sevenperforce

Kexploration Missions 2 and more

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Done in pursuit of Doing It Orion Style:

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My three intrepid explorers, preparing for the first crewed launch of the glorious SLS!

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Pad view.

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Since this is the first crewed test, I'm starting with a little pad abort...

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All clear so far...

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Fairing and LES jettison.

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Drogues out...

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Popped the mains.

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Success!

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Reverted to the pad. SSME ignition!

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SRBs ignited; up, up and away.

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Nearing Max-Q, and...
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Whoops, aborting again! Couldn't resist doing a max-Q abort.

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Dropping nicely.

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Nominal splashdown.

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All right, for real this time.

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Majestic to be sure!

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Quite a clip.

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Heating up and leaning over.

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SRB jettison!

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High enough now to get rid of the LES.

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If you look closely, you'll see that I used a three-segment fairing.

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Burning very gingerly now. As usual, the SLS can make LKO easily on the core.

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EUS separation and ignition! 

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Fairing jettison. Only a tiny burn to get up into LKO.

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Circularized! Orion's SM has solar array deployment.

Now, here's where it gets messy. The current NASA plan calls for the EUS to place the entire stack -- DSG component & Orion + SM -- in a high Earth orbit with a period of approximately 24 hours. After this orbit, Orion will separate from the stack and enter its own free-return trajectory, while the EUS places the DSG component in a lunar flyby.

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I had to plot a couple of orbits ahead to get the timing right.

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Burning to raise Ap.

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Done! You can see that the second node appears, after this orbit.

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Set up for a free-return.

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Hanging out at apoapse!

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Orion separates on the way back in.

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Lost the old maneuvering node, but that's okay. Putting Orion where it needs to go.

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Extending solar arrays on the Power & Propulsion Module as I swing around the dark side of Kerbin.

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Setting up the escape-trajectory flyby for EUS disposal.

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First clear shot of the Deep Space Gateway Power & Propulsion module. Note docking port for refueling, hexagonal probe core, and "airlock" up top for experiment storage, as desired.

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Orion flying free with the EUS in the background.

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Finally back at Pe, and burning for the flyby!

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Switched over to Orion; burning for the free-return.

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Free-return complete!

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Separation from the EUS. The EUS will continue to a munar flyby and escape.

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Testing the engines on the DSG. In reality, the four smaller ion engines will be on special gimbal arms, but KSP doesn't have that capability.

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Here's what the current disposal trajectory looks like.

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Firming up the flyby. In reality, the DSG will be assembled in a halo orbit around L2, but since there are no Lagrange points in KSP, a polar Mun orbit will have to do.

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The Kermans are excited for their flyby!

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Setting up my node for munar capture. Thanks to the scaled-up ion thruster, I can do the capture burn easily.

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Orion is inside the Mun's SOI.

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Nearing Munar Pe; starting to throttle up.

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Full capture burn!

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Capture complete.

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Closest approach on free return.

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Goodbye, Mun!

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Set up a node to fix inclination.

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Inclination fixed!

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Getting ready to lower Munar Pe.

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What a beautiful shot!

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Reached my terminal orbit.

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Meanwhile, Orion is coming back in toward Kerbin.

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Service Module jettison.

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Starting to get entry heating; SM visible in the background.

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Took quite a long time, really.

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Through re-entry; drogues popped.

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Jettisoned heatshield.

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Mains popped, drogues cut!

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Splashdown!

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That's a wrap.

 

Edited by sevenperforce

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@sevenperforce Nice, but I like to make a little "parachute structure" at the top with the parachutes and like a cubic octagonal strut at the top, so I have a place to attach a decoupler to decouple the DP. The DP is then offset downwards. 

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34 minutes ago, Bottle Rocketeer 500 said:

@sevenperforce Nice, but I like to make a little "parachute structure" at the top with the parachutes and like a cubic octagonal strut at the top, so I have a place to attach a decoupler to decouple the DP. The DP is then offset downwards. 

I just used an action group to cut the drogues.

EDIT: Oh, wait, did you mean docking port?

I never decouple the docking port; I use the docking port as the decoupler for the LES.

Edited by sevenperforce

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Here's Exploration Mission 3!

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First all-female crewed launch!

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SSME ignition.

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Up, up, and away!

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My TWR is really through the roof.

