Encyclopedia Astronautica
1965.10.11 - Apollo AAP objectives described.


In a paper presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' fourth manned space flight meeting in St. Louis, AAP Director William B. Taylor described the focus and importance of the AAP. In contrast to Apollo, with its clear objective of lauding on the Moon, AAP's objectives were much less obvious. Under AAP, Taylor said, NASA planned to exploit the capabilities being developed for Apollo as a technological bridge to more extensive manned space flight missions of the 1970s and 1980s. AAP was not an end in itself, but rather a beginning to build flight experience, technology, and scientific data.

Internal studies within NASA had identified the practical limits of the capabilities of Saturn/Apollo systems for extended space missions without fundamental modification of spacecraft and launch vehicles: (1) Earth-orbital missions of up to 45 days and at inclinations of 0 to 90 degrees and altitudes of from 185 km up to synchronous orbits (orbital resupply could extend the duration of such missions to three months or more); (2) lunar orbital missions of up to 28 days (including lunar polar orbits) at altitudes as low as 45 to 55 km; and (3) lunar surface missions of up to 14 days at ants point on the lunar surface. Through these space activities, stated Taylor, AAP would lay the foundation for later, major ventures in space and thus would contribute significantly to the national goal of preeminence in space.

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