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Author Topic: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again  (Read 12212 times)

Offline zorgon

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Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« on: July 23, 2012, 12:30:05 AM »
Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again



Who is Steve Jurvetson? Well I will put his biography below. But how we came in contact is rather interesting. Back at ATS someone 'leaked' me a couple of photographs of some reels of tape in an abandoned McDonalds with a pirate flag in the window. :o

Its a long story and was a lot of fun, especially watching the usual skeptics pounce on the thread calling BS, only to have them crawl back under a rock when it was discovered it was for real. Only ONE of them ever came back and apologized for being wrong :D

The whole affair escalated very quickly and actually led me to many other inside contacts, so all in all it was a good deal, even if Dennis Wingo got a little nervous that a hoard of nut cases was about to descend on the Mcdonald's :P

The story was dubbed McMoon  and the entire episode is reposted here, minus the trolls :D

"Missing" Lunar Orbiter Tapes Found In an Abandoned McDonalds

The photographer who took those pictures was Steve Jurvetson

So today Lunica, a long time friend from ATS sent me the latest from Steve, via another friend of his.  You will see those below... some nostalgia from the days of Apollo.

Steve is a wild and crazy guy... I have invited him to stop by... and this is a nudge to me to write Dr X and get his butt over here too... It's been too long since I wrote him  :-[

Biography of Steve Jurvetson

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Steve Jurvetson is a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a leading venture capital firm with affiliate offices around the world.  He was the founding VC investor in Hotmail (MSFT), Interwoven (IWOV), Kana (KANA), and NeoPhotonics (NPTN)?. He also led the firm's investments in other companies which were then acquired for $12 billion in aggregate.  Current Board positions include SpaceX, Synthetic Genomics, and Tesla Motors (TSLA).  Previously, Steve was an R&D Engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where seven of his communications chip designs were fabricated. His prior technical experience also includes programming, materials science research (TEM atomic imaging of GaAs), and computer design at HP's PC Division, the Center for Materials Research, and Mostek. He has also worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT Software. As a Consultant with Bain & Company, Steve developed executive marketing, sales, engineering and business strategies for a wide range of companies in the software, networking and semiconductor industries.  At Stanford University, he finished his BSEE in 2.5 years and graduated #1 in his class, as the Henry Ford Scholar.  Steve also holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. He received his MBA from the Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.  He also serves on the Advisory Boards of SRI International, STVP, and the Stanford Engineering Venture Fund and is Co-Chair of the NanoBusiness Alliance.  He was honored as "The Valley's Sharpest VC" on the cover of Business 2.0 and chosen by the SF Chronicle and SF Examiner as one of "the ten people expected to have the greatest impact on the Bay Area in the early part of the 21st Century."  He was profiled in the New York Times Magazine and featured on the covers of Worth, Red Herring, and Fortune magazines.  Steve was chosen by Forbes as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors", by the VC Journal as one of the "Ten Most Influential VCs", and by Fortune as part of their "Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds."   In 2005, Steve was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Distinguished Alumnus by St. Mark's, where he was the 2010

Steve Jurvetson
Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Managing Director


Steve has kindly licensed the following images on his Flickr account under a Creative Commons License for all to share..

Enjoy


« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 02:33:54 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 12:30:15 AM »
How the Eagle Landed — the Grumman Construction Log


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On July 20, 1969, Eagle landed on the moon. These are the handwritten notes from the Grumman engineers as they pushed to complete Lunar Module LM-5 in 1968. On the last page, they learn than this particular Lunar Module would be the one to bring the first humans to the moon.

The Grumman Engineering Log served not only as an engineering notebook but also as an intercom between the day and night shift – separate teams that needed to push the ball forward from where the other left off. So we are offered a rare peek into the concerns, uncertainties and conversations that might have otherwise been quietly undocumented .

This log has informed the writing of Pellegrino’s book Chariots for Apollo, but only a few scholars have had access to these pages to date. Heritage reported that this original document is the only one in existence, with no copy on file anywhere. So I thought it would be good to make a color scan of the entire book, and make it available to all. So, here is the PDF file (8MB).

My hope is that we can collectively decode some of its mysteries, or better yet, find some of the engineers to see if it jogs their memories. There is a list of all of the engineers on p.2. We only have first initial and last names. So any insights to the full names or their whereabouts would be appreciated.

I am also hoping that space historians who come across interesting passages can share what they know in the comments below (with reference to date or page number). Are any of the part numbers significant, especially those swapped between the Apollo 9,11,12 and 13 Lunar Modules? I will also add a glossary of acronyms below as we decode them. Also, if anyone can OCR the hybrid handwriting, please do. Our attempts with free OCR tools have failed so far.

