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  1. A new chapter is in the making --- a standard crew of engineer, pilot and scientist have reached the Jool Orbital Science Platform. For the moment the KSC and DDRocketsInc engineers are trying to figure out how to get sufficient power storage on the platform to survive the 'night' when Jool occults the sol. Original platform had 5000 units of storage but KSC has already had to increase it with an additional solar/power truss. The 3rd launch will start the next chapter.
  2. @Geschosskopf perhaps, what has not come out in the story yet is that the Jool station is generation 2, nothing to do with Katla. Did the generation 1 have a design floor or was it sabotage against her?
  3. Chapter 13: The First Loss LOS “Not again” Picard cried “what about Katla, and Halcal, what about Zelsie he would have been sleeping in the habitation module. Is there any sign of them at all?” “No” the capsule communicator radioed back. Picard was in mission control as he had been for several days, he had just watched the Kerbin Observer scientific probe dock with the Sagan, and briefly glimpsed the smile on Katla’s face. The last thing he remembered before the deafening silence was her saying “finally something interesting to do” 2 days previous…. Excerpt from Mission Control Log conversation between Picard on the ground and Katla in orbit on the Sagan OSP:- Katla: “But I’m bored” Picard: “Have you completed your zero-g exercises today” “yes I have, every day while you guys down there have been playing with your Jool platform, Halcal and I have been up here, bored. At least Zelsie has been busy aligning the thrusters each day” “I already spoke to Kim and the other engineers to make sure we get a pack up there to balance platform out. That will help” “so he will be bored too!!?” “I know we haven’t sent any experiments up yet, can’t you go EVA again?” “What’s the point we have all the EVA reports for this orbit --- remember we went for a safe equatorial orbit” Picard: “ok Katla we are working on it. The Kerbin Observer is launching tomorrow, she will collect the first results from low orbit on the way to you, then we can send it out more once the start researching that.” Katla: “Good, looking forward to that.” End Excerpt. The science department were very pleased with the ‘Kerbin Observer’ when she was completed. The altitude and biome surveys that had been completed had shown that the landforms have change a lot. The observer is equipped with imaging cameras in infra-red and visible light. The observer is designed to dock with the Sagan station so the scientists can download the information and post-process onboard. The launch of the Kerbin Observer was very important to KSC not only to relieve Katla’s boredom but also to start gathering some science points. With Bop declared a ‘no go’ zone because of the loss of Enterprise-D platform the lack of available science points and interesting experience in the Kerbin SOI was really starting to affect the progress DDRocketsInc could make through the technology tree. Nobody could have predicted what would unfold next. Photo edit of “the incident” is below. Katla starts EVA to go and retrieve the data from the probe. Soon after returning to the science lab, while the experiments were being checked off, the Sagan OSP suffered a catastrophic failure. Katla, Halcal and Zelsie have all been lost in this terrible tragedy.
  4. Chapter 12: Jool Orbital Science Platform / TPL - Triple Prometheus Launcher “Cerberus” [sorry for the delay due to RL commitments, I’ve been doing a lot of travelling, and in the interim built my son a nice new computer to run Assassins Creed Origins…..AMD Ryzen-5 1600X CPU, GeForce GTX-1050 Ti 4GB graphics card, 16GB ram and an SSD (for the first time). Alternis Trekking has been great relaxation! This report will mainly contain images because there have been many ups and downs (nee explosions) that have me having to redirect the story a bit.] Jeb and the KSC management team sat around the main console of Mission Control scratching their heads. Since Picard got back from Bop, the number of ‘station’ contracts being offered was incredible. Work on the Kerbin Orbital Science Platform was progressing well, contracts where available for platforms in orbit of Jool, the Mun and Minmus. The Kerbals had only 300 science points and therefore restricted to 2.5m parts. Not an ideal situation for launching large stations with sufficient life support to be so far from Kerbin SOI. So Bill, as the leader of the engineers had explained that any programme outside Kerbin SOI would require significant amount of funds to develop and launch multiple refuelling tugs “If you want to go from Jool SOI to one of the inner moons” he explained “we will need to send refuelling tugs into Jool SOI and then rendezvous with the platforms.” Fredgard had arrived at the meeting after also meeting with his team. Their priority was science points and so when Bill had finished, he was explaining that the science team preferred Minmus or the Mun over anything else “and we want landers” he was saying. Bill looked at the floor, clearly Fredgard was not listening to anything he had to say. Jeb flicked through the contracts on the desk. “how about this Bill? We have already accepted the contract to put a platform in orbit of Kerbin, young Katla and Picard told me at dinner that it is nearly ready, so we could launch that, your nerds can check the figures and then build a refuellable transfer stage. Don’t be concerned by the funds, KSC and DDRocketsInc have 6 million to play with thanks to your designs for the relays and scanning satellites being so efficient.” Bill relaxed his shoulders and smiled. Secretly this is exactly what he and the engineers at DDRocketsInc had been hoping for. He looked up “If we can do manage that then why don’t you accept a Jool platform contract and an moon platform contract, then if we can’t get the DV to enter orbit around a moon we can just orbit Jool.” The group stopped, stunned. Jeb smiled. “Bill, you are a sneaky so-and-so” He clicked accept on a contract for a platform in orbit of Minmus and one for Jool. Long Term Mun Contact Before Katla could complete work on the Kerbin Orbital Science Platform, Fredgard and the science team organised a contract for long term survey of the Mun. Preparation, they said for Kerbanauts to someday head to the grey dust ball. Mun Survey Mission launching on Prometheus 2.5-B launch vehicle Mun Survey Mission transferring and setting up into a polar orbit to support mapping unit. Katla’s Kerbin Orbital Science Platform Picard and Katla did not make whole scale changes to the Bop OSP to create the Kerbin OSP. Therefore it was possible to use the same Prometheus 2.5-B 4 SRB as was used previously. Because the Kerbanauts only had single Kerbin shuttles like Calypso, Katla said she was sufficiently confident in the engineering nerds – many of whom were her best friends, to launch inside the station. She also used it as a checkout to ensure that none of the experiments broke loose. Her good friend Halcal agreed to join her. Katla’s OSP “Sagan” in orbit with life support operating Soon after reaching orbit Halcal and Katla were joined by Zelsie Kerbin a pilot on a test ride of the shuttle. Jeb requested the shuttle stayed locked onto the platform as a lifeboat in case any of the Kerbanauts has to be evacuated for a medical reason. With the Kerbin Orbital Science Platform successfully in orbit Bill and DDRocketsInc looked at the DV numbers, the transfer stage had less than 300m/s. Not enough to do anything reasonable with. Bill pulled everyone into a meeting. “Not good enough, if we are going get platforms, heck, even shuttles into orbit around Jool and her other moons we need to go back to the drawing board” The engineers’ looked at him confused. “We need a new booster and we need new transfer stage, just adding a docking port to that – he pointed out to the 2 transfer stages in the workshop – is not going to cut it.” So the engineers started working on the Triple Prometheus. This new booster took 3 Prometheus size boosters, all reusable mounted each with 4 new Vector engines and strapping them together. “It needs a new name Triple Prometheus is a nerdy engineers name” said young, male pilot Jayne with his southern drawl while he played with his knife. “Triple, three, what about Cerberus” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerberus) suggested Ripley Kerman, “that’s the god with the 3 heads, very fitting for a triple core booster.” Below are a series of images taken from KSC and the orbital camera platforms of the new Cerberus booster launching the Ganymede Platform. There was much cheering in KSC Mission Control, the younger Kerbals who had looked out at Jool with longing eyes in the old solar system never thought such a large station would ever be in Jool orbit. Bill looked at Jeb and Fredgard “I’m not sure why everyone is so happy, it took us 3 refuels to get to a stable Jool orbit, how are we ever going to orbit another moon?”
