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The Integrated Program Plan | A reconstruction of NASA's follow up to the Apollo program from 1969


Beccab
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1977: Assembly of the Orbiting Propellant Depot
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Because of the OPD's extremely high mass, the Saturn V could only get it to orbit with only half of the tanks filled with propellant - and even then, there's a lot of parts missing to make it a working depot.  The design posted in the previous page calls for two additional shuttle flights, one carrying an equipment module and another carrying a secondary LOX tank; after that, each EOS assigned as a tanker for the depot will carry a standardized hydrolox tank inside the cargo bay that docks to the OPD, transfers its content and returns to Earth. Overall, EOS tanker flights are supposed to compose almost 90% of its launches, with a schedule planning for almost 450(!) launches in the first decade of operations.
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Side note - the costs cited in the picture above for those four hundred EOS launches couldn't have paid for two shuttle launches in OTL, but that's not important now.  What's important is the first launch of this year, the EOS-11 mission, carrying the equipment module aboard Enterprise.
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Due to the large volume of the module (and also because when kitbashing I cared more about the width of the cargo bay over its length), to avoid the need of a docking port I adapted yet another cargo bay configuration - specifically, one of the first designs of the Phase C Rockwell orbiter, using two RMS inside the bay instead of the standard 1 

Spoiler

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So, the first arm unstows the fuel tank...WCNHlns.png

...while the second one gets the EOS berthed with the OPD for a safe transfer

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It's now Orion's turn: EOS-12 brings with the LOX module, filled with propellant, to the opposite docking port on the OPD. There's four more ports on the depot, two of which will be used for maintainance (the aft and forward ports) while the last two will be the standard destination of visiting spacecrafts.

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Thanks to its shorter size, there no need for dual RMS this time :D

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While docked to the OPD, Orion can finally begin testing the depot's systems: by transfering the fuel between the LOX module, the LH2 module and the orbiter's integrated tanks the first large scale fuel transfer can be made, paving the way to future refuelings between the space tug, CPS, RNS and everything else.

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The final launch belongs to Endeavour: carrying a full cargo bay fuel tank, it will begin a series of 4 launches to top off the depot's fuel reserves in preparation for the rest of the lunar architecture. Many more will follow hopefully, but at least this time the fact that the tanks are already filled for the most part definitely helps.
 

Spoiler

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At the same time, Skylab B hasn't seen any rest either: Shuttle launches have brought to it three fully loaded Space Tugs, ready to launch some probes to the outer solar system - and for the first time, one of them will be brought back to the station and reused. It would be quite bad PR if that didn't happen, considering that it's crewed :P

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See you next post with the launch of the TOPS missions (and more)!

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Just now, Maria Sirona said:

Oh, that's the Grand Tour! The OG plan had two probes visiting Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, and two going for Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. I know this schtuff

Correct! It's 1977 after all, if the first two don't launch now they never will

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7 hours ago, Adventures said:

Any part mods other than from Bluedog Design? 

All of the Near Future mods, SOCK, KNES, tantares, planetside and likely others I forgot

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On 4/17/2022 at 4:25 PM, Beccab said:

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1974 now is finally over; if all goes well, next year is going to be even more exciting, with the last important tests of the earth-to-orbit shuttle (EOS for short) and many more Skylab B related activities. See you soon!

May I just ask, what kind of glide ratio does that monster have???

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

May I just ask, what kind of glide ratio does that monster have???

I'm not sure, but if the answer is somewhere, it's here - this is the document I've found with most of the data about Mcdonnell's flyback aerodynamics

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Awesome stuff, just one question why SRB on the second stage?  Would not an second engine be lighter and more efficient? 
Yes kind of see it as an solution for getting a bit more mass to orbit. 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Awesome stuff, just one question why SRB on the second stage?  Would not an second engine be lighter and more efficient? 
Yes kind of see it as an solution for getting a bit more mass to orbit. 

Assuming you mean the interim flyback configuration (it's retired now in this timeline, replaced by the EOS and soon also by the CPS), its second stage is actually a modified S-IVB, the hydrolox third stage of the Saturn V and second stage of the Saturn 1B. The solids are needed to get far enough from the first stage before the second stage lights up without putting the crew of the flyback at risk, as well as to settle the LH2 and LOX in order to be able to turn on the engine. This was also present on the same stage while on the other Saturns, though with much smaller rockets

As to why those are solids instead of more efficient stuff, solids were actually considered safer than the other fuels for a while at NASA (one of the earlier Apollo service modules design was composed of a few dozen solid rockets one next to the other), and works just fine without needing to have its propellant settled

Edited by Beccab
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1977: Exploring the inner solar system
6l3sj91.png

Part 1: The Pioneer Mars Orbiter

Spoiler

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The day is the 30th of May 1977: after a successful stage separation and a burn of almost five minutes, the crew of the Eagle tug has put the Pioneer Mars Orbiter on a trans-Martian trajectory that will take it there in the next seven months. Once the two spacecrafts have separated, Eagle starts a boostback burn that will take it back safely to Skylab B in a few days; in the meanwhile, the astronauts on this missions will reach the largest distance from earth in history at well over 400,000 km of altitude.
HwC6JWk.pngiY8F9yw.pnghgLOhK9.png

The Pioneer Mars Orbiter, which will reach the planet in December, was a probe proposed in the early 70s to further study the surface of the planet after the Mariner probes. While in OTL it was ideated as a derivative of the Pioneer Venus probes in this time those haven't happened yet; here, it will be those to be derivatives of the Pioneer Mars spacecraft. 

3pmoL9Q.pngMzHGOIn.png

But the probe isn't a simple orbiter: mounted on it is one of the first examples of a penetrator spacecraft, then called "penetrometer", which here will provide the first data on the surface of Mars before the launch of the soft landers on the next synod.  After making a deorbit burn, the probe will descend through the atmosphere until it becomes dense enough to deploy a ballute; this will slow it down enough to make a hard landing and pass through the first few meters of the martian surface, registering important data in the process

Spoiler

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mk7CdMf.pngE7Xauw3.pngFWrtRl1.png

With the first informations on the martian surface being analyzed back on Earth, NASA's plan for a 1981 crewed landing has started to aquire more credibility; the long lead item are now the MEM and the nuclear shuttle, both undergoing testing on the ground and at white sands.

Part 2: The TOPS mission

UMa9Bpu.png

Spoiler

unknown.png

The TOPS, or Thermoelectric Outer Planets Mission, was one of the main original proposals for what to do in the Grand Tour alignment in '77 and '79; two probes per trajectory, the first pair going on the JSP route (Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto) and the second on the JUN one (Jupiter, Uranus, Nepture). As with every mission going further than the inner solar system, the energy required is high enough that the second space tug of the stack cannot be reused; because of this, the crewed tug won't be part of the first launch while it is being refurbished and the bottom spacecraft of the second one in order to be able to return to Skylab B.

The launch also brings to action the fourth and penultimate orbiter, Tenacity, while the rest of the fleet is still busy filling up the just launched orbiting propellant depot.

MDkZUxV.pngLNc7ubG.png

After moving to Skylab, the TOPS is unloaded from the cargo bay with the help of the crewed tug and placed on top of the pair chosen for this missions. Two more arms never hurt in these cases:P

4XPka72.pngQevWCIO.pngyXla5f1.pngkH0lyQq.png

The unmanned pair docked together and ready to go; let's light this candle!

Jsa4zvN.png

Stage separation confirmed

8D4qhft.pngVHeoon5.png

With the four restartable RL-10 accelerating the TOPS to interplanetary speeds, the spacecraft will soon begin a two years journey toward Jupiter in what will beco...
final_62cd13a6b4d97400b6eb0dbd_46293.gif

...oh

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5 hours ago, Beccab said:

1977: Exploring the inner solar system
6l3sj91.png

Part 1: The Pioneer Mars Orbiter

  Reveal hidden contents

unknown.png

The day is the 30th of May 1977: after a successful stage separation and a burn of almost five minutes, the crew of the Eagle tug has put the Pioneer Mars Orbiter on a trans-Martian trajectory that will take it there in the next seven months. Once the two spacecrafts have separated, Eagle starts a boostback burn that will take it back safely to Skylab B in a few days; in the meanwhile, the astronauts on this missions will reach the largest distance from earth in history at well over 400,000 km of altitude.
HwC6JWk.pngiY8F9yw.pnghgLOhK9.png

The Pioneer Mars Orbiter, which will reach the planet in December, was a probe proposed in the early 70s to further study the surface of the planet after the Mariner probes. While in OTL it was ideated as a derivative of the Pioneer Venus probes in this time those haven't happened yet; here, it will be those to be derivatives of the Pioneer Mars spacecraft. 

3pmoL9Q.pngMzHGOIn.png

But the probe isn't a simple orbiter: mounted on it is one of the first examples of a penetrator spacecraft, then called "penetrometer", which here will provide the first data on the surface of Mars before the launch of the soft landers on the next synod.  After making a deorbit burn, the probe will descend through the atmosphere until it becomes dense enough to deploy a ballute; this will slow it down enough to make a hard landing and pass through the first few meters of the martian surface, registering important data in the process

  Reveal hidden contents

unknown.png

mk7CdMf.pngE7Xauw3.pngFWrtRl1.png

With the first informations on the martian surface being analyzed back on Earth, NASA's plan for a 1981 crewed landing has started to aquire more credibility; the long lead item are now the MEM and the nuclear shuttle, both undergoing testing on the ground and at white sands.

Part 2: The TOPS mission

UMa9Bpu.png

  Reveal hidden contents

unknown.png

The TOPS, or Thermoelectric Outer Planets Mission, was one of the main original proposals for what to do in the Grand Tour alignment in '77 and '79; two probes per trajectory, the first pair going on the JSP route (Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto) and the second on the JUN one (Jupiter, Uranus, Nepture). As with every mission going further than the inner solar system, the energy required is high enough that the second space tug of the stack cannot be reused; because of this, the crewed tug won't be part of the first launch while it is being refurbished and the bottom spacecraft of the second one in order to be able to return to Skylab B.

The launch also brings to action the fourth and penultimate orbiter, Tenacity, while the rest of the fleet is still busy filling up the just launched orbiting propellant depot.

MDkZUxV.pngLNc7ubG.png

After moving to Skylab, the TOPS is unloaded from the cargo bay with the help of the crewed tug and placed on top of the pair chosen for this missions. Two more arms never hurt in these cases:P

4XPka72.pngQevWCIO.pngyXla5f1.pngkH0lyQq.png

The unmanned pair docked together and ready to go; let's light this candle!

Jsa4zvN.png

Stage separation confirmed

8D4qhft.pngVHeoon5.png

With the four restartable RL-10 accelerating the TOPS to interplanetary speeds, the spacecraft will soon begin a two years journey toward Jupiter in what will beco...
final_62cd13a6b4d97400b6eb0dbd_46293.gif

...oh

How do you make the engine fail like that?

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4 hours ago, Galileo chiu said:

How do you make the engine fail like that?

Basically, first I turned only that engine on with the heat convection physics turned off and infinite fuels turned on; this made it come much closer to the maximum temperatures than the other three. Then I turned it off, lighted all four together and kept going until it overheated and blew up.

Oh, and I also clipped on it a second RL-10 switched to the sea level variant so that when the first one exploded it would appear that only the nozzle blew up

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2 minutes ago, Beccab said:

Basically, first I turned only that engine on with the heat convection physics turned off and infinite fuels turned on; this made it come much closer to the maximum temperatures than the other three. Then I turned it off, lighted all four together and kept going until it overheated and blew up.

Oh, and I also clipped on it a second RL-10 switched to the sea level variant so that when the first one exploded it would appear that only the nozzle blew up

What about that nifty explosion effect?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

What about that nifty explosion effect?

That's the engine overheating! I also messed a bit with thermal generation to make it happen quicker, this way it doesn't look excessively hot in the gif

Edited by Beccab
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5 minutes ago, Maria Sirona said:

What will we do now with this failure?????

