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Thomas-Peters's avatar

Project Argosy W.i.P.

After Apollo 11 and Apollo 12, NASA used the momentum of those triumphs to launch their proposal to develop several pieces of hardware, the Nuclear Ferry or Primary Propulsion Module, which could provide regular transportation to Geosynchronous orbit and the Moon, and the Standard Mission Module, which could serve as a planetary surface base or orbital station. These, combined with a Science Mission Module specific for the destination, could be combined to form Project Argosy spacecraft, capable of missions to Mars, Venus, asteroids and comets. For these deep=space missions, the Argosy spacecraft would launch from Earth orbit, with two PPMs boosting the main craft into its transfer orbit, then separating, to decelerate themselves to return to Earth orbit for reuse. The lone remaining PPM would provide power and propulsion for the rest of the mission. In this way, a robust compatible collection of manned craft would be available for standard missions, in a flexible architecture to meet varieties of mission needs. I've attached the name Argosy, or treasure fleet, to the project.

Modeled in Lightwave 10. I already had the Nuclear Ferry modeled, and I'm still working on the Science Module and Standard Mission Module. Thanks for taking a look!
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ridiculousnonsense's avatar
Could you give one with dimensions?
It's no wonder half the streets in Huntsville are named after That guy.
Dr. Von Braun was a giant among men. For want of a budget!
Great work Tom.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
And about half the buildings over at Marshall, and Redstone Arsenal! He was a innovative designer, and a force of nature in his space advocacy.
Roger that! Have you had a chance to read "The Mars Project"
The man was a pretty good sci-fi author too. I hope there is
another like him in our future.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Yeah, The Mars Project is near and dear to me. I hope we see his  likes again--we need one!
Yeah, I knew you would be aware of it.
I had never read it until a couple of days ago.
What a gem, and what a great viewpoint into
the mind of the man.
Matthew-Travelmaster's avatar
*sighs* Where have all those visions gone to? And especially those people that made such visions come true? Simply sad that ignorance has taken over, and people simply say: Too expensive, too complicated, too everything...

Simply a cool series you did there with all those Argosy pictures.
HytonedSOB's avatar
Out Standing!!!!!!
Colourbrand's avatar
I remember this as one of those ideas penned in the 70's along with the shuttle.

Never would have flown because of budgets and the Green Peace movement - they were up in arms when they learned that Voyager 1 and 2 had minute nuclear cells on them to keep them working!

This is like a space ferry isn't it? Where ships docked to be carried around the inner system.

A very very good render! Excellent!
RobCaswell's avatar
Y'know, looking at this after the passing of Steve Jobs, I'm suddenly making a connection between him, Von Braun, and Korolev. All of them were passionate visionaries who were determined to test the limits of the possible. Sure, we still have space programs, but they've lost their visionary leaders and what we have today are just echoes of what we've had in the past: repurposed SRBs and upscaled Apollo capsules. It makes me wonder if that's what lies ahead on the digital frontier - the end of breaking boundaries and just doing safe variations on the theme?

Anyway... cool to see you taking on this subject and eager to see it finished. I remember seeing conceptual images on this one - didn't McCall tackle this at least once?

A welcome relief from the all-too-common form over function ship designs that we're deluged with.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
I was thinking about this myself, recently. von Braun was that unique combination of visionary, engineer, and charismatic advocate. Can you think of anyone in astronautics today who could effectively team up with Disney, and create a series of TV shows that educate and advocate for space exploration?

Robert McCall[link](artist) did do paintings and sketches of just about every phase of the mission profile for this hardware. His set of proportions and markings are the ones I'm basing the models on.

I'm very tired of functionless collections of shapes, or, possibly worse, streamlined and winged ships that would never survive a second in a planetary atmosphere.
karanua's avatar
I remember seeing sketches of such craft, similar in appearance, for Von Braun's first proposed Mars mission. Great looking ship and had space exploration continued with the fervour of those cold war years then no doubt would have seen its day in the early colonisation of the solar system.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
This approach would have been more of a return to the original plan--which was a more of a steady, measured approach to build the infrastructure necessary for sustained presence and expansion into the solar system. The major components were all multipurpose and adaptable. So it would be more the tortoise to Apollo's Hare--the slow, even build-up of components over the long haul that eventually leads to a collection of reusable, very capable craft.
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