adsii1970

Kerny Kerman's Journal (mission reports from a Kerbal's point of view) [Chapter 71: "Not only is it something, but it isn't our something!"]

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3 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

@adsii1970 New Excursion looks to be an understatement! :)

Let me tell you, I have redesigned it four times since the last time I shared an image of her. About the only thing of the original that's left is the spine down the center, aft of the crew area. Yeah, there are a few M.O.L.E. parts still in that part of the ship, but it was supposed to be a refit. And there's a reason I didn't share a close-up shot. :D

Remind you, Dr. Angelo and his crew have done this entire refit in a short span - but there's still a lot of her that's not technically ready for space flight! The outside of the ship is done, and most all the major systems are in place... And I think that will be fun to explore the dynamics of how these impact the mission Kerny and his crew are on! 

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I can just imagine Dr. Angelo looking like the flash running around the Excursion and refitting it.

"Remind you, Dr. Angelo and his crew have done this entire refit in a short span"

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Is Kerny going to be upset when he finds out just how much was actually changed on his ship?

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2 hours ago, Thedrelle said:

Is Kerny going to be upset when he finds out just how much was actually changed on his ship?

Hehehe, imagine how you will feel - discovering your ship has been basically redesigned... :D

I've got about 2/3 of the images I need for the next chapter. I'm hoping to get the rest of them this week... So, new chapter is coming soon.TM

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STORY DEVELOPMENTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTS!!!!!!

How much dV does the Excursion have? Does it still have Vector engines??

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On 8/14/2018 at 12:40 PM, adsii1970 said:

So, new chapter is coming soon.TM

I'm worried about that ™ sign...

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1 hour ago, TeslaPenguin1 said:

I'm worried about that ™ sign...

It is an old forum joke... :D  Believe it or not, I have almost all the images done. There are a few more I need to get. I will probably be ready to write the next chapter this week. But in the meantime, here's another teaser image:

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Hmmm, what could Gene and Kerny be discussing on the tarmac?

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10 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

STORY DEVELOPMENTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTS!!!!!!

How much dV does the Excursion have? Does it still have Vector engines??

I'm sorry, @RealKerbal3x! I just noticed your questions about:

(According to KERdV: 3/1759 m/s

And yes, Vectors are the way to go. 

But im not sure KER is correct. Something about how it calculates based on the root part AND staging comes into play. I know from my playground save, the ship really moves at full throttle.

 

Edited by adsii1970
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4 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

IHmmm, what could Gene and Kerny be discussing on the tarmac?

"What the hell did he do to my ship?!" :)

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4 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

Hmmm, what could Gene and Kerny be discussing on the tarmac?

"Alright, Gene, I have a few serious questions for you. Who changed my ship, when did they change it, and why would anyone even think of doing such a thing?"

After thinking for a moment, Gene said, 

"You'll find out." 

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1 hour ago, Angel-125 said:

"What the hell did he do to my ship?!" :)

 

 

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Great news for those of you awaiting the next chapter...

I've uploaded 145 images to Imgur. Yeah, I don't think I'll have a shortage of images to choose from. But just so you know, each chapter has it's own Imgur album. And within that album are screen shots that I took for the chapter, but didn't necessarily use in it. :)

I'm hoping to have the new chapter finished by the end of the week. So, hang in there!

And here's another teaser image for you:

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I had to tweak this small passenger plane a bit this morning. The Sparrow is loosely based on the Eclipse 500, a small passenger jet. After tweaking wheel friction, this thing can literally land itself quite smoothly once the air speed drops to about 36 m/s. By the time the main gear touched down, the air speed was around 24 m/s. Probably one of the easiest passenger aircraft to land I've made in KSP. It can easily take off and land from any of Kerbin's airfield runways.

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Moho 20, Y003 (Supplemental)
"Dauntless, we are at T-10... 9...8...7...
"
Chapter 65

Maxbas and Lieutenant Agay flew the sea goose as fast as the air frame would handle. The whine from the turboprops with an occasional moan or pop from the air frame of the craft. We were about an hour out from the KSC - and I was in a light sleep - when Agay turned up the radio volume and Maxbas called out to me.

"Kerny, wake up!" she called out. "Bobak sent a flash message for us to change frequencies to HF 14. He said you might want to listen in...

And over the speakers of the small communications panel, barely audible over the noise in the passenger cabin, I understood why Bobak wanted us to listen. While we were still an hour from the space center, the rest of my crew were preparing to launch and rendezvous with the Excursion.

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"Mission Control," the voice said. "Tsoolik is reporting all flight systems nominal. We have a green board."

*beep* "Roger that," said the familiar voice of Bobak. "We are now at T minus 20 seconds and holding. We concur, board is green. Fido, are you go for launch?"

*beep* "Roger. Fido is go for launch."

"Tracking," Bobak called out. This was his first mission as flight director. "Are you go for launch?" *beep*

*Tracking is go for launch," Kuzzter called out.

*Resume countdown, T minus 20 seconds and counting..."

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"Five... four... three... main engine ignition... one!" said an unfamiliar female Kerman voice. And with that, we could hear the cheers of mission control as the Tsoolik took her first actual mission flight into space. The shuttle had been in flight testing for over a year while Dr. Wernher and Dr. Angelo worked out the problems which made the shuttle program so difficult. Normally the shuttle only held a crew of four. But Dr. Angelo decided to use the new evacuation pods for the Orbital Station Zebulan Kerman to ferry the crew in the shuttle's cargo bay.

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"Mission Control, this is Tsoolik. All systems are normal. Our indicators are showing we are on course and the craft is performing within design parameters." *beep* Maxbas told us that voice was Lieutenant Commander Keralla. She graduated from the Kerbalnaut program a year before I did but had to take some time off to recover from a bad accident while flying her Knat through the Kaskadia Mountains. I think I remember hearing of her crash as I was entering my specialty field training program.

"Roger that," replied Kuzzter. "We are showing the same thing here." *beep*

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Even as this shuttle was taken to the launchpad this morning before Kerbolrise, Dr. Wernher and his engineering team began the work preparing the next shuttle of the fleet for it's maiden flight. Unlike the Tsoolik which had five test-flight missions completed, the shuttle I would be flying on has never been tested.

"Prepare for SRB separation in 10 seconds."

"Roger, mission control. We are showing computer assist in SRB separation in five... four... three... two... one..."

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Watching hours of the video feed of the test flights of the various shuttle designs, I knew what would happen next. With the SRBs jettisoned, the shuttle would go to full throttle, using the orbital assist booster at the bottom of the external fuel tank. I've heard from some of the other pilots that the orbital assist booster kicks harder than the second stage rocket engine of the HKO launch system. Once the orbital assist booster and the shuttle's main engines would achieve the orbit desired, the external fuel tank would be jettisoned once the monopropellant and the liquid fuel mixture tanks on the shuttle had been topped off.

"KSC, this is Tsoolik" the voice of Keralla could barely be herd over the noise in our sea goose's passenger compartment. *beep* "We are go for ET separation."

"Roger, Tsoolik" Kuzzter replied. "FD says you are go for ET separation. Once ET is clear, Dr. Wernher says to open the cargo bay doors." *beep*

"Roger, KSC. Tank is clear and we are opening the doors."

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"Captain Kerny," this time it was Bobak's voice over the radio. "Gene wants to know how far you are out from the center."

Before I could answer, Lieutenant Agay responded. "Sir, we are about ten minutes or so from the Island Air Field."

"Good. Let the captain know Gene is waiting for him as soon as you land."

Before she - or I - could even respond, Bobak's attention was redirected to the activities happening over our heads.

 

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This shuttle mission had been planned so precisely that within one orbit - roughly ten to twelve minutes, the Tsoolik would begin both rendezvous and docking maneuvers. We continued to listen to the status updates being called out by the crew of the shuttle and confirmation by the ground crew.

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"Tsoolik, this is Mission Control," Bobak's voice called out. *beep* "We're transferring control to Flight Ops, Excursion. Excursion, do you copy?"

"Mission Control, this is Excursion Flight Ops," I immediately recognized Karloff's voice. "We have them on long range. Tsoolik, you should be receiving our homing signal now." This time there was no beep. Unlike the older and nearly out of date communications system at the space center, I understand Dr. Angelo has completely redesigned the communications system of the Excursion.

"Excursion, this is Tsoolik," this time it was another Kerman's voice, a male voice. "We're locked onto your signal. Permission to begin rendezvous and docking maneuvers."

