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Mars-Bound Hokie

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  1. I'm currently at home (Virginia, USA) for Spring Break, and I just got this news half an hour ago. https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/03/president-covid-notice-march11.html My spring break has been extended by a week, and after I return we'll be moving to online classes My little brother at UMW said that he'll be taking his classes online starting March 16th. Yesterday, my mother got a text from one of her friends saying that universities throughout Pennsylvania are moving to online classes. Since this measure is apparently taking effect in Virginia as well, I'm guessing that most other colleges across the USA are following suit. My brother said that too, only he got specific and said it was like a less deadly version of The Andromeda Strain. Sure, the coronavirus has killed before, but it's not as deadly as most media outlets would want you to believe. As long as you wash your hands regularly, and watch where you stick them, you should be fine. That's pretty much common sense, anyway. Like with any virus, it's more likely to kill someone with a weakened immune system such as: older people (especially professors in a university) where they'll come into contact from students coming from who-knows-where immunocompromised people. hopefully, my girlfriend doesn't fall into the "major risk" category. anyone who blatantly neglects their own health. First sign of (actual) trouble, have a doctor check you immediately.
  2. Kenny Kerman had just returned to Kerbin in a Poseidon spaceplane after ditching his tourists on the Mun. He soon realized that he was approaching the KSC too fast and at too high a pitch angle, so he panicked and pressed the "Abort" button. The crew cabin soon separated from the rest of the plane - whose engines were still running - and started coming down on the runway. Unfortunately, by the time he remembered that the emergency parachutes were a separate stage, it was too late to deploy them. The crew cabin crashed on the concrete runway at 97 meters per second, destroying it on impact. After the fire crews were done putting out the fire and fishing through the debris, they found Kenny's body crushed like a grape in the pilot's seat. The rest of the plane was found in pieces in the ocean. A week after the incident, Internal Investigations concluded that Kenny COULD have saved the spaceplane - and, by extension, his own life - if he: Remained calm Kept the engines at 1/3 throttle maximum Kept pitching up until the plane reached a positive angle Turned around 20 km from the space center to land at 2-7 KSC Bradley Kerman - undersized spacecraft
  3. I put a ring station in orbit of Dres. I know this station was originally intended for Minmus, but I intentionally designed the carrier rockets the way that they are in case I - or some more ambitious users - want to take this farther. All I have to do is fill it up with a lot of fuel and ore, and then it's ready for refueling craft.
  4. SAMDARD KERMAN'S MISSION LOG: Y61D306 - 4H20M I'm only at Level Two with a Mun and Minmus landing under my belt (for a tourist run, no less), and I've already been selected as the on-board engineer for the Neptune VII mission. I questioned why a new mission to Laythe was started, and then Mission Control replied with the following reasons. The Neptune VI mission had been aborted. Our contractors are demanding we use the Lazybird for a prominent space mission. Like when Integrated Integrals wanted the Hamacker to be used as the Neptune VI mission. Mission Control decided to take advantage of the fact that the launch window to Jool is about three weeks away, and that the spaceplane has 4,975 m/s of delta-V when deployed from the carrier. With two other Level-Four kerbalnauts, I'm about to go straight to Jool from Kerbin. NAME LEVEL SPECIALTY Donbin Kerman 4 Scientist Gusbles Kerman 4 Pilot Samdard Kerman 2 Engineer Gusbles Kerman, our pilot, on EVA right after the spaceplane is deployed from the carrier. We're ~175 km above Kerbin now. A minute after detachment, Jeb took the controls back and remotely piloted the carrier back to the KSC without a scratch. Gusbles actually thought that he was going to take the right wing off, due to the craft's incredibly long wingspan. In 20 days, we'll make our exit burn to Jool. When we arrive, we'll refuel on Pol and then head for Laythe for our mission. I'm sure this would beat heading to Duna and waiting for our burn to Jool from there, and we're about to get some more science points on Goo alone. On a side note, we considered launching a Lazybird to rescue a stranded kerbalnaut on Dres - but that idea was rejected once we realized that we already had a rescue crew on the way. We might launch an empty spaceplane to rescue an engineer stranded on Eeloo (no, it's not Bill - it's a rookie), but there's some concern regarding it having enough delta-V to land. Fortunately, the spaceplane has a docking port and a mass ore transport can fly up to it to refuel it - just like with the spaceplane that finished the Raven-Remembrance Saga. Wish us luck.
