Automatic rendezvous braking maneuver

As you know, MIT is currently designing the command module and lunar module computer programs without provision for automatic braking maneuvers. There has been some thought to reversing this direction. However, Don Cheatham, Aaron Cohen, and I agreed today to proceed as we are for the AS-207/208 programs–that is, do not provide automatic braking maneuvers in the computer programs–since we are fairly sure that this capability should not be required for that flight. We will review this decision later for the AS-504 programs, based on experience gained during the AS-204 mission and from crew training and simulations, after more complete crew procedures are defined.

Terms & Abbreviations


see AS-504


see Apollo 1


AS-207/208 (also known as AS-278) was to have been the first test of the LM in Earth orbit. It was also to have be a dual mission with the command and lunar modules launched on separate Saturn 1Bs. The mission was cancelled after the Apollo 1 fire and the Saturn 1Bs were used to launch Skylab 3 (AS-207) on July 28, 1973 and Skylab 4 (AS-208) on November 16, 1978. The LM was first tested by Apollo 5 in January 1968.


Before the Apollo 1 fire, the mission referred to as AS-504 was originally scheduled for December 1967. AS-504 eventually launched as Apollo 9, March 3 1969.

Apollo 1

Originally designated AS-204, Apollo 1 was scheduled to be to launch on February 21, 1967 as the first manned Apollo mission. During a test on January 27, 1967, a fire in the crew compartment killed the three Apollo 1 austronauts, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. This fire resulted in reappraisal of just about every goal, procedure, and schedule of the Apollo program.


Massachussets Institute of Technology. In these memos, MIT is shorthand for the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, created and led by avionics pioneer Charles Stark Draper. It is now known as the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and became independent of MIT in 1973.