CatastrophicFailure

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

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Year 7, Day 2...

Blech!

Whaguggle!

Glorp!

Hwork!

Puh-tooie!!!!!

Spoiler

 

I have requisitioned every stick of gum and breath mint in the facility, and still can't get rid of that taste!

Am seriously beginning to contemplate gargling with chlorine trifluoride. 

In more ways than one, this isn't how I expected to go about this.

Long story short, we're going to Gauss.

3Dl9JXs.png

We're expecting no magnetic field 

 

So a bit more background; while our engineers pause to consider the challenges of surviving long-duration spaceflight long enough to glow in the dark from the radiation, we're launching a reinvigorated space probe program to the outer planets and Thalia. The NOVA buss has performed well during the low-key tests we've launched, so it's now become the centerpiece of the new program. But a much heavier probe needed a much bigger transfer stage, which needed a much bigger rocket. A full Otho-class launch for each one would be pure overkill, so once again we looked to the trusty Mallard and thought, "how can we muck this thing up this time?"

Enter the Grey Goose class!

Little more than a pair Mallard boosters strapped onto a full Mallard, crossfeeding into the core.

Simple, right? How can strapping a couple of extra cores to a proven rocket to make it Heavier be even the slightest bit complicated, right? Why, we can probably even recover the upper stage. Er, still.

But anyways, successful booster sep!

EitSaiK.png

 

All three cores are eventually recovered, condition ranging from "light golden brown" to "extwa kwispy." This new rig has some real potential as a medium-heavy lifter, placing the transfer stage in its parking orbit with over a full km/s left in the upper stage.

NxJ3YSc.png

 

But, like I said, this isn't quite how we planned things. We realized once this inaugural vehicle was completed that we had a razor-thin window to Gauss still open. Despite such a flight being technically beyond the capabilities of the thing. So of course, we had to shoot for the moons!

But fortunately, we missed.

It's a 6.5km/s fast-track burn to that distant, unexplored world!

The Mallard upper stage gives all it has, first, cutting off with just a smidge of fuel left in the tanks to run a fuel cell...

AvPKte7.png

 

Then the actual transfer stage takes over, kicking in another 4km/s... (which, of course, happens on the night side.)

lGEMyaY.png

 

But even that's not enough, and NOVA-Gauss's own hypergolic braking stage kicks in the last few hundred m/s...

jA7J7qV.png

 

...putting the probe on its final course to Gauss, in "only" five-ish years.

TQAdHiM.png

Squeezing every last bit of delta-V from the available stages has shaved several years off the transit time of a proper Hohmann orbit, but now it's highly unlikely that the probe's braking stage or on-board fuel will be enough to slow into orbit around the gas giant, so after all that we may only end up with a flyby. If the thing keeps working long enough. And if the antenna reaches that far.

 

However, while we've been unable to image them, observed orbital irregularities of the planet indicate that there may be one or more large moons present, which may present the opportunity for a gravity assist into a a stable orbit.

AfRQQ7P.png

More info on the finalized probe buss will follow, once the engineers stop carrying on. They are being a bit unusually silly. Especially for engineers. It's almost as if they're...

 

Hah, hah. I get it now. Seems someone's had a bit of fun with the new launcher's name. All those bottles marked with it weren't rocket fuel after all.

Or were they? (I suppose we are Ussaris after all. Or... are we?)

 

Well, anyways, while the probe begins its long, lonely journey, we still have to recover the Mallard Goose upper stage.

SANHPhV.png

 

We've never recovered one from these kinds of velocities, before. But I'm sure it'll be just--

2AeToFl.png

Nope.

 

Nuh-uh.

EP45WKL.png

 

And of course, the inflatable heat shield sinks.

4HPRSqm.png


 

Now speaking of rocket fuel, anyone seen that bottle of chlorine trifluoride?

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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14 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Simple, right? How can strapping a couple of extra cores to a proven rocket to make it Heavier be even the slightest bit complicated, right? Why, we can probably even recover the upper stage.

Now where have I heard that one before..?

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Year 7, Day 84...

It's been a very busy few months around here. First, we go back to Day 2.

We sent this thing zinging around all of Gael's moons to pick up a cool half-mil roots.

Spoiler

 

1ntqwRO.png

We're going to need it, if Vlad doesn't eat them all before we can spend them.

 

Year 7, Day 24:

After much deliberation and simulations up the proverbial yin-yang (and further deliberations to determine what, exactly, a yin-yang is and why it's proverbial in the first place, since no one was able to locate any proverbs related to it), The science and engineering teams have reached the consensus that a Thalia orbiter is simply beyond current technology. We'll work on that. In the mean time, we've commissioned the Thalia Express mission:

1cR0p8x.png

 

A surprisingly modest payload well within the trusty Mallard's limits, the transfer stage and highly modified NOVA buss mass only a few tonnes.

nfh0dXK.png

The problem at Thalia is stopping. So we won't be doing that. This will be a quick-and-dirty (and cheap) driveby flyby science grab. 

