|astronautix.com||BIS Lunar Lander|
The British Interplanetary Society studied a number of lunar lander concepts in the 1940's and 1950's.
A paper read to the British Interplanetary Society by H. E. Ross described a manned lunar landing mission which would require a combination of the earth orbit and lunar orbit rendezvous techniques. Three spacecraft would be launched simultaneously into earth orbit, each carrying a pilot. After rendezvous, the crew would transfer to ship A, which would refuel from ships B and C. Ship C would be discarded completely, but ship B would be fueled with the surplus not needed by A. The spacecraft would then be fired into a translunar trajectory. Upon reaching the vicinity of the moon, the spacecraft would go into lunar orbit, detach fuel tanks, and descend to the lunar surface. To return to earth, the spacecraft would rendezvous with the fuel tanks, refuel, and fire into a transearth trajectory. On approaching the earth, the spacecraft would rendezvous with ship B, the crew would transfer to ship B, and descend to earth. The ability to rendezvous in space was seen to be the essential element of such a project. The total payload weight at launch would be 1,326 tons equally divided among the three ships as compared to 2.6 times this weight required for a direct ascent and return from the moon.