|astronautix.com||Apollo Lunar Base|
|Apollo Lunar Base|
Credit: NASA. 19,327 bytes. 462 x 355 pixels.
The Apollo transportation system was not designed for support of a lunar base, in the sense that none of it was reused (although the Command Module could be made reusable). But it was in existence and offered potential for continued and extended lunar exploration, given proper funding. This potential was the subject of detailed studies by NASA, Boeing, North American Rockwell, and Grumman Aerospace Corporation. These studies were part of the larger program of post-Apollo earth orbit and lunar activities that would exploit the Saturn launch vehicle and Apollo spacecraft technology developed for Apollo. At various times, these activities were called Apollo X, Apollo Extension Systems (AES), or Apollo Applications Program (AAP). From 1965 to 1968 NASA planned to follow the initial Apollo lunar landing series with the build-up of ever more sophisticated lunar bases. But as the Viet Nam War and public indifference cut into NASA budgets, these plans were continuously cut-back. This can be seen in the number of Saturn V launches allocated by NASA for Apollo Applications Program lunar activities:
|Apollo LOR Expeditio|
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The three prime components of the Apollo system were the launch vehicle (Saturn V), the Command and Service Module (CSM), and the Lunar Module (LM). Each of these could be modified into a larger number of alternative configurations.
The standard Saturn V could deliver 49 metric tonnes into trans-lunar injection (TLI). The LM as personnel carrier delivered 2 astronauts and between 150 to 500 kg of discretionary payload to the lunar surface for an operational stay time of 3 days. The LM Taxi derivative could deliver (but not house) two astronauts to the surface and to return them to the orbiting CSM after a two week lunar surface stay in separately-landed habitat. The LM Taxi represented an LM modified slightly to give it the capability for a 14-day quiescent (inactive) lunar stay time, in addition to 3 days (active) operational time. At the same time, the CSM had to be given the capability)to operate with one astronaut for 30 days in lunar orbit. This affected primarily consumables (Lox/H2 for the fuel cells, RCS propellants, food, gases, and other life support consumables).
|Apollo Lunar Base|
Credit: NASA. 16,987 bytes. 485 x 357 pixels.
By modifying the third stage of the Saturn V (S-IVB) for operation in lunar space, and by providing a 40-day quiescent capability for an unmanned CSM in lunar orbit, all three astronauts could be landed on the Moon for a 30-day stay time.
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The SLA mini-base would be delivered first by an unmanned shelter-logistics launch vehicle, followed by a personnel carrier launch which delivered two astronauts in an LM Taxi for the mini-base. Since it would not be practical to leave one astronaut in the CSM circling the moon for 100 days, the third astronaut flies the CSM back to Earth. Three months later, a third mission would be launched to return the lunar base crew to Earth.
|Lunar Colony - NASA Lunar Colony, NASA 1970 Concept|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 43,694 bytes. 632 x 471 pixels.
First, the unmanned SLA LOB/LSB is delivered into lunar orbit, followed by the personnel transport launch. The two lunar surface astronauts occupy the LM Taxi, while the CSM with the two lunar orbit astronauts is transferred to the SLA LOB/LSB complex. There they control the unmanned descent of the LSB, using the first SM and the LM descent stage. Preceding or following the LSB landing, the surface astronauts descend in the LM Taxi.
The cargo delivered to the surface in the LSB, along with the consumables, was 3,100 kg for 2 men and 60 days, corresponding to 25.7 kg/man-day.
Craft.Crew Size: 3.
Because of the Apollo 204 accident in January and the resulting program delays, NASA realigned its Apollo and AAP launch schedules. The new AAP schedule called for 25 Saturn IB and 14 Saturn V launches. Major hardware for these launches would be two Workshops flown on Saturn IB vehicles, two Saturn V Workshops, and three ATMs. Under this new schedule, the first Workshop launch would come in January 1969.
NASA Hq issued a revised AAP schedule incorporating recent budgetary cutbacks. The schedule reflected the reduction of AAP lunar activity to four missions and of Saturn V Workshop activity to 17 Saturn IB and 7 Saturn V launches. There would be two Workshops launched on Saturn IBs, one Saturn V Workshop, and three ATMs. Launch of the first Workshop was scheduled for March 1970.
NASA budgetary restraints required an additional cut in AAP launches. The reduced program called for three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches, including one Workshop launched on a Saturn IB, one Saturn V Workshop, and one ATM. Two lunar missions were planned. Launch of the first Workshop would be in April 1970.
NASA released a new AAP launch readiness and delivery schedule. The schedule decreased the number of Saturn flights to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. It called for three Workshops. One of the Workshops would be launched by a Saturn IB, and another would serve as a backup. The third Workshop would be launched by a Saturn V. The schedule also included one ATM. Launch of the first Workshop would be in November 1970. Lunar missions were no longer planned in the AAP.