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About Shania_L

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. Shania_L

    Doctor Who Discussion Thread

    Flying cybermen are not a new thing, they also appeared in episodes from the last series, Heaven Sent and Hell Bent. This weeks episode was amazing though, much more and more meaningful interaction between characters, finally letting Missy off her leash (why couldn't they have done the 'test' a few episodes ago and had her on adventures earlier!!). The final episode does have a lot to live up to, and I can only hope that John Simm gives us the Master from the Utopia/Drums sequence, rather than the one he did later from the episodes I cant remember the names of with the flashing skull cgi thing. Certainly the Master/Missy interactions will be the highlight of the show. Cant wait!!
  2. Shania_L

    Bloodhound SSC

    But you can turn off a hybrid if you need to, something you cant do with a pure solid rocket. When control and stability are issues and you have a man aboard being able to kill the thrust is an important safty consideration that may be worth the Isp penalty.
  3. Here we go! I'll post a roundup of progress with missions up to date before I'm away on work for a couple of weeks again. At the end of the last episode we had a trio of capture burns; Lilith II returning to Kerbin as well as Decender IV and Medea III/Cerbarus Ib arriving at Minmus. Finally all topped off by Cerbarus Ib landing on Minmus' icy slopes laying the initial foundations for mining operations required for the Charon Duna mission. Year 2 Day 34, Low Kerbin Orbit If Kerbals had noses there would be four of them pressed up against the portholes of Lilith II as the craft slews into position to dock at Pandora. Each of the four crew aboard had spent over 100days in space, elevating them in one mission from rookies to holding all the endurance records. Aling launched aboard Lilith I Y1 D327 (132 days in space) Bartlorf, Dersey and Lemlie all launched together on Ascender V Y1 D312 (147 days in space) They all transferred from Pandora to Pandora Mun on Y1 Day 402 (54 days outside Kerbins SOI) They not only performed multiple EVA missions in orbit facilitating the assembly of Pandora Mun Station, they completed 3 surface landings (putting more kerb boots on the ground in each of them than had been done in the entirety of previous Mun missions), they also hold the record for the longest (only) surface trek aboard Loki rovers, first Kerbals to explore anomalous signatures and the only Kerbal mission to return to Kerbin with the same amount of spaceship as they left with. HOWEVER. They will always be remembered as the only kerbals ever to leave the most important, contract dependent science instrument, the main purpose for their mission, attached to their lander, docked to a station, around the wrong planet!!! Yup anomalous signal detector ... the one we painstakingly removed from Loki and carted 70kms across the Mun'r surface is still attached to the Decender III lander. The arrival of Lilith II raises the population of Pandora to 9, a Lilith CTV will be launched to retrieve the science data returned as well as escorting the new heros to their next role in the customer complaints department. Y2 Day 34, Minmus Medea III, despite launching before the other craft arrives last due to a more lethargic transfer. There is however nothing lethargic about Medea III herself, designed to lift 80 tonnes off the surface of Duna, arriving at Minmus in an unloaded configuration her insane TtW ratio requires dialling back considerably. At full thrust her triple Vulcan motors (761KN) could have completed the 690m/sec capture burn in only 4.8 seconds however this would expose the craft to an unnessisary loading in excess of 6Gs, which for a craft we need to use multiple times for mission critical elements is not considered wise. Instead her power is throttled back to 20% and she completes the burn in 24 seconds at 2.7G, much safer. 36x214km orbit, with a minor puff of Dv an intercept with Decender IV is arranged for the next time around. Meanwhile, LKO Medea II docked with Cerbarus Ic leave Kerbin. Medea II was always designed for missions to both moons of Kerbin and is capable of pushing the 11,000kg payload with over 4km/s dV. 2,500 of this (10t of Methane) is used to put it on an intercept with Minmus. Y2 Day 35, Minmus orbit Medea III and Decender IV intercept in low orbit. Velocity matching and docking alignment cost Medea less than 50m/sec, Decender being the only craft of the two posessing an RCS performs the actual docking. Due to space constraints within the HDIV fairing, Medea III could not be launched with its (empty) methane payload tank, Decender IV had space and mass capacity to bring it to Minmus where it would be transferred before the craft land. With no other requirement than the tank handover, Medea III undocks immediately and performs an 80m/sec incline change to overfly the mining site in half an orbit just as the sun is rising. Despite an inefficient 'stop and vertical drop' style landing, Medea III still has 140m/sec in its tanks as it sets down within 50m of Cerbarus Ib. (the motors had to be dialled back to minimum for any hope of controlled descent) The next orbit around it was Decenders turn, 85m/sec incline change and a larger fuel reserve allowing it to put down within 25m of Cerbarus. Veteran pilot Sigbert and Rookie Engineer Aldmore Kerman are out on the surface immediately exploring the three landers. Decender brings with it 6 containers full of assembly equipment, Aldmore is tasked with plumbing Cerbarus' mining/refining equipment up to Medea III's large empty tanks. Cerbarus carries a single centre mounted drill and a 1.25m refinary module. it is noticed rather rapidly that the refinary is able to cope with flow rates far in excess of anything the single drill can hope to supply it with. It is noted for the later Duna editions of Cerbarus that additional drills could be subsituted in place of having a refinary on every craft. Also, someone miscounted, as you can see Decender IV has had to be left out of the link due to there being 2 pipe ends too few. Cerbarus Ic enroute is carrying (like Ib did) two ports of its own so linking it in will not be an issue when it arrives. The only concern now is the flow rates, whether we can physically pump enough methane in order to meet the transfer window. And thats it for this episode, not a great deal of time has passed in game, I am really trying to get as much done in as short a time as possible to meet this transfer window. Next episode is likely to be around the end of May, and should include the first few of the 6 (maybe 7) launches required to assemble the Charon Duna ship.