The Log documents a surprisingly high number of electrical problems. For example, in the sample pages I photographed above they are troubleshooting charred wires (10/17/68) and tripping circuit breakers (CB) just seven months before launch (12/11/68). Ross Fleisig summarizes: the Lunar Module was a completely battery-operated machine, built during a time in which battery technology and sensing equipment were "a black art." (the first Apollo fuel cell, with comments on power source development)

False alerts from the ship's Master Alarm are noted throughout the Log (e.g., 6/18/68). This is the very same Master Alarm that sounded throughout the first lunar landing, almost causing a mission abort.

There are also personal notes of exhaustion. When I analyzed the work schedule on a 1968 calendar, they generally maintained a pace of working Monday through Saturday. They did get a reprieve for the July 4 weekend, but then worked seven days a week from July 8 until July 27. While such pushes are not unusual, they did so while rotating through day and night shifts on a weekly basis!

No wonder Hecht makes several personal comments, arising from lack of days off and even lack of meals, as a docking light hook-up error is discovered (8/5-7/68): “Techs & QC had no breaks nor breakfast” after “docking light wires in plastic bag warm” from a hookup error to the AC instead of DC terminal posts.

Some other interesting entries:
6/6/68: floor plates in crew cabin are borrowed from LM-3 (Apollo 9) and other parts on 6/25/68.
7/16/68: exactly one year before the launch of Apollo 11, testing delayed by power outages from the Long Island utility.
7/20–26/68: modifications improving efficiency of battery use will prove critical to the safe voyage of a LM-7 (Apollo 13), simultaneously under construction.
10/17/68 “to unlatch the meter and restore the AC output, the meter relay reset button should be pressed. The GPS man had accomplished this same result by banging the panel, assuming it was a sticky needle” (the Fonz!)
10/18/68: Landing radar connector problems, current surges and popped circuit breakers
10/22/68: “power was lost . CRT’s, etc., went blank. Docking hatch switch is taped in the depressed position. The tape just fell off.”
“Observer said that the floodlights flickered in unison with the RCS jets firing. NASA was not too concerned about this”
10/23-24/68 landing radar tests
11/6/68 “dim DSKY lights are probably a DSKY problem and require action w MIT”, final radar and comm tests before shipping LM-5 to Cape. The DSKY is the keyboard and screen user interface to the Apollo Guidance Computer.
11/11/68: reversed labeling of LM-5's internal jumper cables
11/13/68 Hecht asks for max of 8 hrs on Fri and Sat
11/15/68 “any time the inverter frequency drifts ± 2 Hz we may get a master alarm and an inverter caution.”
11/30/68 COAS test (the optical sighting tool that allied the ascending lunar module to dock with the orbiting CSM)
11/20/68 Phase III Reliability Report: "Reportable failures have gone down from LM-3, to LM-4, to LM-5 (205 to 74 to 57)... Significantly improved vehicle”
Bob Gilruth (NASA Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center): “some tough technical problems left, but thinks they will be solved”

George Low (Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office): “this is very likely to be the LM to land on the moon - it should be."

The engineers added a huge exclamation point next to that note.

P.S. other Apollo 11 artifacts. Happy Anniversary!



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Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 12:56:10 AM »
Still Buzzing


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Still Buzzing

My Dad and I just had a magical dinner with Buzz Aldrin. He is just remarkable, and full of ideas (e.g., 60-person orbital rocket rides).

The XPrize Executive Summit is a prelude to the XPrizeCup tomorrow. Both are in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which I tried to mark on the large globe.

And, no, he was not aware of Neil Armstrong’s concerns about Apollo 11.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/274348941
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:57:34 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 12:57:25 AM »
Walking on the Moon


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Walking on the Moon

Tang is a farce. That was the first thing Neil Armstrong told me last night. “We did not use it on the Apollo missions.”

I asked him, of all of the systems and stages of the mission, which did he worry about the most? (the frequently failing autopilot? the reliance on a global network of astronomers to spot solar flares in time to get the warning out? the onboard computers being less powerful than a Furby?....)

He gave a detailed answer about the hypergolic fuel mixing system for the lunar module. Rather than an ignition system, they had two substances that would ignite upon contact. Instead of an electric pump, he wished he had a big simple lever to mechanically initiate mixing.

That seemed a bit odd to me at first. So, I asked if he gave that answer because it really was the most likely point of failure, or because it symbolizes a vivid nightmare – having completed the moon mission, pushing the button... and the engines just wont start.

He responded that he had dreams about that for two years prior to the launch.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8214990/
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:53:05 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 01:10:57 AM »


Carr’s Phase III Reliability Report, at the back: and Grumman cover, signed by Buzz Aldrin.

7/22/68 COAS simulator and other equipment borrowed from LM-5 for LM-4.


Also “Question has come up – will batteries be used for LM 5 – 61018?”


7/24/68 “Discovered that Panel 8 explosive devices Stage Sep Relays Sys A & Sys B were on.” And then during the day shift “Event Lites went haywire”


8/9/68: do NOT energize circuit breakers for RCS (Reaction Control System Engines) after voltmeter failures and bent pins


10/17/68: Temp data on secondary coolant loop, because primary loop will shut down during switchover to ascent stage power.

