Author Topic: Big Gemini  (Read 7157 times)

Offline gladiator1332

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Big Gemini
« on: 08/17/2005 03:36 AM »
I've been a Big 'G fanatic for awhile now...just ask the guys over at the Orbiter Space Flight Simulator forum, they'll tell you. Back in its time Big Gemini did make sense, back when the Air Force still had interest in the Gemini design, and when NASA wanted a quick option for a space station crew transfer craft. They knew Apollo could only launch a crew of three, so they needed something bigger. And thus we have Big Gemini, with the capability to launch a larger crew than the Shuttle. Some estimates had Big Gemini launch anywhere from 6-12 crew members. But, after the Air Force pulled the plug on MOL and Blue Gemini, there was no need for a Big Gemini. NASA had Apollo, and soon began to concentrate on the Shuttle.

For background on Big G see:

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/bigemini.htm

But now, with the VSE, NASA needs a new ship. Sure we can go the lifting body or biconic route, but if we are going with the ballistic capsule design, why not revive the old Big Gemini design. We would take what we know about the old Gemini design, and completely modernize it, just like some of the Apollo-like CEV designs. Big G has a lay out much like some of the biconic designs we have seen, a compartment for the pilot and co pilot to fly the spacecraft, a crew compartment, and then it also has another area in the rear of the spacecraft for cargo stowage. This is also where the controls are for docking...remember, Big G used the rear-docking system. So it would deffinatly come close to some of the layouts we have seen on the CEV concepts.
We may not need to send 12 people to the Moon right when we start out, a crew of 4 would fit more than comfortably in Big G, and once it comes time for larger crews, we don't need to redesign the entire spacecraft to squeeze in a few more people. That's the problem with the current CEV designs. They assume we will want to launch a crew of 4 for the next 30 years. Eventually we willl be staying on the Moon longer, and we will want more people on the surface.
And if you want to get even more inventive...let's do away with the old ballistic syle of landing. The original Big Gemini would have landed using a regallo wing and skids, however, there were plans of a "winged Gemini"

"The most radical modification of the basic Gemini reentry module ever proposed. Drawing on the results of the ASSET subscale winged reentry vehicle program, McDonnell proposed a version of the spacecraft using the same internal systems but capable of a piloted runway landing. The spacecraft was designed for launch by the standard Titan 2 Gemini Launch Vehicle. Unlike the ballistic Gemini, winged Gemini was not designed to maneuver in orbit (launch on a Titan 3A or 3C with a transtage would be required for that capability). Separation from the launch vehicle was made by 2 x 260 kgf solid motors; attitude control in orbit was provided by 8 x 45 kgf bipropellant thrusters at the base of the vehicle; retrofire was initiated by 5 x 1165 kgf solid rocket motors. "

http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/g/gemwingi.jpg

And a link to the Astronautix page: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/winemini.htm


It seems like a crazy idea, but you could have Big Gemini land on a runway, just like any spaceplane. Astronautix even classifies Winged Gemini as a spaceplane. There have been so many studies done with Gemini that the possibilities are endless. For awhile, NASA even considered sending Gemini on a circumlunar flight, nearly a year before Apollo 8 would accomplish the same feat. There were also studies into using the Gemini capsule as the CM for a lunar mission, and several rescue scenarios involving Gemini coming to the rescue of stranded Apollo astronauts were considered. Big Gemini provides a flexible and simple means of returning to the Moon.

Offline SRBseparama

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RE: Big Gemini
« Reply #1 on: 08/17/2005 03:49 AM »
I'm a bit wary about NASA using what look like tin cans to use for CEV ops.

Offline Flightstar

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RE: Big Gemini
« Reply #2 on: 08/17/2005 04:05 AM »
I'm pretty sure it's between the CEV SRB Stick and the LockMart Lifting Body. LockMart are very confident!

Offline NASA_LaRC_SP

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RE: Big Gemini
« Reply #3 on: 08/17/2005 04:33 AM »
I hear the same. Both may get that flyoff between each other.

Offline gladiator1332

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RE: Big Gemini
« Reply #4 on: 08/17/2005 04:36 AM »
I know there really isn't much chance for a Big Gemini rebirth, kinda one of those things that can work, but just won't be considered. I'm not so sure about the current concepts. I think Lockheed will stick with theirs, but Boeing still seems a little undecided. We are getting a lot of different things out of them. We see an Apollo style cpasule, then a Soyuz clone, and now a
DC-X like vehicle. Seems like they are all over the place.

Offline Shuttle Man

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RE: Big Gemini
« Reply #5 on: 08/25/2005 12:50 AM »
Quote
SRBseparama - 16/8/2005  10:49 PM

I'm a bit wary about NASA using what look like tin cans to use for CEV ops.

One thing to say:

Ex-Apollo, waiting for NASA to finish what we started.

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