TotallyNotHuman

Roman Interstellar Society: An Alternate-ish History Career

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Posted (edited)

SOCIETAS·INTERSTELLARIS·ROMANA
AD·ASTRA·PRO·ROMA

(or in filthy English: Roman Interstellar Society // To the stars, for Rome)

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Latest post: 2020-07-26 // LOI-II arrives

Spoiler

Disclaimer: This mission report was wholly inspired by this meme that @KAL 9000 posted, among other SPQRposting. :sticktongue:

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Mods

Spoiler

In keeping with the blessed tradition of modding KSP until it crashes, this save runs on an install that has ~40k MM patches and about 130 installed add-ons according to KSP-AVC.

The stars and planets of the show are Extrasolar, OPM, and a Sigma Dimensions 3x resize/rescale, with rotational periods doubled and atmospheric heights multiplied by 1.2x. This will make getting places a mite more difficult, but still doable with mods balanced against stock.

The tech tree has also been completely revamped with PBC and CTT, ensuring that there will be plenty of places worth exploring before the tech tree is fully unlocked.

Extrasolar also needed patches for Rational Resources and (ETA 2020-06-30: RR now has official support for Extrasolar woot :D) Kerbalism; namely, the radiation at Valentine's surface had to be tuned down from 360 Gy/s to actually make its planets habitable.

The full modlist (last updated 2020-07-02) is available here.

Career Settings

Spoiler

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Quickloading and reverting will not be used unless bugs happen. Human error can and will be part of the story.

CommNet is off because RemoteTech exists. 'Nuff said now begrudgingly enabled because of RT's incompatibility with Kerbalism.

The space program gets a higher starting budget because it is backed by the Imperial Court. Consequently, the costs for research are also subsidized (hence, no entry purchase required). Reward/penalty multipliers remain the same, though.

Other difficulty settings: G-LOC is on and kerbonaut radiation does not reset when recovered.

KCT settings are mostly default except with "Reconditioning Blocks Pad" enabled. 12 points are put into VAB Rate 1 for a rate of 0.7 BP/s, and the remaining are split evenly among R&D (1 sci/86400 BP and 2 sci/day).

Miscellany

Spoiler

In an attempt to stay in character, dates are in the format <year>·<day> in Roman numerals. Each day is 12 hours long and each year is 213 days (i.e., the year is still the stock-scale Kerbin year). However, in-game dates will be provided for filthy peasants who cannot read Imperial Standard convenience's sake.

Other info will also be collated here as they become available.

And now, without further ado, I present to you the tales of the Roman Interstellar Society.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

The year is A.V.C. MMDCXCVI.

With the war on the Eastern Front having come to a standstill, the Emperor decided to recall the legions and devote the Empire's resources towards spaceflight. If they could not win the war against China now, they would eventually force their capitulation with space superiority.

The Imperial Court immediately recommended the rocket scientist Vardārivs Brvnvs Kermanvs, native of Magna Germania, to spearhead the effort. The Roman Interstellar Society was thus founded, equipped with an initial budget of 125,000 kilodenarii courtesy of the Emperor himself, and a rudimentary launchsite on the coast of Roman East Africa.

The armistice with the East, however, would not last forever. Rumors have also begun circulating that China is also innovating its own space program, perhaps in response to the Empire calling for a ceasefire. Whatever the case, Vardārivs Brvnvs and his team have a lot riding on them.


Baby Steps

Spoiler

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·III (Y1D6)

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The first rocket was built mere days after the founding of the RIS. Terra Mater I, though small, would mark the Empire's first steps in exploring the cosmos.

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After completing preflight checks, Terra Mater I blasts off, marking the Empire's first steps into the cosmos.

Terra Mater I transmitted just shy of 10 Science! points with its experiments, which is almost enough to unlock the first tier of the Technology Tree. However, much more can be done with Tier 0 parts, so Vardārivs Brvnvs and his team get back to work.

After some more simtesting, the blueprint for Terra Mater II is submitted to the build queue.

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--

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·VI (Y1D11)

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Terra Mater II is rolled out to the launchpad just before dusk. After performing preflight checks and Science!, it soars into the skies.

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It passes through the cloud cover and reaches the upper atmosphere, becoming the first-ever vessel to do so.

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The parachute is pre-deployed at apoapsis to maximize time in the upper atmosphere, but unfortunately some of the experiments still do not have enough time to complete.

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Though contact is lost with Terra Mater II after its charge is exhausted, a camera picks up the parachute fully deploying.

The success of Terra Mater II has brought another 20-odd Science! points. The next logical step, of course, is space—but at 84 kilometers, space is nearly five times as far from the ground as the upper atmosphere is.

It will be a challenge, and Vardārivs Brvnvs is not even certain it can be accomplished with Tier 0 parts. But they may not have time to research more advanced rocketry, so they give it a shot with the biggest rockets currently available to the RIS—the 0.9375m liquid fuel engine and tanks provided by the venerable Bluedog Design Bureau.

Meet the Terra Mater III:

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--

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·IX (Y1D18)

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Terra Mater III is rolled out to the launchpad for a night launch.

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The launch vehicle exceeds everyone's expectations. Not only did it send the probe into space, it reached an apoapsis of over 280 km, allowing even more Science! to be collected in the form of telemetry reports (since no other Science! equipment was fitted to the probe).

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And as expected it burns up upon re-entry.

So far the Roman Interstellar Society is doing quite well. It has more than doubled the Emperor's initial investment, without having spent any time researching more advanced rocketry. While this certainly proves the Empire's technological might, there is no doubt that further development is ultimately necessary. After all, an Interstellar Society could not hope to extend the reach of the Roman Empire towards space with only rudimentary equipment.

To that end, the quaesītōrēs have begun research into the Tier 1 technology nodes, as well as Stability and Survivability. This will hopefully aid in their journey in sending a probe to orbit and bringing it back.

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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OooooOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOH! Adducere ad astra gaudium! (Double checked my Latin with the Google XD)

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Posted (edited)

Halfway to Anywhere and Back

Spoiler

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·XIII (Y1D27)

Before heading to orbit, however, there were a few more tasks that needed to be done. It was obvious that the orbiter would not have the mass budget to accomodate Science! equipment, but that Science! was not going to collect itself. There was also that contract from Bluedog that would pay some five thousand kilodenarii for testing one of their SRBs at the launchpad, so another Terra Mater III booster was cobbled together and the whole thing was designated Terra Mater IIIa.

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Unfortunately the rocket veered off to the southeast shortly after launch, likely due to the inability of the spin-stabilization fins to accomodate for the SRBs. The contract just about paid for the rocket, though, so all was well. R&D also received around 3 Science! points for the radiation scan the rocket performed prior to its untimely demise, so the mission wasn't a complete failure. The construction of another Terra Mater III booster is ordered.

--

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·XVI (Y1D33)

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Terra Mater IIIb lifts off nominally, but its launch profile is not as optimal. Likely due to the heavier payload, it only reaches a maximum altitude of around 180 kilometers. Nevertheless, valuable Science! is transmitted before it burns up in the atmosphere.

Having thus proven the viability of the Terra Mater III "launch vehicle" to launch payloads into space, work begins on Terra Mater IV, which will carry a probe into orbit and return it safely to Kerbin.

--

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·XXVII (Y1D55)

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After spending several thousand kilodenarii on iterative simtesting, as well as using the last bits of Science! available to the RIS to research General Rocketry (the last Tier 2 node), Terra Mater IV is finally ready.

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Launch clamps retract and it soars into the heavens.

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The upper stage ignites and pushes Terra Mater IV into space.

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The protective nosecone is decoupled and the upper stage continues towards orbit.

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A few tense minutes later, telemetry indicates that Terra Mater IV has inserted into a 141x91@0.35° orbit.

The jubilance is short-lived, however, as the team must now focus on retrieving the probe. The deorbit burn is programmed into its SPU and executed.

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Having thus proved its ability to put an object into orbit, the RIS has received even more funding—but disappointingly, not much Science!. Manned pods are a Tier 4 node on the Technology Tree, but there is not even enough Science! to research a Tier 3 node. Vardārjus Brunus expects that the space program will be unmanned for quite a bit, even if they have plenty of funding.

In the meantime, the funding gained has enabled several upgrades to the VAB and R&D facilities. A second slipway has been constructed, with a rate of 0.2 BP/s. 2 Science! will now be generated for every 86400 build points, and technology nodes will be researched at a rate of 4 Science! points per day.

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Polaris and Carmenta

Spoiler

The next fifteen or so days were spent testing rocketry components, which certainly inflated the RIS' coffers quite a bit, while bringing home negligible but valuable Science!. Eventually the interns got tired of moving the test bench back and forth, and so things were actually launched.

--

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·XL (Y1D81)

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Polaris I is the first in the line of (hopefully many) scientific satellites that will be deployed into polar orbit, with the help of the Silvanus I small-lift launch vehicle, which was used to launch the Terra Mater IV.

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Liftoff of the Silvanus I, this time with a payload fairing as opposed to the detachable nosecone that the Terra Mater IV featured.

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Despite the upper stage engine of the Silvanus I failing to reignite, Polaris I manages to insert itself into a reasonable low near-polar orbit and begins to transmit back loads of Science!. This allows the quaesītōrēs to begin researching Enhanced Survivability, which is a prerequisite to our first command pod, and Basic Science, which will further increase our Science! returns.

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·XLIV (Y1D89)

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The next payload to be launched atop a Silvanus I is not another Polaris probe, but a target buoy. While the RIS is still quite a ways away from launching a crewed mission, much less performing an orbital rendezvous, there was a spare booster and the contract returns would pay for the launch.

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A mere four days after Polaris I, the Carmenta Test Vehicle is ready for launch.

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Carmenta will wait in its low Kerbin orbit for a while…

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·LX (Y1D122)

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After the quaesītōrēs were done sciencing the everloving mulch out of everything they could get their hands on, another Polaris satellite was launched, equipped with the newly developed equipment for gleaming even more Science! from polar orbit.

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In an attempt to reduce space debris, the upper stage of the Silvanus I was jettisoned just short of making orbit, and the Polaris' engines pushed it into orbit.

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After confirming its orbital track, its Science! equipment was deployed.

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·LXV (Y1D132)

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Yet another Polaris-Silvanus launch, but this time with a RADAR scanner provided by SCANsat.

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Those satellites are expected to remain operating for quite a bit, due to the lack of tracking stations towards which those satellites will transmit their juicy Science!. But now there are more important things to attend to, now that the first third of the fiscal year is about to end.

First Third Progress Report

At A Glance

:funds:159,293 :science:19.4 :rep:69.1

Facilities

Mission Control, Tracking Station, Launch Pad, and Astronaut Complex slated for upgrade to Level 2, all others at Level 1.
VAB - 2 queues, 0.9 BP/s and 0.2 BP/s
SPH - 1 queue, 0.1 BP/s
R&D - 2 :science:/86400 BP, 4 :science:/day

Technology

All Tier 1 and Tier 2 nodes unlocked
Tier 3: Adv. Rocketry, Aviation, Enhanced Survivability, and Basic Science unlocked

Designs in Service

Silvanus I small-lift launch vehicle
Rated for 1t to LKO

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Polaris satellite bus

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Launch Vehicle Track Record

Terra Mater I-III sounding rockets: 5 launches, 1 failure
Silvanus I small-lift launch vehicle: 5 launches

Polaris Planetary Science Program

Polaris I: operational, in 331x303@84° orbit, experiments exhausted
Polaris II: operational, in 155x85@90° orbit, transmitting Science!
Polaris III: operational, in 333x332@90° orbit, performing RADAR scan of Kerbin

Next Steps

Expansion of Polaris program as-needed
Pilot training
Manned flights: space, orbit, endurance orbit, rendezvous with Carmenta Target Vehicle
Orbital science laboratory

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Auroral Flybys

Spoiler

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·LXXXIII (Y1D167)

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Aurora I is a bit of an interesting design. It utilizes a similar layout to the Polaris bus, but uses the same probe core as the Terra Mater IV in order to minimize launch mass.

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Upgrades to the Launch Pad have allowed heavier launch vehicles to be utilized, such as the Silvanus Ia, which will send the Aurora I on its way to Mvna.
The Silvanus Ia utilizes the same core stage as the Silvanus I, but includes a more efficient upper stage and two SRBs.

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After one orbit, the upper stage of Silvanus Ia restarts and sends Aurora I on an impact course.

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The probe then detaches and corrects its trajectory to avoid an impact.

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·LXXXVI (Y1D173)

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Three days later, Aurora I flies past Mvna, and begins collecting valuable Science!.

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·LXXXVIII (Y1D177)

Aurora I reaches periapsis another two days later, and begins beaming back the Science! it collected from Mvna. The quaesītōrēs are overjoyed, as Simple Command Pods can now be developed, taking the RIS one step closer.

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Meanwhile, Aurora II launches for Minmvs.

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Aurora II will take a very long time to get to Minmvs and back within transmission range, so we'll let them be for now.

Aeolus Rises
A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CIII (Y1D207)

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Finally, the big day has arrived. Today, a Roman citizen, and not a probe core, shall venture into space. Aeolus I sits atop a Silvanus I core, with its sole occupant, Centurion Jebedus Helvetius Kermanus, ready for launch.

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Jebedus Helvetius has chosen the callsign Caelus for this historic flight. He reports all systems go.
"Decem… novem… octo… septem… sex… quinque… quattuor… tres… duo… unus…"

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CAPCOM: "Liftoff!"
Jebedus: "ROMA INVICTA!"

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"Beginning pitch program, all systems nominal."

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"Main engine cutoff in tres… duo… unus… Mark."

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"Shutdown confirmed. Initiating capsule separation sequence."

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CAPCOM: "Centurion, you are the first Roman citizen, and first kerbal, in space. How do you feel?"
Jebedus: "The Imperium is even more beautiful from up here, if such a thing is possible."

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Jebedus: "And the sunset from here is to die for."

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Jebedus' flight also brought with him quite a bit of Science! in the form of crew reports. This, along with the Science! beamed back from Aurora II, has allowed the quaesītōrēs to research the final tier 3 nodes. The orbital manned launch has already been greenlit, pending the VAB upgrade to Level 2.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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When Rome wins a science victory in Civilization, this is what happens behind the scenes.

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Posted (edited)

Orbital Aeolus

Spoiler

 

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CXVIII (Y1D237)

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A mere fifteen days after the historic flight of Aeolus I, Aeolus II is ready to fly atop its Silvanus Ia Heavy launch vehicle.
Centurion Valentina Kermana poses for a pre-flight photo op on the crew access tower.

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The tower retracts from the capsule as she prepares for launch.
"Decem… novem… octo… septem… sex… quinque… quattuor… tres… duo… unus…"

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CAPCOM: "Liftoff! Aeolus II has cleared the tower!"

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Valentina: "Beginning roll and pitch program."

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Valentina: "Coming up on booster separation, tres… duo… unus… Mark."
CAPCOM: "Confirm separation."

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Valentina: "Core stage separation in tres… duo… unus… Mark. Upper stage is go."
CAPCOM: "Confirm staging and upper stage ignition. Telemetry is looking good, on track for orbit."

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Valentina: "LES jett confirmed."

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Valentina: "SECO, switching to service module propulsion for final orbital insertion."
CAPCOM: "Control tracks you in centum quadraginta duo by centum triginta kilometer orbit. Congratulations, Centurion! You are the first Roman citizen and kerbal to achieve orbit."

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CAPCOM: "Centurion, the low orbit checklist has lapsed. You may now raise orbit to trecentos kilometers at your discretion."

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After performing Science! in high orbit, Valentina plots a rendezvous course for the Carmenta Target Vehicle.

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She matches velocity with the target…

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…then moves in to dock.

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Valentina: "Confirm dock."
CAPCOM: "Well done, Centurion. Your controls should have linked with the target vehicle's; see if you can bring its apoapsis down using its engines."
Valentina: "Copy that, Flight."

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Unfortunately the target vehicle fails to reignite its engine, but its orbit is a bit more regular now.

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Valentina decides to put it back in stationkeeping and undocks from the target vehicle.

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Before deorbiting, Valentina takes all of the Science! samples and stores it in the pod.

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Due to the lack of landing guidance, she is cleared to deorbit at the next day-side terminator, so the landing site will be in the light. The service module is burned to depletion.

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Valentina pulls a grueling six gees upon re-entry, but she handles it with the grace of a flight-hardened Centurion.

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Chutes away!

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Upon touchdown, Valentina plants the flag of the Roman Interstellar Society next to her pod and places the prepared plaque.

Having finally sent a citizen to orbit and back, the RIS has now set its sights on its nearest neighbors, Mvna and Minmvs. While Aurora probes have flown by them, they have collected scarcely any Science! from them due to the lack of available storage space and communications infrastructure.

In addition, while the Emperor is most pleased with the Society's progress, he has also decreed that no fewer than two kerbals shall set foot upon either of Kerbin's moons. The ingeniātōrēs are not entirely certain why this arbitrary limit has been imposed, seeing as a single pilot is more than capable of landing on either moon and returning to a mothership in orbit, but an edict is an edict.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Satellite Launches

Spoiler

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CXXVIII (Y1D257)

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The flight controllers finally have something marginally less stressful to worry about, as another Polaris satellite launches today.
It's a nice change of cadence from crewed launches, where the lives of Roman citizens are potentially at stake.

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A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CXXX (Y1D261)

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Just two days later, the first of the Vrania I-K comsats are launched, which will form the backbone of communications within Kerbin SoI.

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Vrania I K-a is inserted into a 2 Mm orbit.

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It then detaches from the Silvanvs upper stage and performs a slight correction maneuver.

Over the next ten-or-so days, the rest of the Vrania I-K comsats were launched into orbit. Due to an oversight in the integration process, the Silvanus I upper stage used to lift K-a into orbit was not fitted with a guidance unit, and was therefore unable to deorbit itself. The boosters for K-b thru K-d were thus retrofitted, and the comsat network was completed in short order.

Pollvx Endurance
A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CXLI (Y1D283)

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Pollvx I will mark the first time multiple Roman citizens have entered orbit aboard the same ship, as well as the maiden flight of the newly-developed Silvanvs II booster.
Jebedvs, Billvs, and Robertvs pose for a photo on the crew access tower.

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"Decem… novem… octo… septem… ignition sequence start… quattuor… tres… duo… unus…"

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"Liftoff! Pollvx I has cleared the tower!"

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Second stage ignition.

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LES jett nominal.

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The Silvanvs II launch vehicle does not have enough capacity to place a full Pollvx CSM into orbit. In time, heavier launch vehicles will be developed, but the CSM engine fires to insert it into orbit.

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CAPCOM: "SPS-CO confirmed. Control tracks you in centum sexaginta quinque by centum quadraginta duo kilometer orbit."
Jebedus: "Not my best orbital track, but it'll do."
CAPCOM: "On the contrary, Centurion, that was rather impressive considering it is your first orbital flight. You are cleared for 400 orbits."

Next Third Progress Report

At A Glance

:funds:785,261 :science:77.9 :rep:234.8

Facilities

Admin, R&D, Runway, SPH at Level 1, all others at Level 2
VAB - 2 queues, 1.0 BP/s and 0.2 BP/s
SPH - 1 queue, 0.1 BP/s
R&D - 3 :science:/86400 BP, 8 :science:/day

Technology

T1-3 nodes unlocked
T4: Adv. Flight Control, Simple Command Modules, Space Exploration

Launch Vehicle Evolution

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Polaris Planetary Science Program

Polaris II: operational, in low polar orbit, boost to high polar orbit pending completion of Science! transmission
Polaris IV: operational, in high polar orbit

Vrania Communications Program

Vrania I-K constellation: operational, in 2000km orbit

Pollvx Crew Program

Pollvx I (Jebedvs, Billvs, Robertvs): conducting 30-day orbital endurance mission and testing of Pollvx CSM systems

Next Steps

Robotic Minmvs lander (codenamed Abeona I)
Continued testing of Pollvx CSM and crewed Minmvs lander in development (codenamed Volcanvs)
Evaluation of crewed Minmvs landing methodologies (KOR is achievable with current launch capabilities, MOR can be attained in a single launch but requires development of heavy rocketry)

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Woe is Abeona

Spoiler

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CL (Y1D301)

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Abeona I, the robotic Minmvs lander, launches atop a Silvanvs Ia Heavy.

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Eight or so days later, it arrives in Minmvs SoI, and snaps a pretty neat picture…
…and then absolutely everything went to mulch.

On the way to Minmvs, health monitors aboard Pollvx I indicated that the crew were on the brink of losing their minds. This proved that the 30-day orbital stay was absolutely infeasible without any sort of larger habitation module. The call was made to scrub, and the crew deorbited at the next day-side terminator.

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Even after inserting into Minmvs orbit, the bad news was not over. Apparently, the Vrania comsat constellation was able to reach Minmvs, but the bandwidth from there was paltry, verging on nonexistent. The Science! was being transmitted so slowly, R&D received one-tenth of a Science! point in forty days.

So that too was scrubbed, and the probe was placed in a highly elliptical Kerbin orbit, with enough fuel to deorbit by burning radial-in.

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It is a dark moment for Vardārivs Brvnvs and his team, as these two failures and mistimed facility upgrades have left the RIS nearly penniless. Their hope—and the hope of an interstellar Empire—lies in the Pollvx-Volcanvs project.

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Fall of Pollvx

Spoiler

 

A.V.C. MMDCXCVI·CCI (Y1D403)

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The Volcanvs crewed Minmvs lander is launched into orbit with a Silvanvs IIa launch vehicle, where it will await the Pollvx CSM and transfer stage.

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--

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Ten or so days later, Pollvx II launches atop the Ivpiter I, the largest launch vehicle built to date.

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One of the six second-stage engines have failed to ignite. The opposite engine is shut off to preserve thrust balance, but the second stage now lacks the TWR to continue accelerating.
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The vehicle pitches up in a futile attempt to raise the apoapsis.

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By the time the second stage is exhausted, it is clear that attempting orbital insertion would drain the Minmvs transfer stage, so Control calls for abort mode III.
The capsule detaches from the launch vehicle and orients retrograde for atmospheric entry.

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The transfer stage burns up in the atmosphere, along with the Emperor's confidence in the Society. At least the would-be crew of Pollvx II was recovered safely, continuing the RIS' immaculate safety record.

--

The RIS is now dangerously close to bankruptcy, with only less than half of its initial funding remaining in its coffers, but they are not ready to simply give up and close up shop.

The interns are getting another workout, having accepted a slew of part testing contracts to boost its capital out of the danger zone.

Vardārivs Brvnvs has also begrudgingly approved a contract to bring a tourist into orbit, which promises a lucrative payout of a hundred thousand kilodenarii.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

To add even more insult to injury, the quaesītōrēs have discovered that the communications systems on almost all of the existing ships were sabotaged. The saboteur, R. T. Kermanvs, was found guilty and condemned to the gladiator arena.

The situation was temporarily resolved by pushing firmware patches to all active probe cores, but the Vrania comsat network will have to be redesigned from the ground up, something the RIS cannot presently afford.

OOC:

Spoiler

Unfortunately the poor bitrate at Minmus was not an intended feature. After uninstalling RemoteTech and using CommNet, I found that the transmission rate available at Minmus, with the same antenna configuration as Abeona I, was several hundred thousand times better than the existing rate when RT was installed. Only at interplanetary distances did the transmission rate drop to fractions of bits per second, which I suppose is reasonable for a level 2 "D"SN.

As much as it pains me, then, RemoteTech is out of the picture. Kerbalism 4.0 will supposedly fix its interaction code with RT, but according to its devs it will also be a save-breaking update so I don't expect to be using RT any time soon.

And that, kids, is why you should actually heed any compatibility warnings you get. :blush:

Pollvx Reborn

Spoiler

 

A.V.C. MMDCXCVII·XXXIV (Y2D69)

26vK0nn.jpg

Having finally completed the space tourism contracts, Vardārivs Brvnvs orders the rollout of Pollvx IV, which will be launched atop the redesigned Ivpiter Ia launch vehicle.

4EWwoJN.jpg

Ignition…

TWzrGHl.jpg

…and liftoff!

dfbuWU5.png

Second stage engines green across the board, thank the gods.

9gMr7Hs.jpg

A brief burn on the Minmvs transfer stage (and some explosive staging) puts Pollvx IV in orbit.

r4yMhAT.jpg

The crew of Pollvx IV settle in as the lander burns to rendezvous with the CSM and transfer stage.

SdgcwFQ.jpg

Jebedvs holds the CSM steady as Mission Control guides the lander in.

geg61VV.png

…and docked!

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The second stage on the lander LV is detached.

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The transfer stage begins the Trans-Minmar Injection burn.

sif7XnZ.jpg

It runs out around 30 m/s short of intercept, and the CSM engine takes over. The crew settles in for the long haul once a free-return trajectory is established.

N71cKUn.png

ciovxAG.jpg

qQJcxMd.png

Around eight days later, Pollvx IV brakes into an elliptical orbit, then adjusts its inclination before circularizing at 25 km.

NyoHgoy.jpg

Billvs transfers over to the lander and begins powering up its systems.

4IJO8EM.jpg

Valentina follows suit, and the lander undocks from the CSM.

CU9FgCX.jpg

9NYSRmC.jpg

MWl4Fn5.png

Valentina: "Control, Nova Roma here. Aqvila has landed."
CAPCOM: "Roger, Nova Roma, we copy you on the ground."

GBU8vsb.png

Valentina: "That's one small step for a kerbal… another step for science… and a giant leap FOR THE EMPIRE! ROMA INVICTA!"
Bill: "ROMA INVICTA!"
Mission Control, half a second later due to communications lag: "ROMA INVICTA!"

P9D24h8.png

BiDSrNS.png

As mission commander, Valentina does the honors.

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After about an hour of surface ops, the CSM is in position for rendezvous, and the lander lifts off.

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The lander moves in to dock.

nNbeMtG.jpg

After transferring over via EVA, the lander is detached and Jebedvs plots the return burn.

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An hour later, Jebedvs pushes the throttle forward, but the engine malfunctions. Good thing it was only a malfunction. Billvs EVAs and gives it a "power kick," resolving the issue.

unwcPvt.jpg

The next orbit, the engine finally ignites over the landing site, sending the crew on their merry way.

oWFEimw.png

As the Pollvx IV CSM continues on its way home, Valentina performs a final EVA.

xqAoMsy.jpg

Another seven days pass before the crew prepare for re-entry.

4pwDNty.jpg

Ih8ZPo3.png

The SM is detached and burns up in the atmosphere.

uFSvGWy.jpg

TlE966H.jpg

After a fiery reentry, the crew are finally home.

--

The success of Pollvx IV returned over 450 Science! and around a million kilodenarii, which should be plenty for several more missions to Minmvs, or perhaps Mvna.
Space exploration and the RIS is once again the talk of the Forvm Romanvm, and some new kerbonauts have even joined the ranks of the Society.
Mostly, though, Vardārivs Brvnvs is just happy that the RIS will hopefully never have to do tourist missions ever again.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

OOC:

Spoiler

I've decided to change gears a little bit. Instead of screenshot-spamming each and every little thing I do, I'll probably make a single (less saturated) post for less important missions, and then one post each for more important ones.

If you prefer one or the other (or, really, just have any feedback in general), please do let me know. :)

Planning for Mvna

Spoiler

 

The exploration of Minmvs was, to put it lightly, rather disorganized. Experimental designs that turned out to be rather ineffective were deployed, and many opportunities for Science! were lost as a result. While the Society may return to Minmvs at a future date to reap the entirety of its Science!, the Emperor has asked that the RIS focus on Kerbin's closer satellite, Mvna, for the time being.

To that end, Vardārivs Brvnvs' team has developed a comprehensive mission profile for the systematic exploration of Mvna, codenamed Project Diana.

Mvnar SCANsat

Firstly, a multispectral and high-definition altimetry SCANsat will be launched into a high polar Mvnar orbit, where it is expected to operate for approximately 20 days.

The SCANsat will identify possible landing sites for the robotic and manned Mvnar landings, as well as locate any anomalies that may be present on the surface.

tNDSXcc.png

The probe will be launched using a shortened Ivpiter Ia launch vehicle.

Robotic Mvnar Lander

After suitable landing sites are located by the SCANsat, a robotic Mvnar lander will attempt to soft-land near one of the sites and begin transmitting Science!.

O0SgwZd.png

The lander will be launched using the Silvanvs II launch vehicle.

Manned Mvnar Orbit + Transposition-and-Docking Test

Once the robotic lander has successfully landed, a manned mission will be launched to Mvna that will test almost all aspects of a full-fledged manned Mvnar landing.

This mission, and future Mvnar landing missions, will be launched using the newly-developed Ivpiter II launch vehicle.

Initial Manned Mvnar Landing

What it says on the tin—Roman flags and bootprints on Mvnar regolith.

Further Mvnar Landings

Project Diana will continue its objective of carrying out Mvnar landings until it becomes economically infeasible to continue doing so, or until a satisfactory amount of Science! has been collected.

Appendix: Manned Equipment

The venerable Pollvx CM will continue its service in Project Diana; however, the service module has been retrofitted with more potent solar arrays, a new life support module, and a docking system that will allow internal crew transfer.

fbl98Hu.png

The lander has been redesigned from the ground up, using a two-stage design instead of prior single-stage landers.
The descent stage includes the equipment necessary to assemble a surface experiments package, which will include the same Science! equipment installed on the robotic lander.

7B1GkGG.png

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Diana I

Spoiler

 

Launch date: A.V.C. MMDCXCVII·CIV (Y2D209)
Payload mass: 2.6 t
Launch vehicle: Shortened Ivpiter Ia (P-IA and P-II stages only)

gF2wYr4.jpg

Nominal liftoff and parking orbit insertion.

gpWj2Tq.jpg

One of the B-IE-CV engines exploded during re-ignition of the P-II stage. Its symmetrical counterpart was manually shut down to maintain thrust balance, resulting in a longer trans-Mvnar injection burn.

PEB1V3R.jpg

The spent P-II stage was placed on a collision course with Mvna once Diana I corrected its trajectory.

fn3fgnF.jpg

After orbital insertion (maneuver shown) Diana I will execute a plane-change maneuver to 90° inclination at apoapsis, then circularize at periapsis (shown below).

yGGR2SR.jpg

The multispectral and altimetry scans are completed twenty-odd days after final orbital insertion. Landing sites are chosen for Diana II and the initial manned landing.

 

Diana II

Spoiler

 

Launch date: A.V.C. MMDCXCVII·CXXIX (Y2D259)
Payload mass: 447 kg
Launch vehicle: Silvanvs II

0XAEmPu.jpg

Nominal liftoff, orbital insertion, and TMI burn.

q0rZPch.png

Safe touchdown a few days later, approximately twelve kilometers from the designated site. At least one future landing will attempt to land close to the probe and the anomaly next to it.

Diana III and its Ivpiter II booster is under construction, and is scheduled for launch shortly after Diana II completes its Science! transmissions.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Diana III

Spoiler

 

Launch date: A.V.C. MMDCXCVII·CXLVIII (Y2D297)
Crew:
Ivlia Kermana, CDR
Lvcivs Metilivs, MMP
Decivs Epidivs, CMP

mbCH3Bn.jpg

Nominal liftoff of the Ivpiter II launch vehicle.

X316CTW.jpg

o3YStXF.jpg

Orbital insertion barely touches the PB-III third stage.

2HBskC0.jpg

TMI is nominal and the fairing detaches in preparation for transposition and docking.

YDQIOik.png

The maneuver is successful and the third stage corrects to a collision course.

Unfortunately despite undocking and redocking, the crew were unable to transfer internally to the MEM. This was later found to be a structural limitation of the Pollvx CM, which cannot accomodate internal crew transfer through its top node. Since the next-generation Vesta CSM is still in the testing phase and will not be ready for quite a while, the landing crew of future Diana missions will have to transfer via EVA.

kGOBBFu.jpg

The first capture burn brings the periapsis just above the Mvnar surface.

RNKUdrV.png

The next burn circularizes at 25 km.

At this point another problem is made apparent. Even after detaching the MEM and venting its monopropellant, the CSM will not have enough Δv for the trans-Kerbin injection. Propellant must therefore be transferred from the lander before departure, and even then the margins are slim. The mission profile is updated so that the descent stage will be used for liftoff from the Mvnar surface, rather than relying entirely on the ascent stage.

ByqzsqN.png

Since the MEM is still full, the CSM redocks and pumps most of its propellant aboard, then deorbits the lander before burning for Kerbin.

GbSYEum.jpg

Less than a day later the crew prepare for a fiery reentry.

tr63NdQ.jpg

Having tested the CSM and MEM with some success, Diana IV is green for go to put Roman kerbonauts on the surface of Mvna.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Diana IV

Spoiler

 

Launch date: A.V.C. MMDCXCVII·CLXXIV (Y2D349)
Crew:
Billvs Pisentivs, CDR
Jebedvs Helvetivs, MMP
Valentina Kermana, CMP

uPDdMcL.jpg

The Ivpiter II launch vehicle performs nominally on ascent.

u9eGPmk.png

Due to sub-optimal ascent profile, third stage is used for orbital insertion but retains sufficient propellant for TMI.

kP35Y9T.jpg

Free-return trajectory.

TUKDySG.png

The third stage engine restarts as Kerbol peeks over the horizon.

KgzSAtR.jpg

Mvnar orbital insertion is nominal.

uiwwZPK.jpg

Jebedvs and Billvs transfer over to the MEM and prepare to deorbit.

Do5KQHE.png

Final descent burn.

WvyqHBH.png

Touchdown approximately 10 km from designated landing site.

sv8FNgm.png

Billvs deploys the SEP.

jxgQpj9.jpg

Nominal liftoff.

ypWB9oU.png

Descent stage separation.

veIcFfF.jpg

Trans-Kerbin injection burn is performed after deorbiting the ascent stage.

3lr0pkv.png

EyglS4Y.png

Nominal re-entry and landing.

The success of Diana IV has formally concluded the initial exploration of both moons; further expeditions will strive to return samples and other Science! from as many biomes as possible.
The venerable Pollvx CSM, unfortunately, seems to have reached the end of its service life. Future Diana missions will be carried out using the Vesta CSM platform.
Jebedvs and the Original Four have also been removed from the active flight roster, and will be reinstated when radiological detoxification units are put into service.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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The Ivpiter II looks suspiciously like a Satvrnvs V... :D

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3 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

The Ivpiter II looks suspiciously like a Satvrnvs V... :D

OOC: Yeah, it's kind of an unholy mashup between the Saturn V and IB. The S-IB can't lift a (shortened) S-IVB and the mission payload into orbit, so I had to take the S-IC, but that puts out some six gees near burnout even with the central engine removed. Ivpiter III will be a proper Saturn V lookalike and workalike. :)

IC: The Society's spokeskerbal finds the idea of the Ivpiter II's resemblance with the "Satvrnvs V" preposterous, considering they have not even built the first four-stage launch vehicle yet.

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Posted (edited)

Diana V

Spoiler

 

Launch date: A.V.C. MMDCXCVII·CXCVI (Y2D393)

Crew:
Lvcivs Metilivs, CDR/MMP
Numerivs Blossivs, CMP
Lutatia Kermana, FE

Objectives:
Flight test of Vesta CSM and Feronia EMM
Mvnar sample return

Outcome: Partial success
Issues identified with Vesta CSM solar arrays and Feronia EMM antenna
Sample returned from Lowlands biome
Feronia EMM damaged and tipped over during Midlands hop
Ascent stage performed a high-risk horizontal takeoff maneuver, successfully aborted to orbit

NGmBiOZ.jpg

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Apologies for the lack of updates yesterday; most of my playtime was spent running extended Diana sample-return missions and nothing out of the ordinary happened, and I didn't want to waste time spamming the thread with some variation of "a crew went to Mvna and retrieved a sample" ad infinitum.

Station in the Heavens

Spoiler

 

fAUeG9f.png

Having finally acquired the requisite Science! (and R&D facility upgrade) to research radiation detoxication, among many other things, a blueprint for a new space station in Kerbin orbit was submitted. The station would be able to cure four kerbals of radiation sickness, and would also serve as the basis for future scientific endeavors in orbit.

A moratorium was also put on all crewed flights beyond Kerbin orbit until the existing roster was cured of radiation sickness.

4O0Atha.jpg

Statione Caelvm was launched into orbit atop a full-sized Ivpiter III launch vehichle, as opposed to the first and second stages that early designs believed would be sufficient.

FTiFBZV.png

P41GPP2.png

j7BoRzW.jpg

Nominal ascent to parking orbit. The third stage restarts after orbital insertion to place the station into its target orbit.

FvBAKJC.jpg

The third stage puts the station in a 300km orbit before detaching and deorbiting itself.

sL2ahNH.png

Less than a day later, the new Vesta MkII semi-reusable crew transport is rolled out to the pad. Valentina is at the helm, shuttling the four patients up to Statione Caelvm.

3Hy32cc.png

The Vesta MkII is capable of carrying four passengers up to orbit; the first stage of its Silvanvs III launcher is reusable, as is the capsule, due to its new pusher-style LES.

lZHaoLr.png

A few hours later, the Vesta MkII brakes and prepares to dock with Statione Caelvm.

6rqy3fk.jpg

Once docked, the four patients are helped into their personal quarters and the RDUs are started.

OPlubBl.jpg

While not exactly spacious, the quarters look quite comfortable.

tlYvkLO.png

Once the patients have settled in, Valentina deorbits the Vesta MkII.

PFGNu3V.jpg

wszPTaZ.jpg

A fiery reentry over KSC and she is home safe.

 

Meanwhile in Kerbolar orbit

Spoiler

 

ys8YZ5X.jpg

One very long year ago, the Locvtivs I space observatory was launched into Kerbolar orbit where it hibernated, waiting to capture into its designated orbit at periapsis.

But the harsh environment and frequent coronal mass ejections meant that nobody knew whether its engine would successfully ignite. If any issues with its engine could not be fixed remotely, it would become useless, destined to wander the vast sea of interplanetary space, returning to its planet of origin perhaps decades later, since its orbit still crossed Kerbin's.

bt9SvAg.png

Well, that's a relief.

Having completed its capture burn, the probe hibernated once again. It would beam data back to Kerbin once it found a suitable asteroid.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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On 6/15/2020 at 12:00 AM, TotallyNotHuman said:

Extrasolar also needed patches for Rational Resources

Noted. ;)

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2020 at 9:20 PM, JadeOfMaar said:

Noted. ;)

Thankee greatly. :) I can send you my patches if you'd like, but they're based mostly on guesswork and inference from the planets' descriptions.

Flight of Bellona

Spoiler

 

With the launch window to Dvna only 100 days away, there was no time to construct a robotic lander. Besides, the next window would open in three-or-so years, and the recently-cured crews would probably go insane if they were limited to operations within Kerbin's SOI for that long, so the decision was made to launch a crewed sample return mission.

To that end, the venerable Ivpiter III launch vehicle received a slew of upgrades, enabling it to place the Vesta MkII CSM, a deep-space habitation module, and a Dvna lander into low Kerbin orbit without expending its second stage.

The cryogenic second and third stages were upgraded to include active cooling, and include multiple uprated engines (seven on the second stage, two on the third).

Once the Ivpiter stack was placed in a parking orbit, two engine-less droptanks of the same size would then be launched in order to provide enough Δv for Trans-Duna Injection. A Mercvrivs LH2/Ox tanker was also on standby, if the orbital ascent used too much propellant in the central tank. Dvna orbital insertion would expend the remaining propellant in the second stage, and the third stage will be used to send the crew home once the return window opens.

The following kerbonauts have been selected for this historic mission:

Landing crew:
Valentina Kermana - CDR, Dvna Lander Pilot
Billvs Pisentivs - Chief Engineer
Robertvs Nigilivs - Lead Scientist

Orbital crew:
Jebedvs Helvetivs - Command Module Pilot
Visellia Kermana - Junior Scientist

 

ika98oX.jpg

Just a few days before the launch window, the Ivpiter IIIa, carrying the CSM, DHM (Dvna Habitation Module), and DEM (Dvna Excursion Module) is rolled out to the launch pad. Weighing in at some 1.1 kilotons and costing ~850k kilodenarii to construct, this is the most expensive and massive rocket to have lifted off from the KSC.

1Bf87O7.jpg

With all nine engines firing, four on the I-FB boosters and five on the PC-I core, the vehicle puts out some 18 MN of thrust as it ascends into the heavens.

yRrBcsb.jpg

Nominal booster separation.

Rn1FabK.jpg

The first stage is slightly slower to detach due to the size of the second stage engines.

JL7omEo.png

Second stage ignition is nominal, sending the stack into a parking orbit.

hDtC91X.jpg

The solar panels unfurl to ensure a steady supply of power for the cryotanks.

FbL6wIg.jpg

As the crew begin preparations for departure, the first droptank for the Kerbin Departure Stage is sent up atop a modified Ivpiter IIIa launch vehicle.

jJGYPod.jpg

Another one of these will need to be launched. Ivpiter IIIs are expensive; good thing the first stage core and boosters are reusable.

4bCLwLa.png

Some finagling (due to the offset RCS thrust) and a nighttime docking later, the first droptank is mated to the ship.
There is sufficient propellant to deorbit the modified transfer stage, however it lacks any form of control and will thus contribute to LKO debris.

n9b51tF.png

One of the engines on the second droptank's transfer stage suffered an ignition failure. Not only did this result in the shutdown of its symmetrical counterpart, reducing the available thrust, it also caused the onboard guidance to attempt to compensate for the (nonexistent) thrust from the malfunctioned engine. :confused:

1P9VBPU.png

The second droptank is delivered. The crew say their goodbyes and prepare for departure by transferring the propellant into the central tank.

ygORLxI.jpg

Billvs performs a quick EVA to inspect the engines.

raCVXeF.png

The seven engines ignite as the light of Kerbol slips below the horizon.

hcFUYR3.png

Droptanks detach nominally and a little thrust is used to clear them.

bLWCzOU.jpg

Once an approximate intercept has been attained, the CSM detaches and re-docks to the Hab.

Three days later, the crew have become the first kerbals to enter Kerbolar SOI.

qsHoezZ.jpg

The second stage fires again, sending the crew on a trajectory that will reach Dvna in just over a year.

GgfmIbo.png

Valentina performs an EVA, gazing wistfully at the pale blue sphere and the colorful dots of the Outer Planets.

1rLiL5o.jpg

Once preliminary Science! has been collected, the second-stage engines' nozzles are retracted and the crew settle in for the long haul.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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7 hours ago, TotallyNotHuman said:

Thankee greatly. :) I can send you my patches if you'd like, but they're based mostly on guesswork and inference from the planets' descriptions.

I'd very much like to see what you have. I'm curious, but I've already laid out my own configuration for resources and I've done only just a bit for the experiment. I'm looking at making a few custom template for such places as the unusual purple spots on Deemo, Deemo's atmosphere, and Heba's atmosphere.

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Posted (edited)

Eve Probe Flotilla

Spoiler

 

While the intrepid crew of Bellona I were hard at work studying the interplanetary medium (and getting bombarded with CMEs every other day), the quaesītōrēs back on Kerbin were getting a bit impatient. They wanted Science! and they wanted it now. So two probes were launched towards Kerbin's other neighbor, Eve, despite the next (optimal) launch window being over two years away.

The first was named Aeneas, whose mission was to skim past the top of Eve's dense and oppressive atmosphere and collect a sample, so a future crew might be able to return it to Kerbin for some of that sweet, sweet Science!. The problem with this mission profile was that there simply wasn't enough information to properly simulate the effects of Eve's atmosphere at the kinds of speeds Aeneas would be entering. It was also unclear whether its auxiliary propulsion would be able to survive the eighteen-or-so seconds it needed to spend inside Eve's atmosphere, so the probe was fitted with a heat shield just in case. Ideally, though, the probe would be able to adjust its course to facilitate sample retrieval after exiting Eve's atmosphere.

The second probe was christened Cvpid, which would act as little more than a protective shell for the Volvptas robotic rover during the treacherous descent. Once landed, though, it was hoped that the rover would be able to transmit Science! from multiple biomes before it inevitably succumbed to Eve's harsh conditions.

The two probes' launches and transfers were staggered so that Mission Control would only have to devote their attention to one of them at any given time.

--

W5eaLLi.jpg

dfnOHxb.png

Aeneas arrives first and points itself retrograde in preparation for atmospheric entry, taking some stunning photos of Eve's aurorae and the green sunset.

AdKcV9E.png

8SFjxN8.jpg

As expected, its propulsion bus melts almost instantly upon contact with Eve's atmosphere.

NCkwUcd.png

The sample storage unit, unscathed, decouples from the experiment unit. The aerogravity assist at Eve has launched it into a highly inclined Kerbolar orbit, but the Science! returns should be worth the trouble of retrieving it at a later date.

gfnzc2R.jpg

Cvpid-Volvptas arrives next. Twenty-five minutes before entry interface, it begins venting its RCS in order to reduce its entry velocity and mass.

4wYtObJ.png

The transfer stage fires just before EDL to slow its descent further.

GrN5Osc.jpg

Btg6XZM.png

q0SWBlx.png

Unfortunately the entry takes place on the night side, but the lander has enough charge to arm the chute before contact is lost.

jfvjoxQ.png

Contact is re-established the next day, and the Volvptas rover transmits the first photo from the surface of another planet.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Arrival at Dvna

Spoiler

 

Od3Qb37.jpg

Billvs gazes, awestruck, at the Red Planet and its massive moon. But he does not linger overlong; the orbital insertion burn approached and he wanted to inspect the engine cluster one last time, before the burn would deplete the second stage's propellant and send it falling towards the surface.

5wiZvIC.jpg

802h5Mr.png

KMboVoy.png

Jebedvs turns the ship around and casts off the second stage, before burning into orbit using the third stage engines.

Before the crew can land, however, the ship needs to be reconfigured. Due to a design flaw, the CSM/Hab assembly cannot be re-docked to the third stage (which will perform Trans-Kerbin Injection once the return window comes) after lander separation. Thankfully, the Engineering Corps' standard operating procedure calls for a pair of KAS ports to be carried on engineers at all times.

2KYtSmY.jpg

The lander separates from the third stage and CSM/Hab, and clears their line of sight on its thrusters. The CSM thrusts forward on RCS to match velocities with the third stage.

HtQCKWY.jpg

Billvs vents the lander cabin and makes his way over to the two parts of the ship.

Zsl0zji.png

52VOiva.png

Linkage confirmed.

fUbOk8k.jpg

Once the components have been reattached, Billvs jetpacks back to the lander and enters it.

iZvNqdJ.png

The lander burns to circularize into a low orbit, since the mothership only inserted into an elliptical orbit due to propellant margin concerns on the third stage.

PLw3HFi.png

The lander crew enjoy a blue sunset from orbit as they make preparations for landing.

3LkcMR7.png

The deorbit burn occurs the next orbit.

0iYosDe.png

 

WV2phl0.png

V66aPUL.jpg

ivH4A1y.jpg

Contact and engine shutdown.

oTY99Rt.png

ioYU2Lf.png

Having concluded surface ops, the crew prepare for ascent. The parachutes are jettisoned to minimize launch mass.

gS0LmIu.jpg

A bit of an explosive ascent as the descent stage tips over, crashing into the ground. Thankfully the flag stays upright.

JgT4XsK.png

xWmfLdA.jpg

Meanwhile, the Bellona mothership circularizes its orbit to facilitate rendezvous.

K9RrzL7.jpg

Valentina takes the lander almost dangerously close to the mothership. Since it lacks a docking port, the crew will have to EVA back, just like the good old days of Pollvx and Diana missions.

3aCuzbR.png

With the samples secured, the mothership performs another retroburn to drop back into an elliptical orbit, in order to take advantage of the Oberth effect when the return window comes in a year or so.

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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Posted (edited)

Reusable Ruminations: Motherships

Spoiler

 

While the Vesta-derived interplanetary mothership is certainly very capable, it is also quite wasteful. Upon the conclusion of Bellona I, only the capsule will return to the surface; the rest will either be left adrift in space or destroyed during atmospheric entry. The capsule represents a miniscule proportion of the two-million-or-so kilodenarii that launching and assembling the entire Bellona stack cost, which is obviously unsustainable for larger-scale interplanetary missions.

Besides, the CM pilot would experience eyeballs-out acceleration every time the main drives (not the service propulsion system) were activated, which will likely be considered a Bad Thing when dealing with prolonged interplanetary transfers.

As such, the ingeniātōrēs have designed the first version of the next generation of interplanetary motherships. Meet the Atlas MkI RDSEV (Reusable Deep-Space Exploration Vehicle).

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The Atlas MkI is designed to keep its crew of 4 alive and in relative comfort for around eight years. It uses LF NTRs for propulsion, giving it around 8 km/s of Δv, and an acceptable wet TWR of a third of a gee. Not too shabby, considering the current state of nuclear propulsion, but future iterations will no doubt be able to travel further away from home. As it stands, the MkI only has the Δv to perform an Eve or Dvna roundtrip.

Due to the sheer mass of the vehicle when fully laden with propellant and consumables, it is launched empty using the Ivpiter III. Once in orbit, a multitude of auxiliary craft are used to prepare it for departure. These include the Apollo MkII ARV (Automated Resupply Vehicle), carrying supplies for the crew; the Mercvrivs MkII tanker, carrying propellant; and the Salvs nuclear refueler, carrying nuclear fuel and an engineer to transfer the fuel.

Since the proper Eve transfer window is coming up, the maiden voyage of the Atlas MkI shall take her and her crew there.

 

Atlas Launchfest

Spoiler

 

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First up is, of course, the Atlas MkI herself.

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The second stage put her in a 200km orbit, before venting its remaining propellant and heading towards its inevitable doom in the atmosphere.

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The next launch was a Silvanvs III lifting off at night, carrying the Apollo-M (Magna) ARV. The MkII, which was used to resupply Caelvm, would not do for a ship as massive as the Atlas, so a larger-scale resupply vehicle was cobbled together.

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It reached the Atlas with just a little Δv to spare, and even had enough to deorbit itself after transferring the consumables aboard.

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The Salvs nuclear refueler launched next, with engineer Ivlia Kermana in tow.

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After about two hours, the onboard autopilot moves in to dock with one of the Atlas' service hatches. Ivlia is just along for the ride.

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Once the uranium is transfered aboard, the ship is live but not hot. The Eve crew will do the honors of starting the reactors and NTRs.
The undocking sequence sends the pod into a tumble, but the autopilot stabilizes the craft before plotting a deorbit burn.

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--

Finally, the time has come for tanker launches! Three Mercvrivs MkII tankers, each of which requires an Ivpiter III booster, need to be launched to completely fill the Atlas' tanks.

This, of course, has cost the RIS a fair bit of cash (but not a substantial proportion), even with the reusable first stages. A complete redesign of the Society's workhorse vehicles will likely occur as soon as more advanced heat shielding is developed, as that may enable the reuse of upper stages and orbital craft in addition to core stages.

There has also been talk of developing spaceplane-style crew transports, since they are inherently more reusable than multi-stage rockets. However, any such craft would be held to the same standard as the Vesta MkII, which has had multiple aborted missions with zero crew losses.

The launches and fuel transfers proceeded uneventfully, so I'll spare you the details. Some gratuitous fire was provided courtesy of the first two Mercvrivs tankers, the latter of which had to tow the former into the atmosphere due to an ignition failure that precluded the former from deorbiting itself.

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--

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The next craft to be launched was the Gilly lander, with which the crew would rendezvous in a high Eve orbit of a similar plane as Gilly. The Atlas (or the transfer stage for the lander, depending on the fuel sit) would then push the combined stack to Gilly. Of course, it was launched using the Ivpiter III.

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Unlike the baseline Ivpiter III, however, it has an actively cooled transfer stage and solar panels to keep it powered.

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Its ejection burn will take place in just about four days, with a midcourse plane change twenty-or-so days later. This trajectory will require minimal correction in Eve's SOI to match planes with Gilly.

--

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Finally, our gallant crew of four is launched into orbit using the Vesta MkII. The roster is as follows:
Nvmerivs Blossivs - Captain
Sentia Kermana - Helmskerb
Ivlia Kermana - Chief Engineer
Flavivs Caecilivs - Chief Science Officer
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Rendezvous and docking proceed uneventfully and the crew transfer aboard.

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Lvcivs then deorbits and performs a parachute-assisted power landing over land, just because he can.

--

CAPCOM: "Atlas Mark One, Control. You are clear for Kerbin departure burn."
Nvmerivs: "Copy that, Control. Helm, spin her up."
Sentia: "With pleasure, sir."

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Soon after the Atlas completed her first burn, the Gilly lander also began its transfer to Eve.

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Both craft safely crossed into Kerbolar SOI a few days later and now await their midcourse corrections, so the Mission Control crew now have these burns to look forward to juggling:

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Good time to be a-splorin', it seems.

 

 

Edited by TotallyNotHuman

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