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Starship REVELATION: Fully functional and plausible interstellar ark/generation ship

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CHAPTER I: Introduction

The kerbals have always dreamed of reaching the stars. Some said it was impossible. We said it was inevitable.

Behold the REVELATION, the largest craft ever built by kerbals. Spanning over 400 meters long, weighing over 2000 tons, this behemoth can carry 50 kerbals, enough life support for the several decade long transit, and the supplies to set up a colony. It served one purpose: transporting the kerbals to another star system. It took around 4 years to build including contracts and recruitment. After years of construction, it was ready to set sail. Destination: Q'uq'umatz, in the Ascension system.



CHAPTER II: How it Works

What makes the REVELATION so impressive compared to interstellar craft other players have built in KSP, is that this one is plausible in real life. It only uses technology that humans already have or will have in the very near future (5-15 years). It uses an orion drive for propulsion, which could, in real life, reach Proxima Centauri in around 100 years. And, we have the technology for orion drives. The REVELATION runs on a nuclear reactor, uses a closed life-support system (with loss over time), simulates gravity through centrifuge rings, and uses other concepts often seen in interstellar ark proposals. The only technologies really missing are better 3D printing, and radiation protection. Both of which we can expect within the next 2 decades. The REVELATION is a generation ship, meaning that if the transit is long enough, new generations will be born on-board. 

The lander is one of the ship’s largest components. It is made to land on an exoplanet with up to Kerbin’s atmosphere and gravity. It can harvest resources from the environment, and build entire colonies out of in-situ resources. It can support 50 kerbals for 300 days, enough to set up a basic farm. From there, they continue building a huge colony to support them all.

Basically, this is a scaled down version of what a real interstellar ark would be. Feel free to ask me any questions regarding this.

CHAPTER III: Construction

Ever since I began my space program, my goal has been a plausible interstellar ark. I even wrote an interstellar ark proposal for real life. After my space program’s mission to Jool, and Jeb’s retirement, we decided it was time. The first module to be sent up was the nuclear reactor. We utilized our Mun base for some of the larger modules, such as the greenhouse. We had the crew of our Mun base build the large modules we wanted to send up (the Mun base did have full in-situ construction capabilities). They were then launched from the Mun using nuclear engines (nuclear thermal, not nuclear pulse), and intercepted with the REVELATION in LKO. After the ship was 90% complete, we started sending crew and subcontracting civilians to the REVELATION. Soon, it was complete. The final module to be sent up was the crowning jewel: the orion drive.

CHAPTER IV: What is Q’uq’umatz?

Q’uq’umatz (I don’t know how to pronounce it either) is a habitable super-kerbin in the Ascension system, a small binary red dwarf system in the Dawn Cluster. Q’uq’umatz has gravity similar to Kerbin’s, and is 900 kilometers in diameter. It’s atmosphere is 4 times as thick as Kerbin’s, but is only 45 kilometers in height. It’s atmosphere does contain oxygen, and is safe to breathe. It is covered in hills and swamp-like land-forms. It has oceans, and has steep coastal cliffs.

Upon arrival (which will be covered later in this post), they confirmed the presence of life on the surface, in the form of alien vegetation, much resembling Kerbin’s. They have not yet discovered any forms of mobile or intelligent life. The kerbals are not allowed to expose themselves to any vegetation or the atmosphere, due to risk of alien pathogens.

CHAPTER V: Departure from Kerbin

Before construction even began, it was decided they would visit Eeloo on the way. This is because it would be a perfect opportunity, and we had not landed there yet. The REVELATION included a second, 3 kerbal, very small lander for this purpose. 

After all inspections were done, including a test pulse on the orion, they plotted a maneuver that would take them to Eeloo. The transit time to Eeloo was 2 years. They then slowed down into low orbit, and sent the small lander down. The landing was perfect. They spent around 3 hours on the surface, taking pictures and bouncing around. Once done, they ascended back to the REVELATION.


The small lander and the 3 kerbals on the surface of Eeloo

They then plotted a maneuver that would allow them to do a slingshot maneuver off of Kerbol. They had a Jool flyby as a bonus. They passed very, very close to Kerbol, and accelerated to very high speeds. After a very long burn, (or boom, since it was an orion drive), they were on-course for the Ascension system. The transit time would be 27 years, roughly a 4th of what it would be in real life. But, as I said, this is scaled down. The life support could support a 100 year journey if required.

They quickly entered the pitch, inky blackness of interstellar space. Never to return to Kerbin.


As they got closer and closer to Ascension, a dim light began to shine on the ship. Soon they could very easily see Ascension, and it’s twin, Eternal, in the sky. Soon, it was blindingly close. They came very, very close to Ascension, using the oberth effect to it’s very extreme to slow down. They were taking on a lot of heat, but they could handle it. After a very long burn, they were in orbit.

CHAPTER VII: The End of a Long Journey

Kerbol, from where they were at, looked like just another star in the sky.

~150 days after they reached orbit of Ascension, they arrived at Q’uq’umatz. They verified the presence of alien vegetation on the surface (which I already went over). They slowed down into orbit. They did a scan and selected a landing site with all of the resources they needed. They loaded up the main lander. Once the full checklist was complete, the lander separated, leaving the REVELATION, which was now empty and inactive, behind. They hit the upper atmosphere hard. It was a very bumpy ride. They took on a lot of heat from re-entry. The lander used an inflatable heat shield. Once they were travelling under 250 m/s, they ejected the heat shield. They burned retrograde full thrust to propel it away. The landing gear then deployed. They quickly slowed down to landing speeds, and, in a nerve-racking moment, touched down.

That moment represented everything kerbals had ever worked for. Tansby Kerman, pilot and elected leader, descended down the ladder, and became the first kerbal to ever walk on an exoplanet.


Tansby Kerman standing on Q’uq’umatz.

CHAPTER VIII: Making a home

It took them 200 days to build the colony. Pany Kerman, chief engineer, felt proud as she finally connected the lander to the finished base, using a utility pipe. It took only a few days to fully move into the colony. They had done their work, and now they could rest.


The colony.


It was truly sad that Jebediah Kerman, Bob Kerman, and Bill Kerman, or the crew of the Mun Base could not live to see that day. All of them would be over 100 years old. All of them had died of old age. But, that was inevitable. The crew of the REVELATION BASE built a memorial for Jeb, Bill, Bob, and the Mun base crew.

As for the REVELATION BASE, they thrived. They quickly grew in population and size. It soon became a city. A city that will hopefully last for billions of years to come, and will be the first step in kerbalkind surviving for trillions.


As for me, I have, in almost every sense, “completed” Kerbal Space Program. After I finished the colony, I held a closing ceremony, and logged off for the last time. This is the end of my story in KSP, but only the first step of the kerbals’ journey through the universe.

I still think Kerbal Space Program is a great game, and I owe it everything. Someday I want to work at SpaceX, and help make this, or at least something like it, a reality. I believe humanity also has a future in the stars. I wish to make that a reality. If I had never played Kerbal Space Program, I may never have become interested in space. Now, I want to dedicate my life to space. Because of that, I owe KSP everything. It has changed my life forever.

However, don't worry. I plan on returning to KSP someday. I am just taking a long break from KSP so that when I return I can regain the excitement I had when I played the game for the very first time. 


I would like to thank the creators of KSP for allowing this journey to be possible.

I would like to thank the creator of The World Beyond, the planet pack that adds several star systems and over 100 beautiful celestial bodies.

I would like to thank the creator of the Orion mod.

I would like to thank the creator of Civilian Population. This would not have been possible without Civilian Population.

I would like to thank the creator of TAC Life Support.

This would not be possible without KIS or KAS.

I would like to thank everyone else who helped make this possible.


For now, I am saying goodbye. I hope all of you someday achieve feats as great as mine. 

Feel free to ask me any questions or give any feedback.



