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From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: What Could of Been, about Kennedy
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 06:21:40 GMT

In article <4d77sa$> dalton ) writes:
>I found a document outlining NASA's orginal plan to go to the moon.
>Basically it states that Apollo was never designed to go to the moon!

More precisely, Apollo was conceived as NASA's general-purpose manned
spacecraft, at a time when lunar-orbit missions were far-off dreams
and a lunar landing was simply beyond the horizon of detailed planning.
That's why the "Block I" Apollo spacecraft, which flew the early unmanned
tests, had no docking tunnel -- its design was frozen too early.

Moreover, the multipurpose capability was still basically there in the
final design, with only minor compromises.  The reason why Apollo was
never used for anything but lunar missions was simply that there was never
funding for anything else. 

>...think it pretty much shows that NASA could have done much, much more
>without Kennedy's demand to get us to the moon by '70...

You're confusing desire with ability.  NASA couldn't have carried out
those ambitious plans because Congress would never have funded them.
Kennedy's demand for a lunar landing did tend to stifle anything longer-
term, but it also injected very large amounts of money into that one
objective.  Not incidentally, it also set a definite goal with a definite
deadline, without which NASA might well still be dithering.  (Government
bureaucracies strongly prefer tasks which involve taking very small steps
toward an ill-defined far-off goal, because then there is little chance
of conspicuous failure.  NASA's top management was horrified when Kennedy
gave them specific marching orders and demanded results.)

The document you've found is an optimistic wishlist, not a plan that
anybody was firmly committed to.
The Earth is our mother.                           |       Henry Spencer
Our nine months are up...                          |

From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: Saturn VI - not V
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 06:03:51 GMT

In article <> (Jim Kingdon) writes:
>I suppose, although I certainly don't think that retaining that
>infrastructure because it might someday be useful for Moon/Mars is a
>good idea...

In fact, Dan Goldin has been working quite hard on convincing various
people within NASA -- and we're talking people like center directors here,
not just the peons in the ranks -- that the days of Apollo will not
return, and that it is not sensible to continue spending effort and money
on being prepared for their return. 
The Earth is our mother.                           |       Henry Spencer
Our nine months are up...                          |

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