On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet. 1958-1978

[430] Appendix B
Voyager Project Highlights, 1966-1967




22 Dec. 1965

First Voyager flight deferred to 1973.

3-5 Jan. 1966

NASA management explained to spacecraft contractors rationale for changes in Voyager plans.

12 Jan. 1966

Don Hearth and Don Burcham discussed Voyager plans for next 18-24 mos.

24 Jan. 1966

First major meeting of top Space Science Office and JPL managers on revised planetary program.

11 Feb. 1966

NASA Hq. authorized JPL to extend General Electric, Boeing, and TRW phase IA study contracts in effort to keep those contractors' Voyager teams together. Work identified as task C of phase IA.

14 Feb. 1966

Planetary program review with Administrator Webb.

4 Apr. 1966

Voyager Project Guidelines revised.

7 July 1966

Viking Project Estimate 3, VPE-5, VPE-6, VPE-7, and VPE-8 presented to JPL Executive Council.

14 July 1966

VPE-5 and VPE-12 presented to Voyager Capsule Advisory Group.

19 July 1966

Voyager Capsule Advisory Group evaluated proposed missions
and recommended:
1969 - Mariner-class flyby.
1971 - Mariner-class orbiter.
1973 - Voyager-class orbiter, plus soft-lander with 45 kg of landed scientific instruments.
1975 - Voyager-class orbiter, plus soft-lander with 136 kg of landed scientific instruments.
1977 - Voyager-class orbiter, plus soft-lander with automated biological laboratory.

22 July 1966

NASA - JPL management review of Voyager. VPE-5, VPE-12, and VPE-13 presented. RFP for phase B Voyager procurement for capsule system recommended for I Nov. 1966.

28 July 1966

Newell sent Pickering Revised Mission Guidelines letter calling for orbiter and surviving capsule in 1973. Two spacecraft with each launch vehicle in 1973 and 1975. Capsule would soft-land using retropropulsion package to slow descent.

Aug. 1966

JPL proposed Mariner Mars 1971 flyby with atmospheric probe.

[431] 14 Sept. 1966

Voyager presentation made to Office of Space Sciences (VPE-14), including all Hq. recommendations. Two spacecraft on one Saturn V for all missions, 1973-1979. Capsule-2270-2720kg. All missions soft-landing.

23 Sept. 1966

Procurement plan for capsule system, phase B, submitted to NASA Hq. by JPL. "Allowed to die."

26 Sept. 1966

Space Science Office and Office of Advanced Research and Technology discussed breaking down capsule system into delivery system and lander. Langley would work on former, JPL on latter.

5 Oct. 1966

Revised Voyager Guidelines basically approved VPE-14 with modifications. "Modifications open so broad a set of considerations as to violate VPE-14."

17 Oct. 1966

VPE-14 presented to Associate Administrator Seamans.

19 Oct. 1966

JPL and Newell's staff discussed Langley part in development of lander systems.

20 Oct. 1966

Newell and Nicks traveled to Huntsville to explore greater Marshall Space Flight Center participation in Voyager.

3-4 Nov. 1966

Hq. meeting discussed management assignments for Voyager. In addition to Space Science Office Staff, Webb, Seamans, George Mueller (OMSF), Floyd Thompson (Langley), and Wernher von Braun (MSFC) were present.

18 Nov. 1966

Revised Vovager Project Guidelines reaffirmed existing management assignments: JPL-project management and spacecraft; MSFC-launch vehicle. Langley likely to get landing systems for lander; i.e., "capsule bus." Capsule system phase B RFP rescheduled to 1 Jan. 1967.

1-16 Dec. 1966

JPL worked on several drafts of phase B procurement plan.

19-20 Dec. 1966

JPL representatives met at NASA Hq. with Space Science Office staff to discuss consolidated Voyager management plan.

27 Dec. 1966

Approved phase B procurement plan for capsule systems distributed within NASA. Not released publicly until 17 Jan.1967.

27 Jan. 1967

Project Approval Document for phase B signed. MSFC was assigned management responsibility for both Voyager spacecraft and Saturn V launch vehicle. JPL and Langley to share responsibility for lander. Apollo 204 fire killed Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee.

31 Jan. 1967

RFP for phase B issued to 36 industrial contractors.

8 Feb. 1967

Webb postponed assignment of project management to Marshall until summer 1967.

[432] 16 Feb. 1967

OSSA recommended establishment of Voyager Intern Project Office until final project management decision made.

23 Feb. 1967

Webb and Seamans approved Voyager Interim Project Office (VIPO), established Voyager as separate division within OSSA.

28 Feb. 1967

Webb advised Congress of Voyager management changes

2 Mar. 1967

Phase B capsule proposals submitted by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp.. Hughes Aircraft Co., Martin Marietta
Corp., and McDonnell Aircraft Corp. Evaluation begun.

14 Mar. 1967

Newell distributed Voyager Guidelines.

21 Mar. 1967

Newell described revised Voyager project to House Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications.

22-23 Mar. 1967

First Voyager Management Committee meeting held in Pasadena. Committee created to coordinate all VIPO and field organization activities related to Voyager. (Met monthly thereafter. )

23 Mar. 1967

Rep. Karth and members of the House Space Science and Applications Subcommittee visited JPL. Hearth briefed them on VIPO activities.

12 Apr. 1967

Revised Project Guidelines. Surface lifetime of lander must be at least 24 hrs.

5-6 May 1967

Nicks, Hearth, Fellows, and others attended Lunar and Planetary Missions Board meeting at Stanford Univ. Board recommended Voyager surface-laboratory science be done in-house by a working group of its choice.

8 May 1967

Voyager quarterly review held at VIPO.

17 May 1967

Martin Marietta Corp. (Denver Div.) and McDonnell Aircraft Corp. (Astronautics Co.) selected by N,ASA for a 90-day phase B design study of landing capsule. Both companies received $500 000. Contracts dated 1 June.

24 May 1967

Newell, Naugle, and Nicks made 3hz-hr. presentation on planetary program to President's Science Advisory Committee.

9 June 1967

Seamans, Newell, and others from OSSA discussed two significant issues: (1) limiting phase C procurement, fabrication of Voyager spacecraft, to phase B contractors; (2) arrangement for permanent project management assignment. Seamans established committee to study contractor question. Seamans said either Langley or Marshall could handle management of Voyager "with most factors favoring Marshall." Decision needed by end of Aug. 1967.

17 June 1967

Lunar and Planetary Missions Board examined scientific aspects of Voyager. Plans established for advisory group that would work with JPL in defining surface laboratory system.

[433] 19 June 1967

Nicks and Hearth met with Newell to review results of meeting on 17 June; all agreed to examil1e ways of extending expected lifetime of surface laboratory.

29 June 1967

Vovager Board of Directors meeting gave much attention to project management question. Majority favored assignment to either Langley or Marshall.

5 July 1967

Alternative budgets and programs developed by Hearth and discussed with Cortright. "Options were determined for establishing strategy in the event congressional appropriations for Voyager were less than requested."

10 July 1967

Revised Project Guidelines: 90-115-kg science subsystem must have minimum operational life of 30 days after landing. Mortar deployment of samples (as proposed for Gulliver) excluded.

13-14 July 1967

Lunar and Planetary Missions Board met at VIPO to discuss Voyager surface laboratory and experiments to be included in it.

19 July 1967

Cortright and Nicks reviewed Voyager plans, assignments, and functions of Voyager Program Office.

31 July 1967

Congressional Conference Committee reported a $42-million fiscal 1968 authorization instead of $71.5 million requested by NASA.

3-4 Aug. 1967

Fifth monthly Voyager management meeting reviewed alternative programs possible with reduced fiscal 1968 authorization.

10 Aug. 1967

Voyager announcement of flight opportunity was distributed to 5000 prospective scientific experimenters.

11-12 Aug. 1967

Lunar and Planetary Missions Board reviewed planetary program. Despite lower authorization, Board endorsed Voyager as prime means of landing large payloads on Mars. Orbital part of mission was essential.

16 Aug. 1967

NASA advised that House Appropriations Committee reported bill eliminating Voyager entirely and cutting lunar and planetary programs budget by $6.9 million. Action left funds only for Mariner 69 mission. No further projects funded.

24 Aug. 1967

NASA Public Information Office notified all centers of congressional cut-back.

30 Aug. 1967

Nicks notified all officers: "Because of a reduced FY1968 NASA Budget, it is not planned to proceed with Voyager into Phase C this fall as previously planned. All current Voyager Phase B system contracts will, however, be completed as previously planned." Voyager effectively ended on this date.
SOURCE: Several dozen documents. Among which the most helpful was Donald P. Burcham," Listing of Voyager Important Documents & Meetings relative to Project Direction," Oct. 1967.