4     Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn:     Planning Activities (1961−1965)     Excerpts of weekly notes of the director, fut...
34                                                           Lunar Settlements     Bush in January 2004. Thus, a summary o...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                  35     12-10-62:            Cost Control   ...
36                                                           Lunar Settlements     Mission Model     This mission model re...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                                  37     In a memorandum, dat...
38                                                                            Lunar Settlements                           ...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                           39     to compile potential applic...
40                                                                Lunar Settlements              by Dr. v.B.: You couldn’t...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                    41     Launch Vehicle Concept Analysis   ...
42                                                                    Lunar Settlements     discussion (“as one rocket man...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                          43                  (h)     (b) Lan...
44                                                             Lunar Settlements     1-13-64:           Post-Apollo Saturn...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                 45        We will make additional trade-off ...
46                                                                Lunar Settlements             (3) Total departure mass i...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                47     have already done this investigation f...
48                                                               Lunar Settlements     We have heard that this subject wil...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                      49     9-9-63:          Space Station  ...
50                                                                Lunar Settlements     research laboratory. We have agree...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                       51     5-6-63:          SATURN V Plane...
52                                                            Lunar Settlements          c. Earth-Planetary Transportation...
Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn                                                  53     informed and I would be happy if we ...
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Space Colonies - Lunar Settlements: Chapter 4. Looking Back At Apollo Saturn - Plannign Activities (1961-1965)


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Transcript of "Space Colonies - Lunar Settlements: Chapter 4. Looking Back At Apollo Saturn - Plannign Activities (1961-1965)"

  1. 1. 4 Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn: Planning Activities (1961−1965) Excerpts of weekly notes of the director, future projects (NASA/MSFC) to the center director, Dr. Wernher von Braun H.H. Koelle H.H. Koelle was born 1925 in the former free state of Danzig. He was a pilot during World War II, founder of the postwar German Society of Space Research—GfW (1948), Dipl.-Ing. (MS) Mechanical Engineering, Technical University Stuttgart (1954); member of the Dr. W. von Braun team at Huntsville Alabama (1955−1965); Chief, Preliminary Design, U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), member of the launch crew of Explorer I, U.S. citizen (1961); Dr.-Ing. (PhD) Technical University, Berlin (1963); direc- tor, Future Projects Office NASA/MSFC (1961−1965), responsible for the preliminary design of the Saturn family of launch vehicles and planning of the MSFC share of the Apollo program; editor-in-chief of Handbook of Astronautical Engineering (McGraw-Hill, 1961); professor of space technology, Technical University Berlin (1965−1991); vice president of the International Astronautical Federation (1967−1969); dean, Department of Transportation, Technical University Berlin (1989−1991). He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (1966), chairman, IAA Subcommittee on Lunar Development (1985−1997), and has over 350 publications. He is recipient of the Medal of the Aeroclub of France, Hermann-Oberth Medal (DGRR), the Hermann Oberth Award (AIAA), the Eugen Saenger Medal (DGLR), the Patrick Moore Medal (BIS), and the Engineering Sciences Award of the International Academy of Astronautics. In 2003 he was elected Honorary Member of the International Academy of Astronautics; 2007 Space Pioneer Award of the National Space Society USA. Introduction It is interesting to note that the problems that were analyzed and discussed in the early sixties with respect to the future of the U.S. Space Program are back on the agenda again due to the new U.S. Space policy initiated by President 33© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  2. 2. 34 Lunar Settlements Bush in January 2004. Thus, a summary of respective items reported to Dr. von Braun by the director of the MSFC Future Projects Office indicates the problems occupying our minds some 40 years ago and are of relevance currently in planning the space exploration vision. During the years 1960−1965 the author was director of the Future Projects Office at NASA/MSFC. These were the years where the Saturn/Apollo pro- gram was conceived and placed under development. I reported directly to Dr. Werner von Braun. People of his staff reporting to him directly had to submit by Friday noon each week one-page weekly notes, summarizing all that was happening and was expected for the following week and should get his attention. This was one of the management tools he used to keep things under control. The “Weekly Notes” listed in this summary cover selected items that were of particular interest to Apollo/Saturn development to NASA management. This communication between Dr. von Braun and myself illustrates our aspi- rations as well as the spirit and thinking prevailing in 1961–1965, the years in which the Apollo program was taking shape and initiated. Notes selected, illustrating the events, concepts and strategies, are limited to the highlights as seen from the vantage point of the year 2008. They are arranged by topics and dates originated. System Analysis 10-2-61: Launch Vehicle Reliability On September 20 a representation was given to the LLVPG (GOLOVIN com- mittee) by H.H. Koelle, accompanied by J.W. Moody (M-Rel), on a method for reliability growth on large launch vehicles. The data presented was well received. Copy of presentation is available. (LLVPG Task No. 003.) 