  5. @Geschosskopf thank you, amazingly following instructions on the original post solved the problem! I removed scatter and now can see the planet, yea. Trekking Through Alternis can now continue. Interestingly in trying to solve the problem I loaded an old save file before Picard tried to link with the Bop station. This time just by selecting it to look at made the space craft explode into a million pieces!
  6. Can anyone assist with this? Anyone familiar with my Mission Post Trekking Through Alternis will know that when I installed the modification over a 1.2.1 game the clouds of Jool were the wrong colour. Yesterday in an effort to fix that I copied the Scatter files over for Alternis. The Jool clouds are now blue as they should be but the view of Kerbin is a mess, as per the images below. In the tracking station Kerbin looks correct with the ground visible through lovely clouds, however from orbit the planet - day and night side looks like a Blue Titan! Can anyone let me know what I have done? Thanks,
  7. @Geschosskopf you are right, the monopropellant tanks are clipped into the structure. I have done this before and got away with it but could be considered Kraken bait....Next model has them sitting on a sub structure of their own.
  8. Chapter 11: Getting Picard home Picard sat quietly in the Calypso, he looked out of the capsule window, he could not believe what had happened. Once second he was looking forward to stretching his legs in his new space station and then next it had…..well he was not sure what to call it…..Enterprise-D had not exploded like so many rockets he had seen explode at the KSC……he thought…….it had rapidly disassembled…..instantly. “Katla was right” he thought to himself, “Bop is cursed, no Kerbal should ever go back.” The flight controller in mission control called to his staff “I’m not interested if you can hear him or he can hear you, the medical telemetry is constant and live, we know Picard is alive, and he did speak. I would think he is in shock now. What I need to know is how the spacecraft is? Based on what he said and those images up there, there is a lot of debris around the shuttle. Is it alive? Any leaks? Any warning lights?” “Communication?” “Ok, flight” came the response. “Power?” “Ok, flight” came the response. “Life Support?” “Ok, flight” came the response. “Service Module? Any fuel leaks, can you tell if there was any engine damage?” “Everything looks ok , flight, wow Picard is a lucky son…………” The service module controller’s response was cut short by Katla streaming through the door, Halcal and several of the Platform build team following behind her. “Picard, is he alright? Is the Calypso all right?” She bounced up to the flight controller’s station. Katla looked at the telemetry screens, like everyone else she realised that Picard was safe. The flight controller moved the microphone and said in a voice only she could hear. “I think he is in shock, he is very quiet, we think the spacecraft is operational so were thinking of bringing him home as soon as there is a reasonable chance.” Katla thought for a moment, then pulled the microphone over and pressed the ‘talk’ button. “Hey” Picard thought to himself, “Jool has changed colour, it looks blue from out here now, that did not show up when the probes were out here.” Picard continued to look through the capsule window as Jool slipped away. “I must be rotating”……………….”Where is that station”……………”Oh, eh, that’s right it disappeared”………….”I wonder if mission control”……………..it was at that moment that Picard looked down at the controls again and realised that the mute button was depressed on the radio “Why is there a mute button?” he pondered as he reset it. “Picard!” Katla screamed into the microphone “wake up you useless physics graduate” Picard came to his senses in a flash and upon hearing Katla’s voice simply responded “I owe you an apology Miss Katla, it seems you were right not to ignore the perils of Bop” The KSC erupted into cheers, “Geez Picard” the mission controller called after grabbing the microphone back “you frightened us all down here” “Sorry Legerchel, radio was on mute but to be honest I think I checked out for a spell, how long has it been since………well…………whatever happened, happened?” “about 4 orbits for you, long time for us!”….”how about we see if we can get you home” “Well, I did pack a lunch but it seems there is nowhere new for me to eat it, so why not” Picard chuckled to himself finally feeling that the panic was subsiding. “Since I have snacks” he continued “feel free to though me into a high orbit I don’t mind doing some more EVAs for the science points” “Roger that Picard, but safety first there is every chance your Calypso there suffered some damage” “If there is I can’t tell, all green up here mission control, but I agree safety first.” Picard’s “Calypso” Shuttle falling towards Kerbin after his epic flight. Thankfully the closer Picard’s shuttle got to Kerbin more confident the Kerbals got that it sustained no damage. He splashed down safely and was soon back in the R&D building of the KSC. He received a warm welcome from all before they all went home for the night. Halcal was the only one who saw him quietly wonder over to the Space Plane Hanger – now called by most Kerbals the “Orbital Science Platform development building”. Halcal followed, when he opened the door he was very happy to see Katla and Picard working together on the second Orbital Science Platform.
  9. Not sure, possibly just the normal Kraken. Makes for a good part of the sorry I hope! Certainly going to stay away from Bop in the future, like you have found there is no luck there!
