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Ever since I finished writing the mission report of my ludicrously overbuilt Tylo circumnavigation mission a while back, which*checks calendar*.. was ten months ago now, I've wanted to write another mission report of similar style, but never really had an idea that stuck on what such a thread should be about. Then, a couple of months ago, I downloaded the Whirligig World planet pack just to try something new, and ended up absolutely loving it, doing an entire career save and whatnot. After I'd progressed through most, if not all, of the tech tree and visited numerous planets and moons within the mod, it came to me. I should do a grand tour of the Whirligig World planet pack, which, at least to my knowledge, is something that nobody has done before (or at least posted about on here before). So, after yet a few more months of procrastination and getting caught up in other things like a full-time job, here I am. Welcome to... by Jack Joseph Kerman PART 1: DESIGN AND PRE-MISSION TOMFOOLERY Before I get into the design of the craft I'll be using (can you possibly guess what its name is?), let alone the actual mission, I'd first just like to give a brief overview of the Whirligig World mod and the system(s) I'll be attempting to conquer in one go. So, for those of you that aren't aware, Whirligig World is a Kopernicus planet pack created by @GregroxMun that radically changes the home system and how one goes about playing the game. Instead of starting out on Kerbin or any old habitable planet, you start the game on Mesbin, a massive, airless world that has an absurdly high rotation rate, which gives it its highly oblate shape, and gravity ranging from "feeling like you had a few too many snacks" at the equator (1.3 Gees) to "your spine will discombobulate into woodchips" at the poles (13 Gees). Luckily for our Kerbals, they are situated near the equator, and it is from here that your spacecraft are launched from. Getting into orbit around Mesbin is actually quite easy thanks to the fact that it rotates almost as fast as its orbital velocity, but because there's *almost* no atmosphere, landing again is pretty much like landing on Tylo in stock KSP. I don't want to spoil too much about this mod right away, and the mod even has a little bit of lore to go with it, so be sure to check out the mod's forum page if you're interested. In general, the system's arrangement makes the game considerably harder, and that's why I think of a grand tour as a worthy challenge. Speaking of challenge, let's talk about the unique challenges imposed by some of the places I'll be visiting in this mission, and how I hopefully managed to work around them in designing the Kilonova. The Kilonova III (Kilonova III prototype in orbit of Mesbin during a "simulation" test AKA cheat menu orbit setting). I present to you the Kilonova III, my craft of choice for conducting this mission. As its name suggests, it is not the first iteration of such a vessel, with the first two having been scrapped for more or less the same reason: too many parts. While the current version has around 450 parts, raised to 650 or so with all three landers docked, the original two models had a partcount approaching 1,000 (in the Kilonova I's case, without any landers), which, while they could have been used for the mission, would have been like trying to run a marathon with sandbags tied to your legs. Sure, you could probably do it, given enough time, but does that seem worth it in any way? Not really. The strain they put on my crappy laptop was just too much to justify using them, because I'd rather not do an entire mission at 5-10 frames a second. Kilonova I, more or less created just for fun and maybe a crazy Jool-5 mission: Kilonova II: The first major design element that I had to incorporate was simply giving the Kilonova a high amount of delta-V, around 7,000 meters per second at a minimum to be sufficient for some of the more outlandish transfers that I'll surely be having to make. That's kind of a no-brainer, however, as pretty much any interplanetary cruiser type-ship is to be decked out with loads of delta-V. Now, you may have heard me say that this thing has three landers earlier. That's actually not true, there are seven landers in total, but two of them were counted in the ship's "unloaded" part count simply due to how small and light they are compared to the other three, and the two remaining landers are not going to be attached to the Kilonova itself, but rather shipped to the destination in advance. Confused? Me too, let's walk through them one by one. Lander 1: The Workhorse Here is the lander that I will be using for the vast majority of the landings over the course of this mission (minus the docking ports, they were part of a configurable variant of the lander that I've since scrapped). It has over 3,600 meters per second of delta-V, which should be enough to land on and return from most of the planets and moons in this mod. The parachute at the top can also be removed or attached by an engineer Kerbal, depending on whether or not the Workhorse needs to land on a body with an atmosphere. Lander 2: Tartarus Imterril Lander This lander is the lander that I will be using to land on and return from Imterril. Instead of a fully powered ascent, it covers the first 70 kilometers or so of ascent using propellers, as Imterril's atmosphere is so thick at sea level (15 atmospheres) that most rocket engines simply wouldn't work at all. In addition, because Imterril is completely covered by water, it needs a flotation system in order to stay upright. You may recognize it from a forum post of mine from a few months ago in the thread "What did you do in KSP today?" in which I talked about my mission to Imterril. Its design is more or less unchanged from its previous use during that mission (the only notable difference being that there is no submersible this time), in which it proved highly reliable. Lander 3: Kerbmun/Gannovar SSTO Lander Quite a bit different from the other landers we've seen so far, this lander is a small SSTO spaceplane that will be used to land on Mesbin's habitable moon Kerbmun and the distant planet Gannovar, both of which have oxygenated atmospheres. It's pretty much identical to a basic Kerbin SSTO in a functional sense. Landers 4 & 5: Brute 1 & Brute 2 (Brute 1 during a simulation test taking off from Valyr) These two landers are the largest and most powerful of the bunch, both weighing in at over 100 tons. They are the landers that will be shipped to their respective destinations (Valyr and Derbin, which are both harder to escape from than Eve in stock KSP) in advance in order to save weight. Fully fueled, they have around 8,000 meters per second of delta-V, and performed exceptionally well in testing. Let's see if that holds up in practice. Landers 6 & 7: DV-30000 "Hermes" 1 & 2 (Hermes 1 in side cargo bay) Finally, we have the two small ion landers, which, as the name "DV-30000" would suggest, each have around 30,000 meters per second of delta-V to reach the most difficult/far-flung places in the whole mod (Ammenon, 2 Wolda, & Fophie). They may also be used to visit some of the smaller moons too, if I don't feel like bringing out the Workhorse. OTHER NOTABLE FEATURES: Another notable feature of the Kilonova III is its ability to latch onto asteroids and mine them for fuel, which will likely be necessary in situations where I don't have enough delta-V to reach a small moon somewhere for refueling. The asteroid capture arm consists of four Advanced Grabbing Units mounted on a large piston. In addition to the asteroid mining, another notable (and somewhat questionable) choice I made was to use landing gear instead of landing legs for the ship to rest on when landed. This wasn't really a practical choice so much as it was a cosmetic one; the two fuel tank rings would make using landing legs impractical, so I just went for large landing gears instead. Part 2 Launching Soon.. TABLE OF CONTENTS 2. The Launch of Kilonova III 2.1 Do-Over 2.2 Statmun & Thresomin Exploration 3. Conuqering the Moons of Mesbin (except Kerbmun) 3.1 The Derminmus Debacle & Going Interplanetary 4. Visiting Valyr 4.1 GO HANG A SALAMI, I'M A LASAGNA HOG! (Moons of Valyr) 5. Turning up the Thermostat (Tyepolbynar) 6. Triple-Whammy (Wers, Egad, Rik) 7. Meandering Around Reander 8. The Scorch Trials (Shol & Wolda)
I blame all this on Jool-5 This is a simple mission report for the Ultimate Challenge Thread (because my last attempt ran out of fuel), and this marks the 2nd time I do a full Grand Tour in succession, and my 3rd Jool-5 because I can't seem to stay away. All of this started because I saw the Jool-5 thread, and skipped my actual Jool-5 run on my Career Save, and started a new mission. It was accepted for the Jool-5 thread, but not the other one. This run seeks to fix that. And just to up the scales, since my last one use ISRU and yet ran out of fuel around Moho, this one doesn't require any refuelling at all. Let's begin, shall we? Mods: MechJeb, BetterTimeWarp, TAC Fuel Balancer, Precise Node, Kerbal Engineer Redux, Kerbal Alarm Clock, Transfer Window Planner, EVE, Spectra Visual Compilation, Planetshine Part 1: 'A journey of a thousand stars begins with a single launch' One day, the KSP administration decides to send Derton Kerman on a Kerbol Grand Tour because ... reasons! So they work quickly and finish all their testing and building in 90 minutes (yay) Here are the ships being used in the mission. Albatross Mk2 - The second iteration of the Albatross design, it is an Ion tug designed to haul my other lander just about anywhere. It has limited battery charge for it generally uses the other lander's charge, but its okay. The chute you see the Laythe Module, a small part with a Chute and Docking port only to land on Atmo planets. Hummingbird Mk3 - The 3rd version of the Hummingbird lander, its an all purpose Ion Lander, designed to land just about anywhere from Vall and smaller. This results in a pretty heavy ion lander, but it can land on Vall and Moho, so I ain't complaining. The LEVE-Mk5 - This took me a while to make and while this isn't perfect, this should LEave eVE no problem. It's atleast lighter than my average Eve lander... Staraptor Mk6 - This was the hardest to make and test, and it suffered a major design change at Mk4, in order to optimize the weight of the craft. Its only designed to land and take off from 3 bodies - Duna, Tylo and Laythe. It combines with the Laythe module to land on Laythe. A major problem with the craft is that it suffers from serious yaw instability, especially at low fuel levels and high speeds - I was unable to fix this, but it is still able to land and take off, so no harm no foul? The Regulus Alpha Mk5 - A Mothership, which took 5 tries to optimized so that it carried less fuel but nicely packs in every ship I need to. It has large Xenon reserves, as well as a calculated amount of LF, which should be enough to finish the Grand Tour, but not necessarily get back... Here's a launcher I strapped together. Its quite smaller than I expected it to be. Final mass: 776 tons Derton, you have been selected as the lucky pilot of this mission! Yay! The ship on the Launchpad. And off we go!