pTrevTrevs

Curing a Burnout: My Attempt At Getting Back Into the Game

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6 hours ago, The Minmus Derp said:

Can you do more schtuff at minmus? like, you have landed on the mun 3 times, and have a space station. but nothing but a teeny probe is around minmus. wut? 

I’m working on it.

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12 hours ago, pTrevTrevs said:

.. In short, my fear is that I would end up using more resources and go through more trouble than it's worth to simply top off an interplanetary ship's fuel tanks when I could simply take slightly more fuel at the start.

...

Hmm!  You make some very good points.  It does make me wonder though, might it be worth having a refuelling depot in LKO in an equatorial orbit?  It could be topped off from either Marius or tankers starting from KSC, and would make interplanetary ascent stages smaller because you'd have to lift less fuel.  

Just thinking it through though, I'm not sure it'd be worth it.  You'd add a lot more docking operations to your space program, and the benefit would be what, 10% less SRBs for interplanetary craft?

 

Anyway, make sure to post some pictures when you get your own base up and running, I'll be looking forward to seeing it!

Will do!  Right now, I'm building one based on the requirements in a contract... I've not thought it through beyond just fulfilling the contract, so it will have 6k liquid fuel in it, solar panels and batteries as well as an antenna... but only a single docking port, and that is poorly positioned.  Based on some of the features of Marius, I might just send up a module that has the purpose of adding more, and better positioned docking ports.

Either way, at least I'll have enough fuel in Munar orbit to supply surface expeditions for a good while.

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Aurelian 2 undocks from Marius to begin its second mission to the surface. This expedition is crewed by Jebediah, Bill, and Bob, the same crew who also rode the first Scipio spacecraft into orbit.

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PDI is initiated over the landing site, at an altitude of approximately 5,000m AGL.

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Once pitchover is complete, Jeb takes partial-manual control of the spacecraft, trusting the flight computer to control orientation while controlling the throttle himself, while making occasional corrections to the computer's heading. Only a few minutes after PDI, Aurelian 2's contact probes scrape the surface of the Mun for the second time in its life.

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SE3's mission necessitated a much closer landing to the cargo lander than its predecessor's, because the crew will need to connect both landers with fuel pipes and electrical lines to facilitate the drilling and refueling operations.

After a short rest, the crew will begin EVA1, in which they will assemble the SEP, power station, and drilling stand.

 

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The OP reserves the right to post whatever and whenever he wishes.

Don't worry, I'm going soon

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Jeb, Bill, and Bob descend the ladder to begin work on the surface of the plains.

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After collecting contingency samples, they proceed to the cargo lander and deploy Nerva 2, their rover for this mission.

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They then unpack the cargo boxes and load the SEP and drilling components into the rover's cargo locker.

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The first piece to go up is the power station, which uses two RTGs to provide electricity to both Aurelian 2 and the drilling stand. During the day, Aurelian's solar panels will also be used to provide power for the drill.

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The power station is then plugged into the cargo lander, which is then connected to Aurelian 2, allowing the crewed lander to receive power at night. Another EVA will be made shortly before takeoff to disconnect the pipes.

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The drilling stand and its collection tank are next set up and attached to the power grid. It will be activated by remote control after the EVA.

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Unfortunately, after this things begin to go horribly wrong. Nerva 2 accidentally hits a small crater and flips over, with Jeb inside. He spends the next few minutes trying to right the vehicle but eventually has to evacuate and perform the rest of the EVA on foot. Unless Nerva can be flipped back upright the planned exploratory traverses will have to be cancelled, as the nearby objectives are all too far to be reached on foot.

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Anyway, while Jeb is working on the rover, Bill and Bob assemble the SEP. This one is a much more simplified model than the one deployed on the last mission. Instead of a bulky high-gain antenna dish, it will simply use Marius as a relay to return data to Kerbin, and it will be plugged into the power station to keep it running after dark.

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Having finished the day's construction and unable to perform the planned trip to a nearby crater, the crew begins heading back to Aurelian for a rest. However, at this point, the gravest disaster of the mission strikes without warning. Bill Kerman falls over and appears seized by the Kraken, which slams him into the ground, killing him instantly. 

