"The Plan"

The Plan for The Sarnus Mission

This is a basic framework for the idea. I'll use this to plan out what I need to do and what ships will be required to do it.

Step 1: Mission Objectives

First we need to define the basic requirements for success. These were imposed on me by no one but myself.
  1. Launch from Kerbin orbit using a single burn (Forcing 1 ship, instead of multiple)

  2. Capture at Sarnus, using the moon Eeloo to brake. Final station orbit: Eeloo @ 750km

  3. Map all 5 moons of Sarnus for the following types: Biome, Slope, Altimetry, Anomalies

  4. Set up 90% communication coverage for the Sarnus system

  5. Return complete science results from at least 2 biomes on each of Sarnus's 5 moons

  6. Visit at least 1 Anomaly in the Sarnus system

Step 2: Rough Framework

Working forwards, we work out the basic steps we assume we'll need. This is the framework that we will use to develop the rest of the mission.
  1. Launch the ship in multiple sections. Assemble and fuel them

  2. Launch for Sarnus and capture around Eeloo at 750km altitude

  3. Mission to the moon Hale

  4. Mission to the moon Ovok

  5. Mission to the moon Eeloo

  6. Mission to the moon Slate

  7. Mission to the moon Tekto

  8. Launch for return to Kerbin. Capture at Kerbin and dock at station OrbitOne

Step 3: Delta-V Requirements

Working backwards, we work out the Altitudes and Delta-V required for each section of the mission. These are basic estimates, usually with 10-15% tolerance added.

8. Launch for return to Kerbin. Capture at Kerbin and dock at station OrbitOne

    • Mission: Sarnus @ ~20,000km (Avg. Eeloo orbit) to Kerbin @ 100km (OrbitOne orbit)

    • Departure: 1,300m/s (Transfer) + 2,600m/s (Insertion) = 3,900m/s (Total Delta)

7. Mission to Tekto

    • Mission: Eeloo @ 750km to Tekto @ Landed (And back)

    • Departure: 600m/s (Transfer) + 400m/s (Insertion) + 2,600m/s (Landing) = 3,600m/s (Delta-V)

    • w/ Return: 3,600m/s (Eeloo to Slate) + 3,600m/s (Slate to Eeloo) = 7,200m/s (Total Delta)

6. Mission to Slate

    • Mission: Eeloo @ 750km to Slate @ Landed (And back)

    • Departure: 150m/s (Transfer) + 750m/s (Insertion) + 2,200m/s (Landing) = 3,100m/s (Delta-V)

    • w/ Return: 3,100m/s (Eeloo to Slate) + 3,100m/s (Slate to Eeloo) = 6,200m/s (Total Delta)

5. Mission to Eeloo

    • Mission: Eeloo @ 750km to Eeloo @ Landed (And back)

    • Departure: 300m/s (750km to 10km) + 600m/s (Landing) = 900m/s (Delta-V)

    • w/ Return: 900m/s (Eeloo to Ovok) + 900m/s (Ovok to Eeloo) = 1,800m/s (Total Delta)

4. Mission to Ovok

    • Mission: Eeloo @ 750km to Ovok @ Landed (And back)

    • Departure: 30m/s (Transfer) + 300m/s (Insertion) + 100m/s (Landing) = 430m/s (Delta-V)

    • w/ Return: 430m/s (Eeloo to Ovok) + 430m/s (Ovok to Eeloo) = 860m/s (Total Delta)

3. Mission to Hale

    • Mission: Eeloo @ 750km to Hale @ Landed (And back)

    • Departure: 130m/s (Transfer) + 450m/s (Insertion) + 50m/s (Landing) = 630m/s (Delta-V)

    • w/ Return: 630m/s (Eeloo to Hale) + 630m/s (Hale to Eeloo) = 1260m/s (Total Delta)

2. Launch for Sarnus and capture around Eeloo at 750km altitude

    • Mission: Kerbin @ 750km to Sarnus (Hale) @ ~20,000km

    • Departure: 2,400m/s (Transfer) + 1,500m/s (Insertion) = 3,900m/s (Total Delta)

1. Launch the ship in multiple sections. Assemble and fuel them

    • Mission: Kerbin @ Landed to Kerbin @ 100km

    • Departure: 4,500m/s (Launch) = 4,500m/s (Total Delta)

Step 4: Mission Grouping

Next, we take a look at the results from Step 3 and sort out what missions can be grouped together, and what the ships will need to do.

Some Beginning Notes

  • Sarnus is far enough away from the Sun that solar panels are effectively useless. This means that every single craft will need at least one PB-NUK Thermoelectric Generator. This massively increases the cost of the mission.

  • I'm going to have a station in orbit around Eeloo. This is going to act as a "Home Base" for all in-system missions.

  • Three kerbals are going to be remaining in orbit around Eeloo at the end of the primary mission. One of each class.

  • The communication components for each moon mission will be independent from the actual missions themselves. Creating the need for separate satellite "packages" to be created. Why you ask? Great question.

Basic Groupings/Decisions/Ships Required

  • Modify the CHEE for the Return Vehicle: For the return trip portion I'll use a modification of the already existing C.H.E.E. 1b. Just need to drop it's solar panels and put on a couple PB-NUKs.

  • Modify the MunLab1 Station: Much like the CHEE, I plan to reuse a station that has worked reliably for me in the past, and simply exchange it's solar arrays for thermoelectric generators.

  • Combine the Hale and Ovok ships: The Hale and Ovok missions are a bit strange. Both take very minimal Delta to land on, and the TWR is extremely high for normal engines due to the extremely small size of these moons. I'm going to build a custom vehicle on a Mk2 hull for both of these, and use RCS thrusters as the primary thrust when landing. Mostly because the CHEE is on a Mk2 hull, and it will balance better. It'll need about 250m/s of RCS Dv, and about 1,200m/s of normal Dv to be able to complete each mission. It will need to refuel after each moon trip however. Only a Pilot and Scientist should be required for these missions.

  • Combine the Slate and Tekto ships: Both of these have decent gravity wells, so I'm going to want a ship that is capable of refueling itself. Nothing I have to date quite meets my needs here, so I am going to build a custom lander designed to perform both of these missions. Additionally, This craft is going to double as the "Tugboat" for the mission, able to thrust and maneuver the station, as well as the large fuel tanks around. Oh, and I'm only going to crew it with a scientist and an engineer, just for kicks. It's gonna need about 3,700m/s normal Dv to be able to perform either mission, the ability to refuel itself, and enough TWR to escape both planets gravity wells. I'm ALSO going to use it for the Eeloo mission. Why? It will do it, and I'm lazy. Overkill? Yes. Is that stopping me? No. Those of us in the business call this "multi-purpose efficiency".

  • Modify existing RA-2 satellites: Standard modification. Removal of solar panels and the addition of a PB-NUK.

  • Modify existing RA-100 satellites: Standard modification. Removal of solar panels and the addition of a PB-NUK.

  • Create new Mapping satellite: Build a new polar mapping satellite, mostly cause I want to. Designed from the ground up to be as compact as possible, and able to operate without regard to distance from the sun.

  • Create new Ore Mapping satellite: This was something I forgot about till I had built almost everything else. I decided to create a completely independent vehicle that was capable of mapping any of the Saurnian moons on it's own, rather than changing the plans I already had. These things happen.

  • Create new Delivery System for Moon Satellites: I want to deliver the Comm and Mapping satellites for each planer in a single package, then have it bust open and deploy everything. Just sounds cool.

  • Create new Delivery System for Main Comm Satellites: I need two (2) "Bunny Ear" satellites around the planet in a highly elliptical polar orbit. Also need to drop the four (4) RA-10 Relays in to a low-ish circular polar orbit. This is probably easiest if I split a craft off for this at the mid way point in the trip. Around the mid-course burn.

  • Create a Central Structural point: This will act as a central structural component for the assembled ship. After the ship disconnects all components it will act as a reserve fuel container.

Step 5: Flight Plan

Finally, we map out each step of the flight. This will be used as the checklist for each basic step of the mission.

Stage 0: Design, Assembly and Shakedown

    1. Launch spacecraft components and assemble

    2. Pre-flight testing

Stage 1: Departure from Kerbin

    1. Departure

Stage 2: Transit and Arrival at Sarnus

    1. Separation of P.S.C.P.

    2. Mid-course maneuvers

    3. Arrival of P.S.C.P.

    4. Arrival of H.M.S. Scope Creep

Stage 3: Station and Main Comms Deployment

    1. Deploy of P.S.C.P. satellites (Part 1)

    2. Deploy of H.M.S. Scope Creep components

    3. Deploy of P.S.C.P. satellites (Part 2)

Stage 4: Communications and Mapping Setup

    1. Deploy M.C.S.P. to Eeloo

    2. Deploy D.S.S.P. to Eeloo

    3. Deploy M.C.S.P. to Hale

    4. Deploy M.C.S.P. to Ovok

    5. Deploy M.C.S.P. to Slate

    6. Deploy D.S.S.P. to Slate

    7. Deploy M.C.S.P. to Tekto

    8. Deploy D.S.S.P. to Tekto

Stage 5: Science Missions

    1. Mission to Sarnus

    2. Mission to Hale

    3. Mission to Ovok

    4. Mission to Eeloo

    5. Mission to Slate

    6. Mission to Tekto

Stage 6: Return Voyage

    1. Departure

    2. Mid-course maneuver

    3. Arrival

    4. Planetfall

"The Spacecraft"