Nov 19, 2019
Belitopia S1E4 – The Venus Flyby p2
Links and More Information
* Episode Details
* Belitopia Venus Flyby Information
* Wikipedia - Venus Flyby
* Wikipedia - Apollo Applications Program
* Original 1967 NASA Venus Flyby Feasibility Study
Please support our show.Introduction
In the last episode of Belitopia, we started our story of the Venus 1 voyage. In this episode, we conclude our story of this historic voyage.
Venus 1, a mission launched as part of the Apollo Applications Program, used Apollo technology with some necessary extensions in order to send a crew of two astronauts on the first ever flyby of another planet.
This mission never happened in reality, but a version of this mission was in the planning stages before budgets were cut. But this is Belitopia. In our world, funding did occur, and the Venus Flyby mission actually occurred.
We left off after part 1 in the middle of the mock documentary, “Our World in Space”, as it describes the Venus Flyby mission in greater detail. This fictional documentary takes place in the year 2040, 65 years after the mission took place.
We left the documentary in part 1 after talking about the Christmas Miracle burn that saved the crew and mission in December of 1975. Now, let’s continue with our story. Let’s re-enter the documentary where we left off. We’ll talk about the flyby itself, the mission home, and the unprecedented and untried process used to slow down the ship in time for reentry into the earth’s atmosphere for a safe and slow splashdown.
Now back to the voyage of Venus 1 — the Venus mission, in the world of Belitopia.Documentary — Our World in Space, 2040AD
Hello, and welcome to “Our World in Space — The Venus Flyby”. Part 2.
The rest of the flight to Venus was, indeed, uneventful. After the Christmas Miracle burn on December 29, 1975, the next 43 days of the mission were busy preparing for the flyby. Long before the flyby itself would occur, many scientific experiments and studies were planned involving solar experiments with the sun, deep space experiments, and eventually Venus studies as the ship neared the flyby itself.
The crew of Venus 1 was very busy.
In fact, they were too busy to spend time thinking about what almost happened. They were too busy to think about what happened that resulted in the need for the Christmas Miracle burn in the first place, and how lucky they were that they were saved.Backlash from the Crisis
That wasn’t true on earth, however. On earth, there was significant discussions, among government leaders, NASA and AAP leaders, as well as among the general public. Their were two concerns.
The first, would the STS engine continue to function for the rest of the trip, and can the mission end successfully as planned on day T+210? Most people were convinced that the engine would continue to work properly, but, there still were concerns.
The second was a more actionable concern. While Venus 1 was in process, plans were progressing for a Venus 2 and Venus 3 flight. These two additional Venus flyby missions were similar in nature to Venus 1 using the exact same technology. The research and science they would perform would be different, but the basic flight plan was the same. Venus 2 was set to launch during the second planetary alignment window two years later in July of 1977. Venus 3 was scheduled to launch a year later in May 1978.
However, the crisis on Venus 1 and the need for the Christmas Miracle...