Encyclopedia Astronautica
Horizon



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Horizon Final Base
Project Horizon Lunar Outpost in as it would appear by late 1965
Credit: US Army
HORIZON was a 1959 US Army study to establish a military lunar outpost. According to the project plan, by the end of 1964, a total of 40 SATURN vehicles would have been launched to assemble the necessary spacecraft and infrastructure in low earth orbit. Cargo delivery to the moon would begin in January 1965 with the first manned landing by two men in April 1965. The build-up and construction phase continued until the outpost would be manned by a task force of 12 men in November 1966.

This build-up program required 61 SATURN I and 88 SATURN II launchings through November 1966. Some 490,000 pounds of useful cargo would be transported to the moon. During 1967, the first operational year of the lunar outpost, a total of 64 launchings were scheduled, resulting in an additional 266,000 pounds of cargo on the moon. The total cost of the eight and one-half year program presented in the study was estimated to be six billion dollars.

Soon after the Horizon study was completed, NASA was formed and assigned all space exploration tasks. The Von Braun team that led Horizon were transferred to NASA. The origins of the Apollo project can be seen in Horizon.

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See also

Horizon Chronology


1957 December 10 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program - . Nation: USA. Program: Horizon. The Army Ballistic Missile Agency completed and forwarded to higher authority the first edition of A National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program, which had been in preparation since April 1957. Included was a "short-cut development program" for large payload capabilities, covering the clustered-engine booster of 1.5 million pounds of thrust to be operational in 1963. The total development cost of $850 million during the years 1958-1963 covered 30 research and development flights, some carrying manned and unmanned space payloads. One of six conclusions given in the document was that "Development of the large (1520 K-pounds thrust) booster is considered the key to space exploration and warfare." Later vehicles with greater thrust were also described.

1958 - During the year - .
  • US Army Map Service studied methods of mapping the moon - . Nation: USA. Program: Horizon. Summary: The U.S. Army Map Service studied methods of mapping the moon. This effort evolved into Project LAMP Lunar Analysis and Mapping Program) in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. By spring 1960, the first maps were in preparation.. Additional Details: here....

1958 September 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Juno V project objective changed to multistage carrier vehicle - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Johnson, Roy; Medaris. Program: Horizon. Following a Memorandum of Agreement between Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Director Roy W. Johnson on this date and a meeting on November 4, ARPA and AOMC representatives agreed to extend the Juno V project. The objective of ARPA Order 14 was changed from booster feasibility demonstration to "the development of a reliable high performance booster to serve as the first stage of a multistage carrier vehicle capable of performing advanced missions."

1959 March 20 - .
  • Army task force to plan a manned lunar outpost - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Medaris. Program: Horizon. An Army task force was formed to develop a plan for establishing a manned lunar outpost by the quickest practical means. The effort was called Project Horizon. The first phase of the project was to make a limited feasibility study, with estimated time and costs. The task force worked under the direction of Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of the Army Ordnance Missile Command and in full collaboration with the von Braun team. The report was completed on June 8.

1959 June 8 - .
  • Project Horizon report conceived years using a booster's spent stage as a space station's basic structure. - . Nation: USA. Program: Horizon. Spacecraft: Horizon Station. In a Project Horizon report, Wernher von Braun, then with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, advanced a theory that he had conceived years earlier for using a booster's spent stage as a space station's basic structure. This later evolved into the 'wet stage' concept for the Skylab Program.

1959 June 8 - .
  • Project Horizon Phase I report - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Horizon. The Project Horizon Phase I report was completed. In it, a U.S. manned landing on the moon in 1965 was proposed, to be followed in 1966 by an operational lunar outpost. Expenditures would average $667 million a year from Fiscal Year 1960 through Fiscal Year 1968. The guiding philosophy of the report was one of "enlightened conservatism of technical approach." On July 28 the report was presented to the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff. Additional Details: here....

1959 June 25-26 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Lunar mission studies under way at the Army - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Horizon. Spacecraft: Mercury. Summary: During the Research Steering Committee meeting, John H. Disher of NASA Headquarters discussed the lunar mission studies under way at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA).. Additional Details: here....

1959 July 23 - .
  • Maneuverable Recoverable Space Vehicle (MRSV) - . Nation: USA. Program: Horizon. Spacecraft: MRSV. Advanced Research Projects Agency representatives visited Army Ordnance Missile Command to discuss studies of a Maneuverable Recoverable Space Vehicle (MRSV). The general purpose was to identify U.S. space needs before 1970 which might require vehicles of this type.

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