David Llorente (Deceased)

David Llorente

David was born on June 14, 1929 and passed away on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

David was a resident of Santa Fe, Texas at the time of his passing.

A celebratione will be conducted on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 2:00 P.M. at the Jeter Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 311 N. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood, Texas 77546.

I shall not die of a cold.? I shall die of having lived.? ~Willa Cather

Disabling The Apollo C&W System For 2TV-1

The man who almost got me fired....   It's a long but funny and true story!

It's the late 1960's and Paul was a test engineer on the Apollo Program assigned to testing the Thermal Vacuum Vehicle (2TV-1).  It was a whole Apollo Capsule scheduled to go into a thermal vacuum chamber at JSC.

One evening this strange man shows up and introduces himself as the 2TV-1 Project Engineer.  He is just in from Houston and needed some help!  He was official becuase he had a "black badge" meaning "management".

He wanted me to write a test procedure to cut and stow some of the the Caution & Warning System wiring.  My vague recollection is that he said these alarms will not work in the vacuum chamber and if we don't cut them now, we will have to reopen the panel when it arrives in Houston.  He promised to release the proper "engineering" to authorize this activity as soon as he got back to Houston!  He was leaving at 6:00 am and wold be in Houston about the time we all got to work.

Gee, I am young... made sense to me!

These lights lite up when conditions called for them to light. Inside the vacuum chamber on Earth, some of the lights would go off all the time. It was planned to cut the wiring anyway before the test.

So I write up the procedure, I sign it, he signs it, we release it and voila the procedure gets "worked".   It seems there was a deplay in testing and my procedure was called up and worked almost immediately.

 I went home about 5:30am as I worked the swing shift.  I go to bed and all of a sudden, the phone starts ringing off the hook!

My boss, his boss, his bosses boss and yelling at me!  "Who told you to do that?" "You can't modify a space vehicle on a "Test Preparation Sheet"  Get your butt in here so we can fire your happy butt  and send you home!"

I thought to myself, just who was this "David Llorente" person.  I tried to call him in Houston and no one around (he was traveling back home).  I think to myself, "I'm sunk!"  When I was being interviewed by the bosses, I could not even remember his name!  All I could say was "David said it was OK and he was the Project Engineer!"

True to his word, Dave released the proper Engineering Specifications that called for the cap/stow of these wires and I was saved even though we did the work ahead of the engineering! He also called Norm Casson (the Director of Apollo Test & Operations) and yelled at him for yelling at me.

I often thought to myself David must have enjoyed this event as he and I laughed about it for years and years!  Dave s on the internet and we email back and forth... We have known each other since 1969!

Read about the Caution & Warning System right here!

In the spring of 1968, two important tests called 2TV-1 and LTA-8 were performed in the Space Enviroment Simulation Laboratory (SESL) at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. The SESL was a huge chamber capable of simulating the vacuum of space as well as the temperatures and lighting conditions that would be experienced during a space flight. In Chamber-A of the SESL the 2TV-1 test with the CSM took place, and Chamber-B focused on LTA-8 .

The CSM test was scheduled to begin in February 1967 using Apollo spacecraft 2TV-1 (Block II Termal Vacuum no.1). However, following the January 1967 Apollo-1 fire, all vacuum chamber test were put on hold. As a result of the fire it was decided that all manned flights would be flown in Block II vehicles. The first manned Apollo mission, a CSM only flight named Apollo-7, would be lauched sometime during the third quarter of 1968. Except for some flight qualified equpment, 2TV-1 would be identical to CSM-101 (Apollo-7). A firm rule was established that the 2TV-1 test would be a constraining factor for that mission, it would have to be completed at least one month prior to Apollo-7 and would have to be successful or there would be no launch.

Delivery of the 2TV-1 spacecraft to MSC was planned for October 14, 1967. However, by August that date had slipped six weeks and it would keep slipping. Finaly on 11 March 1968 NAA (North American Aviation) completed assembly of CSM 2TV-1 and on April 9 it was shipped fro Downey to MSC where it was installed in chamber A of the SESL. After a dry run in June 1968, the crew was ready for the real thing. On Sunday June 16, 1968 they donned their spagesuits and entered the test chamber and the test began. Over the next week the crew went through the same sort of timeline that would be followed on a lunar mission. After spending 177 hours inside, the astronauts emerged from the chamber in excellent spirits on June 24. The critical 2TV-1 test had been a succes, clearing the way for Apollo-7.

