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Everything posted by TheEpicSquared

  1. Hello! Welcome to Through Hardships to the Stars (previously known as KSP Megastructures)! This is a fan-fiction illustrated story, played in sandbox mode, with many, many mods. Contents: Chapter 1 - StarDust (This Post) Chapter 2 - SpacePlane-1 Chapter 3 - Comm Fleet Chapter 4 - Station Science Chapter 5 - The End Chapter 6 - New Beginnings Chapter 7 - Further Than Any Kerbal Has Gone Before Chapter 8 - Merkury-Appaloosa Chapter 9 - Moving Forward Chapter 10 - The Mun and Brumby Chapter 11 - Interstellar Hazard Chapter 12 - Bigby Solar Observatory Interlude - The Plan Chapter 13 - Starting The Plan Chapter 14 - SpaceLab Operations Chapter 15 - Updating The Plan Chapter 16 - Satellites Galore Chapter 17 - The Grand Tour of Kerbin Chapter 18 - By SQUAD... Chapter 19 - Solar Trusses Chapter 20 - Gilly Chapter 21 - Getting Stuff Done Chapter 22 - The Hybridium Chapter 23 - A Discovery Chapter 24 - Duna Calls Chapter 25 - Maintenance Chapter 26 - Minmus Chapter 27 - Good and Bad Want to submit a payload? Answer these questions and it'll be launched Note: Any mods are allowed except those that add life support (TAC-LS, USI-LS, Snacks, etc) and those that add different fuel systems (like RealFuels, EngineIgnitor, Cryogenic Engines, etc) Payload Submission Form: CHAPTER 1: STARDUST The International Kerbal Space Program wasn't going well. After the Kongress decided that manufacturing enough nukes to annihilate Kerbin three times over (with no conflicts going on at the time) was more important than space exploration, the IKSP had all fundings cut. The space program was bankrupt, with all their achievements being forgotten over time. After 4 years of uncertain-ness, Jerome Kerman, head of the IKSP, had no choice but to sell off the program to a private investor. That private investor was Dave Kerman. The IKSP was officially declared a private organization 4 years, 3 munths and 2 days after kovernmental funding was cut. Dave immediately set his sights on the IKSP's huge, but ageing, space station. It was officially named the Kerbal Space Station, but nearly everyone called it "StarDust". 4 years ago, it was an engineering marvel. The culmination of the entirety of Kerbin working together to reach into space, and stay there. However, now the station was slowly failing. The RTGs were losing power, the circuit connections were getting unstable and the atmosphere inside was escaping. Something had to be done, or StarDust would soon be rendered completely unusable. The first thing that Dave Kerman and his team decided on was to replace the old habitation arms with an all-new, modern habitation ring. Or more accurately, four of them. The 364-ton monstrosity needed an all-new launcher to get it into orbit: the SB-3, Station Builder 3. The SB-3 was just an SB-2 with 3 cores. The SB-1, compared to these huge rockets, was so small it was barely worth mentioning (it was still pretty big, having been made of 3.75m parts). The habitation ring was mounted on top of the SB-3. Unfortunately the fairing wasn't wide enough for the ring, so the entire assembly had to be botled to a rocket with a flat top. The brute force approach would have to be used, punching a hole through the lower atmosphere and getting out of it ASAP. The rocket was rolled to the launchpad successfully. With a crowd of exactly 14 kerbals in Mission Control, SB-3 with the Habitation Ring lifted off. The rocket followed an unusually steep gravity turn, focusing more on getting out of the lower atmosphere than building up horizontal speed. Booster separation: And finally, a stable orbit was reached. The closest approach was 47.2km. Not too bad for a private space program who had never docked before. Mission Control could work with that. All further maneuvers would be completed with the second stage, which had a full tank of fuel. All maneuvers were performed successfully and the stage was detached from the Hab Ring less than a kilometer from StarDust. The Hab Ring guided itself in under the power of its own RCS thrusters. Docking was completed on the light side of Kerbin, which is not at all right and proper, but it was the safest option for a first mission. The IKSP's first private mission was a complete success. Now all that was left was deorbiting the second stage: Most of the components overheated on reentry. Only the fairing base and docking port survived, which showed some strange aerodynamic properties... Since the base was practically gliding down, it was no surprise when it survived contact with the ocean. [This gave me an idea... can I make a glider out of fairing bases?? I'll have to try some designs.] The IKSP's first mission was a success. But Dave Kerman wasn't finished there...
  2. Here you go
  3. *Rubs hands and smiled wickedly* Time to get to work!
  4. Well, for some parts (like the orange tank) you can put that in the editor (nothing else) and open up the engineer's report tab, and you get the height, width and length of the part. Hope that helps
  5. I'm currently in the process of colonizing Minmus, and I'm documenting it in my mission report (link in my sig).
  6. Some awesome pictures of the launch and landing
  7. Much like government projects!
  8. Sharklet
  9. CHAPTER 27: GOOD AND BAD With the successful Minmus comm network mission, the KSP was ready for another mission to Minmus. The contraption that would be hauled to orbit this time was the brand new Minmus Reusable Lander. It used the all new Youké capsule, with a low-gravity lander engine under the fuel tanks. Due to the low gravity of Minmus, the suspension of normal landing legs would bounce the craft for several minutes after touchdown, so the MRL used four anchors, each with a mass of one ton, to firmly secure the lander to Minmus when it landed. The comms and power systems were also top-notch, and the solar panels were smaller versions of the highly powerful Duna Orbital Vehicle solar arrays. Additionally, the MRL included lots of cargo space, where various items to be used on EVAs were placed. The docking system was also directly taken from the Youké CSM, which meant that docking the MRL and the Youké would be a seamless procedure. The first Minmus Reusable Lander was bolted to the top of a Cormorant A-4 for its flight to Minmus. This particular MRL was named Cygnus, after the famous kerbal astronomer Bilt-Cygnus Kerman. The assembly was rolled out at night. It lifted off with the Mun in the background. Due to the rather excessive TWR, the onboard komputers quickly initiated the gravity turn as the rocket rose through the sky. By then, the smoke from the SRBs was already clearing up at the pad. In just 40 seconds, the rocket had risen over six kilometers into the air and had long since breached the sound barrier. The SRBs were jettisoned when they burned out, and the Mainsail continued alone. Stage separation and second stage ignition was nominal. And soon the craft was in orbit. A rough encounter was plotted. It would be refined later with a correction burn. Then, the fairings were separated. The Cygnus separated from the drained second stage, and began its burn. Six minutes later, the burn was complete and Cygnus was on its way to Minmus. A correction burn was successfully executed to improve the trajectory. A few days later, upon reaching Minmus, the craft began its orbital insertion maneuver. Soon, it was in orbit. Two more burns later, and the orbit was lowered successfully. Then, the deorbit burn was performed, sending the Cygnus into a trajectory that would crash it into Minmus. The spacecraft silently travelled through space. Soon, it was worryingly close to the surface. Everyone was wondering when the komputer would ignite the engine. Right on schedule, fuel and oxidizer once again rushed through the networks of pipes leading to the engine, and thrust was produced. Slowly, under engine power, Cygnus made its way down to Minmus, following retrograde all the way. Cygnus went vertical just meters above the surface. "And we have touchdown!" a mission controller said. Cheers erupted across the KSC. The craft had nearly a full tank of monopropellant left, so it was decided that it would be used to do some moon hopping, with hopes of finding a suitable location for a base. Cygnus lifted off once again, this time using RCS thrusters. A quick puff of the main engine put the craft on a trajectory towards a suspiciously flat part of the mountains. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the land wasn't as flat as it seemed, but would still make a good location for a preliminary base. Due to a lack of bipropellant, it was decided that the RCS thrusters would handle the landing as well. The thrusters performed admirably, and soon the Cygnus was back on the ground, just as Kerbol was setting behind the horizon. *** With the Cygnus mission a success, it was time for a small, single launch base to be developed, for long-term habitation on Minmus. Unfortunately, development was going slow. The R&D guys were arguing over the best methods of expansion, transportation, and pretty much everything else related to base building. That's when help arrived. Walt Kerman, head of PR, politely knocked at Hardfield's door. "Come in!" Walt stepped in and said, "I've heard you've been having problems with the Minmus base, yes?" "That's right..." Hardfield replied. "Well, I just got a letter from Kosmos Interplanetary Dynamics, saying they have constructed a working prototype of a small, single launch base to Minmus. Exactly what we need!" Hardfield said, "Kosmos Interplanetary Dynamics? The same people that gave us the Pompadour Munar Survey probe?" "That's them", Walt replied excitedly. "They've got a base for us! If we accept their prototype, we could accelerate the Minmus program by several weeks!" We could have kerbals on Minmus in, maybe... two munths!" "Well, it would certainly be quicker than our current plan. Tell them I accept, and that they have permission to transport their prototype to the KSC for further study." And with that, it was decided. Activity was ramped up in the days following Hardfield's decision. Within a week, the prototype base, dubbed the Alchoujian Base 1 by Kosmos, had arrived. Hardfield was positively ecstatic. "It's... it's brilliant! It has everything we would need! Give my personal thanks to Kosmos, will you?" he asked to no-one in particular. The few issues it had were ironed out in just a day, and soon a landing system had been implemented. The landing system consisted of a propellant tank and a LV-909 Terrier engine. The plan was that the base would descend vertically, touch down on the engine bell of the Terrier, and then would tip over onto the landing legs of the base, which would have been extended in advance. What could possibly go wrong? *** In the space of just two weeks since Hardfield's decision, the Alchoujian Base 1 had been bolted on top of the trusty Kerbol Light. Launch day was nice and clear. With Kerbol in the background, the four Moa engines of the first stage lofted the rocket into the air. The launch camera captured a breathtaking view of the rocket as it ascended. In no time, the craft was high up in the atmosphere, way above the cruising altitudes of all but the most modern passenger planes. The first stage separated nominally, its fins keeping it steady as it plummeted away from the second stage. The huge fairings separated without a hitch as the spacecraft left the atmosphere. Soon, a stable orbit was achieved. A rough course to Minmus was plotted. As usual, a correction burn would be performed later on. The Penguin ignited for the burn. "Second stage tank depleted, confirm go for separation?" "Confirmed, we are go for separation." The command was given for separation... "Dammit! What happened?" yelled Hardfield. The explosion jettisoned the spent second stage with extreme force. "What happened?" Hardfield asked again. "It seems something went wrong with the decoupler, and the explosive charges detonated something on the decoupler body... the Terrier has sustained some damage..." "How much?" "16 percent. It should be able to produce thrust, but the critical overheating chances have gone up from 0.8 percent to 73 percent." "Hardfield was now thoroughly worried. "Will the engine be able to function at critical overheat?" "Barely. It'll produce thrust, but..." Hardfield's mind raced. It would take them weeks to get another base in if this one failed... but it would also take weeks to send a repair crew. He made up his mind. "Continue the burn." The command was given, and the Terrier left the debris behind as it burned for Minmus. "Alright, we have a rough Minmus periapsis," said someone at a console. "Based on the thermal data from the burn, it seems the 909 will be able to tolerate the overheating. I'm plotting a correction maneuver now." The correction was successfully executed. And with that, it was waiting time. *** The base was almost at apoapsis. Then, an alarm came in. It was time for the final burn to put the Kerbol Space Telescope, provided by Sandwich's Raging Rocket Co, in its final orbit. The spacecraft was floating through space, all systems functioning. At periapsis, the Skipper ignited for one final burn. Soon, final orbit was reached. The Kerbol Space Telescope was then released from the rocket, ready to begin its mission mapping asteroids and the outer planets. Without the long-range antenna of the telescope, the second stage could not acquire a signal from the KSC, and so it was doomed to orbit Kerbol forever. *** With that mission over with, it was time to get back to Alchoujian 1, which had entered the SoI of Minmus. Lodfurt, head of spacecraft systems on this mission, laid out the plan. "Alright. So, as you all know, the Terrier has suffered from an anomaly, and therefore we're not going to do the entire orbital insertion burn in one go as originally planned. Instead, we're going to burn until we have an apoapsis inside Minmus's SoI, and then we're going to give the Terrier one orbit to cool off. We'll complete the burn on the next periapsis pass. Got it?" With the plan laid out, the Terrier started burning. "We're getting an overheat signal!" a controller called out. "Hold on..." Lodfurt replied. "We have an orbit! Shut down the Terrier!" Lodfurt commanded. By the time the spacecraft came back down to periapsis, the 909 had cooled down to normal temperatures again. The rest of the burn was completed. "We have an on-target orbit!" Lodfurt called out. Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. Now, it was time for the hardest part of the mission: the landing. A maneuver node was created to put the base onto a proper trajectory, to get it near the Cygnus. Thermal data showed that the 909 was still abnormally warm, but it was predicted that it would be able to handle the landing. The deorbit burn had to be stopped 6.8m/s short because of overheating issues. The landing legs were deployed on target. As Alchoujian 1 descended, Kerbin, the Mun and Gilly could all be seen, a rare alignment. Soon, the landing site came into view. It quickly got closer. The Terrier ignited again for the landing burn. "The engine's beginning to overheat again..." "We've got an overheat signal, Lodfurt! Do we terminate?" "No, hold on... if we terminate we risk damaging Cygnus as well..." The Terrier was performing quick, small burns to put it near Cygnus, and this was severely overstressing the already damaged engine. The spacecraft went vertical. The Cygnus was clearly in view now as Alchoujian 1 fell towards the ground. With an overheat of roughly 40 percent, the spacecraft approached the surface. "Almost there," said Lodfurt. "We have touchdown!" Mission control entered a flurry of activity. "Engine check?" "Engine 30 percent overheat." "Systems check?" "Systems are looking good." "Confirm we are go for tip-over?" "Stand by..." came the reply. "Roger, standing by." "We are go for tip-over. Repeat, go for tip-over!" "Roger, initiate tip-over procedure..." Slowly, the base started leaning over... "Tip-over confirmed!" "Alchoujian Base 1 has landed!" Cheers erupted across the KSC, as a huge amount of stress and worry seemingly disappeared. This lasted only for a few minutes, though, and soon it was back to business. The base used its powerful reaction wheels to orient it towards the Cygnus. It was supposed to have landed 100 meters away from it, but it had landed over 130 meters farther than the target distance. This meant improvising. "Engine health check?" "Terrier has 20 percent overheat, everything else is good." With all systems checked, the Terrier ignited for a series of small burns to push the base closer to Cygnus. The base finally came to rest 97.4 meters away from Cygnus. Close enough. *** News had just come in from a company called JAI. Apparently, they had been collaborating with SpaceY, a renowned rocket parts company, to make a rocket allegedly capable of carrying 100 kerbals to Duna and back! And today, it had arrived kn the VAB. "Holy SQUAD..." was the entire KSC's first reaction to this rocket. "It's... massive..." was Hardfield's reaction. "It weighs in at almost 3 kilotons! Can the launchpad even support this kind of mass?" Denken, head of R&D, replied, "We've had to make some adjustments, but yeah, it should work... hopefully..." The minimum number of crew needed was four. Sherzer, Rodgas, Karsie and Jedgar Kerman were the crew for the inaugural flight of the Interplanetary Transport