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New Horizons Travelling Circus -- INTERLUDE: Everything is Broken


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The New Horizons Travelling Circus

Episode 1:  My Head's in Mississippi (this post)

Episode 2: Keelhauled

Episode 3: The Sloop John B

Episode 4: Ramblin' Kerb

Episode 5: Saturday Night on Serran

Episode 6: Highway 61 Revisited

Episode 7: The Walloping Window Blind

Episode 8: Munbase Madhouse

Episode 9: A Hot Time in the Munbase Tonight

Episode 10: From the Ashes of Disaster

Episode 11: Workin' at the Munbase Blues

Episode 12: Roid Rage

Episode 13: Industrial Disease

Episode 14: Worker's Song

Interlude: Everything is Broken

 

 

EPISODE 1: My Head's in Mississippi

Spoiler

 

01-01 Title Screen

I've spent all the time since 1.1.0 came out planning the next chapter in the Travelling Circus saga.  It was going to be set many years after the 2nd Sarnus Expedition, with all kinds of changes in Kerbal society and fancy new tech.  I had a bunch of ships and stations already designed.  I had learned enough of kOS to make it do something nothing else could do.  But 1.1.x hasn't worked out and several key mods I was counting on just got broken by 1.1.3 and their authors have gone on hiatus.  And besides, 1.1.3 has beaucoup problems of its own with key things like wheels and legs.  So all those plans have to remain on hold.  But I'm tired of waiting so I decided to occupy myself with something totally different.   This story takes place in an alternate universe (hence the A on the flag) where Kerbin is a moon of the blue gas giant Sonnah in the New Horizons system.  And the Circus is more traditional.

There are a number of things that make this rather challenging to do a career in.  First off, Kerbin has no moons so there's no handy supply of Science! near at hand.  The closest thing is Aptur, a tiny thing like Gilly, in a similar, resonant, intersecting orbit with Kerbin around Sonnah, so it's always fairly close but sometimes ahead or behind, inside or outside.  The stock Mun also orbits Sonnah further in and then there are 2 new moons further out.  There is thus rather large jump in rocket needed between struggling into orbit the 1st time and going anywhere else, and collecting all the necessary Science from mucking about on Kerbin is a real grind even with 200% rewards set.  It might be a good idea to start with lots of Science! (and money) in the bank to avoid the grindiness.  This episode takes place during some of this grind.  Nothing very interesting happens but the scenery is worth looking at.

----------------------------------------

For their first real challenge, the Boffins had to get a Juno-powered plane to 18km altitude over a spot near Cape Farewell at the southern end of the KSC continent.  The obvious solution was to boost it up there with a rocket and thus was born the X-1, named mostly for the shape of its wings.  Jeb himself decided to fly it, the Circus not yet having any pressees to send on this mission.  As he climbed out, Jeb looked up at Aptur and was already plotting ways of getting there.  He also admired the fresh-looking topography of Kerbin, which had been given a thorough scrubbing and tidying up with KASE (necessary to make the repurposed stock planets in New Horizons look the same as the NH planets)..

01-02 Aplur in Sky

 

Looking straight up, Sonnah totally dominated the sky and would soon eclipse the sun as Kerbin moved in its orbit.  These eclipses happened frequently because Kerbin's orbital period was only a few weeks, and they lasted for several days each time.

01-03 Sonnah in the Sky

 

Jeb completed the mission no problem, actually reaching a bit over 20km before running out of oxidizer.  And he managed to get back to KSC before running out of fuel.  But some things never change even with the different solar system.  Such as, the starter landing gear still suck and landing and Jeb still excels at crashing airplanes.  Still, any landing you can limp away from....  Actually, it landed just fine but then flipped upon applying the brakes.

01-04 Altiplane Mishap

 

But the Circus' plans to go anywhere would have to wait a long time.  The managed to send their first probe beyond Kerbin's SOI (which is SMALL in NH, like one of the big moons of Jool) for a sweep through Sonnah's rings.  Of course, not yet having invented solar panels, it was dead before it got there....  Still, it looked good in the artist's impression :)

01-05 Sonnah Probe 1

 

Tune in next time for something hopefully more interesting.

 

 

Edited by Geschosskopf
Interlude
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Interesting. Is Sonnah placed at the point where solar panels get 100% effeciency? Or is it further out? That blue hue makes me think it's an ice giant and not a warmer body. Might need to launch those probes with batteries deactivated..... 

Looks amazing either way. 

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The Boffins are back!  OK, maybe parallel dimension Boffins , but who cares?  This is already starting out very interesting. 

I love the KSP opening menu with Sonnah as the background planet.  Nice touch!

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Ahh... New Horizons. The star system with many gorgeous views and the giant ice planet with a silly name. I had a bash at this once. Didn't get very far: I kept staring up at Sonnah and would often fly my aircraft into the terrain...:D

Edited by UnusualAttitude
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10 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Interesting. Is Sonnah placed at the point where solar panels get 100% effeciency? Or is it further out? That blue hue makes me think it's an ice giant and not a warmer body. Might need to launch those probes with batteries deactivated..... 

Looks amazing either way. 

yes, Sonnah is placed at the 100% point.  but I think that @KillAshley rewrote the solar power curve, I'm not sure.  I know that anything inside of Sonnah's orbit needs very few solar panels to get full power, and if you go too far in you need massive amounts of radiators.

