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Other Apollo Projects: What Should Have Been

Boxman

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The San Diego Air & Space Museum (SDASM) Archives has just uploaded (looks like SDASM deleted the original Convair/GD LEM photos and reposted them in May 2012 - accordingly, the links & photos below have been corrected) their latest series of photos at their Flickr Commons photostream (link). Among the photos posted are almost 30 photos of the Convair/General Dynamics Lunar Excursion Module proposal in mock-up and model form. Here's a link that should bring up all of them through tags (LINK - Convair/General Dynamics Lunar Excursion Module proposal photos). Aside from the lunar module (LM) photos, there are a bunch of other gems posted in this latest batch, including test photos, drawings, etc., of Saturn I first-stage models equipped with a Rogallo Wing (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3) as a booster recovery system.


Here are a couple examples of the LEM mock-up photos (much larger resolution versions are available at the links/photostream).


Convair Lunar Excursion Module (LEM)


Convair Lunar Excursion Module (LEM)
 

OM

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...Yeah, but you know what? For some reason, I still love the LM design we wound up with.



;D ;D ;D

[ahem]

...That being said, Pat Flannery would have loved this one from the same Flicker pool:

 

Photo Bill

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McDonnell/Chance Vought/Hughes/Lockheed all worked together on an Apollo proposal

Here are a few images of that proposal from the Vought Heritage Archives.

Enjoy!

bill
 

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Michel Van

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THX for picture Bill S
what intrigue find
 

Photo Bill

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I had a couple of requests for this document.

Here is a pdf of the report that the drawings came from.
I had to break it into two pieces to fit the posting limits.

From the Vought Heritage Archives.

Report 8398 Summary Apollo Spacecraft Proposal

bill
 

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Igor B

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The interesting concept. Somebody knows history of it ore have othe drawing?
 

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Michel Van

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Igor Bezyaev said:
The interesting concept. Somebody knows history of it ore have othe drawing?

Landing this craft and climbing it down and up, is a nightmare


nice work, igor Bezyaev
 

OM

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aemann said:
If us Brits did get to the Moon first, it would surely have been in one of R.A. Smiths Moonships!

...Reminiscent of this image from You Will Go To The Moon:





...Note to future generations: when someone asks what a "dream deferred" means, it'll be what this book promised for my generation, and not some poem by Langston Hughes. :mad: :-\ :'(





Igor Bezyaev said:
The interesting concept. Somebody knows history of it ore have othe drawing?

...I find the "fire in the hole" style of adapter between the descent and ascent stages rather interesting. More of a weight savings issue as opposed to exhaust buildup concerns?



Bill S said:
I had a couple of requests for this document.

Here is a pdf of the report that the drawings came from.
I had to break it into two pieces to fit the posting limits.

From the Vought Heritage Archives.

Report 8398 Summary Apollo Spacecraft Proposal

bill

...Bill, it's a year late, but accept a bit of belated thanks for posting these documents. Thanks to this thread being bumped up, I just now came across it. Well done, sir!
 

Graham1973

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Michel Van

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i just wonder
could this be Marin final version of Apollo, they proposed to NASA and won the advertised bidding ?
until NASA announce "sorry wrong company, we take North America Aviation.."
 

Graham1973

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Michel Van said:
i just wonder
could this be Marin final version of Apollo, they proposed to NASA and won the advertised bidding ?
until NASA announce "sorry wrong company, we take North America Aviation.."
I don't think so, the simulated vehicle looks like the North American version of Apollo. The simulated launch vehicle was a Nova design not too different from the Saturn C-8 (8 F-1, 8 J-2, 2 J-2).

I've located a further document related to the simulated mission which included a second crew photograph, and closeups of the Commander/Navigators section of the control panel. From the looks of the reports these may have been the first attempts to simulate the Apollo missions.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19630003009_1963003009.pdf
 

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OM

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...Do we have any IDs on who made up these two sim crews? Might be worth tracking down whoever's still alive to see what sort of insight they can add to their participation.
 

Graham1973

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OM said:
...Do we have any IDs on who made up these two sim crews? Might be worth tracking down whoever's still alive to see what sort of insight they can add to their participation.
Not in the documents I've located.

