NASA originally planned to have a version of the Surveyor spacecraft conduct detailed orbital photographic reconnaisance of the moon in preparation for the Apollo manned landings. Delays in the Centaur upper stage and Surveyor programs resulted in the smaller Atlas-Agena-launched Lunar Orbiter spacecraft conducting the mission instead.
NASA Headquarters established an Ad Hoc Surveyor Orbiter Utilization Committee and MSC was requested to submit names of two proposed members. It was suggested that the nominees be familiar with the mission planning and constraints of the Apollo program. The first meeting was planned for late July.
On July 29, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth submitted the names of William A. Lee and William E. Stoney, Jr. He noted that the same two individuals were being nominated to serve as MSC members on the Apollo Site Selection Board. Gilruth expressed a desire that the meetings of the two groups could be coordinated to the extent that travel would be minimized.