Aeronautics National Space Craft Program Research Paper

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NASA classified the mission as a "Successful Failure" because the crew was rescued in time to avert any fatalities (Frasketi, 2010). The spent upper stage was successfully impacted in space. This mission was however characterized by an astronaut exposing his colleagues to German measles days before the flight. One of the astronauts had no immunity to the measles and had to be replaced by another module pilot. The flight however took 5 days and 22.9 hours (Frasketi, 2010). The command module was named "Odyssey" and "Aquarius" was the name given to the Lunar module. After the replacement of the sick crew member, the crew was comprised of three astronauts constituting of a commander, one lunar and another commander module pilot (Frasketi, 2010).

Figure 3: Damaged Apollo 13

Source: http://space.about.com/od/apollomissions/ig/Apollo-13-Pictures-Gallery/View-of-damaged-Apollo-13-Serv.htm

Apollo 14, (as-509)

Fra Mauro was the landing site for this particular mission. Apollo Lunar service experiment packages were deployed to the moon on this mission. The Lunar surface stay time was 33.5 hours and 67 hours in Lunar orbit. There were 2 EVAs of 9 hours, 25 minutes (Frasketi, 2010). The third stage impacted on the moon with 94 pounds of lunar material being gathered. Unique to this mission, astronauts used hand carts to move rocks on the mission. "Kitty Hawk was the name given to the command module and the flight lasted 9 days. The Lunar module was named "Anthares." Alan B. Shepard was the commander, Stuart a. Roosa, was the commander module pilot and Edgar D. Mitchell was the Lunar module pilot (Frasketi, 2010).

Apollo 15, (as-510)

The landing site for this mission was Hadley which is a region near Apennine Mountains. There were 3 EVAs of 10 hours, 36 minutes (Frasketi, 2010). Warden performed 38 minutes EVA on the way back to earth. This flight was uniquely characterized to carry out orbital sensors in the command service module (Frasketi, 2010). Apollo Lunar services Experiments Package were also deployed. This mission doubled the scientific pay load carried to the moon. The astronauts also used improved space suits that increased their stay time which was 66.9 hours. They also used a space car for the first time which was an electric powered 4 wheel drive car. It covered a total of 17 miles on the moon. Astronauts were on the moon for 145 hours having covered 74 orbits. A sub-satellite was established in the moon for the first time. 169 pounds of lunar material was however gathered. The flight lasted 12 days, 17 hours, 12 minutes

(Frasketi, 2010). The command module was named "Endeavor," and the lunar module was named "Falcon." There were three astronauts on this mission namely: David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden, James B. Irwin who were the Commander, Command Module Pilot and Lunar Module Pilot respectively.

Apollo 16, (as-511)

The landing site was Descartes Highlands (Frasketi, 2010). Only selected surface experiments were deployed. Ultraviolet camera/spectrograph was used for the first time (Frasketi, 2010). The lunar vehicle was used as well. Lunar surface stay time was 71 hours and 126 hours in the lunar orbit having covered 64 orbits. 213 pounds of lunar material were gathered in this mission as well. The flight lasted 11 days, 1 hour and 51 minutes. The command module was named "Casper" and the lunar was named "Orion" (Frasketi, 2010). Just like other missions the Apollo 16 was headed by three astronauts comprising of a commander, assistant command module pilot and a lunar module pilot (Frasketi, 2010).

Apollo 17, (as-512)

This was the last lunar landing mission with the landing sites at Taurus-Littrow, highlands and valley area (This was the first study of the highlands area). There were three EVAs of 22 hours, and 4 minutes (Frasketi, 2010). 1 hour and 6 minutes was the record time Evans performed trans-earth EVA. This mission also put Harrison H. Schmitt as the first scientist-astronaut to land on the Moon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) covered a total of 19 miles this time. The lunar surface stay time was 75 hours having covered 17 hours in lunar orbit. 243 pounds of lunar material was gathered in this mission. The flight covered a total 12 days, 13 hours and 52 minutes. The name given to the command module was "America" and "Challenger" was the name given to the lunar module (Frasketi, 2010). Apollo 17 astronauts were Eugene a. Cernan, Ronald B. Evans and Harrison H. Schmitt.

Figure 4: The Apollo 17 in Space

Source: http://library.thinkquest.org/29033/voyages/apollo.htm

Management Lessons

Apollo 1

In 1964, a decision was made to build the Apollo in two blocks. The block 1 spacecraft was designed with serial numbers of below 100 (Wade, 12008). This was majorly to cover equipment to space and cover earth orbital revolutions only. Delays in the project were caused by the death of astronauts. The second block was built from experience of the Apollo 1 fire; it incorporated a lot of safety measures that weren't observed in the building of the first block.

Management Lesson

The safety of the crew here exposes the need for companies to ensure the best safety standards in building their aircrafts. Even for commercial planes carrying passengers it's important for designers to implement the best safety standards. Safety is especially important in the Aeronautic industry because of the level of fatalities usually witnessed in such accidents. The fatalities experienced during the launch of the Apollo 1 delayed further launch of the spacecrafts and this goes to show the effects safety measures if not observed can have on the overall operations.

Apollo CSM Communications and Design

It's evident the launch of the Apollo missions was characterized by the failure of communication (S- Band antenna). There was also a problem experienced by one of the flight wings in the space craft that resulted in unsuccessful launching of the mission. Because of the structural defects on the plane and communications system, it almost caused NASA another tragedy though the situation was saved from fatalities (Think quest, 2010).

Management lesson

A lot of emphasis should be made on the design of spacecrafts. Structural defects shouldn't be left to occur at all. This stresses the need for management especially in the production sector to be very careful with detail regarding the most important reasons for the success of flights; for instance the communication system. Structural safety of aircrafts should be proof checked in further developments

Estimated Cost of Research and Development of Apollo

The project of building the Apollo space ship has been greatly funded by congress. This is because of the eminent risk America was, in regard to Soviet Union threats. NASA approximates that Apollo cost $20 billion U.S. dollars in research and development. The sustenance of the Apollo project has been greatly attributed to the good relations NASA has with congress. NASA's annual budget estimate from congress is represented at 5.3% (NASA, 2010).

Conclusion

The Apollo program is insightful on the advancements that have been made in the aeronautics industry. These developments go a long way in ensuring constant technological improvements regarding space operations. The Apollo Command project is also a great development to the national security parameters. It has revolutionalized the country's military knowledge regarding security (Aeronautical Society of America. 2006). it's also clear that it's very difficult for such a project (of Apollo's magnitude) to sail through without the help of government funding. More research is still being made and further developments are projected…[continue]

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