A snapshot of MOL in 1968

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) declassified and released 825 documents spanning the history of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program for a public gathering of MOL pilots, managers, historians, and fans at the National Museum of the US Air Force in October 2015. One of the most informative is number 521 in the NRO list, the MOL Flight Test and Operations Plan, dated May 8, 1968. Its 523 pages give a detailed overview of the MOL flight program, including management organizational structure, flight objectives, and ground support. It is a snapshot of planning for MOL three years before the scheduled date of the first launch, and describes a maturing—but not yet mature—program. 

Click here to read the article published on-line in The Space Review, January 11, 2016.