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  1. (illustration and story inspired by @ILikeSoup) ------------------------------------------------------------ Black. Total, pitch-black, blackness. The kind that makes one wonder if they had their eyes closed. The kind that overwhelms, drowns out, suffocates. Vast stretches of blackness, devoid of any light, any matter, anything. No information anywhere. Uniform, complete, with zero entropy. It is the perfect definition of Nothing. A universe without the galaxies, without the stars; without the tiniest fraction of its volume occupied by matter, blackness consumes all. As such, the universe we know is Mostly Nothing; the pitiful amount of matter it holds, the atoms they are made of, are also Mostly Nothing. Does Something define reality, or does Nothing itself? "Hey Bob, did you forget to take off the lens cap again?" "Um, no! I, uh, I didn't!" Bob Kerman replied, hastily taking the lens cap off. He peered into his little telescope again. There, among the soft velvet darkness that is space, he saw the stars and planets he was familiar with. Guess that existential crisis was for nothing after all. He turned a knob carefully, and the vast green fuzziness that had spread across half the view from his eyepiece was thrown into sharp relief. Jool, with its myriad bands of clouds, with its chaotic swirls and gigantic storms that could swallow Kerbin whole, and the oval shadow thrown by its nearest moon, Laythe. Space, he decided, was worth the g-forces and nausea after all. "Laythe atmospheric entry, ETA two minutes," announced Valentina, from the cockpit up front. With the press of a button, the heat-resistant covers on the windows were deployed, blocking Bob's view of the Joolian system. He very reluctantly stowed away his telescope. Bob was never the type to be into thrills. He hated risks, and did whatever he could to avoid them. He respected the statistics that others scoffed at, ignored. He had the lowest stupidity ratings of the entire crew; he was the scientist, he assured himself. Not stupid, not forgetful, just a little... absent minded. Yeah. Absent-minded. He had always been fascinated by the stars and planets, the pretty lights shining above Kerbin's clear skies. His dream was to get up there, somehow, and watch them all up close. Preferably without loud rocket engines that made him nervous. Well, that's how I got into the space program, he thought. At least he fulfilled the first half of it. "Entry ETA 90 seconds! Fasten seatbelts everyone!" came the announcement up front. The SSTO they were in, the Pheonix, pitched up in anticipation of the entry. Bob's mind, without his telescope, started to wander again. He wondered how the two pilots controlling the plane, well, controls the plane. Lots of buttons and dials, he assumed. He wondered what they were thinking. Jebediah was grinning. Not that there's anything very funny to a regular kerbal about the situation. He just likes to grin. Grin too much. Like a maniac. Indeed, the general consensus around the KSC is that Jeb was, indeed, more insane than not. But given his impeccable record flying rockets, planes, landers, stations, and glorified space lawn chairs, nobody doubted him. This led to the ultimate cancellation of the "mental health and sanity" test at the kerbonaut entry requirements, which some say was one of the worst decisions they had ever made, and the others, who presumably only got in there at all because of this new policy, disagree with. But Jeb cares not about pesky policies. The life of a kerbonaut pilot was what appealed to him. The feeling when being pressed into his chair at 5 gs of acceleration due to the KSC deciding that "Moar Boosters" was a good idea. The feeling of engine cutoff, followed by gentle, welcoming weightlessness. The feeling of making a close swing of the Mun, barely clearing the hills, and watching the rocks and impact craters rushing by. The feeling of a final burst of the lander engine, followed by the bump that indicates another successful landing, on an alien planet or moon. He couldn't live without that. He grinned some more. "ETA 60 seconds!" Valentina called. She was only smiling. Not because she was somehow less insane than Jeb, no; quite the opposite, in fact. More insane, in a different way. The mission had been going through quite a bit more smoothly than she had hoped for, and that slightly disappointed her. To Val, there was a special charm to risk and danger. Like docking a reentry craft and an orbiter together while falling rapidly down the atmosphere. Like starting a suicide burn one second after the burn indicator lights up. Like jumping out of a disintegrating failed SSTO prototype at mach 5 and deploying her personal parachute. She was only smiling because she expected a searing hot entry, perhaps stalling at 5 kliometers up, to spice things up. The staff at KSC often argued with each other about a chicken-and-egg scenario: which came first, the notoriously high anomaly rates of their launches, or Valentina Kerman? One thing was decided upon firmly: she had saved her fellow kerbals out of many a desperate situation, artifically created by herself or not, and therefore she remains an unshakeable pillar supporting the program. "ETA 30 seconds! Brace yourselves!" called from the cockpit. Bill Kerman double-, triple-, and quadruple-checked his seat belts, and Bob's, who was sitting beside him. He also checked the seals of the airlock, the insulation of the hull, and reinforced joints. As the engineer, he was a bit of a perfectionist. This interestingly goes directly against what seems to be the