Cpt Kerbalkrunch

Exploring These New Horizons

Recommended Posts

Not long ago I was looking to spice things up a bit and embrace some new challenges. I play purely stock, but I figured I could still play the game my way by just adding some new scenery. I was trying to decide between adding OPM or installing GPP when @Sigma88 and @Ultimate Steve suggested New Horizons. I had heard of it, but never really payed much attention. When @MinimalMinmus mentioned the difficulty of Ernus (which I've since discovered for myself: he was not kidding), I was intrigued. But it was @Geschosskopf's description of the mod that really convinced me to check it out. The thought of your home "planet" being a Kerbin-sized moon (with Kerbin atmosphere and gravity) of a gas giant just sounded like it could be really interesting. It's turned out to be an absolute blast. Not to mention freakin' beautiful.

 

4waFl0q.png

A lonely Kerbal stares up at his dual "home" worlds.

Wgimsf1.png

Just sitting on the launchpad is captivating.

 

The above pics were taken before I could figure out how to make Sonnah"s rings show up with color (they were translucent). Thanks to @Micro753 for the solution.

 

ySC4zoZ.png

Whenever Sonnah's visible, I can't seem to take my eyes off it.

 

lMaqS3P.png

The most ordinary launches are beautiful to watch.

 

poipd5D.png

 

DpEAj0X.png

 

Please excuse the ugliness and thrown-together quality of the ships I've been using. I don't think I was adequately prepared for the effect this arrangement of your homeworld would have on each launch. Not only do you have to reach orbit, but to go anywhere you first have to travel within the SOI of a gas giant. I guess about the best stock equivalent would be if your homeworld was Laythe. It doesn't sound so bad until you start launching and realize the task ahead of you to actually get anywhere. I always play career, and so I quickly realized that travel here was going to be expensive. I constantly feel like I'm spending too much, and I try to keep costs down however I can. And after a few launches, I realized my Kerbals weren't leveling up. I thought the mod was bugged at first, but then I realized that I wasn't really going anywhere. Even traveling within the system (and landing on every body) could only get me 2 stars. I was gonna need to go interplanetary sooner or later.

 

Laythe seemed to be easily attainable, so I set my sights there.

 

hHUgTdB.png

Well whataya know, Kerbin's "sister" world has a moon of its own.

 

DXR6Mxk.png

 

Ugly ship, but I fulfilled a bunch of contracts by landing this thing on Derso. It was my first landing outside the Sonnah system, so I was pretty happy about it.

 

Wanted another nearby planet, so I aimed for Arin next. I was not fully prepared for it.

 

haxtBRE.png

 

bomAbaG.png

 

This first mission was an absolute failure. The capture burns at all of these planets seem to be unusually high. My failure rate has been staggering. I play without info mods, so I'm always playing by "feel". I know the stock worlds so well by now that I almost never have a failure anymore (except on Eve, which is another story). I have now been transported back almost to square one. I have no idea what each planet and moon will need until I go there. It's a lot of fun, but it can be disheartening at times. I know I can just overbuild everything and succeed that way, but part of the fun is trying to get it just right. It's been really difficult, but I'm enjoying the challenge. And I never give up. Had to go back to Arin several times before I finally succeeded. i decided, since Arin has an atmosphere, why not use it? When back with an "Eve style" lander, and used it to aerocapture.

 

SKKlAwD.png

 

This was not so easy either. Had to try several times. Finally found that, as long as I was under 6km/s, a Pe of about 20km would give me a direct (and safe) aerocapture.

 

ctt0Pi3.png

 

Again, a brutally ugly lander. Completed more contracts and made about 4,000,000 bucks. Had to get Kerbal and retract the landing legs for a minute, because one of the contracts specified that the station had to be on motorized wheels. It wouldn't pay until the wheels were on the ground. And those tiny rover wheels were the only ones I had at launch time.

 

1WjSqh6.png

 

The return ship made it back to orbit; where it promptly ran out of fuel. I was still happy, though. Waiting for a window to send a refueler. And now that contracts are really paying off, I'm gonna splurge on a good lander to go along for the ride. Arin's 2 moons are tantalizingly close. I want to reach both of them next time.