Quote
Picking up the timeline from the LM-5 selection by Low and Gilruth...
12/2/68 amp hours subprogram: “CRT amp hrs inaccurate. Manually integrated Batt currents for amp-hrs.”
12/4/68 “A 5am telecom from NASA QC (Bob Wanamaker) was made to Al Jowid at home. Al Jowid wants to quash any further X-Lunar isolation testing.”
12/8/68 “no power can be applied to the vehicle because of water glycol spillage on two cables in the aft equipment bay area.”
12/8/68: A. Hecht references replication of electrical tests and procedures modified for LM-5 on LM-6 (Apollo 12) and LM-7 (Apollo 13).
1/9/69 LM-5 is shipped to KSC at Cape Canaveral

And as Neil Armstrong recently revealed in a rare interview:
"A month before the launch of Apollo 11, we decided we were confident enough we could try and attempt on a descent to the surface. I thought we had a 90% chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a 50-50 chance of making a landing on that first attempt. There are so many unknowns on that descent from lunar orbit down to the surface that had not been demonstrated yet by testing and there was a big chance that there was something in there we didn't understand properly and we had to abort and come back to Earth without landing."

ACRONYMS: (the first four are used throughout)
EPS: Electrical Power System
CB: Circuit Breaker
TDR: Test Discrepancy Report, generated as a result of deviation in procedures or findings from the TPS.
TPS: Test Preparation Sheet

GSE: Ground Support Equipment. Would not fly on mission.
LM-3: Apollo 9 Lunar Module
LM-4: Apollo 10 Lunar Module
LM-6: Apollo 12 Lunar Module
LM-7: Apollo 13 Lunar Module

And thanks to spaceaholic for:
SMP: Standard Manufacturing Procedure
-- SMP 3914: evaluation of the Descent electrical power system

OCP: Operational Checkout Procedure
-- OCP 36015: PCMTEA (Pulse Code Modulation Timing Electronics Assembly)

Turn on and Verification
-- OCP 35627: Data Channel Verification
-- OCP 70010: OCP Support Checklist

EPS: Electrical Power System
-- 62000 EPS refers to a Pre-FEAT (Final Engineering Acceptance Test) on the electrical power system

Apollo LM part numbers start with LDW
-- LDW410-81070 is a GSE Power Transformer

Full Names:
-- Ed Dowse. His son Jimmy is informed of Sunday schedule (8/16/68)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/7610058658/

Neil Armstrong breaks his silence to give accountants moon exclusive
Notoriously reclusive Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong gives video interview to Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia


How the Eagle Landed — the Grumman Construction Log



« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 03:13:06 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 01:11:43 AM »
Apollo Fuel Cell Number 1


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Apollo Fuel Cell Number 1

Sustaining life on a spacefaring mission presents intense cleantech challenges in efficiency and reuse.

One interesting technology development that started in the Gemini program, with an eye to the needs of the Apollo spacecraft, was the electric fuel cell. This is a vintage Apollo Fuel Cell Power Plant.

The Apollo spacecraft used liquid hydrogen and oxygen for primary power, air, cooling, and water. (The hydrogen and oxygen could have also been used for propulsion in a more parsimonious design.)

The three fuel cell power plants in the Service Module combined hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity onboard. The waste stream of the fuel cell is pure water, which was used for consumption by the crew.

On the inside are 31 individual fuel cells, connected in series, which operate at 27 to 31 volts. Normal power output is 563 to 1420 watts, with a maximum of 2300 watts. Primary construction materials are titanium, stainless steel, and nickel.

This particular fuel cell is Serial Number 1 and was for the simulator. It is identical to the flight unit, but with additional simulator functionality and interfaces.

It is the perfect complement to the Command Module instrument panel that I posted earlier with annotated controls and displays for the fuel cells and related Apollo 13 drama.

I’ll post additional photos and diagrams of this fuel cell below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/6278224744/


With Electrical and LOX/LOH Connectors at the bottom - by jurvetson


Manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Corp under subcontract for North American Aviation - by jurvetson


Overview - by jurvetson


Details - by jurvetson






Reactant Preheaters - by jurvetson


Apollo Fuel Cell Power Plants installed in Command Service Module Bay Sector 4 - by jurvetson

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Technical Details from Spaceaholic:
Each of the assemblies measures 44 inches high, 22 inches in diameter, and weighs 245 pounds; and were designed for installation in Sector (Bay) 4 of the SM. Primarily constructed of titanium, stainless steel, and nickel, the Fuel Cells are rated at 27 to 31 volts under normal loads. There are 31 separate cells in a stack, each producing 1 volt, with potassium hydroxide and water as electrolyte. Each cell consists of a hydrogen and an oxygen electrode, a hydrogen and an oxygen gas compartment and the electrolyte. Each gas reacts independently to produce a flow of electrons. The fuel cells are nonregenerative. They are normally operated at 400 degrees F with limits of 385 and 500 degrees. Water-glycol is used for temperature control. The fuel cells use hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen under regulated pressure to produce power and, as a by-product, water. Detailed discussion of functionality is addressed in the following paragraphs.

