by gc1ceo
uploaded 2018-06-21
(updated 2018-09-29)
mod probe
#bossart #atlas #belle #agena #lunar


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: probe
  • Part Count: 40
  • Mods: 4


  • Bluedog DB
  • Squad (stock)
  • TweakScale - Rescale Everything!
  • TweakableEverything

Lunar exploration began with unaided observation for thousands of years prior to the beginning of space programs by early astronomers going all the way back to ancient Greece, Babylon, and Egypt. However it only truly began in earnest when Galileo first observed the Moon through a telescope of his own design in 1609 and remarked on how lunar terrain was as vast and differed as the Earth. The introduction of classical Newtonian physics lead to even more serious study of the Moon and its relationship with the Earth. The Soviet Union captured a number of early victories with closer lunar exploration beginning with Luna 1’s first flyby of the Moon on January 4th, 1959 and followed soon after by Pioneer 4 on March 4th, 1959.

The early Luna and Pioneer programs made successful observations of aspects of the Moon’s physical characteristics including its lack of a magnetic field, anomalies in its gravity, and the nature of its orbit. Luna 3 became the first probe to send back pictures of the far side of the Moon which humanity had never seen. The Luna programme would continue to achieve Soviet victory while NASA moved on to the Ranger program of lunar impactors which provided better resolution photos of the lunar terrain. The successful Surveyor program soft landed a number of probes on the lunar surface and at the same time the Lunar Orbiter program surveyed potential Apollo landing sites.

There were a total of five Lunar Orbiter probes sent between August 1966 and August 1967 with three being total successes and degrees of success with the other two. The first three were used exclusively for surveying potential landing sites while the fourth and fifth were more general survey missions including high-resolution photos taken with Lunar Orbiter 5. They were all launched with the reliable Atlas-Agena/D rocket and from a launch perspective were all highly successful.

The Bossart is Bluedog Design Bureau’s second approximation of the Atlas rocket and a replacement for its older Muo design. It is a stage-and-a-half design which handles the ascent and orbital flight and should easily put the payload into LKO (Low Kerbin Orbit). The fairings and booster engines should be ejected upon hitting the upper atmosphere or more approximately when your time-to-apogee has reached 45 seconds. It is possible to still complete your mission with the fairings on but it may cut it rather close on the orbital burn.

The Belle-D is BDB’s approximation of the Agena-D and is used for both the TMI (Trans Munar Injection) and MOI (Munar Orbital Insertion) burns with some fuel left over for additional orbit corrections. If you wish to avoid debris you can either send the upper stage into a Munar impact upon decoupling of the probe or use the probe’s on-board engine for the MOI and have the Belle-D return to a fiery re-entry.

The Munar Orbiter is an approximation of the Lunar Orbiter although it lacks a number of its instruments. The updated version of the probe core has KerbNet access although it doesn’t actually receive its footage from the on-board camera. I have also included a couple of other experiments that mirror the ones included on the actual Lunar Orbiter. The typical mission will be to place it in a highly eccentric orbit to allow for footage at different altitudes. The monopropellent on-board engine can be used for slight orbital adjustments and to eventually send it on its final impact mission.

Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.4.5.

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