 

It gets even more interesting when combined with @magico13's KCT.  timing for launch windows to other moons is...... interesting to say the least. 

I haven't been able to go back to the stock system after using NH.

Edited by Garibaldi2257
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12 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Interesting. Is Sonnah placed at the point where solar panels get 100% effeciency? Or is it further out? That blue hue makes me think it's an ice giant and not a warmer body. Might need to launch those probes with batteries deactivated..... 

 

1 hour ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

yes, Sonnah is placed at the 100% point.  but I think that @KillAshley rewrote the solar power curve, I'm not sure.  I know that anything inside of Sonnah's orbit needs very few solar panels to get full power, and if you go too far in you need massive amounts of radiators.

When the game starts, Sonnah is 29.3Gm from the sun, which is about halfway between Duna (20Gm) and Dres (40Gm) in the stock system.  But solar panels there seem to have the same output as in the stock system so yeah, it seems pretty certain there's a different light curve in effect.  NOTE:  Sonnah's orbit is noticeably eccentric so if you run the game long enough, you'll probably notice a difference in performance even at Kerbin.

Thanks for the tip about the radiators.  Due to Sonnah being so far out, windows to inner planets will be considerably more frequent than to the outer planets.  I expect the latter to be decades apart.

For them as don't know, the NH system is as follows:  The 1st 3 planets are inside Moho's orbit in the stock system, rather like most exosystems we've discovered so far.  The last 3 planets are in what would be OPM territory in an otherwise stock system.

  • Ernus (1Gm):  smallish molten rock ball
  • Moh (2.8Gm), a "hot Neptune".  Moon:  Moho
  • Arin (4.4Gm), a superearth.  Moons:  Astrid, Atell
  • Eve (10.2Gm), the stock planet, pretty much the stock distance from the sun.
  • Laythe (18.9Gm), the stock Joolian moon, half again as far out as Kerbin in stock.  Moon:  Derso.
  • Sonnah (29.3Gm), a dark blue gas giant.  Moons:  Mun, Kerbin, Aptur, Eli, Serran
  • Jool (73.0Gm), the stock planet about halfway between its stock position and Eeloo's.  Moons:  Dres, Duna, Ike, Leouch, Nolas
  • Titanus (125.4Gm), a light blue gas giant with rings.  Moons:  Ete, Tylo, Oree.
  • Eeloo (245.0Gm), the stock planet.  Moon:  Minmus
  • Vanor (290.7Gm), a red gas giant.  Moons:  Pol, Etal, Vall, Bop, Gilly

 

1 hour ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

It gets even more interesting when combined with @magico13's KCT.  timing for launch windows to other moons is...... interesting to say the least. 

I haven't been able to go back to the stock system after using NH.

KCT = Kerbin Construction Time?  I've never used that so have no idea how long things take.  But I usually build and launch my stuff weeks to months ahead of the window anyway because I've learned from bitter experience that KAC transfer window alarms are badly off.

Given that the NH system just got somewhat rearranged in the latest version, I doubt there's a dV map for it yet.  But I know how the interplanetary distances relate to the stock system so I figure I can SWAG things well enough there.  And if the stock planets and moons used haven't changed, I know how much it costs to land on them.  The main issue will be the new moons, but I figure I can SWAG those, too.

-------------------

Needing to write a story that has references to time, I've given some thought to how the primitive NH Kerbals would have developed a calendar based on celestial observations, which would continue in use by the modern NH Kerbals.  I figure NH Kerbals would have always had a Copernican model and Kepler's laws due to the easily observable motion of the rings and other moons around Sonnah even to the naked eye.  From there, it would have been a short step to infer that Sonnah and its moons all orbited the sun, evident from the seasons produced by Sonnah's eccentricity and the noticeable change in brightness and/or diameter of the sun.  So wheels within wheels, which leads to a calendar similar to ancient Mesoamerica with its intermeshed solar and lunar cycles only aligning on their least common multiples thousands of years apart.

I imagine the NH calendar as having 5 intermeshed wheels as opposed to the 2 of the ancient Mesoamericans: .

  • Sonnah's orbit around the sun, which I estimate at 3-3.5 stock Kerbin years.
  • The inclinations of Sonnah and Kerbin, which cause Sonnah to eclipse the sun with more or less of its diameter so the eclipses have variable length.  This probably syncs up with Sonnah's orbital period over a very long period of time.
  • Kerbin's rotation around Sonnah, easily noted by the frequent, long-lasting eclipses.  I estimate this at several weeks although I haven't measured it yet.
  • Aptur's wandering about the sky due to its tragically conjoined orbit with Kerbin.  While I haven't observed this long enough to be sure, I reckon this cycle is probably very close to, but slightly longer than, the time between the start of Sonnahian eclipses corrected for more or less of Sonnah blocking the sun.,  The Aptur cycle is probably the best measurement of Kerbin's orbital period around Sonnah, and probably syncs with the start of eclipses at some medium interval of time.
  • Kerbin's rotation on its axis causing day and night.

So, modern NH Kerbals would have conventional days, "months" based on the Aptur cycle, "years" based on Sonnah's year, "decades" based on the combination of the Aptur cycle and the start of eclipses, and "centuries" based on the inclination-based eclipse duration cycle.  Around these would be an ancient religious calendar based on the start and duration of eclipses and the synchronization of all the other cycles.

All very interesting, but of course pretty pointless because KSP has its own (or Earth's) calendar, and none other, neither of which bears any relation to the NH system.  Still, I'm tempted to take the time to make years of observations of these various phenomena just to see how it all works.

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Yeah, Kerbal Construction Time, sorry.  I love the mod, but its not for everyone. 

another tip, if you leave from orbit of a moon of Sonnah for an interplanetary trip, you tend to need a LOT less dV... like 1100-1200 vs 2500+.  There's another easy dV trick for the moons of Sonnah, if you want that I'd be happy to give it to you.  it worked in the last version, and I'm sure it works pretty well for the new version, with maybe a tiny bit of tweaking.

And I like your calendar ideas, I haven't gone that deep into time measurement, but my gut tells me your estimate of Sonnah's orbital period is about right.

Edited by Garibaldi2257
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On 6/28/2016 at 2:30 PM, Geschosskopf said:

There are a number of things that make this rather challenging to do a career in.  First off, Kerbin has no moons so there's no handy supply of Science! near at hand.  The closest thing is Aptur, a tiny thing like Gilly, in a similar, resonant, intersecting orbit with Kerbin around Sonnah, so it's always fairly close but sometimes ahead or behind, inside or outside.  The stock Mun also orbits Sonnah further in and then there are 2 new moons further out.  There is thus rather large jump in rocket needed between struggling into orbit the 1st time and going anywhere else, and collecting all the necessary Science from mucking about on Kerbin is a real grind even with 200% rewards set.  It might be a good idea to start with lots of Science! (and money) in the bank to avoid the grindiness.  This episode takes place during some of this grind.  Nothing very interesting happens but the scenery is worth looking at.

Getting science early-game in NH isn't actually that hard, even with only 100% science gains.

[selfpromotion]Anyone watched my NH LP?[/selfpromotion]

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6 hours ago, CAKE99 said:

Getting science early-game in NH isn't actually that hard, even with only 100% science gains.

[selfpromotion]Anyone watched my NH LP?[/selfpromotion]

Well sure, if you're a vampire.  You just summon your minions to your castle during a storm, put some semi-formal menace in your voice, and and order them to bring you Science!.  Then you start playing spooky music on the huge pipe organ in your throne room.  After a while, you have a huge mound of Science piled up at your feet.  And being immortal, you don't notice how long that takes :)

 

 

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Just now, Geschosskopf said:

Well sure, if you're a vampire.  You just summon your minions to your castle during a storm, put some semi-formal menace in your voice, and and order them to bring you Science!.  Then you start playing spooky music on the huge pipe organ in your throne room.  After a while, you have a huge mound of Science piled up at your feet.  And being immortal, you don't notice how long that takes :)

Correction, the vampire in my avatar (Alucard from the Hellsing manga):

Only has 1 "minion", and is also the servant of a human,

Lives in a basement under Hellsing Manor,

Doesn't have a pipe organ or throne room, (the only things in the basement are a chair and a glass of what is probably blood),

Also has to leave the basement quite a bit to kill vampires annoying the Hellsing Organization.

 

Also even just playing KSP normally with no vampire-y stuff, it's still easy.

I just had a new idea BTW, *evil Alucard-style laughter*

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On 6/29/2016 at 8:55 PM, OrbitalBuzzsaw said:

Moar?

And Moar you shall have!

EPISODE 2: Keelhauled

Spoiler

 

Subtitle:  "Go home, Gravity.   You're drunk."

Before the Boffins could set up the Glorious Space Empire in the New Horizons system, they needed money and Science!  Aptur seemed the closest place to get both but its weird harmonic orbit, which makes it appear to go retrograde around Kerbin even though it really doesn't orbit Kerbin at all, made getting there challenging.  So before sending any Kerbals there, even pressees, the Boffins thought it wise to figure out how to do it first.  To this end they accepted several contracts to do Science! at Aptur and sent a probe there.  The launch was a beautiful sight.

02-01 Aptur Science Probe Launch

This probe was launched when Aptur was a bit behind and inside of Kerbin and it seemed to be a routine inwards transfer costing about 1000m/s and intercepting Aptur after about 3/4 of an orbit.  Unfortunately, Kerbin cut in unexpectedly between the probe and Aptur just before the Aptur encounter, causing an undesired gravity assist.  While the probe was able to get another Aptur encounter on the next time around, it was at such a bad angle that the capture burn required 1000m/s, leaving the probe with just 300 left in its tanks.

The pic below shows some of the gravitational weirdness involved.

02-03 Aptur Science Probe Having Trouble

Fortunately, however, this was just barely enough to do the maneuvers necessary to complete the contracts.  But the Boffins learned that travelling between Aptur and Kerbin was harder than it looked.

02-04 Aptur Science Probe Arrives

 

Next up was the keelhauling of space trespassers.  The Emperor does not take kindly to kerbs venturing into his domain without his permission.  Several were found in LKO so the Circus sent up its new 2-seat capsule with an enforcer aboard to bring the miscreant to justice.  All were sentenced serve the Circus.  In this way the Circus obtained the services of Gilree, spacekerb, and Geofrod and Ferrod, sciencekerbs.

