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  1. The Hyperion Program: Kerbalkind's Return to Space Inspired by the Constellation Program Hello, and welcome to a new project that I am doing called the Hyperion Program, where after a long hiatus, kerbalkind returns to the Mun, and more. This is a stock part series, therefore it requires less time and effort than my more time-consuming series, 'Go For TLI', which was too much to keep up with schoolwork. Expect more frequent uploads than 'Go For TLI' for the time being, because of the reasons stated in the last sentence. The Hyperion Program will be more story-focused than my last series, although I'm not the best writer to grace this earth, so keep that in mind. Special Thanks: All of these ideas for my upcoming vehicles and plans didn't just come from me, they also came from things I have seen on this forum. @Kuiper_Belt's Shuttle Adventures, which is my original inspiration for this series. @Jay The Amazing Toaster‘s Kanawai: Ares to Mars thread. @AmateurAstronaut1969's ETS Space Station Freedom thread. @TheSaint's The Scrape of Things to Come. @track's One Giant Leap alternate history thread. @Angel-125's To the Mun!, Shuttle Launch System, and Commercial Space Ventures threads, for the cool mission ideas. And finally, me, for slapping myself enough times to stop being lazy in my free time to do this. I will update this original post to keep up with the current missions happening, so make sure to check the Mission and Vehicles List to get a more close-up view of the vessels of the program and a brief summary of the missions. Also, use the Chapters List if you want to quickly go to a chapter if you don't want to scroll through the pages. Chapter List: Mission and Vehicles List: Note: 1. If the text is slanted, it means that a kerbal is speaking from in-universe. 2. If the text is in (parentheses), it is a note from me, describing something from out-of-universe.
  2. Pheibos is a mod I've wanted to work on for a while, it adds a submoon to the mun, and minmus.
  3. Ever wanted to look up from the Muns surface and see two Kerbins? Well now you can! This mod adds a binary friend to the Mun called "Leriter" one noticeable feature is, water, plant life, and a atmosphere! One day the Kerbal's, finished exploring Kerbin's moons, so they all prayed to have a new one, then Eeloo, goddess of change, blessed them with this new moon, but Dres Demigod of mischief, tampered with the moon! So be carful, this moon is not its chalked up to be! There will be scatters, that will show the dark history of this moon! https://imgur.com/a/JidyP0l - A poster for the mod! Coming: Soon-ish
  4. The Aquarius Program - Space Shuttle to the Moon This is a project I am doing in KSP that I'm currently posting in Space Shuttle Adventures, but I thought it might deserve its own thread, so I'll put the posts here. This Alternate History of the Space Shuttle is where I try to send a Shuttle to the Moon in 2.5x KSRSS. The main goal of this timeline is to set up some sort of crewed station in Low Lunar Orbit, and potentially find water on the poles of the Moon. The rest will be explained in later posts in this thread. I hope you enjoy this Alt-Space Shuttle History, and make sure to nitpick this timeline if you want to, so I can improve it in the future. I already made the first post of this timeline in the Space Shuttle Adventures thread, so I'll just repost it here. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ STS-200 - A New Beginning - January 14, 1985 The Aquarius Program: Part 1 In the late 1970's, NASA officials realize the Space Shuttle's potential to return humans to the Moon after the Apollo Program, and devise a program to do so, the Aquarius Program. The main goals of this program are to return people to the Moon permanently, and second and most important, to discover ice at the Lunar Poles, to possibly use for drinking water at a Lunar Base, or to make rocket fuel for refueling depots in orbit. The way that NASA has planned to send a shuttle to the Moon is to launch a External Tank Refueler on one of the last remaining Saturn V's, and to slowly fill up the empty tank with modified Centaur-G's launched by Shuttles or Titan III launch vehicles, then dock with a Space Shuttle's ET that the shuttle carries with it to orbit. The shuttle will then ignite its modified Block III RS-25's and burn for the Moon. Workers immediately begin on modifying an unused External Tank for use a refueler, and paired it up to the two stages of the SA-514 Saturn V, slated for launch in the beginning of 1985. The External Tank Refueler will be reusable, so hopefully the last remaining Saturn V will not have to be sacrificed for the sake of human exploration. With the beginning of the explanation of the Aquarius Program out of the way, let's fast forward to the launch of the modified External Tank on the Saturn V. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ January 14, 1985, Launch Day of STS-200 The Saturn V with the ET Refueler sits out on Pad 39A, waiting to launch to a 28.5 degree inclination orbit. We have F-1 Main Engine Start. Liftoff! We have a Liftoff! We have cleared the tower! Beginning to pitch downrange of the launch site. We have confirmed shutdown of the 5 F-1 engines; S-II Stage Separation. J-2 Engine Ignition. We have confirmation that the S-II Skirt has been jettisoned. The S-II Stage continues to orbit with the empty External Tank Refueler. Beautiful views of Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. Pitching down to insert into Low Earth Orbit in only one continuous burn. Nominal Insertion into orbit; shutdown of the J-2 engines. The Refueler has been deployed into orbit! The mission is looking good so far. The Solar Panels under the ET are beginning to hinge outwards for deployment. The hinge outward maneuver has been completed. The Solar Panels have successfully deployed! The ET Refueler will now wait in LEO for Centaur-G's to refill it so it can refuel the Shuttle's External Tank for the Moon.
  5. The year is 1965. After a successful streak of dominance throughout the Space Race, the Soviet Union kept upping the ante. And when, in 1963, the US challenged them with a race to the Moon, they happily obliged. At the time, the only crew vehicle they had, Vostok, was barely capable of keeping one man in orbit for a few days. However, a trip to the Moon and back would require a larger, more capable vehicle, able to carry two men safely to Earth’s closest neighbour and back and sustain them throughout the trip. Hence, Sergei Korolev and his design bureau, OKB-1, set out to design one of the most advanced crew vehicles there ever was. What they got was Soyuz. Capable of carrying 3 men to Earth orbit and 2 men to lunar orbit, it was created from the beginning to be a workhorse craft, capable of fulfilling every need. However, the spacecraft was a radical redesign from the small, tight-fitting capsules that had came before. It sported 3 sections, an orbital module that gave extra room and facilities for the crew, the descent module to bring them safely down to the surface again, and an instrument module to supply power and resources to the rest of Soyuz. To test fly the Soyuz on it’s first flight, the bravest and brightest cosmonauts were selected. However, only one would get to perform the mission, and that cosmonaut was Vladimir Komarov. Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov was a Soviet test pilot, aerospace engineer, and cosmonaut. At the age of fifteen in 1942, Komarov entered the "1st Moscow Special Air Force School" to pursue his dream of becoming an aviator. After many years of hard work, he was selected to be a cosmonaut, and in October 1964, he commanded Voskhod 1, the first spaceflight to carry more than one crew member. Now, only a mere few months later, he was ready to pilot his second mission to orbit. As the bus drew closer and closer to the pad, he could smell the distinct smell of kerosene. This kerosene was being pumped right into the rocket that would carry him heavenward, the R-7 Soyuz. Derived from the old R-7 ballistic missiles, this had set many world’s firsts, with Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin, and himself flying on this rocket before. Ground crews helped Komarov clamber down through the spacecraft, into the descent module, and as he strapped in, time ticked closer to launch. Finally, after years of designing and planning, the USSR were ready to fly a man into space in a new vehicle for the third time. As the gantry arms lowered down to prepare for launch, Komarov constantly monitored the various instruments in front of him, making sure nothing was malfunctioning. And luckily, nothing was. With all the arms retracted, the rocket slowly brought itself to life. The RD-107 and 108s rumbled to life, making the rocket creak and groan under the force. And finally, the Soyuz freed itself from its shackles, and started towards the stars. Just before the boosters separated, the escape tower jettisoned, flying off away from the rocket, no longer needed. Then, just seconds later, the boosters flew off, in a formation known to many as the “Korolev Cross” The fairing peeled away, fully exposing the Soyuz 7K-OK to the vacuum of space. Seconds before the core stage cut off, the upper stage fired up it’s engines, ready to carry on the rest of the trip to orbit. And finally, after minutes of burning, the rocket went silent, finally reaching its destination. A loud thud came from behind Komarov, as he and his spacecraft floated away from the rocket that had carried them into orbit. The mission was a success, but now came the hard part. After waiting in orbit for a while, Komarov flicked a myriad of switches, and fired the instrument module motor to raise his orbit. Then, after finally completing his orbit raising maneuvers, Komarov lay in wait for the next part he had to play. Meanwhile, in Baikonur… (forgot to mention in the post, but big thanks to @raptor-m for getting me into this. he’s running his own american version of this on the alt history forum, so go check that out!)
