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Kānāwai: Ares to Mars


Jay The Amazing Toaster
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Lunar Outpost MMSEV - Altair 5, 2022

Introducing the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle, or MMSEV for short. A pressurized vehicle that is intended to be flexible and handle a variety of different mission types. The vehicle launching today is a rover that will allow a crew to venture further away from their landing site than previous unpressurized rovers before it. The MMSEV will land near the Lunar Outpost and demonstrate its ability to dock with the module on the surface. The vehicle can and will act as an airlock for the crew until the Pressurized Excursion Module launches next year. The MMSEV will launch on an Ares V with Altair 5.

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The rover will use a robotic ramp structure to get from the top of the Altair down to the surface.

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Landing near Altair 4, on the other side of the hill is the Outpost

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It's a rather steep incline but the low lunar gravity offsets that.

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The uncrewed rover slowly makes it's journey passing the Altair, the rover travels much slower than it would if it was crewed in order to avoid an accident.

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With the arrival at the Lunar Outpost, the rover will demonstrate it's ability to dock with the lone module.

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The rover first aligns itself with the docking port.

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Note the rover's wheels ability to turn 90 degrees.

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The APAS's soft capture ring is extended and the rover slowly creeps sideways until secured with the module.

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Alone no longer! The pair will wait for the next mission, which will bring crew to stay on the surface for longer than any time in history!

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Orion 17 and Altair 6, 2022

The first mission to the Lunar Outpost will be attempted. The crew will stay on the surface of the Moon for 2 weeks, longer than any mission in history to this point.

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Introducing the new and improved Altair! Now with exposed tankage from SSTU, big help from @Zarbon44 for help with this redesign.

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Orion is also now showcasing new solar panels from Restock!

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The new Altair now supports 4 RL10-C-1's more trust and ISP goes a long way to improve performance.

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If you look closely you can see Altair 6 in the background.

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The MMSEV leaves the base remotely to head over and pick up the astronauts.

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The crew departs from the Altair to head over to their new temporary home for the next 2 weeks!

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A flag is planted outside the outpost to symbolize a new era in spaceflight, long term surface stays on other worlds.

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After 2 weeks, the crew leaves Outpost to return to the Altair.

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The landing area to the north of the Outpost is quickly becoming known as "The Graveyard" by the astronauts, home to a growing number of defunct Altair descent stages.

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After the crew is returned to the Altair, the MMSEV doesn't stay around to watch the launch to prevent getting sandblasted and ensure longevity.

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Finally home at last! While shorter than many stays to the ISS, this mission serves as the longest stay on  the surface of another world yet. As the Lunar Outpost gets expanded, even longer and more daring missions will be attempted. Stay tuned!

Edited by Jay The Amazing Toaster
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  • 3 weeks later...

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I was hoping to try and stick to a post every Sunday but unfortunatley midterms have been eating up my time recently.

In the meantime, I have been doing some KSP work for Nick's alternate history timeline Proxima!  I'd encourage all of you to check it out.

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TLDR: Work will continue shortly, but check out Proxima in the meantime!

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24 minutes ago, Jay The Amazing Toaster said:

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I was hoping to try and stick to a post every Sunday but unfortunatley midterms have been eating up my time recently.

In the meantime, I have been doing some KSP work for Nick's alternate history timeline Proxima!  I'd encourage all of you to check it out.

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TLDR: Work will continue shortly, but check out Proxima in the meantime!

I’ve been reading the beginning of Proxima for a few days now and saw the pictures, but I didn’t know you helped with the KSP screenshots. Nice work!

Also, I feel you with the midterms, schoolwork has been eating up a lot of my time recently, preventing me from working on my timeline.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Lunar Outpost Pressurized Excursion Module - Altair 7, 2023

Today Ares V will launch carrying the second module for the Lunar Outpost, the Pressurized Excursion Module, or PEM for short. The module will carry mutiple facilities such as an airlock, EVA suit Maintenence and stowage facilities, an EVA porch and stairs, and more! It will also provide additional habitation sapce for the crew making the outpost feel less cramped.

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The PEM is go for TLI with a beautiful view of Baja California.

