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About S4qFBxkFFg

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  1. Hopper 4a There are still some scientific objectives we can meet without using our higher performing vehicles (mainly gathering data close to KSC) and our crew could always use more flight time - therefore, with inspiration from some older designs, we are again planning suborbital flights. This rocket will be filling in some of the blanks in our materials investigations - in this case, in the upper (above ~18000m) atmosphere. With thrust and fuel reduced to about 60% of maximum, Val will be taking the rocket almost straight up and down - this is about as routine as it gets. MISSION REPORT Crew: Valentina Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: Uneventful - but that’s what we expected, the materials samples have been safely recovered to the lab, and the rocket is being refuelled. These are starting to look too small for the pad. Target altitude achieved. Not too close, not too far.
  2. Circlet 1a In many respects, this may be the most significant mission we ever fly - the single greatest challenge in our space program is delivering payloads to Kerbin orbit - if we master this, we can place personnel and hardware anywhere in the system, with enough launches. While the previous vehicle design (used for the abort test) was considered suitable for an orbital mission, some changes have been made to enable tests to be carried out on some newly available vehicle components. We have tried to incorporate this testing into the recovery of the first booster stage - throwing away so much hardware is to be avoided, if at all possible. In all, we have contracts to test three different systems - launch clamps, booster, and drogue chute. The flight profile will be: 1. Launch using solid boosters (adjusted to have approximately equal burn durations), after clearing pad, pull back approximately 10° to begin turn eastwards. 2. Jettison first stage, with its parachutes armed - the drogue should deploy immediately, slowing the empty stage, before the main chutes deploy once a descent has commenced, hoped to be to a safe splashdown. 3. Start main engine in stage 2 - continue pulling back into the turn while gaining speed, throttling down to maintain a net acceleration of approximately 1.5G. 4. Jettison escape tower in upper atmosphere. 5. Cut throttle when apoapsis is comfortably out of atmosphere. 6. Exit atmosphere. 7. Begin circularisation by exhausting stage 2’s fuel. 8. Jettison stage 2, continue circularisation using stage 3 engine. 9. Once stable orbit has been achieved, perform observations and experiments. 10. Monitor life-support and electric charge depletion to determine a safe mission duration. 11. Deorbit, targeting the sea off KSC 12. Jettison stage 3. 13. Using reaction wheels, maintain a retrograde attitude during descent. 14. Arm parachute once in lower atmosphere and subsonic. 15. Jettison heat shield after parachute deployment. 16. Splash down and await recovery. Jeb and Val agreed to a coin toss for this mission - Jeb being the victor. MISSION REPORT Crew: Jebediah Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: This really could not have gone any better - Jeb and the vehicle performed excellently during the entire flight, all mission objectives were achieved, and we can now get “halfway to anywhere” (i.e. LKO) with our rockets. From Jeb’s point of view, everything was routine up until the circularisation burn and with the long burn using the vacuum-optimised stage 3 engine, “routine” became “relaxing”. Without the urgency of a sub-orbital flight, there was plenty of time to devote to scientific experiments and reports - several EVA reports were made during the mission. At an approximate altitude of 85km and just over half an hour into the mission, Jeb overflew KSC and used the opportunity to transmit data using the communication equipment installed in the capsule - while useful, this was expensive in terms of electric charge, which would have been the limiting factor determining mission duration - we need to think about installing solar cells in future vehicles. It was decided to end the mission before another overflight of KSC, and a deorbit burn was made targeting the ocean off our coast. While the energies involved were greater than previous missions, the heat shield again was more than adequate, and a safe splashdown was achieved. Jeb was particularly proud of getting so close to KSC, although the trajectory prediction software has to take most of the credit. The capsule and scientific equipment did float rather lower in the water than we would like, so flotation devices can expect to make an appearance in future missions where a water landing is planned. While most of the team were concentrating on Jeb getting to orbit, the recovery contractors got some practice by retrieving stage 1 - the parachutes worked well, and it only needs some drying out before we can refill the boosters and light them again - more money saved!. For our next mission, tentative plans have been made to fly a two kerbal (scientist and pilot) capsule, equipped with solar panels, radar, and extended stores. We may attempt a launch into a significantly inclined orbit - something not yet attempted either. Launch will be just before sunrise - this should ensure Jeb can land during the day if we need to end the mission in its early stages. Ascending smoothly on the stage 2 liquid-fuelled engine. Coasting, escape tower jettisoned and firing. Circularisation, just after stage 2 burnout. Instruments deployed - in a stable orbit! At this point, Jeb is just sitting back and enjoying the view. KSC through the capsule camera. Burning for deorbit. All propulsive stages gone, preparing for re-entry. Trajectory looking good. This is one of the trickiest parts - keeping the heatshield oriented correctly. Within 5km ! That's not good - some sort of buoyancy aid should be added to our capsules. This is what happened to stage 1. Nice and slow... We can certainly use these again.
  3. Am I missing something or do the "Vintage Propelator Heavy" and "Vintage Propelator Super Sport" have the exact same stats?
  4. Before I ask for support, I want to make sure I'm using this mod correctly - if someone could tell me my assumptions are right, that would be appreciated. I'm trying to use parachutes to recover the first stage of a rocket, and have added a drogue chute and a main chute (separate parts) to the booster. Both chutes stage when the booster decouples - this deploys the drogue, and arms the main chute (main is set to "Must go down to deploy", drogue is not). When the booster starts descending, the main chute SHOULD deploy as well? This should work whether or not the booster has a probe core, I assume? edit: OK, I found the problem - the parachute isn't deploying because realchutes thinks it's in a fairing, although it's just attached to the side of the booster - the problem only occurs when using realchute parts, not the stock parts with realchute options. In case it's useful, log attached here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gxjklVT9eb8pW9Mr4vtlppaPbFyHOyPR -
  5. Apologies if this has been answered before, but is there any way to disable TweakScale in all cases except for those mods that provide their own configs? I can see the option to restrict it to Infernal Robotics only, but what I'm looking for is a way to restrict it to something like "Everything NOT in GameData/TweakScale". edit: am I better just deleting all the configs in the TweakScale folder to do this?
  6. Orbiter 1 - Abort Test There was never much of a plan about what to do if something disastrous happened during a rocket ascent - other than “decouple capsule, deploy parachutes, and hope for the best”. Now that a spacecraft suitable for orbiting Kerbin has been designed, attention has also been paid to an abort system that will pull the crewed section away from tumbling/exploding/diving rockets. This test will consist of a full abort from the launch pad - simulations indicate that as long as the SAS remains operative, the launch escape rockets will be able to pull the capsule to a sufficient height/distance for the parachutes to safely deploy. The abort command also activates all decouplers, shuts down all engines, and arms the parachute - the less a pilot has to remember, the better. We have an active contract to test a decoupler at the pad, which fits well with this test - it will merely be jettisoned from the rocket’s base before the abort test is conducted. MISSION REPORT Crew: Valentina Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: Short and sweet - the launch escape system performed effectively, propelling the capsule and science package several hundred metres up and in the direction of the runway; the parachutes then took over to deliver the vehicle safely to ground. The decoupler test also went without any problems. The next flight will be historic - our first attempt to reach a stable orbit around Kerbin. Looking closely, the detached decoupler/shroud can be seen under the rocket's base. Val isn't fazed by 5G. This is just before jettisoning the launch escape rocket. The tranquil part of the descent. This is another one of those missions where recovery is easy.
