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Old 12-22-2008, 11:01 PM
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Default OT: Russian "Almaz" Space Station

http://www.rusadventures.com/tour19.shtml

I found this rather interesting, seeing as I'm big on space and science and stuff. Apparently, back in "The Day", as they say, the Soviets designed this little beauty for, ah, reconnaissance, I suppose (at least, that was what was alliterated to in the original article - I won't post it here, however, as it links directly to a gaming website.)

Well, anyways, the important part of it all... apparently, the Almaz was armed with a 23mm anti-aircraft cannon. Also, apparently, the Soviets - as part of their Salyut program, or some such - managed to actually test-fire the darned thing, in space - supposedly proving, once in for all, that guns do, in fact, work in space.

Of course, if you know about the chemical reactions that occur during a gun firing, this shouldn't be that much of a leap of faith for you.

The space station is also referred to on NOVA. And, if you happen to be in Russia, according to the website, you can pay a hefty price tag, and sit in the gunner's seat of one of the Almaz space modules.

So yeah. I thought it was cool. And I thought I would share it with you all.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:31 AM
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Default military space stations

the yankees had their sattelites and their own military program - gemini I think .

Both sides planned for orbital fighters and bombers to combat spacestation and satelittes .The Russian side was eager to get a system up to combat the US spy satelittes .The Almaz station was tested with modified 30 mm and 23 mm autocannons against target drones.Making shootdowns ,the program was deemed possible but a variety of factors such as the development of treaties towards leaving space out of the cold war etc ended it .The Russkis had a few others like the "Golden Eagle " station manned observation sats and probably more and more secret stuff as well.(The first US sats- I think the Keyhole program -took a gazillion more pics than the whole U2 plane recce had done in years during the first weeks.)

There were alot more interesting space weapons like the US nuclear powered orbital bomber - The US wanted to have a few permanently hovering above Moscow just to set the mood there .Its engines were tested ,but it never became a reality .

Then there is the L-5 society ,the group that worked for permanent orbital military bases at LaGrange -5 to dominate the skies and the world .

Today the race is more or less pewtering out due to proposed missile shields etc and other ground based systems .(boring )

but the good old NAZI Sanger bomber project supposedly is started up again by DARPA - the atmosphere skipping global reach heavy bomber thingy.


Militarization of space is a fun subject !
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:03 PM
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Makes one wonder what might have actually been deployed if the Cold War had gone on ala Twilight. I suspect a newer generation of KH imagery sats for starters.

And this is interesting..from the Lacrosse article on wiki:
Quote:
It has been said[citation needed] that the B-2 bomber was originally intended to use directly down-linked targeting data from Lacrosse satellites in order to aid it in its role of hunting down and destroying Soviet mobile ICBM launchers. It had been anticipated that the Lacrosse satellites would be replaced by the radar component of the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA). The severe program problems encountered by FIA in the early 2000s appear to have led to off-loading of radar reconnaissance to the Space Based Radar, later simplified to Space Radar, with initial launch anticipated around 2015.
The DC Working group has discussed this...and we're not of the opinion that the ASAT warfare would have been enough to make LEO hazardous...Space is big, really big, and it's hard to say that enough junk could be put up there to block out given orbits.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:18 PM
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Wow. That's pretty cool.

I always thought that firing a large caliber gun in space would shift the vessel firing it via the escaping gases of the muzzle blast and the recoil of the weapon itself. I saw it acting as a sort of mini-thruster.

I imagine this 23mm canon settup would require some sort of elaborate stabilization system or counter-thrusters. Any info on how this was supposed to work?

Imagine getting the first gun-kill in space!
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:28 PM
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BTW, anyone seen the special two-hour episode of Dogfights entitled Dogfights of the Future? I think I still have it on my DVR. They have a segment on "dogfights" in space that was pretty interesting. They used two hypothetical space plane designs, one American (with scramjet engines, If I recall correctly) and one Chinese, I believe. No turning and burning, just stealth, positioning, and beam weapons. They mentioned that guns and missiles would cause problems with the space planes' performance due to the recoil/muzzleblast. Something about sudden deceleration or being shoved off course (nececitating reentry) or something else along those lines.

