Operational briefings

Apollo Project Familiarisation: This consisted of three Apollo orientation briefings:

• Mission Profile Briefing (approximately 4 hours) - covering the Apollo mission objectives, the proposed launch schedules, a general description of the spacecraft and a definition of the lunar profile (19 May).

• Launch Vehicle Familiarisation (3 days) - Visiting Marshal Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where briefings were conducted on the Saturn 1B and Saturn V launch vehicles and systems. The stay at Marshall included a tour of centre facilities, and a third day spent at the Mississippi Test Facility to familiarise the astronauts with these facilities and associated test programmes. A static test firing of one of the Saturn boosters was planned as part of this visit (25-27 May 1966).

• Spacecraft Familiarisation (30 hours) - North American Aviation instructors presented eighteen hours of general briefings on the Command and Service Module (5-8 July 1966). This was followed by twelve hours of briefings by Grumman instructors on the Lunar (Excursion) Module (14-15 July 1966). Following the formal academic programme, complete and detailed systems briefings on each of the spacecraft were also delivered. There were also two days of familiarisation with the CM and LEM mock-up controls and displays (21-22 July).

To facilitate their understanding of the CM and LEM controls and displays, the group was divided into two teams to use the mock-up held in Building 5 at MSC. Kerwin received CM training - in Block I configuration - on 8 July, and Michel on 21 July. Kerwin's LEM briefings were conducted on 21 July, with Michel on 22 July.11

Space Flight Operations Familiarisation: A programme of tours and briefings to instruct the astronauts in aspects of manned space flight operations:

• Launch Operations - A visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to receive briefings on the spacecraft and launch vehicle, Apollo launch preparations and countdown operations. The astronaut group toured the Apollo launch complexes, the Vehicle Assembly Building, Apollo Checkout Buildings and Launch Control (4-5 August 1966).

• Mission Control Centre Operations - Flight Operations Directorate staff presented a full briefing on the MCC-H facility and its operations. This included an overview of each Flight Control console position in the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR), as well as the function and operation of each of the Staff Support Rooms. The astronauts were briefed on the network data flow and real-time operations organisation of the control room during a detailed tour of the Building 30 facility at MSC (18-19 August 1966).

• Recovery operation: The Recovery Operations Branch gave detailed briefings on the planned recovery for the Apollo programme (11 August 1966).

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