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Mr. DOWNING. Thank you.

Mr. GURNEY. Mr. Chairman.

Mr. KARTH. I would like to advise the subcommittee that Dr. Pickering has yet to testify this morning.

Mr. GURNEY. I have one or two questions.

Mr. KARTH. Mr. Gurney.

Mr. GURNEY. As I understand it, I think from the testimony on Monday, each of these Rangers has been a complete unit as far as the television part of it is concerned. Is that correct?

Mr. NICK. Yes, sir, if I understand your question.

Mr. GURNEY. I mean the television camera setup has been virtually identical on all six Rangers.

Mr. NICKS. Oh, no, sir. The four Rangers that went-Rangers III, IV, and V had a different kind of payload as a major part of it. They included a television camera to take pictures in the same manner that these do, but on Ranger VI through Ranger 9 there is a battery of six television cameras, and the entire payload is devoted to the picturetaking function.

Mr. GURNEY. Was any analysis made of the previous Rangers to see whether there had been a turn-on of the cameras during the flight period?

Mr. SCHURMEIER. The answer is "Yes."

Mr. GURNEY. Did you take any pictures on the Ranger V flyby that missed the Moon? Did you turn the cameras on?

Mr. NICKS. No, sir.

Mr. SCHURMEIER. In Ranger V, there was a power failure very soon after the spacecraft oriented toward the sun, and therefore when the batteries went dead-in other words, we lost all solar power-the spacecraft went dead, so by the time it got to the moon it was essentially inoperative.

Mr. KARTH. One last question, Mr. Nicks.

I have found that you were in disagreement with Mr. Webb's letter in several areas, and I was just wondering whether or not prior to the sending of that letter you had any knowledge of the content of the letter, or had been contacted so as to pass judgment on the contents of the letter.

Mr. NICKS. No, sir.

Mr. KARTH. Are there any further comments? If not, I want to thank you very much, Mr. Nicks, Mr. Cortright, and Mr. Schurmeier. The subcommittee would at this time like to call Dr. Pickering, who has been patiently waiting to testify before the subcommittee.

Dr. Pickering, we welcome you here before us to give us the benefit of your viewpoints as the subcommittee continues its investigation of the Ranger program.

We would like to have you, for the record, if you would, identify anyone else who appears with you.

Dr. PICKERING. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to introduce Mr. Robert Parks, my assistant laboratory director for lunar and planetary programs, who will be here to assist my testimony. I would also like to introduce to the committee Dr. Arnold Beckman, chairman of the board of trustees of the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Beckman is in the audience.

Mr. KARTH. Mr. Bell?

Mr. BELL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr. Pickering and his fellow colleagues to the subcommittee. I know the situation in California, that being my home, too, which is such that I often admire people who are willing to come here to Washington and endure the weather conditions here as compared to sunny California.

Mr. KARTH. That is the end of the commercial, Doctor.

Dr. Pickering, as the subcommittee knows, is Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

(Dr. Pickering's biography is as follows:)


Dr. Pickering was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He attended the California Institute of Technology and received the B.S. degree in 1932, the M.S. degree in 1933, and the Ph. D. degree in physics in 1936. He performed graduate and postgraduate work in cosmic ray physics at the California Institute of Technology.

He is a member of the faculty of the California Institute of Technology, having been appointed professor of electrical engineering in 1946.

He has been associated with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1944. He was in charge of electronics work, and in 1950 was given responsibility for the Corporal missile program at the Laboratory. He has been Director of the Laboratory since September 1954.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Air Force and has served on a number of other committees of the Defense Department. He is presently a member of the Army Scientific Advisory Panel.

During the International Geophysical Year, Dr. Pickering was a member of the U.S. Technical Panel on the Earth Satellite Program.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers and a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics; he is the first president of this new AIAA (1963) which was formed by a merger of the ARS and IAS. He is a member of several other professional societies.

Dr. Pickering received the 1957 James Wyld Memorial Award of the American Rocket Society. He received the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal in 1959. Under Dr. Pickering's direction the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed the first successful U.S. satellite, Explorer I; the first successful U.S. space probe to escape the Earth's gravitational field, Pioneer IV; and the first space probe to pass close to another planet, Mariner II, which passed the planet Venus on December 14, 1962.

Mr. KARTH. Dr. Pickering, we are looking forward to your testimony, and would like to have you begin at this point and give your testimony in any way that you want.


Before going into my testimony, Mr. Chairman, I wonder if the subcommittee would permit me to make some comments on the prior testimony, particularly concerning testing philosophy.

Mr. KARTH. Yes, sir.

Dr. PICKERING. If I might make some brief comments here, it seems to me that in the presentation and in the discussions earlier there was a great deal of emphasis concerning one particular test on the spacecraft; namely, the test of the high-power operation of the television system.

I think it should be realized that in a complete spacecraft ready for flight, there are many systems and subsystems which have received only partial testing, and let me illustrate, for example, that the booster as a whole has certainly never gone through a vibration test. The booster is obviously a very large device, and the testing of the booster system would be a test of the various parts of the subsystem, but the booster as a complete rocket is not tested with a vibration or other environmental test.

For example, on the spacecraft itself there are such things as the midcourse motor, which obviously is not tested in the flight configuration on the flight unit while it is mounted on the spacecraft ready to go.

Likewise, the attitude control system on the spacecraft can receive only a very partial testing at the last minute, so that there are elements of the complete system which, in the purest sense, are not completely tested immediately before the flight. In fact, of course, if one considers this whole problem one must admit that a spacecraft system is only tested once; namely, when it is flown. That is the only time that it can be given a complete test in the environment in which it must operate, so that the problem which the spacecraft and missile engineer must face is the problem of designing a system which will work right the first time it is ever given a complete test.

Now, the reason I wanted to say this is merely to point out then that the testing philosophy which is used in conjunction with these devices is one in which the engineers have to exercise their best judgment as to what is the most complete and adequate test program for the system. Obviously on systems of the type we are dealing with here, the test program is made as elaborate as it possibly can be because of the realization of the costs and of the very few samples which you get for these missions. I would like to say again, then, I believe the test program which has been used on Ranger has been a good test program. It is certainly one which has been subject to continuing review and updating, and additional tests have been added. It can never be a complete test program to give a complete testing of the entire vehicle.

Mr. KARTH. Doctor, may I ask a question at this point, before you begin with your prepared testimony?

Dr. PICKERING. Yes, sir.

Mr. KARTH. A good deal of criticism has been leveled at the Ranger project because it has not been "tested out as a total system." This was pointed out both in Mr. Webb's letter and in the Kelley report, and probably also in the Hilburn report.

Dr. PICKERING. Yes, sir.

Mr. KARTH. It appears to me that you feel that this is not a valid criticism in the true sense of the word. Is this a proper evaluation on my part?

Dr. PICKERING. Yes, sir. I would like to point out in this connection that the Mariner, which flew very successfully to the planet

Venus, was given a test program certainly not identical in detail with the Ranger test program, but nevertheless very similar in philosophy. Mr. KARTH. But it is your philosophy to test as exhaustively as the facilities which we provide at great expense allow us to test. Is that a fair statement?

Dr. PICKERING. Yes, indeed. Testing is an important and vital part of the program, and we certainly believe in it.

Mr. KARTH. Mr. Webb's letter also indicated that prior to the launch of Ranger 7, it is planned to conduct a more complete mission simulation. Is this a possibility?

Dr. PICKERING. Well, sir, I might point out that in the case of Ranger VI, the spacecraft was given two complete mission simulations in the thermal vacuum chamber at JPL. This means that the spacecraft was operated in a simulated space environment for a full duration mission of 66 hours, and tested under those conditions. A requirement was that it would go through two complete tests without failures. This was done.

Mr. KARTH. Was this a NASA requirement, Dr. Pickering?

Mr. SCHURMEIER. No, sir; we jointly established and agreed on this criteria.

Mr. KARTH. So this was an agreement prior to the testing program? Mr. SCHURMEIER. Yes; it was something that we considered and proposed-this is the criteria, and they concurred in it.

Mr. KARTH. Thank you.

Dr. PICKERING. I have submitted for the record a statement which covers four main topics, and if I may read the initial paragraph, these topics are:

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory policy and philosophy of project management;

The NASA and JPL relationships and responsibilities in project management;

Recent management actions instituted by JPL; and

JPL management relationships vis-a-vis our major contractors. Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest that the first part of this statement concerns itself with the historical development of the Laboratory's project management philosophy; the second part largely is a quotation from the project development plan which has already been read into the record and which describes the management relations between JPL and NASA as far as this Ranger project is concerned, and therefore I would like to suggest that I proceed to the latter part of this testimony on recent management actions and our management relation with contractors.

However, I would be willing to summarize the earlier part of the testimony, if you desire.

Mr. KARTH. Why don't you summarize it, at least, Dr. Pickering, because there may be questions in the minds of some of the subcommittee members.

32-445 064 -10

(The complete pts. 1 and 2 of the statement follow :)

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, in accordance with your request, as relayed to me by NASA, I have prepared this statement for submission for the record, covering four main topics. These are:

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory policy and philosophy of project management;

The NASA and JPL relationships and responsibilities in project management;

Recent management actions instituted by JPL; and

JPL management relationships vis-a-vis our major contractors.


Twenty-eight years ago the organization known today as JPL came into being when a number of scientists and students at the California Institute of Technology formed a group under Dr. Theodore von Karman, then the director of the Institute's Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, to conduct experiments with rocket engines. Three years later JPL devoted all its efforts to a Government project when the National Academy of Sciences sponsored a program to develop rockets that could assist Army Air Corps planes at takeoff. In the execution of this project, which was successfully completed in 1942 resulting in the rocket motor popularly referred to as "JATO" even today, a basic policy and philosophy of project management was established that has been followed throughout the years and is still prevalent in our current lunar and pianetary exploration projects.

Under this policy, JPL concentrates its efforts on initial research, design, development, and system integration. It has undertaken projects requiring significant improvements or advances in the state of the art. When elements of a project become well established, JPL utilizes industry to support development and to produce hardware. "JATO," the test bed of this philosophy, was turned over to the Aerojet Engineering Co., for production of the large quantities required by the Army Air Corps. It is interesting to note that this firm, now the Aerojet General Corp., is still the leading supplier of JATO units to the Department of Defense.

The next test of our policy and philosophy occurred in 1949 when the U.S. Army assigned the Laboratory the task of converting its Corporal E missile, a research vehicle for studying the aerodynamic, propulsion, and guidance problems of long-range rockets, into a tactical weapon system. This project resulted in the Corporal weapon system, a tactical weapon that is still a part of the arsenal of our NATO allies. JPL had complete responsibility for this weapon system that is: the missile itself, its ground support equipment (GSE), the logistic support system, and the training of the initial Ordnance Corps maintenance units. In the conduct of this project the major portion of the early research and development effort was accomplished in-house, industrial support was phased in during the R. & D. test firing program, and JPL supervised the transition to, and early period of quantity production by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and the Gilfillan Corp. During this period Dr. Louis Dunn was the Laboratory Director, and it was my privilege to be the Corporal project manager. The Sergeant weapon system project was initiated at JPL during the closing months of the Corporal project. Again, the Laboratory, with Mr. Robert J. Parks as Sergeant project manager, had complete weapon system responsibility and followed the philosophy that early research and development demonstrating the feasibility of the system would be accomplished inhouse. As the project moved downstream, industrial support was phased in, providing the transition to quantity production by industry. In the case of the Sergeant weapon system, the prime manufacturer was Sperry Utah Engineering Laboratory.

In 1956, JPL joined forces with Dr. Wernher von Braun and his outstanding team at Redstone Arsenal in the Jupiter weapon system project. JPL was assigned the task of developing a backup radio inertial guidance (RIG) system that would fit in the physical space occupied by the all-inertial guidance system being developed by Dr. von Braun and would require no modifications in any portion of the total missile system. Although this radio-inertial guidance system was not used operationally, JPL did accomplish the initial research and development effort inhouse and had initiated the phasing in of industrial support by Motorola. It should be pointed out that this effort was very productive, for the Jupiter RIG system was the forerunner of the guidance and control concept used in the Mariner and Ranger projects and formed the basis for the design of current deep space communication systems.

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