Lunar Orbiter was a less than imaginative name for one of NASA's most successful automated projects. After all the hoopla that followed the naming of Ranger, I was somewhat dismayed that a generic label like Lunar Orbiter was affixed to the lunar photographic mission. This was the name used by Langley engineers who were defining the project, and although I registered concern with Ed Cortright, who had been responsible for studies and agency policies recommending logical evolutionary names, he decided that it would be better to go along with the new project team. Names like Pioneer, Mariner, Voyager, Surveyor, and even Ranger sounded to me like space exploring machines; Lunar Orbiter had all the romance of calling a favorite pet "Pet."
But even with its unexciting title, the Lunar Orbiter project became a sweeping success, accomplishing all its primary goals and then some, with only minor hitches to stir up excitement for the project team. All five orbiters completed useful lunar photographic missions. There were no launch vehicle failures and no major spacecraft failures. The first three missions satisfied the primary purpose of the program, which was to photograph proposed landing sites for manned Apollo missions. The final two flights were devoted largely to broader scientific objectives; photographing the entire near side of the Moon and completing coverage of the far side. The five orbiters together photographed 99 percent of the Moon, including the side away from Earth, which had only been vaguely visualized by the Russian Luna 3.
As mentioned earlier, the Surveyor program was originally defined and initiated to include both an orbiter and a lander. A common set of basic hardware was to provide Surveyor landing spacecraft, which would obtain lunar data from the surface of the Moon, and Surveyor orbiters, which would map the Moon and provide overall coverage from orbit. The orbiters were to use the same basic airframe components as the landers but with the landing gear removed and different retro motors designed for placing the  spacecraft in orbit. Of course the instrument packages of the two complementary spacecraft would have been different to address the different objectives of orbiting and landing missions. The two types of Surveyor were to serve as a team and produce orbital reconnaissance information plus "local site" landing data, thereby greatly increasing our total knowledge of the Moon through the synergistic benefits of broad and close-up coverage.
Although the early Surveyor spacecraft specification recognized the orbiter from the outset, initial design emphasis was given to the landing craft; it was reasoned that the orbiting requirements could almost be considered an extension of the cruise mode. JPL's involvement in getting the lander vehicle defined and designed, plus their burden with the Ranger and Mariner projects, made it difficult for them to assign people to work on a Surveyor orbiter. When the definition of the orbiter did not materialize, though both the Surveyor lander and the Surveyor orbiter had been approved by NASA and authorized by Congress, it was evident that something else had to be done if we were to get the combination of orbital and surface information that was needed to support the Apollo mission.
During a senior council meeting of the Office of Space Sciences and Applications in January 1963, I asked Floyd L. Thompson, Director of the....
 .....Langley Research Center, if Langley would be willing to study undertaking a lunar orbiter effort. Earlier Langley had been interested in lunar experiments on Ranger missions, and I knew this research center to have personnel with talent and capability who were not presently engaged in space projects. Thompson agreed to explore such a possibility; thus began an activity that led to the Lunar Orbiter project.
It was clear that many things needed in the study of the Moon were offered by orbiting reconnaissance. First, planning for Apollo missions had by this time narrowed possible landing sites to a zone on the near face of the Moon bordered by ±20° latitude and ±45° longitude. Detailed surveys of the area would obviously be important to final selection of landing sites, and high-resolution photography would, of course, provide the maps needed for navigation and final touchdown.
A spacecraft orbiting the Moon would also have obvious scientific potential for photographing the back side, something that had never been done with Earth-based telescopes, because the same hemisphere of the Moon always faces Earth. A great deal of conjecture existed about the back side and the nature of its surface, in spite of the fact that the Russians had obtained some low-resolution photos. In addition to extremely significant scientific information, an orbiting spacecraft could also provide a new perspective on the Moon as a planetary body. This, in conjunction with Ranger and Surveyor data, would add greatly to our knowledge of Earth's neighbor and would allow the formation of specific questions of major interest for manned lunar missions.
After Langley's participation was approved, steps were taken to develop a project with this fresh team. By the time the Lunar Orbiter project was formed, some 2 years of instructive experience with Rangers, Mariners, and Surveyors at JPL had taught us a lot about the management practices needed for major projects. After initial difficulties, NASA Headquarters had evolved a system of working with field centers that was spelled out in a management instruction first published in 1961 and revised in March 1963. As I was part of the team developing this policy and implementing it at JPL, the policies and procedures embodied in NASA Management Instruction (NMI) 4-1-1 were fresh in my mind during the period when we were negotiating with Langley on the Lunar Orbiter project.
The document was relatively straightforward in establishing the hierarchy of responsibilities for NASA Headquarters and for field centers engaged in project activities. In general, it summarized Headquarters' four  basic responsibilities: (1) establishing objectives, (2) scheduling the milestones (considering technical, fiscal, manpower, and other requirements), (3) budgeting and obtaining the required financial resources, and (4) seeing that projects were properly implemented and carried out in the field.
Field centers were assigned project management responsibilities, with project managers having principal authority for implementing the work. In addition, definitions were given for assignments of system managers who would report to the project manager and be responsible for each major system such as the spacecraft, the launch vehicle, the tracking and data acquisition system, and spaceflight operations. Although the concept of making vertical and horizontal assignments among centers was initially quite controversial, it was not long before the organization of projects and definitions provided by this management instruction were understood and accepted. It was significant that such a clear framework existed for negotiations between our Headquarters office and Langley at the beginning of this project; it was easy to reach agreement on organizational matters and to get on with the job. It had not been possible to do this readily during the evolution of project management activities at JPL, when many different patterns of operation were proposed.
The man assigned direct responsibility for managing the new Lunar Orbiter program at Headquarters was Lee R. Scherer, a very capable naval officer who had been assigned to NASA for a 1-year tour of duty. He was an honor graduate of the Naval Academy and had served as an AED, Navy code for aeronautical engineering duty. His assignment was intended to provide experience in space activities that would help him be of value to the Navy. About the time his tour with NASA was to end, the Navy role in space was curtailed by the Secretary of Defense. When faced with a probability of continuing his Navy career without much hope for involvement in space, he opted to retire and join the Lunar and Planetary Program Office. This was a timely decision for NASA, as he did an excellent job and smoothly guided the many activities of the Lunar Orbiter.
Lee was a very outgoing person, at home with officials, scientists, engineers, and laypersons. His skill in coordinating interface matters between Headquarters, Langley, Lewis, JPL, and the many contractors was a significant factor in facilitating technical progress, even though he did not seem to become too technically involved.
He came to work one day in a bright blue and gray plaid sport jacket that I thought was good looking, but admittedly it was not quite in keeping with  the dress usually worn by Headquarters officials. He received a lot of ribbing because of this 'race track" jacket, but when he wore it at the Cape during the first launch operation and then at JPL during the entire mission operation, it became the project's good luck symbol for success.
Although the already proven Atlas/Agena vehicle was to be used for the Lunar Orbiter, a new and somewhat worrisome aspect of launch vehicle integration became apparent. The role of the Lewis Research Center in procuring, integrating, and launching vehicles had just been expanded to include overall responsibility for the Atlas/Agena, and a new team had been assigned to manage this system. By NASA ground rules, the launch vehicle system manager reported functionally to the Langley project manager, but an age-old rivalry between these former NACA research centers made this relationship somewhat sensitive, especially since both project groups were newly assigned and anxious to prove their mettle Questions arose about interface matters, such as who should design and procure the interconnect hardware between the Agena and the spacecraft, or who should be responsible for the shroud that protected the spacecraft but also attached to and separated from the vehicle. Lee and I found ourselves in the role of moderator several times. However, in spite of a few delicate and potentially volatile situations involving the two organizations, all vehicle interface and development matters worked out well. For once, all the launches were successful.
Beginning from scratch with a new project, Floyd Thompson chose Clifford Nelson as Project Manager and assigned a few outstanding engineers to work with him in the development of plans. Cliff had recently managed a smaller project called Project Fire involving a rocket-launched reentry probe at Wallops. Because at the time Lunar Orbiter was the only major space project at Langley, Thompson and his deputy, Charles J. Donlan, maintained close cognizance over activities and imparted a considerable amount of experience and wisdom to the process. Assignments were made to old-timers like Israel Taback, Ed Brummer, and Bill Boyer and to newer faces like Cal Broome and Tom Young. All five did great jobs on Lunar Orbiter and were destined to become giants in the Viking project. From my Headquarters point of view, dealing with this new team that had a very cooperative outlook was a real pleasure-quite a different experience from the struggles during the start-up of the Ranger project.
In addition to the new NASA team, a group from the Boeing Company that was new to NASA became the contractor to develop Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. The Boeing group had become "available" to prepare the orbiter  proposal when a large Air Force project called Dynasoar was canceled. This left an almost intact nucleus of first-rate engineers to work on Lunar Orbiter providing the talent needed to establish a complete team almost immediately. Boeing won the competition with a concept somewhat different from that employed by most proposers, offering a three-axis stabilized spacecraft with more capability than I had initially envisioned as necessary for the task. All in all, the combination of factors existing at Langley and at Boeing during the establishment of the project was unique and undoubtedly contributed to its success.
The timing of project initiation was also significant. The need for Apollo planning information was considered somewhat critical, and the recollection of difficulties in providing scientific payloads for Ranger, Mariner, and Surveyor led to a decision by the Office of Space Sciences and Applications that the orbiter mission would focus on a single purpose, namely, photography of the Moon. Because this objective involved detailed design tradeoffs between the camera system and the spacecraft, and because the scientific returns were to be used largely for Apollo mission support, camera systems design and photographic mission planning were defined to be "engineering" activities, with "support" to be provided by the scientific community, rather than the other way around. This focused decision-making responsibilities for the scientific payload equipment within the project office facilitating payload-spacecraft integration to a greater degree than had been experienced with other missions.
Another ground rule adopted by the project office was that proven hardware from any source would be integrated into the orbiter if possible. Langley and Boeing engineers immediately reviewed all information on existing systems that might be applicable to a Lunar Orbiter mission, including techniques for attitude stabilization and control, midcourse correction, and maintaining the housekeeping functions of power, communications, temperature control, and the like. Even the camera system configuration that was chosen had been used on Earth-orbital flights. It was in fact a derivative of a camera developed for military reconnaissance that had been superseded by equipment with greater capability, but also having such a high military classification that Department of Defense personnel did not wish to see it used in NASA's open society. This use of proven technologies and equipment allowed Langley and Boeing to place emphasis on new developments required specifically for this mission.
 The matter of photographing the Moon was challenging, partly because of the unusual photometric properties of the lunar surface. From Earth-based observations it was known that the reflective properties of the Moon are quite different from those of Earth; this and the fact that the Moon has no atmosphere for light scattering means that objects within shadows are invisible. From a study of these lunar characteristics, it was determined that much of the photography should be obtained during morning Sun at angles of 15° to 40° above the local horizon. This would produce a reasonable balance of shadows so that topographical features would stand out.
Since the region of the Moon near the equator was of prime interest to Apollo planning, it was targeted for initial missions to ensure that all the necessary photos would be successfully obtained with only five spacecraft. The first requirement for proper lighting conditions-the angle of the Sun with respect to the region being photographed-was satisfied by launching at a time when arrival at the Moon would find the Sun's morning rays making the proper angle. The Lunar Orbiter's trip time to the Moon was 90 hours, because the flight was planned as a near "minimum-energy" trajectory to reduce the amount of retropropulsion required for establishing orbit. Of course, the lighting changed as the phase of the Moon changed, so any given mission had to be scheduled to allow the photographic sequence to progress along the surface ahead of the day-night terminator as the shadow moved. Once lunar orbit was established, its geometry would permit the orbiter to maintain an essentially fixed orientation in inertial space relative to the Moon, so that waiting in orbit would allow the rotation of the Moon on its axis to bring the targets of interest under the low point of the spacecraft orbit. Refinements in the orbit were possible by additional burns of the retro rocket, but because of the risk involved they were kept to a minimum.
When the targets were favorably located under the orbit, the spacecraft was reoriented from its solar power attitude to look downward and take a series of photographs. If coverage greater than that achievable on a single pass was required, blocks of coverage were built up by overlapping photography on successive orbits. The overlaps were defined in advance, depending on the cameras used, and, in addition, stereoscopic coverage was provided by the wide-angle, 80-millimeter lens system.
After most of the mapping photographs were taken in direct support of the Apollo requirements, a number of available periods resulted in photographs of great scientific and general interest, including oblique views  and pictures of regions other than those thought to be of immediate interest to Apollo. The first three Lunar Orbiter missions were successful in obtaining all the necessary Apollo site coverage, with some verification of earlier data and a complete series of maps for the region of interest. On missions 4 and 5, higher orbital inclinations were ordered, and maximum scientific coverage was provided from these two spacecraft. Because of the launch successes and operational successes of the spacecraft, Lunar Orbiters returned scientific data that we had not dared to anticipate at the outset of the program.
The spacecraft was a three-axis stabilized vehicle, weighing about 850 pounds at launch by the Atlas/Agena. Electrical power was provided by four solar panels, with batteries for a limited electrical load during periods of sunset or when the spacecraft was oriented for photography. Two antennas, one a high-gain directional and one omnidirectional, provided communications with the spacecraft in the same general manner as for Rangers and Mariners. Thermal control for the vehicle was primarily passive, with a limited number of electrical heaters. The attitude references for yaw and pitch were provided by Sun sensors so that the solar panels faced at right angles to the Sun. The roll axis reference was provided by an electro-optical sensor that tracked the star Canopus. The high-gain antenna pointed toward Earth with the assistance of a rotatable boom on the unit which could be programmed. The spacecraft normally maintained this Sun-Canopus oriented attitude control, except when it was reoriented to align the rocket engine for midcourse correction, for lunar orbit injection, or during periods when the cameras were being pointed and the spacecraft was reoriented to allow photography.
Most functions of the spacecraft were controlled by an onboard programmer. This unit received commands from Earth stations and either executed them immediately or stored them for execution at a later time. Sufficient memory was available in the system to allow automatic control of the spacecraft functions for a period of several hours.
In addition to the photographs of the Moon, two other forms of information about the space environment were provided. A group of micrometeoroid detectors was located in a ring just below the fuel tanks to record punctures by micrometeorite particles. Each detector was a pressurized can which, when punctured, would send a signal to Earth so that both the event and the location of the impact could be determined. Two proton radiation detectors were carried to allow evaluation of the environment affecting the film. Shielding on these detectors approximated that at two critical locations  within the photographic system, and telemetered dose rates allowed evaluation of the fogging effects any solar proton event might cause. These proton events were of serious concern, and the latest information on solar flare activity was always factored into prelaunch planning.
In a respectful sense, we spoke of the photographic system as a pair of sophisticated "Brownie" cameras housed in a pressurized container, along with a developing system somewhat like that used in laboratory processing of film, except that liquids were contained in webbing material instead of pans. The entire photographic system was housed in a thin aluminum shell maintained under pressure between 1 and 2 psi, with a high-pressure supply of nitrogen available to maintain this pressure in the event of small leaks. Temperature control within the unit involved a mounting plate with fins to radiate heat from the underside of the shell, plus automatically controlled heaters of the electrical resistance type. Temperatures were controlled within ±1°, and humidity was maintained at 50±10 percent with the help of potassium thiocyanate pads.
The camera lens had to be protected from the cold of space by an insulating door, in appearance like those constructed by the trap-door spider. This light and somewhat flimsy structure was recognized as a success-critical item when it failed to open during thermal vacuum tests before the first flight. This was the only failure in a series of systems tests, but it was enough to delay shipment and necessitate a rework and retest before the first flight.
In spite of special attention given to the thermal door problem, a failure did occur during the fourth mission; the door did not close after a photographic sequence. Fortunately, it had been designed to allow use in a partially opened state for temperature control, and it was possible to give it step commands that would move it a notch at a time. This command mode was used to save the mission, but there were a lot of worried people and a myriad of commands involved in the process. The incident was a frightening reminder of the small links in the chain that were critical to success, many of them easily overlooked during the development of a complex set of high-technology items, but each as important as the most sophisticated element.
The photographic system was composed of three basic sections: camera, processor, and readout equipment. Of course, many interconnections were necessary to make the system operate as a unit and react to commands transmitted from the ground.
The film was Eastman Kodak type SO-243 High Definition Aerial Film, 70 millimeters in width. As the film was pulled from the supply, it passed  first through the focal plane of the 80-millimeter lens, sometimes referred to as the wide-angle lens. This lens-shutter assembly was an off-the-shelf unit modified from f/2.8 to f/5.6 with a Waterhouse stop. Modification also included elimination of shutter speed settings, except 1/25, 1/50, and 1/100 of a second. A neutral density filter was added to the lens to help achieve a balance in exposure with the 610-millimeter lens. Simultaneously with exposure of the 80-millimeter format, exposure occurred on the 610-millimeter lens systems, and a 20-bit code showing the time the photograph was taken was exposed adjacent to the 80-millimeter format. The 610-millimeter lens, modification of an earlier design by Pacific Optical, used a folding mirror and a focal plane shutter to expose a format of approximately 5° by 20° versus the 80-millimeter format of approximately 35° square. Following each exposure, the film was advanced exactly 29.693 centimeters (11.690 inches). This brought the last 80-millimeter frame to a position just short of the 610-millimeter platen, bringing fresh film onto both platens and readying the system for the next exposure. In this manner, the 80-millimeter and 610-millimeter frames were interlaced on the same strip of film. A preexposed pattern of Reseau crosses was present on the film for indexing, along with a nine-step gray scale, power resolving targets, and reference numbers.
Coming closer than about 200 kilometers to the lunar surface made image motion a significant degrading factor because of the speed of the spacecraft over the surface. Therefore, image motion compensation was provided for both lens systems, since some of the high-resolution photographs were to be taken at an altitude of only 20 kilometers. To accomplish this, a portion of the field of view from the 610-millimeter lens was fed to the velocity/height sensor located physically above the camera plane. This optical signal was analyzed by the sensor, time correlated, interpreted, and transmitted into a servomechanism output used to drive both camera platens so as to null the image motion. In other words, the film speed was adjusted by the image motion compensation sensor system to compensate for the motion of the spacecraft past the target area. Since the camera could take up to 20 photographs in rapid succession at framing rates as high as 1.6 seconds per photograph, buffer storage was provided for the film between the camera and processor. Film was pulled through the camera by the film advance motor and temporarily stored on a camera storage looper system which could hold up to 21 frames of exposed film before sending it through the developer.
After completion of a photographic pass, the processor was turned on. Film went into the processor and was laminated with Eastman Kodak type SO-111 Bimat film presoaked with Imbibant type PK-411. Processing of the film to a negative took place during travel around the processing drum at a controlled temperature of 85° F. After processing, the film and Bimat were separated. The Bimat was discarded into the Bimat takeup chamber, and the film passed over the dryer drum, where it was subjected to a temperature of  95° F, and moisture was driven off for absorption by pads around the periphery of the drum. Following drying, the negative film was twisted once again through 90°, passing out of the processor and into the readout looper, which was similar in principle to the looper after the cameras, before processing. At this point, the readout looper served only a control function, being partially filled with processed film, then signaling the motor on the takeup spool to empty it once again. In this manner, the photographs were exposed, processed, dried, and stored, ready to be transmitted to Earth.
After all the film had been processed, the Bimat developer was cut free by a hotwire device, making the processor free wheeling so that the readout could proceed until all data had been examined. The selected readout mode made data available at any time and was limited only by the capacity of the readout looper. Two readout modes were possible. In normal operation, only selected readout was conducted prior to completion of all the photography and processing. After processing, the readout could begin from one end and continue until all the film had been read. Film travel during readout was opposite to the direction of picture taking; thus the last pictures obtained would normally be accessible first for readout.
The readout concept involved a light scan generated by a linescan tube. Images were fed through optics to a photomultiplier tube which in turn fed a video amplifier and transferred the signal into a 0 to 5 volt, 0 to 240 hertz video signal for transmission to Earth. In the readout assembly, the film advanced in 2.5-millimeter segments. During a 23-second pause between advances, the film was clamped in the readout gate and scanned with a raster of about 287 lines per millimeter. Light for this scan was generated by the linescan tube, which provided an 800-hertz horizontal sweep of an electron beam across a revolving phosphor drum anode. The resulting flying spot, approximately 200 microns in diameter, was "minified" 22 times and imaged on the emulsion side of the film. The vertical component of the raster was generated by moving the minifying lens or scanner lens at a precise rate across the film. After scan of each segment, the film was advanced, the lens reversed, and the next segment scanned in the opposite direction.
Light transmitted through the film was collected by optics and fed to the photomultiplier tube for conversion to electrical signals. The film was thus read out in "framelets," each 2.5 millimeters by 65 millimeters and each requiring about 23 seconds to transmit. One frame, defined as one 80-millimeter and one 610-millimeter exposure pair with their associated time-code data, required 43 minutes for transmission.
 After receipt and processing at one of the Earth stations of the Deep Space Network, the video signal was fed to one of two recording devices. Predetection video recordings were made of each readout sequence handling on Earth. At the same time, the ground reconstruction electronics were used to regenerate the signal. This essentially provided the reverse of the spacecraft readout, taking the video signal and driving a kinescope whose linescan was imaged onto moving 35-millimeter film; thus, each framelet 2.5 millimeters by 65 millimeters in the spacecraft became a framelet 20 millimeters by 420 millimeters on the ground. These framelets were then laid side by side to provide reconstruction of all or part of the frames as they existed in the photographic system in lunar orbit.
Operations for the first Lunar Orbiter mission were conducted with deadly seriousness, and, as might be expected during the first flight, a number of anomalies occurred. The image motion compensator did not work properly, so that no extremely high-resolution photographs of any value were obtained. In spite of these troubles with the photographic system and problems with the orbiter attitude control system, a total of 205 exposed frames resulted. Of these, 38 had been taken in the initial orbit and 167 after the orbit had changed to provide the closer approach. The spacecraft did photograph all 9 potential landing sites for Apollo and, in addition, took pictures of 11 sites on the far side of the Moon plus 2 Earth-Moon pictures.
The pictures of Earth from the vicinity of the Moon that showed the lunar surface in the foreground were most spectacular and actually provided some new knowledge of the orbiter camera system capabilities, in addition to offsetting the losses in high-resolution data. The first of these Earth-Moon pictures was taken during orbit 16, about 5 days after the first photographs of the Moon were taken. Such pictures were not included in the original mission plan. They required a change in the spacecraft's attitude in relation to the lunar surface so that camera lenses were pointing away from the Moon. Maneuvering involved a calculated risk; the prospect of taking unplanned photographs of Earth early in the flight caused some concern among Boeing project leaders. Part of the concern was due to the fact that planning for the attitude control maneuvers and their execution had been completed during the high-activity period of the mission without much review and checking. If a problem had occurred because of this special picture taking that made it impossible to complete the mission as planned, the team would have been justly criticized.
 However, the possibility of obtaining such interesting pictures led to a series of hurriedly held meetings among NASA program officials. Lee Scherer, Floyd Thompson, Cliff Nelson, Jim Martin, and I convinced ourselves that the photographs were worthwhile and then discussed the matter with the Boeing officials who were performing the mission under an incentive contract. It was not reasonable to modify the predetermined incentives; however, the contract allowed NASA officials to consider extra performance at the end of the program, and if the picture taking was successful, to justifiably reward the contractor for his extra efforts. As it turned out, Boeing officials agreed in spite of their project managers' concern, and the pictures were taken on two different orbits, 16 and 26.
Not only were these pictures spectacular from the standpoint that they provided the first view of Earth from the distance of the Moon with the Moon in the foreground, but they also gave valuable insight into the benefits of perspective shots of the lunar surface. Until these were taken, all pictures had been taken along axes perpendicular to the Moon's surface with the idea of providing map-like information. On subsequent Lunar Orbiter missions, however, oblique photography was planned and used. In talking with Neil Armstrong after his Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, I learned that some of the oblique photographs, which gave views of approach conditions like those the astronauts saw from their windows, were extremely helpful. It is interesting that these benefits may have accrued incidentally as a result of the early mission gamble.
Having been conceived with the primary objective of providing information essential for the Apollo program, it is fitting to note that the successful Lunar Orbiter also set the pace for achieving extraordinary performance. By the end of the third flight, objectives prescribed to support Apollo had been fulfilled. At the end of the fifth, the entire near side and some 99 percent of the far side of the Moon had been photographed. The resolution of the photography exceeded that available from telescopes many times; of course, the back side of the Moon has never been seen through Earth-based telescopes.
In addition to the excellent photographic coverage, new data were obtained about the size, shape, and mass distribution of the Moon. The major irregularities of the Moon's gravitational field were very significant discoveries, of interest scientifically and important to trajectory determinations of orbiting spacecraft. Micrometeoroid data and radiation levels in the  vicinity of the Moon were also determined for the first time. While no surprises of significance were revealed from these measurements, "no news was good news" for Apollo planners.
While we never thought about conducting projects like Lunar Orbiter to learn how to manage, there were a number of good people who received excellent training on this project. Many of the principal Langley team members became key players in the successful Viking project a few years later. Jim Martin, who was hired to work on Lunar Orbiter because of his proven experience with industry, became a respected team leader and later guided the Viking effort as project manager. The team that conducted the Lunar Orbiter mission so well continued to distinguish itself as greater challenges were faced.
By the time the project was over, Lee Scherer's jacket had quite a few "mission hours" on it, for it had been in evidence at every major operational activity for all five flights of the Lunar Orbiter. Its symbolic contribution to the success of the program finally came to an end during a victory party at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, when the jacket was torn to shreds and divided among project members.