Edited by SlamduncAZ
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Congrats on the epic journey!  Sorry to see you go, though.  There's always something new and different to do in KSP.  

Before you leave, how about some more pics of the ship and a complete tour of how it worked :) 

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25 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Congrats on the epic journey!  Sorry to see you go, though.  There's always something new and different to do in KSP.  

Before you leave, how about some more pics of the ship and a complete tour of how it worked :) 

Here are some low quality pictures (taken from my iPad):












At the very, very front of the ship is the Eeloo lander. The module just after that with the radiator panels is the nuclear reactor, after that is the education center, behind that is the main crew module, then there is the greenhouse, then LS storage, then that huge truss structure contains the lander, behind that is the water storage and comms array, behind that are the centrifuge gravity rings, then at the very end is the orion. All resources on-board get recycled. The nuclear reactor provides energy, it's pretty straightforward. Feel free to ask me any more questions.


Also, don't worry, I will return someday.

Edited by SlamduncAZ
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/19/2019 at 3:05 PM, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:


I can see it now:

PROJECT LITHIOS: The REVELATION’s bigger brother. Spanning over 600 meters long and housing over 80 kerbals. But, with the same basic technology.

Space D (the space program that made the REVELATION) starts to die down, still receiving funding to assist the quickly growing and completely independent REVELATION BASE, and still doing advanced interplanetary missions, as a new competitor, Project Green, quickly rises superior.

In a joint effort, they form Project LITHIOS, an attempt to send a much larger craft much, much further.

Will they succeed at essentially doubling kerbalkind’s chances of survival?

Will new experimental technologies help them in the long run?

We will see for ourselves...

Because Q’uq’umatz was only the beginning...



I wonder if my “accomplishment” was any inspiration for the interstellar part of KSP 2?

Edited by SlamduncAZ
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19 hours ago, SlamduncAZ said:

I can see it now:

PROJECT LITHIOS: The REVELATION’s bigger brother. Spanning over 600 meters long and housing 80 kerbals. But, with the same basic technology.

I wonder if my “accomplishment” was any inspiration for the interstellar part of KSP 2?

I don't know, but if your accomplishment was the inspiration, @Lo Var Lachland or @The_Cat_In_Space's Discord servers may have been the inspiration for the multiplayer!

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4 hours ago, Railgunner2160 said:

Very nice and I'm loving what you did and look forward to building something similar in KSP2. Got one question though, which mod is the Orion drive from??

This should be the mod.

The REVELATION BASE is capable of producing Orion Drives (as well as other spacecraft/spacecraft components/base modules) out of in-situ resources. The setup to produce Orion Drives off-world is very complicated, but I can explain it to you if you want.


Also, it makes me more than glad to see others following in my footsteps.

Edited by SlamduncAZ
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Although it isn’t really related to this thread, if any of you were wondering, I did some research, and the “laser” engine in the KSP 2 trailer is apparently a Daedalus engine, another type of interstellar travel capable engine. It could get to Proxima Centauri in less than half the time of the Orion (around 40 years). 

Although in my opinion, in terms of technology and cost, the Orion is a lot more practical. 

Edited by SlamduncAZ
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  • 2 months later...

Okay guys, I know it has been a long time, but I have decided to return to KSP. Space D's (the space program that built the REVELATION) statement is as follows:

While we were so busy and preoccupied on conquering another star system, we never conquered our own. But that will be for no longer, as we are excited to announce our Chapter 2 Megaproject, in which we will revolutionize interplanetary travel. We are introducing a new ship, The Gateway, an interplanetary mothership propelled by an Orion Drive, which will be used for most of our interplanetary operations. We plan on building colonies the size and capability of the ones built by the REVELATION on Duna, Laythe, and Eve; as well as setting up smaller outposts throughout the Kerbol System.

But, do not fear, for our space program, the colonists on Q'uq'umatz, and all of kerbalkind will someday once again inevitably look up to the stars. 

-Space D CEO

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