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About Geschosskopf

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  • Location Lousy Anna's armpit
  1. EPISODE 16: Give Up the Funk Some time before, the Circus had accepted various contracts in the Tylo system (4x Tylo orbited by Dres and Duna). They all had like 35 years to complete so there was no rush, but by now Circus technology had reached the point where it was possible to begin contemplating finally doing these missions. But nobody had any idea of the dV costs to get from Kerbin to Tylo, let alone what maneuvering in that system would cost. As a 1st step to learning some of this, the Circus needed something orbiting Jool on the ecliptic to use to estimate dV costs for interplanetary transfers. The Boffins had recently developed the Sentinel IR telescope and this would serve the purpose wonderfully, besides perhaps giving warning of impending asteroid strikes on Kerbin. So, despite not having a contract to launch a Sentinel, Mission Control ordered one up to park between Kerbin and Mun. Somewhat to everybody's surprise, it worked. Perhaps it was the good juju engendered by the Emperor's continued PR campaign. It should be noted that most rockets leaving integration these days average about 85% reliability, some even going over 100% and a few down in the upper 70s. This is a far cry from the early days when 35% was a high number. There was also a contract for yet another long-term magnetic survey, this time at Laythe. This didn't require any work so off it went. Meanwhile, half the workforce in the VAB quit without even saying good-bye, ending production of the Boffin's secret project that needed 66 days to integrate. At the same time, a number of junior Scientists also walked off the job, but things have a way of balancing out. Most of the deserting Scientists were soon rounded up and found themselves riveting rockets together for a substantial pay cut. While Mission Control waited for the Laythe Magsat to get on station and for the workforce to get back up to strength, the Boffins busied themselves testing the newly developed 3.75m rocket parts and 2.5m SRBs they'd recently developed. Rather disappointingly, very few of these parts exploded despite numerous tests. This should not be construed as BARIS taking some time off, however. Various things already in space continued to fail at a seemingly higher rate than previously. Also, bad events kept happening. Fortunately, however, most such misfortune fell on obsolete stuff and even the wreckage of the ill-fated MOLE 1 "Tarbaby". Part of the ambitious secret project required a long-duration crewed ship in Laythe orbit. To test some of the key rocket parts this required, the Boffins planned a rather similar run to Mun first. But before that could be as effective as the Scientists desired, Mun had to be mapped. Fortunately, Mun was one of the bodies for which the SCANsat software now worked, so off went a mapping probe, identical in all but name to the one sent to Laythe. And it worked just as well as its predecessor, even though some funds turned up missing and the responsible bean-counters were purged. Mun turned out to be composed mostly of Midlands with a few mountainous areas of Highlands and most of the medium-sized craters being Lowlands. There were big craters as separate biomes near both poles, several patches of Maria, and then all the bigger small craters were Scattered Craters biome. Ore was also nicely distributed, most of it (about 8%) in the Midlands, which covered most of the surface. There are also numerous anomalies to investigate someday. Meanwhile the sky above KSC was full of portents. But what did they portend? Nobody could say, nor explain how Jool's terminator ignored the direction of the sun. Light works funny sometimes in Alternis Kerbol, especially in the Space Center view, where "space is broken" according to the developer. With Mun mapped, the Mun Skimmer was soon up and running. Its mission (still on-going) is to get into a polar orbit at low altitude and scoop up applicable Science! over each biome. The ship is a scaled-down version of something more ambitious soon to be heading for Laythe. Mun Skimmer is crewed by newbies Trilock (bosunsmate striker), Shepgard (artificersmate striker), and SM3 Hudlong (recently returned from MOLE 2). They would be the 1st Kerbals to leave the Kerbin system. This was the most ambitious crewed mission since the ill-fated BLAHS-SLOB attempt at Bop that cost the lives of Handin, Lenski, and Jenmon. Again, BARIS allowed them to be on their way without undue difficulty, although Hudlong had to kludge around several issues during launch. The value of 1-star Kerbals was proved yet again. Mun Skimmer launched at an inopportune time to hit Mun directly, but by not really getting too far from Kerbin to start with, it could come back to Kerbin for a gravity brake to hit Mun in good time. While enjoying being the 1st Kerbals to escape Kerbin, the crew all took some spacewalks in Jool orbit and made sure the experiments worked. Then, at long last, the Boffins could finally roll out the LE-1 SLOP JUG (Laythe Expedition 1 Scientific Laythe Observation Planes -- Just UnGainly). This was actually the 3rd attempt to build the thing, the 1st 2 having been aborted by the whims of BARIS and some unknown glitch. Thus, it had taken close to 100 days from start to finish to get it out. The whole purpose is to carry 4 small recon drone planes to Laythe, not because 4 are really needed to but have redundancy in case some of them fail en route. With such wing area on the payload, which was impossible to put in a fairing at the time it was designed, there was no choice but to build a bass-ackwards rocket. Simulations had shown the design could just barely reach orbit, and then the payload could just barely reach Laythe. That was good enough---if anything in the main propulsion system failed, it was all doomed anyway. As wheeled out to the launchpad, LE-1 SLOP JUG's reliability stood at 85% and BARIS chose to ignore it. There were huge sighs of relief due to the long time it had taken to integrate the thing. Staging off the bass-ackwards lifter resulted in a long serious of gratuitous explosions as each of its many parts exploded one-by-one. It was quite glorious. There was much celebration in Mission Control, with top-shelf single malt for all hands. This more than made up for the failure of the Minmus MagSat to fulfill its contract. And so LE-1 SLOP JUG departed for Laythe with no issues to report. Meanwhile, Mun Skimmer is approaching its destination and the LE-1 CLOD (Controlling Laythe Observation Drones) is nearing completion in VAB Bay #2. Things are FINALLY starting to get interesting. Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.
  2. What did you do in KSP today?

