PART 2 (B)
Design - Decision - Contract
January 1961 through March 1961
STG, which was responsible for Project Mercury and other NASA manned
space flight programs, became a separate field element reporting to the
Director of Space Flight Programs at NASA Headquarters.
Fifth NASA Semiannual Report, p. 2.
During a meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council at NASA
Headquarters, the subject of a manned lunar landing was discussed.
Following presentations on earth orbit rendezvous (Wernher von Braun,
Director of Marshall Space Flight Center), lunar orbit rendezvous (John
C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center), and direct ascent (Melvyn Savage
of NASA Headquarters), the Council decided that NASA should not follow
any one of these specific approaches, but should proceed on a broad base
to afford flexibility. Another outcome of the discussion was an
agreement that NASA should have an orbital rendezvous program which
could stand alone as well as being a part of the manned lunar program. A
task group was named to define the elements of the program insofar as
possible. Members of the group were George M. Low, Chairman, Eldon W.
Hall, A. M. Mayo, Ernest O. Pearson, Jr., and Oran W. Nicks, all of NASA
Headquarters; Maxime A. Faget of STG; and H. H. Koelle of Marshall Space
Flight Center. This group became known as the Low Committee.
Minutes, Space Exploration Program Council Meeting, January 5-6, 1961;
Bird, "Short History of the Development of the Lunar Orbit
Rendezvous Plan at the Langley Research Center," p. 2.
Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups held their first meetings
at STG (Instrumentation and Communications, Mechanical Systems, and
The Group for Instrumentation and Communications discussed a set of
working guidelines on spacecraft instrumentation and communications,
tracking considerations, and deep-space communication requirements.
Progress of the three Apollo feasibility study contracts was reviewed
and the proposed MIT Lincoln Laboratory study on a systems concept for
the ground instrumentation and tracking required for the Apollo mission
was discussed. Reports of studies were given by members from the NASA
Centers. The Group recommendations were :
Members of the Group for Mechanical Systems considered studies being
done at NASA Centers. Some specific points of interest in these studies
- All Group members should be supplied with copies of the Apollo
- Existing ground facilities should be used as much as possible.
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL should be asked to participate in
future panel activities.
- All Group members should be supplied with copies of the STG-Lincoln
Laboratory Work Statement.
The Group for Onboard Propulsion reviewed the three contractors' work on
the Apollo feasibility studies. Among studies being undertaken by the
NASA Centers and reported on at this meeting were: an STG consideration
of an all-solid fuel propulsion system for a circumlunar flight,
determination of midcourse and abort propulsion system requirements
based on Saturn trajectories (MSFC), experimental evaluation at zero
gravity of expulsion bag techniques for cryogenic propellants (Lewis),
analysis and experiments on solid propellant rocket motors of very high
mass fraction (Langley), methods of achieving thrust vector control by
secondary injection of gases and the design of a highly reliable and
versatile bipropellant spacecraft propellant system using hydrogen
tetroxide and hydrazine or hydrazine derivatives (JPL), and a contract
to examine hardware requirements for space missions and lunar landings
- Lewis and Langley work on reaction controls, Langley research on
auxiliary power systems, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
investigations on mechanical elements
- A call for more detailed definitions of the environmental control
system requirements, further investigation of chemical auxiliary power
systems, consideration of artificial gravity configuration effects on
mechanical systems, and development of reliable materials for use in the
Minutes of meetings of Technical Liaison Groups on Instrumentation and
Communications, Mechanical Systems, and Onboard Propulsion, January 6,
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) set up by the Space
Exploration Program Council was instructed to prepare a position paper
for the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget presentation to Congress. The paper
was to be a concise statement of NASA's lunar program for Fiscal Year
1962 and was to present the lunar mission in term of both direct ascent
and rendezvous. The rendezvous program would be designed to develop a
manned spacecraft capability in near space, regardless of whether such a
technique would be needed for manned lunar landing. In addition to
answering such questions as the reason for not eliminating one of the
two mission approaches, the Group was to estimate the cost of the lunar
mission and the date of its accomplishment, though not in specific
terms. Although the decision to land a man on the moon had not been
approved, it was to be stressed that the development of the scientific
and technical capability for a manned lunar landing was a prime NASA
goal, though not the only one. The first meeting of the Group was to be
held on January 9.
