Cavscout74

Out of the Sands

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In the dawning hours of a new year, thunder echoed across the sands of western Kerbin as a budding technology was turned from war to pushing the limits of Kerbalkind.  With just an empty nose cone where once a deadly payload was carried, a leftover A-4 rocket, repainted a peaceful white, leapt into the sky, accelerating quickly beyond the reach of the control center nestled in this once quiet desert.  Just months before, all Kerbin rejoiced after the end of the bloody Kerbal Konflict, now they gazed skyward, hoping for a glimpse of a bright future among the stars.

 

Career Rules - So I decided to start a new hard career for 1.8, with most of the same rules as my last 1.7 career but upping reentry heating to 110% and changing probes to require signal for any control.

Spoiler

Modified hard career settings

No quickload/no revert/permadeath

Starting funds 19000, science 0, rep 0

Funding rewards 40% (30% was ok, but just a little too grindy last time)

Science rewards 20%

Rep rewards 40% (same as funding)

Reentry heating 110%

Plasma Blackout & Require signal for control

Part Pressure & G-limits on, Kerbal G-limits on

Extra ground stations on, extra launch sites allowed - in the beginning, launches will take place from the desert space center or Woomerang until the new KSC facilities are built.  Tentatively, this is set for 2 months but I may change that as I go.

Mod List

Spoiler

I'm not listing minor dependencies of other mods (like click through blocker, etc)

Airplane Plus

B9 Procedural Wings

Better Burn Time

Completely Non-Aggressive Rockets (CNAR)

Coatl Aerospace Probes Plus

DMagic Orbital Science

JX2 Antennas

Kerbal Attachment System & Kerbal Inventory System

Kerbal Launch Failure

Lithobrake Exploration Technology (just the chutes & ladders)

Mechjeb

Missing History

Mk 2 Stockalike Expansion

Modular Rocket Systems

PEBKAC Launch Escape System

Planetary Base Systems

Recycled Parts

RLA Reborn

Restock & Restock+

Scatterer

SpaceY Heavy lifters

SVE (this may get switched back to SciFiVE, depending on my mood - I like both mods)

Tac Self-Destruct

Tweakscale

USI Sounding Rockets & Exploration Pack

Wild Blue Industries MOLE, DSEV, Buffalo & Snacks,

Extra Starting Parts - It’s always seemed like the game timeline was starting around late 40’s Earth tech – instead of sounding rockets & leftover V-2’s, KSP had a crazy kerbal in a pod atop a short SRB but the feeling was the same.  I’ve always felt like a lot of the aviation tech that has to be researched should already be available.   I’ve left the Juno where it normally is, since I have the Airplane Plus props to use at the start. 

Spoiler

Mk 1 inline cockpit, liquid fuel tank & structural fuselage

Mk 0 liquid fuel tank

Fixed landing gear & small retractable gear

RoveMax Model M1 wheel (mostly because I'm just tired of building ridiculous things to rove around KSC early in the game)

Wing connecter B, C & E, Elevon 1

and Tail Fin

AP+ size 1 short tail cone A & B and stock tail cone B

AP+ piston engines

Craft Build Time: Idea borrowed from KVASS mod, but modified & calculated outside of game

Spoiler

Build time = 10 secs * cost+1 day.   Rockets built with non-standard launchers will get an additional day for complexity.

Halved for each full 300 reputation

Halved for R&D upgrade to level 3

Halved for VAB or SPH upgrade to level 3

Example 1:  Career start, no upgrades: 10,000 fund rocket will take 5 days, 3 hours & 47 minutes to build

Example 2:  Late game, VAB & R&D fully upgraded, 600 rep:  250,000 fund rocket will take 7 days, 1 hour & 46 minutes to build

Regular aircraft and rovers for use around the space center are not subject to these rules.  Experimental aircraft, spaceplanes, and basically anything else will be.  Each launch site has a separate build timer.  Launch sites will be abbreviated KSC, DSC (Desert space center) & WSC (Woomerang space center)

Starting Personnel

Spoiler

Jeb – everybody knows Jeb

Kelrik – Replaces Bill as the veteran engineer

Ambera – Replaces Bob as the veteran scientist

Valentina – Jeb’s friendly rival

Second Kerbonaut Class:

Spoiler

Rounding out the first year, the second class of Kerbonauts provides two complete multi-mission crews (pilot, engineer & scientist) plus two extra scientists:

Adburry Kerman - Scientist

Samdy Kerman - Scientist

Kathberry Kerman - Scientist

Lodzon Kerman - Pilot

Barnie Kerman - Engineer

Phoebe Kerman - Pilot

Johnny Kerman - Engineer

Sivan Kerman - Scientist

Third Kerbonaut Class:

Spoiler

Starting with year 2, the third class of Kerbonauts includes:

Magas Kerman - Pilot

Catdon Kerman - Engineer

Standard Launch Vehicles

Spoiler

Jabbit 1:  1.25m fin-stabilized launcher.  Originally Swivel powered, upgraded to Reliant once it is researched.

Jabbit 2: 1.25m launcher.  Uses a central Valiant engine (Restock 105kn "half-Swivel") with a pair of Thuds that are decoupled as fuel burns off.  Aka the Kerbal Atlas.  Rule of thumb - once past 3g's acceleration, the boosters can be staged away and acceleration will drop to just over 1g

Jabbit 2+:  A Jabbit 2 with a pair of radial SRB's for heavier loads

Dawngrazer:  1.875m Bobcat powered launcher

Dawngrazer 3:  Triple-core 1.875m Bobcat powered launcher - primarily used for early game large payloads before 2.5m+ sized launchers are available.

Steamglider:  1.875m Kodiak + 4 Cub powered launcher.  Intended for smaller payloads than the Dawngrazer.  Due to the high gimbal of the cubs, the launcher has tremendous maneuvering capabilities

Girrok 1:     2.5m Skipper + 2 Cubs

Girrok 2:   2.5m Boar + 2 Cubs, lengthened fuel tanks

Girrok 2 Heavy:  2.5m Mainsail + 2 cubs, further lengthened fuel tanks

Girrok 2 Super:  2.5m Twin Boar

Girrok 3:  2.5m Mastodon + 2 cubs, Girroc 2 heavy length fuel tanks.

Gronyx 1: 3.75m Mammoth

Sarnus:  5m launcher with 5 Mastodon or Mainsail engines

Day 1

Spoiler

DSC Launch (ok I fudged a little here with a “leftover” V-2 and the static pod tests to start off with):  A-4-1, no payload – launched to 65km altitude, and over 100km down range (I didn't write down the actual distance but that was the longest distance record award I got).  Completed First launch & First Launch (unmanned) contracts.  Splashed down in the ocean with no parts recovered.  Control was lost as the rocket started to experience substantial heating going through the atmosphere and was never regained.  This has me thinking I may get the SmarParts mod (IIRC that's the one that can add time delays to actions )

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Kelrik was sent to investigate the facilities at the old island airport to see if anything was still usable for the fledgling space program while Val & Ambera were involved in static pod tests at both the desert space center & Woomerang.

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DSC - Jeb takes up a Bison prop fighter for an aerial tour of the desert space center facilities.

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I also started construction of the first sounding rocket design (SSR-1), which should be ready in about 9 hours, aiming to complete the contract to launch a sounding rocket above 2km altitude.  It should clear it with a substantial margin - I probably could've gotten away with just the lower stage.

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Edited by Cavscout74

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Week 1 - Sounding rockets & props

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Multiple advances were made this week, but not without mishaps.  Happily, no personnel were lost in the process.  Rather than a hard timeline, highlights will be broken down by mission type:

Aircraft:  Multiple flights with CFP-01 Bison aircraft gathered low altitude science around desert & island facilities.  While waiting for the promised Juno jet engines, a CF-01X airframe was built, powered by a 45kn Marlin prop engine and performed a successful test flight with Jeb at the controls.  The airframe performed well – stalls break slightly left but easily recovered, handling is superb.  Top speed is just a few m/s higher than the venerable Bison, and the higher cost means the airframe was parked after testing, pending availability of the intended twin Juno's

Spoiler

Bison equipped with multiple scientific instruments gathers atmospheric samples from around the Island Airfield.

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While on another sample mission from the desert space center, Jeb spotted some old ruins nestled among the hills.

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A landing mishap with Val.  Only her ego was bruised, but it did mark one of the last science missions for the Bison as there was nothing else to be gained in the immediate area of either the desert or island facilities.

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CF-01X Star test aircraft shortly after takeoff

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CF-01X soaring over the foothills near the Desert space center.

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Sounding Rockets:  Cheaper & faster to build than anything else, our sounding rocket program has brought in a steady but small stream of funds & science

DSC – SSR-1-1, launched well past 2000m for contract

SSR-1-1 payload returning safely

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WSC – SSR-1-2 launched above 5000m for contract

WSC – SSR-2-1, attempted to launch above 10km for contract but only reached ~8200m

WSC – SSR-2-2, improved design, launched above 10km for contract

Unmanned rockets:

DSC – A-4-2 launched with a payload section from a SSR-1 sounding rocket, reached an apoapsis of ~35km, completing “First launch to upper atmosphere (uncrewed)

Spoiler

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Payload coasting high over the desert

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Manned rockets:  Just a single test of the Mk1 pod with launch escape system.  Due to the limitations with current automated systems, it was decided to perform the test with a pilot on board.

DSC – Hopper 1, crewed in-flight test of the Mk1 Pod atop a Flea SRB, Val got the honors for the first test flight.  Unfortunately, no images were taken of this launch.

Other:  In an effort to improve communications and control of launches from the Desert Space Center, Kelrik & Ambera drove a pair of utility rovers up to the highest mountain visible from DSC.  One rover - equipped with a pair of relay antennas, an early solar panel and controlled by a sounding rocket avionics package - was left behind, then they both piled in the second rover & headed home.

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Week 2Rocket planes and more sounding rockets

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Aircraft: After several days work, the CX-01 rocket plane was finished & rolled out at the DSC.  First flight was kept short, with speed limited to ~250 m/s.  Jeb handled this flight, checking out the handling qualities of the hastily assembled aircraft.  After refurbishing the rocket engine & refueling, Val took it up for the record breaking Mach 1 flight.

Spoiler

First take-off of the CX-01

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Jeb climbing out on the initial test flight.  He very reluctantly followed ordered to keep the speed down on this flight, the goal being to test the handling & take-off/landing characteristics

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Val finishing her Mach 1 record flight.  After breaking the sound barrier, she wisely cut the throttle to conserve some fuel to get back to the runway.

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Gliding back to the Desert Space Center.  By only using bursts of thrust then gliding, Val managed to conserve plenty of fuel to land with - she actually had just over 80 m/s of dV remaining

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Sounding Rockets:  With the desert space center focusing on the A-4 launches, Woomerang took over most of the sounding rocket program

WSC – SSR-4-1 launched above 20km after the failure of SSR-3 to exceed 14km

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WSC – SSR-5b-1 flew above 40km for contract after the failure of SSR-5-1 and the discovery that the SSR-5 design had serious stability issues.   SSR-5 & -6 upgraded to a 0.625m payload section, allowing more experiments to be carried, as well as having room for a small antenna to help ensure control at higher altitudes.

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Unmanned Rockets:  Only a single unmanned rocket was launched, the new A-4C the mounts a Capella sounding rocket on top of the old A-4 rocket. 

DSC - The new A-4C-1 was launched with a barometric pressure experiment.  The A-4C reached an apoapsis of ~35km again, but upon separation, the Capella failed to ignite.  It was tracked & maintained control though its entire flight, crashing down into the desert.

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Edited by Cavscout74

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Week 3 - Crossing the line

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Both the sounding rocket program out of Woomerang and the unmanned rocket program out of the Desert Space Center were racing to be the first to cross the Karmen line.  Meanwhile, the aircraft program slowed down pending the arrival of jet engines.

Aircraft:  Jeb took up the CX-01 for another flight, attempting to push the limits of its speed, but that turned out to be only about mach 1.2, far short of the mach 2 goal.  Research into longer range prop aircraft led to testing of the unusual CFP-02 Twin Panther by both Val & Jeb, reaching a new altitude record of 10km.  Not as satisfying as mach 2, but the dawn of the jet age is just around the corner.

Twin Panther climbing to 10km over the desert

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Sounding rockets:  This week wrapped up the sounding rocket program with the first flight into space, first recovery from suborbital flight and the first liquid fueled sounding rocket.

WSC - SSR-6-1 was launched to complete the final sounding rocket contract, reaching an apoapsis of 95km before splashing down & successfully recovered.  Completed the sounding rocket to space & a suborbital flight & recovery (unmanned) contracts.

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WSC - Only one more sounding rocket was launched, a new liquid fueled design - the SRL-1 (Sounding Rocket, LFO). It easily reached space and became the basis for the A5A light satellite launcher and effectively marking the end of the sounding rocket program

Unmanned rockets:  The DSC continued with variants of the leftover A-4 rockets and finally rolled out a new design

DSC - A-4C-2 launched, but only reached a max altitude of just over 36 km, far short of the goal of reaching the Karmen line.  This failure ensured the a sounding rocket from Woomerang would be the first to space.  I completely overestimated what the Capella was capable of, although part of the problem is squeezing two sounding rocket batteries and an antenna between the nose cone & rocket body - but since it has no recovery capability, it needs to at least be able to transmit it's science back home, which it can't without the batteries & antenna

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DSC - A-4S-1 - replaced the Capella second stage with a SSR-1 upper stage & payload.  Climbed all the way to 118km, easily crossing the Karmen line and completing the contract to Explore Space (suborbital flight)

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DSC - Following the success of the A-4S, a new liquid fueled rocket was tested - the A5A.  Based on the SRL-1 sounding rocket and retaining the same payload section, the A5A had the potential to place the first satellite into orbit.  The first launch, A5A-1, cleared the atmosphere but failed to attain orbit - reaching an apoapsis of 72km but running out of fuel before raising Pe out of the atmosphere.  It did manage to take & transmit magnetometer readings before plunging back to the surface.

A5A-1 gathering magnetometer readings during its brief suborbital flight

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DSC - A5A-2 was redesigned with a stretched first stage fuel tank and removal of the magnetometer.  Successfully launched into a 72x80km orbit with over 300m/s dV remaining to complete the First Satellite contract.  Due to the lack of power generation capability, the satellite was deorbited after a single orbit before the batteries went dead.

A5A-2 climbing into the dry desert air

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A5A-2 burning to enter Kerbin orbit

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Week 4 - Dawn of the jet age

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Scientific advancements made possible by the previous week's launches allowed the R&D center to finish development of the Juno engine, ushering in the jet age. Not much new science was gained, but valuable testing of new designs was completed.  Due to longer build times, only a single rocket launch was completed this week.

Aircraft:  Once the CF-01X was refitted with the Juno engines, Jeb took it up for a test flight.  Reaching speeds of over 250 m/s - faster than any kerbal has gone in level flight without a rocket.  The initial flight was marred by a failure of one of the engines.  Jeb handled it with ease, bringing the prototype back to a safe landing on the remaining engine.  Another new prop design was tested, the CFP-03 Tigercat.  It flew nicer than the Twin Panther, and should have similar range, but lacks the second crew seat.

Loko Ma, no props!!

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Jeb posing with the new jet after landing

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Tigercat in flight

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Unmanned rockets:

DSC - Jabbit 1D-1 was a test launch of the Jabbit 1 launch vehicle.  It was the second object to enter Kerbin orbit and the first successfully recovered from orbit, paving the way for the manned launches.  It also tested the altitude controller - triggering the payload bay doors (for drag) and the parachute despite loss of signal to the probe core.

Jabbit 1D-1 drifting down by parachute

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Week 5 - Kerbals in space

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With 2 manned launches and no aircraft tests or unmanned launches, this is the shortest update so far but also the most significant.

Manned rockets:

DSC - On day 37, a Hopper 2 test vehicle (Thumper SRB with a Mk1 pod) took Jeb well into the upper atmosphere, reaching an altitude of 64km, and landing safely 54km downrange.

Hopper 2 leaving the pad

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DSC - Less than six days later, the first manned launch of a Jabbit 1 launch vehicle roared off the pad and sent Valentina into the history books as the first kerbal in space.  Although just a suborbital flight, Val reached an altitude of 80km, performed a short maneuver to test the ability of the Terrier engine to relight in space, then jettisoned the upper stage & reentered safely.  

Jabbit 1-1 lift-off!

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Preparing for reentry

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Jabbit 1-1 returning home

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A new launch vehicle is currently being built, the Jabbit 2, which replaces the single Swivel first stage engine with a Valiant sustainer engine & a pair of jettisonable Thud booster engines.  The increased thrust & dV of this design should easily place a Mk 1 pod into a stable orbit.

 

Note:  I am really enjoying this so far, but being the stock system, it's pretty easy even at 20% science - taking away KSC (and the loads of science there) has been the hardest part.  When Kopernicus & JNSQ update for 1.8, I think I'm going to start this whole thing from scratch in the larger JNSQ system.

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Weeks 6-10 - In space to stay

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A few days after the successful completion of Val's historic suborbital flight, Jeb boarded a Jabbit-2 for a trip to orbit.  This was followed by another manned mission to high kerbin orbit, then a probe to Mun fly-by

Manned Launches:   

DSC Jabbit 2-1: Jeb's historic flight occurred on day 46.  The new Jabbit 2 launch vehicle performed perfectly, inserting Jeb into a 77 x 83km orbit, at about 6.5 inclination.  Passing what he estimated was the ascending node, Jeb used some of his remaining fuel to bring his inclination done to just below 1 degree.  After one more orbit, Jeb fired his Terrier engine for the third time and final time to set up reentry, aiming for the Island Airfield.  Reentry went smoothly, and Jeb's pod splashed down just 35km from the Island

Spoiler

Night launch of Jabbit 2-1

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Safely splashed down, waiting for pickup

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DSC Jabbit 2-2:  Not to be outdone, ten days later Val climbed into the second Jabbit 2, modified with a lighter Pug second stage, which enabled her to reach an 85 x 252km orbit, gaining valuable science from the regions high above Kerbin.  She stayed up for 2 orbits before reentering, landing along the desert shoreline west of the KSC mountains.

Spoiler

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DSC Jabbit 2-MRCO1:  The next obvious step after reaching high Kerbin orbit was a visit to Kerbin's closest companion.  Marco-1 (Mun Reconaissance & Communications Orbiter-1) was launched a few days after the KSC grand opening.  The flight nearly ended in disaster when commmunications were lost near the end of the first stage sustainer burn and weren't reestablished until after passing apoapsis.  Hurriedly staging the empty first stage & fairing, the upper stage was able to establish orbit & deploy the three solar panels and begin sending back images of Kerbin from its orbital telescope.  Another loss of comms nearly prevented the Munar insertion, but once again comms were reestablished just in time.  After coasting for over a day, Marco-1 entered Mun's SoI and began sending back imagery & temp measurements of both high & low Mun space.  Unfortunately, the low Mun images were all taken on the night side, so details were limited.  After leaving Mun's SoI, Marco-1's secondary mission will be to establish a high orbit around Kerbin to attempt to provide improved communications and help prevent the two near-disastrous comm losses of its own primary mission.

Spoiler

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Just past periapsis of Mun flyby

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Aircraft: Several days after his orbital flight, Jeb rolled out the newest "X" plane at the island airfield - the CX-02.  Moving away from older aircraft cockpits, the CX-02 was shaped more like a bullet, and stepped up from the CX-01's Valiant engine to a brand new Reliant with over twice the thrust.  To supplement the rocket engine, a pair of Juno's near the nose provide enough thrust to get off the ground - although a burst of rocket thrust helps, especially with full LFO tanks.  Once stable at 4000m, Jeb lit the Reliant and blasted past mach 2 for another record, then turned back toward the island and did it one more time before landing safely.

CX-02 climbing on jet power around the Island airfield

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First Mach 2 record attempt

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Other:  The Grand opening of the KSC was marked by Jeb performing several flyby's in a CF-01 Star before landing on the new runway.  Due to the recent income from successful contracts, as well as requirements for a heavier launch vehicle, the KSC launch pad started upgrades immediately, rending it unusable for another 47 days. 

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Weeks 10-12 Learning to Live  (in space)

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Other
KSC - Upgrades were started to the mission control building.  Since cardboard & aluminum foil are acceptable building materials, construction time will be much faster than the launch pad that requires steel & concrete and they should finish about the same time.

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KSC - Ambera took a UR-1 utility rover to investigate an anomaly that erupted from the earth near the space center after the first Mun flyby. Not surprisingly, she was able to gather data around the black object without difficulty & head back to KSC.

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Manned launches:

DSC - Jabbit 2D-1 launch - day 70 - Adding a small probe core to the Jabbit 2 pod allows non-pilot rated kerbonauts the chance for an orbital flight and a small solar panel allows for extended missions.  Kelrik was picked for the first flight of the upgraded design, with the intent to stay in orbit for 5 days.  After entering an 80x80km orbit, Kelrik then eyeballed the inclination, bringing it down to just over 2 degrees.  After running a few experiments, it was time to wait.  Upon completion of the 5 day mission and with snacks running low, Kelrik performed the deorbit burn and managed to bring his pod down within 10km of the island airfield.

Spoiler

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WSC - Jabbit 2D-2 - day 84 - Ambera became the 4th kerbonaut in orbit and the first launched into a polar orbit.  On board was a new electrostatic experiment.  Like Kelrik's, Ambera's mission was planned to remain in orbit for 5 days.  Her mission is ongoing

Spoiler

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Unmanned launches:

WSC - Jabbit 2 POLO-1 - day 72 - With minor changes, the Marco-1 Mun fly-by probe was reconfigured into a Polar Observation & Link Orbiter and launched from Woomerang to see if we can successfully place a satellite into a polar orbit.  Prior to booster engine separation, there was another loss of comms due to poor launch timing (Marco-1 was on the opposite side of the planet).  Although not a very efficient flight profile, a 129km apoapsis was reached before fuel exhaustion which allowed POLO-1 time to reestablish communications with Nye Island to stage away the first stage & fairing, then establish a 345x1526 km polar orbit.  It did manage to capture a single image of the southern ice shelf before climbing out into high orbit where it became the second comm relay around Kerbin (after Marco-1's return from Mun fly-by into a 250x1300km orbit)

Spoiler

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DSC - Jabbit 1 MISO-1 - day 78 - Dusting off an old A4 guidance core, it was turned into the command section of the Mun Impact Science Observer.  Launched atop an upgraded Jabbit 1, MISO-1's sole mission is to not miss the ground and it was accomplished in grand fashion.  Also, through some means not understood by Kerbal science, a contract to orbit the Mun was completed upon impact.  All hail the mighty Kraken!!

Spoiler

Launch of MISO-1 atop a Reliant-powered Jabbit 1 launch vehicle

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DSC - Jabbit 2 MRP-1 - day 85 - Launch of the Mun Return Probe to test the ability of a craft to survive a reentry from a Mun return.  Launch & Trans-Mun insertion were uneventful.  There was a brief loss of power passing through Mun's SoI but luckily the solar panel was still facing the sun, allowing it to recharge the batteries again.  Reentry went surprisingly smoothly despite the loss of comm's.

Spoiler

Actually managed a nice shot of the booster engine separation

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Fairing separation

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Mun fly-by with a view of Kerbin.  The magnetometer scans revealed that there may be additional magnetic anomalies on the Mun as well!!

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Preparing for reentry

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There was a noticeable wobble in pitch, but not enough to cause problems.  The ballast fuel tank just above the heatshield did its job - keeping the heatshield pointing where it should- as did the altimeter which automatically deployed the chutes after reentry despite the loss of comm's

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Safely splashed down at home

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Aircraft:  After finding the KSC magnetic anomaly, reports started coming in of other anomalies across the planet.  The closest one was reported in the mountains west of KSC, so Jeb fired up a venerable CFP-01 Bison and went to investigate. The landing was less than ideal, but he found the anomaly.  Next up was another anomaly reported north of the Desert Space Center, so Val took a CF-01 Star up to investigate.  She landed in one piece, investigated the anomaly and returned to the DSC with news of an abandoned and partially buried space center!!

Spoiler

Jeb searching for an anomaly in the mountains.   The landing was almost pretty.  I fitted a chute to assist with the mountain landing and it ended up being the cause of the crash

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Landing at the abandoned space center went much better

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Months 4 - 5    Wish you were here!

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Manned Launches:

(Continued) Ambera finished her five day stint in polar orbit & reentered safely.  Caught a nice view of the aurora before reentering:

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DSC Dawngrazer OMV-TX:  A test contract was received to test a prototype Bobcat engine, which happened to coincide with the launch pad upgrade finishing.  Jeb & Kelrik boarded the new OMV-TX (Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle-Test/Experimental) and were shot to orbit by the new Bobcat, completing the test contract and another contract to launch 2 kerbals to orbit.  Since it was just a test, they returned home after just one orbit.  Although useful for carrying 2 kerbals, the OMV design (a Mk 1 pod bolted to a Mk 1-85 Appaloosa "backseat") isn't ideal as the two modules are physically separate.  It may be the only option for now until more advanced pods become available.

Spoiler

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WSC Jabbit 2+ OTV-2-TX:  To test a 2-passenger Orbital Tourist Vehicle and complete a contract to spend a week in orbit, Jeb & Kelrik loaded into the OTV-2-TX and launched out of Woomerang into a 45 degree inclined orbit.  The Jabbit 2+ launcher adds a pair of Hammer SRB's to get a slightly larger payload off the ground, but pushes the total vehicle mass above 18 tons, so it had to wait for the pad upgrade to complete.  The launch went reasonably well but it was found that the Pug orbital engine is somewhat weak for use on the OTV-2 so future vehicles will replace it with a Terrier.  The "TX" version added additional snacks for the 1 week mission and a solar panel to keep it powered, whereas the production OTV-2's will carry a bare minimum of snacks for the pilot & 2 passengers and rely on internal batteries due to the short duration of the intended flights.  After the 1 week endurance test, Jeb deorbited the pod & they splashed down safely in the waters southeast of the DSC

Spoiler

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To increase drag during reentry I added a pair of elevons to the nose.  They are positioned so that they are parallel with the cabin while deployed, then for reentry I click the "invert" button so I get double the travel compared to just using the deploy function.

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Unmanned Launches:

DSC Jabbit 2 MRCO-2:  An improved MRCO probe was launched to Mun, entering a retrograde 33x40km orbit. Some new images of the near side of Mun were sent back as well as data from an electro-static experiment.  The altitude also allowed Marco-2 to snap an image of the Farside Crate before losing signal back to Kerbin.  The remainder of the far side of Mun remains a mystery until we can get additional relays into orbit.

Spoiler

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KSC Jabbit 2 GeoComm-1: First launch from the upgraded KSC pad, launched a communications satellite to keostationary orbit (pretty much).  Due to a loss of comm's on the first orbit, I had to wait for the second orbit to transfer to the synchronous orbit - which ended up with the relay over the ocean between DSC & KSC, which was just about perfect.

Spoiler

Jettisoning fairing & deploying antennas & solar panels

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DSC Jabbit 2 Surveyor-1:  First soft landing on Mun, landed where Kerbin is just peeking over the horizon

Spoiler

Staging away booster engines

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Entering orbit - some fuel was left over in the transfer stage, so that was used to start the braking

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Firing the braking SRB

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Scooping some Munar soil

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KSC Jabbit 2 GeoComm-2: Launch of a second keostationary comm relay.  This one launched into an orbit nearly 180 degrees opposite GeoComm-1.  While not ideal, the two should cover all near-equatorial and most high inclination orbits that previously experienced significant communications blackouts.

Spoiler

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Hey!! This looks just like Geocomm-1!!! Oh, wait, it is

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Other:  Launch pad level 2 & Misison Control level 2 upgrades were completed.  Upgrade started on level 2 astronaut complex.

Edited by Cavscout74

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Month 5 - Leaving on a Jet Plane Rocket

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Ongoing Missions: None

Manned Launches:

WSC Jabbit 2+ OTV-2-1:  First tourist flight, Val brought a pair of passengers into an 82x75km orbit then reentered, landing to the east of DSC.  There is a line of tourists waiting for us to take their money.

Spoiler

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WSC Jabbit 2+ OTV-2-2: Second tourist flight, piloted by Jeb.  

Spoiler

I wasn't originally going to add pics of the second flight, but it launched just before dawn & had some nice images

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Splashed down, waiting on recovery

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Unmanned Launches:

DSC - Jabbit 2 MSR-1:  Experimental Mun Sample Return probe.  Launch & Mun insertion went normally, but it was found that there was insufficient dV to enter orbit, land, collect science, & then reenter Mun orbit, so the craft was set on a collision course with the Mun.  This marks the first failure since some problems with sounding rockets.

Spoiler

During launch, taken at the moment of booster engine staging

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MSR-1 in LKO

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KSC Jabbit 2 MRP-2:  After the failure of MSR-1, a second Mun Return Probe was launched, entered Mun orbit and returned to Kerbin.  Although it lost signal before it was able to jettison the orbital stage, the altitude controller worked correctly and deployed the drogue & main chutes as well as staging the spent orbital stage.  The completed second part of a Mun exploration contract, even if it wasn't quite in the spirit of the contract.  

Spoiler

Reentry was a little bit hairy with the orbital stage remaining attached but everything survived to splashdown east of KSC

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Aircraft

Jeb performed a test flight of the new CP-01 Islander 4-passenger twin turboprop airliner, with a trip to the island airfield and back to KSC.  A few adjustments were needed, but overall it performed well.  Speed is too low (~170 m/s) to seriously consider using it for trips between KSC & DSC. 

Spoiler

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Another magnetic anomaly was investigated by Jeb to the north of KSC.  He took a CFP-03 Tigercat up to investigate, making a successful landing in the mountains.  He got out to investigate and as he did the Tigercat's brakes temporarily failed, allowing it to roll down the hill he had parked on.  When he tried to chase it down, it turned & rolled back up the hill till it got to him & stopped.  Obviously, strange forces are at work around these anomalies.  It was definitely not due to the engines - one was shut down (to avoid slicing & dicing Jeb as he got out of the cockpit) and the other was at idle.

Spoiler

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All photographic records from the vicinity of the anomaly were unusable, with some frames showing [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]

A few days later, a Juno-powered version of the Islander was made available.  Dubbed the CP-01B Jetlander, Val took it on the trip to from KSC to the Desert space center at ~270 m/s, and only burned 198 of its 320 units of fuel, at a 5500m cruising altitude with throttles set to about 90%.  While it will need refueling at the mid-point, it is capable of routine airline service between the two space centers in an acceptable amount of time.  For future reference, I need need to reduce the snack supplies on board which will reduce mass & therefore should save some fuel - and I also need to got back & do the same to the Islander.

Spoiler

The flight was, of course, at night so there wasn't much to see, especially while flying over the ocean

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Other: Another test contract for the Bobcat engine was received, which solves the problem of building a Mun sample return probe with 30 parts as the prototype Dawngrazer launcher provides substantially more dV than the Jabbit 2 (nearly enough to circularize in LKO) and can haul a 1.875m lander, providing yet more dV (well over 3000 vs ~2500 in LKO).  Construction is under way for a launch from KSC.

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Month 5-6 - Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

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Ongoing Missions:  None

Manned Launches:

WSC  Jabbit 2+ OTV-2-3 - Day 133 - Val took up another pair of tourists from Woomerang.  This launch experimented with using a pair of Thumpers in place of the Hammer SRB's.  Except I forgot to reduce the thrust on the Thumpers, so I ended up with a very poorly optimized gravity turn and didn't really gain much of anything. 

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DSC  Jabbit2D-3 - Day 137 - Ambera launched from DSC in a Jabbit 2D pod to test some new science experiments (gamma ray spectroscopy & dust collectors) in low & high Kerbin orbit before returning home after a single orbit.  Last manned launch of a Jabbit 2.

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KSC Dawngrazer OMV-1 - With the development of the Bobcat engine, the new Dawngrazer launch vehicle immediately becomes the preferred crew launch vehicle.  For the first non-test launch, Jeb & Kelrik are launched into LKO to perform the first EVA as well as experimenting with working in space, with Kelrik tasked with attaching a small solar panel to the craft.  Reentered & splashed down safely after just 2 orbits.

Spoiler

First EVA performed by Kelrik which included attaching the solar panel to the OMS module, then alternating between Jeb & Kelrik as they passed various areas of Kerbin

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DSC Dawngrazer OMV-2 - Val & Ambera launched into an elliptical 90x255km orbit to perform the first EVA in high orbit.  Reentered & splashed down safely.

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WSC Dawngrazer OTV-4P-1 - Jeb took up a load of 4 tourists in the new OTV-4P (Orbital Tourist Vehcicle, 4 passengers, piloted) brought them home safely.  Launching from Woomerang & turning east puts them on roughly a 45 degree inclination, and a splashdown zone in the ocean southeast of DSC.

WSC Dawngrazer OTV-4P-2 thru OTV-4P-6 - Alternating between Val & Jeb hauling 4 passengers at a time to LKO & back.  The only one worth special mention is OTV-4P-4, where Jeb encountered an engine overheat near the end of the first stage burn, but reduced thrust & continued to orbit.

Spoiler

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WSC Dawngrzer OTV-4-1 thru OTV-4-3 - Probe controlled Orbital Tourist Vehicles.  A Titan Instrument Unit & 1.875 to 1.25m adapter tank filled with monoprop replace the Appaloosa command module.  Nothing to report except 12 happy tourists.

Spoiler

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Construction was started on the DG OMV 2, utilizing the new Mk 2 pod in place of the Mk1 pod plus Appaloosa.  Jeb & Kelrik are scheduled to perform the first mission, rendezvous & docking with KTV-1 in LKO.  This should open the door to future missions around the Mun, including a manned landing.  Designs are already being evaluated for this plan.


Unmanned Launches:

KSC Dawngrazer MSR-2 - Day 138 - The second prototype Dawngrazer launch vehicle was used to loft the improved MSR-2 (Mun Sample Return) into orbit.  It turned out to be an SSTO - the first stage had 111 m/s dV remaining upon reaching LKO.  I already suspected it could make it, so it was fitted with a Tac Self-Destruct charge.  I used the remainder of the first stage to start the Mun transfer before staging & finishing on the MSR-2's twin Cub engines.  Mun transfer went smoothly & it entered orbit, & landed within sight of a strange arch.  With the primitive control systems & limited dV, it was decided just to mark the location for future missions rather than attempt to move the lander closer.  As it was, it nearly tipped over on landing but a quick burst of thrust lifted it back up & landed safely.  Samples were taken, then it launched back into Mun orbit, then performed another maneuver to return to Kerbin.  The last ~200 m/s of fuel was expended just after entering Kerbin's atmosphere to drop the entry speed a little before staging away the lower stage.  Reentry was warm on the probe core but not excessively so, and the parachute deployed on schedule allowing for a soft landing in the rolling hills far from KSC or anywhere else.  The completed "Automated Sample Return from Mun" contract and the science brought home from the surface allowed Kerbal scientists to finish development of heavy rocket engines, bringing the Bobcat engine - and the Dawngrazer Launch Vehicle -out of prototype status & into regular production.

Spoiler

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Arch visible in the background

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Recognizing there was still science to be gained from Kerbin orbit, several SRL-1 liquid fueled sounding rockets were launched from KSC & DSC into high suborbital trajectories.

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KSC Dawngrazer KTV-1 - Kerbal Target Vehicle-1 launched into an 85km circular orbit, pending upgrades to the tracking center to make rendezvous & docking feasible.

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KSC Dawngrazer OSP-1  Orbital Science Probe-1 launched into a high suborbital trajectory, capturing science bay & goo science in low & high space around Kerbin before reentering

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Aircraft:

Kerbal Express Airlines launched its inaugural flight 120, KSC to DSC in a CP-01B Jetlander piloted by Jeb, carrying four passengers to the Desert space center & back with no problems.  Two more flights followed in the ensuing weeks.

Spoiler

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Val took a modified CF-01 Star (the CF-01A SuperStar) modified with MRS jet engines, pushing top speed over 300 m/s.  First flight was to the last magnetic anomaly detected on Kerbin, in the mountains southeast of KSC.  She actually landed in one piece (a first ever), but taking back off was unlikely so I recovered her from the peak.

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Jeb took a second flight of the SuperStar up to the arctic to investigate another anomaly, then returned to KSC

Spoiler

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Flyby of the anomaly

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Safely landed on the icecap and taxiing for a closer look

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Further images of [REDACTED]  removed by order of [REDACTED]

Other:  On day 148, the Astronaut Complex finished upgrading and trained the crews in EVA operations.  On day 185, the Tracking Center upgrade finished.

Kelrik & Ambera took a new UR-2 utility rover out for a trip into the foothills near KSC to test deployment of some of the new surface experiments being developed.

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Months 7-8  Fly Me to the Mun

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Ongoing Missions:


Manned Missions:

KSC - DG MPV-1 - We started off with an engine failure of the Bobcat during launch, necessitating the use of the LES.  Jeb & Kelrik splashed down safely and were recovered after hitting an apoapsis of only 46km.  All systems except the engine operated normally.

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KSC - DG MPV-1b - Second attempt at the rendezvous & docking mission.  Launch from KSC went normally, and they were able to rendezvous with KTV-1 within one orbit.  Once mission control was satisfied that all systems were working normally, they gave the go-ahead to dock with KTV-1. Docking was achieved with minimal problems, then the combined craft was boosted to a 255km orbit before undocking & MPV-1b returning home safely.

Spoiler

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WSC - DG OTV-4-4 thru OTV-4-7   More tourist runs out of Woomerang.  One noteworthy moment was on OTV-4-5, they received a radio call from Val on her way back from the first manned Mun orbit, closest approach between the two vesseals was around 4000km but it gave the tourists something extra to remember.  OTV-4-7 was the last chance to take tourists to orbit for 11700 funds each - now that Val & Ambera completed an orbit of Mun, all the new tourists either want to go to the Mun or don't want to pay as much for LKO tours.

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KSC - DG MPV-2 - Val & Ambera launch from KSC on the first manned mission to orbit the Mun. To gain some extra dV without changing part count (this mission started building before the VAB upgrade), the Shrimp SRB's are replaced by Thumpers.  The mission went off flawlessly, gathering (among other things) the first reports on the far side of the Mun.  The crew completed a single orbit then returned home, landing less than 90km from the DSC.

Spoiler

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Entering Mun's SoI

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KSC - DG MPV-3 - Second manned mission to Mun.  This time, Jeb & Kelrik docked with ML1-1.  Kelrik transferred to the lander and landed on the Mun near a monument.  After gathering science from the area & planting a flag, he returned to orbit and docked with MPV-3.  After transferring science from the Mun, they undocked & returned home, landing on day 230.

Spoiler

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Of course the destination was on the night side for the mission. 

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First steps on the Mun, Year 1, Day 228

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Flag planting adjacent to the flag on the memorial

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Borrowed a solar panel from the lander for the trip home since it won't be needing it any more

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Unmanned Missions:

DSC DG ML1-1 - A single seat Mun lander capable of fully autonomous operations.  Once in orbit, it transferred to Mun orbit to await a future landing attempt.  Was parked in a 32km equatorial Mun orbit with 1751 m/s dV remaining until MPV-3 arrived for the first manned Mun landing.

Spoiler

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To limit part count, the science gear is stored in the external storage box, and will be installed by an engineer prior to Mun landing.

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DSC DG GeoComm 2A - Improved geosynchronous comm relay, rendezvoused with GeoComm 1 to take it's place between KSC & DSC.  Once established & operational, GeoComm 1A performed a deorbit burn along with the GeoComm 2A transfer stage.  Pictured here with GeoComm 1 visible in the background.

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DSC DG Duna Sojourner 1 - While there isn't enough time or budget for a proper set of probes for the first Duna window, our engineers worked overtime to get a well equipped probe launched in time.  Also the second most expensive craft to date at over 32000 funds, although that is soon surpassed by the Mun Remote Rover at 33000.  Departed Kerbin on day 218 & left Kerbin's SoI on day 222

Spoiler

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Leaving home - Kerbin is a blue half-circle just above the fairing base

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DSC DG MRR-1 - Mun Remote Rover-1 - Launched to Mun and landed at Site Alpha for a contract.  Successfully explored sites alpha, bravo & charlie to complete the contract to send an automated rover to Mun.  And of course, it's destination was on the night side also.

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KSC DG+ MOLE Station - First space station in Kerbin orbit.  Launched on a new design - a triple core Dawngrazer.  Heaviest & most expensive launch to date - nearly 85000 funds and over 20 days to build.  Launch went flawlessly & entered a 130km circular orbit

Spoiler

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In orbit, waiting on the first crew

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DSC J3 MiFP-1 - Minmus Flyby Probe launched to perform - you guessed it - a Minmus fly-by.  Currently enroute.

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Aircraft:

The new CF-02 Vampire was rolled out & Jeb took it for a test flight.  Featuring swept wings & a Wheesley turbofan engine, it is a substantial improvemnt of the CF-01 Star.  On takeoff, it lifts cleanly off the runway at about 60 m/s.  Near sea level, it can just barely reach mach 1, and at 4500m it can go a bit over, to mach 1.05.  The first landing was a little rough, but nothing some gear adjustments can't fix.  During testing it was found the angle of incidence was too high - at top speed, it trims nose down to maintain altitude.  Angle of Incidence was adjusted and when there was a break in the fast pace of orbital launches, Val took it up for a second test flight.  Near sea level, it was able to nudge just past the sound barrier to mach 1.01, while at 4500m it reached 1.07 with the fuselage pretty much level with the horizon.

Spoiler

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Second test flight:

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OtherVAB upgrade was completed on day 200.  The old UR-1CR surface relay rover was finally retired once GeoComm2A was operational.  R&D upgrade started, which will take over 3 months which is unfortunate since I have all 90-point nodes unlocked already - at least I should have some science saved up when the upgrade completes.

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1 hour ago, Cavscout74 said:

Dawngrazer

Now that is a cool name.

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23 minutes ago, Triop said:

Now that is a cool name.

I can't really take credit.  Before discovering KSP, I used to play a sci-fi MMO called Wildstar.  Far more "-fiction" than "science-", but it was fun.  Since it is dead & gone, in memory I've named most of my launchers after animals from that game:

1.25m Jabbit - a squirrel/rabbit mix

1.875m Dawngrazer - Deer-like herbivores

1.875m Steamglider - Manta-like flying creatures

2.5m Girrok - Bear-like predators

3.75m Gronyx - Giant living rock creatures

There are a few others I've used here & there, but these have become standardized.

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3 hours ago, Cavscout74 said:

Before discovering KSP, I used to play a sci-fi MMO called Wildstar.

It was Pokemon for me, but no way I'm gonna name my craft after a Pokemon. :lol:

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I use snake names, like in Elite (Krait, Adder, Mamba, Cobra, etc...) for my craft names.

Great missions reports @Cavscout74, keep up the good work! :)

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Months 8-9  Giant steps are what you take, Walking on the moon

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Ongoing Missions:

Duna Sojourner 1 - Enroute to Duna, course correction planned to occur in about 3 months

MiFP-1/MiROR-1 - Minmus Flyby Probe 1 arrived in Minmus SoI and transmitted high altitude visible & IR images, temperature & magnetic field readings.  Mission control elected to redirect MiFP-1 into low Minmus orbit to complete another contract.  Once in orbit on day 239, the renamed MiROR-1 (Minmus Relay & Orbital Reconaissance) sent back substantial information on the surface of Minmus, including from the far side.  Due to the proximity of Duna Sojourner-1, a relay link was established through it back to Kerbin even when LoS was lost.

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Manned Launches:

KSC Dawngrazer MPV-4 - Day 235 - Val & Ambera launched from KSC & docked with MOLE station to become the first space station crew.  Ambera began work on several experiments while Val monitored the station's systems.  The mission is ongoing at this time.

Spoiler

Successfully docked & getting everything online

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Val checking out the outside of the station

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View from Ambera's workstation

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DSC Dawngrazer ML2-1 - Day 240 - Launch of the new 2-seat Mun Lander.  This was designed to carry a 2-kerbal crew from the surface of Kerbin thru Mun landing & back to Kerbin rather that having to deal with multiple rendezvous & docking for every mission.  To further increase the dV budget, the Thumper SRB's used for heavier DG payloads were replaced by new Kickback SRB's.  This enabled the transfer stage to start the Mun injection with full fuel tanks, and arrive in Mun orbit with a few hundred dV remaining, stretching the lander's capabilities.  Jeb found a nice location near the middle of the East Farside Crater to land, plant a flag & gather science.  Kelrik even found a nice sized Mun stone to bring back for study.  The return flight was uneventful & showed the ML2 would in the future be capable of one or two short hops on the Mun as it reentered Kerbin with over 1000 m/s remaining.  Some redesign may be in order - the Kickback boosters were somewhat overpowered, and a quad arrangement of Thumpers may be a better option, especially if they are tuned to burn out in pairs.  Designers are also debating if it would be beneficial to include the combined small docking port, parachute & RCS system from the Dawngrazer MPV in place of the plain parachute

Spoiler

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Jeb & Kelrik on a Mun EVA

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Kelrik gathering a Mun stone to bring home

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Unmanned Launches:  None

Aircraft:  None

Other:  We currently have contracts in the works for the first LKO rescue, a Minmus Impactor, a return from Minmus & a Minmus soft landing (uncrewed)

 

Thanks @Pleb   

Edited by Cavscout74

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I like the Police reference... :P   Interesting read so far.

 

Edit: Also nice to follow the program of someone who's close to where I am in my career

Edited by Fizwalker

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On 11/15/2019 at 10:29 PM, Cavscout74 said:

 

  Hide contents

DSC Launch (ok I fudged a little here with a “leftover” V-2 and the static pod tests to start off with):  A-4-1, no payload – launched to 65km altitude, and over 100km down range (I didn't write down the actual distance but that was the longest distance record award I got).  Completed First launch & First Launch (unmanned) contracts.  Splashed down in the ocean with no parts recovered.  Control was lost as the rocket started to experience substantial heating going through the atmosphere and was never regained.  This has me thinking I may get the SmarParts mod (IIRC that's the one that can add time delays to actions )

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Kelrik was sent to investigate the facilities at the old island airport to see if anything was still usable for the fledgling space program while Val & Ambera were involved in static pod tests at both the desert space center & Woomerang.

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DSC - Jeb takes up a Bison prop fighter for an aerial tour of the desert space center facilities.

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I also started construction of the first sounding rocket design (SSR-1), which should be ready in about 9 hours, aiming to complete the contract to launch a sounding rocket above 2km altitude.  It should clear it with a substantial margin - I probably could've gotten away with just the lower stage.

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You just cant beat an A4 and a sounding rocket to start a cool series. Man that V2 is cooL!

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7 hours ago, Fizwalker said:

I like the Police reference... :P   Interesting read so far.

 

Edit: Also nice to follow the program of someone who's close to where I am in my career

I was wondering if anyone had noticed what I started doing.  Glad you are enjoying it

6 hours ago, TheKSPBeginner said:

Cool and good

Thanks!

17 minutes ago, Saturn5tony said:

You just cant beat an A4 and a sounding rocket to start a cool series. Man that V2 is cooL!

It's from Completely Non-Aggressive Rocketry mod, which is beautifully done.  I thought it would make a great way to kick off the launch a career

Edited by Cavscout74

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On 11/25/2019 at 5:21 PM, Cavscout74 said:

Flag planting adjacent to the flag on the memorial

Is this on the Mun? Or is at a mod of some kind??

Very cool either way. Also love your prop and jet 4 passenger planes as well!

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20 minutes ago, Saturn5tony said:

Is this on the Mun? Or is at a mod of some kind??

Very cool either way. Also love your prop and jet 4 passenger planes as well!

The first Mun landing pics were from the Armstrong Memorial easter egg on the Mun, no mods required to find it.

Glad you like the planes.  I don't know what happened lately, I used to struggle to make a nice flying airplane.  The last few weeks however, almost every plane I make is at least usable right from the start and with a few test flights and tweaks, they get even better.  The Islander is based on an almost identical plane I made several versions ago & it struggled to do anything - this one flies great except for being prone to ground looping on landing. 

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Months 8-9  How to save a life

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Ongoing Missions:

MOLE Station - Ambera continued research on several experiments.  Val is bored.  A fresh crew is planned to come up soon, consisting of the recently rescued personnel Lodzon, Barnie, Samdy & Adburry

Duna Sojourner - Course correction is planned for 01:336

Manned Launches:

KSC - 01:247 - Dawngrazer MPV-D - Stripped down MPV with a Titan Instrument Unit in place of the service bay to enable an engineer to perform an orbital rescue without a pilot.  Developed into the DG KRV (Kerbal Rescue Vehicle) after most of the MPV fuel was waisted.  Rescued Adburry Kerman, a scientist, from a Pea pod stuck in LKO.   

Spoiler

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Kelrik on EVA to place a self-destruct charge on the disabled pod

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Returning home safely

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KSC - 01:252 - Dawngrazer KRV-1 - Developed from the DG MPV-D, it features a smaller upper stage fuel tank, allowing launch without any SRB's.  Kelrik went up again to recover Samdy Kerman, another scientist, stuck in an airlock for a surface base.  Someone at KSC headquarters really needs to talk to some of the governments about the tests they are running in orbit - and 3 new contracts were received after this rescue!! 

Spoiler

The KRV uses a shortened upper stage and removes most other amenities reduce mass, allowing the base Dawngrazer launcher to lift it clear of the atmosphere, saving the upper stage fuel for circularization & rendezvous

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Rendezvous with an..... airlock?!?  What in the Kraken's name were they testing?

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Safely splashed down

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KSC - 01:259 - Dawngrazer MRV-1 - A new design inspired by the multitude of LKO rescue contracts.  The MRV (Multi-Rescue vehicle) can take an engineer to LKO and rescue 3 additional kerbals in a single mission.  Tradeoff is substantially higher cost due to using a pair of liquid-fuel asparagus staged boosters. Whatever is going on in the various national space programs, Kelrik is becoming an expert at orbital rescues - picking up Kathberry Kerman (Scientist) from another Pea pod, Barnie Kerman (Engineer) from a lander can and Lodzon Kerman (Pilot) from an aircraft cockpit, then returning safely to the surface.

Spoiler

Second rescue of this mission, engineer Barnie Kerman (the first one looked just like the MPV-D mission)

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Final rescue, of pilot Lodzon Kerman from an aircraft cockpit.  Jeb is sure gonna be jealous - he hasn't gotten a plane beyond 20km yet, let along into orbit. 

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Everybody on board, preparing for reentry.  Out of a total of 5 rescues, 4 of the rendezvous's happened at night.

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Unmanned Launches:

DSC - 01:245 - Jabbit 2 Min Impactor - Entered SoI 01:253 & impacted 01:254.  This was a new design, including the first flight of a new "Vorona" probe core intended for deep space missions.  Not many pictures because, well, the mission was a success so there wasn't anything to take pictures of afterwards.

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DSC - 01:258 - Jabbit 2 Min Surveyor-1 - Launched to Minmus to attempt a soft landing in the polar regions. Entered Minmus SoI & adjusted to a polar inclination, currently approaching Pe.

Aircraft: Tested a small cargo aircraft, the CC-01 Loadmaster turboprop.  With fixed gear & a single Kitty turboprop, it is hardly fast, but handles well & can carry a fair amount of cargo for its size.

Spoiler

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Other:  Started runway upgrade, R&D upgrade still in progress

Note:  I'm going to start putting dates as YY:DDD rather than trying to keep track of months, weeks, etc.   I'm also going to start adding the date to new launches.

Edited by Cavscout74

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Update 01:296         Some people call me the space cowboy

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Ongoing Missions:

MOLE Station - Ambera continued research on several experiments before STV-4-1 arrived with a fresh crew.  Once they transferred over, Val & Amberra undocked MPV-4 & returned home safely while the new crew took over for an extended stay to satisfy a contract.

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Duna Sojourner - Course correction planned for 01:336

Minmus Surveyor 1 - Landed on Minmus 01:267 & transmitted data back to KSC from the Minmus polar region

Spoiler

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Scooping soil to examine while the panoramic camera images the landing zone

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Manned Launches:

KSC - Dawngrazer STV-4-1 - 01:267 - Launch of the STV-4-1 (Station Transfer Vehicle - 4 seat), a new design to take crews to & from space stations.  Carried Lodzon, Barnie, Adburry & Samdas to dock with MOLE station.   Due to design limitations, MOLE Station only had a single docking port, so STV-4-1 carried an extra docking port in its cargo compartment, and Barnie's first task once the STV was close enough was to attach the docking port to MOLE station to allow for docking.

DSC - Dawngrazer MPV-ER-1 - 01:276 - Jeb & Kelrik launch in an extended range variant of the Dawngrazer MPV to be the first kerbals in orbit of Minmus.  Knowing that this meant Val would be getting the first landing on Minmus, Jeb convinced planners to launch from the Desert Space Center because he had his own plan to ensure he was also the first kerbal to escape Kerbin's SoI, even if just for a few minutes. Upon entering orbit, while running checks prior to the Minmus transfer, they made the astonishing discovery that up to this point, no one had actually confirmed that space was in fact a vacuum!!!  Kelrik retrieved the test data & stored it in the command pod, one more small bit of priceless science.   They entered Minmus orbit without incident, gathered some low & high orbit science, but then Jeb launched his plan - rather than perform a maneuver to return to Kerbin, he instead burned over half an orbit early & sent the MPV hurtling out of Kerbin's SoI - at least in a few days.  After telling mission control they needed to troubleshoot the problem, Jeb shut down the comm's, leaving himself & Kelrik alone as they flew into the vast unknown.  Once clear of Kerbin's SoI, the duo performed an EVA, gathered what science they could & plotted a return course.  Only about half an hour was spent beyond the limit of Kerbin's influence and they are currently heading back to an uncertain welcome.  To be continued.....

Spoiler

Kelrik attaching some external science instruments after reaching orbit.  The MPV-ER actually reaches orbit with about 200 m/s dV remaining in the first stage to give it a boost before starting the orbital engine.

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KSC - Dawngrazer ML2-2 - 01:278 - Val & Ambera got their chance to land on the Mun finally, launching on ML2-2 from KSC & landing first in the east farside crater (again) then hopped to the canyons for additional samples.  Mission was completed flawlessly & they landed safely.

Spoiler

Coming in to land

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Flag planting in the crater

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Taking off through the canyon

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Unmanned Launches:

DSC - Dawngrazer RSR-Min-1 - 01:290 - Automated sample return (Robotic Sample Return) to Minmus for contract.  Currently enroute, ETA 01:298

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KSC - Dawngrazer-3 Mun Outpost A - 01:295 - Launched to the Mun to provide a 2-kerbal habitat for a planned a long term stay on Mun.  Landed near (~6km) the strange arch spotted by the first Mun sample & return mission.

Spoiler

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Staging the radial boosters

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Arch just barely visible to the right of the outpost

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Safely on the ground

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Landing engines jettisoned, solar panels extended, just waiting for a crew

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Aircraft:  

CW-01 Loadmaster - 01:273 - Experimented with a seaplane version of the CC-01 Loadmaster.  Not currently able to launch from the runway due to part limitations, so I launched it from the VAB, taxied off the pad & took off from the grass then attempted a water landing.  All there is to say is it needs bigger floats.

Spoiler

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Yep, need bigger floats....

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Other:  Runway upgrade to level 2 completed on 01:274, R&D still in work

 

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Update 01:325 - Baby, we were born to run

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Ongoing Misisons:

MOLE Station - The second crew was up for 90 days for a contract, finishing up on 01:310 and returning home for some much needed R&R.  The station will remain in orbit, but there are currently no plans to send an additional crew to the station, although there is a contract out there for at least two kerbals to spend 180 days in space.

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Duna Sojourner - Course correction planned for 01:336

MPV-ER-1 - Jeb & Kel's rogue adventure finally came to a close, reentering Kerbin's atmoshpere on 01:313.  Jeb was grounded from space flights until further notice and Kelrik was put on probation.  There was somne talk of assigning them the 180 days in space contract & shipping them up to the MOLE station, but there are tools on board and the administration was concerned about what those two might make out of the station - not to mention it would mean putting ANOTHER MPV in Jeb's hands.  For the present, Jeb will be assigned to aircraft test flights only while Kelrik will be stuck with LKO rescue missions if any more come along.

Spoiler

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RSR-Min-1 - After landing on Minmus Flats, the sample return stage gathered a dust sample & launched back into orbit, parachuting safely into Kerbin's oceans on 01:305.  The lander stage remained behind, able to transmit temperature & pressure data back to KSC as needed to monitor conditions on Minmus

Spoiler

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Sample return capsule reentering the atmosphere

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Manned Launches:

KSC - Dawngrazer ML2-3 - 01:321 - Barnie & Kathberry launch to Mun Outpost A for an extended stay - 30 days.  Due to the lander having a probe core, the decision was made to dispense with a pilot for the time being. Launch & transfer to Mun went smoothly and once on the surface, Barnie & Kathberry jumped in the rover to go check out the nearby rock arch.  The crater walls turned out to be too steep to drive the last kilometer or so - so steep, then ended up sliding backwards at 15-16 m/s with the brakes on, but they (barely) managed to keep it under control & stopped safely.  At that point, Kathberry used her EVA pack to jet up to the arch, poke around for a bit & plant a flag before heading back.  Some of the drive back to the outpost was also pretty wild - several times, they were driving on two wheels at 20+ m/s but again managed to keep it in one piece.  Mostly by luck.  Before wrapping up for the day, they also placed the first surface experiments.

Spoiler

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Heading for the arch, should be too bad of a drive.....

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Umm, this is getting kinda steep...

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After rolling back down the last section of hill & barely managing not to wreck, they decided Kathberry could go up with her EVA pack while Barnie waiting at the rover

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Flag planting under the arch

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One of the tamer parts of the trip back down - a few areas were spent over 20 m/s, driving on two wheels, hoping that it fell back down on all four before I had to turn again.  Of course, the exciting parts of the drive didn't lend themselves to taking screenshots

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Safely back at the outpost

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DSC - Dawngrazer MiL2-1 - 01:323 - An ML2 lander modified with extra snacks and additional science gear, with Val & Ambera on board for the trip to Minmus.  Launch, transfer & course correction all went well & they are currently enroute, with a Minmus ETA of 01:332.  Val was given strict instructions to ONLY orbit & land on Minmus, then return straight home with no unplanned detours.

 

Unmanned Launches:

KSC - Dawngrazer URM-1 - 01:307 - A Mun rover (Utility Rover, Mun) was launched to the previously placed Mun Outpost A.  Mission was uneventful.  

Spoiler

Descending to land, the arch is clearly visible from this angle and it doesn't look like it'll be too bad of a drive

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Parked at the outpost, waiting for a crew

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KSC - Jabbit 2 SSC-1 - 01:311  - Station Service Capsule-1, launched to MOLE station to retrieve the last two completed experiments before bringing the crew home & mothballing the station for the foreseeable future.

Spoiler

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Aircraft:

CR-04 "Redeye" reconaissance aircraft built & tested by Val. It can't reach its hoped for 20km max altitude, but it can get to 18km in a zoom climb & maintain close to 14km in cruise, with plenty of fuel for the twin Wheesly turbofans.  Also looking into an armed variant, replacing the center fuel tank with a bomb bay, but ran into part count limits on that.

Spoiler

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Other: R&D Upgrade nearing completion, SPH upgrade started.

Edited by Cavscout74

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33 minutes ago, Cavscout74 said:
Spoiler

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It looks so sad . . . :o

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9 minutes ago, Triop said:

It looks so sad . . . :o

The pod settles that way naturally with SAS off, but it was so fitting this time - they were waiting to find out how much trouble they were going to be in. 

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