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Apollo Information




Flight Summary

Unmanned Saturn Missions

Unmanned Apollo-Saturn Missions

Manned Missions

JSC Apollo  Image Directory

Unmanned Mission
AS-201 (17)

Pad 34 (5) 
Saturn-1B (1) 
AS-201 () 

Mission Objective

Demonstrate structural integrity and compatibility of launch vehicle and confirm launch loads (Achieved)
Demonstrate separation of first and second stages of Saturn, LES and boost protective cover from CSM, CSM from instrument unit/spacecraft/lunar module (LM) adapter, and CM from SM
Verify operations of Saturn propulsion, guidance and control, and electrical subsystems
Verify operation of spacecraft subsystems and adequacy of heatshield for reentry from low earth orbit
(Partially Achieved)
Evaluate emergency detection system in open-loop configuration
(Achieved). Evaluate heatshield ablator at high reentry rates (Not Achieved due to loss of data during maximum heating)
Demonstrate operation of mission support facilities


February 26, 1966; 11:12:01 am EST.  Launch Complex 34, Eastern Test Range (EST), Cape Canaveral FL. 
Hold for 3 days due to bad weather conditions and for a break in subcable to downrange station. Hold for 30 minutes on February 26, 1966 to catch up on LOX loading.  Hold for 30 min to complete liquid-hydrogen loading, which had been delayed by work on a GSE helium regulator problem. Hold for 78 minutes to complete closeout of spacecraft. Hold for 66 minutes because of cutoff caused by failure of helium pressure switch in Saturn 1B ready circuit. Hold for 30 minutes (during which flight was canceled and then re-instated) for further information on helium pressure problem.







08/14/65 - S-1 Stage ondock at KSC

08/14/65 - S-1B Stage ondock at KSC  

09/18/65 - S-IVB ondock at KSC  

10/22/65 - S-IU ondock at KSC  

10/25/65 - Launch Vehicle on Pad  

12/26/65 - Spacecraft on Pad  

02/09/66 - Countdown demonstration test

02/20/66 - Countdown begins

02/26/66 - Launch


Altitude: 303 miles (488 kilometers) 
Inclination: xxx degrees 
Orbits: (suborbital) 
Duration: 36 minutes & 59 seconds 
Distance: 5,264 miles (8,472 kilometers) 


February 26, 1966, 11:49 am EST. Splash down in Atlantic Ocean, 8472 kilometers downrange, Impact point 8.18 deg South, 11.15 deg West. Miss distance 72 kilometers; Recovery by U.S.S. Boxer by 02:20pm EST.

Mission Highlights

Both booster and spacecraft performed adequately. From liftoff to touchdown in the South Atlantic, the mission lasted only 37 minutes. The spacecraft was recovered two and a half hours after splashdown. There were several malfunctions, mostly minor. Three were serious. First, after the service propulsion system fired, it operated correctly for only 80 seconds. Then the pressure fell 30 percent because of helium ingestion into the oxidizer chamber. Second, a fault in the electrical power system caused a loss of steering control, resulting in a rolling reentry. And, third, flight measurements during reentry were distorted because of a short circuit. 
(NASA SP-4205 - Chariots for Apollo page 193) 

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