Encyclopedia Astronautica
1959.11.02 - Planning of advanced spacecraft systems begun

At an STG meeting, it was decided to begin planning of advanced spacecraft systems. Three primary assignments were made:
  1. The preliminary design of a multi-man (probably three-man) capsule for a circumlunar mission, with particular attention to the use of the capsule as a temporary space laboratory, lunar landing cabin, and deep-space probe;
  2. Mission analysis studies to establish exit and reentry corridors, weights, and propulsion requirements;
  3. Test program planning to decide on the number and purpose of launches.

Participants in the meeting were Director Robert R. Gilruth, Paul E. Purser, Charles J. Donlan, Maxime A. Faget, Robert O. Piland, H. Kurt Strass, Charles W. Mathews, John D. Hodge, James A. Chamberlin, and Caldwell C. Johnson. A panel composed of Piland, Strass, Hodge, and Johnson was appointed to carry out the assignments. The ground rules given to the panel, which was responsible to the Director's office, were:

- Use personnel necessary to accomplish the work, but do not slow down Mercury;

- As many as 30 persons (10 percent of the STG staff) might possibly be used in the future.

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