Apollo 6 NASA AS-502 Mission Reports & Technical Documents PDF

Apollo 50th Anniversary Mission PDF eBooks | Apollo 6 | Apollo 7 | Apollo 8

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." - President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961

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The Apollo 6 Command Module is on display at the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Apollo 6 Mission

Apollo 6 (also known as AS-502), launched on April 4, 1968, was the final unmanned test of the Saturn V launch vehicle and Apollo Command & Service modules. The objectives of the flight test were to demonstrate trans-lunar injection capability of the Saturn V with a simulated payload equal to about 80% of a full Apollo spacecraft, and to repeat demonstration of the Command Module’s (CM) heat shield capability to withstand a lunar re-entry. The flight plan called for following trans-lunar injection with a direct return abort using the Command/Service Module’s (CSM) main engine, with a total flight time of about 10 hours.

A phenomenon known as pogo oscillation damaged some of the Rocketdyne J-2 engines in the second and third stages by rupturing internal fuel lines, causing two second-stage engines to shut down early. The vehicle’s onboard guidance system was able to compensate by burning the second and third stages longer, though the resulting parking orbit was more elliptical than planned. The damaged third stage engine also failed to restart for trans-lunar injection. Flight controllers elected to repeat the flight profile of the previous Apollo 4 test, achieving a high orbit and high-speed return using the Service Module (SM) engine. Despite the engine failures, the flight provided NASA with enough confidence to use the Saturn V for manned launches.

PDF Contents

  • Apollo-Saturn V Results
  • Blackout Test Results
  • Cloud Comparison Photography
  • Entry Accuracy
  • Entry Postflight Analysis
  • Escape Vehicle Abort Plan
  • Final Flight Evaluation
  • Flight Evaluation Report
  • Guidance Control Systems
  • J-2 Engine Flight Report SII SIVB Vol 2
  • J-2 Engine Flight Report SII SIVB Vol 3
  • Lessons Learned
  • Mission Report
  • Postflight Radar Tracking Data
  • Postflight Trajectory
  • Mission Press Kit
  • Saturn V Flight Evaluation
  • Spacecraft Operational Trajectory
  • SPS Postflight Evaluation

Apollo 6 Mission Videos

Apollo 50th Anniversary Mission PDF eBooks | Apollo 6 | Apollo 7 | Apollo 8

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." - President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961