This is my rendition of Wernher Von Braun's 1969 Mars study that built off of Boeings 1968 Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft. This was the final iteration of Von Braun's decades long effort to reach Mars.
About this creation
With all the crew members on board, the two outer RNS boosters perform the Trans-Mars Injection burn.
With the TMI burn complete, the boosters separate and turn around. The remaining fuel will be used to reinsert into Earth orbit and rendevous with the Orbiting Fuel Depot.
After a 150-day transit, the ship performs the Mars Orbit Insertion burn.
With a landing spot established, four of the crew members enter the MEM and ready for the Powered Descent.
The MEM orients retrograde and the retropack fires, deorbiting the lander.
After the MEM has slowed sufficently, the heat shield is jettisoned before the heat can transfer to the descent stage.
With the heat shield gone, the saucer-shaped profile provides aerodynamic lift, giving the vehicle time to establish the landing zone. When the lander has slowed down enough the descent engine will fire until all horizontal and vertical velocity is null, at which time they will have 60 seconds of hover time to pick a clear landing spot.
Landing! The crew has completed a historical milestone! The MEM has a laboratory and enough supplies for a One Month stay on the Red Planet.
When it is time to return, all of the data and samples are tranferred to the ascent stage. The crew takes off into Mars Orbit.
Rendevous. All of the precious scientific cargo is transferred to the mission module and the ascent stage is jettisoned.
The ship begins the Trans-Venus Injection. By performing a gravity assist around Venus, the ship will arrive at Earth sooner and with less fuel expenditure. As the ship flies past venus, probes and landers are jettisoned into Venus's Atmosphere, providing extra scientific value to the mission.
After a 450 day mission, the ship finally returns to Earth. Here is the ship performing the Earth-Orbit Insertion burn.
With the ship rendevoused with the Orbiting Fuel Depot and decontaminated along with the crew, the Apollo-derived vehicles bring the crew back home.
I swapped out a couple bricks to improve the visual appearance of the ship. Thanks to NEBUCHANDEZZA bricklink store owner maryannrick for the parts.
Coming next, I plan to build the Boeing IMIS 1968 Mars Vehicle as a comparison with Von Braun's improvements.
For more information about Von Braun's incredible vision of space travel, check out the Astronautix page on the Von Braun 1969 Mars Ship.