Modded 64k Career game UPDATE Year2 Day36 (09/05/2017)

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I have long considered putting up a career game writeup, a recent savegame mashing mod switch has given me just the opportunity I needed.

I run a pretty heavy mod list comprising a mix of realism (make it harder) mods, and parts/diversity (make it easier) mods. I hope that by holding myself to maintaining this writeup I will curb my incessant urges to swap and change mods about which results in many many restarts :)

Although I use realism mods, I do not try to recreate historical craft, I build from scratch to perform the job-in-hand. I have played Kerbal quite a while, but not yet long enough that a SSTEloo is "Just something I knocked together" I am still pretty new to some of these realism mods, so I will be learning as I go. (What better way to do rocket science?)

Modlist; Difficulty Mods



64k scaling using RealSolarSystem

Advanced Jet Engine (AJE)

Better Buoyancy

Deadly Reentry

Environmental Visual Enhancements, with Astronomer's "Edge of Oblivion" pack

Ferram Aerospace (FAR)

IFILS (Interstellar Lifesupport) (With Akinesis' additional parts pack and greenhouse)


RealFuels - Stockalike Configs




'Other Mods' (Parts, pretty-fiers etc)



AIES Aerospace - Rocket Parts, Probe Parts

Contract Configurator - RemoteTech and ScanSat contracts

Custom Asteroids - Comets, Asteroids around other planetary bodies, you dont get hit by extinction level events every third tuesday :)

Distant Object Enhancer - Modifies lighting levels and makes distant objects viewable

DMagic Orbital Science - New science opportunities!

HotRockets - Because pretty rockets fly faster

Karbonite/AMT - ISRU of Choice (with RealFuels conversion)

Kerbal Alarm Clock - Because noone wants to be forgotten in deep space

Kerbal Attachment System (KAS) - Deployables, winches, much awesomeness

KWRocketry - Big Rockets, 'nuff said

Impact - Because having a reason to deliberately crash stuff ... ?

Infernal Robotics - Making stuff move

Near Future Constructon/Electrical/Propulsion/Solar - Power generation, electric engines and huge solar arrays

Outer Planets Mod - New outer system planets and some seriously long distances

Procedural parts - Stretchy fuel tanks/srb/heatshields etc

RealChute - Fewer compound spinal injuries

RLA Stockalike - Because you can never have enough engines, also small scale motors

SCANSat - Mapping and resource finding

Sounding Rockets - Small and cheap, perfect for waking the neighbours

StageRecovery - Because everyone wants to use 2nd hand SRBs!!

Station Science - Science, more science and space stations are cool.

Universal Storage IFILS/KAS packs - Neat and useful, with DMagic integration

VenStockRevamp - Prettier parts, balance improvements

VOID - VAB buildaid and inflight HUD

In addition to other things like toolbar, crossfeedenabler, inflightwaypoints etc.

Wow thats quite a few, maybe I should have said heavily modded at the start? :)

Ohh Active Texture Management and I use OpenGl mode.



Custom difficulty settings, 100% science and reputation, 120% funds and with 200% penalties on all. No respawns, (sorry Jeb you will have to shut the cloning facility) reverts and quicksaves only for glitches and simulations, any human errors will be lived with (or not) and be part of the story. All other options on hard.

All launches are from KSC unless otherwise stated, the other sites are there for remotetech ground stations.

Notes on Kerbal Construction Time,

I put all my starting points into a single VAB buildline, giving me 0.8 buildspeed, I will make a note in each post about if/when I add points to this.

So without further ado, let the explosions commence!

Progress Updates

1st quarter Audit.

2nd quarter Audit

Launch Vehicle Comparison @ Day 227

3rd quarter Audit

End of Year 1


Edited by Shania_L
Year 2 Day 36 update title.
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What does Astronomer's pack look like stretched out over 6.4x Kerbin?

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Motokid600 said:
What does Astronomer's pack look like stretched out over 6.4x Kerbin?

Not too bad, you get the thick ground issue (kerbals and other things sink slightly into the ground), but that is going to occur on any increased scale setup. The 64k scaling pack has a config to increase the altitudes of clouds on Kerbin, Jool and Eve that was written by Astronomer for his Oblivion pack.

- - - Updated - - -

Day 001, 0600Hrs, A random equatorial peninsular on planet Kerbin.



All is still when suddenly a space centre appears, little green men running about apparently very busy yet it isnt exactly obvious what they are doing.

The blueprints for a flying machine are submitted to the production queue. Based on a design found on the back of Leonardo Von Kermans shopping list it depicts a kerbal hanging (possibly by his neck) from a balloon. It was not initially obvious if the doodles of birds beneath the hapless Kerbal was intended to be a part of the drawing, or if that was an entirely seperate thought stream. Either way it was taken that this was meant to be a flying machine and the VAB technicians announced that it could be bolted together in only 5 days!

Day 005, 0400, KSC

Podly Kerman (science division) has left deep tracks in the grass indicating just how determined he was to not be on this the very first flight of the Ascender I, 3 Kerbals had managed to persuade (read, dragged) him into the capsule and locked the door.

Photograph of Podly Kerman with Ascender I (composite image due to technical difficulties in making him go near the craft)


Despite his reservations Podly made several ascents achieving successive altitude records and attaining science data from differing atmospheric layers as strangely differing areas around the KSC.

Just clearing the cloud deck and getting our first views of the distant mountain range.


Photograph obtained at peak altitude, 53,000m. New world record.


Despite its (unexpected) success, Ascender I has a number of limitations preventing its further development for a space program, mainly the fact that it relies on an atmosphere and thus cannot actually go to space, also that it is entirely unable to control its flight direction meaning it can only travel up and down.

Mission Results.

Cost 2485 - 2140 returned on recovery, total cost of 345 Funds. (A heavy landing caused damage to a low hanging battery pack)

Science recovered, 101.4

Reputation gained, 196

Contracts completed, 5k, 11k, 22k, 33k altitude records (no stage action used so launch craft was not activated)


Career Progression

4 science nodes put into development queue, Basic Rocketry, Survivability, Stability, Flight Control.

4 KCT update points put into Science Rate.

25% Fundraising Campaign initiated.

Designs submitted to the VAB for a basic sounding rocket, SkyBolt I

Edited by Shania_L
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Day 010, KSC



Sitting on the launchpad in the early morning sunlight is the latest offering from the VAB technicians. Looking a whole lot more like a rocket should look the SkyBolt I sounding rocket was far too small to be able to carry a Kerbal (even if they went on a diet) so it is controlled by a very simple electronic brain.

Not that there was a whole lot for the brain to do, SkyBolt I posessed no in flight controls what-so-ever, all it had to do was fire off the science instruments and parachute at apoapsis.

SkyBolt I is a very simple two stage sounding rocket, carrying a range of science tests which can be performed at altitude.

SkyBolt I shortly after ignition


Peak altitude was a somewhat disappointing 28Km, and it was completely destroyed following a heavy landing. More design work is needed on the parachutes.


Two days later (Day 012) a second launch of an identical craft resulted in very similar results, the call for "Moar boosters!!" was heard echoing around the VAB.

Mission Results(both launches)

Cost, Approx 3,000 Funds, 0 returned.

Science recovered 14.7

Reputation gain 0


Day 015, KSC



The imaginatively named SkyBolt II is setup on its launch stick and the crew retreat into the nearby bunker.

This is a direct successor to the original design, the upper stage and science payload are identical, however the primary stage has received a serious boost in power.

Still containing no method of flight control once the touchpaper has been lit only the bravest of Kerbals stick their heads out of the bunker to watch SkyBolt II arc away into the low cloud cover.


Successful launch and payload deployment.

It would seem that the increase in power has not been sufficient, SkyBolt II improved over the last test but still only attained 40km. The parachute deficiency remains, resulting in a rough landing and all hardware was lost.


Mission Results

Cost, Approx 3,000 Funds, 0 returned.

Science recovered 8.4

Reputation gain 0


Day 020, KSC



This is the one, it has to be just look at the size of it!! Nothing that big could possibly fail.

Introducing a new technology into the art of rocketry, the SkyBolt III has only passing resemblance to the previous variants. Taking the primary stage from SkyBolt II and relegating it to upper stage duties, a brand new custom first stage has been built to punch SkyBolt III out of the atmosphere.


An entirely re-designed and expanded science bay now has room for an additional parachute hopefully allowing for something to be recovered this time. A problem with previous launches has been that of how to slow down a very aerodynamic shape falling from great height, SkyBolt III includes a specially created shield to not only protect from atmospheric heating, but to provide a blunt end which will slow the craft to less parachute shredding speeds.


Successful Mission, Skybolt III managed a peak altitude of 98.4Km breaking out of Kerbins atmosphere for the first time.

Mission Results

Cost approx 4,500Funds, 500 Recovered

Science recovered 36.5

Reputation Gained 0

Contract completed, break out of atmosphere (91.3km)


Career Progression

2 science nodes put into development queue, Science Tech and General Construction.

2 KCT update points put into Build Rate. (Now 0.90)

My pilots are getting frustrated, so the next launch will be manned, Ascender II aims to break the first Kerbal out of the atmosphere.

Edited by Shania_L
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Fed up of having to organise an entire space program from a couple of prefab huts, the KSC administration has authorised the upgrade of the Mission Control Facility. Up to 7 contracts can now be accepted concurrently.

Day 27, KSC



Pilot Sigbert Kerman was at the launch facility early this morning, watching the technicians attempting to balance the rocket that would carry him skywards later that day. Eventually he retreated to the swish new crew room to prepare himself and accepted the fact that the crew would get the rocket ready one way or the other. It really would weigh less on his mind if he never saw the selection of hammers they were using to assemble the ship.

Ascender II was eventually ready, it had stripped out just about every complexity to maximise reliability seeing as this was the first rocket that would carry a live Kerbal.

The crew capsule from Ascender I was re-used, it had proved itself by not killing Podly, and that was a good sign. The boffins in the lab had recently come up with a new experiment that they thought would be fun to test, they had put together a canister of gloop and were interested to see what would happen to it in different situations, so the VAB techs had strapped 5 of them to the sides of the capsule. Below that was a single solid booster with enough Dv to get the capsule above the magic 91km altitude that Skybolt III had identified as the edge of space.


Attaining 103Km Sigbert Kerman became the first Kerbal to ever leave Kerbins atmosphere, he also managed to recover Goo science from a number of different altitudes before parachuting down to a safe landing north of the KSC.

Mission Results

Science recovered 47.9

Cost 5709, 2733 recovered, total 2975.


Day 30 + 35, KSC



Now that the KSC had demonstrated a capability to succeed manufacturing companies all around Kerbin wanted their products to be associated with the program. To this end a number of test contracts were initiated to see if the latest products were suitable for use within the space program.

The two separate tests involved ground firing a range of new engines. Although dull they certainly pay the way and keep the companies pushing to develop even better tech.

Mission Results

Science 49

Funds ~200

Reputation ~12


Day 37, KSC



The KSC has selected 2 of the manufacturers who tested parts in the previous week to participate in a more strenuous test. An engine and a radial decoupler were to be tested on a sub-orbital flight.

The craft used in the Ascender II launch would be perfect for this, so a duplicate was quickly knocked together with a simple test rig in place of the crew cabin. Named (rather un-surprisingly) SkyBolt IV, it was dragged out to the launchpad and pointed in a roughly upright position.


Reaching a maximum altitude of 118Km it now holds the peak altitude record from Ascender II's record only 10 days ago. With no attempt at recovery the entire craft was destroyed on re-entry.

Mission Results

Science 25

Funds 59,524

Reputation 471

Career Progression

Electrics science node put into development queue.

3 KCT upgrade nodes bought with Funds (112,000)

4 KCT update points put into 2nd Build Rate. (Now 0.40)

Launchpad upgraded to 140 Tonnes max capacity.


Day 42, KSC



This was the big one, we are finally going for a fully orbit capable vessel, this would require a significantly more powerful rocket than anything that had previously been built. To attain orbit around Kerbin it was calculated that 7,500Dv was required, to date little more than 3,000 had been packed into a single craft.

An orbital probe, named Verity, was capable of recharging its power stocks with solar energy (theoretically allowing it to operate indefinitely) and a small liquid fueled motor to allow minor orbital changes.

This was to be lifted upon the latest in the SkyBolt series, the V, whilst retaining the brute force and simplistic solid first stage it now included a liquid fueled second stage.

The KSC had initiated a radical production method, separating the payload and launcher and constructing them on independent assembly lines to reduce build time. All the KSC top brass turned out on the crisp morning to witness the largest rocket to date lift off.

Beginning to turn downrange after breaking the cloud deck.


Ditching the fairings to save weight as soon as the atmospheric drag was low enough to warrant it. the 2nd stage of SkyBolt V lifts Verity and builds speed rapidly.


Over engineering is better than falling short, that was the excuse our techs gave when it was revealed just how powerful Verities 'small' motor was, either way Verity achieved a 450 x 108Km orbit, and is from now until the end of time beeping menacingly at everything below it.


Mission Results

Orbital Contract completed

Science 30

Funds 83,000

Reputation 107

Craft retains 900Dv in orbit, however no recovery options exist.



Edited by Shania_L
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His white coat marked him out as one of the techs from the lab, they had been behind some of the most impressive aspects of the space program so far, always managing to push the limits a little further, always wanting the next milestone .... always wanting a bigger budget.

Depositing this months predicted budget on the administrators desk he practically ran from the office before the inevitable explosion occurred.

