Part 2 (B)

Developing Hardware Distinctions

October 1963 through December 1963

1963 October

1963 November

1963 December


October 2

At a LEM Mechanical Systems Meeting in Houston, Grumman and MSC agreed upon a preliminary configuration freeze for the LEM-adapter arrangement. The adapter would be a truncated cone, 876 centimeters (345 inches) long. The LEM would be mounted inside the adapter by means of the outrigger trusses on the spacecraft's landing gear. This configuration provided ample clearance for the spacecraft, both top and bottom (i.e., between the service propulsion engine bell and the instrument unit of the S-IVB). (See June 3 and December 5.)

At this same meeting, Grumman presented a comparison of radially and laterally folded landing gears (both of 457-centimeter [180-inch] radius). The radial-fold configuration, MSC reported, promised a weight savings of 22-2 kilograms (49 pounds). MSC approved the concept, with an 876-centimeter (345-inch) adapter. Further, an adapter of that length would accommodate a larger, lateral fold gear (508 centimeters [200 inches]), if necessary. During the next several weeks, Grumman studied a variety of gear arrangements (sizes, means of deployment, stability, and even a "bending" gear). At a subsequent LEM Mechanical Systems Meeting, on November 10, Grumman presented data (design, performance, and weight) on several other four-legged gear arrangements - a 457-centimeter (180-inch), radial fold "tripod" gear (i.e., attached to the vehicle by three struts), and 406.4-centimeter (160-inch) and 457-centimeter (180-inch) cantilevered gears. As it turned out, the 406.4-centimeter (160-inch) cantilevered gear, while still meeting requirements demanded in the work statement, in several respects was more stable than the larger tripod gear. In addition to being considerably lighter, the cantilevered design offered several added advantages:

Because of these significant (and persuasive) factors, MSC approved Grumman's change to the 406.4- centimeter (160-inch) cantilevered arrangement as the design for the LEM's landing gear. By mid- November, MSC reported to OMSF that Grumman was pursuing the 406.4-centimeter (160-inch) cantilevered gear. Although analyses would not be completed for some weeks, the design was "shown . . . to be the lightest gear available to date. . . . Tentative estimates indicate a gear stowed height reduction of about 9" [22.9 centimeters], which will still accommodate the 180" [45.7 centimeter] cantilever or 200" [508-centimeter] lateral fold gear as growth potential." Grumman's effort continued at "firming up" the design, including folding and docking mechanisms.

GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 9," LPR-10-25, November 10, 1963, pp. 3, 12; MSC, "ASPO Weekly Activity Report, September 26-October 2, 1963," p. 15; "ASPO Monthly Activity Report, September 19-October 16, 1963," p. 5; MSC, "Weekly-Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, September 8-14, 1963," pp. 10-II; "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, November 17-23, 1963," pp. 9-10; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, October 20-November 16, 1963," p. 36; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6,"p. 27; "ASPO Status Report for Period Ending October 16, 1963"; "ASPO Weekly Status Report, November 12-19, 1963"; "Monthly Progress Report No. 7," LPR-10-22, p. 10; "Monthly Progress Report No. 8," LPR-10-24, p. 11; GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 10," LPR-10-26, December 10, 1963, p. 10; GAEC, "Monthly Progress Report No. 11," LPR-10-27, January 10, 1964, p. 11.

October 8

NASA announced the appointment of Joseph F. Shea as ASPO Manager effective October 22. He had been Deputy Director (Systems) in OMSF. George M. Low, OMSF Deputy Director (Programs), would direct the Systems office as well as his own. Robert O. Piland, Acting Manager of ASPO since April 3, resumed his former duties as Deputy Manager.

NASA News Release 63-226, "Shea to Head Apollo Spacecraft Development at Manned Spacecraft Center," October 8, 1963; MSC News Release 63-163, October 8, 1963; MSC Announcement No. 263, "Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program Office," October 22, 1963.

October 8

Verne C. Fryklund, Jr., of NASA's Office of Space Sciences (OSS), in a memorandum to MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth, recommended some general guidelines for Apollo scientific investigations of the moon (which OSS already was using). "These guidelines," Fryklund told Gilruth, ". . . should be followed in the preparation of your plans," and thus were "intended to place some specific constraints on studies. . . . The primary scientific objective of the Apollo project," Fryklund said, was, of course, the "acquisition of comprehensive data about the moon." With this as a starting point, he went on, ". . . it follows that the structure of the moon's surface, gross body properties and large-scale measurements of physical and chemical characteristics, and observation of whatever phenomena may occur at the actual surface will be the prime scientific objectives." Basically, OSS's guidelines spelled out what types of activity were and were not part of Apollo's immediate goals. These activities were presumed to be mostly reconnaissance, "to acquire knowledge of as large an area as possible, and by as simple a means as possible, in the limited time available." The three principal scientific activities "listed in order of decreasing importance" were: (1) "comprehensive observation of lunar phenomena," (2) "collection of representative samples," and (3) "emplacement of monitoring equipment."

These guidelines had been arrived at after extensive consultation within NASA as a whole as well as with the scientific community.

Memorandum, Verne C. Fryklund, Jr., NASA Office of Space Sciences (OSS), to Director, MSC, "Scientific Guidelines for the Apollo Project," October 8, 1963; OSS, "NASA Program Planning in Space Sciences," September 1963, pp. VI-3 through VI-8.

October 8

At MSC, the Spacecraft Technology Division reported to ASPO the results of a study on tethered docking of the LEM and CSM. The technology people found that a cable did not reduce the impact velocities below those that a pilot could achieve during free flyaround, nor was fuel consumption reduced. In fact, when direct control of the spacecraft was attempted, the tether proved a hindrance and actually increased the amount of fuel required.

MSC, "Flight Crew Operations Division, Activity Report, September 16-October 21, 1963," pp. 2-3.

October 9

NASA Administrator James E. Webb announced a major reorganization of NASA Headquarters, effective November 1, to consolidate management of major programs and direction of research and development centers and to realign Headquarters management of agency-wide support functions. On October 28, NASA Headquarters announced a similar reorganization within OMSF, also to take effect on November I, to strengthen NASA Headquarters' control of the agency's manned space flight programs. In effect, these administrative adjustments "recombined program and institutional management by placing the field centers under the Headquarters program directors instead of under general management (i.e., the Associate Administrator)."

NASA News Release 63-225, "NASA Announces Reorganization," October 9, 1963; NASA News Release 63-241, "NASA Realigns Office of Manned Space Flight," October 28, 1963; Rosholt, Administrative History of NASA, 1958-1963, pp. 289-96.