The Bacon-type fuel cell powerplant, was configured in a cluster of 3 systems to comprise the CSM power plant; each cell individually coupled to a heat rejection (radiator) system, the hydrogen and oxygen cryogenic storage systems, a water storage system, and a power distribution system. The powerplants generate DC power on demand through an exothermic chemical reaction. A byproduct of this chemical reaction is water, which is fed to a potable water storage tank in the Command Module (CM) where it is used for astronaut consumption and for cooling purposes in the environmental control subsystem. The amount of water produced is proportional to the ampere-hours.

The water separation, reactant control, and heat transfer components are mounted in a compact accessory section attached directly above the pressure jacket. Powerplant temperature is controlled by the primary (hydrogen) and secondary (glycol) loops. The hydrogen pump, providing continuous circulation of hydrogen in the primary loop, withdraws water vapor and heat from the stack of cells. The primary bypass valve regulates flow through the hydrogen regenerator to impart exhaust heat to the incoming hydrogen gas as required to maintain the proper cell temperature. The exhaust gas flows to the condenser where waste heat is transferred to the glycol, the resultant temperature decrease liquifying some of the water vapor. The motor-driven centrifugal water separator extracts the liquid and feeds it to the potable water tank in the CM. The temperature of the hydrogen-water vapor exiting from the condenser is controlled by a bypass valve which regulates flow through a secondary regenerator to a control condenser exhaust within desired limits. The cool gas is then pumped back to the fuel cell through the primary regenerator by a motor-driven vane pump, which also compensates for pressure losses due to water extraction and cooling. Waste heat, transferred to the glycol in the condenser, is transported to the radiators located on the fairing between, the CM and SM, where it is radiated into space. Radiator area is sized to reject the waste heat resulting from operation in the normal power range. If an emergency arises in which an extremely low power level is required, individual controls can bypass three of the eight radiator panels for each powerplant. This area reduction improves the margin for radiator freezing which could result from the lack of sufficient waste heat to maintain adequate glycol temperature. This is not a normal procedure and is considered irreversible due to freezing of the bypassed panels. Reactant valves provide the connection between the powerplants and the cryogenic system. They are opened during pre-launch fuel cell startup and closed only after a powerplant malfunction necessitating its isolation from the cryogenic system. Before launch, a valve switch is operated to apply a holding voltage to the open solenoid of the hydrogen and oxygen reactant valves of the three powerplants. This voltage is required only during boost to prevent inadvertent closure due to the effects of high vibration. The reactant valves cannot be closed with this holding voltage applied. After earth orbit insertion, the holding voltage is removed and three circuit breakers are opened to prevent valve closure through inadvertent activation of the reactant valve switches.

Nitrogen is stored in each powerplant at 1500 psia and regulated to a pressure of 53 psia. Output of the regulator pressurizes the electrolyte in each cell through a diaphragm arrangement, the coolant loop through an accumulator, and is coupled to the oxygen and hydrogen regulators as a reference pressure. Cryogenic oxygen, supplied to the powerplants at 900 +/- 35 psia, absorbs heat in the lines, absorbs additional heat in the fuel cell powerplant reactant preheater, and reaches the oxygen regulator in a gaseous form at temperatures above 0 degrees F. The differential oxygen regulator reduces pressure to 9.5 psia above the nitrogen reference, thus supplying it to the fuel cell stack at 62.5 psia. Within the porous oxygen electrodes, the oxygen reacts with the water in the electrolyte and the electrons provided by the external circuit to produce hydroxyl ions. Cryogenic hydrogen, supplied to the powerplants at 245 (+15, -20) psia, is heated in the same manner as the oxygen. The differential hydrogen regulator deduces the pressure to 8.5 psia above the reference nitrogen, thus supplying it in a gaseous form to the fuel cells at 61.5 psia. The hydrogen reacts in the porous hydrogen electrodes with the hydroxyl ions in the electrolyte to produce electrons, water vapor, and heat. The nickel electrodes act as a catalyst in the reaction. The water vapor and heat are withdrawn by the circulation of hydrogen gas in the primary loop and the electrons are supplied to the load.

Each of the 31 cells contains electrolyte which on initial fill consists of approximately 83 percent potassium hydroxide (KOH) and 17 percent water by weight. The powerplant is initially conditioned to increase the water ratio, and during normal operation, water content will vary between 23 and 28 percent. At this ratio, the electrolyte has a critical temperature of 360 degrees F. Powerplant electrochemical reaction becomes effective at the critical temperature. The powerplants are heated above the critical temperature by ground support equipment. A load on the powerplant of approximately 563 watts is required to maintain it above the normal minimum operating temperature of 385°F. The automatic in-line heater circuit will maintain powerplant temperature in this range with smaller loads applied.

