1956, December 17, Press Lounge
Apollo Update from Gene Kerman
Thank you all for coming. As promised, we will today talk about our planned Moon landing. The Press Corp has already filled you in about it, so I will add some of the technical details.
The landing itself will involve 3-4 separate launches, and take place as follows:
- The Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) + Link module.
- 1-2 Refueling tenders
- Command + Reentry vehicle (CRV)
The tenders are already in orbit around the Moon, 4 of them. One is already docked at the Nest, while the other 3 are in packing orbit, awaiting the development of automated docking code. Since they are already there, we are going to use them. They all carry Aerozine/NTO, as this is the fuel we expected in the moon lander to start with. So this step is already one. The reason for why there are 4 of them, is that we simply keep the engineers busy, while waiting for the scientist to develop the new modules, otherwise they would be spending their time on games.
The second step is to send the LEM and Link module to the staging orbit around the Moon. It will be uncrewed and will not carry its landing fuel. This is to keep down the weight, simplifying the lifter design. Once in the staging orbit, a refueling tender will dock at the link module and fill up the tanks, free of charge. We have an excess of 20t of Aerozine/NTO in lunar orbit, so there is plenty of fuel available.
Finally the CRV, nicknamed “the Curvy” by Bill, will lift off from here at the ISC with 3 crew. After 5-6 days of cruising, they will arrive at the staging orbit and dock with the LEM. It carries sufficient fuel for establishing an orbit, and for docking maneuvers, but the CRV is going to have to fill its Aerozine/NTO tank as well. The tank, which will be carrying the fuel to break lunar orbit, and to return to Earth, had to be sent empty, so as to cut down on launch weight.
Once all is ready, Jeb and whoever wins the seating lottery, will board the LEM and head down and land on the Moon. Some time later, they will ascend in the Ascent Vehicle (AV) to the staging orbit and dock at the link.
From there they will, transfer to the CRV, decouple and burn off, to return home to Earth.
Shortly before atmospheric re-entry, they will discard anything not required, which would be any remaining food supplies and one of the habitation modules, as well as the return tank and engines.
The entire voyage is expected to take about 15 days for the crew.
What does the lander look like?
It just happens, that I have a few picture. Let me show you.
What is the timetable?
Well, engineering is an art-form, not an exact science, so we can tell perfectly. Current estimates are, that the rocket will be finished around January 21. It will take a few days to prepare the rocket after that. So, we are looking at launch around 24th of January, if the weather permits. We expect a landing within 10 days after that.
Do you know what is happening with the Kerbinian space program? What they are planning or the like.
Well, from what we hear from their ministry of misinformation, they are planning on landing on the Moon. Illyrien intelligence services have tried gleaming information from their press information, but it leaves a rather incomplete picture.
Further, we have technical information from all the many science and weather satellites, and they paint picture of Kerbinia, which is though active in crewed space science, more so than us, they seems to have abandoned all research in new and improved rockets and engines. They are basically using rockets which are based on years old designs and engines. A strange thing really. From the intel reports, I have received, the best guess seems to be that some sort of internal political conflict has delayed their space program.
We hope they will eventually get over their petty problems and rejoin Kerbalkind in the exploration of the vast cosmos.