« PreviousContinue »
(3) Recommendation: Station senior JPL Ranger engineering representatives at foreign DSIF stations during critical operations.
Action: In addition to the two senior JPL technical representatives at Woomera and Johannesburg, two additional JPL engineers were at Johannesburg to participate in the Ranger VI operations. These personnel were used primarily to instruct in usage of prediction data.
(4) Recommendation: Establish thorough net work drill procedures. Action: (a) DSIF, spacecraft and SFOF compatibility testThese tests were conducted to solve interface problems between the DSIF, spacecraft, and SFOF operations. A total of five tests were conducted on the following dates: October 14, October 22, December 16, December 17, and December 18, 1963.
(b) Command procedure test-This test was on December 19, 1963, and required about 15 minutes of operations. The purpose of the test was to simulate all conditions of transmission with various failure modes of the communication links between DSIF sites. Error commands were also sent for station detection.
(c) Network DSIF and SFOF integration test-This consisted of two tests conducted on January 7 and January 16, 1964, for the purpose of going through the complete sequence of events between DSIF sites and SFOF operations. The test covered all countdown procedures during launch and extended through the midcourse and terminal
(d) Operational readiness test-Same as (c) above, with AMR included. These tests were conducted on January 21 and January 24, 1964.
5. Recommendation: Provide full backup capability at Goldstone. Action: For the Ranger V launch, command capability throughout the deep space network was as follows: Goldstone (ECHO) and Johannesburg-200-watt transmitters. For the Ranger VI launch, command capability was increased to provide additional support and backup as follows: Woomera-200-watt transmitter, and a 25-watt transmitter for backup at the Goldstone site (ECHO). During the flight mission of Ranger VI, all command transmitters maintained operational readiness. Those that were deployed performed satisfactorily.
Mr. KARTH. Some of these recommendations and resultant actions both in the Kelley report and the Hilburn report, are new and unfamiliar with the Subcommittee. I wonder if we could ask you to come back at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning, and we could probably take an hour with you to go through the Hilburn Board recommendations, and then have some questions for you at that time so as not to disrupt the other witnesses that have been scheduled for Wednesday. Is this possible?
Mr. NICKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. KARTH. If there is any dissatisfaction at all on your part, we will stay over.
Mr. CORTRIGHT. That is acceptable, Mr. Chairman. We will be
(The biographical sketch of Oran W. Nicks is as follows:)
ORAN W. NICKS
Director, Lunar and Planetary Programs, Office of Space Sciences
Oran W. Nicks was appointed Director of Lunar and Planetary Programs on November 1, 1961. In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall headquarters program management of lunar and planetary programs, including program planning and development and maintaining cognizance of essential technological advancements. He is concerned directly with program execution by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other NASA centers, in addition to overall coordination between NASA, industry, and other Government agencies.
Mr. Nicks came to NASA as head of Lunar Flight Systems, Office of Lunar and Planetary Programs, in March of 1960 from the Vought astronautics division of Chance-Vought Aircraft, Inc. of Dallas, Tex. There, since 1958, he had served as a project engineer supervising program planning, technical design, and analysis and exploration of new concepts and advanced space systems. He was the Scout project engineer from concept-to-hardware with complete responsibility for the Vought portion of the program.
From 1948 to 1958, he was with North American Aviation where he progressed from a junior aeronautical engineer (stress analyst) through a period as an aerodynamicist in the design and development of missile systems (Navaho, 1949-52), to the position of supervisor, aerodynamics, and leader, project thermodynamics (1952-56), in which capacity he was responsible for the development of the air induction system and engine performance for the XSM-64 missile and coordinated this work with the Air Force and the engine companies. In 1957, Mr. Nicks became technical sciences project leader and served as company project engineer of missile design studies. At this time he was given technical responsibility for advanced space vehicle design and performance analysis, and directed extensive company studies in space technology.
He is a member of the Unmanned Spacecraft Panel of the NASA-DOD Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board, the NASA Space Sciences Steering Committee, and the Institute of Aerospace Sciences.
