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Shuttle Adventures: An Album of Kerbalized Space Shuttle Missions


Kuiper_Belt
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6 hours ago, lemon cup said:

Looks like Challenger is going to be getting a double feature

Make that three ;)
Boeing's proposal for an Orbital Manuevring Vehicle, commonly known as space tug (1984)
Original:

Spoiler

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During the 80s, and earlier during the 70s, NASA was very interested in developing reusable, unmanned space tugs usually based on the Shuttle Orbiter's capacity. Given I can't  find shuttle based Mars missions that are at least as detailed as the early lunar access mission I've decided to replicate Boeing's tug proposal and maybe a couple more later on.
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Edited by Beccab
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STS 41-B February 4, 1984

STS 41-B previously designated as STS-11 was the tenth Space Shuttle mission and the first flight of 1984. For those uninitiated to the flight numbering system the 4 in STS-41-B means Launched in fiscal year of 1984. The 1 means launched from the first launch site of Launch Complex 39. Launch Site 2 was Vandenberg SLC-6 but any plans to launch from there were canceled after the Challenger Disaster . The B means second scheduled flight of the given fiscal year. So STS-41-B means launched in 1984, from Cape Canaveral, and is the second scheduled of the year.  STS-41-B was pushed ahead of STS-10 due to a cancellation surrounding payload issues, resulting in the second scheduled launch of 1984 being the first. Flown by Challenger STS-41-B would be the first flight and demonstration of the MMU or the Manned Maneuvering Unit which assisted in hosted the first untethered space walk. STS-41-B also deployed 2 satellites Westar 6 and Palapa B. Despite  a nominal deployment from Challenger the Payload Assist Module failed to place the satellites in an adequate orbit. Those satellites would later be captured and safely returned by Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-51-A. Challenger would also relaunch the SPAS-1 satellite that had previously flown on STS-7. Though a problem related to Canadarm would leave it bound to the payload bay instead of free flight. Challenger would lift off from Pad 39-A in the mid morning.

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After 7 days and 23 hours, Space Shuttle Challenger would land at Shuttle Landing Facility Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center. After being recovered it would be reflown again for STS-41-C.

I LOVE the MMU! Its from Cormorant Aeronology, as well as the satellite dispensers. I can't wait to do more missions with them. The next mission I'm planning on doing is a little different from what I've done before but hopefully It wont take too long. Hope you liked it! More missions coming soon!

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Alright, this replica has exceeded even the Early Lunar Assembly in terms of difficulty, with 8 different shuttle launches and 11 separate dockings (not counting the ones done with a grabbing arm):
Space Operations Center (Boeing, 1981)
The Space Operations Center was proposed by NASA's Johnson Spaceflight Center in 1979. Like most other space station studies from the mid/late 1970s its primary mission was the assembly and servicing of large spacecraft in Earth orbit. NASA/JSC signed a contract with Boeing in 1980 to further develop the design. Like most NASA space station plans, SOC would be assembled in orbit from modules launched on the Space Shuttle. NASA originally estimated the total cost to be $2.7 billion, but the estimated cost had increased to $4.7 billion by 1981. SOC would have been operational by 1990.
Warning: although the original design was almost completely preserved, the separation of the station in different shuttle launches is likely not always accurate, and utilization of the space tug for the assembly was a personal decision to avoid having a mental breakdown and sending that stupid canadarm in the flames of Kerbol more than something NASA would have used it for (but the design of the tug is still accurate for Boeing's proposal). I've also decided to post only the liftoff and landing of the first shuttle launch, as those parts were always identical and I still had almost 350 screenshots from which to choose. Enjoy!
 

