Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Apollo 7 spacecraft on Pad 34

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Apollo 7 spacecraft on Pad 34
LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-29-2018 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 7 spacecraft was moved to Pad 34 on August 9, 1968.

Before that, was there a boilerplate spacecraft erected on the Apollo 7 Saturn IB at the pad? Photo KSC-68C-3628 shows the SLA but no CSM on the pad, and this photo identified as Apollo 7 sure looks like the vehicle has a boilerplate spacecraft.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2609
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-29-2018 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No boilerplate spacecraft was involved with any Apollo 7 launch preps, in fact, the first stage of the Saturn 1B/AS-205 vehicle was erected on Pad 34 in April 1968. The CSM was fitted, while on the pad, some four months later in August. Does this answer your questions?

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-29-2018 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Ken. So the two photos above identified as "ap7" are not Apollo 7 images, is that correct?

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2609
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-29-2018 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 2nd photo is indeed the AS-205 vehicle, however, the CSM-101 spacecraft was fitted atop the second S-IVB/IU stage on Aug. 9, but that particular image was dated July 30! I do see what you're referring to, however, I am still going with no boilerplate s/c-vehicle was in used, but I'll check it out further.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-29-2018 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I clearly see the cover on the spacecraft in Apollo 7 photo S68-42657 (Aug 9), but I just don't see a cover in the second photo of my first post. That still looks like a boilerplate spacecraft to me.

The Apollo 7 spacecraft (CSM/SLA) was erected on Pad 34 on August 9. So what are we seeing in the two "ap7" photos that pre-date August 9?

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-30-2018 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another observation: there were small round windows in the forward section of SLA panels on Apollo 7, as seen in this HD 16mm footage from the mission.

Referring back to my first post, it looks like you can see one of those windows in the first photo, but no windows in the second photo.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2609
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-31-2018 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did locate a mention in a KSC publication about being a mechanical and electrical mate of a CSM/LES atop Apollo 7, which I had the impression "might" had been from different vehicles. Normally, the same s/c would pertain to both operations, but for some reason, I am thinking — as the way it was mentioned — perhaps they were separate vehicles.

After asking Walt Cunningham, he also didn't think there was a boilerplate used atop AS-205, but did say perhaps there was a fit-check dummy spacecraft in use at the pad before CSM-101 arrived for mating.

But why not use the actual spacecraft since there had been many Saturn launch vehicles tested and flown beforehand?

There is also a common photo of AS-205 at the pad, however, the SLA is atop the the vehicle, but with out a CSM/LES attached.

Yet other NASA photos depict a full image of a CSM/LES/SLA combined together for pad erection, but it looks to be not the original 101 spacecraft vehicle.

Let me check one of my AS-205 flow charts that I have from Apollo 7's processing flow in 1968 as perhaps it might reveal if such hardware was put in use around July 1968.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-31-2018 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great stuff, Ken. The story behind the two photos in question is a bit of a head-scratcher. There is a higher-resolution version of KSC-68C-3628 (dated June 27) that shows a bit more detail.

The Figure B-2 "Spacecraft checkout history at Kennedy Space Center" chart in the Apollo 7 Mission Report includes testing done at Pad 34. I do not see anything in the chart that would seem to explain the two unusual photos we are discussing.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-02-2018 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The April 25, 1968 issue of "Spaceport News" has an article and photos on page 6 about the AS-205 first and second stages arriving at Pad 34 on April 16. Haven't found any issues with articles about the Apollo 7 spacecraft — yet.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2609
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 02-02-2018 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got a whole set of KSC's Spaceport News and if you can't find any others from June-July-August 1968, let me know and I'll check over some of mine own issues.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-02-2018 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that offer, Ken. Those early issues are a great resource, but not widely available.

A long shot perhaps, but there are two 1968 articles in "Spaceport News" that I thought might contain additional info about the two Apollo 7 pad photos:

  • "Counting down; modifications required prior to launch" on page 8 in the June 6 issue

  • "Preparations for Apollo 7 flight focus on spacecraft checkout" on page 1 in the July 18 issue.

heng44
Member

Posts: 3191
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 02-02-2018 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos from late July 1968 clearly show a dummy spacecraft atop Saturn 205 on Pad 34. The caption reads: "Saturn 205 facility verification vehicle pad 34." Could be boiletplate 30, which was also used for Apollo 8.

