noname_hero

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  1. As some others mentioned here, it depends, but I'm mostly in the moar boosters camp. On one hand, some of my designs even use a single SRB as the lone first stage, e.g. small comsats for Mun or Minmus. On the other hand, many of my designs use boosters strapped onto boosters. I'm no great pilot, so lots of extra dV saved my kerbonaut's behinds more times than I'd like to. Another factor others have already mentioned is the payload. A smallish early-to midgame design for LKO rescue missions gets a pair of Thumpers, but a 300-ton Eve mission ship launches on something that should melt the launch pad. My guilty pleasure? Fleas. I know it is stupid, but often I'll go and strap clusters of three or five Fleas onto every "regular" booster. I don't bother with nose cones, given the Fleas' burn time, and I do know those Fleas will give me say 10 or 25 m/s of dV, but they add fun and noise and action to the liftoff. There's something perversely satisfying and amusing about watching those ugly flaming barrels help push the state-of-the-art nuclear-powered spaceship into heavens...
  2. I guess I'm like many in the mixed approach camp. My early career is generally single-mission kerballed vehicles and multi-use probes. My Mun/Minmus landings use the landers as return vehicles, I launch tourists in single-use ships I let splash down east of KSC so I don't have to bother with precise landings. I strap a thermometer onto my first Mun/Minmus/Duna relays, so I can take "transmit science data" contracts multiple times if they come up. And my first mission to Duna or Eve tends to be an unkerballed bundle of probes, so I can leave the main NERV-powered one as the main relay for that SOI and use the Spark-powered small probes I've brought on radial decouplers for other missions, e.g. leave one around Eve as a second relay, leave one around Gilly, land one on Gilly, and land the last one on Eve. But as my tech level goes up, more and more of my tech becomes partially reusable. I launch tankers that mine Minmus for fuel. My transfer stages for missions like Eve, Duna, Dress or Eeloo are basically NERV-driven LF tanks with five docking ports, a probe core, antenae, the whole works, capable of flying the mission and parking back around Kerbin. My obsession about having enough fuel, though, means I always add two expendable drop tanks to a mission load that I let crash into a handy target, like the Mun or Duna, once they're empty. But I'm not good enough - and too lazy - to build a fully reusable fleet. I'm not *that* cash-strapped. If I have to launch a heavy and costly payload, I'll build an almost-SSTO booster capable of landing back on Kerbin and then I'll strap SRBs onto it that make it capable of flying the mission. I'll launch, let the SRBs do their job, drop them, make it into orbit, release the payload and land the main booster sans those SRBs. To be honest, my playthroughs should rename a part of the sea East of KSC the SRB-bottomed Bay
  3. Shouts of anger and disbelief. Outbursts of fear and desperation. Kerbals clinging to hope that customary safety margins will let the KSC recover from this mistake. What do you mean, the transfer stage is Orbiting The Sun?!? You told me you parked it around Duna! We've got six tourists on Duna! Oh, you forgot how big Ike's sphere of influence is?!? So we let the tourists fool around on Duna, focused on other missions, and nobody noticed our customers' ride got gravity assisted away from Duna until about a week after the fact? Yup, I managed to leave my transfer stage in an orbit that eventually intersected with Ike's SOI, then timewarped to a pre-planned maneuver for another mission. Then did this and that... ...and only noticed the transfer stage *isn't* around Duna when I wanted to send the lander back into orbit. The unkerballed stage was some two weeks outside Duna's SOI and I was extra lucky it "only" cost me around 700 m/s of dV to get it back where I needed it. And that's 700 m/s of dV on an unloaded transfer stage, which means a lot less for the whole ship. And I walk the Path of Bringing Plentiful Fuel, so I do have these safety margins. Now the whole thing will become an exciting story to tell, not a tale of how the world's first interplanetary tourists had to become potato farmers to grow enough snacks to last them until rescue. They simply had to spend a few more days on Duna, knowing the whole incident wouldn't move their transfer window to Kerbin a single day. And now, with a Duna landing and an Ike landing under their belts, they're free to relax and wait for that long burn towards home.
  4. The first commercial interplanetary mission is now refueled and awaiting a transfer window to Duna. Travel plans include both a landing on Duna and a landing on Ike, although some of the six passengers aboard are still hesitant about visiting both of those places. There's no need to be nervous, though - the orbiter will have plenty of room for those who might wish to stick to their original plans. We would like to assure any kerbals considering joining our next expedition that the main transfer stage is designed for multiple missions and the Minmus-based tankers are already mining fuel for another trip, so even if you missed the opportunity to buy your tickets for this ride, you *will* have your chance in the future. The last issue we wish to address here is that of leaving the Poodle stage attached. While the reports that it didn't have much fuel left after docking with the mothership were true, now it carries both enough oxidizer to perform a deorbit burn on Duna and spare liquid fuel for the transfer stage. Keeping the Poodle stage attached also allows us to dispose of it on Duna, in a maneuver that will leave no debris, helping us keep the space around Kerbin clean and hazard-free. Want to learn more? Follow us on Kerbook, Kerbitter, or visit our kerweb pages! -wlt-
  5. Okay, I'll go the spoilers route for some of the images. For Joolpollo, I sent the mothership to Jool, even grabbed some (useless, given my full tech tree) science from Jool's atmosphere, then to Laythe, then worked my way out of the gravity well. I'll try to check what needs posting, though, because I did a few shenanigans with fuel, like emptying my return-to-Kerbin lander to fuel my ISRU-equipped lander around Tylo or Vall, then refueled from Bop and Pol, and I've often launched the lander from a moon with more LF than oxidizer to transfer that fuel to the mothership. And I've hauled two scansats all the way there to realize Communotrons can't relay, so those scansats became simply orbital junk...
  6. Eeloollo? Eh? The report *includes* a shot of the whole setup leaving Eeloo, I've even mentioned the missing drop tanks... The lander doesn't fly all the way back home alone, it redocks with the transfer stage and flies home on NERVs. That's also why it shows more than 5k dV on the active stage alone. As for Dunpollo, is the following screenshot sufficient, or should I look for another one? Ummm... I already did Evepollo and Joolpollo, I just have to write the reports. But I think I do have enough screenshots plus savefiles to suffice. Would it be okay to post say a screenshot of the lander on Laythe, then the whole ship around Vall, followed by a lander on Vall, then the whole ship around Tylo...? So I don't have to fill the forum with too many similar screenshots? I had to dock around Laythe to fly to Vall, didn't I?
  7. Dunollo This one, while not being the most difficult of my Kerpollo mission, was certainly the craziest one. This was the first time one of my kerbonauts had to land on parachute. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here, so let's take a look at my tech tree first. To put it simply, I've had pretty much everything by now. The one missing item I would have liked too, one I've highlighted in the screenshot, is probably my favorite gripe with KSP's tech tree - RTGs are pre-Apollo tech, why the fsck make them level 9 tech? However, Duna is close enough to Kerbol to make RTGs more of a luxury item than a mission requirement. The launch vehicle is an evolutionary step over my previous Kerpollo designs, a fat thing with boosters on boosters to haul up way more fuel than I'll need. I've even added radiators onto some of the engines, because even though I don't really know whether it would actually overheat, such a horde of engines certainly looks like it might be eager to. And here is the transfer stage, already braking near Duna, as it looked the same even when leaving Kerbin's SOI. Like I said, way more fuel than needed. In case you're wondering about those doughnut tanks, those were a total dead weight, a badly designed abomination intended to partially refill my lander, one I've had to ditch with all the fuel still in them. Of course we have to have a photo on Duna. And of course it is Bob down there, all the instrumentation windows pinned in place for faster gathering of science data during flight. Who