Hatsunese Space Program - HASDA (Japan-like) | 1989-03-12 | Saki-09, first Phobos/Deimos landings

Phase 3 - 13 - M-2, 1st Jupiter orbiter (1984)
  • Phase 3 - 13

    1984-07-16 - Mokume arrived at Jupiter, performing a 600 m/s orbital insertion burn 138000 km away, readying itself for long-term observations of the planet's atmosphere (the ammonia cloud tops resembling a wood grain), magnetic field, and many moons. The initial orbit was highly eccentric and approximately six months long. A inclination change maneuver would be performed at the highest point of said orbit (on 1984-10-14) to set up a rendezvous with Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System, on 1985-01-09. A gravitational assist from Ganymede would slow down the spacecraft relative to Jupiter, halving the orbital period to about 3 months. HASDA having a clear and undisputed first in planetary exploration pressured NASA to split the Galileo mission in two, launching an orbiter (shrunk down from the original plans) and an atmospheric entry probe in February and March of 1984, respectively.

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    1984-04-23 - entered Jupiter's gravitational sphere of influence

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    Less than a day away from orbital insertion

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    Europa (top left) and Io (bottom left) can also be seen

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    In orbit

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    Trajectory and course corrections to Ganymede

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    Phase 3 - 14 - M-2, Saki-05 - standard system (1984) [VIDEO]
  • Phase 3 - 14


    1984-10-19 - Saki-05 launched on an M-2-24 rocket, with Hitomi Kuriyama, Momoka Oda, and Mitsuharu Haneda. This was the first use of the "standard system" configuration, which added a disposable Expansion Module and Propulsion Module to the relatively cramped Core Module, and had a total mass of approximately 11 tonnes. The Expansion Module added more living space (which didn't need to be protected for re-entry, thus saving mass) as well as a toilet, and enough food, water, and oxygen for crews to last a few weeks in space. The Propulsion Module was designed for almost 400 m/s of maneuvers in Low Earth Orbit, powered by a 13.9 kN hypergolic engine. The Core and Propulsion Modules launched on top of the Expansion Module, to reduce the mass of the emergency launch escape system. Once in orbit, the Core and Propulsion Modules detached, rotated, and docked with the Expansion Module, similarly to the transposition, docking, and extraction sequence of the Apollo missions. Afterwards, Saki-05 demonstrated its propulsive capabilities by raising its orbit from 200 km to 310 km, waiting two days, then going to an apogee of over 480 km. The mission would ultimately last 7 days before de-orbit, separation, re-entry, and splashdown of the Core Module.

    The Soviet space program noticed that the 11-tonne Saki standard system was larger and offered more living space than their 7-tonne Soyuz. Development of the Buran spaceplane and Energia super-heavy booster were thus accelerated to match the capabilities of the US Space Shuttle program.

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    Launch

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    Launch escape system and fairing separation

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    Second stage

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    Transposition, docking, and extraction

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    Going to 309 km

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    1984-10-21 - Orbit raise to ~480 x 310 km

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    1984-10-26 - De-orbit, separation, re-entry, and splashdown

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    Phase 3 - 15 - M-2, Ganymede/Europa/Callisto flybys at Jupiter, Stargazer space telescope (1985)
  • Phase 3 - 15

    1985-01-09 - Mokume flew by Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter and the Solar System (and third Galilean moon by distance from Jupiter), being bigger than the planet Mercury. The surface was composed of darker, older cratered regions and lighter, relatively younger regions of grooves and ridges. It was the only moon that had its own magnetic field, inferring that it had an active iron core. A gravitational assist slowed the spacecraft, reducing its orbital period around Jupiter from approximately 6 months to 2.5 months.

    [in our universe, Japan just launched its first spacecraft to interplanetary space]

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    1985-03-02 - Stargazer, Hatsunia's large optical space telescope, was lifted to a 539 km orbit by an M-2-24 rocket. It has been theorized to be similar to technology used on the classified IGS-A reconnaissance satellite series, but aimed up at the sky and used for civilian astronomical purposes instead. The 3-meter diameter mirror, free from atmospheric disturbances, provided stunning views of planets, stars, nebulae, and distant galaxies, and helped gain insight into the 13.7-billion-year age and expansion of the universe.

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    1985-06-11 - After a second (and more distant) flyby of Ganymede on 1985-03-29, Mokume flew past Europa, the smallest of the four Galilean moons (and second Galilean moon by distance). The icy surface was smooth and covered in many cracks but few craters, indicating that tidal forces from Jupiter and its other major moons were actively reshaping Europa's surface and heating up the interior to form a subsurface ocean, leading to speculation about whether life could exist there similarly to life near hydrothermal vents on Earth's ocean floor. Similar oceans have also been thought to exist inside Ganymede and Callisto.

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    1985-08-18 - Mokume flew by Callisto, the farthest Galilean moon from Jupiter (and second largest). Its surface is composed of a mixture of rock and ice, heavily bombarded with craters that have mostly remained unchanged over its 4-billion-year history, as it is too far away to be affected by tidal heating. This time, the gravitational assist sped up and raised the spacecraft's orbit around Jupiter. It would encounter the remaining Galilean moon, Io, in a few months.

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    Phase 3 - 16 - M-2/1B, Launch of Halley's Comet probe, Saki-06, Io flyby at Jupiter (1985)
  • Phase 3 - 16

    1985-08-18 - As Mokume was visiting Callisto, an M-1B rocket was preparing to launch the "Houki" (PLANET-K) probe to Halley's Comet, which had a highly elliptical orbit that came into the inner Solar System once every 76 years. Major space agencies around the world took advantage of this rare opportunity by sending an armada of probes to the comet. Houki was named for the broom (帚)-like shape of comets as perceived in China and Hatsunia, but was also phonetically the same as the characters meaning "treasured device" (宝器). It would arrive at Halley's Comet in the spring of 1986.

    (note: Halley's Comet is from the Real Expansion mod. The orbit is inaccurate by one month, so the probe should arrive in March, not April.)

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    1985-09-04 - Saki-06 launched with Tomohiro Sasaki, Erika Ichihara, and Asao Nakamatsu to spend 14 days in a 339 km orbit, matching the duration record of the US Gemini program, except with more room for astronauts to eat, sleep, and do research on the effects of living in space.

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    1985-11-18 - Mokume flew by Io, the innermost of Jupiter's Galilean moons. Due to tidal heating and flexing from Jupiter and its other moons, Io's surface is filled with constant volcanic activity, and a coating of sulfur and sulfur dioxide. Io's orbit was located at the same distance as an intense toroidal radiation belt around Jupiter, so there was a risk of the electronics being damaged, but Mokume's orbit crossed it in such a way as to pass over, go through the hole, and under the toroidal region as it met Io. Mokume would continue to orbit around Jupiter, with the occasional encounter with one of its moons.

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    Phase 3 - 17 - M-2/1B, Uranus and Halley's Comet flybys (1986)
  • Phase 3 - 17

    1986-01-06 - Watarimono-2 made its closest approach to Uranus (after having entered its sphere of influence on 1985-11-26), beating Voyager 2 by a few weeks even though this probe launched 2 years later. Uranus rotates on an axis tilted 97.8 degrees from its orbital plane, meaning that while the planet rotates every 17 hours, only one side of the planet faces the Sun for half of its 84-year orbital period. This also suggested that the planet was impacted by a large planetoid a long time ago. The featureless atmosphere was observed to have methane in addition to hydrogen and helium, and water, ammonia, and methane ices deeper within. Uranus had its own magnetic field and faint ring system. After the Uranus encounter, Watarimono-2 would continue onward to arrive at Neptune and its moon Triton in August 1989.

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    1986-04-06* - Houki encountered Halley's Comet, first observing the long tails of ionized gas and dust being blown away by the solar wind and photons, then passing as close as 540 km from the comet's rocky and icy nucleus. Targeting of the nucleus, which is surrounded by a fuzzy cloud known as the coma, was achieved by the Soviet Vega probes, which flew about 10000 km away. Data was shared with HASDA in an example of scientific cooperation between Cold War rivals. Houki was equipped with a Whipple shield to protect the spacecraft from dust as it flew by the nucleus at 65 km/s. The spacecraft was still struck by particles that sent it into a spin; some instruments were damaged, but the probe mostly survived. The European Giotto spacecraft would accomplish the same feat several days later.

    [*Halley's Comet from the Real Expansion mod has a slightly inaccurate orbit, and the probe should have arrived on a day like 1986-03-09. This image has also been edited to add the coma.]

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    Phase 3 - 18 - M-2, 2nd lunar rover, Saki-07, 2nd Mars lander (1986)
  • Phase 3 - 18

    1986-04-27 - An M-2-34 rocket launched MELODI-2 (Mars Exploration with Lander-Orbiter Data Interactions), Hatsunia's second Mars lander. The orbiter also had enhanced instruments for observing the surface and atmosphere of Mars. This used the four-LRB variant of the M-2 as the launch window required an orbital inclination of 54.4 degrees instead of 26.6 degrees with an easterly launch from Negishima Space Center. The trip to Mars would take about 7 months.

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    1986-06-19 - Usagi-14, the second lunar rover of HASDA, launched on an M-2-30 rocket and landed in the sloped terrain of Maskelyne A (crater). southeast of the Sea of Tranquility, on June 22.

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    1986-09-20 - Saki-07 launched with Mizuko Rokuda, Tsunekazu Hosokawa, and Yayoi Mimura. They spent 21 days in low Earth orbit (until October 11), surpassing the Space Shuttle's capabilities to remain in orbit on its own. as HASDA prepared for even longer-term crewed missions supported by a small prepositioned space station derived from the Saki Expansion Module.

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    1986-12-01 - MELODI-2 inserted into an elliptical Martian orbit, before deploying the lander on the next day. It landed in Lycus Sulci, a ridged region northwest of Olympus Mons, the largest and tallest volcano in the Solar System.

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    Phase 4 - 01 - M-2A rocket, larger geostationary satellite (1987)
  • Phase 4 - 01

    Compared to its predecessor, the M-2A rocket featured stretched core stages and improved thrust (about 33%) and specific impulse for the upgraded LE-04A kerolox and LE-05A hydrolox engines. A fourth LE-02B kerolox engine was added to the second stage. This increased the maximum lift capacity to low Earth orbit to a range between 11 and 18 tonnes. The two-stage all-kerolox configuration could also launch sizeable satellites to geostationary transfer orbit with less need for the high-efficiency but expensive hydrolox third stage, which would be reserved for missions that needed the extra performance, such as space probes going beyond Earth orbit.

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    Hatsunese Rockets 1952-1987

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    1987-02-02 - The first launch of the M-2A carried the Neginohana-6 Engineering Test Satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit, which tested a large 4.2 tonne satellite bus with advanced communications arrays. The satellite inserted into geostationary orbit using the same engine used in the Saki Propulsion Module.

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    Liquid rocket booster separation with small solid motors
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    Four-engine second stage (the GTO burn used two engines)

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    Geostationary orbit insertion

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    (Infernal Robotics hinge used with folding antenna)

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    Phase 4 - 02 - M-2/2A, data relay, first space station, Saki-08 (1987) [VIDEO]
  • Phase 4 - 02


    1987-03-27 - An M-2A-20 rocket launched Kodama-1 (meaning "echo"), the first in the next-generation Data Relay and Tracking Satellite (DRTS) network, which was designed for communcations during long-duration crewed missions and other satellites needing high-data rate relays. Kodama-1 used a similar bus to the Neginohana-6 satellite, but with one larger X-band antenna (8-12 GHz) mounted on a deployable rotating arm, and one smaller S-band antenna (2-4 GHz). Two more satellites were planned for the upcoming years.

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    1987-06-30 - "Yume," Hatsunia's first space station, was launched on an M-2A-24 rocket with a widened 5.39-m diameter fairing. The name meant "a dream" or "a wish for the future." It was meant to be a prototype space station with an expected lifespan of a few years, similar in role to the Soviet Salyut program. Yume resembled two Saki Expansion Modules jammed together, with two pairs of solar arrays, several RCS propellant tanks, and two axial docking ports. With a mass of almost 16 tonnes, it was packed to the brim with experimental scientific and testing equipment as well as about two months worth of food, water, and oxygen. Unlike previous crewed missions which launched to a 26.6-degree orbit (the latitude of Negishima Space Center), Yume launched to a 39-degree orbit, 390 km above Earth. This orbit provided more visibility for Earth observations, and allowed for two launch windows each day: one launching southeast to the Pacific Ocean, and the other launching northeast tangentially to Hatsunia's eastern coasts, the most northerly trajectory without flying over populated areas.

    [out-of-universe context: inspired by @TimothyC and Space Station Enterprise]

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    1987-09-30 - Saki-08 launched to Yume station on a M-2-24 rocket, with Mahiro Morimoto, Kikuo Kanezawa, and Reina Himekawa. The transit to the station took over a day as the spacecraft waited to catch up in a faster, lower orbit before making the transfer and rendezvous maneuvers. Once within proximity of the station, Saki-08 was carefully positioned in front of one of Yume's docking ports using the RCS thrusters of the Saki Propulsion Module before initiating the final docking sequence. After Saki-08 and Yume were connected, the three astronauts would spend 39 days (the first crewed mission over 1 month long) studying experiments in materials sciences (including electronics, metals, and fluids) and and life sciences, with samples such as koi fish and frog eggs being brought on-board, and the health of the crew being regularly monitored. The crew also made repeated observations of the entire Hatsunese archipelago and other locations on Earth up to over 60 degrees north or south of the equator. On 1987-11-09 (11-10 Hatsunia local time), Saki-08 undocked from Yume station to splash down in the Hatsune Sea several hours later, but left the Expansion Module attached to test orbital assembly capabilities similar to the Soviet Mir station launched in the previous year. As a prototype, Yume was planned to be succeeded in the 1990s by a larger modular space station. Since crewed stays at the station doubled as assembly flights, and due to the repeated production of the Saki Expansion Module, HASDA would be able to construct such a station at a relatively low cost.

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    Rendezvous

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    After docking

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    Undocking while leaving Expansion Module attached

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    Phase 4 - 03 - M-2/2A, 3rd lunar rover, launch of Phobos/Deimos landers, first station cargo delivery (1988)
  • Phase 4 - 03

    1988-04-02 - The Usagi-15 lunar rover was launched by an M-2-30 rocket, and landed three days later in Oceanus Procellarum, specifically over 200 kilometers south of Encke Crater.

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    1988-07-07 - Another M-2-30 rocket launched the MMD (Martian Moons Discoverer) spacecraft, otherwise known as PLANET-L. MMD was composed of two identical probes (MMD-P and MMD-D) that were attached to a propulsion module for Mars orbit insertion, which would take place over six months later in January 1989. After said maneuver, the probes would separate to rendezvous and land on the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. The Soviet Phobos-1 and Phobos-2 probes would launch in the same week.

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    1988-07-23 - The first uncrewed Saki-C (Cargo) spacecraft was carried by a M-2A-22 rocket to autonomously dock with Space Station Yume on the next day. Saki-C did not have a crewed Core Module but had an Expansion Module coated with golden multi-layer insulation for passive thermal management [actually a procedural tank part in KSP], which could deliver up to 5-6 tonnes (almost a year's worth) of life support supplies, such as food, water, and oxygen.

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    Phase 4 - 04 - M-2, Saki-09, first Phobos/Deimos landings (1988-1989)
  • Phase 4 - 04

    1988-10-29 - Saki-09, with Fuyuki Sana, Kumiko Matsutani, and Motoko Katagami, launched to Space Station Yume and docked for 60 days before returning to Earth on 1988-12-29. Previous Saki missions were measured in days or weeks; now, they were beginning to last months with the help of the Saki-C cargo resupply vehicle.

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    1989-01-25 - The Martian Moons Discoverer (MMD) inserted into an elliptical orbit around Mars. It then jettisoned the propulsion module and split into the two almost identical probes, MMD-P and MMD-D. Both probes would perform several maneuvers to rendezvous with their respective targets (Phobos and Deimos), raising the periapsis, lowering the apoapsis, and changing the inclination to match the orbits of the moons. MMD-P arrived at Phobos on 1989-02-10, while MMD-D rendezvoused with Deimos on 1989-02-12 [KSP does not simulate n-body physics, but an actual orbit around Phobos would be unstable, so a "quasi-satellite orbit" would be used instead]. Both probes observed their moons for about a month before landing sites were selected. The moons had very low gravity: Phobos had 0.058% of Earth's gravitational acceleration; Deimos had 0.031%. This meant that small reaction control system thrusters could be used to land the spacecraft, like maneuvering and docking with a very large space station. MMD-P touched down on the Phobian surface on 1989-03-09; MMD-D landed on Deimos on 1989-03-12. Both moons have high levels of carbon, and are similar to C-type asteroids. Phobos has more craters than Deimos (including the large Stickney Crater), and many parallel grooves thought to be caused by impacts or tidal stressing.

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    1989-02-19 - The third Kodama satellite was launched, completing HASDA's new Data Relay and Tracking Satellite network.
     
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