RocketMan-Explorer

Rocket Man's Grand Tour (RMGT) - (Chapter 2/3: Rise of the Spud/Dawn of the Griffin)

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"We have the possibility. We have the technology. We have the capability. As Supreme Commander of the Kerbin forces, I believe our planet shall commit itself to landing a Kerbol on every known planetary body, and returning them safely to Kerbin. 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? Have as much time as you like. Just get it done."

- Commander Rocket Man, January 18, 2019 (OOC: The date I started my save)

Hello, all you wonderful people of the KSP forums! I'm Rocket Man, and this is my first ever Mission Report! It will take place in Career mode.

The Difficulty is custom, but with CommNet and Plasma Blackout enabled (OOC: Originally, I would have just stuck it on Easy mode, but I really hated the idea of going without CommNet), and there is an upper limit to how much G-force Kerbals can tolerate. Other than that, the rest of the settings are the same as if it was in Easy mode.

Missions will be encased in spoilers to cut down on the length of the page that the site would need to render. The version of the game is KSP 1.5.1. I would have gone for 1.6 had I known it existed, but by the time I had installed all the mods in preparation for the game, KSP 1.6 came out. Instead of going through the hassle of reinstalling everything, I just decided to start it while KSP was in 1.5.1.

Oh, and also, no Jeb, Bill, Bob, or Val. Sorry, guys. As much as I like them (and believe me, I do like them), it would make more sense if the careers had original Kerbonauts.

Spoiler: Suit rankings (I love TextureReplacer).

Spoiler

Each Kerbonaut has a specially made flight suit and EVA suit. The color of the suit depends on two factors: their career, and their experience level.

Pilot

  • (P0-P3) = Red
  • P4+ = Orange

Scientist

  • P0-P3 = Blue
  • P4+ = Purple

Engineer

  • P0-P3 = Yellow
  • P4+ = Green

Tourists (T) do not participate in any spacecraft, but they do wear a specialized white suit with blue trim.

Spoiler: Mods installed in game.

Spoiler

RMGT (Rocket Man's Grand Tour) uses a total of about 13 mods + 2 TextureReplacer suit packs. (subject to change). I will update this list whenever new mods are installed. Each mod also has the corresponding version number, since some of these mods are updated for 1.6 or later.

  • Module Manager v3.1.1 (only for configs and running other mods)
  • CommunityCategoryKit (to support other mods)
  • SCANSat v18.9
  • DMagic Orbital Science v1.4.1 
  • MechJeb v2.8.1.0 
  • Kerbal Inventory System v1.1.6
  • Kerbal Attachment System v1.1
  • TextureReplacer v3.5 (2 subdependencies): 
    • Colored EVA and IVA suits for KSP 1.5.1
    • Klassic Kolored Suits
  • Scatterer v0.0336
  • Chatterer v0.9.96 (intended for KSP 1.5 but still works in 1.5.1 anyway)
  • Final Frontier v1.5.0-3380 (released for KSP 1.6, but compiled for 1.5.1)
  • Kerbal Konstructs v1.4.5.45
  • kOS v1.1.5.2
  • Kerbalism v2.1.0.0  removed because it was literally making me rage at my computer.
3

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(L-R) The first three Kerbonauts of the RMGT program, P0 Malul Kerman, P0 Dihat Kerman, and P0 Lutop Kerman, in red flight suits. All three are pilots. Until newer spacecraft are developed, the RMGT does not need scientists or engineers.

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Same as first photo, except with EVA suits on. 

Spoiler: Nimbus program, first attempts at suborbital spaceflight.

Spoiler

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After P0 Lutop performed several instrument calibrations and ground capsule tests with the Nimbus capsule (indirectly performing the first EVA on Kerbin in the process), it was time for the flight of Nimbus 1.

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Nimbus 1 with Malul inside sits patiently on the launchpad.

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The countdown hits zero, the RT-5 is ignited, and Nimbus 1 leaps off the launch pad in a column of flame.

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As Nimbus 1 passes the 5 km mark, a black and white camera on the bottom of the booster catches a quick view of the Shores near KSC.

