Part II. The New Ranger
In the months following the Kelley Board investigation, all four Ranger system components—the spacecraft, space flight operations, the Deep Space Network, and the Atlas-Agena launch vehicle—were modified and requalified. Mission success dominated project thinking, as every conceivable measure was taken to improve the reliability of the entire system before launching Ranger 6 to the moon.
REDESIGNING FOR IMPROVED RELIABILITY
The principal item under fire was JPL’s Ranger spacecraft and first on the agenda in Pasadena was a reevaluation of its design. On February 5, 1963, Project Manager Schurmeier, his assistant Gordon Kautz, Spacecraft System Manager Wolfe, and members of the JPL Ranger Design Review Board and Senior Staff met to consider the Board’s recommendations. While sticking to the basic design of the Ranger spacecraft, they agreed to use the newly available weight for ten major alterations to improve and assure the reliable performance of Rangers 6 through 9:
1. Change the spacecraft bus structure from magnesium to aluminum alloys to improve thermal efficiency. *
2. Substitute the electrically segmented, rectangular solar panels used on Mariner 2 for the smaller, trapezoidal pawls previously used on Ranger.
3. Add a second 1200-watt/hour battery, doubling the backup power capacity and assuring time to conduct a midcourse maneuver even if the solar panels were completely disabled.
4. Add a second 1/4-watt transponder to the radio frequency equipment, permitting both the high-gain and low-gain antennas to be supported by a separate unit.
5. Fabricate new central computer and sequencer units, without heat-sterilized components, together with a backup timer capable of initiating certain vital commands if the electronic brain malfunctioned.
6. Retain the backup clock, first flown in Ranger 5, to ensure telemetry commutation in the event the normal synchronizing pulses generated by the electronic brain were lost.
7. Add a duplicate attitude control gas system, including gas bottles, piping, and jets..
8. Modify the squib firing assembly (used to unlatch the solar panels and trigger some other crucial functions) to permit existing redundant ignition wiring to be driven separately by the two spacecraft batteries.
9. Add a larger midcourse rocket motor, able to compensate for larger trajectory errors caused by the launch vehicles.
10. Make mandatory "conformal coating," that is, complete coating with a plastic substance of all exposed terminals and points in the spacecraft electronic modules, to preclude any electrical shorting caused by undetected flakes or debris floating in the zero-gravity environment of outer space. 1
*The darker magnesium alloy had been adopted during the Block II weight reduction efforts in 1961 (see Chapter 4). Although lighter in weight, it absorbed solar energy, and the exposed members had to be wrapped in aluminum foil. The brighter though heavier aluminum reflected and radiated heat and sunlight much more efficiently.
Bernard Miller and the RCA contract team at that firm’s Astro-Electronic Division in Hightstown, New Jersey, already had submitted a proposal for changes in the design to the bank of six television cameras that were to return pictures of the lunar surface. 2 RCA had urged that the two full-scan and four partial-scan cameras and their related electronic subassemblies be separated into two independent electrical chains, each operating on separate circuits; thus, some pictures would be taken even in the event of a malfunction in one chain. In addition, to protect against the failure of Ranger’s electronic brain to command operations of the television subsystem at the proper moment, a backup timer to turn on the subsystem might also be added. If the spacecraft attitude control system were still properly pointing the cameras toward the moon, the transmission of pictures would thereby be assured. 3 Collectively these recommended changes and those pertaining to the spacecraft had the effect of separating and duplicating nearly all key spacecraft functions. Schurmeier and Kautz heartily endorsed them. If they were put into effect immediately, and if time were allowed to retesting all Ranger's system components, the slip in the project schedule might be held to eleven months. Ranger 6 would be ready for launch in early December 1963 (Figures 64 and 65).
