See listJAN 20 196767-FM1-7FM/Deputy Chief, Mission Planning and Analysis DivisionWhy is it everyone who loves radar wears a white hat?
In one of these notes eight or ten months ago, I commented that it seems to me the Apollo command module really does not have an operational ren- dezvous capability. In response to that, I was told to “think positive” and that's what I'm doing for main line Apollo. However, it would be unfortunate if we do not attempt to fix the AAP spacecraft. As I under- stand it, it is currently planned to carry out some rather ??????? ????? orbital missions involving multiple rendezvous in which the command module is not only nominally the active vehicle but is the only one manned – quite a different situation than the lunar landing missions since mission success will depend complete upon the command module be- ing able to carry out these various rendezvous within a reasonable propellant budget, it seems mandatory to me that some sort of range and range rate measuring system to be provided. Of course, a complete radar would be even better. Failure to do this will mean the rendezvous opera- tion must be carried out with that optical guidance system which is ?? heavily dependent upon a priori information. “A priori” is the ??????- ??????? way of saying that the ground control must be both timely and extremely precise in it's assistance. Such dependence is rather undesira- ble and constraining, of course. But I would like to point out that I expect one of the worst situation will occur during terminal phase target- ing when ground assistance is almost worthless.
I would like to emphasize that all of this is just my opinion and is not necessarily the position of my division or directorate. I'm sure there are many who would argue that the optical system is perfectly adequate and they ??? ???? their arguments with all sorts of analyses. ?????????, I don't believe any of that stuff, and I'm afraid waiting for the ??- experience will put us into the position where it is too late to fix up the command module for these AAP missions. Let's vote.