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.
 

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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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.

Congress was 'done' with Apollo by 1965 and had been cutting it back since the early '60s only keeping it going due the "martyr" issue of Kennedy's Lunar goal. They specifically were out to keep NASA from trying to go to Mars next and frankly it never helped that every damn program NASA suggested specifically called for "Mars" to be the next goal. Apollo Applications Program had enough Earth orbital and near-space projects but as NASA never really understood what an aberration the entire "Apollo Program" was they just kept piling on programs, projects and goals till Congress cut everything.

The failure of Paine's IPP and the very public admonishment that followed SHOULD have been a big clue but it wasn't and the Shuttle program (which btw should have been a 'shuttle' development for supporting a Earth orbiting 'space station' program and note the lack of capitalization there :) ) morphed into the "Next Big Program" since NASA was no longer capable of having anything BUT a "Big Program" of record by this point.

The simple and plain fact was there was neither public nor political support for an ongoing "big" space program and we'd have actually been better served if the entire Lunar Goal had not happened and a more sedate (and sane) space development program had been done instead. (Of course chances of Congress STILL not supporting even that are pretty high :) ) The Shuttle program was an attempt to salvage the original idea of a 'cheap-and-easy' access to Earth orbit paradigm that Apollo bypassed in order to get to the Moon quickly and hopefully re-start the step-by-self-supporting-step process of moving into space that everyone had been expecting to happen.
It wasn't going to happen with the post-Apollo NASA.

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.

Love AR :) And yes I wore those books out from every library that would lend them to me :) Unfortunately they also fed me a disproportionate view of the general support (both political and public) that took me decades to overcome. :)

Oh and just one point on the render? Have the window backlighting be red rather than blue :)

Randy
 

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

I feel a need to address this one :)

Eisenhower got elected because he supported the "New Deal", he also expanded Social Security and other benefit programs with the full support of the Republican's in Congress of the day. As noted Nixon had an expanded Medicare program as part of his platform in 1960, he was aware that he couldn't get elected without it. America could not only afford to expand it's social services programs it was quite clear they benefited the nation and economy as a whole and still does. The "myth" of the US having an out-of-control social services programs is just that. We actually have a very small and limited social network compared to any other nation on Earth and out 'costs' are far smaller than any portion of the military budget which is THE main cost output of the United States and has been for almost a century.

Now in context the US is also a Super-Power and by that standard we are obligated to maintain a military capable of fighting (and winning) a two front war in two separate theaters of operation at the same time which is why we spend so much on our military. Historically and actually that's the kind of conflict the US can and does find itself in for the most part. That is simply the nature of our world.

Dropping the whole of our 'social programs' budget into NASA would literally be a drop in the bucket while spending only 1% of the entire military budget on NASA would be several times it's current budget. Let's stop blaming social spending, which is demonstrably been shown to enhance the US economy and public well being, and blame the ACTUAL cause which is a lack of political (Congressional) will to actually spend money on space development and effort which I will point out reflects the PUBLIC lack of will to spend money on the same.

The general public has no 'buy-in' to space, space exploration, or space development and therefore little interest in expanding funding for it. This is reflected in the political will and spending. You want to change that then you have to address the ACTUAL problem which is getting the general public to WANT more space activity. We "Space Cadets" are few and far between no matter how much we like to think otherwise and at the moment nothing "up there" is as relevant or a priority as numerous other things "down here" that ARE relevant and a priority for the majority of the population. "Money" is literally NOT the problem here.

Randy
 

uk 75

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The disconnect between the "fantasy" manned spaceflight of Star Trek with its Earthlike worlds and aliens and the "dull reality" of the barren uninhabitable lunar and later martian landscapes shown on TV screens did much to undermine enthusiasm in the general public.
Once Space became the "nerd" interest in Science rather than the exciting new frontier of pulp Sci Fi you could pretty much forget general public buy-in.
The Space Shuttle was such a let-down after the neat spacecraft shown making airliner like flights in films like 2001 or the Gerry Anderson show UFO.
Even today most people just shake their heads when Musk and Branson claim that their brief jumps into low orbit are the space tourism of Clarke's 2001 Wheel in Space complete with Hilton hotel.
 