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The crew had planned to perform a few more chores outside, namely setting up the landing site's flag and photographing the area, but in the wake of Bill's accident the flight director swiftly aborted the EVA. Jeb now faces a difficult decision; whether to attempt to right the rover and continue the mission or to wait until the first available opportunity and perform an abort to orbit. Without the rover the main goals of the mission are unachievable, and without a third crew member the risks of exploring the area, especially on foot, are increased significantly. It certainly seems that the mission is cursed, and morale has plummeted, both on the surface, in orbit aboard Marius, and back on Kerbin. Bill's death is being kept a secret from the general public for the time being, while mission control and the crew work the situation and develop a course of action.

 

Interestingly, my computer also crashed to a bluescreen of death immediately after boarding Aurelian 2, so I'm beginning to wonder if some higher power just wants me away from this spot...

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At the incessant urging of one @The Minmus Derp, I've fast-tracked an already-planned Minmus probe and moved its launch date up by several days.

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This is Velite 1, The first of a series of unmanned spacecraft intended to explore the inner planets and their moons. It will orbit Minmus and deploy a small impact probe to acquire close-up photographs and measurements of the icy moon's surface. 

For historical context, Velites were a type of Roman soldier, most commonly seen in the mid-Republican militia-army. Their ranks were made up of the poorest, youngest, and most inexperienced men, those who either could not afford the equipment of a regular infantryman or were too young, weak, or inexperienced to serve as one. Velites acted as scouts and skirmishers ahead of the main army, providing a screen to disguise the main army's formation and to harass enemy movements before the infantry moved in.

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The launch is performed by a typical Auxiliary rocket, with six solid rocket boosters adjusted so that they burn out in sets of three, extending their burn-time long enough to place the sustainer stage in the upper atmosphere.

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In order to provide the extra power needed to reach Minmus, the spacecraft makes use of a new extended Auxiliary Upper Stage, consisting of a standard sized AUS, plus another segment beneath it, which is used for the escape burn.

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Velite 1 will reach Minmus in approximately ten days, where it will use the upper portion of the AUS to insert itself into Minman orbit. For the sake of continuity, future updates will be delivered after the conclusion of Surface Expedition 3.

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This a nice mission thread.  Thank you @pTrevTrevs

I've also had a long pause in KSP.  Lack of content has killed my enthusiasm lately.  Just now trying to restart. I'll likely do a science save.

Thanks for the inspiration... :)

 

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19 hours ago, pTrevTrevs said:

At the incessant urging of one @The Minmus Derp, I've fast-tracked an already-planned Minmus probe and moved its launch date up by several days.

XUVSECq.png

This is Velite 1, The first of a series of unmanned spacecraft intended to explore the inner planets and their moons. It will orbit Minmus and deploy a small impact probe to acquire close-up photographs and measurements of the icy moon's surface. 

For historical context, Velites were a type of Roman soldier, most commonly seen in the mid-Republican militia-army. Their ranks were made up of the poorest, youngest, and most inexperienced men, those who either could not afford the equipment of a regular infantryman or were too young, weak, or inexperienced to serve as one. Velites acted as scouts and skirmishers ahead of the main army, providing a screen to disguise the main army's formation and to harass enemy movements before the infantry moved in.

zqWDrf0.png

The launch is performed by a typical Auxiliary rocket, with six solid rocket boosters adjusted so that they burn out in sets of three, extending their burn-time long enough to place the sustainer stage in the upper atmosphere.

1fKYMAB.png

In order to provide the extra power needed to reach Minmus, the spacecraft makes use of a new extended Auxiliary Upper Stage, consisting of a standard sized AUS, plus another segment beneath it, which is used for the escape burn.

o1ju72G.png

Velite 1 will reach Minmus in approximately ten days, where it will use the upper portion of the AUS to insert itself into Minman orbit. For the sake of continuity, future updates will be delivered after the conclusion of Surface Expedition 3.

That probe loooks awesome. can i see the .craft? 

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6 hours ago, The Minmus Derp said:

That probe loooks awesome. can i see the .craft? 

I'll upload the craft I use in this save at some point, just not sure when.