 

Solar panels and a nice, big radiator are more than adequate so close to Ciro. The probe is loaded down with instrumentation for its brief pass by the planet. This should give us some better info for planning any future missions, as well as confirm the presence or lack of any moons.

xCnKTfZ.png

...and just about the time the engineering team was wondering if the radiator would be enough, they realized they had neglected to actually include a thermometer.

It's a little too late to turn around, so the other waiting NOVA probes are quickly modified.

 

Which brings us to Day 71...

A dramatic night launch of another Grey Goose!

z7U5fct.png

 

After an uneventful launch, the payload is deposited into the initial parking orbit. This one's going to Gratian, the next planet beyond Tellumo, so the Mallard upper stage won't be needed further and can be recovered.

6iGIenX.png

 

And here we have the NOVA buss as it was meant to be. At the core of these long-range probes is, well, a core. A reactor core. Buried in the mass of fuel tanks and instruments sits a micronized fission reactor, throttled down to hopefully last the long outbound flights.

DxMJp79.png

At the bottom of the probe, we have the braking stage, capable of around 1800m/s for midcouse maneuvers and initial orbit insertion. At the top, we have the coup de grâce, a small, simple atmospheric lander for surveying any large moons  (or in this case, Gratian itself, which is expected to have a thin but potentially useful atmosphere).

 

Some days later, Thalia EXPRESS reaches its first and probably only major maneuver. We're dumping most of the fuel into matching Thalia's orbital plane. After the initial science pass, hopefully this will allow future flybys for further data gathering.

QskgR8R.png

 

And then, someone forgot to jiggle the handle again.

csqLG7C.png

HOW MANY TIMES TO I HAVE TO TELL YOU GUYS TO JIGGLE THE HANDLE?!?

 

Bringing us to Day 83, and the third launch of the promising Grey Goose lifter.

F0XmGWv.png

 

Finally a proper daytime launch, we can go over more details of the flight pattern.

Booster separation, 54km altitude, leaving the still fully-fueled core stage already going 2 km/s for the rest of the boost.

7HyRCcX.png

 

Core stage burnout and separation, 140km altitude, 5.7km/s speed, just below orbital velocity. These stages tend to come back a little crispy.

oOC1e43.png

We keep the payload fairings all the way into orbit in this configuration; the 22-tonne NOVA and transfer stage aren't anywhere near this new launcher's limit. The Mallard-derived upper stage will only use around 20% of its fuel circularizing the orbit.
Also, in simulations, ejecting the fairing during flight had a habit of causing unplanned explosions. That's usually bad.
Come to think of it, we might could have skipped the transfer stage altogether and just used an expendable Mallard. Hmm...

 

Anyways, in this case, the Mallard does burn most of its fuel for the initial boost. This NOVA is going to Otho for our first visit to a gas giant. The probe buss remains mostly the same, save for an upgraded antenna for the huge distances that will have to be covered.

KMIdwy2.png

We're not sure where the lander is going. One of the as-yet-uncatalogued moons should have enough atmosphere. Probably. Hopefully.

 

Attempts to recover the Mallard upper stage when it came around again were, er, less than satisfactory.

E5ARKLQ.png

 

The launch pad hadn't even cooled yet when we started wheeling the next launch out.

BVwQEAD.png

Serious, I've told those guys to wear gloves. It's rockets, for flarp's sake!

 

Year 7, day 84. The team has come to the final conclusion that keeping the ever-more failure-prone and improperly shielded Uplab functioning just isn't worth the expense. So the decision has been made to retire it.

Eventually.

This will be the final crew to visit the station, made up of veterans Gilfrey and Gemchell and newbie Leelenna. For once we didn't pluck her from space, she's an actual scientist, but we needed another and we caught her napping at her lab station, so we quickly threw her in the capsule and shut the hatch. I'm sure she'll be fine.

Az3s56R.png

It's a bittersweet arrival. Mostly because the walls are still coated with poo and Leelenna didn't want to be there in the first place.

 

But, the crew has a nice surprise waiting, as the next harvest from the greenhouse is ready. Which is good, since the stored food has been up there since the last crew, and after so much exposure to radiation it's developing a habit of talking back.

Gemchell gets right to work fixing all the broken stuff. At least what she can fix. Much of it is gone for good. Nothing too important, tho.

8aA8bRP.png

With the waste compressors, they really didn't need that space toilet anyway.

 

Once the fixable is fixed, Gemchell takes advantage of the time to get ahead on her next task: affixing more than half a dozen cameras to the outside of the station to record its eventual demise.

