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Dynasoar

hesham

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From Le Fana 315 & 316.
 

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antigravite

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The Artist said:
And last bit for this Dyna Soar flood.

These two images seem to fit here. Both from Aviation Week.

Mike
Hi. Here is the press release (source file) found in B&W… and offered for sale on a bay-related vendor. This image is dated Sept. 10, 1963.

The artwork's color version was later used (1965) to illustrate Irwin Stambler's book title orbiting stations". See:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_1t6ell3AwVE/Shx6ZPUAFyI/AAAAAAAAAdA/OWaqiIDYSWM/s1600-h/1965orbitingstations.jpg

A.
 

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XP67_Moonbat

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X-20 Dyna-Soar press artwork.

https://m.ebay.com/itm/1962-Press-Photo-Artists-Concept-of-X20-Dyna-Soar-Space-Plane-Launch/263852347842?hash=item3d6ed351c2%3Ag%3A-8YAAOSwgstbYlf3&_pgn=2&_nkw=space+plane&_from=R40&rt=nc
 

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flateric

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFQfih-kaA4
 

RanulfC

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(Long and I'm not kidding :) )

Dyna-Soar as a project and an outcome is pretty indicative of the period. Let’s be clear;

The Air Force had come ‘down’ quite a bit from the heady days of the late 40s when it had been pretty clear that they were not only the ‘favored’ service getting the lion’s share of the military budget under Truman, not that this was a fantastic amount mind you but it was the ‘majority’ and favored service as the only one capable of delivering strategic atomic weapons. Both the Army and Navy were reduced to skeletons and after the election of 1948 even more severe cuts and reductions were planned and it looked like the Air Force would not only be the main military service of the US it might in fact be the ONLY military service! (No joke, the “Revolt of the Admirals” in 1949 was directly related to the SoD Johnson’s direct comment that as he {and by reference the President} saw it the Navy was obsolete in the atomic era and the Marines superfluous and both could be done away with. Shortly thereafter plans were announced to remove the Naval aviation assets from the Navy and turn them over to the Air Force. Good times according to the Air Force)

And then Korea happened and questions and accusations flew but the budget strings were opened and all branches saw increased support and funding. And as an “aside” (which is far from how the Air Force saw it) the Air Force lost its chance at aviation and nuclear delivery monopoly and it was clear that they would only be somewhat “first-among-equals” a position they fully did not agree with. By the mid-50s despite a change in Presidents the Air Force position had not significantly changed and in fact the Army, once an ally against the Navy had become a challenger in the new field of missile development. Despite the election year rhetoric of a supposed “bomber-gap” it was clear that missile development would be a priority and the Air Force then went on the warpath to gather unto itself as much of the missile development and control programs as it could. To this end it found willing help in Eisenhower’s second SoD Charles Wilson though both he and Ike balked at some of the planned expansions.

It should be clearly noted that despite running as an ‘opposite’ of Truman in fact Eisenhower was very much of the same mind set and was outspoken on his “New Look” defense policy being held up by the corner stone of a large and powerful strategic Air Force and nuclear weapons as a means to deter aggression and ensure peace while reducing Army and Navy expenditures and size to help reduce the total defense budget. Needless to say the Army and Navy opposed these reductions while the Air Force supported and encouraged them. But despite the name the “New Look” wasn’t all that new or different than the Truman policy.

The idea behind the “New Look” was that the US could not “afford” either economically nor resources wise to fight a “limited” war and that any war would by its nature escalate into the use of nuclear weapons. So the emphasis was on the delivery of nuclear weapons to the ‘enemy’ which was specifically the Soviet Union. “More defense for less money” by ensuring the United States would have more weapons and the capability to deliver them by vastly superior technology rather than huge “balanced” forces. (This had limits of course since it was mostly ICBM development Eisenhower favored and it was he who canceled the B-70 bomber which the Air Force initially agreed with but later both backtracked for political purposes even though nothing had actually changed. In the end it stayed canceled)

So at this time the Air Force was pushing to be the primary service in all aspects of missile development and nuclear weapons delivery, (again) but ran into the fact the Navy was going to be given the job of missile development and delivery at sea. That left the Army as a target so the Air Force convinced Wilson to restrict the Army to ‘tactical’ missiles of less than 200 miles (320km) range knowing full well that the Army was in the midst of development of the Jupiter IRBM missile with a range of over 1,000 miles (1,600km). This mind you is AFTER the Air Force in 1955 argued that they neither wanted to nor needed to develop an IRBM as it would be inferior to the ICBM and would take resources and financing away from that priority effort. They and the Army were told to go ahead and develop separate IRBM’s anyway. At the time due to the proposed range and payload of the Jupiter the Army had offered to build the Jupiter using their own budget and resources, (this was actually seen as a way to keep the Von Braun development team together as they were threating to break up and disperse into industry) but this was rejected by the Air Force, (specifically General Bernard Schriever who specifically called the idea “naïve” even though he’d vehemently opposed the Air Force being railroaded into a parallel development program) and they began to “develop” the Air Force Thor missile.

They did so by essentially using the same rocket engine as the Jupiter and the same construction and design with the only major difference being the Thor was never “compromised’ by trying to meet Naval requirements like the Jupiter was.
(As a point-of-view let me share the following Air Force magazine Editorial from 1957 where the Army is accused of “stealing” the Air Force Thor missiles design, engines and how “lazy” they ex-V2 team is to be unable to come up with a ‘new’ idea: http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1957/June 1957/0657hoax.aspx, this becomes important in a bit)

By 1955 both programs were moving forward and by 1957 it was becoming clear that the new administration was making it quite clear that the Air Force was favored over the Army. Still the Air Force needed to “kill” the upstarts so they began a concentrated PR campaign similar to that which won against the Revolt of the Admirals. But they ran into a new problem in that in pushing “missile” and “rocket” technology and development they kept making references to the “obvious” place where these technologies would converge: Space Flight.

In 1952 the Army’s Von Braun had managed a coup by getting Collier’s magazine interested in the subject enough to do an in-depth series of articles over two years on manned space flight. This was followed by Disney’s Tomorrowland episodes, Man In Space, Man and the Moon, and Mars and Beyond between 1955 and 1957 which advanced the idea of manned space flight from science fiction to possible fact. But this was NOT a focus that the Department of Defense of the Administration wanted people to focus on. Eisenhower made a decision to commemorate the upcoming International Geophysical Year (IGY-1957/58) by launching a satellite but he made it very clear that it would be a ‘separate’ effort NOT connected to the military or the ICBM program.

“In the United States we were careful to keep the earth satellite program separated from the Defense Department's work on long-range ballistic missiles. Though the Navy would supply the launching facilities for the satellite, it was to go into orbit strictly as a peaceful scientific experiment, and was not to interfere with our top priority work on missiles. No secret missile information would be involved in the satellite program; our scientists deliberately planned to share all information acquired with participating scientists all over the world.”

In fact choosing the Navy “Vanguard” program was arguably inevitable since the use of either the un-flown Atlas (Air Force proposal) or the proven but obviously missile based “Redstone” (Army project) was not acceptable so the only program that did not use “military” assets was the Navy program. (It also was quite clear when Ike commented that he didn’t want the “ex-Nazi” to be involved which program would NOT be chosen)

But more to the point by mid-1957 high ranking officers in all the services were ordered to NOT mention “space” or “space flight” in speeches or articles nor could they comment on or suggest that manned spaceflight might be possible. This is after years of service in-fighting over which service might be the ‘lead’ in any US space effort and obvious reluctance on the part of the Administration to support or encourage military space efforts.

October 4, 1957 only changed this somewhat. Keep in mind that Eisenhower was both well aware of and supportive of the satellite reconnaissance concept and R&D efforts. What he was NOT supportive of was efforts to overtly militarize space and the expansion of the Cold War on Earth into space. He along with other high officials were also caught off guard by the reaction of the Western world and especially the US to Sputnik. He was however bound and determined to deny the military primacy in the space effort to the point where openly called for a “non-military” government agency to coordinate and direct the American space efforts. Military leaders like Bernard Schriever were incensed as they saw space as “just” another environment through with and from military operations could be conducted and this is probably the biggest disconnect of the time.

Space WAS in fact an environment where military operations could be conducted through and from and both sides were aware of this fact. But what the Air Force pushed for was for space, (under the Air Force of course) should be opened to overt military operations and that the US should take a provocative and aggressive role in doing so. Satellite interception, inspection and if need be destruction should be a requirement of the US space policy. Keep in mind that Eisenhower was hoping to use space as an observation platform which held no national boundaries and by the laws of physics could not be “walled off” as air overflights had been. And in fact that’s exactly what the Air Force is demanding. And planning as this is the genesis of the X-20 Dyna-soar program. BoMi, RoBo and such had led to the inclusion in the X-20 of an orbital or semi-orbital “bomber” that could be launched almost without warning to drop nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. Or spy on them but, really, how would you tell the difference?

And it is here where the X-20 and the Air Force sole support of and direction of the program shows how much of a disconnect there was between military and political policy and planning. Think about it for a moment. Almost 20 years later a vastly more paranoid but still competent USSR concludes that the new American “Space Shuttle” could be used as a devastating first strike weapon launched from the American West coast to overfly Moscow and obliterate it with a nuclear bomb with little or no warning. Yet 20 years earlier the United States Air Force was in fact suggesting and advocating JUST that sort of mission as a program goal for the X-20.

And around the same time the Air Force is putting a lot of resources into the Orion Space Battleship concept which in and of itself is a vast game-changer and NOT just for the reasons you might think. To put it bluntly, building Orion not only renders any chance of non-proliferation moot it also forces the US to reorganize and re-build its nuclear weapons industry to a level where it is producing hundreds of ‘weapons’ (while a pulse-unit makes a lousy weapon it IS still a weapon) a month. Thousands a year. And the opposition HAS to respond either with developing their own version of putting in to place the means to defend or annihilate the US if the need arises. And this was not just as abstract idea to the Air Force leadership:
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2714/1
They were willing to put quite a bit of funding towards the effort if it came down to it.

And this was the same leadership who could not it seems see beyond what the US could do with a system like the X-20 nor where it might lead politically. And really the X-20 COULD have been saved if that same leadership had been willing to compromise their stances enough to partner with NASA or relinquish some of the control they had over the program. But doing so was tantamount to admitting defeat and allowing “civilians” to control Air Force access and control of space which was taboo for that leadership. This remained a staple of the Air Force/NASA relationship well into the 70s but it is also indicative of how the Air Force viewed not only its role but its plans for space. And that dovetails into how we know what the Dyna-soar was SUPPOSED to be

A Couple of articles in the "North American Aviation Retirees" Bulletin from spring 2008 and 2011, both by "Dave Stern" (which the seconds notes is a "Pen Name" for someone and since I've seen the first article referenced on another thread I suspect I'm not saying anything new around here with that :) ) which goes into some depth on both the X-15B and X-15 Delta proposals.

(Starts on page 6)
(Starts on page 8)

What has this to do with Dynasoar? The second admittedly very little but the first one from 2008 as I noted goes into some detail on the insanity NAA proposed towards getting the (as of then) un-flown X-15 considered for an early manned spacecraft but it had another, apparently well-known within NAA purpose:
Sidling into the competition for the Dynasoar contract.

The article notes that in Step II of the three (3) Step flight testing and qualification process an X-15A model (with extensive use of heat resistant materials) would be strapped onto a pair of G-38 Navaho boosters and along with its own engine would fling itself at a bit under Mach-15 over a distance of 1,741 nautical miles carrying (according to the cited "Advanced X-15 Research Vehicle" study submitted to the Air Force by NAA in November of 1957) a load of "photo-reconnaissance" equipment. This was supposed to be "available" with both the X-15A and X-15B models and was indicative of the knowledge that all the contractors, (and in NAA's case sub-contractors since their "real" job was being sub-contracted to the Boeing Dynasoar-1 proposal to study air-launch methods for the proposed vehicle) that the end-goal of the Dynasoar program was less a "research" vehicle but the prototype for an operational reconnaissance/strike vehicle.

And as the sole supporter (and controller) of the X-20 program the Air Force was burdened by both support of and justification for the program. They unfortunately couldn’t do so under the constraints given so when offered the MOL and Blue Gemini program as an alternative they leaped at it.

Randy
 

Orionblamblam

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Magazine about DYna Soar

Hmm. There are some interesting diagrams of the Dyna Soar, Transstage and some orbital labs shown on page four of that magazine. I wonder where those diagrams came from. I WONDER.
 

overscan

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Magazine about DYna Soar

Hmm. There are some interesting diagrams of the Dyna Soar, Transstage and some orbital labs shown on page four of that magazine. I wonder where those diagrams came from. I WONDER.
You don't even get a mention in the bibliography. Not cool!
 

Orionblamblam

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You don't even get a mention in the bibliography. Not cool!
But you know what's *really* bad? They used the ultra-low-rez images from the blog post. They didn't even buy the issue to yoink the higher rez versions of the diagrams. Never mind the ethics of proper attributions... that's just bad craftsmanship. Heck, I pretty much always say "yes" when someone asks if they can use my diagrams.
 

Foo Fighter

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I'll have to say, Tuesday at the very earliest. Then only if there is a full moon and the wind is in the south. Cough.
 

edwest

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(Long and I'm not kidding :) )

Dyna-Soar as a project and an outcome is pretty indicative of the period. Let’s be clear;

The Air Force had come ‘down’ quite a bit from the heady days of the late 40s when it had been pretty clear that they were not only the ‘favored’ service getting the lion’s share of the military budget under Truman, not that this was a fantastic amount mind you but it was the ‘majority’ and favored service as the only one capable of delivering strategic atomic weapons. Both the Army and Navy were reduced to skeletons and after the election of 1948 even more severe cuts and reductions were planned and it looked like the Air Force would not only be the main military service of the US it might in fact be the ONLY military service! (No joke, the “Revolt of the Admirals” in 1949 was directly related to the SoD Johnson’s direct comment that as he {and by reference the President} saw it the Navy was obsolete in the atomic era and the Marines superfluous and both could be done away with. Shortly thereafter plans were announced to remove the Naval aviation assets from the Navy and turn them over to the Air Force. Good times according to the Air Force)

And then Korea happened and questions and accusations flew but the budget strings were opened and all branches saw increased support and funding. And as an “aside” (which is far from how the Air Force saw it) the Air Force lost its chance at aviation and nuclear delivery monopoly and it was clear that they would only be somewhat “first-among-equals” a position they fully did not agree with. By the mid-50s despite a change in Presidents the Air Force position had not significantly changed and in fact the Army, once an ally against the Navy had become a challenger in the new field of missile development. Despite the election year rhetoric of a supposed “bomber-gap” it was clear that missile development would be a priority and the Air Force then went on the warpath to gather unto itself as much of the missile development and control programs as it could. To this end it found willing help in Eisenhower’s second SoD Charles Wilson though both he and Ike balked at some of the planned expansions.

It should be clearly noted that despite running as an ‘opposite’ of Truman in fact Eisenhower was very much of the same mind set and was outspoken on his “New Look” defense policy being held up by the corner stone of a large and powerful strategic Air Force and nuclear weapons as a means to deter aggression and ensure peace while reducing Army and Navy expenditures and size to help reduce the total defense budget. Needless to say the Army and Navy opposed these reductions while the Air Force supported and encouraged them. But despite the name the “New Look” wasn’t all that new or different than the Truman policy.

The idea behind the “New Look” was that the US could not “afford” either economically nor resources wise to fight a “limited” war and that any war would by its nature escalate into the use of nuclear weapons. So the emphasis was on the delivery of nuclear weapons to the ‘enemy’ which was specifically the Soviet Union. “More defense for less money” by ensuring the United States would have more weapons and the capability to deliver them by vastly superior technology rather than huge “balanced” forces. (This had limits of course since it was mostly ICBM development Eisenhower favored and it was he who canceled the B-70 bomber which the Air Force initially agreed with but later both backtracked for political purposes even though nothing had actually changed. In the end it stayed canceled)

So at this time the Air Force was pushing to be the primary service in all aspects of missile development and nuclear weapons delivery, (again) but ran into the fact the Navy was going to be given the job of missile development and delivery at sea. That left the Army as a target so the Air Force convinced Wilson to restrict the Army to ‘tactical’ missiles of less than 200 miles (320km) range knowing full well that the Army was in the midst of development of the Jupiter IRBM missile with a range of over 1,000 miles (1,600km). This mind you is AFTER the Air Force in 1955 argued that they neither wanted to nor needed to develop an IRBM as it would be inferior to the ICBM and would take resources and financing away from that priority effort. They and the Army were told to go ahead and develop separate IRBM’s anyway. At the time due to the proposed range and payload of the Jupiter the Army had offered to build the Jupiter using their own budget and resources, (this was actually seen as a way to keep the Von Braun development team together as they were threating to break up and disperse into industry) but this was rejected by the Air Force, (specifically General Bernard Schriever who specifically called the idea “naïve” even though he’d vehemently opposed the Air Force being railroaded into a parallel development program) and they began to “develop” the Air Force Thor missile.