"Permission granted," Karloff's excitement could be heard in his voice. It's about time you guys brought the kids home!"

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"Captain," this voice I knew well. It was Lieutenant Agay, the newest member of my crew. "What kind of view do you think they have in the can?"

Before I could answer, Maxbas decided she wanted to answer. "Lieutenant, the "can" is designed to be a station evacuation pod for the orbital platforms. It holds ten Kermen and a pilot and is built for emergency evacuations. It also fits pretty snugly in the shuttle's cargo hold --"

"And it isn't designed for comfort or aesthetics." Yeah, I interrupted her. A few days ago, I was in the VAB with Dr. Wernher when they were testing the fit of the evacuation pods into the shuttle's cargo bay. Although the pod is built to survive reentry --"

"The design parameters required it must fit easily into the cargo hold of the shuttle --" I keep forgetting that Maxbas has seen all the information on the newer space program designs. Her position as the second Senior Console of the Triune Committee did have it's privileges. But her interrupting me is a serious annoyance. Once again, she was in control of the conversation. "so that in the event of a major accident, the shuttles can act to ferry the evacuated crews back to the KSC or can reenter the atmosphere of Kerbin on their own. It was an idea that Dr. Edmund had --"

As she continued to explain how the shuttle could allow the pods to be reusable, I decided to focus on the discussion between the Tsoolik and the Excursion.

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"Excursion, this is Tsoolik," the male Kerman's voice called out. "Our navcom is showing a distance of 74.5 meters. Can you confirm?"

"Roger, Tsoolik." Karloff's voice called back over the audio communications panel. At mark, your distance will be 61 meters. Three... two...  one... mark!"

For now, I can only imagine what my crew is doing - Karloff on the Excurssion and those on the Tsoolik. Soon, I'll be on a shuttle performing these exact same maneuvers. The conversation between the Excursion and the shuttle continued.

"Your distance is now 12 meters and closing," Karloff said, "you are go for final docking approach."

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"Tsoolik, our indicators are showing hard dock."

Over the reply of the shuttle's crew, the magnetic locks could be heard sealing the shuttle's docking port to the Excursion. "We confirm, Excursion.Hard dock is acquired. Airlocks are sealed," this time, it was Commander Keralla's voice. "Mission Control, this is Tsoolik, signing off until our trip to the Zebulan."

"Roger, Tsoolik. This is Mission Control. Over and out."

And just like that, both audio transmissions ended. For the next hour, my crew would begin the process of moving their gear from the shuttle to their quarters on the Excursion. And once that was finished, they would begin the process of learning the new systems put into place over the last two weeks. Although I wanted to be with my crew and wish Gene and Dr. Haywood would have waited until I was there to launch with them, Gene made the decision they would launch first. All I know is there's a command briefing when I return to the space center.

"Sea Goose One," the voice said over the audio channel. "This is Island Air Field Control. We're relaying a message for General Gene."

"Roger, Control," Agay responded. "we're standing by."

"The General says for the captain to transport the cargo directly to the VAB. Island Air Field Control out."

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Within moments, we were over the Island Air Field. For the remainder of the flight I wondered what my crew was discovering about Dr. Angelo's refits. I was also thinking about the basics I knew about this mission. Agay and Maxbas banked the sea goose hard to starboard and gently rolled the craft back to center.

"Sea Goose One, this is KSC Tracking. Remain on current heading."

"Roger, KSC." Agay and the control tower continued communications as we approached the space center. There were adjustments to our heading, altitude, and speed. Within a few minutes we were back on the runway and taxing to the side entrance of the VAB. Gene's instructions were very clear. Agay and Maxbas were to be taken as close to the VAB as possible. From there, they'd board the evacuation pod already attached within the cargo bay of the Dauntless.

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As Agay and Maxbas made their way into the VAB, one of Dr. Wernher's engineers said that Gene already had ordered a Dart for his and my ride to the Island Air Field. I had thought our briefing was going to be held here, but apparently I was wrong. I left the VAB and headed out to the Dart we taxied past on our way to the VAB. As I approached the Dart I noticed Gene was waiting for me.

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"Captain," he began. "It's good to see you back. But we've got to hurry."

"Gene, I thought --"

"No, Dr. Zarkov doesn't want to leave the Island Air Field for some reason," he began. "I've spend most of the before Kerbolrise hours at New Kerbin City. I've only been back here long enough to refuel the Dart and to make sure the Tsoolik docked with your ship."

We both boarded the Dart. I wasn't too sure what the briefing was going to be over. The mission, for the most part, seemed to be pretty straight forward. Go get the crew of the Discovery IV. What more could there be?

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"Kerny," Gene began as we taxied to the runway." There's a lot more to this mission than you're aware of. The Prime Consul is really pushing to shut down the space program. This morning, she and Rayven went through every possible scenario of how the rescue could be performed - and if it should be performed. Had it not been for Dr. Haywood's insistence that we could do this, I believe both of them would be content to write off the Discovery's crew."

"I can imagine, Gene." It was hard to believe the space program was to be sacrificed by the Prime Consul in favor of surface settlements. Even now, I still remember the insistence of Dr. Edmund that both programs could be done at the same time. Kerbin had the resources and the volunteers for both projects. And Dr. Edmund was convinced the technology gained by one program could help determine the success of the other. 

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Within moments, I was back in the air for the second time today. But unlike the Sea Goose, the Dart's interior was quiet. Where the Sea Goose was designed to work in conjunction with the Kerbin Navy and the other branches of the Kerbin Defense Forces, the Dart was designed for comfort and distance. The Sea Goose was a three-year old design which had undergone very little change since its introduction. The Dart had already been updated three times during the same time. Only the older versions now had the triple tail design.

"There's something else you need to know, Kerny," Gene continued. They've recovered some of Dr. Edmund's plane."

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And with those words, Gene described the recovery efforts for the wrecked plane were well underway. The Emiko had been given permission to recover the small pieces of floating debris. So far, as of this morning, a wingtip from the starboard wing and the starboard engine had been recovered. The main cockpit and passenger cabin were going to be a bit more difficult since they sank to the bottom nearly upon impact. For the crew of the Emiko, the loss of Dr. Edmund had become all too real - and the sight of the wreckage of his plane in the cargo hold was more than many of her crew could handle.

Gene's attention turned towards the crew of the Discovery IV. The last communication from the crew was over an hour old - about the time docking procedures between the shuttle and the Excursion began. Commander Orvin had reduced the consumables intake to 2/3 rations. This would still keep the energy levels of he and his crew up and extend the ration supply from ten days to fifteen days. Now our operational window had gotten a bit bigger. The Discovery IV's batteries and solar panels were performing within specifications. The ship had plenty of power.

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"But Dr. Zarkov will fill you in on the rest," Gene added.

The Dart began a series of tight turns as we began our final approach to the Island Air field runway. Since the runway of the air field is significantly shorter than that of the space center, the pilot deployed the brakes and reversed the engines as soon as the main gear touched the runway.

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As we taxied around the old abandoned hangar, Gene pointed out Dr. Zarkov, waiting patiently near the complex. "He's been waiting for our arrival since the tower notified him your Sea Goose had entered into the Island Air Field tracking zone."

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"You know, he's also a member of Section 31," Gene added. "There are some rumors he is the one who actually recruited Dr. Edmund -- "

"I thought Dr. Edmund created Section 31 --" I interrupted. There is still so much I don't understand about Section 31.

"No," Gene began, with a chuckle. "Dr. Edmund was old, but he wasn't that old. Section 31 has been around for a few hundred years."

Shortly after the Dart came to a stop, the door opened. I couldn't believe the difference in environment between the space center and the Island Air Field. Unlike the space center, the Island Air Field had a higher standard since the Kerbalnaut training program had been moved to the island. Major Obney, since being named the commandant, had a set of IAF General Regulations - and the Triune Committee agreed with his recommendations. It was a surprise to see the plane's command crew standing in line like new recruits. But then again, Major Obney demanded that all personnel on the island follow KDF protocol.

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"Ah, Kerny and Gene," Dr. Zarkov began, in his thick Northern Plateau accent. "I've been waiting for you both. We need to go to my conference room."

"Dr. Zarkov, -- "

"You lead the way, Doctor!" Gene interrupted before I had a chance to finish. The two Kermen disappeared into the classroom, shutting the door behind them.

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By the time I made my way to the conference room, Gene and Dr. Zarkov were already seated.

"Ah, Kerny," Dr. Zarkov began. "I'm glad you weren't too far behind us. We've got to hurry. The launch window is pretty small and we don't have much time."

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"By Dr. Zarkov's calculations on data provided by Kuzzter," Gene began, ?the current trajectory of the Discovery IV will take it out of Kerbin's sphere of influence in another eight days, give or take -- "

"He's right. As I told Kern on the flight over, Orvin has found a way to extend the consumable rations a few extra days -- "

"Yes, Gene. I know. But we still don't want to risk a rendezvous outside of Kerbin's sphere of influence -- "

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"Ideally, no." Gene interrupted. "But if -- "

"Yes, Gene." Dr. Zarkov began. "I know. We've plotted a 'what-if' scenario. He'd be able to do a series of burns and reenter Kerbin's sphere of influence in another 45 days after rendezvous. But with Prime Consul Katrine's -- "

"Wait!" but before I could finish...

"Yes, I know all about her, Doctor. But I refuse -- "

"Um, what about -- " So much for getting my question answered.

"Refuse to do what? Let her -- "

"To let her dictate what is the appropriate limits to our space program and this rescue mission!" And with Gene's outburst, Dr. Zarkov seemed to take delight in Gene's spirit of rebellion against the Prime Consul.

"Now that we have that established, Kerny, there is a backup plan for this mission..." And with that, Dr. Zarkov began explaining orbital physics and, in the event we had to leave Kerbin's sphere of influence, we could navigate back to Kerbin's orbit. But until the ship was in space and underway, it would be hard to determine the exact window we would have to return to Kerbin. "It could be as little as 30 to 45 days to before your trajectory would bring you in the ideal window to return to Kerbin's sphere of influence."

"Doctor, Kerny's going to have to leave now, the window is getting close." Gene said as a reminder to Dr. Zarkov how small of a launch window this mission actually had. In the process of his orbital physics lecture, he explained that the shuttle would launch at a precise time to assure that from launch to docking would be under ten minutes. And Gene's reminder was every minute counted. Once the meeting was over, I was told that the Sparrow assigned to the Island Air Field would ferry me back to the space center. Gene and Dr. Zarkov would soon be on their way to New Kerbin City for a meeting with Dr. Haywood.

+++

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"Captain," the voice over the craft's intercom said. "I'm Lieutenant Cerya. I was ordered to forego certain protocols to get you to the space center as soon as possible."

"I can imagine," I began. Before I could complete my response, I could feel the increased vibrations of the Sparrow's engines under full throttle."

"Hang on!" the female Kerman's voice came out over the intercom. And with that, she released the brakes and off we went!

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Where the Dart had been constructed for comfort and extended travel, the Sparrow had an entirely different purpose. It was designed to be a small plane capable of taking two passengers within a short distance fairly quickly. Instead of using the entire runway, Cerya pulled the stick back as soon as she reached the optimum speed for the Sparrow. Within moments, we were over the sea and heading towards the space center runway.

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After a few tight turns and steep banks, we were over the runway. Lieutenant Cerya handled the craft with expert skills - I was barely aware of when the main gear made contact with the runway's surface. By the time the passenger compartment door was opened, she was already standing at the foot of it, just as required by the general regulations of the Island Air Field.

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+++

Within about ten minutes after landing at the space center, I was aboard my 4th craft of the day - the STS Dauntless. Knowing that Lieutenant Agay and Maxbas were already on board, I made my way to the VAB level near the docking port of the cargo bay.

"Captain Kerny," a voice from the command deck called out. "Your seat is up here, sir." Instead of riding in the evacuation pod, I would be on the flight deck. For a brief moment, I did think about Lieutenant Agay and Maxbas sitting in the evacuation pod now in the cargo bay. Briefly though.

I climbed into the chair right behind Commander Bartbree, the shuttle's commander and senior pilot. We sat in the craft, waiting for the engineers to move the shuttle to the launch pad and for the resuming of the mission's launch countdown.

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"Dauntless, this is Mission Control. We have been given an 'all go' from engineering. On your mark, we are go for resuming mission countdown clock." *beep*

"Roger, Mission Control," the shuttle's copilot, Lieutenant Catlin replied. "Dauntless is ready to resume countdown on my mark... five... four... three... two... one... mark!"

"Roger, Dauntless." Bobak's voice easily recognizable over the audio. "We are at T minus 5 minutes and counting." *beep* "At T minus 20 seconds the countdown will pause in accordance with launch procedures."

"Roger, Mission Control. This is Dauntless standing by." *beep*

"Well, Captain, now it's the waiting game." Bartbree added. "Captain, do you remember me?"

For a moment, I couldn't remember. The name sounded familiar... but still...

"A-ha!" Catlin quickly fired back. "I told you he wouldn't -- "

"Wait! -- " Now I did remember! "Yes, we were in the same pilot training program -- "

"I told you I knew the captain," Bartbree interjected. "I remember Gene saying you were - I mean, are - one of the best pilots he'd ever seen!"

Well, I'm not sure about that -- " Again, different Kerman, same interruptions. I'd love to be able to finish a sentence today.

"No, sir!" he protested. "Don't be so modest! You had the highest scores in the training program -- "

"Oh, talk about kissing Kerman butt," this time it was the voice of Maxbas coming over the shuttle's intercom. "You guys up in first class do realize the intercom has been on this entire time. We've heard every word -- "

"Dauntless, we are now at T minus 3 minutes and counting." *beep* Bobak's timing was perfect; we all heard the countdown pass the three minute mark. It was a great way to put an end to the conversation I really didn't like.

"Roger, Mission Control," Bartbree responded. "Powering up the main navigation systems, RCS thruster packs, and Mechjeb navigation guidance systems." *beep*

"Roger, Dauntless." Bobak's voice just as cool and calm as ever. "Our monitoring systems confirm navigation and Mechjeb navigation guidance systems operational." *beep* RCS thruster packs registering fully responsive." *beep* "T minus 120 seconds and counting..."

The shuttle began a series of slight vibrations as the various guidance and stability systems came online. From within my seat on the command deck, I could barely hear the pressurization of the forward monopropellant tanks over the noise of the command deck's ventilation systems and radio communications.

Over the intercom came a soft female Kerman voice. "Are we there yet?" Immediately I recognized it as Lieutenant Agay. She would become the first officer of the Ground Expeditionary Forces to leave Kerbin's orbit and venture out past the Mün.

"Dauntless, we are holding at T minus 20 seconds." Kuzzter's voice now filled the command deck."

"Roger, Mission Control." Catlin replied as Bartbree continued his pre-launch checks. "Dauntless is reporting all flight systems nominal. We have a green board." *beep*

It is one thing to hear a broadcast of mission launch preparations. But it is another thing to be witnessing it from the perspective of a passenger. Essentially for this part of the mission, it is all that I was. I was a passenger with a great view.

"Roger that," Bobak answered. "We are now at T minus 20 seconds and holding." *beep* "We concur, board is green. Fido, are you go for launch?"

*beep* "Roger. Fido is go for launch."

"Tracking," Bobak called out. This was his first mission as flight director. "Are you go for launch?" *beep*

*Tracking is go for launch," Kuzzter called out.

*Resume countdown, T minus 20 seconds and counting..."

As the countdown drew closer to ten I could feel the excitement building in anticipation of the launch.

"Daunteless, we are at T minus ten... nine... eight... seven... six... five..."

"Catlin, start the engine sequence on my mark, two... one... mark!"

And as the countdown hit one, the vibrations caused by the ignition of the SRBs and the shuttle's main engines took hold.

"And we have liftoff! Liftoff of the STS Dauntless!" Kuzzter could barely be heard over the roar of the shuttles engines as the craft rose into Kerbin's sky.

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"Commander," Catlin had to yell out to be heard over the intense noise filling the command deck. "Airspeed at 175 meters per second and increasing!"

"Yes, it will, Lieutenant." he replied, equally as loud. "Our indicators show we are within operational limits."

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"Dauntless, this is Mission Control," Kuzzter called out. "We have you at T plus 45 seconds -- " *beep*

"Roger, Mission Control," Bartbree again yelling to be heard over the noise of the command deck. "We are at eight-zero-five-five meters at a current rate of speed of three-five-seven meters per second." *beep*

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"Mission Control, we have SRB separation in five... four... three... two... one..." Catlin called out. And just when she reached zero, the noise in the command deck stopped briefly for a second until the orbital assist engines kicked in. Both her and Bartbree continued to update the ground crew about the progress of our flight and the status of the Dauntless.

b3IJD6c.png

With our altitude being nearly thirty thousand meters and at a rate of ascent of almost 650 meters per second, I knew we would have no problem with achieving orbit. But it wasn't until the SRBs were separated that the shuttle's mission didn't include an orbit before rendezvousing with the Excursion. The plan included a low orbital perigee, but instead of doing an orbital insertion burn, the shuttle would be within 70 kilometers of the Excursion. The shuttle's main engines and the orbital assist engines would be used to change the trajectory from orbit to a rendezvous trajectory, then the external fuel take would be jettisoned. And that's what we did.

mBoRISf.png

Once the external tank was jettisoned and the main engines throttled down, I was reminded of how quiet space could be.

"Lieutenant," it was Bartbree's voice which finally broke the silence. "Please open the cargo bay doors."

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"Dauntless, this is Mission Control," Bobak's voice called out. *beep* "We're transferring control to Flight Ops, Excursion. Excursion, do you copy?"

"Mission Control, this is Excursion Flight Ops," I immediately recognized Karloff's voice. "We have them on long range. Dauntless, you should be receiving our homing signal now." Just like the radio transmissions we heard between the Excursion and Tsoolik, there was no beep.

"Excursion, this is Dauntless," Catlin replied. It was hard to believe this was the first shuttle flight of the Dauntless, especially the way her crew were handling her. "We're locked onto your signal. Requesting permission to begin rendezvous and docking maneuvers."

"Permission granted," Gilti's voice called out over the shuttle's flight deck speakers. "And Captain, welcome home!"

In less than five minutes, we'll be docking with the Excursion. And I still do not know what I will find when we arrive. Dr. Angelo and Karloff have been very evasive about my previous inquiries into the design changes. About the only hint I have was Gene's response. "Kerny, remember, he and his engineering staff have done the refit in twenty days. Oh, and the rumors are true. He did send ten of his engineers to assist with the refit in space suits, riding in cargo pods..."

I'm not sure how to take Gene's warning but believe I will soon find out.

Return to the OP (Index)  Previous Chapter  

 

Edited by adsii1970
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So much going on! Three plane flights, two shuttle launches, and a confused astronaut!  I don’t think I would want to be a passenger in an escape pod in the event that the shuttle had an issue and the flight crew had to bail out but the designs are really cool. :) Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

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4 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

So much going on! Three plane flights, two shuttle launches, and a confused astronaut!  I don’t think I would want to be a passenger in an escape pod in the event that the shuttle had an issue and the flight crew had to bail out but the designs are really cool. :) Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Ywah, absolutely no pressure for poor Kerny! And let's not forget... He still hasn't seen his ship! 

The escape pod has the capability to be jettisoned from the shuttle. In my other game, I've tested it. It has its own monopropellant engines and separatrons, and a few of the small LOx rocket motors on it. It also has chutes. I'm not saying it would be pretty, though. But it does beat riding in a cargo pod in a pressurized space suit! :D

That is the only shuttle design, after 35, that I've been able to use. The rest of my designs flipped around during reentry. 

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Yay, new Kerny chapter!

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15 hours ago, TeslaPenguin1 said:

Yay, new Kerny chapter!

Yup, and I already have about 1/3 of the screenshots done for the next chapter. But it will not be as long nor as fast paced as this last chapter. Something I've learned about space flight from KSP that the sci-fi movies do not show. Nothing in space happens in a hurry - until you get to that precise moment where timing is everything.

10 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

So much stuff just happened!!

Great chapter :)

Yeah, it was a pretty fast-paced chapter. But under the circumstances, it had to be done. :D Besides, it gave me a chance to put not one, but two shuttles into orbit. Oh, and wait until you see some of the shuttle images in the next chapter!

Spoiler

Oh, so you thought I'd give you a mind-blowing preview? :D  Not this time...

 

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@adsii1970 The pink slime has to be a creature from Spore.

Spoiler

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Poison upgrade is the one causing the green and brown rash...

 

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5 hours ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

@adsii1970 The pink slime has to be a creature from Spore.

  Reveal hidden contents

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Poison upgrade is the one causing the green and brown rash...

 

Yup! Back when Spore first came out, I would play it for hours at a time... And with that said, yes, I used that game for the "pink slime creatures".

The pink slime idea came about as I had watched my daughter create a creature in Spore. As she was playing with the poison pack, I thought to myself, "Oh, man, this is perfect. I've got to use this in the story somehow... And the rest came into being in my demented brain. But don't worry... it isn't the last you've seen of the pink slime. And yes, the poison is causing the rash - consider it an extreme allergic reaction.

And on a side note, I've taken all the screen shots I need for the next chapter. Oh, and here's a teaser image:

mkrG2Im.png

Edited by adsii1970
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10 minutes ago, adsii1970 said:

And the rest came into being in my demented brain.

10 minutes ago, adsii1970 said:

consider it an extreme allergic reaction.

Aww, @adsii1970 , your brain isn't demented, considering you've managed to pull off a solid storyline for ~3 years now. Many people wouldn't be able to do that. So, good job. :D

P.S. I have a suggestion for the Kerny Kerman fanbase: "Kernies", sorta along the lines of Trekkies. :)

P.P.S. I ship Kerny and Maxbas. (Maxny?) (Kerbas?!) ;)

P.P.P.S Is there any cure for the pink slime? If there is, I'll keep my mouth :sealed:.

P.P.P.P.S (sorry :() Will anybody infected with the pink slime die?

 

Edited by RocketMan-Explorer
gah, I hate typos

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19 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

Aww, @adsii1970 , your brain isn't demented, considering you've managed to pull off a solid storyline for ~3 years now. Many people wouldn't be able to do that. So, good job.

Thanks! To be honest, there are a lot of loose ends I need to come back and visit. I really need to go through each of the chapters and fix imaging issues and look for inconsistencies within the story. I am sure there are a bunch! And then I also need to add the story navigation gird to the bottom of each chapter. It might make things easier for new readers...

25 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

P.S. I have a suggestion for the Kerny Kerman fanbase: "Kernies", sorta along the lines of Trekkies. :)

Um, I'm not sure there's actually a name. There's a few regular readers whom you might contact about that. :)

25 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

P.P.S. I ship Kerny and Maxbas. (Maxny?) (Kerbas?!) ;)

Not sure what you're talking about here. Right now, yes, Maxbas is on the ship. And the Prime Consul, Katrine, is unaware she is still alive...

28 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

P.P.P.S Is there any cure for the pink slime? If there is, I'll keep my mouth :sealed:.

Right now, no. There's one Kerman who is infected with the pink slime. This is one of the loose ends I need to revisit. After all, Dr. Tesla is doing every thing she can to find out the nature of the slime. She's already discovered it is actually hundreds of microorganisms suspended in a pink slime. In my mind's eye, I see the pink slime being most like the slime that covers the roe of salmon. It's there to protect and nurture the little buggers. This conversation has given me some ideas for a future chapter segment... :D  Thanks!

33 minutes ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

P.P.P.P.S (sorry :() Will anybody infected with the pink slime die?

No need to be sorry. Inquiring minds want to know and I can respect that. That's always a possibility. One of the things I have a hard time doing is killing off Kermen. Jala's death was a pretty big deal. And if you've read those chapters, Jebediah has become some sort of shadowy figure after her death - he caused it! Which is another loose end I need to do something with. And of course, there was Dr. Edumnd. He was a sort of grandfather figure within the story and as you could tell from the comments, his death, in a plane crash, was taken hard by a few of the readers. So, yes, there is always a possibility of a Kerman dying from the pink slime...

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Dr. Angelo has a certain research submarine in development that might help investigate the pink slime.. or just grab a bunch of shrimp for snacks! :)

Can’t wait to see how Kerny is going to react to the rebuilt ship..

Edited by Angel-125

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3 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

Not sure what you're talking about here. Right now, yes, Maxbas is on the ship. And the Prime Consul, Katrine, is unaware she is still alive...

I believe he is talking about a detail i remember reading in the fantastic story "The Saga of Emiko Station" by @Just Jim where it was explained that kerbs often get their names from a compound of their parents names. For ex: Thompberry comes from Bruberry and Thompington.

therefore, @RocketMan-Explorer is suggesting names for thier kids. 

4 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

I've taken all the screen shots I need for the next chapter. Oh, and here's a teaser image:

fantastic, I LOVE this ship!

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