DESTINATION MOON: A History of the Lunar Orbiter Program
 
 
CHAPTER III: BEGINNING THE LUNAR ORBITER PROGRAM
 
The Langley Source Evaluation Board
 
 
 
[56] During September the Lunar Orbiter Project Office at Langley established the Source Evaluation Board (SEB) which it divided into several teams of experts who would analyze every contract proposal which they received. As an important part of the SEB, the Lunar Orbiter Project Office formed the Lunar Orbiter Proposal Scientist Panel to consider the scientific merits of each bidder's approach. The members of this reviewing group were Clinton E. Brown and Samuel Katzoff from Langley, Jack Lorell from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Norman Ness from the Goddard Space Flight Center, Bruce Murray from the California Institute of Technology, and Robert P. Bryson from NASA Headquarters.10 They helped in the critical phase of proposal analysis, which began in October and lasted more than six weeks.

Of the score of possible aerospace companies which seemed to have the capability to carry out the objectives of a lunar orbiter program, five submitted contract proposals. To understand the significance of the spacecraft proposal which NASA finally chose, it will be useful briefly [57] to summarize the five choices which industry presented, remembering that NASA wanted a lunar orbiter which would require as little development of systems and as much use of off-the-shelf hardware as possible.


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