"Instructions to Manned Lunar Landing Task Group," January 6
and 9, 1961.
At the first meeting of the Manned Lunar Landing Task Group, Associate
Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Director of the Office of Space
Flight Programs Abe Silverstein, and Director of the Office of Advanced
Research Programs Ira H. Abbott outlined the purpose of the Group to the
members. After a discussion of the instructions, the Group considered
first the objectives of the total NASA program:
NASA's lunar program was a logical step toward these objectives. In
current lunar program planning, three steps were projected:
- the exploration of the solar system for knowledge to benefit
- the development of technology to permit exploitation of space flight
for scientific, military, and commercial uses.
To accomplish the first step, a great increase in launch vehicle
capability would be needed beyond that provided by current funding. A
comparison of a three-million-pound-thrust and a
six-million-pound-thrust Nova launch vehicle was made. It was estimated
that a 60,000- to 80,000-pound payload to escape velocity would be
needed for a manned lunar landing mission.
- a manned landing on the moon with return to earth,
- limited manned lunar exploration, and
- a scientific lunar base.
Manned Lunar Exploration Working Group [Manned Lunar Landing Task Group]
Minutes, January 9, 1961.
Representatives of STG visited Convair Astronautics Division of the
General Dynamics Corporation to monitor the Apollo feasibility study
contract. The meeting consisted of several individual informal
discussions between the STG and Convair specialists on configurations
and aerodynamics, heating, structures and materials, human factors,
trajectory analysis, guidance and control, and operation implementation.
Memorandum, William W. Petynia, Convair Liaison Engineer, to Associate
Director, STG, "Visit to Convair Astronautics on January 10
Regarding Apollo Study," February 3, 1961.
A conference was held at the Langley Research Center between
representatives of STG and Langley to discuss the feasibility of
incorporating a lunar orbit rendezvous phase into the Apollo program.
Attending the meeting for STG were Robert L. O'Neal, Owen E. Maynard,
and H. Kurt Strass, and for the Langley Research Center, John C.
Houbolt, Clinton E. Brown, Manuel J. Queijo, and Ralph W. Stone, Jr. The
presentation by Houbolt centered on a performance analysis which showed
the weight saving to be gained by the lunar rendezvous technique as
opposed to the direct ascent mode. According to the analysis, a saving
in weight of from 20 to 40 percent could be realized with the lunar
orbit rendezvous technique.
Memorandum, O'Neal, Systems Integration Section, to Associate Director,
STG, "Discussion with Dr. Houbolt, LRC, Concerning the Possible
Incorporation of a Lunar Orbital Rendezvous Phase as a Prelude to Manned
Lunar Landing," January 30, 1961.
Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups (Trajectory Analysis,
Heating, and Human Factors) held their first meetings at the Ames
After reviewing the status of the contractors' Apollo feasibility
studies, the Group on Trajectory Analysis discussed studies being made
at NASA Centers. An urgent requirement was identified for a standard
model of the Van Allen radiation belt which could be used in all
trajectory analysis related to the Apollo program,
The Group on Heating, after consideration of NASA and contractor studies
currently in progress, recommended experimental investigation of control
surface heating and determination of the relative importance of the
unknowns in the heating area by relating estimated "ignorance"
factors to resulting weight penalties in the spacecraft. The next day,
three members of this Group met for further discussions and two areas
were identified for more study: radiant heat inputs and their effect on
the ablation heatshield, and methods of predicting heating on control
surfaces, possibly by wind tunnel tests at high Mach numbers.
The Group on Human Factors considered contractors' studies and
investigations being done at NASA Centers. In particular, the Group
discussed the STG document, "Project Apollo Life Support
Programs," which proposed 41 research projects. These projects were
to be carried out by various organizations, including NASA, DOD,
industry, and universities. Medical support experience which might be
applicable to Apollo was also reviewed.
Minutes of meetings of Technical Liaison Groups on Trajectory Analysis,
on Heating, and on Human Factors, January 11, 1961.
J. Thomas Markley of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office reported to
Associate Director of STG Charles J. Donlan that an informal briefing
had been given to the Saturn Guidance Committee on the Apollo program.
The Committee had been formed by Don R. Ostrander, NASA Director of the
Office of Launch Vehicle Programs, to survey the broad guidance and
control requirements for Saturn. The Committee was to review Marshall
Space Flight Center guidance plans, review plans of mission groups who
intended to use Saturn, recommend an adequate guidance system for
Saturn, and prepare a report of the evaluation and results during
January. Members of STG, including Robert O. Piland, Markley, and Robert
G. Chilton, presented summaries of the overall Apollo program and
guidance requirements for Apollo.
Memorandum, Markley to Associate Director, STG, "Briefing for
Saturn Guidance Committee," January 11, 1961.
President-elect John F. Kennedy released a report made to him by his Ad
Hoc Committee on Space named to review the U.S. space and missile
programs and identify personnel, technical, or administrative problems
which would require the prompt attention of the Kennedy Administration.
The Committee, whose chairman was Jerome B. Wiesner of MIT, concluded
that the national space program required a redefinition of objectives,
that the National Aeronautics and Space Council should be made an
effective agency for managing the space program, that there should be a
single responsible agency within the military establishment to manage
the military part of the space program, that NASA management should be
reorganized with stronger emphasis on technical direction, and that
organizational machinery should be set up within the government to
administer an industry-government civilian space program.
Report to the President-Elect of the Ad Hoc Committee on Space, January
11, 1961, pp. 1, 4-5; New York Times, January 12, 1961.
John Blake of the Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center
(ACIC) described to STG representatives the progress made by ACIC in
mapping the moon. Lunar maps to the scale of 1: 5,000,000 and 1:
10,000,000 were later requested and received by STG. In addition, the
first two sheets of a projected 144 sheet map coverage of the lunar
surface on a 1:1,000,000 scale were forwarded to STG by the Center.
Letter, Charles J. Donlan to Commander, ACIC, January 17, 1961; Lt. Col.
Ross J. Foster, ACIC, to Donlan, STG, January 31, 1961.
Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups Structures and Materials,
Configurations and Aerodynamics, and Guidance and Control held their
first meetings at the Ames Research Center.
The Group on Structures and Materials, after reviewing contractors'
progress on the Apollo feasibility studies, considered reports on
Apollo-related activities at NASA Centers. Among these activities were
work on the radiative properties of material suitable for temperature
control of spacecraft (Ames), investigation of low-level cooling systems
in the reentry module (Langley), experiments on the landing impact of
proposed reentry module shapes (Langley), meteoroid damage studies
(Lewis), and the definition of suitable design criteria and safety
factors to ensure the structural integrity of the spacecraft STG.
The Group on Configurations and Aerodynamics recommended :
The various spacecraft configurations under consideration by the Apollo
feasibility study contractors were reviewed:
- Investigations to determine the effects of aerodynamic heating on
- Studies of the roll control maneuvers with center of gravity offset
for range control.
- Tests of packaging and deployment of paraglider and multiple
parachute landing systems.
- Studies to determine the effects of jet impingement upon the static
and dynamic stability of the spacecraft.
The Group for Guidance and Control drew up a list of suggestions for
research and development programs:
- The General Electric Company effort was being concentrated on the
Mark-ll, NERV, RVX (9 degree blunted cone), elliptical cone, half-cone,
and Bell Aerospace Corporation Dyna-Soar types.
- The Martin Company was studying the M-1 and M-2 lifting bodies, the
Mercury with control flap, the Hydrag (Avco Corporation), and a winged
vehicle similar to Dyna-Soar. In addition, Martin was proposing to
investigate the M-1-1, a lifting body halfway between the M-1 and the M-
2; a flat-bottomed lifting vehicle similar to the M-1-1 ; a lenticular
shape; and modified flapped Mercury (the Langley L-2C).
- Convair/Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation
had subcontracted the major effort on reentry to Avco, which was looking
into five configurations: a Mercury-type capsule, the lenticular shape,
the M-1, the flat-face cone, and half-cone.
Minutes of meetings of Apollo Technical Liaison Groups on Structures and
Materials, Configurations and Aerodynamics, and Guidance and Control,
January 12, 1961.
- An "absolute emergency" navigation system in which the
crew would use only a Land camera and a slide rule.
- The possible applications of the equipment and test programs to be
used on Surveyor.
- The question whether Apollo lunar landing trajectories should be
based on minimum fuel expenditure - if so, doubts were raised that the
current STG concept would accomplish this goal.
- The question whether radio ranging could be used to reduce the
accuracy requirements for celestial observations and whether such a
composite system would fall within the limits set by the Apollo
- The effects of lunar impact on the return spacecraft navigation
- Studies of hardware drift-error in the guidance and navigation
systems and components.
- A study of the effect of rotating machinery aboard the spacecraft on
attitude alignment and control requirements.
- Problems of planet tracking when the planetary disk was only
- A study of the transient effects of guidance updating by external
- One adequate guidance and control concept to be mechanized and
errors analyzed and evaluated.
- The effects of artificial g configurations on observation and
- The development of a ground display mission progress evaluation for
an entire mission
- An abort guidance sequence including an abort decision computer and
- An earth orbit evaluation of the position computer input in a highly
eccentric orbit (500- to 1000-mile perigee, 60,000-mile apogee).
Representatives of STG visited The Martin Company in Baltimore, Md., to
review the progress of the Apollo feasibility study contract.
Discussions on preliminary design of the spacecraft, human factors,
propulsion, power supplies, guidance and control, structures, and
landing and recovery were held with members of the Martin staff.
Memorandum, John B. Lee, Apollo Liaison Engineer, to Associate Director,
STG, "Visit to The Martin Company, Baltimore, Md., on January
12-13, 1961, Regarding the Monitoring of the Apollo Study
Contract," February 6, 1961.
At the second meeting of the Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low
Committee), a draft position paper was presented by George M. Low,
Chairman. A series of reports on launch vehicle capabilities,
spacecraft, and lunar program support were presented and considered for
possible inclusion in the position paper.
Minutes of Manned Lunar Landing Working Group [Manned Lunar Landing Task
Group], January 16 and 17, 1961.
The Marshall Space Flight Center awarded contracts to the Douglas
Aircraft Company and Chance Vought Corporation to study the launching of
manned exploratory expeditions into lunar and interplanetary space from
U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Science and Astronautics,
Aeronautical and Astronautical Events of 1961, Report of
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 87th Congress, 2nd
Session (1962), p. 3.
After evaluating preliminary design studies, NASA selected the Hughes
Aircraft Company to build seven Surveyor spacecraft. This 750-pound,
three-legged, unmanned spacecraft would carry 200 pounds of instruments,
including zoom television cameras, a drill to sample the lunar soil,
chemical analysis equipment, and a seismometer. The first Surveyor was
scheduled to be launched in 1963.
Fifth NASA Semiannual Report, p. 49; Los Angeles
Examiner, January 20, 1961.
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) submitted its first
draft report to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. A
section on detailed costs and schedules still was in preparation and a
detailed itemized backup report was expected to be available in mid-
Memorandum, George M. Low, Program Chief, Manned Space Flight, to
Associate Administrator, "A Plan for Manned Lunar Landing,"
January 24, 1961.
NASA announced that the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation had been awarded a
contract by the Marshall Space Flight Center to study the feasibility of
refueling a spacecraft in orbit.
Baltimore Sun, January 26, 1961.
Wernher von Braun, Director of Marshall Space Flight Center, proposed
that the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle be changed from a three-stage to a
two-stage configuration to meet Apollo program schedules. The planned
third stage (S-V) would be dropped.
Saturn Illustrated Chronology, p. 17.
President John F. Kennedy announced that he was nominating James E. Webb
as Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
and Hugh L. Dryden as Deputy Administrator, Senate confirmation followed
on February 9 and they were sworn in on February 14.
Washington Post, January 31, 1961; Fifth NASA
Semiannual Report, p. 2.
Mercury-Redstone 2 was launched successfully from the
Atlantic Missile Range, with Ham, a chimpanzee, aboard. Despite the
over-acceleration of the launch vehicle, which caused the spacecraft to
reach a higher altitude than planned, the capsule was recovered safely
with Ham in good condition.
Grimwood, Project Mercury: A Chronology, p. 121.
