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Shuttle Adventures: An Album of Kerbalized Space Shuttle Missions


Kuiper_Belt
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Here's a Sneak Peek of the Next Aquarius Program Post...

The Titan IIIE second stage has received a better paintjob, and Centaur R has a bit of livery on it now.

(The post is coming out tomorrow or the next day, hopefully)

Sc3J5j6.png

ZNUpHYc.png

Edited by Austin_Kerman
Page 11!
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ET Refueling Missions 6-8 - The Last Few - March 1986

Submitting the post here isn't working for some reason, so just go to the main thread instead: 

 

Edited by Austin_Kerman
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Posted (edited)

The X-38 Crewed Return Vehicle: Part 1The Dryden Tests - 1997 - 2001

4xwjpcX.jpg

The Genesis of Space Station Freedom along with immense excitement and inspiration came concerns, chiefly, return of the crew. Initially, the idea would be to leave the crew on orbit with no vehicle docked to the station. In the event of an issue, a Space Shuttle would be launched to return the crew. In the wake of the Challenger Disaster, it was understood that this was not a solution.  Space Station Freedom needed a dedicated Escape Pod.

Now Space Station Alpha and eventually the International Space Station, the problem had not changed. Several designs has been considered with two major differentiations, Capsule or Plane. Capsules had several ideas behind them, first being based around the Viking Probe Heatshields followed by Apollo derived capsules, and lastly the Russian Soyuz space craft. Then in the Space Plane division the HL-20 was considered (Which would evolve into Dream Chaser) and the X-38. When considering the possibility of injury, the space planes would apply less load on passengers than a capsule, leading to the X-38 selection.

1YrCokt.jpg

The X-38s design can be traced back to 2 major projects in the 1960s, the American X-24 and the Soviet Spiral space plane. All being Lifting body designs the X-38 would follow in their footsteps. The X-38 was an exception in many ways to the X-plane program as it included the European Space Agency and the German Space Agency. In addition the X-38 was originally designated the X-35 but redesignated to avoid confusion with the Lockheed Martin X-35 the precursor  to the F-35 Lightning II. The X-38 was designed to fit into he Space Shuttle Payload bay and return to the Earth as a glider, eventually deploying the worlds largest parafoil prior to touchdown.

2inSOg3.jpg

The X-38 underwent several tests amounting to the first drop tests in 1999. Bound to a B-52 the X-38's V-131 V-132 and V-131-R would be deployed at 45,000 feet and near transonic speeds to then glide to a runway at NASA Dryden at Edwards Airforce Base.  Deploying the parafoil the X-38 would be guided autonomously with a backup ground based pilot ready to intervene.

4xkF4WC.jpggR2FFxs.jpgmZmzDs6.jpgvUMiMLP.jpg8s2bxHu.jpgvM6vWYv.jpg

With successful flights under the programs belt and the design being refined NASA began the exciting prospect of X-38 Vehicle-201 the Orbital Prototype.

Part 2: STS-136 Coming Tomorrow!

Edited by Kuiper_Belt
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Posted (edited)

The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle: Part 2 - STS-136 - April 2007

7ec0S83.jpg

In the beginnings of the program, the X-38 was scheduled to have an orbital test flight in 2001 but after several delays the craft would launch aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to be integrated with the International Space Station. Classified as an Assembly Mission, the CRVs test was one of the final Scheduled missions for the stations assembly, falling behind only the Centrifuge Accommodations Module. Discovery and the crew stood by at Pad-39A awaiting the window to launch for the Orbital Outpost. Prepare to be spammed with images. Information on this mission is quite sparse and that will be explained later. So instead of giving detailed information about mission timeline, I'll have pictures and intermittent procedure information.

nxS4PUK.jpgXGfE54D.jpgbufbkAK.jpgbWAQ47e.jpgsINbtgQ.jpgCFIBbLs.jpguS8tIm3.jpgf7AdJeh.jpg

Lemon_Cup's plumes are flexing their muscles here! Absolutely Fantastic! 

n6k0SOP.jpg6Uce9a5.jpgeSTbpOq.jpg

After the 8 minute ascent and orbital insertion burn, Discovery prepares to expose the Crew Return Vehicle to vistas of the Cosmos. V-201 sports an addition that the previous vehicles didn't, The Deorbital Propulsion Module, meant to deorbit the CRV.  Space Shuttle Discovery isn't equipped the the Canadarm as the CRV takes up space where the Canadarm would normally reside. In addition the Crew will continue procedures to Rendezvous with the International Space Station. 

