CatastrophicFailure

ALIEN SKIES: A 6.4-scale playthrough of GPP/Rald

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Fair warning, Lili, the shepherd moon makes Gilly look like Eve in terms of gravity/soi. Also your probe will be in darkness for over half it's orbit so be sure to pack lots of solar panels and batteries

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2017 at 5:43 PM, insert_name said:

Fair warning, Lili, the shepherd moon makes Gilly look like Eve in terms of gravity/soi. Also your probe will be in darkness for over half it's orbit so be sure to pack lots of solar panels and batteries

Funny you should mention that... <_<

 

Year 5, Day 53...

Spoiler

 

Now that the UMO lander has returned all the data it can, the relay unit can be put to further use. It's time to get a closer look at that object in Tellumo's ring gap. The relay probe was equipped with a humble instrument suite for just such an occurrence.

f20lPdE.png

It takes a fair amount of maneuvering to gain an encounter, the object is so small it's more like rendezvousing with a satellite than a moon.

 

It has been dubbed, "Lily." After I adamantly refused to let Andrei call it a Trimaxion Drone Ship.

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Ever since, he's been wandering around calling me an "inferior species" in the strangest voice...

 

But anyways, maneuvering around the object at all proved exceptionally difficult...

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...mostly due to the relay probe being horribly off balance, requiring the offset engines to be limited to a tiny pittance of their rated thrust. This thing seems to spin pretty fast, too...

 

But, we have successfully landed on...

h2WbRtc.png

 

Er, now we have successfully landed on...

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No, now we have...

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... does anyone have any space tape?

 

 Maybe now? No?

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Now we have successfully landed on Lili!

doulBIb.png

Mostly. Pesky antenna.

 

Now, the real science can begin. Which is pretty limited, as it seems to have only one biome. Further research is required. Preferably with a probe that's less... bouncy.

 

2SWMyHv.png

 

 

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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I ....like this probe. Hah. :sticktongue:

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Which is worse, Gilly or Lili?

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Lilli - Definitely. It is not able to land at...ahem... It 's best to try it out yourself. I don't want to spoil.

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23 hours ago, Alpha 360 said:

Which is worse, Gilly or Lili?

Lili, by far. Gilly is a touch trickier to get to due to the irregular orbit, but Lili just seems to resist being landed on. 

It probably didn't help that my probe kept wanting to spin in circles harder and harder as the fuel ran out, and then it kept bouncing off the antenna. :rolleyes:

 

10 hours ago, Laythe Squid said:

Any life found on Tellumo?

:sealed:

Spoiler

A frozen rock. A dead world, in a place of dead worlds...

 

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5 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Lili, by far. Gilly is a touch trickier to get to due to the irregular orbit, but Lili just seems to resist being landed on. 

It probably didn't help that my probe kept wanting to spin in circles harder and harder as the fuel ran out, and then it kept bouncing off the antenna. :rolleyes:

 

:sealed:

  Reveal hidden contents

A frozen rock. A dead world, in a place of dead worlds...

 

Oh. Still, you might want to send more probes towards the planet. All that oxygen has to come from somewhere. Right?

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16 hours ago, Laythe Squid said:

 

Oh. Still, you might want to send more probes towards the planet. All that oxygen has to come from somewhere. Right?

Hydrogen peroxide decomposition? Now why would there be hydrogen peroxide in the first place.....

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18 hours ago, qzgy said:

Hydrogen peroxide decomposition? Now why would there be hydrogen peroxide in the first place.....

Water could be combining with ozone high in the atmosphere. Ozone is created by oxygen, which could be created by hydrogen peroxide decomposition. There could be a cycle where hydrogen peroxide is created and decomposes, explaining the oxygen.

