Project Able ( Apollo + Sun Mirror )

moin1900

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Hi everybody

A sun-mirror to light up a battlefield !
http://www.orbiterwiki.org/wiki/Project_Apollo_for_Orbiter
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19790076663_1979076663.pdf
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19790076664_1979076664.pdf
Many greetings
 

Graham1973

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You can find quite a few more Apollo variants, by visiting:

http://nassp.sourceforge.net/wiki/Future_Expansion

Project Able though was targeted for one specific region. I'm still trying to figure out though what advantage the US would have gained by providing full-moon equivalent illumination to the Vietnam jungles every night of the year.
 

blackstar

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Graham1973 said:
You can find quite a few more Apollo variants, by visiting:

http://nassp.sourceforge.net/wiki/Future_Expansion

Project Able though was targeted for one specific region. I'm still trying to figure out though what advantage the US would have gained by providing full-moon equivalent illumination to the Vietnam jungles every night of the year.

A lot of the Apollo applications ideas were very badly thought out. They just threw ideas at a wall.
 

Archibald

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NASA really planned AAP as if Saturn boosters were plentiful and free.
I mean, reading AAP planning you feel as if NASA had a huge stockpile of Saturn IBs and Saturn Vs that had to be flown in whatever mission they could imagine.
 

blackstar

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Archibald said:
NASA really planned AAP as if Saturn boosters were plentiful and free.
I mean, reading AAP planning you feel as if NASA had a huge stockpile of Saturn IBs and Saturn Vs that had to be flown in whatever mission they could imagine.

I think that it was more than that. I don't think they put very good people or very good leadership on that program. The ideas that they were coming up with would have been ridiculous even if the rockets were free. Who came up with the idea of having astronauts monitor the weather from space in 1966, after Tiros had been doing that job for 6 years?
 

Graham1973

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blackstar said:
Archibald said:
NASA really planned AAP as if Saturn boosters were plentiful and free.
I mean, reading AAP planning you feel as if NASA had a huge stockpile of Saturn IBs and Saturn Vs that had to be flown in whatever mission they could imagine.

I think that it was more than that. I don't think they put very good people or very good leadership on that program. The ideas that they were coming up with would have been ridiculous even if the rockets were free. Who came up with the idea of having astronauts monitor the weather from space in 1966, after Tiros had been doing that job for 6 years?

Well the basic idea dates from the 1920's, the space station Noordung was supposed to be used as a weather watching station.

NASA probably wanted astronauts to watch Earths weather so that when the fly-by Mars/Venus missions went through they would be able to identify/quantify the weather they saw there.

The last time I've seen the idea is in Roland Emmerich's first film (1984) 'The Noah Ark Principle (Review), which opens with two astronauts who's only job seems to be giving weather forecasts from orbit.
 

Graham1973

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The unmanned version of Project Able, launching a mirror on a Saturn V:

Goodyear Aerospace Corporation conducted a three-month study to assist in establishing the technical feasibility of a flat solar-reflector operating in earth orbit. The reflector satellite system requirements were determined through orbital, illumination, and control analyses performed within certain guidelines established by NASA.

Preliminary concepts were generated, and through supporting materials, structural, thermal, control, manufacturing, packaging, and deployment analyses, a conceptual design and a research, development, test, and engineering (RDT & E) plan were evolved for a 2100-ft-diameter reflector. This 2100-ft-diameter reflector would give an illumination level on the ground slightly in excess of a full moon, providing a specular reflectance coefficient equivalent to 0. 8 on a flat mirror could be maintained.

Project ABLE. Volume 1: Summary (Former classification: Confidential)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770071989_1977071989.pdf


Project ABLE. Volume 2: Technical (Former classification: Confidential. Document comprises a single sheet stating the report has been de-classified)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770071990_1977071990.pdf


Project ABLE. Volume 2: Technical addendum 1 (Former classification: Secret)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770071991_1977071991.pdf
 

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RGClark

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Graham1973 said:
blackstar said:
Archibald said:
NASA really planned AAP as if Saturn boosters were plentiful and free.
I mean, reading AAP planning you feel as if NASA had a huge stockpile of Saturn IBs and Saturn Vs that had to be flown in whatever mission they could imagine.

I think that it was more than that. I don't think they put very good people or very good leadership on that program. The ideas that they were coming up with would have been ridiculous even if the rockets were free. Who came up with the idea of having astronauts monitor the weather from space in 1966, after Tiros had been doing that job for 6 years?

Well the basic idea dates from the 1920's, the space station Noordung was supposed to be used as a weather watching station.

NASA probably wanted astronauts to watch Earths weather so that when the fly-by Mars/Venus missions went through they would be able to identify/quantify the weather they saw there.

The last time I've seen the idea is in Roland Emmerich's first film (1984) 'The Noah Ark Principle (Review), which opens with two astronauts who's only job seems to be giving weather forecasts from orbit.

Thanks for that. I'll give the film a look.

Bob Clark
 

Graham1973

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RGClark said:
Graham1973 said:
blackstar said:
Archibald said:
NASA really planned AAP as if Saturn boosters were plentiful and free.
I mean, reading AAP planning you feel as if NASA had a huge stockpile of Saturn IBs and Saturn Vs that had to be flown in whatever mission they could imagine.

I think that it was more than that. I don't think they put very good people or very good leadership on that program. The ideas that they were coming up with would have been ridiculous even if the rockets were free. Who came up with the idea of having astronauts monitor the weather from space in 1966, after Tiros had been doing that job for 6 years?

Well the basic idea dates from the 1920's, the space station Noordung was supposed to be used as a weather watching station.

NASA probably wanted astronauts to watch Earths weather so that when the fly-by Mars/Venus missions went through they would be able to identify/quantify the weather they saw there.

The last time I've seen the idea is in Roland Emmerich's first film (1984) 'The Noah Ark Principle (Review), which opens with two astronauts who's only job seems to be giving weather forecasts from orbit.

Thanks for that. I'll give the film a look.

Bob Clark

I think you can find part of the film on Youtube, but you have to search for the German title. But back to the Goodyear report on Project 'A'. Looks like Boeing, Westinghouse and Grumman (See the two-part report in the OP) were all involved in this, which means that there may be other surviving reports on this rather interesting project.

The Goodyear report does not specify a target area per se, but does state their design was built around a region centered on 15º North, using an atlas and assuming the target was Vietnam, that's a line running a little south of Quang Ngai. I'm currently re-reading the Grumman report to see if they give a more specific target.

The attached diagrams shows, firstly, the planned size of the area that would be illuminated by the mirror. The second image is of the criteria Goodyear was working from.
 

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Graham1973

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I've found that ABLE made the pages of Time Magazine in 1967, but the full article is behind a paywall.

University of Connecticut Physics Professor Edgar Everhart is an amateur astronomer who has discovered one comet and is co-discoverer of an other. He takes his avocation seriously. When the city of Hartford installed street lights that Everhart considered needlessly bright, he complained that the glow they cast in the night sky interfered with celestial observations. But even Hartford's street lights paled into insignificance when Everhart got wind of Project Able—a little-publicized NASA and Defense Department project to put into orbit mirror-like satellites that would reflect the sun and illuminate large areas of earth at night.

I've also found a document online that makes the Project ABLE/Vietnam link clear. Has a nice picture of the proposal which I've made a copy of. The document can be read at:

http://www.history.umd.edu/Fields/Technology/MCHOTSE%20Maher%20feb%202012.pdf
 

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The Artist

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Graham1973 said:
I've found that ABLE made the pages of Time Magazine in 1967, but the full article is behind a paywall.

University of Connecticut Physics Professor Edgar Everhart is an amateur astronomer who has discovered one comet and is co-discoverer of an other. He takes his avocation seriously. When the city of Hartford installed street lights that Everhart considered needlessly bright, he complained that the glow they cast in the night sky interfered with celestial observations. But even Hartford's street lights paled into insignificance when Everhart got wind of Project Able—a little-publicized NASA and Defense Department project to put into orbit mirror-like satellites that would reflect the sun and illuminate large areas of earth at night.
I've also found a document online that makes the Project ABLE/Vietnam link clear. Has a nice picture of the proposal which I've made a copy of. The document can be read at:

http://www.history.umd.edu/Fields/Technology/MCHOTSE%20Maher%20feb%202012.pdf

I can't help thinking this could be taken to the next step.
 

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robunos

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;) :D ::)

https://falsesteps.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/sidebar-sonnengewehr-the-sun-gun/


cheers,
Robin.
 

youROKer

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Graham1973 said:
Project ABLE. Volume 1: Summary (Former classification: Confidential)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770071989_1977071989.pdf


Project ABLE. Volume 2: Technical (Former classification: Confidential. Document comprises a single sheet stating the report has been de-classified)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770071990_1977071990.pdf


Project ABLE. Volume 2: Technical addendum 1 (Former classification: Secret)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770071991_1977071991.pdf

Reports deleted from the server. Perhaps someone could save them?
 

Graham1973

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I have managed to locate the files related to the Unmanned version of Project Able proposed by Goodyear. I have attached them to this post for anyone who is interested. Note the second one is a single page that indicates the technical report was declassified at one point but did not include the full report.

I am still checking to see if I still have the report on the manned version that would have made use of a modified LM.
 

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Graham1973

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Here is the report into Grummans version of this proposal, only the first two volumes were ever made available before the 'Cry Wolfe' incident.

https://app.box.com/s/80ktof5vtbu0t9p66bswzv8ijss91413
 

Orionblamblam

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Indeed! Many genuine thanks.

And to the bureaucratic nincompoops that made this sort of thing necessary... many far less genuine thanks.

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NERVA

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Link:

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19820025545.pdf
 

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