Speeding Mullet

Von Brauncano - A Das Dunaprojekt Challenge [Mission Log 8 - Mission Complete!]

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Posted (edited)

 

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Central core liftoff courtesy of future productions imagery emporium

This is an ongoing mission report and on completion subsequent entry for @Death Engineering's "Das Dunaprojekt" or Duna von Braun Style challenge.  This mission has always been unfinished business for me.  I originally signaled intent in October 2014 and started my first foray into one of Death's challenges,which are regarded as detailed, well thought out, and challenging.  Fast forward to April 2015 and I'd melted my copy of KSP under the weight of mods and irretrievably broken my game, and my will to play KSP for some time afterwards.  Here is my failed Dunaprojekt.

Fast forward again...nearly 4.5 years.  I present my unfinished business - A collaboration of Goliath National Products, C7 Aerospace, Maxo Construction Toys, Probodobodyne, Steadlier Engineering Corps, and of course Dinkelstein Kerman's Construction Emporium:

Goliath National Products.pngC7 Aerospace Division.pngMaxoConstructionToys.pngProbodobodyne Inc.pngSteadlerEngineeringCorps.pngDinkelstein Kerman's Construction Emporium.pngThumbnail for version as of 21:17, 24 July 2016

 

VON BRAUNCANO - A DAS DUNAPROJEKT MISSION REPORT

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Von Brauncano ejection burn by concept artist and backup mission pilot Summer Kerman

As we go through the mission report you will see Mission Logs numbers with links to the full mission detail, and below each link to the imgur album with full details you will see a mission summary by way of some explanation and a couple of pertinent pictures.

Mission Log 1 - The Construction Phase:

The mission could only ever be achieved by working together - The main customer Mullet Dyne was well aware of the limited time and resources and drove the subcontractors hard.  One by one the modules rolled in on the specially commissioned Bumvy 1850FBT.  The FBT (Fairly Big Tractor) is shown here with one of the huge side core's being delivered to the VAB, straight from Dinkelstein Kerman's Construction Emporium:

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Image courtesy of Dinkelstein Kerman's Construction Emporium

Fully integrated inside the huge VAB, we can now see what the mission specs will be.  No broken records here, but none the less we are keeping things within reason and not entering too many engineering death spirals which has seen the demise of many of my missions:

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

Mission Statistics:

  • Version - Stock 1.7.0
  • Wet weight - 198.585t
  • Dry weight - 124.575t
  • Total mission cost - 293,809 snacks
  • Propellant mass fraction - 0.3726867588
  • Mass per crew - 33.0975
  • Science points - This is not a science mission

Crew Manifest:

  • Gusbert Kerman - Scientist
  • Hans Kerman - Scientist
  • Kagas Kerman - Pilot
  • Ragas Kerman - Pilot
  • Endous Kerman - Engineer
  • Dudgar Kerman - Engineer
     

The leg work is done and all construction and integration complete thanks to the enormous efforts of both Mullet Dyne and its supplier.  We can marvel at the core of the Von Brauncano ready to launch on the epic mission to Duna, and by Eve on the way home.  Will I break my copy of KSP with an over engineered monster, or will the stability of stock KSP these days see us through to the end.  Only one way to find out...

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

Thanks for reading everyone.  I know another Duna mission on the face of it is nothing special, but hopefully the nature of the challenge, and a couple of surprises along the way will make it worth checking in on.

SM

Edited by Speeding Mullet
added bullet points

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Wow, ambitious!  I look forward to seeing this play out.  Good luck with it!

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On 8/7/2019 at 4:37 AM, Geschosskopf said:

Wow, ambitious!  I look forward to seeing this play out.  Good luck with it!

What he said! :P Good luck on the mission!

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On 8/8/2019 at 12:37 AM, Geschosskopf said:

Wow, ambitious!  I look forward to seeing this play out.  Good luck with it!

 

12 hours ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

What he said! :P Good luck on the mission!

Thanks very much both of you.  It's a real challenge from a design, aesthetics, and mission flight point of view.  I love complex missions such as Jool 5, DOMA, Shuttle challenges etc. so this one naturally appealed to me.  Let's check in on the next couple of stages of the mission.  As normal there is an in thread summary and key points, and if you fancy a more in depth explanation of what is happening then feel free to click the links for a fuller explanation of activities and many more pictures :)

Mission Log 2 - The Launch Phases:

Central Core Launch

Despite the nighttime launch, the Von Brauncano central core is easy to spot, starting its gravity turn at around 4000m, and already travelling over 250m/s.  Mission scientists Gusbert and Hans. Mission engineers Endous and Dudgar are already onboard the launcher as once the fairing was installed, there is no exit until Duna arrival.

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Image courtesy of Probodobodyne drone-bodobodyne photography limited-bodyne

One thing was for certain - the new Probodobodyne drone-bodobodyne photography company has really got the launch footage nailed.  The high altitude observation jet also captures this fantastic image of the central core of the Von Brauncano accelerating through 2km/s:

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Image captured by Snapfan Kerman.  Copyright Mullet Dyne 2019 all rights reserved, something something snacks

Shortly after this photo was taken the separation of the nose cone happens, 3 separation motors blasting the protective aero shell away from the central core.  The enormous boosters made by Goliath National Products separate just short of achieving orbit in order for them to re-enter and burn up on the atmosphere.  The central core ignites its 2 LV-N Nerv atomic rocket motors and achieves orbit under its own power.  It deploys its solar panels and begins to recoup any charge lost during launch, waiting for the side cores to join it in orbit.

Side Core Launches

At 84 parts and 405t, each side core is brilliant in its simplicity. Dinkelstein Kerman's Construction Emporium really came good on the design of these rockets as it totally mitigated the need for on-orbit refueling of the mission before departure. Each side core launches with a full load of fuel.

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Image used with permission of someone that really should not have been standing this close to a rocket launch, and is a very naughty Kerman.

Both side cores are identical, and follow identical mission profiles.  Launching at night to dock during the day on a rapid orbit matching program, the autonomous rockets achieve orbit, match inclination and intercept target.  Once within 2350 meters (decided as the minimum safety margin for the side cores to abort if there is any issue such as a radiation leak from the LV-N atomic motors) then the side cores wait for manual confirmation from KSC to proceed with docking.  One of the side cores is pictured here gently maneuvering within range:

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Image courtesy of C7 Aerospace on orbit imagerytm

Once within rage each core moves into position at a maximum speed of 0.2 m/s.  This further reduces to 0.1 meters a second when the fully fueled side core is mere meters away from the central core.  the enormous momentum of the side cores, even at a slow speed means that any impact out of this range could be catastrophic to the mission.  Consequently docking happens in two stages.  Firstly we achieve soft capture, marked by a dull thud felt through the rockets frame by the crew.  Then after some minutes comes the mildly terrifying (if one is unprepared) KERTHUNK KERTHUNK KERTHUNK KERTHUNK KERTHUNK KERTHUNK KERTHUNK KERTHUNK of the docking ports locking mechanisms engaging.

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Image courtesy of megazoomyeswearewatchingyouprobably, a partner of C7 Aerospace

It is only once the reverberations from this stop and the lights go from amber to green on the visual display can the crew breathe a sigh of release.  The crew look around at each other with mixed emotions.  Professionally contained excitement is etched on faces as the crew perform final checks, but with a shared wisdom that every venture this pioneering always contained a large risk element.  the crew accepts this risk, and besides there is little time to think as there is no reason to remain in orbit around Kerbin - The window to Duna is firmly open and any delay now just adds to mission length.

SM

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Locking Kerbals in windowless cans for long trips is right up my alley.  "No, we don't want you idly star-gazing, we want you entirely focused on watching your instructional videos over and over"  ;) 

I snickered at your photo credits.  Nice touch.

How do you make the double-docking work?  Is that any easier now than it used to be?

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On 8/10/2019 at 12:45 AM, Geschosskopf said:

Locking Kerbals in windowless cans for long trips is right up my alley.  "No, we don't want you idly star-gazing, we want you entirely focused on watching your instructional videos over and over"  ;) 

I snickered at your photo credits.  Nice touch.

How do you make the double-docking work?  Is that any easier now than it used to be?

Exactly.  I mean its very much in the name of "safety" what with the added protection the fairing gives us, but the harsh reality is that Kerbals, given the chance, love to stare out of windows.  It becomes quite hypnotic for them, so the instructional videos help with focus.

I think the photo credits are an opportunity to add a little personal touch, in the same way that you set your posts to music.  also for people that don't want to click the links for each log to read the full detailed mission report it maintains that light hearted touch I guess :).

My method for double docking is as follows - Build central core with the double docking ports where I want them.  Build in the side core off of the top docking port.  place the lower of the 2 docking ports on the side core so it lines up with the lower of the docking ports on the central core.  Obviously it won't snap to the docking port at this time.  then I re-root to the top docking port of the side core, get rid of the central core, and finish the side core off and save it as a sub assembly.  So now its perfectly lined up and should dock perfectly in space. 

Docking is a little more challenging because you are looking for both ports to snap at the same time in space but as long as you go slow then you are normally good.  Really important though - If any auto struts are enabled it won't work as one docking port will normally hit slightly before the other due to COM and magnetic attraction.  If you have auto struts on, then as soon as the first port docks then the craft will. auto strut and the second port won't dock.  In fact I think the last picture in the post above is an example of this having happened.  I believe I actually un-docked, backed off, and tried again without auto struts to get it docked correctly. Once the craft is docked of course then you can turn on auto struts again. 

It's over all easier than it used to be I would say as long as you follow roughly those steps.  So to the mission log now, and we are about to make the burn to Duna from memory.  As normal a summary is presented in post, with a more detailed mission report available by clicking the link to the full gallery.

Mission Log 3 - The Journey to Duna

After 2 days configuring the ship for the ejection burn, cross checking the trajectories through multiple computers both on the ground and in orbit, the Von Brauncano is ready for the ejection burn.  Anticipating an encounter in 266 days there is nothing more to do apart from light the 6 LV-N "Nerv" atomic rocket motors and start the 10 minute burn to Duna.

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Image courtesy of megazoomyeswearewatchingyouprobably, a partner of C7 Aerospace

The crew had the option of a more efficient staged burn, slowly increasing the periapsis over the course of multiple orbits but over a game of cards it was decided that 1 juicy burn was the more exciting option.  the mega burn was so large that for a time it looked as if the Von Brauncano would skim the top of the atmosphere.

Nearly 10 minutes later the Von Brauncano, reminiscent of the gargantuan torch ships of the old sci-fi novels, breaks out of Kerbin's SOI and set's up its intercept with Duna.  the Mullet Dyne orbital observation platform captures this image.  Its remarkably similar to Summer Kerman's concept image from prior to launch:

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Von Brauncano ejection burn captured by the Mullet Dyne Orbital Platform.

This next stage of the mission is vital for the success of the mission, as challenged to complete by KSC Science Director @Death Engineering.  If the maneuver does not go as planned, then the whole ship may as well F9 its, I mean burn back to Kerbin orbit for another attempt.  First the side cores gently un-dock from the central core of the Von Brauncano, then using automated procedures pre-loaded into the cores computers the two side cores locate each other in the darkness.  Orbital ballet ensues and a short time later the rapid docking procedure has been completed.  If its not completed quickly, then the side cores would have no chance of re-entering Kerbin's orbit before simply drifting out into the SOI of Kerbol.  The 4 LV-N's now power the two side cores back to Kerbin orbit with a significantly higher TW-R than the outward burn

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Side cores burning back towards Kerbin, captured via the remote cameras aboard the Von Brauncano

On its escape from Kerbin, and shed of the side cores the Von Brauncano can stretch its arms.  The central core of the Von Brauncano unfurls its gigantor solar panels and configures itself for the coasting phase to Duna.  there is a small mid course plane change of around 25 m/s which lines up the ship for its capture burn at Duna.  The next challenge is to complete the burn as efficiently as possible.  Assuming the Nerv's re-light.

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Reproduced with kind permission from KSC tracking station.

Timing is everything here.  the Massive central core of the ship will be entering Duna's SOI at a significant clip.  In order to maximise efficiency the giant Von Brauncano will have to streak past the orbit of the sunrise orbital outpost with both atomic rocket motors "in the red" to have any chance of capture.  It is hoped for the safety of the long term science crew currently going absolutely loopy after 15 years of occupancy that the platform is on the other side of Duna at the time the Von Brauncano tears through the same orbit with two massive radiation canons blaring their invisible death into space.

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Although totally mad at this stage after 15 years orbiting Duna, Tophat Kerman captures this lovely image using one of the Bumvy remote probes aboard the orbital platform.

6 minutes of terror can only describe the deceleration burn.  After months of coasting the frame of the ship is suddenly subjected to force as the Atomic Rocket Motors exceed their design thrust capabilities.  Ike comes up scarily fast.  At this stage we are still screaming past Duna and designed for Kerbol orbit.  Tearing through the 60km orbit of the Sunrise Station and coming within 70km of the platform was not the intended plan, but with a sigh of relief the Von Brauncano achieves capture around Duna without entering the atmosphere.  this was critical to the success of the Dunaprojekt for some reason, although the crew were secretly glad they did not have to aerobreak the leviathan ship.

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Reproduced with kind permission from KSC tracking station.  Sorta would have stolen it if they's said no.

Once on orbit a small plane change is conducted to bring the ship to an equatorial orbit.  the fuel margins on the ship in general are tight, but in particular the landers have only units of spare fuel assuming a perfect descent /ascent path so this is vital.  Next, and with a serious of huge dull thumps that reverberate through the ship, the fairings separate into space.  This future saving of Delta-V is now mission critical thanks to the inefficient burn from Kerbin and represents vital tonnage saved.

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Image courtesy of Probodobodyne drone-bodobodyne photography limited-bodyne

Fairings ejected, and now completing the burn to achieve 60km LKO we can see the structure of the ship for the first time around Duna.  From right to left we have the Central Primary Propulsion Module.  Next the two Duna Surface Sample return probes are nestled in, followed by the habitation module with room enough for 8.  Supplies are next in line and the two Eve probes are tightly tucked in to the frame between the supplies and the Extra-planetary Entry Module.  Finally the Duna Excursion Module sits to cap the ship off.

From here the crew move into Duna ground operations phase and have have plenty to do.  first the two DSSR probes will land on Duna, followed by the DEM.  Duna welcomes us always, but the crew knows not to be blasé about the perils.  This is serious business.

SM

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42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Exactly.  I mean its very much in the name of "safety" what with the added protection the fairing gives us, but the harsh reality is that Kerbals, given the chance, love to stare out of windows.  It becomes quite hypnotic for them, so the instructional videos help with focus.

Ah, the days of tinfoil ships and iron kerbs, bucko mates and driving skippers, salt horse and hard tack, pressgangs and shanghaiing.  Astronauts these days have life so easy.  It's refreshing to take a nostalgic look back :) 

 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

I think the photo credits are an opportunity to add a little personal touch, in the same way that you set your posts to music.  also for people that don't want to click the links for each log to read the full detailed mission report it maintains that light hearted touch I guess :).

Even though I have to break out my magnifying glass to read them, I always enjoy your photo credits :) 

 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

My method for double docking is as follows -

That's for the tutorial!

 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

The crew had the option of a more efficient staged burn, slowly increasing the periapsis over the course of multiple orbits but over a game of cards it was decided that 1 juicy burn was the more exciting option.  the mega burn was so large that for a time it looked as if the Von Brauncano would skim the top of the atmosphere.

Yeah, 10 minutes is about 1/3 of an orbit in LKO so you waste a LOT of dV in cosine loss and risk hitting the air as you have to start the burn pointed down.  5 minutes is really the most you should burn at any time in this situation.

