Encyclopedia Astronautica
1967.04.28 - Apollo spacecraft delivery dates

Spacecraft delivery date and ground rule discussions were summarized by MSC ASPO Manager George M. Low in a letter to North American Aviation's Apollo Program Manager Dale D. Myers.

Low referred to an April 23 letter from Myers and April 25 talks at Downey, Calif.

Basic was "an MSC ground rule that the first manned flight should be an open-ended mission; and that 2TV-1 (a test spacecraft) would be a constraint on that mission. I also stated that I would like to achieve a delivery date for Spacecraft 101 that is no later than November, 1967, and that all constraining tests on 2TV-1 should be completed one month before the flight of 101. I further stated that the proposed delivery dates for Spacecraft 103 and subsequent spacecraft were not good enough and that we should strive to achieve earlier dates.

"In summary, we did not agree with the basic ground rules stated in your April 23, 1967, letter. These ground rules essentially implied that 101 was to be limited to a six-orbit mission, and to be delivered as early as possible at the expense of all other spacecraft. Instead, we stated that it is NASA's position to achieve a balanced program involving the earliest possible deliveries when all spacecraft are considered and not just the first one."

A further exchange of letters May 8 and 16 reached agreement on target delivery dates and ground rules. Testing of thermal vacuum test vehicle 2TV-1 would be as originally planned except that extravehicular activities would not be included in tests constraining CSM 101. Delivery date was to be October 14. CSM 101 was to be delivered December 8 and would be launched on a Saturn IB to verify system performance. The mission was to be open-ended, up to 10 days, with no LM and no docking or EVA provisions included. New delivery date for CSM 103 was March 23, 1968.

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