Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - The First Steps

Genesis of the Saturn Program
A Saturn Launch Site
The Making of "the Cape"
Building a Launch Complex
Missions for Saturn
A Marriage of Convenience
Upper Stages

Chapter 2 - Launch Complex 34

The Director
Conversations with the Air Force
Writing the Criteria Book
Problems in Designs
A Service Structure for Saturn
A Money Transfusion
The Ground Support Equipment
Labor Difficulties

Chapter 3 - Launching the First Saturn I Booster

The Magnitude of the Task
The Leadership
The Test Catalog for SA-1
The Saturn Goes Sailing
Beginning the Checkout
The Launch of the SA-1

Chapter 4 - Origins of the Mobile Moonport

Ambitious Plans and Limited Space
Offshore Launch Facilities
Texas Tower vs. Landfill
The Mobile Launch Concept
The Mobile Concept - Initial Studies
NASA Plans for a Lunar Landing
The FLeming Committee
Debus-Davis Study
Debus-Davis Report - Launch Concept

Chapter 5 - Acquiring a Launch Site

Hazards Board Recommends Merritt Island
A New Home in Georgia?
Organizing for the Debus-Davis Study
Recommending a Launch Site
The Questions Begin
The Webb-Gilpatric Agreement
Merritt Island Purchase
The Titan III Problem
Congress Says NASA
A New Agreement
Land, Los of Land - Much of It Marshy

Chapter 6 - LC-39 Plans Take Shape

Rapidly Evolving Hardware
The Mobile Launch Plan Comes Under Fire
A Trip by Barge or a Trip by Rail
The Crawler Makes Its Debut
Plans for a VAB
The Mobile Launch Concept - Debate and Approval

Chapter 7 - The Launch Directorate Becomes an Operational Center

Growing Responsibilities at the Cape
The Argument for Independent Status
New Captains at the Cape
Organizing the Launch Operations Center
"Grand Fenwick" Overtakes the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
Mid-1963: A Time of Reappraisal
Kennedy's Last Visit
Washington Redraws Management Lines
Data Management

Chapter 8 - Funding the Project

The Budgetary Process
Fiscal 1963
Subcommittee Hearings at the Cape
Progress in Washington
Updating LC-39 Requirements
The Fiscal 1964 Program
"What Is It Going to Cost?"

Chapter 9 - Apollo Integration

An Integration Role for General Electric?
Intercenter Panels
New Contractors with New Roles
Relations with Marshall Space Flight Center
Relations with Manned Spacecraft Center
Range Safety

Chapter 10 - Saturn I Launches (1962-1965)

Testing the Booster
A Second Saturn Launch Complex - LC-37
The Troubled Lauching of SA-5, January 1964
The Cracked Sleeves
All's Well That Ends Well
The Remaining Block II Launches, SA-6 - SA-10

Chapter 11 - Ground Plans for Outer Space Ventures

The Task
URSAM Makes Its Debut
URSAM and the Design Contract
Design Problems - VAB
Launch Control Center Design
Design of the Crawlerway
Flame Deflector and Launch Pads
Plans for the Industrial Area
Design of the Central Instrumentation Facility
Selection of MILA Support Contracts

Chapter 12 - From Designs to Structures

Making Big Sandpiles
NASA Declares War - On Mosquitoes
Contracting for the VAB and the LCC
Laying the Foundations
Structural Steel and General Construction
Cleo and Dora Visit the Cape
VAB Nears Completion
Construction in the Industrial Area
Ceremonies at Completion

Chapter 13 - New Devices for New Deeds

The Crawler-Transporter
Building a New King of the Road
The Swing-Arm Controversy
Hold-Down Arms and Tail Service Masts
Launch Pads
From Arming Tower to Mobile Service Structure
Lightning Protection for Apollo Launch Operations
Flame Deflectors

Chapter 14 - Socio-Economic Problems on the Space Coast

Labor Problems at the Missile Center
The Center's Labor Policy
A Spring and Summer of Strikes
The Spaceport's Impact on Local Communities
Familial and Personal Tensions

Chapter 15 - Putting It All Together: LC-39 Site Activation

The Site Activation Board
Site Activation Working Groups
Interface Control Documentation
500-F - A Dress Rehearsal
The Crawler-Transporters Begin to Crawl
For Want of a Bearing
"Negative Slack" in "Critical Paths"
500-F Up and Out
Lack of Oxygen Slows Apollo
Management by Embarrassment

Chapter 16 - Automating Launch Operations

Origins of Saturn Automated Checkout
Saturn I-IB Computer Complex
Saturn V Computer Complex
The Transition to Automation
Automating Telemetry Operation
Automatic Checkout for the Spacecraft
Spacecraft Checkout

Chapter 17 - Launching the Saturn 1B

Remodelling LC-34 for Bigger Things
LC-34 Wet Tests
The Apollo-Saturn 1B Space Vehicle
The Troubled checkout of AS-201
The 201 Launch
A Reorganization
More launches of the Saturn 1B

Chapter 18 - The Fire That Seared the Spaceport

Predictions of Trouble
The Spacecraft Comes to KSC
The Hunches of Tom Baron
Disaster at Pad 34
The Review Board
Congress Investigates
Reaction at KSC
The Boeing-TIE Contract

Chapter 19 - The Trial Run

The Significance of AS-501
The Parts of AS-501
Delay after Delay after Delay
The Tests
More Delays for AS-501
The Launch of Apollo 4
Press, VIPs, Tourists, Dependents
KSC Learns about Government Accounting

Chapter 20 - Man on Apollo

Two More Trial Flights - Apollo 5 and 6
Apollo 6 - A "Less Than Perfect" Mission
Two Engines Out but Still Running
Apollo Astronauts at KSC
Apollo 7 Operations
Apollo 8 Launch Operations - Early Uncertainties
Lunar Module Problems and Another Change of Mission
Launch Countdown for Men on Saturn V
Apollo 8 - A Christmas Gift

Chapter 21 - Success

The Launch Complex Becomes "Operational"
The Slowest Part of the Trip
The Launch of Apollo 9
The Contractors Receive Their Due
Changes in the Telemetry
At Long Last
"Eagle Has Landed"

Chapter 22 - A Slower Pace: Apollo 12 - 14

Lightning Strikes
Whys and Wherefores of Lightning
Apollo 13 Launch Operations
A Case of Measles
A Fragile Lifeboat
Apollo 14 Launch Operations
Pruning the Apollo Program
The Impact of the Apollo Slowdown on KSC

Chapter 23 - Extended Lunar Exploration: Apollo 15 - 17

A Change of Course for Apollo
Interfaces with the First SIM
The Moon Gets an Automobile
Lunar Module Problems and More Lightning
Apollo 16 Operations
Spacecraft Storage
Apollo 17 Launch Operations

Chapter 24

Five Years After


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