Mar 31 2015

BASPM Apollo Lunar Landing Minimum Launch Schedule

This is part of a series of posts about Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager, a game I’ve been playing on my iPad.

I decided to determine a minimum launch schedule, right from the start in 1955 which would lead to landing Project Apollo on the moon. It will of course be necessary to launch more rockets in order to get enough prestige to have the budget to do the later missions. Having a path mapped out from the beginning should reduce the flailing about I sometimes do when deciding which mission to run.

I started by looking at the Apollo Lunar Landing mission (in 1955) and recording what the equipment penalties are. One thing to note, the CSM has -70% in equipment penalties, but the penalties shown only add up to 65%, so there’s a hidden 5% I’m not seeing there. (Probably for uncrewed lunar orbital flight?). I recorded everything in a spreadsheet, available here.

There are some strange dependencies… for example, the Project Apollo Orbital Flight [Type C] has serious penalties for not having already achieved Man in Space and Project Apollo Uncrewed Orbital Flight Test. However, The Lunar Module Test in Low Earth Orbit with EVA [Type D] mission only has penalties for the lunar lander, but takes no penalties for not having Man in Space, Spacewalk, Orbital Flight, Uncrewed orbital flight, etc. Thus, that mission makes sense as the entry point for the Apollo program, eliminating two uncrewed flights and a manned flight.
Actually … that has to be a data entry oversight, either on the mission or just on the planning screen display. I’m treating the mission as if it were dependent on Project Apollo Orbital Flight..

Minimum Apollo launches (for no equipment penalty) then appears to be 10. Missions with the same number have no shared equipment dependencies, and could be launched in any order. Rocket Requirement in Parentheses

1. Apollo Uncrewed Suborbital Flight Test (Suborb 30329)
1. Apollo Uncrewed lunar lander test in Earth Orbit (LEO 14696)
2. Apollo Uncrewed lunar flyby test (TLI 30329)
2. Apollo Uncrewed orbital flight test (LEO 18500)
3. Apollo Orbital Flight [Type C] (LEO-HR 18500)
4. Apollo Lunar Module Test in Low Earth Orbit with EVA (LEO-HR 33287)
5. Apollo Circumlunar Flight (TLI-HR 30329)
6. Apollo Lunar Orbital Flight (TLI-HR 30329)
7. Apollo Lunar Module Test in Lunar Orbit (TLI-HR 45025)
8. Apollo Lunar Landing (LOR) [Type G and H] (TLI-HR 45207)

That leaves an unfilled requirement for Man in Space, which puts a fairly hefty penalty on the Apollo CSM during the Apollo Orbital Flight. Man in space can be filled by either Gemini or Mercury:


1. Uncrewed suborbital flight test (Suborb 1355)
2. Suborbital flight (Suborb-HR 1355)


1. Uncrewed suborbital flight test (Suborb 3851)
2. Suborbital flight (Suborb-HR 3851)

Mercury of course, would be cheaper to open and to fly. However, what’s really interesting is that at no point is there a penalty for not having done a spacewalk, docking, rendezvous, high-speed heat shield test, or any of the many other goals which are available. In fact, you could reach the moon having never put a robotic satellite into orbit! However, flying the minimum missions would not get the player much prestige, which would mean you would have to deal with very small budgets and would not be able to open the Apollo program until fairly late. That leaves plenty of flexibility to launch additional missions based on how a specific play through is going.


Other Links to this Post

  1. NightFlyer Games » BASPM Gemini-EOR Minimum Launch Schedule — March 31, 2015 @ 8:45 am

  2. NightFlyer Games » BASPM Gemini-DA Minimum Launch Schedule — April 1, 2015 @ 6:49 am

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