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  1. Greetings you Galactic Go-Getters! When I last posted, I had just tasted the victory of a successful interplanetary mission. So naturally, it was time to try again. But the previous ship, the Unnecessary Expenditure, while functional, lacked some desirable traits. We had come in very tight on delta-V, and while we are there around Duna, we didn't have sufficient fuel to explore Ike. Further, while the return journey had plenty of fuel left to enter a final parking orbit, KSC still had to send a separate recovery vehicle to the ship to return the crew. Finally, the Duna lander was, for all intents and purposes, just a redesigned Mun lander. That wasn't nearly fancy enough, I think, for our space program. So, for the next Duna mission, I put together two separate vessels, an interplantary transport vehicle, and a heavy Duna/Ike Lander. Of course it's a Copernicus-style MTV The Greater of Two Evils enters solar orbit, en-route to a Duna encounter some 260+ days later. Before the Greater of Two Evils left Kerbins' SOI, a separate 25 ton heavy lander, the Lesser of Two Evils, was launched on a more aggressive trajectory, entering Duna orbit some 46 days before the manned crew would arrive. Thankfully the journey to Duna was relatively uneventful, and the automated docking of the Lesser of Two Evils proceeded without incident. Seriously, The Lesser of Two Evils is so much larger (and heavier) than it looks Brendan Kerman takes a stroll along the Western Canyon. Thankfully, 25 tons is a lot easier to move in low gravity. Having successfully transported a three-kerbal crew to Duna, the Greater of Two Evils acted as a tug for the lander and brought the crew to an equilibrium orbit around Ike. This also represents the first time I've managed to visit two separate planetary bodies in the same mission (not counting starting from Kerbin). All in all, the mission was a rousing success, but flaws in the MTV I had designed became quickly apparent. Principally, over 3000 delta-v had been lost during both transits due to fluctuations in available electric charge to keep the liquid hydrogen from boiling away. For the next interplanetary mission, better solar panel placement would be necessary, and with panels large enough to ensure minimal sunlight would keep the fuel cold: The MTV certainly didn't get any smaller after a revision. With a new MTV assembled, it's time to head for Dres! And this time, with a Mun lander in tow because if it's not broke, don't try and replace it with a vehicle 5 times heavier...
  2. Greetings you Generous Gentlefolk, I hope your KSP endeavors have been well! When last I posted, I had a few probes out heading towards outer planets. One passed by Jool, and the other, through miscalculation of delta-V and general incompetence the whims of fate and the fickle mistress that is space, managed to impact into Dres in a rather spectacular fashion. Oh, and we decided to go to mother-flippin' Duna. And to do so, we would need a once-in-a-lifetime ship capable of taking us to the stars in quiet luxury. A ship that was the envy of entire nations, that would cradle our brave kerbonauts through the rigors of space, no matter what may come. Sadly, the budget office came back to us and said that we couldn't spend, and I quote, "All of the money," and that the arbitrary application of lasers did not, in fact, make the ship more, "science-y." So, in lieu of that particular ship, we got to work on constructing the Unnecessary Expenditure: The start of something beautiful. The This Side Up half of Unnecessary Expenditure is placed into high Kerbin orbit (~500km) The This Side Up and This Side Down meet up to form Voltr something considerably less interesting, but undoubtedly more functional. The Unnecessary Expenditure begins its trans-Duna injection. So it was that the hopes and dreams of the KSC were placed on the shoulders of 4 kerbonauts: Andrew, Garran, Matthew, and Thomas. And a ship made of 90% fuel. And 5% also fuel. 3% instruments and computer banks, and about 2% living space, if that's just so darn important. After 200+ days in space, the Unnecessary Expenditure arrives at Duna. It turns out that when you enter Duna from only 50 km up, the heatshield was overkill for protection. The landing crew rendezvouses with the mother ship and the lander itself is left behind to save weight for the return voyage burns After 160 days in Duna orbit, the Unnecessary Expenditure begins the long journey home We didn't actually pack any parachutes or heatshields on the ship, so they had to wait for KSC to send up a recovery team Until next time, Duna
  3. Fellow kerbonauts, I present, fully assembled, the Intentionally Left Blank Fast stats: 188 (in game) days to complete construction 26 total launches for station assembly 14 crewed missions, including EVA construction Career mode construction
