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D. Slayton Requisition Memo

Below is the full text of the September 21, 1964 Memorandum from Donald Slayton, former NASA Director of Flight Crew Operations, beginning the process for identifying a flight crew chronograph, before the Omega Speedmaster was selected.  This memorandum procured several JB-Champion expandable mesh watch bracelets.


B06/Precurement and contracts division
Attention: Mr. John. E. Jones

In reply refer to: CF32/4M/288
CA/Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations

Flight crew chronographs

A requirement exists for a highly durable and accurate chronograph to be used by Gemini and Apollo flight crews as an essential adjunet, or as a backup for spacecraft timing devices for accomplishing time critical operational and experimental tasks. In order to select a chronograph which best meets our overall requirements, it is necessary to accomplish a comparative evaluation of the better quality “off the shelf” chronographs under realistic operational conditions. The evaluation will take place during such flight crew training programs as the Gemini Mission Simulators, during spacecraft and other flight equipment testing in the altitude chambers,egress and recovery exercises, planetarium reviews and during the first two manned Gemini flights. The evaluation will be of the basis “off the shelf” items; however an analysis will also be made of any additional features and/or modifications that may be required

It is highly desirable that we commence with this evaluation at an early date so that a standard flight crew chronograph can be obtained prior to the longer duration Gemini Flights and the Apollo flights. The evaluation items should be available during the preflight training for the first two manned Gemini flight crews, which are now in progress. On this basis, quotations from various chronograph manufacturers meeting the specifications as listed in enclosure 1, “Statement of Specifications” should be received by this organization by October 21, 1964. Immediately subsequent to this date, it is our intent to purchase locally at least one of each brand that meets, or very nearly meets, these specifications. Off the shelf chronographs which very nearly meet the specifications may be considered if they, in other respects, surpass the overall specifications. The manufacturer in this case may choose to reply to the request for quotation; however, NASA-MSC will make the determination as to whether or not the chronograph will be subsequently evaluated. If it estimated that a total of twelve chronographs are required for evaluation purposes.

Some, but not all, of the chronograph manufacturing companies that should receive a request for quotation are contained in enclsoure 2, “Suggested list of Chronograph Manufacturers.” Attached as enclosure 3 is the purchase request for $2,600 to cover the cost of twelve chronographs. Attached as enclosure 4 is the purchase request for $120 to cover the cost of twelve J.B. Champion expandable watch bands.

Enclosures 4

CF32:JJVanBockel: mgr 9/21/64

— DONALD K. SLAYTON"

(emphasis added)