Author Topic: Modelling Mars  (Read 122482 times)

Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #140 on: 02/11/2015 10:17 PM »
I'm not so sure I agree with Baxter's remarks in the prologue.

"...and they're still here, although nowadays, they're disturbed every few months by a new launching.

It has taken nine Saturn VB launches so far to put the Ares complex into orbit.  Today's will be the tenth.  So nesting isn't so good anymore"

So I think the book says there are three pads, but maybe it's four.  So three Saturn V's could be on the pad with the MS-IVB, MS-II, and #1 ET ready to go.

The pace of the moon campaign had launches from Apollo 8 - 11 about one every two months.

Given that, with 4 mobile pads, we would have the three launchers above standing ready with no reason I can see that ET#2 two would be stacked and ready to go.  (If they were empty, I'd see no reason why they would need a VB, but will give Baxter that.)

If the campaign was extended over months then we would have a lot of boil off.  So for fun, lets go down the road:
The Moonlab launch, on a Standard Saturn V EDIT:  NOV 80
We had Apollo-N which I think was a standard Saturn V.  EDIT:  NOV 80
Then we can posit the first Saturn VB launch  EDIT:  JUL 80?
Then the 2nd Saturn VB explodes EDIT OCT 81
EDIT:  Natalie's cancelled MEM Space Soak Flight:   MAR 81?
EDIT:  3rd Unmanned Saturn V EDIT:  OCT 82?
EDIT: Gershon's MEM Test flight.  EDIT:  AUG 84
EDIT: Young's MEM Earth Landing OCT 84?

And then we begin the stacking for the final campaign.
D-90 begin stacking the MS-IVB Launch
D-75 begin stacking the MS-II Launch
D-60 begin stacking ET#1
D-45 begin stacking ET#2
D-30 MS-IVB to pad
D-15 MS-II to Pad
D-7 ET#1 to Pad
D-Day Launch 1 - MS-IVB.  EDIT:  JAN 1985
D+7 Mobile Pad from Launch I moved into VAB
D+14 Launch 2 -- MS -II
D+21 ET#2 moved to pad
D+28 Launch 3 -- ET #1
D+30 - Launch 4 stacking (Fueler 1) Begins
D+35 Mobile Pad from Launch 2 moved into VAB
D+42 Mobile Pad from Launch 3 Moved to Pad
D+45 Fueler 1 to pad.
D+50 Fueler 2 begins stacking
D+60 Fueler 3 begins stacking
D+ 65 Fueler 2 to pad
D+70 fueler 4 begins stacking
D+75 Fueler 3 to pad
D+85 Fueler for stacked, ready to move to pad
(Now we need to accelerate due to boil off and such)
D+90 Fueler 1 Launched
D+95 Mobile pad to VAB
D+100 Fueler 2 Launched
D+105 Fueler 5 begins stacking
D+110 Fueler 3 Launcherd
D+115 fueler 2 LUT to VAB
D+120 Fueler 4 lauched
D+125 Stacking of Ares I
D+145 :  Fueler 5 to Pad
D+165:  Ares I to pad
D+170:  Fueler 5 Launched
D+180:  Ares I Launch March 21, 1985

I think I got the sequence right.  I'm not sure how long the stacking procedure was, but if we had 4 bays, 4 Crawlers, and 5 LUTs, I'm thinking we could stack and get to the pad in 60 days.  Maybe faster.

We don't really know how many other launches there were.


I would also expect 2 Saturn IB launches, maybe 3 to assemble the Ares Core, but I agree tankers would be automated.
And then every 180 days or so, maybe Skylab Launches.

I've been enamored with this book since I read in 1995.  I was planning the Saturn VB from then until Feb 1998 when I moved down here (but I used Titan 7 segment SRBs), and the MEM from about 2000 until 2006 or so.

Did I mention, I really like your picture?  :)


« Last Edit: 02/11/2015 11:39 PM by mike robel »

Online Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #141 on: 02/11/2015 11:18 PM »
There had to be two MEM test flights, since a second was with John Young piloting a landing at Edwards.  The "Cold soak" long duration flight was cancelled. Which was to be Natalie's first flight.

