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Apollo-Saturn Unmanned Missions
November 3, 2009
 

Mission
AS-201

Mission Objective
Achieved structural integrity and compatibility of launch vehicle, as well as launch loads. Demonstrated separation of first and second stages of Saturn, LES and boost protective cover from the command and service module, or CSM. Demonstrated separation of CSM from instrument unit, spacecraft and lunar module adapter, as well as CM separation from the SM. Verified operations of Saturn propulsion, guidance and control, and electrical subsystems. Partially achieved verification of spacecraft subsystems and heat shield for re-entry from low Earth orbit, due to loss of data during maximum heating. Demonstrated operation of mission support facilities.

Prelaunch Milestones
8/14/65 - S-I stage ondock at Kennedy
8/14/65 - S-IB stage ondock at Kennedy
9/18/65 - S-IVB ondock at Kennedy
10/22/65 - S-IU ondock at Kennedy
10/25/65 - launch vehicle on pad
12/26/65 - spacecraft on pad
2/9/66 - Countdown Demonstration Test
2/20/66 - countdown began

Launch
Feb. 26, 1966; 11:12:01 am EST
Launch Complex 34
Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Saturn IB

Hold for three days due to bad weather conditions and for a break in subcable to downrange station. Hold for 30 minutes on Feb. 26, 1966, to catch up on LOX loading. Hold for 30 minutes to complete liquid-hydrogen loading, which had been delayed by work on a GSE helium regulator problem. Hold for 78 minutes to complete closeout of spacecraft. Hold for 66 minutes because of cutoff caused by failure of helium pressure switch in Saturn IB ready circuit. Hold for 30 minutes, during which flight was canceled and then re-instated, for further information on helium pressure problem.

Spacecraft
CSM-009

Orbit
Altitude: 303 miles (488 km)
-> Orbits: suborbital
Duration: 36 minutes, 59 seconds
Distance: 5,264 miles (8,472 km)

Mission Highlights
Both booster and spacecraft performed adequately. From liftoff to touchdown in the South Atlantic, the mission lasted 37 minutes. The spacecraft was recovered two and a half hours after splashdown. There were several malfunctions, mostly minor, but three were serious. First, after the service propulsion system fired, it operated correctly for only 80 seconds. Then, the pressure fell 30 percent because of helium ingestion into the oxidizer chamber. Second, a fault in the electrical power system caused a loss of steering control, resulting in a rolling re-entry. And, third, flight measurements during re-entry were distorted because of a short circuit.

Landing
Feb. 26, 1966; 11:49 am EST
Splashdown: Atlantic Ocean, 8472 km downrange
Impact Point: 8.18 degrees south, 11.15 degrees west
Recovery Ship: USS Boxer at 2:20 p.m. EST





Mission
AS-202

Mission Objective
The primary mission objectives were to evaluate the Apollo command module heat shield at a high heating load, and to obtain further information on the launch vehicle and spacecraft. The flight tested structural integrity and compatibility, flight loads, stage separation, subsystem operations, and emergency detection system operations. All mission objectives were achieved.

Prelaunch Milestones
2/7/66 - S-I stage ondock at Kennedy
2/7/66 - S-IB stage ondock at Kennedy
1/29/66 - S-IVB ondock at Kennedy
2/21/66 - S-IU ondock at Kennedy
3/11/66 - launch vehicle on pad
7/2/66 - spacecraft on pad
7/2/66 - Countdown Demonstration Test
8/5/66 - countdown began

Launch
Aug. 25, 1966; 1:15:32 p.m. EDT
Launch Complex 34
Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Uprated Saturn I (Saturn-IB)

Hold for 60 minutes to resolve problem with launch vehicle digital computer during power transfer test. A 48-minute hold for recurrence of computer problem. A 41-minute hold to attempt to clear up problem with the remote site data processor on the Rose Knot Victor, and a final hold for five minutes to evaluate Saturn IB low fuel mass quantity indicator.

