RocketSquid

For Science! (You've forgotten this existed, haven't you?)

174 posts in this topic

2 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

Thanks. I'll probably be playing 1.0.5 for months. Currently, 39 out of 85 mods or mod clusters (A group of mods that update simultaneously, eg USI) will technically work in 1.1, but of those, only a few have actually been updated, the rest are just there because they don't have DLL's, and thus do not need to be updated.

"Just parts" covers a multitude of potential ills.  All the wheels and lander legs have to be rebuilt for starters.  Then there's the potentially troubling new mechanism that lets resource-affecting parts use volume instead of mass.  This could well tempt many modders to revamp all their stuff and that could alter key behaviors of parts, so that ships built around them no longer can do their jobs.  I predict things will be in a state of flux for some time to come.

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6 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

"Just parts" covers a multitude of potential ills.  All the wheels and lander legs have to be rebuilt for starters.  Then there's the potentially troubling new mechanism that lets resource-affecting parts use volume instead of mass.  This could well tempt many modders to revamp all their stuff and that could alter key behaviors of parts, so that ships built around them no longer can do their jobs.  I predict things will be in a state of flux for some time to come.

Fortunately, MRS and LET, the main mods I have that add landing legs, are already updated, and most of the other leg or wheel mods have DLLs, so that's comparatively minor. There's currently only two functional vessels with landing legs.

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On March 19, 2016 at 4:56 PM, RocketSquid said:

Currently it was going to Duna, rather inefficiently. It would actually arrive after the kerbbed mission would, so it was being sent to a new target: The figment of everyone's imaginations, Dres. Due to the logistics dilemas that would result from having two extraplanetary manned missions active at once, and starting at the same time, Dres would wait until a later window. And while that may offend the growing "Dres love" political party, there wasn't much the space program could do. Even with just the duna mission they were pushing the limits.

Dres is not a figment of people's imagination! Have you been watching @Felsmak again? 

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16 minutes ago, max_creative said:

Dres is not a figment of people's imagination! Have you been watching @Felsmak again? 

That was the reference, yes. But if it really was the figment of everyone's imaginations, how exactly would we know whether it was or wasn't? I think the "dres speech" (I have a speech prepared for mun, eve, dres, and laythe so far) will simply be "I refute it thus" followed by kicking a rock.

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1 hour ago, max_creative said:

Dres is not a figment of people's imagination! Have you been watching @Felsmak again? 

Dres is the most important planet in the universe.  Dres was apprenticed to the smith-god Kerbin.  When Kerbin forged the Universe to Kerbol's design, he knocked off early to go on a date with Eve.  Sadly, Kerbin's early departure left a fatal flaw in Creation.  Fortunately, Dres was still in the smithy tidying up and noticed the problem so he applied the First Strut.  You can still see this today, the silvery band all around the ecliptic, holding all of Creation together.  So neither Kerbals nor the space they inhabit would exist except for Dres.  Which is why they named a small planet after him.

Edited by Geschosskopf
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1 hour ago, RocketSquid said:

That was the reference, yes. But if it really was the figment of everyone's imaginations, how exactly would we know whether it was or wasn't? I think the "dres speech" (I have a speech prepared for mun, eve, dres, and laythe so far) will simply be "I refute it thus" followed by kicking a rock.

Dres is real! I'm sending a giant flotilla to it and @Felsmak is a terrible YouTuber! You tell him @SpaceplaneAddict! Discover the Dres canyon and send stuff to our lonely space potato! For Dres!

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13 hours ago, max_creative said:

Dres is real! I'm sending a giant flotilla to it and @Felsmak is a terrible YouTuber! You tell him @SpaceplaneAddict! Discover the Dres canyon and send stuff to our lonely space potato! For Dres!

Dres, technically speaking, is not real. It is a simulation of a planet inside of a space program simulator. However, in this context, Dres is real. The "I refute it thus" is a reference to Samuel Johnson's response to the statement that matter doesn't exist.

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5 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

The "I refute it thus" is a reference to Samuel Johnson's response to the statement that matter doesn't exist.

