I don’t remember that in the Pioneer Venus studies prior to the proposal that anyone had a great deal of concern about the spacecraft wire harness. For our proposal effort and program costing exercise the Design Integration organization would have been responsible for the design and construction of the harness and I’m sure that was taken into account in their bid. For my systems engineering bid I was blissfully ignorant of any responsibility for the wire harness.
When we started working under the contract in 1974 I was fortunate enough to recruit several very experienced systems engineers, one of whom was Dick Daniel. Shortly after he started Dick came to tell me that we needed to get Dick Parfitt to do the wire harness Interconnection List (ICL). The ICL is list of connections that the harness must provide and is essentially the starting point for the design of the harness—or the first set of harness requirements and was the responsibility of systems engineering. Well I couldn’t argue with that, but then I learned that Dick Parfitt was in the Commercial Division. I was reluctant until I learned that Dick had done the ICLs for all previous commercial and NASA satellites, with the exception of Surveyor. So Dick Parfitt did the Pioneer Venus ICLs—there were four to be done: the Orbiter, Multiprobe, Large Probe, and the Small Probe. I don’t remember any issues that arose, Dick worked unobtrusively and efficiently and got the job done. I wish I could write more about Dick Parfitt because he was a great asset to SCG. I would invite anyone who has recollections of Dick to add their comments to this post.