Chronology of Administrative and
Other Events, 1957-1969
4 October - The Soviet Union announced
that it had successfully orbited an Earth-orbital satellite,
Sputnik 1, as its contribution to the International Geophysical
Year. This was followed by the launch of Sputnik 2, three times as
large as its predecessor and carrying a dog as passenger, on 3
7 November - President Dwight Eisenhower
named James Killian, head of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, as Special Assistant for Science and Technology and
chairman of the President's Science Advisory Committee. On 27
November the Committee was transferred from the Office of Defense
Mobilization to the Executive Office.
31 January - The Army's Juno I
successfully launched Explorer 1, the first U.S. Earth-orbital
satellite. The payload was developed by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, while the experiment of Prof. James Van Allen of the
University of Iowa detected a hitherto unknown belt of radiation
above the Earth.
7 February - Secretary of Defense Neil
McElroy established the Advanced Research Projects Agency at a
level above and distinct from the services. The new agency was
intended to sponsor projects without immediate military
application, although the military services were authorized to act
as executive agents on many of its projects.
5 March - President Eisenhower approved
recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Government
Organization that the new civilian space agency be lodged in a
reconstituted National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
14 April - Administration's draft
legislation submitted to Congress.
15 July - The final version of the
National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 was passed by Congress.
It provided for an agency headed by a single Administrator, for a
National Aeronautics and Space Council to set overall policy, and
for a Civilian-Military Liaison Committee to coordinate the
programs of the Defense Department and the new agency. The act
authorized the Administrator to fill up to 260 "excepted"
positions exempt from civil service regulations and stipulated
that the agency would take title to all patents developed in the
course of work performed under contract to the agency.
29 July - President Eisenhower signed the
National Aeronautics and Space Act.
3 August - The National Academy of
Sciences established a Space Science Board, one of whose principal
functions was to advise the Space Agency on its science programs.
The Board was funded jointly by the National Science Foundation
and NASA until 1964, when NASA assumed sole responsibility.
15 August - The Senate confirmed the
nomination of T. Keith Glennan as NASA Administrator and Hugh
Dryden as NASA Deputy Administrator. At the time of their
appointments, Glennan was president of the Case Institute of
Technology, and Dryden was Director of the National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics.
27 August - A rider to the NASA
Appropriation Act stipulated that NASA would have to seek
authorizing legislation before it could request appropriations for
the 1960 fiscal year. This requirement was made permanent in
30 September - The National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics went out of existence at the close of
1 October - NASA began its official
existence. By Executive Order 10783, the President transferred to
NASA all the property and civilian personnel of the Naval Research
Laboratory's Vanguard Division. Also transferred were several
lunar probes sponsored by the Army, the F-1 rocket engine under
Air Force study, and over $100 million in unexpended funds.
7 October - Project Mercury, the nation's
first manned flight program, was established. The project was to
be directed by a Space Task Group stationed at the Langley
Research Center and headed by Robert Gilruth.
3 December - Executive Order 10793
transferred to NASA the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's functions and
Government-owned property. The laboratory, founded in 1944, was to
operate as a facility of the California Institute of Technology
under contract to NASA.
January - The position of Associate
Administrator was established at NASA Headquarters. Richard Homer,
Assistant Air Force Secretary (Research & Development) was
named to fill the position on 1 June.
3 April - An agreement between NASA and
the Department of Defense (DOD) established a procedure for the
detailing of military personnel to NASA.
13 April - The Advanced Research Project
Agency's Tiros meteorological satellite was transferred to
1 May - NASA renamed its Space Center in
Beltsville, Maryland, the Goddard Space Flight Center, in honor of
one of the founders of modern rocketry. The center, formally
established in January 1959, was largely staffed by Vanguard
personnel transferred to NASA.
August - Glennan promulgated guidelines
for contract awards exceeding $1 million. The Administrator,
assisted by ad hoc boards, became responsible for establishing the
selection criteria for each contract.
21 October - President Eisenhower
announced decision to transfer the Army's Saturn project to NASA.
As part of the transfer, NASA was to receive the Development
Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, located
at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
12 November - A NASA-DOD agreement
established the principles by which each agency was to reimburse
the other for services rendered.
December - A headquarters reorganization
created a new Office of Launch Vehicle Programs, with
responsibility for Saturn and the new Huntsville installation. The
new Office was headed by Maj. Gen. Don Ostrander (USAF), acting
head of the Advanced Research Projects Agency.
14 March - The transfer of the Development
Operations Division to NA became effective.
15 March - President Eisenhower named the
Huntsville facility the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center
(MSFC). The formal mass transfer of personnel and facilities from
the Army Ballistic Missile Agency took place on 1 July. The new
center was headed by Wernher von Braun, who had been in charge of
launch vehicle development at the Redstone Arsenal before the
transfer took place.
May - NASA established a Space Science
Steering Committee to act as an internal advisory body for the
Director of Space Flight Programs, Abe Silverstein. Following the
1963 reorganization, the Committee was renamed the Space Science
and Applications Steering Committee, and its subcommittees were
expanded from seven to thirteen.
June - Congress authorized an increase in
the number of NASA excepted positions from 260 to 290.
28-29 July - At a NASA Industry Program
Plans Conference in Washington, D.C., Silverstein announced that
the agency's manned circumlunar mission project would be named
1 September - RCA engineer Robert C.
Seamans, Jr., succeeded Homer as Associate Administrator.
13 September - NASA and DOD formally
established an Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board,
chaired by the NASA Deputy Administrator and the Director of
Defense Research and Engineering, to coordinate programs, avoid
wasteful duplication, and identify problems. The agreement
provided that actions based on Board consideration of matters "may
be taken by individual members."
12 October - The Advisory Committee on
Organization established by Glennan the preceding March submitted
its final report. The Committee, headed by Lawrence Kimpton,
chancellor of the University of Chicago, consisted of outsiders
with extensive experience in business and Government. While the
report surveyed the entire scope of NASA organization, it
apparently had little effect on the conduct of operations - coming
as it did at the end of the Eisenhower Administration.
10 January - A task force headed by Jerome
Wiesner of MIT issued a report to President-elect John F. Kennedy.
The report concluded that NASA had placed too much emphasis on
manned space flight and not enough on unmanned space science and
that NASA activities showed little sign of forward
7 February - President Kennedy nominated
James E. Webb, a lawyer and former Director of the Budget, to be
NASA Administrator. Webb's nomination was confirmed by the Senate
on 9 February.
February-August - At Webb's behest, NASA
officials conducted several studies that laid the groundwork for
the November reorganization.
23 February - Webb and Deputy Secretary of
Defense Roswell Gilpatric agreed that NASA and DOD would not
initiate development of space launch vehicles or boosters without
20 April - Congress approved an
administration proposal to reorganize the Space Council. Public
Law 87-26 transferred the Council to the Executive Office of the
President, made the Vice President the chairman, reduced the
Council to Five statutory members, and authorized the Council to
"assist" as well as advise :he President.
5 May - In the nation's first manned space
flight, Alan Shepard was launched by a Redstone booster for a
fifteen-minute suborbital flight.
25 May - President Kennedy addressed a
joint session of Congress and outlined the broad-gauged national
space program prepared by Webb and Defense Secretary Robert
McNamara. Kennedy proposed (a) the goal, "before this decade is
out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the
Earth"; (b) the development of a nuclear rocket; (c) the
development of communications and meteorological satellites. The
President accompanied his message with a request for an additional
$549 million, most of which was earmarked for :he lunar
5 June - NASA announced the establishment
of an Office of Programs under DeMarquis Wyatt to serve as a
planning and review staff to the Associate Administrator.
28 June - A joint report issued by NASA,
DOD, and the Federal Aviation Agency concluded that the
development of a commercial supersonic transport aircraft was
technically feasible and in the national interest, that the
Government's role should be one of assistance to industry, and
that "maximum feasible recovery of direct government expenditures
should be sought."
20 July - A joint NASA-DOD Large Launch
Vehicle Planning Group was created under the co-chairmanship of
Nicholas Golovin (NASA) and Lawrence Kavanau (DOD). Although the
group could not resolve the question of mission mode for Apollo,
it made several important recommendations, including one that the
Air Force proceed with the development of the Titan III launch
9 August - NASA announced first major
Apollo contract award, to MIT's Instrumentation Laboratory for
Apollo Guidance and Navigation.
24 August - NASA announced selection of
site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, as site of Apollo launches. A
NASA-DOD agreement provided that the site would be operated as a
joint venture under single management to prevent duplication and
that the Air Force would be assigned responsibility for all "range
September-December - NASA announced prime
contractors for the three stages of the Advanced Saturn launch
vehicle: Boeing for the first stage (S-IC), North American
Aviation (Rocketdyne Division) for the second (S-II), and Douglas
Aircraft for the third (S-IVB).
19 September - NASA announced that a new
Manned Spacecraft Center would be established at Houston, Texas,
with the Space Task Group as its nucleus.
October - Congress authorized NASA to
raise its ceiling of excepted positions from 290 to 425.
1 November - NASA announced a major
headquarters reorganization. The following offices were abolished:
Advanced Research Programs, Space Flight Programs, Launch Vehicle
Programs, and Life Science Programs. Five new offices were
established: Advanced Research and Technology (under Ira Abbott);
Space Sciences (Homer Newell); Manned Space Flight (D. Brainerd
Holmes); Applications (vacant, subsequently filled by Morton
Stoller); and Tracking and Data Acquisition (Edmond Buckley). All
NASA field installations were to report directly to Associate
28 November - Despite a report from the
source evaluation board rating the Martin Company higher
technically, Webb, Dryden, and Seamans selected North American
Aviation as prime contractor for the Apollo command and service
7 December - Seamans announced the
creation of a new program, Gemini, as a follow-on to Mercury. Its
major purposes were to develop the technique of rendezvous in
space and to extend orbital flight time.
12 December - NASA requested the Army
Corps of Engineers to assume responsibility for managing its
construction of new facilities, particularly at the Cape.
21 December - First meeting of the Manned
Space Flight Management Council, chaired by Holmes and including
the Manned Space Flight Center directors and their staff.
24 January - Establishment of NASA Office
of Public Affairs.
9 February - NASA announced that General
Electric had been selected for a major supporting role in Apollo
to provide integration analysis of the total space vehicle, assure
reliability of the entire space vehicle, and develop and operate a
21 February - Webb wrote to the president
of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), requesting that
the Bell System provide experienced staff to prepare studies and
analyses in support of the lunar landing. On 23 March AT&T
announced the formation of Bellcomm, Inc., a profit-making
corporation owned by AT&T and Western Electric and working
exclusively for NASA.
30 April - Task force on Government
Contracting for Research and Development submitted its report. The
Committee, chaired by David Bell, the Director of the Budget,
included Webb and McNamara. Its principal recommendations were (a)
that Government salaries should be competitive with those offered
for similar work by private industry; (b) that certain functions
should never be contracted out; (c) that Government facilities
should be used to the fullest possible extent; and that, where
possible, the Government should use fixed-price rather than
cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts and that provision be made for
29 May - Webb appointed a study group
chaired by Walter Sohier, NASA General Counsel, to review source
evaluation procedures and various methods of improving contractor
performance. Throughout 1962 NASA moved toward the introduction of
incentive clauses in its major development contracts.
1 July - The Launch Operations Center at
Cape Canaveral was officially activated as a separate NASA field
11 July - In a press conference NASA
explained the choice of lunar orbit rendezvous as the Apollo
mission mode. NASA also announced that an improved version of the
Saturn I would be developed to test-fly the Apollo configuration
in Earth orbit.
21 July - NASA selected design for the
Advanced Saturn launch complex northwest of the Cape. The launch
vehicles would be erected and checked out vertically and then
transported to launch complex 39, already under
31 August - President Kennedy signed the
communications satellite bill, establishing a private corporation
in charge of the U.S. portion of a future global communications
11 October - Congress passed the Federal
Salary Reform bill, which increased the rate for GS-18 from $18
500 to $20 000 and created a nonquota category of scientific and
research positions to be filled by agencies, including NASA, upon
approval by the U.S. Civil Service Commission.
30 October - Holmes was named Deputy
Associate Administrator for the Manned Space Flight Centers. Under
this arrangement, MSFC, the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), and
the Launch Operations Center would report directly to Holmes,
rather than to Seamans.
20 November - NASA named Adm. W. Fred
Boone (USN-Ret.) to the newly created position of Deputy Associate
Administrator for Defense Affairs.
14 January - A NASA-DOD agreement provided
that Merritt Island Launch Area would be operated as a NASA
installation, separate and distinct from the Air Force's Atlantic
Missile Range; that NASA would be responsible for master planning
of Merritt Island; and that DOD would remain responsible for
operation and management of range facilities of Atlantic Missile
Range as a national asset, providing common range service to DOD
17 January - NASA's budget request for FY
1964 was sent to Congress and included $5 million for land
acquisition and engineering services for an Electronics Research
Center in the Boston area.
21 January - NASA-DOD agreement confirmed
NASA's role as Gemini project manager, created Gemini Program
Planning Board to plan experiments for NASA and DOD, and agreed
that "DOD and NASA will initiate major new programs or projects in
the field of manned space flight aimed chiefly at the attainment
of experimental or other capabilities in near-earth orbit only by
25 February - Memo from Seamans to all
center directors recommending that requests for proposals,
including the incentive clause, "contain the precise language of
the definitive contract terms."
March - Establishment of NASA Office of
Industry Affairs, with the Procurement Division placed under it.
At the same time, the Industrial Applications Division of the
Office of Applications was renamed the Technology Utilization
Division and charged with disseminating information on the
commercial applications of space technology.
15-16 May - Astronaut Gordon Cooper's
twenty-two-orbit flight concluded the Mercury program.
5 June - Delivering Air Force Academy
commencement address, President Kennedy said, "It is my judgment
that this Government should immediately commence a new program in
partnership with private industry to develop at the earliest
practical date the prototype of a commercially successful
supersonic transport superior to that being built in any other
country of the world." In a 14 June
letter to Speaker of the House he
described the proposed supersonic transport development.
12 June - D. Brainerd Holmes announced his
resignation as Deputy Associate Administrator for the Manned Space
Flight Centers. Dr. George E. Mueller, Vice President for R&D
of Space Technology Laboratories, was named to succeed him on 23
24 September - At meeting of the Manned
Space Flight Management Council it was resolved that the monthly
program review and the monthly Management Council meetings should
be combined and that the size of the Council should be
14 October - First meeting of the NASA
Management Committee, chaired by Seamans and attended by key
headquarters functional officials, including the heads of the
Offices of Industry Affairs, Public Affairs, International
Affairs, and Administration.
29 October - At meeting of Manned Space
Flight Management Council, Mueller stressed the importance of an
approach to meeting schedules that would "maximize 'all-up'
systems flight tests." He also said the philosophy should include
obtaining "complete systems at the Cape . . . and scheduling both
delivery and launch dates." (Minutes of Management
1 November - Major reorganization of NASA
Headquarters became effective, consolidating the program offices
and delineating certain staff functions. George Mueller was named
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, with MSC, MSFC,
and the Launch Operations Center reporting to him; Homer Newell
became Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications,
with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center,
and Wallops Station reporting to him; while Raymond Bisplinghoff,
the Associate Administrator for Advanced Research and Technology,
directed the Ames, Flight, Langley, and Lewis Research Centers.
These program managers would report to the Associate
Administrator. Also reporting to Seamans would be the Deputy
Associate Administrators for Industry Affairs, Administration,
Programming, and Defense Affairs.
29 November - President Lyndon B. Johnson
signed executive order changing the name of the Launch Operations
Center to the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
10 December - Defense Secretary McNamara
announced cancelation of the Dyna-Soar manned aero-spacecraft
project. Some of the funds saved would be diverted into long-range
exploration of the military uses of man in space, the chief
project of which would be a Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) using
9 January - NASA and the Federal Aviation
Agency (FAA) signed a memorandum of understanding on supersonic
transport. FAA was to be responsible for Erection and management
of design and evaluation of proposals; NASA, for conducting
background research, providing technical advice, making resource'
available to FAA, and vehicle flight testing.
14 January - NASA-DOD agreement on
instrumentation ships provided that ships required to support NASA
and DOD programs would be placed in pool operation on behalf of
both agencies, and that the Navy would be the lead agency on ship
modification and conversion.
30 January - In letter to Webb, President
Johnson requested that NASA outline its post-Apollo plans. NASA
established Future Programs Task Group under Francis Smith to
reply to President.
30 January - Basic agreement between NASA
and U.S. Weather Bureau to establish a National Operational
Meteorological Satellite System. The Weather Bureau would
determine overall requirements, operate command and data
acquisition stations, and process data for integration into
weather analyses. NASA would design and launch spacecraft, operate
launch sites, and conduct launch operations.
April - NASA issued NPC 401 on use of
contracts for nonpersonal services
20 April - NASA-DOD agreement assigned
responsibility to DOD for providing contract administration
services within the Philadelphia region. This agreement served as
prototype for NASA use of DOD contract administration services
throughout the United States.
27 April-4 May - House Science and
Astronautics Committee's Subcommittee on NASA Oversight held
hearings on failure of Ranger 6 lunar probe.
July-December - Joint study conducted by
AACB Launch Vehicle Panel confirmed NASA decision to use the
Saturn rather than the Titan III launch vehicle for Apollo.
1 September - NASA Electronics Research
Center at Cambridge, Massachusetts, was formally activated.
15 September - A task force headed by NASA
Deputy Associate Administrator Earl Hilburn issued first report on
Studies Relating to Management Effectiveness in Scheduling and
Cost Estimating. Second report submitted on 15 December.
10 December - Webb, McNamara, Donald
Hornig, the President's Science Advisor, and Kermit Gordon, the
Director of the Bureau of the Budget, reached preliminary
agreement on the purpose and scope of the MOL.
January - Future Programs Task Group
issued final report. This outlined future program possibilities,
but did not specifically choose among them. In a letter to the
President of 16 February, Webb endorsed the exploration of Mars by
unmanned vehicles and the use of the Saturn booster and the lunar
module for a variety of missions.
25 January - Webb and McNamara announced
NASA-DOD agreement on MOL. Both agencies would conduct cooperative
studies to identify experiments that might be conducted in
conjunction with the military program, while DOD continued
intensive studies aimed at defining primary military
22 May - NASA-DOD agreement outlined
principles in the management of colocated tracking
22 July - Harry Goett dismissed as
Director of Goddard Space Flight Center after persistent
disagreements with senior NASA management. Dr. John Clark,
director of Sciences in the Office of Space Science and
Applications, named Acting Director.
6 August - Saturn/Apollo Applications
directorate established within Office of Manned Space Flight to
plan and direct programs utilizing technology developed in
25 August - At a White House news
conference, President Johnson announced approval of DOD
development of the MOL at a cost of $1.5 billion. First unmanned
flights, launched by a Titan IIIC, would begin late in 1966 or
early 1967. At the same press conference, he announced that he was
extending the DOD system of planning-programming-budgeting to
civilian agencies, including NASA.
1 September - Willis Shapley, formerly
Deputy Chief of the Military Division of the Bureau of the Budget,
became NASA Associate Deputy Administrator.
28 October - NASA officially instituted
its policy of phased project planning. Research and development
process divided into four stages: advanced studies, project
definition, design, and development/operations.
2 December - Hugh Dryden, NASA Deputy
Administrator since 1958, died ~t age 67.
29 December - NASA Headquarters
reorganization plan disseminated throughout NASA. The plan
provided for the following changes: establishment of Office of the
Administrator, in which the Administrator and Deputy Administrator
would be supported by the Associate Deputy Administrator with a
strong secretariat; and establishment of operating pattern whereby
the Deputy Administrator, Dr. Seamans, would serve as general
manager. Among other changes, Director of Office of Tracking and
Data Acquisition would be made Associate Administrator or Tracking
and Data Acquisition, and heads of all functional staff offices as
well as the four program offices would report to Deputy
14 January - Webb invited Norman Ramsey, a
Harvard physics professor, to form a committee to evaluate NASA's
21 March - A report of a subcommittee of
the House Government Operations Committee recommended that NASA's
Apollo Applications and the Air Force's MOL be merged in order to
avoid wasteful duplication.
19 May - A report of the Senate Committee
on Aeronautical and Space Sciences questioned the adequacy of NASA
funding for aeronautical R&D and suggested a separate budget
for aeronautics as a possible solution.
5 August - The consulting firm of Booz,
Allen and Hamilton submitted its report to NASA on the
effectiveness of the agency's incentive contracts. Based or a
study of fifteen major contracts, the report concluded that
incentive contracts were more effective than cost-plus-fixed-fee
in holding down costs but that NASA still had much to learn about
their benefits and limitations.
15 August - Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
chaired by Norman Ramsey sub misted its report to the
Administrator. Its principal recommendation, that NASA establish a
general advisory committee of non-NASA scientists reporting to the
Administrator, was rejected by Webb and Newell.
29 August - Seamans signed project
approval document authorizing Apollo Applications proposal. The
approved plan called for launching the fueled upper stage of a
Saturn IB, which would then be outfitted by the astronauts as an
8 September - A NASA task force led by
Wesley Hjornevik submitted its "Considerations in the Management
of Manpower in NASA." Purpose of report was to consider "possible
methods by which Center complements could be adjusted by
management to meet the needs of changing roles and
15 November - With successful flight of
Gemini 12, NASA's Project Gemini officially ended.
27 January - Three-man crew for NASA's
first manned Apollo spaceflight died when flash fire swept through
the Apollo 1 spacecraft on the launch pad at KSC. Victims were
Virgil Grissom, one of seven original Mercury astronauts, Edward
H. White, and Roger B. Chaffee. NASA appointed Apollo 204 Review
Board, chaired by Floyd Thompson, Director of Langley Research
Center, on 28 January.
February - In its report on The Space
Program in the Post-Apollo Period, the President's Science
Advisory Committee rejected the idea of selecting a single major
goal as focal point for U.S. post-Apollo program and urged instead
a "balanced program based on the expectation of eventual manned
15 March - NASA carried out a major
headquarters reorganization, the fourth since 1961. Harold B.
Finger, Manager of NASA-Atomic Energy Commission Space Nuclear
Propulsion Office since its formation in 1960, was named to new
position of Associate Administrator for Organization and
Management. Reporting to Finger would be the Assistant
Administrators for Administration, Industry Affairs, Technology
Utilization, and University Affairs. DeMarquis Wyatt became
Assistant Administrator for Program Plans and Analysis. Budget and
programming functions previously under Wyatt were transferred to
the Office of Administration, headed by William Lilly, where they
would be integrated into a NASA-wide system for resources
management and budgeting.
9 April - Apollo Review Board submitted
final report. While Board was unable to pinpoint exact ignition
source, it did identify many engineering and design deficiencies
that led to the disaster.
10 April-10 May - House Science and
Astronautics Committee's Subcommittee on NASA Oversight held
hearings on Apollo fire. It adjourned without issuing a report.
Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences held
concurrent hearings but issued no report until January
1 May - NASA established the Lunar and
Planetary Missions Advisory Board to assist in developing a
general strategy for manned and unmanned lunar and planetary
missions. Board would work with all senior officials involved in
such missions and would report to the Associate Administrator for
Space Science and Applications. An Astronomy Missions Board with
similar responsibilities for space astronomy was established on 13
9 May - At hearing before Senate Committee
on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Webb announced that NASA was
extending Boeing Company's responsibilities to include integration
of command and service module and lunar module with Saturn booster
17 May - In memorandum for the record,
Seamans recorded decisions taken several days before by senior
management: (a) main Apollo program to take priority over Apollo
Applications; (b) all Apollo hardware to be configured for
mainline mission; (c) Apollo Applications flight schedules and
mission requirements to remain tentative pending further progress
on mainline Apollo and further definition of payloads.
18 May - Bernard Moritz appointed
Assistant Administrator for Special Contracts Negotiation and
Review, with special responsibility for such major contracts as
those involving the Apollo command and service modules and the
Saturn S-II stage.
June - U.S. General Accounting Office
issued report concluding that certain support service contracts at
the Goddard and Marshall Space Flight Centers were excessively
costly and that the Government could have saved money by using
civil service employees.
25 August - NASA announced that Homer
Newell would become Associate Administrator, effective 1 October.
He would be succeeded as Associate Administrator for Space Science
and Applications by Dr. John Naugle.
September - Owing to reductions in the
NASA budget request, NASA suspended production of the Saturn V
rocket beyond the fifteenth vehicle and canceled the Voyager
unmanned mission to Mars and the NERVA II nuclear rocket
October - Leo Pellerzi, General Counsel to
the U.S. Civil Service Commission, declared certain NASA support
service contracts illegal, chiefly because contract personnel were
performing the regular work of the agency. During the next few
months, NASA issued guidelines to bring such contracts under
tighter central control.
October - U.S. Civil Service Commission
submitted its "Evaluation of Personnel Management" to Webb. The
report concluded that there were a number of problem areas in NASA
personnel management: lack of headquarters leadership in
supervisory training and promotions, lack of understanding by
supervisors of their personnel management responsibilities, and
lack of management support for equal opportunity programs. To
reply to the report, Webb established an internal Personnel
Management Review Committee on 21 November.
2 October - Webb announced resignation of
Deputy Administrator Seamans, effective 5 January 1968.
9 November - Successful launch of Apollo
4. This was the first launch of the Saturn V rocket, as well as
the first launch from KSC.
January - Establishment of NASA Management
Council, chaired by Newell and attended by representatives of all
the headquarters program and functional offices.
26 January - Resignation of Edmond Buckley
as Associate Administrator for Tracking and Data Acquisition. He
was succeeded by his deputy, Gerald Truszynski.
27 January - In a memorandum to all key
NASA officials, Webb outlined a revised system for project
approval and control. A NASA operating plan would serve as an
official statement of resource plans for the current year, and
each item in the plan would be covered by project approval
documents, all of which would be reviewed by the Office of
Organization and Management.
11 March - Associate Administrator Newell
announced that the project status reviews before top management
would become "general management reviews" to be attended by all
key headquarters officials.
2 May - NASA issued revised guidelines for
phased project planning. The four phases were now designated
preliminary analysis, definition, design, and
16 September - At a White House press
conference, James Webb announced his resignation as NASA
Administrator, effective 7 October. Thomas Paine, who had been
named Deputy Administrator by President Johnson the preceding
February, became Acting Administrator.
December - President-elect Richard M.
Nixon named Dr. Charles Townes to head a task force to make
recommendations in space planning.
February - President Nixon established a
Space Task Group to draft a plan for the next decade of the U.S.
space program. Chaired by Vice President Spiro Agnew, the task
group included NASA Administrator Paine, Secretary of the Air
Force Robert Seamans, and Lee DuBridge, the President's Science
5 March - President Nixon announced
nomination of Acting Administrator Paine to be NASA Administrator.
Nomination confirmed by Senate on 20 March.
20 March - Appointment of NASA Associate
Administrator for Organization and Management Harold Finger to be
Assistant Secretary for Urban Research and Technology, Department
of Housing and Urban Development. Nomination confirmed by Senate
on 25 April.
May - NASA "procurement lead time" study
uncovered major delays in the processing of NASA R&D
7 May - NASA announced establishment of
task group on manned space stations under Dr. George Mueller,
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, and of task group
on space shuttle under Charles Mathews, Mueller's deputy.
1 June - Report of task force headed by
Dr. Townes recommended continuation of $6 billion space effort,
disapproved of any commitment to large orbiting space station, and
urged commitment to unmanned planetary probes.
10 June - Deputy Secretary of Defense
David Packard announced cancelation of MOL because of cuts in
defense spending and advances in unmanned satellite
20 July - Apollo 11 astronauts Neil
Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin landed on Moon.
22 July - NASA announced revised plans for
first orbital workshop, with 1972 launch using first two stages of
Saturn V to launch workshop and Apollo Telescope Mount together.
Workshop would be outfitted on ground and would arrive in Earth
orbit equipped for immediate occupancy by astronauts and with
Apollo Telescope Mount attached.
1 September - Lt. Gen. Samuel Phillips
(USAF), Apollo Program Director since 1964, resigned to become
Commander of Air Force Space and Missile Systems Organization. He
was succeeded by Rocco Petrone, Director of Launch Operations at
KSC since 1966.
15 September - President's Space Task
Group presented report The Post Apollo Space Program: Directions
for the Future to President Nixon. Report recommended goal of
balanced manned and unmanned programs; increased emphasis on
utilization of space technology; and development of new systems
and technology space operations that emphasized commonality,
reusability, and economy through development of new space
transportation capability and space station modules. Report
outlined three possible NASA programs for manned Mars landing
before end of the century.
10 November - NASA announced resignation
of Dr. George Mueller as Associate Administrator for Manned Space
Flight, effective 10 December. No successor was named.
13 November- - President Nixon sent to
Senate nomination of Dr. George M. Low as NASA Deputy
Administrator. At the time of his nomination, Low was Apollo
spacecraft manager at MSC. Senate confirmed nomination on 26
November, and Low was sworn in on 3 December.
29 December - NASA announced decision to
close Electronics Research Center at Cambridge, Massachusetts,
owing to budget cuts.