Born: 1924. Died: 2000-01-01. Birth Place: Sarnia, Ontario.
Official NASA Biography
Owen E. Maynard 1924-2000
By Chris Gainor
Owen Eugene Maynard, who died on July 15, 2000 at age 75, was an outstanding leader of the Apollo program and one of Canada's great space flight pioneers.
In 1960, Maynard was part of the small group of engineers at NASA's Space Task Group, which grew into today's Johnson Space Center, when he was assigned to a new human space flight program called Apollo that at the time had no specific goal or even authorization to proceed. Working under the direction of leading lights at NASA such as Robert Gilruth, Max Faget and Caldwell Johnson, Maynard helped sketch out the initial designs of what would become the Apollo Command and Service Modules. The following year, when President John F. Kennedy gave Apollo the goal of landing on the Moon, Maynard became involved in the debates that raged within NASA over how Apollo would fly to the Moon.
A little more than a year after Kennedy's call to land on the Moon, NASA had settled on sending astronauts to the moon and bringing them back home by a method known as lunar orbit rendezvous or LOR. This method was championed within NASA by John Houbolt, but Maynard was among the first at the Space Task Group to see the wisdom of using LOR to fly to the Moon at a time when other methods were favored.
Another Canadian, James A. Chamberlin, had been converted to LOR and proposed landing an astronaut on the moon using a Gemini spacecraft and a lunar "bug." Following Chamberlin's lead, Maynard began making the first serious sketches within NASA of what would become known at the Lunar Module. Maynard's conception of the LM was used by STG to help sell the idea of Lunar Orbit Rendezvous around NASA.
By 1963, Maynard was chief of the LM engineering office in the Apollo Program Office at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. Work on building the LM was already underway at the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. in New York, where Thomas J. Kelly was leading the engineering effort. Kelly, who today is known as the father of the LM, acknowledges that Maynard was the person at NASA most responsible for the design of the LM. In later years, the two would joke about how Maynard had a drawing of the LM hidden in his desk that Kelly and his team would work to match.
In 1964, Maynard was promoted to the position he would hold for most of the remainder of his career at NASA: chief of the systems engineering division in the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office. To many people, this made Maynard Apollo's chief engineer. While others above him such as Gilruth, Apollo program managers Joseph Shea and George Low, and program director Gen. Sam Phillips, could also lay claim to the title, Maynard's responsibilities boiled down to making sure that the constituent parts of the Apollo spacecraft worked together in a harmonious manner, not only amongst themselves but with the launch vehicle and ground facilities. Maynard moved out of systems engineering in 1966 to head up the mission operations division, and during that time he organized the Apollo Lunar Landing Symposium in June, 1966, where the leadership of NASA and contractors got their first detailed technical preview of Apollo's first lunar landing mission.
After the Apollo fire in January, 1967, Maynard moved back to systems engineering. That year, he and his group drew up the A to G mission sequence for Apollo test missions leading up to the first lunar landing on the G mission. Maynard remained in charge of systems engineering until he left NASA in 1970 following the successful achievement of Kennedy's lunar landing goal.
Owen Maynard was born in 1924 in Sarnia, Ontario. When World War Two broke out, he left school and worked as a boatbuilder and machinist before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. He flew a number of aircraft, including the Mosquito, in Canada and overseas, although the war ended before he could see combat. After the war, he got work at Avro Canada while he earned his aeronautical engineering degree at the University of Toronto. He held a number of jobs at Avro, including working on the layout of the Avro Jetliner, and the design and testing of the CF-105 Avro Arrow weapons pack and landing gear.
When the Arrow was cancelled in 1959, Maynard was a member of the group of 31 Canadian and British engineers from Avro that joined NASA in 1959. Until Maynard became involved in Apollo in 1960, he worked in the Mercury program. Maynard was also part of a group at NASA that won a U.S. patent in 1967 for a space station design.
