Apollo 9 Objectives
Spacecraft Primary Objectives
1. To demonstrate crew/space vehicle/mission support facilities performance during a manned Saturn V mission with command and service module and lunar module. Achieved.
2. To demonstrate lunar module/crew performance. Achieved.
3. To demonstrate performance of nominal and selected backup lunar orbit rendezvous mission activities, including:
a. Transposition, docking, and lunar module withdrawal. Achieved.
b. Intravehicular and extravehicular crew transfer. Achieved.
c. Extravehicular capability. Achieved.
d. Service propulsion system and descent propulsion system burns. Achieved.
e. Lunar module active rendezvous and docking. Achieved.
4. To assess command and service module and lunar module consumables. Achieved.
Mandatory Detailed Test Objectives
1. M11.6: To perform a medium duration descent propulsion system firing to include manual throttling with command and service module and lunar module docked, and a short duration descent propulsion system firing with an undocked lunar module and approximately half full descent propulsion system propellant tanks. Achieved, the primary guidance and navigation control system/digital auto‑pitch performance was monitored and found acceptable during the first and second descent propulsion system burns.
2. M13.11: To perform a long duration ascent propulsion system burn. Achieved, a burn to depletion was performed by the ascent propulsion system for an extended period.
3. M13.12: To perform a long duration descent propulsion system burn and obtain data to determine that no adverse interactions existed between propellant slosh, vehicle engine vibration, and descent propulsion system performance during a burn. Achieved, data were collected during the docked descent propulsion system burn and the rendezvous.
4. M14: To demonstrate the performance of the environmental control system during lunar module activity periods. Achieved, although minor problems occurred in the system.
5. M15.3: To determine the performance of the lunar module electrical power subsystem in the primary and backup modes. Achieved, despite some problems with the batteries.
6. M16.7: To operate the landing radar during the descent propulsion system burns. Achieved.
7. M17.9: To deploy the lunar module landing gear and obtain data on landing gear temperatures resulting from descent propulsion system operation. Achieved.
8. M17.17: To verify the performance of the passive thermal subsystems (thermal blanket, plume protection, ascent and descent stage base heat shields, and thermal control coatings) to provide adequate thermal control when the spacecraft is exposed to the natural and propulsion induced thermal environments. Achieved, lunar module environmental and thermal effect data were collected during the docked descent propulsion system burn, extravehicular activity, and the post‑rendezvous inspection.
9. M17.18: To demonstrate the structural integrity of the lunar module during Saturn V launch and during descent propulsion system and ascent propulsion system burn in an orbital environment. Achieved.
Primary Detailed Test Objectives
1. P1.23: To demonstrate block II command and service module attitude control during service propulsion system thrusting with the command and service module and lunar module docked. Achieved, during the first, second, and third service propulsion burns.
2. P1.24: To perform inertial measurement unit alignments using the sextant while docked. Achieved.
3. P1.25: To perform an inertial measurement unit and a star pattern visibility check in daylight while docked. Achieved, many daytime sightings were made with visible star patterns although reflective light hindered some tests.
4. P2.9: To perform manual thrust vector control takeover of a guidance navigation control system initiated service propulsion docked burn. Achieved, during the third service propulsion system burn.
5. P7.29: To obtain data on the effects of the tower jettison motor, S‑II retrorockets, and service module reaction control system exhaust on the command and service module. Achieved. Spacecraft exhaust effects data were collected following Earth orbital insertion, lunar module/command and service module ejection, during the revised extravehicular period, and during the post‑rendezvous inspection; however, the revised extravehicular activity permitted recovery of only part of the thermal samples.
6. P11.5: To perform lunar module inertial measurement unit alignments using the alignment optical telescope and calibrate the coarse optical alignment sight. Achieved, lunar module inflight inertial measurement unit alignment data were collected at various times during lunar module activity periods.
7. P11.7: To demonstrate reaction control system translation and attitude control of the staged lunar module using automatic and manual primary guidance and navigation control system controls. Achieved.
8. P11.10: To obtain data to verify inertial measurement unit performance in the flight environment. Achieved, lunar module primary guidance and navigation control system and command and service module guidance navigation control system inertial measurement unit performance data were collected throughout the mission.
9. P11.14: To perform a primary guidance and navigation control system/digital autopilot controlled long duration ascent propulsion burn. Achieved.
10. P12.2: To demonstrate an abort guidance system calibration and obtain abort guidance system performance data in the flight environment. Achieved, during docked descent propulsion system burn and the rendezvous phasing burn.
11. P12.3: To demonstrate reaction control system translation and attitude control of unstaged lunar module using automatic and manual abort guidance system/control electric section control modes. Achieved.
12. P12.4 To perform an abort guidance system/control electric section controlled descent propulsion system burn with a heavy descent stage. Achieved.
13. P16.4: To demonstrate tracking of command and service module rendezvous radar transponder at various ranges between the command and service module and the lunar module. Achieved.
14. P16.6: To perform a landing radar self‑test. Achieved.
15. P16.19: To obtain data on rendezvous radar corona susceptibility during lunar module ‑X translation reaction control system engine firings while undocked and during ‑X reaction control system engine firings while docked. Partially achieved. Data were obtained but the rendezvous radar failed to lock.
16. P20.21: To demonstrate the lunar module/Manned Space Flight Network operational S‑band communication subsystem capability. Achieved, despite intermittent discrepancies.
17. P20.22: To demonstrate lunar module/command and service module/Manned Space Flight Network/extravehicular activity operational S‑band and VHF communication compatibility. Achieved, despite sporadic failures.
18. P20.24: To demonstrate command and service module docking with the S‑IVB/spacecraft/lunar module adapter/lunar module. Achieved.
19. P20.25: To demonstrate lunar module separation and ejection of the command and service module/lunar module from the spacecraft/lunar module adapter. Achieved.
20. P20.26: To demonstrate the technique to be employed for the undocking of the lunar module from the command and service module prior to lunar descent. Achieved.
21. P20.27: To perform a lunar module active rendezvous with a passive command and service module. Achieved.
22. P20.28: To demonstrate lunar module active docking capability with the passive command and service module. Achieved.
23. P20.29: To perform a pyrotechnic separation of the lunar module and command and service module in flight. Achieved.
24. P20.31: To demonstrate mission support facilities performance during an Earth orbital mission. Achieved.
25. P20.33: To perform procedures required to prepare for a command and service module active rendezvous with the lunar module. Achieved, the command and service modules were maintained in a recovery mode during the lunar module simulated descent.
26. P20.34: To demonstrate crew capability to transfer themselves and equipment from the command and service module to the lunar module and return. Achieved, the crew was successful in making the transfer in the time allotted.
27. P20.35: To demonstrate extravehicular transfer and obtain extravehicular activity data. Achieved, although the program was modified during the mission.
Secondary Detailed Test Objectives
1. S1.26: To perform onboard navigation using the technique of scanning telescope landmark tracking. Achieved.
2. S13.10: To perform an unmanned ascent propulsion system burn to depletion. Achieved.
3. S20.32: To evaluate one‑man lunar module operation capability, and obtain data on crew maneuverability, crew compartmentation, and propulsive venting. Achieved.
4. S20.37: To obtain data on descent propulsion plume effects on astronauts' visibility. Achieved, the descent propulsion system did not affect the crew's visibility during the two burns.
5. S20.120: To obtain data on the electromagnetic compatibility of the command and service module, lunar module, and portable life support system. Achieved, the command and service module, lunar module, and portable life support system were electromagnetically compatible with respect to any conducted or radiated electromagnetic interference.
Functional Tests Added During The Mission
1. Command and lunar module intravehicular transfer, unsuited. Achieved.
2. Tunnel clearing, unsuited. Achieved.
3. Command module platform alignment in daylight. Achieved.
4. Command module platform alignment using a planet (Jupiter). Achieved.
5. Digital autopilot orbital rate, pitch and roll. Achieved.
6. Backup gyro display coupler alignment of stabilization and control system. Achieved.
7. Window degradation photography. Achieved.
8. Satellite tracking, ground inputs. Achieved.
9. Command and service module high‑gain S‑band antenna reacquisition test. Achieved.
10. Passive thermal control cycling at 0.1°/second at three deadbands: +/‑10°, +/‑20°, and +/‑25°. Achieved.
1. S‑065: To obtain selective, simultaneous multispectral photographs, with four different film/filter combinations, of selected land and ocean areas. Achieved.
Launch Vehicle Primary Objectives
1. To demonstrate S‑IVB/instrument unit control capability during transposition, docking and lunar module ejection maneuver. Achieved.
Launch Vehicle Secondary Objectives
1. To demonstrate S‑IVB restart capability. Achieved.
2. To verify J‑2 engine modifications. Achieved.
3. To confirm J‑2 environment in S‑II stage. Achieved.
4. To confirm launch vehicle longitudinal oscillation environment during S‑IC stage burn period. Achieved.
5. To demonstrate helium heater repressurization system operation. Achieved.
6. To demonstrate S‑IVB propellant dump and safing with a large quantity of residual S‑IVB propellants. Partially achieved. The S‑IVB stage was adequately safed, however the propellant dump was not achieved due to loss of engine helium control regulator discharge pressure.
7. To verify that modifications incorporated in the S‑IC stage suppress low frequency longitudinal oscillations. Achieved.
8. To demonstrate 80‑minute restart capability. Partially achieved. The experimental start was achieved and accomplished the planned S‑IVB third burn. However, rough combustion, a gas generator spike at ignition, and control oscillations resulted in a low performance at start, performance loss during the burn, and loss of engine helium control regulator discharge pressure.
9. To demonstrate dual repressurization capability. Achieved.
10. To demonstrate helium heater restart capability. Achieved.
11. To verify the onboard command and communications system/ground system interface and operation in the deep space environment. Achieved.