problemecium

Sights of Kidonia (Jool-5 Challenge Attempt 3) - on break pending Jool arrival

Recommended Posts

SIGHTS OF KIDONIA

The tale of Kidonia, its Brave Kerbal Crew, and Their Mission to Jool

Herein is the epic tale of Kidonia, the mothership I have constructed to fulfill the Jool-5 Challenge (for those new here, the basic premise is to visit all of Jool's moons in a single mission).

My previous attempt, Julia, was never able to go to Jool before the KSP 1.0 patch came out and introduced major changes that made me have to restart the mission (notably, LV-N engines no longer consume Oxidizer). So to make up for it, I resolved to make a new ship so mighty that it would make Julia look like a sepratron by comparison.

Mission Log Slideshow (via Imgur):

 

Screenshots, captions, and other details such as ship schematics shall be added as the mission progresses.

Edited by parameciumkid
Title update

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an impressive beast. What's the purpose of the split wings amidships? Looks or do they have some special function?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 1: Construction Begins

With a mere seven days or so before the Jool transfer window occurs, the space program is finally ready to begin their first interplanetary mission, a massive voyage to Jool, the goal being to visit all five of its moons, including landing on each and deploying two permanent stations. To accomplish this, many hours have been spent between missions designing the Kidonia, the largest interplanetary mothership ever constructed both in this incarnation of the space program and in my history of playing KSP.

Kidonia is so named as a homage to "Sidonia," the titular spacecraft of the manga and anime series Knights of Sidonia (get the thread title now? xD), with which it shares some design elements and the trait of being really big.

The ship is planned to be constructed in Kerbin orbit out of two major sections and a number of smaller modules. First to be launched is the largest and most expensive, the "core section," which contains the ship's central probe core, primary fuel reserve, secondary cargo bay array, and main solar array.

rTz3bQqm.png

The core section nearly crushed the launch pad under its incredible bulk, in excess of 1100 tons, but was just barely able to lift itself clear of the launch clamps and proceed into orbit:

XCjiPtPm.png OnNjPP5m.png

Orbit was achieved with a very slim fuel margin. I had originally intended to park the core section in a 70x70km orbit and later move it to a higher 320km orbit for most of the construction, but aerodynamic issues caused by the large decorative wings and the hollow cargo bays forced me into a steeper than ideal ascent, and I decided to push my apoapsis a little higher to provide a bit of a safety buffer. I ended up cutting it pretty close, but just managed to circularize at 80km with only a few hundred units of fuel left.

P.S. Thanks to Geschosskopf for posting so soon so I could make a second post without it auto-merging with the first one ^^; To answer your question, they're mainly decorative, but do contain a bit of extra fuel and allow oddly-shaped companion ships to dock without colliding with the main hull, as will likely be illustrated later on. I also imagine them serving as some kind of heat sink.

Edited by parameciumkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the praise ^^; And if you think this is big, wait till you hear this: that's only the back half of the ship. The front section is to be launched later and the two joined in orbit.

Part Two: Cleanup Phase 1

1qZ0MGRm.png

In order to not leave orbiting debris (I get plenty of that from rescue contracts), I've launched this beast, equipped with sixteen "bolt-on parachute modules," each of which contains eight radial parachutes, with which I should be able to safely recover the spent fuel tanks and boosters from the launch of the core section earlier.

0TSPggem.png t1iOqP5m.png

In order to avoid potential infectious docking bugs (as I have experienced in the past), I'm trying as much as possible not to repeatedly dock and undock modules from the mothership, especially with Klaws; thus I detached the auxiliary fuel section from the core before proceeding with attaching the parachute modules.

As you can guess, individually attaching all sixteen parachute modules was a very long and tedious process. I didn't want to have more than eight parachutes in each module to avoid excessive strain during reentry, so in order to have the necessary quantity for a safe recovery I ended up needing a lot of these modules.

Recovery shall occur in a later installment, as the space tug used here lacks the TWR to deorbit this section in a reasonable amount of time.

Edited by parameciumkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part Three: Launching the Cargo Section

ljM7cBQm.png s5FzsWQm.png

The second part of Kidonia's main hull is the "cargo section" housing the primary cargo bay array and secondary fuel reserve. I had the debug log open due to suspicions arising from a NullReferenceException that had occurred upon trying to load this craft in the editor, which I think originated when I re-rooted it.

I forgot to take a screenshot when orbit was first achieved, but this here shows the cargo section just after making an inclination correction on its intercept course with the core section. Like the core section, this was launched in a single stage to save funds and minimize debris. To facilitate this, the cargo bays were filled with temporary fuel tanks as will be shown later, and the sheer fuel capacity resulting from this led to the cargo section practically launching itself.

Edited by parameciumkid
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the praise ^^; And if you think this is big, wait till you hear this: that's only the back half of the ship. The front section is to be launched later and the two joined in orbit.

Part Two: Cleanup Phase 1

http://i.imgur.com/1qZ0MGRm.png

In order to not leave orbiting debris (I get plenty of that from rescue contracts), I've launched this beast, equipped with sixteen "bolt-on parachute modules," each of which contains eight radial parachutes, with which I should be able to safely recover the spent fuel tanks and boosters from the launch of the core section earlier.

http://i.imgur.com/0TSPggem.png http://i.imgur.com/t1iOqP5m.png

In order to avoid potential infectious docking bugs (as I have experienced in the past), I'm trying as much as possible not to repeatedly dock and undock modules from the mothership, especially with Klaws; thus I detached the auxiliary fuel section from the core before proceeding with attaching the parachute modules.

As you can guess, individually attaching all sixteen parachute modules was a very long and tedious process. I didn't want to have more than eight parachutes in each module to avoid excessive strain during reentry, so in order to have the necessary quantity for a safe recovery I ended up needing a lot of these modules.

Recovery shall occur in a later installment, as the space tug used here lacks the TWR to deorbit this section in a reasonable amount of time.

Problem: It has been said in part descriptions that kerbals can die of shock. We are all kerbals here. You may get manslaughter convictions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part Four: Joining the Cargo and Core Sections

Today the Cargo Section and Core Section were joined in orbit. I'd originally planned to do this a bit later, but I realized there wasn't much reason to wait when I already had them so close to a rendezvous.

ikLEnfim.png ypZTboZm.png

This ended up being a somewhat more frustrating process than expected, and not only because I had to do it sans RCS. I've multi-docked large components before, but this time, despite my very careful alignment, the sections kept joining all but two pairs of ports, making me have to detach and re-dock them several times before everything attached properly.

Also visible in the first image is the inner workings of the docking port array used to connect the sections together. It uses a total of seven Jumbo docking ports in order to provide a solid backbone for the mothership.

XstWK9Nl.png

After a few tries the ship was finally assembled. Shown here are the cargo bays, which as mentioned above had been filled with fuel tanks for use during the launch. They are attached via docking ports so that they can be removed later and replaced with the real cargo.

Edited by parameciumkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a really nice looking ship!

Where will you put the lander(s), in the cargo bays?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worry not, I expect to encounter plenty of Lovecraftian monsters on the way. ;)

And yes, the landers go in the cargo bays. I'm presently working on a diagram showing how everything fits together, plus you'll see when I get around to launching them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the look of those decorative fins! Looking forward to seeing this one unfold - good luck with the challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part Five: Bug Attack!

Today was focused on cleaning up orbiting debris left from Kidonia's launch configurations, but that was made difficult by a rather odd new bug:

sUftqCql.png

21000K is already hotter than the surface of the Sun, so something's definitely amiss here. In the end I lost a lot of debris and was unable to recover the funds for which I'd hoped, but fortunately the ship itself was spared and happily floated along at a brisk 280K or thereabouts.

Next on the to-do list is fueling up this monster, an endeavor I'm worried might take more time than I have on hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part Six: Cleanup, Cleanup, and More Cleanup

NGdy7AKm.png f82fIR5m.png

First on the schedule for today was continuing the process of cleaning up the spent boosters from the initial launch. Each of these was supplied with a bolt-on parachute module and then deorbited using its own leftover fuel. Thanks to their terrible aerodynamics (akin to throwing a paper plane sideways), re-entry was spinny but relatively peaceful as far as heating went. As seen here, each booster had little trouble surviving and landed unharmed.

yJqVA2Zm.png IpzuwzUm.png

Next the time came to attach the fuel tankers I had sent en route earlier. So far these are the biggest tankers I've been able to launch in this version of KSP, so unless I devise a larger one (and a way to afford launching it), it's going to take many fueling missions before Kidonia is filled up and ready to go. Hopefully I still have time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part Seven: Math

According to some back-of-envelope calculations, I'm either going to have to make roughly 25 runs with the existing fuel tanker or invent a significantly larger one. Thus for obvious reasons I'm not going to pollute this album with documentation of every single one of those repetitive missions.

The typical profile for the missions so far (currently five have been completed and five more are in progress) is simple: the launch vehicle brings the tanker to orbit; the tanker separates and sets a rendezvous course with Kidonia; then, while the tanker is en route, the launch vehicle returns to Kerbin and is recovered. While the launch configuration costs nearly 200,000 funds, with a recovery near KSC the net mission cost is closer to 7,000 for each run - essentially just the fuel costs (disclaimer: my math may be wrong). 25 such missions should end up costing a total of around 200,000 funds, just barely within my space program's current budget.

3oLO1iYl.png

Here the launch vehicle is pictured returning to Kerbin after dropping off a fuel tanker. Despite KSP 1.0.4's reentry heating buff, the drag supplied by the large empty tanks keeps the rocket going slowly enough to not burn up - just barely. The air brakes probably help too, although I haven't run a test on that specifically.

ADDENDUM

I'd originally planned to post this later, but I got too excited and couldn't wait. Without further ado:

_kidonia___a_jool_5_mothership_by_parameciumkid-d934rev.jpg

This diagram explains all the major components for the mission, including how Kidonia itself is constructed. Assuming everything goes to plan, this is how the ship is going to be configured when it departs for Jool.

