• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,285 Excellent


About Norcalplanner

Recent Profile Visitors

4,774 profile views
  1. Norcalplanner

    Duna Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge

    The only thing I've done so far for this challenge is to think, write, and visualize. Haven't even fired up a spreadsheet or KSP for this yet, and I'm already having a blast. That said, my current mission report (link in sig) is taking up most of my KSP time right now, so this may continue to be coffee break and commute time musings until after 1.4.5 drops.
  2. Chapter 5 - Station Time, and Other Eventful Moments Let's check in on our professional, well-trained workforce, shall we? What the.... Is there a research node for improved snacks?!? After much deliberation, it's decided that it's finally time for our first station. The original idea was to make it primarily out of MOLE parts, but unfortunately MOLE and Kerbal Health don't play nicely, particularly in the radiation shielding department. Out of an abundance of caution for the health of our intrepid explorers, a station is made using a combination of stock and MOLE parts. Hopefully we'll be able to get some labtime with the stock science lab. Heading up. I think that this is the last craft where I misspelled "Belisama." Shortly after making a mid-course correction en route to our nearest celestial neighbor. We had separate contracts for a Nodens station and a Belisama station. Being both crafty and thrifty, we fulfilled both contracts with the one vessel. And we're there! You can see solar panels from both MOLE and SSTU. (Side note: I've really gotten used to playing in larger scaled systems - the lifter to launch this station and the upper stage to take it to Belisama seemed way too small to my eye.) The Wren II is built and launched with four crew members for the station. A revised design using a LFO core with two good-sized SRBs, this lifter has plenty of delta V to get the crew (plus lots of snacks!) to Belisama and back. And BARIS tried to make something fail just to let us know he's still around and still cares about making things interesting. Good SRB sep. Good transfer to Belisama and rendezvous with the station. And now we're docked. The station has been collecting science from as many biomes as possible on its journey to Belisama, so that the two scientists that are part of the crew can have some data to work with. Over 40 experiment results are waiting in the science container on top of the station. Let the research commence! Hi! It's BARIS over here! I just made things more expensive! Don't forget about me! A shorter range version of the Wren II is created, with a greater emphasis on recovery. Using Stage Recovery and stock settings, the SRBs are recovered for over 95% of their value, while the central core is recovered for more than 80% of its value. Burnin' to orbit and lookin' good! Welcome to the program, Trilin. Try not to get too much space dust on the three tourists who are also in the craft. BARIS keeps trying to make things fail. I think he didn't get enough attention as a child. Checking in on the station, it's clear that the accommodations leave a bit to be desired. Everyone is at less than 80% health. We might not be able to stay as long as we thought. It looks like the WBI cupola isn't recognized as such by Kerbal Health, so the station isn't as comfortable for long-term visits as was intended. We'll make unlocking the standard cupola a priority. Hello, it's BARIS! B... A... R... I... S... Remember me? I'm still over here with a bunch of these event card things. I also have a gross of monkey wrenches and a good throwing arm. (This one was an honest to goodness LOL moment.) How long will the crew be able to stay at the station? Find out... in the next chapter.
  3. Norcalplanner

    Duna Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge

    Truer words have rarely been spoken. And just like planning a long vacation trip, the thinking and planning are half the fun.
  4. Norcalplanner

    Duna Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge

    @Death Engineering I think its pretty clear that all hardware, and any resource which eventually becomes hardware (such as MaterialKits or Equipment to expand inflatable habitats) needs to come from Kerbin as part of the NPM. A question on life support - if one were to use USI-LS, would we be allowed to mine ore or gypsum to convert it into fertilizer to supply greenhouses to create new supplies? Doing so would allow a base on Duna to become self-sufficient in the LS department, at least up to whatever the capacity is of the greenhouses and recyclers that have been shipped from Kerbin and successfully landed on Duna.
  5. Norcalplanner