Mr. Nicks was born in Eldorado, Tex., on February 2, 1925. He received an A.A. degree in aeronautical engineering from Spartan College in 1943, his B.S. in mechanical engineering degree (with aeronautical option) from the University of Oklahoma (1948), with study at University of Texas (February 1946 to January 1947), and continued with graduate studies at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1949-57, on part-time basis).
Mr. and Mrs. Nicks with their four children live at 7206 Denton Road, Bethesda, Md.
Mr. KARTH. At this time, unless there are objections, I will adjourn the meeting until Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock.
Thank you very much, Mr. Nicks. We appreciate the very difficult task you have in following everything in a complex and difficult program stretching over many years. We want to thank you for your
Mr. NICKS. Thank you.
(Whereupon, at 5:05 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned to convene at 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 29, 1964.)
INVESTIGATION OF PROJECT RANGER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 1964
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
The subcommittee met at 9 a.m., in room 214-B, Longworth House Office Building, the Hon. Joseph É. Karth, a member of the subcommittee, presiding.
Mr. KARTH. The meeting will come to order.
First of all, the subcommittee would like to recognize and welcome to the committee hearing this morning Astronaut Gordon Cooper. We are very happy that you could be with us. We appreciate your attending this hearing. If there is any speech you would like to make, now is the time to make it.
Major COOPER. No, thank you, sir.
Mr. KARTH. It is very nice to have you, sir.
Mr. Nicks, when we adjourned on Monday, we were about to take up the Hilburn Board recommendations and resultant actions that have been taken, and that I believe begins on page IV-10 of your testimony.
If you would care to proceed, we will follow you.
FURTHER STATEMENT OF ORAN W. NICKS, DIRECTOR, LUNAR AND PLANETARY PROGRAMS, OFFICE OF SPACE SCIENCE AND APPLICATIONS, NASA; ACCOMPANIED BY EDGAR M. CORTRIGHT, DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR SPACE SCIENCE AND APPLICATIONS, NASA
Mr. NICKS. I would like to start this morning with just a very brief introduction to pick up again where we left off. This chart (fig. 31, p. 114), shows the position of the Office of Space Sciences after the Ranger VI failure which led us to these reviews that we will be dis
Our first efforts were intended to find the faulty element, elements, or direct causes, and fix them if at all possible, to make overall modifications to the system to preclude this kind of failure, to do appropriate testing of the modified system so that we were certain the changes made were improvements and not detriments, and to instrument better to understand such failure if they were recurrent.
The better instrumentation requirement called for a different allocation of the telemetry channels to this particular aspect of the total system, so that if failures occurred in this region we would be able to find them.
OSSA POSITION AFTER RANGER VI
FIND FAULTY ELEMENT(S) OR DIRECT CAUSES AND FIX
• MAKE OVERALL MODS TO PRECLUDE SUCH FAILURES
• APPROPRIATE TESTING OF MODIFIED SYSTEM
• INSTRUMENT BETTER TO UNDERSTAND SUCH FAILURES IF RECURRENT
NASA SL 3311-3.64
Now, the three review groups established at the time of this failure included two at JPL, one, a project board, and the other an independent JPL technical team; the third one being a NASA Headquarters Board under Mr. Hilburn, which you have heard about.
The conclusions of the JPL groups, taking into account the reviews that they made in conjunction with the headquarters-sponsored group resulted in the total report that was discussed in the testimony Monday.
Mr. KARTH. Are you going to further discuss those items that were on the chart just shown as you go through the remainder of your testimony, or should we do that at this time? If you feel you are going to answer them as you go through the Hilburn recommendations, fine. If not, I would like to ask them at this point.
Mr. NICKS. Perhaps we should do that first.
Mr. KARTH. Will the operator put the slide back, please?
I wonder if you could address yourself to the first item on the slide, "find faulty element, telemetry elements, or direct causes and fix." I wonder if you could tell us what faulty element or elements you found, what direct causes you attribute to those faulty elements and what the fixes might be?
Mr. CORTRIGHT. Mr. Chairman, we had a little breakdown in communications here. I have been over this material, of course, with Mr. Nicks, and I believe that most of your questions will be answered, and it would be more convenient for the subcommittee if we did go