Cydonian Monk

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About Cydonian Monk

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    Space Monk

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  • Location Houston, TX, USA
  • Interests Model Railroading (Operations), Languages, Space Stuff, Engineering

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  1. Rips in spacetime are thankfully much easier to repair than rips in persistence.sfs. Usually. However they're both right useful once you learn to control them.
  2. As Is Only Fitting And Proper The Calcium 3 orbiting high above Vall had done a fantastic job of mapping the icy moon. Its only major flaw is its severe lack of power, limiting which instruments could run continuously and how much data it could transmit. So far only the lower-quality maps had been sent to the Jumble of Parts, but with the Sulphur 5 in close proximity it was possible to recover the full data set and higher resolution maps. It took a few passes for Macfred to download all of it, but in the end they had a good, highly detailed map of the surface. There were a few short swaths of land yet to be mapped, details that would be filled in with time, but they had enough data to build their list of landing site candidates. Several good places to choose from, flat areas with both ice and rock. And there were two anomalies to make it more interesting. That list of candidates was promptly thrown out the window, thanks to one of those anomalies. —- Agake had spent several hours quietly reviewing the Calcium 3 survey data when her eyes went wide with realization. "Whoa." Macfred alone heard her exclamation. The rest of the crew were both taking a quick nap, curled up in seats at opposite ends of the shuttle. He had been working through the last week's worth of radio data, trying to find a signal from home, when Agake broke him from his trance. He looked up to find her looking back at him. "What?" "You know that one anomaly on the map? The southern one?" "Yeah?" "Well, it's interesting. The science gear on the Calcium 3 recorded several high-energy bursts, events that originated on the surface. Or just below it. I did a bit of math and every one of them map back to the same spot. The same place where that anomaly is." "Curious." He unfastened himself from his seat and drifted over to look at Agake's data. "Are you absolutely certain?" "Yes. One hundred percent." "Ok. Sounds like we've got our first landing site." He kicked forward, drifting into the S-5's cockpit. "Thomlock?" Their elder astrogator, the famously dead Thomlock, was napping peacefully in the pilot's chair. Macfred patted him on the shoulder, shook him a bit. A grumbling mass of slightly wrinkled kerbal stirred from its rest. "I didn't do it! Uhm. Oh, hey kid, what's up?" "Space. I was wondering if you could run some numbers on a landing site. Pretty far south, might be difficult to get to." "Sure thing. I'll take a look." He brought the lander's navigation system up from sleep mode. The computer was perhaps a bit more sluggish than Thomlock, and both seemed only half awake. A few moments later and it was online, happily blinking at them. "You got the coords?" "Yep. Sixty degrees, five minutes south by eighty-three degrees, forty-six minutes east. Give or take." "Are we giving or are we taking?" "Taking, hopefully." "Hmm." Thomlock punched the coordinates into the navigation computer and worked out a few different trajectories. More grumbling. He ditched the first batch of results and ran the numbers again, producing the same basic set of trajectories. "Hmm." "Yeah?" "It'll be close. Not much wiggle room." "Can we make it?" "Yeah, sure. Maybe, if we hit the landing right. Might need to leave somebody on the surface to make it back to orbit though. Or maybe cut off pieces of the ship and leave them there." "Or, we could not do something quite that rash and instead use other Sulphur to come get us from a low orbit." "Well sure, if you want to go all logical on me. I figured this rock would make a nice retirement spot. Fly that other Sulphur down and build myself a little trailer home out in the hills." "Really." "Nope. There's another thing, too." "Something real? Or just more sarcasm?" "Right. See we're not in an absolutely zero-inclination orbit. Close, well, no, not really. About twenty degrees off retrograde. If we use the most efficient trajectories, you know, those most likely to get us back to space, well, see kid, you won't see. It'll be dark when we land. And not just a normal, happy, regular old night kind of dark either. Dark dark. Really dark. Behind Jool dark." "Wouldn't have it any other way." "Yeah, well, that's just you. No easy task to drop a lander on an unknown ice patch in the pitch black, but hey, I think I can handle it. We've got radar. We've got spotlights. And we've got some extra spring in our step. Just say when and I'll set up the burns." "As soon as makes sense." "Okay." He flipped a switch and the cockpit flared to life. "Get saddled up." -- The Sulphur 5 needed an inclination change before it could land. Trigonometry tells us it's always cheaper to change you angle when you're going slower, so the first step was to increase their orbit. Even with