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Everything posted by michal.don

  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. As I advance through my 1.1.3 Realism Overhaul/RP-0 carreer, the time to make the first manned interplanetary flights is slowly coming. Since I have never done this before, I thought that I might start this thread to document my progress, achievements, and surely, failures. I'll probably include a bit of a story, but most of the content will be screenshots of my spacecraft and description of the missions. If anybody who reads this is an experienced RSS interplanetary traveller, I'll be very grateful for any advice for my space program - nobody in my Space Agency really knows what they're doing Chapter one: "We choose to go to Mars!" January 1st, 1971 It seemed that the glorious days of the space program are over. Yes, everybody remembers the nerve-wracking moments when Matdard Kerman made his historic first flight to space, and the relief when the chutes finally opened and he landed softly in the ocean. Everybody watched the first flight around the Moon, and the first landing of Grissom IX, as Lagerberta and Chadus became the first Kerbals to step on another celestial body. The world has seen several more Moon landings, and several more accomplishments of the program, but slowly lost interest. After all, the finals of the Kerbal Kup are on tonight, why would I watch another Moon landing, eh? The world has become apathetic about spaceflight. It seemed that the glorious days of the space program are over. Until today. Today, in his new year speech, the president John F. Kerman surprised everybody, when he made a bold statement. "Kerbin should commit itself to send a Kerbal to Mars and bring him back before the decade ends. We choose to go to Mars. We choose to go to Mars and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard." From this very moment, space exploration was again a headline material, and several of the Space Agency directors were considering booking a one-way flight to Bolivia and never coming back. Sure, the space program was a very succesfull bussines so far. The daring series of missions that lead to the Moon landing had a few bumps on the way, but no Kerbal was lost in space and all the objectives were ultimately met. It all begun with the fifth flight of the Lovell spacecraft, that was sent on a free return trajectory and completed a lunar flyby: Then a new, three-manned capsule was developed. The Grissom spacecraft was the largest thing launched to date. On the ninth Grissom mission, the first Kerbals landed on the Moon: Eight of the nine Lunar landing mission were succesful, and helped us learn a lot about the Moon. The exception was Grissom X, which was aborted during ascent because of an engine failure - the crew survived, and later flew to the Moon on Grissom XIV. Several satelites were sent to interplanetary space and to another planets. So far, the Agency has visited Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter and his moons, while a probe to Saturn is on its way and should arrive early in the 1972. As the first part of the Grissom program was coming to an end, the Agency started to explore the possibilities of long term space and surface exploration. They realized that the next step will eventually be to send Kerbals to other planets. They just did not expect that it would have to be this early. Considering we haven't even landed a probe on Mars, the timeframe was really tight. And a lot of the things we learnt during construction of the lunar base in Struve crater will surely come in handy - be it precision landings, surface assembly or long distance roving. We also had a bit of experience with prolonged stays in orbit - several crews stayed more than a month aboard the first space station - Skylab I: But this, this will be a different thing altogether. We will have to invent a spaceship of dimensions never seen before, using engines and fuels that haven't been invented yet. We will have to learn to live in space for years, much further from our planet than anybody has gone before. Because we choose to go to Mars.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Thank you, I'm glad you like it
  13. 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"
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. Hehe, which pictures to choose? Also, I can't recommend @Speeding Mullet's shuttle challenge enough - it was one of the most fun times I had with this game. Michal.don
  18. Just a little eyecandy for today Chapter seven: Pictures of a distant world 1972 After spending almost seven years in deep space, the first probe sent to Saturn arrived at its destination. The goal of its mission was to explore the gas giant and its seven moons. The small tank contained enough fuel to fly by all of them and in the end, rush toward its fiery destiny in the atmosphere of Titan, which was the most intersting body for most of the scientists. Mimas Enceladus Tethys Titan Iapetus Also, Dr. Von Kerman finally started testing his most recent crazy invention. What could it possibly be good for? Well, at least the capsule will be the same, so in some ways, it will at least resemble the Apollo spacecraft. But other than that, the delta-V budget for the martian mission will force me to construct something with much more bang than Apollo, and I still did not design the whole thing, so, we'll see
  19. I don't think this is possible in RP-0. There is a decent choice of habitation modules, ranging from 2 to I think 16 crew members. But in long, interplanetary flights, it's everything about weight. Unless I build a really massive ship, there is no way I can pack 20 tonne heavy module. I think the hab I chose for the Glenn spacecraft is quite spacious for the crew of three, so I won't have any regrets packing them inside for a year or two If there is a more occupied interplanetary mission later on, I will surely adjust the living quarters, but for now, they will have to endure the trip in the hab I chose. Michal.don
  20. Chapter six: The small steps late 1971 - early 1972 "With all due respect, sir, we firmly believe that this is the safest thing to do. Our investigation found the cause of the thruster failures, and we took the measures neccessary to ensure it will not happen again." The chief engineer of the LSTV design team wasn't looking forward to the meeting with Gene Kerman. Their lander almost killed three kerbalnauts on its first crewed Moon landing. Luckily, the crew survived the crash landing, but that was about all the good news there was. The crew was now stranded on the Moon, and they had to think of a way to get them back as soon as they could. "There is no way we could design, test and build a completely new vehicle in time. We could send them supplies to ensure they can stay at Struve longer, but it is risky. If any one launch goes wrong, it's a bad day for all of us. On the other hand, we built two of the LSTVs back then. So, the second one is already assembled and tested, so it's just a matter of putting it up on a rocket and sending it to the Moon. We could do it in less than a month. We finished a report and sent it to the board to review." Gene still wasn't convinced. "You claim that you identified and fixed the problem. What exactly caused the malfunction?" "It was a mistake of one of our engineers who was responsible for the assembly and integration of the two engine systems. There were two independent clusters of engines on the vehicle - the throttlable landing engines, and the restartable main engines that did most of the lifting work. The main engines could be theoretically restarted as many times as you needed, that is why they were chosen for the job. But, the problem was that they were rated for thirty minutes of burn time, and our colleague, ehm, overlooked that. That is why the first unmanned landing and takeoff went perfectly, but as the engines reached the critical burn time on the second trip, they started to shut down. The LSTV as it is can not be reused multiple times, but is the safest bet for one trip to the Moon surface and back." "I see... And the measures you were talking about?" "We hired several more people for QA and tests and a new senior engineer that is responsible for checking the systems, engines and requirements of the missions. And the person responsible for the systems check on the first vehicle was reassigned to the RST team, sir." "RST team?" "Restroom Sanitation Technician, sir." "Heh. very well then. We will send the second LSTV for the crew. But I imagine that they will not be very enthusiastic about that." Two months later, Struve base "LSTV, mission control. You are go for liftoff in twenty seconds." "Roger mission control. If the thing works this time." "We talked about this Donbree. The engineers assured us it is just fine. Ten seconds." "Ahh, the engineers. Are these the guys that nearly killed us the last time? Sure, they must be right. Three, two, one, liftoff!" "Mission control, LSTV. We have MECO and we are preparing for rendezvous with Grissom XVIII. I guess I owe the guys in engineering a cold one." "Roger Donbree, I'm sure they will be glad to hear this." "We are going home, see you guys in a few days. Grissom XVIII out." "See you in a few days, mission control out." The Grissom XVIII's mission was the closest call of the space program so far. If it wasn't for the decisions of the mission control and great performance of the engineers, the crew would have probably lost their lives. With the mission completed, the flight planners were confident they had most of the information and data needed to embark on the interplanetary journeys. The first, small step of many to follow was designing a new spacecraft. The Grissom capsule was great for the two week trips to the Moon, but wasn't suitable for the several months the journey to Mars will take. So this is where the new ship, Glenn, comes in. Glenn I launched in early February, 1972. The mission was to test all the systems in LEO and return home after ten days. Many components and procedures that were succesfully used in Grissom program were modified for Glenn missions. For example, the habitation module for the interplanetary part of the journey was stored and then extracted from the spacecraft in a similar way as the LEMs were on the lunar flights. The mission went without any problems and Glenn I landed in the ocean ten days after launch. Kerbalkind was ready to take the first step on their journey to Mars.
  21. Well, I think Camwise and Donbree would have a nice conversation about reusing not so successful lander designs
  22. Chapter five: "What the hell happened there?!" Late 1971 Mission control was in complete shock. After a few moments, Gene Kerman regained his composure and started to organize the investigation of what happened in the last few minutes. Soon, everybody was given a job to do. Engineers started to analyze the signals coming from LSTV prior to loss of communications, the team that assembled the vehicle started to look at the possibilities of what went wrong, and the team responsible for Struve base sent the rover to take pictures of the crash site. "Flight, we are approaching the site. We can see something on the surface there, possibly the remains of the lander." "Wait a minute.... That's not debris, we can see the crew!" In a few minutes, Donbree and Erissa boarded the vehicle and contacted mission control. "Mission control, Struve rover here." "Donbree, mission contol. We are really glad to hear you. What the hell happened there?" "Well, I was hoping you would tell me. The thrusters were dying, one by one. I couldn't put it down softly, we hit the ground at quite nasty speed. Jess was thrown out of her seat and Erissa almost got crushed by the lander." "As soon as I managed to get up, I helped the girls up on their feet. Since I knew that there was still some bang left in the tanks, and it seemed that it was starting to leak, we decided not to stay too close to the lander, which was probably a good idea." "And then the taxi came. That's pretty much it. Luckily, at least the guys who make the space suits seem to know what they are doing, these things can take a beating and still work. Requesting permission to switch the rover to manual control and get out of here." "Roger, permission granted. We suggest you take Erissa to Struve base, and then come back for Jess." "No need mission control. I got it covered." "Donbree, you know you are violating at least ten different mission rules now, do you?!" "How about a new rule sir? How about "If you can't design a lander that doesn't try its hardest to kill the crew, you don't get to make rules?" "For gods sake Donbree..... Ok, just take it easy, we don't want anything else to happen there....." After a short drive, the trio arrived at Struve base. The first order of business was to check the life support and power systems, power up the habitation module and check the state of consumables. "All right, mission control, Struve base here. We completed the checklist, and everything is A-OK here. Apart from my tongue, I bit that pretty hard during the landing. All the systems are running, and we have about four months worth of food, oxygen and water, plus a bit extra in the rover. If the lab manages to land here tomorrow, we should get another month or so of water and oxygen. Considering that we'll probably run out of food first, I suggest you put Jess on a diet, I noticed she started to look a bit chubby... Ouch, that hurt, Jess!!" "Roger Struve, we think it won't be neccessary, we are investigating the possibilities of resuply missions just now, and we'll try to get a return vehicle to Struve as soon as possible. If you are ready, we'd also like to land the lab tomorrow. We don't see any reason to wait." "Roger, we are ready. The girls are looking forward for their experiments, and surely, not sharing a roof with me." The next morning, the lab completed the insertion burn and was waiting for the most favourable landing window. Everything went well, and the Mooncrane landed the lab right next to the fuel tanks at Struve. Erissa and Jesissa started to power up the thing while Donbree was sent to gather some scientific data with the rover. In the next month, the life on the Moon has become as monotonous as life on another planet can get. The lab was working perfectly, and every day, a lot of interesting scientific data arrived to mission control. While the base was working perfectly, a team of engineers was working without a break to deliver a return vehicle to Struve as soon as they could, in case something went wrong there. They did a great job, and in four weeks, the lander was ready to launch. "Struve base, mission control. Good morning, we have some good news for you. The return vehicle should be landing at your location in a few hours. We are also sending you the checklists and procedures to get it ready for your trip back to Grissom XVIII. Your are still go to stay at Struve for a few weeks, but we want you to get the vehicle ready as soon as you can, just in case." "Mission control, Struve base. That's good to hear. I'm quite curious what the guys in engineering came up with. Are the new procedures much different than the ones we had with LSTVs? We dont' have an engineer here." "Erm, negative. We believe there will be no problems. The procedures are, ehm, very similar." "Ok, we'll get back to you when the vehicle lands." In a few hours, the new lander touched down at Struve with a cloud of dust. When the dust settled, the crew had their bit to say. "Mission control, Struve base. You've got to be kidding me."
  23. Thanks, will do Yeah, probably they will. The first mission will probably use the Apollo capsule, it's the largest one that RP-0 has, but there's no way I will fly Saturn V to Mars......
  24. Yeah, not exactly a great day for the program, and especially for the crew.....
  25. Thank you both, it seems that a part of the engine was indeed clipping through the wings, or the config is messed up. I adjusted the wings and replaced the engine, and all goes well now. Michal.don