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LORL Space Station
LORL Space Station - Large Orbital Research Station with docked Dynasoar ferry

Credit: US Air Force. 16,605 bytes. 303 x 287 pixels.



Class: Manned. Type: Space Station. Nation: USA.

Large Orbiting Research Laboratory was a term applied to a number of NASA and USAF designs of the 1960's intended to succeed MORL. Typically these were rotating stations orbited in a single Saturn V launch. NASA finally decided it preferred a large zero-G station, which became the baseline for studies by 1968.


Specification


LORL Chronology


22 January 1963 Orbiting Space Station. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.

Addressing an Institute of Aerospace Science meeting in New York, George von Tiesenhausen, Chief of Future Studies at NASA's Launch Operations Center, stated that by 1970 the United States would need an orbiting space station to launch and repair spacecraft. The station could also serve as a manned scientific laboratory. In describing the 91-m-long, 10-m-diameter structure, von Tiesenhausen said that the station could be launched in two sections using Saturn C-5 vehicles. The sections would be joined once in orbit.


01 March 1963 Apollo-derived 18 crew space station. Program: Apollo X.

MSC proposed building a manned space station using hardware already under development for the Apollo program. MSC's plan called for an orbiting station with a capacity for 18 crewmen. Manning would be accomplished through successive flights of six-man, modified Apollo-type spacecraft that would rendezvous with the station in orbit.


19 January 1964 Space station study contracts for a 24-man orbital laboratory.

MSC announced two space station study contracts to compare concepts for a 24-man orbital laboratory: one with the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and another with Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., Missiles and Space Systems Division. The stations were to be designed for a useful orbital lifetime of about five years, with periodic resupply and crew rotations.


26 February 1964 Lockheed recommendations on a scientific space station program. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.

The Lockheed-California Company released details of its recommendations to MSC on a scientific space station program. The study concluded that a manned station with a crew of 24 could be orbiting the Earth in 1968. Total cost of the program including logistics spacecraft and ground support was estimated at $2.6 billion for five years' operation. Lockheed's study recommended the use of a Saturn V to launch the unmanned laboratory into orbit and then launching a manned logistics vehicle to rendezvous and dock at the station.


12 March 1964 Project Development Plan for the Manned Orbital Research Laboratory. Program: Apollo X.

Edward Z. Gray, Advanced Manned Missions Director in the Office of Manned Space Flight, asked LaRC Director Charles J. Donlan to prepare a Project Development Plan for the Manned Orbital Research Laboratory, studies for which were already underway at the Center and under contract. This plan was needed as documentation for any possible decision to initiate an orbital research laboratory project. (Gray had also asked MSC to submit similar plans for an Apollo X, an Apollo Orbital Research Laboratory, and a Large Orbital Research Laboratory.) In addition to the Project Development Plan, Gray asked for system specifications for each candidate orbital laboratory system; both of these would form the basis for a project proposal with little delay 'should a climate exist in which a new project can be started.'



LORL Space StationLORL Space Station - Large Orbital Research Station with docked Dynasoar ferry

Credit: US Air Force. 58,159 bytes. 605 x 573 pixels.


01 April 1964 Rotating manned orbital research laboratory for a Saturn V launch vehicle. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.

A study to recommend, define, and substantiate a logical approach for establishing a rotating manned orbital research laboratory for a Saturn V launch vehicle was made for MSC. The study was performed by the Lockheed-California Company, Burbank, California. It was based on the proposition that a large rotating space station would be one method by which the United States could maintain its position as a leader in space technology. Additional Details: Rotating manned orbital research laboratory for a Saturn V launch vehicle..


03 August 1964 Preliminary draft report of the Ad Hoc Astronomy Panel of the Orbiting Research Laboratory (ORL).

Willis B. Foster, Director of Manned Space Science in the Office of Space Science and Applications, distributed a preliminary draft report of the Ad Hoc Astronomy Panel of the Orbiting Research Laboratory (ORL). The panel, which met on 26 October 1963 and again on 24 June 1964, was created to sound out the American scientific community on the validity of manned astronomy in space and to define astronomy objectives for the ORL, mission. Additional Details: Preliminary draft report of the Ad Hoc Astronomy Panel of the Orbiting Research Laboratory (ORL)..


30 July 1965 Final report on Lockheed modular multipurpose space station.

The final report on a modular multipurpose space station was delivered to MSC by the Spacecraft Organization of Lockheed-California Company. The concept provided for a sequential evolution of space vehicles ranging from small Apollo-dependent laboratories, through larger, more versatile laboratories, to a semipermanent space station. Initial objectives of the study were to refine and optimize the design of the large orbital research laboratory. Additional Details: Final report on Lockheed modular multipurpose space station..


01 September 1965 Webb sees time as right to begin serious study of a Saturn V space station. Program: OWS. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.

During several visits to MSC, NASA Administrator James E. Webb raised a number of technical and policy questions relating to programs and management practices. Webb seemed particularly concerned about the difficulty of getting the program offices at Headquarters and the Centers to take an active interest in NASA's potential influence in the national economy and world affairs. Additional Details: Webb sees time as right to begin serious study of a Saturn V space station..


01 December 1965 Boeing report for the proposed multipurpose mission module.

The Boeing Company submitted a utilization study report to MSC for the proposed multipurpose mission module. The report was one of 13 volumes prepared by Boeing's Aerospace Group Space Division under an MSC contract. Additional Details: Boeing report for the proposed multipurpose mission module..



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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