an orbital velocity of 540m/s (give or take) it's still more efficient to climb and slow down first. And it's even more efficient if you wait until you're at your absolute periapsis before trying to raise your periapsis. A sixty degree orbit would place them over the landing zone once per day, all that was required thereafter was a bit of patience. So at apoapsis they spun up the remaining 40 degrees to bring them to their desired orbit. Following that Thomlock circularized, checked the map, and then went back to sleep until the landing was lined up. Being a pilot in a kerbal space program is one of those jobs where half of the interesting things occur in the dark. And often, those dimly-lit moments of interest are also exceedingly complex and unbelievably dangerous. "I may not remember every landing," a pilot was once heard to remark, "but I remember all the night ones." Sometimes kerbals aren't given much of a choice though, as with the crew of the Sulphur 5. So they would land. In the dark. Thomlock set up three phases for the descent: the de-orbit burn; the initial landing burn; and the final landing burn. The first two were large burns, consuming the bulk of the fuel set aside for the operation. Both of the first two burns also included monopropellant discharges, as had the plane-change maneuver, to buy as much Δv as possible. Macfred had the unlucky position of dangling from one of the upside down chairs during the descent. If his straps broke he would fall onto Agake, probably hurting her or himself quite a bit considering the 1.5G the shuttle could produce at full thrust. He could have, no, should have rotated his chair, probably still could in between burns, but there was little point. The surface gravity on Vall wouldn't be a problem. All he had to do was make it to the surface. He watched the burning cloud of fuel expand away from their exhaust as they slipped towards the surface. Most times it was brighter than the stars, most often it was the only thing visible through the thick glass. When the second burn completed, all he could see was a dim reflection of the inside of the shuttle, a handful of stars, and a soft glow on the empty black plain below. A strange, bluish glow. He was going to mention it to Agake when the glow disappeared. Probably just his imagination. Thomlock's voice crackled across the shuttle's speakers. "We're directly over the anomaly now, about four hundred meters up. I'm bringing the engines up to make our landing. Hold on to something." Macfred's stomach twisted slightly as the ship cancelled its lateral movement, pirouetted around, and started into the final descent. At first all he could see outside was the endless black plain and their exhaust cloud. Then, the closer they got, the more the light from the engines lit the scene. Small rocks or lumps of ice stood sentry as the smaller dust and fines were blasted out of the way. A small cloud of vapour spread out as frozen particles melted. The spotlights splashed onto the ice just as the engines roared their final roar. Thomlock must have slightly misjudged the distance, as the lander came down a bit hard. A short bounce and gut-wrenching slide and they were stopped. The engines cut out, the outside world cast into complete darkness. "Are we there?" Macfred heard Gletrix ask from the lower cabin. "All I can see is Tylo." Macfred stared into the darkness, wondering what this nearby anomaly would turn out to be. He didn't remember any of the Forgotten talking about other missions to Vall, and so far they had not found an older craft orbiting the moon. Nor were any transmitting from the surface, no unaccounted for noise in his regular radio sweeps. Near as they could tell Vall was untouched. This seemed rather unlikely to Macfred. There were probably several craft they just hadn't found yet, such as the lander probes on Laythe. Or perhaps they had melted their way into the moon's icy crust, never to be seen again? Only time would tell. He blinked as the cabin lights came back to full brightness, temporarily blinding everyone in the shuttle. Thomlock's voice boomed through the cabin once more as he slid down the ladder towards the bottom of the shuttle. "We're here folks. Sorry about the landing, ground rose up a bit there at the last second. It may not be much to look at, but welcome to Vall. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sleep until sunrise." Landed. In the dark. As is only right and proper. -- [I still haven't finished the screenshots / artwork I need for the next update, which I had hoped would be the end of this update. So until then, cheers. We're almost back to a regular schedule.]
  3. Wow, I still have the top-rated screenshot for this game on Steam. Nifty. I really need to go back and play it some more. I still think it needs _more_ in the campaign, or a randomly generated campaign, or something like that, but as it is it's fun to tweak and nudge designs until you get them right. (There's an amusing quip about the part designer in a Steam review - person said they went in to change a nuclear reactor part and then had to stop because they also needed to understand how a nuclear reactor worked first.) Worth buying, even if you only put ten hours or so into it.
