Author Topic: Big Gemini  (Read 37602 times)

Online Blackstar

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #20 on: 04/21/2015 08:05 PM »
As long as we're on the topic of Big Gemini, it's worth pointing out the "Advanced Gemini" concepts and the "Lunar Gemini" evolved concepts for NSF members who may not know of those paper programs. 

My opinion is that pre-Apollo Lunar Gemini was taken more seriously than post-Apollo Big Gemini by NASA.


There were a bunch of different Gemini proposals ca 1963-1969. I get the impression that McDonnell was actively pushing it as much as they could. There were some circumlunar Gemini proposals.

But keep in mind that this kind of stuff annoys government agencies, particularly ones that are focused on doing a mission, have selected their technology, their approach, and their contractor, and don't want to be lobbied. NASA eventually shut down the Gemini lunar proposals. The reason was that they found them distracting. They had picked Apollo and they were working on Apollo, and they didn't need to also be dealing with constant lobbying to use Gemini instead/in addition to what they were already doing.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #21 on: 04/21/2015 08:37 PM »
Of all the Gemini variants and missions that MD was pushing, the circumlunar Gemini was the most likely to fly.  It required very little modification to the Gemini spacecraft itself (mostly a beefed-up heatshield and a directional antenna to hang out of the equipment module), and could follow mission procedures that had been proven during the mainline Gemini program.

Other variants, including Big G and Lunar Landing Gemini, were far less likely to be pursued in reality, as they would have required significant investments that would have had to come from Apollo funding, and that wasn't going to happen.  But attaching a TDA to a Centaur and using it as a TLI stage (a technique that had been proven, if not with enough power to perform a TLI, with Gemini-Agena) was very achievable.  At that time, though, they thought that Apollo would be flying that type of flight (and, moreso, going into lunar orbit) within a year and a half of the end of Gemini, and so saw no point in it.
« Last Edit: 04/21/2015 08:39 PM by the_other_Doug »
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #22 on: 04/21/2015 08:53 PM »
RanulfC, you don't have to use quotation marks unless you're quoting somebody.

Yes I've fallen back into that habit and will try and remedy it. Sorry.
(Doesn't count if I'm quoting myself I suppose :) )

Randy

Also, remember: 13-year-old girls are allowed an unlimited number of exclamation marks in whatever they write, but each adult is allocated only one per year.

What. When did that rule come into effect. Wait... You're right. I can't exclaim anymore. This is terrible.

Randy :)
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #23 on: 04/21/2015 09:00 PM »
Gemini was definitely better than Mercury, but would not have been as capable overall as Apollo was supposed to be. It pretty much WAS an interim orbital spacecraft and, (no matter how cool I think it looked :) ) didn't have much general use beyond that but it DID do its job really well despite a lot of drawbacks inevitable with such an interim design.

I don't suppose even at the time it would have been appropriate or possible to pitch something beyond Apollo given the idea that "Apollo" was going to be pretty much what came after Apollo. (In other words AAP)

Still MD did seven (7) volumes of study trying to pitch what NASA didn't want and I wonder how much more luck they would have had if the effort had been invested in what NASA was interested in?

I wonder what Big-G would have looked like as a biconic, lifting body or shuttle concept instead?

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Online Blackstar

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #24 on: 04/21/2015 09:18 PM »
Of all the Gemini variants and missions that MD was pushing, the circumlunar Gemini was the most likely to fly.  It required very little modification to the Gemini spacecraft itself (mostly a beefed-up heatshield and a directional antenna to hang out of the equipment module), and could follow mission procedures that had been proven during the mainline Gemini program.

Other variants, including Big G and Lunar Landing Gemini, were far less likely to be pursued in reality, as they would have required significant investments that would have had to come from Apollo funding

I agree that circumlunar Gemini was probably the most realistic of all their proposals. But of course there could have been devils in those details. For instance, maybe the bigger heatshield would have forced changes in the center of gravity, which would have forced changes in the attitude control system, etc. Systems engineering can be a devil.

I think there were several circumlunar Gemini proposals and at least initially it was pitched as an insurance policy in case that Apollo had big problems. But one of the issues against it was that NASA only had so many people, and they had to monitor programs. Create two programs to go to the Moon instead of simply Apollo and it increased their work tremendously.