RanulfC

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The disconnect between the "fantasy" manned spaceflight of Star Trek with its Earthlike worlds and aliens and the "dull reality" of the barren uninhabitable lunar and later martian landscapes shown on TV screens did much to undermine enthusiasm in the general public.
Once Space became the "nerd" interest in Science rather than the exciting new frontier of pulp Sci Fi you could pretty much forget general public buy-in.
The Space Shuttle was such a let-down after the neat spacecraft shown making airliner like flights in films like 2001 or the Gerry Anderson show UFO.
Even today most people just shake their heads when Musk and Branson claim that their brief jumps into low orbit are the space tourism of Clarke's 2001 Wheel in Space complete with Hilton hotel.

There wasn't as general an 'interest' in space exploration as many think. It had a "spike" during the early years but as it had little direct 'relevance' to most people and yes I'm pretty sure a more 'common' ability to access space would likely have helped quite a bit :) And I think you mean Bezos and Branson not Musk :)

I will say that the opportunity that Bezos and Branson will open up will likely have an outsized effect, eventually. In order to get more 'buy-in' by and from the general public and that's going to take the general public having more experience in interacting with space.

Randy
 

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

Dropping the whole of our 'social programs' budget into NASA would literally be a drop in the bucket while spending only 1% of the entire military budget on NASA would be several times it's current budget.

Ah...how are we counting "social programs," here? If I'm reading the charts right, Medicaid alone currently costs almost 30 times NASA's current budget. Or HUD's budget, which is $60 billion.

Now you could certainly make the argument that some, many, most, or all of these programs are worth it, no objection from me, but there's a lot more money there than, say, what you'd get from shuttering the NEA and the Peace Corps.
 

Byeman

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The major problem of course, was the ever to be damned 'Great Society' program.
Space was never a long term plan for the government. Nor should it be. It was just Cold War soft power project. Government spending on space is just another form of the 'Great Society' program.
Why should the government be spending more on space? Why is space different than the oceans or Antartica? Space should be any different than the "New World", the governments have done their little forays into it and now its time for industry and the marketplace to take over.
 

Archibald

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JFK Apollo decision was made for all the wrong reasons... and in very, very peculiar circumstances: Bay of pigs, Gagarin...

The unpolite way to call it is that of a d**k showing contest with the Soviets, to prove once and for all that "Mine is bigger" or "America p**s the farthest in that Cold War. Heck, we can pee as far as the Moon !"

Engineering come second.

Science come a distant third, even if the last three missions did a fanstic job there.

Some say that Kennedy deadline mandated Houbolt's LOR and that it was a dead end.
And that EOR would have left instead a LEO hardware trail to be used as a long term beach head there.

This is not guaranted by any mean, for the simple reasons Saturns were damn expensive, Titans were no better, and the supposedly cheap Shuttle failed... so even "long term EOR" would have been unsustainable.

The truth is, NASA prefered the EOR tanking / assembly mode as a "foot in the door" for Mars shots after the Moon.

But we all know what happened in 1969 when they pitched Mars to the President...
 

RanulfC

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

Dropping the whole of our 'social programs' budget into NASA would literally be a drop in the bucket while spending only 1% of the entire military budget on NASA would be several times it's current budget.

Ah...how are we counting "social programs," here? If I'm reading the charts right, Medicaid alone currently costs almost 30 times NASA's current budget. Or HUD's budget, which is $60 billion.

Now you could certainly make the argument that some, many, most, or all of these programs are worth it, no objection from me, but there's a lot more money there than, say, what you'd get from shuttering the NEA and the Peace Corps.

Odd, somehow the bit I actually wrote "Dropping the whole of our 'social programs' budget into NASA would literally be a drop in the bucket compared to other government spending, while spending only 1% of the entire military budget on NASA would be several times it's current budget." disappeared when I transferred it over to the reply window.

Randy
 

RanulfC

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The major problem of course, was the ever to be damned 'Great Society' program.
Space was never a long term plan for the government. Nor should it be. It was just Cold War soft power project. Government spending on space is just another form of the 'Great Society' program.
Why should the government be spending more on space? Why is space different than the oceans or Antartica? Space should be any different than the "New World", the governments have done their little forays into it and now its time for industry and the marketplace to take over.

Mostly right but I'd point out that unlike the oceans or Antarctica there's still very little 'private' money to be made in space. The majority of the 'interest' as well as funding is still the government and unlike any Earthly transportation or other services industry "space" has no existing destinations or resources worth enough to attract "private" investment in any real manner beyond some niche applications.