And I agree, there is no way that it could have been done with a monthly flight to assemble.  I think it had to be within 90 days, if that could be done.  If there was a 5th mobile launcher, two vehicles could have been stacking while 3 were on the pad.  That is only 2 more than real life.  And we have the 3rd, possibly 4th pad.  So, maybe 2 flights a week for assembly?  Can you imagine one CT taking an empty ML back to the VAB while another rolls out with a full Sat VB!

The 1st test flight of the MEM was just the previous fall, so the second may have been the previous winter, November or December.  That cuts it rather close to the March launch of the Challenger MEM, but at least it went up on the last flight.  And we know Columbia Aviation was working around the clock to get it ready!

The thing that really bothers me is the fuel taken in the MS-IVB and MS-II to Mars and the boil off.  Would it last the 2 years of the mission?  Even with my added blankets on the outside of the tank?  Which is another reason I am not so sure that the MS stages or ETs were launched empty.  Hence the use of the big Saturn VB.

Money seams to have not been much of a problem, with everything thrown into this flight in NASA's budget.  Moonlab and Skylab were done by then, and no unmanned missions at all.  But after Ares....I just don't see any more missions to come.  I think everything went in for one shot. 

Which picture do you like, lol?
« Last Edit: 02/11/2015 11:24 PM by Ronpur50 »

Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #142 on: 02/11/2015 11:22 PM »
The return was the end.  Perhaps Skylab would continue.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #143 on: 02/13/2015 06:27 AM »
It's one of the poignancies of the book.  Just about everything gets sacrificed for one shot of Mars.  Apollo landings past 14 (which becomes a J class mission), Pioneer Venus, Pioneer Jupiter-Saturn, Viking, Voyager, the Space Shuttle.  There were however two Skylabs and Moonlab (a wet Saturn workshop in lunar orbit) to get long duration experience.  And of course the tragic flight of Apollo N.  A couple of times characters wonder at what might have been - the Space Shuttle, Voyager, etc.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #144 on: 02/13/2015 11:05 AM »
What I recently found very interesting was, buried in the narrative, there were 3 Skylab Missions/year from 1973 (all apparently launched on Saturn IB as wet workshops) for at least 36 Saturn IB launches and 5 Moonlab Missions, for at least a total of 41 launches.

Then we add Apollo N and the nine development missions culminating with Ares (remembering one exploded) and the five tanker launches, equaling another 15 launches, so we have a grand total of 56.

There is no mention, other than the diverted Moonlab, of additional Skylab launches to replace Skylab 1 or logistics flights, which certainly be needed, say 3 or 4 Skylabs and 1 Logistic flight per year, for about 16 launches, giving us 72.

Contrast this with only 15 shuttle flights from April 1981 to January 1985 and the fictional launch cadence is extremely robust, far from the severely limited program impression you get from the main narrative.

Food for thought.

What happens after the Ares Return in November 1986?  More Skylab flights?  In support of what?

It would be interesting, but probably depressing, to have VOYAGE:  The Return and Beyond.

Perhaps NewSpace takes off, so to speak, but again, for what pupose?  And what are the Soviets doing during all this, beyond the single flight to Moonlab?  Surely there was more than 1 N-1 Launch.


Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #145 on: 02/13/2015 11:20 AM »
The book is amazing - I've read it several times. I wish Baxter would do an immediate sequel, but perhaps that wouldn't give us much in the way of satisfaction. I'd prefer he did a sequel set perhaps 25 years after Ares where the world is treating the mission as a previous generation's folly and oddity and that space exploration has become a bit stagnant - maybe even idiotic conspiracy nuts could have something to say about it?! ;) :(

I'd like to see the Ares Astronauts involved with or perhaps figureheads pining for a revitalized world space program and the prospects for a new Commercial space race to the Moon and beyond. Perhaps Natalie York could be a slightly reclusive Armstrong-like person but her crewmates more passionate about space and agitating for more political and commercial interest and involvement? (Aldrin anyone?)

Steven Baxter could draw his cues and inspirations from today and maybe even have his own Elon Musk equivalent or equivalents! :)  Hey, Dr Baxter - are you reading this?! ;)
« Last Edit: 02/13/2015 11:21 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Online Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #146 on: 02/13/2015 12:18 PM »
I love how my modeling thread has become a discussion for this book!  It really is a fun book.  Plus the discussion is helping me with model ideas.

