Sign up FAST! Login

Brennan Moore


Stashed in: NASA

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The first unmanned launch of a Saturn V on November 9th. 1967. From the personal memoirs and the pen of William E. Moore January 28th. 1994.

There was five of us Rocket Scientists lounging around the ready room listening to the Apollo 4 Countdown on loud speakers and headsets. We were members of the Red Team Group and we were the Electrical Systems experts on all hardware interfaces between the firing room and the Saturn V vehicle three miles away. Our ears were now being drawn into a developing situation happening on the net. No response was received from an electrical circuit that separation of the S11 Stage from the S1 Stage in flight.

"That was one of my electrical circuits!"

It just so happened that circuit is controlled by a series of relays located almost directly beneath that cold beast that was spewing out all kinds of funny colored, very cold gases -- the Saturn V rocket. We took a look at our blue prints and found the relay that must be the problem and called for a recycle in the countdown to a point where we could cycle the switch on the electrical networks console to see if the relay would pick up -- that was a "no go". Now things got serious. The NASA Test Conductor was talking 'scrub the launch' but our S2 Stage Test Conductor was talking 'go to the pad'.

Well, the Red Phone rings.

"Bill, how sure are you that this relay is the problem? Are we going to send people to the pad to rewire the rocket and not be able to launch because we guessed wrong?" said "AC" Filbert C. Martin

"It's worth a shot, the signal is not reaching the vehicle and that relay module is the only active component between the Firing Room Console and the Vehicle. You snap out the old Relay Module and snap in the new one and we will be able to tell if that was the problem a few seconds later."

"Well, we are a little concerned about sending a team to the pad with a fully loaded vehicle. We thought your team would do a lot of blueprint trouble shooting -- I'm not sure we planned to actually send anybody out to a fueled vehicle"

"Just don't let them launch this mother till we are at least half way back from the pad -- OK!"

About thirty minutes later the five of us (Bob Kelso NRR Sr. Tech, Bill Moore; NAR Engineer/ Team Leader, the NASA Safety Engineer, the NRR Quality Control and the NASA Pad Leader) got the official word to head for the Launch Pad with our new Relay Pod. It was 11:30pm. It was a dark, slow, three mile trip. As we got closer to the Saturn V it was shrouded in a white cloud of venting gases which relieved the pressures building up inside the vehicle fuel tanks.

You May Also Like: