A study report was issued by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory on guidance and control design for a variety of space missions. This report, approved by C. Stark Draper, Director of the Laboratory, showed that a vehicle, manned or unmanned, could have significant onboard navigation and guidance capability.
The NAA spacecraft Statement of Work was revised to include the requirements for the lunar excursion module (LEM) as well as other modifications. The LEM requirements were identical with those given in the LEM Development Statement of Work of July 24.
The command module (CM) would now be required to provide the crew with a one-day habitable environment and a survival environment for one week after touching down on land or water. In case of a landing at sea, the CM should be able to recover from any attitude and float upright with egress hatches free of water. Additional Details: here....
At a news conference in Cleveland, Ohio, during the 10-day Space Science Fair there, NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden stated that inflight practice at orbital maneuvering was essential for lunar missions. He believed that landings would follow reconnaissance of the moon by circumlunar and near- lunar-surface flights.
The MSC Flight Operations Division's Mission Analysis Branch analyzed three operational procedures for the first phase of descent from lunar orbit:
(Apocynthion and pericynthion are the high and low points, respectively, of an object in orbit around the moon (as, for example, a spacecraft sent from earth). Apolune and perilune also refer to these orbital parameters, but these latter two words apply specifically to an object launched from the moon itself.)
Two aerospace technologists at MSC, James A. Ferrando and Edgar C. Lineberry, Jr., analyzed orbital constraints on the CSM imposed by the abort capability of the LEM during the descent and hover phases of a lunar mission. Their study concerned the feasibility of rendezvous should an emergency demand an immediate return to the CSM.
Ferrando and Lineberry found that, once abort factors are considered, there exist "very few" orbits that are acceptable from which to begin the descent. They reported that the most advantageous orbit for the CSM would be a 147-kilometer (80-nautical-mile) circular one.
MSC sent MIT and Grumman radar configuration requirements for the LEM. The descent equipment would be a three-beam doppler radar with a two-position antenna. Operating independently of the primary guidance and navigation system, it would determine altitude, rate of descent, and horizontal velocity from 7,000 meters (20,000 feet) above the lunar surface. The LEM rendezvous radar, a gimbaled antenna with a two-axis freedom of movement, and the rendezvous transponder mounted on the antenna would provide tracking data, thus aiding the LEM to intercept the orbiting CM. The SM would be equipped with an identical rendezvous radar and transponder.
MSC met with those contractors participating in the development of the LEM guidance and navigation system. Statements of Work for the LEM design concept were agreed upon. (Technical directives covering most of the work had been received earlier by the contractors.)
NASA announced its concurrence in Grumman's selection of RCA as subcontractor for the LEM electronics subsystems and for engineering support. Under the $40 million contract, RCA was responsible for five LEM subsystem areas: systems engineering support, communications, radar, inflight testing, and ground support. RCA would also fabricate electronic components of the LEM stabilization and control system. (Engineers and scientists from RCA had been working at Grumman on specific projects since February.)
MIT and Grumman representatives discussed installing the inertial measurement unit and the optical telescope in the LEM. Of several possible locations, the top centerline of the cabin seemed most promising. Grumman agreed to provide a preliminary structural arrangement of the guidance components so that MIT could study problems of installation and integration.
LTV announced the results of tests performed by astronauts in the Manned Space Flight Mission Simulator in Dallas, Tex. These indicated that, should the primary guidance and navigation system fail, LEM pilots could rendezvous with the CM by using a circular slide rule to process LEM radar data.
NASA Headquarters announced the selection of five organizations for contract negotiations totaling $60 million for the development, fabrication, and testing of LEM guidance and navigation equipment: (1) MIT, overall direction; (2) Raytheon, LEM guidance computer; (3) AC Spark Plug, inertial measurement unit, gyroscopes, navigation base, power and servo assembly, coupling display unit, and assembly and testing of the complete guidance and navigation system; (4) Kollsman Instrument Corporation, scanning telescope, sextant, and map and data viewer; and (5) Sperry Gyroscope Company, accelerometers. (All five had responsibility for similar equipment for the CSM as well.)
Grumman issued a go-ahead to RCA to develop the LEM radar. Negotiations on the $23.461 million cost- plus-fixed-fee contract were completed on December 10. Areas yet to be negotiated between the two companies were LEM communications, inflight test, ground support, and parts of the stabilization and control systems.
