Author Topic: Modelling Mars  (Read 123108 times)

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #500 on: 11/08/2016 10:13 PM »
I had to update a few photos with the new patch design.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #501 on: 11/10/2016 10:10 PM »
Oh, wow, the patches turned out great!!  I have extras, if anyone wants them.  $6 shipped, just PM me.

Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #502 on: 11/11/2016 12:22 PM »
Hey guys.

  I lurked this thread since seeing Chris P. Bacon's video, and I gotta say it's great to see a lot of work put into a mission I think is pretty awesome and many times I wish it was real.  Apollo to Mars is no small feat.  Too bad in the book, so much to sacrificed to make it happen.*

  Come to say that I have actually put together my own Ares mission in KSP and plan to put the finishing touches on the craft before I attempt to fly it.  I'm doing the Realism Overhaul mods and RSS, and using other mods that give me all of the craft I need to make this as authentic as possible.  I've been wanting to fly this mission in a game since seeing RSFerino's video way back, and soon I'll be among the ones that have done it.

  I have a thread in the KSP forums of my work: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/146593-another-voyage-ares-mission-and-a-kspers-crash-course-in-realism-overhaul/&page=1  You can see some screenshots and a diary of my progress along with the author of the MEM mod I'll be using.  He was a huge help in making this possible by updating his mod and adding a few cool features to his MEM.  I should note that my MEM will use airbrakes, which may not be canon to Voyage, but I hope you guys can forgive me for that.

  Finally, I want to livestream my mission.  I'm not sure when I will do it, but hopefully soon.  I'll be doing it on Twitch.  If you want to watch a KSP player attempt the Ares mission, you're all invited.

  I'm hoping in the end, I can make a video and some documentation of the craft and mission, maybe like a press kit or diagrams you guys created detailing my craft specs and mission plans down to abort modes and time stamps.  We'll see what I can do.  Lacking MS Office is a bit of a setback but I guess I can use Open Office.

  Anyway, just saying great work here and that you've inspired and helped quite a few people make this world come to life including myself.  I definitely want to fly more missions from this book including Moonlab, Apollo-N, and even the nine assembly flights.  I'm even planning on a post-Ares mission to Titan (what if NASA gets even bolder and decides to risk it all for a mission to Saturn's mysterious moon?)  This won't be from the book Titan (I haven't read that at all and it sounds depressing), but more like a Titan mission in the Voyage-verse.

  Anyway, I'll leave you with a few screenshots from my months of practice and development.









  Hope you guys don't mind me borrowing some of your designs for my craft and combining them with what I think the Ares might have looked like.

*I don't own the book, but I did read most of it it online from a Russian site.  I can't afford to buy a copy, or I would and reference it, but I haven't had to do much of that thanks to this thread and other online sources.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #503 on: 11/11/2016 12:41 PM »
That is fantastic!  I can't wait to see your version of it.  Use whatever you like, this is a labor of love of this book.

Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #504 on: 11/12/2016 02:43 AM »
Yeah.  I just love the challenge of Apollo to Mars with a Venus fly-by.

I feel the plan would be a bit insane IRL though, and there are ways to improve this mission.  Still, Baxter did a great job with scientific accuracy.

Personally, I feel Eyes Turned Skyward is a more realistic alt-history NASA.  No Mars missions in that, but also no Space Shuttle.  The Saturn V gets cancelled, but the Saturn 1B gets updated with a F-1A-powered first stage (Saturn 1C) and redesigned Apollo CSM (Block III), and NASA sticks to a long-term plan of space stations.  It's more of a compromise between these two worlds.  On the plus side, we go back to the moon in the '90s and establish bases there (on something called the Saturn Multibody and Saturn Heavy and the EOR approach), but no Mars mission.  It's interesting if you like alt history, and it's free for reading online (thought I don't know where).

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #505 on: 11/12/2016 03:49 AM »
It is on the Alt History Forum.  It is a very interesting timeline and amazing graphics.

Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #506 on: 11/12/2016 05:46 AM »
Yeah.  It's a really great read.

KSP has some craft for it in mods.  May work on some of those missions after I do the Baxter ones.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #507 on: 11/12/2016 06:27 AM »
Nittany Tiger; second hand paperback copies of Baxter's 'Voyage' can be brought on Ebay or Amazon.com for very little. In many cases, the postage will cost more than the book but even that wouldn't be too bad for a single paperback ;)
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #508 on: 11/12/2016 07:13 AM »
And Baxter's 'Titan' is a great book - but it is a grim, dystopic read at times. I think portraying the book's Titan mission would be an interesting thing to do. Perhaps you could do a sequel to the Baxter/Ares Mars mission? Imagine a scenario whereby they do a second, one-off mission to ameliorate all the hardware investment. Short stay or long stay mission scenarios can be investigated, though I imagine that even on the second mission, NASA would not be ready for a 500 day surface stay. Perhaps the trajectories could be 'tweaked' to allow a surface stay longer than the original Ares mission with York, Stone and Gershon, which was to be only 30 days. A stay of perhaps as long as 40-45 days?

How? Design Reference Mission? Timeframe - in the late 1980's?

1: A cargo and Descent-only MEM is designed to leave Low Earth orbit alongside the crewed Mission Module/propulsion stack on another, smaller propulsion stack. This time; the crew is 4x Astronauts not 3 as before. This will become apparent later. More enhanced Saturn V launches, yes - but this IS a fantasy, alt-history scenario after all.

2: Upon arrival in Martian orbit, the Cargo MEM is sent unmanned down to the landing site first. If it arrives safely, the Prime Mission can proceed. The Crewed MEM lands close as possible to the Cargo MEM, which is carrying more supplies, tools, experiments and power generators - fuel cells and RTG units for power, which could be run to the crew MEM by extension cabling. Maybe even a larger, more capable Mars Roving Vehicle could be carried to allow further travels from the base site. Or merely two identical Rovers that could act as a redundant 'rescue' vehicle to tow back a broken down Rover if it is too far away for walkback constraints. The crew of four could conduct 'tag team' EVAs for more than 30 days, maximizing the amount of surface exploration time. Perhaps two of the crew could even live apart in the Cargo MEM so as to minimize the crowding 4 would have in only one MEM.

3: With uprated or optimized Ascent systems propulsion over the first Ares crew's MEM, the second Ares crew's MEM is powerful enough to raise 4x Astronauts and an improved quantity of Martian regolith and rocks back to the Ares Mission Module waiting in Martian orbit. Then, it's time to return to Earth...
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Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #509 on: 11/12/2016 03:10 PM »
I enjoyed Eyes Turned Skyward, but found it unbelievable due to the actual events of the real time line.  Baxter's seemed much more believable.  I did like the return to the moon aspects, but space stations are so dull.  They just go round and round.  Not high adventure, unlike the early days of Vostok, Mercury, Voskshod, Soyuz, Gemini, and Apollo.  Not going anywhere.

useful things can be done in LOE, don't get me wrong. 

Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #510 on: 11/12/2016 07:03 PM »
And Baxter's 'Titan' is a great book - but it is a grim, dystopic read at times. I think portraying the book's Titan mission would be an interesting thing to do.

If I've read the synopsis properly, Titan's mission is a bunch of grav assists with Lagrange points (Interplanetary Transfer Network), and KSP's gravity model doesn't simulate Lagrange points unless you download an experimental mod which may or may not work in RSS.  That might be why no-one has done the mission yet.  It's also a one-way trip, and I'd want them to come back.

Quote
Perhaps you could do a sequel to the Baxter/Ares Mars mission? Imagine a scenario whereby they do a second, one-off mission to ameliorate all the hardware investment. Short stay or long stay mission scenarios can be investigated, though I imagine that even on the second mission, NASA would not be ready for a 500 day surface stay. Perhaps the trajectories could be 'tweaked' to allow a surface stay longer than the original Ares mission with York, Stone and Gershon, which was to be only 30 days. A stay of perhaps as long as 40-45 days?

How? Design Reference Mission? Timeframe - in the late 1980's?

1: A cargo and Descent-only MEM is designed to leave Low Earth orbit alongside the crewed Mission Module/propulsion stack on another, smaller propulsion stack. This time; the crew is 4x Astronauts not 3 as before. This will become apparent later. More enhanced Saturn V launches, yes - but this IS a fantasy, alt-history scenario after all.

2: Upon arrival in Martian orbit, the Cargo MEM is sent unmanned down to the landing site first. If it arrives safely, the Prime Mission can proceed. The Crewed MEM lands close as possible to the Cargo MEM, which is carrying more supplies, tools, experiments and power generators - fuel cells and RTG units for power, which could be run to the crew MEM by extension cabling. Maybe even a larger, more capable Mars Roving Vehicle could be carried to allow further travels from the base site. Or merely two identical Rovers that could act as a redundant 'rescue' vehicle to tow back a broken down Rover if it is too far away for walkback constraints. The crew of four could conduct 'tag team' EVAs for more than 30 days, maximizing the amount of surface exploration time. Perhaps two of the crew could even live apart in the Cargo MEM so as to minimize the crowding 4 would have in only one MEM.

3: With uprated or optimized Ascent systems propulsion over the first Ares crew's MEM, the second Ares crew's MEM is powerful enough to raise 4x Astronauts and an improved quantity of Martian regolith and rocks back to the Ares Mission Module waiting in Martian orbit. Then, it's time to return to Earth...

Not a bad idea, but I don't know if you can tweak the stay time.  With space flights, you're at the mercy of orbital mechanics and you don't get much flexibility with your time windows unless you find a better way there (i.e. a new propulsion method).  NERVA is out for anything Voyage, so it's either another opposition-class mission for the short stay, a long stay, or find a new way to push the craft there (maybe ion or plasma gets developed.)

A cargo mission for a base could do a direct transfer to Mars.  No need for the Venus swingby, and much less fuel needed.  Maybe do it in one or two Saturn V-B launches.  Furthermore, if you're sending supplies to Mars, why not set up a base?  It would justify a second expensive Ares mission, and this time it could go straight to Mars.  With the budget NASA gets in the book though, it might not happen until the 21st century, if it happens at all.

Quote from: mike robel
enjoyed Eyes Turned Skyward, but found it unbelievable due to the actual events of the real time line.  Baxter's seemed much more believable.  I did like the return to the moon aspects, but space stations are so dull.  They just go round and round.  Not high adventure, unlike the early days of Vostok, Mercury, Voskshod, Soyuz, Gemini, and Apollo.  Not going anywhere.

"Going nowhere" is pretty much the real life space program right now.  We haven't gone back to the moon in over 40 years, and we're not planning on going back anytime soon.  We were in LEO with the Space Shuttle since the Apollo days with Spacelab, Mir, and then the ISS, and now we're trying to get our manned capabilities back hoping the SLS doesn't get canned and private industry can fill the need for LEO manned capsules (and take us back to the moon and go to Mars).  LEO and space stations might be boring from an exploration standpoint, but they're cheaper and more likely to get congressional funding than huge missions like Ares.  It's the sad truth.

ETS is less exciting than Voyage, but IMO it's more realistic because congress and NASA would more happily go with ETS's missions than Voyage's.  We'd still have our robotic missions to Venus, Mars, the outer planets, and so on, and even return to the moon.  We just wouldn't have the Space Shuttle, which was a dead end anyway.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to explore the solar system.  I think we should send humans to every place we can so we can figure out how to live on other planets and maybe other solar systems.  It's crucial to our long-term survival.  It's just that no-one wants to pay for it right now except for a few hopeful entrepreneurs.  I was originally intrigued by Voyage's Ares mission and wish we had done this, but only if we had also got our robotic missions like Viking and Voyager 1 and 2 as well.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #511 on: 11/12/2016 09:04 PM »
You might be right about sending the cargo mission on a fast transit first - though if it were to do a fast entry, it would need an upgraded heat shield and a bit more delta v for landing; I wouldn't want to sacrifice the downmass capability of the Cargo MEM with a heavier heatshield and more propellants. Probably best if it just made a standard Hohmann transfer to Mars, a propulsive capture into orbit and a standard descent, albeit unmanned. If a second Ares mission were doing long stay; then the Cargo MEM would need to carry a small nuclear reactor and maybe an inflatable surface Habitat that could attach to the Crew MEM. And a separate Cargo pallet lander for more supplies? Because I don't think a second cargo MEM would be practical.

Sending a cargo MEM to Mars (about 50 tons) would need what sort of propulsion stack? I'm thinking just a single refueled S-II departure stage with no external tanks and a single S-IVB to brake into Martian orbit if it were a fast transit. If a slow trajectory were chosen; say 9 or 11 months instead of six - then what about a single S-IVB for departure and an Apollo Service Module derivative with all six bay segments fitted with propellant tanks (29 tons capacity) for capturing into Martian orbit?
« Last Edit: 11/13/2016 02:25 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #512 on: 11/13/2016 11:30 PM »
You might be right about sending the cargo mission on a fast transit first - though if it were to do a fast entry, it would need an upgraded heat shield and a bit more delta v for landing; I wouldn't want to sacrifice the downmass capability of the Cargo MEM with a heavier heatshield and more propellants. Probably best if it just made a standard Hohmann transfer to Mars, a propulsive capture into orbit and a standard descent, albeit unmanned. If a second Ares mission were doing long stay; then the Cargo MEM would need to carry a small nuclear reactor and maybe an inflatable surface Habitat that could attach to the Crew MEM. And a separate Cargo pallet lander for more supplies? Because I don't think a second cargo MEM would be practical.

Sending a cargo MEM to Mars (about 50 tons) would need what sort of propulsion stack? I'm thinking just a single refueled S-II departure stage with no external tanks and a single S-IVB to brake into Martian orbit if it were a fast transit. If a slow trajectory were chosen; say 9 or 11 months instead of six - then what about a single S-IVB for departure and an Apollo Service Module derivative with all six bay segments fitted with propellant tanks (29 tons capacity) for capturing into Martian orbit?

You can increase the cargo mass of the MEM if you use chutes, ballutes, airbrakes, and other implementations.  Actually practicing the landing, I found that it would take quite a bit of fuel to do a landing without chutes and ballutes, and I the MEM mod maker came up with turning the side heat shields into airbrakes that fold out, and they work well.  Boggles my mind why Baxter ditched chutes and ballutes (and I forgot the reason he did in the book).  The good news is that the Saturn VB can still lift a heavier MEM (if the Saturn VB in the book used the SRBs I used, which are UA1564s (156in motors), and these might be too powerful), so it's not out of the question than the Voyage MEM had more fuel than the real life proposed one.  I personally deviated from the book here because there's not a lot of space to fit extra fuel and I still want to add a rover to my MEM, and I don't know if the propulsion stack can carry the heavier MEM to Mars and still have enough delta V to do the whole.  I'm leaving some stuff in the air to keep this fun.

As far what it takes to get the cargo MEM there with just Saturn V parts, I don't know at this time.  Might take as little as just an MS-II or two or three MS-IVBs stacked on top of each other.  This is a rough guess and your guesses might be more accurate.

Finally, I thought about the logistical and political effects of another Ares, and I actually realized that making the second flight a long-stay is probably a bad idea.  You do want to convince funders to make a base, but doing it right after you only did a short-stay mission is too risky and expensive I would think.  You'd have to send much more supplies, more expensive equipment, and maybe regular supply trips.  I would think the best NASA could do is a proving mission like you mentioned where they would send an unmanned MEM first and then another manned Ares on an opposition mission (Venus swingby) to do a slightly longer stay to prove habitation tech.  This of course if the first mission didn't cause the crew malicious health effects from long-duration space flight and radiation exposure which would kill any hope of a future mission (don't want another Apollo-N after all).  All of this being highly optimistic that Congress will even approve a second Ares at all.  The first mission would have to be the driver for any future missions.

Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #513 on: 11/14/2016 11:32 AM »
I just had a realization about what it would take to send a cargo MEM to Mars.

The Saturn VB has the payload capacity to lift a MEM, Skylab (Ares Mission Module), and Apollo CSM to orbit (and still have about 1000 m/s delta V left or more since I'm not the best at making orbits).  If you're just wanting to lift an MEM, you don't need to worry about the AMM and CSM.  You'd have enough room on one Saturn VB for a MEM and a MS-IVB.  Furthermore, Saturn VBs use J-2Ss, which were supposed to have three restarts.  If you put that on the MS-II, you'd could loft that, an MS-IVB, and cargo MEM in orbit, then relight the MS-II if you have spare fuel for a Trans-Mars (Trans-Arean?) injection and then the MS-IVB to push it on and brake it at Mars before you land the MEM.

So, you'd just need one single Saturn VB launch to launch a cargo MEM to Mars.  Easy and straightforward.

I think I will do an Ares 2 when I finish this Ares in the style of a Mars base precursor.  Either that, or Apollo to Titan.  I'll detail that on the KSP forums because I don't want to hijack Ronpur's thread more than I have already.  Basically, I would think it would only happen in this world if Ares 1 ends favorably and maybe Russia lends some money for a couple of spots on the trip as mentioned earlier in this thread.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2016 11:33 AM by Nittany Tiger »

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #514 on: 11/14/2016 11:55 AM »
I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to write "Beyond Ares" that shows what happens to the crew after they return.  So far, it involves only York.  The passage of the splashdown is part of it.  So far, I have some nice moments from the world wide tour they take, her meeting Neil Armstrong, Russia, White house dinner with the Reagans and Bush.  Here Bush asks her to serve on the Space Council when he gets elected.  They also meet JFK shortly before his death. 

Why I would love to see Ares 2, I envision a Lunar infrastructure.  A small shuttle to fly crew to a space station, which Gershon gets to test fly. Then a reusable Apollo taxi to a Lagrange point lunar station that has a reusable lander to go to the surface.  The Russians join the base plan during the Clinton years, using their upgrade N-1 to help in construction.  Then a lunar base that in 20 years, becomes a colony on the moon.  So by "today" we would have a 100 person base on the moon.  It would be then, with commercial flights to the base and the rise of those companies, like we see today, that plans to go to Mars return.  And with the experience of the Moonbase (Chaffee Base) that those plans become colonial. 

The final chapter has an elderly York, in 2030, watching the launch of one of those colony ships with her son, Ben.  So, like our Apollo program, we retreat from deep space to the moon, and only after decades of staying in lunar space, do we get back to Mars.  Sort of like how we retreat from the moon to low earth orbit.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2016 11:58 AM by Ronpur50 »

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #515 on: 11/14/2016 10:59 PM »
I have been told that the Ares patch shows up in Baxter's recent novel, Ultima.  Apparently it deals with an alternate timeline where Ares crashed.  It seams to be a story about multiverses.  And this crashed Ares timeline is just a quick mention.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2016 11:00 PM by Ronpur50 »

Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #516 on: 11/15/2016 12:03 AM »
I just got the patches I ordered from Ron.  The pictures do not do them justice. If you are fan of the book, you should get them and perhaps stick them inside the book.  :)

Offline Nittany Tiger

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #517 on: 11/15/2016 11:44 AM »
To me, it brings home just how long a Voyage to Mars would be.  I have my doubts this would have work.  So many things could have gone wrong, but they did spend years testing systems on Skylab and Moonlab.  And developing upgraded J-2 engines and systems for storing fuel long term.  He never says what they really are.

I think the book says they're J-2Ss, which stand for J-2 Simplified.  It was a new kind of J-2 with a more simplified fuel feeding system that was likely going to be used on the next production run of Saturn Vs if they had been ordered in real life.  The J-2X that was going to be developed for the Ares 1 and SLS is an upgraded version of this.

Batxer's Saturn VB is a logical progression of the Saturn V MLV program, so I think he went with his Saturn VBs having F-1As and J-2Ss.  His F-1As also had throtting capability because first-stage throttling was mentioned in the Ares ascent.  I can attest to this flying my Saturn VB in KSP RO, because without F-1A throtting and proper SRB thrust curves, I get dynamic pressure on ascent hitting over 50 kPa.

I should mention that on the Austronautix website, they mention a Saturn VB that's nothing like Baxter's.  It's just a modified Saturn V first stage called the Saturn 1D with jettisonable outer engines.  Just a fun fact. http://www.astronautix.com/s/saturnv-b.html

I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to write "Beyond Ares" that shows what happens to the crew after they return.  So far, it involves only York.  The passage of the splashdown is part of it.  So far, I have some nice moments from the world wide tour they take, her meeting Neil Armstrong, Russia, White house dinner with the Reagans and Bush.  Here Bush asks her to serve on the Space Council when he gets elected.  They also meet JFK shortly before his death. 