  5. NO, THIS IS PATRICK! And I am not a KSP. All memes aside, I think it makes more sense to fly to Dres Canyon first. It's closer to the equator than the Mohole, so landing and taking off (and leaving the SOI) will use up less fuel than a polar landing. You can also drive through it the canyon, and it has an entrance/exit rather than just one way in OR out. With the Mohole, you'll also be taking up fuel going up and down.
  6. To answer @Mikenike's question, I have 64 kerbals total and now on Y61 in my current career save. So far, only three dead (not counting quicksaves). In a fanwork I started a year ago (but stopped due to other projects in KSP and IRL), @roboslacker asked me how long a kerbal's life span is. I answered with this. In other words, (for my fanwork) kerbals tend to live as long as humans - assuming they're not killed or die prematurely from illness.
  7. Impressive, but is that all you can do? I built an SSTO that can carry another spaceplane to a 175-km orbit above Kerbin. I wanted a carrier because why waste your own fuel getting to LKO when someone else can do that for you. And no, I'm not talking about a shuttle rocket. Now that's what I call a spaceplane carrier. The carrier only needs to get to LKO and back to the runway, while the spaceplane itself has 4,975 m/s of delta-V. For more details, see my craft file for the Lazybird.
  8. BILL KERMAN'S MISSION LOG: Y61D214 - 5H00M It is unconventional, but not unheard of, for kerbalnauts currently outside of Kerbin's SOI to participate in engineering projects. Val and I are currently in a Dirtblood, returning home from a scientific survey on Duna. The weird thing is that our on-board scientist is Lasel Kerman, the same woman who came to rescue us from Eeloo years ago. Anyway, while we were heading back home, I've been selected to help the SPH engineers design a "spaceplane carrier." More specifically, it's supposed to carry a spaceplane to LKO, detach it, and return to the KSC while the spaceplane does its mission. Critics of this project - myself being one of them - called it inefficient and impractical. I mean, what's the point of a spaceplane if it can't even get itself to LKO? However, I then switched to the "pro" side when Mission Control gave me the benefits which increased the plane's delta-V after being deployed. Removed the monopropellant tanks and the underside docking port of a private spaceplane, saving weight. Draining the oxidizer. Picture of the new spaceplane 175 km above Kerbin. Has 4,975 m/s of delta-V after detaching from the carrier. That means it can make a direct interplanetary burn without having to stop at Minmus (and/or Ike) in the middle. I've heard of air-launched rockets - and I even read about the new rocket carrier - but an SSTO carrying another spaceplane to orbit has never been done before. If done successfully, we would save a lot of mission time on refueling stops alone. Heck, we could probably do a straight shot to Jool because of this. Months of research, testing, and crashing later, we managed to get a successful prototype. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. We present to you LAZYBIRD Test run album Since Anrey's mission was aborted, and since the Neptune V collected a lot of science during its runs, rumors have been going around that we may stop the Neptune program. When asked about it, Mission Control neither confirmed nor denied that it would end the Laythe exploration missions. Wernher didn't give much of an answer either when I asked him, but he told me this: Outside of this project, I hear that the Neptune V crew marked down a lot of possible base locations. We definitely won't cover all of them, but we know where to put bases in case we need to. I guess whoever was in charge of labels hates doing paperwork. I am SO glad the Raven-Remembrance Saga is finally over. It started when Val and I were on Eeloo, and now everyone on that trip is satisfied with their vacation. We blew a good portion of our budget on failed carrier prototypes (and a new ring station designed for refueling), but we're now under another contract for nine more tourists (eight, not counting the one whose itinerary we already fulfilled). No matter; for the tourists that want to go to the Mun, Minmus, Duna, and further away from the sun, we can use a Poseidon SSTO. Like the Eeloo missions from decades back, the Neptune missions have expanded our boundaries in science and technology. We used to just take tourists in landers (for some planets, we still do) and splash them on Kerbin's oceans, but now we're taking planes. We also designed ring space stations (though, honestly, it was just to replace the space station we didn't bother to continue assembling), launched mass ore transports, and built new homes on Laythe. All that's left is to put kerbalkind on Tylo and Eve, and we would have conquered our solar system.
