Hotaru

HSP: Back from Moho.

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Pretty neat shuttle! :)

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These pictures are really nice! Also love the spacecraft designs! Keep it up. :) 

Fire

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Finally starting to get close to the late game, which is the part I'm really looking forward to. I always think of the line between mid and late game as the first kermanned landing on Duna, and that should happen within a couple more updates (the window is coming up). This also means I'm getting to the point where I'm able to start having some more fun with the designs; whereas the early spacecraft were mostly just bare-bones functional, the next generation of spacecraft are aiming to be at least a little bit stylish as well.

Boring stuff:

Spoiler

No mod changes. The biggest gameplay news is the tech tree is now complete (although I still haven't paid to unlock a lot of the parts yet), which means as soon as I've saved up enough science (2700:science:, if I recall) I'll be cancelling the 50% :science:-->:funds: strategy, re-buying it at 100%, and selling off any remaining science points for funds. Since Leadership Initiative at 100% cuts way down on my funding from contracts, this means the majority of my space program's income will be coming from science labs and World Firsts. I'm hoping this will make funds a little more of a concern than they've been up to this point, otherwise I might as well be playing sandbox mode.

Also I've decided to try and stop posting these things late at night when I'm half-asleep. I suspect they come out a little more interesting when I'm actually awake while writing them. (Don't get used to the daily updates though, I've just got too much free time on my hands at the moment.)

Also I finally got around to making a new avatar! The old Tintin one was really just "whatever I had sitting on my desktop at the time," and while I kind of liked it, I always meant to replace it with something more, you know, female.

TL;DR: Tech tree done.

 

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Space station Persistence in Munar orbit with Defiance 3 and Bravado LC-1 docked.

 

Persistence: a new kind of space station.

Spoiler

Deciding that what the Space Program really had was too much money, the KSC engineers decided to fulfill a contract for a Munar-orbiting space station with something a little more ambitious than the original plans for Endurance II. The new concept, Persistence (the PR department has decided to drop the numbers and give each station a unique name), is a monolithic, self-propelled torus station.

Although getting it to space was by no means a sure thing, the engineers reckoned that with seven-and-a-half million spacebucks in the bank, they could afford a few failed attempts.

 

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This was fortunate. The first attempt to orbit Persistence ended with the vehicle being destroyed due to a Kraken attack insufficient bracing. The second attempt survived liftoff but failed to achieve orbit.

 

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The third attempt, with the rocket correctly braced and the Frumious-M launch vehicle (five Frumious engine assemblies at the back and a fuel tank at the front) reconfigured to maintain thrust-weight ratio longer into the ascent, looked more promising.

 

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The outer sets of engines were jettisoned in pairs once the extra thrust was no longer needed.

 

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The front fuel tank was jettisoned once the spacecraft was high enough that the added stability it provided was no longer an issue, and the final set of engines was dropped once the vehicle had gained enough speed to safely achieve orbit under its own power.

 

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Once the station was safely in orbit, two Aqualung unkermanned tankers refueled it and it departed for the Mun.

 

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Persistence successfully captured into a polar orbit of the Mun, where it will be used to support continued exploration in lieu of the now-discontinued Intrepidity program.

 

Defiance 3, first mission to station Persistence.

Spoiler

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The first operational flight of the Defiance shuttlepod lifted off on a Frumious VB rocket carrying mission commander P2 Lodald, rookie co-pilot P0 Eiliel, scientists S3 Laselle, S2 Alvis, and S2 Eririne, and rookie flight engineer E0 Traissa.

 

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Cutaway view of Defiance 3 in orbit, showing the cockpit and passenger cabin.

 

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The trans-stage was jettisoned to impact the Mun, and Defiance 3 entered orbit under its own power.

 

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Because Persistence is in a polar orbit, the rendezvous was more complicated than previous missions; it was also the first rendezvous ever performed in orbit of the Mun. The crew transferred to the space station, filled up the lab with data collected during the outbound journey, and settled in for a two-year mission.

 

Bravado LC-1: prototype Duna lander.

Spoiler

After the Intrepidity 20 accident, the engineers decided that it was not safe to continue using the relatively tall and thin Intrepidity Block II spacecraft to explore the more rugged regions of the Munar surface. They decided instead to send up a prototype Bravado Duna lander to be attached to station Persistence and used for further exploration of the Mun.

 

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Bravado LC-1 was launched unkermanned on a Frumious VI rocket and completed a rendezvous with Persistence in orbit of the Mun.

