|Gemini Docks with LM - Gemini rendezvous above lunar surface with open cockpit Lunar Module after first lunar landing in 1966|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 36,780 bytes. 373 x 288 pixels.
Original Mercury Mark II proposal foresaw a Gemini capsule and a single-crew open cockpit lunar lander undertaking a lunar orbit rendezvous mission, launched by a Titan C-3.
Craft.Crew Size: 2.
Albert C. Hall of The Martin Company proposed to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator, that the Titan II be considered as a launch vehicle in the lunar landing program. Although skeptical, Seamans arranged for a more formal presentation the next day. Abe Silverstein, NASA's Director of Space Flight Programs, was sufficiently impressed to ask Director Robert R. Gilruth and STG to study the possible uses of Titan II. Silverstein shortly informed Seamans of the possibility of using the Titan II to launch a scaled-up Mercury spacecraft.
Space Task Group engineers James A. Chamberlin and James T. Rose proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound 'lunar lander.' This payload would be launched by a Saturn C-3 in the lunar-orbit-rendezvous mode. The proposal was in direct competition with the Apollo proposals that favored direct landing on the Moon with a 150,000-pound payload launched by a Nova-class vehicle of approximately 12 million pounds of thrust.
James A. Chamberlin and James T. Rose of STG proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound "lunar lander." This payload would be launched by a Saturn C-3 in the lunar orbit rendezvous mode. The proposal was in direct competition with the Apollo proposals that favored direct landing on the moon and involved a 150,000-pound payload launched by a Nova-class vehicle with approximately 12 million pounds of thrust.
|Gemini-Centaur-LM - Gemini for lunar landing with Centaur and Langley open cockpit Lunar Module|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 2,613 bytes. 632 x 143 pixels.
D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA Director of Manned Space Flight, outlined the preliminary project development plan for the Mercury Mark II program in a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The primary objective of the program was to develop rendezvous techniques; important secondary objectives were long-duration flights, controlled land recovery, and astronaut training. The development of rendezvous capability, Holmes stated, was essential: