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Eloquent Spacecraft Systems Long-Term Career

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Part 7: New Megido Spacecraft

The Megido 2 spacecraft is now in development. It's a two-kerbal spacecraft designed as an upgrade to the Megido 1 spacecraft, with improved systems, more redundancy, and the capability to stay in space for a lot longer. The Aries program continues to test the Megido 1 spacecraft.

Aries 4 and 5. Aries 4 is a test of the Megido 2 landing system. Aries 5 is a pad test of the launch escape system.

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Spoiler

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Liftoff of Aries 4.

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Parachute deployment successful.

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Landing successful.

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Aries 5. Pad test of the launch escape system.

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LES ignition successful. The LES uses solid rocket motors to propel the Megido 2 capsule away from the launch vehicle in the event of a failure on launch.

 

Aries 6. Mission objectives: test Megido 2 capsule on ascent and re-entry; test Bishop 7 launch vehicle.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of Aries 6.

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Commencing gravity turn.

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Breaking sound barrier. The B7 first stage is the largest first stage used so far. It is powered by 4 Hornet engines.

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Reaching maximum dynamic pressure.

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First stage cutoff.

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First stage separation.

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Second stage ignition. The B6 second stage is powered by a single Hornet engine.

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Second stage cutoff.

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Second stage separation.

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Third stage ignition. The B5 third stage is powered by a Hemi Cuda engine, the same engine used on the B2 stage.

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Third stage cutoff as 120km apoapsis is reached.

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Circularizing.

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Circularization complete. The Bishop 7 launch vehicle performed as expected.

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De-orbiting. The vehicle is de-orbited with a periapsis of 40km.

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Service module separation.

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Entering the atmosphere.

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The heat shield performs as expected.

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Drogue chute deployment.

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Main chute deployment.

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Landing successful.

 

With the Megido 2 systems fully tested, the crewed space program can continue. The Megido 2 spacecraft will allow kerbals to travel as far as Mun or Minmus orbit.

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Part 8: Kerbin Research Station

It is time to construct a space station. The Kerbin Research Station will be a laboratory constructed in Kerbin orbit to conduct experiments and process science data that it receives from elsewhere. The first module includes a basic habitation module as well as power systems.

Launch of KRS-1. Mission objective: deploy first module of Kerbin Research Station in 500km orbit of Kerbin. Launch vehicle: Bishop 7.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of KRS1.

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Commencing gravity turn.

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Reaching maximum dynamic pressure. This launch uses a slightly steeper gravity turn, and therefore the vehicle experiences less aerodynamic stress.

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First stage cutoff.

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First stage separation.

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Second stage ignition.

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Second stage cutoff.

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Second stage separation, fairing separation.

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Third stage ignition.

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Third stage cutoff, solar panel deployment. These solar panels are new, and can track the sun in one axis of rotation.

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Circularizing.

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Circularization complete.

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After some maneuvers to position the station in a 500km orbit of Kerbin, the third stage of the Bishop 7 launch vehicle is jettisoned.

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The station changes orientation.

 

Launch of KRS-2. Mission objective: transport first science module to Kerbin Research Station. Launch vehicle: Bishop 7.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of KRS-2.

The launch was identical to previous launches of the Bishop 7 rocket, so most footage will be skipped.

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Fairing separation.

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The station module in orbit. This module includes an airlock, a lab for conducting orbital experiments, and several docking ports.

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After several maneuvers, the module approaches the station.

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Payload deployment.

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Approaching the station. This is the first docking maneuver to be done without kerbals in the vehicle to control it. It is possible that this is a benefit to the procedure.

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Docking successful. The module is not docked in the correct position, and will be re-oriented before the station is put into use.

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The station from a different angle.

 

Launch of M2 KO6. Mission objectives: first crewed launch of the Megido 2 spacecraft; test Megido 2 service module and docking systems; transport first station crew to the Kerbin Research Station. Crew: Valentina Kerman, Tandolin Kerman. Launch vehicle: Bishop 7.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of M2 KO6.

Once again, most launch footage has been skipped due to similarity to previous footage.

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Third stage ignition.

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Third stage cutoff.

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Third stage separation.

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SME ignition. The SME is a Terrier engine, identical to the sort used on the B3 stage.

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The service module is equipped with several powerful antennas, which will allow it to maintain a connection with the KSC from beyond the orbit of Minmus.

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The Megido 2 spacecraft in orbit. It has been noticed that a fault in manufacturing means that the service module lacks the monopropellant thrusters required for docking. This will not mean that the mission cannot go ahead, but it will require the station itself to be turned to face the spacecraft for the docking procedure.

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Meanwhile, at the station.

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The science module undocks and prepares to move into its correct position. In its previous position, docked payloads would be dangerously close to the solar panels and risk damaging them.

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Re-docking succesful.

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The station will usually maintain approximately this orientation relative to the sun, so that docked modules do not obstruct the solar panels.

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M2 KO6 approaches the Kerbin Research Station.

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The station moves to face the spacecraft.

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Docking complete.

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The station is re-oriented to face the sun (I do this automatically using MechJeb's Smart A.S.S by targeting Moho, since the sun itself cannot be targeted).

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Tandolin Kerman conducts an EVA to test the airlock and inspect the station.

 

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I'd appreciate some feedback on how I did the last mission report compared to others. Should I continue to skip most launch documenting of launches that are similar to previous ones, or should I keep up what I was doing previously, which is reporting on the entire launch even if it's very similar to recent launches?

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Truncating the launches in this way makes perfect sense-- particularly for multiple similar/identical launches in sequence.

Nice little station.  I particularly like the use of the Mk-1 can as a dedicated "airlock."  But I wonder why that module wasn't rotated 90-degrees in respect to the solar panels, to keep the docking ports an panels in different (perpendicular) planes.  Just curious.

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8 minutes ago, boccelounge said:

Truncating the launches in this way makes perfect sense-- particularly for multiple similar/identical launches in sequence.

Nice little station.  I particularly like the use of the Mk-1 can as a dedicated "airlock."  But I wonder why that module wasn't rotated 90-degrees in respect to the solar panels, to keep the docking ports an panels in different (perpendicular) planes.  Just curious.

Thanks for the feedback. I think if I don't do a launch with the same rocket for a while, I'll go back to the complete launch documentation, but otherwise I'll continue truncating it for repeat launches.

I'm glad you like the station so far. The airlock is needed because the M.O.L.E station modules don't actually have hatches (at least not visible ones), so currently the only access to the station is through the airlock or through the capsules of any spacecraft docked with the station. Even so, I like to have dedicated airlocks anyway because it feels more realistic.

The main reason the module is rotated the way it is is because of how I plan to expand the station. You'll have to wait for future missions to see exactly what I mean, but there is a construction-related reason for the orientation of the docking ports (although I have since realized that it's actually attached 180° in the wrong direction; I'll correct that later). It is also because that way, kerbals enter and exit the airlock perpendicular to the solar panels, so there's less risk of damaging them.

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1 hour ago, eloquentJane said:

I think if I don't do a launch with the same rocket for a while, I'll go back to the complete launch documentation, but otherwise I'll continue truncating it for repeat launches.

That sounds like the best approach, IMO.

 

Quote

The airlock is needed because the M.O.L.E station modules don't actually have hatches...Even so, I like to have dedicated airlocks anyway because it feels more realistic

Agreed; I feel the same and also like using the small cans for that purpose.

 

1 hour ago, eloquentJane said:

The main reason the module is rotated the way it is is because of how I plan to expand the station. You'll have to wait for future missions to see exactly what I mean,.. It is also because that way, kerbals enter and exit the airlock perpendicular to the solar panels, so there's less risk of damaging them.

I should have guessed as much, on both counts.  I'll look forward to seeing the "final" product then.  Thanks again for sharing and discussing the career.

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Part 9: Mun Missions

Two space probes are prepared to launch to the Mun. Cassiterite 2 is launched first.

Launch of Cassiterite 2. Mission objectives: fly by the Mun; return from flyby of the Mun. Launch vehicle: Bishop 1.

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Spoiler

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Liftoff of Cassiterite 2.

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Fairing separation.

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In orbit.

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Payload deployment. The new Cassiterite probes use sun-tracking solar panels to ensure that they can always generate power.

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Commencing Mun transfer burn.

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Mun transfer complete.

 

Launch of Cassiterite 3. Mission objectives: land on the Mun; transmit data from the Mun's surface. Launch vehicle: Bishop 1BB.

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Spoiler

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Liftoff of Cassiterite 3.

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Fairing separation.

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In orbit of Kerbin.

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Commencing Mun transfer burn.

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Third stage cutoff.

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Third stage separation, transfer stage engine ignition.

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Transfer burn complete.

 

Continuation of Cassiterite 2 and Cassiterite 3:

Spoiler

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Cassiterite 2 approaches the Mun.

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Science data is collected at periapsis.

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Cassiterite 3 approaches the Mun soon after.

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Circularizing.

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The TSE continues burning until it is out of fuel, completing the orbital injection and immediately de-orbiting for the landing approach.

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TSE cutoff.

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Transfer stage separation.

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Lander engine ignition.

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Approaching the surface of the Mun.

