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AEDC support to Apollo program

Saturn V model undergoes basic aerodynamic testing and evaluation in AEDC's 16-foot transonic propusion wind tunnel in 1966.
Arnold Engineering Development Complex support to Apollo program.
The Apollo Service Module rocket being raised into position prior to testing at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex in support support of the Apollo program.
A wall section of the Saturn IB II Stage after testing at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in support of the Apollo program.
A wall section of the Saturn IB II Stage after testing at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in support of the Apollo program.
Apollo 11 mission commander Neil A. Armstrong, second from the right, the first man to step on the moon, visited AEDC in 1971 with a group of NASA and DoD officials who stopped during their tour of VKF to inspect some fo the wind tunnel models.
Arnold Engineering Development Complex support to Apollo program.
Arnold Engineering Development Complex support to Apollo program.
Saturn J2 engine ready to test at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in support of the Apollo program.
A scale model of the Apollo three-man capsule, with escape tower and jettison rocket attached, for aerodynamic testing in the von Kármán Gas Dynamic Facility 40-inch supersonic wind tunnel in 1962.
A scale model of the Apollo three-man capsule, with escape tower and jettison rocket attached, for aerodynamic testing in the von Kármán Gas Dynamic Facility 40-inch supersonic wind tunnel in 1962.
Arnold Engineering Development Complex support to Apollo program.
A 1/20 scale model of the Saturn launch vehicle is adjusted prior to testing in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold Air Force Base. This particular test examined base heating during the Saturn launch, and the testing resulted in changes to the turbine exhaust ports to reduce base heating. The Saturn V was the launch vehicle used to get crew of the Apollo 11 spaceflight to the moon. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Arnold Engineering Development Complex support to Apollo program.
The Apollo Command Module instrumented for testing at Arnold Engineering Development Complex.
NASA had AEDC conduct on the surface, solar cells and exposed componets of space vechicle Centaur-Voyager, a full-scale segment w/ a 5,000 lb retro rocket, mounted as it would be on the Saturn S-IVB booster. Test simulated altitudes of up to 133,000 ft.
Arnold Engineering Development Complex support to Apollo program.
The importance of test before flight was on display at Arnold Air Force Base in 1964 when a nozzle proposed for the Apollo service module’s rocket engine crumpled shortly after ignition when tested under simulated high-altitude conditions in the Rocket Test Facility J-3 test cell. The engine before collapse is shown on the left, and the crumpled engine is shown on the right. Test data helped in the development of nozzles which withstood test firings. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The rocket motor for the Apollo service module is installed at the AEDC Rocket Test Facility J-3 test cell in 1966. This motor was test fired repeatedly in near-space conditions to help NASA qualify the system as man-rated for the flight to the moon. Around three years after this photo was taken, the Apollo 11 spaceflight would successfully get the first men to the surface of the moon. (U.S. Air Force photo)
A shadowgram taken during a free-flight reentry test shows the shockwave generated as a scale model of the Apollo capsule travels in the normal reentry flight position. These scale models were launched at speeds of 4,300 to 6,600 miles per hour at simulated altitudes of more than 100,000 feet. The tests were carried out at Hypervelocity Ballistic Range G at Arnold Air Force Base in 1967, and the tests were done to substantiate reentry data. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The Saturn V J2 engine being prepared for test at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in support of the Apollo program.
An early test of a scale model of the Saturn launch configuration is conducted in 1960 in the AEDC Propulsion Wind Tunnel 1-foot transonic test section at Arnold Air Force Base. This test would be one of AEDC’s first efforts in supporting Project Apollo. The Apollo program would eventually put man on the moon for this first time with the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 lunar landing. (U.S. Air Force photo)
A 1/20 scale model of the Saturn launch vehicle is adjusted by D.W. Radford prior to testing in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold Air Force Base. This particular test examined base heating during the Saturn launch, and the testing resulted in changes to the turbine exhaust ports to reduce base heating. The Saturn V was the launch vehicle used to get crew of the Apollo 11 spaceflight to the moon. (U.S. Air Force photo)
E.N. Shelton prepares a scale model of the Apollo three-man capsule, with escape tower and jettison rocket attached, for aerodynamic testing in the von Kármán Gas Dynamic Facility 40-inch supersonic wind tunnel in 1962. Later testing established the need for canard control surfaces at the apex of the escape rocket. (U.S. Air Force photo)
A scale model of the Apollo Command and Services Module is tested in von Kármán Gas Dynamic Facility 50-inch wind tunnel in 1962. This test would one of AEDC’s many efforts supporting Project Apollo. The Apollo program would eventually put man on the moon for this first time with the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 lunar landing. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AEDC put a man on the moon

AEDC played a major role in man’s first landing on the moon in July 20, 1969. From the first wind tunnel tests of a Saturn rocket model run in 1960 to more than 1,700 firings of the actual motors that made up the giant Saturn V launch vehicle in rocket test cells at simulated near-space conditions – AEDC was involved.
Just a little over nine years before Neil Armstrong’s famous, “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” comments, the first aerodynamic test had been run on a scale model of a proposed Saturn launch configuration on June 6, 1960.
From 1960 to 1968, a total of 3,300 wind tunnel test hours – more than 35 percent of all the NASA Apollo program wind tunnel work – was completed at AEDC. In all, 25 of AEDC’s 41 test facilities were involved in 55,000 hours of test work directly supporting the Apollo program.
In addition to determining flight characteristics of the launch configuration, tests conducted at AEDC provided data that helped NASA to program reentry parameters for the Apollo Command Module so that it would land within a mile or so of the recovery aircraft carrier. Reliability was proven for the launch abort/escape systems (which never had to be used), altitude start and operation of the Saturn IVB third stage, and the Service Propulsion System, which powered the Apollo Spacecraft.

April 1966 special edition of High Mach

April 1966 HM

Project Apollo

Apollo excerpt from Beyond the Speed of Sound