October 10

LTV announced the results of tests performed by astronauts in the Manned Space Flight Mission Simulator in Dallas, Tex. (See May 6 and September 17, 1963, and April 24, 1964.) These indicated that, should the primary guidance and navigation system fail, LEM pilots could rendezvous with the CM by using a circular slide rule to process LEM radar data.

Tulsa Daily World, October 11, 1963; The Houston Post, October 11, 1963.

October 14

Langley Research Center's Lunar Landing Research Facility was nearing completion. A gantry structure 121.9 meters (400 feet) long and 76.2 meters (250 feet) high would suspend a model of the LEM. It would sustain five-sixths of the model's weight, simulating lunar gravity, and thus would enable astronauts to practice lunar landings. (See Volume I, Summer 1961.)

Aviation Week and Space Technology, 79 (October 14, 1963), pp. 83, 86; MSC, Space News Roundup, November 27, 1963, p. 8.

October 14

ASPO established criteria for combustion stability in the service propulsion engine. The engine had to recover from any instability, whether induced or spontaneous, within 20 milliseconds during qualification testing.

MSC, "ASPO Monthly Activity Report, September 19-October 16, 1963," p. 3.

October 15

The Guidance and Performance Sub-Panel, at its first meeting, began coordinating work at MSC and MSFC. The sub-panel outlined tasks for eac Center: MSFC would define the dispersions comprising the launch vehicle performance reserves, prepare a set of typical translunar injection errors for the Saturn V launch vehicle, and give MSC a typical Saturn V guidance computation for injection into an earth parking orbit. MSC would identify the constraints required for free-return trajectories and provide MSFC with details of the MIT guidance method. Further, the two Centers would exchange data each month showing current launch vehicle and spacecraft performance capability. (For operational vehicles, studies of other than performance capability would be based on control weights and would not reflect the current weight status.)

Memorandum, Secretaries, Guidance and Performance Sub-Panel, MSFC and MSC, to Distr., "Minutes of First Guidance and Performance Sub-Panel Meeting," October 16, 1963.

October 16-17

MSC discussed commonality of displays and controls with its two principal spacecraft contractors. A review of panel components suggested that Grumman might use the same vendors as North American for such items as switches, potentiometers, and indicators.

MSC, "ASPO Activity Report, October 16-22, 1963," pp. 1-2.

October 16-23

An MSC Spacecraft Technology Division Working Group reexamined Apollo mission requirements and suggested a number of ways to reduce spacecraft weight: eliminate the free-return trajectory; design for slower return times; use the Hohmann descent technique, rather than the equal period orbit method, yet size the tanks for the equal period mode; eliminate the CSM/LEM dual rendezvous capability; reduce the orbital contingency time for the LEM (the period of time during which the LEM could remain in orbit before rendezvousing with the CSM); reduce the LEM lifetime.

MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Period Ending October 23, 1963."

October 16-November 15

Because of an electrical equipment failure on Mercury MA-9, North American began a CM humidity study. The company found in the crew compartment major spacecraft systems which were not designed for operation in the presence of corrosive moisture. (The environmental control system did not guarantee complete humidity control.) Investigators also examined in minute detail all electrical electronic components. North American was considering design changes that would protect all components from moisture.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-19, p. 25.

October 18

NASA and GD/C negotiated amendments totaling $354,737 to Little Joe II contract. This sum covered study activity and several relatively small changes that came out of a Design Engineering Inspection on May 3. More ground support equipment was authorized, as was fabrication of an additional breadboard autopilot system for use at MSC. The dummy payload was deleted and the instrumentation was limited to a control system on the vehicle to be used for Mission A-002 (BP-23).

Little Joe II Test Launch Vehicle, NASA Project Apollo: Final Report, Vol. I, p. 4-3.

October 18

NASA Headquarters announced the selection of five organizations for contract negotiations totaling $60 million for the development, fabrication, and testing of LEM guidance and navigation equipment: (1) MIT, overall direction; (2) Raytheon, LEM guidance computer; (3) AC Spark Plug, inertial measurement unit, gyroscopes, navigation base, power and servo assembly, coupling display unit, and assembly and testing of the complete guidance and navigation system; (4) Kollsman Instrument Corporation, scanning telescope, sextant, and map and data viewer; and (5) Sperry Gyroscope Company, accelerometers. (All five had responsibility for similar equipment for the CSM as well. See Vol. I, August 9, 1961, and May 8, 1962.)

MSC News Release 63-175, October 18, 1963.

October 18

NASA announced the selection of 14 astronauts for Projects Gemini and Apollo, bringing to 30 the total number of American spacemen. They were Maj. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Capt. William A. Anders, Capt. Charles A. Bassett II, Capt. Michael Collins, Capt. Donn F. Eisele, Capt. Theodore C. Freeman, and Capt. David R. Scott of the Air Force; Lt. Cdr. Richard F. Gordon, Jr., Lt. Alan L. Bean, Lt. Eugene A. Cernan, and Lt. Roger B. Chaffee of the Navy; Capt. Clifton C. Williams, Jr., of the Marine Corps; R. Walter Cunningham, research scientist for the Rand Corporation; and Russell L. Schweickart, research scientist for MIT.

MSC News Release 63-180, October 18, 1963; Space News Roundup, October 30, 1963.

October 20-November 16

MSC reported that preliminary testing had begun on the first prototype extravehicular suit telemetry and communications system and on the portable life support system of which it was an integral part. The hardware had recently been received from the prime contractor, Hamilton Standard.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, October 20- November 16, 1963," p. 67.

October 21

The second prototype space suit was received by MSC's Crew Systems Division. (See August 15-September 21.) Preliminary tests showed little improvement in mobility over the first suit. On October 24-25, a space suit mobility demonstration was held at North American. The results showed that the suit had less shoulder mobility than the earlier version, but more lower limb mobility. (See September 26-27.) Astronaut John W. Young, wearing the pressurized suit and a mockup portable life support system (PLSS), attempted an egress through the CM hatch but encountered considerable difficulty. At the same time, tests of the suit-couch- restraint system interfaces and control display layout were begun at the Navy's Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory centrifuge in Johnsville, Pa. Major problems were restriction of downward vision by the helmet, extension of the suit elbow arm beyond the couch, and awkward reach patterns to the lower part of the control panel. On October 30-November 1, lunar task studies with the suit were carried out at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in a KC-135 aircraft at simulated lunar gravity. Mobility tests were made with the suit pressurized and a PLSS attached.

"Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," p. 25; MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, October 27-November 2, 1963," p. 6; MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending November 6, 1963;" "ASPO Status Report for Period Ending October 23, 1963;" "ASPO Status Report for Period October 16-November 12, 1963."

October 22

George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, appointed Walter C. Williams Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight in OMSF. Williams would direct operations at MSC, MSFC, and LOC for all manned space flight missions.

MSC News Release 63-179, October 22, 1963.

October 23

MSC Flight Operations Division defined systems and outlined ground rules for the lunar landing mission. System definitions were: (1) primary, most efficient or economic; (2) alternate, either redundant (identical to but independent of the primary) or backup (not identical but would perform the same function); (3) critical (failure would jeopardize crew safety); (4) repairable (for which tools and spares were carried and which the crew could service in flight); and (5) operational, which must be working to carry out a mission.

Mission rules established crew safety as the major consideration in all mission decisions and detailed actions to be taken in the event of a failure in any system or subsystem.

Memorandum, Eugene L. Duret, MSC, to Chief, Flight Operations Div., "Project Apollo, operational ground rules for the Lunar Landing Mission," October 23, 1963, with enclosure.

October 23-30

MSC Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division awarded a $50,000 contract to the Hughes Aircraft Company for a study of backup high gain directable antennas for the LEM lunar surface equipment.

MSC," ASPO Status Report for Week Ending October 30, 1963."

October 24

Because OMSF had requested OSSA to provide lunar surface microrelief and bearing strength data to support LEM landing site selection and to permit LEM landing-gear design validation, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Follow-On Surveyor Instrumentation met at NASA Headquarters. Attending were Chairman Verne C. Fryklund, Clark Goodman, Martin Swetnick, and Paul Brockman of the NASA Office of Space Sciences and Applications; Harry Hess and George Derbyshire of the National Acadamy of Sciences; Dennis James of Bellcomm (for OMSF); and Milton Beilock of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The group proposed "a fresh look at the problem of instrumenting payloads of Surveyor spacecraft that may follow the currently approved developmental and operational flights, so that these spacecraft will be able to determine that a particular lunar site is suitable for an Apollo landing." The study was assigned to JPL.

Summary Minutes," Ad Hoc Working Group on Follow-On Surveyor Instrumentation, October 24, 1963," October 28, 1963, pp. 1-2.

October 24

The NASA-Industry Apollo Executives Group, composed of top managers in OMSF and executives of the major Apollo contractors, met for the first time. The group met with George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, for status briefings and problem discussions. In this manner, NASA sought to make executives personally aware of major problems in the program.

Tenth Semiannual Report to Congress of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, July 1-December 31, 1963 (1964), p. 43.

October 25

MSC directed Grumman to schedule manned environmental control system (ECS) development tests, using a welded-shell cabin boilerplate and air lock. At about the same time, the company was also requested to quote cost and delivery schedule for a second boilerplate vessel, complete with prototype ECS. Although this vessel would be used by the MSC Crew Systems Division for in-house investigation and evaluation of ECS development problems, its major purpose was to serve as a tool for trouble-shooting during the operational phase.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, October 27-November 2, 1963," p. 11; MSC," ASPO Status Report for Period October 16-November 12, 1963."

October 29

After a program review at an MSF Management Council meeting, George E. Mueller, head of OMSF, suggested several testing procedures. To meet schedules, "dead-end" testing, that is, "tests involving components or systems that [would] not fly operationally without major modification," should be minimized. Henceforth, Mueller said, NASA would concentrate on "all-up" testing. [In"all-up" testing, the complete spacecraft and launch vehicle configuration would be used on each flight. Previously, NASA plans had called for a gradual buildup of subsystems, systems stages, and modules in successive flight tests.] To simplify both testing and checkout at Cape Canaveral, complete systems should be delivered. An instrumentation task force with senior representatives from each Center, one outside member, and Walter C. Williams of OMSF should be set up immediately; a second task force, to study storable fuels and small motors, would include members from Lewis Research Center, MSC, MSFC, as well as representatives from outside the government.

Memorandum, Clyde Bothmer, MSF Management Council, for Distribution, "Management Council Meeting, October 29, 1963, in Washington, D.C.," October 31, 1963.

October 30

NASA canceled four manned earth orbital flights with the Saturn I launch vehicle. Six of a series of 10 unmanned Saturn I development flights were still scheduled. Development of the Saturn IB for manned flight would be accelerated and "all-up" testing would be started. (See November 1.) This action followed Bellcomm's recommendation of a number of changes in the Apollo spacecraft flight test program. The program should be transferred from Saturn I to Saturn IB launch vehicles; the Saturn I program should end with flight SA-10. All Saturn IB flights, beginning with SA-201, should carry operational spacecraft, including equipment for extensive testing of the spacecraft systems in earth orbit.

Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller had recommended the changeover from the Saturn I to the Saturn IB to NASA Administrator James E. Webb on October 26. Webb's concurrence came two days later.

Memoranda: Mueller to Robert F. Freitag, "Replacement of Scheduled Manned Flights on Saturn I," October 18, 1963; Mueller to Webb, "Reorientation of Apollo Plans," October 26, 1963, with handwritten notation signed by Webb, undated; OMSF, Recommended Changes in the Use of Space Vehicles in the Apollo Test Program, Technical Memorandum, MD(S) 3100.180 (October 29, 1963), pp. 1-4; NASA News Release 63-246, "NASA Announces Changes in Saturn Missions," October 30, 1963.

October 31

The Marquardt Corporation received a definitive $9,353,200 contract from North American for development and production of reaction control engines for the SM. Marquardt, working under a letter contract since April 1962, had delivered the first engine to North American that November.

MSC News Release 63-22, October 31, 1963; MSC, Space News Roundup, November 13, 1963, p. 8.

October 31

The first production F-1 engine was flown from Rocketdyne's Canoga Park, Calif., facility, where it was manufactured, to MSFC aboard Aero Spacelines' "Pregnant Guppy."

David S. Akens, A. Ruth Jarrell, and Leo L. Jones, History of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center From July 1 Through December 31, 1963 (MHM-8, July 1964), Vol. I, p. 129.

Optimum LM descent

Theoretical optimum lunar module descent with thrust-to-weight ration (initial value in lunar orbit) at 0.3, height at perilune of the transfer orbit at 15,200 meters (50,000 feet), and using the Hohmann transfer technique. The diagram showed the velocity change (delta Vc, in feet per second) and approach flight-path angle (gamma) close to that for an impulsive orbital change (an instantaneous change, without time value, taken as the ultimate though unachievable ideal for comparison). (NASA drawing)

During the Month

NASA tentatively approved Project Luster, a program designed to capture lunar dust deflected from the moon by meteorites and spun into orbit around the earth. An Aerobee 150 sounding rocket containing scientific equipment built by Electro-Optical Systems, Inc., was scheduled for launch in late 1964.

Missiles and Rockets, 13 (October 14, 1963), p. 9.

November 1

NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller notified the Directors of MSC, MSFC, and LOC that he intended to plan a flight schedule which would have a good chance of being met or exceeded. To this end, he directed that "all-up" spacecraft and launch vehicle tests be started as soon as possible; all Saturn IB flights would carry CSM and CSM LEM configurations; and two successful unmanned flights would be flown before a manned mission on either the Saturn IB or Saturn V.

On November 18, Mueller further defined the flight schedule planning. Early Saturn IB flights might not be able to include the LEM, but every effort must be made to phase the LEM into the picture as early as possible. Launch vehicle payload capability must be reached as quickly as practicable. Subsystems for the early flights should be the same as those intended for lunar missions. To conserve funds, the first Saturn V vehicle would be used to obtain reentry data early in the Saturn test program.

By December 31 the official schedule showed:
Final Saturn I flight (SA-10):
June 1965
First Saturn IB flight (SA-201):
first quarter, 1966
First manned Saturn IB flight:
either SA-203, third quarter of 1966, or SA-207, third quarter of 1967
First Saturn V flight (SA-501):
first quarter, 1967
First manned Saturn V flight:
either SA-503, third quarter of 1967, or SA-507, second quarter of 1968.
TWX, Mueller to Dir., MSC, MSFC, and LOC, "Revised Manned Space Flight Schedule," November 1, 1963; memorandum, Mueller to Dir., MSC, MSFC, and LOC, "Manned Space Flight Schedule," November 18, 1963; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," fig. 9, 10, 11.

November 1

MSC Flight Operations Division outlined the advantages inherent in the CSM's capability to use the HF transceiver during earth orbit. The HF transceiver would allow the CSM to communicate with any one tracking station at any time during earth orbit, even when the spacecraft had line-of-sight (LOS) contact with only one or two ground stations in some orbits. It would give the astronauts an additional communications circuit. Most important, this HF capability could alert the network about any trouble in the spacecraft and give the Flight Director more time to make a decision while the spacecraft was out of LOS communication with the ground stations.

Memorandum, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to Mgr., ASPO, "Apollo HF communications during earth orbit," November 1, 1963.

November 8

MSC Crew Systems Division, conducting flammability tests on the constant wear garment material in a 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi), 100 percent oxygen atmosphere, reported that no fires had been experienced thus far.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, November 3-9, 1963," p. 7.

November 5

MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth announced a reorganization of MSC to strengthen the management of the Apollo and Gemini programs. Under Gilruth and Deputy Director James C. Elms, there were now four Assistant Directors, Managers for both the Gemini and Apollo programs, and a Manager for MSC's Florida Operations. Assigned to these positions were:

Maxime A. Faget, Assistant Director for Engineering and Development Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Assistant Director for Flight Operations Donald K. Slayton, Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Wesley L. Hjornevik, Assistant Director for Administration Joseph F. Shea, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program Office Charles W. Mathews, Manager, Gemini Program Office and G. Merritt Preston, Manager, MSC Florida Operations.

MSC News Release 63-277, November 5, 1963; The Houston Post, November 6, 1963.

November 5

MSC accepted the final items of a $237,000 vibration test system from the LTV Electronics Division to be used in testing spacecraft parts.

On this same day, MSC awarded a $183,152 contract to Wyle Laboratories to construct a high-intensity acoustic facility, also for testing spacecraft parts. The facility would generate noise that might be encountered in space flight.

MSC News Release 63-224, November 5, 1963; MSC News Release 63-225, November 5, 1963.

November 5

North American presented to MSC the results of a three-month study on radiation instrumentation. Three general areas were covered: radio-frequency (RF) warning systems, directional instrumentation, and external environment instrumentation. The company concluded that, with the use of an RE system, astronauts would receive about two hours' notice of any impending solar proton event and could take appropriate action. Proper orientation of the spacecraft could reduce doses by 17 percent, but this could be accomplished only by using a directional detection instrument. There was a 70 percent chance that dosages would exceed safe limits unless such an instrument was used. Consequently North American recommended prompt development.

Despite the contractor's findings, MSC concluded that there was no need for an RE warning system aboard the spacecraft, believing that radiation warning could be handled more effectively by ground systems. But MSC did concur in the recommendation for a combined proton direction and external environment detection system and authorized North American to proceed with its design and development.

MSC," ASPO Status Report for Period October 16-November 12, 1963"; memorandum, David M. Hammock and Lee N. McMillion, MSC, to E. E. Sack, NAA, "Contract NAS 9-150, Radiation Instrumentation for Apollo," November 27, 1963; "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-20, pp. 12-13.

November 7

Apollo Pad Abort Mission I (PA-1), the first off-the-pad abort test of the launch escape system (LES), was conducted at WSMR. PA-1 used CM boilerplate 6 and an LES for this test.

All sequencing was normal. The tower-jettison motor sent the escape tower into a proper ballistic trajectory. The drogue parachute deployed as programmed, followed by the pilot parachute and main parachutes. The test lasted 165.1 seconds. The postflight investigation disclosed only one significant problem: exhaust impingement that resulted in soot deposits on the CM.

"Postlaunch Memorandum Report for Apollo Pad Abort I," November 13, 1963, pp. 1-1, 1-2, 3-1.

November 8

Grumman issued a go-ahead to RCA to develop the LEM radar. Negotiations on the $23.461 million cost- plus-fixed-fee contract were completed on December 10. Areas yet to be negotiated between the two companies were LEM communications, inflight test, ground support, and parts of the stabilization and control systems. (See June 28.)

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, October 20- November 16, 1963," p. 57; Wall Street Journal, December 10, 1963.

November 8

MSFC directed Rocketdyne to develop an uprated H-1 engine to be used in the first stage of the Saturn IB. In August, Rocketdyne had proposed that the H-1 be uprated from 85,275 to 90,718 kilograms (188,000 to 200,000 pounds) of thrust. The uprated engine promised a 907-kilogram (2,000 pound) increase in the Saturn IB's orbital payload, yet required no major systems changes and only minor structural modifications.

