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US Lunar Lander Concepts

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The first three spacecraft studied under NASA's Apollo program designation were proposals by Martin, General Electric and Convair Astronautics (General Dynamics) in partnership with Avco.

Depicted here is the Convair Phase C lunar lander, in which the entire Apollo vehicle landed on the moon -- there was no separate LEM. Enclosed within the spacecraft is an M-2 re-entry lifting body with seating for up to five crew. This lifting body could land on any runway (though its preferred destination was Texas).

To put this NASA-funded project in proper context, it should be noted that it dates back to early 1961, before any human went into space, and before JFK made his speech about sending a man to the moon.

Shown here are photos of the manufacturer's model and inboard profile of the spacecraft. Note the four landing legs (shown in retracted position) surrounding the eight-engine cluster.
 

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flateric

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First time I saw it I thought that John occasionally uploaded Ares CEV instead of correct pics...great and rare stuff, thanks!
 

Nik

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Well, they certainly didn't lack for imagination !!

Makes you wonder how things would have fared if 'lifting bodies' rather than Mercury / Gemini / Apollo 're-entry cones' had become the return method of choice. Maybe the X-15 and other X-craft would have bridged the gap up to orbit, giving a range of Shuttle sizes rather than the unhappy compromise that ensued...
 

blackstar

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Nik said:
Makes you wonder how things would have fared if 'lifting bodies' rather than Mercury / Gemini / Apollo 're-entry cones' had become the return method of choice. Maybe the X-15 and other X-craft would have bridged the gap up to orbit, giving a range of Shuttle sizes rather than the unhappy compromise that ensued...
That assumes that lifting bodies were realistic at that time given their level of technology.

One problem with asking what-if for different technological paths is that you end up assuming that the rejected technology (spacecraft/aircraft, etc.) would have worked. But that is not guaranteed and in fact the chosen path was probably chosen at least in part because people considered it more realistic.

Lifting bodies had a lot of challenges, including heating, control, and even such esoteric things as modeling and simulation (it is easier to model a blunt body than it is a complex lifting body shape).
 

blackstar

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circle-5 said:
The first three spacecraft studied under NASA's Apollo program designation were proposals by Martin, General Electric and Convair Astronautics (General Dynamics) in partnership with Avco.
There are some interesting parallels between the Mercury program and Apollo. In both cases, after early work, NASA then settled on the design that they wanted. In Apollo there were several early designs that were not the simple cone shape. Then NASA said that they wanted a cone and that's what everybody proposed in the second round.

I'm not very familiar with the decision making process, but I suspect that NASA dictated the cone shape because they figured that it would be much simpler to design and build than some of the more complex ideas that were initially proposed by the contractors, like this one.
 

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circle-5 said:
The first three spacecraft studied under NASA's Apollo program designation were proposals by Martin, General Electric and Convair Astronautics (General Dynamics) in partnership with Avco.

Depicted here is the Convair Phase C lunar lander, in which the entire Apollo vehicle landed on the moon -- there was no separate LEM. Enclosed within the spacecraft is an M-2 re-entry lifting body with seating for up to five crew. This lifting body could land on any runway (though its preferred destination was Texas).

To put this NASA-funded project in proper context, it should be noted that it dates back to early 1961, before any human went into space, and before JFK made his speech about sending a man to the moon.

Shown here are photos of the manufacturer's model and inboard profile of the spacecraft. Note the four landing legs (shown in retracted position) surrounding the eight-engine cluster.
The drawing suggests that there was a separate Command Module that's not depicted. It looks like the hull in the photos is the Mission Module and the drawing depicts a "Command to Mission Module Passage" but it's not clear what the Command module is or where it goes.
 

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taildragger said:
The drawing suggests that there was a separate Command Module that's not depicted. It looks like the hull in the photos is the Mission Module and the drawing depicts a "Command to Mission Module Passage" but it's not clear what the Command module is or where it goes.
The M-2 re-entry vehicle was to be used as the Command Module. The passage in question is simply a roof hatch on the M-2, which leads to the Mission Module area.

I have a Convair/Avco document, optimistically entitled Apollo Final Study Report, dated 15 May, 1961. This contains additional details and diagrams about these early Convair proposals. At 4.3MB, it's too big to post, but I can send it to you via PM, if you're interested...
 

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I found the attached artwork posted at http://yuripasholok.livejournal.com/393991.html, need help identifying it. Would be great to find a 3-view and more information on the vehicle, if it isn't an artist's invention. Apologize if this has been posted here before; moderator, feel free to move this to an existing thread, if applicable.