 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

This next stage of the mission is vital for the success of the mission, as challenged to complete by KSC Science Director @Death Engineering.  If the maneuver does not go as planned, then the whole ship may as well F9 its, I mean burn back to Kerbin orbit for another attempt.  First the side cores gently un-dock from the central core of the Von Brauncano, then using automated procedures pre-loaded into the cores computers the two side cores locate each other in the darkness.  Orbital ballet ensues and a short time later the rapid docking procedure has been completed.  If its not completed quickly, then the side cores would have no chance of re-entering Kerbin's orbit before simply drifting out into the SOI of Kerbol.  The 4 LV-N's now power the two side cores back to Kerbin orbit with a significantly higher TW-R than the outward burn

Nicely done, although I remain to be convinced that reusable rockets make any sense economically :)   That doesn't take away from the technical prowess needed to do it, though, which is cool both in real life in KSP.

 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Although totally mad at this stage after 15 years orbiting Duna, Tophat Kerman captures this lovely image using one of the Bumvy remote probes aboard the orbital platform.

If he's mad, might as well leave him there forever.  What further harm can be done? :D 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

6 minutes of terror can only describe the deceleration burn.  After months of coasting the frame of the ship is suddenly subjected to force as the Atomic Rocket Motors exceed their design thrust capabilities.  Ike comes up scarily fast.  At this stage we are still screaming past Duna and designed for Kerbol orbit.  Tearing through the 60km orbit of the Sunrise Station and coming within 70km of the platform was not the intended plan, but with a sigh of relief the Von Brauncano achieves capture around Duna without entering the atmosphere.  this was critical to the success of the Dunaprojekt for some reason, although the crew were secretly glad they did not have to aerobreak the leviathan ship.

Well, if you had, you'd have been right in "Aerobrake Canyon", which looks scarier than it really is.  For some reason, that canyon always seems to be along the path of ships going a bit lower.  You can see it in your pic.  I've frequently thought my ships were below the mountaintops on either side but the last time I took a plane to Duna, I measured terrain altitudes and realized this was an optical illusion--my ships were always way above the terrain.

 

42 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

From here the crew move into Duna ground operations phase and have have plenty to do.  first the two DSSR probes will land on Duna, followed by the DEM.  Duna welcomes us always, but the crew knows not to be blasé about the perils.  This is serious business.

Congrats on getting to this point.  Good luck with the rest!

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:) This is my 1000th forum post :)

Here's a small gallery of some memories in celebration

 

On 8/11/2019 at 2:24 PM, Geschosskopf said:

snippysnippysnippysnipsnipsnip......Congrats on getting to this point.  Good luck with the rest!

Thanks!  Every mission report from here is further than I got previously with my first attempt a the challenge when my save game broke.  Fingers crossed no one messes up hey!  I've definitely had that feeling shooting that canyon on entry to Duna in missions past.  I seem to remember on the old Duna it was especially pronounced.

No problems on the tutorial!  It helped make everything line up nicely and was vital for getting the side cores attached to the central core, but also for the side cores to mate for the journey home.  I guess in KSP there's really no real penalty for expendable so I mostly fail to see the value in creating true reusable craft.  As you've seen I also am not very good at making rockets with a good propellant fraction.  I rarely plan Delta-V ahead of missions, rather going for what seems about right.  It makes for some interesting mission endings!

Tophat Kerman can read the the photo credits fine from orbit around Duna, although he readily admits that he has a huge monitor and agrees to bump the size up a little :)

Speaking of nostalgic looks back, check out the 1000th forum post celebration gallery above if you have time.  Long gone are the days of intake spamming :confused:.  RIGHT!  Onward to the mission report.  Where are we at?  Oh yes the crew have just completed the perilous journey to Duna and are in a 60km orbit.  As normal folks if you are reading along you have two options.  The condensed version in thread, or the full mission report, which can be accessed using the links in blue:

Mission Log 4 - Landing on Duna:

the ship is now configured for orbital operations and the crew is preparing to dispatch the first probe.  With the fairings ejected on reaching Duna orbit the crew finally has some windows to look out of:

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Image captured by Kagas Kerman aboard a Bumvy MMU while inspecting the ship on reaching Duna Orbit.

Duna Surface Sample Return Landings:

A Bumvy MMU stands by in the foreground as the first of the DSSR probes silently slides out from its holding cradle. The sunshades of the habitation module are open in this image, but can be closed in the event of micrometeorite or radiation storms, or indeed for long durations facing Kerbol.  Each DSSR carries a common de-orbit module powered by mono. 2 Drogue chutes slow the craft down before staging the deorbit module and fairing, followed by the landing engines which kick in as the fairing base is decoupled. A tiny return to orbit stage is nestled inside.

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Mullet Dyne Ship cam looking from the habitation module backwards.

Postcards from Duna. It is devastatingly beautiful even in stock form sometimes.

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First lander crater as seen from Duna Sample Return 1

Descending through the upper atmosphere the first probe streaks over "lander site 1". Lander site one commemorates the exact spot that the first Duna landing occurred, by a Mullet Dyne space shuttle no less!!  Right on queue the 2 drogue chutes deploy. the G force isn't huge, but over the next few seconds the probe decelerates from around 650 m/s to 350 m/s

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Image courtesy of Experimental Engineering Group chase cameras

1km lower into the atmosphere the probe still travelling at 250 m/s orientates itself for ignition of the landing stage and ejection of the fairing base, which occur simultaneously. Back at KSC the team watch the process intently, 40 minutes behind reality.  Next comes staging and landing engine ignition confirmed.  The rest of the descent will be handled autonomously as with the entry and descent. the tiny probe detects its position above Duna as the fairing base clears away from the radar system, and the probe picks out its spot.

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Image courtesy of Experimental Engineering Goop knock off chase cameras.

Safely on the ground the second probe unfolds its solar panels and pings the Von Brauncano. 40 minutes later the team at KSC cheers as the signal reaches them.

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Integrated integrals camera technology provided this "360 degree" view of the sample return probe on Duna

The two probes safely on the surface of Duna, the crew turn to the next stage of the mission.  Kagas Gusbert and Endous board the Duna Excursion Module and power up the landing computer. This is the most complex assembly on the ship. By itself it is 112 parts and 18.3t.  A mono powered de-orbit module pushes the DEM into a sub orbital trajectory away from the Von Brauncano.  The crew is in fact aiming more for a landing near the crater where the original shuttle landed all those years ago.  Let's check in on the landing sequence.

Duna Excursion Module Landing:

The de-orbit module races through the upper and into the middle atmosphere. The supersonic drogue chutes will deploy explosively from the de-orbit module in fractions of a second.  Once the supersonic deceleration phase of the EDL has finished, the drogue chutes can stage away.  Right on queue the de-orbit package stages away to crash into the surface. Propulsive landings are required below 3km.

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Image courtesy of Pirate Experimental Engineering Goop knock off back of truck chase cameras.

Maxo Construction Toys provided their spaghetti fairing expertise on the DEM, much to the chagrin of the aesthetics department.

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Maxo construction Toys would go on to win "worst fairing ever" at the year 19 day 342 awards.

there is a short coasting stage of about 4 seconds while the lander orientates itself and engages the ground radar, and then a massive jolt shakes the crew cabin.  The fairing base explodes away from the lander under power of 4 well angled sepatrons. In perfect timing the descent engines of the lander also ignite at 100% power to slow the descent.

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

Once on the ground, a small solar panel deploys to recharge the battery, along with a couple of antenna to communicate back to the Von Brauncano.  The crew quickly disembark the lander and prepare for a series of serious photos for release back on Kerbin.

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The mission allowed for limited Kerbal Stacking as homage to the long ago days of the Kerbal stacking challenge.

The flag planting ceremony does go off without a hitch though

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Image captured using Kasselblad technology

The rover won't see much use according to the mission plan, but Kagas was quite keen to give it a go none the less.  Boarding the rover, Kagas undocks and just barely squeezes the rover out from under the lander. The margin of error was essentially zero. Later it was discovered that Endous had stowed another 40kg of snacks under his seat, making the lander heavier than it should have been.

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Images sponsored by Googly 360 camera technology ltd.

Kagas gets to grip with the rover quickly. Its easy to control since the upgraded SAS control was implemented.  Endous and Gusbert are now screaming through the radio for Kagas to return to the lander. Kagas would be able to hear them if she hadn't turned off the suits intercom...

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Mission selfie taken by Kagas Kerman.  Kagas should return to base right now!

Over the next 20 minutes, Kagas comes to the realization that the tiny rover is perhaps capable of more than the designers gave it kredit for.

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Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Some time later Kagas stops in awe. A tiny little floating rock! These have been discovered on Minmus previously, but never on Duna. Truly a first and worthy of later scientific study.  

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Floating rocks would later be redacted from all mission reports.  Their existence is denied to this day.

Kagas decides to plant a flag so future missions can return and study the rock. The naming ceremony takes place, Endous and Gusbert still trying to convince Kagas to turn around and re-join the mission.

QMXcxSK.png

Flag ceremony on Duna sponsored by Kerbin World First Record Keeping Society

Wait....What's the flag called??!?! Elcano Stop 2?!?!? Kagas what the hel.........Static breaks the transmission as Kagas cuts the suits communications again.  Tophat Kerman and the loony crew of the Sunrise Orbital Outpost look down on Kagas screaming hysterically at the rogue Kerman and her plans to hijack the rover. She cannot seriously be thinking of attempting a Duna Elcano right?!

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Kagas Kerman is show here in ludicrous amounts of trouble.

Boarding the rover again and counting the days supply at 8, Kagas looks out over the massive craters terrace terrane. Contemplating the risk of court martial on return to Kerbin, vs entering the history books for an illegal Elcano. Kagas raises an eyebrow and dumps the loud pedal to the floor. The whine of the electric motors and Kagas laughing is all that can be heard over the rovers intercom.

Wow-wee Kagas is in some trouble.....

SM

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10 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Congrats!  But DAMN, you're the laconic type.  You've been here 1 month and 4 days longer than me (6 years gone and counting), and you're only JUST NOW hitting 1000 posts?  You make me feel overly talkative, especially as I've taken several long "hiati".  I think most would agree I should say far less ;) 

Cool pics.  And yes, you obviously do obsess over Duna and shuttles :) 

 

10 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Descending through the upper atmosphere the first probe streaks over "lander site 1". Lander site one commemorates the exact spot that the first Duna landing occurred, by a Mullet Dyne space shuttle no less!!  Right on queue the 2 drogue chutes deploy. the G force isn't huge, but over the next few seconds the probe decelerates from around 650 m/s to 350 m/s

These bean-shaped shells for all the drops look quite cool.  Is that part of the challenge?

It's strange out Duna's atmosphere became much "soupier" since the "soup-o-sphere" was banished from Kerbin in the 1.0 (+/- a few) update.  Back in the day, Duna's atmosphere was so thin flying there was worthy of a challenge thread.  Landing there back then involved chutes fully deployed and engines running full blast for like 1/3 of the planet's circumference.  But nowadays, parachute-only landings are quite possible and flying there is easier than on Kerbin (assuming you can power the plane without O2).  Unless things have changed back recently.  Ain't been there in a while.

 

10 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Wow-wee Kagas is in some trouble.....

This is why the Circus invests heavily in chemical indoctrination and shock collars ;)

Good luck with the Elcano!

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On 8/13/2019 at 8:30 AM, Geschosskopf said:

Congrats!  But DAMN, you're the laconic type.

Haha yep.  I don't tend to say a great deal, and have taken several long KSP holidays as well.  I guess I'm very very time limited overall, but only really share my most insane missions on here.  I'm surprised my post count wasn't higher from leading a couple of Shuttle Challenges to be honest.  I was secretly hoping to hit 1000 likes and 1000 posts at the same time, so maybe now I've broken 1000 posts things will accelerate a little :)

On 8/13/2019 at 8:30 AM, Geschosskopf said:

These bean-shaped shells for all the drops look quite cool.  Is that part of the challenge?

No this isn't part of the challenge, I just really always go for super detail orientated missions.  So I believe that if a lander/probe etc is entering the atmosphere of a planet, it should have protective aero-shells etc.  The only thing that annoys me is as the fairing bases get smaller, the thickness of them becomes totally ridiculous.  I wish they would address some of the aesthetics..

I think that over all, landing stuff with Parachutes on Duna seems to be much easier than it used to be.  I also remember streaking into the ground at full tilt with 300 parachutes and engines blazing, unless I landed in the valley.  I actually found a discussion started by you which was interesting reading, but this post seemed to nail the reasons:

 

On 8/13/2019 at 8:30 AM, Geschosskopf said:

This is why the Circus invests heavily in chemical indoctrination and shock collars ;)

Good luck with the Elcano!

Smart management over at the Circus!  Let's check in on the Impromptu Elcano and see what the progress looks like!  As normal a bit of a summary here, and the full story available in the link:

Mission Log 5 - Impromptu Elcano Stage 1:

So if its an illegal Elcano on Duna, then Kagas needs to really motor. 8 days supply are stuffed on the tiny rover and conditions are cramped. Kagas pushes the rover down into the crater at maximum speed.  Very quickly 40 m/s comes up. 90 mph is no speed for a Kerman to be travelling on, but its important to Kagas to get out of hopper reach of the DEM.  Very quickly the Duna lander 1 flag, celebrating the first landing on Duna by the Shuttle STS Brunch is visible through the binoculars on board the rover.  Getting out of the rover, Kagas realises that even a seasoned Kerbonaut comes a cropper of the low gravity every once in a while.

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Kagas Kerman would later regret this photo - Used on front covers as proof of an incapable Kerbonaut gone quite mad.

Well the shuttle Crew said that they had left a flag, so let's see what it says...Oh. Well that's imaginative isn't it!  "Nothing More interesting to say here".  Elcano Stop 3 is therefore named as "Nothing Interesting" but the reality couldn't be different. The bottom of the crater is strewn with shuttle parts, which is weird considering the mission was a total success first time according to the crew.

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Flag has Fren :)

Flag now has Fren, Kagas can move on.  Very quickly the crater floor is crossed and the uphill leg of the journey presents itself.  Driving on Duna is way more predictable then Minmus, but just as challenging.  Kagas makes it over the rise of the craters rim, and the journey completed so far is laid out behind her.  In honor of this point of Duna Elcano stop 4 is named "234 F5 F9s". But yep the first shuttle landing on Duna went off without a hitch ;)

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Picture sponsored by Hindsightis2020-bodobodyne

Funny that its been decided never to send a shuttle to Duna again....Anyway, on with the Elcano!  WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Air like this is common at the speeds Kagas is tearing around Duna!

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Kerbal Motion LLC would go onto to use this image in 90% of its marketing material as proof that the Rovemax Model M1 wheels weren't entirely useless.

A gentle 128 MPH on one downhill leg pushes the rover stability to its limit. Hitting a decent gradient change at this speed would just disappear the rover. That totally hasn't happened to Kagas yet though....Elcano stops 5 and 6 come and go with little of real importance happening.  Elcano stop 7 is named "cup of tea 1" in homage to a particularly well made cuppa.  Ike looks so close through the binoculars. Kagas spends the next few hours trying not to enter a hypnotic state staring at Ike, the mad laughing from the Sunrise crew happens every. single.orbit. and is pretty unnerving.

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Image courtesy of Megazoonyeswearedefinitelywatchingyoumaybe, a partner of C7 Aerospace

The flag that Kagas planted for Elcano Stop 7 seemed to keep exploding, so Kagas proceeds another few km and plants another flag for Elcano Stop 7.5, "Nice view take 2".  The flats on this part of Duna can be crossed at speed with minimal input on 4x physics warp.  Kagas pushes the rover through the most mundane part of the mission.  Another exploding flag and Kagas figures out that using physics warp within range of a flag is a bad idea. In recognition of 2 brave flags lost, Elcano stop 8 is named in memory of Elcano stops 7 and 7.5.

