Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rapid Response: Part Three, Section Four: Other Spaceplanes/Rocketplanes/(Military) Man-In-Space Projects--1950s

The Bell MX-2276 BOMI (Bomber-Missile)
From astronautix.com:


Bomi


Boost-Glide Vehicles

Boost-Glide Vehicles

US Boost-glide vehicles of the 1950's: From left, Bomi, Robo single and parallel booster versions, Boeing Dynasoar with Titan 1 and Titan 2 boosters

American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1952. Bell manned skip-glide space bomber project of the 1950's. Predecessor to Dynasoar.

Bell was a pioneer in rocket-powered aircraft, having built the X-1, which was the first to break the sound barrier. In 1950 they hired Walter Dornberger, former commander of Peenemuende. He brought on board Kraft Ehricke. They sought to pick up where development at Peenemuende had left off -- to pursue development in the United States of rocket-powered, high speed aircraft for both military and civilian purposes. An attempt to recruit Eugen Saenger in France in early 1952 was unsuccessful, but the Saenger antipodal bomber became the starting point.


From fantastic-plastic.com:
















The first designs at Bell featured wedge wings, but as studies continued, it was obvious that the delta wing would be superior for the kind of boost-glide vehicle they had in mind. An unsolicited proposal was made to the Air Force on 17 April 1952. Bell's BOmber MIssile was a two stage vehicle very similar to NASA's fully recoverable shuttle proposals twenty years later. The first stage, with a crew of two, would accelerate the combination for two minutes, then separate and glide back to base. The second stage, with a single pilot, would press on to the target. The basic version of the vehicle, using storable liquid propellants, would reach a maximum speed of Mach 4 at 30 km altitude and glide for 6100 km. Payload would be an 1800 kg nuclear bomb. Common engines burning N2O4/UDMH propellants were proposed for both stages, the first stage having five engines, and the glider three. The booster was to be 37 m long with an 18 m wingspan, and the glider 18 m long with an 11 m wingspan. Gross lift-off mass was to be 360,000 kg,.



In May 1952 Bell received $398,459 for a one-year feasibility study of the design. This defined two variants. The suborbital version used an aluminum structure with a titanium leading edge. This would be capable of a 4800 km range and a sustained Mach 4 glide at 30 km altitude. The orbital version would be 44 m long overall, of all-titanium construction, and equipped with a graphite-epoxy spray-on ablative heat shield. Orbital capability would require the use of Lox/LH2 cryogenic propellants. The upper stage would be 23 m long, have a payload of 34,000 kg. The bomber would be capable of delivering two nuclear-weapons in a linear aft-ejecting bomb bay as was being developed for the A-5 Vigilante. The initial project paper was reviewed by the USAF in April 1953. The review found that Bell had not sufficiently resolved the problems of cooling the aircraft, and that the L/D estimates were too optimistic.



The Air Force was unimpressed with the realistic range of BOMI, but thought the concept would be useful for hypersonic research or reconnaissance. Accordingly on 1 April 1954 Bell was given a small one year $220,000 study contract to design weapons system MX-2276. This was to be a much more capable design, capable of reaching 6.7 km/sec at 80 km altitude and gliding for 22,000 km - two thirds of the way around the world.



Bell had to abandon the recoverable first stage and use staged expendable boosters to reach this speed. By the time the study was completed NACA had determined that a steady glide was preferable to Saenger's aerodynamic skipping principle on grounds of airframe heating.



The studies were extended at Bell through a number of bureaucratic twists and turns during the course of 1955. On 4 January 1955 the USAF issued Systems Requirement SR-12 for the WS-118P high-speed reconnaissance vehicle. Range was to be over 5000 km, altitude over 30 km. Bell provided a proposal on 1 December 1955, calling for a three-phase program using a glider designed to be boosted by a two-stage rocket to Mach 15 at 50 km altitude (Phase I would produce an 8,000 km range vehicle; Phase II a 16,000 km range vehicle; and Phase III an orbital vehicle).



General Operations Requirement GOR-12 of 12 May 1955 incorporated findings of the SR-12 studies and called for development of a new manned high-altitude platform by the third quarter of 1959.



In September of 1955 Bell received a funded contract extending its BOMI work under WS-118P. This was superseded in March 1956 by WS-459L, Brass Bell. Bell kept using the BOMI name in its studies through the subsequent Brass Bell and Robo studies, until they were all superseded by Dynasoar.







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Associated Countries •USA



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See also •Combat spacecraft

•Manned

•US Rocketplanes



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

•Bell American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. ARC Liquid Propellant Division, Niagara Falls, NY, USA. More...

•USAF American agency. USAF, USA. More...



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Bomi Chronology



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1952 April 17 - . •Bell proposal for Bomi. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi. Summary: The Bell Aircraft Company offered a proposal to the Wright Air Development Center for a manned bomber-missile, known as Bomi..



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1954 April 1 - . •Bell contract for an advanced, bomber-reconnaissance weapon system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi. Summary: The Air Force and the Bell Aircraft Company arranged a contract for the study of an advanced, bomber-reconnaissance weapon system..



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1955 January 4 - . •ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 12. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi. Summary: ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 12, which called for studies of a reconnaissance aircraft or missile possessing a range of 3,000 nautical miles and capable of reaching 100,000 feet..



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1955 May 12 - . •General Operational Requirement 12 for a piloted, high-altitude, reconnaissance weapon system available by 1959. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi. Summary: Air Force headquarters announced General Operational Requirement 12 for a piloted, high-altitude, reconnaissance weapon system available by 1959..



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1955 September 21 - . •Bomi contract extended as Special Reconnaissance System 118P. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi. Summary: The Bomi contract of the Bell Aircraft Company was extended as a study for the Special Reconnaissance System 118P..



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1955 December 19 - . •US industry to investigate the feasibility of a manned, hypersonic, rocket-powered, bombardment and reconnaissance weapon system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi. Summary: The Air Force requested the aviation industry to investigate the feasibility of developing a manned, hypersonic, rocket-powered, bombardment and reconnaissance weapon system..



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1956 March 1 - . •Hywards development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi; Hywards. Summary: The Research and Target Systems Division of ARDC headquarters completed an abbreviated development plan for a glide-rocket, research system, designated Hywards. .



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1956 March 20 - . •Brass Bell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi; Brass Bell. Summary: The Air Force and Bell Aircraft Company completed negotiations for a study contract involving Reconnaissance System 459L, Brass Bell..



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1956 June 12 - . •System Requirement 126 for Robo rocket-bomber. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi; Robo. Summary: ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 126, outlining the requirements for a rocket-bomber, named Robo..



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1957 April 30 - . •Development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. Summary: Air Force headquarters directed the Air Research and Development Command to formulate a development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems..



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1957 October 10 - . •Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo consolidated into Dyna-Soar. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. The launch of Sputnik spurs immediate actions within the government to accelerate manned spacecraft work. ARDC headquarters consolidated Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo studies into a three-step abbreviated development plan for System 464L, Dyna-Soar. On the same day a NACA Hypersonic Steering Committee met to consider the best configuration for such a vehicle. Langley's Faget pushed non-gliding ballistic capsules, another NACA group felt lifting bodies were the best solution, but the majority of participants favoured the flat-bottomed glider configuration.

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Boeing MX-2145 Combat Spaceplane
From astronautix.com:

MX-2145








American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1953. In May 1953 the Air Force funded Boeing to study their MX-2145 boost-glide vehicle as a successor to the B-58 supersonic medium-range bomber. This was a competitor to Bell's BOMI.





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Associated Countries •USA



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See also •Combat spacecraft

•Manned

•US Rocketplanes



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

•USAF American agency. USAF, USA. More...

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Hywards
From astronautix.com:
 
Hywards








American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1956. Hypersonic manned test spaceplane project of the 1950's. Predecessor to Dynasoar.

