DESTINATION MOON: A History of the Lunar Orbiter Program
 
 
CHAPTER 1: UNMANNED LUNAR EXPLORATION AND THE NEED FOR A LUNAR ORBITER
 
Mustering for the Challenge of Space
 
 
 
[6] Since its inception in 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration had undertaken the development of new procedures in planning, organization and management, as well as in hardware fabrication and training for mission operations. In 1964 Congress had found weakness in one of NASA's lunar programs that demonstrated clearly some of the difficulties which NASA had to overcome in the development of its program to explore the Moon. This long-range task greatly challenged the knowledge and the talent which America mustered, and the muster took place in a politically charged atmosphere in which the United States had decided to pit its scientific and technological resources and prestige against those of the Soviet Union.
 
The history of the Lunar Orbiter Program constitutes a significant chapter in the initial exploration of the Moon and America's first decade in space. It is part [7] of the record of the preliminary phase in the Apollo Manned Lunar Landing Program, and we must now turn to its origins for a closer study of its role in putting the first men on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
 

 
PreviousIndexNext