Author: Thomas J. Kelly
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
Release Date: 2012-01-11
Chief engineer Thomas J. Kelly gives a firsthand account of designing, building, testing, and flying the Apollo lunar module. It was, he writes, “an aerospace engineer’s dream job of the century.” Kelly’s account begins with the imaginative process of sketching solutions to a host of technical challenges with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and maintainability. He catalogs numerous test failures, including propulsion-system leaks, ascent-engine instability, stress corrosion of the aluminum alloy parts, and battery problems, as well as their fixes under the ever-present constraints of budget and schedule. He also recaptures the exhilaration of hearing Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong report that “The Eagle has landed,” and the pride of having inadvertently provided a vital “lifeboat” for the crew of the disabled Apollo 13. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Thomas J. Kelly
Release Date: 2009-10-01
Genre: Technology & Engineering
This is a first hand account of designing, building, testing and flying the first Apollo lunar module by the engineer on the project, Thomas Kelly. This is the story of his "aerospace engineer's dream job" and how his efforts--plus 7,000 other workers--created the most important component of the first manned spacecraft. 15 photos.
Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2011-09-30
Genre: Technology & Engineering
As Apollo 11's Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer's software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control from the computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts' desire to control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From the early days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to be more than "spam in a can" despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and software developed by engineers.Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA's extensive archives. Mindell's exploration of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight -- a lunar landing -- traces and reframes the debate over the future of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in which human roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or the future of exploration.
In 1961, after the United States had acquired a total of fifteen minutes of spaceflight experience, President John F. Kennedy announced his plans for landing a man on the moon by 1970. The space race had begun. In 1962, after a strenuous competition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation of Bethpage, Long Island, had won the contract to build the lunar module-the spacecraft that would take Americans to the moon. This was the first, and the only, vehicle designed to take humans from one world to another. Although much has been written about the first men to set foot on the moon, those first hesitant steps would not have been possible without the efforts of the designers and technicians assigned to Project Apollo. Building Moonships: The Grumman Lunar Module tells the story of the people who built and tested the lunar modules that were deployed on missions as well as the modules that never saw the light of day. This is the first publication to chronicle the visual history of the design, construction, and launch of the lunar module-one of the most historic machines in all of human history.
Designed by Grumman's brilliant Tom Kelly, the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (or "LEM" for short) was a triumph of purpose-built engineering. In the six years 1962-1968 between drawing board and first flight, a myriad of challenges were overcome related to weight, reliability and safety. The final design, designated the Lunar Module or "LM," boasted tiny windows instead of large portholes, four legs instead of five and most famously had no seats instead relying on the astronauts' legs to cushion a lunar landing. Ten LMs made it into space including three flown in development and test missions, and six which landed on the Moon. A seventh famously saved the crew of Apollo 13 when that mission's Command Module suffered a catastrophic malfunction. Originally created for NASA by Grumman in 1964, this LEM Familiarization Manual provides an operational description of all subsystems and major components of the lunar lander. It includes sections about the LEM mission, spacecraft structure, operational subsystems, prelaunch operations, and ground support equipment."
Author: W. David Woods
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2011-08-08
Stung by the pioneering space successes of the Soviet Union - in particular, Gagarin being the first man in space, the United States gathered the best of its engineers and set itself the goal of reaching the Moon within a decade. In an expanding 2nd edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, David Woods tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, he hitches a ride in the incredible spaceships that took men to another world, exploring each step of the journey and detailing the enormous range of disciplines, techniques, and procedures the Apollo crews had to master. While describing the tremendous technological accomplishment involved, he adds the human dimension by calling on the testimony of the people who were there at the time. He provides a wealth of fascinating and accessible material: the role of the powerful Saturn V, the reasoning behind trajectories, the day-to-day concerns of human and spacecraft health between two worlds, the exploration of the lunar surface and the sheer daring involved in traveling to the Moon and the mid-twentieth century. Given the tremendous success of the original edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, the second edition will have a new chapter on surface activities, inspired by reader's comment on Amazon.com. There will also be additional detail in the existing chapters to incorporate all the feedback from the original edition, and will include larger illustrations.