On 6 November 1956 the USAF issued SR-131 for the 455L HYWARDS Hypersonic Weapon And R&D System - an experimental spaceplane to support development of an operational Robo/Brass Bell bomber. HYWARDS was to be capable of carrying out flight research up to Mach 15 and also provide a vehicle to test operational subsystems. Engines considered for the booster included the Chariot 15,900 kgf LF2/Ammonia engine from Bell; the 25,000 kgf LR-105 Atlas sustainer engine; the 27,000 kgf LR-91 Titan I second stage engine; or the 26,000 kgf XLR-99 X-15 engine. Maximum velocity was to be 3.7 km/s at 110 km altitude. First flights would be air-launched. Later tests would be boosted by an ICBM from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral. On 17 June 1957 NACA Langley completed configuration analysis for the spaceplane. For the planned Mach 18 maximum heating velocity at 5000 km range, they recommended a flat-bottomed, delta-shaped vehicle, with the fuselage on the lee side. The hot structure would be water-cooled. By contrast the alternate NACA Ames vehicle design was planned for a maximum of Mach 10 and 3200 km range. It used a mid-wing design, which would result in extreme heating on the fuselage. Langley felt that the cooling requirements of this configuration outweighed the L/D advantage of the aerodynamic configuration. HYWARDS was rolled into the Dynasoar program in October 1957.



AKA: Hypersonic Weapon And R&D System.





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Associated Countries •USA



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See also •Combat spacecraft

•Manned

•US Rocketplanes



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...



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Bibliography •Jenkins, Dennis R,, Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System : The First 100 Missions, Third edition, Voyageur Press, 2001.



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Hywards Chronology



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1956 March 1 - . •Hywards development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi; Hywards. Summary: The Research and Target Systems Division of ARDC headquarters completed an abbreviated development plan for a glide-rocket, research system, designated Hywards. .



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1956 November 6 - . •Hywards abbreviated development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards. Summary: ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 121, requesting information from Air Force agencies for the preparation of a Hywards abbreviated development plan..



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1957 April 30 - . •Development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. Summary: Air Force headquarters directed the Air Research and Development Command to formulate a development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems..



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1957 October 10 - . •Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo consolidated into Dyna-Soar. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. The launch of Sputnik spurs immediate actions within the government to accelerate manned spacecraft work. ARDC headquarters consolidated Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo studies into a three-step abbreviated development plan for System 464L, Dyna-Soar. On the same day a NACA Hypersonic Steering Committee met to consider the best configuration for such a vehicle. Langley's Faget pushed non-gliding ballistic capsules, another NACA group felt lifting bodies were the best solution, but the majority of participants favoured the flat-bottomed glider configuration.

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North American Project 7969
From astronautix.com:
 
Project 7969










Project 7969 Designs

Project 7969 Designs

Project 7969 designs. From left, top row: North American X-15B; Bell Dynasoar; Northrop Dynasoar; Republic Demi body; Avco manoeuvrable drag cone. Second row: Lockheed; Martin; Aeronutronics; Goodyear; McDonnell; Convair

Credit: © Mark Wade

American manned spacecraft. Study 1959. North American was the final selected vendor for Manned-In-Space-Soonest. The 1360-kg ballistic capsule would be launched by an Atlas booster to an 185-km altitude orbit.

The simple ballistic capsule, using parachutes for a water landing, would weigh between 900 and 1360 kg. The capsule would be 1.8 m in diameter and 2.4 m long, and completely automated. The capsule's life support system would be designed for single-crew missions of up to 48 hours. The re-entry vehicle was the 'Discoverer' type being developed for the Corona project. For this kind of capsule, where the direction of G-forces was reversed between ascent and return, the pilot's couch proposed by Harold J von Beckh of ARDC's Aeromedical Field Laboratory was necessary. This was attached at pivot points at the head and feet of the pilot, so it would rotate freely to bring the pilot's back against the G forces, regardless of their direction. An ablative heat shield would allow re-entry deceleration to be kept below 9 G's, and the cabin temperature below 65 deg C. Multiple small solid propellant retro-rockets would brake the capsule back into the atmosphere at the end of its mission.



The capsule had an abort system that used high-thrust solid fuel rockets at the base of the capsule to fire it clear of the booster in case of an emergency. The final estimated cost of the program, using the Atlas launch vehicle, was $106.6 million. That cost included establishment of a worldwide tracking network and continuing with design of the Thor WS-117L and Thor-Able as backups in case the Atlas proved to be unreliable.



On 16 June 1958, Wright Field issued competitive design study contracts to North American and General Electric for the capsule. Each contract was nominally valued at $370,000 and was to run for three months. Each contractor was to complete design of the capsule and present a mock-up of their planned spacecraft. A down-select would be made in September, once fiscal year 1959 had begun.



But by 25 July NASA had been created and it was clear that President Eisenhower wanted the new civilian agency to handle the manned capsule program. Ballistic Missile Division's General Schriever promised that if the Air Force was awarded the program, he would release of the final tender documents to the contractors within 24 hours, and orbit the first man in space by June 1960. But Eisenhower's people were unshaken. NASA would handle the program.



The Air Force program limped along until NASA formally came into existence in September. It was not known if North American completed the contracted mock-up. Harrison Storms at North American was informally told he would have been given the MISS capsule contract. But NASA became operational on 30 September 1958, and the Air Force took only a logistical support role in the new program.



NASA ran a new competition for the manned capsule, which was to be produced to Faget's precise specifications. McDonnell, which had worked so closely with Langley, unsurprisingly won the award in January 1959. McDonnell's corporate commitment, preparation, and kowtowing to Faget's preferences were noted by Harrison Storms at North American. He vowed not to make the same mistake again. Four years later he convinced North American's management to take the same approach, and won the biggest plum of all, the Apollo moon-landing contract.



Crew Size: 1.



Gross mass: 1,360 kg (2,990 lb).

Height: 2.40 m (7.80 ft).

Diameter: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).





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Associated Countries •USA



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See also •Low earth orbit

•Man-In-Space-Soonest The beginning of the Air Force's Man-In-Space-Soonest program has been traced back to a staff meeting of General Thomas S Power, Commander of the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) in Baltimore on 15 February 1956. Power wanted studies to begin on manned space vehicles that would follow the X-15 rocketplane. These were to include winged and ballistic approaches - the ballistic rocket was seen as being a militarily useful intercontinental troop and cargo vehicle. More...

•Manned spacecraft

•Manned



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Associated Launch Vehicles •Atlas D American intercontinental ballistic missile. Rocket used both as a space launcher and ICBM. More...



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

•North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

•USAF American agency. USAF, USA. More...



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Bibliography •Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.

•Swenson, Grimwood, Alexander, Charles C, This New Ocean, Government Printing Office, 1966. Web Address when accessed: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4201/cover.htm.

•Grimwood, James M., Project Mercury: A Chronology, NASA Special Publication-4001.

•Reichhardt, Tony, "First Up?", Air and Space, August/September 2000. Web Address when accessed: http://www.airspacemag.com/asm/mag/index/2000/AS/First.html.



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Project 7969 Chronology



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1956 March - . •Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Project 7969. Project 7969, entitled 'Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System,' was initiated by the Air Force with a stated task of recovering a manned capsule from orbital conditions. By December of that year, proposal studies were received from two companies, and the Air Force eventually received some 11 proposals. The basis for the program was to start with small recoverable satellites and work up to larger versions. The Air Force Discoverer firings, which effected a successful recovery in January 1960, could be considered as the first phase of the proposed program. The Air Force program was based upon a requirement that forces no higher than 12g be imposed upon the occupant of the capsule. This concept required an additional stage on the basic or 'bare' Atlas, and the Hustler, now known as the Agena, was contemplated. It was proposed that the spacecraft be designed to remain forward during all phases of the flight, requiring a gimballed seat for the pilot. Although the Air Force effort in manned orbital flight during the period 1956-58 was a study project without an approved program leading to the design of hardware, the effort contributed to manned space flight. Their sponsored studies on such items as the life-support system were used by companies submitting proposals for the Mercury spacecraft design and development program. Also, during the 2-year study, there was a considerable interchange of information between the NACA and the Air Force.



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1958 January 29-31 - . •Conference reviews concepts for manned orbital vehicles. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. A conference was held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to review concepts for manned orbital vehicles. The NACA informally presented two concepts then under study at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory: the one proposed by Maxime A. Faget involved a ballistic, high-drag capsule with heat shield on which the pilot lies prone during reentry, with reentry being accomplished by reverse thrust at the apogee of the elliptical orbit involving a deceleration load of about 8g, and proceeding to impact by a parachute landing; the other Langley proposal called for the development of a triangular planform vehicle with a flat bottom having some lift during reentry. At this same meeting there were several Air Force contractor presentations. These were as follows: Northrop, boost-glide buildup to orbital speed; Martin, zero-lift vehicle launched by a Titan with controlled flight estimated to be possible by mid-1961; McDonnell, ballistic vehicle resembling Faget's proposal, weighing 2,400 pounds and launched by an Atlas with a Polaris second stage; Lockheed, a 20 degree semiapex angle cone with a hemispherical tip of 1-foot radius, pilot in sitting position facing rearward, to be launched by an Atlas-Hustler combination; Convair reviewed a previous proposal for a large-scale manned space station, but stated a minimum vehicle - a 1,000-pound sphere - could be launched by an Atlas within a year; Aeronutronics, cone-shaped vehicle with spherical tip of 1-foot radius, with man enclosed in sphere inside vehicle and rotated to line the pilot up with accelerations, and launched by one of several two-stage vehicles; Republic, the Ferri sled vehicle, a 4,000 pound, triangular plan with a two-foot diameter tube running continuous around the leading and trailing edge and serving as a fuel tank for final-stage, solid-propellant rockets located in each wing tip, with a man in small compartment on top side, and with a heat-transfer ring in the front of the nose for a glide reentry of 3,600 miles per hour with pilot ejecting from capsule and parachuting down, and the launch vehicle comprising three stages (also see July 31, 1958 entry); AVCO, a 1,500-pound vehicle sphere launched by a Titan, equipped with a stainless-steel-cloth parachute whose diameter would be controlled by compessed air bellows and which would orient the vehicle in orbit, provide deceleration for reentry, and control drag during reentry; Bell, reviewed proposals for boost-glide vehicles, but considered briefly a minimum vehicle, spherical in shape, weighing about 3,000 pounds; Goodyear, a spherical vehicle with a rearward facing tail cone and ablative surface, with flaps deflected from the cone during reentry for increased drag and control, and launched by an Atlas or a Titan plus a Vanguard second stage; North American, extend the X-15 program by using the X-15 with a three-stage launch vehicle to achieve a single orbit with an apogee of 400,000 feet and a perigee of 250,000, range about 500 to 600 miles and landing in the Gulf of Mexico, and the pilot ejecting and landing by parachute with the aircraft being lost.



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1958 January 31 - . •USAF proposes NACA participation in the Air Force effort in the manned ballistic rocket program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. Lieutenant General Donald Putt, Air Force Director of Research and Development, sent a letter to Dr. Hugh Dryden, Director of NACA, inviting NACA participation in the Air Force effort in the manned ballistic rocket program. Dr. Dryden informed the Air Force that NACA was preparing manned spacecraft designs for submission in March 1958.



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1958 March 10 - . •MISS Working Conference - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Caldwell; Schriever. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. A working conference in support of the Air Force 'Man-in-Space Soonest' (MISS) was held at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Los Angeles, California. General Bernard Schriever, opening the conference, stated that events were moving faster than expected. By this statement he meant that Roy Johnson, the new head of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, had asked the Air Force to report to him on its approach to putting a man in space soonest. Johnson indicated that the Air Force would be assigned the task, and the purpose of the conference was to produce a rough-draft proposal. At that time the Air Force concept consisted of three stages: a high-drag, no-lift, blunt-shaped spacecraft to get man in space soonest, with landing to be accomplished by a parachute; a more sophisticated approach by possibly employing a lifting vehicle or one with a modified drag; and a long-range program that might end in a space station or a trip to the moon.



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1958 June 25 - . •Man-In-Space-Soonest - . Crew: Walker, Joseph; Crossfield; Armstrong; Rushworth; Bridgeman; White, Alvin; Kincheloe; White, Robert; McKay. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph; Crossfield; Armstrong; Rushworth; Bridgeman; White, Alvin; Kincheloe; White, Robert; McKay. Agency: USAF. Flight: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Spacecraft: Project 7969. In a US Air Force briefing a preliminary astronaut selection for the Man-In-Space Soonest project is made. The list consisted of USAF test pilots Robert Walker, Scott Crossfield, Neil Armstrong, Robert Rushworth, William Bridgeman, Alvin White, Iven Kincheloe, Robert White, and Jack McKay. This was the first preliminary astronaut selection in history. The project was cancelled when NASA was formed in and took responsibility for all manned space flight on 1 August 1958. Prospective contractors estimated it would take from 12 to 30 months to put the first American in orbit. In retrospect the orbital flight portion of NASA's Mercury program was paced by the availability of the Atlas booster. Therefore it is unlikely Man-in-Space-Soonest would have put an American in orbit any earlier than Mercury.



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1958 July 15 - . •McDonnell manned orbital spacecraft concept. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. Cook Electric Company submitted a proposal to the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation as a part of a preliminary study and design effort by McDonnell for a manned satellite. McDonnell, prior to being awarded the Mercury prime development contract in February 1959, spent 11 months under a company research budget working on a manned orbital spacecraft concept.



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1958 July 31 - . •Republic Aviation man-in-space studies. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. Republic Aviation representatives briefed NACA Headquarters personnel on the man-in-space studies in which the company had been engaged since the first of the year. They envisioned a four-stage solid launch vehicle system and a lifting reentry vehicle, which was termed a sled. The vehicle was to be of triangular shape with a 75 degree leading-edge sweep. Aerodynamic and reaction controls would be available to the pilot. For the launch vehicle, Republic proposed a Minuteman first stage, a Polaris first stage, a Minuteman upper stage, and a Jumbo rocket fourth stage. Other details relative to reentry and recovery were included in the briefing.



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1958 August - . •Eisenhower assigns the manned space flight program to NASA. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. Summary: President Eisenhower assigned the responsibility for the development and execution of a manned space flight program to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. However, NASA did not become operational until October 1, 1958..

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Bell Brass Bell
From astronautix.com:
 
Brass Bell








American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1956. Hypersonic manned reconnaissance spaceplane project of the 1950's. Predecessor to Dynasoar.

WS-459L, Brass Bell, was the topic of a $746,000 contract awarded to Bell on 20 March 1956. This superseded earlier work on their Bomi concept. In November 1956 the Air Force asked NACA to review the Bell and Boeing work on hypersonic manned aircraft. By December 1956 Bell had had firmed up their design. A derivative of the Atlas ICBM would boost the basic manned glider to 5.4 km/sec at 50 km, allowing a glide range of 8800 km. Use of two such boosters in parallel as a first stage, with the basic booster as a second stage, would provide the glider with a maximum speed of 6.7 km/sec, and a range of 18,500 km, similar to that of the MX-2276 study of a year earlier. This concept was similar to that the company would submit for the Robo space bomber contract. Brass Bell work was rolled into the Dynasoar program in 1957. By that time total Brass Bell expenditures had reached $1.2 million.







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Associated Countries •USA



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See also •Combat spacecraft

•Manned

•US Rocketplanes



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

•USAF American agency. USAF, USA. More...



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Brass Bell Chronology



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1956 March 20 - . •Brass Bell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi; Brass Bell. Summary: The Air Force and Bell Aircraft Company completed negotiations for a study contract involving Reconnaissance System 459L, Brass Bell..



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1957 April 30 - . •Development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. Summary: Air Force headquarters directed the Air Research and Development Command to formulate a development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems..



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1957 October 10 - . •Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo consolidated into Dyna-Soar. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. The launch of Sputnik spurs immediate actions within the government to accelerate manned spacecraft work. ARDC headquarters consolidated Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo studies into a three-step abbreviated development plan for System 464L, Dyna-Soar. On the same day a NACA Hypersonic Steering Committee met to consider the best configuration for such a vehicle. Langley's Faget pushed non-gliding ballistic capsules, another NACA group felt lifting bodies were the best solution, but the majority of participants favoured the flat-bottomed glider configuration

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Bell Robo
From astronautix.com:
 
Robo










Robo Glider

Robo Glider

Two versions of Robo glider, with vertical fins on fuselage and with vertical stabilisers on wing-tips. The latter was the final version.

American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1955. Hypersonic manned rocket bomber project of the 1950's. Predecessor to Dynasoar.

In 1955 the Air Force began extending study of manned hypersonic weapon systems beyond the Bomi work underway at Bell since 1952. Six companies undertook preliminary studies using their own funds in 1955 at the request of the government. On 19 December 1955 the USAF issued a Request or Proposal for preliminary design of a manned hypersonic bomber. Boeing, Convair, Douglas, McDonnell, North American, and Republic responded. SR-126 for a ROcket BOmber was released in June 1956, and Convair, Douglas, and North American received modestly-funded study contracts totaling $860,000. Payload was to be from 740 to 1500 to 11,400 kg, and the bomber was to have a secondary reconnaissance mission. Final reports were presented to the government in June 1957, by which time a total of $ 3.2 million of government and company funds had been spent on manned hypersonic combat aircraft. The level of effort and nature of the contractor approaches were as follows:



•Bell had expended the most effort, producing a total of 50 papers, covering every aspect of the design of a manned hypersonic aircraft. This had been funded by $ 2.156 million in government funds and well over $ 1million of company funds from 1954-1957. Their final design was a large delta-winged glider with a mid-level wing. The internal structure was of conventional aluminum honeycomb, actively cooled by water pumped through channels on the outer surface. On top of this was a quartz fiber insulation layer. The outer skin of the aircraft was made of Inconel-X nickel alloy. The temperature of the outer skin was expected to be 1200 deg C. The leading edges of the wing would reach 2500 deg C and would be actively cooled by a liquid sodium system.

The glider itself had a total mass of 11 metric tons with a 1300 kg nuclear warhead. It would be boosted by three modular fluorine/ammonia boosters with a total lift-off mass of 336 metric tons on the following mission profile:



◦First stage (two parallel booster modules) burn-out at 96 seconds after launch, 1.8 km/sec, and 18 km altitude.

◦Second stage (core booster modules) burn-out at 276 seconds after launch, 7.8 km/sec, and 80 km altitude.

◦Hypersonic glide to bomb release point up to 30,000 km down-range, 80 minutes after launch, at 5.5 km/sec, and 55 km altitude.

◦Final landing descent 39,000 km down-range, 127 minutes after launch, at 1.2 km/sec, and 40 km altitude.

◦Landing up to 41,000 km down-range



By the time of the final Robo presentation, Bell was far in advance of the other contractors. They had refined their aerodynamic configuration in NACA wind tunnels, conducted systems tests of the water and sodium cooling designs, and studied in detail the problems of use of navigation, radar, and electronic and photographic intelligence systems aboard hypersonic aircraft.







•Douglas Aircraft provided the second deepest proposal, probably spending nearly $ 1million of their own money in the effort in addition to $ 374,000 of government funds. They produced 39 papers by the end of Robo, working on their Model 1377 in collaboration with RCA, Honeywell, and Sylvania (avionics); Reaction Motors, Aerojet, and Rocketdyne (liquid propulsion); Grand Central (solid propulsion); and even studied nuclear propulsion. Their baseline vehicle was a three-stage boost-glide design.





•Boeing received no funding but produced 11 papers, including work on fluorine-hydrazine propulsion and inertial navigation requirements. Their design concept was an unmanned boost-glide spaceplane with a separable glide missile. This was seminal work for them, which would lead to eventually to the Dynasoar development contract.





•Convair received $ 245,000 in government funding and probably invested about half a million. Their ten papers outlined a composite vehicle with a separable winged warhead clearly based on their contemporary but extremely secret work on the Super Hustler Mach 4 ramjet reconnaissance aircraft (eventually the contract was won by Lockheed and became the SR-71). The Convair boosted payload totaled nearly 30 metric tons, 10.4 of which was the manned glider, with half of that propellant and coolant. The glider was equipped with turbojets for sustained cruise in the atmosphere. The separable glide warhead vehicle had a total mass of 11.6 metric tons, and the fairing between the two components alone was 2.5 metric tons. The selected booster used four strap-on solid boosters weighing 116 metric tons each and a liquid propellant core using Fluorine/Ammonia propellants with a mass of 162 metric tons. All-up mass at launch was 657 metric tons for the selected design. Other booster concepts considered included liquid oxygen/kerosene (1852 metric tons total); nuclear (200 metric tons) and all fluorine/ammonia (403 metric tons).





•Martin did some studies at their own expense but no papers on their design have come to light.





•North American received $ 240,000 in government funds and produced seven papers, concentrating on fluorine as a propellant. Their baseline vehicle was a two-stage design.





•Republic produced four papers at their own expense. Their design concept was a small unmanned vehicle based on their XF-103 interceptor with a hypersonic-cruise ramjet and three-stage booster.





•Lockheed did some studies at their own expense but no papers on their design have come to light.



The USAF concluded that an operational Robo weapons system could be available by 1970. An experimental version would begin test in 1965 and the full Robo weapons system would be deployed by 1974. The Robo project was rolled into the Dynasoar program in September 1957.

AKA: Rocket Bomber.





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Associated Countries •USA



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See also •Combat spacecraft

•Manned



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

•USAF American agency. USAF, USA. More...



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Robo Chronology



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1956 June 12 - . •System Requirement 126 for Robo rocket-bomber. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Bomi; Robo. Summary: ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 126, outlining the requirements for a rocket-bomber, named Robo..



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1957 April 30 - . •Development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. Summary: Air Force headquarters directed the Air Research and Development Command to formulate a development plan encompassing all hypersonic weapon systems..



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1957 June 20 - . •Robo evaluation committee. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Robo. Summary: A committee, with representation from ARDC headquarters, the Wright Air Development Center, the Cambridge Air Force Research Center, and the Air Materiel Command, was formed to evaluate contractor studies on Robo..



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1957 October 10 - . •Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo consolidated into Dyna-Soar. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Hywards; Bomi; Brass Bell; Robo. The launch of Sputnik spurs immediate actions within the government to accelerate manned spacecraft work. ARDC headquarters consolidated Hywards, Brass Bell, and Robo studies into a three-step abbreviated development plan for System 464L, Dyna-Soar. On the same day a NACA Hypersonic Steering Committee met to consider the best configuration for such a vehicle. Langley's Faget pushed non-gliding ballistic capsules, another NACA group felt lifting bodies were the best solution, but the majority of participants favoured the flat-bottomed glider configuration.



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Robo Images



robogd2v.jpg

Convair Robo

The spacecraft consided of an aft unmanned glider, which contained the nuclear weapon. This would seperate and maneuver independently to the target. The forward manned glider would press on to a landing on friendly territory. The wingtips folded down according to the flight regime to provide lateral stability.

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boostgli.jpg

Boost-Glide Vehicles

US Boost-glide vehicles of the 1950's: From left, Bomi, Robo single and parallel booster versions, Boeing Dynasoar with Titan 1 and Titan 2 boosters

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bomivx20.jpg

Robo vs Dynasoar

Robo and Dynasoar cutaway views, to scale. Robo, from fore to aft: coolant tanks for active structure cooling during re-entry; landing gear; avionics bay; cockpit for single crew; equipment pay; propellant tank bay; nuclear weapon (ejected through rear); transtage for maneuvering in space. Dynasoar: nose skid; cabin for single crew; conditioned payload bay for experiments, weapons, or additional crew; equipment/transition section with cooling equipment, large hydrogen tank for electrical power generator; transtage for maneuver in orbit.
 
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Ames Mach 10 Demonstrator
From astronautix.com:
 
Ames Mach 10 Demonstrator








American manned spaceplane. Study 1957. Ames proposed in 1957 to air-launch a high-wing designed hypersonic glider from a B-36 bomber. Early versions would use an XLR-99-powered booster stage and be capable of reaching Mach 6.

The final version would be powered by a 68,000 kgf LR-89-NA-1 engine and reach Mach 10. The aircraft would be launched over the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Canaveral and then fly across the southern United States for a landing at Edward AFB in California.



Gross mass: 68,000 kg (149,000 lb).





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Associated Countries •USA



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Associated Engines •LR89-5 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 822.5 kN. Atlas E, F. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Separate turbopumps for each booster engine. Isp=290s. First flight 1960. More...



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See also •Manned

•Spaceplane

•Suborbital

•US Rocketplanes



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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies •NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...



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Associated Propellants •Lox/Kerosene



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Bibliography •Jenkins, Dennis R,, Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System : The First 100 Missions, Third edition, Voyageur Press, 2001.

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