  4. Wow, 2 months already? I have been somewhat lacking in post numbers recently. In my defence I have been out of the country for a few weeks of that, and I'm going to be away for another few fairly soon but after that (end of May) it should calm down and I'll get regular timings again. I have a few things achieved (also a random screwup that I have no idea how it occoured as it was something I was very definately paying attention to so that it didnt happen!) but not enough content for a decent post, I'll see if I can get something together before I go away again. Incidentally A380s are awesome, double height cabins = soo much headroom!
  5. TtW ratio, its not just a good idea, its the Law! As I mentioned, these craft have excessive thrusts for the missions they are currently performing due to being designed not only for Duna, but for significantly heavier payloads. Medea III which carried Cerbarus to Minmus did so with 10% (if that) fuel load when it left orbit, it is designed to be able to match the trajectory of Charon and lob 8-10 tonnes of payload at Duna on the fast track transit. Fully fuelled they are going to need all the thrust they have, and then some! I have only self modded the one MethaLox engine, so it comes in one size only, Decender has one of them, Medea III has two and the Medea IIIb variant is designed for lifting payloads from Dunas surface, it has 3. That one arrives at Minmus next, we shall see if it can best the current capture burn record of 22 seconds at 3G As for testing the ISRU, that is a side effect, I really need Minmus to fuel Charon. Lifting 2-300 tonnes of Methane from KSC with my current stable of lifters would not only take many many launches but would be prohibitively slow and expencive. 25t a time so between 10-15 HDIV launches just for fuel, it takes over a day to reset the launchpad from a HDIV launch and I have to get Charon and its components up too with time ticking away on the transfer window. Not to mention the cost, HDIV eats around quarter a mil Funds each launch, you are looking at spending 2x the hardware costs of Charon simply fuelling it. Minmus on the other hand has unlimited quantities of free fuel in a nice shallow gravity well, the only issue lies in being able to harvest it fast enough.
  6. Ok back again, hopefully working hours have returned to normal now and I can get predictable 'playtimes' and start to actually get this Duna mission underway. This episode could have been released one of two ways, I had a little content for a short episode followed by a mad period of lots of stuff all happening at the same time which has required me to flick back and forth between craft. Once again I am endebted to Kerbal Alarm Clock for allowing all this to be possible! I have chosen to wait until I got through it all and you get this bumper episode with many things happening. Year 2 Day 28, Mun Surface Year 2, Day 29, Kerbin orbit Year 2, Day 30, Mun Year 2 Day 31, KSC Year 2 Day 33, Low Kerbin orbit
  7. 6.4x is one of the more common upscales, however there are fairly well developed 3.2x and 5x mods available. Then ofcourse there is the Sigma Dimensions mod which will let you rescale to anything you like. However if it is difficulty you are after, simply making it bigger wont change your game much beyond requiring a bigger rocket, I found more difficulty or leaning was required by using real fuels, remotetech (maybe not so much now with this in stock) FAR aerodynamic failures and lifesupport. Hope this helps Also, your previous post RE the recoverable boosters, I have been thinking about this recently and I am not sure how effective recoverable boosters are. If you compare my recoverable HoundDog Ic and the disposable SkyBolt VI. They both lift around 700-900kg to orbit however SkyBolt VI is considerably cheaper to operate and faster to build. I dont think even with KCT the benefits of recovering parts is worth the added complexity, cost or mass penalty of putting a recovery system onboard. Sticking a parachute on top of strapon boosters is the only possible exception as they need a nosecone anyway, but then side boosters are pretty cheap to start with. Some Norse, some Greek, others I have no idea
  8. Ok, here we go a very delayed episode, but as I said in my previous post, work has been mad since new years and I havent been able to string together enough time to get much progress done. Todays episode should bring you up to date with where I am as of today. Year2 Day 26, Minmus Lunic IIIc (launched ages ago, robotic surface probe on Minmus) makes a short biome hop from its last site to a location identified by the orbiting Helmdar resource scanner. Putting down on a gentle incline in the slopes biome, Lunic samples the surface and uncovers a 'rich' 8.28% Karbonite content which its onboard micro drill can recover 0.014 l/sec. It also performs a basic probe report to complete a Minmus surface science contract. Contract payment 131,001 Funds, 1 Science, 423 Reputation. This will serve as a beacon for the location of the Minmus fuel refinary. Year2 Day 26, Mun Year2 Day27, Kerbin Year 2 Day 28, Mun orbit
  9. Shania_L

