MSC said that a change of recovery area to the Atlantic for AS-501 and AS-502 would cause some schedule slip and compromise of mission objectives and would not necessarily save recovery ship effort. For AS-503 and similar nonlunar missions, adjustments could be made to the mission profile to result in a prime recovery in the Atlantic area. Secondary support would be necessary in the Pacific, however. The report stressed that confining recovery to the Atlantic area for lunar missions would severely curtail the number of launch windows available.
In a December 30 letter to MSC, KSC, and MSFC, the Apollo Program Director referred to the study and said it had been determined that plans for Pacific recovery for the AS-501 and AS-502 missions were justified.