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The ISS is a space station complex that has conducted significant research. However, with the expiration date set to 2024 (possibly, and preferably to 2028), NASA will be left without a space-based research lab to work from. However, as NASA's budget is limited, how would such a LEO space station look like? (Cost estimates are based off of released figures on making those modules) V1: Basic, 3-man Version: Primary module: EUS H2 tank-based Skylab-2 Orbital Workshop. A 32-Ton "Dry Workshop" space station module, it contains its own life support and power systems (including solar panels and radiators. It uses its robotic arm, placed on its aft, to dock the other space station modules to it. It is primarily used as a lab and a storage area. Cost: $2 Billion. Permanent BEAM-Derived Inflatable Airlock: A 2 T module, this module can also be adapted for use in Bigelow's own space station. It is large enough to support 3 astronauts inside, and is based off of the ISS' Quest Airlock for its functionality, and BEAM for its structure. US airlock Cost: 17.8 Million (cost of what it took to make the 1st BEAM), possibly more. Modified PMA: Allows crew to dock to this space station, and is designed to connect to commercial crew vehicles. It is 1.6 T in mass, and there are two of these aboard the station. The other space station modules are built from leftover ISS hardware: Node 4: A 12 Tons Module, Node 4 creates extra docking ports, along with a crew habitat for this space station. It also connects this station to other modules (if using the extended version) and commercial cargo and crew spacecraft (two crew spacecraft is left docked, one (at the Starboard port) as a backup, and the other (Forward) as the primary. It's aft port is used to connect the space station on Skylab II. Its nadir docking port is used as a cargo berthing port (a second is not needed, due to its lower cargo requirements. The Port docking port is used for the BEAM-Derived Airlock. Node 4 is built from the Node 1 STA. PMM-2: A 10 tons module, the Pernament Multipurpose Module-2 is located on the space station's Zenith port, and is a life sciences lab. It is built from MPLM-2, used for Suttle logistics missions to the ISS. Interim Control Module (modified to be a 6T permanent module): This module is not designed to be refuelled (except maybe by EVA?), so it is only intended for emergency burns. It is located on the space stations' forward port. The basic version also adds 9T of Solar panel and radiator assembly onto Skylab II's aft. The basic version uses one SLS Block IB launch to launch itself (along with a partially-fuelled Orion) into LEO. Extended Version: The extended version would add another Node (Node V), attached to the station by its aft side, and built completely new (which is attached to the forward side of the node). The airlock is moved to the port side of Node V), another berthing port (at Node V's nadir) is also added. Port port of Node V have PMM 3, built from a leftover Shuttle Multi-purpose logistics module and used as a lab (though PMM-3 is also used for some storage). The Starboard port is attached with either a BA-330 (launched separately on a Falcon Heavy) or a refurbrished, completed Centrifuge Accomodations Module, a life sciences lab with a centrifuge. CAM and PMM-3 are both 10 tons in mass. BA-330, is 20 T in mass. The Zenith port of Node V is used for a backup docking port. The extended version also adds another 9T of Solar Panel and radiator assembly, from the basic version, onto Skylab II's aft, nearly identical the the first attached. The extensions are launched by a single SLS Block I (without a upper stage- it also cannot be launched on a Falcon Heavy, as it lacks a large enough fairing to launch the modules at once) using a specially designed tug to carry the modules to the space station. How good of a concept is this? Is there any chance it will happen? The basic, single launch space station is the baseline, by the way.
