NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

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Title and Publishing Information Abstract

Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea, and the Stars

NASA Administrator’s Symposium
September 26–29, 2004
Naval Postgraduate School
Editors: Steven J. Dick and Keith L. Cowing
NASA SP-2005-4701

Invitation Letter (excerpt)
  The goal of the Risk and Exploration Symposium is to engage in an open discussion about the issue of risk—identifying it, mitigating it, accepting it—all in the course of exploration. Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called “sure-thing-taking.”
  Challenge fosters excellence, often drawing on previously untapped skills and abilities. Each of us takes and accepts risk as a part of our daily existence. We often go out of our way to seek challenge. However, seeking challenge often means accepting a high level of risk. The dictionary defi nes risk as being exposed to hazard or danger. To accept risk is to accept possible loss or injury, even death.
  One of the key issues that continues to be debated in the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Columbia is the level of risk NASA accepted. And, ultimately, the entire nation is now engaged in a broader debate over whether or not the exploration of space is worth the risk of human life.

Space Shuttle Orbiter Approach and Landing Test:
Final Evaluation Report

Approved by: Aaron Cohen and Deke Slayton
February 1, 1978
Report Number: NASA-TM-79404; JSC-13864

Abstract: (excerpt)
The Approach and Landing Test Program consisted of a series of steps leading to the demonstration of the capability of the Space Shuttle orbiter to safely approach and land under conditions similar to those planned for the final phases of an orbital flight. The tests were conducted with the orbiter mounted on top of a specially modified carrier aircraft. The first step provided airworthiness and performance verification of the carrier aircraft after modification. The second step consisted of three taxi tests and five flight tests with an inert unmanned orbiter. The third step consisted of three mated tests with an active manned orbiter. The fourth step consisted of five flights in which the orbiter was separated from the carrier aircraft.

The Approach and Landing Test program of the Space Shuttle Orbiter 101

M. J. Sugano1 and T.R. Brice2
1NASA Johnson Space Center
2Ford Aerospace and Communication

Aircraft Systems and Technology Conference
Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 21-23, 1978

Abstract (excerpt)
   The Approach and Landing Test was conducted to verify the landing capability of the Orbiter. The preliminary mated test phases led up to the free flight tests and were used to check out software and hardware systems in a constrained environment.  The tests were conducted with the Orbiter mounted atop a modified 747 commercial airliner, and verified the systems required for separation. The first free flight of the Orbiter occurred on August 12, 1977 and was manned by astronauts Fred Haise and Gordon Fullerton. Free flight two occurred on September 13, 1977, with astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly flying the Orbiter. Three other flights were eventually flown with the two crews alternating flights.
   The preparations for the flight, the engineering problems and considerations which arose before and during the flights, and the unique approach to the flight testing are discussed in this paper. Some comparisons of predicted and flight results are presented, and excerpts from the pilot reports highlight the paper.
Shuttle: Engine Cut Off Charts (schematic, etc.).

DMSMS Center of Excellence

Mission Statement
The COE is chartered by the Office of Secretary of Defense to be the one-stop best cost provider of non-biased products, services, information, educational resources, data interchange techniques, interaction forums, and related material to empower the DoD community (Organic and Industrial) to implement best practices for monitoring, tracking, resolving, and performing analytical logistic and engineering analysis related to obsolescence impacts. Consistent application of the COE tools/techniques facilitates optimal resolution, test, parts management, design, upgrade and redesign methodologies, thereby minimizing detrimental weapons systems readiness impacts.

Apollo, Challenger, Columbia:
The Decline of the Space Program

Phillip K. Tompkins
Roxbury Publishing Company
©2005 Roxbury Publishing Company

  • Preface

  • Introduction and Acknowledgements

  • The Columbia Accident

  • The Week Following: Debris, Data, and Fault Trees

  • Culture and Communication in NASA

  • Communication and Culture in the Marshall Space Flight Center

  • The Challenger Accident

  • The Mysteries of Columbia Continue

  • Reading the CAIB Report: Echos of Challenger and a Cultural Fence

  • The Challenger Syndrome and the Decline of American Organizations and Institutions: "Speaking Truth to Power"

  • Chicken Little, the Ostrich, and Spiderman

  • Case of Characters

Disasters and Accidents in Manned Spaceflight

David J. Shayler
Springer-Praxis Books in Astronomy and Space Sciences
ISBN 1-85233-225-5
© Praxis Publishing Ltd