d9g2sEw.jpg5K3wku9.jpg9vEt9KJ.jpgpjztddV.jpgcN5EXK1.jpgTJ4IvBR.jpgEDEMwmb.jpgCXsPb1t.jpgBx6W4qb.jpgpWnYMcx.jpgGXbovWl.jpgIdJzkTg.jpg

Over the coast of California, Approximately 2 days after launch, Discovery, The CRV, and the International Space Station drift together and dock, marking a major milestone of STS-136's mission. Crew aboard the Station monitor the docking through the the Cupola and then begin to prepare to berth the CRV to its designated Adapter.

ezotL1F.jpgWcVbcpY.jpg7ufRR8d.jpgKbXQjKt.jpg30jcDy1.jpgWyn5QIB.jpgVF3vhdo.jpgEIMW2jO.jpg

After being berthed, the crew entered via Tranquilities Starboard hatch to examine the spacecraft and begin its long duration test. First spending 3 months docked to the ISS then autonomously undocking deorbiting and landing. For now ,the joint ISS and STS-136 crew would conduct experiments and maintain the ISS before Discovery undocked.

5qYjvbs.jpgPzWb3QT.jpgvaY3qL6.jpg5llzIhH.jpg3PFTO2g.jpg

After backing off from the Station, Discovery prepared to deorbit and land at Edwards Airforce Base.

ypZXVL8.jpgiQ6m2s1.jpgqP4I1AS.jpgLJthOna.jpg

After landing at Runway 22 at Edwards, Discovery flew back on the SCA, leaving the place where the CRV took its first flights, after delivering the CRV to its first stay in space. Back at the Station, the CRV is awaiting its first departure and deorbit.

coyh3sq.jpgNjKMSs7.jpgRRO8lE3.jpgktnCw7J.jpgbQFjcpE.jpgi1e7pQy.jpg

The CRV would back off from its docking port, then weave in between the large S1 Radiator array, then slowly drifts from the Station. then the CRV would coast to the point in which It would deorbit, using the DPS and then jettisoning it, reorienting and preparing for reentry and landing at Edwards.

FErtRoi.jpg4Dhvx85.jpg8CavrDm.jpgG1gdRsu.jpgiwytWis.jpgKOAVeAL.jpg

After being recovered, the CRV would be returned and eventually be crew rated and launched again to support the ISS.

zphQEic.jpgIbTsktH.jpg

I am not sure whether it would have flown on an SCA but I think it was too cool to pass up on!

Additional Use Cases and Fate of the Crew Return Vehicle

haKyJz7.jpg

The Crew Return Vehicle had no reason to be an STS exclusive. With additional modifications including a launch escape system and a new service module, the CRV was studied as being used with the Ariane V: 

dLDRTcV.jpg

and Delta IV as a crew transport.

grbhuWC.jpghf57jp3.jpg

But unfortunately this would never come to fruition. It is important to know that the Crew Return Vehicle was placed under the budget of the International Space Station and as the budget grew out of proportion, Congress deemed that things needed to be cut to save money. Along side the Habitation and Centrifuge Accommodations Modules, the Crew Return Vehicle was cut from the project. To add insult to injury, V-201, the orbital prototype was 90% complete at the time of cancellation. Finally, less than a year after its cancellation, Space Shuttle Columbia would tragically be destroyed after being struck by Foam from the External Tank and burning up on reentry, resulting in STS-136 being cancelled along with most other missions on the launch manifest prior to the disaster. The Space Shuttle Program would eventually come to a close at STS-135, NASA just clawing that back from the jaws of Congress with them initially only funding through STS-134, making STS-136 sound a bit off. An echo of what could have been.

Something that puzzles me personally is that Scaled Composites, the Company that manufactured the Prototypes didn't throw their hat in the ring for the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew contracts. The closest thing we have to the X-38 now is the Dream Chaser, the modified design of the HL-20 that lost to the X-38 prior. It may have lost the battle but it will win the war once it docks to the ISS in the coming years.

I loved making this mission! It was a long time in the making and the part lag was awful (ISS + Shuttle + CRV was approximately 600 parts) but it sure was worth it. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I did making it! More missions coming soon and I'll leave you with a  picture of two Shuttles on SCAs right next to each other! So long!