KSC's rocket-building tradition. Some say he simply wandered by the VAB one day, took one look at what they were building inside, and rushed in to get a job as an engineer, purely to satisfy his OCD-like insistence on perfection. Which is probably why he stresses over every component in any craft he is in. This was a good thing to Jeb and Val, whose lives he had probably saved quite a few times, simply by remembering to put an extra parachute or adding a heat shield. Needless to say, he was the least favorite kerbal of the four. "Atmospheric entry in five, four, three, two, one!" Nothing really happened in the first few seconds: the atmosphere was still too thin to produce an effect on the SSTO. With the windows closed, the kerbals could easily create the illusion of still flying in space, in zero-G. Then, as they dipped further into Laythe's atmosphere, Bob's notepad and pen began to float towards the floor. They began to accelerate. They made contact, and stayed there. The deceleration was becoming apparent. A flicker of a spark brushed by the fuselage. Flames started licking the sides. The silence of complete vacuum was replaced by a gradual increase of the howling of the winds. The bottom of the plane was engulfed in plasma. "Phoenix to KSC, plasma blackout in five seconds." Radioed Bill, pressed against the back of his chair. He really, really hoped the bulkheads would withstand the strain, the insulation the heat. Bob took a record of the cabin temperature and was mildly interested at the rate it was going up. Jeb was grinning from ear to ear, his hands clutched at the controls, expertly maintaining a high angle of attack. Val was reading the instruments and secretly hoped an emergency indicator or two would light up. The g-forces were significant now. The howling of the winds was starting to become unbearable. Sweat formed on the kerbals' foreheads, partly from excitement and nervousness, partly from the scorching heat barely being kept at bay by the insulating materials. The airstream threatened to tear the plane apart. The wingtips flexed slightly and groaned; the cabin shook under the stress. The stress that Bill, inside the cabin, shared intensely. Bob was sweating profusely; he hated this part of the flight, he couldn't see anything. "Velocity at mach 2, crossing the 20 kilometer line." Jeb pushed the control stick forward, pitching the plane down slightly. The flames had died down, the shaking to bearable levels, and Val remembered to turn on the AC. "Pulling out of the stall now," called Jeb. The SSTO pitched downwards violently, the nose aligning with the dropping prograde marker on the navball. Air gathered under the wings, creating lift. The windows reopened, showing a brilliant blue ocean and a clear blue sky, a significant portion of which was occupied by a majestic green Jool rising from the horizon. The oceans seem to be coming a little too rapidly, thought Bob, turning a slightly deeper shade of green. Bill opened a compartment somewhere and and handed a barf bag with Bob's name on it. Bob blushed greener. "Alright, pulling out of the dive and activating jet engines!" The RAPIERs on the back sputtered to life, choked a bit on the congested air from the intakes, then started to roar with the supply of fresh, Laythian oxygen. Jeb pulled on the control stick and the plane pitched up again, under a good five Gs of deceleration. Muffled sounds of throwing up was heard in the back. Val smiled some more. The Phoenix entered horizontal flight again, and started to pick a place to land. ------------------------------------------------------------ Next part coming soon. Probably.
  2. Throughout the forums, everyone shows the big, bulky, expensive and sophisticated craft with incredible range, efficiency, speed or size. but kerbin needs a domestic cargo service too, something mass-producible, able to reach remote landing sites and transport the cargo distributed across kerbin. YOUR GOAL: A Reliable, Unique, Long Range and Durable Craft to carry mid size cargo (multiple 2.5 service bays worth) Anywhere On Kerbin (or Laythe ). dlc and part mods not allowed (for fairness). kraken drives are ok. my attempt - bluebird 2 seaplane [min speed - 40m/s, cruising speed200m/s, sea or land landings] bluebird 2 file
  3. I had a rocket set up for a duna mission but forgot to get a good transfer window, so I went to jool! I've barely done a manned Mun landing and am already getting to Jool. I'm freaking out right now. I don't do manned missions outside of Kerbin orbit, so this is unmanned, but I still feel really proud.
  4. As one can tell, Matt Lowne did a video showcasing a Laythe SSTO with 4025 m/s dV in LKO. So my challenge will be, can you do better? Could you make the most out of as little dV as possible? Here are the rules: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) No dirty cheating alpacas (no debug menu) 2) You must have either a video or a full album of the mission 3) KER must be installed 4) No mods (besides KER) 5) You must show the Resource Tab always if you make a video 6) You must bring at least 10 passengers with 2 pilots to Laythe and back 7) Finally, you have to have clear knowledge of gravity assists ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leaderboard: 1st place: @herbal space program, 3390 m/s (Yay, you get your first badge) 2nd place: @Matt Lowne, 4025 m/s 3rd place: @Firemetal, 6250 m/s ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So build away, intrepid builders. May the Best SSTO win! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oh yeah, anyone who at least beat Matt's score gets a badge (WIP).
