SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION
AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND
DOWNGRADED AT 12 YEAR
DOD DIR 5200.10
AIR FORCE SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION
AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND
29 May 1961
by Mark Wade
In May 1961, just as Kennedy had decided that NASA should put an
American on the moon, the US Air Force released a secret report,
summarising the result of years of planning to place a military base
on the moon by 1967. As you read through the Lunex project report,
it is interesting to note the following:
If Project Lunex had been pursued instead of Apollo, the United
States would have ended the sixties with a launch vehicle very
similar to the Shuttle - solid rocket boosters, a Lox/LH2 core, a
lifting re-entry vehicle. This clearly could have provided a better
basis for follow-on programs than Apollo did. The USAF launch
vehicle studies of the late 1960's again came up with a very similar
configuration, and NASA finally came to the same conclusion for the
Shuttle design as well. One advantage of the Lunex booster is that
it also provided a heavy-lift launch vehicle in the pure cargo
In this report you will discover the reason for USAF support of
development of the advanced and large rocket engines begun in the
late 1950's: the LR-115 (RL-10), J-2, F-1, M-1, and large solid
rocket motors. The RL-10, designed for the USAF from the beginning
as a throttleable motor for the Lunex lunar lander, finally put this
capability to use twenty years later in the DC-X VTOL vehicle.
The schedule was extremely over-optimistic. First lunar landing was
by the end of 1966, while the booster and vehicle were considerably
more advanced than the Apollo approach. Examples include:
Lox/LH2 in the lunar landing stages,
including throttleability and months-long lunar hibernation
times between engine restarts
Mach 35 lifting body re-entry
Computer data storage capabilities
and technologies not even achieved today
Electrostatic gyro platforms (not
perfected until the late 1970's in the B-52's SPN-GNS platform)
In hindsight it is apparent that
increasing Air Force preoccupation with the Viet Nam War in the same
period would have resulted in the program stretching and perhaps
eventually being cancelled (as with all other Air Force manned space
Many of the techniques for Project Lunex reappear in Korolev's early
L3 lunar expedition plans. These include the selection of base sites
by automated probes; the planting of homing transponders on the
lunar surface for precision landing of manned landers and cargo
craft (by Surveyor spacecraft in Lunex, by Luna Ye-8 landers and
Lunokhods in the Russian plans); and methods of direct lunar
The Intelligence Section contains a mixture of erroneous beliefs as
to the characteristics of the booster stages of the R-7 launch
vehicle, mixed with some accurate intelligence on the upper stages
(calculable from tracking and telemetry intercepts for Turkey). It
would seem that as of this date no accurate intelligence or
photograph of the R-7 vehicle on the pad had been made. The
information as to Soviet intentions (no plans to go to the moon) was
more accurate,. It would seem that both the USAF and Kennedy picked
the moon goal as one in which the Russians were not really
Many thanks to Joel Carpenter for locating and providing a copy of
the declassified Lunex report
LUNAR EXPEDITION PLAN - LUNEX
Development - Test - Production
Budget And Financial
Personnel And Training
Intelligence (what the USAF thought the Russians were up to in
Appendix #1 - Glossary Of Terms
This document provides a plan for a manned Lunar Expedition. It was
prepared to furnish more detailed information in support of the
National Space Program proposed by a USAF committee chaired by Major
General J R Holzapple. That report pointed out the dire need for a
goal for our national apace program. The Lunar Expedition was chosen
as the goal since it not only provides a sufficient challenge to the
nation, but also provides technical fall-outs for greatly improved
Previous editions of this plan have provided guidance and incentive
to Air Force technical groups. Consequently, their efforts have
established a broad technical base within the Air Force from which
rapid advances can be made. This capability has been taken into
account in laying out the accelerated schedules in this plan.
O J RITLAND
Major General, USAF
This document contains information affecting the national defense of
the United States within the meaning of the Espionage Laws, Title
18, U S.C. Section 793 and 794, the transmission or revelation of
which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law
PROPOSED SYSTEM PACKAGE PLAN
Prepared by Support Systems Plans Division
Approved by Norair M. Lulejian
Systems Plans and Analysis
SECTION I - SUMMARY
The Lunar Expedition has as its objective manned exploration of the
moon with the first manned landing and return in late 1967. This one
achievement if accomplished before the USSR, will serve to
demonstrate conclusively that this nation possesses the capability
to win future competition in technology. No space achievement short
of this goal will have equal technological significance, historical
impact, or excite the entire world.
