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Leonidas: Konstellation to Duna and Beyond [Chapter 17]


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9 hours ago, hemeac said:

I really like the different nations. But those Kaustralians with such pedestrian goals to only launch probes and commercial satellites. They are very uninspired ;.;

Thanks!

Everything has a reason in this setting why they don’t go to space (Kerbals, after all, are very inclined to do so). The Kaustralians have a struggling economy, because they’re still struggling to recover from the Great War. Khina took the entire north of their continent from Kaustralia, where most industry was located, after all (and that’s why the Khinese launch site is Woomera2). So in having to switch to fishing as the means of production, they can’t really afford a space program, except where they can turn a profit.

———————————————————————

You’ve all seemed to enjoy this, and I’m looking for some feedback to make this better. You can advise me on schedule, post structure, writing style, and even plot. I’ve also got this: https://www.strawpoll.me/21159588

to help me with my indecision over how to land on Duna.

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21 hours ago, Misguided_Kerbal said:

I voted for Copenicus NTV, but I was thinking....

D5Ve36AW0AMF9oV?format=jpg&name=medium

Sorry,  Hermes didn't really make sense and is way overkill for a quick Duna expedition. I always thought of the mothership in the book as more conventional. Since Copernicus NTV seems to be winning, I'm starting to design the components for that mission, inspired by this masterpiece of a mission:

Spoiler

Incredible @Scorpu!!!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry that it's been so long. Stuff IRL, switching to Kerbalism, and problems with my monitor's drivers kept me from getting this next chapter out.

Chapter 11

Free(flight) will?
SIT-6.png

Spoiler

 JianTou.png

Jian-Tou-Photo.png

The Khinese space program, a very secretive entity, has released a photo taken from space on their "star" satellite, their first. Their "Arrowhead" rocket delivered the satellite into a 64 degree Kerbin orbit with apoapsis at 400 km and periapsis at 150. With it was a piece of propaganda broadcast all over the nation. Given that the masses had no knowledge of the details of this program before, one wonders how many failures there were.

KH-11-1.png

A light variant of the Daleth 3 launches with only 6 SRBs, carrying another classified payload into polar orbit.

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KH-11-3.png

Spoiler

Pssst. Hey, you. I've got some <classified> information I can give you.

Spoiler

Khinese-Launch-Site.png

This was taken by that new spy bird. It's in Khinese territory, in the equatorial desert. I've got no idea what it is.

 

Medved-TG-1.png

The Von Kermans, famous incrementalists, go ahead and launch another Medved test craft with a boilerplate upper stage this time.

This flight is meant to test the long-range gliding procedure as well as the principle of boosting back to the launch site.

Medved-TG-3.png

All goes well, except for a snag with parachute deployment, and the Von Kermans are ready to go one more tiny step farther, with a craft larger than the initial prototype but not as large as the final orbital craft.

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A Muo rocket launches a constellation of ion-powered commsats to a high Mun orbit to provide x-band communications for future missions there.

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Leonidas has been so successful that already eyes are on a lunar landing within two years. To accomplish that, testing of the lander and crew module must be rigorous.

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Dunas 5 launches the Selene test vehicle to LKO.

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Dunas 1 heads up to pay it a visit

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The crew go for a freeflight in a higher orbit, ditch the descent stage and robotically deorbit it, then return to their Nyx.

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And, as always, Nyx gets them home safe.

 

Spoiler

Sorry for the delay! It's been crazy IRL, Kerbalism has been weird getting set up (and shifting all the craft to!), and my monitor's drivers crapped out!

 

 

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Chapter 12

Noel Kerman's weekend hobby

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Spoiler

 

 Bagorah-9-1.png

One program that hasn't been mentioned much is the KSP's funding to a commercial entity to resupply the KSS as it nears its end of life, and its successor into the future. Only two companies competed for the contracts, Tundra Exploration and Orbital KTK, a subsidiary of Bloating. Tundra has had to develop their own new launch vehicle as a successor to their Mothra small-launch vehicle, and strive to reuse their first stages someday. (See those pads in the background? Those were once missile launch pads and are now helicopter landing zones, but Tundra has their eyes on them to land boosters vertically on! Crazy, right?)

