Encyclopedia Astronautica
1969.06.03 - Proposed landing sites for Apollo 12


In a report to the ASPO Manager, the Chief of MSC's Systems Engineering Division described Apollo Site Selection Board (ASSB) action on proposed landing sites for the Apollo 12 mission.

The MSC recommendation was to land at either the Surveyor III or Surveyor I site if Apollo 11 landed in either Apollo site 2 or site 3. Earlier, on January 10, Benjamin Milwitzky, NASA Hq., had said, "There appears to be much merit in landing close to one or more Surveyors." He pointed out that "reexamination of disturbances in the lunar surface created by Surveyor landings, the study of unique lunar features seen by Surveyors, and the return to Earth of objects identified by Surveyors as scientifically important can greatly enhance the scientific and technological value of subsequent Apollo landings. . . ."

MSC informed NASA Hq. on June 1 2 that it had analyzed landing terrain in Hipparchus and Fra Mauro and concluded that these areas were too rough to be given consideration for the Apollo 12 mission. At the same time, MSC recommended that ASSB reconsider the Surveyor III site as a prospective site for that mission. On June 16, Apollo Program Director Sam C. Phillips wrote that Fra Mauro and Hipparchus would not be considered as landing sites for the Apollo 12 mission and that he would entertain consideration of the Surveyor III site following analysis of its scientific desirability in a meeting of the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning at MSC on June 17 and subsequent recommendations by MSC and NASA Hq. OMSF staff members.

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