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Richy's Endeavours: Mission to Laythe - And beyond!

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I'm not quite new to the forums, but haven't been active a lot. Now I decided to share some of my epic missions with you. I'm playing this almost vanilla, just with some minor mods for precise planning, better visuals and of course, to make it more plausible: life support.

An (almost) complete mod list:

  • Distant Object Enhancement
  • Environmental Visual Enhancements
  • Kerbal Alarm Clock
  • KAS
  • KIS
  • Persistent Rotation
  • PlaneShine
  • SCANSat
  • scatterer
  • Stock Visual Enhancements
  • TAC Life Support
  • MechJeb
  • SimpleContruction
  • Planetary Base Systems
  • Konstruction

Link to my gallery:




When Laythe was first discovered, it was not entered in the records because the scientist in charge thought he was looking at Kerbin.

The pale blue dot, circling the green giant has captivated generations of Kerbals since the beginning of astronomy. With the beginning of the space age, Kerbalkind got to taste what it could be to visit it's mysterious twin for the first time. But to find out, what it would look like to visit the beaches of this far off world, there was alot lot learn, a lot of progress to be made, and a lot of mistakes that were awaiting brave pioneers. The KSP, the Kerbal Space Program, as it was officially named had quite some successful missions:

Landing a unmanned UAV on Duna:




Duna Direct:




The Ravenstar:




The Rolling Thunder:




But all these missions served only one purpose: the get to Laythe one day.
Finally, KSC accumulated enough bright minds, technology and of course funds to start with this humongous undertaking.

Part I: The construction of the DSV Hermes




Edited by Richy
added modlist; changed picture inset
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Project Havoc - Mission to Eve

After the Laythe Mission was such a success, KSC was confident, they could finally investigate places, which where unreachable until now. They want to send a manned mission to Eve. But not like most plans, they didn't intent to use large stacks of rockets, to get the men back to orbit, they tried an attempt to use the dense atmosphere instead of fighting against it. Project Havoc was born (inspired by the same NASA idea: https://sacd.larc.nasa.gov/branches/space-mission-analysis-branch-smab/smab-projects/havoc ).

Although they planned for everything, they were maybe a little overconfident. But we will see, what surprises Eve has in stock for them...

Part I: Refurbishing the Hermes - Journey to Eve



Edited by Richy
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Part 2: Developing the technology

Getting the base and everything our future colonists need there, is quite a big task.



Part 3: The Hermes retrofit

To bring the now much bigger crew and heavier gliders to Laythe, our trusted Deep Space Vehicle needs an upgrade.



Edited by Richy
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Part 4: The Mission Plan

So far, Phase 1 of the Mission is complete. The Hermes is retrofitted, and the hardware has been developed. Structurally, the Hermes is ready, but it needs topping up of it's life support and of course, it's fuel. The plan for the upcoming missions looks as follows:

Phase 2: Preparations

  1. Launch of the Hab-Rack to LKO (incl. Mainframe (refinery), Hab, Greenhouse, Workshop + 3D-Printer, utility module, mobile Crane, Solarpanel Array, Expedition Vehicle and spare parts and additional ressources)
  2. Launch of the Cargo Glider, which will dock to the Hab-Rack
  3. Launch of the propulsion section, which will also dock to the Rack (incl. the Glider)
  4. Transfer of the Rack-Stack to Minmus for refueling operations
  5. Undocking of the propulsion section and landing on Minmus
  6. Launch of a crewed supply ship* which heads for the Rolling Thunder, which is still on the surface of Minmus and serves as a refueling station.
  7. Launch of the refueled propulsion section to Minmus orbit and redocking with the Rack-Stack.
  8. Topping up of the Rack-Stack with the "Little Chinese" (http://imgur.com/NMqwb5g).

Phase 3: Pre-Departure

  1. Launch of the two Osiris Laythe SSTO's with the Mission-Crew which will dock to Hermes (expection a mission crew of 13 [6 crew + 7 pax]).
  2. Hermes transfer to Minmus
  3. Split of Hermes' propulsion section and surface landing for refueling
  4. Launch of the refueled propulsion section to Minmus orbit and redocking with Hermes
  5. Topping up of Hermes' tanks with the "Little Chinese" (http://imgur.com/NMqwb5g).
  6. Secondary supply ship for topping up life support*

* probably including mission crew and/or tourists for Laythe (tbd).