Mothra-1.png

Of course, they aren't just overly optimistic newbies- their leader, chief investor, and chief frustrater of engineers, Noel Kerman, has thrown his money behind failed rocket companies in the past. Tundra Exploration is the only one to survive to this day, and the only one to put rockets into orbit.

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Their Mothra rocket isn't really a feat of engineering, and its small capacity is pretty much useless in a market focused on Kerbosynchronous orbit and the international plans of Mun, Minmus, and Duna.

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Nevertheless, it's a good way to keep afloat; launching a few small satellites here and there so you can invest in the Bagorah rocket.

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After a few years of quietly launching Mothras, the Bagorah is ready to launch the resupply vessel KSP contracted them to build and fly. The first payload is actually real- a group of three commsats taking advantage of the rock-bottom prices for a launch likely to fail.

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But to everybody's surprise despite the expedited development, the launch goes fine, delivering the three sats into their intended Kerbosynchronous transfer orbit.

Bagorah-9-5.png

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Orbital KTK's design for cargo vessel is a bit different- using a service module designed years ago for the Kane Applications Program's unmanned resupply vehicle with updated storage bins to fit with the international standard across the KSS's and future stations's modules.

 

Libra-Arrival-1.png
Libra-Drakon on its way to KSS.

We get a couple of crew rotations this week. A Von Kerman group of three joins the other Von Kerman crew of the same size.Nyx-Landing.png

Nyx-1 and -2 undock, deorbit, and splashdown safely, to be replaced by Nyx-4.

Nyx-4.png

Spoiler

SECURITY CLEARANCE REQUIRED: TOP SECRET

AUTHORIZED CLEARANCE PERSONNEL ONLY

Spoiler

Reconnaissance photos taken by source #81 Bluebelle of a failed Krasilian Canopus launch.

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After the success of the first Bagorah launch, KSC's engineers give the go-ahead to launch Tundra Exploration's Gigan cargo vehicle.

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Naturally conservative with their spacecraft (and with good reason! They all remember what happened to the Mira station from that Hamal ship...), the engineers won't let the Gigan berth to KSS, just do a dry run of the docking procedures that ends with the Gigan station-keeping about 10m from the port it would berth to.

Gigan-4.png

 

Back at KSC in the main VAB, something is brewing...

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Selene ATM-LND 100

 

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In other news:

 

The amount of new hardware developed or announced in the last three years is simply astounding! The MacKerman firm cumuloNimbus has unveiled plans to partner with Kerbal Standard in launching modified Pulsagari rockets from an old bomber from the great war. And most exciting, the first drop test is only two months away. How they managed to keep this under wraps for almost all of its development period is beyond everyone.

cumulo-Nimbus-aircraft.png

 

Spoiler

I'm thinking that I like this slower schedule better- about 5 days in between is better, and I was exhausting my buffer very quickly at 1 or more reports a day.

 

 

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Chapter 13

Convention center rocketry

Zeus-1-Test-1.png
 

Spoiler

 The secretive cumuloNimbus aerospace sends off a drop test of an inert modified Pulsagari booster. The fewest details possible are revealed, and the flight takes place in the middle of the night.

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After dropping the inert booster, the carrier circles back around and the booster uses its aerodynamic surfaces to position itself for a high-speed impact far from the KSC.

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After a coast period of over 200 days, the DCOSS orbiter arrives at Duna to perform multispectral and altimetry analysis.

Spoiler

We do not speak of the rover DMERSRC, that was lost as I moved to Kerbalism.


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Kerbal Standard’s rocketry division has had a good streak. Their Pulsagari gets some extra life, Galleon comes online as a small-ish Kerbostationary launcher, and rumors fly that KATM, the military coalition of the democratic nations, has accepted an unknown rocket of unknown design for an unknown contract.

Galleon-4.png

Galleon can deliver in the burgeoning KEO market.

 

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The first of the ideas funded by the Space Probe Initiative takes flight- finally. The project had been proposed 15 years ago and was at the verge of cancellation with 80% of the components and all the mirrors fabricated when it received a cash injection to get it to the pad merely two years later. 

JKST-3.png
It is- the Jodrell Kerman Space Telescope. Built to survey wavelengths impossible to observe through an atmosphere, its goals are to help in the emerging study of exoplanets.

JKST-4.png
 

MOREL-1.png

The next payload is a bit smaller-scale. Built almost entirely by the Kerbin Institute of Technology, the MOREL pair of satellites will each reconnoiter the Mun in search of composition and altimetry data. The first of the pair, focusing on altimetry, launches on a Bagorah rocket at dusk.

MOREL-5.png
 

Nyx-5-2.png
Nyx 5 docks to KSS, carrying with it the first crewed test of the Mark II service module, meant for deep space trips.

Most excitingly for space enthusiasts around Kerbin, Selene and Leonidas keep on giving.

After only a devastating scrub caused by a problem in an OSME 0.7 seconds before launch...

SSME-Ignition-Failiure.png

... the vehicle is recycled and launches the first Selene lander to orbit and touch down on the Mun!

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All of Kerbin is excited for the imminent return of crew to the Mun, this time sustainably and to stay, and glad that their nation got some part, no matter how small of Selene, Nyx, and Dunas.

———————————————————————

In other news:

The annual space industry conference was held in Russels, with lots of news best condensed as a list:

• KATM officially retires the Prometheus 3 rockets that had technically still been active but were really just gathering dust in a warehouse somewhere.

• Bloating announces the upcoming end of the Daleth 2 in favor of the more modern, capable, and cheap Daleth 3, as well as unveil a new rocket set to launch within two years...

front-Mun-Gateway-1.png
 

• The Zeus 1 is detailed. The upper stage is a widened DHOSS with updated RK-10C engine. The lower stage is powered by a KE-1 engine of which the knowledge to make was preserved by Kerbodyne since the Sarnus program, and supplemented by a number of Daleth 3 SRBs.

• Some worrying news about Medved’s development, particularly the aerodynamics and engine relight, is revealed.

• Noel Kerman unambiguously states that Tundra Exploration will not pursue reusability unless advances in technology make it much more practical.

• OvinSpace, a startup, delivers plans for a methane-powered small launch vehicle.

• Luciole Labs wows crowds with an actual demonstration of their tiny LOX and kerosene booster engine.

Spoiler

You know what— no schedule. I posts when I wants :).

This mission report is going to change a little- it’s no longer a challenge entry, but I will stick to the same framework. I did this because some of the constraints are actually impossible in JNSQ (like free-return trajectories around the Mun), some are impractical (rover delivery schemes), some are ambiguous or weird (Duma lander testing), and some are inconvenient (no mechjeb?!). Again, this will almost certainly play out in the same way, just with less of the constraints that keep me from doing what I like and what I think will be entertaining.

 

Rocketdyne did actually preserve F-1 know-how. https://www.thespacereview.com/article/3724/1
I’m going to switch to F-1B once I figure out a bug related to the BDB F-1 (restock boar doesn’t have nearly enough thrust). For now, pretend the nozzle is black.

 

 

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Chapter 14

Moving on with Life

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Spoiler

 “She was the best of stations,” Dolhal Kerman said as a montage of pictures flashed on a slideshow behind her. Orbital Shuttle and Drakon-Libra and Nyx. Union and Tomagachi and Vega. Smiling kerbonauts, live on TV and streaming on Shiver. Five robotic arms over the years. Research into plant growth and materials science and cutting-edge technologies and advanced physics. Four nations, as one.

One ceremony and sequence of speeches later, KSC wasted no time in getting the first pieces of its successor into orbit. Its internal designation was just KSS2, but an actual name would be chosen by the winner of an international essay contest.

Spoiler

No need for an essay, just give me some name suggestions.

KSS2-1.png

The Muo Heavy is needed for this launch, which will be its first operational.

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This first module contains one of the main laboratories, the main control block, a docking adapter for Nyx spacecraft, and the station’s main robotic arm, tucked into the fairing besides the Inon upper stage.

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The arm “walks” itself over to the other end of the spacecraft using the built in grapple fixtures, berths the docking adapter to the correct port, then returns to the other end to allow clearance for visitors.

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An unmanned Nyx goes up to the station to act as a sort of temporary truss structure, providing power, thermal control, propulsion , and even low levels of pressurization to the empty section.

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KSS2-Truss-S2.png

Construction continues over the next few months as Bagorah rockets launch the outer truss sections, to be later removed and then reattached to the inner sections that will be launched as power requirements onboard the station outgrow the capabilities of just the outer trusses.

Nyx-6-1.png

Despite all the sentimental speeches, KSS is still alive, even if her equipment is not exactly well. A long-duration Libra-Drakon crew remains on board, and they will be joined in their final shift by a crew of four onboard Nyx-6.

Nyx-6-2.png
 

Despite all the buzz in LKO, the Mun in still very much the goal. What will be the last uncrewed test of Selene takes flight.

Selene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-1.png
Dunas 5 sits majestically in the dawn as it prepares to launch a Selene lander to the Mun.

Selene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-2.pngAn uncrewed capsule launches to meet Selene and KDS.

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Selene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-4.pngSelene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-5.png
This flight is meant to test the ascent and rendezvous of the ascent stage.

Selene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-6.pngSelene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-8.png
Selene-Nyx-Mun-Orbit-Test-9.pngNyx burns home.

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stratoflight-1.pngcumuloNimbus flies! Rocketspotters are a bit disappointed that the plane released the booster far from land, over the equator in the ocean.

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After a successful launch, what is essentially the first stage returns back to its home airfield, far from the optimal equatorial orbits.

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Wait... more KSS2 modules? This one, a cutting-edge inflatable, is launched on a regular Muo, the first time a non-heavy has used this particular wide fairing.

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The attached service module means that the interim Nyx solution is no longer required, and it leaves, opening up that docking port (which will be moved to a better location). The module can’t inflate yet, until it gets a shipment of pressurized gases onboard a Gigan freighter.

Spoiler
On 11/15/2020 at 12:48 AM, JakGamingKSP said:

i believe i saw something slightly related to reeves of michael

That quote was meant to echo Nietzsche, and how horrendously gruesome, immoral, blasphemous, and sinful SRB-X is, but I guess that also works.

 

 

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Chapter 15

The Stars Within Reach

Mun-Gateway-2.png

Spoiler

<flashback8years>

”... and would everyone give a warm welcome to Dr. Durzur MacKerman!”

<polite applause>

“Thank you, Mort. As you all probably know, the Kerbal Space Program is facing a crossroads as our Orbital Shuttle program becomes obsolete. The choice to be made, then, is whether to continue with the same old tech, with all its limitations, in a simple lifting-body or something. We have 30 years of experience with spaceplanes now, I think we can make a better successor for LKO. Or, we can start over, create another Sarnus and Kane, use those and go back to the Mun, and on to Minmus and Duna. As with Kane, the budget and engineering time needed would be ridiculously high— too much for our post Frost War budget. The Munshot, after all, was a kind of competition with the Von Kermans.

“So what am I proposing? Both of these. Neither. Under the plan I will summarize before Mort drags me offstage for talking way overtime, the KSP and Kermanity can take another ambitious leap, while using tried-and-true technologies from the Orbital Shuttle, the commercial launch industry’s 40-year experience, and the venerable Sarnus. It shall be named Leonidas, after the ancient name for our closest stellar neighbor, Valentine.”