10-30-61: Reports of MSFC More than 200 reports have been submitted to this office for evaluation and inclusion into a 10-volume collection of technical reports, demonstrating MSFC systems capability. It is estimated that about 100 to 120 reports will be selected. Abstracts of the selected reports have been typed and will be compiled into an Abstract Volume. This Abstract Volume and a cover letter signed by the Director, MSFC, will be sent to Mr. B. Holmes (newly appointed associate administrator of the Office of Manned Space Flight!) later this week, stating among other things that he can have the whole collection. These vol- umes should be ready for your inspection Tuesday afternoon in my office. Suggest you put it on your schedule.© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  3. 3. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 35 12-10-62: Cost Control I would like to offer a suggestion concerning cost control on future and pres- ent projects. We have observed that costs are greatly and quickly altered with change in specifications. Our present system permits each individual engineer and designer to incorporate specifications and changes which fall in the total spectrum from “nice-to-have” to “must!” However, the individual who intro- duces the specifications is rarely asked for a cost estimate tied to this speci- fication or change, nor for an evaluation of the benefits (such as reliability), accrued from such a change. Normally, it suffices to say: I want it! While this is not objectionable when resources are plentiful, it might not be the best mode of operation in case of limited resources. I would suggest that, in the future, the Change Control Board and the Project Director insist on a cost and benefit evaluation before such changes are approved. There should be a certain cost limit above which must be obtained from the Deputy Director R&D or the Director MSFC. I hope we can keep costs down, at least for new projects if we make these trade-off studies, while we are writing the specifications during the program definition phase. I believe our present rather loose cost control is responsible for a fair share of our cost overruns. Dr. Lange and Mr. Maus might want to join in a little study on the practicability of this suggestion. 5-27-63: Launch Vehicle System Cost Model Six proposals were received on our Launch Vehicle System Cost Model Study. Two outstanding proposals were submitted by General Dynamics/ Fort Worth and Lockheed California Company. We plan to initiate contract negotiations with both companies and expect to have contracts underway by mid June, unless you have objections. These two studies will give us parallel effort in the important area of vehicle costing. We will be glad to give you a short briefing on the objectives of this study and the related work we are doing in the cost area, if you like. [Comment by Dr. v.B: No objections, let’s combine this with next tech briefing.] 9-30-63: Cost Studies We are continuing, within our limited authority and capabilities, to study the reasons for cost overruns and to develop tools for better cost projections. We are coordinating this activity with those individuals from other elements of MSFC who have demonstrated an interest. Our activities can be summa- rized as follows: Resources Model This will give us upper and lower limits of expected funds to be available for the development, procurement, and operation of (Jack Waite and crew) with the assistance of FPO.© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  4. 4. 36 Lunar Settlements Mission Model This mission model relates the mission capabilities of individual launch vehi- cles with mission objectives, state-of-the-art, and initial weight requirements in low altitude orbit, with the main variable being change of emphasis on space activities between global operations, orbital operations, lunar opera- tions, and planetary operations. We are trying to interest Aero-Astrodynamics Laboratory (Mr. Thomae) in assisting us in the development of this model. Cost Projection Model for Saturn-Type Expendable Launch Vehicles This Model is in an advanced state of development. We will attempt—in close cooperation with Industrial Operations—to mechanize the process of cost projections. However, this model will not substitute for the detailed budget exercise we have to make several times per year to cover the imme- diate future. It will give long-range trends and permit an evaluation of the influence of the major system parameters. This model will have a great deal of sophistication and hopefully will help us to better understand some of the cost parameters and to develop correction factors for overruns. Universal Cost Model for Launch Vehicles This is a more advanced cost estimating procedure for reusable launch vehi- cles, which we are developing under contract with Lockheed and General Dynamics/Fort Worth, and with some assistance from Rand. Cost Effectiveness of National Booster Program We do have now an operational program, which allows us to mix firing rates and performance of all launch vehicles which are presently in the national booster program. This model helps us to analyze the influence of either indi- vidual launch vehicles on the total program, or the effect of individual vehicle improvements. This will be helpful for Saturn V and NOVA comparisons. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: I suggest that you also study (and possibly crank in): CADLE report (blue book); SCHRIEVER “lessons” report (“yellow book”). Maus knows both and can get them for you.] 4-6-64: President Johnson’s Request In a letter to Mr. Webb, dated January 30, 1964, The President requested a NASA position on the following two subjects: • A statement on possible future space objectives, and, • estimates of time, funds, and technology required to implement major missions related to future objectives.© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  5. 5. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 37 In a memorandum, dated March 25, 1964 Mr. Webb issued a directive to Dr. Seamans on how this request should be implemented. A task group was established under Frances B. Smith (on loan from Langley) with two panels: • An objective panel (headed by Dr. Richard Head) • A mission panel under Mr. W. Flemming. This panel has a sub-panel for launch vehicles under Milton Rosen. I have been listed as the MSFC member on this sub-panel and was alerted that this will result in a major workload, primarily for people in my office. Mr. Webb has directed that this should be considered a top priority assign- ment [Comment by Dr. v.B.: Absolutely!]