Aug 102016
 

Starting in the 1970s and running through much of the 1980’s, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory ran numerous studies of Thousand Astronomical Unit (TAU) spacecraft. These were somewhat akin to Voyager class probes, but with important differences. instead of small RTGs for power, they would use SP-100 class fission reactors, mounted many dozens of meters away at the end of long booms. Located at the center of mass of the system would be a bank of ion engines; the nuclear electric propulsion system would operate for *years* to boost these craft to extremely high speeds. Still, it would take decades for them to travel 1,000 AU from the Sun, many times further than Pluto. There, large optical telescopes would take parallax measurements on distant stars; by positioning numerous TAU craft in every direction, the measurement baseline would be vast, and precise distance fixes could be made for stars on the other side of the galaxy.

A number of TAU designs were examined, but the one shown here in JPL art seems to be pretty representative. These probes would have to be engineered with a high degree of both reliability and autonomy as their main observation missions would only begin something like 50 years after launch. Diagrams of a different design and more information were presented in US Spacecraft Projects #3.

jpl tau

 Posted by at 1:53 pm
Jun 222016
 

A General Dynamics concept for a logistics spacecraft (personnel and cargo transfer to/from space stations) from 1966. The VL-3A was a narrow lifting body design to be launched by a Titan IIIc, and featured flip-out wings and turbojets for runway landings. The VL-3A and other spaceplanes were presented in US Spacecraft Projects #2.

ussp 02-06-3

 Posted by at 9:34 am
May 012016
 

I admit that the USBP series looks kinda… bland. It’s text and line drawings; not a whole lot can be done to jazz that up. Especially since I have no head for graphics design whatsoever apart from layout diagrams.

Still, one reader sent me a mockup of a revised cover of USBP #18:

USBP18blue

Things are moved around a little bit, but the obvious change is the addition of color. The suggestion was also made to consider color-coding each title in the USXP series. Just off the top of my head, I came up with:

Bombers: Olive Drab

Spacecraft: Black

Launch Vehicles: Blue on bottom, transitioning to black at the top

Fighters: slightly bluish gray (like the F-15 or F-22)

Transports: ??

VTOL: ??

The USBP#18 cover was re-done to reflect this, thusly:

USBP18green

Thoughts? Is this more appealing?How about color-coding… good idea or not? And if so, what colors?

I tried something vaguely like this once before, with USBP#05.

 Posted by at 10:41 am
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

ussp04ad1 ussp04ad2

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

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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

ustp05ad2 ustp05ad1

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

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AND don’t forget these…

 

USLP 03

Issue 03 of US Launch Vehicle Projects includes:

  • Juno V/Titan/Nomad: A 1958 concept for a space launcher using an ICBM for upper stages
  • Convair ATE Nova: A 1963 idea for winged airbreathing boosters
  • B-70/Gemini: Using a bomber as a booster
  • Phase II VTOHL Orbit-On-Demand: a 1985 concept for a relatively small two stage to orbit spaceplane
  • NASA Lewis Saturn Ib/Centaur/Kick Stage: a high energy upper stage
  • NASA MSC 042B/Titan IIIL6: a straight-winged orbiter atop a large Titan derivative
  • Heavy Lift Titan: A large diameter Titan core with three Shuttle boosters
  • Escher “Unshackled”: An unconventional idea for a lunar rocket

uslp03ad2 uslp03ad1

USLP #03 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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Large format USBP drawings, Issues 10-12

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 10-12 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Boeing Model 464-34-3, Republic mach 7, Lockheed CL-1301-1, Convair WS-125A, Boeing 484-415, Martin Model 223-10, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar, Martin Model 192-5, Boeing Model 464-40, Boeing Model 701-218, Northrop Nuclear flying wing, North American D118, Martin Model 223-11, North American Model 705-00-04, Bell/Martin 464L, Boeing B-1, Boeing Big Bird BB 6800, Boeing Model464-41, Douglas MX-2091-E, Boeing Model 701-238, Martin Model 223-12, Northrop Nuclear Flying Wing, Rockwell MRCC, Lockheed CL-820-8

usbp11x17_10-12ad1

USBP11x17-10-12 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:
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Large format USBP drawings, Issues 13-15

