Speeding Mullet

Ohno it's my first mission to Moho - COMPLETED! Cannot believe I did it :)

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OHNO IT'S MY FIRST MISSION TO MOHO

 

There comes a time in everyone's KSP career when they consider their first mission to Moho.  Extensive forum browsing normally ensues and I certainly partook in much reading of outlandish stories about insane delta-V requirements, but also good solid advice such as perhaps try a flyby first, always a good idea to start small etc.  Once I'd read all of the requirements I fully understood what I needed to do and designed a modest mission to Moho, to get my eye in so to speak.  This therefore is my "Ohno it's my first mission to Moho" mission report, and with that in mind let's check out the small probe that will make the journey to Moho:

 

M1iQQYl.jpg

 

If you didn't get it from the picture let me fill you in that this is clearly no small probe.  I genuinely started out with the best intentions, but as the wish list for "doing Moho" grew I decided that I required the following to say that I had effectively "done" Moho:

1) Lander:  Clearly why bother unless we are actually going for boots on the ground (and returning them safely)

  • Room for 2 Kerbals
  • 24-77 "Twitch" liquid fuel descent stage
  • O-10 "Puff" mono-propellant ascent stage

2) Orbital outpost:  If we are going we are going big and I'm pretty confident I don't want to be sending any more than 1 rocket if I don't have to.

  • Room for 24 in emergencies, but otherwise built to handle 6-12 in spacious living conditions
  • Radiator due to proximity to Kerbol
  • Junior and Senior Docking port adapters for full expandability
  • Science module, short and long range communication capability

3) Return vehicle and habitat:  Yes, it's a pretty long mission, so the crew needs somewhere to play cards and also to return safely if at all possible.

  • Supports a crew of three with extended living space
  • Also functions as orbital utility vehicle
  • Much ablation - High speed returns

 

If you still don't get a picture of the scale of this absurdity then let's cover off some basic facts on the mission with my mission factoids section:

  1. Tall - 50.2 meters to be precise.  Not the tallest out there but nearly the height of the VAB and certainly long enough to experience massive noodling
  2. Wide - Almost exactly 25 meters each way.  It's both long and very chubby
  3. Heavy - Four thousand five hundred tonnes, and seven hundred kilos (snacks). the trans Moho injection vehicle and payload alone are over 800 tonnes
  4. Computer crushing - 608 parts on the launch pad.  Could be worse but it's not friendly.  Luckily Gerty 3000 is up to the job
  5. Expensive - 1,659,692 things.

 

Now as with many (every) one of my missions, I didn't just start with the perfect rocket (or end with it) and there were many, many, many design iterations that preceded what I thought might actually be able to leave the launch pad without hailing the Kraken or destroying KSC.  This resulted in some rather fervent explosions.  Some were even eager enough to end my KSP session is a molten pool of memory dribbling from my pc case, but onward I gallivanted through failure after failure secure in the knowledge that the escape tower would hurtle the crew far away from the all consuming rage of nearly twenty stacks of S3 KS-25 "Mammoth" driven fury.  Let's have a quick browse through some of the more memorable failures:

 

1) THE "YEAH, NO MATE"

 

2) THE "ILLUSIONIST"

 

3) THE "NOTHING TO SEE HERE, QUITE LITERALLY"

 

Post these brazen and runaway series of successful launches (honestly 3 of nearly 20 shown) I decided that I needed to do a few things.  Firstly I needed to completely remove and reroute the fuel lines.  Something wasn't flowing correctly and the rocket drifted considerably off course as a result.  Secondly I needed to completely re-do all the strutting due to the rocket frequently eating itself on the way to orbit.  Lastly I needed to appease the Kraken.  Luckily I'd already done this nigh on 20 times already so all I did was cross my fingers and hope to Gene Kerman that everything went smoothly.  Let's see if it did with the first launch of the final iteration of the Moho Ohno:

 

 

Wow so that actually worked, and worked well.  A good 4 days of working, reverting, reworking went into making this thing a success.  The worrying thing is that while I had total oversight of the Delta-V stats during construction I actually never looked at it.  I had no idea this thing would reach orbit, and I still have no idea at all whether it will reach, and or return from Moho.  It's going to be a nail biting mission for sure.  Follow me over the next few updates to see how the mission goes, and as ever I am open to questions, comments, criticism, or commitment to the KSC asylum for bad mission planners.