Table of Contents (high level and abbreviated)
  • The Quest for Space
    • Overview
    • Pioneers of the stratosphere
    • Parachutes and rocket sledges
    • Rocket research pilot accidents: legends of the Right Stuff
  • Training for Space
    • Overview
    • The Apollo 1 fire, January 1967
  • Launch to Space
    • Overview: Gemini 6; Apollo 12; STS-8; STS 41-D; STS-19 (51-F); STS-93
    • Soyuz Launch Aborts, 1975 and 1983
    • The STS-25 (51-L) launch explosion
  • Survival in Space
    • Overview: Medical incidents; Equipment anomalies; Docking incidents; Space Shuttle sub-system anomalies; Extravehicular activity incidents
    • Gemini 8 in-flight abort
    • The Apollo 13 explosion
    • Mir: fire and a collision
  • Return from Space
    • Overview: Liberty Bell 7; Aurora 7; Soyuz 5; Apollo 15; Apollo-Soyuz Test Project; Soyuz 23; STS 51-D
    • The Soyuz 1 landing accident
    • Soyuz 11 decompression
  • The Future in Space
    • Overview: International Space Station; Return to the Moon and the inner plants; The Outer Solar System; Human Elements
  • Conclusion

Collective Knowledge Gained from Gemini

Charles W. Mathews
NASA Manned Spacecraft Center
AIAA Paper No. 66-1027
AIAA Third Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 1966.

The Gemini Program has comprised 12 space flights, 10 of which were manned operations.  The information gained is difficult to summarize within a brief paper, but more detailed information has and will continue to be made available to those who have an interest in it.  With minor exceptions, the objectives of the program were met, having been expanded well beyond original concepts and examined in considerably more depth than expected.  Gemini leaves a legacy of results that, hopefully, will further accelerate man's efforts to explore and utilize the frontier of space.

Summary of Gemini Rendezvous Experience

Glynn S. Lunney
NASA Manned Spacecraft Center
AIAA Paper No. 67-272
AIAA Flight Test, Simulation and Support Conference
Cocoa Beach, Florida, Feb. 6-8, 1967

A significant portion of the Gemini program was devoted to the rendezvous problem. One of the major objectives was to establish a base of operational experience and confidence in the required techniques. In this paper, the planning and flight test cycle is reviewed to provide an outline of the Gemini results. Many various considerations were studied and several of the more important factors are discussed as to their influence on the different choices and subsequent operations. The flight test results are summarized according to technique and performance such as propellant costs, satisfaction of conditions, et cetera. Overall, the conclusion is that the base of experience has been established, the rendezvous sequence is practical, the systems and the management of these systems have been satisfactory in accuracy and performance. Further study and a continued, detailed preparation will be the key to the future uses of rendezvous.

Mission Control of Lunar Orbiter I

J.C. Graves, The Boeing Company
Dalton D. Webb, NASA Langley Research Center
AIAA Paper No. 67-278
AIAA Flight Test, Simulation and Support Conference
Cocoa Beach, Florida, Feb. 6-8, 1967

For those unmanned spacecraft that have so far ventured into space beyond the Earth's immediate influence, Earth-based mission control systems have taken the place of the on-board crew. The Lunar Orbiter mission control system is comprised of long-range tracking, telemetry, radio command, and computing equipment plus a team of skilled flight control engineers. After spacecraft separation from the Atlas-Agena launch vehicle, mission control was transferred from the Eastern Test Range to the Space Flight Operations Facility at Pasadena, California, where three crews of flight controllers worked around the clock for 35 days analyzing millions of data samples and originating over 4500 commands to the spacecraft to control its flight path, attitude, and photographic activities. During the flight of Lunar Orbiter I during August 1966, a number of nonstandard events occurred. All of these situation were detected and properly analyzed by the flight control team, and, with the exception of a camera shutter control problem, work-around procedures were developed for all anomalies encountered. A second camera in the spacecraft did, however, successfully provide extensive and informative photographic coverage of the lunar surface. This important contribution to Apollo and to science is surpassed only by the highly successful second flight recently concluded this past December.

Robots and humans: synergy in planetary exploration

Geoffrey A. Landis
NASA John H. Glenn Research Center
Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 985-990

How will humans and robots cooperate in future planetary exploration?  Are humans and robots fundamentally separate modes of exploration, or can humans and robots work together to synergistically explore the solar system?  It is proposed that humans and robots can work together in exploring the planets by use of telerobotic operation to expand the function and usefulness of human explorers, and to extend the range of human exploration to hostile environments.

Space Policy and the Size of the Space Shuttle Fleet

Valerie Neal, Space History Division, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Space Policy 20 (2004) 157-169

During the space shuttle era, policy makers have repeatedly wrestled with the issue of fleet size. The number of shuttles had both practical and symbolic significance, reflecting the robustness of the space transportation system and US preeminence in space. In debating how many shuttles were needed, NASA and other government entities weighed various arguments to determine the optimum number of vehicles for human spaceflight. Deliberations and decisions about shuttle fleet size reflected changing policy priorities and attitudes about the role of the shuttle. That history frames issues that may arise again in planning for new space transportation vehicles beyond the shuttle.

The Depths of Space
The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes

Mark Wolverton
Joseph Henry Press, Washington, D.C.
© 2004 by Mark Wolverton
ISBN 0-309-09050-4


Forward by James A. Van Allen
Introduction - Message in a Bottle

  1. Embarkation
  2. Reaching into the Void
  3. Something Man Has Never Done Before
  4. The Sole Selection
  5. Countdown and Controversy
  6. Spring at the Cape
  7. Twelve Generations from Galileo
  8. Filling in the Gaps
  9. A Jewel in the Night
  10. Planet of Clouds
  11. Whispers Across the Abyss
  12. Lone Survivor

"Apollo Reaction Control Systems"

Chester A. Vaughan
Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston Texas
Paper No. 68-566
AIAA 4th Propulsion Joint Specialist Conference
Cleveland, Ohio
June 10-14, 1968

Descriptions of the reaction control systems for the Apollo command module, service module, and lunar module are presented. Major problems encountered during the development and qualification of the engines for these systems are discussed. These systems are pressure fed, bipropellant, hypergolic propulsion systems utilizing nitrogen tetroxide as the oxidizer and the hydrazine group of fuels. A total of 44 reaction control system engines are installed in the three modules. The Apollo reaction control system must satisfy many unique environmental requirements ranging from zero-gravity propellant feed to operation with the reaction control system engine in a gravitational field firing vertical up. Operational requirements range from short on-off to long on-off firing times. Total impulse requirements from a single firing range from 0.4 to 50 000 pound-seconds. Ten thousand firings may be required of some engines. Three Apollo command module and service module flights and one lunar module flight have been made. In each flight, the reaction control system performed its required functions successfully.

Aircraft Nomenclature

From From Runway to Orbit: Reflections of a NASA Engineer by Ken Iliff, 2004.

Trust But Verify:
Imagery Analysis in the Cold War

David T. Lindgren
Naval Institute Press
© 2000 by David T. Lindgren
ISBN 1-55750-518-7

1. The Cold War Begins
2. An Interim Solution
3. The Caribbean Crisis
4. Project Corona
5. Imagery and Arms Control
6. The Second Cold War
7. An Uncertain Future
Literature Cited

Space Station Requirements and Transportation Options for Lunar Outpost

Archie C Young, John A. Mulqueen, James W. McCarter, Margaret C. Varner, Richard W. Brown, and Barton S. Penine Marshall Space Flight Center

Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Space Congress
April 24-27, 1990
Cocoa Beach, Florida

The 1990's and Space Station Freedom are the next critical steps in our space endeavors which will be stepping stones for the new century permanent exploration of the moon and the solar system. Freedom Station and transportation requirements for the lunar outpost are partitioned into three phases - the emplacement phase, the consolidation phase, and the utilization phase. The Earth-to-orbit transportation system must ferry vehicles, cargo, crew, and propellant to low Earth orbit (LEO) to support these lunar outpost phase requirements. The lunar transportation system is designed to move crew, science instruments, and support equipment from LEO to the surface of the moon. The lunar transportation system consists of the lunar transfer vehicle (LTV) and the lunar excursion vehicle (LEV). These reusable and highly reliable vehicles provide multiple mission utility through common vehicle usage for cargo and crew delivery. Mission analyses and the lunar payload model have established vehicle design and sizing requirements. A 300-km circular orbit is assumed for the low lunar orbit (I.LO) staging point for the lunar surface base. Freedom is used as the LEO transportation node. The LEV is sized to deliver 15t to the lunar surface for the first piloted flight. The LEV can deliver 33t to the lunar surface in the cargo expendable mode. Different transportation system options are designed and sized to compare and show sensitivity of the initial mass required. in LEO to determine the most effective and efficient transportation concept.

Space Station Freedom Accommodation of the Human Exploration Initiative

Barry D. Meredith
NASA Langley Research Center

Lewis L. Peach, Jr.
NASA Headquarters

Peter R. Ahlf and Rudolph J. Saucillo
McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company

Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Space Congress
April 24-27, 1990
Cocoa Beach, Florida



In his July 20th speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing, President Bush proposed '...a sustained program of manned exploration of the solar system... and the permanent settlement of space." The President's plan for the future of America's manned space program calls for Space Station Freedom to be operational in the 1990's followed by a return to the Moon for the new century, "this time to stay", and then a manned mission to Mars. Space Station Freedom is a fundamental part of this long-range, evolutionary, human exploration initiative. It will support continuous human presence in Earth orbit for the purposes of scientific research and the development of technologies critical to the exploration missions. In addition to serving as a research and development facility in space, Freedom will be used as a spaceport or transportation node to support the assembly, servicing and checkout of space transfer vehicles which will ferry crew and cargo to the lunar surface and on to Mars. A study conducted by NASA during the Autumn of 1989 identified exploration accommodation requirements for the Space Station and formulated plans to implement mission-supporting capabilities. It was determined that the initial Space Station Freedom configuration (termed Assembly Complete) must be augmented to provide additional resources and capabilities. Increases will be required to Freedom crew, power, pressurized volume and truss structure. New capabilities will be required such as spacecraft assembly and servicing. A significant conclusion of the 90-day NASA study was that Space Station is capable of accommodating the necessary additions due to the evolutionary nature of the design.