Akens et al., History of Marshall . . . July 1-December 31, 1963, Vol. I, pp. 65, 66.

November 8

At El Centro, Calif., a drop test was conducted to evaluate a dual drogue parachute arrangement for the CM. The two drogues functioned satisfactorily. The cargo parachute used for recovery, however, failed to fully inflate, and the vehicle was damaged at impact. This failure was unrelated to the test objectives.

MSC," ASPO Status Report for Period October 16-November 12, 1963."

November 12

A joint North American-MSC meeting reviewed the tower flap versus canard concept for the earth landing system (ELS). (See January 18.) During a low-altitude abort, MSC thought, the ELS could be deployed apex forward with a very high probability of mission success by using the tower flap configuration. The parachute system proposed for this mode would be very reliable, even though this was not the most desirable position for deploying parachutes. Dynamic stability of the tower flap configuration during high- altitude aborts required further wind tunnel testing at Ames Research Center. Two basic unknowns in the canard system were deployment reliability, and the probability of the crew's being able to establish the flight direction and trim the CM within its stability limits for a safe reentry. Design areas to be resolved were a simple deployment scheme and a spacecraft system that would give the crew a direction reference.

MSC directed North American to proceed with the tower flap as its prime effort, and attempt to solve the stability problem at the earliest possible date. MSC's Engineering and Development Directorate resumed its study of both configurations, with an in-depth analysis of the canard system, in case the stability problem on the tower flap could not be solved by the end of the year. (See February 7 and 25, 1964.)

Memorandum, David M. Hammock, MSC, to Asst. Dir. for Engineering and Development, "Analysis of the abort and earth landing systems if implemented by a tower flap versus a canard mode," November 18, 1963.

November 12

The Boeing Company and NASA signed a $27.4 million supplemental agreement to the contract for development, fabrication, and test of the S-IC (first) stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle.

Aviation Week and Space Technology, 79 (November 25, 1963), p. 67; Akens et al., History of Marshall . . . July 1-December 31, 1963, Vol. I, p. 97.

November 12

NASA awarded a $19.2 million contract to Blount Brothers Corporation and M. M. Sundt Construction Company for the construction of Pad A, part of the Saturn V Launch Complex 39 at LOC.

Akens et al., History of Marshall . . . July 1-December 31, 1963, Vol. I, p. 169.

November 12-15

North American representatives reviewed Farrand Optical Company's subcontract with Link for visual displays in the Apollo Mission Simulator. MSC officials attended the technical portion of the meeting, which was held at Link. Farrand and Link had established window fields of view and optical axis orientations. Designs were to be reviewed to verify accuracy and currency of window locations and crew eye position parameters.

MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending November 19, 1963."

November 12-19

ASPO reviewed Grumman's evaluation of series and parallel propellant feed systems for the LEM ascent stage. Because of the complications involved in minimizing propellant residuals in a parallel system, a series feed appeared preferable, despite an increase in LEM structural weight. Further study of the vehicle showed the feasibility of a two-tank configuration which would be lighter and have about the same propellant residual as the four-tank series-feed arrangement. (See December 17.)

"Monthly Progress Report No. 10," LPR-10-26, p. 16; MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending November 19, 1963"; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," p. 33.

November 13-14

After careful study, Grumman proposed to MSC 15 possible means for reducing the weight of the LEM. These involved eliminating a number of hardware items in the spacecraft; two propellant tanks in the vehicle's ascent stage and consequent changes in the feed system; two rather than three fuel cells; and reducing reaction control system propellants and, consequently, velocity budgets for the spacecraft. If all these proposed changes were made, Grumman advised, the LEM could be lightened significantly, perhaps by as much as 454 kilograms (1000 pounds).

MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending November 19, 1963."

November 14

ASPO revised the normal and emergency impact limits (20 and 40 g, respectively) to be used as human tolerance criteria for spacecraft design. [These limits superseded those established in the August 14, 1963, North American contract and subsequent correspondence.]

Memorandum, David M. Hammock, MSC, to NAA, Attn: E. E. Sack, "Contract 9-150, Impact Acceleration Limits," November 14, 1963.

November 15

NASA and contractor studies showed that, in the event of an engine hard-over failure during maximum q, a manual abort was impractical for the Saturn I and IB, and must be carried out by automatic devices. Studies were continuing to determine whether, in a similar situation, a manual abort was possible from a Saturn V.

Memorandum, Maxime A. Faget, MSC, to ASPO, Attn: Calvin H. Perrine, "Apollo abort mode in event of maximum 'q' engine hard-over malfunction," November 15, 1963.

November 16-December 15

All production drawings for the CM environmental control system were released. - AiResearch Manufacturing Company reported the most critical pacing items were the suit heat exchanger, cyclic accumulator selector valve, and the potable and waste water tanks.

The Garrett Corporation, AiResearch Manufacturing Division, "Monthly Progress Report, Environmental Control System, NAA/S&ID, Project Apollo, 16 November 1963-15 December 1963," SS-1013-R(19) January 2, 1964, p. 4.

November 16-December 15

North American conducted an eight-day trial of the prototype Apollo diet. Three test subjects, who continued their normal activities rather than being confined, were given performance and oxygen consumption tests and lean body mass and body compartment water evaluations. The results showed insignificant changes in weight and physiology. "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-20, p. 6.

November 17-December 21

As a result of an MSC Crew Systems Division-Hamilton Standard meeting on the space suit, MSC directed the company to develop a micrometeoroid protective garment to be worn over the suit. (See August 13-20, 1964.)

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, November 17-December 21. 1963," p. 54.

November 19-20

At a meeting of the Apollo Docking Interface Panel, North American recommended and Grumman concurred that the center probe and drogue docking concept be adopted. (See July 16.) MSC emphasized that docking systems must not compromise any other subsystem operations nor increase the complexity of emergency operations. In mid-December, MSC/ASPO notified Grumman and North American of its agreement. At the same time, ASPO laid down docking interface ground rules and performance criteria which must be incorporated into the spacecraft specifications.

There would be two ways for the astronauts to get from one spacecraft to the other. The primary mode involved docking and passage through the transfer tunnel. An emergency method entailed crew and payload transfer through free space. The CSM would take an active part in translunar docking, but both spacecraft must be able to take the primary role in the lunar orbit docking maneuver. A single crewman must be able to carry out the docking maneuver and crew transfer.

