Project Mars Ascent / Descent Vehicle

francisdrake

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Lockheed Martin's Mars Ascent/Descent Vehicle (MADV) was presented as part of the 'Mars Base Camp' architecture in Adelaide in Sept 2017, the same conference Elon Musk presented his BFR.

The vessel looks amazingly 1950s rocketpunk, like a crossover between a Lockheed Electra airliner and an Atlas Mercury rocket! Still the paper seems very well researched.

This vessel is built for sorties of 4 astronauts for ten days from Martian orbit to surface. It is a fully reusable lander and single-stage to orbit vehicle, which can be refueled with LH2/LOX in Mars orbit.

When entering the Martian atmosphere, the vessel sheds most of its energy in aerodynamic flight before pitching up to a propulsive landing. Also a fully propulsive landing using a landing MFD is possible.
 

Attachments

  • MADV-02.zip
    334.8 KB · Views: 35
  • Gale Crater Base.zip
    20.2 KB · Views: 30
  • MADV-03.zip
    749.7 KB · Views: 42
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statickid

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Wow it's so cartoon I can't believe it's a real vehicle!! I hope they make this haha
 

francisdrake

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I can't believe it's a real vehicle
The Mars Base Camp study by Lockheed Martin sounds reasonable. Obviously they are looking for an application of their Orion capsule and other space hardware. Their concept adresses several topics like reusabilty, protecting the crew from radiation by hiding the crew quarters between hydrogen tanks, use two vessels of each type for redundancy, etc.

The lander is indeed very special. It is an alternative to Boeing's MDV/MAV, which uses an inflateable heat shield. It will be interesting which type will be preferred. I would love to see this Tintin-style rocket! :)
---

Olympus Mons base is included in the default Orbiter installation.
 

statickid

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Just wanted to post this for anyone who didn't follow the link!

 

francisdrake

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For comparision. :)
Rover and astronauts will be in the next release, as static models.

What looks like a silver-black colouring are actually effects of different reflections of the surface. The model has a complicated mesh and Orbiters renders quite hard borders. I tried to soften this, but what seems ok in the modelling program gives very distinct shading in Orbiter.
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For those who want to land in Gale Crater, as shown in the screen shot above, I added a small "Gale Crater.zip" to the title post. It contains a very simple (3 white tanks) base, to be copied into the Config/Mars/Base folder. This gives a target for any landing MFD.
 
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Urwumpe

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It could also be dust blown onto the spacecraft.
 

4throck

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The model has a complicated mesh and Orbiters renders quite hard borders.

I too have that problem sometimes.
Check your normals and if needed subdivide your mesh so that you have regular geometry. Sometimes splitting the mesh groups might help.

But Orbiter is always right:thumbup: if it looks funny then the mesh has a problem :lol:
 

francisdrake

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New version 02 in the top post.
With this version I managed a controlled flip-over from aerodynamic to powered descent with a manual landing, though far out in the wilderness and a like shaky on ground contact.

Major changes:
Copied the aerodynamic behaviour of the Space Shuttle, as this behaves well even in the Mars atmosphere. Adjusted it to the sizes and characteristic lengths of the MADV.
It is recommended to use KillRot and not to exceed 10x time acceleration during atmospheric flight.

The [A] key toggles between aerodynamic flight with the nose forward, and a reverse-attitude ballistic flight with the engines forward. Use KillRot to stabilize after flip-over. Gradually reduce engine power and righten up the vessel as it slows down.

The [L] key shows a landing party on the ground. Get them back onboard before lifting off. :)
 

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Thank you for this new addon, very nice mesh work. But i checked the complet mass from lockheeds video, there is it 230 000 lb = 104 326 kg.
The empty mass in the addon is to low with only 8 000 kg, it is 30 000 kg. Other websides are speaking from 80 000 kg fuel. The DeltaV with this values should be enough, yours are a little bit overpowered.

Keep on the nice work!:thumbup:
 
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francisdrake

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Thanks for the dry mass value, I did not find it initially and used estimated 10% of the fuel mass. Fuel mass (LOX+LH2) seems indeed around 80 ton, given as the fuel from 2 water transport vehicles which convert 50 ton water into 41 ton of fuel each.

For the near future I will only gradually reduce the overpower, as it is nearly impossible to land and launch the vehicle with this thight margins.
 

Axel

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Yea 80 ton fuel sounds not mutch for a 30 ton vessel. But if you fly carfully it should be enough for one descent and a launch without refilling the tanks.
My experience for most vehicles at mars landing is, that you need about only 50% of fuel of the dry mass of the vehicle for a propulsive landing, in our case for the MADV 15 tons fuel. And the 30 tons dry mass is not mutch, it has the size of space shuttle, but only 30% of its dry mass (shuttle about 100 tons). And the shuttle had only a cockpit + middeck, the MADV has: a cockpit, a sleeping room, a laboratory and an airlock/lift.So the 30 ton dry mass are a damn good value, if possible.

But i had choosen another fuel than H2-LOX, LCH4-LOX is mutch better, because higher dense and no evaporation. Evaporation of hydrogen is 50% of fuel in 2 weeks. Ok Isp is lower with 3750 ms (LH2-LOX 4500 ms), but in the same tank we could fill 193,6 ton fuel, that compensates more than enough. Lockhhed martin choosed LH2-LOX because they have no experience with LCH4-LOX engines and they want power generation by fuel cells. This would although be no problem, if we take solar panels + fuel cells/batterys as backup-system for the case of a sand storms. This needs only very small extra tanks/masses. The solar panels holds batterys at 100% at day, in the night we use that power. So we had a very long mars surface stay-time, of months/years and not only 2 weeks of the actual design.
 
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francisdrake

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... picking up some dust


The MADV undocking from the Mars Base Camp (MBC) before deorbiting.


The MADV on final in the Gale Crater on Mars.

New version 03 on the front post!
Please also re-download the Gale Crater Base.

What's new:
Slightly adjusted the dry mass (20 ton + payload) and fuel mass (80 ton). With this config it is possible to land and take off to orbit again, with some reserve.

Added a Mars Base Camp (MBC) in a 330 km retrograde orbit to have a credible docking target. Scenarios with and without Orion capsule.

Gale Crater Base has been updated with some Mars rocks nearby, deleted the white tanks. The scenario now looks more like Martian wilderness.

Keys:
[A] Change flight model from aerodynamic to ballistic before landing pitchup.
[G] Deploys and retracts the gear.
[L] Send a landing party down.

[C] Belly cam (unfinished), for a better view during landing.
Needs to switch once between internal and external view to work.
 
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