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king of nowhere

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Posts posted by king of nowhere

  1. On 5/4/2024 at 8:44 PM, BenKerman said:

    Hi,

    Is it just me, or are the maneuver planning tools available for interplanetary trips just not very good in RO?  I've tried using the pork chop plot, and at least two different maneuver tools from MechJeb.  Almost nothing hits the target planets.  Essentially what I've found I have to do is to escape from Earth, and then use Rendezvous Autopilot or Maneuver Planner to get closer.  Going directly from Earth orbit to an intercept course to another planet (I've only tried Mars and Venus) using the tools I mentionted seems to be basically unworkable.

    I have gotten probes to orbit both Venus and Mars, but only with finagling, as I tried to describe.  I'm pretty pleased, nonetheless.

     

    Thanks,

    Ben

    in general, maneuver planning tools are not good, and nowhere near on the level of what you can accomplish with some experience.

    ultimately, you only need to know the transfer window to make a good transfer. just burn prograde in your earth orbit pointing to exit prograde to earth if you want to go to mars, retrograde for venus. move the node a bit, until you get the highest perihelion/lower aphelion. if that's not enough to carry you to mars/venus, increase the burn, and try again.

    if you don't know the transfer window, you can always eyeball it well enough.

  2. 19 hours ago, dlrk said:

    I'd like to understand how to determine how to time a launch to launch directly into an inclined target body's (moon/spacecraft) plane without eyeballing it. I understand that it should be at that objects AN/DN with the launch spacecraft, but how can that be seen or determined in MechJeb, KER or stock KSP?

    i am not aware of any exact method in stock. maybe mechjeb has a way.

  3. 1 hour ago, IntellectualTortoise said:

    @JacobJHC Hi, I'm hoping to start this awesome challenge soon and have a few questions:

     

    I'm not jacobJHC, but i can answer at least some

    Quote

    What are the rules about refueling the main Jool 5 craft prior to departing Kerbin SOI? Specifically, could I launch it partially fueled and then obtain more fuel via ISRU on Minmus?

    yes, i've done it many times and it was accepted. the important part is, the rules say your ship must leave low kerbin orbit in one piece. so if your ship is assembled when it leaves for minmus, it's ok

    Quote

    If I am able to do this, could I assemble the full craft in Minmus orbit? (i.e. launch the mothership core to Minmus with an attached ISRU module, have it refuel itself and go back into Minmus orbit, then launch landers/other modules from Kerbin and dock them to the mothership at Minmus, then have the mothership fly to Jool, possibly after leaving the ISRU module in Minmus orbit?)

    technically not. you may get dispensation, but it's against the rules as written. unless you really, really need it, i suggest you finish assembly in low kerbin orbit. if you need more fuel, launch an additional refuel mission from the surface to get enough fuel to reach minmus.

    Quote

    If I wanted to send surface bases or rovers to each of the five moons for the Kerbals to use during their visits, could these be launched and transferred to Jool separately from the main Jool 5 craft as long as no parts or fuel are transferred to or from the Jool 5 landers or mothership? My thinking is that they could be classified as separate missions that the Jool 5 mission itself would not rely on for its success.

    probably no. if they are separate missions, they are separate missions. you can't use them. it's better if you don't interact with other missions

    Quote

    If I wanted to perform ISRU refueling in the Jool system, could I scan the moons for ore using probes before beginning the Jool 5 mission itself?

    not sure about this one, but i don't see why not

     

     

  4. On 5/1/2024 at 10:05 PM, LN400 said:

    Playing with fuel transfer limitations like no transfer through heat shields, I am testing out using EVA construction to fit the FTX-2 External Fuel Duct to transfer fuel between 2 tanks with a heat shield between them. What I found was, with only 1 ducs fitted, I can not transfer fuel but with 2 ducts, 1 going in the other going out, I can transfer all day long. Is this intended? It makes no sense to me as 1 way is all you need for say, the old aspargus staging.. Anyone have any thoughts?

    fuel transfer ducts are diretional. they can only transfer in one direction. if you can't transfer fuel, mount it in the opposite direction

  5. Part 13: For science!

    Flying Christmas Tree 2 has collected 142744 science from Jool.

    It will also be my last mission in the foreseeable future.

    4mFWQJO.png

    Spoiler

    With 5 km/s, Flying Christmas Tree 2 has no problems coming back from Pol.

    01VZioR.png

    Approaching Kerbin, with Mun and Minmus

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    Aerobraking to circularize

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    Not Albatross will carry the science on the ground

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    EliLemq.png

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    A great sequence of the coming dawn

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    And some flying amid the mountains

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    For all my complaints that I am a lousy pilot, I managed to hit the runway

    Now, one big mistake I keep making: I didn't think of a reentry vehicle. The rules of the challenge allow me to send up a new one for the task, but it's prettier if I use what I have. In this case, I have Not Albatross. It's capable of ssto, so I will just send it up, rendez-vous with FCT2, pick up another kerbal, repeat 9 times. I just circumnavigated 5 moons, I can't complain that it will be a slog.

    I ended up not using the science pod, but I launch it anyway.

    ypLqqIk.png

    I thought of a way to send the science on the ground, but not the crew. It shows what I deem most important

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    besides, I find this little ship fitting inside a cargo bay to be extremely cute. Isn't it?

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    It's also way overpowered for its task. It could survive much harsher reentries

    But it can't carry the 5th copy of the infrared spectroscopy. The difference was 7 science points.

    Anyway, sending up Not Albatross to pick up more crewmembers.

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    By now I learned to land on the airstrip. Most of the times

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    I want to line up all the crew like this

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    Unfortunately, all this moving in and out of space has damaged the propellers, to the point that Not Albatross isn't flying straight anymore

    That kills the mood. I just send up a simple pod to bring back the remaining six people.

    This was probably the longest Jool 5. The first save dates from early january, and that's not accounting for ship design. During the mission, I saved the game 975 times and I took 1830 screenshots. I treaded roughly 7000 km on a rover, 4000 km on a boat, I flew somewhat more than that on a plane. I grabbed every experiment from Jool 4 times. Grabbing them all once would have given 115k science; with only 3 copies, I'd have lost 600 points. Technically, one could still gather a handful more points by collecting the experiments more than 4 times, but there's no more than a few dozen points available.

    As I am happy to finish this mission with a new record, I am sad that it will be my last mission on ksp for a while. I've been playing 4 years, thousands of hours, and I simply did everything I did care to do. I run 3 grand tours of the stock system, once with the outer planet mod, one rss grand tour, and a whirligig world grand tour, always - except in the last case - with kerbalism to add difficulty. I did countless Jool 5, always within some additional challenge. I did a nanocrystalline diamond caveman. I did a Jool 5 within a caveman. I circumnavigated 18 planetary bodies, most of them from expanded planetary packs. I visited all anomalies except on the Mun and Kerbin. I found the green monolith on all planets.

    I never came even close to an Eve ssto, but from what I got explained, I decided the kind of aerodinamic solutions required for it are such that they amount to bug abuse in my book.

    Anyway, I can't think of anything more to do. Unless I get some crazy insight, I'm out, at least for the foreseeable future.

    I'll keep lurking the forums. I may try ksp2, it may have some new challenge to attract me.

    I will carry this game inside me, always.

  6. Part 12: 100% completion

    I recover the crew on Laythe; realizing I visited everything except the monolith on Tylo, I also go there.

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    12.1) Bring them back

    Spoiler

    I collected all the science and circumnavigated all moons, but I still have a few things to do. Starting with collecting the crew on Laythe.

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    Bill and Redo leave Vall on the ascent vehicle

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    The ascent vehicle was optimized to avoid waste; it reached orbit with only 40 m/s left. It was still enough to fix inclination and get an intercept

    The main issue was actually the lack of battery. Even with all the probe cores in hybernation, it still run out before the rendez-vous, forcing me to dock with a probe without attitude control. Not trivial, but having RCS on Discovery helped.

    xUTB9rO.png

    Crew from Vall successfully recovered

    Afterwards, I have to pick up the crew from Laythe. Bob is still waiting in orbit inside Not Albatross, and Donnitta is still on the surface. I pick up Bob, then I send Not Albatross back to the surface to pick up Donnitta.

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    Picking up Bob

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    Reentry over Laythe. Hitting Garibarge without having to fly across half the moon required more trial and error than I thought

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    Fun fact, with Not Albatross empty of fuel, the robotic arm on Garibarge can lift it. And it breaks afterwards

    It was a big pain to achieve refueling without cracking that arm. As soon as I grabbed Not Albatross, the whole contraption started shaking and the robotic arm would break. I realized the issue was causing by the springs on the wheels causing too many vibration, and I managed a successful docking after retracting the wheels.

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    Not Albatross is still damaged since chapter 8, here you can see how its parts no longer line up. I need some help from the rocket to take off from water

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    This time I try to point up and clear the atmosphere fast

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    I always like what those flames do to Not Albatross. Nothing like setting a plane on fire to beautify it

    This time, I go orbital with a lot more spare fuel than the previous time. Looks like accelerating in the atmosphere is a mistake. I saw discussions on various Eve SSTO doing just that, and I have no idea why it works for them.

    At this point, since I still want to carry back what's left of Leaping Mantis and I have no additional docking ports on Discovery, I send it and Not Albatross back to Pol separately. Fuel is not an issue.

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    In Pol orbit, docking the two modules of Flying Christmas Tree 2

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    Discovery and Resilience shall no longer be separated

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    Landing for fuel, the Resilience module is almost dry at this point

    12.2) The last anomaly

    Spoiler

    When I planned this mission, I had no ideas for monoliths. I already visited all the monoliths in the Bolt mission anyway. However, I eventually ended up taking detours for them in every moon, except on Tylo. I'd rather complete the mission by exploring all anomalies at this point, but Tamarromobile can't be used; it doesn't have a probe core to control it remotely.

    I stopped thinking about Tylo, until at some point I realized FCT2 can actually land there. It was built to carry a lot of heavy landers, especially Garibarge, and it was built to do so with some of its engines shut down. Now that it's got no heavy payloads and all its engines are working, it actually has the TWR and deltaV to land on Tylo.