  10. Chapter 10: [The short life of the] Bop Orbital Science Platform “Kerbin first, all we need to do is put it in orbit” Katla had been arguing with Picard Kerman the options of an Orbital Science Platform (OSP) in Kerbin or Bop orbit for 2 hours, she continued, “that way we only have to get to Kerbin orbit” “But, if we try for Bop first then we prove all technologies, reaching orbit with an approximate 15 Tonne load, refuelling, booster recovery and robotic deployment of the station” “It’s a platform not a station” “Whatever you call them, if we want to get science from all Jool’s moons and beyond then we need to prove the technology that Bill and the engineers have been working on. A Bop station will prove that in a single flight” Picard raised both hands in a prayer like move towards SRide, Asign and Bill the engineers on the other side of the table, all three shrunk away from the gesture. “Have you all forgotten about the failed missions we have had to Bop?” “Have you forgotten that both the altitude surveyor and current Biome scanner have found absolutely nothing of interest on Bop? Why do this? Why put a Kerbal in danger?” “We were going to test the robotic launch to test it” young robotics engineer Asign responded without realising she was doing it. From the look Katla gave her she realised it was a big mistake. Picard sighed, “for that and all the reasons I have just said, 1 shot, all tests, good or bad we learn. Isn’t that what science is for?” Silence. Fredgard, who had allowing the argument to continue so young Katla could defend her ideas finally stepped in. “Katla, I understand your concerns, Jeb has provided us with 1 million funds from the treasury, as the engineers appear confident I am willing to back an non Kerbal mission to try and launch an orbital platform to Bop. All we risk are the funds, the knowledge gained could really help the development of the platforms as Picard suggests. We don’t want to minimise your concerns but I think they can be managed.” Katla stared at Picard who to his credit looked more sheepish than proud. “Ok” Started SRide Kerman “what we have found in simulation is that the standard Prometheus-B-2.5 with 4 recoverable solid rocket boosters will be sufficient to get the station, oh I mean orbital science platform into orbit with about 500 DV remaining in the upper stage.” “How are you getting to Bop then?” Katla asked “We have a refuelling shuttle planned using the original Prometheus-B-2.5 booster.” Katla was quiet. “When will they be ready?” Picard was getting very excited that his plan was coming together. Asign took over the conservation for the engineers, she has been looking at the progress. “Well as you all know Katla has an Orbital Science Platform ready to go into Kerbin orbit, we have several core boosters on the assembly line that were planned for the biome mapping of the Jool Moons. One of the could be redirected towards this project, by the time the booster is checked and refuelled the refuelling shuttle should be assembled.” All the junior Kerbals at the table had squirmed when Asign mentioned Katla’s platform. They had all noticed that following her historic flight and the approval of her plans for science stations that she had not been back to the junior dorms for more than 2 hours sleep a day. Katla herself looked passive. “If it is a robotic launch do you want to pack more supplies?” “We had not thought of that Katla, not a bad idea, we would need to make sure they don’t move around through. We only have the 1.25m stability unit. We just can’t wait until we have the 2.5m version.” “That is why we need the science points.” Janeway, who had been working with the engineers on communication integration to make sure the platforms, can communicate with Kerbin. 1 month later….. The now familiar voice of the launch controller rang out over the tannoy system. “Kerbanauts all, today is a special day indeed. The launch of a new booster, and atop the launcher a space station for the first time in this universe, the scientists tell me that they want to call this new breed of ship an Orbital Science Platform. Picard, the lead scientist got to name it as is the way now, and has called it Enterprise–D whatever that means, I have no idea, HSolo do you know?” HSolo Kerman was sitting next to the launch controller with his feet on the desk, playing with a set of his pilot’s wings “Nope, but I know when I get my hands on my hunk of junk she’ll be known as the Falcon” The launch controller looked at HSolo for a second, confused, then continued. “Anyway Kerbanauts, the launch is set, the static fire test went well and I am told that the robotic guidance system has been programmed for a morning launch into lightly clouded sky’s tomorrow morning. I look forward to seeing the 4 solid rocket boosters on this new Prometheus-B 2.5-4 SRB fall away on their parachutes. It should only be a few kilometres from the KSC.” The following morning….. “Wow, they have a kick, I forgot how the SRB’s throw boosters off the pad” Bill commented as he watched the launch of the first orbital science platform from the comfort of Jeb’s office above the VAB. The launch controller’s voice cut in, “Clear of the tower, folks, the booster is climbing rapidly, does not seem to have a problem heaving that 12.5 tonne station into orbit.” The engineer’s at their consoles smiled at each other satisfied. Katla sat in the bar, white wine in hand, surrounded by her friends, MReynolds, Kim, Scotty, Ripley, Paris, and Annika, the bar keep had turned all of the KSC feeds off. If he thought that would stop Katla being affected by the launch, that, naturally was a waste of time as they all looked down at their glasses shaking as the Prometheus thundered off the pad. The Enterprise-D made it to a 100km parking orbit, with as calculated by the engineers it has 555 m/s of DV in the transfer stage. “We could save some weight next time, if we go for Kerbin orbit, or perhaps hold it for transfer to shuttles” Billy-Bobrey Kerman pointed out to the other engineers. “That is great news for sending the platforms to Jool’s Moons through” Haitina added. With the Station in Kerbin orbit, Mayweather Kerman was tasked with guiding the booster down to a safe landing, it so happened to be a beautiful sun rise as the decent started. Upon landing the KSC checked the booster over and prepared it for another launch. This time it would launch to add fuel to the Enterprise-D so it can safely transfer to Bop. Picard Kerman fussed over all the details, generally getting in the way, so it was a relief to all when the Head Doctor quarantined him to the Kerbanaut’s preparation area so he could prepare to join his baby at Bop. There had been a lot of discussion whether Picard should join the station in Kerbin orbit and be on site to manage the transfer or to join it in Bop orbit after it arrived. The decision for him to join Enterprise-D in Bop orbit was made by Lagerchel with the logic being all other shuttles would have to join it there so it was smart to include into this ‘testing phase’ as she called almost every launch these days. How smart that decision was would be evidenced within a few days…… Several of the Kerbals had laughed when they saw the refueller stacked up on the top of the booster, they said it looked ‘fat’. Nobody was laughing with Mayweather Kerman assisted by Bowman expertly rendezvoused the ship with and docked onto the Enterprise-D. So with the second stage of the booster refuelled the pilots plotted a course to push the Enterprise-D out to an orbit of Bop. With a DV of ~1,300 m/s there was plenty of fuel onboard to safely enter orbit at an altitude of 8km safely above the surface. Picard could not sit still during the pre-flight briefing. The engineers were explaining that to get his Gagarin Shuttle “Calypso” out to Bop they had to add a transfer stage within the aerodynamic shell. The pilots in the briefing were explaining to him the procedure to escape from the capsule should the launch fail. “yes yes I read that procedure, leave me alone.” The following morning Picard was in his Calypso, atop a modified Prometheus B-2.5 booster. Picard, a veteran of 4 flights, having orbited Kerbin, Minmus and the Mun in the original solar system should have been more dignified than he was acting. He giggled to himself as the booster’s engines spooled up and lifted him gracefully away from the pad. Calypso entered orbit, Picard had time for an EVA while the pilots remotely programmed the flight computer to transfer the craft to Bop. While he was at it Bowman was heard remarking to HSolo “the sooner the engineers get the plans for the 3 Kerbal capsule the better, I want to get back to flying not programming.” “I hear you Bowman” The transfer to Bop and retro burn into orbit was perfectly programmed and the engineers commended themselves on putting the right size transfer stage onto the tiny capsule. Picard felt the decoupler release when the readout showed just 1m/s remaining on the retro burn. Calypso complete the burn while also pushing the transfer stage out of the ships way at the same time. Safely in orbit of Bop, Picard grabbed the controls and moved the capsule the only way the pilots allowed him to do, rotate so he could see the satellite through the window. “It is small, KSC, I can actually see right across it through the window” “Picard, are you prepared for the docking? Telemetry shows you are 2km from the Enterprise-D, can you get a visual on your radar scope and select as a target? Once that is done we will start the process from here and bring it in. Do you remember at least that bit of the training?” Bowman called over the distance from Kerbin to Bop. “Yes I remember, priming the radar now” came the somewhat garbled response. “Found it, assigning target now” The flight team in mission control were watching the screens ready to follow the progress of the docking operation. These screens showed telemetry for both ships. While they watched, the telemetry screen for the Enterprise-D changed. LOS All eyes move the Calypso’s telemetry, that was still reading correctly. “Wow, did you see that?” Came the call from Picard “What happened? Picard” “The Enterprise-D, it’s gone, it exploded, all I did was selected it on the radar and then I felt a pressure wave, wait, no it’s ok I’m still in orbit I thought the wave might have moved me out.” “We have no telemetry down here” “Makes sense, all I can see on the radar is a debris cloud, guy’s can you give me RSC control? I’ll point the telescope and see if I can get a shot.” “Don’t worry we have you on telescope in the tracking station” Katla was working in the spaceplane hanger on the 2nd Orbital Science Platform, her Platform that was going to be launched into Kerbin orbit soon with a handful of engineers. Suddenly the door to the hanger slammed open. “Katla, have you heard?” It was Halcal one of the young scientists. “Have I heard what?” Katla called from the elevated platform she was standing on while she was installing the communications antenna. “The Enterprise-D, it’s well it’s gone! It exploded or something just as Picard was trying to dock with it. Luckily he is ok.” Katla flew off the platform heading as fast as she could towards mission control.
  11. Chapter 9: Back in the Saddle --- Rendezvous and Planning for Orbital Science Platforms The Kerbals were excited. Kerballed flights were going to commence again. Bill and the engineering team pulled out the Gagarin designs and began upgrading it to accept more science experiments. “We need it include a docking adaptor for to dock 2 ships for this contract, Bill” Katla Kerman pointed out when they were going through the design “could you add some robotic control so we can get a scientist up into orbit?” “Yes, actually as we do for probes we should be able to get a remote pilot module in the capsule to fly for the scientist. Paris is working through docking protocols now.” Valentina Kerman, head of the pilot division responded. She continued “Jeb, let’s get a pilot up in the first capsule, then we have options, they can take over docking control of the scientist’s capsule while in orbit or steer their own capsule into dock if required.” “Great idea, Val, who do you have in mind?” Jeb logged into the Kerbanaut database so he could check the selection for himself. “MReynolds Kerman, he’s a bit of a space cowboy but he knows how to rendezvous and dock from all that space station work in the Kerbol solar system.” Planning for the Rendezvous flight progressed well, Katla Kerman buried herself in the work, in doing so she also argued for the scientific experiments, Katla is only a 1 star scientist with only 3 flights she often found herself arguing with her heroes, Janeway, T’Pol and Picard Kerman, scientists with 4 or 5 flights and hundreds of days logged on the former Scientist platforms that orbited Kerbin, the Mun and Minmus. So when Jeb and Fredgard asked her to meet in Fredgard’s office she was sure that she was being removed from the crew list. “How are you Katla, how do you feel things are going?” Fredgard asked her as she sat down with a cup of coffee. “Well, the science bays of each capsule have a mix of new and old experiments, I know Janeway wanted to minimise duplication, but I am sure the redundant units will prove to be a good idea. The engineers can’t tell me with absolute confidence if we will reach a high orbit or not, just in case I think it is a good idea to have redundancy to try and get as much science we possible……” Katla stopped at that realising she had allowed herself to ramble on. “Sorry sir,” “No problem, Jeb what do you think?” “I think you were correct, Fredgard, definitely one to watch” Jeb was flicking through some pages on the desk ahead of him, not really appearing to be paying attention to the meeting. “Look, if you’re going to take me off the flight list, just tell me so I can go and drown my sorrows” Katla hated when Kerbals got off topic in meetings. “Is that why you think we called you in here?” Jeb finally looked up and started laughing “Fredgard, more than ever now mate” Katla stood up to leave, kicking the chair into place as she did so. “Katla, sit down, we called you in to tell you that you are on the crew list. In fact Jeb just showed me a contract for an orbital science platform” Jeb held up the same piece of paper as Fredgard spoke, Fredgard continued “we believe you’re the right Kerbal to lead the new generation. Of course you need to work with the more experienced scientists like (the ones you’ve been fighting with his eyes said) Janeway, T’Pol and Picard Kerman. All three of them have said they would like to stay out of orbit for a while with their families, they all recommended you to step up.” Katla simultaneously jumped for joy and collapsed in a heap onto the chair. “oh, wow” Jeb passed her the contract form, when she started reading Fredgard began “Janeway and Picard have started working on getting the new science laboratory module fitted out in the Space Plane hanger because it is not being used and it is quiet. Kim and Scotty Kerman are getting the life support modules incorporated. This means the laboratory will not rely so heavily on the accommodation module like before. When you come back from the flight we want you to fit up the experiments.” As planned, the first capsule to be launched was a Gagarin Mark 2 that MReynolds had nick named “Serenity”….. “Yep, cowboy I told you” Val said to Jeb as they watched him get strapped into the acceleration couch, he appeared to not be paying attention to the instructions that the engineers were giving him about the abort sequence. Over the Capcom radio…..through the static “If you….feel anything unusual….or if the dials go dead….you’ll have to release the capsule and clear the booster before hitting the parachutes……” the lead engineer was saying. MReynolds just responded “Yup should be a sweet ride dude, Can’t wait to beat HSolo’s EVA record, oooohhh yea…..sweet” the engineer rolled his eyes as he finished and closed the capsule door. “Whatever dude, see ya when you get back” “Cooooooooooool” MReynolds breathed as the door locks clicked into place. “Here we go Serenity, I don't believe there is a power in the verse that can stop us now.” MReynold’s Launch was perfect, despite the whole way up no Kerbal could hear themselves think as MReynolds chanted that he would “…..beat HSolo’s record today, eh eh eh I’m going to beat HSolo’s record today”. Paris Kerman, himself with days more experience on EVA than MReynolds gave up when the capsule broke through to space, left Mission Control and headed back to the Kerbanaut complex, he was not surprised to see HSolo at the bar. “You alright?” “Of course I am, this is a coffee, and I just can’t listen to that guy anymore” “I know what you mean, perhaps when we get him back we should put him through some more Tylo simulations, 3 months in a capsule might shut him up.” HSolo smiled “That is a brilliant idea my friend” “You have to like the name he used for the ship, though” he continued. “Yep, perfect, with that odd colour Jool so close it must be great up there.” Paris mimed a drink to the bar Kerbal and she bought over his usual beer. “Do you know how far away the science team is away from unlocking the 3 Kerbanaut capsules so a few more of us can play?” “Lagerchel told me last night the whole reason she is supporting those Orbital Science Laboratories is that she and Fredgard sat down to plan for them but also some larger solar panels and other parts we will need to support them.” “Great, I have had enough of programming and flying probes” HSolo decided it was time for a beer as well. They sat sipping on their beers and chatting about the progress the Kerbals where making in the new solar system. They were able to watch the progress of ‘the cowboy’s’ flight on the large telemetry screen in the bar. MReynolds managed to get the orbit almost perfect. 0.1° inclination, 120km x 118km orbit. “think we can hit that?” Paris asked as he pointed to the screen. “Easy” “I’m glad to hear that, I don’t want that MReynolds anywhere near my controls, bad enough I have to spend some time on EVA with him” Both Paris and HSolo jumped. They did not realise that Katla had walked in behind them. “Have you finished programming the flight computer for me? I have done that emergency pilot training but I am definitely a scientist not a pilot” Paris reassured her, “we just needed his actual orbit data to ensure the rendezvous goes perfectly, now we have it we will be able to complete the sequence.” “Good” Katla said as she ordered a water. “tomorrow will be a big day for me.” All of Katla’s three previous flights had been in 3 Kerbanaut capsules and always with a pilot on board. As much as she trusted the science of the programmed probe in the nose of the Gagarin Mark 2 capsule she was being strapped into, and trusted Paris Kerman would programme a smooth ride, she could not help a few nerves still sitting at the surface. The other thing that really did not help was the aeroshell on the Prometheus booster preventing her from seeing out of the small window in the door. “Ok, then Katla, really to go?” Paris’s voice from Capcom boomed over the intercom over the hum of machinery around her. “I think so” “We are just waiting for MReynolds capsule to get into the right position to allow you to boost straight up into rendezvous” “yep.” “Say” HSolo, back up pilot said from the seat next to Paris. “What is the deal with the name you put on the capsule Katla?” HSolo, has been a shuttle pilot long enough to know that the best thing you can do for the scientists at this point is to distract them. “Um, Saga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A1ga_and_S%C3%B6kkvabekkr) reminds me of wisdom. This is a science mission first, no matter how long MReynolds talks about records. Oh, sorry HSolo.” “No problem Katla, you just don’t let him try and steal your supplies up there, you are right, we need the science points so your EVAs to collect the data are more important than his swanning around” “I heard that” Katla heard MReynolds voice in her left ear, clearly he had cleared the horizon. She was just about to answer when Flight Director Lagerchel cut in. “Paris get ready to check the systems on lift off” “Yep” “T minus 10 seconds, Serenity is lined up for the rendezvous” Lagerchel. ……………..”great distraction HSolo” Katla was thinking to herself when the world changed colours…. “Zero, lift off, in your hands Mr Paris” “Roger, looking good, launch sequence has run, probe has acknowledged the acceleration and the Thuds are compensating for movements.” “Katla, you ok?” Paris scanned the dials as he asked, he pointed to the readout from Thud 4, to HSolo he said “watch that one will ya, this is the 3rd launch we are getting out of this booster, I’m not sure about the fuel flow there.” “Got it, looks ok now but I have my eyes on it.” From Saga Capsule Katla called back “all good, there is a lot of movement up here, it is really hard to rationalise without visual cues” before one of the pilots could respond she added “and the Nav ball doesn’t count, that might make you guys feel comfortable but to me it is just three well calibrated and positioned Gyros….” “Roll programme initiated, heading for Max Q” “Roll programme complete, all booster engines running 5 by 5” “Ya baby, get up here Katla, I need some more EVA propellant to break this here record” “MReynolds, shut up during launch or I’ll leave you up there” Flight Director cut in as MReynolds went to say something else. HSolo smiled at Paris “see if he likes that record!” Katla’s Booster coasting up to the Apoapsis “I can see outside, wow, that is beautiful” Katla exclaimed as the aeroshell peeled away. “Stop, you’re making me jealous” HSolo radioed up to her. “MReynolds, can you see Katla’s capsule on your radar?” Paris said from his console “it looks to me like she should be getting close; I would like to hand over the control to you for the docking” “Roger, Paris, I have the Saga on my scope, Katla please prepare for some sharp movements as the RSC aligns us. I have been thinking that I’ll align us perpendicular to Kerbin, that way you can watch the clouds of Jool as we move into position.” After listening to his jokes and quips for months during the planning of the mission Katla could not believe how professional MReynolds sounded. “Paris, whenever you are ready to hand over I have the Saga telemetry online and already have a visual of Katla. Nice launch mate, line ball.” MReynolds clicked switches to confirm acceptance of the control as Paris handed over. Paris pushed the ‘handover’ button and then ‘confirm accept’ when he saw that the link to Serenity was complete. “Handover complete, all yours MReynolds”. “Uh, you were right MReynolds, this is not very smooth” “Sorry Katla, there is a fair bit of inertia in these capsules with all the science on board, I’m not having a go, I noticed it yesterday when I reached orbit and played with the controls. There was nothing that could have been done to your capsule so I just quietly mentioned it to Scotty Kerman the engineer. He might be able to smooth the controls for those shuttles we need for the Orbital Science Platforms you’re planning” “How do you know about them?” “I play darts with Scotty, he is very proud tis all”, a heartbeat, “Ok, moving into final position now.” “Nice work MReynolds” the Flight Director commended, very very nice. MReynolds and Katla completed 10 orbits of Kerbin while they checked the systems “are we going to call our little station Saga Serenity or Serenity Saga?” MReynolds wondered. “The later reflects the flight order” “Eh, what about SS?” Katla called back as she readied her EVA suit. “Did you manage to open the science bay on both capsules?” “Yes, I did you are good for EVA, break, Mission Control, can you check the fuel numbers? I think we have enough fuel to reach that high Kerbin orbit that Katla wanted.” Paris, back on shift in Mission Control “you read my mind MReynolds, we confirm DV of 400 m/s in each capsule, as long as you can confirm the fuel can be transferred then the Flight Director will approve a move to high orbit before the burn back to Kerbin.” “Roger Paris, please check the log from last shift I completed fuel transfer calibration, transferred 20% of the fuel from Serenity into Saga, there were no issues but if you want me to repeat it I can.” “Standby 1, MReynolds” Paris opened up the log and checked “sorry about that mate, I can see the notes now, looks good to me.” “Hot dog” “Make sure I’m inside when you do it!” Katla said as she started to exit her capsule and move towards the science bay. “No problem Katla, would not be much point in leaving you in LKO if the science is in HKO!” Katla Kerman completed EVA walks in LKO and HKO gathering science points from a range of experiments on board. The Kerbals had 24 days of supplies and life support. They spent 16 days in orbit collecting science. The burn to HKO had used 300m/s of DV from MReynold’s capsule so before deorbiting he transferred fuel sufficient for 200 m/s back into Serenity. Katla looked at the telemetry screens “wait you have left me with too much fuel” MReynolds responded in a typical space cowboy way “Nope, want to make sure you have a smooth ride with no input needed. If I am a little short then I’ll adjust before the fuel runs out and aerobrake in on the shield, pilot style” They were coming up on the entry window for landing close to KSC, so before Katla could complain he punched the ‘disconnect’ button on the docking port and set Katla’s automated probe to bring her in. “Mission Control, you got Katla if things go off the reservation?” HSolo was manning the desk “Roger that MReynolds we have her 5 by 5, you get home safely too.” “Why, HSolo, want to congratulate me on breaking the EVA record?” HSolo was quiet, “Well MReynolds, if you could see what the nerds in engineering had on the drawing board down here, you would realise that no EVA record will ever be the same again, they are planning to build in space!” “Yeeeehaaaaa” was the only response he heard. Katla and MReynolds returned to KSC to heroes welcome, snacks and a well-earned rest. When they had recovered, MReynolds and Katla met up with engineers Kim, Scotty, Valphe, Ripley, Billy-Bobrey, pilots Paris, HSolo, Bowman and scientists Annika, Halcal, Picard. In the Kerbanaut complex bar; “What have you been planning down here?”
  12. Chapter 8: Among the Moons of Jool “I’m sorry, but even with 2.5m parts we can’t even think of stacking contracts when we have no idea the DV requirements to play among the moons of Jool.” Bill was fielding questions from the scientists of KSC, he and Fredgard had selected a couple of nice contracts for long term surveys (90 to 120 days in length) round Kerbin and Jool. Their logic was these would provide When he work up the next morning, the scientist had also accepted contracts for science missions to the Mun and Minmus. “But what about gravity assists?” one of the junior scientists, Halcal asked, in our orbital mechanics class we learnt they can save fuel. “They can, but in the old solar system it took us all years to work out the values, now you just want to, what? Estimate?” Tasha started backing up her boss, Bill. “Alright, that’s enough, with the advances we received we can probably launch the first mission towards Jool and gather data for the other missions. How is the design of the new probe coming Bill? What did you call it, Discovery?” Jebediah, sitting at the head of the conference table broke in. He had a spreadsheet open on this palmtop with the figures for all missions in it. “That is what I was thinking yes, but it sounds a little odd now that we are talking about it. Like it has an unusual drive to it……since this new series will be on the first long range voyages we are doing in this system, I thought of calling the series Hokule‘a (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hōkūleʻa) in honour of historic voyages.” “Um, if you want!” Jeb shook his head thinking of the number of times he was stuck in a capsule with Bill, watching him reading historic texts. He thought to himself he should not really be surprised at this. “Hoookooola?” Several of the younger Kerbals tried to pronounce the name, “Can I call it the Hook?” Kim asked. “If you want to clean the warehouse for a year, go ahead.” Bill did not look amused. “Can I go now? I’ve got a lot to do.” “Sure” Smiled Jeb “Say hi to the Hokoooola for me” “Humph, You’ll keep old man” Bill was already out the door. Kim, SRide and the other engineers in the booster team stayed behind. The drawings they spread on the table showed several