Some parts of "space" have been turned over to successful private development but for the most part it's still mostly run by and for government requirements and needs.

Randy
 

RanulfC

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JFK Apollo decision was made for all the wrong reasons... and in very, very peculiar circumstances: Bay of pigs, Gagarin...

The unpolite way to call it is that of a d**k showing contest with the Soviets, to prove once and for all that "Mine is bigger" or "America p**s the farthest in that Cold War. Heck, we can pee as far as the Moon !"

Engineering come second.

Science come a distant third, even if the last three missions did a fanstic job there.

Some say that Kennedy deadline mandated Houbolt's LOR and that it was a dead end.
And that EOR would have left instead a LEO hardware trail to be used as a long term beach head there.

This is not guaranted by any mean, for the simple reasons Saturns were damn expensive, Titans were no better, and the supposedly cheap Shuttle failed... so even "long term EOR" would have been unsustainable.

The truth is, NASA prefered the EOR tanking / assembly mode as a "foot in the door" for Mars shots after the Moon.

But we all know what happened in 1969 when they pitched Mars to the President...

No we all know what happened when NASA pitched Mars to Congress in the 1960s :)

The President made the mistake of asking NASA what they REALLY wanted and we have a nice cartoon for that one :)
Thanks MV :)
1631663511266.jpeg
 

publiusr

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I've updated the model with a basic interior. It's nowhere near finished.
View attachment 658331
Now that may be the best way to have a lot of "glass" in a craft with a strong disk above and beneath. The Starship greenhouse has too much 'flex appeal.' The Starship is a dadbod ET vehicle that thinks he can keep up with the skateboarders. Just perch in the middle of a nice lunar crater to be a feed horn for a dish antenna...and we promis to visit in our Dynetics roadster- man, Dad is so 1950's
 

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Love AR :) And yes I wore those books out from every library that would lend them to me :) Unfortunately they also fed me a disproportionate view of the general support (both political and public) that took me decades to overcome. :)

Oh and just one point on the render? Have the window backlighting be red rather than blue :)

Randy

Like in 2001? :D I'm looking to find copies of that book (s). Do you remember the title (s)?
 

Byeman

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The major problem of course, was the ever to be damned 'Great Society' program.
Space was never a long term plan for the government. Nor should it be. It was just Cold War soft power project. Government spending on space is just another form of the 'Great Society' program.
Why should the government be spending more on space? Why is space different than the oceans or Antartica? Space should be any different than the "New World", the governments have done their little forays into it and now its time for industry and the marketplace to take over.

Mostly right but I'd point out that unlike the oceans or Antarctica there's still very little 'private' money to be made in space. The majority of the 'interest' as well as funding is still the government and unlike any Earthly transportation or other services industry "space" has no existing destinations or resources worth enough to attract "private" investment in any real manner beyond some niche applications.

Some parts of "space" have been turned over to successful private development but for the most part it's still mostly run by and for government requirements and needs.

Randy
Still doesn't mean governments should do Apollo type Mars program, lunar bases or more ISS's
 

TMA1

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The major problem of course, was the ever to be damned 'Great Society' program.
Space was never a long term plan for the government. Nor should it be. It was just Cold War soft power project. Government spending on space is just another form of the 'Great Society' program.
Why should the government be spending more on space? Why is space different than the oceans or Antartica? Space should be any different than the "New World", the governments have done their little forays into it and now its time for industry and the marketplace to take over.

Mostly right but I'd point out that unlike the oceans or Antarctica there's still very little 'private' money to be made in space. The majority of the 'interest' as well as funding is still the government and unlike any Earthly transportation or other services industry "space" has no existing destinations or resources worth enough to attract "private" investment in any real manner beyond some niche applications.

Some parts of "space" have been turned over to successful private development but for the most part it's still mostly run by and for government requirements and needs.

Randy
Still doesn't mean governments should do Apollo type Mars program, lunar bases or more ISS's
I mean no offense at this but this kind of mentality disturbs me. All the cynical realities being what they are, there is still something more than just sterile, spiritless intellectualism and there is still something more than a neutered populism that sees space programs as wasteful. There is something more to it than what bean counters make of it. More than just dollars and cents.
 

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