VpCzFwA.png


 

And elsewhere, Thalia beckons...

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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On 7/23/2017 at 0:49 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

That Triti is certainly, er, well-traveled...

 

I know this is a month old, but I *can't* believe you missed this opportunity-

"That Triti, -um, is certainly well traveled..."

 

tsk tsk. What has become of my beloved late-shift accompanying Commissar?   :)  :P

 

I do have a serious query about your Kerbalism issue.  You deduced it was directly related to your number of active flights.  Do you think this is this a raw (pardon the pun...or not) Kerbalism issue, or is it perhaps a compounding issue from mod interactions?  I ask because my current game has approximately 40 active flights, all unmanned, and I am on a pace to have well over 100 I am sure.

I did have an unexplained Kerbalism-related death of a crew (which I posted somewhere here in report form), but never a failure to load.

 

PS

Found the link to my accident, though the pictures have gone;

 

Edited by GarrisonChisholm

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20 hours ago, GarrisonChisholm said:

I know this is a month old, but I *can't* believe you missed this opportunity-

"That Triti, -um, is certainly well traveled..."

 

tsk tsk. What has become of my beloved late-shift accompanying Commissar?   :)  :P

Sigh. That particular comrade will never be replaced!

Also, comparing Triti to anything heavy (even heavy hydrogen) is likely to be hazardous to one's existence in all three dimensions. :0.0:

 

20 hours ago, GarrisonChisholm said:

I do have a serious query about your Kerbalism issue.  You deduced it was directly related to your number of active flights.  Do you think this is this a raw (pardon the pun...or not) Kerbalism issue, or is it perhaps a compounding issue from mod interactions?  I ask because my current game has approximately 40 active flights, all unmanned, and I am on a pace to have well over 100 I am sure.

I did have an unexplained Kerbalism-related death of a crew (which I posted somewhere here in report form), but never a failure to load.

No idea. :/ Given the sheer number of mods I'm managing to run, there's most likely some kind of interaction somewhere. I'm far enough behind on versions now I didn't think it worth plugging up the Kerbalism thread with a support request. All I know is that removing Kerbalism removed the problem, as did cutting back on flights. Debris doesn't seem to affect it, so I'm guessing it's Kerbalism just getting overwhelmed trying to catch up too many vessels.

And yes, Kerbalism can be quite buggy like that. I no longer trust solar alone, I've begun adding in backup power systems (as shall be noted shortly). Plutonium FTW but the fuel cells included with it are showing promise, they'll automaticaly "throttle" to match demand so they don't waste h2/o2 when solar is working, and are much lighter than moar batteries.

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Year 7, Day 114...

Finally, after years of frustration, our blink-and-you-miss-it encounter with Thalia is rapidly approaching!

But... what's that?

Spoiler

 

NYoqs56.png

 

Only a couple of days before the flyby, short-range cameras image what appears to be a small moon orbiting the small world. After some quick, back-of-the-envelope calculations, the science team figures out that we've got enough fuel to adjust Thalia EXPRESS's trajectory to meet it, but we'll loose out on the close encounter with the planet itself. Yet unable to image the moon with our telescope in Gael orbit, the decision is made to make a pass at the the smaller body...

1teQjKO.png

...and hope Triti doesn't overhear take that the wrong way. No angry footsteps heading this way? Ok, proceed...

 

The maneuver uses nearly all of the probe's remaining fuel, and we'll miss out on any low-down science from Thalia itself, but the opportunity to map the orbit of the little moon can't be missed. It may prove useful in the future.

bsWxYWL.png

Somehow it ended up being called Eta, after some miscommunication as to when the probe would actually get there.

 

It's going to be a blisteringly-fast pass just barely within Thalia's SOI, but there's plenty of science to be gained.

YO4QwqE.png

 

Eta looks considerably different than Thalia, a barren, blasted place, possibly the site of some ancient cataclysm. This is gonna be close...

yLPSMmi.png

 

...and the entire encounter is over in barely more than an hour. Thalia EXPRESS skimms only a couple of dozen kilometers above the surface at over 10km/s, mapping a small swath of the moon before heading back out into space.

vyAPUsO.png

Look at the size of that mountain poking out!

 

But just like that it's over, passing by Thalia over 63 thousand kilometers away. We never got a good look, but got plenty of good data, so much so that it will take another 36 days to transmit it all back home.

q0H54bB.png

Thalia EXPRESS heads back out into deep space, possibly for another encounter in a couple more years.

 

And in other news, we got a neat picture of a rare Iota-clipse:

pPwbeXn.png

But while the data continues to trickle in, we've already got another rocket rolling out. It's time for a long-term expedition to Ceti.