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On 9/6/2018 at 11:50 PM, pTrevTrevs said:

Anyway, make sure to post some pictures when you get your own base up and running, I'll be looking forward to seeing it!

Here you go :)

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The "grand" station of St. Joseph, with a lander attached.  I call the lander, the Marxist.  So it's "St. Joseph and the Marxist".  Because... it sounds like the start of a bad joke?  Anyway the station is a science station, two hitchhiker cabins and a big fuel tank.

 

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A brightly lit Marxist Mk3.  Mk3, because quite Mk1 crashed and burned, and Mk2 ran out of fuel and is nou standing abandoned on the lunar surface.  Mk3. is several tons lighter with the same fuel load, giving it far increased endurance.

 

The rover (dark, foreground) is a Labrador Mk1.  So you've got St. Joseph, the Marxist and a Labrador.  I dunno, this bad joke theme kinda works for me :)

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So, last time I played, my computer experienced a BSOD, right after I lost Bill Kerman. However, upon rebooting the computer and reloading the save, I realized that it had been retained in a state where all three crewmembers were still alive. Although it felt like cheating, I took advantage of this second chance and quickly returned the kerbals to the lander.

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Once back inside, the crew activated the drilling rig and began filling the ore tank with material for refining and inspection.

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The landing site after the end of EVA 1. An attempt will be made to flip the rover upright later. Failing that, the crew will simply restrict all future EVAs to within a certain distance from the lander, maintenance on the SEP,  moving the drilling rig, etc.

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After a rest period, Jeb and Bill exit the lander once again and make their way to the overturned rover in an attempt to repair it. Bob remains inside to monitor the drilling systems in case of an emergency.

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After initial attempts to knock the rover over using Jeb's backpack were unsuccessful, Bill began removing excess and unneeded parts from the rover to lighten it.  

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The excess parts are then used to construct a lever of sorts on top of the rover.

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Jeb then backs up and attempts to ram the lever, taking advantage of the leverage to turn the vehicle upright.

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Unfortunately, this lever wasn't long enough, so Bill removed a few more parts, mostly struts from the front window, and extended the height of the lever.

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After yet another ramming attempt, the rover flipped with ease! Jeb nearly crashed into the SEP cables, but nothing was damaged.

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The rover was then driven clear of the debris created from the maintenance work, and the lever was removed. Although it now lacks a few frills and aesthetic features, the vehicle is now fully functional and ready to explore the surrounding plains.

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@pTrevTrevs I've been doing Munar surface expiditions to gather samples and the like, and I'm finding that even with 700+ liquid fuel (and matching quantity of oxidiser), I struggle to get back to my station (150x150km Munar equatorial) orbit.  I had to leave a lander stranded on the surface because I went about 20 degrees north of the equator.  The next iteration was a few tons lighter with the same amount of fuel, and is having more success - but it is still a little tight for my liking.

Based on the screenshots you've posted, I've noticed that Aurelian seems to have very little in the way of fuel storage would you mind to tell me how much it weights?  Actually what I'm after, is how much dV has Aurelian got and how do you achieve such low weight to get so much dV with so little fuel?  

 

By the way, I really like your plan with ramming a lever to flip the rover right side up!

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7 hours ago, Johan-c said:

Based on the screenshots you've posted, I've noticed that Aurelian seems to have very little in the way of fuel storage would you mind to tell me how much it weights?  Actually what I'm after, is how much dV has Aurelian got and how do you achieve such low weight to get so much dV with so little fuel?

Aurelian actually has several fuel tanks partially clipped inside each other and attached to the engines via fuel lines, so it has more capacity than one might originally think. I couldn’t tell you exactly how much DeltaV it has or how much it weighs without consulting my computer (I’m not at it right now), but I would say that it weighs a bit more than your average lunar lander.

I think the biggest way I optimize my deltaV usage simply has to do with the descent profile. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the best way to land that I’ve found involves simply lowering your orbit’s periapsis over the targeted landing site to about as low as you can comfortably make it, and then begin a powered descent as you pass over it, first burning to cancel your horizontal velocity and then slowly moving the lander to lower your vertical velocity. If you do it right you should be able to slowly lower your velocity to the point where you reach zero exactly when you touch down, without ever accidentally burning so much that you start going up again.

