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Great work! Really enjoyed reading this. You've really made a great balance of gameplay, screenshots, and story which one rarely sees here. Congrats! I would like all of them, but I've already used up my likes :/



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On 10/15/2019 at 6:36 AM, Alpha 360 said:

Great work! Really enjoyed reading this. You've really made a great balance of gameplay, screenshots, and story which one rarely sees here. Congrats! I would like all of them, but I've already used up my likes :/

Well despite lack of likes I appreciate your patronage anyhow! I'm glad you like it, admittedly I'm just kinda BSing my way through the story :P

On 10/15/2019 at 10:56 AM, Angel-125 said:

It’s nice to see the infrastructure that you set up being put to good use. :)

I'm a civil engineer by trade, infrastructure is my jam!



With hardware continuing to be tested in preparation for the first Mun landings by Kerbals CSAC and its contractors were still hard at work building and launching components for McDivitt Station in LEO. One part maintenance hub for LKO infrastructure, one part testing ground for new hardware, McDivitt soon found renewed focus as the Mun program ramped up. 




The second habitation and lab module was launched aboard another Mark II, with the intention of using it to facilitate commercial needs for a microgravity environment to do science.



Mark II continued to prove the merits of the transpiration cooled aerospike heat shield concept for entry and landing. CSAC and Space Launch Services planners involved with future Duna mission planning began to take note of its capabilities and potential use.




The next launch would see the debut of the Hercules Crew Capsule designed and built by Lockmart-Boemman. Intended as a reusable capsule to transport crew out to the Mun and beyond, its three crew successfully guided the capsule into its berth on the front end of McDivitt. 




The final habitation and lab module, intended for government research purposes, was successfully launched and berthed to McDivitt. Thus bringing the station to Full Operational Readiness. Already academic institutions, private corporations and sketchy government research departments are booking space aboard the newest installation in LEO!




Last but not least after helping set up the last new modules of McDivitt, the crew of the first Hercules was ordered back home to test out the entry and landing techniques. For LEO missions, Hercules would have ample propellant reserve to execute a propulsive landing with its abort motors with parachute backup. Despite a slightly harder than planned landing, the first flight of Hercules was declared a success! Relevant changes are being made to improve the design, and it's ready to support what is now being deemed the Odyssey Program!


That's all I've got for today, exciting times in the space program! Stay tuned for more What Goes Up!



Edited by Stevphfeniey
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20 hours ago, Stevphfeniey said:

The next launch would see the debut of the Hercules Crew Capsule designed and built by Lockmart-Boemman.



Also, I love how in this alternate reality, Lockmark-Boemman have built the superior dragon capsule, rather than messing around with starliner.

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On 10/20/2019 at 7:43 PM, Angel-125 said:

I like the screenshots, especially the first with the sunflare. :)

Praise be to JNSQ!

On 10/21/2019 at 5:42 AM, Alpha 360 said:

Also, I love how in this alternate reality, Lockmark-Boemman have built the superior dragon capsule, rather than messing around with starliner.

Lockmart-Boemman prides itself on delivering the cutting edge of technology at a low cost to the customer!

On 10/21/2019 at 12:47 PM, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

Does the Hercules Crew Capsule have Super-Herc thrusters

Sure, didn't actually think that far ahead when I wrote this.



With the Odyssey program of manned Munar landings CSAC GHQ thought it prudent to send a mission to scope out the planned South Pole landing site. 


The mission dubbed Pathfinder Mun 1 was quickly constructed and launched aboard an SLS Mark III.




After yet another successful launch, Pathfinder Mun 1 met up with its Centaur Tug. Once more proving the reliability and low costs of the depot and tug system, Pathfinder was placed on a perfect trajectory to the Mun with the tug doing the necessary maneuvers to come back home safely.




After a week long cruise the lander placed itself in low Munar orbit before beginning the trip down to the surface. After a harrowing landing sequence Pathfinder Mun 1 successfully touched down on the surface! Unfortunately due to a navigation error (read: I'm dumb and didn't plan properly), the lander landed behind a mountain and promptly ran out of power. But not before sending home a thumbs up!


Pretty short update today, but I've got something special planned for our tenth installment of What Goes Up! Stay tuned

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8 hours ago, Elro2k said:

Do you remember which one it is?

It's a homebrew modification of BDB's J-2T that I've scaled up to five meter diameter and added an ablator patch that draws residual liquid hydrogen from the tanks for cooling. Pretty simple to do, just takes a few minutes in the .cfg file to switch some values around.


I'm not gonna lie I wasn't sure I'd even make it to 10 chapters of this stupid project I've been working on for months now. Really I'm just doing it for fun, so any and all support y'all give to me is just icing on the cake. So before we move onto arguably our most awesome chapter yet I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart:

Thank's y'all! I appreciate y'all reading this, commenting, liking, generally all the support I've seen. 