ASPO directed Grumman to provide an abort guidance system (AGS) in the LEM using an inertial reference system attached to the structure of the vehicle. Should the spacecraft's navigation and guidance system fail, the crew could use the AGS to effect an abort. Such a device eliminated the need for redundancy in the primary guidance system (and proved to be a lighter and simpler arrangement).
RCA presented results of a weight and power tradeoff study on the LEM's radar systems, which were over Grumman's specification in varying amounts from 100 to 300 percent. RCA proposed that the accuracy requirements be relaxed to cope with this problem. MSC requested Grumman, on the basis of this report, to estimate a slippage in the schedule and the effects of additional weight and power.
A joint Grumman, RCA, Ryan Aeronautical Company, ASPO, and Flight Crew Support Division (FCSD) meeting was held at Bethpage to review capability of the LEM landing radar to meet FCSD's requirements for ascent and for orbit circularization. A preliminary (unfunded) Ryan study (requested by ASPO earlier in the month) indicated some doubt that those accuracy requirements could be met. RCA advised that it would be possible to make these measurements with the rendezvous radar, if necessary. A large weight penalty, about 38 to 56 kilograms (84 to 124 pounds), would be incurred if the landing radar were moved from the descent to the ascent stage to become part of the abort guidance system. Adding this weight to the ascent stage would have to be justified either by improved abort performance or added crew safety. MSC authorized RCA and Ryan to study this problem at greater length. In the meantime, ASPO and FCSD would analyze weights, radar accuracies, and abort guidance performance capability.
The MSC Operations Planning Division (OPD) reviewed recent revisions by OMSF to Apollo's communications requirements:
Representatives from Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, North American Aviation, Inc., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Instrumentation Laboratory, three of the Manned Spacecraft Center's (MSC) principal contractors, met with radar and guidance and navigation experts from Houston and Cape Kennedy. They formulated a detailed plan for testing and checkout of the lunar excursion module (LEM) rendezvous and landing radar systems both at the factory and at the launch site.
Radio Corporation of America's (RCA) Aerospace Systems Division received a 9 million contract from Grumman for the LEM attitude translation control assembly (ATCA). The ATCA, a device to maintain the spacecraft's attitude, would fire the reaction control system motors in response to signals from the primary guidance system.
MSC notified Grumman of several additional LEM guidance and navigation ground rules that were applicable to the coasting phase of the mission. During this portion of the flight, the LEM abort guidance system must be capable of giving attitude information and of measuring velocity changes. Navigational data required to take the LEM out of the coasting phase and to put it on an intercept course with the CSM would be provided by the CSM's rendezvous radar and its guidance and navigation system, and through the Manned Space Flight Network back on earth.
Remote operation of the CSM's rendezvous radar transponder and its stabilization and control system (SCS) was not necessary, ASPO told North American. Should the CSM pilot be incapacitated, it was assumed that he could perform several tasks before becoming totally disabled, including turning on the transponder and the SCS. No maneuvers by the CSM would be required during this period. However, the vehicle would have to be stabilized during LEM ascent, rendezvous, and docking.
MSC's Systems Engineering Division reported on the consequences of eliminating the command and service module (CSM) rendezvous radar:
In a letter on August 25, 1964, the LEM Project Office had requested Grumman to define the means by which CSM stabilization and rendezvous radar transponder operation could be provided remotely in the event the CSM crewman was disabled.
In another letter on October 16, the Project Office notified Grumman that no requirement existed for remote operation of either the rendezvous radar transponder or the stabilization and control system. The letter added, however, that the possibility of an incapacitated CSM astronaut must be considered and that for design purposes Grumman should assume that the astronaut would perform certain functions prior to becoming completely disabled. These functions could include turning on the transponder and the SCS. No CSM maneuvers would be required during the period in which the CSM astronaut was disabled but the CSM must remain stabilized during LEM ascent coast and rendezvous and docking phases.
MSC and Grumman reviewed the ground test program for the LEM guidance and navigation subsystem (including radar). All major milestones for hardware qualification would be met by the revised test logic, and both LEM and CSM radar were expected to be delivered on time. The major problem area was permissible deviations from fully qualified parts for pre-production equipment. Since this was apparently true for all LEM electronics equipment, it was recommended that an overall plan be approved by ASPO.
Grumman selected the Leach Corporation to supply data storage electronics assemblies for the LEM. Conclusion of contract negotiations was anticipated about February 1, 1965. The resident Apollo office at Grumman gave its approval to the selection, with only two conditions:
MSC directed Grummann to provide a LEM abort guidance section (AGS) having
Grumman ordered its major subcontractors supplying electronic equipment for the LEM to implement revised test programs and hardware schedules (in line with the new design approach). A similar directive went to RCA to modify the attitude and translation and the descent engine control assemblies as required for the new concept of an integrated assembly for guidance, navigation, and control of the spacecraft.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea informed Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips that he planned to conduct a program review with MIT during January 1965, similar to the North American, AC Spark Plug, and Grumman program reviews, but with certain differences, since MIT was a non- profit organization and the scope of its work much narrower than the prime hardware contractors. Shea pointed out that 1965 would be the most critical year of the MIT effort; during that year all drawings for the Block I, Block II, and LEM guidance navigation and control programs should be released. Consequently, the program review at MIT would examine only that one year.
Shea said he would meet with C. Stark Draper on January 14 and discuss with him "where we stand with respect to the MIT work of the past and our concerns for the future." During the week of January 18, MSC would send 14 teams to MIT to meet with their counterparts, and the following week a review board, chaired by R. C. Duncan of MSC, would go over the work of the individual MIT-NASA teams in depth and agree upon the program for 1965. The 14 teams would be: Reliability and Quality Assurance, Field Operations, Documentation and Configuration Management, Systems Assembly and Test, Guidance and Mission Analysis, Simulation, Ground Support Equipment, Optics, Inertial Systems and Sensors, Computer, Radar, Training; Terms, Conditions, Rates and Factors; and Statement of Work Integration.
Shea felt that the review would give MIT a clearer understanding of their part in the guidance, navigation, and control system development. He recommended that Phillips discuss the general nature of the program review with George E. Mueller and Robert C. Seamans, Jr., so they would both understand ASPO's objectives.
Phillips forwarded the letter to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller along with his comments on the proposal. He said, "I think it is a good plan and that the results will be beneficial to the program. I urge your support should it become necessary."
The first meeting of the Configuration Control Board was held at MSC with ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea as chairman. Approval was given to delete 10 Apollo guidance and navigation systems; and W. F. Rector III was directed to look into the use of computers and prototype units for electronic systems integration. In other actions, a decision on changes to CSM specifications to provide for the heavyweight LEM (a proposed increase from 12,705 to 14,515 kg (28,000 to 32,000 lbs)) was deferred until the next meeting; and Owen Maynard was directed to identify all Block II changes that must be implemented regardless of impact and have them ready for Board action by February 18, 1965.
MSC was studying several approaches to the problems of automatic thermal control and automatic reacquisition of the earth by the S-band high-gain antenna while the CSM circled the moon. (The Block II spacecraft, MSC had stated, must have the ability to perform these functions wholly on its own. During an extended stay of the LEM on the lunar surface, when the CSM pilot needed uninterrupted sleep periods, antenna reacquisition was absolutely essential for telemetering data back to earth. And although the requirements for passive thermal control were not yet well defined, the spacecraft's attitude must likewise be automatically controlled.)
Robert C. Duncan, chief of the MSC Guidance and Control Division, presented his section's recommendations for solving these problems, which ultimately won ASPO's concurrence. Precise spacecraft body rates, Duncan said, should be maintained by the stabilization and control system. The position of the S-band antenna should be telemetered to the ground, where the angle required for reacquisition would be computed. The antenna would then be repositioned by commands sent through the updata link.
MSC announced a realignment of specialty areas for the 13 astronauts not assigned to forthcoming Gemini missions (GT 3 through 5) or to strictly administrative positions:
Charles A. Bassett - operations handbooks, training, and simulators
Alan L. Bean - recovery systems
Michael Collins - pressure suits and extravehicular activity
David R. Scott - mission planning and guidance and navigation
Clifton C. Williams - range operations, deep space instrumentation, and crew safety.
Donn F. Eisele - CSM and LEM
William A. Anders - environmental control system and radiation and thermal systems
Eugene A. Cernan - boosters, spacecraft propulsion, and the Agena stage
Roger B. Chaffee - communications, flight controls, and docking
R. Walter Cunningham - electrical and sequential systems and non-flight experiments
Russell L. Schweickart - in-flight experiments and future programs.
MSC directed North American to delete the rendezvous radar from Block II CSMs. On those spacecraft North American instead would install LEM rendezvous radar transponders. Grumman, in turn, was ordered to halt its work on the CSM rendezvous radar (both in-house and at RCA) as well as all support efforts. At the same time, however, the company was directed to incorporate a tracking light on the LEM (compatible with the CSM telescope sextant) and to modify the spacecraft's VHF equipment to permit range extraction in the CSM.
Initial flights of the LLRV interested MSC's Guidance and Control Division because they represented first flight tests of a vehicle with control characteristics similar to the LEM. The Division recommended the following specific items for inclusion in the LLRV flight test program:
Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that Bellcomm, Inc., was conducting a systems engineering study of lunar landing dynamics to determine "functional compatibility of the navigation, guidance, control, crew, and landing gear systems involved in Apollo lunar landing." Phillips asked that he be advised of any specific assignments in these areas which would prove useful in support of the ASPO operation.
Shea replied, "We are currently evaluating the LEM lunar landing system with the Apollo contractors and the NASA Centers. We believe that the landing problem is being covered adequately by ourselves and these contractors." Shea added that a meeting would be held at Grumman April 21 and 22 to determine if there were any deficiencies in the program, and that he would be pleased to have Bellcomm attend the meeting and later make comments and recommendations.
Systems Engineering Division (SED) reviewed the Flight Operations Directorate's recommendation for an up-data system in the LEM during manned missions. (Currently the LEM's guidance computer received data either from the computer in the CSM or from MSC.) SED concluded that, because the equipment was not essential for mission success, an up-data system did not warrant the cost and weight penalties ($750,000 and 4.54 kg (10 lbs)) that it would entail.
MSC's Systems Engineering Division requested that Grumman be advised to terminate the RCA systems engineering subcontract as soon as possible. It had been determined that this contract was no longer useful. Based on data presented by Grumman during a program review, an immediate and complete termination would save about $45,000.
In response to a query, Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips told NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller that plans to use VHF communications between the CSM, LEM, and extravehicular astronauts and to use X-band radar for the CSM/LEM tracking were reviewed. Bellcomm reexamined the merits of using the Unified S-Band (USB) type which would be installed in the CSM and LEM for communication with and tracking by the earth.
It was found that no appreciable weight saving or weight penalty would result from an all USB system in the Apollo spacecraft. Also, it was determined there would be no significant advantage or disadvantage in using the system. It was noted, however, that implementation of an all S-band system at that stage of development of the design of the CSM, LEM, and astronaut equipment would incur an obvious cost and schedule penalty.
Memorandum, Phillips to Mueller, "Use of Only Unified S-Band Communication Equipment in Apollo Spacecraft," May 5, 1965.
After lengthy investigations of cost and schedule impacts, MSC directed North American to incorporate airlocks on CMs 008 and 014, 101 through 112, and 2H-1 and 2TV-1. The device would enable astronauts to conduct experiments in space without having to leave their vehicle. Initially, the standard hatches and those with airlocks were to be interchangeable on Block II spacecraft. During October, however, this concept was changed: the standard outer hatch would be structured to permit incorporation of an airlock through the use of a conversion kit (included as part of the airlock assembly); and when an airlock was installed, an interchangeable inner hatch would replace the standard one.
To determine lunar touchdown velocity uncertainties, MIT studied radar-aided powered descent. From MIT's findings, Guidance and Control Division concluded that one or two sensors should provide velocity updates to the guidance system throughout the descent maneuver.
Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips approved MSC's request for revised velocity budgets for the two spacecraft. It was understood that these new values would:
MSC directed Grumman to modify the LEM's pulse code modulation and timing electronics assembly to enable it to telemeter data from the abort electronics assembly (AEA). Thus, if data from the AEA disagreed with those from the spacecraft's guidance computer, the two sets could be reconciled on the ground (using inputs from the Manned Space Flight Network), relieving the astronauts of this chore.
MSC advised Grumman of additional functions for the computer in the LEM's abort guidance section (to be added only if a part of its memory was left over after the basic requirements were digested). These functions, in order of priority, MSC listed as:
MSC approved North American's proposed location of the antenna for the radar transponder in the CSM, as well as the transponder's coverage. This action followed a detailed review of the relative positions of the two spacecraft during those mission phases when radar tracking of the LEM was required.
Agreements and decisions reached at the MSC briefing on the LEM optical tracker were:
MSC defined for Grumman the functions that the LEM's abort guidance section (AGS) must perform during earth orbital flights:
MSC requested that Grumman review the current LEM landing and docking dynamic environments to assure: (1) no loss of the abort guidance system attitude reference due to angular motion exceeding its design limit of 25 degrees per second during indicated mission phases; and (2) a mission angular acceleration environment, exceeding the gyro structural tolerances, would not be realized.
NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller summarized for Administrator James E. Webb the status of the LEM tracking systems. The LEM rendezvous radar system, which had been under development since 1963, was expected to be available when needed for flight missions. Technical studies had shown that an Optical Tracker System offered weight and reliability advantages with no reduction in LEM performance. Hughes Aircraft Company was developing an Optical Tracking System as a back-up to the rendezvous radar.
The Assistant Chief for Electronic Systems notified ASPO that the proposed Grumman plan to repackage the LEM pulse command modulated and timing electronic assembly (PCMTEA) had been discussed and investigated and that the Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division (IESD) concurred with the proposal. Additional Details: here....
On the basis of studies by both MSC and Grumman on LEM landing criteria, Engineering and Development Directorate determined that contractor and customer alike favored reducing landing velocity requirements for the spacecraft. The two did not see eye to eye on how far these requirements should be reduced, however, and MSC would study the problem further.
The Critical Design Review (CDR) of the LEM, tentatively planned during the week of September 27, 1965, at Grumman, was rescheduled as a series of reviews beginning in November 1965 and ending in January 1966. The schedule was to apply with five teams participating as follows: Structures and Propulsion, November 8-11, Team Captain: H. Byington; Communications, Instrumentation, and Electrical Power, December 6-9, Team Captain: W. Speier; Stabilization and Control, Navigation and Guidance, and Radar, January 10-13, Team Captain: A. Cohen; Crew Systems, January 10-13, Team Captain: J. Loftus; and Mission Compatibility and Operations, January 24-27, Team Captain: R. Battey.
MSC informed Grumman that the Center had awarded a contract to AC Electronics for the development of an optical tracking system for the LEM (as a possible alternative to the rendezvous radar). Until MSC reached a final decision on which mode to use, Grumman should continue building the LEM to accept either of these navigational devices. Flight Crew Operations Directorate requested the decision be deferred pending evaluation of an operational paper.
MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton said he did not think that current testing or proposed evaluation would do anything to resolve the basic debate between optics versus radar as a primary LEM rendezvous aid. Slayton said, "The question is not which system can be manufactured, packaged, and qualified as flight hardware at the earliest date; it is which design is most operationally suited to accomplishing the lunar mission. The 'Olympics' contribute nothing to solving this problem." He proposed that an MSC management design review of both systems at the earliest reasonable date was the only way to reach a conclusion, adding, "This requires only existing paperwork and knowledge - no hardware."
A series of actions on the LM rendezvous sensor was summarized in a memo to the MSC Apollo Procurement Branch. A competition between LM rendezvous radar and the optical tracker had been initiated in January 1966 after discussion by ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller, and MSC Guidance and Control Division Chief Robert C. Duncan. On May 13, RCA and Hughes Aircraft Go. made presentations on the rendezvous radar optical tracker. The NASA board that heard the presentations met for two days to evaluate the two programs and presented the following conclusions:
Because of many questions asked about spacecraft weight changes in the spacecraft redefinition, ASPO Manager George M. Low prepared a memo for the record, indicating weights as follows:
Lunar Module Significant Weight Changes Lunar module injected weight status March 1, 1967 (ascent and descent less propellant) - 4039.6 kg
Lunar module injected weight status September 22, 1967 - 4270.0 kg
Command Module Significant Weight Changes Command module injected weight status March 1, 1967 - 5246.7 kg
Command module injected weight status September 22, 1967 - 5679.8 kg
Grumman President L. J. Evans wrote ASPO Manager George M. Low stating his agreement with NASA's decision to forego a second unmanned LM flight using LM-2. (Grumman's new position - the company had earlier strongly urged such a second flight - was reached after discussions with Low and LM Manager G. H. Bolender at the end of January and after flight data was presented at the February 6 meeting of the OMSF Management Council.) Although the decision was not irreversible, being subject to further investigations by both contractor and customer, both sides now were geared for a manned flight on the next LM mission. Additional Details: here....
The Apollo spacecraft Configuration Control Board (CCB) had endorsed changes in lunar orbit insertion and LM extraction on the lunar mission flight profile, the MSC Director notified the Apollo Program Director. ASPO had reviewed the changes with William Schneider of NASA OMSF the same day and Schneider was to present the changes to George E. Mueller and Samuel C. Phillips for approval.
The two-burn lunar orbit insertion (LOI) was an operational procedure to desensitize the maneuver to system uncertainties and would allow for optimization of a lunar orbit trim burn. The procedure would be used for lunar orbit and lunar landing missions. The spacecraft lunar-adapter spring-ejection system was required to ensure adequate clearance during separation of the LM/CSM from the S-IVB/instrument unit and would be used on the first manned CSM/LM mission.
Apollo Program Director Phillips wrote MSC Director Gilruth concerning the April 10 proposal for a two-burn lunar orbit insertion (LOI) maneuver and a spring ejection of the LM from the spacecraft-lunar module adapter. Phillips agreed to the two-burn LOI in place of the originally planned one burn if results of an analysis should prove the requirement. He specified that an analysis be made of the tradeoffs and that the analysis include the risk of crash, the assumed risks due to lengthening the lunar orbit time (about four hours), and risks due to an additional spacecraft propulsion system burn, as well as the effect of the lunar gravitational potential on the ability to target the LOI maneuver to achieve the desired vector at the time of LM descent. The proposal for spring ejection of the LM from the SLA was approved with the provision that a failure analysis be made in order to understand the risks in the change.
NASA Associate Administrator George E. Mueller, Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips, and other high-ranking manned space flight officials from Headquarters visited Bethpage for an overall review of the LM program. Greatest emphasis during their review was on schedules, technical problems, and qualification of the spacecraft's principal subsystems. Mueller and Phillips cited several areas that most concerned NASA:
Howard W. Tindall, Jr., Deputy Division Chief, MSC Mission Planning and Analysis, wrote ASPO Manager George M. Low: "A rather unbelievable proposal has been bouncing around lately. Because it is seriously ascribed to a high ranking official, MSC and Grumman are both on the verge of initiating activities - feasibility studies, procedures development, etc. - in accord with it. . . . The matter to which I refer is the possibility of deleting the rendezvous radar from the LM. The first thing that comes to mind, although not perhaps the most important, is that the uproar from the astronaut office will be fantastic - and I'll join in with my small voice too. Without rendezvous radar there is absolutely no observational data going into the LM to support rendezvous maneuvers. . . . Please see if you can stop this if it's real and save both MSC and GAEC a lot of trouble." On August 9 Low wrote NASA Apollo Program Manager Samuel Phillips that, shortly after Associate Administrator for Manned Space George Mueller had visited Grumman, Low had calls from both C. H. Bolender, MSC, and Joseph Gavin, Grumman, indicating that Mueller had made a suggestion "that we should eliminate the LM rendezvous radar as a weight saving device." He forwarded Tindall's memorandum as the basis for "why we should not consider deleting the radar and why we shouldn't spend any more effort on this work." Low added that MSC was discontinuing "any work that we may have started as a result of George's comments." In a reply on August 28, Phillips told Low, "I am in complete agreement . . . that all work toward deleting the LM rendezvous radar should be discouraged and I have written to George Mueller to that effect."
On August 7, Low asked MSC's Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., to look into the feasibility of a lunar orbit mission for Apollo 8 without carrying the LM. A mission with the LM looked as if it might slip until February or March 1969. The following day Low traveled to KSC for an AS-503 review, and from the work schedule it looked like a January 1969 launch. Additional Details: here....
The need to flight-test manual control of the light LM ascent configuration had been discussed at the October 15 MSC Flight Program Review, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth informed NASA Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips. There was an implication that a control problem could exist for this configuration. Gilruth said he had stated that MSC should be able to establish manual control handling qualities of the LM through proper simulation and be confident about the adequacy of the control system.
Subsequently, Gilruth had reviewed the operating characteristics of the LM control system and the status of the simulation program related to manual control of the light ascent stage during docking. He said that the most demanding requirement for precision manual attitude control was the docking maneuver. Docking control had been simulated extensively at MSC, Grumman, and LaRC using functional representation of the control system and these simulations established the capability of docking the LM well within the specified docking criteria. In addition, other LM control tasks had been simulated at MSC and Grumman, and the LM was found to have satisfactory handling qualities for all manual control tasks.
At the request of the Apollo 12 crew, the internal primary guidance and navigational control system targeting for descent was being changed so that the automatic guidance would land LM-6 at Surveyor III rather than at a point offset 305 meters east and 153 meters north as originally planned.
The MSC Flight Crew Operations Directorate submitted its requirement for a simple lightweight Rover (lunar roving vehicle) guidance and navigation system that would provide the following displayed information to the crew: vehicle heading and heading to the LM, speed in kilometers per hour, total distance traveled in kilometers, and distance to the LM. Additional Details: here....