loch.ness

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  1. Closed doors meeting at the KSC regarding Apollo IV and V. Transcript provided for Kerbgresional Review. Mortimer: We've spent a lot of money on this program and would like to have something to show for it. I've got a museum lined up to display one of these used capsules now. Can you tell me where they are? Walt: Lets not get ahead of ourselves Mortimer. Lets get a rundown of the missions in question. Mortimer: Those can be done in the usual boring mission report manner. I need something with a bit more pazzaz if I'm going to get more funding at this point. Gene: Well, the dive teams have located the Apollo IV capsule and it is mostly in tact, so it should be recovered soon. Walt: Dive teams? We do not need another public failure on this problem. Gus: Everything worked fine on our end, the launch went smoothly. Gene: We've got a nice glossy promotional picture of the new Saturn V on the launch pad. Walt: Let me see. Mortimer: I'm going to need more than that, but it is a start. Walt: Got any thing for launch operations? These look like they involve a lot of jobs in a lot of different places and I can always sell that. Gus: The Saturn program does employ a lot of people. Between engine bells, fuel, pumps, tanks, decouplers. Mortimer: What did you use that behemoth for again? Gene: Apollo IV was a test of the Saturn V rocket and the Apollo Control and Service Module mark 2. We launched the rocket into a medium earth orbit to rate the heat shield on the Command module for re-entry. Bob: Everything worked beautifully I might add. Gus: Except... Bob: That wasn't me. Walt: Nothing exploded right? Gene: Nothing exploded. Mortimer: Do we have to pay anyone? Gene: No one was hurt so I doubt it. Walt: Gene, be straight with me. Does it make us look bad? Gene: We didn't have any receiving antenna on the Command Module for remote deployment of the parachutes. A minor oversight since the crew would be handling that normally. Gus: We corrected that for Apollo V too so we know the parachutes work. Mortimer: Why wasn't the flight computer tasked with that? Gene: There was a small typo in the code, the computer thought that command was a programer comment and skipped it. Mortimer: How does a computer- Bob: Want the short or the long version? Walt: Short! Bob: We forgot to flip the on switch on that part of the code. Walt: I can spin this as a test for the event of a parachute failure. Mortimer: So, did the capsule for V return? Gene: Yes. It most certainly returned to earth. Mortimer: This is the one that went to the moon right? Walt: Ooh, I like the potential for these publicity photos. The launch loose rather impressive this time. Gene: The launch was pretty standard this time as well. We got badly inclined in the launch though. Bob: Val said we launched at the wrong time of day. Still there was plenty of fuel to get into the correct inclination. Walt: Flight still by remote? It would do us a world of good to get some publicity shots with actual crews in space, even if its just orbital stuff again. Bob: Apollo VII will be the first crewed flight. A low earth orbit test of the life support systems over 12 days. Mortimer: Tell me you aren't using one of the big rockets for that. Gene: No, VII will fly using a Saturn IB. Walt: What's the little blue thing in the background of this? Gene: Next to your finger? Walt: Yeah. Gene: That's Earth Walt. Walt: Is it a small world after- Mortimer: Don't finish that! We can't afford the royalties. Walt: But I mean, that's tiny. Bob: Well, that was taken when Apollo V was out near the moon. Mortimer: Now these are photos we can use to drum up some funding and this is the capsule I want for my museum. Where is it. Gene: About that. Walt: Also, where is Jeb. He's suppose to be back at work by now. Gene: We had to send Jeb on a delicate mission. Walt: If it is delicate why did you send Jeb? Bob: He'll either succeed through annoying people, succeed by doing something incredibly stupid, or succeed by surpassing all expectations and being diplomatic. Mortimer: You've got a lot of confidence in Jeb. Gene: I can't count the time he should have died and managed to instead do something impressive and praise worthy. Walt: We practically funded Mercury on getting people to bet against Jeb. Mortimer: Okay. New question. Why do you need Jeb for this task then, and where is that capsule? Bob: The targeting of our return was off by several miles. We missed the south Atlantic. Gus: The parachutes worked though! Mortimer: Where is it? Gene: Its in Argentina. It landed in some farmland there and Jeb is working on getting it back to us. Walt: Lets keep this part out of the news for now... Mortimer: Get Val working on better return targeting. Gene: Already on that. Mortimer: What are your next missions? Gene: We've a Saturn V launch of a long range probe headed for Jupiter. It won't get there for years though. And we've got the launch of Apollo VII. Walt: We need news crews interviewing the VII crew. Bob: Val's in charge of that, we'll get you introduced to them. Walt: Just so long as no one is talking about Argentina.