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Such fascinating and far-fetched theories. :D I'm going with the most reasonable solution, that the planet was once ruled by an ancient race of platinum blondes. :wink:

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Posted (edited)
On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 7:49 PM, CatastrophicFailure said:

uawBpsq.png

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My memory is still foggy... all of ours are. No one remembers exactly what happened. The greatest minds from all over the Union were gathered together for this, and now, they are stranded here the same as the rest of us. Andrei and Vladislav are convinced the Empress herself was somehow involved. Me, I'm not so sure.

Our prospects now are mixed, at best. We can breathe the air, there is something on the ground that looks like grass, but I don't think we're on Kerbin anymore. And who the PЦҬЇЍ is Toto?? At any rate, we can live here... and the Machine keeps spitting out food. Although honestly the term "food" is a bit of a stretch. But the skies...

They are like nothing any of us have ever seen before. An enormous moon hangs in the sky, painted blue and green and red. Other travellers beckon too, but the stars... there are no stars. Only angry, burning clouds of crimson. Somehow, it is fitting.

It seems we have all we need for the mission, to build a glorious space program for our glorious Union. But we have not heard from them in... I'm not sure how long. I'm beginning to doubt we ever will again. Yet we will press on, if only for lack of anything better to do. The work will keep idle hands from thinking too long on the situation. From the ground up, we shall forge a space program! We shall reach out to the strange sights in the sky, and learn about this, our brave new world!

7PwNenO.png

And perhaps, in doing so, we shall find our own way back to our glorious Union. Could it be so simple? Could these constructs of fire and metal become the bridge between worlds, the vessels to carry us on the long journey home?

D9I3Zv0.png

ЍЧЄҬ.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

OOC is serious business:

The Glorious Ussari Space Program will soon be lost to history, but its shadows live on. So, exactly what it says on the tin: we have here a heavily modded 6.4-scale game of @Galileo's awesome planet pack. I'll get a CKAN file up eventually, but other primary mods include the planet Rald, Kerbalism: cussword-spawner realism-enhancer, and Research Bodies. So I actually don't know what's out in those alien skies, and have tried to avoid spoilers in Galileo's thread. Actual content will follow very shortly as our intrepid crew of marooned Kerbals try to find their way home... or perhaps realize, they already are...

(Also special thanks to @Ten Key for flags, @JadeOfMaar for various assistance getting things running, @KerikBalm for his planet Rald [absolutely not terraformed Mars!] and probably numerous others I'm currently forgetting. :blush:)

 

 

I don't see how that's an alien sky, looks like that all the time where I live.

 

Edited by The Moose In Your House

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7 hours ago, The Moose In Your House said:

I don't see how that's an alien sky, looks like that all the time where I live.

I think that the title's referring to the crimson skybox in space, not the clouds.

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2 hours ago, NotAgain said:

I think that the title's referring to the crimson skybox in space, not the clouds.

No, its also like that, just at night. Also that is smog caused by pollution, not clouds.

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Posted (edited)

Year 5, Day 74...

As the celebrations were winding down from the surprisingly successful mission to Tellumo, just before he passed out one of the scientists reminded us that the next window to Niven was only a couple of weeks away. And that we still have contracts. This triggered a flurry of wobbly and somewhat slurred activity as everyone starting throwing parts together in a frenzy. Then we realized we should probably be building a rocket instead.

Also, all further celebration rooms will be thoroughly checked for leaky NO2 bottles before festivities commence.

Anyway, built in record time was the Niven Express!v8gY25E.png

Spoiler


 

Tipping the scales at just over 15 tonnes, Niven Express is a bit past was a standard Mallard can loft, so we were forced, for the first time, to strip one down to an expendable configuration. After just squeaking into a parking orbit, the second stage was dropped for a planned destructive re-entry.

6znxYWA.png

 

Except for these two flag decals, which continued flying in formation for a disturbingly long time before impacting the water at several times the speed of sound.

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Using a standard cryogenic transfer stage, Niven Express presses on to, well, Niven.

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This time, we know what to expect. Hopefully. in 133 days, we'll know for sure.

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133 days later... more or less...

 

So... we meet again...