 

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Station commander Lodald along with Eiliel, Alvis, and Traissa boarded the spacecraft for its first trip down to the surface, targeting a previously-surveyed anomaly in the northern highlands.

 

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The spacecraft successfully completed the first kermanned landing in the Munar highlands.

 

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Although they searched to the limit of the range of their EVA packs, the crew were unable to locate the anomaly. A future mission may revisit this area once its location has been pinpointed with greater precision.

 

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FLOeICa.jpg?1

 

Bravado 2 underway.

 

Bravado 2: first kermanned mission to Duna.

Spoiler

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A Frumious VI rocket launched Bravado 2, the Space Program's first attempt to put kermen on the surface of another world.

 

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Aboard are veteran commander Burmin, scientist Ziggy, and (not shown) rookie flight engineer Paty.

 

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Once in orbit, the spacecraft is refueled by unkermanned tanker ship Aqualung 1, while its comms array is delivered and attached by Aqualung 12.

 

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Another Frumious VI rocket delivers the landing craft, and the rocket's second stage boosts the assembled spacecraft's apoapsis.

 

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A plane change at apoapsis and a second burn at periapsis set the spacecraft on course to encounter Duna.

 

Space station ops and Munar exploration.

Spoiler

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Crew rotations: Hayberta, Carena, and Thomptrey returned from station Patience II on Intrepidity S-9; Geneming, Gemliana, and Agalinne returned from Endurance I on Intrepidity 19. Neither crew was replaced because future crew rotations will be flown by the Defiance shuttlepod, which will deliver full six-kerman crews.

 

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Lodald, Eiliel, Traissa, and Laselle took Bravado LC-1 down from station Persistence to explore the Southwest Crater of the Mun.

 

Sagacity 4 and 5: probes to Vall and Moho.

Spoiler

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A Frumious VI rocket launched Sagacity 4, which will orbit Vall and deploy two mini-landers.

 

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Another Frumious VI launched the similar Sagacity 5 to Moho.

 

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Nice! I like that you've standardised landers for the Mun and Duna. As always, very enjoyable read.

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20 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

A Frumious VI rocket launched Bravado 2, the Space Program's first attempt to put kermen on the surface of another world.

I thought that the Bravado was only built for flybys? Or does it have enough fuel for an orbital return?

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With an apoapsis boost coming from the stage that delivered the lander, coupled with perhaps a bit of aerobraking at Duna arrival, I think there should be enough propellant (just going by eye though)

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It's definitely got enough fuel to orbit and return with the lander. If it turns out the orbiter by itself doesn't have enough to get back, the crew can either cancel the landing and use the lander's fuel to get home, or land anyway and wait in Duna orbit for an Aqualung to be sent out from Kerbin at the next window.

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This is the point where things should start to get more interesting. I've been playing KSP since 0.90 (end of 2014), and since then I've explored the Kerbin system pretty thoroughly, but beyond Kerbin's sphere of influence I have a lot less experience. I've visited Duna, Ike, Gilly, and Moho with Kerbals only a couple times each, most everywhere else only once, and I've never landed on Tylo or Eeloo at all.

From here on out the H. S. P. is going further and further into unknown territory.

 

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Bravado 2 arriving in the Duna system.

 

Bravado 2: first Kermen on Duna.

Spoiler

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Half a year after departing Kerbin, Bravado 2 approaches Duna.

 

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The ship passes within 10 kilometers of Duna's satellite Ike, collecting scientific data as well as using Ike's gravity to reduce the Duna capture burn by about 50 meters per second

 

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The Ike flyby lowers the ship's periapsis to about 100 kilometers above Duna, where the T45 engine fires a three-and-a-half-minute burn to capture into an elliptical orbit.

 

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A series of aerobraking passes lowers Bravado 2 into a circular orbit 60 kilometers above the surface of Duna.

 

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Mission scientist Ziggy performs EVAs along the way to collect data from the ship's instruments as well as report on conditions. During the first few orbits after insertion, the ship surveys several possible landing sites as well as three anomalies.

 

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After confirming that the orbiter will have enough fuel to return safely to Kerbin, the crew board the landing craft and begin the descent to the surface. The selected landing site is in the Midland Sea region--picked primarily for its low elevation, as the KSC engineers aren't sure how effective the lander's parachutes will be in Duna's tenuous atmosphere.

 

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Drogue chutes deploy at high altitude, slowing the lander to subsonic speed as it descends into a dust storm.

 

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The storm isn't a serious problem because wind hasn't been invented yet of the lander's aerodynamic properties, and a few kilometers above the surface, the main parachutes open and the drogues are cut.

 

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Less than five hundred meters from the terrain, mission commander Burmin finally gets his first look at the surface.

 

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A brief engine burn slows the ship to a safe landing speed. Once it has settled onto the ground, the crew take instrument readings and prepare for the first EVA.

 

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Ziggy: First Kerman on Duna!

 

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Once the dust storm clears, the crew have an excellent view of Ike near the horizon (the landing site was selected partly with this in mind). They will remain on the surface until the return window to Kerbin comes up in about a year and a half.

 

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My general rule for this save is to stick to one major kermanned mission at a time (having several going at once got confusing fast in my last career), but life in the Kerbin system goes on while the crew of Bravado 2 are waiting for the return window, and probe launches continue as well.

 

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Janbe in the cockpit of the H-202 spaceplane in Kerbin orbit.

 

Probe launches and arrivals.

Spoiler

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Sagacity 5 arrived at Moho--the Space Program's first vehicle to orbit the innermost planet--and deployed two mini-landers. (OOC: This actually happened before the Bravado Duna landing, but I wanted that to have a post to itself.)

 

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Lander "A" touched down in the fairly boring Central Lowlands region, returning the first science data and images from the surface of Moho.

 

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Lander "B" explored one of Moho's minor craters, which was slightly more interesting although the science team continued to be disappointed by the lack of lava.

 

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A Frumious V rocket launched Sagacity 7 on a slow transfer to Dres, where, like previous missions in the series, it will deploy two mini-landers to explore the surface.

 

H-202: the Space Program's first SSTO, and some anomaly hunting.

Spoiler

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The H-202 spaceplane, powered by two Terrier rockets and a Panther jet, was the Space Program's first a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle. Rookie pilot Janbe took it on its first flight.

 

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It's not much more than a prototype, with a single cockpit and no provision for docking or payload, but it achieves orbit with about 700 meters per second of delta-v to spare.

 

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Although the H-202's orbital mission was successful, the KSC engineers continue to debate the usefulness of this type of spacecraft compared to traditional rockets. For the time being, the SSTO program remains a low priority.

 

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In the meantime, veteran pilot Geneming explored the mountains west of KSC in search of a magnetic anomaly detected from orbit. Although the anomaly's location had been pinpointed to within a few dozen meters during flyovers, Geneming wasn't able to spot it; the KSC engineers concluded that it was probably either a sensor glitch or an unusual deposit of magnetic rock.

 

Uffish, Brillig, and Sanity: new launch vehicles and ore prospecting.

Spoiler

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An Uffish IV rocket--derived from the solid-propellant rockets previously only used for suborbital test flights--launched Sanity 1 into a polar orbit of Kerbin.

 

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The orbiter is equipped with a scanning radar to search for subsurface ore deposits which, on other worlds, might be mined and turned into rocket fuel.

 

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Built around a new generation of engines, the Brillig family of launchers is planned to replace the Frumious series.

 

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The first flight of the Brillig I rocket puts Sanity 2, another prospecting orbiter, on a transmunar trajectory.

 

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Sanity 2 charts ore deposits on both of Kerbin's natural satellites, and discovers a new magnetic anomaly on Minmus.

 

Exploration of the Mun and Minmus.

Spoiler

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Lodald, Eiliel, Traissa, and Eririne take Bravado LC-1 down from station Persistence to explore the Mun's Farside Crater.
 

Spoiler: Minmus anomaly, probably random.

Spoiler

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Station commander Lemlock pilots the Pugnacity lander down from station Endurance I to investigate the anomaly surveyed from orbit by Sanity 2, which proves to be another monolith.

 

 

 

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That H-202 is a neat SSTO. I've never quite understod the making of an SSTO, so I stick with good ol' boostes and rockets. It's still nice to read these updates.

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On ‎30‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 1:24 AM, Hotaru said:

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A Manxome II rocket launched the first of two solar arrays destined for space station Patience 2.

Just re-found this. Still my favourite image from the entire thread.

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NJgmRVx.jpg?1

 

 

The fifth kerbonaut class with a prototype six-kerman rover. Back row, left to right: Gilbree, Erithis, Darina, Corrick, Vasya, Jate. Front row: Erigee, Wenmy, Statha, Gledia, Joelin, Chadgan. (OOC: In an alternate universe, Erithis was the first Kerman to circumnavigate Minmus.)

 

Defiance 3 through 7 and the end of Project Intrepidity. (This ended up being kind of a long one--normally these would just be routine crew rotations, but something interesting ended up happening on just about every flight.)

Spoiler

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Defiance 4, the last kermanned flight of the Frumious V rocket, lifted off on a crew rotation to Kerbin station Patience II. It delivered commander P2 Gemliana, E3 Lizdrien, S2 Thomptrey, E2 Mitrie, E2 Carena, and S1 Valcee to the station, while the previous crew--Melxie, Virlina, and Addan--returned to Kerbin aboard Intrepidity S-11, the final flight of the Intrepidity S program.

 

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The first attempt to launch Defiance 5, aboard a prototype Brillig II rocket, ended in a risky abort when the rocket proved to be both underpowered and unstable.

 

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Although the shuttlepod was substantially damaged during the abort, it parachuted to a safe landing at KSC (which, remarkably, wasn't damaged by the falling debris)--unintentionally making the type's first landing on solid ground.

 

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The Brillig II was cancelled in favor of the Brillig III, built around a more powerful RE-M3 engine, which successfully orbited Melxie, Chris, Jochelle, Phoberta, Agalinne, and Addan aboard Defiance 5C (5B was an unused backup plan to send it up on a Frumious V).

 

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The Block II trans-stage (basically a standard Brillig second stage with an adapter) sent the spacecraft on its way to Minmus, where it rendezvoused with station Endurance I.

 

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After refueling at Endurance I, the crew took the spacecraft down to the surface of Minmus, revisiting unkermanned lander Discretion 1 and successfully demonstrating the shuttlepod's ability to land on low-gravity airless bodies.

 

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They then returned to the station, while the previous crew--Lemlock, Rotine, and Kathelyn--departed aboard Intrepidity 21.

 

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Intrepidity 21 returned safely to Kerbin, marking the end of the final mission of the Intrepidity program.

 

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Defiance 6B (6 was forced to abort after it ended up on an abnormally low trajectory) launched with P1 Virlina and E1 Rotine to retrieve the crew of the Bravado 1 data processing mission, Kerzer, Johndo, and Tangel. It landed safely in the ocean east of KSC.

 

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Defiance 3 brought Lodald, Eiliel, Laselle, Alvis, Eririne, and Traissa home at the conclusion of a two-year tour on Munar station Persistence.

 

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Defiance 7 (we've decided to start painting the numbers on them, mostly to avoid confusion if two of them ever happen to be docked at the same station) lifted off with commander P2 Hayberta, P1 Virlina, E1 Rotine, and rookies E0 Statha, S0 Wenmy, and S0 Erigee.

 

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It rendezvoused in Munar orbit with station Persistence.

 

Munar exploration and a new rocket.

Spoiler

Spoiler: Mun anomaly.

Spoiler

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Lodald, Eiliel, Traissa, and Eririne explored an anomaly on the Mun aboard Bravado LC-1, which turned out to be yet another monolith.

 

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While the crew was on the surface, the prototype Brillig IV delivered Aqualung 13 to refuel station Persistence in Munar orbit. The Brillig IV (and the notional Brillig V and VI, which would use four and six cores, respectively) will be the mainstay of the next phase of interplanetary exploration, ultimately replacing the Frumious VI.

 

Sagacity 4: a Joolian grand tour.

Spoiler

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Sagacity 4 arrived in the Joolian system via a close flyby of Jool's largest satellite, Tylo.

 

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The probe fired a braking burn on the dark side of Jool to capture into orbit before approaching its primary target, Vall.

 

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It successfully entered into orbit of Vall and deployed its two mini-landers. Lander "A" touched down in the highlands, returning the first data from the surface of Jool's second moon.

 

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Lander "B" landed in a lowland valley.

 

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At this point the KSC engineers realized the orbiter still had most of its fuel left (the Tylo capture maneuver saved much more delta-v than expected considering the spacecraft had arrived on a relatively fast transfer), so they sent it into an eccentric orbit of Laythe.

 

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The engineers were amused to discover that transferring between eccentric orbits of Jool's major satellites requires hardly any delta-v at all; Sagacity 4 completed a detailed gravity survey of Laythe before transferring to orbit of Tylo, where it collected additional gravity data and surveyed an anomaly, and then departing again for Pol.

 

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It was then that the engineers began to suspect the spacecraft had been slightly over-designed. After collecting more gravity data in Pol orbit, the engineers decided to send it down to the surface for the first landing on Jool's outermost satellite.

 

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Sagacity 4 then lifted off from Pol and transferred to its ultimate destination, Bop (the transfer stage was finally jettisoned during the orbital insertion maneuver). Although it didn't have enough fuel left for another landing and return to orbit, it completed a survey of the irregular satellite and discovered an anomaly in the northern mountains.

 

Edited by Hotaru
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10 hours ago, Hotaru said:

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Intrepidity 21 returned safely to Kerbin, marking the end of the final mission of the Intrepidity program.

I take back what I said earlier. This is beyond beautiful...

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YsaJjBM.jpg?1

Bravado 2 departing Duna orbit.

 

Hotaru Star Lines flight 1: the first space tourists.

Spoiler

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A Brillig IIIB rocket lifts off with a Defiance shuttlepod as Hotaru Star Lines flight 1, the Space Program's first tourism flight.

 

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The flight crew is P1 Janbe and E0 Joelin; the passengers are Bartry, Gicella, Gering, and Jebgas. The fight stops at station Endurance I in Minmus orbit before returning to Kerbin.

 

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The return trip would've been a lot quicker had Bartry not insisted on a flyby of the Mun on the way back, but the ship safely aerobraked into a 100-kilometer orbit before deorbiting and parachuting to land near KSC.

 

Bravado 2 departure from Duna.

Spoiler

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After a year and a half on the surface of Duna, Burmin, Ziggy and Paty board the Bravado LC-2 spacecraft to return to orbit.

 

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After rendezvous, the crew, science data, and the lander's remaining fuel are transferred to the Bravado 2 orbiter. The lander is left in Duna orbit to be reused by future missions.

 

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The T45 engine ignites for the last major burn of the mission to send Bravado 2 on its way back to Kerbin.

 

Bravado 3 and 4: continued exploration of the Duna system.

Spoiler

The engineers decide to save a bit of time by launching two parallel missions at the next Duna window: Bravado 3 will return to Duna while Bravado 4 explores Ike. They will be accompanied by two Aqualung tanker ships, one of which will refuel the lander left in Duna orbit by Bravado 2, while the other provides fuel to allow Bravado 4 to make additional landings on Ike. The result is a small flotilla consisting of six spacecraft, six launches, and four departures from Kerbin orbit over the course of about three days.

 

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The first launch is Aqualung 14 on a Brillig IVB rocket.

 

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The addition of a transfer stage to the rocket will allow the Aqualung to arrive in Duna orbit with most of its fuel still available; it will refuel Bravado LC-2 for at least one trip to the surface of Duna.

 

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The next launch is the Bravado 3 orbiter on a Frumious VI rocket, with mission commander Lodald, flight engineer Deblian, and scientist Kathelyn. Launched along with the orbiter is a small sub-satellite which will be used to prospect for ore deposits.

 

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Launch number three is Aqualung 15 on a Brillig IV, carrying the comms arrays for both Bravado spacecraft as well as additional fuel.

 

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Aqualung 15 rendezvouses in Kerbin orbit with Bravado 3, where it installs the spacecraft's comms array and transfers fuel.

 

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Bravado 3 then executes a direct departure burn for Duna.

 

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The fourth launch is the Bravado 4 orbiter on another Frumious VI, with mission commander Kerzer, flight engineer Traissa, and scientist Johndo.

 

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Generally similar in mission profile to Bravado 2, Bravado 4 will be the first kermanned mission to explore Duna's satellite Ike.

 

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The fifth launch is Bravado LC-3, the landing craft for Bravado 4, on a Frumious VIB.

 

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The landing craft (a new twin-engine variant) rendezvouses with the Bravado 4 orbiter; the Frumious second stage that delivered it then boosts the combined spacecraft's apoapsis. A plane change at apoapsis and a main engine burn at periapsis set Bravado 4 on course for a direct encounter with Ike.

 

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The sixth and final launch of the Duna flotilla is a Brillig IVB with Aqualung 16, which will accompany Bravado 4 to Ike.

 

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Great looking screenshots. Looks like Duna is your focus for the moment - any plans for rovers/bases there to do more extensive surface ops?