  2. Mission Report Viking 2. Compiled by Bob Kerman. Summary: Even with a broken arm it feels good to be writing reports again. This is report is for our second Viking Mission which put a communications relay satellite in orbit at the moon and a lander on the surface. I'm told by the piloting team that the Viking performed above and beyond expectations though the lander's thrust is a little off center and that will need to be accounted for before Viking 3 and 4 are readied for celestial bodies further away. Scientific results from the Viking will be helping Linus and myself design a Lunar Excursion Module for. Linus is concerned about the radiation levels beyond near earth orbit. Details: Valentina was overseeing launch procedures again and her report shows no aberration in the early flight of the Saturn 1B rocket. I crunched numbers with Wherner and if we could reliably launch the S1B into a properly inclined orbit it should have enough delta V to throw a Viking to Venus or Mars. I don't think Viking would be viable out at Jupiter or Saturn though so I'll be making recommendations to Wherner for a probe that could make visual surveys of those more distant worlds and their moons. Once you have a strong enough rocket and solid enough math, achieving an actual lunar insertion burn is rather dull. That is unless you are a pilot or a mission controller. A good deal of snacks were shared about mission control and Gene even tried on a new vest in honor of the occasion. I joined in the celebrations, because of free snacks, but I reserved my real celebrations for once we'd achieved polar orbit. For Vacuum operations we ditched the aero-shell and heat shield. I'm not really sure why they were sent up on the mission. It seems like a waste of funds really though I guess it is cheaper than buying a custom Viking for each mission. No real surprise that we got the lander on the moon in one piece, I mentioned that in the summary before. With more than enough thrust for a powered landing on earth with the atmosphere interfering there was no real danger on the moon. Valentina's more colorful verbiage during the landing came from a failure of the radar altimeter to detect the distance to the surface combined with our lack of accurate maps of altitude across the lunar surface. We're working to install better altimeters on all pilot-able crafts in the future but we've invested in swear jars for probe landing. I expect that once we get to Europa landings the jars will be able to pay for a lunar do-over or two. Next Mission: Apollo IV - automated boilerplate mission.
