• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Manned anti-Satellite systems ("space fighters")

RanulfC

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
523
Reaction score
44
dannydale said:
XP67_Moonbat said:
http://www.ninfinger.org/models/vault2004/hs_spaceplane_study.jpg
That's the DARPA Space Cruiser. Nice find, too.
OM wrote:
...I thought this was the Navy's 1970's attempt at a sub-launched manned space "fighter"? Is my IIRC shorting out again?
The answer is: Both are correct :eek:)

The Space Cruiser design was part of a study proposing basing a single-person non-pressurized (pilot wore a pressure suit the entire mission) vehicle capble of being boosted into LEO by a booster based on a sub-launched ICBM. There was of course a few "issues" with this proposition, not having enough room in the tube to mount the SC on the booster being one :) The designer, Fred W. Redding Jr. got further funding from DARPA once the Navy lost interest in the concept towards expanding the capabilities and possible missions for the basic "Space Cruiser" design. By 1989 the design had been refined and the entire concept renamed as "Spaceplane Technology and Research" or "STAR" with various test programs and missions based around the basic Space Cruiser design for a hypersonic manuverable reentry vehicle and missions throughout cis-Lunar space!

Concepts ranged from air-launched RBCC-hypersonic research work, satellite rendevous/inspection/repair activites and even coupling one or more Space Cruisers to a Centuar stage for missions to the Moon!

All in all some really, REALLY interesting stuff!

Randy
 

OM

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
753
Reaction score
0
Website
www.io.com
Randy said:
By 1989 the design had been refined and the entire concept renamed as "Spaceplane Technology and Research" or "STAR"
...Spaceeba! This raises two questions:

1) Did STAR retain the same basic design as the NRL sub-launch concept, or did they actually go with wings now that they had room?

2) Have we got a thread around here regarding STAR, or other suggested links for exploitation?
 

Michel Van

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,194
Reaction score
68
i think dat i found picture of the Gemini-based interceptor

on last page of The PDF
RENDEZVOUS CONCEPT FOR CIRCUMLUNAR FLYBY IN 1967
 

Attachments

blackstar

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
1,682
Reaction score
12
That's been floating around awhile. I've never seen anything more on it than an illustration. It's not clear that it was even studied at all. The contractor might have simply told an artist to gin something up quick that they could include in a section titled "and other stuff that we can build for you if you give us money."
 

OM

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
753
Reaction score
0
Website
www.io.com
Orionblamblam said:
blackstar said:
That's been floating around awhile.
Ever since I scanned, cleaned, re-texted and posted it *years* ago (sometime in the 96-99 timeframe). Always interesting to see these things pop up again.
...I thought it looked like one of your cleanup jobs. 1998 seems about right, as the topic came up on .history not long before then.
 

RanulfC

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
523
Reaction score
44
OM said:
Randy said:
By 1989 the design had been refined and the entire concept renamed as "Spaceplane Technology and Research" or "STAR"
...Spaceeba! This raises two questions:

1) Did STAR retain the same basic design as the NRL sub-launch concept, or did they actually go with wings now that they had room?

2) Have we got a thread around here regarding STAR, or other suggested links for exploitation?
Sorry for the late reply...

1)- Pretty much as far as I've seen. The general concept was an inexpensive "X-Spaceplane" vehicle that had alternate utility as a production vehicle as well. In general the design was always specified as a "minimum-cost/maximum-performance" vehicle.

2)- Yes we do, with included link to one "survey" report on the program, http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1103.0/highlight,star+spaceplane.html

And some links I've got:
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADB143755&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
http://www.up-ship.com/apr/extras/scruiser1.htm
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6257527.html

Which are the only ones I have access to at the moment. I'll try and post some other stuff if I can find the papers again.

Randy
 

flateric

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
8,769
Reaction score
188
holy bananas!
http://ghostrocket.blogspot.com/2012/09/program-621a-saint.html
 

blackstar

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
1,682
Reaction score
12
flateric said:
Very interesting. Have not read it yet, but thanks for the tip.

SAINT has been a peculiar project from a historian's point of view. I have seen documents that indicated that a lot of work was done on it, and yet there were never any good photos or line drawings of it. That website says the same thing:

"No images of the FSV seem to have been released, but there is a low-resolution diagram that has been available for some time."

(Note that the images on that website were apparently produced by the author and are not from historical files.)

It just seemed odd that there were indications that they had started building hardware, and then not a lot of documents anywhere. I had even asked USAF historians about it over the years and they shrugged their shoulders, saying that they thought that the records might have been destroyed. Air Force record keeping in the early-mid 1960s was schizophrenic, with some useless things preserved and other more important things thrown away and no real reason for the discrepancy.

The Program 437 ASAT is similar. We've long had a detailed history of the program, but no pictures of the actual hardware. My suspicion is that there is material somewhere, but it is buried in an archive.
 

antigravite

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
673
Reaction score
11
Hi all and a special hello to Matej ;)


There was also a seemingly far-fetched plan to ponder an experimentally manned variant of the X-37 for space combat operations. This project - I'd rather like to say idea - went by the name of "XF-SMV", Experimental Fighter - Space Maneuver Vehicle.


Little known but more can be found here:
http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/x37_and_x40.htm


:)
 

Attachments

antigravite

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
673
Reaction score
11
I had it somewhere but can't access my archives as of now. Matej surely has this paper ;)
 

antigravite

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
673
Reaction score
11
By the way, the only source on that XF-SMV that I am aware of is an old AIAA paper. Don't get fooled, there was nothing shiny really, just this sequence of drawings lining up a series of incremental advanced projects, and a column at the end of the paper mentioning some specifics of the XF-SMV "idea". Marketing at best. I was personally attracted by the use of the acronym, as designation brought to light what was conceptually at stakes, as always. And it could have been the seed of a new class of military space systems. At the time I came across this weirdy, I was doing my homework for my articles to understand how the X-37 came to be connected to the MSP (Military Space Plane), in which technological and doctrinal context. And that's how I came across this tiny weirdy. This is what made my article a little sexy.
 

XP67_Moonbat

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
10
An article on the Space Cruiser.

https://falsesteps.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/star-the-usafs-everything-spacecraft/
 

blackstar

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
1,682
Reaction score
12
That one occasionally resurfaces on the internets. People are fascinated with the idea of the "space fighter."

However, I wonder about the practicality of it. It is an awfully small package to contain a human. I suspect that this is another example of a paper spacecraft or aircraft that did not get much scrutiny, but if you had a team of engineers look at it for more than twenty minutes they would find several dozen reasons why it would never work.
 

RLBH

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
197
Reaction score
14
blackstar said:
That one occasionally resurfaces on the internets. People are fascinated with the idea of the "space fighter."

However, I wonder about the practicality of it. It is an awfully small package to contain a human. I suspect that this is another example of a paper spacecraft or aircraft that did not get much scrutiny, but if you had a team of engineers look at it for more than twenty minutes they would find several dozen reasons why it would never work.
I wouldn't be surprised if the study was done as part of an exercise in convincing someone high up the food chain that it was a bad idea - something along the lines of 'Look, we'd have to spend eleventy squillion dollars to make this pet project of yours work, and it'll still be totally useless!'
 

Quindar Beep

"I really hope they fix that"
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Website
falsesteps.wordpress.com
blackstar said:
However, I wonder about the practicality of it. It is an awfully small package to contain a human. I suspect that this is another example of a paper spacecraft or aircraft that did not get much scrutiny, but if you had a team of engineers look at it for more than twenty minutes they would find several dozen reasons why it would never work.
Small package is the key phrase here. At 4500kg it was only marginally larger than a Gemini capsule -- and it needed to be aerodynamic, carry propellants, and have room for payload. Reading the base document on which I based the article, I got the sense that Fred Redding was actively contemptuous of the "safety culture" NASA had developed, and longed for the good old days when soldiers did as they were told.

(I've a different scan of the 1984 DARPA report posted up-thread, with some clearer pictures and so less clear. I'd post it, but it's a smidge over the file size limit. Let me see about sticking it someplace else for download if anyone else is interested.)
 

blackstar

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
1,682
Reaction score
12
If you have it as a pdf, you can split it. One way that should work is to select "print," then print the first half of the document as a pdf, then do the same for the second half of the document. Your software may allow you to do this.

But I too have found the file size limit here restrictive. Then again, the site is free, so I'm not going to complain.
 

Antonio

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,364
Reaction score
36
You could upload the document to any free Cloud service like Dropbox or Mediafire and post the link here
 

Matej

Multiuniversal creator
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
2,617
Reaction score
32
Website
www.hitechweb.genezis.eu
XP67_Moonbat said:
Nice! Is there a shiny PDF on the subject?
I wish I had more free time these days... Its AIAA-1997-3928 MINI-SPACEPLANE (SPACE MANEUVER VEHICLE) OPERATIONAL UTILITY, Tim Kilgore, The Boeing Company
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
8,970
Reaction score
174
Among other items of interest in this transcription (Vol. II) of 'The Eight Symposium on Ballistic and Space Technology' [held in October of 1963] is this:

MANNED ANTI-SATELLITE SYSTEM

E. E. Honeywell
General Dynamics Corporation
Pomona Division
Pomona, California

INTRODUCTION

This paper presents a conceptual design of a system which provides for
close inspection of earth satellites by man and, in addition, a satellite
negation capability which can be employed in the event the target satellite
is determined to be hostile. It is not proposed that the system (or any of
the major sub-systems) is the optimum solution to the problem of satellite
defense; it is merely one of several plausible approaches.

SYSTEM CONCEPT


General Description

The system to be presented is tailored to the following specific concept.
Upon designation of a target satellite a manned vehicle ascends from
a ground launch site (or from a parking orbit) on a trajectory whose apogee
is at a point of tangency between the paths of the two vehicles. Initiation
of the ascent is timed so that the manned vehicle arrives at apogee a prescribed
distance from the target. This distance is based on the estimated
minimum safe displacement between the manned vehicle and an assumed offensive
target satellite, and the maximum range capability of a practical rendesvous
radar design. The currently prescribed value is 50 miles. At apogee the
manned vehicle injects into the target's orbit (in general this requires a
planar transfer) and its displacement from the target is maintained at the
prescribed value.

The manned vehicle carries a number of devices whose dual mission is
to perform remote, close-in inspection of and, if necessary, to negate the
target. If the target exhibits any sign of hostility then the inspection
mission is immediately by-passed or interrupted in favor of the negation
mission, A hostile sign might be any of the following: (a) destruction or
attempted destruction of the manned vehicle, (b) jamming of the communication
and radar links, and (c) an evasive maneuver.

After successfully engaging the primary target the manned vehicle
will remain in orbit to perform similar missions as the opportunity arises.
A three day life support is considered; however, the duration of the mission
might be shortened due to consumption of maneuver fuel, use of all inspector/
killer mechanisms carried, or occurance of most opportune or practical time
for reaching desired landing site on earth.

One possible system concept for performing this mission is illustrated
in Figs 1. The Titan III boost vehicle is employed to place the manned vehicle
and mission module in earth orbit.

The three man command module is lenticular in shape and is the only
portion of the system which re-enters the atmosphere. The reasons for selecting
this particular configuration will be dealt with in the latter portions
of this paper.

The mission module consists of four satellite inspector/killer mechanisms
the fire control radar, and the propulsion system for orbital maneuvers.

Exploded views illustrating the system components are given in Figs.
2 and 3. As can be seen, the cockpit can be separated from the command module
for mission abort while on the launch pad or during the initial phases of
ascent. For abort after attaining supersonic velocity, the complete command
module would be separated from the booster by the maneuver propulsion system.
The command module could glide to an emergency landing site and land in the
normal manner or the cockpit could be ejected and landed by parachute.
 

RanulfC

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
523
Reaction score
44
That's interesting stuff, thanks! Seen bits of it on Scott's site but the more in-depth stuff is neat. Funny thing, the "selected" configuration for the lenticular shape is the same as the "Pyewacket" defensive missile configuration for the XB-70.

Randy
 

Spark

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
361
Reaction score
0
H i
How big was the orbiter space plane?
I photocopied the drawing at a increased size.
Can you scale from 1inch scale please?
CNH said:
The British proposals came from an RAF requirement, OR9001.

RAE wrote a very nice report, but unless the UK was going to spend almost its entire defence budget on this one project, it had little chance.

I would guess at a date of around 1964. It's ten years since I read the file!
 

Spark

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
361
Reaction score
0
Hi
Note that the Australians had already built the World’s First purpose built launch pads for manned space craft. At end of the fifties the Australians invested more per capita in manned space flight launch infrastructure than the USSR or USA.
The “near spacecontrol” component, part of the Empire Defence Policy/RAF/RAAF Manned Space Programme was intended to be operational by 1965 if it became a necessity.
Note 50 payloads larger than Soyuz could have been orbited by the light weight BSSLV for c£25million launch cost per year. ( Or equivalent to an I.S.S. annually.)
The medium lift BSSLV with a payload equivalent to the Saturn 1 or an ISS in less than six months.
This is what the Australians built 6A and 6B for!!
I know of no problems that arose up to the time of the cancellation June/July 1960.
The UK /Commonwealth economy could easily support the programme.
 

RanulfC

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
523
Reaction score
44
Spark said:
H i
How big was the orbiter space plane?
I photocopied the drawing at a increased size.
Can you scale from 1inch scale please?
More information a bit further down in the thread:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3189.msg113797.html#msg113797

By you! ???

On the general arrangement drawing the name Dr. Handel Davies appears.
The scale of the drawing was one inch to ten feet.
I think the propellants were none cryo, but storeable for military quick reaction.
The last point is open to correction.
I'm confused...

Randy
 

Spark

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
361
Reaction score
0
Hi Randy,

Sorry, I should have made it clearer; I know it is one inch to ten feet on the original.

But the photo copy of the drawing that I have was not made one to one; it was made to fit a presentation. Maybe my copy is 2.5x? I do not know for certain.

