Project Estë Chapter 1: Planning to Duna! A Wolff von Meutha Report

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My Space Program is now on its third year and has landed kerbs on all bodies on  the Kerbin with project Oromë, built an Kerbin SOI infrastructure with surface bases and space stations on KSOI with Project Aulë and flung Palantiri probes with varying degrees of success towards Jool and it's moons, Duna and Ike, Eve and Gilly, Moho and Dres with Project Namo. And it has sent (but not returned yet) a kerballed expedition to Eve orbit and Gilly with the ambitious Project Tulkas.
Some relevant mods that I'm using are:
USI Life Support
Universal Storage
Pathfinder Planetary Systems
Buffalo rover
Deep Space Exploration Vehicle
Kerbal Research & Development
So now the board of directors have decided it is time for the next big step, put some kerbs on Duna and bring them back!
This is the mission report of this bold endeavor.
Ah, caveat emptor: English is not my native language, and even with spellcheck a few embarrassing errors may pass through. If I end up saying something weird or even culturally insensitive, please give me the benefit of the doubt and kindly warn me so that I may perform the necessary rectifications.
KSC, Year 2, day 260
Board of Directors Meeting
Mr. Kerman: All right gentlekerbs, we've assembled here to discuss Project Estë, which shall comprise of exploring all the biomes on Duna and Ike and estabilishing permanent colonies. If you recall, we've succesfully put a Palantir mapping satellite on a polar orbit of both Ike and Duna and landed three Calmainen probes on each body just a few days ago. We're confident in our abilites of controlling and successfully landing vessels in each of these bodies. Moreover, the orbital scans have provided us with some estimates of the resources available on the surface of both Duna and Ike, as Mortimer here has been reminding me since.
The next transfer window for Duna is in little over a year. Linus, if you please:
Linus: Yes, thank you. If you look at the projection, you will see the critical dates for Project Estë, kindly provided by our friends on Alexmoon's Astronavigation Inc.:
Kerbin -> Duna
Year 3, day 302 at 3:50:24
Year 4, day 153 at 2:50:24
Time of flight
276 days 5:00:00
Stay @ Duna
~1 year 135 days
Duna -> Kerbin
Year 5, day 298 at 5:26:24
Year 6, day 161 at 4:55:12
Time of flight
288 days 5:28:48
Total Mission time:
~3 years 140 days ==  ~1418 days
By keeping in mind our last interplanetary mission, Tulkas I, where our kerbonauts are currently aboard their ship Eämbar awaiting for the return window after just over 20 days of surface activities this may seem plenty of time, but there we had only to land on Gilly, which has such a low gravity that we could perform multiple hops to fully explore the moon in one go, and as of yet landing and returning from the surface of Eve is out of the question.
In this case, we plan to take advantage of our orbital readings to incorporate In Situ Resource Utilization in our planning, much like the later Oromë missions on the Mün, to refuel on the surface of both Duna and Ike, allowing for as many landings as we may wish for. This should greatly reduce the fuel we would otherwise have to haul along and allow for heavier - and safer - landers.
On the other hand, ISRU takes time, and we'd like to take the time to perform some field geoscientific studies to improve our odds of successfully refueling our lander, since so much of the mission relies on that, as you'll see later.
Mr. Kerman: Thank you Linus. Much like Tulkas I, Estë I shall be comprised of an expeditionary team of one pilot, two scientists and one engineer. I need not remind you that our primary purpose is exploration and advancement of our knowledge of the Kerbol System. All other considerations such as financial returns, Mort, and public reputation, Walt, are secondary. Gus, I know engineering has produced extensive reports on delta-V requirements, Thrust-to-Weight considerations, reusability, redundancy  and recent improvements on Life Support systems and propulsion drives, but just give us the short version. What can you tell us about the hardware?
Gus: Project Estë is essentially an application of all the technology developed during the exploration of Mün and Minmus during our very own Project Oromë. The proposed lander is the Melian-D model, based upon the highly successful Nahar lander series of Project Oromë.
This lander can transport up to six kerbals and all the equipment for an inflatable surface base of operations and in-situ assembly of a Eärendil exploration rover with a full science complement for a grand total of 52,108 kg, fully loaded and a total delta-V of 2821m/s on a vacuum, which should be enough for one chute-assisted landing on Duna and reorbit without refueling or as many as three powered descents and reorbits on Ike, if for any reason our ISRU plans don't come through. Which it should, of course. Work I mean, not... well you got the idea.
If you'll recall, all of this hardware has been tested successfully earlier this Münth on both Mün and Minmus during Project Irmö, which is in charge of stress testing all proposed new designs.
Melian-D shall be transported to Duna Orbit and from there and back to Ike orbit by our reliable Dailir tug.
Our intrepid crew, initially consisting of Mission Commander Jeb, Primary Investigator Leema, Second Investigator Gwenial and Extraplanetary Assembly Specialist Beazie will be transported from Low Kerbin Orbit to Low Duna Orbit aboard essentially the same vessel that Commander Bill and his team are using on their trip to Eve, the Eämbar Interplanetary Crewed Vessel. Of course recent breakthroughs on the SuperNova fusion engine will... well.. no matter. Suffice to say that it has greatly improved on efficiency and we can add greatly to the supplies for the crew in case of any emergencies. Improvements on greenhouse and recycling technologies have also greatly decreased the required mass of supplies in comparison with Tulkas I.
Mr. Kerman: Thank you Gus, that was most enlightening. Gene, would you be so kind as to expose to us the proposed mission plan for Estë I?
Gene: Sure. The general idea is to depart from Kerbin around Day 300 of the Year 3 with the Eämbar vessel and the Dailir tugging the Melian lander. They should arrive roughly at the same time and park into a Low Duna Orbit of 100km above Duna Datum.
A crew composed of Commander Jeb, Assembly Specialist Beazie and probably Primary Investigator Leema will then depart on the Melian lander to perform the first landing on a suitable equatorial site of scientific interest, from which it shouldn't be too much trouble to return to Eämbar if the ISRU systems should fail. Second Investigator Gwenial will remain aboard Eämbar to make sure all the vital systems are functioning properly as well as analysing all the data collected on the trip to Duna and on its orbit on the Mobile Science Lab aboard.
There on the surface Beazie will assemble the Doriath Surface Base of Operations and the Eärendil Rover, with the support of the other, of course. While Beazie remains on Doriath drilling ore and converting it to refuel Melian, Jeb and Leema will take the Eärendil rover to explore the surrounding biomes, collect samples, perform experiments, all in triplicate, of course, and plant flags.
In the case of a successful refueling, Doriath base and Eärendil shall be dismantled and stowed safely on Melian, and the away team will launch back into orbit. If the refueling is not successful, Doriath and Eärendil shall be abandoned on Duna surface to lighten Melian and provide an extra safety delta-v margin for the crew. All going well, this pattern shall be repeated as many times necessary to fully explore all the biomes on Duna, rotating the scientist in charge of holding the fort aboard Eämbar.
After that, Dailir will proceed to push Melian to an Low Ike Orbit and Eämbar shall follow. The same pattern will be conducted to explore all the biomes on Ike.
Once all surface activities are complete, the crew will remain on LIO shifting through all the collected data  on the Mobile Science Lab and awaiting for the return transfer window for Kerbin.
They have enough spare supplies onboard so that in case of critical systems failure we can send them an emergency life support probe in a highly energetic transfer to tide them on until we can send another ship to bring them home.
Mr. Kerman: Thank you Gene, for this most delightful exposition. As our final point, we have a report that should satisfy you, Mort. All this hardware, coupled with our reusable lifter division, developed as per your suggestion, will cost us no more than 2 million funds, well inside our budget. Now, fellow directors, any questions regarding the proposed planning for Project Estë in general or Estë I in particular?
So that's it folks. I've already sent them on their merry way, so any suggestions and commentary, while much appreciated, probably won't change any of the hardware available to the gang. I'm planning on a bit of sightseeing, looking for the anomalies and such. If anyone knows of interesting places such as canyons or anysuch and would like to contribute please do so!
I'll see you next time, when our valiant team will depart from Kerbin and arrive on Duna Orbit and begin exploring the system!
P.S.: Bonus points for figuring out whence came the naming scheme! Hint:

