Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy holidays Everybody

"Spy shot" :)
I'll be back after Christmas

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Centaur on Krispy kreme doughnuts

I had planed to make the LEO elements first, But in order to make the launch site, I needed to have a rough idea of how tall the lunar Kondor version would be. LockMart's proposals for a wide body centaur will serve as the upper stage for the Kondor. It should work out real nice, Since I can just stretch and shrink the centaur to the size needed for the mission. CECE engine(s) will be used instead of RL-10's, for commonality with the landers.
Centaur 6X + Centaur 1.5X
Kondor-1 + Centaur 1.5X
Kondor-3 and Kondor-7 have the boosters angled correctly now
The Lunar kondor-7

Configs are done for the LEO versions of the Kondor
-180x180km orbit, ISS inclination,
-5000kg, 18.5x7m fairing(atlas 5 fairing 23x5.4m =4019kg)

Kondor-7 isn't doing as well as I had hoped, But it still delivers better performance than I need(60-75t TLI mass)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Up, up and away

I did a bit of crude performance testing tonight of the Kondor. Performance is roughly in the same ballpark as what's described on, But really won't know for sure until I get the configs done.

Size comparison of Kondor-1(RLA-120) with atlas 5

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Flight of the Kondor

Venera-D has been updated . I added an aerobrake to the lander, and updated its config. Landing speed is now below 10m/s. I figured out how to make better looking parachutes today, Made a new one for Venera-D :)

I've decided to call the RLA series rockets the "Kondor" launch vehicle

I did some more texturing and had the first flight of the Kondor today, using Mark Wades specifications(archive of the old astronautix). It was right the money, had no problems hauling 30t to LEO

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Venera-D is finaly done

Venera-D is done and released at Orbithanger, Turns out the problems I had with it was a bug with spacecraft3 or Orbiter, not my launch dates. If its not too much trouble I might update the add-on with a new lander that has an aerobrake,

Last summer I flirted with the Idea of starting SimRoskosmos, a counterpart to SimNASA. Since then I have given up on the idea. But I still plan to make some of the add-ons I thought I would need to pull it off. My idea was to use existing technology, and be as modular as possible. Start with LEO ops, but design everything with growth potential in mind, for lunar and beyond missions.

The key to pulling off something like this is having the right Launch vehicle. Originally I had planed to use Angara, but quickly realized it was to small. After searching Encyclopedia Astronautica, I decided on the RLA series, as the Launch vehicle of choice for this en devour

RLA-120- 30,000kg to LEO
RLA-135- 100,000kg to LEO
RLA-150- 250,000kg to LEO

I started making textures for them today
I overhauled my Fregat mesh and added new textures, for Mustards Soyuz(or anyone who needs a Fregat

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Real men don't need instruction's

Just need to make an instruction manual now for Venera-d, Then its finally finished :). I flight tested, tweaked and made scenarios for Venera-D today, which took at lot longer than I had expected. Admittedly it is a difficult flight to complete, unless you cheat and use unlimited fuel, On the flight towards Venus, you really have to be careful on how much fuel you use, the fregat burn has to be almost perfect, if you use more than 10% of Venera-d's fuel for course corrections you won't be able to get into Venus orbit. and then there is the difficulty of trying to land and insert the orbiter into orbit. If you use the scenarios I made, they set you up for a polar landing close to the north pole, right on the edge of sunrise, and polar orbit for the orbiter.

I have a feeling I have screwed something up, venus express is in a 24hour orbit, the best I can get the Venera-D orbiter in is a 500km x 375millionkm orbit, they both have similar fuel ratio's and ISP, so I figure my launches are screwed up, because the Venus encounter is happening way to fast. I'm going to try running the mission with the Venus express mission event dates, and see if that solves things

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Soyuz, Soyuz, SOYUZ!!!!

Its hard to beat the good old workhorse Soyuz, my favorite rocket, is getting alot of attention from the orbiter community
Mustards versionDarth Vader's and Castorp's version
Check out Darth Vader's site, for another blogging orbiter add-on developer
Astronaut, the man that made that wonderful R-7 ICBM add-on (the one that can accurately bomb your house) is making the R-7 family, and it is very impressiveVenera-D is almost done, just scenario's and the instruction manual to make now

On the drawing boards.........

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Its getting hot in here

Decided to try something a little different tonight.....

no sound(haven't figured how to do that yet)

I made a video of the Venera-d entry sequence, The configs are done for the venus entry part(as shown in the video) but the orbiter config still needs thruster locations set, But otherwise its almost done. Still need a working Soyuz though :(, I might have to hold out for mustard to finish his

If their isn't any complaints, I might start useing video on a regular basis, to cover my development of add-ons for orbiter

Saturday, November 04, 2006

One step forward

Venera-D model is done and in orbiter, Working on the configs now. I have to work out the weights and the aerodynamics for the entry capsule /lander, but things are working out as planned, Which is nice, for a change. Two steps back......
the CVEL Soyuz jettisons the fregat and the Venera-d payload at the same time, Venera-d should stay attached to the fregat, to make the burn to escape earth orbit. Need to find a solution for this

I just switched this site over to the new blogger beta, I think I'm going to do another site make over to take advantage of the new features

Thursday, November 02, 2006


All of the Venera-D meshes are complete now. The colors are screwed up in the picture, because I was cutting and pasting the meshes together for this screen shot :)
The landing sequence is finalized
1. drogue chute deploys
2. drogue chute pulls away backshell, and opens main chute
3. main chute pulls lander out of the heat shield
4. main chute carries the lander to the surface
Now comes the fun part, making it all work in orbiter ;)

Halloween sucked this year, only had 17 kids come by the house for treats, I don't even know why I even bothered to stick around and hand stuff out, but at least it kept me out of trouble. Oh well

Mid term elections are coming up, I have to wonder if this will have an effect on NASA, Since its Bush's pipe dream to go to the moon, and his opposition is expected to have win a majority

Sunday, October 29, 2006

One more redesign

Had to redesign the lander, I couldn't find a way to make the legs fit in the aeroshell, So I went with a landing ring similar to the Venera 9-14/VEGA landers. Also the wind turbine has been redesigned for the same reason as the legs. I think the lander looks better now

Just noticed this

Direct Launcher

"DIRECT is an alternative approach to launching missions planned under NASA's new mandate: The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE)."

They are using Orbiter to visualize this alternative
Great stuff Antonio :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Where the wind blows

Or maybe I might go with the wind powered Lander.....
hmmmm, decisions, decisions...
completely different landing sequence though, it would have to be similar to venera 1-8 (parachute landing, no freefall). Or maybe try something different, inflatable ballute?

Onwards to Venus

Had the first test in orbiter today for Venera-D. Things went great, a couple of things to fix with the models, but otherwise the models are done. I ended up changing the antenna on the Lander to a hollow cylinder like the Venera/Vega Landers, which also doubles as the parachute container. Up next configs and, working out the entry sequence for the Lander(current thinking is something similar to the Venera 9/10 Landers, that's going to be fun to try and simulate)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

But why is the Rum gone?

Because I drank it all.....
I think...
Have to confirm that one :P

I did some more work in my shop on the weeknights, painting and making airlines, I'm running copper pipes all over the place, for my airtools. I did a test the other night, too make sure there was no leaks. Ha!, I had a leak alright, a tiny one, that let out a high pitched, extremely loud scream, when the airlines was pressurized. Add to that my shop is still empty, so you have an incredible echo, just to make things more interesting.

Anyways on to the Orbiter things
I decided to go back to the original RTG powered lander for Venera-D, The wind powered one, didn't look the greatest, while the RTG one looks like it is an evolution of the Venera family. I should hopefully have Venera-D in orbiter soon

Zach I do have a Dnepr model, just needs textures, and a custom DLL, to be accurate, the third stage does a 180 degree turn and pulls the payload into orbit rather than pushes it like most rockets, it can't be done with multistage, which is the reason why I stopped development of it

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Venera-D lander

New wind powered version, had to make most of it up, since the diagram I have is little more than a sphere with a pin wheel on top of it. I think this is going to be it model wise for Venera-D, since there is very little info out on what it will look like(its still really early in the concept definition phase), for those that are interested here is info on the current orbiter/lander proposal
not a lot to work with :(

I just can't get over how stunning these pictures are from MRO and Opportunity of Victoria crater
there is a good write up from Doug Ellison on the Planetary society's blog, of the pics
I see you, Baby
Also a good article in Avleak on Victoria crater
Victoria's Secret 274K PDF

To answer Zachstar's question and anyone else who is interested, in knowing my opinion on blender and google sketch up modeling programs

Google sketch up still has a significant flaw when saving the model as .3ds, you can have textures, but no smoothing groups, or you can have smoothing groups, but no textures, you can't have both for some reason. And at the end of the day the cost for the program is crazy, $500, but I was cheating it. Using the free version to model with, and the time limited demo full version, for conversion to .3ds. :P

Blender, I got about halfway through the "Noob to Pro" tutorial, I learned more about how to use blender as a result, but my opinion remained the same. Its way to complicated, and time consuming, for the kind of modeling I do. Every model I have made so far starts off a rough model made up of nothing but basic, sphere's, cylinders, and boxes. For that Anim8or rules the day. complex shapes and finishing touches, depending on what you are making, Blender/Anim8or are on par with each other, if all you are doing is changing the shape of the faces or repositioning points, beyond that blender is the undisputed king. Textures, I know you can do great texture jobs in Anim8or, just look at the firefly jumbo, or Mustards, station pieces, I just wish they would reveal some details on how they do it. Blender has some great texture tools, But I have yet to see anybody put out a model that would make me want to give up anim8or. (GMAX on the otherhand..... WOW...). For conversion to orbiter, blender kick's ass, with its scripts, however the upcoming anim8or .95 will support scripts as well

At the end of the day, Kudos to those who use Blender, But I won't be one of them

BTW happy Thanksgiving
my fellow Canuckistani's :P

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Making progress on Venera-D. I came across some more recent info today on Venera-D, The design for the orbiter is still the same, but the lander has changed to a wind powered version, instead of RTG powered, So I might remodel the lander.