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The Apollos That Never Were, Hardware fates and the dynamics of the program
ilbasso
post Jul 27 2008, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Jul 27 2008, 06:58 AM) *
Where did this tidbit come from? Are you saying all these extra bits would add up to 118 metric tons in a booster which when empty weighs 250 tons? I get the feeling an order of a magnitude was missed somewhere.
Anyway, even if it was indeed 118 tons, if it were evenly distributed across the stages it wouldn't have nearly as big an impact on the payload due to the staged configuration of the vehicle. A kilogram added to the first stage has nowhere near as much payload impact as a kilogram on the third stage, yet the first stage is the biggest and likely to have the greatest number of those solder joints.


Interesting point! Hmmm, assume a drop of solder and bit of wire weighs 0.1 gram, times 2.5 million solder joints, that's 0.25 million grams or 250 kilograms. That is a pretty hefty miss in units of measure, isn't it? Even at a gram per solder joint, we're only looking at 2.5 metric tons. Still, that's a lot of extra solder!

I remember having heard that factoid about the solder joints back in the late 60's. I found it again at apollosaturn.com, where it is attributed thus:
These are taken from the Apollo Spacecraft News Reference, provided by Ed Dempsey.

Another fun fact from the same source:
"Here is an analogy pertaining to the benefits of the multistage concept as opposed to the single-stage, brute-force method. If a steam locomotive pulling three coal cars carries all three cars along until all fuel is exhausted, the locomotive could travel 500 miles. By dropping off each car as its coal is expended the locomotive could travel 900 miles. "

To which the children of today reply, "What the heck is a steam locomotive?"


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Jonathan Ward
Manning the LCC at http://www.apollolaunchcontrol.com
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ugordan
post Jul 27 2008, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (ilbasso @ Jul 27 2008, 07:52 PM) *
Even at a gram per solder joint, we're only looking at 2.5 metric tons. Still, that's a lot of extra solder!

Well, it's whole lotta rocket, isn't it!?


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Tesheiner
post Jul 29 2008, 06:30 AM
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Moved posts related to VIP tour @ KSC to a new thread: Apollo 12 pre-launch, Some shots from a VIP tour of KSC, August 1969
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dvandorn
post Aug 3 2008, 03:11 AM
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I've always had a lot of fun (and a fair dose of frustration) pondering just where the Apollo landing sites would have been located had Apollo 13 not aborted and Apollos 15 and 19 not been canceled.

At the time Apollo 13 flew, landing sites for two of the remaining Apollos were relatively well locked in. Apollo 14 was going to a Littrow landing site roughly 40km west of the Apollo 17 Taurus-Littrow site. They would have landed near the edge of the dark mantling that extends out onto the lava floor of Mare Serenitatis, within walking distance of two distinct ground albedos and a wrinkle ridge. Samples from that Littrow site would have pinned down the dark mantling as the admixture of ancient dark (and orange!) volcanic glass from fire fountains into the regolith, and the Taurus-Littrow site would never have come up for later landings.

The other site that had been nailed down was Descartes for Apollo 16. The planners knew they needed the capabilities of a J mission for this site, and while they were still vacillating between two different sites, one just outside of Descartes' wrecked rim (the site that was eventually used) or another closer to the Kant Plateau, the planners had locked this site in for Apollo 16. The Apollo 13 and 14 Hycon cameras were designed to provide stereo coverage for site validation for the two finalists for the Descartes site, and the 13 abort put great pressure on getting acceptable coverage during 14.

So, with those two sites locked in, we are left with another H mission (Apollo 15) and three more J missions (Apollos 17, 18 and 19) for which we need to find landing sites.

Now, Apollo 14 went through a couple of landing site selection cycles, as its launch date changed. When it appeared that Apollo flights would proceed every four months, Apollo 14 was scheduled for a July, 1970 launch. Due to seasonal impacts on lunar trajectories, the Littrow site is not readily available in mid-summer, it becomes impossible to reach the correct orbit within the mass and propellant margins available to Apollo. So, for a July, 1970 mission, Apollo 14 was provisionally assigned a landing site about 500 meters to the west (IIRC) of the crater Censorinus. It's a moderately-fresh large crater (3.8km wide) with a very bright ejecta blanket, southeast of the Sea of tranquility, near the crater Maskelyne.

When Apollo 14 was pushed back to October, 1970 with the spreading out of missions to five-to-eight-month intervals, Littrow became available, and was assigned to Apollo 14.

So, let's assume Apollo 13 did not abort, and, for the sake of future crew selections, that Ken Mattingly was not scrubbed from the flight. In other words, let's take the unnatural drama away... *smile*...

Apollo 14 flies in October, 1970 to Littrow. As I mentioned above, it solves the riddle of the very dark soils seen from Earth and from orbit. Checks off that box, so landing on or near very dark soils becomes far less of a factor in future site considerations.

Since a great deal of work had been done on the Censorinus landing site, and since Censorinus is closer to the equator than Littrow and thus available for greater parts of the year, I've always figured that an H-mission Apollo 15 would perform the Censorinus mission in April or May of 1971. The EVA-2 on such a flight would certainly have returned some impressive pictures, taken from the very rim of a moderately fresh, nearly 4-km-wide crater.

That would lead us to a winter 1971 flight of Apollo 16 to Descartes, which is once again close enough to the equator to be available most all year 'round. This is the one mission that would have likely gone off pretty much as the one we all remember. Young and Duke on the plains of Descartes, albeit with Jack Swigert running the first SIM bay and making the first cislunar EVA.

The thing about this is that, if we're going to carry it out to the full complement of missions, the backup crew for this mission would be the crew for the final lunar landing, Apollo 19. Slayton's original backup crew for 16, when he thought there was a chance at an Apollo 19, was Fred Haise (CDR), Bill Pogue (CMP) and Gerry Carr (LMP). However, Slayton named that crew after Apollo 13 aborted, and Slayton had a rule -- no one got more than one lunar landing.

Slayton's basic rotation was that he considered CMPs to be second-in-command on the crew, trusted to run the CSM solo. They were commanders-in-training. The rotation took a CMP from one flight, made him the backup CDR three flights down the road, and prime CDR three flights later.

So, in Slayton's original rotation, Ken Mattingly would fly as CMP of Apollo 13, be the backup CDR of Apollo 16, and fly as CDR of Apollo 19.

So, it's my belief that had Apollo 13 not aborted, the final Apollo lunar expedition would have been manned by Mattingly-Pogue-Carr.

Back to the last three J missions. I think Hadley was irresistable, and would have been the target for Apollo 17 or Apollo 18. It depends on just how hard Jack Schmitt, who would have been the Apollo 18 LMP on Dick Gordon's crew, would have fought for Hadley over a somewhat less interesting sight like the Marius Hills. Considering the obviously volcanic nature of Marius, I'm pretty certain it would have taken the other spot.

Apollo 17 would have been Cernan-Evans-Engle, and would have been a summer or fall 1972 flight. After Apollo 17, Skylab would have flown. The hiatus would end with the flight of Apollo 18 in the spring of 1974, flown by the Gordon-Brand-Schmitt crew.

So, we have 17 and 18 going to Marius and Hadley, in one order or the other, bracketing the Skylab missions. We're left with 19.

The perennial choice for a climactic J mission was always Alphonsus. But it was *so* perennial that the site selection committee was getting tired of hearing about it. I think the extra J mission SIM bay work might have found some other really fascinating place. For my money, I think landing midway between the Flamsteed Ring and the Surveyor 1 landing site would have provided a great finish for Apollo. Flamsteed is original lunar crust, and the lavas at the Surveyor 1 site have been argued to be some of the youngest on the Moon. A true oldest-to-youngest mission, with the added fun of picking up more pieces of unmanned landers... So, my vote for Apollo 19 is a flight in the winter of 1974 to the Flamsteed-Storms site, flown by Mattingly-Pogue-Carr.