Fig. 64. The Ranger Block III Spacecraft as Viewed From Above
Fig. 65. The Ranger Block III Spacecraft as Viewed From Below
In a meeting on February 12 and 13, JPL’s plans for modifying the spacecraft and the procedures for testing and requalifying it were presented to NASA Headquarters. Schurmeier and Kautz received approval for all of the design changes and for a first launch in December as well. But there was some opposition to the swift pace of the plans among Cortright, Nicks, and Cunningham. What concerned them was the potential risk of using the Atlas-Agena B launch vehicle on such short schedules. Eleven months seemed hardly enough time to guarantee the performance of that machine and iron out the operating differences still remaining between NASA and Air Force launch offices, The early Ranger and Mariner flights had painfully demonstrated, after all, that without a dependable launch vehicle the best of spacecraft and scientific instruments meant nothing. 4
LAUNCH VEHICLES REVISITED
The concern voiced by Cortright, Nicks, and Cunningham was widely shared at Headquarters and among the JPL engineers who had followed launch vehicle developments in the past. In fact, since NASA had authorized use of the Atlas-Agena B in January 1960, the difficulties encountered in procuring and launching them had proved a constant source of contention. It remained the one Ranger system component that JPL did not directly control. And though Friedrich Duerr and Hans Hueter in the NASA Light and Medium Vehicles Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville had been given charge of this procurement, the Atlas and Agena remained Air Force, not NASA, products. At Huntsville, the interest of Marshall's Director Wernher von Braun continued to be riveted on developing the nation's manned lunar launch vehicle, the Saturn. 5 Lacking support in the years that followed, the strenuous efforts of Duerr and Hueter had been proved insufficient for the task at hand. Frequent confusion over roles and the tension created between the NASA and Air Force offices and committees responsible for procurement on the West Coast and launch operations at Cape Canaveral had further contributed to delays, technical mixups, and hard feelings all around. Caught up in an interagency dispute over launch vehicles much larger than Ranger, neither the vigorous complaints of Duerr and Hueter nor those of Burke and Cummings had ever had any remedial effect. 6
By the time Ranger 5 was launched in October 1962, the performance of the Atlas-Agena B in flight, as well as the methods used to procure and launch that combination, had welled into problems of major proportions for the space agency. 7 After the Kelley board recommendations in December 1962, NASA Administrator James Webb acted to settle the nagging launch vehicle issue once and for all. First, he removed responsibility for monitoring the Atlas- and Thor-Agenas from Marshall Space Flight Center, and reassigned that function to the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland. Second, he pressed the Secretary of Defense to allow NASA to perform all of its own launch operations at Cape Canaveral, and to procure Atlas and Agena launch vehicles directly from the contractors without the Air Force's interceding.
Webb and his deputies Dryden and Seamans recognized that moving the management of these Air Force-produced launch vehicles from Marshall to Lewis would involve introducing new personnel into Ranger and other flight project organizations at midstream. The new people would need to learn on the job. But a change could be avoided no longer, and the Lewis Research Center was responsible for only one other NASA launch vehicle project, the Atlas-Centaur, transferred earlier in 1962. Webb believed that Abe Silverstein, now the Director of the Center, and his staff would devote to this task the kind of attention and resources it desperately needed. 8 By the same token, additional personnel would be freed at Marshall to help develop the important Saturn rockets needed for Apollo.
Silverstein appointed a long-time Lewis hand and trusted colleague, Seymour C. Himmel, as Agena Systems Manager. Himmel, a mechanical engineer and long-time employee of the Lewis Research Center, was a stickler for fine detail. With Silverstein's active support, he moved quickly to learn all there was to know about the Atlas-Agena and to make his presence felt among project participants. Enjoying a well-staffed office in Cleveland, Himmel increased the numbers in the Field Representatives Branch at Lockheed in Sunnyvale and at a similar office at the General Dynamics-Astronautics plant in San Diego to monitor all work on the launch vehicle. Within six months—by the end of June 1963—his staff in Cleveland and on the West Coast swelled from 32 to 67.
The JPL engineers had no difficulty establishing a close and important working relationship with the eager engineers from Cleveland. Although Himmel at Lewis monitored the procurement and launch of all Atlas-Agenas for NASA, in Project Ranger he reported to its manager, Schurmeier. On March 11, Schurmeier informed Himmel of JPL’s recommendations for improving the Atlas-Agena B. Nearly all of them focused on the Atlas booster, in particular the trouble-plagued General Electric "Mod III G" airborne guidance package which controlled Atlas' ascent. New, definitive specifications and requirements for building and testing the Atlas, "more stringent than the original USAF Weapon System requirements of several years ago," were among the most important changes to be made. The G.E. guidance equipment, Schurmeier advised, had to be modified and tested to withstand a higher vibration environment in flight, and, if the cooperation of the Air Force could be secured, it would be advantageous to fabricate electrical wiring harnesses for the Atlas using the high standards employed on the Atlas-Mercury manned flight project. 9
In a three-day Launch Vehicle System Review held at the Lewis Research Center between June 3 and 5, Himmel and his staff recommended final changes to the Atlas-Agena. To improve confidence in the Atlas-Agenas in protective storage and those yet to be built, they recommended that improved flight equipment be substituted for items with known weaknesses, all of the vehicles modified to one standard configuration, and the procedures used to qualify them for flight tightened. NASA Ranger Chief Cunningham and JPL Project Manager Schurmeier approved the Lewis program. Members of JPL’s Launch Vehicle Review Board, nevertheless, still shared the reservations expressed earlier at Headquarters by Cortright and Nicks. Could these improvements, though necessary, be accomplished in time for the scheduled launch of Ranger 6 in December?
