Mars mission (IRIS)

Altaïr

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Here comes the last mission I need to get team Frontier, the Mars mission. And as I will do it with IRIS, this will be a great trip, this will need several flights.

The first step will be to send a small space station around Mars, that will stay in Low Mars Orbit and will mainly serve as a fuel depot.

Here is the first part of that station, launched with the Obsidian:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-05-28.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-07-32.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-10-25.jpg

However, the launcher itself is not enough to reach orbit. That was anticipated, the small drone will provide the few extra m/s needed before reentering the atmosphere:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-12-57.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-21-11.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-25-58.jpg

Now the second part of the station, launched with the Obsidian too:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-12-46-57.jpg

That one is easy to fly in orbit:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-28-28.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-30-00.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-36-58.jpg

And finally, rendez-vous and docking with the first part:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-00-48-10.jpg
The station is now assembled.

Now it's time to send it to Mars:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-13-41.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-20-44.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-12-20-24.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-25-35.jpg

That injection burn costed a lot of fuel! Hopefully, to satellize around Mars I can use Mars atmosphere. Here comes the very hazardous aerobraking maneuver!
The solar panels are retracted, and let's go for a very toasty experiment:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-39-19.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-41-06.jpg
Nothing was burnt, you can check, the station was designed to survive that step.

This pays off, but I need another pass:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-42-05.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-48-45.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-50-33.jpg
Much better.

Now I can finish the satellization by myself.

To be continued...
 

Altaïr

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After a little expense, the station is finally stabilized in LMO:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-01-56-07.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-02-00-36.jpg
Now I have a 78 tons of fuel reserve at my disposal! The solar panels are even dirtier than those of Mars Insight though... Hey, at least they survived the aerobraking maneuver!

Now back to Earth, it's time to send the lander itself:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-28-38.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-30-36.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-31-38.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-36-57.jpg

Once in LEO, the lander can go to Mars by its own means. It has a comfortable fuel reserve for that:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-41-42.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-45-19.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-48-08.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-15-49-09.jpg

Now it's time for another aerobraking maneuver! All the fuel is transferred into the header tank to provide more stability, and the ship is oriented accordingly. This is going to be hot!
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-02-07.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-03-05.jpg

Again, nothing broken. A single pass is enough this time:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-04-45.jpg

The content of the header tank is transferred back, then it's jettisoned, as well as the 2 small heat shields. They have done their job:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-06-34.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-09-00.jpg

Then it's time to dock with the station:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-15-35.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-16-22-03.jpg

Now I am ready to land on Mars!

To be continued...
 

Altaïr

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Now it's time to land on Mars!

And my target will be...
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-33-27.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-34-06.jpg
The Olympus Mons, the peak of the solar system.

The Olympus Mons is so high that at least I won't have to worry about the heat generated on reentry: the atmosphere is still very thin at this altitude.

But killing 1700 m/s to land on a precise zone is harder than expected o_O
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-39-58.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-42-00.jpg

But finally...
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-44-17.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-44-45.jpg
I landed with nearly 0 fuel because I corrected my trajectory to be as close as possible from the edge of the crater.

Time to grab a few samples and to fly back to the Mars station in orbit:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-46-28.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-52-37.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-17-57-01.jpg
The hardest part is done!

But I have plenty of fuel remaining in the Mars station (I didn't expect the aerobraking maneuver to be that efficient, this helped a lot to save fuel). It would be sad to stop here. So let's explore Phobos and Deimos!
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-18-53-21.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-02-04.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-15-54.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-21-49.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-25-55.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-33-55.jpg
I've been surprised by how little fuel it needed to explore the moons, at least by IRIS standards.

Now it's finally time to refill the ship a last time and to come back to Earth:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-37-53.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-39-51.jpg

The reentry from Mars was really hot o_O
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-44-35.jpg
For those who wonder why the reentry temperatures have been set so low in IRIS, this is why.

And finally:
Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-47-53.jpg Spaceflight Simulator_2022-07-24-19-47-57.jpg
Mission accomplished, that trip was epic :cool:
 

The epic chicken

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Very nice, you'll receive you're badge when an admin comes online :p
 

Altaïr

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#5
Very nice, you'll receive you're badge when an admin comes online :p
Haha, thanks. Too bad I'm not an admin to award myself the badge.

By the way, this is a better use of the Obsidian rather than blasting it off to orbit right? :p
 

Astatium_209

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#6
Damn, this is really cool.