you don't see is Bill, who went down too, both to get some first-hand experience and to repack the chutes for a landing on Kerbin. The parachutes, besides also doing a reasonably good job of hiding the snack box/experiment storage unit from the more ignorant news reporters, had one more unexpected role to play in this tale. If you're wondering about the speed shown in the next screenshot, that's the first of the two somewhat kerbal-ish moments of this journey. What you see is the lander above Ike, preparing for a free fall while the transfer stage tries to regain the velocity it worked hard to dump just moments ago. Yes, I did the landing burn with the whole transfer stage, which had *lots* of liquid fuel but no oxidizer, to save some fuel in the lander. And because one can only fly one ship in stock KSP, I had to let the lander fall while the transfer stage accelerated to reach a stable orbit again. What made me perform such a hare-brained maneuver? I forgot I had to leave a kerballed ship in orbit even around Ike, not just around Duna, so my first attempt at this mission simply landed my whole ship on Ike. The lander was never intended to land on Duna, then Ike, then Kerbin. But I wasn't going to fly the whole mission again before trying to make do with what dV the landed did have. The mandatory landscape shot of Ike is here, again with Bill and Bob sharing the lander. What I'm not including here are shots of my ship back around Ike, or detaching some drop tanks to hit Munar surface, or hurtling near Minmus, with Bob adding more and more samples and data into a gradually emptying snack box. What I do have to include is the one person who has been overlooked during most of this mission. Jeb. Yes, I managed to forget my lander only had room for two, but I launched with three kerbonauts aboard. So my first shot here is of my transfer stage, by now slowed down to subsonic speed, and moments before making the Kernobyl Nuclear Power Plant incident look harmless in comparison. The second shot is Jeb, safe and sound, about to make a splashdown. The rest of you can be glad you didn't have to read his crew report. And our last shot for this mission is one of Bill and Bob, getting ready to munch on their last snacks of this mission, happy to have heard that Jeb is such a bada** that the first thing he did after getting back to KSC from that landing was taking his first hot bath in waaaay too long.
  8. To be honest, that ship of yours has me torn between applauding you and insulting you, so I guess you'll count that as a compliment Some of my designs are somewhat... unstable... even if I don't want them to be, but I'm afraid to simply just imagine flying that... THING... to Minmus
  9. Mohollo My techbase was a little more advanced than for Eeloollo, but there was no scientific breakthrough comparable to NERVs. As a results, my launch vehicle was similar to the previous one. I'll admit I rollbacked my first attempt even when I was already on an intercept course to Moho for a sort of pointless reason - it took me that long to notice I let Jeb pilot the flight, even though I set a policy of alternating between him and Val when I began the challenge. Kinda useless when they're all at max level, but it wasn't my first visit to Moho, so I wasn't afraid I couldn't make it again. Braking near Moho is one of those moment that sure make a newbie-ish player nervous. All those temperature gauges make for a frightening sight, even if they're radiators. However, I was finally confident enough of my crews' abilities to let a scientist pilot a lander. If you're wondering about the grabbing claw on top, that was just a case of "you know what, may'be we'll get lucky and encounter a magic asteroid near our course back home". Of course we didn't. Oh, and of course there's Bob's favorite part, snack box Experiment Storage Unit, above that command pod. Redocking was easy. Unlike the first time I was to Moho, and forgot to add an antenna to my unkerballed transfer stage, and spent nearly all the fuel in the lander biome-hopping plus reaching orbit. That was a mission where I was afraid I'd have to get out and push. Mohollo? Easy redocking, a bit of a wait, a short one given Moho's orbit around Kerbol, and we were up and away. And the mission ended on the green fields of Kerbin, once again caving in to Bob's requests for more samples and data.