Spoiler

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First Shuttle launch, the station core

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Current state of the station:
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Second Shuttle launch, an airlock with multiple docking ports
 

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Current state of the station:
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Third Shuttle launch, a habitation and a logistic module (dual payload)

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Current state of the station:
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Second module of the same Shuttle

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Current state of the station:
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Fourth Shuttle launch, an Orbital Manuevring Vehicle and the second habitation module

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Rotation of the central truss to aling the habitation modules for the future expansions
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Current state of the station:
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Fifth Shuttle launch, an expansion with multiple docking ports and paving the way for science modules

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Current state of the station:
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Sixth Shuttle launch, an external truss with a Canadarm and another truss with some science experiments
 

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Current state of the station:
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Second module of the same shuttle

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Current state of the station:
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Seventh Shuttle launch, a research module and a second Orbital Manuevring Vehicle

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Rotation for alignment
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Current state of the station:
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Eighth and last Shuttle launch, various antennae and science experiments mounted on external trusses

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Current state of the station:
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Second module from the same Shuttle

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Current state of the station:
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Third module from the same Shuttle:

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Current state of the station;
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Docking of the Shuttle and release of the fourth and last module
 

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Final configuration of the Space Operations Center:
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50 minutes ago, Beccab said:

Alright, this replica has exceeded even the Early Lunar Assembly in terms of difficulty, with 8 different shuttle launches and 11 separate dockings (not counting the ones done with a grabbing arm):
Space Operations Center (Boeing, 1981) [*snip*]

That is some truly impressive work! Well done!

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Wait just a second. That's no shuttle!

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Shuttle C coming soon... 

2 hours ago, Jay The Amazing Toaster said:

Crazy that this is the first I'm seeing this thread, good stuff, I'm following immediatley.

Glad to hear you like it! You were one of my main inspirations to begin this project!

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2 hours ago, Kuiper_Belt said:

Wait just a second. That's no shuttle!

6o2GuNN.jpg

Shuttle C coming soon... 

Glad to hear you like it! You were one of my main inspirations to begin this project!

Man, I absolutely need the craft file for that. Do you think it is also possible converting it to a Shuttle Z? Or a Shuttle Heavy Lift Carrier for Constellation?

http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/z/zsjucomp.jpg

Edited by Beccab
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Busy page! Going to apologize ahead of time for the poor picture quality on this one, I foolishly attempted to supersize the images via the hidden KSP setting without testing, leading to huge images that I later had to downsize and caused them to turn out pretty choppy. Still happy with how it turned out though.

170px-Shuttle-Centaur_logo.jpg                       The Canceled STS-61-F - May 15th, 1986                147px-STS-61-F_patch.png             

 

At the beginning of 1986, NASA was at the cusp of a space exploration renaissance.  A staggering 15 Space Shuttle missions were scheduled for the year, including 3 flights in one calendar month and 2 flights within 5 days of each other. 90 astronauts would have gone to space - some twice in one year.  Hubble was set to launch in October, and meanwhile the Department of Defense would come to place several highly classified satellites in the trusted hands of the Shuttle program. In cooperation with ESA, multiple planetary missions were to be carried to Earth orbit aboard Shuttles.  Of particular global significance was 2 missions: the Galileo and the Ulysses, both of which were bound for Jupiter atop NASA's newest upper stage - the Centaur G Prime - carried inside the Shuttle payload bay. 

But these events would not play out. History intervened with a disaster that led to the loss of Challenger and her 7 crew. Along with affecting countless lives and bringing NASA to a screeching halt, this tragedy would also result in the cancellation of the ambitious Shuttle Centaur program. This was despite the fact that two Centaur G Primes and their related support hardware had been successfully built and shipped to Cape Canaveral awaiting launch in May, and two Shuttles had already undergone special modifications to host the Centaur.

Had history played out differently, Challenger would have been the first orbiter to launch with a Centaur G Prime on it's maiden flight, STS-61-F.

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LAUNCH
 

Spoiler

This would be the maiden flight of the Shuttle Centaur program, which would carry the Ulysses solar probe to orbit. In preparation for the mission, Challenger would have received numerous modifications such as vent doors, fluid feed lines, monitoring equipment, and launch umbilicals for fueling the Centaur. The launch window was relatively tight - the Shuttle needed to launch into an orbit nearly parallel to the Ecliptic (the plane that Earth orbits the Sun). In May of 1986 - when Jupiter was in the right position for planetary transfer - this window occurred just after sunset at Cape Canaveral. 

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Even before the Challenger disaster, those preparing to carry out STS-61-F knew this mission would be riskier than any Shuttle mission before it. The Centaur's cryogenic hydrogen fuel coupled with the thin balloon-type tank walls and non-redundant vent valve system posed a serious risk to the crew. On top of that, if anything went wrong, the mission required special abort procedures that involved completely dumping the Centaur's liquid hydrogen in order to make the orbiter light enough to land - all while the main engines were still burning. 

