Jerry Woodfill

The above photo compares the two lunar landing techniques. The model lunar excursion module with its small descent stage and the towering direct ascent mode retro booster.
(Photo by Woodfill of model displayed at the British Science Museum, London England.)

IN THE BEGINNING... von Braun and others conceived a lunar transportation scheme, an obvious choice had its origins in science fiction literature. Simply brute force a massive rocket so enormous that success was assured using its last stage as an all-in-one rocket/spacecraft. The final stage would descend to the Moon with a descent back-down retro-burn. Following the moonwalk, the do-it-all stage would re-ignite its main engine for the Earth return trip. This was the popular DIRECT ASCENT MODE approach. A slight refinement added a towering descent stage whose tall cylindrical body remained on the Moon. During the early 1960s, both the Soviet and American programs espoused the DIRECT ASCENT MODE which required a NOVA class boost rocket exceeding 12,000,000 pounds of thrust. Though a single vehicle reduced spacecraft risk, the enormity of the launch rocket required clustering of dozens of engines, a very chancy approach. Most rocket histories recount the ancient Chinese experimenter who attached scores of small black powder rockets to a chair. When a servant ignited the rocket cluster, a flash of smoke and fire hid his employer. So devastating was the explosion, that neither the chair nor the rocket experimenter survived. The experiment became a crematorium.

Returning to the words of the Prophet Obadiah, an EAGLE would SET ITS NEST AMONG THE STARS. As the ancients looked heavenward, the Moon was said to be among the stars. Obviously, no biological creation of God, even an eagle, can achieve escape velocity of seven and a half miles per second. Additionally, eagles require oxygen which is absent in outer space. Therefore, Obadiahís eagle must be a spaceship named Eagle. Certainly, it would not be the Sovietís craft. The American eagle embodied all that communism opposed: free enterprise, Christianity, the independent freedoms of citizens. The Sovietís ship would have been the BEAR, their regimeís mascot.

The scripture continues - the eagle would SET ITS NEST. Returning to the discussion of lunar transportation schemes, I would mention a competing approach known as the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous Design which came by divine revelation to a NASA engineer named Houbolt. Simply deriving a NASA acronym from the lead letters of the approachís four words should have been sufficient evidence of its validity - L-O-R-D!

Unhappily, neither Werhner Von Braun nor President John Kennedyís chief science advisor favored the LORDís approach. However, it included a separate lunar landing vehicle. The lander would simply separate from a mother ship descend to the lunar surface then return for a rendezvous with the ferry ship. Finally, the mother ship would return to Earth while the lander remained at the Moon.

As I studied the evolution of this approach, the prophecy written thousands of years before came into focus. The lander would require two stages, an ascent and a descent stage. The descent stage, SHAPED LIKE AN EAGLEíS NEST, would BE SET ON THE MOONíS SURFACE and left there. Because a single "do-it-all" last stage was not needed in the LORDís pathway to the Moon, the Earth launch rocket could be almost half the size of that required for the Direct Ascent Mode. Significantly, the journey to the Moon for the giant booster was designated the outbound node. The acronym for the DIRECT ASCENT MODE NODE was:


History reveals that a Russian space scientist had proposed the two vehicle technique years before. His plan had been scoffed at and rejected by the Soviets. In a sense, it had been DAMN-ed! This was not the case for the LORDís method. Even as John was a voice crying in the wilderness, the LORDís approach won favor and NASAís acceptance. Obadiahís words came to pass on July 20th, 1969 when the lander named EAGLE set its nest among the stars. (Continued in Part III.)

Copyright 2000 by JRWIV INTERESTS