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Everything posted by UnusualAttitude

  1. Slow down guys... politics and uhm... illicit medicinal plants... are both hot topics here. If we drag in both this thread is doomed. Let's stick to potatoes and carrots, shall we.. The results will be interesting, but one of the things I couldn't help but notice is that the new system "requires minimal crew involvement to install the science, add water, and perform other maintenance activities". If I was a space gardener on a deep space mission I would actually look forward to getting my hands dirty, doncha think? It's one of the main reasons why I moved out of Toulouse city centre and into the suburbs, and eventually I hope to move out into the country proper. Ideally, I'd like a field of wheat at the bottom of my garden so that I can sit and listen to the sound of the wind running through it for hours on end. Hell, I'll plant one myself if I have to... Toulouse is just an hour away via EasyJet, or an afternoon on the train. Si tu passes dans le coin, appelle-moi...
  2. Yes, that's (a slightly younger) me. The good news is that you can use tomatoes and courgettes in so many different dishes: ratatouille, curries, bolognese, couscous, salads, soups... Never tried, but apparently you can even make jam out of zucchini. I've found that having a nice lawn and having domestic animals isn't really compatible...
  3. Wotchit, son. This dad was shredding when you were still in junior school.
  4. The thrust figures will not be realistic in any case, simply because it is not practical to simulate the sort of thrust you would get from an electric drive in KSP due to time constraints. I know there is a mod that is supposed to make thrusting under time warp possible, but last I heard it had... issues. And, besides, I will be running several missions at once in many cases, which is not compatible with such a mod. For the record, its thrust is the same as the VASIMR engines from Near Future propulsion. I do try and emulate the limits of solar/nuclear electric propulsion, however: note that I use chemical transfer stages for my ion probes, and that all my crewed missions will depart from Lunar distant retrograde orbit, high in Earth's gravity well (to avoid a long, slow transfer through the Van Allen belts). OK, this I understand perfectly, will tweak ISP figures accordingly. The Electrodeless Lorentz Force (ELF) thruster is actually a thing, by the way. I didn't invent it. Developed by a company called MSNW, it supposed to be the bees' knees of plasma thrusters and was selected for a NextSTEP award by NASA in 2015 (along with Ad Astra and VASIMR). It can use all kinds of propellant, from the usual argon/xenon gas to CO2 and even water, and I assume it does what you proposed here... I chose it for its versatility in terms of propellant (ISRU will be mandatory), and because some nice person made a model for it in KSP....
  5. And I have (in no particular order) a full-time job, a second freelance job, a son, two teenage step-children, a rock band, an unhealthy interest in the physics and history of aviation and spaceflight, a time-consuming RSS mission report to write, and a wife who likes to see me (from time to time...). The trick is to sleep less. If it helps, here is a picture of my chickens silently judging you.
  6. Ya, for a start unlike its predecessor, it no longer has a couple of rockets strapped to the fuselage that would probably burn through the main fuel tanks... And the Mark IV parts are very distinctive, no offense intended to Nertea's great mod. I read through the game description and it sounds remarkably similar to what I'm trying to do here (get large quantities of water to Earth orbit, although not for industrial purposes, yet...) By the way, what do you think of the specs for my ELF thruster? Does it deserve the "hard sci-fi" stamp of approval?
  7. None of the stock or modded dual cycle engines I know of come anywhere near being able to SSTO in RSS. I use my own custom .cfg file that is as close to the REL SABRE as possible (taking into account there are many unknowns, notably its mass...). You can find these figures online. I can send you the .cfg if you want, but my gamedata file is such a mess of hacks and re-modded stuff that I can't guarantee it will work for you. Just drop a PM if you're brave enough to try it. The model for the engine is from Nertea's MkIV system mod, re-modded to be a 3,75m part.
  8. Thanks. I redesign my spaceplane with each new version of KSP, and this iteration was a real pain to get right: unlike previous variants this one burns LH2/LOx (like Skylon). Also, this one has a low wing with outboard engines (also like Skylon) and this sort of airframe is a challenge to balance using FAR aero. Wobble wobble, flip out at Mach 5 and 20+ kms, every single time. I got it eventually, but this is one of the reasons for the big delay between parts four and five of this story. And it's still not perfect, as we shall soon see...
  9. Today: melons, sweetcorn, carrots, leeks, lettuce, chard... Fortunately, I have my Little Helper, Woppit.
  10. YEAR 13 OVERVIEW. This year saw many major changes to the space programme's objectives and infrastructure. Operations were gradually shifted from the Pacific island of Omelek to Madang, a new launch site situated just five degrees south of the equator on a wide coastal plain. The space available allowed the construction of a five kilometre long runway, greatly facilitating spaceplane operations. Projects carried out during Year 13 included the development and testing of the new RLV-class SSTO spaceplane, a renewal and extension of the orbital communications network, both for low orbital operations and deep space probes. A new space telescope was launched. The first infrastructure that will enable extended crewed operations starting in Year 14 was also launched towards the end of Year 13: the first E-Tug, acting as a test bed for the ELF thruster, and a station to be launched to high lunar orbit. This station will act as a staging-post for Near Earth mining operations with the eventual goal of stockpiling large quantities of propellant for future exploration missions down to the Moon's surface, as well as into the main asteroid belt and beyond. A large crewed ship – NES Prosperity – will be built early in Year 14. This will be the first of several NES (Near Earth Ship) vessels. Their goal will be to set up the first mining operations on several Near Earth Objects. In the long term, most of these mining stations will be remotely operated, but the first generation will be crewed in order to ensure that the experimental equipment performs as expected. Vermilion Space Telescope At the end of Year 12, the Trans Pacific Research Institute also ordered a powerful infrared telescope to be deployed into MEO. At the request of several Investigators, a new instrument was required to provide a more detailed map of the Sol System's smaller bodies. VST was launched into a 200x200 km orbit by an RLV-11 spaceplane on Day 112. From there, its Hall thruster propulsion unit gradually raised it into a 6,500x6,500 km orbit from which it began its scientific mission. DSN Orbital Earlier this year, the Board looked in to launching an orbital deep space communications relay, in order to be free from dependancy on a ground-based network, for strategic reasons. The JX-2 deployable antenna developed by SH Engineering Dynamics allowed such a concept to become viable, and was integrated with a solar electric drive using Hall effect thrusters. This gave the vehicle sufficient delta-v to reach a very distant polar orbit (close to the limit of Earth's Hill sphere) whilst maintaining compatibility with the launch capacity of the RLV-8 SSTO, despite the considerable mass of the antenna array (3.5 tonnes). RLV-8 with DSN Orbital was launched on Year 13, Day 125. The payload was successfully injected into a 200x200km orbit at a 5° inclination. DSN then boosted its apogee up to 500,000 km before circularising and switching its inclination to 90 degrees over a period of several weeks. The final orbit is polar and outside the orbit of the Moon, where line of sight with all deep space probes is ensured. DSP One & Two In order to learn more about the planets and planetesimals beyond Saturn, the Board requested a new class of deep space exploration probes. These would have to be smaller and cheaper to manufacture (and launch) than the Fontanes class, and be able to reach their distant targets in a reasonably short time frame, despite the huge distances involved. The gridded ion thruster fitted to the Fontanes probes is still the best engine technology available for such requirements, although to cut costs a single engine is fitted allowing the probe to be powered by a single Kastria MX-4 reactor. Total launch mass is 6.88 tonnes, compared to 9.35 tonnes for the Fontanes class. The lighter, more compact design also allows a DSP class probe to be launched (along with its transfer stage) in one go by RLV. Estimated delta-v is in excess of 110 km/s. At around Year 13, Day 150, Earth was at near opposition with the ice giant Neptune. This opened up a transfer window for a Sol swing-by transfer, by first of all braking into low solar orbit, then accelerating at periapsis. DSP One exceeded solar escape velocity by far and is on track to encounter Neptune during the summer of Year 17. A second DSP probe was launched on Day 221. It was parked in a high orbit and is waiting for an Earth – Uranus opposition to perform a similar transfer. A third DSP is under construction and will target a KBO that is yet to be specified. E-Tug E-Tug is a reusable, uncrewed utility vehicle that will transfer payloads from Low Earth Orbit to Lunar Orbit or to the Lagrange points and even beyond. It will also be the first vehicle to be equipped with the ELF thruster. The ELF (or Electrodeless Lorentz Force) thruster was developed after a review concluded that it was the most promising means of electrical propulsion available in the immediate future. Indeed, ELF delivers a better thrust density than any other existing plasma thruster, and at a higher efficiency. But its other key advantage is that it can use many different types of propellant; not only the noble gases commonly used by other electrical thrusters (argon, xenon, etc.) but also elements and molecules that are far more readily available throughout the system (such as hydrogen, the air of various atmospheres and even water), thus opening up a host of in situ refuelling concepts for consideration. With ISP ranging from 1500-3000 (water) and from 4500-9000 (LH2), shipping vast quantities of chemical propellant to orbit will no longer be necessary. It becomes possible to return useful amounts of fuel from Near Earth Objects, to be stockpiled as water in orbits high in Earth's gravity well until it is required for transfers to other bodies. Crewed deep space missions equipped with such thrusters could perform fast transfers to their targets and refuel from any of the myriad of small icy bodies in the outer system, thus reducing total mission times dramatically. E-Tug will be powered by four 100kW solar arrays. Orbital manoeuvring capability is provided by four LH2 arcjet thruster blocks. Along with its deployment system, it can be launched fully fuelled with water and LH2 by a standard L30 (30-tonne payload) rocket. Lunar DRO Station A staging post will be required to stockpile the resources mined from NEOs and to transfer crews launching from Earth via SSTO or capsule to their respective deep space vehicles. Various locations were considered for such a station, and a 50,000 km Lunar Distant Retrograde (DRO) was selected. DRO orbits are stable over long periods of time (and therefore require very little station keeping), and the delta-v requirements to reach them are slightly lower than for the L4/L5 Earth-Moon Lagrange points. The station core includes a large inflatable habitation module (that will be pressurised once the first crew reaches the station), a docking hub and a radiation shelter that is protected by the station's drinking water and food supplies. This connects to a second docking/solar truss where the standard large (94m3) resource tanks will be docked. An L50 launcher was required to loft the core into a low parking orbit where it was captured by E-Tug One. A second (L30) launch sent up four large tanks; two service modules for water (blue) and two zero boil-off cryogenic tanks for LH2 (white), of which only the LH2 tanks were full. E-Tug was used to dock these tanks to the station core. The station was ready to begin its transfer to Lunar DRO, spiralling slowly up out of the Earth's gravity well, thrusting on the day side and coasting through the planet's shadow. Despite the relatively high thrust of the ELF engine, the transfer took several weeks, but the station eventually swung past the Moon and circularised at 50,000 kilometres above the Lunar surface. The station was then deployed and E-Tug One was free to accelerate back out of Lunar orbit and brake gently back into LEO, ready to be refuelled and reused. CM-14-01 to DRO Station With DRO Station in position, a first three-kerb crew was sent up: Commander Astrice, Second Pilot Ering and Junior Engineer Kimet. The first part of their mission will consist in setting up the habitable part of the station. The three kerbals will then go on to crew the Near Earth Ship Prosperity on her shakedown cruise, once the NES is assembled and ready to transfer to cislunar space. The CM Opulence type capsule was designed to carry a total of six kerbals up to Lunar DRO, although this first mission will be flown at half capacity. This will eventually enable the crew of a NES and of a mining station to be rotated in a single launch. A dedicated launcher was designed for the Opulence capsule, consisting of a 646 tonne rocket with a methalox first stage (one R1 Ratite and eight M1 Moa engines), and a hydrolox second stage (a single R1 Ratite). TLI is provided by another hydrolox stage with an RL10-B2 engine. The flight profile is devised so that the TLI stage crashed into the Lunar surface, and the Opulence capsule brakes into an eccentric Lunar orbit before performing a rendez-vous with DRO Station. The first module of NES Prosperity will be launched in a few day's time.
  11. Lo and behold: Solanum lycopersicum tontonjimus. And verily on the thirteenth day did it sprouteth!
  12. Oh, well. I was trying to think of a response to this story's premature demise, and I came across a suitable tribute whilst mountain biking this afternoon.
  13. Thank you. I did not expect that to happen... Ooh, looking forward to it. ...this made me chuckle. I'm considering ordering beans from them.
  14. Yeah, I understand that it is almost impossible to achieve anything like a real nuclear explosion without actively trying to do so. I'm just assuming that anyone innocently working on the problem of generating power from nuclear fission would inevitably deduce what would happen if you pushed things to a prompt critical level. Despite these difficulties, we humans developed functional nuclear weapons before we built our first nuclear power station. But this happened in the context of a desperate struggle between world superpowers with opposing ideologies. No such powers exist in The Camwise Logs. The Resource Companies don't want to wipe out anyone. They want to sell resources to them...
  15. Indeed it is, but the forces at work here are relatively simple: it's all about isostasy, or Archimedes' principle applied to the Earth's crust and mantle (or, more precisely, the lithosphere and the asthenosphere). Lighter continental crust "floats" on the Earth's more dense mantle, which over geological timescales acts as a viscous fluid. The problem is that when Zealandia broke away from Gonwanda 100 million years ago, the continental crust was stretched out, became thinner, and therefore the continental surface "sank" in relation to sea level. In your alternative history, (and if all other things are equal), I can't see any way of keeping Zealandia afloat, unless plate tectonics didn't actually stretch the continent as much. But this would mean that Zealandia would have a very different size and shape compared to her present (submerged) form. Would this be a problem for your alternative history? Actually, I do have a couple of ideas (and you'd have to get the opinion of a much more up-to-date geologist than myself, both of them may be silly, but since no-one else answered ): - Zealandia's break away from Australia happened much more recently in geological history, and the continent has not yet reached isostatic equilibrium, so more of the continent is still above sea level, albeit slowly sinking. Not sure this works out over millions of years, though. More like tens or hundreds of thousands. - There is a mantle superplume beneath Zealandia that is causing crustal uplifting. A bit like in the Pacific or Eastern Africa. Geology is such an awfully complex science, and an astoundingly young one, too. We got to the Moon by the time we figured out plate tectonics. That's why I gave it up for much simpler rocket science....
  16. Indeed it would, but this debate happens to be irrelevant. My Kerbals don't have nukes, at least not yet. By "nukes", I mean a device intentionally designed to cause death & destruction on a massive scale thanks to the explosive output of a supercritical mass of fissile material. They do, of course, have nuclear reactors. Pretty damn good ones now, too. In the course of developing these, one can assume that accidents happened, or that some mad nuclear engineer discovered the definition of "supercritical mass" in a most empirical way. But a device designed to reproduce these apocalyptical results intentionally...? Why would you want that?
  17. Yeah... The basic concept kinda works in theory (if you fluff over the major engineering challenges of digging a safe structure inside an undifferentiated mess of ice and dust, which we can do I suppose, the Trans Pacific Resource Company doesn't abide to the same health and safety regulations as NASA). A few metres of ice would make an excellent shield against most types of radiation. I will actually be using this idea for Near Earth asteroid mining thanks to Roverdude's Asteroid Recycling mod and perhaps for other things. But @Starman4308 is right, riding a comet out to Jupiter doesn't work out: the delta-vee requirement would be insane, and/or the transfer time too long for a reasonable crewed mission. And unfortunately, in the Real Solar System, a "Ganymede-assisted gravity capture" isn't really a thing, unlike in stock where you can get a Jool capture off Tylo.
  18. Yes, radiation would be acceptable on Ganymede, and with Ganymede at its closest approach to Europa, you would have a similar signal delay to Earth-Moon (about 2 seconds). I am using Remote Tech with signal delay, and I don't use Mechjeb or kOS. I've nothing against either, and this is nothing to do with realism (it actually isn't realistic, but is explained away by my Kerbals being awful at automation), it's just a gameplay choice I made to force myself to do certain things with crew only. Remote control of a lander with a two second delay is possible, it's just really impractical. Hmmmm.... we shall see.
  19. Oh yes, ever since I introduced Steledith back in this entry, I've been wanting to develop her character and her role in this story. She's a lot of fun to write; a sort of kerbal scientific reasoning machine, trapped inside her own insanely powerful intellect, except for the occasional moment of lucidity. This is all part of a wider plan to give some of my secondary characters some love. Expect similar treatment (eventually) for others, such as Froemone, Cat, Lisabeth... and maybe others you might have forgotten about, but who are still out there, doing important stuff.
  20. Wow @tater and @0111narwhalz, shady dealings involving lemons. This thread is turning out to be far more useful and popular than I could have possibly imagined... Yes, technically you can. You can even cut your potato into sections (as long as you have one eye or sprout per section) to get several plants from a single spud. Most gardeners recommend leaving your cut up potatoes to dry for a couple days before you plant them if you do this. Be aware that most potatoes you buy from the store have been treated with a chemical called chlorpropham to stop them sprouting in your pantry. Not a problem if you can get organic veg, though.
  21. Correct, and this is why it's such an awesome aircraft. Switchable two setting foot heater fitted as standard. In your face, C-130.
  22. Guess the plane. It's my new favourite aircraft ever, and if you can guess correctly, I'll tell you why.