  10. Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm afraid I'll have to go back to having fun with a career mode playthrough. There's no point in hunting for science in a science-mode challenge when I had full tech tree even before I launched for Joolpollo, especially when I've also completed all the requirements of the challenge. I did this challenge to learn KSP and it made me land on all the celestial bodies one can safely land on. So, mission accomplished. My KSP skills did go up. However... It also means I have to find new goals. Like hunting for easter eggs, as I've only visited a few of those. I'm not complaining. I'm still having fun. But I'm setting my goals knowing I'm capable of visiting almost anything in the Kerbol system. I've even visited near-Kerbol space with a probe, and I'm not eager to send kerbals there too:
  11. Ummmm... Been there, done that? My post was to celebrate completion of the Kerpollo challenge, so even that team has been to Duna, and the question was a rhetorical one, given the challenge does require one to land on all the planets and moons save Jool. And I've landed on Duna a few more times too, in another playthrough: I wonder how many of us wrote something like this the first time we've managed to plant a flag on Mun, or on Minmus, whichever was first. I certainly did
  12. Eeloollo This one was still easy, because NERVs, my favorite long-haul engines, make basic interplanetary travel relatively simple and straightforward. And as nearly always, my rocket has boosters on boosters for that little bit of extra dV. I know SRBs are not the best boosters there are, but they're cheap, and I'm used to career mode and occassional penny pinching. Unfortunately, I flew this mission back in December, before I knew what proof I'd need, so I don't have a screenshot in orbit, just a flight plan. And the dV info is IIRC kinda wonky, given the drop tanks and other features I use. What I do have is my ship near Eeloo. One feature that is quite obvious here is that the lander can carry two kerbals, even thought I only landed with one. And the reason is similarly obvious too, I guess, namely I also use this lander to return to Kerbin. What I also have is the lander on Eeloo. I know that Jeb is a pilot, not a scientist, but it felt more... right... to have a dedicated pilot fly this mission. My space program was still young, scientists or engineers were to be kept away from piloting. And here's the whole ship leaving Eeloo. It looks different becuase it lacks some LF tanks. And the final shot is just the lander, back on Kerbin. It is not landed, I'll admit, but I managed to not save the game before recovering it. However, it is the same basic design as in some other missions of mine, its speed is under 7 m/s and the terrain beneath is safe. I do have a mission summary screenshot, though, in case this is not enough. On a side note - I'm done!!! I've returned back from Joolpollo! But as others have mentioned, these reports take time too, of which I have less than I'd like to. But I should have some more of it later today, so we'll see what I'll manage to write up.
  13. Some might say the landing capsule plus engine is a shoddy design, those landing legs an afterthought in case we return with enough dV to do more than burn away the ablator, and that we should have aimed for a splashdown. Some might say even this first welcoming party should be more than Valentina, especially given she had to sit this one out, but she flew four of the nine Kerpollo missions, only one less than Jeb, and is one of us. We are the team that left flags and footprints on all the planets and moons in the whole system where a kerbal can set foot and live. We spent 31 years discovering new horizons, turning our home system from one big unknown into a playground for the whole kerbalkind. We do deserve this moment. We're home. Only one question remains - where do we head now?
  14. I've been slowly working my way out of the Jool system and the Joolpollo mission continues on being a learning experience. I'm not always happy with what it makes me learn, but I have had enough quicksaves and dV to survive so far. Did you know you will travel all the way from Vall and land on Tylo with a (luckily small) tank full of ore if you turn the converter off before liftoff? I only realized when my batteries began to drain once I switched it on after landing on Tylo. Did you know that for some ships it is much easier to land on Tylo if you turn the vectoring off on a Vector engine? The thing has amazing gimbal range but the vectoring is soooo slow it will turn your ship into a wobbling drunk, and the lack of any atmosphere means no parachutes to stabilize you. Any of you noticed that when a ship jumps up a bit after reloading from tracking station, one of your two drills might lose contact with ground and switch off? I noticed after 150 days of drilling at half speed. At least the view includes a bit of green to remind one of home...
  15. I'm not trying an Apollo-style liftoff, I'm trying to fly the Joolpollo mission of the Kerpollo challenge. So there's a kerballed orbiter around Laythe and a kerballed lander on Laythe, and that's about as close as it gets to resembling Apollo missions. The challenge's Joolpollo mission is also a Jool-5, so of course there's a converter in that service bay. Not to be rude, but why would I worry about drills working on a ship lacking any significant ore tanks if there wasn't a converter aboard? I do agree that a refueling-capable SSTO is a good idea. However, besides the fact I'm a newbie-ish player who sucks at planes and SSTOs, the challenge limits participants to one landing per celestial body, not counting Kerbin of course. So I don't have to worry about biome-hopping. And it uses Science mode, so money's not an issue I'm not trying to be super efficient here. This is a learning experience, as the Joolpollo mission is my first kerballed mission to the Jool system ever, so even just landing on every moon once and getting back home would be a success for me. And I follow the tao of excess fuel, so my transfer stage still has more than 7k of dV left, plus I hope can refuel it from Vall and Pol. Have I mentioned I'm sort of newbie-ish and need *lots* of fuel to feel safe?