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Jack Joseph Kerman

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    Roving Enthusiast
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    New Hampshire, USA

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  1. I started working on an SSTO that can deliver my new rover to Duna and then fly the crew back home. I decided to do a test flight by flying it to low Munar orbit and back to test its capabilities, as well as find flaws in the design that I could fix before taking it to Duna. There were a few issues that came up, but the most glaring of these was that I included way more oxidizer than I actually needed to bring. In fact, I think I had about 3,700 units remaining by the time I made orbit, which severely reduced my overall delta-V and thrust-to-weight ratio. On this test flight was acclaimed veteran Kerbonaut Germund Kerman, who served as commander of the Odyssey mission, my mission to circumnavigate Tylo. Also on board were three candidate crewmembers for the actual Duna mission, Milmy Kerman, Jebwig Kerman, and a third whose name I don't remember because they weren't in any screenshots. Once orbit was achieved, it was time to burn for the Mun. This burn had to be split up into three separate periapsis passes in order to be more efficient, as the craft's TWR is so low, around 0.2. I then parked it into a low Munar orbit without difficulty. A few orbits around the Mun later, it was time to return to Kerbin. During the first re-entry pass, however, I came in a little too steep and consequently the front nose cone and a bunch of RCS thrusters were destroyed by the heat. During the second and final re-entry, issues with the craft's center of mass and aerodynamic profile were also discovered. While this SSTO flies quite well fully-fuelled, when it its almost out of fuel it becomes very back-heavy, thanks to all of the engines and fuel tanks situated towards the back. As such, this caused it to enter a spin and become uncontrollable. I then transferred almost all of the remaining fuel to the front tanks in an attempt to stabilize it, which helped, and I was able to fully regain control once I slowed below about 500 m/s. The craft does not have good pitching abilities, however, and pitching up the nose for landing was very difficult. I tried to land it on an upward slope and deploy the chutes to slow down, but I overshot, resulting in the parachutes being deployed in mid-air and the SSTO crashing nose-first, sending the cockpit flying away from the ensuing explosions. After the dust had settled and the smoke had cleared, Germund Kerman then investigated the wreckage. So, that test flight gave me a good idea of what I need to change/fix: - Reduce Oxidizer by 3000 - Add SAS modules for higher maneuverability - Adjust fuel flow so back tanks empty first, move center of mass forward - Add larger canards to the nose end for better pitching I also tested the rover deployment system while I was at it. I decided not to use a cargo ramp because that would require me to build a second vehicle to push the rover out of the cargo bay, since its wheels couldn't be unfolded in the cargo bay. Instead, I would just drop the rover straight out of the cargo bay, and the wheels would easily cushion the impact with the ground. Here's the rover in the cargo bay prior to deployment: The rover was then dropped gently onto its wheels, which cushioned the impact of the fall. The wheels were then unfolded, and, after some difficulties getting it out from under the SSTO and having to do a 24-point turn to do so, the rover was able to drive around the KSC.
  2. I also have an RTG in the 1.25m service bay that I didn't show in the screenshots. The electric charge capacity of the rover is around 4,000 units, which should allow me to drive a good distance between recharging stops. I would add fuel cells, but that would mean also having to haul a bunch of fuel around with me, meaning that the rover would be quite a bit heavier, which isn't ideal considering I want to deliver it by SSTO.
  3. I began working on a new rover that I want to do another Elcano challenge with. I want my next Elcano to be done on Duna, and I want the rover to be delivered there by SSTO. Here it is at the KSC going for a test drive. I still haven't thought of a name for it yet, so for now it's just called the "Elcano 1." I decided to go for a much more nimble and compact design than my previous mission, in which my rover had a mass of 70 tons. This rover, by contrast, only weighs in at a little under 8 tons. Of course, if I want to get it to Duna by SSTO, it has to be able to fit into a MK3 cargo bay, unless I wanted to go through the trouble of building an SSTO with a custom cargo bay, but those are an aerodynamic nightmare at the best of times. However, if the rover were able to fit into a MK3 cargo bay, it would be very unstable and easy to flip over. Not exactly ideal for an Elcano Challenge. And so, I decided to mount the wheels onto hinges, so they would be able to retract enough so that the rover can fit into a MK3 cargo bay. Another issue that arises with this, though, is that the rods that the wheels are mounted on are not attached to any other part except for the girder segment attached to the hinge, meaning that the rover's wheels move around a lot and the back is pretty droopy, which causes the lander can to explode when you hit a slope at any real speed. To solve this issue, I put struts into the lander can's container, so that an engineer kerbal would be able to attach the struts once the wheels were unfolded. Once the struts were in place, the rover drives much more reliably, and can take much more of a beating. Now I just have to figure out how to make an interplanetary SSTO to get it to Duna with!
  4. Doesn’t pretty much any rover without self-propulsion drive slow as molasses on Minmus? Low gravity reduces how much power the motors will apply, reducing top speed.
  5. My dude’s plane just forgot its wings like I forget my water bottle before going to the gym
  6. Try and visit one of the several Easter eggs on the Mun. The easiest one to get to is the equatorial Mun Arch, which is located on the northern rim of the East Crater, the large crater near the equator on the Mun’s near side.
  7. After more than a month of real time to plan out and execute the mission, I finally completed the Elcano Challenge by finishing my Tylo circumnavigation mission back on the 11th of November, after over 4,000 km of driving. I’ve already mentioned the mission on this thread a few times, so I’ll just show some screenshots of the closing phases of the mission. The rover I used, the Odyssey 2, was looking pretty jacked up by the end of the whole ordeal. More screenshots of the return to Kerbin: I’ll probably do another Elcano challenge in the future, but it will definitely be with a much smaller (and more practical!) rover. Maybe I’ll deliver one to Duna by SSTO to make it more difficult.
  8. Got it working, thanks! I see it's basically just like posting a screenshot, which I've done literally hundreds of times now, but in Account Settings. I didn't know where to look before, I thought maybe I could just search my profile but didn't think about the account settings themselves.
  9. Yeah, that big was pretty amusing at first but it later got annoying. However, I later discovered that you can fix it by just opening the EVA construction menu again, It handles them surprisingly well, actually. As long as I didn’t go face-first into an uphill slope, no wheels broke at all up to 50 m/s. Above that speed, though, and you’re playing risky games. I did crash the Supercenter pretty hard a few times and had to reload the save. Yeah, about the repair kits.. hoo boy. I stacked an entire 2.5m container and a half full of them thinking that would be plenty, but it turns out wheels sometimes just do whatever they want and break, Of course, I was responsible for the damage most of the time. Including the extras brought by the resupply probe, I easily used over 100. Probably somewhere in the 120-150 range. I didn’t actually use any physics warp at all for the entire mission, as I couldn’t; doing so caused the wheels to gib out and break, so that was a no-go. The distortion didn’t affect the Odyssey’s functionality in any way except for the fact that it eventually sealed the rover garage shut, meaning that I had to get rid of the Mountaineer as it was dead weight. By the end of the trip, the Odyssey had pretty much had it. I made a newer version that I posted on KerbalX which has more struts to avoid this problem. https://kerbalx.com/MythicalHeFF/Odyssey-3 I guess I saved weight, but in doing so my already abysmal uphill climbing abilities were severely compromised. Wasn’t fun. This entry was 100% stock; I had no mods installed whatsoever for the entire duration of the run. Thanks for the compliments by the way, I’ve been really eager to get this mission finished so I could post it here. EDIT: By the way, how do I put badges and things on my profile that people can see on my posts? (i.e.the Tylo Circumnavigator badge) I’ve been on the forums for 4 and a half years and never bothered to ask.
  10. My Tylo circumnavigation is complete, and I've written an extensive mission report about it in this thread: The thread isn't currently completely finished. but I plan to write the remaining log entries in the next couple of days. The craft is completely stock and no visual mods were used. Only took me 22 days of driving to complete, as it turns out that while big rovers look cool, they're not particularly practical. A little album I made showing the highlights of the mission:
  11. I am proud to announce that the Odyssey's circumnavigation mission has now been completed! After countless hours and almost 4,000 kilometers of driving, I have finally driven a rover all the way around Tylo, which is also the first time I've driven all the way around any celestial body, for that matter. However, I still have to get the crew off of Tylo and home to Kerbin before I can truly call this mission complete or consider submitting my entry to the Elcano Challenge thread. I will update the forum post with images and writing of the completion tomorrow, but for now here's a couple pictures to show that I've in fact made it:
  12. Update: Logs 12-14 are now out, as I have decided to release them individually as opposed to one big compilation of them all. Turns out you take more screenshots while playing than you think. In addition, Odyssey has now reached the south pole of Tylo, logs of which will hopefully be out within 2 days or so. Here's a little teaser screenshot, I guess. Finally, I made a little "cover art" for the mission, as I sometimes like to do for highly complex and long-running missions. It's nothing special, really, just made it in photoshop in about an hour and a half. The last time I made one of these was for my Peregrine grand tour mission from last year, in which I visited all planets in the stock system and OPM over the course of 168 in-game years. I never made any forum posts about it, though, as the screenshots I took probably wouldn't explain enough and the mission was done on a potato Mac from 2010 with 720p resolution. Yeah. Glad I finally got a new computer, sure makes things go a lot smoother. Art for the Peregrine mission, if you were curious: @AtomicTechIf I do another Elcano challenge in the future, it will most likely be done on Duna, as that is actually where I originally planned to send the Odyssey before eventually deciding on Tylo instead. I'll probably do it with a much more sensible rover, though. EDIT: I have uploaded the craft file for a new and improved version of the Odyssey 2, the Odyssey 3, on KerbalX. Notable improvements include more struts for better structural integrity, as this has been an issue with the Odyssey 2 which has gotten worse over time, as well as increased electric charge capacity and more wheels for better uphill climbing abilities. There is also a new, smaller Mountaineer rover that is lighter and (hopefully) easier to park back in the garage again. KerbalX - Odyssey 3
  13. Quick Update: There probably won’t be another log entry for about a week or so, as I am currently crossing a bunch of rugged terrain, greatly slowing my progress and making for boring writing. The next log will probably be a compilation of the days it took to cross the mountains all the way to the South Pole. I’ve also been spending less time driving the Odyssey in general, since the current leg of the mission is so dull.
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