AURORA ADVANCED SYSTEM EXPOLORATION PROGRAM
Hi there folks today I wanted to talk about a space program I put together in the past 3 weeks. Its an advanced space program so dont expect to see starter ships I mean I have already went to duna and used nuclear engines etc so this one is gonna be little bit sci-fi style but not too far fetched. My main goal is simple create a mother ship which can carry landing ships and make countless trips to anywhere you without refuling it for a very very long time in order for me to do that I need 500k DeltaV or maybe more think this as a build and forget style of a challange.
You can see this thread also as a guide how to produce your own complicated space programs and deal with problems about range and acceleration. I thought this section of the forum is the right place to share but if I am mistaken modarators can move the thread to the correct sub forumI hope you all like it and by the way sorry for my bad English this is the best I can do. Note: I know that if I push enough farm lots of science I can create engines work with antimatter or go for the warpdrive technology and get what I want but I am limiting myself here kinda like roleplaying.
Mother Ship - Barbarossa
Main objectives of the Mothersip
In order to properly explore the Kerbal system go to planets without sending multiple strange looking crafts (and reduce count part due to lag), reduce kerbin launch times and not refuel the craft for a very long time I needed to create a mothership. Therefore by using the assets from KSP Interstellar and the science I have collected so far I have managed to build a gigantic mothership which is capable of exploring all Kerbal system while carrying 4 landers with it. It also has to have lots of rooms for kerbals to live in space comfortably (yeah I am roleplaying this part) and a centrifuge ring to ease of the pain of no gravity in long voyages.
Actually creating a big mother ship was not a really hard task (I have done this before a nuclear engine mothership to Mars) but the problems were too many. The sheer mass of the craft was too much (add lander masses it carries adds to it) so my long voyage mothership had low deltaV which made me to refuel it after two voyages to Duna and It also had problems about making orbital maneuvers due to low TWR. Nevertheless it helped me making multiple Duna missions but after that I begin looking for a advanced tech to solve my problems.
First Version - Barbarossa TB-1
At first I went for plasma propulsion and this immediately solved my range problem. I had like 300.000+ DeltaV which was enough for me to making countless trips anywhere I want without refuling it for years. But plasma engines had one big problem. Their TWR (acceleration according to the ship mass) was too low because I had to carry insane amount of hydrogen with me to have a good range. So even a small burn to get into solar orbit was taking like at last an hour long burn. This situation created multiple problems.
- Really long burn times like sometimes 2 and sometimes even 11 hour long. Solved by simply warping during the burns not a big deal for me it still takes seconds I only need to be careful and do the stuff manully not mechjeb etc.
- Due to really long burn times and low TWR if a ship starts to burn at the apoapsis when its burn completed it already reaches the periapsis so in order to correct the situtation burns has to be made piece by piece or spending more fuel.
- Due to really low TWR presicion burns are almost impossible (like getting into stable 200 km orbit of eve) I mean ship can easly enter the orbit with a long burn but making good orbits was taking too long. Again refering to the problem above in my tests I needed to make like 20 seperate burns just to put the ship in a stable 250 km orbit of a body.
- All those plasma engines and reactor creating soo much heat so I had to put like insane amount of radiators on the ship which increased the part count and resulted a lag when mothership carries landers.
Second Version Barbarossa - TB2
So as you can see from the problems a listed above TB1 version simply failed. Although it had really good range due to TWR issues and part count its not practical to use it. Therefore I started from stratch and first reduced my part count. Secondly I begin to look for a new engine which can give my ship really good range without suffering from TWR. Lucky I was also doing other missions with less capable crafts so I had like 20k science to spare. So I went for a fusion engine called Dedalus and this immedietly solved my TWR and mass problems. Its very fuel effiecent the range is insane like 2 million DeltaV (yeah wow right) TWR is great especially if engine size is tweaked to x2 or more. The fuel also can be caried in only one tank and its mass is really low compared to others.
But this new design also had its flaws. The new engines were using Fusion Pellats as fuel. Now add the cost of the Fusion Pellets, double or even triple size Dedalus engine and the other ship parts well the cost of the ship skyrokected to 76 million or above. Also engines consume lots of megajoules to work during their burns so my new design again created me lots of problems. But this time I was able to solve it and here is how I do that.
- In order to supply to engines with enough megajoules during full throttle I needed to pick a good nuclear reactor and power generator. It sounds easy but picking right stuff without increasing the mass too much is harder than it sounds. It took me like a 10 hour trying out diffrent reactor and generator combinations but finally I was able to create a system to sustain my ships megajolue needs. One reactor double size and 2 generators was able to supply my Dedalus engine (twice size) enough juice to work at %100 without depleating my megajolue supply when I am at constant %100 speed.
- By tweaking some other stuff and playing around I was able to bring the cost to 28 million. After that I just made some other missions and gathered enough money for the ship and its launcher. I needed a good launcher (old school lquid fuel and solid boosters) which can put the ship in kerbin orbit (2 million km) cause I cant use fusion engines near Kerbin (forbidden due to pollution). So in total of 29 million I was able to create both the ship and the launcher and it has been put into orbit in one big launch.
The Succesful Creation and Result
To sum up here is the ship I put together. It costs 28 million and has more than a million DeltaV If I carry four landers with me the range and TWR drops down like %20 but its still decent. Any kind of orbital manaevur is really easy its not time consuming and range is still massive. Actually I have made a emtpy ship test and saw that with enough time that monster can reach lightspeed pretty quickly (compared to normal engines of course) so its definetly a beast.
The picture of the monster I created is below (without landers) for me the engine section looks bit odd and my old ships looked cooler but hey ship mass ratio is perfect and it can go up to millions of DeltaV so who cares it gets the job done plus with my new beatiful landers its gonna look cooler.
Next time I post I am gonna talk about the landers and their challenges thank you all for reading. Note: In order to get rid of the insane lag I had to reduce the part count. My old designs each had like 250 parts but this one only has 92. I had to do this or my game become unplayable...