Author Topic: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"  (Read 18577 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« on: 08/29/2012 02:29 pm »
In the late 1960s NASA started investigating a human mission to Mars that was apparently spearheaded by Wernher von Braun and known as the "Integrated Plan."

The six volumes of reports for the Boeing Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft (IMIS) for a manned mission to Mars are available on the NASA Technical Reports Server.

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.1, Summary, January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680009769_1968009769.pdf

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.2, System Assessment & Sensitivities, January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680009673_1968009673.pdf

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.3(a), Systems Analysis (Missions & Operations), January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680009770_1968009770.pdf

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.3(b), Systems Analysis (Experiment Program), January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680009780_1968009780.pdf

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.4, System Definition, January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680009779_1968009779.pdf

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.5, Plans & Costs, January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680010368_1968010368.pdf

Boeing, Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft Concept Definition, Final Report Vol.6, Cost Effective Subsystem Selection & Evolutionary Development, January, 1968
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19680009778_1968009778.pdf


I've got some questions about the Integrated Plan that I'm going to put in another post.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #1 on: 08/29/2012 02:30 pm »
I've been looking at the Boeing study and trying to figure out how it compares to the Von Braun "Integrated Plan."

The Boeing version shows five NERVA-type rockets. Three at the base, and two stacked on top. But the Von Braun one apparently only had three. I'm not sure what was the last version. Was it the Von Braun one? Does anybody have more info on who was proposing what and when?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #2 on: 08/29/2012 02:33 pm »
Here is an image of the spacecraft enroute to Mars:

Offline IRobot

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #3 on: 08/29/2012 03:38 pm »
The Boeing version shows five NERVA-type rockets. Three at the base, and two stacked on top. But the Von Braun one apparently only had three. I'm not sure what was the last version. Was it the Von Braun one? Does anybody have more info on who was proposing what and when?
I'm reading (vol 2) 3 at the earth departure stage, 1 at mars deceleration and 1 at mars return.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #4 on: 08/29/2012 04:21 pm »
I'm reading (vol 2) 3 at the earth departure stage, 1 at mars deceleration and 1 at mars return.

Right, but my question was why the WvB plan only had three, whereas the Boeing one had five.

I got a partial answer to my question here:

https://falsesteps.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/mars-expedition-1969-nasas-waterloo/

The author notes that in 1969 von Braun reduced the payload, which then made the vehicle a lot smaller (cutting it down from the five to three propulsion stages). I'm trying to get info on that proposal.

Offline js117

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #5 on: 08/31/2012 10:23 pm »
I've been looking at the Boeing study and trying to figure out how it compares to the Von Braun "Integrated Plan."

The Boeing version shows five NERVA-type rockets. Three at the base, and two stacked on top. But the Von Braun one apparently only had three. I'm not sure what was the last version. Was it the Von Braun one? Does anybody have more info on who was proposing what and when?

Would this ever have gone into production because of the 5 NERVA-type rockets. Today it wold be very hard.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #6 on: 09/07/2012 01:12 pm »
I think the difference in number of NERVAs was whether the Mars ship used lunar nuclear shuttles or purpose build NERVA tugs.
The reasonning was to build a fleet of reusable nuclear shuttle for lunar missions to replace Apollo, and at a later date to borrow some tugs for a Mars shot.
I think I red that in one of David Portree numerous blog entries, but can't remember where and when...
Han shot first and Gwynne Shotwell !

Offline dbaker

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #7 on: 09/07/2012 02:48 pm »
Bear in mind the Integrated Plan was across all post-Apollo elements for an 'integrated' program involving STS Shuttle, Cislunar Shuttle, Space Tug, Nuclear Shuttle (different to Cislunar Shuttle), Low Earth Orbit Space Station, Geosynchronous Orbit Space Station, Lunar Orbit Station, Lunar Surface Base and Mars Base. It was never just a Mars mission.

It all kicked off in 1967-1969 when the classic AAP was getting very tired, going nowhere and taking a nose-dive. Post-fire period 1968 saw a real uplift in confidence that Apollo would make it before the end of the decade and there was a general flurry of enthusiasm to catch the mood.

Boeing did some fantastic work on futures activity and had an interest in that they were in for multiple S-IC stages if it all came together. But of course they were not really interested in those - they wanted the nuclear work and that tied in to some milspace program's that got the Russkies worried.

Planning was changing week by week in a concerted move to get something together to ride on the back of a wave of public acclaim over the impending Moon landings that never actually existed in the way believed by advocates of a burgeoning space program.

All of this fed in to the infamous Integrated Space Program of September 1969 and the wild promises of Spiro Agnew when he lost the plot, got evryone all fired up and overstretched the mark about manned Mars missions, etc.

Boeing's Gordon Woodcock got everybody's attention with his Solar Power Satellites during the Carter years of 'green' government! I still have all the prime documents. Boeing was amazing in those days and put a shedload of money in futures work.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #8 on: 09/07/2012 03:19 pm »
I think the difference in number of NERVAs was whether the Mars ship used lunar nuclear shuttles or purpose build NERVA tugs.
The reasonning was to build a fleet of reusable nuclear shuttle for lunar missions to replace Apollo, and at a later date to borrow some tugs for a Mars shot.
I think I red that in one of David Portree numerous blog entries, but can't remember where and when...

