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STARDATE: Y4-D303-4H25M

 

The third Dres Fleet has arrived and are now captured in Dres' sphere of influence. So far, our Dres colonization fleet - whether they're orbiting the planet or already landed - consist of:

  • The U.S.S. Defiant (and it's crew). Though it has plenty of liquid fuel left for the return pod, it has run out of fuel for itself and very low on monopropellant. That can be fixed.
  • 2 permanent self-sustaining bases
    • Dresden Base is within 10 kilometers of the designated landing spot (Rosly's Whim) for incoming landers, chosen for its rich ore deposits
    • Colorado Base is in orbit. I have ordered it to wait until the Dres Canyon is in daylight to land it.
  • 1 ore-scanning satellite in polar orbit
  • 1 Interplanetary Escape Pod
    • The next crew will come in another one, but I already have one stationed in Dres orbit in case of emergencies
  • 2 mini-buses
    • DRES MINI-BUS 001 already within range of Rosly's Whim and Dresden Base
    • DRES MINI-BUS 002 in orbit, as I have not yet decided where to put it
  • 1 large fuel truck in spotting range of Rosly's Whim.
  • 1 surface relay, planted on the opposite side of the planet from Rosly's Whim
  • 1 three-man surface lander, equipped with science.
  • 2 one-man surface landers.
    • Though they have more Delta-V than the three-man lander, they still need refueling after each use - not to mention I can only take one person at a time in them.
  • 1 Ore converter module. I shall dock it with the U.S.S. Defiant so that the station can produce its own fuel.
  • 1 Ore Delivery probe. It shall land in Rosly's Whim and collect ore to bring back to the upgraded Defiant for conversion. I made sure it had PLENTY of Delta-V ready so that it won't need to refuel itself once it reaches the Defiant.

uWlSvp2.jpg

* screenshot of our progress.

 

My crew has been itching to get down to Dres' surface and explore, and I assure them they will get their chance. But first, I need to:

  1. Dock the ore converter with the Defiant.
  2. Land the delivery probe at Rosly's whim to collect ore and take it up.
  3. Take the three-man lander (myself, one engineer, one scientist) down to the surface after the ore collector's clear of Rosly's Whim
    1. I don't want any incidents involving two vehicles in the same spot.
  4. Return to the Defiant with a surface sample and scientific data for processing.
  5. Either inform Mission Control that's it's more efficient to send three people at a time or one.

 

Mission Control tells me that there's a fourth fleet coming to Dres in about one Kerbal year, and it involves a self-refueling ore delivery module and the Defiant's replacement crew. From what I hear, this crew will start living permanently in Dresden Base while finding other potential landing sites. Personally, I hope Mission Control finally figures out how to build an SSTO to send here; that way, we can explore Dres as we would Kerbin on a plane without the hassle of using a legged lander. I also requested Dres gets an ultimate relay antenna stationed there, as we had an incident where we almost lost our first mini-bus due to a signal loss.

To anyone who reads this entry, let it be known that we're paving the way to plant Kerbalkind's feet on other planets - starting with Dres.

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12 minutes ago, obney kerman said:

That's a lot of orbit lines.

Oh, @obney kerman my friend, I'm just getting warmed up - and that's not counting asteroids and debris (that I'll have to clean up). 

 

Though I'll drop some of the items on the surface (Colorado Base near the Dres Canyon, MINI-BUS 002 in a location I have not decided yet) - and will frequently rendezvous landers and the ore transport with the U.S.S. Defiant - several more orbital craft will come as soon as the next Kerbin-->Dres transfer window opens. Follow this log for my next entry, where I will finally set foot on Dres.

* you got any ideas on where to put MINI-BUS 002? I made it myself, by the way.

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2 hours ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

@obney kerman my friend

*voice cracking* I- I'm your friend?

In all seriousness, try and aim for near the entrance of one of the canyons.

Edited by obney kerman

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52 minutes ago, obney kerman said:

*voice cracking* I- I'm your friend?

In all seriousness, try and aim for near the entrance of one of the canyons.

I would think so; after all, you replied to some of my posts and reacted to more of them. You also suggested that I try and get more Commnet coverage in my Eeloo fleet - which later became my Dres fleet when the Defiant's Delta-V dropped. Because of you pointing out this flaw, my ground relay saved my mini-bus from dying while preparing to land near Rosly's Whim. :wink:

* which reminds me, my Vall Weather Satellite died en route to Jool. Though its batteries are charged, it currently has no connections to KSC. If I'm lucky, it's antennae will get in range of an "Ultimate Relay Antenna" (1 RA-100 and 4 RA-15 put together) before hitting Jool's sphere of influence; I'm not counting on it, though. Odds are that it's done for, but that's another story. :(

 

Thanks for the landing zone suggestion, by the way. I had originally planned to have Colorado base overlook Dres Canyon, but exploring the canyon itself will be a great thing for the Dres colonists to do there.

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STARDATE: Y4-D317-4H55M

 

Colorado Base and the second mini-bus have landed past the Dres Canyon entrance. Since the ore concentration there is higher than expected, my crew and I - and, to no surprise, the guys back home - are debating on whether or not to send the first landing party to the canyon or Rosly's Whim.

  • ROSLY'S WHIM (7.06%): Already have a large fueling truck ready - with the same crew capacity as a mini-bus - and located in the planet's equator, making a rendezvous with the Defiant much more efficient. Though I'm definitely landing an ore converter there, we're not entirely sure if we should send our first landing party there too (not at the same time, of course)
  • CANYON (10.11%): Have a mini-bus in standby (no fuel trucks), and in visual range of Colorado base. Ascent out of the canyon, even near the entrance, may be tricky, though; not only because of the walls, but because of its position south of the equator.
    • One time, I forgot to turn on the radiators for the base and the drills shut down. I really need to write down the action group numbers for the bases and trucks.

To anyone who reads this log within the next 30 hours of this entry, where do you think I should send the landing party?

 

Speaking of which, it will consist of one pilot, one scientist, and one engineer; myself, Lizard, and Bruce* respectively. The chief medical officer, who also happens to be my girlfriend, wanted to go with me, but I ordered her to stay in the Defiant in case one of the other crew got sick or injured. She insisted that she came in case someone in the landing party got injured, but... that's what return trips are for. Plus, all the mini-buses and fuel trucks are equipped with medical supplies, first aid instructions, and relays to talk to the nearest medical officer in case of emergencies.

 

Aside from my Dres mission, I've been emailing my friend Captain Mason about what's going on back home; due to the long signal travel time and strength loss across planets, it's protocol that we send each other text messages or emails to each other. If we need to speak or show video, we attach it in an email; phone calls can get fuzzy or misunderstood. Anyway, he said that "those bureaucratic fools," still have no plan to extract Sergeant Michael from Minmus. I agree fully: it's not like we need to wait for a transfer window to get to one of our own moons, and we can send a Dres Mini-Pod to get him back home at almost two-fifths the cost of a Mun to Minmus lander. When Mason finally thought Michael's family would get him back, Mission Control launched two more relays to Jool and Eeloo. I get that they want maximum coverage when it's time to send people there, but why send them now? Don't we already have enough crap ALREADY en route to Jool and Eeloo just for standby? Mason then send me this meme he and Michael made, and I showed it to my crew. They didn't get it until I told them how long Michael's been on Minmus stuck in a mini-bus, and we all laughed.

X14nvsf.png

If you're reading this, Mission Control, well, you deserve it. A GOOD KERBAL NEVER LEAVES A TEAMMATE BEHIND.

 

Any other day, I'd ask Alex to hack Mission Control and give total probe control to me so I can send a craft up to Minmus to get Michael, but I gotta focus on landing on Dres now. If you're reading this, Michael, we're not giving up on you. It shouldn't be hard, actually, since your mini-bus is fully loaded with ore and gas - not to mention you're sitting in an ore-rich flatland.

 

* though "Red" is not my real name (it's my YouTube and GeoFs name), the names of my crew are nick/names taken from my friends in real-life. "Lizard" is a gag name one of my AOE classmates decided to go by on GroupMe, and Bruce, Mason, and Michael are other classmates of mine. Alex is my roommate's name, and he's awesome with computers.

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STARDATE: Y4-D330-2H20M

 

Well, we did it. Took a lot longer than we thought, as the fuel truck took longer than expected to fill up the ore delivery probe, but we finally landed in Rosly's Whim. Lizard and Bruce were too nervous to go out first, so I volunteered to "step my toes into the pool;" or in this case, step foot on Dres' surface to see if it's safe. After planting a flag on it, I signaled Lizard and Bruce to come down and take a photo with me. Below is a picture of the three of us standing in front of the three-man Dres lander, around our flag.

roECNDc.jpg

* (from left to right) Lizard, Red, and Bruce

 

While on the surface, we will collect some data and a surface sample while we wait for daylight. During that time, the refueling truck will gas up the lander for the trip back to the Defiant when we're done. Good thing we have boots on the ground in case of a signal loss.

 

Speaking of which, several of our probes have been getting a lot of signal losses lately - particularly when they're on the dark (non-sunny) side of the planet. As soon as I'm back in the lander and en route to the Defiant, I'm writing Mission Control to send more relays to Dres. Yes, I'm the pilot, but these days all you have to say is "MJ, do this," and the autopilot will do my job for me. If Lizard and Bruce give me crap about "writing text-based communications while piloting," I can wait until getting back with the Defiant - or better yet, have someone else do it on my behalf. Aside from relays, the Defiant seems to be running low on batteries rather quickly.

 

Meanwhile, my crew has heard rumors of a "mutiny against Mission Control," soon after Mason was denied a (cheap) rescue mission to get Michael. Unofficially, I'm glad somebody decided to break red tape and get him back home. If such a mutiny exists, however, I know for sure Mason's NOT GUILTY; he has too much to lose if he got caught, including his command of the second Dres crew. If I get blamed for it, I can assure Mission Control that I had an alibi - aside from my interplanetary communication log. Chief Engineer Bruce's second-in-command, Jayme, was with me the whole time when I was remotely piloting the probes and rovers - and so was Doctor Chyna (my girlfriend). I also bunked with Sergeant Andrew, the Defiant's second pilot, during lights-out, so they can all vouch for me. That leaves out Science Officers Lizard and Kyle, but I seriously doubt they're even capable of hacking Mission Control all the way from Dres - or even remotely piloting a lander to and from Minmus without wrecking it. And even if they were, I'm trying to save power on the Defiant now.

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STARDATE: Y4-D352-1H25M

 

After collecting a surface sample and compiling our EVA reports for the ascent, we were given orders from Mission Control to check out Dresden Base, located 9.4 kilometers from the landing spot. Since nobody was going to be landing in Rosly's Whim while we were there, we took the fuel truck there. Except for a few seconds of it tipping over the side (thank God it has stability control and reaction wheels to prevent it from getting completely tipped over), the drive there was good. I would have preferred that we drive during the daylight, but Lizard got sleepy and wanted to sleep in more comfortable settings besides "an oversized car." So, I drove us to Dresden base in the dark. Hopefully, the lander didn't tip over while we're gone.

HbOzRCO.jpg

* Dresden base, with the fuel truck parked close to it. It's aimed away from the back in case the brakes fail.

 

When we arrived, we found some missing kids' skeletons in the EVA suit closet.

 

Just kidding. Everything was running fine, except for the fact that the drills had been shut off. Bruce and I agreed that it was due to the base not having sufficient power capacity to run the drills in the dark, not to mention the chance that the radiators are blocking the solar panels for a good portion of the day. Now that Bruce brought it up, I don't know why the fuel truck has a significantly higher power capacity and better drills than the base. I'm guessing it's because the rover needs power to move as well as harvest and convert ore, not to mention it's higher off the ground than the base (reducing the chance of bouncing). Everything's full now, and all systems are operational. When the second crew gets here, they will spend some time in Dresden conducting surface operations

  • Next time, before you send one of these bases, please install some fuel cells. If a small delivery rover needs it, then just switch off the fuel cells.
  • Also, please label the action groups. Just like with the fuel truck, I had some trouble figuring out which button was for the solar panels - ended up deploying ladders instead.

 

You're probably wondering why I'm writing after 22 days. Well, in the meantime, someone allegedly gave Michael instructions on how to hack a Mun lander and remotely send it to Minmus. I don't exactly know the specifics of this mutiny, but I don't care since Michael's back home now. Bruce, Lizard, and I wanted to do some things in the base while watching how Michael was doing - and so did the rest of the Defiant crew, from what I heard. I also heard that the Moho Station is undergoing some progress in its construction. It would be constructed in eight pieces: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 are all attached, 5 is in Moho Orbit, we forgot to make the transfer for 6, and Mission Control's waiting until the Moho crew is ready for Part 8.

QhA1Few.jpg

 

Anyway, we're about to leave Dresden Base to return to the Defiant. Now that Mission Control knows Dresden Base works, Dres colonization can officially begin. Good luck, Mason.

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STARDATE: Y4-D359-1H00M

 

Bruce, Lizard, and I made it back to the Defiant with no problems. Doctor Chyna checked us out one-by-one for any health issues we may have unknowingly come across on Dres' surface (saving me for last, ;)). We then sent an ore transport probe for another run to Rosly's Whim, where the fuel truck loaded it up with ore  for conversion on board the Defiant. I tell you, that station is in serious need of a power boost. Maybe the next additional module Mission Control sends should be nothing but A LOT of batteries, panels, and RTGs (and monopropellant for docking, of course).

