During the Apollo missions the Lunar lander was separated, turned around and docked during flight. And the command module was left in Lunar orbit during the surface mission. The Soviets planned to have the single cosmonaut to land on the surface do a space walk between the Soyuz-like orbital module and the lander.
Is it correct to say that both these mission designs were compromises made because the launchers were slightly too small for a direct launch from Earth to the Lunar surface? Or was it perhaps a deliberate choice after all, maybe in order to win time in the competitive space race?
Why weren't the launchers designed to be larger so that the Lunar missions could be simplified? How much larger would they have had to be, 10%? 20%? Were they maybe as large as it was feasible to build launchers back in the 1960s, or did they during the development process fail to achieve the initial specifications? Is SLS Block II designed to perform a direct launch of astronauts to the Moon without dockings and EVA's?
Image from SpaceIsThePlace. A model of the two cosmonauts transferring a box with Moon rocks from the Lunar lander to Soyuz.