. I am now standing by for further instructions and will keep you informed through these Notes. 6-29-64: Weighted Objectives of the National Space Program We conducted an “opinion poll” among 60 MSFC key personnel on the rela- tive importance of individual objectives of the National Space Program. This resulted in the following weighted objective list, which we intend to use to determine the “relative worth” of individual project combinations within the present long range planning exercise: Weight Ranking Objective (Percent) (1) Achieve and preserve U.S. leadership 8.2 (2) Utilization of space knowledge and technologies for the 8.0 benefit of mankind (3) Gain knowledge about the nature of the universe and 6.1 life itself (4) Develop an industrial base which can quickly respond to 6.1 security needs in space (5) Incentive for improved education 5.9 (6) Promote international cooperation 5.8 (7) Stimulate the nation as a whole 5.7 (8) Stimulate economy (investments and employment) 5.6 (9) Demonstrate space systems applicable to security needs of 5.6 the U.S. (10) Increased knowledge about terrestrial and space environment 5.2 (11) Strengthen educational facilities 5.2 (12) Improve industrial base continuity, including management 4.85 practices to develop very complex technical systems (13) Development of manned space transportation systems as a 4.85 new dimension to terrestrial transportation systems (14) Improve government capability to handle complex systems 4.3© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  6. 6. 38 Lunar Settlements Weight Ranking Objective (Percent) (15) Provide quick inspection capability to police arms control 4.0 agreements (16) Exploit extraterrestrial resources 3.9 (17) Improve U.S. competitive position in foreign trade by use of 3.2 new techniques and procedures (18) Aeronautical transportation systems will be improved as a 2.7 fallout of space technology (19) Development of efficient unmanned space vehicles for 2.5 scientific research (20) Space transportation systems will also permit rapid global transportation Do you think that this is a reasonable basis for some initial comparison of project mixes? [Comment by Dr. v.B.: My personal opinion jibes pretty closely with this poll, except for the relative ranking indicated by the arrows, which indicate my prefer- ence. Item 16 should be at the end of the list, items 18 and 20 should be placed behind item 13.] 8-31-64: Answer to President’s Letter A preliminary draft of the answer letter is now in circulation among staff offices in Washington and plenty of surgery is applied. It is a very broad description of the entire program, avoiding specifics. However, the following three proj- ects are singled out as the most probable new starts this year: Voyager, Alls and Apollo X. The draft is supposed to be coordinated with DOD, PSAC and Dr. Welsh before it will be submitted in a final version in December. 10-5-64: Marketing of Space Flight There is growing evidence that we will have difficulties in the years to come to sustain the public support we enjoyed in the last years. This suggests—and I know that you have preached along these lines quite often recently—that we at MSFC should make an organized effort to come up with a better utilization of our space flight capabilities and take great care to justify in a better way, the use of newly developed hardware and new projects; e.g. the “why” of spaceflight. Up to now we have concentrated almost exclusively on the “how” of space flight. I would suggest a special brainstorming session in which we analyze how our MSFC talents can be brought to bear more on the problem of space flight marketing. I am thinking of increasing our present effort (which is a few hundred man-hours per year) by at least two orders of magnitude. This might require an organizational change or shift of some manpower. I am thinking of a group of 5 to 10 professional people doing nothing but© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  7. 7. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 39 to compile potential applications and develop the uses of space flight in an aggressive manner within NASA policies and in conjunction with other organizations. Many avenues of approach offer themselves in accomplishing such an objective. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: Let’s discuss this again (between you, Weidner, Frank W. and myself).] [I expressed my feelings during the 9/25 Executive Session.] 11-9-64: NASA Five-Year Plan In case you are wondering about my reaction to the new long range plan: The new NASA five-year plan is better and more realistic than anything we have ever had! However, from where I am sitting, I see the following shortcomings: a. It does not appear to be the type of a plan the President requested. b. It does not appear to be a plan that will insure that we will be ahead of the Russians one of these days. c. The plan does not offer a real challenge to NASA, and particularly MSFC, once the Apollo mission has been accomplished. d. The plan does not have the elements which it takes (in my mind) to compete successfully for its share of the federal budget. I believe that this kind of a plan does not offer enough “return on investment” to sustain a 5.5. to 6.0 billion dollar budget a year for the future. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: Let’s talk about this. I don’t see it that way at all.] e. This plan, if not accompanied by program definition studies for the time period beyond 1971, neglects the fact that lead times of complex spacecraft and launch vehicles are longer than 5 years (in fact 5 to 10) and we will end up in the same box we are today, with too few attractive missions and suitable payloads to fly in 1972 and beyond. To reinitiate such studies two years from now is too late to catch the budget decline around 1970, as presently projected. f. In a few years from now, I can see difficulties for MSFC to obtain a project assignment which is in line with our talents, facilities and strength. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: I’ve heard that before!] g. The taxpayer might view this plan (if at all) as one which offers “just more of the same”; I would expect some difficulties in keeping the public really interested in and behind the space program, a trend which eventually will reduce available resources. h. I am disappointed in how plans of this importance are developed “over night” with somebody pushing the panic button. They always result in plenty of confusion, as well as a waste of money and manpower. NASA could do its job a lot better and save a lot of money. [Comment© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  8. 