 

Also, the engineering team has compiled a simulation of exactly how fast the Eta flyby was. This is all real time!

 


 

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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On 9/8/2017 at 2:11 PM, Deserdi Verimas said:

Which mod are you using to capture your science data? Looks really useful! 

What you're seeing in the vid is Kerbalism's science system along with AutomatedScienceSampler, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It'll automatically run all your experiments when you pass into a new biome/situation, which as you guessed is pretty indispensable with these fast flybys. If I ever get down to Icarus, I'd probably be in and out of low space long before I could run everything by hand. 

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Year 7, Day 166...

 

CETI-OTHO III
JENCINE - HAYLOTTE - LODVIN
One of these days we'll get our naming conventions standardized.

Busy busy busy!

With half the engineering team just coming down from their excitement over finally receiving the last data from Thalia express, the other half is just getting ramped up for a return to Ceti... dropping off, not picking up, this time.

It's a beautiful day when Ceti-Otho III takes to the sky!

Spoiler

 

oJsaV4T.png

Marred only by Lodvin's immortal words broadcast to the whole facility, "I have a bad feeling about this... shoulda skipped the eggs for breakfast."

 

Jencine remains unfazed by Lodvin's stowaway methane facility, having spent months on the UpLab surrounded by walls that would give the bathrooms at Kermangrad Central Station a run for their money, and mission scientist Haylotte makes the unusually rational observation that none of them, in fact, actually has a nose.

Lodvin's prediction comes true far sooner than anyone wagered, though, when an off-nominal ascent results in him having to take manual control after ditching the first stage. And now I owe Triti half a week's pay. I should hide. Here, the interstage drops away.

o3P8uxd.png

 

Lodvin also proves unusually capable by deftly piloting the craft into a usable parking orbit. 

VoxmxGI.png

 

It turns out to be a very long parking orbit as a solar storm hits shortly after arriving there. The decision is made to ride it out in low Gael orbit for a few days, this crew is well supplied for the mission to come!

jY9fIq6.png

Glad to have all that "bad feeling" stuff behind us. I'm sure the rest of the flight will go swimmingly!

 

The trans-Ceti-injection burn goes off as planned, and after only a brief nausea-inducing pass through Gael's radiation belts, the crew maneuvers around to finally access their new penthouse! How Lodvin got that aboard, I'm still not sure, but I'll be having a long chat with him when he gets back. Anyways...
The new cryogenic heavy lander has been further upgraded and dubbed the Wide Integrated Negatively... Neutron.. Electron... 
We just call it the Winnebago, OK? At any rate, it's been modified with an extended-duration surface habitat and enough food for a full 50+ days on the surface.

YMMagtN.png

As long we we keep Haylotte out of it.

 

Once safely in a polar obit, the crew spend two weeks doing observational studies of the moon while waiting for the landing site near Ceti's south pole to line up. Finally, all three crew members will be aboard the lander, leaving the NewShip in orbit on autopilot.

wUNRIfn.png

 

As before, the trans-Ceti stage is used as a crasher stage for the initial de-orbit burn, preserving much of the lander's fuel for a contingency abort even if the landing site is far out of plane with the orbiting NewShip.

03FwLBp.png

But I'm sure everything will be fine. These landing are almost becoming routine!

 

Successful staging, and the Winnebago is running on its own engines! Even tipping the scales at over 20 tonnes with the extra kit,, the new lander design has power to spare, making precise landings much simpler!

MoC0Hcl.png

 

Down 30, picking up some dust...

A local survey contact specified this landing site at 75 degrees S latitude. This should allow almost unimpeded communication with Gael. Lodvin makes some final adjustments to the course, avoiding an enormous pit that the contract apparently wants explored. It's a couple of kilometers away now, but this flight is prepared for that!

FmUXsfz.png

Nope, nothing creepy or sinister about that, just a big hole in the ground. Perfectly safe, I'm sure.

 

No sooner are they safely down, than Haylotte pops out to take a look around...

qbHNvQZ.png

 

...and promptly embarrass herself.

weyjjXv.png

 

But what's a little Ceti dust in the face between friends, right? Still not a couch to be found, but the mission is off to a promising start. With flags planted the crew settles in for their stay of nearly a full Cetian month on the surface, a planned 50 days!

6pzMMHf.png


 

And Lodvin's gone back to mumbling about sand and "we're all gonna die." Maybe they should have left him in orbit.
Is it just me or does the lander look like it's... looking at them...?

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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Year 7, Day 166...                                                                                                               Hungry
                                                                                                                                                                      MundaneBoringYou spelled "excellent" wrong          High SChool Reunion   Stop messing with the title cards, Vlad!

