Encyclopedia Astronautica
CSM Source Selection


CSM Source Selection Diary

More... - Chronology...

CSM Source Selection Chronology


1957 October 14 - .
  • National space flight program proposed - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. The Rocket and Satellite Research Panel, established in 1946 as the V-2 Upper Atmosphere Research Panel and renamed the Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel in 1948, together with the American Rocket Society proposed a national space flight program and a unified National Space Establishment. The mission of such an Establishment would be nonmilitary in nature, specifically excluding space weapons development and military operations in space. By 1959, this Establishment should have achieved an unmanned instrumented hard lunar landing and, by 1960, an unmanned instrumented lunar satellite and soft lunar landing. Manned circumnavigation of the moon with return to earth should have been accomplished by 1965 with a manned lunar landing mission taking place by 1968. Beginning in 1970, a permanent lunar base should be possible.

1958 January 12 - .
  • Special Committee on Space Technology established - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: NACA established a Special Committee on Space Technology to study the problems of space flight. H. Guyford Stever of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was named Chairman. On November 21, 1957, NACA had authorized formation of the Committee..

1958 October 25 - .
  • Stever Committee report on the civilian space program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. The Stever Committee, which had been set up on January 12, submitted its report on the civilian space program to NASA. Among the recommendations:
    • A vigorous, coordinated attack should be made upon the problems of maintaining the performance capabilities of man in the space environment as a prerequisite to sophisticated space exploration.
    • Sustained support should be given to a comprehensive instrumentation development program, establishment of versatile dynamic flight simulators, and provision of a coordinated series of vehicles for testing components and subsystems.
    • Serious study should be made of an equatorial launch capability.
    • Lifting reentry vehicles should be developed.
    • Both the clustered- and single-engine boosters of million-pound thrust should be developed.
    • Research on high-energy propellant systems for launch vehicle upper stages should receive full support.
    • The performance capabilities of various combinations of existing boosters and upper stages should be evaluated, and intensive development concentrated on those promising greatest usefulness in different categories of payload.

1959 February 5 - .
  • Working Group on Lunar Exploration established by NASA - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. A Working Group on Lunar Exploration was established by NASA at a meeting at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Members of NASA, JPL, Army Ballistic Missile Agency, California Institute of Technology, and the University of California participated in the meeting. The Working Group was assigned the responsibility of preparing a lunar exploration program, which was outlined: circumlunar vehicles, unmanned and manned; hard lunar impact; close lunar satellites; soft lunar landings (instrumented). Preliminary studies showed that the Saturn booster with an intercontinental ballistic missile as a second stage and a Centaur as a third stage, would be capable of launching manned lunar circumnavigation spacecraft and instrumented packages of about one ton to a soft landing on the moon.

1959 February 17 - .
  • Exploration of the moon a NASA responsibility - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Roy. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Roy W. Johnson, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), testified before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that DOD and ARPA had no lunar landing program. Herbert F. York, DOD Director of Defense Research and Engineering, testified that exploration of the moon was a NASA responsibility.

1959 June 25-26 - .
  • Steps toward a manned lunar landing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. At the second meeting of the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight, held at the Ames Research Center, members presented reports on intermediate steps toward a manned lunar landing and return.

    Bruce T. Lundin of the Lewis Research Center reported to members on propulsion requirements for various modes of manned lunar landing missions, assuming a 10,000-pound spacecraft to be returned to earth. Lewis mission studies had shown that a launch into lunar orbit would require less energy than a direct approach and would be more desirable for guidance, landing reliability, etc. From a 500,000 foot orbit around the moon, the spacecraft would descend in free fall, applying a constant-thrust decelerating impulse at the last moment before landing. Research would be needed to develop the variable-thrust rocket engine to be used in the descent. With the use of liquid hydrogen, the launch weight of the lunar rocket and spacecraft would be 10 to 11 million pounds. Additional Details: here....


1959 August-September - .
  • Meetings of the STG New Projects Panel to discuss an advanced manned space flight program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Meetings of the STG New Projects Panel to discuss an advanced manned space flight program. .

1959 August 12 - .
  • NASA's future manned space program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Parachute; CSM Source Selection. The STG New Projects Panel (proposed by H. Kurt Strass in June) held its first meeting to discuss NASA's future manned space program. Present were Strass, Chairman, Alan B. Kehlet, William S. Augerson, Jack Funk, and other STG members. Strass summarized the philosophy behind NASA's proposed objective of a manned lunar landing : maximum utilization of existing technology in a series of carefully chosen projects, each of which would provide a firm basis for the next step and be a significant advance in its own right. Additional Details: here....

1959 August 18 - .
  • First major new NASA project to be a second-generation reentry capsule - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. At its second meeting, STG's New Projects Panel decided that the first major project to be investigated would be the second-generation reentry capsule. The Panel was presented a chart outlining the proposed sequence of events for manned lunar mission system analysis. The target date for a manned lunar landing was 1970.

1959 August 31 - .
  • Lunar flights to originate from space platforms in earth orbit - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. A House Committee Staff Report stated that lunar flights would originate from space platforms in earth orbit according to current planning. The final decision on the method to be used, "which must be made soon," would take into consideration the difficulty of space rendezvous between a space platform and space vehicles as compared with the difficulty of developing single vehicles large enough to proceed directly from the earth to the moon.

1959 September - .
  • MIT study of the guidance and control design for a variety of space missions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Summary: A study of the guidance and control design for a variety of space missions began at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory under a NASA contract..

1959 September 28 - .
  • Lenticular-shaped vehicle proposed for the lunar mission - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Heat Shield; CSM Source Selection. At the third meeting of STG's New Projects Panel, Alan B. Kehlet presented suggestions for the multimanned reentry capsule. A lenticular-shaped vehicle was proposed, to ferry three occupants safely to earth from a lunar mission at a velocity of about 36,000 feet per second.

