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Found 17 results

  1. Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems 1.3 Collector's Edition Chaka Monkey 1.3 Dropbox Link Chaka Monkey 1.3 Spacedock Link Chaka Monkey 1.3 Curseforge Link Click here to "Get Monkey" 1.3 Change Log: 1) All 1.3 related issues fixed and dependent dll products updated with fresh license verification 2) Procedural fairing issues fixed ( Chaka bases work as normal procedural bases once again ) 3) Excessive torque on boosters removed 4) New upper stage and cryo MTV NTR stage textures and features, including new active radiator function on the tank 5) TAC LS supported on habitation modules 6) Monkey rover wheels re engineered and working great 7) Updated all craft files to work out various rough edges, such as XLS booster detonation after sep etc, etc, etc... 8) Added full support for Jool - class missions 9) Even more craft files and texture fixes 10) IVA raster prop issues fully resolved 11) All new inflatable heat shield for Chaka class vehicles based on squad model ( older inflatable retained for MTV operations ) 12) All new ALCOR Textures Chaka Monkey Exploration Odyssey is a space program based on NASA and Boeing proposals for future missions. Part models from a wide variety of authors have been licensed, and new original models made, then combined with all new textures, sizes and configurations, to create craft files depicting the proposed missions. This project is modeled at 75% real scale. ♦ Recommend installing this pack into a clean KSP install for the first time. ♦ Latest version of Raster Prop Monitor needed for IVA function. Link included in download. ♦ Copy everything in provided GameData to your GameData ♦ Copy VAB folder to Ships ♦ Copy Subassemblies to your save (optional) ♦ Please remove any previous version files before installing! Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems includes products commissioned or licensed from the following authors: Winston & Kickasskyle - KW Rocketry https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ Alexustas - A.L.C.O.R. Pod https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Alexustas - ASET IVA for Monkey Rover and Mk1-2 Pod https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Bobcat, Ind. American Pack - all rights reserved and belong to BobCat, expressed written permission from Bobcat for American Pack components to be distributed with Chaka Tiberion - NovaPunch https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ Kosmos Spacecraft Design Bureau - all rights reserved, expressed written permission from Normak and CardBoardBoxProcessor for components to be distributed with Chaka Lionhead Aerospace https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ Sumghai - SDHI Service Module System https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Alexey Volynskov (Keramzit Procedural Fairings) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ BahamutoD - RS-68 Engine - All rights reserved - expressed written permission from BahamutoD for components to be distributed with Chaka Sumghai / Fustek / Nothke - Habitats https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ LandeTLS - SLS Block I fairings https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ TALISAR - Talisar Large Upper Stage https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Porkjet - Habitat IVAs - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ and expressed written permission from Porkjet for components to be distributed with Chaka Blackheart612 - Aerojet Kerbodyne https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ expressed written permission from Blackheart612 for components to be distributed with Chaka Kommitz - Chaka Nuclear Thermal Engines https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Nertea - Octo-Girder Argon Segment https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ NoOneSpecial - NOS Altair pod and lander https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Hanson Ma / xxhansonmaxx - CST-100 Parachute and NDS https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ CXG2827 - CXaerospace Station Parts - All Rights Reserved (Models and Textures are permitted for modification and distribution by YANFRET in Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems) Chaka the Monkey would like to extend a special thank you to these developers. They worked very hard to make these parts and we have organized them for Monkey Exploration because they are excellent. Also, Chaka wishes to thank our awesome 1.3 beta test team: @Space Kadet , @OV-102, @Jarlgnarök, @davidewei , and of course @MeCripp for putting in many hours of science which made the quality of this release possible. Special thanks to @rsparkyc for updating Procedural Fairings to 1.3! Advanced habitat models provided by: Monkey Rover Wheels provided by: BMW, AG Chaka the monkey supports using Raster Prop Monitor by @MOARdV LICENSE Unless otherwise specified, all materials available for download on this page are copyrighted and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Included plugin licenses: Kerbal Joint Reinforcement is licensed to be distributed only with Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems on express written permission from Ferram4 due to specific critical requirements. Distribution of Kerbal Joint Reinforcement from this download is expressly prohibited: KJR License is GNU GPL v3 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html For the latest version and updates to KJR, please visit http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/55657-1-0-2-Kerbal-Joint-Reinforcement-v3-1-3-4-27-15 KSPAPIEXTENSIONS is licensed via Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/81496-1-0-2-KSPAPIExtensions-V1-7-4-Utilities-for-shared-mod-use-1-May CC BY terms (attribution) Procedural Fairings is licensed via Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/39512-0-25-Procedural-Fairings-3-10-payload-auto-struts-%28October-11%29 CC BY terms (attribution) Animated Decouplers ( Starwaster ) is licensed via Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) https://github.com/Starwaster/AnimatedDecouplers http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/
  2. Continued from which is really continued from http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/28428-Orion-aka-Ol-Boom-boom I'm calling this Komplete (until it's not). This is basically a continuation of Nyrath's original Orion drive mod. The engine's been split up into different parts, basically so you can have pulse units loaded without the add-on magazines. Everything has been remodelled and reworked, but the plugin that drives the whole thing is basically the same beast as Nyrath's work. It's licensed via the standard MIT license, as per the original license file included in the original work. The cast of contributors is growing. To get this up and running in 1.2 @FreeThinker and @HebaruSan helped a lot. Which is to say, those two made it work. All I've done is tweak atmosphere effects and similar things. Prior to 1.2 it was a cast from what I shall call "before my time", but clearly involved @nyrath and a few others, the cerebrate/Alistair Young who obviously cleaned up and githubbed the code at some point (not sure if that's the forum's @Cerebrate or not) and anyone else who contributed over the years that I'm unaware of. To all of you, I thank you. Let me know if you're ever in Brisbane Qld, I'll buy you a drink. Anyway, after all that, this is an Orion drive, not an Orion capsule. It's a drive first envisioned by Stanislaus Ulam, and developed from some basic ideas into a well engineered concept by a team at General Atomics with Freeman Dyson (Mr Dyson Sphere, not Mr Vacuum Cleaner). As a first order approximation, it's a system for propelling a craft by firing nukes out the back. That's obviously not a good idea generally, so there's a huge metal plate on some long shock-absorbers involved, and changes to the nukes themselves to make it all work. But that's the basics. As did @nyrath, my primary reference for this was Scott Lowther's http://www.up-ship.com/eAPR/ev1n5.htm Many other sources of information were referenced as well, most of which can be found on @nyrath's website http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist.php#id--Pulse--Orion https://web.archive.org/web/20070704104944/http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770085619_1977085619.pdf contains original unclassified source info Download: https://spacedock.info/mod/149/Orion TD Edition And, pics or it didn't happen; A quick user guide. Orion Craft Building tip 1. You don't have enough RCS, add more. Orions are HEAVY. While regular rockets are doing their damnedest to strip weight off, extra weight on Orions just smooths the ride. This is great, except for RCS. Now, to get this mod to work, you need 2 things. A pusher plate (engine) and some bombs. Any arrangement will work, but there's the "correct" arrangement or things that will look a bit silly. The way it's intended to go together is an engine on the bottom, then some loader floors above that. Using the matching size of course. The 86 foot pusher plate fits all it's gases and oils in quite low, so you really need a few floors to cover the suspension shrouds. On top of the loader floors, you should add a payload interface. On the 10m (actually 7.8m in game) the choice of size primarily affects how many external magazines you can add in the frame, and how much 2.5m parts you'll need to stack before you're past the framework. The 80foot payload interfaces are basically the same, but one has a fairing. Then there's the upper stages, and if needed extra magazines of bomb. Generally, with the 86foot Orions, I just use the loader floors, as there's quite a large number of pulse units per floor. And if it's reasonably heavy, you'll mostly just be using the 1.4kt yield and upwards. But the loader floors on the 10m only have 138 units each, so I usually stack some more up. So, super quick craft build. You'll need a pod, some mono and RCS. Preferably all 2.5m, as the small Orion joins with 2.5m Then, attach a payload interface, A loader floor or more; Then, an engine AKA pusher plate, Note, you can stack up external stackable magazines and they don't need to match the yield on the loader floors. In fact, unless you have too few of that yield, you're better off using those external magazines to add variety; And then add some more RCS. NOTE: The pulse yield, aka how much push you get, is highly dependent on atmospheric density. In the opposite way to a rocket. The "thrust" at sea level is roughly 12 times what it is in a vacuum. So, those different yields will come in handy as you travel upwards. To change what yield units you're using, right click the engine to bring up the interface. "Kill" means stop loading those pulse units. "Start" means start using those. Usually all but one yield should be Killed with only one Started. Or you'll get uneven pulses. Start small.
  3. One wise kerbal once said, " Reach for the stars, and you will be successful." So, the KSP took it literally and decided to reach for the stars with their "amazingly awesome" spacecraft. The Challenge: Do the Orion missions listed below Orion Command module should be accurate and have 3 seat for stock, 5 seats for modded if possible. Note: You must complete previous mission to continue on to the next one. EFT-1 Badge: Go into a highly eccentric orbit of Kerbin to test high speed reentry Exploration Mission 1 Build an SLS Block 1 launcher and mate an Orion Spacecraft to it. Then send them to the Mun (Orbit Only). More Missions Coming!
  4. This mission completed for submission to the EM1 Mission of the Doing It Orion Style challenge. Only mod was TweakScale. I went a little overboard trying to match all the elements of the real SLS + Orion, down to the count and placement of the RCS thruster blocks. Definitely pleased with the final product, though! View from the VAB. Standing tall on the pad. Igniting the SSMEs first. Booster ignition and clamp release! I always love these kinds of shots. I don't much like the SLS myself but it is a nice-looking rocket to be sure. Look familiar? Halfway through the SRBs and just now supersonic. Not going to get rid of the launch tower until after the solids are jettisoned. Really starting to get some heating now, right at burnout. Gees will drop soon, though. Booster staging aided by some sepratrons clipped into the nosecones. Boosters receding; about half my launch fuel and pulling two gees. Throttling down to fine-tune my ascent. Fairing and LES jettison! Now I just need to go a little bit further... MECO in a disposal orbit. Separating the core. Nice shot of the ICPS here, compare to this. Extending solar panels as the core recedes. Circularizing. As you can see, I have 13 cubesats mounted around the ICPS decoupler. Orbit circularized. Testing out my RCS blocks. Note the placement is identical to here. Really good view of the ICPS. Went ahead and threw an antenna on here since it is unmanned. Extending the antennae on the KubeSats. KubeSat 1 away! These each consist of a probe core, an antenna, and an instrument of some kind. I plan to deploy them in low Kerbin orbit, kerbostationary transfer orbit, Munar free-return, and Munar orbit. I only brought 13 KubeSats because that's the number of adapters on Orion's Stage Adapter. Deploying a few more KubeSats: Let's see, where were we? Planning Munar Free Return. ICPS reignition! TweakScale is almost perfect, but it didn't adjust exhaust plume length. So it looks a little weird. Deploying another KubeSat with a slightly higher apoapse. Yet another. You can see the orbits of the individual KubeSats. Deploying KubeSat in Kerbostationary Transfer Orbit. There it is in KTO! Throttling down to finely adjust the free-return. And there's my free-return! Got a pretty good Munar Periapsis for a free-return. Releasing more KubeSats now that I'm in a free-return trajectory. Nice shot of the service module here too, along with the large battery to show I have backup in case the solar panels fail. Approaching cismunar space. Nice shot of the loop around the Mun; you can see that the KubeSats I released have spread out nicely. One of the KubeSats is on an impact trajectory, the others are not. I went ahead and used the ICPS for this burn so I could save some KubeSats for deployment in Munar Orbit. Deploying! Finally separating the ICPS and Orion is flying free! Nice swarm of KubeSats here along with me. Let's head a bit closer to the Mun. Tightening up that orbit... Much better! Did a few orbits until I was lined up to head back to Kerbin. Getting ready for the return burn. This is the first really good shot of Orion by itself. Starting the burn. And now my periapse is below the surface! This will be hot. Farewell, Mun! Earth approach. Separation from the Service Module. Hope I don't overshoot and come down on land. Very warm. Hitting the drogues immediately to try and get a splashdown. Popping the mains. This is gonna be close! Dropping the heat shield. Cut the drogues. Aaaaand... Splashdown!
  5. Noticing the Huge lack of 4 kerbal pods and 3.75m command pods in the game I decided to start work on a mod. Its called the onion mpcv because it was 1am when I started this and that was the best thing i could think of that sounded kinda like Orion don't judge me. This is Orion: Ultimate goal is to make all the parts for the orion mpcv, possibly the SLS and eventually more 3.75m command pods and cool stuff. So far I've been able to get the command module into the game. Here's the OnionCM next to the 1.25 and 2.5 pods for comparison. Going for stock-alike when it comes to textures though those windows are really pretty bad i'll have to work on my texturing. Holds 4 kerbs so you can bring Val along Top is made to fit your standard docking port and stock heat shield fits pretty snug. I'm considering integrating parachutes into the pod similarly to the way the actual Orion pod functions. I've also managed to create a LES shroud for the command pod which manages to fit the docking port on top and I have confirmed that the stock LES can lift the onion far from disaster if needed. I'm currently lost as to how to make my models appear smooth other than increasing tri count which is obviously not the way to do things, If anyone can point me in the right direction It would be very much appreciated. (the command pod looks smooth because its somewhere in the range of 3000 tris and has a dark texture. I hope to bring that number down to the 2000 range if possible so I have more wiggle room to actually recess the windows like on the real pod.) Last thing that's worth showing off at the moment is this un-textured model for a 3.75m nuclear engine. (I've seen many mods that include 2.5m variants but not 3.75m) I have many other models that I've whipped up but ill show those off once they have textures and are a bit more interesting to look at. Any advice is welcome, since this is my first attempt at developing a mod.
  6. This is a parts pack that adds a stock alike version of the SLS in 5m size as well as a few Space Shuttle specific parts that will allow you to build the Block I SLS with the complete Orion Spacecraft (CM, SM, and LAS), as well as a full Space Shuttle stack with an External Tank and SRBs that are 5m and 2.25m respectively to be in scale with the Mk3 Spaceplane parts. NOTE (1/20/2017): If you are having issues with the Orion Heatshield not creating drag, please paste the following code into the config file for the heat shield located in "GameData/ShadowWorks/Parts/Orion/OrionHeatShield.cfg" DRAG_CUBE { cube = Default, 1.015663,0.4225435,1.65598, 1.015663,0.4225349,1.65598, 7.562591,0.9169528,0.5132632, 7.576575,0.9167223,0.5132632, 1.015663,0.4195348,1.65598, 1.015663,0.4255427,1.65598, 0,-3.500283E-05,8.34465E-07, 3.125,0.41447,3.124999 } Note: Delete your old ShadowWorks Install before installing all Updates. Updated to Version 1.3.2 Changes 1.3.2: ----------------------- * Corrected an issue with _ShadowWorks_RealChutes.cfg that could cause problems if RealChutes is not installed. * Fixed the Odyssey Airlock to actually add crew capacity so that it can be used as an airlock * Changed all Space Station modules to remove the MODEL{} node to help prevent the scaling bug from cropping up. NOTE: The 1.25m base of the PMA is a docking port, you do not need to attach a CBM to dock the PMA to other CBMs Download on SpaceDock: Also available through CKAN (or so I'm led to believe) A review of the mod by @jd9921 (Gemini10 Gamers on YouTube) Texture Revamp Screenshots Space Launch System Space Shuttle Parts Block II SLS and Anhur I & II Launchers Shuttle Extras and Setesh IV Parts Recommended Mods Bacon Labs Stockalike Ariane and More - I provided the Ariane and Vega launchers for this pack, and it uses a modified version of the Shuttle SRBs from this mod Tantares Stockalike Soyuz and Mir - a great mod by Beale License: ShadowWorks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
  7. Hi my fellow Kerbal fans, i would just want to know what mods i should use to have a Orion command module (pod) and its round launch escape system... Thanks for help !
  8. Constellation Moon Mission Pack Initially worked on after I saw the Constellation Mission Packs Discussion Thread, I had neglected the project part way through, with the Ares I and Ares V mostly completed (if I recall correctly, it may have been to a bug). After almost two years, I've finished the once unfinished business—it's out! Ares I and Orion Ares V with Altair Going Home Now that you've seen the landing and take off, let's watch the kerbals get home! It should be noted that fuel reserves tend to be quite low at this point—be efficient with how the fuel is spent... DOWNLOADS Ares I and Orion Ares V and Altair If you've found any issues or if you have feedback on ships, feel free to note them in the comments, I'd be happy to fix it.
  9. Re-creating the journey to mars with STOCK parts and i need help, ideas, and every craft will be able to be downloaded and will be as real as possible and i will update and post updates and images and videos (possibly) and i also do live in Huntsville Alabama so i do have a huge interest in Space and Rocketry i also space x and elon musk's stuff
  10. hey I am Orionthusiast (an Orion enthusiat). And I am going to do a lot of missions using the Orion capsule from EFT-1 Dawn to EM-2 Freedom. I want to see y'all's replicas. So lets do this I don't care if it a crew retrival rocket I want to see it!
  11. Due to being able to spot red squiggly lines and follow some guesswork when the temperature variables in KSP changed, I've stumbled into being the nominated code maintainer for Nyrath's USAFOrion. While I'm perfectly at home with modelling parts, I find myself a bit lost in this C# stuff the modules are written in. Part of the problem is that, instead of needing to update from 1.0 to 1.1 code, the code is actually dependent on some libraries from the dawn of time. I suspect KSP 0.25, as the UI elements never worked in 0.90 onwards (or was that 0.80, I forget). And now, there's no available source code for the 3rd party libraries that the source code I have is dependent on. So, I'd LIKE to clear out all the UI components of the code and rewrite them. The UI is pretty much completely new in 1.1 anyway, and all it needs is a window with some buttons. "How hard could that be?" he said... Initially, I really wanted to do this all myself. I wanted to wrap my head around how C# worked, and how the orion code worked, so I could maintain it properly. But, I find every time I look at stuff, I get lost incredibly easy. I can't figure out what calls to make or how to find variables to use from KSP libraries. I don't know what half the compile errors are suggesting and so on. I can follow the logic of the code just fine. I just never know which bits come from where. If you want to take a gander at the source before mentioning anything, it's at https://github.com/cerebrate/USAFOrion I'm happy with any level of assistance at this stage.
  12. Based on Project Orion from the 1950's, I built this Mothership to send kerbals to the Mun and Minmus in style! It carries 2 Mystery Goo Containers, Barometers, Thermometers, and Negative Gravioli Detecters. It also has 2 docking ports on the side to allow for landers, rescue craft, or refueling craft. Unfortunately, I cannot provide a download link as this craft is on Xbox. Here is the Imgur Album, http://imgur.com/a/GvmXm I also made an Orion Mini so comment if you want to see that!
  13. The proposed Constellation program to return astronauts to the Mun has long been a subject of my fascination. I consider it as one of the two major missions that sparked my interest in space exploration (the other being the Mars Exploration Rover). Recreating the Constellation program has been on my KSP bucket list since I bought the game, so when I first saw the forum thread for @Majorjim's Duna Constellation Mission, I was amazed. Once the discussion thread started up I followed it with great interest, but refrained from participating because I was unsure if i would be able to make craft with low enough part count to be practical, and most of the craft I have released on the forums have been planes rather than spacecraft. After 1.1 was released, I began considering giving the lunar portion of Constellation a try, and I got to work on this project. I've encountered many obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments, but after nearly a month of work, I am proud to finally present my Constellation Replica Pack! Orion and Ares I Altair and Ares V Cargo Altair SPR Mission Profile Constellation was different than Apollo in that it followed an Earth Orbit Rendezvous profile. This means that Altair and Orion are launched separately and then rendezvous and dock in LEO before flying to the Mun. I recommend that you launch Altair and the EDS first to allow it to act as a target for Orion. Orion has the fuel to spare for a rendezvous, the EDS doesn't. Once the two spacecraft are docked, shut down Orion's engine and set the craft to be controlled from Altair's docking port (or the EDS's guidance unit). Plot and perform the Trans-Munar Injection (Free Return Trajectory advised but not necessary), then separate Orion and Altair from the EDS. Once at the Mun perform a course correction to lower your periapsis to around 15km (optional), and insert the craft into orbit at said periapsis. Videos seem to suggest that Altair would have been used for this, however I use Orion more often than not due to its overabundance of fuel. Once you have a circular orbit around the Mun, move the crew into Altair and detach it from Orion. Deploy the landing legs and communications antenna and land the ship. Jettison the drop tanks well before landing, so the don't land near your landing site (extra important if you're aiming for a Cargo Altair). You get bonus points if you choose a landing site on the mun's terminator so the Sun is rising, casting long shadows (the Apollo astronauts did this). Once landed, get your Kerbals out, plant a flag, drive the rover, do whatever you want. When it's time to go, launch in the Ascent Stage. It's a good idea to periodically change the inclination of Orion's orbit so that it passes directly over the landing site to avoid having to make a costly plane change in Altair. Once Altair and Orion are back together, move the crew back to the CM and jettison Altair. Perform the Trans-Kerbin Injection and wait for the ship to reach Kerbin. Shortly before reentry detach the Service module and Orion the craft so that its heat shield faces retrograde. From there it's pretty straightforward; reenter, deploy the drogue parachute at about 3,000m, cut drogue and deploy mains anywhere between 1,500 and 1,000meters, splashdown (or land if you're unlucky), celebrate successful mission. Extra Pictures Here are a few pictures that I decided to share. Altair landing on the Mun next to a Cargo lander. The entire stack in LKO waiting for the upcoming TMI burn. Altair lifting off from the Mun to begin the homeward voyage. If only the lander knew that it wouldn't be coming home... DOWNLOADS Altair + Ares V Orion + Ares I Cargo Altair + Ares V If you find a problem with the craft, have a suggestion for improvement, or harbor any other concerns, please feel free to tell me here. Any screenshots of your own missions with these craft are certainly welcome and encouraged. Feedback of any sort (as long as it is valid and not simply "u suk git gud skrub lel") is welcome and appreciated, so please tell me what you think of these craft. If this does well enough (or if I feel like it), I may start working on the Mars portion of Constellation to go with this. Thank you for taking the time to read this thread, and enjoy!
  14. NASA has been directionless since Constellation was canceled. This, combined with their low budget, seems to make picking an actual destination for Orion hard to figure out. It doesn't seem like EM-1 is going to be for at least 6 years, so we definitely have time to make a decision. I think that it will be long behind schedule, and it will eventually be used to service a space station at Earth-Moon L1/2. If (and that's a big if) it does get off the ground on time, it might be used to transfer crew to Mars transfer vehicles. What do you think?
  15. http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/ksc-meeting-sls-scrambling-manifest-plan/ A huge meeting was recently conducted by NASA to its employees in the VAB this January, provided an update on KSC's current and future initiatives. There were a few hard truths stated in this meeting- the first being its employment. NASA currently employs about 14,500 people directly- with Software and IT workers making up 22% of NASA's workforces, Aerosciences at 15% (the original NACA section of NASA) and less than 50% being involved in Space. A call was made- "It's time to make decisions, no just collect more data." Also, NASA's workforce is aging- the average age of its employees having gone up from 42 to 49 years old- which can affect its influx of new ideas. To counter this, NASA is now to target new hires out of college, with half of NASA's new hires to be from "GS-11 or below". Another hard truth told was regarding NASA's budget- which is surprisingly in turmoil now, despite NASA getting another $1 Billion in funding compared to last year- the amount of money NASA will need to fund its Congressional obligations (it's "to-do list") has also increased to $3 Billion due to the addition of new obligations, such as the Europa Clipper probe lander, and a new start on Orion HAB work. However, NASA's budget pressure may ease once JWST launches in 2018, and Commerical Crew becomes operational in 2017 (development is more expensive than operation). But for the meantime, NASA is in between a rock and a hard place with its budget. As usual, a large segment of NASA's funding is going to the SLS/Orion (the "Senate Launch System"). Though it has been (consistently) better off in its development than Ares I, it still lacks a manifiest beyond EM-1. Though NASA has created numerous planning manifiests, the public has still been only given the vague "[we are] visiting an asteroid by the mid 2020s and Mars by the mid 2030s"- protraying a future that lacks definition (a major critcism of this program.) NASA has cited this to numerous factors, most particularly funding- something that is a common NASA problem. NASA has also confirmed the ICPS and Block I SLS will not be man-rated, with a desire to use the launch hiatus from 2018 - 2021 to develop SLS Block IB, the projected (at least early) SLS workhorse. This will save $250 Million; however, such a switch has affected the original plans for SLS/Orion. Originally, the EM-2 mission was intended to be a manned repeat of EM-1, a manned Orion/SLS Block I test flight, sending Orion to flyby the Moon before returning to Earth. Now, EM-2 will launch on Block IB, sending a Orion crew to Low Lunar Orbit and back. However, this means another SLS unmanned test mission must be undertaken between EM-1 and EM-2. This mission will be a cargo mission- though an unmanned spacecraft is almost certainly going to hitch a ride as well due to the high cost of an SLS launch. NASA hopes this will be Europa Clipper, but that is still simply speculatory (and in any case, is likely too soon to launch then). Thus, EM-2 will become the 3rd SLS flight, and will now launch NET (no earlier than) 2022. The 4th flight (of the so far confirmed manifiest) is the manned segment of the Asterod Redirect Mission, sending a Manned Orion to a Asteroid Boulder in Lunar Orbit to study it, and return samples. This SLS/Orion Mission is now confirmed to occur NET 2024, as had been suspected for quite some time. One last note is that SLS Block II is not expected to be developed until 2028, with Manned Mars landings aiming for 2039 (something I think is an unlikely goal for numerous reasons). However, even this manifiest is subject to change, as a new political administration in charge next year may (and has, previously) affect plans signifcantly, for better, or for worse. NASA has also stated SLS requires launching at least once a year to be viable- something that is implied to require a larger influx of money (and goals) for the Orion/SLS program. TL;DR: NASA's "budget increase" of 1 Billion has a lot of strings to it. SLS now has a somewhat solid near-term manifest: EM-1: Orion & SLS Block I test, carrying "all up" Orion on a Lunar Flyby Trajectory. (2018) EM-1A: EUS & SLS Block IB test, carrying unspecified unmanned payload. (2021) EM-2: Manned Orion & SLS Block IB test, sending Orion into a Low Lunar Orbit and back. (2022) EM-2A?: (probable, but unconfirmed): SLS Block I, sending Europa Clipper to Jupiter. (2023) EM-3: Asteroid Redirect Mission, manned. SLS Block IB sending, Orion to captured boulder in Lunar Orbit (2024) Speculative: EM-?-?: Lunar Space Station/Long Duration HAB Missions? (2024-?) (NASA got funding and a requirement from Congress to start a commercial competition for Orion HABs, somthing which will need to be tested in Cis-Lunar space. However, this portion is still speculative, as NASA literally just began working on this.) EM-2B? ESA's JUICE on SLS? (2023)
  16. Over the years, there have been many proposals to give ESA its own Crew Launch Capability- something that (in my opinion) ESA may be closer to this capability than ever before (even closer than the Hermes Era). However, budgets are cramped (as expected), so my proposal attempts to make this as cheap as possible to develop: Note: things in BOLD are the baseline proposal. My proposal would use a minimal-modification ESA Orion Service module as the base (and service module), launching fully fueled on an Ariane V ECA or ES (or Ariane 6 w/ 4 SRBs)- all which have a payload capacity of 21T to LEO, (however, a burn of the Orion CM does the final, orbital insertion burn, along with rendezvous and deorbit burns). The other components, the Launch Escape System (LES) and the Command Module (CM) would be basically European-made clones of the Orion CM and LES, respectively. (Building these parts in the US, is also an option, but would probably be a lot less politically palatable). This would be used in a few flights to the ISS, before moving to a new, European Space Station, based of the Columbus MTFF proposal:http://www.astronautix.com/craft/colrmtff.htm but (ASSUMING INFINITE THE MONEY IS AVAILABLE) be built with a front docking port (which would have a node-like adapter with a total of 6 available berthing ports (2 with adapters for crewed spacecraft, 1 for cargo deliveries, 1 by the connection to the Columbus Module, and 2 ports used by the airlock and an unpressurized experiments bay). Its crewed module would be a modernized Columbus module of the ISS, and use a Orion SM as its service module, located at the space station's aft (but with larger solar arrays and with radiators), which is also used for re-boosts (along with the crewed ESA-Orion and Cargo Vehicle) and life support. This space station (I call it the MTFF-2) would be launched fully fueled by a single, expendable Falcon Heavy (the MTFF-2 being 53T in mass)- in the case of mass overruns, the fuel would be launched separately, in cargo spacecraft. The Cargo Deliveries would be done by a newly-produced ATV, by a Progress Spacecraft (both which would require adapters to dock to the space station) or by a Cygnus. One question, despite all this would be if it could be funded. If S*** hits the fan, the ESA Crewed Spacecraft would be used for SpaceLab-like Science missions, with unpressurized science experiments located between the spacecraft adapter jettisoned panels and the Service Module. If money is somewhat more available however, the MTFF-2 would launch, but lack the node, airlock, unpressurized experiment bay (they would have to be carried next to the Orion SM if needed), only one docking port, and no cargo resupply vessels, and the space station would instead launch on a Reusable Falcon Heavy. THIS IS MY BASELINE PROPOSAL. Good, Dumb, or Impossible? Comment below!