configurations of 2.5m boosters, with and without solid rockets boosters. “Like the 1.25m Intrepid we wanted to create a class of boosters that would provide modality to the space program.” SRide was explaining. “Here” she pointed to a simple single core booster, “this one, has a lifting capability to LKO of 14 Tonnes even with Kerbin tidally locked to Jool if we steel 300 DV from the transfer stage then the booster is recoverable. We can save a lot of funds that way.” Jebediah and the other Kerbals looked over the drawings, “that lifting capability is an impressive increase over the Intrepid 1.25m, will it lift Bill’s new Hook? (Kim’s name was catching on)” “To LKO, yes, I think he is trying to keep around 2600 Vacuum DV in the probe to be able to search the moons.” Kim piped in, smiling that the director would use his reference for the new probe. “Not sure just how heavy it will be, that is why we were aiming for a high target.” “How far away the boosters, Bill are seems keen to launch” “The new printers we purchased for the 2.5m parts are 8 times faster than the 1.25m ones so even with the larger template we should be able to launch the first booster in a couple of months.” 4 months later….. 5…. 4…. 3…. 2…. 1…. Liftoff…. “The Hook is streaming skywards.” The KSC announcer said over the station intercom. “It’s Hokule‘a!” Bill yelled from the back of the Control Room where almost all of the Kerbal engineers had gathered to see the first of the new 2.5m boosters lift off. “This is the Series 1, it has 4 Reliant engines for main thrust and 2 thuds for steering” Kim was describing to the assembled scientists, who were more interested to see if the engineer’s new toy did not self-destruct and take their brand new probe with it. “We were waiting for some 2.5m engines but could not build them in time” Kim continued. “What are you nerd’s calling this one?” Pilot Riker Kerman asked. “Oh, Prometheus A-2.5, the A means we can build more, just like SRide’s idea. It will be the Prometheus family of boosters.” “Can I call it the Prom?” Bill sneered just loud enough for Kim to hear. “or, Theo?” Kim turned from green to red. Maybe Bill will give him that broom after all…. Much to the delight of all the assembled Kerbals, the first Prometheus climbed straight and true, the core stage coming down harder than expected “More parachutes next time I think” murmured several engineer. With the new expandable solar panels and large dish antenna the Hokule‘a I certainly looked different to the other science probes that the Kerbals had built so far in Alternis. This first model had science experiments for reading temperature, magnetic fields and radio signals required by the first of the long term Jool science contracts. The hope was by moving into orbit around Jool data could also be gathered about fuel requirements for transfers to the Moons of Jool. Hokule‘a I boosted out of Kerbin’s SOI approximately 5 hours later to great cheers in Mission Control Room. The probe then transferred from a circular orbit of the gas giant into a highly elliptical orbit of Jool over the next few days lowering the periapsis in 4 burns of the transfer stage before that was released. “Wow, we had more than enough DV in the transfer stage didn’t we?” Bill said proudly. The orbital telescopes capturing the probe against a wonderful sunset showing the many colours of Jool’s think clouds through the atmosphere. The elliptical orbit allowed science to be collected “near” Jool and “high above” Jool, keeping all of the scientists busy and happy. The first flight of the Prometheus A-2.5 and Hokule‘a was hailed a great success for the KSC. The management team, Jeb in particular considered that first flight as no more than a proof of concept, he was sure that one of the elements --- the 2.5m booster, aero shell, communications dish or of them together. For it to work so well was fantastic. The KSC had great confidence, over the next several months they launched Hokule‘a series probes to orbit Jool, the Mun and Minmus. Each probe achieved orbit around the target body. As most were sent as part of long term science contracts two versions of the probe were built, one without a science junior and the other with. The science collected was impressive. Close up look at the Hokule‘a I probe Hokule‘a I series probe enters orbit around Minmus The first Hokule‘a series probe sent to the Mun did not have very much science experiments on board, it’s main task was to act as a relay when Kerbin was on the opposite side of Jool. It did that effectively. When the Kerbals received another contract for a long term survey of the Mun, Goddard Kerman who was given the lead of the Jool Moon exploration by Fredgard the head of science department, approached Bill and SRide about probe weights. “I would like to know if we can combine the Science Junior into a long term Hokule‘a series probe so we can increase the science return but still complete the long term analysis of the Mun. We only have 1 contract though, so I don’t think Jeb will authorise you to make a new booster. Do you have any ideas?” Valphe and Kim Kerman looked up from their printer. Kim started “Sride, we might have an idea” -- “an upgrade of the Prometheus 2.5 using – this” Valphe pointed to the printer “It’s a new 2.5m engine”. The Kerbals collected around the new engine nozzle. They could not believe the size of it. “What performance increase do you think you can get?” Bill asked. “Here are the printouts from the computer, sir, Prometheus B-2.5 has left TWR at lift off but several seconds longer burn time on the core stage. We hope this will increase the parking orbit from 100kkm to 100km so we can calculate better transfers to the Moons of Jool. It remains recoverable too.” Prometheus A-2.5 Prometheus B-2.5 “Will that allow me to add a science junior to the Mun exploration mission?” Goddard asked. “Should do Goddard, best way to see is to test it right?” Valphe smiled. The Prometheus B-2.5 retained the 2 thuds for steering but replaced the 4 reliants with the new 2.5m engine that the engineers had called a ‘Skipper’ The Prometheus B-2.5 launches for the Mun with revised Hokule‘a series II. Beauty shot as the probe transfers from high Jool orbit to intersect with the Mun, from left Kerbin, Mun, Laythe and Jool. Telemetry from the Hokule‘a series II showed it successfully transferring to the Mun and then braking into orbit. The Kerbals were then delighted to also see that they still had connection to transfer to a polar orbit. This satisfied the initial requirements for the contract. The probe was then set for it’s 60 day survey of Kerbin’s old friend. Hokule‘a series II in orbit of the Mun, heading towards periapsis. Now that the Kerbals have several probes in orbit of the Moons of Jool the pilots were getting bored. With 5.9 million funds available, they petitioned Jeb for Kerballed flights to start again. To their surprise he agreed. “First” he said, “let’s get 2 capsules in orbit and rendezvous. I want you pilots to get some EVA experience so we can truly explore this system” Next chapter out soon I hope. DDRocketsInc.
  13. @Geschosskopf Yes, as you suspected, Bop is hard to land on!