 

SM

 

 

 

Edited by Speeding Mullet

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Look very interesting! Why not do separate launches and dock them in orbit though? This would save risking such a dangerous launch and save risking the poor Kerbal's lives ::sticktongue:

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29 minutes ago, BowWhalley said:

Look very interesting! Why not do separate launches and dock them in orbit though? This would save risking such a dangerous launch and save risking the poor Kerbal's lives ::sticktongue:

Ah ha!  I thought someone might ask that so thanks for posing the question.  I actually tried launching the main payload on it's own and the rocket that I needed to build was considerably smaller to get the payload to space:

 

However when assembling on orbit the whole rocket was found to be rather noodly, so a decision was made to go bold or go home essentially.  Aside from this the trans Moho injection and trans Kerbin injection stages make up so much of the weight of the mission that actually it was over all easier (if a little risky to the crew) to launch in one elephantine lump.

 

SM

 

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4 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Ah ha!  I thought someone might ask that so thanks for posing the question.  I actually tried launching the main payload on it's own and the rocket that I needed to build was considerably smaller to get the payload to space:

 

However when assembling on orbit the whole rocket was found to be rather noodly, so a decision was made to go bold or go home essentially.  Aside from this the trans Moho injection and trans Kerbin injection stages make up so much of the weight of the mission that actually it was over all easier (if a little risky to the crew) to launch in one elephantine lump.

 

SM

 

Fair enough, though have you considered using KAS to put on struts in eva or are you trying to do this all stock?

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12 minutes ago, BowWhalley said:

Fair enough, though have you considered using KAS to put on struts in eva or are you trying to do this all stock?

Yep totally stock mission (apart from MJ to handle long burns for me it's totally hand flown).  I'm very used to a lot of mods but for 1.05 I'm sticking to stock.  Waiting for 1.1 and will probably mod back up again!

 

SM

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Ummm, shouldn't this thread be posted in the mission reports section and not the challenges section of the forum .. or am I mistaken?

Edited by DoctorDavinci

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Moho missions are always fun.

I did a Moho mission with a space station for 6 to 10 kerbals. The station is around 70 tons but 355 tons with the transfer stage from LKO. The whole rocket was around 2100 tons on the launchpad (but the 300 tons empty SSTO rocket stage is fully recoverable). The return vehicle and lander are sent on another flight.

The station has a mining module which can land and refuel the station. Then the science lander (much lighter) can do multiple trips. It's a 3000m/s lander so it can do hops.

(The links are in my signature)

017d2bde-716d-4ca8-a3b2-050147fd4dff.jpg b88bc9d5-73e3-4257-8b5c-7b36c4746567.jpg

Moho station firing at LKO / Moho station in orbit (with Plume mod).
This one was too heavy: the lander was part of a separate mission, tugged by the return vehicle

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Forgive me if I am misunderstanding you but is this a challenge or a mission report? Because sir (I assume sir based on demographics) I am all for a good challenge and this would make a great video but if it is not then I believe this belongs in a different section of the forums.  

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Whether this is a challenge, a mission report or whatever, it's good stuff. I wanna know what happens next!

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It's definitely a mission report and not a challenge.  In fact I very specifically created it in the mission report sub section but for some reason (I'm thinking a similar reason to why quotes from old post appear when I create new posts sometimes) it's posted to the challenge section.

 

Time to report myself to the moderators :)

Edit:  500 POSTS WHOOP!

SM

Edited by Speeding Mullet

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1 hour ago, Speeding Mullet said:

It's definitely a mission report and not a challenge.  In fact I very specifically created it in the mission report sub section but for some reason (I'm thinking a similar reason to why quotes from old post appear when I create new posts sometimes) it's posted to the challenge section.

 

Time to report myself to the moderators :)

Edit:  500 POSTS WHOOP!

SM

Clear your browser history and it should fix that problem .. I find that if I haven't cleared mine I end up getting quotes or previous posts popping up

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Moho FTW other than kerbin and duna its my favorite planet and plus, who doesn't love transfer windows? :wink:About half my craft in orbit a for Moho mission testing. 

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13 hours ago, max_creative said:

Moho FTW other than kerbin and duna its my favorite planet and plus, who doesn't love transfer windows? :wink:About half my craft in orbit a for Moho mission testing. 