     HAYLOTTE & JENCINE'S EXCELENT ADVENTURE              Bogus JourneyCUT IT OUT!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                        AwesomeTerrifying Dusty               Hi mom!   Seriously, I mean it!   Go to White Castle  

 

Now that the crew has settled in and made reasonably sure nothing's about to spontaneously explode, it's time to get down to business! This mission's got wheels! a sick ride! CUT THAT OUT VLAD!

Spoiler

 

NTCSR9k.png

Er, some assembly required...

 

First, engineer Jencine detaches the rover...

puZW4Mh.png

...and actually manages to remember to set the brakes.

 

Although the on-board reaction wheels prove just a bit... overpowered.

PRT2cGS.png

 

And now comes the manual labor!

EDsGWiV.png

Feel the burn!
That's athlete's foot...
Ewwwwwwww!
Wait, you're a kerbonaut, that makes it missile toe.
Shut up!

 

By an incredible stroke of luck, batteries actually are included. But with our previous experience with such, we're finding them less and less reliable. Along with various odds and ends hey those are my keys! the assembly pack includes a lightweight hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell, which should be good for over 12 hours at full power. Jencine gets to work putting tab A into slot B.

hcl3jAS.png

This is what we get for sourcing our rovers from Nefcarkaland.
That's back on Kerbin, it's been years! Wait, is that an Ikea joke?
Sorry, I'm craving meatballs.


 

Jencine gets the rover assembled in record time... then has to take it apart and do it all over again since she accidentally built it upside down... but with a little more care, once again has the rover assembled in... well, it's assembled. Good thing the days are long, here. And with only a handful of parts left over! I'm sure it's nothing important. Haylotte now joins here for the 3km trek to the contact zone.

hyjw3v4.png

 

You mean... down in that deep, dark hole?

EQQumN1.png

 

Yes, down in that deep dark hole. You've got headlights.

bD49Arn.png

 

Nuh, uh, I've seen this movie, PЦҬЇЍ on that!

8lNEclk.png

But the contract--
You can shove your contract right down that deep dark hole, cuz we're not going down there!

hqdefault.jpg

Ahem, yes, well... after much deliberation with the science team, and some truly frightening looks from Triti in the control booth, it's decided that close enough is good enough, and the contract samples are obtained.

Now, to get an analysis on that enormous--

ClloEQI.png

Ow.
Really Jencine? Really? Hundreds of meters to either side and you run right into the thing?
It snuck up on me.
That's coming out of your paycheck.
You don't pay us anything in the first place!
Stop picking at nits!
Ew! Ew! Ew! I do not have lice!
But you've got missile--
SHUT UP!!!

 

Moving on...

Scientist Haylotte jets to the stop of the boulder for a look around...
cuz Jencine's too heavy for her suit jets 
SHUT UP HAYLOTTE!

Ahem... jets up to the top for a look around...
Ooooh, I can see my house from... nope, that's a rock. Wait there it-- nope, also a rock.

2Q9LLob.png

 

Moving on...

Wendy, I can flyyyyy!

DDE91Gp.png

WHO'S WENDY?!?

 

Moving ON....
The rover is performing so well (not that the same can be said about its occupants) HEY! that the science team has requested a long-range survey of the three nearby biomes. This will be a long and arduous trek of over 150 kilometers, but thanks to the rover's on-board resources, the crew's personal supply reserves of an hour of power and oxygen will last for well over a day not the way Jencine's huffing HEY!!! BOTH OF YOU!

Sigh... anyways, the crew sets off.

2KzUK3o.png

Wait, I thought you were driving?
I'm not driving, you're driving!
I'm not driving!
I thought @eddiew was driving?
Who's @eddiew?!?
The guy who's style you're totally ripping off right now...
Shut up!

 

I'm not getting paid enough for this...
The pair finds another enormous hole in the ground. This close to the south pole, there seems to be an unusual abundance of these depressions and chasms snicker which do not appear to be craters. 
But the two still turn tail and head for the hills.
I told you I'm not going in there!

NYctCkJ.png

 

Despite the running commentary, science from the final biome is gathered. But that enormous hill in the distance calls to the crew, and with the rover at least not talking back pthbpthbpthbpthbpthbpthbpthbpthbpthb the team is authorized to go take a hike

6pdqPSL.png

 

The view is totally worth it.

Wow...
Shalalalala my-o-my--
Vlad... you're totally creeping me out right now.
And me!
And me!

 

A4r5EyT.png

 

Coffee. I need coffee...
SO, with Vlad now forcibly restrained by Triti, and all the science gathered, the crew finally heads for the Winnebago.

PH4MQk6.png

Sunglasses! Why do we not have sunglasses? We've got laser specto-doohickies and a nuclear flarping reactor, why don't we have sunglasses?!?
Um... budgets cuts...
My eyes are tingling...
You can blink, you know.
Oh... yeah... 

