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- Type: VAB
- Class: spaceplane
- Part Count: 211
- Mods: 2
- Built in version: 1.3.1
- Ferram Aerospace Research
- Squad (stock)
The Minnow Crew Return Vehicle Recoverable (CRV-R) is a small, two stage launcher and spaceplane capable of carrying 4 Kerbals. It is controlled using a probe core, meaning it can enter orbit and dock autonomously and act as a lifeboat, much like NASA’s X-38.
I strongly recommend that you use the Atmosphere Autopilot mod as the stock SAS doesn’t make full use of the control surfaces. I use ‘Fly-by-wire’ with ‘Rocket Mode’ turned on when ascending, and just ‘Fly-by-wire’ mode with the other settings off for most of the reentry.
After Kerbals have boarded, detach the boarding tower by staging using the space bar.
Set throttle to maximum, ensure that the Atmosphere Autopilot fly-by-wire mode is on along with moderation and rocket mode, and stage to ignite the engines. They will run for about 10 seconds on the external fuel tank attached to one of the launch clamps. Stage again to launch.
Proceed vertically until the vehicle reaches 100m/s, then begin slowly pitching over. Your ascent will be steeper than usual. Expect to be pitched over to 60° at 12km, and 50° by 20km.
Use the map mode and throttle down to zero when your apoapsis reaches somewhere between 95km and 110km. Your sub-orbital path should end in the sea that is East of the peninsula (see video above)
Immediately stage to separate the CRV and service module from the 1st stage. Press 0 to ignite the engine on the service module and extend the solar panels. Begin burning at full thrust as much as 20° below the artificial horizon on the navball to circularise the orbit.
1st Stage Landing Instructions:
As soon as the CRV enters a stable orbit, enter the map by pressing ‘M’ and switch craft to the 1st stage. Check that the end of its sub-orbital path is in the sea just East of the peninsula or on the peninsula itself (see video above)
Use the stock SAS, NOT Atmosphere Autopilot. Set it to hold retrograde with the navball in Surface mode.
Toggle the Vernor thrusters by pressing ‘R’. Deploy the air brakes by clicking on the brake button at the top centre of your screen (see video). Lower the landing gear, and throttle the engines back up.
It is very responsive, so aim to be moving at as much as 30m/s when you’re 100m above the ground, then throttle up to bring the speed down to below 10m/s before landing. Hit ‘X’ immediately to kill the engines once landed.
CRV Landing Instructions:
From a 100km circular orbit, burn retrograde until periapsis is 7km above the pensinsular East of the KSC (where the 1st stage landed)
Use Atmosphere Autopilot’s ‘fly-by-wire’ mode. DO NOT use moderation, rocket mode or coordinated turn for most of the descent.
Maintain a pitch angle of between 20° and 25°. This will drop to 10° as you reach about 30km altitude as the control surfaces struggle to maintain the angle of attack.
Turn on moderation and coordinated turn for performing S-turns at lower speeds. Deploy parachutes by staging them.
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