02-02 Rescuing Gilree

 

There were then some contracts for probe stuff around Kerbin, which the Boffins managed to squeeze into a single launch.  There was nothing special here but some pretty scenery and a gratuitous explosion.

02-05 Kerbin Contract Probe

 

Then it was time to put Geofrod and Ferrod to work.  The Circus had contracts for building a station at Kerbin and docking stuff, and had just invented a 1.875m Science! lab from @Angel-125's MOLE mod.  So up they went.  During the launch, Geofrod used the built-in laptop to follow the goings-on of the Aptur Science Probe.  Then he took a pic of his laptop with his kPad's camera, and set that pic to his laptop.

02-06 Kerbin Station Launch

Geofrod was going to keep doing this to see how many layers he could get on the screen, sort of like standing between 2 mirrors.  However, the Boffins noticed he wasn't watching his instructional videos so applied voltage to his shock collar.

The 1 launch satisfied the station contract but left the docking part undone, so the Boffins sent up a ship with spare parts for the lab, some experiments, and to provide a way for Geofrod and Ferrod to come home eventually.  The 2 pressees were then told to get cracking and ignored for a while.

02-07 Kerbin Station Built

 

There was also a MagSat sent to Sonnah, which skimmed just above the atmosphere in its highly eccentric, highly inclined, contract-specified orbit.  Nothing much to this except more lovely scenery.

02-08 MagSat Sonnah

 

And so, at last, the Boffins had the tools needed to send a Kerbal to Aptur.  The recent highly publicized arrests having taught would-be tresspassers their lesson, that source of pressees had dried up so the pressgang was called out to grab Mitzor off the street.  He was then stuffed into a very dubious rocket and sent on his way.

02-09 Mitzor Launching

The Boffins had not forgotten the lessons of the Aptur Science Probe.  Mitzor was put into parking orbit when Aptur was again slightly behind and inside of Kerbin while the Boffins started running simulations for his departure in different configurations.  The best they could come up with was to leave when Aptur was between Kerbin and Sonnah and aim the rocket a bit outboard.  This gave it a Ap out near Eli but a Pe between Aptur and Mun.  Then, when near Ap, a small burn would result in an encounter slightly more than 1 of Aptur's orbits later, at the point where it crossed Kerbin's orbit heading outwards.  This kept Mitzor inside and thus ahead of Kerbin on its approach to Aptur, and thus safe from its SOI.

02-10 Mitzor Aptur Encounter

The main transfer burn and the correct added up to about 1000m/s but the capture burn was only about 200.  While this was all playing out, the Boffins noticed that the dead probe from Episode 1 had come around again, gotten a gravity assist off Kerbin, and was now leaving the Sonnah system.  This was regarded as a good thing as that would score a milestone awared from EPIKFAIL.  In fact, it scored some lagniappe milestones by skimming through Serran's SOI on its way out.

Anyway, Mitzor ultimately arrived safe and sound on the surface of Aptur.  Unfortunately, he landed on a rather steep hill.  And while he was out planting his flag and picking up a few rocks, his lander started sliding rapidly away from him.  Thus, he had to go jetting after it, and then spent some hectic moments clinging to various ladders grabbing Science! out of the instruments, all while riding the lander down the hill.  The lander tipped dangerously a few times when it hit changes in slope, but praise The Kraken, it stayed pointing towards space.  Even more amazingly, Mitzor didn't tip it over with all his clambering around in the rigging at the top.

Suffice to say, Mitzor was too busy, and lacked a free hand, to take any selfies of his time on Aptur so the only record is the automatic shot taken as soon as the ship touched the ground.

02-11 Reaching Aptur

The Boffins once again swore off using lander legs.  There's just nothing good about them at present.

Finally, and with great relief, Mitzor grabbed the last of the Science!, jumped back inside, and hit the big red button that says LAUNCH!.  The probe core then made a running takeoff and managed to get itself up out of the valley it had slide into and over the surrounding mountains.  And as it happened, Aptur was by now slightly ahead  and outboard of Kerbin, so getting back home had no complications and only cost about 250m/s.  The trip required about 75% of an orbit, however.

02-12 Mitzor Goes Home

Mitzor made it home OK but his parachute, normally rated to bring the 4-tonne Mk 1-2 down at a safe speed, struggled to keep Mitzor's 1.5-tonne;pod doing less than 7m/s.  As a result, there was an ominous series of explosions when he reached the ground at Kerbin.  But fortunately, the explosions proved totally gratuitous.  When the smoke cleared, all the data was safe in the lander can.  Mitzor passed out from the shock and so didn't resist when the goons came to drag him off for his debriefing / dissection.

02-13 Mitzor Home

 

It was then time to check on Geofrod and Ferrod up in Kerbin Station.  It turned out they hadn't done anything because the MOLE lab requires experiments to be installed in slots, which hadn't been done and didn't appear possible.  Because of this, the Boffins were inclined to leave them to their fate because their orbit had decayed to a dangerous state during this time.  However, the Scientists refused to let their lab be destroyed, so it was boosted back up to a safer level of 100km.  While this was going on, Mission Control also noted that the Cacteye Mk 1 satellite, which had been in a nice, round 500km orbit, was now getting quite eccentric.  Not that it mattered, the damn thing had never worked, either.  It took 2 pictures for a total of 4 Science! points, then packed it in with a fatal software error.  "Yet another useless waste of money by the Scientists", grumbled the Boffins, and so the usual food fight broke out in the control room.

But everybody heeded the lesson.  Space stations were not going to be very reliable for the foreseeable future.  Plans for future missions would have to take this into account.

Tune in next time for more random wanderings about the Sonnah system.

 

 

Edited by Geschosskopf
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Nice to see the MOLE in use. :) You can load science experiments on the ground (VAB/SPH) into the Coach as well as the MOLE lab itself. In orbit, you can transfer the science experiments from the Coach into the MOLE, or vice versa once you are ready to bring the science home.

Here is a training video that might help:

Spoiler

 

That should keep your Boffins busy.. :)

Also, interesting setup you have for Kerbin, are there other planets in your solar system like what you have set up?

Edited by Angel-125
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1 hour ago, Angel-125 said:

Here is a training video that might help:

I was hoping you'd show up and give advice.  Thanks.

Quote
  Reveal hidden contents

 

Also, interesting setup you have for Kerbin, are there other planets in your solar system like what you have set up?

This is the New Horizons mod.  It provides a whole new solar system using all stock planets and moons plus many custom ones.  Kerbin is a moon of gas giant Sonnah.  Sonnah is the 6th of 10 planets from the sun.  5 of these planets are gas giants with many moons.  So there is something like 30 bodies to explore.

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EPISODE 3: The Sloop John B

Spoiler

 

Now began the long ordeal of Kerbin Station 1 aka the John B, sloop.  Needless to say, with that name, things did not go well.

First off, there's a problem with orbital whackiness where an orbiting ship on rails has its Pe drop and their Ap rise by significant amounts over short periods of time, but they don't change when the ship is active..  The lower the original orbit, the faster it goes haywire.  This doesn't happen in stock KSP 1.1.3 (I tested it lots).so I put this down to a New Horizons issue.  My game is 1.1.3 and I have the new version of Kopernicus for that, but NH itself is still for 1.1.2, which might be the root cause.

So, as related above, John B was originally launched with Geofrod and Ferrod aboard, a thermometer, and a barometer.  And it hadn't worked because the Scientists hadn't RTFM'd it and didn't know the MOLE needed its own special experiments loaded in it.  So Geofrod and Ferrod returned in the shuttle and the Boffins set to work redesigning the shuttle to carry up MOLE experiments.  John B was at that time in an 80x80km orbit mostly because when it had been launched, the Circus was sadly lacking in lifter power.  But by the time the Boffins had redesigned the station shuttle, the John B was in a 72x95km orbit.  This required an immediate correction to a 100x100km in hopes that would be high enough to stop the changes.

It wasn't.  By the time Geofrod and Ferrod had made a 2nd fruitless round trip due to accidentally dumping all the experiments into space, and the Boffins had done another redesign to correct certain problems, John B was in a very bad way.

03-01 Station Orbit Whacked 1

 

Fixing this required more fuel than John B had left so "Advanced Technology" (aka HyperEdit) was brought to bear.  This left John B in a 150x150km orbit.  This proved to be high enough to last a while.  By the end of this series of misadventures, John B had only moved into a 135x160km orbit.

Also note the inner of the 2 probes in the above pic.  That's the non-functional CactEye Mk 1 telescope which had originally been in a 500x500km orbit.  At this point (20 or so days after launch), it was in a 200x800km orbit.

Anyway, it was then time for Geofrod and Ferrod to make their 3rd trip to John B.  And somehow their ship didn't have any experiments aboard this time, so they returned to Kerbin.

03-02.jpg Failure to Load Experiments 1

 

So, the Scientists reread the manual, loaded up the shuttle again (or so they thought), and once again the shuttle had no experiments when it got to John B.  So there was nothing for it but for Geofrod and Ferrod to return yet again.

03-03 Failure to Load Experiments 2

 

By now Mitzor had returned from Aptur and the Circus had a better lifter, which was of course needed now that John B was in a higher orbit.  So the new lifter went up taking Geofrod and Ferrod to John B for the 5th time, and the Kraken attacked.

03-05 Kraken Attack

 

F9

So once more unto the breach.  This time the Scientists were absolutely sure the shuttle was properly loaded, and Sonnah beckoned the rocket upwards.

03-07 Launch 5

 

And sure enough, the shuttle finally delivered experiments to John B.  So Geofrod and Ferrod settled into to work them.  

03-08 FINALLY

 

Time went by. the bell eventually chimed, and the experiment was completed.  So Geofrod and Ferrod tried to transfer it back into the shuttle and it vanished into space.  Oh well, they had 3 more.  But they dropped one of those somehow trying to transfer it from the shuttle to John B, but they managed to get the last 2 into the lab.  Then more time cooking those experiments,.

03-09 Working On It

 

While this was going on, the Boffins decided to deorbit the defunct CactEye Mk 1 telescope just to have some gratuitous explosions   A large part of it, surprisingly the engine and fuel tank that were leading the charge, survived to impact.

03-10 CactEye Mk 1 Decommission

 

Eventually, back on John B, the timer dinged again and the last 2 experiments were done.  This time, the usual science reports popped up with a message saying to transmit the data.  But the report's transmission bar was empty, only the return bar was half full.  So Geofrod and Ferrod carefully, oh so carefully moved the experiments back into the shuttle and cast off from John B for the 6th, and what they hoped was the last, time.