1959 November 19 - .
  • Importance of weight of end vehicle in the lunar landing mission - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goett. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. In a memorandum to the members of the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight, Chairman Harry J. Goett discussed the increased importance of the weight of the "end vehicle" in the lunar landing mission. This was to be an item on the agenda of the third meeting of the Committee, to be held in early December. Abe Silverstein, Director of the NASA Office of Space Flight Development, had recently mentioned to Goett that a decision would be made within the next few weeks on the configuration of successive generations of Saturn, primarily the upper stages, Silverstein and Goett had discussed the Committee's views on a lunar spacecraft. Goett expressed the hope in the memorandum that members of the Committee would have some specific ideas at their forthcoming meeting about the probable weight of the spacecraft.

    In addition, Goett informed the Committee that the Vega had been eliminated as a possible booster for use in one of the intermediate steps leading to the lunar mission. The primary possibility for the earth satellite mission was now the first-generation Saturn and for the lunar flight the second-generation Saturn.


1960 March 3-5 - .
  • Advanced manned space flight program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Heat Shield; CSM Source Selection. At a NASA staff conference at Monterey, Calif., officials discussed the advanced manned space flight program, the elements of which had been presented to Congress in January. The Goddard Space Flight Center was asked to define the basic assumptions to be used by all groups in the continuing study of the lunar mission. Some problems already raised were: the type of heatshield needed for reentry and tests required to qualify it, the kind of research and development firings, and conditions that would be encountered in cislunar flight. Additional Details: here....

1960 March 8 - .
  • Preliminary guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: STG formulated preliminary guidelines by which an "advanced manned spacecraft and system" would be developed. These guidelines were further refined and elaborated; they were formally presented to NASA Centers during April and May..

1960 April 1-May 3 - .
  • Guidelines for human factors in the advanced manned spacecraft program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Stanley C. White of STG outlined at NASA Centers the guidelines for human factors in the advanced manned spacecraft program:
    1. A "shirtsleeve" spacecraft environment would be necessary because of the long duration of the lunar flight. This would call for a highly reliable pressurized cabin and some means of protection against rapid decompression. Such protection might be provided by a quick-donning pressure suit. Problems of supplying oxygen to the spacecraft; removing carbon dioxide, water vapor, toxic gases, and microorganisms from the capsule atmosphere; basic monitoring instrumentation; and restraint and couch design were all under study. In addition, research would be required on noise and vibration in the spacecraft, nutrition, waste disposal, interior arrangement and displays, and bioinstrumentation.
    2. A minimum crew of three men was specified. Studies had indicated that, for a long-duration mission, multiman crews were necessary and that three was the minimum number required.
    3. The crew should not be subjected to more than a safe radiation dose. Studies had shown that it was not yet possible to shield the crew against a solar flare. Research was indicated on structural materials and equipment for radiation protection, solar-flare prediction, minimum radiation trajectories, and the radiation environment in cislunar space.

1960 April 1-May 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program presented by STG - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Members of STG presented guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers to enlist research assistance in formulating spacecraft and mission design.

    To open these discussions, Director Robert R. Gilruth summarized the guidelines: manned lunar reconnaissance with a lunar mission module, corollary earth orbital missions with a lunar mission module and with a space laboratory, compatibility with the Saturn C-1 or C-2 boosters (weight not to exceed 15,000 pounds for a complete lunar spacecraft and 25,000 pounds for an earth orbiting spacecraft), 14-day flight time, safe recovery from aborts, ground and water landing and avoidance of local hazards, point (ten square-mile) landing, 72-hour postlanding survival period, auxiliary propulsion for maneuvering in space, a "shirtsleeve" environment, a three-man crew, radiation protection, primary command of mission on board, and expanded communications and tracking facilities. In addition, a tentative time schedule was included, projecting multiman earth orbit qualification flights beginning near the end of the first quarter of calendar year 1966.


1960 April-May - .
  • Guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Presentation by STG members of the guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers..

1960 April 1-May 3 - .
  • Advanced manned spacecraft program guidelines for aborted missions and landing - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Recovery; CSM Source Selection. In discussing the advanced manned spacecraft program at NASA Centers, Maxime A. Faget of STG detailed the guidelines for aborted missions and landing:

    1. The spacecraft must have a capability of safe crew recovery from aborted missions at any speed up to the maximum velocity, this capability to be independent of the launch propulsion system.
    2. A satisfactory landing by the spacecraft on both water and land, avoiding local hazards in the recovery area, was necessary. This requirement was predicated on two considerations: emergency conditions or navigation errors could force a landing on either water or land; and accessibility for recovery and the relative superiority of land versus water landing would depend on local conditions and other factors. The spacecraft should be able to land in a 30-knot wind, be watertight, and be seaworthy under conditions of 10- to 12-foot waves.
    3. Planned landing capability by the spacecraft at one of several previously designated ground surface locations, each approximately 10 square miles in area, would be necessary. Studies were needed to assess the value of impulse maneuvers, guidance quality, and aerodynamic lift over drag during the return from the lunar mission. Faget pointed out that this requirement was far less severe for the earth orbit mission than for the lunar return.
    4. The spacecraft design should provide for crew survival for at least 72 hours after landing. Because of the unpredictability of possible emergency maneuvers, it would be impossible to provide sufficient recovery forces to cover all possible landing locations. The 72-hour requirement would permit mobilization of normally existing facilities and enough time for safe recovery. Locating devices on the spacecraft should perform adequately anywhere in the world.
    5. Auxiliary propulsion should be provided for guidance maneuvers needed to effect a safe return in a launch emergency. Accuracy and capability of the guidance system should be studied to determine auxiliary propulsion requirements. Sufficient reserve propulsion should be included to accommodate corrections for maximum guidance errors. The single system could serve for either guidance maneuvers or escape propulsion requirements.

1960 April 15 - .
  • Guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft program presented by STG - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Briefings on the guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft program were presented by STG representatives at NASA Headquarters..

1960 April 15 - .
  • STG brief advanced manned spacecraft program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. STG members, visiting Moffett Field, Calif., briefed representatives of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flight Research Center, and Ames Research Center on the advanced manned spacecraft program. Ames representatives then described work at their Center which would be applicable to the program: preliminary design studies of several aerodynamic configurations for reentry from a lunar trajectory, guidance and control requirements studies, potential reentry heating experiments at near-escape velocity, flight simulation, and pilot display and navigation studies. STG asked Ames to investigate heating and aerodynamics on possible lifting capsule configurations. In addition, Ames offered to tailor a payload applicable to the advanced program for a forthcoming Wallops Station launch.

1960 April 18 - .
  • Space Exploration Program Council - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. In a memorandum to NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan, Robert L. King, Executive Secretary of the Space Exploration Program Council (SEPC), reported on the status of certain actions taken up at the first meeting of the Council:

    • Rather than appoint a separate Senior Steering Group to resolve policy problems connected with the reliability program, SEPC itself tentatively would be used. A working committee would be appointed for each major system and would and rely on the SEPC for broad policy guidance,
    • Proposed rescheduling of the first Atlas-Agena 13 lunar mission for an earlier flight date was abandoned as impractical.

1960 May 2 - .
  • Proposed advanced manned spacecraft program presented to von Braun - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Members of STG presented the proposed advanced manned spacecraft program to Wernher von Braun and 25 of his staff at Marshall Space Flight Center. During the ensuing discussion, the merits of a completely automatic circumlunar mission were compared with those of a manually operated mission. Further discussions were scheduled.

1960 May 3 - .
  • Proposed advanced manned spacecraft program presented to Lewis Research Center - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. STG members presented the proposed advanced manned spacecraft program to the Lewis Research Center staff. Work at the Center applicable to the program included: analysis and preliminary development of the onboard propulsion system, trajectory analysis, and development of small rockets for midcourse and attitude control propulsion.

1960 June 21 - .
  • Radiation and its effect on manned space flight - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Heat Shield; CSM Source Selection. Robert O. Piland, Head of the STG Advanced Vehicle Team, and Stanley C. White of STG attended a meeting in Washington, D. C., sponsored by the NASA Office of Life Sciences Programs, to discuss radiation and its effect on manned space flight. Their research showed that it would be impracticable to shield against the inner Van Allen belt radiation but possible to shield against the outer belt with a moderate amount of protection. Additional Details: here....

1960 July 25 - .
  • Name Apollo approved for the advanced manned space flight program - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan; Goett; Silverstein. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. NASA Director of Space Flight Programs Abe Silverstein notified Harry J. Goett, Director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, that NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan had approved the name "Apollo" for the advanced manned space flight program. The program would be so designated at the forthcoming NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference.

1960 July 28 - .
  • Apollo Program Announced - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Silverstein. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Name 'Apollo' selected by Silverstein. Conference with aerospace industry outlined NASA's plans for circumlunar and lunar flight..

1960 July 28-29 - .
  • Announcement of the Apollo program to American industry - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. The first NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference was held in Washington, D.C. The purpose was to give industrial management an overall picture of the NASA program and to establish a basis for subsequent conferences to be held at various NASA Centers. The current status of NASA programs was outlined, including long-range planning, launch vehicles, structures and materials research, manned space flight, and life sciences.

    NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden announced that the advanced manned space flight program had been named "Apollo." George M. Low, NASA Chief of Manned Space Flight, stated that circumlunar flight and earth orbit missions would be carried out before 1970. This program would lead eventually to a manned lunar landing and a permanent manned space station. Additional Details: here....


1960 August 8 - .
  • Tentative program of the Goddard industry conference to be held on August 30 outlined - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goett. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. In a memorandum to Abe Silverstein, Director of NASA's Office of Space Flight Programs, Harry J. Goett, Director of Goddard Space Flight Center, outlined the tentative program of the Goddard industry conference to be held on August 30. At this conference, more details of proposed study contracts for an advanced manned spacecraft would be presented. The requirements would follow the guidelines set down by STG and presented to NASA Headquarters during April and May. Three six-month study contracts at $250,000 each would be awarded.

1960 August 30 - .
  • Industry briefing on feasibility studies for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. The Goddard Space Flight Center GSFC conducted its industry conference in Washington, D.C., presenting details of GSFC projects, current and future. The objectives of the proposed six-month feasibility contracts for an advanced manned spacecraft were announced. Additional Details: here....

1960 September 13 - .
  • STG briefing for prospective bidders for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: An STG briefing was held at Langley Field, Va., for prospective bidders on three six-month feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft as part of the Apollo program. A formal Request for Proposal was issued at the conference..

1960 September 13 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Apollo Study Bidder's Conference - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Bidder's conference for circumlunar Apollo. Specification: Saturn C-2 compatability (6,800 kg mass for circumlunar mission); 14 day flight time; three-man crew in shirt-sleeve environment..

1960 September 30 - October 3 - .
  • STG Evaluation Board for advanced manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Charles J. Donlan of STG, Chairman of the Evaluation Board which would consider contractors' proposals on feasibility studies for an advanced manned spacecraft, invited the Directors of Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flight Research Center, Lewis Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center to name representatives to the Evaluation Board. The first meeting was to be held on October 10 at Langley Field, Va.

1960 October 4 - .
  • Evaluation Boards formed to consider industry proposals for Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Goett. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Members were appointed to the Technical Assessment Panels and the Evaluation Board to consider industry proposals for Apollo spacecraft feasibility studies. Members of the Evaluation Board were: Charles J. Donlan (STG), Chairman; Maxime A. Faget (STG) ; Robert O. Piland (STG), Secretary; John H. Disher (NASA Headquarters Office of Space Flight Programs); Alvin Seiff (Ames); John V. Becker (Langley); H. H. Koelle (Marshall); Harry J. Goett (Goddard), ex officio; and Robert R. Gilruth (STG), ex officio.

