This concept was first published in September 2005.
Main design features:
- Lunar Module (LM)
Provides habitable space for a crew of 4 for 3-4 days. Cargo capacity 2700 kg.
Consists of a descend module (using LH2 / LOX, which also
performs the lunar orbit insertion burn) and an ascend module (using
Methane / LOX).
- Command Module (CM)
A capsule with a heat shield and parachute for a direct reentry from a lunar return trajectory. Transports a crew of 4 to the moon or to the ISS. Can accomodate as many as 6 for short trips.
Total mass 9.2 ton (only 320 kg RCS fuel for reentry steering).
- Ressource Module (RM)
Provides maneuvering capability, electrical power supply via solar panels, communication and life support.
Total mass 13 ton (including 8.4 ton fuel).
Delta V is 1700 m/s for a CM/RM stack.
Note: Unlike Apollo the RM is not designed to capture the whole LM+CM/RM stack into lunar orbit. This is performed by the LM.
Total mass 23 ton (incl. 9 + 2 ton of descend + ascend fuel)
Delta V descend stage 3500 m/s (including lunar capture burn),
ascend stage 2000 m/s.
The CEV will be launched on a Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) which consits of a modified Space Shuttle solid booster and a LH2/LOX upperstage.
Note: This launcher is available as a separate addon by Simcosmos.
The LM is launched on a Shuttle Derived Heavy Launcher (SDHL), with 5 SSME engines + 2 solid rocket boosters in the first stage, and 2 engines in the upper stage.
The upper stage will also provide the translunar injection burn (TLI).
For landing on the lunar surface using the LandMFD is strongly suggested.
Note as per November 2006:
In the meantime the decision was made to use hypergolic fuels instead of methan fuel for the ressource module. Also the overall weight and diameter had to be reduced to suit to the new Ares I launcher. Pictures published by NASA on the Constellation homepage now show a smaller RM with circular solar panels.
The general performance specs seem unchanged, so you can still experience a fairly true flight experience of NASAs new spaceship with this addon :-)
Read the documentation: PDF file.