8. 40 Lunar Settlements by Dr. v.B.: You couldn’t be more wrong! That plan has been under discus- sion for over 6 months in one version or the other!] For all those reasons, I prefer to identify the new five-year NASA plan as “a plan to depart from” and would like to see us constantly improving it and do this with vigor! (When I joined your team almost ten years ago, you told me that you did not expect me to be a “yes man,” I am still adhering to your advice, as you can see.) 12-7-64: New NASA Five-Year Plan There must be somebody else within NASA who is not completely happy with the present state of affairs in the area of long-range planning. I quote the following sentence from Aviation Week of 11-16-64: “A working level complaint at NASA these days is that to get money in the new budget the concept has to look like Apollo, feel like Apollo and smell like Apollo.” [Comment by Dr. v.B.: We need both: Long-range planning and Apollo ad-ons. The trouble at the moment is that for the momentum built up with the main-stream Apollo program. There has been too little of the latter, with resulting immediate dan- gers to the stature of the program.] 12-14-64: Return-on-Investment We have developed a calculation procedure which attempts to assess the “expected return on investment” of any space program, and can suggest the relative standing of alternative space program plans. It is based on the “weighted objectives list” which was derived by group judgment of senior MSFC personnel. Forty-four yield indicators are available to correlate the yield of a program with the given objectives. Each of the objectives is rep- resented by a “worth estimating relationship.” The number of terms in each equation is proportional to the weight of the objective. The individual terms are non-linear and produce a devaluating effect with increasing time and transportation volume. The calculation procedure is simple enough to be explained to people not specializing in the “numbers racket.” We are now testing this procedure to find out how useful and valuable it might be as a planning tool. The purpose of this limited effort is to gain more insight in “what makes the space pro- gram tick,” not to derive a new space program by analytical procedures. If we think we learned something, we will let you know. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: Although I’m sure you know as well as I do that the politi- cal feasibility of space programs depends not only on logic, but on such unfathomable elements as President Kennedy’s election or NASA/AF relations. I am in complete agreement with you that it is absolutely necessary that we proceed in our long range plans with as much logic and care we can muster. Let’s make sure that we discuss progress in this area at regular intervals, and don’t get discouraged.]© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  9. 9. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 41 Launch Vehicle Concept Analysis 10.16.61: LLVPG Thinking Emphasis is being placed on a 240” solid motor for C-1, C-4, and possibly NOVA application. The solid propellant enthusiasts are pushing for a solid vehicle back-up to the liquid (propellant) C-4 (configuration). This week the funding picture will be studied in detail, since the worst solution would be two under-funded programs. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: Couldn’t agree more!] 12-11-61: SATURN-D Follow-On Studies A follow-on statement of work for General Dynamics and Lockheed has been prepared and coordinated with Mrazek, Col. Fellows, and Schramm. These studies will provide input into the RIFT (Reactor-In-Flight-Test) program and the C-4/C-5 program so that upon completion of RIFT an early operational capability can be achieved without major redesign. Because of the competi- tive nature of RIFT, certain precautions must be taken in the Saturn D. 12-18-61: Studies Planned A memo was forwarded to you on December 14, 1961 regarding desired action on the following: a. Electric propulsion mission study b. Application of hydrogen/fluorine for both C-1 third stage and Apollo lunar launch vehicle. c. Early manned planetary mission study. A draft for the proposed NOVA study effort has been completed and I would like to discuss it as well as the initiation of the “NOVA definition effort” at your earliest convenience. [Comment of Dr. v.B.: Let’s first get the C-5 issue out of the way. “One emer- gency at the time!” But why don’t you draft something, meanwhile?] 2-12-62: Liquid versus Solid Propellant Rocket Motors In order to be better prepared for congressional hearing, do you think it would be a good idea to personally invite Dr. Ritchie (Thiokol) for a detailed technical discussion with system specialists. If you agree, I think I can handle it. [Comment Dr. v.B: I wouldn’t invite him under the heading of “forthcoming congressional hearings” because he has made too many rather opinionated state- ments already. But if you, as head of MSFC’s Future Projects Office, invite him to a© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  10. 10. 42 Lunar Settlements discussion (“as one rocket man to another”) to clear up certain questions you have in the area of analyzing complete solid-powered vehicles (including thrust vector con- trol, transportation, emergency procedures, the “donor” explosion criteria problem etc. etc.) that’ll be just fine. Say we’d like to get to the hard core of the controversy - the question is not that we doubt you can build big solid motors, but those thousands of other unanswered questions. Please keep me posted.] Position Paper on Solids versus Liquids The status report on “solids,” which you requested as preparation for congres- sional hearings, is now undergoing the 3rd iteration process. Next Monday we will have clean draft ready for review by you and the Division Directors. At the present time it is about 20 triple-spaced typewritten pages. [Comments by Dr. v.B.: Suggest (if you have not done it) to crank into this paper the class 9/class 2 (explosives) argument my position (backed by Seamans). We want no part of C-5 or NOVA solids unless they are officially accepted as class 2 hazard in presence of donor. Suggest you check also LOD re-siting problems in new Cape area.] 4-8-63: NOVA Redirection As a result of our discussion (April 4) and your directives, we are now reori- enting our study efforts in the direction of unconventional reusable NOVA concepts. We will issue new guidelines to the contractors this week along the following lines: A. Sixty percent or more of the total study effort will be applied in the operation analysis and conceptual design leading to and approaching the greatest practical extent of an “ideal NOVA” defined as follows: (1) NOVA must have a multiple mission capability, preferably in all of the following areas: (a) Earth to low orbit heavy cargo delivery (b) Earth to orbit cargo delivery in connection with dog-legging into high orbit inclinations and/or inter-orbital transfer to high altitude orbits (c) Global logistic transport for cargo and personnel (d) Lunar logistic transport for mixed cargo and personnel (e) Planetary logistic for cargo and personnel (f) High velocity space probes. The “ideal” NOVA concept might have most of the following features (or equivalent): (g) (a) Single stage (with air augmentation, and/or tank staging and JATO)© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  11. 11. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 43 (h) (b) Land and sea recovery (with payload in case of global transport). The “ideal” NOVA concept might have most of the following features (or equivalent): (2) The “ideal” NOVA concept might have most of the following fea- tures (or equivalent): (a) Single stage (with air augmentation, and/or tank staging and JATO) (b) Land and sea recovery (with payload in case of global transport) (c) Design lifetime of 100 flights (d) Terminal guidance (e) Wide payload range capability (larger than Saturn V up to approximately 500 tons to low orbit) (f) Acceptable acceleration limits in case of personnel transport (g) Compatibility with nuclear upper stages. B. The rest of the effort will be used to update conventional expend- able or partially reusable NOVA vehicles, in the latter case with first stage recovery as minimum goal. This data will be used to evaluate the advantages offered (and price to be paid) by the various “ideal” NOVAs we hope to come up with. Does this formula interpret your instructions close enough so that we can proceed? [Comments by Dr. v.B: Precisely. You may proceed on this basis. Capt. Freitag also agrees. Make sure to get Shea on board also (through Doug Lord).] 10-14-63: Global Transport I have discovered a quote of Dr. Lloyd Berkner (for many years president of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Science), which I con- sider to be important and interesting: [From Hearings before the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, United States Senate, June 10 and 11, 1963]: The future use of rockets for quick point-to-point transport now is as certain as we now know scheduled 600-m.p.h. air transport had become after the demonstration at Kitty Hawk. Without question, technologi- cal problems of regular rocket transport are enormous. But there is no known natural or scientific dictum that stands in the way of such trans- port on an efficient and regular basis. So, we can confidently predict that fast rocket transport will come, eventually, to give us 20-minute trans- Atlantic schedules.© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  12. 12. 44 Lunar Settlements 1-13-64: Post-Apollo Saturn IB Market During Ed GRAY’s visit last week, I had an opportunity to inform him that now is the time to plan for missions of the Saturn IB for the post-Apollo time period (mid 1968). In my opinion, there is a great probability that we will not have a large enough market to keep the Saturn IB production line going [Comment by Dr. v.B.: I Agree]. New payloads of a complex nature for 1968 and 1969 are almost out of question due to lack of resources. Further, we have the competition of Titan III to expect and we should not forget that the Saturn V also is around. With a firing rate of two per year (which could be all we might be able to sell for 2968/69/70). The cost of the IB might be more than the Saturn V. I am greatly concerned about the prospects in this area and am trying to get some joint activity started among OMSF (GRAY), MSC and MSFC to complement the contractor effort, which just resulted in their first report (containing a little too much window dressing and not enough analysis). 5-25-64: Post-SATURN Review Last week we had a two-day review of our post-Saturn study activities, including vehicle trade-offs, mission analysis, test facilities at MTO, and Launch facilities at MILA. We now have enough information to concentrate our conceptual design on a “base line” configuration which can be described as follows: Concept Fully recoverable and reusable, all LH2/LO2 propellants, two stages to orbit, three stages to escape (modified S-II Stage is a suitable third stage). First stage: 18 modified hinged M-1 engines around plug-nozzle, recoverable, separate tanks Second stage: 12 high pressure engines in the 315 K thrust range, possibly toroidal airspike integrated propulsion system for maxi- mum performance. Plug used as re-entry body. Vehicle launch weight: Approximately 18,000,000 lb Diameter: Approximately 75 ft Payload LEO: Approximately: 1,000,000 lb Operational target date: 1980 Cost effectiveness to LEO: 60 $/lb direct cost; 120 $/lb total cost Facilities: Two test stands for each stage at MTF, 2nd stage sectional R&D testing at MSFC in our large test stand. Three launch positions at the cape in hybrid fashion (enclosed tower serves as assembly building and launch site).© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  13. 13. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 45 We will make additional trade-off studies and probably modifications to this base line concept as we go along. However, the planning exercise for the President, as well as our desire to make competitive study for Saturn V doing the same missions, is the reason for selecting a base line concept at this time. It might not be the very best, but it will be one of the best concepts available. Many considerations went into the selection of the new base line. We will be happy to give you a briefing on this subject, if you desire. It might be of interest to you that all the guidelines we have received from headquarters do require a post-Saturn launch vehicle by about 1980 for manned planetary landing and capture missions! 11-16-64: Nuclear System Comparison During Dr. Mueller’s last visit here (October 22, 1964) he requested that we pre- pare a staff paper with preliminary answers to the following two questions: 1. What research and development tasks have to be undertaken for each of the applicant systems to demonstrate its technical feasibility? 2. How do these systems compare, performance and cost wise, if put on a common basis? We have set the machinery in motion to prepare this staff paper and have formed an ad hoc working group with FPO, P&VE (Jordan), RP (Dr. Shelton), and Aero (Thomae) participating. A plan of attack has been agreed upon, which is as follows: a. Nominal mission comparison is done for a 1984 Mars launch win- dow with a 500-day trip time, including a minimum of 20 days stop- over. The crew size will be a minimum of eight, and the landing vehicle will weigh 80,000 lb. b. We will use 10 different modes to compare various combinations of types of propulsion systems. Some of the lower performance will use the Venus swingby mission profile, the higher performance will not. Earth reentry speed will in all cases be below 50,000 ft/sec. There will be no cases where the spacecraft returns into an Earth capture orbit instead of direct atmospheric entry. c. Each of these 10 cases will be investigated assuming: (1) Saturn V only (2) Post-Saturn and Saturn V as launch vehicles d. The following parameters will be derived for comparison purposes: (1) Total mass per ship leaving Earth orbit (2) Dry mass per ship leaving Earth orbit© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  14. 14. 46 Lunar Settlements (3) Total departure mass in Earth orbit divided by useful payload carried to Mars orbit (4) Total departure mass in Earth orbit divided by spacecraft mass returning to Earth (5) Total departure mass in Earth orbit divided by man-days available on Mars surface (6) Total project cost divided by man-days available on Mars surface (7) Direct operating cost (excluding R&D) divided by man-days available on Mars surface. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: How about “Total number of earth-orbit logistic supply flights,” considering the losses incurred by orbital operations - effect of cryogenics versus dry Orion propulsion - effect of Post Saturn versus Saturn V?] Apollo Mission Modes 10-2-61 On September 27 a program review was held on the “Orbital Launch Operations Study” at Chance Vought, Dallas, Texas. This effort was redi- rected to include the effects of C-4 (launch vehicle concept) on the orbital development program. 2-12-62: Weight/Performance Control With lunar orbital operations getting more momentum, I feel we have to make a special effort to control our C-5 weight and performance in order to stay com- petitive. There seems to be a trend that too many people try to put their own safety margins in. This results in one reserve on top of many others and the performance deteriorates rapidly. I am trying to get together with Mrazek and Dr. Geisler in our Performance Review Board. An occasional encouraging word from your side might help. [Comment Dr. v.B: Agree, you have my full blessing!] 2-26-62: Apollo Mission Performance Dispersion A concentrated effort is being made to obtain a better feeling for the total mission performance picture, with emphasis on determining the upper and lower limited of the total tolerance. The total velocity requirements, spe- cific impulses of individual engines, and weight estimates have been varied within the tolerances to be expected. We believe it is not correct to assume that all parameters will build up to the upper limit of the unfavorable side. By doing so in the past we have “proven” that the C-5 is now too small. We© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  15. 15. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 47 have already done this investigation for the connecting mode and find that we can expect to bring down to the moon anywhere between 53,000 to 84,000 lb with 65,000 t0 70,000 lb as the most likely weight. This makes, however, one assumption that we will be successful in telling our engineers how the interrelationships work and that is not permissible for everybody to put in his personal padding. W adding these “reserves” arithmetically (which is not the proper way) we sell ourselves out of business. We also will inves- tigate the other modes of interest and then prepare a summary report. We hope that this study will result in certain target data for individual design parameters which will distribute evenly, throughout the system, the burden of doing a good job. [Comment Dr. v.B: Agree. But organized weight and perfor- mance control for all elements is equally important] 4-9-62: C-5 Direct Capability I will organize a small effort to result in a precise determination of the “mar- gin of error” for this mode. I consider this as a fifth working group within Dr. Geisler’s overall effort. I suggest that this be placed on the agenda of the next board meeting as a 5-minute discussion item. 5-14-62: Light Weight Apollo Design Dr. Eggers will present his proposal for a light weight Apollo capsule to Dr. Shea this week. I believe he has a good story and I expect that the C-5 direct mode will pick up momentum as a result of Dr. Eggers presentation. We expect that our calculations will show an attractive performance margin for the entire mission profile. Space Station 6-11-62: Program Planning We are presently compiling all available data useful for a preliminary devel- opment plan (PDP). Our proposal is based on the modification of a S-IC LOX tank as the basic structure. We are studying the use of the Titan II-Gemini, Saturn-IB (also with a solid booster) and the Titan III as a basic supply vehi- cle. This effort is in support of MSC. We should be ready for a presentation to you in about four weeks. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: O.K.] 7-16-62: Space Station Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) We have proceeded with the draft of our proposed report to a point where we would like to make an informal presentation to you and/or the Board.© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  16. 16. 48 Lunar Settlements We have heard that this subject will be on the agenda of the next Council Meeting. There are two problems to be discussed: a. If the simple non-rotating station is favored as the cheaper and sim- pler solution, we seem to have an option to make a bid for the basic structure of the station. This can be built at Huntsville with S-1C tooling. It is essentially a glorified first stage Lox tank. b. If this project comes early, we are facing a situation where our pres- ent C-1B launch facilities would be saturated by the requirements of this project alone (12 firings per year). This will be on top of possible planetary missions. 