Recommended Posts

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.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the ships and the format @Mars-Bound Hokie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y5-D18-4H00M

 

We finally got around to testing the one-man pod (well, Mini-pod 001 at least). Since Doctor Chyna didn't explore Dres' surface before, she begged me to let go in it. However, due to spotty relay coverage on Dres, I had Andrew go since he was a qualified pilot who could control the pod in case it lost contact. After a heated argument with the doc (that woke up everyone in the Defiant) and an email to Mission Control, they agreed with my decision to have Andrew go down there instead of Chyna. 

  • I know Chyna's a strong, capable astronaut and a great doctor, but Andrew's more qualified to fly the pod than she is. Had relay coverage been better on Dres (no blind spots), I would have been more inclined to let her go in it.
    • Mission Control, however, said that even if Dres had 85% or better signal strength at all spots (which it DOESN'T), either I or Andrew - both of us are licensed pilots - would be the ones to take the mini-pod on a test flight
      • Maybe next time, Chyna --> if I trust the signal strength, that is.

 

While on the Defiant, we heard that KSC has launched a probe that's supposed to orbit the sun at a periapsis of about 1.6 million kilometers. That ion-powered probe may have a weak impulse, but it's got A LOT of delta-V; at that close to the sun, there's no way in hell it can run out of power. I also happen to have a list of what Mission Control plans to send to Moho at the next transfer window (66-67 days from now).

  1. Ore Transport Mk. III
    1. Mk. I --> rocket failed before it could reach orbit
    2. Mk. II --> batteries died before ascent orbit could be circularized
    3. Mk. III --> Perfect
    4. Mk. IV --> Self-drilling and mining.
      1. Lower delta-V and ore capacity than Mk. III, but no truck required.
  2. Weather Satellite
    1. Our third attempt up to date
  3. Fuel truck
    1. We used the same delivery craft that we used to get one to Dres - delta-V calculations seem good
  4. Part 6 of Moho Station (that we forgot to send earlier)

 

Except for the truck, all of those craft are being delivered by the same kind of delivery rocket used to send the Moho Station parts. Though they're super-expensive, it's at least going somewhere instead of helplessly drifting off into solar orbit. Hopefully, the truck makes it to Moho's surface okay. When it does, we'll have our landing site for the ore transport - and, therefore, begin making Moho Station an effective refueling port.

 

Here are the numbers that will prove how effective Moho Station is expected to be (at full capacity):

  • (3000 Moho Station ore capacity) / (600 Mk III Ore transport capacity) = 5 runs before the ore needs to be used up
    • U.S.S. Defiant only has a capacity of 600, so it has to be used up before I could dock the next fully-loaded ore transport
  • FOR CONVERTING TO Lqd Fuel + Ox
    • [ 3000 (assuming full capacity) / 0.5 ore/s ] = 6000 s OR (1 hr, 40m)
    • Fuel: (6000 s*0.45 units/s)=2700 fuel
    • Ox: (6000 s*0.55 units/s)=3300 ox
    • Power used: (6000 s * 30 charge/s) = 180,000 charge used total (START AT SUNNY SIDE)
  • FOR CONVERTING TO PURE FUEL (for nuclear-powered vessels)
    • [ 3000 (assuming full capacity) / 0.45 ore/s ] = 6666.67 s
    • Fuel: (6666.67 s*0.6 units/s)=4000 fuel
    • Power used: (6666.67 s * 30 charge/s) = 200,000 charge used total (START AT SUNNY SIDE)

 

Assuming I did the math right, this will prove an extremely effective refueling port as well as an orbital science station. Parts 1 to 7 (except for 6) are already in Moho's SOI, but we're waiting until we get the Moho crew ready to send Part 8; and we're not even sending that until we can prove that the ore transport and conversion systems are good (may be time-consuming, but at least effective).

 

If anybody has questions/concerns/comments, don't hesitate to contact me at the Defiant. After all, we have nothing to do here but exercise and charge up our chloroplasts until Mason's crew comes to replace us.

  • Personal note: Chyna wants me to come down with her in the three-person lander to Rosly's Whim. I know I made a vow to myself to not "do it" until after marriage, but we have birth control pills available on the ship in case this happens - as it is program regulation.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*laughs nervously* I'm just going to ignore that last bit.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y5-D58-2H30M

 

It's been a while since Chyna, Bruce, and I made it back to the Defiant. While Bruce stayed in the refueling rover and gassed up the lander, Chyna and I spent some time on Dres' surface and bunked in the lander cockpit. I know that third wheels can be annoying, but Bruce was necessary to speed up the refueling process - and at least he stayed out of our hair. 

  • Don't worry, the doctor's not pregnant. Even better, I stuck to my vow.

 

We've pretty much done all the research we can at this point. The crew and I debated over whether or not it would make sense to land at a site other than Rosly's Whim or the foot of the canyon.

  • PRO: We get to explore new biomes and gather new data. This new information would keep us occupied for a LONG time - at least it should until Mason's crew comes.
  • CON: No refueling rovers at those sites, which means we run the risk the lander will run out of fuel before it reaches the Defiant. The station only has a Covnert-O-Tron 125 with a 600 ore capacity, so fuel and oxidizer production is weak.
    • And even if it reaches the Defiant on the return ascent, there's still a good chance it will die before it reaches another refueling rover.

 

In the end, "Con" won. Back home, a three-man lander is also being sent to Moho along with the other parts in that fleet. Seems pretty convenient to have the same delivery rocket design send a bunch of different items to Moho. There's also talk of sending a Duna ascent craft and a refueling truck. Mission Control had to modify the descent mechanism and remove and RTG from the truck to have more parachutes and have the descent engines assist in the Duna landing. The Mechjeb delta-V calculator said that the ascent vehicle should have enough delta-V to make it to 60 km above Duna's surface; frankly, I'm more concerned about the trip back down.

  • When fully gassed up, delta-V through Duna's atmosphere = 2120 m/s
    • In vacuum = 2233 m/s
  • (2120 m/s fully loaded) - (1740 m/s needed for ascent) = 380 m/s left (maybe more)
    • Will need some delta-V to make a rendezvous with another craft to drop off the craft --> let's say... ~300 m/s left by the time of docking (estimate)

 

Hopefully, the atmosphere is thin enough to not warrant the use of any heat shields. If it does, we're gonna have some serious problems; even if we add an inflatable heat shield to the bottom of the ascent vehicle, it may only be good for one use. I don't really need a heat shield, right? Additionally, there have been some rumors going around that we're sending a modified Mk. III ore transport to Duna.

  • 2049 m/s through Duna's atmosphere when FULLY LOADED with ore --> mass will decrease when ore is transferred to orbital station.
    • And leftover delta-V will increase.

 

While Mason starts colonizing Dres, I anticipate a promotion to Admiral before I head for Duna with my new crew. My long-term plans after getting to Duna involve taking a piece of it and returning home to my family with it. After I prove to them that I achieved my lifelong goal - flying to Duna, exploring the surface, and returning to Kerbin - I may return to Duna to stay for a while. At least there, the ascent vehicle won't be knocked over by a dust storm (since the atmosphere's too thin to provide that much force).

  • And if, by some unlucky chance, the ascent craft tips over and is rendered useless, I'll at least have buddies there rather than live on Duna all alone.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y5-D299-5H30M

 

Basically nothing to do but work out and charge our chloroplasts until Mason's crew gets here. Speaking of which, he emailed me and said that he and his crew are on escape trajectory out of Kerbin and heading for Dres now. He also said that he's coming in a Mk. V interplanetary travel pod. One may ask "Why is that such a big deal?" Well, below are some stats I think one should know.

Interplanetary Travel Pod Comparison
  MARK IVb MARK V
Delta-V 6977 m/s 7450 m/s
Antennae 2 x (2G) 2 x (100G)
Docking Claw Clamped Port

* not to mention the fuel tanks are easier to get to in the Mk. V

 

We already have a Mk. IVb stationed in Dres orbit, but I think we prefer to take the one with the highest Delta-V and communication range. I also hear that another Moho fleet has made it - we finally got an ore scanner in orbit after two tries. However, Werner has feared that the fuel truck we sent there may not have enough Delta-V to land safely on the surface. So, we upgraded the design to have more fuel and sent the modified version in a parking orbit above Kerbin - awaiting the right time to launch. Hopefully, it can land safely on Moho's surface and begin ore transport to Moho Station. It's currently unoccupied since Mission Control wants a smooth operation there going and a good chance of returning home before we send anyone there.