This fuel cell has been modified with a simulator interface to replicate/check some of the mechanical, electrical and fluid exchanges between the powerplant and the rest of the CSM Enviornmental Control System (ECS), otherwise it’s identical to flight. This configuration is what is currently on display at national institutions (Smithsonian NASM, New Mexico Museum of Space History and the USSRC). Its function was as part of a Fuel Cell simulator package used to validate that the Service Module interfaces were properly functional (control, power, reactants, water output) at North American prior to installation of the flight fuel cells.


From the Pratt & Whitney documentation, the Reactant Bay Control Cluster


And the Inert Gas Bay Control Cluster

« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:35:14 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 01:14:31 AM »
Apollo Command Module Panel


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Apollo Command Module Panel

A supremely rare item, this is a fully intact instrument panel from the early Apollo 1 Command Module design (specifically MDC-18 from the Block 1 spacecraft series).

The panel was released by North American Aviation after the pad fire accident that claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee in 1967 and precipitated a further redesign of many wiring elements for safety.

With a 400Hz 120V AC supply, I may be able to energize it… =)

The various warning signals, such as Bus A and Bus B undervolt, and the various Fuel Cell indicators for the H2 and O2 tanks reminded me of the Apollo 13 drama. “Houston, we’ve had a problem. We’ve had a main B bus undervolt.”

These readings and controls would have been the area of intense interest to the crew as they tried to understand what had happened (the number 2 oxygen tank in the service module had exploded).

Backside view below. The overlay notes above come from the Apollo Operations Handbook, Controls and Displays SM2A-03-SC012, Nov. 12, 1966.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/5386054271
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:31:24 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 01:25:01 AM »
Control Display from Apollo 13


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Control Display from Apollo 13

As this week commemorates the 40-year anniversary of the Apollo 13 drama, several interesting mementos from the astronauts’ personal collections came up for auction.

This is one of the goodies that I just won, in this case from the personal collection of Fred Haise, the Apollo 13 Lunar Module Pilot (LMP).

It is the control display that flew around the moon and back on Lunar Module Aquarius, with annotations in red by Fred Haise and signed and inscribed by LMP Haise and Commander James Lovell.

In an accompanying letter, Haise writes:
“I made about a dozen notations in red ink to provide a quick glance reference of details on the LM systems. For instance, I numbered which exact batteries the 'Feed Tie' circuit breakers were tied to – 'Bats 3,4,6' on panel 11 and 'Bats 1,2,5' on panel 16 plus the 'AH' (Amp Hours) available from the Descent Stage and Ascent Stage batteries. These and the other notes turned out to be very useful during our emergency situation during the Apollo 13 flight since all power was being supplied by the Lunar Module after the explosion.”

Not only was power control essential, the LM flight controls had to be used in an entirely new manner. Since the explosion took out the main oxygen tanks, they improvised and used the Lunar Module Descent Engine (LMDE) DPS engine — the engine from the lunar lander, designed to slow the LM’s decent to the moon — to instead push the crippled Command Module and essential Earth reentry capsule in an untested manner, like a rear-engine locomotive.

This 28”-wide page was the only single full-sheet diagram of the Apollo 13 Lunar Module's display and control devices carried on the mission, with over 100 switches, knobs, and meters illustrated.

On approach to the moon, debate ensued on what type of burn to use to get the Apollo 13 lifeboat to loop around the moon and back to Earth. To preserve options and later course corrections, they decided to start with a partial burn to orient the craft in the general direction of an Earth-return path.

“Finally, at 2:43 in the morning [40 years ago, today], Lovell pushed the ignition button and the DPS engine ran at low throttle for thirty seconds, putting the spacecraft into a trajectory that, even without a second burn, would bring it down in the Indian Ocean not quite four days later. Lovell was relieved. He wasn’t completely confident that the burn provided them with a survivable entry [angle], but at least the spacecraft would intercept the Earth’s atmosphere. In his mind, this was much better than the alternative that had just been avoided — orbiting the Earth indefinitely, in a lonely revolution with an apogee of 240,000 miles and a perigee of 3,000 miles, a ‘perpetual monument to the space program.’”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4521400865
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:50:34 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 01:45:09 AM »
The Eagle has Landed


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I gasped when I looked out the window and saw this enormous crate at the front door.

This Apollo era rocket engine was originally designed for the Lunar Module Descent Engine (LMDE or DPS), and then employed as the 2nd-stage engine on the Delta Space Launch Vehicle. This may be the only complete unit in existence.

