Experiment Operation During Apollo IVA at 0-g

Experiment: Liquid Transfer Demonstration

Acronym: LTD

PI/Engineer: Kaleel L Abdalla/LeRC
Other Contacts: Edward W. Otto, Eugene P. Symons, Donald A. Petrash/LeRC

Apollo Flight Nos.: 14
Apollo Exp't No. None

Discipline: Fluid Dynamics (1700) Fluid Management (1710) Materials Science - Fluids (2610)

Weight: 4.1 kg
Dimensions: 25 x 15 x 3 cm (est.)

Manufacturer: Lewis RC

Description/Purpose:
The demonstration had two sets of tanks, one set containing baffles and the other without baffles. The unit was ~ 25 cm x 15 cm x 3 cm (estimated from photo), plus a small hand pump and 2 plastic tubes. The tanks were 10.16 cm in diameter, and the flat faces were separated by .635 cm. Each tank contained two ports positioned 180°ree; apart. The flat sides were clear for photographic purposes. The side which faced the light was frosted for diffuse lighting. The pump was a screw-driven piston providing a positive pressure on one side while creating a suction on the other side. It could be operated in either direction. By attaching tubing to the vent of each tank, the system became closed. The tubing, sized for friction fit over pump and tank port connections, could be easily switched to permit pumping between the baffled tank set or between the plain tank set.

Transfer of liquid between the unbaffled tanks was unsuccessful, as expected. Different flow rates were obtained by different crank speeds on the pump. Transfer between the baffled tanks demonstrated the effectiveness of two different baffle designs. The liquid-transfer demonstration clearly showed that suitable baffles inside a tank at 0-g permit positive expulsion of liquid contents, taking advantage of the surface-tension properties of the liquid. Orderly inflow into the receiver tank with no liquid loss through the gas vent was also successful.

Unloading from the LM: NA

Transporting by foot or MET: NA

Loading/unloading tools/exp'ts on LRV: NA

Site Selection: unclear, probably on stowage lockers.

Deploying experiment: No comments by crew.

Check-out of experiment: No comments by crew.

Operation of experiment:
One astronaut had to pump the liquid from one tank to the other with a small hand-cranked pump. Another photographed the tanks either with a motion picture sequence camera or with the onboard video camera. They did the experiment at least twice. The first time was on television. During filming with the camera, there were more bubbles present than the first time.

Repairs to experiment: None required.

Recovery/take-down of experiment: No comments by crew

Stowing experiment for return: NA

Loading/unloading samples :
Samples were pumped using a hand crank pump.

Loading of exp't/samples into the LM: NA

Stowing of package once in the LM: NA

Sampling operations - soil, rocks: NA

Trenching: NA

Raking: NA

Drilling: NA

Navigating/recognizing landmarks: NA

Were there any hazards in the experiment?
i.e. hazardous materials (explosive, radioactive, toxic), sharp objects, high voltages, massive, bulky, tripping hazards, temperatures?
All external plastic surfaces were covered with laminated safety glass and an overlay of thin fluoroplastic to ensure maximum crew safety. The liquid used in the tanks was an inert fluorochemical, perfluorotributylamine. Its properties simulated the contact angle of most propellants on typical spacecraft materials.

Was lighting a problem? A lighting frame, containing six incandescent lamps utilizing spacecraft power, was provided for photographic purposes.

Were the results visible to the crew? Yes.

Would you recommend any design changes? No comments by crew.

Were any special tools required? No.

Was the orientation of the experiment (i.e. horizontal/vertical) important? Difficult?
No.

Was the experiment successful? Yes

Were there related experiments on other flights?
STS-53 performed the Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Equipment (FARE) experiment which moved fluids from one tank to another in 0 g. A successor to this flew on STS-57.

Where was it stored during flight?
Aft bulkhead lockers A8 and A10.

Were there any problems photographing the experiment?
To improve the quality of the photography, a small amount of dye was added to the liquid. This had no measurable effect on its properties.

What pre-launch and cruise req'ts were there?
NA

What was different between training and actual EVA?
No comments by crew.

What problems were due to the suit rather than the experiment?
NA

Any experiences inside the LM of interest from the experiment/operations viewpoint?
Performed on trans-Earth coast with live color television during a press conference. It was also filmed and photographed. A picture of the apparatus is in the Mission Report as fig. 5-2.

References:

NASA TM X-2410, Liquid Transfer Demonstration On Board Apollo 14 During Trans-Earth Coast, 1971.

Apollo Program Summary Report, section 3.6 Inflight Demonstrations, JCS-09423, April, 1975.

Apollo 14 Technical Crew Debriefing 17 February 1971, in the JSC History Office.

Apollo Stowage List - Apollo 14, MSC, 9 February 1971