After leaving NASA in 1970, Maynard went to Raytheon in the Boston area, where he worked on many aerospace programs. During this time, he became an advocate for the use of satellites to collect solar power for use on Earth, and the use of solar power collected on earth for powering spacecraft. He retired from Raytheon in 1992, and he and his wife Helen returned to Canada, settling in Waterloo, Ontario. By then, Maynard was a citizen of both Canada and the United States, and proud of both countries.
A conference was held at the Langley Research Center between representatives of STG and Langley to discuss the feasibility of incorporating a lunar orbit rendezvous phase into the Apollo program. Attending the meeting for STG were Robert L. O'Neal, Owen E. Maynard, and H. Kurt Strass, and for the Langley Research Center, John C. Houbolt, Clinton E. Brown, Manuel J. Queijo, and Ralph W. Stone, Jr. The presentation by Houbolt centered on a performance analysis which showed the weight saving to be gained by the lunar rendezvous technique as opposed to the direct ascent mode. According to the analysis, a saving in weight of from 20 to 40 percent could be realized with the lunar orbit rendezvous technique.
Charles W. Frick, Manager of the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office, together with Maxime A. Faget, Charles W. Mathews, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., John B. Lee, Owen E. Maynard, and Alan B. Kehlet of MSC and George M. Low of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, visited NAA at Downey, Calif. This was the first monthly meeting of the Apollo design and review team to survey NAA's progress in various areas, including the Apollo spacecraft heatshield, fuel cells, and service module.
A meeting to review the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) technique as a possible mission mode for Project Apollo was held at NASA Headquarters. Representatives from various NASA offices attended: Joseph F. Shea, Eldon W. Hall, William A. Lee, Douglas R. Lord, James E. O'Neill, James Turnock, Richard J. Hayes, Richard C. Henry, and Melvyn Savage of NASA Headquarters; Friedrich O. Vonbun of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Harris M. Schurmeier of Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Arthur V. Zimmeman of Lewis Research Center; Jack Funk, Charles W. Mathews, Owen E. Maynard, and William F. Rector of MSC; Paul J. DeFries, Ernst D. Geissler, and Helmut J. Horn of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC); Clinton E. Brown, John C. Houbolt, and William H. Michael, Jr., of Langley Research Center; and Merrill H. Mead of Ames Research Center. Each phase of the LOR mission was discussed separately.
The launch vehicle required was a single Saturn C-5, consisting of the S-IC, S-II, and S-IVB stages. To provide a maximum launch window, a low earth parking orbit was recommended. For greater reliability, the two-stage-to-orbit technique was recommended rather than requiring reignition of the S-IVB to escape from parking orbit.
The current concepts of the Apollo command and service modules would not be altered. The lunar excursion vehicle (LEV), under intensive study in 1961, would be aft of the service module and in front of the S-IVB stage. For crew safety, an escape tower would be used during launch. Access to the LEV would be provided while the entire vehicle was on the launch pad.
Both Apollo and Saturn guidance and control systems would be operating during the launch phase. The Saturn guidance and control system in the S-IVB would be "primary" for injection into the earth parking orbit and from earth orbit to escape. Provisions for takeover of the Saturn guidance and control system should be provided in the command module. Ground tracking was necessary during launch and establishment of the parking orbit, MSFC and GSFC would study the altitude and type of low earth orbit.
The LEV would be moved in front of the command module "early" in the translunar trajectory. After the S-IVB was staged off the spacecraft following injection into the translunar trajectory, the service module would be used for midcourse corrections. Current plans were for five such corrections. If possible, a symmetric configuration along the vertical center line of the vehicle would be considered for the LEV. Ingress to the LEV from the command module should be possible during the translunar phase. The LEV would have a pressurized cabin capability during the translunar phase. A "hard dock" mechanism was considered, possibly using the support structure needed for the launch escape tower. The mechanism for relocation of the LEV to the top of the command module required further study. Two possibilities were discussed: mechanical linkage and rotating the command module by use of the attitude control system. The S-IVB could be used to stabilize the LEV during this maneuver.