    But what if you do this on Moho aiming for the edge of the solar system?
  3. Hmm. I see you more as a Froderick Fronkensteen given what goes on in your story. Besides, Froderick ended up with Inge and certain.... enhancements... while Wonka lost millions in clean-up costs, wasted product, and the subsequent lawsuits by all but 1 ticket-holder.
  4. What did you do in KSP today?

    It won't be instant. They have to survive until impact so we can measure distance and altitude records
  5. My First Joolian Mission (1.3 Sandbox / Heavily Modded)

    Is that with GC's wireless or Pathfinders? I've never had any flow rate trouble with Pathfinder's. "BOOM! There it is!" When this feature 1st appeared, it worked TOO well. I had a base on Mun and my biome-hopping lander was on on final approach on the last of its fuel and throttled back to slowly lower itself on down. Suddenly it got full tanks. The engine couldn't respond fast enough and it crashed So Angle-125 tweaked it so the ship had to be landed before resources would transfer. The Pathfinder wireless system only works with Wild Blue tanks, though. However, you can put Wild Blue tanks on anything, stock or from another mod. This same Mun base used Keridian Dynamics to build ships, and I used the Wild Blue tanks to move resources and products around between the Keridian converters. So I suppose this would also work for fueling ships built by GC. IIRC, the original Snacks! didn't have converters or recyclers at all, and lacked its own storage tanks (you only had pod storage) but otherwise was identical to the current version. The lack of extra storage and the inability to make more Snacks! really made it impractical for anything except going to Minmus. Duna was really stretching it. A trip to Jool would have needed 4-5 entire Hitchhiker cans PER KERBAL. I like Snacks! because 1) it's simple and 2) it's generic. The actual consumables can be imagined to be anything your imagined alien Kerbal biology requires. You can also stretch it even further by decreasing the number of rations per day to 1. Which I tend to do because I envision Snacks! as a Kerbal version of MREs, and you can live tolerably well on 1 MRE/day
  6. My First Joolian Mission (1.3 Sandbox / Heavily Modded)

    Good lad Hmmmm. Life support is a big subject but here's the thumbnail version... Bottom line, life support requires you to add more cost, mass, and usually more parts to all crewed things, to put time limits on your missions and to pack enough supplies to last that long, and imposes additional load on your system with all the background supply consumption/recycling operations. All for something that does exactly zero to really alter your gameplay experience. You get no more science, you get no advanced rocket technology, you just get more overhead. So if you're not establishing a permanent colony, then it's just a matter of packing enough supplies and you never think about life support again (assuming you don't strand anybody by accident). So the 1st and most important question is, why bother? If you've decided to bother (which, strangely, I usually do these days), then you have to decide how much detail you want to go into. There are both simple and complex systems, and the complex ones can easily come to dominate your playtime at the expense of doing the actual missions. Especially if you're trying to establish a permanent, self-sufficient colony. There's also the issue of whether or not you're cool with Kerbals having the same biological needs as humans, or whether they're as alien as they and their surrounding solar system imply. The more complex life support systems all assume Kerbals have human biology, which I find annoying, so I mostly use the simple versions. IIRC, there are 2 simple systems: Snacks! and USI-Lite. Both of these have Kerbals needing only 1 resource, which you are free to take as an abstraction of multiple unspecified resources to fit their alien metabolisms. The more complex systems---TAC, USI, and Kerbalism---have food, water, and oxygen requirements scaled to humans. I could be wrong about Kerbalism---I've never used it because it also has psych aspects that clash with my view of Kerbals. But I have used all the others multiple times each. Right now, I like Snacks! the best, not least because it requires the fewest additional parts to hold supplies. If you're making any sort of base, station, or colony that will be occupied for longer than the supplies you can easily carry, then you get into the recycling and creation of more supplies, which is where all the work can come in. All systems require continual inputs of raw materials---there are no closed loops. Thus, the more steps you need in the process of turning raw materials into supplies, the more time you have to spend micromanaging all that instead of doing the mission. It can, with some of the more complex systems, easily become impossible to do missions at all, like explore the planet around the base, because all personnel are required to run the life support and the life support can't support additional Kerbals to go exploring.
  7. Thanks for the explanation. I've been missing Engine Lighting for 1.3.0. I see it's available in 1.3.1 but I'm still waiting on a few more mods to update before updating this game.
  8. My First Joolian Mission (1.3 Sandbox / Heavily Modded)