* when that comes, we're putting them in the last part of Moho Station and blasting it off along with a Mk. V return pod (or VI or VII, depending on how far we go on research). 

 

Mission Control is also making supply runs to Eve and Duna, too - and we still have a fleet en route to Jool orbit as well some relays inbound for Eeloo. This is so that, when we get around to sending people there, everything we need will be there waiting for us (except for permanent bases, but that comes later).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D61-5H30M

 

Over 200 days until Mason's crew gets here to relieve mine. We're also getting a self-mining ore transport so we won't have to continuously rely on a truck and a probe hogging Rosly's Whim when we can send some people there. Too bad we aren't getting the extra relays and the battery pack, but I hear Mason's going to make his crew's stay more permanent - not that his crew won't have a means of departure, of course. After all, what's the point of going to a planet if there's no plan to come back?

  • I actually had an interesting debate with a software engineer named Richard about this. He once brought a compelling argument that we can put maximum-security prisons on such planets, but I countered with the fact that innocent people get released all the time - not to mention guards have to be replaced every once in a while.
    • Richard's currently serving time for cyber extortion. No surprise this would happen, considering that his older brother got arrested for drag racing with a fuel truck.

 

Meanwhile, several ships we sent years ago have arrived at Jool and Eeloo.

  • JOOL: Two out of three relays have established a secure parking orbit in high Jool orbit - the third had only one xenon engine and the weak impulse failed it. There are also a couple of Mk. IVb interplanetary travel pods in low Jool orbit and ore scanners in polar orbits around Laythe and Vall; we got lucky with that one probe that went dead.
  • EELOO: Had to ditch the relay due to weak af impulse, but there's a scanner in polar orbit.

 

A fleet has also arrived at Duna, preparing us for colonization. The ore scanner satellite above Duna managed to get this picture of the three-manned lander during the field test.

b6FjYO6.jpg

 

The good news is, after refueling, the lander successfully ascended to 90 km above Duna's surface with 983 m/s of delta-v to spare. The bad news is that we cannot do another landing test; since the parachutes were already deployed, we risk destroying the lander unless an engineer is there to repack it. Fortunately, when I fly to Duna in the about-to-be-commissioned U.S.S. Mark Watney (same design as the Defiant), There will definitely be at least one engineer on the ship. This is especially important for the ore transport probe.

  • Which reminds me, I wish we put ladders on it so the engineer can repack all 12 parachutes without floating off.

 

f3TLQHC.jpg

  • You can guarantee that I will have this view to look forward to.

 

Aside from the Mark Watney, we're sending an ore converter module and a surface base there. Once we land, I'm having someone in my crew take a picture of me on Duna and email it to my parents and little brother back home.

 

On the Moho front, we've repeatedly tried sending a refueling truck there.

  • 1 to 3 - ran out of delta-V before making a parking orbit
  • 4 - got destroyed when making the escape burn.
  • 5 (NOT YET MADE ESCAPE BURN) - we'll have a higher orbit so that the periapsis doesn't drop too low during the Kerbin escape burn.
    • Weird that I have no problems transporting station parts, but it's a pain in the ass to take a refueling truck of similar weight.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D293-3H00M

 

You know the old saying, "A picture has a thousand words?" Well, there is only one word to describe this picture: YAHOO!

2aUL4Td.jpg

 

Captain Mason and his crew made it - and with about 4900 m/s of delta-V to spare. After his pod docked, he and I got out of our ships and had Bruce take a picture of the two of us floating above the Defiant. I stayed outside while everybody else transferred to their respective ships.

DEFIANT CREW ASSIGNMENTS
CURRENT PREVIOUS
  • Captain Mason
  • Tayo
  • Q
  • Olivia
  • Quinn
  • Eli
  • Sam
  • Captain Red
  • Chyna
  • Andrew
  • Bruce
  • Lizard
  • Jayme
  • Kyle

 

Sadly, the good news of our awaited return came with bad news: the transfer window back home doesn't open for at least a year. Doctor Chyna suggested that we fly straight to Duna from here, but the transfer window THERE doesn't open for another two. Besides, I'll be getting a new crew on my first manned Duna expedition.

  • And I've already decided who will be landing with me on Duna: Chyna (scientist, and medical officer), and Alex (software engineer)
    • (2220 m/s Dres to Duna) + (810 m/s Duna to Kerbin) = 3030 m/s total necessary for something that will take longer than a direct flight to Kerbin (2090 m/s)

 

At least we can catch up on our ore runs while Mason's crew settles on the surface. In the meantime, we're trying AGAIN to send a fuel truck to Moho. It is second-to-last key to exploring the planet; the last one is a return pod with enough delta-V to make it there (and, preferably, back without refueling). Once all the pieces are in place, we can start making ore runs to Moho Station and then send people there. I'm sure there are other things we can do to colonize Moho, but we haven't even begun; without that truck on the ground, the station's useless.

  • We're also launching a base and an ore converter module to Duna; the base will land, but the converter will await the Mark Watney before docking with it and beginning refueling operations.

 

To anyone who's following, what should I do?

  1. Head straight back to Kerbin in one year. 
    1. If I do, I will have plenty of Delta-V to spare when I establish LKO. It then should be an easy detachment of the rocket and deploying an inflatable heat shield (and parachutes) for the splashdown.
    2. Most of my crew (not Mason's) have expressed a strong desire to return home.
  2. Head for Duna in two years, then start colonization operations
    1. If I do, I'll have to start making monopropellant for the pod before leaving Dres - that's a big ship, and it uses a lot on docking alone.
    2. Also, we spend longer out in space starting colonization efforts and waiting for the next transfer window back home.
      1. That also means I won't be in command of the Mark Watney when it launches.
    3. Delta-V shouldn't be a problem if I take this route - assuming I use the same pod and not refuel while in Duna orbit.
      1. Even though the Mark Watney will have plenty of fuel in its reserves, there's a good chance I'll have to leave before it arrives.

 

ucc1Xix.jpg

That large nuclear-powered rocket attached to the Defiant is the return pod. That bad boy is what will get us home (or Duna, and then home).

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D298-2H30M

 

Sergeant Quinn here: Captain Red has allowed me to write my mission report in this entry. I then emailed it to him before he copied and pasted it.

 

Tayo, Sam, and I took a three-man lander to Colorado Base and spend a few days refueling it with a mini-bus before sending it back into Dres orbit unoccupied. When the sun rose, we then took a mini-bus directly into the canyon. It was tricky, but thank God I had MechJeb's stability control switch on. It tipped over once - luckily it didn't break - but we were able to prop it back up thanks to Dres' low gravity and the combined strength of three EVA suit jetpacks. We stopped a few times during the drive, eventually deciding to park in the geographic center of the canyon (the base is 8.3 km from our location) before writing our reports.

3SGMQ6W.jpg

 

k5NJUfx.jpg

 

We plan to get drive out of the canyon and leave the mini-bus there before landing the ascent vehicle to take us back to the Defiant. Good thing we have "big boxes of plutonium" to not only keep warm while we're driving at night (we can, but Captain Mason has ordered us to not drive while it's dark) but listen to Sam's disco.

 

The bad news is that Colorado Base now won't have a refueling-capable rover for landers that arrive there. The good news is that there will be room for a REAL refueling truck in the next wave. The next transfer window from Kerbin to Dres opens in 211 days, so that means only Dresden base is open for permanent surface operations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D325-2H00M

 

Sergeant Quinn and her friends made it to the other end of the canyon - but the rover took some damage in the process. As far as I know, the rover lost:

  • Two out of five solar panels
  • A rear headlight
  • A non-essential structural element - mainly there for protection for an essential.
    • Thank God it wasn't an RTG or the refueling claw - or worse, a part with someone in it.

 

Sam even had the nerve to jump across the canyon and plant a flag on the other end when they reached the top - as seen in this picture below. 

glTYWoj.jpg

 

Speaking of the other side, once Quinn learned that her parking spot had an insufficient ore concentration, she had to drive all the way around the foot of the canyon until she found a nice slope to put the lander. Once it arrived, she gassed it up and got it into low Dres orbit. At the same time, we were testing our new self-mining ore transport...

 

... which died two days after landing. Due to the weak solar panels and low power capacity, the batteries died during the mining and converting stage - rendering it useless. Aside from a refueling truck to put near the Canyon base, Mason's crew will be getting a Mk. V ore transport - one with:

  • More powerful solar panels
  • Higher power capacity
  • RTGs

 

My crew and I are still undecided on what to do, which is why we're filling up the pod with monopropellant in case we decide to go to Duna. I've also been catching up on some reading; I recently subscribed to this interesting mystery novel. It's about strange things happening going on in the Kerbol system, and it's up to a crazyhead pilot, a disciplined admiral, a cautious engineer, and an emotional scientist to find out what.

Feel free to post questions/concerns/comments/reactions to this novel. It's a work in progress, but that's what keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D346-2H30M

 

My crew undocked with the Defiant so we can get into our parking orbit around Dres and create our maneuver node with the MechJeb maneuver planner. We originally planned to head straight home; however, we unanimously changed our minds and decided to go to Duna first.

  • KERBIN: (1y362d waiting period) + (1y267d transit) = 3y204d until we reach Kerbin's SOI
  • DUNA: (34d waiting period) + (1y127d transit) = 1y161d until Duna.

 

While this means we can get a lot more done faster, this also means no space station - hence, no refueling port - when we get there. On the other hand, the pod should still have enough fuel for the trip back home. We could also dock the ore converter module to the pod, but that also means we'll have to send another one when the Mark Watney arrives.

  • Lizard also noted that we can dock the three-man lander to the pod and it will look Apollo-Style - a perfect photography opportunity.

 

Speaking of space station parts, Mission Control decided to add a "battery pack" for Moho Station. More specifically, it consists of:

  • 4 RTGs
  • Monoprop and reaction wheels for docking
  • 24 Z-4K batteries
    • That's 96,000 charge.

When I emailed them asking why, they replied that they needed to get Part 8 of the station lowered down so docking ports are more easily accessible without the panels getting in the way. Another reason was that the Convert-O-Tron 250 would take up a lot of power - so an extra boost is needed. Alex then took a picture of the part and made it a viral meme, and everyone laughed.

lvmeyIv.jpg

  • I don't think Moho Space Station's going to run out of power anytime soon, but Mission Control's not taking any chances.
    • Especially not with the station's orbital period of 39 minutes (frequent sunny-side exposures), and it already has a power capacity of 61,845 charge.
    • It also has A LOT of Gigantor solar panels and RTGs already there

 

After my crew and I arrive at Duna, I'll take two others with me down to the surface to explore and inspect the surface base when it gets there. It will make for an interesting chat when the Mark Watney crew gets there and we wait for the transfer window. Hopefully, by then, Moho exploration would have begun and the station would be fully operational. 

 

I've just begun Chapter 3 of the novel I downloaded (we've been busy, okay). I wonder why anyone would want to steal Bob's dirty laundry - or kill Jeb's student? I'm guessing it's to frame Jeb for causing a fatality (via bad piloting), but my gut tells me that there's more to it than that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D382-2H30M

 

We're now in a Mk. V travel pod in Kerbol orbit, en route to Duna. We have to do a fine-tuning burn 271 days from now, but we're still destined to get caught in Duna's SOI. Judging by the Kerbal Alarm Clock, we should have a spare return pod (a Mk. Vb, I may add) - as it is regulation to have at least one standby pod in orbit of the planet in question - a surface base, and an ore converter module waiting for us when we get there.

