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  1. Excerpt from Pathé News 1st January 1951 "In a surprise press conference this morning, eccentric Scottish multi-millionaire investor and self-described 'gentleman adventurer and treasure hunter', Peadar Ùisdean Cameron Kincaid (better known by his sobriquet 'Puck') announced an ambitious new project - he's entering the space race! "Speaking from a hotel in the small town of Kourou in French Guiana, 'Puck' disclosed a recent agreement signed between his newly formed company, Puck Aerospace, the local authorities, the French government and the governments of the neighbouring countries of Suriname and Nova Alba. This agreement allows the construction of a rocket construction, testing and launching facility on the coast north of the town. The governments involved have agreed to subsidise Puck Aerospace's endeavours in exchange for technology transfers and early disclosure of any scientific discoveries. While details were scant, Puck declared that he had already secured contracts and agreements from a number of the worlds leading companies in various technologies, with the goal of developing rockets capable of lifting scientific instruments, radio transmitters and other wholly peaceful payloads, higher, faster and further than has yet been achieved. "While he freely admitted that current technology has advanced only slightly since the infamous German use of V-2 rockets to bomb London and other targets during the Second World War, he firmly believes that sending large objects into space can be achieved in merely a few years with the appropriate investment of time, knowledge, expertise and of course funding. "He spoke glowingly of a future when humanity will be able to throw off the shackles of gravity and travel to the moon and beyond to the other planets of our solar system. Whether his dream is achievable or realistic remains to be seen." === Game info: Table of Contents Off-site links Kerbal X craft hangar - craft will be added after their launch has been reported here GitHub repository for patches, config files and artwork Career Log - statistics tracking of information exported from RP-1 STORY Chapters 1st January 1951 - Announcement of founding of PUCK Aerospace (this post) 15th January 1951 - PUCK Aerospace announces government sponsorship programs 20th April 1951 - First successful sounding rocket launch from Kourou 23rd April 1951 - Appointment of Mr Vincent Glasgow as Administrator for PUCK Aerospace 13th June 1951 to 13th June 1952 - Flight operations reports 14th July 1952 to 11th July 1953 - First contractors appointed and more sounding rocket grind 31st July 1953 to 16th August 1954 - Multiple sounding rocket launches and failures; and a little controversy in the news 20th October 1954 to 14th November 1954 - First monkey on a PA rocket and end of Suborbital Research programme. 28th December 1954 to 3rd October 1955 - Finishing the suborbital programmes (3000km and 5000km milestones). 14th November 1955 to 3rd August 1956 - First orbit and X-Planes 3rd September 1956 to 27th December 1956 - More X-planes and a failed orbital launch 2nd January 1957 to 12th May 1957 - More X-planes and 2nd satellite in orbit 29th June 1957 to 30th December 1957 - Planes, planes and more planes 1958 - Attempted 1ton satellite launches 1959 - Failure, success and a new aeroplane
  2. Wrong Red Moon Greetings fellow Kerbonauts and Space Program directors! You all know the story of the space race as it happened on Earth (and maybe as it happened on Kerbin) but what if Earth's space race happened in the Kerbol system? This is the story of how America beat the USSR to the Mun- but not to Minmus! July 20, 1969- Kerbals set foot on The Mun for the first time. It would have been a crushing defeat for the Soviets, had Kerbin not had a second moon- a second chance for the Union. The advantages were immediately made obvious, along with the extra challenges- substantially less fuel was required, but it was a much longer, and harsher, journey. A new branch of the current space program was founded with one public goal in mind- exploring Minmus. Privately, however, the true goal was the complete and utter conquering and colonization of the small moon. The new branch was MISE- Minmus Soviet Exploration. Several goals have been appointed to MISE: Send unmanned probes to explore and map Minmus. Complete Land a kerbaled mission. Complete Explore further and build permanent bases on and around Minmus. In development Establish control over Minmus airspace. Planned Explore further in the solar system. Planned Mission Guide: Chapter 1: Discovery Myatnee I (Inside OP) Korolev I Myatnee II Korolev II + III Pravda I Korolev IV Apollo 13, Accident Investigation (NASA Mission) Korolev V Crew Transport Korolev V Chapter 2: Exploration Korolev VII Salyut I Progress I Korolev X WoRM is on KerbalX! Check out the hangar for some sweet Soviet craft, more coming soon! Author's note on the timeline: (nonessential reading, for fun) Chapter 1: Discovery Examining the current resources of the space program, it was found step one could be completed with existing technology- a small probe/lander, originally designed for The Mun, the design had fallen short of the required fuel. It would be perfect for Minmus, however. Enter Myatnee. Launched from a derivative of the R-7 rocket, it has more than enough fuel for a mission to Minmus. This freedom allowed for several landing sites to be chosen and visited in the same mission, saving valuable equipment and money. August 7, 1969- Myatnee is launched. Orbital insertion at approx. T-12:14. Myatnee is ready for TMI, Trans Minmus Insertion. Myatnee I is meters from the surface. Controllers in Moscow watch in anxiety as the computer hopefully makes the correct decisions to land on its own. Our goals were well met in this mission. We mapped a portion of the surface and gathered data on the surface itself. Coming up next: A test of a new Kerbaled vehicle for exploring Minmus!