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From 7 km ASL (above sea level), Nimbus 1 rolls to the right, and Malul gets a glimpse at the KSC runway. Nimbus 1 reached an apoapsis of 14 kilometers.

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Malul's view of the Blue Bay, about 30 seconds before the splashdown of Nimbus 1.

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Nimbus 1 splashes down safely in the Hydrazine Bay, about 6 km downrange of the KSC. Malul's safe. Drenched in saltwater, yes, but safe.

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Nimbus 2 (with an RT-10 upper stage) piloted by Dihat, was the first mission to break the sound barrier.

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Dihat's view of the ocean from the capsule. Nimbus 2 sent Dihat to an apoapsis of 39 kilometers ASL.

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Nimbus 2 splashed down in the Hydrazine Bay, 34 km downrange of the KSC

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Nimbus 3, piloted by Lutop, tears off the launch pad in an attempt to reach space.

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Because of its three SRBs and its ascent trajectory, Nimbus 3 reaches obscene speeds - screaming through the atmosphere at over 1500 meters per second.

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The Overshoot Island chain imaged by Nimbus 3, 55 km ASL. The Island Airfield is located on the largest island in the image.

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Lutop Kerman: First Kerbal in space! Just after this photo of Antelav Island was taken, Nimbus 3 reached 70 km, making Lutop the first Kerbal in space!

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The Kraken Range imaged by Nimbus 3, from 90 km. (OOC: The Kraken Range is called that way because flying a plane to get to KSC by the Runway 09 approach is practically impossible. Take my word for it.)

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The Western Range imaged by Nimbus 3 from 101 km, nearing Nimbus 3's apoapsis of 118 km.

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Flames of plasma lick the windows of the capsule, and after a tense reentry, Nimbus 3 splashed down in the Hydrazine Bay 62 km downrange, and Lutop returned home with a hero's welcome, praise, and satisfaction. However, the administration were not satisfied with Nimbus 3's reentry path and orientation, and stricter rules will have to be enacted before the next rocket launch.

(OOC: When I say tense reentry, what I really mean is this was probably one of the scariest reentry moments in KSP that I have ever had. I didn't think Nimbus 3 would reach space, so I didn't include a decoupling mechanism on the bottom RT-5 booster, meaning that when Nimbus 3 reentered, it was heading prograde. Let me tell you, I don't think I've ever worked as hard in KSP than when I was frantically mashing the keyboard to save Lutop's life. The relief I got when the parachute opened was probably one of my best feelings. I also realized that Nimbus 3 pulled nearly 15 Gs on chute deployment. The fact that Lutop didn't pass out is something I consider a minor miracle.

Along with instituting stricter precautions, the RMGT administration have decided to establish a spreadsheet for every crew member. The spreadsheet can be found here, at docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HU0Km0-djTFpX3xC1svhdX7AiIB0rrcaxOrDJAFNb3k/

Thank you for watching! Comments, questions, and concerns are appreciated. Until next time!

- Rocket Man

Edited by RocketMan-Explorer
removed Kerbalism.
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Really liking this @RocketMan-Explorer! Like the writing, the gameplay, and those nifty suits!

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Thank you for your kind words, @Kerbalstar!

Edited by RocketMan-Explorer
fixed
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OK, there are two things that I have to say.

#1 - I removed Kerbalism because it was making me rage.

#2 - My entire save got deleted, so I will have to start again. I'm really sorry, but I'll have to scrap this idea and create a new version of RMGT. Rest assured, the goal won't change.

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10 hours ago, RocketMan-Explorer said:

OK, there are two things that I have to say.

#1 - I removed Kerbalism because it was making me rage.

#2 - My entire save got deleted, so I will have to start again. I'm really sorry, but I'll have to scrap this idea and create a new version of RMGT. Rest assured, the goal won't change.

Sounds good! Sorry the save got deleted, though!

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Finally, after a long break due to schoolwork, test studying, and overall loss of energy, I'm back! Started a new save called RMGT Redux. New spaceships should come out tomorrow. 

Installed 5 new mods: Spectra Visual Enhancements v1.1.7, UnKerballed start, Kerbal Health, RasterProp Monitor, and Modular Launch Pads. Ran into some problems with Spectra and UnKerballed start.

New missions will start tomorrow!

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Chapter 2: Rise of the Spud/Dawn of the Griffin

And we're back again!

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After a bizarre anomaly in the fabric of reality/the entire space program being a hoax of CGI/a bizarrely persistent visual anomaly/a tear in the space-time continuum the old Space Center was demolished due to the cancellation of the old space program, and a new space program, RMGT, was established (at the same site as the old one). Several instances of software corruption/collusion with an unknown anomally colloquially known as a "Kraken" disease, insanity, and illness meant that Malul, Lutop, and Dihat (who had returned to the KSC site) were quietly sent to quarantine cells for a case of "space madness"/"reassigned" to South Polar Base given a "vacation" at an undisclosed spa for an indefinite period of time. Jeb, Bill, Val, and Bob, who had appeared instantly in the game files/miraculously teleported into the save/hitchhiked on a plane/been replaced by their doppelgangers been on extended leave since the closing of the first RMGT, were fired. 

(OOC: continuing with the No-Original-4 rule)

After constructing the KSC's facilities and being granted 200,000 Kerbucks, RMGT hired three pilots to start the program: Jorsen, Shergun, and Adgas.

Spoiler: Spud program, attempts and successes at suborbital spaceflight.

Spoiler

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Of course, no space program would be complete without starting off with a loud, hopefully non-explosive bang, so rookie pilot Jorsen was shepherded into the Spud 1 in preparation for the RMGT's first launch. 

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Spud 1 blasts into the air on a column of fire, igniting a trail towards Kerbed spaceflight.

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Spud 1 and Jorsen made a safe splashdown 2 km off the Hydrazine Sea's shore. 

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Spud 2 took rookie Shergun onto a westward trajectory to perform scientific experiments in the Grasslands. Spud 2 made a safe landing and was recovered with no damage.

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Spud 3, with improved scientific instruments and rookie Adgas, flew the same path as Spud 2. On landing, the secondary booster was destroyed - however, the main capsule remained intact. Adgas exited the vehicle, set up the portable camera, and struck a pose for the EVA, marking the first EVA performed on Kerbin. 

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Spud 4, piloted by Lieutenant Jorsen, was the first mission intended to break the 70km barrier and reach space. It was also the first mission to use an improved upper stage, barometer, and thermometer. The mission suffered an aerodynamic ascent failure, and Jorsen made a safe landing in the Grasslands, inadvertently gathering more science data for the KSC.

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Spud 5, piloted by Shergun, was the first mission to reach the upper atmosphere. Spud 5 sent Shergun to an apoapsis of 29 km, gathering the first scientific data from the upper atmosphere.

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Adgas's view of the limb of Kerbin from 80 km above sea level (ASL). Spud 6 rocketed (little pun there) Adgas to a staggering 118km ASL, making Adgas the first Kerbal in space!

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Adgas orients the Spud 6 retrograde to prepare for reentry, and seizes a great opportunity to image the Kraken Mons mountain range from 60 km ASL.

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Adgas, Queen of the.... Sea? After a safe splashdown 74km to the east of the KSC, Adgas shows her knack for mischief by exiting the capsule and posing for an EVA, while underwater. I'm not sure how she can keep her eyes wide open, though. Better not to think about it. 

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After a little bit of tomfoolery, Adgas reenters the capsule and waits patiently for the recovery team to come pick her up. Adgas and Spud 6 return home with a hero's welcome, praise, and celebration.

Spoiler: Griffin program, first attempts at space tourism. (OOC: Yes, I know that in reality, most careers would go for orbit after suborbital flights, but I felt like I should try to come up with an affordable launch system.)

Spoiler

Although the next plan for the RMGT administration was to demonstrate the success of orbital flight, the issue of space tourism was an interesting one that the administration believed could be completed with the technology that they had. The program was tentatively named Griffin, and there were three sets of tourists scheduled to fly on the Griffin during three separate missions. The first mission was Griffin Tourist Flight-1 (GTF-1), (OOC: I stole the "GTF" prefix based on the "STS" prefix of the Space Shuttle missions) with paid tourists Allong and Defen making their flight.

