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    Suborbital Hopper
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  1. Made it to the Desert Airfield with my new and improved rover. I forgot to add some batteries and a ladder so I sent a package of parts to it when it arrived.
  2. So even though I got about a third of the way through my Kerbin elcano, I decided to start over. The folding rover was only a prototype after all, and I had noticed so many issues with it after driving for over two hours. One problem is that pontoons suspended on hinges tend to wobble which throws watercraft off balance if they try to exceed 90 m/s. So, I yoinked @Pouicpouic's design of a flipping rover for extra stability. I also rotated the hinges to be parallel to the rover to dampen impacts with hills. Here's some performance testing: I almost feel like we should make a separate thread in the spacecraft exchange linked to this thread, where we discuss rover design over there and actual driving and challenge completion here.
  3. Reducing the angle of the blades works. I've already got an action group I use to adjust them so I think that'll work. The trouble with hitting B is that it stops all the tires, making the landings super unstable because the tires' speed is mismatched with the ground. On the other hand, I've been haulin' absolute butt over the mainland. Broke 100m/s briefly.
  4. Yeah, they are only upward facing while on the water. They actually flip over to generate downforce on land. One issue I do see is that I use the same propellors for land, and I can't really shut them off immediately when I unintentionally go airborne (which happens a lot; I usually travel at 60-80 m/s), so they still generate thrust during a jump. But the point isn't to try to maximize airtime so I'm not going against the spirit of the challenge. Here is a video of part of a driving segment: Also, I'm about a quarter of the way done with Kerbin: The thing handles a dream on land; It can survive 15m jumps at 60-70 m/s and can also make full turns at speeds anywhere less than 50 m/s. I bet it would shred through Eve with thicker atmosphere and greater downforce if I tried that next. The biggest issue I'm having with it is forgetting it's still going on water and coming back to it a couple minutes too late . Yeah that's the biggest problem with the rover is it is super finnicky to accelerate. I actually left the controls on wasd but set the only reaction wheel not on SAS only is the command pod. I use it at 28% power to kinda help compensate for the wheel torque, but it was still a big issue. Edit: Also, my submission should be marked as Stock Craft since all the mods are only visual. I'm going pure stock for my Kerbin navigation.
  5. Here's a rover prototype I made that I could potentially do a Kerbin Elcano with. It's got hinge suspension on the wheels so it can take pretty rough landings, and the whole thing transforms into a boat capable of a consistent 70+ m/s.
  6. I've brought a Mun Stone back to Kerbin. I think I can reuse the same craft to get the Green Sandstone. ...and Green Sandstone: Well I'm 2/12ths of the way done, I'll come back to this later.
  7. The Cosmic Rock Collection One of your kerbonauts has recently become obsessed with rocks. So obsessed that they will travel millions of meters to other planets and moons to get the rocks they want. So get them the rocks they want! For those of you who don't know what rocks are, here is an example: Fig. 1: Rock The challenge is this: pick a single kerbal, and through any method put every possible Breaking Ground pick-up-able (or analysis of) into their inventory. You can either launch multiple simultaneous missions and bring the rocks back to them, or send the kerbal out in a full-blown grand tour, but every possible science pebble must end up in that specific kerbal's inventory. Here is the full list (to my knowledge): Laythe Stone Mun Stone Yellow Stone Duna Stone Volcanic Rock Duna Impact Ejecta Green Sandstone Moho Stone Light Stone Blueberries Ice Chunk (Vall) Ice Chunk (Eeloo) What to submit: Screenshots the "review science" reports for your chosen kerbal for each of the stones in their inventory. Happy hunting! I'll be attempting this challenge myself and I'll put my submission in the replies. SUCCESSFUL ROCK COLLECTORS: Extra notes: Modded categories will be marked as modded. I also think it would be fun to allow exploits in a separate category with the goal being to see how fast someone can complete the mission using things such as kraken drives and overclocking/underclocking.
  8. Finished! I had to do some logistics work when a tire popped: Here's the flag ring:
  9. I'm halfway done. Props to the rover's stability, SAS is literally driving it in the background while I type this reply. Edit: This little rover is a stud. I sent it off a 700m+ cliff and no damage.
  10. I think I'll have a stab at the mun. I've tried to start elcano's before, and I've never been able to build a design robust enough to withstand my driving. But today I was just piddling around building random stuff and I built a rover that actually seems like it might do the trick. It's more like pitching a bowling ball than driving a rover, but so far so good. Here's the start of the journey including the relay setup, launch, and about 15 minutes of just driving and pulling random stunts. It's a unicycle rover that just kinda keeps itself straight up through reaction wheels. Very bouncy. It's survived 200m+ jumps no problemo.