<enthusiastic applause>
 

“The Orbital Shuttle’s launch stack has been proposed as a core stage many times in the past, and I feel that it’s the right technology to use for a super-heavy orbital booster, to surpass even the Sarnus V. By using upgraded OS SRBs and a 5th OSME, the Dunas 5 can approach 100 tons to orbit.

”Instead of launching crew and cargo on the same rocket, the plan calls for a separate Dunas 1 rocket for crew to allow for greater mission flexibility, including crew rotation missions to the KSS and future low-orbital stations. A single OS SRB boosts the second stage out of the atmosphere, where it captures using an advanced version of Sarnus’s K-2 cryogenic vacuum engine.

”The same K-2X (the new engine’s designation) should power the Kerbin Departure Stage, launched with a large payload on Dunas 5 and used for very high energy orbits.

”The typical KDS payload would be the Selene munar lander, with 3 of the dependable R-10 engines and high-performance methane engines for ascent.

”The last piece of new hardware to be developed by KSP is the Nyx crew capsule. Drawing on Kane technology, it is to be quite a bit larger and roomier to accommodate up to 6 crew comfortably. Our international partners from the MKSA have indicated interest in designing a KTV-derived service module with an advanced ECLSS to last over 90 days active.

”A typical mission profile for a munar landing would be a Dunas 5 with KDS and Selene launched from pad 1B, followed an orbit later by Nyx. After docking of the two craft, the KDS sends the lander to TMI. After the capsule’s SPS captures into Mun orbit, the mission proceeds like that of Kane, with undocking and restocking of the lander portion.

”Expanding on this idea, some of my colleagues have floated ideas for an advanced evolution of the KDS/Dunas 1 system, including long-term orbital outposts around Mun and possibly even a surface base.”

<thunderous applause>
 

”A Duna mission using this architecture has been thought out before, so I will spare you the details.

”Back in LKO, commercial space markets are opening up, and the KSS is half finished. As the complete plan’s timeline overlaps with the last 20 OS flights, there has to be a way to accomplish it sooner. And the perfect piece of hardware is the OS-P, quite an old design, and one that will be discarded for Dunas 5. However, with some clever robotic arm usage the station can be completed in record time.

”Sadly, like all stations, KSS will be decommissioned sooner than we’d like. Given as station development is a long and arduous process, it would be best to begin funding proposals for next-generation stations, as well as funding commercial rocket development much more through grants, especially cargo delivery so KSP won’t be preoccupied with them.

”Science and understanding, of course, is...”

ENTER MORTIMER, who pulls Durzur away from the microphone.

<deafening applause>

</flashback8years>

After that little detour into the conception of the Leonidas program, we’re back in the present, where Luciole Labs had fired up a test of their Quark core stage, making the rocket on the verge of flying.

quark-static-fire.png
 

A couple of classified payloads are launched- one from the Kermans and one from the MacKermans.

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Construction on KSS2 continues, as the Von Kermans launch an adapter section basically glued to the front of a Hamal.

Hamal-Adapter-1.png
Hamal-Adapter-2.pngThe CDV docked to that port temporarily departs for a parking orbit 10 km from the station, to return shortly after the Hamal with no onboard supplies transfers its propellant to the main tanks and departs from the adapter’s forward port.


MINTCHIP-2.png

MINTCHIP (Minmus Infrared Near-Tracking Composition Heliopause Integrated Platform) heads to an eccentric semi-synchronous Minmus orbit for the purposes of investigating the interaction of Kerbol’s magnetic field with Minmus, Mun, and Kerbin, as well as get modern scans of the surface.
MINTCHIP-4.png

Some of the spectroscopy data surprise scientists...

MINTCHIP-5.png

Spoiler

I am REALLY proud of that backronym

MOREL1 (Mun Orbital Reconnaissance scanner and Exospheric expLorer) gets a little brother launched on a Daleth 3 to assist the larger, heavier, and more expensive satellite.

MOREL2-1.png


The MKSA test their transfer stage for CTV spacecraft to the Mun, meant to be launched on a Medved Heavy, or since that’s looking more and more unlikely to actually fly operationally every month, Bloating’s Zeus 1.

MKSA-TOS-Test-1.png

It needs to be tested before Zeus can fly, and can only fit inside a wide Muo fairing, but Muo can’t get it to orbit full and this test flies with nearly empty propellant tanks.

MKSA-TOS-Test-2.pngMKSA-TOS-Test-4.png
It comes with a solar panel shroud to provide power for the cryogenic tankage, which should be dropped before engine light.

MKSA-TOS-Test-5.pngPlot twist! Instead of using the liquid hydrogen we all know and love, this stage uses liquid methane as it boils off a lot less and is more dense, to only slight Isp loss.

Mun-Gateway-1.pngMKSA is busy, as it also launches the core of the Mun Gateway Liberty on a Muo Heavy, then using its ion engines for an hour-long burn into Mun orbit.

Mun-Gateway-2.png

 

Nyx 7 becomes the first crew to inhabit KSS2.

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Nyx-7-3.pngOnce docked, they crack open a sealed envelope with the official winner of the essay naming contest...

And the winner is...

Spoiler

Discovery Station by @Misguided Kerbal!!!11!!!

On board the newly christened station, the crew get to work unpacking the interior’s content.

Nyx-7-4.png
The inflatable module is the most spacious of any space-going single pressure vessel ever, narrowly beating the Hokulani Orbital Workshop, and weighting a fifth as much!

Spoiler

There’s a little teaser for something in there, can you find it?

 

 

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Chapter 16

It’s the final countdown!

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Spoiler

 Discovery’s modules are still barely full, so several cargo vessels send several tons up.

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CDV-2.png

CDV-2 Scott Kerman

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Gigan-L “Dragonfly”


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The newest smallsat launch vehicle, the Quark, becomes the first completely private-funded rocket to reach orbit.

quark-2.pngIt can launch with 0-8 strap-on liquid boosters, using the same engine as the core. This technology demonstrator uses the maximum.

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The payload, instead of a simple mass simulator, is four tiny satellites developed entirely by primary schools throughout the MacKerman Kingdom.

 

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In what will be the last test before a crewed Munar landing, the KSP uses the Dunas 5 launch vehicle as a testbed for new carbon-composite SRBs, which all future flights will feature. The boosters also contain the hardware used on KSTS for recovery, but this flight will not do so.

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Once on orbit, Nyx-8 joins Selene and KDS.

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The KSP’s odd naming system dictates that the capsule will remain Nyx-8, while the lander is Selene 0 (not quite 1, which is reserved for the first crewed landing).

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The crew of 5 become the first to orbit the Mun since the end of the Sarnus program. Since there’s a free lander in orbit, why not use it?

Selene-0-5.png
The uncrewed Selene begins a normal descent, until the center R-10 engine experiences a simulated failure and shutdown about 30 seconds before landing.

Selene-0-6.png

Onboard computer systems initiate an automatic abort and the ascent stage separates with quick-detach pyros. Some staff were nervous about quickly lighting the ascent engine in this scenario, so this test relieved their fears.

Selene-0-7.pngOnce safe from dashing itself on the rocks like the descent element did, the ascent climbs to orbit to rendezvous with Nyx-8 as an additional test of the very essential system.

Nyx then burns home with crew in good spirits, not wanting to leave the Mun.

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In other news: Tundra Exploration has purchased a 50% share in General Cryogenics, the branch of Bloating that makes the K-2X and virtually all space-rated liquid hydrogen tanks used worldwide. This ownership stake gives Tundra the right to use all General Cryogenics components without paying hefty license fees.

 

Spoiler

Again: too long. I was going to get it to you guys a couple days ago, but real life struck hard and some of my extended family tested positive for big ‘Rona. They’re doing OK so far, and I’m hundreds of km away from them.

