January 1965 Electronics WorldTable of Contents
People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Electronics World was published from May 1959 through December 1971. See all Electronics World articles.
If you ever have the opportunity to read the history of the engineering efforts that went into designing and building the Saturn V rocket, you will be amazed at the ingenuity and incredible work that went into its creation. Margins of error approached single digits in some instances, like with some of the fuel tanks. According to the book NASA Apollo 11: An Insight into the Hardware from the First Manned Mission to Land on the Moon, re-design was constantly required to remove weight from already-completed assemblies in order to compensate for overweight components that could not be kept within their budget allocations. Some portions of fuel tanks were so thin that a finger poke would deform the container. This news item from a 1965 edition of Electronics World reports on work being done with a powerful magnetic hammer on a fuel tank section. Note the absence of hearing protection or any other kind of safety device on the technician.
A magnetic hammer is being used at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center at Huntsville, Ala. to smooth out distortions in segments of the Saturn V fuel tank. Eight of the segments are joined to form the dome-shaped end of the tank. The hammer's force results from a strong magnetic field set up for about 500 microseconds from the high-voltage power supply. The segments, costing about $30,000 each, are made to such close tolerances that distortion from welding fittings into them, such as the one in the center, makes them useless. The hammer has salvaged 8 segments.
Posted February 26, 2015