1960 October 9 - .
  • Contractors' proposals for an advanced manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Contractors' proposals on feasibility studies for an advanced manned spacecraft were received by STG. Sixty-four companies expressed interest in the Apollo program, and of these 14 actually submitted proposals: The Boeing Airplane Company; Chance Vought Corporation; Convair/Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation; Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc.; Douglas Aircraft Company; General Electric Company; Goodyear Aircraft Corporation; Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; Guardite Division of American Marietta Company; Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; The Martin Company; North American Aviation, Inc.; and Republic Aviation Corporation. These 14 companies, later reduced to 12 when Cornell and Guardite withdrew, were subsequently invited to submit prime contractor proposals for the Apollo spacecraft development in 1961. The Technical Assessment Panels began evaluation of contractors' proposals on October 10.

1960 October 21 - .
  • Evaluation completed on proposals for an advanced manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. The Technical Assessment Panels presented to the Evaluation Board their findings on the contractors' proposals for feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft. On October 24, the Evaluation Board findings and recommendations were presented to the STG Director.

1960 October 25 - .
  • Convair, General Electric, and Martin selected to prepare Apollo spacecraft feasibility studies - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. NASA selected three contractors to prepare individual feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft as part of Project Apollo. The contractors were Convair/Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation, General Electric Company, and The Martin Company.

1960 October 25 - .
  • Apollo Initial Study Contracts - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: From 16 bids, Convair, General Electric, and Martin selected to conduct $250,000 study contracts. Meanwhile Space Task Group Langley undertakes its own studies, settling on Apollo CM configuration as actually built by October 1960..

1960 October 27 - November 2 - .
  • General Electric, Martin, and General Dynamics negotiate Apollo systems study contracts - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of the General Electric Company, The Martin Company, and Convair/Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation visited STG to conduct negotiations on the Apollo systems study contracts announced on October 25. The discussions clarified or identified areas not completely covered in company proposals. Contracts were awarded on November 15.

1960 November 22 - .
  • MIT navigation and guidance support for Project Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. STG held a meeting at Goddard Space Flight Center to discuss a proposed contract with MIT Instrumentation Laboratory for navigation and guidance support for Project Apollo. The proposed six-month contract for $100,000 might fund studies through the preliminary design stage but not actual hardware. Milton B. Trageser of the Instrumentation Laboratory presented a draft work statement which divided the effort into three parts: midcourse guidance, reentry guidance, and a satellite experiment feasibility study using the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory. STG decided that the Instrumentation Laboratory should submit a more detailed draft of a work statement to form the basis of a contract. In a discussion the next day, Robert G. Chilton of STG and Trageser clarified three points:

    1. The current philosophy was that an onboard computer program for a normal mission sequence would be provided and would be periodically updated by the crew. If the crew were disabled, the spacecraft would continue on the programmed flight for a normal return. No capability would exist for emergency procedures.
    2. Chilton emphasized that consideration of the reentry systems design should include all the guideline requirements for insertion monitoring by the crew, navigation for aborted missions, and, in brief, the whole design philosophy for manned flight.
    3. The long-term objective of a lunar landing mission should be kept in mind although design simplicity was of great importance.
    Chilton and Trageser agreed that the purpose of the Apollo program was the development of manned space flight system capability, not simply circumnavigation of the moon with an encapsulated man.

1960 November 29 - .
  • Briefing on the Apollo and Saturn programs - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Faget. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. A joint briefing on the Apollo and Saturn programs was held at Marshall Space Flight Center MSFC, attended by representatives of STG and MSFC. Maxime A. Faget of STG and MSFC Director Wernher von Braun agreed that a joint STG-MSFC program would be developed to accomplish a manned lunar landing. Areas of responsibility were: MSFC launch vehicle and landing on the moon; STG - lunar orbit, landing, and return to earth.

1960 December 2 - .
  • Study program on the guidance aspects of Project Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Milton B. Trageser of MIT Instrumentation Laboratory transmitted to Charles J. Donlan of STG the outline of a study program on the guidance aspects of Project Apollo. He outlined what might be covered by a formal proposal on the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation contract discussed by STG and Instrumentation Laboratory representatives on November 22.

1960 December 6-8 - .
  • First technical review of the General Electric Apollo feasibility study - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. The first technical review of the General Electric Company Apollo feasibility study was held at the contractor's Missile and Space Vehicle Department. Company representatives presented reports on the study so that STG representatives might review progress, provide General Electric with pertinent information from NASA or other sources, and discuss and advise as to the course of the study.

1960 December 7-9 - .
  • Martin presented the first technical review of its Apollo feasibility study - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Recovery; CSM Source Selection. The Martin Company presented the first technical review of its Apollo feasibility study to STG officials in Baltimore, Md. At the suggestion of STG, Martin agreed to reorient the study in several areas: putting more emphasis on lunar orbits, putting man in the system, and considering landing and recovery in the initial design of the spacecraft.

1960 December 14-15 - .
  • Frst technical review of the Convair Apollo feasibility study - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Convair/Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation held its first technical review of the Apollo feasibility study in San Diego, Calif. Brief presentations were made by contractor and subcontractor technical specialists to STG representatives. Convair/Astronautics' first approach was oriented toward the modular concept, but STG suggested that the integral spacecraft concept should be investigated.

1960 December 22 - .
  • MIT proposal for a study of a navigation and guidance system for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Summary: The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory submitted a formal proposal to NASA for a study of a navigation and guidance system for the Apollo spacecraft..

1961 January 6 - .
  • Low Committee established - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) set up by the Space Exploration Program Council was instructed to prepare a position paper for the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget presentation to Congress. The paper was to be a concise statement of NASA's lunar program for Fiscal Year 1962 and was to present the lunar mission in term of both direct ascent and rendezvous. The rendezvous program would be designed to develop a manned spacecraft capability in near space, regardless of whether such a technique would be needed for manned lunar landing. In addition to answering such questions as the reason for not eliminating one of the two mission approaches, the Group was to estimate the cost of the lunar mission and the date of its accomplishment, though not in specific terms. Although the decision to land a man on the moon had not been approved, it was to be stressed that the development of the scientific and technical capability for a manned lunar landing was a prime NASA goal, though not the only one. The first meeting of the Group was to be held on January 9.

