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3. The lightning was most probably triggered by the presence of
the effective electrical conduction path created by the space vehicle and
its exhaust plume in an electric field which would not otherwise discharged.
4. The available data show the discharge had most characteristics
of an average natural lightning discharge. Typical natural discharges
to ground produce peak currents on the order of I0 000 amperes and transfer about 20 coulombs of charge to ground.
spacecraft design has an inherent degree of protection from the effects
of lightning. This protection is considered sufficient without hardware
modifications to accept a low risk which can be provided by certain additional launch restrictions. The probability of meeting a launch window
is estimated to be reduced a few percent by the launch restrictions for
avoiding potentially hazardous electric fields. These launch restrictions are based upon meteorological conditions at KennedySpace Center.
2. No changes are necessary to the launch vehicle for triggered
lightning discharge. As a result of the tendency of a space vehicle to
encourage electrical discharges where a natural lightning discharge would
not exist, and because of the possible danger to the mission that results
from this tendency, someadditions will be madeto the present launch
vehicle system background data for Apollo mission rules to minimize the
triggered lightning risks.
3. The launch restrictions which will satisfy the low risk requirement of the spacecraft and the lesser restrictions of the luanch vehicle
are delineated in the following launch rules which shall apply.
a. No launch when flight will go through cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) cloud formation. In addition, no launch if flight will be within
5 miles of thunderstorms cloud or 3 miles of associated anvil.
b. Do not launch through cold-front or squall-line clouds which
extend above l0 000 feet.
c. Do not launch through middle cloud layers 6000 feet or greater
in depth where the freeze level is in the clouds.
d. D not launch through cumulus clouds with tops at 10 000 feet or higher.