January 31-February 1
Members of STG met with representatives of the Convair Astronautics
Division of the General Dynamics Corporation and Avco Corporation to
monitor the progress of the Apollo feasibility study. Configurations and
aerodynamics and Apollo heating studies were discussed. Current plans
indicated that final selection of their proposed spacecraft
configuration would be made by Convair Astronautics within a week. The
status of the spacecraft reentry studies was described by Avco
Memorandum, William W. Petynia, Convair Liaison Engineer, to Associate
Director, STG, "Visit to Avco, Wilmington, Mass., on January 31 and
February 1, 1961, Regarding Monitoring of Apollo Study Contract;"
February 13, 1961.
During the Month
Marshall Space Flight Center awarded contracts to NAA and Ryan
Aeronautical Corporation to investigate the feasibility of recovering
the first stage (S-I) of the Saturn launch vehicle by using a Rogallo
Saturn Illustrated Chronology, pp. 17-18.
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) transmitted its
final report to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The
Group found that the manned lunar landing mission could be accomplished
during the decade, using either the earth orbit rendezvous or direct
ascent technique. Multiple launchings of Saturn C-2 launch vehicles
would be necessary in the earth orbital mode, while the direct ascent
technique would require the development of a Nova-class vehicle.
Information to be obtained through supporting unmanned lunar exploration
programs, such as Ranger and Surveyor, was felt to be essential in
carrying out the manned lunar mission. Total funding for the program was
estimated at just under $7 billion through Fiscal Year 1968.
Memorandum, George M. Low, Program Chief, Manned Space Flight, to
Associate Administrator, "Transmittal of Report Prepared by Manned
Lunar Working Group [Manned Lunar Landing Task Group]," February 7,
NASA selected the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT for a six-month
study of a navigation and guidance system for the Apollo spacecraft.
Information from the Apollo Procurement Branch, Procurement and
Contracts Division, Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Tex., October 2,
A voice message was sent from Washington, D.C., to Woomera, Australia,
by way of the moon. NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden spoke by
telephone to Goldstone, Calif., which "bounced" it to the
deep-space instrumentation station at Woomera. The operation was
conducted as part of the official opening ceremony of the Australian
Aeronautical and Astronautical Events of 1961, p. 6.
Rocketdyne Division's first static test of a prototype thrust chamber
for the F-1 engine achieved a thrust of 1.550 million pounds in a few
seconds at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Rocketdyne Skywriter, February 17, 1961; Washington
Post, February 11, 1961.
At the first meeting of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics,
during the first session of the 87th Congress, Charles F. Ducander,
Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Committee staff, outlined a
number of proposed subjects for study. One subject was the Air Force's
interest in a three-man spacecraft similar to the Apollo spacecraft
planned by NASA. A Committee staff member had been assigned to
investigate this duplication of effort. On February 22, testifying
before the Committee, Air Force Undersecretary Joseph V. Charyk stated
that the Dyna-Soar program was a direct approach to manned military
space applications. The Air Force interest in an Apollo-type spacecraft
was part of the post-Dyna- Soar program, Charyk said.
U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Science and Astronautics,
Miscellaneous Committee Business, 87th Congress, 1st
Session (1961), p. 6; U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Science and
Astronautics, Research and Development for Defense, 87th
Congress, 1st Session (1961), p. 161.
Mercury-Atlas 2 (unmanned) was launched successfully from the Atlantic
Missile Range in a test of maximum heating and its effects during the
worst reentry design conditions. All test objectives were met.
Grimwood, Project Mercury: A Chronology, p. 124.
A NASA inter-Center meeting on space rendezvous was held in Washington,
D.C. Air Force and NASA programs were discussed and the status of
current studies was presented by NASA Centers. Members of the Langley
Research Center outlined the basic concepts of the lunar orbit
rendezvous method of accomplishing the lunar landing mission.
"Apollo Spacecraft Chronology," p. 6; Bird, "Short
History of the Development of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous Plan at the
Langley Research Center," p.3; Manned Lunar Landing through
use of Lunar-Orbit Rendezvous, p. 5.
The current Saturn launch vehicle configurations were announced:
Senate Staff Report, Manned Space Flight Program, p. 196.
- S-I stage eight H-1 engines, 1.5 million pounds of thrust; S-IV
stage four (LR-119 engines, 70,000 pounds of thrust); and S-V stage (two
LR-119 engines, 35,000 pounds of thrust).
