The Webb fire-breathing conversation was incident to Phillips's attempt to convince him that changing the mission profile of Apollo 8 from an Earth orbit mission to a circumlunar orbit was a good idea.
Paine convinced Webb to approve the Apollo 8 circumlunar effort pending the successful completion of the Apollo 7 mission.
The next day Webb followed this up with another letter to Johnson where he stated: "The importance that I have attached to the successful circumlunar flight of the Soviet Zond V derives not from the feat itself but from the confirmation it gives to accumulating mission successes as indications that the USSR is thrusting forward across a broad spectrum.
But they were in essence viewing the issue from a different perspective than Webb--solely in terms of achieving the immediate goals of a circumlunar flight and a manned lunar landing.
40) Neither the Apollo 8 circumlunar flight nor the Apollo 11 Moon landing happened on his watch.
Kennedy's announced his commitment to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade, a CIA intelligence estimate concluded: "Contingent upon successes with manned earth satellites and the development of large booster vehicles, the Soviets are believed capable of a manned circumlunar flight with reasons chance of success in 1966; of recoverable manned lunar satellites in 1967; and of lunar landings and return to earth by about 1970.
CIA analysts, however, still believed that the Soviet Union would attempt a circumlunar flight before the U.
NASA asked the intelligence community to redouble efforts to obtain and review data for evidence of a circumlunar flight.
An attitude control failure put the spacecraft into a ballistic return that would have killed any cosmonauts aboard, but NASA officials wondered if the Soviets were planning a circumlunar flight.
It was clear that the Soviets were seeking to best them on a circumlunar flight.
He tagged his concern to the circumlunar flight of Zond 5, which began on September 15, 1968, and emphasized a downward trend for the American effort in space while the Soviets were pressing forward with major initiatives.