Matter might exist but it's very rare.  After all, "nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all" :)  Plus, it's like what, only 20% of the universe?

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In ksp Dres is real! It is the gateway to the stars! Go read from humble beginnings if you want to know where I got that from. Love Dres!

 

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8 hours ago, max_creative said:

In ksp Dres is real! It is the gateway to the stars! Go read from humble beginnings if you want to know where I got that from. Love Dres!

 

 

19 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

However, in this context, Dres is real. The "I refute it thus" is a reference to Samuel Johnson's response to the statement that matter doesn't exist.

 

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Chapter 8: The sensor that wouldn't retract:

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After lurking high over minmus for a while, it was time for the Minmus-1 to lower itself down closer to the beckoning minty moon.

The crew kept good spirits as Jeb fired the engine retrograde.

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Even Bob, amazingly. After a few days of "time warping", or as most would call it, napping, they had reached low orbit.

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Minmus loomed in the window. Bob did not like it.

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Hours later, they were finally in an orbit that was officially considered "Low".

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Bill could almost taste the minty desserts already.

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Next, it was time for the soil moisture sensor. It extended and began sensing.

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It also spins!!

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Huh. Who would've guessed?

After Bob retrieved the data, he took some stunning pictures of minmus.

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Pop quiz: What's wrong with this picture?

 

Yes, that's right. The stupid sensor won't retract.

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The science they had collected pushed the space program over the 300 mark...

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...and, after some research, unlocked THE POWER OF THE ATOM. Er, well, more of it. They already used it for engines.

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Now, there was still the matter of getting one of these built and sent into space. Oh well. It'll work out.

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FOR SCIENCE!!! Don't worry about the sensor. I have a probe that the survey scanner won't open. :( 

will you send something else to Dres?

Edited by max_creative

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24 minutes ago, max_creative said:

FOR SCIENCE!!! Don't worry about the sensor. I have a probe that the survey scanner won't open. :( 

will you send something else to Dres?

Oh yes... the prospect of all those dresteroids is far to valuable to miss.

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14 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

Oh yes... the prospect of all those dresteroids is far to valuable to miss.

Yay! FOR DRES! Will you do something on Dres while your doing your asteroid stuff?

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16 hours ago, max_creative said:

Yay! FOR DRES! Will you do something on Dres while your doing your asteroid stuff?

I will at least land there, and if it has a high ore concentration (>5%) in fairly easily accessible areas, I will mine it like there's no tomorrow.

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8 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

I will at least land there, and if it has a high ore concentration (>5%) in fairly easily accessible areas, I will mine it like there's no tomorrow.

For me, Dres has always been quite low on the resources I care about and with only middling amounts of stuff I don't care about.  With solar panels being next to useless out there, getting even these pitiful resources is more trouble than it's worth unless you don't mind breaking the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics by running your mine on a fuelcell consuming fuel made by the mine.

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Guess what? I don't have a chapter. I guess this'll have to be an...

Interlude: A day in the life of Jeb:

Jebediah Kerman sipped his koffee as he read the Kerbal Times. He had gotten up late this morning, but his schedule was completely free. The last order, a reinforced nuclear engine, had shipped yesterday. He glanced down at the headline. "Kerbals reach low minmus orbit" He went on, reading,

"Last night, the Minmus-1, carrying four kerbals, reached low minmus orbit after entering the minmus SOI roughly a week ago. The craft has thus far worked perfectly, excepting a minor glitch preventing a scanner from retracting. TKSA director..."

Not anything he didn't know, being one of the main contractors for TKSA. Speaking of which, he should probably check his k-mail.

He had four new k-mails, which he read in order.

Quote

From: KSCVehicleAssemby@KSC.TKSA.kom

To: JKerman@JebsJunkyard.kom

Subject: Moar engines

Dear Mr. Jebediah Kerman:

During tests your LV-NR "DuraNerv" engine performed as expected, providing superior durability and weight at the cost of thrust. As construction of the Arrowhead MkI Shuttle began yesterday, we would like to request an order of 5 LV-NR engines by next Munday.

Thank you in advance,

Gus Kerman.

