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  Mission-specific changes to Apollo spacecraft

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Author Topic:   Mission-specific changes to Apollo spacecraft
Max Q

Posts: 399
From: Whyalla South Australia
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-23-2009 06:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How much difference was there between missions, was a command module or lunar module ever a standard unit or where there differences between them?


Posts: 2141
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 08-23-2009 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cant remember the name of the doc but I know I have it somewhere (and I'm sure some kind reader will find it faster than I can), but it lists many of the major differences between the CSMs and LMs. Its a PDF file and I probably included it on the digital grab bag I did a year or two ago.

On edit: Found it!

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
New Member


posted 08-23-2009 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The excellent document cited above from 1967 shows programed enhancements (pre-dating J mission upgrades). Independent of these were modifications made based on lessons learned from preceding flights - the most notable example, installation of a 3rd cyro oxygen tank in SM Bay I and additional battery in Bay IV following the Apollo 13 incident.

Scott Schneeweis

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2272
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 08-23-2009 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Practically all the missions had some differences since the craft were hand built with refinements from one put into the next one to a certain extent. The CM portion of the CSM seemed to get somewhat standardized at least since internally they looked almost the same from Apollo 9 onward. The SMs also looked the same externally until the J missions added the SIM bay as the SIM bay equipment was different between A15, 16 and 17.

The closest appearing LMs to one another where the ones flown on Apollo 12 and 13 as the mylar foil patterns looked almost identical (and very similar to Apollo 11's LM, but with some changes to the foil thickness used). But there were differences around the footpads. After that, things started to change a bit more from mission to mission as the time between flights began to stretch out and more refinements were made to the spacecraft during these periods.

It was possible at least to swap stuff around on these space craft as they were assembled on a production line. Some aircraft don't have that luxury as there can be enough variations in the tooling of one aircraft to another to cause problems. Of course, flying in space tends to require a bit more exacting tolerances then flying in air.

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