1961 January 9 - . LV Family: Nova. Launch Vehicle: Nova 4L.
  • First meeting of the Manned Lunar Landing Task Group - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Silverstein. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. At the first meeting of the Manned Lunar Landing Task Group, Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Director of the Office of Space Flight Programs Abe Silverstein, and Director of the Office of Advanced Research Programs Ira H. Abbott outlined the purpose of the Group to the members. After a discussion of the instructions, the Group considered first the objectives of the total NASA program:

    1. the exploration of the solar system for knowledge to benefit mankind; and
    2. the development of technology to permit exploitation of space flight for scientific, military, and commercial uses.
    NASA's lunar program was a logical step toward these objectives. In current lunar program planning, three steps were projected:

    1. a manned landing on the moon with return to earth,
    2. limited manned lunar exploration, and
    3. a scientific lunar base.
    To accomplish the first step, a great increase in launch vehicle capability would be needed beyond that provided by current funding. A comparison of a three-million-pound-thrust and a six-million-pound-thrust Nova launch vehicle was made. It was estimated that a 60,000- to 80,000-pound payload to escape velocity would be needed for a manned lunar landing mission.

1961 January 10 - .
  • STG briefed on Convair Apollo feasibility study - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of STG visited Convair Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation to monitor the Apollo feasibility study contract. The meeting consisted of several individual informal discussions between the STG and Convair specialists on configurations and aerodynamics, heating, structures and materials, human factors, trajectory analysis, guidance and control, and operation implementation.

1961 January 11 - .
  • Briefing given to the Saturn Guidance Committee on the Apollo program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. J. Thomas Markley of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office reported to Associate Director of STG Charles J. Donlan that an informal briefing had been given to the Saturn Guidance Committee on the Apollo program. The Committee had been formed by Don R. Ostrander, NASA Director of the Office of Launch Vehicle Programs, to survey the broad guidance and control requirements for Saturn. The Committee was to review Marshall Space Flight Center guidance plans, review plans of mission groups who intended to use Saturn, recommend an adequate guidance system for Saturn, and prepare a report of the evaluation and results during January. Members of STG, including Robert O. Piland, Markley, and Robert G. Chilton, presented summaries of the overall Apollo program and guidance requirements for Apollo.

1961 January 11 - .
  • Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups held their first meetings - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Heat Shield; CSM Source Selection. Three of the Apollo Technical Liaison Groups (Trajectory Analysis, Heating, and Human Factors) held their first meetings at the Ames Research Center.

    After reviewing the status of the contractors' Apollo feasibility studies, the Group on Trajectory Analysis discussed studies being made at NASA Centers. An urgent requirement was identified for a standard model of the Van Allen radiation belt which could be used in all trajectory analysis related to the Apollo program,

    The Group on Heating, after consideration of NASA and contractor studies currently in progress, recommended experimental investigation of control surface heating and determination of the relative importance of the unknowns in the heating area by relating estimated "ignorance" factors to resulting weight penalties in the spacecraft. The next day, three members of this Group met for further discussions and two areas were identified for more study: radiant heat inputs and their effect on the ablation heatshield, and methods of predicting heating on control surfaces, possibly by wind tunnel tests at high Mach numbers.

    The Group on Human Factors considered contractors' studies and investigations being done at NASA Centers. In particular, the Group discussed the STG document, "Project Apollo Life Support Programs," which proposed 41 research projects. These projects were to be carried out by various organizations, including NASA, DOD, industry, and universities. Medical support experience which might be applicable to Apollo was also reviewed.


1961 January 12-13 - .
  • Martin progress on the Apollo feasibility study contract - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Recovery; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of STG visited The Martin Company in Baltimore, Md., to review the progress of the Apollo feasibility study contract. Discussions on preliminary design of the spacecraft, human factors, propulsion, power supplies, guidance and control, structures, and landing and recovery were held with members of the Martin staff.

1961 January 19 - .
  • Studies of manned lunar and interplanetary expeditions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: The Marshall Space Flight Center awarded contracts to the Douglas Aircraft Company and Chance Vought Corporation to study the launching of manned exploratory expeditions into lunar and interplanetary space from earth orbits..

1961 January 25 - .
  • Study on the feasibility of refueling a spacecraft in orbit - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. Summary: NASA announced that the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation had been awarded a contract by the Marshall Space Flight Center to study the feasibility of refueling a spacecraft in orbit..

1961 January 31-February 1 - .
  • Apollo feasibility study progress - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Members of STG met with representatives of the Convair Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation and Avco Corporation to monitor the progress of the Apollo feasibility study. Configurations and aerodynamics and Apollo heating studies were discussed. Current plans indicated that final selection of their proposed spacecraft configuration would be made by Convair Astronautics within a week. The status of the spacecraft reentry studies was described by Avco specialists.

1961 February 7 - .
  • MIT selected for a study of a navigation and guidance system for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Summary: NASA selected the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT for a six-month study of a navigation and guidance system for the Apollo spacecraft..

1961 February 10 - .
  • Air Force interest in spacecraft similar to the Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Lunex. Spacecraft: ; CSM Source Selection. At the first meeting of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, during the first session of the 87th Congress, Charles F. Ducander, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Committee staff, outlined a number of proposed subjects for study. One subject was the Air Force's interest in a three-man spacecraft similar to the Apollo spacecraft planned by NASA. A Committee staff member had been assigned to investigate this duplication of effort. On February 22, testifying before the Committee, Air Force Undersecretary Joseph V. Charyk stated that the Dyna-Soar program was a direct approach to manned military space applications. The Air Force interest in an Apollo-type spacecraft was part of the post-Dyna-Soar program, Charyk said.

1961 March 20 - .
  • STG met to plan general requirements for a proposal for advanced manned spacecraft development - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Management personnel from NASA Headquarters and STG met to plan general requirements for a proposal for advanced manned spacecraft development..

1961 March 29-30 - .
  • Convair selects M-1 design for Apollo in preference to lenticular configuration - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Heat Shield; CSM Source Selection. William W. Petynia of STG visited the Convair Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation to monitor the Apollo feasibility study contract. A selection of the M-1 in preference to the lenticular configuration had been made by Convair. May 17 was set as the date for the final Convair presentation to NASA.

