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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 27
- Mods: 3
- Bluedog DB
- Squad (stock)
The Pioneer program began with a rocky start in late 1958 with three unsuccessful launches of the first Pioneer probe meant to be the first lunar orbiter probe. The three attempts were made on the earliest version of the Thor-Able rocket. This is my recreation of those missions with Blue Dog Bureau’s Fenris-Alpha rocket and Ramos probe.
This version of my Fenris Alpha build uses three stages, two liquid and one solid, and isn’t recommended for inexperienced players given the imprecise nature of solid engines. The first stage provides more powerful lift to get you into the middle to lower upper atmosphere after which the smaller second stage takes over for the rest of the ascent and circularization. I’ve provided about 200-300 extra dV if you want either an inclined or higher orbit than the recommended 100km parking orbit.
The third stage is for the TMI (Trans Munar Injection) burn but given its solid nature it is rather imprecise and you can easily overshoot your trajectory. However this is somewhat realistic given this could have been an issue with the actual Pioneer missions had they succeeded. You can set yourself to normal or anti-normal when you decouple in case you are concerned about the decoupling having a noticeable effect on your trajectory.
The probe itself is fitted with two engines, a more powerful solid one that gives you about 350-400 dV and a monopropellent engine which gives you about 20-40 dV. You should use the combination of the two to achieve your initial MOI (Munar Orbital Insertion) burn and for altering your orbital parameters.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.0.
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