  4. Salutations you Scions of Space, you Sultans of Science, and you Settlers of the Stars! Hopefully you haven't forgotten about me, because I bring a whole host of endeavors in KSP to share. Having tried out the current rover, the crew of the Munar base, Do Not Leave Blank determined that the vehicle, while functional, was not particularly well designed or comfortable, and began to pose comments and questions like, "This rover isn't particularly functional," and "You landed us in the one place on the Mun that doesn't seem to have any rocks, yet the rover has a scanning arm" and even, "Are we sure the Flight Director isn't an eldritch being who exists beyond time and space, reverting launches as they see fit?" Having taken their comments to heart, KSC built a brand new rover, courtesy of @Nils277 and the Feline Utility Rover mod. Meet Sven, the Lynx Utility Rover: Space Truckin' 3: Truck Hard with a Vengeance To commemorate this new bit of technology, the Do Not Leave Blank crew took their rover out for a long-range exploration mission to the various hills and valleys that make up the Farside Crater. Good thing we packed lots of board games along with the rover... Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing... The Pathfinder 2 crew manages to flip their brand new rover, cracking the solar panel in the process and necessitating a swap of the panel for one of the spares brought with the Do Not Leave Blank Resource Pod. I also made serious headway on the Intentionally Left Blank project, with new crewed missions sent out to install the: Second primary radiators on the truss system Erikson Laboratory Module Tranquility multi-attachment node The logistics module for the Tomodachi laboratory PMA-3 with Clamp-O-Tron docking port Cupola observation port Additionally, robotic missions completed the truss system by installing the solar panels and secondary radiators: Any closer, and we'd have to start filing insurance claims. ♪ Come sail away / Come sail away / Come sail away with meeeee! ♪ Centaur upper stage courtesy of @CobaltWolf and the Bluedog Design Bureau So many pieces... Of course, it wasn't all station construction: Yep, it's green alright. I even managed to finally get a crew out to Eve! Sadly, even with chemical rockets, they won't be able to get into close orbit for nice pictures. But in their absence, we've greatly advanced our tech, so who knows what the next crew will be able to achieve? Now that's a sexy rocket (shoutout to @Nertea and their Cryogenic engines mod) First interplanetary space walk!
  5. If you read the manual for the SOCK, it suggests a Primer Vector Guidance for the ascent:
  6. Normally, I'd put together some sort of rhyme and/or attempt clever word play, but I don't know how else to say that I finally reached Eve in KSP! Of course, that wasn't the only thing being done; I continued my STS challenge by recreating the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft:
  7. I just wanted to stop by and say that, while I don't really have much use for SSTOs in KSP, I had to d/l at least one of your Nova series of planes!  Top notch work, it flies like a dream, :D

    1. Yakuzi


      Thanks @Gunnerline, I do put a lot of time in my craft to make sure they fly decently at a minimum. I'm currently working on an interplanetary version of the Nova as well, so keep an eye out!

  8. Greetings cosmic jammers and lithoslammers! With the truss complete on the Intentionally Left Blank and the Cумрак/Cолнце portion of the station now attached, it has been time to begin the next phase of construction of the project. The first task was to bring the Z1 module up to the station so that the structure is capable of orientation and RSS control from a centralized location, especially with regards to its powerful set of reaction wheels: The Z1 module is used here to orient the station in a polar orientation, ensuring maximum coverage of the Cумрак/Cолнце solar panels. With station control finally established, I believed it was time for the station to receive its first inhabitants. It felt appropriate that, with the "russian" side of the station complete (more or less), that it would provide the most reasonable place to dock a capsule for kerbal transfer, while construction continues on the other side of the station. To this end, the I sent a Soyuz capsule with three of our most recent rescued kerbonauts eager kerbonauts along with the "Mол" specialized airlock and docking module: Soyuz rocket/module and Russian ISS modules courtesy of @Beale and their Tantares mod Additional construction included the addition of the Serenity multi-connector module with PMA adapter (though sadly, all mission images were corrupted), and the Tomodachi science laboratory: When in doubt, just fire a massive module into space on an even taller rocket. Because of the lack of connection points on the end of the Tomodachi module, I had to get creative with creating an orbital tug and RCS rendezvous/docking system. A small drone core was placed on the upper docking port of the Tomodachi, but control was enforced on the longitudal axis of the laboratory module, allowing for precise alignment with the Serenity module. The station is starting to look respectable. Since contractors Kerbin-side had forgotten to install radiators on the truss system, and QA forgot to check to see if they were installed, I also completed the first of two service missions to install the large radiator panels on the rear of the station truss system: Thomas Kerman inspects his handiwork after installing the right-side radiator system on the Intentionally Left Blank truss. Also pictured, the Free Churro slowly trying to eke away from the camera The biggest event, however, of the KSP missions I've run was my participation in the Shuttle Challenge! Yes, having flown mod-installed orbiters for many of these station installation and maintenance missions, I believed it was time to give it a go and build my own orbiter. Completely original design, Do Not Steal! Everything is on fire, and yet they are so. damn. calm. I should probably rebind my F12 key at some point
  9. Congratulations! SSTOs are no easy feat, and you seem to have had a respectable amount of fuel even before de-orbiting.