  14. Hello, Kerbanauts, RL has been getting in the way of Alternis Treks, but hopefully you will enjoy Chapter 7. Chapter 7: Controlled? Landing & Science Return While the Kerbals were trying to work out how to get satellite into retrograde orbit, the engineering team focused on the next contract, one that had been missing from the whiteboard because Katia had felt it could not be mixed with any of the others. The contract was to land on Bop. Ever since Tasha and Phoemma Kerman come up with the idea to crash land into Bop, the engineering team knew the landing parameters that had to be met, so they designed a small landing probe with legs(!) to try and make a more controlled landing on the tiny satellite of Kerbin. Together with the science collected the new seismometer and other instruments that would provide data from the surface and pulled together a new design for the lander. Bop “II” Lander --- now with legs! Soon after the engineer’s at KSC had completed the lander a contract came through to bring science back from Bop. So, the scientists Dunburry and Seanley teamed up with engineer Kim to renew the Kerbin science return probe (Pioneer X) with new parachutes, heat shield and renewed science experiments. Jebediah was so happy with head of engineers Bill’s work on recovering stages that he suggested trying to reuse some of the previously flown hardware. The earlier flight of the Pioneer X had also proven that the Intrepid Beta 1.25_SRB booster had more than sufficient DV to get to Bop, so the science orbiter and the lander were stacked on top of a recycled Intrepid Beta 1.25 core stage, with a new upper stage (so far no upper stages had been recovered from orbit) and 2 recycled solid rocket boosters within only a few days. The booster lit up the night sky over Kerbin and streaked into a 100km x 100km parking orbit allowing telemetry to be verified and Mission Control to confirm that both space ships were operating correctly. Bop Science Venturer climbs into a parking orbit Within a few hours, the Bop science Venturer had established orbit of tiny Bop and the Bop “II” lander disconnected. Dunburry Kerman, a scientist with no flights to his name but an insatiable love for space since childhood had secretly attached a camera to the orbiter. So, rather than the usual telescopic images from the Tracking Station, the Kerbals were able to see a fantastic image of Kerbin, Jool and Bop with the lander preparing to decent to the surface. The Kerbal’s confidence was sky high, not only had the mission reached Bop but now it looked like the lander was actually going to make it to the surface. The rocket fired several times, thrust and duration based around the last “crash” landing into the small satellite. Everything seemed to be moving along perfectly. The legs extended ready for a soft landing – and the orbiter was even able to take another photo of the lander on it’s next orbit, though the quality was not quite as good from the longer distance. Then….. “lost contact with the lander, sir” Bowman Kerman, the remote pilot flying the mission called out to flight director Legerchel. “Communications, did we lose a relay link?” Legerchel called to communications director Kathbel – her first time in the seat. “No ma’am, I’m still showing green across the network, just no up link from the lander” “Ok, let’s check the telemetry for the time period just before we lost contact” Kim Kerman, who has been the senior scientist suggested. “I’ll put the coffee pot on. Looks like it will be a long night.” “Is the orbiter still functioning?” He added, just as he got to the Mission Control door. “Yes, green across the board” Bowman responded. “Ok, Legerchel, how about we see if we can get the imager working better and snap a photo on the next pass?” Kim had now stopped at the door, and seemed to have forgotten about the coffee. “Good idea. Where is my coffee??” “On it.” “Me too, I’ll get that imager working” Dunburry started scrolling through the orbiter’s telemetry readouts looking for the reason the last shots were so grainy. By the next orbit of the orbiter, Kim had managed to buy coffee for all the Kerbals in Mission Control and Dunburry said he got the imager connected to the telescope to take some better photos. He patched the feed into the main screen and they all looked up. Initially the screen showed the black and white lines typical when the imager was not operating, then, slowly an image of Bop appeared on the large screen. “Look, there, looks like the telescope has focused in on something ½ way down that hill.” Kathbel pointed at a red box on the screen. “I tied in the magnetometer to see if the telescope would find the lander” Dunburry said, “looks like it worked” “either that or we have found something interesting on Bop” Suggested T’Pol, who had arrived to start her shift “what do you mean ‘find the lander’ what happened?” “Long story, I’ll fill you in soon” replied Kim. “Focus in on it” Kathbel turned to Dunburry trying to get him to focus himself. “All right, let’s see” he pointed the mouse at the receptacle and commanded the telescope to zoom in. The screen changed as the imager collected a series of more focused shots. “Oh, wow” Exclaimed T’Pol “What did you guys do? Didn’t that have a rocket engine when it took off? Why are the legs up?” Kim grunted, “Like I said boss, long story, here have some coffee” The rest of the day shift soon joined T’Pol with comments like “Sure we can bring that orbiter home better than night shift landed – can’t do any worse” and “let’s see if we can keep the probe in 1 piece shall we?” The night shift were not too impressed…… “Ok, so let’s get this puppy home” Paris said, sitting down at the controls. “Wait” exclaimed the experienced scientist on dayshift, Annika Kerman. “it looks like the night shift forgot to run the experiments” T’Pol checked the science telemetry for herself. “Ha, you’re right, they were so worried about their failed lander and getting images…..” “Looks like free coffee’s for dayshift to me” Paris licked is lips in anticipation. “I’ll SMS Legerchel and order them, how long will the science take?” “Done” Annika looked up “remember we are returning it no need to transmit this time” “ok, then, like I said let’s get this puppy home” Paris already had the return trajectory in the computer and was lighting the main engine. The return run was uneventful. The recycled probe with it’s new heat shield and parachutes worked perfectly and the probe made a perfect landing in a very surprised farmer Kerbal’s field. Despite their recent activities being "hit and miss" the Kerbals of KSC were really gaining confidence. When the management team went back to look for more contracts, there were multiple contracts for long term surveys of Jool's 'moons'. ………..”hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm” murmured Bill, studying the options “going to need a bigger booster. What do you think Fredgard?” Fredgard smiled, “funny you should say that Bill, look what we found in the R&D lab, 2.5m parts….” “Oh, yes, they will do nicely” Bill pulled out his sketch pad.
  15. @Hast5250 bernam kerman may come up in another alternate universe..........however, please look out for Chakatoy Kerman in honour of the best (in my opinion) Star Trek iteration "Voyager", you would have already seen (I hope) that [Cpt.] "Janeway" Kerman is senior scientist in the KSC team.....