Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.10.02 - Operational philosophy for the Apollo 7 mission


George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, wrote MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth to reemphasize the operational philosophy for the Apollo 7 mission.

That flight, Mueller said, was the first in the manned program - including Mercury and Gemini programs - to employ fully the "open ended" mission concept. Rather than the Gemini process, in which a series of missions verified the spacecraft design for 3, 6, and ultimately 14 days, with Apollo 7 the first flight was to verify the CSM, evaluating the vehicle via telemetry through each successive mission step. Also, to ensure maximum return from the mission, primary and secondary objectives would be completed as early in the flight as possible (approximately two-thirds of those objectives to be completed by the end of the first day and more than 90 percent by end of the second day). Mueller emphasized the importance of the agency's emphasizing this open-ended mission concept during public announcements of Apollo 7's flight plan and objectives.

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