Onwards brave Kagas. She doesn't even bother folding in the solar array any more. Even at 50m/s it holds together, providing valuable charge to chase Kerbol round Duna.  Elcano stop 9 comes up quick as you like, and Kagas celebrates 98.3 non explody km!  Day 3 and stop 9 is in the rear view mirrors. Kagas drives the rover hard over the flats of Duna. We are now half way to the great canyon.  

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Image courtesy of KSC tracking station

It looks like an anomaly will be on our path in the future. The Shuttle brunch picked it up on orbit around Duna and this could be a good opportunity to check it out!  But first we have to reach the end of these endless flats. Push it Kagas - You can do this!  Finally after hours of pretty monotonous flats, the climb out can begin. Elcano stop 10 is subsequently named as such.  62km later and Kagas is having an amazing time launching the rover over the rolling hills. The climb out so far has seen us gain over 2.5km of altitude.  The excitement builds as Kagas races towards the huge canyon system on Duna.

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Tophat Kerman photographed the canyon from orbit some years prior.  This is one of the last photos uploaded back to Kerbin.

As seen from orbit. Scientists believe that water must have flowed in huge quantities on Duna in the distant past.  The canyon is now visible from the rover, and Kagas decides that now is the time to stop and take a break from driving.  The next day the descent to the bottom of the canyon system starts, and fresh faces are required if nothing is to go wrong!

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

Kagas is right.  the downhill to the bottom of the canyon is fraught with danger.  Speeds are expected to be record, and far surpass the recommended limits of the Rovemax Model M1 wheels.  Progress is strong, and the Elcano seems to be going well to this point.  Surprising as the rover was not made at all with more than a few kms travel in mind.

 

SM

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For the last few days, Kagas has been wringing the neck of the tiny rover.  Why she chose to do an Impromptu Elcano is anyone's guess but its started, so it must be finished.  Let's watch and see.  As normal the links contain the full mission report, but below also are a few key words and some of the better pictures if you don't have long to stop by :)

Mission Log 6 - The Elcano Diaries

Impromptu Elcano Stage 2

Kagas pushes the rover over the edge and down the first huge hill. Quickly the speed ramps up to dangerous speeds.  Barely avoiding a flip, the valley is spread out below and Kagas levels out just before the next huge drop off.  One of the biggest airs of the mission. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Image courtesy ohhhhhhhhhhhhmywordweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee productions.

the compression on landing maxes out the suspension of the rover.  Kagas pushes onward despite the weird vibrations inside her head. Near the anomaly it seems to get worse and worse.  Over the rise, head screaming, Kagas sees the anomaly. It seems to be a monolith.  

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No one actually took this photo.  It just appeared in the camera roll.

Another tiny floating rock! Large floating rocks don't seem to occur here like they do on Duna.  Definitely worthy of a flag.  

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

During an eclipse of Kerbol by Ike, Kagas turns the power off so the batteries don't drain out completely,

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Image courtesy of C7 Aerospace rovemate selfie technology

Kagas makes the decision to get to the nearest high point to get a bigger run up at the dip into the next valley. The Duna land speed record must be broken!

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A near 30 degree incline tested the capability of the Rovemate M1 wheels traction to the limit.

The big drop awaits. Folding in the solar panel for safety, Kagas sends it.  The speed is eye watering as Kagas descends down the mountain.  Jump after jump at increasingly terrifying speeds occurs.  This jump, at 173mph has Kagas thinking she is dead

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Image camptured by weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-bodobodobodobodobodobodobodobodobo-dyne

Further down the hill a new speed record of 188mph on Duna is set by Kagas Kerman.  Kagas with grit and determination pushes on past more tiny floating rocks, and eventually arrives at the first sample return site.

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

Duna Surface Sample Return Probe 1 - The tiny decoupler releases the latches just as the engines fire, releasing the sample return probe.  Kagas watches it ascend to the heavens

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Mobile phone propped up against a rock technology.

the next part of the mission is already complete and queued for reporting.  Watch this space for an update on the Impromptu Elcano soon!

SM

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Congrats to Kagas on the speed record!  But how'd the wheels hold together at 188m/s?

Pretty cool you got to watch the probe launch.

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11 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Congrats to Kagas on the speed record!  But how'd the wheels hold together at 188m/s?

Pretty cool you got to watch the probe launch.

Thanks!  It was 83.something m/s, which I think converted to MPH is 188MPH.  I'm not actually sure what the physical speed limit of the rover wheels on a perfectly flat surface is before they explode any more.  It used to be (I think) that there was a hard m/s limit before they popped, regardless of how smooth the ground is.  Personally I am glad that is no longer the case.

Watching the probe launch was the highlight apart from the speed record.  Circumnavigating Duna for the most part is a reasonably mundane task as evidenced from the mission report of this part of the Von Brauncano, apart from areas where the terrain is less flat around the valleys etc.  I think the next time I attempt Duna Elcano (If I do) I may choose a polar Elcano instead.  That would be way way more challenging judging by some of the terrain around the poles.

I'll upload the next part when I get home.  I have already uploaded the images, I just need to get them into order and the report written up for them.  Good progress has been made, and to be honest, Kagas just wants to get it done now...

SM - It hasn't escaped me that you have written part 7 in your story-line.  I will check in later :)

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Its been a long couple of days, but I've managed to find time to check in on the mission and we have a lot of progress to report.  Let's get started.  Kagas met up with the first sample return probe, and there is only a few hundred kilometers and a gigantic valley between her and the second sample probe.  With less than a day to get it done, Kagas is absolutely motoring.

Mission Log 7 - The Elcano Diaries Continue

Impromptu Elcano Stage 3

The next few hundred km come and go without much fanfare.  Even the celebration that 3/4 distance is covered is barely mentioned, apart from a small flag planting ceremony.  It's not until Elcano Stop 24 that suddenly things get a little less dull.  Elcano Stop 24 is named after the extraordinary view of the valley

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Image captured by weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-bodobodobodobodobodobodobodobodobo-dyne

Admittedly some of the view has been gifted from Kagas recklessly jumping the rover over the undulating terrain :) .  From here the end is basically in sight.  Kagas must negotiate her way down into the valley, then along it and up the other side:

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Postcards from Dunatm

Kagas makes a short stop a the top of the descent into the valley and plants a flag called Down Ramp, and then it's on.  Kagas hits over 70 m/s going down hill, barely clearing rocks at a speed that any decent impact results in outright destruction.  At the bottom of the valley Kagas quickly finds the lowest point and plants a flag:

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

Shortly after this flag planting, the second probe is locked onto and Kagas guns it across the bottom of the valley.  Its so flat here that top speed with max warp can be implemented.  This literally eats up the kilometers.  Just shy of the sample return probe, the rover picks up the signal from Elcano stop 1.  This means that Kagas is now under 100km from finishing the circumnavigation of Duna!  Just in time for the launch countdown, Kagas jumps out of the rover and attaches a note to the primed probe.

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Kagas Kerman attaching the later to be famous apology note to the sample surface return probe.

Kagas ties a small message to the sample return saying sorry to the crew for getting them in trouble, and hopefully they can still be friends?

Duna Surface Sample Return Probe 2Kagas watches the tiny probe ascend to orbit with her note attached.  On docking the crew will recover the note.  Kagas will have to wait to see how frosty her reception will be.  Here is the probe shown docked to the Von Brauncano central core.

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

Kagas must now finish the Duna Elcano. The crew are ready to leave the surface having run out of supplies. Kagas has mere hours to make the trip back to the DEM before the crew have to cut and run.

Impromptu Elcano - The Final Stretch!

the second last flag is planted, and now its a speed run. Get back to the DEM before the crew blasts off back to the Von Brauncano.

