Speeding Mullet

Ohno it's my second mission to Moho!

7 posts in this topic

There comes a time in everyone's KSP career when a destination must be considered.....again!  That's right, the first mission to Moho wasn't big enough, so let me introduce



Let's just remind ourselves with a picture of how compact I went the first time round:


the first mission to Moho was no small feat, but there was definitely room to go bigger!


If you didn't get it from the picture let me fill you in that this was clearly no small probe.  I genuinely started out with the best intentions the first time round, but as the wish list for "doing Moho" grew I decided that I required the following to say that I had effectively "done" Moho:

1) Lander:  Clearly why bother unless we are actually going for boots on the ground (and returning them safely)

  • Room for 2 Kerbals

2) Orbital outpost:  If we are going we are going big and I'm pretty confident I don't want to be sending any more than 1 rocket if I don't have to.

  • Room for 24 in emergencies, but otherwise built to handle 6-12 in spacious living conditions

3) Return vehicle and habitat:  Yes, it's a pretty long mission, so the crew needs somewhere to play cards and also to return safely if at all possible.

  • Supports a crew of three with extended living space

If you still don't get a picture of the scale of this absurdity then let's cover off some basic facts on the mission with my mission factoids section:

  1. Tall - 50.2 meters to be precise.  Not the tallest out there but nearly the height of the VAB and certainly long enough to experience massive noodling
  2. Wide - Almost exactly 25 meters each way.  It's both long and very chubby
  3. Heavy - Four thousand five hundred tonnes, and seven hundred kilos (snacks). the trans Moho injection vehicle and payload alone are over 800 tonnes
  4. Computer crushing - 608 parts on the launch pad.  Could be worse but it's not friendly.  Luckily Gerty 3000 is up to the job
  5. Expensive - 1,659,692 things.


So what's going to change this time?  Why bother going any bigger than I already did?  Well a couple of reasons.  Firstly I don't think I did the ground well enough.  This will be a much bigger ground mission, taking into account two separate challenges:

The Moho Challenge by @Xeldrak:

The Elcano Challenge by @rkarmark:

So I'm going to go to Moho, deploy both ground and orbital modules and gain as near to maximum points as possible in the Moho challenge, complete the Elcano challenge for Moho, and then somehow get home.  Not only am I going to do this, but it's going to be stock (apart from visual mods for pretty pictures) and there's going to be some sort of narrative, and lots of interesting things to see along the way with you joining me right at the start of the design phase.

So let's take stock of where we are at at this point.  The first module that is already complete is the Moho ground operations platform:


Room for 8 in an emergency, but designed for mission length ground operations for 4.  With 43 parts, and weighing 11.508t it means I'm already on my way to a computer melting ship.  The Moho ground operation platform descends on two Mk-55 Thud engines, and will decouple 1 drop tank during it's descent to the surface.  Margins are tight, but it should be able to cope with a landing from around 150km orbit.  Once on the ground it will mark the start and end point for the Elcano mission, as well as providing valuable points for leaving behind a science platform (an orbital platform is also planned)

Delivery of the Moho ground operations platform was courtesy of the new Kenman Superduty truck specifically designed for transporting heavy payloads to KSC:


The Kenman Superduty will be the main vehicle for transporting completed modules to the VAB for assembly into the main payload.  Two or more may be required to shift the massive weight of the as yet unknown launch vehicle.  Here's another view of low loader plus payload:



So that's it for the moment folks.  I'm expecting this mission to take literally weeks or very possibly months, but I will provide updates and interesting tidbits as I run through the design and engineering phase, and then on to the mission proper.  Stay tuned!




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Sounds good! I look forward to seeing how this mission goes on!

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That's a hell of a payload you've got there! I can't wait to read your next post :D

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16 hours ago, Techpig57 said:

Sounds good! I look forward to seeing how this mission goes on!

Thanks!  Initially slowly as I'm just iterating designs for the payloads for the different aspects of the mission, but I suspect it will pick up pace as we move along!

15 hours ago, xendelaar said:

That's a hell of a payload you've got there! I can't wait to read your next post :D

That's just 1 tiny component.  This thing is really going to be Moho done in the largest way possible!


The second module has now been designed and ground tested.  The Elcano Voyager is a far cry from the enormous land train I ran on my circumnavigation of Minmus, but Moho requires something different entirely as weight unlike Minmus is actually a consideration.

the rover is a mixture of everything I have learnt about small rovers.  94 parts and weighing in at 12t the rover is designed for two in cramped conditions, so the crew selected for the circumnavigation will have to be the hardiest travelers available.  It's powered by 4 TR-2L electric rover wheels with power being fed to them via a large battery rank kept topped up by solar panels, and on the dark side of the planet 2 small RTG's, which are shielded from the crew to avoid radiation issues.  The rover has a monoprop system for handling sudden drop offs, although only limited use is planned for so the crew will have to be very careful.  this is not a speed run Elcano for sure.

Let's have a look at the rover:


So the two above views give you an idea of how lightweight this thing is, despite being heavy for Moho at 12.31t, bringing the total payload so far to 23.818t.  The skycrane delivery system is capable of a one shot landing from 150km which should give plenty of margin for error.

The rover is mated to the Kenman Superduty and delivered to the VAB for integration:



The next part to go into design and construction phase will be a communications array.  Communications at Moho are subject to the brutal energies flung out from Kerbol, and so will need to be well shielded.  The probe will actually form part of an advanced mission to Moho, ahead of the main rocket which will ensure no surprises for the crew on arrival.  Like flying past the place without any possible method of control for example.

Following the communications array the Moho orbital outpost will be reach its final configuration and enter production.

Stay tuned everyone, lots happening.  Will I manage to get all this stuff to Moho.  Can I design a launch vehicle big enough.  To be honest I don't actually know.  The last mission to Moho really stretched me thin in terms of capability!



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This is fast becoming the mission of sub-assemblies, with yet another one cranked out this evening - The communications array.  A decision was made at the behest of Dinkelstein Kerman that the communications array be incorporated into the main mission, because it will add another 97 parts and 4.458t to the planned single launch mission, which was irresistible for the great showman.


The comsats themselves rely on ion engines for maneuvering at Moho, with plenty of fuel, and small solar cells for re-charging the 4 batteries on each sat.  4 will be delivered with the main mission, and will spread out at various orbits to support the ground operations, and Elcano run.  Each sat features a direct, and relay antenna capable of handling high levels of two way traffic.


The comsats are mated to the Kerman Superduty truck for the now normal drive to the VAB for integration into the main payload section of the space craft.  This has not been designed yet, but it's going to have to be very strangely shaped indeed to accommodate all the planned modules.


To save on transport costs, the next stage - the Moho Orbital Outpost, will be designed in the SPH and moved the short distance by truck to the VAB, instead of brought in from outside suppliers.


Total payload is now 28.276t and 234 parts!


Edited by Speeding Mullet
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After a break due to RL, I am back and continue to plan for this epic mission.  The next stage of the payload, the Lander and orbital ascent vehicle, is now complete.  Clocking in at 83 parts and 24.065t this is a substantial bit of the weight of the mission to date, nearly doubling the payload that will be going to Moho so far.  I decided to defer the construction of the orbital outpost until further down the line once I had designed most of the smaller payloads.


The Moho Multi-Lander is capable of Orbit - Moho - Orbit and Moho - Orbit - Moho, room for 4, and the ability to control itself when not crewed.  It will serve as transport to the surface for the crew, and an emergency recovery vehicle anywhere on Moho (except the Mohole) if required.  Of course it's fully loaded with everything you need to survive, including the Ore system for topping up those tanks.


Moved to the VAB for integration, I've realised this is getting quite intimidating.  There's more being added to the wish list all the time.  Next up - A Mohole crewed science lander is being designed, because I've never been there.

total payload currently stands at 52.341t and 317 parts :D


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While I am trying hard to limit the part count as much as possible to ensure minimal time lag, I see that you are trying your hardest to make your computer suffer :) I can feel my machine getting scared just reading all this.... But all the modules so far look really great, I am quite curious how the final spaceship is going to look like.


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