So I cannot scale from it.

The spaceplane had its origins early on but before that the UK had done studies for Bluff capsule return vehicle.

This was put on the backburner in case there were delays in operational deployment of the final vehicle by 1965.

Tom Kerr told me that it, the space plane proper was still embryonic at the time of cancellation.

The UK Government sponsored studies in the sixties were in my opinion little better than sops to keep the industry, populace quite because the decision had been taken by the body politic to eliminate a UK self-sufficient independent aerospace industry.



RanulfC said:
Spark said:
H i
How big was the orbiter space plane?
I photocopied the drawing at a increased size.
Can you scale from 1inch scale please?
More information a bit further down in the thread:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3189.msg113797.html#msg113797

By you! ???

On the general arrangement drawing the name Dr. Handel Davies appears.
The scale of the drawing was one inch to ten feet.
I think the propellants were none cryo, but storeable for military quick reaction.
The last point is open to correction.
I'm confused...

Randy
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
8,970
Reaction score
174
Apollo LM CSD: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,7570.msg65975.html#msg65975
 

Michel Van

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,194
Reaction score
68
Re: The Navy's Undersea Rocket Ship

we have discuss the "NRL space cruiser"
already in Space Fighter discussion http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3189.0.html
 

DSE

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Messages
449
Reaction score
7
Re: The Navy's Undersea Rocket Ship

My bad. Thanks for pointing that out. Moderator please move my original post to that thread and then delete this message.
 

aferguson

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
The best known illustration of the DARPA space cruiser clearly shows a clear blister at the rear top of the craft; presumably for the pilot to look out of. Yet all the side view cutaway illustrations i've seen don't show this clear blister. Was it a later addition to the design or eliminated from the design at some point? I can see it possibly causing problems during re-entry, so a good reason to eliminate it. Conversely, i can see it being added to afford the pilot a better view. Anyone know?

How was this 'space fighter' intended to operate in space? Was the nose supposed to hinge open, exposing sensors and presumably a weapon of some sort? And what type of weapon would have been used? Anything that fires some type of kinetic energy weapon (eg a gun) would have had an adverse effect on the spacecraft's trajectory.

Also, these space fighters were reportedly intended to shoot down both soviet satellites and incoming ICBMs but i think the ICBM mission highly unlikely. Aside from the obvious difficulty in targeting such a fast moving object, the space cruiser would not be able to reach orbit fast enough. It would not climb into space any faster than a soviet ICBM and with warning and launch times, would never be able to intercept it. They could have been pre-emptively launched, in times of high risk, but with only being able to have 2-3 orbits, it would have a very short window of opportunity. They could have been stationed in space i suppose.

A very, very interesting little craft.......sort of like a super duper Bachem Natter or Me-163 Komet.
 

Barrington Bond

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
927
Reaction score
16
Working on the belief that the RAE Space Fighter was slightly smaller than Dynasoar I have cobbled together this comparison representation. Comments on sizing gladly received :)

Regards,
Barry
 

Attachments

Michel Van

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,194
Reaction score
68
nice work
Has the REA space Fighter similar one man cockpit like Dyna Soar ?
 

Spark

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
361
Reaction score
0
Hi
Thanks. UK requirement was for a 3-man vehicle autonomous operations for satellite inspection, near space control specfic reconnassance and alternatively as a 5-man ferry to a 10-man spacestation.
This based on what was expected from the 14ft BSSLV with 35,000lb payload including vehicle so maybe bigger than DyneSoar
Assuming same UK requirement for RAE design?? can we squeeze five crew in to such a narrow vehicle????


Michel Van said:
nice work
Has the REA space Fighter similar one man cockpit like Dyna Soar ?
 

Michel Van

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,194
Reaction score
68
Spark said:
Hi
Thanks. UK requirement was for a 3-man vehicle autonomous operations for satellite inspection, near space control specfic reconnassance and alternatively as a 5-man ferry to a 10-man spacestation.
This based on what was expected from the 14ft BSSLV with 35,000lb payload including vehicle so maybe bigger than DyneSoar
Assuming same UK requirement for RAE design?? can we squeeze five crew in to such a narrow vehicle? ???
yes if the 5 seats are in one row
 

Michel Van

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,194
Reaction score
68
blackstar said:
Michel Van said:
yes if the 5 seats are in one row
Maybe somebody could sit on someone else's lap.

not needed
see this 4 man compartment plus the Pilot = 5 men crew for Dyna sonar mini shuttle version



 

flateric

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
8,769
Reaction score
188
has nothing to do with real armed Spiral hw
http://www.buran.ru/htm/spiral_5.htm#interceptor

http://www.buran.ru/images/gif/spiral12.gif
 

Attachments

Top