Extensive studies by Air Force-Industry teams during 1958, 1959, and
1960 examined all facets of the problem and techniques of sending
men to the moon and resulted in a feasible concept which is
attainable at an early date and is economical and reliable.
Laboratories within the Air Force participated in this effort, thus
establishing a broad technological base which can react quickly to
an expanded high priority program.
The lunar mission would be initiated by the launching of the lunar
payload by a large, three-stage liquid or solid propellant booster
to escape velocity on a lunar intercept trajectory. The payload,
consisting of a Lunar Landing Stage, Lunar Launching Stage and a
manned vehicle, would use a lunar horizon scanner and a Doppler
altimeter for orientation prior to a soft landing using the Lunar
Landing Stage. Terminal guidance using pre-positioned beacons would
be required for landing at a pre-selected site. The Lunar Launch
Stage would provide the necessary boost for the return to earth of
the manned Lunex Re-entry Vehicle. Using mid-course guidance and
aerodynamic braking, the vehicle would effect re-entry and a normal
unpowered aircraft landing at a ZI base.
In addition to the manned vehicle a cargo payload is included in
this plan. The cargo payload would utilise the same three-stage
earth launch booster and the same lunar landing techniques. However
it would not be returned to earth and would be used only to
transport supplies and cargo to the expedition on the moon.
The primary concept recommended in this plan is the "direct shot"
method since studies have indicated it could be available at an
earlier date and it would be more reliable. Another concept is also
suggested which consists of the rendezvous and assembly of
components in an earth orbit before ejection into a lunar
trajectory. The techniques and development required for this latter
concept are documented under a separate SSP titled, SAINT.
Therefore, no details of this concept are presented in this plan.
All schedules relating the two plans have been co-ordinated to
insure compatibility and to take advantage of mutual advances. Since
neither rendezvous techniques nor large boosters have been
demonstrated, both approaches must be pursued until it becomes
obvious that one of them has clear advantages over the other.
The following developments are required in order to accomplish the
a. A three-man Lunex Re-entry Vehicle. This vehicle must be capable
of re-entry into the earth's atmosphere at velocities of 37, 000
ft/sec. It must also be capable of making a conventional aircraft
landing. Control and improved guidance for entering the earth's
atmosphere at the proper place and angle is needed as well as
improved materials to withstand the high surface temperatures.
Adequate life support equipment is also required. The development of
this vehicle is the key to the accomplishment of the Lunex program
and is one of the pacing development items. A detailed schedule for
its development is included.
b. A Lunar Landing Stage for decelerating and landing the entire
payload. This stage must have the capability to decelerate 134,000
pounds from a velocity of almost 9,000 ft/sec to 20 ft/sec at
touchdown. A Doppler altimeter is required to provide information
for ignition and control of the engine. Horizon scanners must be
used to orient the payload to the local vertical.
c. A Lunar Launch Stage capable of launching the manned Lunex
Re-entry Vehicle from the lunar surface. Lunar ascent guidance is
required to place the vehicle on the proper trajectory.
A three-stage earth launch booster, referenced as a space
launching system. The first stage will use either LOX/LH2 with six
million pounds of thrust or a solid fuel with an equivalent launch
capability. The second and third stages will use LOX/LH2. The
development of this space launching system is considered the pacing
development item for the Lunex program. Because of the magnitude of
the booster program and the applicability of the booster to other
programs, the plan for its development is being presented
In addition to the above listed hardware developments, additional
information is required about the lunar surface such as its physical
and roughness characteristics. High resolution photographs of the
entire lunar surface may provide this information. Present NASA
plans if expedited could provide the information for this Lunex
program. NASA's Surveyor (soft lunar landing) program could also
incorporate radio-light beacons which would be used later in
conjunction with a terminal landing system. A core sample of lunar
material is required as soon as possible so that design of lunar
landing devices and lunar facilities can be accomplished.
