Pre-NASA Aerospace Systems

Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann

In the Archive of Dr. Enzmann, FREA discovered an interesting document from 1983 recording what could have been the result of systems for manned spaceflight centered around the Saturn V that included the Apollo Project, had it been even minimally successful. There were several aerospace systems engineered pre-NASA and then limited by government agencies.

Had even a small portion of the plans in place manifested, a supply line would already exist, and the commercial interests in space would have an infrastructure to build on. Yet, this is the smaller loss to the Earth. Also lost were great advances in medical science, ecology, energy, and food production, which would have improved life on Earth for everyone, not just those interested in traveling to the stars.

Project Apollo left us with the knowledge that people can land on the moon, but not much more. The project should, and very easily could, have left the United States with the following resources:

1) Near-Earth space station for 500 people.

2) Two trojan space stations at L-4 and L-5 each for 200 people.

3) A station in orbit about the Moon for 500 people.

4) Three Lunar surface stations each for twelve people, each with two rovers.

5) Two multi-year (unmanned stations) sent toward Mars to be placed in orbit, there to wait for astronauts to land them on a moon, each station with the capacity for fifty people.

6) One unmanned station sent to Venus, there to go into high orbit, hopefully, to survive and, in time, serve as a manned station from which to observe Venus.

The benefits to humans on Earth could have been far-reaching, raising the standard of living globally. Earth would have had enhanced flood control, electric grid management, weather information, frost control stations (solar mirrors), navigation satellites, land/sea rescue systems by means of transmitters the size of a wristwatch, ionospheric mapping, and monitoring, farmland monitoring, Trojan Earth-Moon TV communications over 250,000 miles, moon orbiter TV-comm logistics, sun orbiter providing solar storm warnings, an asteroid belt, and galactic storm warnings. This never manifested.

These and other programs were fought bitterly for and against and then scrapped. Among them:

Titan Disarmament Station

There was a strong move to work with the disarmament enthusiasts on the part of space engineers and space buffs. It was thought that as the Titans were relieved of their grotesque devices, the boosters could be used to place stations in Earth orbit, at the Earth-Moon L-4 and L-5 Trojan orbits, in Moon orbit, on the surface of the moon, and near Mars, Venus, and Mercury waiting for manned expeditions. The project was canceled.

Shuttle Space Stations

Soon one or two shuttle trips will be made into low Earth orbit. At this writing, the opponents to space stations, and indeed all manned space activities, have the upper hand – almost overwhelmingly.

The shuttle tanks could be placed in orbit. If this were done, we would not only soon have a station at a cost of about $1,000,000.00 per unit, but it would also be easily and swiftly established.

In addition, instead of wasting 35 tons of fuel to destroy its tank, the shuttle could have an engine.

Furthermore, 30 tons of cargo could be added to each trip. Fifty trips a year would make up 1500 tons a year.

Would it not be simple, wife-wise, useful, and sensible to dump nuclear waste into the sun? The USA, circa 1983, only produces 2000 tons of such waste per year.

Russian Space Station

The Russian space capsules were, almost from the beginning, constructed so that several of these vehicles, manned and or unmanned, could be docked together.

The Russian, soviet socialists have had a space station in operation for the last few years. Since about 1978, they commenced manning their station continually.

American Space Station

The building of an American space station has been an endless, intensely fought, unending turmoil with the American liberal community, the so-called American scientific community, and most of the owners of the American media – they are bitterly and implacably opposed to the building of a manned space station of any sort whatsoever. Against these elements and in favor of space technology is much of the American nation.

These projects were canceled and scrapped:

Gemini Station

Building a space station around the Earth, circling the Moon, and building a space station to orbit the Moon was stopped. It could have been done with upper stages.

MOL (Manned Orbital Laboratory)

A military and or civilian space station planned in the late 1950s was fought to a standstill and then canceled and scrapped in the 1960s.

Space Lab

Space Lab (SkyLab) was built over violent opposition. It was quite successful but with considerable bad press. When manned operations stopped largely because funds were needed for the space shuttle, Space Lab was left in a parking orbit. A combination of media opposition and a scientific community with liberal opposition prevented all attempts to improve the decaying orbit to save the station for later use. Opposition to manned space efforts hit a crescendo when the Space Lab re-entered and burned up.

Apollo Stations

The opposition of the American scientific community, the media, and the liberal element to the Apollo project was endless. The project was fought resourcefully, skillfully, and with imagination. It is true that Americans landed on the moon, but I would count the Apollo project as a failure for the following reasons:

1) The coupling of lower stages into a huge, ever-growing space station in Earth orbit was planned but stopped. All these states were dumped into the Earth’s oceans to ensure their destruction. The cost of fuel was considerable.

2) The coupling of lower third-stage boosters into an orbit about the moon to establish a relatively large station capable of great growth was stopped. At great cost in precious fuel supplies, which could have been stored or used to place supplies at a station orbiting the moon, these stages were fired away from the earth-moon system. These stages are in solar orbit, where they are safe from salvages.

3) All LEMS, Lunar Exclusion Modules, have been wrecked by hurling them into the Moon. There was a plan to couple the used modules together, with some stored air, water, fuel, and food as a possible rescue station for astronauts in distress.

4) A nuclear-powered (plutonium) 238 Lunar Rover with a range of over 5000 miles was opposed, then stopped. Then the nuclear moratorium was expanded to cancel all uses of nuclear power in space systems.

5) The Saturn production lines have been shut down. The United States has no large booster, no plans to build one, and no way of placing large payloads in space.