Secret Apollo missions planned, canceled

blackstar

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http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1734/1

Black Apollo
by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, November 29, 2010

During the height of the race to the Moon, NASA and the top secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) planned a series of Apollo missions to carry a large reconnaissance satellite to lunar orbit where astronauts would photograph the lunar surface and map out landing sites for later manned landings. But these were not mere plans—NASA actually started construction of four spacecraft, each 1.5 meters (5 feet) (1.5 meters) in diameter and 5.5 meters (18 feet) long. They were based upon the then operational KH-7 GAMBIT high-resolution reconnaissance satellite. But in the end the spacecraft proved unnecessary and the project was canceled in spring 1967.
 

AL

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What book would that be? I hope Dwayne's not using Specialty Press.
 

blackstar

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There's an ongoing discussion about this and the follow-up article on the NASASpaceflight.com forum.

Book is on the history of satellite reconnaissance during the Cold War. But it has been on hold for many years now awaiting the declassification of several programs. I may work on a different book in the interim. (My day job also keeps getting in the way of my hobbies.)
 

Grey Havoc

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Has anything new come out in regards to the Lunar Mapping and Survey System?
 

Graham1973

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The shutdown of the NTRS has crippled my research in that regards. I do have on my hard drive several documents that discuss 'Blue Apollo' (eg USAF) missions, but with only the vaguest hints of what was going to be attempted. It's been a while since I've looked at them, but I think most of them involved modified LMs rather than new hardware.
 

blackstar

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Grey Havoc said:
Has anything new come out in regards to the Lunar Mapping and Survey System?

There were a few documents released by NRO that referred to UPWARD. Nothing spectacular. I also got about a dozen documents in the NASA archives on the LMSS. They provide interesting background on the cancellation of the program. But there's still almost nothing on the hardware. I'll be talking to somebody in a few days who might be able to say if anything new will be released anytime soon.
 

RanulfC

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Blackstar; Just wanted to say "grats"! I realized when re-reading the article that the timing is just about right for this to have been the "inspiration" for the "secret-Apollo-DoD" mission scenerio in "Apollo-18" :)

Randy
 

blackstar

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RanulfC said:
Blackstar; Just wanted to say "grats"! I realized when re-reading the article that the timing is just about right for this to have been the "inspiration" for the "secret-Apollo-DoD" mission scenerio in "Apollo-18" :)

I doubt that this information inspired the movie Apollo 18. Timing is all wrong.

I rather liked Apollo 18, by the way. It had its limitations, but I thought that they had an interesting idea.
 

luke strawwalker

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blackstar said:
RanulfC said:
Blackstar; Just wanted to say "grats"! I realized when re-reading the article that the timing is just about right for this to have been the "inspiration" for the "secret-Apollo-DoD" mission scenerio in "Apollo-18" :)

I doubt that this information inspired the movie Apollo 18. Timing is all wrong.

I rather liked Apollo 18, by the way. It had its limitations, but I thought that they had an interesting idea.

Certainly more interesting than that gawdawful "Armageddon" movie... for which Michael Bay recently apologized...

If he's REALLY sorry about it, he should stop making movies altogether...

Later! OL JR :)
 

Archibald

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Certainly more interesting than that gawdawful "Armageddon" movie... for which Michael Bay recently apologized...

If he's REALLY sorry about it, he should stop making movies altogether...

Later! OL JR :)

WTF ? he really apologized ? can you point me to a link ? :eek:
 

luke strawwalker

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Archibald said:
Certainly more interesting than that gawdawful "Armageddon" movie... for which Michael Bay recently apologized...

If he's REALLY sorry about it, he should stop making movies altogether...

Later! OL JR :)

WTF ? he really apologized ? can you point me to a link ? :eek:

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AoYWy0Khg94NkadWLOhE8K.bvZx4?p=Michael+Bay+apologizes+for+Armageddon&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-662-1

That should get you started... LOL:)

Later! OL JR :)
 

Archibald

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Ok, he said he had to do that... thing in 16 week - and the final product did not corresponded to his will.

Fair enough, Mr Bay.

Now let's talk about those transformer movies... ;D
 
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