Gemini Lunar Flyby
American manned lunar flyby spacecraft. Study 1964. In the spring of 1964, with manned Apollo flights using the Saturn I having been cancelled, use of a Saturn I to launch a Gemini around the moon was studied.
This could either be flown in the long gap between the end of Gemini and the start of Apollo/Saturn IB flights, or as a contingency to beat the Russians around the moon if Apollo suffered severe delays. An Agena, Transtage, or Centaur upper stage would have been added to the Saturn I in order to boost Gemini to the moon. But Von Braun and others were not interested. They definitely did not want Congress getting wind of anything that could undermine support for Apollo. On June 8 NASA headquarters issued instructions that "any circumlunar mission studies related to the use of Gemini would be confined to in-house study efforts" and prohibiting issuance of contracts to McDonnell to pursue the matter.
Crew Size: 2. Habitable Volume: 2.55 m3.
More... - Chronology...
Gemini The Gusmobile could have conquered space - faster, better cheaper. An endless number of Gemini derivatives would have performed tasks in earth orbit, and flown around and landed on the moon. Could the US have won the moon and space station races at a fraction of the expense? Browse through the many might-have-been Geminis! More...
Manned Circumlunar Boosting a manned spacecraft on a loop around the moon, without entering lunar orbit, allows a trip to be made near the moon with a total low earth orbit mass of as little as 20 tonnes. This was attractive during the space race as a manned mission that could be accomplished early with limited booster power. Gemini, Apollo, and Soyuz were all supposed to have made circumlunar flights. Only Soyuz reached the circumlunar flight-test stage under the L1 program. Any L1 manned missions were cancelled after the Americans reached lunar orbit with Apollo 8. The idea was resurrected in 2005 when a $100 million commercial flight around the moon was proposed, again using Soyuz. More...
Associated Launch Vehicles
Saturn I American orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun launch vehicle known as 'Cluster's Last Stand' - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
McDonnell American manufacturer of spacecraft. McDonnell, St Louis, USA. More...
Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use