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Everything posted by DunaManiac

  1. After Accipiter VIII, there was an official Hold announced for the Accipiter Programme to devote more resources to the IKS Azimov Programme. It sparked a small public outcry, as it ended a nearly 9 year long continous streak of manned missions to low orbit, going back to Merlin I, the very first manned flight of the Program. However, the Hold was lifted as the scheduled term for the 3rd Cornerstone Crew reached its end. Thus, Accipiter IX kicks off one of the most complex missions ever attempted to Cornerstone. It takes advantage of a happy accident: The A-12 "High Altitude Research Plane" prototype was ready for its second launch at the same time, and it was decided that it would attempt the first rendezvous ever attempted by a Single Stage to Orbit spaceplane. Accipiter IX, carrying Tedfred and Lomal Kerman as pilots, as well as Haylie, Glead, and Dudner Kerman making up Cornerstone Expedition 5. The last name, Dudner, is somewhat of a famous one: he is a munar veteran who accompanied Valentina Kerman on Nova-E II, becoming the 4th person to walk on the Mun's surface. He serves as commander onboard this mission. After nearly a day slowly approaching the target, Accipiter IX arrives at Cornerstone. Meanwhile, at the Desert Airfield, the A-12 High Altitude "Research Plane" is ready for its second launch. Accipiter IX has been fitted with a new, larger docking port that makes it nearly impossible to break Mach 1.2 with a single RAPIER. It proves that the A-12 successor must have an inline docking system, the first of its kind. Piloted by Gemdrin Kerman, the A-12 accelerates from Mach 0.5 to nearly 3.3 using Airbreathing mode. Subsequently, at 28 km she changes from airbreathing to closed cycle mode, the RAPIER changing effortlessly in only a few seconds. Once in orbit, the craft deploys its single solar panel, and coasts towards the Cornerstone for the highlight of the mission: two spacecraft docked to Cornerstone. The task requires immense skill, requiring the most elite pilots on the planet. They must be capable of both handling the A-12's infamous performance, conduct a rendezvous and docking, and do it all alone. Gemdrin maneuvers the A-12 into position, poised to make history. And docked! With the A-12 docked, we have both a world record of two spacecraft docked to Cornerstone at one time, as well as the most kerbals onboard at one time: 9. However, it's also a symbolic victory for the SSTO concept: two vessels are docked to Cornerstone. One represents the tried-and-true spaceplane model, and the other representing an upstart but revolutionary technology. Accipiter still has the leg-up among the top-brass and bluesuiters at the KSC: it is the only manned vehicle capable of transporting cargo to low orbit. The A-12 has a number of limitations. It cannot be re-used like the Merlin and Accipiter spaceplanes could, it cannot carry any cargo or crew, and is ultimately only a demonstration vehicle. However, it is only a matter of time before SSTOs using the RAPIER technology are capable of carrying the same at a fraction of the cost. Gemdrin aboard the A-12 is the first to leave Cornerstone after only a few hours. The primary reason is to avoid straining Cornerstone's life support system, which was designed to accommodate only 7 merely for brief periods. The A-12 lands at the KSC rather than the desert airfield, primarily due to performance concerns during reentry. The A-12, originally an above top secret aircraft, lands to a small crowd at the KSC, marvelling at how such a tiny plane could have travelled to orbit and back. The reporters are shooed away as the A-12 taxis to a hangar, where it will be airlifted back to the desert airfield. Around two hours later, Accipiter IX also leaves Cornerstone, having completed its mission to service Cornerstone. Briefly, reentry looks dicey. Too much velocity was bled off during the descent, threatening the possibility of having to conduct an emergency landing in the suburbs north of the KSC in the middle of the night. A timely engine burst, however, avoids this prospect, and Accipiter IX lands safely at the KSC. As for the Accipiter Programme's future, Accipiter X and XI will deliver the first crew to the Azimov. Due to the size of Accipiter this will have to be done in two installments nearly a month apart. However, it does give time for the regular Azimov crew to work out any performance issues before Azimov sets out on its first mission. Beyond that, Accipiter XII, XIII, and XIV will be lifting the Distant Whispers probe to the Mun, Accipiter XV will probably be transporting Cornerstone Expedition 7 to the station, and Accipiter XVII being a possible munar return mission. More on that later...
  2. I'm encouraged that the team has been communicating more, which is what I asked for when the original "we're slowing down update cadence" dev diary came out. Based on these comments, this style of update has been much better received than the last ones. Hopefully it'll be a model for the future. I hope that after this update there'll be a more regular release cadence, say, once a month. That would do a lot to improve faith in intercept: it shows that they can keep promises and reassures the playerbase that the game is not imminently about to be cancelled. I would even accept perhaps less substance if a regular release schedule was maintained.
  3. It is now just before dawn at the Desert Airfield. An interesting story about the Desert Airfield: it was once a pre-war missile range that was shut down and fell into disarray, not unlike the way the Island Airfield is now. When the Kerbin Federation decided to rebuild the site, it was registered as simply "Southwest Mountains Desert Airfield." However, whoever wrote its registry license wrote it as the "Dessert Airfield." Thus, the Dessert Airfield became somewhat of an inside-joke with workmen at the site. It now mostly exists as an experimental millitary site, testing some of the most advanced and secret aircraft ever built. The A-12 "High Altitude Research Vessel," a partnership between the Program and the Millitary, is Kerbin's first Single Stage to Orbit spaceplane. It's not the first spaceplane ever launched, nor is it a true SSTO because it must be taken up to altitude by a modified Stearwing A300, but it promises to reach orbit based purely off a RAPIER hybrid propulsion engine. Unlike its predecessor, the A-4, the A-12 is a much more hushed up affair; the KSC is not involved at all save for the construction of the A-12 vehicle. This is because there are special applications for orbital capable aircraft that are none of the Program's business. The A-12 is released from the Stearwing A300 at the scheduled drop off altitude of 4km. Due to the properties of the RAPIER engine, it reaches peak thrust once it passes Mach 1.2. Unlike the smaller A-4, the heavier A-12 needs some coaxing to get past that hurtle. This has unnerved some analysts at the Program, who worry that the a true SSTO would be too draggy to pass Mach 1.2 with a single RAPIER engine. Those worries nonwithstanding, the A-12's launch goes according to plan. A maximum speed of 1143 m/s is reached at 28 kilometers before engine-switchover occurs, transitioning the RAPIER from ramjet mode to closed cycle. Engine is cutoff once the A-12 reaches an apoapsis of 80 kilometers. Once in orbit, Gemdrin settles into the cockpit for a long 6 hour long stay in low orbit. Several scientific experiments are deployed, including ionographers, thermometers, GRAVIOLI detecters, and several cameras. The purpose of this mission is to test how the RAPIER engine will react to long periods in space. Its response will be critical for longer missions in low orbit. Reentry is begun, on an exceedingly shallow trajectory due to fears that it may burn up in the atmosphere if a steep trajectory is taken. Unlike the graceful Merlin and Accipiter spacecraft currently used to transport crews to low orbit, the A-12 flies like a brick. This is because the center of gravity is quite far in front of the center of pressure, despite all the fuel-pumping trickery involved to keep it as stable as possible. Gemdrin purposefully undershoots the runway (which isn't hard to do), in order to fulfill one of her mission objectives: refiring a RAPIER engine