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33 minutes ago, DunaRocketeer said:

Great looking screenshots. Looks like Duna is your focus for the moment - any plans for rovers/bases there to do more extensive surface ops?

Thanks! The current plan is for a new self-propelled space station, Permanence, to be sent to Duna at the next window, along with more Aqualungs and some surface hardware. It will support more extensive exploration of the Duna system while the focus of the Bravado program shifts elsewhere.

Here's Gledia with a more mature version of the rover prototype from a couple posts ago, during a test drive on Kerbin:

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Once the hardware necessary for surface refueling is ready, one of these will go to the Mun for further testing, and (if that goes well) another one will go to Duna.

 

 

 

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On 2/8/2017 at 0:57 PM, Hotaru said:
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How did you get such thick dust storms? I have EVE and SVE installed, but I've never seen dust storms that thick.

 

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@EvilEmotaku Neither have I, although I've only landed on Duna maybe a dozen times up to now (even counting probes) and never really explored it. My guess is it has something to do with the site, which was in the Midland Sea region (3°S, 84°W) at quite low elevation whereas all my previous landings were on higher terrain. I suspect the lowest layer of SVE dust storms is at very low level, so below most of Duna's terrain, meaning thick dust storms only occur at elevations less than about a kilometer.

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@Hotaru Makes sense. It also looks like it's a deeper red colour than I get. Maybe it's the density of the storm. I tried getting a few of the visual mods you have, but can never really get the same effect. I'm sure you've said this before, but are those screenshots touched up or anything? 

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@EvilEmotaku The deeper red is from GEM FX, which @Andem put me on to a couple pages ago. It's an external program that does post-processing effects, dirt on the lens, film grain, that sort of thing. One side effect of it is that reds get a lot richer and more saturated while blues and greens get kind of washed out. So Duna looks spectacular, but Kerbin and Laythe don't look as great--I still need to play with the settings to try and fix that.

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@HotaruOhhhhh. I see. I don'the quite have a use for GEM FX, as I don't really post screenshots. But it works very well for your purposes :)

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Boring stuff:

Spoiler

Installed a couple more cosmetic/quality-of-life mods: Waypoint Manager, Indicator Lights, Docking Port Sounds.

More importantly, I've also decided to install Bon Voyage, which allows rovers to drive in the background. Obviously this is a pretty big deviation from stock gameplay. Normally my rule for this save is "if it can't be done in stock I won't be doing it, and if it can be done in stock I'll do it the stock way, no matter how inconvenient." However, rovers are unique because, while completely and utterly possible in stock, the only limiting factor to making them really useful is time. At the Mark IIIC's top cruising speed of about 50 miles per hour, it'd take 15 hours 37 minutes to circumnavigate the Mun--which Wolfram Alpha helpfully points out is about two full eight-hour workdays.

So my choices are A. don't really use rovers much, beyond short-range local exploration, B. switch to playing Kerbal Cross-Country Driving Program and never play Kerbal Space Program again, or C. install Bon Voyage and carry on with my space program. I'm going with option C.

That said, I am still going to do some of the driving myself, and I am going to keep strictly to a rule of making sure my rovers actually work rather than just being landers with wheels stuck on to make BV think they're rovers. In practice this means I'll be taking them on 100+ kilometer drives manually, and using BV mostly for long, boring traverses over relatively flat terrain. Anything really interesting I'll still do the old-fashioned way.

For the record, the Brevity expedition was all manual. The Mark IV test drive across Space Africa and back was mainly to test out BV, and was the first time I used it. From here on, it's safe to assume I used BV for any rover drive longer than about 100 kilometers unless stated otherwise.

TL;DR: installed Bon Voyage (background rover ops) and some QoL mods.

 

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The prototype Mark IV rover during a test run in the deserts of Kerbin.

 

Defiance 5C and 7: aerocapture experiments.

Spoiler

In the interest of reducing lag freeing up docking ports, mission control has decided to abolish the practice of keeping a shuttlepod docked at each space station at all times. In future this will mean that instead of one crew going up and coming down on the same flight, each mission will deliver the new crew and return with the old one. For now, however, it meant that the shuttlepods currently docked would have to return to Kerbin unkermanned.

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The KSC engineers decided this was a good opportunity to test the possibility of using the Defiance spacecraft as a reentry vehicle on interplanetary missions. Defiance 7 departed unkermanned from station Persistence in Munar orbit, and returned to Kerbin via a hyperbolic trajectory, simulating an aerocapture from interplanetary space. The spacecraft successfully aerobraked into low Kerbin orbit, where it then made a normal reentry and landing near KSC.

 

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Defiance 5C, returning from station Endurance I at Minmus, performed a similar test, although it followed a different trajectory to simulate a gentler aerocapture at higher speeds. Both tests were completely successful.

 

Brevity: a kermanned rover on the Mun.

Spoiler

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A Brillig IV rocket lifted off with dropship Impertinence 1 and Mark IIIC Mun rover Brevity. Although the Timidity program has been putting small, unkermanned rovers on other planets for several years, Brevity will be the Space Program's first kermanned rover expedition beyond Kerbin.

 

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Defiance 8, piloted by P1 Eiliel and P0 Vasya, delivers the rover's crew, P1 Janbe, E1 Joelin, and S0 Darina, to the dropship in low Kerbin orbit.

 

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After a refueling in Munar orbit by unkermanned tanker ship Aqualung 17, Impertinence 1 lands safely in the Northwest Crater of the Mun.

 

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Unfortunately, it turns out there's a problem with the rear wheels due to the way the rover was packed into the dropship for launch. (OOC: The inner pair of rear wheels were clipped slightly with part of the chassis--which worked fine on Kerbin, but to get it to the Mun I moved the wheels slightly closer together to get it to fit into the Mk 3 payload bay and that made them get stuck up inside the rover body when it loaded.) In spite of this, the rover handles well and the crew, after collecting science data, set out for a nearby anomaly.

 

Spoiler: Mun anomaly (Apollo related)

Spoiler

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The anomaly proves to be a marble monument, left by some ancient civilization that used a different dating system and where everybody wasn't called Kerman. The scientists at KSC will have to think about this one. Especially the last bit.

 

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The crew plants a flag to mark the monument. The KSC engineers note that the ancients had bigger flags than they do, and somebody writes "Make bigger flags" on the "to-do" list posted in the R&D building.

 

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Brevity continues, heading northeast for another anomaly on the rim of the crater.

 

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Roughly 100 kilometers into the traverse, however, the damaged rear wheels finally break, rendering the rover unmanageable.

 

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20 kilometers short of their objective, the crew are forced to abandon the rover. (OOC: Once broken, the clipped wheels kind of made it go berserk.) They plant another flag to mark the end of the first overland journey on the surface of the Mun.

 

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Rotine and Virlina take LC-1 down to the surface to bring the crew of Brevity back to Mun station Persistence.

 

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Defiance 9 is launched on a Brillig III with pilot Vasya and engineer Erithis to retrieve the Brevity crew.

 

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Scientist Darina performs an EVA to transfer some of the science data collected by the rover mission to Defiance 9 for return to Kerbin; the rest will be processed through Persistence's lab.

 

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Defiance 9 returns safely to Kerbin. Although relatively short, the KSC engineers declare the Brevity expedition a success: in spite of the wheel problem, the rover completed a drive of roughly 150 kilometers, behaving very well in the low gravity of the Mun, as well as surveying a new anomaly and collecting data from the previously unvisited Northwest Crater.

 

Mark IV rover: a test drive on Kerbin.

Spoiler

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Based on the problems the Mark IIIC rover had on the Mun, the KSC engineers develop the Mark IV, which has an improved chassis and a few other incremental improvements.

 

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Engineer Erithis and pilot Gilbree and take it on a two-day test run across Space Africa the KSC continent and back.

 

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Erithis plants a flag on the western shore to mark the first successful overland crossing of the continent. Whatever it's called.

 

Lucidity 1: Jool probe.

Spoiler

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A Brillig III rocket launches Lucidity 1, which will be the Space Program's first attempt to enter the atmosphere of Jool. (After it took two failed launches for the engineers to realize the probe core was installed backwards.)

 

Bravado 2 return to Kerbin.

Spoiler

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Half a year after departing Duna and nearly three years after its launch, Bravado 2 returns to the Kerbin system.

 

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All the science data is moved to the command module before the service module is jettisoned.

 

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The crew watches the service module disintegrate as the command module reenters Kerbin's atmosphere.

 

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Paty, Burmin & Ziggy: First Kermen to return from another world!

 

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1 hour ago, Hotaru said:

 

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Excellent work, @Hotaru!

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What kind of OS / processor / graphics combination do you use (and what's your FPS?) to get these images? They look pretty stunning and I guess that comes at a certain requirement, concerning your hardware...

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