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MORL

Jemiba

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Sorry, my bad ! The article just used the German term "Bemannte Orbital Station" (correct translation for MOL)
and the time frame, size and layout (without solarpanels) seemed to fit.
 

archipeppe

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Jemiba said:
Sorry, my bad ! The article just used the German term "Bemannte Orbital Station" (correct translation for MOL)
and the time frame, size and layout (without solarpanels) seemed to fit.


I'm sorry to disagree on that point.


S-IV was far bigger than the MOL average diameter (coming from the same one of Titan IIID central stage, essentially a super stretched version of the Titan II).


MOL conceptually come out from the "one man space station" inherited by the Mercury Mark II programme.
 

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carmelo

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Great Job Archipeppe!
The two Gemini capsule on the two side of MORL have an docking probe and an hatch on side?
 

archipeppe

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carmelo said:
Great Job Archipeppe!
The two Gemini capsule on the two side of MORL have an docking probe and an hatch on side?
Grazie Carmelo.
No, the two Geminis was in a sort of "parking position" , once the crew has passed trough the front pressurized docking bay, the new Gemini was automatically placed by an arm (like the "strela" arm on Mir) on MORL's side. In this way MORL could handle up to 5 Geminis one forward, and other four axially placed on its sides.
 

Michel Van

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carmelo said:
Great Job Archipeppe!
The two Gemini capsule on the two side of MORL have an docking probe and an hatch on side?


On MORL there were several mode studied (similar to MOL)
one was dock then the the crew made EVA to Hatch, and the Capsule is stored sideway in Park position by a robot arm.
another is dock sideways with Hatch to door of Gemini , who has a 60 cm door install were the Astronaut squueeeessss into the station (MORL and HOPE)
and there were, what a surprise, a door in heat shield with connection tunnel to rear end of the Gemini ferry.


my guess is that had MORL ever be realized, it had use last option.
 

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Michel Van said:
On MORL there were several mode studied (similar to MOL)
one was dock then the the crew made EVA to Hatch, and the Capsule is stored sideway in Park position by a robot arm.
another is dock sideways with Hatch to door of Gemini , who has a 60 cm door install were the Astronaut squueeeessss into the station (MORL and HOPE)
and there were, what a surprise, a door in heat shield with connection tunnel to rear end of the Gemini ferry.


my guess is that had MORL ever be realized, it had use last option.
It should be borne in mind that Apollo was actually the baseline MORL ferry vehicle in the Douglas study, replacing the Service Module with a lightweight Service Pack and a 154" Multimission Module for cargo. For geosynchronous orbits, the MM would be carried in the S-IVB interstage and a full-dress CSM used.

The report I have also provides deck layouts for the laboratory - extracting them will be a little more time-consuming, so that'll have to wait for another day.

Source:
Report on the Development of the Manned Orbital Research Laboratory System utilization Potential, Douglas Aircraft Company, November 1965
 

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Michel Van

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we have a problem here


this topic is about USAF MOL
from the post of Jemiba about HOPE, we drifting into MORL
and we have already a separate MORL topic in Space Projects.


is possible that the Moderator can move or copy post 160-168 to MORL ?
big thx for my part to moderator.
 

carmelo

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archipeppe said:
the two Geminis was in a sort of "parking position" , once the crew has passed trough the front pressurized docking bay, the new Gemini was automatically placed by an arm (like the "strela" arm on Mir) on MORL's side. In this way MORL could handle up to 5 Geminis one forward, and other four axially placed on its sides.


Michel Van said:
the Capsule is stored sideway in Park position by a robot arm.

A robot arm that takes the Gemini and places tha capsule on the MORL's side :eek:
Not seems a simple operation...is the maneuver is too much fast...SBAAMM!
Moreover,how the Gemini was attached to the MORL's side?
The Gemini's crew compartment captured in the laboratory's hatch is instead a simple and brilliant idea.

one was dock then the crew made EVA to hatch

I have a question:
The Gemini's hatches could be opened from outside?
Or the hatches would remained open,with the cabin exposed in the vacuum,for the entire stay of the crew in the laboratory?
 

Michel Van

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on carmelo request
the MORL Gemini ferry docking variation
the Gemini Hatch in Hatch proposal

source:
Report No. A320 - 13 november 1963
Summary Report: Gemini Spacecraft study for MORL ferry Missions
 

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archipeppe

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Michel Van said:
on carmelo request
the MORL Gemini ferry docking variation
the Gemini Hatch in Hatch proposal

source:
Report No. A320 - 13 november 1963
Summary Report: Gemini Spacecraft study for MORL ferry Missions


Great find Michel!!!


I really miss those info for my drawings.... B)
 

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Great!
I had never seen this configuration of "hatch on hatch"!
Undoubtedly the Gemini capsule was a very adaptable and versatile vehicle.
A real "granturismo" of the space!
 

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carmelo said:
Undoubtedly the Gemini capsule was a very adaptable and versatile vehicle.
A real "granturismo" of the space!

But it was not a very adaptable and versatile vehicle. It had a lot of limitations. It had limited internal volume, could only carry two astronauts. It could not carry much additional equipment. It was uncomfortable. It was also inefficient--two hatches for two astronauts? Why not a single hatch for everybody and save the weight?

