Even before President Kennedy committed
the United States to a Moon landing, engineers (like Wernher von
Braun) envisioned that the vehicle needed to complete such a mission
would have to be assembled in Earth orbit. The Earth-orbit rendezvous
concept would require at least two launches of the Saturn V launch
vehicle and development of an even larger booster, the Nova. Possibly,
it would even mean establishing a space station in Earth orbit
first so a crew could assemble the spacecraft before it's lunar
1 Space station, Earth-orbit rendezvous concept.
Copyright 1950 Chesley Bonestell
2 Saturn and proposed Nova booster scale comparison. 38k
3 1961, John F. Kennedy commits U.S. to landing on the Moon. 44k
Photo credits: (1) copyright Chesley Bernestell, (2,3) NASA.