from MSC, MSFC, Martin Marietta, and Brown Engineering Company attended. The trainers were scheduled for shipment, with an arrival date at MSC of 12 October.

Letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Manager, Skylab Program, MSC, "ATM Trainer Acceptance," 22 October 1971; "Minutes of Skylab Acceptance MSC/MSFC," A. R. Morse, MSFC, and T. U. McElmurry, MSC, 14 September 1971.

 

September 15

[244] James C. Fletcher, NASA Administrator, described planned Skylab mission medical research in an address before the Utah State Medical Association: " . . . we will be looking far with a strong impact on the future of manned space flight during the remainder of this century." Major questions as yet unanswered after Gemini and Apollo flights were the causes of moderate loss of weight by astronauts early in flight, moderate cardiovascular deconditioning, moderate loss of exercise capacity, and minimal loss of bone density. Medical results from Gemini and Apollo missions had shown: "1. There were no major surprises. 2. As of now, we see no reason why man cannot live and work effectively in space for a long period of time. 3. Man seems to adapt to space flight more easily than he does to Earth's environment after returning from space."

James C. Fletcher, NASA Hq, address before the Utah State Medical Association, 15 September 1971.

 

September 15

An inter-Center agreement was approved by Skylab Program Managers Kenneth S. Kleinknecht (MSC), Robert C. Hock (KSC), and Leland F. Belew (MSFC) covering the use and control of acceptance checkout equipment-spacecraft for the checkout of Skylab 1 payloads.

KSC Management Instruction 1058.2A, 15 September 1971.

 

September 23

A contract for the construction of an Apollo telescope mount clean room at KSC was awarded to the Holloway Corporation.

KSC, "Weekly Progress Report," 1 October 1971.

 

September 23

A policy letter which identified the essential roles and responsibilities of Skylab Center organizations and Principal Investigators in the development of Skylab experiments was published by NASA Hq.

Letter, William C. Schneider to Skylab Program Managers, MSFC, MSC, and KSC, and Directors, Ames Research Center and LaRC, "Skylab Policy Relative to the Relationship and Responsibilities Between Skylab Principal Investigators and Skylab Center Organizations," 23 September 1971; "Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 29 September 1971.

 

September 24

The Skylab payload shroud (nose cone) was accepted by MSFC from McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company. The shroud, 18.2 m long and 6.7 m in diameter, weighed almost 12 000 kg and was the first major piece of Skylab hardware to be delivered to NASA.

NASA Hq News Release 71-182, 22 September 1971; MSFC, "Schedules and Status Summary," 30 September 1971.

 

September 27

NASA announced assignment of Robert O. Aller, Manager of Space Station Operations, Space Station Task Force of Office of Manned Space Flight, to the [245] Skylab Program Office as Director of Operations. Aller would be responsible for coordination and development of operationally related program and mission planning activities.

NASA Hq, "Weekly Bulletin."

 

September 29 - October 1

The crew compartment stowage review for the airlock module was held at the McDonnell Douglas facility in St. Louis. Several crewmen attended the review.

MSFC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report," 5 October 1971.

 

September 30

Corrective measures were being incorporated into the Apollo telescope mount as a result of the prototype thermal/vacuum test being performed in the MSC Space Environmental Simulation Laboratory September-December 1971. A number of anomalies unidentified in previous component system or subsystem tests were identified. Unlocated, the anomalies could have had serious impacts on ATM orbital operations.

Letter, Eugene H. Cagle, MSFC, to James C. McLane, Jr., MSC, 7 March 1972.

 

October 5

An OWS shower design review was completed at MSFC. Representatives from NASA Hq, MSC, KSC, MSFC, and McDonnell Douglas attended. Although the design appeared acceptable, programmatic problems such as stowage, program requirements, and the McDonnell Douglas installation schedule were evidenced.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 14 October 1971; letter, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Director, Skylab Program, NASA Hq, "Skylab Whole Body Shower," 19 October 1971.

 

October 5-6

During an Advanced Applications flight experiments (AAFE) review at Langley, Principal Investigators gave interim status reports on experiments already in the AAFE Program. Representatives from NASA, other Government agencies, and participating universities and industries attended. Reports were divided into the following areas: Earth-resources survey; communications; meteorology; navigation/traffic control; applications technology; and geodesy, Earth physics, and physical oceanography.

"Interim Progress Reports AAFE P.I. Review," 5-6 October 1971.

 

October 6-18

Training mockups of several components of the Skylab spacecraft arrived at MSC. The Orbital Workshop and the Apollo telescope mount arrived aboard the NASA barge Orion. The shipment also included the multiple docking adapter exterior shell and a portion of the airlock module mockup. The AM one-g trainer had arrived previously at MSC on a contingent of six trucks. The trainers and hardware were scheduled for use by MSC in training prospective Skylab crewmen for missions.

[246] MSFC, "Skylab Weekly Activity Report," 26 October 1971; MSC, "Weekly Activity Report," 15 October 1971.

 

October 8

Personnel and equipment from other countries were being utilized in the Skylab Program. K. Pounds (United Kingdom), M. Oda (Japan), and Pande (India) were endorsed as ground-based observers in connection with the ATM. Proposals for participation in Earth resources were anticipated from Canada, Argentina, Chile, India, Iran, Japan, Thailand, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Numerous small articles of equipment such as zippers and lenses were obtained from England, Switzerland, Germany, and Monaco. Cameras were obtained from Sweden and Japan. Glass for the multispectral photography window came from Japan. Rockets used for ATM calibration flights were obtained from Canada.

Memorandum, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to R. Littlefield, NASA Hq, "International Contributions to Skylab Program," 8 October 1971.

 

October 8

Over 700 requests to participate in EREP and ERTS experiments were received by NASA; 280 required EREP data or both ERTS and EREP data. Of these, 150 were selected for inclusion in an EREP mission compatibility study being conducted at MSC. A list of the tentative investigations included proposers from 28 states and 12 countries. About one-third of the investigators were from Federal or state governments, one-third from universities, and one-third from industry and foreign governments.

Memorandum, Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, to the Administrator, "Earth Resources Experiment Package (EREP) Investigation," 8 October 1971.

 

October 8

A formal certification program was being instituted at TRW and McDonnell Douglas to ensure that the technicians, inspectors, and engineers involved in setting adjustments and clearances, installing ordnance, or stacking the array after each deployment in the development and qualification of the solar array system was properly certified. Backup personnel would also be trained and certified to ensure a continuity of expertise.

Letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Skylab Program Manager, MSFC, "Solar Array System," 8 October 1971.

 

October 20

To provide protection against system failure from the SL-1 launch through the first 56-day mission, it would be necessary to retain prelaunch preparation and launch capability through completion of the second manned mission. The elapsed time from the SL-1 launch through the second manned mission would be about 5 months.

Memorandum for record, John H. Disher, NASA Hq, 20 October 1971.

 

November 1

[247] ERTS and EREP investigations were assigned to Goddard Space Flight Center and MSC for negotiations and award of contracts by NASA Hq. In general, the ERTS investigations were assigned to Goddard, the EREP investigations to MSC. At the same time, general guidelines were established for all ERTS/EREP proposals.

Letter, Dale D. Myers and J. E. Naugle, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, "Guidelines for ERTS and Skylab EREP Investigations," 1 November 1971.

 

November 2-4

A Skylab rescue vehicle preliminary design review was held at North American Rockwell. The anticipated reentry mode for the rescue vehicle would be with the crewmen suited, thus providing additional return stowage volume for program-critical items. North American would define the return volume and loading available, while MSC would identify the returnable program-critical items. The rescue command and service modules would be designed for both suited and unsuited reentry and for axial and radial docking. The rescue kit would include provisions for the return of five men.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 12 November 1971.

 

November 10

The Skylab menu, in addition to being the most palatable menu carried into space, was also designed to meet the requirements and objectives of an important series of medical investigations. Whirlpool Corporation was under contract to produce the approximately 20 000 man-meal equivalents for the Skylab Program. The food system was designed to maintain a calorie level of between 2000 and 2800 calories and to provide the minimum dietary allowances of protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals, and vitamins recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.

MSC Project Document 72-2049, 10 November 1971; MSC News Release 72-155; memorandum, C. A. Berry, MSC, to Chairman, Facilities Review Board, "Interim Food Bonded Stowage Facility," 14 October 1971.

 

November 10-12

A test and checkout requirements specifications documents review was conducted at MSFC.

"Skylab Program Engineering Weekly Status Report," 17 November 1971.

 

November 11

An acceptance review of the ATM experiment training hardware was held at MSFC. MSC representatives participated in the review. Following the review,[248] the hardware was shipped to MSC for crew familiarization in preparation for a multiple docking adapter crew compartment fit and function review.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 10 November 1971.

 

November 11

A test readiness review for the payload assembly high-force vibration test was held at MSC. The review board concluded that the facility-test article was ready for test. The main objective of the test would be verification of the payload shroud primary and secondary structural integrity.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 19 November 1971.

