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Author Topic: "While we're playing these games": Dick Brown's role in EECOM  (Read 2772 times)

Offline kendradog

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This sequence occurs while EECOM is attempting increasingly desperate and improbable attempts to save the power in the CSM in Apollo 13 (culminating in turning the fans on in O2 tank 2 when the tank was obviously empty and there were minutes of power remaining.)

Dick Brown is kind of skeptical of these efforts on the EECOM loop:

"I'd like a little stiffer main A bus while we're playing these games". GET 56:44:25 .

I feel like Dick Brown is under-appreciated in the literature. In the EECOM loop, he's the most protective of the battery and seems the first to appreciate the gravity of the situation. Actually though he always seems a little on the gloomy side.

Brown was also a key part of the SCE to AUX story. When John Aaron first noticed the instrumentation anomaly in the test a year before Apollo 12, it was Dick Brown whom John chose to work with to try to help figure it out.

That collaboration of course led to the SCE to AUX solution and the rescue of Apollo 12. See Apollo 12 Flight Journal, quoting from a 2000 oral history interview

I sat down with Dick Brown, who was a Rockwell [engineer]...We sat down and went through all the circuitry to find out just how does this thing work? Why would those patterns of numbers have come up?


Let me know if anyone knows more about Brown, and why he's rarely mentioned in the SCE to Aux story.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2023, 03:39:50 am by kendradog »

Offline MadDogBV

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Re: "While we're playing these games": Dick Brown's role in EECOM
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2023, 09:20:29 am »
I don't remember if I ever pointed this out, but in the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Report, the EECOM team gives a brief shout-out to the EPS team for their performance during the anomaly. That would, of course, zero in on Dick Brown as he was the prime EPS responsible for tracking the O2 Tanks. Considering that many hundreds or thousands of people who saved Apollo 13 went unnamed in history, and considering that the majority of the Mission Ops report spends about 90-95% of its text discussing problems, anomalies, recommendations for change, etc., this is high praise indeed.

And as well it should have been: He gave recommendations to power down, advised on whether the voltage current could hack the loads during troubleshooting, and he made the call (which John Aaron passed up) to turn on battery A when fuel cell 2 finally bit the dust. Even after this was done, he kept track of the battery usage, which would become essential later when the procedure was created to charge the CSM batteries from the LM.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2023, 09:26:16 am by MadDogBV »