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Apollo VII

October 11-22, 1968

Apollo 7 spent more man hours in space than all the Soviet space flights combined up to that time.

The Apollo 7 space vehicle, crewed by Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham and commanded by Wally Schirra, was launched from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on Oct. 11, 1968. The spacecraft was placed into an orbit of 227.8 x 283.4 kilometers (123 x 153 nautical miles.)
The Wally, Walt and Donn Show
IMAGE: Apollo 7 Crew

 
Mission Apollo VII
Crew Walter Schirra, Jr.
Donn Eisele
Walt Cunningham
Lift Off Saturn 1B
Oct. 11, 1968
11:02 a.m. EDT
KSC, Florida
Complex 34
Splash-
down
Oct. 22, 1968
7:11 p.m. EDT
Atlantic Ocean
Duration 10 days, 20 hours,
9 minutes

IMAGE: Apollo 40th anniversary

IMAGE: The Apollo 7 Mission

The Apollo 7 space vehicle, crewed by Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham and commanded by Wally Schirra, was launched from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on Oct. 11, 1968. The spacecraft was placed into an orbit of 227.8 x 283.4 kilometers (123 x 153 nautical miles.)

The primary objectives for the Apollo 7 engineering test flight, were simple: "Demonstrate Command/Service Module (CSM) and crew performance; demonstrate crew/space vehicle and mission support facilities performance during a manned Command/Service Module mission; demonstrate Command/Service Module rendezvous capability." For nearly 11 days, the Command Module was run through numerous tests. Almost without exception, spacecraft systems operated as intended. The Command Module's service propulsion system, which would fire the Command Module into and out of Moon orbit, worked perfectly during eight burns lasting from half a second to 67.6 seconds.

The mission lasted 163 orbits with the crew being the first to beam live telecasts from orbit, and giving millions of people worldwide their first view of space.

The vehicle experienced a normal deorbit, entry and landing sequence, coming down in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Bermuda. Apollo's flotation bags had their first tryout when the spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic southeast of Bermuda, less than 2 kilometers from the planned impact point.

Crew Patch
IMAGE: Apollo 7 crew patch

 

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Apollo-7 (23)

Pad 34 (8)
Saturn-1B AS-205 ()
CSM-101 ()
1st Block II CSM
1st Manned CSM mission
1st 3 man American crew
1st Live TV downlink

 

Crew:

Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Commander
Donn F. Eisele, CSM Pilot
R. Walter Cunningham, Lunar Module Pilot

 

Backup Crew:

Thomas Stafford, Commander
John Young, CSM Pilot
Eugene Cernan, Lunar module pilot

 

Milestones:

03/28/68 - S-1 Stage ondock at KSC
03/28/68 - S-1B Stage ondock at KSC
04/07/68 - S-IVB ondock at KSC
04/11/68 - S-IU ondock at KSC
05/11/68 - Launch Vehicle at Pad
08/09/68 - Spacecraft at Pad
09/17/68 - Countdown Demonstration Test
10/11/68 - Launch

 

Payload:

CSM-101

 

Mission Objective:

The primary objectives for the Apollo 7 engineering test flight, were simple: "Demonstrate CSM/crew performance; demonstrate crew/space vehicle/mission support facilities performance during a manned CSM mission; demonstrate CSM rendezvous capability."

 

Launch:

October 11, 1968, 11:02:45am EST. October 11 at Cape Kennedy was hot but the heat was tempered by a pleasant breeze when Apollo 7 lifted off in a two-tongued blaze of orange-colored flame. The Saturn IB, in its first trial with men aboard, provided a perfect launch and its first stage dropped off 2 minutes 25 seconds later. The S-IVB second stage took over, giving astronauts their first ride atop a load of liquid hydrogen, and at 5 minutes 54 seconds into the mission, Walter Schirra, the commander, reported, "She is riding like a dream." About five minutes later an elliptical orbit had been achieved, 140 by 183 miles above the Earth. Launch Weight: xxx,xxx lbs.

 

 

Orbit:

Altitude: 140 x 183 miles
Inclination: xxx degrees
Orbits: 163
Duration: 10 Days, 20 hours, min, seconds
Distance: miles

 

Landing:

The CSM's service propulsion system, which had to fire the CSM into and out of Moon orbit, worked perfectly during eight burns lasting from half a second to 67.6 seconds. Apollo's flotation bags had their first try-out when the spacecraft, a "lousy boat," splashed down in the Atlantic southeast of Bermuda, less than two kilometers from the planned impact point. Landing location was 27deg 32min North and 64deg 04min West. The module turned upside down; when inflated, the brightly colored bags flipped it aright. The tired, but happy, voyagers were picked up by helicopter and deposited on the deck of the U.S.S. Essex by 08:20am EDT. Spacecraft aboard ship at 09:03am.

