Sky Vagrant

Sky Vagrant's Jool Mission

Sky Vagrant Sanity  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Am I crazy for playing KSP like this? (read the first post below before completing poll)

    • No way - my spreadsheets put yours to shame!
      0
    • I've done crazier things for KSP, but not by much
      0
    • You're a little warped, but in good company here
      5
    • I'd never do all this for KSP - thank God for my mods!
      1
    • You're a nutter
      3


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Posted (edited)

After some time off from KSP, I'm finally getting around to going to Jool in a big way. I play on Xbox, I've only ever had one saved game (Career Mode), and I started before the game did dV and TWR calcs.

When I started playing KSP, I quickly realized that you could complete multiple contracts with one vehicle/launch. I started stacking my contracts on missions and really enjoyed the challenge of getting a lot done with a few vehicles. So when I finished with Duna and Ike I filled my entire contracts page with Jool missions:

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That's both pages photo-shopped together - 15 contracts! Then I needed to design the mission vehicles for these contracts, so I put the contracts and the requirements in a spreadsheet:

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And then I designed the vehicles and needed a spreadsheet to track the dVs and costs:

0mpX4OE.png

Total profit should be $10,837,622.15

I don't know if anyone else takes this approach; I'd be interested to hear if you do something similar. But leaving the Kerbin SOI on the Xbox almost necessitates some of this. Without mods you need to figure out a lot more things on your own!

One of the big challenges for Jool is designing for landing and getting back off of Laythe. I've never been great at spaceplanes (I basically copied the ones I regularly use), but I gave it another shot with the needs of Laythe in mind and I'm very happy with the results. The problem is, how to get my spaceplane(s) to Laythe. So I built this fuel tank for two of my spaceplanes (named Lidenbrock III and Lidenbrock IIIP) to push all the way there and aerobrake:

cn2ow4L.png

I'll have more pics of the rest of the vessels as they arrive at Jool, but here are EIGHT vessels in flight from Kerbin to Jool:

tfuIEc1.png

And because I'm an Xbox player I don't have Kerbal Alarm Clock and I need to keep track of all my vessels maneuvers over the course of mutiple Kerbin years:

qt0C8tN.png

The naming scheme here is based on Jules Verne ships and characters. Sometimes I use numbers if I created multiple versions of the vessel in the design phase.

A while ago I sent a mapper-probe and a network of comms relays to Jool, but that was it until now. The mapper-probe mapped Tylo, Laythe, and Vall, but then I ran out of fuel. I left it drifting through the Jool system and it eventually caught a gravity assist that sent it out of the system and on a course to leave the entire solar system! Good lesson about watching those unplanned encounters in the Jool system!

I also had a mapper-probe at Eeloo that had a ton of spare dV so I sent it to Jool to map Pol (which isn't in any contract).

When I started planning the Jool expedition, I still had Kerbals in the Duna SOI and I realized I could send them and their lander to Jool if I used the Duna space station as a lower stage (it is in solar orbit now). They arrived about a year ahead of the rest of the vessels and they landed on Pol:

N1O5tEx.png

That's all I'm going to have them do until the other ships arrive. They haven't completed any contracts as that's the job of the new vessels, but they'll be there to support and maybe save some of the missions if they don't go as planned.

Let me know what you think and what you'd like to see as I start flying out these missions.

 

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Another landing today in the Highlands of Pol to completely refuel the lander and crew transport:

xcLeEli.png

Got Jool in background this time. The side facing Jool was completely dark when they arrived and did the first landing. That's when I realized that Pol was tide locked to Jool (I don't do too much research and try to avoid seeing too many "spoilers" before I go someplace in KSP), meaning I had to do a second landing if I wanted that shot.

pvQ5B5X.png

Also repositioned my erstwhile Eeloo mapper probe (it's named Nanook) to scan Bop. Again, no contract related to that task.

Time to fast forward to Year 12 Day 38 and start making some money!

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A large mission meticulously planned out across multiple spreadsheets?!

uD1jeCZ.jpg

Memeing aside, you've got an ambitious plan there. It's real neat to see all the thought and organization you put into this via the spreadsheet. Good luck with your endeavors.

