michal.don

Shuttle Challenge v5 - The STS thread [Stock and Mod Friendly] - NEW MISSION - MINMUS STS-1 - 19.8.2019

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On 7/9/2019 at 2:15 PM, 4x4cheesecake said:

I should have known that before I did my Duna STS - 3 mission...my lander was always pointing downwards :confused:

I'm sure its been said but to say it again.  NASA could learn a lot from KSP players!

On 7/9/2019 at 2:15 PM, 4x4cheesecake said:

One question though: The "onboard telescope" view on Duna is just a zoomed IVA view, isn't it?^^

Already curious how you are going to modify the shuttle to land it on Duna but in the meantime, enjoy your brand new badge! :)

Yes, this was just an IVA view.  I did used to have a telescope mod installed, but I'm running pure stock these days so I don't descend into design spiral.  Speaking of that, to send the Shuttles on the next Duna missions I just added a couple of aerobrakes and mining system, so hardly changed at all.  In fact, I've completed Duna STS 2 and STS 3 over the last 7 days around other commitments and will be uploading the report once I can sit down and get the screenshots together.  I ran the missions at the same time (but separate) and honestly it was a time saver, but also quite complex.  Not as complex as realising that one of my probes didn't have the required fuel to make the required orbit, which resulted in roughly 86 aerobraking maneuvers around Eve to lower the Ap to the required level.  that alone took a couple of hours over an evening. :mad:

Couple of teasers:

The view from Eve as seen from the Shuttle Brunch STS-3.  A moment of beauty and serenity set against a genuine fight for the crews survival:

i2p3hHW.png

 

POOPR (POlar Orbit Precision Relay) burning to capture at Duna.  Well made probes can sometimes provide the best screenshots.  Everything here lined up perfectly:

W2Ifxez.png

 

I'll sort out the mission reports over the next few days but I've got a lot on so please bear with me :)

SM

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I finally finished getting my space potato! But before I officially submit, does it count as valid runway landing if I broke a couple of elevons off? The shuttle is otherwise intact. I can redo the landing if needed.

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4 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

I finally finished getting my space potato! But before I officially submit, does it count as valid runway landing if I broke a couple of elevons off? The shuttle is otherwise intact. I can redo the landing if needed.

Well, the orbiter is supposed to be re-usable, so what do you think: Is this still possible?
"A couple of elevons" can be everything from 2 to "all but one" and for me it is hard to say if and how important these are for your design. Also,when did you loose the elevons? During a hard touchdown on the runway or did they burn up in the atmosphere?
I'm inclined to allow it when it happened on the runway (depends on the exact amount of lost elevons) but if you lost them during reentry, I would suggest to try it again ;)
I need some more details to give you a clear "yes" or "no" :)

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27 minutes ago, Spacenerd Kerman said:

May I just say Woah... You guys are building stuff better than I could ever do

Feel free to try and learn it ;) We are always happy to help and more participants in the challenge equals more fun :)

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50 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

Well, the orbiter is supposed to be re-usable, so what do you think: Is this still possible?
"A couple of elevons" can be everything from 2 to "all but one" and for me it is hard to say if and how important these are for your design. Also,when did you loose the elevons? During a hard touchdown on the runway or did they burn up in the atmosphere?
I'm inclined to allow it when it happened on the runway (depends on the exact amount of lost elevons) but if you lost them during reentry, I would suggest to try it again ;)
I need some more details to give you a clear "yes" or "no" :)

I still have to sort and upload all my screenshots, but here's a couple from the landing sequence to clarify.

On the approach, you can see all the control surfaces are intact. There is an outer pair for roll and secondary pitch, a middle pair for primary pitch, two inner pairs for braking, a center body flap also for breaking (doubles as s-turn assist), and twin rudders.

WQknmyM.png

I bounced several times on landing and struck both wingtips on the ground. The wings are intact, but the outer elevons broke off. Everything else is intact. I suppose if it were a real shuttle it would require repairs and extra inspection, but would be able to return to service.

e6SJxEI.png

 

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32 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

I suppose if it were a real shuttle it would require repairs and extra inspection, but would be able to return to service.