This launch cadence that  Mike has researched is crazy.  We are talking 4 pads and 5 MLPs just to accomplish it.  10 Saturn VB launches just for the Ares Mission alone is staggering.  That would be the same as every Saturn V launch from Apollo 4 through Apollo 15 would be for a single mission! And in a span of 90 days!  Pad 34 would have to stay active to support Sat 1B flights and Skylab. 

The astronaut corp would indeed have no lack of missions, but the corp would be much smaller than what we had with shuttle.  The loss of the last 3 lunar landings would have been worth it in my opinion. 

I don't see York becoming a recluse.  She was too opinionated and outgoing for that.  She would have been using her fame to promote going back to Mars, and staying there.  She would have wanted to go "home" again.  I think she would be making the "Get your ass to Mars" t-shirts, just like Buzz is!




Online Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #147 on: 02/13/2015 12:19 PM »
Steven Baxter could draw his cues and inspirations from today and maybe even have his own Elon Musk equivalent or equivalents! :)  Hey, Dr Baxter - are you reading this?! ;)

Yes, I hope so!  ;)

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #148 on: 02/13/2015 01:56 PM »
I have updated the flight chart so the fuel tankers are now S-II based.  Mike's calculations show that 5 S-IVB based tankers would not do the job. 

I also made a photo of the post separation of the MEM ascent stage during the orbital test.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #149 on: 02/13/2015 09:21 PM »
The book is amazing - I've read it several times. I wish Baxter would do an immediate sequel, but perhaps that wouldn't give us much in the way of satisfaction. I'd prefer he did a sequel set perhaps 25 years after Ares where the world is treating the mission as a previous generation's folly and oddity and that space exploration has become a bit stagnant - maybe even idiotic conspiracy nuts could have something to say about it?! ;) :(

I'd like to see the Ares Astronauts involved with or perhaps figureheads pining for a revitalized world space program and the prospects for a new Commercial space race to the Moon and beyond. Perhaps Natalie York could be a slightly reclusive Armstrong-like person but her crewmates more passionate about space and agitating for more political and commercial interest and involvement? (Aldrin anyone?)

Steven Baxter could draw his cues and inspirations from today and maybe even have his own Elon Musk equivalent or equivalents! :)  Hey, Dr Baxter - are you reading this?! ;)

Baxter's novels generally are very dark, even nihilistic. So you might not like it if it happens.  The Ares crew don't make it back alive, the US crewed space program dies, The USSR finally lands up on the Moon but abandons it's space program with the breakup. China never puts anyone in space at all........

Probably why Voyage is the only one of his novels I like.  if you want to be depressed, read Titan.

But Ron, have you thought of sending photos of your work to Baxter?
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #150 on: 02/13/2015 09:28 PM »


But Ron, have you thought of sending photos of your work to Baxter?

I did it yesterday, in fact.  And a link to this thread.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2015 09:42 PM by Ronpur50 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #151 on: 02/13/2015 09:32 PM »
Voyage is a less dystopic book than most of his others. I would hope that if he did a sequel, he would continue in it's more hopeful vein. And upon reflection I think that the idea that Natalie York might be more like Buzz Aldrin, pushing for a return to Mars is probably more in keeping with her character. But I also see Ralph Gershon as quite a character, likewise pushing for Mars, too. Maybe he could do the Buzz approach and York more dignified!

Also, I've been thinking about the multiple Pad 39 scenarios - would those pads have been quite a lot like the traditional Apollo era ones we know? For the high-thrust, enhanced Saturns, what modifications would they need to the sound suppression systems and what sort of maintenance would they need for the high flight rates? I wonder if anyone would like to take on building a higher-tech, more modern Pad 39C as a large scale model? ;)
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #152 on: 02/13/2015 11:30 PM »
One of the things I liked about Voyage was how much it was based on a very deep understanding of events behind the scenes with Apollo, details which were not readily available for some years after the book was published. 

Even now, some things like the deep issues with NERVA which he highlights are not widely understood.  It would be good to know the research background to writing the book, what source he read and how be accessed in the early to mid 90s.

Ron, if he response, perhaps you can invite him to join the discussion?
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #153 on: 02/13/2015 11:33 PM »
Here is an updated Voyage Time Line from Apollo 13 through return.

I assumed 5 day pause between launches.  Ths allows time for orbital assembly and disposal of the tankers before the next launch.
I assumed that by this time, NASA could stack, move to the pad, and conduct final preparations within 45 days.
We Assumed 4 Pads (39A-D), 5 MLPs/LUTS, and 2 Tractors.
I give Ares 1 longer on the pad for final checkout.
The last tanker goes up fairly late prior to scheduled departure to top off the fuel tanks.

Enjoy.

EDIT 15 FEB.  I've replaced the below text with a table.  I can't figure out how to format it as a table.  If someone would have a go at it, I'd appreciate it.

DATE     MISSION       PAD     REMARKS
13 APR 1970   Apollo 13        39A      Exploded en route to the Moon
27 AUG 1971   Apollo 14        39A      Last Lunar Landing

15 JAN 1972                       Mars Program Announced

14 MAY 1973   Skylab 1        34      Saturn IB Wet Lab launched
25 MAY 1973   Skylab 2        37      Repaired the lab, Conrad, Kerwin, Weitz
28 JUL 1973   Skylab 3        37      Military Skylab.  Mattingly, Crippen, Truely.
30 JUL 1973      Skylab 4         34               Saturn IB delivers ATM to orbit, contains Military gear.
                                                                Skylab 3 crew docks it with the main lab.
16 NOV 1973   Skylab 5        37      Bean, Garriot, Lousma
MAR 1974         Skylab 6         37               Carr, Gibson, Pogue
DEC  1974         Skylab 7         37               Brand, Lenoir, Lind, (Note 1.)


AUG 1976            Moonlab 1     39A      Jones, Stone, Dana (Edit:  Bleeker to Dana, Priest to Stone)
SEP 1977            Moonlab 2     39A
AUG 1978            Moonlab 3     39A

DEC 1979                               First SRB test for Saturn VB

OCT 1979            Moonlab 4        39A
NOV 1980            Moonlab 5      39A      Muldoon. EDIT:  Bleeker, Stone. Last Moonlab?
NOV 1980            Apollo N         39B      Jones, Priest, Dana,  Nerva explodes in orbit.  (Edit Bleeker>Dana)
27 NOV 1980    N-1                    Soviet Launch to Moonlab.  What follows this in the Soviet Program?

3 JUN 1981                       Mars Excursion Module (MEM) Request for Proposal (RFP Released

AUG 1981            Ares A-1         39A      First Saturn VB Launch
NOV 1981            Ares A-2         39A      Explodes on Lift Off
NOV 1981                               MEM Awarded to Columbia
NOV 1982            Ares B         39 A      Manned Saturn VB Trans Lunar Flight  EDIT:  Stone, Bleeker, Curvell
NOV 1983            Ares C         39 B      Unmanned Test Flight
NA               Ares D            Cancelled.  Space Soak Mission EDIT:  UNK, UNK, Gershon, York’s
NA               Ares E-1                 Cancelled
AUG 1984            Ares E’         39A      MEM Orbital Test Flight (Crippem, Bleeker, Gershon)(Note 1.5)
OCT 1984            Ares E-2         39A      MEM Landing Trial (Young)

15 DEC 1984   Saturn VB w/ MS-IVB on 39A, MS-II on 39B, ET-1 on 39C, ET-2 on 39 D, Tanker 1 stacked in VAB Bay 1 Ready to Roll to Pad.