in airbreathing mode after 6 hours in space. Because of the difficulties of conducting a static test firing in a small vacuum chamber, the results were completely unknown. However, the engine relights, proving once again the durability of the RAPIER engine. Gemdrin successfully lands the A-12, concluding a mission of 6 hours, 13 minutes, and 27 seconds. She becomes the first kerbonaut to enter orbit while not onboard the rocket launched MCTV, MCTV-MRV, or Accipiter spaceplanes. She has proven that a true SSTO can be done: it is only a matter of time before they replace rockets as our primary way of reaching space. At TLC 41, the next module bound for Azimov is launched. It carries onboard the Minmus Resource Study Module: A module jam packed with science experiments. It will eventually be part of Foundation station in Minmus orbit. The module contains a mass spectrographic antenna (center), an infrared camera, a small telescope, a viewing cupola, and several other science experiments bound for Minmus. The OMM leaves Azimov with the MRSM safely attatched. However, these Azimov launches have also come at a toll. Today we mark a grim milestone: contact was finally lost with MASS 5, a satellite with the largest radar antenna ever launched on a spacecraft, after 6 years of continually mapping the Mun. More than that, we are now left with no operational satellites in orbit around the Mun. It highlights the failure of the Program to establish further steps for exploring our nearest moon after the original Moon Advanced Survey Strategy probes were launched now 7 years prior, and the sheer squeeze that the construction of the IKS Azimov has been putting on the Program's resources. However, this is planned to be changed with the Distant Whispers program. A series of 3 identical probes, they will rebuild our Munar Satellite Network, as well as landing three rovers to explore several Sites of Interest. Unlike the first munar rover, MASS 2 (now long-dead), it is somewhat of a lander/rover hybdrid. It lands under its own power, but it can drive around on rover wheels. It is armed with a drill and a robotic arm, as well as a number of cameras to map these Sites of Interest in detail. The program was long aware of these areas, it was just that there was no way to explore them after Nova-E II took off from the Lunar surface. They will be the first kerbal-made objects to touch the Mun since that mission. They will be launched aboard Accipiter XI, XII, and XIII. The Accipiter program itself has been suspended since a Temporary Hold was announced after Accipiter VIII landed at the KSC, once again reflecting the fact that the Minmus Colonization Initiative controls 90% of the program's resources. However, with that vice-like grip slowly easing as we are now in the tail end of Phase I construction, the impoverished planetary science program will finally be granted more resources. New discoveries are only a year and a half away with the arrival of the Jool Moon Clipper, a new advanced Duna lander, and a planned Gilly Orbiter.
  4. Three Pillars of Space Colonization Sustainable low orbit Infrastructure Developing Single Stage to Orbit Spacecraft Expanding cargo capabilities Increase Workforce and Facillities at the KSC Investing into Mega Interplanetary Transport System (MITS) Construction of IKS Azimov Development of the ISS Anacreeon Development of the Intra-Kerbin-System Fuel Transport Vehicle (IKS-FTV) Construction of Extrakerbin Infrastructure Maintaining Cornerstone Foundation and Expansion Elysium & Citadel The Grand Plan In this installment, we will be focusing on the first pillar, specifically the continued development towards a working Single Stage to Orbit prototype. The A-4 Suborbital Research plane makes its second, and planned final launch. The mission is the same plan as the first: launching from the Desert airfield, boosting into a suborbital trajectory, and landing at the KSC. Slung underneath the Stearwing A300's fuselage, it separates from it via a Clamp-O-Tron port, of similar design (but smaller) to the ones used by Cornerstone. Several changes have been made to the ascent profile since the first flight. It launched from only 3 kilometers up rather than 4, and the ascent profile was shallower. The results were immediate, with the craft accelerating to 1213 m/s - the fastest velocity achieved by any aircraft solely through jet engines. The RAPIER switches to closed-cycle mode successfully. The A-4 manages to reach a maximum altitude of 83,360 meters above sea level - breaking the altitude record set by the previous mission by nearly 2 kilometers! Reentry went according to plan, although the craft did not manage to bleed off enough speed in time. As a result, it did a U-turn and came at the runway from the west, successfully touching down. The next step in the Program is an orbital mission. Below you see the A-12 Spaceplane, contrasted with the A-4 above it. It has made a number of changes to the original A-4 design. The canards were removed mostly for safety reasons, but this means that the aircraft flies like a brick when out of fuel. The A12 is designed specifically for an orbital mission, and will precede a true SSTO model. It will make two missions: the first as a demonstration flight to low orbit, and a second flight to rendezvous and dock with Cornerstone. A lot more work was put into how the fuel would drain than the A-4 did. What is imperative is that the center of mass did not shift forwards as fuel was being burned, as this would decrease the plane's pitch authority, and hence make it more unstable. A diagram is shown here demonstrating how the fuel will be drained. Other design changes include increasing fuel capacity for orbital flights, a double tail rather than a single one the A-4 used, shifting the utillity bay more aft, adding solar panels and antennae, and increasing the wing area. Similar to the A-4, the A12 will be mounted underneath the body of a Stearwing A300. Taking off from the KSC is the second module due for Foundation, launching aboard a Harrier II rocket. It will be the final module added directly from Kerbin: the rest will be brought aboard Azimov. After the rocket circularizes into a parking orbit, it sets out for Minmus. We make an orbital insertion burn, then arrive at Foundation. Seen here is the module docked. You may notice a circular object floating along with the station: this is because the separation point is an Airlock, and scientists did not want a decoupler to potentially stick to it and ruin the airlock. The new module, the General Quarters Module, will provide sleeping and common quarters for the 3 crew of Foundation, contains more life support and radiator supplies, and the primary airlock. Meanwhile, construction of the IKS Azimov continues with the launch of the first three Foundation and Base modules to the vessel. First up is the Foundation Fuel Storage Module. As its name suggests, it will store fuel aboard it. Everything goes according to plan, except when we try to dock. To my horror, I discovered that the tug's solar panels were too long to fit into the bay! To make things worse, these were the nonretractable version of solar panels. (Perhaps we could concoct a story to the public that they are retractable, its just that the mechanism failed). After several minutes of trying and failing to fit in the tug, and with few options left, I smashed one of the solar panels, taking the primary antenna with it also. With a smashed solar panel and primary antenna, the job is done: we have successfully docked the first module to Azimov. Second up is the Elysium Logistics module, which will store life support supplies on the Minmus surface base. Once we rendezvous with Azimov, a complicated dockign maneuver ensues. Since we don't have enough room for the tug, nor for the OMM, we detatch the OMM, and prepare to move the entire vessel to dock with it. Instead of putting the module in the bay, we will be putting the bay on the module, if you will. However, docking is successful, and Azimov is ready to accept the next module. The final launch for this installment is the Foundation Logistics module. It will provide supply and regular storage for the Minmus Station, as well as an agroponics bay. Docking at Azimov is successful, with the OMM jetissoned not long after. 3 launches down, only 5 launches left to go!
  5. That's based off an opinion. I would argue that the atmosphere itself already poses a challenge as opposed to clouds, especially since the map view does not account for atmospheric slowdown or body rotation when telling you where to land. Clouds add to that challenge.
  6. That really only matters on Eve - or a similarly shrouded planet. On pretty much every other world they make for no difference other than eye candy. Around Eve, a serious problem. Elesew here? Not very "game changing." However, they can be nullified rather easily through a scansat-like feature.
  7. You haven't adressed any other part of my post. Until you do debating is difficult. I would like you to at least do that in this response. Clouds haven't made any vessel operate any differently either. Nor would 8 bit graphics affect any vessel's performance. To rephrase my early point, "vital" ultimately comes down to the barebones. Even though other engines do affect gameplay, having more than one is not necessary to play the game. Everything else is nonvital. By continuing this point you concede that KSP2's current features are all "nonvital" fluff, and it feels like you're advocating that small QOL features (which KSP1 and 2 are sorely lacking in) are unecessary. To me, arguing that things KSP1 has and KSP2 doesn't are "fluff" is an empty attempt at denigrating KSP1 for no reason, and shows the arguer is mostly motivated out of petty bias rather than constructive criticism.
  8. Just my two cents on the "vital features vs extraneous ones." A lot of KSP's improvements over KSP1 are on "nonvital cosmetic features" like clouds, painting of parts, etc. The majority of the other features are either in poor shape or haven't been added yet. Depending on how narrowly you define "vital features," all the vital features are a capsule, a fuel tank, and an engine. You can pretty much accomplish everything you can in KSP if you use a lot of them. Let's list some other things that have 0 impact on the game besides existing: High quality models High quality ground scatter Textures Clouds However, I do understand that priorities exist, and that we should focus on the core features before adding "useless" features. I would argue that KSP2 already has some useless features that should be axed, like rendering kerbals inside capsules. But what I feel like some people are trying to say is that features that were in KSP1 (i.e IVA, Reentry heating, burn time indicators while burning (even though this was added later)) were pointless to begin with and that they should not be in KSP2. It's an attitude meant to excuse KSP2's faults without actually fixing them.
  9. This installment is somewhat of a hodge-podge of several different events. The first is the launch of the science module of the IKS Azimov. Aboard a Harrier I rocket, the Ariane-esque workhorse of the Program, it launches from the Main Launch pad. Docking is successful. The science module has several functions. It contains fertillizer storage (albeit this is not needed at the moment), but this is used mainly as a counterweight to offset the weight of the logistics module. It contains science experiments, including scanning equipment, a magnetometer, and various radiometric experiments. The Orbital Maneuvering Module is soon separated from the the module and deorbited. The addition of the science module marks the complesion of Azimov's modules (excluding the propulsion module, which will be one of the last additions). At Minmus, Foundation Station will be constructed both by Azimov during Phase I, and through ordinary rocket launches directly from Kerbin to Minmus. This will be the lab module and the General Quarters module. This launch carries the Science module for Foundation. It contains some of the solar arrays that Foundation will use, a dedicated lab facility, ground experiment storage, and a magnetometer. Docking at Foundation is successful. The solar panels will be left undeployed until Azimov arrives with the crew. Meanwhile, DICE has arrived at Duna. Its mission: to deploy an orbiter into orbit, and deploy a lander to explore a potentially water-rich canyon photographed by the Glimpse mission. This ambitious mission is only the second to see this enigmatic world. Separation is not the gentle separation that I expected. It's a rather large jolt due to the fact I absentmindedly added batteries to the top of the decoupler, causing them to clip into the structure. The result is I spent half an hour attempting to achieve the perfect separation to land where I wanted to, made worse by the fact that the descent module has no propulsion of its own. While the orbiter fires a brief burn to make sure that the descent module does not reenter at the same time that the orbiter is making its orbital insertion burn. Due to the thinness of the atmosphere, there is no visible flames. After the heatshield is jettisoned, the cameras begin to roll. However, it's clear immediately that we will miss our target considerably. Rather than landing in the canyon, we will land in the less scientifically valuable hills. The aeroshell is jetissoned, the parachutes are cut, and the lander makes a powered descent to the surface. From the camera footage, it is clear that the surface is composed of dunes and small craters. Not particularly suitable for life. The lander has successfully touched down on Duna, the first man-made object on another world. The scientists waste no time in deploying the experiments designed to detect life. The atmosphere in the KSC is tense. However: all results are negative. There is no life, not even organic material on Duna. We have failed to detect life on Duna. However: the search for life has just begun, and the lander will continue to collect all the science it can about the surface and atmosphere until its fuel cells run dry and it shuts down. Meanwhile, the orbiter settles into an elliptical orbit of Duna, were it will monitor Duna for the next 1.5 years, after which perhaps we can go even further afield and explore Ike. To end, we focus on the Jool Moon Clipper at its mid course correction. It already holds the record for the farthest probe ever launched. This moment is a little bit of a special occasion. It will be firing its ion engine for the first time. Mission control is tense as they wait for the indication it has fired. However, there was nothing to worry about. The engine fired successfully, and it continues out on its two year journey towards Jool, where perhaps we can discover life after all.
