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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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12 hours ago, Beccab said:

It is! I didn't make a thread about it back then (it's one of my first recreations), but there is a post on it in the Shuttle Adventures thread here

 here

Looked through the thread. YOU DID STAR CLIPPER AS WELL!?

At this rate I might as well ask which shuttle proposals and related vehicles you haven't done.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi! Oh my goodness, this is such an amazing project. I just have two questions. 

1) How the heck did you get the booster to lift the SIV-B stage without a ton of torque? It seems like it just falls over for me. 

2) How did you get a shuttle manipulator arm to work? For me, it just spazzed out and ended up Kraken-ing my shuttle. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Heya, it's been a while! Between the beginning of uni and driving school I hadn't had a lot of time to work on this mission report until recently, but things have settled enough by now that I can continue the IPP from where I left it. 1978 is about to begin; here's a little tease to what's coming next after the safe deorbit of Skylab B

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1978: A space Odyssey
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It has now been almost 4 months since Skylab B has been deorbited; with it, the three years of continous human inhabitation in space has come to an end for the first time since 1975. A space station an essential part of any serious space program, both as a testing ground for the technologies that will be used outside of LEO and as the first step of any deep space mission currently planned; thankfully, its successor is finally standing on LC-39A, ready to launch.

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The design that will be shown here has appeared on a lot of different NTRS docs in the early 70s; I've attached below a couple of drawings where it's shown, but there's many many more around.

Spoiler

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The design changes slightly between the various docs and iterations, but the idea is the same: an S-II sized monoblock core station, with a power module on top, that is surrounded by Shuttle-launched common modules dedicated to about everything you can imagine studying in space and more. The earlier Boeing studies (below) also deserve a mention, which while not directly related show some quite similar concepts created in the the mid 60s as Skylab alternatives and successors

Spoiler

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 This design never had a real name in the NTRS docs where it was studied; the closest thing is the "1975 space station" designation, which, well, doesn't sound very exciting. Because of that, and also because it's not 1975 anymore, I decided to go for a new one: the Odyssey space station! It's going to be a staging ground for the first lunar missions, as well as help host some of the first artificial gravity tests in space and eventually grow into the mighty 50-man space base that the IPP put as one of its final goals.

Back to the ATL, the Saturn V has just entered the final seconds of the countdown; after over a decade of operations this will be the final launch of the mighty rocket, whose incredible payload capacity will remain the highest in the world for a while still. It's time: on the 23rd of march 1978 the final Saturn V lifts off from Cape Canaveral, clearing the tower and continuing towards LEO with the unrivaled thrust of its five F-1 engines.

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As it starts unfurling its solar panels, this phase of the space station assembly is complete: while it was still in the planning stage NASA decided that it would wait for the EOS's arrival before continuing the deployment, which will then proceed to deorbit the stage right before reentering itself to return to Cape's Shuttle Landing Facility.

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1978: A space Odyssey, part 2

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Half a weel after Odyssey's successful launch, it's time for its first crew to reach it; EOS Tenacity is standing atop the Ingenuity, ready to lift off from LC-39B. Before I forget, below there is the mission profile these missions follow, described by the Manned Spacecraft Center here (warning: it's a jstor link, which means you need an institutional account to access it)
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The EOS payload bay for this mission is quite simple: a couple experiments, a RAM module (the one that in real life was renamed "spacelab") with a docking port and  an extended docking tunnel to be transported to one of Odyssey's forward docking ports

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After an initial inspection of the Odyssey core module, Tenacity's commander orders the release of the docking covers that protected them during launch; the operations for the final approach can now begin

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The docking procedures have been completed: passing in the tunnel that connects Odyssey and Tenacity, the crew of 8 inaugurates the 10 meter space station and completes its deployment. Their visit won't last long, however; after two days of operations the crew returns to the EOS to complete the final step of of the deployment, which is the safe disposal of the S-II stage.

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Using its dual ARM configuration and its RCS system, Tenacity slowly separates the two stages from each other; it takes a few hours before the operation is complete

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The next Tenacity will do a burn at apogee that will put itself and the second stage on a suborbital trajectory towards the atlantic ocean; a second burn shortly after the release of the S-II will then separate the two even further and shorten even more the EOS's trajectory to point towards Cape Canaveral, or abort back to orbit if something in the return preparation fails.