Apollo used a descent profile sort of like this, with the LM entering a so-called descent orbit before slowing down to land.

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I’ve got more content coming soon (maybe tomorrow or Tuesday), but I’ve been having more computer issues, as well as more real-life concerns, so progress has been a bit slow and frustrating.

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Thanks to the new power station and pipelines, Aurelian 2 manages to last through its second cold lunar night without a hitch.

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In the morning the crew egresses once more and boards the rover. As part of the emergency maintenance, the rover's roof was removed to allow easier access to the interior.

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This will be the only rover excursion on this flight, due to the damages sustained by the vehicle. The planned traverse follows the plain east, in search of a flat and level area free of debris in which a base could be assembled. Because of the inevitability that the base will have a high part count, the location must also be far enough away from the expedition's landing site so that the cargo lander's parts will not be loaded along with the base's. Here, the rover is exploring one such potential site.

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A crewmember places a flag at the site to mark it for future reference, and then the crew moves on to their next stop.

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The rover's main geologic investigation site is the edge of a crater complex to the south of the landing site and plain.

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Bob uses Nerva-2's cable system as a safety tether to climb down the rim of the crater and obtain samples and photographs from inside the crater.

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Following the crater exploration, the crew begins the trip back to the landing site, still looking for acceptable base locations.

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Upon arriving back at the landing site, the crew drives the rover to a place where it can film their liftoff and places it in dormant mode.

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Jeb and Bob enter the lander, while Bob first makes his way to Aurelian's fuel port and disconnects the pipe, freeing the lander for liftoff.

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This is the final map of the landing region. The landing site is marked by the grey dot in the center of the screen, while the two potential base locations are marked by blue dots to the bottom-right. The crater complex the crew explored is below the base markers.

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A few hours after the EVA closeout, Aurelian 2 lifts off from the Mun for the second time and begins its race to catch back up with Marius.

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Within a few days, Aurelian 2 arrives at Marius and delivers its crew and cargo of geologic samples and ore to the station. Surface Expedition 3 is now complete, and the goal of assembling a base on the Mun is one step closer to being realized.

 

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I don't have enough time to post a full report tonight, but here's a little preview to hopefully satisfy a certain person who frequents this thread.

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Scipio 8 in orbit around Minmus, performing the first crewed orbital survey of the dwarf moon.

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I'm really enjoying these reports. Well done @pTrevTrevs!!!

Just a thing...isn't it Munar rather than Lunar? Lunar refers to the IRL Moon.

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10 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

I'm really enjoying these reports. Well done @pTrevTrevs!!!

Just a thing...isn't it Munar rather than Lunar? Lunar refers to the IRL Moon.

Eh, I know, but to be honest I really just like the way "lunar" sounds more than "munar"

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It's Friday, so I now have time to post the entire mission report for Scipio 8.

Scipio 8 is a new mission profile, making use of the Scipio Block III spacecraft and its new Princeps III launcher. Instead of the now-routine flight to lunar orbit and the Marius space station, Scipio 8 will perform free-flying mission to orbit Minmus. The extreme distance between Kerbin and Minmus will allow the crew to develop techniques for deep-space navigation and survival. The mission also presents an opportunity to survery the icy moon, and more adequately asses its potential for future exploration.

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Princeps III is derived from the earlier versions of the Princeps rocket family. Princeps III features stretched first and second stages, as well as the ability to be fitted with variable numbers and sizes of solid rocket boosters. For this mission, two small-size SRBs have been fitted to the first stage to provvide the extra boost needed for the spacecraft to reach its remote destination.

Princeps III and its variants are planned to replace most of the existing heavy-lift capable rockets in the fleet, and will be used for both manned and unmanned payloads.

Scipio Block III was developed alongside the new Princeps LV, and is intended to perform a much more versatile range of tasks, in preparation for upcoming flights to LKO and beyond Lunar orbit. The biggest alteration from previous models is the removal of the Orbital Module. Instead, on long-duration or long-distance missions, a new mission module will be launched along with the spacecraft, and retrieved via the docking mechanism after launch. Multiple types of MMs will be developed for each type of mission to better suit particular mission objectives. Because of this change, the command module is now at the top of the launch stack, greatly simplifying the abort sequence, as well as allowing easier entry and exit of the spacecraft on the pad. For Scipio 8, the mission module is the Deep Space Habitation Module, the largest MM in development, which provides ample living and storage space, as well as extra propellant and power generation, for a long spaceflight.

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Scipio 8 launches with no issues, and performs its escape burn from LKO with the remainder of the second stage's propellant.

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During transposition and docking, however, the mission encounters its first hitch. The spacecraft's OMS thrusters were found to be unresponsive, an issue I later traced to the service bay covering them, so that the game considered the thrusters "stowed" and shut them off. To solve this issue, the crew performed an emergency EVA to gain access to the MM and use its own thrusters and control to complete the docking.

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The spacecraft is now ready for its voyage. The mission module will provide crucial living space for the crew throughout the two weeks of the flight, as well as allow the operation of scientific instruments that normally would not fit in the Scipio command module.

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In order to shorten the length of the voyage, the mission attempted a radical new maneuver to pass beneath the Mun's south pole, both aligning the spacecraft's orbital plane with that of Minmus and accelerating the craft enough to reach Minmus much quicker than normal. However, this maneuver was extremely costly and overly complicated, and will likely not be repeated for future missions

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Nevertheless, Scipio 8 arrives in orbit around Minmus less than three days after launch. The crew will spend six days in orbit, photographing the surface, testing communications with Kerbin and performing various other activities. Of particular interest to the geologists following the mission on Kerbin is the impact crater formed by the Velite 1 impact probe, which will give the crew a glimpse at the deeper layers of the moon's soil.

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For public relations, the crew photographed Kerbin and the Mun together through the round window of the command module hatch.

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Finally, after six long days the crew finally departs the Minmus system and begins the long trip home.

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On the way back, the Command Module Pilot performs a spacewalk to retrieve experiment packages and film canisters from the exterior of the mission module.

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He also investigates the service module to determine the cause for the OMS failure earlier in the mission.

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After eight more days of flight, Kerbin once again fills the windows of Scipio 8, as the tired crew prepares for reentry.

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The disposable mission module is sealed up and jettisoned first. The crew photographs it as it recedes into the distance.

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The service module follows soon after, and then the docking collar is removed to reveal the spacecraft's recovery systems.

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Peak G-force during reentry was over 7G, higher than even a typical lunar reentry for Scipio.

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In time, the spacecraft's parachutes inflate and bring the ship gently down into the warm weather of the splashdown zone.

While not as exciting as a lunar surface expedition, Scipio 8's objectives still provides invaluable data to the engineers and scientists working on developing methods for interplanetary spaceflight. Such long-distance spaceflights are yet another stepping stone before leaving the Kerbin system entirely for another planet.

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Been busy the last few weeks with winding up the semester, but I've had some time in the last few days to work a bit more on the station. Today I added a new module which features a cupola for surface observation and a new radio dish for facilitating better communications with surface expeditions.

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Launch took place on the new Princeps II, equipped with two solid rocket boosters, same as the Scipio 8 launch.

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Delivery to the station was performed as usual, with a Scipio service module to provide power and propulsion during the trip.

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The station in its current configuration, with the new cupola on the nadir port of the Marius core module.

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The crew certainly appreciates the new panoramic view of the lunar surface!

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Oh how I wish I could run this game with a higher resolution...

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Coming SoonTM.

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After something like two months of inactivity, I'm back into the game. Spring semester has been busy, but I got a few hours worth of time over the last few days.

The preview I sent up a few days ago depicts the first launch of Scipio 9, the most logistically challenging mission yet undertaken in this save. Following Scipio 8's orbital mission over Minmus, go-ahead has been given for a surface landing on the green moon. Due to the heavy payload requirements necessitated by both the lander and the habitation module needed for the long journey, the mission hardware will be sent over two separate launches, both conducted from the newly completed LC-39 (thanks, @damonvv).