  3. In November of 2022, a Space Launch System Block I took to the night sky of Florida. But... what if a very similar vehicle flew much, much earlier? What if Orbital ATK didn't demand no less than 5 segments for Solid Rocket Boosters? What if Constellation was much less considered than another option? A proposal going by the name of... "DIRECT" Space Transportation System Derivative ____________________ Common Core Stage Every rocket in the series would utilize a Common Core Stage. This would take the External Tank from the Space Shuttle, remove the feedlines on top for the orbiter, attach a thrust structure to the bottom, remove the nose cone LOX tank, and attach a liquid oxygen tank extension and cap with a forward skirt for mounting instrument rings/payload fairings or interstages. This new core stage would be common to every flight of the vehicle. I will refer to it as the CCS. Naming The name given to each Jupiter launch vehicle had three digits; the first digit being how many stages the rocket has, the second being how many engines are on the Core Stage, and the third being how many upper stage engines it has. For example, the Jupiter-246 has 2 cryogenic stages, 4 main engines, and 6 upper stage engines. Jupiter-130 The Jupiter-130 was the first variant of the v3 family. A new thrust structure would allow for the mounting of RS-25s, which this variant would use 3 of. The instrument ring and payload fairing would be mounted straight to the top of the CCS. This medium-lift vehicle could lift about 50 tons into LEO, and was designed for the sole purpose of servicing and rotating crew on the International Space Station Freedom using Orion. There was no ISS in my timeline. Instead, Space Station Freedom will be the "ISS" of this thread. Jupiter-246 The Jupiter-246 is very similar to the Jupiter-130, but includes a forth RS-25, and most significantly, the Jupiter Upper Stage; a very large hydrolox tank powered by the existing RL10B-2s used on the Delta IV. The instrument ring and payload fairing would sit on top as they would on the CCS of the Jupiter-130. This launch vehicle could put over 100 tons into Low Earth Orbit, which would allow for a crewed return to the Moon and eventually flights to Mars. These two rockets would be the backbone of crewed spaceflight, for decades to come; allowing for continued and much safer servicing of Freedom, a return to the Lunar surface, rides to Near Earth Objects, eventual flights to Mars, and much more... ____________________ On January 1st, 2011, a Jupiter-120 prototype roars into the morning sky of Florida. The age of Jupiter has begun.
  4. Terras Irradient Introduction: Hello everyone and welcome back to my latest Alt-history series focusing on a "What if" scenario in which NASA pursues a program similar to Apollo. That might sound similar because I've done one in the past where you can find it here, but in all honesty it wasn't that great and I was limited to a completely different solar system/modset - not to mention my interest in KSP dropping to an all-time-low. All things considered this will be a remake of the previous timeline but with better rocket designs that aren't just blatant copies of Eyes Turned Skywards concepts. I also have better visuals now and started making posters just to make it even more believable and somewhat plausible. I hope you will enjoy this reimagination/revitalization Inspiration/Special Thanks: @TruthfulGnome and their amazing No Shortage of Dreams Thread @AmateurAstronaut1969/@Jacktical's Artemis Timeline @Beccab's Integrated Program Plan @Talverd's Chasing Dreams Redux: @Jay The Amazing Toaster's Kānāwai: Ares to Mars And finally @PhazzeeYeehaw on Twitter for their extensive knowledge on the Chinese Space program (see latest post) (In all seriousness you should check them out, all of them have awesome posts and builds) Timeline of Events (subject to change):
  5. Welcome back! Introduction: Almost two years ago, I began a thread titled "Chasing Dreams: A Kerbalized Shuttle Alt-history." I was proud of it at the time, but I put it on hiatus after about 6 months of work on it due to my subpar writing skills. I was also pretty bad at the game, all things considered. However, I believe at this time I am ready to restart work on CD - beginning fresh and with many new ideas and better builds to bring to the table. I've been promising and teasing this update for awhile on my twitter and here it finally is. I hope you enjoy the remake as much as you enjoyed the first one. Special Thanks: @AmateurAstronaut1969for inspiration with his Eye's Turned Skyward SSF thread. @Jackticalfor more inspiration with their Space Station Liberty thread. @Jay The Amazing Toasterfor their amazing Kānāwai: Ares to Mars @Antiperson & Marc for being huge sources of help for turning this alt-history into something I am proud of. @TruthfulGnome& @DG1for convincing me to do this originally, and thank you to Truthful especially for coming up with the name. The Space Shuttle Adventures thread & the ISS Adventures thread All of the mod developers that made this possible. Mission List:
  6. "Unwavering Ambitions" Intro: For about a month or two now, I've been researching and planning an alternate history of my own, and I've got to the point that I'm happy to start sharing it. It will focus on many space programmes of the world, but the most radically changed one will be Britain's. I also want to make the disclaimer that I'm mostly doing this for fun, so please don't take anything of this too seriously as it won't be the most realistic at times. Thanks to: @TalverdFor inspiration with Chasing Dreams @TruthfulGnomeFor inspiration with NSoD and giving me some very useful information on some of my stupid ideas @AmateurAstronaut1969 and Aaron for helping provide information on British spaceflight The many members of KC for providing plenty of helpful documents and encouragement Mercury-Atlas 6, on it's final orbit of the Earth. Mission List: Lore
  7. An introduction In the 1980s, NASA proposed a concept for a permanently crewed Earth orbiting space station, dubbed Space Station Freedom. Freedom would be the US counterpart to the Russian Mir. But as time went on, and support for the idea dwindled, space station freedom was canned. Luckily, this concept would eventually evolve into the International Space Station that we have today, which you can find here documented in @Kuiper_Belt and @lemon cup's wonderful thread ISS Adventures! I decided to create this thread, to document the construction of my own version of the power tower concept. So where to begin As this is my first post and because I haven't made KSP images properly for people to see before, I am going to be starting of with some shuttle images I've created over the past few days. If you have any suggestions about where you would like to se me take this thread and how to improve it, don't hesitate to tell me! Thanks I'd like to give a huge thanks to @lemon cup for giving me advice on starting this thread, he is a HUGE inspiration to me and if you haven't seen his images, they're simply stunning. I would also like to credit some other creators who have greatly inspired me, so I highly recommend you check out their threads too! @Jay The Amazing Toaster with the awesome Kānāwai: Ares to Mars! @AmateurAstronaut1969 with the fantastic ETS Space Station Freedom! @Kuiper_Belt with the amazing Shuttle Adventures! Enjoy! The maiden launch of Space Shuttle Adventure on STS-10
  8. Introduction: Over the past few weeks, I've been exploring an alternate history scenario that considers what might have occurred if the USSR had not collapsed and the ISS project had not been undertaken like it has in reality. The primary aim of this thread is to create a coherent archive of all the lore, mission profiles, and screenshots related to this endeavour. I will document almost every mission I undertake in this thread, and I intend to post a mission update at least once or twice per week. My Inspiration: @Kuiper_Belt with their Incredible Shuttle Adventures and ISS Adventures thread @TruthfulGnome with their No Shortage of Dreams thread @Talverd with their Chasing Dreams thread Lore: 1980: Space Station Freedom project study begins 1981: Mir 2 project study begins 1982: NASA requests Western influenced countries to submit module proposals 1993: USA and USSR agree to "International Space Station" Project November 1997: Second Soviet invasion of Afghanistan March 1998: Western influenced countries begin to place sanctions on the USSR May 1998: Reykjavík Summit, talks about withdrawing soviet troops from Afghanistan collapse July 1998: USSR pulls out of ISS project
  9. Амина Although I've done this already, I've decided to do a new original Mir-inspired station for a story. June 1984 A meeting leads to a consideration of a space station, Sure, they had Salyut, but they needed something better. Salyut stations were becoming old, and most had become catastrophic failures. They had even lost Salyut 7 a few weeks prior to the meeting, so it wasn't helping the situation. August 1984 Another meeting is held, however this time its about a new space station. Do they do another singular launch station? Or do they do something better? One of the members in the meeting thinks for a minute, and then comes up with an idea. "How about we build a modular space station? We launch modules and then we assemble them in orbit over a certain period of time." The room goes quiet, before the meeting leader decides to think about it. "That isn't a bad idea. I'll take that into consideration." A few hours later, the meeting ends. The idea begins to become a concept. December 1984 The first module begins construction. Its design has 5 ports on the front, and 1 port on the rear for Прогресс spacecraft to dock with it later. Its design, although simple, has enough sustainability for a crew for up to a month. April 1985 The first module has been finished. Its life support systems include basic water filtering, oxygen filters which rely on a small amount of water. It had a gyroscope for easy stabilisation, RCS thrusters, 2 small fuel tanks, and a backup generator in case of any inboard electrical failures. It begins to be loaded onto a Протон-К rocket, and within 2 days its ready to be launched. April 22nd, 1985 The Протон rocket is in its final seconds up into launch, 3, 2, 1! It begins its ascent into the atmosphere, planned to be put into an orbit of ~105km. It will be boosted later to an orbit of ~115km. First stage separation, second stage engines lit. Fairing separation a few seconds after the second stage is lit. A few minutes later, the second stage separates and the third stage is lit. A few seconds later, the third stage is disconnected. The core module is now in orbit. The module experiences no issues during deployment. Its antennas, systems, radiators and solar panels deploy.
  10. "Perhaps the single, most consuming scientific question of the space program is: 'Does extraterrestrial life exist in our solar system?' Has life ever existed on Mars? Does it exist now? Are conditions such that some form of life could exist? [...] The systems of the 1970's are the foundation for building major space facilities in the 1980's. The 1975 space station evolves into a Space Base that can support up to 100 people by the early 1980's. This facility allows extensive multi-disciplinary scientific activities as indicated. A geosynchronous station is practical in this time period with the availability of the nuclear shuttle. Similarly, these new systems permit increased lunar operations. The logical culmination of the next decade is a Manned Mars Landing Mission in the the early 1980's. The systems and experience gained in the 1970's make this a feasible undertaking." - paraphrased from Wernher Von Braun's presentation of the IPP to Nixon's Space Task Group, 4/8/1969 Hello and welcome to this thread! My plan with this mission report is to make a reconstruction of the many missions that the Integrated Program Plan would have been compromised of in a chronological manner, starting at the early stages of the program and going ahead until hopefully the first martian mission, but there's a lot more than that happening before that! While I'm taking most of the planning from E. Grenning's schedule, I've modified it to include some of the proposals that were made in the following years both before and after the program's cancellation; some of the schedules will also end up shifting to the right, like it always happens. However, all the key objectives and vehicles of the IPP will remain intact, from the little Space Tug to the massive Nuclear Shuttles and Space Base. The first mission, set in 1974 begins in the next post, but for now enjoy a sneak peek of what used to be the future! I'll probably forget to update this list pretty often, but here's the list of chapters: - 1974: The beginning - 1974: The Nuclear Skylab Crew - 1975 - The reusable Space Tug - 1975: Orbiter approach and landing test - 1975: Skylab B expansion & more - 1976 - The Earth to Orbit Shuttle - 1976: Flying by the d'Arrest comet - 1976: The dawn of the Earth to Orbit Shuttle - 1976: The Orbital Propellant Depot (and Space Tug) (also, here's the poster of the mission) - 1977: Assembly of the Orbiting Propellant Depot
  11. "Chasing Dreams" Introduction: Hello, and welcome to the "Chasing Dreams" thread. For the past few weeks, I have been working on my own alternate shuttle program and it's reached a point where I am confident enough to share it here. The main focus of this thread is to have a cohesive collection of all of the lore, mission profiles, and screenshots going forward. The main bulk of "Chasing Dreams" revolves around the shuttle program beginning in 1979 instead of 1981. This thread will follow almost every mission I do related to this, and should continue for quite awhile. Special Thanks: Tim Gagnon for the main patch and several others down the line. @Colby5874& Raccourier for helping me with patchwork. @AmateurAstronaut1969for inspiration with his Eye's Turned Skyward SSF thread. @Jackticalfor more inspiration with their Space Station Liberty thread. @Jay The Amazing Toasterfor their amazing Kānāwai: Ares to Mars @TruthfulGnome& @DG1for convincing me to do this, and thank you to Truthful especially for coming up with the name. The Space Shuttle Adventures thread & the ISS Adventures thread SunsetLimited84 and their Caliverse for the Delta-blue external tank idea. All of the mod developers that made this possible. Mission List (so far): Mods:
  12. May 1984: The US creates a treaty with the USSR. Its primary goal was to cut military spending and focus on more technological advances. This rapidly progressed the new Space Shuttle's development but also revived the Saturn rockets and the Apollo Spacecraft. July 1984: The treaty was Approved, and a new Shuttle launch schedule was approved. NASA also made a few upgrades to the Saturn line but added a few more rockets. Additional Story: In addition, the LC-39 Complex was upgraded to accommodate larger versions of Saturn, the Space shuttle, and eventually SDLVS. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union is developing a rocket similar to the Space Shuttle. Its name is presumed to be Buran.
  13. April 7th, 1974 They'd done it. The Soviets had landed a man on the Moon, and returned him safely to the Earth. His name: Alexei Leonov. After Apollo 17 returned to Earth in 1972, the world thought the space race was over. America had been to the Moon nine times, and landed 12 men there, and the Soviets weren't even close to orbiting it. Yet, on that fateful morning, the Soviets put themselves back into the space race. Any doubts that congress had about NASA immediately vanished, and president Richard Nixon immediately ordered a renewal of the American space program. The Apollo Applications program (AAP) was re-opened, and a new program was created for the revived space race: Apollo-Mars. There were three goals for Apollo-Mars: Establish a long term presence and begin the expansion of Skylab, create a long-term lunar presence with a space station and surface base with a re-usable lander, and as the most ambitious goal of the program, land a man on Mars in the early 1980s. Just as President Kennedy had set the goal for the U.S. to land on the Moon 13 years ago, America had set another ambitous goal. And so, the new race was on. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To celebrate one year of foruming, I have decided to redo my very first mission report, Apollo-Mars! This time it will have a more in depth story to it, as well show what the Soviets are up too. Did anybody ask for this? No. But I'm doing this anyways. With the knowledge I've gained from other mission reports, this will be 10,000 times better than the old thread. So enjoy!
  14. Introduction About a week ago, I embarked on a quest - a quest to recreate Space Station Freedom from the Alternate History, "Eyes Turned Skywards". I wanted a Challenge, something Cool to do, & something to share and show on the forums. So this will be where I document the creation and assembly of the Station However, this will be my Interpretation of it, as firstly, it's more entertaining to recreate it in your own style/way, and also, I haven't read too much of ETS yet ( I keep meaning to, but I always forget ). For example, this is extremely evident in how I chose to make most of the Ports CBM's and not APAS's like in ETS. this is for a number of reasons, but mainly that the APAS are a smaller diameter than the Modules, and using an adapter doesn't look the best. Where are we? Currently, I have launched the first 4 Flights. Over the next few days, I will post them, making way for the "new" stuff. I'm aiming for a new mission every few days or so (Let's see how that goes ) Mods My Modlist fluctuates a little, but for the most part, the main bits are: -BDB (Note - As my computer is pretty bad, I have pruned most of the files from BDB so my PC doesn't take 1 Hour to load {I'm not joking about that - Sometimes it does}) -Habtech2 -KSRSS 2.5x -Katniss Cape Canaveral 2.5x KSRSS configs -Modular Launch Pads Note: As of now, I am playing in 1.11 as it otherwise, lots of my mods are broken - I will say when I switch to 1.12 Here's the Full modlist as of July 28th: Inspiration I have to say a big thanks to @Kuiper_Belt and his shuttle adventures thread for inspiring me to try something like this. If you haven't seen his Kerbalized Shuttle adventures thread, check it out here: Also a Big thanks to @CobaltWolf for his amazing parts in Bluedog Design Bureau - I literally couldn't do these missions without his parts. Edit - I totally forgot to thank @e of piFor creating ETS - Keep up the work and rock on dude! Where Next? If this turns out to be popular, well, I might just do a full recreation of ETS, either from Apollo 18 onwards or from the start of the space race! No promises though - That's a big challenge to take on, and if I do, it'll be once the BDB Saturn Update comes out, so don't expect it next week I Hope you Enjoy...
