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A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S for aerobraking on Duna


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Is it practical to aerobrake with airbrakes on Duna? I'm planning for fully fledged Duna mission involving tankers. I was a bit worried as I heard that Duna's atmosphere is too thin for a heavy craft to shave off reasonable amount of speed. As its atmosphere is mild as to heating, would it be possible to use airbreaks? Or wouldn't it be needed? (Or, should I use inflatable headshields?)

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Air brakes will work on Duna, but they won't slow you very much due to the thin atmosphere. Either use a heat shield or a space plane with extreme AoA for maximum drag. Either way, the periapsis will need to be very low.

Duna is easy enough to reach that it isn't hard to take a little extra fuel for a powered capture.

Edited by Wanderfound
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are you trying to land or do you want to reach a stable orbit? 

for landing i would advice you to go for a  minimum amount of parachutes.

it won't slow you down enough to land without crashing but if you brake with your rocket at the last moment(say 50 m/s) it will be cheaper (delta v wise) than hauling in tonnes of parachutes or airbrakes.

just build a craft and put it into orbit with hyper edit or alt f12. you can test how many chutes you need.

imho heat shields are not necessary on the red planet. at least not for heat shielding while airobraking.

getting into orbit:  getting into orbit can be done with air brakes but in many cases you don't need them.  just lower your pe to approximately 20 km and let the atmosphere do its magic. there are mods that can help you predict the influence of the atmosphere on your final orbit. i don't know the name by heart but if you like i can find you a link. 

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If having difficulty slowing down enough to get a closed orbit, maybe try aerobraking over north or south pole; terrain over the ice caps is quite level, so you can go very deep into Duna's atmosphere without worry of getting cratered on a mountainside. Combined with trajectories mod, that should be quite easy.

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On 9.6.2017 at 3:24 PM, xendelaar said:

are you trying to land or do you want to reach a stable orbit? 

for landing i would advice you to go for a  minimum amount of parachutes.

it won't slow you down enough to land without crashing but if you brake with your rocket at the last moment(say 50 m/s) it will be cheaper (delta v wise) than hauling in tonnes of parachutes or airbrakes.

just build a craft and put it into orbit with hyper edit or alt f12. you can test how many chutes you need.

imho heat shields are not necessary on the red planet. at least not for heat shielding while airobraking.

getting into orbit:  getting into orbit can be done with air brakes but in many cases you don't need them.  just lower your pe to approximately 20 km and let the atmosphere do its magic. there are mods that can help you predict the influence of the atmosphere on your final orbit. i don't know the name by heart but if you like i can find you a link. 

 and 

 

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Aerocapture on Duna is "easy" just have some radiators and don`be too shy... You can basically save all your fuel, but your landingite is then by chance (or well calculated)...
Its quite hard to burn up a vessel coming in with solar orbit speeds... look the altitude and the mass of the ship (This came from Kerbin hohmannorbit trajectory, one dip was sufficient to circularize Duna at very low altitude. )
From my experience in 1.3 you can save way more than 1000 deltaV of fuel in one dive, probably much more depends where you`re coming from and how resistant the hull and structure is.

OnDVYax.png
 

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