The profile of the first part of the mission will be followed by many future launches; half a dozen common modules are in various stages of construction at the MSFC assembly lines, with just as many being considered for the next phases. See you on the next post with the start of Odyssey's modular expansion!

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(Sorry for taking so long to make this btw, the next one should come out much sooner hopefully)

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2 hours ago, Beccab said:

I wanted to add this at the bottom, but forgot - here's a series of early 70s artwork depicting exactly this mission profile which I found some time ago51051191697_205039e544_k.jpg51050383658_81f5e71249_k.jpg51050384023_65a428fe87_k.jpg

I live for this sort of thing. Also Southern comfort food but that's for another discussion.

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@Beccab I have to note that you did a lot of research looking up those plans an concepts which deserves the credit! Please do keep on posting your work. These are very interesting and beautifully made in KSP. 

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15 minutes ago, bokrif said:

@Beccab I have to note that you did a lot of research looking up those plans an concepts which deserves the credit! Please do keep on posting your work. These are very interesting and beautifully made in KSP. 

Thanks a lot! Honestly digging into NTRS (or online in case the report was removed in 2012) is the best part of this, there's sooo many mostly forgotten proposals from the Apollo era that were thrown away by the decision to kill the Saturn series and only develop the Shuttle of all the proposed continuations of the space program and they're all fantastic.

If only the IPP mars plan had clearer numbers it would be perfect, the only data I have been able to find on them is in Von Braun's space task group presentation and it's hard to get some good data out of them. I really need to find a document with the deltaV calculations for the intended trajectory, I tried to transform the masses and isp of the presentation into a decent deltaV estimate of the manuevres used but the expected numbers and the masses given differ quite a bit

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23 minutes ago, Tellurium128 said:

What about nuclear reactor on skylab b? 

It would be quite bad for nuclear reactor to burn up in the atmosphere

(More of a real life question)

Design it so the fussy bits survive reentry (not all that difficult), then very deliberately drop it at Point Nemo in the South Pacific where said bits end up under kilometers of water. Really and truly the best way to dispose of nuclear waste. 

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30 minutes ago, Tellurium128 said:

What about nuclear reactor on skylab b? 

It would be quite bad for nuclear reactor to burn up in the atmosphere

(More of a real life question)

4 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Design it so the fussy bits survive reentry (not all that difficult), then very deliberately drop it at Point Nemo in the South Pacific where said bits end up under kilometers of water. Really and truly the best way to dispose of nuclear waste. 

Both this option and the one of returning inside a Shuttle were proposed at the time; I went with the latter because it has less long term consequences, in the way depicted below
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If you remember, the Lunar Shuttle Test mission starts with Orion at Skylab B completing the separation of the nuclear source from the rest of the spacecraft. This is, of course, a quite risky operation; many contingengy procedures were evaluated, for example if the payload was determined to be unsafe during landing the shuttle was supposed to open the payload bay and eject it over the sea before coming down on the landing strip; the selection of the launch site itself was difficult as well, as it had to be able to support this operation and also have both the launch and landing site together (as the two need to be active at the same time during launch in case of abort, and the safety procedures are very similar). Another example is the 13 km exclusion zone that both the launch site and the landing strip needed to have during liftoff.

If you want to read more on this, here's probably the most extensive document on the matter https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/19730002973/downloads/19730002973.pdf

One last thing: here's both the last possible reactor recovery mode, which is the disposal into a high earth orbit, and an evaluation of all the most likely failure modes in the various phases of the launch of a nuclear payload on a Shuttle
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Yeah, they are quite a lot :P they proposed to avoid some of them by loading the Reactor late into the countdown sequence (which means starting it with the payload bay still open, and with crew still at the launch site), but I'm reeeeally not sure if that could have been such a great move to reduce risks

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1978: Odyssey Two
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(Original poster below)

Spoiler

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The successful launch of the Odyssey core module opens a new phase of NASA's space station development: unlike its predecessors, interim designs made to only last 2-3 years before being replaced by the next iteration of the basic design, Odyssey has an expected lifetime exceeding one decade and made to be incrementally improved thanks to the reusable Earth-to-Orbit Shuttle's capabilities. As such, the 10 meters station sent to orbit on the last Saturn V on the last post is only the starting point of the assembly of the full structure; today, the first three modules are going up to join it into a basic, fully operational configuration.

You may remember this slide from the previous post:

Spoiler

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Other than showing one of the proposed '75 space station configuration, it's also the first page of a series of NTRS reports detailing some of the first modular designs made by NASA, the so called "common modules". The idea behind it is pretty sound: designing a small number of basic Shuttle-sized modules that can be built in series and adapted to fit all the experiments types that an Odyssey-type station may require, from space telescopes to synthetic aperture radars. I'll describe each common module in more detail in their respective missions, but in short:
- the CM-1 type is made to fit every free flying telescope; it's capable of docking and undocking from Odyssey autonomously, move in its vicinity, be refueled and point precisely towards any point in space
- the CM-2 type, quite confusingly, doesn't actually exist: it was originally made for experiments necessitating a certain amount of acceleration detached from the space station, for instance to study fluid physics, but as the study progressed the decision was made to eliminate it and split its role between CM-1 modules and CM-3 modules with the addition of a small propulsion module that isn't part of the CM numbering
- the CM-3 type is a typical space station module; it's a single compartment, 14 feet diameter module adaptable to most space station based experiments that can't detach or dock on its own. Some of the proposed uses are material sciences and cosmic ray research
- the CM-4 type is also a typical space station module, but unlike CM-3 it has a dual compartment to be able to accomodate the last types of experments that didn't fit the previous designs, like space biology
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With the introduction behind us, it's time for some launches!

CM-1: The Solar Astronomy Telescope

Spoiler

The CM-1 proposed designs
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While Tenacity has been temporarily moved to fuel tanker launches, slowly refilling the LH2/LOX depot to prepare for the next missions, the rest of the fleet has a full schedule to support the space station operations; the first to go is Endeavour, ready to carry the first of the common modules to orbit (but not to the space station :P). 
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The first of the common modules to be launched is the CM-1-based Solar Astronomy Telescope; powered by two 1 kW solar panels, it sports 5 different instruments focused on studying the sun:

  • 1-1/2 meter UV-visible telescope
  • 0.25 meter spectroheliograph
  • 0.5 meter grazing incidence X-ray telescope
  • 1-6 solar radii coronagraph
  • 5-30 solar radii coronagraph

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Unlike the other common modules, this one will be deployed as a free flying satellite; it will then complete the climb to the station on its own after deployment is complete, while the EOS crew completes their two weeks long sortie mission on their own

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Once the onboard crew has completed the checkouts, the CM-1 ready to go; the telescope activates its onboard engines and detaches from Endeavour, starting a mission that will hopefully last for a decade or more

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CM-3: The Physics & Chemistry Lab

Spoiler

The CM-3 series of modules
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It's Enterprise's turn now: her and Orion will carry respectively the smallest and biggest station-based Common Module, both being CM-3 types. She is carrying the Physics & Chemistry Laboratory, a basic modification of the basic CM-3 module depicted below; functioning as an experiment airlock, the facilities it provides include a chemistry lab, metallographic apparatus, X-ray diffraction machine, and a mass spectrograph.
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After traslating to the RAM-mounted docking port with the help of the robotic arm, Enterprise's pilot starts moving towards the Odyssey aft docking ring, soon-to-be home of the station's most important research labs

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This first part of the assembly will be followed up soon: as Enterprise undocks from the station, the CM-3 CRL is already in orbit and ready to take its place

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CM-3: The Cosmic Ray Lab
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As I said above, the last common module to appear in this post is the largest module proposed: with a length of over 15 meters, the Cosmic Ray Laboratory is so big that I had to remove any kind of docking or berthing port from my EOS model to make it fit (at the time there were proposals of inflatable docking tunnels and ports that would have fit in this configuration, but unfortunately the proposed kind doesn't exist in KSP :/)
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The CRL is one of the most heavily modified CMs, to the point where its main scanners are placed in an isolate section added on top of the CM-3 and with a separate pressure vessel; it's also by far the heaviest common module due to its superconducting magnets payload, weighting almost 17 tons. Unlike the rest, it will also need a separate cryogenic coolant storage, lasting for 1 year before needing to be replaced by an EOS flight
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Shortly after the berthing is complete and the connection finalized, the first cosmic ray experiments are deployed and readied for the next crew

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Next up: the 1978 planetary probes

Edited by Beccab
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This is just gorgeous! 

