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Apollo-Mars: Humans on Mars by 1981


Kerbalsaurus
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In 1972, after Apollo 17 returned from the Moon, America thought they had the space race in the bag. But, in 1974, just 2 years later, the soviets landed their first Man on the Moon. A total of three soviet moon missions were held, the other two in 1975 and 1976. The Americans knew they'd have to put the USSR in their place in space. If the Moon wasn't enough, then they had to do the next best thing. On March 11th, 1977, during Carter's state of the union address, he announced Apollo Mars. The goal: Put a man on Mars in the early 1980s, and return him back to the Earth. Out of fear that the soviets were already getting ready to put a man on Mars,  the United States had to get ready and fast. In 5 Months they built 6 Ares rockets, which would carry the crew module all the way the orbiting habitat.

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Ares Rocket

The Ares Flight Test (AFT) Missions will be orbital tests of the Ares Rocket. AFT 1 will be an unmanned orbital test of the spacecraft, AFT 2 Will be a manned orbital test of the spacecraft, and AFT 3&4 will be an orbital rendezvous test, to test the docking systems of the spacecraft. If all goes well, it'll be used to launch the first people to Mars.

 

AFT 1: UNMANNED ORBITAL TEST

AFT 1 was rolled out onto the launch pad on June 5th, 1977. Just 3 hours later, it was fully fueled and ready to launch.

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AFT 1 on the pad.

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Liftoff!

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AFT 1 past the karman (kerman lol) line, with the Moon in the background.

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AFT 1 in orbit.

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On re-entry.

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Parachutes deployed for a safe splashdown.

 

AFT 2: MANNED ORBITAL TEST

On June 18th, 1977, AFT 2 is ready and waiting for launch. All it needs now is the crew. Let's get to know them, shall we?

Albert Millet: Navy Test Pilot; has been flying for 10 years now; Enjoys: Flying & Baseball Games

Joshua Lambkin: Air Force Test Pilot; has been flying for 6 years; Enjoys: Refuses to say

Dick Ednar: Navy Sailor; has been with navy for 9 years; Enjoys: Dancing late at night and not telling anyone.

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Commander A. Millet front; Pilot J. Lambkin right; Module pilot D. Ednar left

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Crew on the walkway.

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AFT 2 on the launch pad.

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Liftoff! The crew reports that everything seem nominal.

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AFT 2 almost in orbit.

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AFT 2 in orbit.

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Albert Millet preforming an EVA. "OW! My eyes!" - A. Millet

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AFT 2 on re-entry.

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Drogue chutes deployed.

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Main chutes deployed.

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Splashdown! After 4 orbits of the Earth, AFT 2 returns back to the surface.

 

AFT 3 & 4: ORBITAL RENDEZVOUS TEST

On July 10th, 1977, both AFT 3&4 are rolled out to the Launchpad and Launch Complex 39b. The flight's goal is to dock two of the Ares modules together in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to practice the maneuvers necessary to dock with the main habitat, due to be launched next year.

AFT 3 Crew:

Brian O'Neill: Marine Core Pilot; Has been flying for 18 years; Enjoys: chaos, bloodshed, and kittens.

Trace Chadsey: MIT Graduate; Has doctorate in engineering; Enjoys: Soft Rock

Wayne Deely: Navy Pilot; Has been flying for 5 years; Enjoys: Stuff

AFT 4 Crew:

Mark Coyle: Air Force Pilot; Has been flying for 10 years; Enjoys: Piloting

Roman Bene: Air Force Pilot; Has adequate training, still has yet to fly a plane; Enjoys: ice cold water & dad jokes

John Gabriels: Drexel Graduate; Has doctorate in engineering; Enjoys: None of your business

AFT 3

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Commander Brian O'Neill (front); Docking Specialist Chase Chadsey (right); Pilot Wayne Deely (left)

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Liftoff! Brian O'Neill claims launch isn't as bad as people say it is.

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A round 200km Earth Orbit is achieved.

AFT 4

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AFT 4 at launch complex 39b.

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AFT 4 in LEO.

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AFT 3&4 docked together in orbit. "Finally, neighbors! It was getting quite lonely in this neighborhood." -B. O'Neill

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Touchdown of both AFT 3&4.