  9. It was also the CoM moving back while exhausting my fuel and oxidizer during the orbital ascent. If you want to test my craft file out, go ahead. However, at this point, it is unnecessary since I have made a successful prototype. LAZYBIRD CRAFT FILE If you think you can make a cheaper version, knock yourself out.
  10. I DID IT! Look at the cute spaceplane at 175 km orbit with 4,975 m/s of delta-V Goodbye Minmus stops. Besides the monopropellant tanks in the front, I also lowered the flow priority for the small Mk2 Lf tanks so that they'll keep the CoM near the front. It was a struggle to fly this monster to the KSC, but I managed... and voila. One thing I would like fixed is the control point on the carrier once I detach the spaceplane. Since its cockpit is the designated root part, my screen focuses on that part until I switch to the carrier. However, when I do, it is being controlled from the underside docking port. I would like to fix that issue at the SPH, but it's not as important as actually flying this thing. If fixing it at the SPH isn't possible, a user could just hit "Control from here" on the probe core.
  11. Question, @boolybooly. For days, I've been trying to build a spaceplane carrier. In case you don't know what it is, it's a spaceplane that carries another spaceplane into LKO and drops it off before returning to the KSC. Below is a picture of the latest semi-successful prototype in action. Taken at 160 km orbital altitude Main spaceplane has ~4966 m/s of delta-V when detached. Now you know why it's called a spaceplane carrier. I won't waste the spaceplane's fuel getting ready for its ejection burns. Once I get it working, I can send the main spaceplane to whatever planet I need to without having to stop at Minmus and/or Ike first. If I'm lucky, I can land and get back to the KSC without having to refuel - but I have ISRU just in case. As for the "carrier," I will send it back to the KSC immediately after detachment. If successful, does this qualify as a K Prize entry? Yes, both planes will be millions of kilometers away and land years apart, but both should end up back home intact when they're done.
  12. Can I also set the fuel flow priorities to keep the CoM near the front? If so, what tanks should get what numbers (40 is default) I tried that myself, but I ended up pitching up during the orbital ascent.
  13. After looking at @sturmhauke's Joolia design, I decided to go big or go home. With twelve rapiers, it managed quite an immense acceleration. In fact, I had to ease up on the throttle a bit after 1400 m/s so I didn't blow up. The next picture shows me detaching the spaceplane at 160 km altitude. HOWEVER, I lost control after re-entry. Sure, nothing came off, but I still spun around and couldn't fix it. To my surprise, the Mk. 2 tanks had been almost drained while the 2.5-m tanks (the Rockomax X200-16 and the C7 Brand Adapter) still retained most of their fuel. I blame the fuel ducts for throwing off my center of mass, but I installed them so that the rapiers could receive the Lf+Ox from the Mk. II tanks when it was time to go into rocket mode. Craft file: https://mega.nz/#!yCpjwDpZ!hMma_Rm6dipsyaSX9veb-1u3tgLHtU1ugkIdegzPJfc How can I fix this problem? Worst-case scenario, I could deploy the chutes (added after this test run) on the carrier and just plop on the ground.
  14. I need to return the spaceplane to the KSC when I'm done with it, after all. Plus, if I'm feeling ambitious, I may go for a Duna landing. So I don't take up more of this thread, feel free to DM me if you have any more questions/concerns/comments about my craft. Alternatively, you could reply to this thread in the "Gameplay Questions" section.
