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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 78
- Mods: 8
- Bluedog DB
- Kerbal Inventory System
- New Tantares
- New TantaresLV
- Squad (stock)
- Surface Experiment Pack
- Tantares LV
The TKS spacecraft was a combination of two independently developed spacecraft – the Functional Cargo Block (FGB) and Return Vehicle (VA). The VA was initially developed as a descent stage for the LK-1 lunar landing program that was cancelled in 1965. It was moved to another lunar landing program, LK-700, which in turn was cancelled in 1974. It was a very simple return craft with four engine nozzles in the nose, room for three cosmonauts, and an escape tower. When the VA was re-purposed as a supply craft for the Almaz programme the FGB was developed to turn it into a large supply ship.
It had many advantages over the Soyuz-derived Progress logistics spacecraft such as being able to act as a type of space station module, being able to be kept in orbit for months as an unmanned vessel, and being highly configurable. It was tested out, in different parts and configurations, between 1975 and 1985 with the final launched vehicle composing most of the parts and attached, unmanned, to Salyut 7. It was utilized further but the FGB was the basis for most of the Mir modules and several of the ISS modules (such as Zarya). The Kosmos 1267 and 1686 flights successfully docked with Salyut 6 and 7 respectively. These were the closest that the TKS came to fulfilling its intended role.
The TSS (Transport Supply Spacecraft) is an approximation of the TKS borrowed from the Tantares craft files and modified into several configurations. The T-4 is modified entirely removing the ability for the return vehicle to be used for re-entry and landing. This version is only meant to be a re-supply ship or act as a space station module, permanently or temporarily. It can carry considerably more than my Prohres spacecraft including 800 units of monopropellent. It still retains its considerable electric capacity with large solar panels and radiators. It could effectively supplement or completely replace a space station’s pre-existing electric systems.
The return vehicle has been minimized and thus can no longer function as a return vehicle under most circumstances. It still retains the ability to be crewed by three kerbonauts and thus can be used to extend a space station’s crew compliment. A couple of instruments have been added to the top of the vehicle as mock-ups for additional scientific instruments supplied to Salyut 6 and 7 by the real-life TKS.
The supply block portion of the TSS can be controlled remotely and can continue or extend it mission to act as everything from a space station module to acting as a small space station or emergency shelter in its own right. It can support three kerbonauts but has no independent to make a re-entry and landing. This means it can extend an existing space station either permanently or temporarily. It has a single active docking port which should fit the passive docking port on many of my similar builds.
The lifter is the Proton-inspired UB-100 which is used for a number of my builds. It can be an ungainly beast and the ascent may be difficult for the inexperienced. The powerful first stage does most of the ascent work and should be decoupled once you are satisfied with your apogee projection or when you hit space. I don’t recommend waiting until you have reached your apogee as the large structure will be difficult to turn towards the circularization burn. The second stage handles apogee adjustments and orbital circularization. The third stage is largely optional for LKO missions but could be used for additional boosts and has been included for weight balance.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.0.
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