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A slightly dizzying view! GTF-1 was rolled out to the launch pad with pilot Jorsen and tourists Allong and Defen. Their mission was to validate the effectiveness of the Griffin system. If the Griffin performed with satisfactory standards, the KSC administration would authorize for several more Griffin missions, and the possibility for Griffin technology to be incorporated into future programs.

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GTF-1 sits patiently on the launch pad. The Griffin program required the development of an entirely new launch vehicle - the bottom stage of the Griffin is comprised of five solid rocket boosters, and the top stage is comprised of an orbital engine.

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This was Allong's view of Kerbin at 39km ASL during the Griffin's ascent. The photo shows the jagged peaks of Kraken Mons and the smooth transition between stratosphere and exosphere.

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This was Defen's view of Kerbin at 62km ASL. The sharp peaks of Kraken Mons can be clearly distinguished, in contrast with the relatively flat land of the surrounding landscape.

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This was Allong's view of Kerbin's East Continent from 77 km ASL. "All I ask is a tall ship partially expendable tourism launch system, and a captain to steer her by pilot who will rotate the ship whenever you want to take photos."

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Cutaway rendering of GTF-1 in orbit, displaying the various features of the craft. Jorsen is controlling the ship from the command module, while Allong and Defen sit in the secondary passenger module. The module is pressurized, spacious, and can fit two passengers. The bottom stage that helped carry GTF-1 into space is also visible in the left-hand side of the picture. Future missions may allow for orbital tourism.

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After a brief thrill in zero-g, what goes up, must come down. As Jorsen oriented the Griffin to prepare for reentry, Defen snapped this image of the Ammonium Bay from 72km ASL, just before the Griffin reentered Kerbin's atmosphere.

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Touchdown on terra firma. Allong took a photo of Kerbin's grasslands just after touchdown. The mission lasted 9 minutes and 22 seconds. Thrilled, Allong and Defen waited for recovery and finally exited the spacecraft, completing their itinerary. The RMGT administration were very satisfied by the results of the mission and authorized two more- GTF-2 and GTF-3.

After the phenomenal success of GTF-1, reporter Walt Kerman was able to interview Allong and Defen about their experiences.

 

Interview with Allong and Defen Kerman, first space tourists

by Walt Kerman

W: So, Allong and Defen?

D: No, I'm Defen. She's Allong.

A: Hello!

W: You'll have to forgive me, I'm a little old. (laughs). So, how was it being the first space tourists?

A: Well, it was definitely something I won't forget, that's for sure (laughs). To tell you the truth, I always wanted to go to space, but I never wanted to be a Kerbonaut. So when I heard that RMGT was offering space tourism, I jumped at it.

D: I was just interested in something I had to cross off my bucket list.

W: How was the launch? Was it hard or uncomfortable? 

D: The wait was the worst part. We sat in the back of the crew cabin listening to Jor[sey] checking the support systems. The actual launch was pretty rough, but still manageable. The hardest part was the actual ride to space. The cabin was shuddering so violently it was hard to think, and it felt like a hard-

A: Like a hard kick in the back. At the end of the burn, it hurt, because we felt the G-forces increase.

D: Exactly, and when I looked through the window, I saw plasma around the rocket. That last minute hurt the most, like a korilla sitting on your chest. But when the rockets shut off at 60 kilometers, the force vanished. There was only silence and the occasional whisper from the rocket. It was so beautiful, I wanted to just live there forever.

W: What was the first thing you did once you reached orbit? 

A: I can't speak for Defen, but I started to snap photos like crazy with my Kassleblad.

D: When you're given that kind of opportunity, you pretty much have to snap photos like crazy, you know? (laughs) They provided us with a Kanon camera, but I preferred to use my KoPro. I still appreciate their thought, for anyone who decided not to bring cameras.

W: Did you ever feel nervous?

A: A little, if you can count being strapped atop a rocket nervous. We had to put on seat belts and everything. The worst part was when the Griffin started shaking like crazy after we passed the 10 km mark and the plasma started to sputter around the windows. I was thinking, we're never going to pass through this. But Jorsey showed his skill as a pilot and he managed to get us through the atmosphere. At around 30km, we saw the plasma around the window fade and dissipate. 

W: Did you eat or drink onboard?
A: Yeah, but let me tell you, it wasn't easy. Before launch, they gave us a water packet, and once we got in the Griffin, there was Velcro on everything. I had to strap everything down so it wouldn't fly aboard the rocket. At around 20 kilometers, I accidentally kicked off my shoe and it hit the window almost instantly.

D: (laughs) Wow, remember that? We were so high up, and the rocket was shaking like crazy, and I'm looking out the window, watching Kerbin shrink, when your shoe smacked into the window and I nearly had a heart attack. Good times.

A: Once we actually got into orbit, I unbuckled my seatbelt, kicked off my shoes - without hitting Defen - and I just stared and watched as our beautiful blue planet rotated below me, and all the colors come into view.... and I wanted nothing more than to soak up this view forever. And then Jorsey rolled the Griffin, and I slammed into the wall. In zero-g however, it didn't hurt at all. Defen saw me, and she couldn't stop laughing. But we both had a good time, even though eating and drinking proved to be almost impossible. Floating around the cabin, free as a bird.... what's not to like? 

W: Sounds like you were really out of this world.

*groans*

W: Fine, I guess that pun was a bit too spaced out.

*louder groans*

W: Okay, fine! How was reentry and coming back to Kerbin?

A: The only thing I didn't like about reentry was that it spelled the end for the trip. Jorsen hailed us on the radio and told us to put our seatbelts back on. There was a brief click as he ejected the second stage, and then rotated the craft heatshield-down. Then came the gradual feeling of gravity returning. I had kicked off one of my shoes as a test, and I watched it slowly descend towards the floor of the cabin. Then, I look out of the window and see this cocoon of plasma enveloping the craft, nature's beautiful light show. And then comes the g-force.

D: I'll admit, the g-force on reentry is a lot greater than launch. Like three korillas instead of one.

A: Jorsey's no stranger to it, but I just sit there and watch until that dazzling streak of plasma slowly fades. Then I see the Grasslands slowly coming up, and it dawns on me that it's time for landing.

W: And how was landing?

A: Landing.... was probably the worst part of the entire thing. The ground rushed up at us-

D: Then Jorsey hails us to brace for impact, and that probably has something to do with the landing force. So I brace, and Allong does it too, and we just sit there and wait...

A: And then comes the actual impact. It's probably only a second, but that second seemed like an eternity. The entire cabin seemed to shake, and I was sure we had crashed. But then, Jorsey hailed us on the comm and said, "Okay, we're clear, you can get up now!"

D: Oh, god, the landing. You can compare it to a very hard kick in the back. I don't think the Griffin is a very well-suited craft for actual landing. Future landings should probably go down in the ocean.

A: And that was that. Jorsey got out, he helped us get out, and the recovery team picked us up, and, yeah, that pretty much ended our mission.

W: Thank you for your answers.

D: No problem, Walt, just as long as you do the same too.

W: I'll keep that in mind. Thank you.

[END INTERVIEW]

Next on the list: GTF-2 and 3, and early orbital attempts.

Thank you for reading!

Edited by RocketMan-Explorer
fixed imgur BBCode errors in panels (again)

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I wanted to upgrade to 1.6 today, but my computer ran into some software issues. I'll try again tomorrow. The mod I want to have more than anything else is Spectra, because it makes the terrain so freakin' pretty. :0.0: I'll also see if I can copy over the suit packs and my ship saves. The last thing I want to do is replay another career run. (I've already done this once because the Kraken used my savefile for breakfast :huh:)

 

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Okay, slight changes. I'm not going to upgrade to 1.6 just yet, I'm going to stay in 1.5.1 for another month or so. I didn't get Spectra, but I was able to install EVE and SVE, resulting in a sweet-looking Kerbin. Here's the screenshot for you.

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(Ooh, pretty!)

Everything else is pretty much the same - the modlist hasn't changed, except for me uninstalling Spectra. 

Edited by RocketMan-Explorer
oops forgot the screenshot

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