He chuckled at that subject line. That was always music to his ears. He would've felt a bit crunched for time, with them asking for five of them in less than a week, but it was clear that they knew he had already made five of them. The message was just a formality. He replied "Is it okay if I deliver them tomorrow instead?"

Moving on to the next one, which appeared to be a personal k-mail from Von Kerman. Would it be more about his engines, or talking about their families, or reminiscing about kollege?

Quote

From: WVonKerman@KSC.TKSA.kom

To:JKerman@JebsJunkyard.kom

Subject: How are things going?

Hi Jeb, it's been a while. Okay, like two weeks, but still. How have you been? How are your kids? Well, besides Jeb, I know how he's been. Him and Robert seem to be bonding well. It's nice to see that they're both taking part in the family businesses. Speaking of which, your new engine is really something! In the sim, we managed to send an Arrowhead to the Mun, and land it safely. By the end it was empty, no fuel, not even mono. Ah, I remember back in kollege we tried to make some of our own, right in our dorm. BOOM! And instead of expelling us, they gave us a lab, and told us to make more, and to improve the formula.

Ah. A bit of all three, then. As usual.

Next up, another official k-mail from the KSC

Quote

From: KSCRnD@KSC.TKSA.kom

To: JKerman@JebsJunkyard.kom

Subject: Engine research

Dear Mr. Jebediah Kerman:

Recent research reveals uses for nuclear reactors in powering a spacecraft. While several independent reactors have been developed, we believe that one of your LV-N nuclear thermal engines could be modified to allow for energy generation in the idle state. If at all possible, we would like to have one test article by the end of Maypril.

Thank you,

Linus Kerman

Uggh. Engines. All they ever asked about was engines. He made other things too, like fuel tanks and crew cabins! Well, they did actually buy quite a few of those. In any case, the concept it presented was... interesting. He would have to tinker with it. He certainly had enough uranium for it, since the "Lead Shed" out back was at 85% capacity.

The last one was another personal k-mail, and held the record for longest distance traveled by a k-mail.

Quote

From: JKerman@KSC.TKSA.kom

To: JKerman@JebsJunkyard.kom

Subject: Wish you were here!

Hi, dad. As you read this, I am floating in a tin can orbiting minmus. Technically, I'm also flying said tin can. I wish you were able to be here. Here, Bob snapped a picture while he was on EVA.

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I hope you're having a good time. Aren't you glad you didn't get stuck in a desk job, like mom is?

Miss you,

Jeb

Jeb could do nothing but smile, and perhaps cry a little as he read it. There was a rare bit of pride that came from knowing your son was flying a spaceship you helped build.

 

 

4 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

For me, Dres has always been quite low on the resources I care about and with only middling amounts of stuff I don't care about.  With solar panels being next to useless out there, getting even these pitiful resources is more trouble than it's worth unless you don't mind breaking the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics by running your mine on a fuelcell consuming fuel made by the mine.

Never underestimate the power of random ore spawns. I once had an 8% concentration at the KSC.

Also, running your mine on its products doesn't violate the 2nd law. We do it all the time with oil and/or coal mines. Plus, I can just use nuclear reactors.

Edited by RocketSquid
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4 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

Never underestimate the power of random ore spawns. I once had an 8% concentration at the KSC.

That happens all the time.  KSC is in the Shores and the Shores are always one of the highest Ore biomes on Kerbin.  It's so we can test stuff easily before sending it out :)

4 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

Also, running your mine on its products doesn't violate the 2nd law. We do it all the time with oil and/or coal mines. Plus, I can just use nuclear reactors.

Sorry but nope, the fuecell-powered KSP drill/ISRU not only violates the 2nd Law of Thermo, it also violates the conservation of energy.  It has nothing in common with our petroleum or coal industries.  This is an easy thing to miss (it took me a while, myself), but there's no denying it.  Rather than sidetrack this thread, here's a recent discussion on the subject.

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11 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Sorry but nope, the fuecell-powered KSP drill/ISRU not only violates the 2nd Law of Thermo, it also violates the conservation of energy.  It has nothing in common with our petroleum or coal industries.  This is an easy thing to miss (it took me a while, myself), but there's no denying it.  Rather than sidetrack this thread, here's a recent discussion on the subject.

