Encyclopedia Astronautica
1961.11.20 - Rosen Group recommends direct ascent for the lunar landing mission mode


Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), submitted to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, OMSF, the report of the working group which had been set up on November 6.

The recommendations of the group were :

- The United States should undertake a program to develop rendezvous capability on an urgent basis.
- To exploit the possibilities of accomplishing the first manned lunar landing by rendezvous, an intermediate vehicle with five F-1 engines in the first stage, four or five J-2 engines in the second stage, and one J-2 engine in the third stage should be developed (Saturn C-5). The vehicle should be so designed that it could be modified to use a three- engine first stage. The three-engine vehicle provided a better match with a large number of NASA and DOD requirements and earlier flights in support of the manned lunar program.
- The United States should place primary emphasis on the direct flight mode for achieving the first manned lunar landing. This mode gave greater assurance of accomplishment during this decade. To implement the direct flight mode, a Nova vehicle consisting of an eight F-1 engine first stage, a four M-1 engine second stage, and a one J-2 engine third stage should be developed on a top priority basis.
- Large solid-fuel rockets should not be considered as a requirement for manned lunar landing. If these rockets were developed for other purposes, the manned space flight program should support a solid-fuel first-stage development to provide a backup capability for Nova.
- Development of the S-IVB stage (one J-2) engine should be started, aiming toward flight tests on a Saturn C-1 in late 1964. It should be used as the third stage of both Saturn C-5 and Nova and also as the escape stage in the single earth orbit rendezvous mode.
- NASA had no present requirement for the Titan III vehicle. If the Titan III were developed by DOD, NASA should maintain continuous liaison with DOD development to ascertain if the vehicle could be used for future NASA needs.

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