MSC," ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 4, 1963"; "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 17, 1963"; "Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-20, pp. 7, 8, 18; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," pp. 3-4.

November 21

MSC approved Grumman's $19,383,822 cost-plus-fixed-fee subcontract with Rocketdyne for the LEM descent engine development program. (See January 30, February 13, and May 1.)

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, November 17-December 21, 1963," p. 42.

November 22

MSC's Space Environment Division (SED) recommended (subject to reconnaissance verification) 10 lunar landing areas for the Apollo program:

  1. 36 degrees 55' E. 1 degree 45' N.
  2. 31 degrees E. 0 degrees N.
  3. 28 degrees 22' E. 1 degree 10' N.
  4. 24 degrees 10' E. 0 degrees 10' N.
  5. 12 degrees 50' E. 0 degrees 20' N.
  6. 1 degree 28'W. 0 degrees 30' S.
  7. 13 degrees 15' W. 2 degrees 45' N.
  8. 28 degrees 15' W. 2 degrees 45' N.
  9. 31 degrees 30' W. 1 degree 05' S.
  10. 41 degrees 30'W. 1 degree 10' S.
SED chose these sites on the basis of regional slopes, surface texture and strength, landmarks, isolated features, and the size, shape, and position of the various areas. The list included several sites that the Division had designated earlier in the year.

NASA Project Apollo Working Paper No. 1100, "Environmental Factors Involved in the Choice of Lunar Operational Dates and the Choice of Lunar Landing Sites" (November 22, 1963), pp. 30-33.

November 22

ASPO developed ground rules and guidelines for the Spacecraft Development Test Program being conducted by Grumman, North American, and MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. (See January 3, 1964.)

NAA, "Apollo Spacecraft Development Test Plan," Study Report, SID 64-66-1, February 3, 1964, Vol. I, pp. v, 26, 53-57.

November 27

At its Santa Susana facility, Rocketdyne conducted the first long-duration (508 seconds) test firing of a J-2 engine. In May 1962 the J-2's required firing time was increased from 250 to 500 seconds.

Akens et al., History of Marshall . . . July 1-December 31, 1963, Vol. I, p. 242; Missiles and Rockets, 13 (December 9, 1963), p. 10; interview, telephone, Erika Fry, Rocketdyne, February 24, 1969.

November 27

ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea asked NASA Headquarters to revise velocity budgets for the Apollo spacecraft. (Studies had indicated that those budgets could be reduced without degrading performance.) He proposed that the 10 percent safety margin applied to the original budget be eliminated in favor of specific allowances for each identifiable uncertainty and contingency; but, to provide for maneuvers which might be desired on later Apollo missions, the LEM's propellant tanks should be oversized. (See December 1963.)

The ASPO Manager's proposal resulted from experience that had arisen because of unfortunate terminology used to designate the extra fuel. Originally the fuel budget for various phases of the mission had been analyzed and a 10 percent allowance had been made to cover - at that time, unspecified - contingencies, dispersions, and uncertainties. Mistakenly this fuel addition became known as a "10% reserve"! John P. Mayer and his men in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division worried because engineers at North American, Grumman, and NASA had "been freely 'eating' off the so-called 'reserve'" before studies had been completed to define what some of the contingencies might be and to apportion some fuel for that specific situation. Mayer wanted the item labeled a "10% uncertainty."

Shea recommended also that the capacity of the LEM descent tanks be sufficient to achieve an equiperiod orbit, should this become desirable. However, the spacecraft should carry only enough propellant for a Hohmann transfer. This was believed adequate, because the ascent engine was available for abort maneuvers if the descent engine failed and because a low altitude pass over the landing site was no longer considered necessary. By restricting lunar landing sites to the area between ±5 degrees latitude and by limiting the lunar stay time to less than 48 hours, a one-half-degree, rather than two-degree, plane change was sufficient.

In the meantime, Shea reported, his office was investigating how much weight could be saved by these propellant reductions.

Memorandum, Shea to NASA Headquarters, Attn: Mgr., Apollo Program Office, "Revised Apollo Spacecraft Delta-V Budget," November 27, 1963; memorandum, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, to Mgr., ASPO, "Use of 10% 'reserve' delta-V in CSM and LEM delta-V Budgets," October 21, 1963.

November 28

In honor of the late President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated six days earlier, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that LOC and Station No. 1 of the Atlantic Missile Range would be designated the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), ". . . to honor his memory, and the future of the works he started . . . ," Johnson said. On the following day, he signed an executive order making this change official. With the concurrence of Florida Governor Farris Bryant, he also changed the name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy.

Angela C. Gresser, "Historical Aspects Concerning the Redesignation of Facilities at Cape Canaveral," KHN-1, April 1964, p. 15; The New York Times, November 29, 1963; The Houston Chronicle, November 30, 1963.

November 28-December 4

MSC reviewed a North American proposal for adding an active thermal control system to the SM to maintain satisfactory temperatures in the propulsion and reaction control engines. The company's scheme involved two water-glycol heat transport loops with appropriate nuclear heaters and radiators. During December, MSC directed North American to begin preliminary design of a system for earth orbit only. Approval for spacecraft intended for lunar missions was deferred pending a comprehensive review of requirements.

MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 4, 1963"; "Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," p, 15.

November 29

After a meeting with Grumman officials on November 27, ASPO directed the contractor to begin a Grumman-directed Apollo mission plan development study. (See January 16, 1964.)

TWX, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, November 29, 1963.

During the Month

MSC directed Grumman to halt work on LEM test article 9, pending determination of its status as a tethered flight vehicle. (See August 1963.) As a result, the proposed flight demonstration of the tether coupler, using an S-64A Skycrane helicopter, was canceled.

"Monthly Progress Report No. 10," LPR-10-26, p. 37.

During the Month

Ames Research Center performed simulated meteoroid impact tests on the Avco Corporation heatshield structure. Four targets of ablator bonded to a stainless steel backup structure were tested. The ablator, in a Fiberglas honeycomb matrix, was 4.369 millimeters (0.172 inch) thick in two targets and 17.424 millimeters (0.686 inch) thick in the other two. Each ablator was tested at 116.48 K (-250 degrees F) and at room temperature, with no apparent difference in damage.

Penetration of the thicker targets was about 13.970 millimeters (0.55 inch). In the thinner targets, the ablator was pierced. Debris tore through the steel honeycomb and produced pinholes on the rear steel sheet. Damage to the ablator was confined to two or three honeycomb cells and there was no cracking or spalling on the surface.

Tests at Ames of thermal performance of the ablation material under high shear stress yielded favorable preliminary results. MSC," ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 4, 1963."

During the Month

Verne C. Fryklund of NASA's Manned Space Sciences Division advised Bellcomm of the procedure for determining Apollo landing sites on the moon. The Manned Space Sciences chief outlined an elimination for the site selection process. For the first step, extant selenographic material would be used to pick targets of interest for Lunar Orbiter spacecraft photography. After study of the Lunar Orbiter photography, a narrower choice of targets then became the object of Surveyor spacecraft lunar missions, with final choice of potential landing sites to be made after the Surveyor program. (See December 20.)

The selection criteria at all stages were determined by lunar surface requirements prepared by OMSF. Fryklund emphasized that a landing at the least hazardous spot, rather than in the area with the most scientific interest, was the chief aim of the site selection process.

Memorandum, Verne C. Fryklund, NASA Manned Space Sciences Division, to B. T. Howard, Bellcomm, "Your memorandum of October 31, 1963 about Apollo Landing Sites," November 4, 1963.

December 2

Grumman selected AiResearch Manufacturing Company to supply cryogenic storage tanks for the LEM electrical power system. Final negotiations on the cost-plus-incentive-fee contract were held in June 1964.

On this same date, Grumman concluded negotiations with Allison Division of General Motors Corporation for design and fabrication of the LEM descent engine propellant storage tanks (at a cost of $5,479,560).

"Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," pp. 30, 32; MSC, "Project Apollo Quarterly Status Report No.8 for Period Ending June 30, 1964," p.38; MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, November 17-December 21, 1963," p. 42.

December 3-5

A design review of the CSM part-task trainer was held at North American. Briefings included general design criteria and requirements, physical configuration, simulation models, and scheduling. The trainer was expected to be operational in December 1964.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-20, pp. 20-21; MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 10, 1963."

December 5

Primarily to save weight, the length of the adapter was shortened to 853 centimeters (336 inches), as recommended by Grumman. (See October 2.)

Letter, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Line Items 1 and 6, Implementation of Actions Recommended in Apollo Program Systems Meetings," December 5, 1963; TWX, David M. Hammock and Maynard, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: Mullaney, and NAA, Attn: E. E. Sack, December 5, 1963.

December 9

ASPO requested that Grumman make a layout for transmittal to MSFC showing space required in the S-IVB instrument unit for 406.4- and 457-centimeter (160- and 180-inch) cantilevered gears and for 508-centimeter (200-inch)-radius lateral fold gears. (See October 2.)

Letter, Owen E, Maynard, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Implementation of Actions in MSC-MSFC Mechanical Integration Panel," December 9, 1963.

December 10-17

As a result of wind tunnel tests, Langley Research Center researchers found the LEM Little Joe II configuration to be aerodynamically unstable. To achieve stability, larger booster fins were needed. However, bigger fins caused more drag, shortening the length of the flight. MSC was investigating the possibility of using more powerful rocket engines to overcome this performance degradation. (See February 10, 1964.)

"Monthly Progress Report No. 11," LPR-10-27, p. 42; MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 17, 1963."

December 10-17

The MSC Operations Planning Division (OPD) reviewed the operational demands upon the CM from the time of CM-SM separation until splashdown. OPD concluded that the CM should be designed to operate for 45 minutes during this phase of the mission.

MSC," ASPO Status Report for Week Ending December 17, 1963."

December 11

NASA Headquarters approved a $48,064,658 supplement to the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., contract for 10 additional S-IVB stages, four for the Saturn IB and six for the Saturn V missions.

Akens et al., History of Marshall . . . July 1-December 31, 1963, Vol. I, p. 69.

December 13

NASA canceled five Ranger flights (numbers 10 through 14) designed to take high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface before impact. [Five Rangers had thus far been launched.] OSS Associate Administrator Homer E. Newell stated that NASA would depend on the remaining four Rangers, the Lunar Orbiters, and the Surveyors for information about the lunar surface. Cancellation of the flights promised to save $90 million.

NASA News Release 63-276, "NASA Cancels Five Follow-On Rangers," December 13, 1963.

December 15

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Experiments submitted its final recommendations on what should be Apollo's principal scientific objectives:

  1. Examination of the physical and geological properties of the moon in the area surrounding the spacecraft.
  2. Geological mapping.
  3. Investigations of the moon's interior.
  4. Studies of the lunar atmosphere.
  5. Radio astronomy from the surface.
This group, which had as its chairman Charles P. Sonett of NASA's Ames Research Center and thus was known as the Sonett Committee, had been formed wholly within NASA for just this purpose. Much of the Sonett Committee's report already was contained in the Office of Space Sciences' guidelines transmitted earlier to MSC (see October 8); their reception was not what one could call enthusiastic.

"Final Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Experiments and Training on the Scientific Aspects of the Apollo Program," December 15, 1963, p. 4; letter, Willis B. Foster, to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, "Apollo Scientific Guidelines," December 19, 1963.

December 16

MSC and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Division completed a joint manned environmental experiment at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex. After spending a week in a sea-level atmospheric environment, the test subjects breathed 100 percent oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi) at a simulated altitude of 8,230 meters (27,000 feet) for 30 days. They then reentered the test capsule for observation in a sea-level environment for the next five days. This experiment demonstrated that men could live in a 100 percent oxygen environment under these conditions with no apparent ill effects.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, October 20-November 16, 1963," p. 63; The Houston Chronicle, November 4, 1963; Missiles and Rockets, 13 (November 11, 1963), p. 31; The Evening Star, Washington, December 17, 1963.

December 16

To ensure MSC's use of its manpower resources to the fullest extent possible, the Engineering and Development Directorate (EDD) assigned a subsystem manager to each of the major subsystems in the Apollo program. EDD provided such support as was needed for him to carry out his assignment effectively. These subsystem managers were responsible to ASPO for the development of systems within the cost and schedule constraints of the program. Primary duties were management of contractor efforts and testing.

MSC, "Apollo Subsystem Management Plan," December 16, 1963.

December 16

General Dynamics Corporation announced the receipt of a contract (worth about $4 million) from the Philco Corporation for fabrication of the computer display equipment for the Integrated Mission Control Center at MSC.

Wall Street Journal, December 16, 1963.

December 16

ASPO concurred in Grumman's recommendation to delete the redundant gimbal actuation system in the LEM's descent engine. A nonredundant configuration would normally require mission abort in case of actuator failure. Consequently, in making this change, Grumman must ensure that mission abort and the associated staging operation would not compromise crew survival and mission reliability.