Well, there's four RTGs on that probe and the second TOPS hasn't launched yet, so... many events in quick succession are about to happen

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/13/2022 at 2:51 PM, Beccab said:

1977: Exploring the inner solar system
6l3sj91.png

Part 1: The Pioneer Mars Orbiter

  Reveal hidden contents

unknown.png

The day is the 30th of May 1977: after a successful stage separation and a burn of almost five minutes, the crew of the Eagle tug has put the Pioneer Mars Orbiter on a trans-Martian trajectory that will take it there in the next seven months. Once the two spacecrafts have separated, Eagle starts a boostback burn that will take it back safely to Skylab B in a few days; in the meanwhile, the astronauts on this missions will reach the largest distance from earth in history at well over 400,000 km of altitude.
HwC6JWk.pngiY8F9yw.pnghgLOhK9.png

The Pioneer Mars Orbiter, which will reach the planet in December, was a probe proposed in the early 70s to further study the surface of the planet after the Mariner probes. While in OTL it was ideated as a derivative of the Pioneer Venus probes in this time those haven't happened yet; here, it will be those to be derivatives of the Pioneer Mars spacecraft. 

3pmoL9Q.pngMzHGOIn.png

But the probe isn't a simple orbiter: mounted on it is one of the first examples of a penetrator spacecraft, then called "penetrometer", which here will provide the first data on the surface of Mars before the launch of the soft landers on the next synod.  After making a deorbit burn, the probe will descend through the atmosphere until it becomes dense enough to deploy a ballute; this will slow it down enough to make a hard landing and pass through the first few meters of the martian surface, registering important data in the process

  Reveal hidden contents

unknown.png

mk7CdMf.pngE7Xauw3.pngFWrtRl1.png

With the first informations on the martian surface being analyzed back on Earth, NASA's plan for a 1981 crewed landing has started to aquire more credibility; the long lead item are now the MEM and the nuclear shuttle, both undergoing testing on the ground and at white sands.

Part 2: The TOPS mission

UMa9Bpu.png

  Reveal hidden contents

unknown.png

The TOPS, or Thermoelectric Outer Planets Mission, was one of the main original proposals for what to do in the Grand Tour alignment in '77 and '79; two probes per trajectory, the first pair going on the JSP route (Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto) and the second on the JUN one (Jupiter, Uranus, Nepture). As with every mission going further than the inner solar system, the energy required is high enough that the second space tug of the stack cannot be reused; because of this, the crewed tug won't be part of the first launch while it is being refurbished and the bottom spacecraft of the second one in order to be able to return to Skylab B.

The launch also brings to action the fourth and penultimate orbiter, Tenacity, while the rest of the fleet is still busy filling up the just launched orbiting propellant depot.

MDkZUxV.pngLNc7ubG.png

After moving to Skylab, the TOPS is unloaded from the cargo bay with the help of the crewed tug and placed on top of the pair chosen for this missions. Two more arms never hurt in these cases:P

4XPka72.pngQevWCIO.pngyXla5f1.pngkH0lyQq.png

The unmanned pair docked together and ready to go; let's light this candle!

Jsa4zvN.png

Stage separation confirmed

8D4qhft.pngVHeoon5.png

With the four restartable RL-10 accelerating the TOPS to interplanetary speeds, the spacecraft will soon begin a two years journey toward Jupiter in what will beco...
final_62cd13a6b4d97400b6eb0dbd_46293.gif

...oh

What mod is the ballute from?

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8 minutes ago, Maria Sirona said:

An Apollo CSM docked with the LM, next to some huge advanced ship orbiting Mars? What sorcery is this? (In your signature)

I was wondering the same thing. The ship looks like the Von Braun mars ship.

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10 minutes ago, Maria Sirona said:

An Apollo CSM docked with the LM, next to some huge advanced ship orbiting Mars? What sorcery is this? (In your signature)

Just now, TheKrakenHerder said:

I was wondering the same thing. The ship looks like the Von Braun mars ship.

You'll have to wait and see! We're still quite a few posts away from the mars program though, the first signs will be the beginning of the orbital tests of the Mars Excursion Module. Before all of that there's a lot of stuff to do on the moon and in LLO still, probably also crewed planetary flybys

(The CSM+LM is just there for size comparison btw, I won't actually send them to mars unfortunately)

 

Also, new post either today or tomorrow

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