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Unfortunately the Cassiterite 3 lander crashed into the surface of the Mun. It was found that the problem was insufficient fuel.

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Cassiterite 2 leaves the Mun. It will have to perform a maneuver in 81 days to arrange another Mun flyby, which will place it on a sub-orbital trajectory around Kerbin.

 

Edited by eloquentJane

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Part 10: Munar Gateway Space Station

The Mun program will soon reach the limit of what can be done with only autonomous spacecraft, so the Munar Gateway Space Station is designed. This station will be similar to the Kerbin Research Station, and will consist of six modules which will be sent to Munar orbit. In order to assemble the station, however, there will be a need for larger launch vehicles to place more massive payloads into orbit. The Bishop 9 launch vehicle is the most likely to experience a failure, so will be tested before it is launched with a functioning payload.

Launch of Bishop 9 Test Flight. Mission objective: test the Bishop 9 launch vehicle.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of Bishop 9 Test Flight.

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Commencing gravity turn.

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Breaking sound barrier.

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The B-9 first stage is propelled by nine Hornet engines.

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Reaching maximum dynamic pressure.

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First stage cutoff.

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First stage separation.

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Second stage ignition.

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The B-8 second stage is propelled by two Hornet engines.

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Second stage cutoff.

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Second stage separation, fairing separation, third stage ignition.

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The third stage of the Bishop 9 rocket is a B-5 upper stage, the same as the third stage of the Bishop 7.

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Third stage cutoff as 125km apoapsis is reached.

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Beginning circularization burn.

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Circularization complete. The Bishop 9 launch vehicle performed as expected.

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The test payload has no use in space, so it is de-orbited.

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Continuation of M2 KO6:

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Spoiler

It is time for Valentina and Tandolin to return to Kerbin.

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Undocking from the Kerbin Research Station.

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De-orbiting.

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Service module separation.

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Re-entering.

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Re-entry successful. Parachutes deployed.

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Landing successful. Recovery operations can commence.

 

Continuation of Cassiterite 2:

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Spoiler

The Cassiterite 2 spacecraft can now also return to Kerbin.

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Executing a maneuver to fly by the Mun. This maneuver places the spacecraft on a flyby trajectory of the Mun that will then place it into a sub-orbital trajectory of Kerbin with minimal expenditure of fuel.

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Approaching the Mun.

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Approaching Kerbin's atmosphere.

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Capsule separation.

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After a rough re-entry, the parachutes are deployed.

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Landing successful. Recovery operations can commence.

 

Launch of MGSS1a. Mission objective: launch first module of the Munar Gateway Space Station into Kerbin orbit. Launch vehicle: Bishop 9.

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Spoiler

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Liftoff of MGSS1a.

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Fairing separation.

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It is probably obvious at this point that the station has a very similar design to the Kerbin Research Station. The first module is almost identical to the first two modules of the KRS, except for the fact that it is launched as one module. This is because the KRS was needed before the Bishop 9 was ready to be launched, so the habitation/microgravity lab/airlock section had to be split into two launches.

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The station in Kerbin orbit.

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B-5 stage separation.

 

Launch of MGSS1b. Mission objectives: launch Mun 1 transfer stage to MGSS; transfer MGSS to Mun orbit; test Bishop Heavy 2B launch vehicle. Launch vehicle: Bishop Heavy 2B.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of MGSS1b.

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Commencing gravity turn.

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SRB cutoff.

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SRB separation. The explosion is somewhat concerning, but it does not appear that the launch vehicle sustained significant damage.

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The solid rocket boosters were simple Kickback SRMs. The liquid rocket boosters are derived from the B-7 stage. The first stage core is also derived from the B-7 stage, but is 1.5x the length and has the corresponding amount of extra fuel.

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LRB cutoff.

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LRB separation.

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First stage cutoff.

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First stage separation, fairing separation.

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Second stage ignition.

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The second stage is a B-8 stage. The fairing on this launch is not the standard fairing that the design should use, but engineers are currently experiencing difficulties with scaling up the standard fairing base to 2.5m diameter.

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Second stage cutoff.

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Commencing circularization burn.

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The spacecraft is placed in a 110km parking orbit.

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Payload deployment.

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Once in orbit, the Mun 1 transfer stage rendezvouses with the Munar Gateway Space Station module.

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Docking successful.

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Commencing Munar transfer burn.

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The station's primary antenna is extended.

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The burn takes several minutes due to the low thrust of the Terrier engine.

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Transfer burn complete.

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Approaching the Mun.

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Circularizing.

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The Munar Gateway Space Station is successfully placed in a 55km orbit of the Mun.

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The transfer stage undocks and moves away from the station.

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De-orbiting the transfer stage.

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The Munar Gateway Space Station in orbit of the Mun.

 

Edited by eloquentJane

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wow...that looks really good. nice job, and I've only docked once in a scenario! I think I have it down now though...

those launch vehicles look really good, the mod list is in the OP right? yep...

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19 minutes ago, StupidAndy said:

wow...that looks really good. nice job, and I've only docked once in a scenario! I think I have it down now though...

those launch vehicles look really good, the mod list is in the OP right? yep...

Thanks, I'm glad you like these early designs. I expect that appearances will improve as this series progresses, partially because of a wider range of parts, and partially because of my own progress being made with aesthetic designing.

Docking took me longer to learn than any other basic aspect of the game (I mastered precision landing before I learned to rendezvous and dock) but now I'm experienced enough that I can dock even with the UI turned off. It's really just a matter of practice.

The mod list is in the OP, however I need to update it because I've made a couple of minor additions.

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On 2/3/2017 at 5:11 PM, eloquentJane said:

Thanks for the feedback. I think if I don't do a launch with the same rocket for a while, I'll go back to the complete launch documentation, but otherwise I'll continue truncating it for repeat launches.

I'm glad you like the station so far. The airlock is needed because the M.O.L.E station modules don't actually have hatches (at least not visible ones), so currently the only access to the station is through the airlock or through the capsules of any spacecraft docked with the station. Even so, I like to have dedicated airlocks anyway because it feels more realistic.

The main reason the module is rotated the way it is is because of how I plan to expand the station. You'll have to wait for future missions to see exactly what I mean, but there is a construction-related reason for the orientation of the docking ports (although I have since realized that it's actually attached 180° in the wrong direction; I'll correct that later). It is also because that way, kerbals enter and exit the airlock perpendicular to the solar panels, so there's less risk of damaging them.

You might not have access to it yet, but MOLE comes with an Airlock Module (with newly added science container) and a 3-way hub. Also, the O-2 "Oxygen" thrusters double as an abort system. I'm enjoying your stories, they're fun to read and see how your space program develops. I think shortened launches is a good way to go as well. :)

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14 hours ago, Angel-125 said:

You might not have access to it yet, but MOLE comes with an Airlock Module (with newly added science container) and a 3-way hub. Also, the O-2 "Oxygen" thrusters double as an abort system.

I'm familiar with both of these parts, though thanks for the suggestions. I don't know if I've unlocked the airlock module yet, but the way I want to expand my station meant that docking ports directly opposite each other were needed, so the airlock module wasn't ideal (I also think that the small command pod makes it look less technologically advanced than your airlock, which I think is right for the level of progress I've made so far). I'm also not sure if I've unlocked those thrusters, but at this point in the game I prefer to have a solid fueled LES because it feels more realistic. I have some potential uses in mind for the O-2 thrusters though.

Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you're enjoying this series!

Edited by eloquentJane

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Part 11: Mun Landing and Crewed Mun Orbit

Kerbin has had very limited satellite observations made of it so far. Several satellites are planned to be launched into Kerbin orbit, both for science and for relaying signals further out. The first is a magnetometer satellite identical to Cassiterite 1, that will conduct long-term surveys of Kerbin's magnetic fields.

Launch of Kerbin Magsat 1. Mission objective: deploy magnetic survey satellite in low Kerbin orbit. Launch vehicle: Bishop 1.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of Kerbin Magsat 1.

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Commencing gravity turn. This launch azimuth is used to place the satellite in a polar orbit.

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Fairing separation.

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At circularization, the engine continues to fire to raise the apoapsis of the orbit, placing the satellite in a highly eccentric orbit.

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Payload deployment.

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The satellite at apoapsis.

 

Now the Mun program continues, with a second landing attempt. Cassiterite 4 uses an identical lander to Cassiterite 3, but launched on a Bishop 4 this time.

Launch of Cassiterite 4. Mission objectives: land an autonomous vehicle on the surface of the Mun; transmit data from the surface of the Mun.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of Cassiterite 4.

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Fairing separation.

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In orbit of Kerbin.

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Executing Mun transfer burn.

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Transfer burn complete.

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Approaching the Mun.

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Executing orbital insertion burn.

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Third stage cutoff and separation.

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Fourth stage ignition.

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The lander is now on a sub-orbital trajectory.

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Final approach to land.

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Payload deployment.

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Landing engine ignition, landing gear deployed.

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Touchdown successful. The first landing on another celestial body has been achieved.

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Science equipment is deployed, and data is transmitted back to Kerbin successfully.

 

Now the KSC will attempt a similarly prestigious achievement. It has reached the time to send kerbals to orbit the Mun. The Munar Gateway Space Station is capable of sustaining two kerbals for a short-duration mission, and the tests performed on the Megido 2 spacecraft during M2 KO6 suggest that it is suitable for a trip to Munar orbit and back.

Launch of M2 MuO1. Mission objectives: transport 2 kerbals to Munar orbit; dock with MGSS; conduct studies of crewed habitation in Munar orbit; test MGSS systems; return crew to Kerbin from Munar orbit. Crew: Valentina Kerman, Natacella Kerman. Launch vehicle: Bishop Heavy 4.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of M2 MuO1.

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Commencing gravity turn. This is the first flight of the Bishop Heavy 4 launch vehicle. This rocket is similar to the Bishop Heavy 2B which launched earlier, but it has four LRBs and no SRBs. It lifts off with the full force of 20 Hornet engines. The large rocket is necessary to transport the Megido 2 spacecraft to the Mun with a single launch.

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Breaking sound barrier.Uza3f3w.jpg

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Launch vehicle is performing nominally.

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Booster cutoff.

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Booster separation.

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First stage cutoff.

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First stage separation.

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Second stage ignition.

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Circularization complete. The Bishop Heavy 4 launch vehicle performed as expected. It has a maximum payload to LKO of about 20 tonnes, and it is estimated that this is the most powerful rocket that can be constructed with currently available technology.

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Executing Mun transfer burn.

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Second stage cutoff.

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Second stage separation, SME ignition.

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The service module used for the Mun-capable variant of the Megido 2 spacecraft has the same service module engine, but double the fuel capacity. This provides it with enough delta-v to reach Munar orbit and return (and probably the same for Minmus in future).

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Transfer burn complete.

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Approaching the Mun.

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Circularizing.

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Circularization complete. The spacecraft is placed into a 70km parking orbit, and then performs a series of maneuvers to rendezvous with the Munar Gateway Space Station.

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Approaching the station.

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It has been noticed that this new service module shares the same flaw as the previous version that was flown, and lacks RCS thrusters necessary for a more effective docking procedure. This means that once again, the station has to be turned to face the spacecraft. This flaw should be fixed in future iterations of the Megido 2 spacecraft.

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Docking successful.

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The station re-orients to its correct position.

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Natacella and Valentina both conduct EVAs over the several-day duration of the mission in Mun orbit. They inspect the station and make basic observations of the moon below them.

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Once the required data has been collected and tests have been performed, the crew prepare to return to Kerbin.

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Undocking.

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Executing return maneuver.

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Leaving the Mun.

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Service module separation.

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Re-entering.

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Re-entry successful.

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Drogue chute deployment.

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Main chute deployment.

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Landing successful. Recovery operations can commence.

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Mission summary. Notable accolades earned include "First kerbal to orbit the Mun" (both); "First docking in Mun orbit" (both); "first EVA in Mun orbit" (Natacella).

 

The next missions will begin to move away from the Mun. A communications network must be set up to allow contact with spacecraft beyond the Mun's orbit, and once it is in place, the space program can begin sending missions to Minmus. The KSC has also received a contract to plant a flag on the Mun, as well as getting a significant boost in funding from some long-duration contracts to explore some of Sarvin's moons. Sarvin is extremely far away, beyond the orbit of Keelon, and it will probably not be reachable without some significant technological advancement. Even so, once we can send a dedicated mission there it should be quite rewarding, and luckily the contracts allow for several decades before completion.

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Part 12: Space Telescopes and New Recruits

In order to collect more science data, a new type of satellite has been designed. Three small space telescopes are constructed, to be sent to polar orbits of Kerbin and its moons. Recent funding increases have also meant that the tracking station antennas could be improved, so there is now no longer a need for a relay network within Kerbin's SOI in order to receive signals from Minmus.

Launch of Kerbin SST-1. Mission objective: deploy small space telescope in polar orbit of Kerbin. Launch vehicle: Bishop 0.

FqZTYml.jpg

Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of Kerbin SST-1. The launch vehicle is a Bishop 0, which is essentially a Bishop 1 without the B-2 stage. The space telescope will be launched into a polar orbit, and will conduct observations of the entire surface of the planet.

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Fairing separation.

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Payload deployment.

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In orbit.

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The telescope begins surface observations.

Launch of Minmus SST-1. Mission objective: deploy small space telescope in polar orbit of Minmus. Launch vehicle: Bishop 1.

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Liftoff of Minmus SST-1.

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Fairing separation.

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Payload deployment.

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The space telescope approaches Minmus, being the first kerbal-made object to do so.

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Circularizing.

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Commencing surface observations.

Launch of Mun SST-1. Mission objective: Deploy small space telescope in polar orbit of the Mun. Launch vehicle: Bishop 1.

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Liftoff of Mun SST-1.

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Payload deployment.

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Approaching the Mun.

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Circularizing.

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Commencing surface observations.

For clarification and future reference, Minmus SST-1 is also Aquamarine 1, and Mun SST-1 is also Cassiterite 6. The SST designation is the name of the satellite (standing for Small Space Telescope), whilst the actual mission name is for the exploration program of the particular celestial body. This sort of naming scheme will continue in future.

Due to recent funding increases (partially thanks to data collected from the new space telescopes), the space program has been able to hire three new kerbonauts: Teree Kerman (Pilot), Milliana Kerman (Scientist), and Kathula Kerman (Engineer). Additionally, the KSC has invested in some conventional aircraft technology (as well as some less conventional aircraft technology). Teree will test out one of the new planes that are available. The current prototypes are...and she's already taken off.

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Spoiler

Teree is flying the prototype of the Juniper Jet, with Milliana and Kathula as passengers. The good news is that this is one of the least powerful of the aircraft prototypes available.

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That test flight was actually rather uneventful. Several passes of the KSC in the subsonic Juniper Jet, followed by a successful runway landing. It went quite well for the first flight of a prototype aircraft made by an agency used to designing things to operate outside of an atmosphere.

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All things considered, it's probably a good job that the new pilot was chosen for testing the planes rather than Valentina....oh no.

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This is the Hemlock prototype. It's not designed to do that.

Spoiler

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The Hemlock is supposed to reach at least Mach 2, but not when headed almost directly for the ground.

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Several barrel rolls later...

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That landing looked quite potentially very dangerous, as the plane skidded along the runway with the engine still firing (though thankfully with the afterburner turned off) and spun to a stop right outside the spaceplane hangar. It's somewhat surprising that the Hemlock managed to stay intact; forces in that flight exceeded 9 gees. However, it is good to know what the plane is capable of.

mTyaizH.jpg

Another thing that pilots aren't supposed to do is lowering the front landing gear to get out of the plane. They're supposed to wait for one of those trucks with the ladder on it that airfields tend to have lying around. Still, the plane is surprisingly resiliant.

 

Edited by eloquentJane

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Part 13: Another Plane & Some Minmus Probes

Shortly after the earlier flight testing, Valentina took the third prototype aircraft for a test flight. The Hawthorne SPP (Supersonic Passenger Plane) is a plane that combines several aspects of both the Juniper Jet and the Hemlock designs. It has room for 6 passengers and some cargo, and should be able to travel at several times the speed of sound once we can upgrade its air intakes. As it is though, the Hawthorne can already travel quite fast.

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Spoiler

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Shortly after takeoff.

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The aircraft easily reaches Mach 3 with the engine afterburners enabled. It's not much more massive than the Hemlock, but has twice the thrust, giving it the potential to achieve extremely high speeds.

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Touchdown was successful. The plane performed excellently well, although it reached dangerously high accelerations during sharp turns at Mach 3.

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Valentina and the Hawthorne SPP after the flight.

 

Launch of Aquamarine 2. Mission objectives: deploy magnetic survey satellite in polar orbit of Minmus; return science samples from space around Minmus. Launch vehicle: Bishop 4.

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Spoiler

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Liftoff of Aquamarine 2.

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Fairing separation.

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Approaching Minmus.

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Deploying magsat.

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Magnetic survey satellite executes orbital insertion burn at periapsis, placing it in a highly elliptical Minmus orbit.

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The rest of the spacecraft collects science data, and then returns to Kerbin after its Minmus flyby.

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Seperating the return capsule.

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Re-entering.

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Re-entry successful. Parachute deployed.

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Splashdown successful. Recovery operations can commence.

 

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I just want to post a reminder that feedback is always appreciated. Comments about what people like or dislike about this series helps me to improve it in future.

Edited by eloquentJane

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Well, I'm enjoying your logs thus far. I think shortening launch explanations for previously tested and used crafts was a good call. Speaking of tests, I enjoy seeing the testing process. I've actually created a science save since reading your posts where I intend to play similarly (though with unscaled GPP). Can't think of anything any critiques, so keep up the good work.

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4 hours ago, kraden said:

Well, I'm enjoying your logs thus far. I think shortening launch explanations for previously tested and used crafts was a good call. Speaking of tests, I enjoy seeing the testing process... so keep up the good work.

In the spirit of feedback, I agree with @kraden, and I'll add that "failed" missions are also interesting to read (e.g. the first tiny Mun probe, IIRC).  I don't assume that you have many "failed" missions, but if you're going to play with more challenging and/or realistic settings. it fits well to see the ups-and-downs of the space program.

