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Discarding Stages

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Concept Nuclear Pulse Propulsion Deep Space Mission Spacecraft.

Artwork featured in Issue 34 of 3D Art Direct Magazine Link here

A Callisto mission spacecraft, launched on an ice mining terraforming resource recovery mission, discarding spent impulse-magazine stages after completing an Oberth braking maneuver. The Oberth maneuver is accomplished by diving deep into Jupiter’s gravity well, performing a tight orbital pass around Jupiter while firing the Orion pulsed plasma rocket against the vehicles orbital direction.

Imaged here is the post-firing stage of the maneuver, the Crew-Vehicle (Image Left) and the Orion Propulsion Bus (Image Right) have separated, the reaction control jets can be seen firing to maintain station-keeping as depleted impulse-charge magazine-stages (in between the Crew Vehicle and the Orion Propulsion Bus) are discarded to fall harmlessly into Jupiter’s atmosphere for disposal.

The terraforming resource-recovery missions in my future history are by necessity self-reliant ventures. The crewed vessels provide bubbles of shelter, heat, light, warmth, they are self sufficient isolated space faring communities generally with mission crews of fifty members, accompanied by two and three uncrewed support vessels baring all of the machinery tools and supplies required to conduct their 3 year missions. Note: The habitat portion of the spacecraft, embedded deep within the vehicle, enclosed within the physical mass of the surrounding structure, and protected by hydrogen and water tanks, provides the necessary protection to permit the crew to survive deep penetration of Jupiter's lethal radiation belt.

Image is part of a future historical setting, see my journal entry Orion’s Arm Future History, A Synopsis. A Timeline is to be found here: Timeline.

On my Orion's Arm timeline the image would fall during the Outer Solar System Frontier Era.

Backdrop is Voyager 1 mosaic of Jupiter’s great red spot courtesy NASA/JPL

Journal Entries:

For contextual information on the purpose of the Callisto Resource Recovery missions see my essay on Terraforming Mars.

An essay on Nuclear Pulse Propulsion is available here: Orion: Nuclear Pulse Propulsion.

Callisto Mission Images:

Callisto Mission Crew Vehicle Launch

Outward Bound

Falling Toward Periapsis

Discarding Stages

Callisto-Mission Spacecraft Flight Control Station

Callisto Mission Spacecraft Command Deck Overhead

Callisto Mission Spacecraft Crew Quarters

Prospecting Callisto

Mining The Ice

Periapsis: Racing the Clouds of Jove

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