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About BubbleWrap

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    Curious George
  1. Did some experiments with the shuttle. Managed to avoid breaking it.
  2. The sun finally came up, so drilling began at the mobile munbase.
  3. The initial phase of the Munar Exploration program has begun, as KSC enters final countdown for the asteroid mission only a few days away. Orbiter 10 undertakes landing duties, while Orbiter 7 handles Kerbin-Mun transfer of the payload.
  4. With the loss of the fourth test article, the Mk.4 project has been terminated. Despite looking promising, the orbiter is difficult to land and virtually uncontrollable during re-entry. Flight data gathered from the five flights indicate that the garage generates ridiculous amounts of drag, and results in the orbiter orienting sideways on during re-entry However, the space program goes on! Orbiter 11 flew OTS-1104 / CTO-3 to deliver additional crew to STS Station, resupply the life support systems and deliver the parts needed to inflate the new hab module. We then flew OTS-710 Station Expansion 2, performing a radical reconfiguration of STS Station and deploying a new robotic arm. The arm is terrible, first sending its target flying out into space (which was saved thanks to KSP crashing and me having to redo the last 10 minutes of my two hour (real time) eva mission), and then flailing about and threatening to tear the station apart (so i reloaded a quicksave and decided to move much lighter things for the time being). I think the arm needs moving onto the service module so it's nearer the centre of mass of the station. I also realised that auto-strutting the station stops it flailing like a spaghetti monster (mostly). http://imgur.com/a/v0GIu I need to deploy all the panels and radiators, but for now it's running off the service module backup panels, so all is good.
  5. Mun Station In preparation for the munar exploration program, Mun Station is constructed with two shuttle launches. http://imgur.com/a/bW1tU In other news, a proposal for a Mk.4 Orbiter has been put forwards to support the MunEx project. The design is looking good for Munar operations, but has failed both it's glide tests so far due to orbiter break-up on landing. Since we are still 13 days out from the asteroid, authorisation has been given to continue testing, with an expected interruption when flight control is needed to handle the upcoming CTO-3 mission to STS Station.
  6. Thanks Mothballed is essentially 'this is no longer in use but we don't want to scrap it, so we'll put it into long term storage in case we ever need it again', so Orbiter 4 is gathering dust in a hangar somewhere, and Orbiter 6 is parked in LKO without a crew.
  7. With the succesful return of Mun STS-1 III (to be documented later), thoughts have turned to a more permanent presence on the Munar surface. The delivery of Munar bases as monolithic structures direct from Kerbin has been determined not to be the best use of resources. Instead, a Munar orbital station will be constructed, based on STS Station at Kerbin, and fuel from the Munar surface will be stored there to resupply Orbiters heading to and from the Mun. The Munar base will be deployed using small, lightweight modules that pose minimal risk to the Orbiters delivering them. Initial exploration is to be done in pressurised rovers until a suitable base location has been chosen. To that end, rover testing has begun at KSC. Crane rover testing: http://imgur.com/a/k7byJ
  8. The OTS Program was initiated in order to meet the needs of this challenge thread: Orbiter Fleet 1. Mk.1 Test Article Destroyed During Glide Testing 2. Mk.1 Test Article Destroyed During Glide Testing 3. Mk.1 Test Article Destroyed in crash after orbital test mission 4. Mk.1a Test Article Heavily Damaged after crashing, rebuilt and mothballed 5. Mk.1a Flight Prototype Broke apart on re-entry, crew survived crash 6. Mk.1b Production Model Mothballed in orbit 7. Mk.2 Flight Prototype Operational 8. Mk.2a Production Model Operational 9. Mk.2a Production Model Operational 10. Mk.2a/M Flight Prototype Operational 11. Mk.2b/M Production Model Operational 12. Mk.3 Flight Prototype Operational The first 45 flights were numbered sequentially from OTS-1 to OTS-45, after which the numbering changed to use a combination of the orbiter number, and the mission number for that orbiter (so what would have been OTS-46 became OTS-1103, the third mission for orbiter 11) to avoid constantly renumbering future missions when they get pushed back in the schedule. STS Missions The following missions have been flown in support of STS objectives: OTS-10 / STS-1a: http://imgur.com/a/LlVfy OTS-13 / STS-2a: http://imgur.com/a/SdvGk (completed OTS objectives, but failed STS objectives as Orbiter did not land safely) OTS-18 / STS-1b: http://imgur.com/a/CpQgm OTS-20 / STS-2b: http://imgur.com/a/njuGB OTS-21 / STS-3: http://imgur.com/a/M9GXe OTS-23, 24 / STS-4, 4R: http://imgur.com/a/DHuKM OTS-25, 26, 28, 29 / STS-5, 6, 7, 8: http://imgur.com/a/MGBGG OTS-31 / Mun STS-1: http://imgur.com/a/kGLEe (failed STS objectives as Orbiter stranded on Mun and needed rescue) OTS-35 / Mun STS-1 II: http://imgur.com/a/D2gEz (failed STS objectives as Orbiter stranded in Munar orbit after launch and needed rescue) OTS-1103 / Mun STS-1 III: http://imgur.com/a/wRiQI Rescue Missions The following missions have been flown to recover other missions after they got stranded: OTS-33R to rescue OTS-31 stranded on Munar Surface: http://imgur.com/a/Rnc3R OTS-34R to rescue OTS-35 stranded in Munar Orbit (mission was planned before the Munar attempt to be launched only if needed, and it was): No album, as it was just a simple flight to Munar orbit and back Station Support Missions The following missions have been flown to support the orbital facilities around Kerbin: CTO-1 (OTS-29): Flown as part of STS-8 to deliver the first crew to the STS Station, crew still on-station CTO-2 (OTS-30): Deliver a crew to the Manned Orbital Observatory, crew returned when orbiter was recalled Station Expansion 1 (OTS-807): Deliver new modules to the STS Station: http://imgur.com/a/9L7c6 CTO-3 (OTS-1104): Deliver two new scientists, resupply the station life support systems and inflate the new habitation module Station Expansion 2 (OTS-710): Deliver new truss segments, robot arm and reconfigure station http://imgur.com/a/v0GIu Current Orbital Facilities Manned Orbital Observatory STS Station Munar Orbital Station
  9. Traced the minor fault in the core booster to procedural fairings, replaced with stock fairings and went to space.
  10. Launched the new Mk.3 Orbiter twice. Engineers are concerned there may be a minor issue in the core booster and have asked for time to review the flight data.
  11. Nothing new to report on this front yet - it's 27 days until the asteroid arrives, and aside from a second failed mun-landing attempt (we did at least make it back into Munar orbit before running out of fuel this time), I've mostly been iterating designs to give the Mk.2 nuclear engines. Unfortunately, it's rather heavy with its internal LFO tanks and the resultant on-orbit delta-v is not sufficiently high to make it worth the extra complexity over just using pure chemical engines. So, a new Mk.3 Orbiter Number 12 has been produced, based off the recently deployed Mk.2b/M Orbiter Number 11 (which gave us a second VTOL capable shuttle for munar rescue missions), which has had its internal tanks replaced with pure LF ones, and uses a heavily modified booster. The design is promising but the first launch saw the core booster break apart 2km up and we had to abort - this is about the worst abort mode to do, as I have to break up the stack and get the Orbiter from vertical to horizontal without crashing into all the boosters and then get it moving fast enough to generate enough lift not to just crash into the ground . Still, progress has been made, and a nuclear option would be preferable to a chemical one once we leave Kerbin's SoI, even if I can't get it ready in time for the asteroid capture.
  12. Finally revised my interplanetary mission design to get it down small enough for two shuttle launches - the constraint of fitting inside the cargo bay is so much more limiting than the payload mass limit of the orbiter stack. Just need to do the math on whether it can actually get where its going...
  13. Sent a shuttle carrying a fuel tanker lander to refuel my shuttle stranded on the Munar surface, then they met up in orbit for a second refuelling before heading home.
  14. Since there is a 40 day lead time on the asteroid I ordered for STS-9, I thought I'd send out Mun STS-1 so I could get the album ready. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the fuel usage across the three sets of engines on the orbiter, and compounded the problem by not lowering down to the orbit I'd calculated fuel requirements for before landing.... so Orbiter Number 10 is currently stranded on the Munar surface. At least they have a base, I guess? Now I have to launch a rescue mission within 18 days. Orbiter 7 is on a Minmus flyby trajectory, Orbiter 8 is docked to the space station, and Orbiter 9 is en-route to the manned orbital observatory, and none of them are VTOL capable anyway. I guess this calls for some careful thought. On the plus side, Orbiter 10 worked perfectly for the actual landing and deployment, so a revised follow-up attempt shouldn't have any issues.
  15. The three Orbiters have undertaken four new missions and deployed the Kerbin Orbital Space Station and delivered its first crew: http://imgur.com/a/MGBGG (56 images). The station uses parts from near future construction and mark one laboratory experiments. Landing the Mk.2 has now become a routine, if somewhat time consuming, task and ground control are happy with the safety record.