Harry Margraf expatiated on this subject in his summary report to Schurmeier. The launch vehicle improvement program, he observed, had to march in cadence with the Air Force Space Systems Division. If the Air Force dragged its feet in Inglewood, the effort would be delayed. The program would also face uncertain hazards from the possible deleterious effects on the launch vehicles of prolonged storage, from the organizational changes already made or anticipated in the management of NASA launch vehicles and launch operations, and because Ranger was to act once again as groundbreaker-using the modified configuration before anyone else. No other Air Force or NASA flight projects would share "any of the potential risks involved in flying ‘first time’ improvements or the burden of obtaining additional flight environmental data for [Atlas D-Agena BI vehicle configurations." It was the judgment of the JPL review board, he concluded, that the Ranger Project Manager "consider the proper and complete implementation of the Lewis plan to be a minimum prerequisite for the launch of Ranger 6, and if at some later date the need for more time becomes apparent, the Board would recommend that Ranger 6 be rescheduled accordingly." 10
Even as Schurmeier considered these risks and decided to proceed with the launch vehicle improvement program for Project Ranger, NASA Headquarters had already acted on the question of launch operations. In meetings with representatives of the Department of Defense and the appropriate Air Force commands, NASA Administrator Webb and his associates successfully negotiated an Agreement Between the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Regarding Management of the Atlantic Missile Range of DOD and the Merritt Island Launch Area of NASA. 11 This bilateral treaty between the United States military and civilian space agencies called for major changes in the conduct of launch operations at Cape Canaveral. It was a breakthrough for NASA.
The Air Force would continue as the single manager of Cape Canaveral under the terms of the agreement, but complete responsibility for logistics and administration in the Merritt Island launch areas would be assigned to NASA. Most important, however, all of the prelaunch activity, the launchings, and the postflight evaluations were to be performed solely by NASA for NASA missions regardless of whether they took place at Cape Canaveral proper or the adjacent Merritt Island complex. Hereafter NASA, not the Air Force, would command its launch operations. The 6555th Aerospace Test Wing would disappear from NASA organization charts, and so would most of the interagency offices, panels, and committees that had so often hamstrung orderly launch operations for Ranger and other NASA flight projects. Himmel’s Agena Office would select the NASA organization to manage future Atlas- and Thor-Agena launches from Cape Canaveral. The Field Projects Branch of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, reporting to Himmel, would supervise all launch operations; the Lockheed and General Dynamics-Astronautics personnel who prepared the launch vehicles and conducted the actual operations, would now report to the Field Projects Branch instead of to the Air Force.
In the spring and fall, Himmel’s hand was further strengthened. On June 14, 1963, the Air Force contract with Lockheed for procurement and modification of Ranger Block III Agena vehicles—those remaining to be built—was transferred to NASA. Then, on August 9, the USAF and NASA executed a new Memorandum of Understanding. Superseding the one of February 14, 1961, this agreement gave NASA full responsibility to procure and direct modifications to its Atlas and Agena vehicles. 12 Himmel's Agena Office would no longer "monitor" procurement by the Air Force Space Systems Division, but directly supervise this activity at Lockheed and General Dynamics.
Himmel now had the authority to match his responsibility for procuring, modifying, and launching the Atlas-Agena. Secure in the knowledge that direct control over all four Ranger system components, for the first time, would rest in the JPL Project Office, Schurmeier could proceed with requalifying the flight machinery.