Thanks,


Jared
 

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magnus_z

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jzichek said:
I found the attached artwork posted at http://yuripasholok.livejournal.com/393991.html, need help identifying it. Would be great to find a 3-view and more information on the vehicle, if it isn't an artist's invention. Apologize if this has been posted here before; moderator, feel free to move this to an existing thread, if applicable.
Orionblamblam :"This is one of the more bizarre of the series, pretty much inexplicable without some sort of caption. Of which there wasn’t one. Clearly some sort of lunar lander. The “things” on the ends of the arms appear to have transparent bubbles and reflectors, so perhaps this was supposed to be a solar powered… something."
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=4114

Also:
http://punkadiddle.blogspot.com/2011/03/joseph-n-bell-seven-into-space-1960.html
 

jzichek

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Thank you for the links! At least we know it's likely a Martin project. Not surprising that it's taken from Scott's site; Yuri Pasholok has been reposting material from there for a while now, often without attribution, which is bad etiquette.
 

blackstar

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I saw that in a kids' book on space published in the 1960s at some point.

I assume the things on the end are some kind of magnetic propulsors, lifting the vehicle up by pushing off a magnetic field.

You might note that it bears a little resemblance to the famous painting from 2001 of astronauts standing by as a lunar lander sets down on the Moon.
 

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Orionblamblam

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blackstar said:
You might note that it bears a little resemblance to the famous painting from 2001 of astronauts standing by as a lunar lander sets down on the Moon.
Not near as much as the 2001 painting resembles *this* one:
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=3229

(see link for higher rez)
 

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Orionblamblam

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jzichek said:
At least we know it's likely a Martin project.
Not "likely," "was." Although "project" is stretching the term.

Not surprising that it's taken from Scott's site; Yuri Pasholok has been reposting material from there for a while now, often without attribution, which is bad etiquette.
Hrrrmmph.



This is why I've been adding "up-ship.com" or "aerospaceprojcetsreview.com" to most of the pics I post, even the really high rez ones. Not that I'm trying to lay claim to them, but just so that there is some hope of trackback.

I've posted a comment there with a link back to my post. It'll be interesting to see if'n it shows up.
 

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Sorry for stupid situation.
It's not my artwork, source already posted here. In my blog i already add links to original posts. Up-ship is famous blog for me. I just like crazy inventions of 20-s - 60-s, and stealing any content not in my plans.
Some my "trophy" from archives also stealing from blog with adding "new" copyrights, it's a reason why i start add copyrights on the my content.
Sorry again for stupid situation, it's shame for me.... :(
 

Triton

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Grumman LEM model by Precise found on eBay.

URL:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/GRUMMAN-Lunar-Module-Contractor-Model-Precision-1960s-Apollo-RARE-Great-Find-/220955841709?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3371fe94ad
 

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Grey Havoc

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A piece of Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. RIFT related concept art.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: This is an original press photo. Photo measures 10 x 8inches. Photo is dated 12-12-1963.
 

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Triton

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NASA lunar lander concept photo circa 1992.

Source:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BEAUTIFUL-VINTAGE-OFFICIAL-NASA-LUNAR-SPACECRAFT-COMPONENTS-ARTIST-CONCEPT-PHOTO-/400590327561?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d450b4f09
 

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asiscan

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Just wandering if anyone has any available info (eg: specs) or arrangement drawings of the General Dynamics/Convair 'Apollo' Lunar Excursion Module proposal of 1962. I have found several "pre 2013 NTRS lockdown" pdf links to several proposals, but *surprise* - they are no longer available. What I have found are about 40 (very good) photos of the GD/Convair LEM mockup at the San Diego Air and Space Museum 'flickr' site but sadly no info. Any ideas?
GD/Convair LEM photos at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/7142968263
 

flateric

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Give links to the deleted papers.
Apparently many of forum members could have them downloaded before NASA STI went nuts.
 

asiscan

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Here are two 'discontinued' links of the GD/CONVAIR proposal but I suspect that they might only cover the "direct ascent" mission configuration and not the 1962 LEM proposal.

GD PROJECT APOLLO FINAL REPORT Volume IV GROWTH AND ADVANCED CONCEPTS

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19790076966_1979076966.pdf

GD PROJECT APOLLO FINAL REPORT VOLUME V. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740073799_1974073799.pdf

I come across other GD/Convair doc links about a year ago and am trying to "backtrack" but it was on a now dead hard drive.
 
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