    Pretty much over it today, thanks The biggest tip I can give you is always to remember that all this infrastructure is merely a support function for the actual mission, which is flying the finished ship to Jool and seeing the sights. Therefore, any time and effort required on the infrastructure delays and detracts from doing the actual mission. Thus, every effort should be used to reduce the infrastructure to minimize its impact on the main mission. It's just a sideshow/preliminary after all. If you waste too much time on it, you'll never get to Jool. Thus, I highly recommend using one of the simplified alternatives to Extraplanetary Launchpads, where you can make RocketParts directly out of Ore, which GREATLY simplifies things. Then you only need to prospect for Ore and all your production lines can be co-located, simplifying refueling the RocketParts shuttles. There are several options for this, such as Simple Construction, which also has the benefit of using stock parts as the shipyard itself and the various converters, so no RAM hit for added mod part textures. Alternatively, you can use Ground Construction, which takes a whole different approach. I've not used this myself but I'm very tempted. In this, you actually build the ship on Kerbin and "freeze-dry" it so that it fits in a much smaller box. Then you take the box to another planet, plunk it down and "just add water" to reassemble the ship in finished form. Then pump in fuel, add crew, and launch from the ground. Has to be done on the ground, not space, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're using Minmus as your base. Finally, another really big tip is to use a mod that allows resource transfer between separate, disconnected craft and base modules. Such as Pathfinder or Ground Construction. Bases where all the modules are connected in 1 big unit (by docking or KAS pipes) are extremely vulnerable to all sorts of Kraken problems. MKS also has "wireless" resource transfer but IMHO is way too complex for the mere support function you'd be using it for in this application.
  9. I've often seen this happen at airless bodies, especially small ones in dark places, but this is the 1st time I've seen it so strong on Kerbin. I think this pic is largely the result of playing in AK. When planets are in Jool's shadow, it's like their night sides get a double dose of darkness, from both themselves and Jool. The darkness is so intense it looks tangible. Thus, any light source on a ship seems to have a magnified effect. As with many other laws of physics I dunno. BARIS just seems to be streaky. Sometimes ships have little or no problems, other times they have many simultaneous problems. But it does seem to help to have more stuff in space, including debris. The more stuff you have, the more targets BARIS has to smite when it dishes out wear-and-tear failures every day. Thus, it's less likely that something you really care about at the time will fail. But that does nothing to stop the launch /staging failures. The only thing that seems to help there is having a Kerbal with at least 1 star on board to kludge around the problem.
  10. What did you do in KSP today?

    This is Alternis Kerbol, where you have all the same bodies as in stock, but their orbits are totally rearranged. In AK, Kerbin is one of moons of Jool. Also, they've all had custom geographical and/or color makeovers (hence Jool is blue and the map of Kerbin is very different) and a fair number have also had changes to size/gravity/atmosphere. Plus Eve has rings.
  11. My First Joolian Mission (1.3 Sandbox / Heavily Modded)

    @B-STRK and @scottadges: Edited my above post on the infrastructure.
  12. What did you do in KSP today?

    I came across the best natural "fake" visual I've ever seen. By "fake", I mean a scene that looks more like it was shot on a soundstage than actually in space. And by "natural", I mean it really was in space but looked fake, as opposed to actually being a deliberate fake such as in the Faking a Moon Landing challenge. So here was are. As you can see, it looks very much like the space station's lights are shining on a scale model of the planet's surface stuck to the soundstage wall only about 10m behind the "model" of the station. Actually, the station is full size and 180km above the real planet surface.
  13. Given the number of failures, there will surely be legitimate doubts that the Circus has gone anywhere at all. So I'm kinda making the whole "fake space program" thing a running gag in this story. Of course, given that very few Kerbals even know the space program exists, there aren't enough naysayers in the actual game world to become a thing. So I'm just mentioning the "fake" stuff in hopes it makes my rather lame story more entertaining. That pic of the station lighting up Kerbin is by far the best natural "fake" I've ever seen (there are better contrived fakes--see the "Fake a Moon Landing" challenge). And it's really strange how this light issue looks in the game. When I first noticed it happening, the camera was aimed down the length of the Shift Change Mk 2, so the illuminated area of Kerbin was more edge-on along the left edge of the screen. From that angle, the illumination was very, very dim. It actually looked like a distant nebula, a faint green cloud wrapped over a fuzzy star. So great was this illusion that I fell for it, and was wondering where it came from because I'm using the stock skybox. I was wondering if AK included a custom skybox. So I rotated the camera for a better look and realized it was Kerbin, only now the light was making it look like a model about 10m behind the station.
  14. My First Joolian Mission (1.3 Sandbox / Heavily Modded)