    The Tylo monolith spawned relatively close to the south pole. I don't want to drive 1500 more km there, so I land there directly with FCT 2

    9qxv9f8.png

    Here FCT2 starts shaking and breaks some parts; just like the issues I had with my kerbalism motherships

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    Landing near the monolith

    Again, I land at the first try. This time I don't claim any special piloting skill; it's just that FCT2 has a huge excess of deltaV, and I refuel on the surface anyway, so I stopped in midair several km above the surface. More wasteful, but more safe.

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    I land on an incline and spend two hours slowly sliding down, unable to save the game because the ship is moving on the surface. Good thing I can let ksp run in background

    The first landing, of course, was plenty off target. After making some more fuel, I take a suborbital jump to come closer. I normally would never consider suborbital jumps on Tylo, they are so expensive, but with isru I have unlimited fuel.

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    Going ballistic again

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    Visual contact with the monolith! It's just to the left of Not Albatross nose

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    Landed in sight of the monolith, but stll relatively far

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    A third jump will get me there

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    At 500 m from the monolith, I decide it's close enough and send a kerbal to plant the flag

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    Leaving Tylo. Fully loaded, FCT2 has TWR 1.08 in Tylo's gravity, but it's got 5 km/s of deltaV

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    Not enough to comfortably return to Kerbin, but more than enough to reach Pol and refuel again

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    I definitely could have picked a better spot for landing, but the low gravity helps

  7. Vall too. This will be my last one for a while, if not ever. I considered getting the master circumnavigator, but I'm not driven enough to circumnavigate the missing planets. Actually, I started a Mun circumnavigation months ago, but I gave up one quarter of the way. Same for a Tekto circumnavigation. The thing is, I've been playing this game 4 years, I've done all I really wanted to do, I haven't found any new interesting challenge to try after

  8. 9 hours ago, DennisB said:

    Congratulations for the result. I said, you will finish before I will. 

    Did you check your science in the archive, if you've got the points for the multiple copies? According to my chart, which I made for my own estimation, you should get for the 706 science reports (4 times each) much more points (+19000). Or my calculations are wrong, but if I calculate it without multiple copies, the result is very close to that, what you have in the screenshot.

    If I send back a single copy, I get 125,1k science.

    your calculation, I assume, is made by calculating the science values in the wiki. but those science values are the maximum amount of science that can be collected, over multiple samples. if you take a single samples, most experiments do not return 100% science value. hence why you need to carry back multiple samples. your calculation, most likely, gives the maximum theoretical value, minus the "recovery of a vehicle from" extra bonus (in this case i get 120 for "returned from tylo surface")

    i also checked removing a single set of samples (so 3 copies of each experiment, but 4 for the infrared telescope) and I got 142145, 599 points less than I got. a fifth set of experiments would have returned a few additional dozen points. i'm sure i could calculate an ashyntotical maximum for the curve if i put myself to the task.

  9. Part 11: Memory lane is not over yet

    Leaping Mantis ends the circumnavigation of Vall, passing - sometimes by design, sometimes by chance - more landmarks encountered in previous Vall missions.

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    11.1) Return to the Great Wall range

    Spoiler

    After Vallhenge, I have to steer westward for some 50 km to reach the southern basin. A diversion wholly justified by visiting Vallhenge.

    IklilM4.png

    The mountain range between Vallhenge valley and southern basin is low, made of gentle hills. No problems here

    At the basin, I turn north, aiming for the marker I set on the northwestern basin. Here I find the first mountain massif; not a mountain range, a single line of mountains as common on Vall, but an area where several mountain ranges meet, giving rise to elevated, chaotic terrain.

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    The mountains, with its ondulated terrain

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    Whenever I find a nice slope I try for more speed records. I crashed the rover countless times, without managing to beat the previous score

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    Passing close to an erupting cryovolcano. Seen from afar, they intermittently spew dramatic plumes, but up close you don't see much difference in activity

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    Down another valley, up another mountain range

    I've landed on Vall many times, and I've often named places. I must have named more places on Vall than in the whole remaining stock system. After reaching the southern basin I am treading new ground, but I decide to check, maybe my planned path will cross more of my old missions. I lost the original mission saves I had for my first Jool 5, but the mission report does contain a screenshot with several highlighted markers.

    Turns out I won't be seeing Mount Godzilla or Rover Crasher peak, they are a good 90° of longitude away from my planned path. I didn't save the coordinates when I landed with the Marco Polonium, or with most of my kerbalism grand tours; those were short stays anyway. But I spent some time during the Bolt mission, I took several screenshots, maybe I can geolocate that one?

    Turns out, I had an image when I complained about the lack of water on what's supposed to be an ice ball, but the surface scanner also includes coordinates.

    qeZXeCy.png

    The old screenshot, when Stool braved the mountains to reach the green monolith

    And in an incredible coincidence, I've been looking for this just when I was passing within a stone throw! Compare the coordinates on the last two pictures, I'm only off by three degrees, roughly 15 km. I take a detour to visit.

    When I explored this area with Stool, I was aiming to cross the mountain range to reach the monolith. The range is extremely high and steep, the old rover could not climb it directly and it had to resort to prolonged switchbacking. On top, it found a sort of crenellation in the rock wall, that was very effective at disrupting my attempts to climb past it. I named the mountain range the Great Wall range, the specific location the Castle, and I'm about to tour the place again, with a more powerful rover

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    With the rover in the middle of the picture, the Castle is in the upper part, where the mountain makes a curve. Even from here it can be seen it's the steepest part of the range

    I go to the bottom of the incline, then I go up. Of course, Stool was designed to be a lightweight flyer, with only minimal roving ability. It couldn't climb steep inclines. Leaping Mantis can, and it's an entirely different experience.

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    The Castle has a 45° slope, reaching 50° in some places. It's considerably steeper than most other mountain ranges on Vall, that are generally around 20° to 30°

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    The crenellation that was so hard to pass with Stool. Leaping Mantis is just coming at speed and jumping over it

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    It took the best part of an hour to climb this with Stool, only a few minutes with Leaping Mantis

    And now that I am on top of a mountain with a very steep, very smooth incline in front of me, it's Need For Speed time!

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    The Great Wall range is the best to pick up speed!

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    110 m/s! Now braking, before breaking!

    I did manage to brake and stop, finalizing the new speed record. Then I reloaded back to the top, and tried to beat it.

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    The plain after the range is still gently sloping, I can keep accelerating. Here I had to use the top wheels to survive a jump

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    I went up to 126 m/s, but didn't survive the next jump. So, no record

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    This dune-like formation and others like it are interfering with high speed, causing Leaping Mantis to jump and crash on the ground

    It's really rare to find a long stretch of ground without some kind of similar trap. This will stand as the speed record for the rest of the circumnavigation.

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    Leaving behind the Great Wall range, there is a vast plain

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    Seeing Flying Christmas Tree 2 in the sky signals I'm getting close to the equator

    11.2) The name of a mountain

    Spoiler

    Going forward, Leaping Mantis crosses mostly flat ground. The mountain ranges around the northwestern basin are interrupted in many places.

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    But those few mountains make for much better screenshots

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    Occasionally I watch how it would be without light amplification. I could drive like that, but I prefer to see. I could wait daylight, but I want to speedrun this circumnavigation like the others

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    The last picture was tagged at 60° N, meaning we covered a full quarter of the circumnavigation with just a couple pictures. But there was nothing remarkable about it. I don't even remember much about it, and I've driven the rover one week ago. As I said, it was mostly flat ground. On flat ground, I can't push Leaping Mantis to the insane speeds that cause it to die, so I also very rarely reloaded. There were no special landmarks along the way, just a couple more minor mountain ranges.

    Things are going to change as we approach the north pole.

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    No, this is not the north pole, just a random mountain along the way. But a very peculiar one. In that it looks like an actual mountain peak

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    Except it doesn't peak, it keeps going and it's crenellated. I'd call it the sawtooth ridge, if I hadn't already used the name on Tylo

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    At 65° N, there is another oddity: a flat high plateau. We are close to 7 km altitude, but the terrain is flat. This is the top of another massif

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    At least, part of it is flat. Near the borders, it's normal mountain terrain. I like those massif

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    Past the 75° N, ridges start to appear on the ground, concentrically pointing to the pole. I've seen this feature in a lot of modded planets, but not in stock

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    Around 80° N, from the top of a ridge I can see Jool above Vall. I can also see the mountain on the north pole

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    Magnification on the image shows the terrain glitch

    I've never been to the north pole of Vall, and the mountain there looks like something; I must give it a name. From here, it looks a thin slit in a high peak; it could be called Kraken Beak, echoing the Kraken Maw on the south.

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    Getting closer. On the right it would be an easy climb, of course I go for the steepest cliff I can see. I didn't carry a mountain-rated rover here to not use its features

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    Going up the sides of the mountain, so far it's easy

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    There is a sort of crack in the ground to the right of the image. It looks harder, so I go there

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    Now it's getting interesting

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    Doesn't look like a beak anymore from this perspective.

    Maybe a trapdoor? Mount Trapdoor? Not sure about it.

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    This mountain is much easier to climb than its south polar counterpart. It is steep, but no more than 45°, which Leaping Mantis can tackle easily.

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    I'm past the climbing phase, the hole is behind one of those spikes

    It doesn't look like a trapdoor anymore, much less a beak. Maybe those multiple spikes could be claws?

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    I sent Bill to climb the highest peak

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    There is one cliff that is visible from one side, but not from the other. I've seen it on other poles

    As a piece of cliff is visible only from a side, I'd call it Schroedinger peak, but I already used the name for the south pole of Eve.

    Alas, I am afraid I have no other choice. I've been considering for a while, if on the opposite side of the moon there's the maw, here there must be some nether region, but I didn't want to make such a stupid joke. Not unless I couldn't come up with a better name. And now not only I don't have any better name, but the hole also looks puckered. It is decided, then.

    Kraken Butt peak.

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    As always, the view is spectacular

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    I'll leave the pole from this valley

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    Once more, I try to use the incline to set up more speed records, but the terrain is too irregular here

    11.3) Return to Rover Crasher peak

    Spoiler

    What's this? I specifically said I wouldn't be visiting any other feature I visited previously. I said it would require too much of a detour.

