|astronautix.com||Douglas Aircraft Company study on the feasibility of a man-carrying satellite.|
Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., completed an engineering study on the feasibility of designing a man-carrying satellite. The study showed that if a vehicle could be accelerated to a speed of 27 360 km per hr and aimed properly it would revolve on a circular orbit above the Earth's atmosphere as a new satellite. Such a vehicle would make a complete circuit of the Earth approximately every hour and a half.
However, it would not pass over the same ground stations on successive circuits because the Earth would make about a one-sixteenth turn for each circuit of the satellite. Two fuels were considered in the study: hydrogen-oxygen and alcohol- oxygen. The liquid alcohol-hydrogen had been used to propel the German V-2 rockets. The use of either fuel to orbit a man-made satellite, the study showed, would require the use of a multistage vehicle. The study also indicated that maximum acceleration and temperatures could be kept within limits safe for man. The vehicle envisioned would be used in obtaining scientific information on cosmic rays, gravitation, geophysics, terrestrial magnetism, astronomy, and meteorology.