- C-2 (four-stage version):
- S-1 stage (same as first stage of the C-1); S-II (not determined);
S-IV (same as second stage of the C-1); S-V (same as third Stage of C-
- C-2 (three-stage version):
- S-I (same as first stage of C-1); S-II (not determined); and S-IV
(same as third stage of C-1).
The midterm review of the Apollo feasibility studies was held at STG.
Oral status reports were made by officials of Convair Astronautics
Division of the General Dynamics Corporation on March 1, The Martin
Company on March 2, and the General Electric Company on March 3. The
reports described the work accomplished, problems unsolved, and future
plans. Representatives of all NASA Centers attended the meetings,
including a majority of the members of the Apollo Technical Liaison
Groups. Members of these Groups formed the nucleus of the mid-term
review groups which met during the three-day period and compiled lists
of comments on the presentations for later discussions with the
Project Apollo, A Feasibility Study of an Advanced Manned Spacecraft and
System, Comments on the Convair-Astronautics Company Midterm
Presentation, March 1, 1961; Comments on The Martin Company Midterm
Presentation, March 2, 1961; and Comments on the General Electric
(Missile and Space Vehicle Division) Company Midterm Presentation, March
The first flight model of the Saturn C-1 booster SA-1 was installed on
the static test stand for preflight checkout at the Marshall Space
Saturn Illustrated Chronology, p. 21.
The Soviet Union launched and recovered on the same day Korabl Sputnik
VI, or Sputnik IX, in a test of spacecraft construction and systems and
the influence of cosmic rays on living beings. The spacecraft carried a
dog, guinea pigs, mice, and insects.
New York Times, March 10 1961; Baltimore Sun,
March 13, 1961; Instruments and Spacecraft, pp. 162-163.
Management personnel from NASA Headquarters and STG met to plan general
requirements for a proposal for advanced manned spacecraft development.
"Apollo Spacecraft Chronology," p. 7.
Representatives of Marshall Space Flight Center recommended
configuration changes for the Saturn C-1 launch vehicles to NASA
Headquarters. These included:
Plans were also presented to accelerate the development of the Saturn C-
2, and a recommendation was made that a prime contractor be selected to
work on the second stage (S-II) of the C-2. NASA Headquarters approved
the C-2 plans on March 3l.
- Elimination of third-stage development, since two stages could put
more than ten tons into earth orbit.
- Use of six LR-115 (15,000-pound) Centaur engines (second-stage
thrust thus increased from 70,000 to 90,000 pounds).
- Redesign of the first stage (S-1) to offer more safety for manned
Saturn Illustrated Chronology, pp. 21-22; Senate Staff
Report, Manned Space Flight Program, p. 196.
In an apparent duplication of the March 9 launch, the Soviet Union
orbited and recovered Korabl Sputnik VII, or Sputnik
X. The spacecraft, the third of its kind to be recovered safely
by the Russians, carried a dog and other animals.
Baltimore Sun, March 26, 1961; Instruments and
Spacecraft, p. 164.
President John F. Kennedy submitted to Congress an amended budget
request for NASA which totaled $1,235,300,000. This total was
$125,670,000 greater than the Eisenhower Administration's request. The
increase included $56 million for Saturn research and development and
$11 million for the extension of Cape Canaveral facilities.
Senate Staff Report, Manned Space Flight Program, p. 197.
William W. Petynia of STG visited the Convair Astronautics Division of
General Dynamics Corporation to monitor the Apollo feasibility study
contract. A selection of the M-1 in preference to the lenticular
configuration had been made by Convair. May 17 was set as the date for
the final Convair presentation to NASA.
Memorandum, Petynia, Convair Liaison Engineer, to Associate Director,
STG, "Visit to Convair Astronautics on March 29-30, 1961, Regarding
Monitoring of the Apollo Study Contract," April 5, 1961.
The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences submitted to
President John F. Kennedy its recommendation that "scientific
exploration of the moon and planets should be clearly stated as the
ultimate objective of the U.S. space program for the foreseeable
future." While stressing the importance of the scientific goals of
the program, the Board also emphasized other factors such as "the
sense of national leadership emergent from bold and imaginative U.S.
space activity." The recommendations of the Board had been adopted
at a meeting on February 10-11 and were made public on August 7.
Space Science Board, "Man's Role in the National Space
Program," August 7, 1961.