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The latest NASA budget suggests the Europa Clipper, an orbiter mission to the Jovian-system to study Europa, won’t fly on the SLS, but instead on commercial rockets: https://mobile.twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1105131948903747584 However, instead of just an orbiter mission, by using commercial rockets, we can do it as an actual lander mission at a fraction of the cost of the SLS-based orbiter mission. In fact, it could be so low cost so as to be fully privately financed and at a profit. http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2015/02/low-cost-europa-lander-missions.html This written in 2015. Since then the F9 has been increases in payload nearly 50% and the FH by nearly 25%. So the landers could be made larger or more capable in-space stages could be used to shorten the flight time. I had assumed that the Falcon Heavy couldn't carry the full Europa Clipper orbiter at 6 ton gross mass to Jupiter. And speculation had been the addition of a Star 48 solid-stage would allow the EC mission on a FH but it would require an Earth gravity-assist that would lengthen the flight time to 6 years. However, I was surprised when I ran the numbers that the upgraded version of the FH could do the mission with plenty of margin with the addition of one of the existing cryogenic upper stages. The extra margin would actually allow you to shorten the flight time from the 2.7 years expected with the SLS. Bob Clark
*click for full res version!* Hey guys! Following the release of my newest short cinematic, Science, I decided I'd release the -all stock- star of the show: Marte Having actually used the whole design before even having the idea for the film, I can vouch that it works excellently, and is great for anyone who is wanting to try and go to the next stage in their space program. Whether you need a reference craft capable of reaching various interplanetary destinations for designing your own, or for practicing aerocaptures and rover landings, the Marte should be a great tool! Grab the craft on KerbalX, here! If you want subassemblies, and a written guide on how to use it, check here! https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3KMolVXKZX_ZW11S0xqb2Rma3M "Short cinematic you say? I wanna see that!" Check it out!
Space Shuttle and Centaur G The last few days I've been working on redesigning my space shuttle. Here's the shuttle: Stats: - Can take >45t to LKO - can transfer to minmus and orbit and back using an orange tank and 1/4 orange tank - the ET and OMS is about 1/2 full for most missions Centaur G: I was watching an EJ_sa VOD and decided to build a reusable centaur G. Stats: - able to carry more payload than in the picture -can swap out the from tank for more range