Tramite la mailing list ProjectApollo ho potuto rivolgere una domanda a Jerry Blackburn, attualmente presidente della Aerospace Legacy Foundation, che ha lavorato per North American alla realizzazione della capsula Apollo. Ecco la mia domanda, che gli è stata gentilmente passata da Jim Busby:
What are the most brilliant yet little known or under appreciated components, devices or subsystems of the Apollo CSM?
La risposta di Blackburn (pubblicata con il suo permesso), che consiglio di leggere a tutti gli studenti di ingegneria:
Besides the major design components such as the Hatch ( A marvel of engineering) the Docking Probe ( Ingenious device ) and the Ablative heat shield ( Way over engineered for the spacecraft) we were making innovations almost daily. The RCS thrusters were a work of art, the antenna system, the evnvironmental control life support system (ECLSS), the on board computer (GPC) was an incredible device for that time and era. What we could have done with todays technology. There were even more innovations in the processes used to manufacture and create these components. Brazed tubing joint processes, electroless plating, brush plating, radiographic inspection techniques, and a whole new discipline for controlling contamination. If you are interested in learning more about these innovations check with NASA website and search on "Spinoffs" http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/technologies/spinoffs_index.html .
We also had a program for contractors with NASA called “Tech Tidbits” you might explore through the NASA web. This was a program to capture technology innovations developed during the Apollo program for commercial applications.
Aerospace Legacy Foundation