With the conclusion of both the missions AFT 3&4, NASA has finally proven that the Ares vehicle is a very capable vehicle. Next the element of the program to be launched will be the Mars lander, in 1978. While the AFT program has been going on, various tests of the mars lander have been going on. At this pace, we're already on track for the first humans to set foot on Mars in 1981.

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
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Posted (edited)

With the Ares Crew Module completing its preliminary testing, it's time to launch the Mars lander. Since the initial plans for the transfer habitat don't include the lander, the lander is launched 2 years in advance, mostly because of transfer windows. The lander's design is more bottom heavy, since other designs were more top heavy, and tended to flip in simulations. The design has more fuel than really needed, but this is also because the lander will be carrying scientific cargo that will be deployed on Mars's Surface. Without further ado, it's time to start flying.

 

JULY 28TH, 1978

Almost one year after AFT 4 lifted off the launch pad, Mars Lander Intrepid is ready and waiting to liftoff. It's carried by the United States most powerful rocket, the Saturn V. Instead of a crew module being put on top, there's a payload fairing encapsulating the Lander. The Saturn V is currently the only NASA capable of carrying human rated spacecraft to the surface of Mars. Other rocket designs were proposed, but the U.S. thought it would be better to use designs tried and true.

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Mars Lander design.

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Lander on the launchpad.

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Liftoff!

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Orbital Insertion Burn.

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Intrepid in orbit.

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Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) burn.

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Deep Space Coasting period.

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Mars Orbital Insertion burn.

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Lander Successfully in orbit of Mars!

After 6 months of coasting through deep space, Mars Lander Intrepid successfully puts itself into Mars orbit! All that's left for the mission is to set up the habitat that the crew will live in on their trip to Mars. The 1970s had been a successful decade for the American Space Agency. After 20 years, the U.S.A. will finally beat the soviets in the race for space.

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
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1 hour ago, Kerbalsaurus said:

Yeah, I realized that a bit too late.

Anyway to do that?

 

41 minutes ago, Vagrant203 said:

Copy-paste and reply to the thread, or ask a mod, I guess.

Hit the ... top right and select report, and tell us which threads (links please) to merge.

And the collective might smile upon you and merge the threads.

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Posted (edited)

FEBRUARY 28TH, 1979

With the lander successfully in orbit of Mars, it's now time to launch up the habitat the crew will be living in for their 3 year mission. It's launched a top of a modified Saturn V, with no S-IVB, and 9 J-2 engines on the S-II fuel tank. This gives it enough thrust to put itself into LEO. The Habitat itself is powered by 5 LV-N NERV engines, giving it enough Delta-V to send it to Mars, circularize, then send it back to Earth to circularize there, and be refueled for another mission. The habitat itself looks like the top of a Saturn V. Our engineer have no reason for this, they just thought it'd be a nice touch. It does give the habitat a bit of a bizarre look, though.

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Design for the Habitat and Modified Saturn V.

All throughout last night and this morning, everything was fully fueled, and readied for launch. In the afternoon, it was lifted off the launch pad.

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Habitat on the launch pad.

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Liftoff!

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Stage 2 ignition.

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Stage 2 cutoff.

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Stage 2 re-ignition for orbital insertion burn.

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Habitat in orbit.

With the habitat in orbit, everything is finally put into place for a mission to Mars. In 20 months, Apollo-Mars 1 will lift off of the launch pad, and begin the journey to Mars.

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
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NOVEMBER 10TH, 1980

Today's the day that Apollo-Mars 1 leaves for Mars. After 3 years of work, spacecraft testing, lander delivery, and putting a habitat in orbit, the crew has everything they need to land on Mars.

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Apollo-Mars 1 crew.

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (front): The pilot for Gemini 12, and the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 11, making him the second man on the Moon. With his spaceflight experience, it's been decided that he will be one of two people to land on Mars, and be the first man on Mars.

Martin "Marty" Cooper: With 30 years of flight experience under his belt, he's the perfect fit to pilot the the Ares Crew Module and Mars habitat.

Gerry Marsh: A respected geologist in the scientific community, it's decided that he will also be going onto the Martian surface, and will also help to deploy the experiments there.

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Apollo-Mars 1 on the launch pad.

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Liftoff!

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Orbital Insertion Burn.

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Docked with Mars Habitat.

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TMI burn.

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Now the 6 month costing period will begin. Besides a mid course correction burn, not much will be happening in interplanetary space.

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Mid-Course Correction Burn.

APRIL 26TH, 1981

After 6 months, Months, the crew finally spots.

