Lrv Closeout

During the last weeks prior to launch, the Mobile Service Structure (MSS) was moved into position adjacent to the Saturn V using the Crawler Transporter. The MSS was an invaluable component of the Apollo launch facilities and permitted access to virtually every portion of the launch vehicle. Three days prior to launch, during the Lunar Module closeout procedures, the LRV underwent a procedure of its own. From the work platform, an access panel in the Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA) which housed the Lunar Module was removed. Once technicians were inside, the floor panels of the LRV were removed using a special removal tool. The batteries were delivered to the work platform by two technicians using the battery installation tool. The technicians wore slings to secure this tool. Once the batteries were installed, a battery monitor cable was run from the batteries to the battery monitor box mounted at level 260 of the Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT). The batteries were then load tested using the monitor box. Interface cables were then attached between the monitor box and the ACE peripheral equipment at ground level. The batteries were charged and monitored from launch control until eighteen hours before launch. At that time, technicians disconnected the monitor cables and removed the monitor box from the LUT. Flight configuration coverings were installed in the LRV, its floor panels installed and secured with bolts, and aluminum tape applied in designated areas of the floor panels.

Once closeout of the Lunar Module was complete, the panel was secured to the tapered section housing it and the Lunar Module and the LRV were officially closed out. There was no provision for monitoring the batteries (due to weight constraints) until the Lunar Rover was finally deployed on the Moon's surface nearly ten days hence. No one could know if they were healthy or had suffered some mishap during the launch, the trip to the Moon or the landing. For many involved with the "J" missions, that was cause for some nail-biting. The manufacturer of the batteries, Eagle Picher, had every confidence the LRV's batteries would perform as promised, but no one would know for sure until the vehicle was deployed on the Moon and powered up.

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