Q:    Where did Taylor's mission originate?

A:    Did Taylor and his crew lift off from Earth or did they board a ship that was already in orbit around the Earth?  This is a good question and one that has often been asked by fans.  How did Taylor and his crew launch?  We know when they took off (January, 1972), but as for if they lifted off from the surface of the Earth or powered out of orbit aboard a vessel that was constructed in High Earth Orbit (HEO), I believe the former is correct.

The main design emphasis of the ANSA spacecraft and the space flight technology of the POTA series of movies was quoted as being along the lines of 'what NASA was doing in those days' and what NASA was doing in those days was launching spacecraft into orbit from Cape Kennedy in Florida.  These spacecraft were multi-stage surface to orbit boosters with a manned command module sitting on the very top.   Taylor's comments in the first part of the movie tend to support this.

    Taylor:    "In less than an hour, we'll finish our sixth month out of Cape Kennedy..."

Here, the inference "out of Cape Kennedy" implies that the mission (and subsequently the spacecraft) left Cape Kennedy directly.   If ANSA or NASA had a orbital staging area, it would probably have been called by an official name (as most sites usually are).  Since Taylor references that he and his mission / crew / spacecraft are 'out of Cape Kennedy', it is logical to presume that he means that the spacecraft lifted off from the surface of the planet at Cape Kennedy in Florida and powered its way into space using multiple stages.

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One possible view of Colonel Taylor's "Icarus" aboard a multi-stage Saturn V  /  Arrow IV launch vehicle.  Jan says that the crew habitat / primary living and working section is right behind the "Icarus" in this sketch.

This would also imply that ANSA and NASA share some of the same physical launch facilities, since traditionally, Cape Kennedy belonged to NASA.  Further evidence that ANSA might be the 'military' branch of America's space program or at least a separate but equal one with a very close relationship to NASA and the Apollo program.



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