Winged Gemini

These illustrations are from a GE study to use a variation of the Gemini spacecraft as a moon lander. David Winfrey supplied this information about it: pp. 488-90 of Ron Miller's "The Dream Machines" cites this as a 1963 General Electric 2-man Mars mission equipped with a single NERVA core stage and a dozen jettisonable hydrogen tanks, both 22 ft diameter. Crew occupied a two-deck section aft of the lander, with a "storm celler" for solar flares, then was to have put down in a 35,000 pound lander carrying 5000 lbs equipment, spending 5 days on the surface. Not much bang for the buck, what?

Tom Neal sent along this info: This was a 1963 GE proposal for a 2-man expedition to Mars. A single NERVA engine with jettisonable fuel tanks provided propulsion for the round trip. Crew quarters and a "storm cellar" were provided just aft of the Gemini lander.

Attaining Mars obit, the crew transferred into the "Winged Gemini". The lander's engine was used to de-orbit followed by winged atmospheric braking. At a low altitude (good luck guys...), the ship manuevers to a "tail-first" attitude and lands vertically using the rocket engine.

After a stay of only a few days, the upper section of the lander returns to rendezvous with the main ship. The nuclear engine is again used to return to an Earth parking orbit. No mention of how the crew returns to terra firma.

Thanx to Steven Jones for providing these illustrations... sorry, but copies of these are not available.

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Sven Knudson, IPMS#32490