Encyclopedia Astronautica
1966.07.20 - Apollo mapping and survey system (M&SS)


MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth informed MSFC Director Wernher von Braun that for the past two years MSC had studied the use of the mapping and survey system (M&SS) in conjunction with the Apollo program.

The system objective would be lunar mapping and landing site certification, and management responsibility was assigned to the MSC Experiments Program Office. System parameters had been established and a decision made to configure the M&SS hardware and supporting systems in a cylindrical container. The container - a "payload module" - would be carried in the spacecraft-LM adapter in place of the LM during the boost phase of flight. The payload module would have docking capability with the CSM like the LM's and, in the docked mode, would map and survey the moon in a programmed lunar orbit.

The M&SS experiment had already been funded by NASA OMSF and would support five possible flights beginning with AS-504. Gilruth forwarded a statement of work and requested MSFC to study it and furnish MSC a cost estimate, technical proposal, and management plan by July 29.

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