Sarnus S1-B rocket
by gc1ceo
uploaded 2016-11-29
(updated 2018-12-29)
mod ship
#apollo #saturn #sarnus #kane


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: ship
  • Part Count: 59
  • Mods: 2


  • Bluedog DB
  • TweakableEverything

The Saturn I’s success paved the way for the more functional Saturn I-B which was the lifter used for the Apollo 7, ASTP, and Skylab missions and as such effectively began and ended the Apollo program’s manned missions. While it was a very reliable heavy lifter it was also a very expensive one, in comparison to Titan-based launchers, and was retired after the ASTP (Apollo-Soyuz Test Project) in 1975.

The Sarnus I-B is a two-stage heavy lifter derived from the earlier Sarnus I with more powerful stages to make it suitable for manned missions. The lower stage is an improvement on the powerful mover from the Sarnus I which will get the payload well into the upper atmosphere by itself. The Sarnus IV-B second stage is a considerable improvement over the Sarnus IV allowing the lifter to handle 14-15 tonne payloads. The combined lifter is more efficient allowing for a quicker ascent and shorter circularization burn.

The payload is a Kane-11 CSM which partly simulates the Apollo 7 payload and weighs approximately 14.5 tonnes. It has been given just enough monopropellent, ablative shielding, liquid fuel, and oxidizer for extended missions in LKO (Low Kerbin Orbit). Unlike the actual Apollo 7 mission a docking port has been provided allowing it to be used to simulate the Skylab and ASTP missions if so desired.

The service module has a fuel cell for recharging your electricity to allow for extended missions. I have kept the rest of the service modules fairly bare bones so you can add additional fuel cells, batteries, or even a-historical solar panels. If you plan to use any of this keep in mind it will draw from the SPS engine’s fuel supply. I recommend keeping a close eye on your resources and remember you’ll need fuel and electric charge to successful de-orbit following the completion of your mission.

The mission profile is simple enough with the first stage separating somewhere in the middle to upper-middle atmosphere with enough separation motors to safely move the massive spent stage away rapidly. The second stage can be a bit tricky especially in the first few seconds as your time to apoapsis may start to drop just a bit and you may have to re-adjust your angle of attack a bit after the separation. I recommend an orbit between 100km and 150km but some of my test flights have easily made 200-250km. The escape tower should be ejected once you have completely left the atmosphere but there is minimal effect by keeping it during the circularization burn.

Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.6.0.

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