I would point out, however, that there is an important difference between these lunar Gemini concepts and Big G. Most of the lunar proposals were not solicited or paid for by NASA. This was McDonnell trying to horn in on other people's business. Big G was proposed as a new vehicle at a time when NASA was going to be looking for a new vehicle. It may have been unsolicited, but there was a reason for it. And I think it could have had a chance if NASA was forced to adopt a lower cost option than the shuttle.

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #25 on: 04/21/2015 09:22 PM »
Gemini was definitely better than Mercury, but would not have been as capable overall as Apollo was supposed to be. It pretty much WAS an interim orbital spacecraft and, (no matter how cool I think it looked :) ) didn't have much general use beyond that but it DID do its job really well despite a lot of drawbacks inevitable with such an interim design.


This is something that is often lost by Gemini enthusiasts--Gemini was a good vehicle for its limited niche, which was an interim vehicle to accomplish certain engineering tasks. But it was nowhere near as capable as Apollo. Apollo could carry more people, it could dock, it had a hatch, it had a powerful rocket (too powerful for Earth orbit operations, by the way), and it could carry extra instruments in its SIM bay.

I think that no matter what McDonnell did, they were pushing a vehicle with inherent limitations such as small size and no docking hatch. Simply trying to get it to do things that Apollo could do required substantial redesign.

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #26 on: 04/21/2015 09:42 PM »
>snipage<
I would point out, however, that there is an important difference between these lunar Gemini concepts and Big G. Most of the lunar proposals were not solicited or paid for by NASA. This was McDonnell trying to horn in on other people's business. Big G was proposed as a new vehicle at a time when NASA was going to be looking for a new vehicle. It may have been unsolicited, but there was a reason for it. And I think it could have had a chance if NASA was forced to adopt a lower cost option than the shuttle.

I agree somewhat but disagree more so :)

As noted in the next post the main issue was the Gemini WAS an interim vehicle and what NASA really wanted wasn't something "like" Apollo but different as it were. And the orbital ferry Big-G was pretty much going head-to-head with an Apollo ferry with very few inherent advantages (and more than a few flaws as noted) by sticking with the overall Gemini design. As a cockpit design I think Gemini had some points but you need the REST of the vehicle to make it click and I don't see Big-G as that vehicle...
(Though I'm thinking around that same time was when someone came up with that whole Mars mission where the "lander" was a winged stage with a Gemini capsule on the front :) )

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #27 on: 04/22/2015 07:03 AM »
>snipage<
I would point out, however, that there is an important difference between these lunar Gemini concepts and Big G. Most of the lunar proposals were not solicited or paid for by NASA. This was McDonnell trying to horn in on other people's business. Big G was proposed as a new vehicle at a time when NASA was going to be looking for a new vehicle. It may have been unsolicited, but there was a reason for it. And I think it could have had a chance if NASA was forced to adopt a lower cost option than the shuttle.

I agree somewhat but disagree more so :)

As noted in the next post the main issue was the Gemini WAS an interim vehicle and what NASA really wanted wasn't something "like" Apollo but different as it were. And the orbital ferry Big-G was pretty much going head-to-head with an Apollo ferry with very few inherent advantages (and more than a few flaws as noted) by sticking with the overall Gemini design. As a cockpit design I think Gemini had some points but you need the REST of the vehicle to make it click and I don't see Big-G as that vehicle...
(Though I'm thinking around that same time was when someone came up with that whole Mars mission where the "lander" was a winged stage with a Gemini capsule on the front :) )

Randy

I wouldn't say the advantages of Big-G over the Apollo ferry were few it would have been almost like a US version of the Soviet TKS but with more crew and own mass capacity.
Since the docking hardware was on the back module it would be easier to change the docking system without messing with systems in the reentry vehicle.
For LEO operations it would have be a much more capable vehicle.
Apollo probably could not do half the things the Shuttle did in LEO but Big-G could have done maybe 80% of it's missions by changing the back module for different mission requirements.
« Last Edit: 04/22/2015 07:16 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Jim

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #28 on: 04/22/2015 01:15 PM »

I wouldn't say the advantages of Big-G over the Apollo ferry were few it would have been almost like a US version of the Soviet TKS but with more crew and own mass capacity.
Since the docking hardware was on the back module it would be easier to change the docking system without messing with systems in the reentry vehicle.

For LEO operations it would have be a much more capable vehicle.
Apollo probably could not do half the things the Shuttle did in LEO but Big-G could have done maybe 80% of it's missions by changing the back module for different mission requirements.