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Disaster!!!!

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Because of a lighter-weight payload, I was going VERY fast very low in the atmosphere at stage separation, and so one of the SRBs impacted the core. Big explosion. Samlenna and Maxsie are horrified, as expected.

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LES successful, though!

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I had the LES set to jettison the heat shield on separation, to help with TWR. This...might not have been a good idea.

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Will it work?

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I popped a single drogue to try and prevent excess heating...thankfully, I made it.

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None the worse for wear!

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Trying again. Liftoff!

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This time I'm turning 90 degrees so staging doesn't RUD me.

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Quick gravity turn.

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Moment of truth!

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Ahhh, much better.

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LES jettison.

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Staging!

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Very small circularization burn.

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Decided to follow the core back down to see if it survives re-entry.

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Toasty!

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Surprisingly, it did survive re-entry...though it obviously didn't survive impact.

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To match the weird polar orbit, I'm going to have to make the injection burn rather tricky.

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Finishing the injection burn.

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Executing the flip.

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Docked and separated from the EUS! The EUS will follow a nice slingshot out of Kerbin's SOI.

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The crew can see Kerbin below and the Hab module out the front window.

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After some adjustments, coming in nicely.

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Panels out, testing systems.

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This is a weird orbit to try and match from TMI.

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Here goes!

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Love the radiative nozzle.

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Almost done with orbital injection.

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Captured! Now to rendezvous.

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Got the first intercept to match.

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Burning to match velocity.

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Going to do the final approach and docking with the PPM to conserve propellant.

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Closing.

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Target locked!

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Kerbin in background, and...

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Docked!

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Our fledging space station doth ever expand.

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Touring the hab.

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A quick spacewalk just to check out the systems...

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Looks good from here!

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Undocked, backing away.

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Burning for home. Fuel will be tight.

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Made it!

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Preparing to jettison the SM.

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Nice shot!

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Goodbye SM; hello Kerbin.

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Toasty. Unfortunately, not toasty enough; we skipped out of the atmosphere and had to do another go-around.

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Coming in again.

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Burned off a LOT of ablator.

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Made it!

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Heat shield jettison.

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Safely down!

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After a brief interlude, here's Exploration Mission 4.

Made some improvements to the Orion SM -- it was lacking in beauty as well as dV before.

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Note the eight smaller engines ringing the central one. They are supposed to be for fine orbit adjustments. Compare:

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I embedded extra batteries, a fuel tank, and a monoprop tank inside.

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Hurrah for night launches!

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Early gravity turn.

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SRB burnout.

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The two boosters have a tendency to collide with each other at separation, resulting in some pretty badass screenshots.

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Fortunately, said booster impact doesn't hurt the LV.

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LES jettisoned, continuing to orbit.

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Even with the larger payload, Block 1B is really overpowered.

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Core separation and EUS ignition.

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Fairing separation -- nice and symmetric.

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Finishing circularization.

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All set in orbit!

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Doesn't look half bad.

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Doing the flip before TLI, for multiple reasons.

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Closing...I'm getting better at this.

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Docked, solar panels deployed! Even though the challenge only said one docking port for the Logistics Module, the real one will have two, so...

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Lining up for TLI. I'm aiming for the weird polar orbit of the DSG so I'm going to try and loop underneath.

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EUS ignition.

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Throttled up!

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EUS at full throttle.

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After some adjustments, I've got a nice tight intercept and a disposal escape orbit for the EUS.

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Jettisoning the still-mostly-full EUS.

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Now you can see the logistics module as well as the upgraded Orion Service Module!

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Prepping for injection burn.

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Nice glamour shot.

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Another nice shot.

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Closeup of the nine engines.

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Injection burn complete! I used a super-high apomun to make the inclination change as cheap as possible.

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Inclination matching with fine adjustment engines.

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Nice tight intercept set!

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Burning for the intercept.

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Can't beat that!

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Let's see how close we really got.

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Nice!
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Preparing to dock.

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Approach...

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Almost there....

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Docked!

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Breaking free, flipping back around to the hab. We'll pretend the other port on the logistics module doesn't have a hatch.

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Complete! This should definitely go in our marketing material.

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Scientist taking a look at the logistics module.

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Gotta make sure we have good water flow...I guess?

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Science progresses well enough.

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Time to head home!