  10. I certainly don't think it came off that way. As I stated, I completely understand why that would exist, and I would understand your call in either case. It certainly makes sense in retrospect. My posts in the forum so far have usually be curated photos of my missions/adventures in KSP, and this was my first attempt at posting for a challenge. I wasn't really sure how much detail should be brought forward to the moderator, but again, in retrospect, of course it makes sense that more information and pictures would be better. Thank you again for your feedback and helping bring me up to the standards of the challenge mission reports! It feels good to start in on these challenges,
  11. Thank you for being understanding, it was certainly not my intention to attempt to game the system. And I completely understand why attempting to do two missions would potentially allow for "easy" ways of getting around mission objectives. My thought process at the time was that, since there was no actual orbital rendezvous, my ability to complete mission STS-1b was completely dependent on my ability to complete STS-1a. I actually thought I might get told to not waste your time and have them separate! I have a rather humorous story about the second time I flew Benjee's Shuttle Orbiter Constructor Kit that your thoughts remind me of. When I d/l the mod, I decided to test it out in sandbox, and then test it in my actual career save. During that career save, it became necessary to ditch in water, and I was so afraid of losing my kerbonauts I had had them bail out of the orbiter when it was about 4 km up. I subsequently discovered that the orbiter glided calmly down into the water and was completely intact after the two test pilots managed to parachute into the water. It actually is quite pleasant to fly my orbiter down from space. The glide can be a bit wobbly in the upper stratosphere/thermosphere due to lack of air pressure to generate lift on the control surfaces, but in the troposphere it controls pretty well. Or at least as well as any other aircraft in KSP generally behaves. When I used shuttles from Cormorant Aeronology and Benjee's Shuttle Orbiter Construction Kit, I also found that belly up was the best way (and for the same reasons as you just mentioned). However, during testing of my design, I consistently had problems during booster separation where the boosters would slam back against the wings, either taking the entire delta wing assembly with it, or just an elevon or two. Which either speaks to the sensitivity of an orbiter design to changes in COM and thrust, or my general incompetence (possibly both). When I switched over to belly down, many of those problems simply stopped being issues. Even when using sepratrons in a belly-up position, I usually found that while I could avoid hitting the wing structure, the natural "rolling" tendency of the boosters in the upper atmosphere would still "kick" the elevons as they peeled away, usually taking one of the flight control surfaces with it. I do not wish to be considered deficient in my tasks for this challenge, so please consider the following as a supplement/redo of STS-1a:
  12. Presented below is my entry into the STS challenge. I have included details concerning the construction and the mission overview for STS Mission 1a and 1b in separate categories: Mods used in construction: Near Future Propulsion Restock+ Taurus HCV Additionally, I used Kerbal Engineer Redux to estimate delta-V values, and the Restock mod to make everything look pretty (and slightly deviated from the normal apparent of stock modules). The dry-mass delta-V of this shuttle is 6,120m/s, and approximately 990 delta-V for orbital maneuvers. With a 40t load, delta-v values are roughly 4,400 delta-V with 450 delta-V for orbital manuevers. STS Construction Details STS Mission Profile - Mission 1a and 1b
  13. A fine evening to all you space walkers and code talkers! Today's set of missions were once again focused on maintenance and construction, with an emphasis on further development of the Intentionally Left Blank and the Do Not Leave Blank facilities. As part of our commitment to providing more resources towards permenant habitation of celestial bodies, the Do Not Leave Blank received a shipment of a brand new munar rover, the Vagabond: Our engineers have also discovered the vital secret to building useful sky-cranes: check your center of mass before adding thrusters. Equipped with a scanning arm and a resource scanner, the Vagabond is ready to assist the Do Not Leave Blank in finding useful, or at least interesting, things to mine out of the regolith. Meanwhile, construction continued on the Intentionally Left Blank as the solar panel and station support truss continued to be expanded: The "S4" mission completes the truss assembly with the final hexagonal end component With the truss components now fully assembled, it was time to expand the existing modules from the Union, Adventure, Fortune, and Cумрак modules. The Krussian space administration had prepared the next major module for the Intentionally Left Blank, the Cолнце habitation and work module: Is it just me, or are these components starting to look very familiar? It's probably just me. And last, but not least, during the construction of Intentionally Left Blank, I was even able to nearly land the orbiter back on the runway of the KSC:
  14. You and me both. I spend more time constructing things on the dark sides of planets than not
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