1961 April 10-12 - .
  • STG / Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Human Factors discussed Apollo spacecraft specification - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Cockpit; CSM Source Selection. At STG the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Human Factors discussed the proposed outline for the spacecraft specification. Its recommendations included:

    • NASA Headquarters Offices should contact appropriate committees and other representatives of the scientific community to elicit recommendations for scientific experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory to be designed as a mission module for use with the Apollo spacecraft.
    • NASA should sponsor a conference of recognized scientists to suggest a realistic radiation dosage design limit for Apollo crews.

1961 April 10-13 - .
  • Apollo spacecraft specification work - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. In preparing background material for the Apollo spacecraft specification at STG, the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Mechanical Systems worked on environmental control systems, reaction control systems, auxiliary power supplies, landing and recovery systems, and space cabin sealing.

1961 April 10-12 - .
  • Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Instrumentation and Communications drafted guidelines - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Instrumentation and Communications met at STG and drafted an informal set of guidelines and sent them to the other Technical Liaison Groups:

    • Instrumentation requirements: all Groups should submit their requests for measurements to be made on the Apollo missions, including orbital, circumlunar, and lunar landing operations.
    • Television: since full-rate, high-quality television for the missions would add a communications load that could swamp all others and add power and bandwidth requirements not otherwise needed, other Groups should restate their justification for television requirements.
    • Temperature environment; heat normally pumped overboard might be made available for temperature control systems without excessive cost and complexity.
    • Reentry communications; continuous reentry communications were not yet feasible and could not be guaranteed. It was suggested that all Groups plan their systems as though no communications would exist at altitudes between about 250,000 feet and 90,000 feet.
    • Vehicle reentry and recovery: if tracking during reentry were desired, it would be far more economical to use a water landing site along the Atlantic Missile Range or another East Coast site.
    • Digital computer : the onboard digital computer, if it were flexible enough, would permit the examination of telemetry data for bandwidth reduction before transmission.
    • Antenna-pointing information: the spacecraft should have information relative to its orientation so that any high-gain directive antenna could be positioned toward the desired location on earth.
    The Group then discussed the preparation of material for the Apollo spacecraft specification.

1961 April 10-12 - .
  • Second meeting of the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Configurations and Aerodynamics at STG - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Parachute; CSM Source Selection. At the second meeting of the Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Configurations and Aerodynamics at STG, presentations were made on Apollo-related activities at the NASA Centers: heatshield tests (Ames Research Center); reentry configurations (Marshall Space Flight Center); reentry configurations, especially lenticular (modified) and spherically blunted, paraglider soft-landing system, dynamic stability tests, and heat transfer tests (Langley Research Center); tumbling entries in planetary atmospheres (Mars and Venus) (Jet Propulsion Laboratory); air launch technique for Dyna-Soar (Flight Research Center); and steerable parachute system and reentry spacecraft configuration (STG). Work began on the background material for the Apollo spacecraft specification.

1961 April 10-12 - .
  • Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Trajectory Analysis commented on Apollo specification - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Trajectory Analysis met at STG and began preparing material for the Apollo spacecraft specification. It recommended:

    • STG should take the initiative with NASA Headquarters in delegating responsibility for setting up and updating a uniform model of astronomical constants.
    • The name of the Group should be changed to Mission Analysis to help clarify its purpose.
    • A panel should be set up to determine the scientific experiments which could be done on board, or in conjunction with the orbiting laboratory, so that equipment, weight, volumes, laboratory characteristics, etc., might be specified

1961 April 10-12 - .
  • Preparation of material for the Apollo spacecraft specification discussed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; CSM Structural. The Apollo Technical Liaison Group for Structures and Materials discussed at STG the preparation of material for the Apollo spacecraft specification. It decided that most of the items proposed for its study could not be specified at that time and also that many of the items did not fall within the structures and materials area. A number of general areas of concern were added to the work plan: heat protection, meteoroid protection, radiation effects, and vibration and acoustics.

1961 April 25 - .
  • Contract for the liquid-hydrogen liquid-oxygen fuel cell - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. A conference was held at Lewis Research Center between STG and Lewis representatives to discuss the research and development contract for the liquid-hydrogen liquid-oxygen fuel cell as the primary spacecraft electrical power source. Lewis had been provided funds approximately $300,000 by NASA Headquarters to negotiate a contract with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation for the development of a fuel cell for the Apollo spacecraft. STG and Lewis representatives agreed that the research and development should be directed toward the liquid-hydrogen - liquid-oxygen fuel cell. Guidelines were provided by STG:

    • Power output requirement for the Apollo spacecraft was estimated at two to three kilowatts.
    • Nominal output voltage should be about 27.5 volts.
    • Regulation should be within +/- 10 percent of nominal output voltage.
    • The fuel cell should be capable of sustained operation at reduced output (10 percent of rated capacity, if possible).
    • The fuel cell and associated system should be capable of operation in a space environment.
    Lewis planned to request a pilot model of the fuel cell of about 250 watts capacity, capable of unattended operation. Contract negotiations were expected to be completed by May 2 and the model delivered within 12 months of the contract award.

1961 May 5 - .
  • First draft of the Apollo spacecraft specification - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. STG completed the first draft of "Project Apollo, Phase A, General Requirements for a Proposal for a Manned Space Vehicle and System" (Statement of Work), an early step toward the spacecraft specification. A circumlunar mission was the basis for planning.

1961 May 7 - .
  • Initial Study Contracts - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. In initial study contracts, Martin proposed vehicle similar to the Apollo configuration that would eventually fly and closest to STG concepts. GE proposed design that would lead directly to Soyuz. Convair proposed a lifting body concept. All bidders were influenced by STG mid-term review that complained that they were not paying enough attention to conical blunt-body CM as envisioned by STG.

1961 May 15 - .
  • Final study contract reports. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. The final reports on the feasibility study contracts for the advanced manned spacecraft were submitted to STG at Langley Field, Va., by the General Electric Company, Convair Astronautics Division of General Dynamics Corporation, and The Martin Company. These studies had begun in November 1960.

