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Leonidas: Konstellation to Duna and Beyond [Chapter 17]


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screenshot8.png

An episodic account of the next great step.

 

Index:

 

I’m using obscene amounts of mods (my sig has the current number), but only a few should significantly alter how this Sandbox save and these missions play out:


Engine Ignitor
EVA Fuel
FAR
Improved Ablator (seriously nerfs heatshields)
JNSQ
Kerbal Construction Time

Kiwi Tech Tree (part upgrades)
Kerbalism on hard with my own profile
KIS/KAS
KoS
KRASH
Mandatory RCS
Rational Resources
RealChute
Several home-made patches to nerf stuff that's too powerful/not the way I want it to be
About a billion parts mods

 

I’ve set a completely artificial deadline of Year 10, Day 0 for a Duna landing, the KCT settings so it takes 15 days to build a rocket, and will do things to the save as if there was political pressure from Kongress, like grounding kerballed flights for years at a time if something goes wrong and a crewmember is lost. 

That’s enough talking, have the actual introduction:

 

Spoiler

 

 Dunas-1-Artist-s-Impression.pngDunas-5-Artist-s-Impression.png


(Thanks to @benjee10 for reDIRECT)
Artist’s impressions of the Dunas 1 and Dunas 5 launch vehicles, which will launch the Nyx crew capsule (on Dunas 1), the KDS (Kerbin Departure Stage), and the Selene Munar lander (Dunas 5).

Selene-Lander-Artist-s-Impression.png

(Thanks to @bcink for MAH)
A render of the Selene’s ascent and descent stages as they would look on the surface of the Mun.

 

The Leonidas program was established to cheaply recycle hardware from the successful KSTS program. However, the KSTS, by nature of its status as a winged spaceplane, couldn’t provide many capabilities outside of LKO. Although it jointly constructed the KSS with the VonKermans and the McKermans (thx to @Angel-125 for the names, I think they’re becoming a thing with @Misguided_Kerbal also using them), the Duna landing predicted to happen by 1980 instead slipped back again and again. By using legacy technologies with progressing upgrades, the KSP hopes to get it done fast, cheap, and well, and advance technology. Of course, and funnel some money to Kongress’s favorite contractors.

 

The Dunas 1 is to launch the Nyx crew capsule, and uses a modern version of a KSTS SRB with 1 segment added for the first stage, and a single K2-X engine as the upper stage propulsion. The Nyx capsule is basically an upscaled Kane capsule with modern computer systems. Its service module uses a KJ-10 OMS engine. There are two planned variants, the Block 1, with 800 m/s of dV, and the Block 2, with 1.5 km/s and a fully integrated ECLSS system which can extend the mission to months with a separate habitation module. Dunas 1 has been proposed to carry light cargo to Duna on the cheap, and the idea might come to fruition.

 

The Dunas 5, the heavy-lift cargo vehicle, uses 5 OSME engines (KS-25s), along with two more of those 5-segment modern SRBs. It’s usual payload, the KDS, is a 5-meter tank with a single K2-X engine, great for sending a heavy lander like the Selene to the Mun.
 

Unfortunately, not many details have been released about the Selene lander, other than its appearance and 2-stage configuration. Reportedly, engineers are still deciding which fuels and engines to use.

 

Crew-Reveal.png

Although we don’t know details about the Selene lander, the identities of the crew for the first two Nyx kerballed flights are known! In a moonlight event at KSC, with a mockup of the capsule lit up, Engineering Officer Sterrin Kerman, Science Officer Stelgel Kerman, and Pilot Kartrey were announced to be the crew for Nyx-1 (1st, 3rd, and 5th from left). Both Stelgel and Sterrin are veterans of the KSTS program, and Kartrey is a rookie.For Nyx-2, newbie Lealin will engineer, Kazer will science, and Philfal will pilot. (2nd, 4th, and 6th from left.)

Spoiler

I’ve already played Chapters 1 and 2 in-game, with a few nice screenshots. They’ll come soon when I write them up :) 


 

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This looks great! I can't wait to read the first chapter.

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Are you sure?

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Copycat

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Well, I guess technically I'm the copycat...

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You think you're off the hook now? YOU'RE STILL A COPY CAT!!!!!!

Spoiler

That was a joke.

Spoiler

Or was it?

*Makes suspense noise*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 1

Testing, Testing

Not all the KSP is doing is focused on the Leonidas program. It continues to maintain its planetary sciences program.

The Dunas 5 arose as a heavy-lift cargo vehicle with a large fairing diameter, however, it wasn't the first medium-to-heavy lifter developed to be derived from KSTS hardware. The OS-P (Orbital Shuttle-Payload) was a stripped-down Orbital Shuttle fuselage with no wings and no cargo space. It had been developed in 1990 to launch 40-ton payloads to orbit, as part of the Integrated Space Program. The rest of the ISP was cancelled due to budget and schedule overruns, but the OS-P lived on. Costing very little to maintain, KSP always kept it on hold if there was a large payload that needed to be launched. Most payloads nowadays were simply commsats or simple science orbiters, not needing the large capacity of the OS-P. Another major disadvantage of it was the limited size of its payload bay. Many a planned feature had to be scrapped because it simply wouldn't fit.

Since the beginning of the Leonidas Initiative, one of the goals was to phase out the aging hardware of the KSTS program. As such, future launches in the 40-ton range would be filled by a commercial Muo Heavy or Super Heavy.

Last-Shuttle-C.png

The last OS-P sits on KSC Pad 1B, ready to carry the Kepler Jool orbiter and atmospheric probe. A weather balloon carrying the Nyx capsule for the 10 km drop test can be see floating in the background.

The Muo Heavy, Super Heavy, or even regular couldn't be ready in time for the Jool transfer window, so the Kepler science probe had to be mounted on one of the last OS-P fuselages, originally an aerodynamic test subject, and sent towards the stars.
Shuttle-C-Launch.png

Dual OSME start

The launch was completely successful, with a minor problem of the deployable RTG booms bumping into the sides of the payload bay. Nothing mission-critical, though.

Kepler.png

Successful payload deployment from the stretched Inon upper stage, and the Kepler orbiter and atmospheric probe coasts towards Jool. A course correction is scheduled in 300 days, and arrival in about 2 years.

Of course, there was lots of activity revolving around the testing of the Nyx capsule and the Dunas 1 launch vehicle. It's time for a training montage, but for rockets!
SRB-5-Test-Firing.png

 

Pad-Abort-1.png

K2-X-Test-Firing.png

 

Everything goes just as expected. The first launch looms in the near future!

'

In other news: an automated KTV resupply spacecraft from the MacKerman space agency docks to the KSS station, giving much-needed supplies to its crew of 6 before the last KSTS mission will visit it later this month, more than doubling the crew on board.

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Chapter 2

Dunas 1-X Soars

Not a long update today, but I've still got a buffer of several chapter's worth already played.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dunas1-X-1.png

Dunas 1-X! The experimental prototype of the Dunas 1 launcher. Designed to be only a verification of the SRB as a first stage, and a test of the aerodynamics.

Dunas1-X-2.png

Dunas1-X-3.png

The boilerplate upper stage, nothing more than 50 tons of ore concrete is successfully deployed, to fall back to Kerbin in a fiery blaze in about 5 minutes.

Dunas-1-Y-1.pngDunas 1-Y: Just a Nyx capsule with the SRB first stage. Abort testing at max-Q.

Dunas-1-Y-2.png

And everything goes well! This is also a great verification of the buoys, designed for water landings, as cushions for a land touchdown.

 

And for something completely different:

Hey, what are those Von Kermans doing?

RFT-1.png

RFT-2.png

RFT-3.png

RFT-4.png

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Chapter 3

The End of an Era

Hopefully today's longer update will make up for yesterday's.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Final-KSTS-1.png

KSTS-135 launches from pad 39B. The Daleth-3209 sits on the pad, ready for its polar orbit launch later that week.

"The time has come for the KSTS program. Although it was crucial to becoming familiar with spaceflight and understanding the immense challenges of it, more advanced, safer, quicker, and cheaper solutions can be called upon to lift the spirits of Kerbalkind and our great nation out to the Mun, Duna, and beyond. We shall go bravely, beyond."

- Oriol Kerman, President of the Kerbal States, to the first assembly of the 42nd Kongress.

Final-KSTS-2.png

It is a somber day at the KSC. For the greatest of launch vehicles that some kerbals have known for all their lives was being retired. And with it years of progress, science, and international relations. To show the international nature of the program, the last flight has 2 von Kermans and 1 MacKerman crew, as well as 4 Kermans.



Final-KSTS-3.pngThe last crew rendezvous with the KSS. They exchange gifts, share laughs, and clean up a few tasks outside on EVA.

Hamal-Departure.png

A Hamal resupply spacecraft leaves a week into the stay, to reenter a day later. The Orbital Shuttle will return to Kerbin later.

Spoiler

Off camera, because I can't land a shuttle with FAR.

Kerbin's Commercial Launch Providers

Commercial-Lineup.png
Kerbin's many launch service providers have varied approaches to launces. Bloating Aerospace, for instance, has their Daleth-Series rockets, their Muo rocket, and their planned Muo Heavy. Each have their niche. Bloating, for instance, relies on proven rockets that (probably) won't fail. Tundra wants to eventually reuse their rockets. Kerbal Standard uses cheap SRMs, and they can launch at nearly anytime. Tantares specializes in selling old Von Kerman rockets with no questions asked.