Silent Knights:
Blowing the  Whistle on Military Accidents and Their Cover-ups

Alan E. Diehl, Ph.D.
Former Senior USAF Safety Specialist
© 2002 by Brassey's, Inc.
Brassey's, Inc., Washington, D.C.
ISBN 1-57488-412-3

Forward by Lt. Col. John J. Nance, USAFR
Part I: Betrayal of Trust  - 1. Nexus of the Nightmare; 2. First Blood; 3. Deadly Debacles; 4. Safety Last; 5. Institutionalized Abuses
Part II: Flying Fiascoes
- 6. Beneath Human Error; 7. Accepted Risk; 8. Skeletons in the Closet; 9. Abuse of Privilege; 10. Unlearned Lessons; 11. Just Plane Fun.
Part III: Tri-Service Tragedies
- 12. Unfriendly Fire; 13. One of the Boys; 14 Anchors Awry; 15. High-Tech Holocausts
Part IV: Wild Blue Yonder
- 16. Chariot of Fire; 17. The Bell Tolls for Thee; 18. Cheating Life; 19. Accountability Run Amok
Part V: After the Whistle
- 20. Pandora's Five-Sided Box; 21. Damage Control; 22. A Plethora of Plagues; 23. Ill Wind.
Part VI: Righteous Remedies
- 24. Walls of Shame; 25 Saving Private Leland

1976- Year of the Space Shuttle

The Saturday Evening Post
July/August 1973


The Secret of Apollo - Systems Management in American and European Space Programs

Stephen B. Johnson
© 2002 The Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 0-8018-6898-X

New Series in NASA History - Roger D. Launius, Series Editor


Introduction: Management and the Control of Research and Development
  1. Social and Technical Issues of Spaceflight
  2. Creating Concurrency
  3. From Concurrency to Systems Management
  4. JPL's Journey from Missiles to Space
  5. Organizing the Manned Space Program
  6. Organizing ELDO for Failure
  7. ESROs American Bridge across the Management Gap
  8. Coordination and Control of High-Tech Research and Development

Essay on Sources 277 Index 283

How does one go about organizing something as complicated as a strategic-missile or space-exploration program?  Stephen B. Johnson here explores the answer -- systems management -- in a groundbreaking study that involves Air Force planners, scientists, technical specialists, and, eventually, bureaucrats.  Taking a comparative approach, Johnson focuses on the theory, or intellectual history, of "systems engineering" as such, its origins in the air force's Cold War ICBM efforts, and its migration to not on NASA but the European Space Agency.

Exploring the history and politics of aerospace development and weapons procurement, Johnson examines how scientists and engineers created the systems management process to coordinate large-scale technology development, and how managers and military officers gained control of that process.  "Those funding the race demanded results," Johnson explains.  "In response, development organizations created what few expected and what even fewer wanted - a bureaucracy for innovation.  To begin to understand this apparent contradiction in terms, we must first understand the exacting nature of space technologies and the concerns of those who create them."

Taking the measure of Mars

Mars Observer goes for the Big Picture

NASA Magazine, summer 1992, pp. 26-29



Cost Reduction Potential In Space Program Management

Adelbert O. Tischler, Bethesda, MD

Acta Astranautica Vol. II, No. 12, pp. 741-744

The barrier to low cost space programs has been identified, and we are it. Principal among the causes for escalation of space program costs is the 'system' which has evolved to control programs. The 'system' includes not only the procedures and documents that constitute the flow of paper, the reviews and approvals necessary to initiate actions, and the entire methodology of the decision-making and approval processes but, necessarily, the people, including political as well as industrial counterparts, who populate these environments. This complex 'system' has proliferated so that it now promotes time-taking routines, obstructs prompt action, inhibits decisions, extends schedules and escalates costs. Designed to aid and abet management by supplying information necessary to maintain cognizance of program status the 'system' has taken over the role of management. Problems and their solutions must now be addressed to the 'system' as aided and abetted by management.

Most of the evident causes of program cost problems have long since been recognized. Attacking them will produce second-order effects until management is willing to face up to the internal cost driver.