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

Particularly bumpy ground limits the speed that Kagas can travel at for a while, but she soon adapts.  Now under 70km until Kagas make it home. she needs to maintain a minimum 40 m/s to make it in time.  This calls for one final WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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Image captured by weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-bodobodobodobodobodobodobodobodobo-dyne

10km away now. Kagas can smell success, and something else. Nearly 7 days cooped up in the tiny rover so its not surprising. Still - 1 day ahead of schedule.  Suddenly the DEM is in view. Wow what a sight!

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Image powered by the-end-is-nigh technologies

Is there anyone home Kagas wonders. No welcoming party I guess!  The final flag marking the completion of the Ecano is planted

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The surface crew at this stage are still unaware that Kagas has finished her Elcano.  They know she is close though.

Kagas slowly mounts the return capsule. slowly as she doesn't want to bear thinking about the crews reaction when they see her again.  The Elcano is finally complete.  On a personal level I actually really enjoyed it despite numerous complaints about a dull landscape.  I can maintain the landscape around the equator is mostly dull, and still say I enjoyed it though, although probably not as much as Minmus which was hilarious because of the low gravity and steep hills.  Still, this really had its challenges such as the rover not being designed for an Elcano so yeah would I do it again?  A polar navigation yes, an equatorial no.  Here is the final flag count:

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Image courtesy of KSC tracking station

Next time we will find out what reception Kagas gets when she opens the door to the DEM.  I wonder if the crew will be at all happy.  Probably not.

SM

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11 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Thanks!  It was 83.something m/s, which I think converted to MPH is 188MPH.  I'm not actually sure what the physical speed limit of the rover wheels on a perfectly flat surface is before they explode any more.  It used to be (I think) that there was a hard m/s limit before they popped, regardless of how smooth the ground is.  Personally I am glad that is no longer the case.

It isn't?  That must have changed in my recent absence so I've been careful to keep speeds under the listed number.  Glad to know I can go a bit faster.

 

11 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Circumnavigating Duna for the most part is a reasonably mundane task as evidenced from the mission report of this part of the Von Brauncano, apart from areas where the terrain is less flat around the valleys etc.  I think the next time I attempt Duna Elcano (If I do) I may choose a polar Elcano instead.  That would be way way more challenging judging by some of the terrain around the poles.

Well, an Elcano is largely a test of the player's patience and how long he can hold the drive key.  And avoiding disaster through complacency.  That's impressive enough even if the terrain might not be that challenging.   :P   I've only done it once, on Kerbin, by sea (except for where you have to cross a narrow neck of land)).   That was enough for me.

Duna's north polar region is definitely a challenge for rovers.  It's like a pizza radiating 5-10^ of latitude out from the polar mountain with the "slices" separated by impassable ridges and deep chasms with sheer cliffs.  You can reach the huge polar mountain by driving along a "slice" although this gets difficult the closer you get to the pole.  But then the way is blocked so you'd have to backtrack to the edge of the "pizza" and go around it to continue.

Another issue with going to the north pole itself is that the ridges on each side of the "slice" you're on block sunlight from reaching your solar panels, so it's a good idea to have some other source of juice.  The weird part, however, is that the ridges only filter out the type of light used by solar panels.  Visible light still penetrates the ridges so that boulders on the ridge to your left, which are below the skyline and shielded from the sun, still cast shadows on the surface of the slice and on the ridge to your right.  It's bizarre.

 

5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Next time we will find out what reception Kagas gets when she opens the door to the DEM.  I wonder if the crew will be at all happy.  Probably not.

Congrats to Kagas!  Glad her ride home hadn't left yet.

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@Speeding Mullet

Just WOW this is an amazing mission! Design, execution and awesome story punctuated with great photography..   100/10 for style!  It's been hard to find time to get back to the forum to get caught up, but well worth the read. I'm a big fan of the old-timey space alternate-history projects and seeing it come to life here was a treat.

Doing an Elcano on top of the standard mission will certainly make a fantastic entry to the Dunaprojekt challenge.. certainly looking forward to the return trip and safe landing!  :cool:

 

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On 8/20/2019 at 12:40 AM, Geschosskopf said:

It isn't?  That must have changed in my recent absence so I've been careful to keep speeds under the listed number.  Glad to know I can go a bit faster.

Yah, it appears you can go "a bit" faster :D 

uv8Fv9y.png

 

On 8/20/2019 at 12:40 AM, Geschosskopf said:

Well, an Elcano is largely a test of the player's patience and how long he can hold the drive key.  And avoiding disaster through complacency.  That's impressive enough even if the terrain might not be that challenging.   :P   I've only done it once, on Kerbin, by sea (except for where you have to cross a narrow neck of land)).   That was enough for me.

I did a Minus Elcano which I absolutely loved, but Kerbin - There's a challenge!  By sea as well!  Can you link the mission report if it exists?  It certainly tested my patience at times this one, and as you say, lots of avoiding complacency.

I've flown to the poles at Duna in the past (and Mun etc) and it always makes for some contorted landscapes.  It would be a challenging Elcano for sure.  Maybe I meant a polar route, but avoiding the centre!

On 8/20/2019 at 8:04 AM, Death Engineering said:

@Speeding Mullet

Just WOW this is an amazing mission! Design, execution and awesome story punctuated with great photography..   100/10 for style!  It's been hard to find time to get back to the forum to get caught up, but well worth the read. I'm a big fan of the old-timey space alternate-history projects and seeing it come to life here was a treat.

Doing an Elcano on top of the standard mission will certainly make a fantastic entry to the Dunaprojekt challenge.. certainly looking forward to the return trip and safe landing!  :cool:

 

Thanks very much @Death Engineering for checking in :)  Its not quite over yet, but it soon will be as the write up is progressing well.  As I said at the top, your challenge has always been unfinished business for me.  I'd completed DOMA under @sturmstiger previously, but your version is my other bit of unfinished business.  Returning recently, and after a life changing last 6 months, I felt the need to prove something to myself even if only small.  The Dunaprojekt was achievable within the time I have, so with your blessing I will also (once complete) post it to that thread as a heritage challenge entry!  Got to survive re-entry first though :0.0:.

Onwards then, and as normal the links are there for if you want to review the full mission report.  If you need the condensed version, stay in thread and have a look at the summary provided :)

 

Mission Log 8 - The Long Journey Home

DEM Return to Von Brauncano

Kagas boards the DEM. In silence the crew wait in their seats, helmets on while the door closes, and the air is released back into the cabin.  Slowly, the capsule starts the climb back to orbit. the crew turn to Kagas....CONGRATULATIONS KAGAS THAT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!  Kagas smiles and laughs with teh crew as they climb slowly away from the surface. All is forgiven, and it was generally agreed that one of them would probably have tried and failed, so the crew is glad that the pilot extraordinaire Kagas managed it.

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Image courtesy of left behind cameras inc.

As the crew approach the Von Brauncano, it dawns on them that the next part of the mission has never been attempted before.  Unless you count the Shuttle that did it literally in the last mission before this.  After the DEM has docked to the Von Brauncano, all non essential components are ditched, and the ship will burn hard for Eve.  Shown here post docking are the two science probes, science safely collected, and the DEM having been ejected into sub orbital trajectories:

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Image taken from a Bumvy MMU in orbit around Duna

The Trip to Eve

By this point in the mission half the supplies have been used (Ore is used as part of the challenge requirements) and the ship is configured for leaving Duna orbit.  The Epic voyage will take the crew on a swing inwards, flying by Eve with a number of maneuvers along the way to adjust the fly by trajectory. After the Eve flyby, the Von Brauncano will swing back out past Duna, before barreling back into the system with huge velocities to intercept Kerbin.  It is anticipated that we could be dealing with aerobraking speeds of up to 6km/s at Kerbin, but for now the Burn to Eve is the only thing that matters.  The Von Brauncano lights the two huge candles that are the Nerv atomic rocket motors.

xLWJHnR.png

Image courtesy of Radiation Proof Cladding Plc.

Two huge pillars of radiation flare from the Atomic Rocket motors, painting the orbit of the sunrise station, and guaranteeing the crew months inside the radiation isolation tank at the center of the orbital platform. They are already quite mad so a little more confinement won't hurt them :)  As the huge ship lumbers out of the Duna system on two huge pillars of flame, the landscape that Kagas traversed during the Elcano is spread out below.