Anyway, soppy emotional garbage aside, let's get down to the nitty gritty. Ladies and germs I'm proud to show you...


With the necessary infrastructure in place, tanks and tugs filled, landing sites scoped out, and crews itching to go, CSAC GHQ finally decided to pull the trigger on the manned portion of the Odyssey Program. 






The launch and landing campaign was kicked off by the launch of the Odyssey Crew Vehicle. Part crew can, part abort system, the OCV would house the crew on their trip between the Mun Depot and the surface, often times a week long trip given the highly elliptical orbit of the depot. 

In the event of a failure of the Odyssey Mun Descent Module, the OCV has its own independent engines to ensure the crew can make it back to their Hercules capsule on the depot.




In the early hours of Odyssey 1 Mission Day 1, the crew was strapped into their Hercules capsule on the pad. Commander Theodin Kerman, First Officer Glery Kerman, and Mission Science Officer Haddock Kerman would be the first Kerbals to set foot on the Munar surface since CSAC was founded. 

The launch aboard their modified Mark III Lifter was picture perfect. And in no time they found themselves a half kilometer away from the OK Corral.




With the tug fully fueled and the OCV secured on top Cdr. Theodin maneuvered his ship to dock with the rest of the stack. Finding themselves fully secured and with systems showing green across the board, CSAC Mission Control at the KSC gave the mission the go call for TMI. The tug's twin RL60s lit, and two minutes later they cut off putting Odyssey 1 on a path to the Mun. 





Two weeks later after making the necessary maneuvers and corrections for rendezvous, Odyssey 1 found themselves meters away from their next destination: the Mun Depot. With their lander fully fueled the crew docked their Hercules-OCV stack to the top node, transferred over, and let their Hercules do an automated docking on the front port of the depot. It would wait there for a week while the crew carried out their mission on the surface.

With checks completed and systems passing muster, the go call was made to begin the descent to the surface.





On mission day 15 the crew detached from the depot and made preparations to circularize into a low Munar orbit. Once that was established, Cdr. Theodin and First Officer Glery strapped into the lander's cockpit and fired the lander's four RL10s to put themselves on a trajectory to land just a few meters from Pathfinder Mun 1 on the Munar South Pole.

With the help of the Mechanical Jeb Autopilot and flying by dead reckoning, Cdr. Theodin brought his ship down. With a jubilant callout saying they were dead on target, the commander began the terminal descent phase pitching his lander up for final descent and landing.

With a frantic callout of Contact by First Officer Glery, panicked button mashing and the dust settling, the crew finally got to see what no Kerbal has seen thus far...


The surface of the Mun, up close and personal in all its dusty glory.




Being on the clock the crew wasted no time donning their Mun Suits, and cycling one at a time out the airlock. As this was an experimental flight more than anything else little science and exploration would be done on Odyssey 1. That said the crew did get bragging rights to plant the first (of many) flags on the surface, and laying a plaque noting the occasion.

Of notable interest to MSO Haddock was how Pathfinder Mun 1 fared after months on the surface and to relay potential failures back to mission control after contact with the probe was lost. It appeared to be in good condition! Just needing a battery charge. With rocks collected, games of solitaire in the lander played and observations of the solar corona made, mission control made the call to suit up and prepare to return to the Mun Depot as it approached periapsis. 

With a hop and a skip and a spark in the RL10s, Odyssey 1 was away and in the air once more!







After firing its engines to rendezvous with the Mun Depot the crew of Odyssey 1 made the next leg of their trip home. Piling back into their Hercules and firing their engines for TKI, the crew settled in for the five day return. Despite some worry among engineers back home, the Hercules passed through a Munar reentry with more or less flying colors and after a month in space the crew of Odyssey 1 came home safe to a hero's welcome!


Well Lord Almighty we finally did it! Only took a minute :P 

I'm out of town for a few days and I've got a lot going on the next few months so I figured I'd give y'all a nice juicy update. Fear not! I've got a lot of missions in the pipeline with lots of new and exciting hardware to throw around space. But until then sit tight and stay tuned for the next chapter of What Goes Up!


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On 11/2/2019 at 4:49 PM, Angel-125 said:

Congrats on a successful Mun landing!

Thank you! It was a long time coming.



Now that Kerbals have stepped foot on the surface of the Mun, and after the champagne had been drunk, hangovers tended too, and ticker tape parades paraded the men and women of CSAC were left with a most fundamental question: What now?

With months of preparation necessary until the flight of Odyssey 2, the showrunners at CSAC GHQ decided to take a look at the infrastructure that had enabled the first landing and how it could be improved. The Centaur and Pegasus tugs which had served their needs for awhile now were now judged to be obsolete in the face of new innovations such as liquid hydrogen RCS thrusters. Too small to be made useful and with too much mass wasted on toxic monopropellant, contracts were soon dispersed (obviously picked up by Shelby-Hatch) for Centaur and Pegasus Mark II.

In short order, the launch campaign began.





The first to go up was the new Pegasus Mark II. Monopropellant thrusters were swapped out for more efficient LH2 thrusters, and the heavy RL60s used on the Mark I were swapped out for more efficient RL10s. Lighter solar panels, longer range comms, and more efficient thermal regulation were assured to meet the challenges of a growing space program with its eyes on the planets.




Centaur Mark II was a yet more radical improvement on the Mark I. Its propellant stores were expanded significantly allowing the series to support up to 4 tons on a Mars or Eve bound trajectory.



It was decided, after some light deliberation, to put the new tugs through their shakedown cruises on a relatively simple but critically important piece of infrastructure: The Messier Munar Comm Array. Six satellites positioned in six hour orbits would provide global coverage for communications on the Mun. And so, the satellites were built, launched and docked to their Centaur II.




After a picture perfect TMI burn, the satellites were decoupled and activated one at a time, and placed in their proper orbits forming a triangle a thousand kilometers above the Munar surface.



And like so many of its brethren before it, the first cruise of a Centaur II ended back at the OK Corral. Completing a newer, bigger and better road which the space program could use to reach the stars.


Part II is now underway! I've been working hard on a whole boatload of exciting missions and hardware which we'll detail in the next 10 chapters, hopefully (fingers crossed) ending in Kerbalkind continuing to extend its reach throughout the cosmos! So stay tuned for the next chapter of What Goes Up!

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Updates? Who needs updates? Updating on a regular schedule is for nerds. Anyway, here's the next chapter!


Seeing the potential of the reusable booster and tug network to make all aspects of spaceflight more affordable and reliable, CSAC's Interplanetary Probe Laboratory successfully lobbied for funding to send a probe on the upcoming Duna transfer window. But as the size and scale of the mission increased, the probe grew beyond the payload bay size limits of the Mark III. Not wanting to waste space on a Mark II, a duplicate orbiter and lander complex was ordered. Christened Erikson and Asvaldsson, the twin probes would be CSAC's first envoys to the red planet.





After yet another perfect SLS Mark II launch, Erikson and Asvaldsson were brought within a couple hundred meters of the OK Corral. First on the docket to Duna was Erikson, the six ton behemoth requiring a full heavy tug to transfer out to Duna.





After a successful TDI burn the tug executed a retrograde and slight anti-radial burn to efficiently bring itself back down into a Kerbin orbit. After a successful rendezvous, refueling and checkout, the tug then repeated the process with the Asvaldsson probe. 

With rapid tug reuse and interplanetary reuse capability demonstrated corks were being popped at CSAC IPL headquarters and Shelby-Hatch. But with no rest for the wicked, the new heavy tug would quickly have another job to do.





With another Mark II launch the Propellant Transfer Vehicle was brought up to the OK Corral and mated to its awaiting tug for delivery of 15 tons of propellant to the Mun Depot to support the Odyssey 2 landing. With an acceptable TMI burn the whole stack, among the heaviest sent to the Mun to date, began its several day transfer out to the Mun.



Putting the new tug's automated guidance and docking to the test, the ship's navigation computers successfully brought it to an automated rendezvous and docking with the Mun station.





With station's tanks topped off the tug and PTV left on the next transfer window out from the Mun Depot's polar orbit. Like many tugs before it, the stack successfully rendezvoused and docked with the OK Corral after a two week mission!

With interplanetary probes on the way, and propellant tanks topped off, CSAC mission planners have a lot of planning and work ahead of them as GHQ eyes even grander designs!


PS: In case anybody wants to know what kinda margins I'm working with here:


After the tug and PTV finally met up with the OK Corral at the end of the mission.


Anyway be sure to let me know your thoughts, feelings and ideas, and stay tuned for the next chapter of What Goes Up!

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So before we get started today I just want to apologize to the mods in advance because to quote the great salesman and dad of the year Ricky LeFleur: "I can't properly express myself without swearing".


Well holy loveing excrements guys! Thread of the Month? Are you excrementsting me? That's loveing amazing! I just want to thank all y'all reading, liking and commenting. It means a lot to me, and contributed to this excrementsty little project becoming a thread of the month. So in short: Thank you!


Okay, emotional stuff over, thank yous over, let's get cracking. 


On 11/24/2019 at 1:51 PM, Angel-125 said:

And once a fuel tank is spent refueling the OK Corral, what happens to it?

Tankers for the LKO depot return to Kerbin, tankers for the Mun depot come back to the LKO depot.



Not content to rest on their laurels after the successful launch and transfer of Erikson and Asvaldsson Duna probes, the Interplanetary Probe Laboratory were faced with another deadline. The ringed planet of Lindor with its mysterious moon Huygen beckoned.  However, IPL planners were found stuck. At the distance Lindor orbits at, solar electric propulsion was not an option, and nuclear electric was still untested. And with the orbital ejection velocity required, even a Heavy Tug with a light load would not be able to eject to Lindor then return.

The solution: With Mark II Heavy Tugs coming online, it was decided by Shelby-Hatch brass to "donate" a Mark I Heavy Tug to the mission that was to be deorbited anyhow. So with hurdles overcome and hardware built, launch day arrived.



Hitching a ride aboard an SLS Mark III, Pioneer Lindor as it was christened was launched on what would be CSAC's longest mission to date.





After a rendezvous and docking with the last of the Mark I Heavy Tugs, Pioneer Lindor set sail for the ringed planet with science instruments in tow! After a successful trans-Lindor injection burn, the probe was cast off on its years long trip, and the tug was cosigned to eternal rest in the void (unless somebody unfortunately bumps into it down the line).


And finally, in a quiet corner of the CSAC launch site at the KSC, contractors and personnel were plugging away at the next major phase of Munar exploration.


CSAC and its partners' range just gets longer and longer! Shame that tug had to be retired, but it is for a good cause. Again I can't thank y'all enough for getting us to Thread of the Month 12/2019! Please let me know what y'all think, and remember to stay tuned for the next installment of What Goes Up!


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1 hour ago, Stevphfeniey said:

Well holy loveing excrements guys! Thread of the Month? Are you excrementsting me? That's loveing amazing! I just want to thank all y'all reading, liking and commenting. It means a lot to me, and contributed to this excrementsty little project becoming a thread of the month. So in short: Thank you

The language filter strikes again!

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8 hours ago, nepphhh said:

What other launchers have you used in this save?

Just the SLS Mark II and Mark III. That said, I'm cooking up some competition for Space Launch Services in the form of Space Express Technologies Inc. dBA SpaceEx. Maybe y'all will see them a few chapters down the line.

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So tonight I was bored and felt like doing a quick demonstration to convey the scale of the Mark II, which I feel gets lost.


That's an Atlas V 551 and the largest variant of the AJ260 (the most powerful single rocket ever built).

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Buenas dias everybody! I think today is a great time to continue the saga of What Goes Up! So without further ado I present: 


There's propellant in them thar craters! Preliminary samples of South Pole crater geological cores revealed a fairly substantial amount of water ice among the regolith. With the prospect of a near infinite (for their purposes) supply of propellant already significantly outside the Kerbin gravity well, CSAC mission planners on the Duna program were ecstatic! Headquarters immediately fastracked a pair of pressurized rovers to be delivered to the South Pole crater, and the launch campaign for Odyssey 2 began!




Owing to their sheer bulk both rovers designated PMR 1 and PMR 2 were launched aboard an SLS Mark II where they met their awaiting tugs for transfer to the Mun Depot.







One at a time, PMR 1 and 2 were bolted to the bottom of an awaiting Reusable Mun Lander and brought down to the surface. And each time the RML transferred back up to the Mun Depot to be refueled and reused, basically having already paid for itself by virtue of not having to launch dedicated landers for every payload!




On a crisp night, the crew of Odyssey 2 piled into their Hercules capsule and launched up to meet their awaiting Hermes Mark II heavy tug. Today they brought with them the Hercules Mission Module, additional living and storage space for the long trip to the Mun.





After another successful transfer the crew of Odyssey 2 settled in for the long trip out to the Mun. They raved about the additional space afforded to them by the HMM, and it was decided to be included on all future Odyssey missions. 





After a good docking and transfer over to the crewed Mun lander, Odyssey 2 made their way down to the Munar South Pole, landing a few hundred meters away from the awaiting PMRs. Piling into the rover, the crew conducted a survey of the surrounding peaks to search for a Peak Of Eternal Light. These prominences with near constant sunlight would be the site of the South Pole Extended Research Module, Kerbalkind's first permanent home on another world. And on mission surface day 4, the prime candidate was discovered and christened Mt. Odyssey. 




With survey work done, additional samples collected and postcard photos taken, the crew of Odyssey 2 piled into their lander. Firing up the engines they made a successful rendezvous with the Mun Depot. One transfer burn and a few days of waiting later the crew reentered Kerbin's atmosphere and returned home safely!


Well that's a long one. Hope y'all enjoy it! Things are starting to move along in the great reusable space program. So stay tuned for another chapter of What Goes Up!

Edited by Stevphfeniey
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