[Editorial Note: When NASA submitted its 1962 fiscal budget request to the Bureau of the Budget in May 1960, President Eisenhower learned for the first time of the agency's plans for a lunar landing program. He asked Presidential Science Advisor George Kisiatowsky to study "the goals, the missions and the costs" of the manned spaceflight program that NASA had in mind. The six-man study was chaired by Brown University chemistry professor Donald Hornig and was presented to the President at a December 20, 1960 meeting. Eisenhower has been quoted as saying at this time that he was not willing to "hock his jewels" (referring to the decision by Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella to finance the initial expedition of Christopher Columbus) to send people to the Moon. The handwritten figures included in this report have been omitted. The bracketted arabic numbers refer to the pages numbers of the original document.]
We have been plunged into a race for the conquest of outer spice. As a reason for this undertaking some look to the new and exciting scientific discoveries which are certain to be made. Others feel the challenge to transport man beyond frontiers he scarcely dared dream about until now. But at present the most impelling reason for our effort has been the international political situation which demands that we demonstrate our technological capabilities if we are to maintain our position of leadership. For all of these reasons we have embarked on a complex and costly adventure. It is the purpose of this report to clarify the goals, the missions and the costs of this effort in the foreseeable future, particularly with regard to the man-in-space program.*
This report has been made possible by the complete cooperation of the National Aeronautics and Spice Administration. Officials of the NASA presented a very impressive description of their detailed plans for development, utilization and costs of the Saturn vehicle. They also provided technical information on possible followon vehicles, advanced propulsion techniques, and possible development and funding schedules, As far as we can tell, the NASA program is well thought through, and we believe that the mission, schedules and costs are as realistic as possible at this time. We had to project their plans beyond 1970, and such projections must be seen as only crude estimates.
The initial American attempt to launch a manned capsule into orbital flight, Project Mercury, is already well advanced. It is a somewhat marginal effort, limited by the thrust of the Atlas booster. It has as its goal the launching of a one man capsule into orbit around the earth and its successful return to earth. The fact that the thrust of any available American booster is barely sufficient for the purpose means that it is difficult to achieve a high probability of a successful flight while also providing adequate safety for the Astronaut. Achieving reliability on both accounts will strain our capabilities, A difficult decision will soon be necessary as to when or whether a manned flight should be launched. The chief justification for pushing Project Mercury on the present time scale lies in the political desire either to be the first nation to send a man into orbit, or at least to be a close second.
The marginal capability cannot be changed substantially until the Saturn booster becomes available. The NASA program for utilizing Saturn involves the development of the so-called Apollo spacecraft. The Saturn rocket which is being developed now (C 1) should be capable of launching a spacecraft of about 19,000 lbs into a low earth orbit. The proposed Apollo spacecraft weight of 15,000 lbs is well within this limit and would enable orbital qualification flights of the Apollo spacecraft (some manned) about 19661968. Such a manned flight would occur after about 25 Saturn C1's have been tested and much depends on whether a demonstrated reliability can be attained in this rather small number of tests. The Apollo spacecraft, as presently envisioned, would carry three men who would exercise control from within the spacecraft and be able to return to earth within a fairly well defined area. The chief purpose of the early Apollo missions would be to gain experience in manned flight, to learn more of the problems encountered by crews under such new conditions and to aid in the development of a spacecraft for more ambitious missions.
The full capabilities of the Saturn booster cannot be utilized until a large hydrogenoxygen second stage has been developed. The C2 Saturn, utilizing the new highperformance stage, is expected to enter the test phase about 1965 and may be available for manned flight. (No. 17) in 1968 or 1969. There is again a question as to whether 16 flights will be enough to demonstrate sufficient reliability for its use in manned missions.
The Saturn C2 is expected to lift about 40,000 lbs into low earth orbit and it is planned to utilize this capability to send up an "orbiting laboratory" capable of staying aloft for two weeks or more. It is our opinion that an  orbiting laboratory of this size could produce considerably more scientific information if it were wholly instrumented rather than manned. Alternatively, we believe that the valid scientific missions to be performed by a manned laboratory of this size could be accomplished using a much smaller unmanned instrumented spacecraft which would in turn require a smaller booster system. The large manned orbiting laboratory might be of value as a life sciences laboratory to acquire physiological and psychological data on humans, to study life support mechanisms, to perform biological studies, sod to carry out engineering tests under gravity free conditions. In short, its major mission appears to be the preparation for further steps in the manned exploration of space.
To take such steps, the Apollo spacecraft may be launched into successively more elliptical orbits which carry it further and further from the earth, culminating about 1970 in a manned flight around the moon and back to the earth. The Apollo program in itself does not reach what might be considered to be the next major goal in manned space flight, i.e. manned landing on the moon. It does, however, appear to represent a logical approach to that goal in that it will develop space craft and crews for space flight and will enable us to gain experience in navigation and successful return from increasingly difficult trips. In the meantime it should be possible to obtain far more detailed information about the moon by unmanned spacecraft and lunar landing craft than the crew of the circumlunar flight could gain.
