Recommendations of the 1967 Summer Study of Lunar Science and Exploration, Santa Cruz, California, July 31-August 13, 1967

The Santa Cruz Summer Study was organized along the same lines as the Falmouth Conference, with five major objectives:

  1. To obtain the consensus of the scientific community as to what the future lunar exploration program should be;
  2. To prepare detailed science plans for future manned and unmanned lunar missions;
  3. To establish the order of priority of experiments to be conducted on all missions;
  4. To make recommendations on major hardware items required for the science programs;
  5. To make recommendations on the instrument development programs required for the science program and those required to meet Supporting Research and Technology Program needs.
The following is an excerpt from the first section of the conference report,* "Summary and Recommendations," pp. 9-29.

*1967 Summer Study of Lunar Science and Exploration, NASA SP-157 (Washington, 1967).

Summary and Recommendations

The primary purpose of the Santa Cruz Conference was to arrive at a scientific consensus as to what the future lunar manned and unmanned exploration program should be, particularly in the time frame of the Apollo Applications Program (AAP). It was planned that the major results of the conference would include (1) a recommended list of lunar missions with detailed mission plans and priority experiment lists for each mission, (2) a priority list of major hardware items, and (3) recommendations for instrument development and for Supporting Research and Technology Programs. The details of the findings and recommendations of the working groups are reported in later sections [not included here]. The major recommendations of the conference and the proposed lunar exploration program include (1) systems development, (2) proposed mission sequence, (3) program planning and support, and (4) science mission plans.

Systems Development

Lunar Surface Mobility

The most important recommendation of the conference relates to lunar surface mobility. To increase the scientific return from lunar surface missions after the first few Apollo landings, the most important need is for increased operating range on the Moon. On the early Apollo missions it is expected that an astronaut will have an operating radius on foot of approximately 500 meters. It is imperative that this radius be increased to more than 10 km as soon as possible. To increase surface mobility the following recommendations are made:

  1. It is recommended that a Lunar Flying Unit be developed immediately to be used in AAP and, if possible, on late Apollo flights to increase the astronaut's mobility range.

    This is the first step toward attaining reasonable mobility. It is expected that the Lunar Flying Unit (LFU) will provide a mobility radius of 5 to 10 kilometers, which is a considerable improvement over the present capability, but not nearly enough. Exploration of lunar surface features such as large craters and their environs will require a range of approximately 25 km or more.

  2. It is recommended that the Saturn V dual-launch capability be developed as soon as possible.
  3. It is recommended that the dual-mode local scientific survey module (LSSM) be developed on the same schedule as the dual-launch Saturn V.

    This wheeled vehicle should be capable of operating in an automatic or manned mode. The primary purpose of the dual-launch system is to carry the recommended LSSM and additional fuel for the Lunar Flying Units. The automated/manned LSSM has a greater capability than the one now planned [i.e., the lunar roving vehicle]. The LSSM used in conjunction with Lunar Flying Units should provide a mobility radius of approximately 25 km.

The best type of lunar surface mobility system was the subject of considerable debate during the conference. Two different philosophies of exploration on large-scale areas arose.
  1. The Geochemistry Working Group strongly favored the large lunar flying vehicle. A manned vehicle, which provides spot coverage over a wide area, would best afford the opportunity of observation and sample collection.
  2. A substantial, but divided, opinion of the Geology Working Group was that the combination of Small Lunar Flying Units with the LSSM was best for spot coverage and for continuous ground coverage. The Geology Working Group emphasized that the continuous ground observation was essential to solve complex geological problems in areas of limited size. The geologists felt that experience had shown that such studies are critical to solving much larger problems and are necessary to place geochemical and geophysical data in their proper geological context.
At the conclusion of the meeting, a substantial majority of the working groups were in favor of the shorter range, continuous surface traverse using a dual-mode LSSM rather than spot coverage over a large area with a Large Flying Unit. Another reason for the choice of the LSSM is that it is probable that the manned half of a dual launch will carry two Lunar Flying Units. Starting with this, the total mobility system using the LSSM seemed a better choice. A very important reason for the choice of the LSSM involved the use of an automated mode of operation. Agreement was unanimous on the need for long unmanned traverses on the lunar surface. After the astronauts have returned to the Earth, the LSSM would be sent to a new destination. On its journey, the LSSM would accomplish the following:
  1. Stereo TV on the LSSM will permit the LSSM to be controlled from the earth. The LSSM would collect samples along the route. Some of these samples would be aseptically handled and packaged for return to the earth by the next manned lander.
  2. The LSSM would conduct a geophysical traverse of a large area using devices such as magnetometers, gravimeters, and radar probes.
  3. The LSSM would deploy several small ALSEP-type Remote Geophysical Monitors (RGM) along the traverse. In this way , a network of such units could be built. The RGM would carry instruments such as seismographs, atmospheric mass spectrometers, gravimeters, and magnetometers.
The dual-mode LSSM is more complicated and has greater capability than the vehicle presently planned. The LSSM should have the following characteristics and capabilities:
  1. articulation;
  2. the ability to pick up rocks;
  3. stereo TV with the Apollo bandwidth and a fast shutter;
  4. rock analysis (nondestructive) with a storage capacity of 50 pounds;
  5. a headlight (night and shadow operation)
  6. samples, stowage of approximately 100, maximum weight of 1 kg per sample with some aseptically sealed;
  7. the capability to carry and deploy 6 RGMs, each weighing 50 pounds and equipped with instruments such as a gravimeter, a radar probe, and a magnetometer;
  8. dead-reckoning navigation with altitude and horizontal ties to known controls;
  9. capability for carrying two persons with optional steering modes and capability for carrying 1 or 2 LFUS;
  10. relay communications; and
  11. the ability to carry a backup portable life support system (PLSS) or an independent life support system.

Block II Surveyor

Other systems working with the automated LSSM are probably needed to develop the geophysical network of Remote Geophysical Monitors on the Moon. This network requires about 10 automated stations distributed over the front face of the Moon with spacings on the order of 1,000 km or more. This system is required to obtain large-scale information about the interior of the Moon.

It is recommended that a Block II Surveyor, or another system, be available in the period from 1970 to 1975, which is capable of deploying experiments such as the following:

  1. a passive seismic/tidal gravimeter/tiltmeter (three components);
  2. a corner reflector;
  3. a gravimeter (geodetic);
  4. a mass spectrometer;
  5. a total-pressure gauge;
  6. a doppler transponder;
  7. a facsimile camera;
  8. a magnetometer;
  9. a plasma probe;
  10. low-energy particles;
  11. electric field; and
  12. a gamma-ray experiment or alpha-counter experiment.

The Block II Surveyor will afford wide geographic coverage for instruments. Special care must be taken in deployment of experiments (magnetometer, gamma-ray, etc.) so that they are deployed in an appropriate environment.

Sample Return Capability

One important, if not the most important, scientific result from the AAP missions will be the return of lunar samples. The amount returned must increase as the capabilities of the vehicles allow.

It is recommended that the total returned payload from the Moon in AAP missions increase to 400 lb. so that a minimum of 250 lb. of lunar samples can be returned.

A consensus of the conference was that a capability to return approximately 50 lb. of refrigerated samples was needed as soon as possible.

Modular ALSEP

It was clearly recognized at the conference that Apollo lunar surface experiments packages or their derivatives such as Emplaced Scientific Stations or Remote Geophysical Monitors would be used on essentially all AAP landing missions. A number of new experiments under development require the ESS or RGM capability, and many of the current experiments should be used on the lunar surface in networks. The capability should be established to include new experiments on an ALSEP prior to a mission.

It is recommended that future ALSEP stations be designed to allow a substantial degree of flexibility to react to new opportunities opened up by new developments or discoveries on the Moon. A modular concept to permit accommodation of new instruments with minimum disturbance of the basic ALSEP system would greatly facilitate such flexibility.

It is expected that the number of candidate experiments for a particular ALSEP mission will exceed the number that can be accommodated on that mission. Flight assignments for the mission should be made as close to the flight time as is practical to reflect the state of knowledge at that time. The experiments would, therefore, be built to meet a standard ALSEP electrical interface and a suitably small choice of mechanical interfaces. This requires that the ALSEP central station have an appropriate number of standard electrical plug-in stations and a central data processor that assigns experiment data rates under the control of a stored program. The processor control program could be stored prior to flight or, preferably, on command from Earth. Remote reprogramming is particularly desirable as it permits the real-time assignment of experiment data rates in response to acquired data.

Telemetry Capability

When several scientific packages are operating on or near the Moon for long periods of time, the capability to handle the increased data return will become a problem. The data return capability is presently a problem in some unmanned programs.

It is strongly recommended that appropriate provision be made to insure continuous telemetry coverage of all scientific packages, both single and simultaneous operations, on and around the Moon. Provision must also be made to recover data continuously from the averted face of the Moon.

Orbital Subsatellites

Subsatellites could be injected from the AAP command and service module (CSM) vehicles into precision orbits to study the lunar environment, including magnetic fields and particle environment and the atmosphere and ionosphere.

It is recommended that a subsatellite system be developed for deploying systems of instruments in close orbit around the Moon.

Proposed AAP Mission Sequence

To understand how the mobility systems fit into the program of flights and why they have been chosen, the proposed program of lunar landing missions should be examined. The program is not in final form and will not be for some time, at least until further mission studies have been made. The program of missions consists of three distinct mission types: (1) manned orbital flights; (2) single-launch Saturn V lunar landing flights; and (3) dual-launched Saturn V lunar landing flights. The proposed program is outlined in Table 1 and Figure 1 [not reproduced here].

Table 1. Proposed AAP Mission Sequence
Mission Mission location              Schedule,(a) (Yr.)  Launch mode

  1     Manned orbiter                      1st              --
  2     Copernicus (central peaks)          1st            Single
  3     Davy Rille                          2nd            Single
  4     Copernicus (walls)                  2nd            Single
  5     Marius Hills                        3rd             Dual
          LSSM to the Cobra-Head
  6     Cobra-Head                       3rd or 4th         Dual
          LSSM to Hadley Rille
  7     Manned orbiter                   3rd or 4th          --
  8     Alphonsus                           5th             Dual
          LSSM to Sabine
          and Ritter
  9     Sabine and Ritter (or               5th            Single
          end of Alphonsus
          LSSM mission)
  A     North Pole or South Pole(b)         --               --
  B     Tycho(b)                            --               --
  C     Mare Orientale(b)                   --               --
  D     Hadley Rille(b)                     --               --

(a) Mission will occur within the program year(s) indicated.

(b) Times, launch modes, and sequence are not established; further study is required.

Manned Orbiter

The first recommended AAP flight is a manned lunar orbital flight with these objectives.

  1. AAP landing sites mapping photography (return of film necessary;
  2. metric-mapping quality photography with returned film;
  3. geochemical remote-sensing using gamma-rays and x-rays on a subsatellite left in lunar orbit or using a directional detector system on the CSM; and
  4. flying a family of remote sensors such as passive microwave radiometer, infrared radiometer, radar reflectivity, radio noise survey, magnetometer and plasma probe, multicolor photometry, meteoroid detector, radio radiometer, and fluorescence photometer.
Objective 4 has a somewhat lower priority than the first three.

The only way to obtain adequate data for cartographic purposes is to have the film returned to Earth for analysis. The photography from this flight should provide maps of the Moon in the IR region and (by analyzing the gamma-rays) lunar contour maps of the concentration of potassium and uranium and possibly of other elements. Such data will be valuable in future mission planning.

The first orbiter flight should be followed by a second flight within a time frame so that new remote sensing instruments would be perfected (1) to increase the ability to map the Moon remotely in various electromagnetic frequencies and (2) to obtain greater information on the distribution of the elements.

Single-Launch Mode

The first AAP lunar landers will probably be single launches. Missions 2, 3, and 4 represent the proposed early single-launch landers. Because the crater Copernicus is such a large feature and because information about Copernicus is essential to the understanding of the Moon, two separate missions are proposed: one to the central peaks and one to the crater wall. A proposed science mission plan for the central peaks is presented later in this section.

The durations of this class of missions are flexible. It is desired that the single-launch missions be started as soon as possible; however, a series of useful single launches could be continued for a number of missions. Suggested additional sites for the subsequent single missions are Copernicus H, Gambart, Mosting C, Hyginus Rille, Flamsteed, Dionysius, Hipparchus, the dome near Lunar Orbiter Photographic Site II-P-2, and the Surveyor landing and the Ranger impact sites. The Lunar Flying Unit would be used for mobility on these missions.

Dr. George E. Mueller suggested that the conferees consider what scientific program should be carried out on Apollo flights after the first two or three successful lunar landings. The following ground rules were assumed:

  1. Some system constraints will have been removed so that more payload is available on the Apollo CSM.
  2. The lunar module (LM) will be able to land at rather rough sites but still in or near the Apollo landing zone of +/- 10 degrees latitude.
  3. No substantial hardware changes will be made in the CSM or the LM.
It was decided that all of the suggested single-launch AAP landing sites would be appropriate for late Apollo, except Copernicus, which requires more mobility. The most appealing sites were Copernicus H, Gambart, Mosting C, and the dome near site II-P-2. The lunar module might land close enough to these sites to allow access to the interesting areas. There was a strong feeling that there should be at least one highland landing site.

Additional mobility should be brought into the program as rapidly as possible. The LFU should be used even if it has only a 1- or 2-km range, which will significantly enhance the scientific return. if the LFU is not ready, the schedule for the Apollo lunar program should be adjusted, after the first few successful landers, to allow the LFU to be brought into these late Apollo missions.

Dual-Launch Mode

The future lunar exploration program must involve mobility systems that require two Saturn V launches. The dual-mode LSSM and a large amount of additional fuel for the Lunar Flying Units will be carried to the lunar surface in an unmanned lander. The manned Saturn V will land nearby later. The present LSSM cannot be carried to the Moon in a manned single-launch system.

