Project & amp; quot; Horizon & amp; quot ;.

Original taken fromandrey_19_73in the project "Horizon".
October 4, 1957 in the Soviet Union was carried out the first launch of an artificial satellite of the Earth. The satellite itself was just over the size of a basketball, flying about 1,500 times in orbit around the Earth. A month later, the first spacecraft with a living organism on board was put into orbit in the USSR. This creature was a dog "Like", which really died from overheating.
At this time, American military analysts who studied Soviet space programs concluded that the USSR was ahead of the United States in certain areas of space exploration. The American leadership seriously feared that the Soviet Union would seriously threaten the United States from space. Of particular concern to the Americans was the fact that the USSR would be the first to master the moon, having adapted it to strike at the United States.
The only solution that, according to American military analysts, could have been ahead of the USSR in the space race, would have been the construction of an American military base on the moon. This is what the Americans do.By March 1959, General Arthur Gilbert Trudeau, who was in charge of scientific research at the US Department of Defense, presented a plan for building a military base on the moon. This plan was called the project "Horizon".

Title page of the project "Horizon".
The project itself involved the construction of a military base on the moon and was designed for several stages. At the first stage, it was planned to send ten unguided rockets with equipment for construction to the Moon. After that, it was planned to send a ship with two astronauts, to conduct a reconnaissance of the future base and check the health of the equipment sent. According to the developers, the astronauts will have to spend on the moon from 30 to 90 days, while they were supposed to live in the cabin of the ship’s lunar module. After that, they were planned to return to the ground.
At the second stage, it was planned to send nine astronauts. Their task was to start the construction of the base. For this, residential modules should have been used; cylindrical prefabricated structures that are assembled with each other. The modules themselves should have been buried in the ground. This would protect residential modules from radiation, sudden temperature changes and exposure to meteorites.Soil work was to be carried out with the help of a special machine and explosives. To ensure energy, at a distance from the base, it was planned to install two nuclear reactors.

Fragment of a residential base module.
In the third stage, after the construction of the residential module, the astronauts had to finally move to the residence at the lunar base. After that, a laboratory was to be built at the base. The number of personnel at the base, by the end of construction in November 1966, was planned to be increased to 12 people. The time people stay on the moon was limited to one year. Oxygen and water were planned to be extracted from the natural environment of the earth satellite.
For the defense of the base from the probable Soviet "attack" special types of weapons were developed. Individual weapons, had to shoot using a variety of striking elements. It was also assumed the use of unguided rockets of the Davy Crockett system, with low-power nuclear charges. To protect the perimeter of the lunar base, it was planned to use anti-personnel fragmentation mines M18A1 "Claymore", with modified attack elements capable of piercing space suits (in the Soviet army there was an analogue of this mine, which was called MON-50).To communicate with the Earth, a radar station and a repeater were built at the base.
But in the end, the project "Horizon" was not destined to come true. The reason for this is probably its huge cost. According to the authors of the project, for the construction of the lunar base, it was necessary to make more than 229 launches of heavy Saturn rockets. In the time allotted for the project, this meant that you need to make at least one launch per week. The program itself required investments of more than 6 billion dollars (50 billion at current prices) and 25 million for the development and manufacture of weapons.
Subsequently, the project "Horizon" was replaced by the program "Appolon", which required a much smaller amount of funds. Well, in 1967, an agreement was signed between the USSR, the USA and 60 other countries that limited the proliferation of weapons in space. Then the Vietnam War began. All this finally put an end to the plans for building a US military base on the moon.

General view of the planned lunar base for the project "Horizon".

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