How do we fill up the SLS 2021-2025 launch manifiest and launch once a year? Currently there are 2 (3 if including Asteroid Redirect Mission) planned SLS Missions for this time period- EM-2, a Manned Lunar Orbital mission, for 2021. SLS-Europa Clipper, a unmanned SLS probe launch, for 2025. and EM-3/ARM, a manned mission to a captured boulder orbiting the Moon, also for 2025. This leaves 2023 and 2022 without having any SLS launches (since 2025 is a year with 2 SLS launches. The next presidency will choose the ultimate near-term goal for the SLS-Orion Program, but the hardware required may not be developed in time- especially if it requires more new technology (like a Lunar Lander), compared to the currently favoured Lunar Space Station (which can be developed more quickly and its lessons are valuable for various deep-space destinations (including long-term habitation of the Moon). On the other hand, ESA is developing its own Jupiter Orbiter, Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or JUICE, to study Castillo, Europa, and Ganymede (later orbiting Ganymede). It is planned to launch in 2022, using a VEEGA gravity Assist trajectory to sling it to the Jupiter system. As a result, it would arrive in 2030, while Europa Clipper, which is just as complex, if not more (now that it has a lander, and needs to survive Jupiter's radiation belts) arrives in 2027, BEFORE the somewhat less risky Ganymede and Castillo-focused JUICE. If JUICE instead used the SLS Block IB (To be safe, as JUICE is about Five Tons mass, and SLS Block I can only carry up to 4.3 T to Jupiter on a direct trajectory- even a STAR motor may not be enough, and the situation would get worse if the proposed Russian Laplace-P lander is built and attached to JUICE, though unlikely due to Rocosmos' budget cuts) it could get to Jupiter by 2024, a transit time of 2 years. This is advantageous for more than just filling SLS' launch schedule: 1. If it arrives in 2034, JUICE can also use its few Europa flybys during its 3 year tour of the Jupiter system before Ganymede orbit insertion to give missions planners guidelines on where to flyby- currently, only the old Galileo probe produced data capable of doing this job. Not only are these measurements from old 70's-80's era probes (Galileo was delayed from a 1986 launch due to Challenger), Galileo also had to use its low-gain antenna, as its high-gain antenna did not deploy, meaning even less data for Europa mission planners to work with. Using JUICE for basic reconnaissance of Europan destinations would make Europan mission planners more confident in where they should flyby (even more important, since they have to set down a lander at a scientifically important place), not to mention wet the tongues of scientists and science nerds like. 2. The lower transit time means more science, as the components of the probe will not have to survive the approx. 6 extra years in deep space- meaning the critical components (like instruments and solar panels) will likely last longer, meaning more science overall! (Especially solar panels, which degrades under Jupiter's radiation belts, so you need them in tip top condition when they get there in the first place.) 3. Faster transit time also means faster science, allowing future missions to these icy moons to themselves take place earlier (if the budget allows it, or course. Castillo Orbiter anybody?). It's also better for scientists. There are disadvantages, though: 1. Higher Cost for launch (duh). Ariane V, the current JUICE launcher, costs $200 Million per launch, while the SLS Block I costs $500 million per launch (the Block IB is more costly, but cost per launch is unknown. Let's just say $700 Million. (Saturn V was about $1.5 Billion per launch, depending on the estimates) That's a 3.5 x greater cost per launch. 2. Less science from Venus and Asteroids, due to no Venus flybys on a direct trajectory to Jupiter, and only one pass through the asteroid belt via a direct trajectory, rather than 2 with VEEGA. 3. NASA would need to negotiate with ESA- they would need something in return for providing the free SLS launch. 4. Some planning and modifications to JUICE on ESA's side needs to be redone- however, this is likely not a huge issue, as JUICE is launching in 2022, 7 years into the future. Even if building the proposal, getting it approved, and the negotiation process takes 3 years, there are still 4 years to make changes to the probe- probably plenty of time. I propose that this SLS launch would be funded by having ESA build the now-required by Congress Europa Lander, while NASA gives ESA a free ride to Jupiter. So good idea or no? A poll has been set up for this tread.
Space Launch System Part Pack DOWNLOAD: REALISM OVERHAUL: Craft Files: Small fixes between updates: Mod Recommended: Hangar Extender Space Launch System Parts Pack is a modification that adds to the basic game section dedicated to the SLS program. Package contains: SLS Block 1, SLS Block 1B, SLS Block 2 This mod is distributed under the GPL3 license.
This mod is, or will be when it's complete, a set of SLS parts for realism overhaul. Now this isn't the first Space Launch System project for KSP, so to avoid that situation where I spend several months working on the whole thing and then burn out with nothing to show for it I decided to approach it part by part and get the mod out there as soon as the first part was functional. Well here it is! Download: http://spacedock.info/mod/434/Spice%20Launch%20System All the parts nessesary for launching are in, although some lack textures. How to launch Block 1B: SLS can be a bit tricky to launch if you aren't used to launching with inadequate low TWR. This video illustrates a proper launch profile for a 40 ton lunar payload. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNtLzxzo0gg The Orion capsule and service module and spaceX booster setup uses parts from external mods. Orion requires the RO version of Chaka monkey exploration system and the F9 quad booster setup requires LazTek SpaceX launch pack. License: All Rights Reserved