Mission Control was already in a testy mood due to the 2 lost experiments, but something was better than nothing.

Except.....

03-11 The Return

 

It sucks to be Geofrod and Ferrod.

 

Tune in next time for more beating my head against the wall.

Edited by Geschosskopf
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4 hours ago, spacebrick3 said:

What's that transiting the Sun in this picture? Is it Duna?

I think that's probably Arin but I'm not familiar enough with NH yet to say for sure.  In NH, Duna is a moon of Jool so you never see it by itself.  But you can see Jool in that pic, so that's where Duna is.

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35 minutes ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

I think its more likely Moh, its big enough to leave a sizable dot.

The more I think about it, the more I think you're right.  All the innermost planets in NH seem to shine red but I think Moh is the biggest.  Moh is a "hot Neptune" with some rings and Moho has a moon, orbiting at about 1/2 of stock Moho's radius to the sun.

Which reminds me, the Circus has a contract for a Magsat to Atell, which is a moon of the superearth Arin, which is the next planet out from Moh and still just inside the stock Moho's orbit.  I need to get on that.

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 10:27 PM, Geschosskopf said:

For them as don't know, the NH system is as follows:  The 1st 3 planets are inside Moho's orbit in the stock system, rather like most exosystems we've discovered so far.  The last 3 planets are in what would be OPM territory in an otherwise stock system.

  • Ernus (1Gm):  smallish molten rock ball
  • Moh (2.8Gm), a "hot Neptune".  Moon:  Moho
  • Arin (4.4Gm), a superearth.  Moons:  Astrid, Atell
  • Eve (10.2Gm), the stock planet, pretty much the stock distance from the sun.
  • Laythe (18.9Gm), the stock Joolian moon, half again as far out as Kerbin in stock.  Moon:  Derso.
  • Sonnah (29.3Gm), a dark blue gas giant.  Moons:  Mun, Kerbin, Aptur, Eli, Serran
  • Jool (73.0Gm), the stock planet about halfway between its stock position and Eeloo's.  Moons:  Dres, Duna, Ike, Leouch, Nolas
  • Titanus (125.4Gm), a light blue gas giant with rings.  Moons:  Ete, Tylo, Oree.
  • Eeloo (245.0Gm), the stock planet.  Moon:  Minmus
  • Vanor (290.7Gm), a red gas giant.  Moons:  Pol, Etal, Vall, Bop, Gilly

-------------------

Oh wow!  This sounds like so much fun, but I don't think I can run it and do mine at the same time. 
Oh well, something to look forward to way, way down the road. 

 

On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 10:27 PM, Geschosskopf said:

Needing to write a story that has references to time, I've given some thought to how the primitive NH Kerbals would have developed a calendar based on celestial observations, which would continue in use by the modern NH Kerbals.  I figure NH Kerbals would have always had a Copernican model and Kepler's laws due to the easily observable motion of the rings and other moons around Sonnah even to the naked eye.  From there, it would have been a short step to infer that Sonnah and its moons all orbited the sun, evident from the seasons produced by Sonnah's eccentricity and the noticeable change in brightness and/or diameter of the sun.  So wheels within wheels, which leads to a calendar similar to ancient Mesoamerica with its intermeshed solar and lunar cycles only aligning on their least common multiples thousands of years apart.

I imagine the NH calendar as having 5 intermeshed wheels as opposed to the 2 of the ancient Mesoamericans: .

  • Sonnah's orbit around the sun, which I estimate at 3-3.5 stock Kerbin years.
  • The inclinations of Sonnah and Kerbin, which cause Sonnah to eclipse the sun with more or less of its diameter so the eclipses have variable length.  This probably syncs up with Sonnah's orbital period over a very long period of time.
  • Kerbin's rotation around Sonnah, easily noted by the frequent, long-lasting eclipses.  I estimate this at several weeks although I haven't measured it yet.
  • Aptur's wandering about the sky due to its tragically conjoined orbit with Kerbin.  While I haven't observed this long enough to be sure, I reckon this cycle is probably very close to, but slightly longer than, the time between the start of Sonnahian eclipses corrected for more or less of Sonnah blocking the sun.,  The Aptur cycle is probably the best measurement of Kerbin's orbital period around Sonnah, and probably syncs with the start of eclipses at some medium interval of time.
  • Kerbin's rotation on its axis causing day and night.

So, modern NH Kerbals would have conventional days, "months" based on the Aptur cycle, "years" based on Sonnah's year, "decades" based on the combination of the Aptur cycle and the start of eclipses, and "centuries" based on the inclination-based eclipse duration cycle.  Around these would be an ancient religious calendar based on the start and duration of eclipses and the synchronization of all the other cycles.

All very interesting, but of course pretty pointless because KSP has its own (or Earth's) calendar, and none other, neither of which bears any relation to the NH system.  Still, I'm tempted to take the time to make years of observations of these various phenomena just to see how it all works.

I like this a lot!  I don't know if you've noticed, but never have I used the term week or month in my story (I don't think) for the same reason, I haven't decided just how my Kerbals evolved/developed a calendar based on 426 days, especially with no seasons to use as a guide.

You're ancient Kerbal's calendar stone must have been immense!  :D

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51 minutes ago, Just Jim said:

Oh wow!  This sounds like so much fun, but I don't think I can run it and do mine at the same time. 
Oh well, something to look forward to way, way down the road. 