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Image captured by C7 Aerospace spy division.

Once the Von Brauncano has left Duna, a small plane change occurs, followed by a larger correction burn.  In order to set up both the eve flyby with low enough energy for the Eve probes to capture with the tiny amount of fuel they have onboard, and to take into account getting a Kerbin intercept with the (relatively) small amount of fuel the Von Brauncano is now carrying, a large correction burn is made, which will allow a greatly reduced intercept cost with Kerbin on the return swing, at a cost of a much higher energy re-entry.  First sighting of Eve is made 267 days later.

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This cannot seriously be the first image captured of Eve.  Where were the crew looking?!

The Eve Flyby

Rapidly approaching Eve and the crew, after months of having nothing to do, has absolutely nothing to do but authorise the computer to release the probes, and watch helplessly as the onboard computers do their things. If the burns are not successful for both probes, then quite frankly they may as well have not done the rest of the mission. The first relay probe decouples.  Unfurling its antenna and solar panels, it renames itself as a relay and identifies itself to the other probes around Eve from a Shuttle Von Braun mission that was previously run as part of the third trip to Duna and Eve using a shuttle.  The second probe follows suit, and both probes are now prepared for their capture burns. Aerocapture here has not been planned for due to the limited space for the (quite frankly) afterthoughts that are the eve relay probes, so we must achieve orbit using puff alone!  The crew has nothing to do apart from get out the Bumvy MMU and take some spectacular shots of the Von Brauncano as it rips past Eve.

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Image courtesy of Postcards from Eve

The first probe ignites its engines on the dark side of Eve and burns with a successful capture and a decent fuel margin left.  The second probe only just manages it, but captures none the less.  Not going to lie, it was close to a total mission failure.  If the probe doesn't achieve orbit, then the crew can just go home with their tails between their legs.

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Image courtesy of KSC tracking station

Now with months, and nothing to do, the crew breaks out Uno and settles in for the long run home.  The Von Brauncano will perform 2 correction burns on the way home to set up a cheap, but super high energy return to Kerbin.  The only think now jeapordising the mission is the total loss of crew on re-entry in the EEM.

 

The Return Home

Well this is worrying. We have only just entered Kerbin system and are already travelling at nearly 5km/s. If the crew do nothing then re-entry will occur at somewhere close to 6km/s.  Quickly, the mission plan is established. The crew scurry down the access hatches and enter the Extra-planetary Entry module (EEM). The habitat is jettisoned to shave weight. The Central PPM will not capture without it, and to be honest the habitat straight up stinks from constant occupancy. Its not fit to fly on another mission and so it will use its mono to enter a Kerbin direct impact trajectory.

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

The EEM configures itself for re-entry. First it jettisons the fairing, which would overheat and explode if not dispatched, and deploys a small antenna and solar panel to maintain charge until re-entry.  Next, with the supplies no longer required, the central PPM decouples the carcass of the Von Brauncano. This will scream past Kerbin and off into an orbit closer to Dres than anything else.  The central core conducts a small, preliminary burn to shed a few hundred m/s. At the gigantic speed the EEM is travelling, this means that we will not have to deal with both events at the same time. The Aerocapture can now proceed with little regard for what the central core is doing.

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

At the last minute all antennas are retracted on the EEM, and the solar panel folds back into its housing. From here the crew can literally only hope that the capsule is strong enough to survive.  Heating effects start immediately on hitting the top of Kerbin's atmo. Travelling at 5.7 km/s the heat shield immediately reaches its design limit.  Still screeching through the upper atmosphere at over 5.5km/s the capsule looks like it will be overcome by re-entry heating.

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Image captured by aerobreakography inc.

Quick thinking by the mission pilots results in Kagas taking manual control of the capsule, and "bobbling" it backwards and forwards to spread the overheating across the heatshield. It seems to be doing the trick.  A minute later and the capsule is climbing back out of the atmposphere at breakneck speed, but wait.....CAPTURE!!!!!!!!!. it is at this stage the crew know that they will survive regardless of where they re-enter on the next pass of Kerbin. The capsule has done a wonderful job and the mission will be a total success as long as the central core also captures.

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Image courtesy of KSC tracking station

Next up it is the turn of the Central Core. It cannot enter the atmo, so it has to perform a gigantic capture burn.  The burn starts at the critical point. Delta-V spare will be almost nothing if we capture burn perfectly.  

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Image courtesy of Mullet Dyne

The next few minutes is do or die for the mission.  This must work or they may as well not have started in the first place.  First, and still travelling at 4.3 km/s, fuel dips under 1000 units.  Waaaaay past Pe, the team back at KSC look on nervously to see if the central core will do it.  500 units passes.  300 units passes. 200 units left and the crew at KSC is apoplectic.

With a mere 104 units of fuel left the central core of the Von Brauncano captures Kerbin orbit. Cheers go up from around the planet, but particularly at KSC where the team can now chalk the entire mission start to finish up as a wild success.

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Image courtesy of KSC tracking station

The second aerobrake of the EEM is a walk in the park having survived a 6km/s re-entry, and some fancy flying of the EEM glides the crew out for a predicted landing just off shore within reach of Mullet Dyne's aeroplanes.

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Image courtesy of Probodobodyne drone-bodobodyne photography limited-bodyne

First, 2 drogue chutes deploy, which then pull out 4 main chutes.  Before we know it the crew splash down, and renewed relief is felt across Mullet Dyne.  The mission is a total success!!!

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

Mission Complete - Returning the Crew

The Beriev Be-200Chs Goliath is chosen for the job. It has been exploring some river systems, and the crew agree readily to make the pickup.  On arrival the Beriev will land in the water for the rescue, and then fly back round half the planet to Kerbin.  A historic photo of the crew on the wing of the Beriev is captured, and then the crew are returned home to KSC.  Kagas Kerman is later awarded a mission bonus, and order of the irresponsible for her Impromptu Elcano of Duna.

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Kasselblad selfie technologytm

Well that is that!  Unfinished business no longer :)  Thanks for reading along with this Von Braun and Elcano challenge and Mission report!!!

SM

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5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Yah, it appears you can go "a bit" faster :D 

 Hehehe, I always had to do crazy stuff like that with airplane wheels.  I built a dragster with like 500 Sepratrons that could OCCASIONALLY reach 720m/s on the runway and even less frequently live to tell the tale.   Most of the time, it would start cartwheeling at 400m/s and create an impressive chain of explosions :D 

 

5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

I did a Minus Elcano which I absolutely loved, but Kerbin - There's a challenge!  By sea as well!  Can you link the mission report if it exists?  It certainly tested my patience at times this one, and as you say, lots of avoiding complacency.

It was fun but nowhere near as cool as the land-based challenges.   I did it because I had 50 days to kill between putting a Jool flotilla in parking orbit and its departure.  This was back before stock boats were a thing so you had to use some mod with water-capable parts to be able to move at all.  (digs around).  OK, here ya go.  Chapters 2 - 10 of this ancient thread.  The links in the table of contents no longer work for some reason so you'll just have to scroll down the pages.  BTW, the 1st post shows some of my earlier giant drone planes.

 

5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Two huge pillars of radiation flare from the Atomic Rocket motors, painting the orbit of the sunrise station, and guaranteeing the crew months inside the radiation isolation tank at the center of the orbital platform. They are already quite mad so a little more confinement won't hurt them :)

I was always under the impression that the exhaust of NERVAs was pretty clean, all things considered.  Rather less than bothersome than what the sun pumps into the same volume of space continuously.  But hey, any excuse to lock Kerbals in a vault for decades is a good excuse :cool:

 

5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

First sighting of Eve is made 267 days later.

What's your opinion of including this Eve excursion in the plan?  Seems like it made everything afterwards more difficult.  Which is good for a KSP challenge but what was the point in real life?  Just scoring propaganda points?  Or was von Braun just getting crazier in his old age?

