Apollo vs N1-L3
Apollo CSM / LM vs L3 Lunar Complex
Credit: © Mark Wade
Launched: 1974 July. Number crew: 3 .
Work was stopped on LM-14; CSM-115A was studied for use on a second Skylab mission; Saturn V 515 was earmarked for use on Skylab. The remaining Apollo missions were stretched out to six-month intervals, which would have placed the Apollo 20 flight in 1974 had it not been cancelled. No crew was formally selected. In the normal three-mission-ahead crew rotation, a Conrad-Weitz-Lousma would have been named. Instead they were transferred to the Skylab program. At one time it was considered possible that Mitchell would command the crew in place of Conrad. But it has also been stated that since both Conrad and Mitchell had been on the lunar surface, Stuart Roosa would have been commander. Astronaut Lind was considered by Slayton as next in line for a chance to land as lunar module pilot. So the most likely crew would have been Roosa (Commander); Lind (Lunar Module Pilot); and Lousma (Command Module Pilot).
Grumman was invited to provide NASA with a cost-plus-incentive-fee proposal to provide four LEMs subsequent to LEM-11, with the proposal due at MSC by the close of business on the following day. The proposal should be based on a vehicular configuration similar to LEM-11 in all respects, including supporting activities, contractual provisions, and specifications applicable to LEM-11. The required shipment dates for the four vehicles would be December 13, 1968, February 11, 1969, April 11, 1969, and June 10, 1969, respectively.
NASA issued a tentative planning schedule for the Apollo program:
|Flight||Launch Plans||Tentative Landing Area|
|Apollo 12||November 1969||Oceanus Procellarum lunar lowlands|
|Apollo 13||March 1970||Fra Mauro highlands|
|Apollo 14||July 1970||Crater Censorinus highlands|
|Apollo 15||November 1970||Littrow volcanic area|
|Apollo 16||April 1971||Crater Tycho (Surveyor VII impact area)|
|Apollo 17||September 1971||Marius Hills volcanic domes|
|Apollo 18||February 1972||Schroter's Valley, riverlike channel-ways|
|Apollo 19||July 1972||Hyginus Rille region-Linear Rille, crater area|
|Apollo 20||December 1972||Crater Copernicus, large crater impact area|
NASA had canceled the Apollo 20 mission and stretched out the remaining seven missions to six-month intervals, Deputy Administrator George M. Low told the press in an interview after dedication of the Lunar Science Institute (next to MSC in Houston). Budget restrictions had brought the decision to suspend Saturn V launch vehicle production after vehicle 515 and to use the Apollo 20 Saturn V to launch the first U.S. space station in 1972.
NASA issued instructions for deletion of the Apollo 20 mission from the program. MSC was directed to take immediate action to:
The preferred landing site was the Marius Hills, or, if the operational constraints were relaxed, the bright crater Tycho. The flight was cancelled on January 4, 1970, before any crew assignments were made. The most likely crew would have been Roosa (Commander); Lind (Lunar Module Pilot); and Lousma (Command Module Pilot).