System. The massive rocket was painstakingly rolled out to the pad on another clear day. It lifted off with a huge roar. "Gravity turn is nominal," Sherzer reported. It seemed everything was going well. But then... "Major guidance anomaly! KSC, do you copy? Major guidance anom-" The transmission was cut short and an impending silence fell over Mission Control. The ITS was deviating from its planned trajectory, and was now pointing downwards. Somehow, among all the commotion, Jedgar remembered an old saying of the KSP... "If your engine is pointing up, you won't go to space today." Seems like I won't be going to space today... thought Jedgar. Meanwhile the rocket had flipped past the point of no return. Jedgar snapped into action. He shut off the first stage... ...And separated it from the spacecraft. Desperately, he tried to get the spacecraft away from the booster. In a flash of genius, he had the brilliant idea of using the second stage engines. Things were exploding all around, and the landing legs deployed. However, the craft was meant to operate in space, and was a big unwieldy hunk of metal in the atmosphere. The RCS system helped, but not by much. Eventually, using the engines, Jedgar managed to get the spacecraft pointed up. It was only then that he looked around him, at the other three kerbals on board. They were conscious, but the G-forces had them pinned into their suits. They couldn't move. Jedgar tore his gaze away from the other kerbonauts and refocused on the control panel. Jedgar managed to get the craft stabilized. It looked like they were going to make it... ...But then the komputer spazzed out, and the SAS was disabled. "SQUAD damn this hunk of junk!" Jedgar cursed, as the ITS tipped to the side. The sudden jerk of the craft had damaged the fuel lines, and now the engines shut down as the ITS tipped nose down. Somehow, Jedgar managed to get the spacecraft pointing upwards again, and the reorientation of the ITS meant that the engines came back online. However, the aerodynamic forces acting on the spacecraft meant that without its SAS system, the rocket couldn't stay stable. Frantically, Jedgar wrestled with the joystick, trying to get the craft back to retrograde. He almost did, but then the damaged fuel lines broke completely, and the engines shut down once again. The ITS was now dropping like a stone. Jedgar knew his only chance was the RCS system. But even that couldn't do much in the dense atmosphere... The RCS was still running when the ITS impacted the water. The engines all broke off upon impact, as did the capsule. A huge splash erupted as the gigantic spacecraft was smashed into pieces. Karsie Kerman lost consciousness. Eventually, the water settled and the few components of the spacecraft not destroyed by the blast, and not sunk by their weight, were bobbing about ironically peacefully. Jedgar Kerman was the only one still conscious. Slowly, he removed his helmet and exited the somehow intact capsule. He looked down. Below him, the engines and various other components were sinking. He couldn't care less. With the last of his strength, he hauled himself to the top of a crew compartment. His legs filed him and he fell onto the dull metal. After lying there for a few seconds, he had regained enough strength to stand up. The VAB was barely visible above the horizon. Rescue teams would be here soon. He repeated that statement over and over as the got back in the capsule. Rescue teams will be here soon. Rescue teams will be here soon. Rescue teams will be here soon. Rescue teams will be here soon, Jedgar thought. But as he looked over to his side, he knew another thing. They wouldn't be here soon enough for Karsie Kerman.
  10. Is that actually what you get from the SSTV signal?
  11. That would be awesome!
  12. SpaceX launched a successful mission from historic Pad 39A.
  13. Aaaand.. the webcast's over. Awesome launch! Now back to playing KSP
  14. Dragon has deployed! Solar arrays have deployed!
  15. Love the views from the first stage!
  16. Ahh, that aimation reminds me of KSP
  17. Doesn't actually show the rocket though...
  18. Actually, I'd say 39A towering over the majestic F9... That pad is huge
  19. @Galacticvoyager Snip your quotes, yo! EDIT: Ninja'd by Jim