Description

    Grumman construction log for Apollo 11 LM Eagle.

    Grumman Apollo 11 Lunar Module Handwritten Construction and Testing Log Book. A June to December 1968 log with approximately 125 single-sided handwritten 8" x 11" pages in binder, of construction and testing of LM-5 (Eagle), the first ship to land on the moon. The last entry in this volume is dated December 19, 1968, marking the week during which, while final touches were being put on the Lunar Module's golden jacket, Apollo 8 lifted off and went around the moon, seven months ahead of the Apollo 11 landing. Written in the original hand of A. Hecht, S. Sarbello, E. Dowse, and other Apollo engineers, this Log is like peering into a time capsule. This volume is the original, and the only one in existence. It contains the actual handwritten pages in red and black ink - which include (as in the 10/17/68 entry) hand-drawn schematic revisions, and (as on the 9/18/68 entry) ink smudges and the fingerprints of engineer Dowse. The pages include sign-ins at the top by the Apollo engineers who wrote them. A true museum piece- what an opportunity for the discerning collector/ historian. Very fine condition.

    This is one of the Logs consulted by Charles Pellegrino during the writing of Chariots for Apollo. It is the one from which originates the October 22, 1968 entry (in Chapter 39, "A Tale of Woe and Intrigue"): "10:10A.M. Requested CDR man to state if docking hatch is open during the test. Answer: Yes, open. Question: How is the docking hatch switch held in depressed (open) position? Answer: It is taped in the depressed position. The tape just fell off (loose tape was probably the reason for Failure #62)."

    The Log documents a surprisingly high number of electrical problems, including reversed labeling of LM-5's internal jumper cables (11/11/68) and charring of wires (10/17/68) - which is consistent with Ross Fleisig's observation that the Lunar Module was a completely battery-operated machine, built during a time in which battery technology and sensing equipment were "a black art." False alerts from the ship's Master Alarm are noted throughout the Log. This is the very same Master Alarm that sounded throughout the first lunar landing, almost causing a mission abort.

    Events: 6/6/68, floor plates in crew cabin are borrowed from LM-3 (Apollo 9); 6/25, LM-5 is fitted with a spare part assigned to LM-3. 7/16 (a year before the mission of Apollo 11), testing delays result from Long Island Lighting Co. electrical supply irregularities. 7/20 - 26: modifications improving efficiency of battery use will prove critical to the safe voyage of a LM-7, simultaneously under construction (Apollo 13). 8/5, 6/68, A. Hecht makes one of several personal notations of exhaustion arising from lack of days off and even lack of meals, as a docking light hook-up error is discovered. 12/8/68, A. Hecht references replication of electrical tests and procedures modified for LM-5 - on LM-6 (Apollo 12) and LM-7 (Apollo 13).

    The very last page is an evidently proudly inserted copy from the cover of Ross Fleisig's LM-5 Phase III Reliability Report, dated Nov. 20, 1968: "Reportable failures have gone down from (205 for) LM-3, to (74 for) LM-4, 57 (for) LM-5... Significantly improved vehicle... Low [says] this is very likely to be the LM to land on the moon - it should be." From the collection of scientist and author Charles Pellegrino.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    3rd Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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