REQUALIFYING RANGER: PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS
However encouraging to Schurmeier the new agreements between NASA and the Air Force, the eleven-month delay in Project Ranger was a setback for Manned Space Flight Director Brainerd Holmes and his colleagues hard at work on Project Apollo. They had counted on closeup photographs of the moon early in 1963 to confirm a landing gear design for Apollo ‘s lunar module. 13 Now the best they could hope for was some pictorial return at the end of the year. Adding to the pressures, on April 2, 1962, the Soviet Union launched the 1350-kilogram Luna 4 toward the moon. Russian news releases hinted strongly that the robot spacecraft was a precursor to manned flight and might land. A Russian astronomer proclaimed that Luna 4, two years ahead of NASA’s Surveyor soft lander, "would send back detailed reports on the most topical issue—what the moon's surface is like." Actually, on April 5, the spacecraft missed the moon and continued into solar orbit without returning pictures of the surface. "Radio Moscow cancelled a special program entitled ‘Hitting the Moon’ and broadcast music instead." That old devil moon, Newsweek reported, "appeared to be plaguing Russia as it had the United States’ Ranger program¼ " 14
In the Office of Manned Space Flight, meantime, Holmes authorized the Grumman Aircraft Corporation in Bethpage, Long Island, the contractor for Apollo’s landing module, to proceed with the design of the landing gear in accord with the best available estimates of the moon's surface slopes and soil composition. In June, a deputy, George Low, explained the situation to an inquiring Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey. Apollo, Low insisted, would continue to rely on data furnished by the unmanned lunar program to confirm or modify existing designs. In a short time, he declared, "we hope to obtain much more information about the surface of the moon from the unmanned Ranger surveillance program." If the United States was to be confident that it could land the first man on the moon, Ranger had to make good, soon. 15
Pressured or not by external considerations, Schurmeier, Kautz, and Wolfe had learned well the lessons of the Burke era, and they were not about to repeat them. Ranger 6 was proceeding on an extremely tight schedule, Wolfe warned JPL Ranger personnel. "It is intended that this will only be reflected in a lowered confidence in meeting the existing launch date, and not in lowered reliability of the spacecraft." 16 Until the launch vehicle, the spacecraft, the tracking network, and the spaceflight operations were all requalified to the satisfaction of NASA and JPL project officials, Ranger 6 would not fly.
To assist in this work, earlier in the year the staff in JPL’s Ranger Project Office had been increased from three to five. Marjorie J. Boyle, an experienced statistician and Stanford graduate with a high tolerance to Ranger’s pressure-cooker environment, assumed the duties of controlling and budgeting financial resources for the project. Donald R. Schienle, a business administration graduate student at the University of Southern California, took over the details of scheduling the multifarious activities in Ranger’s four system components.
JPL engineers evaluated, modified, and checked out two more of the principal system components—the deep space tracking stations and space flight operations supporting Project Ranger—in the latter half of 1963. Schurmeier formed another JPL Design Review Board in May to examine their configuration, capabilities, plans, and procedures, and recommend solutions to any deficiencies that were found. The Board completed its review in early August and issued two reports that outlined and guided the remedial action taken at the Laboratory. The bulk of the changes made to the tracking net and spaceflight operations involved more stringent operating procedures, improved reporting of failures uncovered during tests, and a greatly expanded series of preflight tests. All of these network tests involving the JPL Control Center and deep space tracking stations overseas, moreover, were now to be run for nonstandard missions—in which a partial failure of the launch vehicle or spacecraft was simulated 17 as well as normal missions.
Beyond new documentation and test procedures, changes were also made to the telecommunications equipment in the tracking and command network. Data phone lines were installed between Cape Canaveral and JPL. Ranger’s composite analog telemetry signal would no longer need to be recorded and sent by plane to Pasadena for scrutiny hours later, but could be received by the Spacecraft Data Analysis Team during the countdown and the early phases of flight. A third teletype circuit was added between JPL and each of the tracking stations, which were equipped with new telemetry decommutators and teletype encoders, replacing those that had malfunctioned during the flight of Ranger 5. Finally, with the installation of a 200-watt transmitter at the tracking station in Woomera, all three deep space stations could send commands to the spacecraft.