Author: Courtney G. Brooks
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Release Date: 2012-05-14
This illustrated history by a trio of experts is the definitive reference on the Apollo spacecraft and lunar modules. It traces the vehicles' design, development, and operation in space. More than 100 photographs and illustrations.
Originally created for NASA in 1969 by prime contractor Grumman, this Lunar Module Vehicle Familiarization Manual was mandatory reading for Apollo astronauts, contractors and NASA support staff. This version of the manual describes the so-called ELM, or Extended Lunar Modules designed for the "J"class missions Apollo 15-17 and the never-flown Apollo 18 and 19. The ELM came about as part of NASA's efforts to enhance the scientific study of the Moon and its geology. To do that, longer surface stays would be needed. To make it possible, LM 10 to LM 14 received various modifications intended to increase their payloads, and allow them to return larger samples to Earth. Over forty major changes were planned, including enlarging the fuel and oxidizer tanks on both the ascent and descent stages, extension of the descent engine nozzle to improve its efficiency and allow it to deliver more power, and added capacity of oxygen and water. Some changes, such as adding solar cells and affiliated batteries to allow surface stays of up to 72 hours, proved too difficult given the program's schedule. In the end, the maximum duration of stays on the Moon would be limited to 54 hours. The extended LM weighed up to 36,500 pounds compared to 32,000 for earlier versions. The ELM's larger payload capacity enabled it to carry the 463 pound (mass) Lunar Roving Vehicle and other scientific equipment. The LRV greatly enhanced the astronauts' range and ability to retrieve samples. It's never been easy to find a copy of this text because copies were never made available to the general public -- until now. This reprint features all the original text and diagrams. It's a wonderful reference for the space flight fan, docent or engineering buff or for anyone else who ever wondered, "How'd they do that!"
Author: David Michael Harland
Publisher: Collectors Guide Pub
Release Date: 2004
NASA learned to fly in space in a time when the agency was young and lean, and had an explicit mandate of staggering audacity set against a tight deadline; in a time when the agency readily accepted risk, and made momentous decisions 'on the run'; in a time when a rendezvous was a major objective of a mission, in a time when opening the hatch and venturing outside was a serious challenge. Apollo claimed the glory, but it was Gemini that 'stretched the envelope' of spaceflight to make going to the Moon feasible. As Dr Robert Gilruth, director of the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, observed: "In order to go to the Moon, we had to learn how to operate in space. We had to learn how to manoeuvre with precision to rendezvous and to dock; to work outside in the hard vacuum of space; to endure long-duration in the weightless environment; and to learn how to make precise landings from orbital flight -- that is where the Gemini Program came in."
Author: Gerard Degroot
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2006-11-01
A selection of the History, Scientific American, and Quality Paperback Book Clubs For a very brief moment during the 1960s, America was moonstruck. Boys dreamt of being an astronaut; girls dreamed of marrying one. Americans drank Tang, bought “space pens” that wrote upside down, wore clothes made of space age Mylar, and took imaginary rockets to the moon from theme parks scattered around the country. But despite the best efforts of a generation of scientists, the almost foolhardy heroics of the astronauts, and 35 billion dollars, the moon turned out to be a place of “magnificent desolation,” to use Buzz Aldrin’s words: a sterile rock of no purpose to anyone. In Dark Side of the Moon, Gerard J. DeGroot reveals how NASA cashed in on the Americans’ thirst for heroes in an age of discontent and became obsessed with putting men in space. The moon mission was sold as a race which America could not afford to lose. Landing on the moon, it was argued, would be good for the economy, for politics, and for the soul. It could even win the Cold War. The great tragedy is that so much effort and expense was devoted to a small step that did virtually nothing for mankind. Drawing on meticulous archival research, DeGroot cuts through the myths constructed by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations and sustained by NASA ever since. He finds a gang of cynics, demagogues, scheming politicians, and corporations who amassed enormous power and profits by exploiting the fear of what the Russians might do in space. Exposing the truth behind one of the most revered fictions of American history, Dark Side of the Moon explains why the American space program has been caught in a state of purposeless wandering ever since Neil Armstrong descended from Apollo 11 and stepped onto the moon. The effort devoted to the space program was indeed magnificent and its cultural impact was profound, but the purpose of the program was as desolate and dry as lunar dust.