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UASO Endeavour Program Planning Hits Roadbumps

(Norfolk, VA) – It was announced today in a press conference at UASO Headquarters that the much anticipated Endeavour Program is falling behind schedule. Final planning of the Endeavour program was to be completed by no later than October 1st. Planning has been set back due to a change in launch vehicle design. The primary manned launch vehicle design called for the use of the 2-manned Gemini space capsule, but due to changing mission requirements and the organization’s focus on full lunar orbital and landing missions in the future, a decision was made to utilize the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM), which supports extended duration missions.

With the new CSM/Saturn C-3 stack, lunar landing missions will require two launch vehicles to complete the mission. One will launch the CSM stack, while the second launches the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM). The problem the program faces deals with the limited fuel budget. A number of alternatives have been named by key UASO members, including using a variant of the Saturn C-3, the Saturn C-3a, which attaches four small boosters to the C-3 first stage to accommodate the weight increase caused by the CSM. Another is to scrap the Saturn C-3 design completely, and go with the Aries I crew launcher and Aries V heavy lift launcher, which will utilize the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) Crew Exploration Vehicle CEV-E. No determination has been made as of now, however, planning will continue on the design of the Endeavour program as time goes on. Stay tuned for updates.

For more information, visit the UASO website at http://www.vuaso.org

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