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Burning for escape.

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Unfortunately there is no good "homeward bound" trajectory from this awful polar orbit.

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Did a full swing-around to get back up to apoapsis.

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Aaaaand I burned through all my biprop so I'm bringing down my periapsis with monoprop.

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Will they have enough?

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They have enough!

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This should be a nice toasty ride in.

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Not much monoprop left, for sure!

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Jettisoned the Service Module.

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Will I make it around to the daylit side? Probably not.

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Trying to get some body lift but that's honestly unlikely.

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Very long re-entry.

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Drogues out!

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Mains popped.

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Splashdown! Success!

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Finally, here's Exploration Mission 5!

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Very little direction on what constituted an "airlock" so I just did a service bay and a cupola with ports on each side. The module has no fuel or thrusters of its own.

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Liftoff!

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Used a much more shallow ascent on this mission, just to see how it would work.

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Burnout from underneath.

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Super cool shot of the SRB sep!

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Was somewhat worried that the super-shallow ascent might be more than the LES tower could handle. 

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Didn't turn out to be a problem, though tbh an abort at this stage would probably not work out too well.

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As usual, I need to keep from getting into orbit on the core.

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Warped around to apoapse for separation.

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Gimbaling around gently.

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Fairing away, circularizing!

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Circularized.

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Flipping to grab the airlock module.

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Coupled, extending panels.

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Set up the TMI with EUS disposal.

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TMI complete, with lotsa fuel to spare.

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EUS jettison.

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Burning for capture!

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Wonky injection because of this awful polar orbit, so I'm setting up the best intercept I can get.

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Burning for the intercept.

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Close enough to match orbits.

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Matching orbits at full throttle.

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Steady as she goes...

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Loving this shot of the Deep Space Gateway with Orion approaching, Kerbin in the background and the dark side of the Mun at left.

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Final approach.

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Swinging around on RCS to dock.

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Docked!

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Decoupled Orion, swinging around to dock on the side of the hab.

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Approach...

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Docked! Awaiting further instructions.

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All right, we've made it to EM-6. Time to design the Deep Space Transport, a hab and propulsion module to take Kerbonauts beyond the Kerbin SOI and into interplanetary space!

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It's a little longer than I wanted, but as you can see, it's got six cupolas, a mobile processing lab, and a 4-kerbal can, for a total of 12 seats. Two spare docking ports in addition to the one on the nose. The propulsion module is beefy, with a fair bit of bipropellant, a tweakscaled-up xenon tank, and a large monoprop tank. More radiators, both fixed and deployable, and two very very long solar array arms. I'll get to those later. As you can see, fuel loading is low, both to comply with challenge requirements and because the SLS Block 1B couldn't throw a full one all the way to cismunar space anyway.

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The fairing is much longer than I'd like, but oh well.

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Nice clean booster separation.

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Burning for orbit.

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Core burnout with a disposal periapsis.

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Fairing jettison. Like I said, this was too long for my tastes, but there's really no way to make it much more compact than this.

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EUS ignition to circularize.

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Circularized!

Now came the fun bit. Remember those long solar arrays? They each contain probe cores, reaction wheels, and RCS tanks+blocks...so all I had to do was decouple them and then recouple them. Easy, right?

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First one done!

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Second one swung a bit far out...

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Steady as she goes...

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There we are!

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Solar arrays deployed! A beautiful sight.

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Turned on the radiators, because why not?

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Trans-munar injection burn, started.

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Firing up the EUS again.

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Full throttle. Had to autostrut the solar arrays to keep them from bending over like twigs.

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Halfway through the burn.

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Really cut it close with my periapsis, though I suppose that's good for Old Oberth.

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Finishing it out.

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Not bad! And a disposal orbit for the EUS to boot.

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Separation.

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Engines fired up.

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Burning all engines for capture.

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Nice shot.

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Plotting how I'm gonna catch up with the DSG.

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Shutting down the main engines.

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Intercept maneuver near apoapse on ions alone. This solar array is fantastic.

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Inclination canceled, primary intercept set up.

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Time to match velocities and complete the rendezvous.

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Doing all this on ions.

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Approach...

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Nearly there!

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Aaaand now the Deep Space Transport (albeit not-very-fueled) is docked to the Deep Space Gateway with Orion attached. Where do we go from here?

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