Washington Redraws Management Lines

On 30 October 1963, NASA announced a revision of its Saturn flight program, eliminating manned Saturn I missions and the last 6 of 16 Saturn I vehicles.* NASA discarded the "building block" concept and introduced a new philosophy of launch vehicle development. Henceforth the Saturn vehicles would go "all-up"; that is, developmental flights of Saturn vehicles would fly in their final configuration (without dummy stages).

George E. Mueller, Holmes's replacement as Director of the Office of Manned Space Flight, made the "all-up" decision.** Mueller came to his new position from a vice-presidency at Space Technology Laboratories. STL provided engineering and technical assistance to the Air Force on its missile programs, including Minuteman, where the all-up concept was first employed. Despite some mishaps - the first attempt to launch a Minuteman from an underground silo at the Cape (30 August 1961) had resulted in a spectacular explosion - Mueller was confident that all-up testing would save NASA many months and millions of dollars on Apollo.44 At the OMSF Management Council Meeting on 29 October 1963, Mueller stressed the need to "minimize 'dead-end' testing [tests involving components or systems that would not fly operationally without major modification] and maximize 'allup' systems flight tests." Two other aspects of Mueller's all-up concept directly affected the Cape. The OMSF Director wanted complete (emphasis is Mueller's) systems delivered at the Cape to minimize KSC's rebuilding of space vehicles. And future schedules would include both delivery dates and launch dates.45

Two days after the Saturn announcement, NASA published a major reorganization that combined program and center management by placing the field centers under Headquarters program directors rather than general management. Previously, center directors had received project or mission directives from one or more Headquarters program directors, while direction for general center operations came from Associate Administrator Seamans. Following the 1 November reorganization, NASA gave the responsibility for both overall management of major programs and direction of NASA field installations to three Associate Administrators: Mueller, Raymond Bisplinghoff, and Homer Newell. The three Manned Space Flight Centers - Marshall, Manned Spacecraft, and KSC - would report to Mueller.46

KSC realigned its organization on 6 February 1964 to conform with the new NASA structure. At the same time, administrative and technical support functions were separated, in an attempt to strengthen both; and the number of offices reporting directly to Debus was reduced, with more authority and responsibility given to the assistant directors. Henceforth in the Office of Manned Space Flight at NASA Headquarters and in the three Manned Space Flight Centers, the functional breakout in all Apollo Program Management Offices would be: program control - budgeting, scheduling, etc.; systems engineering; testing; operations; and reliability and quality assurance. At KSC Rocco Petrone as Assistant Director for Program Management was also head of the Apollo Program Management Office.47

* The Saturn C-1, C-1B, and C-5 were renumbered Saturn I, Saturn IB, and Saturn V in 1963.

** Pronounced "Miller." Holmes and Webb had clashed over the amount of NASA's funds that Apollo should receive. Holmes wanted to concentrate almost all of NASA's resources on the lunar mission while Webb, supported by Vice President Johnson, preferred a more balanced program that would provide a total space capability including weather, communications, and deep-space satellites. When President Kennedy sided with Webb, Holmes departed in mid-l963.

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