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Lucifer Air Launch Platform


Ravenchant
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Hi everyone! This is Phase 3 of a fully reusable launcher system. I'm not going to add anything new to it, unless you request something.

On the left, you see the Snowborne unmanned shuttle, rated for 5 tons of cargo.

Posing on the right, the Rosomah crewed shuttle with 6 seats.

And standing in the background, Lucifer ALP itself- the carrier craft.

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The shuttles piggyback on their carrier craft...

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...decouple upon reaching orbit...

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...and land separately of the ALP.

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Both have around 1000 m/s of ÃŽâ€v and ample supplies of monopropellant.

DOWNLOAD

Just unzip to your SPH folder. There are several SPH files inside; one for each version of the craft. The shuttles are now included as separate files, but since they are optimised for that system of delivery...trust me, I tried strapping them onto a rocket. It's hard :D

New in v2: Updated Snowborne! More ÃŽâ€v, better RCS control, better stability :)

New in v3: A new shuttle, Karuna, which can carry both a payload and a crew of two.

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+A subassembly named ALP probe launcher which is exactly what it sounds like: an expendable upper stage for launching small-ish interplanetary probes. I'd recommend separating the fairings while suborbital; action group 5 toggles the solar panels.

Additional pics here!

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Flight instructions and action group bindings are in the relevant crafts description. Of course, ask away if something doesn't work right :P

Edited by Ravenchant
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I love the way you made the front of the Lucifer... and the shape of the wings on all three... and the way you shielded the engines with winglets...

Damn it, I love everything about these three. Glad to see you finally made a thread for them, they definitely deserve it!

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is the carrier craft suborbital or does it release the shuttles in a circular orbit?

Orbital! I've tested the release of the crewed shuttle in a 100x100 orbit, though higher ones are certainly possible with good piloting. When carrying the unmanned one, 200x200km shouldn't be a problem even with a full payload bay.

Also, many thanks for the compliments ;)

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Pretty cool indeed, I almost missed this! It looks beautiful, and it is probably useful to boot. What kind of delta-v do the upper "stages" have? Does this cover cismunar space? I ask because I did something similar in 0.24, but it doesn't look half as good as this, I didn't consider parallel staging since I was using rockets only and the fuel weight was playing havoc with CoM as it was. I think I have a picture somewhere...

Yup, the contraption on the right is the SSTO winged booster, and in the shadows docked to the station remains the RCS-powered capsule with a couple of km/s and gliding capabilities.

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Rune. How bad is the torque caused by the off-center thrust in your thing?

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Rune, it looks really good :) How did you manage to give the capsule lift? Hidden control surfaces?

The crewed version has fuel for 850 m/s, the uncrewed one 1060 m/s with an empty bay and 700 m/s with 4.5 tons of cargo. Not enough for missions to the Mun or further beyond unless the shuttle bay is packed with additional fuel. I managed to land it on Minmus that way, but of course this is a rather pointless endeavour when unable to carry cargo.

LGTdT06.png

Torque problems aren't that huge to be honest, at least until the payload is decoupled. But by then you're in orbit already and can take your time with 1/3 throttle or so.

Here's a WIP shot of an expendable upper stage. It should, in theory, be optimised for putting stuff on interplanetary trajectories while providing it with electricity and control. So far I can manage about 2 tons to Jool or at least 3.5 to Duna/Eve.

SugphT7.png

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Rune, it looks really good :) How did you manage to give the capsule lift? Hidden control surfaces?

The crewed version has fuel for 850 m/s, the uncrewed one 1060 m/s with an empty bay and 700 m/s with 4.5 tons of cargo. Not enough for missions to the Mun or further beyond unless the shuttle bay is packed with additional fuel. I managed to land it on Minmus that way, but of course this is a rather pointless endeavour when unable to carry cargo.

http://i.imgur.com/LGTdT06.png

Torque problems aren't that huge to be honest, at least until the payload is decoupled. But by then you're in orbit already and can take your time with 1/3 throttle or so.

Here's a WIP shot of an expendable upper stage. It should, in theory, be optimised for putting stuff on interplanetary trajectories while providing it with electricity and control. So far I can manage about 2 tons to Jool or at least 3.5 to Duna/Eve.

http://i.imgur.com/SugphT7.png

I almost missed this! Yup, control surfaces like there is no tomorrow clipped inside. But I also did another version where I changed all lifting stuff with chutes, that one could actually work in this version, and with the trajectory calculator I could actually target KSC easily.

And you know, I am liking a lot how you keep on building stuff for this. You could probably use wings as shroud, even with the lift on, that should save some shroud weight and help with lift in the low atmo.

Rune. Practicality be damned, it looks good!

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The original post has been updated with new DL link and pictures! The larger cargo canister is still WIP, so a subassembly will have to do for now :)

....strange name....very very...evil...strange name...

Eh, I wanted the name to be optimistic. "Lightbringer" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily as in Latin unless you're Stannis Baratheon, so I went with that. BTW, "Rosomah" means Wolverine in most slavic languages.

may i suggest super pony sparklez rockets

Are you being sarcastic? I honestly can't tell :P

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Love the concept, seems like the perfect solution to the SSTO problem of having to cart around your lift stage everywhere you go once you're in orbit, while keeping the ability to do pinpoint landings with both craft (which you usually can't do with craft you stick in a cargo bay)

I think I'm going to have to try my hand at making something like this.

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I've tried to improve the unmanned shuttle without changing its appearance. So far, so good :)

Snowborne v1 -> v2 changes:

  • far better RCS port placement and 20% more monopropellant
  • delta-v increased by 140 to 200 m/s, depending on cargo weight
  • changed the, uhh...plumbing. This improves atmospheric stability when there's fuel remaining.

Download link coming soon. Of course the whole thing is far from perfect, it takes too much attention and fuel micro-management to make it work as intended...

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