A relatively well-known and very early design for a Nova vehicle. It is interesting in that it has only a slightly more powerful first stage and seemingly smaller and heavier upper stages than the Saturn V, yet was designed to put a very heavy lander directly onto the lunar surface.

  • Anonymous

    Less capacity to geo-sync than to the moon?

    • Anonymous

      If you go to geo-sync, you have to slow down. A lunar probe, on the other hand, might be defined as something that does an unpowered flyby, or smacks into the moon.

      Alternatively, the numbers might be an inappropriate mix: net payload of 60K to geo orbit, but gross weight tossed at the moon. Dunno.

      • Chris Jones

        I think your first interpretation is correct. Most launchers today quote payload to GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit), which is takes quite a bit less energy than actually achieving GEO (usually there’s both a perigee-raising and an inclination-zeroing component left to do. As you said, a lunar probe could be a flyby or an impact, which just requires the launcher to put the payload into an orbit of about 0 to (lunar gravity will pull it the rest of the way), which is less energy intensive.

        • Chris Jones

          How helpful… I didn’t type that last bit, which looks like the editor closing what it assumes was some HTML construct I had left open. (Note to self, use some other convention than angle brackets to denote pseudo-variables.)

© 2014 The Unwanted Blog Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha