Mar 31 2015

BASPM Gemini-EOR Minimum Launch Schedule

This is part of a series of posts with planning information for the game Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager, which I’m playing on iOS.

I’m currently playing a NASA campaign, on the “Buzz-Hard” difficulty level. I had originally intended to follow my Apollo minimum launches roadmap, but I’ve been beaten to several goals by the Soviets. I’m switching my planning over to the Gemini-EOR program for my lunar landing, but have never really analyzed it.

The spreadsheet is located here.

Like the Apollo roadmap, I started by looking at the Gemini-EOR Lunar Landing mission and recording the penalties. Then I worked backward to find missions which would remove the equipment penalties. That should leave me with the minimum number of launches I’d need to make to use Gemini-EOR to reach the moon. Of course, in actual play it may be advantageous to accept small penalties in order to skip certain launches.

This path assumes using the projects:
Gemini (basic project)
Gemini EOR test flights in Earth Orbit
Gemini EOR (lunar program)

Flights with the same number could be done in any order.

1.Gemini uncrewed suborbital flight test (Gemini) (Suborb 3851)
2.Gemini uncrewed orbital flight test (Gemini) (LEO 3851)
3.Gemini orbital flight (Gemini) (LEO-HR 3866)
4.Spacewalk (Duration I) (Gemini) (LEO-HR 3866)
5.Circumlunar flight (Gemini EOR Lunar) (LEO 10637, LEO-HR 13946)
5.Gemini Lander test in LEO (Gemini EOR test flights in earth orbit) (LEO-HR 18393)
6.Lunar orbital flight (Gemini EOR Lunar) (LEO 10637, LEO-HR 13946)
7.Langley Light Lunar Lander test in Lunar Orbit (Gemini EOR Lunar) (LEO 10637, LEO-HR 18393)
8.Lunar Landing EOR and LOR (Gemini EOR Lunar) (LEO 10637, LEO-HR 18393)

That’s a total of 9 flights, vs 10 for Apollo. You do still need to get Man in space, which could be done either from the suborbital Gemini mission (adding 1 flight), or the manned suborbital Mercury mission (adding 2). It really surprises me that there appear to be no dependencies for docking, rendesvous, etc. They may be hidden of course… One nice aspect of this set of missions is that everything up to 4 can be done with Titan-II, (Suborb could be done with Atlas or anything that follows Atlas). The later launches could be done with Titan IIIC and the human rated version of the Saturn 1B, no need to use Saturn 5 or C3-B.

With this line of launches, the circumlunar Gemini is unattractive, because it has a 20% equipment penalty on the Gemini transtage for not doing an uncrewed lunar flyby, adding a flight. Lunar orbital Gemini has a 5% penalty on the lunar propulsion module if you don’t do a uncrewed lunar flyby before doing a manned lunar flyby, and a 7% penalty if you use Lunar orbital Gemini for your manned lunar orbit without doing an uncrewed lunar orbital test, potentially adding 2 flights.

I’m starting to wonder whether anyone mapped out the dependencies between missions while the game was developed.

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

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