 

Ten hours later and in desperate need of a power room, the two finally return back to the lander safe and sound, and with a trove of science aboard!
We don't have a powder room!
Um... budget cuts...
@*&^@(&^$%^!!!!

584pWdo.png

 

And now safely aboard, they settle in for the long Cetian night...

WuqO907.png

There's still no couches here...
Duh, it's not even spelled the same!
Lodvin snores.
EEwwwwwwwwwwww!!
And he talks in his sleep, too.
What's a kraken?
How long is the night here?

About 30 days.
NNoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

 

They'll be just fine. I'm sure. Perfectly fine. Cut the feed, cut the feed!

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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28 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Now that the crew has settled in and made reasonably sure nothing's about to spontaneously explode, 

That sentence fragment tells me that the report ended abruptly. Perhaps with a spontaneous explosion? :sticktongue:

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30 minutes ago, 0111narwhalz said:

That sentence fragment tells me that the report ended abruptly. Perhaps with a spontaneous explosion? :sticktongue:

I spent ENTIRELY too much time with that title and din't want the forum to derp and lose it beofer I could post it (then spent another hour on the rest of it anyway. :confused:)

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Year 7, Day 186...

Mission day 32.

 

Alarm bells ring out in the cabin, rousing the crew from the first proper sleep they've had the whole trip (after stuffing Lodvin into the hab module airlock). There's a solar storm incoming, and it's a big one. ETA is five days. That's not much, but it might just be enough time. Mission Control orders an immediate abort.

The food container and hab module are jettisoned...

Spoiler

 

s0qWeYo.gif

...after retrieving Lodvin form the airlock. Someone's gotta fly this thing.

 

Then the ascent stage lifts off as the NewShip passes overhead.

3YymfdU.gif

 

This new heavy lander carries extra fuel in the ascent module to compensate for an off-plane emergency launch this close to the pole, but by an odd stroke of luck the orbital alignment is nearly perfect. The crew use their fuel to expedite the rendezvous.

JX2Y5VL.png

 

There's no time for procedure, the three quickly barrel into the NewShip and close the hatches, but not before scientist Haylotte remembers to grab the bag of samples from the lander. Once again, the NewShip burns with everything it has for an expedite return.

6qSMDd1.png

 

The high-speed trajectory will use a close flyby of Rald to shed excess velocity, allowing the crew to make the journey in only a few days.

KQCLF9B.png

 

Ceti recedes quickly into the distance. Once more we've been chased away back home by those pesky high-energy subatomic particles!

kKeRV7t.png

 

A final course adjustment will get the crew home in just over 5 days, barely ahead of the storm...

zO2sWT8.png

...or so we thought. Somehow, the storm hits early. Jencine, Haylotte, and Lodvin are caught out in deep space by deadly levels of radiation. The NewShip's meager amount of shielding is no match to an exposure rate that high.

In a matter of hours, Jencine and Haylotte receive near-fatal doses of radiation, with Lodvin fairing only slightly better. Incoherent, he mumbles something about being "touched by the Kraken."

The tone at mission control is grim. The crew are alive, but barely. They're still being exposed to high levels of deep-space radiation which will continue until they swing by Rald, but worse, their course will take them directly through Gael's own radiation belts. Slowed by passing the sister planet, they now won't pass the danger zone quickly enough. The capsule will survive the return, but it's crew won't, and there's not nearly enough fuel on board for a direct intercept with Gael. All hope seems lost.

Until Triti storms in and begins knocking heads together.

There is a solution, and anyone who doesn't do exactly as she says is going to spend their final moments of existence contemplating all the possible meanings of the phrase, "rapid unplanned disassembly."

VCsXVWH.png

 

The solution was right there the entire time, hanging in the sky for anyone who bothered to look up. The NewShip's course past Rald will bring it up over the south pole, passing through the thinnest point of Rald's much weaker outer radiation belt and missing the inner one entirely.

6OTKeDr.png

 

With its remaining fuel, the NewShip's peri-Rald is lowered into the atmosphere...

YxR9yOO.png

 

rxvHVTF.png

Ogbfn3O.png

 

CzeSHNp.png


 

Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into.
I feel funny...
There's something alive down here...

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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11 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

 

Until Triti storms in and begins knocking heads together.

There is a solution, and anyone who doesn't do exactly as she says is going to spend their final moments of existence contemplating all the possible meanings of the phrase, "rapid unplanned disassembly."

 

with triti involved I would expect any disassembly of technicians to have been planned out in advance

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Situation update: Year 7, Day 190...

Despite the initial jubilation that we were not about to receive three softly glowing radioactive corpses back on Gael, the situation remains dire.