Here is a portion of my Apollo 8 chronology (don't have such detailed info for Apollo 7):

  • January 6, 1968
    Boilerplate spacecraft BP-30 delivered to KSC

  • January 9, 1968
    LM Test Article LTA-B delivered to KSC

  • January 19, 1968
    LTA-B mated to Spacecraft/LM Adapted SLA-10

  • January 31, 1968
    Stacking of second stage S-II-503

  • February 1, 1968
    Stacking of third stage S-IVB-503
    Stacking of Instrument Unit S-IU-503

  • February 2, 1968
    Stacking of BP-30 and SLA-10

  • April 28, 1968
    Destacking of Boilerplate 30 and SLA-10
    Destacking of Instrument Unit S-IU-503
    Destacking of third stage S-IVB-503

  • April 29, 1968
    Destacking of second stage S-II-503

  • April 30, 1968
    Second stage S-II-503 loaded on barge for transport to Mississippi Test Facility
    Demating of Boilerplate 30 and SLA-10

  • May 3, 1968
    Boilerplate 30 loaded aboard Super Guppy

moorouge
Member

Posts: 2377
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 02-02-2018 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not going to disagree with you Ed but it's interesting to note that the Field Guide to American Spacecraft records that BP-30 was originally BP-18 and that this was used for structure qualification tests.

Further, a NASA document recording the disposal of Apollo artifacts makes no mention of BP-18 but notes that BP-30 was used for swing arm tests and in March 1975 was transferred to the Fort Worth Museum of Transportation.

On edit - the same document notes that SLA-10 was converted to flight status. This infers, does it not, that at the time of Apollos 7 & 8 that it was just a test article.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-02-2018 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by heng44:
Could be boiletplate 30, which was also used for Apollo 8
There is a photo of the Apollo 8 boilerplate on this thread. The boilerplate does look very similar to what is seen in the more distant view of AS-205 on Pad 34.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-03-2018 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think photo 68-H-595 is another view of SA-205/SLA on Pad 34 without the CSM. Do you have that image, Ed?

heng44
Member

Posts: 3191
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 02-03-2018 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-03-2018 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is the shot I was referring to. Thanks Ed.

The SLA in this view looks more like the one that flew, rather than a dummy. Also, notice that the service structure has been rolled back out of view.

SLA-5 is the one that flew on the Apollo 7 mission.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-05-2018 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding 68-H-595, could the SLA be stacked without the CSM, or was the CSM/SLA stacked and then the CSM later de-stacked for some reason?

sev8n
Member

Posts: 217
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 02-05-2018 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
...transferred to the Fort Worth Museum of Transportation
The FWMoT, also known as the Pate Museum, closed in 2009 or 2010. I did find a couple of pics of the "Apollo Training Capsule" on A Field Guide to American Spacecraft.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-08-2018 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by heng44:
April 28, 1968... Destacking of Boilerplate 30 and SLA-10
NASA SP-4029 has these additional Apollo 8 dates:
  • Saturn S-II stage re-erected ... July 24
  • Saturn S-IVB stage re-erected ... Aug 14
  • instrument unit #503 erected ... Aug 15
  • facility verification vehicle erected ... Aug 16
  • facility verification vehicle de-erected ... Sept 14
  • BP-30 erected for service arm checkout ... Sept 15
  • service arm overall test completed ... Oct 2
  • BP-30 de-erected ... Oct 4
  • CSM-103 moved to VAB ... Oct 7
Perhaps what we are seeing in the second photo is BP-30 stacked on SA-205 for a service arm checkout at Pad 34.

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 1221
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 02-09-2018 02:39 AM     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 LM-12:
...could the SLA be stacked without the CSM
Yes, see Apollo 5.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-15-2018 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found this Apollo 5 photo of the SLA with LM-1 being hoisted on top of Saturn IB 204 at Pad 37B in November 1967.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-18-2018 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was a hypergolic propellant spill at LC-34 in April 1968 when the AS-205 vehicle was stacked on the pad.