Phase 4: Jool Transfer

  1. Simultanous transfer of Rack-Stack and Hermes to the Jool system around departure window
  2. Planing trajectories, so Rack-Stack arrives first
  3. Expecting gravity assist in Jool system for orbit capture
  4. Arriving in coplanar low Laythe orbits with Rack-Stack and Hermes after planned transfer time

Phase 5: Layhte Base Buildup

  1. Unpacking of stack, decoupling of Mainframe and docking to Cargo Glider payload bay.
  2. Landing of first base part (Mainframe) at predefined base location
  3. Landing of first installment crew via Osiris-1 to the same location
  4. Powerup of the Mainframe refining unit, establishing connection to the Cargo Glider and refueling it's tanks.
  5. Cargo Glider launches back to orbit, and gets the other parts in the following order: Workshop, Greenhouse, Hab, mobile Crane, Expedition Vehicle, Solar Array, Ressources
  6. Refueling on ground, repeat step 5 until all parts have landed (some components need special extraction with the Expedition Vehicle from the belly of the glider)
  7. Landing of Osiris-2 with the second regiment of Hermes crew
  8. Refueling of Osiris-1 and launch back to orbit, to get the last Hermes crew
  9. Landing of Osiris-1, leaving Hermes empty in orbit.
  10. Buildup of base components and startup of 3D-printer
  11. Starting of the Greenhouse to bring the food supply online

Phase 6: Mission Science

  1. Exploration of nearby biomes by means of the vehicle and the Osiris SSTOs.
  2. Extension of the base infrastructure with the 3D-printer (maybe even rocketparts and a launchpad for further exploration of the Jool system with insitu assembled rockets)

Phase 7: End of Mission

  1. Return of the crew back to Hermes with 3 Osiris flights.
  2. Osiris SSTOs remain in Laythe orbit (docked to the Rack-Stack)
  3. Transfer of the Hermes for Kerbin intercept
  4. After panned transfer time, capture and circularization of Hermes to LKO
  5. Return of the crew (13) to Kerbin with the Ravenstar (pax config.)


All the assets used in this mission are summarized here:




Edited by Richy
gallery insert
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Part 7: Laythe Arrival

So far, we're still making progress. Both ships have arrived and achieved a low Laythe orbit. But one threatening problem remains: The O2 reserves on the Hermes are at 10% and insufficient for a trip home. It's enough for several weeks, they're not in immediate danger, but the will have to science the heck out of it, to get out of this misery. Will they find a way, to fill up their supply and finally get home again?



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Richy, just cottoned on to your mission thread here and (looking at videos on first post) holy [CENSORED] that Duna Direct was you?! [CENSORED again], that mission was a craft design inspiration, it's been making me want to do something similar (particularly air-based exploration) since 1.0.2, never had the opportunity to get to that point though until now (although doing something more in the vein of Mars Base Camp + Mars DRMs, plus rovers and aircraft ifnI can sort them out). And looks like, picking up some new mods, you've branched out from there. :D

Reading this thread. Reading this thread so hard right now. :) #YouGotAFanInMe

Edited by B-STRK
able to watch all Duna Direct vids here, thought they were missing while playing on YT app
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KSC, we have a problem here.

In the next morning, Hangan discovered something concerning, while checking the gliders. Both SSTO gliders suffered structural damage with abnormal fuselage deformation*. The cause of this deformation is at the moment unknown, but it seems, that it didn't happen overnight. The RAMSES already did some orbital trips with it's both wings swept unnaturally up, only suffering a slight pitch-up moment when thrusting (due to it's CoM beeing slightly higher than the thrust axis). But the OSIRIS' condition looks more severe. KSC is investigating, but it looks like the repeated load cycling under Laythe gravity could be one of the factors. Even the salty ocean air in combination with the long exposure to space can't be ruled out. So far, the mission isn't called off yet, we still have a fully functional backup glider in perfect condition docked to the HERMES in orbit. But before we'll give up OSIRIS-1, KSC will conduct simulations, after which pilot Hangan Kerman performs several high speed taxi, take-off and landing tests, to evaluate the SSTO's flight condition. It may look worse than it is. And we still have capable engineers on site, so even a repair attempt is possible. In the worst case, maybe the structural parts of the OSIRIS-1 can still be used as emergency crew cargo for the RAMSES to have a second way to space, if everything else fails. We're not out of options yet...


Edited by Richy
yay, grammar
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11 hours ago, Richy said:

KSC, we have a problem here.

In the next morning, Hangan discovered something concerning, while checking the gliders. Both SSTO gliders suffered structural damage with abnormal fuselage deformation*. 

Ouch!  Did you, by chance, leave them hooked to a KAS pipe when you quit the game and found this when you resumed play?  I've had similar things happen too many times to ground bases in such instances, or any other time physics loads on multiple objects connected by KAS pipes.

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Thanks for the patch! :)

Hey there, seems like my tourists are messing up with TAC life support. As soon as I get a tourist in my ship, the life support counter is messed up (negative numbers) and I get the following error message on the screen as soon as I reenter with an EVA:

"Error - EmptyEvaSuit - Cannot find VesselInfo for <long-vessel-id>"

Anyone has an idea, how to fix this?


But nevertheless, we continue:

Part 10: Welcome to Laythe

All our guests have now arrived on the surface in a fully functional base. Mission so far was a success, but before tacking up the next challenge of returning home, there is still some more exploration to be done, than was achieved on the first mission to Laythe. We have contracts to fulfil, anomalies to investigate, attempt a repair of the gliders and the most importan of all the tasks: Filling up the Hermes oxygen reserves!




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