Lodvin, Haylotte, and Jencine are alive and breathing, for the moment, after becoming the first Kerbals to walk on Rald. At least as far as we know. Rald's own magnetic fields are strong enough to protect the crew from any further radiation exposure, but it remains uncertain whether the dosages they have received will naturally convalesce without returning home.

vjF5PvM.png

And here in, lies the problem. At the moment, we simply do not have the technology to do so. Lifting off from the small planet would first require a lander an order of magnitude heavier than anything we've yet built. And simply getting such a construction to the surface, intact, with any shred of landing accuracy will be a great challenge.

The crew has sent back this shot of planting flags around their new temporary (we hope) home. This is no great act of patriotism, come to think of it, I can't even remember the last time we had a rousing round of the National Anthem around here... but anyways... it seems the surface of Rald is every bit as slimy as it looks from space. the NewShip has picked up a disturbing habit of trying to slide away. Hopefully the flags will keep it from going too far.

 

fPKy2Ia.png

And they've made it through their first night ok, too. With all the life support systems shut down, the on-board batteries provide plenty of power to run a few essential systems through the night. Unfortunately, while it would technically still work, the space toilet is in exactly the wrong position for any practical use, and the crew has already begun contaminating the pristine planet, with Mission Control's blesssing, oddly enough.

 

And this is an interesting development...

dUxZtcO.png

The crew have said they don't see anything that looks like a settlement, but now that I've gone over them again, our own bome maps of Rald are considerably lacking and not even complete. This, too, will need to be addressed, but our first and foremost concen is a very simple one: We have 15 days to get them food and water before an entirely different call of nature begins. 15 days to design, test, build, and launch a rocket, that will need to land its cargo with pinpoint accuracy to be of any use to the crew.

 

Which is going about as well as you might expect:

2lzy47q.png

I'll close this report now and get back to the drafting table, it's been rambling on long enough.

Spoiler

Mostly because it's 2am here, my plumbing is a mess, nothing opens until tomorrow morning, the sleep aid's not working, and any time I close my eyes I either see plumbing or Kerbals... or Kerbal plumbing... which is a REAL good way to make one never sleep again, ever. /RandOff

 

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Thankyou, @CatastrophicFailure for making the last day and a half a giggle-fest for me with this and Comrade Political Officer. It's making it much easier to deal with a double ear infection and a fever when you can't stop laughing every few minutes...

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On ‎15‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 9:40 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into.
I feel funny...
There's something alive down here...

Oh, mulch...

 

Question: Did the NewShip lose an engine during re-entry this time?

Edited by NotAgain
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4 hours ago, WintericeUK said:

Thankyou, @CatastrophicFailure for making the last day and a half a giggle-fest for me with this and Comrade Political Officer. It's making it much easier to deal with a double ear infection and a fever when you can't stop laughing every few minutes...

Glad I can be of service. :D You keep a mind on your head tho, infections + fever sound like bad news! :0.0:

 

1 hour ago, NotAgain said:

Oh, mulch...

 

Question: Did the NewShip lose an engine during re-entry this time?

Nah. Entry speed past Rald is about on par with stock Kerbin, so I could probably get away with no heat shield at all getting there. And it's looking like I might have to. :o

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Year 7, Day 201...

All those recovered Mallard stages taking up hangar space have finally proven useful. The engineering team has cobbled together another Grey Goose and a supply ship able to make a pinpoint landing on Rald in a record time of only 9 days and 10 sleepless nights. Sleepless, because anyone who looked about ready to nod off got a very intense talking to from Triti in which she explained in explicit detail exactly what would happen if they did nod off, thereby precluding them from ever sleeping again. Ever. But, surprisingly enough, it worked:

8jDkeIs.png

 

And the precious cargo of snacks and clean underwear was soon on its way to our strange, blue sister planet, hopefully to arrive before our castaways are reduced eating each other.

qEbagUS.png

Which might happen anyway. All that radiation has probably affected their brains, and, well, that Lodvin just ain't right in the first place...

Which brings me to one teeny, tiny complication.

Triti insisted on going along.

And when Triti insists on something, well, you get the idea.

This created a problem, however, as the stripped-down capsule doesn't actually contain any life support equipment. It's been reconfigured for water recycling and waste processing only.

This led to Triti spending the entire flight in a space suit clinging to the ladder, only popping back into the capsule to swap battery packs and O2 canisters before the CO2 levels inside chased her back out again.

WJhSEdH.png

I think she's fully earned her Bad-S credentials with this one.