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 13-15 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Ryan Model 162, Boeing Orbital bomb, Northrop Atomic Wing, Consolidated Vultee High Speed Flying Boat, Martin Model 189, Boeing Model 464-046, Curtis F-87C, Boeing Model 701-247, Lockheed WS 464L Dyna Soar, McDonnell WS 464L Dyna Soar, North American WS 464L Dyna Soar, Republic WS 464L Dyna Soar, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar I, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar II, Douglas WS 464L Dyna Soar, Northrop N206 WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar II, Bell/Martin WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 2050E Dyan Soar, Boeing Dyna Soar/ Titan IIIc, Bell D2001 TS-149, Lockheed Harvey; Convair Model 35, Rockwell D661-27, Boeing Model 464-49, Boeing Model 988-123, Boeing Manned Orbital Bomber, Boeing Model 701-251

usbp11x17_13-15ad1

USBP11x17-13-15 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:
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 Posted by at 8:27 pm
Dec 212015
 

OK, so I wrote about the “Have Sting” orbital railgun, and produced some provisional diagrams of it, publishing them in US Space Projects #3. A blog article was written for War Is Boring discussing “Have Sting,” based in no small part on my diagrams. OK, so far so good. But then other blogs start writing about Have Sting, and an error is introduced.

Whenever a blog post links to my blog, a “pingback notification” is sent to my blog dashboard. I’ve just glanced at these, haven’t given them much thought. For the most part they seem to be just parroting the verbiage from the War is Boring piece. But with one change: “Have Sting” has become “Have Sling.” A “T” became an “L.”

Examples:
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/219718-exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built

In September, the Aerospace Project Reviews Blog published some fascinating diagrams depicting “Have Sling,” which aerospace historian Scott Lowther described as “[a] General Electric design for a gigantic orbital railgun.” Have Sling was never built, of course.

http://www.usaspeaks.com/news/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

September, the Aerospace Project Reviews Blog published some fascinating diagrams depicting “Have Sling,” which aerospace historian Scott Lowther described as “[a] General …

http://www.usaspeaks.com/news/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

http://www.viralnewstrend.com/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

And a bunch more, all seemingly the same post over and over.

And if you Google “have sling” and some other terms, some seriously wacky stuff appears, which I’m guessing is the result of some weird auto-translation:

http://www.bbtechnonews.com/index.php/2015/12/19/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

In September, the Aerospace Task Reviews Blog site released some remarkable layouts portraying “Have Sling,” which aerospace chronicler Scott Lowther

“Aerospace Task Reviews?”

And:

http://journalfocus.com/2015/12/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

Exploring the ‘Fatality Celebrity’ space gun America never built

UNITED STATE protection coordinators did at one time think about constructing a huge Fatality Star-like gun in space as component of the “Celebrity Wars” rocket protection program, as Warisboring’s Steve Weintz advised us this week in the middle of the hullaballoo of the position of The Pressure Awakens.

In September, the Aerospace Job Reviews Blog site released some interesting representations portraying “Have Sling,” which aerospace chronicler Scott Lowther…

… the styles explain a space tool the dimension of the International Space Terminal, each Lowther.

Buh?

So now when people try to research orbital railguns, there’s every chance that they will be presented with the fallacious designation “Have Sling.”

I just did a Google search on “railgun” and “have sling.”  It spat back 741 results. “Railgun and “Have Sting” only produced 321 results. The lie traveled around the world while the truth was still putting on its boots.

 Posted by at 12:03 am
Sep 132015
 

Now available… two new additions to the US Aerospace Projects series.

 

US Bomber Projects #16: The B-52 Evolution Special

Boeing Model 444 A: A late war turboprop heavy bomber
Boeing Model 461: An early postwar turboprop heavy bomber
Boeing Model 462: A large six-turboprop ancestor of the B-52
Boeing Model 462-5: A six-turboprop B-52 ancestor
Boeing Model 464-17: 1946 four-turboprop strategic bomber, a step toward the B-52
Boeing Model 464-18: a reduced-size version of the 464-17 turboprop strategic bomber
Boeing Model 464-25: a modification of the 464-17 turboprop bomber with slightly swept wings, among other changes
Boeing Model 464-27: a slightly-swept turboprop B-52 progenitor
Boeing Model 464-33-0: A turboprop B-52 predecessor
Boeing Model 464-34-3: A turboprop B-52 predecessor
Boeing Model 464-40: The first all-jet-powered design in the quest for the B-52
Boeing Model 464-40: The first all-jet-powered design in the quest for the B-52
Boeing Model 464-046: A six-engined B-52 predecessor
Boeing Model 464-49: The penultimate major design in the development of the B-52
Fairchild M-121:A highly unconventional canard-biplane
Convair B-60: A swept-wing turboprop-powered derivative of the B-36
Douglas Model 1211-J: An elegant turboprop alternative to the B-52
With additional diagrams of the B-47, XB-52 and B-52B

USBP#16 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $6.

usbp16ad2 usbp16ad1

US Spacecraft Projects #03

Northrop ST-38 Space Trainer: a rocket-powered T-38 for trips to space
“Have Sting:” A General Electric design for a gigantic orbital railgun
JPL Thousand Astronomical Unit probe: A spacecraft into interstellar space
Integrated MannedInterplanetary Spacecraft: A Boeing concept for a giant spacecraft to Mars and Venus
Convair Inflatable Spacecraft: an early spaceplane concept
One Man Space Station: A 1960 McDonnell concept for a tiny space station
Astroplane: A lightweight aircraft for the exploration of Mars
Reactor-In-Flight Test: A Lockheed nuclear-powered stage for the Saturn V

 

USSP#03 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $5.

ussp03ad2 ussp03ad1

 Posted by at 3:03 pm
Aug 162015
 

This comes from a 1959 Lockheed-Georgia PR booklet, no further data was provided. It was described as a “Space Scooter,” which would indicate something akin to the Convair “Space Taxi” shown in US Spacecraft Projects #1. However, this looks like not so much an inter-spaceship crew transfer system as a “work pod” for the construction of spacecraft and space stations. The torus undoubtedly contains thruster propellant; possibly high-pressure gas for cold-jet thrusters.

space scooter 1

 Posted by at 10:02 pm
Mar 272015
 

I have made some adjustments to the Aerospace Projects Review Patreon campaign. The first is that I’ve reduced the number of rewards levels, which I was informed was previously Too Many. More importantly, I have added some new rewards: if you become a patron at $5 or more per month, you receive 10% off all future purchases of APR, US Aerospace Projects and downloadable Documents and Drawings. If you become a patron at $10 per month, you will receive 20% off any such purchases. Check of the APR Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=197906

Additionally, the campaign has reached the point where the rewards are now *three* aerospace documents, one high-rez historical diagram and one all-new CAD diagram per month. This is in addition to the random “Extras” I throw in for $4 and up patrons. The most recent extra is a full-rez restoration of a three-view diagram of a 1978 McDonnell-Douglas concept for modifying Skylab to be serviced by the Space Shuttle. You can see a smaller-rez version of that here: http://www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com/blog/?p=2153

If you sign up now you will get the latest rewards which include:

  • A Bell Aircraft presentation on the SR-126 Bomber Missile, a manned ICBM predecessor of the Dyna Soar
  • A Lockheed paper on the history of the Polaris to Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile
  • A large poster illustrating the missiles and rockets of the Orbital Sciences Corporation
  • An all-new CAD diagram detailing the 10-meter Orion nuclear pulse propulsion vehicle designed by General Atomic for the USAF
 Posted by at 7:39 pm
Feb 042015
 

I’ve started posting my diagrams created for APR, USBP, etc. over on “Deviantart.” Unless I get bored and wander away (gosh, what are the chances of *that*), the plan is to eventually post virtually *all* of my diagrams, at a rate of about one a day.

Check it out:

scott-lowther.deviantart.com

Feel free to tell anyone you care to tell.

 Posted by at 2:29 am
Jan 222015
 

Now available: US Spacecraft Projects #02, the “Spaceplane Special.” This is done in the same style as the other US Aerospace Projects publications, but this issue is focused specifically on lifting spacecraft… and is more than twice as long as usual with more data and more diagrams.

USSP #02 includes:

  • Boeing Personnel/Cargo Glider: When you have space industry, you need a space bus
  • Convair Manned Orbiting Reconnaissance System: A 1958 concept for a recon spaceplane
  • North American D435-1-4: The delta winged X-15A-3 (not a true spaceplane… but still, relevant)
  • General Electric R-3 Lenticular Apollo: A 1962 Apollo concept for a lifting body lunar ship
  • General Dynamics VL-3A: a 1966 space station logistics transport
  • SRI Space Cruiser: An early 1980’s minimum manned spacecraft for the military
  • Boeing Model 844-2050E Dyna Soar: The almost-built spaceplane from 1963
  • Rockwell MRCC Orbiter: the do-everything concept, modified with additional rockets and propellant

USSP #02 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $6:

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ussp02ad2

ussp02ad

 Posted by at 12:37 am