Langley 4,372 kg LM
Langley 4,372 kg lunar lander
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. This early open-cab Langley design used cryogenic propellants. The cryogenic design was estimated to gross 3,284 kg - to be compared with the 15,000 kg / 2 man LM design that eventually was selected.
Earliest lunar orbit rendezvous schemes involved use of one or more extremely lightweight, unpressurized lunar landers to take a single astronaut to the lunar service. The cryogenic design was estimated to gross 3,284 kg - to be compared with the 15,000 kg / 2 man design that eventually was selected. Propellant load estimated.
Crew Size: 1.
Gross mass: 3,284 kg (7,239 lb).
More... - Chronology...
Unfuelled mass: 1,084 kg (2,389 lb).
Payload: 150 kg (330 lb).
Height: 2.60 m (8.50 ft).
Specific impulse: 444 s.
Lunar Landers Lunar lander design started with the British Interplanetary Society's concept of 1939, followed by Von Braun's 3964 tonne monster of 1953. It then settled down to more reasonably-sized variants. Landers came in three main types: two stage versions, with the first stage being a lunar crasher that would brake the spacecraft until just above the lunar surface, then separate, allowing the second stage to land on the surface; two stage versions consisting of a descent stage that went all the way to the surface, and an ascent stage that would take the crew from the surface to lunar orbit or on an earth-return trajectory; and single stage versions, using liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen propellants. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
NASA Langley American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Langley, USA. More...
Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...
Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.
Brooks, Courtney G, Grimwood, Hames M, Swenson, Lloyd S, Chariots for Apollo, Government Printing Office, 1989. Web Address when accessed: here.
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