In the late 1950′s, before NASA was created, the USAF, the US Army and even the US Navy each thought that they might lead the American manned space program. The Army produced studies for Project Horizon, a manned Lunar base for military purposes (not just research and exploration, but also offensive nuclear capability). Horizon would have used early versions of the Saturn I to send men and equipment into space. To land on the Moon, large landers such as the one shown below would have been used. This multi-stage monster would have had the Earth return capsule up top (the downward-pointing cone inside the nose), a feature carried forward on early NASA Apollo concepts until Lunar Orbit Rendezvous became the baseline.