It definitely puts a different spin on things.  You've got 4 other moons of Sonnah close at hand so there's more to do before leaving the home system.  And then there's the whole wide system both inwards and outwards, with all the stock bodies very much rearranged plus a bunch of new ones.

 

51 minutes ago, Just Jim said:

I like this a lot!  I don't know if you've noticed, but never have I used the term week or month in my story (I don't think) for the same reason, I haven't decided just how my Kerbals evolved/developed a calendar based on 426 days, especially with no seasons to use as a guide.

You're ancient Kerbal's calendar stone must have been immense!  :D

I doubt they ever made an Aztec-style calendar stone.  The relatively few literati planted some tall stakes, made observations, jotted notes on clay tablets, reported the results to the Emperor, and it became Holy Writ.

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It's BACK!!! And also, you should try colonizing Serran at some point. We got this transmission from a Serran probe in my NH install:

--BEGIN TRANSMISSION--

Serran: Avg. Temp.: Kerbin Avg. Temp. +- 30 degrees K

Serran Atmo.: Contains oxygen, other contents of atmosphere unknown as yet.

Preparing Baromete- SELF-DESTRUCT SEQUENCE ACTIVATED. PREPARE FOR GRATUITOUS EXPLOSION IN 3... 2... 1...

--SIGNAL LOST--

"JEB!"

So it might be a good candidate.

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4 hours ago, KAL 9000 said:

--BEGIN TRANSMISSION--

Serran: Avg. Temp.: Kerbin Avg. Temp. +- 30 degrees K

Serran Atmo.: Contains oxygen, other contents of atmosphere unknown as yet.

Preparing Baromete- SELF-DESTRUCT SEQUENCE ACTIVATED. PREPARE FOR GRATUITOUS EXPLOSION IN 3... 2... 1...

--SIGNAL LOST--

Yeah, I just noticed that myself.  I've designed a drone plane to go see how well you can fly there and will send it over next chance I get. 

For them as don't know, Serran is the outermost moon of Sonnah, the same gas giant Kerbin orbits.  Between them is Eli, which is sort of Minmus with a bad hangover :)

 

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EPISODE 4: Ramblin' Kerb

Spoiler

 

The Circus finally got around to launching the contract MagSat for Atell.  Atell is a moon of Arin, which is a large rocky planet with rings.  It's a bit closer to the sun than Moho is in stock but fortunately not in an inclined orbit.  Still, it's a long trip, bypassing several other planets along the way, and the Circus wondered what the rush to get there was.  But the Boffins were up to the challenge.  At this point, Circus lifter capability was still short of adequate (deemed as 3.75m) so at first the Boffins decided to go light and gravity brake off Eve, the next planet out from Arin.  So they built the Atell MagSat Mk 1, which was kinda skimpy.

04-01 Atell MagSat Mk 1

Once it got underway and out of Sonnah's SOI, the best the Boffins could do with the Eve encounter was set up a 2nd Eve gravity assist and hit Arin 2 orbits later.  It just might work.  However, it might also take too long to get there, so the Boffins pondered another approach just in case.

 

Meanwhile, there was a contract to send a spy satellite to Eli.  Nobody questioned what the company was spying on there.  This helped a bit with the cashflow and Science!

04-02 Eli SpyMag Sat

Eli is a dark, brown, lumpy place.  Also, the probe's orbital velocity caused some concern.  Eli was listed as having 0.009 of Kerbin's gravity so the Boffins had decided on a biome-hopper for it, but the spy probe was saying the gravity was much higher.  Oh well, things were too far along to worry about that now.

 

Meanwhile, the Boffins and Scientists together had decided to send low-tech SCANsats to Mun, Eli, and Serran to map biomes and get low-res radar, plus suck up some Science!.  These all arrived safely and were soon at work.  Everybody marveled at the beauty of Mun, which is normally an oxymoron, but with KASE installed it looked great.

04-03 SCANsat Mun with KASE

The SCANsats also provided the 1st good look at Serran.  The now-deorbited CactEye Mk 1 had taken a grainy pic that showed what might be an atmosphere.  Sure enough, there was one.

04-04 SCANsat Serran

 

While this was going on, the instability of stuff in Kerbin's orbit put paid to John B, sloop, and also an old probe from an early contract.  John B was last seen departing Sonnah's SOI at extremely high velocity.  Everybody wondered if it might escape the sun.  Geofrod and Ferrod, still undergoing rigous Circus-standard "debriefings", were glad to be shut of it.  They were afraid they might have to go back..

04-05 Sloop John B Escaping

 

At this point, another Arin window having come around, it was time to send the brute-force version of the Atell MagSat on its way.  It used the detested asparagus-style staging, both for the main lifter and the payload, and was rather expensive.  However, this contract paid about $2 million so it was worth it.

04-06 Atell MagSat Mk 2

 

There was also another trespasser detected, who very cleverly had gotten into a very high, somewhat inclined, and retrograde orbit.  But the new and improved Constable Mk 2 was undeterred and soon in hot pursuit.  In short order, Marllian, artificer, was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to serve the Circus.

04-07 Retrograde Trespasser

 

So, Serran.......  By now, the SCANsat there had detected oxygen in the atmosphere, in sufficient quantity to run jet engines.  The Boffins pondered the CactEye photo and drew up plans for a drone plane, and even more ambitious plans for how to get it there.