    OTOH, you can go for fewer/smaller tanks as well. Just as in real life, maintaining large inventories in KSP, especially of raw materials and intermediate products, is bad. For a shipyard, the only big tank you need is for RocketParts. This necessarily must hold enough to build the biggest thing the shipyard will make. But for all the other tanks along the way, from mining the initial raw material(s) through all intermediate refining steps, you only need a single tiny for each resource. The various converters in the production line only require a thimbleful of their input resources to produce output, and they can't produce output any faster than the rate at which they consume inputs. IOW, production lines are limited by the relative production rates of the various converters, not the size of the input tanks. This means that the most part-friendly way to set up your RocketParts production line to have the whole thing on the ground. It would consist of just the drills, converters, the tiny tanks for each raw material and intermediate product, and whatever power you need to run the converters. All this eventually feeds into the RocketParts shuttle that goes to the orbital shipyard. The size of the shuttle's tank depends on how many trips you can tolerate it making. And because your shipyard is several days travel away from the mine, you can have 2 such shuttles so what while one is making the trip, the other is filling up. Supplying fuel to the shipyard is even simpler. The shipyard doesn't need its own fuel tanks at all because, unlike RocketParts, there's no requirement to have a full load prior to starting. Thus, all you need is a fuel shuttle to dock to the completed ship and pump fuel into it directly. The ground-based fuel infrastructure is similar to that for RocketParts: drill, tiny ore tank, ISRU, and power. That's it. The ISRU outputs directly into the fuel shuttle when it's at the mine. Again, you can have 2 fuel shuttles. But you don't need any fuel infrastructure at all until the shipyard finishes building the ship. (see corrections below). So basically, the whole system would be: Orbital Shipyard The shipyard/launchpad parts and facilities for whatever crew they require Sufficient RocketParts tankage to build whatever you're going to build Sufficient tankage for other components, if needed (Equipment, whatever---depends on which mods you're using) Sufficient power to run the shipyard parts and any life support for the workers RocketParts Production Line (on ground) Drill for the raw material (type depends on mods used) All the converters to turn the raw material into RocketParts 1 small tank for each of the raw material and all intermediate products Facilities for whatever crew the converters need Power 2 dedicated shuttles with reasonably large RocketParts tanks Other Construction Resource Production Lines (Equipment, etc.---depends on mods used) As for RocketParts Because you usually only need small amounts these things, hopefully they can be made by the same facility that makes RocketParts, and the RocketParts shuttles can also have small tanks for these products Fuel Production Line Drill, tiny ore tank, ISRU Facilities for whatever Kerbals you want there Power 2 dedicated fuel shuttles with reasonably large tanks for the main fuel your finished ship will use, plus smaller tanks for secondary fuels and mono The shuttles should be as simple and low part-count as possible. They consist of just a conveniently medium-large tank for the product they're hauling, a docking port and RCS, their own dedicated fuel tanks and engines, lander legs, plus SAS, probe core, and power. You want the product tank to be big enough that you don't have to make an unreasonable number of trips, but it doesn't have to be any bigger than the amount of finished product the ground-based production line can make in the time it takes the shuttle to make a round trip to the shipyard and back. (see corrections below) EDIT: Corrections to the stuff about fuel and shuttles. The shuttles require fuel. So you have to have a fuel infrastructure from the get-go just to keep the shuttles moving. Ideally, you can have a fuel production line co-located with the RocektParts production line. If the Resource Location Gods were unkind to you, then you'll need a way to get shuttle fuel from wherever you make fuel to the RocketParts production facility, or an orbital fuel tank kept full by the fuel shuttles, at which the RocketParts shuttles top up during their trips. The need for shuttle fuel also impacts the size of the delivery tank on the fuel shuttles. The more delivered product fuel you haul to the completed ship per trip, the more fuel you burn moving it, so the longer it takes to reload the shuttle between trips. The ideal size of the shuttle delivery tank is thus determined by how fast the fuel production line can make the shuttle's own fuel plus the delivered product. You really don't want the shuttle's product tank any bigger than that, You want the shuttle on the ground to fill up just as the other shuttle reaches orbit returning from its last trip. That way, the downtime of both the shuttles and the fuel production line is minimized. Sorry for the initially inaccurate info. I've had the flu lately.
  15. (spews coffee all over monitor) ROTFLMFAO!!