Apollo 7

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Apollo 7 was the first manned mission in the Apollo program which reached orbit. It was an eleven-day earth-orbital mission, the first manned launch of the Saturn IB launch vehicle, and the first three-man American space mission. Wally Schirra, Walt Cunningham and Donn Eisele take the most complex machine yet created, the Apollo CSM, on its first test flight.

The main purpose of the Apollo 7 Mission was to check out the Apollo CSM Spacecraft. The mission was sperated into two major portions, rendezvous maneuvers and SPS maneuvers. The rendezvous manuevers were designed to check out procedures and methods to rendevous with another spacecraft, in this case the SIVB. The SPS phase checked out the ability of the SPS to perform multiple burns.

In Project Apollo - NASSP the Apollo 7 mission is available in Quickstart mode and Virtual AGC mode.

Quickstart mode

The Apollo 7 Quickstart - Launch scenario in the Project Apollo - NASSP folder starts a new Apollo 7 mission. The following table shows the currently available mission phases together with the checklists to use.

Mission phase Checklists Scenario Remarks
Prelaunch - Launch Scenario starts 2h before lift-off, everything runs automatically. Use time acceleration up to 100 if you don't want to wait.
Launch & Earth orbit insertion - - The Saturn is controlled by the autopilot. Time acceleration is reset to 1 at T-20s automatically, you should not use time acceleration until you reached Earth orbit.

At about T+12min Engine cutoff occurs, the spacecraft is in the almost circular Earth Parking Orbit (EPO).

To be continued...

Virtual AGC mode

The Apollo 7 Virtual AGC LVDC++ - Launch scenario in the Project Apollo - NASSP folder starts a new Apollo 7 mission. The scenario uses the Virtual Apollo Guidance Computer (Virtual AGC) emulator and the simulated Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC++). The optional Mission Control Center scenario (Apollo 7 Virtual AGC LVDC++ MCC - Launch) also enables the ground and mission tracking, automatically generated uplinks etc.

Additionally a set of scenarios throughout the mission are provided under "Scenarios\Project Apollo - NASSP\Apollo - Historical Missions\Apollo 7".

To be done...

Rendezvous Maneuvers

At MET 2:55:00 the CSM separates from the SIVB. The CSM performs a simulated transposition and docking with the SIVB and then maintains station keeping with the SIVB.

At MET 3:20:00 the first phasing maneuver is performed. This maneuver should put the spacecraft approximately 75 nm ahead of the SIVB at MET 26:25:00. It is a retrograde maneuver, with the spacecraft pointing prograde, using the -X RCS. Historically the maneuver was performed using the SCS, but it can be performed using vAGC. According to mission documentation the delta V for this maneuver is 5.7 ft/s, however in Orbiter a value of 2.5 ft/s will put the spacecraft in the prescribed position. A second phasing maneuver can be performed at MET 15:20:00.

At MET 26:25:00 the rendezvous procedure begins with the first SPS burn. This corrective combination maneuver is designed to put the spacecraft from 75nm ahead to 80nm behind and 8nm below the SIVB at MET 28:00:00. Once archived the next SPS burn at MET 28:00:00 puts the spacecraft in a coelepitical with the SIVB. The CSM will begin to "catch up" to the SIVB. At MET 29:16:00 the terminal phase initiation maneuver, or TPI, will occur using the AGC. There are two midcourse corrections at TPI+15 minutes and at TPI+21 minutes. Braking begins when the CSM is 1nm from the target until the spacecraft is within a few hundred yards of the SIVB.

To be continued...


Documentation for Apollo 7 can be found under "\Doc\Project Apollo - NASSP\Flightplans\Apollo 7". Provided are Flight Plan, Rendezvous Procedures and Update Forms. These documents have been changed from the original NASA documents to better reflect the actually flown mission.

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