The project guided by two guidelines.
The first is the reuse, in order to minimise the cost of the following missions and avoid an “Apollo effect” where the public interest no longer justified the price missions.
The second is the separation of the masses, which consists (unlike SpaceX’s BFR) of put the different functions in different modules to minimize masses involved in each acceleration.
By following this the pillars of this project are the cyclers. These are large Zero G habitat modules enough to house the crew comfortable and safe during the 110-day outbound and return trip. Given their mass, it would be too expensive in propellants to stop them arrival on Venus and re-accelerate them on the way back. The cyclers therefore leave Earth with the crew, fly over Venus before performing several heliocentric orbits to brush the Earth during another firing window.
Them different steps requiring propelled acceleration or braking aerodynamics are devolved to a small multi-purpose manned vehicle (MMV), in order to limit heat shield and propellant masses. Thanks to its Delta-V 4100 m/s and its recovery package, the MMV can be freed from earthly attraction to join the cycler, then detach from it to to join the base on Venus, finalize the orbiting around Venus, to get out of its attraction to join the return cycler and finally pose on Earth.
The base Venusian is made up of three main elements.
– The whole which helps the MMP to orbit and then reach the cycler of return. In addition to the launcher, this set includes the launch pad and a fuel production module. There will be two launches per mission, one first to place the reusable captive tug (RCT) into orbit and a second for the MM with the crew, who will be assisted in their departure to the Land by the tug.
– Habitat which houses the crew during the 480 days on Venus.
– The whole mission brings together the exploration and scientific equipment essential to Mission.
This diagram presents a typical mission (once the base is installed), the numbered items below will be described in the next chapter.
– 1st stage
– 2nd stage
5: Venusian base