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Von Braun's Ferry Rocket of 1952

amsci99

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IIRC, Von Braun was a technical advisor on Disney's Man In Space series. Based on some of the designs, there were some major design revisions when compared to the designs from the Collier magazines.
 

McTodd

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amsci99 said:
IIRC, Von Braun was a technical advisor on Disney's Man In Space series. Based on some of the designs, there were some major design revisions when compared to the designs from the Collier magazines.
You're absolutely right. In fact, not only was von Braun a technical adviser, he also appeared on Man In Space. Great accent... At a tangent, I was quite amused that in the BBC drama series Space Race, the actor who plyed von Braun put on a quite gentle German accent. I can only assume it was because nobody would have believed him if he'd put on as strong an accent as von Braun really had ('shpeece reece' is how he would have pronounced it).

The von Braun designs really develop markedly from the original Collier's series in 1952 and 1954, then through the book versions published around 1956, and then on to Disney. As von Braun repeatedly examined how to do certain things, so he could see how they could be accomplished more easily. This is very noticeable with the Mars mission, in which the 1956 version was considerably cut-down from only two years previously. Jack Hagerty's amazing Spaceship Handbook details the changes minutely.
 

archipeppe

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Several sources report that the XR-1 Ferry Rocket, from Disney's "Man in Space", had a strong influnce of Willy Ley rather than von Braun itself.
Ley wanted something more "modern" compared to the original canard, big-wing Ferry Rocket of Collier's, so it looked to Convair F-102 and found out something that could appeal public interest.
That's the main reason for the XR-1 shape.

For sure the real reason of interest in this concept was the introduction of modular design that allows to have three different kind of vehicles exploiting essentially the same basic structure.
 

Triton

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Images of the 3rd Stage Satellite Vehicle of the Von Braun Ferry Rocket.

Matt Novak of Paleo-Future writes:
To provide safety in case of a malfunction of the reusable upper stage - von Braun's 1950s shuttle concept - crew and passengers press buttons on their chair arms. Contour seats straighten automatically and enclosures snap shut forming sealed escape capsules. To abandon ship, the crew and passengers push another button and the capsules, guided by rails, are ejected by explosive powder charges. The arrangement is seen in cross-section.

After ejection, the capsules' descent is controlled by four-foot steel mesh parachutes. At about 150 above the ground or water, a proximity fuse sets off a small rocket that further slows the rate of fall.
http://paleo-future.blogspot.com/2007/11/wernher-von-brauns-space-shuttle-1950s.html
 

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magnus_z

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Many drawings from the book "Across the Space Frontier" and others:

http://spatial.forumdediscussions.com/bibliotheque-astronautique-f12/livres-across-the-space-frontier-collectif-t1461.htm
http://spatial.forumdediscussions.com/les-grands-noms-de-l-astronautique-f51/wernher-von-braun-t226-15.htm
 

OM

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...You know, I just realized something that 45 years of knowing and comprehending what the Von Braun Express failed to raise a red flag about: has anyone seen concept diagrams of how the VBE was erected on the launch pad with those gazonga fins on the first stage?
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Maybe the fins were portable. Just snap 'em in at the pad and you're good to go. ;)
 

TomS

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OM, the port/starboard wings certainly appear to stick down past the surface of the pad, but I believe the ventral/dorsal fins were shorter, so the stage could be rolled out over the pad along that axis.
 

OM

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TomS said:
OM, the port/starboard wings certainly appear to stick down past the surface of the pad, but I believe the ventral/dorsal fins were shorter, so the stage could be rolled out over the pad along that axis.
...It depends on the drawing being used as an example. I've seen them with the fins being equal length and size, or paired as you described, or even a version where there were no fins along the Pitch or +/- Y axis(*) of the all stages but the reentry module, so it resembled more of a big rocket *plane* from stem to stern. If we'd built the damn thing rather than let it remain as a Mouse House fantasy, we'd probably know the answer :mad:

(*) Note to the Peanut Gallery: I *always* get the X/Y/Z axis mixed up, so if this is really the X axis, make the correction and pat yourself on the head. :p
 

RanulfC

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Triton said:
Von Braun Ferry Rocket.
JUST as an FYI thing; "staging09.jpg" is actually a still from the 1953 movie "Spaceways"
http://www.fandango.com/spaceways_v45918/summary
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046351/

I also agree that the Valigursky delta ferry is quite interesting, and I'd like to see more on both it and the XR-1 desing itself... Then again I AM quite greedy about such things ;)

Randy
 

blackstar

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RanulfC said:
Triton said:
Von Braun Ferry Rocket.
JUST as an FYI thing; "staging09.jpg" is actually a still from the 1953 movie "Spaceways"
I'm totally unfamiliar with this movie. I doubt that it's any good. Can you tell me anything about it? The rocket looks like a cartoon. Is that how they did the space scenes?

(I have not found many pictures on the web from this movie.)
 

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archipeppe

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blackstar said:
I'm totally unfamiliar with this movie. I doubt that it's any good. Can you tell me anything about it? The rocket looks like a cartoon. Is that how they did the space scenes?

(I have not found many pictures on the web from this movie.)
It is an ol' English movie named "Spaceways", some further info on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceways
 

RanulfC

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blackstar said:
RanulfC said:
Triton said:
Von Braun Ferry Rocket.
JUST as an FYI thing; "staging09.jpg" is actually a still from the 1953 movie "Spaceways"
I'm totally unfamiliar with this movie. I doubt that it's any good. Can you tell me anything about it? The rocket looks like a cartoon. Is that how they did the space scenes?

(I have not found many pictures on the web from this movie.)
Short-version; American Rocket Scientist is working in the British Space Program, (they actually had one at the time) and his wife is having and affair with one of the British scientists (who also happens to be a spy)
Both "lovers" disappear the night the first satellite is launched and the "hero" is accused of killing them and stuffing the bodies into the satellite. So to clear himself he has to take a ship up, retrieve the satellite and prove his innocence.

I personally haven't seen it but may have to since I've seen a lot of comments about the twists and suspense of the movie. It is less Sci-Fi than an Alfred Hitchcock thriller from the comments.

Randy
 

blackstar

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I love the idea of hiding a body in a rocket. CSI should do that!
 

OM

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blackstar said:
I love the idea of hiding a body in a rocket. CSI should do that!
...TNG went there and did that in one of the later episodes. Threw in a few ghosts and the first view of one of the nacelle coil intermix chambers, with an ample helping of Troi feeling pain and trying to commit suicide.
 

dannydale

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OM said:
blackstar said:
I love the idea of hiding a body in a rocket. CSI should do that!
...TNG went there and did that in one of the later episodes. Threw in a few ghosts and the first view of one of the nacelle coil intermix chambers, with an ample helping of Troi feeling pain and trying to commit suicide.
That's the only part that really held my interest, actually. Anything with Troi, her mother, or her suitor-of-the-week made my head hurt. :D
 

OM

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dannydale said:
OM said:
blackstar said:
I love the idea of hiding a body in a rocket. CSI should do that!
...TNG went there and did that in one of the later episodes. Threw in a few ghosts and the first view of one of the nacelle coil intermix chambers, with an ample helping of Troi feeling pain and trying to commit suicide.
That's the only part that really held my interest, actually. Anything with Troi, her mother, or her suitor-of-the-week made my head hurt. :D
...Here's where we disagree a bit. About the only time Troi never gave me a headache was when Mrs. Troi was on the show. Majel was perfect in that role, and proved to even her most ardent detractors that given the right roles Majel was a damn fine actress. Marina Sirtis, on the other hand...well, having met her in person, I'll say she's a nice person, but as an actress the only time she ever had a role where her talents were used to their fullest was in the slasher flick Blind Date, where she got a scalpel between her saggers.

That being said, we now return you to our discussion of WvB's Ferry Rocket, already in a total state of disarray... :p
 

RanulfC

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blackstar said:
I love the idea of hiding a body in a rocket. CSI should do that!
Well.....
http://www.tvrage.com/CSI_Miami/episodes/1064882835

"When a dead body drops from the sky, Horatio and the CSIs believe the victim was a NASA astronaut and Dr. Tom Loman suspects the man died somehow in zero gravity. This causes the owner of the only private space travel in Miami to become a suspect. Meanwhile, Walter and Jesse take a trip in the Vomit Comet to figure out what really happened in the first case where the murder might've happened in zero gravity"

OTHER than the various "hand-waveium" of the "RocketPlane" rip-off being fully orbital capable with something like a WEEK on-orbit time, my major "glitch" with the episode is the entire premis :)

The end where Horatio tells the Captain/Owner of the company that killing ONE passenger or letting them all die was "not his decision to make" made me want to step through the screen and bitch-slap the man! Uhm, hello? "Captain-of-the-Ship" and all that and hell YES it is "his" decision to make! The PR may be hell but LEGALLY the only thing they did "wrong" was trying to keep it under cover. (How the heck can he "insist" that he had to bring the body back but THEN try and get rid of it??? That doesn't make ANY sense, even for Hollywood :) )

Ahh well....

Randy
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Yeah I remember that CSI episode too. Wish I hadn't. Tried to watch it without being overcome by a case of severe nerd rage accompanied by acute nausea. No dice. Thankfully, laughter is good cure-all for that.

As for Von Braun's ferry rocket, on the issue of vehicle assembly, I'm really tempted to think that horizontal assembly, a la Soyuz, might've been a practical route. With the ventral first stage fin being the removable one.
 

blackstar

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RanulfC said:
blackstar said:
I love the idea of hiding a body in a rocket. CSI should do that!
Well.....
http://www.tvrage.com/CSI_Miami/episodes/1064882835

"When a dead body drops from the sky, Horatio and the CSIs believe the victim was a NASA astronaut and Dr. Tom Loman suspects the man died somehow in zero gravity. This causes the owner of the only private space travel in Miami to become a suspect. Meanwhile, Walter and Jesse take a trip in the Vomit Comet to figure out what really happened in the first case where the murder might've happened in zero gravity"
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1575/1
 

OM

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RanulfC said:
"When a dead body drops from the sky, Horatio and the CSIs believe the victim was a NASA astronaut and Dr. Tom Loman suspects the man died somehow in zero gravity. This causes the owner of the only private space travel in Miami to become a suspect. Meanwhile, Walter and Jesse take a trip in the Vomit Comet to figure out what really happened in the first case where the murder might've happened in zero gravity"

...The sad part is that over a decade after having to sift through dozens of reports about body parts landing all over East Texas in various states between medium rare and well-done during the first week after the Loss of Columbia, I honestly can't find this sort of plot anywhere near funny. And those around here who know me - even the two who've expressed their hatred here and elsewhere - are full aware of my appreciation for black, darkly-satirical humor. Where this particular example of the genre is concerned, it's sort of been burned out of me.


Oh, and for those wondering, the guy died on a Six Flags ride, which is where the null-g effects were acquired. He was poisoned by his butler, who dropped him out of the guy's private jet, which he then flew to the Bahamas with access to the guy's Swiss bank accounts... ;)
 

merriman

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Paul Lloyd said:
Fantastic! Beautiful work, I really wish I'd had these images when I made my computer model of it. Are there any more? Here's my CGI model - I might re-do it now!
That's very kind of you. The massive collection of in-work shots is in the form of slides and negatives, and these have yet to be scanned into my hard-drive.

However, these may be of interest -- work for the same display I built the moon-orbiter for:
]








I have also built models of other iconic early space vehicle concepts. I'm currently working on the Jack Coggins space-station (remember the movie, GOG?).

David
 

Jemiba

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Great work, merriman !

The last one is the von Braun Ferry Rocket, could you tell me more about the
moon orbiter, please ? I'm not adept in space projects, but perhaps we should
change the title to make it clearer for people like me ? ;)
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXIDFx74aSY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-phxCxTlzQ
 

TomS

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blackstar said:
This is in the National Air and Space Museum.
The placard says Meteor Jr. It probably belongs in that thread instead.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5876.0.html
 

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But,suppone for absurd that the US government had funded this Ferry Rocket.
he really would work or was over the technology of 50s early 60s ?
 

merriman

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carmelo said:
But,suppone for absurd that the US government had funded this Ferry Rocket.
he really would work or was over the technology of 50s early 60s ?
When he popularized these concepts in the Viking Press books, von Braun took care to make the point that these ships were within the 'state-of-the-art' for the time they were presented. All that was needed was money and commitment; no new advancements in materials, fabrication techniques, chemicals, or electronics (computers) were needed to see men on the moon within ten-years. Those vehicles would have been guided and controlled by machines using vacuum tubes and analog (mechanical) computers, and powered by gas-generator cycle, hypergolic engines of relatively low Isp.

His schemes were grand, but doable in the 50's.

David
 

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merriman said:
I have also built models of other iconic early space vehicle concepts. I'm currently working on the Jack Coggins space-station (remember the movie, GOG?).

David
I've seen that movie and I never noticed a space station so I took another look and spotted a 3 second long still picture in the opening credits. What really has me interested is that 2 man tandem rotor helicopter at around 13 minutes into the movie. I'm pretty sure it's a Piasecki.
 

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merriman

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An actual miniature of the station was made for the GOG movie, and got about one-minute of face-time in the first reel -- it was presented as a model of the proposed orbiting space-station. This same miniature was redressed for use in several episodes of the ZIV produced, Science Fiction Theater.

That miniature was not terribly accurate to the Jack Coggins (the originator of the design) illustrations, but close. The linkage between the ZIV TV series and the movie is the Director-Producer, Ivan Tors.

David
 

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fredymac said:
What really has me interested is that 2 man tandem rotor helicopter at around 13 minutes into the movie. I'm pretty sure it's a Piasecki.
It's a McCulloch MC-4
 

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merriman said:
When he popularized these concepts in the Viking Press books, von Braun took care to make the point that these ships were within the 'state-of-the-art' for the time they were presented. ... His schemes were grand, but doable in the 50's.
Well... kinda. There are some aspect that are a bit physics-defying. Building those nice sharp leading edges out of stainless steel is a dandy way to turn a re-entry vehicle into a cloud of molten steel droplets and various-sized chunks of debris.

Same problem plagues the Sanger antipodal bomber, and a lot of other designs that pre-date serious efforts to actually study the problems of re-entry.
 

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Maybe the fins were portable. Just snap 'em in at the pad and you're good to go. ;)
Did you say that knowing that they were envisioned as removable?

And another interesting detail from Colliers that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere, recoverable 1st and 2nd stages.
 

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