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1 hour ago, GEPEG_Unconscious said:

A large mission meticulously planned out across multiple spreadsheets?!

Oh I have so many more spreadsheets! And I have checklists and To Do lists. So over-planned!!

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Posted (edited)

Here's the first of the new vessels arriving at Jool. This ship has four separate probes for different contracts.

wShgk0V.png

I had a bit of trouble getting this one to Kerbin orbit with all the fuel it needed for the mission so I launched it with a docking port at the rear and launched a replacement stage to get it out to Jool. It also uses fuel from the Atmo-Probe container section.

NL27LA6.png

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After entering Jool orbit, it was time to deploy the Jool Atmo-Probe. I'll get a better close up later when it performs its mission, but I really like the shadow on the main vessel in this shot.

Now I need to put the two Vall sats into a retrograde and a polar orbit while the part recovery vessel needs to go to low, equatorial Vall orbit. I'm getting a grav assist from Laythe for the Vall Orbital Insertion Stage, but I need to get the Atmo-Probe down in the next orbit to avoid Tylo's gravity well (I'll grab some maneuver node pics to throw up here soon).

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

I've always wanted to play pool/billiards well enough to do trick shots where you hit one ball and it hits another ball that goes right where you planned. I'll have to settle for gravity assists in Kerbin!

76C3EoW.png

Here's the Laythe encounter

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Back to the Jool Atmo-Probe. It has four fuel cell arrays and a fixed relay antenna so that it can transmit all the science from the upper and lower atmosphere. It takes a lot of juice for that much data:

lTQhxOA.png

The funny "wings" are to test staging the structural pylons while diving into Jool. Here's a very short video of completing that contract:

Reentry and science gathering/transmitting went well (I just like to check those boxes, tech tree was finished a long time ago).

1VSeVHz.png

Didn't really need the drogue chutes, but I wasn't sure how long transmitting the data would take or how low the lower part of atmo was.

This last shot is very low in the atmosphere and way too dark, but you can see Vall and Tylo through the atmosphere and that's pretty cool.

erJSSKN.png

 

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

Got a lot done this weekend but also spent a lot of time rewinding and finding better encounters, Tylo gravity assists, etc. It always takes longer than I think!

Here's the sat hauler entering breaking at Vall:

Dii7mWg.png

Before this maneuver, I did two small maneuvers to release the sats on retrograde and polar trajectories.

F8UJ7mw.png

Here's all the the vessels from that ship in orbit with the contract orbits/salvage marked:

ap7bU7p.png

I got the sats in their correct orbits and captured the salvage. The picture of the salvage capture was way too dark to post, but it's one of the shuttle-sized fuel tanks (empty, fortunately). That's a big part to send from Jool to Kerbin and land safely, so we'll see... in several years game time (window back to Kerbin doesn't open for a while).

Next on the entering Jool SOI parade is the Tylo lander:

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I'm not going to be attempting that landing just yet. I have just a little more dV than should be needed by the dV map, but I'm out of practice with landings so will probably land on Vall a few times first (Pol and Bop don't really count for good practice). Even then I might decide to send someone to topoff this lander's tanks before I do it (then it has almost twice what it needs).

Next up is the mining base and a polar sat for Laythe. I tried aerobraking, but this ship is too rear heavy and the atmosphere of Laythe gets thick faster than I realized. But that's okay since it had the dV to do the job.

tNc2x5f.png

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

One of my two space stations ran out of fuel getting into Jool orbit, so I sent my big Kerbal hauler to bring it fuel that was mined from Pol. After I got the station back on track to Laythe, I sent the hauler to Vall to await the other Kerbals and the lander (it picked up a claw tug from the space station):

Y94UrRg.png

After I put the mining base and polar sat in their orbits, it was time to bring the final vessel into a safe orbit around a Jool moon. This one required multiple aerobraking maneuvers at Jool and Laythe:

duERDlO.png

Also used some Tylo grav assists and eventually I got it to Laythe with the dV it needs for it's mission (hopefully):

hfOlmsy.png

This configuration was stable in the very upper atmosphere (180km at Jool and 47km at Laythe), but spun out and exploded below that. Since I had planned it's dV around aerobraking, I was stuck making it work.