Moho FTW indeed!  Well having said that the point of this mission is to win over Moho hopefully so let's check in and see what the progress looks like:

 

First thing I had to do was to make sure that we had the transfer window.  Due to the fact that I didn't launch this anywhere near a Moho transfer window it involved asking MJ when the next one was and then scanning forwards two hundred and forty something days in the mission control room to avoid three weeks of time warp below 120km altitude.  This went pretty smoothly as you might imagine and we can joint the ship just at the point that the transfer is about to start.  To give you an idea of the requirements for the burn we have a 1.621 km/s burn in 4 hours, with a total transit duration of 139 days or just over, which is perfectly acceptable.

FpuM1tP.png

 

The one call out I'd like to make at this point is obviously our inclination around Kerbin is not very favorable, but the fact that the ship has such massive power at it's disposal means we can sort that all out in the trans Moho injection burn and save ourselves a heap of time and complications, even if it means it's not the most efficient process.  I just hope the Delta-V is enough to make it there and back!

Here's the staged burn sequence:

 

Now we have the transfer at "nearly there" stage and realising that it's going to be pretty much impossible to refine this until we are much closer, there's a little bit of housekeeping to do. Namely the return capsule has to undock, and spin 180 degrees to re-dock to the home that will occupy the crew for the next 139 days or so of the journey to Moho:

 

OPvEa5w.jpg

 

 

The next 100 some days pass pretty uneventfully as the crew concentrates on relaxing, and keeping up with the daily science and maintenance schedule onboard the ohnomoho.  They also wonder why they cannot access the enormous bulk of the space station as even though they have the hitchhiker and science module to roam through there is three of them, and finding privacy and space is pretty hard.  The only thing that has to happen now is the critical adjustment burn to refine the periapsis to a reasonable height on Moho.  The plan is to skim as close to the planets surface as is safe from interplanetary speed in order to get the most out of the small gravity well that Moho provides.

 

  KiXWOR8.jpg

 

I'll be honest I didn't even expect to get this far in the mission.  It seems to have been rather smooth sailing so far and the crew are on course for a very very high speed interception with Moho.  Luckily we have use of the last couple of stages of the main injection engine, designed to scrub off speed to a level that will be manageable by the final stage, powered by 8 LV-N "Nerv" Atomic Rocket Motors.  This is the stage also that will power the crew (hopefully) back to Kerbin at the end of the mission.  I get ahead of myself though let's see how we got on with the orbital insertion burn at Moho:

 

WOW!  I literally have no idea how we've managed this.  Apart from using MJ to map the transfer burn this mission has been and will continue to be totally hand flown.  I'm a little worried that we've not got much fuel left, but the reality is that the only thing that is going (I hope) home is the hitch hiker and the command pod so we will have shed plenty of weight.  Here's an on orbit shot to play away this update.  I think this is rather a large vessel to have made it to Moho low orbit so I am quite proud!

 

3YiOtEC.png

 

 

 

Next I'll have to do some orbital assembly of the space station, so the crew will have some super complex maneuvers to perform, and hopefully they will manage to get down to the surface using the lander!

Until next update and as always welcome any comments criticism or other from anyone that is interested in the progress of my first Moho mission!

SM

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Moho's fun. Transfer windows like 5 times a year, great for roasting stuff, and has a giant trash can in its top! And the kraken lives in the bottom! Yay I can throw stuff on the kraken's head!

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14 hours ago, max_creative said:

Moho's fun. Transfer windows like 5 times a year, great for roasting stuff, and has a giant trash can in its top! And the kraken lives in the bottom! Yay I can throw stuff on the kraken's head!

Yep definitely warm down there, hence the radiator clad space station.  While in game this won't help so much in my head they are reflecting the enormous heat and glare of Kerbol back into space.  Plus I think the station looks cool.  Speaking of space stations it's time to deploy the command module to assemble it.  Let's check in and get the latest from my first Moho mission:

 

 

The Moho orbital station and science lab is now in permanent orbit at 39km and a reasonably high inclination.  This will allow future missions to use the station as a base of operations to visit the vast majority of Moho's surface as required.  Let's take a peak at the station complete and in orbit.

7QKIi4J.png

 

Once i'd assembled everything I took a look at the fuel requirements for the journey home and realised that It's probably going to be cutting it very fine.  I didn't (or couldn't) afford to use any more fuel to get the two vessels together again to pick up the remaining crew member before departure, so a decision was made to mate the station back to the main engines before the lander could take the lucky two down to the surface.

