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  1. #1
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    NASA Study Summary: "Project Horizon, Vol 2, Technical Considerations and Plans"

    Here's a big study from 1959, done by the US Army, right about the time NASA was just becoming a going concern. There was a lot of interservice and interagency rivalry at the time with the AF and Army and Navy vying for the opportunity to dominate the space field-- a field which Eisenhower SPECIFICALLY wanted the military excluded from to the extent possible... hence the creation of the civilian NASA in late 1958.

    Here's Project Horizon, the US Army's plan to build a 12 man moonbase by 1965-66. The plan calls for the use of the ABMA's Saturn booster (Saturn I) with an upgraded "Saturn II" to follow, using upgraded "H-2" engines (seriously upgraded H-1 engines from Saturn I). Project Horizon would also leverage existing technology by using the Titan I first stage as a second stage, and the Centaur, which was starting development by this time, as a third stage, with plans for an enlarged Centaur for the second and third stages of Saturn II and a smaller Centaur-based fourth stage for both rockets. It also planned to develop in-space refueling (what was later called "Earth Orbit Rendezvous" for the lunar mission, using several Saturn I and Saturn II launches to lift the fuel and equipment to orbit... which this report coming out of ABMA, which employed Von Braun and his team as the stars at the time, it only makes sense that this report closely mirrors Von Braun and Co.'s ideas about how to do a moon mission once Kennedy gave it the nod, though Houbolt proved that Lunar Orbit Rendezvous was the only way to do it within the decade target Kennedy set). The report even talks about the possibility of an 8 F-1 engined super booster that would later become known as NOVA. There's also information about nuclear upper stages, which would supplement the Saturn I and Saturn II and F-1 superbooster and could end up landing as much as 420,000 lbs of cargo on the moon! There's also a 2001 ring-like space station to serve as refuelling point for outbound lunar rockets, and several different lunar landers, all of which would use liquid hydrogen descent propulsion coupled with hypergolic ascent propulsion, later hopefully replaced with hydrogen ascent propulsion to improve performance. Even the idea of nuclear landers is thrown around...

    A new equatorial launch center was to be built, most likely either on Christmas Island in the mid-Pacific, 2 degrees north of the equator, or on the Brazilian coast, 2 degrees south of the equator. The flightrate of Saturns to support the program was estimated at 5.3 launches PER MONTH! (ambitious, weren't they!) Also, there were plans for two new space centers, one to do research on the basic problems of the designing the vehicles and their payloads and systems, the other having two facilities designed specifically to address the human factors and astronaut training and simulate the lunar and space environment. Basically this is the genesis of the idea for what became the Marshall Space Flight Center after the ABMA and it's team and facilities were handed over to NASA from the Army by Eisenhower, to do the research into building the rockets and the systems to support them, and the astronaut training facility and human program research center (along with mission control) which later became the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

    So, from the very birth of the space program, here's "Project Horizon, Volume 2, Technical Considerations and Plans"...

    Enjoy! OL JR

    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  2. #2
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    A lunar construction 'bulldozer' that would be used to dig the trenches to emplace the lunar base underground for radiation shielding. It had a crane for moving the modules as well.
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    The "advanced party outpost" designed to house the astronauts that would construct the larger 12 man moonbase...
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    Interior layout of the living modules for the moonbase...
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    View of the construction camp, safely buried underground...
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    The basic 12 man moonbase layout, as it was to be constructed...
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    More to come! OL JR

    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  3. #3
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    Ongoing construction operations of the 12 man moonbase...
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    A primitive idea of a lunar suit... notice the "skis" or "snowshoes" or whatever to deal with the dust, and the "manipulator hands" on the ends of what appears to metal fixtures on the ends of the 'sleeves', presumably designed to allow the astronauts to use their hands via manipulators without having to develop a "moon glove" for them to use their hands directly...
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    The Saturn I, topped with its 120 inch diameter Titan upper stages...
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    Weight summary and performance chart of the Saturn I/Titan/Centaur...
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    The Saturn I first stage, basically as we know it from history...
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    More later! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  4. #4
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    Saturn I second stage... basically an airstart modified TITAN I ICBM first stage with higher expansion ratio rocket nozzles...
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    Saturn I third stage, basically an enlarged Centaur powered by a pair of RL-10's...
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    The Saturn II improved, higher payload rocket...
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    Weight summary of the Saturn II and performance chart... Basically it's a souped up Saturn I stage (with rougly "double power" "H-2" engines replacing the H-1's on Saturn I) with a new second stage, powered by a pair of liquid hydrogen engines roughly twice the power of a J-2, or about the power of an SSME today... topped by a third stage using a pair of J-2 like engines, with a fourth stage atop that powered by a single J-2 like engine...
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    The beefed up Saturn II first stage... "cluster's NEXT to last stand?"
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    More coming! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  5. #5
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    The Saturn II second stage... basically what we'd call an S-IVB stage with TWO SSME engines on it (though this was LONG before SSME's were ever THOUGHT of, so maybe call them double-power J-2's?? The plans noted that a quad arrangement of what would become J-2 would also work).
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    The Saturn II third stage... again, basically an enlarged Centaur with two roughly J-2 size engines on it...
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    The Saturn II fourth stage... basically a stretched Centaur with a single roughly J-2 size engine on it...
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    One of the lunar landing vehicles, obviously based on the third stage (and some plans called for it to act as the third stage of the rocket and insert itself into LEO, where it would refuel at the station and be launched on to the moon...
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    The "Orbital Launched Lunar Return Vehicle"... basically the crew lander, with the first one acting more for cargo... though it gets weirder... they had plans to BUILD the Earth return ship on the moon!...
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    More later! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  6. #6
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    The crewed lunar lander, with the capsule atop and ascent stage for return to Earth... this was for the DIRECT mode of flight-- no stopoffs in lunar orbit!
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    The "manned orbital transport"... note the weird "Jupiter nosecone" spacecraft (the inverted cone on top of the rocket, covered with another cone for aerodynamics)... this spacecraft would enter "pointy side down" and its shape was based on the Jupiter nosecone, which at the time, the report notes, had just returned two monkeys back from space intact on a Jupiter missile launch (Juno II)...
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    The Saturn II direct lunar landing vehicle... launched atop a Saturn II, refueled at the space station, launched from there to the moon, brake into lunar orbit, and then descend to the surface... NOTE NO ASCENT STAGE!!! (that came later!)
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    The Lunar Earth Return Vehicle, which presumably would be refueled on the lunar surface for the return to Earth...
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    The "Lunar Assembled Earth Return Vehicle"... the idea is, take the lander version with the capsule atop it, ditch the bottom engines and tanks, and replace them with "propulsion modules" landed individually by the "cheapy lander" built for the Saturn I rocket... each of these "propulsion modules" would be self-contained 'mini-stages' complete with their own tanks and rocket engines, which would be parallel staged under the lander in place of its removed descent propulsion tanks and engine, which were no longer needed. More 'cheapy' landers would bring the 7,000 lbs of hypergolic fuel each to fuel the individual "mini-stages" up, filling their tanks for the return trip, since they were shipped to the moon empty... is this any way to run a railroad???
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    More to come! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  7. #7
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    The basic tanker payload for a Saturn I vehicle... basically an enlarged upper stage with a jettisonable nosecone atop it...
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    The "cheapy" lander for Saturn I, carrying an empty "mini-stage" payload on top for the "lunar assembled earth return vehicle" from the previous slides...
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    The "space station" to be constructed in orbit, using an early version of the 'wet workshop' idea that was later proposed for Skylab... along with a few "dedicated" sections launched by Saturn I. Very 2001...
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    Fueling of the "orbital launched lunar vehicle" from a tanker rocket launched up by Saturn I. They just had to rendezvous and stationkeep, not dock... refuel via hoses like Navy oilers used to do...
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    The prototype for the "12 million pound eight F-1 cluster booster" which became known as NOVA... note the direct landing spacecraft on top...
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    More coming! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  8. #8
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    A weight summary and breakdown of the performance and design of the 8 F-1cluster 12 million pound booster... soon to be known as NOVA. The first stage, of course, would use 8 F-1's for 12 million pounds of thrust. Note the second stage, powered by hydrogen, using four of the 1.2 million pound thrust M-1 engines (which were ultimately never built, or rather finished) which would give it a thrust of 4.8 million pounds! The third stage would use a single M-1 hydrogen engine for 1.2 million pounds of thrust... and then the fourth stage, which would use a single 500,000 pound thrust hydrogen engine, rougly the size of an SSME, about double that of a J-2. MONSTER is right!!
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    Saturn II with a nuclear third stage...
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    Saturn II with a nuclear SECOND stage...
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    The "12 million pound thrust F-1 cluster booster" with a parallel staged upper nuclear stage(s)... anybody need 420,000 pounds on the moon?? WE DELIVER!
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    Saturn II with a nuclear upper stage performance chart...
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    More to come! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  9. #9
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    A Saturn II performance chart with the BIG nuclear upper stage-- 1.2 million pound thrust NUCLEAR engine! Geesh! Leave a glowing trail all the way to the moon!
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    The F-1 cluster vehicle with nuclear upper stages performance chart... Anybody need 780,000 pounds in LEO?? WE STILL DELIVER!
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    A nice dimensioned drawing of the F-1 cluster, Saturn I, and Saturn II...
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    A schematic flow diagram showing how everything was supposed to come together at the launch site...
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    "All Saturn I's are designed for water impact under parachute and recoveryby an appropriate vessel"...
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    More to come! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  10. #10
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    A Saturn I first stage being recovered at sea by "an appropriate vessel"...
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    Worldwide sites for possible launch center locations, including the two sites that were dismissed first off the list... SOMALIA (yeah, THAT Somalia!) and Manus Island off New Guinea...
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    Equatorial Launch Complex 4... what would have happened instead of SLC-39 at KSC...
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    Christmas Island map showing the Launch Center as proposed on its eastern side...
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    The other possibility was the coast of Brazil... here's the chosen area, 2 degrees south of the equator near the mouth of the Amazon... shades of Hugo Drax?? LOL
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    More coming! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  11. #11
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    The plans for what was to become the Manned Spacecraft Center (later Johnson Space Center)... the Lunar Environment Research, Development, and Training Center... to be built somewhere "presumably in Arizona, Wyoming, or Montana"... shades of Willard Whyte's "Tektronics" training base in the Bond film, "Diamonds are Forever"??
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    The main facility cross-sectioned at LERDT... including a high-fidelity trainer no doubt... presumably with "low gravity" counterbalanced wires for training astronauts to work in low gravity... (or a good place to film it all and fake it if the plan didn't actually work... LOL)
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    For some reason, a 3,000 foot cliff face was also part of the requirement for the Flight Simulator and Medical Research Facility... which would presumably have been a different installation, "probably in the Rocky Mountains" as the study comments... that cliff probably makes it a lot easier to obtain stool samples, and hey, if the rope breaks, at least you're going to land on the Medical Research Facility!
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    Well, that's it for this one... hope you enjoyed seeing how most of the guys who actually got us to the moon were thinking about how to do it before Kennedy came in and gave it the green light... pretty neat stuff I think! Plus ANY of those Saturn I, Saturn II, or "Nova" boosters would get you plenty of attention at a launch or Future/Fantasy Scale event... even the moon landers would be amenable to flight with clear fins...

    Later and hope you enjoyed it! OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  12. #12
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    Extraordinary. Straight out of 'Space Cadet' (1948).

    Last edited by spacecadet; 28th February 2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: typo

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