A major feature of the dual-launch system is that the unmanned LSSM would make a long traverse (approximately l,000 km) and arrive at the site of the next manned landing with a collection of surface samples from an extensive region of the Moon. These would be returned to Earth by the next manned lander. The suggested sequence of missions with automated LSSM traverses is shown in Table 1. This technique allows a much larger fraction of the lunar surface to be sampled than could possibly be visited by humans during all of the proposed manned AAP missions (Fig. 1).

Program Planning and Support

Fallback Position

If the AAP lunar program level should drop below one dual-launch or two single-launch missions per year, then the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning (GLEP) should meet again to reconsider mission plans. The program at this low level might need significant redirection. For example, in the case of severe budgetary restrictions or other problems that would prevent developing the Saturn V dual-launch capability, an automated system, such as Rover launched by a system less complicated than a Saturn V, might need to be developed.

Solicitation for Experiments

The selection of experiments from the scientific community was a major consideration at the Conference.

To develop a strong science program in AAP, it is strongly recommended that any extension of the Apollo science program (that is, new Apollo hardware, follow-on ALSEP, or AAP), be implemented by open solicitation of experiments from the scientific community. Only in this way can the Manned Space Flight Program build the broad base of scientific support and participation necessary for an active and productive research program.

It is recognized that the time scales involved may pose problems in certain disciplines in implementing the above recommendation. However, there are experiments that could be delivered on a relatively short time scale and thus allow the possibility of a wider NASA scientific program.

Support of Basic Research

The NASA support of basic research programs has been a benefit to the space program and also to universities and other research institutions. This support should not be confined to flight programs but should be continued in all areas of basic science that contribute to the overall NASA objectives of space exploration.

Support of Instrument Development

Many scientific experiments appear very promising for lunar exploration but are not feasible now because (1) detector systems have not been developed to the point of having the desired sensitivity, or (2) theoretical problems have not been fully investigated to insure proper design of the experiment or full interpretation of the results.

Three stages in the development of an experiment and the necessary hardware can be visualized. These are (1) detailed consideration of the importance and feasibility of an experiment, (2) development of necessary scientific tools to implement the experiment, and (3) production of flight hardware.

To carry out the first two stages of producing an experiment listed previously, it is recommended that a strong program in scientific instrument definition and development and a substantial lunar supporting research and technology program be undertaken immediately. The amount of money being invested to produce experiments for AAP flights in the present budget is not compatible with the scope of the program. It is further recommended that adequate time be included in program planning and launch schedules to allow for the scientific development of the appropriate experiments.

Establishment of Project Scientist

It is now apparent that there is a need for more continuous scientific input into the development of scientific flight hardware for lunar missions.

It is strongly recommended that a position of Project Scientist be established within the structure of the Manned Space Flight Program. The responsibilities of the project scientist are to represent the scientific requirements and objectives of the experiment to the project manager and staff and conversely to represent to the Principal Investigator project requirements that may affect the experiment. At least one project scientist should be associated with every MSC project that includes scientific experiments; more than one project scientist may be desirable for a large project in which the number of scientific disciplines is large. Furthermore, it is strongly recommended that project scientists be participating experimenters in the projects for which they are responsible. The position of the project scientist within the organizational structure should be at a level that insures adequate science input into the program.

Astronaut Selection and Training

After basic classroom work and tutorials, the astronaut should be provided the time and opportunity to participate directly in the research and planning activities of the particular missions for which he is selected. This may require one or more thorough refresher tutorial covering the specific topics of prime scientific importance for the mission. In crew selection for any mission, flight-operations ability is, without question, the primary criterion.

It is strongly recommended that ability in field geology be the next most important factor in the selection of the crew members who will actually land on the Moon for the Apollo missions. For some of the complicated scientific missions in the later part of the AAP, the Santa Cruz Conference considers that the knowledge and experience of an astronaut who is also a professional field geologist is essential. In the interest of maintaining career proficiency, astronauts should be provided time to engage in some form of research activity within their professional fields.

Science Mission Plans

As previously stated, the science mission plans in this report are not in final form. Engineering studies must be made and appropriate modifications and plans developed.

It is recommended that an immediate and intensive program of detailed mission analyses be undertaken for all of the prime lunar landing sites and traverses that have been listed by this Conference.

Because of the rapid development of suitable launch capability and the growth of an extensive body of photogeologic maps of the lunar surface and because of the lead-times required for development of selected systems, the working groups felt that such analyses are urgent. The analyses must be planned on an iterative basis to test the applicability of the recommended plans and of instrument development for the achievement of the general scientific objectives for lunar exploration.

[The "Summary and Recommendations" continues with detailed (though tentative) plans for three AAP missions-to Copernicus, the "Cobra Head" (Aristarchus region) , and Alphonsus - including landing sites, mission timelines, and surface activities. The balance of the report consists of the individual reports of eight working groups: Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Bioscience, Geodesy and Cartography, Lunar Atmospheres, Particles and Fields, and Astronomy.]

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