  5. lemon cup's Stellar Frontier Initiative presents... PROJECT STARPOWER - Combining Kerbin's many sectors of industrial might with years of trailblazing research and experimentation in the field of nuclear fusion propulsion. STARPOWER aims to do what has never been done in the history of Kerbalkind, and do so with the utmost ambition and intrepidity: Harness the latest in fusion drive technology to send a crew of 6 brave kerbonauts to the surface of Laythe, and back, in under 6 months. CONTENTS Introduction Part 1: Pre-Mission Part 2: Departure Part 3: Arrival Part 4: Landing Part 5: Return Part 6: Home Epilogue: The Future Introduction PREFACE This is a somewhat straightforward mission to Laythe with a few twists and heavy emphasis on realism, or rather, what could be reasonably assumed to occur and what obstacles (some huge) would have to be overcome. I couldn't make up my mind on how hard to go with this, so I figured I'd go all in! Expect detailed explanations, real-world science, tons of pictures, and the unwitting Kerbal perspectives on such matters. That being said I will do my best to keep fluff to a minimum, and content rolling in thick. MOD LIST Lots...I won't list them all! Rather I will list the ones that feature prominently here in plain sight. Those that reside beneath the surface, I will mention throughout if I think it to be relevant. In order of significance: JNSQ - the astounding community-favorite planet pack, where this all takes place. Far Future Technologies(beta) - provides all of the theoretical nuclear propulsion aspects that make this mission possible; Nertea just dropped the 1.0 release for download. Near Future Technologies (full suite) - I think of this as the de facto expansion pack to KSP as I know it, adds incredible depth and utility parts for advanced spaceflight and features heavily on this mission. OPT Spaceplane - used to craft the Mk.III-J "Shadowfax," the mission's interplanetary SSTO. Restock - revamped models for every stock part, meshes flawlessly with NFT and other mods. Kerbal Atomics - nuclear fission reactors and advanced NTR rockets CryoEngines/Tanks - adds hydrolox and methalox engines and tankage SSPXR - Stockalike Station Parts Expansion Redux adds the large hab modules you'll see here. Kerbal Konstructs - you will occasionally see some decorative infrastructure, thanks to this mod. Visual Mods include: EVE, Scatterer, TUFX, DistantObjectEnhancements, and Planetshine Some QOL mods: MechJeb, KerbalEngineerRedux, BetterTimeWarp, PersistentThrust, Kerbal Joint Reinforcement, Tweakscale, RCS Build Aid, EditorExtensionsRedux, and more... AND LASTLY, playing in KSP 1.10.1, let's get started. STELLAR FRONTIER INITIATIVE Excelling where previous space programs have failed, SFI was founded to put a stop to repetitive gameplay mission architecture centered in Low Kerbin Orbit. Instead of wasting excess time, resources, and funds at the behest of corrupt save files administration changes and economic lulls, SFI is the result of a joint venture between many Kerbal nations to go to the Mun, Duna, and beyond, and this time for good. Many strides have been made in the past 3 decades. We've researched much science, completed many contracts, and earned much reputation. Also we took some pretty pictures. Over the last 10 years, breakthroughs in rocket propulsion and particle physics has led to a boom in the exploration of parts unknown. I'm playing in JNSQ, where planets are 2.7x the size and even further away from each other. A minimum-energy Hohmann transfer to the Mun takes 4 days. To Duna takes almost 9 months, and beyond that, years. The reality is, Kerbals don't live such a long time, being the little frog men that they are, and that would be cut even shorter should they be exposed to the harsh radiation of interplanetary space for such long durations. Of keen interest to Kerbalkind is Laythe, the crown jewel of, erm... Jool. Before now, it has been held beyond our reach by vast gulfs of time and space, accessible only by our long range probes. But this, is the Fusion era! Behold the latest in experimental atmospheric probes designed to study Laythe and identify areas of interest for future exploration teams. Nicknamed the "Blindwolf," it is both a high-concentration test bed, and a valuable research platform. It is able to convert superheated air into reaction mass via a state of the art high-powered electromagnetic ramjet, and a compact spherical Deuterium-Deuterium powerplant generates the electricity necessary to do so. Top speed is limited only by the melting point of the skin. As it tears through Laythe's atmosphere, it is able to send back telemetry on a particularly optimal equatorial island, with ample flats for a landing... All that's left to do is assemble the vessel, the crew and their vehicle, and the resources needed to get them there. Easy, right?
  6. Life On Laythe science mission Premise: Life has been detected in the deep oceans of Laythe. Mission: Launch a science mission to Laythe, and return science data from the floor of the DeGrasse Sea. This challenge is based loosely on the movie Astronaut : The Last Push. Rules: The Science data must be the results of a Mystery Goo experiment collected from the sea floor (not the surface) of the DeGrasse Sea returned to Kerbin and recovered Two kerbals need to go to Laythe and at least one kerbal must land or splash down on Laythe’s surface The kerbals must launch from the KSC, and both must return alive to the surface of Kerbin for recovery No command chairs are allowed. The kerbals must reside in pressurized seats during interplanetary and atmospheric flight. The use of stock probe cores is allowed where it fits within the challenge guidelines. No ISRU is allowed. The launched craft(s) must have all the fuel for the journey to and from Laythe Clipping is not allowed, and all parts must be adjacent to another part. If you want to clip, and you think it is fair, ask me. Stock parts with DLC only. Mods that affect parts or game physics are not allowed. Cheats - Hyperedit, F-12 , file editing etc are not allowed Informational, flight control and visual mods are allowed (e.g. MechJeb, KER, Trajectories, Precise Node etc) Settings must be default, normal. Entry reheating must be set to 100%. If you change default settings, you are breaking this rule. Mission must be completed in less than 13 years from launch date Submission: The mission will be listed in order of submission. Please provide an Imgur gallery with detailed explanation, or a video. This should include an image showing science recovery from the Laythe seafloor, with the resource window open. This challenge is all about good reliable design, mission planning and game play. The following may provide a guide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZIe2fWK85s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiMW4Qtoj2g Special mentions for low cost entries. Any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck. Completed entries: @camacju16750 funds, ultra low cost entry . Amazing orbital mechanics! Uses EVA and jet packs and V1.11 EVA Construction to reduce costs @Brikoleur Zoë. A big SSTO seaplane lands two Kerbals on Laythe. Gotta love the hydroplanes and the cool Laythe probe. @Brikoleur Bak Billbo. A bigger SSTO seaplane with massive dV, single stage from Kerbin to a Laythe sea landing and back to Kerbin. @jinnantonixLife One. [video] Replicates the artificial gravity system and the space craft design used in the video Astronaut: The Last Push. @Death Engineering Apollo to Laythe - McDonnell Douglas Phase B 12-Man Space Station Launch. In DE's own words, incorporates some of the more far-out NASA concepts from the early 1970's, mixed in with a healthy dose of just plain Kerbalistic nonsense. Brilliant. . .
