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  Wiki pic of MA-7 flight plan cards

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Author Topic:   Wiki pic of MA-7 flight plan cards
KC Stoever
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Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 04-16-2006 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the link:
http://www.mercuryspacecraft.com/wiki/Image:BWF.SC18EPIDoor.JPG

Thought cSers would like to see what the flight plan index cards looked like for MA-7. You can see the flight plan calling for various maneuvers in different axes and some camera exposures for different shots requested by the Weather Bureau and by MIT.

See "FIREFLYS"--a request for shots of this observable at sunrise, when they were particularly visible.

Can't imagine that they [the index cards holding the flight plan] were flown in this condition, with the heavy rings. And I can't identify the metal door (speculation is that the door replaced the EPI. I think this is in an exhibit in a space museum--don't know where.

Carpenter emailed this morning that he DID have an Earth Path Indicator aboard MA-7. He didn't have time to study the Wiki site but should have more substantive answers later--about the EPI etc.

Looking at the cards mounted in this fashion, I am guessing these were probably not used in the mission itself but may have been provisional cards, typed up for use in the simulator.

Any thoughts or additional insights?

Kris

[This message has been edited by KC Stoever (edited April 16, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by KC Stoever (edited April 16, 2006).]

nasamad
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Posts: 1890
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 04-16-2006 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hi Kris,

Just had a look through some Mercury manuals.

The Familiarization Manual for Feb 62 shows the EFI in its correct position and states that it is the instrument panel for capsules 13,16, 18 and 19. However, as a side note it states that Capsule 18 does not have the EFI.

The Familiarization Manual for May 62 does not show an EFI. It shows the same kind of door (as your link) where the EFI would be, from the spring on the hinge to the large ring on the right, it all matches. It does not show the cards on the door.

I don't know if this has helped or made things more confusing, but I can't see why the panel would have a hinge unless there was something to look at or do beneath it.

Adam

KC Stoever
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Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 04-16-2006 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, nasamad. With capsule 18 it appears NASA documentation has conflicting information, hence the confusion in 2006. When I sent early drafts of the Aurora 7 flight chapters to Bob Voas for technical review, he added specific and particular detail to the text, including:

"Also in the ditty bag were the air-glow filter, for measuring the frequency of light emitted b y the air-glow layer, star navigation cards, the world orbital and weather charts--adjuncts to the earth path indicator (EPI) globe mounted on the instrument panel. . . ." (FSS, p. 259)

Carpenter let Voas's additions stand of course and made additions of his own, for example noting that they had the idea of using velcro on the back of each 3 x 5 index card holding the flight plan, so Carpenter could slap each one up, in turn, on the inside wall of his spacecraft.

In an email this morning, Carpenter confirms that, yes, MA-7 was equipped with an EPI.

Again, the setup in that very interesting Wiki pic--of the flight plan index cards--in that double binder set atop some sort of door, makes me think it is an artifact from the simulator.

[This message has been edited by KC Stoever (edited April 16, 2006).]

nasamad
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Posts: 1890
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 04-16-2006 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hi Kris,

Who are we to argue with your dad, if he says it had an EFI then it had one !

NASA manuals have an amazing ability to be out of date on the day they are printed.

Just wondering if it will help but does your dad remember where he "slapped" each page of the flight plan ?

Adam

kyra
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Posts: 507
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-16-2006 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In fact (correct me if I'm wrong here) it seems Aurora 7 was much closer in design to Friendship 7 than Sigma 7.

Kris, as a curiosity what do you recall about your Dad's documentation in those days ? For example, did he have the Capsule Flight Operations Manual about the house on the coffee table. Like "We'd better not bother him to take us to the park, he's looking at that binder or the flight plan again or "be careful not to spill Kool-Aid on anything that looks technical".

As a sidelight, my collecting interest is flown documentation in any form Mercury though the Shuttle. Most of it due to price considerations usually means photocopies, pdfs or jpegs. I appreciate the link here, as I understand that your Dad flew with a typewritten summary of the flight plan on index cards. Did he also fly the "Astronaut's Checklist" section of the Capsule Flight Operations Manual ?

KC Stoever
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Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 04-16-2006 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your comments, Adam and Kyra. I for one really welcome these technical inquiries as hugely instructive. And every time I see a new Wiki link I learn something new! These questions gives researchers a chance to revisit primary and human sources for confirmation or otherwise. Glad the human source is still around to remember!

Kyra: I don't recall spilling my Hawaiian Punch on any top secret training documents. I remember the only flown item I ever handled at home was a Mercury 7 charm my father had made for my mother, and part of the instrument panel was housed in a walnut case and sat in the family room.

Adam: Velcroed index cards and their placement on the walls of the cabin? You and I can only guess where a busy, right-handed Mercury astronaut might slap a series of flight plan index cards. He and Voas may have developed a system--left to right at eye level, for example. Carpenter is a huge time-and-motion efficiency freak(wasted motion is to be deplored), so I'll bet he had a plan.

But maybe not. I'll find out and post here.

Kris

robertsconley
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Posts: 55
From: meadville,pa,usa
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 04-17-2006 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robertsconley   Click Here to Email robertsconley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on my research for my simulation of the Mercury Capsule there are three important documents you need look for.

The first is SEDR 104 the familiarization manual. You can download copies for 12/15/1959 (Shepard and the unmanned missions) 12/1/1961 (Glenn's capsule) 5/1962 (Carpenter and possibly Schirra capsule) and 12/20/1962 (Cooper's capsule)

Each of them are pretty clear as too the changes made to each capsules. As far as I can tell the capsule can be grouped as follows

MR-3 Shephard
--------------
MR-4 Grissom
MA-6 Glenn
MA-7 Carpenter
MA-8 Schirra
---------------
MA-9 Cooper

Grissom and Glenn are virtually identical as far as the controls go. Carpenter has a few refinments over Glenn's. Schirra has more changes over Carpenters. But in all four roughly the same controls are in the same area doing the same things.

Shephard's and Cooper's capsules however are very different. Shephard was somewhat less developed in the later capsule. Cooper's had a lot things axed from the middle four that were deemed unnessecary (like RSCS mode) plus had controls for the extra equipment added for the one day mission. (like a third fuel tank added to the manual and the auto tanks).

Next is SEDR 109 of which we only have the ones from Shepard's mission 109-7 , and one from Glenn's mission 109. There is a different one for Cooper's mission 109-20.

Based on my research at the Glenn Archive at OSU all the SEDRs were updated up just before the mission. So SEDR 109 was probably updated right through Schirra's mission and then they switched over to SEDR 109-20.

The last is the mission flight plan.

By corrlating all three you can determine what was the actual configuration of the capsule on flight day.

The focus of the next major version of my Mercury sim will be to take the current generic control panel and create the version that existed for each flight.

Enjoy
Rob Conley http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit http://www.orbitersim.com http://www.geocities.com/bobandrepont/mercurypdf.htm


divemaster
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Posts: 1341
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 04-17-2006 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find this VERY interesting. Within the last month, I had asked Wally if there were any checklists flown on Sigma 7, since none that I'm aware of had ever been referenced [or had come up for sale] anywhere. He told me that there weren't any flown checklists. Hmmmmmm....

I, too, doubt that a heavy three ring binder type device was used. But it's interesting.

KC Stoever
Member

Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 07-11-2006 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to bring this thread up-to-date after new member rdnatale persisted with his good technical questions in separate emails.

MSC = M. Scott Carpenter
JHG = John H. Glenn

Basically rdnatale proposed a reasonable memory-hole scenario that because MSC trained for so long and so intensively (September 1961 to February 1962) as JHG's backup in JHG'spacecraft 13, MSC therefore remembers the Earth Path Indicator in spacecraft 13--confusing it with an EPI in his own spacecraft 18 (Aurora 7), a cockpit configuration in which he trained for a mere six weeks.

I asked MSC about this possibility. His reply? He remembered that his spacecraft was no. 13, not 18. This nearly proves rdnatale's assertion, that no. 18 had no EPI.

Again, an understandable memory lapse, given the passage of time and the nature of MSC's training in 1961-61, for TWO consecutive Mercury flights.

Now I have to figure out why Robert Voas, who directed astronaut training at Langley, specifically remembered the EPI for spacecraft 18, the one that was launched into space on May 24, 1962.

Again, here's the link: http://www.mercuryspacecraft.com/wiki/Did_Aurora_7_have_an_earth_path_indicator

Question: Aurora 7 is at the Chicago Museum of Science & Technology. Would it show anything related to an EPI or not?

Kris

[This message has been edited by KC Stoever (edited July 11, 2006).]

John K. Rochester
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Posts: 1273
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-11-2006 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by robertsconley:
MR-3 Shephard
--------------

Shephard's and Cooper's capsules however are very different. Shephard was somewhat less developed in the later capsule.


I'm very anal when it comes to spelling Alan Shepard's name correctly...sorry, it's not a knock on you, 'cause you did spell it correctly a few times.. I'm just "Monk"ish that way.

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited July 11, 2006).]

robertsconley
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Posts: 55
From: meadville,pa,usa
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 07-12-2006 11:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robertsconley   Click Here to Email robertsconley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
looking over the docs and the pictures on the field guide and svens site, my call would be that the EPI did not fly on MA-7. For me the fact that the May SEDR-104 indicates it has been removed is pretty convincing. The SEDR-104 along the SEDR-109 are the most updated documents and are kept updated up to the final weeks of the flight.

I went to the John Glenn Archives at OSU and got to look at several mecury SEDR in succession. I could see how handwritten notes/correction Glenn made got incorporated in the later editions. I suspect that in the runup to Scott's flight it was the same.

If you (or anybody else) has access to the SEDR-109 used for MA-7 then I suggest checking in there. The tile page will give the spacecraft number and date. Find the most recent to the flight and you will have your answer.

Figure 1-2 on page 1-5 (or there about) will have the definitive panel arrangement for the flight.

In the Final Checklist T-5 to T-0 There will be a step to see if the EPI is on. If it is missing then it proably not installed.

Under Nagivational Aids page 1-34 or there about a description of the EPI will be written. Again if it missing I am very sure it wasn't on the flight.

Hope this helps

Rob Conley

John, Noted on the spelling.

John K. Rochester
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Posts: 1273
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-13-2006 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If NBC News can spell it wrong underneath his obituary photo the night they announced his passing,(and they DID!!) then anyone can get it wrong.

All times are CT (US)

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