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- Type: VAB
- Class: station
- Part Count: 45
- Mods: 3
- Bluedog DB
- Squad (stock)
There were numerous extensions and applications proposed for Project Gemini and one of the most extensive was the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) which was to serve as either a USAF or a joint USAF/NASA platform for space-based reconnaissance. There were a number of different designs for the MOL which evolved as McDonnell sought to extend the life of Project Gemini. The MOS-A represents the backbones design of the MOL and is mostly just the habitation and laboratory modules with some RCS packs, control systems, and a docking ring for a soft one-way connection to an attached Leo space capsule.
The launch vehicle is the powerful Prometheus III-C which is my previous Prometheus III designs with a pair of powerful solid engine boost rockets. The design is a modification of the Prometheus III design from the Blue Dog Design Bureau manual. Since the payload is relatively light (only around 10.5t) I have sharply reduced the fuel included with the launcher to achieve the simple mission of placing the MOS-A in Low Kerbal Orbit (LKO) around 200-300km.
The zero stage (boosters) and first stage launch together with the boosters, at least in this mission profile, able to push the rocket almost entirely out of the atmosphere before they are separated in the upper atmosphere. The first stage continues, at some cases also finishes, the ascent while the second stage handles most of the orbital work. The third stage is fairly optional in this build but can be used to deorbit the MOS-A or even boost it into MKO (Medium Kerbin Orbit) upwards of 1000km although this may make deorbiting both the MOS-A and the attached Leo spacecraft difficult for some.
Most of the MOL designs included an attached upgraded Gemini spacecraft known as the Gemini B; however my original Leo spacecraft should be more than sufficient for the MOS-A. The mission profile is for the kerbonauts to return to the Leo and use that for their deorbit and re-entry. The bare bones nature of the MOS-A means it has no independent options for recharging although the Leo’s fuel cell can be used for this purpose.
The MOS-A can be left in orbit however it lacks the equipment to be docked with by additional spacecraft but EVAs can reach and enter the station regardless.
Update for 1.3
I have added some struts in case the user doesn’t have a struts reinforcement addon, I have adjusted the thrust of the solid boosters for a smoother ascent. I have also made some more fuel adjustments to fit the intended mission profile.
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