• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

261 Excellent

About michal.don

Recent Profile Visitors

1829 profile views
  1. Yep, where are the "Ap" and "Pe" markers?
  2. Guilty as charged I really liked the story, and also read your "tutorials" with interest - I might even try to design some RO airplanes armed with the knowledge I gained here. Michal.don
  3. I've never seen this series on the forums, until now. That is great, because I did not have to wait a year for new episodes, and after reading all the old ones today, I'm really looking forward to them Great story, I'll definitely watch it from now on. Michal.don
  4. I'm still sticking with this page: http://whenwillfalconheavylaunch.com/ (just subtract 60, and it should work again)
  5. I second the recommendation to watch at least the first few of @NathanKell's tutorials - It explains the most important things in the first few episodes. @regex has already mentioned the major differences, I'll just add two things that I find important: Everything takes much longer. While I can build and fly a Mun mission in twenty minutes or so, it usually takes about an hour just to fly one of my Apollo-ish missions in RO, and I flew a lot of those. Building a specific probe and its LV, doing some test so you are sure it can get to LEO and make its transfer burn takes quite a lot of time, too. The part counts get quite high even on pretty simple spacecraft. But that does not seem to be an issue for most players, I guess I'm just a bit spoiled, but when the clock turns yellow and the launch gets a bit laggy, I just don't enjoy it so much. But, as the guys said, most of the players are afraid to try RO. Yes, it is harder than stock, but not impossibly hard for an experienced player. And if you get stuck, there are many folks on the forums that will gladly point you in the right direction. Michal.don
  6. It looks like we are making some serious progress then, the last five years it was supposed to fly in six months
  7. I'm afraid it won't happen. Once in orbit, it's not that much about skill, but rather about mr. Tsiolkovski's rules - you need loads of fuel to go anywhere, and in RSS it's really hard to haul the fuel to LEO. Just a lunar flyby is about 6,400 m/s of delta-V, because aerobraking from that kind of speeds is not possible in the shuttle - it's on the verge of burning up even from LEO. And my shuttle has about 2,000 m/s in the tanks after ascent, when launching with an empty cargo bay. If only there was a way to pack a lightweight, high-efficiency propulsion system in the cargo bay.... Well.... Im not really sure that it's possible, but, to the drawing board then! It probably won't happen, but it's worth a try. I might try in a few days/weeks, because my exams are approaching, and I have Mars to conquer in my carreer save. Michal.don
  8. Hello there, long time no see As I promised a few pages ago, I designed a working space shuttle for RSS/RO - meet "Crippen shuttle concept B" (Don't ask about concept A, we don't talk about concept A). It is heavily based on the original space shuttle design, with slight differences in the OMS system and orbiter weigh/lift ratio - mine is a bit lighter with more lift, thus more forgiving during reentry. Still, it's no easy task to land the thing from orbit without losing anything. So far, I managed to complete the first mission - on my test flight I achieved 300x300 km orbit, deployed a test payload of cca 13,5 tonnes, and successfully landed back at Kourou space centre. Here's an imgur album of the mission: The reentry and landing approach is the most difficult thing in RSS/RO, not just because of the inclination, but mainly for the size of the planet - ten times bigger than Kerbin. It takes about one hour from the entry burn to the touchdown, and there is almost no room for error. But as I got the basics right, I expect the next missions to go much smoother - I'm curious which missions I'll be able to complete (definitely nothing beyond LEO, but still.) I hope everything is properly documented, It was nice to do some shuttle flying again Michal.don
  9. I've been neglecting this thread recently for two reasons: First - my university studies got a bit in the way (don't you hate when this happens?), and second, I was designing and building the interplanetary ship, which was quite a difficult task, and took a lot of time. Finally, I managed to design something I am quite confident will make it to Mars and back. Since it took so much time, I might allow myself a bit more quickloading and/or reverting than during the Moon missions. I hope you don't mind too much Chapter ten: The ship __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kerbin Daily May 18, 1975 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Glenn V assembled, waiting for the transfer window As the orbital assembly of the spaceship that will hopefully take Kerbalkind to Mars was successfully finished yesterday, our science editor, Emmett Kerman had a chance to interview one of