Cabbages and Kings

During an informal conversation with a couple of different guys, I have been asked if MPAD may have some suggestions in a couple of areas. I wouldn’t be surprised if we do, so I thought I would send this little note around to ask you.

  1. The other day Jay Honeycutt asked if we might suggest some neat situations he might include in the simulations to train the flight controllers and crew. You remember before the last mission we suggested several lulus for powered descent which were not only a lot of fun for us but quite profitable for the operations team. This time we should get our suggestions in much sooner and, of course, they need not be constrained to powered descent. Maybe we can strain the system for the DOI burn or entry. To be really dirty, it seems to me we should take advantage of our knowledge of limitations in the RTCC programs and tight spots in the mission plan itself.

  2. As a result of my bellyaching about how our Mercury and Gemini experience with venting didn’t seem to help in the design of the Apollo spacecraft, I was made aware of an on-going effort at MSC to develop a document called the “Manned Spacecraft Criteria and Standards.” A guy from the Standards Engineering Office, Jim Donnell, came over to discuss modification to the venting standard and asked for suggestions regarding other things that have been bugging us. Plume impingment came immediately to my mind and I am going to write him one for that. According to Jim, the spacecraft contractor must comply with material listed in this document. It apparently becomes part of their contract. If that’s the case, it struck me quite worthwhile to take this opportunity to put our complaints into this document. If you have any suggestions, why don’t you get in touch with me or Jim Donnell. If you’re interested in what the document looks like, come by my office.

Terms & Abbreviations


Descent Orbit Insertion. A LM maneuver performed to reduce the altitude of its orbit in preparation for landing.


Mission Planning and Analysis Division (part of MSC).


Manned Spacecraft Center. Now known as Johnson Space Center.


Real-Time Computer Complex. The IBM computing and data processing system at MSC.