  10. Construction of Azimov has begun in full swing. When we last left off, the Azimov looked like this: the core module alone in orbit. The second module is the Habitation Module. It contains two docking ports for the logistics and science modules, living quarters, storage areas, a prominent astrogation module, an airlock, and a command center for the spacecraft. The docking proceeds according to the plan. The docking of the two largest vessels ever launched has been achieved, with the Orbital Maneuvering Stage being left attached in case future adjustments have to be made. This completes the main body of IKS Azimov. As you may notice, I could be launching this in a lot more modules. I've elected to launch it in the largest chunks I can to reduce the number of launches I have to perform. Third up is the Logistics module. Little more than a glorified supply pantry, it will store the majority of provisions onboard Azimov. Domestically, an unmanned CRV resupply mission was recently sent to Cornerstone to refill Cornerstone's dwindling supplies. This is the second such mission to Cornerstone since it was constructed. The mission has already been delayed several times in order to get the IKS Azimov's construction underway. The long awaited mission stayed for several hours while the crew moved the supplies over to the station's reserves, and putting on uneeded materials. Not long after, it promptly undocked and de-orbited. However, there has lately been a new wrinkle in our plans. Seen here is the Presidor of the entire Kerbin Federation delivering a recent speech. In it, without consulting his advisors or the space program at all, he pledges that "Our time is now. The cosmos will fall before the inevitable gears of progress of the Kerbin Federation! As one planet and one people, we will conquer Minmus... Within Five Years!" This means that as of now, Year 8 Day 326 since the Program's founding, Phase I, II, and III must be completed within 5 years. This created a huge headache for Program Administration. They neither needed or asked for a deadline, especially one that they weren't even consulted on. But the genie is out of the bottle, and the public is abuzz about the five year deadline and the grand potential of Kerbalkind. Calculations anticipate that we will complete Phase I within 2 years. Phase II will take a similar amount. However, to finish Phase III in 5 years, we will need a massive new influx of skilled workers into the R&D Department and Construction. What's really unstoppable is the endless drive to incorporate private corporations into the Program. The 5 year deadline announcement was the final impetus for the Program to merge with the Rockomax Aerospace Corporation, one of the largest missile producers on Kerbin. The program will do whatever it takes to meet this deadline.
  11. Today the first module of the IKS Azimov launched from the KSC. It is a momentous occasion: the first of 4 major components that will make up the IKS Azimov vessel. The first module of Azimov is the core module. It contains the primary solar panels and electrical supplies, communications array, primary computer core, and most prominently, an enormous storage area. This marks the largest object ever launched. It weighs in at 19 tons and is nearly 30 meters long, taller than an ordinary Harrier I rocket. For now the OMM (Orbital Maneuvering Module) is left attatched to provide electrical supplies until the solar panels are deployed and stationkeep until the propulsion module arrives. Meanwhile, the A-4 program makes its debut. The A-4 has made several modifications since the previous iterations, namely increasing fuel capacity and adding canards to make landing more reliably. Slung underneath a modified Stearwing A300 aircraft, it hangs only a meter above the surface. Launching from the desert airfield, we aim to successfully demonstrate the RAPIER engine's hybrid capability, make a suborbital flight past the karman line, and successfully land at the KSC. Once reaching altitude and heading, Lennand separates the A-4 from the mothership. The RAPIER engine engages for only the second time in its history. Unlike the X-15, the ascent profile is much more relaxed due to the fact the RAPIER has to spool up. The Stearwing A300 subsequently turns back and lands safely back at the desert airfield. At approximately 25 kilometers, after accelerating to 1100 m/s, the RAPIER automatically switches from air-breathing to closed-cycle mode. This further increases its velocity to over 1900 m/s After main engine cutoff the A-4 coasts past the karman line into space for several minutes. Lennand experiences weightlessness as he begins running a checklist of several experiments. It reaches a maximum altitude of 81,939m above sea level before it begins to descend. This was higher than planned: the target altitude was 75km above the surface. Reentry is extremely hot due to the sheer speed and high angle of attack on the descent. Lennand struggles to maintain control of the spaceplane during the descent. Unlike the Merlin or Accipiter spaceplanes, it flies horribly. This was deemed an acceptable sacrifice to include an experiment bay, which Merlin or Accipiter do not have. The service bay means that the center of mass shifts backwards during flight, not forwards. The result of this is that it gets progressively more unstable as fuel is burned. This is why the canards were added, because I couldn't get it to work without them. However, we successfully landed. The entire flight lasted only 11 minutes, making this the fastest intercontinental flight in history, and the first successful flight using a RAPIER engine. On the surface, it is a vastly inferior version of the Merlin spaceplane. However, it achieved a suborbital flight almost completely under its own power, while Accipiter and Merlin's engines were glorified orbital maneuvering engines. If a spaceplane the same size as Merlin, which had to be launched off a rocket, could almost reach orbit under its own power, then how hard could it be to develop an SSTO from it? All we have to thank for this achievement is the RAPIER, an unfairly maligned and underutilized engine that has the potential to completely revolutionize the space program. In other news, there were two more routine launches that occured. The first was the Duna Comprehensive Explorer, or DICE, launched by a routine Harrier I rocket. The second was Accipiter VIII carrying the Jool Moon Clipper, the first probe in this save targeting Jool and its moons. DICE is based of the Mars series of probes created by the Soviet Union. Fun trivia: while the soviet Venera program was a great success, deploying the first (and only) venus landers, several radar-mapping satellites that were the precursors to NASA's Magellan probe, and even the Vega balloons, the Soviet mars program was almost a compete failure. Even though Mars 2, 3, 6, and 7 carried landers, not a single one managed to reach the surface and function. (Although to be kind to Mars 3, it did in fact land on Mars, even taking a picture, it failed because of a planetary dust storm that was not forseeable and not the fault of soviet engineers). And while Mars 2, Mars 3, and Mars 5 successfully reached orbit, they were able to get much less data than say, Vikings 1 and 2. Sorry if I offended any soviet space program aficionados there. In any event, the DICE probe is similar to the Mars 3 mission. About 3 hours from approach, the aeroshell containing a lander will separate from the satellite bus. It will descend over the north polar region and make a powered landing. Meanwhile, the orbiter will settle into an elliptical Duna orbit and study Duna's surface and atmosphere as much as it can. We may even be able to visit Ike with it if there is any excess fuel. The other probe launched was the Jool Moon Clipper. It was part of the original First Light program designed to explore the planets for the very first time. However, it suffered several setbacks. The failure of Accipiter III's FL1 to reach orbit around Eve (due to launching off-window to allow FL2 to launch on window) meant that the Duna probe, Glimpse, was downsized to a Duna flyby instead of a Duna orbiter. However, this mission promises to be different. Despite operating like Cassini and being named like the Europa Clipper, it's actually modeled off Deep Space 1, the first probe to feature an Ion engine. Similarly, an Ion engine was deemed the most efficient propulsion method due to the difficulties of storing chemical fuels for 3 years or more, and that an ion engine gives the craft much more Delta V. It is powered by two large solar panels and features a multispectral scanner, a radar dish, a resource scanner, and two science cameras. Its mission: to visit every moon of Jool at least once. In particular, Laythe. Laythe, due to its distance, is difficult to perform a spectroscopic analysis on, but those that have been done on it have revealed it has an atmosphere. Moreover, this atmosphere appears to be oxygen-rich. There is no geological process that could possibly explain how Laythe has a very high concentration of oxygen. Its temperature, against all odds, appears to have a temperature allowing for liquid water, albeit with very high salinity. And by far the strangest result, there are certain anomalies in its albedo that seem to show that the planet is somehow emitting light all on its own, that some have theorized to be bioluminescence. All these questions make for a very exciting mission for the Jool Moon Clipper, a mission that could even discover life beyond our planet.
  12. As Azimov begins construction, its becoming more and more clear that our present Space Launch System - Accipiter - will be inadequate. I have KCT installed - which makes time constraints a priority. Going back to that logistics diagram, what we need to focus on is this area. Kerbin only has to supply cargo to low orbit, but we are currently unable to do this easily. The Harrier I rocket has been used over 3 dozen times, but each launch is a significant expense. However, the main concern is time: it takes 2 months to construct each rocket. Given the amount of cargo we will be transporting to orbit, this will be crippling. This is best illustrated by Azimov. On our first mission, we will require at least 8 crew. The maximum crew capacity of Accipiter is 6. This means we will have to launch 4 crew on one mission, leave them at Azimov for 50 days, then launch a second Accipiter with the remaining 4. We could remedy this problem in two ways: we could simply expand Accipiter: However, neither of these ideas solve the core problem: time. The other idea is a Single-Stage-to-Orbit spaceplane. However - this is not possible with our current technology. Except.... Several years ago, the Rapier Engine Demonstration Vehicle (REDV) was launched at the desert airfield. The RAPIER proposal, created by C7 Aerospace, was not only one of the most powerful jet engines ever designed, it has the capability to switch from air-breathing to closed-cycle mode, allowing it to function as both a jet engine and a rocket engine. After stunning static-fire tests, it was selected over the SABRE proposal created by a wealthy research conglomerate for further reasearch. That came in the form of the REDV, a flight from the desert airfield to the KSC to demonstrate the potential of the RAPIER. And indeed it did. The HLO proposal posed a serious threat to the Accipiter Programme. An enormous space plane, it would be able to do everything that Accipiter could and more. The REDV managed to pass the Karman line. For a few minutes, it seemed like the RAPIER's future was secure. However, during subsequent reentry the aircraft broke up. The pilot, Isapond Kerman (future veteran of Nova-E II and several Merlin launches) only barely managed to survive by a well-timed ejection. The RAPIER program was mothballed not long after that, despite the fact it was the aircraft frame that failed, not the RAPIER. The idea has been revived for the Aquilae Program - a program to create an SSTO that will make going to orbit as easy as making an intercontinental flight. However, we will need to evolve towards it first. The A-4 will be the first step towards that ideal. Like the REDV, it will involve two suborbital flights launched by from a Stearwing A300, similar to the X-15 program in real life. After that, we will have a larger scramjet launched from an Stearwing A300 that will do two missions: one to orbit, one to Cornerstone as a proof of concept. After that, it will be developed into Aquilae: a fully functional, orbital spaceplane.
  13. This looks pretty cool - building cool-looking probes in KSP1 is one of my great joys, so it's nice to know that I'll be able to continue that if and when I move to KSP2.
  14. Nova-E V Mission - PART 2 The next phase of the mission will involve Foundation remaining in orbit for 15 days, collecting science and observing Minmus. This will make it the longest single mission ever launched. However, in the downtime, it is an excellent opportunity to visit the two remaining functional satellites in orbit around Minmus, both part of the original Moons Advanced Survey Strategy program that was tasked with building satellite constellations around the Muna and Minmus. It's important to make sure that they continue to last - IKS Azimov will mean they will not be replaced for a long time. In order to do this, the excess fuel onboard Nova-E is transferred to the Kestrel lander, a process that takes 6 hours, in addition to relieving the excess CO2, transferring samples and probe components recovered from the SGE, etc. Hendrin Kerman will be the sole crewmember to service these two satellites, as he was specially trained for in-space repairs during his time on Cornerstone, and will put up with the lander can's stringent conditions for over 4 days. His mission: diagnose and resolve any problems he finds onboard the spacecraft. Several course corrections are made as we aim for the first satellite: Minmus Operations Coordination Explorer, or MOCX. It takes us 2 days to arrive at MOCX. MOCX, located in a very high minmus orbit, was created to serve as the "brain" of all Minmus operations. All communications are beamed to MOCX for storage, and it's orbital telescope and radar antenna are the largest ever built on a space craft. It is vital that this satellite continues to operate. It was designed specifically with future servicing in mind. Hendrin attempts the first space walk outside of low orbit to interface with the probe. After years of being exposed to the elements, its circuits have somewhat degraded, but its nothing that Hendrin can't fix. Next, Hendrin attempts a daring rendevous mission with MASS 5, otherwise known as OHO. It is located in a very low orbit around Minmus: nearly 6 kilometers above the flats. Its original mission also carried a lander. Hendrin attempts a second spacewalk to the satellite. Hendrin's mission is to collect extremely valuable samples: particles from Minmus' dusty halo collected over the years its been operated. However, the process is very delicate: the samples cannot be contaminated. After he stays for several minutes, carefully cleaning the spacecraft's solar panels and inner components, he leaves with the samples back towards the Kestrel. Once Hendrin is finished, he boosts out one more time to make the plane change maneuver is as efficient as possible, before redocking at Foundation. Ten days later, the crew prepare to leave. Foundation will be left in Minmus orbit, as well as the Kestrel lander. The systems aboard the MCTV-MRV will be sufficient for about 12 days. This will be just enough time to return to Kerbin. After an 8 day transit, the MCTV-MRV separates from the service module and prepares for the first of two aerobraking maneuvers. The purpose of these aerobrakes is to slow down enough to insert the craft into a parking orbit, where we can then pick and choose when we land at the KSC at our leisure. Finally, Nova-E V begins its descent, after nearly 32 days in space. Finally, we land successfully. The conclusion of the mission is also the conclusion of an era: the era of contemporary space travel, and the dawn of Kerbalkind as a multi-planet species. However, this moment is bittersweet: it means that the future of the Program is in doubt. There will be no more missions with the sole purpose of landing on Minmus. Instead, they will be building a colony there, a stepping stone to set up colonies further beyond. In a way, Minmus serves as a training ground for interplanetary missions: separate habitation modules and life support modules are necessary due to its 2 week long travel time, and a rescue mission cannot be expected to arrive immediately. These will be the same problems we will face in the future, and this will provide valuable experience in solving those problems. In the conclusion of this mission, we read the excerpt of the plaque Bill left behind on those Minmus highlands: "To any kerbal who reads this plaque: Salutations!"
  15. Nova-E V Mission - PART 1 Seen here is Nova-E V - the most complex mission ever attempted by the program. Enormous crowds have gathered around the space center - larger than even those that watched the first Munar mission. All of them are here to see Kerbalkind's final mission to Minmus, the beginning of the Minmus campaign. The plan is for the MCTV-MRV (the plane) to function as habitation for the crew and a return vehicle. Aboard are Tedfred the pilot, Hendrin Kerman, )a Cornerstone veteran brought along as the senior kerbonaut on long-term missions like these) and Bill Kerman, a public hero. I'm splitting this mission into two parts because it takes a long time to put together these posts, and so that this post will not be too long. The 5 enormous F-1 engines ignite, lifting the rocket slowly off the pad. It gradually picks up speed as it gets higher up. Orbital insertion begins. Stage separation is nominal. Once in orbit after about 15 minutes, the space craft begins to reconfigure itself. First, the enormous fairings are jettisoned from the spacecraft. The MCTV-MRV/Propulsion Module separates from the rest of the assembly, leaving the "Kestrel" lander still mounted to the second stage. The shielded docking port is unfurled in preparation for docking, and the MM-MRV engine plate is separated from the engine. The crew carefully redock the Kestrel to the second stage, and once docking is achieved the spent stage is separated. The maneuvering engines attached to the service module is engaged in preparation for rendezvous with the Foundation Core Module. Several hours later, we arrive at Foundation. Foundation will temporarily serve as a habitation module for the crew, ensuring that the crew's productivity will remain high during their 5 week mission. Unlike the Oasis Habitation module used on Nova-E III and Nova-E IV, it will not be re-used. It will remain in Minmus Orbit, and become the core module for Foundation Station around Minmus. Finally, the spacecraft is assembled. The last of the maneuvering engines is expended and the bimodal NTR - the primary propulsion module - engages. The crew settle in for their 6 minute long burn. The journey to Minmus is a rather long one: a 9 day transit. However, the habitation module is more than sufficient to accommodate the crew for the rest of the mission: there are enough supplies on board to sustain them for nearly 2 months. After a long journey, Nova-E V finally arrives at Minmus. The orbit is highly inclined to suit our landing site: Point of Interest #1. This site is notable because it is the site of the Stationary Ground Experimenter (SGE) - a relic from the very first mission to Minmus, MIO. By this point it's long dead - the fuel cells powering the craft died years ago. But even now it's still important: it presents a crucial opportunity to recover components that have been on Minmus for a long time to study Minmus' effects on circuitry. The kestrel lander is much smaller than the Harpy lander used on the previous four missions. The reason for this change is because of Foundation's increased mass necessitating a smaller lander to conserve fuel. It can only carry a single kerbonaut, but it can carry a rover, similar to the one employed on Nova-E IV. After nearly 10 days in space, Bill finally touches down in the north polar region. The area is noticeably icier than the other areas explored by the previous missions: probably due to the high altitude. Bill plants the flag and takes the final publicity shot for the mission. However, there is one hiccup. As Bill prepares to decouple the rover from the lander, the force of the separation completely shatters the lander's antenna, interrupting the live broadcast. Bill momentarily loses his composure as he stares at the broken components of the dish. A momentary uproar occurs at the KSC as mission control frantically tries to re-establish connection. However, Bill Kerman's quick thinking saves the day: he turns on the rover's antenna and uses it to re-establish connection. The world breathes a sigh of relieve as Bill's voice comes back on, letting them know that he's still alright. After mission control calms down, they give Bill the green light to begin the next phase of the mission. The SGE lander is some 5.5 kilometers north from our current position, allowing Bill to drive there in the MLRV. After about 20 minutes of driving, we arrive at the lander. As Bill attempts to interface with the probe's radiaton-fried circuitry and tease out the critical components, the rover idles a few meters away. This mission is similar to Apollo 12, in which Surveyor 3 was visited by Pete Conrad and Alan Bean. Bill attempts a plastic smile for the propoganda photos after he finishes assembling a seismometer station: the third such station set up by Nova-E astronauts, and finally allows them to operate as a global network. After finishing operations at the SGE, the rover turns back towards the lander. After another 20 minute drive, it arrives at the lander. Bill spends the next few hours at the site, deploying more surface experiments, collecting samples from the surrounding area, and preparing for takeoff. Takeoff has no issues. Finally, Bill returns to Foundation to a warm welcome by the rest of the crew. However, the mission isn't over. The next part will detail the next 3 weeks we will spend doing science operations in orbit around Minmus, and finally the crew's return to Kerbin.
  16. Just as Nova-E V finishes construction, the two Eve probes arrive at their destination. First to arrive is the Eve Climate Orbiter. Intended to replace the inadequate Cloud Piercer space probe, it will be able to explore Eve in much greater detail. It is also the first probe outfitted with an ion engine. With its enormous camera, the team scrambles to take as many observations as they can before the mission's fateful orbital insertion burn over the next 18 hours. The south polar aurorae are photographed in detail for the first time. With its puny engine, orbital insertion is staggered across several 5 minute burns. The mission samples Eve's magnetic field, takes upper atmosphere samples, and takes as many photographs as it can. Eventually the probe restarts science operations after settling into a 2 hour orbit. With so much fuel on board, the mission will be able to study Eve for 2 years before moving to explore Gilly definitely. Meanwhile, the Eve Atmosphere probe arrives. Its mission: to land in the radar "voids" and determine whether Eve does in fact have oceans. After a retrograde burn expending the rest of the fuel on board, the satellite bus is jettisoned in preparation for landing. Reentry is short but fierce. In order to prevent the metal rockomax plate from burning up, the probe is programmed to angle itself slightly out of the reentry flow (this took a lot of tries). After separation of the heat shield, the probe begins filming for the first time. All it sees is a featureless blur. Several minutes later, the image has resolved somewhat: the lower cloud layer of Eve. Underneath this haze is a totally unknown surface. At around this time, the aeroshell is jettisoned and parachute deployment commences, slowing the spacecraft down from 200 m/s to only 50 m/s. However, the image is once again a featureless blur. But at this the scientists celebrate: the first definitive existence of an ocean on Eve! Soon the science cameras activate one-by-one, revealing Eve's surface. An enormous purple wasteland. Finally, the motion sensors detect a hard surface, and the spacecraft comes to a stop, its cameras tilting upward towards the skies above. It has landed! The ocean does appear to be denser than water: the spacecraft is easily floating atop the ocean.The probe will continue to collect all the science it can for the next few days before its fuel cells run dry and it shuts down for good.