Compared to Gemini, Apollo was much more versatile. It could carry three astronauts, could fly with only two, and in an emergency configuration it could carry five. It had extra volume. And it also had extra room in the Service Module. If NASA wanted to get the Apollo to do more, they did not need to change the shape or volume of the vehicle (the outer mold line). They could have easily added or subtracted things to the SM equipment bays.

And despite all the enthusiasm over the Big Gemini, it would have been a NEW spacecraft, not a modified Gemini. Thus, it would have cost a lot more money.

Gemini was a very limited vehicle created to accomplish a few engineering tests. It was not a useful spacecraft for operational missions.
 

archipeppe

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My opinion as follows:


I agree with Blackstar about all the limitations about the Gemini basic design, indeed Gemini was really flexible mainly because its division in three different modules each one could be modified or adapted for different missions or tasks different from the original one.
In this sense Gemini, even with all the design boundaries, was closer to the Russian Soyuz than everything else in the American space inventory.
th
Apollo instead was highly optimized for one mission: accomplish lunar orbit for three astronauts and back. Since its two modules were taylored for it any other mission envisioned would imply expensive modifications to the original design. This is one of the several reasons why Apollo CSM didn't make it into 80's like Soyuz.
 

blackstar

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archipeppe said:
My opinion as follows:


I agree with Blackstar about all the limitations about the Gemini basic design, indeed Gemini was really flexible mainly because its division in three different modules each one could be modified or adapted for different missions or tasks different from the original one.
In this sense Gemini, even with all the design boundaries, was closer to the Russian Soyuz than everything else in the American space inventory.
th
Apollo instead was highly optimized for one mission: accomplish lunar orbit for three astronauts and back. Since its two modules were taylored for it any other mission envisioned would imply expensive modifications to the original design. This is one of the several reasons why Apollo CSM didn't make it into 80's like Soyuz.

You say you agreed with me, but what you wrote disagrees with what I wrote.

I think Apollo was flexible. Gemini was not flexible. Apollo had extra room in the Command Module and also extra room in the Service Module. Gemini did not.

I would add that neither Gemini or Apollo lasted beyond the mid-1970s. But the primary problem with Apollo was cost. It was a flexible vehicle.
 

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blackstar said:
I would add that neither Gemini or Apollo lasted beyond the mid-1970s. But the primary problem with Apollo was cost.

Bingo!
 

blackstar

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carmelo said:
blackstar said:
I would add that neither Gemini or Apollo lasted beyond the mid-1970s. But the primary problem with Apollo was cost.

Bingo!

But so what? It was cheaper than shuttle. And if we had wanted to get more capability out of Gemini, it would have cost more too. There's nothing surprising or unusual about that.
 

archipeppe

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Gemini was conceived and also operated more like a space version of the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II (for instance) with several version of the same basic design modified to accomplish different missions (Gemini-B, Gemini MOL, Gemini Ferry, Gemini Rescue, etc.) like the various F-4B (Navy), F-/RF-4C (USAF), F-4K (RN) etc.


In this sense Apollo CSM could be regarded more or less like a civil airliner (Boeing 747, etc.) optimized for only one kind of mission (or market) carry people to Moon and back. Once the mission/market vanished Apollo CSM wasn't cheap to utilize as it is (NASA did it only because there were surplus capsules from the cancelled Moon missions) and also not so easy to modify in something else.


Probably this fact was one of the several facts that lead Nixon to urge NASA about the Shuttle birht during 1969-70.
 

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blackstar

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But in order to get Gemini to do any other mission it needed entirely new equipment, like a new instrument bay. No room for growth in the basic design because it was too small.
 

archipeppe

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blackstar said:
But in order to get Gemini to do any other mission it needed entirely new equipment, like a new instrument bay. No room for growth in the basic design because it was too small.


It is entirely true, but a highly segmented design (like Gemini and Soyuz) allows to modify only the part that is needed to modify leaving the rest as it is.


It is one of the key element into the "modular design". If a capsule design encompasses more modules it is possible to have two different benefits (as side effect):


- it is possible to decrease dramatically the re-entry mass/volume (as for Soyuz for instance)
- it is possible to change the mission profile/objectives/performances without re-design the whole spacecraft


(like Soyuz or Shenzhou, you can have several different orbital modules without touching both re-entry and service modules as well).


This was the case for the McDonnell Gemini that incorporated a "modular design approach", this wasn't the case for the North American Aviation Apollo CSM that was designed with an "integrated design approach".


I'm not absolutely saying that Apollo was a mistake, Apollo was simply "tailored" to accomplish its main (and sole) mission, no comprise at all, performances was the main design parameter.


And it worked greatly (except for the ill-fated Apollo 13).


But it wasn't cheap, it was designed to accomplish the Moon goal and in age of NASA wealthness. This was not the case for Gemini that intended by since as "a bridge" it should accomplish multiple targets and at the lower price at possible.


If Apollo had some growth potential and it would come for cheap why NASA should start a brand new programme as Shuttle? Apart from military reasons (and they came later into the Shuttle decision/design process) why not expand or extent the Apollo CSM capability with a Block III or IV (even considering that still existed an AAP in place)?
 

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archipeppe said:
This was the case for the McDonnell Gemini that incorporated a "modular design approach", this wasn't the case for the North American Aviation Apollo CSM that was designed with an "integrated design approach".

Gemini was no more modular than Apollo. The Gemini reentry section was not any different than the Apollo CM. Both were design for short stand alone flight for reentry and needed a service section to provide resources and propulsion for longer duration flights.
The Apollo CM could be attached to a space station and provide a similar role as Gemini did with MOL. Just as Gemini depended on MOL for resources and had a unique adapter for retro rockets , the same could be done for Apollo.
 

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archipeppe said:
If Apollo had some growth potential and it would come for cheap why NASA should start a brand new programme as Shuttle? Apart from military reasons (and they came later into the Shuttle decision/design process) why not expand or extent the Apollo CSM capability with a Block III or IV (even considering that still existed an AAP in place)?
Because it wasn't a reusable winged spaceplane, which was required for political reasons.

It would've been entirely possible to update Apollo with a CM or SM better suited to the mission, if the will had existed to do so, and there would be several advantages to this approach. Apollo could carry a bigger crew than Gemini to start with, and had room to double that to six within the existing pressure vessel, as well as having the capacity for shirtsleeve crew transfers built in.

For that matter, there were several proposals to replace the SM with more suitable hardware for one or another mission. The fact that the SM as built was large and complex is purely because it's got a fairly large propulsive stage built in. It wouldn't have been particularly difficult to design a much smaller SM without the SPS - about two-thirds of its' volume, and much more of its' mass - if there'd been a requirement for such.
 

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archipeppe said:
My opinion as follows:

I agree with Blackstar about all the limitations about the Gemini basic design, indeed Gemini was really flexible mainly because its division in three different modules each one could be modified or adapted for different missions or tasks different from the original one.

It wasn't three, it was two: re-entry module and adapter. The adapter separates into the retrograde and equipment sections but this is only for deorbit burn at the end of the mission. They do not operate independently. Just as the rendezvous and recovery section separates from the re-entry module for parachute deployment.

For MOL, the adapter was completely different and only looked the same.
 

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RLBH said:
Because it wasn't a reusable winged spaceplane, which was required for political reasons.
I'm wrong or (on the paper,of course) Big Gemini was partially reusable?
More,Big Gemini landed on runway with a paraglider.
I think that the core of the Big Gemini proposal was that would be more cheap that Apollo/Saturn or Apollo/Titan as ferry for a space station.
In short, a more convenient competitor.
If i remember well,Big Gemini was briefly on the Nixon's table as second proposal for US space programs (the other two were 1-the Shuttle,and 3- the end of manned space flights).
I don't remember plans for Apollo after 1975 (also the unrealistic Tom Paine's super plan not included future for Apollo after 1975).
The only thing is an Apollo command module as lifeboat for the Shuttle.
So i think that for Apollo the cost was the determining factor.
 

blackstar

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carmelo said:
What was "Apollo Icarus"?

1968 MIT graduate student study about how to deflect an asteroid using a Saturn V and some Big Honking Bombs. Here is an excellent article:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/175/1
 

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blackstar said:
carmelo said:
What was "Apollo Icarus"?

1968 MIT graduate student study about how to deflect an asteroid using a Saturn V and some Big Honking Bombs. Here is an excellent article:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/175/1

I wonder which 'Apollo Tug' design proposal they incorporated into the study? The below would seem an ideal fit, except that it was intended to be lifted aloft by a Saturn V rather than a Titan III;





(h/t Triton for the images of the LM-B/Space Tug.)
 

Byeman

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carmelo said:
1. I'm wrong or (on the paper,of course) Big Gemini was partially reusable?
2. More,Big Gemini landed on runway with a paraglider.
3. I think that the core of the Big Gemini proposal was that would be more cheap that Apollo/Saturn or Apollo/Titan as ferry for a space station.

1. Just as much as Apollo could have
2. Not really much of an advantage. It didn't work for Gemini
3. Not proven
 

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Gemini Ferry with Aft Dock from 1963 McDonnell study for MORL


 

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magnus_z said:
This space station on stamps (In Russian):
http://magnus-z.livejournal.com/112402.html


...The page is po-rooskii, but the stamp is from Yemen circa 1970. I actually have this stamp in mint stored somewhere around here, a gift from a college buddy before he went back home and got wrapped up in trying to stay rich in the middle of the region's political upheavals during that period.
 

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A MORL model that I hadn't seen before.

https://trumanlibrary.org/photographs/view.php?id=5611
 

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An Agena resupply vehicle. Such a good idea, it made so much sense when you think about it. It could have been Lockheed's space C-130.
 

Michel Van

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interesting
MORL attach to S-IV stage, i wonder if the stage serve as Wet workshop experiment or serve as counter weight for artificial gravity experiment ?

Agena as Supply vehicle is nice idea
that stage was very good candidate for Space Tug, but budget cuts...
 

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