Automaton or astronaut?

A. Mikhailov
Leningrad M-140, U.S.S.R.

Acta Astronautica. Vol. I, pp. 557-559.

The author confronts the question of whether lunar and planetary exploration and research should be carried out by men or by automatically operated equipment. Soviet and American accomplishments made with automatic devices in the various space programs are reviewed. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the use of automatic devices guided from Earth, such as the Lunakhod. He concludes that not only will automatic lunar and planetary laboratories be possible in the not too remote future but also that their operation would be much less expensive than if research were carried out by men, although an automaton cannot fully replace a man.


B. J. Bluth - Dept. of Sociology, California State University, Northridge, CA

Acta Astronautica Vol. 11, No.2, pp. 149-153, 1984

Serious recommendations have been made about the development and mutual manning of an international space station. The achievements of ESA show that such international organizations can work successfully in high technology projects, although with problems. However, other work on isolated and confined environments suggests that sustained cooperation in the unique quarters of a space station for long durations may have special inter-cultural difficulties that need to be examined before any long term commitment is made. Also, a careful look at international activities in general suggests that in spite of the fact that there are many potential benefits for cooperative activities, there are also many international obstacles.

If such an effort is to be embarked upon, it is important to look candidly at the problems that can be generated from the multi-national social, economic, and cultural systems in order to do serious and direct analyses. Such a project might be strangled by unanticipated and complex problems of a socio-cultural nature.

The Role of Cross-Cultural Factors in Long-Duration International Space Missions: Lessons from the SFINCSS-99 Study

Leena M. Tomi, Katherine Rossokha and Janette Hosein
Canadian Space Agency

Space Technology, Vol. 22, No. 3-4, 2002
pp. 137-144

The role of cross-cultural factors in long-duration international space missions was examined during an isolation study that simulated many of the conditions aboard the International Space Station. Methods: Interactions involving two heterogeneous crews and one homogeneous crew staying in isolation from 110 to 240 days were studied. Data consisted of post-isolation interviews with crewmembers, ground support personnel and management, observational data, and public statements by crewmembers. Data was analyzed using the techniques of linguistic anthropology and ethnography. Results: Sub-cultural (organizational and professional) differences played a larger role than national differences in causing misunderstandings in this study. Conversely, some misunderstandings and conflicts were escalated by participants falsely assuming cultural differences or similarities. Comparison between the two heterogeneous crews showed the importance of training, personality factors, and commander and language skills in preventing and alleviating cultural misunderstandings. Conclusion: The study revealed a number of ways that cultural differences, real as well as assumed, can play a role and interact with other, non-cultural, factors in causing and/or precipitating conflict situations. It is postulated that such difficulties can be avoided by selecting culturally adaptive crewmembers and by cross-cultural and language training. Also the crew composition and role of commander were found to be important in mitigating conflict situations.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to NASA

Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D. and Michael Benson
© 2002 by Dr. Thomas Jones and Michael Benson
ISBN 0-02-864282-1


Part 1: From Tang, to the Moon, and Now the Universe
Part 2: The Early Days
Part 3: Humans in Space
Part 4: Moonwalkin'
Part 5: After the Moon


Suggested Reading

Grumman F-14 Tomcat
Leading US Navy Fleet Fighter

Dennis R. Jenkins
© 1997 Dennis R. Jenkins
ISBN 1 85780 063 X
Midland Publishing Limited


Acronyms and Abbreviations


  1. Genesis
  2. Grumman enters the fray
  3. Program scrutiny as production begins
  4. Operational service with the US Navy
  5. Technical description; construction and systems
  6. Armament
  7. Powerplants

Tomcats in Colour

Acronym Central

Search for acronym definitions.

Frequently Seen Space/Astronomy Acronyms

This list is offered as a reference for translating commonly appearing acronyms in the space-related newsgroups. If I forgot or botched your favorite acronym, please let me know! Also, if there's an acronym not on this list that confuses you, drop me a line, and if I can figure it out, I'll add it to the list.

For Spacious Skies
The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut

Scott Carpenter and Kris Stoever
© 2002 by Scott Carpenter and Kris Stoever
ISBN 0-15-100467-6
Harcourt, Inc.


PART ONE: EARTH: Buddy; A Frozen Sea; The Unpleasantness; Pocketknives, Pens, and Other Edge Tools

PART TWO: SKY: I Am Now a Naval Aviation Cadet; A Navy Wife?; Love, War, and Quonset Huts

PART THREE: STARS: For Spacious Skies; You Are Hereby Ordered; One Hundred Chimps; The Fibrillating Heart; Delta Becomes Aurora; Commander Carpenter and His Flying Machine!; The Color of Fire


Manned Spacecraft Automation and Robotics

Jon D. Erickson
Artificial Intelligence and Information Sciences Office
NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX 77058

Proceedings of the IEEE
Vol. 75, No. 3, March 1987, pp. 417-426 erickson_87


The Space Station holds promise of being a showcase user and driver of advanced automation and robotics technology.  The author addresses the advances in automation and robotics from the Space Shuttle - with its high-reliability redundancy management and fault-tolerance design and its remote manipulator system - to the projected knowledge-based systems for monitoring, control; fault diagnosis, planning, and scheduling, and the telerobotic systems of the future Space Station.

The Unbroken Chain

Guenter Wendt and Russell Still
ISBN 1-896522-84-X
©2001 Russell Still


Chapter 1 - In the beginning...
Chapter 2 - An American in space...
Chapter 3 - Not an easy business...
Chapter 4 - Orbit!
Chapter 5 - Problems with pairs...
Chapter 6 - Learning to walk...
Chapter 7 - Three astronauts at Pad 34
Chapter 8 - A giant's reach...
Chapter 9 - "LIVE FROM THE MOON"
Chapter 10 - Breaks in the chain...
Chapter 11 - The height of adventure...
Chapter 12 - The end of Apollo...
Chapter 13 - Into the desert...
Chapter 14 - A new chain...

Epilogue - Where Guenter went
Researching The Chain

Evaluation of Ice and Frost Accumulation on the Space Shuttle External Tank

R. E. Rhodes and S. W. Walker
J. F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA

Proceedings of the Thirteenth Space Congress
Cocoa Beach, Florida, April 7-9, 1976
pp. 4-43 through 4-46


Ice/frost formation on the Space Shuttle cryogenic propellant tanks presents a different problem from that of past launch vehicles.  Lift off weight addition has been the primary concern on past launch vehicles.  The primary ice/frost concern on the Shuttle vehicle is damage to the Orbiter Thermal Protection System due to ice/frost impact.  The approach used to arrive at a solution to this unique Shuttle problem is presented.  The launch vehicle configuration selected and its limitations are described, along with contingency ground support equipment.

Beyond The Moon

A Golden Age of Planetary Exploration

Robert S. Kraemer
©2000 by the Smithsonian Institution
ISBN 1-56098-954-8


Foreword by Roger D. Launius
List of Abbreviations

  1. On the Shoulders of Giants: Developing the Technology
  2. 1971: Mariner 9 Mars Orbit
  3. 1972 and 1973: Pioneer 10 and 11 Jupiter and Saturn Flybys
  4. 1974 and 1976: Helios 1 and 2 Solar Probes
  5. 1973: Mariner 10 Venus and Mercury Flybys
  6. 1975: Viking 1 and 2 Mars Orbits and Landings
  7. 1977: Voyager 1 and 2 Flybys of the Outer Planets
  8. 1978: Pioneer Venus 1 and 2 Orbit and Probes

Epilogue: From Gloom of Night to New Light of Dawn
Appendix by Roger D. Launius

Inside NASA
High Technology and Organizational Change in the U.S. Space Program

Howard E. McCurdy
©1993 The Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 0-8018-4452-5

Introduction: NASA's Organizational Culture
  1. Building Blocks: The Research Laboratories; The Rocket Engineers; Human Space Flight; The Science Centers; A Confederation of Cultures
  2. Root Assumptions: Research and Testing; In-House Technical Capability; Hands-On Experience; Exceptional People
  3. Breaking Barriers: Risk and Failure; Frontier Mentality; The First Generation
  4. Becoming Conventional: Organizing for Apollo; Aging and Organizational Change; Decreasing Flexibility; Increasing Bureaucracy; Growing More Conservative; Fighting for Survival; Weakening Organization
  5. Losing the Technical Culture: Contracting Out; Going Operational; Flight Testing; Rick and Technology; The Distance Thesis and Exceptional Employees
  6. Conclusion: Governmental Performance and Cultural Instability: NASA's Original Culture; Organizational Culture and Change; Culture and Performance

Appendix: NASA Culture Survey

Spacesuit Guidebook

National Aeronautics and Space Administration


  1. Spacesuit Components

  2. Donning the Spacesuit

  3. Primary Life Support System

  4. Manned Maneuvering Unit

  5. Spacesuit History

Space Almanac

By Tamar A. Mehuron
Air Force Magazine, August, 2002

Facts, figures, agency and system profiles, budget data, and other information about US and foreign space programs.

Computers Take Flight; A History of NASA's Pioneering Fly-By-Wire Project

James E. Tomayko

One hundred years after the Wright brothers, first powered flight, airplane designers are unshackled from the constraints that they lived with for the first seven decades of flight because of the emergence of digital fly-by-wire (DFBW) technology.