  15. To address everyone's responses (in order of posting) Got it. Where would I put these canards? Wouldn't adding them and/or removing my rear stabilizers throw off my CoL? But where would I put them? With the engines all spread out like that, how will the air from the intakes reach them? Sure, I could trade the engine fuel tanks for pre-coolers, but that also means I will have 40 Lf; I will be trading (a lot of) fuel for intake air. You mean this? How would I place them so that they can hold the spaceplane AND the necessary engines (which is another issue)? The FAT-455 wing is way longer, and it can hold 600 units of fuel (the Big-S Delta wing can hold 300) A Probodobodyne OKTO2 is literally the first piece I started with when making the carrier (merging the spaceplane (with docking ports attached) later). After assembly was complete, I made the spaceplane cockpit the root part. I also made sure to include A LOT of batteries (one behind each rapier). I should probably add an RTG on the carrier too, but I don't want it to blow up during re-entry. I didn't want to add solar panels to the carrier, or else I might trigger something on the spaceplane that I don't want to. If I get rid of the NERVs, I could set "0" as the panel action group. It also toggles the surface harvester on the spaceplane, but that won't work unless the drills are deployed (which requires the "4" button). When I tried the carrier WITHOUT the spaceplane (and NERVs), I ran out of oxidizer before I could complete my orbit. I added the NERVs so that I could have enough delta-V to achieve a high enough orbital altitude for my spaceplane. Though it has a maximum thrust of 120 kN on NERVs alone, I don't want its periapsis to get below 70 km during the ejection burn (I learned about that possibility the hard way). At the same time, I need to watch my CoM. Not only will I lose the spaceplane before my re-entry burn, but I would have used up a good chunk of my oxidizer and Lf and Ox by then. Where would I put the Lf and Lf+Ox tanks? I'm considering using the Mk. 2 tanks for this, since those parts include a Mk. 2 bicoupler (that I can put two rapiers on). Interesting points you two brought up. After I take care of my college stuff IRL, it's back to the SPH for me.
  16. Here's the story. I decided to build an SSTO that can carry a three-person spaceplane into LKO and leave it before landing at the KSC. That way, the spaceplane itself will be ready for its interplanetary burn with all its liquid fuel tanks full and I won't have to drop any debris on the surface. For an aerodynamic design concept, I viewed Matt Lowne's air-launched spaceplane video. Though I followed the video while building my plane, I made sure to add my own parts in my version (e.g. rapiers instead of airliner engines, reaction wheels, NERVs, more oxidizer for the rapiers, etc). I plan to get BOTH craft in orbit instead of sacrificing one for the other. Below is the image of my prototype (spaceplane included). I do not plan to change the spaceplane, so it's the carrier I need help on. STAGING SEQUENCE: 5: Carrier rapiers 4: Carrier NERVs 3: Detach spaceplane from carrier Attached via docking port 2: Spaceplane NERVs Should be separate from carrier by then. 1: Spaceplane rapiers 0: Spaceplane rear parachutes Spaceplane has ~4,952 m/s of delta-V with its oxidizer tanks (99%) depleted, so there's the reason why I want this to work so badly. Craft file: https://mega.nz/#!iSglSAKT!iyaMk3pM_rt1HMWtCXu4ROxektOhf-tsHE4Y5OqtBig While the appeal of this design seems awesome, the test results are anything but. For instance: My aircraft keeps sliding on the runway, even at maximum friction control. I can't achieve LKO. I did once, but I could not repeat it. More details on what happened later. Honestly, I forgot if it was this prototype or another one. Either way, I was lucky. The other times, I failed to achieve an apoapsis above 70 km before I got below 39 km (or whatever altitude you can't bounce back up from). When I did reach Ap=70 km, I couldn't get my periapsis up in time to avoid getting recaptured in the atmosphere. (IN THE ONE TEST RUN THAT I ACHIEVED LKO IN) My carrier plane lost control after re-entry, and I spun uncontrollably in the air. In fact, my tailfins snapped right off. I had a bit of trouble keeping this plane straight when the carrier's rapiers activated. More specifically, it wanted to pitch way up for a bit until its oxidizer supply was depleted. I then tried Matt's Stratolauncher design concept, but that prototype turned out even worse. When the rapiers switched to rocket mode, I rapidly pitched downward. The picture below shows the prototype in question. If I had to guess why, it's because of the three rapiers on the top being so close together What should I do for my carrier to work? What kind of design is necessary to function both with and without the spaceplane? Any and all help is greatly appreciated. If you want to try it out for yourself, feel free to ask for the craft file (aside from the one I posted here) One more time: the spaceplane shall not do anything until it is released from the carrier in stable LKO.
  17. Try this website. It will give you a good idea on how much delta-V you'll need AND when you should launch. https://alexmoon.github.io/ksp/ Just select your "START" planet and orbital altitude (it's assuming the orbit is circular). Pick your "END" planet and the desired orbital altitude. (OPTIONAL, BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) Enter your current save date Hit "PLOT IT," and pay attention to the results obtained from the porkchop selection graph. Alternatively, you could download the following mods. I highly recommend them, since I never play KSP without them. MechJeb Use the "Advanced Transfer to Another Planet" button, and don't forget to hit "Include capture burn" unless you want to crash there. Kerbal Alarm Clock It comes with transfer windows (sometimes it conflicts with MJ), and you can save your maneuver node for your ship if you want to do something else while waiting. An alarm will go off five minutes before you hit your node AS WELL AS before you hit/leave another SOI (including moons) BE SURE TO ACTUALLY SET THE ALARMS FIRST. EDIT: If you're far enough into your tech tree, you could always use my Dirtblood SSTO. Just be sure to refuel on Minmus before you leave Kerbin's SOI.
  18. I'm trying to find a more efficient way to launch spaceplanes. More specifically, I want another SSTO to carry the spaceplane itself to LKO and return to the KSC while the spaceplane goes on its way. Call me contradictory if you may, but why should I use my own fuel (and oxidizer) when someone else can do it for me? I won't have to stop at Minmus to refuel - and waste more fuel getting into orbit. Besides, plane-carrying planes are cool. A true "aircraft carrier." However, I've had my share of problems. They include, but are not limited to. Sliding on the runway despite the friction control being maxed out. Having trouble achieving orbit. I got into LKO once, but I cannot do it again. (IN THE ONE SUCCESSFUL TEST RUN - I COULDN'T REPEAT IT) I lost control of the drop-plane during re-entry. Can someone please help me with that? Below is the link to my craft file, if you want to try it out for yourself. https://mega.nz/#!iSglSAKT!iyaMk3pM_rt1HMWtCXu4ROxektOhf-tsHE4Y5OqtBig Thank you.
  19. Ha ha, Galaxy Quest. I thought Severus Snape Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus was the funniest character of the movie. Anyway, I tested my new relay carrier plane today. More specifically, I launched an SSTO into LKO and deployed a relay antenna before heading back to the KSC. Load's away. Now to return home. During landing, I overshot the runway and was approaching too fast and high. Good thing I have years of flight-related gaming under my belt, or else I would have been toast when I tried to pitch downward to slow down. I then pitched up in time to fly to 15 km away from KSC and turned around. Tower: "Relay carrier, this is KSC traffic. You're coming in hot. Turn around at 15 kilometers and approach for landing at 2-7 KSC. Repeat: land at 2-7 KSC" Jeb: "Trust me, boys. I got this." Tower: "That's what we're afraid of." Much to their surprise, Jeb actually landed the large SSTO without a scratch. Of course, slowing down and coming in low enough for a landing helps. RELAY CARRIER CRAFT FILE ON KERBALX
  20. What's up, @boolybooly and friends? Backstory time (skip if you're not interested) Here's my (fifth) entry for the K Prize, the Relay Carrier. Taking off from 0-9 KSC Just a normal day setting planes on fire at 25,000 meters At least the relay's safe. Nice view of the sunrise. Relay deployed at 178 km altitude It has a cargo bay with a lot of science in it since we got a contract mandating we carry stuff like goo and materials and a thermometer in a relay to Pol. I then installed all available scientific instruments into the cargo bay - as well as some RCS tanks so that it can separate from the plane easily. Has 4,339 m/s of delta-V. I overshot the target, so now I have to turn around and land at 2-7 KSC. SUCCESS! 227,393 funds recovered from safe landing, as well as 0 debris left anywhere. OUTCOME Science-equipped relay in LKO, ready for action. Plane and crew safely recovered at the KSC.
