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Found 2 results

  1. This weirdo scored 6.9 while the Apollo CSM we know and love scored 6.6, and it took pressure of NASA’s two Korolev-class heavyweights, Max Faget and James Webb, to lobby for the iconic design. This thing was weird (and still is, in our age of capsule resurgence) for a bunch of reasons. The RV is flattened and asymmetrical to work as a full-on lifting body with a flap system for controlled descent, while a classic LES mast is retained. However, while it’s not shrunken significantly compared with the final CM, it features something that’s more familiar from the Soyuz - a dedicated non-returning habitat (“mission module”) for double the volume and an easier surface egress, seeing as it was designed with Direct Ascent as one of the two options. Like the Soyuz, I can’t see an entry hatch directly on the RV. Plus, since the capsule is a lifting body and the heat shield is on one flank, the habitat could easily be co-located with the service module, eliminating one of Soyuz’s huge problems, which would be exacerbated for an American design given the stubborn dislike of fairings on manned ships. The layout evokes the TKS and certain variants of Blue Gemini/MOL/KH-9, were it not for the unconventional heat shield location. Finally, the engine design is optimistically a hydrolox package using the predecessor of the RL-10. The tank layout is also strikingly similar to a design from the wrong side of the Curtain: the donut hydrogen tank is near-identical to the donut kerosene tank from L3’s Block D, and would have possibly acquired a similar skew down the line to guide the propellant towards the intake. The different propellant pairs do make themselves noticed, however, as the corresponding oxidizer tank on Block D is a whole lot bigger in relative terms. @kerbiloid, I know you love all things TKS.