Sarnus V-A11
by gc1ceo
uploaded 2016-12-07
(updated 2018-06-03)
mod ship
#sarnus #saturn #kane #apollo


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: ship
  • Part Count: 62
  • Mods: 2


  • Bluedog DB
  • TweakableEverything

The Saturn V was the largest and most powerful launch vehicle ever produced, to date, and was used for most of the Apollo missions excluding 7, ASTP, and Skylab. The Blue Dog Design produced Sarnus V is an approximation of the Saturn V and built to specifications from their manual. This is a full configuration for a munar mission similar to Apollo 11, with a few changes, and including the Sina munar lander which can carry up to two Kerbonauts to and back from either the Mun or Minmus.

The Sarnus V is a three stage launcher which carries the Kane-11-3 CSM for an extended Munar or Minmunar mission. The Kane spacecraft itself is outfitted with a fuel cell for the extended journey as well as a sub-satellite representing the one used on Apollo 15 and 16. The first and largest stage should get you to at least the edge of atmosphere and comprises a large bulk of the rocket. It is recommended that you take some care during the first stage as the rocket can become unstable with too large of an AoA (angle-of-attack). It should be decoupled upon either exhaustion or reaching the edge of space. The more forgiving second stage should finish the ascent, if needed, and handles the bulk of the orbital process. The third stage finishes your orbit and much like in real life will be restarted to handle the TMI (Trans Munar Injection) burn. I recommend a parking orbit of around 100km for best results but small variations in eccentricity shouldn’t have a big impact on the TMI burn itself.

There are basically two recommended ways you can approach the TMI burn. The first uses what’s known as a free return trajectory so that without further corrections both the third stage and the spacecraft will eventually return to Kerbal for a splashdown. This approach allows the spacecraft to be eventually recovered even under catastrophic conditions such as a complete on-board engine failure. This is achieved by simply making sure your planned trajectory ends up in the Kerbal atmosphere. The second focuses on having the third stage impact on the Mun or Minmus with later correction burns by the on-board engine meant to save the spacecraft from the same fate.

Once you have completed the TMI burn then you can plan on decoupling the CSM and MEM from the third stage. You have plenty of time to get this right so you can technically complete at any point before reaching your intended designation but it’s recommended that you do it soon after your TMI burn. You should orient the entire vessel into a normal or anti-normal position first. This minimizes the effect that the decoupling have on your current trajectory; otherwise you may need a small additional course correction or two. The CSM decouples first from the adapter, turns around and docks with the MEM with the combined spacecraft decoupled from the third stage. If you want a bit of extra challenge you might fly in formation with the spent stage which was done during Apollo 8.

Your journey to your destination should be fairly uneventful and may require either a tiny course correction or two, at your discretion, and monitoring your electrical supply. I recommend turning on the CSM’s fuel cell for the most of the trip until you reach your destination’s sphere of influence. You should also not forget to deploy the CSM’s dish antenna which, depending on your setting, may cause an significant additional drain on your electrical supply.

The MOI (Munar/Minmunar Orbital Insertion) burn will probably be the first burn handled exclusively by the on-board engine; however it is possible you used it for small course corrections. If you were precise with your TMI burn and possible course corrections you may only have to fire the engine once to reach your desired parking orbit. If you make additional burns then technically only the first one that puts you into orbit is the actual MOI burn. You might make two additional burns to adjust your orbit to your desired parking orbits. My personal preference has been to use a range of 15 to 30 km but I have made successful landings from much higher orbits as well.

The Sina lander, built to BDB manual specifications, approximates the earlier Apollo LEM configurations and will get two of your crew down to the surface. The lander itself is two-staged with considerably less mass and part total for the ascent stage which should give you a bit of leeway upon returning to orbit. A proper procedure will leave your descent stage at your landing site as a makeshift marker albeit as debris.

Once both spacecraft are re-united in orbit the lander can be safely ejected into orbit or possibly remotely controlled to impact on the surface. The TKI (Trans Kerbin Injection) burn will move the CSM from orbit and place it back on course to return to Kerbin. The burn will probably take about 400 to 500 DV so keep that in change during your mission as you use the fuel cell or adjust your orbit. The journey back to Kerbin should be uneventful as you no longer need to conserve fuel. You probably won’t have enough fuel to establish a parking orbit around Kerbin so don’t worry about it. The service module should be decoupled from the command module just as you enter that atmosphere and should completely burn up in the atmosphere leaving no debris. The re-entry and landing should be extremely easy given the powerful heat shield and the use of triple parachutes.

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