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Grannus Expansion Pack Exploration Gameplay - Epona: Rosmerta Mining Operations


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On 1/22/2021 at 10:40 AM, OhioBob said:

I'm interesting see what you'll find

Right back at you. Got to see a little bit in the stuff below


Destination Sirona: Crew Sendoff


Titan payload bound for Brovo making its insertion burn around Sirona

Its been a long build-up to this point, but most of the pieces are in place to facilitate the exploration of the the Sirona system, so lets get the last few piece on their way. I, personally, am hyped.

Airmed Hardware



The Janus payload, bound for Airmed, actually arrived a while ago. I just never got around to including it anywhere until now.



It was put on standby after making a sedate braking burn around Airmed. No hardware is going down to the surface just yet as a landing zone has not been determined. Ideally, the chosen landing zone will be near the terminator of the light and dark regions to investigate Airmed's two-faced geology. (Sidenote: I realized I never sent a scanning probe to Airmed. That gets rectified later.)


Brovo Payload Insertion and Landing



The Hyperion Payload had an uneventful trip across the void before insertion around Sirona



After a couple of orbits to line up with the moon, Hyperion made an insertion to a ~260 km orbit around Brovo. Fuel reserves got a little tight at the end. The Orca class GCNTR is showing its limits getting payload out here.



The  Titan Payload had a similar un-noteworthy trip.

Recently I started playing around with the in-game FoV settings (alt + scroll wheel) and am loving some of the persepective shots such as this one. This is also the first time I have honestly really noticed the cloud details on Sirona. I don't know if it was the 1.8.1 update for the mod, or updated EVE settings, or a new computer but I recall the cloud bands of Sirona being hard to differentiate with EVE installed when I started this playthough. It was one of the few times I liked the non-EVE version more. Now though, it is absolutely gorgeous.



Titan orbital insertion around Brovo. Final orbit was around 280 km up.



Titan also passed over the target landing site during its braking. This site was chose as it was an equatorial lowland near some of Brovo's defining features: its Craquelure (or Cantaloupe) Terrain. There are only a few sites that meet these requirements and this one has the added benefit of being on the Sirona facing side of the moon. 



KSC was not sending kerbals until the Brovo surface components were confirmed safe on the the surface of the moon. While some simulated landings had been performed, KSC decided to set the least mission critical component, the rover trailer, down first to verify the flight path.



The design teams over-prepared for Brovo's atmosphere. While Brovo's ASL atmosphere is only 15% that of Nodens at KSC's altitude (7.5% at Nodens ASL), the teams were expecting more thermal buildup during re-entry than they got. Future payloads may be able to save weight with less protection. The teams did find the parachute's opening pressure was set too high. An on-the-spot fix was sent to the trailer and all the other surface components as well.



A quick glimpse up shows Sirona's constant presence here as well as Hyperion and Titan conveniently passing by. The third dot is likely Damona.



Landed and waiting for the rover



The Mk4 Rover, callsign Rowan, is using the same skycrane landing platform used on all bodies now. No parachutes here.



A lovely little bit of freefalling



Landed, and watching the skycrane go dispose of itself at a safe distance



Retrieving the trailer



For anyone curious how the two latch together. They have to be lined up precisely or else there is a bit of drift, but it is a simple system.



And the last piece of surface hardware, the crew's surface base, as seen from Hyperion. In reference to the terrain the crew are eagerly looking to study here, the base has been named Cantaloupe Island.

For the jazzy:




Touchdown of Cantaloupe Island



Deployed and awaiting crew. There also appear to be geysers in the background?


Only one main component left to send to the ringed planet, the crew itself



The crew section is spacious for many kerbals, but only three will be sent on this mission



Power systems deployed, but the inflatable hab section will require a dedicated deployment crew (need two engineers)



Standard Orca GCNTR launch



As perfect a docking as could be asked for. Everything lined up and no wiggling to get the ports to catch



The deployment crew was sent up ahead of the exploration team and act as the final check team before departure.



Speaking of the exploration team, here they are now launching at dawn. Pilot Wencan, Scientist Dave, and Engineer Bill will spend the next months far from home.





Approach and docking.



Hours before departure, the engineering crew head for home



Dave Kerman makes one last inspection of the craft



And off they go. Sirona departure burns always occur on the night side of Nodens, which make them hard to view. This one felt worth it though.



Bill grabs one last look at home. The crew have about 85 days before reaching Sirona.


In addition to the crew, two auxiliary components also left for Sirona at this window



A small refuel tank in case the crew's Hermes craft needs resupply. There is some fuel aboard Tethys at Damona, but this is just insurance. It will enter Sirona's SOI in 76 days.



And an Oracle scanning probe for Airmed. It will also act as another local relay. It will arrive in the Sirona system in 93 days.


Well, this was a very large update. Everything in here felt like it should be included together though. Hope you enjoyed it.

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Destination Outer Solar System: Pre-planning the Next Missions


The upper stage of a Typhoon rocket carries Precedence-Epona and its kick stage to orbit


A short interlude here. While waiting out the transit time to Sirona, transfer windows to Epona, Cernunnos, and Sucellus opened up. These bodies (and Epona's moons) are the last planetary bodies to recieve a dedicated science mission to them. Once these probes are in orbit, KSC will have successfully performed robotic exploratory missions to every known body in the Grannus System.

(Yes, we have been to Sucellus before during the Caireen mission, but there was no dedicated science mission performed near it, so it was never consider explored by a probe)





3.75 m rockets have long become the norm in this playthrough



The kick stage performed 95% of the departure burn, while the ion probe spent a little of its fuel pushing its orbit to an intercept of Epona's SOI. Unfortunately, this new probe design has some guidance errors that may impact the mission (there is a slight torque in the craft due to an offset CoM). I thought the probe could handle it, but the lack of rcs, thrust vectoring, or external reaction wheels means the guidance computer's reaction wheels can't quite compensate. The craft can maneuver at less than full throttle, but those ion burns are going to take a lot of time and manual flying. KSC will monitor the craft's handling after its 200 day transit and see if it is still capable of performing its mission at Epona.





With the guidance problem identified and fixed (moved the ion engine slightly up to get in-line with the CoM), an nearly identical precedence probe was launched at the Cernunnos window.



Unlike its sister probe bound for Epona, Precedence-Cernunnos is only exploring one body, so it does not have to worry about conserving fuel for maneuvers between bodies in a single SOI. Shortly after leaving Noden's sphere of influence, it performed a hefty plane change maneuver (costing 1km/s dV) to line up and intercept with Cernunnos's orbit. It will reach the dwarf planet in a year and a half





A rather hefty rocket is launching a rather hefty load. This craft was launched shortly before the flotilla entired Sirona's SOI.



Oracle-Sucellus is a little oversized and overweight for its main purpose. Its design came about from a desire of wanting to play around with some of the SCANsat parts I don't normally use. The parts on-board this probe give it an operational scanning range of 400-1000 km over the surface. For reference, most of my scanning probes work in a 200-300 km orbit, with some working below 100 km.
The probe will arrive at Sucellus in about 54 days.


And Soon...




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I have been following this mission report for a little while now (yes I'm a lurker), and just wanted to say keep up the good work! I find it interesting how you use the Orca for most interplanatery transfers. I tend to just completely build a new ship from scratch for every mission and have been trying to break that habit.

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@Daedalus3000 welcome aboard. Glad you are enjoying everything. Like darwinpatrick said, subassemblies are key if you want to design a mission off a standardized platform. What I normally do is build a payload, save it as a subassembly, then open the file with the transfer vehicle (like the Orca) and bring in the subassembly to assess my dV. Also, in my opinion, standardizing your launch and transfer vehicles is a nice way to constrain your builds and give the save a sense of continuity. That being said, the current iteration of the Orca is at its limits at Sirona (payload capacity of 25-29 tons to Sirona one-way), so a new generation of transfer vehicles will be made for the outer solar system.

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Destination Sirona: Damona Exploration


Dave Kerman takes in the view of Brovo while analyzing experiments performed on-board Triton


Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Exploration time! (Can you tell I'm excited to be doing this?) First up on the Sironian moons to explore is the outermost one, Damona. The small size and low gravity should make it an easy first target. But before we get there, lets get actually get everyone into the Sirona system first.


Checking in on the rest of the flotilla first



The refuel pod's trip to the gas giant was the same as most other craft so far - uneventful.



It dropped itself into a 67 km orbit over Airmed. Since the crew of the Triton will be using their CV-2N Hermes craft as their shuttle between moons, a fuel depot could range from a thoughtful safety net to a mission critical component during these endeavors. If needed, the probe has enough LH2 for 500 m/s worth of maneuvers.



Oracle-Airmed remains the only craft so far to have passed through the rings of Sirona.



Close ring transits = pretty pictures



A distant encounter with Brovo helped swing the probe's orbit toward Airmed



A braking burn got the scanning probe into an elliptic polar orbit. 



With subsequent orbits using the last of the probe's fuel to circularize into a 500 km orbit.


And here are the stars of the show, the crew



The last Sirona Braking Burn scheduled in this mission profile



A couple orbits later, Triton arrives in an 800 km orbit over Brovo. While Brovo will be the last body explored, it is a central location in the Sirona system, so it made sense to keep mission critical components nearby.



The crew spent a couple days around Brovo before departing for Damona. A second burn was required to match planes with the outermost moon.



Damona in all its glory. That impact basin, while on the non-Sironian side of the body, is the crew's primary landing site.
Something I did not take into account with the transit was transit time. The three crew members spent 22 days inside their pod. Future missions between Sironian moons should include a reusable shuttle with additional habital space so crew members are not stuck within the same walls (insert quarantine joke here).