Then why does it not violate conservation of energy to refine oil? The LF/OX blend simply contains more energy than is required to refine it, like gasoline. The ISRU isn't creating it, it's separating it from the remainder of the ore.

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7 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

Then why does it not violate conservation of energy to refine oil? The LF/OX blend simply contains more energy than is required to refine it, like gasoline. The ISRU isn't creating it, it's separating it from the remainder of the ore.

Because with oil, we're not reversing a reaction.  Oil is like a store-bought, non-rechargeable battery.  Just as the battery company put the energy in the battery, all the energy in oil originally came from the sun via living things and then was greatly concentrated into a very energy-dense form by the energy of the Earth.  All we're doing is releasing that highly concentrated, stored solar and geothermal energy.  The amount of energy contained in a given volume of oil is less than we consume getting it to market.  IOW, the petroleum-based system is an open cycle.  Energy is coming in from the sun and Earth and being used by us.

With a fuelcell-powered mining rig, however, you have a closed cycle, which means you have to reverse the reaction.  The ISRU requires electricity to split Ore into LFO, and that electricity is provided by the fuelcell burning the LFO the ISRU just split.  Losses along the way (such as the multi-hundred kW of waste going out the radiators) prevent this from being 100% efficient, so just this part of the system cannot run indefinitely, let alone power drills as well AND provide even more LFO for the customer, without violating both the 2nd Law and energy conservation.

The best analogy for a fuelcell-powered mining rig is burning water to split water.  You have some electrodes that split the water into H2 and O2 (the ISRU), which are then burned in a heat engine that spins a generator (the fuelcell) that provides the electricity used by the electrodes.  It should be obvious that this system cannot run indefinitely due to all sorts of losses and inefficiencies along the way.

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1 hour ago, Geschosskopf said:

With a fuelcell-powered mining rig, however, you have a closed cycle, which means you have to reverse the reaction.  The ISRU requires electricity to split Ore into LFO, and that electricity is provided by the fuelcell burning the LFO the ISRU just split.  Losses along the way (such as the multi-hundred kW of waste going out the radiators) prevent this from being 100% efficient, so just this part of the system cannot run indefinitely, let alone power drills as well AND provide even more LFO for the customer, without violating both the 2nd Law and energy conservation.

I just assume that the hydrogen and oxygen in ore are less tightly bound up than the hydrogen and oxygen in water, or has some other, fun chemistry going on. For example, if ore contains a significant fraction of Magnetite (Fe3O4) and water, you can first split the magnetite into wusite (FeO) and oxygen, like so:

2 Fe3O4 + Energy ==> 6 FeO + O2

Then you can use the wusite it produces to produce hydrogen from water for much cheaper than electrolysis/hydrolysis, at a rate of 3 FeO per H2O.

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5 hours ago, RocketSquid said:

I just assume that the hydrogen and oxygen in ore are less tightly bound up than the hydrogen and oxygen in water, or has some other, fun chemistry going on. For example, if ore contains a significant fraction of Magnetite (Fe3O4) and water, you can first split the magnetite into wusite (FeO) and oxygen, like so:

2 Fe3O4 + Energy ==> 6 FeO + O2

Then you can use the wusite it produces to produce hydrogen from water for much cheaper than electrolysis/hydrolysis, at a rate of 3 FeO per H2O.

Well, the problem with all that is, RoverDude deliberately (and I think inappropriately) made the ISRU conserve mass.  1 ton of Ore becomes 1 ton of fuel, no matter what type of fuel you're making.  IOW, 100% of the Ore burns and refining produces zero industrial waste.  So no Fe to play with.

But even if there was industrial waste, that would mean running the ISRU off the fuelcell would be an even bigger violation of the 2nd law than it is now.  Now the reaction is irredeemably non-reversible because the fuel cell is no longer producing the same thing that went into the ISRU---the waste is left piling up somewhere.  And that waste would be warmed up by the energy used to by the ISRU to split the Ore, so would be carrying energy as waste heat out of the system, plus whatever energy was consumed ejecting it from the system.. Plus, the 2nd Law prevents you from ever getting as much energy back out of something as you put into it to begin with.  So the ISRU is always going to consume more energy refining fuel than it should get back from the fuelcell bur burning the same stuff the ISRU just refined.