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The remaining hyrolox fuels have, of course, boiled off by this point. We really need to look into a solution for their long-term storage. But fortunately, the RCS keeps working during the fairly short flight. The trajectory is tweaked to lower it into the atmosphere...

 

...then the transfer stage is discarded.

iD2bRz1.png

 

It's still carrying our initial high-gain antenna to connect back with Gael, however. A delicate dance begins. The transfer stage adjusts its course to stay out of Niven's atmosphere and fall just a little behind the probe buss.

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While the buss fine-tunes its own course. The transfer stage is the only link back to Mission Control until after the aerocapture maneuver. If it drifts too far away before the main dish can be deployed, the probe will be lost.

CX6oxC9.png

 

Coming in hot...

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This time we've brought along a proper heat shield! Tense moments follow, as the probe buss slows down and the transfer stage, er, rockets past. But it's not rockets, it's just momentum.

 

Safely out the other side, now in an elongated initial orbit!

LNwFF5h.png

 

The orbiter probe and its critical high-gain dish is finally deployed! Now we'll have a stable and lasting relay back to Mission Control. The transfer stage, while still healthy, flies off into interplanetary space. Udachi, komrade... you have served well.

fdS3Bj1.png

Once again, the orbiter is standard Walkabout-class heritage. If it ain't broke... Vlad will probably break it.

 

After some more aerobraking to gain a more circular orbit, the lander begins its final--

Why is it exploding?!?

LF4BodR.png

 

What happened?!? What--?

Oh, there it is. It's ok! Mostly. Just lost the propulsion package. Fortunately, we brought two heat shields!

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Despite the thin atmosphere, the lander slows to subsonic speed while still high in the atmosphere. It's a long fall before the chutes open.

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Heat shield discarded and skycrane deployed!

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Free to good home: One heat shield, slightly used. U-haul.

 

The science team seems to have greatly underestimated the utility of Niven's atmosphere. The skycrane is hardly needed to make a soft landing.

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Once it's down, the real science can begin! The engineers have cobbled a mini-rover together from an old RC car chassis, the batteries from Vlad's radio, and Twinkies.

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Lots and lots of Twinkies.

 

Now, we have a whole planet to ex--

What do you mean, all the landing science is still back on the lander??

l2jkrCn.png

 

Ahem, yes, well... It seems someone forgot to transfer the science files to the rover before detaching it. The rover carries a micronized high-gain dish, so now it will have to hang around the landing stage with is short-range omni until all the science gathered during the landing sequence can be transmitted back.

vKYIJct.png

 

Apparently Niven is quite the drag.

No, Andrei, we are not calling the landing site RuPaul Base.

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aaaand shortly after the last of the lander science is transmitted back, communication with the rover becomes sporadic. Some sort of

 

problem has developed with the solar panel, and the rover is currently stuck. And I'm getting lots and lots of red text on my screen.
What is an NRE anyway? Where'd everyone go? Hello? Hey, who gave Vlad fresh batteries!?!

Yup, Niven is a drag, all right.

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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On 5/29/2017 at 7:40 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Except for these two flag decals, which continued flying in formation for a disturbingly long time before impacting the water at several times the speed of sound.

Soo... was it Vlad who "sourced" the paint for these decals?

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17 hours ago, monophonic said:

Soo... was it Vlad who "sourced" the paint for these decals?

This, we do not speak of.

 

Also, not going to lie, while I'm loving this series just like the last one, I do miss Comrade Political Officer.

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22 hours ago, monophonic said:

Soo... was it Vlad who "sourced" the paint for these decals?

Is that what the kids are calling it these days? :ph34r:

 

4 hours ago, PanzerAce said:

Also, not going to lie, while I'm loving this series just like the last one, I do miss Comrade Political Officer.

As do I, as do I. The characters in my head come and go (just wait till y'all meet Ivan. No, not that one. No, not that one, either), but that one will always have a special place. And I never even knew his name. Udachi, komrade!

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23 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

(just wait till y'all meet Ivan. No, not that one. No, not that one, either)

"No, that was not Zathras Ivan, that was Zathras Ivan. There are 10 of us, all of family Zathras Ivan, each one named Zathras Ivan. Slight differences in how you pronounce. Zathras Ivan, Zathras Ivan, Zathras Ivan.. You are seeing now?"

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Posted (edited)

Year 5, day 211

After two missions in a row into deep space, it's time to turn our attention back the local area and our crude crewed space program. Mostly because Triti hasn't had much to do lately and she's getting a little... antsy.
Damn shame what she did to that poor rhino...

Spoiler

 

Anyway, GENE has spit out requirements for a long-term space station, and we'll be building using the troubled LDEF as a starting point.

I5mXcLx.png

Maybe a few weeks in close company with Triti Kerman will convince it to start working again.

 

We've made some--

Hey, get back here, stage! We weren't done with you yet!

pXvN7iO.png

Apparently someone left the stage trigger set to 5% instead of 0%, but didn't add the engine cut-off trigger.

 

Moving on, the functional (hopefully) core of our new modular space station successfully meets up with the LDEF. The engineering team has made some modifications to the standard Mallard-B upperstage to allow it to function as a short-duration orbital tug.

You can see the LDEF just there, practically glowing with fail... <groan>

GMqxCuL.png

 

The initial link-up is a bit tricky, as the LDEF somehow got pointing the wrong way and its one good solar panel won't work. Still, the flight control team is able to bring the module in for a successful, and temporary, docking with the one available port.

2JV20QY.png

The two modules will remain in orbit for a while as a glowing beacon of "don't-let-this-happen-to-you" while we convince Ferdlin to get back in the capsule with Triti.

 

Trying another controlled re-entry of the upper stage...

dfWyq6v.png

"Controlled" being a mostly theoretical term.

 

That sounded expensive...

cfwXMSD.png

 

Well, despite burning all the airbrakes off again, the upper stage makes a successful touchdown in the ocean, just a teensy bit off target but what's a few hundred kilometers among...

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...who cut the chutes?!

jw3rpTK.png

 

That sounded really expensive...

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Huh...

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...the inflatable heat shield... sinks...

 

I was not expecting that. 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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What if these kerbals on this planet are the last survivors of Kerbin ripped from their universe?

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8 hours ago, Casualnaut said:

What if these kerbals on this planet are the last survivors of Kerbin ripped from their universe?

Asking the real questions. :wink:

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Posted (edited)

Year 5, day 233...

Actual construction of the new space station began in earnest, today.

Once more, Triti and Ferdlin took to the skies in a--DUCK!!!

Spoiler


jxi1feo.png

I hate it when that happens.

 

Still having no luck with auto-recovery of the Mallard upper stage, either.

bJ0jbiT.png

 

After a short transit, the re-used-but-still-called-NewShip pulls up to the glowing-with-broke-crap fledgling station.

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Made it easy to see in the dark, tho.

 

Ferdlin hops out and gets right to work.

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Which is probably a relief after spending a few hours with Triti.

 

The first order of business is disassembling the launch adapter and reconfiguring it into the new docking adapter.

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While MechIvan keeps the NewShip in place, it's time for Triti to come out, and take over control in the cupola module,

VhvBPt3.png

 

Ferdlin makes sure to keep a safe distance.

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This part really wasn't thought out too well. Triti undocks thew new core module, which was never really designed for free flight on its own. It has only limited batteries and a tiny amount of monopropellant. She holds it in position just over the LDEF.

 

Under protest, Ferdlin moves back in, and relocates a 1.875 meter a docking port from the adapter on the LDEF.

GPJSC4E.png

 

Now it's up to Triti to re-dock... and she very quickly runs through her entire repertoire of swear words once it becomes clear the broken solar panel is in the way.

xTqKZ8h.png

 

Ferdlin back at it. The busted panel is discarded, but he can't seem to figure out how to attach the explosives, so it's going to be an annoying bit of space junk for a while.

