Death Engineering

Doing it Gemini Style - An Alternate History Mun Mission

78 posts in this topic

gemlandr.jpg

The Gemini spacecraft was a versatile and innovative fighter jet styled step towards a manned moon landing. The original Direct Ascent designs and Earth Orbit Rendezvous missions used variants of the Gemini spacecraft, and was later considered to perform space-taxi missions to space stations.

Stock or Mod entries welcome.

This is a challenge to explore the NASA Gemini Lunar program. There is a base of +20 points for performing the primary mission objective with bonus points awarded for executing the mission in various configurations. Points are balanced with consideration to:

  • Mission complexity
  • Accurate Gemini details
  • Accurate lifter details
  • Spacecraft complexity
  • Rescue readiness
  • Crazy 60's details

Gemini-lander.jpg

Primary mission objective (+20):

  • Stock or Mod parts*. Separate leaderboard for each.
  • Using a mission profile of 1-2 launches and a two-Kerbal crew, orbit both Kerbals around the Mun and return the crew to Kerbin.

Possible Launch Profiles:

  1. EOR: 2 Launches. Two spacecraft rendezvous and dock in LKO then proceed to Munar orbit.
  2. LOR: 2 Launches. Two spacecraft rendezvous and dock in Munar orbit and perform a Mun landing.
  3. Direct ascent: Launch one spacecraft and establish a Munar orbit.

Note: An additional launch using Direct Ascent mission profile may be launched if attempting the Munar rescue readiness points ("Got your back" or "We have a reservation").

Bonus points:

Mission

  • Direct Ascent (+4): Using a single launch, establish a crewed Munar orbit.
  • Earth Orbit Rendezvous (+5): Using two launches to low Kerbin orbit, dock two spacecraft. Once docked, send the docked spacecraft to Munar orbit.
  • Munar Orbit Rendezvous (+6): Using two launches to low Kerbin orbit, separately send two spacecraft to Munar orbit. Once there, dock them together and complete a landing mission.
  • Landing prestige: One Kerbal on the Mun (+7). Second Kerbal on the Mun (+4).
  • Faster, better, cheaper - Rover bonus (+0): You can't afford a rover on the Gemini budget.

Capsule

  • Happy together (+3): Both crew members are never separated by more than 10km
  • We're done with that (+3): Detachable support module (Jettison from command module before Kerbin landing at least three of:RCS cells, electrical systems, lighting, legs, retro package)
  • Just in case (+3): Launch Escape System present

Lifter

  • Is that a Titan II? (+2): At least one of the rockets uses a two-engine cluster first stage and a single engine cluster second stage.
  • Wow, A Titan III!(+3): At least one of the rockets earns 'Is that a Titan II?' and has two strap on SRB's on the first stage.
  • That looks like Saturn 1B! (+4): At least one of the rockets uses a first stage cluster with 8 engines
  • Saturn S-3? That's your full-size (+5): At least one rocket uses a 3 engine first stage and a 4 engine second stage.
  • Won't Apollo miss that Saturn 5? (+6): At least one rocket uses a 5 engine first stage and a 5 engine second stage.
  • That's no bull (+2): Trans Munar injection booster is a two-engine cluster, like the Centaur kicker stage.

Lander

  • On your space bike (+4): At least one open cockpit lander
  • Dropping some weight (+3): At least one of the primary or backup Munar surface return vessels leaves behind its Munar descent stage.
  • Making it count (+2): Earn 'Dropping some weight' and have a powered probe core on the discarded descent stage. Must remain powered at least until the crew lands on Kerbin.
  • Since we're there (+2): If used, the backup Munar surface return vehicle earns 'Dropping some weight' and 'Making it count'.

Recovery

  • Welcome home (+10): Both crew return to Kerbin
  • We can take it (+3): Be able to safely return to Kerbin on water or land without damage.
  • Landing gear down (+5): Perform a parachute assisted landing on deployable wheels or skids

Crazy 60's details

  • We are outta here (+3): The Launch Escape System ejects both crew in their own separate crafts. The Gemini had fighter jet style ejection seats.
  • Easy Rider (+3): Using open cockpit landers ('On your space bike'), land both Kerbal crew members on the Mun independently.
  • Got your back (+6): Another two-crew capable empty Gemini return vehicle can be launched and landed within 10km of the primary mission as an emergency return vehicle. Must completely perform Munar ascent to Kerbin landing, or dock with a return-capable vessel in Mun orbit.
    Or..
  • We have a reservation (+7): Land a crew on the Mun within 10km of a previously landed empty spacecraft. Must completely perform Munar ascent to Kerbin landing, or dock with a return-capable vessel in Mun orbit.

*I don't know that the use of Mod parts makes the challenge any easier or harder, so no bonus or handicap. Input is welcome.


Stock Parts Leaderboard:

  1. borisperrons - 105 pts
  2. capi3101 - 101pts
  3. FacticiusVir - 86 pts
  4. HueHue - 76 pts
  5. Death Engineering - 69 pts
  6. WooDzor - 63
  7. Franzie360 - 63 pts
  8. Xeldrak - 62 pts

Mod Parts Leaderboard:

  1. CatastrophicFailure - 106 pts *
  2. CalculusWarrior - 83 pts *

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Gemini#Lunar_landing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(rocket_family)

http://www.astronautix.com/articles/bygemoon.htm

800px-GeminiCentaur.svg.png

Edited by Death Engineering
updated leaderboard

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Gemini Style Direct Ascent Landing

The inspiration for this challenge came from my attempt to complete the Doing it Apollo Style challenge using a Gemini style mission. Since the Gemini mission didn't really fit into that challenge, and I've always had a soft-spot for the Gemini spacecraft, I felt this challenge would be a good way to explore some real-world technology and how it could have been used in an alternate history.

My attempt at Doing it Gemini Style:

Primary mission objective (+20)

Mission

  • Direct Ascent (+4): Using a single launch, establish a crewed Munar orbit.
  • Landing prestige: One Kerbal on the Mun (+7). Second Kerbal on the Mun (+4).

Capsule

  • Happy together (+3): Both crew members are never separated by more than 10km
  • We're done with that (+3): Detachable support module (Jettison from command module before Kerbin landing at least three of:RCS cells, electrical systems, lighting, legs, retro package)
  • Just in case (+3): Launch Escape System present

Lifter

  • Won't Apollo miss that Saturn 5? (+6): At least one rocket uses a 5 engine first stage and a 5 engine second stage.

Lander

  • Dropping some weight (+3): At least one of the primary or backup Munar surface return vessels leaves behind its Munar descent stage.

Recovery

  • Welcome home (+10): Both crew return to Kerbin
  • We can take it (+3): Be able to safely return to Kerbin on water or land without damage.

Crazy 60's details

  • We are outta here (+3): The Launch Escape System ejects both crew in their own separate crafts. The Gemini had fighter jet style ejection seats.

Total: 69

8ZYXT5kl.png

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I'm going to do it, and I'll try for glorious paraglider return to boot.

edit: By skids, do you mean normal deployable landing gear?

Edited by HueHue
1 person likes this

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Hm - I'll might have a try on this one. Sadly there is no two-man capsule.

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stick 2 of the 1 man capsules one on top of the other, or use a landercan with a conical thingy to make it look like a capsule :)

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You can use a 3 man capsule and put only 2 kerbals in it =D

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I'm going to do it, and I'll try for glorious paraglider return to boot.

edit: By skids, do you mean normal deployable landing gear?

That would work. I'm sure that correctly placed landing legs could be presented as skids, as well.

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Well, I'm working on this challenge - a preview picture of my first testflight, practicing orbital docking:

eMGpXCI.jpg

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My Saturn IB first stage may keep exploding for reasons unknown, but at least the LES works...

TlJKw7S.png

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In the mission objectives it says 1-2 launches, but can there be 4 if I send a backup vehicle?

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Gemini, huh? Fresh. This is a nice change of pace to the Mun. I'm in.

But, can we have a stock/mods distinction? I've got a great looking craft that uses a lot of KW Rocketry parts, but I didn't see that the first mission requirement was that this is stock.

Cheers.

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I'm really enjoying this challenge, got my Gemini module designed and tested, but I'm a bit confused by the Münar Orbit Rendevous goal - surely that only needs one launch, since LOR is "Apollo-style"?

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In the mission objectives it says 1-2 launches, but can there be 4 if I send a backup vehicle?

If your primary lunar mission is a single launch, your rescue mission is the second launch, with a maximum of two launches for the primary and rescue mission. If you are using an EOR/LOR approach, your rescue mission is the third and final mission.

The intent of this rule is to use a Direct Ascent rescue mission in the style of the Gemini Lunar Surface Rescue Spacecraft

Gemini, huh? Fresh. This is a nice change of pace to the Mun. I'm in.

But, can we have a stock/mods distinction? I've got a great looking craft that uses a lot of KW Rocketry parts, but I didn't see that the first mission requirement was that this is stock.

Great idea! I don't think that there is an advantage/disadvantage to using stock parts in this challenge. Having never used mod parts, however, if there should be a handicap/bonus points as part of the stock vs. mod parts to this challenge, I'm open to suggestions.

"Mod" leaderboard added.

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I'll probably try this one out in the near future; it sounds interesting and lord knows the Apollo mission was challenging enough.

Re-asking the question regarding landing skids - do lander legs count for that purpose? Need to know for design planning purposes.

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I'll probably try this one out in the near future; it sounds interesting and lord knows the Apollo mission was challenging enough.

Re-asking the question regarding landing skids - do lander legs count for that purpose? Need to know for design planning purposes.

Landing legs totally count as skids.

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If I launch the Gemini by Saturn S-3 and the lander by Titan III, do I get both launcher bonuses?

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If I launch the Gemini by Saturn S-3 and the lander by Titan III, do I get both launcher bonuses?

Absolutely! :D

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This looks REALLY cool! I'll certainly try this out when I get back home. :)

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I've finally got a first stage Saturn that doesn't explode at every launch, so I'll leave you guys with a preview as I launch my first official mission for the challenge.

NNn9gCY.png

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I made a Gemini mod, even has the single man mun lander and Gemini orbital CSM.

 

SpaceportGif1.gif

Edited by frizzank

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Done!

Base points (20): Two man vessel does a Munshot or landing

Munar Orbit Rendezvous (+6): Using two launches to low Kerbin orbit, separately send two spacecraft to Munar orbit. Once there, dock them together and complete a landing mission.

Landing prestige: One Kerbal on the Mun (+7). Second Kerbal on the Mun (+4).

Happy together (+3): Both crew members are never separated by more than 10km

We're done with that (+3): Detachable support module (Jettison from command module before Kerbin landing at least three of:RCS cells, electrical systems, lighting, legs, retro package)

Just in case (+3): Launch Escape System present

Wow, A Titan III!(+3): At least one of the rockets earns 'Is that a Titan II?' and has two strap on SRB's on the first stage.

Saturn S-3? That's your full-size (+5): At least one rocket uses a 3 engine first stage and a 4 engine second stage.

On your space bike (+4): At least one open cockpit lander

Dropping some weight (+3): At least one of the primary or backup Munar surface return vessels leaves behind its Munar descent stage.

Making it count (+2): Earn 'Dropping some weight' and have a powered probe core on the discarded descent stage. Must remain powered at least until the crew lands on Kerbin.

Welcome home (+10): Both crew return to Kerbin

We can take it (+3): Be able to safely return to Kerbin on water or land without damage.

76 points, if I did the math right.

I can't figure out for the life of me how to imbed Imgur albums, so I'll leave a link here. It looks like a few pictures failed to upload, but what's left should give you enough to go on.

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Didn't use mod parts, but am using Build/Flight Engineer & Sub-assembly Loader. Mission comprised three launches: The rescue module, configured for Direct Ascent and launched on a three stage Saturn 3B; two landers, an Agena module & the Centaur kicker on a Saturn IB; and the manned Gemini module on a Titan III.

I tried to fit the landers on the Titan, but after reworking my original lander design (~1.2 tonnes) to include a detachable probe/descent stage, they topped 4 tonnes each - way too much for the Titan, so they got balanced way up on the Saturn IB.

The rescue launch went first, lifting into orbit with the first two stages and making Trans-Münar Injection (TMI) with the third. As there's no Münar Insertion stage on the Saturn 3B, I skipped Münar orbit and went straight for a suicide burn with the descent stage - Direct Descent, if you will. Actually worked really well, landing within 10km of the Neil Armstrong memorial.

The kicker modules & command capsule rendezvoused in Kerbin Orbit, though based on the sketches I could find the Gemini capsule had to dock itself between the landers and the kickers. The Centaur made the TMI and was discarded a little short, so it impacted the Mün, then the Agena module made Münar injection. I wasn't sure there would be enough fuel in the Agena module to get back, as I'd tested the same configuration with a Münar orbital mission earlier, but hadn't counted on the size of the landers (or that there would be two - changed this when I noticed the extra points).

I had to wait a day or so until the landing site was in sunlight, then the two Kerbalnauts made their descents one at a time, with a full orbit between each descent. The landings were accurate-ish, no more than 6.6km from the rescue module or each other. On the way down, the off-centre weight of the Kerbalnaut caused the new-style SAS to drift (really wish we could have the old-style SAS modules as a separate part), which meant the launching in a controlled fashion would be impossible - at least, not without burning up all the monopropellant. So instead, Bill (the second pilot) flew his ascent stage over to Jeb and hopped onto the spare seat (huh, redundancies are useful after all) - though as Bill's lander still had it's docking port attached, I probably should have done that the other way around. Managed to make orbit (just) and rendezvous with the Gemini Capsule, discarded the lander then made the Trans-Kerbin burn home.

In an annoying twist, the Rockomax adapter I used as a "heatshield" has a really low impact tolerance, so if you land it at sea level it survives, but the reduced air resistance above 1km is enough to damage it, so I lost points there for stupid reasons. Should have gone with the landing legs...

Alright, here's the mission record:

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And here's my score:

Primary mission objective (+20)

Bonus points:

Mission

Earth Orbit Rendezvous (+5): Using two launches to low Kerbin orbit, dock two spacecraft. Once docked, send the docked spacecraft to Munar orbit.

Landing prestige: One Kerbal on the Mun (+7). Second Kerbal on the Mun (+4).

Capsule

Just in case (+3): Launch Escape System present

Lifter

Is that a Titan II? (+2): At least one of the rockets uses a two-engine cluster first stage and a single engine cluster second stage.

Wow, A Titan III!(+3): At least one of the rockets earns 'Is that a Titan II?' and has two strap on SRB's on the first stage.

That looks like Saturn 1B! (+4): At least one of the rockets uses a first stage cluster with 8 engines

Saturn S-3? That's your full-size (+5): At least one rocket uses a 3 engine first stage and a 4 engine second stage.

That's no bull (+2): Trans Munar injection booster is a two-engine cluster, like the Centaur kicker stage.

Lander

On your space bike (+4): At least one open cockpit lander

Dropping some weight (+3): At least one of the primary or backup Munar surface return vessels leaves behind its Munar descent stage.

Making it count (+2): Earn 'Dropping some weight' and have a powered probe core on the discarded descent stage. Must remain powered at least until the crew lands on Kerbin.

Since we're there (+2): If used, the backup Munar surface return vehicle earns 'Dropping some weight' and 'Making it count'.

Recovery

Welcome home (+10): Both crew return to Kerbin

Crazy 60's details

Easy Rider (+3): Using open cockpit landers ('On your space bike'), land both Kerbal crew members on the Mun independently.

Got your back (+6): Another two-crew capable empty Gemini return vehicle can be launched and landed within 10km of the primary mission as an emergency return vehicle. Must completely perform Munar ascent to Kerbin landing, or dock with a return-capable vessel in Mun orbit.

We have a reservation (+7): Land a crew on the Mun within 10km of a previously landed empty spacecraft. Must completely perform Munar ascent to Kerbin landing, or dock with a return-capable vessel in Mun orbit.

Total: 92 points

I have to say, this has been an amazingly fun challenge. Researching the proposals for Gemini and replicating the different rocket & booster configurations was awesome, and the mission objectives are really well written. Will probably make a second attempt to complete some of the capsule & recovery objectives now...

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Here's my attempt. Nothing extravagant, and not an insanely high score, but it was fun no less. :)

Primary mission objective (+20):

  • Stock or Mod parts*. Separate leaderboard for each.
  • Using a mission profile of 1-2 launches and a two-Kerbal crew, orbit both Kerbals around the Mun and return the crew to Kerbin.
  • Up to three missions may be launched if a Munar rescue mission is launched.

Bonus points:

Mission

  • Direct Ascent (+4): Using a single launch, establish a crewed Munar orbit.
  • Landing prestige: One Kerbal on the Mun (+7). Second Kerbal on the Mun (+4).
  • Faster, better, cheaper - Rover bonus (+0): You can't afford a rover on the Gemini budget.

Capsule

  • Happy together (+3): Both crew members are never separated by more than 10km
  • Just in case (+3): Launch Escape System present

Lifter

  • Won't Apollo miss that Saturn 5? (+6): At least one rocket uses a 5 engine first stage and a 5 engine second stage.

Lander

  • Dropping some weight (+3): At least one of the primary or backup Munar surface return vessels leaves behind its Munar descent stage.

Recovery

  • Welcome home (+10): Both crew return to Kerbin
  • We can take it (+3): Be able to safely return to Kerbin on water or land without damage.

Score: 63

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Mods used: KW Rocketry, Engineering Redux, Kosmos (only part used was the flood light. I like the small profile of them better than the bulky stock lights.)

Edited by Franzie360

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My entry:

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I chose the rather odd Munar Orbit Rendezvous mission profile - I launched the lander and put it into münar orbit. Then I started to Kerbals in the Mothership and put it into münar orbit. There they docked, Bill went to the Mün, launched again, entered the mothership without another dock and together they left for Kerbin. I LOVE the idea of the one-man-open lander - that was really fun ;)

Primary mission objective (+20):

Stock or Mod parts*. Separate leaderboard for each. 100% stock

Using a mission profile of 1-2 launches and a two-Kerbal crew, orbit both Kerbals around the Mun and return the crew to Kerbin. two launches

Up to three missions may be launched if a Munar rescue mission is launched. two missions

Mission

Munar Orbit Rendezvous (+6): Using two launches to low Kerbin orbit, separately send two spacecraft to Munar orbit. Once there, dock them together and complete a landing mission. check

Landing prestige: One Kerbal on the Mun (+7). check

Capsule

We're done with that (+3): Detachable support module (Jettison from command module before Kerbin landing at least three of:RCS cells, electrical systems, lighting, legs, retro package) check

Just in case (+3): Launch Escape System present check

Lifter

Won't Apollo miss that Saturn 5? (+6): At least one rocket uses a 5 engine first stage and a 5 engine second stage. check

Lander

On your space bike (+4): At least one open cockpit lander check

Recovery

Welcome home (+10): Both crew return to Kerbin check

We can take it (+3): Be able to safely return to Kerbin on water or land without damage. check

62 points!

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