Incredible typed notes from German rocket scientist Ernst Stuhlinger, two pages, 8 x 10.5, dated December 1965 and January 1966, bearing several pencil notations made by Wernher von Braun, who has added his initial "B" a total of four times, adding the date to two in his own hand. In addition to numerous check marks and underlines, von Braun makes specific notes for Stuhlinger on the second topic entitled "AAP," offering his thoughts on budgeting for a planned launch of lunar probes from a manned lunar orbiter: "E. S., Why don't they adapt one of the many existing military guided missiles? Has anyone ever looked at that possibility? 'Optimizing' to the tune of $100 M new development work is silly." Von Braun follows up on the status of a new astronomical system for manned operation, "a modified OAO," and its potential availability: "E. S., Request a briefing on this entire subject, incl. 'OAO supported by nearby SVB Workshop.' Also: 'crew radiation hazards in synchr. orbit.'" The second page is empty, with the exception of von Braun's initial and date, "B 1/10." Stuhlinger's notes themselves are of particular interest, with the first topic referencing the launch of the third Pegasus satellite, and the last highlighting the relationship between NASA and the nation's universities, noting the visit of Dr. Otis Lancaster of Penn State University. In fine condition. Still two years away from officially establishing the Apollo Applications Program, these incredible notes display the scope of NASA's ambitions and meticulous organization. The success of the Pegasus satellites and MOL Project paved the way for lunar research, with NASA launching the Surveyor I on June 2, 1966, marking the first US soft lunar landing. Two months later, the Lunar Orbiter 1 photographed smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.