Browsing a second hand store today here in Kendal I came across a dusty, rather battered looking book from 1969: "FRONTIERS OF SPACE In Colour", by Philip Bono and the rightly revered Kenneth Gatland. Obviously, pre-dating Apollo 11, it "looks ahead" to the wonderful new age of the shuttle, and missions to Mars (sniff) but also spends a lot of time dealing with ambitious projects and programs that were on the drawing board at that time but never made it any further. There are some really great looking but obviously doomed-to-never-fly spacecraft in there, most of them on a recoverable theme, and I just wondered if any of our space historians here either a) knew about them already, or wanted me to send them scans of the pics for their archives...?
Wonders such as:
Boeing's proposal for recovering the S-1C rocket stage in the sea after a parachute landing...
Lockheed's design for a two man lifting body with "swing wings"...
Lockheed's "Starclipper" lifting body-derived space shuttle with "wrap-around" fuel tanks (VERY Thunderbirds!)
Proposed land-recovery of reusable S-IVB rocket stage, using a combination of parachutes and landing legs!
"Saturn Application Single Stage To Orbit"
Hyperion Rocket Sled (VERY "When Worlds Collide"!)
ROMBUS (Re-usable Orbital Module Booster and Utility Shuttle)
Pegasus Intercontinental Passenger rocket (enough room inside for 43 people plus cargo!) which could be modified to make the Ithacus "Intercontinental Troop Transport", to rapidly deliver 1200 soldiers (with rocket back packs, according to the artwork!) to any trouble spot in the world or even send people to Mars (Project Deimos)
Very interesting from a "what might have been / what were they thinking?" point of view.