Now that all the vessels have reached their destinations, here are the maneuvers I tracked to get everything into the system:

bOKTFj2.png

This doesn't include most of the aerobraking maneuvers discussed above as those were after the rest of the vessels had safely parked. This took me until the end of Kerbin Year 12 (the last two entries are for future planning).

I'm going to make a pledge with one hand on the green Duna monolith that I will not have multiple crafts pending maneuvers ever again!

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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That's like exactly opposite my approach. Several of my probes have been named some variant of Rock or Brick because I decided to just fling them up there in the right general direction.

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22 minutes ago, Vagrant203 said:

That's like exactly opposite my approach. Several of my probes have been named some variant of Rock or Brick because I decided to just fling them up there in the right general direction.

That is truer to the spirit of vagrancy. I applaud you.

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Haven't posted in a while as I've been working on this video (only one minute long):

Full details on "Rocketship Nemo II" can be found here.

After sending Nemo II to Pol and Bop, I sent Shaihulud to Vall:

fruEuqI.png

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Vall is good landing practice and I got pretty efficient at landing, refueling, and bringing up fuel for my transport vessel. I was hoping to land my Tylo lander (Goahead) with just enough fuel according to the dV map, but after many tries (without any mods to assist in hoverslamming) and getting very close many times I decided to send more fuel to Goahead. (On my best attempt I only broke two things, nobody died, and the craft fell over, but that wasn't good enough.)

Also noticed an interesting surface sample report on Vall:

Spoiler

U9rgt49.png

Are there lifeforms on Vall leaving their eggs in the snow?

Next time... the mysteries of Vall!

 

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Posted (edited)

Luckily, I've been doing more playing than posting lately!

I mapped Vall's anomalies using a Rovemate core on board my standard Jool sat. I found both anomalies and they were rather close to each other. So I landed one of my rovers on a flat ice plain and then landed my crew nearby. The engineer stayed on board to mine while the pilot and scientist drove from the landing site to the first anomaly:

BrdIepM.png

A green monolith! These appear randomly on each planet/moon that you can land on. I was lucky that it spawned so close to my real objective. I knew it might not, which is why I sent two rovers.

JHU41fJ.png

Then they drove through the hills to the second anomaly. Driving in KSP is not my favorite, but I found that designing the vehicle so that it's top speed on level ground is low prevents frequently flipping and allows you to physics warp safely and make the long drives go quicker (I still stop and save every 10 minutes or so). This still took me two days of playing.

So the rest of this post will be in a spoiler box in case you want to discover this one for yourself:

Spoiler

As I crested the ridge I could see the objective in the distance:

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Getting closer:

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Vallhenge is worth the effort to get there. Very cool:

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Then I flew my fueled lander over to pick up the drivers:

11Bxy6X.png

aY0dnsP.png

 

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

Next I added fuel to my Tylo lander and made some landing attempts:

pE6oOI7.png

That was actually a scary near miss! Gotta check what's in front of you when you start a burn.

After a couple of failed attempts, I finally landed:

RRGEqHy.png

Tylo is tough and if I go back I will use bigger engines - something like a 10+ TWR.

But Tylo is also pretty dull, so I won't be going back in this mission.

8MxmTiu.png

 

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

By the way, that's Valentia above next to the flag. This is her first landing in the Jool system. Now my mission is to land her on the other four moons (and I haven't landed anyone on Laythe yet).

After mining/refueling, took off from Tylo and rendezvoused with the transport. Put all the Lf on the transport and ditched the lander. Also took the data disk (a probe core between two docking ports) so I could land it on all the other moons. When I get back to Kerbin the disc counts as a craft that landing on all five moons.

Took transport back to Vall and mined/refueled there and got Valentina and the disc their landing. Then back to Pol to refuel a Jool sat that I wanted to send to Bop to look for mysteries.

EFZpTfa.png

If you look close, all three inner moons are in this shot!

While the scanner sat was at Pol, I found the rough location of an anomaly. It was high in the mountains and Valentina had to fly around looking for it.

a7uMca4.png

I was lucky with the monolith spawn on Vall, so the game made up for it by placing this one in a tough spot for landing. It never registered as a discovered green monolith for some reason. And then the game glitched and I had to reload and when I went back to the monolith is still didn't register. So I named it the "Green Meanie".

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After mining/refueling at Pol, I went to refuel the sat. It has a docking port for this purpose, but a piece of space tape stuck to the port after staging and it's useless. So I had to bring the claw.

oQjuGSj.png

After that I sent the sat, the disc, and Valentina to Bop and sent Shaihulud (the lander pictured here) to Laythe to bring fuel to the masses.

Did a bunch of other maneuver to refuel things, but basically all caught up now. Next time, I'll land Valentina on Bop and visit it's two anomalies.

 

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't quite ready to land Valentina on Bop. Needed to get some of my craft circling Laythe sorted out. I took the inflatable heat shield off of the big tank in the original post above (but I'm saving it to repurpose it later). I then refueled my "Columbia" station and got it down to low Laythe orbit to rendezvous and attach to the big tank. I dropped the four nuke engines I was using on it because this will be the station's final orbit and I needed to free up the one large docking port.

UmgXPlH.png

And it was a good thing I did because the standard sized docking ports on the station aren't working anymore. All three have space tape (struts) attached to them. I was able to dock at these ports before, but now they don't work. But luckily the big tank that is now the station's base has two docking ports. As it is, I won't be bringing more than one vessel to the station at a time due to physics limits (too many parts). So it's all good and that's the fun of sending all this stuff at once and seeing if it all work - way to late to revert to the VAB!

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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Posted (edited)

When we got to Bop we switched to the Nemo II lander at the spacestation:

rGeclhb.png

Valentina on Bop (spoilers for the secrets of Bop):

Spoiler

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It looks dead, but I wouldn't get too close!

After drilling and refueling at the Bop stations, they headed to Laythe with full tanks and a few hundred units of ore to process on arrival. Spacestation cutaway shot:

bzvHsqy.png

Then Valentina and Christiano transferred into a Lidenbrock III spaceplane and rendezvoused with the mining/refueling base in polar orbit. Engineer Christiano EVAed over to the base to land with it. My thought was that it could refuel itself and take little hops until it was in a good position. While it was a great lander/base for Laythe, it was not stable trying to hop. So I had to make several landing attempts until I got it to the right spot.

Slfl8l9.png

After Christiano landed solo with an AI pilot, Valentina landed solo in the spaceplane. I'm not the best atmo pilot in KSP, but I'm a lot better after doing a few unimproved runway landings and takeoffs on Laythe:

1En4Z6L.png

And here's a latter mission to the surface with some other Kerbal meeting up with Christiano:

Yr1qDxr.png

After I got confident with takeoffs and the SSTO flight pattern for Laythe exit, I managed to take a pretty good screenshot of assent:

XoyCqIm.png

The last of the contracts above was completed when I got the giant part from Vall orbit all the way back to Kerbin's surface:

WjqC9Qd.png

After that it was all refueling runs to the surface until I had enough Lf to refuel my passenger transfer ship for the trip back to Kerbin. It took the data disc back too and an unmanned spaceplane from Kerbin  went up to retrieve the disc, Valentian, and Christiano for their triumphant return home.

Through the course of this mission, I realized that the "Breaking Ground" surface features don't appear until you create a new save file. So this is the last mission in this save. I might wait until KSP 2 at which point I plan to switch to my laptop, but I might get the urge before then to fire up KSP on my Xbox to build some ships I've been dreaming up. Either way, this mission was way too long and I'll only be doing single launch missions from here on out.

 

Edited by Sky Vagrant

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I quite enjoyed this.  The spreadsheets in the first post are great. Thank you! 

Maybe my next career will use something similar. 

Peace.

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