Encyclopedia Astronautica
1965.05.10 - Proposal to modify Apollo LEM radar programs

ASPO Assistant Manager William A. Lee heard a proposal to modify the LEM radar programs to reduce FY 1966 costs by $7 million.

It was his understanding that the proposal would be presented to the Configuration Control Board. Lee said he at first thought the change would be "tolerable," but later felt it was a poor idea.

The major points of the proposal were:

- Delete landing radars from LEMs 1 and 2: the landing radar was not essential to earth-orbital missions of these two vehicles. In fact, ASPO had planned to drop it on LEM-2 (AS-207) to save weight. Nevertheless the proposal was a violation of the "all-up" concept, and, if adopted, would set a precedent for further deletions.
- Delete the rendezvous radar on LEM 1.
- Use "qualifiable" but not qualified rendezvous radars on LEMs 2 and 3.
- Install the rendezvous radars for LEMs 2, 3, and 4 at KSC rather than at Grumman.

Lee opined that the violations of program ground rules inherent in these changes would establish a dangerous precedent and cut back existing margins too early in the program. It would also, he said, "open the door to a series of 'one-of-a-type' LEMs tailored to their specific development missions. . . . It is too early in the LEM program to consider compromising these requirements, and to do so for budgetary reasons almost certainly will prove to be false economy."

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