  3. Mission Report Viking 1. Compiled by Valentina Kerman. Summary: So yeah, we landed in Antarctica. Guess what? It’s very cold there. The landing thrusters were strong enough to do a powered landing which surprised me. I was expecting a sudden loss of audio followed by a very anticlimactic orbital photo showing none of the explosion. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t crash the Viking Lander seeing as it would have leaked that plutonium all over that Antarctic mountain. Still I’d been looking forward to an attack by a 30 meter tall fire breathing penguin in my twilight years. Gene says that since I remote piloted the landing this time I get to help program the landing computer for the moon shot on Viking 2. This better put me in the driver seat for the real Moon Landing. Details: Wherner gave me this schematic and said I’m supposed to explain it. Um… the bottom part is a Saturn 1B which you should know about. If not read Gene’s reports cause he studies this stuff. I just know it’s a big fast rocket which I haven’t been allowed to ride yet. I can’t really write a good review until I give it a ride. Above that you’ve got Viking. This cute little unkerballed ball of tech on top is our lander – affectionately known as the raiding party. The cluster of solar panels and coms relays in the orbiter, or long boat. You see the longboat carries the raiding party until its time to go Viking and then the Raiding party plants itself on a foreign shore and steals all the science. Well, its only really able to measure temperature, pressure, radiation, and Linus threw some goo on it but we can’t transmit anything about that so its pretty much useless even though it looks cool. The Launch committed the unforgivable sin of not having me on-board – other than that it went well. Viking achieved a polar orbit with lots of left over delta V. I tried to plot a course to the Moon when Gene wasn’t looking, but he was always looking. I get that following the fire we needed to be on our A game but couldn’t we have gone straight for the moon with that game? The Longboat started transmitting just fine and a remote systems check showed everything green. We released the raiding party. Raiding party Starts off with about 40 m/s of retrograde burn from we hooked up to the decoupling system. With good aim that’s enough to put it on course. If you aim is bad, not saying mind is, but if it is; there is a strategic monopropellant reserve hooked up through the heat shield system for fine tuning orbit and decent. It doesn’t work great with the Aero shell up, but it does work. Apart from the comms blackout due to plasma build up during re-entry the decent was flawless. The drogue chutes slowed things down a lot, but no-where near enough. We needed to shatter the aero shell and deploy coms before cutting Raiding Party loose or it would have crashed and created the penguiny monstrosity known as Avianus Rex. Switching to thrusters we found that it had pretty impressive thrust – Wherner has told me I am not allowed to test ride the Viking probes because he’s a spoil sport – and enough Delta V to not only land, but to move over and avoid that canyon it was headed down to. Science boys say the data readings are useful, but I mean, how useful can “cold” be when talking about a place permanently covered in ice? Next Mission – Same thing but on the moon. I don’t think the heat shield or parachute it going to be useful.
  4. Mission Report AS-202. Compiled by: Gene Kerman Summary: AS-202 was our first successful orbital test of the Saturn 1B upper stage engines. Tests included multiple shutdowns and reigniting of the engine as plans for project Viking call for multiple burns from the upper stage for Orbital maneuvers and mid-course correction burns. All engines continue to perform within expectations. Early simulations suggested that aggressive gravity turns presented a danger of launch failure leading to an overly conservative turn on AS-202’s launch and a longer than hoped orbital insertion burn. Corrections will need to be made to the flight profile for Project Viking. It has been determined that The Saturn 1B launch vehicle will only be used along side the Apollo Command and Service Module for Near Earth testing and missions. A larger and more powerful rocket is being designed for the lunar missions themselves. Wherner is advocating for something he calls “Nova” while Bill is proposing an upgrade of the existing Saturn hardware with a separate lander that will return itself to orbit and rendezvous with the Command and Service Module. Both are working on their designs. Bill’s recommendation has a lot of moving parts but is cheaper. Wherner’s is more expensive but safer. Details: Electrical surges continue but remain well within safety guidelines. Bob Kerman and Bill Kerman have been fiercely debating how the surges might interact with textiles in the Command Module. Bob Kerman insists that the wiring insulation will prevent any issues while Bill is concerned about the quantity of flammable textiles used in the Command Module such as Velcro and Nylon. Apart from the debates no issues arose during countdown. Launch went smoothly with no issues to mention. Flight reported that with the lighter payload the Rocket needed a gentler touch for future flghts. Updates to the flight profile for Viking flghts were made by Val and Jeb during the post-flight. The rocket’s first stage separation is a complicated affair as the explosive decoupler cannot engage without its payload faring being discarded and that presents a high risk of debris striking the control fins. Temporary loss of control at staging requires quickly firing the Stage 2 engine and using its gimbals to maintain course. Flight recommends delaying the separation until the rocket has reached the upper atmosphere. After obtaining orbit the engine was fired three times to ensure reigniting it did not present a problem. After that Flight made the decision to de-orbit over the Arctic against the protests from the recovery team. Flight claimed that they wanted to ensure communications would not be lost for the planned Antarctic landing of Viking 1. We did experience a communications blackout with the Saturn 1B as it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. This was determined to be because of the atmosphere converting to high energy plasma through the friction of a high speed re-entry. At Linus’s recommendation we used a parachute system to recover the upper stage of the rocket. Further analysis suggests that we might be able to design a re-usable lifter vehicle in the future which could replace the Saturn 1B for near earth operations. Any plans for such a lifter will be proposed following success in our primary goal of a Kerbaled moon landing. Our flight crew did not plan their decent with recovery in mind however instead they attempted a landing in the Arctic regions. A disciplinary review revealed that boredom induced by a lack of kerballed flights was responsible. Next Mission – Our next mission AS-203 will be a very dull and routine crewed test of the Apollo Command and Service Module’s on board electronics and life support systems. Jeb has complained that the rocket will not be going to space and therefore the test is not worth doing. He has agreed to participate mostly because Bill and Bob threatened to ground him from future missions if he did not participate. Jeb finally agreed to take the mission seriously but only if it had a more official sounding name than AS-203. Transcript of Kerbgressional Testimony by KSC director Gene Kerman and staff about the AS-203 “Apollo 1” incident. Apollo 1 used the now decommisioned Block 1 Command and Service Module and the Saturn 1B launch vehicle. The mission was an on pad electronic and environmental systems test. 15 minutes into the test the crew reported a fire in the Command Module. A transcript of the KSC team's testimony before the Kerbgressional Review Panel follows. Kerbgressional representatives Walt and Mortimer presided over the review with Director Gene Kerman, Dr. Linus Kerman, and Ground Crew team lead Gus Kerman speaking for the KSC. Walt: Director. Please walk us through the events leading up to the incident. Gene: Following the successful tests of the Saturn 1B rocket we felt encouraged to pursue manned missions as early as this fall. With that in mind we ordered both boilerplate and fully functional Command and Service Modules. Our science and Engineering teams were at odds in the weeks leading up to the pad tests about a number of issues. Mortimer: Your previous report indicates that this was over the excess of Nylon and Velcro in the command module. Gene: That is one of the two debates yes. Mortimer: Can your associates explain the two sides of the argument? Gus: I can speak to the engineering team’s concerns while Linus can speak to the science team’s concerns. Linus: Thank you Gus. The Block 1 Command module made heavy use of Nylon fabrics for seats, safety belts, and webbing which allowed for easy storing of the Kerbonaut’s suits and gear. By design nearly every surface that could accommodate it had small Velcro patches to help reduce the constant annoyance of objects drifting while in microgravity. The Engineering team raised several concerns over our use of these materials because they were highly flammable. Gus: The Saturn 1B launch vehicle’s systems had a history of minor electrical surges. Our team was uncomfortable with the amount of flammable material which was in close proximity to the electronics of the Command Module. Linus: It was ultimately our conclusion that the Command Module’s insulation should prevent any fire from being started through contact with the textiles that the Kerbonauts had contact with. Gene: I would also like to add that we found the source of the fire to have been a piece of electrical insulation which had been cut too thin during the many repairs. The thin insulation cracked, allowing a spark to start a fire in the all oxygen environment and then burn the insulation itself. As such the fire originated in the environmental systems and not in the crew cabin. Walt: But It did spread. Gus: Yes it did. Mortimer: Was the poor insulation responsible for the bad smell reported by Dr. Bob Kerman prior to the incident? Linus: We have not found the source of the smell in our reports yet, though our working theory comes from Bill’s report that Jeb had had a very fibrous lunch and had already hooked his suit’s atmosphere to the ship’s when that smell was first reported. We do not think it