by gc1ceo
uploaded 2018-06-20
(updated 2019-01-15)
mod ship
#atlas #vega #vejur #bossart


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: ship
  • Part Count: 32
  • Mods: 3


  • ** Launch Escape System**
  • Bluedog DB
  • TweakableEverything

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 still both organizations also needed an upper stage. The lack of information sharing between a civilian and a military agency resulted in both developing their own upper stages as a stop-gap solution for the problems with the oft-delayed Centaur.

NASA began developing the Vega upper stage to carry its probe and lunar satellites while the combination of USAF and CIA began developing the Agena upper stage to carry spy satellites. There was eventually a disclosure of projects between the two agencies and NASA decided to abandon the Vega and help with the co-development of the Agena. An early prototype engine for the Vega was eventually fired but by 1959 the entire program had been cancelled.

There had been potential plans for expanding the Mercury program even from its earliest inception and included basic plans for a two-seater Mercury capsule (later developed into Gemini), experimental laboratories and even a small habitat all of which were incorporated into various Gemini and Apollo missions. One of the proposals was for a small short-term habitat for either one or two crew to test how astronauts would handle free-floating in open space and a number of other experiments which would eventually be handled by the later Apollo program. The Atlas-Vega rocket was proposed as one of the potential lifters for such a habitat. If this had been approved and further had been successful it would have effectively become the first American space station.

The Bossart is Bluedog Design Bureau’s approximation of the Atlas rocket and the Vejur upper stage is their approximation of the Vega upper stage. The Bossart itself has been modified with extended fuel tanks to compensate for the additional weight of the combined payload.

The Vejur Orbital Laboratory (VOL) essentially combines a Leo Vinci (Gemini) capsule with a habitation module using Bluedog Design Bureau’s MOL (Manned Orbital Laboratory) parts. It is attached to a Vejur upper stage and even includes a small additional antenna to give extra range for communications past that of the typical Leo Vinci or Hermes capsules. The majority of the Vejur’s fuel will be used up during the ascent and orbital burns although a bit should be left over if you wish to successfully deorbit the entire vehicle. If this is the plan then the crew should decouple the attached Leo Vinch capsule where they can 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 1.6.1.

swipe to switch images, tap to close