 

After a journey both claustrophobic and agoraphobic, and a further few hours in low Rald orbit waiting to pass over the campsite, Triti returns to the cabin to begin her descent, hopefully before she dies of carbon dioxide poisoning. There's no heat shield of any sort, but fortunately orbital speed at Rald is low enough the engine is able to withstand it. Triti rides the transfer stage down as long as she can, burning the last of its fuel to kill the last of her speed a few kilometers up.

uIpY1dP.png

 

Then alot of things happen at once. The cargo craft detaches, the empty transfer stage begins tumbling in the worst possible way, and Triti starts to feel light headed...

A3twod3.png

 

The quartet of air-breathing Juno engines begins to spool up but the little craft is stuck helplessly in a near-flat spin.

G7gtAjn.png

 

But as the thin atmosphere finally thickens, the lander straightens out and Triti realizes she's low enough to just open a window.

pHvBeSC.png

CO2 toxicity must still be affecting her perception, though. Her first words are that Rald smells of chest hair and feet.

 

Despite the strange air, she's able to locate the NewShip, having made her descent only a handful of kilometers away. But Bad-S or not, she's not completely stupid, and pops the emergency chute rather than risk landing on uncertain terrain.

rTBq3ec.png

 

The supply ship sets down just meters away from a concerning rip in the very fabric of reality itself.

NCR9ESI.png

 

But after all this, even reality or fractures thereof are not going to stay Triti from her wrested rounds! She safely taxis over to the stranded crew bringing much needed snacks before they've nibble too much off each other.

3JIc3iS.png

Which is odd, because they still had like five days of food left.

 

Jencine quickly sets about hooking up the supply ship to the beached NewShip.

FQv5Rso.png

Oh, apparently the food was shipped in pipe-friendly puree form. Yum yum.

 

And as long as they're going to be there for a while, might as well get some scienceing done, right?

kJPglxf.png

So now, instead of rescue, we have four Kerbals marooned on Rald, still with a limited food supply and absolutely no ideas of how to get them back home any time soon, and a couple of which might be clinically insane. I'll let you figure out which ones.

 

 

 

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That was the most Bad-S mission I've seen in a very long time. That Triti's quite the character.

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Yeah, Tritti reminds me a bit of Piper from @Just Jim's Emiko saga.... I could totally see those two being a pair of complete BadS's in some insane and over-the-top daring rescue mission that'd make even Jeb's jaw hit the floor...

 

Edit: Oh, and lemme guess... Tritti is a Test Pilot? :P

Edited by WintericeUK
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14 hours ago, NotAgain said:

That was the most Bad-S mission I've seen in a very long time. That Triti's quite the character.

I'm just glad the trip to Rald is only a couple of hours. :/ Can't timewarp on a ladder, so it was let go... drift away on warp... jet back... hop in... jump out... let go... wash, rinse, repeat. And Triti gets all the glory. :rolleyes:

 

3 hours ago, WintericeUK said:

Yeah, Tritti reminds me a bit of Piper from @Just Jim's Emiko saga.... I could totally see those two being a pair of complete BadS's in some insane and over-the-top daring rescue mission that'd make even Jeb's jaw hit the floor...

Well, you'd have to get with @Just Jim on that :wink:

Spoiler

I know where Triti came from... and how she got here... but what happened in between is anyone's guess. :ph34r:

Also... (actual spoiler)

3 hours ago, WintericeUK said:

Edit: Oh, and lemme guess... Tritti is a Test Pilot? :P

Spoiler

I can canonically say... nope. :D

 

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Ussari rides again!  Explosions, deviants, and horrible conditions superimposed on technically brilliant tech-wrangling.  Oh, and lovely scenery, too.  :D   But some of those puns...... Боже мой

Great story!  I just read the whole thing, except for the parts Google swears are Ukranian but then refuses to translate.  I confess to being a bit puzzled by Triti's motives in the last couple episodes, however.  She doesn't seem the type to bother about the health and well-being of anybody, so why the sudden concern for the probationary martyrs to the Union's glorious cause?  And then condemning herself to be grounded for the indefinite future?  Has she developed an.... attachment...  to Lodwin?  

 

 

Edited by Geschosskopf
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18 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Боже мой

P... pokemon? Oh, that's actual Cyrillic...

18 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Great story!  I just read the whole thing, except for the parts Google swears are Ukranian but then refuses to translate.  I confess to being a bit puzzled by Triti's motives in the last couple episodes, however.  She doesn't seem the type to bother about the health and well-being of anybody, so why the sudden concern for the probationary martyrs to the Union's glorious cause?  And then condemning herself to be grounded for the indefinite future?  Has she developed an.... attachment...  to Lodwin?  

Asking the real questions. :wink: He probably just owes her money.

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2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Asking the real questions. :wink: He probably just owes her money.

Um, that answer is even more....  troubling....  than the question.  What horrible "attachments" has Lodwin grown from the radiation? :D 

Hmmm, yup, all in all, quite fitting subject matter for my 6000th post :sticktongue:

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