HTH.

Edited by boccelounge

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DIMUF6R.jpg

Blimey...   how did you  attach that tail cone connector?

I think this part generates quite a lot of lift which the stock CoL indicator doesn't allow for (only wing parts),  so it might make the plane pitch unstable.   Also,  I don't see any dedicated pitch control surfaces other than the Panther's thrust vectoring, or are those outriggers you used to attach the wheels actually elevons?      The elevons on the main wing are a bit too close to CoM to do much.

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The post format of one header picture and then the full series in a spoiler works well for me. The header picture doesn't always need to be the first one of the full series, the rocket on the pad - any significant moment from the mission would work, I think.

For the content, I'm enjoying the rocket-like rockets and the tiny probe designs - very professional!

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4 hours ago, AeroGav said:

Blimey...   how did you  attach that tail cone connector?

I think this part generates quite a lot of lift which the stock CoL indicator doesn't allow for (only wing parts),  so it might make the plane pitch unstable.   Also,  I don't see any dedicated pitch control surfaces other than the Panther's thrust vectoring, or are those outriggers you used to attach the wheels actually elevons?      The elevons on the main wing are a bit too close to CoM to do much.

The tail connector is attached using Editor Extensions Redux, which allows for surface attaching of almost all parts, and then is clipped into the fuselage. There's another one facing backwards that points slightly out of the back of the engine (which I attached to the node of the first tail cone to stop it from causing excess drag) but it's not easily visible in most of the pictures I got of that flight.

The plane is actually surprisingly stable, and worked very well on the first flight. I'm not nearly as experienced with plane construction as some people are, yet I rarely have much difficulty making successful designs.

The elevons on the main wing are the primary pitch control surfaces for the plane (and actually the primary control surfaces in general, since rolling and pitching works better for a turn than yawing does for this plane). The ones right next to the main body of the plane might not be ideally positioned, but the back-swept wings mean that the ones on the end of the wings are far enough behind the center of mass to have some effect, I think. The wheels are just attached using structural pylons. In any case though, I think the Panther's thrust vectoring probably does help to some extent.

 

3 hours ago, CSE said:

The header picture doesn't always need to be the first one of the full series, the rocket on the pad - any significant moment from the mission would work, I think.

The reason I've been doing that for most logs is because most of them start with a launch, and I like to do them in chronological order. The times when I haven't started with a launch picture have been when I've been returning to something that's already in space. When I post about this series in the "what did you do in KSP today" thread, I do tend to pick images that are more eye-catching, but for this thread I prefer to maintain chronology.

3 hours ago, CSE said:

For the content, I'm enjoying the rocket-like rockets and the tiny probe designs - very professional!

This is actually mainly because I'm using 4x scale. Delta-v amounts are approximately doubled, and going by the times I've attempted to replicate real spacecraft at this scale (in other saves), it actually leads to proportionally larger rockets than their real counterparts for achieving the same purpose. But most of my designs are primarily for aesthetics, so although efficiency does have an effect, all I really do when designing rockets is figure out what I want it to look like and then figure out its maximum payload.

The tiny probes are also mainly because of the upscaling, and the fact that it's currently quite challenging for me to send significant masses anywhere. Most of the modules for the MGSS are probably going to have to be sent there using separate propulsion modules rather than with a single launch, since I suspect I'd need access to far more powerful rocket components than I currently have. I also design probes for aesthetics, and I like to limit the equipment they carry as well (I could stick all of the DMagic equipment on one space probe, but it wouldn't feel right for the way this series is supposed to work, and it would probably also look terrible).

Edited by eloquentJane

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24 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

 

The elevons on the main wing are the primary pitch control surfaces for the plane (and actually the primary control surfaces in general, since rolling and pitching works better for a turn than yawing does for this plane). The ones right next to the main body of the plane might not be ideally positioned, but the back-swept wings mean that the ones on the end of the wings are far enough behind the center of mass to have some effect, I think. The wheels are just attached using structural pylons. In any case though, I think the Panther's thrust vectoring probably does help to some extent.

Ah good job on that second hidden cone.  Obviously the game just sees it as another stack parallel to the main fuselage so it won't reduce drag (the circular intake's pretty damn good anyway) but if you know enough about open drag nodes to cover both ends i'm sure you're aware of that !   I guess it

  • gives you the appearance of a "poor man's shock cone" intake !
  • moves the heating effects further forward, away from the cockpit 
  • adds extra crumple zone (very important!)

As for the control scheme , it kinda reminds me of Britain's attempt to be first through the sound barrier

dh-108.jpg

I never use the rudder in flight either.   However,  being so close to the centre of mass, means the pitch controls are either going to have trouble commanding much nose up trim when the engine's at idle, or they're going to have to create a lot of downforce to do so, which works against the main wings trying to lift it up and raises the stalling speed.    I always like my planes to have low stall speeds , though in this case the engine's low speed performance isn't quite as good as the airframe's.

Spoiler

 

.


 

Crumple zones are great.   Wouldn't put Val in anything less than an NCAP IV rated aircraft.

Spoiler


.

.

 

.

 

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Well it seems you know quite a lot about aircraft. I assumed that the elevons were the main factor that allowed the plane to pitch, but perhaps the engine gimbal has more effect than I realized.

As for crumple zones, I doubt it would work as well as you might think with this particular plane. The Hemlock basically consists of two separate airframes: the main one with all of the conventional plane parts, and a separate one consisting of two tail cone connectors attached to each other and clipped within the first fuselage. The front cone is attached to the plane, but the back cone is only attached to the front cone. This means that if the front one gets destroyed, there will essentially be two separate vehicles clipped together, which could potentially result in the entire plane getting destroyed. I think the cockpit might be safe, because the rear cone isn't clipped into it, but honestly if the plane experiences a crash like that the pilot won't be surviving anyway. I do have a mod installed that adds EVA parachutes for kerbals, and I'll be adding the necessary part to the cockpits of planes like this so that there is a safety mechanism. But honestly I think I'm good enough at flying already that I'll be able to land okay in most cases.

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Part 14: Beginning of M2 MiO1

Launch of M2 MiO1a. Mission objectives: first crewed orbit of Minmus; collect science data from space around Minmus. Crew: Valentina Kerman (pilot), Natacella Kerman (scientist). Launch vehicle: Bishop 9.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of M2 MiO1a.

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Loss of one of the first stage engines. Luckily the B9 stage has enough engines to compensate.

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Flight continues without too much difficulty, though the first stage burn time is slightly longer than normal.

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First stage cutoff.

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First stage separation, second stage ignition. Hopefully there will be no issues with this stage.

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Fairing separation. The payload contained within the fairing is a habitation module, to extend their habitation and work space during the transfer to Minmus. It would not be necessary if there was already a station in place in Minmus orbit, but it must be used for this mission.

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In orbit.

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Payload separation. There is a separate transfer stage which will be used. It will be launched next.

 

Launch of M2 Mio1b. Mission objective: launch Minmus transfer stage to Kerbin orbit and dock with crew module. Launch vehicle: Bishop Heavy 2B.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of M2 MiO1b.

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Fairing separation. It's worth noting that fairings are now able to be manufactured with the larger 2.5m base diameter. This transfer stage is another Mun 1 stage, identical to one previously launched.

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Payload deployment.

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Approaching the crew module.

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Docking successful. The crew must now await the Minmus transfer window.

 

As the M2 MiO1 crew await the Minmus transfer window, the next Mun transfer window approaches. The next two modules of the Munar Gateway Space Station are prepared for launch. They are sent together and use a single Mun 1 transfer stage to reach the Mun.

Launch of MGSS2-3 Transstage. Mission objective: transport MGSS2 and MGSS3 to the Munar Gateway Space Station. Launch vehicle: Bishop Heavy 2B.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of MGSS2-3 Transstage.

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Loss of thrust in one of the first stage engines.

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Loss of the first stage engine that was losing thrust. The loss of one of the first-stage engines at this point in flight is not grounds for a launch abort. The vehicle manages to maintain the correct attitude thanks to the high gimbal range of the Hornet engines.

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The second stage has to hold a higher pitch in order to ensure that the vehicle reaches orbit.

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Payload deployment in Kerbin orbit.

 

Launch of MGSS2. Mission objective: add science module to the Munar Gateway Space Station. Launch vehicle: Bishop 7.

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Spoiler

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Ignition.

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Liftoff of MGSS2.

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Fairing deployment. It became evident at this point in flight that the vehicle lacks any reaction wheels. The station module's RCS will have to be used to maintain attitude.

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Solar panel deployment.

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Approaching the transfer stage.

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Payload deployment.

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Docking successful.

The next module for the Munar Gateway Space Station can be retrofitted with a reaction wheel for launch, as well as additional monopropellant supplies, but this means that the launch will have to be delayed and the modules will not be able to be sent to the station in the upcoming transfer window.

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You've lost engines on a couple of launches.  What mod is this, Kerbalism?  Also, since this is sort of a story type mission log, even if the mod just breaks an engine, it would be kind of cool to see a recap of "why" it failed.  I realize you'd be making it up but I think it would be kind of cool.  Thanks

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