Saturday, April 01, 2000
Papers and documents related to space and space power are posted here. There are photographs including a picture of myself, Lt. General Daniel O. Graham, and Max Hunter in the office of Vice President Dan Quayle in the meeting in which we convinced Quayle, as Chairman of the National Space Council, to begin the project that led to the DC/X. (As of July 1999 I have not scanned in the actual pictures of DC/X, but the picture taken in the White House is posted here.)
DC/X was later named Space Clipper Graham after General Graham's death. It was the first vertical takeoff vertical landing (VTVL) rocket ship successfully flown, and demonstrated the feasibility of many of the concepts for Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) flight. It flew successfully for USAF, then was transferred to NASA. It flew successfully for NASA but fell over on landing because a technician had disconnected the control mechanism to lower one of the four landing gears and didn't reconnect it before the flight. There was no redundancy and no gear status sensor. There wasn't much quality control in the flight check, either.
The ship landed flawlessly but fell over, and burned. It did not crash. It was burned up, and will not be rebuilt. We learned a very great deal from Space Clipper Graham. Prior to that ship it wasn't thought possible to fly a vertical takeoff and landing ship at low speed, or to control its attitude from vertical to horizontal and back to vertical. Clipper Graham did all that and more. It was one of the most successful X Projects since the X-15. It is my opinion that the best way for government to participate in technology development is through X projects, and that the entire X series from X-1 on has returned to the American people a fabulous profit on their investments.
Picture is available here. First you will see the thumbnail. Click on that for the main picture. Warning: it is fairly large and may take a while to download. The people in the picture are Vice President Quayle; Lt. General Daniel O. Graham, USA Ret;d; Max Hunter, Project Engineer on the THOR IRBM and long time rocket scientist/engineer; and myself.
Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy: what the Council is, and some pictures at the last meetting.
Spacepower and Megamissions: a short essay on technological strategy. Delivered to the Air War College at Maxwell Field.
The SSX Concept: A not too technical essay on the origins and concept of the SSX spacecraft.
SSTO-Revisited: A report on origins and something of what was learned from DC/X.
WHY HAVE NASA? My testimony to the House Space Committee
The LE MONDE DEBATE and The COUNCIL Norman Spinrad's 1999 Article in LeMonde
Others will be added from time to time.