Jun 01

Space Rocket History #390 – Skylab – Pre-history – MOL Part 4 & Extending Apollo

On June 7th 1969, General Stewart ordered all work on Gemini B, the Titan IIIM and the MOL spacesuit, to cease and to cancel or curtail all other contracts. The official announcement that the MOL had been canceled was made on June 10th.

SLC 6 Under Construction

MOL Hardware Under Construction

Apollo X in 1964. Credit Shayler

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