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Hello friends and fellow Eve enthusiasts,

 

today I want to present to you the (still ongoing) mission "Adam to Eve", as it was for me the very first time I have ever seriously tackled Eve (although I didn't get any children out of that). I have been playing this game since 2013, but I have rarely left Kerbin's SOI except for establishing a small colony on Duna or visiting the Jool area. This time, in a career save, I thought "eh love it", mainly because the game wants me to visit Eve before Duna. Glad I am not a newb who would probably be shaken deeply by the realization of a proper there-and-back Eve mission. Anyhow, I have rambled enough, let's go right in medias res and see what's going on.

 

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This is the Eve lander/ascender. It has almost 200 parts (mainly lots of auxilliary stuff like the landing struts, science stuff, separatrons etc.) and weighs 144 tons. And that's EMPTY! Correct, this is to be hauled to Eve completely empty and then refuel itself by mining lots of ore. Sadly I never did much testing besides "yeah it survives the descent and makes it into orbit", because it is missing a crucial component which I only realized when it was already too late. But more to that later. The thing is this big because I always send three dudes at once for the world record stuff and I don't like abusing service bays with command seats - also then it wouldn't have been possible to build these nice elevators - Kerbal goes in at the bottom and then simply transfers to the capsule on the very top.

 

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This is the transfer stage, the "pusher". Only 77 tons, also empty. It has RCS to maneuver for docking to the lander and eight Wolfhounds that yield something along 2700 dV iirc. I originally had planned to use only nuclears, but with the mass of the vehicle I was expecting horrible burn times. This one managed the Kerbin escape/Eve encounter burn in just over five minutes. Note also the Mk1-3 command pod and the nuclear engine in the middle. Those are for the return stage.

 

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After assembly in orbit I had to do a few refueling flights.

 

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IGNITION! Let's go have a rendezvous with Eve!

 

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After a journey of almost a year (I don't care for transfer windows or any of that nerd excrements) finally in an orbit around Eve in about 195 km height. Here, the return stage was jettisoned and the Command pod put in the front. The original idea was that it would be more stable, but I could just have used more struts. Also since I had to do adjustments before descent, but not knowing how much dV I would have ACTUALLY left after ascent, I didn't want it to park in a higher orbit, so I transferred some of the fuel in the big stage between the return and lander to the lander and fired up the Vectors - which of course yielded much less dV than it would have otherwise. That was my first big oversight that became apparent to me. But it gets worse.

 

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Descent went as smooth as a criminal. NOTHING in this mission has worked as well as the descent and landing. After landing I set up the ground science, did experiments and set up flags. This was where I cheated for the first time: Because walking up a hill apparently makes Kerbals walk into the hill and eventually die. Glad I could quicksave Jeb. After that I was a bit mad and just hacked gravity and used the jetpack. TAKE THAT GAME!

Next I realized my second, much, much worse mistake: NOT BRINGING RADIATORS. Especially on Eve, mining crawled to almost a halt. That way it would take DECADES to fill up. I fought my dark side, but in the end it won. Infinite fuel and ISRU filled up the lander in only a few days (or even hours? Doesn't matter). I am still feeling a bit bad about it, but I would probably feel bad too. You can make or make not a mistake and still fail, that's Kerbal life. Eventually I was ready for liftoff. Mining equipment and science stuff under the lander was jettisoned and I was ready to go.

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Nine Vectors pushing the thing upwards, one for each side tank and a cluster of 7 in the center stage. And that's totally the exhaust plume and not the sun, I swear!

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After separation of the side tanks.

 

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After losing the second stage, we're on the edge (of the atmosphere, that is). Third stage also has a vector. For the insertion burn, the last stage used a Cheetah.

 

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And here is the last stage ready for docking with the return vehicle.

 

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Done! After transferring science and crew, the ascent stage was left in orbit. Now the return stage is awaiting the transfer window to finally bring them home (Now I have to wait because Eve is in such a excrementsty place right now that I would need like 6000 dV to get back and I only have around 2800). The transfer is scheduled for a point in time about 370 days ahead.

 

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Now I just have to wait for the Eve science to roll in!

Spoiler

Kerba derba derba dee doo, I've got another puzzle for you: What is wrong with this picture up here, if you know then write it in here.

 

I have taken more pictures, but this post is already long enough as it is. If you are interested, you can check out the whole album:
https://imgur.com/a/hBk05el

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update, in case anyone is interested: I managed to get my dudes back home, after four years or so. Although after entering Kerbin's SOI I noticed something: I didn't have enough dV even for aerobraking, so I built a refill drone and sent it on its 60 day journey to the outer rim in order to refill the return ship.

Then, when I wanted to land I noticed that the return craft didn't have any parachutes! Since I have regretted cheating ever since, I wanted to do this the Kerbal way, so I built a small drone with some parachutes that could dock with the top of the return craft. It took pretty long because I only had a few small solar panels and no battery on the craft, so in the Kerbin shadow it died a few times, but eventually I managed to bring them home. That was really exhausting.

Now I put the ascent stage for the EVE II mission in orbit, which I tested more thoroughly and the return craft now also has parachutes. I hope this time it'll work out.

 

P.S.: Could some mod move this to the "Mission Reports" forum, please?

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