  7. Swift 1a There are many reasons for not relying exclusively on vertically launched rocket vehicles - recovery to the launch site is difficult, and lots of expensive hardware ends up being discarded. Also, rockets are virtually useless for extended atmospheric missions. Therefore, after some hangar upgrades, the spaceplane team has commenced work on a light survey/research aircraft - designated Swift 1. Simulations suggest its handling is generally docile, although shedding speed on approach is annoyingly difficult. A brake chute is virtually mandatory if we want to avoid runway overruns. Another issue is the engine placement - on top, out of a lack of other suitable positions (one of the reasons a v-tail configuration was chosen). Scientific equipment carried includes the SC-9001 mini lab, two mystery goo canisters, thermometers, and barometers. Other than testing the general handling of this aircraft, the objectives are to survey three locations near the space centre, and test the Mk1 cockpit in flight. New recruit Megrys Kerman will be piloting the Swift on its first flight. MISSION REPORT Crew: Megrys Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: “A pleasure to fly”, said Meg after climbing out of the aircraft. The Swift 1 was perfectly suited to the survey mission, managing to fly the route planned, visiting all three survey areas, without causing any problems. As expected, the landing speed is still higher than ideal, but Megrys was up to the task (she stated during the debriefing that the SAS was more of an irritation than assistance - the aircraft’s aerodynamic balancing was sufficient to ensure stable flight). One other finding was that roll authority could be usefully increased - e.g. by moving the ailerons outboard; this would allow adding flaps to their current location, which should improve take off and landing performance. Pre-flight checks are nearly complete. Meg turns towards waypoint 2. KSC is barely visible above the port wing. This is OK, as long as you know where the mountains are. After gaining altitude over land, Meg turns to head for home. KSC is visible again (in the left side of the HUD). Straightening up for final approach. Meg actually popped the chute while still airborne - it worked, this time. After a successful landing, it's time to vacate the runway. Mission complete! - the ground crew are on their way.
  8. In reply to those asking about the engine-out capabilities of four engined aircraft, the VC10 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_VC10 could, in most cases, maintain its altitude (or even climb very slowly) in the cruise on one engine. It was designed for hot/high airfields, and usually would not even use full power for take-offs. (Source was a member of the flight crew.)
  9. Hopper 3a/3b The solid fuelled boosters are cheap and simple, but the controllability and efficiency that liquid fuel engines offer are an obvious design innovation. For this series of flights, we will be using the LV-T45 - combined with four small fuel tanks we expect it to be capable of lifting the previously used science packages (plus a small mobile laboratory) out of the atmosphere (or achieving significant range in a lower ballistic trajectory). Larger fins have been used as simulation data suggest this vehicle may be unstable at high speed otherwise. Largely for pilot reassurance, a small forward/downward facing ventral camera is fitted 3a (piloted by Valentina) will launch eastwards as usual - the turn will not be significant so as to ensure the vehicle exits atmosphere. After fuel exhaustion, the tanks and engine will be detached (although not while there is still enough airflow to require the stabilising effect of the fins). Once in space, there should be sufficient time to run a few experiments, conduct observations and a brief EVA, and manoeuvre for reentry and splashdown. For 3a only, a heat shield will be carried for testing purposes - it is not expected to be necessary for the low energy reentry. 3b (Jeb) will launch then turn west, we’re not in doubt that this vehicle can clear the mountains and then reach the ocean. MISSION REPORT Crew: Valentina Kerman (3a), Jebediah Kerman (3b) Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: On both occasions, the Hopper 3 vehicles exited and reentered the atmosphere without giving us any surprises - we now have our first space-tested hardware and pilots and can seriously think about launching orbital missions. Smooth ride (compared to the solid boosters) It's a shame to be throwing these away. The suits work in vacuum as well as water. Pretty... This looks worse than it is. Val said seeing the parachute deploy made the camera worth it.
  10. (Apologies if the answer is elsewhere, I couldn't find it if so.) The stock shields have resource "Ablator", while this mod's have "Ablative Shielding" - what is the significance of this difference?
  11. Hopper 2b Identical to the previous design, and unless something unexpected occurs, this will probably be the last time we launch such a simple vehicle. For future missions, multi-stage and liquid-fuelled rockets will make their appearance. Simulations suggest Jeb will be unable to clear the mountains, instead landing short; this is ideal - the tail-sitting design is only suitable for touching down in the sea or flat ground. MISSION REPORT Crew: Jebediah Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: Some more scientific data were recovered from the highlands to the west, but the flight was mostly uneventful. As predicted, to gain significantly more experience and research data, we will need to make use of new technologies - sketches of a more advanced liquid-fuelled rocket vehicle have already been completed. another high-altitude flight Scenic Time for breakfast at the mountain foothills.