Of course, the game lets you run a whole mining-refining system off a fuel cell fueled by that system.  So obviously if you accept KSP physics at face value, then if the KSP universe has a 2nd Law, it's way different from ours.  But if you're striving for realism, this should be at the top of everybody's list as the single most glaring realism problem with the game.  Aerodynamics is nothing compared to violating the 2nd Law and conservation of energy.  Realistically (as in "just like Earth" realism, not KSP realism), fuelcells should be completely incapable of running mining/refining systems, so you would have to rely on solar power in the inner system and nuclear reactors in the outer system.

But not many people have ever taken thermodynamics and not a lot of those who did really grokked it.  This explains all the hare-brained "green energy" concepts loudly touted today, such as ethanol in gasoline.  Hell, thermo's finer details are still black magic to me.  But I at least locked onto the basic concepts.  These can be paraphrased as "You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't even quit the game."  The 2nd Law is the biggest buzzkill in our universe.

Edited by Geschosskopf

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I got a lot done today/yesterday! And by that I mean I got nothing done besides KSP.

WARNING: Large chapter ahead.

Chapter 9: Busy Bees:

Part 1: Time flies like an arrow:

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the grass was green, and far away, in the desert, the cacti were flowering. The birds, however, had long known to stay clear of the space center when something strange was on the pad. And today, there was something very strange indeed.

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On the pad, suspended between two Shortbow-1 boosters, was the Arrowhead I. Sitting, rather nervously, in the cockpit of this rocket were Gusler, a veteran pilot, and Asta, a Mun-hardened engineer two years his senior. In the crew cabin were Chadford and Neyin, two junior scientists.

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After the pre-flight check was completed, the countdown began.

"T-minus 10, 9,8, 7, " Started Gene

"We have ignition," said Bobak

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"6,5,4,

3,

2,

1..."

"Launch clamps released. We have liftoff!"

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The launch went well, although the gravity turn started late due to stability concerns.

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The shuttle reached the upper atmosphere before turning further, as simulations indicated serious instability during transsonic flight.

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After reaching orbit using the main engines, the crew decided to relax.

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They were aided by the bottle of hydrazine the engineering staff had left onboard.

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Soon, though, it wore off, and they were confronted with the dilema of the boosters,

"The boosters still have a significant amount of fuel left in them," Said Asta, "Enough to get us an intersect"

"I can hardly run the docking procedures with a massive fuel tank on each side of the ship!"

"Can't you just discard them after the burn?"

"Then we run the risk of them hitting the station."

"Okay, then. Looks like we're discarding them now, since the burn is in..."

"2 minutes, 43 seconds," Finished Gusler

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"Is the core ready, Asta?"

"It is up to temperature. Start firing."

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"Okay, we have an intercept. Distance: 8 KM."

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Soon, they saw a blip in the window.

"Station in sight. Switching to docking mode."

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The shield covering the docking port opened and the reaction control system sprung to life. Gusler gently maneuvered the ship, making sure they kept traveling towards the station.

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Once they were close, they slowed down significantly.

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Unfortunately, the ship proved to have some... ahem... "difficulties" docking. And by that I mean it collided with the station four times before Gusler managed to keep it from spontaneously spinning.

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If you notice, there is a bunch of random junk attached to the station, particularly spent stages. The Arrowhead had brought a solution, courtesy of Umbra Space Industries. This solution was a device capable of deconstructing parts. It was cleverly known as the deconstruction device. On testing, it melted a scrap engine down into useful materials, which, having no storage container, drifted out into space.

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Oh well. At least it looked cool.

The arrowhead crew were overjoyed to be there, mainly due to the extra legroom. Asta considered getting out before thinking the better of it.

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Part 2: Soft-Serv:

Meanwhile, far over Minmus, four astronauts and one defective scanner waited.

