Encyclopedia Astronautica
1959.06.08 - Project Horizon Phase I report


The Project Horizon Phase I report was completed. In it, a U.S. manned landing on the moon in 1965 was proposed, to be followed in 1966 by an operational lunar outpost. Expenditures would average $667 million a year from Fiscal Year 1960 through Fiscal Year 1968. The guiding philosophy of the report was one of "enlightened conservatism of technical approach." On July 28 the report was presented to the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff.

In discussion following the presentations, several conclusions emerged:

- The earliest possible U.S, manned lunar outpost was vital to American interests.
- Project Horizon was the earliest feasible means by which the United States could achieve that objective.
- The extensive and in many cases exclusive Army capabilities in this field should be used in the nation's service, regardless of who would have the responsibility for the lunar outpost.
- The general reception accorded U.S. Army proposals of space operations had not been uniformly enthusiastic.
- The source of the proposal should not be allowed to prejudice the reception of the proposal.

For these reasons, it was decided that the report should be recast to eliminate any U.S. Army organization to manage the lunar operation, at the same time deleting all possible military implications and inferences and emphasizing the scientific and inherently peaceful intent of the United States in its space operations. The report was accordingly revised, leaving the time frame intact, and on September 4 was submitted to the Secretary of the Army. It was later forwarded to the Secretary of Defense and (after the transfer of the von Braun team to NASA) to the NASA Administrator.

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