Untrue and unsubstantiated.   Typical claims of Big-G supporters.  Since Big-G never had a fixed and final configuration, it could morph into anything the supporters wanted.    The 80% is pure nonsense.   Apollo was a far more capability vehicle in any orbit.

Offline Antilope7724

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #29 on: 04/22/2015 02:05 PM »
North American Rockwell appears to be doing what McDonnell Aircraft
did with Big Gemini proposals in this winged Apollo shuttle proposal that
was even patented. It was trying to keep a program alive with kludge proposals.

I see your Big Gemini and I raise you a Winged Apollo Shuttle, with swing-wings and X-15 like landing gear/skids.  :o

"Aerospace vehicle" from 1967 & 1971
https://www.google.com/patents/US3576298?dq=apollo+rockwell&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kKc3VfStBM2RyATTo4DIBg&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-1.png

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-2.png

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-3.png

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-4.png

I think I have a name for it.....Apollo-Soar.  ::)
« Last Edit: 04/22/2015 02:12 PM by Antilope7724 »

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #30 on: 04/22/2015 02:53 PM »
I wouldn't say the advantages of Big-G over the Apollo ferry were few it would have been almost like a US version of the Soviet TKS but with more crew and own mass capacity.
Since the docking hardware was on the back module it would be easier to change the docking system without messing with systems in the reentry vehicle.
For LEO operations it would have be a much more capable vehicle.
Apollo probably could not do half the things the Shuttle did in LEO but Big-G could have done maybe 80% of it's missions by changing the back module for different mission requirements.

I will stick by my original assertion actually. :) As designed (even though it was never actually finalized) it would have been much more difficult to perform the functions of an Apollo-ferry. TKS was in and of itself not a very useful design and it was abandoned after never having been flown manned. (To semi-add insult to injury the orbital module went on to become the basis of several module and spacecraft but the main manned component was deemed inferior to Soyuz.)

Big Gemini was played up as having all the advantages of the Gemini being visibility, pilot friendly, and maneuverable but by loading the Gemini down with an extended manned module AND a cargo module and transferring most of the close-in maneuvering controls to a rear-mounted, single person station the very "advantages" touted were wiped out.

Big Gemini's main claim was that by replacing the Adapter/Retrograde/Equipment sections with an enlarged permanent "crew/cargo" module and that while doubling the amount of space of the Apollo CM it would retain the ballistics and capabilities of the basic Gemini spacecraft. And that was before you attached an orbital module to the back of the vehicle. Well, it's true the basic Big-G would have enough room to ferry anywhere from 9 to 12 astronauts, the vehicle could no longer be lifted by the Titan-II rocket and would require the man-rating (and upgrading) of the Titan-III rocket to lift into orbit. And then there was the fact that you couldn't transfer those astronauts to another vehicle or space station! For that you "required" the facilities and equipment of the orbital module! And with all the docking and rendezvous systems in the aft-docking station what was the 'reason' for having the "Gemini" module up front? For one thing the entire Rendezvous/Recovery, and Reentry RCS systems would have to be replaced as they were inadequate to handle the new loading so the ONLY part of the original Gemini is now the "cabin" section which isn't needed since all the actual on-orbit 'work' is now regulated to the aft-rendezvous and docking station!
(Around this point Big-G would have required someone to come up with KSP radial parachutes since the para-wing still wasn't ready to go yet :) )

Why is it the "Big Gemini" when at this point it pretty much doesn't have any Gemini parts left? :)

The Apollo CM's main and distinct advantages over Gemini was that it had all the same maneuver and on-orbit rendezvous capabilities but unlike Gemini it had more room, a means to dock AND transfer crew and a more robust overall structure, being designed from the start for Lunar as well as Orbital operations. And it had all this from the start where as Gemini had to be expanded and upgraded (pretty much completely replaced is more accurate) to gain ONLY the ability to dock and transfer.

Now the ONE advantage that Gemini had over Apollo was very obvious and something that the Apollo CM could only have after a major redesign but it wasn't something that was actually 'required' of Apollo. (Given that the two were designed almost simultaneously it was obvious that no one was even aware of this advantage till after the fact really)

Unlike Mercury before it, (and Apollo0 Gemini was designed with a more "maintenance-friendly" attitude in that the majority of its systems could be accessed from OUTSIDE the capsule! Where as any work on the systems for Apollo and Mercury had to be done INSIDE the pressure vessel which is a major PitA :) But Big-Gemini looses this from the start with the extended module and orbital module requiring all work to be done from inside the pressure vessel and only the Cabin section being able to be accessed from the outside.

