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Old September 19 2009, 04:43 PM   #163
diankra
Commodore
 
Location: UK
Re: Obama Space Plan: Return to Moon: "No Go"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
The fly-back booster, F-1 (?), was to be a saturn five first stage with nose cone, wings, jets and landing gear. Advertised as just a standard first stage to be constructed with exsisting forms and tools, I really don't see how it could of been used repeatly.

Interesting thing about the russian buran - snow flake (?) - shuttle is that it was designed to be flown by ground control, if a crew wasn't required in orbit. Delivery runs.
As Sojourner says, the Saturn V 1st stage-derived booster was a later proposal for an interim booster once it became clear that there wasn't the budget to develop the fully reuseable booster (and, to be honest, as a proposal it probably had a lot to do with Boeing wanting to keep a share of the pie).

All Soviet craft were built to be ground controllable, not just Buran - partly for dual use (Vostok also flew unmanned as the Zenit spy satellites), partly due to the medics' early worries about whether pilots could function in space, and also for political reasons (so the pilots could be over-ruled by ground control if they tried to land in the west).
One of the sillier things was that on Vostok 1 the manual controls were actually locked, and could only be turned on if Gagarin entered a PIN number that the capcom would relay up from the ground if needed. But as the ground controllers and designers were worried that they might lose communications, at least three of them grabbed a chance to whisper the combination in Gagarin's ear before launch...
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