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A mod aircraft called Athena Mk 2V. Built with 155 of the finest parts, its root part is j.cockpit.
Built in the SPH in KSP version 1.0.4.
Not really a different craft - this is merely the Athena MK 2 ( http://kerbalx.com/logandwj/Athena-Mk-2 ) with a Vertical launch booster package (thus the
This launch option for the Athena Mk 2 is for getting very heavy, dense payloads into high orbit or to give the Athena the option for extended operations and payload delivery as far out as Minmus and back.
The Athena is very forgiving of sloppy ascent profiles and has power to spare for getting to orbit with a normal runway take-off without the boosters, so I won’t go into a lot of detail on the ascent profile. I figure anyone who downloads this may want to simply experiment with various combinations of engines on or off and/or when to release the boosters. That’s part of the fun, after all.
In short - start with all engines on and boosters in rocket mode - get up to speed and bend your trajectory down to about 20-30 degrees, and then you can turn off the ARIE engines and switch the B9 SABRE engines on the boosters from Rocket to Air-breathing mode. (Note that reviewing and getting familiar with the action groups and which keys toggle which engine sets and switch modes on the boosters before launch is very much recommended). Continue your ascent mostly on the jets. Switch to rocket mode on the boosters as needed to maintain acceleration. Turn on ARIE engines and switch back to full rocket mode around 30-35,000 Meters altitude with about 10-15 degrees pitch.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You may need to turn the front canards pitch off or back on at certain points during the ascent if you’re using MechJeb. You shouldn’t need the wings roll function on at all - so turn that off until you need it again during descent and landing. Let the reaction wheels and engine gimbals do more of the work during ascent. (But don’t forget to turn all the wing control surfaces back on to their proper settings before beginning to fly properly in atmosphere!)
If you do your ascent correctly - as shown below in the pics - you will be able to reach 70,000+ meters Apoapsis while barely touching the internal fuel of the Athena. And after circularization, it’s possible to still have 80% fuel remaining. Which is more than enough for some extended operations in orbit. In tests I’ve been able to reach Minmus easily with this launch arrangement.
Or - TL;DR option -
ROCKET - JET - ROCKET - Ditch the Boosters - Rocket to Orbit
One other option is possible for the truly ambitious. You could KEEP the boosters on the craft, set up a refueling stop in orbit to top off the tanks, and then send it to the Jool system for operations at Laythe! It has more than enough Delta V to make the trip if starting from Kerbin orbit fully refueled. Even better would be to send it to Minmus for refueling and depart fully fueled from there. Mind - you would still have to ditch the boosters for landing at Laythe. But if what you’re delivering to Laythe in the cargo bay is a mining and fuel cracking station… Well then - no worries and Bob’s your uncle! Heh.
- Adjustable Landing Gear
- B9 Aerospace Pack
- EVA Parachutes
- KW Rocketry
- Mark IV Spaceplane System
- Mk 2 Essentials
- OPT Space Plane Parts
- Squad (stock)
- TweakScale - Rescale Everything!
- Type: SPH
- Class: spaceplane
- Part Count: 155
- Mods: 9