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ToSeek
2014-Oct-17, 08:04 PM
Interesting article imagining what might have happened if NASA had had the will and political support to stick with Apollo and the Saturn V:

Dreaming a Different Apollo (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/dreamingadifferentapollo/)


Apollo didn’t die; it was killed. The Apollo Program might have continued for many years, evolving constantly to achieve new goals at relatively low cost. Instead, programs designed to give Apollo a future beyond the first lunar landing began to feel the brunt of cuts even before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. By the time Apollo drew to its premature conclusion – the last mission to use Apollo hardware was the joint U.S.-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) of July 1975 – NASA was busy building a wholly new space program based on the Space Shuttle. Throwing out the Apollo investment and starting over with Shuttle was incredibly wasteful both in terms of learned capabilities and money.

KaiYeves
2014-Oct-17, 08:13 PM
I really like the idea of alt-Skylab being called Olympus to keep with the Greco-Roman theme naming.

Swift
2014-Oct-17, 09:06 PM
I found that somewhat depressing. Oh, what might have been...

Buttercup
2014-Oct-17, 09:08 PM
Yeah. :( I think that's a huge window of opportunity which can never be re-opened, for many various reasons. Opportunity only knocks once, usually.

Hope I'm wrong, though.

redshifter
2014-Oct-17, 09:28 PM
I remember reading in Andrew Chaikin's A Man on the Moon about how NASA was even contemplating manned trips to Mars back then, riding the Apollo successes. Sadly, the political, financial, and social will to do such a thing died the moment we landed on the Moon. For many laypeople back then, the landing wasn't about science, it was just 'we did it, now time to move on'. As I recall, there were originally going to be 22(?) Apollo missions but budget cuts even by Apollo 11 meant cancelling future missions.

Hypmotoad
2014-Oct-17, 10:02 PM
I remember reading in Andrew Chaikin's A Man on the Moon about how NASA was even contemplating manned trips to Mars back then, riding the Apollo successes. Sadly, the political, financial, and social will to do such a thing died the moment we landed on the Moon. For many laypeople back then, the landing wasn't about science, it was just 'we did it, now time to move on'. As I recall, there were originally going to be 22(?) Apollo missions but budget cuts even by Apollo 11 meant cancelling future missions.

The whole space program at the time was purely political stunting to one up the soviets during the cold war. Sadly, scientific achievements were purely secondary to those funding the program. We had to be SEEN as the better alternative to communism.

The political landscape today has changed a bit. Younger parasites are now being elected into office and they seem genuinely curious about Europa, Titan, Enchilada, (not a joke, I never can spell this one) as well as other aspects of our solar system we are starting to see.

I actually have a fair amount of hope that we will land men on Mars during my lifetime. I'd surely hate to be wrong here.

Superluminal
2014-Oct-17, 11:35 PM
I was just 10 in 1969. My biggest disappointment was in people. I thought Apollo would be an enlightening experience. Unfortunantley, for most people, it was just a brief "oh wow that's cool" and then back to the drudgery of life. I couldn't believe that I actually met people who didn't care.

Hypmotoad
2014-Oct-18, 12:55 AM
I feel ya Brutha, I was 8. And everything was astronauts and unicorns. I was the only cub scout that whined my dad into ordering a series of booklets which would arrive monthly about, well, science and everything. With the order came a model of the lunar lander which I needed help in putting together.

It looked so awesome on my little desk.

But I just knew the moon was only the beginning. I remember where I was when the eagle landed as clearly as when the towers fell on 9/11.

Short version: I still have hope I'll live to see a Mars landing.

Incidentally, if I recall correctly, the Milkyway was the entire universe. I could be wrong but seem to remember it that way.

At least the little bit of literature portrayed it as such, offhand, I don't remember when Elrond Hubble blasted the universe wide open.

The name was a joke, sorry, sometimes I can't resist.

It must be a psychic thing.

geonuc
2014-Oct-18, 10:05 AM
I like the idea of a nuclear-powered lunar rover driving from one Apollo landing site to the next.

KaiYeves
2014-Oct-18, 02:55 PM
The whole space program at the time was purely political stunting to one up the soviets during the cold war. Sadly, scientific achievements were purely secondary to those funding the program. We had to be SEEN as the better alternative to communism.

The political landscape today has changed a bit. Younger parasites are now being elected into office and they seem genuinely curious about Europa, Titan, Enchilada, (not a joke, I never can spell this one) as well as other aspects of our solar system we are starting to see.

I actually have a fair amount of hope that we will land men on Mars during my lifetime. I'd surely hate to be wrong here.

Enceladus?

Glom
2014-Oct-19, 04:03 AM
Apollo 2 and 3 weren't cancelled. It was just a confusion over naming.

I though the speculation in that book that I have was better. It covered all that, but went further with GEO space station, a composite 100 man Skylab and eventually Mars. It also explored cooler Moon stuff like the mooncopter and the moon Rv.

Squink
2014-Oct-19, 06:05 PM
Apollo didn’t die; it was killed.Is this not common knowledge? What are they teaching kids in school these days?

FarmMarsNow
2014-Oct-19, 09:22 PM
Is this not common knowledge? What are they teaching kids in school these days?
They taught me how awesome the space shuttle was and how it was better than rockets, because it was reusable. Not only did a rocket go to the moon, but we were improving on rocket technology! Naturally that made a lot of sense to a kid, and there were pretty pictures of the shuttle opening and closing its huge bay doors. Rockets didn't have large bay doors so a shuttle was better. :clap:

Trebuchet
2014-Oct-20, 06:46 PM
I was reminded of this thread by today's XKCD (http://xkcd.com/1436/) so came back and read the article. I wasn't really all that impressed.


I found that somewhat depressing. Oh, what might have been...

Or not. The article seemed wildly optimistic.


The whole space program at the time was purely political stunting to one up the soviets during the cold war. Sadly, scientific achievements were purely secondary to those funding the program. We had to be SEEN as the better alternative to communism.

Which exactly why "Apollo didn't die, it was killed" is pretty much wrong. The program was funded based almost entirely on political, not scientific, goals. Once those goals were accomplished the funding, and hence the program, died a very natural and predictable death. Predicted by Lyndon Johnson, no less:

Johnson mused that, “the way the American people are, now that they have all this capability, instead of taking advantage of it, they’ll probably just (throw) it all away.”

swampyankee
2014-Oct-20, 07:02 PM
I feel ya Brutha, I was 8. And everything was astronauts and unicorns. I was the only cub scout that whined my dad into ordering a series of booklets which would arrive monthly about, well, science and everything. With the order came a model of the lunar lander which I needed help in putting together.

It looked so awesome on my little desk.

But I just knew the moon was only the beginning. I remember where I was when the eagle landed as clearly as when the towers fell on 9/11.

Short version: I still have hope I'll live to see a Mars landing.

Incidentally, if I recall correctly, the Milkyway was the entire universe. I could be wrong but seem to remember it that way.

At least the little bit of literature portrayed it as such, offhand, I don't remember when Elrond Hubble blasted the universe wide open.

The name was a joke, sorry, sometimes I can't resist.

It must be a psychic thing.


I was 15. Nixon, reportedly, strongly disliked the space program. Apollo was dead the second he was sworn into office. The Shuttle was developed only because the DoD was brought on board, which promptly increased complexity, size, and cost of operation.

As for the Milky Way being demoted from the Universe to just a galaxy in the Universe, that happened long before the space program.

NEOWatcher
2014-Oct-20, 08:02 PM
Which exactly why "Apollo didn't die, it was killed" is pretty much wrong. The program was funded based almost entirely on political, not scientific, goals. Once those goals were accomplished the funding, and hence the program, died a very natural and predictable death. Predicted by Lyndon Johnson, no less:
I agree. After all, the goal was Kennedy's and didn't go beyond the moon shots.

It was NASA who was developing this stuff "in case" they could keep the funding up.

Glom
2014-Oct-25, 05:29 AM
I agree. After all, the goal was Kennedy's and didn't go beyond the moon shots.

It was NASA who was developing this stuff "in case" they could keep the funding up.

It was Von Braun and those starry eyed dreamers with their heads so far in the clouds, they were oblivious to the facts (and slaves) on the ground.

Jens
2014-Oct-25, 09:06 AM
Is this not common knowledge? What are they teaching kids in school these days?

I was a bit bothered by that comment. Apollo was a government program, and government programs are programs and so by definition cannot have natural births or deaths. They must be born by a decision to fund them, and end with a decision to not find them. The only way I can think of for a government program to die a natural death is for example if the country is obliterated by an asteroid. Then, yes, all programs will die a natural death, but otherwise there has to be a decision not to continue funding.

NEOWatcher
2014-Oct-27, 11:47 AM
It was Von Braun and those starry eyed dreamers with their heads so far in the clouds
Like I said... NASA. ;)

It doesn't hurt to dream.

publiusr
2014-Nov-01, 08:31 PM
Interesting article imagining what might have happened if NASA had had the will and political support to stick with Apollo and the Saturn V:

Dreaming a Different Apollo (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/dreamingadifferentapollo/)

"Apollo didn’t die; it was killed."


David has a good site there at Wired. I think a lot of him.
He is working on a book--and here is his go at Bellcomm's ideas
http://www.wired.com/2014/10/filling-gap-bellcomms-1968-lunar-exploration-program/

One of the things I have heard in recent years is how some of the newspacers who minimize recent private disasters love to refer to the Apollo method as a "failure". That somehow it was not sustainable this, overpriced that--the same cheap shots I hear these days.

David puts the lie to these objectivists and their attempt to re-write history which is--in my view--even more damaging than Moon Hoax Believers ever thought about being.

Calls for a NASA BRAC, attempts to dismantle and sell off infrastructure, etc: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/341/1

In the same way this site decided to call denialists ATM--the same is going to have to be done for those who want to dismantle NASA. It's the same people. Rick Boozer. or so I have heard, is a climate denialist.

he was also an anti-SLS goon...recently taken down here:
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/editorial/opinion-newspace-needs-nasa-know/

More of my thoughts in light of the recent tragedy:
http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=10320703#post10320703

ToSeek
2014-Nov-03, 11:07 PM
It was Von Braun and those starry eyed dreamers with their heads so far in the clouds, they were oblivious to the facts (and slaves) on the ground.

Von Braun at least had envisioned a gradual approach to building a space infrastructure, starting with a space station and only from there using it to go to the Moon. Apollo in a way was a disaster for manned space exploration because it skipped all the logical intermediate steps in favor of one bold but unsustainable leap.

kzb
2014-Nov-04, 12:53 PM
At the time it was seen as incredibly wasteful that all that hardware got used only once. A re-usable space plane was the way to go.

Quite frankly I think this is correct. it just wants doing in the right way.

In the future, it's turning the clock back to disposable rockets that will be seen as the mistake.

KaiYeves
2014-Nov-04, 03:44 PM
Von Braun at least had envisioned a gradual approach to building a space infrastructure, starting with a space station and only from there using it to go to the Moon. Apollo in a way was a disaster for manned space exploration because it skipped all the logical intermediate steps in favor of one bold but unsustainable leap.

I think I've said this before, but I applaud you for saying something I would never be brave enough to say.

selvaarchi
2014-Nov-04, 09:41 PM
Von Braun at least had envisioned a gradual approach to building a space infrastructure, starting with a space station and only from there using it to go to the Moon. Apollo in a way was a disaster for manned space exploration because it skipped all the logical intermediate steps in favor of one bold but unsustainable leap.
One reason why I am a supporter of the Chinese approach to space exploration. Unmanned exploration of the moon and at the same time concentrate on building their space station. Only then manned exploration of the moon.

US approach to Mars is very much like the Apollo way of doing it to the moon.

Jens
2014-Nov-04, 09:57 PM
David puts the lie to these objectivists and their attempt to re-write history which is--in my view--even more damaging than Moon Hoax Believers ever thought about being.


Objectivists? Do you mean they are followers of Ayn Rand, or do you just mean objectors?

John Mendenhall
2014-Nov-05, 12:39 AM
At the time it was seen as incredibly wasteful that all that hardware got used only once. A re-usable space plane was the way to go.

Quite frankly I think this is correct. it just wants doing in the right way.

In the future, it's turning the clock back to disposable rockets that will be seen as the mistake.

And what way is the right way? An orbiting spacecraft has to be accelerated to 18000 mph, and to return has to have equivalent deceleration. It is intrinsically very dangerous; we proved it 14 times already. It absolutely will not turn around like an airplane. Every inch of the craft and every function has to be checked and rechecked. I don't want to ride in one that's had a refueling and quick visual inspection.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-05, 12:58 PM
One reason why I am a supporter of the Chinese approach to space exploration. Unmanned exploration of the moon and at the same time concentrate on building their space station. Only then manned exploration of the moon.

US approach to Mars is very much like the Apollo way of doing it to the moon.
Explain that.

The US has done unmanned exploration of Mars and has built and operated a space station. There are also steps for 30 day asteroid missions before attempting a manned Mars exploration.

I see no difference.

selvaarchi
2014-Nov-05, 01:11 PM
Explain that.

The US has done unmanned exploration of Mars and has built and operated a space station. There are also steps for 30 day asteroid missions before attempting a manned Mars exploration.

I see no difference.
The US plans keep changing unlike the Chinese plans.

NEOWatcher
2014-Nov-05, 01:44 PM
The US plans keep changing unlike the Chinese plans.
The Chinese don't publicly publish detailed plans, just vague general statements. So; we have no idea if their plans change.

Besides, It's not "keep changing". We changed our plans ONCE. From Constellation to the NASA Authorization act of 2010.

Glom
2014-Nov-05, 02:18 PM
Von Braun at least had envisioned a gradual approach to building a space infrastructure, starting with a space station and only from there using it to go to the Moon. Apollo in a way was a disaster for manned space exploration because it skipped all the logical intermediate steps in favor of one bold but unsustainable leap.
And his plan for utilising the Apollo hardware was brilliant. But either way it was head in the clouds. Apollo delivered results. That's the one thing the detractors who didn't want to fund the space program had to admit. But a methodical approach would never have sustained the interest of the purse string holders. So I don't think it's fair to characterise Apollo in that way. They were screwed either way and the dreamers were always just dreamers.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-23, 09:05 AM
Selva, what do you think about this claim made by ToSeek?


Von Braun at least had envisioned a gradual approach to building a space infrastructure, starting with a space station and only from there using it to go to the Moon. Apollo in a way was a disaster for manned space exploration because it skipped all the logical intermediate steps in favor of one bold but unsustainable leap.

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-23, 10:12 AM
Selva, what do you think about this claim made by ToSeek?

I believe that is what China is planing to do that with their moon mission. Space Station first and then use it as a staging post for their manned moon missions in the 2020s. Their lager rocket to go directly there will not be ready till 2030 and then might be used in building the 1st base on the moon.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-23, 12:26 PM
I believe that is what China is planing to do that with their moon mission. Space Station first and then use it as a staging post for their manned moon missions in the 2020s. Their lager rocket to go directly there will not be ready till 2030 and then might be used in building the 1st base on the moon.

What about a Lunar orbital station, inter-orbital tug and Moon lander? Without it the Earth orbital station (LEO) doesn't make sense, isn't it?

By the way, have you ever thought why for the Apollo missions they chose to separate and dock on the way to the Moon and not on the Earth's orbit where it would be less risky? Just imagine what would happen if Apollo 13 crew module failed to dock with the LEM!

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-23, 01:30 PM
What about a Lunar orbital station, inter-orbital tug and Moon lander? Without it the Earth orbital station (LEO) doesn't make sense, isn't it?

By the way, have you ever thought why for the Apollo missions they chose to separate and dock on the way to the Moon and not on the Earth's orbit where it would be less risky? Just imagine what would happen if Apollo 13 crew module failed to dock with the LEM!

China has not officially released their plans for their manned missions to the moon. I am hoping that when they release their next 5 year plan in March it will at least have their high level plans for the moon and beyond..