 

I'm no fan of probes, but I also bow to reality now and then. Some of these planets are so tough, I figure I could really give myself a safety net if I send drills along. So I sent out a few probes to scan for ore. The one below reached Moh, which has Moho for a moon. This will not be easy.

 

6MITb5j.png

 

WANEBs6.png

 

These flybys left me hungry for more. I fully intend to conquer this system. It's gonna fight me every step of the way, though. I sent identical probes pretty much everywhere. I was excited to see the infamous Ernus. I never did. The probe was incinerated the moment I switched to it. I didn't think to check the heat tolerance of all the parts. It has a crappy probecore that blew up immediately. I haven't had to unlock the techtree in so long, I forgot what the lesser probes were capable of.

 

In short, this system is a blast, and I feel like I did when I first bought the game. Except, thankfully, I'm not completely clueless anymore. Just partially. Sorry for all the pics, but I thought you guys might like 'em. I cannot recommend this mod highly enough if you're looking for something new. If GPP is like this, I've got a lot more to look forward to. I'm just really excited and having a lot of fun. Plus it's raining, so I've got the day off. With an empty house. Livin' the dream. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

In short, this system is a blast, and I feel like I did when I first bought the game.

Glad you're having such a good time.  NH is a wonderful mod with all sorts of new challenges, and so many new things to see.

I really liked seeing all your pics.  Please continue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if you noticed, but Sonnah is insanely nice for aerobrakes. It's possibe to plunge at 8 km/s in it with no protection and still be alright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MinimalMinmus said:

I don't know if you noticed, but Sonnah is insanely nice for aerobrakes. It's possibe to plunge at 8 km/s in it with no protection and still be alright.

That's actually really good to know. My only 2 successful interplanetary missions have not yet returned. The Derso mission is waiting for a window home, and the Arin mission is waiting for a refuel. This system has been giving me fits (there's a lot to learn), but I'm having a great time with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2018 at 9:46 AM, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

I play purely stock,

I like a good stock game once in awhile, but I have to have KER.  Not seeing my AP and PE during launch is now intolerable!

 

This looks really fun, I also really like that home base is a moon.  I might have to do a separate install with this. (I still haven't conquered the stock system)

Nice SSs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks very nice. I‘m already considering doing the same!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Geonovast said:

This looks really fun, I also really like that home base is a moon.  I might have to do a separate install with this. (I still haven't conquered the stock system)

 

18 minutes ago, Physics Student said:

Looks very nice. I‘m already considering doing the same!

It is a lot of fun.  And you have all the other moons of Sonnah within easy reach, each of which works like an interplanetary transfer except the trip only takes a few days.  This provides you with so much more variety and opportunity early in the game than doing the stock system, which is really refreshing.  And this means that by the time you want to go outside the Sonnah system, you'll have the tech to do it in a big way.

BUT, as @Cpt Kerbalkrunch says, there's no dV map that I know of so you have to guesstimate based on comparisons to known burns in stock.  And if you use MJ to plot interplanetary transfers, when going from Sonnah to some other planet (as opposed to another moon of Sonnah), you can't do so until you're orbiting Sonnah, not Kerbin.  This means you first have to escape Kerbin's SOI and then circularize in a parking orbit somewhere safely between the SOIs of Sonnah's various moons.  Getting there adds another 1000m/s or so to the fuel budget on top of the actual transfer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

only if you actually use MJ to do the transfer. its entirely feasible to use the TWP to set a KAC for when the transfer window opens, then transfer straight from kerbin orbit out to the planet, saving you lots of DV.  You can also use serran for a moderate gravity assist if kerbin isn't in the right place and you don't want to wait.

there used to be a DV map for the moons somewhere, but none of the moons should take you much more than 1K DV to get to, usually quite a bit less.  If I remember right, Mun should be about 850 m/s.  aptur was about the same, with a decent orbit burn because you're usually coming in along the tangent.  and serran was the most expensive to get to, but a very easy aerocapture.

Edited by Garibaldi2257

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

 

It is a lot of fun.  And you have all the other moons of Sonnah within easy reach, each of which works like an interplanetary transfer except the trip only takes a few days.  This provides you with so much more variety and opportunity early in the game than doing the stock system, which is really refreshing.  And this means that by the time you want to go outside the Sonnah system, you'll have the tech to do it in a big way.

BUT, as @Cpt Kerbalkrunch says, there's no dV map that I know of so you have to guesstimate based on comparisons to known burns in stock.  And if you use MJ to plot interplanetary transfers, when going from Sonnah to some other planet (as opposed to another moon of Sonnah), you can't do so until you're orbiting Sonnah, not Kerbin.  This means you first have to escape Kerbin's SOI and then circularize in a parking orbit somewhere safely between the SOIs of Sonnah's various moons.  Getting there adds another 1000m/s or so to the fuel budget on top of the actual transfer.

 

3 hours ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

only if you actually use MJ to do the transfer. its entirely feasible to use the TWP to set a KAC for when the transfer window opens, then transfer straight from kerbin orbit out to the planet, saving you lots of DV.  You can also use serran for a moderate gravity assist if kerbin isn't in the right place and you don't want to wait.

there used to be a DV map for the moons somewhere, but none of the moons should take you much more than 1K DV to get to, usually quite a bit less.  If I remember right, Mun should be about 850 m/s.  aptur was about the same, with a decent orbit burn because you're usually coming in along the tangent.  and serran was the most expensive to get to, but a very easy aerocapture.

There are definitely some unique challenges. KAC doesn't seem to understand that Kerbin is now a moon, so you can't really plot a transfer to the other moons in the Sonnah system. They're pretty easy to eyeball, though, so it's not a big deal. The interplanetary stuff is quite a bit tougher. You can set the alarm for a transfer from Sonnah and get a good window, but it doesn't take into account the position of Kerbin. If it doesn't line up well, the transfer ends up being quite a bit more expensive. And the capture burns are brutal. It took me awhile (and I actually had to go into the tracking station and count) to realize that, not only is your homeworld now the moon of a gas giant, but you're orbiting the 6th planet from the sun. Arin is actually the 3rd planet now. And travelling there is a lot like going to Moho. Diving toward the sun you build up an incredible amount of speed. The capture burn at Arin was over 4,000m/s. That was why I opted for the aerocapture instead. Moh and Ernus are gonna be about as tough as it gets.

On the other hand, due to Sonnah's position, I think the outer planets might be easy by comparison. Those missions will be years-long though, which is why I've thus far opted for the inner worlds. This entire system seems to be really well thought out. I'm enjoying it quite a bit more than I thought I would. Anyone who loves the game would have a blast with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

 

There are definitely some unique challenges. KAC doesn't seem to understand that Kerbin is now a moon, so you can't really plot a transfer to the other moons in the Sonnah system. They're pretty easy to eyeball, though, so it's not a big deal. The interplanetary stuff is quite a bit tougher. You can set the alarm for a transfer from Sonnah and get a good window, but it doesn't take into account the position of Kerbin. If it doesn't line up well, the transfer ends up being quite a bit more expensive. And the capture burns are brutal. It took me awhile (and I actually had to go into the tracking station and count) to realize that, not only is your homeworld now the moon of a gas giant, but you're orbiting the 6th planet from the sun. Arin is actually the 3rd planet now. And travelling there is a lot like going to Moho. Diving toward the sun you build up an incredible amount of speed. The capture burn at Arin was over 4,000m/s. That was why I opted for the aerocapture instead. Moh and Ernus are gonna be about as tough as it gets.

On the other hand, due to Sonnah's position, I think the outer planets might be easy by comparison. Those missions will be years-long though, which is why I've thus far opted for the inner worlds. This entire system seems to be really well thought out. I'm enjoying it quite a bit more than I thought I would. Anyone who loves the game would have a blast with this.

that's what the TWP is for.  and the transfer windows are actually fairly long.  and you can use one of the other moons to do a gravity assist and/or slingshot maneuver to change direction and get where you want to go.  it might take a correction burn once you're outside Sonnah's SOI, but those are usually pretty cheap. 
Ernus is a beast and a half....
 

Spoiler

take lots and lots and lots of radiators and don't get out of your capsule if you send a kerbal

Moh, not quite as bad, you can aerobrake into a highly elliptical orbit if you're intercepting at a minimal angle to its orbit.

Spoiler

don't take quite as many radiators and don't spend more than a few seconds outside your capsule with a kerbal

I have had a blast with this system many times over.  there does seem to be a bug in the newer version, unless KA updated it since I looked, where you don't want to leave anything in kerbin's orbit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

Ernus is a beast and a half....
 

  Reveal hidden contents

take lots and lots and lots of radiators and don't get out of your capsule if you send a kerbal

Moh, not quite as bad, you can aerobrake into a highly elliptical orbit if you're intercepting at a minimal angle to its orbit.

  Hide contents

don't take quite as many radiators and don't spend more than a few seconds outside your capsule with a kerbal

Does it make a difference when you land on the night side of those bodies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

And the capture burns are brutal. It took me awhile (and I actually had to go into the tracking station and count) to realize that, not only is your homeworld now the moon of a gas giant, but you're orbiting the 6th planet from the sun.

Yeah, compared to the stock system, Sonnah is a little closer to the sun than Dres.  Despite this, however, solar panels work there just as well as they do on Kerbin in stock.  Which means the NH sun is that much brighter/hotter than the stock sun.  Which is why @Garibaldi2257 mentions the importance of radiators at the inner planets.

Bi-elliptic transfers are  your friend when going to the inner planets, instead of going there directly.  Same as going to Moho in stock.

 

19 hours ago, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

On the other hand, due to Sonnah's position, I think the outer planets might be easy by comparison. Those missions will be years-long though, which is why I've thus far opted for the inner worlds. 

The other issue with going outwards is that the transfer windows are several years apart.  Sonnah's not moving very fast due to being so far from the sun, and the stuff further out is going even slower.  Thus, it takes a LONG time for their relative positions to change very much.  Then the travel time using a Hohmann transfer is also quite long because you have to do half a solar orbit at those distances.   You can speed up the travel time by using some high-tech engine with huge Isp on a more direct route, but the windows for doing this are just as far apart as Hohmann windows---there's no escaping that part.  Thus, if you use life support, rescue missions aren't really practicable---the crew might need about a decade of supplies to last long enough for the rescue to get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Geschosskopf said:

The other issue with going outwards is that the transfer windows are several years apart.  Sonnah's not moving very fast due to being so far from the sun, and the stuff further out is going even slower.  Thus, it takes a LONG time for their relative positions to change very much.  Then the travel time using a Hohmann transfer is also quite long because you have to do half a solar orbit at those distances.   You can speed up the travel time by using some high-tech engine with huge Isp on a more direct route, but the windows for doing this are just as far apart as Hohmann windows---there's no escaping that part.  Thus, if you use life support, rescue missions aren't really practicable---the crew might need about a decade of supplies to last long enough for the rescue to get there.

you can solve this by dropping to an inner planet and using it as a gravity assist or staging ground for a mission to the outer planets. my favorite places were laythe and arin.  both have moons to set up mining bases on, and both of them have aerobrakable atmospheres that won't crush your ship the instant you hit the atmosphere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

you can solve this by dropping to an inner planet and using it as a gravity assist or staging ground for a mission to the outer planets. my favorite places were laythe and arin.  both have moons to set up mining bases on, and both of them have aerobrakable atmospheres that won't crush your ship the instant you hit the atmosphere.