One small question:How do you manevour modules with habtech 2 robotic arm? They are so unstable and shaky,wobbly.....

Also, how you attached docking ports [cx100 if i remember correctly] to the side of the cylindrical modules?

Edited by Tellurium128
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8 hours ago, Tellurium128 said:

This is just gorgeous! 

One small question:How do you manevour modules with habtech 2 robotic arm? They are so unstable and shaky,wobbly.....

Also, how you attached docking ports [cx100 if i remember correctly] to the side of the cylindrical modules?

Indeed they are :P usually, i tend to release the module first and then capture it with the arm once it's in the position i want for the screenshot, as manuevring them to the intended is nearly impossible. Hopefully once I add OMVs and/or station-based tugs that will become even easier

As for the C-200s, that one was a very complicated kitbash between BDB and KNES in order to add a section with a smaller diameter to the modules and then place them in there to remain shielded during launch as they would have been in the real thing

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Just now, Kerbalsaurus said:

Are you using RSS or is this KSRSS. You’re probably asked this question very commonly, so I apologize. I just didn’t see someone else ask this when I read through the whole thread, so I am curious.

No worries! Most of the missions were made in JNSQ, until the lunar shuttle test; beyond that, i had to change to the stock system since my laptop had some issue i don't know that reduced its usable RAM quite a bit, to the point i couldn't really use both JNSQ and the visual mods anymore

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9 minutes ago, Beccab said:

No worries! Most of the missions were made in JNSQ, until the lunar shuttle test; beyond that, i had to change to the stock system since my laptop had some issue i don't know that reduced its usable RAM quite a bit, to the point i couldn't really use both JNSQ and the visual mods anymore

Thanks! I’m surprised that none of these were done with any mod involving our solar system.

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16 hours ago, Tellurium128 said:

This is just gorgeous! 

One small question:How do you manevour modules with habtech 2 robotic arm? They are so unstable and shaky,wobbly.....

Also, how you attached docking ports [cx100 if i remember correctly] to the side of the cylindrical modules?

Ah.....another question:

Has your modpack changed from last time you shared it somewhere in this thread?

 

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2 minutes ago, Tellurium128 said:

Ah.....another question:

Has your modpack changed from last time you shared it somewhere in this thread?

 

It shouldn't be apart from a couple i deleted to free up space

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1978: EOS-25
Part 1: Pioneer Venus
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It's been a year since the TOPS-1 failure: the explosion of engine-3 on the space tug carrying it to orbit was the first important setback of the IPP program, and one that could have ended in tragedy had it happened on one of Eagle's flights instead. Indeed, the fact that it didn't injure any astronauts is likely the main reason for which the space tug program is still ongoing; the last space tug still in orbit, an unmanned stage used for Pioneer Mars, was just cleared for flight again after remaining stationed at the orbiting depot since Skylab B's deorbiting. Soon after, in the weeks following the Cosmic Ray Lab mission, it was joined in orbit by the new crewed tug, the "Aries".

It's clear to everyone, however, that after the incident a more realistic view of the space program is necessary to avoid something worse to happen; gone are the estimates for 60+ EOS yearly launches and the rapid refurbishment of the two stages to achieve it, aiming instead in the future to have a more attainable cadence of 2 launches per month, peaking during years of the CIS lunar program. NASA has started preliminary studies to indentify the best course of action, taking into consideration every option: additional orbiters, alternative space tugs and propulsion stages, even possible Shuttle replacements. We'll see how those go in the future.

