Vermil

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About Vermil

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  1. Well, this isn't exactly today. I have hardly had any time to play and even less to post. So this started some days ago. But just to put up some context: As probably none, possibly one, will remember, Vermil's Space Agency had planned a number of new missions. There was team Gamma's anomaly hunt on Mun, Alpha team's Hover Rover test and exploration on Minmus, team Beta's first manned mission to Gilly, then the first manned mission to Vall and an hopefully anomaly hunting mission to Laythe. It got off to a bad start. Team Gamma crashed and got stranded on Mun and team Alpha performed the subsequent rescue mission. Because of this, the two first missions got scratched. But team Beta's visit to Gilly was a huge success. So now it's time for the big Jool missions. The transfer window is rapidly approaching. Team Delta was in turn and was offered the Vall mission. But “Cerly's gang”, Cerly, Eilla and Asdra had dreamed about Laythe for years and - probably correctly - assumed that their chance to ever get to visit that far away moon with atmosphere and seas, would probably burn if they accepted Vall. Their own personal dreams took precedence over the prestige and fame of a first landing. So team Epsilon, Danvey (of Duna potato farm fame), Lealian and Lindra, got the Vall mission instead. Since budget and resources would be exhausted anyway, it was decided to launch both Jool missions simultaneously and focus everything on these for as long as they ran. So Dr Horst and MC Kermin (“Mission Control”, head of mission control) had some hard work ahead, getting the giant rockets ready. Both being based on the famed Kronos family. First, the ladder system needed serious attention. This was of course in perfect order in Kronos C, but since then “subtle version-fluctuations in the Universe” had changed things. After many hours of painful tweaking, and Jebediah test climbing (as usual), the ladders were finally put in working order. Next were the landing struts. These have recently exhibited a behavior of slipping and sliding and exploding. Much effort was spent on these, not the least because it was so awkward and time consuming to test. The mood was for long pretty pessimistic, but in the end a workable solution was found, a combination of limiting landing speeds to 2-3 m/s, stiffening springs and damping, and using girder blocks to protect the ground clearance (and thus the rocket nozzles). Dr Horst was finally smiling happily and MC Kermin released a big breath of relief. Kronos D is a further refinement of the famous Laythe rocket. Kronos E incorporating the same refinements as D, but being modified for landing and taking off from Vall. Parachutes are removed and powerful attitude nossles are added for increased pitch control. Kronos D lander will use roughly a fourth of its chemical fuel for the landing, and three fourths for the takeoff. Kronos E, which can't use parachutes, uses half for the landing and half for the takeoff. That takes care of the differences of atmosphere and gravity. Not much other modifications are needed. The big day came up and everybody could tell how pleased Dr Horst was at finally getting rid of the enormous rocket monsters from his VAB. Mission Control, otoh, was pale and in his usual Jool anxiety, only doubled up this time, worrying for his precious astronauts' safety. And doubtless, this is serious. They will be away on a horribly long trip, far, far away from any possible rescue if something should happen. Comfort is that the Kronos has made this trip three times before. And these are the two best Kronos rockets ever built. The astronauts don't seem worried though. Cerly, Eilla and Asdra are more like euphoric. Finally, they are on their way to their big adventure. Cerly did a great job of piloting the launch. She set a new record for the Kronos with amount of chemical fuel left and a nice circular orbit of 241 km. She followed Tandan's example (Kronos C) and flew mostly on manual, only briefly relying on SAS. This seems to be the key to both get a highly lateral trajectory and be flying 'clean' (attitude) when ejecting empty rockets. Danvey, Lealian and Lindra soon followed. Danvey actually did even better - very slightly - than Cerly. But since his rocket was a special version and somewhat lighter, comparisons can't be made. Both rockets were able to burn for a direct escape from Kerbin, using only chemical rockets. This means that the Kronos finally accomplish one of it's original design goals: Launch, orbit and escape on its first set of chemical rockets. Proving that the first design was sound. Too conservative (or inexperienced) piloting was the issue, not Dr Horst's estimates.
  2. - Of course! - Because they occur during testing! That's the entire point of testing, to discover flaws.
  3. 1,300 hours into the game I do not have this problem. And I'm still on my second game. I've only played two. My pre v1. game which I abandoned because of the big changes which made all my rockets and everything I'd learned useless. And then I still play the v1 game I started instead. I play Science Sandbox. And while I've released myself from the requirement of playing stock only, that's still pretty much what I do in practice. I've plenty of ideas. I haven't done manned landing on Eve yet, which is still the mt. Everest looming ahead of me. And I've just visited - no landing - Dres, Eeloo and Moho with unmanned probes. Plenty things left. Ball? - Oh you were soo lucky... We had to kick a stone. Barefoot.
