Dating site marius
In July 1969 the Apollo Site Selection Board had compiled a list of 10 landing sites for Apollo 11-20, subject to further evaluation and revision in light of the results of early landings [see Chapter 10] [see Table 2].
In August and September, responding to a request from Headquarters and MSC program managers for detailed science mission plans, members of the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning and its Site Selection Subgroup, working with MSC operations planners and U. Geological Survey scientists, suggested some minor changes, based on a reevaluation of geologic features at one of the sites and the expected availability of good photography at another.
The group wanted to move Marius Hills from the second to the first J mission, interchanging it with Descartes.
After receiving their opinions, Calio summarized the criteria for selection of an Apollo 15 site. Berry to Chief, Lunar Mission Analysis Branch, "Results of the Sub-GLEP Apollo Site Selection Meeting on June 5, 1970," June 17, 1970; Hinners to multiple addressees, "Subgroup Meeting of June 5, 1970," June 10, 1970. Minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board Meeting, Sept. Berry to multiple addressees, "Results of the Apollo Lunar Landing Site Selection Board Meeting of September 24, 1970," Sept.
It should offer a major advance in the study of the moon and a high probability of answering essential scientific questions and satisfying the objectives of more than one scientific discipline; it should be certifiable on the basis of existing photography and not dependent on photographs to be obtained by Apollo 14; it should be operationally feasible without further analysis; and it should be appropriate for either a walking mission or a rover mission, so that it could be flown on Apollo 15 or (if 15 should be canceled) 16. Idem, "Site Selections for Apollo missions 14 and 15," May 6, 1970. 24, 1970; Calio to Mgr., Apollo Spacecraft Program, "Landing Site Recommendation for Apollo 15 Mission," Aug. 30, 1970; Minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board Meeting, Sept.
For Apollo 15, the Group recommended a site near the Davy crater chain, assuming adequate photography could be obtained on 14.59 As it turned out, the photos from Apollo 14 would come too late to allow certification of Davy as a site for Apollo 15, and in June the site selection subgroup convened once more to evaluate candidate sites for Apollo 15 and 16.
By that time it was already clear that more missions might be canceled, which further complicated the subgroup's deliberations.
Arguments for Hadley and Marius Hills were fairly evenly matched, both from scientific and operational standpoints, and the debate between the two was virtually deadlocked until astronaut David Scott, recently picked to command Apollo 15 (see below), said that he preferred Hadley although he thought he could land at either site. The Board recommended Hadley for a launch date between July and September 1971, Descartes for Apollo 16 between January and March 1972.