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Unlike other Altair missions, the Solars are deployed during coast to give power to the module on it's journey to the Moon.

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With the module firmly planted on the Moon, thus begins skycrane procedures.

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The wheel platform will be able to allow the module to slowly traverse over to the Outpost PCM and MMSEV.

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To prepare for docking the module lines itself up with the PCM's port. Using hydraulic jacks, the module uplifts itself to allow the rover platform to go free before setting itself back down to dock.

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With the Lunar Outpost nearly doubled in habitation space and with increased EVA capability, astronauts are now prepared to conduct even more ambitious Lunar activities in the next mission!

Thanks to everyone for their patience, not a super long post today but I did want to put something out. I did use different TUFX configs to try out a different look and I think the images came out great, amazing contrast! Especially the TLI images. Next post will have more focus on lunar activities so expect less launch images and more EVAs.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Orion 19 and Altair 8, 2023

A New mission begins to the Lunar Outpost. 

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I wanted to keep launch stuff to a minimum since there's so many images pertaining to surface activities. Peep the spoilers for the launch stuff if you want to see.

Spoiler

New Altair! For this mission, I'm using a single engine variant on the descent stage. I think in the future I will use 3 engines like in Eyes Turned Skyward, the lander just really struggles with 1 engine. 

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Orion has gotten some love as well.

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The new Orion is looking fantastic! I opted to go with the white variant for this mission, I'll likely go with the shiny variant in the future.
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TLI with the new vehicles.

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The crew departs to the lunar surface in their upgraded vehicles.

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The uncrewed MMSEV undocks from the outpost and drives over a kilometer to pick up the crew. If you look closely you can see another Altair in the background.

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The new lander sports a seperate airlock module from the ascent stage.

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The crew of this mission brought new equipment which will be shown off shortly.  With the crew all packed up, they're ready to head over to the outpost, where they will stay for a month on the Lunar surface, longer than any crewed stay in history.

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The crew preps the Excursion module, making it fully operational for extravehicular activities.

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With the Excusion module fully in use, the crew can begin unpacking and deploying new surface experiments, large solar arrays, and an RTG.

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The crew stays on the surface, witnessing lunar night.

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A night EVA occurs; on this EVA an RTG is deployed for experimentation, it also allows the outpost to recieve some power through the night.

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The next crew will bring even more experiments on the next mission.

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With the Lunar sunrise, preparations begin to return home.

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With this mission coming to a close, the next mission will bring the final module to the Lunar Outpost which will launch in 2024!

I know it's been awhile since the last post, so here's a long one for everyone. Part of it was IRL stuff taking up my time but I was also looking forward to the new Altair. Speaking of which, fantastic work by both @benjee10 and @rogerwang86 on the new Orion and Altair respectively, they look absolutely phenomenal! 



 

 

Edited by Jay The Amazing Toaster
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On 5/5/2022 at 8:21 PM, zapata21 said:

hello, I love the concept and I was wondering if you could post  the craft file of the lander, thanks

Probably not unfortunatley, especially now that its an old version of the lander and a new one is now available. 

On 6/29/2022 at 6:24 AM, TheKrakenHerder said:

Still working on this?

Yes! Slowly but surely.

Just now, billbobjebkirk said:

Excellent update! Very much worth the wait for all that beauty!

Thank you! That's good to know, it can take awhile between posts to work up energy to work on this but hopefully I can chip away at it one post at a time.

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Posted (edited)

Lunar Outpost, Pressurized Logistics Module - Altair 9, 2024

The launch of the Pressurized Logistics Module takes place on another Ares V rocket. This will be the last of the main modules for the Lunar Outpost. This mission will begin with its deployment to the Lunar surface while the next crew mission will join it with the rest of the outpost, finally completing the surface base. This launch takes place at night in order to be inline with the Moon.

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Due to issues with the skycrane style of deployment, the deployment of this module will utilize hinges and tethers to lift the module down to the surface. With the recent upgrades to the Altair, this allows for this type of heavy equipment to be used.

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Unlike the last mission, this Altair is using 3 engines. While this does make it closer to the Eyes Turned Skyward lander, it makes for a much easier to fly vehicle.