is related to the fire. Mortimer: Can you be certain of that? Gus: Bob is an electrical expert, he is well familiar with many smells common to electrical fires such as burnt rubbers and plastics. In the audio tapes he sounds less frightened and more frustrated at the smell. Gene: Jeb’s chuckling while he complains also led us to think the Smell was not connected. Walt: Why was an all oxygen environment used for this test? Gene: The test was supposed to be an hour long simulation of the environmental and electronic systems. We had previously decided to use all an Oxygen environment on the ship due to concerns about weight. Gus: The science and Engineering teams went over these concerns several times. Ultimately we felt that the danger of a fire was low due to our previous assessments about flammable materials in the Command Module and that the continued presence of those materials made the reactivity of Oxygen a lesser issue. Linus: We were also concerned with medical issues that can arise from the Nitrogen/Oxygen levels getting unbalanced during the flight. We did not want a situation where the crew were suffering from the bends immediately after Extra Vehicular Activities on the moon. Gus: The science team felt that the all Oxygen environment posed a danger to the command modules systems because of the highly reactive and corrosive nature of the gas, but the engineering team noted that no command module was planned to fly long enough for those concerns to be realistic. Walt: Director, the last thing we want to hear from your team today is the status of the three Kerbonauts on the mission. Gene: Jebadiah Kerman was in his seat and strapped in when the fire broke out. Somehow the explosive decouplers had not been disengaged and he was able to use the ship’s staging systems to break the command module free. Gus: A previously undetected weakness in the systems diverted part of the fire into the ship’s RCS systems and threw the command module clear of the rocket where Jeb was able to use the recovery parachute to ensure a safe landing. Linus: Bill had been attempting to open the hatch and received a heavy blow to his head while Bob was in the process of unstrapping himself form his chair and got his arm caught in the fall. Gene: All three remain in critical condition. Jeb has severe burns and is being kept in a medical comma while he heals. Bob has both burns and broken bones but is awake and helped work on the report. Bill is recovering from his fall and has the least amount of clear damage, though it is unclear how badly he hit his head. Currently the doctors are optimistic about their recovery but they will not be ready for active duty for some time. We have decided to proceed with several unmanned missions while they recover. Walt: what plans do you have to restore our faith in your program and its projects director? Gene: Our next launches will be the start of Project Viking which aims to send unkerballed landers to sites of interest throughout the solar system. Viking 1 will be a test of all systems here on Earth while Viking 2 will be a test of the system on the Moon. Gus: By the time we've got Viking 2's lander on the Moon my team will have drawn up plans for a new Apollo Command Module with Linus's team to prevent an incident like this happening again. Mortimer: See that you do. Another near failure like this could mean the end of your budget permanently.
  5. After a hiatus from the game yet again I'm getting back into my orbit by restarting my AAP challenge with a new save and modlist. Important mods are: Kerbalism, KIS, ModRocketSysm, Planetary Base Systems, Stock Size Real Solar System, Space Y lifters, Surface Experiment Package, MOLE, Buffalo Rover, Ven's Stock parts Revamp. Current project plans include the Apollo core mission, a short term lunar base, a long term lunar base, Skylab, Viking missions to Moon, Mars, Titan, and Europa, Long range probes to the outer solar system, and hopefully manned missions to both Venus and Mars (Titan and Europa if I get really ambitious). For the time being I plan to be using KSP 1.22. Format: I'm most comfortable with prose writing interspersed with pictures. I will likely alternate between formal reports, diary like entries, and audio transcripts depending on what the mission itself requires. Mission Report AS-201. compiled by: Gene Kerman. Summary: AS-201 was our first successful suborbital test of the Saturn 1B launch vehicle using a dead weight payload exceeding the estimated weight of the Apollo Command and Service Module. The first and second stage engines performed well within expectations. Analysis of the burn times reveals that the Saturn 1B does not currently possess enough delta V to put a fully fueled Apollo Command and Service Module into low earth orbit without use of the Service Module’s engine and fuel. Plans for addressing this are currently being debated with ideas ranging from orbital refueling to a cry of “more boosters!” At this time no one is recommending more struts. Details: The Saturn 1B rocket is our newest heavy lifting Rocket. The lower stage uses 8 powerful engines to provide the lift necessary for payloads as heavy as the proposed Apollo Command and Service Module. The upper stage uses as “Skipper” rocket engine for a good balance between upper atmosphere an vacuum operations while also providing large amounts of thrust. The upper stage also houses the Saturn IB's flight computer systems. Pre-launch checks revealed small surges in electrical systems in the Saturn 1B’s flight computer. Bob Kerman is at work attempting to isolate the cause of the power spikes. The surges were well within our pre-set safety margins so the launch continued though ground crew was advised to remove themselves from the immediate area earlier than planned. Ground crew reported healing metal groaning when the eight [Engine type]s fired with their combined [number] thrust. Linus Kerman reports that it would be impossible to hear anything other than the roar of those engines, and even then the sudden rush of sound would leave Ground Crew temporarily deaf. Flight control reported a steady climb with all numbers looking good. Linus Kerman reports that the Saturn IB splashed down hard and broke apart. His team of environmental scientists have prepared a number of recommendations to prevent damage to the oceans on subsequent launches which we will be implementing. Next Mission – Our next mission with be AS-202, an orbital test of the Saturn 1B rocket with a reduced payload. Mission will include obtaining earth orbit and multiple firings of the upper stage engine.
  6. That a pretty nice looking lander. It almost makes me feel the need to redesign my latest LEM. Very nicely done.
  7. Got to work on my LEM. I wanted something a bit more like the real funky shapped LEM but still fitting the form factor needed for my Saturn V and still sitting two kerbals. I have to fiddle with "Crew Transfer" to Unload the LEM properly meaning that the LEM pilot cannot be the first Kerbal to walk on the Moon (News that made Jeb unhappy). The IVA of the "airlock" gets somewhat occluded because of where the cans lightly clip - though the total interior space is still roughly the same as the 2 kerbal lander can. The lander has plenty of fuel and about 2 days worth of Life support (Kerbalism) which is sufficient for LEM operations (The CSM has almost 13 days of life support but since I'm using Stock Size Real Solar System that is overkill for anything it can reach and no where near enough for everything else).
  8. If I find that I have the time and patience with recording a new AAP challenge and developing it to that point this is somewhat inline with what I was hoping to do. I'll admit that some of the engineering for the IPP is currently beyond me (I haven't made a functioning SSTO in a long time let alone the kinds of cargo/crew transfers that are in that article - and once I go beyond Apollo I'll probably want to start taking my own spin on ship designs. I do want to get to Mars and Venus programs following some Moon operations (plan to install Hooligan Labs airships when its time to get serious about Venus). I do plan to have at least Skylab and a Moon station. I don't know that I'm up for maintaining everything with Kerbalism and making it all reusable though (especially since Kerbalism will put limits on its usability ultimately too). I've run AS-201 (Saturn 1B suborbital test with mock payload) I'm planning to run AS-202 (Saturn 1B orbital engine tests) and Apollo 1 (Saturn IB with CSM mk1 onboard electrical tests) today. I'll be skipping Apollo 2 and 3 in favor of missions using my Viking inspired probe. The plan is to test its heat shield and atmospheric landing tools (intended for Mars) at earth and then test the Viking Lander's systems with an Antarctica landing. I honestly don't know if it will have the TWR it needs for a powered landing on Earth. Viking 2 will be headed to the Moon. Last on my list to try to get done before I open a mission report page will be Apollo 4 and 5 (Earth Orbit and then Moon fly by of an unmanned Saturn V with the CSM (But no LEM) Edit: I decided to redesign my LEM because I wanted to try to make it look more faithful to the real - funky - one. I'm not completely happy with it. Delta V is fine, Power consumption is fine. The IVA's clip a little despite taking up more physical space that the Mk 2 IVA though oddly they behave better overall if I clip them forward a bit. It is stable in flight, balanced RCS, and leave an intact descent stage behind in a way I'm very pleased. First image shows the airlock and ladder and how the LEM looks on decent. the second shows the Pilot's guidance window along with the Ascent stage. Lastly it does fit in the adapter code from Space Y that I'm using. Its a bit taller than my old LEM design leaving the full Saturn a bit taller too - but it works. I tested its fuel consumption and use in an ALT-12 orbit in the engineering save and the Decent stage can land with 1/6th fuel remaining (allows for some finess targeting a specific LV) and the Decent orbiter attained a low lunar orbit with a similar fuel margin. Due to something having broken my normal fuel cells this is using M.O.L.E. monoprop fuel cells. They are just powerful enough to recharge while at rest - but powering up everything (SAS) still drains the batteries. Luckily it also has at least 8 hours of emergency power with the fuel cells off. Food and Water alowance will made at most 2 days, probably less but this LEM is not intended for long duration missions.
  9. I'm looking to get back into KSP after a long break and I'm coming back to this challenge because I really enjoyed it last time. I've been doing my engineering work in a seperate save file but I plan to start my actual challenge file either today or tomorrow. Some of my hardware so far: On the left - the Saturn 1B with an Apollo CSM. The CSM (Right) is heavy enough that it needs about 70% of its own fuel to make Low earth orbit on the Saturn 1B which should be fine for Apollo 9 and Skylab operations. The Saturn 1 B is also poweful enough to launch my Viking style orbiter/lander probes to the Moon. The CSM is shown with its protective faring removed - this was an earlier draft of the CSM for the final draft I clipped the faring base 1 step forward since the faring base is hollow - this gave me the form factor I wanted for a final CSM. Also visible is the Saturn V (Center) - you can see the working LEM prototype there. I haven't yet landed it on the moon. Stage one is powerful enough to lift off at 2/3 thrust on both Saturn 1B and Saturn V though both are designedfor 75% thrust. The SpaceY mod parts give me a much smoother looking Saturn than my old stock mish-mash. The SIV engine is a Space Y engine which uses the same bell model as the clusters in keeping with the real Saturn V's look. Behind the CSM you might notice Baja California and central America. That is because I'll be running Stock Size Real Solar System this time around. I've also started using Kerbalism for my Life Support mod of choice. The Saturn V itself used pure fuel cells but I am not likely to keep those points as Viking and Voyager probes use RTGs and Apollo 15's rover is likely to have some form of solar power (similarly true for ASLEP and the future Moon base) and of course Skylab. I don't plan to introduce Solar power until after Apollo 13. Life support wise my CSM has food, Oxygen, Water, Power, and atmosphere for 12 days (much longer than it is likely to be used for). The LEM is only really good for a day at most by itself. I am looking into a one month Moon base for long term micro-gravity studies as well as crewed flybys of both Venus and Mars. I plan to launch probes to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto on early windows and Viking style landers to Venus (Expecting it to be crushed by Venus's atmospheric pressure), Moon, Mars, Europa, and Titan. Sometime after completing the core AAP missions I may introduce Nuclear propulsion as I'd like to try a Europa mission - eventually. I hope to start a mission log this week including.
  10. I've been away for a while (hit a burn out along with another busy patch in life) but got the urge to come back and play again. I still have my massive Duna Mission to get back to - but I found I had ruined the mission for myself with trying to build it up as a story telling exercise and experiment in making comics when what I really wanted was to do an interesting mission and share that - I'll get back to it eventually and record the mission itself with the craft I made for it when the mood strikes me again. For the moment I'm getting the hang of two mods I'm new to which are making KSP feel brand new to me again. Kerbalism and Stock Size Real Solar System. I've got a set of part mods I'm really liking as well going for me and I've been tinkering a bit with those. I'm getting hardware together for a new attempt at the Apollo Applications challenge - I'm already letting myself get ambitious about bigger things though because today while testing out my Saturn IB launch vehicle I also tested out Viking. The save file I'm using right now is my engineering file - I'll be making a new save for the challenge itself once I've built my hardware and its time to fly my missions. Above is my Viking prototype burning away from Earth. I'm not entirely sure how I lucked into it but I did a nighttime launch into Lunar inclination (I noticed Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mars while still climbing and corrected my ascent profile for inclination and then circularized at AP, stayed in my parking orbit for one full orbit and then re-lit the Stage 2 engine to burn for the Moon). I set my orbit using the Saturn IB stage 2 engine which turned out to be very good. my Viking Orbiter had a fuel flow issue which I hadn't caught in the VAB. Neither the RCS or normal engine were pulling fuel from their tanks. Luckily I did not need them to. I had only about 3 units of Mono prop in either tank when landed but it was a highly eccentric orbit and I had to de orbit in the work part of it for the landing. TWR was very good for the lander, leaving me feeling it should do well on Mars as well. The mission did carry a heat shield and drogue shoots like the Mars mission would but discarded them early because this was a lunar landing. I have a few tweaks for Viking before I'm satisfied with it and I want to add a relay dish to the orbiter to aid with communications of future missions. For a Lunar test in my Engineering save this went very well though. Earlier this week I also considered recreating Mercury once more: I haven't decided if I'm going to recreate those missions as well, I think Apollo is a good jumping off point for getting used to Kerbalism. It gets me far enough away from Earth to need to worry about LS, signal, radiation and such while still being within my KSP comfort zone. My working CSM and LM are here - I haven't technically made a successful test and I've made a couple changes to the CSM (the service module was a bit too long so I've trimmed it and I was using the wrong Engine before. I haven't figured out how to add the lunar sub-satellite with this set-up. Buried under that inter-stage faring was Fuel cells and ~13 days of Life support. The LEM should work just fine - I'm working on a variant which can carry a rover though. For the last picture I was messing around with ore-scanning sats and seeing how far I could throw one with a Saturn V launch Vehical. I still had enough fuel for a Jupiter intercept (but not capture) after making it to Venus. Between a solar panel failure and dissatisfaction with the design of this particular satellite I've gone back to the drawing board here. Still it is my first Venus flyby.
  11. I haven't had a chance to play for a few days but I had some screenshots left to put together for my newer pages in my mission report. This image goes on a not yet completed page: That was something of a bear to dock. For some reason the STS (which I did download) has perfect RCS in 4/6 directions in docking mode and no RCS in 2/6 directions making it somewhat complicated to maneuver. The Hyperion on the other hand had far too little RCS to be meaningful and the Orion still docked, the SAS over corrected so much that it was of limited help but I did dock it. I'm likely to turn off the habitation penalties because the Hyperion claims it can support Habitation for 17 kerbals for one year in the VAB and only supports 10 kerbals for 80 days in orbit. I've actually recovered the crew and cheat-edited it back into orbit a few times and actual vs Theoretical discrepancy stays. I may try a few more rebuilds but I'm likely to just switch it off and go next chance I get to really play. Next page I make should be them on their way to Duna (then I plan to do some "set design" building mock interiors for the crews).
  12. Pages 10, 11, 12 - Launch of the STS Endeavour
  13. Got my first crew up to the CTV Hyperion and finished 3 more pages for my mission report. Featured below is the screenshot for the Orion nearly docked to the Hyperion. From left to right you can make out the Biology and Astrophysics labs (KnK base parts). Eclipsed are the M.O.L.E. backups for each. Next is the The USI centrifuge and main habitat followed my Monoprop fuel cluster, docking ring and life support systems, and then the engines.
  14. Technically its yesterday but I spent it cleaning up the first four pages I'd made for my mission report and then building the set pieces show below (Page 6). I still need to play with the bubbles a bit more since they both take up more space than just having a box and don't always fit right - but I think I'm getting better at the overall layout.