Encyclopedia Astronautica
Apollo R-3



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Apollo R-3
Credit: Mark Wade
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Apollo R3
Credit: NASA
American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. General Electric's Apollo horizontal-landing alternative to the ballistic D-2 capsule was the R-3 lifting body. This modified lenticular shape provided a lift-to-drag ratio of just 0.

70 but eliminated the severe heating and weight problems General Electric believed to be inherent in the basic lenticular configuration.

The 2935 kg space pod was 4.57 m long and 3.30 m across. The propulsion module was as in the baseline GE Apollo proposal, but with the lifting body mounted atop the launch vehicle, any mission module was placed aft of the glider and accessed via a long tunnel. The re-entry vehicle used both ablative and radiative heat shielding and had a cross-range capability of 1500 km.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Lenticular Vehicles For a brief period in 1959-1964, NASA and the US Air Force actively considered launching manned flying saucers into space. Although very much in tune with UFO mania and science fiction films of the times, the concept lost out to other aerodynamic concepts. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • GE American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. General Electric Corporation, USA. More...

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