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Speeding Mullet

JSC Shuttle IIc [Stock]

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JSC SHUTTLE IIC

shuttleIIb.jpg

 

I've been spending quite a lot of time with shuttles recently, and having really tested my Buran thoroughly with every single mission profile in the STS challenge, plus using it to collect and land an asteroid, I thought it was time to look at a new design.  STS seemed a little obvious, but while browsing shuttle concepts I found the JSC Shuttle IIc and was instantly hooked on the retro-futurist look of the shuttle.  Pictures vary but basically I had to make this when I saw it.  I'm sure you'll agree it's a mean looking shuttle.

 

And here's my version.  It is a work in progress (largely cosmetic), but is already pretty refined and capable of full mission profiles (and full mission failures):

wyBMy7e.png  

 

The shuttle is 192 parts and 268t on the pad without a payload.  I think the side view is really elegant, and I'm pretty pleased with the over all look compared to the original mock ups, especially considering this is total stock.  It's got pretty much a full length payload bay apart from the reaction wheel and senior docking port, which mean that while it can take the inigma fuel pod to orbit it's a bit of a squeeze, and I could do with moving the reaction wheel to make space.  Hey it's a work in progress, so there's a snagging list.

What I am particularly proud of is the escape system.  The JSC Shuttle IIc was in design study when Challenger was lost, and crew safety was top of the consideration list.  Consequently the crew cabin was designed to separate in emergency and return from orbit on it's own:

shuttleIIj.jpg

 

Thinking about how to design this was pretty difficult, especially to make it look like a seamless join in the shuttle, so this is what I settled on:

cROnafi.png4w0hwdC.png

 

As you can see I've used two Mk3 engine mounts reversed to each other with the gaps made up by radiators positioned to look like the skin of the shuttle.  It's pretty seamless and provides just enough space for the emergency separation mechanism.  It's not quiiiite powerful enough to save you from an on pad failure, but it can abort to orbit above a certain height, and is extremely versatile during re-entry calamities.  Any angle, rotation, you name it, the separation mechanism does and wonderful job and allows the crew a safe landing on land or water as we can see here:

 

 

The front end of the shuttle is explosively separated from the body of the shuttle and set up so it will always immediately find prograde even if the abort is completed at a funny angle.  The front end is capable of water based as well as land based touchdowns, and can abort to orbit, abort de-orbit with its RCS engines, or just handle those harsh re-entry meltdowns.

 

Now under normal flying conditions the Shuttle behaves very well indeed and while re-entry could do with some refinement it's perfectly happy returning from a 500km orbit.  It's rated really for a 10-15t payload as normal maximum to that altitude, but with jigging about it would probably cater for a lot more.  Here's some photo's of a typical mission without the need for the crew cabin ejection:

 

 

 

This is a work in progress, so I'd expect much like my Buran major deign reviews will take place, but I'd invite you to download the craft file and have a go yourself.  I'm certainly open to any advice or feedback on this one, it's been a very challenging build and for sure there is improvements to be made.

 

SM

 

Edited by Speeding Mullet

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Absolutely beautiful. And that escape system... it looks very safe and (lacking a better adjective here) very kerbal at the same time.

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8 hours ago, selfish_meme said:

I love it.

thanking you very much indeed!  It's definitely WIP, mostly in terms of cosmetics, but I think the re-entry could do with some work.  It uses quite a lot of mono to keep AoA on re-entry.  I'm loathed to slam 50 torque wheels in there, but I managed to make my Buran without a torque wheel so I'm hoping for the same with this one!

8 hours ago, Evanitis said:

Absolutely beautiful. And that escape system... it looks very safe and (lacking a better adjective here) very kerbal at the same time.

Haha yes it is very Kerbal indeed.  Pressing the big red abort button definitely results in a rapid planned disassembly (mostly), but the main objective of the crew compartment surviving is fulfilled every time.  From what I can see the sepatrons basically melt the main body of the shuttle when they fire off which is fine, but I could probably clean up the process and inject more force in there to provide a pad abort capability.  Might look at that down the line.

SM

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