With NASA's concurrence, North American released the Request For Proposals on the Apollo mission simulator. A simulated CM, an instructor's console, and a computer complex now supplanted the three part- task trainers originally planned. An additional part-task trainer was also approved. A preliminary report describing the device had been submitted to NASA by North American. The trainer was scheduled to be completed by March 1964.
North American awarded a $9.5 million letter contract to the Link Division of General Precision, Inc., for the development and installation of two spacecraft simulators, one at MSC and the other at the Launch Operations Center. Except for weightlessness, the trainers would simulate the entire lunar mission, including sound and lighting effects.
Three U. S. Air Force test pilots began a five-week training period at the Martin Company leading to their participation in a simulated seven- day lunar landing mission. This was part of Martin's year-long study of crew performance during simulated Apollo missions (under a $771,000 contract from NASA).
General Precision's Link Group received a $7 million contract from NASA, through a subcontract with Grumman, for two LEM simulators, one at Houston and the other at Cape Kennedy. Along with comparable equipment for the CSM (also being developed by Link), the machines would serve as trainers for Apollo astronauts. The devices would duplicate the interior of the spacecraft; and visual displays would realistically simulate every phase of the mission.
North American completed acceptance tests for the CSM sequential and propulsion systems trainers. On January 15 the equipment was shipped to MSC, where it was installed the following week. This terminated the procurement program for the Apollo systems trainer.
The basic structure of Apollo CM simulator "A," around which a full-scale mockup of the CM crew stations would be built, was delivered to MSC. Flight Crew Support Division would use the mockup for crew familiarization, procedures training, and equipment evaluation.
Because the Apollo Mission Simulator (AMS) was one of the pacing items in the Apollo Block II flight program, a critical constraint upon operational readiness was the availability of Government-furnished equipment (GFE) to the AMS contractor, General Precision's Link Group. For that reason MSC ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea asked A. L. Brady, Chief of the Apollo Mission Simulator Office, to establish controls to ensure that GFE items were provided to Link in time to support the program. He requested that an individual be appointed to be responsible for each item and that a weekly report on the status be submitted on each item.
Twenty-two astronauts trained in the MSC Flight Acceleration Facility during the week, for lunar reentry. Closed-loop simulation permitted the crews to control the centrifuge during the lunar reentry deceleration profiles. Each astronaut flew four different reentry angles, which imposed acceleration loads of from 4.57 to 9.3 g.