This is totally not based off the Lost Cosmonauts Theory, what are you talking about??
I am working on this horror-scifi story
based on the lost cosmonauts theory, where the Judica-Cordiglia brothers detected an SOS from a manned probe veering off into space before Yuri Gagarin ahem... I didn't say that.
Basically, a team of astronauts are sent by an private space research agency (Definitely not SpaceX, lmao) in a manned capsule to explore the outer solar system, especially between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, for well... ^plot reasons^
The astronauts then spot a weird metallic spiky "asteroid" floating around in space. They come up close, and actually discover that it is not a "asteroid", but a really old probe. After docking with the probe, they discover to their horror, that there are several paper pages lying on the floor of the probe, and more unsettling, the preserved corpse of a dead
The astronauts read the paper pages. It seems to be a sort of rant written down by the (dead) astronaut, about how he got lost in space.
Apparently, he was the first man to be launched into space, as the result of a space race between two global powers, whom we shall call A and B. The astronaut was launched by A, into orbit, to study cosmic radiation and stuff. However, as soon as he was scheduled to land on Earth, his retrorockets misfired in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, the controls were jammed due to some reason, so the astronaut had to watch in sheer terror, as he watched Earth getting smaller and smaller through the window. He knew his probe was on an escape trajectory and veering into deep space. He sent an SOS, in a last attempt, and eventually commited s****de by opening the hatchlock and suffocating in the vacuum.
Now of course, I may be experienced at Astronomy and stuff, but absolutely suck at aerospace engineering. (I don't think if retrorockets even have buttons to control them). So here are some dumb attempts at drawing a parallel between this situation and known rockets.
The rocket that fired A's astronaut into space can be comparable to the Saturn V. And the rocket engines were Bell nozzles, similar to what the Space Shuttle used.
As far as I have heard, retrorockets don't even use liquid fuels, let alone LH2 (Wasn't it something like, I dunno, a nitro- compound or smth?). But again, this is interesting for the plot, because maybe they were trying to experiment with different fuels?
But anyways, considering the real story:
The amount of fuel to get on an escape trajectory is astounding. It takes like 3 million pounds of fuel for launching something like the Space shuttle to LEO, forget escape trajectory. And the probe, was well, found drifting between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, about a billion miles away, last time I checked.
Considering that the astronaut in the story was sent into a escape trajectory from LEO to about 1 billion miles away, I am sure it would have taken a B*ttload of liquid hydrogen for the retrorockets to actually misfire that bad. This brings me to my question:
How much liquid hydrogen is required as fuel to veer a manned probe off course into an escape trajectory?
Some additional info:
- The probe, in question was found orbiting between the orbits of Uranus and Saturn, which suggests that it may have slowed down due to the gravitational force of the two planets, and settled into a orbit.
- After doing some research, I found out that the velocity of the rocket must not have been greater than 13.6 km/s or 9.6 km/s.
- The fuel being used by the retro-rockets is liquid hydrogen, with liquid oxygen being used as oxidizer.