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Thread: flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions

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    flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions

    Following a recent thread on dive watches - here is some information relating to NASA specifications. The rest (as they say) is history.

    The first qualification program for the NASA watches was conducted in 1965. To be “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”, a wrist chronograph must pass all of the following tests numerous times without failure of any kind:

    1. High Temperature – 48 hours at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) followed by 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C). For the high temperature tests, atmospheric pressure shall be 5.5 psi (0.35 atm) and the relative humidity shall not exceed 15%.
    2. Low Temperature – Four hours at a temperature of 0°F (-18° C)
    3. Temperature Pressure Chamber – pressure maximum of 1.47 x 10exp-5 psi (10exp-6 atm) with temperature raised to 160°F (71°C). The temperature shall then be lowered to 0°F (-18°C) in 45 minutes and raised again to 160°F in 45 minutes. Fifteen more such cycles shall be completed.
    4. Relative Humidity – A total time of 240 hours at temperatures varying between 68°F and 160°F (20°C and 71°C, respectively) in a relative humidity of at least 95%. The steam used shall have a pH value between 6.5 and 7.5.
    5. Pure Oxygen Atmosphere – The test item shall be placed in an atmosphere of 100% oxygen at a pressure of 5.5 psi (0.35 atm) for 48 hours. Performance outside of specification tolerance, visible burning, creation of toxic gases, obnoxious odors, or deterioration of seals or lubricants shall constitute a failure. The ambient temperature shall be maintained at 160°F (71°C).
    6. Shock – Six shocks of 40g each, in six different directions, with each shock lasting 11 milliseconds.
    7. Acceleration – The test item shall be accelerated linearly from 1g to 7.25g within 333 seconds, along an axis parallel to the longitudinal spacecraft axis.
    8. Decompression – 90 minutes in a vacuum of 1.47 x 10E-5 psi (10 E-6 atm) at a temperature of 160° F (71° C), and 30 minutes at a 200° F (93°C).
    9. High Pressure – The test item shall be subjected to a pressure of 23.5 psi (1.6 atm) for a minimum period of one hour.
    10. Vibration – Three cycles of 30 minutes (lateral, horizontal, vertical, the frequency varying from 5 to 2000 cps and back to 5 cps in 15 minutes. Average acceleration per impulse must be at least 8.8g.
    11. Acoustic Noise – 130dB over a frequency range from 40 to 10,000 HZ, for a duration of 30 minutes.

  2. #2
    Master
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    That's serious abuse!

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

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    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Great information, Martyn.

    I believe that these all passed the tests:

    Casio G-Shock DW-5600C-1V Module 691
    Casio G-Shock DW-5600C-1V Module 901
    Casio G-Shock DW-5600E-1V
    Casio G-Shock DW-5900C-9
    Casio G-Shock DW-6900-1V
    Casio G-Shock G-9000-1
    Timex IRONMAN Triathlon Data Link
    Omega Speedmaster Professional
    Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 Gen1
    Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 Gen2


  4. #4
    Really depends on the pass/ fail criteria. I.e. if it only has to work and stay within +- 10s per day then it's not too bad in my view.

    If it also looks at pressure leakage on the case, visual deviation from new, etc then it gets a lot harder.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app

  5. #5
    Are you sure it was "without failure of any kind'...? I thought there was a +/1 mins per day standard applied. I know that the Omega gained 21mins during one test and lost 15mins during another.

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    I think you're missing an X-33 Gen3 there - but what a fantastic collection! True space watches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehase284 View Post
    Really depends on the pass/ fail criteria. I.e. if it only has to work and stay within +- 10s per day then it's not too bad in my view.

    If it also looks at pressure leakage on the case, visual deviation from new, etc then it gets a lot harder.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app
    From the same article:


    March 1, 1965 - NASA, in a memorandum drafted on this date, outlines the results of its tests on the various wrist chronographs:

    Environmental tests and test results for the chronographs are outlined in the attachment to this memorandum. The following major discrepancies were found during environmental testing:

    a) Rolex - It stopped running on two occasions during the Relative Humidity Test and subsequently failed during High Temperature Test No. 1 when the sweep second hand warped and was binding against the other hands on the dial. No further tests were run with the Rolex chronographs.

    b) Longines Wittnauer - The crystal warped and disengaged during the High Temperature Test. The same discrepancy occurred on a second Longines Wittnauer during Decompression Test No. 8. No further tests were run with Longines Wittnauer chronographs.

    c) Omega - It gained 21 minutes during the Decompression Test and lost 15 minutes during the Acceleration Test. The luminescence on the dial was destroyed during testing. At the conclusion of all testing the Omega chronograph operated satisfactorily.