From the introduction to report 19630000908:

Many individuals contributed to the successful completion of the program, and we Wish to acknowledge their assistance. The cooperation and contributions of the four NASA crew members...
From the Crew Description included in the same report:

Four crew members were assigned by NASA to participate in the present study. Since only three crew members were required for each flight, the fourth crew member served as capsule communicator with other resident NASA personnel. The four crew members provided by NASA were all experimental test pilots with extensive flight experience and each held a degree in engineering. The pilots had an average of 4500 hours of reciprocating and jet engine time. Further, they had flown an average of 40 different types of aircraft, had extensive analog simulation experience, had participated in centrifuge tests, etc.

The age range was between 31 and 38 years of age with two pilots being at each end of this age distribution. All the crew members were of good health and had no known disabilities. In succeeding chapters of this report, the pilots will be designated as Pilot A, Pilot B, Pilot C and Pilot D. However, Pilot D participated only as an observer in one of the flights and therefore, his performance will not be reported.
 

OM

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The age range was between 31 and 38 years of age with two pilots being at each end of this age distribution. All the crew members were of good health and had no known disabilities. In succeeding chapters of this report, the pilots will be designated as Pilot A, Pilot B, Pilot C and Pilot D. However, Pilot D participated only as an observer in one of the flights and therefore, his performance will not be reported.

...Lessee, between 31 and 38, and this is just *barely* 1963 when the report was released. By 1963, we had the following potential candidates for Astronauts comprising the Corps. Note that you will see a bit of overlapping between projects:


MISS Group One - 8/1/1958
==================

Neil A. Armstrong (NACA)
Bill Bridgeman (Douglas)
Scott Crossfield (NAA)
Iven Kincheloe (USAF)
John McKay (NACA)
Robert Rushworth (USAF)
Joe Walker (NACA)
Al White (NAA)
Bob White (USAF)




NASA Group One - 4/9/1959:
===============
Scott Carpenter
Gordo Cooper
John Glenn
Gus Grissom
Wally Schirra
Alan Shepard
Deke Slayton




X-15 Pilots - Starting with 1st flight in 1959:
============================

Scott Crossfield (NAA)
Joe Walker (NASA)
Bob White (USAF)
Forrest Petersen (USN)
John McKay (NASA)
Robert Rushworth (USAF)
Neil Armstrong (NASA)
Joe Engle (USAF)
Milt Thompson (NASA)
Pete Knight, (USAF)
Bill Dana (NASA)
Mike Adams (USAF)



NASA Group 1A - ?/?/1960:
==============
Jose Jimenez




Air Force Dyna-Soar Group 1 - 4/?/1960
=========================
Neil Armstrong (*)
Bill Dana (*)
Hank Gordon
Pete Knight
Russell Rogers
Milt Thompson (NASA)
Jim Wood


(*) Left program in 1962, still employed by NASA



NASA Group Two - 9/17/1962:
===============
Neil Armstrong
Frank Borman
Pete Conrad
Jim McDivitt
Jim Lovell
Elliott See
Tom Stafford
Ed White
John Young



Air Force Dyna-Soar Group 2 - 9/19/1962
==========================
Al Crews


...Again, this list only goes up to the end of 1962, as the report clearly states its date of issue as in early January of 1963. This list does *not*, however, include those test pilots who were assigned to/hired by NASA as Test Pilots and not Astronauts, as I simply was unable to find a concise list for those pilots during that period who might have been available to assist Martin with the sim testing. So, while these four test pilots may have been listed as "Astronauts" for PAO agitprop purposes, they in fact may not actually have been "real" Astronauts.


Note 1: Some of these pilots could be ruled out due to specific circumstances. I'd rule out Bill Bridgeman as by the time the Martin photo was shot, Bridgeman was already working for Grumman. Al White was Chief Test Pilot for the Valkyrie, while Bob White was transitioning from the X-15 program back to active duty in West Germany. Kinch, sadly, had been deceased since 1958.


Note 2: Mockup testing like this, even this early in the Apollo development phase, would have been handed over/down to the rookies, which would explain why the ones we see pictured don't exactly look familiar on first glance. Add to this the high probability that NASA and/or Martin used any test pilot they had who was low on the ziggurat and "volunteered" them to help out with the testing. Again, without a complete list of test pilots that NASA and/or Martin would have had on staff, unless documentation turns up identifying these guys will take a bit of detective work.