  6. "Rewriting History" Intro to series: Rewriting History is a series that I've been working on for the past few months, posting mostly on my instagram account and posting highlights on twitter, however a few twitter users inspired me to take my series here, the main focus of this thread is to cover all the major events and/or launches from the begining in 1966 to the current point in 1984. The premise of the series is that the first manned Lunar landing happens in 1966 with Apollo 8 instead of Apollo 11, the public interest for spaceflight grows even after the first few mission to the moon. After, what was supposed to be the vietnam war, doesn't happen, in 1969 NASA budget sees a huge increase and continues to rise through the years, as the world begins to focus more on spaceflight over military conflicts money get poured into space agencies all around the world. This series still is in full swing and should continue for quite a while, as I haven't reached Mars yet... I will be redoing most of the mission from 1966 to 1979 and the rest of them will come from my Instagram account untill I catch up to 1984 on here.... I've taken inspiration from quite a few different sources for this series. These include: @Talverd with his chasing dreams alternative history TruthfulGnome l with the skylab alt history Eyes turned skyward and Boldly Going Mission list as of 1984 Mod list:
  7. United Kerbal Space Agency Presents: The Khonsu Program Kerbalkind's First Journeys To The Mun Inspired By: The Apollo Program Introduction: Why? Basically because I want to add more lore to my crafts, and I think this is the best way to do it. I will mainly be posting crewed Mun missions, crewed LKO missions, and space station stuff. Mission uploads will be sporadic (I'll try my best, I have lots of other stuff to do) Craft Files: Right Here (Might take a while for the craft files to be uploaded, I don't like making infographics ) Thanks: Thanks to @keanukeno21 for this piece of artwork, used in my UKSA flag. Thanks to @Autochrome for their Hyperion Program, and @AmateurAstronaut1969 for their Space Station Freedom and Artemis Program for inspiring me to make this. Thanks to N9 Gaming for inspiring lots of my crafts And finally thanks to squad for this awesome game. Mod List: As of June 4 2022 Missions: Note 1: Feedback is welcome as long as it is helpful Edit 1: Green completed missions now linked under missions
  8. The SLS was planned to have a large upper stage called the Exploration Upper Stage(EUS). This would take the SLS Block 1 to the SLS Block 2, needed for a single flight lunar architecture. However, the multi-billion dollar cost for development of a large upper stage from scratch means it’s unlikely to be funded. NASA is proposing a solution using the Starship making separate flights. But this plan takes 6 flights total or likely more of the Superheavy/Starship for the Starship to fly to the Moon to act as a lander. One look at this plan makes it apparent it’s unworkable: Actually, it’s likely to be more complex than portrayed in the figure, needing 8 to 16 refueling flights. This is what SpaceX submitted to NASA in proposing the plan, requiring 6 months to complete the Starship refueling: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk details orbital refueling plans for Starship Moon lander. By Eric Ralph Posted on August 12, 2021 First, SpaceX will launch a custom variant of Starship that was redacted in the GAO decision document but confirmed by NASA to be a propellant storage (or depot) ship last year. Second, after the depot Starship is in a stable orbit, SpaceX’s NASA HLS proposal reportedly states that the company would begin a series of 14 tanker launches spread over almost six months – each of which would dock with the depot and gradually fill its tanks. … In response to GAO revealing that SpaceX proposed as many as 16 launches – including 14 refuelings – spaced ~12 days apart for every Starship Moon lander mission, Musk says that a need for “16 flights is extremely unlikely.” Instead, assuming each Starship tanker is able to deliver a full 150 tons of payload (propellant) into orbit after a few years of design maturation, Musk believes that it’s unlikely to take more than eight tanker launches to refuel the depot ship – or a total of ten launches including the depot and lander. https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-musk-starship-orbital-refueling-details/ Everyone, remember the Apollo missions where we could get to the Moon in a single flight? In fact, this would be doable with the SLS given a large upper stage. Then the suggestion is for the ESA to provide a Ariane 5 or 6 as the upper stage for the SLS. It would save on costs to NASA by ESA paying for the modifications needed for the Ariane core. As it is now ESA is involved in a small role in the Artemis lunar program by providing the service module to the Orion capsule. But it would now be playing a major role by providing the key upper stage for the SLS. The argument might be made that the height of the Ariane 5/6 is beyond the limitations set forth by NASA for the EUS. However, if you look at the ca. 30 m height of Ariane 5 core compared to the 14 m height of the interim cryogenic upper stage now on the SLS, this would put the total vehicle height only a couple of meters beyond the height that had already been planned for the SLS Block 2 anyway: See discussion here: Budget Moon Flights: Ariane 5 as SLS upper stage, page 2. https://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2013/09/budget-moon-flights-ariane-5-as-sls.html Coming up: ESA also could provide a low cost lander for the Artemis program. Robert Clark
  9. Remember how creating fake mods was a thing back then? Now it's time to make even more fake KSP stuff! This time, it's fake celestial bodies, rocket/spaceplane parts, and manufacturers. Btw, you can do either or both, it's up to you. My examples: Fake Celestial Body - Gerris: A planet slightly larger than Kerbin but smaller than Eve, it has green oceans, a green atmosphere, and yellowish brown land. It has aliens living on its surface. Orbits between Kerbin and Duna. Fake Part - The AEM-293 Solid Rocket Booster: A SRB that was created because we always need more boosters. Manufactured by Boosterz Co. Fake Manufacturer - Boosterz Co: A solid rocket booster manufacturer. Nuff said. Have fun making whatever your heart desires!
  10. Land on every Planet/Moon including jool at -249m with a satalite in orbit around Jool,Duna,Moho and return to kerbin safely
  11. Previously, I would have discussed this on Reddit in r/SpaceXLounge, but with the new moderation there they won’t let you discuss anything controversial or speculative. Starship and modeler pics seem to be the name of the game now. For several years I’ve been thinking of mission architectures that could get us back to the Moon by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo manned lunar missions. We missed the Apollo 11 50th anniversary, but we MIGHT have been able to make the Apollo 17 50th anniversary of Dec. 2022. This is where it gets controversial. The SpaceX architecture of making 8 to 16 refueling flights for Moon or Mars flights is a bad architecture. There is a reason why the Apollo missions used a launcher with 3 stages and then 2 more stages for the lander for their round-trip missions. For missions with that high a delta-v requirement multiple stages are critical. SpaceX by using multiple refueling flights is acknowledging that, just in a very inefficient manner. The point of the matter is SpaceX could have done a manned Moon or Mars flights with a single launch IF they had given their launcher a 3rd stage. The 3rd stage could have been comparable size to the Starhopper. Yes, I know the actual Starhopper was not space-worthy but the point of the matter is by continuing it’s development along side the Starship they would have had a space-worthy vehicle capable of lunar landing and return by now. SuperHeavy+Starship+Starhopper single launch missions to the Moon or Mars. It would have been so beautiful … See here: http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2019/07/starhopperstarship-as-heavy-lift.html Anyone up to the challenge of a sim? Robert Clark
  12. How far is the moon from us? Many friends know that it is about 380,000 kilometers. In fact, this number is an approximate average of the distance between the earth and the moon. When it is far away, the moon will be more than 405,000 kilometers away from us, and when it is close, it is only more than 360,000 kilometers. The difference between the distance and the distance is 4. More than 10,000 kilometers, and because the moon has been orbiting the earth, the distance is also constantly changing, and it is difficult to measure the precise distance between the earth and the moon.
  13. This is my second planet mod, this one adds a moon between minmus and the mun. It is a one stop shop for gravity assists and science farming, it has all levels of the stock shader integrated Its Icy blue texture and giant SOI make it a kerbal's choice for a challenge It has 0.2 gees of gravity, and a relatively high orbital velocity It has a size of 250 km THIS MOD REQUIRES KOPERNICUS Screenshots : More screenshots : (thanks to kramken) SPACEDOCK License :
  14. What is your favorite planet/moon?
  15. Hi guys!! Here's some work i'v beem on this weekends! It's some "compact" version of a moon base fully functional, with few parts and functional as hell!! Only have 3 models until now, an Science Lab, a Mining Facility and GreenHouse (because its pretty, that's all... ). This is the ESA concept for a moon base that i really enjoy and like how it looks! Modules: "Interactive Interiors": Science Lab: GreenHouse: Mining Facility: Ground Solar Panels: Altair Lander - "Big Boy"! (Up to 8 Kerbals) Almost there... solving the last bug (that I found...)
  16. Astronomers want to plant telescopes on the Moon. The lunar surface offers advantages for infrared and radio astronomy, despite the challenges. By Ramin Skibba, Inside Science | Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Astronomers want to plant telescopes on the Moon | Astronomy.com (See the link there to a journal special issue exploring the idea.) I speculated about the possibility of detecting exo-civilizations optically in this Kerbal forum post: How large a space telescope do we need to see exo-civilizations? - Science & Spaceflight - Kerbal Space Program Forums In the discussion in that thread, someone suggested we would need a telescope 1.6 km across to see a visible disk of an Earth-sized planet at the nearest stars. But we might not need to be able to resolve a visible disk to be able to observe illumination of the exoplanet beyond that which would be expected on its nightside. In any case quite large telescopes could be made on the Moon if you used rotating liquid mirrors. This proposal is for one 100 meters across: Texans Want to Put a Big Ol' Liquid Mirror Telescope on the Moon But can they do it? And why even try? BY TIM CHILDERS NOV 18, 2020 https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a34714863/liquid-mirror-telescope-on-the-moon/ On Earth there are limits to the size you can make a liquid scope because the rotating mirror surface and containment vessel creates wind currents that distorts the liquid mirror surface. But this would not be a problem on the airless Moon. So that raises a question: is there a limit on the size you can make such a mirror on the Moon? Another possibility would be to do the detection through radio telescopes on the Moon. The advantage of radio telescopes is they don't have to have a solid surface but can consist of a set of grid wires, as was done with the Arecibo telescope. And this is the approach taken for one plan for a radio telescope on the Moon: Apr 7, 2020 Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) on the Far-Side of the Moon. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2020_Phase_I_Phase_II/lunar_crater_radio_telescope/ So how big would a radio telescope have to be on the Moon to detect Earth-like radio emissions from a near-by star like Alpha Centauri? Note this is a different question than that studied for example by SETI. With SETI they assumed such a civilization was beaming radio emissions directed at us. Such searches have been negative. But in the scenario I'm considering, an advanced civilization is creating omnidirectional radio emissions just as a byproduct of conducting its advanced civilization. How large a radio telescope would we need to detect those? Robert Clark
  17. This article suggests you will be able to see the full disk Earthrise from the lunar surface: Earth Rising Earth as seen from the Moon is always in the same place – true or false? It depends. By Paul D. Spudis MAY 15, 2014 https://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/earth-rising-180951474/ While most locations on the Moon's surface would only be able to see partial disk Earthrises, at the lunar terminator (separator between far side and near side of Moon) and at the lunar poles, you'll be able to see the full disk Earthrise. Anyone want to do a try in Kerbal Realism mode to show what this would look like? Intriguing question: will we see a "huge Earth illusion" like we see a "huge Moon illusion" when looking at the full disk? MOON ILLUSION IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD BY: BOB KING NOVEMBER 24, 2015 https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/moon-illusion-confusion11252015/ Bob Clark
  18. I wrote a tutorial for running an Earth-Moon Shamrock Cycler using Kerbal Space. I used the RealSolarSystem package so this really is Earth-Moon, not Kerbin-Mun. Here are links to the Wiki page and video tutorial. I wrote this because when I become a space tourist I want to visit the Moon in the comfort of a big cycler cruise ship. Yes, I'm willing to wait a few years. Tutorial: Earth-Moon Aldrin Cycler - Kerbal Space Program Wiki youtube KSP Earth-Moon Aldrin Cycler tutorial The tutorials are based on the Shamrock cycler from Aldrin's recent paper: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20160004674.pdf
  19. I've often wondered what a lunar habitat might be like if it started growing itself with in situ harvested resources. Lunar soil and rock appears to consist mostly of metal oxides and silicates. So, probably one of the very first things a colony with aspirations of becoming self supporting can do, is start excavating additional habitable volume for itself, and constructing bricks and furniture items out of carved stone. In 16% gravity, they would not be particularly bothersome to handle. In terms of processed/man made materials, smelting the regolith to separate the metals from oxygen (which is also useful..) is centuries old tech. However, the moon appears to have very little in the way of lighter elements such as carbon, hydrogen or nitrogen, these only being found in ice deposits in permanently shaded craters. On such a base then, everything possible would be constructed of stone, metal , glass or porcelain, these being relatively cheap due to the materials being locally available. On the other hand, plastics, wood, and textiles, the cheapest available materials on Earth, would be luxury items on the moon, having to be imported at great expense. So your bed frame would be stone or metal. The mattress would be sprung, and the pillows stuffed with wire wool rather than foam or feathers. Only the outermost cover would be textile. Perhaps only wealthy colonists would use sheets or duvets. Your living room might be quite spacious, carved into a cliff face, with quite generous glass windows looking out over the moonscape. Again, if you're wealthy, you'll have an armchair with a textile outer cover.. otherwise make do with stone or metal. A kiln probably isn't difficult, so expect to have plenty of porcelain dining ware. The real big ticket luxury item is however your entertainment system. A PC can do the job of games console, tv, radio, and workstation, and the bulkiest , heaviest components like the case and heatsinks, cooling fans, could be made locally. PCBs are medium tech and can be refurbished on site with surprisingly modest equipment in case of most failures, but actual manufacture of the PCBs is harder, and the integrated circuits they contain would have to come from earth. Fortunately they are tiny and light. It is still likely that new motherboards/graphics cards would ship from Earth. PCs have an advantage in being modular, but perhaps small form factor (Mini ITX ?) would save shipping cost. All of this pales by comparison with whatever you've got to use for the display however. There seems no way around this - large LCD panels are hard to manufacture yet are also heavy, fragile and bulky. Your monitor or TV is probably worth more than the rest of your apartment put together !
  20. This is spectacular. The visuals are amazing. Finally some producers understand what space is. Dark sky without stars in daylight, no ambient sound in vacuum, ballistic dust (no convection), and there is even electrostatic lunar dust, it's amazing. I'm just curious how is normal walking in the base explained, because that's not realistic.
  21. Knossos - A moon completely covered in a maze Knossos is a mod that I created while experimenting with various maze generation algorithms. I ended up successfully mapping a maze to a sphere, and imported the thing into KSP. And now, due to popular request, I'm releasing it for everyone to enjoy. Download available on GitHub: https://github.com/89Mods/Knossos/releases/tag/1.0 This mod requires Kopernicus to also be installed. You can download Kopernicus here: Description This mod adds a new moon into orbit around Kerbin, which is completely covered in a huge maze. The walls of said maze are high and steep enough to prevent most rovers and Kerbals from walking over them. So you'll just have to cheat with rockets instead solve it properly. There is a solution to the maze, as it stops around the poles, which could be considered the "end" of the maze. The moon itself is half the size of The Mun, but its orbit around Kerbin is behind Minmus', and is also highly inclined and eccentric, making it difficult to get to in the first place. More screenshots License This mod and its source code is distributed under the MIT License.
  22. One thing that has always bugged me in discussions about colonizing the moon or Mars is the casual way everyone overlooks the growing of food. I have a fairly well rounded background in agriculture, and I have spent a lot of time learning about the complex symbioses that a lot of plants depend on to survive. I know that NASA has been growing salad greens and some types of wheat in a very small experimental area on the ISS, but I don't think it's enough to get a good picture of what agriculture will look like on space colonies. First of all, any system that has colonists reliant on it for sustenance must be 99% sustainable at a minimum. NASA's experiments have been very closely monitored with sensors giving real-time data on all sorts of parameters to a team back on Earth, and the most they've gotten out of it is a few salads. For a serious system, it has to be somewhat robust, and able to handle some shocks and variation to conditions. It also needs to be able to reprocess all the wastewater produced by the colonists in a safe and efficient manner. These things are very possible to achieve, but they do present some challenges. Growing food is maybe one of the easier ones to handle. The most logical solution, in my mind, is aquaponics. Aquaponics is like hydroponics, but with fish. Turns out that fish poop has pretty much everything plants need to grow, and the plants are great at filtering the water for the fish. This means you only have to figure out how to feed the fish. Initially, formulating food for the fish might require some supplemental nutrients, but over time, it should be possible to stabilize the intake/output of the various micro-nutrients in the system. Probably the best species of fish to use is Blue Nile Tilapia, a fast growing breed used around the world in commercial fish farms. The other challenge to the system is processing the human poop. If composted properly, human waste makes a fantastic