It wasnt looking good, the techs couldnt find a way to get beyond low orbit or get any meaningful science payloads up at all with the simple rockets we are currently building. The solution was ofcourse expensive, 400K for an uprated VAB capable of handling much more complex vehicles, this was achievable with a little belt tightening, however. 1 Million!!! for upgrades to the science facility? without that we wont be able to progress much further up the tech tree, seems we will be running a fair few test programs, and probably selling a kidney or two.

Day 44, KSC



A day of component testing, thoroughly enjoyable for the R&D guys, but enough to send pilots to sleep.

4 part contracts ground tested for 100% recover value.

Science 83

Funds 1000

Reputation 12

Career Progression

General Rocketry and Advanced Flight control unlocked

2 KCT upgrade points put into the #2 VAB assembly rate (Now 0.6)


Day 51, KSC



The national map archive has requested a comprehensive mapping initiative to be undertaken, KSC takes them up on the offer based solely on the fact they offer cash upfront.

Bolting the new fangled RADAR scanner onto a knocked together orbiter the Helmdar scanning satellite is assembled in record time. A SkyBolt V launcher is the perfect launch vehicle, it has already been proved capable of putting 1 tonne into LKO. Helmdar is lighter yet needs a polar orbit, so this should work.

Simulated launch of the SkyBolt V with Helmdar payload.


Due to the primitive nature of our solar panels and battery technology and the relative high electricity demands of the scanning hardware Helmdar is to be launched at sunset so that it can orbit Kerbin and remain fully in daylight at all times. (this also means dark pictures, sry)


The liquid boost phase completes and separates cleanly, Helmdars onboard propulsion takes over to insert it into the correct orbit.


Successful orbit achieved!! Circular 497km orbit at 80degrees inclination. Thanks go to the Pleasant Valley relay station for their assistance with command and control on the far side of Kerbin. Scanning initiated.


Mission Results

Science from orbit contract completed, 44,800Funds, 1Science, 101Reputation

Lo-Res Kerbin scanning contract completed, 17,500Funds, 12Science, 9Reputation (4 days later)


Day 55, KSC

More part testing contracts (Ground), 28Science, 1060Funds, 6Reputation

Full craft recovery.

Day 57, KSC



Today we will be pushing the limits of the SkyBolt V launcher. R&D has come up with a theory that there is a second type of space above the one we have been analysing so far. They want to send a probe over 2,500km above Kerbins surface to try and find the boundary.

Verity II is assembled, despite only packing a pair of miniature 1KN motors it has nearly 2K Dv aboard, add that to the 8K from SkyBolt V and we should be getting some serious altitude. The lab techs were disappointed but in the end agreed with the VAB that Verity had to lose weight, only 4 basic sensors could be carried.

Mission control has been getting pretty good at SkyBolt V launches now however it is beginning to show its limitations. With fixed aerodynamic surfaces it has very restricted control in atmosphere, and its carrying capacity is maxed out at 1 tonne into LKO.


Separation of payload, Verity II is on her way


With a cheer from R&D that you could hear from the tracking station, Verity II confirms the discovery of "High Orbit" at 2,000km altitude.


The celebration is cut short however, primitive solar and battery technology rears its ugly head once more, Verity does not have the power to transmit all the juicy science it has discovered, in addition the weight loss program has rendered it entirely out of fuel and stuck in its 2,680 x 232km orbit meaning no recovery is possible. (not that it carried a heatshield or parachute anyway)

Mission Results

15 Science transmitted (much more identified for follow up missions)

4,700 funds cost, 0 recovery.


Career Progression

Advanced Rocketry unlocked

KCT upgrade applied to VAB build queue #2 (Now 0.7)

Edited by Shania_L
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Industrial Sabotage, Hirings and Firings, Cash Flow Issues aaand if you look really closely this episode may also contain some rocketry :)

Day 58, KSC



This day started like many others, with the penny pinching KSC performing menial tasks in order to pay for lunch, and rocket parts ofcourse, but lunch mostly.

The groundbased Test Rig I was setup on the launchpad once more, a young apprentice had been assigned to wash off the scorch marks from the previous test. He had done a decent job, you wouldnt have known it was the 4th time these parts had been used the way they caught the morning sunlight.

Rockomax executives had turned up to watch the test of their latest motor, (well thats what they said, they were however never far from the canteen) The O.M.B execs hadnt even shown up.

Craft fully recovered after testing, 0 costs accrued,

Science 27.6

Funds 288

Reputation 6

A third contract that day however was more lucrative, Ionics Inc had requested a data transmission test from orbit, Verity II launched yesterday would provide the perfect candidate.

A set of telemetry data was downloaded from high orbit around Kerbin, satisfied that the antenna worked Ionics paid handsomely for the test.

Science 1 (+2.7 from Verity)

Funds 44,800

Reputation 107


Day 59, KSC



Flushed with cash the KSC decided to splash out on a duplicate RADAR scanning probe, Helmdar Ib was pushed out of the VAB and sent into a polar orbit opposing its sister probe.

Never one to turn down essentially free money, KSC accepted a ground based part contract, rather than wheeling out the test rig again (it was still being cleaned) the test part was bolted onto the launch clamp of Helmdar Ib

Flashing past eachother at nearly 12,500m/sec Helmdar 1b's steeper and higher orbit allowed it to scan more of the polar regions that 1a was missing. 600x600km at 87degrees inclination.


To everyones surprise the Ionic Inc execs turned up at the KSC again today, looking rather embarressed they explained that they had lost the data transmission and could they please have it repeated?

Science 49

Funds 46,810

Reputation 130

Cost 4500, 0 recovery.


Day 60, KSC



The Helmdar twins finally complete the Lo-Res altimetry scan of the entire surface of Kerbin, +30 Science.

Tragedy strikes the KSC!!!

The HoundDog launcher had entered its final phase of testing prior to live launching. HoundDog was a fully liquid fuelled launcher designed to replace the ageing SkyBolt Series. HoundDog, in addition to increased control from throttleable engines, possesses active aerodynamic steering fins, and vastly more scope for growth.

Herman Kerman who had been lead technical advisor on the HoundDog launcher, was found to be working for the badguys!! he had deliberately altered the performance calculations to ignore any atmospheric effects, as a result HoundDogs advertised Thrust to Weight Ratio of 1.2 was impossible to achieve, it was infact 0.86 ... not a good figure as that means you go backwards .... rockets dont like going backwards!

Herman Kerman was fired, partially for his silly name, partially for sabotaging the largest and most expensive rocket the KSC has made to date.

Spoiler: OOC



I had to change my flight data mod, VOID doesnt take atmospheric ISP reductions into account when calculating performance, which is fine on

stock fuels, but for RealFuels this makes quite a difference.

I now am using Kerbal Engineer Redux, apparently its incompatibility with OPM is solved.

Anyone know how to put the module in the command pods rather than a separate part?



HoundDog was reassessed by Hermans replacement, Georgie Kerman, who sucked the air though his teeth and sighed deciding that significant rebuild was required, "ohh that'll cost ya"



Career Progression

In a grand statement of intent the KSC officials accept a new batch of contracts, the fact they they do not currently possess the ability to achieve them was outweighed by the impressive upfront payments the contracts offered.

KSC had found itself in a position where the current launch facilities could not provide the capacity needed to pay for upgrades in a reasonable timeframe, accepting these contracts gave the KSC enough cash to finally upgrade the VAB to handle rockets up to 255 parts, this level of complexity will allow vastly more effective missions to be completed.

Contracts accepted (with cash put in advance);

Explore the Mun, (33,600)

Data transmission from the Mun, (40,300)

Establish communications relay around Kerbin, (105,000)

KeoStationary Satellite around Kerbin, (43,900)

Heavy Rocketry Research node unlocked, 1 KCT upgrade point put into #2 VAB build rate (Now 0.8)

Initial design documents were put forward for a lightweight probe to take up the Keostationary orbit contract, the redesigned HoundDog launcher will be used to put Centus I into a circular 15,100Km orbit directly above the KSC. This will require approximately 11,000Dv, and a lot of luck.

Edited by Shania_L
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this is really cool, and I like this. just read it at school, and love it. btw, how do you get the mods to not instantly crash on title screen load?

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this is really cool, and I like this. just read it at school, and love it. btw, how do you get the mods to not instantly crash on title screen load?

i believe its a thing called


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i believe its a thing called


I don't believe in magics. is it how few mods you have?

but then again, it might be I have about 20 more mods than you.

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this is really cool, and I like this. just read it at school, and love it. btw, how do you get the mods to not instantly crash on title screen load?

I use the aggressive version of the active texture management mod, which reduces the RAM usage of all parts

I also run KSP in Open-gl mode which ... I'm not exactly sure how, but that one is magic. (I have a radeon gpu perhaps? I'm clutching at straws here, all I know is that I use 2.6Gb RAM).

It is quite amazing that so many different mods by so many different people all work together, my appreciation goes to them for their hard work, so that I may explode things in many pretty and varied ways \o/

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I don't believe in magics. is it how few mods you have?

but then again, it might be I have about 20 more mods than you.

nah i don't use mods. i think I'm turning into on of those purists who think mods make the game worse.

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Much more actual rockets in this one guys :)

Day 61, KSC



While the HoundDog prototype was sent back to the subcontractors for serious rebuilding, KSC needed to scrape together some funds in order to pay for it. Fortunately KSC operates under a policy of never throwing anything away and as such there were a couple of old SkyBolt V frames laying about.

2 part contracts for testing in the upper atmosphere were accepted and the first Launcher, Dubbed SkyBolt V Light, was dragged out to the launchpad. It packed a reduced size solid 1st stage compared to the regular 'V and also a halfscale upper stage.


Things are just not going KSC's way at the moment, This one is not going to space anytime soon.


Fortunately no facilities were damaged, and no Kerbals complained of rockets crashing into their houses, so we probably got away with that one. Costs incurred 6,300 Funds, no recovery.

The problem was quickly discovered upon re-reading of the design document, the control fins are supposed to be reduced to zero effectivity in the roll axis to prevent "crazyness" during flight. However whoever had assembled them had dropped the slider all the way down to -100% rather than 0, as such the roll control was fully reversed and acting all kinds of crazy in response to inputs from a freaking out SAS unit.


Day 61, KSC



SkyBolts are cheap, trimmed down and cut margin SkyBolts are even cheaper and rather fast to build to boot.

This one is even capable of flying straight!


Reaching a peak altitude of 112,000m the test parts were exposed to the harsh space environment during a brief sub-orbital flight, before all the components burned up on re-entry as planned.


Cost 6500 Funds, 0 recovery.

2 Part contracts paid out 150,000 Funds, 8 Science and 70 Reputation.


Day 63, KSC



So it looks like our subcontractors have a similar policy regarding obsolete space technology as the KSC. This would be why two HoundDog launchers were delivered today, identical to the previous failed version, other than the fact that someone had gaffer-taped on two pairs of sounding rocket solid boosters.

The extra 220KN of thrust only lasts for some 24 seconds before they burn out and fall off, but that (they say) should be sufficient to get the KeroLox fueled Skipper main engine into its working environment where it can support itself.

Only one way to find out. Launch!!


The boosters burned out at only 2,000m altitude, due to their light weight this shouldnt be too much of a problem for the launch facility. They did the job though, simply getting 2km off the ground had increased the effectiveness of the Skipper to the point that its TtW ratio was positive.

HoundDog seen here at 1st stage burnout, the upper stage is very similar to the SkyBolt V's very successful upper stage.


On this first flight HoundDog was carrying Centus I a 500Kg probe prototype for a future communications relay. However based on HoundDogs unproven history it wasnt known if it had enough Dv to get to Geostationary orbit.

Upper stage with Centus I after burning up to 30,000Km Apoapsis


Turns out it has plenty of Dv, far too much infact, Centus has been injected into a 30,000 x 400Km orbit, (12 hr period) and it hardly touched the fuel in Centus' own tanks. Centus does not have enough electrical power to permanently run the dish or last through the night, more advanced electrical systems require an R&D upgrade.

Cost 10,900 Funds, 0 Recovery



Edited by Shania_L
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Now that I have a decently capable launch vehicle I can concentrate on some home improvements and actually progressing the career somewhat.

Day 66, KSC



The second of the jerry-rigged HoundDogs was wheeled out to the pad, sat atop it was a Centus Ib. Modified enough to be different but not so much that it warranted a new Mk number. Inplace of the highly adaptable long range antenna it had a shorter range although lighter dipole, this allowed extra room for the material bay and goo canister.

Similar launch profile to the previous Centus/HoundDog launch except this time the upper stage burned until an Apoapsis of 15,140Km was achieved. The initial phases of launch off the pad really show up the weakness in the boosters, they could do with more upgrading in the production version.


The contract requested a Keo-Stationary position on the opposite side of Kerbin from the space centre which allowed for a fairly leisurely ascent profile. The upper stage actually managed to do all the work, which on reflection turned out to be counter-productive, its de-orbiting system didnt have enough Dv to intercept the atmosphere, so I now have my first piece of un-intentional space junk. The Centus Ib itself still has 1KDv aboard for whenever I decide its position is more annoying than useful.


Cost 11,800 Funds, Recovery 0.

Satellite contract completed, 278,500 Funds, 42 Science, 94 Reputation.

Aerodynamics Tech node unlocked, KCT point applied to SPH build queue #2 (I mistakenly thought I could progress it faster than


Day 70, KSC



The science division has finally been able to put together a followup mission to the previous high altitude mission (Verity II), Verity III is designed to not only get Goo canisters and Material bays up to high orbit, but return them to Kerbin afterwards. This will be the first attempt at re-entering Kerbins atmosphere at orbital velocity.

The first production model HoundDog launcher blasts off the pad, the gaffa-taped sounding rockets have been replaced by purpose built solid rocket boosters. Sticking with a similar style to the prototypes, two 0.5m boosters are fitted onto a single decoupler, each booster provides 75Kn for 60 seconds significantly improving the launch phase.


Due to the size of Verity III, a smaller upper stage was incorporated within the fairing. Verity III carries three sets of experiments, Materials bay, Goo cannister and the 4 basic science sensors. Very little performance was required of the upper stage, the majority of the orbital manuvering was to be performed by Verities onboard thrusters.


With the orbit maxing out at 2,040Km (thankfully within sight of Centus Ib) science data was collected for low and high orbit, Verity carries a 1.25m heatshield through which the thruster nozzles extend (all other parts have their centerpoints behind the shield so do not receive heating).


Screaming through the atmosphere at 4,800m/sec a little over 60km in altitude the plasma effects are in full force ... it also seems likely we will be dropping into the sea ...... I wonder if anyone tested if this thing can float?


Spoiler: OOC



Now either I have just performed a very efficient and frankly unbelievably good reentry profile, or DRE is not behaving as I expect it to.

I have the DRE setting to hard, using the alternate for both density and temperature.

Initial conditions, 2,040km x 70km orbit, (space boundary is at 91km in 64x) 1,187kg probe behind a standard 1.25m heatshield (with only 100 ablative).

The peak temperature reached on the heatshield was 1390 degrees and it used only 16 units of ablative.

Now is it just me or should that have used a bit more ablative? the temp was close to maxing out the heatshield, yet not much ablative gets used.



The parachutes deploy at 4500m, fully opening at only 600m, dropping Verity and its payload of 100% pure refined science into the ocean.


Cost 19,070 Funds, 5,000 Funds recovered. 222.3 Science.

Contracts completed, Skipper test on ground. (Money for old rope, HoundDog uses that engine anyway) 1,400Funds, 27Science, 3Reputation

Contract, Science recovered from orbit. 43,200Funds, 1Science, 113Reputation.



The next mission is a biggie, I'd also like to see if I can get a decent explanation of the HoundDog launcher, how its put together etc, if I can get some decent shots of it.

Edited by Shania_L
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Gene Kerman looked at the proposal laying on his desk, Verity IV was the rather unassuming name for what would become the first piece of Kerbal engineering to leave Kerbins sphere of influence. It had managed to pass the board of administrators, Mortimer (Finance) and Linus (Science) were happy, it was relatively cheap and promised a bonanza of scientific returns, Gus (Operations) was happy because it used very few parts that had not already been tested in one way or another and Walt (PR) was happy, because? well it was a rocket and Kerbals love big rockets.

Spoiler: Mission Proposal



Artists impression of the Verity IV probe.


Spoiler: Technical Details.



Motor, 1x Jeb's Junkyard LV-909 running on a storable mix of Aerozine and NTO. Internal storage of 56 units of Aerozine+NTO.

Fuel Tank, Procedural balloon tank, 1.25x1.63m cylinder, 1000 units of each fuel type. 2,380Kg wet, 34Kg dry.

Electrical supply+storage, 7x OX-STAT flat solar panels. 4x around base, 3x around top providing coverage in all directions. 3x 300Ec capacity batteries (2 radial and a procedural cone battery on top), plus 10Ec in probe core..

Science, materials bay + goo canister (self-modded to half scale), 2 sets of 4 sounding rocket sensors, DMagic magnetometer, probe report.

Communications, AIES CommTech ESC-EXP antenna (3.2Mm/12.8Mm deactive/active), AIES CommTech 1 Dish (320Mm)

Misc, 4x B9 omni lights, (Tuned to a sinister shade of red)

30 parts - 3,131Kg - 5,040 m/sec Dv - 1.9TtW ratio in vacuum, 5,766 Funds.



Weighing in at 3,131Kg Verity IV would take the place of both upper stage and payload of the HoundDog launcher, to this end the fairings had been extended to the mount with the first stage to protect the solar panels mounted onto the large fuel tank.

The fuel tank had been taken directly from the HoundDog upper stage, along with its Aerozine/NTO fuelled LV-909 motor, however rather than mounting a separate payload ontop, VAB techs had decided to take the entire stage and turn it into the probe itself. Mounting an Octo core and assorted science instruments with a dish antenna capable of transmitting 320Mm ... far in excess of the 73Mm required but you never know with space... you may get distracted by something shiny.

Artists impression of HoundDog I with Verity IV probe.


Spoiler: Technical Details.



Core Stage

Motor, Rockomax Skipper 'B' engine running on Kerosene / Liquid Oxygen. 650KN orbital (ISP 345), 390KN sealevel (ISP 207).

Fuel tanks, 4x procedural tanks. 2x cryoBalloon tanks 2m x 3.18m cylinders with 10,000units Liquid oxygen (coloured black) 11,570Kg wet 162Kg dry.

1x balloon tank 1.25-2m 4m long tapered tank with 10,000 units of kerosene (top, white) 7,033Kg wet, 110Kg dry.

1x balloon tank 2m x 3.18m cylinder with 4,924 units Lox, 5,076 units Kerosene (drained first due to LOx boiloff), (lower, white) 9920Kg wet 140Kg dry.

Expanded 1.25m KW rocketry fairings 1 extension.

Inline 0.625m SAS unit on fairing internal node.

4x winglets, reduced deflection in pitch and yaw, no movement in roll.


4x procedural boosters, mounted in pairs on shared decouplers (1 decoupler = 2 boosters). 6m x 0.5m. Tuned for surface performance ISP 245 68KN. 2074Kg wet, 270Kg dry. 60 seconds burn time.

4x 0.625 aerodynamic nosecone.

2x TT-38K radial decouplers.

22 parts, 49,986Kg, 4,600-7500 m/sec Dv (using atmo or vac stats), 1.38 TtW ratio sat on the pad, 7,592 Funds.



The first stage of HoundDog is unchanged from its previous launches, and is planned to be used many more times yet being as it is a very capable light launcher.

Weighing in at 50Tonnes (without payload, or upper stage), HoundDog's core stage is powered by a single KeroLox fuelled Rockomax Skipper 'B' engine. Capable of producing 650KN of thrust in a vacuum the atmosphere sucks most of its performance away, only 390KN are produced on the pad, which is why two pairs of solid boosters are mounted to assist with initial launch.


Day 72, KSC



Verity IV is setup on the launchpad, final preflight checks are performed (align pointy end at space etc) and launch .... although noone took any photos which was a shame.

We catch up with Verity in a circular 150Km equatorial orbit. 3,200M/sec remain in the tanks slightly more than was expected at this stage, all antennas have extended correctly and the snazzy lights are on too!!, looking good.


Due to this being early in the history of the KSC, and computing power being fairly limited the KSC had no way of accurately plotting a course to the Mun (I havent unlocked the tracking station yet, blame penny pinchers trying to save for the R&D lab).

This means that a manual 'Mk 1 eyeball' burn must be performed. We know we need an apoapsis of around 73,000Km, we would also like to be ahead of the Mun so as to use its gravity to help slow the craft down, perhaps even enough to prevent it from leaving Kerbins SOI entirely.

The angle of burn would be determined by the rising of the Mun over Kerbins horizon, as soon as Mun became visible a full power 0 pitch burn was to be initiated. The position of the burn turned out to be in a communications blindspot for the KSC, luckily the recently launched Centus Ib was able to relay a signal.

An image of the tracking station, the plot is looking good, Verity has reached 8,200M/sec with the required 73Mm apoapsis, but will it get captured?


Breaking all current altitude records Verity IV coasts into history, aligning its upper solar panels towards the sun for maximum recharge rate as we beam science home



Day 74, 14Mm above Mun.



Success!! at MET 18hrs Verity IV's onboard sensors detected a dramatic shift in gravity field, suddenly up was down and down was Mun! Communications links were patchy at best, we really need to work on the Centus program some more.


Performing a 300M/sec burn high above the Mun Verity is transferred into a retrograde orbit around the Mun, closest approach will be only 15Km above the surface.

Much science has been performed in the new Hi/Lo orbits detected, due to the limitations of communications however much of the data cannot be transmitted, future sample return missions will be needed.

With plenty of fuel still in the tanks, the mission planners at KSC are getting decidedly cocky. Despite Verity being in the communications shadow of the Mun at Periapsis it is decided to make an attempt to put Verity into a captured orbit around Mun. The problems being, noone knows quite how much Dv will be required to do this, and Verity will be entirely out of communications range whilst the burn is made.

Verity IV passing behind the Mun, transmitted shortly before entering communications blackout.


Some back of the envelope calculations were made (mostly guesses, speculation and wild optimism). and the commands for a capture burn were sent to Verity with a time delay set to trigger at perapsis.

MET 22hrs, So much for over confidence ...

The burn was far too long, rather than simply capturing around Mun, Verity de-orbited itself, briefly popping back into communications range seconds before impacting the Mun'r regolith this distressing image was beamed home.... RIP(ieces) Verity, you done good.


Verity may be scattered across the surface of the Mun, however its no good crying over every mistake, when there was so much science done so many possibilites for future missions. For example we now know for certain that the Mun is hard and can probably support the weight of a lander .... or perhaps a Kerbal?

Contracts completed, Explore the Mun (partial), orbital survey of Mun.

As well as transmitted data from onboard experiments.

Funds, 90,000. Science 270. Reputation 250.

Costs, 14,300. 0 recovery.



Id like to add thanks to the Koronal Vessel Viewer mod which is responsible for the 'artists impressions' at the beginning of this post.

Edited by Shania_L
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Heh, glad you are enjoying it :)

Im working on a new post atm, I have been doing some experiments with DRE ... I havent been getting on well with the beta version at all, so Im back using the release again as that behaves much better.

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I love it. but one question. could you maby put the pictures in an imgur album?

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I love it. but one question. could you maby put the pictures in an imgur album?

They already are in an album, I have all the images of this career save separated from images I have uploaded of other saves and etc.

For what reason do you ask? it would require me to resort them all but if you have a good reason its certainly easier to do while I'm still early in the career :)

I thought posting individual images would be better because it allows me to tie a specific image to text whereas an album all the images would be grouped and then you'd have a wall of text. And people don't like walls of text.

Bill and Bob inspect a mockup of the latest craft to be launched. Centus II, Kerbo-stationary communications relay.


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As we saw in the previous episode, the data network around Kerbin local space is somewhat lacking, Verity IV was only possible due to co-operation with ground stations all around Kerbin. In an effort to centralise command and control of all orbital activities KSC wants to establish a network of relay satellites to enable any station to fully control any orbital vessel. (Also because they accepted cash for creating a network some time ago and have yet to do anything in regards of creating one yet.)

Firstly some housekeeping, Research points from Verity IV has allowed a few nodes to be unlocked. Fuel Systems, Advanced Construction and Space Exploration. 2 KCT points spent on SPH #1 (Now 0.2) 1 point on R+D rate (now 32 points per day)

Day 79, KSC



Centus II is the latest in communications technology, possessing significantly better battery and solar panel technology than the earlier I and Ib. It packs a trio of shortrange dishes capable of reaching anything within a 90degree spread, but only out to 57Mm (not even Mun orbit @73Mm), also onboard is a 16Mm omni antenna.

KSC plans to launch 3 of them into 15,140km orbits spaced at roughly 1/3 of an orbit separation, using the dishes to connect to each other as well as forming a communications cone around Kerbin itself. A late recieved contract for a keo-stationary satellite deployment is jumped on as some extra cash for something we need to do anyway.

Centus II-Ka aboard its HoundDog I launcher sat on the pad awaiting its early afternoon launch slot.


Separation from HoundDog core stage at around 95Km, but still sub-orbital velocity the upperstage takes over into a 105 x 117Km orbit.


A brief systems check, antenna deployment and targeting before the upper stage fires once more putting 'Ka' up to an apoapsis of 15,140Km.

Burning again at apoapsis, to modify the orbital period to 6 hours, then again to 9 hours on the next orbit, 'Ka' is positioned above the KSC launch facility as well as the contractors desired location JY-M.


Separation of the upper stage happens later in the mission than desired, it is also impossible to put the (almost) spent stage onto a sub-orbital trajectory so it becomes space junk on a very highly eliptical orbit. 'Ka' Circularises itself into an exact 12 hour orbit using its own onboard fuel.

Mission cost, 14,234 Funds. Recovery 0

Contract completed Keo-Stationary Satellite. 252,000 Funds, 27 Science, 85 Reputation.


Day 81, KSC



Following the successful deployment of Centus II-Ka, its sister probe Centus II-Kb is setup on the launchpad. Visually identical to the previous launch however careful analysis of the last launch came up with some odd data. HoundDog still had close to 2,000 units of Liquid Oxygen in its lower tank when the Kerosene ran dry, blaming the error on the (now incarcerated) Herman Kerman the fuel ratios were re-calculated to balence out the quantities.

Spoiler: OOC


A new version of RealFuels or stockalike configs, I think must have altered the ratio of the Skipper engine. If I had been using the default setup of both fuel types in all tanks then this wouldnt have been an issue. However I seperate the Kerosene into the upper (balloon) tanks with the LOx in the (heavier cryo-balloon) tanks at the bottom so I have to manually work out how much mix I put in the half/half tank in the middle.


Centus II-Kb blasts off in its early evening launch slot, straight up to 150Km.


Although only a slight change, this HoundDog launch actually reaches orbital velocity, we may need to consider putting retros on later models to prevent some serious sized debis from accumulating in LKO.

HoundDog pictured here jettisoning fairings at 91Km around 3,000 m/sec.


The insertion of 'Kb' is better aligned than 'Ka' as such it puts itself into an 11 hour orbit as soon as it reaches 15,140km to slightly increase its separation from 'Ka'. Also this is used to put the upper boost stage into a stable 'graveyard orbit' circularising at 13Mm, the upper stage is decoupled, 'Kb' then accelerates back up and circularises again at 15,140Km.