 

While Mission Control dealt with the fallout from rescuing Michael - and I'm damn sure they're the ones who need a court martial (not Alex and Michael) - three more crewmembers were sent to Colorado Base located at the foot of Dres Canyon. Andrew and Kyle flew via jetpack from their lander to the base, while Jayme stayed with the lander to ensure the refueling process worked well. In the following picture, you can see the three-man lander attached to a mini-bus while it's getting refueled.

gadAh6l.jpg

 

We unanimously agreed that we would prefer our landers gassed up via refueling truck since the process is SO DAMN SLOW with a mini-bus. Even if the mini-bus was at full capacity by touchdown time, it would run out of gas and ore in minutes and still not be able to refuel the lander. So, we kept the rover docked with the lander and mined ore while converting it at the same time. We were lucky the rover is loaded with RTGs, otherwise it probably would have run out of batteries when the sun wasn't shining on there. 

  • Fully loaded refueling truck --> less than 5 minutes.
  • Fully loaded mini-bus --> about 4 days (depending on power availability and ore concentration).

 

Additionally, Jayme noticed that the ablator on the lander's heat shield was dropping. In case whoever's reading this report isn't aware, the three-man Dres (originally Eeloo) lander is just a Mun lander that was slapped onto a new delivery rocket. After Jayme notified me about this, I did some math about what this means for future use of the three-man lander.

  • 1600 (originally) - 1582 (after landing) = 18 units lost
  • 1582 left over / 18 lost per mini-bus refueling ~= 87 more uses.
    • If the mini-bus is used to refuel the lander.

To sum up, we can't keep using the mini-bus too many times to refuel the three-man lander or else... something bad may happen that's caused by a depleted ablator. Additionally, we need to remove the decoupler, heat shield, and parachute from the Eeloo lander's design since they're completely useless here.

 

Meanwhile, Jayme accessed Andrew's and Kyle's suit cams to see how things were going in Colorado Base. For parts of the inspection checklist that needed an engineer, they relayed their camera feed to her and she told them what to do and check off. All systems are perfectly operational in the base (except we have a lack of action group labels, but Mission Control can just email us and we can write that on a sticky). We even get a nice view of the canyon from the bottom while sitting in the front cupola. Back in orbit, Chyna's still monitoring Lizard, Bruce, and I for any long-term health consequences the elongated stay in Dres had on us.

  • To be honest, Chyna's spending a little too much time monitoring me. Yes, we're boyfriend and girlfriend (and even if we weren't, I'm the captain), but I don't want either my rank or my relationship to potentially jeopardize the health of my crew. She will have all the time we need to monitor me when we're in transit back home.

 

Well, time for me to go to sleep. To test Colorado Base's remote control capabilities, Andrew will be piloting the ore transport for another run to Rosly's Whim. I have full confidence he can do it. 

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STARDATE: Y4-D370-4H55M

 

Jayme, Andrew, and Kyle are back in the Defiant with no problems to report - and a note that Colorado Base and the mini-bus are working perfectly. Doctor Chyna also said that so far, neither they not Bruce, Lizard, or I have any health problems. I advised Mission Control that we need to send a truck to the foot of the Canyon to make refueling easier and faster, and they plan to send one when the next transfer window - along with Captain Mason and his crew.

 

Also, Andrew was able to pilot the ore transport remotely from Colorado Base. I seem to find that the biggest "blind spot" is located near our first surface relay and Dresden Base. Bruce and Jayme have advised me that we need more stationary coverage in not only that particular blind spot, but in strategic locations between Dresden and Colorado Bases. While I informed Kerbin that we need more surface-based relays, I cancelled my order for an extra battery pack as the Defiant seems to be doing fine with power for some reason. Maybe it has something to do with orientation, or the fact that I have a lander still attached to it, but I'm glad it's working out.

  • Speaking of which, how do I disable crossfeed with a claw? I need to convert my ore to fuel and oxidizer before my next ore run, and I don't want the lander to steal some of it. This is especially important if I decide to convert to pure liquid fuel, as the lander taking in fuel without the necessary oxidizer is just hauling dead weight.

 

Back home, we're trying to send another resource scanner to Moho after our first two tries failed. I know the official plan is to save Moho for last (or second-to-last) on Kerbin's solar system expansion list, but we can at least get things set up. And if that goes well, who knows - we may move Moho higher up on the list. Michael also got a promotion to master sergeant and $250,000 in compensation for Mission Control neglecting to inform him of the extended stay... and, basically, neglecting to pick him up AND obstructing all efforts to do so. Alex also got $50,000 in damages, since he was fired and subsequently charged with sabotage when he told Michael how to hack the Mun-Minmus lander. All charges were then dropped when it was learned that Mission Control had no plans to pick up Michael.

 

So, anyway, back to the Dres events. Everything seems to be working fine except for occasional blind spots, and all the bases are working operationally. The return window opens in four days, but the plan was to wait until Mason's crew gets here to refuel his pod and use it to go back home. Plus, I owe his chief science officer, Tayo, a satellite-view map of the Canyon as well as a scenic photograph after losing a bet.

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