  • I'd also like to place an order for another ore converter module.
    • One will be put on the pod for its own refueling purposes - and it can also be used for refueling other vessels that dock with the pod (especially a lander).
    • Another one to wait for the Mark Watney. It will stay stowed until the station arrives, then it shall dock with the station.
      • I'm trashing the first one, as Mission Control calculated it's most likely to break during the rendezvous

 

Back on Dres, Mason and five of his crew have moved to Dresden Base. Sam, the sixth, was to stay in the Defiant and made sure everything was working right in orbit. This also means that we removed the refueling truck from Rosly's Whim and now the ore transport has to share some space with the three-man lander; seems annoying to keep wasting fuel just to get out of a probe's way. Mason, Tayo, and Eli will take the truck tomorrow to find that spot for the ore transport. To be honest, though Tayo was enjoying himself in the now female-majority base (Eli's still in the truck), Mason seemed quite eager to get out of the base for a while.

  • Lizard, Andrew, and Chyna gave me their opinion that Q, Quinn, and Liv would turn Dresden Base into "Plastics Base" while the guys looked for a new landing spot. I don't know why they would think that; the base is made of many different metal alloys and Kevlar - and don't forget non-conductive insulation between the crew occupancy section and the mining section. The only "plastics" that I'm aware of are the plastic, semi-durable sample containers in the lab.
    • Chyna said it was a reference to this movie called "Mean Girls," and asked to download it into the pod's entertainment computers. The women in my pod voted yes, but the men said no - I guess it's up to me to break the tie.
    • To help me decide better, and since we're going to be cooped up in here for a while, I ordered both sides to prepare for a civil debate to be held in six hours.
  • Besides, Mission Control approved the excursion roster as long as Dresden base had a pilot and a scientist:
    • One pilot - Quinn
    • One scientist - Liv and Q
      • Engineer unnecessary, since they're not drilling now.
      • Besides, the guys don't plan to go farther than 300 meters from the base.

 

I hear our new Moho truck is 32 days from arriving at Moho's SOI - let's hope it has the delta-V to make a safe landing at a specific spot with a good ore concentration. That, plus pod, plus final parts of Moho Space Station (extra battery piece + crew) equals Moho becoming ours - not that I would want to retire there. 

 

Reading my mystery novel, I stopped at the part where Bob learned that the space station Val was on just got hit by an asteroid while in Jool orbit. Honestly, I think losing a girlfriend can be more heartbreaking - not to mention Val is not on the list of people who were found dead (or alive).

  • If I didn't know any better, I'd say the asteroid collision was DELIBERATE. However, that means that there were at least TEN possible targets and any one of them could be who the killer wanted to die. It's also possible that it was an inside job; after all, you'd think the station would have seen that coming and try to dodge it before the impact.

To anyone who reads this entry, I recommend also reading "A Mystery Beyond Science." It's a work in progress, but it's really suspenseful. If Alfred Hitchcock were still alive, some would say that HE wrote it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y7-D385-1H45M

 

Mason found a nice landing spot (1*31'35" N, 132*29'47" W) in sight of Dresden Base to put our ore transport probe. He emailed me saying that Sam "burned down the Defiant," but I know he was just kidding; (aside from him telling me) how does one burn down a space station in orbit? 

 

In my pod, "Yes" won after the men were convinced there would be hilarious scenes. Turns out, Mean Girls had us all RIML (Rolling in Microgravity Laughing).* One thing I don't get is how Regina survived a bus hitting her at 10 meters per second; the medical officer said that she should have died instantly. We agreed with her, especially since Kyle read about a grown man back home who died after getting hit by a mini-bus at 8 meters per second; the driver was checking his Instagram, and he forgot to turn on the lights.

  • You can't exactly say "Rolling on the floor laughing" when there's no gravity to pull you to a floor.
  • Bruce had the idea of prank-calling some buddies back home, but how are you going to call anyone from this far? Even with 200G of antenna power, the signal will STILL take forever to travel - not to mention it can be messed up in the transmission.

 

Aside from fleets to Duna and Moho - and some more things for Dres - I hear we're sending more supplies to Eve. We have a Mk. IV ore collector in Gilly orbit, but we may have to trash it since the last Mk. IV died of battery starvation. So, we're sending a Mk. V collector and a Mk. Vb return pod. I also have an idea for a Gilly lander, but that will also require refueling upon landing. I'm considering this truck to Gilly, but some of us think it's too risky due to extremely low gravity.

lGMEYO3.jpg

  1. Is it a good idea to send this truck to Gilly?
    1. If so, how do I minimize the risk of it getting too bouncy?
      1. That also means I can send a Mk. III ore transport, too.

 

The one thing we DON'T have is an Eve ascent vehicle. More specifically, a vehicle that can:

  • Dock with a space station
    • At least after getting OFF Eve - if necessary, we can send a smaller vehicle to the EAV (Eve Ascent Vehicle) before it enters Eve's atmosphere.
  • Carry three or more people at a time.
  • Have science, good communications, and power generation
  • Have enough Delta-V to make it into Eve orbit (most likely in multiple stages) and then rendezvousing with a space station.
  • Survive Eve's atmosphere during re-entry.
  • Allow for people to EVA on and off it - ladders?
  • Remain stable while landed

 

We're also thinking of ways to send rovers down to Eve. The last time we sent a mini-bus there, it got destroyed on re-entry. I'm open to ideas for the EAV - as well as how else to prepare an Eve fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

STARDATE: Y8-D228-0H30M

 

We just fine-tuned our closest approach to Duna, and are expected to arrive at the sphere of influence in 298 days. Perfect for us since a new base, two ore converters (one for the pod*, one for the station), and a spare interplanetary travel pod. will be arriving before we do.

  • We're disposing of one of the ore converters when it's time to head back home.

 

I also hear the guys at the spacecraft hangar developed a new robot. It's equipped with reusable scientific instrument and a Communotron 88-88 for long-range control; the delivery capsule also has an RA-15 relay. After slapping the delivery capsule on a Moho station part rocket (not so creative, but at least it works) - and modified it with more monopropellant for the ascent (if done wrong, it wobbles past the point of regaining control) - Mission Control already sent three of those things up into space

  • Chyna (named after the Defiant's medical officer): Laythe
    • We noticed the transfer window to Jool was open, and we seized our chance.
  • Wally: Eve
    • Seems fitting, since Wall-E was EVE'S boyfriend in that movie (yes, we brought it)
  • Dedication: Duna

GOqSh23.jpg

If you look closely at the photo, you'll notice parachutes on the delivery capsule. This is because it's designed to land on planets with atmospheres - so we put on heat shields. 

 

Besides robots, other planets in our solar system have other fleets ready for them. Here's a "grocery list" of what they're getting.

  • EVE: A Mk. Vb return pod, a Mk. V ore transport, Wally.
  • DUNA: (At next transfer window) fuel truck for Ike, an Ike lander, Dedication (rover)
  • DRES: Fuel truck for the canyon, another three-man lander, Mk. V ore transport (since Mk. IV died), 
  • EELOO: A Mk. Vb return pod.

 

Mission Control was also kind enough to email me its to-do list for space exploration - ordered from easiest to hardest (NOT in chronological order):

  • Select next Dres crew.
    • Not for replacement, but for expansion.
  • Send the U.S.S. Mark Watney to Duna
  • Get the Moho truck near the equator.
  • Start Moho mining operations.
  • Finish Moho Space Station
    • That will also require picking the crew
  • Build an Eve Ascent Vehicle capable of carrying 3 or more people at a time.
  • Build interplanetary, two-way, medium-occupancy (3-10 people) SSTOs
  • Start planning manned Jool operations
    • Which may require the SSTOs listed above.

 

To anyone who's reading, any help is welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gilly rover will definitely need RCS thrusters. As for the EAV, Kraken help you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

The gilly rover will definitely need RCS thrusters. As for the EAV, Kraken help you.

Thanks @obney kerman, I'll be sure to load the fuel truck with monopropellant (it's usually empty when I lift off). And you're probably right about the EAV - Kraken help me.

 

Would you be interested in reading a mystery novel I'm working on in the KSP Fanworks section? It's called "A Mystery Beyond Science." Feel free to post questions/comments/concerns if you want to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now