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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 22
- Mods: 2
- Bluedog DB
The Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union truly began on October 4th, 1957 with the Soviets launching the first ever man-made satellite, Sputnik 1. Their victory laps continued all the way up through April 12th, 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to successful orbit Earth. The American space program had to deal with different challenges and first took to sending two sub-orbital missions with Alan Shepard becoming the first American astronaut in space several weeks later on May 5th and then again with Gus Grissom on July 21st. The first American in orbit, John Glenn, finally occurred with Mercury-Atlas 6 on May 24th of the following year which required a more powerful lifter, the Atlas launch vehicle. The Mercury project continued with three more successful missions with the Mercury-Atlas launch vehicle.
The SM-65 Atlas was America’s first ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) and first became operational in October 1959 as the Atlas-D. The Redstone launch vehicle was developed for sub-orbital manned missions so it was clear a much more powerful rocket was necessary to put Americans into orbit. The Atlas-D was further modified into (16) Atlas LV-3B of which nine were launched, seven of them successfully including four manned Mercury missions.
The Bossart is Bluedog Design Bureau’s second approximation of the Atlas LV-3B and a replacement for its classic Muo rocket with few operational differences. It is still one-and-a-half stages much like the real Atlas LV-3B. The main and booster stages are fired together with the booster fairings and two smaller engines ejected upon reaching the upper atmosphere. The main engine continues the rest of the ascent as well as handling the orbital process.
The Hermes is an approximation of the Mercury capsule which is also used in my Etoh-Hermes and Muo-Hermes builds. The capsule separates from the main stage upon reaching orbit with the assistance of four small separation motors. It’s meant for relatively short-term orbital missions in LKO (Low Kerbal Orbit) but should have enough electricity for at least 3-7 orbits depending on your settings. The retro pack which was optional for the Etoh-Hermes is now used to de-orbit your ship and should be enough for altitudes in excess of 200km however I recommend conservative orbital parameters.
The ascent procedure is pretty simple although in some cases I recommend being cautious with your AoA (angle-of-attack) and you may need to restrict to 5 degrees to avoid destabilizing the rocket. The booster fairing should be ejected upon hitting the upper atmosphere and I recommend rolling
flat to avoid problems with the decoupled fairing destabilizing the rocket. However depending on your orbital parameters you might be able to keep it on and ride it all the way to orbit. The orbital procedure is as simple as burning to prograde just before hitting your apogee and is handled by the main stage.
The re-entry procedure is a bit different because it’s handled by a single solid engine in a retro pack, you rotate the craft to retrograde and simply fire it. This differs a bit from history as the real-life retro pack had three separate rockets which were fired in sequence instead of altogether. The exhausted retro pack should be ejected before hitting the atmosphere but can also be retained during re-entry; it may explode due to heat but shouldn’t harm the rest of the craft. The capsule’s nose cone containing its science experiment and antenna should be ejected during re-entry to make room for your parachute deployment.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.4.5.
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