Slim Shuttle

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The Slim Shuttle is a Space Shuttle-inspired stock spacecraft. Like the Space Shuttle, it has a light reusable orbiter vehicle, a liquid fuel expendable external tank and two solid fuel boosters.

Description

A partially reusable launch system for orbital tourism.

Squad

Specifications

Orbiter

The Slim Shuttle's orbiter is a 5-seater spaceplane built from Mk1 parts, including an Inline Clamp-O-Tron and over 500 units of monopropellant. It has RCS thrusters and a pair of O-10 "Puff" MonoPropellant Fuel Engines for orbital maneuvering, analogous to the real Space Shuttle's RCS and OMS (although the OMS thrusters actually burned bipropellant fuel). The orbiter also has a pair of Mk-55 "Thud" Liquid Fuel Engines for its main engines. Even though the Thuds superficially resemble the Space Shuttle's OMS thrusters, they are actually powered by liquid fuel and oxidizer, which the orbiter does not carry.

The orbiter is equipped with landing gear and a drag parachute, so that it can land on a runway.

External Tank

The Slim Shuttle's external tank is a stack of four FL-T800 Fuel Tanks, capped by an Advanced Nose Cone - Type A at the top and an Aerodynamic Nose Cone at the bottom. An FTX-2 External Fuel Duct connects the topmost tank to the nose of the orbiter.

Solid Rocket Boosters

Each Solid Rocket Booster is an S1 SRB-KD25k "Kickback" Solid Fuel Booster capped by an Advanced Nose Cone - Type B, with a Sepratron I that fires to push them away from the vehicle when staged. Unlike the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, they do not come with parachutes, and even if they did, the stock game would delete them without recovering them after they fall far enough away from the rest of the Slim Shuttle.

Capabilities

The Slim Shuttle's main stage (SRBs and Thuds) provide 3.68 km/s of delta-V -- enough to get into low Kerbin orbit. The OMS and RCS thrusters share about 600 m/s of delta-V between them, more than enough to match orbits with a station, dock, depart, and de-orbit.

Challenges

The orbiter's center of lift is very far back from the center of mass, making the vessel challenging to return home and land. Its engines are not quite aligned with the control axis of the cockpit (in order to compensate for the offset center of mass), which adds difficulty to orbital maneuver planning.