Encyclopedia Astronautica
Apollo MSS


American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1965. The Apollo Mapping and Survey System was a kit of photographic equipment that was at one time part of the basic Apollo Block II configuration.

The actual hardware, which would be installed in the equipment bay of certain Service Modules, would weigh up to 680 kg. The system was abandoned when it became clear that Lunar Orbiter would provide all the necessary photographs needed for Apollo landing site selection.

AKA: Mapping and Survey System.
Gross mass: 680 kg (1,490 lb).
Payload: 680 kg (1,490 lb).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Lunar Orbiters Manned lunar orbiters and orbiting stations were rarely designed for this purpose alone, but usually used in a lunar-orbit rendezvous lunar landing scenario together with a separate lunar lander. They were more powerful than circumlunar manned spacecraft in that they required substantial propellant to brake into and get out of lunar orbit. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...

Bibliography
  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.

Apollo MSS Chronology


1964 October 22 - .
  • No lunar mapping or survey capability necessary for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Shea. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo MSS. In response to inquiries from General Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Deputy Director, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea declared that, for Apollo, no lunar mapping or survey capability was necessary. Shea reported that the Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter programs should give ample information about the moon's surface. For scientific purposes, he said, a simpler photographic system could be included without requiring any significant design changes in the spacecraft.

1965 March 11 - .
  • Kit-type mapping and survey system in the basic Apollo Block II - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo MSS. MSC directed North American to incorporate the capability for storing a kit-type mapping and survey system into the basic Block II configuration. The actual hardware, which would be installed in the equipment bay of certain SMs (designated by MSC), would weigh up to 680 kg (1,500 lbs).

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