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About purpleivan

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  1. A pic from chapter 5 of my "2010: The Year We Make Kontakt" story. Not written chapter 5 yet, but at least I have all the images ready now, which is half the battle.
  2. For me it was probably the flight of the Eve Party Boat, a huge Eve lander that took four kerbals down to the surface of Eve in a Hitchhiker can then returned them to Kerbin. Everything about it was huge, the lander had 25 orange tanks on it for the ascent from Eve (plus another 4 for the descent phase that were left on the surface at lift off) and was put into Kerbin orbit about 1/4 fuelled, so required a major tanking operation to fill it, then had a couple of massive transfer vehicles docked with it to lug the thing to Eve. I'd scouted out a landing site that was pretty much flat at at 6000m with some rovers I'd sent previously and was using one of them that was parked on top of the plateau as a landing marker and landed so close to it I almost crushed it. I'd say everything I've done since, even including the Jool 5 challenge with a separate kerbal going to each moon, has felt a bit small by comparison.
  3. Another pic from chapter 4 of my 2010 story.
  4. Chapter 4: A New Riff With a well timed burst of its maneuvering thrusters the Keonov matched its orbit of Tylo to that of the derelict Diskovery. Inside that hulk was a sleeping computer that had the answers to Dr Heywood Kerman’s many question, foremost being if he had any personal liability in the many lawsuits that had been filed against the KSP in relation to the loss of the ships’ crew. There had been so many in fact that the majority of the organisation’s funding was now being spent on lawyers rather than engineers, hence the need to return to the Diskovery with the help of the KISS. To get those answers and if possible revive the Diskovery, a small team would be sent aboard to begin the process of resurrecting the ship’s systems. From the KSP, the obvious choice was Wally Kerman, as he had designed the Diskovery, whereas the KISS used their tried and tested technique of drawing straws. So Dasilly and Max got out their notepad and pens and started sketching straws, with the one Captain Valentina liked the best being the winner. As usual Max, the amateur artist of the crew, who had a fine collection of pencil sketches of his crew-mates while they were sleeping (something which concerned the others on the Keonov), won the competition hands down. As much as he was terrified by the excursion to the Diskovery, his pride in his artwork wouldn’t allow him to fake it and draw like a three year old, like Dasilly and Irena did. With the excursion team chosen the Keonov’s crew and their guests from the KSP headed to the ship’s main airlock to help the pair to suit up. Well, most helped; Heywood thought the preparation of the suits a little close to manual labour and therefore far beneath the status of the director of the KSP, so he left Wally to prepare his own suit. However as the guy had literally been born in space (as he never tired of telling his co-workers) he had his suit prepared before the Keonov crew had Max’s suit ready. This allowed him to be fully prepared for the journey to the Discovery as well as lay the groundwork for his passion from pranks. While everyone else was busy checking Max’ environmental system, Wally took a big wad of chewing gum (a key component of his practical joke kit) and jammed bits of it into the maneuvering jets of his victim’s suit. He then suggested that for safety it might be best if the pair of them were tethered together while on their way to the Diskovery. Minutes later the large airlock door slid open, revealing the awesome sight of Jool in the distance and Tylo below, with the Diskovery spinning slowly above it. “So ya ready to go” asked Wally of his partner for the trip to the derelict ship. “Neit… have problem vith…” replied Max before being interrupted by the KSP engineer “That’s great, ok, let’s get to it” said Wally with a mischievous grin and a short sharp blast of his thrusters out of the airlock. The KSP’s prankster in chief shot away from the Keonov, followed a moment later by Max when the tether that connected them became taught. The tether, which Wally had sneakily wound around Max’s left leg before exiting the airlock, now gave the engineer complete control of the Keonov crewman’s movement, which was currently flying feet first at high speed towards a derelict spacecraft, over an unexplored world, millions of kilometres from home. To make matters worse he was in rapid roll, with the darkness of space and the moon below, alternately flashing before his visor. Max had never thrown up in his suit, something the KISS frowned on, especially when anyone from the KSP was around to see it. However he was closer than he had ever been at that moment. “So how ya doin’ back there buddy” inquired Wally with as much innocence as he could