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Safely to Earth
The Men and Women Who Brought the Apollo Astronauts Home
Jack F. Clemons, 2018, Beaverton 929.45 CLE
Pretty damned good for a first book. Clemons wrote a lot of documentation during his career, but not many published papers or stories. A "12 postit book"
- Clemons was born around 1943 (matriculated U. Florida 1961).
- p30 picture of free return trajectory ... interesting, Apollo orbited "westward" around Moon.
p31 Catholic church (Saint Patrick's?) in Clear Lake (same as Jim McDivitt and Gene Cernan), Christmas Day 1230am priest announced trans-lunar injection burn was successful.
p65 EECOM (Electrical, environmental, and communications) flight controller John Aaron saved Apollo 12 after an undetected lightning strike disabled critical electrical system. He told crew to switch SCE (signal conditioning electronics) to AUX which helped clear the fault, then had them reset the fuel cells. Controller Aaron had learned of this idiosyncracy during a ground test a year before, and remembered its symptoms and how he tracked it down.
- p72 Clemons worked nonstop before Apollo 13; afterwards his work habits shifted to "procrastinate, then crises-mode".
- p73 Apollo 18 and 19 would have had a combined incremental cost of $42M (out of $25B). Fortunately the hardware was available for Skylab and ASTP
- p92 Apollo 13 ALSEP SNAP-27 RTG at bottom of Tonga trench, Pu238 half life 88y, cask good for 800y. 1260W thermal and thermocouples made 70W of electric power (2.3 W thermal in 800y,
- p93 Apollo 13 entry, 5 gees, ~2760C, 3000K beyond ablative heat shield.
- p96 Apollo 13 anomalous thrust (requiring unexpected course corrections) due to cooling water venting from the LM.
- p169 STS-1 Columbia launch-delaying timing glitch due to error in IBM main computer software that did not synchronize properly with the Rockwell alternate computer.
- p244 Further reading "J.F. Clemons and P.E. Moseley, Recoomended Entry Monitoring and Backup Control Procedures for Apollo 11 (Mission G). NASA MSC Internal Note No. 69-FM-185, July 2, 1969.
p245 William Harwood Legendary Commander Tells Story of Shuttle's Close Call