Anyway, that's some of what bounces around in this head of mine. rolleyes.gif

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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gndonald
post Aug 3 2008, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Aug 3 2008, 11:11 AM) *
At the time Apollo 13 flew, landing sites for two of the remaining Apollos were relatively well locked in. Apollo 14 was going to a Littrow landing site roughly 40km west of the Apollo 17 Taurus-Littrow site. They would have landed near the edge of the dark mantling that extends out onto the lava floor of Mare Serenitatis, within walking distance of two distinct ground albedos and a wrinkle ridge. Samples from that Littrow site would have pinned down the dark mantling as the admixture of ancient dark (and orange!) volcanic glass from fire fountains into the regolith, and the Taurus-Littrow site would never have come up for later landings.


It might interest you to know that the pre-Apollo 13 version of the Apollo 14 mission plan is online at the NTRS. According to that NASA planned to make two attempts to reach Littrow, in July (5th) and one in August (3rd), if those attempts failed then the final launch attempt considered on the 9th of August would have been directed to the backup site which was Site 6R, inside the Flamsteed Ring.

I've found evidence this was the backup landing site for Apollo 13 and if I have read the document correctly it would have been recycled as the backup landing site for the H class Apollo 15 mission as well.

It makes you wonder if they had backup sites planned for the J-class missions as well.

See: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._1974072936.pdf (870kb)
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Paul Fjeld
post Aug 4 2008, 12:49 AM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Aug 2 2008, 10:11 PM) *
I've always had a lot of fun (and a fair dose of frustration) pondering just where the Apollo landing sites would have been located had Apollo 13 not aborted and Apollos 15 and 19 not been canceled.

Excellent what-ifs! Especially your site tours. I've actually tried to figure out what the crew rotations would have looked like in the same situation but with Collins not losing his spot on '8 (Aldrin never becomes a LM Pilot) and not retiring (Cernan never gets a command). I don't think the trainers would ever have cleared Cooper to fly.

I'm surprised that McDivitt had it in for Cernan. McDivitt was a hero to the engineering management (Owen Maynard told the assistant mission manager to basically keep a thermometer up McDivitt's backside during the trying times leading up to what became Apollo 9, and if he got too angry about anything to report immediately!). Cernan had a great flight, became Lunney's second on ASTP and has since been one of the best spokesmen for Apollo.
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Paul Fjeld
post Aug 4 2008, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jul 24 2008, 11:39 PM) *
There were three full LMs left over, but one was LM-2 which suffered from so many problems it was pulled from consideration for even unmanned test flight. Of the two flyable LMs left over after Apollo concluded, one was an H-mission LM originally scheduled for Apollo 15, and one was a J-mission LM. Another two LMs, in J-mission configuration, were built; one is confirmed as having been scrapped, while the other's fate seems unknown.

LM-2 was committed to be an unmanned flight after the '67 fire in the Command Module. All manned flight vehicles had to be fire-proofed but the LMs were so far behind they decided not to fire-proof LM-2 in case it was needed if LM-1 failed. It was the only LM that was planned to be either manned or unmanned (until the fire). They abused it in tests after LM-1 was (barely) considered a success, doing power on drop tests in Houston with Haise along for the ride. They mainly wanted to know if the stupid, too skinny wiring would break on worse-case touchdowns!

Actually LM-13 was only built up to the bare structure of the Ascent Stage, no tanks nor most of the rest of it. The Descent Stage was only into its first month of construction when it was stopped in Sept. '70 and, I >think< scrapped. What goes for the LM-13 Descent Stage is an LTA whose ID I am trying to track down. LMs 14 & 15 barely had their faces welded when the stop orders came down for each of them. I really want to know what is at the Franklin Institute. Some Grummanites did both that one and the Cradle of Aviation LM at the same time (I think late '70s) and may have done some mixing and matching with test articles. When LM-13 came back to the Cradle after its HBO duty, the entire outer (fake) stuff was ripped off and new (fake) stuff was built and applied.
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