At the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, preparation is well advanced for Apollo Mission Pod Abort Test No. 1.
At the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, preparation is well advanced for Apollo Mission Pod Abort Test No. 1. This test, the first of a planned series to qualify the Apollo launch escape system, is scheduled to take place on November 1, 1963.
A test-version of the Apollo Command Module (termed a "Boilerplate" for its structural ever-strength) will be used to demonstrate the capability of the launch escape system to propel the Apollo Spacecraft away form the launch vehicle on the pod in the event of a hazardous condition.
The launch escape system consists of a powerful solid-propellant rocket motor attached to the ??? ??? by means of a tower. Upon the signal to abort, the command module is instantaneously separated from the launch vehicle, and the escape rocket fires to accelerate it away to a safe distance. A small pitch control motor fires at the same time to impart a side thrust to the flight of the escape rocket.
When a safe separation distance is reached, explosive-bolts attaching the launch escape tower are blown automatically, and another rocket motor fires to accelerate the escape system from the command module.
The parachute of the earth landing system are then sequentially deployed to ensure a safe return to the ground. First, a pyrotechnic-mortar ??? parachute is ejected to stabilize the command module and orient it in a blunt and toward position. Then three mortar-deployed pilot parachute are used to draw three, ???-foot diameter, ??? parachute from their bags.
The following film sequence shows Boilerplate-Six and its launch escape system being checked out in NASA's Vertical Assembly Building at White Sands.
After checkout, the ??? are segregated and transferred to the launch pod. Here, "Boilerplate-Six" is lifted unto the pod adapter which will simulate the upper stage of the Apollo launch vehicle for the pod abort test.
The protective covers are then removed from the boilerplate and preparations are made to ??? the launch escape tower and rocket motors.
After assembly of the entire flight vehicle, a specially designed facility known as a "Tiki" but (two halves of which can be seen on the launch pod clearly) will be around the vehicle, to protect it doing the final phase of launch preparation.