|astronautix.com||NASA's future manned space program|
The STG New Projects Panel (proposed by H. Kurt Strass in June) held its first meeting to discuss NASA's future manned space program. Present were Strass, Chairman, Alan B. Kehlet, William S. Augerson, Jack Funk, and other STG members. Strass summarized the philosophy behind NASA's proposed objective of a manned lunar landing : maximum utilization of existing technology in a series of carefully chosen projects, each of which would provide a firm basis for the next step and be a significant advance in its own right.
Each project would be an intermediate practical goal to focus attention on the problems and guide new technological developments. The Panel considered the following projects essential to the goal of lunar landing and return : a detailed investigation of the earth's radiation belts, recovery of radiation belt probes carrying biological specimens, an environmental satellite three men for two weeks, lunar probes, lunar reconnaissance (both manned and automatic), and lunar landing beacons and stores. The Panel recommended that work start immediately on an advanced recovery capsule that would incorporate the following features: reentry at near lunar return velocity, maneuverability both in space and in the atmosphere, and a parachute recovery for an earth landing. Kehlet was assigned to begin a program leading to a "second-generation" space capsule with a three-man capacity, space and atmospheric maneuverability, advanced abort devices, potential for near lunar return velocity, and advanced recovery techniques. References: 16 .