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The first launch from pad 39B bears the newly designed lander for the mission. No plans to conduct long-term research on Minmus are underway, and in order to save costs and weight the lander is both disposable and only able to seat two crewmembers. It will be left in orbit of Minmus following the completion of its part of the mission. More on this later.

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Mere minutes after the first vehicle achieves orbit, Scipio 9 lifts off from the nearby 39A pad. The launch vehicle carries the Scipio 9 spacecraft itself as well as the mission's Deep Space Habitat (DSH). The empty launch tower from the 39B launch is still positioned on the pad.

Both payloads are lifted by the same launch vehicle, a standard Princeps III with two solid rocket boosters.

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As Scipio 9 burns for orbit, the lander (named Aquila 1) leaves LKO and begins its journey to Minmus.

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Meanwhile, Scipio 9 is on its own way to Minmus. After the crew performs the injection burn they separate from the Princeps upper stage and extract the DSH.

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Both ships are now on their way to Minmus. Although Aquila 1 launched earlier than Scipio 9, the manned ship made use of a distant lunar flyby to accelerate and overtake Aquila, so that it will arrive at Minmus three days in advance. This extra time will provide room in the schedule for further orbital studies of the moon.

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As the ship travels farther and farther from Kerbin and away from its natural light, more stars become visible, and the crew  took the time to perform several astronomical observations. The first photo shows Kerbin in the center of the window, with Jool near the top, and, near the bottom, the Mun can be seen as a faint crescent and Duna as a dim red bead. The second photo records Moho completing a transit of the Sun.

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Just over two weeks after launch, Scipio 9 arrives in orbit of Minmus.

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Three days later, Aquila 1 is delivered in orbit by the upper stage of its Princeps launch vehicle. It is currently attached to a cruise ring to provide power, heat management, and remote control to the unmanned ship.

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Scipio 9 now approaches the lander and inspects it prior to docking.

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Scipio 9 slowly moves in and captures the lander with the fore docking port on the DSH. This makes the entire stack the largest spacecraft yet assembled in orbit around Minmus (in my save, anyways), a record which will likely stand for some time, as I have no plans to construct a station around Minmus as I have done around the Mun.

 

To be continued.

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Aquila's systems are powered up prior to undocking, and the two landing crewmembers take their seats at the controls.

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Once free of the Scipio stack, Aquila jettisons its cruise ring. With proper manned control, it can now maneuver freely and operate on its own

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I also want to remark in passing how much I'm liking this new lander model. It's really got a great view, and it feels just like a helicopter cockpit to me!

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Aquila is a new variant of lander tailored specifically to the remote distance and the low-gravity environment of Minmus. For landing mission on Minmus it is meant to be single-use, although I'm considering making a more powerful version for suborbital flights on the Mun once I have a base established.

For anyone who's studied Latin or one of its derivatives, the meaning of the lander's name may be obvious. For those not familiar, Aquila is simply Latin for "Eagle"

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Aquila's landing site is positioned just at the edge of one of the large seas, near enough to both the sea and the bordering highlands that the crew can collect surface samples and observations from both types of terrain.

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After skimming the surface for some distance to find the absolute best landing site, Aquila touches down just on the edge of the flats.

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The RCS fires downward for a few seconds to ensure the ship is safely landed...

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And just like that, Aquila 1 is on the ground.

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A few minutes later, the crew disembarks and begins surface operations.

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First order of business is to unpack the cargo boxes carried under the lander's "wings".

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After that, the research station is assembled. The SEP central station has received yet another new power source, this time a simple RTG mounted on a boom protruding from the station.

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The rest of the experiments are laid out and linked to the central station, and then the entire SEP is activated and begins sending data back to Kerbin.

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I had a custom flag when I played in 1.4.5, however now I can't seem to get it to work in 1.6.1, so I'm back to using my favorite stock flag.

However, custom flag or no, I'm still obligated to leave one at every landing site.

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Once the flag is secure, the crew takes a short trek into the nearby hills to get some samples with which to compare those from the flats.

avtmvdI.png

Once done with that, it's time to return to the lander. Unfortunately, Aquila's light frame which allowed it to so easily set down on Minmus also limits its cargo capacity, so there's not much else that can be done here.

krKLCzP.png

The sight of a job well done.

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