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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 21
- Mods: 2
- Bluedog DB
The Space Race officially began with the launching of Sputnik 1 on October 4th, 1957 giving the Soviet Union its first of many initial victories. The United States had its own satellite program which began in 1954 but was delayed partly by the Eisenhower’s administrative decision to approve the Navy’s Project Vanguard instead of the program that eventually led to first US satellite, Explorer 1. The delays resulted in the United States finally launching the Explorer satellite on January 31st, 1958 after the Soviets had successfully launched Sputnik 2. The Explorer was launched on a Juno I rocket which was a part of the Redstone missile family which also proved the later Mercury-Redstone launch vehicle.
This is my build of the Etoh Vicenza, Bluedog Design Bureau’s take on the Juno I, carrying the Sienno probe which is their approximation of the Explorer 1 satellite. The launch vehicle has four stages with the first being an Etoh liquid-fueled rocket and three stages of Vicenza solid rockets. The second stage consists of a cluster of 11 Vicenza rockets, the third consists of a smaller cluster of three rockets and finally the probe itself is attached to a single Vicenza rocket.
The first stage is a simple liquid rocket that is easily controlled to get the payload into space. I recommend an initial target apogee of at least 200km and above, you could ride out the rocket until its exhaustion if so desired. The first stage should be decoupled either upon exhaustion or once you reached the edge of space.
The second and third stages are used to complete the orbital process and should get you into a stable orbit. However due to the imprecise nature of solid engines you probably won’t get anywhere close to a circular orbit. The fourth stage can be used either as a further booster or to de-orbit once the satellite has outlived its mission parameters.
If you would like to follow a mission profile similar to the Explorer 1-5 mission then shoot for a high apogee between 1 and 2 million km while keeping a relatively low perigee of around 100 to 300 km. This should give you the option to de-orbit the remaining payload with the fourth stage if you fire retrograde at the apogee.
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