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    Grumman Apollo Lunar Module Engineering Dynamics Log, 1964-1965. The label on the cover of this pressboard binder, containing hundreds of 8.5" x 11" pages, reads: "LEM DYNAMICS/ AVO'S/ 101-200". The AVO stands for "Avoid Verbal Orders". Fewer than twenty copies of this file originally existed, each addressed to the individuals who were to receive and study them, including Tom Kelly, Arnold Whitaker, Ross Fleisig (this is his copy), and Ozzie Williams (all key Grumman engineers). This is absolutely fascinating material. Very fine condition.

    Ozzie Williams is of particular historical noteworthiness and much of the Log deals with the engines he helped to build. He was a chief designer of the LM's Reaction Control System and was also the first African-American engineer hired by Grumman. This was a hiring that, according to Kelly, Fleisig, and Williams, had to be kept secret from GAEC founder Leroy Grumman, a man trapped by his time who had a policy against hiring black people, even if they did have engineering skills that were required to stay ahead of the Soviets in the space race. Williams thus became the space program's "hidden rocket scientist," always on paper but always kept out of Leroy Grumman's sight. (Later, during the 1980s, he became Vice President of Grumman International).

    The Log includes many fold-outs - among them, instructions for coding and arming Williams' RCS quads. The documents cover LM development from December 1964 through September1965 and include initial plans for powered descent to the moon, along with LM test article results. Among the problems encountered during development, as recorded in the Log and covering the spectrum from the mundane ("more meal chits are needed") to the fantastic: May 17, 1965, an entry shows the LM's projected fuel consumption and thrust profile if it should happen that the pilot sees large boulders and other terrain hazards in his path and must vector on final approach to an alternate landing site (as actually occurred with Apollo 11 four years later); April 27, 1965, Lunar Test Article-3 is dedicated to structural testing (including drop testing pieces of electrical equipment to determine shock resistance); July 16, 1965, includes an expense order for travel of an engineer's son; June 9, 1965, hiring reports. Reports continue with RCS, ascent stage engine, and descent stage engine thrust tests, projections of vehicle and fuel mass ratios, etc., with computer print-outs and hand-written annotations. The entire file was declassified in 1977. From the collection of scientist and author Charles Pellegrino.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    3rd Friday
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