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With the Logistics module on the surface, preparations begin for the next crewed mission. The next mission will work to deploy the module to the surface and complete the outpost.

Another post so soon after the last one! Hopefully this sort of makes up for the time between posts this summer. I got the idea for this type of module deployment from @CardZLol, which just looks a lot better than the haphazard skycrane. I also wasn't lying about the Altair being upgraded, the margin for landing on this mission was much greater than previous flights with the other modules, I was able to land with a decent amount of DV left in the descent stage.

Edited by Jay The Amazing Toaster
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4 hours ago, Kerbalsaurus said:

Have you thought of setting up a lunar space station? I don’t know if that was in constellation’s plans, I just like space stations.

From the digging I've done as far as I'm aware Constellation's Lunar plans didn't call for an orbital station. Pretty much everything concering long term Lunar stays pertained to a surface base of some kind. As such I don't have any plans on following through on doing a lunar staiton unfortunatley. 

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Posted (edited)

Orion 21 and Altair 10, 2024

Another launch of the Ares I and Ares V rockets will bring crew to the Lunar surface. Their job will be to complete the Lunar Outpost and set up additional scientific equipment on the Lunar surface.

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Skipping past the launch and landing of the crew, the MMSEV begins its now routine job of picking up the crew from the Altair. On this mission they will not be going directly to the Outpost.

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The crew drives a kilometer away and approaches Altair 9 carrying the dormant Logistics module. The crew will begin operations to use the Luna-Arm to lift the module off of the empty descent stage.

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The controls to the arm are on top of the Altair.

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A crew member will attach the module with a connector and secure the module.

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The module is rotated around its axis and then brought slowly to the ground by the arm. This process is much more gentle and safe than the previous skycrane, which had a habit of sandblasting the module.

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The module is then detatched from Altair 9 and is autonomously driven to the Lunar Outpost. The crewed MMSEV follows and supervises the journey. 

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The crew reaches the base and begins the operation of docking the module with the base. The rover chasis will be ditched.

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The base is finally complete, however there are a few things still to do. The crew will attach a variety of sensors and antennae. This equipment is derived from those on the International Space Station will improve scientific knowlege of how the base modules function on the surface of another world in the long term.

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More scientific experiments are placed on the surface. Many of which are derived from the Apollo program.

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An additional retroreflector is placed, can never have too many of those.

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With all of the scientific equipment laid out, the Lunar Outpost begins to take shape as a real operational scientific station.

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Wtih all of their objectives complete, the crew can begin preparations to return home. They crew stayed for 2 months monitoring the Logistics module and how it behaved at its new permanent home. All signs look good.

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The crew leaves the completed base. They spent longer on this world than any other in history.  Each mission continues to break more records than the last, hopefully this is a trend that will continue.

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Orion 21 was a successful Lunar mission. Years were spent working on completing the Lunar Outpost, finally creating an operational base station on another world. With the oustpost completed and Lunar operations becoming routine, the question of the next mission objective begins to fill people's minds. Mars is the obvious next step, preparations for the Mars program have been underway for years. The Ares I and Ares V rockets have proven themselves as reliable launch vehicles, capable of lifting tons of equipment off Earth. With 20 missions under its belt, Orion has proven itself as a reliable crew vehicle, not only facilitating many crew missions to the International Space Station, but many to the Moon as well. The MMSEV has also proven itself as a reliable roving vehicle, capable of shuttling crew many kilometers to and from the base and landing vehicles. However despite this, Mars is a different beast entirely from the Moon and will require a number of problems to be solved. The Mars mission will operate using the Mars Design Reference Mission 5.0 as baseline for its architecture. The problems that will need to be solved have already been underway for years. Nuclear propulsion, inflatable habitation, long term cryogenic storage, long term habitation, and material sciences will all need to be solved. Alongside this, upgrading the existing vehicles to facilitate these operations will need to occur as well. While these are all difficult challenges, the space program is up to the task. With the Lunar Outpost complete, focus on preparing for a journey to Mars can now begin.

I hope y'all enjoyed this post, three posts in a week is wild. We can now begin operations to prepare for the long awaited Mars mission. I wasn't just being dramatic when I said years have gone into preparing for this. I began making the vehicles necessary for the Mars mission before I even started this thread around two and a half years ago. Mars will be a difficult journey but it will be exciting, hopefully y'all will stay tuned to see it!

Edited by Jay The Amazing Toaster
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On 2/21/2022 at 6:42 PM, Jay The Amazing Toaster said:

Lunar Outpost MMSEV - Altair 5, 2022

Introducing the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle, or MMSEV for short. A pressurized vehicle that is intended to be flexible and handle a variety of different mission types. The vehicle launching today is a rover that will allow a crew to venture further away from their landing site than previous unpressurized rovers before it. The MMSEV will land near the Lunar Outpost and demonstrate its ability to dock with the module on the surface. The vehicle can and will act as an airlock for the crew until the Pressurized Excursion Module launches next year. The MMSEV will launch on an Ares V with Altair 5.

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The rover will use a robotic ramp structure to get from the top of the Altair down to the surface.

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Landing near Altair 4, on the other side of the hill is the Outpost

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It's a rather steep incline but the low lunar gravity offsets that.

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The uncrewed rover slowly makes it's journey passing the Altair, the rover travels much slower than it would if it was crewed in order to avoid an accident.

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With the arrival at the Lunar Outpost, the rover will demonstrate it's ability to dock with the lone module.

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The rover first aligns itself with the docking port.

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Note the rover's wheels ability to turn 90 degrees.

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The APAS's soft capture ring is extended and the rover slowly creeps sideways until secured with the module.

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Alone no longer! The pair will wait for the next mission, which will bring crew to stay on the surface for longer than any time in history!

Wow this is by far the most coolest mun base I've ever seen, thank yo for inspiring me

Edited by Procepthi
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Lunar Outpost MMSEV 2 - Altair 11

The first steps to Mars will take a multitude of changes and adjustments to the currently existing Constellation and Ares architecture. First will be the Ares V, which for the past few years has only been flying once or twice per year. For a Mars mission it will require more for Constellation to be a sustainable program, perhaps three flights per year or more. Not only for the Mars program, but to maintain the existing lunar program as well. The vehicles that will be lifting off from the planet will also be much heavier than the ones currently in use, as such, Ares V will need some upgrades going forward. For the mission launching today will be a second MMSEV. Originally built as a backup for the current one that ferry's crew from the Altair to the Outpost, additional considerations were pondered about how to make better use of the pressurized rover. Data taken from MMSEV 1 gave engineers a better look at how they might go about upgrading the vehicle. More durable wheels, improved communications, and more capabilities which will be showcased in the near future.

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The first flight of the upgraded Ares V, switching to more powerful RS-68K engines. These engines use regenerative cooling instead of the ablative nozzles.  Ares V will need to be capable of carrying nuclear payloads which will require additional safety measures to be in place. The ablative nozzles were considered too risky for this purpose, as such the decision to switch to the new nozzle was made. This engine also receives better thrust than its ablative siblings. As this mission is launching a new rover, which isn't mission critical to Lunar Outpost operations, it was considered lower risk than other missions, so the decision to use the improved engines on this flight was made with that in mind.

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The MMSEV launches with a similar deployment crane to the one used for the logistics module. The Luna-Arm is much lighter than the ramp or the sky-crane used in previous missions.

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The MMSEV lands on the surface and will wait for a crew to deploy the new rover. Once built simply as a backup it will now be the main rover used for science expeditions, elevating crewed exploration of the Lunar surface to a whole new level.

Shorter post for today, I've spent a lot of time in KSP upgrading, messing with, and optimizing the Mars vehicles. I can't wait for y'all to get a look in the near future. I'll just say, horizontal landers are not easy to build! This mission was flown about two weeks ago, I flew some missions in advance to give myself some margin in case the Mars flights took long to make, turns out I was right. I'm also still making decisions as to which kind of missions will be flown in preparation for Mars. Not sure If I want to do an orbital mission first and do a landing mission after that, or just go straight ahead for a landing flight on the first go around. Stay tuned to find out!

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