Encyclopedia Astronautica
1961.08.23 - Golovin Committee evaluates three rendezvous methods for manned lunar landing


The Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group (Golovin Committee) notified the Marshal! Space Flight Center (MSFC), Langley Research Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that the Group was planning to undertake a comparative evaluation of three types of rendezvous operations and direct flight for manned lunar landing. Rendezvous methods were earth orbit, lunar orbit, and lunar surface. MSFC was requested to study earth orbit rendezvous, Langley to study lunar orbit rendezvous, and JPL to study lunar surface rendezvous. The NASA Office of Launch Vehicle Programs would provide similar information on direct ascent.

Emphasis was to be placed on developmental problems, exclusive of vehicle design which would be handled separately.

In each case, environmental conditions peculiar to the particular mode of rendezvous, and their effects on equipment design, were to be considered so that the problems characteristic of the different rendezvous modes could be separated and compared as quantitatively as possible. Examples of problem areas were automatic versus manual operation, mission profile, and lunar surface conditions. All rendezvous modes would assume that the reentry capsule(s) should be capable of supporting three men and weigh within the range specified by STG (about 8,500 pounds).

The preliminary results of the study were to be ready in 30 days.

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