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A sheep in wolf’s clothing: the Samos E-5 recoverable satellite

Stargazer2006

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"Developed in secret, the Samos E-5 spacecraft flew with a reconnaissance camera, but it was clearly an Air Force effort to develop a manned military spacecraft to rival Mercury."

And yet, it seems that the SAMOS program also involved McDonnell, who had developed the MERCURY a couple of years before that. Indeed, it appears in the company's logs as the Model 164A and 164B (while Mercury was Model 133K through 133N). Why would McDonnell have developed a design to compete with its own?
 

blackstar

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Stargazer2006 said:
And yet, it seems that the SAMOS program also involved McDonnell, who had developed the MERCURY a couple of years before that. Indeed, it appears in the company's logs as the Model 164A and 164B (while Mercury was Model 133K through 133N). Why would McDonnell have developed a design to compete with its own?

There were multiple iterations of Samos, E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, E-5, E-6. I was referring to the E-5. E-1 and 2 were electronic, which beamed their signals to Earth. I'm not so sure about three (which I would have to look up), but 4-6 were film-return. Without more data, I can't comment what they were doing. I don't have any information that they actually built something for the program.
 

Byeman

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Stargazer2006 said:
"Developed in secret, the Samos E-5 spacecraft flew with a reconnaissance camera, but it was clearly an Air Force effort to develop a manned military spacecraft to rival Mercury."

And yet, it seems that the SAMOS program also involved McDonnell, who had developed the MERCURY a couple of years before that. Indeed, it appears in the company's logs as the Model 164A and 164B (while Mercury was Model 133K through 133N). Why would McDonnell have developed a design to compete with its own?

It doesn't say that those were the capsules for E-6, just MDC internal designation for a project to supply them.
1. The A&B were assigned a day apart, which would mean they were studies for the same task
2. It wouldn't be a competition with itself, it would be another cash stream for MDC using the same hardware.
 

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while Mercury was Model 133K through 133N

...Do we have a breakdown chart as to which production Mercury spacecraft were assigned which model numbers?
 

Stargazer2006

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OM said:
while Mercury was Model 133K through 133N

...Do we have a breakdown chart as to which production Mercury spacecraft were assigned which model numbers?

It's all in there (check the McDonnell model list topic in the "Designation Systems" section).

Anyway, I've compiled the whole Model 133 sections into one single file for you (see attachment). You'll notice that the variants didn't carry a name until 133K (first MERCURY) and also that later developments of GEMINI such as GEMINI "B" (Model 195B) or BIG GEMINI a.k.a. "BIG G" (Model 208) are not included here.
 

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OM

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...Outstanding work, sir! Might be wise to add some of this data where applicable to the Wikipedia and EA entries. The latter shouldn't be a problem, as Mark Wade's pretty good about adding corrections. Wikipedia's the problem, as there are too many C-word-A-Couple-of-Trolls-take-offense-to acting as admins who'll revert the additions simply because they weren't the ones to add them.
 

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