  12. Hopper 2a Although no major changes have been made to the previous design; the drogue chutes have been removed as they are unnecessary for this mission’s profile. The intention here is to maximise horizontal range and the vehicle will pitch just after launch to head over the ocean, gathering scientific data as the opportunities present. Val is pleased - she says swimming in the suits is actually easier than walking in them. MISSION REPORT Crew: Valentina Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: As intended, a respectable horizontal distance of nearly 50km was achieved, but there was nothing else of great note discovered here. Val reported the removal of the drogue chutes should perhaps be reconsidered as the shock when the main chute opened was significant - we think this can also be addressed by increasing its opening time instead of adding more components. More destinations beckon - probably west towards the mountains next. This could be a quicker way to get to the island airfield. Val decided not to go for a swim after all.
  13. Hopper 2 Several new parts are being used for the first time on the upcoming flight - the larger RT-10 “Hammer” booster, stabilising fins, drogue parachutes (to ensure the main parachute deploys under the right conditions), and the “Mystery Goo”, two containers of which fit conveniently into a service bay under the capsule. In case of emergencies, a decoupler has been added to separate the capsule. Simulations suggest this vehicle could reach altitudes of over 30km - we expect valuable scientific data to be available in this part of the atmosphere so two of each instrument are carried. Two testing contracts, the previously attempted RealChute test, and using the booster itself, will be successfully completed if all goes to plan. The mission profile is a simple vertical ascent - any reasonably flat surface should allow for a safe landing, so heading seawards is not required. MISSION REPORT Crew: Jebediah Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: This vehicle is both more powerful and more stable than any previously flown - a record altitude was achieved, and Jeb stated the handling was far less “twitchy” than the previous designs. The addition of drogue chutes worked perfectly in stabilising the vehicle in a particular descent configuration - a technique that may prove useful in future. Initial data recovered from Kerbin’s upper atmosphere is unsurprising, but nevertheless valuable; at least one other flight of this type is indicated to wring more scientific data out of this region. Perfect weather for a launch. Burnout at >22km. Drogues keeping the descent in check. Walking would have probably been quicker. Jeb says this was intentional.
  14. Hopper 1b Our “kerballed sounding rocket” has been slightly changed - scientific equipment now consists of 3 barometers and 3 thermometers, and the parachute has been swapped for the RealChute model, which is being tested on this flight. As the decoupler is no longer required, this vehicle returns to the previous 1-piece design. This is the first time we’re letting a scientist at the controls - Val and Jeb have been briefing Bob on the flight characteristics, and we think he can handle it. The mission profile is slightly changed in that the ascent will not be purely vertical - pulling up just after launch will cause the trajectory to shift eastwards earlier, and ensure a water landing. MISSION REPORT Crew: Bob Kerman Result: Partial Success Status: Recovered Details: Disregard “we think he can handle it”. Bob was unable to use the SAS to keep the vehicle pointed in a straight line, but luckily managed to avoid flying into the ground under power. Note for future missions - either make the vehicle a lot more stable (e.g. add fins) or make flights pilot-only. We do however have confirmation the basic RealChute cone works effectively, and useful barometric data were retrieved from an intact vehicle - both of which would be improved if a higher altitude had been achieved. Jeb’s turn next - Bob is on lab duty only for at least the next few missions. Heading west... ...and south... At least these work. Nearing the end of a short, but exciting, trip.
  15. Hopper 1a With the basic vehicle design completed and tested, we can now turn our attention to gathering some useful scientific information - the 1a version is equipped with 4 thermometers allowing us to log atmospheric temperatures at various altitudes. The mission profile remains unchanged apart from requiring a slightly higher parachute deployment - this is to satisfy the parachute test contract. Also being tested (after splashdown) is the decoupler between booster and capsule - the decoupler force has been reduced to 5% to limit its effect on the capsule/pilot. Valentina will be logging her first mission with this flight. MISSION REPORT Crew: Valentina Kerman Result: Success Status: Recovered Details: Nothing but good news to report - the addition of instruments and the decoupler had no significant effect on the vehicle’s performance, and the flight proceeded as planned. We now have the option of discarding non-essential parts of the vehicle if there are concerns about the possibility of safely landing the capsule while still attached to other parts (e.g. boosters, fuel tanks). It is also encouraging to note the spacesuits function as well in the water as on land. In other news, the VAB has been upgraded - while the extra space wasn’t really necessary, the improved facilities inside are very welcome. Launch Valentina tries swimming Decoupled