  4. Hitotsume no kotoba wa yume nemuri no naka kara..... (etc. If you know the song, you know the song.)
  5. If the Load Save button isn't working, I agree with above - you probably have an incomplete persistence file somewhere in the save folder (or quicksave). Copy everything that's there (backups!), delete it all (the stuff in KSP/saves, not the backups!), then try to start a new save. If that works you'll need to figure out what from the old stuff is borked and only copy the good persistence files back in.
  6. I tried Orbiter a couple years ago when I bought my current PC. My first launch was the Shuttle, of course, but somehow I messed that up very badly. The Shuttle ended up skidding across the "ocean" and then up onto land and across central Florida. The boosters separated somewhere past Titusville and I decided that was enough. I tried a few other things, but yeah - I agree - the base game is very flat. It shines pretty well when you install mods. I'm in this game to build my own spacecraft, so Orbiter really just doesn't do much for me.
  7. Thank you so very much. Always happy when folks are entertained by what I create. (Also a fan of @Just Jim here. Ditto what he said.) Soon (tm). Soon as in "probably tomorrow sometime" soon. Got sidetracked all week on other things.
  8. Unless it's been updated, it is not Kopernicus that changes the launchsites in RSS. It's the KSCSwitcher plugin @regex wrote. (I admit I've not updated RSS/RO since 1.1.3, so things might have changed.) See this post: The most up to date version is in the KSP-RO repo on GitHub: In Ad Lunam I used both that KSCSwitcher plugin and an older plugin (that is now replaced by Kerbal Konstructs) to use KSC2 (Baikobanaur?). @million_lights, I do agree with @Galileo that KSCSwitcher will likely not work for DMP, though I've also not tried it. Kerbal Konstructs is your best bet.
  9. At the moment, a little bit over 140,000 words, and more than 1200 screenshots. And to answer your previous question: I have no idea how long it took to update all the posts as I spread it out over several days. Probably an hour or two. It took less time to edit in the "Next Post" links at the bottom of each post, and had I not added those links it would've taken much, much longer to build the table of contents.
  10. No update tonight, perhaps tomorrow night. I did however want to point out that we now have a proper and I think complete Table of Contents up there on the First Post, for those that like such things. And a quote of that table is what's in this following spoiler, not an actual spoiler:
  11. An oldie but goodie, as they say. One of two very impressive Venus RSS/RO landings (and returns) I've seen.
  12. Finite Arrivals The Silicon expedition to Jool has not been without its share of failures. Most were small errors, minor design mistakes such as the Laythe jet probe's "lander" stage missing parachutes. Others were slightly more serious; not providing enough power to the mapping probes, not expecting the universe to change how fuel flow is handled mid-flight, not packing nearly enough koffee, et cetera. Yet one particular failure has cast its shadow over the entire mission: The explosion of the Potassium 3. This still-unexplained event occurred shortly after the Potassium 3 arrived in its 400km retrograde Vall orbit. Remotely operated by Gletrix, it had just started to release its cargo when the "that's weird" incident occurred. The original plan was to leave one of its partially-drained fuel pods at Vall and move the other to Laythe. This would allow the crew to land on Vall, which they couldn't do without a refuel, and to move around the system with a bit more freedom. Unfortunately both pods were damaged in the explosion, one of them venting its precious cargo. The Potassium 3 was crippled, its forward docking port sheared free in the explosion, among other minor damages. It limped to Laythe along with its (undamaged) science cargo, but was unable to recover either of the fuel pods. One of them had a known leak, the other was in an uncertain state. Both of their computers had shut down up after the explosion, their electrical systems damaged, the depots now deprived of power. The incident had created a small cloud of debris in its 400km retrograde Vall orbit. Enough time had passed that all the pieces of the two fuel pods (and the lost bits of the K-3) were scattered completely around the orbit. While approaching the moon the crew had found two larger pieces, believed to be the two fuel pods, but there was no way to confirm which was which and if either of them still had fuel remaining. All they could do was watch as the tiny dots blinked in their tumbling orbits. So the arrival at Vall was going to be something of a gamble for them. The extra maneuver they had made on the way out of Laythe's orbit to swing by the Potassium tugs burned up more fuel than it should have. As a result, there was very little left in the tank when they arrived at the icy moon. And they were coming in at a bit of a inclination, some 30 or more degrees, which Gletrix would correct once they had completed their capture. Before that could happen they first needed to decide where they were going. They spent a couple days observing the two larger contacts from a highly eccentric orbit, having just barely captured at the moon. After those observations they were all undecided, so Macfred chose to flip a coin. In microgravity. In an enclosed space. What he had done occurred to him shortly after the coin left his thumb. It ricocheted rather violently around the cabin, bouncing off of more than one important system. An alarm sounded as it triggered the cabin decompression, which Thomlock aborted with his usual practiced calm. Finally the coin, having spent most of its energy on the padded walls and control panels, slowed to a spin in front of Agake's face. And kept spinning. So they choose the target which was spinning the least. First, they needed to align their inclination with that of their target. Gletrix set up a maneuver at their highest intersecting point, hoping to save as much ∆v as possible. This burn was a mixture of RCS and the main engines. The math had been working against them from the start, as coming into Vall orbit they calculated they would need 745m/s to complete a rendezvous. Yet they only had 604m/s left in the main engines. The remaining 141m/s would have to come from the RCS. And the sooner they used that the better. This was followed by pulling their periapsis up to match the orbit of their target, a maneuver that occurred at their next apoapsis. This "burn" was made completely with the RCS, as they needed to save what ∆v was left in the mains for the final rendezvous. And of course they'd still need RCS to dock with their target. Assuming docking was still an option. There was always the possibility the target was too damaged to dock. If it was, some inventive construction (ie: KAS fuel lines) would be needed to transfer fuel between the shuttles and the fuel depot. And if the depot was completely out of fuel, well, they'd have to rethink their strategy. Gamble on a trip to the other target. After a series of alignment and rendezvous burns they arrived at their destination. They wouldn't know exactly which of the two Silicon fuel depots it was until they brought its computer back online. It had picked up a slight tumble, spinning mostly along its longitudinal axis. At this distance it was obvious the depot had suffered very little damage in the explosion, missing only the docking port on the end with the monopropellant tanks. Interestingly, the docking port from the other fuel depot was still attached at the far end, and several strips of debris and old struts were flaying about from it. Macfred suited up. Their EVA suits likely had more ∆v than the shuttle, and it would be easier to dock if they could slow the depot's rotation. He instructed Gletrix to keep the Sulphur's lights directed at the tank while he made his way over to it. The rotation was not easy to stop, the depot being far more massive than a kerbal, but eventually he had one of the side docking ports oriented towards the Sulphur. A quick check showed the computer was still in one piece, just offline due to a lack of power. He pulled open one of the low-power antennas and turned to guide Gletrix and the shuttle in. Once the shuttle was docked up and secure Macfred moved around to connect a few jumper cables and make a other small repairs. Shortly the depot's computer was back online, identifying itself as the Silicon 9, and they could confirm what they had hoped: They had fuel. No time was wasted in filling up the tanks of the two Sulphur shuttles. After some inspection Macfred decided the docking port that had been sheared free from the other fuel depot was still in good shape. He detached it, cleaned it up a bit, and lugged it to the other end of the Silicon 9. It took some amount of space tape to get the hoses and electrical connections of the old, now missing, docking port attached to the "new" port, but in the end it all came together and seemed to hold. Maybe it wasn't perfectly aligned, but now they had docking ports free on four sides of the depot. Some time later there was a short space dance the crews needed to perform to get ready for the Vall landing. They had approached the depot with the Sulphur 5 (the former LDAV) at the front of the stack, and had docked it to the depot first. As this was the only shuttle with legs, it was needed for the landing. The other shuttle would stay here at the depot until they had returned to orbit. Thomlock took over the pilot's duty in the Sulphur 5 while Gletrix took the other Sulphur. (No reason to fly remotely when you've got two pilots.) Not entirely trusting of Macfred's new docking port, Gletrix opted to dock the shuttle up at the opposite end. She left the electrical system of the shuttle online to provide power to the fuel depot. A quick EVA back to the Sulphur 5 to join the crew and the dance was finished. With the work at the fuel depot complete they could now move to their next task: Choosing a landing site. -- And that's all for now. Maybe we'll see an Easter double-posting. With luck I'll have the update covering the landing ready later this evening. If so, I'll post it when ready (in my usual late-Sunday timeslot). Need to do a bit of artwork for it, tweak some of the writing, and then it's all systems go. Cheers. -- Navigation: Next Post
  13. Strange. The spoiler boxes work just fine for me in Firefox on Win10 (just checked). You might want to mention it over in the Kerbal Network section. Maybe it's an IPS bug.
  14. Don't worry - you'll see what's in the spoiler tag in a couple of updates. I take it you're on mobile?
  15. The similarity is not accidental, though it perhaps is a misdirection.