« PreviousContinue »
1. JPL has demonstrated successfully its technical and project management capabilities during the past 20 years.
2. JPL has developed and pursued a basic policy and philosophy of project management which has remained dynamic and responsive to its changing tasks and responsibilities.
3. JPL has always considered the skills and capacity of industry as an essential resource needed to support the difficult projects we have undertaken.
4. JPL, as a university-operated laboratory, has always sought to work on the forefront of science and technology. It has confidently undertaken projects which carried the risks involved in pioneering and exploration. It will continue to do so in the future.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KARTH. Are there further questions? Dr. Pickering, I want to thank you very much for appearing before the subcommittee today. I hope it will not be necessary for us to ask you to take more time from your very busy schedule to again appear before this subcommittee before we formalize and arrive at our conclusions.
If however, we feel it is necessary, I would hope that you would understand the reasons, and we would apologetically call you back. Dr. PICKERING. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I will be very glad to come back any time you say.
Mr. KARTH. Thank you very much, Dr. Pickering, Mr. Parks, and Mr. Schurmeier.
Mr. KARTH. If there are no further questions, the subcommittee will adjourn at this time until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:43 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 30, 1964.)
INVESTIGATION OF PROJECT RANGER
THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 1964
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
The subcommittee met at 10:15 a.m., in room 214-B, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Joseph E. Karth, a member of the subcommittee, presiding.
Mr. KARTH. The meeting will come to order.
The first witness today before the subcommittee will be Mr. Barton Kreuzer, vice president and general manager of the Astro-Electronics Division, Radío Corp. of America.
Mr. Kreuzer, would you take the chair at the witness table, please, and if there is anyone from your organization you would like to accompany you, would you give his name for the record, please?
STATEMENT OF BARTON KREUZER, DIVISION VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, ASTRO-ELECTRONICS DIVISION, RCA
Mr. KREUZER. I think for the moment, Mr. Chairman, I will be here alone. I have some associates present and, if necessary, I think I can consult with them.
Mr. KARTH. Thank you very much.
I would like to recognize Mr. Patten at this time.
Mr. PATTEN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to welcome Mr. Kreuzer. Most of your RCA Astro-Electronics Division employees live in my district, and your facilities are right on the border of it.
We are well aware that you are living there in the shade of Thomas Edison and fellows like Albert Einstein in the Princeton complex, and I would like to say for the record that we are very proud of the job that RCA has done, not only in astroelectronics, but also in other fields. You are with a great company, and we are glad to have you here today.
Mr. KREUZER. Thank you, Mr. Patten. I think it is a great company, too.
Mr. KARTH. Mr. Kreuzer, if you would care to begin now with your prepared statement.
Mr. KREUZER. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, as indicated my name is Barton Kreuzer, division vice president and general manager of the Astro-Electronics Division of the Radio Corp. of America. I have been continuously employed by RCA for the past 35 years.
Our astroelectronics division was formed in 1958 and presently employs approximately 2,000 people at our space center located near Princeton, N.J. My associates in this division have been instrumental in developing and building a number of successful space satellites. These include the eight Tiros weather satellites, built for NASA, all of which have performed successfully in space. The Relay satellites, which have been operated with equal success, were also developed and built for NASA at our space center.
I appreciate this opportunity to discuss RCA's part in the Ranger
As a subcontractor to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, RCA has had the task of designing and building the TV subsystem needed to fulfill the mission requirement of obtaining high resolution pictures of the lunar surface.
Mr. KARTH. May I ask at this point, Mr. Kreuzer, whether or not you designed the TV subsystems according to specifications that were given to you by JPL, or according to your own specifications?
Mr. KREUZER. These were according to our own specifications based on the work statement in the subcontract.
This subsystem consists of six television cameras and the associated equipment for controlling the cameras and transmitting the pictures back to earth. The contract required delivery of six test models, four flight units of the TV system, and ground support equipment.