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Soon, they were told they could land. And so, they began...

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...waiting until they were closer to the Great Flats. However, they soon realized that the flats they were over now were pretty great, too. In fact, these flats were even greater than the Great Flats, and completely unexplored.

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After tossing the idea around, the crew started landing. Kerbals are not the patient sort.

Landing was uneventful until a few minutes before touchdown, when they jettisoned the orbital stage, intending to use it as an impactor.

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It dropped, and the lander deployed its legs.

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The landers tiny, radioisotope engines started firing.

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Below them, the explosion hit the surface, kicking up a plume of minty green ice. Bob started an entry, "The stage impacted with the ice and was destroyed. I estimate that the plume reached a height of 300 meters."

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However, it seemed that only the engine had been destroyed! The fuel tank bounced up, eventually passing the lander.

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Bob edited the entry, "The stage impacted with the ice and the engine was destroyed. I estimate that the plume reached a height of 150 meters. The tank, propelled by the blast, flew up, eventually going above the lander."

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Valentina entertained the thought of chasing it for a moment, until realizing that she'd never catch it in time. It flew quite a distance, appearing above Jool from the lander's windows.

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As they neared the surface, the tank fell and hit the ground near the landing site. A plume of ice and smoke flew up, and Bob finished the report. "The stage impacted with the ice and the engine was destroyed. I estimate that the plume reached a height of 150 meters. The tank, propelled by the blast, flew up, eventually going above the lander. Moments later, it impacted the surface and was destroyed."

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However, the tank refused to die.

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Bob edited the report. "The stage impacted with the ice and the engine was destroyed. I estimate that the plume reached a height of 150 meters. The tank, propelled by the blast, flew up, eventually going above the lander. Moments later, it impacted the surface and was destroyed reduced to just a tank, which rolled across the surface. This leads us to conclude that the surface of Minmus is fairly soft, and rather forgiving of impacts."

Meanwhile, Jeb guided the ship down to the surface.

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They neared the ground. The engine exhaust melted holes in the ground.

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And touchdown!

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"Mission control, this is Minmus-1. The Seagull has landed!"

"Roger that, Jeb. You have permission to open the bubblyzine"

Of course, Jeb wasn't there to hear them. He was getting on his EVA suit.

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Part 3: Snow Day:

The first thing they did after landing was activate all of the SCIENCE!!!

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All this science made them hungry, so Jeb, Bill, and Bob clambered into their EVA suits.

Bob was out first, due to practice. He climbed out of the hatch and down to the ground, where he found that jumping was incredibly fun on minmus.

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He also took a sample of the delicious, minty surface before marveling at the seemingly-indestructible tank.

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Next, Bill got out. He got down in a much more... active manner.

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He first investigated the tank. "No leaks... not even dented. Rockomax deserves a medal."

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Next, he attempted to give Bob a high-five before realizing the impossibility of such a task.

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Meanwhile, Jeb had managed to put on his suit and climb out...

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He landed a few meters away, undeployed flag in hand.

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What a BadS... Thought Bill and Bob.

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He then proceeded to plant the flag and deliver a speech, which was conveniently also written on the flag. The flag didn't come like that, Jeb had actually wrote it on there during the flight.

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Suddenly, Valentina.

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"Hello, Kerbin!" She shouted after landing on the flag. "Here on Minmus, even a flimsy little flag can support the weight of a kerbal. SCIENCE!!!"

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Next, they all posed for a picture.

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In addition to the tripod cam, some of the cameras on the ship took pictures as well.

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Afterwards, they climbed back into the ship, ready to open the bubblyzine. Before that, though, Bill had something to try...

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...Specifically, the surface sample.

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Bleh.

Next, they prepared to open the bubblyzine. It had been placed into a specialized box to keep the cork from damaging anything. Bob, being Dachlandish, was familiar with Sekt. The others, however, were quite alarmed by the fact that the bottle itself was covered in struts to make sure it didn't fall apart. Once it was opened, they poured it into regulation drink bags, which started inflating like balloons. Valentina, meanwhile, had a single-serve bottle of non-hydrazinic bubblyzine.

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