Note 3: On the other hand, on a fourth glance the pilot in Figure 6 who's closest to the camera sort of resembles John Young. If anyone here has contact with Young, might be a good point of contact to start with to see if he was in fact part of this testing, and if so can he identify the others who participated. I'd do it, but the only time I ever seem to get in touch with John Young is when I get called on during the Q&A of his welcoming speeches during JSCOH :) :) :OM:
 

Graham1973

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OM said:
The age range was between 31 and 38 years of age with two pilots being at each end of this age distribution. All the crew members were of good health and had no known disabilities. In succeeding chapters of this report, the pilots will be designated as Pilot A, Pilot B, Pilot C and Pilot D. However, Pilot D participated only as an observer in one of the flights and therefore, his performance will not be reported.

...Lessee, between 31 and 38, and this is just *barely* 1963 when the report was released.
The report was released in August 1962.
 

OM

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Graham1973 said:
OM said:
The age range was between 31 and 38 years of age with two pilots being at each end of this age distribution. All the crew members were of good health and had no known disabilities. In succeeding chapters of this report, the pilots will be designated as Pilot A, Pilot B, Pilot C and Pilot D. However, Pilot D participated only as an observer in one of the flights and therefore, his performance will not be reported.

...Lessee, between 31 and 38, and this is just *barely* 1963 when the report was released.
The report was released in August 1962.

...Which cuts out the last two groups, of which a few were still in the loop as having been part of other programs. Which sort of makes your point mox nix, especially since the cutoff date I was using was the one listed on the cover, which was in early 1963.


Does anyone have a more concise list of test pilots assigned to NASA and/or Martin during this perior who could have been "volunteered" to pose as Astronauts for these tests?
 

Graham1973

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I don't, but this quote might help:


In order to approach this problem area more realistically, the four crew members participating in the NASA-Martin experiment were all NASA research pilots. These pilots were mature, experienced, and well-motivated, their average age was 34½ years and their average flight time was about 4,000 hours; each had flown at least 40 different types of aircraft. Three of the pilots comprised the actual crew while the fourth acted as primary capsule comunicator. No compatibility tests were used in crew selection.
Crew Performance During Real-Time Lunar Mission Simulation (19640019292), September 1964
 

OM

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Graham1973 said:
I don't, but this quote might help:

In order to approach this problem area more realistically, the four crew members participating in the NASA-Martin experiment were all NASA research pilots. These pilots were mature, experienced, and well-motivated, their average age was 34½ years and their average flight time was about 4,000 hours; each had flown at least 40 different types of aircraft. Three of the pilots comprised the actual crew while the fourth acted as primary capsule comunicator. No compatibility tests were used in crew selection.

...That narrows the possibilities down a bit. This for the most part eliminates either of the two NASA Astronaut groups - save possibly for John Young, if my failing eyesight has any modicum of accuracy, as that does look like the upper back right of his head as well as his nasal profile - as well as any of the Air Farce groups, save for the NASA pilots who worked on the X-15. Again, what's needed is a list of the test pilots that NASA/NACA had on staff prior to and up to the point where this report was released, pilots that were assigned to atmospheric testing, like Bill Dana or John McKay. The groups listed above clearly do not encompass all of those on the Ziggurat that NASA had in their employ.


...So, again, anyone got a source for such a list, or at least a direction to point at towards which queries can be made? Haven't done this kind of Astrobuff gumshoe work in a while, so I'm a bit rusty at it. Serves me right for taking my regular insulin dosages instead of just sticking to good ol' WD-40 :( :( :(
 

Michel Van

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Josè Jimenez play by Bill Dana (the comedian, not the test pilot ) in famous his TV-sketch


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncBSOyte6lA
after that he became best friends with Mercury Astronauts.


a yes
exclude also Walter Frisbe in second NASA group
he was invention of Lovell and Pete Conrad, to play prank with NASA press corps.
http://www.astronautix.com/astros/frisbee.htm
 

archipeppe

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Also don't forget the great Prince Antonio de Curtis (aka Totò) in his "Totò sulla Luna" (Totò in the Moon) of 1958:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tot%C3%B2_nella_luna


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tot%C3%B2
 

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Grey Havoc

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Grumman's lunar traverse vehicle from 1962 was another promising project.

To help solve these anticipated problems, Grumman envisioned equipping its proposed 3000-pound lunar traverse vehicle with four six-foot-diameter metal-elastic (“metalastic”) wheels weighing 120 pounds each. Each wheel would include a hub housing the wheel’s motor and transmission. The metalastic wheel, Markow reported, would take on an elliptical shape under the vehicle’s weight, providing the favorable ground contact characteristics of a caterpillar tread without its mass and complexity. The rim would deform when it struck a bump (for example, a rock), preventing the vehicle from bouncing off the ground.

Grumman found most promising a metalastic wheel consisting of flexible spiral spokes and a rim with evenly spaced cleats (image at top of post). This design the company tested beside a rigid metal wheel on two simulated lunar surfaces: Long Island beach sand (presumably collected near Grumman’s headquarters in Bethpage, Long Island, New York) and crushed shale. Not until April 1967 would a robot lander (Surveyor III) provide detailed data on the texture and bearing strength of the moon’s surface, so Grumman based its simulated lunar surfaces on best guesses; a “granular” model proposed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and a “rock froth” model based on data gathered by bouncing radar pulses off the moon.

Markow reported that, compared to the rigid wheel, the flexible metalastic wheel needed 50% less energy to roll over the simulated lunar surfaces and provided 60% more traction. It also pulled a trailer 40% more efficiently and demonstrated improved “obstacle climbing performance.”
 

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SAustin16

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Just a note in regards to OM's list of MISS Candidates on pg 7, Al White of North American Aviation (NAA) is listed in the first group.


I had seen this list around the year 2000 (or perhaps slightly earlier), and mentioned the list to my Dad. Dad and Al were very close friends, and when Al was asked about being on the MISS List, he said he did not recall every hearing about being a candidate. Perhaps the "candidates" were never contacted by NASA or any other agency, and I wonder if if decisions were made to proceed in other directions.


I find this time period very interesting.
 

Grey Havoc

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OM

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SAustin16 said:
Just a note in regards to OM's list of MISS Candidates on pg 7, Al White of North American Aviation (NAA) is listed in the first group.

I had seen this list around the year 2000 (or perhaps slightly earlier), and mentioned the list to my Dad. Dad and Al were very close friends, and when Al was asked about being on the MISS List, he said he did not recall every hearing about being a candidate. Perhaps the "candidates" were never contacted by NASA or any other agency, and I wonder if if decisions were made to proceed in other directions.

...Possible. I compiled that list from several sources online, and I can't find my notes on the links to the sources at the moment. However, after consulting the [Censored] Asylum known as Wikipedia, I find that both the MISS article and the one for Al White both cite him as being selected for MISS. However, it's possible that he might never have been told about the selection, as he was also in the running at the time for the XB-70 program, for which he was selected in 1961.


...What was interesting about MISS was that in June of 1958 the Air Farce conducted a prelim analysis of their MISS choices, and made another list based on the weights of the pilots; there were issues regarding payload limits, and the lighter the pilot the more fuel could be carried. And probably use budget seating instead of First Class. Damn airline cheapness existed before deregulation, natch :p


...But I digress. The pilots were broken up into two groups:


150-175 lb Class:
===========
Joe Walker
Scott Crossfield
Neil Armstrong
Robert Rushworth


175 to 200 lb Class:
===========
Bill Bridgeman
Al White
Iven Kincheloe
Bob White
Jack McKay


...Of this list, only Bob White and Jack McKay from the "heavier" list ended up flying the X-15. Since pilot weight was a consideration, one has to wonder if White and McKay had gone through their own SWIP in order to be under some similar weight restrictions applied to X-15 pilots. Questions like this make it more of a disappointment that most, if not all of the MISS candidates have passed on, especially Neil Armstrong. Still, it would be interesting to see if the project went on long enough to generate enough history for a fair-sized book. God/Yahweh/Roddenberry knows it couldn't be as bad as Larry Lamb's self-pity ego-trip of an autobiography was. Hell, to vent a little, it wasn't even worth the three minutes in the head spent each day reading that mess, and I speed read!At least Deke didn't live long enough to see it.


I'm venting. Mea culprit.


...Oh, for the record, I also used EA as a source, where Mark Wade also lists Al as one of the MISS candidates. In fact, it should be noted that his exact phrase is "Mentioned as candidate for Man In Space Soonest programme (sic) in 1958." I may fire off a note to Mark and see if he recalls whether Al was confirmed as a candidate, and what his source was. Also, the list Mark has mentions a "Robert Walker", which he notes is probably a mistake as =Joe= Walker was a MISS candidate. Another small reason for an official MISS introspective.


...Finally, for the younger members of our home audience, Al was also the sole survivor of the Valkyrie mid-air collision that killed Carl Cross in the crash and probably killed Joe Walker instantly when his F-104 got caught in the Valkyrie's wake and flipped through the starboard rudder. His history is worth reading up on, starting with the short form over on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_S._White
 
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RGClark

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Great article here that shows as early 1965 NASA was studying continuing on after Apollo with a lunar base:

The Proper Course for Lunar Exploration (1965)
BY DAVID S. F. PORTREE01.17.1311:43 PM
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/01/the-proper-course-for-lunar-exploration-1965/

I like the lunar rover they were considering then called the Mobile Laboratory (MOLAB), a pressurized rover with a 50 mile range that would allow two astronauts to work inside in a shirt-sleeve environment.
Interestingly NASA is now building such a rover that would have a range of 150 miles:

Space Exploration Vehicle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Exploration_Vehicle

A version to be used in space without the wheeled chassis is expected to be tested by 2017 at the ISS:

Inside NASA's New Spaceship for Asteroid Missions.
by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE.com Assistant Managing EditorDate: 12 November 2012 Time: 02:30 PM ET
http://www.space.com/18443-nasa-asteroid-spacecraft-sev.html


Bob Clark
 

Byeman

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RGClark said:
A version to be used in space without the wheeled chassis is expected to be tested by 2017 at the ISS:
There is no such plan or timeline
 

blackstar

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Byeman said:
RGClark said:
A version to be used in space without the wheeled chassis is expected to be tested by 2017 at the ISS:
There is no such plan or timeline
Don't confuse him with facts.
 
R

RGClark

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Photos: NASA's Space Exploration Vehicle for Asteroids & Beyond.
by Space.com, staff Date: 03 October 2011 Time: 11:48 AM ET

SEV Use Comparison
Credit: NASA
NASA's new Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), in development, has a flexible architecture, allowing it to be used as a rover or as a space vehicle.

http://www.space.com/12950-photos-nasa-deep-space-exploration-vehicle-mars-asteroids.html

Inside NASA's New Spaceship for Asteroid Missions.
by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE.com Assistant Managing Editor Date: 12 November 2012 Time: 02:30 PM ET
A mockup of NASA's next generation moon rover, the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), on display at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The SEV has since been converted into a wheel-less vehicle designed for visiting asteroids.
The re-election of President Barack Obama has kept NASA on track to send human explorers to an asteroid, and that means work on a 21st-century spacecraft to fly astronauts to the target space rock and hover nearby — or maybe even pogo off its surface — will go ahead as well.
As of 2010, Obama has challenged NASA to get astronauts to an asteroid by 2025, and on to Mars by the mid-2030s. Whether or not the space agency can stick to that schedule largely depends on its future budget, experts say, but regardless of the pace, work on the asteroid mission is already under way.
The Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) is a prototype that began its design life as a wheeled moon rover. When the president shifted NASA's focus from the moon-oriented Constellation program set up by the Bush administration, the space agency adapted the SEV to meet the needs of an asteroid mission instead.
That meant taking off the wheels and converting the vehicle into two parts: a robotic sled that will be used for propulsion and guidance, and a detachable crew cabin that can be fitted on top.
...
Many of the design features of the vehicle are in the early stages, and the details still need to be tested. If the current schedule holds, NASA could test-drive a version of the SEV at the International Space Station in 2017.
http://www.space.com/18443-nasa-asteroid-spacecraft-sev.html


Bob Clark
 

blackstar

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Yeah, that's all malarkey. When I took my group on tours of the NASA field centers last year we did a visit to JSC. I got to sit in their mockup of the asteroid rendezvous vehicle and rode in the electric Moon rover and all that (didn't get to drive it, alas). To an outside observer it presented the impression that NASA was actively working on these things. But we asked where the money was coming from. It wasn't in the budget, it was center director discretionary funding, and it was going away. My guess is that their money has evaporated by now. In fact, they may have stopped all that work months ago.
 
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