On Apollo, I guess that decision was taken when they decided to go directly to the moon using the Saturn rocket.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-23, 01:52 PM
On Apollo, I guess that decision was taken when they decided to go directly to the moon using the Saturn rocket.

Yes - they planned thoroughly the scheme of the flight after "one-launch" project was chosen (Werner Von Braun suggested several different schemes). But they could do the docking in the Earth orbit (like they did it in the Apollo 9 mission) which would be less dangerous, or not?

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-23, 02:25 PM
Yes - they planned thoroughly the scheme of the flight after "one-launch" project was chosen (Werner Von Braun suggested several different schemes). But they could do the docking in the Earth orbit (like they did it in the Apollo 9 mission) which would be less dangerous, or not?

I must admit I do not know enough to be able to answer that. Perhaps someone else can.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-23, 07:01 PM
Maybe someone else will answer. I guess (I'm not sure though) that the strength of the Lunar Module wasn't enough to withstand the "pressure" of the heavy command and service module (fully tanked) due to the acceleration by the second ignition of the third stage, launching the mission on the Moon path. That's why they perhaps did the separation and docking after the acceleration... Is it important? Yes, I think it is. I will continue in the "colonization" thread.

schlaugh
2016-Jan-23, 08:28 PM
If you have spent million$ to get the whole stack into space, and given the strategic goals of the program, a failed docking en route simply means you go with a lunar orbital mission. Thst said, they could always do a direct abort with the CSM engine and return to Earth. If a mission abort problem came up while still in LEO, that would be different. You then have the issue of separating the CM from the S-IVB and the CSM and (pesumably) sending those heavily-fueled sections into an escape orbit; not sure what the specific plan was in that case but I suspect NASA would notvwant that fuel to burn up, even over an ocean. But I may be incorrect.ETA: Apollo 14 took 6 attempts to dock with the LEM. When asked about it post-mission, Al Shepard said he was ready to go EVA, grab the probe and direct it into the docking collar with his hands (or something like that).ETA2: Here you go: https://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/science/nasa/020171sci-nasa-wilford.html

schlaugh
2016-Jan-23, 08:48 PM
Also, of the three options; direct to the moon and back on a single craft, Earth-orbit rendezvous where two stages docked before proceeding to tge moon, and Lunar Orbit rendezvous, Earth-orbit rendezvous meant building a station to facilitate the missions. But cost and time constraints found LOR to be the only viable option. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/Rendezvous.html

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-23, 10:19 PM
Also, of the three options; direct to the moon and back on a single craft, Earth-orbit rendezvous where two stages docked before proceeding to tge moon, and Lunar Orbit rendezvous, Earth-orbit rendezvous meant building a station to facilitate the missions. But cost and time constraints found LOR to be the only viable option. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/Rendezvous.html

Thanks for the article. It explains in simple language why the lunar-orbit rendezvous (LOR) was the favored option. Reading it also implies, with a Space Station infrastructure, the Earth-orbit rendezvous (EOR) would have won out.

schlaugh
2016-Jan-23, 10:49 PM
Maybe someone else will answer. I guess (I'm not sure though) that the strength of the Lunar Module wasn't enough to withstand the "pressure" of the heavy command and service module (fully tanked) due to the acceleration by the second ignition of the third stage, launching the mission on the Moon path. That's why they perhaps did the separation and docking after the acceleration... Is it important? Yes, I think it is. I will continue in the "colonization" thread.

Good observation; during Lunar Orbit Insertion, third stage thrust stress on the docking mechanisms was probably undesirable. But clearly it was sufficiently strong when the stack was only the three payload components and thrust came from the CSM engine.

ETA: And of course the mass of the CSM and CM would push "down" on the LEM during LOI if they were docked. Also probably not a good idea.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-24, 02:48 PM
Yes, the Ascending Stage of the LEM is rather fragile - it could withstand 4g acceleration during the launch of the Saturn V (before the separation of the first stage), but in that case relatively light upper part of AS is pushing down on the rest of the LEM. During the ignition of the main engine of CSM to enter the Lunar orbit only Descending Stage is "squeezing" the AS (against the CSM). So far Apollo is the only assembled spacecraft reached the Lunar orbit. But it wasn't put together in the Earth orbit...

publiusr
2016-Jan-24, 08:03 PM
Von Braun at least had envisioned a gradual approach to building a space infrastructure, starting with a space station and only from there using it to go to the Moon. Apollo in a way was a disaster for manned space exploration because it skipped all the logical intermediate steps in favor of one bold but unsustainable leap.

With no STS, the Saturn would have played a part in gradual infrastructure. It had a role:

The person who wrote the post--Portree--is starting a new series of posts:

"In the next few months, I plan several new posts that will describe some possible intermediate steps that could link where we are (a space station in low-Earth orbit and remote-controlled rovers, landers, and orbiters slowly exploring Mars) with where we logically should be headed (a science base at Mars with a long-term human population - think Antarctica - working closely with teleoperated machines). That could in turn lead where some of us want to be (a permanent, self-sustaining Mars colony serving as a jumping-off place for a new branch of humanity)."

http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/2016/01/bridging-gap-between-space-station-and.html

Stay tuned.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-24, 09:44 PM
"In the next few months, I plan several new posts that will describe some possible intermediate steps that could link where we are (a space station in low-Earth orbit and remote-controlled rovers, landers, and orbiters slowly exploring Mars) with where we logically should be headed (a science base at Mars with a long-term human population - think Antarctica - working closely with teleoperated machines). That could in turn lead where some of us want to be (a permanent, self-sustaining Mars colony serving as a jumping-off place for a new branch of humanity)."

Why are they so obsessed with Mars? Mars is absolutely useless for human race, at least at the moment. Maybe they will think of something in the far future, but not now. It is just a misleading "Apollo-like" idea, which will brake the space exploration progress.

bknight
2016-Jan-25, 01:25 PM
They taught me how awesome the space shuttle was and how it was better than rockets, because it was reusable. Not only did a rocket go to the moon, but we were improving on rocket technology! Naturally that made a lot of sense to a kid, and there were pretty pictures of the shuttle opening and closing its huge bay doors. Rockets didn't have large bay doors so a shuttle was better. :clap:

Edit to quote the correct post.
I agree and Frank Borman said it best Americans weren't/aren't interested in exploration, but they were sure as hell interested in beating the Russians(to the Moon).

7cscb
2016-Jan-26, 05:16 PM
Why are they so obsessed with Mars? Mars is absolutely useless for human race, at least at the moment. Maybe they will think of something in the far future, but not now. It is just a misleading "Apollo-like" idea, which will brake the space exploration progress.

Worth repeating.

publiusr
2016-Jan-30, 08:37 PM
Apollo was no mistake. STS killing the Saturns? THAT was the mistake.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-30, 09:51 PM
Apollo was no mistake. STS killing the Saturns? THAT was the mistake.

Saturn V was a good thing! "Apollo" and "Saturn" are connected but they are not the same! STS also could be useful.... Sometimes.
But there was a project to launch a "space plane" using Saturn V (instead of the 3d stage). Anyway, Saturn V is still the most reliable and efficient rocket...

Extravoice
2016-Jan-30, 10:45 PM
Apollo was no mistake. STS killing the Saturns? THAT was the mistake.

If your goal is to build a space station that requires many trips to orbit, a reusable space pickup truck might seem like a good idea.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out as well as planned.

Gorbovski
2016-Jan-31, 12:00 PM
If your goal is to build a space station that requires many trips to orbit, a reusable space pickup truck might seem like a good idea.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out as well as planned.
Orbital station is also not a goal. Just a nod, where "passengers" could "change the line". They started to develop a concept of the space shuttle yet before the end of the Apollo program - as the first stage of the "Lunar transport". Two other stages were never built... Let me show another "what if" concept - a "futuristic" picture painted in the USA magazine "America" (for the Soviet Union - that's why it is in Russian) back in the beginning of... 1971! Just scroll down and look at the pictures.... http://epizodsspace.no-ip.org/bibl/america/1971/172/kosmos.html