fertilizer for plants, but it is illegal to use human waste for growing food crops in the US. This is due to the possibility of spreading disease via unwashed vegetables. This can be avoided in our application, since we aren't growing our plants in soil. We can, however, reduce the possibility of spreading disease by using human waste to grow things like cereal grains and even fruit trees. The cereal grains can be used to formulate food for the fish, as well as for things like bread or beer. Obviously, setting up a self-sufficient system like this will require a large enough population to support it, but the advantages are many. Fore one, you won't have to have carbon scrubbers, since the plants will easily take care of that. Another aspect is the psychological benefits of having green things growing about the base. One of the largest challenges, however, will be maintaining healthy populations of bacteria in the system. Here on Earth, bacteria do a lot of the work in the treatment of wastewater, and in converting waste from both fish and humans into nutrients plants can use. These bacteria are everywhere on Earth, and can be relied on to just show up and start growing where conditions are favorable, but on an off world base, we'll have to bring our own. This could be extremely challenging, due to the high radiation environment in space, and any system on a moon or Mars base will have to be buried deep underground to protect it from radiation. There is also the potential issue of symbiotic organisms that are present here on Earth, that could affect how various plants in the system grow, or don't grow. It is also likely that we will have to introduce some species of insects into the ecosystem to pollinate plants for us. We might also bring earthworms and other species that help decomposition, so we can compost things like food scraps, plant fibers, and solids that settle out of the various wastewater systems. Worms would make great food for the fish, and they are excellent at breaking down fibrous materials. As you can see, the biodiversity of a sustainable life support system is immense and complex, and certainly not possible in a sterile space station. Sure, you could grow only certain plants and feed them with chemical fertilizer, but this would be very difficult to make self-sufficient. Anywho, I'd love to hear other folk's thoughts on the topic, this is just what's been rattling around in my head for a few years now. I'm currently thinking about going to school for engineering and soil science, either as a double major, or minoring in soil science with an engineering major. I've seen little to no discussion of the actual mechanics of "just growing food in greenhouses" and I'm hoping I can kick off a bit of discussion on the topic. I suspect that a lot of the folks into rockets and space travel aren't really into the sustainable farming movement, and vice versa, which might be why the topic is so often dismissed as a triviality or just glossed over by enthusiastic future Martians.
  23. ISRO launched Chandrayaan 2 (chandra=moon, yaan=vehicle) aboard a GSLV- mkIII on 22nd July. Youtube link here. Unmanned Orbiter-Lander-Rover mission to Moon/Mun's South Pole. All upper stage modules should be be solar powered, Orbiter must be in a low, circular and polar orbit. Lander (Vikram) carrying the rover must land in a crater near the south pole. Rover (Pragyan) should be housed inside the lander and must have a drill and seismograph.(EDIT: surface exploration & science parts) For those wanting a challenge: As it is an ISRO mission, budget should be as low as possible! Chandrayan-2 will utilize the Oberth Effect for raising its apogee through multiple burns, to conserve fuel and thereby launch costs. Concept : Animation Video by ISRO Chandrayaan 2 Official webpage Realism mods such as RO, other aesthetic mods, mechjeb, kOS, KER, etc are allowed. Stock entries are also welcome. Take it as a challenge and try to replicate it OR simply just have some fun doing it, totally up to you guys! Feel free to post your screenshots, crafts, ideas, suggestions and comments. Enjoy!
  24. I know the Soviets designed a spacecraft to do this, but it wasn't built do to funds. But is it actually possible to afford a direct accent mission to the moon, and if it is, do you think someone will actually use this method to get to th moon and back? Personally, I don't think they will, but I wanna see what you guys have to say about it.
  25. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2182158-moons-can-have-moons-and-they-are-called-moonmoons/ We all know about moonmoons. I think the article puts it best: "moons can have moons, and they're called moonmoons." This challenge is simple. Capture an asteroid, and give a moon a moon. It doesn't matter which moon in KSP is moon'd. Entrants will be sorted by mass of the completed moon. You're welcome to stitch asteroids together, too. Bonus points for far away moons. Winners get the badge below! If you want to make a better one, please do; I'm not very good at GIMP. ENTRANTS: KingDominoIII - 884 tonnes Sky Vagrant - 415 tonnes Johnster_Space_Program - 143 tonnes SecondChance - 114 tonnes
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