Encyclopedia Astronautica
1963.11.24 - North American final report on extended missions for the Apollo spacecraft.


North American issued the final report of its study for MSC on extended missions for the Apollo spacecraft. In stressing the supreme importance of man's role in the exploration of space-and the uncertainties surrounding the effects of prolonged exposure to the zero-gravity environment of space-the company suggested that an Earth-orbital laboratory would be an ideal vehicle for such long-term experimental evaluation, with missions exceeding a year's duration.

The more immediate approach to meeting the demands for such missions was through modification of existing vehicle systems rather than the development of completely new space hardware. In the remainder of the report, the company gave detailed descriptions of how Apollo systems might be modified to meet the requirements of extended missions, ranging from the basic command and service module to a separate laboratory and habitable module with self-contained systems and life-support equipment. All such basic concepts were technically sound and could satisfy mission objectives with minimum costs and development time.

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