Honeysuckle Operations Directives

“The HOD”

The HOD was instigated by Mike Dinn when he came on board as Tom Reid’s Deputy in 1967.

“It was used to document ops procedures to be followed at HSK.

The basis was the GSFC supplied procedures, but these always needed condensation, clarification, addition and adaptation to local conditions. Also most operators had their own little black book or cheat sheets dealing with their own specific equipment and procedures, but these could differ from person to person and shift to shift. And could also become out of date.

So the decision was taken to produce the HOD, including all these procedures, encouraging everybody to contribute, and ensuring that the HOD was up-to-date.

A major requirement of the HOD was to ensure that it never conflicted with the official documentation, as GSFC were understandably nervous when they found us using our ‘own’ documentation, especially when conducting on-site sims. I think we achieved this.

There was some resentment when introducing the “HOD”, at least initially. I’ll let others explain why. It might have been part of the inevitable management /worker or Department (of Supply)/Contractor relationship. But I think it came to be accepted with time. One opponent told me that he eventually generated an equivalent document when he moved to a new job.”

– Mike Dinn, January 2004

HOD spine



SRT Phase 1 (Intercomm Test)
SRT 1a
SRT 1b
SRT 1c

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Hamish Lindsay writes –

“Here is a caricature I did of Mike when he put out this ‘alien’ document.

We were all slaves to the NASA bible – the Network Operations Directive, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 plus Supplements – it was absolute law. I was always intrigued that Mike always wore dark sunnies, even when he came on shift at midnight. So I drew this Roman scribe in sunnies with an expression of you lot WILL follow my Directive, or else.

In the background are the ‘discarded’ three volumes and Supplement of the NOD sitting on a plush cushion. My Technical Support Section, holding the Master Copy, bore the brunt of keeping this document up to date – many, many hours were spent copying all the changes before every mission, and distributing all the pages to every copy around the station.”

Dinn HOD cartoon

This is the illustration on the HOD spine above.