Spacecraft
CSM-011

Orbit
Altitude: 710 miles (1,143 km)
-> Orbits: suborbital
Duration: 93 minutes

Mission Highlights
Second flight test of major spacecraft systems and second performance check of command module, or CM, heat shield. First use of spacecraft fuel cell power system. Liftoff was normal. Launch vehicle developed 7,116,800 newton, or 1,600,000 pounds, thrust during first (S-IB) stage powered flight. After separation of Apollo spacecraft (011), the service module, or SM, engine burned once to raise the spacecraft to an altitude of 1,136 km, or 706 sm. It then was ignited and cut off three more times to test rapid restart capability. CM separated from SM and re-entered atmosphere at more than 32,026 kph, or 19,900 mph. Maximum re-entry temperature of CM's outer surface was calculated to be about 1482 degrees C, or 2700 degrees F. Interior temperature was 21 degrees C, or 70 degrees F.

Landing
Aug. 25, 1966
Splashdown: Pacific Ocean
Impact Point: 500 miles southwest of Wake Island
Recovery Ship: USS Hornet at 11:17 p.m. EDT





Mission
AS-203

Mission Objective
Mission objectives included evaluating performance on S-IVB instrument unit stage under orbital conditions, and obtaining flight information on venting and chill-down systems. It also included gathering information on fluid dynamics and heat transfer of propellant tanks, attitude and thermal control systems, launch vehicle guidance, and checkout in orbit. All objectives were achieved.

Prelaunch Milestones
4/6/66 - S-IVB ondock at Kennedy
4/12/66 - S-I stage ondock at Kennedy
4/12/66 - S-IB stage ondock at Kennedy
4/14/66 - S-IU ondock at Kennedy
4/21/66 - launch vehicle at pad
7/1/66 - Countdown Demonstration Test

Launch
July 5, 1966; 10:53:17 a.m. EDT
Launch Complex 37B
Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Saturn IB

Hold for four minutes to examine quality of signal from liquid-hydrogen television cameras. A 98-min hold because of loss of signal from camera No. 2 - decision was made to fly with only one camera. Final one minute hold because of loss of Bermuda radar.

Payload
Nose Cone
LH2 in S-IVB

Orbit
Altitude: 185 km by 189 km
Inclination: 31.98 degrees
Orbits: Four


Landing
No Recovery





Mission
Apollo 4

Mission Objective
Demonstrate structural and thermal integrity, as well as compatibility of launch vehicle and spacecraft. Confirm launch loads and dynamic characteristics. Verify operation of command module, or CM, heat shield and adequacy of the Block II design for re-entry at lunar return conditions. Verify service propulsion system, or SPS, including no ullage start and selective subsystems. Evaluate performance of emergency detection system in open-loop configuration. Demonstrate mission support facilities and operations needed for launch and CM recovery. All mission objectives were achieved.

Prelaunch Milestones
8/14/66 - S-IVB ondock at Kennedy
8/25/66 - S-IU ondock at Kennedy
9/12/66 - S-IC ondock at Kennedy
1/27/67 - S-II ondock at Kennedy
6/19/67 - launch vehicle at pad
6/20/67 - spacecraft at pad

Launch
Nov. 9, 1967; 7:00:01 a.m. EST
First launch from Launch Pad 39A
Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
First Saturn V launch
Saturn-V AS-501
Firing Room 1

No Delays during countdown.

Spacecraft
CSM-017
LTA-10R

Payload
Spacecraft-017

Orbit
Altitude: 11,240 miles
Inclination: 32.6 degrees
Orbits: orbital
Duration: nine hours, 37 minutes


Mission Highlights
During the third orbit and after SPS engine burn, the spacecraft coasted to a simulated translunar trajectory, reaching an altitude of 18,079 km. The AS-501 launch marked the initial flight testing of the S-IC and S-II stages. The first stage S-IC performed accurately with the center F-1 engine cutting off at 135.5 seconds. The outboard engines cut off when the vehicle was traveling 9,660 kmh at an altitude of 61.6 km. This also was the point of LOX depletion at 150.8 seconds. Stage separation occurred only 1.2 seconds off the predicted time. Cutoff of the S-II occurred at 519.8 seconds.