Check it out if you get the chance.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
the yankees had their sattelites and their own military program - gemini I think
Not Gemini -- that was a step on the course to the moon. You're thinking of the Dyna-Soar, which would have been a small shuttle-like aircraft that could have deployed small satellites, sabotage teams, and even used as a Sanger-like skip-bomber. It never got built.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:51 PM
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As far the Almaz station's solution to the recoil problem, the Russians rather ingeniously paired a set of counter-thrusters, out of the station's standard thruster nozzle assembly, to be set off - both electronically, and mechanically - by the trigger pull of the gun, so when you fired off rounds, the attitude jets would fire an appropriate amount of thrust to counter the effect. This was mentioned in the original article that I saw this thing in.

As for the DC Working Group, I'd certainly hope ASAT Warfare wouldn't be enough to make LEO so dangerous to be off limits! For one, it'd put a damper on returning to space anytime soon (2300 AD, I'm looking at you!). For two, it'd make me sad. For three, they'd have to shoot a heck of a lot of satellites to fill up that much volume! (All these are arranged in order of importance, of course

Is the DC Working Group thinking about the Soviet Fractional Bomb System, if I remember correctly, where they would "pre-position" ICBMs in orbit, then later de-orbit them as needed to strike targets as they become available? I always thought that was a particularly neat concept, really.

Also, Raellus, last time I checked, the key phrase to remember when it comes to space combat is: Eggshells With Sledgehammers. Stealth in space is a misnomer, for a lot of technical reasons involving heat, and the background heat of space. This could probably be worked around with space planes that operate super-close to Earth, I would think, but I'm not sure. If you get away from the Earth by any appreciable amount (i.e., leaving the actual atmosphere, yo), the heat requirements of your life support system alone will paint you as a super-obvious target. Unless you happen to be a robot, then you can actually chill yourself down to appreciable amounts.

God help you, however, if you ever fire your engines. :\

But yeah, I'm not sure about missiles, but in anything remotely like the near-future (i.e., the next 50 years) I could certainly see guns being a problem with space planes. Plus, depending on how high up you get, and depending on how far weaponized laser technology gets, guns might be... superfluous. Then again, that's what they said in the Jet Age, too, eh?

Time Shall Tell (TM).

Oh, and also, if anything I say turns out to be wrong and repudiated by a Reputable Source (TM), then I claim innocence and/or ignorance as my defense.
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CStock88
Is the DC Working Group thinking about the Soviet Fractional Bomb System, if I remember correctly, where they would "pre-position" ICBMs in orbit, then later de-orbit them as needed to strike targets as they become available? I always thought that was a particularly neat concept, really.
Probably not...considering the nature of the canon exchange, FOBS use would be hellaciously escalatory.

This FAS article discusses it better than I would, but I can't see the Soviets taking this action due to the nature of the exchange.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/wo...ssia/r-36o.htm
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:17 PM
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I've heard stories of a program called "Blue Gemini" from a book by Howard Blum called "Out There" about alleged UFO coverups and the story was to make a one man Gemini capsule and the gained space would house a laser system for defense against aliens or Soviets. It was started in 1961.

IIRC, the precursor to Skylab was the Manned Orbiting Laboratory and that was supposed to have military use as well. Originally the Gemini capsule were to by used to ferry crews up and back.

About guns working in space, IIRC, you have the oxidizer in the powder so if that is the case, an M-16 would work.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
Probably not...considering the nature of the canon exchange, FOBS use would be hellaciously escalatory.

This FAS article discusses it better than I would, but I can't see the Soviets taking this action due to the nature of the exchange.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/wo...ssia/r-36o.htm
I didn't think FOBS would be used, but since we were on the topic of space stuff, I thought I'd ask.
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhere Man 1966
About guns working in space, IIRC, you have the oxidizer in the powder so if that is the case, an M-16 would work.
Can you imagine the difficulties involved with shouldering a conventional rifle and trying to get proper eye relief or even a rough sight picture while wearing a space suit?

Having modified ammunition suitable for firing in a vacuum is all well and good but depending on the operating characteristics of the weapon a near total vacuum environment may cause catestrophic component failure upon firing (any auto/semi-auto system with a gas piston would need some serious reinforcing I suspect).

Remember, vacuum is just one difficulty that operating conventional weaponry in space presents. If you and your weapon are EVA then you'll also have to contend with massive temperature ranges (incredibly hot on any side in direct sunlight, incredibly cold in shadow) so any lubricants used will have to be "dry" types like graphite powder. Also parts of the weapon may expand or contract more than the designers ever allowed for in terrestrial conditions and there may be a greatly increased risk of accidental ammunition "cook offs" if the weapon's magazine is uninsulated.

And lets not forget the high levels of various kinds of radiation objects in space are exposed to.
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
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Can you imagine the difficulties involved with shouldering a conventional rifle and trying to get proper eye relief or even a rough sight picture while wearing a space suit?

Having modified ammunition suitable for firing in a vacuum is all well and good but depending on the operating characteristics of the weapon a near total vacuum environment may cause catestrophic component failure upon firing (any auto/semi-auto system with a gas piston would need some serious reinforcing I suspect).

Remember, vacuum is just one difficulty that operating conventional weaponry in space presents. If you and your weapon are EVA then you'll also have to contend with massive temperature ranges (incredibly hot on any side in direct sunlight, incredibly cold in shadow) so any lubricants used will have to be "dry" types like graphite powder. Also parts of the weapon may expand or contract more than the designers ever allowed for in terrestrial conditions and there may be a greatly increased risk of accidental ammunition "cook offs" if the weapon's magazine is uninsulated.

And lets not forget the high levels of various kinds of radiation objects in space are exposed to.
Hmmmm, good points, the astronauts, cosmonauts or whomever would probably need to "spray and pray" with their weapons, probably akin to a sub-machinegun or shotgun type. You're right, temperature would be a problem too. Radiation, I know gold sucks it up and becomes radioactive easy but I don't know about others.

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Old 12-27-2008, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhere Man 1966
I've heard stories of a program called "Blue Gemini" from a book by Howard Blum called "Out There" about alleged UFO coverups and the story was to make a one man Gemini capsule and the gained space would house a laser system for defense against aliens or Soviets. It was started in 1961.
NASA's official history of Blue Gemini

I've never come across a credible reference to an armed Blue Gemini, but I have seen things that suggested that some in the USAF were considering using them as a way to inspect or even sabotage Soviet satellites. There would've been one helluva row about the legal aspects of that, though....

Probably the scariest space weaponry concept I've come across was one was a paper that suggested the Soviets were considering a weapon that would essentially scour geosynchronous orbit of pretty much everything. Basically you'd put a large fragmentation bomb (say something the size of a Gemini or Mercury capsule filled with ball bearings) and put it in a reverse-geosynchronous orbit. The orbital mechanics involved are pretty dicey, and you'd essentially be making a moon shot to set it up (which would wipe out any surprise factor), but the end result would've cleared out most of the communication satellites and rendered the entire orbital band unusable for decades.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MW Turnage
NASA's official history of Blue Gemini

I've never come across a credible reference to an armed Blue Gemini, but I have seen things that suggested that some in the USAF were considering using them as a way to inspect or even sabotage Soviet satellites. There would've been one helluva row about the legal aspects of that, though....

Probably the scariest space weaponry concept I've come across was one was a paper that suggested the Soviets were considering a weapon that would essentially scour geosynchronous orbit of pretty much everything. Basically you'd put a large fragmentation bomb (say something the size of a Gemini or Mercury capsule filled with ball bearings) and put it in a reverse-geosynchronous orbit. The orbital mechanics involved are pretty dicey, and you'd essentially be making a moon shot to set it up (which would wipe out any surprise factor), but the end result would've cleared out most of the communication satellites and rendered the entire orbital band unusable for decades.
Thanks for the link. BTW, like the idea of taking out orbiting comm satellites in geosynchonous orbit, might make that a part of my games.

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Old 12-30-2008, 09:48 AM
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This thread has reminded me of a conversation that my mates and I had in the pub a while ago.

Does anyone know if any sort of weapons were ever carried on the space shuttle (or other manned US space prorammes for that matter)? Not heavy weapons for attacking Soviet satellites etc, but sidearms or assault rifles that could be used for self defence if the shuttle returned to earth somewhere unfriendly...
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:28 AM
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do not know for sure, but I suppose that there is no need for them to carry any kind of personal weaponry. NASA control center is well aware of the current position, trajectory and velocity of the shuttle in every moment, even in the case of a problem during the reentry that forced the shuttle to make a forced landing. They will know in advance (if limited) the location of the landing/crash site. If such a thing happens in a hostile area, US government will apply the corresponding pressure and deploy a rescue team inf needed (possibly in advance). This will be the best protection for the crew.
Perhaps the NASA staff thinks that is better for the security of the crews and the shuttles not to have weapons on board. Delicate machinery and electronics, weapons and an work plenty od stressful situations can be a bad combination.
Ei! Just an opinion. I have no info about the subject! BTW, the rescue of a shuttle crew in hostile territory after a succesful forced landing is a good scenatio seed. Mmmm... I must annotate it...
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
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BTW, the rescue of a shuttle crew in hostile territory after a succesful forced landing is a good scenatio seed. Mmmm... I must annotate it...
There was a scenario in Challenge Magazine about the rescue of one of the shuttle crews from West Africa, I believe.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:12 AM
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There was a scenario in Challenge Magazine about the rescue of one of the shuttle crews from West Africa, I believe.
You're right...I could be wrong but I think it was the Gambia the scenario was set in.

Our original conversation was actually about how different Planet of the Apes could have been if Charlton Heston and his crew had been armed with M16's when they first encountered the gorillas (bear in mind we were in the pub at the time and had had a few beers...).
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
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There was a scenario in Challenge Magazine about the rescue of one of the shuttle crews from West Africa, I believe.
Thanks Chico! I will look for it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:35 AM
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You're right...I could be wrong but I think it was the Gambia the scenario was set in.
Our original conversation was actually about how different Planet of the Apes could have been if Charlton Heston and his crew had been armed with M16's when they first encountered the gorillas (bear in mind we were in the pub at the time and had had a few beers...).
Ah! A productive pub discussion about a transcendental matters....
By the way, you make me remember a sci-fi TV serie I saw when I was child. I do not remember the title, but it was about an international expedition that returns to Earth from, I think, one of the moons of Jupiter. The members of the expedition are from USA, European Union, Soviet Union and other countries. Japan, perhaps? They manage to make a forced landing in a desert area but nobody goes to pick them up. They are unable to communicate with anybody (I do not remember the reason), but among the group, the theory that a world war has erupted while they are returning to Earth begin to rise...
You make me remember it because they don't have any sidearm but one of the astronauts kills one of the other crewmembers with a flare pistol.
BTW, anyone knows the title of the TV-serie? I've tried to make some google research without results... Mmmm...perhaps it was a film...
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:34 PM
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The T2K mini module Falling Fragments of a Dream was published in Challenge issue 44 and is basically a brief synopsis of what happened to major US and Soviet space hardware during the Twilight War. It does indeed state that the space shuttle Columbia was forced to make an emergency landing in Gambia. It also talks about where the Soviet descent modules carrying the crew of Mir came down. I have Falling Fragments as a pdf file and I've also turned it into an MS Word document. I'm happy to provide it by email in either format to whomever wants it.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
The T2K mini module Falling Fragments of a Dream was published in Challenge issue 44 and is basically a brief synopsis of what happened to major US and Soviet space hardware during the Twilight War. It does indeed state that the space shuttle Columbia was forced to make an emergency landing in Gambia. It also talks about where the Soviet descent modules carrying the crew of Mir came down. I have Falling Fragments as a pdf file and I've also turned it into an MS Word document. I'm happy to provide it by email in either format to whomever wants it.
Thank you very much, Targan. I've managed to get the Challenge #44 by... those magical means...shhhhh... I've discovered by chance the existence of Challenge Magazine this year (ups! this past year). Good material. I suppose it was never available here in Spain. Another time, I must be grateful to Internet and to people who choose to share this material.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Six
This thread has reminded me of a conversation that my mates and I had in the pub a while ago.

Does anyone know if any sort of weapons were ever carried on the space shuttle (or other manned US space prorammes for that matter)? Not heavy weapons for attacking Soviet satellites etc, but sidearms or assault rifles that could be used for self defence if the shuttle returned to earth somewhere unfriendly...
I'm almost 100% certain that there's never been any defensive arms carried on US craft. There was never a need, really: the capsules would never survive a non-water landing, and the probability of an AR-7 or the sort being useful were too slim by several orders of magnitude to justify the weight, space and risk. As for the Shuttle, every conceivable strip that could be used in an abort have already been scouted and prepared for, with folks already prepped and on alert on the ground during a launch. The orbiter is just simply not going to survive a landing if things are bad enough that none of those can be reached.

Now the Soviets and Russians did have a survival weapon in their capsules from the late 80s until 2006: the TP-82. It had two .50 smoothbore barrels and a rifled 5.45 barrel underneath, plus a stock that doubled as a machete. There was only a small production run on the ammo and the remaining rounds were considered dicey enough that they've since gone to a regular automatic pistol (I haven't seen a reference to what model, though). The Cosmonaut corps insisted on this after a capsule went far off-course in the late 70s/early 80s and the crew spent a long night facing off a pack of wolves in Siberia.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
Ah! A productive pub discussion about a transcendental matters....
By the way, you make me remember a sci-fi TV serie I saw when I was child. I do not remember the title, but it was about an international expedition that returns to Earth from, I think, one of the moons of Jupiter. The members of the expedition are from USA, European Union, Soviet Union and other countries. Japan, perhaps? They manage to make a forced landing in a desert area but nobody goes to pick them up. They are unable to communicate with anybody (I do not remember the reason), but among the group, the theory that a world war has erupted while they are returning to Earth begin to rise...
You make me remember it because they don't have any sidearm but one of the astronauts kills one of the other crewmembers with a flare pistol.
BTW, anyone knows the title of the TV-serie? I've tried to make some google research without results... Mmmm...perhaps it was a film...

There was an original Twilight Zone episode along those lines where they asrtonauts land on a barren desert without water. 1 of their number is injured. However, they all had revolvers and 1 sten of all things. Then the injured man dies of questionable circumstances, another runs off in the night and two go out scouting and 1 returns. The last two fight it out, all to find they crash landed in the Nevada desert just over the ridge from Vegas.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:57 PM
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There was an original Twilight Zone episode along those lines where they asrtonauts land on a barren desert without water. 1 of their number is injured. However, they all had revolvers and 1 sten of all things. Then the injured man dies of questionable circumstances, another runs off in the night and two go out scouting and 1 returns. The last two fight it out, all to find they crash landed in the Nevada desert just over the ridge from Vegas.
Probably I saw some kind of remake about the same idea. Even the end seems similar, too.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:02 PM
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You're right...I could be wrong but I think it was the Gambia the scenario was set in.

Our original conversation was actually about how different Planet of the Apes could have been if Charlton Heston and his crew had been armed with M16's when they first encountered the gorillas (bear in mind we were in the pub at the time and had had a few beers...).
Yeah, same here with a few of my friends although I would have had Charleton Heston and crew using Tommy guns or something like MP-5's. I'm glad at least someone else had the same idea.

As to the shuttle crews, I don't know if they would be armed or not, but at the very least for each crewmember, they should have a .45 and a box of ammo in their survival kit like Slim Pickens had in "Dr. Strangelove."

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:31 PM
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Bona nit!
Ah!!! Finally I've got the title. "Operation Ganymed", a 1977 german film. Thanks to Saint Google...
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:58 PM
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As to the shuttle crews, I don't know if they would be armed or not, but at the very least for each crewmember, they should have a .45 and a box of ammo in their survival kit like Slim Pickens had in Dr. Strangelove.
Major Kong:

Survival Kit contents check. In them you will find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshan phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings -- shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff....


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