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

P.P.S.:Also, on the game I'll be running a parallel Jool-5 mission, with Mission Commander Val, accompanied by Chief Scientist Bob and the rest of her team. It is a much more complex mission, and will probably have it's own report in the near future. Stay tuned!
Edited by chicobaptista

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On ‎01‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 11:54 PM, chicobaptista said:

P.S.: Bonus points for figuring out whence came the naming scheme! Hint:

LOTR Elvish? Or black tongue?

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Well someone's read the silmirillian 

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On 03/10/2016 at 6:07 AM, NotAgain said:

LOTR Elvish? Or black tongue?

Yeah, technically. But @Kertech got closer to the inspirations for the names.

On 03/10/2016 at 9:32 AM, Kertech said:

Well someone's read the silmirillian 

I sure did! I may have geeked out a bit too much, but all these names actually make sense (to me at least). Estë is also known as "the Gentle", and what better name for the forgiving atmosphere of Duna? Tulkas is "the Strong", which makes a lot of sense for me. I'll need a lot of boosting to get out of Eve eventually.

Eärendil of course is "the wandering star", and just a great all around name for a rover. Dailir is a magic bow which is never out of arrows, a lucky name for a tug. And so on and so forth.

Eventually I'm thinking in adding a full name scheme list on the OP. It may help to keep things straight in the future.

The next report is in the works, and should be out in a couple days.

I enjoy the exposition of the "hows" and "whys" of the mission, and always like that part of other peoples' reports, I learn so much and get insperd to make different missions on KSP. I hope whomever reads this report can take something out of it.


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