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Mars Spotted

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Mars orbital insertion burn.

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Mars habitat in orbit.

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Apollo-Mars 1 docked with Mars Lander Intrepid.

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Intrepid moving away from the Ares Spacecraft.

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Intrepid on a descent path.

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Almost there...

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Almost there...

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Touchdown!

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Aldrin stepping down the ladder.

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Success! Aldrin has become the first man on Mars!

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Marsh now stepping down the ladder, with Aldrin keeping an eye on him.

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Marsh is now also successfully on the surface of Mars!

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Flag planting on Mars, with Aldrin Saluting the flag.

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Scale of crew and lander.

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Experiment deployment on Mars.

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Space golf!

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Walking away from the landing site.

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For such a big event, Mars is still much bigger.

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^Important work.

About an hour is spent on EVA on Mars's, and the landing crew spends another day on the surface in the lander. This was one the most important moments in Human history. A successful 1980s Mars landing.

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Posted (edited)

APRIL 28TH, 1981

After one day on Mars, the crew prepares to launch to the Mars habitat. From there, they will wait One-and-a-half years for an Earth-Mars transfer window. As they leave Mars, a new Mars lander will be launched to Mars. Without further ado, here's the mission.

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Apollo-Mars 1 shortly after liftoff, with the landing site in the background.

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Shortly after orbital insertion burn (I forgot to get screenshots for most of the lander's excursions :P.)

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Approaching the Command Module.

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With all of the crew on board, the lander is ditched.

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Approaching the Mars Habitat.

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Closing in on it...

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Docked!

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Marty Cooper doing an EVA inspection.

SEPTEMBER 6TH, 1982

With the transfer window arriving, Apollo-Mars 1 is finally ready to head back to Earth. In six months, the crew will be back home, and return as heroes.

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TEI burn.

Meanwhile, back at Earth, a new Mars lander is rolled out to the launchpad, called Roosevelt. This will be the lander used on Apollo-Mars 2. It has new experiments on board, a seismic scanner and iongrapher. We also realized that an engineer will have to be brought to deploy the RTGs, since we learned that people who aren't experienced with advanced technology, probably shouldn't deploy them.

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Roosevelt on the pad.

Roosevelt and all other Mars landers will launch with this modified Saturn V. This time the S-IVB has more fuel added to for, well, more fuel :/. To compensate for the high mass, the S-II has 7 J-2 engines instead of 5. While it's not perfect, it still has a higher TWR, which helps with the higher mass.

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Stage 2 ignition.

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Orbital insertion burn.

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TMI burn.

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Coasting period begins.

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Mid-Course correction burn.

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Mars is spotted.

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Orbital insertion burn.

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Roosevelt in orbit.

APRIL 2ND, 1983

The crew finally arrives at Earth. After 2 and a half years in space, it's a very welcoming sight for the crew. In the next few days, if all goes well, the crew will return home to Earth, and finally win the space race.

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After six months of coasting, the crew finally sees Earth and Moon.

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Orbital insertion burn.

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Crew arrives in Earth orbit.

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Undocking from the Mars habitat.

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Coasting down for re-entry.

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Ares crew module streaking through the atmosphere.

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Drogues deployed.

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Main chutes deployed.

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Touchdown!

on April 5th, 1983, the crew of Apollo-Mars 1 return to Earth! The Americans have won the the space race! The crew return Heroes, and also come back with lots of rocks and data from Mars. Of course, this isn't the end. You can continue the story of Apollo-Mars. Annoyingly, I can't share the save file, but you can still download the craft from KerbalX down below. Happy sailings, and ad astra.

DLC needed: Making History & Breaking Ground

Mods Needed: Modular Launch Pads, Conformal Decals

Mods Recommended: Spectra, EVE, Waterfall, DE IVA Extension, Re-entry Particle Effects, KSC Extended

KerbalX Craft:

https://kerbalx.com/Some_KSP_Player/Ares-Rocket

https://kerbalx.com/Some_KSP_Player/Mars-Lander

https://kerbalx.com/Some_KSP_Player/Mars-Transfer-Vehicle

Edited by Kerbalsaurus
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  • 5 weeks later...

Looking at KerbalX, all of you really seem to like the Mars Transfer Habitat & lander. How would you all feel if I did something like a Mars space station or base set 10 years after Apollo-Mars 1? I can even share the craft files when it's done.

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