At the same time A. K. Thiel, Vice President in charge of Spacecraft Systems Program Management at STL, Sent a detailed summary of a proposed lunar photographic satellite to Nicks at NASA Headquarters on September 20. The STL proposal offered for the first time a conceptual basis for a lightweight orbiter. It presented a plan for launching a spin-stabilized spacecraft into lunar orbit with the Atlas-Agena D. Once there the spacecraft's photographic system would take pictures of the Moon with a 254-centimeter  focal-length spin-scan camera very similar to one which Merton E. Davies of RAND Corporation developed in 1958.
The STL system did away with a cumbersome television payload and used a film system instead. Film had the definite advantage over television as far as its ability to obtain higher resolution photographs. Thiel stressed the reliability of the STL proposal and stated that his firm would be prepared to build and launch three spacecraft within 22 months from the go-ahead date.13
On October 15 Nicks informed Thiel that his office had the STL proposal under consideration. Meanwhile, within NASA discussion continued concerning the priorities in the American lunar exploration program.