T+ 296 Days Engineering Log

Dantassii

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Topping off SSTV-01's fuel tanks went off without any flags. Our departure from the Titan Station took place on schedule just 24 hours after the station went Initial Operational Capacity (IOC). After falling towards Saturn for the better part of a day, our TEI burn to initiate our 99 day return trip back to the Lunar Station was performed at closest approach. Our closest approach to Saturn was well outside the visible rings and we were able to take many wonderful photos as we left the Saturn system. Titan is located along the ring plane, so they have been nearly invisible to us our entire time at the Titan Station.

3 of the EHEs showed elevated temperatures during the TEI burn, so they will not be used for the remainder of our mission. We used about 12% of our total fuel for the TEI. All 3 MCCs are combined expected to use no more than 2% of our total fuel.

As during the outward leg of our mission, each of the MCCs will be performed using 4 forward and both reverse EHEs. The remaining EHEs will be kept as backups in case the primaries fail during any of the burns.

This inbound (IE towards the sun) part of our mission will be the first real test of the ability of the SSTV design. The amount of delta V required to slow down enough that the Earth's gravity can capture us will use nearly 65% of our total fuel load. 12 days of phasing burns along with a nearly 5 hour Earth Capture Burn (ECB) are currently scheduled. If we don't successfully make all these burns, we will fly by Earth on an escape trajectory that will be difficult to recover from.

Our ECB will not actually put us into an eliptical orbit around the Earth, but a hyperbolic transfer orbit from the Earth to the Moon. A little under 2 days after the ECB, we will perform a 2 hour long Lunar Capture Burn which will put us into orbit around the Moon. Allowing for unknowns concerning where our spacecraft will be with respect to the Lunar Station after our lunar orbit insertion burn, it is expected to take us another day of phasing around the Moon before we will dock with the Lunar Station.

The remaining milestones for this mission:
  • T+315 Days MCC #7
  • T+350 Days MCC #8
  • T+375 Days MCC #9
  • T+380 Days Begin Earth-Moon system phasing burns
  • T+392 Days Closest approach to Earth, Earth-Moon system capture burn
  • T+395 Days Arrival at Lunar Station and end of SSTV-01 Mission #2
Dantassii
HUMONGOUS IMS shipbuilder
 
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