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  1. I rescued the last kerbal with my rescue pod carrier and then brought the whole thing down safely. It did tip over on landing, but nothing was damaged. I also noticed a launch window for Eeloo approaching on KAC and decided to send a probe. Kerbal Alarm Clock said I had 9 days, but when I checked on Alex Moon's launch window planner, it showed that I was already past the optimal window. I decided to launch a probe immediately while I could still get a reasonably efficient transfer rather than waiting another year for the next window. I just grabbed a probe design I had with a full set of scientific instruments/survey gear and lots of dV. I probably should have left the solar panels off, but it does have RTGs for power at that distant planet. Despite the low TWR, I was able to get an Eeloo intercept with a long transfer burn and a small (30 m/s) correction.
  2. If you look at the big table about halfway down the page below, it has the EC cost to transmit the various experiments. If you're doing an atmosphere scan of Jool, that's 2000. The next most expensive is the gravity scan at 600. I agree you probably won't have enough time to recharge a probe entering Jool's atmosphere, so I would pack enough battery to transmit everything in one go onto that one. https://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Science
  3. I sent a crew to hunt down the last couple of anomalies in the southern polar region of the Mun. I've tried (and failed) to find these before, but thanks to a new higher resolution scan I had more accurate waypoints to go by. It turned out I needed almost all of the 4000 m/s dV on the lander to visit both and return to the station in equatorial orbit. And I rescued a kerbal from Kerbin orbit. After a safe re-entry, Wilneny became the 47th kerbonaut in my program. This was the last rescue pod. The mother ship can grab one more kerbal and that will probably be the last addition.
  4. Today was a momentous occasion as the final two ships left for the Duna expedition. First the Duna Express, piloted by a single kerbal, will be responsible for returning the crew safely after they finish their mission. Then the Duna Explorer with the main crew left about a day later. In total, there are 5 ships currently en route to Duna. I'm going to start wrapping things up in the Kerbin SOI and focusing on interplanetary missions more now just so that I'll actually get to them in some reasonable amount of time. Back on Kerbin, the Kerbin Flyer explored a couple of anomalies. First, the dessert temple. Then a monolith in the mountains west of KSC: I launched a giant monstrosity of a liquid fuel tanker. This is something I might need for future interplanetary missions than need LF-based engines for longer range. On another ship, I had a bad Kraken attack while refueling. The refueling rover and ship were fine when I left, but when I shifted focus back, this happened. All I can think is that there must have been an angle between the rover and the ship, and when I switched over it put the lander wheels below ground. Luckily no kerbals were killed, so I just deleted the old rover and used ALT-F12 to replace it.
  5. I'll try to put some numbers to it and see if that helps. I normally use RCS for one of two things: docking and fine adjustments to maneuvers. In both situations, it's pretty rare that I want to make an adjustment of more than 1 m/s. Doing that over the course of say 10 seconds would be good, so that gives an acceleration of 0.1 m/s per second. In terms of TWR, divide by 9.8 and you get around 0.01. That 10 seconds is pretty arbitrary, so really anything with a TWR of say 0.001 to 0.1 would probably be tolerable. A single RCS thruster block gives 1 kN of thrust. F=ma --> a = F/m so 1 kN will give 1 m/s per second to a 1 ton spacecraft. Normally I mount my RCS blocks using 4-way symmetry and I assume most others do. That would give 4 kN for movement forward/backward. So 4 RCS blocks would give 0.1 m/s for a 40 ton spaceship, 1 m/s for a 4 ton craft, and 0.01 m/s at 400 tons. At the lower mass end, you might not need RCS at all, or you can use fine control to lower the thrust. At the high mass limit, you might consider using Vernor Engines instead. They use LF/Ox instead of Monoprop, and they only thrust in one direction, but they provide 12 kN each. Anyway, that 4-400 ton range probably covers the vast majority of spacecraft people use for docking or orbital maneuvers, so "just slap on some RCS blocks and go with it" works fine in most cases.