21 DEC 1984    MS-IVB          39A
22 DEC 1984                       Tanker 2 begins stacking in VAB Bay 2
23 DEC 1984                       Tanker 1 Moves to Pad 39A
26 DEC 1984    MS-II          39B
28 DEC 1984                        Tanker 3 Begins Stacking in VAB Bay 3
31 DEC 1984    ET-1            39C      (Note 2)
2 JAN 1985                       Tanker 4 Begins Stacking in VAB Bay 4
5 JAN 1985    ET-2            39D
7 JAN 1985                        Tanker 5 Begins Stacking in VAB Bay 1
22 JAN 1985    Tanker 1         39A
24 JAN 1985                         Ares 1 Begins Stacking in VAB Bay 2
5 FEB 1985    Tanker 2         39B
11 FEB 1985    Tanker 3         39C
16 FEB 1985    Tanker 4         39D
13 MAR 1985                          Ares 1 at Pad 39A
15 MAR 1985    Tanker 5         39B
21 MAR 1985    Ares 1         39A
8 SEP 1985                                              Venus Encounter
25 MAR 1986                                                Enter Mars Orbit
27 MAR 1986                                                Challenger lands on Mars
30 MAR 1986                                                 First Mars Walk, Natalie first person on Mars
27 APR 1986                                                 Challenger Lifts off from Mars
30 APR 1986                                                  Ares 1 Departs for Earth
4 NOV 1986                                                  Ares enters high Earth Orbit

6 NOV 1985                          Ares 1 Return.  We went to Mars and Back, now what?

Note 1. In the deep background, 3 Skylab Missions/Year are flown throught the book.  The Skylab 6 crew above would have flown a 20 day mission after our timeline's Skylab 4 and was also the rescur launch vehicle.  Skylab B (in our time line would have been launched in May 1973, but instead was diverted to Moonlab.   I hypothesize there are additional yearly or twice-yearly automated resupply missions and the Skylabs are replaced every 3 years or so for possibly as many as 28 additional Saturn IB launches from Pads 34 and 37.  Interestingly enough, starting with Skylab 1, there are at least 36 Skylab flights, 5 Moonlab flights, Apollo-N, 7 Ares Development flights, and the 9 Ares assembly flights for at least 58 and perhaps as many as 86 depending on additional Skylab launches and logistics flight.  Contrast this rate with the 15 Shuttle launches from August 1977 through January 1985.

EDIT:  Note 1.5.  Multiple Skylab Flights explains Bleeker's disqualification from Ares 1 of too much time in space.  Gershon only has one flight, with Bleeker, and Natalie has none.  What was Stone doing all this time?

Note 2.  We (Ron and I) postulate the MSI and MSII use automated assembly with a Skylab Crew nearby observing.  ET-1 and ET-2 are Semi-Automated, again with a Skylab Crew observing and assisting in some manner.  The Tankers are automated as well and dock with the Skylab crew observing.

What would have been going on during the mission?  The Skylab flights might have continued.

The book talks about a contingency mission to retrieve the crew if for some reason they are unable to use their own Apollo to deorbit.

Maybe Ron can do a chart with the whole history!

EDIT 14 FEB.  Inserted Mattingly into the Skylab 2 crew, added launch for ATM, historic Skylab crews pushed back to 5 and 6, and added Skylab 7 which was a planned mission, originally following Skylab 4 in our time line.  Added Post launch timeline.


« Last Edit: 02/15/2015 02:41 PM by mike robel »

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #154 on: 02/13/2015 11:46 PM »
Was Skylab a wet lab in the book?
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #155 on: 02/13/2015 11:46 PM »
This is a great timeline!!  And yes, I want to do up a NASA Fact Sheet with graphics of all  the missions!  I am thinking maybe I should have started this project using the 1/200th scale Saturn V kit.  I could have built more models.

Oh, here is something I found on line.  The man who in this timeline, inspired a nation to go to Mars.  President Kennedy as he would have looked in 1985 for the Ares launch.

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #156 on: 02/13/2015 11:47 PM »
Was Skylab a wet lab in the book?

Skylab and Moonlab were both wet.  The only dry lab was the Mission Module of Ares.

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #157 on: 02/13/2015 11:51 PM »
I am trying to keep documents in the era, so to speak, so I roughed up this graphic to show the layout of the Ares launch vehicle. 

And after I drew this up, I realized I forgot the Orbital Maneuvering Module for my model.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #158 on: 02/14/2015 12:04 AM »
Was Skylab a wet lab in the book?

Skylab and Moonlab were both wet.  The only dry lab was the Mission Module of Ares.

Page reference? ;)
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #159 on: 02/14/2015 12:20 AM »
Was Skylab a wet lab in the book?

Skylab and Moonlab were both wet.  The only dry lab was the Mission Module of Ares.

Page reference? ;)

LOL, if you want page references, then I will need to read it again.....wait, that isn't a bad thing!

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