  17. The Minmus Colonization Initiative's Purpose is simple: establish off-kerbin fuel production. In order to do that it will be in two components: an orbital facillity in orbit, and a surface facillity to mine and refine the fuel. This will need a vessel to transport fuel to the station and transport supplies, equipment, and crew to the surface base. The station will also need a vessel that can carry supplies and equipment from LKO for both the station and the surface base's use, and use the fuel mined to refuel the station. This creates a self-sufficient process: the only thing Kerbin has to do is to bring supplies and equipment to LKO. Another important thing is making sure that crew rotations are being done, due to the limitations imposed by USI LS. Thus, crew has to be treated almost like a resource: productivity is limited, and the newer the crew, the higher the productivity, and hence the efficiency of the entire operation. Minmus Surface Facillity (Citadel) Imports 1. Fertillizer (Transported by Tanker Vessel) 2. Fresh Crew (Transported by Tanker Vessel) 3. Equipment (Transported by Tanker Vessel) Minmus Surface Facillity (Citadel) Produces 1. Fuel (Transported by Tanker Vessel) 2. Supplies (For use at Base) Minmus Orbital Facility (Foundation) Imports 1. Fuel (for storage) (Transported by Tanker Vessel) 2. Fertillizer 3. Fresh Crew Minmus Orbital Facility (Foundation) Produces 1. Supplies (For Use at Station) IKS Azimov Requires 1. Fuel (supplied by Minmus Surface Facillity) 2. Fertilizer (Supplied by Kerbin) 3. Equipment (Supplied by Kerbin) Kerbin Produces 1. Fresh Crew 2. Fertilizer 3. Equipment A crude diagram of the plan. In other news, several routine missions took place. First up is the Eve Atmospheric Sampling Vessel - based off the concept for the russian Venera (venus) probes, but is most similar to the design of the viking probes. It will enter Eve's atmosphere at 4 km/s, slow down, deploy a parachute at 10km, and then land on its side. Its missions are to evaluate surface conditions, possibly landing in the "ocean" region (but this is unknown, since we have only a rudimentary map of Eve collected by a previous space probe and can hardly predict where it will land). Another mission is the GECO, or the Gilly-Eve Climate Orbiter, seen here during its beautiful sunset launch. Its mission: using a small space telescope and the largest cameras ever brought on-board a space probe, it will take pictures of Eve's atmospheric formations in great detail, finally answer the question as to whether Eve as oceans or Minmus-style flats, and hopefully explore Gilly in more details. Also, Accipiter VII launches, carrying a new crew to Cornerstone. It has been continuously inhabited for nearly 5 years, and this is the first time that Accipiter has visited Cornerstone. Stage separation is nominal. After a course correction burn and several hours in orbit, Accipiter docks with Cornerstone. The previous crew, Lobas, Luddock, and Hendrin are relieved by Jodin, Claugas, and Lemore Kerman. After several hours at the station, Accipiter VII separates from Cornerstone and prepares for reentry after a costly plane-change burn. And touch-down after about 6 hours in orbit. With these routine missions out of the way, the next mission lined up will be the final mission to Minmus: Nova-E V.
  18. Elysium will also have a rover, designed for transporting kerbals long distances. The Minmus Next-Generation Surface Exploration Vehicle (MNGSEV), otherwise known as the Wanderer, will be the rover of choice on Minmus. It's based off the NASA concept Surface Exploration Vehicle. However, unlike the SEV it does not have a side docking port to attempt a docking with Elysium. In order to get into the rover, the crew will have to physically leave Elysium and board the rover. It has enough supplies for 9 days, a wealth of science experiments, a ground experiment container, a robotic arm, and is powered by twin RTGs. Seen here undergoing testing at the KSC runway early in the morning. Now, how do you land this, you say? It has been determined that it is too cumbersome to bring aboard the IKS Azimov. I've already made arrangments for Azimov without the SEV and I don't want to add another vessel to make it even more potentially janky. Therefore, we will bring it on board a lander of its own. Its functions are to land the rover safely at the target site, power the rover until its time to separate, and then safely bring the rover down to the surface for driving. This probably will not be done until the first kerbals arrive at the Elysium landing site after Elysium has been deployed and assembled. This means that the lander will need to have its own power supplies: which it has in the form of fuel cells, which will burn the remaining fuel until its time for deployment. Once launched, the rover will land at the Elysium site. A ramp will deploy, allowing the rover to safely drive down to the surface autonomously.
  19. The next goal for the Program is Minmus Colonization. This will take place in three phases. Phase I will involve the construction of IKS Azimov, Foundation, and Elysium. Elysium, officially designated the Minmus Temporary Scientific Outpost, will operate for 3 years with a crew of two, before being replaced by a new base. Its purpose is to become a surface outpost, demonstrate key technologies for future missions, demonstrate a modular base structure, and take surface samples from a variety of places, including a strange multispectral "void" that appears on all scanners several kilometers south of the site. It is composed of two modules: the All Purpose Utility Module containing most of the base's equipment, and the logistics module containing additional habitation, life support equipment, and supply storage. Planned landing site is in the Flat Grande region of Minmus, very close to the site of Nova-E III's landing(s). Part of the purpose of that mission was to evaluate surface conditions for Elyisum's future landing. This area was chosen for the accessibility of a wide range of terrain nearby, and as there is no ore-mining equipment resource concentrations. These modules will be delivered to Minmus Orbit by the IKS Azimov in the manner shown here. Accipiter is seen attatched as a return vehicle. However, since the total crew capacity is 9 the crew will have to be delivered in two installments. These missions are planned to be Accipiter IX and X. Azimov will deliver 3 foundation modules in addition to the base modules. The modules will be delivered down to the surface by the Minmus General Lander. Powered by 4 atomic motors, it will be able to make several landings down to the surface without refueling. It is a direct descendant of the Harpy lander employed on the Nova-E missions to the Mun and Minmus.
