Boiler Plate

Apollo Boiler Plate 12, an unmaned, transonic abort test vehicle, using a Little Joe II booster as a launch vehicle, successfully completed its mission at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico on May 13th, 1964. This was the first full-scale test flight of the launch escape system in the transonic speed range.

The Little Joe II boosted the Apollo boiler plate command-service modules to an approximate altitude of 21,000ft, where an abort command caused separation of the command module from the service module and ignition of the launch escape and pitch control motors. The launch escape assembly propelled the command module away from the service module and launch vehicle to an approximate altitude of 28,000ft. The tower was separated from the command module and the tower jettison motor ignited, carrying the launch escape assembly and forward compartment heat shield away from the trajectory of the command module.

The earth landing system was then initiated to accomplish drogue parachute deployment and release, and deployment of three pilot parachutes which, in turn, deployed the three main parachutes. One of the main parachutes did not inflate fully and was separated from the command module; however, Apollo Boiler Plate 12’s command module landed upright and undamaged.