Blue Gemini
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Image of MOL

MOL Interior

MOL cutaway view

USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory

On the same day in 1963 that Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara cancelled Dyna Soar, he formally re-committed to another USAF space project originally announced in 1960: the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, or MOL.

Boosted aloft atop a Titan III booster and capped with a Gemini spacecraft, the Douglas-built MOL station would be able to support a crew of 2 during long duration military surveillance missions. But by 1967 - with unmanned Corona satellites effectively managing this task and military costs escalating in Vietnam - MOL was cancelled.

These images show a projected KH-10 photographic surveillance station code named "Dorian" as it might have appeared in 1968-69.

Deep Cold by Dan Roam. All text and images © 1999