HnGmIdi.png

 

Triti then cooks up an entire language's worth of new swear words when she seed the other solar array is also in the way.

FnjXTUS.png
I have no idea what a transphlablamaphlognorg is but I'm pretty sure it's rude. Oh. I can't say that here? Crap. Can I say crap? Oh. Crap.

 

Ferdlin sticks the last panel wherever he can find a spot and Triti is finally able to dock properly.

MVyE43H.png

After un-docking once or twice because the rotation was off. Is it possible to have an entire language of nothing but cuss words? That doesn't seem practical.

 

There's no rest for Ferdlin, though. He has some... trouble... with reconfiguring the main docking adapter, when he can't remember which key simply separates components.

s4w5fOR.png

Hint: it's X.

 

More docking adapter shenanigans, when Ferdlin lets go of the thing and has to go chase it down with the NewShip.

M6Y7Wb8.png

 

Surprisingly, makes a rather impressive attempt at re-docking it...

8LKrBJ5.png

...maybe due to the fact that Triti was on the radio the whole time explaining in explicit detail exactly what would happen to him if he dents either of her ships.

 

Before she'll let him in the door, it's time to get rid of these pesky lowest-bidder antennas.

HhYLyCD.png

Which doesn't seem right, since we build everything here...

 

Triti finally lets him back in, and promptly remands poor Ferd to the closet next to the noisy ice machine for the rest of the stay.

A few days later, the next module arrives, once more using the Mallard upper stage as a tug.

EQ3cNrs.png

 

This part, mercifully, goes rather smoothly.

TkXJtBv.png

Although this module is just more lab space and batteries, which no proper crew quarters yet, so Ferdlin is still stuck in the closet. Who's Vanna White?

 

With a proper, but still under-performing power source, the last of the original LDEF panels is left to drift and the station reaches Stage I completion.

paozbkH.png

 

Right away, more problems crop up. The station is still running out of power during orbital night, even when the numbers say it shouldn't, so the crew begins preparations to leave early.

eUAwqFt.png

Spoiler

Kerbalism is really giving me conniptions, here. Those panels are bugged and put out a silly amount of EC, yet at high warp Kerbalism keeps saying the thing is running out of power, like it's not recharging properly on the day side. :mad:

 

Ferdlin has one final task, relocating this 1.875 meter docking adapter to clear the way for the next incoming module, which will finally bring some basic crew quarters.

TvNLCGw.png

And hopefully convince Triti to stop hanging her underwear up in front of the air vents to dry.

 

Ferdlin gets a moment to take in his handiwork. And get just out of radio range of Triti.

P20tJtj.png

Not sure why he's still carrying around those antennas... that sounds ominous...

 

So after a mostly successful mission, the crew says its good-byes to the new UpLab, and heads home.

Yvj5GNk.png

We really need to get some new Kerbonauts. How about y--?

 

Where'd everybody go?

 

zDvhunM.png

 

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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Posted (edited)

Year 5, Day 252...

I discovered something horrifying today...

...but I promised Vlad I'd forget what I just saw if he put that thing back and never went near it again.

On a completely unrelated note, an alarm went off. It took us a while to actually figure out what it was, it was over on a dusty instrument panel covered in cobwebs and Vlad's old toothbrushes. Underneath were warning lights labeled, PAD FIRE, TANK FIRE, NON-SPECIFIC IMPENDING DOOM, and FRANK. That last one was a bit concerning, but we were interested in the one lit up at the moment marked KERBAL RESCUE. Which was strange, since I was pretty sure we were all still on the ground. Yet somehow GENE spit out contracts for not one but two orbital rescues, and, well...

You know how I said I'm going to read the contracts better?

I really need to start doing that.

One of these was for a rescue in an orbit halfway to Iota. We've never been that far, not with a Kerbal. But hey, roots are roots and having a new face for Triti to interrogate get to know might calm her down some. So, off we go!