  15. Kratos "Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do anything" -Tim Peake, Astronaut In 1988, ESA devised a plan to completely rebrand the agency, with the hopes of taking the agency from a less known counterpart of NASA, to a mighty force of equal status and prestige. 3 goals were set in place to guide the project: 1. Completely rebrand the agency, placing public involvement, promotion of upcoming missions, and science at the forefront of the agency. Redesign branding to be more contemporary in order to communicate the new modern and futuristic mindset of ESA. The main changes include the Kratos logo itself, and a focus on primarily white and blue. 2. Design a simpler, more cost effective and efficient launch vehicle to replace the aging the design of the Ariane 3, now slated for retirement in early 1992. Alongside this, design a new pad and other necessary launch infrastructure to streamline production. The newest ESA member Iceland will create a production and launch site in the area of Hóll in North East Iceland for high inclination orbits and increased launch cadence (Location seen below). The UK will provide a optional third stage named Loki for high energy missions. 3. Awaken the curiosity and excitement of the European people about space much like the Apollo program, and create a passion around space exploration to inspire new generations. In order to reflect the new mindset and aspirations of ESA, a new motto has been created. Dream Great Things. Full Details on launcher and booking below: Mission List:
  16. PROLOUGE: FROM GERMAN SOLDIERS TO GIANT ROCKETS After World War II (WWII), the United States started a secret project called project paperclip to attain German scientists and engineers who worked on many of the German’s weapons of war. Among those scientists and engineers was a man named Wernher Von Braun. He had always dreamed of exploring the stars above, and was very much a space enthusiast. He worked on the V-2 Rocket, a (fairly faulty) missile built to launch at Germany's enemies. It flew higher than a jet fighter, and was hard to shoot down. It one upped the V-1 in every way, which scared the hell out of the allies. Many were captured by the allies, especially the Americans and Soviets. Quickly, both sides got to work designing sounding rocket after sounding rocket, and developing missile technology even faster than the Germans would. Now, back to Von Braun. He, with many other German scientists, built the American’s war machines of the early 1950s. They helped America in the now cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. However, it was a huge blow to them when the Soviets built the R-7, the world’s first ICBM. Von Braun knew its capabilities, too. Here’s where the alternate history stuff begins. The U.S. followed with the Redstone becoming their first ICBM, and this gave Wernher a very interesting idea. He quickly designed a satellite, called the Explorer. He proposed it to the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1955, saying that it may in fact prove America was ahead of the Soviets in the Cold War. They proposed the project to Eisenhower, who gave his request… the green light. Some say Wernher jumped with delight upon hearing the news. However, the USAF was dedicated to air defense, not space. So Eisenhower set up America's space program, called the United States Space Exploration Commission, or USSEC for short. Wherner said his satellite should be done by mid 1956, and the USAF said a Redstone should be ready around then, too. The date picked was July 4th, so America could celebrate their victory on their day of independence. The space age had begun…
  17. Hey everyone! This is my first post on the forums, but I hope you all like this idea! The basic idea here is that I create alternate history scenarios, but only pertaining to one mission. Each scenario will be its own separate AH, so there will be no need to read through all the scenarios for context! I may do AHs of AHs in the future (wink wink), but it all comes down to the support of the community here! I hope y'all enjoy this, and I can't wait to finish the first Mini Alt-Hist!
  18. What is Expanding the Horizons (ETH)? ETH is my take on the apollo program if a lot of AAP concepts and mission ideas (and some of my own ideas) actually existed in my kerbalized way along with many other blessed (or cursed) things! In my timeline Apollo 7 is the first Munar Landing after multiple failures and quick attempts to beat the Soviets to the Mun. Recently Apollo 14 landed on the Mun after month long delays and Skylab-4 is prepping for launch (since a lot of the Apollo stuff is repetitive I'll start this forum at Skylab-4-2) The year as of starting this thread is 1971 and hopes are high for NASA Scientist and the Space Community as a whole. I am open to criticism since I usually screw up things and screenshots will be very novice as I practice camera controls. Current Year: 1973
  19. Backstory: The series starts on the flight STS-107 now let me be clear THIS IS ALTERNATE HISTORY meaning no Kerbal will perish in this series. Redundancy and safety of life is a good focus of the report. This will not be a recreation of STS-107 the only thing being "recreated" is the launch, after that it is all alternate history (Mods lmk if this is not an ok backstory and I will change it). Several launch vehicles will be used in this series including but not limited to: Space Shuttles: Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavor, Columbia Falcon 9 V1 (Don't expect it exactly) Ariane 5 (Yes I know its not American and still TBD) SLS Blocks 1 and 1B (Good chance for no use on this) Inspirations for me to do one of these: @AstroMods : With their upcoming series Odyssey, a rewritten history of Mankind's cosmic existence. @Kuiper_Belt: With their series' of Shuttle Adventures and ISS Adventures. @raptor-m With their series of Rewriting History- Alternative history RSS space program. And many more that I have gained inspiration and enjoyment from. Mods: Coming Soon! The first launch will be released soon just working on some of writings and pictures. If you have any suggestions or comments feel free to drop them below!
  20. "For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness. What new wonders undreamt of in our time, will we have wrought in another generation, and another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered, by the end of the next century, and the next millennium?" Chapter 1: An Accident, a Tragedy, a Triumph. It seems NASA is ready to start this evenings press briefing, here is a statement from Associate Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, James Webb It is with deep sorrow that I address you here this afternoon. As many of you know, at 9:55 this morning the Gemini VI-A spacecraft suffered an anomaly, and the space program experienced a national tragedy with the loss of the Gemini VI-A spacecraft and her crew. Two dedicated, well trained and experienced pilots were on board that spacecraft, and sadly neither survived. Approximately eight seconds into its flight, a dramatic loss of thrust was observed in the Titan booster-rocket. Following protocol, command pilot Walter Schirra pulled the ejection ring in an attempt to get himself, and his fellow crewmate Thomas Strafford safely out of the capsule. It is with a heavy heart that I say the protocol failed them both. We here at NASA have failed them both. All data reported indicates the startup sequence was performed normally and without error, and we are still looking at the potential causes of failure in the booster’s first stage. However, if this were the only problem, the astronauts would still be with us today; Something prevented their parachutes from deploying fully upon ejection, leading them to impact the ground roughly a mile from the launchpad. Recovery teams were sent immediately to begin the recovery of the astronauts, however without a parachute, a fall from that altitude is nearly certain to be a fatal one. I’m aware of the media broadcasting footage of the ejection, and I appreciate them cutting the cameras shortly after. We are not here to speculate, neither to the cause of the booster failure, nor the parachute failure. It will take all the data we have, extensive testing and investigation to draw any conclusion, and to provide a sense of closure to the families, and to the nation. A formal board looking into today's accident will be established this evening, and all subsequent reports as to the cause and our agency's findings will be published by this review board. Data collection has begun, as has the analysis of the conditions of the launch pad, ground support systems, and even the notes made by members of our pad staff and launch teams here at the cape. We will get to the bottom of this incident, so that nothing like it can ever happen again. We thank you for your patience, and we ask that you give the families the space and time needed for them to grieve. As Webb promised, the investigation into the causes of the Gemini 6A failure did begin that evening, however to the public it was known simply as The December 12th Committee. Their findings would shape NASA safety culture, launch schedules, and nearly all subsequent programs for decades to come. The weight of the entire space program, and by extension the space race, was resting on their shoulders. Changes to the Gemini would be somewhat hard to see, but that didn’t make them any less important; The improved safety offered was considered by many to be well worth the wait caused by retrofitting the remaining five Gemini spacecraft. While not the largest change, easily the most impactful was that of the nitrogen purge. Prior to liftoff, when the cabin’s pressure was at its highest, the capsule would be filled with a mixture of gaseous oxygen and nitrogen to prevent another violent fire. This atmospheric mixture would bleed out of the capsule as it ascended, being replaced with pure oxygen, albeit at a much lower and safer pressure. This yielded an equally safe, and well proven environment of pure oxygen held at a low pressure. Another hard to spot change would be the Astronaut Tethering Points (ATP) added to the base of the Gemini’s Docking Adapter. These points were mere metal hoops, meant to allow the astronaut to attach his carabiner to while wearing one of the two life support packs included in the Gemini Program. This would, if functional, allow the astronauts to separate themselves from the nose of the craft by up to 75 feet (23 meters) achieving unmatched distances and flexibility during EVA. Lastly, the capsules would see a complete overhaul in their launch abort capabilities, with their ejection seats traded for a more traditional couch-style seat. NASA would instead opt for a more traditional, thus proven system, the launch abort tower. The tower weighed more than the seats, however due to staging off of the spacecraft 15 seconds after second-stage ignition, this actually resulted in a trivial, yet measurable payload increase. However, the trading of the bulky launch abort seats did have further benefits. First and foremost was astronaut comfort, as the astronauts had substantially more legroom without the ejection mechanism. This legroom could, and would be utilized in upcoming flights to stow tools, house sample containers, and carry additional life support as needed. The final change would come to the Titan-II. The rocket would receive a small payload containment ring which the Gemini spacecraft would sit atop. This 10 inch tall ring would allow for small payloads to be mounted alongside the Gemini, for use in orbit. Umbilical cables connecting spacecraft to rocket would be routed through this ring, with stringers lining the insides. Ultimately, this modification would see minimal use, however it would be the first demonstration of a concept that had been around as long as man had dreamed of spaceflight. It would demonstrate the prospect of man riding alongside cargo into space. This capsule, with all of her substantial safety improvements was dubbed Gemini Block IB, and was given a new coat of paint, distinguishing her from her sisters. The changes resulting from the December 12th Committee would ripple outwards into other programs. Of these, the most impacted was NASA’s upcoming Project Apollo. North American had suggested a nitrox cabin environment in their original bid, but was shot down by NASA management who claimed “It wasn’t a problem, and it hadn’t caused issues on Mercury” words which would later come back to bite them, hard. Rather begrudgingly, NASA agreed to allow the redesign of the Apollo CSM and LM to allow for a mixed gas environment and a reduction in flammable materials, in both the spacecraft and the suits. The agency accepted that this meant yet another delay to Project Apollo, and that it likely meant the first manned flight couldn’t happen any sooner than the third quarter of 1967. Many at NASA’s manned spaceflight center objected to this decision; However ultimately it was considered less of a risk to schedules to wait for a redesign, than to push forward with a flawed one. And with that, Apollo Block IIA and III were born, and the Gemini program was on track for a return-to-flight in June of ‘66. The Committee had closed its final meeting, after 5 long months.
  21. 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. 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. AFT 1 on the pad. Liftoff! AFT 1 past the karman (kerman lol) line, with the Moon in the background. AFT 1 in orbit. On re-entry. 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. \ Commander A. Millet front; Pilot J. Lambkin right; Module pilot D. Ednar left Crew on the walkway. AFT 2 on the launch pad. Liftoff! The crew reports that everything seem nominal. AFT 2 almost in orbit. AFT 2 in orbit. Albert Millet preforming an EVA. "OW! My eyes!" - A. Millet AFT 2 on re-entry. Drogue chutes deployed. Main chutes deployed. 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 Commander Brian O'Neill (front); Docking Specialist Chase Chadsey (right); Pilot Wayne Deely (left) Liftoff! Brian O'Neill claims launch isn't as bad as people say it is. A round 200km Earth Orbit is achieved. AFT 4 AFT 4 at launch complex 39b. AFT 4 in LEO. AFT 3&4 docked together in orbit. "Finally, neighbors! It was getting quite lonely in this neighborhood." -B. O'Neill 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.
  22. The year is 1965. After a successful streak of dominance throughout the Space Race, the Soviet Union kept upping the ante. And when, in 1963, the US challenged them with a race to the Moon, they happily obliged. At the time, the only crew vehicle they had, Vostok, was barely capable of keeping one man in orbit for a few days. However, a trip to the Moon and back would require a larger, more capable vehicle, able to carry two men safely to Earth’s closest neighbour and back and sustain them throughout the trip. Hence, Sergei Korolev and his design bureau, OKB-1, set out to design one of the most advanced crew vehicles there ever was. What they got was Soyuz. Capable of carrying 3 men to Earth orbit and 2 men to lunar orbit, it was created from the beginning to be a workhorse craft, capable of fulfilling every need. However, the spacecraft was a radical redesign from the small, tight-fitting capsules that had came before. It sported 3 sections, an orbital module that gave extra room and facilities for the crew, the descent module to bring them safely down to the surface again, and an instrument module to supply power and resources to the rest of Soyuz. To test fly the Soyuz on it’s first flight, the bravest and brightest cosmonauts were selected. However, only one would get to perform the mission, and that cosmonaut was Vladimir Komarov. Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov was a Soviet test pilot, aerospace engineer, and cosmonaut. At the age of fifteen in 1942, Komarov entered the "1st Moscow Special Air Force School" to pursue his dream of becoming an aviator. After many years of hard work, he was selected to be a cosmonaut, and in October 1964, he commanded Voskhod 1, the first spaceflight to carry more than one crew member. Now, only a mere few months later, he was ready to pilot his second mission to orbit. As the bus drew closer and closer to the pad, he could smell the distinct smell of kerosene. This kerosene was being pumped right into the rocket that would carry him heavenward, the R-7 Soyuz. Derived from the old R-7 ballistic missiles, this had set many world’s firsts, with Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin, and himself flying on this rocket before. Ground crews helped Komarov clamber down through the spacecraft, into the descent module, and as he strapped in, time ticked closer to launch. Finally, after years of designing and planning, the USSR were ready to fly a man into space in a new vehicle for the third time. As the gantry arms lowered down to prepare for launch, Komarov constantly monitored the various instruments in front of him, making sure nothing was malfunctioning. And luckily, nothing was. With all the arms retracted, the rocket slowly brought itself to life. The RD-107 and 108s rumbled to life, making the rocket creak and groan under the force. And finally, the Soyuz freed itself from its shackles, and started towards the stars. Just before the boosters separated, the escape tower jettisoned, flying off away from the rocket, no longer needed. Then, just seconds later, the boosters flew off, in a formation known to many as the “Korolev Cross” The fairing peeled away, fully exposing the Soyuz 7K-OK to the vacuum of space. Seconds before the core stage cut off, the upper stage fired up it’s engines, ready to carry on the rest of the trip to orbit. And finally, after minutes of burning, the rocket went silent, finally reaching its destination. A loud thud came from behind Komarov, as he and his spacecraft floated away from the rocket that had carried them into orbit. The mission was a success, but now came the hard part. After waiting in orbit for a while, Komarov flicked a myriad of switches, and fired the instrument module motor to raise his orbit. Then, after finally completing his orbit raising maneuvers, Komarov lay in wait for the next part he had to play. Meanwhile, in Baikonur… (forgot to mention in the post, but big thanks to @raptor-m for getting me into this. he’s running his own american version of this on the alt history forum, so go check that out!)
  23. INTRO Hello people of the internet and welcome to a new KSP forum series I am doing. This series will be a kerbalised take on the Apollo Program. After reading a whole host of space alternate histories, from e of pi's "Eyes Turned Skyward" featuring Apollo derivatives, to @TruthfulGnome's No Shortage of Dreams featuring his take on an alternate Skylab program, to @Talverd's Chasing Dreams starring an alternate, kerbalised Space Shuttle program with his own fleet of orbiters and combined with my own love of the Apollo Program and what it could've been, I thought why not start my own alternate history thread, starring my own, kerbalised take on the Apollo Program, or should I say....APHELION PROGRAM. Yeah I'm terrible at introductions, anyhow this thread will feature of a variety of screenshots and missions from the Aphelion program from 1964-1973, anyhow, hope you all enjoy :> And please, go check out all of the post I've mentioned above, not only have they inspired me to create this thread, but also are absolutely astonishing and are certainly worth your time. (SA-1 through 4 have been cut out as, to me at least, they were relatively boring though I do have a screenshot from SA-4, the final single stage flight of the Cronus I) MODLIST:
  24. (This was first posted on the Space Exploration StackExchange and the AskScienceDiscussion subreddit first, but I want more input, so I'm posting here as well. As forewarning, the most integral details of this question are bolded.) For context, I have been writing an alternate history involving the accelerated development of spaceflight technology for over 5 years now (one with quite different assumptions from other examples of the subgenre), and one of its long-standing elements has been a wildly-ambitious space probe that would be sent on a Solar System Circumnavigation through a Grander Tour. What does this mean? Well, here are the mission objectives: The main spacecraft body (which I will obfuscatorily name “the Spacecraft”) must fly by every planet (1930–2006) in the Solar System save Pluto. At least a subprobe (“Subprobe A”) must fly by Pluto. Double points if it manages to do so while flying by all 8 other planets. A sample, no matter how miniscule (probably micrometeorites or ring particles), must be returned to Earth by a subprobe or sub-subprobe (“Subprobe B”) after flying by all 8 2006– planets. The course correction to do so may involve as much as an orbital-scale (~9000 m/s) multi-stage solid rocket together with aerobreaking and/or a brutal gravity assist. Double points if it is on or launched from Subprobe A. Triple points if it is on or launched from Subprobe A after the Pluto flyby. Each flyby in the Outer Solar System should preferably be at least 1 synodic period before that of the real-life Grand Tour users the Voyagers in order to prepare for the arrival of a vaguely equivalent program. The base of the spacecraft’s conception was that it would be launched around the time of or before the first outer planets and interstellar probes in real life (Pioneer 10/11) to make time for it to engage on a more proper Grand Tour trajectory. This was reinforced by the fact that said time range roughly overlaps with the 450th anniversary of an Earth circumnavigation expedition done by the crew of a certain navigator, who happens to be the namesake of a far less impressive real-life space mission. So, the rock-hard minimum and maximum are the 450th anniversary of the start of that navigator’s voyage (September 20th, 1969) and the launch of the latter Pioneer, Pioneer 11 (April 5th, 1973). However, it would ideally be launched before September 6th, 1972, exactly 450 years after what was left of that expedition returned, yet as close to that date as possible (i.e. within 1972) to allow as much advanced technology to be used in it as possible—the spacecraft would include developments like 8-bit microprocessors, helical-scan tape data storage, robotic arms, synthetic aperture RADAR, and possibly non-solid-state radioisotope generators. And yes, the first asking of this question was deliberately timed to match with the 50th anniversary of that date and the 45th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 1. (I’d have preferred it to be earlier, but ehh…) Also, the spacecraft’s original conception had it launched on a Saturn IB–Agena D (what I thought was the highest-capacity high-velocity non-Saturn V notional “drop-in” vehicle that could have been made at the time… ignoring that either a Saturn IB–Centaur or earlier Titan IIIE would have greater capacity and could probably be made with similar R&D), but as its size and capabilities grew, its proposed launch vehicle was progressively upgraded until it became the “Saturn 1E-SB”, which consists of 4 stages (more details on which could be provided if required), the last one, not considered integral to the launch vehicle’s identity, being the main course correction stage of the spacecraft. The first 3 stages would have the capability to put the 4th stage and ~5.5-ton spacecraft complex—~28.5 tons in total and ~6.75 tons dry mass—on a trans-Cytherean or potentially trans-Martian injection (up to 3650 m/s tested in KSP RSS RO using a penultimate version of the launch vehicle, probably ~3800 m/s), beginning its Grander Tour… A Saturn V could do so, too, and to be honest I now find justifying the existence of the Saturn 1E-SB somewhat difficult, so I may bite the bullet of switching away from a “Saturn one” platform. Now, how much ∆v would the course correction stage be capable of supplying? A measly… ~5500 m/s. And that’s with the subprobes still attached. So there is a very beefy, though not unlimited course-correction capacity. Now, orbital mechanics is a complex business, and I don’t know if it would even be possible to fulfill even the barest mission requirements given the ∆v budget within that launch window, let alone how it would be done. However, the existence of trajectory designs like this, a flyby of all 2006– planets launched in the same vague timeframe with a negligible course-correction budget, indicates its likely possibility. Note that the 5500 m/s and 5.5 tons payload is a maximum and minimum, respectively—the more optimized the trajectory can be made, the smaller the fuel mass of the course correction stage needs to be, allowing a greater scientific payload, so the more optimized the mission is, the better. And so, the question. Ideally, I’d like to have the specifics of this drilled down by April 5th, 2023 for some sense of timeliness. For more context, this is the encounter order as planned when the conception of this mission reached its modern form: Main spacecraft: Earth→Venus→Mercury→Venus→Mars→Jupiter→Saturn→Ouranos→Neptune→Interstellar Subprobe A: 〃→〃→〃→〃→〃→〃→Pluto→Interstellar Subprobe B: 〃→〃→〃→〃→〃→〃→〃→Ouranos→Neptune→Earth
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