From the KSC-2010-045R abstract:

On April 21, 1968 on the mobile Service Structure of Launch Complex 34 (LC-34) at CCAFS there was an N2O4 spill of approximately one to two gallons during a dry-run using the new servicing equipment for the Apollo Service Propulsion System (SPS). A boilerplate Command and Service Module with a non-flight SPS was installed on the Saturn 1B launch vehicle ... The servicing dry-run was being completed in preparation for the scheduled October, 1968 launch of the first manned Apollo Program mission Apollo 7 ...

The N2O4 spill occurred when a vacuum was applied to the Command Module Reaction Control System (RCS) propellant tank prior to the second dry-run servicing test. It was later determined that a quick disconnect (QD) servicing valve had become blocked during the initial dry-run test (proximate cause). When the vacuum pump was brought online for the second dry run, oxidizer was pulled into the pump's oil sump and then subsequently released out of the oil sump tank vent port. Technicians used the standard procedure at the time, which was to dilute the propellant using water. This, unfortunately, resulted in the formation of nitric acid. Approximately 400 gallons of water were used to dilute the N2O4 which ultimately ran down the side of the launch vehicle and into the instrument unit ring ...

The damage to the vehicle was extensive and the delay was several weeks. The cleanup on the ground level of LC-34 took several days. A de-stack was completed to remove the instrument unit ring for repair. Most of the wiring in the instrument unit was removed and cleaned. Four cables were replaced and five connectors were rebuilt. Three of the outside antennas were also replaced along with the Saturn IB fin #4 and liquid oxygen bay three door. The forward skirt was removed from the Saturn IVB segment to allow for access inside the launch vehicle. The primary concern for the vehicle was long term corrosion. The vehicle design organization eventually became comfortable with proceeding to launch following several tests.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-21-2018 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
N2O4 is nitrogen tetroxide. I believe that is the same toxic substance that the ASTP crew was exposed to during their descent to splashdown.

AlanLawrie
Member

Posts: 90
From: hitchin, herts, UK
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 02-21-2018 06:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlanLawrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ASTP N2O4 incident is the second one of 46 hypergolic propellant spills and fires cited in the report you quoted in the previous post.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-21-2018 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 16 rollback to the VAB in January 1972 was because of a command module RCS fuel system leak.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-14-2018 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Caption for the 68-H-595 photo that Ed posted earlier:
The Saturn IB undergoes swing arm tests at Pad 34, Cape Kennedy

heng44
Member

Posts: 3191
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 04-16-2018 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
68-HC-211 April 16, 1968

68-HC-210 April 17, 1968

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-16-2018 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos, Ed. I've never seen that SM/SLA configuration before. Photos are dated a few days before the hypergolic propellant spill at the pad.

I found these captions for photos 211 and 210:

The Apollo spacecraft service module and lunar module adapter for NASA's first manned Apollo flight shown being readied for transporting to Launch Complex 34 and mating with the Saturn IB (205) rocket.

The Apollo spacecraft service module and lunar module adapter shown hoisted for mating to the Saturn 205 launch vehicle at Complex 34, Cape Kennedy.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-16-2018 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That definitely is not SM-101, because SM-101 and CM-101 were delivered to the Cape in May 1968.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-16-2018 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think photo 68-HC-211 is reversed, a mirror image.

heng44
Member

Posts: 3191
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 04-17-2018 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you are right.

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 1221
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-17-2018 01:16 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 LM-12:
That definitely is not SM-101...
The SM is a mockup. There are no RCS thrusters on it.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 2537
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-19-2018 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
the CSM-101 spacecraft was fitted atop the second S-IVB/IU stage on Aug. 9

Both photos S68-42657 (linked earlier) and 68-HC-465 appear to show that stacking, according to the captions.

However, photo S68-42657 is dated August 9 and photo 68-HC-465 is dated August 19. The CSM also looks a bit different in the photos: one appears to have a tarp-like cover, and the other has a plastic cover that is semi-transparent.

spacemal
Member

Posts: 18
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Registered: Aug 2014

posted 05-13-2018 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacemal   Click Here to Email spacemal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Further to LM-12's post of 02-18-18 there is within Jonathan Ward's book "Rocket Ranch," page 220, an excellent first hand account of the spill and the aftermath with some images. The account also states the fact that it occurred when a boilerplate spacecraft was stacked.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2018 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement