NASA, North American, Grumman, and RCA representatives determined the alterations needed to make the CM television camera compatible with that in the LEM: an additional oscillator to provide synchronization, conversion of operating voltage from 115 AC to 28 DC, and reduction of the lines per frame from 400 to 320.
MSC decided to supply television cameras for the LEM as government-furnished items. Grumman was ordered to cease its effort on this component.
Resizing of the LEM propulsion tanks was completed by Grumman. The cylindrical section of the descent tank was extended 34.04 millimeters (1.34 inches), for a total of 36.27 centimeters (14.28 inches) between the spherical end bells. The ascent tanks (two-tank series) were 1240.54 centimeters (48.84 inches) in diameter.
NASA announced plans to install Apollo Unified S-Band System equipment at its Corpus Christi, Tex., tracking station. The Unified S-Band equipment included a 9-m (30-ft) diameter parabolic antenna and would enable handling of seven different types of communications with two different vehicles, the CM and the LEM. The communications would: track the spacecraft; command its operations and confirm that the command had been executed; provide two-way voice conversation with three astronauts; keep a continuous check on the astronauts' health; make continuous checks on the spacecraft and its functions; supply a continuous flow of information from the Apollo onboard experiments; and transmit television of the astronauts and the exploration of the moon.
In response to a query on needs for or objections to an Apollo spacecraft TV system, MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton informed the Flight Control Division that FCOD had no operational requirements for a TV capability in either the Block I or the Block II CSM or LM. He added that his Directorate would object to interference caused by checkout, crew training, and inflight time requirements.
The Lunar Mission Planning Board held its first meeting at MSC. Present, in addition to Chairman Robert R. Gilruth, were Charles A. Berry, Maxime A. Faget, George M. Low, Robert O. Piland, Wesley L. Hjornevik, and acting secretary William E. Stoney, Jr., all of MSC. Principal subject of discussion was the photography obtained by Lunar Orbiter I and Lunar Orbiter II and application of this photography to Apollo site selection. The material was presented by John Eggleston and Owen Maynard, both of MSC. Orbiter I had obtained medium-resolution photography of sites on the southern half of the Apollo area of interest; Orbiter II had obtained both medium- and high-resolution photographs of sites toward the northern half of the area. Several action items were assigned, with progress to be reported at the next meeting, including a definition of requirements for a TV landing aid for the lunar module and a report on landing-site-selection restraints based on data available from Lunar Orbiter I and II only, and another on data from Lunar Orbiter I, II, and III.
The first fire-in-the-hole test was successfully completed at the White Sands Test Facility (WSTF). The vehicle test configuration was that of LM-2 and the test cell pressure immediately before the test was equivalent to a 68,850-meter altitude. All test objectives were satisfied and video tapes of TV monitors were acquired. Test firing duration was 650 milliseconds with zero stage separation.
In response to a letter from Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips concerning proposed revisions of the first lunar landing mission plan, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth presented MSC's position on the three major topics:
Concerning the first item, Gilruth said, "Our lunar surface exploration and scientific activities should be progressive as we extend our knowledge and obtain a better understanding of operational limitations and capabilities in a 1/6g environment. . . . By embarking on too ambitious an effort on our first mission, we may well jeopardize our capability to accomplish manned . . . activities on subsequent flights. . . ." It was "recommended that the LGI (with the exception of the contingency sample and preliminary sample portion) and the ALSEP be deleted from the first lunar landing mission."
With reference to television coverage, Gilruth cited Houston's position that "it would be extremely desirable to provide adequate television coverage during the extravehicular excursion. Coverage can be obtained through the LM steerable antenna and the Goldstone 210-foot [64-meter] antenna while in view of Goldstone." MSC proposed to provide "the capability to transmit the television signal directly through the high gain antenna; but we would also like to maintain the capability to carry the erectable antenna, in the event that it will not be feasible to adjust the timeline to provide Goldstone coverage for all planned extravehicular activities. . . ."
On the subject of extravehicular excursion, he said, ". . . we strongly believe that, on the first lunar landing mission, only a single extravehicular activity should be carried out. You have stated that the simplest and safest excursion should be conducted by one man alone. However, it is clear that we have to maintain the basic capability for a two-man excursion so that the second man can assist the first in the event of trouble or difficulties. Also, further studies and simulations in this area might identify new reasons why a planned two-man excursion is more desirable than a one-man excursion. . . ."
Gilruth said that MSC officials Charles A. Berry, Maxime A. Faget, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., George M. Low, and Donald K. Slayton were in full accord with all of these recommendations. He added, however, that Wilmot N. Hess felt that "these changes represent a serious compromise to the scientific program." Hess felt that the EVA period should be open ended and that it would be worthwhile to carry ALSEP and attempt its deployment. Hess also recommended that if a decision were made not to carry ALSEP, some easily deployed contingency experiments might be added, such as: Solar Wind Composition experiment, High-Z Cosmic Ray experiment, and a simplified Corner Reflector for Laser Ranging experiment.
Gilruth said that he himself believed, "that it is essential that EVA on the first lunar landing mission be limited to a single excursion and that ALSEP and LGI be eliminated as experiments from that flight. . . . I believe that the maximum scientific gains on this and future missions will be achieved if we limit our objectives as proposed. . . . I am sure that all will agree that if we successfully land on the moon and return to earth, bring back samples of lunar soil, transmit television directly from the moon, and return with detailed photographic coverage, our achievement will have been tremendous by both scientific and technological standards."
At a meeting of the MSF Management Council, Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips put forth a number of recommendations regarding planning for extravehicular and scientific activities during the first lunar landing missions:
NASA Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips asked ASPO Manager George M. Low for comments on potential uses for television aboard all Apollo spacecraft (both CMs and LMs). Although plans called for TV cameras in both spacecraft for the F and G missions, on the combined CSM-LM earth-orbital D mission only the LM was to contain a camera. Phillips asked Low to assess the feasibility and schedule impact of including a TV camera on the D-mission CSM as well (CM 104), thus employing television on all the remaining Apollo spacecraft. In particular, the Apollo Director sought Low's advice on the feasibility and usefulness of television transmissions for engineering, operations, scientific, and public information purposes.
ASPO Manager George M. Low apprised Program Director Samuel C. Phillips of MSC's plans for television cameras aboard remaining Apollo missions. With the exception of spacecraft 104 (scheduled for flight as Apollo 9), television cameras were to be flown in all CMs. Also, cameras would be included in all manned LMs (LM-3 through LM-14).
NASA was considering several methods for providing real-time television coverage of lunar surface activities with scientific commentary to the news media during future Apollo flights. A recommended approach would place scientific personnel from within NASA, including Apollo Program principal investigators, in the MSC news center briefing room with a panel representing the news media. The scientific personnel would supplement the normal air-to-ground communications, public affairs commentary, and TV transmissions from the moon with spontaneous commentary on surface activities in progress.