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Thread: An American Nedelin: a worse Apollo 1 fire

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    An American Nedelin: a worse Apollo 1 fire

    Regarding the Apollo 1 fire it it states :

    "Intense heat, dense smoke, and ineffective gas masks designed for toxic fumes rather than heavy smoke hampered the ground crew's attempts to rescue the men. There were fears the command module had exploded, or soon would, and that the fire might ignite the solid fuel rocket in the launch escape tower above the command module, which would have likely killed nearby ground personnel, and possibly have destroyed the pad."

    If the LC34 pad had been destroyed and 50-100 NASA personnel killed as in the Soviet Nedelin catastrophe, how would this have affected the Apollo programme? Would it have weakened or strengthened national and NASA morale, or even have caused a moratorium on the entire endeavor in 1967, "The Year of Love"?

    If Apollo had been delayed 2-3 years, instead of OTL's one year, could any significant improvements have been worked in to the Saturn and LEM, apart from the significant improvements that were made to the CM?
    Last edited by wd40; 2019-Oct-14 at 06:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Houston
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    That disaster took place almost 60 years agoe. The second stage engine(s) ignited causing the first stage to ignite. There were many personnel inside the safety zone without ANY protection. There were 100-200 people killed, mostly due to fire related injuries, but some may have had chemical related deaths. The escape tower, if ignited would have partially/completely destroyed the white room and those around it. But that would have been the maximum, as the rocket was not loaded with fuel, IIRC. So perhaps a dozen plus men. I don't believe it would have delayed the Spollo program any more than it was already delayed, fixing the CSM.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedelin_catastrophe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    11,612
    R-16 was filled with hypergolics--nasty stuff. Only R-36 type ICBMs and UR-500 had more.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-16_(missile)

    Similar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelsat_708

    I think a lot of people confused this disaster with the N-1 explosions, which I don't think killed anyone.

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