Encyclopedia Astronautica
Apollo SMLL

Apollo SMLL
American lunar logistics spacecraft. Study 1966. North American Aviation (NAA) proposed use of the SM as a lunar logistics vehicle (LLV) in 1966. The configuration, simply stated, put a landing gear on the SM.

It was proposed for use in an unmanned, direct landing mode. The system required the addition of remote guidance and control and a suitable throttling engine.

So-called "conversions" of the present SM engine really inferred a new engine development, probably of the same magnitude as that required for the LM descent engine. It was considered wiser by NASA's Bellcomm consultants to develop a new pump-fed engine or use a converted Agena engine and take advantage of the superior performance available.

Advantages of the SM Lander were said to be simple mission configuration; straightforward development; and substantial payload capacity at an early operational date (5,000 kg with an Apollo Block 1 SM; 7500 kg with a service module extended in length by 107 cm). Technical challenges included designing the landing gear and throttling engine provisions, and remote guidance and control for lunar landing.

AKA: SM Logistic Lander.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Lunar Landers Lunar lander design started with the British Interplanetary Society's concept of 1939, followed by Von Braun's 3964 tonne monster of 1953. It then settled down to more reasonably-sized variants. Landers came in three main types: two stage versions, with the first stage being a lunar crasher that would brake the spacecraft until just above the lunar surface, then separate, allowing the second stage to land on the surface; two stage versions consisting of a descent stage that went all the way to the surface, and an ascent stage that would take the crew from the surface to lunar orbit or on an earth-return trajectory; and single stage versions, using liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen propellants. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

  • Bendersky, C, Manned Lunar Program Options - Mission Equipment - Case 230, Bellcomm memo for file, Sept. 29, 1967.

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