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  Apollo lunar module main windows design

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Author Topic:   Apollo lunar module main windows design
Gene
Member

Posts: 16
From: Troy Mi
Registered: Aug 2009

posted 10-01-2009 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gene   Click Here to Email Gene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there any known web reference for the size, exact markings, and thickness of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) main windows? From what I can tell, the windows were the same on all variants of the LM. In Apollo 13, they showed some markings. I see on the pressure test of the LM for Apollo 11 they popped out. I thought they were bolted in somehow.

Guess I am looking for basically a template, and how they were made, laminate, with a parked sheet, laminate with a engraved and painted area, etc.

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1294
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 10-01-2009 09:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gene, I think what you are looking for can be found in the Lunar Module Familiarization Manual.

Yes, I believe the commander's window did fail in one of the pressure tests and was replaced, on LM-5 (Apollo 11). I don't know what it was pressure tested to, or what other damage was occurred.

I don't have may copy handy (it's buried somewhere in the archives). It has most if not all of the info your looking for.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4254
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-01-2009 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Answers to your questions are located within Apollo Experience Report Spacecraft Structural Windows (beginning on page 8).

Jim_Voce
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Posts: 269
From:
Registered: Jul 2016

posted 01-06-2019 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Voce   Click Here to Email Jim_Voce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why were the windows of the Lunar Module triangular in shape?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

oly
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Posts: 675
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 01-06-2019 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Engineers needed to design the windows to be as large as possible for maximum field of view, and as small as possible for reduced weight. A compromise was needed.

Additionally, the windows are canted down to give a good view of the area below the LM, and were also canted outward to give some peripheral view.

The forward side of the LM is a cross section of a round tube. The lower half having the hatch and associated structure, with the windows in the upper half. The area available between the centre instrument panel reserve forms 2 pie wedge areas, resulting in the largest practical window shape.

The corners of the window cutouts are rounded, a requirement to reduce stress loading of the pressurized structure. Trying to make the windows any other shape would either result in smaller apertures or more structural weight.

Mike Dixon
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Posts: 1313
From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 01-06-2019 01:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Weight and they were fit for purpose.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1369
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-06-2019 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What other shapes would fit here?

David C
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Posts: 894
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 01-06-2019 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that shape was made for the window after evaluation of window shape options, not visa versa.

oly
Member

Posts: 675
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 01-06-2019 11:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The design process has been very well documented over the years, and is covered within Chariots of Apollo.

The first image illustrates the changing ideas, the triangular design evolved as manufacturing processes and weight reduction practices were developed.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1369
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-07-2019 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David C:
I think that shape was made for the window after evaluation of window shape options, not visa versa.

Not really, what other shape would allow a downward and outward field of view while keeping a flat forward bulkhead.

oly
Member

Posts: 675
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 01-07-2019 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Apollo News Reference and this image give a good perspective on the angularity of the Lunar Module forward face with the instrument panel and Apollo Guidance Computer installed between the two front windows, as well as the Alignment Optical Telescope.

At timestamp 7:41 on this film, some earlier Grumman LM design concepts can be seen, showing a more rounded forward face.

The evolution of design resulted in the compromise between low weight and large size, with the most simplistic design possible, a flat panel.

The overhead docking window, while a small window, proved to need a more robust structure, because of the curved cabin structure. the window itself is a curved structural member that supports both pressurization loads and structural loads translated from docking and manoeuvring.

Finally, this early, pre-mission film shows some of the design concepts that were dropped along the way.

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