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SiriusRocketry

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  • About me
    Accidental Orbiter
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    South Island of New Zealand
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    Spaceflight, gaming and writing.

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  1. I was about to mention that too, after re-reading HSP/CCKP for what must be about the sixth time. Didn't realise the pronounciation of the Proclaimers' album was so similar - although, in fairness, I hadn't really known about the Proclaimers themselves three years ago. Wow. Three and a half years...
  2. When this thing launched, it didn't blast off of Kerbin - Kerbin lost orbital velocity as a result of being under it. In other news, the thirteenth extinction event this week has occurred at the KSC. Survival vault opening pushed back another thirty years
  3. Intriguing. Some would say Nanocrystalline Caveman is one of KSP's hardest challenges and I love seeing the ingenuity and daring of both the designs and piloting in Caveman Challenges. Look forward to seeing your exploits!
  4. I went to, landed on and returned from Duna using only parts from the 1.0 demo (1.25m tanks to the FLT-200, LVT-45 and LVT-30 only engines, no vacuum-specific engines etc). May the Gods of Aerodynamics forgive me... Made it to Duna without incident. Landed; fuel margins are tight but we should be able to make it home and slow down to survive re-entry. In orbit after landing. The Duna-Kerbin injection burn is successful; Ferfurt Kerman is on his way home. As you can see, the 1.0 demo does not have a heatshield of any sort; this makes interplanetary re-entries nigh-impossible as I have to lug braking fuel throughout the entire mission. I managed to shave off about 550 m/s with the last of my fuel before hitting Kerbin's atmosphere, but even with a minimum-energy Duna return, re-entry speed was 2,700+ meters per second. Here you can see that the capsule very nearly exploded; I was very lucky. After three years and 94 days in space, Ferfurt Kerman returns home to the cradle of Kerbin, to his beautiful blue home. Now Kerbin is filled with hope; their stunted space program need not be restricted by parts. I'll do a full mission report thread soon; this was simply the test run...
  5. 1/10 I believe I've seen you once but I rarely visit these forums anymore, so my lack of knowledge is to be expected...
  6. Kind of. I might resurrect this later on but I had a PC fault which removed most of the screenshots, so I'll have to replay them when I get time.
  7. Wow, well done - and in RSS too! That is beyond impressive, congratulations!
  8. I had a quick tinkering around in the SPH and built a basic mockup (minus centrifuge). The four Thud engines represent OMS. I know the real OMS had monopropellant thrusters, but I'm not insane enough to deal with a >0.05 TWR all the way to Jool. The habitation module is 'mounted' to the control cockpit, as is mentioned in the book. I put gold structural panels there to act as 'radiation shielding' as gold aluminium foil was mentioned as an anti-radiation measure. I'll put some on the cupola at the back (representing the greenhouse) too. The two Apollo 'landers' are mounted in the cargo bay; a docking adapter was mentioned in the novel between the greenhouse and the hab, although it wasn't mentioned as extending outside the bay in any way. Obviously this is far too small to fit two Apollo modules, so I just crammed them inline. The cupola, as aforementioned, is meant to be a 'greenhouse' of sorts. The novel says that the greenhouse itself is mounted behind the Apollo docking adapters and in front of the nuclear reactor, but as the docking adapter's crew transfer tunnel doesn't exist, I might swap positions around. The last thing there (where the radiators are sticking out from the girders) is meant to be the cooling tower for the TOPAZ reactor. The reactor itself, like in the book, is fairly small. I've just clipped two RTGs into the cone adapter on a structural plate.
  9. That's interesting to hear; I'd guessed that the mission would be far harder to fly in RSS. I think the shuttle's design is probably the hardest part as well to replicate. It looks a lot more hodgepodge than you'd probably have expected and some parts would have to be redesigned completely to fit with Mk3 cargo bay limits (the improvised Apollo capsule landers, for example, would have to fit in a separate cargo bay, or squeezed in-line behind the CELSS greenhouse/TOPAZ reactor). Most of the fuel comes from "massive blunt-nosed cylinders" fixed onto the side of the cargo bay, in front of the wings. The centrifuge could probably be recreated with a hinged Breaking Ground arm of some kind; the craft itself, aside from the aforementioned OMS fuel tanks, altered wings for Titan's atmosphere and the removal of the tailplane, looks otherwise identical to the Discovery orbiter that it was built from.
  10. If you're a fan of science fiction, you've probably heard of or even read a Stephen Baxter novel at some point. He's a very popular (well, relatively speaking) sci-fi author with an awesome catalogue of novels that I'd highly recommend. Two of these books in particular interest me because of their suitability to KSP. The first is Voyage, which he wrote in 1996. In the novel, Richard Nixon's speech on the moon is wildly different, leading NASA to adopt the Apollo Applications Program and attempt a crewed landing on Mars in the 1980s. Without giving too much of the novel away, I think that it is certainly possible to recreate the fictional Ares mission to Mars - indeed, @winged(hopefully that's the right person) made a fantastic cinematic recreating the mission in RSS/RP0, no less. Given that the novel's storyline relies on Saturn-era hardware and easily constructed mission concepts from that era, which are markedly easier to use and build in KSP, I'd say this is the easier mission of the two. That brings us to Titan, my personal favourite of Baxter's novels. Definitely more pessimistic in tone, Titan takes place in the late 2000s to mid-2010s, which was roughly 10-15 years in the future when the book was published. Facing increased militarization of space, the winding down of NASA operations and the destruction of humanity's exploratory spirit, a desperate attempt is made to retrofit Shuttle-era hardware into a manned mission to Saturn's moon Titan. This book is definitely lesser known than Voyage, which is a shame as I really enjoyed this one. I think the Shuttle era hardware, especially the unscrewed Shuttle-Can concepts, make for interesting builds, and of course we can substitute Laythe or even OPM's Tekto for Titan. I have never seen this mission recreated in KSP, and personally I'm really keen to try it and make a cinematic out of the whole thing. The only issues are a few difficult situations to set up with KSP's limitations and of course, the Earth-Venus-Earth-Jupiter-Saturn (I think that was the gravity assist route) would be difficult to make (assuming Kerbin-Eve-Kerbin-Kerbin-Jool) , as I am very inexperienced with gravity assists. Not to mention I've never made a KSP cinematic before... Anyway, if anyone is interested in recreating the mission(s) mentioned here, look up Voyage and/or Titan, even read them through fully if you can, and let me know what you think! I'm curious to see if anyone else has any thoughts on this or has tried to replicate the missions themselves.
  11. "If you're homeless, just... buy a house?" "If you're wanting to pass, just.. go faster?" - Arcazon Kerman
  12. https://spacedock.info/mod/1092/Kronal Vessel Viewer Continued
  13. With a mod called Kronal Vessel Viewer, I screenshot the craft in the VAB, resize the screenshots in Google Drawings, and boom.
  14. [Author's Note: I built and orbited my first ever SSTO at the weekend. Been on a nostalgia kick through the KSP fanfiction classics recently, so decided to write a wee story about it all. Enjoy!] Who was Roncald Kerman? If you asked Linus, the head of R&D here at the Kerbal Space Center, he'd tell you Roncald was a brilliant but distracted student, whose mind tended to wander at the slightest provocation. If you asked Gene, the leading CAPCOM controller, he'd tell you Roncald was a harmless layabout, scatter-brained and occasionally injury-prone. If you asked Agani Kerman, head of Reconnaissance and Surveys, she'd flatly tell you Roncald was an aimless idiot with the common sense of a rock. Roncald himself would probably um and ahh before forgetting the topic and swiftly, awkwardly, moving on. But I was there. I can tell you that while yes, Roncald was scatter-brained, distracted and certainly injury prone, he was certainly not aimless. He was an R&D intern, one of the new crop brought in by Linus after old Wernher died. Linus replaced Wernher as the head of R&D, but unlike Wernher, he was a practical kerbal, business-minded, realistic. The delusions of Duna landings and grand, gravity-assisted tours through the kerbolar system faded. Gradually, the R&D interns lost that special edge that had so defined the program in its early years. Sure, there were still brilliant technologies and ideas, but the mad grandeur and insane scale of Wernher's ambitions died with him. The Kerbal Space Program became a quieter affair, managing what little budget it was given on retreading the worn paths rather than striving for the unknown. That was simply the way everyone worked. Everyone, that is, except for Roncald. The spark of creative insanity hadn't been dampened from within him: rather, it had grown, with an unquenchable thirst for adventure. Imaginary motherships of interplanetary missions danced in his head when he slept, and visions of Mun bases swam in the diffused darkness of his daydreams. Roncald was a dreamer, a visionary, and a madman. He was also what the Space Program desperately needed. One sunny afternoon, while retrofitting on the last Dynawing orbiter was taking place in the Spaceplane Hangar, Roncald was sent off the Island Airfield, a few miles east of the KSC. Whether it was for genuine use or because they wanted him to get out from under their hair for a few days, the technicians told him to inventory the spare parts kept at the disused hangars there, and Roncald happily accepted. I accompanied him, although I wasn't sure whether I was actually interested, or just going along to protect him from himself. We had provisions, a radio, and the outpost barracks from the war a few years back to sustain us. It was a bit like camping, if you call being surrounded by silent trees and old aviation parts 'exciting'. For Roncald though, the main attraction were the radar-cloaking, high-altitude jet fighters secreted away in the back of the hangars. There were nine altogether in various states of dismemberment and disrepair: these things were nearly forty years old. Practically antiques. I couldn't deny, however, that the sleek, rocket-like fuselages and powerful Whiplash-class jet engines excited me. They were relics from an age of glory, discovery, and wonder... When the ferry from KSC came to pick us up, Roncald told them he had to stay, finish working on something. The crew back home were all too happy to keep him away for any extra amount of time, and agreed hastily. I gave him a wave, and asked how he'd be getting home. "Ah, um, I'm sure I can manage." he told me, scratching the side of his neck. I never did tell anyone that Roncald had neglected to note down one of the jets in the inventory takings. Gus didn't either, he just took the 'eight fighters' for truth with no questions asked. A pretty lax attitude from our Head of Operations. We didn't see Roncald for a while after that. I wasn't worried; he had more than enough provisions for a few weeks at the airfield. The poor bugger could've lived there for the rest of the year if he'd wanted to: like everyone else, I simply assumed he was taking some alone time. Until, of course, the incident five days later. I was roused from my bunk in the construction complex by a gibbering Gus, and ushered into Mission Control, to be met with disapproving glares from Linus, Gene, and PR Director Walt, making a rare appearance. "Whass tha matter?" I mumbled, my speech slurred with the aftereffects of sleep. Gene stepped forward and jabbed the nearest radar screen with a trembling finger. "THIS is the bloody matter." he spat, indicating a small green dot rapidly moving away from the KSC. Nonplussed, I stared straight back at him. "So... what? One of the Survey pilots couldn't resist a view of home on his way past. It happens." Linus coughed. "We thought so too, until it appeared on the radar screens mid-flight. As you and everyone else at this facility well know, cloaking technology has been banned in any use for more than thirty years, so a random radar ping showing up from the middle of the ocean was very strange indeed." he continued, shuffling over to a small terminal to my left. "Well, okay then," I reply, "but what's it got to do with-" "We also," interrupts Linus, cutting me off abruptly and impatiently, "received this audio transmission from the aircraft." He pressed a button, and a sibilant voice hissed to life from the terminal's speakers. "Unidentified flying object, this is the Kerbal Space Center. Please identify yourself or risk destruction, over." There was a pause, and then a voice replied jovially. It was crackly and distorted with atmospheric sound and static, but it was quite clearly Roncald. "Kerbal Space Center, this is Roncald Kerman, flying the future. Just thought I'd let you say hello before I burned for orbit, catch a glimpse, you know. Say hello to Barkley from the Construction Sector for me." Gene grabbed a remote from a nearby table and flicked it at the main plasma screen in the center of the room. he screen blinked to life and showed a picture clearly taken from Kerbin orbit. In it, Roncald grinned at the camera through the visor of an old spacesuit, with a crudely modified jet fighter visible off to the left: the central engine appeared to have been torn out and replaced with a prototype Aerospike rocket. Kerbin hung in the background, like a present under the Kerbmas tree. "One of our lunar scopes picked this image up from Kerbin orbit. Care to shed some light on precisely WHY one of our R&D interns has entered orbit in a cobbled together, illegal jet-fighter and a load of museum pieces? Seeing as said intern explicitly mentioned YOUR name in his communications?" Gene shouts, his left eyebrow raised crossly. Despite the slightly precarious situation, I can't help but look at the craft. It's hard to tell because the craft is partially obscured by the lighting and the angle the picture was taken at, but it looks like it's all in one piece. Which means, for the first time in the Space Program's history, there's a single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft actually orbiting Kerbin. I look up to the ceiling, tuning Gene's angry rant out, and imagining Roncald floating above my head. Godspeed, you glorious idiot.
  15. Chapter Three: Rendezvous Argonaut-1: first kermanned mission of Argonaut Block II! Vorpal Launch System Block I: static fire tests. Well, I've run out of time, and I want to devote an entire chapter to all the Mun-flyby screenshots anyway, so arrivederci and toodlepip! See you in the next update!
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