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About problemecium

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    Kerbal Pamperer

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 >.<
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Both. Both is good. No reason to restrict yourself to one game or the other.
  10. 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
  11. Part 1: Eiffel Tower to Orbit The stage was set with all the crew I planned to include either waiting at KSC or on the way and set to arrive within a few days, over 3 million funds available, Kerbin's SOI cleared as best as I could manage of clutter from previous missions, and the transfer window to Jool open with its optimal point in roughly 8 days. The mission had been meticulously planned out from tiny payload components all the way to the vast hull of the mothership. Thus the only thing to do was begin assembly by launching the core of the ship, the payload section. Due to the aerodynamics of the payload section as designed, a custom launch configuration was necessary, composed of a large fuel reserve at the top, an engine cluster at the bottom, and a support cage featuring four large winglets to ensure stability on ascent. Only by using its own LV-N nuclear engines and onboard fuel supply was this component able to reach orbit. While its TWR was very low whilst running on these, they could be fired fairly early, as even a few kilometers up they near maximum thrust and are already more efficient than any chemical engine, and they could sustain thrust for a very long time and thereby gradually accomplish the orbital injection. The next launch was a cleanup operation to remove the payload section's launch hardware so that its docking ports would be available for the rest of the orbital assembly: _ This contained two orbital tugs. The support cage was detached and the smaller tug used to tow it away. Unfortunately I had miscalculated and this component proved too heavy for the tug to completely deorbit, so another mission will be needed later to complete the recovery of this component. Meanwhile the fuel reserve was detached and the larger tug used to tow it away. Next the command section was launched. As it was much smaller and lighter, it was readily handled by my 30-ton launch vehicle along with a heavy-duty orbital tug for use during the rest of the orbital assembly process: _ The tug proceeded to attach it to the forward docking port on the payload section. The support cage is still present and visible in the background. Next , with KSC once again on the day side of Kerbin, the empty fuel reserve from the first launch could be deorbited and recovered: _ Over 100,000 funds were recouped from this recovery. Next to launch was the largest and heaviest single component of the mission, the core of the transfer stage used for the trip to Jool and later back to Kerbin: _ Unfortunately this launch had to be performed at night due to the short time frame available for the mission. My 250-ton launch vehicle was barely able to insert it into orbit, and then it performed the rendezvous using its own engines and the fuel from a small tanker I had included. Finally the transfer stage drive core was carefully docked onto the payload stage's rear docking port. This operation was very slow and difficult, as not only was this component very long and very heavy, but it had to be attached very precisely to ensure that the side-mounted drive pods that would be installed later in the mission could be attached with proper alignment. If too much deviation occurred here, these pods would cause significant torque and make the mothership unable to maintain a heading during its ejection burns from Kerbin and later from Jool. Stay tuned for the next installment, which should feature the installation of the side-mounted drive pods and possibly of the crew or of one or more payloads.
  12. Veteran forumites may recall when my thread "Sights of Kidonia" was active. I managed to get a humongous mothership assembled in orbit for the Ultimate Jool-5 Challenge, filled with all manner of fun payloads and equipped with over 9000 m/s of delta-V, and then... I abandoned the project, the challenge left unmet once again. That was actually my third attempt to pull it off, the successor to "Julia" and an unnamed predecessor mothership. Each attempt had been grander than the last, and each attempt had failed (for the first, I was woefully short on delta-V; for the second, a KSP update to make the LV-N nuclear engine not consume oxidizer made the existing design unworkable; and for the third, I simply stopped playing KSP for over a year and didn't feel like trying to pick up where I left off, largely due once again to changes in the game). Only one thing to do: Try a FOURTH TIME! Officially at least. I did an undocumented minimal test run a while ago with an uncrewed ion probe just to reassure myself there was hope. And naturally I must continue the trend of making every new mothership dwarf all the previous ones... Teaser image showing the scale of the hull I designed alongside Kidonia. I'll be updating the thread as important milestones in the mission are reached.
  13. Today Kerbalkind set forth on its glorious voyage beyond the Kerbolar system to the stars beyond... jk it's all fake. On a whim I threw together something that looked like it came out of Space Engine or some NASA-sponsored concept art blog post, but it doesn't actually have any crew accommodations or delta-V and it's really small, as seasoned Kerballers no doubt notice immediately judging from the known sizes of several familiar parts in it. Still looks neat though, if I may claim as much myself. Maybe it could pass in some fanciful KSP fan-fiction thing. UPDATE: After an unusually busy day of KSP, I've completed the first phase of a new (and not fake) interplanetary mission, specifically a new attempt at the Ultimate Jool-5 Challenge. See my new thread for details.
  14. Today I finally got back to KSP after several days of fighting to restore my computer to health (blech) and surprisingly didn't summon the Kraken with this abomination I have constructed: Long story short I was launching a very large payload and had to construct a cage to brace it against wobbling to death. Before anyone jumps in, this was not an opportunity to use KJR as the payload in question was part of a strictly stock-only challenge submission.