"We choose to go to Mars!" - Chapter ten: The ship

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Nice! Great story:)

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3 hours ago, CJrm1 said:

Nice! Great story:)

Thank you, I'm glad you like it :)

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I've been neglecting this thread recently for two reasons: First - my university studies got a bit in the way (don't you hate when this happens?), and second, I was designing and building the interplanetary ship, which was quite a difficult task, and took a lot of time. Finally, I managed to design something I am quite confident will make it to Mars and back. Since it took so much time, I might allow myself a bit more quickloading and/or reverting than during the Moon missions. I hope you don't mind too much :)

Chapter ten: The ship


Kerbin Daily

May 18, 1975 


Glenn V assembled, waiting for the transfer window

As the orbital assembly of the spaceship that will hopefully take Kerbalkind to Mars was successfully finished yesterday, our science editor, Emmett Kerman had a chance to interview one of the original Sheppard seven, and the most experienced engineer of the space program, kerbalnaut Chadus Kerman.

Hello Chadus, thanks for finding a bit of time for me. I believe that the last few days were quite busy?

Hi Emmett, no problem. Yeah, you are right, the last few days really were hectic. We are used to working long hours when there is a mission in progress, but this time it was a bit different for many reasons.

How so? Was it more challenging than, let's say, the assembly of the Skylab station? If I'm correct, the Glenn spacecraft consists of only three modules?

You are correct Emmett. But unlike Skylab, this ship is really heavy. Moving pieces that weigh several hundred tonnes into orbit, and then docking them together is no easy task. Also, this was the first time we had to rendezvous spacecraft that launched for different space centres and were controlled by different mission control teams - the propulsion module was launched from Kourou. And finally, the docking itself on Skylab was controlled by crew stationed there. This time, it was all computer controlled.

I see. When you say "several hundred tonnes" - how huge the ship really is?

It's the biggest thing we have ever sent to space. And probably will be, for a long time. The Grissom spacecraft that took us to the Moon would look like a toy compared to it. To be honest, most of the pilots thought we went crazy when they first saw it, and it was only the first module. Especially Donbree used certain expressions that you would not be able to put in the article.



And how exactly will something that huge be delivered to Mars?

This was the most complicated part. It would not be possible with the engines used in the Grissom program. A whole new type of engines was developed for several years, exactly for this purpose. These engines also run on a mixture of liquid hydrogen and oxygen, but they are a bit weaker and a lot more efficient. After the ejection burn to Mars, and a correction burn several weeks later, these engines will be discarded and the rest of the mission will run on ususal chemical rocket engines.

So now Glenn V is assembled. What will happen next?

Yes, the asembly itself was finished yesterday, early in the morning. But it was not the last flight to Glenn, by far. The ship is complete, but the fuel tanks are almost empty, so several more launches are required to fuel the thing. A few days before the transfer window, a Grissom class rocket will bring the crew. And then the whole thing hopefully goes to Mars.


Speaking of the crew - who will be the ones that will fly this historic mission? A lot of speculation is going on about that.

I'm sorry Emmett, but I can't tell you yet. Don't worry, I'm sure they will announce the crew very soon. But I can tell you this - they are the very best that we have.

Ok, thank you for your time Chadus, and good luck.

Thanks Emmett. This mission will be one for the books, I can guarantee you that.



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59 minutes ago, NISSKEPCSIM said:

any news on this?

I'm sorry to say, no news concerning mission progress, but luckily, after a month or so of very busy time, I should be able to continue quite soon. If all goes well, and I manage to transition to RO/RP-0 1.2.2 without much trouble.

If the transition doesn't work out, I'll finish this mission in my 1.1.3 install before upgrading, I'm quite curious how it will all play out :)


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