  6. I rescued a couple more kerbals for the space program today, including Doodmon Kerman. I think at some point I'll have to have a mission with Doodmon, Doodbro, and Billy-Bobmund Kerman just for the laughs. My Atlas XL asteroid catcher latched onto a Class A asteroid. At only 5.7 tons they mined it dry in less than a minute. The husk was put into a highly elliptical orbit around Kerbin to fulfill a contract and then abandoned. I think the crew have been in that cockpit for about 120 days now so I'll send them back to Kerbin for some R&R and counseling. I took the Winterlance up for a flight to return a kerbal to KSC and almost managed to land on the runway. Almost. The plane skidded off the runway and nearly collided with those tanks in the background, but hit a berm first and jumped over them. Except for the loss of the docking port and some cleaning of the seats it was intact. And finally, I launched the Duna Explorer which consists of the lander, a station, and a transfer stage/fuel tanker. The Duna Explorer refueled at KEO Station and is now awaiting the launch window to depart for Duna in a couple of days.
  7. Busy day. I rescued a couple of stranded kerbals around Minmus and Kerbin. I'm going to continue rescuing kerbals until all the rescue pods on the carrier are used up. By then, I should have around 50 total. I can't see ever needing more than that even with several interplanetary missions going at once. Landed on the Mun to fulfill a contract and check out an anomaly that turned out to be another munar arch. Then I sent Jeb and Bill hurtling off towards Duna in the first kerbed mission to another planet. They'll take the ISRU rover to Ike and refuel the transport stage to serve as a fuel tanker for the lander that will follow in a couple of weeks. And I sent a bunch of newie kerbals on a course to leave the Kerbin SOI so they could get their third star. As soon as they left the Kerbin SOI they promptly reversed course and headed back towards KEO Station. I also launched the Duna Express which will be the crew return vessel for the Duna mission.
  8. I took a contract to rescue a kerbal stranded on the Mun. I have to admit, just the name of the kerbal, Billy-Bobmund Kerman, had me intrigued. He was in the north polar crater, so I took the large capacity lander down. I wab able to set the ship down within physics range of Billy-Bobmund. Billy-Bobmund seems happy for the rescue. Leaving the Mun's surface with the new kerbal in tow, the crew got a good view of the mountainous region around the north pole. I also spent a bit of time on ship design. I wanted a ship that could carry crews back from interplanetary destinations so that all the mission hardware (landers, station, refueling tankers, etc.) could be left at the destination. This design can manage about 7,000 m/s dV with a low, but tolerable TWR. That would be enough for a round trip from Kebin to Eve, Duna, or Dres. All the other planets would be reachable, but would probably require some refueling at the destination.
  9. I made a couple of runs up to LKO with the Winterlance. First was to pick up a kerbal to complete her rescue contract, then another to take her back up so she could get experience landing on the moons. Then Jeb and Bill launched the first manned portion of the Duna expedition. This launch consists of an ISRU rover for refueling on Ike, a small station core, and a transfer stage that will become a fuel tanker once at Duna. The ISRU rover combo docked at LKO station and then headed up to KEO station to take on a full load of fuel in preparation for the transit to Duna. Unfortunately, I'm learning that Claws and space stations don't mix well. The docking at KEO station set off a series of oscillations that seemed destined to tear the station apart. A small time warp stopped the oscillations, but not without causing some damage. This is what a set of landing legs normally looks like on one of my fuel tankers: But this is what they looked like after the kraken attack. I had five ships at KEO station and they all suffered this same type of offset. I'm going to use the ALT-F12 menu to recover the damaged ships and move replacements directly to the station, but it's still a pain.