The command pod is running relatively low on RCS at this point but luckily we get there with some mono remaining for future maneuvers.  We've also detached the Ohno Moho lander which is just out of shot here:

 

juyE2zQ.png

 

 

Ok so we are ready for the big event.  The lander is the one thing that I did pay attention to the delta-V requirements of so I hope that I've planned things well.  The lander is a relatively simple "Apollo style" tin can, built for two to descend to the surface, stay for a number of days and then return to orbit.  It's lower stage is powered by 4 24-77 "Twitch" liquid fuel engines, and the ascent stage is driven into orbit by 4 O-10 "Puff" mono-propellant engines.

Let's have a look at the lander mission and see how that went down:

 

OK so not well at all.  Firstly the crew missed their target of the large flat bottomed crater, and also ran out of fuel on the descent stage a few hundred meters above the surface, and in a flap had to engage the ascent engines to complete the rest of the descent.  The good thing is for the moment they are on the ground, and possibly for the very long term unless they can come up with a plan.  I think they fuel load was skimped on in favor of guesstimation rather than calculation and so there's certainly not enough to reach orbit again, but what can be done?  In the meantime the crew pose for a photo which will be released to the general public, smiles hiding their abject panic.

7LUM2Ax.png

 

Next time we will see if the crew can be rescued using only a paper clip and a length of...wait.  Of course we can rescue this can't we?  Well I already know the result of not having enough fuel (i think) to reach orbit but you'll have to wait for the next update to find out what happens next.  It's sure to be a nail biting exercise in crew rescue, and even if they can be rescued then there's still the story of getting home to come.

As always comments feedback and conversation much appreciated!

 

SM

 

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Oh yes, I was wondering how a big lander could have a so small fuel tank. but I got it : it was a one way trip ...
 Those MK1-2 landing can are really too heavy.

Anyway : nicely done.

I always felt that Moho texture wasn't too nice. There are a lot of texture repetition that feel unnatural. Other than that, it's quite fun to get there. Did you have any ISRU capacity ?

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7 minutes ago, Warzouz said:

Oh yes, I was wondering how a big lander could have a so small fuel tank. but I got it : it was a one way trip ...
 Those MK1-2 landing can are really too heavy.

Anyway : nicely done.

I always felt that Moho texture wasn't too nice. There are a lot of texture repetition that feel unnatural. Other than that, it's quite fun to get there. Did you have any ISRU capacity ?

Yeah the textures aren't great.  I'm really hoping for a massive planet overhaul one of these updates!

Its not a one way trip, or at least it's not supposed to be.  The descent stage is actually 3 tanks - You'll spot 2 FL-T100 tanks on the side of the Rockomax X200-8.  The ascent stage is entirely mono fuelled and very very small.  when I upload the gallery of the ascent you will not only see if they make it, but also how small the stage is :)

No ISRU for the whole mission this time round.  I've played around with it for a bit, but for this one they are carrying (hopefully) all the fuel they need for the entire trip - hence the 4500t launch haha!

 

SM

 

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Ah, ok. I was blinded by my own way of doing things. I prefer using SSTO landers from light bodies (even for other ones, except Eve). The I refuel them on the space station.

Edited by Warzouz

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Yeah my prototype Moho lander one state and meant to be reusable so it has an irsu, radial ore tanks and small drills. So they haven't done test 1, land on the mun. So far it's just been "impact the mun" because I am such a bad pilot.

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Oh hey great idea, send a sky crane next transfer window and pick them up! (Literally grab the kerbals) :rolleyes:

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On 3/17/2016 at 7:38 PM, Warzouz said:

Ah, ok. I was blinded by my own way of doing things. I prefer using SSTO landers from light bodies (even for other ones, except Eve). The I refuel them on the space station.

I've used SSTO landers frequently, but I'm king of over-complex - I just love staging :)

On 3/17/2016 at 1:36 AM, max_creative said:

So far it's just been "impact the mun" because I am such a bad pilot.

Nahhh - You'll get there!  F5 F9!!

