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Old 10-13-2019, 08:11 AM   #1
soumya-8974's Avatar
Smile Moon Direct and Mars Direct implementation in Orbiter 2016

Hello everyone, I am back! While thinking of the Artemis program, I found an alternative vision of the Artemis program by Robert Zubrin. "His vision phases out the SLS and Orion, replacing them with Falcon rockets and Dragon 2. It also proposes using a heavy ferry/lander that would be refueled on the lunar surface via In situ resource utilization and transfer the crew from LEO to the lunar surface. The concept bears a heavy resemblance to NASA's own Space Transportation System proposal from the 1970s."

I like both Moon Direct and Mars Direct because both of them are pretty much ambitious, in my humble opinion! This is my earnest request to implement them in Orbiter 2016.

Last edited by soumya-8974; 10-13-2019 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:44 PM   #2
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Thank you for bringing up the very interesting paper by Robert Zubrin!

His writings are always an inspiration. But in my oppinion he is somewhat overly optimistic. For example assuming a dry-mass ratio of only 7% for a single-stage lunar lander. I think the orginal balloon-tank Atlas had like 8%, but a vessel capable of multiple orbital Moon-Earth transfers has probably more structural mass.
Regarding developing an addon for this:
Would you consider undertaking this task yourself?

It is not as difficult as it may sound.
Half of the infrastructure is already there: The Falcon9, FalconHeavy and Dragon2 capsule by BrianJ and Donamy are available on OrbitHangar.

What is needed is a single-stage lunar lander. This could be animated with the Spacecraft.dll, or even a simple cfg-file. Making the model would require getting familiar with a free 3D modelling program, like Blender. Then import the model into Orbiter, write a cfg-file (~ 10 lines), create a scenario file and you are done!
You can fly single-stage Earth-Moon transfers right away, and optimize your design while playing along with it!
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:16 AM   #3
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I would be cautious about recommending Blender, in its present form (2.80) until we have a working import/export addon for it. 2.79 has such and it seems to work fine, but if you download Blender from the download site you will get 2.80 which will overwrite 2.79. Quite frustrating. There are other free choices for a new prospective modeller. Perhaps Wings3D might be a better suggestion.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:20 AM   #4
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As far as lander goes:
maybe this:


Last edited by gattispilot; 10-15-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by llarian View Post
  you will get 2.80 which will overwrite 2.79
If you tell it so yes... But you can have different Blender versions on the same machine:

I have 3, including 2.79...
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:46 PM   #6
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I made a proof-of-concept version of the Lunar Excursion Vehicle (LEV) described by Robert Zubrin in his Moon Direct article.

It is a simple cfg-file vessel, no animations. The FalconHeavy, Falcon9 and Crew Dragon by BrianJ and Donamy are required for the launch scenarios.
Attached Files
File Type: zip LEV-00.zip (421.5 KB, 7 views)
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:09 PM   #7
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Added a screenshot and an infographic of the Lunar Excursion Module (LEV). Compared to a Dragon capsule the LEV is quite small. Living in there for several days during lunar transfer may be quite challenging.
The size is restricted by weight considerations and by the requirement to fit into a FalconHeavy 5m payload fairing.

The estimated dry mass - including tanks, engines, RCS, landing legs, cabin and payload - seems to be very optimistic.
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