Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.05.17 - Concern over escalation of Apollo E-mission objectives


Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, expressed concern to ASPO Manager George M. Low over the escalation of E-mission objectives; the flight now loomed as an extremely complex and ambitious mission. The probability of accomplishing all the objectives set forth for the mission, said Kraft, was very low. He did not propose changing the mission plan, however. "If we are fortunate," he said, "then certainly the quickest way to the moon will be achieved." Kraft did suggest caution in setting mission priorities and in "apply(ing) adjectives to the objectives."

Specifically, he advised a realistic allowance of delta V limits at various points in the rendezvous portion of the mission, to ensure safe termination of the exercise if required. Also, he saw little value in a fire-in-the-hole burn of the ascent engine at stage separation of the LM. He believed that ground tests were adequate to provide answers on pressure and temperature rises on the ascent stage during launch from the lunar surface. The situation Kraft said was indicative of the engineer's desire to test fully all systems in flight in both normal and backup modes. However, reliance must be placed largely on the wealth of ground testing and analysis carried on to date in the Apollo program.

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