 

 

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Chapter 17

Plans Made

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Spoiler

Media hype is at is highest ahead of the upcoming first Munar Landing in nearly 45 years.  A Mac Kerman "literary" magazine publishes a particularly notable article, printed in on a blindingly bright purple background in a special section about "explorers". All the Kerbals featured in the section are starving artists who climb a volcano or something for spiritual redemption, except for our six members of Selene 1.

magazine.png

Although written in overly flowery language and full of technical inaccuracies, it's a good piece of journalism about the personal lives of the Kerbonauts and Kosmonaut.

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Aldfry Kerman, former Kerbal States Navy Captain and primary mission pilot, focusing on the landing phase. (Shown here flying his kerbonaut-issued jet plane.)

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Kazer Kerman, PhD in Physics, chief science officer. (Shown here practicing sample collecting techniques outside the Kerbal Space Center)

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Handrin Mac Kerman and Kerwin Von Kerman, PhD in Mathematics and Structural Engineering, respectively. They will serve as mission specialists, assessing the performance of the Selene lander and helping Kazer on his science-collecting duties, as well as represent their countries. (Shown here on a spacewalk during KSTS-102.)

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Not every crew member can land on the surface. Maudorf Mac Kerman and Virdo Kerman are specialists in Nyx command module systems. (Shown here during a simulation.)

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An image file of a promotional slide for Kerbodyne leaks, giving the most news yet about the OvinOne launch vehicle.

 

Jian-Tou-Failiure.png

The Khinese state media streams the launch of the second "Star" satellite. After a visually nominal launch, the coverage cuts out two minutes before nominal stage two separation and ignition. Amateur satellite trackers cannot find the satellite in the announced orbit, and so assume the vehicle and payload were lost.

 

Quark-Kickstage-Test-1.png

Luciole Labs launch their second successful payload, riding high on their earlier triumph.

Quark-Kickstage-Test-3.png

Included is a feature essential to being a better choice for small sats than cheaper-per-kilo large launches: the Kickstage.

The Kickstage offers lots of orbital maneuvering capabilities to the tiny payloads that Quark is meant to launch, and can serve as a fully self-contained spacecraft.

Quark-Kickstage-Test-3.png

 

After a bit of a lull in commercial satellite launches, Bloating breaks the dry spell with a launch of the workhorse Daleth 3, carrying two payloads to Kerbosynchronous transfer orbit in a novel but ingenious dual payload adapter.

H20-MET-1.png

H20-MET-2.png

H20-MET-3.png

The first, upper payload is a fairly light commercial communications satellite for KEO.

H20-MET-4.png

Under it is a more novel payload: a microwave-electro-thermal thruster, using water as a fuel, developed by the. It has remarkably high specific impulse and thrust, as well as low power requirements. It has no radioactive components, and the propellant that is found on literally every body in the Kerbolar system.

H20-MET-5.png

Proponents of the technology say it will be useful for rapidly reusable landers on low gravity moons.

 

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In other (big) news:

NTV-Persephone.png

With the 10-year deadline to land on Duna ever shrinking, designers have released plans for a NTR-powered "mothership" to ferry crew to Duna for an extended stay. It is all reusable, with the exception of a single H2 drop tank. Polygon was contracted to build the habitation module, Lambda Chemicals to build the ECLSS, General Cryogenics to build the tankage sections and truss, and Kerbodyne to build the NTRs.

Many cried foul at Tundra Exploration who had just purchased a large portion of General Cryogenics in what reeked of financial fraud of some sort. Tundra had a lot to gain by this contract's recipients.

Spoiler

I tried to post this chapter THREE... SEPERATE... TIMES!

Every time it got wiped from the text input box. Glad I got it working.

 

You might not see an update for a while, as I'm working on infastructure for a lot of the second part of Leonidas (but not last :) ...)

 

 

Edited by Clamp-o-Tron
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