Alchemist

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About Alchemist

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    PowerTech Chief Engineer
  1. Yeah, HRO was designed to be the kind of large overengineered overpowered all-purpose shuttle (OK, not as overbuilt as some other entries for interplanetary missions, but turned out to be quite optimized for such scale missions). So when you take two of them at once - this is what happens. Of course the very description of Laythe mission left no doubts about using HRO-M03 with the mining base in the payload bay, but necessity to have the second vessel, capable of refueling at minor moons, quickly escalated into "well, this configuration should be capable of visiting at least Vall" I think for Mun STS-2-4 I'll have to try flying them there and back without ISRU - at least this way there is some challenge That rule basically means not to do this (yes, that's what caused the rule to be explicitly put in there ) - just don't fly up to orbit and back in one piece. And this is the very orbiter that when launched in shuttle-style configuration got several high-end badges... pretty much the full batch of high-end badges, if you count in the landing-optimized version with cargo ramp. So, basically, it's not an issue that the orbiter can do SSTO (well, for Laythe mission it's almost a requirement, unless you do something way more complicated), it's just the question of it not being launched as SSTO
  2. Ok, here is my report for the STS Jool-5 Full report here:
  3. And here I go with the conclusion of my mission with the shuttles KSP version: 1.2.2 Level 3, ISRU (took 3 mining rigs, left 2 on Laythe), but no nukes mods: only kOS, and I didn't even use it for flying Launches: 2 (2 shuttles) Landers: 2 shuttles (4 crew each) Return to KSC: 2 shuttles Additional vessels (all carried by the same shuttle): hydrofoil/hydroplane (circumnavigated Laythe and left there), mobile mining base (left on Laythe), 2 mapsats (for Laythe and Tylo) Full report here:
  4. Landing sequence Heat it up! Now just navigate to KSC And looks like we've bounced a bit too high Yeah, overshot Finally turning around Well, jets are mostly meant for this Touchdown! First, aerobrake on the other side of the planet Overcompensated the inclination a bit, but the speed is perfect And the second reentry Too high, too fast, too good at gliding Overshooting again Or not and... Touchdown!!! And mission complete!!!
  5. Back to Bop Didn't even refuel fully, but since we didn't spend too much fuel on the way here, I just decided to take the next option for aligning transfer with plane intersection OK, maybe the fuel budget is going a bit tight if this transfer is done without a slingshot... But we seem to have quite enough left for landing Let's meet with other shuttle Can we join? Transfer to Kerbin Fully fueled, and with a good ejection angle - time to go home And going for ejection straight away And maneuver around Jool And couple years later... Of course, we can't really aerocapture like this (besides, it's a bit way too fast), so... And now the remaining task is quite the trivial one for these shuttles
  6. Yeah, testing the flight capability before going to space - that's a good thing to consider for development of a shuttle. The story of my Buran replica somewhat started (and almost ended) with "OK, it looks quite close, but can I even make something like this fly with my piloting skills?" So I replicated the flight test vehicle. Buran's looks like this Flew surprisingly well right away and required just a few minor tweaks. It was much more problem getting Energia to fly straight, but then in the next version they added proper engines with enough gimbal range Need to think of something interesting for this. Somehow, I feel tempted to drop the escape vehicle out of a shuttle in flight... But first need to finish a few things on the previous mission. that is the reporting part. As for the shuttles, here they are
  7. Thank you very much for running and improving this challenge! It was a great ride. Fly safe and may our trajectories intersect in some other orbit. P.S. My crew sends a postcard P.P.S. Surface docking near this was probably not the wisest idea. There were a few... anomalies in the process. Also, it's quite slippery in this low gravity
  8. The last 2 moons I had to visit... and anomalies. At least these shuttles need no atmosphere for horizontal takeoff Funnily enough, there was a very cheap option to get back to Pol, yet I managed to leave so much fuel up there that we had no trouble flying to Bop in a rather straightforward way And then, this time with a proper slingshot, HRO-M flies to Vall And looks like it still got half the delta v still in the tanks Probably, this shuttle will return to Bop to top off the fuel and then both ships will fly back to Kerbin together
  9. At least these shuttles need no atmosphere for horizontal takeoff Funnily enough, there was a very cheap option to get back to Pol, yet I managed to leave so much fuel up there that we had no trouble flying to Bop in a rather straightforward way And then, this time with a proper slingshot, HRO-M flies to Vall
  10. Reentry with kOS? Well, just keeping the proper AoA during the reentry part is easy to script. Reliably getting navigation so it brings you to KSC - that is completely another story (I so far made couple ships to fly home from LKO - here's the video with Buran - but that was circular equatorial orbit of a particular altitude and just hardcoded deorbit at a particular longitude. No fancy navigation for that yet). And then there is the part of gliding down to the runway... something for which I haven't got that much robustness either. Of course it has to be all about several ship-specific parameters, but all what I have so far is way too much hardcoding for way too specific approach. Need to investigate better ways to make it work Yeah, one of those things on the to-do list... to which I'm not sure I'll ever really get. My ambitions in this regard often tend to wildly exceed the productive amount of free time I get
  11. About the drag on the booster's nose - it you make the interstage with fairings, you can stick a nosecone under the engine, so that it's much less draggy. And if you are having this kind of issues with the booster, it also means you could consider moving its CoL even further back On the other hand, for 2-stage VTHL you may also consider belly-to-belly side-mounting instead of stacking - this way you don't have to counter the orbiter's lift with such huge wing area on the booster. Although, KSP may do stupid things about control point when the root part is side-decoupler.
  12. Use Tylo. If you arrange a slingshot around plane intersection - it's a very cheap way to make a major plane change (and in this case raise orbit as well). BTW, in the cases of having to use a specific ejection angle due to your parking orbit, it is also possible to arrange a slingshot off the very body you started from (after an orbit or two... sometimes even in half an orbit), if you couldn't find a better solution Yeah, Laythe's upper atmosphere is such a brick wall. Cuts off quickly at the edge but just below that it's almost as draggy as on Kerbin at the same altitudes. Although I faced quite the opposite problem - wanted to lower orbit in several passes, barely avoided falling all the way down to surface on the first
  13. Finally edited this. How does a shuttle land on Tylo? Quite risky, that's how.
  14. Finally got myself to edit this P.S. Mission thread:
  15. Tylo landing Yeah, not too eager to repeat this. Too high gravity for my piloting skills, rather tight fuel budget, plus I managed to screw up one qiuicksave a bit, making the margins even tighter, unless I wished to once again revert all the way to the start of the video... Anyway, here we are