AKA: SM Logistic Lander. Status: Study 1966.
It was proposed for use in an unmanned, direct landing mode. The system required the addition of remote guidance and control and a suitable throttling engine.
So-called "conversions" of the present SM engine really inferred a new engine development, probably of the same magnitude as that required for the LM descent engine. It was considered wiser by NASA's Bellcomm consultants to develop a new pump-fed engine or use a converted Agena engine and take advantage of the superior performance available.
Advantages of the SM Lander were said to be simple mission configuration; straightforward development; and substantial payload capacity at an early operational date (5,000 kg with an Apollo Block 1 SM; 7500 kg with a service module extended in length by 107 cm). Technical challenges included designing the landing gear and throttling engine provisions, and remote guidance and control for lunar landing.