Yep, I think so as well and I'm willing to accept your entry. Even with two lost elevons, it's still a huge achievement to land this big boy ;)

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4 hours ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

Yep, I think so as well and I'm willing to accept your entry. Even with two lost elevons, it's still a huge achievement to land this big boy ;)

Cool, thanks! I'll finish that album later today.

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As promised, here is STS-9 "Spudnik". I found a large 39-tonne Class B, nicknamed "Yukon", out in solar orbit to bring back. Jeb snuck a small tug onboard so he could ride the potato down during reentry. full album

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Spoiler

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14 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

As promised, here is STS-9 "Spudnik".

Yeah, finally :)
How long did you work on the mission? It's definitely one of the really though flights, especially if you try to land a class B asteroid (or anything bigger).

14 hours ago, sturmhauke said:
Spoiler

zPfH8Pv.png

 

OMS engines at the bottom? That's a cool way to deal with the huge CoM shift after grabbing the asteroid and keeping the maneuverability of the orbiter in space. I love it! :)

You also managed to fulfill Jebs dream to ride an asteroid back home, kudos for that achievement :)
Out of curiosity though: How often did you fry him? :D

Altogether, that was a well performed flight and I'm glad to hand out a new badge to you, congratulations! :)

vKx7Wn2.jpg?1

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21 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

How long did you work on the mission? It's definitely one of the really though flights, especially if you try to land a class B asteroid (or anything bigger).

I don't even know. On and off for several months, with a few unrelated missions in between. The vertical OMS (two pairs of Nervs) was the simplest part, and probably the oldest. Much of the rest of the shuttle was redesigned several times.

Quote

You also managed to fulfill Jebs dream to ride an asteroid back home, kudos for that achievement :)
Out of curiosity though: How often did you fry him? :D

Just the one successful reentry, surprisingly enough. I have fried Jeb plenty of other times on other missions though, so it's not like I'm innocent here lol. If you look closely, you'll see that Jeb's tug is mounted in the asteroid's expected plasma shadow, based on a ~30 degree reentry angle. That was maybe the one easier thing about grabbing a larger potato - more area to hide behind.

Quote

Altogether, that was a well performed flight and I'm glad to hand out a new badge to you, congratulations! :)

vKx7Wn2.jpg?1

Sweet, thanks! Now it's off to update my main install to 1.7.3. Next up: ROBOTS TO THE MUN!

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50 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

If you look closely, you'll see that Jeb's tug is mounted in the asteroid's expected plasma shadow, based on a ~30 degree reentry angle.

Yep, I noticed that already and it's actually what I did as well ;) It's still easy to fry Jeb if you cannot hold the reentry angle long enough or you loose control at all, which is fairly easy with the big boy on top of the orbiter. Happened way too often to me...

55 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

Next up: ROBOTS TO THE MUN!

Looks like we are getting a little "race" between you and LGG for the first entry which features the BG robotics^^

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Hey all. I want to pick up this challenge series again from the start, but first what is the "minor thread announcement" mentioned in the title? I haven't found anything written in the OP.

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4 minutes ago, Rocket Witch said:

Hey all. I want to pick up this challenge series again from the start, but first what is the "minor thread announcement" mentioned in the title? I haven't found anything written in the OP.

Welcome back to the challenge :)

The "minor thread announcement" is this one:

It's a short post but the TL;DR: @michal.don allowed me to review entries and hand out badges until he sorted out his time issues ;)

Probably, the link should be added to the OP.

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18 hours ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

Probably, the link should be added to the OP.

Yeah, that could be confusing to newcomers... I deleted the "minor thread announcement" thing, and rather mentioned you in the OP as the boss for now ;)

Carry on, nothing to see here :D 

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My new shuttle in progress, the Munmoth. The rotating engine nacelles allow it to do VTOL operations on low gravity moons with up to 100t of cargo. I haven't done full flight tests yet, but it looks promising.

m4HczCv.png

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1 hour ago, sturmhauke said:

the Munmoth

Yep, that's a good name :D

Crossing fingers these servos are actually strong enough and your moth is not going to turn into a floppy bird ;)

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3 hours ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

Yep, that's a good name :D

Crossing fingers these servos are actually strong enough and your moth is not going to turn into a floppy bird ;)

I've noticed that autostruts will cross a servo when it's locked, and I think they will rearrange themselves when the lock toggles. So the plan is to keep the servos locked when the engines are running, and shut them down before rotating the nacelles.

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15 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

I've noticed that autostruts will cross a servo when it's locked, and I think they will rearrange themselves when the lock toggles.

That would be nice but as far as I know, autostruts which crosses the servo will lock it in place (may depends on the exact autostrut position) and you have to enable/disable them manually. Maybe the updated KAL version in 1.7.3 can handle this via actiongroups though.

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I did a flight test with a smaller but similar VTOL aircraft, and it works like I thought (and I am running 1.7.3 now). An autostrut that crosses an unlocked servo will stop at the servo when locking it, and will go back to its original location when unlocking the servo again.

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3 hours ago, sturmhauke said:

I did a flight test with a smaller but similar VTOL aircraft, and it works like I thought (and I am running 1.7.3 now). An autostrut that crosses an unlocked servo will stop at the servo when locking it, and will go back to its original location when unlocking the servo again.

Oh that's nice. That was definitely not the case when I tried to build a ferris wheel in 1.7.1 but it's good to know it works this way now. Thanks for testing :)

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Presented below is my entry into the STS challenge.  I have included details concerning the construction and the mission overview for STS Mission 1a and 1b in separate categories:

 

Mods used in construction:

Near Future Propulsion
Restock+
Taurus HCV

Additionally, I used Kerbal Engineer Redux to estimate delta-V values, and the Restock mod to make everything look pretty (and slightly deviated from the normal apparent of stock modules).  The dry-mass delta-V of this shuttle is 6,120m/s, and approximately 990 delta-V for orbital maneuvers.  With a 40t load, delta-v values are roughly 4,400 delta-V with 450 delta-V for orbital manuevers.

STS Construction Details

Spoiler

My STS was mostly built from stock parts, with a few mods used to shore up what I felt were important for form-factor or critical elements of my design.  I have always been rather partial to the classic STS system, so I modeled my own STS around it.  The Orbiter is a Mk3 Cockpit, CRG-100 cargo bay, and propelled by LV-601 orbital manuevering system thrusters (Near Future Propulsion mod).  Additionally, the orbiter module, like its RL counterpart, has 3 clustered S3 KS-25 Vector engines.

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Wide view of the shuttle orbiter

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Close up view of the engine cluster mount.  A Mk-25 drogue parachute is located in between the main engine cluster.

In order to best provide thrust vectors after testing the design, I placed the LV-601 thrusters parallel to each other on either side of the main engine block, and in line with the orbiter's center of mass so as not to cause spins with or without cargo (which generally occured in the first iterations of the design due to to the thruster location and the COM of the orbiter).  This location also made it much simpler to stay on the navball during orbital maneuvers.

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The orbiter is attached to a large fuel tank, built from one Kerbodyne S3-14400, two S3-7200, ADTP-2-3 and a S3-3600 nosecone (Restock+ mod) parts.  Additional stability and electric charge are provided by the Z-8K rechargable battery and reaction wheel module (Taurus HCV).

Finally, additional thrust for atmospheric launches is provided by two liquid fuel boosters.  Their construction is one Rockomax Jumbo-64 and one X200-32 fuel tanks, topped with a Mk7 nose cone.  Propulsion is generated by Mainsail engines on either booster.  Separation of the boosters is assisted with 6 Sepratron solid fuel rockets attached to the each of the boosters.

 

 

STS Mission Profile - Mission 1a and 1b

Spoiler

Mission Overview:  STS-1 successfully completed an orbital insertion at 350km.  Additional circularization brought orbital apoapsis and periapsis difference within the 100m target.  Following deployment of 40t test mass into target orbit, orbiter was successfully deorbited and landed safely in controlled water ditching

Mission Details:

To launch my STS entry, I oriented my launch to have the orbiter facing westward.  After extensive testing, I found that flying the STS "belly-down" provided the most stability and the safest deployment of the spent liquid fuel boosters during the launch and orbit insertions

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The kerbals.  They know.  THEY KNOW.

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Seriously, what do they know?  How can they be this calm?  This thing flies like a pig wallowing in mud.

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During orbital insertion, I found that control of the spacecraft greatly increased past the stratosphere, likely due to the loss of dynamic pressure on the orbiter.  However, in the terminal orbital insertion, instabilities would develop as the payload mass shifted during flight (KSC forgot to autostrut the thing before liftoff).  However, judicious use of burns prevented overcorrections, and the spacecraft entered a slightly elliptical orbit at 346km.

Circularization was done to bring the craft to a 350km orbit, and bring apoapsis and periapsis within 100m of each other:

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After circularization, the payload was released into the orbit:

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The kerbals are clearly happy to have that burden away.

As shown, the fuels used to enter orbit only came from the STS system.  The satellite remained full in all its 40t glory:

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We didn't even use any of the ore.

Due to the slight eccentricity of the orbit, I was not able to deorbit the shuttle to an airfield, nor was I able to correct the final glide towards the Desert Airfield.  However, after entering the atmosphere, the STS was able to make a controlled, soft(ish) landing into waters off the east of the Desert airfield.

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Oh *now* Bob is worried...

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And back to that blank expression.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Gunnerline Welcome to the challenge :)

That's a really good looking shuttle you've build and thanks for sharing some insights of the building process :) The dV values are very good for your first shuttle, perfectly sufficient for the missions around Kerbin and it's not over-engineered, well done!

Your flight actually looks very controlled, so I don't know why you are so surprised to see your kerbals being calm until the landing ;)
I'm actually surprised that you had less issues during booster separation while launching "belly down"... in my experience, this will usually tear apart at least the elevons but it seem to work fine for you.
Pretty unfortunate you had to land in the ocean though but kudos for not loosing any part during this maneuver :)

Well, there are two "not so nice" things we have to talk about:

1) You didn't show us some of the "critical" moments of the flight, like the separation of the boosters and the external tank.

2) You completed two missions on the same flight. Recently, linuxgurugamer asked me to do this on Duna STS - 2 and 3 and I've declined his request for a simple reason: If I allow it once, I have to allow it all the time and at some point a really smart kerbonaut will use this to his advance to take out some challenging parts of a mission while still being "technically correct" (like decoupling the 40t fuel pod and immediately grab it again to complete STS - 1b and 2b on the same flight or reduce the number of launches in multi-launch missions). Also, it kinda violates rule #10 which states that missions have to be done in logical order.

That being said, I should be consequent and decline your entry for these reasons but since this is your first entry in the challenge and (even more important) STS - 1b is an optional bonus mission, I'll turn a blind eye this time and accept it anyway :confused: But please,  keep your missions separated in the future and share a few more details about your flight ;)

Congratulations to your first badges :)

C74yqgt.jpg?1   neJ4lfc.jpg?1

Edited by 4x4cheesecake

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1 hour ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

2) You completed two missions on the same flight. Recently, linuxgurugamer asked me to do this on Duna STS - 2 and 3 and I've declined his request for a simple reason: If I allow it once, I have to allow it all the time and at some point a really smart kerbonaut will use this to his advance to take out some challenging parts of a mission while still being "technically correct" (like decoupling the 40t fuel pod and immediately grab it again to complete STS - 1b and 2b on the same flight or reduce the number of launches in multi-launch missions). Also, it kinda violates rule #10 which states that missions have to be done in logical order.

