Encyclopedia Astronautica
1967.05.11 - Selection of North American as Apollo prime contractor questioned by Congress

NASA Administrator James E. Webb issued a statement on selection of the Apollo spacecraft contractor: "In the 1961 NASA decision to negotiate with North American Aviation for the Apollo command and service modules, there were no better qualified experts in or out of NASA on whom I could rely than Dr. Robert Gilruth, Dr. Robert C. Seamans, and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden. These three were unanimous in their judgment that of the five companies submitting proposals, and of the two companies that were rated highest by the Source Evaluation Board, North American Aviation offered the greatest experience in developing high-performance manned flight systems and the lowest cost.

"In the selection of North American Aviation, the work of the Source Evaluation Board was not rejected or discarded. It was used as the basis for a more extensive and detailed examination of all pertinent factors than the Board had performed at the time its report was presented to Dr. Gilruth, Dr. Seamans, Dr. Dryden and to me.

"At that point it became the responsibility of NASA's Associate Administrator, Dr. Seamans; its Deputy Administrator, Dr. Dryden; and its Administrator, myself, to take all steps necessary to determine whether the facts then available formed an adequate basis for our selection of a contractor. We decided in the affirmative and then proceeded to select the contractor the facts indicated offered the most to the government."

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