1.4 MAJOR PROBLEM AREAS
The development of techniques for re-entering the earth's atmosphere
at 37,000 ft/sec is one of the major problems. Guidance equipment
must be very accurate to insure that the re-entry angle is within +-
2°. Too steep an entry angle will cause overheating and intolerable
G loads, while too shallow an entry angle may permit the Lunex
Re-entry Vehicle to skip out of the atmosphere into a highly
eccentric earth orbit. If this happens, the vehicle may spend
several days in the trapped radiation belts and may exceed the time
limits of the ecological system.
The Lunar Landing Stage will be a difficult development because of a
requirement for orientation with the local vertical when approaching
the moon. It must also be guided to the selected landing site. Many
tests will be required to develop the necessary equipment.
The Lunar Launching Stage will be another difficult development. The
pre-launch countdown must be performed automatically and, if the
launching booster is not vertical upon launch, corrections must be
made in order to attain the required moon-earth trajectory.
Although the foregoing developments are difficult, no technological
break-through will be required. All designs can be based on
extrapolation of present technology.
Major milestones in the program are:
a. Recovery of a manned re-entry vehicle from 50,000 miles in 1965.
b. Manned Circumlunar flight in 1966.
Manned lunar landing and return in 1967.
These and other significant events are shown on Chart I-A.
1.6 CAPABILITIES DEVELOPED
The development of large boosters, rendezvous techniques and
manoeuvrable space vehicles, all required for the Lunar Expedition,
will also provide a capability for many new and advanced space
achievements. For example, the Space Launching System which will
boost 134,000 pounds to escape velocity will boost approximately
350,000 pounds into a 300 nm orbit, or will launch a manned vehicle
on a pass around either Mars or Venus.
1.7 MANAGEMENT ACTIONS REQUIRED
The major Management Milestones for FY62 and FY63 are shown on Chart
I-B. Immediate attention by Management to obtain Program Approval
and Funding by July 1961 is necessary if the United States is to put
a "man on the moon" by August 1967.
Throughout the Lunex program time allocated for management and Air
Force technical evaluations has been kept to a minimum. This is
essential to meet the schedules, and delays in providing funding as
indicated, or in receiving notification of required decisions, will
have the direct effect of delaying the program end objective.
SECTION II - PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Shortly after the first Sputnik was launched in October 1957,
Headquarters, ARDC initiated a series of studies to examine the
military potential of space operations. These studies were
accomplished by Industry-Air Force teams each working independently.
Two of these studies which were the forerunners of this Lunex plan
were "Lunar Observatory" and "Strategic Lunar System." The objective
of the first study was to examine an economical, sound and logical
approach for establishing a manned intelligence observatory on the
moon, and the second study examined the military potential of lunar
operations. These studies showed that it is technically and
economically feasible to build a manned lunar facility.
A third study titled, "Permanent Satellite Base and Logistic Study"
is presently under way and will be completed in August 1961. This
study will provide a conceptual design of a three-man re-entry
vehicle which will carry men to and from the moon. The three-man
vehicle is the key item in the lunar transportation system as its
weight will dictate the booster sizes. For this reason it is given
special attention in this plan.
2.1 Lunex PROGRAM OBJECTIVE
The objective of the Lunar Expedition program is the manned
exploration of the moon with the first manned lunar landing to occur
as soon as possible. The execution of this plan will land three men
on the moon and return them during the 3rd quarter of calendar year
1967, and will establish the Lunar Expedition in 1968.
this plan will require the development of equipment, materials, and
techniques to transport men to and from the lunar surface and to
provide a lunar facility which will allow men to live and work in
the extremely harsh lunar environment.
2.2 Lunex PROGRAM - DESCRIPTION
The Lunar Expedition Program is primarily concerned with the
development of the equipment necessary to transport men and supplies
to the lunar surface.
The key development in this program is the Lunar Transport Vehicle
which is composed of the Space Launching System and either the
Manned Lunar Payload or the Cargo Payload. The Manned Lunar Payload
consists of a three-man Lunex Re-Entry Vehicle, a Lunar Launch
Stage, and a Lunar Landing Stage. The same Lunar Landing Stage, plus
a cargo package, composes the Cargo Payload. The relative effort
required for the development of these two payloads in comparison
with other portions of the complete Lunar Expedition Program is
shown in Figure 2-1. A breakdown of the Lunar Transport Vehicle is
shove in Figure 2-2.
The Space Launching System consists of a three-stage booster capable
of placing either the Manned Lunar Payload or the Cargo Payload on a
lunar intercept trajectory at escape velocity. This plan does not
contain development information on the Launching System since such
information is contained in a separate System Package Plan being
prepared concurrently. The development schedules in these plans have
been co-ordinated to insure compatibility.
In operation, the Manned Lunar Payload, weighing 134,000 pounds,
will be boosted to escape velocity of approximately 37,000 ft/sec on
a trajectory which intercepts the moon. Velocity will be sufficient
to reach the moon in approximately 2 1/2 days. As the Manned Lunar
Payload approaches the moon it is oriented with the local vertical
by the use of horizon scanners. The Lunar Landing Stage decelerates
the Manned Lunar Payload for a soft landing at a pre-selected site
using an altitude sensing device to determine time of ignition.
Landing at the pre-selected site will be accomplished using terminal
guidance equipment and a prepositioned beacon to effect an offset
The Lunar Launching Stage, using the Landing Stage as a base, will
launch the Lunex Re-entry Vehicle on the return trajectory. In early
test shots before men are included, the countdown and launch will be
effected automatically by command from the earth. Small mid-course
corrections may be necessary to insure re-entry into the earth's
atmosphere within allowable corridor limits.
The Lunex Re-entry Vehicle will re-enter the earth's atmosphere
within the allowable corridor so that it will not skip back into
space again nor burn from excess heat. It will use aerodynamic
braking to decelerate and will have sufficient lift capability to
effect a normal unpowered aircraft landing at a base such as Edwards
Air Force Base.
Several successful unmanned completely automatic flights of the type
just described must be completed in order to establish confidence in
the system reliability before manned missions will be attempted.
Cargo will be transported to the lunar surface using the same
procedures and equipment except that the Lunar Launch Stage is not
needed. The Cargo Package will have a weight equal to the combined
weight of the Lunex Re-entry Vehicle and the Lunar Launch Stage.
As a separate approach to the problem of placing large payloads on
the moon, techniques of rendezvous and assembly in earth orbit are
being examined. Use of these techniques would require the launch,
rendezvous and orbital assembly of sections of the Manned Lunar
Payload and the Cargo Payload along with the required orbital launch
booster and its fuel. The assembled vehicle would then be boosted
from orbital velocity to escape velocity and would proceed as
described above. Details of the major developments required such as
rendezvous, docking and orbital assembly are outlined in a System
Package Plan titled SAINT, being prepared concurrently. All
programming information and schedules have been co-ordinated with
this plan to insure compatibility and mutual support.
2.3 DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
The Lunar Expedition Plan has been oriented toward the development
of a useful capability rather than the accomplishment of a difficult
task on a one-time basis. The use of a large booster is favoured for
the direct shot approach since studies have shown this to be more
reliable, safer and more economical as well as having earlier
availability. However, another approach using a smaller booster in
conjunction with orbital rendezvous and assembly is also considered.
The manned Lunex Re-entry Vehicle is the key item in determining
booster sizes. Its weight determines the size of the Lunar Launch
Stage which in turn determined the size of the Lunar Landing Stage.
The total weight of these three items is the amount that must be
boosted to earth escape velocity by the Space Launching System. In
this manner the size of the Space Launching System was determined.
A 2 1/2 day trajectory each way was selected as a conservative
design objective. Longer flights would have more life support and
guidance problems while shorter flights require higher boost
An abort capability will be included in the design insofar as
possible. The next section describes the abort system in
Development and tests are scheduled on a high priority basis. Thus,
the schedules shown in this plan are dictated by technological
limitations and not by funds.
The entire program as described herein is an integrated program in
that later development tests build on the results of early tests.
Thus, equipment and techniques are proved out early, and confidence
in the reliability is obtained by the time a man is included.
2.4 ABORT PHILOSOPHY
The insertion of a man into a space system creates a safety and
reliability problem appreciably greater than the problem faced by
any unmanned system. It is well recognised that maximum reliability
is desirable, but also known that reliabilities in excess of 85 to
90% are extremely difficult to achieve with systems as complex as
the Lunar Transportation System. Therefore, the need for an abort
system to protect the man during the "unreliable" portions of the
lunar mission is accepted.
