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Enchanted rendezvous: John C. Houbolt and the genesis of the lunar-orbit rendezvous conceptThis is the fourth publication of the 'Monographs in Aerospace History' series, prepared by the NASA History Office. These publications are intended to be tightly focused in terms of subject, relatively short in length, and reproduced to allow timely and broad dissemination to researchers in aerospace history. This publication details the arguments of John C. Houbolt, an engineer at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, in his 1961-1962 campaign to support the lunar-orbit rendezvous (LOR). The LOR was eventually selected during Project Apollo as the method of flying to the Moon, landing on the surface, and returning to Earth. The LOR opted to send the entire lunar spacecraft up in one launch, enter into the lunar orbit, and dispatch a small lander to the lunar surface. It was the simplest of the various methods, both in terms of development and operational costs, but it was risky. There was no room for error or the crew could not get home; and the more difficult maneuvers had to be done when the spacecraft was committed to a circumlunar flight. Houbolt was one of the most vocal people supporting the LOR.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Hansen, James R.
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1995
Subject Category
Astronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:111236
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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