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About septemberWaves

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    Mission Architect

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  1. Yesterday the wifi was out. I passed the time by using my Soyuz-building skills for evil. Gemini and Dragon 2 (albeit a scaled-down Dragon 2, because the Dragon-like Near Future pod only seats three and is roughly Apollo-sized) are probably the most unusual Soyuz payloads I have seen in a while. I would make an Apollo-Soyuz, but it would probably be too massive. Apollo-Proton on the other hand...
  2. I know; I realized this fairly quickly. Though it is not a tank that the engines are attached to; the way I made the orange segments on this rocket was using Restock fairings (some of which have a nice orange colour scheme), and, in the case of the first stage and the boosters, the engines are attached to an adaptor (rescaled appropriately) to which the fairing is connected; the engines are clipped inside of the fairing and through the adaptor, which I decided was preferable to the alternative of clipping them into fuel tanks (and there is no need for the extra fuel anyway, since the rocket is already overpowered for the crew spacecraft). It is the adapter which is destroyed. I will be removing the solid fuel from the booster tanks and instead using sepratrons, rather than the built-in separation motors, which should fix the problem. The other remaining issue with the vehicle is the connection between the spacecraft and the rocket's upper stage, but I know what is wrong and it is an easy fix.
  3. Yesterday, I made this: It is still just a prototype, and there are a few significant issues that need to be resolved, but it is *intended* to be used in my career game (once I deal with the aforementioned issues). The launch vehicle needs a few modifications before it will be fully functional (the most pressing issue is the fact that the part to which the core stage engines are attached explodes due to inexplicable overheating immediately after booster separation, rendering the remaining fuel in the stage useless). That said, the problems should be relatively easy to fix, and it certainly looks the part. Colour scheme and scale were based on this image. Image source is this Wikipedia article.
  4. My process for space station design usually follows these steps: Decide the purpose of the station. Determine what functionality I need to have on the station. Design modules that will achieve the desired functionality, while also being efficiently launchable by existing launch vehicles (if a module is too large or too massive, I will either have to downscale it, or wait until I have designed more capable launch vehicles). Build a prototype of the station in the VAB to find the ideal configuration, figure out which modules to launch when, figure out how long life support (and other resources) will last, and make any needed adjustments. Give each module a launch vehicle, and launch them.
  5. Since my previous update, I have launched some crewed sounding rockets (first to send a kerbal past the sound barrier, and then to send one to the edge of space), put a simple satellite into orbit with an upgraded version of my first R-7 inspired launch vehicle, and made the initial preparations for sending a kerbal to orbit. Details can be found here.
  6. Part 3: First kerbal in space Crewed Sounding Rockets In order to prepare for sending kerbals to space, it is first important to test some key systems that spacecraft will require. The Type E sounding rocket is the first crewed rocket to be launched. Its pilot, Giry Kerman, will become the first kerbal to break the sound barrier. The rocket is propelled by a single Reliant engine, which lacks the ability to gimbal, so control is provided by actuated fins. Building on the success of the Type E sounding rocket, the Type F was designed as a direct upgrade. This vehicle is designed to send a kerbal to the edge of space and back. Unlike its predecessor, the Type F will not be recovered intact - only the command module will survive. The crew of this launch is Megner Kerman. Methone 1 Methone 1 is a satellite designed to conduct long-term surveys of the magnetic field environment in space around Kerbin. Its mission requires a highly-elliptical near-polar orbit, which makes it the first passenger of the new Ysgard II rocket. Aside from a new paint job, Ysgard II uses a slightly modified Ysgard I rocket as its lower stage (the core has a shorter tank and therefore less fuel and a shorter burn time), and has an upper stage propelled by six Spark engines. Avernus LES Test Avernus is the name of the first vehicle designed to send a kerbal to Kerbin orbit. Before it can do so, however, it must be tested, starting with the launch escape system. This pad test is intended to ensure that the launch escape tower can safely pull the crew capsule away from the rest of the vehicle. If an issue is found here, it will have to be solved before any in-flight tests are done. The solid-fueled launch escape tower ignites successfully, and the fairing separates with plenty of force to avoid any collision. The launch escape tower failed to separate properly from the capsule, but the parachutes were able to deploy. The capsule is not actually intended to be recovered intact; it contains an ejector seat for the pilot, who will reach the surface with a personal parachute. The ejector seat also functioned as predicted in this test, though because this test was done from near the ground, rather than the top of a launch vehicle, there would not have been sufficient time for a kerbal to activate their parachute, if there had been a pilot present for this test.
  7. I launched a more-than-slightly-Sputnik-inspired orbiter (after a few launch vehicle failures). I also launched a probe to Kerbin orbit and successfully returned it to the surface. And I tested out some engines. Details can be found here.
  8. Part 2: ORBs Ysgard I Testing The Torch engine has a good enough track record so far for us to consider it as a propulsion method for an orbital launch vehicle. But there is no way a single Torch will send anything to orbit. For the purpose of sending useful payloads into space and keeping them there for a reasonable amount of time, Ysgard I was designed. This launch vehicle uses 20 Torch engines: four on the central rocket stack, and four on each of its radially-attached boosters (of which there are four). The core engines are tuned down to 70% thrust, while the booster engines are at full thrust. All ignite on the ground, and the core engines will burn throughout the launch until the payload reaches orbit. The immediate question is: what will be the first artificial object to orbit Kerbin? Well, despite the success record of the Torch engines, using 20 liquid-fueled engines on the same vehicle poses a high chance of failure; the first payload of Ysgard 1 is a simple ORB-class satellite with essentially no purpose other than travelling around Kerbin at four kilometers per second and being drastically cheaper than anything else we might want up there. The first ORB-class satellite to successfully reach orbit will be retroactively named Dione 1. Dione 1 As is probably obvious by the name of this launch, the third attempt at placing an ORB-class satellite into Kerbin orbit was a success. This version of the Ysgard 1 launch vehicle, as well as all subsequent versions, has been augmented with an aerodynamic fin on each booster, to assist with attitude control in the lower atmosphere and avoid a similar failure to that which occurred on the ORB-2 mission. Spark engine static fire test 1 Ysgard I works as a launch vehicle, but we are already looking to upgrade it. We will need a new engine for the upgrade. The Spark engine is optimized for upper stages, can be throttled down to 50%, and can be reignited several times. This testing rig allows us to test 24 Spark engines at once, with a burn time of nearly five minutes. Not long into the test, all but four of the engines had lost thrust, and the remaining ones could not be shut down without cutting off the fuel transfer. Clearly some improvements are needed before we can make use of these engines. Dione 2 Dione 2 will be our second orbital probe. It uses the same spherical computer brain as Dione 1, but also includes various other equipment. Dione 2 has several objectives: collect scientific data from space; test out the new RCS thrusters as a form of attitude control in a vacuum; and return safely from Kerbin orbit. That last one is quite a challenge, considering the fact that it will somehow have to survive the process of slamming into the atmosphere at over 4000m/s. Dione 2 is equipped with an ablative shield which should allow it to return to the lower atmosphere intact, and with a low enough velocity to allow its parachute to deploy. Spark engine static fire test 2 After the launch of Dione 2, we conducted another static fire test of 24 Spark engines. This time, the test was perfect. Every engine fired consistently for the full 4 minutes and 49 seconds, the gimbal systems worked on every engine, and the thrust limiting was also tested to satisfaction. The Spark engines are likely to see use in the near future.
  9. I started a new campaign with a reworked modlist, and had some trouble with launching sounding rockets thanks to BARIS. Details can be found here.
  10. Starting Anew With the release of the much-awaited Restock, I have compiled a new mod list and am beginning a new game. Life support is now provided by the USI mods, part failures courtesy of BARIS (which looks more interesting than Kerbalism's similar functionality), and communication is modified by Remote Tech (for the new Restock+ antennae I will write RemoteTech configs, unless RemoteTech updates with official Restock+ support before I use these antennae). Mod List: Part 1: Building A Rocket Isn't Simple All space programs have to start somewhere, and typically that somewhere is a small launchpad just sufficient for some sounding rockets. The first designs, the Type A sounding rockets, had a less than successful start. Building on the success of the liquid-fueled Type C, the larger Type D rocket was designed. The Type D boasts an increased fuel capacity and a larger payload space, as well as a (slightly) more advanced flight computer. It is designed to be capable of passing a 98km altitude - the edge of space - and returning to the surface intact. In preparation for more advanced rocketry, we also conducted a static fire of several Torch engines. This test ensured that they can perform at full throttle (previously-used Torch engines were pre-limited to 70% of maximum thrust) with a burn duration exceeding 4 minutes - both of which are vital capabilities for our next goal: a launch vehicle capable of sending small payloads into Kerbin orbit.
  11. Now that Restock and Restock+ are out, I reworked my modlist a little. And then I launched a Vostok-like spacecraft to Kerbin orbit (at 3.2x scale, of course). Surprisingly, this is actually the first time I have used any of the Russian re-entry pods as a re-entry pod. Remaining images are in the spoiler: Aside from a procedural fairing (used to connect the spacecraft to the launch vehicle's upper stage) and a couple of barely-visible engine adapters, this vehicle only uses parts from Restock, Restock+, and Making History (in addition to stock parts). The restock parts look incredible; and not just the ones I used here.
  12. Are the solar panels on the service bays intended to be separate parts, or part variants?
  13. I will be cutting off this series at this point, and I will be restarting with a different modlist. The reason for this is that I am assembling a modpack, and I need a testing ground to help me figure out where I want to put certain parts in the tech tree, and how I want to balance various mods. I also need to test out a number of difficulty-increasing mods, and the best way to do that is by playing through a game with those mods installed.
  14. The best case scenario for the Mun launch site is if the setting to enable/disable it is separate from the setting to enable/disable extra Kerbin launch sites. I think it should be obvious why this should be the case.
  15. I am not sure you understand the reason for the complaints. There is an enormous difference between launch sites elsewhere on Kerbin (which include exactly as much difficulty for launches as the original launch site), and a launch site on another celestial body with no atmosphere whatsoever and so little gravity that it is actually less efficient to make staged vehicles.