The 0.06 g produced by Damona means braking burns are only a couple hundred m/s of dV.



After a couple orbits, the crew meet up with Tethys, the first payload to Sirona.



The mini station is quickly inflated and brought online. Here Wencan is taking advantage of the station's cupola (sweet sweet living spaces!) to focus on the impact basin that dominates the moon.



However, the crew find multiple problems with their Runabout lander. There was a fuel leak in the runabout and the storage tanks during transit, and the lander's remote guidance and stability assist are not responding. Not content with leaving Damona without landing on it, the crew make a radical decision. The runabout has all the science equipment and enough fuel to fully refuel their CV-2N's tanks. The two craft will dock and the CV-2N Hermes will act as the primary landing craft with the runabout being an oversize science payload. The low gravity of Damona should not damage the engine bells when the CV-2N sits on them.

I really should test my craft before flinging them starward...



Its like Apollo, but everything is landing on the CSM



Braking burn, with the Basin's central peak nearby



Well, the craft made it



Wencan took the runabout for one last, unceremonious flight. She and the science instruments survived, but the craft will never move again.



Wencan, Bill, and Dave Kerman: first Kerbals on Damona!



The three of them salvage the field survey equipment and get the ion detector, goo, and communications set up.

"Wen-can Phone Home!"



Wencan and Dave collect more science while Bill fiddled with powering the survey equipment



The trio also find an anomalous rock, but without the proper scanning equipment, all they can do is poke at it (and I guess stand on top of it too).



After a short amount of time, the Hermes lifts back into its natural environment. It preformed its role as a lander admirable here (a flat LZ helped tremendously), but it is much better suited off the ground.

Had this mission gone as intended, the runabout would have done all the stuff performed here and one or two additional sorties. It had about 1200 m/s dV, so it could make 2 or 3 landings and still return to Tethys. Possible additional landing zones were the peaks of the basin and the lowlands beyond the basin walls. A shame really, I really liked the runabout's design. This design was submitted for use in the outer solar system moons as well, so the engineers at KSC are looking at this mission's failures while designing the Mk II version.



You can't really "soar" in a vacuum, but the Hermes truly looks like it is soaring around Damona on its way back to Tethys.


One moon down, two to go, and already the mission has a more Kerbal spin to it than expected. Honestly though, it kinda makes the experience more exciting. Next up, Airmed.

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Destination Sirona: Airmed Exploration


Wencan looks out in the distance at the shear slopes that are a common feature on Airmed


Time to explore the innermost moon of Sirona, Airmed



The crew's improvised Damona landing maneuver was a success, but it cost them valuable fuel. Back at Tethys, the Hermes craft had only 728 m/s of dV in the tank. That refuel craft is now a critical component to ensure the mission continues. However, it is in low orbit around Airmed. 728 m/s SHOULD get the crew to a low Airmed orbit, but KSC planners were not banking on such an iffy possibility. A radical solution was proposed; Tethys would provide the Damona departure burn, saving the Hermes a couple hundred m/s of dV. However, this posed another problem; Tethys was not equipped with an appropriate docking port for Hermes that was in-line to their thrust. More brainstorming ensued...




Well, not quite that. Spin-stabilization of Tethys was considered, but in practice the rate of spin generated actually worsened the offset mass. The implemented solution was to pump Hermes's fuel and mono into the empty reserve tanks on Tethys (to put as much mass in line with the center of thrust) and thrust slowly. Here is Tethys shortly after getting Hermes on the appropriate vector, fuel routed back in, and detached. Tethys made a couple maneuvers to re-capture around Damona, while the Hermes had a plane change maneuver to get an encounter with Airmed.



While all this was going on, KSC determined enough of Airmed's surface had been mapped to  begin remotely landing surface hardware for the next leg of the mission. Here is a small outpost the crew will stay in while on the surface. It actually hopped around before settling in its current position. I think the original location had a 7 degree slope with no flat areas nearby for other landers. This one is a 3 degree slope with a couple hill saddles around that could pass as landing areas.



And here is the Mk IV rover they will use to scout a multitude of the surrounding biomes.



(More like 19 days, but I think these three are getting used to the long and cramped travel. Or maybe that is just the apathy). 


With about 300 m/s dV in the tank, the crew made orbit around Airmed close to the orbit of Refuel 1. They chose to the refueler handle the actual rendezvousing before taking back control for docking. Refuel 1 brought enough fuel to bring the Hermes up to a little over 1000 m/s dV, plenty for the rest of the mission. 



Refuel 1 still had 550 m/s dV with the Hermes docked, so the crew elected to use the refueler to rendezvous with Janus and their landing craft.



Instead of trying another docking maneuver, the three performed a spacewalk over to the lander



Wencan, Bill, and Dave - First Kerbals on Airmed.

The lander worked well...except for the fact that I forgot that the soviet style capsules don't have a stability assist (guess which genius forgot to test a craft before sending it off...). The RCS was placed well enough that most maneuvers were do-able, but that assist was sorely missed.



Despite the hills of Airmed, the crew landed right at the physics boundary for the rover and the base. It was just a short jetpack flight over. Before getting settled in the base, Wencan and Dave grabbed science from the outboard modules while Bill examined the rover.



Landing occurred just before Airmed night, so the three prepped to hunker down until the next dawn.



Fast forward another number of days, and Dave and Bill took the rover out for some biome hopping. Here they found a darker than normal boulder in the darkened highlands...



..which Bill promptly put a flag in



A science kit was deployed in the highlands



Lot of science action near a recently formed crater in the tropical midlands



And a view back at the dark lands of Airmed from the tropical lowlands.



The two collected 50 experiments and traveled over 40 km between the four biomes and back to base.

Airmed vaguely reminds me of Belisama, only far less flat. Slopes in excess of 20 degrees are quite common in the regions traveled here. When I was setting Bon Voyage waypoints, my criteria for a destination point widened from "a slope of 3 degrees or less" to "any region that has a single digit slope".



Departure occured shortly thereafter. The image from the tropical lowlands was roughly in the location just above the lander here, and the base is currently situated to around the 10 o'clock postion here. That peninsula of the lighter region was the area explored.



While the lander was able to rendezvous with the Hermes, RCS propellant ran out and the craft could not maintain orientation.



While the original goal was to dock the two craft and transfer fuel (to further pad the reserves), the crew opted to abandon the lander and EVA themselves over. The Hermes has plenty to get back to Brovo. 


And that's Airmed. Two moons down, one more (and my most anticipated) to go.

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Some ramblings and other notes from the Airmed mission:

I actually lost the orginal lander sometime either during puttering around the little base (where the lander was occasionally within physics range) or during the rover exploration part. I tried switching over to it when prepping for departure and only found a flag. No parts spread over an area due to a falling R.U.D. and no sideways lander at the bottom of a hill. I think one of the times it loaded intermitedly into physics, the craft loaded below the terrain (have had this happen to rovers after bon voyage load ins, but never another craft). Wouldn't be surprised if the 7 degree slope it was on was also a factor. Since this was a game loading issue, and not a player issue, the crew got a shiny new lander (with only about half the fuel loaded in) spawned where the original should have been. Had there been proof the lander fell over because of the slope it was on, I think a Mark Whatney -esque rescue could have been performed with the Brovo lander and still get the crew to Brovo's surface for a fuel resupply, but this mission already had one risky plan.

I'm pretty sure I need to up Snacks consumption as well. The three have spent 53 days just in their Hermes craft and only consumed about a third of the supplies in there (the base amount the mod adds, which I think is 150 units for the Mk 1-3 capsule) and I would have expected more. Not trying to make these missions a super realistic play-through but I was expecting supplies to be more of a constraint. Might have to look into it when they return from Sirona.

And lastly,  an enjoyable science result from Airmed:




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11 hours ago, GEPEG_Unconscious said:

I'm pretty sure I need to up Snacks consumption as well. The three have spent 53 days just in their Hermes craft and only consumed about a third of the supplies in there (the base amount the mod adds, which I think is 150 units for the Mk 1-3 capsule) and I would have expected more. Not trying to make these missions a super realistic play-through but I was expecting supplies to be more of a constraint. Might have to look into it when they return from Sirona.

Snacks is one of the reasons I decided to go back to the 6-hour day with the most recent upgrade (GEP v1.2.2).  It just didn't seem to work well with the 90-hour day.  Though I must admit that I really haven't tested Snacks with the new calendar.  But I suspect the default setting of 3 snacks per day should cause snacks to be consumed at the same rate as in the stock game.


Even if you haven't upgraded to v1.2.2, you should be able to add the new calendar to your existing install just by copying the file GEP_Primary/Kronometer.cfg from the v1.2.2 download to your installation.

Edited by OhioBob
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That could be it. With the current settings (1 Snack/meal/kerbal, or 3 Snacks/day/kerbal), only 3 snacks were consumed on the 3-4 day (about 28 hours I think) transit between Airmed and Brovo. Not going to add anything until after this mission, but I will drop the Kronometer plugin and see what happens.

While I think the 90-hour day was a cool concept (it made the planet pack stand out when I first came across it a couple years ago), in practice it was not the easiest to follow. I recall in an earlier version of KSP trying to use the 90-hour day and fighting against something related to time (I think I was trying to space out launches by using KAC alarms as reminders for every one Nodens day, but KAC still considered one day as 6 hours). As a result, I have always used a time system similar to how you reworked the Kronometer plugin.

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1 hour ago, GEPEG_Unconscious said:

(I think I was trying to space out launches by using KAC alarms as reminders for every one Nodens day, but KAC still considered one day as 6 hours).

I thought KAC had upgraded to work with Kronometer, but maybe not.  I know at one time it was definitely a problem.  In my experience there's just too much that seems to be configured around the 6-hour day that the 90-hour day just didn't work very well.  Plus to me it just felt really weird having only 3 long days per year.  I've tested the new calendar in GEP but I haven't actually played a game with it, so I don't know how well it will work in practice.  If you decide to use it, I'd appreciate feedback.  Having months might take some getting use to, but I didn't want to eliminate the 90-hour period altogether, so adding months seemed like a good way to keep it as part of the game.

(edit)  Now as I think about it, it might be a good idea to modify Belisama's orbit so that each new month starts with a new moon.

Edited by OhioBob
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1 hour ago, OhioBob said:

I know at one time it was definitely a problem

The issues I encountered with the interactions was many versions ago (could have been as far back as KSP 1.4.3) so I would not be surprised if the two play better now. Plus the new system sounds more intuitive as well. 6 hours to a "day", 15 "days" to a month, 3 months to a year. It would be fun to know how many times Nodens has gone around Grannus in this playthrough. I could convert from the Kerbin time of "year 4, day 117" but I would rather have Kronometer do that automatically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Destination Sirona: Brovo Exploration


Dave Kerman runs a slew of surface experiments shortly after the crew arrive at Cantaloupe Island

And here we are, at the last moon to explore in the Sirona system. I've been waiting a long while to explore here and now its finally time to do so.

But before we explore, we gotta get down there first.



The four day transit from Airmed to Brovo went nominally. The CV-2N has plenty of fuel for the remainder of the mission.



They met up with the last remaining piece of surface architecture in Brovo orbit - the Phoenix-NS lander and ascent vehicle.



The lander, callsign Ares, is almost completely identical to the reusable lander system used as a ferry between the surface of Belisama and the station in orbit. The power system has been changed out to function further from Grannus and drogue chutes were included to take advantage of Brovo's light atmosphere. While the atmosphere of Brovo is thicker than Toutatis's, KSC was confident the delicate LH2 tanks would withstand usage in-atmosphere.



Like most of the other components in the Brovo surface architecture, Ares was over-engineered regarding the effects it may experiece during reentry. The descent system was discarded early and Ares came down using just chutes and its own power.



Dave, Bill, and Wencan Kerman: First Kerbals on Brovo!

The trio waited a short while as the rover puttered out to them and back to Cantaloupe Island


Brovo Exploration



The primary rover expedition was to one of the many regions easily identifiable from orbit: something the KSC scientists have been calling the Craquelure Region. At the transition between this region and the midlands, the crew found a decently sized region with very little slope. It is about 50 km north of Cantaloupe Island (which is situated close to Brovo's Equator) and would make a good forward operating base in the future.



And there we are, the Craquelure proper. Not quite sure how, but the crew entered this biome on one of the hills (Mesas?) the create the upper regions of the Craquelure. It did provide a wonderful reveal of how this region looked from the ground level.

Side note here - KSP's terrain generation is rather limited in my opinion. From orbit this biome looks like a bunch of crisscrossing canyons where you would expect terrain visuals to be something like the Grand Canyon, but on the surface (especially when you are above and a little back) it looks a lot like rolling hills on a rather large scale. That being said, the canyon feel is there, especially when you get off the hilltops. I think this is incredibly unique and my hat is off to you @OhioBob. This biome is what makes this planet my favorite in the system.



Despite the steep grade, this seems like a proper place for a science outpost.



Might as well do all the science while we are at it.



Long hills + very stable rover setup = a whole lotta speed. Dave Kerman turned out to be quite the daredevil. He prepped his chute, popped the hatch, and jumped. The combination of speed, descent, and an instantaneously deployed parafoil meant Dave became the first Kerbal to glide on another planet. Dave had the time of his life while the uncontrolled  distracted crew of the rover blazed on at around 40 m/s. Both came to a rather safe stop surprisingly.



One quickload later and the crew found themselves roving along the top of another hill and found an oddly red rock.

Since I brought up the rover a minute ago, I found that this setup with the trailer turned out exceptionally well. There was some initial sideways drift but that was corrected by unlocking the mini Klaw's pviot and letting everything settle out. All the driving since getting to the Craquelure was done manually and for once it was enjoyable. The trailer put weight on the back of the rover to keep it from going end over when braking, and the added power of the trailer wheels meant the entire craft could move a little faster. I think I am going to continue using this setup.



The final stop of the crew was at the foothills of a hill the crew came to call Patina Mons. It was the tallest hill in the area (its the same one seen rising above the others in the second image of this spoiler. Its also the only one that had the cliff texture on the sides) and acted as the point of reference while the crew explored the area. This section of foothills is between 10 and 15 km from the science outpost.



On their way back to Cantaloupe Island the trio came across another defining feature of Brovo: a geyser. 



Gotta stop and get a sample of something as unique as this.



Get out of the geyser, Dave! You already flew once today!



After many days of recuperation and sample analysis, the crew mounted up in the Brovo predawn for a second small expedition



One of Brovo's rare craters was just 70 km south of Cantaloupe Island and KSC instructed the crew to check it out. Brovo's atmosphere and wind erosion is a likely factor as to why there are few craters on Brovo's surface, but might there be other processes at play that contribute to the lack of craters on this moon? And could those factors also be the creating force behind the Craquelure regions? No one at KSC knows, but they eagerly await the data from the crew of the Triton to see if they can find a clue.


And there we go, all three of Sirona's moons landed on and explored. Now all we have to do is get back home...

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@GEPEG_Unconscious, something doesn't look right with your terrain textures.  I believe the bump map isn't working.   This is something that I often had trouble with when I was converting all the textures over to using the new shader.  The screenshot below is what the terrain should look like:



I never completely figured out what caused it, but I have some ideas.  First, what version of KSP are you using?   In some of the older versions there was an issue with the shader not working on certain planet templates.  If you're using v1.8.1, this problem would affect Brovo.  There's a patch that should fix it (if you haven't already installed it): 


Another thing that was suspected as being the culprit was having KittopiaTech installed.  If you have that installed, I recommend removing it.

Edited by OhioBob
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5 hours ago, OhioBob said:

The screenshot below is what the terrain should look like:

Oh! So it wasn't a setting on my end that was preventing the dunes from showing up. I kept messing with the visual settings in the main menu thinking my terrain quality was not high enough. Dropped the stuff from the 1.8.1 folder into my gamedata, and sure enough, new terrain!



(apologies for the night scene, can't quite timewarp at the moment)


Guess this means another mission to Sirona (and I guess Toutatis) in the future for some better surface pics.

For the record, the link above is for GPP, not GEP. It still provides the bump maps, but does not play well with EVE and/or Scatterer. I think it overwrites the GEP configs and looks for the GPP ones. I went back to this post and grabbed the other patch and everything looks like it is working as intended. I never grabbed the patch because I wasn't seeing what was shown in the example image (large squares of varying textures), but I did have a couple other minor issues, mostly around Belisama (surfaces had a somewhat metallic sheen and at certain altitudes there would be a second ghost terrain in the distance). Will do some additional testing later to see if those issues were also fixed by this patch.

Never had KittopiaTech installed so can't confirm that would also cause weirdness.

Edited by GEPEG_Unconscious
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3 hours ago, GEPEG_Unconscious said:

Dropped the stuff from the 1.8.1 folder into my gamedata, and sure enough, new terrain!

That looks much better. :)


Guess this means another mission to Sirona (and I guess Toutatis) in the future for some better surface pics.

I noticed that things looked a bit off on some of your earlier screenshots as well, but I thought maybe it was because of KS3P.  I have no experience with that mod so I didn't know what to expect.  But after seeing the Brovo screenshots it was clear that the bump maps weren't working.


For the record, the link above is for GPP, not GEP.

Yep, I linked to the wrong one.  I've fixed it, but you already found it on your own.


I never grabbed the patch because I wasn't seeing what was shown in the example image (large squares of varying textures)...

Fixing the "farm patch" bug is the original reason for the patch.  I had pretty much forgotten about the problem of the bump maps not working until I was reminded after seeing your screenshots.  I figured it was probably part of the same problem that the patch was designed to fix.  I just never connected those dots before now.


...but I did have a couple other minor issues, mostly around Belisama (surfaces had a somewhat metallic sheen and at certain altitudes there would be a second ghost terrain in the distance).

Belisama uses the same template as Brovo, so it's likely you'd see problems there as well.  (In fact, all bodies but Grannus, Sirona and Nodens use the same template)


Never had KittopiaTech installed so can't confirm that would also cause weirdness.

I doubt Kittopia is the problem.  There was a time when some of us were doing some testing and it looked like Kittopia might be the cause, but I don't believe that anymore.

Edited by OhioBob
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  • 1 month later...
On 2/17/2020 at 8:35 AM, GEPEG_Unconscious said:


Hi all. My name is GEPEG_Unconscious. The posts I put here are records of adventures I have touring the Grannus system. Hope you all enjoy them.


An overview of the Grannus System based on the Tracking Station numerous gravitational and visual observations

Wait here, I'm really curious

Taranis, Sucellus, Epona; I recognize those names. They were characters in the Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4. What are they doing here?

Maybe the guy who made the interplanetary mod liked FFH, so he used some names as homage?

Maybe the guy who made the interplanetary mod is the same one who made FFH, and he recycled some names?

Maybe they are, like, super common fantasy names that any random name generator will spawn?

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On 4/15/2021 at 9:10 AM, king of nowhere said:

Wait here, I'm really curious

Taranis, Sucellus, Epona; I recognize those names. They were characters in the Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4. What are they doing here?

Maybe the guy who made the interplanetary mod liked FFH, so he used some names as homage?

Maybe the guy who made the interplanetary mod is the same one who made FFH, and he recycled some names?

Maybe they are, like, super common fantasy names that any random name generator will spawn?

Taranis, Sucellus and Epona are all Celtic deities, as are all the other bodies in GEP.  That's the naming theme that was chosen for GEP.  Any reuse of these names from another mod is only coincidence.

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Destination Sirona: More Whales than Star Trek IV


The crew, back aboard Triton, depart Brovo.

Y'know, they say finishing out a bachelor's is a full-time job, but the last four months have been non-stop work and that still did not feel like enough time to get everything complete. But it is done, so now there is time for other things once again...

Anyways, Dave, Bill, and Wencan Kerman have been around the ringed gas giant and its moons for long enough. Lets bring them home (and possibly rescue them on the way...)



Long, long ago, at the start of this mission, an Orca GCNTR was inserted into low Sironian orbit with several hydrogen scoops. Over the course of this entire mission, it managed to add about 1/3 of its fuel volume in-situ in preparation for crew return. Now it made its way up to Brovo to transfer its gathered fuel to Triton.



Unfortunately, Triton was low enough on fuel from the journey out that it needed more than just 1/3 of its total volume to get home. Hyperion and Titan had carried heavy payloads to Brovo and had minimal reserves to provide. However, the Orcas around the other two moons had a decent amount. Here is Janus, up from Airmed, giving its LH2 fuel up.



Tethys dropped down from Damona (after a somewhat hairy departure from the now uncontrolled Damona Outpost) as well. All the expended Orcas would stay in a graveyard orbit high above Brovo. They have comms, nuclear fuel, and monoprop a salvage operation would be possible.



With Triton as full as it could get (about 2/3 full), the crew lifted off from Brovo.


Ignore the terrain, some of these pictures are from before I dropped the GEP terrain fix into the gamesave. This one report has been going on for a long time...



The Lander had plenty of fuel to get back to the Hermes and push the crew shuttle to Triton.



Sirona Departure

Despite the refueling efforts, Triton was still juuuust shy of the dV required to get the three kerbals safely home. There was enough fuel to get a close encounter with Nodens, but not enough to perform circularization. A different solution was needed.



Since time was actually something the staff at KSC had, they threw up one last Orca to run a refuelling operation in interplanetary space. Triton was on a rough resonant orbit with Nodens, so it had multiple SOI intercept options. The refueling Orca left Nodens when Triton came around the first time, and the goal was to refuel and brake Triton into Noden's SOI on the second orbit.



Interplanetary rendezvous (a first for me) was successful and occurred just below the orbit of Succellus. 

Kinda wished I had some sort of physics extender during this point in time. Because of the relative speeds, the rendezvous braking started a lot further out. It would've been really cool to see the plume grow as the distance closed.



Triton took on enough fuel to provide 4343 m/s of dV, plenty to circularize in low Nodens Orbit. An attempt would be made to crash the refueling Orca into Bellisama, but instead it would be swung into deep interplanetary space.



To return to a blue marble after so much time away...



Home Insertion successful. Triton would circularize at the equator with the last of its fuel at a later date.



One last journey for the Dave, Wencan, and Bill.



A very successful mission. That 37k science was 12k at mission start. 7k was transmitted over the course of the mission with the rest coming home with the crew. 


And that is Sirona explored. This mission took far longer than I thought, but it got done in the end. Now onto Epona.

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Destination Outer Planets: Filling in the Gaps


Oracle-Sucellus successfully entering polar orbit around Sucellus

Dave, Bill, and Wencan Kerman returned to a very different Nodens compared to when they left. Society seemed to have undergone some sort of cultural revolution, with a newfound penchant for rather....opulent Snacks consumption. Belisama always seemed to be in slightly the wrong place too. They tried not to think about that too much...

The folks at KSC had not been fully single-tasked on the Sirona mission either. There were a number of exploratory probes moving around the central and outer solar system that required attention in preparation for future missions. In addition to the one above at Sucellus, probes arrived at the remaining two un-surveyed planets in the Grannus System:




Precedence-Epona ion engine required a 30 minute injection burn to ensure orbit was properly achieved. Adding to this was the slightly off-center thrust of the probe, leading to a lower amount of thrust to maintain orientation.



In the end, injection was successful, with data in high and low orbits sent back home.



One of the benefits of an ion-propelled spacecraft is an excess of dV. KSC leveraged this to demonstrated the ease of transferring to Rosmerta. Roughly 600 m/s was required to get to the near moon and only  200 m/s were needed to enter a polar orbit.



Transfer demonstration complete, Precedence-Epona returned to Epona for extended surveys.



Oracle-Epona was a test whether an all chemical-propellant mission was possible to the outer solar system. While it did make a polar orbit around Epona, Oracle-Epona ran out of fuel before circularization was complete, leading to SCANs of the icy planet only being complete for the northern hemisphere. A follow-up mission will be required before crew arrive.


and Cernunnos.



Precedence-Cernunnos, built off the same bus as Precedence-Epona with some slight tweaks to move the thrust and mass in-line again, started its multi-minute injection burn.



While Precedence-Cernunnos initially shot by Cernunnos, capture was successful. Additional adjustments were made to reduce orbit to a viable surveying altitude.


Lastly, a technology demonstration.


As noted at the end of the Sirona mission, the limits of the Orca Nuclear Transfer Vehicle were clearly showing. For journeys to the outer Grannus System, a new NTV was required. The requirements for this new NTV were the capability to carry tens of tons of payload far from Grannus, be refuelable, safe to be around in orbit, and have both good thrust and good efficiency. Enter the Beluga.


This is easily the biggest payload I have ever attempted to get into orbit. The usage of the spherical LH2 tank really limits the ability to make a standard looking rocket, so the launcher itself its also the biggest, and most Kerbal, launcher I have produced as well. Nearly an SSTO, it has no name other than 'Monstrosity'.



To provide high efficiency and high thrust, and experimental closed-core nuclear aerospike supplies the thrust. On just the one LH2 tank, a Beluga should get approximately 35 tons into a circular low-Eponian orbit. Trips to Cernunnos cut into that payload mass a bit, but not much.



A rare small Hurricane launch provides the start of the solution to a problem that may be becoming apparent: that 35 ton payload only has a one-way trip.



Like all previous missions to other planets, the crew's Beluga will require refueling at Epona. This is where the data from Precedence-Epona becomes useful. A large amount of water was detected on Rosmerta. Leveraging ISRU and the moon's low gravity, a refueling operation can be undertaken that should hopefully have more success than the one that occurred around Sirona.



It was decided that two ISRU landers would be needed to mine and process enough water too fill the huge volume on-board a Beluga. Simulations determined that a single unit based off the Beluga design itself would require over 42 Nodenian years (about 1900 days) to fully fill the tanks. By splitting the processing into two identical units, each with exactly half the LH2 payload of a Beluga, mining only needs to go on for just under 21 years (about 900 days).



The uninspiringly named Pod 1 takes to the skies on board a Monsoon launcher 



While the upper stage got the combined ISRU, miner, and fuel storage lander close to the Beluga, Pod 1 would have to complete final approach and docking on its own.



By getting gud utilizing the telemetry from Pod 1, Pod 2 launched to the Beluga at a much more efficient trajectory.



Its a bit of a tight fit, docking all these very large craft together.

The two pods vastly exceed the 35 ton payload of the Beluga, but by launching them fully loaded, the Beluga effectively has a second tank, which provides more than enough dV to get to Rosmerta.


The fully loaded Beluga is now waiting for a transfer window to Epona to open up, after which the Epona exploration mission can begin in earnest.

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Destination Outer Planets: Camping Out for a Midnight Release Far Too Early


The Beluga and its two pods, still radiating off heat from its burn an hour prior, leaves Nodens

A window to Epona opened shortly after the three craft were joined, so let's not waste any time using it.



Another first here: First time moving a craft this large any interplanetary distance. A note to the wise; throttle up slowly. I made sure both pods were equally fuelled so their masses were equally distributed, but slamming that throttle wide open will still throw them lateral. This configuration can run at 100% throttle, but it needs to be stepped up over the first minute or so of the burn.



Burns to the outer planets take so much time and dV you can witness a sunset and a sunrise during the same burn.



The folks at KSC made the unusual decision to suspend all other operations besides ones that directly support this one while the craft was en-route.

(Totally did not warp along with the craft the entire 7 year journey to make sure no weird timewarp related thermal issues or same vessel clipping occurred. No sir...)



After a nifty handbrake insertion burn around Epona that put the craft on a direct course with Rosmerta in its first orbit, the Beluga and its pods enter low Rosmertian orbit.



Pod 2 is the first to detach...



...and is the first vessel to touch down on Rosmerta, right along the equator.



Pod 1 follows suit once 2 is confirmed safely on the ground.



The only other optimal place for Pod 1 to put down within the 2.5km radius physics range coordinated mining site near was at the bottom of a small valley half a klick from Pod 2. Pod 2 can be seen here at about the 10 o'clock position.



Now begins the multi-decade refining escapade. 

It has been awhile since I last perused the Atomic Rockets website, but this mission brought the 1975 Lighter and Tanker mission plan back to the forefront of my thoughts. This mission outline has always stuck with me for some reason. I remember thinking the mission was rather absurd when first reading it - experimental and very dangerous engines on the Tanker, a long ROI (7.8 years in that outline), and the need to go far out of the way to get the resources required. Granted, the intent of this mission and the Lighter/Tanker one are different (get a crew home safely vs starting orbital fuel depots), but it may have been more realistic in its execution than I originally thought (at least until the discovery of water ice on the moon nowadays).

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