    The thing is, Rover Crasher peak was 90° away from my path. The green monolith also spawned 90° away from my path. I connected those two pieces of information, and decided to check. Indeed, the monolith had spawned a stone's throw from Rover Crasher peak (more like 60 km, but still very close on a planetary scale). And the last biome, northeastern basin, can be reached just going down from the peak, in the same direction I need to go to reach the first flag. I previously decided to not steer away from my course for the peak or the monolith, but if both are close, I may as well take two birds with a stone. The stone in question being a 200 km diversion.

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    I was looking forward to driving in natural light again. Those mountains are illuminated by the sun. Unfortunately, it's dusk and I'm moving eastward, into the night again

    I managed to time this circumnavigation exactly with the duration of the day, driving through a whole emisphere at night and crossing the pole just as it was about to become day again.

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    At least I can see again the other celestial bodies. Here Tylo is just coming out of Jool's occultation

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    After that first mountain range, it's all plains. Judging from the uneven horizon, this is more ondulated than most

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    Incidentally, I realized after passing that this is the place I named Enchanted Valley in my old mission four years ago

    I called it Enchanted Valley because I found it especially beautiful. Yet, as I came back there, I never found what was so special about it. It's probably a mix of two factors; first, Vall is better with crepuscolar light, I tailored the light enhancement to get the right look. You can get that effect naturally around 50° N. Second, at this latitude Jool and the other moons are close enough to the horizon that they can be seen normally. It's not much the valley, but the sky above it.

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    The monolith is within those foothills, amid the pass straight ahead

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    Took some trials to find it, as it was covered by a fold in the ground, but here it is

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    Here showcasing a special trap: two boulders one in front of the other

    The bigger, darker boulder is caused by terrain scatter, it does not cause collisions. I learned to recognize them, and can confindently pass through them. But the second, smallest and whitest, is a surface feature from breaking ground. It causes collisions, and I broke my rover more than once one of those boulders. Here the scatter boulder was just covering the other boulder from my perspective, I could have hit it without seeing it. Good thing I try to swerve around any boulder just in case of a trap like this. I only hit boulders when thelong hours of driving make me distracted - or, in a particularly unlucky case, when I jumped over a crest and landed straight on top of one.

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    The mountain range in the distance is Rover Crasher peak. Or rather, the mountain range contains Rover Crasher Peak

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    Climbing up. Once more, no difficulties. With Dancing Porcupine I used the rockets all the way to the top

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    On top of Rover Crasher Peak, looking down at the ravine

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    Not the best pic, but it's the only one I took

    Turns out, Rover Crasher peak has an inviting ravine to try and make speed records, but with a trick: the slope changes midway, making you jump - just as you were picking up speed and were thinking maybe it's time to start braking. You jump, you can't brake, you go too fast, you crash; at the bottom there are a few features that will kill you if you take them at speed. Rover Crasher peak -- or rather, its ravine - has an inviting slope for gaining speed, but a few well concealed traps waiting for the reckless driver. It deserves its name, and it confirmed it by killing Leaping Mantis a few times, before I accepted I must go extra slow.

    From Rover Crasher peak to the first flag it's 300 km, but it's all flat easy ground.

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    Back where I started, the discarded rockets are still there

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    The path taken in this last part

    Vall is truly a great world to drive a rover; only Slate is comparable. I'm glad I took the chance for this circumnavigation. In 2200 km, I never got bored.

    Science recap

    Spoiler

    I finished collecting all the available science.

    Flying Christmas Tree 2 - Discovery:

    In total, 224 science reports are gathered inside Discovery.

    Leaping Mantis:

    In total, 170 science reports are gathered inside Leaping Mantis.

    Tamarromobile:

    In total, 85 science reports are gathered inside Leaping Mantis.

    Not Albatross:

    In total, 227 science reports are gathered inside Leaping Mantis

    All the numbers check out. I have 706 science reports collected in each of the four probe cores, plus a fifth copy of the infrared spectroscopy in another core.

  10. I finished my current run. I set to improve my previous record, I ended up pulverizing it. I had no idea there was so much science I missed before. Now I really think I got all of it. There may be a few dozen science points left from the multiple grabbing of the same experiment; I got 4 copies for each, which is enough for over 99.5% recovery, but grabbing a fifth copy should still earn a few fractions of point. But no more than that.

    4mFWQJO.png

    I still have to update the report thread, I plan on doing it tomorrow, the day after at the latest. But @JacobJHC generally takes some time to review, I may as well post now.

  11. 4mFWQJO.png

    I completed the new Jool 5 science record. I got all experiments from all biomes, in quadruple copy because some experiments will give extra science if collected more than once. quintuple copy for infrared spectroscopy, because it's the one where multiple copies are worth more. And because I had a convenient place to store them, while only carrying 4 containers in all my landers. For Laythe, I took both landed and splashed down science (it's 2 different sets of science reports) for 8 biomes. I landed the exploration plane on an aircraft carrier to trick the game into giving the landed condition for all water biomes. Only now I think a submarine could have achieved the same, and it would have been a lot easier to fly than an aircraft carrier. that thing was a huge aerodinamic problem to launch and a huge center of mass problem from the moment I docked it to the mothership to the moment I dropped it on Laythe.

    I circumnavigated all moons. I visited all anomalies.

    I forgot a reentry vehicle. Fortunately, the only lander I did not discard, the plane I used for Laythe, is capable of ssto on kerbin; so I can land it, drop the pilot, send the plane back to orbit, dock with the mothership, refuel, get another crewmember, carry it to the ground, go orbit again... repeat for 9 crewmembers. so, technically it's not finished. I could also just launch a capsule, the rules allow it, but it's less nice.

    I also have to finish writing the report. A few more days.

    However, this is a momentous moment for me. After four years and many thousands of hours, I find myself without any ongoing project for this game. I've done everything. At least, everything I was interested in doing.

    3 grand tours of the stock system with kerbalism; once including the outer planets mod. A grand tour of the real solar system, one of the whirligig world mod. More jool 5 than I can recall, always with some additional condition. A nanodiamond caveman. at least 18 planets circumnavigated with a rover, many of those planets from mods. I visited all anomalies (ok, i didn't bother with all of them on the mun and kerbin). found 21 green monoliths.

    Now, whenever I think of something about this game, I've either done it already, or i'm not interested. I'll probably stop playing ksp, after all this time. Maybe i'll get ksp2 eventually.

    As a science nerd, this game struck me in all the right places. Only the civilization saga has left a similar mark on me. Likely, even 10 years from now, even if I never pick it up again, I will still name ksp as one of my favourite games.

    Or maybe I will I find some other long term challenge to waste my time tackle after all.

  12. I have seen a fully reusable grand tour that managed a purely rocket ascent from eve. it did so by landing on a 6.5 km tall mountain on the equator. from there, it was possible to orbit. so, 12 km will also give some payload capacity.

  13. 10 hours ago, AndriiHnatiuk said:

    The only thing that confuses me in the usual config is radiation, which is not particularly suitable for the real solar system

    why not?

    i ran a full grand tour of it, radiations were no more of a problem than in previous runs. less of a problem, actually, because i had more experience dealing with them. the only real bother way, i could not land a crew in the inner moons of saturn because of too many radiations. but few people use kerbalism to send a crew on saturn anyway.

    you may refer to the fact that travel times are longer while radiation exposure is the same, but if properly handled, radiation can be virtually nullified for most situation. so if the mission is longer it doesn't really matter

  14. 4 hours ago, AndriiHnatiuk said:

    What config should I play with if I play from a real solar system but without realism overhaul?

    i played with rss and kerbalism without changing anything.

    of course, going to orbit is going to be exceedingly difficult with stock parts, but that's not a kerbalism problem

  15. 6 hours ago, Ruskiwaffle1991 said:

    It's a huge problem especially when going to the Mun. Most of the time my rockets seem to be aerodynamically stable but once I pitch downwards to yaw sideways they sometimes roll. 

    first of all, the thread title does not match the question. orbits refers to moving in space, ascent would be more appropriate for atmosphere. it seems your rocket has stability problems.

    unfortunately, you do not give us enough information. pictures would be good. maybe your rocket isn't as aerodinamically stable as you think. or maybe you are turning it too hard.

    why would it be a problem especially for going to mun? how is that rocket different from others? this may shed light on the problem

  16. 4 minutes ago, damerell said:

    I look forward to more Elcano claims.

    Oh, right. I forgot to mention in the Elcano thread I did Bop, in chapter 9. I also did Laythe, but I already had a circumnavigation there, I don't see the point of making another claim. I'll be busy at work for the next couple of weeks, so i expect Vall to take more.

    Shall I post the Bop notification in the Elcano thread for the sake of linking?

  17. Part 10: A trip through memory lane

    Leaping Mantis goes to Vall. This first part covers from the equator to the south pole to Vallhenge.

    Some of that road I already covered four years ago in one of my first challenges. I got a bit nostalgic about it, hence the chapter title.

    VvLun7g.png

    Standing above the southern pole terrain glitch

    10.1) Need for Speed: Vall

    Spoiler

    Once more, no special difficulty to reach Vall, let's go straight to the landing part.

    qmUnkOM.png

    Leaping Mantis departing from Discovery

    Departing from Flying Christmas Tree 2 for the last time, Leaping Mantis can shed some of its attachments.

    PKkCxoy.png

    Moving the fuel tank on the return pod

    In particular, now I can jettison the upper docking port on the return pod and try to move away the fuel tank there. Leaping Mantis couldn't use the upper wheels (which, remember, are extra sturdy and can protect the rover from a high fall that would kill regular wheels) because it needed more clearance from the return pod. Let's see if now there is enough space to avoid it getting damaged.

    LNGeKj5.png

    And of course, the bulkiest part to be removed are the drop tanks

    Removing those drop tanks made the rover a lot more limber. Their mass on the sides of the rover caused high torque and made the reaction wheels a lot more sluggish. Now Leaping Mantis has significantly more attitude control while airborne.

    hApl2LC.png

    Obligatory scanning of a surface feature. The red hue is not the laser, but the flashing lights indicating reaction wheels are off

    By the way, those ice chunks are small and easy to miss and strike with a wheel, but they do not cause damage if a wheel impacts them - and they are low enough on the ground that the main body of the rover will just pass above. 