the original Sheppard seven, and the most experienced engineer of the space program, kerbalnaut Chadus Kerman. Hello Chadus, thanks for finding a bit of time for me. I believe that the last few days were quite busy? Hi Emmett, no problem. Yeah, you are right, the last few days really were hectic. We are used to working long hours when there is a mission in progress, but this time it was a bit different for many reasons. How so? Was it more challenging than, let's say, the assembly of the Skylab station? If I'm correct, the Glenn spacecraft consists of only three modules? You are correct Emmett. But unlike Skylab, this ship is really heavy. Moving pieces that weigh several hundred tonnes into orbit, and then docking them together is no easy task. Also, this was the first time we had to rendezvous spacecraft that launched for different space centres and were controlled by different mission control teams - the propulsion module was launched from Kourou. And finally, the docking itself on Skylab was controlled by crew stationed there. This time, it was all computer controlled. I see. When you say "several hundred tonnes" - how huge the ship really is? It's the biggest thing we have ever sent to space. And probably will be, for a long time. The Grissom spacecraft that took us to the Moon would look like a toy compared to it. To be honest, most of the pilots thought we went crazy when they first saw it, and it was only the first module. Especially Donbree used certain expressions that you would not be able to put in the article. And how exactly will something that huge be delivered to Mars? This was the most complicated part. It would not be possible with the engines used in the Grissom program. A whole new type of engines was developed for several years, exactly for this purpose. These engines also run on a mixture of liquid hydrogen and oxygen, but they are a bit weaker and a lot more efficient. After the ejection burn to Mars, and a correction burn several weeks later, these engines will be discarded and the rest of the mission will run on ususal chemical rocket engines. So now Glenn V is assembled. What will happen next? Yes, the asembly itself was finished yesterday, early in the morning. But it was not the last flight to Glenn, by far. The ship is complete, but the fuel tanks are almost empty, so several more launches are required to fuel the thing. A few days before the transfer window, a Grissom class rocket will bring the crew. And then the whole thing hopefully goes to Mars. Speaking of the crew - who will be the ones that will fly this historic mission? A lot of speculation is going on about that. I'm sorry Emmett, but I can't tell you yet. Don't worry, I'm sure they will announce the crew very soon. But I can tell you this - they are the very best that we have. Ok, thank you for your time Chadus, and good luck. Thanks Emmett. This mission will be one for the books, I can guarantee you that.
  10. I know that most of you guys probably watch mostly the NHL playoffs, but for us, Europeans, the big party starts now - the international hockey championship in France and Germany. Does anyone watch this, too? Or is it not interesting for you, since most of your best players still compete for the Stanley Cup? Anyway, go Czech Republic! Michal.don
  11. Thank you, I'm glad you like it
  12. Chapter nine: "We fly there. What next?" 1972-1974 "As president Kerman promised in 1971, kerbalkind was going to Mars in this decade. Sending a Kerbal to Mars was not the hard part - even our Grissom lunar missions had enough power and fuel to go to Mars. But if you want to come back, preferably alive, this is where it gets hard. The trip will last about three years. Just try to imagine how your fridge looks like, how much food is inside. That is probably food for a week. Now imagine fifty times that. That's for a year. Now imagine three times that. That's for the whole trip. And finally, three times that once again. Your buddies need to eat, too. You have to pack all this with you. The same with water and oxygen. That is already a few tonnes. If we manage to pack all this into a spaceship that can go to Mars, there's one more thing. We're not flying through space for three years just to take nice pictures from orbit - even the dumbest probes we make can do that. If we're going all the way to Mars, we need to land there, and gather as much information about martian surface as possible. And how are we going to land there? This is where I come in." "My name is Tom Kerman. I am the senior engineer of the Krumman lander team that built the LEM, the machine that took us to the surface of the Moon. Considering we were the only company on Kerbin with experience of building crewed spaceships designed to land on another celestial body, it was not much of a surprise that we got the contract to buld the MLV - the Mars Landing Vehicle. The Moon landings were not easy, but in comparison to Mars landings, it was a piece of cake. Much weaker gravity, much lower orbital speed. No atmosphere to slow you down during your ascent. So a lightweight vehicle could be designed, and our lander worked perfectly. In the recent years, we learnt a lot about martian surface and atmosphere. The surface was solid, so no problems there. But the atmosphere was tricky - while dense enough to slow you down during ascent and heat your craft up during entry, it was nowhere near thick enough to slow you down to land with parachutes - at least in a craft as heavy as a lander with life support systems and fuel to get you to orbit again." "Landing only on chutes was possible for light payloads only - such as the rover the Agency sent to Mars in 1973. But could the chutes be used to slow down a bit, so we needed less fuel for the powered landing? That was one of the many questions that needed an answer. A vehicle that could land three crewmembers on the martian surface, allow them to stay for at least ten days, and then go back to low orbit to rendezvous and dock with the Glenn spacecraft. And, please, don't make it too heavy. That was all we got from the agency. There are many different approaches to a mission with these specs, and our engineers came up with a lot of different designs of the lander. After a year of reviewing and preliminary testing, we had three different concepts to show the Agency officials." "Concept one uses drogue chutes to slow down in the upper part of atmosphere, while a retro burn is performed at 80 kilometres to prevent the chutes from burning up. Four engines then perform the landing. On the other hand, Concept two uses its greater surface area to aerobrake, and chutes and a short burn to land. Concept three is much heavier, but is similar to the LEM design - one stage to land, one to go to orbit again. Nothing too fancy, but if you decide to stick with what we know, this is the way to go. After several meetings with the engineers and kerbalnauts, the Agency has decided to go with Concept one. The oficial reason was that Concept three was too heavy and Concept two too ugly, but I think they were just afraid they could not handle the aerobraking descent with enough precision (To be honest, they were not, but I was, Michal.don). So, that was it. It was no longer Concept one, it was the official MLV, the machine that will one day land a kerbalnaut on Mars. And I have to agree with their pick - it was not excessively heavy, it did great in testing, it used reliable engines and technologies, and it was a beautiful vehicle we were all proud of." "In theory, the lander worked fine. We did countless simulations for entries from various orbits and landings in various altitudes, and the MLV did well in all the scenarios we tried. But before the Agency could send it to Mars, it had to be tested in space, for real. And that was the mission of Glenn IV. In July 1974, Melbin, Carta and Matfrod took the MLV to low Earth obrit to try all the systems in the spacecraft." "After extraction, Melbin and Carta transfered to the MLV, undocked from Glenn IV and went for a twenty minute trip that took them some thirty kilometres away. Then they jettisoned their descent stage and fired the ascent engines to rendezvous and dock with Glenn IV again." "The engineers in the Agency were content with the way the MLV performed, as were we in the Krumman team. Another of our designes will go on an epic adventure, and help kerbalkind explore worlds unknown to us. We wish it good luck"
  13. Hello @Silverwood, and welcome to the forums. Enjoy your first successful and not-so-successful missions in KSP, and if you encounter a problem, don't hesitate to ask - a lot of people here will be glad to help Michal.don
  14. So I finally managed to fly my first succesful shuttle mission ever in RO/RSS. I have to say, designing something that behaves through the whole reentry, and is able to land in the end, was much more complicated than I expected. It's not good for much, but I'll try to design something a bit more useful next. Michal.don
  15. So, after seven chapters of flying around the Earth and the Moon, the time to send Kerbals into deep space has finally come. Although I did proper testing of the spacecraft, I was still pretty nervous - after you complete the ejection burn, there is very little you can do if you planned the mission wrong. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I was this nervous in KSP - possibly my first Moon landing. So today I'll tell you a story of the first interplanetary kerbals in history. Chapter eight: "It doesn't look like a nice place to live" 1972-1973 In early 1972, the kongressional funding finally arrived. Because money wasn't an issue anymore, it was time to go big. The first order of business was estabilishing another space center and facilities - the KSC at Cape Canaveral was great for the flights to the Moon, but it's location wasn't very favourable for launches to equatorial orbits or orbits with a low inclination. The board considered several places, and in the end, the decision was to bulid the center at Kourou. A small space center was already in operation there, so it would be easier to upgrade the existing facilities, than startng from scratch. It was a great choice for many reasons - it was sitting just a bit north from the equator, it was right next to the sea and a beautiful beach, it wasn't very far from Cape, and the locals were nice and friendly people, despite speaking a very weird language. The head of operations, Gus Kerman, was sent to Kourou to inspect the site and start organizing the reconstruction. A young member of the local kerbalnaut corps, Elii Kerman showed Gus around the facilities. "This is where les rockets launch" "And this is where we hide when les rockets launch, so we don't die." "Gus Kerman to Cape Canaveral, the launch site will need serious upgrading, and the local team will need some serious work safety training. Their safety protocols are very, ehm, different from ours. I will start my work immediately, there is much to be done here if we want to make the next trasfer window to Mars." Meanwhile, at KSC at Cape, one of the great moments in spaceflight history was approaching. After the LEO mission of Glenn I and a flight of Glenn II, where Zelne, Virie and Leke took the spacecraft to solar orbit for several weeks, the mission of Glenn III will fly much farther - to Venus. An upgraded Grissom launch vehicle would take the new spacecraft to Earth orbit and beyond. The crew selected consisted of the best kerbalnauts the agency had: Enton Kerman, one of the best pilots of the program, Fredul Kerman, a brilliant scientist and the first kerbal to fly by the Moon on Lovell V, and mission commander Catise Kerman, one of the original Sheppard seven and commander of Grissom XV. It was the most anticipated mission since the first lunar landing. "We have liftoff!" As Glenn III ascended through the atmosphere, everything looked great. After reaching orbit, all the important systems were thoroughly checked, as the point of no return was approaching. If something, anything, goes wrong after the burn, there is no possibility of aborting the mission. The spacecraft has to reach Venus and get a gravity assist to reach Earth again. While theoretically possible, a rescue mission was not an option. Either the craft and flight profile work, or the crew is dead. "Glenn III, mission control. All the systems seem to work fine, everything is within the limits. You are go for the ejection burn. You are go for Venus." "Mission control, Glenn III. Roger, ejection burn starting in ninety seconds." "Three, two, one, engine shutdown. See you guys in about a year." "GUIDO, flight. How do they look?" "We're getting just what we want to see, flight. Their trajectory is on point." "Glenn III, mission control. No correction needed for the burn, you are go for hab extraction." The next five months were quite uneventful. But in this case, no news was good news - it meant that the spacecraft worked perfectly and the mission continued as planned. The next maneuvre would occur at Venus periapsis to adjust the trajectory to meet Earth in eight months. As Glenn III was nearing Venus, interesting scientific data started to arrive, as well as the first crew impressions about our neighbour. "Mission control, Glen III. While beautiful, Venus does not look very inviting. You can see from here that it is a very rough place with conditions that are not hospitable at all. It doesn't look like a nice place to live." "But I have to admit, the view from our window is quite magnificient." August 13th, 1973 "Glenn III, mission control. you are go for hab and service module jettison." "Roger" "Your trajectory is looking fine, reentry starting in five minutes. LOS expected in five minutes and twenty seconds." "Checklist completed, the crew is in their seats. Glenn III ready for reentry. See you in a few minutes." The Glenn capsule was tested thorougly for reentry speeds up to 14 000 metres per second - about 3000 metres per second faster than coming back from the Moon. The theoretical limit was around 14 600. Any faster than that, and either the heatshield can't take the heat, the crew can not survive the G-load, or you end up in space again. The speed of reentry of Glenn III was about 14 200 metres per second. Theoretically within the limits, but still, the suspense was great. "Glenn III, mission control. Do you read?" .... .... [static] ..... "Glenn III, mission control. Do you read?" .... [static] ..... "Glenn III, mission control. Do you read?" .... "Mission control, Glenn III. It was a rough one, but we are ok. Splashdown coming in about three minutes. Glenn III out." The thirteenth of August, 1973 will forever be the day when kerbals succesfully embarked on an interplanetary journey and returned safely home. Kerbalkind has officially become an interplanetary kind, and was eagerly looking forward to the next steps they will take. Glenn III and its crew proved that travelling to other planets is possible, but it was only the first step. The next one will finally take us to Mars.