 

Mission Highlights:

Once Apollo 7 cleared the pad, a three-shift mission control team-led by flight directors Glynn Lunney, Eugene Kranz, and Gerald D. Griffin -- in Houston took over. Schirra, Eisele, and Cunningham inside the command module had listened to the sound of propellants rushing into the firing chambers, had noticed the vehicles swaying slightly, and had felt the vibrations at ignition. Ten and a half minutes after launch, with little bumpiness and low g loads during acceleration, Apollo 7 reached the first stage of its journey, an orbital path 227 by 285 kilometers above the earth.

 

The S-IVB stayed with the CSM for about one and one-half orbits, then separated. Schirra fired the CSM's small rockets to pull 50 feet ahead of the S-IVB, then turned the spacecraft around to simulate docking, as would be necessary to extract an LM for a Moon landing. Next day, when the CSM and the S-IVB were about 80 miles apart, Schirra and his mates sought out the lifeless, tumbling 59-foot craft in a rendezvous simulation and approached within 70 feet.

 

Walter Cunningham reported the spacecraft-lunar module adapter panels had not fully deployed- which naturally reminded Stafford, on the capsule communicator (CapCom) console, of the "angry alligator" target vehicle he had encountered on his Gemini IX mission. This mishap would have been embarrassing on a mission that carried a lunar module. but the panels would be jettisoned explosively on future flights.

 

After this problem, service module engine performance was a joy. This was one area where the crew could not switch to a redundant or backup system; at crucial times during a lunar voyage, the engine simply had to work or they would not get back home. On Apollo 7, there were eight nearly perfect firings out of eight attempts. On the first, the crew had a real surprise. In contrast to the smooth liftoff of the Saturn, the blast from the service module engine jolted the astronauts, causing Schirra to yell "Yabadabadoo" like Fred Flintstone in the contemporary video cartoon. Later, Eisele said, "We didn't quite know what to expect, but we got more than we expected." He added more graphically that it was a real boot in the rear that just plastered them into their seats. But the engine did what it was supposed to do each time it fired.

 

The Apollo vehicle and the CSM performed superbly. Durability was shown for 10.8 days - longer than a journey to the Moon and back. With few exceptions, the other systems in the spacecraft operated as they should. Occasionally, one of the three fuel cells supplying electricity to the craft developed some unwanted high temperatures, but load-sharing hookups among the cells prevented any power shortage. The crew complained about noisy fans in the environmental circuits and turned one of them off. That did not help much, so the men switched off the other. The cabin stayed comfortable, although the coolant lines sweated and water collected in little puddles on the deck, which the crew expected after the Kerwin team's test in the altitude chamber. Schirra's crew vacuumed the excess water out into space with the urine dump hose.

A momentary shudder went through Mission Control when both AC buses dropped out of the spacecraft's electrical system, coincident with automatic cycles of the cryogenic oxygen tank fans and heaters; but manual resetting of the AC bus breakers restored normal service.

 

Three of the five spacecraft windows fogged because of improperly cured sealant compound (a condition that could not be fixed until Apollo 9). Visibility from the spacecraft windows ranged from poor to good, during the mission. Shortly after the launch escape tower jettisoned, two of the windows had soot deposits and two others had water condensation. Two days later, however, Cunningham reported that most of the windows were in fairly good shape, although moisture was collecting between the inner panes of one window. On the seventh day, Schirra described essentially the same conditions.

 

Even with these impediments, the windows were adequate. Those used for observations during rendezvous and stationkeeping with the S-IVB remained almost clear. Navigational sighting with a telescope and a sextant on any of the 37 preselected "Apollo" stars was difficult if done too soon after a waste-water dump. Sometimes they had to wait several minutes for the frozen particles to disperse. Eisele reported that unless he could see at least 40 or 50 stars at a time he found it hard to decide what part of the sky he was looking toward. On the whole, however, the windows were satisfactory for general and landmark observations and for out-the-window photography.

 

Most components supported the operations and well-being of the spacecraft and crew as planned, in spite of minor irritations like smudging windows and puddling water. For example, the waste management system for collecting solid body wastes was adequate, though annoying. The defecation bags, containing a germicide to prevent bacteria and gas formation, were easily sealed and stored in empty food containers in the equipment bay. But the bags were certainly not convenient and there were usually unpleasant odors. Each time they were used, it took the crew member from 45 to 60 minutes, causing him to postpone it as long as possible, waiting for a time when there was no work to do. The crew had a total of only 12 defecations over a period of nearly 11 days. Urination was much easier, as the crew did not have to remove clothing. There was a collection service for both the pressure suits and the inflight coveralls. Both devices could be attached to the urine dump hose and emptied into space. They had half expected the hose valve to freeze up in vacuum, but it never did.

