|Lunex Lunar Lander|
Lunex Project Manned Spacecraft
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The largest single development objective for the 1961 US Air Force Lunex program was to provide a spacecraft capable of transporting men and equipment to the lunar surface and returning them to a selected earth base. This payload would consist of a Lunar Landing Stage, Lunar Launch Stage and a 3-man Lunex Re-entry Vehicle.
This payload was 16.1 m long, and the interface diameter with the Space Launching System was 7.62 m. The complete payload weighed 61,000 kg at escape velocity, and a 9,163 kg Manned Re-entry Vehicle was returned to the earth.
|Figure 4-3 - Overhead view of Lunex Spacecraft|
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Another major problem facing the re-entry vehicle development program was the life support package. The planned schedule required the manned life support package to be designed on the basis of earlier primate shots, Mercury shots and the Discoverer series.
|Figure 4-3 - Inboard Profile of Lunex Spacecraft|
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|Lunex Lunar Lander - Two view drawing of Lunex Lunar Lander, showing center of gravity and coordinate system stations.|
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|Lunex BC-2720 LV - Lunex BC-2720 launch vehicle installed on the pad.|
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The successful support of the Lunar Expedition required a capability to deliver relatively large Cargo Packages to the lunar surface. These Cargo Packages would be soft landed at the desired lunar sites by the Lunar Landing Stage. Each Cargo Package will weigh approximately 20,500 kg and be specifically designed to carry the items desired to support the expedition.
Craft.Crew Size: 3. Total Length: 16.2 m. Maximum Diameter: 7.6 m. Total Mass: 61,000 kg.
Testifying before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Maj. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, Commander of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, stated that all three military services should be studying the possibility of a base on the moon. Up to that point, he felt, all such studies had been "in the blue thinking."
Key staff members of NASA Headquarters and the Commander, U.S. Air Force Research and Development Command, met at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Los Angeles, Calif., to attend briefings and discuss matters of mutual concern.
At an executive session, Air Force and NASA programs of orbital rendezvous, refueling, and descent from orbit were discussed. Long-range Air Force studies on a lunar base were in progress as well as research on more immediate missions, such as rendezvous by an unmanned satellite interceptor for inspection purposes, manned maintenance satellites, and reentry methods. NASA plans for the manned lunar landing mission included the possible use of the Saturn booster in an orbital staging operation employing orbital refueling. Reentry studies beyond Mercury were concentrated on reentry at escape speeds and on a spacecraft configuration capable of aerodynamic maneuvering during reentry.