MOL by Neil Jacobe

Gemini B/MOL at Astronautix

Image credit: McDonnell

Image source: Numbers Station

Vehicle Comparison

Apollo Program at Astronautix

Image credit: NASA

Image source: NASA Johnson

The Apollo Family Tree

Apollo Program at Astronautix

Image credit: NASA

Image source: NASA Johnson

Gemini by Gorsuch

GEMINI spacecraft orbits Earth after launched into space by an Air Force TITAN II launch vehicle. The two-man vehicle could be headed for a rendezvous attempt with another spacecraft or it could be on an extended flight of a week or more giving the crew experience in flight through outer space.

The Next Fifty Years in Space
by Erik Bergaust
Macmillan, 1964

Gemini at Astronautix

Image credit: Martin

Image source: Numbers Station

Preliminary Conception

Missiles and Rockets

February 10, 1964

Gemini B/MOL at Astronautix

Image credit: USAF

Image source: Numbers Station

MORL

  1. CONCEPT OF A MANNED ORBITING RESEARCH LABORATORY, which has been under research study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is illustrated in this artist’s rendering. The concept evolved from by the Douglas Missile & Space Administration under contract to the NASA Langley Research Center. Douglas engineers believe the concept could be operational within a five-year period. A Gemini-type ferry-craft approaches the orbiting laboratory, which is designed to remain in a 200 nautical-mile earth orbit for a period of a year or more.
  2. One concept of a Manned Orbiting Research Laboratory (MORL), which has been under research study for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, would occupy a cylinder 260 inches in diameter. Inside the cylinder, a spherical vessel might house living and work spaces and an on-board centrifuge for maintaining crew fitness. In this artist’s concept, evolved by Douglas Aircraft Company’s Missile & Space Systems Division under NASA contract, living quarters are shown on the upper left, a centrifuge in the center, and working area at the right. The Douglas concept is based on the Saturn IB launch vehicle.
  3. MANNED ORBITING RESEARCH LABORATORY (MORL) concept, which has been under research study by National Aeronautical and Space Administration, is pictured in a 200 nautical-mile earth orbit in this artist’s rendering. The concept evolved from studies made by Douglas Aircraft Company’s Missile & Space Division under contract to the NASA Langley Research Center. A Gemini-type ferry craft which might transport crew and supplies from Earth is docked in a hangar in the laboratory’s nose cone. Once rendezvous and docking are complete, the hangar can be sealed and pressurized and the astronauts can enter the MORL. Paddle-like devices attached to the orbiting laboratory are solar cell arrays to convert energy from the sun. They would be unfolded after MORL was in orbit.

Space World

November 1964, VOL. A-13

MORL at Astronautix

Image credit: Douglas

Image source: SDASM Archives

MOL(e)Men Unleashed!

A manned orbital space space laboratory would be able to operate for several months without resupply. Basic Garrett-AiResearch systems could be slightly modified to meet requirements for environmental control, life support, cryogenic storage, power and attitude control for both the command module and laboratory.

Space World

December 1964, VOL. A-14

Gemini B/MOL at Astronautix

Image credit: Garrett-AiResearch

Image source: Numbers Station

Orbiting Laboratory

Medium-sized orbiting lab is this Manned Orbital Research Laboratory (MORL) developed for NASA’s Langley Lab by Douglas Missiles & Spacecraft Division. The lab which weighs about 35,000 pounds, could maintain 3 to 6 men in orbit for a year.

Orbiting Stations: Stopovers to Space Travel

by Irwin Stambler
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965

MORL at Astronautix

Image credit: Douglas

Image source: SDASM Archives

Artist Unknown

The MOL – Manned Orbiting Laboratory – is shown, in this artist’s view, being lifted into space by the Titan III C. On top of the cylindrical canister, the crew sit in a modified Gemini capsule.

Orbiting Stations: Stopovers to Space Travel

by Irwin Stambler
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965

Gemini B/MOL at Astronautix

Image credit: USAF

Image source: Numbers Station

Manned Orbiting Space Vehicle

Orbiting Stations: Stopovers to Space Travel

by Irwin Stambler
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965

Gemini B/MOL at Astronautix

Image credit: McDonnell

Image source: Numbers Station

Rendezvous with The MOL

Carefully watching the displays on their instrument panel, two astronauts in their Gemini ferry prepare to rendezvous with the MOL.

Orbiting Stations: Stopovers to Space Travel

by Irwin Stambler
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965

Gemini B/MOL at Astronautix

Image credit: USAF

Image source: Numbers Station