Rare Grumman handwritten construction and testing logbook for the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, dated between May and December 1968 in original Grumman sequencing (not chronological), consisting of approximately 65 single-sided handwritten 8 x 11 pages detailing the construction and testing of the LM-5 (Eagle), the first spacecraft to land on the moon. The logbook was designated to Ace Room III, where electronics and attitude control rockets were being tested and, on occasion, redesigned or replaced. The last entry in this volume is dated December 31, 1968, shortly after Apollo 8 returned from its trip into moon orbit. Written in ink and graphite in the hands of Joe Neilsen, Paul Rosone, B. Zegaroski, T. Woods, and other Apollo engineers, this one-of-a-kind logbook is akin to peering into a time capsule, and includes several notable entry dates, including:
May 21st: Rosone includes a hand-drawn illustration in response to a decision about "lines that will be broken to install 490 pack (long story).”
September 18th: Neilsen's ink-smudged fingerprints on a page describing his very frustrating night with the attitude control rocket valves.
October 31st: Neilsen noting that the floor of the LM-5 cabin needed to be removed for a change-out of the ascent stage engine: "Crew Compartment Fit and Functional Team has $3,000,000 worth of equipment in the cabin, and they are locking it up and posting guards around it (with machine guns), so I couldn't go inside."
November 12th: Neilsen notes that he was unable to assist with LM-5 wiring because he had been called away and "was busy on LM-7 [Apollo 13]." Within this same time frame, Neilsen was also being called away to work simultaneously on LM-6 (Apollo 12). The exhausted engineer wrote a poignant plea in the log, begging for a break in the intense schedule so he could keep a promise to take his wife to a dance. The logbook shows that he was able to get rocket scientist Bill Voorhest to take his place; but Neilsen was still needed at LM-5, and wrote, "I'll come in but reluctantly (if my wife doesn't shoot me)."
November 19th: hand-drawn charts outlining good and bad sequences in firing "quads."
Additionally, the logbook documents May and June 1968 tests of LM-5 engines under vacuum, and a surprisingly high number of electrical and valve problems with the attitude control thrusters (called "quads"), followed by hand-drawn revisions of electronics (10/24/68) and a doodle at the top of the page around the word "LOG," followed by disputes over whether rewiring should be completed before or after test firing of quads. Includes a copy of the cover page from Ross Fleisig's Phase III Reliability Report, dated November 20, 1968: "Reportable failures have gone down from (205 for) KM-3, to (74 for) LM-4, 57 (for) LM-5… Significantly improved vehicle… Low [says] this is very likely to be the LM to land on the moon - it should be." Housed in a three-ring binder and in fine condition. Originates from the collection of scientist and author Charles Pellegrino.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.