Gemini Ferry for MORL (1963)

NASA image

Early space station concepts were also being studied at this time with the Gemini spacecraft being a candidate for a logistics vehicle. One of the space stations that was being developed to a fairly detailed level was the Manned Orbiting Research Laboratory (MORL). Studies began in 1962 and Douglas received follow-on study contracts and continued work on the concept into 1966.

McDonnell also received funding to evaluate adapting (the still unflown) Gemini design for station ferry and supply missions. The MORL project continued into 1966 but a preferred logistics spacecraft design was never finalized. In the summer of 1965, NASA established the Apollo Applications Program. Soon after that, MORL and related space platform studies evolved into Skylab and this Gemini logistics concept was abandoned.