  20. This thread is intended to be somewhat of a journal. I may include a story, perhaps not. Updates will be sporadic, because this is for me as well as the reader, to chronicle my adventures in a new save for the future. This journal will start in a unique spot: the end of an era. The final manned mission to the Mun and Minmus is under construction. But the end of this era will be a launch pad for a grander project: System Colonization. It is now Year 6 Day 344. Throughout this save I've been attempting a semblance of progression. The Program, a newly created space program for the Kerbin Federation, began with just enough funding to begin developing the vehicle that would take kerbals to space: the Multi-Crew Transfer Vehicle, or Merlin. Only later did I realize that it resembled 1950s designs for manned launchers. Perhaps it was my subconscious at work. Merlin was originally intended to function as a crew ferry from kerbin to Cornerstone, but it ended up becoming a science platform, deploying 5 probes across its 5 year run. Its greatest achievement was deploying a small unmanned lander aboard Merlin VIII, and deploying 2 satellites in geostationary orbit. After 5 years and 10 missions, the decision was made to retire the Merlin Programme in favor of the Accipiter Programme. The earliest goal of the Program was Cornerstone, a small low orbit station. Since Merlin VI delivered the first crew, it has been operating continuously, receiving 2 crews and an expansion attempt. It continues to operate as Kerbalkind's sole outpost beyond kerbin. What replaced Merlin as the Program's tool with which to reach the stars was the Crewed Science Platform, designated Accipiter. It underwent similar testing as Merlin, and Accipiter I launched, just as the Program was due to replace Merlin. Its main goals were to increase payload capacity, necessitating the radical change in design to accommodate a payload capacity greater than a 2.5m service bay. Its somewhat space shuttle-esque but with no payload capacity of its own, and the payload containers of the Buran-Energia. 4 years after the program began, it launched the first kerbals to the Mun and Minmus. The program was called the Nova-E program, calling for 5 missions to visit the Mun and Minmus. The return vehicle (the plane) in question was the Multi Crew Transfer Vehicle-Munar Return Variation, modified version of the original MCTV. The aim was for 5 missions: 2 to the Mun and 3 to Minmus. The plan was similar to apollo missions, except attempting a horizontal landing at the KSC onboard the MCTV. The Minmus missions required additional constraints to account for the fact that Minmus is so far away, necessitating a dicey orbital rendevous and reassembly with the Oasis Habitation Module. To reuse Oasis we had to undergo an aerobraking maneuvers to have enough fuel to put it back in low orbit for the next mission. The propulsion module was also converted to nuclear propulsion, with Accipiter II providing a lunar impactor demonstrator of the technology prior to Nova-E III. After Nova-E III, Nova-E IV brought along a rover, with Vermund Kerman driving it nearly 30 kilometers to plant a seismometer station. Nova-E IV will be the last time the previous misson's lander - the harpy - will be used. Nova-E V will be different. It will plant the first the first step towards making kerbalkind a multi-planet species. It will deliver the core module of Foundation along with it, a station that will become kerbin's second outpost beyond kerbin - and the beginnings of a Minmus colony - opening the door to the rest. Foundation will accommodate 3 crew, and will eventually be expanded into a massive fuel depot. And by far the most ambitious proposal ever set forth before the program: the IKS Azimov, a vessel so large it can seed entire colonies. Its full length is nearly 70 meters, and powered by 9 nuclear engines. Its first mission will be Phase I of the Minmus Colonization program. It is set for construction to begin as soon as the crew of Nova-E V return home. The end of an era indeed. The end of space travel as a stunt, a novelty, but as a serious endeavor. With IKS Azimov, kerbals will be living on other worlds, while carrying kerbals to space becomes routine with the advent of SSTOs. However, it is important to note I am using @Snark' SimpleFuelSwitch mod, which allows one to set most tanks to be all liquid fuel or oxidizer. This allows me to better control the liquid fuel-oxidizer mix in SSTOs and store more fuel aboard stations and some craft. As a result, some craft may have larger delta-V values than they do in stock because they can carry pure liquid fuel. Learn more about it here: Also, here are some previous entries that I've made on the What did you do in KSP Today Thread. The Future looks bright.
  21. Spent some time designing the Base Assembly Vehicle: And here it is! By some time, I mean about 2 hours. It's probably the only actually rover-looking assembly vehicle I have yet built. Note: this is a simulation, I haven't actually sent the BAV to Minmus yet. The idea will be for it to land with the logistics module, then drive it over to the core module, then dock with it. But it took me much longer than I expected to finish this because I've made stuff like this in the past. I also encountered bugs, namely a dock causing an instant launch at 10 m/s while spinning wildly. However, somehow I was able to get it under control and docking properly.
  22. In terms of actual flights, I flew Accipiter VI, a simple mission to geostationary orbit to deploy some geostationary satellites, completing my constellation. Foundation Station. I was going for a very Mir-esque vibe here, even more so than my LKO station. It has ample provisions for a 3 year term with a 3 year crew, as well as a supplementary agroponics farm to suplement our provisions. It also contains ample science equipment and an entire Minmus Orbital Study Suite. It also has an ample fuel reserve for the Minmus General Lander. The Minmus Resource Orbital Module (M-ROM) seen up close. It has a large optical and infrared telescope, a synthetic radar aperture, an observation cupola, and ample multispectral scanners. For transport, a separator will be placed above the science equipment, supported by several structural beams. Once docked, it will be jettisoned from the station. Elysium: a small 2 man base, designed to operate for around 4 years and then be replaced by a larger ore refinery. It will teach us how to assemble a larger base, as well as be Kerbin's first outpost on another planet. However, did mostly conceptual work today. This is the first phase in a plan to colonize Minmus (for probably the 3rd time). The first step is to launch Nova-E V, the final Minmus mission, which will carry the core module of Foundation Station to Minmus. After it leaves, we will then slowly add the lab and logistics module to the station. Then, a large freighter will deliver the remaining station modules, Elysium, a rover, and Minmus General Lander to deploy them to the surface. This will be an enormous undertaking for Kerbin: the entire project will probably take years to complete. But the rewards will be great: a launching pad to land kerbals on Duna and Eve, our next grand targets.
  23. I don't think that's the case. Take KSP1's EVE/Scatterer mods that provide comparable (if not better, but solely my opinion) visuals to KSP2. On my machine I can run Spectra with a NVIDIA GT 710 at about 15-25 fps, which I suppose isn't optimal but I've gotten used to it. It's very old, but some people don't have the financial means to buy the newest graphics card to play games. However, the minimum specs for KSP2 is a GTX 1070, currently on the market for approximately $400. So we're looking at worse performance for equivalent or worse (subjectively) visuals. You forget that Squad has been around here for a lot longer then Intercept has been.
  24. The question is: is it succeeding? KSP2's code is in bad shape, that's undeniable. Are a lot of things worse than KSP1? Arguably yes. Has it failed to meet its promises? So far. Does what KSP2 has to offer better than KSP1 could do with mods and/or further development? I don't think so.
  25. I've been watching the KSP2 debacle from afar: it was what finally motivated me to get back to KSP after a month-long hiatus. It's such a shame that this game has been a parade of errors since the beginning. The fact that KSP1 has several times more daily players than KSP2 really shows you the state of the game. It's a little too early to write an obituary, but things really need to turn around if KSP2 is to surpass its predecessor: and this isn't it. I think that the "wait and see" people were wrong; I have done a lot of waiting, and I don't like what I see. I have full faith that the team is acting in good faith: I just don't have faith they can deliver. The game is in really bad shape: you can harp to me all day about how its UI is nice, it has a couple QOL features, it has a nifty new fuel combination, etc. etc. but when I have tried to point out to some that this doesn't excuse the game's faults, I have been met with condescension and "you're just looking at Squad with rose-tinted glasses." KSP2 has a dream that has merits: taking KSP1's ideal of conquering the planets, and making it possible. In KSP1 you could do it: But this requires a host of third party mods, and practically invites the kraken to your front door. It's a shame that at this point you can't even accomplish this in KSP2 without a parade of bugs. I'm done waiting at this point: I want to see concrete updates on the road map: how will the colonial system work? Will it be a paradox strategy game-esque system, or will it be more similar to KSP's MKS mod? If we decrease the frequency of badly needed bug fixes, we need to increase the frequency of communication. It's undeniable that KSP2 has a long road ahead of it, and this update only makes it longer. But wasn't the long road of KSP1 what a sequel was made to avoid?
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