  4. For me, it all boils down to: Small Steps. That's really it. I've glanced through this thread, but some of it is things I don't care for, ways I don't want to play. And the rest, well, it's small steps. That is how I found happiness in KSP. And I test a lot. One of the things I decided even before I started to play this game was to do my damnest to keep my astronauts alive. So I try to make sure the rocket is immaculate before sending off a mission. There's almost always some small glitch somewhere anyway, but that just reinforces the importance of testing and checklists. That's one reason I've put off playing 'career-mode'. I wouldn't have budget enough for the testing (actually, I suppose one could do 'revert' and so on, but my immersion in my playing style could wander off). ...And moar boosters. Or bigger engines in the first stage. It's important for the fuel budget to get going early.
  5. Impatient to get back into the comfort of the lavish Ikaros rocket, the team saw no reasons to delay boarding. They did however anticipate difficulties to catch the ladder. Low gravity, remember. As it was, they were wrong. There were no problems at all. You just aim for the ladder, take a step and <F> grab. Very easy. But they had to complicate matters first. They wrongly figured it might help to park the Rover close to the ladder so they would be like squeezed towards it. Since it worked fine for Valentina as first one, they congratulated themselves for their cleverness. But they were wrong.When Kimene tried next, something still unexplained happened. She bounced against something that kicked her violently away. Scared that she might go into orbit or even escape Gilly, Kimene had the presence of mind to activate her RCS and blast downwards. She eventually landed again. Far, far away. Madly drove after with the Hover-Rover and picked her up. Back at the Ikaros again they discovered that no cleverness was needed. It was quite easy and safe to board in a more conventional way. So the moment came to begin the journey back. A very gentle whiff with the rocket does it. Goodbye Gilly, and goodbye Eve. The trip home was the usual painstaking maneuvering and burning. The Ikaros felt perfectly safe in terms of fuel budget all the way. Quite different from when our brave astronauts return from Jool. That is always a scary struggle and on all three missions done sofar it's been the last drops. Re-entry these days is just scary for Mission Control. The poor stand-up guy can't stop worrying and the flames are so scary. Mind you, he's seen some unmanned test vehicles explode over the years. The astronauts though, fully trust their spaceship and seem to figure they're already as good as home. The landing missed with a few meters. But then Dr Horst and Mission Control didn't exactly bust their balls in ensuring accuracy. Doesn't matter. The science points harvest was 1423.7, just slightly short of the estimated 1500. So, until next mission. It will either be first to Vall or fourth to Laythe. Discussions are ongoing. Both will be done, it's just the order that is undecided.
  6. After some good rest, some video gaming, some cookies and tea, some more sleeping,.. some snacks and soda,.. (Mission Control: - FFS! - Guys?..) ...the gals finally felt ready to explore Gilly. The two Rovers dropped perfectly without hitch when the button was pressed. Madly drew the short stick and had to go first and test the ladders. Sure, Jebediah have already done that, but this is in very low gravity and you never know. Yes, it was Madly who had that experience with the separator rocket crossing the ladder on Kronos_B at Laythe, but this time there was no scary moment. She climbed all the way down, up, and down again without problems. Next, she took the first step on the surface. This image is still in the beginning of that step. Well, it might be a small step for Kerbalkind, but it's a huge leap for one little Kerbal astronaut. Madly decided one step was enough and took the surface sample and planted the flag right there. Which was maybe good, because it made it easy for the others to join her. One single step to the flag. ...And then the traditional group portrait. They have a few of those now. There were some amusing moments when mounting the Rover, but the gravity is so low they didn't even get any scratches in their helmets. And you know, you learn after a while. The Gals were unsure of what to do. It would sort of depend on how the Rover performed. (This is where we remember that this Hover-Rover was scheduled to be tested on Minmus by Jebediah, Bill and Bob. That expedition unfortunately had to be cancelled due to that budget was used up by the emergency rescue mission they had to do instead, to pick up Tandan, Sigrid and Bilfal who crashed on Mun.) Well, the new Hover-Rover, specially developed in anticipation of the low gravity on Gilly, performed brilliantly, exceeding all expectations. They set out Westward. Some may notice that this is a three-seat Rover, rather than the traditional four-seat concept that Dr Horst and Jebediah typically come up with. Well, in this particular case it was important that it was perfectly balanced. The Rover worked so well the gals eventually decided to circumnavigate the entire moon. Fuel consumption was negligible. But even travelling due West (as the sun) they outran the sun and it began to darken. They had a discussion about what to do. Valentina wanted to go on. Madly and Kimene were in favor of stopping and waiting for the Sun to catch up. One concern was that they wouldn't see anything - if there was something important or interesting to see -, another was the risk of soaring around blindly in the night. They could crash. Then what? A long way to walk. The discussion ended abruptly when Kimene drily noticed they were running out of electricity. The solar panels don't work in the night. So Valentina had to set down the Rover. Well, they had to set down a second time later, to wait for the sun again. Unfortunately, and to their mild disappointment, they never saw anything remarkable, even if the wild landscape is sort of fascinating. But eventually they had closed the circle and approached their landed Ikaros_I rocket from the East. And this was such a long and taxing Rover trip that we call it a day and leave them there. Successes? First manned landing on Gilly. First flag planted on Gilly. First surface sample. About 1,500 science points. Hover-Rover smashing success. First circumnavigation of Gilly. Well they don't have any more science abilities, so other binomes have to be left for others. Tomorrow, they'll likely start their journey home.
  7. Plans met with RL today and lost. There was no time. Tomorrow maybe.
  8. Nope. Definitely not. I'm not on Reddit and never have been. This is fresh stuff. The rocket nozzles are still warm. My post was authored directly in our forum's edit window, so it didn't exist anywhere in the whole world - not even on my own computer - until the moment I clicked "Submit Reply". I think so. They're indispensable for delicate positioning and maneuvers. And I think you will want to use your plane for refueling, rescue etc at some time.
  9. Well, it was time for a significant mission. Gilly. The first manned mission to Gilly's surface and back. It doubles as the first manned mission to do an encounter with Eve. Dr Horst von Kermin, Mission Control, Bill and Jebediah carefully went through the Ikaros rocket to create the Ikaros_I version. A special version for Gilly, modified from Ikaros_H, which like all other Ikaros versions is normally for missions to Duna. First, Ikaros_H was worked over. Wise from the recent rescue operation with Lensman to Mun, the ladder system was examined. As suspected, subtle fluctuations had also affected Ikaros and the position of several ladder elements needed to be adjusted. Jebediah relentlessly test climbed the ladder until he was satisfied. Next, Bill insisted on that the staging sequence should be looked over. And quite rightly, several funny things were discovered. The two first stages had switched places, and then ejections of the heat shields had somehow sneaked into the sequence, - in disastrous order. Apparently the contractor now delivers heat shields with integral ejection. - Why FFS? as Dr Kermin diplomatically put it. As glitches - brought in by fluctuations and changes to specifications - were progressively fixed, Dr Horst and Mission Control got down to the modifications to produce the I-version from the H-version. Basically, the Duna-landing-parachutes were removed, and considerably increased RCS control nozzles were installed. More lights were mounted and the rovers were exchanged for the special, new Hover-Rover. The crew was the one picked well in advance. The second senior team: Valentina, Madly and Kimene. The gals were absolutely delighted to be on a big expedition again. And this time, the first to set foot on Gilly. The journey was flown by hand as usual, and tricky, requiring repeated aligning burns. But eventually they became the first to see Eve with their own eyes. Nor was insertion into Gilly orbit much easier. But the gals had plenty of propellant and Valentina could do it step by step, and still have almost one fuel tank left. Landing operations feel pretty safe, but also take a lot of time. Both things due to the extremely low gravity. There was a glitch in the inertia-nav map-view, which almost fooled Valentina to fly straight into Gilly, believing she was much higher above the wildly undulating terrain. But everything went well, and Valentina managed to put down the rocket on a somewhat horizontal piece of ground. Not something that is exactly abundant on Gilly. The gals then did some research thingys, dined & wined and rested in the low grav. Tomorrow they will go out & down and feel the surface. But now, rest.
  10. Looks great and promising. Thank you very much. Now I just have to figure out how to assign individual textures to the Kerbals. I'm supposed to be able to do that according to the "instructions", but no clue as to how? Edit: P.S. think I'm gonna check out the alternative "Idiotproof instructions". Edit2: P.S. No I won't, because they don't seem to exist anymore. Oh well, gonna fly a mission instead.
  11. Since I now, finally, have started to conservatively use some mods, I'm just looking for the minimum, those things I think are missing from the game. Such things include rocket parts with stock-like performance which help me to bring down parts count, or fit into a natural gap instead of some crude fix bolted together from stock parts. But another thing I've long wanted (because of the strong roleplay taint that my game has acquired) is to tweak the looks of my Kerbals slightly. Just small things, like hair and maybe eyebrows. So, having failed to find something using CurseForge's search, I'm now asking the community. Is there a way to do this?
  12. Uhm,.. sorry to say this, but: Success. I'm forced to think, try and test hard enough to succeed. And I do. Of course I haven't tried and succeeded with everything yet. That's why there's still a point to play the game. I don't do failures. When there's something going wrong in an unmanned test, it's a success. And it also means a strange family of 15 astronauts (I'm amazed they are so many when I count them, because I know each of them so well, everyone with their own personality, they don't seem so many) and two quirky engineers, and one aloof and half insane director. They're a lot of fun.
  13. Manned high-budget missions to the surface (and return) of other planets and moons. Without any docking or refueling. With minimum 3-man crew in a lavishly comfortable rocket.
  14. No, as far as I'm concerned you're doing it exactly right. Progressive exploring and development from milestone to milestone, learning another bit. It was not until I started playing like that I was able to enjoy the game. I'll go farther and say that this is the essential gameplay content of KSP. There's no 'right' way to do this. People have different ethics. Some like to do everything as small and efficiently as possible. I play science mode because my mind is stuck in the big visions, like Saturn-Apollo and the unlimited budget big projects. And manned expeditions.
  15. I may have had that problem. Original theory was that the re-entry was made at a slanting angle. But thinking about it, I don't think I had closed the doors.