Mission costs are identical to 'Ka' 14,234Funds, 0 recovery.

No contracts completed.


Day 82, KSC



Practically a re-run of Centus II-Kb, the re-configured HoundDog needs to be restrained prior to core stage separation to prevent it attaining orbit.

Pictured here at solid booster separation and core stage separation.



Boosting up to 15,140 reveals this was not timed particularly well, 'Kc' requires an 8 hour followed by a 10 hour orbit to properly distance itself from 'Ka' and 'Kb'. The 10 hour orbit is used to park the upper stage away from the valuable 15,140km orbit.

Centus II Kc was actually launched before 'Kb' is fully aligned in orbit, hence the poor positioning.

Centus II Kc finally circularises itself after nearly 2 days of positioning. One dish assigned to relay to each of its sister probes, one dish to cover its third of Kerbin, the Centus sisters have closed the communications gaps around LKO, so no more excuses for lost probes !!!


Mission costs, another 14,234Funds for no recovery value.

Contracts complete, Kerbin Communications Relay (after 2 additional days network testing) 315,000 Funds, 6 Science, 47 Reputation.

The network map, it is slightly wonky because I still havent unlocked the tracking station (I really should do that soon, I can nearly afford the R+D lab now) the highly elliptical orbit is Centus Ib on a de-orbit trajectory, I felt it was no longer necessary after 19 days in orbit :)

You can also see the polar orbits of Helmdar I and Ib, as well as the equatorial tracks of the very first satellites, Verity I and II.


Total Project expenditure 42,702 Funds. Not bad for 567,000 in contracts.



I think I should really put some effort into trying to recover portions of HoundDog, not that it is a particularly expensive launcher but as practice for the future. Also I need to get a few more facilities upgraded.

To aid the project the Experimental Iakod Evaluation Institute/Organisation (EIEIO) is setup at the Iakod aerodrome to the East of KSC well within the southern hemisphere, the aim of this Institute/Organisation is to research aircraft and other fully re-usable technologies.

Being a fully independent base (other than building upgrades) it gets to distribute its own KCT points differently to KSC. SPH production queue #1 set to 1.1 and VAB #1 to 0.45.

Edited by Shania_L
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"120,000 Funds is a snap when you think about it," the contractor was insistent, but Wernher had to admit that he did have a point, upgrading the Astronaut complex without any interruptions to KSC operations at all, he had even promised that it would go up so fast noone would even notice old one had gone. "Ok, ok fine, you have the contract, but I want it finished by Monday morning, my pilots get cranky if they miss breakfast."

(12 concurrent Kerbals supported, Extra-terrestrial EVA and flag planting unlocked)

Shooing the contractors out of his office, Wernher turned to the next Kerbal dutifully stepping into his office. Mac Kerman had been assigned directorship of the new Iakod Aerospace Research Facility, and he was already pestering Wernher for pilots, he must have used the same building contractors to get setup so fast.

"I want to present the opportunity to fly the first fully reusable air vehicle to your pilots, I am sure one of them will volunteer for a transfer to Iakod to be a part of our program. Our technicians have put together a basic craft already, we simply need a pilot."

Taking one look at the pro offered image of the DART aerodynamic prototype, Wernher pressed his intercom button, "Would Jebbidiah please report to my office please?"

"I meant to offer the seat to all of your pilots, any of them would be capable enough to ..." Wernher cut Mac off with a grin, "Capable sure, but only Jeb is crazy enough to actually get inside that thing."

DART prototype, prepped for flight at the Iakod test facility.


Day 86, KSC



With this final contract KSC should finally have enough funds for the R&D upgrade that had been holding them back from the really big science payoffs.

Deployment of a large heat pump array in low Kerbin orbit was going to put a significant amount of funds into the coffers, it would however only require a tiny probe. Initial concepts even suggested digging up a SkyBolt V which would have enough performance to complete the task.

In the end however it was decided to integrate this flight with re-usability developments on the HoundDog launcher. The solid booster nosecones were replaced with parachutes, radial chutes attached to the core stage as well as a simple probe core + battery assembly in the internal fairing compartment.

Hoping to complete the mission before clocking out time (it was half price day down at Suzie's diner in town) Test Bed III was powered off the pad at the crack of dawn.


TestBed III only weighing in at 300Kg was barely 10% of HoundDogs LKO capacity, care would have to be taken to avoid flinging it into permanent orbit. Publicity shot released to the media as way of an explanation for disturbing sleeping Kerbals so early in the morning.


HoundDog had to be cut off early whilst fuel still remained in the tanks leaving it (Just) sub-orbital, TestBed III used its own propulsion to complete to orbital velocity.

Deploying the HeatPump array technicians turned to Mortimer (Finance devision) in anticipation of the paycheck clearing, once he gave the nod, Mission control promptly spun TestBed around and plunged it back into the atmosphere. Complete burnup before even 1/3 of an orbit completed.


Contract complete, Part test in orbit. 389,000 Funds, 72 Science, 572 Reputation

Cost, 12,900 Funds. Both boosters recovered for 950 each, core stage and probe burned up at over 4,000m/sec.

Final cost, 11,000 Funds.

Meanwhile ....


Day 86, Iakod



Mac had setup the aerodrome at record pace, with a build rate of 1.1 he had managed to put together the DART protoype in next to no time.

Other than being launched by 4 self-separating sounding rocket motors (reduced fuel load) DART was a relatively standard aircraft concept. Swept leading edges with almost perpendicular trailing edges should give decent speed and lift.

Jeb climbed into the cockpit to find out.


(Album because many pictures, dont know if Ill do this for all missions makes IMGUR quite cluttered. just the complex missions perhaps.)

Other than a near disaster at launch, one of the sounding rockets took slightly longer to disconnect which threw the plane into a yaw spin at about 700m ... straight at the VAB .... Jeb makes a note to yell at whoevers idea it was to not research wheels!

At low altitude its fairly stable and has a decent turn rate, maxing out at about Mach 1.1 in level fligth at 9km however is not going to get me anywhere fast. Peaked at about 15km altitude in a zoom climb, engine started overheating at Mach 1.6 in the resulting dive.

There was a severe pitch control issue which only became noticeable at high speed, putting the nose more than 10degrees +/- AoA results in accelerating AoA steepening a climb to the point of backflip (same (but more scary) in a dive)

Due to retuning to base before burning off all of the fuel, the decent rate under parachute was higher than anticipated ..... the engine was destroyed on impact with the ground, all other parts survived.

Cost 12,700, 10,500 recovered. Final cost 2,200.

32 Science recovered from Sounding rocket experiments carried, Jebbidiah earned his first xp point.

\o/ Celebration time, R&D lab upgrade purchased, 1,020,000 Funds. Tech nodes up to 500science available, EVA and resource transfer activated.

Landing!!, Advanced Electronics and Specialised Construction Nodes unlocked. 3KCT upgrade points spent on KSC VAB build rates, 2x rate #1 (Now 1.0) and 1x rate #2 (Now 0.9)



Ok one more point to put in what has become quite a long post, I have decided to add the "Real Fuels stock tank proces" mod by karamazovnew, this will add a better costing system to procedural tanks as well as to realfuels themselves.

As you have probably noticed, my launch vehicles are, to put it mildly, bargain basement cheap. This is because realfuels bases its cost estimates on full RSS vessels, (i.e humungous) in my smaller rockets this makes the cost of fuels practically non-existent. It also imposes a few restrictions on the type of procedural tanks I can use, balloon tanks (which I use pretty much exclusively for lightness) are now no longer surface attachable meaning Ill have to use heavier, more expensive tanks, filled with fuel that actually costs something!!!

I havent done any launches with this yet, but I have compared the new versus old on the HoundDog/Centus II launcher.

Pre-Mod the full setup was ~17,000, payload, launcher fuel the lot.

Rebuilt with proper tanks and fuel, it would now cost nearer 45,000. So a significant increase, if this looks like it might bankrupt me I may reconsider it, however I'll stick with it for now.

Edited by Shania_L
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This is very well done, kudos to you.

I love how sleekly designed your rockets are.

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Wernher looked at the crudely daubed slogan painted across the VAB wall sadly, "Probe Core Space Program". Sighing because he knew it was true, yet also frustrated because he knew it was his reputation at stake if he put Kerbals onto rockets that were not ready for them.

Jebediah, the most experianced (and gung-ho) pilot the KSC had was still off at the Iakod facility, true he wasnt going to get any hours in space there for quite some time, but he was getting flight hours done and maybe he just needed the action.

Wernher had been preparing manned flight, that was why he had been using so many robotic cores, he needed the rockets to be ready and he had almost been there ..... then the international agreement on reducing usage of non-biodegradable materials came through. HoundDog used these materials extensively in its fuel tanks keeping the mass down it also allowed incredible flexibility in design, now they were illegal.

Wernher had managed to get a pass on launching one more old-style HoundDog that had already been manufactured but after that all new HoundDogs would need re-designed fuel tanks, which would be heavier and more restricted in what they could do.




The RealFuels cost mod I installed replaces the flexible procedural fuel tank, which can be switched between types (cryo/balloon/default etc) with separate parts that have their own cost per mass and usage rules. Balloon tanks for example no longer allow surface attachment, but are lighter than structural ones, cryo tanks are heavier but reduce boil-off of cryogenic fuels, default tanks fall in the middle, carrying less fuel per m3 than balloon, but being cheaper and lighter than cryo and allowing surface attachment.

In addition to these changes it also applies much higher Fund costs onto the fuels themselves, which is now becoming a significant portion of the launch cost of a vehicle. Costs of fuel tanks scale with size, so it all adds up.



Day 87, KSC



The final HoundDog MkI launcher was rolled out in the midday sun to the waiting launchpad. Sealed securely within its protective fairing was a derivative of the Ascender II capsule, itself based on the original balloon gondola launched waay back at the dawn of the space agency. Ascender III had gained itself a service module containing the electrical systems needed to sustain life, the science instruments to be exposed to space as well as around 1,000Dv for orbital manoeuvring. Pilot Sigbert Kerman sat within the capsule awaiting his moment in history .... or a massive fireball, either way he would be famous!!

Ascender III / HoundDog MkI at liftoff


HoundDog carries the recovery system for the solid boosters tested on the previous launch, however the parachutes have been removed from the core stage. Due to the core stage reaching so close to orbital velocity and altitude it experiences very harsh re-entry conditions, the loss of performance from equipping it with extra fuel or a heatshield were too steep to justify.

Approaching Ascender III separation after HoundDog burnout, polar orbital alignment confirmed, fairings separation completed successfully. approx 95km altitude, 5,700M/sec.


Ascender separates successfully and uses over half of its onboard Dv to circularise itself into a 103x98Km polar orbit.

An attempt to regain control of the HoundDog booster following separation failed, HoundDog had been equipped with a probecore, battery and 3 separation motors. No connection could be established so the motors could not be fired, fortunately as this was only a test flight, HoundDog was sub-orbital at that point anyway, more work needs to be done. If HoundDog could be used to launch payloads into higher orbits and then relied upon to de-orbit itself much greater missions could be attempted.

Meanwhile, Sigbert Kerman had stabilised Ascenders systems, deployed all the deployables, and despite it being daytime he had turned on the funky lights, KSC advised only using lights during the day to avoid wasting precious battery life on the dark side.

Fed up of being in the cramped capsule, Sigbert decided to venture outside to see what he could see, in dong so he became the first Kerbal to perform an EVA in orbit.


After collecting science data from observations made over many different biomes, Sigbert burned nearly all of his remaining Dv lowering his Pe within the atmosphere and became the first Kerbal to experiance re-entry heating. (Ascender II had been sub-orbital and hadnt needed a heatshield)


Work needs to be done on targeting of returns to Kerbin (something I am notoriously terrible at) whilst mearly an inconvenience for robotic craft, Sigbert now faces a long lonely wait floating around in the southern ocean for a rescue barge to collect him.


Science recovered, 60.

Mission cost, 36,900 Funds, capsule and 2x boosters recovered (577+(2*950)) Total mission cost, 34,523 Funds.

Sigbert Kerman gained his second XP point and achieved level 1


Day 93, KSC



The redesigned HoundDog MkII launchers are taking their time in production, the second launch of Ascender III is taking over 15days to build.

The main design of HoundDog is remaining the same, as is its performance, the new tanks, combined with tech advances allowing larger single tanks to be used, are allowing fewer larger tanks to provide the same thrust/Dv as the MkI.

The core stage will now consist of a single 24,000 litre cryogenic liquid Oxygen tank, (replacing the 2 and a half tanks previously) this has had to be increased to 2.25m diameter due to less efficient usage of capacity. Atop this is a single 14,500 litre kerosene balloon tank which has also adopted the 2.25m diameter and a bulbous contour allowing HoundDog to carry the increased volume yet retain its 18.1m stature.

The solid motors are unchanged, other than having their burntime increased to 75 seconds, this was compensated for by dropping the thrust to 63Kn per motor.

The only other change is the addition of a SR radial probecore (with built in 200km omni antenna) 3x inline "Snub-o-tron" separation motors mounted retrograde, and a small procedural battery. These were all packed into the void between payload and booster with the SAS unit on the secondary attachnode.

It is not as pretty as the MkI, but that is what you get for pandering to international regulation. The total part count has dropped, the Dv, thrust and payload to orbit are the same, the volume has increased and the price has shot up considerably.

HoundDog Mk1 - 22 parts - 49,986Kg - 7,592 Funds.

HoundDog MkII - 20 parts - 50,124Kg - 31,975 Funds.



Edited by Shania_L
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Your program has a very professional look. I like that a lot.

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