In 1966, as Project Gemini was wrapping up, Project Apollo was starting to, quite literally, get off the ground – Complete Apollo CSM’s began unmanned flights, and the Lunar Module, while delayed quite a bit, was still starting to become a real machine. Everything was looking to be progressing smoothly before the Apollo 1 fire changed the flow of Apollo.
This isn’t about the fire, though, this is simply an article sharing a video from mid 1966 discussing the current state of the Apollo spacecraft: The Command Module, the Lunar Module, the Service Module, and the Spacecraft LM Adapter, or SLA panels, that secured the CSM to the booster and would carry the LM during ascent: These 4 main components are, officially, the Apollo Spacecraft.
This film goes into great detail on the state of each major system and subsystem, with plenty of footage of actual tests and contractor work. It also details the many companies that were involved in just these systems alone, a testament to the true nationwide scale of the Apollo program.
Interestingly, the spacecraft that would be Apollo 1, CM-012, is not mentioned by name in this film, even though other CM’s are discussed in detail. This is before the fire, of course, and at this time nothing special would be going on with CM-012 that wouldn’t be happening with another Block 1 CM, so it perplexes me that it isn’t mentioned at all. I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but it’s one of those things that makes you think in hindsight.
In any case, as always, enjoy the film. It’s a little dry but for those of you who may want to know more about the details of Apollo, and to really see the human scale of it, this film does a fine job on both fronts!