None of the boosters now planned for development are capable of landing on the moon with sufficient auxiliary equipment to return the crew safely to earth. To achieve this goal, a new program much larger than Saturn will be needed. It is likely to take one of three forms:
It is clear that any of the routes to land a man on the moon require a development much more ambitious than the present Saturn program. Not only must much bigger boosters probably be developed, but rockets and guidance mechanisms for the safe landing and then for return from moon to earth by means of additional rockets must be developed and tested. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that this new, major step is implicit in undertaking the proposed manned Saturn program, for the first really big achievement of the man-in-space program would be the lunar landing.
The succeeding step, manned flight to the vicinity of Venus or Mars represents a problem an order of magnitude greater than that involved in the manned lunar landing. Not only does it appear to be insoluble in terms of chemical rockets, thus requiring the development of suitable nuclear rockets or nuclearpowered electric propulsion devices, but it also poses serious problems in terms of life support and radiation shielding for journeys requiring times ranging from many months to years.
A great part of the unmanned program for the scientific exploration of space is a necessary prerequisite to manned flight. The programs which are now planned fall in the following general categories:
Certainly among the major reasons for attending the manned exploration of space are emotional compulsions and national aspirations. These are not subjects which can be discussed on technical grounds. However, it can be asked whether the presence of a man adds to the variety or quality of the observations which can be made from unmanned vehicles, in short whether there is a scientific justification to include man in space vehicles.
It is said that an astronaut's judgment, decisionmaking capability and resourcefulness can increase the probability of successful accomplishment of a space mission and expand the variety and quality of observations performed. On the other hand, man's senses can be satisfactorily duplicated at remote locations by the use of available instrumentation and advances in the state of the art are continually increasing the ability to transmit information back to a central receiving point. With such an instrumented system, the decisions requiring man's mental capabilities can be performed by many men in a normal environment and with the aid of elaborate computational aids, where necessary.
The following considerations seem pertinent:
It seems, therefore, to us at the present time that man-in-space cannot be justified on purely scientific grounds, although more thought may show that there are situations for which this is not true. On the other hand, it may be argued that much of the motivation and drive for the scientific exploration of space is derived from the dream of man's getting into space himself.
The NASA man-in-space program, exclusive of the Mercury Project, revolves around the use of the Saturn and Nova vehicles. Development of the Saturn is far enough along that its characteristics are fairly well known, and the costs of its development and use can be predicted with reasonable accuracy. The Nova, required for direct manned operations on the moon, is based on the use of the 1.5 million lbs thrust engine, six of which would probably power the first stage. The character of the vehicle as a whole cannot be clearly determined until the characteristics of this engine are understood. However, the present tentative designs of the Nova configuration are probably adequate to support the very rough cost analysis presented here.
This analysis is based on the ruleofthumb principle, generally supported by past experience, that the cost of a program of this nature, including development, flight test and use, should be approximately proportional to the dry weight of the booster vehicle and payload on which the program is based. The dry weight of the Nova vehicle is about six times that of the Saturn vehicle, and accordingly a factor of six should be applied to the costs of the two programs. It is pointed out, however, by the NASA that there is some reason to believe that a somewhat smaller factor might be appropriate. There is a good deal of basic engineering that will carry over from Saturn to Nova, and certain of the Nova stages may already have been developed for Saturn. Such considerations are doubtless valid, but they could not justify the use of a factor smaller than four. In the analysis that follows two values of the multiplicative factor are used: four, representing the lower bound on what might be achieved, and six, representing a reasonably conservative estimate.
It is further assumed that the time span required for the development and exploitation of the capabilities of the Nova are the same as that for Saturn. It is assumed, however, that the Nova development follows that of Saturn by seven years. Thus, by 1968 Nova is in a state of development corresponding to that of Saturn in 1961.
With these assumptions in mind, the method of arriving at the yearly costs given in the figure can be stated.
The cutoff at 1975 is arbitrary and might be misleading. During the five or ten year period preceding this date new developments will be under way to implement new programs for the post 1975 era. It does not seem possible at this time to estimate the incremental costs associated with these programs.
Present indications suggest that alternative methods, described elsewhere in this report, of accomplishing the manned lunar landing mission, could not be expected to alter substantially the overall cost of mission as analyzed here on the basis of Nova.
In the event that additional flight testing is required to achieve adequate reliability in these programs, it seems likely that the program would be stretched out in time. Thus probably the annual expenditures would not change appreciably, although the integrated expenditure would increase accordingly.