    Now the circumnavigation proper can start. Vall has 9 biomes. Four are scattered around: highlands, lowlands, midlands, mountains. Vall is made of plains surrounded by rings of mountains, and those biomes are distributed concentrically around those mountains. A circumnavigation has no issues touching all them. Then there's poles, and they are found obviously on the poles, a polar circumnavigation will pass them. Then there are four localized biomes, two for each emisphere, close to the poles, on opposite sides: northeast basin, northwest basin, southern basin, southern valleys. Since they are on opposite sides of the poles, one can pass through all of them by picking the right meridian on which to circumnavigate. That meridian passes close enough to Vallhenge, so it will be included in the tour. Vall has a 300 km radius, for a circumference just shy of 2000 km. I'll be planting a flag every 50 km.

    I am starting on the equator on the opposite side of Vallhenge. I'll be moving south and approach Vallhenge from the south after the south pole. Mostly because I have fond memories of driving there with Dancing Porcupine during what will soon be my previous Jool5 science record, and I want to check the road now that I know how to increase lighting.

    ZhbhQWx.png

    Vall is mostly even terrain, Leaping Mantis can go pretty fast

    The gravity is also pretty good for driving, providing a decent grip without being oppressive. On the down side, brakes are sluggish, despite being set to max.

    9cVb8Ff.png

    But one has to be careful to not hit a boulder! Ooops!

    Those boulders are a real hazard. The normal terrain scatter boulders don't cause collision, and one gets used to just passing through them. But the boulders added as surface feature by the breaking ground expansion do cause collisions, and they have the same size and a similar shape and color to the terrain scatter; it's easy to mistake one for the other. I could just deactivate terrain scatter so that the real boulders would stand out more, but I like it more this way.

    ejTxyUW.png

    Cryovolcanoes are also a prominent feature

    zyxWQNv.png

    I'm going straight for the marker, and by pure coincidence there is a large pass in the mountain range straight in my path

    The "valleys" on Vall are roughly 100 km from side to side, surrounded by mountains. Those can range from nearly vertical walls, to more easily accessible. They are usually 3 to 5 km higher than the valleys they surround.

    In some places, especially near the boundaries of the valleys, the terrain is more scattered and I have to be more careful while driving. Suddenly driving out of a cliff may result in a jump high enough to kill the rover.

    qHPGCrw.png

    Jumping over a cryovolcano. This just is low enough that Leaping Mantis can land without problems

    lxXl4b9.png

    Southern valleys are extremely flat. Good for speeding. I like the light effect of the floodlights with the icy surface

    The wheels are still restricted to 58 m/s top speed, they need a downward slope to go faster. On Vall there is enough gravity to pick up some speed, though nowhere near as much as on Tylo.

    vnLB7Oi.png

    This gently sloping flat is perfect to try and push the boundaries. Here reaching 75 m/s, but the terrain is still going down slightly

    hYsAqZe.png

    Over the next three minutes, the terrain when down another 1500 m while remaining very flat, and the rover picked up more speed, up to the record 107.7 m/s

    Being a nerd, I tried some energy calculation. For a unitary mass, it takes 3020 J to accelerate from 75 to 108 m/s. On Vall's gravity 1500 m of altitude entail an energy potential of 3450 J, so there was very little wasted energy. Of course, wheels in ksp have no drag while just going like that, but every bump on the ground costs energy. Meh, I'm overthinking this.

    After staying at 100 m/s for a minute, I slowed down to a safer 70 to not jeopardize safety too much. Just in time, as I was faced with an unusual obstacle.

    893GXjv.png

    What the hell is that?

    A terrain glitch away from the poles, as a narrow strip where the terrain does not exhist. Colliding with it as that speed damaged a wheel, but fortunately I have enough repair kits to use if it's been more than a few minutes since the last time I saved. This accident costed me a few minutes - mostly because I could no longer pick up the same speed - but I still went fast enough for long enough to break the previous speed record:

    IczUb3q.png

    14 minutes for 50 km, an average of 59 m/s

    wOF03jH.png

    Good light play on the ice, and nice sky. I am in natural light, and Kerbol is backlighting Jool and its other moons, leaving them as dark spots

    M4qFhke.png

    As I near the end of this second valley, I eventually have to cross a mountain range. Finally.

    I was looking forward to some mountaineering. I brought no less than 5 different rovers to Vall before Leaping Mantis, and they all had problems with climbing.

    First was the unnamed small lander/rover in the Marco Polonium mission; it was made to be light, and I included wheels only because they were not heavier than landing struts. It took a couple weeks to climb a mountain a couple of kilometers, because it had a tiny battery and some small solar panels. Then there was Dancing Porcupine; it's an excellent compromise between rover and spaceship, performing adequately in both roles. But having to carry all the fuel and rockets, while needing to eschew too many heavy wheels, did impact its performance. It was capable of climbing only with help from the rockets, which I'm always reluctant to use for prolonged amounts of time. After that, there was Stool, from the Bolt mission; it was optimized as flier, and performed poorly upslope. In case I could not afford to stay for the radiations, I also brought a small, unnamed rover. That one had lots of wheel power and could even climb 30° upward on Tylo; unfortunately, it had a high baricenter and flipped on the vertical climbs of Vall. Finally there was Horseshoe, in the A'Tuin mission, and it also was optimized as flier, with wheel power very much sacrificed for lower mass.

    In all those missions, going uphill was a chore. With Dancing Porcupine I could at least use the rockets, though I had to mine more fuel afterwards. With the others, I had to switchback. Slowly. Very slowly.

    But no more! Leaping Mantis was designed specifically to tackle mountains in higher gravity than this. It can go straight up like a breeze! After so long, it feels good to be able to just do that.

    fZtSxYr.png

    Going straight to slam against the slope. I didn't have many chances to use the Mantis Claws. As on Wal, they worked perfectly and the rover impacted the wall with no damage

    2lZeEX6.png

    Nice view from the mountains. The only concession to the slope is that speed is lower, but still high

    Wijwx0W.png

    Stunning view from the mountain

    r5pL9WH.png

    Now let's see if I can improve the speed record going down the other side

    JTyVQp9.png

    I can go faster than ever...

    nuYYX11.png

    But I can't survive it

    I can accelerate to 120 m/s, but I always die in the end. Unlike on Tylo, I can't brake much here. The downward slope has even terrain, but the plain at the bottom is rugged, and Leaping Mantis can't cruise it at 100 m/s. I could only set the previous record because the land was very, very flat.

    cNZTZSy.png

    Shortly afterwards, there was a big jump. Too fast to survive with regular wheels, I try again the rooftop

    I remember in my previous mission naming one similar place the "ah crap ravine", because I've been driving nonstop for 15 minutes, I didn't see it, I crashed, and lost a lot of progress. I was coming in the same direction, it may well be the same place.

    tQf18el.png

    But one of the four probe cores explodes

    Damn, I really regret not making the return pod detachable. I could move around those probe cores too, but I fear for the science they hold.

    As for survival, I just have to drive a bit more slowly in this part of the road.

    enerqWX.png

    Leaving the mountain behind, under a spectacular sky

    10.2) Return to Kraken Maw Peak

    Spoiler

    I am quickly approaching the south pole. The pole is crossed by a long, narrow mountain chain; back when I felt I had to name every major geographical feature I encountered, I called them the Mohawk mountains, because they stood on the top of Vall like a mohawk haircut. And on the pole itself was the biggest peak, which I dubbed Kraken Maw peak for the distincitve outlook of the terrain glitch. To date, it's my most successful name.

    DlP2DbI.png

    The Mohawk mountains are in front of me. Kraken Maw peak is the one on the left

    GfhQmZe.png

    More of Vall being pretty

    MIhESNz.png

    Approaching Kraken Maw. It still does not look like much

    With Dancing Porcupine I climbed the mountains earlier, taking a diagonal approach; it was the easiest ascent. But this time I have a rover made for climbing, I will take the dreaded north face.

    Wait, when the mountain is at the south pole, every side is the north face. Well, it's a difficult climb anyway.

    ozRx80W.png

    Here we are. The cliff looks less vertical than it actually is because the rover is already going upwards

    d7cLLI0.png

    Still manageable

    2fz2ggz.png

    Now it's getting really hard

    Leaping Mantis has the power to climb, but it doesn't have enough grip. The climb is complicated by irregular terrain, causing the rover to jump, which causes loss of grip and a fall downward. So I am trying to move diagonally and avoid any discontinuity. I am surprised the center of mass is still under the wheels.

    TCV6ESP.png

    Bit by bit, helping with reaction wheels, I climb towards the top

    WNrdfsL.png

    The last obstacle, getting on top of the ledge

    When the rover starts passing the ledge, half its wheels are in the air, which causes it to lose grip. I had to approach it diagonally, again.

    hZaK2AD.png

    But in the end, the mountain was conquered

    The description doesn't give it justice, it was a really engaging climb.

    One on top, while I planted a flag on the tip of the peak, I took several dozen pictures. Here are the ones I liked most.

    gTeSlXW.png

    VvLun7g.png

    FWHeqjV.png

    But I took pictures of Kraken Maw peak before. Now I know how to take pictures of Kraken Maw peak with light enhancement! Behold my power to see what's in shadows!

    RamrhT7.png

    WvFooLF.png

    AIMTryf.png

    ao6FWHT.png

    Truly, this is one of my favourite places.

    10.3) Return to Shadar Logoth Trail and Vallhenge

    Spoiler

    Next target is Vallhenge. Last time, I followed a regular trough in the ground going perfectly straight along the 90° meridian. I want to do it this time too, because I want to see what it was like now that I know how to use light amplification.

    YzooUC2.png

    I sometimes make a point to drive in natural light

    lzyPwaO.png

    But in the darkness, I can't see how beautiful Vall is. Lights on

    N1ThAw6.png

    One final look backwards at the peak, the Maw is still visible

    Xsdx34n.png

    Here you can appreciate the straight line in the ground. From up close it looks natural, but from afar you notice it goes straight forever

    Back when I was still naming everything - which I stopped doing because I eventually run out of imagination - I called this the Vallhenge channel. I am curious to see how much it keeps going straight, but I have to turn west to find the southern basin biome. Ok, I checked with alt-f12, the channel is no longer visible already in the Vallhenge valley; it still leaves a cleft in the mountain chain north of it, but the more it goes north, the less it is recognizable. At 50°S it's no longer recognizable unless one knows it's there, at 40°S it disappeared completely. I was hoping for something more dramatic.