  7. Part 1: Launch Part 2: Journey to Laythe Part 3: Doing stuff at Laythe Part 4: Return trip
  8. Been working on this design for quite a while now, trying to find the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality and I think I've finally done it! I would have liked to put together a video but I don't really have the time and skill to do that. To be honest I don't think this is even impressive anymore as more game changing updates have come. Imgur album detailing entire journey - https://imgur.com/gallery/FHxrjDr Takeoff - Landing on Laythe -
  9. Laythe. A land of extremes. Slung around a far-away gas giant in the outer reaches of the Kerbol system, the ocean planet hangs in the cosmos as a jewel for colonization. Deep, expansive waters interrupted only by ignominious freckles of sand paint the planet a pastiche of the aquatic and the arid. Under a blanket of atmosphere, the world sits shrouded in clouds and mystery. It is the only other planet suitable for kerbal life. It will become home to one very lonely kerbal. The Kavalier Mk VI launches on a mission to land a kerbal on the water planet, Laythe. The first of many such missions to establish a foothold beyond Kerbin and the Mun. Steve thinks it’s enough to get there, land, and come back. But like so many times before, Steve is wrong. Everyone tells him so. The plan is to go and stay. To get there, the selected ship will burn to reach Kerbin escape velocity and establish a 100k orbit at 1535.5m/s. From there, the ship’s crew of three perform system diagnostics on orbit while waiting for their transfer window to Jool. The gas giant will take nearly three years to reach. Sonbart, Lodmin and Nellfurt, all of the Kerman family, are entombed…er, ensconced, in the habitation module of the nuclear powered Kavalier. As the transfer window approaches, a sense of giddy trepidation takes hold of the kerbals. They know they will finally be on their way. The burn goes as planned with only a minor correction needed after Lodmin spills dill-flavored crisps into the drop pod where Nellfurt, the pilot, performs the maneuver. Lodmin’s apologies are accepted by the rest of the crew, but only grudgingly as he ferrets out the bits of fried potato and salt from the console, consuming every piece he finds. Nellfurt quietly watches Lodmin finish ‘cleaning,’ then returns to his seat in the pod. This time, he closes the hatch behind him. Somehow, even now amidst the void, Nellfurt finds that he needs his space. Years later, Jool’s bright green slowly – finally - approaches the Kavalier. First, it seems a shiny star like so many others in the firmament. But each day, its character changes, revealing its deepening verdant expanse soon to engulf the horizon of the kerbals’ ship. There’s a strange sense of home in the presence of the giant, even though the intrepid explorers are now farther from their planet that any others have dared to travel. Despite its growing form, it takes a month for the ship and her crew to reach their designated maneuver point around Jool. After a short capture burn, the Kavalier crew decide to launch two probes to orbit the gas giant and provide data to the Laythe-bound craft. Unfortunately, the probes prove of limited use as someone forgot to attach communication relay devices to them. The crew blames Steve because everyone blames Steve. Because Steve sucks. That, however, won’t stop their mission. They’ve come too far. While the probes would have offered beneficial position, navigation and timing data to the Kavalier mothership, their inoperability only diminishes the signal the crew will rely upon for maneuvering the craft. Some signal is better than none…yet now, inexplicably, the spaceship’s impulse is none. With no way to control the ship, the Kerbals’ recent awe at the Joolian system soon turns to an awakening horror at the prospect of their orbit becoming a prison. Surely they won’t be destined to careen around Jool for eternity while in sight of their new home. But how, then, did they get here? Why no control now? They could control the ship for all the maneuvers until now. What changed? The four kerbals spread a large canvas of schematics over a table to consult. But as they pore over the diagram hypothesizing about disconnects in their remote guidance system, Nellfurt suddenly realizes that they never had one. He flew each maneuver from the drop pod, the ship’s only source of input, all the while assuming the remote guidance system was there waiting when they’d need it. Turns out, the same kerbal who forgot to attach antennae to the probes also forgot to attach the proper antenna to the Kavalier itself. And with no one currently in the drop pod to execute the transfer maneuver from Jool to Laythe, the Kavalier would remain without impulse. The crew exchange glances with one another. The ramifications are clear. They can continue the mission, but Nellfurt, the only pilot, will have to guide the Kavalier to Laythe via the drop pod. And if they decide to land on the planet, Nellfurt will be taking the single-seat craft to the surface, effectively removing the Kavalier’s legs. Lodmin and Sonbart will have to make the Kavalier home, just as Nellfurt does on the planet below. Or…they can return home together now, drop pod attached. Laythe could wait for another day to host a kerbal. They dismiss the thought, almost out of hand. The mission is to begin establishing a kerbal presence off Kerbin. Here they are. They might as well tuck in for the long haul. Besides, mission control should realize they haven’t heard anything from the antenna-less ship for years now and is mounting a rescue mission, right? Right? Sonbart runs the numbers and indeed, the transfer window back home is almost half a year away, and then the flight after that…well, they might as well stay. With that, Nellfurt executes the transfer to Laythe from the drop pod. A couple days later, once in a stable Laythe orbit, the kerbals commit. Crawling back into the hab one last time, Nellfurt hugs Sonbart and Lodmin and then recedes back to the pod. Lodmin comments that he’ll be just fine, that there are probably grains of sand down there more talkative than Nellfurt. In the pod, Nellfurt decouples from the Kavalier and plans his deorbit. His eyes catch a ring island impact crater. He aims for the center island and deorbits, carefully sailing past the now stranded Kavalier. Just above the far horizon, Sonbart and Lodmin watch as Nellfurt’s capsule twinkles in the atmosphere. The compressed air envelopes the drop pod in flame but the kerbals can only guess at their comrade’s fate. They hold their breath as the flicker slowly diminishes, wondering if they’ll ever see their quiet friend again. High above the center island, Nellfurt emerges from the roiling flames. The roar gone, he deploys the drogue chutes as he carefully guides the pod down. Too far in any direction and he’ll end up in the ocean. Even with his hands full piloting, the alien beauty of the place rising toward him is not lost on Nellfurt. This will be his home now. Until more kerbals arrive, he will have to do his best to not just survive but build. With no antenna, there’s no way to communicate with Sonbart and Lodmin in orbit, much less home. Nellfurt lands without incident... And begins his wait. Little does he or the rest of the Kavalier crew know that Kerbin has marshalled the efforts of every abled-body member of the their homeworld – even Steve - to speed another voyage to the Jool system. This time, though, communication considerations are built and launched first. The communication craft put in solar orbit bristles with antenna like some sort of void cactus. And yet, the true wonder is the landing base now hurling itself through space to reach Nellfurt and gang, nearly three years after their silent stranding. The kraken-like ship inserts itself into an aggressive Joolian capture only to sling out to Laythe nearly as quickly. Note the very prominent relay antenna crowing the ship. The maneuver takes the ship just close enough for an on-orbit rendezvous. Lodmin keeps fruitlessly trying to wipe his eyes as he makes his way from the tired Kavalier to the newly arrived colony ship. Sonbart follows. The Kavalier is now a ghost ship. Joy. Rendezvous complete. It’s time to bring home to Nellfurt. The colony ship soars through the upper atmosphere, angling to meet Nellfurt’s center island, partially hidden by clouds. The colonists can only wonder what their lone comrade, if he’s even alive, has been through on this tiny speck all these years. In the back of their minds, they acknowledge that soon enough, they’ll be just like him, for better or for worse. Importantly, however, they will have each other and comms with Kerbin. Lodmin and Sonbart are physically shaking to stretch their legs on firm ground and find Nellfurt. Parachutes deploy as the final maneuvers successfully vector the ship to the island. The retro landing boosters brace for impact. Once planetside, the colony ship’s struts extend in preparation for landing. Landing complete. The engines separate and the colony ship bounces to the Laythian surface. The colonists’ first official act on an alien world is to litter it with rocket refuse. Everyone on board cheers. They begin broadcasting their position loudly. Kerbin reads them. They are not alone. Meanwhile, Nellfurt, on the other side of the island, receives the signal through his very limited emergency receiver. At first, he stares, sure that this is another dream. But then, after pinching and slapping and holding his breath, he starts to shake. Someone is here. They sent someone. Or Son and Lod figured a way to deorbit and join him. Nellfurt sprints back to his pod. The drop pod, his only habitation, was obsessively maintained. Regular system checks, solar recharges, fuel line inspections and every battery of tests Nellfurt could conceive he employed to make sure his rig was ready for a moment like this. According to his readings, the signal is emanating from the far side of the island. Less than a day’s walk. No time for that. He seals the hatch and lights the engines. He should have enough fuel to do a quick bounce over the island’s central mountain to land on the far side beach. Unfortunately, Nellfurt’s excitement translates itself into the flight controls. The pod roars upward but in the wrong direction. Overcompensating, Nellfurt blasts toward the horizon, trading altitude for speed and direction. But he’s too aggressive. While his pod is now headed the right direction, it’s also much too low. The pod drills into the side of the mountain just as Nellfurt ejects and pulls his chute. Maybe a walk would be better after all. The crash. The ejection. The mysterious signal. Years of solitude. It’s all too much. Nellfurt feels the seams of reality fraying just as he reaches the top of the mountain. But then, the universe sutures itself. Nellfurt sees the source of the signal. A ship! Meanwhile, the colonists take stock of their surroundings. After some deliberation and finally a double dog dare, one by one they remove their helmets. Salty, yet satisfying. This wonderous moment is interrupted by another. In the distance, atop the massive central mountain, a feint figure appears against the sky. Nellfurt arrives at the colony ship. He’s greeted by cheers and a flock of comrades. Sonbart and Lodmin excitedly chatter at him. This time he chatters back. They ask for a tour of the island. It’ll have to wait, he smiles. Son and Lod exchange quizzical glances. Nellfurt needs one thing right now. He points to the colony ship. Enjoy the bed, Son and Lod tell him. We’ll stay out here. And so, the kerbals make Laythe home. This outpost will be joined by more, here on the island, across Laythe, and throughout the Joolian system. The kerbals are here to stay. In years to come, the original 8 colonists of Laythe are memorialized for their audacity to plant roots so far from home. In so doing, they brought that precious concept to a band of terrestrial and orbital survivors. They brought them home. Also, don’t forget antennae. You want ghost ships? Because that is how you get ghost ships.
  10. Laythe, I just tried to use your atmosphere to desacelerate me!
  11. LUDLONG KERMAN'S MISSION LOG: Y34D155 - 2H15M (NEPTUNE I) While our space program still sucks at SSTOs, our reserve kerbalnauts are demanding we send people to Laythe. After all, if the Elegail rover is reporting an atmosphere similar to Kerbin's, then it would make a good place to settle. Though our engineers are still working on a feasible method to get people on and off Laythe's surface, Mission Control decided to at least start expanding our Laythe presence - starting with: A space station We have a permanent contract to dock to vessels around Laythe. Return a vessel from Laythe orbit to Kerbin At least we can get a manned orbital reconnaissance mission of the moon with full science points (e.g. crew and EVAs, goo, materials). Too bad it wasn't a landing mission. The Elegail rover on Laythe. While Mission Control is constructing Odin Station - which would look exactly like Hades Station in orbit of Eeloo - the current general plan for the descent vehicle is to land on the surface and rendezvous with a separate return craft upon ascent; that may also be the case if we send an SSTO (which also means we'll have to leave the plane). All future mission plans aside, the three of us - Nathan, Matster, and myself - are flying to Laythe to explore the planet from orbit. We're in the Neptune I, a modified interplanetary travel pod designed to carry less passengers (we need 3 people, not 7), more battery power, and more science. In a couple of years, we'll be right in Jool's orbit. We'll then orbit Laythe and get some science and photographs before heading back home. If anyone has any ideas for a two-way surface mission craft (either a lander or SSTO), I'm open.