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To reach orbit, the 3 SSMEs would have needed to run at 109% of their rated thrust after throttle-up from Max-Q, which had never been attempted up to that point.
 

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ORBIT
 

Spoiler

Once in orbit, the crew would need to act quickly. The Centaur could only remain idle for so long before too much of the liquid hydrogen fuel had boiled off, leaving it low on fuel and unable to reach Jupiter. Unlike other Shuttle missions, no additional experiments were planned, and the crew was kept to a four-person minimum, in order to save weight. The only main objectives were to reach a stable orbit, deploy the Centaur, and return home.

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No EVAs were required for this mission; the Centaur was housed inside a structure called the Centaur Integrated Support System (CISS) which could automatically raise and deploy the rocket stage, as well as handle all fluid and sensor management. But in KSP, an engineer Kerbal must unstrut the blasted thing...

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DEPLOYMENT

Spoiler

After just a few orbits at a relatively low 170km altitude, the Challenger would prepare to deploy the Centaur topped by Ulysses. The CISS was raised to a 45 degree angle.

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Separation was accomplished by a series of springs mounted to the CISS, which gently pushed the Centaur away from the orbiter. It would then coast forward for the duration of half an orbit, where it would begin it's burn a safe distance from the crewed vehicle. 

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After the long burn of the dual RL-10-A3 engines, Centaur would send Ulysses on a course to intercept Jupiter.


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RETURN

Spoiler

After payload separation and checkouts to confirm that everything aboard the orbiter was nominal, Challenger would simply be holding station in orbit for 4 days while awaiting proper alignment to return to KSC. This would occur May 19th, 1986.

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The Challenger's ground track would send it reentering on a northeast trajectory over the Gulf of Mexico and up the southern US coast.

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Touchdown at Kennedy SLF-15

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The Challenger disaster caused NASA to fundamentally rethink the way it viewed risk and mission planning. At the time, the Space Shuttle was regarded by many, including top members of NASA and Congress, to be the bulletproof prodigy program that would herald a new era of reusable spaceflight, sending expendable rockets the way of the dinosaur. After the loss of Challenger and her crew, this view was turned inside out and criticized more than ever. On top of that, the program was revealed to be much costlier and much riskier than originally thought. The Shuttle could simply not be maintained at the pace once thought possible, and crews could not be trained quickly enough. 

When the program resumed in late 1988, crew safety was the number one priority. That meant abandoning the Shuttle Centaur.

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Ulysses would eventually launch on STS-41 onboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, where it would successfully carry out its mission following its rendezvous with Jupiter in February 1992.
 

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The Very Large Space Telescope proposal (80s)
Three times the diameter of Hubble, three times the fun! Because a launch vehicle which could transport the VLST to orbit did not exist, it was proposed to carry the primary and secondary mirror assemblies within the interstage of the Space Shuttle External Tank (ET). On Orbit, with the help of astronauts the mirrors and collapsed mounting structure would be extracted from the ET and assembled into the modified liquid hydrogen tank, which would serve as a light shield and support for the metering structure. Obviously this concept involved complex and costly assembly tasks, but would basically be feasible within the existing technological capabilities.

Spoiler

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The Orbiter only has a minimal payload to keep the additional mass at minimum, as the external tank already carries much weight
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Separation of the upper section of the tank, which contains the mirrors and most of the telescope's hardware
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Jettison of the LO2 part of the tank
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Emptying the shroud of the LH2 tank
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First extension of the telescope
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Second extension
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Separation to align the shroud with the extended structure
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Final approach
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Docking
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Jettison of the bottom of the LH2 tank and relocation of the Orbiter
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Deployment of the energy module
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Docking
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Extension of the solar panels
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Undocking of the Orbiter and landing
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Final look of the VLST:
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I hope to get my hands on the Shuttle C soon to start some lunar and martian missions :D

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11 hours ago, TaintedLion said:

What mods do you use for the IUS and Centaur deployment cradles?

These I built using a bunch of parts from various mods. 
The IUS adapter is fairly simple and just uses the hollow tubes from NearFuture Exploration. Also ReStock for the forward load cradle, it is just a handful of gold RoveMates clipped together. With a fully assembled IUS it is about 30 parts,
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The CISS is more complex but same concept. Tubes from NFLV and for the "greebles" I used ScanSAT and SpaceDust instruments. 70 parts total with the Centaur installed!
lrwkKMU.png

 

Edited by lemon cup
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16 hours ago, Kuiper_Belt said:

Wait just a second. That's no shuttle!

6o2GuNN.jpg

Shuttle C coming soon... 

Glad to hear you like it! You were one of my main inspirations to begin this project!

This has probably been asked before, but how are you fitting the Photon Corp SRBs with the MLP shuttle platform?

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@Kuiper_BeltI’m currently taking a Hiatus from KSP for many reasons, but when I come back fully in a few weeks, I have big plans!

Would it be okay for me to post a few Shuttle missions here? I was thinking of doing a Pathfinder launch, either to the moon, or carrying some payload, a Block II Shuttle launch, taking some station pieces to orbit, and also some ISS missions. These are just ideas I am probably going to do, but especially the ISS as me and a few others are starting a community ISS project soon.

Thanks :D

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Lunar Transfer Vehicle proposal (1986)
Now that I discovered the secret to more Shuttle variants (Cormorant Aeronology) I can start developing a Shuttle-based lunar and martian architecture, and the first piece for that is a proper Orbital Transfer Vehicle. NASA conducted advanced studies of what was then called the Space Tug in the early 1970's. However all elements of NASA's future vision of space exploration were cancelled to allow funds for development of the Space Shuttle. After the Shuttle was flying, NASA began studying the tug again, now dubbed the Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV). Studies in the 1970's had already considered use of an aerobrake heat shield. This would allow the Tug, on its return from geosynchronous orbit, lunar orbit, or interplanetary trajectories, to use the earth's atmosphere to brake to orbital velocity, after which it would maneuver, then rendezvous and dock with a Space Station for refurbishing, refueling, and reuse. Use of aerobraking offered significant weight savings in comparison to pure rocket braking to return to the station.
The 1984 NASA/JSC plan called for the development of OTVs and lunar landers in 1995-2003 to permit the creation of small semi-permanent manned camp on the lunar surface in 2005-2006. The ultimate goal would be a self-sustaining moonbase by 2017-18. NASA/Johnson also regarded the space tug as an integral component of its Space Operations Center plan. The Orbital Transfer Vehicle concept was renamed by NASA the Lunar Transfer Vehicle in 1988 to stress its importance for manned lunar base missions.

Spoiler

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The mission took three Space Shuttles and one variant, the Lifting Recoverable Propulsion Module, made to carry lenticular payloads with a massive diameter to orbit. Enjoy!

First launch, the Lifting Recoverable Propulsion Module "Intrepid" carrying the heat shield

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Second and third launch, two Space Shuttles carrying three spherical LH2 tanks each

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Final Space Shuttle launch, carrying the crew and logistic module

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Test of the Lunar Transfer Vehicle (LTV) on a lunar flyby

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22 minutes ago, Beccab said:

Lunar Transfer Vehicle proposal (1986)

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Fascinating! I assume the Space Shuttle would have been the chosen crew delivery vehicle. But I wonder what the Lunar Lander would have looked like - similar to the ELA concept lander, or early Altair maybe? Also would the lander stay in Lunar orbit then? Wonder what it’s service life would be and if there were plans to refurbish/refuel it.

29 minutes ago, Beccab said:

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For when you need to pop A LOT of Space Popcorn.

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24 minutes ago, lemon cup said:

Fascinating! I assume the Space Shuttle would have been the chosen crew delivery vehicle. But I wonder what the Lunar Lander would have looked like - similar to the ELA concept lander, or early Altair maybe? Also would the lander stay in Lunar orbit then? Wonder what it’s service life would be and if there were plans to refurbish/refuel it.

Although this was from before "Pioneering the space frontier" so the plans may have changed, this was the idea back in 1984:

"The OTV primary mission would have been to deliver 9t to geostationary orbit using a single stage and 18t payloads to lunar orbit using two OTV space tugs in tandem. Each OTV had a mass of 7t empty and carried up to 42t of oxygen & hydrogen propellant (engine Isp=455.4s). The primary lunar mission payload would be modules for a permanent 18-crew Moonbase in 2005-2015; as required by the plan developed by a Johnson Space Center team lead by Barney Roberts in 1984. A 3.5t expendable landing vehicle with 13.5t of propellant would land 17.5t Space Station-derived modules on the lunar surface. 100t of propellant would have to be launched per lunar mission; NASA proposed to develop a Shuttle-derived unmanned heavy-lift launch vehicle for this purpose. The Space Shuttle would transport the empty 21,000-kilogram lunar lander+payload to the Space Station, where they would rendezvous with the 100t propellant module. OTV's and other hardware would be integrated at a Space Station-based spacedock"

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Shuttle C: A Proposed Shuttle Derived Vehicle

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Shuttle C was originally conceived and investigated 1984 and were studied through 1995.  Being largely compatible with existing shuttle infrastructure, Shuttle C was basically an orbiter with only the aft engine section and cargo bay still keeping the stack itself unchanged including the 3 RS-25s. This would result in massive weight savings allowing Shuttle C to carry far heavier payloads in one launch as opposed to The Space Shuttle. Examples include but are not limited to large interplanetary space craft components, large space stations, heavier interplanetary robotic missions, heavy lunar mission hardware. NASA planned on using Shuttle C in the International Lunar Resources Exploration Program as well as a manned mars mission launching 80 ton segments each launch.

More Shuttle-C

Spoiler

 

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Shuttle C could deliver a lot of payload to LEO it was even theorized that it could even deliver payloads as heavy as your mother :sticktongue:

 

Shuttle C as originally imagined would die out but the idea of a shuttle derived heavy lift launch vehicle wouldn't die out, which brings us conveniently to...

Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle

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Evolved from Shuttle C, the Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLV) would once again build off of the shuttle stack. Presented in 2009 HLV  would consist of a modified shuttle engine mount still utilizing the classic triple RS-25 configuration. Sporting a far larger 7.5 meter faring the HLV would have been able to lift much heavier payloads. The HLV had several major differences from Shuttle C. Where as Shuttle C could detach from the External Tank, HLV was stuck attached. HLV was also designed with an upper stage in mind to deliver even heavier payloads to lunar orbit for envisioned lunar missions. Such a stage would utilize the at the time in development J-2X. Finally HLV was also envisioned to carry crew in the form of the Orion capsule mounted on top of the fairing.

More HLV

Spoiler

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An honorable mention I did not include was Shuttle Z, a form factor similar to HLV but even larger fairing and given an additional RS-25 for the first stage and a modified air startable RS-25 for an upper stage.  But this leads us to my mission...

Shuttle C + Orion 

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Now you may be asking yourself "WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?!?!?!?!?!?!?" and that is a reasonable response. I got carried away when I was thinking about a YouTube video I had watched a few weeks back by Hazegrayart where they recreated the HLV. I thought to myself why not try to recreate that video accurately by NOT brushing up on it so I can create it accurately.  So I went into the VAB slapped some parts together and you now see what lays before your eyes. This is a mix of the Shuttle C the HLV's crew carrying capacity and the SLS ICPS and Orion Stack. 

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Though an unconventional look I actually think it looked quite pretty albeit a bit different. I hope you guys like it as well.

On 6/9/2021 at 11:37 PM, Beccab said:

Man, I absolutely need the craft file for that. Do you think it is also possible converting it to a Shuttle Z? Or a Shuttle Heavy Lift Carrier for Constellation?

http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/z/zsjucomp.jpg

I would suggest you make one yourself from the standpoint that mine is incredibly janky. Project EOC would be a mod you should look into if you haven't already. If you do insist on having mine I should have it here in a couple days.

On 6/10/2021 at 2:09 PM, KeaKaka said:

This has probably been asked before, but how are you fitting the Photon Corp SRBs with the MLP shuttle platform?

Like so:

Spoiler

7UxyNdr.jpg00NMy5h.jpglRFRJA0.jpg

It looks like it clips in to the side of that pipe because it does but It works just fine for me. It's trial and error after all. Hope this helps!

On 6/10/2021 at 6:15 PM, AmateurAstronaut1969 said:

@Kuiper_BeltI’m currently taking a Hiatus from KSP for many reasons, but when I come back fully in a few weeks, I have big plans!

Would it be okay for me to post a few Shuttle missions here? I was thinking of doing a Pathfinder launch, either to the moon, or carrying some payload, a Block II Shuttle launch, taking some station pieces to orbit, and also some ISS missions. These are just ideas I am probably going to do, but especially the ISS as me and a few others are starting a community ISS project soon.

Thanks :D

Feel free to post missions I'd just ask to be informed of the specific mission before hand so we don't have two of the same mission. I've been wanting to get back to ISS missions because that is how I started on my screenshot quest. I would love to learn more on this community ISS project and how to become a part of it so any direction on where to participate would be appreciated! Can't wait to see what missions you have to offer after your hiatus!

I hope you guys are liking the missions myself and others in the thread are cranking out. It's really impressive to me and I am proud to be a small part of it! More missions from myself and others coming soon!

Edited by Kuiper_Belt
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On 6/9/2021 at 7:23 AM, Kuiper_Belt said:

I LOVE the MMU! Its from Cormorant Aeronology, as well as the satellite dispensers. I can't wait to do more missions with them. The next mission I'm planning on doing is a little different from what I've done before but hopefully It wont take too long. Hope you liked it! More missions coming soon!

Sorry for all the questions, but how did you get cormorant to work?

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22 minutes ago, KeaKaka said:

Sorry for all the questions, but how did you get cormorant to work?

Cormorant comes with an outdated version of firespitter.dll. It is an old plugin that used to be popular for part switching (but most mod makers have moved to B9PartSwitch nowadays).

Install Cormorant then find and remove the firespitter.dll plugin. Then download the latest updated version of Firespitter, grab the firespitter.dll from there, and place it anywhere in your GameData folder (no need to install the whole mod). 


Also you’ll need Tweakscale because the Cormorant parts are too big compared to the SOCK shuttle.

 

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"Dual Keel" Phase 1 expansion

I have to admit, this part of the lunar architecture won't be an exact replica of what would have happened in real life. After a good amount of research I decided to opt for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) plans; the problem is that they are based on the Space Station Freedom, and I don't want to do that. Fortunately I have Boeing's Space Operations Center that I made earlier, so my choice went for doing the same upgrades that would have been necessary to adapt Freedom for the refurbishment of Lunar Transfer Vehicles but on the Boeing station, which means adding the first part of the "Dual Keel" design and more solar panels (which on Freedom would have been solar concentrators or something similar, but since I don't have that I went for very big solar panels), like this:
ssfsei9a.gif
The SEI plans included using the Shuttle-C both for the lunar missions and to deliver the last parts of Freedom, so I decided to do these launches on it as well.

First Shuttle-C launch, two out of three trusses needed for the initial keel

Quote

Screenshot_3763.pngScreenshot_3770.pngScreenshot_3777.pngScreenshot_3788.pngScreenshot_3802.pngScreenshot_3808.png
Release of the OMV
Screenshot_3810.png
Extraction of the first truss
Screenshot_3814.png
Transportation of the truss to the right place
Screenshot_3818.png
DockingScreenshot_3827.png
Relocation of the Orbiter to another port
Screenshot_3832.png
Docking
Screenshot_3836.png

Second payload of the same Shuttle-C

Quote

Extraction of the second truss
Screenshot_3839.png
Transportation of the truss
Screenshot_3840.png
Final approach
Screenshot_3846.png
Docking
Screenshot_3851.png
The Shuttle-C used here then burns up in the atmosphere, like a normal expendable rocket

Second Shuttle-C launch, solar panels expansion and final keel module

Quote

Screenshot_3861.pngScreenshot_3869.pngScreenshot_3880.pngScreenshot_3888.pngScreenshot_3890.pngScreenshot_3897.png
OMV release
Screenshot_3902.png
Extraction
Screenshot_3908.png
Final approach
Screenshot_3916.png
Docking
Screenshot_3917.png
Rotation of the truss to close the keel
Screenshot_3920.png

Look of the station with the first keel completed:
Screenshot_3924.png
Second and third payload, two very large solar panels to expand the station's capacity