New designers seek incredible maneuverability, survivability, efficiency, or special performance through configurations which rely on a DFBW system for stability and controllability. DFBW systems have contributed to major advances in human space flight, advanced fighters and bombers, and safe, modern civil transportation.

The story of digital fly-by-wire is a story of people, of successes, and of overcoming enormous obstacles and problems. The fundamental concept is relatively simple, but the realization of the concept in hardware and software safe enough for human use confronted the NASA-industry team with enormous challenges. But the team was victorious, and Dr. Tomayko tells the story extremely well.

The F-8 DFBW program, and the technology it spawned, was an outgrowth of the Apollo program and of the genius of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory staff. The DFBW program was the high point of my own career, and it was one of the most difficult undertakings of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. It was not easy to do the first time in the F-8 and it will not be easy to do in the next new airplane. I hope the history of this program is helpful to the designers of the DFBW systems that will enable new and wonderful aerospace vehicles of the future.

Kenneth J. Szalai, F-8 DFBW Principal Investigator
Former Director, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, 5 October 1999

This New Ocean
The Story of the First Space Age

William E. Burroughs
© 1998 by William E. Burroughs
ISBN 0-375-75485-7

  1. The New Ocean: Bird Envy; Rocket Science; Gravity's Archers; Missiles for America; The Other World Series; To Race Across the Sky; War and Peace in the Third Dimension; The Greatest Show on Earth; A Bridge for Galileo; To Hit a Moving Target
  2. The Infinite Voyage: From the Earth to the Moon; Destination Mars; A Grand Tour: The Majestic Adventure; The Roaring Eighties; Downsizing Infinity; The Rings of Earth; The Second Space Age.

External Tank for the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System

Lawrence Norquist
Martin Marieta - Michoud Operations, New Orleans, La.

Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 14, No. 6, June 1977, pp. 358-364


A description and development status of the external tank (ET) propulsion system is described. The ET provides 1.5 X 106 lbm of cryogenic propellant for the Orbiter-mounted main engines. The subsystem includes a pressurization, vent and relief, propellant feed, propellant management, antigeyser, and environmental control systems, as well as interfaces with the Orbiter and ground systems. Detail design requirements, performance analysis, and component description of these systems are presented. Specific mention is made of trade studies and design approaches taken to achieve design-to-cost goals.

Project Orion

The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship

George Dyson
©2002 by George Dyson
Henry Holt and Company, LLC
ISBN 0-8050-5985-7

: Bel-Air
  1. Sputnik
  2. The World Set Free
  3. Ulam's Demon
  4. General Atomic
  5. TRIGA
  6. Critical Mass
  7. QED
  8. Lew Allen's Balls
  9. ARPA
  10. Columbus
  11. Noah's Ark
  12. Free Expansion of a Gas
  13. Hotter Than the Sun, Cooler Than a Bomb
  14. C-4
  15. Point Loma
  16. Engineers' Dreams
  17. Coca-Cola
  18. Enceladus
  19. Deep Space Force
  20. Jackass Flats
  21. Fallout
  22. Huntsville
  23. Death of a Project
  24. 2001
  25. The Sun Snarers

Appendix: Project Orion Technical Reports, 1957-1965

The Space Station Decision

Incremental Politics and Technological Choice

Howard E. McCurdy
©1990 The Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 0-8018-4004-X

Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction: The Vision

Part I  The Race (Spring 1961); One New Initiative (January 5, 1972); Beggs (June 17, 1981); The Team (May 20, 1982); Independence Day (July 4, 1982)

Part II  Budget Strategy; Wheels, Cans, and Modules; Configurations; The First Move; How to Organize a Task Force; International Participation; Technology; Budget Wars

Part III  Positions;  The White House; The Rabbit in the Hat; Sig (Space); The Number; Reagan

Part IV  Congress; Momentum; Management; Congress II

Afterword: Politics, Bureaucracy, and Public Policy

Faster, Better, Cheaper
Low-Cost Innovation in the U.S. Space Program

Howard E. McCurdy
©2001 The Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 0-8018-6720-7

  1. The Reform
  2. The Nature of the Challenge
  3. Cost Control
  4. The Philosophy
  5. Mars Pathfinder
  6. Organization
  7. Technology
  8. Risk and Reliability
  9. Future Implications
Basics of Space Flight This is a training module designed primarily to help JPL operations people identify the range of concepts
associated with deep space missions and grasp the relationships these concepts exhibit for space flight. It also enjoys growing popularity among high school and college students, as well as faculty and people
everywhere who are interested in interplanetary space flight.

The Basics of Space Flight attempts to offer a broad scope, but limited depth, as a background for further investigation; many other resources are available, of course, for delving into each of the topics related here. Indeed, any one of these topics can involve a lifelong career of specialization. This module's purpose is met if the participant learns the scope of concepts that apply to interplanetary space exploration and the relationships between them.