muster, but with Max busy holding down his lunch he was unable to reply. “Well that’s great, hope you don’t have a problem with radiation, ‘cos I hear it’s mighty strong round these parts”. Great, Max thought, on top of being dragged along by a lunatic and the urge to empty his stomach into his suit, he was getting the microwave oven treatment as well. With about 100m to go Wally Kerman shouted over the radio to his partner “Heads up, time to hit those brakes and slow down a smidge” and with that he shot a blast on his suit thrusters to slow his forward motion, but not that of Max, who shot towards him. However the engineer was ready for this and grabbed him before he shot past, changing his partner’s attitude as he did so. For the first time since leaving the airlock Max’ feet were pointed towards Tylo and his face towards the Diskovery, which at first was a relief, but then his sense of distance had time to kick in and the realisation of his height above the moon below hit him. Few kerbals suffer from vertigo, but Max was an exception. He was fine at the controls of a probe, or managing the systems on-board the Keonov, but out here, floating many kilometres above this moon, the guy who got the shakes on a stepladder felt like he was about to pass out. “Max, Vally… dis is Captain Valentina” crackled the voice of the Keonov’s commander through the radiation being thrown out by Jool “have only three minutes before dangerooos radiation aksposure”. “We’re almost there ma’am” replied Wally “ok, buddy time to hit the brakes”. Wally reached for the thruster controls with his right hand to arrest their motion towards the Diskovery, momentarily releasing his hold on Max with his left as he did so. Seconds later, Max was headed towards the hulk, with his head pointed towards it, again in a rapid spin. “Oops” called Wally over the radio “lost grip of ya there buddy” with a chuckle. A few seconds later Max’ motion was arrested by the bulk of the discovery, in the form of a helmet to ship collision, that had his ears ringing, over which he could just about hear the laugh of his excursion partner. “Ouch buddy… that musta stung”. Wally gave himself a last moment blast of his suits’ thrusters to slow his motion to give him a less painful encounter with the Diskovery and grabbed onto a hand hold. Back on the Keonov a certain KSP director was in a ball on the floor laughing. He’d seen Wally do this stunt half a dozen times before to engineering recruits on their first EVA, but it still cracked him up, the crew of the Keonov looking on, once again wondering why they're government had agreed to these idiots setting foot on their ship. Meanwhile Max and Wally started the long walk along the spine of the spinning shipwreck, heading towards the crew section at the front of the ship. As Max was having some difficulty walking along the vessel, Wally reached out to him and said “here, lemme’ give ya a hand there”. Wally grabbed hold of the outstretched hand and instantly started shaking violently, while the lights on his suit cut out as did the radio, all of which was a bit too much for Max who collapsed onto the hull of the ship. Moments later his he came to and his radio crackled to life, only to find Wally clutching at his stomach and waving his hand in front of Max’ visor. “ya can’t beat the classics” laughed the engineer “zappo ring 3000… 3000 volts at yer finger tips. Well come on, can’t sit aroun’ all day now can we” and headed towards the front of the ship. Eventually Max caught up with his tormentor just as he reached the edge of the crew section, but the exertion in catching him had him out of breath. “Can’t… can’t breathe” squeaked the now very out of breath Max. The concerned voice of the Keonov’s medical officer came over the pair’s headsets, offering advise “make mixture thin, increase CO2”. Wally reached around the back of Max’ suit and made an adjustment before asking “How’s that buddy”. For a moment Max relaxed and his breathing returned to something like normal. “Thank you Vally, dat vos close one… er… vat” said Max, sounding like a demented chipmunk played at fast forward. “Max” exclaimed Captain Valentina “are you ok, you soundink strange”. There followed a stream of expletives in Max’ mother tongue that would make a warship of sailors blush, as again Wally was laughing and pointing to something in his hand, this something being a small canister labelled, helium, which he’d connected for a moment to the auxiliary air supply connector on Max’s suit. After a moment to recover and to consider how he would get his revenge, Max and Wally made their way to the emergence hatch to the Diskovery’s pod bay and ventured inside. Now that they were separated from the dangerous radiation of the space around Jool by the ship’s thick hull, the pair could relax about that danger at least, and focus on all the others, such as a homicidal computer and vanishing crewmen, while starting their inspection of the condition of the vessel. “How’s ARL?” inquired