Landing
Nov. 9, 1967; 03:37 p.m. EST
Splashdown: Pacific Ocean, 16 km away from target site
Impact Point: 30 degrees, 6 minutes north, and 172 degrees, 32 minutes west
Recovery Ship: USS Bennington at 6:09 p.m. EST





Mission
Apollo 5

Mission Objective
Verify operation of lunar module, or LM, ascent and descent propulsion systems. Evaluate LM staging and S-IVB instrument unit performance. All mission objects were achieved.

Prelaunch Milestones
8/15/66 - S-I stage ondock at Kennedy
8/15/66 - S-IB stage ondock at Kennedy
8/6/66 - S-IVB ondock at Kennedy
8/16/66 - S-IU ondock at Kennedy
4/11/67 - launch vehicle at pad
11/19/67 - spacecraft at pad
1/19/68 - Countdown Demonstration Test

Launch
Jan. 22, 1968; 05:48:08 p.m. EST
Launch Pad 37B
Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Saturn IB AS-204
First lunar module launch

Hold for 228 minutes when spacecraft water boiler temperature rose higher than planned, caused by a problem in GSE freon supply, as well as a failed power supply in an output register in the digital data-acquisition system.

Spacecraft
LM-1

Payload
LM-1
Nose cone

Orbit
Altitude: 222 km apogee, 163 km perigee
Inclination: 31.6 degrees
Orbits: orbital
Duration: seven hours, 50 minutes


Mission Highlights
Apogee was 222 km at insertion, LM/S-IVB separation and after first descent engine firing. Apogee raised to 961 km after first ascent engine firing. Perigee was 163 km at insertion, 167 km at separation, 171 km after descent engine firing, and 172 km after ascent engine firing.

Landing
No Recovery





Mission
Apollo 6

Mission Objective
Demonstrated structure and thermal integrity of launch vehicle and spacecraft. Confirmed launch loads and dynamic characteristics. Demonstrated separation of launch vehicle stages. Evaluated performance of emergency detection system in closed-loop configuration. Demonstrated performance of mission support facilities. Did not achieve verification of Saturn V propulsion, guidance and control, and electrical systems, due to early cutoff of two S-II stage J-2 engines and failure of S-IVB J-2 engine to restart.

Prelaunch Milestones
2/21/67 - S-IVB on dock at Kennedy 3/13/67 - S-IC on dock at Kennedy
3/20/67 - S-IU on dock at Kennedy
5/24/67 - S-II on dock at Kennedy
2/6/68 - launch vehicle at pad
3/8/68 - Flight Readiness Review at Kennedy
3/29/68 - Countdown Demonstration Test

Launch
April 4, 1968; 7:00:01 a.m. EST
Launch Pad 39A
Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Saturn-V AS-502
High Bay 3
Mobile Launcher Platform-2
Firing Room 2


Spacecraft
CM-020
SM-014
LTA-2R

Orbit
Altitude: 13,792 miles
Inclination: 32.5 degrees
Orbits: orbital
Duration: nine hours, 57 minutes

Mission Highlights
Apogee 367 km and perigee 178 km. A near circular orbit was intended, but early cutoff of S-II engines and overburn of the S-IVB engine caused unplanned orbital parameters. After S-IVB engine failed to reignite, a 422-second burn of the SPS engine sent the spacecraft to an altitude of 22,209 km.

Landing
April 4, 1968; 5:23 p.m. EST
Splashdown: Exact landing point unknown
First Visual Sighting: 27 degrees, 40 minutes north, and 157 degrees, 59 minutes west
Recovery Ship: USS Okinawa at 10:55 p.m. EST
 

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Page Last Updated: September 19th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator