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Constellation Moon Mission Pack

Initially worked on after I saw the Constellation Mission Packs Discussion Thread, I had neglected the project part way through, with the Ares I and Ares V mostly completed (if I recall correctly, it may have been to a bug). After almost two years, I've finished the once unfinished business—it's out! 

 

Ares I and Orion

Spoiler

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The Ares I would have carried astronauts aboard the Orion crew capsule. The first stage was an extended Space Shuttle SRB, while the upper stage was derived from the shuttle External tank and based on the Saturn V third stage with a J-2X engine derived from the J-2 used aboard the Saturn V. The rocket features a Launch Escape system but be warned; separating it (which is inevitably done for docking capabilities) from the capsule tends to rip off the docking ports, generally mitigated by not firing rocket engines at the time of separation. In general it does however save the kerbals. The rockets is  notoriously unwieldy, which is why I recommend using the vernor engines (it is recommended to disable the Orion's RCS during launch). Even then you will generally fly a steep trajectory, but this is compensated by the second stage's large fuel reserves. 

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The SRB has a probe core; it is recommended to use reserve fuel for the vernors to point sideways to increase drag. Sadly the parachutes provided do not generally save the SRB—more are recommended, but three is the actual number.

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The Orion has a fair amount of fuel—but even this is still barely enough to carry the heavy Altair lander with it.

Ares V with Altair

Spoiler

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If built, the Ares V would have been the largest rocket built—both in height and lift capability. This replica features a slow burnout of the extended Shuttle SRBs as would be expected in real life, done by having different pairs of SRBs have certain thrust limiters. The five engined core has plenty of fuel for entering orbit. 
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The Earth Departure Stage would have one or two J2-X engines and the animations depict it with skirt sections that separate just before ignition—my replica achieves this with a completely smooth decoupling of it.VJGBiEz.png

Here's the Altair coming in for a landing—keep in mind that the thrust of the Altair is quite low, so it may take a few tries for you to get the landing right. Keep in mind that the hatch is blocked—you sadly can't go out...vSv3VGE.png

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Here's the second stage—it uses the heavy-ish engine with a large bell to appear accurate, but the small LV-909's should be used for more Delta-V.

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Going Home

Now that you've seen the landing and take off, let's watch the kerbals get home! It should be noted that fuel reserves tend to be quite low at this point—be efficient with how the fuel is spent...

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DOWNLOADS

Ares I and Orion

Ares V and Altair

If you've found any issues or if you have feedback on ships, feel free to note them in the comments, I'd be happy to fix it.

 

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Nice work matey! I know how tricky these are to make well and you've done a great job recreating these craft.

 :)

 

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