Heywood, referring to aformentioned homicidal computer that had been deactivated by Jeb Kerman, before he’d vanished from the ship. “Still taking a time-out” replied Wally “Is there power” continued Heywood. The KSP engineer took a look at a large Battman module attached to the wall, saw nothing on the gauge, so gave it good thump, but this failed to change the reading. “Nothing” he replied. “How about the atmosphere” asked Heywood. “Well a bit tense I guess, especially after that gag with the helium” responded Wally. “Not dat kind… you kspudnik, is der air to breathe” clarified an annoyed Captain Valentina. “Weeell the power’s out, so the gauge doesn’t work” informed the engineer before looking at Max. “You wanna give the air in here a try buddy. I’d do it, but I’m on strict instructions from my doctor not to breathe any unknown atmospheres, ain’t that right Doctor Kerman” giving a chuckle and a big wink. Realising that it was going to be left to him to try the air inside the derelict ship, Max took a big gulp and said “is pretty cold captain, you sur dis ok?” hoping that his captain might have a way out of this for him. “No colder dan our vinter’s” answered his captain. This wasn’t entirely true as the home of the KISS was actually just as balmy as that of the KSP, as they were both at the same latitude on Kerbin, but their government had a longstanding propaganda campaign, presenting them as being tough survivors of a freezing climate. “Ah… da captain” responded Max realising that he was going to have to be the guinea pig that tested if the air was breathable or not. The Keonov’s medical officer came on the air offering advice once more. “Ven Max opens helmet, make sure he not turn pink… dat vould be bad Vally”. “Gotcha… pink’s bad” Wally replied. “Ok… you can do this, just be strong” thought Max before taking some deep breaths, finally exhaling then pressing the Insta-Helmet button on his suit, the remarkable piece of technology that allowed the entire helmet of a kerbal’s spacesuit to fold up and tuck away in a little pouch on the back, in the blink of an eye. Pop went the helmet, as if it had never existed and Max carefully took a breath “is cold… brrrr… really cold” and thought about hitting the Insta-Helmet button again, before realising that his captain would be far from pleased. “Air is breathable… but smelly… like spacesuit after eatink much pickled cabbage” Max continued. The Keonov’s engineer took another sniff of the air “ewww… smells really bad here, rotten, like somethink di…” and with that a terrified look appeared on his face, he hit his Insta-Helmet button popping it back on his head and started madly gesturing towards the wall behind Wally. “G.g.g.g.g… ghost spaceman” screamed Max “is Jeb ghost” only to realise that his KSP partner was once again laughing, most likely at his expense. Wally Kerman pulled his right hand from behind his back, revealing that he’d taped a picture of Jeb Kerman to the end of his handheld light and had been waving it about behind him, projecting a picture of the vanished hero onto the bulkhead. “Woooooooo… hehehe” chuckled Wally as he walked away from the still shaking Max. “Just too easy… come on we got work to do, this ship ain’t gonna fix itself.”
  5. A couple of pics from my 2010 story. One from chapter 3 and the other from the upcoming chapter 4.
  6. Chapter 3: A Hot Gig “Huwaah… errr, hmmm” muttered Heywood, then attempted to scratch his head, which proved unexpectedly difficult. For some reason the Doctor was unable to raise his right arm, never mind he thought, give the left a try. Strange… no luck there either he thought groggily. With his senses returning to him he realised that the reason his head was going unscratched was that his hands were tied to the chair in which he was sat, in the Keonov’s command room. “Hey… what the… let me loose, let me loose now. Hello… anyone there” he shouted. For a moment he thought that he’d been left alone on the ship, his fellow explorers snatched by whatever mysterious force had taken Jeb Kerman from the Diskovery, leaving him alone tied to this chair in the depths of space, to be driven insane by the inability to scratch his scalp. But then the sound of whistling came from the corridor outside. The whistling gradually increased in volume and then stopped just as he heard footsteps behind him. “Doctor Heyvood is avake now Captain” shouted the unmistakable voice of Max. “Ah thank goodness” exclaimed Heywood, “now let me out of this chair at once”. “Niet” Max responded, “must vait for Captain”. Moments later more footsteps could be heard behind Heywood’s chair, before the unhappy face of Captain Valentina appeared over his left shoulder. “So, vill you behave now Doctor Kirrman” She asked, with what sound like the same tone as a kindergarten teacher. “What do you mean behave? My actions have been the height of professionalism since I came aboard; it’s you who tied me to a chair” the doctor replied, more than a little disgruntled. “Professionalism, at da KSP perhaps, but in der KISS ve do not grab controls of probe, then smash probe into tree” the Captain countered. “Now vill you be calm if we untie you from chair”. Doctor Kerman considered this for a moment, he hated to be told what to do, but he hated being unable to scratch his head even more. “Ok, ok… I’m calm, I’ll be calm, just let me out of this chair” he relented. Moments later the Doctor was free of the bonds that had fixed him to the chair and now he was madly scratching the top of his head. “Ahhh… mmmm… you have no idea how good that feels” said the now somewhat calmer KSP director. “Now dat you are calm Doctor Kirrman, ve must talk about probe and vat ve saw from da telemetry” stated the Captain. “Unfortunately ve have no record of data dat vos transmitted”. “No data, how is that possible, was it erased somehow?” enquired Heywood. “Niet… Max, err… forgot to hit record button” Valentina said somewhat sheepishly. The KSP director glanced towards Max who muttered something about having a cake in the oven before leaving the room. Heywood considered this situation for a moment then asked “can we send another probe?” “Niet, ve do not have enough fuel” replied Captain Valentina. “What” exclaimed Heywood, “we don’t have enough fuel, how will we get home, by the Kraken we’re going to die out here, cold and alone” then bent over and started howling. “Doctor Kirrrman” snapped Valentina “probe, ve do not have fuel to send second probe, ve have fuel to go home”. The Doctor’s howling ceased, he straightened up and considered his position for a moment. “Ah… fuel for the probe you say”. “Da… probe” confirmed Captain Valentina, now giving Doctor Kerman a pitying look. “Couldn’t you just use the brakes and go back to Vall” asked the Doctor. “Brakes… we have no brakes, ve have carefully calculated trajectory to Jool and der ve aerobrake until captured in orbit, then ve…” started Valentina. “Aha, so you do have brakes, you could use them to go back to…” “Niet… can only use brake ven in atmosphere of planet” corrected the increasingly exasperated Captain. “Brakes you can only use in an atmosphere, well that’s just stupid” said Heywood, now feeling awfully smug. Six hours later Doctor Kerman was not feeling smug. All he felt was sick. Sick and scared. Not forgetting shaken, bruised and generally unhappy about his current situation. A few minutes earlier the Keonov had started its passage through the thick Joolian atmosphere and he'd already had enough of aero-braking. The Keonov’s captain had explained the procedure to the Doctor before their arrival at Jool and the deployment that would be made of the ballute type heat shield that would protect the Keonov as it passed through the atmosphere of the gas giant. Doctor Kerman’s reaction to hearing that they would be protected by a “balloon” from the immense heat generated by the braking method was predictable. At first he mocked the Keonov’s captain and then the KISS engineers that had decided a “balloon” was a suitable braking device. Then he bent over threw up and started howling, asking if the Kraken to accept his Kerbal Express platinum card and failing that, some interns back at the KSC that he was willing to offer as a sacrifice. Following his entirely understandable moment of “nervousness” about the upcoming manoeuvre, the Keonov’s crew escorted the Doctor to his “safety chamber” for the duration of aero-braking. In reality this “chamber” was a storage cupboard, but they wanted something that they could lock from the outside, while they we busy looking after the ship as it made the dangerous passage through the atmosphere. After twenty minutes of aero-braking, Doctor Kerman was close to passing out. While the crew of the Keonov were safely strapped into their chairs in the command room through the whole ordeal, the KSP director had no such luxury and had spent the entire time bouncing around the inside of the cupboard. If he’d had any fillings (Heywood worked hard at keeping his perfect smile) then they would have be shaken loose by the vibration that ran through the ship. Through gritted teeth Heywood muttered ”daammm… baaalloooons…. tha…aat… jeerrrk… Jeee…eb… wooould… lovve… thiis”. Twenty seven minutes after first entering the atmosphere of Jool, the Keonov passed out of it again, having settled into the orbit that the KISS engineers had calculated months before its departure from Kerbin. With the ballute’s work done it was detached and the ship’s crew set about the task of preparing for the encounter with the Diskovery. Some hours later Max remembered that they’d locked the KSP director in a cupboard for his own safety (well, mainly theirs) during the braking manoeuvre, so he made his way to it and opened the door. Inside Doctor Kerman was upside down, squashed into the bottom left corner, but inexplicably seemed to be smiling. “Doctor ok?” asked Max “vell… you look ok”. “Fine” replied Heywood. Strange Max thought, their passenger looked pretty shaken up and had a lot of bruises, but he was definitely smiling. Then he noticed something on the face of the Doctor, especially around the mouth, something brown. “Always carry emergency chocolate” advised the still smiling Doctor “always carry emergenccc….”; then collapsed into an unconscious heap at the bottom of the cupboard. A few hours and various pain relieving drugs later, Doctor Kerman awoke in the Keonov’s medical room. He’d had a pretty traumatic time in that cupboard, but whatever they’d stuck in him while he’d been asleep, he felt great. Of course the three chocolate bars he’d scoffed down in the cupboard helped too. He hopped up off the bed and was immediately greeted by two familiar voices behind him. “Doctor Kerman” piped up one. “Hi Heywood” said the other “so how was aero-braking”. Heywood turned and saw the two members of the KSP who had been selected to accompany him to Jool. The KSP’s chief engineer Walter “Wally” Kerman and Doctor Chando Kerman, the designer of the AR202L, the malfunctioning computer onboard the Diskovery. The KSP director knew Wally well, as he was one of the few people he considered to be almost an equal and was an admirer of his practical jokes, as long as they were aimed at others than him. Chando on the other hand was more of an enigma, as his personality tended to make interaction with him difficult. Heywood tucked his hands behind his back before saying “aero-braking… ah… easy as pie, barely felt a thing” keeping his hands firmly grasped together behind him, as they were now trembling at the mere thought of that experience. He paused for a moment to remember if that Kinochio movie he’d seen as a child was a documentary or not he continued “But the Keonov crew, they were just a bunch of babies; crying, wailing, calling for their mother, but you know what I’m like, nothing shakes me”. “Sure woulda liked to have seen that” stated Wally, “the aero-braking that is, not the cryin’ and holler’in, I mean that’s jus embarrasin’. So Chando, how ya feelin’?” he asked of the computer scientist sat next to him, before giving him a big slap on the back. The genius behind the revolutionary AR200 series of computers quickly looked around him, his eyes flicking from side to side and then put his finger to his lips before whispering “we shouldn’t talk here”. His eyes darted around the room again before continuing “eyes, ears everywhere… can’t trust those KISS people, can’t trust anyone, so many lies, so many lies…” before throwing a blanket over his head and heading out of the room. “What was that about” enquired Heywood. “Weeelll… you remember how Chando was a, bit of a character, with all of his tinfoil hat stuff” Wally replied, referring to the scientist’s belief in various conspiracy theories “He got a lot worse while we were trainin’ for this trip, I think the idea of us heading all the way out here jus’ sent him off the deep end.” Heywood considered this for a moment before asking “so, have you lightened up on him a bit with the pranks then?” Wally let out a loud belly laugh “hell no… he’s an even easier target than ever, why would I do that”. Heywood smiled and let out a chuckle; Wally was indeed a fine engineer and to his mind an even finer example of a Kerbal.
  7. Here you go MinimalMinmus. I made the surface texture the same as in another one of my images, hope you like it.
  8. Good thing you reminded me. I'd completely forgotten that there were still a couple of images that I said I'd work on, but didn't make a start on. I'm taking a look at it now.
  9. I made KOSTAR (Kerbal Orbital Station for Training and Research) a year or so ago for the Grand Orbital Space Station challenge. The four arm sections were capable of detaching and making a safe parachute landing back on Kerbin. Additionally the four micro landers that were stowed on-board, could (just about) make a landing on Mun and then return to the station). I also made a pseudo documentary style video about this as well.
  10. That would be because I've been a bit busy with work and other things. I hope to get back to this soon.
  11. Something like this. We put a bunch of the keyboards in the office dishwasher a couple of years ago. All came out fine, but took them out and left them to dry over the weekend before using them.
  12. I forgot to the requirement to put the vehicle on KerbalX, so here it is now to complete my challenge entry. https://kerbalx.com/purpleivan/Scrap-1 I forgot to mention that the vehicle is stock.
  13. It took a bit of tweaking to the thrust and fuel levels on the SRB's to get them to cut out at the same time.
  14. Just completed a flight to Vall and Poll. Nothing too complicated about that, except due to a shortage of serviceable parts at the KSC, there was only one of each in the parts bin (er... the well organised parts storage facility). Jeb made it back in one piece, even if some of the solar panels bought it on landing.
  15. A few pics from my The Mastery of One challenge entry (limited to one of any part... see what you can do).