The service module propulsion would be used to decelerate the spacecraft into a lunar orbit. Selection of the altitude and type of lunar orbit needed more study, although a 100-nautical-mile orbit seemed desirable for abort considerations.
The LEV would have a "point" landing (±½ mile) capability. The landing site, selected before liftoff, would previously have been examined by unmanned instrumented spacecraft. It was agreed that the LEV would have redundant guidance and control capability for each phase of the lunar maneuvers. Two types of LEV guidance and control systems were recommended for further analysis. These were an automatic system employing an inertial platform plus radio aids and a manually controlled system which could be used if the automatic system failed or as a primary system.
The service module would provide the prime propulsion for establishing the entire spacecraft in lunar orbit and for escape from the lunar orbit to earth trajectory. The LEV propulsion system was discussed and the general consensus was that this area would require further study. It was agreed that the propulsion system should have a hover capability near the lunar surface but that this requirement also needed more study.
It was recommended that two men be in the LEV, which would descend to the lunar surface, and that both men should be able to leave the LEV at the same time. It was agreed that the LEV should have a pressurized cabin which would have the capability for one week's operation, even though a normal LOR mission would be 24 hours. The question of lunar stay time was discussed and it was agreed that Langley should continue to analyze the situation. Requirements for sterilization procedures were discussed and referred for further study. The time for lunar landing was not resolved.
In the discussion of rendezvous requirements, it was agreed that two systems be studied, one automatic and one providing for a degree of manual capability. A line of sight between the LEV and the orbiting spacecraft should exist before lunar takeoff. A question about hard-docking or soft-docking technique brought up the possibility of keeping the LEV attached to the spacecraft during the transearth phase. This procedure would provide some command module subsystem redundancy.
Direct link communications from earth to the LEV and from earth to the spacecraft, except when it was in the shadow of the moon, was recommended. Voice communications should be provided from the earth to the lunar surface and the possibility of television coverage would be considered.
A number of problems associated with the proposed mission plan were outlined for NASA Center investigation. Work on most of the problems was already under way and the needed information was expected to be compiled in about one month.
(This meeting, like the one held February 13-15, was part of a continuing effort to select the lunar mission mode).
Owen E. Maynard, Head of MSC's Spacecraft Integration Branch, reported on his preliminary investigation of the feasibility of modifying Apollo spacecraft systems to achieve a 100-day Earth- orbital capability. His investigation examined four basic areas: (1) mission, propulsion, and flight time; (2) rendezvous, reentry, and landing; (3) human factors; and (4) spacecraft command and communications. Although modifications to some systems might be extensive- and would involve a considerable weight increase for the vehicle-such a mission using Apollo hardware was indeed feasible.
In a reorganization of ASPO, MSC announced the appointment of two deputy managers. Robert O. Piland, deputy for the LEM, and James L. Decker, deputy for the CSM, would supervise cost, schedule, technical design, and production. J. Thomas Markley was named Special Assistant to the Apollo Manager, Charles W. Frick. Also appointed to newly created positions were Caldwell C. Johnson, Manager, Spacecraft Systems Office, CSM; Owen E. Maynard, Acting Manager, Spacecraft Systems Office, LEM; and David W. Gilbert, Manager, Spacecraft Systems Office, Guidance and Navigation.
At the April 7-8 NASA-North American Technical Management Meeting (the first of these meetings to be held at MSC's new home, "NASA Clear Lake Site 1"), ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea summarized his office's recent activities concerning the Block II spacecraft. He spelled out those areas that ASPO was investigating - which included virtually the whole vehicle between escape tower and service engine bell. Shea outlined procedures for "customer and contractor" to work out the definitive Block II design, aiming at a target date of mid-May 1965. These procedures included NASA's giving North American descriptions of its Block II work, estimates of weight reduction, and a set of ground rules for the Block II design. And to ensure that both sides cooperated as closely as possible in this work, Shea named Owen E. Maynard, Chief of MSC's Systems Engineering Division, and his counterpart at Downey, Norman J. Ryker, Jr., to "honcho" the effort.
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.
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea named William A. Lee as an assistant program manager. Lee, who previously headed the Operations Planning Division (which had been absorbed into Owen E. Maynard's Systems Engineering Division), now assumed responsibility for Apollo Operations (both the flight-test program and the lunar mission). Lee thus joined Harry L. Reynolds, also an assistant manager, who was assigned to the LEM's development. Deputy Manager Robert O. Piland continued overseeing the CSM's development and, along with Shea, overall program management.
ASPO requested the Structures and Mechanics Division (SMD) to study the problem of corrosion in the coolant loops of the CM's environmental control system, and to search for effective inhibitors. Current efforts at North American to lessen corrosion included improved hardware and operating procedures, but stopped short of extensive redesigning; and it would be some time before conclusive results could be expected. Early in May, Owen E. Maynard, chief of the Systems Engineering Division, directed SMD immediately to begin its search for inhibitors. If by July 1966 the corrosion problem remained unresolved, SMD could thus recommend stopgap measures for the early spacecraft.
Owen E. Maynard, Chief of MSC's Systems Engineering Division, announced that the ordering of objectives into first, second, and third order had been discontinued and replaced with two classifications: primary and secondary objectives. Primary objectives were defined as those which were mandatory. Malfunctions of spacecraft or launch vehicle systems, ground equipment, or instrumentation which would result in failure to achieve these objectives would be cause to hold or cancel the mission until the malfunction had been eliminated. Secondary objectives were those considered desirable but not mandatory. Malfunctions resulting in failure to achieve these objectives would be cause to hold or cancel the mission as indicated in Mission Rules.
A Development Engineering Inspection (DEI) was held on spacecraft 002 at North American, Downey, California. The NASA Board consisted of W. M. Bland, Jr., Chairman; R. H. Ridnour, J. Chamberlin, S. A. Sjoberg, F. J. Bailey, O. G. Morris, O. E. Maynard, and O. Tarango.
A total of 20 Request for Changes (RFCs) were submitted and reviewed; 12 of them resulted from the design review conducted at MSC prior to the DEI, and eight resulted from the inspection of the vehicle. The final disposition of the RFCs was: seven approved for immediate action; five approved for study; three rejected; and five determined not applicable.
Owen E. Maynard, Chief of the Systems Engineering Division, vetoed a demand by the Flight Control Division for redundancy in the LEM's pulse code modulation telemetry system. Two factors determined Maynard's action:
Systems Engineering Division chief, Owen E. Maynard, reported to the Instrumentation and Electronic Systems Division (IESD) the results of a study on a LEM communications problem (undertaken by his own group at IESD's request). During phases of powered descent to certain landing sites (those in excess of 20 degrees east or west longitude), the structure of the spacecraft would block the steerable antenna's line of sight with the earth. Communications with the ground would therefore be lost. Maynard concurred with IESD that the problem could best be solved by rotating the LEM about its thrust axis.
Owen E. Maynard, Chief of the Systems Engineering Division (SED), drafted a set of guidelines for Apollo developmental missions. While these guidelines pertained mostly to Block II development, and were so labeled, to some extent they dealt with Block I flights as well. These Development Mission Guidelines covered the overall mission, as well as specific phases, with one section devoted solely to the LEM. (Maynard was careful to distinguish these guidelines from "ground rules" in that, rather than being mandatory requirements, their intent was "to afford test planning a guide and somewhat of an envelope . . . and not hard and fast rules.")
SED was considering including these guidelines in the Apollo Spacecraft Master Test Plan when that document was next revised.
Owen E. Maynard, Chief of Systems Engineering Division, advised ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea of the major technical problems currently plaguing Apollo designers:
Owen E. Maynard, Systems Engineering Division chief, summarized for ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea the recovery requirements for Apollo spacecraft. The CM must float in a stable, apex-up attitude, and all of the vehicle's recovery aids (uprighting system, communications, etc.) must be operable for 48 hrs after landing. In any water landing within 40 degrees north or south latitude, the Landing and Recovery Division had determined, the crew either would be rescued or recovery personnel would be in the water with the CM within this 48-hr period. Thereafter, Maynard said, the spacecraft had but to remain afloat until a recovery ship arrived - at most, five days.
Owen E. Maynard, Systems Engineering Division chief, advised his branch managers of the U.S. Public Health Service's (PHS) growing concern that Apollo spacecraft and crews might bring organisms back from the moon. PHS feared that such organisms would be "capable of multiplying in the earth environment and (that) precautionary measures must be undertaken to prevent global exposure." Therefore, Maynard told his group, PHS believed that the CM, its environment, and its crew must not be allowed to contact the earth's environment. Maynard further advised that efforts were already underway to define the design of an isolation facility, and isolation facilities for the recovery ships were being contemplated.
As a result of this strong stand by PHS, Maynard said, "It appears that ASPO will soon be requested to show what spacecraft measures are being taken to assure that the CM environment will not be exposed to the earth atmosphere. The spacecraft," Maynard told his group - who already knew as much - "has not been designed to preclude CM environment exposure." Actually, much the opposite had long been assumed to be part of normal operating procedures. Maynard therefore ordered subsystem managers to review their individual systems to determine:
Owen E. Maynard, Chief of the MSC Missions Operations Division, said the flight operations plan had proposed communication constraints be resolved by reducing the accessible landing area on the lunar surface to a region permitting continuous communication with no restriction on vehicle attitude during descent and ascent. Maynard said, "Such a proposal is not acceptable." Contending interests were the desire to maintain communications in the early part of the descent powered flight and to avoid the definition of attitude restrictions in this region.
Acknowledging that both of these were desirable objectives, Maynard said that mission planning should be based on access to previously defined Apollo zones of interest and to designated sites within those zones with vehicle attitude maneuvers to provide communications when required.
The Apollo Site Selection Board met at MSC and discussed landing ellipse topography, landing approach path topography, and operational considerations, among other topics. The board heard recommendations on landing sites for the first and second missions, and approved them subsequent to the meeting, and Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips emphasized that three launch opportunities should be provided for all months of the yew. Board members, in addition to Phillips, were James H. Turnock, John D. Stevenson, Charles W. Mathews, and Oran W. Nicks, all of NASA Hq.; Owen E. Maynard and Wilmot N. Hess of MSC; Ernst Stuhlinger, MSFC; and R. O. Middleton, KSC.
Members of the MSF Management Council considered scientific experiments and surface extravehicular activities (EVA) for the first Apollo lunar landing mission. They decided to go ahead with development of three proposed experiments, the passive seismometer, laser reflector, and solar wind collector. They made no commitment to fly any of the three, however, pending development schedules and a clear understanding of timelines required for their deployment during the EVA portion of the mission. Other issues examined by the Council still were unresolved: one versus two-man EVA, use of television, and timeline allocations for EVA trials and development by the crew. During the discussions, ASPO Manager George M. Low recommended attempting television transmission via the Goldstone antenna (although the operational procedures would further burden an already heavily constrained mission). The erectable antenna would also be carried and used if the landing site and EVA period precluded sight of the Goldstone antenna. Charles W. Mathews and others from Washington voiced concern that the EVA timeline did not allow sufficient time for learning about EVA per se in the one-sixth-gravity environment of the moon. The astronaut must perform some special tasks, but must also have some time for personal movements and evaluation of EVA capabilities in order to build confidence toward a fairly complex EVA exercise during the second landing mission. Low asked his chief system engineering assistant, Owen E. Maynard, to incorporate these operational decisions into the Apollo mission planning and to define mounting of the television camera and its early use in the mission.