An Email From The Past (After 40+ Years)

From: "Norman Casson"
Date: March 8, 2010 7:30:28 PM PST
To: "Paul Liles"

Subject: RE: David Llorente

Hello Paul:

Thank you for providing me the link to your story regarding Dave Llorente, that incidentally, also included yours truly. I certainly remember Dave Llorente as a fine Project Engineer on 2TV-1, and if it is within your willingness and ability please convey to him my best wishes. Thank you also for bringing back such precious memories of the "glory days" of the nation's lunar landing project. Your mention of the "Test Preparation Sheet" (TPS) brought back to mind many incidents such as this one you cited. I also appreciate your explanation of the true importance of 2TV-1, more specifically, how each ground and flight test actually "set the stage" for each succeeding Apollo mission.
On a more personal note, I do not recall your specific story, most likely only because there were so many engineers (in my area of responsibility), many of whom not only were modifying engineering with Test Preparation Sheets, but were getting the work done before the engineering was released as well.

Since all of this was against the policy of engineering and "APOLLO TEST & OPERATIONS," quite naturally I probably yelled my head off about it. But in reflection Paul, over the past several decades (and I must admit, even back during the actual TPS "violations") I arrived at the conclusion that if you and your fellow young engineers had always waited for the engineering documentation to be released prior to getting the work done, we would never have met president Kennedy's goal of getting man on the moon and returning him safely to earth prior to the end of that decade!
And so I congratulate, praise and thank all of you manned spaceflight engineers for your ingenuity, creativeness, persistence, determination and tenacity ...for it was these ingredients that elevated each of you several steps above average in the field of science and engineering, all-of-which led to the unqualified success of our nations lunar landing program THE APOLLO PROJECT!

In appreciation, I remain,

Norm Casson

Serving Our Country

David Llorente
USAT General Haan

This looks like the ship is returning troops from overseas and who knows, it might be a pic from my debarkation - - one doesn't know, but that's what it looked like.

Thinking back to these times when I first got on board they asked if anyone could transmit and receive Morse Code at 10-words per minute. I raised my hand and soon I was assigned the duty of getting the news every day from the San Francisco Armed Forces Radio Station and printing and distributing the ship's newspaper. That enabled me to go throughout the entire ship with no restriction - - of course it included the bridge. I was in tall cotton.

This is an identical vessel with the General Haan. On my return to the states aboard this ship, now being of somewhat high rank, that is I was a Staff Sergeant and considered one of the top three enlisted grades, we were given better quarters directly below the bridge on the main deck. It was super since the portholes could be opened and we had a constant breeze blowing into our compartment, however in a storm that part of the ship would raise super high and then come down super low and it was seasick haven.

David Llorente
This is the troop transport I returned on - - USAT General Greeley

It wasn't one of the Carnival Cruise line ships but this was home to me for over two weeks and it was quite an adventure to me. Believe it or not it carried close to 3,000 troops on board. Being of low rank, like private which is the bottom of the pecking order our assigned bunks were on decks below the water line and in the center of the ship. Hot and stuffy with poor ventilation we often slept on deck during the night but during the many storms we encountered it was the most stable location, so while others were seasick and throwing up all over the place we weathered the storm in relative good comfort.

Dave And His Friends

Thanks Paul - - I love my dogs and since I've lived out here in the country, almost 15 of them have preceded me and their resting places are all around my 2+ acres and I visit with them almost every day.  I love my dogs

David Llorente
My Golden Retriever Otto

My constant companion and now I am down to just two dogs, a German Sheppard and a Lhas Apso, the latter now about 15 years old and is failing, but we're still hanging on to her - - I hope she is not suffering too much for I will not put her down.  The German Shepherd is one year old and like Otto, is constantly by my side and it rules the property. 

I want to send you a CD entitled "Scooter."  You will love it.  Send me your mailing address and it is yours pardner.  You'll love it.

Thanks again for the power point presentation - - it is priceless and right up my alley