May 18

Space Rocket History #389 – Skylab – Pre-history – MOL Part 3

A planning document depicted 12-man and 40-man stations, both with self-defense capability. It described the 40-man, Y-shaped station as a “spaceborne command post” in synchronous orbit. The key requirement was “post attack survivability”, the station would be capable of “Strategic/tactical decision making” during a general war.

MOL Spacesuit

Launch of MOL Test Flight

Future MOL Command Post

May 04

Space Rocket History #388 – Skylab – Pre-history – MOL Part 2

Strangely enough the MOL astronauts only knew of the cover story that the program would be a space laboratory for military experiments and did not learn of the reconnaissance role until after selection.

Manned Orbiting Laboratory

Mockup of MOL

Gemini B Heat Shield with Hatch

Apr 20

Space Rocket History #387 – Skylab – Pre-history – Dyna-Soar & MOL

NASA feasibility studies determined that a research space laboratory could be placed in orbit by 1967. However, to fund such a project it had to be justified by achieving a national goal, or an important science goal, or test of technology.

X-20 Dyna-Soar

MOL Configuration

Gemini B