Project Constellation

Well, for example, the Saturn Ib boosters were SA-101 and up and the Saturn V boosters were SA-501 and up.

The Commande Modules were CSM-101 and up and the LM's (LEM) were LM-10 and up.

OM said:
...Define what you mean by "designations"?


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Artist's impressions of Lockheed Martin CEV concept.

Source: Coburn, Davin. "Lockheed Unveils Shuttle Replacement" Popular Mechanics June 2005


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These are from before when an Apollo shaped capsule was specced. Around 2004 perhaps.
Then the Apollo style CM-SM capsule solution was mandated and Boeing and Lockmart competed for the contract.
Lockmart won with the circular solar cells.
You have the date slightly off. It was a little later when the capsule was mandated by NASA. However, Lockheed-Martin apparently had done some work on a capsule design while they were working on the winged design. The winged design, like any winged design, always had a problem with the parasitic weight of the wings--they add mass for no good reason.
But in the Lockheed Martin CEV concept where is the docking port for departure stage and LSAM? ???
In front we have the "nose" of lifting body,and back we have the service module,so?
Matej said:
If you mean docking to the ISS, the port is on the top of the mission module. Take a better look on the first and the last picture.

...Correct. In fact, the proposal called for the same identical docking procedures currently used by the Shuttle.
Lockheed Martin Dual Thrust Axis Lander (DTAL) concept from 2007.

Inboard profile (first image) of DTAL.

DTAL on lunar surface with gimbaled solar arrays (second image).

DTAL lunar landing sequence (third image).

Inboard profile (fourth image) of DTAL Ascent Module.

Cutaway (fifth image) of aft portion of DTAL Ascent Module.

Cutaway (sixth image) of DTAL Ascent Module with inflatable airlock.


Does anyone have a copy of the Lockheed Martin lunar lander concepts document that contains theDual Thrust Axis Lander (DTAL) concept in PDF format that they would be willing to share and/or attach?


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Boeing 2004 CES in more details (Credit: The Boeing Company)

1).CES - Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle
An artist’s rendering of the Delta IV Heavy Launch vehicle capable of transporting Boeing’s envisioned Crew Exploration System elements to low Earth orbit.
2). CES - CEV Launch Vehicle
An artist’s rendering of a Delta IV vehicle launching the Boeing envisioned Crew Control Module with Crew Escape system and Resource Module to low Earth orbit.
3).CES - Resource Module
An artist’s rendering of the resource module that provides mission power, cooling, and propulsion to Boeing’s envisioned Crew Control Module.
4). CES - Crew Control Module
An artist’s rendering of a Crew Control Module for safe crew transportation to and from space.
5). CES - Launch Escape System
An artist’s rendering of a Launch Escape System that ensures crew safety during the launch.


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Boeing 2004 CES contd

6). CES - Autonomous Cargo Vehicle
An artist’s rendering of a robotic cargo vehicle capable of transporting pressurized and non-pressurized cargo to space and back to Earth. It uses the same Resource Module as does the Crew Control Module to supply power, cooling and propulsion.
7). CES - Translunar Insertion Stage
An artist’s rendering of a lunar propulsion system derived from two Delta IV Upper Stages assembled in Low Earth Orbit.
8). CES - Crew Habitat
An artist’s rendering of an inflatable habitat derived from the Autonomous Cargo Vehicle for use in space, lunar or other planetary surface applications. Its inflatable section is pressurized once at its destination to enhance crew habitability and operations.
9). CES - Crew Habitat – Lunar Surface Version
An artist’s rendering of an inflatable habitat for an initial lunar surface base. It uses a derivative Resource Module to land on the lunar surface and provides power and cooling to the Crew.
10). CES - Lunar Space Station
Boeing artist’s rendering of an assembly base for Lunar Landing Vehicles, Space Telescopes and Interplanetary Transfer Vehicles. This station is assembled in lunar orbit using derivatives of the Autonomous Cargo Vehicle and Crew Habitat.
11). CES - Interplanetary Crew Exploration Vehicle
An artist’s concept of an enhanced Crew Exploration Vehicle capable of traveling to Mars or beyond. Assembled at the Lunar Space Station, this vehicle uses derivatives of the Crew Control Module, Autonomous Cargo Vehicle and Crew Habitat to support the crew during roundtrips to Mars or other interplanetary destinations.


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Triton said:
Lockheed Martin Dual Thrust Axis Lander (DTAL) concept from 2007.

Does anyone have a copy of the Lockheed Martin lunar lander concepts document that contains theDual Thrust Axis Lander (DTAL) concept in PDF format that they would be willing to share and/or attach?

The dual axis is basically a Centaur. Less boiloff since the tanks have little surface area that way.

ULA has more docs at

A lot of this stuff is outside NASA's Apollo on Steroids mindset.
mz said:
A lot of this stuff is outside NASA's Apollo on Steroids mindset.