During the Apollo 13 emergency, the LMDE brought the spacecraft back to earth from the moon in an untested manner. Since an earlier explosion took out the main oxygen tanks, they improvised and used the LMDE— the engine from the lunar lander, designed to slow its decent to the moon — to instead push the crippled Command Module and reentry capsule for the return burn and subsequent course corrections. (Here are some Interesting details from Lovell and Haise)

This engine uses hypergolic fuels – noxious chemicals that combust on contact and make for simple, reliable engines that you can use repeatedly in the vacuum of space. The pump for these fuels on the LM ascent engine was the focal point of Neil Armstrong’s nightmares before the Apollo 11 launch.

I’ll post some unpacking photos and details as I gather them below.

Big thanks to Spaceaholic for the following details, engraved in a plaque that now hangs above it in our lobby:

“TRW TR-201 Bipropellant Rocket Engine. The thrust chamber was initially developed for the Apollo Lunar Module and was subsequently adopted for the Delta Expendable Launch Vehicle 2nd stage. The engine made 10 flights during the Apollo program and 77 during its Delta career between 1974-1988. This TR-201 has been configured as a fixed thrust version of the Lunar Module Descent Engine (LMDE) for Delta's stage 2. Multi start operation is adjustable up to 55.6 kN and propellant throughput up to 7,711 kg; and the engine can be adapted to optional expansion ratio nozzles. Development of the innovative thrust chamber and pintle design is credited to TRW Aerospace Engineer Dr. Peter Staudhammer.

The combustion chamber consists of an ablative-lined titanium alloy case to the 16:1 area ratio. Fabrication of the 6A1-4V alloy titanium case was accomplished by machining the chamber portion and the exit cone portion from forgings and welding them into one unit at the throat centerline. The ablative liner is fabricated in two segments and installed from either end. The shape of the nozzle extension (not installed on the example in this collection) is such that the ablative liner is retained in the exit cone during transportation, launch and boost. During engine firing, thrust loads force the exit cone liner against the case. The titanium head end assembly which contains the Pintle Injector and propellant valve subcomponents is attached with thirty-six A-286 steel ¼ inch bolts.

In order to keep the maximum operating temperatures of the titanium case in the vicinity of 800 degrees (F), the ablative liner was designed as a composite material providing the maximum heat sink and minimum weight. The selected configuration consisted of a high density, erosion-resistant silica cloth/phenolic material surrounded by a lightweight needle-felted silica mat/phenolic insulation.

The installed Pintle Injector, unique to TRW designed liquid propulsion systems, provides improved reliability and less costly method of fuel oxidizer impingement in the thrust chamber then conventional coaxial distributed-element injectors typically used on liquid bipropellant rocket engines.

Number flown: 77 (Delta 2000 configuration)
Dry mass: 300 pounds (with Columbian Nozzle Extension Installed)
Length: 51 inches - Gimbal attachment to nozzle tip (minus nozzle extension)
Maximum diameter: 34 inches (minus nozzle extension)
Mounting: gimbal attachment above injector
Engine cycle: pressure fed (15.5 atm reservoir)
Fuel: 50/50 N2O4/UDMH at 8.92 kg/s
Oxidizer: Dinitrogen tetroxide at 5.62 kg/s
O/F ratio: 1.60
Thrust: 42.923 kN vac
Specific impulse: 303 s vacuum
Expansion ratio: 16:1, 43:1 (with Expansion Nozzle)
Cooling method: Film cooled (upper thrust chamber); quartz phenolic chamber ablation (lower thrust chamber) and columbium (niobium) nozzle radiation (Nozzle extension)
Chamber pressure: 7.1 atm
Ignition: hypergolic, started by 28 V electrical signal to on/off solenoid valves
Burn time: 500 s for total of 5 starts; 10 350 s single burn”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4464220730


Here is the opening image from a 1976 TRW document on the engine:


Loading into position:


And in place:

Quote
I have a cool display plan - it will be on top of a circular matching wood table of the same outer radius, but with a glass center. This will allow for a tilted mirror to give a peek up the skirt.... =)

...which I had to do on arrival, and this is what I saw:


Interior Nozzle View - Pintle Injector. The ring of dots in the center are annular ports which drizzled propellant down the upper thrust chamber walls for film cooling.


Location in our lobby, as seen from the front door:

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 01:46:49 AM »
Apollo13 Command Module


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Apollo13 Command Module

Having survived a long cold trip around the moon and back with ruptured oxygen tanks, it was restored in 1996 and then helped out with the Apollo 13 movie with Tom Hanks (as did the Vomit Comet).

A good friend of mine gave me a copy of lunar module pilot Fred Haise’s surface map, with the forlorn inscription near the intended landing site they passed by: “No LM touchdown, but no LM impact either! Freddo”

So I just had to go make the voyage to see their lifeboat.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/2849346823
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:49:35 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 01:49:13 AM »
Radial Scatter


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Radial Scatter

Moments after the prior photo, with an attempt at coordinated action. I got a promo video with the footage from our Zero-G flight. It does a better job than my photos in showing what the weightless astronaut trainer is like.

