Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey

Jonathan H. Ward

COUNTDOWN TO A MOON LAUNCH: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey There are few photographs as awe-inspiring as those of a gleaming white Saturn V rising from the launch pad in a bed of smoke and fire. That is the only impression that many people have of the role of Kennedy Space Center. And yet, thousands of workers labored at KSC around the clock, seven days a weeks, for half a year to prepare a mission for that brief moment of truth. This is the story of what went on during those hectic six months.

Countdown to a Moon Launch provides an in-depth look at the carefully choreographed workflow for an Apollo mission at KSC. Using the Apollo 11 mission as an example, readers will learn what went on day by day to transform partially completed stages and crates of parts into a ready-to-fly Saturn V. Firsthand accounts of launch pad accidents, near misses, suspected sabotage, and last-minute changes to hardware are told by more than 70 NASA employees and its contractors. A companion to the author's book Rocket Ranch, it includes many diagrams and photographs, some never before published, to illustrate all aspects of the process. NASA's groundbreaking use of computers for testing and advanced management techniques are also covered in detail.

This book will demystify the question of how NASA could build and launch Apollo missions using 1960s technology. You'll discover that there was no magic involved - just an abundance of discipline, willpower, and creativity.

Table of Contents

About the author

1. Introduction
2. Controlling Complexity
3. Requirements, Tests, and Computerization
4. The MSOB and the CSM Processing Flow
5. The LM Processing Flow
6. The Launch Vehicle Processing Flow in the VAB
7. The Processing Flow at the Launch Pad
8. Countdown Demonstration Test
9. Launch Countdown
10. Plus Time and Near Misses
11. Epilogue

Appendix A Acronyms ad Abbreviations
Appendix B Missions with Apollo and Saturn Hardware
Appendix C S-II Stage Checkout Tests
Appendix D Apollo 11 OIS Call Signs
Appendix E Firing Room Staffing During Apollo 11 and 14 Countdowns
Appendix F Recommended Reading and References
Appendix G Interviews

Extent: 435 pages, Black and white/colour images integrated with text
Binding: Paperback
Published: 2016
ISBN: 978-3-319-17791-5

Praxis Publishing - Leaders in Scientific Publishing © 2008 All rights reserved