    Anyway, forward on Vallhenge Channel. More beautiful landscape follows.

    QQKhpRG.png

    NeQdgUR.png

    Sometimes I still take a picture in natural light to appreciate the difference

    2Wr9AE9.png

    WnlYqHa.png

    Before approaching Vallhenge, the Vallhenge channel crosses a mountain range along a pass. Since it was dangerous and always in shadows, I called that passage the Shadar Logoth trail, after a specific location in the Wheel of Time franchise that was dangerous and in shadows. Just to make a testament of how long I spent playing this game, when I named the Shadar Logoth trail the Wheel of Time was a book saga for nerds with enough free time to read 10000 pages, now there's already a second season of a tv show - so maybe more people will understand the reference.

    Anyway, the sun was north, on the other side of the pass; the Shadar Logoth trail was deeply shadowed. It was a hard climb that required Dancing Porcupine to abuse the rockets. And I broke the rover there a lot of times before getting it right. Of course, being able to actually see makes all the difference. Having a rover made for climbing and with a better center of mass also helps greatly.

    TjN0HnD.png

    The Shadar Logoth trail. I can see how in darkness that cleft in the terrain can be tricky to navigate, while the sloping walls prevent one from finding an easy workaround

    uK0Y3sx.png

    Straddling the Vallhenge channel gives the chance for new positions to plant flags

    rkJpE9o.png

    Up through Shadar Logoth trail

    It was a hard, killer mountain pass. With this rover and this light - and a lot more experience - it is a breeze. I took only a few minutes to cross it.

    sETLI3r.png

    The way to the pass is pretty long, anyway. There are lower passes around it, but in the darkness I could not know

    XmPaXvg.png

    Finally, jumping past the last bump, I can set my gaze upon Vallhenge valley. This place is every bit as magical as I remembered it; the spectral lighting probably enhances the effect

    nFFP06X.png

    Vallhenge itself can be seen as a dot that glitters in the light, though you wouldn't tell it apart from a cryovolcano without some zooming of the image

    ozm9hHw.png

    Going down, I try again to set new speed records. Again, I have to give up because I can't brake effectively

    prdWsKM.png

    Vallhenge. It was a powerful moment, getting here the first time. I'm getting a bit emotional the second time too

    TTvTuLV.png

    rVRExWL.png

    I've been wanting to take an image from this perspective since I got rid of the lateral tanks

    flrHjNX.png

    Alas, while I was busy looking from the inside, I broke the rover arm. I hadn't saved in 10 minutes, it will stay like this. I won't need it anymore

    CNSFGU0.png

    EZi7Q0O.png

    r8ni5SP.png

    Vallhenge marks one third of the circumnavigation. I don't know of any other major feature along the way (no, Batman pass was not distinctive enough), though I do look forward to the north pole; I don't know what's there. Regardless, I am pretty sure I'll get enough material for another chapter.

    I'm really loving Vall. I have a hard time deciding if Slate is still my favourite; it may be as general shape of the terrain, but it lacks powerful features like Kraken Maw peak or Vallhenge. For sure, neither Laythe nor Polta or Tekto can compare.

  18. 6 hours ago, fumblethumbs said:

    How do you manage the flow of oxygen between parts of a vehicle? I put a fuel cell and 2 pressurized tanks, one with oxygen and one with hydrogen. When I turn the fuel cell on, it draws all of the oxygen from the command pod and drains that before starting to use the oxygen from the tank. I'd like to configure it to prioritize draining the tank first. At the least, I'd like to be able to manually transfer oxygen from the tank to the pod. The tank is on a part that gets jettisoned before reentry, so poor Jeb struggles to breathe on the way down.

    I'm using stock KSP 1.12.5.3190, Kerbalism 3.19, and a few mods:

    - Kerbalism-Config-Default 3.19
    + CommunityResourcePack v112.0.1
    + Harmony2 2.2.1.0
    - KerbalChangelog v1.4.2
    - KerbalEngineerRedux 1.1.9.0
    + KSPCommunityFixes 1.35.0
    - KSPRescuePodFix 1.6.4.14
    - MechJeb2 2.14.3.0
    + ModuleManager 4.2.3
     

    i never had any problem tranfering oxygen, or any other resource, between parts. i never worried about consumption priority, so i can't say about that.

    you really should be able to transfer it between tanks like fuel or any other resource. if you can't, it could be a bug

  19. 31 minutes ago, CubertFarnsworth said:
    So running the mod Kerbalism.
    1. I want to comfirm with others that the Delta numbers on the pic are correct? Does it really take 4900 Delta just to LKO. I am early game and finding it damn near impossible to escape Kerbin SOI. I have a 1000+ hours in this game and this mod is killing me! I love it though.
    2. The data that Navball provides for node burn and also the staging stack info DO NOT match what Kerbal Engineering shows. The numbers are ALL wrong from the staging stack and the node burn times. Is there a setting that I am missing since I am running Kerbalism?h40sTT5.png

    kerbalism does not change the rocket mechanics nor the planetary mechanics. your ships are going to be heavier due to life support necessities - a lot heavier if you plan longer missions - but the deltaV required is always the same, roughly 3400 m7s for LKO.

    the image you posted clearly refers to some planetary pack, which has absolutely nothing to do with kerbalism.

    i do believe you may have the wrong mod here.

  20. Part 9: Rough yet smooth

    Leaping Mantis circumnavigates Bop, taking care to check both the kraken and the monolith.

    YQMBrEe.png

    Zuqmwcr.png

    Because of the position of the monolith, my circumnavigation was a bit lopsided, crossing the north pole but only making it to 60° south. The path is still two semicircumferences, though

    9.1) Pre-Bop

    Spoiler

    Before driving on Bop, I still have to take care of some unfinished business. For start, I had Flying Christmas Tree 2 - Discovery short on fuel around Laythe; last we saw of it, it managed to find an intercept for Vall. I generally wouldn't bother showing trajectories around the moons of Jool, but in this case it was not trivial.

    MbhCgVn.png

    Discovery comes home

    However, after spending 85 m/s to ensure a gravity assist from Vall - the hardest part is not colliding with Laythe or Tylo first - I found a trajectory that would reach Pol with 600 m/s of intercept, leaving almost 200 m/s for safety. One problem solved.

    D3I4VLr.png

    Discovery grabs Leaping Mantis

    Then, last chapter I said I would not circumnavigate Laythe, because I already had that specific achievement. But then I wondered, why not? I am running this mission that circumnavigates all moons, except I would leave Laythe out when I'm two thirds of the way?

    Laythe circumnavigation with a boat is very easy anyway. Direct it, put the game in background. Just check every few minutes in case course corrections are needed.

    OXdzp0Q.png

    Garibarge crossing one of the straits leading out of Crater Bay

    SA3ccfX.png

    And pointing at its own debris

    Remember when I landed back in chapter 3.3, I jettisoned most of the parachutes? Well, those dropped parachutes on the bottom of the ocean are still there, and they are as good as any flag to point my direction. Maybe managing a full circumnavigation dropping only debris instead of flags would earn some cool points? Regardless, Garibarge is pretty stable, I only need to steer it every few minutes. I could tell it to point straight at the target, but it would then cruise with the rudders slightly turned, which would significantly impact its top speed.

    e9cy2fA.png

    Aeizhho.png

    Garibarge reaches the debris where it started the whole circumnavigation and passed right over them

    Ok, now I can say this mission entailed circumnavigating all the moons.

    I still missed Tylo's monolith to be really complete, though.

    9.2) Proper Bop

    Spoiler

    lV1L0Hm.png

    Having taken care of business, here I am at Bop

    bvdiR4h.png

    And I immediately start pushing the limits of how fast a rover can go in the low gravity

    Bop has a nominal diameter of 65 km, but it has an average elevation around 10 km, so actual diameter is around 75 km. It gives 470 km of circumference, but with all the ups and downs it's probably closer to 500. I never noticed, but Bop is extremely flat. Sure, it is the planet with the highest difference in elevation, but that's on the large scale. On the small scale, the surface of Bop is flatter even than Eeloo. You can see the image above, color it blue and it could pass for the flats on Minmus. Most terrain is like that, except on a slope.

    wrKNBFu.png

    Going up the first mountain; the gravity is not strong enough to interfere

    QI02yIV.png

    On the summit. Which still looks flat, except the land starts going down

    BgHUwPu.png

    Taking some really high jumps. Here 370 m high

    N67RsRC.png

    Landing after the jump

    YQn996H.png

    Leaping Mantis survives the fall! What a champion!

    This first part was exhilarating. I went fast, I never had to worry about braking, I made really cool jumps, I never exploded. I never even paused to save between the flags, which was foolhardy, but I felt safe.

    5bVqizB.png

    Leaping Mantis crossed that mountain, 38 km in 19 minutes. Doesn't seem much after Tylo

    initial plan was to plant a flag every 20 km, but I decided for 30 after seeing how much fun it was to just keep going. In this case I made it to 38 because I couldn't brake. I was going too fast, the rover was just bumping on the ground.

    GDmcq8m.png

    Only now scanning the surface feature. Brown on brown, it mimetizes quite well with the background. Besides, it's not found in every biome

    But as I resumed racing, the spell was broken. I suddenly was exploding all the time.

    MZ7gacF.png

    Here Leaping Mantis took a hard slam and broke a light. I realized those lower lights are too low, they are jutting out of the trusses that should be protecting them. Bill shifted them up

    But fixing the lights didn't solve the main problem. Wheels were getting broken too. And I realized I brought no extra repair kits; I only have those left inside Leaping Mantis, which are enough to fix 12 wheels. And they must last through Vall too. I have to be conservative.