Why I would love to see Ares 2, I envision a Lunar infrastructure.  A small shuttle to fly crew to a space station, which Gershon gets to test fly. Then a reusable Apollo taxi to a Lagrange point lunar station that has a reusable lander to go to the surface.  The Russians join the base plan during the Clinton years, using their upgrade N-1 to help in construction.  Then a lunar base that in 20 years, becomes a colony on the moon.  So by "today" we would have a 100 person base on the moon.  It would be then, with commercial flights to the base and the rise of those companies, like we see today, that plans to go to Mars return.  And with the experience of the Moonbase (Chaffee Base) that those plans become colonial. 

The final chapter has an elderly York, in 2030, watching the launch of one of those colony ships with her son, Ben.  So, like our Apollo program, we retreat from deep space to the moon, and only after decades of staying in lunar space, do we get back to Mars.  Sort of like how we retreat from the moon to low earth orbit.

I wonder if they would even go as far as to go back to the moon.  I would think NASA would spend many years out of space trying to come up with a post-Apollo plan.  IRL, one idea for the MEM was to be a heavy lunar lander, and those could be used to construct a base on the Moon.  Of course, Congress would demand NASA to exercise post-Ares austerity, so they might lose funding for the Saturn VB and have to come up with a cheaper heavy lifter, or keep the Saturn VB and only fly it once every few years.  We'd be back on the moon, but without any funding for any robotic exploration that NASA probably still wants.

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #518 on: 11/15/2016 12:16 PM »
If they wanted a much cheaper booster than the Saturn VB, but one that could send Apollo CSMs on lunar missions in two launches, I once read of a Saturn 1B replacement concept that would have a single F-1A on a new first stage derived from S-IVB tooling, with the J-2S equipped S-IVB upper stage, but that stage stretched a little for more propellant. This launcher could fly with zero, 2 or 4x Titan III derived solid boosters. The four booster version could get about 50 tons into LEO. Docking a CSM with an S-IVB launched separately could send that CSM to the Moon. A new Lander or an improved Apollo LM could be sent ahead on a separate 2x launch sequence. Though because the Apollo LM is much lighter than a CSM and it's propellant supply; it would need an additonal propulsion stage to brake it into Lunar Orbit. Perhaps one derived from another LM Descent Stage, albeit a legless one.

This 50 ton launcher mission architecture has been similarly proposed as a future Chinese Design Reference Mission; not to mention for ESA as well. I would have some doubts that 4x enhanced Saturn 1Bs would be cheaper than a single Saturn VB, but some have suggested that 'bulk quantity' manufacture could standardize and help bring down costs.
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Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #519 on: 11/15/2016 01:12 PM »

I wonder if they would even go as far as to go back to the moon.  I would think NASA would spend many years out of space trying to come up with a post-Apollo plan.  IRL, one idea for the MEM was to be a heavy lunar lander, and those could be used to construct a base on the Moon.  Of course, Congress would demand NASA to exercise post-Ares austerity, so they might lose funding for the Saturn VB and have to come up with a cheaper heavy lifter, or keep the Saturn VB and only fly it once every few years.  We'd be back on the moon, but without any funding for any robotic exploration that NASA probably still wants.

It won't be until 1998 that the Moon thing starts to happen, after the Russians join up, parallel to our ISS.  In the meantime, there is a S-II stage based Skylab II in Earth orbit.  I have a Saturn VB Block II with extended first stage and a VC with liquid boosters eventually.  Also, they make the F-1 engines reusable on the VC, in a parachute pod. Baxter talked about making as much of the Saturn VB reusable as possible in the book, but as far as I know, it only became the SRBs that were.  So, my Saturn VC will be his eventual upgrade.  These are only used to launch construction flights.  The resupply and crew flights use the reusable shuttle, Earth-Moon Taxi and Reusable Lander.  That is why they have the orbiting stations, crew transfer points.  But even this won't be in place until 2005, 20 years after Ares.

Robotic funding will return, with Mars missions starting in 1998.
« Last Edit: 11/15/2016 01:15 PM by Ronpur50 »

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