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  Apollo 8 Kapton display: Anyone see one like this?

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Author Topic:   Apollo 8 Kapton display: Anyone see one like this?
moonnut
Member

Posts: 74
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Apr 2013

posted 01-07-2014 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonnut   Click Here to Email moonnut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The question I have, has anyone seen an Apollo 8 Kapton display like this before?

I purchased this about a year ago from a seller that stated he purchased it from an estate sale of a former Rockwell employee named O.R. Seaholm. He was selling many Rockwell papers also so thought I would get it. Didn't spend a lot on it so gave it a chance. Don't even know how to look up and find employees that worked for Rockwell, etc. So I am curious if anyone has any info. Thanks cS peeps!

moonnut
Member

Posts: 74
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Apr 2013

posted 01-11-2014 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonnut   Click Here to Email moonnut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any input on this?

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1731
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 01-11-2014 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Never seen anything like it. The wording is immature - do they mean after testing or maybe after flying back from the moon? If the latter this hardly seems suitable for such a momentous event. They probably meant Aft Heat Shield. Maybe made by a child who was given the Kapton sample? Because the heat shield was not made from or covered in Kapton, this looks inauthentic at best.

space1
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Posts: 556
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 01-11-2014 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's in the context of afterbody, as opposed to forebody. A Rockwell aeronautical engineer would probably be thinking in these terms regarding Apollo. In this context the forebody would be the spherical main heat shield. The afterbody would be the conical heat shield, which is where the Kapton-like film was used.

moonnut
Member

Posts: 74
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Apr 2013

posted 01-12-2014 12:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonnut   Click Here to Email moonnut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know that it wasn't slapped together recently due to the amount of dust that has collected on it. As you can see from the pics on the glass in the corners. Is there any comprehensive list of Rockwell International employees? It would be interesting to see if this O.R. Seaholm worked closely with the apollo craft or not. Or if he can be found to have worked there.

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1821
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-12-2014 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why not contact Rockwell International? I'm sure they would have employee records going back that far and would be willing to confirm for you if you tell them your reason.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29337
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-12-2014 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rockwell International no longer exists. Its divisions were sold off to different companies. Its aerospace division was sold to Boeing in 1996.

Based on prior conversations, Boeing does not retain employee records for the previous Rockwell workforce.

moonnut
Member

Posts: 74
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Apr 2013

posted 01-12-2014 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonnut   Click Here to Email moonnut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Through a little research found that during Apollo 8 the company was not called Rockwell International, but rather North American Rockwell due to the merger of Rockwell Standard and North American Aviation in Sept. 1967. Didn't become Rockwell International till 1973 when NAR merged with Rockwell Manufacturing which was run by Rockwell Jr.

Throughout the years, the company has been splitting off and now what remains is Rockwell Automation and Rockwell Collins. But I doubt that they would have employee records dating back to North American Rockwell. Might be worth a shot to ask though.

Spacepsycho
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Posts: 736
From: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Registered: Aug 2004

posted 01-12-2014 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen similar displays by North American employees and I have an Apollo 7, 11, 13, 15 and 17 displays of flown Kapton foil that are almost identical to yours. This looks to be authentic and flown, however without provenance there's no way to prove it's history.

From the width and surface coating, your piece was applied to the side of the CM, but absolutely not on the aft heat shield. The red spot on the gold side looks to be RTV which is consistent with foil and ablative material that was flown or at least installed on the spacecraft. There were many Kapton foil patches used in and around the spacecraft, but they came in sheets that were cut in larger sections to cover areas under the ablator shell and don't have adhesive on the backing like your piece.

As far as trying to track down former employees, it's difficult if not impossible to get any info from Boeing. I've tried tracking down dozens of NAA, Rockwell and other contractor workers who's companies were bought by Boeing. I've been told every time that I would require a court order or subpoena for Boeing to release ANY info about current or former workers.

The best luck I've had in tracking down former employees is to do a name search in the area they worked and you might get lucky to find a family member.

Just to follow up, I found Mr. Seaholm and unfortunately he passed away a few years ago and his wife went into a home shortly thereafter. They lived less than a mile from me.

moonnut
Member

Posts: 74
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Apr 2013

posted 01-12-2014 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonnut   Click Here to Email moonnut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks so much for the information. Truly amazing the info you gave. What area did you look him up in? I have put his name in Google and nothing came up.

Also, what does the O.R. stand for in his name. Oliver, Orville, I tried several and am curious. Could you send me a link to your findings by chance? I may try to contact another relative, just to get some history.

Crazy that he only lived less than a mile from you, too. The gentleman I purchased this from said it was from an estate sale, so I assumed Mr. Seaholm had passed. May he rest in peace. Thanks again.

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