    The problem comes from the angle of the ground. Before, I was coming down fast, but the ground was sloping in just the right way that Leaping Mantis could keep going. Here, there are three consecutive ridges in the ground that seem designed just to make me jump, then slam on the next ridge at the worst possible angle.

    iUQA9wR.png

    The three ridges

    But while this was one of the worst points on all Bop, I have a more general problem. Bop is more dangerous than it looks. Going uphill is all right. But going downhill is treacherous. As you pick up speed, you jump forward. As since Bop has long, long slopes, it will take you a long time to touch land again. And you'll gather quite some speed, even in this low gravity. I was very lucky to find a spot where the slope of the ground was just such that it would allow me to race, and even then the rover took a couple landings so hard I was surprised it didn't explode.

    So, playtime is over. I must be a bit more careful. I can still go pretty fast, and those 500 km take a few hours.

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    The north pole. The small fissure is the terrain glitch, but you can't fall inside

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    The kraken

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    I wanted to drive a bit by night, as always, but then I waited dawn. Bop looks better in light

    NTf7vbk.png

    I like those views, Bop is beautiful in full light. The first time I got there I found it ugly, but it was probably in shadow. And I didn't knew how to increase light

    6D4bIcx.png

    While falling down a hole, I  ended up as high as 700 m

    That time, falling on the ground - at 37 m/s of vertical speed - was too much. The plane wheels may have managed, but the return capsule prevents their full use. I burned some fuel to cushion the impact. On the plus side, 500 m above ground is high enough that the game will let you save, so I didn't lose much when I tried and failed to use the plane wheels.

    That hole is more or less on the equator, marking the halfway spot of the circumnavigation. Now I should continue to the south pole, but the monolith lies exactly on the side of my path. If it was in a different place I would make a detour and go first to the pole and then to the monolith, or viceversa. But as it is, it's more hassle than I want. I still will make a half circumference in going from here to the monolith to the first flag, so I'm not cheating on the distance.

    P2iGl75.png

    Bop often has graphic glitches like the one seen here. By the way, is the ground slightly violet?

    X8vFqdX.png

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    More striking vistas

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    The speed record, set on a long, flat downward slope. It's almost half the orbital speed, I don't think I ever went so fast anywhere

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    The monolith

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    The first flag becomes visible

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    More vistas, and more of the visual glitch

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    Falling in another hole, even higher than the first one. I got to 800 m this time

    sZGhDSW.png

    Landing at 44 m/s. And I haven't saved in a while, I must use the rockets to soften the blow

    ycOeHGo.png

    The hole where I fell. I went down that ravine, except that I jumped straight to the bottom

    I survived, but to travel light I was only carrying a minimum of fuel. Now I don't have enough to orbit again, Bop requires 230. Or do I?

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    Circumnavigation complete

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    To save fuel, I use the wheels to pick up speed

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    By the time I turn on the rockets, I am already at 50 m/s. The fuel left is enough to orbit

    Nominally, Bop requires 230 m/s to orbit, but that's from sea level. Starting at 10 km I'm already saving a bit, and accelerating by wheels saved another 50 m/s. The 174 m/s I had left were enough to orbit, barely.

    2YTs6eK.png

    Reunited with Discovery

    I am quite pleased with Bop. Every time I land there, I like it more. However, I can't wait to be on Vall. It's been a while since I last did drive there. I'm also looking forward to removing those lateral fuel tanks, they cause all kind of inconveniences.

  21. 2 hours ago, DennisB said:

    Why do you need 4 copies of the EVA report? It gives full science score already for one.
     

    A good point.

    However, having a different number of experiments in different cores would be confusing. By taking 4 copies of unnecessary experiments, I ensure that each core has the same number of experiments. So if I accidentally only took 3 experiments in a biome, I would notice immediately. I am also keeping strict track of which experiments I run in a datasheet, but I was doing that the previous time too, and I still missed one. Having four copies is a further guarantee of thoroughness.

    Quote

     

    Are they really all space science reports? According to my calculation, there should be only 210 available.

     

    They also include the Jool atmosphere reports, taken from Phoenix. The science recap at the end of every chapter has the complete count.

    Quote

    This reminds me on my tests on Jool. I had the same issue (without flipping), and it looked like this. Exploding nose cones and exploding science jr. Unfortunately, the explosion destroyed the batteries and the reaction wheels too, and as a result, I had a spaceplane, which was uncontrollable in the upper atmosphere and in space.

    Well, once things start exploding, I reload. It doesn't really matter how much is salvageable afterwards.

    EDIT: moving the answers to @damerell here

    On 3/25/2024 at 5:01 AM, damerell said:

    I'm reading this Tylo now. You seem to have been a little faster than me - my rover capped out around 43 m/s, and of course I shun quickloading on the surface - but it's still a long way, and for whatever reason my Mk VII was very stable on Tylo where you seem to have had more trouble roving.

     I was just going faster. I could have limited speed to 40 m/s, and it would have been very safe (except hitting the occasional surface feature) but it would also have been boring.

    Quote

    The idea of landing mostly manually by a procedure like "I started from roughly 4 km altitude and am angling the thrust upwards to keep vertical speed (Vel. ascesa in the italian interface) between 40 and 50 m/s" - is interesting.

    It is a slight modification of the suicide burn.

    The very efficient landing, used by those that go for low mass records, is to lower orbit to the level of the highest mountain on the equator, then brake while pointing upwards so that the vertical speed is always 0, and time it all so that when they stop they are right on top of the highest mountain. this way minimizes gravity drag. However, timing it all so perfectly is impossible for a human. my variation is a human-friendly compromise that's only slightly less efficient.

    Quote

     I can't help but feel that I just dodged some terrible terrain by pure luck, where you had the misfortune to rove right through it.

    Misfortune? It was nice, I regret not going more straight north after Gagarin crater and skipping the main patch of mountains. Difficult terrain keeps things interesting, so long as the rover is capable to handle it.

  22. Part 8: Garibarge against mountains, 2-2 draw

    Flying Christmas Tree finishes taking space science (almost) and brings Not Albatross to explore Laythe.

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    The route taken around Laythe; the image is centered on Crescent bay

    8.1) For ease of mind

    Spoiler

    I have calculated how many experiments will be collected by Flying Christmas Tree 2 - Discovery. But so far, I have a bunch of half-explored worlds. I have the nagging doubt that I may have skipped some biomes, and I can't check it. To make things worse, when I passed over Laythe for gravity assists in chapter 5 I took as much science as I could, but flying fast over tiny biomes I couldn't get all 4 copies of the experiments; so I now have a different number of experiments in each probe core. So I decided, to put my mind at ease, I will finish space science first.

    FCT2 - Discovery does not have science instruments of its own, except for a gravioli detector that was recovered from Tamarromobile. I need to couple it with one of the landers. By far the most practical way to collect science entails running all the experiments with a hotkey and clicking "gather all experiments here" on the containers. But I don't want to take the experiments that I already gathered in Leaping Mantis, so the only choice is to carry with me Not Albatross, which still has no experiments inside. I'd rather run Bop before Laythe, but I'll just drop the plane on Laythe once I'm done with space science and go back to collect the rover.

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    Docking with Not Albatross, in IVA view

    A9NOqQ0.png

    Leaving Pol. In retrospect, I should have loaded more fuel

    Not many screenshots here. Navigating the moons of Jool is easy enough, and all I have to do is get in a polar orbit and wait to pass over every biome. I first went to Bop, that was easy. Then I went to Vall, where I tied up some loose ends.

    p4yQigu.png

    The relay probe still on Vall

    Those relay probes are the only ones with a kerbnet connection, I'm using this one to plan the route for Vall circumnavigation. I need to touch all 9 biomes, and I want to reach Vallhenge too.

    PQyuhfc.png

    I am including one picture of FCT2 - Discovery on Vall because Vall is beautiful

    Getting all Vall biomes is harder; orbit is faster, so you don't stay a long time over some of the small biomes, and some biomes are very localized. Still, not a problem.

    Laythe was a bigger problem. It has some tiny, tiny biomes that you need luck to pass over. And since you orbit fast, you only stay a few seconds above them, there's no time to gather all 4 copies of gravioli and eva report, so I need more passages. Still, it's just a matter of time and patience.

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    Bob is about to pass over Crater Island, the tiniest biome on Laythe. He's already out, ready to grab an EVA report

    At this point, I start feeling the lack of fuel. I really should have loaded more when I left Pol. Moving between polar orbits is a lot more expensive than moving equatorially. I left Discovery parked in its high orbit, used Not Albatross alone to finish scouting. I still brought the science reports back, though; I want to keep them orderly.

    1Zrodjx.png

    Not Albatross brought back the last science reports

    There's 222 of them, while they were supposed to be 224. But I already know the issue; when I was on Bop, I didn't take crew reports, because I didn't realize the crew pod linked to the science hotkey was empty. So I miss crew reports for Bop space high and space low. I found the issue when I was on Vall, and by then I didn't want to go back. I can take those reports easily when I explore Bop in full. What's important is that all space reports are accounted for. I feel better knowing it.

    Now I have to return to Pol with a limited fuel budget from a polar elliptic orbit. Not easy, I will need some gravity assists to reduce inclination.

    RykvBZh.png

    Trajectory to exit Laythe

    I kick Discovery out of Laythe's orbit with the minimum possible speed; I meet Laythe 7 days later, in a way that will slingshot orbit to intercept Vall. The planar node is perfectly on the orbit, guaranteeing an encounter.

    8.2) Meeting Garibarge

    Spoiler

     The other time I did this I liked Vall and Laythe, while I found Bop boring; so I want to run Bop first, and save Laythe and Vall last. But in the meanwhile, since I'll need to wait 7 days, I may as well land Not Albatross; the orbit is aligned just right to drop right over Garibarge.

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    A spectacular joolrise over Laythe

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    Reentry

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    Not Albatross flipped during reentry, the materials bay overheated, the tip of the plane detached. Ooops!

    Not Albatross can take a Laythe reentry just fine, but here I'm plunging very deep very quickly, because I want to land close to Garibarge. This leads to more heating than usual. Still, Not Albatross could take it, barely, if it didn't flip at the first wrong move on the controls. It turns out, while those canards I added in front help with maneuverability and with takeoff, they also make the plane more prone to flipping during a high speed reentry. Not surprising, as they add drag i front.

    JZ7fLWx.png

    Final descent

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    Lost control during descent, crashed on water. Ooops!

