See list attachedMay 28, 196969-PA-T-82APA/Chief, Apollo Data Priority CoordinationDescent, Lunar Surface, and Ascent Mission Techniques with the H crew
On May 20 and 21 we reviewed Descent, Lunar Surface, and Ascent Mission Techniques with the H crew (Pete Conrad and co.). This get together had two major objectives – to tell the H crew how we think these things should be done and conversely, for the first time to get a flight crew reaction to the techniques since in the main, they have been firmed up too late to review thoroughly with the G crew. In general, I think we are in pretty good shape on this stuff although there are, of course, the inevitable open items and questions we never seem able to rid our- selves of completely.
It was interesting to note that the H crew seems desirous of cutting back some of the activities the G crew considered worthwhile. There are also obvious philosophical differences in their attitude regarding the use of the automatic systems vs. a more manual mode. Conrad seems much more inclined to stay with the automatic system longer than Armstrong as well as insisting that they work. For example, he does not propose to continue in the face of no landing radar data, whereas Neil apparently feels he can substitute visual data for it. Some other interesting examples are:
a. Pete would like to drop out all the visual observations of the lunar surface, both before and after PDI including the LPD altitude checks.
b. Pete would like to substitute a landing radar altitude check prior to PDI.
c. Pete wants to do PDI face up. (Hallelujah baby!)
d. Pete also wants to drop the crew voice report of their estimate of where they actually landed.
It might be worth reporting some other interesting things resulting from our discussion:
a. We probably ought to add in some sort of AGS drift check pre-PDI after the PGNCS alignment check using the sun.
b. There is still a controversy over when we should switch to the AGS. Some feel it should be done only if the PGNCS is degraded to a point where it can't make a safe orbit; others feel we should switch- over as soon as it is certain the AGS will do a significantly better job than the PGNCS.
c. The decision has been firmly made that the crew will not manually backup the automatic landing radar antenna position switch.
d. There is still some work to be done in establishing procedures in the event the GDA failure light comes on late in descent. Early in descent, I think everyone agrees the crew must await secondary cues before deactivating the GDA. There may be some advantage to immediately turning it off if the light comes on late in descent in that it may be possible to complete the landing using RCS attitude control only.
e. It was suggested that some sort of VHF ranging check could be done while the LM is on the lunar surface, perhaps during the last over- pass prior to LM ascent or even during the ascent itself. We will have to look into this to see if it is practical and useful.
Given the longer lunar stay of the H mission, it is clear the guidance system must be turned off to conserve electrical power. This has obvious implications on how the system should be used just after landing and just before lift-off. We have also decided to throw out the simulated countdown for lift-off at the end of the first CSM rev. As a result of these and other things, I have asked TRW to revise the Lunar Surface Mission Techniques and we will review them with everyone when they get done.