Reliability of Future European Launchers with Abort Capability

Pilar Gonzalez

AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Vol. 37, No. 6, November-December 2000
pp. ??

Since 1994, the aim of the Future European Space Transportation Investigation Program has been identifying technically feasible and financially affordable reusable or semireusable launcher concepts, with the chief objective of increasing availability and significantly decreasing cost.  An overview is given on how consideration of abort modes in reusable and semireusable launchers would fairly increase launcher reliability and lifetime and reduce recurring costs.  Results are analyzed of the preliminary reliability assessment of eight different concepts, performed during Slice C of the program.  This study has proved that probabilistic reliability analyses are also a good decision tool in the early phases of a program where conceptual design will be fixed.   It can be used as a comparative argument for concept selection, giving a quantitative idea of the reliability of different conceptual design options, and as a tool to select subsystem design options considered reliable from the beginning.

Avionics Architecture for the U.S. Segment of the International Space Station Alpha

J. Smith1, M. McDonald2, S. Suchting3, and J. Schikner1
1McDonnel Douglas Aerospace
2NASA - Johnson Space Center
3Boeing Defense and Space Group

A Collection of Technical Papers
AIAA Computing in Aerospace 10
March 28-30, 1995/San Antonio, TX
pp. 163-172

The International Space Station Alpha (ISSA) is a joint project between the United States, European Space Agency, Japan, Canada and Russia to develop and fly a space station in the later part of the 1990s.  Each of these partners will contribute one or more pressurized modules or other elements to this new space station.  The United States will be the largest hardware contributor to this project, and this paper will describe the avionics architecture for the U.S. provided pressurized modules and truss segments.   The avionics contained within these U.S. modules and segments will perform many of the core engineering and payload support functions for the ISSA.  These functions include: the command and data handling, communications and tracking, guidance navigation and control (in partnership with the Russian elements), and electrical power generation and distribution.  This paper will describe the architecture of the avionics systems that will perform these core engineering avionics functions, as well as provide a discussion on the avionics necessary for the proper functioning of the core engineering avionics supported functions such as thermal control, life support, and mechanisms.

Control of Robotic Systems on the Space Station

M. Stieber1, D. Hunter1, C. Trudel1, and R. Ravindran2
1Canadian Space Agency
2MD Robotics

Space Technology, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 71-76, 2000

Robotic systems will play a critical role in the on-orbit assembly, external maintenance and operations of the International Space Station.  This paper provides an overview of the robotic systems of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), focusing on the MSS control system concepts and architecture.

Current Results of the Electronic Part Sterilization Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

J. Visser, JPL

1967 Annual Symposium on Reliability
January 10-12, 1967
Washington, D.C.
pp. 312-322

This report documents some of the preliminary results of the electronic parts sterilization program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  The program is geared to reflect current NASA sterilization policy.  The primary objective of the electronic part sterilization programs is to establish an approved list of sterilizable electronic parts.  The major effect of the current JPL program is concerned with heat sterilization studies on representative part types from each major part category, specifically in relationship to the reliability of the devices.

Magellan Mission Planning and Orbital Operations

J. Carter and A. Tavormina
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology

Proceedings of the ESA Symposium on Spacecraft Flight Dynamics
Darmstadt, Germany
September 30 - October 4, 1991
ESA SP-326, December, 1991
pp. 457-464

The goal of NASA's Magellan mission is to understand the geological and geophysical processes that have shaped the planet Venus.  Through synthetic aperture radar, radiometric, altimetric, and gravity measurements, the scientific community hopes to improve its knowledge of the planet's topography and internal mass distribution.   This paper provides an overview of the Magellan mission; describes the spacecraft sequence software design, development, and test; addresses the nominal operational flow of stored sequence design and generation; briefly describes the ground processing of engineering telemetry and imaging data; and then summarizes the Magellan operational experience with non-routine behavior of the spacecraft during the cruise and mapping portions of the prime mission.

AIAA 92-1547
The Saturn V F-1 Engine Revisited

B.W. Shelton1 and T. Murphy2
1 NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center
2 Rocketdyne Division, Rockwell International

AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference
March 24-27, 1992
Huntsville, AL

The Saturn V F-1 Engine Revisited

This paper describes how the Saturn V F-1 engine could be resurrected for potential use in a new heavy lift launch vehicle (HLLV).  Performance, history, and reliability of the F-1 will be discussed and a 1990's F-1 engine configuration presented.  Similarities between restarting the F-1 program and restarting the Atlas and Delta engine programs will be discussed.

(May 27, 2002)

Russian Space Program References  
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