    And just like the canards make the plane more unstable during reentry, they also make it harder to recover if one loses control. The old Not Albatross was prone to flipping, but it was fairly easy to recover. This new version is more maneuverable at regular, propeller-driven speed, less likely to flip, but if it does flip, it is very hard to recover. I'm still happy about the change, though; I only have to do descent twice (now, and after orbiting I'll need to return to also take Donnitta, who is crewing Garibarge), while I have to fly on propellers for thousands of kilometers.

    m0ARb8s.png

    Properly landed, close to an island

    Ok, I landed. Now it will still take several days for Discovery to have its course correction, I may as well start exploring.

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    To take off from water, Not Albatross must first gather speed, to around 50 m/s. Then it pitches up

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    Soaring above water like a seabird. But not an albatross, just any other seabird

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    Sending Bob in EVA to take science reports. There are 10 biomes on Laythe, and I need 4 reports on each, so I must send him out midflight 40 times

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    Flying over an island

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    And scanning a geyser

    And now that I'm here I may as well reach Garibarge, only a short flight, so that Bob and Donnitta may keep each other company.

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    Leaving for Garibarge, which is south-southwest of here, at the easternmost tip of Degrasse sea

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    With my lousy piloting skill, landing 400 meters from Garibarge is the best I could achieve. That's why I could not make a real aircraft carrier

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    Approaching Garibarge. For some reason, you can't see the water in this perspective. I have to say, the sea floor looks interesting, I would not mind driving a rover on it

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    Going up the ramp; the propellers are powerful enough for it

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    Now that it's on top of solid ground, Not Albatross can take [landed] science samples from this biome, in addition to [splashed] samples it would take while floating

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    Dropping some useless parachutes. I included the picture because it's the only one showing both crewmembers together

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    And Bob walking on deck to return in the crew pod; seeing Garibarge from the eyes of the crew offers a different perspective. Not Albatross is bigger than it looks like

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    Not Albatross is latched with the robotic arm, for refueling and transport

    This step was not smooth, Not Albatross exploded several times before I could make it work. Let's just say that grabbing something heavy in high gravity with a long leverage and a bunch of parts that could microclip into each other is not a safe procedure.

    Now that I'm here, I still need to wait several days to go back to Discovery, I may as well change my schedule and finish Laythe right now.

    8.3) We will not cease from Laythe exploration. How many times did I use that quote into a chapter title anyway?

    Spoiler

    Laythe has 10 biomes. Five of them are scattered around, two are localized but big, three are localized and small.

    kITuz24.png

    Biome map of Laythe with the routes of Not Albatross and Garibarge. The part near the polar region is not accurate

    Sagen sea is the global ocean, by far it occupies most of the surface. Closer to land you find shallows, it's generally on a thin strip of land (hard to pinpoint from space) but you find it around every island. Then there is coast, which stretches to include some water and the lower part of islands. Bigger islands have dunes, which is basically hills, and even bigger islands have peaks. Those five biomes are scattered around the surface, and can be taken easily; I collected them in the first island. Degrasse sea fills most of an emisphere (the large darker blue dot that's split in two in the map), which is empty of anything else. Starting the exploration from its fringe is most convenient. The other large localized biome is poles, which is, of course, in the polar regions. The localized biomes are Crescent Lagoon, near the center of the image, and Crater Bay and Crater Island, near the right (the former more greenish, the latter barely visible in the middle of the bay). To get all biomes, I must go from Degrasse sea to Crescent Lagoon to the poles to Crater island, which entails moving around most of the planet. The green line of Not Albatross does exactly that, with just one southward detour to go visit the monolith.

    On this watery world, I can take two sets of samples for most biomes: [landed], when Not Albatross is on solid ground, and [splashed], when it's floating. Some biomes are only water, but I can still trick the game into taking [landed] samples by having Not Albatross over Garibarge. I can't take [splashed] samples from land biomes, though.

    Degrasse sea and Sagen sea are purely water biomes, and require Garibarge. Actually, I discovered some bit of terrain near the poles where you can land on the ice cap and it's still Sagen sea; but it makes no difference, as Garibarge must cross Sagen sea anyway. There are also some places on some islands where you can get [landed] samples from the shallows biome, but again, shallows is common, no need for special detours. Crescent Lagoon and Crater Bay are two purely water biomes, though, so I need to bring Garibarge to both. Garibarge then has to go from Degrasse sea to Crescent Lagoon to Crater Bay, completing a large part of a planetary circumnavigation - hence the red line for its path. The line is curved because of the image artifacts from rendering a 3D planet on a 2D map; I followed the shortest path to connect the locations. At least it did not need to go for the poles.

    As for taking [splashed] samples, coast includes a lot of water; poles is mostly the ice cap, but there are some places where it extends over water; Crater Island stretches over water. I will be able to take [splashed] samples from all those biomes. I looked in detail around all the planet, but I could not find anywhere a dunes biome on water, much less peaks. So I will only be able to take [splashed] samples from 8 biomes.

    Now I have to reach Crescent Lagoon.

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    Vall seen from Garibarge. Alone it can sustain 50 m/s over water, carrying Not Albatross slows it down a little

    Garibarge was well built to be fast, as fast as something of its size that doubled as aircraft carrier and tripled as fuel depot could be. It's powered by a couple dozens RTGs underneath the flight deck, and pushed by four rotors. In the middle of the ocean there isn't much steering to make - and Garibarge also has very stable asset. I was able to leave it in background, only checking back on the game every ten minutes or so. This part took many hours, but very little effort.

    Eventually I reached an island. Not a big one, I could have gone easily around it. But I did give Garibarge land capability, and I will have to use it to enter Crescent Lagoon if I don't want to take the full detour around one of Laythe's biggest islands, so I may as well test it.

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    Approaching land, I pull down the retractable observation deck to take some pictures. In the middle of the ocean you just can't see anything

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    Close to shore, but water is already 150 m deep. Laythe islands have very steep shores, the sea goes down very fast

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    Garibarge conquers the shore with its extendable wheels

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    It also puts on quite the light show by night

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    It can climb up 20 degrees slopes, thanks to breaking ground overpowered propellers

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    On top of the pass, 2200 meters above the sea, is not a place where one should find a ship. I plant a flag "Garibarge was here"

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    Then down the pass, in a beautiful sunset

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    Passing close to an erupting geyser

    Well, barring some minor accidents when I got bumps too fast, this went very well. Garibarge 1, mountains 0!

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    Unfortunately, when it's time to release Not Albatross, it instantly underwent a RUD

    pIZHBdt.png

    I managed to detach it safely, but it's still bent out of shape!

    Ok, so Garibarge can climb up a mountain, but Not Albatross stuck on its robotic arm is damaged by all the shaking. Looks like we're tied, Garibarge 1, Mountains 1.

    I try to solve the issue of carrying Not Albatross by leaving it not stuck with the robotic arm, merely sitting on the flight deck with brakes on. But it will still slide slowly backwards. I find the solution by powering up Not Albatross propellers, so that it would go slightly faster than Garibarge. This way Not Albatross can move forward on Garibarge's deck, and get stuck on the walls (I'm so glad I put those).

    sTvSe3M.png

    Like this. The arrows show the propellers working. Not Albatross is stuck by its front wheel

    The only problem of this setup is that 50 m/s is close enough to the speed at which Not Albatross takes off, so taking a bump will result in the plane taking uncontrolled flight - and crashing down immediately. I solved it by going slower while on the mountains. It was just a matter of setting propeller angles. Garibarge 2, Mountains 1!

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    After another long, uneventful stretch of sea, I am approaching the main island surrounding Crescent Lagoon

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    Not Albatross starts slipping from the deck almost immediately

    Well, I wanted to reach Crescent Lagoon and take science directly with Not Albatross on top, but since I need to make a detour anyway to reach the peaks biome, I may as well unload Not Albatross here and let it fly on its own. This is the last bit of mountains to be crossed, so it looks like we'll end up in a tie, at Garibarge 2, Mountains 2.

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    Garibarge crosses those new mountains - including a 3000 m pass - without problems. But now it's not carrying a plane, I'm not counting it for the score

    kjB3hJR.png

    And it reaches Crescent Lagoon just in time for a sunrise

    8.5) Not Albatross moves on

    Spoiler

    Now Not Albatross will go on its own. First it must fly up and land on peak biome, since the first island where I got most biomes didn't have peaks. I could have sent Garibarge up on peaks, but I wisely refrained from doing so.

    yy2EpCT.png

    Here's some good nice peaks

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    And here's a perfect land-ooops!

    Did I already say I'm a lousy pilot? I'm sure I did. That's why I always make sure to save before landing. But Not Albatross is perfectly capable of landing at high altitude. I regret bringing Arrowhead instead of Not Albatross during the whirligig world grand tour. It would have made exploration of Kerbmun a lot smoother, and it may have flown on Lito.

    Speaking of saving and reloading a moving plane, the trick to avoid damage to the propellers is to stop the engines and brake the propellers before saving. It's only a few seconds, so it won't impact much the fly, but it will prevent the rotor blades getting bent out of shape, as I suffered the previous time.

    Now, completely not required for the mission, but the green monolith is not too far - and by "not too far" I mean, it's close to 1000 km on the return trip, but Not Albatross is fast, so I go to it. Not Albatross is very stable in flight, more so than its previous version. Keeping the game in background and giving some slight nudge every minute or two (it tends to gradually pitch up over time, until it stalls if it's not compensated for) is enough. It can reach 230 m/s, but it's more stable at 210 m/s, and I kept that as cruise speed. With that, and the game mostly in background, those long journeys go in a breeze.

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    The southern island is flatter and with more lakes. No, none of them can get me a [splashed] dunes sample, I checked thoroughly

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    The monolith is seen as a small dark dot in the distance

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    And now it's seen better. I also included coordinates, just to avoid having to try and describe exactly where I am

    FlXTuDT.png

    The monolith

    8.5) We're flying high into the sky

    Spoiler

    I haven't yet talked of a specific subset of science experiments: those taken in the high atmosphere. The previous time, I took them from space, lowering periapsis to 49.5 km. But it was complex, and especially unreliable for the smaller biomes. This time, after checking that high atmosphere starts just at 10 km of altitude - not much above Not Albatross climb ceiling - I decided to use the rockets to fly higher and take those experiments. It will work better for the smaller biomes. Garibarge has fuel to resupply the plane afterwards.

    aRUzu5B.png

    About to fly on Crescent Lagoon, turning on rockets

    Initially, this was supposed to be a short jump, to cover only Crescent Lagoon. But Garibarge has enough fuel for a half dozen such flights, so I decided to go big and turn it into a full parabolic flight that will also cover shallows, coast, dunes, and peaks. All narrow biomes that are relatively difficult to grab from space.