While Ranger Space Flight Operations Director Rygh certified these alterations in extensive tests, Schurmeier and his staff busied themselves requalifying the spacecraft using JPL’s new reliability and quality assurance procedures. The Ranger test models and flight spacecraft, besides using preferred parts, or similarly screened commercial parts, now benefited from more frequent design reviews, uniform standards of testing, and improved documentation to guide the work. 18 The detailed reporting of any anomalies or problems encountered in tests, in particular, operated to good effect. These "problem/ failure reports," known as PFR’s, were circulated widely at the Laboratory and helped generate competition among engineers and section chiefs who sought to prove the quality of their technical judgment, analyses, and corrective action. Collectively, they had determined to erase prior bad marks by adopting the attitude: "By God, my piece of equipment will not fail." 19
Early test results bespoke the improvements. By mid-June a Life Test Vehicle completed thirteen sixty-six-hour lunar missions inside JPL’s new 7.6 meter (25-foot) diameter space simulator, with but one subsystem failure, and validated the integrity of the basic design. A proof test model incorporating all of the changes in the spacecraft bus and television subsystem made after the flight of Ranger 5 then began its round of system and environmental tests, demonstrating that the performance of the new Ranger spacecraft met or exceeded specifications. 20 When assembly of the Ranger 6 flight spacecraft began on July 1, Schurmeier was confident that problems of design, fabrication, and testing at JPL were truly things of the past (Figure 66).
Fig. 66. Assembly of Ranger 6: Installation of the Midcourse Motor
Troublesome problems, nevertheless, dogged work on Ranger’s television subsystem at RCA’s plant in New Jersey. JPL Television Project Engineer Donald Kindt and two colleagues, detailed to RCA to oversee development of the payload, kept Schurmeier and Kautz apprised of these potential threats to Ranger’s schedule and performance. Most perplexing among them, perhaps, was the uneven resolution and erase characteristics exhibited by the vidicon tubes produced for Ranger's television subsystem. Running short of time to complete the flight package for Ranger 6, RCA issued subcontracts to three other tube manufacturers for additional support. Specialists from these firms found that the external masks on the sensitive surface of the vidicon tubes caused shadowing and affected resolution.
In the spring of 1963 RCA’s Ranger team settled on another tube design employing a laminated vidicon faceplate with the mask sandwiched between two layers. Although this helped to eliminate shadowing and improve resolution, it still did not end all of the differences in performance between individual, seemingly identical tubes. Other disturbing differences, RCA engineers now learned, resulted from system interactions that often could not be detected before a complete television package—six cameras—was assembled and tested. Standard quality control procedures in the fabricating process did not measurably improve the puzzling situation. As summer turned to fall, the production of high-performance vidicon tubes with uniform quality still seemed to be as much an art as it was a science. 21
Electrical arcing and short-circuiting in the television subsystem was another, potentially more serious problem. Among Ranger’s engineers, arcing in electronics was the single most feared agent of flight failure. Thermal-vacuum tests at RCA in February revealed arcing in the cables and connector associated with the redesigned television package’s 60-watt power amplifiers. Early investigations pinned the cause on changes in the design of the amplifiers that "increased the power-output of this assembly." Plans were made to modify the affected cables and test them to a 90-watt power level before installation. Despite these and other modifications, however, arcing persisted. 22 At the Ranger Television Quarterly Review meeting on May 2, RCA’s Ranger television manager Bernard Miller pledged to purchase high-power test equipment and devote maximum attention to the problem. The procurement and test cycle, nevertheless, would require 4.5 days, which closely approached the scheduled delivery of the flight package for Ranger 6 at the end of July. 23 Schurmeier agreed to slip the delivery date to August 15, to provide RCA the time needed to complete the test program and qualify the television subsystem.
As if these development problems were not enough to occupy the hardpressed television engineers, especially severe vibrations and noise at launch, Miller speculated, might step a relay and turn on one or both channels of the television subsystem. If not turned off, the batteries powering the television cameras would be depleted long before reaching the moon. 24 Donald Kindt and others at JPL analyzed Miller’s theory in succeeding weeks. The vibration and noise necessary to activate the television channels, they concluded, were above the levels so far encountered or expected during launch. Nevertheless, the JPL project office made precautionary plans to transmit a series of real-time commands to the spacecraft from the Johannesburg station, shutting off the television subsystem in the unlikely event that it had been turned on early in the flight. 25
The flight package with its six cameras, meantime, completed the extra high-power tests at RCA and was accepted for shipment to JPL in mid-August. The arcing difficulties had been traced to the "four-port hybrid," an electrical device that combined the radio frequency signals from both TV transmitters and routed them to a common antenna. The observed corona effects had been eliminated by redesign. JPL’s TV subsystem engineer, Kindt, and his RCA associates were satisfied that the arcing problem had been solved and that the basic design of the split TV system was a sound one. Ranger Spacecraft System Manager Wolfe agreed, and, in the interests of time, waived a final design review of the RCA TV subsystem (Figure 67 ). 26
Fig. 67. The Television Subsystem Is Readied for Tests at JPL
But no answer to the erratic picture yield of the vidicon tubes had proved altogether satisfactory to JPL or RCA. This nagging difficulty had been skirted by fabricating additional tubes and then selecting the best and most uniform of the lot for Ranger 6. NASA’s Ranger Program Chief Cunningham, however, remained concerned over the chances of procuring enough acceptable tubes in time for the flights to follow. After conferring with Schurmeier at JPL, he recommended that NASA delay the schedules of Rangers 7, 8, and 9 to ensure "that these missions have at least as good a TV system as Ranger 6." 27 Nicks and Newell agreed; all Ranger pictures for Project Apollo and for science were to be comparable in resolution and detail. On September 10 they amended the Ranger Block III launch schedule to allow time to fabricate more vidicon tubes: 28
Ranger 6 Early December 1963 (no change)
Ranger 7 Postponed from January to February 1964
Ranger 8 Postponed from March to May 1964
Ranger 9 Postponed from April to July 1964
At JPL, Ranger 6 and the flight television subsystem began the final round of qualifying tests—on schedule. But a new problem, uncovered by Himmel’s Agena team in Cleveland, now derailed all launch plans. JPL personnel first learned of the problem on September 14, during a review of the Atlas guidance improvement program at Lewis Research Center. Two serious test failures in the General Electric guidance components had resulted from short circuits caused by loose gold flakes in certain diodes. The diodes in question, each the size of a grain of rice, acted as tiny electrical switches, permitting current to flow only in one direction. If shorted, they permitted current to move in either direction with potentially disastrous consequences. Hundreds of these same diodes, unhappy JPL engineers realized, were already installed in Rangers 6 and 7.
Schurmeier was incredulous. How, he asked, could flight equipment, almost certainly containing many contaminated diodes, have passed all JPL tests without failure? The event touched off a major investigation to answer that question, assess the extent of the damage to Ranger 6, and establish plans to remedy the situation. This investigation, completed in early October, showed the incidence of gold-flake contamination in these diodes to be so high that most equipment containing them was unfit for flight. The flaking originated from poorly bonded excess gold cement at the attachment of a silicon wafer that supported the post inside the diode. The condition had escaped detection, Schurmeier learned, because system and environmental tests did not—in fact could not—continuously measure the reverse-current resistance of every diode, and if a temporary short occurred while forward voltage was applied, there was no measurable effect. Finally, no tests could simulate the zero gravity of outer space, where the gold flakes would float inside the diodes. 29
Schurmeier had no alternative. All of the suspect diodes purchased from Continental Devices and contained in critical locations in the Ranger spacecraft had to be replaced. He directed that this work begin, and that procedures for ordering, inspecting, and sample-testing diodes and other electronic parts used in the Ranger spacecraft be revised to prevent any recurrence. On October 18, Pickering, Parks, and Schurmeier told NASA officials in a meeting at Headquarters that to assure success of the lunar missions, the flight dates of Rangers 6 and 7 had to be postponed until all of the questionable diodes were replaced in these spacecraft and in the General Electric guidance components used on the Atlas launch vehicles.
Homer Newell and his Ranger associates in the Office of Space Sciences agreed to the proposal. Three days later they postponed the launch of Ranger 6 two, lunar months (from early December 1963 to late January 1964), and that of Ranger 7 one month (from February to March 1964). The flight dates of Rangers 8 and 9 remained as posted on September 10. Newell instructed JPL to use the additional time to replace the diodes, procure additional spare flight equipment, and finish corrective action on all outstanding problem/failure reports. 30
Project Apollo and Ranger’s scientists would simply have to wait a few months longer for closeup pictures of the moon.
Chapter Twelve - Notes
The hyphenated numbers in parentheses at the ends of individual citations are catalog numbers of documents on file in the history archives of the JPL library.
1. JPL Interoffice Memo from Allen Wolfe and J. B. Berger to Ranger Green Day Distribution, subject: "Minutes, Ranger Spacecraft Systems Review (Green Day) Held February 8, 1963," February 13, 1963, pp. 1-2 (21313); Space Programs Summary No. 37-20, Volume V1 for the period January 1, 1963, to March 31, 1963 (Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, April 30, 1963), pp. .6-9.
2. Ranger TV Subsystem (Astro-Electronics Division of the Radio Corporation of America. Princeton, New Jersey January 17, 1963) (2-1741).
3. Pertinent details of this "split" RCA television subsystem as finally produced are contained in K. J. Stein, "Ranger TV Performed Near Design Point," Aviation Week and Space Technology, Volume 81, August 17, 1964, p. 100f, and Donald H. Kindt and J. R. Staniszewski, The Design of the Ranger Television System to Obtain High-Resolution Photographs of the Lunar Surface (JPL Technical Report 32-717. Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, March 1, 1965).
4. JPL Interoffice Memo from Harris Schurmeier to William Pickering, subject: "Summary of Problem Areas Presented in Senior Staff Meeting 2/16/63, "February 22, 1963 (2-1564); JPL Interoffice Memo from Harris Schurmeier to Distribution, subject: " Ranger Project Guidelines, " February 15, 1963 (2-1360).
5. Notes of an interview of Homer Newell by Cargill Hall and Eugene Emme, March 5, 1968 (2-385).
6. See "Organizing for Ranger: Huntsville and the Air Force" in Chapter Two, and "Launch Operations" in Chapter Five of this volume; also the letter from Clifford Cummings to Edgar Cortright, December 22, 1960 (2-1437); letter from William Pickering to Robert Seamans, June 9, 1961 (21451); letter from Abe Silverstein to William Pickering, October 3, 1961 (2-1457); TWX from William Pickering to Don Ostrander, June 13, 1961 (2-2373); "Statement of LOD Position Concerning Management of Launch Operations for NASA Agena-B Program at AMR" (2-1256a); Minutes of NASA AMR Agena Management Meeting of June 25, 1962, prepared by C. M. Cope (2-2069); JPL Report prepared by James D. Burke, subject: " LOD/AMR Meeting of June 25, 1962, " June 25, 1962 (2-1261 ); and JPL Interoffice Memo from Harris Schurineier to Distribution, subject: "Headquarters Meeting on LOC Operations," August 8, 1962 (2-2405).
7. See NASA Agena Program Presentation, October 1, 1962 (2-2269).
8. Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1962, Report of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to the Committee on Science and Astronautics (Washington: Government Printing Office, June 12, 1963), p. 267; JPL Report by James Burke, subject: " Agena Management Meeting at LMSC, December 18, 1962 (2-1359a)"; and NASA memorandum from Homer Newell to the Directors of NASA's Field Centers, subject: "NASA Agena Program Management," January 24, 1963 (2-1359).
9. Letter from Harris Schurmeier to Seymore Himmel, subject: " Ranger Project Recommendations for Improvement of Reliability of the Atlas Agena Launch Vehicle," March 11, 1963 (2-2275).
10. " RA [Block] III Launch Vehicle Review," Report of the JPL Review Board, August 1, 1963, pp. 15, 16 (2-2281); see also JPL Interoffice Memo from Brooks Morris to Harris Schurmeier, subject: "Risk to RA-6 Flight from Atlas G Guidance," September 12, 1963 (2-2443).
11. "Agreement between the Department of Defense and National Aeronautics and Space Administration regarding management of the Atlantic Missile Range of DOD and the Merritt Island Launch Area of NASA," January 17, 1963, cited in Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood, "Planning the Experiments," chapter in History of Gemini (Comment Edition. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, July 31, 1968), p. 31 (2-1476).
12. USAF-NASA Memorandum of Agreement, NASA Office of Space Sciences, Agena Launch Vehicle Program, approved by Howell M. Estes, Jr., Lieutenant General, USAF, Vice Commander, Air Force Systems Command, and Robert C. Seamans, Associate Administrator of NASA, August 9, 1963 (2-2424).
13. See "Rangers for Apollo " in Chapter Seven of this volume.
14. Cited in "Old Devil Moon," Newsweek, April 15, 1963, p. 62; see also, "Station on the Moon? Russia Blasts Ofr New Space Shot," Los Angeles Times, April 3, 1963, Part 1, p. 3; and Marvin Miles, "Moon Spacecraft Two Years Ahead of U.S. Vehicles, Russians Boast," Los Angeles Times, April 4, 1963, Part I, p. 1.
15. Unites States Congress, Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, NASA Authorization for Fiscal Year 1964, Hearings before the Committee, 88th Congress, 1st Session on S. 1245, 1963, Part 2: "Program Detail," pp. 1031-1032. Extensive earth-based research on lunar surface conditions was, of course, conducted at available facilities. Cf., Jerry Bishop, "Moon Mystery Riddle of Lunar Surface Unsolved as Developers Rush Space Ship Work, " The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 1963, p. 1, and " 63 Moon Probe Held Vital for U.S. Aims, " Los Angeles Times, January 1, 1963, Part 1, p. 16.
16. JPL Interoffice Memo from Allen Wolfe to Ranger Personnel, subject: "Ranger 6 Schedule, "June 18, 1963 (2-1615).
17. Patrick Rygh, "Block III SFO/DSIF Design Review and Procedure Revisions, "a draft of a JPL Report, April 22, 1964 (2-1849).
18. See, for example, JPL Interoffice Memo from Robert Parks to Division Chiefs, Division Mariner C and Ranger Project Representatives, subject: "Change Control Procedure," with enclosed document, " Method for Design and Engineering Documentation Change Control," April 5, 1963 (2-1372).
19. Interview of Brooks Morris by Cargill Hall, September 20, 1969, p. 7 (2-1479); and interview of Harris Schurmeier by Cargill Hall, September 25, 1970, p. 12 (2-2209).
20. Space Programs Summary No. 37-22, Volume VI for the period May 1, 1963, to July 31, 1963 (Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, August 31, 1963), pp. 8-9.
21. TWX from Harris Schurmeier to William Cunningham, subject: "Answering Request for Status of Vidicon Situation," August 21, 1963 (2-644); NASA memorandum from William Cunningham to Or-an Nicks, subject: RCA Vidicon Status Report for Use at the AA Project Status Review, September 9, 1963 (2-645).
22. Space Programs Summary No. 37-20, Volume VI, pp. 12-13; also, Minutes of the Ranger "Tuesday-Thursday Meeting," held April 11, 1963 (2-15 84); JPL Interoffice Memo No. 315 1-1 from Allen Wolfe and J. B. Berger to Ranger S/C Review Distribution, subject: "Minutes, Ranger Spacecraft Systems Review - 1 May 1963," May 9, 1963 (2-1313).
23. JPL Interoffice Memo from J. J. Nielsen to Harris Schurmeier, subject: "Minutes of Ranger TV Sub-System Quarterly Review, Princeton, New Jersey, May 2, 1963 " (2-1607); also TWX from Donald Kindt and C. J. Bennett to J. G. Davison, May 9, 1963 (2-1551
24. Letter from Bernard Miller to Donald Kindt, subject: "Mission Operations-Ranger TV Subsystem, " July 24, 1963, cited in JPL Interoffice Memo from Ralph Moyer and Leonard Bronstein to Patrick Rygh, subject: Mission Analysis - 3. Ranger Block III TV System Control, " October 11, 1963 (2-1663).
25. JPL Memo from Moyer and Bronstein, October 11, 1963 (2-1663); JPL Interoffice Memo from Ralph Moyer and Leonard Bronstein to Patrick Rygh, Addendum No. 1 to the Memo of October 11, 1963, subject: "Mission Analysis - 3. Ranger Block III IT System Control," December 11, 1963 (2-1664); JPL Interoffice Memo from Leonard Bronstein to Patrick Rygh, subject: "Ranger 6 Mission Analysis - 4. TV Turn-off if DSIF-SFOF Communications Fail," December 6, 1964 (2-1683)
26. JPL Interoffice Memo from Donald Kindt to Allen Wolfe, subject: "Request for Waiver on TV Subsystem Design Review," August 20, 1963 (2-1553); JPL Interoffice Memo from Allen Wolfe to Walter Downhower and Donald Kindt, subject: "TV Subsystem Design Review," August 23, 1963 (2-1554).
27. NASA memo from Cunningham to Nicks, September 9,1963 (2-645).
28. Official NASA Flight Schedule, September 10, 1964 (2-968).
29. JPL document, " Ranger 6 Diode Failure Report, " n.d. (2-1528)
30. JPL Interoffice Memo from Harris Schurmeier to Distribution, subject: "Minutes of Ranger Project Meeting held October 21, 1963, " October 29, 1963 (2-1573); letter from William Pickering to Homer Newell, October 29, 1963 (2-287); JPL Interoffice Memo No. 204 from William Pickering to All Personnel, subject: "Ranger Block III Flights," October 30, 1963 (22285).