    Duna Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge

    I think the intent is that any part which achieves an orbit with an Ap greater than 180km above Kerbin is part of the NPM.
  6. Chapter 4 - Smashy McSmashface and The Inadequate One It's not too complicated to figure out how to make a better impact probe. Rearrange the upper stage so it weighs more on impact, and... ADD MOAR BOOSTERS! Sisyphus II, aka "Smashy McSmashface" takes to the sky. Speeding towards fate. Stay on target... GOAL!!! Over 6 km/s combined with a higher mass means that we exceeded our target of 4.79 GJ. Time to do something else. Walking off the job wasn't quite what I had in mind. At least you can see that the funds situation is improving, and we've been upgrading some facilities. Another quick tourist flight with the Wren I. No catastrophic failures this time. But this is fairly mundane. We need something more interesting... That's more like it. Our first craft designed to exit Nodens' SOI. We'll try going inward first, just to see how close we can get to Taranis. And find out of the craft is going to melt. It's a four stage probe, featuring the Hemi Cuda from MOLE. I'm really liking the Cuda and the Corvette, especially with some additional tech upgrades. A bit OP, but I don't mind. Leaving Nodens pretty quickly at this point. Much science as we approach Grannus, the red dwarf at the middle of this system. Heat levels seem OK so far. Pretty! In a bit of an anti-climax, nothing happened. Maybe we should rename this probe "Meh". We didn't have enough delta V to make it to Taranis, we didn't experience any overheating problems, and we didn't make it to "Low in Space above Grannus" even though Pe was just 280,000 km. It's easy to forget that Nodens is much closer to Grannus than Moho is to Kerbol, and Taranis is insanely close to Grannus. That's it for this chapter, but better things are in the next one... like our first station!
  7. Norcalplanner

    Duna Outpost Mission Architecture Challenge

    This looks interesting, but the OCD part of me wants to know if there is some sort of consensus regarding what is considered a "balanced mod". Is there any whitelist or blacklist? I would be particularly interested in thoughts regarding the following: Ven's Stock Revamp Bluedog Design Bureau SSTU The WBI suite (Pathfinder, MOLE, and possibly DSEV) USI-Core (particularly the reactors) The Near Future suite (Propulsion would likely be off the table, but what about the rest?) Any info would be welcome.
  8. Chapter 3 - Killing Three and a Half Birds With One Stone With the need to finish off the Belisama Probes strategy, another lander probe is needed. But with the cost of new designs continuing to increase due to Test Bench time, the need to complete multiple missions with a single craft becomes even more urgent. In a flash of inspiration, several additional contracts are accepted and a new unorthodox probe is fabricated. Just before it's rolled out to the pad, yet another BARIS event card appears: You win some, you lose some. Back to the probe, shown here burning for a polar orbit: Yep, the new probe designed for landing is outfitted with both a low-res terrain radar (courtesy of SCANsat) and a ground seismometer (courtesy of Impact!). The probe completes a terrain scan of Nodens, then heads for Belisama at the opportune moment. After completing an orbital terrain scan of Belisama (two contracts checked off) the probe heads down for a darker spot. As we get closer it looks flat. I mean, really flat. Could it be...? Hallelujah! For the first time since Minmus, an absolutely flat biome (even called the "Flats") is found. It's almost like this moon wants, nay, needs to have a sprawling base built on it. Not too bad in the view department either - since the planet and moon are tidally locked, Nodens will always be low in the sky. And this was the third biome, so Belisama Probes is in the books. Next, it's time to do multiple missions, but with some Kerbals. The science and funds generated from the Scansat probe's contracts proved large enough to make a somewhat reliable crew launcher. But since one of the missions involves docking, we need something to dock to. This docking target is huge! And by huge, I mean less than a quarter of a ton. Time for the inaugural flight of the Wren I. With a solid booster stage! And Val and Bill in their first orbital flight! The craft got to orbit OK, despite some minor malfunctions which were solved on the fly by switching to backup systems. Bill mutters something about "setting SCE to Aux". First up is docking... Followed by three rescues of Kerbals stranded in low equatorial orbits. Welcome to the space program, Elgar, Serena and Enger! Time to land this puppy. After turning retrograde and burning to lower the Pe, everything appears fine. BOOM! The upper stage fuel tank decided to blow itself up. Amazingly, the engine and solar panels stay in formation briefly before drifting away. The new recruits look at each other, laugh nervously, and wonder what sort of slipshod operation they just joined. A quick glance at the One Window readout shows what happened - cascading problems in the tank culminating in a catastrophic failure. Thankfully, everyone made it down OK. Docking and three rescues with a single craft. Not too bad, apart from the need for everyone to change their underwear due to the whole tank-exploding event. Back to Belisama - in order to finish the last probe contract and put that seismometer to use, a small impactor craft is launched. Sisyphus I is a four stage unmanned probe designed for one thing - to slam into Belisama at high speed. The craft looks vaguely impressive, in part due to some forced perspective, before one notices that the darn thing is only 0.625m in diameter. The craft comes zipping into Belisama and impacts at over 5 km/s, but the low mass of the craft means that the goal of 4.79 GJ isn't reached. We'll need to try again, in the next chapter...
  9. Norcalplanner

    What is your save/space agency called?

    Kerbal Administration for Big Overpowered Orbital Machines. aka KABOOM Flag in my sig is courtesy of my artistically inclined daughter. She also made the badge I used back when I ran the Grand Orbital Space Station Challenge:
  10. Norcalplanner

    Boring company

    I understand and agree with the sentiment behind them requesting a 15332 infill exemption. But as a CEQA practitioner, they appear to be on very thin ice, seeing as how the unusual circumstances clause in 15300 can be used to invalidate the exemption. And given CEQA's extremely broad standing criteria, just about anyone can file suit to stop the project. A master programmatic EIR with focused EIRs for each segment in turn would appear to be the way to go. Either that, or build the thing in another state.
  11. I was just reading the PDF with all the planet data bundled with GEP, and it looks like you previously determined that the solar constant at Nodens is 1,333 W/m2. I think I'll ratchet it down to this figure - 1,360 was seeming just a bit much.
  12. Be forewarned - BARIS is not for the faint of heart. I'd recommend moving a few of the difficulty settings down a notch. And please read the manual - it has a lot of information on how the mod works. I'd also recommend using it with KCT, which is a bit more intuitive to me when it comes to vehicle integration.
  13. Those are from BARIS, a mod by Angel-125. Part failures and the need to integrate craft to make them more reliable are the center of the mod, but there are also some other gameplay elements, such as the event cards, which spice things up a bit.
  14. Chapter 2 - Making Orbit and Heading for Belisama After further effort, Jeb finally made orbit in yet another M3. Unfortunately, the photographer was nowhere to be found during this auspicious event. The only photographic evidence is the award ceremony after Jeb returned... The Nodens Space Program is currently recruiting for a new photographer. With other parts supporting manned flight not yet unlocked, and with both science and funds in short supply, it's decided to go unmanned for the next few launches. But first, a timely event card awards some bonus science: Belisima Probe Alpha is wheeled out to the pad and sent aloft on a solid booster, since that's better developed and cheaper at the moment. There may have been a revert or two in here - Gene's notes became indecipherable after a coffee-laden spit take. (And yes, I know I spelled Belisama incorrectly on these first few probes. We'll correct it in the future.) Sorry for the number of dark photos - Nodens is tidally locked with Belisama, so days and nights are each a week long. With a few key strategies enabled (such as "To Boldly Go"), Belisima Probe Alpha is a real cash and science bonanza. Many nodes are unlocked, along with a few facility upgrades. Of course, with the good comes the bad... With orbital science around Belisama taken care of, it's time to land. The Belisama Probes strategy is selected, and a new, larger probe is sent aloft - this time with landing struts. We also fulfilled a contract to place a satellite in a high equatorial orbit with this launch, so the departure from Nodens was rather picturesque. The probe entered orbit and headed down and hopped to a few different locations. Without any map of Belisama's biomes, our guesswork proved insufficient. The probe landed three times before running low on fuel, but only in two biomes. We'll need to send another probe to finish off the Belisama Probes contract... in the next chapter.
  15. Norcalplanner

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Took some tourists for a spin and rescued a new recruit in my GEP Primary career. Ended up landing in the mountains, but thankfully the chutes still worked well enough to avoid any major problems. And I started a mission report for this career, which can be found here: