LM-B/Space Tug

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Does anyone know any details concerning the Grumman Lunar Module-B/Space Tug that was part of the Integrated Man Space Flight Program? I have found information that says its diameter was 22 feet and other information that says it was 15 feet. Did earlier concepts of the space shuttle have a cargo bay that could accomodate payloads as wide as 22 feet? Did the dimensions of the Lunar Module-B/Space Tug change when the dimensions of the space shuttle cargo bay changed to 15 feet by 60 feet? Concept art suggests that the space tug is as wide as the space shuttle cargo bay.

Other information I have found states that the Lunar Module-B/Space Tug would have been lifted to LEO by Saturn V rocket.
 

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Michel Van

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So far i know it wend this way

1968 the "Integrated Man Space Flight Program"
make use of Saturn V to Launch the Tugs in space, later refuel by shuttle
so its diameter was 21.68 ft (6.61 m ø)

later with the Saturn V production was chancels
in 1970 the Space Shuttle became Launcher for Tug
So its diameter became 15 ft by 59 ft (4,5 meter ø by 18.0 m)

those picture show Grumman Lunar Module-B/Space Tug ?
i always thought that look more like LM, only with bigger Descent Stage and no legs...
 

Triton

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Michel Van said:
So far i know it wend this way

1968 the "Integrated Man Space Flight Program"
make use of Saturn V to Launch the Tugs in space, later refuel by shuttle
so its diameter was 21.68 ft (6.61 m ø)

later with the Saturn V production was chancels
in 1970 the Space Shuttle became Launcher for Tug
So its diameter became 15 ft by 59 ft (4,5 meter ø by 18.0 m)

those picture show Grumman Lunar Module-B/Space Tug ?
i always thought that look more like LM, only with bigger Descent Stage and no legs...

Thanks for the response. With little snippets of information here and there its sometimes difficult to put the pieces together. A Bellcomm document talks about launching tugs using Saturn V INT-21 and then another talks about the space shuttle and so I thought that an earlier version of the shuttle had a wider cargo bay.

I presume what is depicted is the LM-B/Space Tug described in the documents. The Corbis image library said that it was a Grumman concept.

Mark Wades' Astronautix web site talks about a Boeing space tug, but its appearance is different.

So if anyone has any additional information, feel free to jump in.
 

Michel Van

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So if anyone has any additional information, feel free to jump in.

oh there Zillion proposal for this Space Tug

Lockheed reusable Agena stage with stap on tanks
Grumman LM variants
Boeing
NASA Integral like MSFC
even ELDO was ask by NASA for Tug Proposal

by the way Wat source you got Triton ?
 

Triton

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Michel Van said:
So if anyone has any additional information, feel free to jump in.

oh there Zillion proposal for this Space Tug

Lockheed reusable Agena stage with stap on tanks
Grumman LM variants
Boeing
NASA Integral like MSFC
even ELDO was ask by NASA for Tug Proposal

by the way Wat source you got Triton ?

I don't have them with me right now, but they are some documents that I requested from David who runs the Beyond Apollo blog site, formerly Altair VI. One is a multiple page memo created by Bellcomm, one is a document titled Integrated Man Spaceflight Program, and then there is another whose title escapes me at the moment published in a magazine. Aeronautics and Astronautics, I believe is the name of the magazine.
 

Michel Van

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i got this

Integrated Man Spaceflight Program
1970 NASA TM X-53973 "Space Flight Evolution"
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700026519_1970026519.pdf
14 MB PDF

Space Tugs
"Reusable Agena Study, Volume 1" by Lockheed
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740023215_1974023215.pdf
1.3 MB PDF

"Boeing Space Tug Final Report Feb 1971"
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19810065609_1981065609.pdf
4.8 MB PDF

i think i made some people happy today
 

The Artist

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Space Tug launch configuration found in

Pioneering In Outer Space
Heinemann Educational Books, London,
Shakespeare Head Press, Scientific Services Pty., and S. T. Butler, 1971

From the book
Significant improvements in lunar exploration would be introduced with the advent of the Space Tug. In delivering payloads to the Moon, the Space Tug would provide improved performance to the Saturn V launch vehicle by adding a fourth stage to the three-stage rocket. An unmanned launch would initiate this operating mode by transporting a Space Station Module to lunar polar orbit at approximately 60 miles altitude. Manned launches would deliver Command Modules, Space Tugs, and support cargo to the orbiting station. (Command Module portion skipped) For the lunar landing, the Space Tug propulsion module, crew module, landing legs and other appropriate support kits would descend to the lunar surface for missions of 14to 28 days.

Apparently, Space Tug propulsion modules were to be used as the landing platforms for the lunar base modules as well as for placing the orbital station modules in their intended orbits.
 

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blackstar

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Yeah, that was one idea. There's some decent artwork around of tall, cylindrical lunar landers (see the second illustration in the first post--there's more like it).

But keep in mind that "Space Tug" was a concept, and a bunch of designs were proposed, but nothing was ever selected. So this is one of a bunch of concepts. Then the project was canceled.
 

Archibald

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"HAL please open the sas doors..."

"Sorry Dave, I'm affraid I can't do this..."

Nice renderings !
 

tea monster

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Thanks! I'll continue this. I don't know if you want me to create my own thread or continue here. I've collected a few reference images as well.

Archibald:

Dave: "HAL, please open the SAS doors"
HAL: "Sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do this..."
Dave: "Hmmmph. OK, I'll make my own door."

(Sounds of ripping metal and escaping air)

HAL: "DAVID, WHAT THE HECK??!!!!"
 

Archibald

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The Space Tug when called LM-B (I tracked it down on Google books many times) was essentially a high-energy, multirole / versatile tin can.
-Saturn V chemical 4th stage
-a crew cabin for the Shuttle own tug, non-nuclear
-non-nuclear NERVA thus without all the radioactivity hassles
-CSM/ LM one-piece replacement for sorties to the lunar surface

Mueller / Paine / STG/ IPP may have been foolish on cost and political realities, on strict technical grounds it made some sense.

- Saturn V & Shuttle from Earth surface to Earth orbit
- Space Tug and RNS (Reusable Nuclear Shuttle) for Earth orbit to Moon orbit
- LOX/LH2 fuel depots to feed the above vehicles
- a multirole pressurized tin can as a space station module / lunar base module / Mars transit habitat...
- And if all went well, the Mars Excursion Module as the one and only specialized cherry on the cake.
-Everything else was to be funded in incremental steps via LEO to GEO to cislunar space "incremental steps" and activities and traffic.
 

Grey Havoc

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The major problem of course, was the ever to be damned 'Great Society' program.
 

Archibald

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Even Nixon a Republican had a Nixoncare plan evenly matching 2009 Obamacare. Which was torpedoed, of all people, by Ted Kennedy - because "it wasn't enough" for his taste. (facepalm).
Vietnam was far more ruinous than Great Society, btw. The goddam war swallowed Apollo's $22 billion budget every day or week.
Not the subject of this thread, politics are. Let's run away from them like the plague.
 

tea monster

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I was going to say, NASA's budget, even during the 60's was a drop in the bucket compared to the war.

The plan as it was originally conceived would have made a lot of sense. They would have had one (technically two, but both were reusable) vehicle for lunar surface sorties and orbital workhorse duties. The nuclear lunar shuttle would have given NASA plenty of operational experience with manned nuclear travel. This would have set them up with most of what they needed to go to Mars. All they would have required was the lander.

This would have been extremely expensive and I don't think that Congress would have stuck it out, even if the programe wasn't outright cancelled. Look at how the shuttle was handled, with it's mission of 'space truck' whittled down to nothing by lack of money and conflicting missions from different directions. I don't think that any of the other features of this plan would have fared any better.
 

Archibald

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They certainly reviewed an immense number of Shuttle concepts of every kind, even some weird ones (breadbox, SERV...) but there were no really satisfying concept - not even the full-reusable TSTO.
 

tea monster

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Atomic Rockets has a huge section on space tugs, and the 'NASA Space Tug' has it's own section: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacetug.php

Do any of you remember a large format 'picture book' for young adults that would have come out at the time (around 1970), filled with contractor artwork on this plan? I remember it from my high school library.
 

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