Spoiler

Yes, I too really want to get to see SRB-X fly.

KOCO-1.pngOne of Bloating's Daleth 3209 rockets launches from KSC, carrying the KOCO (Kerbin Orbiting Carbon Observatory) spacecraft to monitor CO2 levels on Kerbin to a low polar orbit.

KOCO-2.png

And the main event:

(I made you wait, haha)

OFT-1-1.png'

It's time for OFT-1! The first flight of the K2-X-powered upper stage and first intended orbital flight and reentry for the Nyx.

OFT-1-2.png

OFT-1-3.png

No flight-critical issues until just after SRB separation, except for a little gimbal oddity that the flight SAS software can't quite dampen down, as well as some very unexpected oscillations in the linkage between the Nyx capsule and the upper stage. The mission continues within margins though.

Then, for whatever reason, the oscillations begin to increase in frequency and range. The Dunas 1 upper stage pitches up and down as the flight software tries to get it under control. Despite the problems with the guidance, automatic separation of the fairing covering the service module and the LES are jettisoned.

OFT-1-4.png

Just then, the guidance computer sees that the booster has flipped its way more than 60 degrees from the correct vector, and shuts down the main engine and releases the capsule from its service module for an abort scenario.

OFT-1-5.png

Its truncated flight makes ballistic reentry unfortunately necessary, and the Nyx capsule reenters the atmosphere peaking in G-force at just over 11.5 gravities.  This is survivable for crew, if extremely uncomfortable and possibly injury-inducing. However, the high-G reentry was one of the limitations surrounding the use of an SRB as a first stage. It was a calculated risk.

OFT-1-6.png

Fortunately, people who build rockets for a living are good at calculations, so the Nyx capsule returns home perfectly fine and splashes down in the Western Ocean. The crew might be in some trouble, but would make it through.

 

Mortimer Kerman has renamed the mission after the fact to EDL-ABRT-1, but even after claiming that was what they meant to do, an accident investigation board must be convened.

Spoiler

This episode took a while to play, not only because making that cool poster with the commercial launch vehicles was hard, but mostly because all the Dunas rockets with a full upper stage wobbled like heck. The seemingly-manufactured problem with the guidance system me? Actually happened, albeit with less of the spiced-up narrative. Even now, 3 days and 5 Dunas 1 launches after this mission, I can't seem to find the fix. I'll just fly the booster without a gravity turn,  then use lots of RCS to turn the second stage to the right orientation and keep it there.

EDIT:

found the wobbling on another craft that shouldn't be wobbling. I've got fullAutoStrut and KJR. Could it be a bad KJR install?

Yes, I am aware of the continuity error with the Daleth III :(

EDIT again: Yes, it was a bad KJR install! Yay!

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Space Station Partially Evacuated

Cape Town, KAP: The Kerbal State's KSP and the Von Kerman Alliance's Roskerbmos have jointly announced that the evacuation of the Roskerbmos section of the space station has been ordered and that the two Libra capsules docked to that segment have returned home, with a crew of 6 between them. Reportedly, they were suffering severe symptoms of hypoxia and needed Kerbin-bound medical attention immediately. 

Reactionary politicians from the Von Kerman Alliance have labeled this a blatant attack upon their nation from the Kerbal States in a time of increased political tensions between the two nations. Spokeskerbals from both space agencies issued statements vehemently denying these rumors. "The incident on the Karya module was not politically motivated in any way," Lutwin Von Kerman said in a printed statement tonight. "The Kerbin Space Station is an international platform that is above this kind of political squabbling. Our partners at the KSP and the MacKerman Space Agency are our closest friends and colleagues. Anyway, the incident affected 3 Von Kerman Kosmonauts and 1 Kerman Astronaut working in the module at the time. As far as I know, the Kermans don't have a grudge against themselves." 

The KSP's press secretary echoed a similar statement to the one above, adding only that "flight controllers, life support engineers, and mission surgeons working around the globe in dozens of space flight centers in 4 nations have found no evidence of sabotage. We have every reason to believe at this point that the incident was caused by an accidental discharge of a Carbon Dioxide storage tank for the Environmental Control system, causing severe Oxygen deprivation in the crew working in the area."

The crew evacuated include Gilbas Von Kerman, Sigberry Von Kerman, Kelfrod Von Kerman, Sonzon MacKerman, and Mundorf Kerman. Kelfrod and Sonzon were unaffected, but were required to return with the evacuated crew to not strand them on the station without a return spacecraft. The crew of KSTS-135, the final Orbital Shuttle mission, are still onboard the station and report no symptoms. Flight control in Cape Town has ordered them to abandon their usual science mission objective in favor of identification and remediation of the anomaly. They will return to Kerbin slightly later than expected, but their on-board power generation system has a limited lifespan so they must leave the station within a month.

Because of the evacuation and limited lifespan of the Orbital Shuttle on orbit, the station will be unkerballed for the first time in over 10 years, until the arrival of a scheduled Drakon launch later this fall.

Spoiler

This is not something I made up for story! Kerbal Health decided for some reason to lower the health of all the crew on the Von Kerman segment of the station to 10% for some reason. That only gave them 5 days to live, so I needed to evacuate immediately! (I was very lucky that this didn't happen when I was time warping)

 

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Chapter 4

Getting Closer to Nyx-1

<< BEGIN TRANSCRIPT>>

"And that shall call to order the final meeting of the Accident Review Board"

"Roll call. Kerman?"

"Present"

"Kerman?"

"Present"

"Kerman?"

<....>

"Why isn''t Jodfrey here? Von Kerman"

"Here"

"MacKerman"

"Delightful to be with you today."

<BANG!> "The board will now present results to the Joint Kongressional Komittee on spaceflight."

<...>

"Without opposition. The chair yields their time."

"On Munth 8 of this year, an unmanned test of the prototype Nyx spacecraft had to be prematurely terminated after an unforeseen weakness in the structural linkage, demonstrated in fig. 0.1a, between the capsule and its carrier rocket upper stage. We believe that this is an easily fixed problem that would not lead to loss of a crew. However, we do have some recommendations over increased engineering tests to be carried out through development of future spacecraft, a total of 40.

    Section 1.1:

      Subsection 1.1a:

         The Accident Review Board is..."

<loud whispers and the sounds of Kerbal Crush Saga: Rocket Fire Age>

<BANG!> "Order! Order! The chair calls you to order!"

"That's okay, we can just give you the TL;DR. We didn't want to be here either"

"O-Okay"

"Something broke, we probably should've known about it, any crew would have been fine. We'll try to make sure things don't break in the future."

<BANG!> "And that's all we need. Have some more money and go away. Hydrazine smells nasty. Meeting adjourned."

<<END TRANSCRIPT>>

With a rubber-stamp hearing out of the way and KJR uninstalled and reinstalled the structural problem fixed, Nyx OFT-2 was clear to fly.

OFT-2-1.png

Dunas 1 launches are very routine at this point, as are the trains carrying massive SRB segments into the space center.

OFT-2-4.png

The reliable K2-X upper stage and first stage SRB deliver Nyx perfectly to the target orbit.

OFT-2-5.png

The Nyx capsule rendezvous with the KSS is perfect. Docking to the end of the Serenity node module is perfect.

OFT-2-7.png

Because of the evacuation of the station earlier, no crew would be able to receive the vehicle, packed with cargo. Instead, KSP dispatched a robot attached to rails along the modules to unpack the cargo. The robot had been sent up on KSTS-130 in case a similar situation would ever happen and the station be unkerballed. Unfortunately, 2 weeks without maintenance hadn't been good to it, and it jammed on the rails. So OFT-2 did nothing for the station except prove that the Nyx capsule could reach it with crew, a step towards renewed KS exploration and habitation.

Undocking and EDL 2 days later was nominal, enough proof of the vehicles safety to schedule a crewed flight.

The K619 foundation sponsored the development of the pair of SENTINEL satellites to monitor near-Kerbin space for asteroid threats that could end the species. They didn't have many ideas for stopping them, but at least we'd know when we'd die a fiery death, right?

SENTINEL-1-1.png

A beautiful night launch of a Daleth 2

SENTINEL-1-3.png

The Daleth-K upper stage carries it to an elliptic orbit halfway between Kerbin and Eve. About 6 Munths later the SENTINEL satellite itself will circularize its orbit. SENTINEL-2 will launch at basically the same time to enter an orbit 180 degrees away from SENTINEL-1.

SENTINEL-1-4.png

 

Hey, what's this?

Spoiler

Medved.png

 

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Just now, JakGamingKSP said:

when srb-x?

When it makes economic sense for the company, Kerbal Standard, to pursue developing it. They are currently focusing on developing the Galleon rocket (Carrack from Eyes Turned Skyward, which you should totally take the time to read or just look over), and SRB-X is far future. Imagine it as SpaceX developing Falcon 9 after Falcon 1, while still saying something about "Someday we'll make the Mars Colonial Transporter! You mark my words!"

It will fly eventually, I wouldn't tease something so amazing without actually posting about it.

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Just now, Clamp-o-Tron said:

When it makes economic sense for the company, Kerbal Standard, to pursue developing it. They are currently focusing on developing the Galleon rocket (Carrack from Eyes Turned Skyward, which you should totally take the time to read or just look over), and SRB-X is far future. Imagine it as SpaceX developing Falcon 9 after Falcon 1, while still saying something about "Someday we'll make the Mars Colonial Transporter! You mark my words!"

It will fly eventually, I wouldn't tease something so amazing without actually posting about it.

Can't wait to see that work of art fly, Also will it be involved with ISS Operations or as Proposed just military?

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Just now, JakGamingKSP said:

Can't wait to see that work of art fly, Also will it be involved with ISS Operations or as Proposed just military?

There are several planned applications I'd LOVE to tell you about, but I feel that it's too early to spoil them. :) Sorry, they'd ruin the surprise.

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Chapter 5

Not much happens

It has been a slow couple weeks at KSC after the launch and safe return of Nyx OFT-2. Just 2 launches take place, and only 1 from KSC.

Drakon-1.png

First, 2 crew on a Drakon-Libra launch vehicle head to the KSS for a short stay. Their ambitious goal are to keep the station inhabited until the arrival of Nyx-1, to do an end-to-end check of the life-support systems, and patch up systems left in disrepair after the evacuation. The Libra capsule also carries backup life support systems of its own that could support the entire station in the event of another failure.

Drakon-2.png

An attempt at a Korolev cross screenshot goes horribly awry.

Drakon-3.png

Since Darude is 5 degrees from the equator and the orbit of the KSS, it has to take an odd "dog-leg" ascent profile that involves a long coast between MECO and SES-1 as the guidance system waits for the Drakon-Libra to cross the KSS's orbit.

Drakon-4.png

Separation of the Libra vehicle from its carrier rocket

Drakon-5.pngAnd safe docking!

The crew rush to check if the system will endanger them. They can relax, and begin their month of work onboard.

 

Muo-Commsats-1.png

A Muo-40 rocket ready on KSC pad 3A to launch three small communications satellites into KEO.

Muo-Commsats-2.png

The only other launch these couple weeks is a Muo-40 rocket carrying a constellation of 3 ion-powered commsats into KEO, meant to be spaced 120 degrees from each other.

Muo-Commsats-3.png

Muo-Commsats-4.png

The launch is nominal from start to finish, and the Inon upper stage delivers all three satellites perfectly into a Kerbostationary Transfer Orbit.

Muo-Commsats-5.pngMuo-Commsats-6.png

Over the next few weeks, they will perform periapsis kicks to eventually end up in the correct Kerbostationary orbit, with periods matching to within milliseconds.

 

In other news, the Kepler Jool probe suffers a main communications failure. Fortunately, it is well within the range of the redundant local communications systems. Mission planners and engineers are working around the clock to bring the antenna back online.

Kepler-Failiure.png

 

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Yes, this update was quite short, but I'm working to get the backlog of finished chapters down a little. Expect one or two more tonight!

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Chapter 6

Lots of stuff happens

ATLAS-KVV.png

ATLAS Space Telescope preliminary design. The ATLAS-ST is meant to enter into a very low Kerbol-Synchronous orbit at about half Moho's orbital altitude. Meant for long-term observation of a single area of Kerbol, the craft has to be very light to be able to reach such a low orbit yet sturdy enough to resist the massive thermal radiation around the star. Launch vehicle: Super-heavy class

The Space Probe branch of the KSP holds a decennial contest for the probes it will develop. The winners this round are larger, more ambitious payloads than ever before, with several needing the Dunas 5 for launch.

Edna-System-Explorer-KVV.png

The Edna System Explorer is a very small probe meant to use ion propulsion to directly land on both Edna and its satellite Dak. Not much is known about the asteroid belt and its formation right now, but ESE should help. Launch vehicle: Medium class

Eve-Atmospheric-Explorer-KVV.png

The Eve Atmospheric Explorer is a long-term probe into the atmosphere of Eve. By using balloons, the probe can stay aloft for weeks or months, searching for the answer to some intriguing chemical discrepancies in Eve's atmosphere. Launch vehicle: Medium class

Jodrin-Kerman-Space-Telescope-KVV.png

The Jodrin Kerman Space Telescope is the 21st century's answer to the Hawking Space Telescope. New ultraviolet-class sensors on board will help it find objects not visible from Kerbin's surface. Launch vehicle: Light class

Laythe-Surface-Probe-KVV.png

The Laythe Surface Probe is a spacecraft solely dedicated to the exploration of Laythe's surface and liquid oceans. Many scientific questions abound about Laythe, which has only ever been observed through telescopes or afar from earlier Jool orbiters. By dedicating a spacecraft to Laythe, we hope to find out how and why it is like it is. Note: Jool braking stage not shown. Launch vehicle: Super-heavy class

Several other spacecraft are in development. First is the MSA and Roskerbmos's answer to the Nyx capsule, the CTV crew utility vehicle. Derived from the KTV's service module, it is designed to be launched by the upcoming Medved partially-reusable launch vehicle, but will be carried by the NH-101 until that rocket can be crew-rated.

CTV-Development.png

There have also been several hot-firings at the KSC's test facilities.

Dunas-5-Tests-1.png

The core stage of Dunas 5 SFT-1 on the test stand at the KSC pad complex and industrial area.

Dunas-5-Tests-2.png

The cryogenic testing of the main tankage points to flight-readiness, and the always-reliable KS-25A main engines do their part.

Selene-Testing-1.png

Testing of the Selene lander descent stage's three main R-10A-3 "Inon" engines and the tankage of the stage

Selene-Testing-2.png

The methane and oxygen fueled engines of the ascent stage get their own hot fire, confirming that methane-propelled engines are suitable at large scales.

The Selene lander is to use liquid methane and LOX as fuel for its ascent stage, to give KSC experience with them before they are used on Duna for their ability to be fueled by the Sabatier process.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

"Status check, to proceed with terminal count. LCDR."

"Go"

"Talker"

"Go"

"Timer"

"Go"

"SSC"

"Go"

"SSP"

"Go"

"FSC"

"Go"

"FSP"

"Go"

"Pyro"

"Go"

"Prop"

"Go"

"OTO"

"Go"

"FWO"

"Go"

"Range"

"Go"

"Station"

"Go"

"Spacecraft"

"Go"

"Comm"

"Go"

"Environment"

"Go"

"Surgeon"

"Go"

"LES"

"Go"

"CDR"

"We are go from Nyx-1"

"LD"

"We are go, proceed with terminal count"

"Crew access arm retract... LES arm."

"EUS LOX load complete"

"Moving to internal guidance, computer in t-2 configuration"

"T-2 minutes"

"EUS LH2 load complete"

"Flight computer and power in full internal"

"T-30 seconds"

"Abort mode 1-Beta, pyros armed"

"T-10

9

8

7"

"EUS umbilical retract"

"6

5

4

3

2

1

0"

"SRB ignition, clamp release"

Nyx-1-1.png

"And liftoff! Liftoff of Nyx-1!"

"TWR avoidance maneuver, tower clear"

"Roll program is good, going into pitch program"

...

"Vehicle is supersonic, standby for max-Q"

"Max-Q"

...

"Standby for SRB seperation"

"SRB sep, EUS startup"
Nyx-1-2.png

"EUS at operational power"

...

"Orbital insertion nominal, standby for Nyx seperation"

"LCC, this is Nyx-1, Sterrin speaking by the way. Everyone is doing good, we can't wait to get to KSS!"

"Copy, Nyx. It was a pleasure to get you up there!"

"Nyx seperation"

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>><><><><><><>

After the launch of Nyx-1, and the publishing of the entire transcript in an annoying way, all of Kerbin, even the Von Kermans, are in celebration. The Nyx capsule is the first of the new vehicles that will bring Kerbals back to the Mun, and on to Duna and Minmus, for all all but one of the nations of Kerbin.

Nyx-1-3.png

2 hours later, after a very fast rendezvous by the new flight control system and appreciable allowance of delta-v, Nyx-1 makes an approach towards the KSS.

Nyx-1-4.png

Merely three months after the last KSTS flight, Nyx is back as a cheaper way of access to the KSS. The 2 Von Kerman crew are very happy to be aided in their duties by the 3 additional crew of Nyx-1.

Nyx-1-5.png

Stelgel and Kartrey "Working" outside on the truss structure

The crew plans to stay for about 2 months, testing the Nyx's lifespan on orbit.

 

In other news, a classified payload launches into a polar orbit on a Pulsagari rocket from C. Yeager launch facility.

Pulsagari-1.png

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Spoiler

Sorry about the transcript spam :)

 

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Chapter 7

The Beast Awakens

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A crew of three launches from Darude for the KSS.

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Safe arrival at the station four hours later for a short stay

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Kartrey Von Kerman on EVA repairing faulty RCS thrusters on the KTV

 

After a short interlude for a Libra-Drakon launch to the KSS, the eyes of Kerbin's rocketspotters are back upon the KSC for the first and hopefully only test launch of the behemoth Dunas 5.

Dunas-5-TF-1-1.pngSporting five of the KS-25 engines-- engines that have been compared to sports cars-- and two giant solid rocket boosters, the super-heavy-lift rocket's core stage lifts off carrying 200 tons of water ballast to a suborbital trajectory. The production chain on the Kerbin Departure Stage has been delayed, so it will only first be available for a later high-orbit reentry test for Nyx.

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It gets off the pad quick, with a launch TWR of 1.6 that climbs to 2.4 before the OSME engines are throttled down at max-Q. They will remain below 60% of rated thrust for the rest of the flight to compensate for thermal problems, guidance limitations, and payload G-loading constraints.

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SRBs separate. Like Dunas 1, they won't be recovered... for now. 

After SRB sep and another three and a half minutes of burn time from the core stage, the ballast, main tankage, and expensive main engines will burn up on reentry.

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Because of all the problems on KSS recently, both the Von Kerman CO2 recycler and various other problems, the international committee that represented the  participating countries on the KSS project decided to have a lifeboat or two on the station at all times with combined capabilities to return 6 crew safely in the event of a medical or other emergency.  Seeing as its brand-new, new-spacecraft-smell Nyx capsule could handle that while only occupying one docking port, and was cheaper to launch than two Libras, KSP stepped up to offer a Nyx.

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Spoiler

Ignore continuity error- I take some of these screenshots out of order. Nyx-1 should still be berthed to the forward PMA.

It will stay berthed to that port for years, until it is cycled for a fresh spacecraft or the decision to deorbit the KSS is made.

The station is nearing the end of its operational life, and plans from various agencies to build newer stations. Part of KSP's plan is to build a station around the Mun as a staging point of sorts for a mid-size outpost, and commercial stations in LKO.

 

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Dunas 5 no. 2 sits in the dramatic light of the dawn

After the successful flight test of Dunas 5, KSC felt confident enough to put a Nyx capsule on top of it. This launch is an important test, as it will verify four crucial systems: the Nyx Block 2 service module, the efficacy of the thermal protective system, the Kerbin Departure Stage, and the Dunas 5 itself.

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The Kerbin Departure Stage puts it in a trajectory with an apoapsis much higher than Minmus's. Nyx will return in about 3 weeks for a very high-speed reentry and successful splashdown.

 

 

In other news:

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The KTV spacecraft that has been docked to KSS for a staggering 10 months ends its time on orbit as a temporary laboratory and logistics compartment.

Edited by Clamp-o-Tron
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Chapter 8

A busy launch complex

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A Duna Hohmann transfer window approaches rapidly, and for the first time ever no two, not three, but 4 rockets sit ready to go. The Duna probes (DCOSS and DMERSRC, an orbiter and a rover) are fully assembled and ready at the pad to account for any delays with their exceedingly complicated and redundant systems before the window, SENTINEL2 has a limited launch window to synchronize with SENTINEL1, and the ground stations communicating with Polygon’s prototype vehicle are limited in availability. All these constraints make for a perfect storm of spacecraft activity, filling all of the VAB’s 4 high bays, something to be fixed with the next round of renovations. For only the second time ever, pad 4A, an old short-range missile vertical launch site, is used for an orbital launch (the first had been 3 years earlier using another Daleth 3 rocket).

Polygon-1.pngA compact, light-weight space habitat developed by Polygon Aerospace launches into a low Kerbin orbit on a Daleth 2

Polygon’s launch comes first, delivering a light habitat for in-space testing of deployment, thermal control, etc.

If it succeeds it will be a good sign for Polygon’s eventual plan of building out large inflatable modules for tourist space stations and deep space habitation ships.

Polygon-2.pngPreliminary data suggest that the habitat performs well- better, even, than traditional pressure vessels.

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The only other launch this installment is SENTINEL2 (Duna probes will wait a chapter). Just like it’s brother, it will arrive at perihelion in 6 munths for circularization.

In other news: 

Contact with the Kepler Jool Probe has been lost, probably permanently. An investigation has begun into a cause for the failure, focusing on design flaws with dissipation of RTG thermal radiation.

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4 minutes ago, Misguided_Kerbal said:

Your launch site is huge! I love it.

It's very much WIP. Those lights you can see in the background of some night pictures are a second runway, which looks atrocious. I'm maybe intending to release it a la KSC Extended, but especially for JNSQ. You'll get a map soon.

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Chapter 9

"And that's when the big bucks start rolling in."

How are the commercial launchers going?

Tantares

Has been implicated in corruption involving kickbacks to Khinese officials in exchange for rocket technology and political influence. Further investigation exposed shoddy safety methods, leading to the splitting up of Tantares's assets. Forced to liquidate their intellectual property of rocket designs, the NH-120 design has been abandoned, as well as plans to revive the Rotanev-M design. Leftover Corvus components have been sold to the Krasilian government, who is pursuing a second-generation liquid-fueled design to upgrade their solid-fueled Canopus rocket.

Bloating

Has successfully launched the first Muo Heavy. They expect low demand for the design, but development costs to fill the heavy-lift niche were low compared to a design that would be more in-demand.

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Primary Assembly of Muo-H1 in the VAB horizontal integration bay

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Although the Inon upper stage is real hardware and actually fires, the payload is a boring 50 tons of water, which is deorbited.

Tundra Exploration

Have forged forward in their goal to develop reusable rockets. Funded by rich spaceflight enthusiasts, experienced with their success with the Mothra rocket, and not afraid of losing shareholders to a market with no understanding of space, they can afford to lose quite a few prototypes before people start asking questions.

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Using three of their Marlin 1-D engines, a subscale prototype using tankage segments takes to the skies.

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Of course, scaling up from a hopper to a full-scale booster is a difficult process, and the landing capabilities will not be integrated into the first 5 boosters or so.

Kerbal Standard

Has started preparations for the first Galleon operational launch, after successful suborbital testing of the solid fuel stages and Belle-D upper stage.

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The first launch is scheduled 3 months from now, carrying just a mass simulator.

 

Activity at the KSS:

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One Libra-Drakon arrives.

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And another leaves.

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A KTV tug installs a fourth PDA segment to the KSS, allowing it to support up to three Nyx crew vehicles at a time.

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And Nyx-2 fills it up.

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The station is packed at this point, with 9 crew, 3 over its maximum long-term capacity. For a week or so, the excess crew on Nyx-2 will sleep in their capsule, until a module arrives on a KTV derivative to give them living space.

Edited by Clamp-o-Tron
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Chapter 10

<Insert title of your choice here>

Kerbin’s nations

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Spoiler

I thought I would put some of my headcanon here, so that everything (especially as there starts to be political conflict) makes sense in context. Any resemblance to real events, people, or political bodies is a figment of the author’s imagination and is completely coincidental, even if the names sound familiar. Take it as a Kerbalized version if you will.

After the Great War, the Kerbin that was once composed of hundreds of city-states became ruled by six continent-encompassing nations. Unlike the world of peace and cooperation predicted by the architects of the six great nations, relations were never good. They clashed with words and sometimes swords over ideology, old grudges, and resources. Those tired of such deadly games look to the skies, waiting for life on the Mun or Duna, when the city-states can rule again.

The Kerbal States

Spoiler

• Type: Representative Democracy

• Population: 260,000

•Capital: Cape Town

•Summary: Holds very close relationships with the MacKermans and Kaustralians. Happy to work with Krasilians in order to increase influence with them. Lukewarm with Khina and the Von Kermans, and okay with Krasilia. Known for the best space program on Kerbin and its large military spending.

The MacKerman Kingdom

Spoiler

•Type: Constitutional Monarchy (Figurehead queen, parliamentary government)

•Population: 430,000

•Capital: Russels

•Summary: Often plays second fiddle to the Kerbal States, and Kaustralia follows them. Dislikes Krasilia very much. More willing to work with Von Kermans than the Kermans are. On the forefront of technology, and are very averse to military armament.

Kaustalia

Spoiler

•Type: Direct Democracy

•Population: 80,000

•Capital: Scryrth

•Summary: Very similar to MacKermans, but they don’t have much technical skill and could put up with the Krasilians. Dislikes Khinese for territory loss in the Great War

Von Kerman Alliance

Spoiler

•Type: Unstable Democracy

•Population: 300,000

•Capital: Olgograd

•Summary: Gets along with MacKermans and Khinese, not so sure about Krasilians. Has aging military and technological infrastructure that it can’t really pay for.

Khina

Spoiler

•Type: 1-Party System
• Population: 560,000

•Capital: Kai Bu Dun

Spoiler

“Kerbtown” in pinyin according to google translate

•Summary: In a constant battle of words with the Krasilians. Close to Von Kermans, and not happy around all the others, especially Kaustralians. Close behind the MacKermans in technology, and a large GDP means a large military.

Krasilia

Spoiler

•Type: Theocracy

•Population: 110,000

•Capital: La Mesa de los Deos

•Summary; Dislikes/disliked by everyone for not being/being a theocracy. Their technology is in the dumps, and the military isn’t modern at all.

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All the nations have a rocketry program of some sort. Those you haven’t seen are the Prometheus 23V and 33H (Kermans, unclear if they will ever fly again), Viking 4 (MacKermans, nearing retirement), Canopus (Krasilia, yet to launch successfully), the Taerobee (Kaustralia; most of their space agency works on probes or commercial launch capabilities), and Jian Tou (Khina, yet to fly).

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The Duna window opens and both spacecraft making the journey launch successfully.

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Galleon gets its first orbital launch.

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The Belle-D will actually overperform, the only kind of surprise you want in space.

 

Possibly the last KSS module is sent up, giving the crew of Nyx-2 some much-needed personal space.

Spoiler

Pictures broke... sorry guys


And Bloating makes another classified launch on Daleth 3.

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In other news:

Polygon Aerospace published their proposal for a next-generation LKO space station to KSP, the first of the two applicants to do so.

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Edited by Clamp-o-Tron
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