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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 32
- Mods: 3
- ** Launch Escape System**
- Bluedog DB
Even before the Space Race formally began both Soviet and American engineers realized they would need ever larger and powerful rockets for larger payloads including manned vessels. One of these proposals made from the famous rocket scientist, Krafft Arnold Ehricke, in 1956 while working for Corvair. He proposed using a high-energy cryogenic liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen upper stage for heavier payloads which would eventually evolve into the Centaur upper stage.
Both the fledgling NASA, founded in 1958, and the USAF were hoping for the success of the Centaur’s development so they could move towards heavier satellite payloads. The earliest rockets such as the Vanguard, Juno, and Jupiter-C had very limited carrying capabilities although the Atlas rocket, among others, was in late development but both organizations also needed an upper stage. Because of a lack of information-sharing both agencies decided to develop their own upper stages both as a need for complex upper stages and as a stop-gap solution due to the delayed Centaur.
NASA began developing the Vega upper stage to carry probes and lunar satellites while the USAF and CIA were developing the Agena upper stage to carry spy satellites. There was eventually disclosure between the two agencies and the NASA decided to take part in the Agena program which was further along than the Vega which was still in early development. There was an early prototype engine for the Vega rocket stage which was eventually fired but the entire program was cancelled by 1959.
During the early part of the Mercury program there were plans to expand it in several directions including a two-seater Mercury capsule, later handled through Gemini, and for experimental laboratories and habitat of which parts were incorporated into various Gemini and Apollo programs. One proposal suggested a small habitat either for one or two crew to test astronauts handling the open space and experiments that would be part of the later Apollo program. A suggestion in the proposal was to use an Atlas-Vega rocket as the vehicle’s lifter. If this has been approved and successful it would have potentially been the first American space station.
The Bossart-Vejur is Bluedog Design Bureau’s approximation of a possible Atlas-Vega rocket with Bossart being their second approximation of the Atlas rocket and Vejur representing one of the designs for the Vega rocket stage. The Bossart has had its fuel tanks expanded to compensate for the additional weight of the payload.
The Vejur Orbital Laboratory (VOL) essentially combines a Leo Vinci (Gemini) capsule with a habitation module from BDB’s MOL parts. It also includes the Vejur upper stage and a small dish antenna to give communications greater range than the typical Leo Vinci (Gemini) or Hermes (Mercury) capsule. Most of the Vejur’s fuel will be used up during the ascent and orbital burn although a bit should be left over to successfully de-orbit the entire vehicle. Once the vessel is in a decaying orbit then the crew should decouple the Leo Vinci capsule where they will re-entry per normal Leo Vinci procedures.
The lifter has a fairly low TWR compared to most of my Bossart builds and may even take a few moments to fully ascent after ignition. The booster fairings and engines should be ejected in the upper atmosphere although a good rule-of-thumb is when you are about 50-55 seconds from apogee. The sustainer engine will exhaust itself while you are still in the upper atmosphere after which the Vejur upper stage will take over. Since most of the ascent is fairly low TWR it won’t require much of a burn to achieve orbit and should leave you with a bit of delta-V for your re-entry and descent.
I recommend an altitude of about 100-120km, any higher and you may not have enough fuel for re-entry. The vessel doesn’t have any real recharge capability so your mission while longer than your typical Bossart-Hermes mission will still be relatively short. The procedure for concluding your mission is to simply turn to retrograde and exhaust the rest of the Vejur’s fuel. The capsule should be decoupled upon reaching the atmosphere and should be an otherwise easy re-entry.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.4.3.
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