NathanKell

[RSS/RO/RP-0] Soviet Engines playthrough (Hard)

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To get a bit of a break in and to test out RP-0/RO/RSS etc I've been playing a career save in RP-0. To shake things up a bit (I usually fly US parts) I've been using only Soviet engines (with the exception of the Aerobee sustainer and Astris, since stock+SXT+VSR doesn't come with a Russian low-thrust service propulsion engine).

 

Here's an album showing my LVs so far. I'll post replies with some notable missions. You can get all the craft files and subassemblies I've made here.

 

 

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The first mission of note was Carbide 1, as you can see in the OP. However, while the first orbital mission was being undertaken (and various sounding rockets launched), a far larger and more effective LV was under design: Diamond. It could place large payloads into orbit (up to 5 tons or so), and that payload capacity could also be used to place an upper stage into orbit, an upper stage that could then perform a trans-lunar injection. Here then is the Diamond LV and its probe, the first to reach the Moon.

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Diamond (with Aspen upper)

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The Diamond probe reaches the Moon!

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@NathanKell Very nice! :D I tried RO but there is so many engines and parts that i just don't know what to use. For instance, RF Stockalike with AIES, RLA, KW and some other mods, i immediately know what to use. 

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Cool. Wouldn’t you mind sharing your craft files?

Edited by Teilnehmer

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With the success of LEO and lunar probes, and GEO satellites, it's eventually time to go for the other planets and for crewed orbital missions. Just placing a capsule in orbit can be done with the booster we have--Diamond with a Birch (using an S1.5400 closed-cycle engine) upper stage. Placing an improved capsule into orbit, or probes on interplanetary trajectories, requires something more.

tU6Yzixl.png
The Beagle capsule on a Diamond B booster.
Beagle includes a bottom-mounted LES, a hydrazine-based maneuvering system, and a film camera for film return. The Diamond is fully capable of placing Beagle in polar MEO. Later missions designed solely for astronaut training use a smaller spacecraft--the Beagle alone, with its LES working double as a retro pack--on a smaller Emerald booster with surplus Carbide strapons.

 

To do more, we need a true second stage for the Diamond. It's called the Cedar, and uses an RD-0110 engine. Here's a Diamond-Cedar-Birch launching a lunar orbiter payload.

LrikvP1l.png

 

So with that new second stage our options become much wider. Time to reach for the stars! (Or at least the other planets.)

 

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Here is Sprite 1, a Mars flyby probe.
The first interplanetary probe. Launched on a Diamond B with Cedar second stage and Birch upper. Most of the Birch stage is used for TMI.

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Sprite 2, a Venus flyby probe.
Broadly similar to Sprite 1, just a bit lighter due to higher delta V requirements.

 

And finally we can send up some great training missions: Beagle-M spacecraft with docking ability (launched on a Diamond-Cedear) and Beagle Target Vehicles for rendezvous and docking training (launched on an Emerald-Birch). Here's some pictures from one of those missions.

 

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@Teilnehmer OP updated with a (constantly-updating) link to all craft files and subassemblies.

(Technically, it's literally a junction to my save's craft and subassemblies folders, so you get it all, in real time.)

 

@MatterBeam just have fun, really. Get science, get money, research the tree, fly crewed missions...have fun. :)

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With the unlocking of Improved Staged Combustion engines, we can make much bigger and more efficient launch vehicles. This all depends on the NK-9 and NK-15 series of engines. While a couple early flights use the NK-9 on their first stages (Emeraldine x2 to replace Emerald, and the new Dravite stage x4 or 5 depending on upper), we standardize on the more cost-effective NK-15 (Dravite B x1 3 meters with verniers, Garnet x2 4m, and Hyalite x7 6m diameter) The NK-9V (aka NK-19 or -21) is our second stage engine of choice, far more efficient and powerful than the RD-0110. It's used on the Cherry 3m stage (and later Cherry C 4m stage) in 1x with RCS for roll control, and in 4x on the Elm 5 meter stage.

It's time to think bigger about payloads, too! With this kind of throw weight, we can send off interplanetary orbiters and landers, not just flyby probes, and we can begin to think about more than just spam in a can for human spaceflight. The first test of our new heavy LVs is the Sprite 4 mission. This involves sending an orbiter-lander combo to Venus.

The launch vehicle is sized to the maximum our current launch infrastructure can sustain, 800 metric tons. We also design a new 4m upper stage, the Dogwood B. Dogwood A was an abortive 3m upper stage with 2x 11D33M (S1.5400A) engines; Dogwood B is a full 4 meters in diameter and 33 tonnes loaded. It will provide the final delta V needed for orbit and then inject the Sprite 4 spaceraft on a trans-Venus trajectory. To guide this giant, we use the brand new 3.9m Early Saturn IU avionics unit, placed atop the Elm stage, as well as 4x Delta avionics units in the Dogwood.

Here are some pictures from the mission.

 

 

Once the Hyalite-Elm-Dogwood combination is proved, we'll have further use for it: a Mars lander mission (Sprite 6) and the flying the translunar flights of the Dalmatian program!

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Wow, cool to see a Creator of your level showcasing their "off the clock" stuff. Those are some tiny MechJeb windows, is your monitor huge or your eyes just that good?

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Fresh off the success of Sprite 4, we launch two more probes. Sprite 5 is a Mercury flyby probe, launched on a Garnet/Cherry/Birch, but Sprite 6 is another massive undertaking, requiring a Hyalite-Elm-Dogwood. It's a Mars lander, and landing on Mars is perhaps the hardest in the solar system: not enough atmosphere for parachutes alone to work, but enough that heat shielding is required--and that heat shielding must be discarded before landing!

 

Here are some pictures from the Sprite 6 mission. (Note: MECO and separation are out of order here, though correct on imgur itself. Looks like the forum cached the album.)

 

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52 minutes ago, NathanKell said:

@CatastrophicFailure thanks! :) I run 2560x1600; click on a picture and choose to view it at full resolution to see the actual size.

Err, or if it's part of an album click on the gear icon to get that option.

Right, but what about your actual monitor? I run on a 32" TV at 1920x1080, and any higher resolution gives me a splitting headache. Curious how a pro does it. 

 

ETA: also, how are you dealing with the signal delay from RT when landing?

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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Dalmatian 3 is the third mission using the Dalmatian spacecraft. The Dalmatian spacecraft is designed for long-term LEO and lunar missions. While the Hyalite-Elm-Dogwood combination is not quite powerful enough to lift a lunar-orbit-capable Dalmatian stack, it can boost one with low propellant loads into a flyby trajectory. The existing Garnet and Cherry stages (Cherry C, in 4m diameter) can place a Dalmatian into orbit with about 300m/s delta V (a very light propellant load). To train our astronauts on the Dalmatian spacecraft and long-term orbital operations we will launch Dalmatian and Dalmatian Target Vehicle pairs to practice rendezvous and docking.

The first Dalmatian mission is an uncrewed test article, which performs flawlessly. Dalmatian 3 sees Beagle veteran Mike Austin (the first astronaut to perform a spacewalk, back in the Beagle program) as Command Pilot lead rookies Steven Hart (Flight Engineer) and Evangeline Pimenta (Scientist Pilot). If this mission goes as well as Dalmatian 1 and Dalmatian 2, Dalmtian 4 and 5--uncrewed and crewed lunar flyby missions, respectively--can go ahead.

 

 

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Great report. What modpack does that capsule come from?

Also, would have liked to see the aero overlay during the skip re-entry.

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8 hours ago, MatterBeam said:

Great report. What modpack does that capsule come from?

Also, would have liked to see the aero overlay during the skip re-entry.

The capsule is from Ven's Stock Revamp, and it is the TKS VA return pod in RO. Or a name similar to that.

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We now have two launch pads, one capable of thousand-ton-plus class LVs and one capable of 800 tons. While Dalmatian 4, the uncrewed lunar flyby, is integrated and checked out at LC-5A, we take advantage of another Mars window to launch Faerie 1, a Phobos/Deimos flyby probe and Deimos lander.

Faerie 1, a Mars orbiter / Phobos and Deimos flyby / Deimos lander
1X8PIPXl.png

The Martian followup to Sprite 6 (Sprite 7 is going to Jupiter), Faerie 1 will capture into medium Mars orbit, then change apoapsis for a Deimos encounter. It will then brake to capture at Deimos and separate. The lander will then orbit Deimos and land at various spots, while the bus will then burn for a Phobos flyby encounter.

Faerie 1 Lander on the surface of Deimos
K5b2LnCl.png

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The moment we've all been waiting for: human beings leave the cradle of Earth! Dalmatian 5 sees a veteran crew fly past the Moon and return safely to the Earth.

 

 

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Quite a trip!

A few questions:

-Why the Dalmatian name?
-You performed a high Earth (trans-Earth) EVA. Why do you think no EVAs were ever performed in Lunar  orbit, in real life?

 

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@MatterBeam thanks! :)

This playthrough I decided on gemstones/minerals for boosters, trees for uppers, immaterial things (Sprite, Sylph, Snipe, Faerie) for probes, and dogs for crewed spacecraft.

My guess is because it's less dangerous in high Earth orbit: you have, like, a day to catch someone who gets loose, vs in lunar orbit where things decay fast without stationkeeping and you are limited in how far you can travel (and get comparatively larger differences in period for velocity changes). But that's speculation.

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7 minutes ago, NathanKell said:

@MatterBeam thanks! :)

This playthrough I decided on gemstones/minerals for boosters, trees for uppers, immaterial things (Sprite, Sylph, Snipe, Faerie) for probes, and dogs for crewed spacecraft.

My guess is because it's less dangerous in high Earth orbit: you have, like, a day to catch someone who gets loose, vs in lunar orbit where things decay fast without stationkeeping and you are limited in how far you can travel (and get comparatively larger differences in period for velocity changes). But that's speculation.

I see... but that wouldn't explain Apollo 15's scientific data recovery EVA, where they'd have -zero- orbits to retrieve a person in EVA.

Are you eventually planning to send people to the inner planets?

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@MatterBeam dunno then...

As to crewed Mars/Venus flights...I'd like to, but we'll see how far I get / how much time I have. I need to land on the Moon first though! And probably upgrade to the Mk1-2 pod, the VA doesn't have enough ablator for interplanetary I think (well, it does if you pull like 10G on the first reentry, but that's harsh).

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Just now, NathanKell said:

@MatterBeam dunno then...

As to crewed Mars/Venus flights...I'd like to, but we'll see how far I get / how much time I have. I need to land on the Moon first though! And probably upgrade to the Mk1-2 pod, the VA doesn't have enough ablator for interplanetary I think (well, it does if you pull like 10G on the first reentry, but that's harsh).

I've always wondered why people don't put airbrakes or control surfaces on their re-entry pods? They make re-entry so much easier!

 

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