...Some of these I actually haven't seen before, tho. The DTAL one we originally laughed at, calling it "Dick Tracy's Space Coupe".
Well i begin.
I have fear that now this the right place for Orion and project Constellation.
Flateric and both rock! Great stuff. ;D

BTW...does anybody know if the Lockheed design was suitable for Earth reentry from the higher speeds a Lunar to Earth trajectory would entail? I always thought a capsule was better suited for that. Also...what was the propulsion system to be on the artist impression of the Boeing interplanetary vehicle and where might I find more info on that. I've been looking for that for some time.
At least I give my two cents.

Hoping that it wouldn't remains a mere design....


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According to the last news, now it's up to the Congress. Surely the Dems face a disaster in mid-term election in at least three swing states (and maybe in California, too) if they don't reinstate the fundings. It can be seen as a job-creating measure, like the Shuttle was in early '70s. Back then the President had more guts... (oooops) was different.
Skybolt said:
According to the last news, now it's up to the Congress. Surely the Dems face a disaster in mid-term election in at least three swing states (and maybe in California, too) if they don't reinstate the fundings. It can be seen as a job-creating measure, like the Shuttle was in early '70s. Back then the President had more guts... (oooops) was different.
I fear you may be overestimating the voting public's interest in the space program. Unfortunately it seems that neither the left nor the right leaning citizenry are very excited by NASA spending nowadays. In simplistic terms one could say that the "Blue" side thinks the money should be spent "right here on Earth" while the "Red" side doesn't want it spent at all..
Sure, but jobs are jobs.... and aerospace jobs are jobs. If you cut programs in aerospace, what do you want the engineers do, Wall Street brokers ?

Thank you for posting your beautiful illustrations. I too hope they do not remain designs.
I'm sure that neither side of our two party system will make it happen. It's just not even realistic to think that anybody is gonna spend money on NASA when the last President and the current one were both hammered by the public for bailing out the nation.

Nobody cares about Space Exploration...except us folks here on this forum. I don't know about you guys but I'm over it. I don't lose a wink of sleep...I just moved on.
If I may get snarky on the subject. We went to the moon, and verified that it was made out of rock. We sent missions to Mercury and Venus, and established that they were hot and unpleasant. We went to Mars, let's face it, to look for evidence of life. Now, absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence, but....

The gas giant moons seem intriguing, but until there is some unmanned confirmation of life, fuggetaboutit. It would cost a fortune. The shuttles are approaching the end of their useful lives, and seem to be used for giving joy rides to foreigners, high-school science fair level experiments, and hauling stuff to the ISS. And the ISS does, what?

Unless space travel somehow becomes a lot cheaper, the only manned spaceflights will be Salyuts to the ISS.
royabulgaf said:
seem to be used for giving joy rides to foreigners

Pesky foreigners - next thing you know they'll be demanding websites with endings like or rather than .com! Dogs!!
royabulgaf said:
Unless space travel somehow becomes a lot cheaper, the only manned spaceflights will be Salyuts [sic] to the ISS.

Back in the 1950's, when the post-WWII space enthusiasts were getting written up in the popular press, I don't remember seeing the subject of cost addressed anywhere. The semi-technical literature shortly after seemed to indicate that everybody thought that the cost of manned spaceflight would be about one order of magnitude greater than that of atmospheric flight. Unfortunately, the cost turned out to be more like four orders of magnitude greater.


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starviking said:
royabulgaf said:
seem to be used for giving joy rides to foreigners

Pesky foreigners - next thing you know they'll be demanding websites with endings like or rather than .com! Dogs!!

And spelling words like "color" and "armor" with extraneous u's.
In the Summer of 2006, NASA approached privately-held DigitalSpace for assistance in visualizing a manned NEO (near-Earth object) rendezvous mission. The mission would entail using an Orion spacecraft with an attached module named NSAM for NEO Surface Access Module.

(Three years later Lockheed Martin would pitch "Plymouth Rock" to NASA. See,9254.msg83705.html#msg83705)


Artist's impression of the NEO rendezvous mission visualized by Digital Space.

Launch and Docking of Mission Elements

Our first two steps on this journey start when the Orion (Crew Exploration Vehicle - CEV) is launched by an Ares I rocket while the Earth Departure Stage (EDS) is launched by the Ares V heavy lift vehicle. The EDS has the NEO Surface Access Module (NSAM) carried on the top under the payload shroud. Rendezvous and docking of the Orion and EDS segments occurs in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).


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Trans-NEO Burn

The completed "stack" then orbits the Earth until a Trans-NEO-Burn (TNI) occur, placing the vehicle on course to intersect the NEO. The EDS would be jettisoned during the cruise phase, leaving the Orion CEV and NSAM to continue on. The NSAM would serve as extended crew quarters.



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Arrival at NEO and Station Keeping

Next, the vehicle would enter a station keeping position, sense and determine likely target landing areas, match the rotation of the NEO and effect one or more close approaches. Please note that this or other NEO targets may have been visited by prior robotic precursor missions and its surface properties may have been characterized, thus lowering the risk to the crewed mission. The Surveyor precursor missions were used in a similar way for the Apollo program in the 1960's.

NEOs have very low gravity so a key challenge will be to connect with and stay stably held down on the surface. The Airbag + sensor + harpoon anchor tether proposed by DigitalSpace would be used by the vehicle to effect a safe docking and holdfast. This mimics the system used by insects to secure themselves to surfaces in the presence of air movement. Using the airbags, the vehicle would be able to make a soft surface impact distributed around a ring of bags. Surface “NEO technical properties”, including load bearing strength and surface density, could be measured in real-time by probe sensors mounted on the airbag ring. Thus, the quality of a likely “seal” could be determined rapidly and at several locations on subsequent hops. When an optimal seal (stable, penetrable surface) is sensed, the harpoon tether system would then be activated to attempt to create a fast hold.

Design Disclaimer

Please note the following design disclaimer. It is most likely that robotic precursors would determine a NEO's surface properties before the human mission arrives. It is not a given that the configuration of the Orion CEV with NSAM could make an effective "touch down" or that tethers would even work for specific situations and compositions. Thrusters used on a docking exercise would wreak havoc with sample collection given that thrusters contaminate any potential samples. In other words, this is a complete guess as to whether the spacecraft would make contact with the surface or would simply hover.



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Successful Docking and Securing to NEO Surface

In the case of a secure anchor by a suitable proportion of the four or more tethers, the crew would then teleoperate the tether winches to test the anchor strength, much the way a ship secures its anchor in the ocean bottom. A secure holdfast would enable EVA surface operations, as the tethers operate as hand hold aids to astronauts. In the case of an insecure holdfast, tether retrieval by winching or “harpoon drop” could leave the anchor end in the NEO surface and allow the tether to be rewound. Another hop attempt could then be tried. A crew EVA could be engaged to replace a tether harpoon anchor.

EVA and Science Activities

EVA would occur through an airlock on one end of the NSAM. This airlock would help crew isolate the dust and NEO surface matter from entering the living quarters and Orion. After exiting the airlock, the microgravity environment of a NEO would require crew ("neonauts"?) to move by pulling themselves along, drawing their lower extremities behind them, much as movement occurs on board a space station. Thus, handrails on the vehicle and the deployed tethers will be essential for crew to make their way around the vehicle and to the surface. The use of teleoperated robotic arms attached to the stable vehicle platform for sampling will assist crew in drilling or digging operations. If EVA is not possible, the crew could still use these teleoperated arms to gather samples while inside the NSAM. Samples would be collected later for transport in the Orion CEV.

For later excursions away from the docking site, neonauts would use a kind of jet-pack such as the "Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)" once used in the Shuttle program. They would essentially become free flying spacecraft, free to explore and sample the NEO to quite a distance. This would be the NEO equivalent of the Apollo "Moon buggy". Scientists would also perform internal structure measurements of the NEO which are key for understanding the impact history and hazard mitigation strategies. Knowledge of the internal makeup of NEOs is critical to working out what to do if a NEO were on a collision course with Earth. These measurements could be performed from a close distance or through a deployed science package similar to the LSEP, used for longer term studies of the Moon during Apollo.



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Return Mission

On departure from the surface of the NEO, the decking section below the NSAM, with its airbags and tethers, along with fuel or solar collectors for continued operations, and a deployed communications antenna, would be detached and left on the surface as a long term science station. Prior to separation, crew would pack sample cannisters and rock boxes on board the Orion CEV. On the return flight, the NSAM would again serve as extended crew quarters.

The vehicle would then effect a trans-Earth injection (TEI) burn and return to Earth, jettison the NSAM and service module and reenter, landing with parachutes on land using another series of air bags.



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Landis, Rob; et al. A Piloted Flight to a Near-Earth Object: A Feasibility Study
Ames Research Center; Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Johnson Space Center
June 15, 2007

This viewgraph presentation examines flight hardware elements of the Constellation Program (CxP) and the utilization of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), Evolvable Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELVs) and Ares launch vehicles for NEO missions.

The NEO feasibility study was a relatively basic study that looked at things like delta-v capability, requirements, etc. It was _very_ preliminary, and used an early baseline Orion and other hardware. (The artist illustrations that you provided are not actually based on any engineering studies. They're simply what an artist has come up with.)

Unfortunately, they never got permission for a follow-on study, so that 2007 work has not been upgraded much since then, although they were involved in supporting the Augustine commission (they have been adding some potential NEO targets to the list). The cancellation of Constellation also is a setback, because now it's not possible to do a study with a baseline vehicle--in other words, NASA has no current plans under the new budget to go beyond LEO, so any studies of an NEO mission would be blue-sky. It will take the agency at least a couple of years to come up with a plan for sending humans to LEO commercially, and that's not the same as sending them beyond LEO to an asteroid or elsewhere.

Over the past four decades there have been at least half a dozen or more independent studies of a human NEO or asteroid mission, the first dating back to around 1966. However, none of them have had much depth and there are many unknown questions, such as radiation protection for the crew, long-duration life support, proximity ops, ideal crew size (Landis et. al. believe that three is optimum, but that's not been studied), etc.

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