  12. Sending a probe to Laythe. server discord: https://discord.gg/EJmz3kE
  13. I tried searching for this on the internet and on this forum, but so far didn't find any discussions on the topic. So here's my story. Skip to the end of the post to see the weird polar caps. So, I recently installed the new KSP 1.9.1. I usually play with Kopernicus planet packs or with Sigma dimensions as stock game does not seem as challenging as it used to be. I usually play with 5 times the scale and 7 times the distance, but Kopernicus is not updated to 1.9.1 so far, so I decidet to play stock with visual/interface mods and no custom parts. I quickly found myself sending rovers to travel long distances on non-atmospheric bodies, even managed to circumnavigate Minmus and Ike, failing to do so with Dres as terrain is just too rough and the rover kept crashing. So then I decided to go to Laythe... (I can share the craft file, if this IMOAB-1 craft looks interesting to you. Goes 50m/s on Laythe, 60m/s on Kerbin, not very good at driving on the ground) I landed in the equatorial region and soon was on my way towards the north pole, making some stops on the way. It took me several hours of real time, but eventually I've reached latitude 80, and so there were the polar caps. Before this journey I didn't even remember if Laythe has them, Scatterer makes it impossible to determine from the map view. But yes, there was solid ground on my way. But it was quite not what I had expected. As you can see here, that looks... Pixelated. And on closer inpection it was even weirder. It was very flat, it ended in the ocean abruptly, there was no slope to drive on. I was able to push the boat onto is, I was glad I used the sharp nosecones, not the stubby ones. My polar expedition was on its way from that point, but I knew I just had to send in a rover from Kerbin to take more screenshots and just show everyone how weird this shore is. In the next picture you can see how this wall just goes down. It seems to go vertically all the way to the bottom of the ocean. And just look at how sharp those corners are. It's... Pixelated. So now I just really want to know if anyone knows the story behind this. Was it unfinished by the developers? Wat it left this way intentionally? Is it one of the easter eggs? Beacuse it's pretty big for an easter egg, the whole shore is like this. And I have never heard anyone talking about it, never have I seen anyone visit this shore in a YouTube video. Maybe I didn't look for it to well. To me this place just feels unfinished and weird. Laythe is by far my favourite place in the KSP, and you've seen screenshots, you know why I love it. So if anyone has noticed this before, I would like to hear your response and your speculation/information on why this exists the way it is.
  14. Kerbin is dying. After many failed launches and some silly scientist leaving their nuclear spacecraft on all year to see if it ever gets off the ground, the amount of toxic chemicals that have been put into the atmosphere has started killing all life. The Kerbals, finding out about this, have made a plan to move to another planet - or should I say moon? You have been trusted to act out this plan. Main mission: Make a base on Laythe and bring 10 Kerbals there. Bonus 1: Collect surface samples from Tylo before landing on Laythe. Bonus 2: Collect surface samples of all of Jool's moons (excluding Laythe) before landing on Laythe. Bonus 3: Bring 20 Kerbals to Laythe and setup two bases.
  15. Dragonfly mission to the ocean moon Titan Your mission is to create as realistically as possible the upcoming proposed Dragonfly mission to Titan, the ocean moon of Saturn. You can read about it here, its really cool. Basically, you have to fly to Titan (Laythe if playing stock), and set up a self sustaining base with explorer quadcopters that can go out and take samples and readings, then return to the main base. Categories are full Stock (visual and info mods only, nothing that modifies parts or physics in any way) or Modded ( I recommend Firespitter for excellent rotors, although your quadcopters will be large) as much as you like. Basically your job is to recreate the mission as close to real life as possible, either in Stock or Modded. I'll accept pretty much any entry, but if you need rules, then the rules are as follows: You must fly the mission, no cheats of any kind, although quicksave/quickload may be used as needed. Be careful loading/saving too much in atmo, parts can do strange things especially offsets You must leave Earth/Kerbin, fly to Saturn/Jool. Next you must make an entry with a heat shield and parachutes to Titan/Laythe, land and set up your base. Your base must be self-sustaining - if playing stock this will require an ISRU to allow multiple quadcopter missions. Your exploration vehicles must be VTOL, preferably as close to a quadcopter as you can make it. You may use jets or rockets since there aren't working electrical props in stock. They must be powered by RTG (like in real life). They must be able to fly 10-100km, take a sample, and return with it. There should be at least a conceptual way to refuel them, although I won't require a demo if the piloting is insane (landing on a docking port, etc). Lots of pictures! We are recreating a real mission, make it look cool!!! Scoring may evolve as new entries come in, since I likely haven't thought of everything, but for now it's as follows: Quadcopter points: Real Weight: 100 points if close to 450kg, subtract points for anything over (10 points/ton) Honest Quad: 25 points if 4 engines VTOL Real Science: 25 points if you recreate sample collection and analysis, seismological studies, meteorological monitoring, and local microscopic imaging using LED illuminators Reusable: 50 points if you show a full round trip copter sampling mission, and are prepped for another More Copters!: 25 points for each additional quadcopter up to total of 4 Mission points: Low Mass: 100 points if launch mass is under 100 tons, subtract 10 points for each 50 tons over weight. Orbital Genius: 25 points for each clever maneuver - aerobraking, gravity slingshots, anything that lowers dV and looks cool. Phone Home: 10 points per relay set up in system for a max of 30 points, it's nice to be able to call home. I will also award an arbitrary number of points for general realism, including but not limited to: Using Real Solar System Accurate models of rockets Making the spacecraft look and function as realistically as possible Finding something cool about the mission that I don't know about, and including it. Have fun! If you are ready to get technical, Here is more detail in a pdf