I have not gone through this closely yet. There is some discussion in Portree's Humans to Mars monograph, where he calls the 1968 Boeing study the most detailed and ambitious Mars study done up to that time. I did not realize that the vehicle was over 500 feet long!

I'm just trying to figure out how the size got reduced by the 1969 Integrated Plan. I don't think that this was because of the shuttles/tugs issue for NERVA, although it certainly appears (I've gotta check) that the 1968 study used expendable NERVAs and the 1969 one reused the first propulsion stages. However, if anything, that should have hurt the performance, because they would have needed to slow the first stages and bring them back to LEO, rather than simply dumping them. That should have been a mass penalty.

My guess is that the answer is somewhere in the payload size issue. They must have chopped enough off of the payload on the 1968 Boeing study to enable them to eliminate two of the NERVA stages.

One thing I'm curious about is if the Mars Excursion Module that they considered would have actually worked. As the Braun/Manning paper from 2006 indicates, conventional powered landing just won't work at Mars and we need some new technology. I wonder if somebody plugged that MEM design into an entry descent and landing simulator would it come to a full stop a few hundred feet below the Martian surface?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #9 on: 09/07/2012 03:44 pm »
Here is the Humans to Mars monograph. The relevant stuff is in chapter 5, which I have not really looked at yet.

Offline Quindar Beep

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #10 on: 09/07/2012 04:42 pm »
There's a colour version of Portree's monograph on NASA's website. So far as I know the text is the same as the one you linked here, but the grey-scale pictures are a bit easier to see since it's not a scan:

http://history.nasa.gov/monograph21.pdf

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #11 on: 09/07/2012 07:37 pm »
There's a colour version of Portree's monograph on NASA's website. So far as I know the text is the same as the one you linked here, but the grey-scale pictures are a bit easier to see since it's not a scan:

http://history.nasa.gov/monograph21.pdf

Welcome to the crew QB, and thank you for the Monograph21; think I have my reading material for the weekend  ;) ; fascinating reading, (up to page 12) considering what we weren't privy to back then;

Cheers
Gramps "Earthling by Birth, Martian by the grace of The Elon." ~ "Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet." Maya Angelou ~ Tony Benn: "Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself."

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #12 on: 09/07/2012 08:38 pm »
Okay, here's the Integrated Plan. The illustrations were contained separate from the report, and I don't have them yet. I posted one earlier in the thread.

Offline mike robel

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #13 on: 09/07/2012 09:01 pm »
Excellent.  Hoping you will be able to track down the illustrations.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #14 on: 09/07/2012 09:18 pm »
I'm reading (vol 2) 3 at the earth departure stage, 1 at mars deceleration and 1 at mars return.

Right, but my question was why the WvB plan only had three, whereas the Boeing one had five.

I got a partial answer to my question here:

https://falsesteps.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/mars-expedition-1969-nasas-waterloo/

The author notes that in 1969 von Braun reduced the payload, which then made the vehicle a lot smaller (cutting it down from the five to three propulsion stages). I'm trying to get info on that proposal.

I have also seen reference to a version with four NERVAs.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Quindar Beep

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #15 on: 09/07/2012 10:20 pm »
Okay, here's the Integrated Plan. The illustrations were contained separate from the report

Oooo, nice find, illustrations or not. In any case, I think many of the Mars ones have been posted across the 'net piecemeal. I've attached some that I've got, and numbered them based on the table at the end of the document just by cross-referencing the titles.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2012 10:21 pm by Quindar Beep »

Offline Wicky

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #16 on: 09/12/2012 06:37 pm »
Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning,  Pg. 29

http://history.nasa.gov/monograph21.pdf

Can anyone estimate what would have been the closing velocity in this interesting manoeuvre  ???

Quote
In the 1966 JAG piloted flyby plan, the automated MSSR would land on Mars about two hours before the flyby craft flew past the planet and would immediately set to work gathering rock and soil samples using scoop, brush, sticky tape, drill, and suction collection devices. Less than two hours after MSSR touchdown, its ascent vehicle first stage would ignite. If all went well, the ascent vehicle's small third stage would deliver the samples to a point in space a few miles ahead of the flyby craft about 17 minutes later, 5 minutes after the flyby craft's closest Mars approach. As their craft overtook the sample package, the astronauts would snatch it in passing using a boom-mounted docking ring. They would then deposit it inside the Experiment Module's biology lab.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #17 on: 09/25/2012 11:26 am »
An analysis of the issue with the nuclear stages and shuttles.
That bit is a little scary
Quote
Osias noted that the NFSD contractors had recommended that no piloted spacecraft approach to within 100 miles of an operating NERVA I engine.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/09/nuclear-flight-system-definition-studies-1971/
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #18 on: 09/25/2012 03:10 pm »
Quote from: David S. F. Portree
Von Braun described a Mars expedition "on the grand scale", with ten 4,000-ton ships and 70 crewmembers.

Those were the days.

Thanks to Blackstar, Quindar Beep, and all for posting.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Von Braun's late 1960s Mars "Integrated Plan"
« Reply #19 on: 09/26/2012 11:50 pm »
Okay, here are the captions for the slides the Von Braun used for his presentation to the Space Task Group about the Integrated Plan. I think that what I uploaded earlier (I have not read it yet) was the report, and these are the captions that he would have read.

I don't have the images, but some of them have already been posted here.

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