1961 May 22 - .
  • Second draft of the Apollo spacecraft specification - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: The second draft of a Statement of Work for the development of an advanced manned spacecraft was completed, incorporating results from NASA in-house and contractor feasibility studies..

1961 June 16 - .
  • Fleming Committee Report: lunar mission could be accomplished within the decade - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Seamans. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. The Fleming Committee, which had been appointed on May 2, submitted its report to NASA associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., on the feasibility of a manned lunar landing program. The Committee concluded that the lunar mission could be accomplished within the decade. Chief pacing items were the first stage of the launch vehicle and the facilities for testing and launching the booster. It also concluded that information on solar flare radiation and lunar surface characteristics should be obtained as soon as possible, since these factors would influence spacecraft design. Special mention was made of the need for a strong management organization.

1961 June - .
  • Project Apollo feasibility studies assessed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. STG completed a detailed assessment of the results of the Project Apollo feasibility studies submitted by the three study contractors: the General Electric Company, Convair/Astronautics Division of the General Dynamics Corporation, and The Martin Company. (Their findings were reflected in the Statement of Work sent to prospective bidders on the spacecraft contract on July 28.)

1961 July 18 - .
  • NASA-Industry Apollo Technical Conference - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. 1,000 persons from 300 potential Project Apollo contractors and government agencies attended the conference. STG pushed the conical CM shape, in defiance of Gilruth's preference for the competitive blunt body/lifting body designs. Scientists from NASA, the General Electric Company, The Martin Company, and General Dynamics/Astronautics presented the results of studies on Apollo requirements. Within the next four to six weeks NASA was expected to draw up the final details and specifications for the Apollo spacecraft.

1961 July 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • NASA invitation to bids for Apollo prime contract - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Original Specification; CSM Source Selection. NASA invited 12 companies to submit prime contractor proposals for the Apollo spacecraft by October 9: The Boeing Airplane Company, Chance Vought Corporation, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Dynamics/Convair, the General Electric Company, Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, The Martin Company, North American Aviation, Inc., and Republic Aviation Corporation. Additional Details: here....

1961 July 28 - .
  • Source Evaluation Board to evaluate contractors' proposals for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Chamberlin. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., appointed members to the Source Evaluation Board to evaluate contractors' proposals for the Apollo spacecraft. Walter C. Williams of STG served as Chairman, and members included Robert O. Piland, Wesley L. Hjornevik, Maxime A. Faget, James A. Chamberlin, Charles W. Mathews, and Dave W. Lang, all of STG; George M. Low, Brooks C. Preacher, and James T. Koppenhaver (nonvoting member) from NASA Headquarters; and Oswald H. Lange from Marshall Space Flight Center. On November 2, Faget became the Chairman, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht was added as a member, and Williams was relieved from his assignment.

1961 July - .
  • Polaris program experience studied for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Ralph Ragan of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, former director of the Polaris guidance and navigation program, in cooperation with Milton B. Trageser of the Laboratory and with Robert O. Piland, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., and Robert G. Chilton, all of NASA, had completed a study of what had been done on the Polaris program in concept and design of a guidance and navigation system and the documentation necessary for putting such a system into production on an extremely tight schedule. Using this study, the group worked out a rough schedule for a similar program on Apollo.

1961 July-September - .
  • Work statements for the Apollo guidance and navigation system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Summary: The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and NASA completed the work statements for the Laboratory's program on the Apollo guidance and navigation system and the request for quotation for industrial support was prepared..

1961 August 7 - .
  • Additional Panels evaluate proposals for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: STG appointed members to the Technical Subcommittee and to the Technical Assessment Panels for evaluation of industry proposals for the development of the Apollo spacecraft..

1961 August 9 - .
  • First Apollo development contract - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. NASA selected MIT's Instrumentation Laboratory to develop the guidance-navigation system for Project Apollo spacecraft. This first major Apollo contract was required since guidance-navigation system is basic to overall Apollo mission. The Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT, a nonprofit organization headed by C. Stark Draper, has been involved in a variety of guidance and navigation systems developments for 20 years. This first major Apollo contract had a long lead-time, was basic to the overall Apollo mission, and would be directed by STG.

1961 August 14 - .
  • Atmospheric requirement for the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. STG requested that a program be undertaken by the U.S. Navy Air Crew Equipment Laboratory, Philadelphia, Penna., to validate the atmospheric composition requirement for the Apollo spacecraft. On November 7, the original experimental design was altered by the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). The new objectives were:

    • Establish the required preoxygenation time for a rapid decompression (80 seconds) from sea level to 35,000 feet.
    • Discover the time needed for equilibrium (partial denitrogenation) at the proposed cabin atmosphere for protection in case of rapid decompression to 35,000 feet.
    • Investigate the potential hazard associated with an early mission decompression - i.e., before the equilibrium time was reached, preceded by the determined preoxygenation period.
    • Conduct any additional tests suggested by the results of the foregoing experiments.

1961 August 14-15 - .
  • Apollo pre-proposal bidders' briefing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM Source Selection. STG held a pre-proposal briefing at Langley Field, Va., to answer bidders' questions pertaining to the Request for Proposal for the development of the Apollo spacecraft. 14 companies (Boeing, Vought, Douglas, GD, Goodyear, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin, McDonnell, Radio Corp, Republic, STL) attended. The winning bidder would receive contract for CSM (but not LM, if any) and integrate spacecraft with launch vehicle.

1961 August 16 - .
  • STG Panels formed for evaluation of proposals for the development of the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: STG appointed members to the Business Subcommittee and to the Business Assessment Panels for evaluation of industry proposals for the development of the Apollo spacecraft..

1961 September 12-13 - .
  • Progress review of the Apollo navigation and guidance system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of STG and NASA Headquarters visited the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT to discuss the contract awarded to the Laboratory on August 9 and progress in the design and development of the Apollo spacecraft navigation and guidance system. They mutually decided that a draft of the final contract should be completed for review at Instrumentation Laboratory by October 2 and the contract resolved by October 9. Revisions were to be made in the Statement of Work to define more clearly details of the contract. Milton B. Trageser of the Laboratory, in the first month's technical progress report, gave a brief description of the first approach to the navigation and guidance equipment and the arrangement of the equipment within the spacecraft. He also presented the phases of the lunar flight and the navigation and guidance functions or tasks to be performed. Other matters discussed were a space sextant and making visual observations of landmarks through cloud cover.

1961 September - .
  • Concepts of Apollo navigation equipment described - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Richard H. Battin published MIT Instrumentation Laboratory Report R-341, "A Statistical Optimizing Navigation Procedure for Space Flight," describing the concepts by which Apollo navigation equipment could make accurate computations of position and velocity with an onboard computer of reasonable size.

1961 October 4 - .
  • Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation progress - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of STG visited the Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT for the second monthly progress report meeting on the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation contract. A number of technical topics were presented by Laboratory speakers: space sextant visibility and geometry problems, gear train analysis, vacuum environmental approach, midcourse guidance theory, inertial measurement unit, and gyro. The organization of the Apollo effort at the Laboratory was also discussed. A preliminary estimate of the cost for both Laboratory and industrial support for the Apollo navigation and guidance system was presented: $158.4 million through Fiscal Year 1966.

1961 October 9 - .
  • Bids received for Apollo prime contractor - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Five Bidding Teams: GD/Avco; GE/Douglas/Grumman/STL; McDonnell/Lockheed/Hughes/Vought; Martin/North American.

1961 October 11 - .
  • Presentations by industrial teams on the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Officials of STG heard oral reports from representatives of five industrial teams bidding on the contract for the Apollo spacecraft: General Dynamics/Astronautics in conjunction with the Avco Corporation; General Electric Company, Missile and Space Vehicle Department, in conjunction with Douglas Aircraft Company, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, and Space Technology Laboratories, Inc.; McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in conjunction with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Company, and Chance Vought Corporation of Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc.; The Martin Company; and North American Aviation, Inc. Additional Details: here....

1961 October 31 - .
  • New information on the Apollo spacecraft roll inertia, pitch and yaw inertia, and attitude jets - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Robert G. Chilton of STG gave the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory new information based on NASA in- house studies on the Apollo spacecraft roll inertia, pitch and yaw inertia, and attitude jets.

    David G. Hoag, MIT, personal notes, October 1961..


1961 November 6 - .
  • An Apollo Egress Working Group was formed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Recovery; CSM Source Selection. An Apollo Egress Working Group, consisting of personnel from Marshall Space Flight Center, Launch Operations Directorate, and Atlantic Missile Range, was formed on November 2. Meetings on that date and on November 6 resulted in publication of a seven-page document, "Apollo Egress Criteria." The Group established ground rules, operations and control procedures criteria, and space vehicle design criteria and provided requirements for implementation of emergency egress system.

1961 November 7-9 - .
  • MIT contract for the Apollo navigation and guidance system discussed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance; CSM Source Selection. Representatives of MSC and NASA Headquarters visited the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory to discuss clauses in the contract for the Apollo navigation and guidance system, technical questions proposed by MSC, and work in progress. Topics discussed included the trajectories for the SA-7 and SA-8 flights and the estimated propellant requirements for guidance attitude maneuvers and velocity changes for the lunar landing mission. Presentations were made on the following subjects by members of the Laboratory staff: the spacecraft gyro, Apollo guidance computer logic design, computer displays and interfaces, guidance computer programming, horizon sensor experiments, and reentry guidance.

1961 November 24 - .
  • Bid Evaluation for Prime Contractor Completed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Summary: Bid ratings: Martin 6.9; GD 6.6; North American 6.6; GE 6.4; McDonnell 6.4.

1961 November 27 - .
  • Apollo spacecraft Statement of Work expanded - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Original Specification; CSM Source Selection. Summary: The original Apollo spacecraft Statement of Work of July 28 had been substantially expanded, including a single-engine service module propulsion system using Earth-storable, hypergolic propellants.. Additional Details: here....

1961 November 28 - .
  • North American awarded Apollo prime contract - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Webb. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM Source Selection. Despite an announcement at Martin on 27 November that they had won the Apollo program, the decision was reversed at the highest levels of the US government. NASA announced instead that the Space and Information Systems Division of North American Aviation, Inc., had been selected to design and build the Apollo spacecraft. The official line: 'the decision by NASA Administrator James E. Webb followed a comprehensive evaluation of five industry proposals by nearly 200 scientists and engineers representing both NASA and DOD. Webb had received the Source Evaluation Board findings on November 24. Although technical evaluations were very close, NAA had been selected on the basis of experience, technical competence, and cost'. NAA would be responsible for the design and development of the command module and service module. NASA expected that a separate contract for the lunar landing system would be awarded within the next six months. The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory had previously been assigned the development of the Apollo spacecraft guidance and navigation system. Both the NAA and MIT contracts would be under the direction of MSC.

1967 May 11 - .
  • Selection of North American as Apollo prime contractor questioned by Congress - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Webb. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. NASA Administrator James E. Webb issued a statement on selection of the Apollo spacecraft contractor: "In the 1961 NASA decision to negotiate with North American Aviation for the Apollo command and service modules, there were no better qualified experts in or out of NASA on whom I could rely than Dr. Robert Gilruth, Dr. Robert C. Seamans, and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden. These three were unanimous in their judgment that of the five companies submitting proposals, and of the two companies that were rated highest by the Source Evaluation Board, North American Aviation offered the greatest experience in developing high-performance manned flight systems and the lowest cost. Additional Details: here....

1967 June 9 - .
  • Selection of North American as Apollo prime contractor documented - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Seamans. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Source Selection. Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Deputy Administrator of NASA, prepared a memorandum to the file concerning the selection of North American Aviation as the CSM prime contractor. The memorandum, a seven-page document, chronologically reviewed the steps that led to the selection of North American and followed by about a month the statement of NASA Administrator James E. Webb in response to queries from members of the Congress.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use