Jan 232016

USSP #04

US Spacecraft Projects #04, the Lander Special is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #04 includes:

  • GE Electrically Propelled Cargo Vehicle: A lunar lander with a nuclear reactor and ion engines to reduce the cost of lunar logistics
  • Douglas LASS: Landing an S-IVb stage on the moon
  • Convair PLAME: VTOL crew return with jet engines
  • North American Mars Excursion Module: the iconic conical Mars lander
  • Martin-Marietta Ballistic NIMF: A nuclear “hopper”
  • Early LEM: One of the first recognizable designs, by Maxime Faget
  • ROMBUS: probably the largest lunar lander seriously proposed
  • Boeing Lander Module 2: A recent Mars crew lander

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USSP #04 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $5:



USTP #05

US Transport Projects #05 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #05 includes:

  • Boeing Model 820-100: The B-52 can haul more than bombs…
  • Lockheed Nuclear Tug: Want to tow two C-5s across an ocean?
  • Martin Super Ocean Transport: A WWII-era design for a post-war giant passenger transport
  • HOT EAGLE: 13 Marines to Benghazi in minutes
  • Sikorsky SST: An early supersonic transport concept
  • Lifting Body Cargo Airplane: A wartime design for a multibody design with a separate cargo module
  • Resource Air Carrier: A giant “flying pipeline” to haul petroleum
  • Boeing Model 763-165: A side-by-side New Large Airplane design

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USTP #05 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



 Posted by at 7:31 pm
  • Phil

    Thank you for writing these. I liked all the articles, but I especially loved the coverage of the Mars Excursion Module. It is very informative, and has lots of great illustrations.

    I first saw a cutaway drawing of the vehicle in the mid 1980s, thought it had a good amount of room, and was surprised to find out how small it really is. I also had no idea they were thinking about using methane as a fuel–I associate methane fuel with the more recent in-situ fuel manufacturing concepts–but you explain why they thought of it in the 1960s.

    I also didn’t know they were going to use fluorine as part of the oxidizer. So, we must ask, how much work did they put into estimating the how long the plumbing would hold up to a corrosive substance? I imagine they’d fuel up the MEM before launch into low Earth orbit. Then they’d have to assemble the interplanetary spacecraft in orbit. Then the trip to Mars would take what, half a year? And finally, the MEM would sit on Mars for a month before they lit up the ascent stage.

    • Scottlowther

      > Thank you for writing these.

      Thanks for purchasing. Tell all your friends. it’d be nice to sell more than 40 of ’em…

      As for the fluorine, there are some materials that can handle it (teflon, frex), but, yeah, I wouldn’t want to rely on keeping that stuff for a long period.

  • kbob42

    Purchased. Now to find time to read them between all the school work.