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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Forever Apollo.

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Author Topic:   Forever Apollo.
carmelo
Member

Posts: 792
From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 09-19-2005 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well,Apollo is Back.The CEV plan is clearly Apollo revisited - "Apollo on steroids".But back in late 60s-early 70s, should NASA have continued flying and developing Apollo instead of developing
the shuttle? Apollo was originally meant as a general-purpose manned spacecraft, and
it demonstrated much of that flexibility on Skylab and ASTP.
There was serious investigation of re-using both Apollo capsules and
Saturn first stages,and permit land touchdown.

Obviousman
Member

Posts: 427
From: NSW, Australia
Registered: May 2005

posted 09-20-2005 05:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Obviousman   Click Here to Email Obviousman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I certainly agree that it the Apollo spacecraft did an excellent job and that the manned space programme should have been developed further than it was, but....

Apollo was designed with one purpose - to make a manned lunar landing. The fact that it was to some extent versitile was simply the byproduct of an excellent engineering design.

DavidH
Member

Posts: 1181
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-20-2005 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If it's a one-or-the-other option, I'd hate to try and second guess the decision made at the time.

But, yeah, really, the best option would have been to do both.

------------------
http://allthese worlds.hatbag.net/space.php
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

collshubby
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posted 09-20-2005 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for collshubby   Click Here to Email collshubby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In retrospect, you can easily say that not developing the Apollo technology and going with the shuttle design was not a good choice. But if you look at the circumstances at the time, then you can argue that the shuttle was the right choice.

As stated above, Apollo was designed for one purpose - to get us to the Moon. Once we had done that, NASA was in a "what now?" posistion. Go to Mars? Develop space stations? Lunar colonies? With the funding that NASA was getting in the early 70's and with the Soviet Union advancing in space stations, NASA went the space station route. Skylab was a great success, and NASA wanted to build on that.

Again, back to funding. NASA had to develop something reusable, at least to make the taxpayers and politicans happy. The shuttle was planned to be developed in time to service Skylab, with the hopes of a bigger space station in the 80's. We needed a cheap vehicle to get us to and from that station.

But alas, we know how that turned out. The station was not built in the 80's, and the shuttle was not nearly as cheap as everyone hoped. It would have been better to have developed the Apollo technology and move onto Mars, but NASA did the best it could with the money it had.

It looks like now NASA is cutting its losses and moving on, doing now what should have been done thrity years ago. I don't think we should let the ISS go to waste...it is up there and we may as well finish it, crew it completely, and make it the science laboratory it is meant to be.

Hopefully, the international community will utilize ISS better while the U.S. returns to the Moon. It would be great if the ESA could develop human spaceflight capabilities.

Anyway, just some ideas.

------------------
Brian

385th Bombardment Group
B-17 Bomber "War Horse"
http://warhorse.omegappg.com

divemaster
Member

Posts: 1341
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 09-20-2005 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it very interesting that this proposed plan for 2018, is very similar to what Von Braun invisioned in the 50's and early 60's. Pads 34, 37, 39A,B [and the proposed 39C] were to support multiple EOR modes for getting to the Moon and Beyond. I have just finished reading Dr. Space [a bio of VonBraun] and it's interesting that we're going back to original ideas, enhanced with shuttle hardware.

I think it was Dick Gordon who said [in NJ] that he wouldn't mind an Apollo type spacecraft on top of an SRB as long as it had as escape tower. Apollo is proven technology.

I attended a lecture by Harrison Schmitt several years back where he proposed a Saturn VI that was very similar to the heavy launch vehicle that is now being proposed.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

DavidH
Member

Posts: 1181
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-20-2005 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Saturn VI"?

Which raises the question: If the Saturn rockets were so named because they came after the Jupiter rockets, shouldn't NASA's next rocket be ... Uranus?

------------------
http://allthese worlds.hatbag.net/space.php
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

divemaster
Member

Posts: 1341
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 09-20-2005 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was quite an elaborate discussion for the mining of Helium 3 and extended stays on the Moon and onto Mars. I'm trying to remember if his version of the Saturn VI had an additional F1 engine or not - or if it just had an extra stage.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

All times are CT (US)

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