 

Chargers for the batteries needed for reentry (after fuel cells departed with the SM) returned 50 to 75 percent less energy than expected. Most serious was the overheating of fuel cells, which might have failed when the spacecraft was too far from Earth to return on batteries, even if fully charged. But each of these anomalies was satisfactorily checked out before Apollo 8 flew.

 

Some of the crew's grumpiness during the mission could be attributed to physical discomfort. About 15 hours into the flight, Schirra developed a bad cold, and Cunningham and Eisele soon followed suit. A cold is uncomfortable enough on the ground; in weightless space it presents a different problem. Mucus accumulates, filling the nasal passages, and does not drain from the head. The only relief is to blow hard, which is painful to the ear drums. So the crewmen of Apollo 7 whirled through space suffering from stopped up ears and noses. They took aspirin and decongestant tablets and discussed their symptoms with the doctors.

 

Several days before the mission ended, they began to worry about wearing their suit helmets during reentry. which would prevent them from blowing their noses. The buildup of pressure might burst their eardrums. Slayton, in mission control, tried to persuade them to wear the helmets, anyway, but Schirra was adamant. They each took a decongestant pill about an hour before reentry and made it through the acceleration zone without any problems with their ears.

 

Apollo 7 accomplished what it set out to do- qualifying the command and service module and clearing the way for the proposed lunar-orbit mission to follow. And its activities were of national interest. A special edition of NASA's news clipping collection called "Current News" included front page stories from 32 major newspapers scattered over the length and breadth of the nation. Although the postmission celebrations may not have rivaled those for the first orbital flight of an American, John Glenn in 1962, enthusiasm was high- and this fervor would build to even greater heights each time the lunar landing goal drew one step closer.

 

In retrospect it seems inconceivable, but serious debate ensued in NASA councils on whether television should be broadcast from Apollo missions, and the decision to carry the little 4 1/2- pound camera was not made until just before this October flight. Although these early pictures were crude, I think it was informative for the public to see astronauts floating weightlessly in their roomy spacecraft, snatching floating objects, and eating the first hot food consumed in space. Like the television pictures, the food improved in later missions.

 

Apollo 7's achievement led to a rapid review of Apollo 8's options. The Apollo 7 astronauts went through six days of debriefing for the benefit of Apollo 8, and on October 28 the Manned Space Flight Management Council chaired by Mueller met at MSC, investigating every phase of the forthcoming mission. Next day came a lengthy systems review of Apollo 8's Spacecraft 103. Paine made the go/no-go review of lunar orbit on November 11 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. By this time nearly all the skeptics had become converts.

Click Here for more information about Apollo-7

 

The Apollo program was an American spaceflight endeavor that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon.

Apollo Program

Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt on December 13, 1972, during the Apollo 17mission, the last human lunar landing to date

November 7, 1962 - July 13, 1974

The Apollo program was an American spaceflight endeavor that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and conducted by NASA, Apollo began in earnest after President John F. Kennedy's May 25, 1961 special address to a joint session of Congress declaring a national goal of "landing a man on the Moon" by the end of the decade.

This goal was accomplished with the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969 when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit. Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six Apollo spaceflights, twelve men walked on the Moon. These are the only times humans have landed on another celestial body.[3]
The Apollo program ran from 1961 until 1975, and was the US civilian space agency's third human spaceflight program (following Mercury and Gemini). Apollo used Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicles, which were later used for the Skylab program and the joint American-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. These subsequent programs are thus often considered part of the Apollo program.

The program was accomplished with only two major setbacks. The first was the Apollo 1 launch pad fire that resulted in the deaths of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. The second was an oxygen tank rupture on Apollo 13 during the moonward phase of its journey, which disabled the command spacecraft. The three astronauts aboard narrowly escaped with their lives, thanks to the efforts of flight controllers, project engineers, backup crew members and the skills of the astronauts.

Apollo set major milestones in human spaceflight. It stands alone in sending manned missions beyond low Earth orbit; Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to orbit another celestial body, while Apollo 17 marked the last moonwalk and the last manned mission beyond low Earth orbit. The program spurred advances in many areas of technology incidental to rocketry and manned spaceflight, including avionics, telecommunications, and computers. Apollo sparked interest in many fields of engineering and left many physical facilities and machines developed for the program as landmarks. Many objects and artifacts from the program are on display at locations throughout the world, notably in the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museums.

- Wikipedia 4-10-2010.

