LUNAR IMPACT: A History of Project Ranger

Part II. The New Ranger

Chapter Fourteen - MORE MISSIONS FOR SCIENCE?

Whether planet or sky, the long-promised return for the nonvisual experimenters in Project Ranger now had to be met by Block V or not be met at all. "It was clearly anticipated," to be sure, that these flights would conduct "most of the scientific program of Ranger" 1 But with Apollo demanding an ever larger share of the NASA budget, earmarking the funds for more scientific Rangers was becoming an increasingly worrisome problem.

BLOCK V UNDERWAY

On May 6, 1963, Schurmeier’s office issued the Project Description, Spacecraft System Contract, Ranger Block V that described the tasks and requirements expected of the spacecraft system contractor, Northrop Space Laboratories. At the same time, the project office asked the parent corporation to prepare a proposal for the second phase of work covering design, fabrication, assembly, test, and launch of the Block V machines. On June 10 Northrop submitted the proposal and program plan, estimating the total cost for six spacecraft to be $72.4 million, including a 6.8-percent fee for the company. JPL officials judged the tentative plan acceptable and, pending definition of some spacecraft technical details and negotiation of a precise cost, authorized Northrop to begin Phase 2. 2 With this approval, Ranger became the first major spacecraft contract Northrop held with NASA—a solid foot in the door of the growing civilian space market. 3 That the firm’s performance undoubtedly would affect future business with the space agency went without saying. The Northrop management, determined to take every measure to assure the satisfactory completion of this project, selected as its head V. William Howard, a former associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT who had successfully managed a number of missile and aeronautical projects for the company’s Ventura Division (Figure 68).


 

Fig. 68. Northrop Manager of Project Ranger William Howard


After the cancellation of Block IV on July 12, Northrop engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory assisted in requalifying Rangers 6 through 9. Although reporting administratively to Howard, they acted as functional members of the project team, receiving day-to-day direction from JPL supervisors in the Systems, Telecommunications, Engineering Mechanics, and Quality Assurance and Reliability Divisions. And while becoming familiar with the project in Pasadena, they also prepared to assume responsibility for the complete Block V spacecraft system. Howard and other Northrop engineers, meantime, busied themselves with this important second phase: planning and implementing Ranger Block V.

In his project office in Hawthorne, Howard began a Ranger spacecraft system design evaluation. This work involved analyzing the Ranger spacecraft, determining its potential for successfully performing the Block V mission of hard-landing a capsule on the moon’s surface, and recommending changes to the design. The final product, a set of spacecraft "Design Evaluation Recommendations," was to be returned to JPL in November. Schurmeier provided guidelines that limited what could be submitted; time did not permit the creation of a new spacecraft. The existing design would be modified only as required to improve reliability and complete the mission. 4 With a final design approved by JPL, a firm program plan and performance specifications could be issued, and a definitive cost negotiated. All of these details, Howard knew, had somehow to be wrapped up by the end of the year if Northrop hoped to meet a first launch date in 1965. Before any design could be made final, however, Howard also had to know exactly what scientific experiments would be carried and the specific objectives for these missions—matters controlled by NASA and JPL rather than by Northrop.

A few months before, when space science and Apollo support momentarily appeared on a collision course once again in Project Ranger, Schurmeier and Burke had hurriedly prepared mission objectives in consonance with their concern for engineering. The primary objective of the Block V Rangers 10 through 15 * they informed the JPL division managers, should be "to obtain [lunar] data which will be useful to both the scientific and manned lunar landing programs... The secondary objective is to obtain ... lunar composition and environmental data which will support the capsule experiments and subsequent missions." 5 Premature and quite unacceptable to scientists, these objectives could not hope for Newell’s sanction, for he had already pledged Block V as a scientific venture. In fact JPL Space Sciences Division Manager Meghreblian immediately rejected them. The question of proper objectives, he counseled Schurmeier, could safely wait until the experiments had been submitted, evaluated, and selected. 6

* When NASA cancelled the Ranger Block IV missions, the six Block V vehicles were renumbered sequentially in their place, beginning with Ranger 10.

On August 5, 1963, after an initial evaluation at JPL, Meghreblian returned to Schurmeier with his own recommendation. Penetrometer or photofacsimile capsules might provide information on the bearing strength of the surface or pictures in situ, but developing reliable capsules in the time available he judged technically risky and unwise. The primary mission objective for Ranger Block V, he suggested, should "be the successful landing and operation of a seismometer capsule" on the moon. The secondary objective should "be acquisition of data concerning lunar surface composition by means of gamma-ray spectrometry and surface topography by means of television photography and radar probing." 7 Schurmeier quickly approved this choice of experiments and objectives recommended by JPL1s science manager, and transmitted the message virtually word for word to Ranger Program Chief Bill Cunningham in Washington. Ranger Block V would become an updated, unsterilized copy of the Block 11 missions—for planetary science. 8

By the fall in Pasadena, Ranger Block V, with its six capsule missions, had begun to consume efforts equivalent to if not greater than the four visual imaging missions. Schurmeier and Kautz continued to concentrate upon the first-order problems of requalifying Rangers 6 through 9. Kenneth C. Coon, as electrical engineer and graduate of the University of Minnesota, was appointed Block V Spacecraft System Manager to oversee developments at Northrop. But even with Coon's able assistance, the growing demands of the capsule flights threatened to overwhelm the small staff in Schurmeier’s project office. 9 Burke’s attention had been spread among three different blocks of nine spacecraft in 1961, a situation that Schurmeier now sought to avoid. Pickering and Parks accepted Schurmeier’s proposed changes, and on August 9 they divided Project Ranger in two: Schurmeier remained in charge of the Block III visual imaging missions; a new project manager was named for the Block V capsule missions—Geoffrey Robillard, a solid-propellant engineer and manager of the JPL Propulsion Division (Figure 69). With Ken Coon, he was to furnish technical direction to and monitor the performance of the Ranger team at Northrop Space Laboratories. Both Howard and Robillard were to continue to report functionally to Cunningham at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 10


 

Fig. 69. JPL Ranger Block V Project Manager Geoffrey Robillard


At NASA Headquarters meantime, Cunningham and Nicks considered the Meghreblian-Schurmeier recommended scientific experiments for Ranger Block V. Using the seismometer and the other instruments first flown on the Block II machines made sense; they were planetary experiments designed to investigate the composition of the moon’s surface and internal structure. Little time would be required to requalify them for flight, and efforts could be devoted to improving their reliability. The cost to NASA of using equipment already developed was negligible compared to starting something new. Both agreed on the advantages and, following JPL’s lead, they rejected twelve proposed sky science instruments in favor of the planetary experiments already tried. 11

On August 26 Nicks carried this message to the Space Sciences Steering Committee’s Planetology Subcommittee. Academic members of the Subcommittee serving as consultants to NASA also concurred in the choice: "A lunar spacecraft of the Ranger configuration should be primarily concerned with the many questions about the moon itself and not attempt to make sweeping measurements of the space between the earth and the moon." 12 A week later Nicks presented what was by now the Subcommittee’s recommendation to the full Steering Committee. Information about the moon from the proposed planetary experiments, Nicks assured the committee members, could be obtained in two successful flights. Two more flights could be held in reserve as backup missions and, if desired to save funds, the last two of the six planned capsule flights could be canceled. The Space Sciences Steering Committee ratified the Ranger Block V experiments recommended by NASA’s Director of Lunar and Planetary Programs, by its Planetology Subcommittee, and by JPL (Table V). 13

Experiment

Principal Investigator

   

Single-axis passive seismometera

Frank Press, Caltech Seismological Laboratory

Gamma-ray spectrometerb

James Arnold, U.C San Diego

Surface scanning radarb

Walter Brown Jr., JPL

Approach televisionb

Gerard Kuiper, University of Arizona

a Capsule to survive hard landing.

b Spacecraft bus - destroyed on impact.

Table V. Ranger Block V Planetary Science

When Newell confirmed this recommendation, Howard and Robillard on the West Coast could proceed to finish the spacecraft design and propose firm mission objectives. But Newell's Office of Space Sciences was also engaged in a detailed program and budget evaluation; one week passed, then two weeks, without formal notification from NASA Headquarters. On September 18 Newell approved the experiments selected by the Space Sciences Steering Committee he chaired, 14 and conveyed the news to JPL. These experiments, he wrote Pickering, were to be flown "on Rangers 10 and 11, with Rangers 12 and 13 to be planned as backup" missions. JPL and Northrop still had time to complete the payload design and integration to meet "the desired flight schedule." Nevertheless, in view of the recent funding cuts and the on going evaluation of NASA’s space science commitments, "we are withholding letters to the Principal Investigators notifying them of their selection pending a review of the revised FY 1964 program..." 15 Ensuring adequate funds for Ranger Block V, the letter implied, was still a source of real concern at Headquarters.

Adding to the uncertainty, the prospects of more missions for science were darkened by general difficulties cropping up for NASA in 1963. The Air Force was demanding a manned role in space of its own, and various Congressmen, including Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, were declaring loudly that on grounds of national defense it ought to have one. Congressmen of both parties were also beginning to seriously question the legitimacy of the rapidly burgeoning NASA budget. 16 In April President Kennedy asked Vice President Johnson to examine the space program and determine the ways and to what extent it could be reduced without affecting Project Apollo. Responding to that request for Newell’s Office of Space Sciences, Nicks claimed that, as Apollo support missions, Ranger and Surveyor were exempt from interference. Funds planned for the Pioneer and Mariner planetary projects could be reprogrammed for Apollo, Nicks observed, but such a course would have serious repercussions for unmanned space exploration and the U.S. scientific community. 17

Although Webb and his deputies Dryden and Seamans had strongly defended the President's manned space flight program in Congress and before its detractors on the President’s Science Advisory Committee, they also agreed that the NASA program as a whole should not be driven to the single purpose of landing U.S. astronauts on the moon. They viewed the President's suggested trimming of other NASA work in favor of Apollo as ill-advised. 18 A few weeks later in a meeting with Kennedy to discuss the agency’s plans and goals, Webb, told the President that NASA's triumvirate believed strongly in continuing an active and diversified program in aeronautics and astronautics. He personally was unwilling to remain and "run a truncated program." Furthermore, Webb explained, NASA’s leadership did not agree with Brainerd Holmes, who also wanted to obtain more money for Apollo by returning to Congress for a supplemental appropriation as recommended by the White House." 19 "We wanted to establish the principle that we went out and fought for the President’s Budget, and then we lived within it," Webb later recalled. "We had to do that once a year, and we couldn't do it two or three times a year." 20 President Kennedy listened attentively to his space administrator, and in the end agreed with him. Apollo might have to be cut back, but Webb would continue to run a diverse NASA program.

In October 1963 Webb tightened his control of the space agency through reorganization. Although Homer Newell became Associate Administrator of the Office of Space Science and Applications, and his responsibilities measurably expanded, this change had little effect on the makeup or duties of his staff in space sciences. Newell and his lieutenants counted on the reworked Ranger 6 nearing completion at JPL, for launch in January 1964, as the next increment in the steadily improving record of flight success. NASA issued the Schedule for the Block V Rangers built by Northrop Space Laboratories on October 18; it called for Rangers 10, 11, and 12 to be launched in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 1965. 21 At Headquarters, Nicks and Cunningham had now to guarantee financing for them. At JPL and Northrop on the West Coast, Robillard and Howard continued their efforts to finish the Block V design, flight objectives, and a host of other details before the end of the year.

NONVISUAL SCIENCE: ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL

On October 23, 1963, the Aeronutronic Division of Philco-Ford at Newport Beach received the contract to build four seismometer capsules for the Block V machines. Issued by the JPL Space Sciences Division, the contract called for Pasadena-based scientists and engineers to monitor this work. Under a separate contract with Caltech, the Pasadena group would also monitor the development of an improved single-axis seismometer. These scientific components were to be integrated and tested at JPL, then supplied as government-furnished equipment to Northrop for installation on Rangers 10 through 13. Northrop would directly supervise the development of all other spacecraft components, including the capsule support structure and retrorocket system at Aeronutronic, and would assemble and test the complete spacecraft. At the end of the month, Howard’s office submitted the design evaluation recommendations for these spacecraft and the performance specifications for the subsystems to Robillard at JPL. 22 A final design awaited only review and approval of the Northrop recommendations for the spacecraft and the scientific payload.

But by the end of October, it was not at all clear to Robillard and Coon how the NASA-selected Block V experiments could be fitted onto the new spacecraft. These experiments had been maintained on the light-weight Block II machines by removing all redundant spacecraft engineering features and increasing the risk of flight failures. 23 Now, Headquarters expected the Laboratory to allocate some 158 kilograms (350 pounds) to carry an improved set of the same experiments, while Northrop was proposing numerous design changes, also expected by Headquarters, to increase the backup engineering features on Block V. Although these machines would be heavier than their Block II predecessors, the weight, power, and space requested separately by Ranger's engineers and scientists were already in conflict.

At the beginning of November Robillard explained the impending collision of demands between science and engineering to Gerard Kuiper, principal investigator for the approach television. Since the Block III flights each carried six television cameras for visual imaging, Robillard observed, perhaps the television cameras might be the items eliminated on the Block V capsule missions with the least discomfort to all concerned. Long an outspoken champion of the importance of visual imaging in planetary exploration, the Dutch-born astronomer from the University of Arizona was immediately aroused. Not one picture of the moon had as yet been produced in the Ranger project, he asserted. If the Block V project manager insisted on making television a candidate for removal after it had been approved by the Space Sciences Steering Committee, Kuiper warned, he would take the matter to higher authorities at NASA Headquarters. But, wherever the issue might be taken, Robillard knew something had to be eliminated before he and Howard froze the spacecraft design. Another showdown between scientists and engineers in Project Ranger appeared inevitable. 24

Robillard had already issued the mission objectives for Block V. Based on discussions with Bill Cunningham, the objectives were divided between two mission assignments, leaving Headquarters the option of replacing some of the planetary experiments with sky science experiments on later flights: 25

The first mission of the Block V Ranger flights is to land an operating package containing a single-axis seismometer on the surface of the moon, to obtain information regarding seismic activity on the lunar surface, and to obtain gamma-ray measurements, lunar radar reflectivity measurements, and photographs of the lunar surface from lunar altitudes greater than about 20 km.

The second mission objective of the Block V Ranger flights is to obtain other information from the surface of the moon and in the vicinity of the moon.

The six flights will be divided between the first and second missions. The first two flights are assigned to the first mission. The third and fourth flights are t6ntatively assigned to the first mission, and the remaining two flights to the second mission.

If funds could be found for all six flights, nonvisual sky science experiments might also be accommodated.

Funds—that was the ultimate rub. Since work had begun on the new capsule missions, finding the money to pay for them had been the outstanding problem confronting Nicks and Cunningham. The problem became more acute on October 24, when Newell advised his staff to consider the possibility of canceling these flights. Such a move, he said, would free some $30 million in fiscal 1964 funds urgently needed to begin the Lunar Orbiter project, retrofit the hundreds of contaminated diodes on Rangers 6 and 7, and, it was hoped, bail out the hard-pressed Surveyor lander project where costs were skyrocketing. Moreover, the funding levels for all NASA projects in fiscal 1965 had to be decided upon before the end of 1963. The Office of Space Science and Applications could not postpone a decision on these scientific missions much longer. 26

In Washington on December 2, Nicks and his associates presented a plan to expand NASA's unmanned scientific lunar and planetary programs to Webb, Dryden, and Seamans. By reprogramming some funds, Nicks said, NASA could "increase the probability of scientific returns [in the lunar program] without requiring the initiation of new projects." 27 NASA’s ability to provide these returns in the present unmanned lunar program, Planetology Program Chief J. R. Allenby said, had been impaired by "two major constraints": first, the obligation to certify landing sites for Apollo, "which, if the lunar surface is extremely complicated, could require that nearly all of our currently planned vehicles be used in mare areas to outline a safe site;" and second, the limited weight and power of contemporary spacecraft, which made it impossible "to satisfy for the foreseeable future the scientific needs of a variety of specialities..." Moreover, rather than immediately answering questions, each successful flight, "especially in the early stages, may only raise puzzling problems that will require increased data from points covering the entire lunar surface"—beyond the mare regions of prime interest to Apollo. Thus, if a few more lunar flights in the existing unmanned projects were to be approved, the value of the program to science could be greatly increased. 28

Each of NASA’s lunar program chiefs urged that more flights be added to the Surveyor lander and Lunar Orbiter projects. More flights in Project Ranger, Cunningham asserted, were not requested, but the funding for those already planned was certainly needed. For a very modest increase in the planned investment in Block V, more experiments could be added, and the wishes of more scientists granted. "If this money is to do the most good," Cunningham advised Webb and his deputies, "the contracts [for the additional scientific experiments] would have to be let by February 1, 1964." 29

Money to meet the needs of Ranger Block V might be nearly invisible in the space agency’s budget, but all of Newell’s unmanned lunar and planetary project proposals combined meant that his segment of NASA’s program would about double in size and demand a share "on the order of 10 percent of the NASA budget" in the years ahead. If NASA hoped to land a man on the moon by 1970, retain a diverse program, and meet the fiscal guidelines issued by Budget Director David Bell, the agency simply could not afford these laudable scientific objectives. Moreover, the chances of obtaining more funds were poor, in part because of the growing Congressional dissatisfaction with the size of the NASA budget, in part because the new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, was publicly promising a special emphasis on economy in government. Before the week was out, James Webb informed Newell that the proposals for an expansion in the unmanned lunar and planetary program could not be considered.

About the same time, on December 9, Howard’s office at Northrop Space Laboratories submitted to JPL its proposal for the development program of the Block V spacecraft system. 30 The next day, on December 10, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced that the Air Force would begin work on a Manned Orbiting Laboratory to carry two Air Force astronauts in late 1967 or early 1968 to explore the problems and potential of manned military operations in near-earth space. 31 McNamara’s announcement, the liberal and influential New York Times observed editorially, "makes it more imperative than ever that a new hard look be taken at what we are trying to do [in space], the wisdom of the choices made, and the adequacy of our resources to the total effort." 32

Newell, Cortright, and Nicks had already taken a hard look at the resources available to the Office of Space Science and Applications and decided: existing fiscal conditions dictated that part of that program be trimmed immediately. On Friday the 13th, Newell wired Pickering:

Since we are now reasonably certain of the final FY 1964 NASA appropriation by Congress, as well as the maximum probable level of support in FY 1965, it has become necessary to conduct an extensive review and evaluation of all programs in order to arrive at a budget which will meet our program requirements and still remain within the funds which will be available to us. One of the decisions resulting from this evaluation was to terminate immediately all activities associated with the Ranger Block V program... 33

In the final analysis, Cortright observed, "it was purely funds that cancelled the work." 34

The decision eased the tight money situation in the Office of Space Science and Applications and the manpower shortage at JPL, where the engineers returned to their respective technical divisions or were quickly reassigned to other NASA deep space flight projects. But shortly before Christmas, 200 unlucky Northrop engineers received layoff and termination notices. And the nonvisual planetary scientists who had worked and waited and hoped on the assurances of Headquarters could hope for nothing more at all from Project Ranger.

"The first thing sacrificed is always science," Harold Urey snapped irately during an interview at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Cleveland, Ohio. Though some lunar pictures might yet be returned by Ranger, scientists possessed "no possibility now of finding out anything about the composition of the moon’s surface until about 1966 or 1968. As to the popular purpose of NASA’s Apollo, "namely, putting someone on the moon," the Nobel Laureate added tartly, "any man or woman with an attractive personality would do." 35


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Chapter Fourteen - 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. William H. Pickering's testimony in United States Congress, House, Committee on Science and Astronautics, Investigation of Project Ranger, Hearings before the Subcommittee on NASA Oversight, 88th Congress, 2nd Session, 1964, No. 3, p. 17 1.

2. Northrop Corporation, "Proposal, Ranger Spacecraft System, Phase II," Volume 1: "Management Technical," and Volume II: "Cost Proposal," (NSL 63-89, June 1963) (2-624 and 2-625); and JFL document, "Ranger Block V Project," Technical Report No. 32, Preliminary Draft, January 1964, p. 37 (2-1969).

3. Letter from George Salem, Associate Director Corporate Communications, Northrop Corporation, to Cargill Hall, April 15, 1974 (2-2460).

4. Space Programs Summary No. 37-2-5, Volume I for the period November 1, 1963, to December 31, 1963 (Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, January 31, 1964), pp. 2-3.

5. James D. Burke, draft of the Ranger Block V Preliminary Project Development Plan, attached to a JPL Interoffice Memo from Harris Schurmeier to Distribution, subject: "Ranger Block V Preliminary PDP Draft," May 2 8, 196 3, p. 1 (2-1606a&b).

6. A review of the JPL Space Sciences Division effort appears in George Baker, The Ranger Block V Science System, JPL document, September 2 1, 1964 (2-2063).

7. JP`L Interoffice Memo from Robert Meghreblian to Harris Schurmeier, subject: "Review of Experiments Proposed for Ranger Block V, "August 5, 1963 (2-1638a).

8. Letter from Harris Schurmeier to William Cunningham, subject: "Ranger Block 5 Experiment Recommendations," August 9, 1963 (2-1640 ); cf, additional letter from Harris Schurmeier to William Cunningham, August 9, 1963 (2-1641).

9. See JPL responsibilities in JPL Interoffice Memo from Robert Parks to William Pickering, subject: "Ranger Block V Management Policy," July 24, 1963 (2-1775).

10. JPL Announcement No. 101 from William Pickering to Senior Staff, Section Chiefs, and Section Managers, subject: " New Assignment for G. Robillard and Robert F. Rose," August 9, 1963 (2-272).

11. For the original development, see "Space Science and the Original Ranger Missions " in Chapter Four of this volume.

12. NASA Summary Minutes of the Space Sciences Steering Committee Meeting held September 3, 1963, prepared by Margaret B. Beach, pp. 3-4 (2-1769).

13. Ibid., pp. 5-6; also, NASA memorandum from William Cunningham to Robert Seamans, subject: "Status Report No. 18-Ranger Program," September 8, 1963, p. 3 (2-725).

14. JPL Minutes of the Ranger " Tuesday-Thursday " Meeting of September 17, 1963, prepared by Gordon P. Kautz, September 20, 1963 (2-1584); and NASA memorandum from Homer Newell to Oran Nicks, subject: " Payload Approval for Initial Ranger Block V Missions, " September 18, 1964 (2726).

15. Letter from Homer Newell to William Pickering, September 18, 1963, pp.1-2 (2-192).

16. Cf, NASA memorandum from R. P. Young to James Webb, subject: Memorandum from Jay Holmes [on Air Force Public Relations Strategy]," August 31, 1962 (5-990a); testimony of Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay before the House Armed Services Committee, February 2 1, 1963, text as reprinted in Army-Navy-Air Force Journal and Register, March 2, 1963, p. 16; Senator Barry Goldwater, "Ten Ways to Catch Up in the Space Race," Los Angeles Times, January 15, 1963, Part II, p. 4; "Barry Goldwater on Space: GOP Candidate Wants Military, Not Civilians, to Run Space Program," Science, Vol. 145, July 31, 1963, pp. 470-471; on Congressional scrutiny of the NASA budget, see Thomas P. Jahnige, "The Congressional Committee System and the Oversight Process: Congress and NASA," The Western Political Quarterly, June 1968, pp. 230-23 1; and also, Vernon Van Dyke, Pride and Power - The Rationale of the Space Program (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1964).

17. Memorandum from President John Kennedy to Vice President Linden Johnson, April 9, 1963 (2-333); and NASA memorandum from Roan Nicks to William Lilly, subject: "Response to Questions for Letter to the President, " April 17, 1963 (2-333a).

18. See James E. Webb's address before the Milwaukee Press Club Gridiron Dinner as quoted in Astronauts and Aeronautics, 1963 (NASA SP-4004. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1964), p. 145; interview of James Webb by Cargill Hall, October 26, 1972, pp. 7, 9-10 (2-2308); interview of James Webb by George Fredericton, Henry Anna, and Barry Kelmachter, May 15, 1969, p. 19 (5-715); Space Quotes, Volume 11, No. 5, prepared by the NASA Reports and Special Communications Division, June 1964, p. 2 (5-719); and NASA memorandum from James Webb to Colonel George, March 10, 1964 (5-991)

19. Favored Apollo, two years old in June, had grown like a baby Paul Bunyan and already consumed more than 50 percent of the annual budget of the entire agency.

20. Interview of Webb by Hall, October 26, 1972, p. 10 (2-2308). However, after President Kennedy's death, in early 1964 NASA officials did decide to make an exception to this rule, and returned to Congress for a supplemental appropriation for Apollo of $141 million. The reasons are described in a letter from James Webb to Cargill Hall, December 20, 1974 (5-587a).

21. Official NASA Flight Schedule, October 8, 1963 (2-968).

22. "Ranger Block V Project," p. 6 (2-1969); and "Ranger Program, Management and Financial Report, Ranger Spacecraft Systems for October 1963, " Northro Space Laboratories Report No. NSL 63-267, p. 3; see also, Spacecraft Systems Requirements Specification Ranger Block V (Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, October 28, 1963) (2-1738).

23. See "A Difference in Weights and Measures" in Chapter Four of this volume.

24. Interview of Geoffrey Robillard by Cargill Hall, February 27, 1974, p. 8 (2- 2447).

25. JPL, Ranger Block V Biweekly Status Report, October 31, 1963, p. 8 (2- 1677).

26. NASA memorandum from John Rosenberry to Distribution List, subject: "OSS Staff Meeting October 24, 1963," October 30, 1963 (2-1759); and NASA memorandum from Oran Nicks to Homer Newell and Edgar Cortright, subject: "Major Current Problems in SL, November 1963," November 5, 1963 (2-1675); see also, NASA, OSS-4 Review, November 5, 1963, p. 51 (2-1505).

27. NASA, Briefing for the Administrator on Possible Expansion of Lunar and Planetary Program December 2, 1963, p. 2 (5-675).

28. Ibid., pp. 75, 82.

29. Ibid., pp. 83, 84, 108.

30. Ranger Block V Project, " p. 43 (2-1969).

31. Department of Defense News Release No. 1556-63; Jack Raymond, "Air Force to Launch Space Station in Place of Dyna-Soar Glider, " The New York Times, December 11, 1963, pp. 1, 22. The manned space laboratory that the Air Force had pushed so vigorously was destined never to leave the ground. Six years later in 1969, without a foreign menace to combat in space, well behind schedule and over cost, the project would be quietly canceled.

32. Station in Space," an editorial in The New York Times, December 11, 1963, p. 46.

33. TWX from Homer Newell to William Pickering, December 13, 1963 (21685).

34. Interview of Edgar Cortright by Cargill Hall and Eugene Emme, March 4, 1968, p. 4 (2-762); Cortright's recollection is supported by the record. Details of the reasoning that led to the canceling of Block V are contained in a draft of a NASA memorandum from Oran Nicks, subject: " Ranger Block V Cancellation, " January 21, 1964 (2-729). Furthermore, in view of Homer Newell's personal commitment and prior pledges to nonvisual scientists, planet and sky, the decision to cancel Block V could only have been a reluctant one at best. See also, John W. Finney, "Five Lunar Shots Canceled by NASA, " The New York Times, December 14, 1963, p. 14; and NASA News Release No. 63-276, subject: "NASA Cancels Five Follow-on Rangers," December 13, 1963 (2-2415).

35. Italics added, cited in William Hines, "Urey Says Economies Hurt Space Science," The Evening Star [Washington, D.C.], December 31, 196 3, p. A5; see also, "Lunar Economy," Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 1964, Editorial; and a letter from James Arnold to Cargill Hall, June 12, 1970 (2-2194).


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Chapter 13  link to the previous page        link to the next page  Chapter 15