Geonovast

Falcon 9 Style Re-USE (Not "Refurbished")

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This mission report took me a few weeks of failing before I got it to... mostly work.

Here is an image of two command pods docked together.  They were launched from the same rocket... but not at the same time.

dadscreenshot0.png

Let me explain.

We all see the term "fully reusable" thrown around here on the forums, which typically refers to a rocket or spaceplane that can land back at the KSC for a full (minus fuel and payload) refund.

Then I saw this:

And it got me thinking.  Landing, recovering, getting all the money, then using the money to launch another one could more aptly be referred to as "refurbishable."  So I set out to built a Falcon 9 - style (Note: this is in no way meant to be a replica of the Falcon 9) rocket that could be reusable.

In a nutshell:

  1. Fuel rocket
  2. Launch rocket
  3. Put payload to orbit
  4. Land booster
  5. Pick up booster
  6. Carry booster to launchpad
  7. Attach new payload
  8. Fuel rocket
  9. Return to step 1

 

 

 

Launching the rocket for the first time.

Fueling:

AS49.png

Launching:

AS76.png

Separation:

AS122.png

Orbit injection:

AS86.png

Orbit:

AS118.png

After boostback:

AS140.png

Re-entry:

AS165.png

Landing:

AS180.png

Purge excess fuel and close gridfins:

AS182.png

Deploy payload:

AS188.png

De-orbit second stage:

AS192.png

Full Video:

 

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Now we're going to pick up the booster, and carry it back to the launchpad.

Drive out to landing site:

AS202.pngAS215.png

Line everything up:

AS232.pngAS246.png

Clamp and retract legs:

AS259.png

Drive it back over to the pad:

AS277.pngAS313.png

Line everything up:

AS330.png

Snap in!:

AS368.png

Back off and we'll park the recovery vehicle by the pad:

AS372.png

AS384.png

Full Video:

 

Note: I did the snapping-back-into-launchpad bit several times before recording it (nearly) flawlessly.... but of course it was twisted when I was recording.  Oh well, still worked.

 

Edited by Geonovast

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Now that booster needs a new payload!

Let's get one.  Why not send up another pod?

AS408.png

Pick it up with a giant forklift:

AS412.pngAS420.png

AS433.pngAS439.png

Now we'll carefully drive it over to the launchpad:

AS463.pngAS494.png

Lift'r up:

AS499.png

And set'r down:

AS508.png

After we back up and park next to the recovery vehicle, we'll make sure it's on straight:

AS512.pngAS516.png

AS526.pngAS527.png

All ready for refueling!:

AS529.png

Full Video:

 

 

 

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Launch prep for the second launch

First, the pilot needs to securely attach the new payload to the rocket: (This was done for the first launch too, I just didn't put in the screenshots.  It's in the video though.

AS536.pngAS547.png

AS549.pngAS555.png

Then he'll climb up into the pod:

AS555.pngAS564.png

Back off the gantry, and refuel the rocket:

AS570.pngAS575.png

Launch again!  Langer is not too pleased:

AS599.png

Separation:

AS617.png

Get payload to orbit:

AS624.pngAS651.png

Boostback:

AS672.png

Re-entry:

AS697.png

Landing:

AS712.png

Fuel purge:

AS714.png

Deploy payload, and de-orbit second stage:

AS721.pngAS725.png

Full Video:

 

Alright... let's go get it again.

Recovery vehicle dispatched to grab the booster again:

AS754.pngAS774.png

Clamp and retract legs:

AS792.pngAS800.png

Carry it back to launchpad:

AS816.pngAS827.png

Line everything up (This one was a little smoother):

AS851.pngAS868.png

AS878.png

Locked in!:

AS882.png

Back off and park:

AS886.pngAS897.png

Full Video:

 

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Time for another payload.  No pod this time, we'll do a comm satellite into higher orbit.

I forgot the hit the Automated Screenshots button at the start of this one, so I don't have any screenshots of it picking this one up.  Just imagine the lift driving out to the end of the runway and picking it up off the stand (or watch the video).

The bugs I'd been dealing with also hit on this one.  The Infernal Robotics 90 degree bug hit, so I lost the ability to strut the second stage to the booster.  I also had an issue with FMRS, so I lost the booster on this one as well.  FMRS isn't too fond of running launches that aren't "new".  Which is fine, since I wasn't doing any more, but it still would have been nice to land the booster for a third time.

Bringing the payload out to the booster:

AS899.pngAS914.png

Load it up!:

AS932.pngAS938.png

AS943.png

Back off and park:

AS952.pngAS957.png

 

 

Edited by Geonovast

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Final ;.; launch:

First we'll fix the orientation of the second stage.  Need to flip it all the way around since I picked it up from the wrong side:

AS964.pngAS974.png

Hmpf :mad:.  Fine, we'll go without the struts, since we can't get up there!:

AS995.png

Refuel:

AS1020.png

Ignition!:

AS1039.pngAS1043.png

For some reason, right about 30km, the air grabs the fairing and just whips the rocket around.  Probably something to do with all the phantom forces I've been dealing with this whole time.