  8. #8
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    I think you're missing an X-33 Gen3 there - but what a fantastic collection! True space watches.
    Cheers, I do have a couple of X-33 Gen 3 but those are ESA qualified (or certified according to some case backs).


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    Cheers, I do have a couple of X-33 Gen 3 but those are ESA qualified (or certified according to some case backs).


    Yes indeed! It looks like you have those covered too.

    While the previous generations of X-33’s were tested and flight qualified by NASA, this one has been tested and qualified by the European Space Agency (ESA). Engineers of the ESA put the Skywalker through rigorous tests at the European Space Research & Technology center (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Netherlands. This is the place where satellites are tested and examined before launch. The watch survived tests emulating the intense vibrations of a launch, was spun in a centrifuge chamber to reach 7G’s while in parallel its performance was analyzed in a wide variety of temperatures (-45 to 75 degrees Celsius). Finally the watch was exposed to radiation under the supervision of France’s ONERA/DESP space environment department. After all these harsh and demanding tests, the Skywalker qualified as a timepiece equipment which would be suitable for use by the astronauts of the ESA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard View Post
    Are you sure it was "without failure of any kind'...? I thought there was a +/1 mins per day standard applied. I know that the Omega gained 21mins during one test and lost 15mins during another.
    Reading between the lines I guess the watch returns to normal after tests completed.

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    The new documentary ‘Apollo Eleven” features lots of original, previously unseen, footage. It will be interesting to see how often a Moonwatch appears. I’m going tomorrow.
    And i don’t own a Speedy Pro.
    Last edited by paskinner; 1st July 2019 at 14:24.

  12. #12
    Martyn fantastic read and thankyou for posting fascinating that Rolex didn't last the course wonder what James Bunt would've made of that then I suppose when humping countless birds You wouldn't be going at the speed of sound but then He switched to Omega.Interesting the Timex did well.

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    And as your talking about the X33, I'm after an instruction manual to compliment mine that doesn't have one!.

    So if anyone might have one gathering dust please get in touch.

    Or

    Would Omega perhaps have one I could buy?.


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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    And as your talking about the X33, I'm after an instruction manual to compliment mine that doesn't have one!.

    So if anyone might have one gathering dust please get in touch.

    Or

    Would Omega perhaps have one I could buy?.
    i have an online link via the venerable Chuck Maddox. Let me know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    i have an online link via the venerable Chuck Maddox. Let me know?
    I have the link but thanks all the same Martyn.


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    Great information - thanks for sharing 👍

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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    The new documentary ‘Apollo Eleven” features lots of original, previously unseen, footage. It will be interesting to see how often a Moonwatch appears. I’m going tomorrow.
    And i don’t own a Speedy Pro.
    I saw that at the IMAX in London - thoroughly enjoyed it but not a huge amount of Speedy content. There's a great shot during the "suit-up" sequence where you see Mike Collins' watch velcroed to the outside of his space suit, and various other incidental views. Almost as good (IMO) was the selection of other late-'60s wristwear on display in the mission control and crowd sequences. If you have any kind of vintage appreciation, you'll be on eBay by the time you get home.

    Naturally, being a monumental saddo, I wore my -69ST for the occasion...

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    It would be interesting to find out if the Russians had / have an equivalent specification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    Great information, Martyn.

    I believe that these all passed the tests:

    Casio G-Shock DW-5600C-1V Module 691
    Casio G-Shock DW-5600C-1V Module 901
    Casio G-Shock DW-5600E-1V
    Casio G-Shock DW-5900C-9
    Casio G-Shock DW-6900-1V
    Casio G-Shock G-9000-1
    Timex IRONMAN Triathlon Data Link
    Omega Speedmaster Professional
    Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 Gen1
    Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 Gen2

    I have a G-9000! Never knew it was flight qualified, that’s satisfying to know :)
    All of a sudden it’s a much more interesting watch

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    Postman brought this earlier.......



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