CatastrophicFailure

ALIEN SKIES: A 6.4-scale playthrough of GPP/Rald

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10 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

our intrepid little rover achieves constant line-of-sight with Kerbin.

Gael?

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19 minutes ago, NotAgain said:

Gael?

Er, you didn't see that! In fact, no one did! Alternative data! Nothing more to see here! Move along! Move along!
huh-boy...

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Posted (edited)

1 minute ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Nothing more to see here! Move along! Move along!

I assume the train to Kiberia is indefinitly delayed...

Edited by NotAgain
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1 hour ago, NotAgain said:

I assume the train to Kiberia is indefinitly delayed...

this we do not speak of

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Posted (edited)

Year 2, Day 279...

GENE has now given the objective to put our first Kerbal into orbit! This will be a dangerous assignment, for all we know Triti might go mad up there. Or, more likely, just be mad. Really, really mad. So we thought it wise to take steps to make sure she didn't get blown up before she gets that far, and did some pad abort testing:

Spoiler

 

cofCM7k.png

 

No, not that way! The other way!

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Anyway, our new orbital vehicle demanded a new launch vehicle, so I present the much-less-ungainly-looking Rald-class launcher!

oGLDnhw.png

Actually, I think the older Gael-class still has a higher payload. But this just looks better.

 

Separation of the sleek new curve-hugging wrap-around boosters, each one sporting a single Gandalf engine and fitted with parachutes for eventual recovery, and cross-feeding fuel into the core stage. This launch is uncrewed, using a dummy capsule. Which, oddly enough, does not involve Vlad. But the ship is otherwise identical to the one-Kerbal version. Once again, we thought it wise to test everything out before risking poor Triti recklessly. We're not crazy, after all!

pvv4I8m.png

Well, except maybe Ivan. He's a little... off. :confused:

 

Core stage burnout and separation. The upper stage continues on a cluster of our first engines burning hydrogen and oxygen. It's very lightweight, but still suffers from our typical upper stage lack of thrust.

IJ2IhgK.png

 

 

The abort tower successfully jettisons just after core stage separation. And promptly explodes under its own g-forces. Need to check the torque on those bolts next time...

dB7jDTc.png

 

And then our problems started. Sirens started going off! It took us some time to figure out it wasn't our kar alarms. Which is odd, since none of us have ever owned a kar. It turns out it was our brand-new hydrolox engines. 

fWlx647.png

Toward the end the burn they began experiencing mysterious thrust fluctuations. Since this was just a test launch anyway, I made the call to proceed with the flight, since even if it doesn't work it should still be entertaining. Fortunately, our ascent software was able to automatically compensate for the lack of thrust this far into the flight, and adjusted pitch to maintain time-to-apogee and limp towards orbit. We got a nice payout of science once the failure data was analyzed... but still not the slightest idea what actually happened...

 

The upper stage runs out of fuel just shy of the prescribed apogee, as planned. The spacecraft itself separates, and makes its own small burn to orbit.

j6QY03D.png

 

Solar panels deployed, and all systems check out! The orbiter's small supply of fuel was more than enough to compensate for the lack of performance of the booster. Despite being a dummy, the capsule is no mere waste of space, either!

A9myXFw.png

Also unlike Vlad. Along with experiments, it carries a prototype monopropellant fuel cell, generating power even during orbital darkness. We thought this a worthy investment, since sooner or later we're going to need to stick something where the sun don't shine, and--

Why is Vlad running away screaming?

 

Well, moving along, after several orbits the dummy capsule separated for a thrilling re-entry, racing the daily Raldclipse toward splashdown!

MCWicnG.png

 

It wins, but not for long. The unstoppable Raldclipse consumes all! Also like Vlad. We found him cowering in his room amidst a pile of pilfered Ding-Dongs.

WgjzijY.png

I didn't even know we had Ding-Dongs here...

 

 

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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Year 2, Day 298...

The big day has finally come. Vlad headed off toward Triti's room with a tank of nitrous oxide, a bottle of chloroform... and no questions asked...

 

I probably should have asked some. I still have no idea where he went. Instead I had to send Andrei in with a big sack.

After some screaming and a few minor lacerations, we finally got Triti into the capsule. I'll have to send Andrei a 'Get Well Soon' card once he wakes up. I told the engineers to paint the inside a nice, calming, blue, but, well...

fbETt5W.png

I think they painted over the window, too.

 

But Triti was in good spirits as she headed skyward on another Rald booster.

cR4cdG3.png

Maybe it's a good thing she can't see outside. She might just think it's another simulation...

 

Here we have a closeup of the eight Gandalf engines and separation motors.

2a1k9AC.png

 

Once again, the abort tower breaks up under its own acceleration. I sure hope Triti doesn't hit any of that deb--

ugfQacF.png

. . . what was that?

 

Oh, it was just the upper stage engine failing. Again. This is becoming alarmingly regular, and regularly alarming. Once again, the ascent software limps to space and the orbiter finishes insertion under its own power.

dtg4IYF.png

 

Just when everything was starting to get better, Triti insisted on stepping outside for a little air.

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Yup, she was pretty mad it wasn't a simulation.

 

Between another engine failure and our pilot threatening to eviscerate every one of us with a dull spoon if we didn't bring her home right now, we decided to, well, bring her home right now.

43T45h4.png

Right now, of course, meaning most of an orbit later, fulfilling our directive. In retrospect, right now might have been better, it would have put much more of Gael between Triti and the rest of us.

 

Things got a little warm on reentry...

lj2wZ83.png

...but I think the fumes from the scorching fuchsia paint helped calm Triti down. I'm sure breathing aerosolized lead in an enclosed space won't have any permanent effects. Mostly.

 

For some reason, she was in a real hurry to get out once she landed. Go figure.

c9bUa1c.png

 

And then this happened.

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We decided to just let Triti swim back. It's only 600km or so. Swimming is good exercise, she should be nice and tired. Really wish I knew what Vlad did with the last of our chloroform...

 

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Mod question! What are you using to scale up the planets to 6.4x? I tried KScale64 in 1.1.3, but it also scaled up the surface rocks 6.4x, which is extremely unrealistic, and doubly awful since KSPRC makes them solid objects.

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49 minutes ago, StickyScissors said:

Mod question! What are you using to scale up the planets to 6.4x? I tried KScale64 in 1.1.3, but it also scaled up the surface rocks 6.4x, which is extremely unrealistic, and doubly awful since KSPRC makes them solid objects.

Sigma Dimensions. It's bundled in with GPP, just requires moving a .cfg into the game folder. :D

Pretty stable, but MCE keeps trying to give me contracts with orbits a couple thousand km below the surface.:huh:

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Year 3, day 13...

Over three years, now. Most everyone has adjusted to the pattern here, these dates are becoming more of a formality. Three years now with no contact from home. No one will say it out loud, at least not yet, but I think we've all given up hope of ever hearing from home again. The strange, starless skies continue to beckon. If we can't go home again, maybe we can at least find out why. Or even... where...

Yet we press on...

Another simple satellite today. Our communications network is becoming quite robust, if just a touch underused.

4Sceqxk.png

 

We used excess capacity on the launch to boost a sample return into high orbit. These new hydrolox engines continue to give us difficulty on the ascent, though.

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However this instrument package finally verified the existence of second, much larger band of radiation stretching nearly to the orbit of Rald. How easily a living thing could pass through such a belt without long-term effects remains unknown. Speaking of which, we still haven't found Vlad...

XzkOVZp.png

 

The science package was successfully recovered without much fanfare. Except when Andrei stubbed his toe on a rock blundering about in the dark trying to find it.

sZsbTm1.png

 

No sooner had we gotten back, then GENE's alarm bells began ringing! Which is odd, I didn't know it had alarm bells. I could swear they weren't there yesterday. At any rate, this time it spit out a very simple objective: rescue Ferdin Kerman from orbit.

x0zPRwb.png

Who this Ferdin guy is, or how he got to space in the first place, no one seems to know. All rockets were visually accounted for, but I'm pretty sure a Grand Theft Spaceship in progress would have gotten some attention before hand. As quickly as we could, we slapped together another Orbiter, this time with a probe core. The engineering team has a pretty good grasp of orbital mechanics, now, arranging a rendezvous in space shouldn't be that hard.

 

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The ten degree plane change is gonna need how much delta-V?!?

 

Um, hang in there, Ferdin. We'll, er, get back to you.

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Anyone wanna buy a slightly used space capsule? Low kilometers, you haul...

 

At some point, this contract came up in the list.

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Something about this smells very fishy to me. Oh, Vlad's back.

 

And then this... well, we don't talk about this...

ZKsmjzd.png

Just call it a simulation. I'm sure that'll buff out...

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On 3/19/2017 at 7:09 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Vlad headed off toward Triti's room with a tank of nitrous oxide, a bottle of chloroform... and no questions asked...

I probably should have asked some. I still have no idea where he went.

 

On 3/19/2017 at 7:09 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Really wish I knew what Vlad did with the last of our chloroform...

 

5 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Speaking of which, we still haven't found Vlad...

 

5 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Something about this smells very fishy to me. Oh, Vlad's back.

Was he out somewhere quiet... trying to hear whispers... to find this squidlike thing... ? :) :) :) 

Edited by monophonic
Jeb snuck to the top of the post.. again.
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8 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Year 3, day 13...

Over three years, now.

Actually, I belive it's two years.

From Year 1, Day 1 to Year 2, Day 1, it's only one year. As KSP saves start on Year 1, Day 1, not Year 0, Day 1, it must be two years.

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5 hours ago, NotAgain said:

Actually, I belive it's two years.

Curse you, off-by-one error!

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16 hours ago, monophonic said:

Was he out somewhere quiet... trying to hear whispers... to find this squidlike thing... ? :) :) :) 

:wink: Shhh....

13 hours ago, NotAgain said:

Actually, I belive it's two years.

From Year 1, Day 1 to Year 2, Day 1, it's only one year. As KSP saves start on Year 1, Day 1, not Year 0, Day 1, it must be two years.

Well...

Um...

That is, er, technically, one Gaelean day is only 15 hours, while the mission clock still counts 24-hour days, a ratio of 1.6, so if you figure that one Gaelean year is 340+-ish days, multiply by the ratio, carry the 1, divide by zero, apply pi R squared, calculate the tyranny of the rocket equation (then correct for imperial vs metric units) subtract the gravitational constant while compensating for E=mchammer (ΔV/2legit-2quit), consider pi r round, cake r square (m3 cake!), and figure for the quantum uncertainty x-y=1, then you see

Time is strange here.

Vlad did it.

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