Spoiler

 

pzPQcZb.png

More specifically, off goes Ferdin. And apparently I've been spelling his name wrong all this time, it seems there's no L... that's awkward.

 

This is the contraption the engineering team came up with. The lightest command pod they could cobble together stuck on the biggest transfer stage we could build.

Wecs0C5.png

It's got a fairly ridiculous amount of delta-V on board, which is exactly what we're going to need. Oddly enough, with this, we've managed to solve the problem of boiloff of cryogenic hydrogen. All we needed to do was flip the switch on the tank from "Standard" to "Zero boiloff," go figure. Though I swear that switch wasn't there before...

 

We've also managed to get our first successful auto-recovery of the Mallard upper stage!

VH5KdiP.png

I don't need to be an engineer to understand that 76% recovery value > zero! Just need to work on our aim...

 

After boosting to an apoapse of nearly 100,000km, Ferdin takes a moment to enjoy the view.

LcCbKdU.png

Unfortunately for Ferdin, what he also took a moment to enjoy was Gael's inner radiation belt. Even with his short crossing time, he racks up 47% of his maximum recommended radiation dosage. This could be a problem...

 

While he was arguing with the engineering team over making the pod out of tinfoil instead of lead, Mission Control sidled him up next to... um...

FPRZVwe.png

...Lodvin. We'll be bringing his scrap back, too. Hence the ridiculously huge vessel.

 

Not knowing how long this Lodvin has been cooped up in there alone, without proper psychological support or bathing facilities, Ferdin declines to open the hatch. So he sets about attaching docking ports to both ends...

XHaUx64.png

 

... then detaches the control module from the transfer stage and docks with Lodvin's hulk....

INylJpI.png

 

...and then, rather impressively, manages to re-dock the whole shebang back onto the transfer stage despite the fact that the engineering team forgot to fit a proper antenna and it's completely uncontrolled.

SrZcYeV.png

Ferdin attests this newfound pilot skill the third arm he's recently grown as a result of extreme radiation exposure.

 

With the new guy safely confined retrieved, Ferdin heads for home before he starts glowing any brighter. Whoever is left in low Gael orbit will just have to wait for now.

Ez7Xb4U.png

 

With a last nudge of fuel, Ferdin increases his inclination to miss Gael's inner radiation belt. This technique may be useful in the future...

6uxYKj0.png

 

...and, a safe splashdown! Now it's up to Triti to... um...

F7WFjPr.png


 

... well I suppose I did only tell Vlad he couldn't touch that thing...

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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Posted (edited)

Year 5, Day 307...

It's been a busy few weeks. That darn rescue alarm is still going off, but the engineer crafted a very short-term solution by putting a piece of tape over it.

Meanwhile, Lodvin Kerman's... acclimation proceeds as expected. He has no idea how he got to space, where he's from, who he is... or why there's a pile of bricks clogging his toilet. That last one is a bit strange, even for around here.

Spoiler

 

Anyway, we have a greenhouse to launch.

2U5EQkN.png

 

We're still having problems with power generation aboard the UpLab, but that's no logical reason to stop throwing money and equipment at it! Here, after an uneventful launch, the greenhouse/hab module docks...

RJnmMfF.png

Uneventful, except that it went waaaay off course and flew far too flat of a trajectory. By the time it finally met up with the station, the Mallard tug was completely out of fuel, making the final maneuvers on stored monoprop only.

 

But, that just makes it that much lighter for a parachute landing. There's enough monoprob left to de-orbit, so, undock and send it on its...

7XD5nMi.png

Erm... what do you mean, all the remaining monoprop was on the station module and the upper stage is now dead in the water and will run out of power, thus becoming a ghost ship in a matter of hours?

 

Well, on the upside, Uplab.... still doesn't have enough batteries...

Q7t79SH.png


 

...and I think these headlights might be just a tad too bright...

eNH6ACU.png

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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