 

5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Well this is worrying. We have only just entered Kerbin system and are already travelling at nearly 5km/s. If the crew do nothing then re-entry will occur at somewhere close to 6km/s.  Quickly, the mission plan is established. The crew scurry down the access hatches and enter the Extra-planetary Entry module (EEM). The habitat is jettisoned to shave weight. The Central PPM will not capture without it, and to be honest the habitat straight up stinks from constant occupancy. Its not fit to fly on another mission and so it will use its mono to enter a Kerbin direct impact trajectory.

I skimmed the challenge thread and know the capsule had to be designed to re-enter at interplanetary speeds.  But if the engine module has to capture anyway, why not do so with the capsule attached?  Was there not enough fuel for that or did the rules actually require the interplanetary aerocapture?

 

5 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

Well that is that!  Unfinished business no longer :)  Thanks for reading along with this Von Braun and Elcano challenge and Mission report!!!

Bravo!  Splice the main brace!  Drinks all around!  All hands to dance and skylark!

Congratulations on completing this epic project!  The plan was insane, the build monstrous, but you somehow made it work.  And threw in an Elcano.  Outstanding job!  Truly a ripping yarn!  Take a bow!

 

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16 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

It was fun but nowhere near as cool as the land-based challenges.   I did it because I had 50 days to kill between putting a Jool flotilla in parking orbit and its departure.  This was back before stock boats were a thing so you had to use some mod with water-capable parts to be able to move at all.  (digs around).  OK, here ya go.  Chapters 2 - 10 of this ancient thread.  The links in the table of contents no longer work for some reason so you'll just have to scroll down the pages.  BTW, the 1st post shows some of my earlier giant drone planes.

Maybe I could pick a land based route.  A quick scan of the map shows a polar route to be possible, with a couple of water crossings to negotiate but also I think I don't have another Elcano in me for a while unless I cannot think of anything else to do.  It was great reading your water Elcano (plus portage) and it definitely got me thinking about how I can do it.  I guess importantly. Kerbin is rather more interesting that Duna so even though it might take longer you can probably visit a whole load of interesting places, do some sky diving, wing suit flying, whatever else oh god I'm planning an Elcano beyond all proportions already stop me :D.

 

16 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

I was always under the impression that the exhaust of NERVAs was pretty clean, all things considered.  Rather less than bothersome than what the sun pumps into the same volume of space continuously.  But hey, any excuse to lock Kerbals in a vault for decades is a good excuse :cool:

That got me reading (In various different places), and to be honest I went down a bit of an exhaust hole.  Turns out, if you are forward of the (roughly 3,000 lbs shield) required to stop the radiation hitting you from the NERVA, then you will have an increased REM dose of roughly 10 REM for each time the NERVA was fired.  However, if you were behind or to the side the engine up to a distance of 10 miles, you would be subjected to a dose of between 25-30 REM per hour from the Skyshine.  According to the Nuclear Radiation Survival Sheet, specifically the extreme levels of accumulative radiation over any period of time chart, really not that good for you and a decent chance of slow to slower death :o.  I think you'd havce to make a decent effort to hang out there though.  the plume itself you are right doesn't contain much radiation per say.  Let's call it artistic license :)

 

16 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

What's your opinion of including this Eve excursion in the plan?

In the case of KSP I am not sure that it worked for me.  the Von Braun swing by of Venus was designed to reduce the speed of arrival at Earth and give the mission a secondary science opportunity.  Either my terrible orbital plotting, or the position of Eve in KSP makes the Eve Swingby more dangerous at return to Kerbin.  I'd need someone skilled at flybys from Duna to Kerbin via Eve to confirm that though.  For me, I used SO much more Delta-V.

 

16 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

I skimmed the challenge thread and know the capsule had to be designed to re-enter at interplanetary speeds.  But if the engine module has to capture anyway, why not do so with the capsule attached?  Was there not enough fuel for that or did the rules actually require the interplanetary aerocapture?

Definitely not enough fuel in the central core (orbit achieved with 102 units left), but also the central and side cores are not allowed to enter the atmosphere, as they have not been designed to aero-brake.

 

16 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Bravo!  Splice the main brace!  Drinks all around!  All hands to dance and skylark!

Congratulations on completing this epic project!  The plan was insane, the build monstrous, but you somehow made it work.  And threw in an Elcano.  Outstanding job!  Truly a ripping yarn!  Take a bow!

Thanks very much indeed @Geschosskopf!  I certainly enjoyed designing, flying, and writing up this mission.  It was a real pleasure and the Elcano was genuinely not planned.  when i decoupled it I thought "I'll get a couple of snaps and that will be that", but I got the idea in my head and well - the rest is history.  Thanks for your engagement through the story also - definitely gave me motivation to continue!

SM

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Speeding Mullet said:

... oh god I'm planning an Elcano beyond all proportions already stop me :D.

OK, here are a few bummers to consider..

There's no viable polar route that minimizes water crossings.  There's only land pole-to-pole on 1 side of the planet.  On the opposite side of that, there's a wide ocean between land and the south polar cap.

The only land route that avoids all water crossings uses the north polar ice cap to cross between continents.  As going around the arctic circle is rather shorter than going around the equator, you have to make large detours down into the various "continental" peninsulas for this route to really count.

The polar ice caps end in sheer cliffs in some places, which require great effort (usually involving KAS winches) to cross.  If planning to get onto the polar caps, it's a good idea to do some route recon first so you can pick areas that lack cliffs.

The mostly land that stays closest to the equator involves 7 or 8 relatively short water crossings.  Going W from KSC, cross the strait to the desert.  From there, head WSW to the tip of the "Kraken's Jaw" peninsula and cross the strait across the entrance to the Inland Ocean (2 or 3 island hops along the way).  Go S to the base of the peninsula, then more or less W all across that continent.  From its western shore, you can island hop a couple times over to MECO Peninsula, from which you get back to KSC.  There are quite a few mountains along this route but all have passes you can get through after a detours.

 

Quote

In the case of KSP I am not sure that it worked for me.  the Von Braun swing by of Venus was designed to reduce the speed of arrival at Earth and give the mission a secondary science opportunity.  Either my terrible orbital plotting, or the position of Eve in KSP makes the Eve Swingby more dangerous at return to Kerbin.  I'd need someone skilled at flybys from Duna to Kerbin via Eve to confirm that though.  For me, I used SO much more Delta-V.

There's probably some rare alignment when the Eve fly-by would save you some dV but I doubt it comes along very often.

 

Quote

Definitely not enough fuel in the central core (orbit achieved with 102 units left), but also the central and side cores are not allowed to enter the atmosphere, as they have not been designed to aero-brake.

So, if you'd had enough fuel, you'd have captured the capsule on the core, then dropped the pod?  But I'm glad the capsule was up to Plan B :D 

Edited by Geschosskopf

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On 8/23/2019 at 12:30 AM, Geschosskopf said:

OK, here are a few bummers to consider..

Hmm food for thought!  Still, makes me realise I haven't even really explored Kerbin that much either.  I don't think I've ever actually visited the poles or Keverest for example!

On 8/23/2019 at 12:30 AM, Geschosskopf said:

So, if you'd had enough fuel, you'd have captured the capsule on the core, then dropped the pod?  But I'm glad the capsule was up to Plan B :D 

I don't think so no - the challenge isn't 100% clear, however I read this line as rule that I had to capture the capsule directly from interplanetary. 

EEM with room for 6 to land on Kerbin from interplanetary transfer

Honestly I thought the whole mission was lost at this stage.  first off the capsule would just explode on contact with the upper atmosphere.  then I figured out that at 6km/s the fairing was just instantly overheating, so I tried again with the fairing ejected.  It still exploded.  then I figured out that changing the angle of re-entry just off of a straight up retrograde actually helped the capsule to survive longer.  From there it was a matter of finding the angle that the capsule needed to make it.  Definitely a sweaty moment though!

This reminds me - I need to post up the mission report to the challenge thread :)

SM

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