The Apollo Spacecraft - A Chronology.|
Project Apollo was announced to representatives of American industry during a conference in Washington, D.C., July 28-29, 1960, as a program to land men on the moon and return them safely to earth. President John F. Kennedy proposed to Congress on May 25, 1961, that this goal be attained before the end of the decade, stimulating an accelerated program. That challenge resulted in an ultimate success when Apollo 11 landed on the lunar surface July 20, 1969; two astronauts walked on the moon; and they, along with their spacecraft, returned safely to earth and were recovered from the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.
The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology, Volume I, was published in 1969. It covered the concepts that led to the Apollo program; design-decision - contract; and the lunar orbit rendezvous - mode and module. The last activity covered in Volume I was November 7, 1962.
Volume II of The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology was published in 1973 and covered the period November 8, 1962, through September 30, 1964. It, too, was broken down into three major subject areas: defining contractual relations, developing hardware distinctions, and developing software ground rules.
Volume III appeared in 1976. It covered activities beginning with October 1, 1964, and ending January 20, 1966. This was a one-part volume because almost the total emphasis during that period was on advanced design, fabrication, and testing.
This fourth and final volume of the chronology is also divided into three parts. The first, "Preparation for Flight, the Accident, and Investigation," covers the period January 21, 1966, through April 5, 1967. Part II, "Recovery, Spacecraft Redefinition, and the First Manned Flight," includes activities from April 6, 1967, through October 22, 1968. Part III, "Man Circles the Moon, the Eagle Lands, and Manned Lunar Exploration," covers October 23, 1968, through July 13, 1974.
Volume IV is more extensive than the three preceding volumes because of both the nature of events during the period covered and the length of that period.
As far as possible, primary sources were used to document the entries, with the main documentation coming from the archives of Johnson Space Center Historian James M. Grimwood. These primary sources included congressional documents, official correspondence, government and contractor status and progress reports, memorandums, working papers, and minutes of meetings. Additionally, a relatively few entries are based on NASA and contractor news releases and newspaper and magazine articles.
An effort was made at all times to cover only the most relevant events throughout the program, without concern for whether the item was about a contractor, NASA installation, or NASA Headquarters.
We have often used acronyms for the NASA installations most frequently mentioned in the text; for instance, NASA Hq., MSC for Manned Spacecraft Center (after February 17, 1973, JSC for Johnson Space Center), KSC for Kennedy Space Center, MSFC for Marshall Space Flight Center, and LaRC for Langley Research Center. A glossary of abbreviations and acronyms is given in Appendix 1.
For any errors discovered the authors accept the responsibility. For the good qualities that may be found we are indebted to the many NASA and contractor personnel members who contributed materials and gave us advice. These include Grimwood and Sally D. Gates from the JSC History Office; Frank W. Anderson, Jr., of the NASA History Office for his patience and prompt responses to many questions; Lee D. Saegesser, who kept a constant flow of documentation uncovered by him coming our way; and Hilda J. Grimwood, who typed this effort and fought the battle of converting seemingly never-ending statistics from the U .S. standard units of measure to the metric system and managed to keep a smile on her face while doing so.