Preparing Apollo 11: Countdown Demonstration Test

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Apollo 11 During CDDT, 7.2.69. NASA/Retro Space Images
Apollo 11 During CDDT, 7.2.69. NASA/Retro Space Images

Forty-five years ago this week, Apollo 11 was undergoing the countdown demonstration test, which ended successfully on July 3, 1969.

The countdown demonstration test took the launch vehicle, spacecraft, launch crew and flight crew through a complete countdown, including fueling the vehicle. Altogether the CDDT was a six-day operation, including the loading of nearly 6 million pounds of propellants. On July 2 the vehicle completed the “wet” portion of the CDDT successfully. After draining the cryogenic propellants, the count was recycled to six hours, and a “dry” component of the test took place with the flight crew, completed on July 3, 1969.

Monitoring the Launch

Remember the black and white cameras with the number in the corner? Sixty-one television cameras monitored launch operations, numbered 1 through 61. They were placed to monitor specific areas of concern, such as #2 in LUT computer room 15A, or #37 under the LUT to monitor the S-IC engine nozzles and water system. (I’ve provided a complete listing, along with a diagram, here).

Overall, when including film cameras, a total of 201 cameras were installed for the AS-506 launch, of which 119 were committed to engineering data, and 82 to documentary coverage. Three cameras failed to acquire data of the launch.

Tomorrow’s quiz? All about the Saturn V…

 

 

 

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