NASA Study Summary:"A Lunar Exploration Program Based on Saturn Boosted Systems"
Here's ~300 pages of 1959 space goodness-- ABMA's study for NASA outlining a Lunar Exploration Program using Saturn Boosters. This is from back when ABMA was still US Army... The plan includes everything from orbital refuelling of LOX/LH2, lunar roving vehicles (unmanned), 2 and 3 man lunar flybys and landings, a lunar cargo vehicle, all the way up to a 20 man Lunar Base or Observatory! The mission mode is direct landing and return, using Saturn I boosters and perhaps a NOVA type vehicle later on.
Interesting read from the very dawn of the space age-- back when the Saturn I test firing was "expected soon"... when discussions with Project Mercury involved adapting their escape rockets to the completely different capsule designs ABMA was coming up with, based on Jupiter missile nosecones! (and capable of transporting SIXTEEN personnel at one time!) Its an interesting insight into what was envisioned compared to what eventually came to be... with some interesting rocket designs thrown in! Even here, at the very beginning, the booster program they outline is called the "space transportation system" (STS became the formal moniker for the space shuttle program) and even plans on using AIRBAGS for soft lunar landings of unmanned instrument packages, in a mode almost identical to what was eventually used to deliver the Mars Sojourner rover and the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity to the Martian surface almost 50 years later! It's all here... even some rather interesting ideas about using BLIMPS to transport upper stages from distant inland (or west coast) contractors to the Atlantic Missile Range (KSC before it was KSC) for launch, since rail and road were impractical, the Super Guppy hadn't been thought of yet, and ship transport took too long...
Interesting stuff! Enjoy! OL JR
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