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  Notes on flown cue card: before or during Apollo 9?

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Author Topic:   Notes on flown cue card: before or during Apollo 9?
stsmithva
Member

Posts: 1537
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-27-2013 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a cue card flown on Apollo 9:

You'll see on this close-up that there are some handwritten times:

I'm pretty sure they weren't written in-flight, since I think that symbol means "approximately" (as in, "this will happen at about that time"). Although now I remember that there are usually two wavy lines for that. Any mathematicians or engineers know what just one line represents?

Also, I don't think the astronauts would have been able to take neat notes with Saturn boosters roaring behind them. And finally, I reckon that knowing what time you should use a certain abort method ("MODE") is something that should be written ahead of time.

Still, I thought it was worth double-checking here. Could those times have possibly been something a crew member recorded during the mission?

Also, I know they are just digits, but does anyone by any chance recognize an astronaut's handwriting, or were they probably written by a NASA technician?

I don't want to surprise someone who has kindly provided any information or opinions, so I should mention before anyone takes the time to reply that I'll be putting the cue card up for sale soon.

datkatz
Member

Posts: 94
From: New York, NY
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 04-28-2013 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two wavy lines is "approximately equal"
One wavy line is "approximately," or "about."

David Carey
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Posts: 408
From:
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 04-28-2013 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with your thought that these particular cue card notes/fill-ins would have been done pre-flight.

As to the source of the writing, I'm not so sure it wouldn't have been a crew member. A confirming and final launch timeline (which seems to be the gist of the additions) might indeed be something the crew would want to personally and directly record for their card.

For reference and comparison, below you'll find two of many well-annotated pages from the A9 LM Rendezvous Activation flight data file (FDF). Click to enlarge.

These particular in-flight notes cover LM platform alignment, clock-set, and propellant checks while docked and "warming up the car" for undocking and first free flight from the CM.

The Gyro Torquing Angle entries in the upper left were almost certainly made by the LMP. Per the A9 mission transcript, Rusty Schweickart copies the angles down from a ground communication and then does a confirming readback to CAPCOM (CC):

03 19 04 12: (CC) Okay, while we are waiting on that E-memory dump, let me give you your torquing angles.
03 19 04 17: (LMP) Roger. Ready to copy.
03 19 04 19: (CC) Roger, torquing angles: minus 00370, minus 00790,
minus 00310.
03 19 04 34: (LMP) Roger. Read back: minus 00370, minus 00790,
minus 00310.

Jim McDivitt (and possibly Dave Scott) have made entries elsewhere in the FDF, but the notes on these two pages appear to my eye to be all in the same hand and bear similarities to the cue-card numbers. By inference then, I’d venture a guess that your liftoff cue card entries might be from the LMP.

Opinions from someone with handwriting analysis expertise (not me!) would be helpful.

It would also be good to know if it even makes sense that a LMP would have such duties as cue-card prep and finalize. Certainly the image you showed in your sale listing of the crew sitting around the table would suggest so. Rusty is engaged in the activity, most of the Cue Cards (vs. FDFs) seem to be by him, and he has pen in hand.

stsmithva
Member

Posts: 1537
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-29-2013 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your replies! David, yours was incredibly detailed and informative. You analyzed documents AND had the sharp eyes to notice the pen in Schweickart's hand.

All times are CT (US)

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