  16. Background: There is photographic evidence of life in the deep oceans of Laythe. Kerbal scientists want more conclusive evidence. Funds are short, so private contractors are asked to bid for the chance to change the way Kerbals see their place in the universe. Build a lowest cost mission to Laythe, from KSC launch pad, to the DeGrasse Sea biome, do a Mystery Goo experiment, and bring the science back to Kerbin. The twist is: The Mystery Goo experiment must be done on the DeGrasse Sea floor. Rules: Stock parts (including Making History) only, no mods that change game and parts physics, - exclude command chairs (we don't want Kerbonauts going puff in the upper atmosphere), All other flight and aesthetics mods OK (except of course, NO Hyperedit, config file editing, etc). Please check with this forum thread all mods you intend to use, and list them all when submitting. The mission includes two Kerbonauts. At least one Kerbal needs to land on the surface of Laythe. It is optional whether the Kerbal goes to the ocean floor. Both Kerbonauts must return alive to the surface of Kerbin. No formation hang gliding. Spend the Kredits to include a chute, and land your Kerbals safely. No clipping of parts in a way that will change the physics / aerodynamics of the craft. Minor clipping (e.g. into fairings) is OK. Players may turn pressure limits off to avoid the Mystery Goo experiment exploding at depth. ISRU is allowed anywhere, but not on Kerbin. Craft must be fully fuelled for launch in the VAB/SPH Leaderboard will be in order of cost of craft in the VAB at launch (with and without recovery of craft) Leaderboard 1: no recovery @jinnantonix 32,985 funds. Video Craft ISRU equipped, staged spaceplane with dolphin-diving Laythe landing jet. @dnbattley 33,059 funds. Album Craft Cheapo Laythe Rocket (CLR) Mk 15 a.k.a. "The Pleasuredome". A non ISRU non-recoverable craft. Some very clever minimalist techniques are used. Congratulations on being the first on Leaderboard 1. Leaderboard 2: with recovery (cost in the VAB/SPH minus 90% depreciated recovery cost + cost of any components expended during the mission). @jinnantonix 52,865 funds. Album Craft. Low cost SSTO. Fully recoverable including the science experiment and attachments. @farmerben 90,650.26 funds. Posted here. Impressively big SSTO seaplane with ISRU, which can land and take off from the sea. Used RTGs to sink the goo to the sea floor. Rogues Gallery: For entries that don't quite meet the rules or objectives of the challenge, but want to submit anyway @bayesian_acolyte 26,593 funds. Album Craft file. Sandbox mode. Amazing SSTO which uses a lot of clipping to reduce aerodynamics “including overlapping NERV and Whiplash engines, a weird fairing, 4 fuel tanks on top of each other, and a few other instances”. Super clever minimalist design, showing the benefits of ISRU and spaceplane components for this challenge. Does not meet clipping requirements. If legal would have been a contender for winner in Leaderboard 2. .
  17. Hello, everyone. I've already got a surface robot on Laythe exploring one of the islands. However, if I really want to cover some ground, I need to be able to travel by sea too. Does anyone have any ideas for an unmanned boat I can send to Laythe and cruise around with? If you had something that could travel on both land and water, that would be awesome. Thank you. (PICTURE OF ELEGAIL ON LAYTHE'S SURFACE, NEXT TO THE DELIVERY CAPSULE/RELAY)
  18. I was wondering which of jool's moons to make a challenge for and decided to make a poll to see what the greater ksp community thinks
  19. What is the best way to bring a jet aircraft into Laythe's atmosphere safely? Should I dump as much velocity with rockets as possible before insertion, or dump just enough so my perigee is just above the ocean's surface? I've done the latter once before and it almost ended with a flat spin stall and crash; I managed to land safely some how.
  20. [Verse 1] It's a god-awful small affair To Valentina on her EVA But Gene kerman is yelling, "No!" And her teammates have told her to go But her ship is nowhere to be seen Now she flies through her sunken dream To the place where there is map view And she's hooked by the A.G.U [Pre-Chorus 1] But this all is a saddening bore For she's lived it ten times before She’d soon die a fiery death As they tell her to focus on [Chorus] Kerbals watching Jeb and Bill dock Oh no! Jeb has rammed his ship at Bill. It's the freakiest show Take a look at the Kerbals getting in their spaceships Oh man! Wonder if they'll ever know that they will never return home. Is there life on Laythe? [Verse 2] It's on Kerbin's tortured lands That KSC is building up the funds Now the players have struck for fame Because modding is fun again See Kerbonauts in their million hordes From the north to the south poles Rule the star system is out of bounds To anything except them and bugs [Pre-Chorus 2] But this all is a saddening bore For we lived it ten times before soon more kerbals will get blown up As I tell them to focus on [Chorus] Kerbals watching Jeb and Bill dock Oh no! Jeb has rammed his ship at Bill. It's the freakiest show Take a look at the Kerbals getting in their spaceships Oh man! Wonder if they'll ever know that they will never return home. Is there life on Laythe? If you have the power to do so, please make it a real song.
  21. @Jebediah Kerman Jr. had a problem on his hands when Ribfrod Kerman stepped on his return craft's antenna and put his science return mission in jeopardy. Apparently the contract to return or transmit science data from the surface of Laythe was about to expire in eight Kerbin years, and his return craft was stuck in low Laythe orbit with a critical amount of delta-v remaining. While a direct transfer from Jool to Kerbin was possible, the Kerbin re-entry speed would exceed 6 km/s and fry Ribfrod to a crisp. We weren't able to get the save file because he was on the Console edition. But I tossed together an example save file (20 KB ZIP) that I thought reproduces the problem, and kind-of echoes Criske Kerman's Minmus return problem from the stock scenarios. Jeb Jr explained this was a space plane, that it had spent much of its dV just getting to low Laythe orbit and had maybe 2 km/s remaining. The eight-year time limit causes problems for a long-term return with gravity assists. Time is of the essence! The Challenge: Get Ribfrod Home Quickly! Deliver Ribfrod and his surface data from Laythe to Kerbin before the mission timer exceeds eight Kerbin years. Stock craft, stock system, normal difficulty, no cheating. Challenge modes are: Kanada Post: Deliver the craft and Ribfrod to the surface of Kerbin in one piece within eight years. Kerolator: Deliver the craft and Ribfrod home within four years. This one's possible without cheating if the craft had another 100 m/s to spare, or if you can be patient with transfer windows. Kerbal Express: Deliver the craft and Ribfrod safely to the KSC runway within four years. This is a stock save with a modified Aeris 4A in the same style as the Aeris 4B from Criske's return mission. Add-ons or mods that don't reduce the difficulty are permitted. I can add a Stock leaderboard and a FAR leaderboard for the foolhardy. The craft should be stable in FAR or Stock aerodynamics. I have attempted this and managed to almost get the Kerolator mode done, but fell 100 m/s short. I think more patience with transfer windows and less aggressive flight planning would have overcome this. See Jeb Jr's original thread for the details.
  22. In my latest career mode game I am planning to start a Laythe colony. I am using MKS and USI Life Support, with the lowest levels of Interstellar Extended's power and propulsion tech unlocked. In short, no transit times to Jool that would be less than two years or so, at least while carrying a reasonable (30+) number of passengers per trip. I plan to use the Cycler to only carry colonists, building more as time goes on to eventually have a voyage every year or so. Cargo deliveries can be done with traditional Hohmann Transfers. Unfortunately my math and coding skills are not up to the task of determining masses and orbital parameters for this vehicle. I am hoping you nice folks can help me figure these parts out. My questions are as follows: 1. How many ships would be needed for one to arrive at Jool every year? 2. What would be the parameters of the Cycler's initial orbit? 3. How much Delta-V would I need for course changes, ideally or worst case, per trip? Could I use the Joolian moons to reduce this? 4. Is there a more resource-efficient way of doing this cost-wise? I figure that the Cyclers will pay themselves off within two or three voyages because the fuel and construction costs to carry the supplies and crew would be far greater for a similar ship that had to decelerate at either end of the voyage. Once I unlock the more powerful fusion drives this design will be obsolete, but in the interim I have contracts to do things near Jool, and I want to simulate the rotation of specialist personnel that such a facility would experience. As for off-world infrastructure, I currently have a mining and science base on both the Mun and Minmus, a big orbital fuel processor around Minmus, Science/tourism station orbiting the Mun, a science base on Duna with a fuel plant on Ike, and a fuel depot in Geosynchronous orbit over Kerbin, with smaller tugs to carry fuel to crafts in LKO.
  23. AIM: Make a stock ship that would be able to deliver cargo of ore to Laythe from Kerbin. RULES: The ship must be fully stock, no cheating, the cargo must survive, no abusing of the game engine, if manned: it must have some living space and crew must survive, the whole cargo must be carried by one ship PS: (empty fuel tanks may be removed, but apart from them and the cargo containers, all of the ship must survive (fuel tanks cannot make up the whole of the ship.) PPS: ("ship" starts only after it is in LKO, the lifting stage can be dumped) Challenge modes: Participation award: just get to Laythe Noob mode: take your time, land safely 10 tons of ore to Laythe. Easy mode: maximum time 5 yrs, land safely 20 tons of ore to Laythe Hard mode: max time 4 yrs, land safely 30 tons of ore to Laythe, land on land, ship must survive, must be manned Super hard mode: max time 3 yrs, land safely 60 tons of ore, land on land, ship must survive and return safely, must be manned Matt Lowne mode: impress me
  24. Do the mobile science labs float? And if they do, how much of them sticks above the water? I'm not at my home computer and will not be able to test this for some time. If someone could drop a lab in the sea and post a screenshot, that would be great. Also, could you take a similar length of the new structural tubing of the same diameter as the lab, capped by "Rockomax Brand Adapters 02s" at both ends, that would also be great. I strongly considering sending a sea plane base out to Laythe, but I am not sure how to build a craft carrying the required (for me) two science labs. But if I can use the labs as part of the floats, might be easier. I already know I'll need to build massive wings and between 4 and 8 jet engines (depending on the model I use). So if anyone isn't doing anything (I'm ADD-ing in a lecture on the basics of MS Word), some you mind dropping some things in the water for me?
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