In these particular missions (STS-1a and STS-2b), I chose to allow their completion in the same flight with other missions. In most cases, it was the 1a+1b combination, since it's test flight + cargo, which sounds reasonable to me. Most folks completed the 2b mission solo, since pretty much all the following missions require some sort of cargo bay modification which would interfere with the cargo pod. But if somebody, let's say, recovered the pod after releasing the CommSats for STS-2a, I woudln't object. Since you're the one running the challenge now, I'm not going to tell you how to decide in these cases, I just thought I'd share how I decided if such a thing occured. :) 

Nevertheless, I think your decision in this particular case was the best one you could take - point out the rules, but allow the attempt, since this particular shuttle is a nice piece of engineering and surely is capable to do both thing solo... ;)

Michal.don

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20 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

That being said, I should be consequent and decline your entry for these reasons but since this is your first entry in the challenge and (even more important) STS - 1b is an optional bonus mission, I'll turn a blind eye this time and accept it anyway :confused: But please,  keep your missions separated in the future and share a few more details about your flight ;)

Thank you for being understanding, it was certainly not my intention to attempt to game the system.  And I completely understand why attempting to do two missions would potentially allow for "easy" ways of getting around mission objectives.  My thought process at the time was that, since there was no actual orbital rendezvous, my ability to complete mission STS-1b was completely dependent on my ability to complete STS-1a.  I actually thought I might get told to not waste your time and have them separate!

 

54 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

Your flight actually looks very controlled, so I don't know why you are so surprised to see your kerbals being calm until the landing ;)

I have a rather humorous story about the second time I flew Benjee's Shuttle Orbiter Constructor Kit that your thoughts remind me of.  When I d/l the mod, I decided to test it out in sandbox, and then test it in my actual career save.  During that career save, it became necessary to ditch in water, and I was so afraid of losing my kerbonauts I had had them bail out of the orbiter when it was about 4 km up.  I subsequently discovered that the orbiter glided calmly down into the water and was completely intact after the two test pilots managed to parachute into the water.

It actually is quite pleasant to fly my orbiter down from space.  The glide can be a bit wobbly in the upper stratosphere/thermosphere due to lack of air pressure to generate lift on the control surfaces, but in the troposphere it controls pretty well.  Or at least as well as any other aircraft in KSP generally behaves.

1 hour ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

I'm actually surprised that you had less issues during booster separation while launching "belly down"... in my experience, this will usually tear apart at least the elevons but it seem to work fine for you.
Pretty unfortunate you had to land in the ocean though but kudos for not loosing any part during this maneuver :)

When I used shuttles from Cormorant Aeronology and Benjee's Shuttle Orbiter Construction Kit, I also found that belly up was the best way (and for the same reasons as you just mentioned).  However, during testing of my design, I consistently had problems during booster separation where the boosters would slam back against the wings, either taking the entire delta wing assembly with it, or just an elevon or two.  Which either speaks to the sensitivity of an orbiter design to changes in COM and thrust, or my general incompetence (possibly both). 

When I switched over to belly down, many of those problems simply stopped being issues.  Even when using sepratrons in a belly-up position, I usually found that while I could avoid hitting the wing structure, the natural "rolling" tendency of the boosters in the upper atmosphere would still "kick" the elevons as they peeled away, usually taking one of the flight control surfaces with it.

 

1 hour ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

1) You didn't show us some of the "critical" moments of the flight, like the separation of the boosters and the external tank.

I do not wish to be considered deficient in my tasks for this challenge, so please consider the following as a supplement/redo of STS-1a:

Spoiler

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Initial takeoff.  Compared to STS-1b, the Vector engines were slightly tweaked in their angle.  Otherwise, without 40t of mass, the STS will rapidly tip over and be nearly impossible to control in the first 10 seconds of flight.

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Booster separation

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Beginning orbital insertion phase.  I found during my flights of this shuttle system that simply pointing in a 45 degree angle until booster separation yields quite excellent results with no payload.

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Coasting phase

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Final orbit injection burn

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Main tank separation occurs very slowly

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Without Mechjeb, the rolling/rocking of the shuttle tends to produce a slightly inclined orbit.  Because of this incline, and the location of KSC near the terminator, I decided to go for a Desert Airfield landing

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Maneuver change to place my target orbit (and subsequent de-orbit burn) above the Desert Runway

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The Desert Airfield can be seen below.  A right-hand turn will be executed to bleed airspeed and altitude, and prepare for a south-to-north landing.

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Terminal approach to runway

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With the low glide-angle, my touchdown point was actually just behind the runway

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Drogue chute deployment and final braking

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