Sunday, 6 January 2008

Apollo Training - Apollo Spacecraft & Systems Familiarization

This book does exactly what its title promises. It's a copy of a training document, dated 13 March 1968, used by NASA to familiarise astronauts and staff with various aspects of the Apollo spacecraft and their missions. Each page is an annotated diagram - on Apollo systems, basic procedures, trajectories, etc. The book is split into ten sections:

1 - Introduction and Mission
2 - Structures

3 - Electrical Power

4 - Environment Control
5 - Guidance and Control

6 - Propulsion

7 - Communications

8 - Sequencing
9 - Crew Equipment
10 - Apollo Abbreviations

The diagrams are clear and well-labelled, although some clearly require additional explanation - the circuit diagrams and schematics, for example. Despite that, and its nature as a training aid, Apollo Training is actually quite a useful reference. Need to know the overall layout of the CM main panel? There is a diagram showing how the controls are grouped into functional areas - flight control, ECS control, electrical power, etc. There's even some humour: on the introductory page to the Crew Equipment section, there are a series of cartoons illustrating the topic - "light and sight", "restraints", "medical", "survival", "waste control", and so on. The diagram for "mission experiments" shows an astronaut in a CM... and a woman dressed only in bra and knickers standing on a table and looking down at him!

A useful quick reference to its topic, Apollo Training deserves to be in any good collection.

Apollo Training - Apollo Spacecraft & Systems Familiarization, compiled and edited by Robert Godwin (2007, Apogee Books, ISBN 9781-894959-79-7, 168pp)

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