This brings us to today's mission: despite the setbacks and difficulties met in the last years, the EOS program has reached its 25th mission, as can be seen in the graphic below
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(the missions of the same year are first ordered by vehicle, and then usually chronologically, so what happened before and what later can be a bit confusing)
The EOS-25 launch has been assigned to Tenacity; it is orbiting Earth in a nearly circular 360 km x 365 km orbit, carrying both Pioneer Venus and the "Wolf" asteroid belt probe. The first to go will be Pioneer Venus, a fully reusable dual space tug launch that will take place from the OPD; but first, the "Aries" manned tug has to detach from its port on Odyssey to take the probe out of the EOS's payload bay and attach it to itself.
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The protocol following the TOPS-1 accident is to limit the crewed portion of every space tug flight to the minimum; while arm manuevers to take the probe out need to have astronauts present, the Aries crew will then transfer to Tenacity to reach a record-breaking 10 people crew on the orbiter during the transfer to Odyssey.

Commencing final approach:
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Pioneer Venus probe extraction
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Aaand transfer to Aries' payload port
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With the crew returning back to Odyssey safely on the orbiter, the launch out of LEO can begin; the two tugs will now meet up at the OPD, dock together and move to the target orbit for the trans-venus injection

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Spoiler

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The Pioneer Venus mission is the first mission to have happened IRL that I recreate in this thread; while in real life it launched on an Atlas Centaur (3 years before the first Shuttle flew) alongside its Pioneer Venus Multiprobe sister probe and was proposed to be reused for a Pioneer Mars mission, in this timeline the two evens are reversed and it's Pioneer Mars that was repurposed for venus with the removal of its penetrator subsatellite. It will study Venus' surface for the years to come, orbiting around it at varying altitudes depending on which mission objective is being pursued at the time. And now, it's time to go!
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Stage separation confirmed
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Good burn - the Pioneer Venus Orbiter will now separate from the uncrewed Aries, while it returns back to LEO to be refueled by subsequent tankers at the propellant depot
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The transit to Venus lasts nearly 7 months; at the end of it, the Star-24 motor on it ignites to enter into orbit around Venus, where it will remain for as long as its propellant supply lasts

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Part 2, the "Wolf" probe

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But before Pioneer Venus has completed its transit time, another mission is about to begin: the Solar-Electric Asteroid Belt Survey. Paraphrasing the NTRS report, the spacecraft, described in various NTRS reports (19700014165 for example), represents the first mission opportunity fully devoted to obtaining data on the space environment beyond the orbit of Mars through the asteroid belt. In 1972 and 1973, Pioneers F and G, respectively, have been launched with the primary intent of investigating the environments of Jupiter, followed by the Thermoelectric Outer Planets Spacecraft in 1978. However, only a small portion of the payload is applied to the determination of the asteroid belt region space environment (cometary and asterodal). The primary objective of the solar electric propulsion asteroid belt is to obtain meaningful scientific and engineering data on the space environment in the region of the asteroid belt; more specifically, it will spend more than three years between 2 and 3.5 AU studying the asteroid belt and its components.

Spoiler

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The mission itself has been named "Wolf", instead of the nearly impronunciable acronym in the report, after the astronomer Max Wolf, who during the first part of the 20th century identified and catalogued 248 different asteroids by himself right until his death, many of which will be studied by the spacecraft itself during its quadriennial mission inside the asteroid belt.

The mission itself happens more than a month after the position we see in the header: two EOS tankers launch, refuel the space tugs, visit the station and return to Earth in the meanwhile and Tenacity itself, after transfering the spacecraft to the payload port of the unmanned tug, has returned long ago. But now, after checking out the probe one last time to make sure it didn't get damaged in the meanwhile, it's time to launch it on a direct injection towards the asteroid belt!

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Shortly after separation, the Aries completes a boostback burn to decrease its orbit and put it back on a trajectory that intercepts Odyssey's. The unmanned tug, on the other hand, will be expended; launches to the asteroid belt or beyond need too much DeltaV for most probes, and there's just not enough fuel to also return to LEO from something beyond TMI on top of that
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After completing another orbit and returning to perigee, the unmanned space tug ignites in its final burn, forever
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Shortly after separation, it's time for the ROSAs (roll-out solar arrays) to unfurl and start powering the onboard instruments...
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...and for the ion thrusters to begin the climb towards the intended orbit
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It's going to be a long journey; as the first planetary probe to use ion thrusters, and the first probe in general to use it as its main form of propulsion, many issues are going to come up along the way that will need fixing. But for all the new data it will give, and for all the future uses its ion thruster technology will have, it will be worth it
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Next up: the CIS and the space platforms

Edited by Beccab
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