  11. In one decade war pushed us from suborbital to man on the moon. In the half-century of relative peace (no world powers in conflict) since, we haven't done almost anything further or even returned to the moon. NASA hasn't sent anyone to space in over ten years. War, or the threat of war, has a galvanizing effect on society. Without this, there isn't a unified interest, at least on a national level. We have private companies like SpaceX, but nothing government-funded and no national space programs doing much. A lot of Kerbin timelines of other fanworks, and especially the gameplay timeline itself, are much faster paced, where it goes probe-suborbital-manned-orbital-mun-interplanetary all way to fast, often times with the starting point of a funded, dedicated space program which doesn't seem realistic at all given how peaceful Kerbin is. Goodness sakes I've started writing my basic forum responses in the Saunter style. Also I do understand your point and I'm not trying to argue it with you, I'm just trying to help you better understand the premise for Space Saunter.
  12. Chapter 10: Inter-Mission Theoretical physics says that traveling quickly through the three spatial dimensions causes you to travel more slowly through the fourth temporal dimension. Time slows down for people in space, and therefore the world speeds up relative to those in space. In a sense, this couldn't be more true. As Raymond gazed down at Kerbin, he could faintly make out faint, matte-blue landmasses amid the shining, sunlit seas. Although he couldn't see them in detail, he knew what those continents contained. On his left, young kerbal children were fed breakfast by their parents and driven to school. As his gaze drifted rightward, they sat in their desks and watched their teachers disinterestedly. Directly beneath him, countless thousands of children were eating lunch, playing on their many recess playgrounds, and picking petty fights with each other. Tiny, invisible specks in tiny, invisible buildings and playgrounds. Thousands upon thousands of them lived out their day in one sweeping motion from left to right, from one end of Raymond's view to the other. They ate, they laughed, and they cried in a silent, cacophonous choir as Raymond watched from his seat in the stars. Looking to his right, the timezones shifted, and the children left their schools and friends to go home and eat dinner with their families and complete, or in some cases neglect, their schoolwork. But not to sleep. For a kerbal, their entire life passes in one waking moment. From the moment a kerbal's eyes open when they are born, they remain open until death closes them. The life of a kerbal is like a singular, decades-long day. They wake up one century, live out their lives, and return to sleep in the next century (for some), unbroken by sleep or even blinking. And Raymond watched all of it. He estimated there were close to a billion kerbals in view from his place in orbit. For every of his kerbal seconds, one billion kerbal seconds passed in the lives of those beneath him. If he compiled each of those parallel seconds into a linear timeline, he could piece together the entire life of a kerbal. In three seconds, a kerbal would be born, grow up, grow old, and die. One-a-kraken, two-a-kraken, three-a-kraken. An asparagus farmer in Mercadia. A pilot in the Concord Republic. A school principal in Beldorra. Too fast for Raymond to fathom, they passed away in one blink of their eyes. And no different from the farmer or the pilot or the principal, a kerbal sat in a cockpit high above the Effem Sea Coast. Raymond thought about his own precious three seconds and what he wanted from them. Of course, he wanted to spend them taking kerbals such as the one in the back seat to space. But not just that. He switched his dashboard radio to a private channel and rang Rebecca. His voice traveled dozens of kilometers downwards and emanated from Rebecca's headset as she repaired an airless engine in Hangar A. "Hey, Becca. I was just thinking, it's been a hot minute since we've gone out and like gotten dinner or anything. How'd you feel about hitting up Integral or the cannery?" His own headset vibrated in reply. "I'd love that, Ray. The new chef at Integral just isn't as good though. Let's do the cannery." It was true. David Kerman, chief chef and founder of Integral Kitchen and Cafeteria, now slept. His few space-seconds had passed. One fine morning as Raymond had lifted the Dawn Treader off the runway, David Kerman had sat in his apartment across the channel of the Effem Sea. He had known about his diabetes for a while, but hadn't told his now-grown children of it. Until then. That morning, he had left them a telephone message to both his daughters telling them he loved them, and that he hoped their kids would love them as much as he knew they loved him. He had then carefully shuffled across the room and had sat to rest in his favorite chair by the balcony window. And with the rising sunbeams falling gently on his face, beckoning him home, he'd fallen asleep. And such was the way of life. The young, new chef, hired by Integral's main stockholder, just didn't make his food as heartfelt as Dave had. So that night, Raymond and Rebecca ate at Sean's Cannery. Although Sean's Cannery only served canned food, the food was guaranteed to be fresh, tasty, and hot. Raymond ordered canned chicken and dumplings, and Rebecca had canned pierogi lasagna. "So Becca, how's that engine coming?" Raymond wondered from behind his can. "Oh, it's going okay, I guess. I'm having some trouble getting enough fuel pressure for such a large nozzle, but it'll be at least three times as powerful when it's finished." Raymond considered for a moment. "Have you tested in a vacuum? The suction could probably pressurize the nozzle enough for a good reaction." "It's a good thought. I dunno how we'd lug one up to space though. Our planes are, after all, only passenger jets." Raymond took a big bite of dumpling. "Speaking of which, how are you feeling about being on-board engineer?" Rebecca pondered. "Well, it's fun going to space every day but having to monitor all the flight systems, let alone the passenger, is kinda taxing. Kinda takes some of the fun out of it." "Yeah, I feel you. What do you say we take the Treader out for a spin after dinner, just the two of us?" "Sounds like great fun, let's do it!" As Raymond and Rebecca stepped out onto the evening tarmac, the cool breeze of twilight wafted through their hair as the remainder of the day's heat radiated from the still-warm pavement. The clouds above them streaked across the sky, racing away from Kerbol along frigid jetstreams into the deep blue ocean of the stratosphere. The tide rose with the Mun, and it brought the faint sifting sound of waves breaking on the shore to their ears. As the pair sauntered across the cracked brown dirt towards the Dawn Treader, the crickets around them fell silent at their footsteps. The tranquility was only broken by the faint sounds Raymond and Rebecca made themselves: the crunching of the gravel under their boots, the stuttering pop of the cockpit door handle, and the clambering of two kerbals climbing through the hatch into the cabin of the Dawn Treader. And then the settling silence of the evening was rudely shattered by the roaring of a blue tube of exhaust blooming out of the back of the Dawn Treader. The landing gear folded into their compartments and the Dawn Treader was borne away on the noisy wind of the Whiplash. As the small plane rose from the runway and climbed into the sky, it was, for a brief minute, fully illuminated by the light of Kerbol until the horizon again rose behind it and the darkness once again prevailed. The sea below glowed a faint blue-green, the reflection of the sky giving it a faint luminous quality, as if it was not yet ready for it to be night. In the air, Raymond and Rebecca didn't talk much. Raymond had to focus on piloting, and the clamor of the engine and the crackle of the plasma cones made communication difficult in the first place. It wasn't until they reached orbit and the plane went into a continuous free-fall through the darkness of the night. "Ya know, Becca, even if LNR isn't seeing as much traffic these days, at least we got a lot of free time on our hands. Not constantly running kerbals up and down all day. It's more relaxing. I think I almost enjoy it more." "Yeah, there sure isn't as much to do around. Sometimes it can get a little boring, but it's good work." "Better than Kerbodyne?" "Yeah, of course! Working on real planes is way more fun than that. Back then half the job was legal paperwork and waivers and blueprints and such. Give me a welding torch and a spanner any day over that." Rebecca glanced at the horizon and pointed at a speck of light on the surface. "Hey, speak of the devil, there it is." Raymond couldn't quite tell what she was looking at. "What's it?" "Oh, you can't really see it from here. But that's my old Kerbodyne warehouse. Or at least that's the city where it is." "You miss it at all?" Raymond asked. "No, I didn't really know my coworkers very well. They were all just kinda grumpy old engine nerds. I enjoy working with you and Lawrence a whole lot more." As the sky lightened in the east, Kerbol suddenly blared its light from between two mountains, illuminating the interior of the Dawn Treader in a soft light. This was what astronomers call the "diamond ring" effect. The moment was perfect. Raymond cleared his throat. "Say, the real thing just doesn't look as good does it." "Huh?" Rebecca, confused, glanced over at Raymond. His face had an unnaturally bluish tinge to it. Clutched in his trembling, gloved hand was a diamond ring. Raymond stuttered out something. Crêpes! Practicing in the mirror would've been a good idea. "You know Becca, we've known eachother for a while now, and I'm hoping to know you for a while longer. In fact, Rebecca, I love you. And because of that, I'm hoping I'll be able to know you for as long as I live. Rebecca Kerman, will you marry me?" Rebecca's face took on a similar bluish undertone. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes, if possible, bugged out even more. "Oh, Ray, of course!" As they kissed, Kerbol grew brighter on the horizon and rose to conquer its kingdom of the sky with its light. For some unknown reason, kerbals like to get engaged in places like the tops of mountains, the roof of Hemingway Tower, or the bridge of the immense Cretisian Impact Cruiser. Something about being up high with a good view is inspiring and romantic. It's not exactly clear why, but places like those just draw young, passionate couples. But whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: of all the lofty engagement spots of all kerbalkind, Raymond and Rebecca had the highest of them all. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
  13. Yeah the smallness of Kerbin makes multiple stages somewhat unnecessary for orbital trips so staging off boosters would almost be more technologically advanced than an SSTO. Also it'd be kinda hard for a private space agency to pay for all the boosters they lose unless they recover them like SpaceX, which would be even more technologically advanced than a Kerbin SSTO.
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