  10. I launched a new Munar lander with a high capacity and enough dV (~4,000) to easily reach the poles from an equatorial orbit. The lander docked at Kerbin Station to complete a contract to upgrade the station. Meanwhile, the lifter stage returned to KSC. It landed on the sloped berm around the launchpad, but thanks to the landing legs remained upright for a full recovery. The lander then headed towards the Mun, refueled at Munar Station, and headed down towards the south pole to look for an anomaly that had been spotted by satellites. There was no sign of the anomaly and the first landing site was just a little bit hilly with a 30 degree slope. Heading back up, I still couldn't find the anomaly, but was rather intrigued by the terrain around the south pole. The ship put down nearby and the crew did a proper flag planting ceremony to honor the occasion. One brave kerbal decided to go visit the dragon spine location. Flying near the south pole is challenging because the kerbal's point of view is constantly shifting near the poles. Here's the view from above as the lander took off and flew above the pole And finally, a nice Kerbinrise with the Kerbafrica and Kerbrea land masses clearly visible.
  11. I've found that just closing the part action windows and doing a quick time warp fixes the problem for me. I do one transfer, then I have to time warp again if I want to do another transfer to/from those same tanks.
  12. I launched a new rescue pod carrier for grabbing stranded kerbals and their crafts from LKO. The new rescue pod carrier builds on the lessons of the previous two. The biggest difference is that I added a claw and parachutes on the main body of the carrier. This will let the carrier rescue a total of 7 kerbals and bring the transport stage/nuclear engines down with the last kerbal rescued. Ronard Kerman was the first rescuee with the new craft. I've found that lowering Pe to 25 km gives for a nice reentry with little danger of overheating. Ronard was brought safely down in the desert and joined the space program. I also worked on designs for a high capacity Mun lander that has enough dV to go from equatorial orbit, land on the poles, and return. Here's a test of the landing legs with the lander as high as I could get it on clamps. I had to use the ALT-F12 menu to go higher that the height of the VAB would allow me to extend clamps. Here's 43 m/s. How will that go? And a final test at just over 50 m/s...
  13. I quicksave all the time and I'll usually reload if I say hit the wrong button or something. I also revert when I'm launching craft because to be honest I feel like that's a part of the design process of getting the launcher built right. And for sure if there's a game bug, like when one of my ships sitting on Minmus suddenly gets sucked into the ground and explodes - I'll reload that. That said, in career mode I often have 6-10 ships moving around doing things at the same time. So if my probe reaches Duna and I realize I've forgotten something, I would possibly have to replay weeks worth of time if I reloaded a save from before I launched it. In that case, I just try to adapt and work with what I have, or if all else fails send another mission,
  14. If you want 100% coverage throughout the whole Kerbol system and every celestial body, you can build a relay network like this: https://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Tutorial:Setting_up_a_CommNet_system For most(?) of us, I think it's complete overkill. For my career mode, I just took contracts to put satellites in various orbits around Kerbin/Min/Minmus until coverage was pretty good. I play with default settings, so losing connection is mostly just inconvenient - no fine control on the throttle and no placing maneuver nodes until comms are restored. I can live with a 5% chance of that happening given the hassle of setting up an airtight relay network.
  15. I started in 1.5 or 1.6 with the tutorials so my first flight was probably the one where you launch a Mk1 capsule with a flea SRB and parachute on an atmospheric flight. My first self-designed craft was this massive thing with a Mk1 capsule and then a stage of each size (1.25 - 5 m) plus SRBs I called the Behemoth. I didn't know anything about struts (auto or otherwise) so the whole thing flew like a wet noodle and the SRBs pointed in four different directions. It had a crazy amount of dV though and when I launched it straight up it left Kerbin's SOI and ended up in a highly elliptical orbit around the sun. Once I ran out of fuel, I sent Jeb out on EVA, but I couldn't figure out how to use the EVA pack. I totally forgot about him until about 20 game years later when I noticed him drifting by himself in the tracking station. I think I just used ALT-F12 to bring him home rather than attempting a multi-decade rescue project.
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