A review of the proposed techniques and equipment to provide "full
abort" capability has shown that due to payload limitations this is
not practical during the early lunar missions. Thus a reasonable
element of risk will be involved. In order to decrease this element
of risk and to understand where it occurs the lunar mission has been
divided into six time periods.
These time periods are as follows:
a. Earth ascent.
b. Earth-moon transit.
c. Lunar terminal.
d. Lunar ascent.
e. Moon-earth transit.
The development and test philosophy for this program is to launch
the manned systems as early as possible in the program, but in an
unmanned status. This will provide experience and allow the system
to be checked out and "man-rated" before the first manned flight. It
also means that the Lunex Re-entry Vehicle will be used for orbital
and circumlunar flights prior to the lunar landing and return
flight. The propulsion systems used for these early flights will be
used throughout the program and the experience gained from each
flight will increase the probability of success in reaching the
final lunar landing and return objective.
Also these propulsion
systems will be used concurrently in other programs and at the time
of man-rating will possess greater launch experience than can be
expected for the largest booster of the Space Launching System. This
would indicate that a larger number of unmanned flights should be
scheduled for the larger full boost system than for the early
nights. It also points out the need for a sophisticated Earth Ascent
Abort capability during the first manned lunar landing and return
In providing an abort philosophy for the Lunar Program it should be
noted that the Lunar Re-entry Vehicle, the Lunar Landing Stage and
the Lunar Launching Stage all possess inherent abort capability if
utilised properly during an emergency. With sufficient velocity the
re-entry vehicle is capable of appreciable manoeuvring and landing
control to provide its own recovery system. The Lunar Launching and
Lunar Landing Stages possess an appreciable delta-v capability that
can be used to alter the payload trajectory to better accomplish
recovery of the man. However, in either case the manoeuvres mill
have to rely on computing techniques to select the best possible
abort solution for any specific situation.
With this background, and with the understanding that in a future
final design effort "full abort" may be required, the following
abort design objectives for the Manned Lunar Payload are presented:
Earth Ascent Phase
On Pad - Full abort system will be provided.
Lift-off to Flight Velocity for the Re-entry Vehicle - Full abort
system will be provided.
Flight Velocity for the Re-entry Vehicle to Escape Velocity - The
basic Manned Lunar Payload will provide the abort capability.
Injection - Abort capability to compensate for injection error is
desired as part of the basic Manned Lunar Payload. Computing,
propulsion, etc., capabilities should be designed into the basic
system to provide for the selection of the optimum abort trajectory.
Mid-Course - Abort capability during Earth-Moon transit is desired
for the Re-Entry Vehicle by means of a direct earth return, earth
orbit, or circumlunar flight and earth return. Circumlunar flight
generally requires the least, but the actual selection of the
optimum trajectory should be accomplished when required by a
computing capability, and executed by the Lunar Payload.
This type of abort generally results from loss of propulsion or
control of the Lunar Landing Stage. Where possible the Lunar
Launching Stage will be used to attain a direct or circumlunar
trajectory that terminates in an earth return. When this is not
possible the Lunar Launching Stage will be used to accomplish the
safest possible lunar landing. Recovery of the crew will not be
provided in this system and selection of the above alternatives will
be accomplished automatically on-board. Crew recovery will be
provided by another stand-by Lunar Transport Vehicle.
Maximum inherent reliability by over-design of components and
systems in the Lunar Launching Stage seems to be the most logical
approach for this phase due to the extreme weight penalty imposed by
a separate abort system.
The early missions will be faced with the highest risk, but as a
facility on the lunar surface is developed, a rescue capability and
the addition of an abort capability can be developed. No specific
abort system will be provided for this phase, but consideration
should be given to the possibility of future lunar modifications to
provide for abort.
This would generally be associated with a gross trajectory error, or
loss of control on re-entry. The only solution is to utilize the
on-board capability that remains to achieve an earth orbit. After
achieving orbit an earth-launched rescue mission would be initiated.
This approach requires no additional abort system to be provided for
Exceeding re-entry corridor limits, or loss of control could cause
an emergency where abort would be desirable. Should sufficient
delta-V remain from the over-design of the lunar launch stage, and
not be used during Moon-Earth transit this would be used to attain
an earth orbit where rescue could be achieved. No separate abort
capability is required for this phase, but availability of
propellant should be considered.
2.5 EXPEDITION PLANNING
A detailed plan must be prepared for the complete Lunar Expedition
operation. This plan must start from the first time man lands on the
lunar surface and account for every single effort, or objective he
is to accomplish during his stay on the surface. A crew of three men
will be sent into a new and hostile environment where rescue or
assistance from other human beings will be extremely difficult, if
not impossible, for the first mission. Time will be at a premium and
all items of equipment must be planned, designed and delivered in
the Cargo Payloads so that they can be used in the easiest possible
The procedures for first exploring the surface and then for
constructing the expedition facility must all be derived,
demonstrated and proven by earth operations prior to attempting the
desired operation on the moon. An environmental facility that
simulates the lunar surface with sufficient work area to test out
equipment and procedures will be required.
The actual landing operation and the first effort by men on the
surface requires detailed data about the moon's surface. The
following chart represents the best available data. The chart is a
portion of a Lunar Sectional having a scale of 1:1,000 (1 inch
equals 16 miles) produced by the USAF Aeronautical Chart and
Information Center, St Louis, Missouri. Present plans call for the
eventual production of 144 charts to cover the complete lunar
The best photographic resolution to date is around one-half mile on
the lunar surface, which provides adequate data for charts having a
scale of 1:1,350,000. Good astronomical telescopes can be used to
improve on the photographic data and obtain sufficient detail to
prepare sectional charts like the one included. However, larger
scale, accurate lunar charts will be required to complete detailed
plans. Data can be obtained for such charts from a lunar orbiting
photographic satellite which will provide sufficient resolution and
overlap to enable stereographic compilation of contours and
elevations. The NASA proposed Lunar Orbiter program is a possible
source of the required data.
Planning for construction of the expedition facility can begin only
after detailed surface information becomes available. Examination of
returned lunar core samples will be necessary before plans can be
SECTION III -
The establishment of the Lunar Expedition Program as a national
objective will provide a worthy goal for the United States
industrial and governmental organizations. The Lunar Expedition
program has been based on extensive study, design, and research work
during the past three years.
A Lunar Expedition program will require the use and centralised
control of a major portion of the present military space capability.
This will have the effect of giving the military program a scheduled
long-range objective, and still provide useable military
capabilities throughout the period. As an example, manned re-entry
vehicles for orbital operations will be available in early 1965.
They will be followed by a manned lunar re-entry vehicle in 1966.
Propulsion and Space Launching systems will be required to support
the Lunex program. The program will set orbital and escape velocity
payload requirements ranging from 20 to 350 thousand pounds in a 300
mile orbit and from 24,000 to 134,000 pounds at escape velocity.
This capability will be obtained at an accelerated pace for the
Lunex program and as a result the same capability will be available
for military use much earlier than could be achieved if the start of
the development programs had to be justified at this time entirely
on the basis of military usefulness.
The accomplishment of the Lunex program will require maximum use of
several presently programmed efforts and reorientation of others.
The major program of direct interest to the Lunex are the SAINT and
BOSS programs. Therefore, these efforts have been co-ordinated and
integrated with the Lunex program. The BOSS shots will provide the
necessary orbital primate test data to allow the manned life support
package for the Lunex Re-entry Vehicle to be designed. The SAINT
unmanned and manned program will provide additional orbital
information on rendezvous, docking, and personnel and fuel transfer.
In the event that the direct shot approach for the lunar expedition
requires reorientation in future years to use orbital assembly
techniques this capability will be available from the SAINT program.
3.1 MASTER PROGRAM PHASING CHART
This schedule presents the integrated military program required to
accomplish the Liner Expedition mission and to develop techniques
for operating in the earth orbital and lunar arena. It was prepared
to indicate the interface between this Lunar Expedition System
Package Plan and the Space Launching system. The major national
objective of this integrated program is to land men on the moon and
return them in August of 1967.
3.2 LUNAR EXPEDITION PROGRAM SCHEDULE
This schedule presents the major items to be accomplished as a
result of the Lunex program. The costing as shown on the schedule
does not include the cost of developing the Space Launching System
since this is provided under a separate System Package Plan.
However, the cost of purchasing the flight vehicles is included.
The major "prestige" milestones of the program can be summarised as
First Manned Orbital Flight (3 Man Space Vehicle) - April 1965
First Lunar Landing Cargo) - July 1966
Manned Circumlunar Flight - Sept. 1966
Manned Lunar Landing & Return - Aug. 1967
Permanently Manned Lunar Expedition Jan. 1968
LUNAR EXPEDITION MANAGEMENT MILESTONES FY62 - FY63
This schedule indicates the major Lunex program efforts required
during fiscal years 1962 and 1963. The time allocation for
management and Air Force technical evaluations have been kept to a
minimum in order to meet the end objective of "man on the moon" in
Several critical major decisions are required and are summarised
Program Approval & Funding - July 1961
Development-Production Funding - Dec. 1962
Design Concept Decision - Jan. 1963
Approval for Hardware Go-Ahead - Feb. 1963
Delays in providing the funding indicated, or in receiving
notification of decisions required, will have the direct effect of
delaying the end objectives. This problem could be effectively
solved by a streamlined management structure having a minimum number
of reviewing authorities. The present AFSC procedures are a step in
the right direction but more direct channels are desirable at the
higher command levels
3.4 LUNAR EXPEDITION TEST SCHEDULE
This schedule presents the major test items required for the Lunex
program. Upon completion of the program, manned transport and
unmanned cargo vehicles will be available to support the Lunar
Expedition. The cargo vehicle will be capable of transporting
approximately 45,000 pound "cargo packages" to the lunar surface for
supporting the expedition. This same vehicle would be capable of
transporting future military payloads to the lunar surface to
support space military operations.
A detailed high-speed re-entry test program and an abort system test
program is scheduled to provide basic re-entry data and to insure
the safety of the men in the Lunex Re-entry Vehicle.
Prior to the first "manned lunar landing and return" flight, a
series of test and check-out flights will be required. These will
initially consist of orbital flights, and then very high altitude
(50,000 miles or more) elliptical flights for testing the vehicles
under re-entry conditions. When these have been completed, the first
flights will be made around the moon (circumlunar) and return to an
earth base. With a completely man-rated vehicle, and unmanned lunar
landing flights completed, man will then make the first landing on
the moon for the purpose of selecting a site for the Lunar
3.5 LUNEX SPACE LAUNCHING REQUIREMENTS
The purpose of this schedule is to summarise the space launching
vehicle requirements and indicate when the launches will be needed.
The THOR-ABLE-STAR boosters will be used for the re-entry test
program. The Space Launching System boosters designated as A, AB and
BC, and solids as required, will be needed as indicated and their
payload capabilities are estimated as follows:
A 410: 20,000 pounds (300 mile orbit)
AB 825: 87,000 pounds (300 mile orbit)
AB 825: 24,000 pounds (escape velocity)
BC 2720: 134,000 pounds (escape velocity)
3.6 PERSONNEL AND TRAINING
The Lunar Expedition program will require military personnel and a
military training program. Details of this program are presented in
Section IX and summarised on the Lunex Training Schedule included in
The number of personnel required will increase from a limited staff
in the early Program Office to a total of 6,000 personnel in the
active expedition year. This total does not include "in plant"
contractor personnel which is estimated to be on the order of 60
Training of military personnel to meet the requirements of the Lunex
program will be done by contractor and military training personnel.
Maximum use will be made of program equipment when it can be
scheduled for training purposes and in addition, allocation of
production equipment is necessary to meet training requirements.
3.7 LUNEX CIVIL ENGINEERING FACILITIES SCHEDULE
The facilities development and construction program is shown on this
schedule. The first item to be accomplished is a site survey to
determine the extent that the Lunex program can be supported by AMR
and PMR. When this has been accomplished it will be possible to
determine if the early Lunex test launches can be accomplished by
using present facilities.
Full consideration will be given to the
possibility of building the Lunex Launch Complex as an expansion of
the AMR or PMR. A more detailed presentation of the facilities
program is contained in Section VIII, Civil Engineering.
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