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He wrote to the chairman of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, To those of us who have been intimately involved with the scientific recommendations on Apollo sites for some time, it was particularly disappointing that only one of these "senior scientists" showed up in time for the meeting. Marius Hills was accessible only during two summer months.Descartes, Hadley-Apennine, Davy Rille, and Censorinus were not adequately covered by available site photographs.On the other hand, in January 1970 Apollo 20 was canceled, and the prospect that others might be dropped clouded the picture.In February 1970 the Group for Lunar Exploration Planning met at Houston to reassess the fist of sites in fight of recent developments and to make new recommendations to the Site Selection Board.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. The choice of a site for Apollo 17 was left open; Marius Hills and Copernicus were the leading candidates, but others (e.g., Littrow) were still in the running, and a new site might be found in future orbital photography.62 The September meeting wrapped up the Apollo Site Selection Board's unfinished business for the time being. I cannot serve on more committees and do my university work." 54. Houston's representative proposed yet another sequence of missions [Table 4], which the board approved as a basis for continuing evaluation.56 Assignment of sites to specific missions was tentative at this stage of the project because the necessary information was still sketchy.
Finally, the group recommended that the site for the landing at Hadley (J-4) be moved from the west side of Hadley Rille to the east side, to allow the astronauts to reach the Apennine Front and sample more than one type of terrain.57 MSC's Science and Applications Directorate evaluated this list with three guiding principles in mind: information gained from previous missions should weigh heavily in selection of later sites; since only a few missions remained, sites should be chosen to answer as many scientific questions as possible and missions should have multiple objectives; and the sites of undisputed scientific interest should be scheduled as early as possible.Apollo 12 demonstrated the ability to make precision landings, a requirement for the later H missions.As the initial scientific study of samples from Apollo 11 and 12 yielded information on chemical composition and age, the basis for choice among the remaining sites became somewhat more clear-cut.Furthermore, it appeared on most of the priority lists produced by the disciplinary groups.
It would offer the advantage of establishing the high-latitude arm of a well dispersed array of geophysical instruments, essential to investigating the moon's interior (by seismology) and its orbital librations (by measurements from the laser retroreflectors).61 After the cancellation of Apollo 15 and 19 in early September 1970, MSC presented the case for Hadley at the Apollo Site Selection Board's meeting later that month. Scherer, "Minutes of the Apollo Site Selection Board Meeting, Oct. 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.