8-27-62: PDP It is anticipated that MSFC will forward their official preliminary project development plan concerning a manned space station to headquarters this week and at the latest probably next week. Ed Olling of MSC visited us last week and indicated that considerable sup- port is being generated in Houston and at headquarters level. They now have about 12 people in the space station office and a 40- to 50-man team working full time on the space station. Olling indicated that he is sending an official request to Marshall for a space station coordinator at this center concerning Saturn launch vehicles and the total program. They are also in the process of establishing technical advisory committees as they have in the past. All centers will be visited to establish coordination and planning. A special committee will also be formed to determine the types of research and development that must be conducted on the first space station. Olling was informed of our preference that the next approach be on a small scale of approximately 6 to 12 men and that the program should involve mini- mum funding at the outset. Olling is presently interested in getting Phase I approval only. This covers a $ 2 million study phase on the space station, Apollo modification for 6 men, and a reusable logistics spacecraft. After that they will worry about total program cost and space station configurations and more details of the total program, as the politics and engineering factors evolve. We will stay in touch with him and have a low level effort going within MSFC to study the problems of a small station as you suggested, based on Saturn 1B capabilities following the C-1B orbital rendezvous program. If this satisfies you, I think we can skip the meeting you offered on this subject and reschedule it a few months from now. [Comment by Dr. v.B: I’m convinced that in view of NASA’s overall funding situation this space station thing will not go into high gear in the next few years. Minimum C-IB approach is the only thing we can afford at this time.]© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  17. 17. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 49 9-9-63: Space Station Last week we had a preliminary design review with P&VE Laboratory on their in-house study on the space station project. Their project engineer is Mr. Cash. Our project engineers are Jim Carter and Lou Ball. This effort was initiated upon your request approximately four months ago. The reasons for this study are as follows: • To study compatibility of space station concepts with Saturn launch vehicles. • To consolidate briefing material for you in preparation of a pending decision on this project in the Management Council Meeting in the next few months. • To study the possible workload on MSFC, resulting from the ini- tiation of a space station project, assuming various degrees of participation. • To see if there are any concepts which look attractive to us, and which have not be studied at other places. The three-hour review brought out that a spinning space station (3-man, 4-month) is marginal even if two Saturn IBs are used. There is a preference for a space station transported by a Saturn V into orbit, which can house 6 people, has a growth to 12, can spin and de-spin and is supplied by a six- man Apollo spacecraft. This solution is non-marginal as far as the weight is concerned, and permits quite some leeway in solving problems by adding weight. P&VE has done an outstanding job on this study and we are planning to give you a somewhat more polished presentation within the next 8 weeks or whenever the subject should become a hot issue. We also discussed this subject and recoverable boosters for a full day with Dr. Yarymovych from OMSF, who is now in charge of these studies within Dr. Shea’s office. We believe we have established good and effective rela- tions with this office, which is planned to be staffed by about 25 people. [Comment by Dr.v.B: Keep this hot! There are growing indications that NASA hq (Top Trinity) is far more excited about a manned orbital laboratory (Space Station) as next step after Apollo, than about manned planetary expeditions. And for good reasons. They think we have to know more about long stay times in space – and sup- port is easier to get!] 3-2-64: Engineering Experiments for Orbital Research Laboratory (ORL) The Office of Advanced Studies (Orbital Systems), NASA HQ has asked us to submit a series of engineering experiments, suitable for use on an orbital© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  18. 18. 50 Lunar Settlements research laboratory. We have agreed to help. Research Projects Laboratory will do the overall coordination. This office will be the point of contact between MSFC and Headquarters until other arrangements are deemed necessary. This request is somewhat significant since our performance, even though on a small scale, should permit MSFC to supply major experimental sug- gestions necessary for us to develop technology in support of orbital launch operations, lunar base operations, and cryogenic technology in space for orbital launch vehicles. We hope excellent laboratory participation will result. We consider this a practical approach to enter the field of orbital operations as an active participant. [Comments Dr.v.B.: Suggest we emphasize zero-g effects, ullage control, grav- ity versus capillary forces, etc. This is vital for deep space propulsion development. Suggest you talk to BLUMRICH. I am also referring to a recent BOEING presenta- tion along these lines.] Interplanetary Missions 10-9-61: Contracts A contract was signed with Lockheed on the Earth-Planetary Transportation System Study. The purpose of this study is to provide information necessary to assist NASA in determining future launch vehicle requirements. The main emphasis will be a survey of interplanetary trajectories of particular interest. The contractor orientation (meeting) is scheduled for October 18, 1961. 4-29-63: Interplanetary Missions One of our system studies sponsored by OART concerns the development of a mathematical model of planetary transportation systems with emphasis on evaluation of propulsion concepts for a large number of missions. We have received nine proposals. The evaluation committee headed by Mr. Gradecak (FPO) selected GD/A and Martin, Denver to make one study each for $ 75,000. NAA was a close third. Do you go along with our selection? [Comments by Dr.v.B: YES. During our 4-30-63 Management Council Meeting the following question came up (and was discussed extensively): “Can we honestly say that we’ll never be able to launch a manned planetary expedition, unless we have a NOVA of some kind? Have we ever analyzed, in some detail, the problems involved in a multiple Saturn V earth-to-orbit logistics operation?” We should expect orbital docking to become a routine operation by 1970. Request comments and suggestions.]© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  19. 19. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 51 5-6-63: SATURN V Planetary Capabilities On the margin of last week’s Notes you asked the question what is being done in the area of Saturn V manned planetary capabilities. Here is a short summary: a. Lockheed is performing a study on minimum energy profiles for Venus and Mars fly-by missions, which can be performed with a few Saturn V flights and orbital operations. Dr. Shea originally did not like this too much. I had to make an extra trip to Washington (in February) to convince him that this study is needed to fill a gap in our knowl- edge. P&C is now negotiating the next phase of this study contract. b. We have a study with Chance-Vought ($350,000) entitled “Advanced Orbital Operations” in which we will identify and define individual development problems and packages, where the Saturn V refueling and docking operation will play a primary role. c. We are presently trying to initiate a small in-house study (3 to 5 man- years) which will attempt to describe such a manned Saturn V plan- etary mission in enough detail that we can evaluate its problems, timing and cost. We will base this study primarily on Joe deFries’ previous orbital mode study where very good material was devel- oped. The planetary mission, however, will take place quite a few years later than the lunar mission studied by deFries. We believe that these studies will give us a pretty good feel for the prob- lems involved and the attractiveness of such a mission. On the other hand, we will not make an all-out effort in this area at this time. If you agree, we will increase our effort on this mission study early next fiscal year when new money becomes available. [Comment by Dr. v.B: These studies should include NERVA and electric propul- sion for deep-space portion of trip, of course.] Future Projects Office Activities—Contracts and In-House 10-30-61: Study Contracts The following contracts are presently actively pursued (with termination dates): a. Launch Vehicle Size and Cost Analysis Study – (Nov. 30, 1961) b. Study of Large Launch Vehicle Utilizing Solid Propellants (Dec. 29, 1961)© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  20. 20. 52 Lunar Settlements c. Earth-Planetary Transportation System Study – (April 1962) d. Earth-Lunar Transportation System Study – (Nov. 30, 1962) e. Orbital Launch Operations Study – (Jan. 18, 1962) f. Analysis of Medium Class (Thor, Atlas) Launch Vehicle Systems – (Jan. 14, 1962) g. Saturn C-3 Launch Facility Study – (Nov. 30, 1961) h. Saturn D (Nuclear Third Stage) Design Study – (Dec. 15, 1961) We are presently negotiating an extension of the Martin contract (item “d”) for a very detailed study on the problem of storability of propellants on the lunar surface. 1-15-62: Study Contracts Approximately 30 study contracts are to be let during the remainder of this fiscal year, based on the funds released in the 3rd Quarterly Review. Some 20 work statements are in the final draft stage. The first requests for contracts are now with Procurements and Contracts. About 40 percent of these 30 con- tracts will be negotiated as follow-on or sole-source contracts; the rest will be awarded on the basis of open bid competition. To what degree do you want to participate in this effort? a. Do you want to see and approve each work statement? b. Do you want to see only those work statements which I feel you might be interested in? c. Do you want to participate in the selection of contractors? d. Do you want to limit yourself to attending the final contractor presentations? e. Do you want to restrict yourself to special cases which I cannot solve and hear only about the highlights through these notes? [Comment Dr. v.B.: Suggest we discuss the whole complex thoroughly one-1 hr. Then I won’t interfere in detail implementation. Let’s do that soon.] 1-6-64: 1963 Meetings You might be interested in how much time you have spent with me (and oth- ers participating) in discussing future projects during the past year. Here are my statistics: You have participated in a total of 24 discussions and presentations, lasting 32 hours all together. You requested 28 of these meetings, I requested four of them. In the first 6 months we had 14 meetings, during the last 6 months there were 10 meetings. I believe this was adequate to keep you properly© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  21. 21. Looking Back at Apollo/Saturn 53 informed and I would be happy if we could continue at the same rate this year, which is probably optimistic. [Comment by Dr. v.B.: WHY?] 1-27-64: FPO Statistics It might be of interest to those who feel that there is too much effort spent in future projects to know that the time charges to our studies have dropped 50 percent during the first 6 months [Comment Dr. v.B.: I don’t have that feeling at all!]. It was an equivalent of 170 men in July 1963 and only 110 in December. I hope we can arrest this trend now, if not, I don’t think we will be able to meet our obligations for the future. It might be also interesting to note that we have a labor overhead, in terms of man-hours, of almost 199 percent and a cost overhead of 170%. This brings our in-house engineering man-year cost to $29,650, which is about the average we have to pay for contracted studies. The output per man-year in industry appears to be larger, since we control this effort quite closely and efficiently. 7-13-64: Study Contracts The following tables summarize the fiscal year 1964 contracts for advanced studies, conducted or sponsored by our office, most of which have just been initiated: Total: 28 study projects resulting in 40 contracts with 16 companies or 21 corporate divisions. Contract expenditures by study area: Operations Analysis and Supporting Studies 1,025,000 Orbital Systems 700,000 Lunar Systems 2,445,000 Planetary Systems 860,000 Launch Vehicles 4,900,000 Total $9,930,000 12-28-64: Statistics This year, according to my statistics, you called or attended 22 meetings at MSFC dealing with “Future Projects,” which totaled 36 hours. You initiated 16 of the meetings taking 26 hours; I was responsible for the rest. I thought early this year that you would not be able to spend that much time in this area being, through sustainable economic growth.© 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
  22. 22. © 2010 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC