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    Bottle Rocketeer

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  1. Launched a Jupiter probe using the Venus-Earth-Earth trajectory. Theoretically it should have enough dV to force the issue at Callisto, but the hope is that with a few more gravity assists it can land on Ganymede. The launcher is an Ariane 5 with a Vinci upper stage. Going the long way round, we might as well go for the full package with 14 minutes to LEO. Leaving home. No clouds due to potato computer. the transfer was slightly more expensive than usual (4,2 km/s), but the upper stage had plenty of fuel to spare. Aiming for Venus and adjusting the encounter to get in the vicinity of Earth down the line. After a successful Venus flyby it's time to aim for the Earth. Back home. One more visit in ~2 years, then off to Jupiter. Aiming for the 2nd Earth encounter. Almost two years later it's time to do some final adjustments to the Earth encounter. In another 4,5 years (7,5 since the launch) we should be arriving at Jupiter. Hopefully I didn't miscalculate the solar panel output.
  2. Nah, this is RP0(or RP1 to be precise). You don't run out of electricity unless you fly for months. Engines said flamed out and couldn't be brought back to life. Meanwhile I landed a traditional 16min burn time probe in Mare Crisium and did a second shot at the whole Surveyor thing. Didn't quite work out, although I had very similar component weights. I suspect I came in shallower than the real thing and so mimicking their burn altitude left me too high with too little fuel. Happens when you try to eyeball suicide burns, I guess. My Atlas-Centaur equivalent. 2xH-1B, 2xRL10A-3-3. Aiming for Mare Imbrium. SRB lit. Verniers sorta ran out of fuel, crashed into the surface at 30-40 m/s. Probe lost 2 landing legs and 1 engine, but is fine otherwise. Well that and it can't deploy one solar panel.. Great Success!
  3. Crashed into the Moon while trying to do a Surveyor style landing. Turns out if you disable fuel supply from the tank it kills the engines for good and they can't be restarted again. Ever.
  4. Yeah, Kodiak. The whole career runs from it. It's a little side project to get away from the 'target the Moon, wait until relative inclination hits zero, launch' routine one tends to get at the Cape. IIRC they're mostly doing polar launches/missile testing there in real life, but there's a fair bit of clear ocean to the SE which I'm (ab)using.
  5. Started sending up communication satellites both for better LEO coverage and for the 4-sat network contract. The trajectory is a bit convoluted since the only restartable engines I have atm are hydrazine thrusters with whole 198s of Isp. But it's still well within capacity of my slightly evolved original (and only) LV, no need to design anything new, nor upgrade the launchpad beyond 60t. I'm pretty sure that if I stuck a bigger solid motor on top of it (say STAR37) I could send stuff to inner planets. Will probably investigate in the next few days. LR89-NA-6, RD-0109, Altair I and a bunch of hydrazine in the probe itself. Initial orbit. 220x5700 km. A bit inclined because it launched from Alaska. Part of it is due to latitude, part to avoid California on the way up. Burning the Altair to roughly circularize. The target orbit is 7000x7000 km so the probe continues burning a bit further on its own. Then when the time is right it circularizes. This one overburned slightly and then came back to get further behind the first sat. Over home. 2 down(or up?), 2 to go.
  6. Launched a low-tech Lunar mission, or rather its beta version in the sandbox. I've started playing the new RP-0 tree using a mixture of Russian and American hardware launching from Alaska. There's an awesome spreadsheet that computes launch windows to the Moon from higher latitudes, however it assumes heading directly east, which would mean dropping stages on BC/Continental US. Though it also outputs LAN of the desired orbit which is fairly easy to reach after a couple of test flights in sandbox. LR89 1st stage, RD0105 2nd, Altair solid rocket motor for the transfer. The last one limits the TLI capacity, the LV could obviously bring up more. 300x250 km orbit at 64,5° inclination. Well away from the west coast. Bit too high, I can't really fly high-thrust ascents properly. Overburned slightly, using onboard supply of N2O to correct. Burning for orbit. The probe is a variant of my early egg orbiters with lighter avioncs and N2O tanks instead of batteries. Captured in a 12h orbit.
  7. Landed a small probe on Mars. No pics, the Potato Visual Enhancements think Mars' atmosphere is blue and green for some reason. The orbiter then departed on a slightly convoluted journey to Deimos. Could have even gone for Phobos if I hadn't entered orbit carelessly. 80° relative inclination proved to be too much.
  8. Landed on the Moon in my RP-0 save. I overbuilt the thing quite a bit to account for my non-existent landing skills, ran out of fuel just as I was about to touch down anyway. It has 40 kg when fueled (~1800 m/s) and lasts about 5 hours on the surface. I may or may not have abused the hell out of procedural probe cores and bipropellant thrusters.
  9. Personally I'm using Flyby Finder with this plugin for MechJeb to figure out when/where to launch. Works both for stock and RSS. With Jool you might be better off launching to Eve and then going Eve-Kerbin-Kerbin. That one is a bit tricky with Flyby Finder, might be easier in TOT (not sure, never used it).
  10. Launched a Venus (hopefully) lander. Got bored of building a new LV every 2-3 missions, this time I'm sticking to my Atlas-ish (engine and performance-wise, not staging) rocket and only switch upper stages when necessary. 400kg to Venus is on its limit, maybe a bit beyond, so I added a solid kick motor just to be sure. Had some precession trouble, but after an obligatory 25m/s burn just outside of Earth's SOI I have a good encounter and a 400km periapsis. The probe itself has about 250 m/s, so no hope of ever entering orbit. Hopefully I'm coming from the right side.
  11. Mostly that. An Earth-Jupiter-Saturn(etc) trajectory will most likely take you to somewhere within Io's orbit. I don't think anyone would doubt that you've been to Jupiter at that point, no need to go to fractions of its diameter. Besides other IRL concerns above.
  12. The planetary flyby contracts are a bit weird. 20000 km is okay-ish for inner planets, but seems a bit excessive for Jupiter and beyond.
  13. Landed on Triton. Originally i wanted an orbiter to find out what the dV budget is, should I ever decide to visit it in the future. Overengineered it to the point where I could take off, get to orbit and land again. Well, enough margin for a bigger payload or faster transit. Also found out that delta-v charts on the internet lie. There's no stable orbit at 100km - the atmosphere in KSP begins at 110km, although it really only kills your timewarp.
  14. Landed a probe on Mars for the first time. Had some issuses with parachutes pushing me to one side, however applying moar thrust solved everything. Then I used the remaining fuel in the orbiter to land on Phobos, because why the hell not.
  15. Went to Callisto. I can do an okay-ish VEEGA, flying between the moons is still pretty sloppy though. Not to mention the landing, spent another couple of minutes trying to flip the damn thing back into correct position. The rig should have enough delta-v to do Ganymede, so that's probably what I'll do next.
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