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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.
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.
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.
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.
Tycho was reluctantly dropped from consideration because of its operational problems, although the group indicated that location was still interesting.
The remaining sites on the list approved in October were endorsed, with minor changes.
The remaining sites were ruled out, either because MSC had determined that they were unsuitable for landing or because they appeared to offer insufficient new scientific information to justify consideration.60 Following this meeting only Littrow, Descartes, Hadley- Apennines, and the Marius Hills remained as strong candidates for the last missions.
In the next three months, MSC began to try to overcome the difficulties in getting a consensus on landing sites among the various scientific groups.*** Anthony Calio decided to ask three groups of scientists to examine the question separately and make independent recommendations.
On this basis, MSC recommended shifting Copernicus to Apollo 16 and the Marius Hills to Apollo 18.