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Lunarbike for Apollo mission

Michel Van

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before the rover
NASA think about Small bikes for Apollo astronauts
here tested in KC-135 plane at lunar gravity for 30 seconds

Picture source by Otto Nero
http://ottonero.blogspot.com/2008/07/race-on-moon.html
 

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Lauge

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Would this officially rate as more or less silly than the Lunar Flyers mentioned on Astronautix:

http://www.astronautix.com/craftfam/lunlyers.htm

An office chair with a rocket engine attached...cool or what, eh ? ;D

Regards & all

Thomas L. Nielsen
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Just call me Ray

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Heh, I think in the end the most appropriate and logical decision was made in the form of the LRVs, though I think, especially with today's technology, we can do even better.
 

Lauge

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Michel Van said:
don't laugh

You show a picture like that, and then tell us "don't laugh" ???
I nearly busted something... ;D ;D ;D

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
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Kevin Renner

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Actually something like a mountain bike makes a lot of sense. Especially if the chameleon suit could work out
 

Just call me Ray

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If I were an astronaut, I would probably prefer something motorized, even given the reduced gravity of the lunar surface those suits still take up a lot of volume and it might be awkward to peddle a bicycle with so much insulation wrapped around your legs.

I would also prefer a vehicle where I get to sit down in a comfortable position, like the original lunar rover With modern-day fuel cell technology, it shouldn't be too difficult to make a collapsible three or four-wheeled vehicle much like the original rover but with greatly reduced weight and perhaps even enhanced range.
 

Lauge

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Just call me Ray said:
....and it might be awkward to peddle a bicycle with so much insulation wrapped around your legs.

May I draw your attention to the Mechanical Counter-Pressure (MCP) suit concept ? See e.g. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/biosuit.htm.

The MCP replaces the "balloon-type" air-pressurized spacesuit with a tight-fitting inner garment that squeezes the body to maintain internal pressure. If properly designed and implemented, it should be about as cumbersome as a wetsuit (and as modest as a coat of paint. Imagine, for a solemn moment, Angelina Jolie wearing one of these ;D).

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

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Just call me Ray

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Lauge said:
Just call me Ray said:
....and it might be awkward to peddle a bicycle with so much insulation wrapped around your legs.

May I draw your attention to the Mechanical Counter-Pressure (MCP) suit concept ? See e.g. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/biosuit.htm.

The MCP replaces the "balloon-type" air-pressurized spacesuit with a tight-fitting inner garment that squeezes the body to maintain internal pressure. If properly designed and implemented, it should be about as cumbersome as a wetsuit (and as modest as a coat of paint. Imagine, for a solemn moment, Angelina Jolie wearing one of these ;D).

Yeah, I find it interesting that the accompanying drawing is illustrated as being worn by a woman, perhaps to emphasize its "advantages" ;)

But somehow, maybe because I'm old-fashioned but I'd be hesitant to give up on the bulky but reliable "wearable balloon". Besides, I'd still want to be able to sit down properly, especially for long drives, gravity or no gravity.
 

Lauge

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Just call me Ray said:
Lauge said:
Just call me Ray said:
....and it might be awkward to peddle a bicycle with so much insulation wrapped around your legs.

May I draw your attention to the Mechanical Counter-Pressure (MCP) suit concept ? See e.g. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/biosuit.htm.

The MCP replaces the "balloon-type" air-pressurized spacesuit with a tight-fitting inner garment that squeezes the body to maintain internal pressure. If properly designed and implemented, it should be about as cumbersome as a wetsuit (and as modest as a coat of paint. Imagine, for a solemn moment, Angelina Jolie wearing one of these ;D).

But somehow, maybe because I'm old-fashioned but I'd be hesitant to give up on the bulky but reliable "wearable balloon".

Supposedly, there are a number of safety advantages to the MCP suit. A small tear in a ballon-type suit can kill you if you can't patch it up (or get someone to do it for you). A small tear in an MCP will give you a nasty bruise where your skin is exposed to vacuum, but nothing more. Also, you could make the MCP permeable, so the astro-/cosmo-/taiko-naut can keep cool by sweat evaporation, further simplifying the ensemble.