Wikipedia Summary of missions

U.S. Mission Booster Crew Launched Mission Goal Mission Result
AS-201 Saturn 1B Unmanned February 26, 1966 Suborbital Partial Success - Unmanned suborbital flight was the first test flight of Saturn 1B and of the Apollo Command and Service Modules; problems included a fault in the electrical power system and a 30 percent decrease in pressure to the service module engine 80 seconds after firing.
AS-203 Saturn 1B Unmanned July 5, 1966 Earth orbit Success - fuel tank behavior test and booster certification - informally proposed later as Apollo 2, this name was never approved.
AS-202 Saturn 1B Unmanned August 25, 1966 Suborbital Success - command module reentry test successful, even though reentry was very uncontrolled. Informally proposed as Apollo 3, this name was never approved.
AS-204 (Apollo 1) Saturn 1B Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward White, Roger B. Chaffee (Launch cancelled) Earth orbit Failure - never launched: command module destroyed and three astronauts killed on 27 January 1967 by fire in the module during a test exercise - Retroactively, the mission's name was officially changed to "Apollo 1" after the fire. Although it was scheduled to be the fourth Apollo mission (and despite the fact that NASA planned to call the mission AS-204), the flight patch worn by the three astronauts, which was approved by NASA in June 1966, already referred to the mission as "Apollo 1"
Apollo 4 Saturn V Unmanned November 9, 1967 Earth orbit Success - first test of new booster and all elements together (except lunar module), successful reentry of command module
Apollo 5 Saturn 1B Unmanned January 22, 1968 Earth orbit Success - first flight of lunar module (LM); multiple space tests of LM, no command or service module flown; no controlled reentry. Used the Saturn 1B originally slated for the cancelled manned AS-204 ("Apollo 1") mission
Apollo 6 Saturn V Unmanned April 4, 1968 Earth orbit Partial success - severe oscillations during orbital insertion, several engines failing during flight, successful reentry of command module (though mission parameters for a 'worst case' reentry scenario could not be achieved)
Apollo 7 Saturn 1B Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham October 11, 1968 Earth orbit Success - eleven-day manned Earth orbit, command module testing (no lunar module), some minor crew and illness issues (all three men caught the same head-cold and reported stress).
Apollo 8 Saturn V Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William A. Anders December 21, 1968 Lunar orbit Success - ambitious mission profile (changed relatively shortly before launch), first human lunar orbit (no lunar module), first earthrise seen by men and major publicity success, some minor sleeping and illness issues
Apollo 9 Saturn V James McDivitt, David Scott, Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart March 3, 1969 Earth orbit Success - ten-day manned Earth orbit, with EVA and successful manned flight / docking of lunar module
Apollo 10 Saturn V Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, Eugene Cernan May 18, 1969 Lunar orbit Success - second manned lunar flight; first test of lunar module in lunar orbit; "dress rehearsal" for first landing, coming to 8.4 nautical miles (15.6 km) to the Moon's surface
Apollo 11 Saturn V Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin July 16, 1969 Lunar landing Success - first manned landing on the Moon (manual landing required), exploration on foot in direct vicinity of landing site; one EVA
Apollo 12 Saturn V Charles "Pete" Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean November 14, 1969 Lunar landing Success - mission almost aborted after lightning struck at launch with brief loss of fuel cells and telemetry; successful landing within walking distance (less than 200 meters) of the Surveyor 3 probe; two EVAs
Apollo 13 Saturn V Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, Fred Haise April 11, 1970 Lunar landing Partial Failure [30] - early shutdown of inboard S-II engine; unrelated oxygen tank rupture in service module during Earth-Moon transition caused mission to be aborted - crew took temporary refuge in the lunar module and returned safely to Earth after a single pass around the Moon.
Apollo 14 Saturn V Alan B. Shepard, Stuart Roosa, Edgar Mitchell January 31, 1971 Lunar landing Success - docking problems, abort switch contamination and delayed landing radar acquisition all threatened landing; first color video images from the Moon; first materials science experiments in space; two EVAs
Apollo 15 Saturn V David Scott, Alfred Worden, James Irwin July 26, 1971 Lunar landing Success - first longer (3 days) stay on Moon, first use of lunar rover to travel total of 17.25 miles (27.76 km), more extensive geology investigations; 1 lunar "standup" EVA, 3 lunar surface EVAs plus deep space EVA
Apollo 16 Saturn V John W. Young, Ken Mattingly, Charles Duke April 16, 1972 Lunar landing Success - malfunction in a backup yaw gimbal servo loop almost aborted landing (and reduced stay duration in lunar orbit by one day for safety reasons); only mission to target lunar highlands; malfunction prevented controlled ascent stage impact after jettison; 3 lunar EVAs plus deep space EVA
Apollo 17 Saturn V Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt December 7, 1972 Lunar landing Success - last manned landing on the Moon, only mission with a scientist (geologist) on board; this is also the latest manned moon landing and manned flight beyond low Earth orbit; 3 lunar EVAs plus deep space EVA

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