Very good idea!  I never thought that far outside the box during my time in NH.  Hmmm....  Just thinking this through, Arin is slightly closer to the hotter NH sun than Moho is to the stock sun, and Laythe would be somewhere between stock Kerbin and Duna.  So with Arin, you get several transfer windows per year to/from there to anywhere outwards, but getting to/from there is fairly expensive and you have to be mindful of the heat.  With Laythe, transfer windows to/from anything outwards would be a bit more than a year apart but the burns would be cheaper.  Hohmann travel time from either to something outwards of Sonnah are probably be about equal.  To use in this way, especially if you want a rescue mission to something beyond Sonnah, you'd have to invest in a lot of infrastructure at these places, however. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thats the idea.  NH is designed for infrastructure.  the more the better.  I had stations in orbit of aptur, eli, serran, laythe and its moon, arin and its moons. had robotic ships constantly moving between the various locations carrying resources and supplies.  and eventually set up robotic rescue ships at both arin and laythe in case something happened to an outer planet expedition.

the advantage to setting up stations and mining bases that much closer to the sun than sonnah is, is that your solar panels will provide ALL the power you need with just a couple of them, cutting down on part count, and with enough batteries you can make it through the nights on the moons, and still recharge your batts while running your drills during the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are excellent ideas. I fully intend to set up mining operations at both Aptur and Eli to keep costs down on my launches. And I'll definitely be spending a lot of time around Arin. Not just for gameplay purposes, but also because I find it remarkably beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing you can do to get out of sonnah's gravity well is use a reusable booster.  a probe core, a couple batteries, some solar panels, a little bit of RCS, an SAS module, a giant fuel tank and a big engine.  plus a docking port.  use that to perform most of the 1000-1200 m/s burn, with your AP just inside of sonnah's SOI. then finish the last little bit of the burn with your ships engines.  bring the reusable booster back and refuel it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Garibaldi2257 said:

The other thing you can do to get out of sonnah's gravity well is use a reusable booster.  a probe core, a couple batteries, some solar panels, a little bit of RCS, an SAS module, a giant fuel tank and a big engine.  plus a docking port.  use that to perform most of the 1000-1200 m/s burn, with your AP just inside of sonnah's SOI. then finish the last little bit of the burn with your ships engines.  bring the reusable booster back and refuel it.

But OTOH, it's pretty simple just to build another 1000m/s into the transfer stage to begin with, rather than fiddle with refueling the taxi.  At the scale of KSP, there's really no practical benefit to reusability.  At the scale of Earth, I don't see it either, regardless of what Elon Musk thinks :) 

Edited by Geschosskopf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again working on dual missions to Laythe and Arin, so I'll post an update soon, but I had to throw this up real quick. Just a PSA to everyone who loves this game: you have to try this mod. I've only just scratched the surface, and I've been blown away time and again. I'm a huge fan of Eeloo. I think it's starkly beautiful, and I love to look at it. But it has now been surpassed for me by Arin. It is simply stunning.

 

valh72i.png

 

Every few seconds, I have to take another screenshot (I've got dozens). Just a gorgeous planet that was obviously crafted with love. I am now its biggest fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Cpt Kerbalkrunch said:

Once again working on dual missions to Laythe and Arin, so I'll post an update soon, but I had to throw this up real quick. Just a PSA to everyone who loves this game: you have to try this mod. I've only just scratched the surface, and I've been blown away time and again. I'm a huge fan of Eeloo. I think it's starkly beautiful, and I love to look at it. But it has now been surpassed for me by Arin. It is simply stunning.

 

valh72i.png

 

Every few seconds, I have to take another screenshot (I've got dozens). Just a gorgeous planet that was obviously crafted with love. I am now its biggest fan.

I'm planning to try this after I finish my all stock grand tour(Thread coming soon.). It looks so cool. Planning to try it otherwise completely stock, like you, because doing my all stock grand tour has made me realize how fun(and fast!) stock is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Necropost

Glad to find out that you're having fun, I've been tickled to outdo Exalosm and his Ernus mission for so long (as his mission seems to be ridiculously innefficient), considering that i love challenges, I'm also thinking about beating Titanus as well, rocket style because Planez are overrated.

NH is indeed, a good mod for hardcore explorers.

Edited by GRS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.