Edited by parameciumkid
Updated diagram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SIGHTS OF KIDONIA

The tale of Kidonia, its Brave Kerbal Crew, and Their Mission to Jool

Herein is the epic tale of Kidonia, the mothership I have constructed to fulfill the Jool-5 Challenge (for those new here, the basic premise is to visit all of Jool's moons in a single mission).

My previous attempt, Julia, was never able to go to Jool before the KSP 1.0 patch came out and introduced major changes that made me have to restart the mission (notably, LV-N engines no longer consume Oxidizer). So to make up for it, I resolved to make a new ship so mighty that it would make Julia look like a sepratron by comparison.

Mission Log Slideshow (via Imgur):

http://imgur.com/a/VsINP

Screenshots, captions, and other details such as ship schematics shall be added as the mission progresses.

That. Is. Awesome. I have one (tiny) thing to add, though. Mk3 storable SSTOs can be made to look a bit better:

sUak2Z4.png

I'm mighty interested in the Tylo lander, tough. Closeup/blueprint/file?

Rune. Slow clap, good sir, slow clap.

Edited by Rune

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This diagram explains all the major components for the mission, including how Kidonia itself is constructed. Assuming everything goes to plan, this is how the ship is going to be configured when it departs for Jool.

Thanks for that. It really answers a lot of questions I had and is also quite cool in its own right. I'm tempted to print it off as a poster :). How did you make such a professional-looking diagram? Are you, by chance, a professional? :).

The poster did show me something I'm a bit worried about, though--a reliance on solar panels. In case you didn't know, a Gigantor at Jool only produces about 0.9 EC/sec with 100% exposure and the smaller panels hardly register as working at all. The mothership obviously needs a lot of juice for all its reaction wheels and appears to have a lot of battery capacity for that, but I'm worried the main solar array won't be enough to recharge it between maneuvers, several of which have to happen in fairly rapid succession when the ship is capturing upon arrival. Also, the ion probes seem to rely exclusively on OX-STATs, which are essentially worthless at Jool. To run ion engines out there, you really need fuel cells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rune: That does indeed look better, but as far as I can tell from the picture it involves a lot of clipping and lacks any Science equipment. I'm currently working on a stowable SSTO, but the rules for the "official" challenge forbid all but the most subtle of clipping, and there isn't actually cargo space for the plane anyway (it's just going to stick on the side).

And here's some better pictures of the Tylo lander:

CP78Y2d.png eJZyaKEm.png f93Ky6xm.png

It is in fact able to land on and return to orbit from Tylo, just barely, and manages to cram just barely enough fuel aboard without any abusive part clipping; as is normal in KSP, the walls of the tanks do intersect a small amount, and admittedly the lower tanks do go straight through the engine mount, but at least in my book this is okay because the "functional" parts of the engine, i.e. the engine bell and the little ball thingy, are unobstructed and thus "in real life" it basically just means they did a bit of drilling and sawing to reconfigure the outer supporting structure. Honestly the Poodle is kind of a 1.25m-class engine with a 2.5m profile.

@Geschosskopf: True on all counts. Unfortunately the Jool transfer window is pretty much here already and I still haven't unlocked RTGs. I'd use fuel cells, but their nature of consuming my precious rocket fuel deters me from them (in fact I've never used one even once). Using HyperEdit, I have run some tests verifying that while the solar panels perform poorly, the stackable ion probe is able to power and (slowly) recharge itself, and the Ore Bot is unable to run its drills continuously at full power but can still gradually mine ore over time. And no, I'm not technically a professional but that's just because I'm still in school. ;)

P.S. A big thanks to everyone who gave me rep over the last day since I posted the diagram! I have now reached the esteemed level of THREE light green rep blobs ^^

Edited by parameciumkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm currently working on a stowable SSTO, but the rules for the "official" challenge forbid all but the most subtle of clipping, and there isn't actually cargo space for the plane anyway (it's just going to stick on the side).

Here's a stowable concept I was working on in v90, the 'Korigame' folding plane. Maybe something like this can work for you?

Javascript is disabled. View full album

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks neat, but does it use Infernal Robotics or some such? Currently I'm trying to make this a stock-only mission as far as parts are concerned (though I may include the SQUAD add-ons).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@Geschosskopf: True on all counts. Unfortunately the Jool transfer window is pretty much here already and I still haven't unlocked RTGs. I'd use fuel cells, but their nature of consuming my precious rocket fuel deters me from them (in fact I've never used one even once). Using HyperEdit, I have run some tests verifying that while the solar panels perform poorly, the stackable ion probe is able to power and (slowly) recharge itself, and the Ore Bot is unable to run its drills continuously at full power but can still gradually mine ore over time. And no, I'm not technically a professional but that's just because I'm still in school. ;)

You really should try fuel cells. I also was a bit scared of their LFO consumption but after playing wth them a bit, I've fallen in love with the things. Their fuel consumption is so small as to be unnoticeable. Seriously, they just sip fuel and unless you're using them to power a rover or something, you don't need them on all the time anyway, just for when you need a quick battery recharge. I find them even less parasitic than Vernor engines :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.