Letter, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Item 2, Descent Engine Gimbal Drive Actuator," December 16, 1963.

December 16-January 15

Phase I of the Apollo manned centrifuge program was completed at the U.S. Navy Aerospace Medical Acceleration Laboratory, Philadelphia, Pa. The tests pointed up interface problems between couch, suit, and astronaut. For example, pressurizing the suit increased the difficulty of seeing the lower part of the instrument panel. The test fixture was disassembled and the couch, framework, and empty instrument panel were shipped to International Latex Corporation to serve as a mockup for further study.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-21, p. 6.

December 16-January 15

North American completed a study to determine, for automatic modes of reentry, adequacy of the current CM reaction control system (RCS) and compatibility of the RCS with other reentry subsystems.

Ibid., p. 8.

December 16-January 15

MSC directed North American to redesign the CM environmental control system compressor to provide 0.283 cubic meters (10 cubic feet) of air per minute to each space suit at 1.8 newtons per square centimeter (3.5 psi), 16.78 kilograms (37 pounds) per hour total.

Ibid., p. 10.

December 17

Grumman proposed a two-tank ascent stage configuration for the LEM. (See November 12-19.) On January 17, 1964, ASPO formally concurred and authorized Grumman to go ahead with the design. The change was expected to reduce spacecraft weight by about 45 kilograms (100 pounds) and would make for a simpler, more reliable ascent propulsion system. ASPO also concurred in the selection of titanium for the two propellant tanks.

"Monthly Progress Report No. 11," LPR-10-27, p. 1; letter, William F. Rector III, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, LEM Program Review," January 17, 1964.

December 18-January 14

MSC directed North American to assign bioinstrumentation channels to the CM for early manned flights for monitoring the crew's pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration, and temperature. These readings could be obtained simultaneously on any one crew member and by switching from man to man for monitoring the entire crew.

MSC, "ASPO Status Report for Period December 18-January 14, 1964."

December 18-January 14

The System Engineering Division (SED) examined the feasibility of performing an unmanned earth orbital mission without the guidance and navigation system. SED concluded that the stabilization and control system could be used as an attitude reference for one to two orbits and would have accuracies at retrofire suitable for recovery. The number of orbits depended upon the number of maneuvers performed by the vehicle, since the gyros tended to drift.


December 19

Pratt and Whitney Aircraft delivered the first three prototype-A fuel cells to North American.

"Apollo Monthly Progress Report," SID 62-300-21, p. 11.

December 20

MSC announced that Grumman and Hamilton Standard had signed an $8,371,465 definitive contract for the LEM environmental control system. A go-ahead had been issued to Hamilton Standard on July 23.

MSC News Release 63-257, December 20, 1963; The Houston Post, December 22, 1963

December 20

NASA selected The Boeing Company to build five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. (See August 30.) Beginning in 1966, Lunar Orbiters would take close-range photographs of the moon and transmit them by telemetry back to earth. The spacecraft would also detect radiation and micrometeoroid density and supply tracking data on the gravitational field of the moon. Information derived from the project (managed by Langley Research Center) would aid in the selection of lunar landing sites. (See November 1963 and May 8, 1964.)

NASA News Release 63-280, "NASA to Negotiate with Boeing for Lunar Orbiter," December 20, 1963.

December 20-January 18

MSC awarded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracts valued at $4,211,377 (to be subcontracted to W. S. Bellows Construction Corporation and Peter Kiewit and Sons, Inc.) for the construction of the MSC Mission and Training Facility and for additions to several existing facilities at the Center.

MSC, "Consolidated Activity Report for the Office of the Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, December 22, 1963-January 18, 1964," p. 38; MSC News Release 64-46, March 5, 1964; The Houston Post, January 9, 1964.

December 21

MSC defined the LEM terminal rendezvous maneuvers. That phase of the mission would begin at a range of 9.3 kilometers (five nautical miles) from the CSM and terminate at a range of 152.4 meters (500 feet). Before rendezvous initiation, closing velocity should be reduced to 61 meters (200 feet) per second by use of the ascent engine. The reaction control system should be used exclusively thereafter.

Letter, Owen E. Maynard, MSC, to GAEC, Attn: R. S. Mullaney, "Contract NAS 9-1100, Definition of LEM Terminal Rendezvous Model," December 21, 1963.

December 23

Motorola, Inc., received a follow-on contract from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the manufacture and integration of at least three S-band receiving subsystems for NASA's Deep Space Network and Manned Space Flight Network ground stations. Within the unified S-band system adopted by NASA, receiving equipment of the two networks would be identical except for a slight difference in operating frequency. This enabled all communications between ground stations and spacecraft to be on a single frequency. It also allowed more efficient power transfer between the directive antennas and the spacecraft and would greatly reduce galactic noise encountered with UHF frequencies.

NASA News Release 63-284, "Motorola to Make S-Band Radio Receiving Equipment for NASA Ground Stations," December 23, 1963.

December 29-January 4

Based upon centrifuge test results, MSC directed Hamilton Standard to modify the space suit helmet. The vomitus port and other obstructions to the line of sight in the downward direction were deleted.

MSC, "Weekly Activity Report for the Office of the Director, Manned Space Flight, December 29, 1963-January 4, 1964," p. 4.

December 31

NASA announced the appointment of Air Force Brig. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips as Deputy Director of the NASA Headquarters Apollo Program Office. General Phillips assumed management of the manned lunar landing program, working under George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator of Manned Space Flight and Director of the Apollo Program Office.

NASA News Release 63-287, "NASA Appoints General Phillips to Assist in Apollo Program Management," December 31, 1963.

During the Month

MSC decided to supply television cameras for the LEM as government-furnished items. Grumman was ordered to cease its effort on this component.

Resizing of the LEM propulsion tanks was completed by Grumman. The cylindrical section of the descent tank was extended 34.04 millimeters (1.34 inches), for a total of 36.27 centimeters (14.28 inches) between the spherical end bells. The ascent tanks (two-tank series) were 1240.54 centimeters (48.84 inches) in diameter.

"Monthly Progress Report No. 11," LPR-10-27, pp. 18, 30.

During the Month

RCA, contractor to Grumman for the LEM rendezvous and landing radars, chose Ryan Aeronautical Company as vendor for the landing radar. The contract was signed March 16, 1964.

"Apollo Quarterly Status Report No. 6," p. 34.

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