On 3/17/2016 at 1:54 AM, max_creative said:

Oh hey great idea, send a sky crane next transfer window and pick them up! (Literally grab the kerbals)

Well let's see if I need to!  Apologies for the delay with uploading the next step but I have been on a break from reality (holiday) for the last 3 weeks.  Let's go to space (I hope):

fp3N4wL.png

The crew boards the return to orbit module, and with everything cross-able cross-able they punch the big red ascent button.  What happens next is a miracle of space travel:

It hasn't gone well.  It hasn't gone well at all and the sub orbital trajectory is testament to the terrible planning (i.e. none) that this mission underwent.

dylktMR.png

But wait, isn't Moho a very small body.  If the EVA packs work then we might, just might have a chance:

89NCN9q.png

 

Once by one the two crew exit the ascent vehicle and fire up their EVA packs.  They were never designed for this kind of operation but the main ship has very little fuel left, possibly not enough to make it home even and there is no rescue coming, so it's either try this, or impact Moho very shortly at very high speed.  Let's see what happens next:

 

Amazing, it actually worked!  Both crew managed to "chase the ace" and rescue themselves back to the Moho mother ship.  Now all we have to do is handle the return home.  Easy you say?  Have to wait till the next update to see if the crew can all make it home!

 

SM

 

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Right let's get this show on the road back to Kerbin.  It's been sitting in my screenshot library for too long while I've been on holiday and desperately trying to catch up with work post holiday :huh:  On the upside, I've avoided 1.1 envy and skipped 4 weeks waiting time so that's a good thing!  Also while I was looking back through the mission I found this screenshot which once again bowled me over with how pretty KSP can be (if you don't look at the terrain detail):

ycpGDu3.png

Anyway to the mission.  All we need to do now is get the crew back safely to Kerbin right?  I mean it shouldn't be horribly difficult.  One burn, little correction, then a pant wetting re-entry at x km/s for the crew and the hope that the parachutes open in time to land "softly".  Let's check in and see if they make it:

 

A decision was made as you can see to call the return capsule "I don't think we are getting home" and for good reason.  From the gallery above you can see that the calculations showed a deficiency in Delta-V in taking the living space home.  This was to be a cramped journey returning in just the capsule.  First the sepatrons designed to eject the living hab from the capsule were fired to expend their Delta-V in the direction of home.  Then the hab was ditched, fuel balanced and the capsule docked to the right tank of the Moho return engines.  Not an ideal solution but the only one available.  Then the main engines were fired until depleted.  After that the main engines were also ditched, and the force in the TR-XL Stack separator was further used to impart homeward bound energy.  Finally after all that, and quite remarkably to be honest we ended up with a freaking closest approach.  I literally could not believe I was so close yet so far.

I sat back with my hands behind my head and thought "I've failed at Moho" and then it suddenly came to me.  The three brave pilots all had EVA packs that they could use, and if I could just get them to do one thing, then we might be able to save the day:

I5H9O2o.png

Now normally I'd tell myself you are totally cheating here, but A) I thought it was such a good idea and had remembered using it before (in a very very cheaty way) to get back from Mun, but also B) Thought that if I was in space with no fuel and a couple of km away from a decent encounter and only had an EVA pack to use then I'd damn well try it.  Keeping in mind that I had 3 Kerbals to use I crossed my fingers and put it in the hands of the three best pilots I knew to make it happen.  After using each of their IVA packs I ended up with this:

o6r4bSl.png

 

RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I knew I had made it now.  The crew was going to get home (admittedly in a molten cloud of particulates in the atmosphere or landing safely were the options) one way or the other.  Let's check out the final stages of the mission as the re-entry happens:

 

And the obligatory final crew photo on landing.  

iX13rWY.png

Look how proud they are in their little space suits.  I'm personally proud to have commanded such a mission and actually sitting here having written it up and re-read the entire mission cannot understand quite how I managed to get it to work considering everything.  The Delta-V was only really lacking by a couple of hundred or so (hence ditching the living hab for the return journey) so if I'd flown more efficiently I may have actually been able to run the mission within tolerances I think!  Not bad for a huge leviathan ship that I actually really only eyeballed on rough guesstimates for how it was going to perform.  Nothing was tested in advance at all so I'm very pleased with myself right now :)

 

Hope you had fun reading this!  Probably my last big mission until 1.1 is out.  Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is going to be doing with it, and I now a great opportunity to catch up with some of the forum stories and reports I've missed out on.

 

SM

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On 13/03/2016 at 9:37 AM, BowWhalley said:

Look very interesting! Why not do separate launches and dock them in orbit though? This would save risking such a dangerous launch and save risking the poor Kerbal's lives ::sticktongue:

Where's the fun in that?!

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