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  1. Did a bunch of smaller missions recently including a solar particle sampling mission on the Drake class mini-shuttle: Worked out the bugs and started flying Skate drone planes to both Kerbin space stations: And finally layed the groundwork for some eventual expansion of the WOLF logistics system with a land-train running from KSC to the Desert biome and back: KoS
  2. Sometimes it shows that message when there is another fault stopping production, in this case a lack of prototypes. KoS
  3. Launched (and landed*, and then landed again) my most ambitious single mission yet, a nuclear prop plane to Laythe: How do you get a spaceplane to another planet? Well, that's a long story, but it starts with an even bigger spaceplane: This was Johnwise Kerman's first flight as Loadmaster/Flight engineer on the Leviathan, so he took some extra time on the runway to inspect both craft: Time to mount up and fly this puppy!!! View from the office today: Norminal ascent, using the aerospike as a sustainer motor en route to a 350km parking orbit: Payload deploy: Returning to KSC went smooth as silk: Until the moment pilot Lenlorf realized the nose gear had suffered a double failure: He and Hilcas managed to land the plane without any injuries, but the nosecone suffered severe damage. Gus and Mortimer weren't happy about the repairs (and the bill), but everyone was glad to have them back in one piece. Meanwhile, back in orbit: Stuffing a spaceplane and transfer stage into the 5x15 meter cargo bay on Leviathan required some unusual adventures in packaging and problem solving, but all 18 Twitch engines fired without a hitch: Making a flyby for a plane change before reentry: Getting into Laythe was a bit of learning to fly all over again, but there was plenty of time to work out the bugs over the ocean and deploy some science buoys before spotting a prospective landing site: Deploying the sampling arm and preparing for SCIENCE!!! KoS
  4. More messing around with planes, first a very Crimson Skies inspired stunt plane, the Sky King: Despite his best efforts, Jeb couldn't push this design up to 100g's, but he tried. Dammit. He. Tried. The other is no less odd, but much more realistic, a reasonable recreation of the British Sea Vixen (Yes, the cockpits actually looked like that.): KoS
  5. One minor quirk to the Atlas system: It has an option to include a Recycling center to turn used up Machinery into Metal, Polymers, ect. The quirk is that you now can't use the Atlas to turn those back into Material Kits (and thence to Machinery), because the Atlas MK converter doesn't use those refined substances . The best work around I've found is to attach a Ranger workshop to the Atlas, along with all the types of storage needed, and then use the initial run of Atlas MK's to bring it into operation. You can then set one Bay of the Atlas to work breaking down recyclables and use the Ranger to build Material Kits from the scraps. Atlas can use refined materials like Metals/Chemicals/Polymers to make some more advanced stuff like Robotics or Alloys, but so far I haven't used enough of them on-site to make a dent in the stockpile left by routine use of the Recycler.
  6. Atlas has the bonus to build Material Kits directly from the base materials without any intervening steps, integrating the weight of multiple refineries that must also be accounted for, at the expense of extreme weight and bulk. Tundra is the most compact and most suited for orbital use. Ranger is easiest to deploy, but requires additional Material kits and Machinery before it can actually be used (increasing the total weight and cost dramatically). Make sure that you are comparing each of them in a ready-to-run configuration, inflated and with maximum machinery, before drawing any real conclusions. KoS
  7. Jeb and Bill made the first non-stop circumnavigation of Kerbin on board the high altitude research plane Pegasus: It's basically a flying fuel tank with a small science pod on the bottom with a data camera and some basic atmospheric science experiments. On final for KSC: Gus, Permission to buzz the tower??? Jeb tried everything except throwing Bill out of the plane, but he couldn't get that final meter... KoS
  8. Firstly, do you have fertilizer onboard? Secondly (and please double check this one because I'm not 100% sure myself) I think Agriculture actually produces Organics, not Supplies. You don't need Organics until later in the game when you are making other things. KoS
  9. I need to do a bunch of pilot training, so I decided to put forth the effort to make a couple dedicated trainers. The first step is the Aardvark Advanced Defensive Vehicle: Very stable, very forgiving, very subsonic. On the plus side, it's cheap, and the target cannon provides both a way to test pilot skills, and alleviate boredom... It gained the nickname Aardvark due to it's overall ungainly appearance, downward pointing nose, and the bug-sucker intake, guaranteed to vacuum up any debris left on the runway. Still, for all it's faults, it's a reliable and predictable bit of kit, and an excellent stepping stone towards learning advanced skills on the Shrike supersonic trainer: Not the most conventional design, but fast, long ranged, and absurdly maneuverable. Even without the Panther TVC enabled, it will sustain 12g turns, and 50g snap turns are possible in advanced mode. The Panther has enough thrust to sustain a pure vertical climb over 8km in altitude, and Jeb still hasn't found the ceiling for a zoom climb yet. Of course, after dealing with rookie pilots all day, Jeb needs some way to burn off steam, a real pilot's plane, where he can feel the wind in his hair. Introducing the Sky Horse: It's got everything essential for flight, and exactly nothing else. Still, it's actually pretty easy to fly considering the sacrifices needed to make a flyable plane that weighs less than a ton and costs under 4 thousand Kerbucks... KoS
  10. I needed a tourist spaceplane that could handle larger groups than my Arkangel 3 seater, so I made the Gull: It seats 6 tourists, and the twin Rapiers give it enough kick to be a very sporty ride, ideal for the thrill-seeking Kerbal. It is not, however, a particularly elegant design... Still, it is easy to fly and inexpensive to operate, and fills a nice niche for LKO contracts right now, most of which are for groups of 3 or 4. Obligatory silhouette shot: The return is almost too easy, Gull has remarkably clean aerodynamics for as awkward as it looks (I'm adding some split-flap airbrakes to the next model to kill velocity faster.) KoS Sometimes the kraken requires Kerbal sacrifices... May they rest in peace.
  11. I've been doing a bunch of geoscience contracts lately. The ground based element is sporting a highly modified Space Winnebago: We even found some [REDACTED]!!! (Easter eggs in spoiler, you've been warned.) The aerial survey team is equipped with a modified version of my Katalina amphibious jet: The cargo bay was originally designed to air-drop rescue supplies and retrieve downed Kerbals, but has plenty of space for an extensive science suite and a large ferry tank: It takes off from the water at ~50m/s, and easily cruises at 275m/s @ 5km. The ferry tank gives it enough range to make polar round trips, this particular mission was to get splashdown data on the icecaps: It's certainly not sexy, but I find it does have a certain ungainly charm, especially when it gets in and out of places a jet really has no business operating from.
  12. That's a fairly recent change to help address some other problems with heat management, ect.
  13. I decided further serious station building was going to require a serious space plane capable of handling high-bulk cargo. Introducing Leviathan: 5m in diameter, the cargo bay is nearly the same size as a S4/512 fuel tank, and specifically designed to haul 2 large MKS modules, or multiple medium sized ones with other attachments. It shares the distinctive cranked-arrow wing design with my slightly smaller Roc spaceplane, but with enlarged dimensions and much more power. (I think it looks vaguely Klingon, which is cool.) Maximum up-mass is ~80 tons (the biggest 3.75m fuel tank): Two propulsion options are available, 19 Rapiers for lifting the heaviest loads, or 18 Rapiers + 1 Aerospike for missions requiring more orbital maneuvering. Each arrangement can also use a pair of Thumper SRBs as JATO boosters: I took advantage of the huge volume inside the forward fairing to make my first semi-functional interior. It's triple decked with a flight deck, mid-deck engineering station and crew spaces (including a bunk) , and a basement level with extra storage, power generation, and life support: I wanted to get some pictures of the crew enjoying themselves. It didn't have to be awkward. I didn't want it to be awkward. It ended up being awkward: KoS
  14. Today was continued shuttle and station operations, beginning with the original, clipped wing version of the Skua shuttle: 32 passengers and 4 crew to a 360km orbit (The hotel contract required a 350km orbit. Maybe that is the Kerbal version of being in international waters???) At this point I had only a very limited assortment of MK3 parts, with no regular LFO tanks, so some compromises were made, including putting LFO drop tanks on the SRB's, and a disposable Skipper center booster. Still, it launched great and flew well, though the landing speed was certainly up there. The second version was used to add a lab and science unit to the hotel: https://imgur.com/bzDCw6j Unlocking more MK3 parts allowed me to drop the multi-stage center section, though I kept the hybrid LFO/SRB boosters, and extended wing tips slowed the stall speed to slightly below ludicrous. Undocking and floating the lab over to its new home, then Kergard went out to weld the connection permanently: Now that there was room in the cargo bay, the crew decided to try out an inflatable hab unit for extended missions: The newest version, the MK3 Super Skua, increases wing area yet again and includes such improvements as wet wings to transfer fuel to orbit for my nuclear powered Minmus cycler, better RCS, revised landing gear, and a hybrid cargo/passenger design: Here it's loaded with 8 passengers for excursions to each of the space stations and a pair of docking adapters, one for each. Closing in to Kerbin One and delivering the first adapter: And after a short visit, boosting up to the hotel to deliver the other adapter and a few more tourists: KoS
  15. Launched a space hotel: Nuclear powered, capable of holding 50+ customers plus the crew with full life support and multiple docking ports for expansion. I immediately used one up sending up a Universal Docking Adapter with some supplies and station keeping fuel: The Jr. compatible airlock extends to provide clearance for Falcon class spaceplanes to dock in comfort, and also works with my Cannonball Mk1 crew pods if one needed shelter in an emergency. To prevent any "whoopsies", there is a red/green status light on the airlock: The main docking mechanism is for the Skua class heavy shuttle, seen here approaching with the first 28 tourists to visit the hotel: Fireworks to celebrate the grand opening: KoS
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