Description

    Grumman construction log for the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle.

    Grumman Apollo 11 Lunar Module Handwritten Construction and Testing Log Book. A July to October 1968 log, in original Grumman sequencing (not chronological), with approximately seventy-five single-sided handwritten 8" x 11" pages in a binder, of construction and testing of LM-5 (Eagle), the first ship to land on the moon. It was written in Ace Room III, where electronics and attitude control rockets were being tested (and occasionally redesigned or replaced). The last entry in this volume is dated October 21, 1968, marking a month during which the Lunar Module's reflective golden jacket was being fitted and tailored and electrical tests of the engine systems were being carried out. This was just nine months ahead of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Written in the hands of Lorimer, Woods, Bierbaum, and other Apollo engineers, this Log is like peering into a time capsule. For example, a 10/21/68 entry reads: "Various jets failed to come on during run... Bad news all around... All recorders lost timing data for the duration of the run."

    This volume is the original, and the only one in existence. It contains the actual handwritten pages in black, blue, and red ink, and in pencil. These include the engineers' notes to each other during test phases, among them large-lettered commands for a new "Dev[iation]" from procedure that "must be run" (7/16/68). The pages include sign-ins at the top by the Apollo engineers who wrote them. A true museum piece, filled with untold nuggets for the discerning collector or historian. Very fine condition. From the collection of scientist and author Charles Pellegrino.

    This is one of the logs consulted by Charles Pellegrino during the writing of Chariots for Apollo. It is the source that memorializes the October 1968 false alerts from the Master Alarm (as on 10/7-8/68, in Chapter 39, "A Tale of Woe and Intrigue"). This is the very same Master Alarm that sounded from the ship's computer throughout the first lunar landing, almost causing a mission abort. Other entries (7/23/68, 8/6/68, 8/14/68) record the birth stages of Joe Gavin's and Tom Attridge's water glycol problem, an event that (Chapter 43, "Some demands of Destiny") came perilously close to scrubbing the launch of Apollo 11.

    Other Events: During the first landing, the words, "Contact light" meant that a long, tubular lunar probe hanging down from one of the Eagle's footpads had speared the moon's surface, switching on a green light. July 11 and 12, 1968, entries record the installation and testing of the probe, along with "all this confusion" arising from probe wiring that was matched to the wrong color. Shortly after mentioning the Contact Light, the astronauts called down to Earth (ahead of affirming "The Eagle has landed"), "Descent [Engine] override off." In an October 9, 1968 entry, engineer Cangalosi penned a complaint about a deviation in the procedure to maintain the DE (Descent Engine) in an ON configuration during a test, and demanded, "I would like to see a written explanation of why." An explanation from Lorimer and Woods follows hours later in impeccably clear handwriting, accompanied by a rare, hand-drawn schematic. A surprisingly high number of electrical glitches are chased down throughout the Log (including a broken wire, 10/11/68; power-up and QC [Quality Control] signature conflicts between GAEC [Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp] QC and NASA QC, 8/6/68, with a frustrated engineer finally writing, "Trying to get one of them out of bed"). During gimbal tests of the Descent Engine, Woods and Crawley provide an inside view of the grueling (and notoriously divorce-generating) Apollo schedule. After extensive rewriting of a test package, they note: "Could use a few secretaries." On 10/7/68, the Log notes that Woods is eventually given a day off because "His kid is sick."

    The very last page is an inserted copy from the cover of Ross Fleisig's LM-5 Phase III Reliability Report, dated Nov 20, 1968, on which Fleisig had written: "Gilruth - impressed with presentation. Excellent. Getting to the crux of the matter. Impressed with some tough technical problems left but thinks they will be solved... Sum-up: Reportable failures have gone down from (205 for) LM-3, to (74 for) LM-4, (57 for) LM-5... Significantly improved vehicle... [George] Low - This is very likely to be the LM to land on the moon - it should be."


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2012
    2nd Friday
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