RCA began this program in July 1961. After carrying out a study contract for the TV subsystem, we embarked upon the hardware phase of the project in October 1961. By the end of January 1962, we had built and tested a mechanical test model, which was then shipped to JPL for further tests. Also at this time, we built and installed at our facilities the first ground support equipment for the TV subsystem. Assembly of a thermal test model was completed shortly thereafter.
Mr. KARTH. Mr. Kreuzer, I wonder if I could ask at this point whether or not you feel you had sufficient time to analyze the project and do the design work that was necessary for your participation in the Ranger project?
Mr. KREUZER. Mr. Chairman, I believe we did.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Could you tell us exactly the length of time that was involved in designing this piece of equipment?
Mr. KREUZER. Well, of course, there were preliminary design work and studies that had gone on in advance. We had the experience of cameras that in effect led to this development in the Tiros satellites, and then the subsystem study took place during 1961 over a period of approximately 6 months.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. And you felt that that was sufficient time?
Mr. KARTH. Were there deadlines on this 6-month time period, Mr. Kreuzer, during which time you were expected to have the system ready?
Mr. KREUZER. There were milestone points in it, Mr. Chairman. A product assurance control program for the TV subsystem was developed and formalized in November 1961. This program provided for
(1) A continuing series of reliability studies to insure the highest probability of a successful mission;
(2) A parts selection, evaluation, and control procedure to insure that every component used in the TV subsystem had a proven capability and was spaceworthy; and
(3) A procedure for analysis and reporting in order to pinpoint components that were particulary susceptible to failure. Mr. KARTH. May I ask at this point whether or not RCA did pinpoint certain components which were questionable insofar as reliability is concerned?
Mr. KREUZER. Mr. Chairman, this is a continuous process with all of our projects and there were, I would be inclined to believe, components then as at almost any time we pinpoint as susceptible of failure and that we weed out.
Mr. KARTH. Would you provide for the record what those components were?
Mr. KREUZER. In this particular instance?
Mr. KARTH. In this subsystem, yes.
Mr. KREUZER. I will be glad to do that. Of course, I don't have this information here. I would be glad to supply that. Mr. KARTH. If you will do that, please.
(The information requested is as follows:)
The Astro-Electronics Division of RCA has compiled a listing of parts preferred for use in RCA space programs which is the basis for selection by our design engineers. During the entire design, development, and fabrication of the Ranger TV subsystem, parts selection and application were under constant review to assure that parts selected were suitable for the particular application. Included in the factors that led to the choice of certain parts was RCA's prior experience in other space programs such as Tiros and Relay.
The following is a list of components identified as reliability risks at that time for particular applications in the Ranger TV subsystem. Prior to the Ranger VI flight, these components were deleted where the application of the component was considered to be a reliability risk:
Resistor type: 3250L-1-503.
Diode type: 1N805.
Capacitor type: 11D105C7150DL.
Transistor type: 2N1068.
Capacitor type: CPO9A1KE333KE.
Right-angle RF connectors: Type TNC.
Transistor type: 2N916.
SP-type tantalum capacitor (double case unit).
Brass detents in P-camera shutters.
Mr. KREUZER. By the end of May 1962, the various test models were in operation and showed satisfactory performance. On the basis of these tests, we began to construct flight models. The thermal test model completed its tests at our facilities and was shipped to JPL in March 1962. Environmental testing of the proof test model, which is used for extensive analysis of system performance, was completed at RCA early in August 1962. It was then shipped to JPL for further testing.
Flight Model No. 1 was completed and started environmental testing in September 1962. By October 1962, testing was completed and the flight model was shipped to JPL. By the end of November 1962, the assembly and TV subsystem checkout of the second flight model was completed and the model was awaiting environmental test.
Mr. KARTH. Do you feel that sufficient testing was made of the entire subsystem, including the circuits and other ancillary systems that were connected thereto?