Project 7969 Designs
Project 7969 ballistic designs. From left: Lockheed; Martin; Aeronutronics; Goodyear; McDonnell; Convair
Credit: © Mark Wade
American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Lockheed's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a 20 degree semiapex angle cone with a hemispherical tip of 30 cm radius. The pilot was in a sitting position facing rearward.
The capsule would be launched by an Atlas-Hustler combination into a 480 km orbit for a 4 hour mission.
Tracking would use the Minitrack System and deorbit would be accomplished by retrorocket providing a 60 m/sec braking impulse. Spacecraft attitude control was by rocket thrusters and electrically-powered motors. The spacecraft was automatic and no pilot intervention was required. Maximum G-forces during re-entry were 8 g's and either ablative or beryllium heat shields could be used. In case of booster failure during ascent to orbit the capsule would eject from the booster. The spacecraft had a ballistic coefficient (W/CdA) of 500 kg per square meter. Landing precision was within a 650 x 30 km footprint. It was expected that a first manned orbital flight could be achieved 24 months after a go-ahead at a cost of $ 10-100 million.
Gross mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb).
More... - Chronology...
Height: 4.26 m (13.97 ft).
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...
Associated Launch Vehicles
Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
Atlas Agena A American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas D + 1 x Agena A upper stage. Agena originally called 'Hustler', based on engine for cancelled rocket-propelled nuclear warhead pod for B-58 Hustler bomber. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...
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: here.
Grimwood, James M., Project Mercury: A Chronology, NASA Special Publication-4001.
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