Cydonian Monk

Forgotten Space Program

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Possibly later today. Currently rovering around The Mün, which takes a bit of time to do safely. 

The Mun does not like rovers. 

Today? That would be so awesome! I wonder what the Kerbals will be up too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Crater of the First Kerbals

Macfred and crew spent the next several hours talking to their host, Hallock Kerman. Well, Macfred, Thomlock and Gletrix did. Agake had crawled off to the nearly pristine lab module and was busy churning through a few quick experiments. (No reason to waste time when a perfectly working lab was on hand, right? Especially when it produced good numbers.)

20160404_ksp0461_pioneerlab.jpg

Hallock meanwhile was good for conversation. First he wanted to know everything there was to know about the famous Thomlock Kerman. Sure, he'd heard of him, who hadn't? One of the first kerbals to ever be launched into space, presumably long dead. For the old and white-haired farmer it was a bit of a shock to learn Thomlock was neither dead not lost. Strange new world.

20160404_ksp0337_pioneer.jpg

As it turns out Hallock had been alone on the Mün for nearly three decades. Towards the end of their first tour the base lost contact with Kerbin. At first they thought it was due to equipment failure, but a quick drive over to Hudwin's old Mün lander (and its spare transmitter) disproved that theory. As far as they could tell there was nobody listening on Kerbin. The base couldn't support six kerbals long-term, so they waited until the last of their reserves were gone.

They drew straws to determine who would stay behind to keep the farm running. A simple task that should be enough to keep one of them alive indefinitely. Hallock drew the short straw, so the other five said their farewells and returned to Kerbin without him in the backup lander. And that was the last he'd heard from any other kerbal.

Sure, he could've returned to Kerbin at any time using the original crew shuttle, but as he'd lost all contact with the crew and Kerbin he figured something cataclysmic had taken place. Guessed that he might have even been the last kerbal alive. And so he kept farming.

Eventually he grew tired of maintaining all the different large plants in the greenhouse modules and switched to just growing their hybridized bananas. Normal bananas require a large tree to grow, so these were cross-bred with a few other strange fruits to produce something akin to a flowering banana-producing cactus. It was a strange fruit that _almost_ worked, but was just close enough to be annoying.

As for why his hair was so white? "I was old when they sent me here. The years and the radiation and these strange yellow fruit probably haven't helped."

After they had all rested up and traded stories, Macfred telling Hallock of their Jool ship awaiting them in orbit, the elder kerbal suggested they take the two rovers for a drive to Hudwin's Landing and Ronton's Perch. These were the first two places where kerbalkind set foot upon the Mün, both very historic, though only Hudwin's lander remained. They were both located in the Crater of the First Kerbals, just a bit to the NorthWest of Pioneer Base. Less than an hour's drive if one was careful. 

Macfred took a few minutes to report their status back to mission control, also informing them of the presence of their host. The Boss was insistent about bringing Hallock back to Kerbin with them, promising they would send up a replacement caretaker at the first opportunity. Hallock, however, was stubbornly refusing, suggesting he would never leave the base unattended, but would consider their offer while the other four were out on their trip.

So they all climbed aboard the two Rothar rovers and rolled to the NorthWest in a small convoy.

20160405_ksp0344_rothar.jpg

They made it about three kilometers from the base before Thomlock came up with a better idea. The two rovers individually would be difficult to control on the steep slopes of the craters. If they docked them together, however, they would increase their stability and possibly improve their traction on the loose regolith. 

So they hitched together the two little buggies and continued on their way.

20160405_ksp0353_rothar.jpg

20160405_ksp0361_rothar.jpg

The descent into the crater was slow. One slip and the rover could easily get away from them, crashing down to the very bottom, never to be seen again. Thankfully there was an obvious gully they could drive through. Though it would come out somewhat lower than their first target, the reduced downslope was considered to be worthwhile. 

The rover was holding up well on even the steepest parts of the gully, but Macfred didn't want to challenge fate just yet.

20160405_ksp0364_rothar.jpg

Eventually they reached the bottom of the gully and were forced to head out onto the crater rim itself. The transition was a bit... nerve-wracking, to say the least. And once they were over the edge there was nothing they could do to stop. It was all in the sure hands of Thomlock to guide them down to a place where the slope lessened and they could pause to catch their breath. 

20160405_ksp0385_rothar.jpg

20160405_ksp0396_rothar.jpg

The ancient one handled their descent with skill, and in no time they were climbing again, heading towards their goal. A goal that at first was indistinguishable from the other boulders in the crater. Yet soon the light of the Sun glinted of of various pieces of metal. (Macfred thought he saw an explosion, but blinked and the ill vision was gone.)

And then they were there. And thing looked very strange. Instead of resting on its legs, the lander appeared to be resting on its engine bell while its legs were stuck way up in the air and disconnected from the rest of the lander. Macfred radioed their findings back to mission control, and was told to hang on while they looked at a few things.

20160407_ksp0425_rothar.jpg

--


Indeed, something was a bit strange. Back in mission control one of the techs had Gene run to the gift shop and grab a copy of his "First Kerbal on The Mün" book. (Gene still had the only keys to the gift shop.) It was objectively a children's book, but it included the only known diagrams of the Mun Lander flown by Hudwin. Diagrams they had lifted from old, discredited history books, and which no one was certain were right. (The idea that kerbals had gone into space more than 90 years ago was not widely accepted as fact.)

While poking through the book on his way back to MC-1, Gene decided to stop by the VAB. After some discussion with the techs, who had met him there, he had Wernher whip up a quick mock-up. Sure enough, there were some strange changes at work between what was supposed to be and what was now. Structural changes having to do with a decoupler that wasn't.

Changes were needed. Changes, and a system reboot.

--


Back on The Mün Macfred was busy poking around the old lander when the message was relayed up from Gene. "Sulphur crew, be advised we're going to attempt to reboot the system. We think what you're encountering is another glitch."

"Another glitch? When was the other one?"

"The most recent one was just a few minutes ago. Nothing much to worry about, just hold on for a few seconds and everything will be A-OK."

20160122_02_f9.jpg


And then they were there. And the thing looked amazing. Macfred was surprised to find the lander looked a bit different than in the old history books. Perhaps it had suffered from some recent impact? No way to know, really. He jumped off of the rover and bounded over to read the nearest flag. One strangely marked with the word RESCUE.

Apparently some kerbal named Jebediah had rescued the mighty Hudwin from this very crater some years back. Now all that remained was Hudwin's lander and one of the two rovers the experimental crews sent up to keep him company. 

20160407_ksp0426_rothar.jpg

The others were already busy climbing over everything and poking their mittens into one of the oldest and most valuable sites in all of kerbal history - the first landing on the Mün. Thomlock was busy checking out the strange old rover while Gletrix was busy reading the plaques at the two flags. Agake was doing whatever weird stuff it is scientists do.

Deciding the lander was safe, Macfred climbed aboard. So strange to sit in the very first Mün lander, a thing that until a few munths ago had been pure legend. A legend so tenuous and impossible that every kerbal had thought it was fake. Even the World's First kerbals were shocked beyond belief when the newly formed space program had started finding artifacts in space, but this would absolutely floor them.

The chronometer in the lander was still running and showed an elapsed mission time of 83 years, 391 days on the dot. He found it more than a bit odd that the lander's communications system was missing. There was an antenna just outside the cabin window, yes, and he could find where it appeared to have once connected to something in the cabin, but there was nothing there now. Very strange.

He decided to take a look outside. Maybe the radio was rigged up on the roof? The upper airlock was easy to open, so he climbed out to look around. Gletrix began reciting Hudwin's First Plaque just as he emerged onto the top of the lander.

20160407_ksp0430_rothar.jpg

20160407_ksp0429_rothar.jpg

And then he looked up and saw it. Kerbin, just barely over the rim of the crater. The Crater of the First Kerbals. 

What a view.

20160407_ksp0431_rothar.jpg

He was still crawling over the old lander when mission control radioed up to ask him about the Sulphur 2's radio. Apparently they had lost contact with it five to six minutes ago, roughly around the time of the system reboot, and had been unable to reestablish a connection. And they were wondering if he'd remembered to leave the telemetry radio turned on.

"Did I leave the radio on? Yes, I think so. Gletrix?"

"I didn't turn it off."

"And if she didn't turn it off, I'm pretty sure none of the rest of us did."

A few minutes passed before they called them again. This time it was The Boss on the other end.

"We'd like you to wrap up your evaluation of the First Lander and head back to Pioneer Base to check on the Sulphur 2. We suspect, well, we have reason to believe something unusual is going on. Your new friend may be tampering with things."

"Seems like a harmless old kerbal. Why would he do that?"

"He's been up there alone for several decades. He could be space crazy."

And with that their short adventure to the Crater of the First Kerbals was over. Macfred rounded up the other three, got them all aboard their Rothar and made tracks up what appeared to be the smoothest exit. Except on the way up they spotted something else perched atop the rim of their smaller crater-in-a-crater.

"It's just another flag?"

Gletrix bounded off of the rover before anyone could tell her to stop. "I'll check out the plaque!"

20160410_ksp0439_rothar.jpg

Another first landing, this time by one Lars Kerman. Nothing obvious was left except the plaque, so she hopped back aboard and they made their way SouthEast.

The rest of the trip back to Pioneer base was relatively uneventful. In climbing out of the crater they first drove directly towards the rim, then angled so as to pass over the lip of it at an angle. They still caught a bit of "air" when they fired over the top, but came down at an angle the wheels were more than capable of handling.

20160410_ksp0445_rothar.jpg

Nothing seemed particularly out of place until they got back within sight of the base. There, where there had once been a lander and a flag, now there was only a flag. Their flag. Thomlock drove up next to it and stopped. The Sulphur 2 was nowhere to be found.

"Say, any of you kids remember where we parked the lander? No?"

20160410_ksp0456_rothar.jpg

Macfred was too angry to reply. He took control of the rover and sped over to the base itself. He was off the rover, up the ladder, and into the base's outer airlock before anyone could stop him. A quick cycle of the airlock and he was back inside. There, taped to an overhead bunk, was a message he somehow expected yet couldn't believe he was reading.

Quote

 

"Macfred, 

"Sorry about lifting your ride, but I've got to get off of this rock and I ain't going back to Kerbin. The base should be able to keep you alive until your boss gets another ship up to you. After that, you'll have to draw straws like we did. If you care to return them to Kerbin, you'll find my other five crew mates in the crater to the south, buried amongst the sky cranes and other debris. Most of them went peacefully.

"Best of luck, Hallock Kerman.

"P.S.: Apologies in advance for stealing your Jool ship, too."

 

Macfred tossed the note on the inner airlock floor and rushed to the radio room. A quick check with mission control confirmed his fears - not only had they not picked up the launch of the Sulphur 2, but they had now lost contact with The Memory of Tomorrow. 

Which meant they were stuck. 

Thomlock slipped silently into the radio room just as Macfred pounded his fist on the desk. The ancient one had the note from Hallock in one hand, shovel in the other, and something of a wry grin on his face. He tossed the note down on the desk in front of Macfred then knelt and offered up the shovel, mockingly. 

"I pass it now to you, along with its murderous ways."

Macfred just waved him off with a frustrated "Bah".

"Hey now, kid, don't be so hard on yourself. We all wanted to be space pirates once upon a time. At least I did. Guess this Hallock kid just beat us to it. Sort of." He sat the shovel in the corner, propped up against a bend in the wall. "You've learned an important lesson today: Never trust anyone over forty."

"Heh. Guess I shouldn't trust you then?"

"Well, I don't feel that old, even though I technically am." He laughed his dry laugh then continued. "Relax, we'll find this farmer clown. Then we'll drag his white-haired behind back down to Kerbin and force him to stand trial for what he's done. It's not like he can go very far in a half-fueled ship that barely has enough delta-vee to leave the Mün's orbit. And The Boss will have a supply ship up here for us in no time."

"All the same, I'd rather the Memory not end up as some ghost ship like that pod of your's. We've got enough crazy old kerbals floating around in the void."

"You can say that again." He was about to leave Macfred in peace when he stopped. He picked the shovel up again and gave it a spin, handle in mittened hand, blade resting on the floor. "And besides kid, I've got nothing to worry about. I'm not in any danger." The shovel whistled as its metal blade spun against the metal flooring. "No, I'm not in any danger at all. When the time comes..." He grinned a dark grin Macfred had never before seen and gripped the shovel firmly. The room went deathly silent.

"I'm the one who digs."

 

Navigation: Next Post

Edited by Cydonian Monk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those sneaky old farts! They look slow, but turn your back.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:0.0: That thieving [CENSORED]!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get the distinct feeling that some Kerbal may get deorbited without the benefits of a capsule...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Hallock know the docking procedure for the Memory of Tomorrow? I feel like I've seen this situation before...:wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, cubinator said:

Does Hallock know the docking procedure for the Memory of Tomorrow? I feel like I've seen this situation before...:wink:

The role of Hallock isn't played by Matt Damon. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Cydonian Monk said:

The role of Hallock isn't played by Matt Damon. ;)

Just making sure. It is possible that the docking procedures have changed, it has been many decades after all. And that crazy Kerb hasn't been off the Mun for a long time. It wouldn't be unlikely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes Hallock think he'll be able to pilot the memory of tomorrow?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

What makes Hallock think he'll be able to pilot the memory of tomorrow?

Good question. Much like Thomlock he's from a time before the kerbals implemented the caste system (though just barely). He may not understand the "advanced" kOS autopilot stuff, but getting engines to fire when the ship is pointed in a specific direction should still be basically the same. 

Provided the ship stays off the network of course. One blip in mission control and I'd imagine Gene would have it remote piloted back to Kerbin. Or at least have it burn off all its fuel while placing it into an inconvienient orbit.

We'll see. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cubinator said:

Does Hallock know the docking procedure for the Memory of Tomorrow? I feel like I've seen this situation before...:wink:

*Cue awesome dramatic music*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

The Crater of the First Kerbals

Changes were needed. Changes, and a system reboot.

Are you sure it only took one of the latter?

 

15 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

"I pass it now to you, along with its murderous ways."

Like Erich Remarque and tens of thousands before me, I once had occasion to learn that a shovel is a handy thing when push comes to shove.  He who can control the shovel controls his destiny and that of anybody he can reach.  Respect the Ancient One who can spin the shovel to his will in microgravity :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Are you sure it only took one of the latter?

There was more "universe hacking" going on there than I admitted. First, the three small hardpoints the legs were attached to were jettisoning off, because the absence of an ACTION node in a PART entry apparemtly means the ACTION should be taken, even though you don't know it exists. In this case it caused all three legs to get blown off.  (Thus the explosions.)

Next, the legs themselves were still screwy, as they pre-date the "new" leg system. (I don't recall offhand which version Hudwin landed in (it was before flags and back when the Mun was less pockmarked), but he was rescued in 0.21.1.) So those needed some tweaks too, just to avoid NRE spam, though I opted to leave them retracted.

Finally, for some reason the lander was now embedded 3m deep into the surface while everything else was where it used to be. I guess the math for finding craft centers changed? Or more likely the borked-up legs were confusing the game.

Had I known the old small hardpoint had been butchered for the sake of porkjet-prettiness, I probably would've swapped out the new part for the old one, too. 

 

This all looked better back when it first landed....

20130610_ksp0100_hudwin.jpg

... though Hudwin was a bit less graceful than one would like.

20130612-ksp0091-mun-first.jpg

The thing I've long since given up trying to save is the descent stage of Ronton's lander (the second kerbal to land on the Mün and first to leave it). It was "perched" a bit too precariously on the rim of this new crater and just continued to tumble to its demise. I could probably go back to the original pre-0.21 save and copy it up, but it'd still be misfigured from three years worth of part improvements. It's visible to the left of this photo of Hudwin and his two rover toys.

20130627_ksp1189_rothar.jpg

Remarkably both rovers look almost identical now. The one on the right is nearly-physics-less krakenbait though....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cydonian Monk said:

There was more "universe hacking" going on there than I admitted.

No doubt.  I shudder to think, actually.

1 hour ago, Cydonian Monk said:

I could probably go back to the original pre-0.21 save and copy it up, but it'd still be misfigured from three years worth of part improvements. It's visible to the left of this photo of Hudwin and his two rover toys.

Ah, the pre-pox Mun.  How I miss it.  The before-and-after shots of the same location put a tear in my eye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just wondering, how often do you post new chapters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Plecy75 said:

just wondering, how often do you post new chapters?

Usually two or three times a week. March and April have both been busy months, and I've been doing things in KSP that take longer, so updates have been less frequent. As the schedule thins out and with the looming KSP 1.1 release, updates will likely start to appear more often once again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Cydonian Monk said:

Usually two or three times a week. March and April have both been busy months, and I've been doing things in KSP that take longer, so updates have been less frequent. As the schedule thins out and with the looming KSP 1.1 release, updates will likely start to appear more often once again.

do you have the prerelease yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Plecy75 said:

do you have the prerelease yet?

Yes and no. I own KSP both through the store and through Steam, though I generally only play the store-bought version. I've dabbled at the pre-release to see what works and what doesn't, and the performance increase is quite nice. Really just waiting on mods to be updated amd for the final, official release before I switch this save over. And I also plan to finish a few things that are in motion before doing so....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Cydonian Monk said:

Yes and no. I own KSP both through the store and through Steam, though I generally only play the store-bought version. I've dabbled at the pre-release to see what works and what doesn't, and the performance increase is quite nice. Really just waiting on mods to be updated amd for the final, official release before I switch this save over. And I also plan to finish a few things that are in motion before doing so....

do you know where i can get the prerelease? i only have the store-bought version

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Plecy75 said:

do you know where i can get the prerelease? i only have the store-bought version

Unfortunately it's only available through Steam. I wouldn't rush out to buy a Steam copy just to get it though, as it sounds like it might hit release in the next week or two based on today's devnotes. While the performance boost is nice, there are still bugs in the prerelease that could potentially break saves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ghosts and Things

"Friend of yours was visiting the other day" said the ghost as its voice scratched out of the radio in its usual way. Sieta was busy working on her latest song, lost in its synthetic rhythms, and barely heard it. Come to think of it she hadn't heard from her ghost for quite some time, at least two munths. She reached over and tapped the mic.

"Oh yeah? Who?"

"Doesn't matter. I've got the activation codes for the Duna satellites worked out, I think. Not sure they'll have enough power to reach all the way back to Kerbin with any regularity, but they should at least start accepting new connections. And might just make contact once your boss gets those new deep space relays out into their interplanetary orbits."

"Ok, give me a minute." Sieta tumbled her way out of the cupola and up to the radio console, pen in hand ready to take notes. She repeated the codes once written down, just to make sure she hadn't misheard the specter, and then started punching them in. "Should I notice anything different?"

"Not for ten minutes or so, no. And it may not work at all." The voice trailed away into the static. "One other thing, you should consider moving your station. Find another pebble to anchor to."

"Move? Why?"

"Just a hunch. And if I'm right, things are about to get bumpy. Gotta go. Be in touch in a few days." 

Move? To where? She had no idea. What a weird suggestion. Could the left over ships docked to Baile Speir move it? Could such an old station even be safely moved? How would the crews on the ground react?

Only one way to find out.

--


The atmosphere in mission control was different following the theft of the Memory of Tomorrow. And not just mission control, but everywhere at the space center. It had occurred to them they might find survivors, but the idea that the survivors would turn out to be murderous old space pirates was impossible to grasp. Even though they themselves were, in a way, space pirates. Or at best space squatters. Yet now they'd lost three of the most expensive ships they'd ever launched, and could lose more if they didn't act fast. 

So far they'd seen no trace of the Memory. They'd run the numbers and determined it couldn't do much more than escape Kerbin's SOI. Unless of course Hallock ditched the heavier and now unnecessary parts of the ship, or left behind the two Sulphur shuttles, or refueled from any of the stations orbiting the Mün.... In which case he might be anywhere from Eve to Duna. In that scenario there should be debris where the Memory used to be. Yet there wasn't. And with enough supplies on board to keep a single kerbal fed for thirty years, there was a good chance they'd never find him. 

So for now the plan was to ignore it and press forward.

On the Mün things were a bit more dire. The base had enough food to keep the now stranded crew fed for at least two munths. More than enough time for the ground crews to prepare another Sulphur lander, of which a few were in the pipeline. The base's original lander was out of fuel, explaining why Hallock and gang hadn't left years ago. 

They were all watching the lander through the base's windows when Macfred brought it online to do a systems check.

"I wonder if we could transfer fuel into it from the skycranes in the garbage crater?"

"Probably, Gletrix, if we had one of the hoses from the Sulphur lander. Let's see if the RCS still works first." He flipped a switch on the remote operator's console and attempted to hire the forward translational thrusters. 

20160415_ksp0122_pioneer.jpg

20160415_ksp0123_pioneer.jpg

20160415_ksp0126_pioneer.jpg

The blast from the lander (or rather the impact of parts of the lander) lifted the base several meters off the ground and sent it sliding across the surface. All four kerbals instinctively pulled back from the window and hit the deck. Once the noises and the pinging had settled down and the floor stopped moving Thomlock looked outside again. A new crater, a hole where just moments before sat a solid and useable piece of space hardware. All he could do was laugh.

"Guess we're not recovering the RTGs from the lander."

Macfred growled and pounded his fist on the controls. "This guy is really starting to get on my nerves."

The orders from mission control changed following the lander explosion. Originally part of the crew was to head to the Farside Crater to collect samples. Meanwhile the other two were to harvest parts from the garbage crater and the craft around the base. Now the plan was to just pull any undamaged RTGs they could find from the few craft at the base and wait for extraction. (Leaving one rover for future crews to use.) The experts were convinced there were still more traps waiting for them.

Despite the possibility of said traps, they still wanted to verify Hallock's story. So Macfred and Thomlock would get to explore the garbage crater to the South, looking for five graves or grave markers. So they took the better of the two rovers and headed South.

As expected they found five flags over five slightly lumpy mounds of regolith. They didn't see the need to disturb the graves, and all agreed the fallen crew of Pioneer Base should remain interred on The Mün for eternity. 

20160415_ksp0141_pioneer.jpg

20160415_ksp0143_pioneer.jpg

20160415_ksp0148_pioneer.jpg

The details and dates of when the flags were planted were grim enough, showing that three were placed on the same day (some eleven years following the base's completion), with the other two following two years afterwards, separated by only a day. The psychologists were already constructing likely scenarios as to how it all had played out, as were a team from the local movie studio. (The cost for the filming rights was estimated into the millions.)

So now there were three kerbals with a good bit of free time on their hands. (The fourth, Agake, was busy with experiments in the lab. Waste not, want not.) They set about harvesting any RTGs they found while waiting for the ride from mission control to arrive.

Thankfully they had enough to keep them busy.

--


Meanwhile back at Kerbin, tests of the Sulphur LDAV were moving forward. The Jool mission was still a go, even without the Memory of Tomorrow, and they'd already put too much energy into preparing both the aircraft and the Laythe lander to back down. The backup plan now was to use the LDAV as the interplanetary crew shuttle, outfitted with an environment module (and seven more years of food) along with a small, Tantares-built lab. Unlike the Memory this backup would only include enough water and oxygen to kickstart the system - everything else would have to be recycled. 

The Laythe Descent/Ascent Vehicle therefore needed to be tested. Designed around the Sulphur lander, it included a heat-shielded lower stage, and would land under parachutes. The parachutes and landing legs would be jettisoned prior to returning to orbit, and the lower stage would propel them part of the way there. The upper stage was just another Sulphur series craft.

The first test of the LDAV was to see if it could survive reentry and landing on rough terrain. Once landed the second test was to launch to Kerbin orbit. If the LDAV test article survived both, it would remain in Kerbin orbit and enter into service as just another Sulphur-series shuttle.

As with all such tests, this operation was to be conducted using automated routines. No reason to risk a kerbal's life just to see if this crazy plan worked. Officially the new heaviest thing ever, the Sulphur 3 LDAV Test Article was launched by three Mainsail-powered boosters, with three Skipper boosters as a second stage. The launch was mostly flawless, if a bit shaky. 

20160414_ksp0013_ldav-test.jpg

20160414_ksp0018_ldav-test.jpg

Once in orbit the craft was rotated 180 degrees, a heading it maintained until the reentry burn point was reached. From there it burned for a landing in the desert, discarding the second stage and arming its parachutes. 

The reentry worked better than expected, with the slightly offset mass of the lander causing the craft to rotate about its vertical axis. This spread out the shock heating well enough that nothing was damaged. Once the parachutes were out, the heatshields were discarded and the techs continued tracking the craft. 

20160414_ksp0040_ldav-test.jpg

20160414_ksp0041_ldav-test.jpg

20160414_ksp0058_ldav-test.jpg

It rapidly became obvious the craft wouldn't survive landing without a short burn from the lower stage. It had been expected and designed to land at 6m/s, but was still coming down at 15m/s. Future designs would require more parachutes to account for this speed discrepancy, as once on Laythe every m/s would be critical. 

20160414_ksp0064_ldav-test.jpg

20160414_ksp0070_ldav-test.jpg

Landing completed, the test crews double checked the "launchmath.ks" script, made sure staging was all properly armed and arranged, and let the LDAV fly itself back into orbit. 

20160414_ksp0076_ldav-test.jpg

20160414_ksp0095_ldav-test.jpg

20160414_ksp0097_ldav-test.jpg

First test complete. The crews had some tweaks they needed to make, but nothing that would require a second test flight. The Sulphur LDAV was marked as ready for Jool. Now the mission planners just needed to find a way to get the crew back from Jool once their mission was complete. Not such an easy task. 

And maybe they should rescue the crew from the Mün first.

--


"Gene? Flight?" A new voice buzzed in Gene's headset. Maclie Kerman? The one that was obsessed with Pol? Too many Mac-anybodies around now for Gene's tastes. Hard to keep them all straight. Still, as the Visiting Vehicle Officer, this Maclie guy had done a bang-up job. They'd created the position at The Boss's insistence following the incident with the mismatched docking ports on Nitrogen TC-14, hoping that having a kerbal responsible for keeping track of which ship had what equipment would prevent a recurrence of the mistake. So far it had worked. Yet there really shouldn't be anything for Maclie to need to bother the Flight Director with... Or so Gene thought.

"Go ahead VVO."

"Flight, one of the older ships at Baile Speir has undocked and is conducting maneuvers."

"It's what?"

"Well, near as I can tell it's moving around the station."

Now what? "Thanks VVO. Capcom?"

"Go flight."

"Call up Sieta and see what our space queen is up to now." A few minutes passed before he had his response. 

"Two word text response from Baile Speir flight. Moving day."

Moving day?

--


Baile Speir was itself vibrating from the deep bass and the rhythm of Sieta's music, sounding everything like a dance hall in the void wouldn't. She had the volume cranked to eleven, and was bouncing to the beat as she guided the two craft outside through their dance.

To use the engines from one of the ships she'd first need to dock it along the main axis of the station. To do that, she needed to move the attitude control module to one of the ports presently occupied by the two old ships. Exactly like a dance. 

20160415_ksp0151_bailespeir.jpg

The radio was clicking and clacking with noises from Mission Control, so she fired back a quick text and then turned it off. They'd never hear her over the music, and their beeps and quindars were just messing with the beat. The attitude control module was almost where she wanted it. No time to lose focus now. 

A few more dance steps and then it was ready. Would it work? She knew where she was going, and had done the math so she knew the station could make it. The question was whether or not the station would survive. 

Only one way to find out. 

20160415_ksp0154_bailespeir.jpg

 

Navigation: Next Post

Edited by Cydonian Monk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This whole thing is really exciting! Let's hope Baile Speir doesn't break apart!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, DMSP said:

This whole thing is really exciting! Let's hope Baile Speir doesn't break apart!

That was a wild burn. Thankfully the Poodle isn't quite strong enough to break the magnetics of the docking ports, but it sure looked funny. Very bouncy.

Or maybe it was just moving to the music.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Or maybe it was just moving to the music.....

Or perhaps it was just moved by the spirits :)

Great chapter!  I suppose future expeditions will have to go armed and treat all Ancient Ones with extreme caution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.