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  • About me
    Kerbal Pamperer
  • Location
    En route to Moho
  • Interests
    Game development. See my blog for details.

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  1. Bumping the thread, not because there has been an update, but to announce that there's about to be one! I'm starting a live stream of the next part of the mission in about 15 minutes (23:00 UTC).
  2. Oh, nice! You and I have similar ways of canonizing the KSP updates and you found a way to roll KSP 2 into the narrative. I look forward to seeing how the story goes, if at all ^^; P.S. As of this post you have precisely 666 reputation points. Omen? xD
  3. Part 8: Ready to Go It turned out that one final refueling mission would be necessary, but a full size fuel tanker would be both excessive and too expensive given current available funds. A scaled down version was designed, a few quick contracts were completed to amass the remaining funds for launch, and then the new fuel tanker was sent on its way to Aletheia. As timing would have it, it reached its closest approach at roughly the same time as the previous fuel tanker, so careful coordination was necessary to keep both craft on course to dock. Out of abundant caution, rather than use the fuel aboard the last fuel tanker to dock, a space tug was detached from the mothership to tow it into place. _ _ Once both craft were attached, Tanuki quickly transferred into the mothership, the ship's fuel supply was topped off, and then the cargo was transferred into various compartments. It was just barely possible to store everything without needing the additional storage modules, so they could be left behind to save delta-V for the mission. A thorough final check was performed to make sure every last tank aboard Aletheia contained the fuel it needed, including a small reserve for refueling the small lander. Last, Valentina, who had been overseeing construction, transferred out of the ship and into the crew cabin aboard the larger fuel tanker. With that done, Aletheia appeared to at last be fully ready to detach from the tankers and other construction modules and begin its journey. The crew, initially proposed to be ten Kerbals, had been reduced for various reasons to seven, allowing for a different Kerbal to land on each of Jool's five moons and return to Kerbin while the remaining two could stay in the Jool system aboard the portable station. The five scientists were Mavis, Barbara, Maya, Tatiana, and Tanuki, Peggy served as the engineer, and Lars took the position of pilot. All were very excited for the trip. __ Fully laden with all mission components, Aletheia currently comprises 853 parts and weighs nearly 1.3 kilotons: Surprisingly, upon review of my previous mission, I found that this actually puts it at a lower part count and total mass than Kidonia despite its significantly larger dimensions, higher delta-V, and more complicated mission profile. I believe this is mainly due to carrying fewer large components (e.g. one fewer portable station, no mining lander, and no habitation ring) and improvements in the efficiency of my designs. Some may have noticed that the resolution of my screenshots has increased. The reason is that I have a new, much more powerful PC now, and thanks to that I am better equipped to stream future parts of this mission. Is there any interest from readers here?
  4. Part 7: Equipment Resupply Due to the anomaly discussed in Part 6, the mission needed a batch of personal equipment for the crew and had the opportunity to take advantage of the new ability to store and carry spare parts for repairs and other purposes. A new module was constructed for all of these items and piggybacked to the (hopefully) final fuel tanker, but before this could be launched, some funds had to be recovered from the launch vehicles that had recently deployed the Laythe plane, Tylo lander, and portable station. __ The resupply mission was then launched with barely 15,000 funds to spare. The tanker had an added crew cabin attached and was tasked with picking up the final crew member in orbit on its way to the mothership. While it was en route, the launch vehicle was recovered. _ The tanker then rendezvoused with the ship containing the final crew member, Tanuki Kerman. Also shown here is the equipment stored within the aft cargo module, which includes the newly available magnetometers for all six survey probes, spare parachutes and electrical equipment, spare struts and docking ports, and personal equipment for all seven crew members.
  5. Part 6: Time Travel Peggy the Engineer was going through some routine checklists in preparation for the vessel's eventual departure when she was interrupted by a string of expletives coming out of the mobile lab. She found Tatiana, the Scientist, poring over instrument readouts from the Blame Jeb Space Telescope, which had recently been tasked with attempting to identify exoplanets. Unbelievable, Tatiana kept saying. When she finally settled down enough to start explaining the situation coherently, she reported that the telescope had somehow not only met with success despite the short mission duration but managed to chart over 9,000 new planets - within optimistic estimates, if the telescope had been operating for at least seven months! Could it, Peggy asked, be a bug, or the result of hacking? Tatiana denied it on the basis that as soon as she noticed the anomaly, she had examined data from the Kerbal Deep Space Network and even taken a few measurements of her own. The data was real! After going through every explanation they could imagine, the two gathered the rest of the crew for a discussion on the matter, which is when things got even weirder. All the EVA packs and personal parachutes were missing! The crew scoured the ship, but it was as if they had all simply stopped existing at the precise time the telescope had experienced its anomaly. Then Barbara, another Scientist, pointed out not one but a myriad of stars visible out the ship's windows were either missing or new and unfamiliar. The crew contacted KSC and found that all the space program's top minds - yes, even Mind Kerman himself - were in a frenzy over the situation. As best anyone could guess, only one scenario explained everything that had happened - the Kraken had struck, but rather than destroy any of their ships, it had somehow transported the entire Kerbolar system seven months into the future! There had been a number of other effects, including changes to nearby stars and more subtle alterations such as the disappearance of personal equipment. Miraculously, it seemed that nothing truly deleterious had happened to anyone or to Aletheia, although the space program would have to run checks on all other active craft and probably make a few adjustments to future designs. As far as Aletheia was concerned, despite the strange events there seemed little reason for the mission not to continue, so continue it did. So yeah that's my explanation for the seven month hiatus in posts here ;P The next order of business for the mission was to launch and install the lander for Tylo. The launch was straightforward and completed in short order, and despite a tight fit, the lander was able to insert itself into the cargo bay and dock without incident, even though it ran out of MonoPropellant mere moments before contacting the docking port: _ Next was the spaceplane for Laythe. During the aforementioned checks, it was discovered that the hatch, which previously had been able to allow pilots to embark and disembark, no longer had enough clearance. Fortunately this was a simple issue of raising the top wings just enough to make up for the lost clearance without causing the craft to lose its ability to stow within a Mk3 Cargo Bay. With that issue resolved, another straightforward launch was performed and the craft and despite another tight fit, after a few tries it was able to snugly fit into the cargo bay and dock: _ _ Clearance was very tight but the craft managed to fit in place without any pieces intersecting with the walls of the bay. At this point, all of the components initially planned for the mission are installed, although the ship does not yet have all of its intended supply of fuel and crew, and a few additional components are being considered in light of the recent anomaly.
  6. Part 5: Payloads Part 2 The second ARK followed the first, performing the same routine of rendezvousing using the launch vehicle and then maneuvering itself into one of the forward cargo bays: _ Next, once it was daytime over KSC again, the launch vehicle for the minor components installed earlier deorbited itself and barely managed to land on level ground near the mountains west of KSC: _ The only remaining payloads at this point were the three largest payloads: the portable station core, the Tylo lander, and the Laythe plane. Since time was running short, with the center of the Jool transfer window less than three hours away, the portable station was used to retrieve the crew from my LKO station where they had been standing by. Thus it was launched atop an oversized vehicle equipped with a Hitchhiker Storage Container so that all of them could be transported at once: _ Once the vehicle reached the station, the crew boarded via EVA so that time and fuel needn't be expended, nor unnecessary risk taken, with another docking maneuver. The vehicle then rendezvoused with Aletheia where the station maneuvered itself into one of the large cargo bays. This operation went very slowly due to the tight fit. Since it only carried four Kerbals, the remaining crew transferred from the launch vehicle via EVA. _ The next installment is planned to include the Tylo lander and Laythe plane, and it may possibly include the final refueling mission. Most importantly though, one crew member remains absent! The fifth scientist, Tanuki, is still aboard an orbital shuttle that has run out of fuel at an inconvenient 9.5 degree orbital inclination. Another craft will probably have to be launched to retrieve it and bring him to Aletheia. Comments: I'm not using the DLC for this mission for BadS Points, if you will. Also if and when I finish, I'd like to be able to publish the relevant craft files so people can replicate it, and I want it to not require the DLC.
  7. Why we bring escape pods xD I'm still getting the hang of the Blender .mu add-on so as it stands currently the ship model has no textures, but I'll get there eventually, unless I don't, in which case I won't.
  8. Part 4: Payloads Part 1 Sure enough, no unforeseen obstacles stopped me from proceeding to start installing the payloads. First up was a batch of minor components, consisting of the smallest payloads and a few adapter pieces needed for large payloads later in the mission: Aletheia's cargo bays do now contain docking ports, but it was intentionally designed with standardized, non-offset docking ports to keep it flexible so that it would be easy to reuse in different missions in the future. Thus a few of the mission components require adapter hardware to be attached. Since the adapters were small and light, all of them were launched at once along with the light lander, a rover, a sky crane, and an additional orbital tug equipped with different sizes of docking ports to enable it to handle the specialized adapters. _ _ Shown here in order: The Tylo lander's adapter: simply a large docking port attached to a miniature docking port. The Laythe plane's adapter: similarly a large docking port and miniature docking port, but with the latter offset to enable the Laythe plane to fit while attached via its own off-center docking port. Additional survey probes: a group of three probes attached to a girder segment and a standard docking port. Since this didn't have any extra docking ports, once it was in position the orbital tug had to detach and carefully push it into the cargo bay while the probes used their reaction wheels to maintain alignment. While Jool has five moons, due to the difficulties in landing on Tylo and returning from there to orbit, no mining of Tylo is planned at this time and thus there is no need for a fifth survey probe. The fourth survey probe planned for this mission is included within the portable station core to be launched later. Light lander, rover, and sky crane assembly: a unit containing the light lander for Jool's three smallest moons, a small rover, and a sky crane for the small rover. An additional docking port is included to allow other components to share the same cargo bay if necessary. Once all of these components were installed, the next launch was an "Auxiliary Return Kraft" or "ARK": This is a compact vehicle with just enough crew accommodations and delta-V to return up to eight Kerbals to Kerbin from Jool's orbit. Two of these are planned for the mission overall. Should a major contingency occur such as the mothership being severely damaged or running out of fuel, these will ensure that the entire crew is still able to return home. Planned for the next update are the second ARK and the portable station core. Still remaining to do after that are boarding the crew, topping off the mothership's fuel reserves, and performing any necessary final checks before departure. The center of the Jool transfer window is only seven hours away, so things are becoming rushed. By the way I do invite feedback, be that recommendations, warnings should someone notice something that looks wrong, questions, etc. I see that this thread has a number of views but with no comments I have no idea whether people are enjoying reading about this or expect anything from it.
  9. Congratulations. This has ended up being a common occurrence for me but it sure was a big deal the first time and makes regular docking look like a piece of cake.
  10. Part 3: AAAAAAAA Just as I finished patting myself on the back for smoothly completing the assembly process, I suddenly had the dreadful realization that inside those cargo bays were supposed to be docking ports for attaching the payloads - and I had completely forgotten them! Near despair, I weighed my options: Cheat, swapping in a fixed version and hope nobody notices? Carefully extract the defective section, somehow manage to recover it, and send in a replacement, all strictly legit? Reload an old quicksave and start the whole assembly over again? Long story short I went with option B, so enjoy this unplanned bonus interlude wherein I perform careful rocket surgery and blow through an absolutely obscene amount of funds. The first step was to launch a batch of recovery hardware for retrieving the defective payload section. This launch proved to be very problematic, as invisible problems in the part attachments in the craft kept causing the rocket to be uncontrollably wobbly or to self-disassemble when the fairings were deployed. Apparently some bug exists where stacked fairings detach their bases when the sides are detached. Also, somehow, despite checking specifically at least twice, I managed to launch the thing all the way into orbit and then find out that it had no MonoPropellant tank aboard, causing me to have to start over. Eventually after many frustrating tries I was able to properly rendezvous with the mothership and continue the mission. The hardware consisted of three modules that each featured numerous airbrakes and parachutes and attached via Advanced Grabbing Units to the side of the payload section. I first separated this section from the rest of the ship in order to prevent any bugs that might occur from propagating into the other sections and dooming the entire mission. Since several glitches had occurred already I was in no mood to take unnecessary risks. Here the orbital tug I included is moving the last of the three into place. _ By attaching the parachute modules to one side of the payload section, I was able to force it to descend sideways, hugely increasing drag and making a soft splashdown possible. I also opened the cargo bays in the hopes of increasing drag even further, revealing where the docking ports were supposed to have been installed but weren't - oops! Now that this part was out of the way, I decided to take some time to clean up some of the other components that had been left in orbit earlier. First came the launch vehicle used for the recovery hardware: _ Second was the 250-ton launch vehicle used for the transfer stage: _ Next was the 30-ton launch vehicle used for the command section: _ Finally came the 30-ton launch vehicle (a silghtly different design) used in the first cleanup mission earlier: _ Now that plenty of funds were available, it was possible to launch the new and improved payload section. Impatience motivated me to avoid leaving additional orbiting hardware or set myself up for extra refueling missions by eschewing having the vehicle launch itself in favor of a huge and very expensive launch assembly that managed to consume nearly two million funds and thus require me to take a break for a few contracts just to be able to afford it: This was composed of five of my 50-ton launch vehicle connected together alongside a number of winglets and struts. Even with a nominal 250 tons of launch capacity, the payload still couldn't be carried all the way to orbit in a single stage as it weighed over 450 tons. Thus a sort of multi-stage approach was needed: The launch assembly propelled the payload section onto a sub-orbital trajectory, and then this section detached and completed the orbital insertion under its own power. This turned out to be a very difficult operation, and I failed to complete it several times. Meanwhile, the launch assembly parachuted into the ocean east of the space center: _ Finally, now that the new payload section was in orbit I could proceed with reassembling the mothership. Since the payload section is designed to lie between the command section and the transfer stage, the command section had to be detached earlier, and since it only had a single docking port, it had to be left in orbit until the new payload section could retrieve it. The retrieval was made possible by the orbital tug attached to the rear docking port, providing a temporary control point, and by the Vernor engine clusters attached to the payload section itself. These were another feature I had overlooked earlier and are essential for enabling the ship to dock with its transfer stage, both later on for the return trip to Kerbin and, due to the forced change in plans, here in Kerbin's orbit before departure. Now that Aletheia has been reassembled and hopefully doesn't have any other fatal flaws (I checked over and over, very carefully, this time around), it should be possible to proceed with installing the payloads and delivering the crew.
  11. Oh, it's a long story. Some tiny error happened, some file corrupted or configuration misconfigured, but unfortunately in one of the boot directories, so my OS failed to boot. Startup Repair just gave up when I tried to run it, System File Checker refused to run, System Restore claimed that no restore points existed whatsoever, DISM refused to recognize the path as a place it was possible to put an OS image, and my Windows To Go USB drive loaded perfectly except for some reason is unable to render any text and is therefore useless despite System File Checker claiming that its configuration was flawless. I exhausted every option short of paying Micro Center $69 to tell me I had to reinstall Windows and, after almost two days of failures, resorted to using 7-zip (an incredible piece of software for which I am immeasurably grateful, notably because it somehow is able to run inside a recovery environment) to copy my user directory, downloaded fonts, etc. to a backup drive and then factory reset my computer, resulting in me time-travelling back to Windows 7 in 2013. Over the last few days I've gone about re-updating to Windows 10, redoing all my customizations, trying to install Linux on a USB drive for the next time this happens and instead accidentally erasing the file partition table on my SDXC card and causing my Steam library and a bunch of other files to get scrambled (damn you Rufus!), restoring what I could from said SDXC card, actually installing Linux on the USB drive, finding out that Linux is way nicer than it was years ago when I was first introduced to it, and finally reinstalling KSP along with various other programs. In the interest of being on topic, today so far in KSP I have discovered an embarrassing fatal flaw in my ongoing Jool mission and am scrambling to find an efficient way to fix it. UPDATE: And naturally, after everything seemingly going swimmingly yesterday, today every single thing I do ends up being a failure. I botched undocking the right part on the mothership three times, then it took like ten tries to come up with a system for recovering it that didn't end up with the parachutes magically disappearing and whining about "aero forces and heat", the launch configuration for the recovery system kept connecting wrong invisibly in the VAB so it got all wobbly on launch, and then when I finally got it seemingly going right and had it on the way to rendezvous, I realized I had somehow not brought any MonoPropellant >.<
  12. Part 2: Aletheia, The End of Darkness With the central hull assembled, it was time to attach the four side-mounted drive pods. The drive pods for this mission use the same basic design as those on the Phthanophaneron, the only changes being an invisible subtle adjustment to the part attachment hierarchy to improve rigidity and the addition of a shielded forward tocking port to make assembly more convenient. Thus for the first two I used the same 150-ton launch vehicle I had used previously, but for the second two I decided that it was too long and wobbly to easily control or land safely, so I designed a new vehicle with several improvements. The new vehicle has a noticeably larger capacity, though for the time being is still rated for roughly 150 tons. Its shorter frame and wider base make it more rigid, easier to steer, and more stable after landing, and it happens to have a higher landing speed tolerance and both a lower cost and a lower part count. These improvements made the last two installations and recoveries go very smoothly - although by the time the last one was finished I was working with less than three units of MonoPropellant! As shown in this large collage, each drive pod was launched and rendesvoused with the mothership using the launch vehicle, then handed off to the heavy-duty orbital tug to be moved into place. The launch vehicle was immediately returned and recovered, as due to the very high launch costs, even with the reductions from the improved version, there were not enough funds available to have multiple of these vehicles in operation at once. Fortunately the launch vehicles had a comfortable delta-V margin left over and managed to land very close to KSC to maximize recovery value. There is a small mistake visible in the image wherein I accidentally named one of them based on a 250-ton payload rating rather than its actual rating. A few operations ended up occurring at night, but hopefully with the brightness increased it's easy enough to tell what was happening. With that, the hull is at last fully assembled! I hereby reveal to you Aletheia, Jool Exploration Ship named for the Lovecraftian and Greek goddess of truth, a.k.a. The End of Darkness: 96 meters long and 1.2 kilotons, capable of achieving over 10,000 m/s of delta-V while carrying 108 tons of payload, with seating for up to 30 Kerbals. This infographic explains the planned mission components (note that a few numbers are placeholders I intend to update once the real values are determined later in the mission): This is the largest craft I have ever constructed in Career mode. I've designed larger, yes, but never assembled anything of this scale in a serious playthrough.
  13. Who can blame him? The fuel transfer bug has been driving me crazy too. If they were only to fix one thing in the next patch... in fact I'm tempted to say ever in any future patches, I would want it to be the fuel transfer bug. I'll stomach nigh any amount of visual shortcomings as long as the things that are supposed to happen when I click buttons happen the way they are supposed to at least most of the time.
  14. Both. Both is good. No reason to restrict yourself to one game or the other.
  15. This looked like a bad joke at first but since serious discussion arose there's no reason not to feed it ^^ A multi-part response: A: The best headcanon I've heard so far regarding Kerbal reproductive biology is, as mentioned above, based on spores. The green mat covering most of Kerbin's land is not in fact very short grass or moss but the stage in which Kerbalkind spends most of its time. In order to spread, it releases fruiting bodies that, over the eons, have become increasingly sophisticated to the point where they became mobile and intelligent. Like any fruiting body, they have a primordial calling to spread as far as possible from the source organism to ensure a maximum rate of spread and plenty of room for new growth. Thus every Kerbal feels a deep instinctive desire to, before its life is over, travel as far from home as it can, or failing that ensure another Kerbal's safe journey - hence Kerbalkind's enthusiasm for space travel even when great risks arise. When a Kerbal does die, it explodes, releasing a puff of brownish dust that contains spores that can grow into more green mat and eventually lead to the birth of more Kerbals. Existing as part of the green mat for most of their lives also explains how Kerbals seem to regularly spring up out of nowhere despite scant sign of any civilization on Kerbin's surface. I may have embellished this unconsciously xP B: If Kerbals do reproduce sexually, I'm about 99% sure it's by facing each other, them both doing a silly looking dance and turning around, and then one of them squatting and poofing a giant egg that after a few seconds hatches into a miniature Kerbal with a disproportionately large head and pair of eyeballs. Yes I'm calling you out, EA/Maxis. C: I thought it'd freak me out or that I'd object due to being attached to the idea of Kerbals having lidless or chameleon-like eyes, but no, actually I think the eye lids make the Kerbals significantly cuter and more expressive. That yawn animation made me want to wrap the little thing up in blankets and brew it a cup of hot chocolate xD
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