They did so by essentially using the same rocket engine as the Jupiter and the same construction and design with the only major difference being the Thor was never “compromised’ by trying to meet Naval requirements like the Jupiter was.
(As a point-of-view let me share the following Air Force magazine Editorial from 1957 where the Army is accused of “stealing” the Air Force Thor missiles design, engines and how “lazy” they ex-V2 team is to be unable to come up with a ‘new’ idea: http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1957/June 1957/0657hoax.aspx, this becomes important in a bit)

By 1955 both programs were moving forward and by 1957 it was becoming clear that the new administration was making it quite clear that the Air Force was favored over the Army. Still the Air Force needed to “kill” the upstarts so they began a concentrated PR campaign similar to that which won against the Revolt of the Admirals. But they ran into a new problem in that in pushing “missile” and “rocket” technology and development they kept making references to the “obvious” place where these technologies would converge: Space Flight.

In 1952 the Army’s Von Braun had managed a coup by getting Collier’s magazine interested in the subject enough to do an in-depth series of articles over two years on manned space flight. This was followed by Disney’s Tomorrowland episodes, Man In Space, Man and the Moon, and Mars and Beyond between 1955 and 1957 which advanced the idea of manned space flight from science fiction to possible fact. But this was NOT a focus that the Department of Defense of the Administration wanted people to focus on. Eisenhower made a decision to commemorate the upcoming International Geophysical Year (IGY-1957/58) by launching a satellite but he made it very clear that it would be a ‘separate’ effort NOT connected to the military or the ICBM program.

“In the United States we were careful to keep the earth satellite program separated from the Defense Department's work on long-range ballistic missiles. Though the Navy would supply the launching facilities for the satellite, it was to go into orbit strictly as a peaceful scientific experiment, and was not to interfere with our top priority work on missiles. No secret missile information would be involved in the satellite program; our scientists deliberately planned to share all information acquired with participating scientists all over the world.”

In fact choosing the Navy “Vanguard” program was arguably inevitable since the use of either the un-flown Atlas (Air Force proposal) or the proven but obviously missile based “Redstone” (Army project) was not acceptable so the only program that did not use “military” assets was the Navy program. (It also was quite clear when Ike commented that he didn’t want the “ex-Nazi” to be involved which program would NOT be chosen)

But more to the point by mid-1957 high ranking officers in all the services were ordered to NOT mention “space” or “space flight” in speeches or articles nor could they comment on or suggest that manned spaceflight might be possible. This is after years of service in-fighting over which service might be the ‘lead’ in any US space effort and obvious reluctance on the part of the Administration to support or encourage military space efforts.

October 4, 1957 only changed this somewhat. Keep in mind that Eisenhower was both well aware of and supportive of the satellite reconnaissance concept and R&D efforts. What he was NOT supportive of was efforts to overtly militarize space and the expansion of the Cold War on Earth into space. He along with other high officials were also caught off guard by the reaction of the Western world and especially the US to Sputnik. He was however bound and determined to deny the military primacy in the space effort to the point where openly called for a “non-military” government agency to coordinate and direct the American space efforts. Military leaders like Bernard Schriever were incensed as they saw space as “just” another environment through with and from military operations could be conducted and this is probably the biggest disconnect of the time.

Space WAS in fact an environment where military operations could be conducted through and from and both sides were aware of this fact. But what the Air Force pushed for was for space, (under the Air Force of course) should be opened to overt military operations and that the US should take a provocative and aggressive role in doing so. Satellite interception, inspection and if need be destruction should be a requirement of the US space policy. Keep in mind that Eisenhower was hoping to use space as an observation platform which held no national boundaries and by the laws of physics could not be “walled off” as air overflights had been. And in fact that’s exactly what the Air Force is demanding. And planning as this is the genesis of the X-20 Dyna-soar program. BoMi, RoBo and such had led to the inclusion in the X-20 of an orbital or semi-orbital “bomber” that could be launched almost without warning to drop nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. Or spy on them but, really, how would you tell the difference?

And it is here where the X-20 and the Air Force sole support of and direction of the program shows how much of a disconnect there was between military and political policy and planning. Think about it for a moment. Almost 20 years later a vastly more paranoid but still competent USSR concludes that the new American “Space Shuttle” could be used as a devastating first strike weapon launched from the American West coast to overfly Moscow and obliterate it with a nuclear bomb with little or no warning. Yet 20 years earlier the United States Air Force was in fact suggesting and advocating JUST that sort of mission as a program goal for the X-20.

And around the same time the Air Force is putting a lot of resources into the Orion Space Battleship concept which in and of itself is a vast game-changer and NOT just for the reasons you might think. To put it bluntly, building Orion not only renders any chance of non-proliferation moot it also forces the US to reorganize and re-build its nuclear weapons industry to a level where it is producing hundreds of ‘weapons’ (while a pulse-unit makes a lousy weapon it IS still a weapon) a month. Thousands a year. And the opposition HAS to respond either with developing their own version of putting in to place the means to defend or annihilate the US if the need arises. And this was not just as abstract idea to the Air Force leadership:
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2714/1
They were willing to put quite a bit of funding towards the effort if it came down to it.

And this was the same leadership who could not it seems see beyond what the US could do with a system like the X-20 nor where it might lead politically. And really the X-20 COULD have been saved if that same leadership had been willing to compromise their stances enough to partner with NASA or relinquish some of the control they had over the program. But doing so was tantamount to admitting defeat and allowing “civilians” to control Air Force access and control of space which was taboo for that leadership. This remained a staple of the Air Force/NASA relationship well into the 70s but it is also indicative of how the Air Force viewed not only its role but its plans for space. And that dovetails into how we know what the Dyna-soar was SUPPOSED to be

A Couple of articles in the "North American Aviation Retirees" Bulletin from spring 2008 and 2011, both by "Dave Stern" (which the seconds notes is a "Pen Name" for someone and since I've seen the first article referenced on another thread I suspect I'm not saying anything new around here with that :) ) which goes into some depth on both the X-15B and X-15 Delta proposals.

(Starts on page 6)
(Starts on page 8)

What has this to do with Dynasoar? The second admittedly very little but the first one from 2008 as I noted goes into some detail on the insanity NAA proposed towards getting the (as of then) un-flown X-15 considered for an early manned spacecraft but it had another, apparently well-known within NAA purpose:
Sidling into the competition for the Dynasoar contract.

The article notes that in Step II of the three (3) Step flight testing and qualification process an X-15A model (with extensive use of heat resistant materials) would be strapped onto a pair of G-38 Navaho boosters and along with its own engine would fling itself at a bit under Mach-15 over a distance of 1,741 nautical miles carrying (according to the cited "Advanced X-15 Research Vehicle" study submitted to the Air Force by NAA in November of 1957) a load of "photo-reconnaissance" equipment. This was supposed to be "available" with both the X-15A and X-15B models and was indicative of the knowledge that all the contractors, (and in NAA's case sub-contractors since their "real" job was being sub-contracted to the Boeing Dynasoar-1 proposal to study air-launch methods for the proposed vehicle) that the end-goal of the Dynasoar program was less a "research" vehicle but the prototype for an operational reconnaissance/strike vehicle.

And as the sole supporter (and controller) of the X-20 program the Air Force was burdened by both support of and justification for the program. They unfortunately couldn’t do so under the constraints given so when offered the MOL and Blue Gemini program as an alternative they leaped at it.

Randy


Hello,

I'm writing to address a few inaccuracies and omissions from your article. First, the first flight of the XB-70 did not occur until September of 1964. The Jupiter was considered a Medium-Range Ballistic Missile and only about 94 were deployed in Italy and Turkey in 1961. It was a von Braun design. The X-20 was suggested by Walter Dornberger who served as a design consultant. It was a direct outgrowth of the Sänger orbital bomber project. NASA used a lot of classified Department of Defense technology. Its relationship with the military began in the late 1950s and included the Dyna-Soar. See: Spies and Shuttles: NASA's Secret Relationship with the DoD and CIA by James E. David.

Ed
 

Vahe Demirjian

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Andreas Parsch years ago learned of a little known USAF designation system for missiles, rockets, and spacecraft (http://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/old-missiles.html#_USAF_1961), and he discovered that the X-20 Dynasoar was originally to be designated XJN-1 (XJN standing for Experimental, Spacecraft, Test). This designation might actually have been the first allocated under the 1961 system given that the X-20 Dynasoar contract was assigned to Boeing in June 1959, two years before the designation system was allocated.
 

Dynoman

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According to Houchin, US Hypersonic Research and Development: The Rise and Fall of Dyna Soar, the designation XJN-1 Dyna Soar was submitted in ARDC Form 81A for the designation of the spacecraft, however Col. Ferer of the USAF system management office did not like the designation and preferred the XMS-1 (eXperimental Manned Spacecraft). This new designation was also disliked by OSD and on June 19, 1962 Lt. Gen. Ferguson approved the X-20 Dyna Soar designation.
 
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