8FILZ43.jpg

Edited by Kuiper_Belt
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5 hours ago, Kuiper_Belt said:

The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle: Part 2 - STS-136 - April 2007

7ec0S83.jpg

In the beginnings of the program, the X-38 was scheduled to have an orbital test flight in 2001 but after several delays the craft would launch aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to be integrated with the International Space Station. Classified as an Assembly Mission, the CRVs test was one of the final Scheduled missions for the stations assembly, falling behind only the Centrifuge Accommodations Module. Discovery and the crew stood by at Pad-39A awaiting the window to launch for the Orbital Outpost. Prepare to be spammed with images. Information on this mission is quite sparse and that will be explained later. So instead of giving detailed information about mission timeline, I'll have pictures and intermittent procedure information.

nxS4PUK.jpgXGfE54D.jpgbufbkAK.jpgbWAQ47e.jpgsINbtgQ.jpgCFIBbLs.jpguS8tIm3.jpgf7AdJeh.jpg

Lemon_Cup's plumes are flexing their muscles here! Absolutely Fantastic! 

n6k0SOP.jpg6Uce9a5.jpgeSTbpOq.jpg

After the 8 minute ascent and orbital insertion burn, Discovery prepares to expose the Crew Return Vehicle to vistas of the Cosmos. V-201 sports an addition that the previous vehicles didn't, The Deorbital Propulsion Module, meant to deorbit the CRV.  Space Shuttle Discovery isn't equipped the the Canadarm as the CRV takes up space where the Canadarm would normally reside. In addition the Crew will continue procedures to Rendezvous with the International Space Station. 

d9g2sEw.jpg5K3wku9.jpg9vEt9KJ.jpgpjztddV.jpgcN5EXK1.jpgTJ4IvBR.jpgEDEMwmb.jpgCXsPb1t.jpgBx6W4qb.jpgpWnYMcx.jpgGXbovWl.jpgIdJzkTg.jpg

Over the coast of California, Approximately 2 days after launch, Discovery, The CRV, and the International Space Station drift together and dock, marking a major milestone of STS-136's mission. Crew aboard the Station monitor the docking through the the Cupola and then begin to prepare to berth the CRV to its designated Adapter.

ezotL1F.jpgWcVbcpY.jpg7ufRR8d.jpgKbXQjKt.jpg30jcDy1.jpgWyn5QIB.jpgVF3vhdo.jpgEIMW2jO.jpg

After being berthed, the crew entered via Tranquilities Starboard hatch to examine the spacecraft and begin its long duration test. First spending 3 months docked to the ISS then autonomously undocking deorbiting and landing. For now ,the joint ISS and STS-136 crew would conduct experiments and maintain the ISS before Discovery undocked.

5qYjvbs.jpgPzWb3QT.jpgvaY3qL6.jpg5llzIhH.jpg3PFTO2g.jpg

After backing off from the Station, Discovery prepared to deorbit and land at Edwards Airforce Base.

ypZXVL8.jpgiQ6m2s1.jpgqP4I1AS.jpgLJthOna.jpg

After landing at Runway 22 at Edwards, Discovery flew back on the SCA, leaving the place where the CRV took its first flights, after delivering the CRV to its first stay in space. Back at the Station, the CRV is awaiting its first departure and deorbit.

coyh3sq.jpgNjKMSs7.jpgRRO8lE3.jpgktnCw7J.jpgbQFjcpE.jpgi1e7pQy.jpg

The CRV would back off from its docking port, then weave in between the large S1 Radiator array, then slowly drifts from the Station. then the CRV would coast to the point in which It would deorbit, using the DPS and then jettisoning it, reorienting and preparing for reentry and landing at Edwards.

FErtRoi.jpg4Dhvx85.jpg8CavrDm.jpgG1gdRsu.jpgiwytWis.jpgKOAVeAL.jpg

After being recovered, the CRV would be returned and eventually be crew rated and launched again to support the ISS.

zphQEic.jpgIbTsktH.jpg

I am not sure whether it would have flown on an SCA but I think it was too cool to pass up on!

Additional Use Cases and Fate of the Crew Return Vehicle

haKyJz7.jpg

The Crew Return Vehicle had no reason to be an STS exclusive. With additional modifications including a launch escape system and a new service module, the CRV was studied as being used with the Ariane V: 

dLDRTcV.jpg

and Delta IV as a crew transport.

grbhuWC.jpghf57jp3.jpg

But unfortunately this would never come to fruition. It is important to know that the Crew Return Vehicle was placed under the budget of the International Space Station and as the budget grew out of proportion, Congress deemed that things needed to be cut to save money. Along side the Habitation and Centrifuge Accommodations Modules, the Crew Return Vehicle was cut from the project. To add insult to injury, V-201, the orbital prototype was 90% complete at the time of cancellation. Finally, less than a year after its cancellation, Space Shuttle Columbia would tragically be destroyed after being struck by Foam from the External Tank and burning up on reentry, resulting in STS-136 being cancelled along with most other missions on the launch manifest prior to the disaster. The Space Shuttle Program would eventually come to a close at STS-135, NASA just clawing that back from the jaws of Congress with them initially only funding through STS-134, making STS-136 sound a bit off. An echo of what could have been.

Something that puzzles me personally is that Scaled Composites, the Company that manufactured the Prototypes didn't throw their hat in the ring for the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew contracts. The closest thing we have to the X-38 now is the Dream Chaser, the modified design of the HL-20 that lost to the X-38 prior. It may have lost the battle but it will win the war once it docks to the ISS in the coming years.

I loved making this mission! It was a long time in the making and the part lag was awful (ISS + Shuttle + CRV was approximately 600 parts) but it sure was worth it. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I did making it! More missions coming soon and I'll leave you with a  picture of two Shuttles on SCAs right next to each other! So long!

8FILZ43.jpg

So let me get this straight; you've replaced KSRSS with regular RSS but scaled down to 2.5x the size of normal Kerbin anyway so that a certain visual mod would work right? It looks really great! Were you able to move your existing saves over to this new format or did it break them?

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5 hours ago, pTrevTrevs said:

So let me get this straight; you've replaced KSRSS with regular RSS but scaled down to 2.5x the size of normal Kerbin anyway so that a certain visual mod would work right? It looks really great! Were you able to move your existing saves over to this new format or did it break them?

You’ve got it right. It was quite a wacky process! As to convert over previous saves, they load fine but the .25x RSS Earth is slightly bigger then 2.5x Kerbin KSRSS, Atmosphere size follows that same trend. So currently all my LEO craft are screwed in old saves but with some tweaks in the sigma rescale configs I could probably do it. I’m also fine with starting a new save as mine was rather cluttered in LEO :P.  I’m still having a little trouble with the local terrain near The Cape but it’s a small price to pay for my Venus and Titan being intact :D!

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Hey I just wanted to check in and see how this whole thing works. If I wanted to submit a series of photos of a Saturn - Shuttle, could I post them here? 

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38 minutes ago, Talverd said:

Hey I just wanted to check in and see how this whole thing works. If I wanted to submit a series of photos of a Saturn - Shuttle, could I post them here? 

Yes, you can, Kuiper_Belt has done a Saturn-Shuttle mission before on this thread, so it's completely fine.

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On 3/20/2022 at 7:37 PM, lemon cup said:

Well for anyone that visits this thread, I have decided to share my plume configs for the Photon Boosters!

aNemqpQ.jpg

Please treat this as an experimental pre-release, though I have no intentions of making a full licensed mod at this time, but I am considering contacting Adiri and seeing if they would like to take these plumes for their mod "SRB Waterfall Effects". Until then, the select few of you to find this are welcome to use and enjoy these as you see fit. 

Google Drive link:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17YmED5oRkdb8UsjX-_2dKJP6rmyAK9NT?usp=sharing

Check out the included READ ME for details on what this does, and install instructions. 

PS: Mirroring what the read me says but it is important enough to note here too: I recommend NOT using EngineLightingRelit here :P
 

This is awesome! But I'm curious, where did that External Tank come from? Certainly doesn't look like reDIRECTs, and how did you accomplish the wear on the Shuttle's thermal blankets, incredibly good detail!

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2 minutes ago, track said:

This is awesome! But I'm curious, where did that External Tank come from? Certainly doesn't look like reDIRECTs, and how did you accomplish the wear on the Shuttle's thermal blankets, incredibly good detail!

From what I can see, it looks like the Restock 3.75m fuel tank parts scaled up to 5 meters.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/5/2022 at 4:58 PM, Talverd said:

Hey I just wanted to check in and see how this whole thing works. If I wanted to submit a series of photos of a Saturn - Shuttle, could I post them here? 

3 hours ago, track said:

This is awesome! But I'm curious, where did that External Tank come from? Certainly doesn't look like reDIRECTs, and how did you accomplish the wear on the Shuttle's thermal blankets, incredibly good detail!

3 hours ago, Austin_Kerman said:

From what I can see, it looks like the Restock 3.75m fuel tank parts scaled up to 5 meters.

Go for it! Can't wait to see it! As for the other questions, I am certain Lemon's tank is a custom creation made of Restock bits but as to wring wear on the Shuttle that something I am not aware of :P

P.S. I've been loving your thread!

