DailyDirt: Abandoned Space Vehicles
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The space race created a lot of ambitious plans and designs for spaceships that never actually made it into space. While we’re entering a new era of a space race, which includes commercial ventures and fragile alliances with certain countries, it’s fascinating to look back at some government-funded projects that could have been taken to the next step. Would anyone even consider nuclear-bomb propulsion systems today? Here are just a few plans to ship people to the moon or Mars (or farther!) that are just gathering dust.
- Pictures of a secret Soviet lunar lander from the Moscow Aviation Institute shows an unsuccessful program to put a man on the moon. An orbit module and a landing module were constructed that look superficially similar to Apollo spacecraft, but only one cosmonaut would travel in this vehicle. [url]
- In the early 1970s, NASA had plans for a Reusable Nuclear Shuttle (RNS) that could travel back and forth to the moon. This nuclear-powered shuttle would never land on Earth, and if you approached it from the wrong side, you might get a fatal dose of radiation. [url]
- Project Orion was an ambitious plan to build a spaceship the size of an ocean liner and send it to Mars (and beyond)… using atomic bombs as propulsion. The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 made it difficult for any practical work to continue on this kind of spacecraft design. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.