04-08 Serran from CactEye

 

Meanwhile, it was time to send somebody to Eli.  With Geofrod and Ferrod still recovering from their "debriefings", the job fell to Mitzor, whose derring-do on Aptur had not escaped notice by Mission Control.  He'd been promoted and given a long shore leave.  Naturally, he quickly fell prey to a crimp in the pay of the Circus, who made sure Mitzor had a very good time and then fell into a drunken stupor in a place convenient for the pressgangs to pick him up.  Mitzor awoke with a pounding hangover as the Eli Lander (again with that damned asparagus) thundered off the pad.

Did I mention that I LOVE the Engine LIghts mod?

04-09 Mitzor to Eli

 

Mitzor would be about a week en route.  During this time, the Boffins unveiled their designs for the Serran Probe Plane.....

04-10 Serran Probe Plane on Pad

..... and it's lifter, a hellspawn of mixed Circus and @Cydonian Monk parentage.

04-11 Serran Probe Plane Going Up

FYI:  The plane was built and tested (only on Kerbin) then saved as a subassembly.  Then in the VAB, the root part was the 0.625-1.25m adapter just above it in the completed rocket, which is upside down.  So even though the only command part on the plane was the OKTO probe core (inside a service bay) facing forwards, much difficulty was experienced with the rocket knowing which way its nose was pointing.  The Boffins frequently had to open the service bay and kick the probe core to remind it.  Lesson:  Don't use an upside down part as the root.

Anyway, despite being an unspeakable kluge, the Serran Probe Plane made it to orbit no problem and shed most of its nose-mounted tank, which had been emptied in the ascent.

04-12 Serran Probe Plane Launch Tank Ejection

For the umpteenth time since 1.1.0 came out, the Boffins cursed the continued absence of TAC-Self-Destruct.  It's HARD to make gratuitous explosions without that.  Good luck fixing it, @Dman979.

 

By now, Mitzor was entering Eli's SOI.

04-13 Mitzor Arrives at Eli

Eli is "magnificent devastation", all craters and jagged lava fields.  Mitzor orbited it at 15km, just barely above some of the highest mountains and unsure if he'd actually have cleared some of the others he saw nearby.  During this orbit, he was looking for anything approximating level ground to land on.  Neither he nor the Circus want a repeat of his Aptur heroics.  His velocity was about 470m/s, confirming everybody's suspicions that Eli has more gravity than advertised.

04-14 Eli Scenery

Finally, Mission Control told Mitzor to just hurry up and land as nothing looked particularly good.  So down he went using the last of his transfer stage as a crasher stage as intended by what was designed as a biome-hopper for a place with much less gravity.  This stage petered out about 1500m above the surface but fell so slowly that it didn't explode on impact.  Then, just as everybody looked away to finish Mitzor's landing, the stage exploded.  Thus, sadly, not even a gratuitous explosion from that.  But Mitzor made it down just fine.  And the lander stayed stock still thanks to not using actual lander legs.

04-15 Mitzor on Eli

Eli proved to have surface gravity about like Duna, where jetpacks worked but struggled  somewhat.  Still, Mitzor gathered all his Science! and returned inside no problem.  There was no question of biome-hopping.  Even if the gravity had been low enough for the available fuel to do it, the various Eli biomes detected by the SCANsat proved not really to exist on the surface.  All of Eli was just 1 big "surface" biome.  Bummer.  But at least Mitzor had what was PROBABLY enough fuel to get home, thanks to the misguided lander design.  So Mitzor took off before something bad happened to his ship on the surface and got into a 150km parking orbit. He had to wait about 1 week before he could head home.

04-16 Mitzor Leaving Eli

 

Which was convenient for Mission Control because by now the Serran Probe Plane was approaching its target.

04-17 Serran Probe Plane Arriving

Serran's atmosphere extends to 61km.  The probe captured into a 75km orbit, then did a deorbit burn and shucked the rest of its space-related parts.  NOTE:  Mainsails are a bit too frisky to be good OMS engines, but they do the job if you're careful.  And yet again, no gratuitous explosions.

04-18 Serran Probe Plane Deorbit

Freed of its ungainly rocketry, the Serran Probe Plane had no further directional confusion and entered the atmosphere smoothly.  The lowish gravity and lowish air density made for a gentle trip down with hardly any flames.

04-19 Serran Probe Plane Reentry

The plane's Juno engines started working about 12km but didn't develop much thrust until 9km.  The plane did a big split-S from 25km, leveled at 8km, and headed back west towards the terminator, which it had overshot due to an error in starting its deorbit burn.

04-20 Serran Probe Plane Flying

But it couldn't fly more than about 200m/s at 5km, which wasn't enough to catch up with Serran's rotation, so there was nothing for it but to land for the night.  Thus, the plane headed west only until out from the mountainous area it had come down over and descended over what the SCANsat called a dry ocean floor.  This proved to be quite smooth and level, so the Serran Probe Plane did some Science! and shut down for the night.

04-21 Serran Probe Plane Night Landing

 

Which was just as well because it was now time for Mitzor to leave Eli.

04-22 Mitzor Escapes Eli

 

 

 

Tune in next time for Mitzor's homecoming and exploring Serran by air.

Edited by Geschosskopf
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