 

November 15

NASA Hq announced formation of a Manned Space Flight Team to conduct a midterm review of the Skylab Program. The objectives were to assess the validity of the Skylab Program plan in terms of scope of work planned and its relation to schedules and resources; validate the runout cost with a new estimate of resources required to completion; and make management and technical recommendations as required. The Team was scheduled to complete its work in late December 1971. A report would be made to the Manned Space Flight Management Council in January 1972.

Letter, Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, 15 November 1971; memorandum, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, Leland F. Belew and R. G. Smith, MSFC, and R. C. Hock, KSC, "Skylab Mid-Term Review Task Team,' 24 November 1971; letter, William C. Schneider to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, 24 November 1971; plan, J. P. Field, Jr., NASA Hq, "Skylab Mid-Term Review Plan," 23 November 1971.

 

November 23

The MDA/EREP systems integration testing was completed at Martin Marietta. The testing included all individual sensors, EREP systems functional verification tests, and EREP simulated data pass verification tests. Test data were under evaluation.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 3 December 1971; MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 29 November 1971.

 

November 26

MSFC awarded Chrysler's Space Division a contract modification for additional work on Saturn IB launch vehicle booster stages. The contract extension would run through 31 January 1974. The additional work was to refurbish four S-IB booster stages that would be used in the Skylab Program in 1973. The fourth vehicle (SA-209) would be assigned as a backup. All four stages had been in storage for several years. The major portion of the work would be removing the stages from storage, preparing them for delivery to KSC, and providing launch support to them throughout the Skylab launch readiness period, which would end in early 1974. Most of the work would be done at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, but some work would be done at MSFC.

MSFC Contracts Office MOD MICH 465 to Contract NAS 8-4016, Schedule I, 26 November 1971.

 


[
249]

image of the skylab interior crew quarters

The overall interior of the crew quarters area in the Skylab High Fidelity mockup, at McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach, where the Workshop was fabricated. The sleep compartment is at the right, waste management compartment in the center, and the wardroom at left.

 

November 29

MSFC amended a contract with General Electric Company to allow modifications for support of the Skylab Program. The contract change would be completed by 1 April 1972. The new work included the manufacture and delivery of modification kits for the reconfiguration of ground support equipment at KSC's Launch Complex 39 to provide a Saturn IB launch capability for Skylab.

MSFC Contracts Office, MOD 49 and MOD 51 to Contract NAS 8-25155, 29 November 1971.

 

November 30 - December 1

A customer acceptance readiness review of the OWS food heating tray was held at Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Michigan. No significant problems were encountered. Previous problems of heat transfer and possible flammability were solved.

MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 3 and 10 December 1971.

 

December 6

NASA Hq established procedures for documenting the existence of significant technical problems in flight hardware and associated ground support equipment and for providing technical support for their resolution for each Skylab mission from initiation of integrated systems tests through mission completion.

[250] Skylab Program Directive No. 56, "Technical Support for Resolving Significant Technical Problems From Initiation of Integrated System Test Through Mission Completion," 6 December 1971.

 

December 7-10

A Skylab MDA crew compartment fit and function review was held at Martin Marietta to familiarize astronauts with MDA equipment and storage problems. The review was conducted in four parts: a bench review, a vertical upper platform review, a vertical lower platform review, and a horizontal configuration review.

MSFC, "Weekly Activity Report," 8 December 1971; MSC, "Skylab Program Office Weekly Activity Report," 17 December 1971; letter, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Managers, Skylab Program, MSC and MSFC, Manager, Apollo-Skylab Program, KSC, "Verification of Crew Equipment Interfaces," 29 December 1971; memorandum, R. O. Aller, NASA Hq, to Director, Skylab Program, "Contractor Crew Compartment Fit and Function Tests," 17 December 1971.

 

December 8

Apollo experience was utilized in the design and development of the Skylab water system which consisted of

Memorandum, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to NASA Deputy Administrator, "Apollo Lunar Module Water System Problems as Related to the Design of the Skylab Water System," 8 December 1971.

 

December 9

NASA Hq defined the responsibility for preparation and coordination of test procedures which involved crew participation in factory module test and checkout operations. Essentially, this required that not later than 12 weeks prior to anticipated testing MSC should provide a crew integration plan and negotiation should take place between MSFC and MSC on the degree of crew participation in the test and checkout operations.

Appendix A to Skylab Program Directive No. 26, "Intercenter Responsibilities for Support and Preparation of KSC Test and Checkout Plans and Procedures, and Coordination of Factory Test Procedures with Crew Involvement," 9 December 1971.

 

December 15

An MSFC-MSC agreement was approved detailing responsibilities for Skylab flight crew training in the neutral buoyancy simulator at MSFC. The agreement was approved by Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC Skylab Program Manager, and Leland F. Belew, MSFC Skylab Program Manager. Charles A. Berry, Maxime A. Faget, and Donald K. Slayton, all of MSC, concurred.

MSCM 8010, Program Management Guide, 15 December 1971.

 

 


[
251]

photo of technicians working in the multiple docking adaptor

At top, Stefanie Smith, associate engineer in crew systems at Martin Marietta's Denver facility, show equipment location to astronaut William R. Pogue during a NASA acceptance checkout of the multiple docking adapter. Above, two Martin engineers simulate astronaut activities in a full-scale training mockup of the multiple docking adapter before the unit was shipped to MSC for astronaut training.

 

 

December 15

[252] The prototype of the Skylab ATM was returned to MSFC from MSC aboard the Super Guppy aircraft. At MSFC, the ATM was placed in a clean room in the Quality and Reliability Assurance Laboratory for a system checkout. It would next undergo vibration testing in the Astronautics Laboratory and then would be refurbished to serve as a backup for the flight model. While at MSC, the ATM prototype, which was assembled at MSFC, had been subjected to space conditions in a large chamber used for testing the Apollo spacecraft.

MSFC Project Logistics Office, Flight Operating Log, 15 December 1971.

 

December 17

A committee was established to conduct an operational readiness inspection of the Skylab medical experiments altitude test facility. The MSC Crew Systems Division's 6-m-diameter altitude chamber was modified to perform the test. The readiness inspection would serve to certify the operational readiness of the facility for the June 1972 manned testing.

Memorandum, Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, to Dist., "Operational Readiness Inspection of the MSC Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test Facility," 17 December 1971.

 

December 17-21

MSFC accepted the flight multiple docking adapter from Martin Marietta, Denver. It was then flown by Super Guppy to McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, where it would be mated to the airlock module.

NASA News Release 71-241, "Skylab Docking Unit Accepted," 17 December 1971; MSFC Project Logistics Office, Flight Operating Log, 17 December 1971.

 

December 23

Discussions on the feasibility and the possible benefits and problems pertaining to the use and benefits of an amateur radio transmitter-receiver by the Skylab crew in their off-duty time were conducted over the past several months. Based on the discussions, it was concluded that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages of its installation and use.

Letters, P. I. Klein, AMSAT, to William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, "Skylarc Mission for Skylab- A," 11 September 1971; William C. Schneider to Managers, Skylab Program, MSFC and MSC, "Amateur Radio on Skylab," 2 December 1971; Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, to Director, Skylab Program, "Skylab Amateur Radio Communications," 14 December 1971; Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to Director, Skylab Program, "Amateur Radio on Skylab," 23 December 1971; notes, Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq, to William C. Schneider, "Ham Radio Activity for Skylab," 20 November 1971; William C. Schneider to Dale D. Myers, "Ham Radio Activity for Skylab," 30 November 1971.

 

During the month

The Skylab Program was reviewed by a Skylab midterm task team. Among the findings were the following: Although there was little margin left in the schedule for contingencies, there were no known reasons why the launch date of 30 April 1973 could not be met. Planned resources were sufficient to support the program on the established schedule. A comprehensive and systematic program of reviews, tests, and analyses had been performed to produce high confidence in reliable and....

 


[
253]

the completed multiple docking adaptor is prepared for shipping

After acceptance by MSFC, the multiple docking adapter flight article was readied for shipment from Martin Marietta's Denver facility to the McDonnell Douglas plant at St. Louis to be mated with the air lock module.

 

....safe technical performance. A greater number of formal detailed program level plans and inter- Center agreements were required in Skylab than in earlier programs because of complexities of technical organizational interfaces. Limitations on travel funds created problems. There was some concern regarding the Earth resources experiment package where costs exceeded the original plan. Technical problems remained, and Principal Investigators had not been selected.

Letters, William C. Schneider, NASA Hq, to Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., and S. A. Sjoberg, MSC, "Skylab Mid-Term Review Task Team Program Directors Summary Working Notes," 28 February 1972; draft, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, MSC, "Skylab Program Mid-Term Review," 1 December 1971; "Skylab MidTerm Review Workshop Project Problem Summary," December 1971; "Skylab MidTerm Review Workshop Status Schedule Status," December 1971.

 

[page 253 continues in the next section]


PreviousIndexNext