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Found 8 results

  1. The SLS was planned to have a large upper stage called the Exploration Upper Stage(EUS). This would take the SLS Block 1 to the SLS Block 2, needed for a single flight lunar architecture. However, the multi-billion dollar cost for development of a large upper stage from scratch means it’s unlikely to be funded. NASA is proposing a solution using the Starship making separate flights. But this plan takes 6 flights total or likely more of the Superheavy/Starship for the Starship to fly to the Moon to act as a lander. One look at this plan makes it apparent it’s unworkable: Actually, it’s likely to be more complex than portrayed in the figure, needing 8 to 16 refueling flights. This is what SpaceX submitted to NASA in proposing the plan, requiring 6 months to complete the Starship refueling: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk details orbital refueling plans for Starship Moon lander. By Eric Ralph Posted on August 12, 2021 First, SpaceX will launch a custom variant of Starship that was redacted in the GAO decision document but confirmed by NASA to be a propellant storage (or depot) ship last year. Second, after the depot Starship is in a stable orbit, SpaceX’s NASA HLS proposal reportedly states that the company would begin a series of 14 tanker launches spread over almost six months – each of which would dock with the depot and gradually fill its tanks. … In response to GAO revealing that SpaceX proposed as many as 16 launches – including 14 refuelings – spaced ~12 days apart for every Starship Moon lander mission, Musk says that a need for “16 flights is extremely unlikely.” Instead, assuming each Starship tanker is able to deliver a full 150 tons of payload (propellant) into orbit after a few years of design maturation, Musk believes that it’s unlikely to take more than eight tanker launches to refuel the depot ship – or a total of ten launches including the depot and lander. https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-musk-starship-orbital-refueling-details/ Everyone, remember the Apollo missions where we could get to the Moon in a single flight? In fact, this would be doable with the SLS given a large upper stage. Then the suggestion is for the ESA to provide a Ariane 5 or 6 as the upper stage for the SLS. It would save on costs to NASA by ESA paying for the modifications needed for the Ariane core. As it is now ESA is involved in a small role in the Artemis lunar program by providing the service module to the Orion capsule. But it would now be playing a major role by providing the key upper stage for the SLS. The argument might be made that the height of the Ariane 5/6 is beyond the limitations set forth by NASA for the EUS. However, if you look at the ca. 30 m height of Ariane 5 core compared to the 14 m height of the interim cryogenic upper stage now on the SLS, this would put the total vehicle height only a couple of meters beyond the height that had already been planned for the SLS Block 2 anyway: See discussion here: Budget Moon Flights: Ariane 5 as SLS upper stage, page 2. https://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2013/09/budget-moon-flights-ariane-5-as-sls.html Coming up: ESA also could provide a low cost lander for the Artemis program. Robert Clark
  2. Previously, I would have discussed this on Reddit in r/SpaceXLounge, but with the new moderation there they won’t let you discuss anything controversial or speculative. Starship and modeler pics seem to be the name of the game now. For several years I’ve been thinking of mission architectures that could get us back to the Moon by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo manned lunar missions. We missed the Apollo 11 50th anniversary, but we MIGHT have been able to make the Apollo 17 50th anniversary of Dec. 2022. This is where it gets controversial. The SpaceX architecture of making 8 to 16 refueling flights for Moon or Mars flights is a bad architecture. There is a reason why the Apollo missions used a launcher with 3 stages and then 2 more stages for the lander for their round-trip missions. For missions with that high a delta-v requirement multiple stages are critical. SpaceX by using multiple refueling flights is acknowledging that, just in a very inefficient manner. The point of the matter is SpaceX could have done a manned Moon or Mars flights with a single launch IF they had given their launcher a 3rd stage. The 3rd stage could have been comparable size to the Starhopper. Yes, I know the actual Starhopper was not space-worthy but the point of the matter is by continuing it’s development along side the Starship they would have had a space-worthy vehicle capable of lunar landing and return by now. SuperHeavy+Starship+Starhopper single launch missions to the Moon or Mars. It would have been so beautiful … See here: http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2019/07/starhopperstarship-as-heavy-lift.html Anyone up to the challenge of a sim? Robert Clark
  3. http://chng.it/GRKGXg6SgK Might need to move this to Science & Spaceflight.
  4. This is spectacular. The visuals are amazing. Finally some producers understand what space is. Dark sky without stars in daylight, no ambient sound in vacuum, ballistic dust (no convection), and there is even electrostatic lunar dust, it's amazing. I'm just curious how is normal walking in the base explained, because that's not realistic.
  5. In one of my RSS/RO/RP-1 campaigns, I ended up launching a spaceplane before any manned capsules (because reasons), and decided it would be fun to role-play a world where ballistic re-entry is considered unsafe for humans. This does of course make BLEO (Beyond Low Earth Orbit) missions rather awkward, as you can't use the atmosphere to slow you down on the way back. But, with a massively over-complicated multi-launch architecture, I managed to perform a manned lunar fly-by with nary a heat-shield in sight (and all LVs under 275t GLOM). The full write-up, with 65 screenshots, is here on my website.
  6. Hey all, I'm trying to do a crewed lunar flyby in RSS, and I don't really have the tech yet to build a crewed lunar orbiter yet. I was planning to use the science I got from the flyby to unlock better engines and allow a follow up orbital mission. I was planning to do a nice free return trajectory, but I seem to be having serious problems plotting what I am after. Ideally, I want a free return trajectory with the lowest possible perilune (for the science), that is less than 15 days from launch to reentry (life support), and especially a posigrade reentry. I've learned the hard way that even a lunar rated heat shield is generally not enough protection for a retrograde lunar return reentry. Delta-V is not really a barrier, as I have around 4 km/s in the transfer stage. I keep either getting retrograde reentry trajectories, or trajectories that barely enter lunar SOI and take 13+ days to complete. I guess I don't really understand how free returns actually work. I am also curious about the Apollo 13 trajectory, and specifically how the "PC+2" burn (that shortened flight time) worked. Thanks!
  7. Hey guys Got a follow on question to something I asked before. I'm playing with RO/RSS, but I believe this topic should apply to stock as well. Basically, I'd like to know how to get a perilune below 50 km, that will allow me to correct for an Earth return with 300 m/s dV or less. I have a bare bones system with Mk1 pod, lunar heatshield, and service bay, on top of a rocket that can comfortably send it to any type of lunar transfer orbit. I've done a free return successfully now, but I didn't manage to get close enough to complete the contract or get low-space lunar science. I belive I can increase service module dV by 100 m/s or so, but not much more without designing a whole new rocket. (NOTE: I guess if using stock system, think about the service module as holding 100 m/s or so, and the perimun being less than ~30 km) Thanks!
  8. I, Hotel26, have created a pylon course on the Mun. It's a short, triangular course over some of the most rugged scenery the Mun's equator has to offer. Download this Lunar Pylon Course which is a save world to be unpacked in ./saves, next to your other worlds. It comes equipped with 1x Gossamer Albatross parked at the course start next to one of the 3x xenon/MP refueling trucks that mark the course [the "pylons"]. The Albatross is also available (for a limited time, so hurry) from https://kerbalx.com/Hotel26/Gossamer-Albatross How fast do you think you can fly the course? Note the MET (Mission Elapsed Time), take off, fly around the course (on the outside of the pylons!) and land back next to the truck at the origin. Note your MET again and compute your flight duration. Instructions for flying the Albatross are located here: This is the FIRST of THREE challenges I have planned in order to SHAMELESSLY SELF-PROMOTE the awesome power of IONS! [..depending upon audience response...continuing availability of xenon...bla bla bla] Go for it. Have fun! Don't let me hear those crickets now...
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