    While there, I also take all the EVA reports - I could not take them during descent, too fast and too hot. I tried to also take all material bay and goo samples, by having Bob take a jetpack flight at the top of the trajectory. Unfortunately, while I did manage to fly around the plane and stay there for long enough to take all experiments, when I came back into the cockpit Not Albatross was plummeting down at high speed and it was in a completely wrong asset, leading to loss of control and crashing. Even in the best case, I could not take dunes and peak samples. Better wait, I'll make more high flights.

    V1pWzFT.png

    Not Albatross now flying high over dunes

    Just north of here is where I found the monolith in the Bolt mission. I was flying Craplane at the time, a vehicle so lousy it could only climb very slowly and could only take off by going downhill. I flew inside the valley shown in the right of the image, which I named V pass for its shape, because Craplane couldn't climb up enough to pass over the mountains. Good memories.

    bXzvkbb.png

    Steering back to Crescent Lagoon

    It's my first time flying high in the atmosphere. Normally, using propeller planes, I'm limited to lower altitudes. In the thin air the plane is very sluggish to control, it turns very slowly. It was a new experience.

    otx9De8.png

    Landing back near Garibarge. I still haven't taken samples from Crescent Lagoon

    8.6) Northward!

    Spoiler

    Now it's time to go north to the pole, and then south I can go directly to Crater Island.

    Initial plan called for refueling. Sure, Not Albatross could fly lighter, but I'm not sure the center of mass is well balanced to fly empty. Still, due to the difficulty of docking with the robotic arm without breaking anything, I decide to try to fly with empty fuel tanks, and see how well Not Albatross performs. Maybe it can reach high atmosphere with just the nuclear engine?

    LCDviMX.png

    Yes, indeed it can. I could have saved all that rocket fuel

    nKD1UXn.png

    Nice view flying high

    As I turn off the engine, I realize with surprise that Not Albatross is keeping to the air.

    aSATgBs.png

    After some experimenting, I discover that Not Albatross, emptied from most of its heavy fuel, can fly to 10 km on its ow

    4f6FOc3.png

    In fact, pushing it, I will later discover that it can fly to over 14 km - 40% less atmospheric pressure than it experienced at 10 km. And I still have 4.5 tons of fuel loaded

    I was fooled because at some point the plane slows down, and I take it as meaning it can't go much higher. But in truth, it does not need its top speed to climb higher. It's perfectly fine at a lower speed. I really underestimated Not Albatross. And it probably means that my other planes also could climb significantly higher than I thought.

    Well, I take the chance to finish collecting materials bay and goo experiments in high atmosphere. No need for multiple rocket trips, and no need for shallow atmospheric dips from orbit.

    DN14eMC.png

    About to land, very close to the pole

    Aelyznj.png

    Landed on the north pole. Check the coordinate!

    UpJLXBk.png

    The same, in amplified light. Not much to see. It's rare to see a pole without a ground glitch

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    And here, at 88 N 168 E, I found a lake that gives [splashed] science for poles. Its shores are vertical cliffs. Looks like there was some strange ground near the poles after all

    8.7) Treasure Crater Island

    Spoiler

    I move on for Crater Island, using the newfound ability to fly in the high atmosphere. No, it's not faster, but it feels good.

    5BUyh5B.png

    Some images are included just for aesthetics, this is one of them

    On the way, I take a detour eastward to Degrasse sea to collect high atmosphere samples there too. So I won't have to take a dip from orbit. Not Albatross is fast and easy to handle, no problem.

    No pictures along the way (except the altitude record I posted earlier). It was night, and even if I had turned on light amplification there would have still been only the sea to see.

    QPFnWFu.png

    Crater Island. I reluctantly turned on the light to make it visible

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    Landing. This time without accidents

    HNZWorU.png

    Here showing how it's still Crater Island biome in the water, so I could get [splashed] science

    Now, to take [landed] science from Crater Bay, I must bring Garibarge all the way from Crescent Lagoon. It's over 1000 km. But it's mostly open ocean, I can leave the game in background.

    While exiting Crescent Lagoon, I deployed once more the retractable underwater deck to snap some pictures, taking advantage of the low seabed.

    T4sXgLq.png

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    Also, this includes some rare images of the bottom of Garibarge

    P94tDvY.png

    And another nice view of a sunrise

    4MBskfk.png

    Garibarge arrives at Crater Island one day later. It will still take a while for Discovery to make its course correction

    At this point, Garibarge is two thirds of the way to a Laythe circumnavigation, but I already did one of those, no need.

    8.8) Back to orbit

    Spoiler

    After refueling, I send Not Albatross in space.

    Actually, I could have waited, since I'll need Discovery to come collect the crew anyway. I could have left both Bob and Donnitta in a nice place with a breathable atmosphere. I could almost reload the game.

    Anyway, Not Albatross got damaged in the last refueling, and it cannot take off from water anymore.

    m0qI3a7.png

    Just too slow to take off. I never realized how little of Not Albatross is in the water. But then, check lift and weight, the plane is extremely light in those conditions, it takes very little to float it

    4B6KEwp.png

    Rather than reloading, I just help myself with the nuclear engine to take off

    sawvscA.png

    Now that I know to not panic when the plane slows down, can I reach high atmosphere even with Not Albatross fully loaded? So far I'm 2 km above what I thought possible

    OgSrvb7.png

    Climbing is very difficult, but I'm so close

    03EmUPB.png

    Yes! I'm not sure Not Albatross can keep stable flight at this altitude, but I could have reached high atmosphere without unloading the fuel

    MHZWLQc.png

    To orbit, I decided to try a new approach. Instead of going up to clear the atmosphere, I'll coast horizontally to regain lift

    B5JLKeg.png

    At 550 m/s I stop the main engines, I am climbing up again

    Still, that climb didn't last forever, and I had to restart the Darts a couple of times, eventually emptying all their fuel. I'm not sure if I gained anything, I probably exhausted a lot more nuclear fuel than needed; I will have to check when I orbit again to recover Donnitta. There's probably potential there to be more efficient, if I knew more of aerodinamics. I also curved my trajectory near the equator to reduce orbital inclination (a beautiful, wide curve at 30 km of altitude and 1 km/s of speed), so I surely lost something there.

    YbdmjIn.png

    9yGKWeX.png

    I gained nothing... except a few nice pictures of Not Albatross engulfed by flames

    I forgot to take pictures from orbit, but they wouldn't add much. This chapter is already too long. I consider removing this section entirely; I already showed Not Albatross can orbit Kerbin, of course it can do it on Laythe. But I like some of those pictures too much.

    Science recap

    Spoiler

    In space high you can run 10 science experiments: EVA report, EVA experiment, crew report, goo observation, materials study, temperature scan, atmospheric pressure, gravity scan, infrared telescope, magnetometer boom. Except for the gravity scan, all are global. So you can run high space experiments equal to 9+1*biome.

    In space low the situation is sligtly different; you can't use the infrared telescope, but EVA report also can be done in multiple biomes. So the numer of experiments is 7+2*biomes.

    On the ground you also have 10 experiments (seismic scan and surface sample are available, but you lose magnetometer boom and infrared telescope), and all except EVA experiments are biome-specific. So you get 1+9*biome. Plus surface features.

    In atmosphere you have 7 experiments: EVA report, crew report, goo observation, materials study, temperature scan, atmospheric pressure, atmospheric analysis.

    Flying high, all those experiments are global except for the atmospheric analysis, giving 6+1*biomes flying high experiments.

    Flying low, EVA report, crew report and temperature scan are also biome-specific, giving 3+4*biomes experiments.

    It's easier to keep track of which experiments I may be missing if I divide the reports. I am collecting all space science in Flying Christmas Tree 2 - Discovery - which also gathers the Jool atmospheric science . I'll count them after I'm done with all space science. Leaping Mantis will collect ground science from Pol, Bop, Vall. Tamarromobile collects ground science from Tylo, and Not Albatross atmospheric and ground science from Laythe.

    Flying Christmas Tree 2 - Discovery:

    Discovery will get all space high (9 + 1*biome) and low (7+2*biome) on 6 different planets.

    On Jool, biome = 1. 10 space high experiments, 9 space low, 19.

    On Pol, biome = 4. 13 space high experiments, 15 space low, 28.

    On Bop, biome = 5. 14 space high experiments, 17 space low, 31.

    On Tylo, biome = 9. 18 space high experiments, 25 space low, 43.

    On Vall, biome = 9. 18 space high experiments, 25 space low, 43.

    On Laythe, biome = 10. 19 space high experiments, 27 space low, 46.

    As for flying inside Jool, there is only 1 biome, for a total of 7+7 = 14 reports collected flying on Jool.

    In total, 224 science reports should be gathered inside Discovery. Only missing crew report from Bop

    Leaping Mantis:

    On Pol there are 4 biomes and 1 surface feature, so there are 38 reports available.

    On Bop there are 5 biomes and 1 surface feature, so there are 47 reports available.

    On Vall there are 9 biomes and 3 surface feature, so there are 85 reports available.

    Tamarromobile:

    On Tylo there are 9 biomes and 1 surface feature, for a total of 85 reports available.

    Not Albatross:

    On Laythe there are 10 biomes; on Laythe you can use the spectrovariometer, so science collected is 10*biome+1; including the surface feature, there's a total of 104 landed reports.

    While splashed down you can't use the spectrovariometer nor the seismometer, nor can you collect the EVA experiment, so the total number of splashed reports is 8*biomes; additionally, splashed down science can only be collected on 8 biomes, as dunes and peaks don't include water. This gives a total of 64 experiments.

    In addition, there's 16 reports available flying high, and 43 flying low.

    The total for Not Albatross is then 227.

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