AS1056.png

I managed to mostly correct it by the time of automatic stage separation at 40 km:

AS1059.png

Stage Separation.  The booster continues to spin around.  And since FMRS crashed, we just let it tumble into oblivion:

AS1060.pngAS1065.png

Let's push into orbit:

AS1072.png

Pop the fairing:

AS1073.png

Deploy payload when in transfer orbit:

AS1108.pngAS1110.png

Circularize and de-orbit second stage:

AS1120.pngAS1123.png

Full Video:

 

I forgot the AS toggle completely for the rendevous, so you'll have to suffer with just the video of my "I'm clearly rusty at this" level of docking:

Note: the ejection of the service module on one of the pods right before contact was accidental.  I was moving the camera, and apparently letting go of the right mouse button after doing so right on top of an AGEX button is the same as left clicking on said button.

 

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Really cool @Geonovast! What mods did you use? Can I get craft files? Can you run your space program off this? Can you play through a whole save only using that rocket, and only one copy of it to launch everything?

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10 hours ago, Kerbalstar said:

What mods did you use?

Uh, all of them?  I'm not sure what all is involved in this, but I can get you a list of everything I have installed on here.  This was done in 1.4.5 btw.

10 hours ago, Kerbalstar said:

Can I get craft files?

Maybe.  I might still have some tweaking to do.  Thinking about trying to re-use the second stage somehow.  I think I'll need some more mods for that.

10 hours ago, Kerbalstar said:

Can you run your space program off this? Can you play through a whole save only using that rocket, and only one copy of it to launch everything?

Probably, if you had the patience.  I don't.

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1 minute ago, Geonovast said:

Uh, all of them?  I'm not sure what all is involved in this, but I can get you a list of everything I have installed on here.  This was done in 1.4.5 btw.

Maybe.  I might still have some tweaking to do.  Thinking about trying to re-use the second stage somehow.  I think I'll need some more mods for that.

Probably, if you had the patience.  I don't.

Okay.

Thanks! Sounds cool!

Gotcha.

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Very cool project. I wondered which version of Infernal Robotics you're using, but then I realized you're on KSP 1.4.1... I stopped using IR since it 's either extremely wobbly or parts tend to go kaboom after coming out of time warp

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cool! I wish I had a working version other than 1.0.5 (A weird bug(?) broke all other copies)

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Okay, this is epic.

Here's a challenge: Make it to the Mun, land, and then take off and land back on Kerbin

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Very cool project and I'm impressed all the robotics worked without any issues.  I always run into problems when I get too much going with Infernal.  What mod are those wheels from?

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Posted (edited)
On 3/4/2019 at 1:58 PM, Barzon Kerman said:

For reusing the second stage @Geonovast, you could mount the engines radially, with the engine pods from Near Future Spacecraft?

Or just use Thumpers Thuds.  This is finally piquing my interest, I may try to re-use a second stage.  I doubt I could do it propulsively, though.  I'll have to use parachutes for that one.

 

On 3/6/2019 at 5:53 PM, The_Cat_In_Space said:

Okay, this is epic.

Here's a challenge: Make it to the Mun, land, and then take off and land back on Kerbin

The whole thing?  The booster can't even make it to orbit.  It barely has enough fuel to get back to the KSC.  However, I could probably make a very small payload that could get to the Mun and back, re-dock with the second stage, then land the second stage.

 

On 3/8/2019 at 11:21 PM, DoubleUU said:

What mod are those wheels from?

Kerbal Foundries, if I'm not mistaken.  Scaled up a bit.

 

On 3/8/2019 at 11:21 PM, DoubleUU said:

I always run into problems when I get too much going with Infernal.

 

On 2/27/2019 at 6:05 AM, infinite_monkey said:

I stopped using IR since it 's either extremely wobbly

 

Oh I feel your pain.

Edited by Geonovast
Brain fert

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I was meaning have radial engines replacing the normal second stage engine, and have a heatshield in place of it, then the stage can be landed however you want.

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4 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

I was meaning have radial engines replacing the normal second stage engine, and have a heatshield in place of it, then the stage can be landed however you want.

Oh wow, I totally meant Thuds, which are radial.  Not thumpers.  Derp!

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On 8/8/2019 at 2:58 PM, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

Hey @Geonovast, what happened to the capsules? Have you gone back and recovered them yet?

Uh... probably?  I'm sure I re-entered them and recovered them.  Not that it mattered, this was a separate save with a single purpose and it really didn't matter what happened to them afterword.

I am contemplating re-doing this... but a bit better.  I'm hoping that either the random 90 degree off issue with IR is gone, or the BG robotics would be good enough for this as well.

I've also successfully hovered and translated a rocket after landing it, so it's possible that I wouldn't even need the transport truck and the rocket can put itself back on the pad.

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23 minutes ago, Geonovast said:

I've also successfully hovered and translated a rocket after landing it, so it's possible that I wouldn't even need the transport truck and the rocket can put itself back on the pad.

Whaaaaaa???? That's cool!

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