We also get a great view of Danny Hillis’ cranium, a muse for my blogging about the power of evolutionary algorithms in computer science.

This photostream comes with an iTunes mix. =)

? Resurrection (Space Club remix), PPK, Oakenfold Ibiza (found on a Russian website). This song samples radio communications from Yuri Gagarin's first human space flight. My friend, Eric, was the first person I know to do a weightless parabolic flight. Just a few years ago, the only option he had was to go to Russia and fly with the Russian space program.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/224239224

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 02:05:17 AM »
Apollo DSKY from CM Simulator


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Apollo DSKY from CM Simulator

This is a very special artifact, the original Apollo Guidance computer display and keyboard (DSKY) unit removed from the primary Command Module simulator at the Johnson Space Center. Neil Armstrong and every Apollo astronaut used this DSKY in training for their mission.

This is the user interface to the Apollo Guidance Computer. Two-digit verb-noun pairs were entered in succession to control the computer’s operation.

The DSKY provided the astronauts with critical burn times for engine firings, course corrections, trajectories, and other key calculations vital in getting a crew to and from the moon. It was also the DSKY that almost caused an abort of the Apollo 11 mission, as it was blaring a Program Alarm as Armstrong was trying to land the LM on the lunar surface.

One amazing historical footnote: “When production of onboard computers for the Apollo programme was at its peak, it consumed fully half of the world’s output of integrated circuits, yet only 75 units were constructed between 1963 and 1969. This is not because they were all used in the final machines [three DSKYs per flight], but because NASA bought vast numbers of the tiny devices from the manufacturers and hammered them with a barrage of tests to force ever higher quality control.”
– How Apollo Flew to the Moon, 2nd Ed., p.166.

This DSKY is accompanied by a 1984 letter of provenance from Ron Baker of NASA’s Technology Utilization Support Section which reads: “This specific number has some history behind it. Based upon the I.D. Number from the back of the unit (#186372), I was able to confirm that it had been removed from the Apollo CM trainer that was originally located in Building 5 here at JSC. I was part of the team that disassembled the simulator several years ago... this computer unit was fully functional when it was in the simulator.”

More images and background below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/6378253427


DSKY in use on Apollo 17


(and online simulator)

Operating the Apollo LM DSKY

Quote
The computer is more like an embedded controller, tightly integrated into the spacecraft systems. It calculated internally in metric and converted to English units for display. Here's the verb-noun list, printed on a nearby panel. There were 44 programs, hand crafted from 15 bit words, processing at effectively 80 kHz with 64 kB of memory. (I also have a core memory module posted here. All of the 2800 ICs were 3-input NOR gates).

For example, programs 61 to 67 control descent to the surface; 51 to 54 align the guidance system. Several programs would run simultaneously, and they could call on each other. Instructions were entered with verb- noun pairs. For example, during launch, Program 11 monitored ascent and the CMP punched in Verb 06, Noun 62 which had the computer display the three values of speed, height and the rate of height change (h-dot).

From David Woods’ How Apollo Flew to the Moon, 2nd Ed., p.168.

    “All interaction between the crew and the computer was by way of the DSKY. Three displays, each with five digits, allowed the crew to se what data they were entering into the computer, or showed the result of the computer’s efforts. To keep the machine’s programming simple, there was no facility for the decimal point. Number entry and readout could be in octal (base-8) or decimal and was pre-scaled with the position of the decimal point assumed. It was left to the smart astronauts to know where it should be.

    Apollo crews came to respect the computer’s reliability and capabiity. David Scott said in 1982. “With its computational ability, the computer was a joy to operate — a tremendous machine. You could do a lot with it. It was so reliable, we never needed the backup systems. We never had a failure, and I think that was a remarkable achievement.”"

The flight computer also controlled the FDAI, or "8-Ball" that indicated the orientation of the spacecraft. The FDAI is right above the DSKY (as you can the A17 photo above).


DSKY top view... it's deep and heavy: 17.5 pounds, 8" x 7" x 7"


The bike tire valve is for pressurizing dry nitrogen, a common feature in Block II electronics to remove sparking fire risk in the pure oxygen cabin environment:

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 02:12:25 AM »
Apollo Block I FDAI 8-Ball


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Apollo Block I FDAI 8-Ball

I have been back in the office this week, and there are still about 7000 Africa photos I have not seen yet. But meanwhile, there are a bunch of new space artifacts to distract me… =)

I have been looking for this for a while to fill out the command module instrument panel.

Heritage Description:
“Apollo Early Block I Training-Used Command Module Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI).

This FDAI or "8 Ball" was used to define the relative position of the spacecraft in three-dimensional space. Originally designed to be three different panel instruments, the astronauts, many of whom were pilots, lobbied for an all-in-one device similar to the "artificial horizon" indicator in airplanes.

The metal tag on the side indicates that this was "MFG BY HONEYWELL FOR NAA /S & ID". (This was the Space and Information Systems Division of North American Aviation.) The manufacturer part number is shown as "DJG204E3" and the manufacture date as "Jul 23, 1964". Printed on the same side is the text: "Caution For Training Use Only". A handwritten pencil note reads: "Pitch Out - 6-22-69? LQS". Two red inspector stamps and the number "C29-2A52" are present.”

Built in 1964, the Apollo 1 astronauts may have trained with this FDAI before the tragic pad fire.

Update: just learned that the Space1 fellow below was the consigner of this artifact. "about that FDAI: Based on its markings, it must have been used in training. I had acquired it from an auction of Charlie Bell's estate on April 29, 2000. (Charlie Bell was a NASA engineer at KSC.) Charlie Bell had lots of varied items, literally acres of test equipment, tools, ground support equipment, launch vehicle components (including a damaged Atlas missile on its carrier, several H-1 and J-2 engines), and many mostly unsorted Apollo artifacts, including some flown items. He got all of his stuff from NASA sales."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/5936016930

Quote
"Indicator mounts a ball with three axes of rotation, showing the spacecraft attitude in yaw, roll and pitch. Short needles on the outer scales indicate attitude rates. Longer needles over the indicator face show commanded attitudes from the spacecraft guidance system.

Red circles centered at yaw 0 and 180 degree poles indicate where the inertial guidance gimbals are in danger of locking (gimbals from two axes aligning with each other) causing loss of attitude reference."


Block II (the next design iteration) innards from Space1





Historic Space Systems - Apollo Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI) with housing removed.

Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 02:16:48 AM »
Apollo Lunar Modules


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Apollo Lunar Modules

A titanium deployment and downlock truss from the landing gear of the lunar module beckons in the corner…

But the autopilot brain-in-a-box is much more interesting.

It's a core memory module from a Saturn LVDC (Launch Vehicle Digital Computer). They are quite rare as scrap dealers recover $20-30K of gold and platinum from these cores. (more photos from the spaceaholic source of this). The outer wrap consists of timing, drive, inhibit and sensing circuits.

More interesting still is the ghost in the machine. The magnetic cores within still hold whatever program they had when powered down. Since there are no tapes or archives of the code, it is possible that the only remaining copy of the Saturn V flight program is in cores like this. I have the load/write boards, and they look very wonky. If you know of any living domain expert on this system, please point them my way.

This module holds 114k bits (14 planes with a 128 x 64 fabric of ferrite donuts)... encoding 13-bit instructions, with the first triple-redundant logic. Ultrasonic delay line cache. Destructive readouts. Failure is not an option.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4191465493

Saturn LVDC (Launch Vehicle Digital Computer).

More photos from the spaceaholic source of this


Offline zorgon

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Re: Steve Jurvetson Strikes Again
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2012, 03:06:59 AM »
Apollo Rocket Engines


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Three vintage bipropellant engines from the space race. Each of them was used for maneuvering in space, and each has a simple solenoid valve assembly, which allows the fuel and oxidizer to spray into the combustion chamber. These particularly noxious hypergolic chemicals have the valuable property that they ignite spontaneously upon contact, in a vacuum, with no spark required.

From left to right:
• Gemini SE-6, provided attitude and maneuvering control for the Gemini spacecraft. Pitch, roll, and yaw torques were obtained by firing these engines in pairs. Sixteen SE-6 engines made up the Reentry Control System (RCS) in the nose of the Gemini spacecraft. Made of steel and an ablative nozzle by Rocketdyne, these engines produced 25 pounds of thrust.

• Apollo Command Module SE-8: A set of 12 of these Rocketdyne RCS engines provided the Command Module with rotation control, rate damping, and attitude control after separation from the Service Module and during re-entry. The engine has had several test firings. Described in detail when it first arrived. 93 lbs. of thrust.

• Apollo Lunar Module R-4D: The most difficult to find, clusters of four of these engines were an iconic external feature of the Lunar Module and Service Module. I’ll post some photos below from the moon. This one is still fully functional and came directly from the manufacturer (Marquardt Corp.), where it was test fired. Molybdenum nozzle, radiation cooled, 100 lbs of thrust. Part Number 228686-501. Test fired four times in Apollo LM testing (details below).

The fuels are similar, but the valves become more complex for the main Lunar Module Descent Engine and Ascent Engine.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4896792758/

RCS test firings occurred on the 10/21/68 night shift. Here is more info on those iconic R-4D quads:


Clear view of the R-4D on Apollo 17:




Buzz leaving the LM, R-4D cluster at mid-left:


Research report conclusion: “Reaction control engine valves have been produced with the capability of providing in excess of a million engine starts with essentially 100% reliable, leak free operation.”


Gotta love their data analysis tools....





 


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