Quote

Approaching the Shuttle-C orbiter
Screenshot_3930.png
Extraction of the first solar panels
Screenshot_3934.png
Final approach
Screenshot_3941.png
Departure of the OMV to grab the other solar panels
Screenshot_3945.png
Extraction
Screenshot_3950.png
Approaching the station
Screenshot_3953.png
Docking
Screenshot_3956.png
Final relocation of the OMV
Screenshot_3959.png
Screenshot_3962.png

Final look of the phase 1 expansion, with the solar panels extended and the keel completed:
Screenshot_3963.pngScreenshot_3964.pngScreenshot_3982.png
The expansion was split by NASA into phase 1 and 2 because the "dual keel", as the name suggests, was composed of two separate keels identical to each other; the first one was required for sustainable lunar missions and the second one for Martian ones. While this means I will need to do some more expansion (I have already planned that out, it will require relocating the science module but it's doable) when time comes for martian missions, at least now the station itself is ready to support the shuttle-C based lunar missions which should come next.
Side note regarding the LTV: given at the time I had not chosen this architecture yet the design I recreated is not identical to the one that would have been used in the SEI; it is quite similar, but the tanks are longer and it has only four, two detached after the trans lunar injection and two after leaving lunar orbit. Given that it is mounted in the same exact way as my previous LTV mission I won't post that, but I'm going to change the design to the one pictured in the SEI artwork here:
l_ob89b.jpg

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On 6/13/2021 at 6:49 PM, lemon cup said:

Preview: STS-109, this was taken from a "training flight" lol.

0TI78sW.png

What parts are being used to form that thin gold-foiled deck near the front of the payload bay, just behind the docking assembly? I know most of the other greebles are Near Future probe bus parts.

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STS-2a: Skylab Reboost Mission, Late 1979

wLKu1YB.jpg

After the final boost conducted by the Apollo CSM,  the crew of Skylab 4 undocked with Skylab for the final time on February 8th, 1974, at 2:33 UTC. Afterwards Skylab's orbit would slowly decay over the following years. On July 11, 1979, Skylab reentered the atmosphere and debris landed in the Indian Ocean and Western Australia. When the crew of Skylab 4 undocked from Skylab, they left the hatch unlocked for the next crewed mission. Skylab 5 was suggested utilizing the Saturn 1B and Apollo CSM of the Skylab Rescue Mission (Which was assembled in the VAB for a problem with Skylab 4's CSM that was discovered in orbit.) but was ultimately not launched for either mission. NASA at the time was developing the Space Transportation System and in 1978 NASA had found that It was possible to reboost Skylab and awarded a $26 million contract to Martin Marietta to construct the Teleoperator Retrieval System. The second Space Shuttle Mission would launch to save Skylab. 

STS-2a would have probably launched from Pad 39-A and flown by Columbia. As an early Shuttle Mission the External Tank would have been White.

SU1rmJR.jpgkjMmhwT.jpgE9ntY9N.jpgFojqABR.jpgmZuBrKK.jpgu1SR1Mm.jpgKyoQKqX.jpgC4JkWvC.jpgxVK3eJ8.jpg3XDwUct.jpgywroFq0.jpghiIRIk1.jpgIsP97cH.jpg1j7VqmQ.jpgj6UipTs.jpgah5Gq6v.jpgNaRUNm1.jpgfXgrceT.jpgEgkW1Up.jpgfLq9Duh.jpg5LrTPug.jpgOQQYeyc.jpgIwkUwJN.jpgVlX0FRl.jpgCOndWzi.jpgl5jEEz4.jpg3JqJNH7.jpg

After boosting Skylab, several more missions would be sent to Skylab to refurbish, attach additional solar panels and expand Skylab to support more missions. Columbia would be eventually be reflown on another Shuttle Mission.

In reality Skylab would of course burn up due to orbital decay. Skylab also was reentered earlier than predicted due to increased solar activity. In addition to the solar activity The Shuttle Program was delayed for a multitude of reasons but lead to the impossibility of Skylab being able to be saved by The Space Shuttle. The TRS was also considered to be launched on the Titan III and Atlas Agena Launch Vehicles but plans ultimately fell through as well which lead to the demise of Skylab that we all know.

I brought back the warm TUFX config for the old flight. I intend to do another flight or two to Skylab and document it but It would be much more speculation than this. The next mission I intend to do will be a little different and will take a little time to make the craft. More missions coming in the near future!

Edited by Kuiper_Belt
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