The modular nature of the "orbital module" (back module) for Big-G means that really it could have been used as effectively with EITHER Apollo or "Big-G" and frankly it would have been much more effective to use Apollo due to not having to deal with a separate rendezvous and docking station as would have been required with Big-G. Apollo would have had to undergo a "trimming" process for use as an orbital ferry vehicle but that was well understood and studies and plans showed it was more cost effective than the estimates for Big-G had been. More to the point it was shown that Apollo could be applied to BOTH lunar landing missions AND LEO operations with no major changes where as Big-G (and all the modifications and upgrades required) were needed to make the Gemini capable of anything OTHER than doing what Gemini did during its program.

In the very end the BEST solution to the orbital ferry mission was to design it from a clean sheet of paper by all analysis, but if we had actually kept anything from Apollo it would have been the next best thing to build a new orbital ferry capsule using all the experience and data from Mercury, Gemini, AND Apollo but it would have been very little like any of them in the end. "Best" after that was to use the Apollo CM and a modified SM for orbital ferry and operations until the budget and political climate allowed a new orbital vehicle was authorized.

Big-G just never had enough points in its favor to have a chance of getting a green-light for production or use.

Randy
« Last Edit: 04/22/2015 02:54 PM by RanulfC »
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #31 on: 04/22/2015 03:13 PM »
North American Rockwell appears to be doing what McDonnell Aircraft
did with Big Gemini proposals in this winged Apollo shuttle proposal that
was even patented. It was trying to keep a program alive with kludge proposals.

I see your Big Gemini and I raise you a Winged Apollo Shuttle, with swing-wings and X-15 like landing gear/skids.  :o

"Aerospace vehicle" from 1967 & 1971
https://www.google.com/patents/US3576298?dq=apollo+rockwell&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kKc3VfStBM2RyATTo4DIBg&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-1.png

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-2.png

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-3.png

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3576298-4.png

I think I have a name for it.....Apollo-Soar.  ::)

That. Would. Never. Work. :)

The design would never really "fly" as shown and any time in a wind tunnel would have proven that. Though NAR patented the design I don't think it was ever even proposed to NASA itself. Unlike Big-G which was despite a serious lack of interest :)

Since the application came in around 1967 I suspect it was included with the numerous Apollo Applications "type" patents which included a land-landing Apollo CM (with landing legs "borrowed" from the then most recent Mars lander studies) and extended/expanded Apollo CM and a "new" design that would have carried 12 astronauts in a capsule shaped like the Viking Aeroshell :)

There's another patent I can't find at the moment which shows the Apollo CM (as with this one the heat-shield is removed) which shows the SM as an integral part of the whole vehicle but there's no engine at all and just cargo and passenger space.

A much more recent (and only tangently having anything to do with the thread being only based on the Apollo CM shape) proposal had an Apollo-like CM mated to another Apollo-like CM base-to-base and the other CM was actually an SM with the engine bell capable of being covered by a folding nose cap. The point being that both CM-shapes reentered and were recovered in the same manner. Given the size/volumes involved I don't think its a particularly workable idea mind you but it's an interesting one.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #32 on: 04/22/2015 05:49 PM »
...Well, it's true the basic Big-G would have enough room to ferry anywhere from 9 to 12 astronauts, the vehicle could no longer be lifted by the Titan-II rocket and would require the man-rating (and upgrading) of the Titan-III rocket to lift into orbit...

Just a minor set of nits -- first the Titan IIIC was already in process to be man-rated at that time, for the MOL program.  MD had every reason to believe, in 1967 (when these design studies were generated, I believe) that MOL was going to be flown; after all, they were in the process of building Blue Gemini.  So their proposals for Big G could reasonably assume that the Titan IIIC would be available and man-rated for any of their Gemini variants.

Second, Big G (at least in the proposals I've seen) was proposed with its primary variant to be launched by a Saturn IB.  Only the secondary variant, with a smaller diameter orbital module to fit the diameter of the upper stage of the IIIC transstage, was designed for the Titan.  And, of course, the Saturn was designed from the start to be man-rated.

So, the issue of needing to spend extra funds to man-rate the potential Big G launch vehicles is rather a non-issue, I'm afraid.  Either way they went, they were looking to use boosters that were already to be man-rated.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #33 on: 04/22/2015 06:18 PM »
...Well, it's true the basic Big-G would have enough room to ferry anywhere from 9 to 12 astronauts, the vehicle could no longer be lifted by the Titan-II rocket and would require the man-rating (and upgrading) of the Titan-III rocket to lift into orbit...

Just a minor set of nits -- first the Titan IIIC was already in process to be man-rated at that time, for the MOL program.  MD had every reason to believe, in 1967 (when these design studies were generated, I believe) that MOL was going to be flown; after all, they were in the process of building Blue Gemini.  So their proposals for Big G could reasonably assume that the Titan IIIC would be available and man-rated for any of their Gemini variants.

Second, Big G (at least in the proposals I've seen) was proposed with its primary variant to be launched by a Saturn IB.  Only the secondary variant, with a smaller diameter orbital module to fit the diameter of the upper stage of the IIIC transstage, was designed for the Titan.  And, of course, the Saturn was designed from the start to be man-rated.

So, the issue of needing to spend extra funds to man-rate the potential Big G launch vehicles is rather a non-issue, I'm afraid.  Either way they went, they were looking to use boosters that were already to be man-rated.

I sit corrected :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #34 on: 05/12/2015 06:26 PM »
Two of the pages in Logsdon's book referring to Big-G. He indicates that it was under consideration as late as October 1971. Considering that it was first proposed in 1967, it was bopping around for awhile.

What I don't understand is why Big-G was more favored than a modified Apollo. The Apollo could carry 6 and Big-G in its early iteration was up to 12, but the 1971 discussion indicates they were talking about 7. So for a ballistic capsule was there some reason why NASA officials didn't like the Apollo option, which would have been cheaper?

Offline Archibald

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #35 on: 05/12/2015 08:04 PM »
My personal opinion is that Big Gemini was considered a space station logistic vehicle while Apollo was not. That was the - tenuous - difference between the two.
I mean that Big Gemini was morphologically like a space shuttle - a cockpit flanked with a cylindrical cargo section. Apollo had a large service module that couldn't hold cargo and was unuseful in low Earth orbit.

To change Apollo into a space station logistic vehicle you would need something like a MPLM on the "nose" and a much smaller service module. The MPLM is stowed below the CSM, and Apollo pick it up via a 180 degree transposition maneuver, just like they did with the Lunar Module.

As of 1967 Big Gemini was to be an interim (AAP) space station logistic vehicle to fill a gap with the coming space shuttle. As for Apollo, it was considered only for lunar flights.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2015 08:08 PM by Archibald »

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #36 on: 05/13/2015 08:52 PM »
"Big Gemini" was a mostly "ground-up" rebuild for a ferry vehicle while Apollo would have had to have some modifications to carry out the same mission. Big Gemini got started earlier due to delays in getting Apollo designs and built for the Moon but Apollo was actually the more robust design. (A given since it had to do everything Gemini could do AND the Lunar requirements as well)

I don't think Big Gemini was more "favored" but that it was more "in-the-face" with more company work and support than the Apollo at that time. I suspect that by 1971 NASA officials were pretty much aware that most of the Apollo equipment was heading for shut-down despite management an others being of a different opinion. I can't see there was a lot of effort being put forward to "save" the Apollo stuff which if it was going to happen at all should have been an obvious priority.

Big Gemini never had much "official" support that I could tell and it was never the 'baseline' ferry vehicle either. As a "compromise" if needed I can see NASA "looking" at it for an interim ferry but only if it looks like Nixon won't support the development of a purpose built "shuttle" vehicle.

Circumstances have kept me from buying the book yet but please don't let that stop you from posting about it :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #37 on: 05/13/2015 10:31 PM »
I'm working on an article on Big Gemini. There's very limited material to work with. This morning I went over to NASA HQ and went through their archives to see what they had on BG. Here is one of the few things that I found.


Online mike robel

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #38 on: 05/13/2015 11:33 PM »
My impression, from Jim Orburg's latest book, is that NASA was pretty much focused only on the space shuttle and even if a better idea had been handed to them on a golden platter and with no charge, they would have rejected it.

Online mike robel

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Re: Big Gemini
« Reply #39 on: 05/14/2015 03:08 AM »
My impression, from Jim Orburg's latest book, is that NASA was pretty much focused only on the space shuttle and even if a better idea had been handed to them on a golden platter and with no charge, they would have rejected it.

You mean John Logsdon's book.

I posted two relevant pages up-thread. What surprised me was that Big Gemini was still in discussion as late as August-October 1971, which is quite a few years after it was initially proposed.

That's correct.  What was I thinking? Thanks!

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