Encyclopedia Astronautica
Lockheed Project 7969

Project 7969 Designs
Project 7969 ballistic designs. From left: Lockheed; Martin; Aeronutronics; Goodyear; McDonnell; Convair
Credit: © Mark Wade
American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Lockheed's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a 20 degree semiapex angle cone with a hemispherical tip of 30 cm radius. The pilot was in a sitting position facing rearward.

The capsule would be launched by an Atlas-Hustler combination into a 480 km orbit for a 4 hour mission.

Tracking would use the Minitrack System and deorbit would be accomplished by retrorocket providing a 60 m/sec braking impulse. Spacecraft attitude control was by rocket thrusters and electrically-powered motors. The spacecraft was automatic and no pilot intervention was required. Maximum G-forces during re-entry were 8 g's and either ablative or beryllium heat shields could be used. In case of booster failure during ascent to orbit the capsule would eject from the booster. The spacecraft had a ballistic coefficient (W/CdA) of 500 kg per square meter. Landing precision was within a 650 x 30 km footprint. It was expected that a first manned orbital flight could be achieved 24 months after a go-ahead at a cost of $ 10-100 million.

Gross mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb).
Height: 4.26 m (13.97 ft).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Man-In-Space-Soonest The beginning of the Air Force's Man-In-Space-Soonest program has been traced back to a staff meeting of General Thomas S Power, Commander of the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) in Baltimore on 15 February 1956. Power wanted studies to begin on manned space vehicles that would follow the X-15 rocketplane. These were to include winged and ballistic approaches - the ballistic rocket was seen as being a militarily useful intercontinental troop and cargo vehicle. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
  • Atlas Agena A American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas D + 1 x Agena A upper stage. Agena originally called 'Hustler', based on engine for cancelled rocket-propelled nuclear warhead pod for B-58 Hustler bomber. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...

  • Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.
  • Swenson, Grimwood, Alexander, Charles C, This New Ocean, Government Printing Office, 1966. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Grimwood, James M., Project Mercury: A Chronology, NASA Special Publication-4001.

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