I suppose the difference is a bit like that between an old-fashioned, brass-helmet-and-air-hose-to-the-surface type diving suit and a modern wetsuit.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

OM

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Michel Van said:
look something like that picture
no lunarbike test, but test of a spacesuit by manufacture.

picture source
http://www.pressuresuit.com/Contents.html

...Major Matt Mason on a Schwinn. Ya gotta love it! :D
 

Spark

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Michel Van said:
don't laugh
but for the Constellation Program
they think about use of bicycle on moon and Mars ::)

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919978,00.html

look something like that picture
no lunarbike test, but test of a spacesuit by manufacture.

picture source
http://www.pressuresuit.com/Contents.html

This Windak suit was a UK product one of the designs produced for the UK programme the technically best suit of its day.
 

Spark

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Lauge said:
Just call me Ray said:
Lauge said:
Just call me Ray said:
....and it might be awkward to peddle a bicycle with so much insulation wrapped around your legs.

May I draw your attention to the Mechanical Counter-Pressure (MCP) suit concept ? See e.g. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/biosuit.htm.

The MCP replaces the "balloon-type" air-pressurized spacesuit with a tight-fitting inner garment that squeezes the body to maintain internal pressure. If properly designed and implemented, it should be about as cumbersome as a wetsuit (and as modest as a coat of paint. Imagine, for a solemn moment, Angelina Jolie wearing one of these ;D).

But somehow, maybe because I'm old-fashioned but I'd be hesitant to give up on the bulky but reliable "wearable balloon".

Supposedly, there are a number of safety advantages to the MCP suit. A small tear in a ballon-type suit can kill you if you can't patch it up (or get someone to do it for you). A small tear in an MCP will give you a nasty bruise where your skin is exposed to vacuum, but nothing more. Also, you could make the MCP permeable, so the astro-/cosmo-/taiko-naut can keep cool by sweat evaporation, further simplifying the ensemble.

I suppose the difference is a bit like that between an old-fashioned, brass-helmet-and-air-hose-to-the-surface type diving suit and a modern wetsuit.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark

Thomas an actual skin suit was developed and tested at Farnborough with a "handbag helmet" just as you sugested many years ago.
 

Lauge

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For an interesting discussion of the various types of spacesuit (and many other "rocketship" topics), see:

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/index.html (choose "Space Suits" in the pop-down menu)

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

Spark

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Lauge said:
For an interesting discussion of the various types of spacesuit (and many other "rocketship" topics), see:

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/index.html (choose "Space Suits" in the pop-down menu)

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark

Thanks Thomas,
Professor Dava J. Newman is definitely better looking than the volunteer who tested the Farnborough suit, it had less quilting. They also had a survival ball for transferring suited personnel between vehicles etc.
 

Grey Havoc

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Michel Van said:
before the rover
NASA think about Small bikes for Apollo astronauts
here tested in KC-135 plane at lunar gravity for 30 seconds

Picture source by Otto Nero
http://ottonero.blogspot.com/2008/07/race-on-moon.html

You'd wonder if a certain Bond film got some ideas from this.... ;)
 

OM

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Grey Havoc said:
Michel Van said:
before the rover
NASA think about Small bikes for Apollo astronauts
here tested in KC-135 plane at lunar gravity for 30 seconds

Picture source by Otto Nero
http://ottonero.blogspot.com/2008/07/race-on-moon.html

You'd wonder if a certain Bond film got some ideas from this.... ;)

...Hell, what Bond film *didn't* steal an idea or four from NASA? That being said, the Moon Bike does ring a serious memory bell, as I do recall it being mentioned during ABC's coverage. The topic of the segment in question was missions beyond Apollo 11 - this may have been A12 filler, considering poor Al Bean's camera mishap robbing the networks of live EVA coverage - and IIRC the "advanced equipment schedule" looked something like this:

Apollo 13-15 - Lunar Rickshaw
Apollo 16-18 - Lunar Rover
Apollo 19 - Moon Bike
Apollo 20 - Nothing confirmed, but there was some talk about contraptions like a Pogo Stick or a Jet Pack.

After that, they went to an ad for Tang... :p
 

Orionblamblam

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Lauge said:
The MCP replaces the "balloon-type" air-pressurized spacesuit with a tight-fitting inner garment that squeezes the body to maintain internal pressure. If properly designed and implemented, it should be about as cumbersome as a wetsuit (and as modest as a coat of paint. Imagine, for a solemn moment, Angelina Jolie wearing one of these ;D ).

Imagine, for a sobering moment, Rosie O'Donnell wearing one of these.
 

Grey Havoc

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Orionblamblam said:
Imagine, for a sobering moment, Rosie O'Donnell wearing one of these.

[shudders]

OM said:
...Hell, what Bond film *didn't* steal an idea or four from NASA? That being said, the Moon Bike does ring a serious memory bell, as I do recall it being mentioned during ABC's coverage. The topic of the segment in question was missions beyond Apollo 11 - this may have been A12 filler, considering poor Al Bean's camera mishap robbing the networks of live EVA coverage - and IIRC the "advanced equipment schedule" looked something like this:

Apollo 13-15 - Lunar Rickshaw
Apollo 16-18 - Lunar Rover
Apollo 19 - Moon Bike
Apollo 20 - Nothing confirmed, but there was some talk about contraptions like a Pogo Stick or a Jet Pack.

After that, they went to an ad for Tang... :p

MOBEV F1B, aka the Pogo Stick, care of astronautix.com. I think there was another design/concept as well, I'll see if I can find it.

EDIT: Here we go: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,12564.0.html

EDIT2: Here's a pic of what appears to be an early Pogo Stick prototype:


[IMAGE CREDIT: whizzospace.com]
 

OM

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Orionblamblam said:
Imagine, for a sobering moment, Rosie O'Donnell wearing one of these.

...The concepts of "watermelon" and "soda straw" are no longer mutually exclusive.
 

OM

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Grey Havoc said:
EDIT2: Here's a pic of what appears to be an early Pogo Stick prototype:


[IMAGE CREDIT: whizzospace.com]

...I probably should have noted that at the time I was trying to remember the over-the-shoulder graphic ABC had commissioned for the various concepts/gadgets. The Moon Bike *may* have looked more like a Vespa, as ISTR there being a full-frontal splash guard in lieu of the front fender. The Pogo Stick wasn't the one in the picture above, and if my dream recollection last night actually *did* tap into the right brain cell array, what ABC showed over Frank Reynolds' left shoulder was the "hover platform" - the one with three legs, a hopper engine, and a half-railing for the astronaut to hold onto while standing up. ISTR the Airfix H-O Astronauts set having one of these, if that's any help.

...But, in the end, all of these "get around" vehicles had the same limitations the Rovers did: you could only go out away from the LM so far before you violated the Walk Back Rule. The Moon Bike wouldn't have necessarily been any faster than the Rover in getting from point-to-point except *maybe* if Pete Conrad were the pilot - IIRC, Pete was reknown as being the only Astronaut during that period who owned his own Harley *and* rode it regularly much to the chagrin of the Flight Surgeons, the same Flight Surgeons who had cows and kittens when Gordo Cooper participated in 24-hour NASCAR races.

...The Pogo Stick and Hover Platforms might have gotten from point to point faster, thus increasing the number of points between A and Z - which might not necessarily have been exactly at A. However, the safety issues increase significantly - almost by an order of magnitude - because you're dealing with Z-axis translation, where problems can occur if the Z- translation happens to be at an excessive and/or uncontrolled rate, with unwanted translations along the X and Y-axes. Even in 1/6G, faw down and go boom.

...Note that in both cases, there's the additional issue that Apollo 11 encountered, in that there was significant dust scattering due to the Descent Engine not being cut off when the Contact Light was triggered. Since we're dealing with smaller propulsion systems, the amount of exhaust scattering may be marginalized, but its still something that was most likely considered after the A11 debriefs, and especially following the Surveyor III examination, where it was found that even 600' away the LM had managed to kick up enough dust despite a proper shutdown and thud/drop to the surface to coat the facing side of the Surveyor.
 

Spark

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Hi

The sad truth, the suit had features incorporated in the latter Apollo suit and that the Woomera military facilities, launch pads were sized for a lunar mission option if that became an imperative.


Lauge said:
Michel Van said:
don't laugh

You show a picture like that, and then tell us "don't laugh" ???
I nearly busted something... ;D ;D ;D

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

OM

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...While searching for more info on a lunar motocycle, I came across this PDF of a Lunar Mobility Review that was authorized as part of the now-cancelled Lunar Exploration Initiative. Although it's only a passing mention on one side, it does appear to validate some comments made by a couple of FB friends who've worked for NASA - one's a financial review board exec, the other's a computer backroom hacker who's about to retire. Apparently the motorcycle was originally planned to be bumped up for use on Apollo 15, as there was some serious concern that the Lunar Rover wouldn't be ready in time due to problems getting the Rover to deploy from it's compressed state:

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/lunar_exploration/briefings/lunar_mobility_review.pdf

...Slide in question is #7 of 16. In fact, the whole slideshow's pretty interesting.

...Now, here's what may be the seminal mention of the use of a bike of some sort on the Moon or Mars, as written by Ray Bradbury, but if we're not careful Harlan Ellison will claim he invented the idea, and go off on another of his infamous bogus lawsuits:

...all the prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course, just as they carried climbing ropes and spare oxygen... The solitary prospector, deprived of his traditional burro, found the bicycle an acceptable and reliable, if somewhat less congenial, substitute. A miner's bike would have looked odd in the streets of Stockholm; over-sized wheels, doughnut sand tires, towing yoke and trailer, battery trickle charger, two-way radio, saddle bags and Geiger-counter mount made it not the vehicle for a spin in the park - but on Mars or on the Moon it fitted its purpose the way a canoe fits a Canadian stream.
From The Rolling Stones, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribner's in 1952

...And on a related note:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919978,00.html

...I can see Schwinn submitting a bid for this one, complete with banana seat :eek: :p ;D On the other hand, there's *this* contraption that looks like someone at NASA bred a Pennyfarthing with one of the early 3-axis Mercury trainers:


http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/hyperbike_hype.php#ch02

...And then there's this pedal-powered alternative to the Lunar Rover:

http://www.thelantern.com/campus/osu-student-made-moonbuggy-part-of-nasa-competition-1.1310299#.TorPfXKFzEY

...NASA even looked at including an exercise bike in the Electric Rover concept, so that the crew could keep those leg muscles in tone while helping to charge the Rover's batteries:

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/analogs/blackpoint/pdf/ler_factsheet_web.pdf
 

pathology_doc

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The figure-hugging "Angelina Jolie suit" (vide supra) is very... Space Opera-ish.

Now all we need is a race of benign Godlike telepaths, a race of protean Satanic telepaths, Earth as the battleground and hello E.E. "Doc" Smith!!

ISTR a (laymen's) competition to design a moonbuggy that ended up with the ten winners being examined by professional engineers and - with their findings in mind - novelised in a "race across the moon". One of the placegetters was a gigantic ball driven by motors on an external frame, and the frame and the astronauts within being gyrostabilised upright. The story ends with the motors breaking down within sight of the finish line, and the astronauts blowing off the frame and "running like gerbils on uppers" on the inside of the ball to get themselves across the line. I can't even remember what it was called or what magazine it was published in (it may even have been Rolling Stone), but it's one of the very few times I was seriously tempted to steal a magazine.

Now all we need is for the lunar bike to have been built under licence by Harley-Davidson...
 

OM

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pathology_doc said:
Now all we need is for the lunar bike to have been built under licence by Harley-Davidson...

...And it just hit me: if the Moonbike was indeed planned for Apollo 20, it could explain why Pete Conrad went on record several times that he would have been CDR on this mission had it happened. Considering he rode a motorcycle until and up to his death following a wipeout on one, it's not hard to imagine Pete popping wheelies in the regolith, and attempting to jump across a rille or two :) :)

[thinks]

...Egads. Can you imagine the A20 patch having a Hell's Angels logo as part of the design? :eek:
 

RAP

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Not a bike but a very large unicycle. Unfortunately no other info available on this one.
 

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