Edited by Kuiper_Belt
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9 minutes ago, Kuiper_Belt said:

Go for it! Can't wait to see it! As for your other questions, I am certain Lemon's tank is a custom creation made of Restock bits but as to wring wear on the Shuttle that something I am not aware of :P

P.S. I've been loving your thread!

Yeah that would make sense, thanks for the reply.

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1 hour ago, Kuiper_Belt said:

Go for it! Can't wait to see it! As for your other questions, I am certain Lemon's tank is a custom creation made of Restock bits but as to wring wear on the Shuttle that something I am not aware of :P

P.S. I've been loving your thread!

Alrighty then, I'll try to get a post up here soon with some cool images. For now, I'll post this one of Saturn - Shuttle on the launchpad.

 

unknown.png

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9 minutes ago, Talverd said:

Alrighty then, I'll try to get a post up here soon with some cool images. For now, I'll post this one of Saturn - Shuttle on the launchpad.

 

unknown.png

Do you make these custom textures yourself, or is it some trickery with Conformal Decals I'm seeing?

Either way, a man needs to know if you're ever gonna make them public...

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The shuttle textures I made myself, I don't know if I am allowed to give them out due to licensing issues.  Maybe I could somehow submit them to SOCK recolored for consideration? I don't know. 

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5 minutes ago, Talverd said:

The shuttle textures I made myself, I don't know if I am allowed to give them out due to licensing issues.  Maybe I could somehow submit them to SOCK recolored for consideration? I don't know. 

I suppose you could always ask @benjee10 for permission, and if not then maybe @Invaderchaos will adopt them as part of SOCK-Recolored. 

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15 hours ago, Birdman31 said:

How do you guys get the beautiful plume on the SSME's?

 

A wonderful mod called Waterfall and Rocket Motor Menagerie! The SSMEs from RMM are 25% too big so I scaled the rocket  plumes down accordingly. Using Tweak Scale it goes from 1.25 to .938 and the SSME waterfall config goes from 1.33 to 1. I also clip two of the scaled SSMEs where one would reside to correct for the thrust lost. Hope this helps!

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2 hours ago, Kuiper_Belt said:

A wonderful mod called Waterfall and Rocket Motor Menagerie! The SSMEs from RMM are 25% too big so I scaled the rocket  plumes down accordingly. Using Tweak Scale it goes from 1.25 to .938 and the SSME waterfall config goes from 1.33 to 1. I also clip two of the scaled SSMEs where one would reside to correct for the thrust lost. Hope this helps!

 

I dont know why they are doing this but thanks for the help.unknown.png?width=828&height=609:D

Edited by Birdman31
wrong link
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On 4/6/2022 at 12:24 PM, track said:

This is awesome! But I'm curious, where did that External Tank come from? Certainly doesn't look like reDIRECTs, and how did you accomplish the wear on the Shuttle's thermal blankets, incredibly good detail!

Hey thank you!

The Shuttle ET is something I've been tinkering with for a while. I started with NearFutureLaunchVehicles, using the 5m orange tank pieces and also a structural tube from ReStock. It has a few Procedural Parts and recolored parts using TexturesUnlimited. Altogether it probably has really terrible aerodynamics because of all the little parts :D

hmyq2q1.png

The Shuttle tiles you are seeing is just two custom flags I made, one for each main wing, to use with Conformal Decals. 

84jkqwg.png

 

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4 hours ago, lemon cup said:

Hey thank you!

The Shuttle ET is something I've been tinkering with for a while. I started with NearFutureLaunchVehicles, using the 5m orange tank pieces and also a structural tube from ReStock. It has a few Procedural Parts and recolored parts using TexturesUnlimited. Altogether it probably has really terrible aerodynamics because of all the little parts :D

hmyq2q1.png

The Shuttle tiles you are seeing is just two custom flags I made, one for each main wing, to use with Conformal Decals. 

84jkqwg.png

 

This is just a  pure beauty, can't believe it's SOCK

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14 hours ago, lemon cup said:

Hey thank you!

The Shuttle ET is something I've been tinkering with for a while. I started with NearFutureLaunchVehicles, using the 5m orange tank pieces and also a structural tube from ReStock. It has a few Procedural Parts and recolored parts using TexturesUnlimited. Altogether it probably has really terrible aerodynamics because of all the little parts :D

hmyq2q1.png

The Shuttle tiles you are seeing is just two custom flags I made, one for each main wing, to use with Conformal Decals. 

84jkqwg.png

 

It all looks incredible. Thanks for the answer! I have one more question, how'd you make the conformal decal? I'm working on my own alt history which involves the Shuttle and showing the wear and tear overtime is something I really have been wanting to do, so I'm curious how you went about it.

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