  21. After being hit with several lawsuits concerning debris pollution, we were forced to cut back on the number of boosters we could jettison. Some opportunistic engineers at the SPH decided to take the main component of our standard three-man Gilly lander and put it in a modified Poseidon spacecraft. Current variant of the lander carrier in the SPH. You'll see what's inside the cargo bay later. Congratulations, it's a lander Delta-V: 3,475 m/s Thrust: 60 kN Mass: 24.933 tons (DISCLAIMER: This picture shows the first prototype (has the Gigantor panels). Even so, the current variant could deploy the lander while in orbit with plenty of delta-V to spare) The first prototype spun out of control after re-entry. I don't know if it was luck, skill, or by design, but I managed to regain control at 4 km above the surface. With some help from Lt_Duckweed, I redesigned the plane so that the NERVs would be on the wings rather than on the tail. His advice paid off well, and it would be put to the test later. I was coming in too hot and too fast for a direct landing at 0-9 KSC, so I had to turn around and land at 2-7 instead. MADE IT.
  22. For hours today, I've been testing my new Gilly Lander carrier. I was inspired by @Lt_Duckweed's Nuclear Grace plane - which carried a fuel tank to LKO - and @Matt Lowne's Air-launched Rocket for design ideas, and I eventually managed to stick a three-man lander inside a plane. And, unlike Matt's plane, I won't have to worry about crashing one of the vessels while piloting the other. Also, in my career save, the Raven-Remembrance (also known as the Remembrance-Trainwreck) saga is over. For almost ten months IRL (there were a lot of gaps in between, all right) I transported about two dozen tourists (I lost count) all across the Kerbol system in different ships. Once both ships were on Kerbin, I put them on an SSTO and sent the last remaining tourists to Eeloo to finish their contract. Finally, after so many in-game decades, it's over. The Poseidon SSTO returning to Kerbin after its long journey to Eeloo and back. And yes, this one also landed at the runway. According to this Mission Report, I launched the Remembrance somewhere around Y25D342 - exact date may vary. Since it's Y60D268 in my career save now, this whole saga has been going on in the sidelines for about 35 in-game years (or more).
  23. With all the craft-sharing sites out there (especially KerbalX, which tracks the number of times craft files are downloaded), do you ever wonder how often we use our fellow kerbalnauts' creations? If we do, then what for? Tourist runs? Relays? Confidence boosters? I've used @Matt Lowne's Eeloo ring station once, but then terminated it since I started using my own station more (and the lag sucked when I was on the Eeloo ring). I also downloaded a few SSTOs to look inside them so I can get some inspiration for my own designs - and even tested their planes since I was bored (e.g. I flew @fulgur's K Prize entry to test its reliability as a docking-capable self-refueling plane - he and I were DMming about my own design issues at the time) Last night, I downloaded @Lt_Duckweed's Nuclear Grace and modified it to carry a two-man Gilly lander. Call me a dirty cheater/thief for tampering with someone else's creation, but at least I gave the original designer credit. Plus, I've been to Gilly for tourist landings/rescue missions a million times. To me, sending two people to that rock (with a higher return-on-investment, since the carrier's coming back) is nothing more than another chore for money. Now, if I made my own carrier design (the lander is all my own), then that's something I can claim as mine. What about you all? How often do you use other craft files? What for?
  24. After flying around on Duna (and using F9 every two minutes during landing), I decided to head for Ike's south pole to get some more science before heading back home. Dirtblood during the orbital ascent. I now have 4,966.5 science points stored in my plane's probe core, which is more than what the Neptune III came back with.
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