    Whispers of the Kraken (Epilogue: Revelations of the Kraken)

    Surprised for sure, but I'm not so sure if it'll be a good one or bad, judging from Valentinas brief encounter with him Meg has likely been enjoying the respite!!
  10. I know, work has been manic since new years, late shifts and weekends ... I have been able to find time here and there to get on and play and I have got some progress. Mainly with mission design which lends itself better to shorter sessions, although I have been finding this also suits rover driving. This is not dead, it may be a slightly short epoisode but I will try to get something out this week.
  11. Shania_L

    Whispers of the Kraken (Epilogue: Revelations of the Kraken)

    I'd say jumping straight from Whispers to Children is a bit much, there should be a good few steps inbetween!! Children of the Kraken does have a nice sound to it, but i'm still sticking with my sight/sound/touch interpretation of Shadows/Whispers/Caress of the Kraken. It's been a while since I last saw Apocalypse Now, if Paint it Black was actually used in the film it certainly wasnt in the helicopter, I got a bit more Predator vibe from it, but thats Long Tall Sally instead.
  12. Shania_L

    THE BARTDON PAPERS - "Cancel all previous directives."

    Well, there are three large companies, Omelek is run by Trans-Pacific, I would imagine that if Trans-Pacific can run their own space program, then the other two companies (Trans-Atlantic and , err Pan-Asia?) would be able to as well. Enemy of my enemy and all, one of those two would be willing to assist Bartdon if for nothing more than a chance to hurt Trans-Pacific ... and gain any additional info from Mars which was not broadcast.
  13. Ok, I am back after a longer than expected winter break, although I haven't been able to get time to post I have had some time here and there to get some more progress done. Y2 D22, KSC Also on Y2 D22, Mun Y2 D24, KSC Also Y2 D24, Pandora Mun Station Y2 D25, KSC Duna Mission Progress Production of the Drive unit and booster should be ready for launch within 15D Once the funds have cleared from the (assumed) successful recovery of the Mun Plant Science experiment, production can begin on the habitation modules. Cerbarus Ib arrives at Minmus on Day 33, Helmdar orbital scanning has already highlighted rich sources of Karbonite. Due to hyperbolic and not very stable orbit predictions, Medea IIIa and DecenderIV will arrive at Minmus the day after (approx). With 11 out of the 12 Kerbanauts KSC has access to currently in space (only Elory is on Kerbin) we will probably have to recover the crew of Pandora Mun to Kerbin to crew Charon, they also need to return their Mun surface science anyway after the Loki II landing.
  14. Shania_L

    UK Aircraft, Spacecraft and Missiles: Aesthetics

    Yes, although it was used for all kinds of maritime patrol roles, including during the Falklands campaign it could actually engage enemy patrol aircraft (Boeing 707s) with sidewinder missiles (although no kills were recorded). This one in the image is a more specialised AEW aircraft concept which was never used before we purchased Sentry. Yes again, this time carrier based. It was never intended as an AEW, it had limited forward looking radar for guidance of its missiles. The lightning was designed almost as a point defence interceptor, even today its climb rate to altitude will put current fighters to shame. The over wing hardpoints in this photo are indeed drop tanks (the pilot has to roll inverted to drop them) this is a later modification, along with the bulge in the belly, to increase the flight duration. Are you sure you meant Vimy? If you are after the 1950s nuclear bomber, Vickers made the Valient, although as everyone knows the pretty one is the Avro Vulcan. A lot of British post war aircraft were deigned around a single purpose, many competing designs even. This is why you end up with so many odd aircraft, the late 50s early 60s saw a great deal of "try it and see" in regards to aircraft design. To add to the British aircraft glamour parade I will present the Miles M52 This was was designed in 1943 in response to a mis-translation of the german design documents for the Me163 and/or Me262. The actual document read capable of 1,000kmph (subsonic) the translation read 1,000mph very much supersonic. And here is a Sea Vixen, last of the three twin boom de-Haviland aircraft, Vampire Venom and Vixen.
  15. It is not an actual 'feature' in my old version of KCT, I do know the current version has a few features I do not. The way I use it is by taking advantage of the build time reduction associated with recovered parts. Parts recovered after a flight are considered the same as parts on scrapped vessels. The way it works is that you build the launcher on one line, your payload on another and let them both complete. Then as KCT bases its build time on a combination of value/mass you scrap the cheaper one and all of its components go into the recovery bin, you then modify the other so that it is a complete object. As all of the modified parts are then drawn straight from the recovery bin their build times are considerably shorter. If like me you use a standard launcher design, you are already benefiting from the time bonus for regularly used parts, by recovering the lower stages/boosters you also add them to the recovery bin and your next vessel using them builds faster.