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YARP - Yet Another RSS Playthrough


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Here's a graphical recording of my first RSS/RO/RP-1 play through,  mainly as a record of my mistakes so I won't repeat them.

Phase one:  "I love the smell of RP-1 in the morning"

Early sounding rockets. The Stratos Series was initially launched from Lelystad, the Netherlands until I discovered that it has no radio coverage. At Madrid it worked a bit better but only from 3km up. I decided to start over in Kourou.

Spoiler

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The third generation turned out to be successful and completed quite a few sounding contracts. Moving on to returning stuff from space.

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The fifth generation was plagued with problems, tanks, thrust, avionics and later ulage of the second stage took several experiments to figure out. At the same time we were running out of science to unlock nodes. Let's go for some old-school science farming around KSC. (Which did not work either ;-)

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After a semi successfull flight our pilot nearly died of a CO2 overdose whilst being on EVA. Something with the scrubbers in the suit that make no sense. This will be a problem if we need to parachute out of exploding craft. Make a note to open parachutes as late as possible to minimize time in atmo.

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After another series of flights we mastered the sounding rockets and collected all the local science. Time to unlock some nodes and move on to bigger booms. Introducing the Hammer series. Designed to get that downrange contract and use the funds to work towards an orbital probe. 

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With minimal success in the Hammer series we decide to see if we can gather some more telemetry and develop the Razor plane series (stolen from Discord)

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Based on that (:yeah science) we moved forward with the design of our next rocket, combining Stratos and Hammer.

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The C series have upgraded engines and great performance.

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The A2 has been upgraded to rocket engines, going for supersonic. Perhaps we should replace the wings before we try that.

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First success. and safe landing.

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Two staged rockets, we are still getting a lot of vapor in the fuel lines and don't know why. (TWR first stage is too large and altitude too low)

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Preventing early retirement means lots of small trips for the team.

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Razor A2 ripped its wings off flying at Mach 2 but using the tail fins it kept the nose up and flew back to base. Landing was not a option though.

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Smash another record on the way.

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Bring out the old plane then.

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The first photos of space, we can do this contract multiple times and figure out how RCS works

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Another safe return and a bit of science

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Flight analysis of the downrange attempt, this design might do the trick

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While the new A2 craft is under construction the A1 got modified to run on yets and rocket engines using a drop tank

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The B4 uses boosters and a spin stabilzed third stage

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Success!

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More suborbital hops for science.

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New plane and high altitude attempt. The X15 is struggeling to create lift.

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And rips totally apart

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A scary decent since you can't bail out at high altitudes.

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Valerie survived and gets rescued

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We have achieved orbit!

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Another hop contract

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Higher and higher we go

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The new A2 streaks up to 75km

screenshot-2021-01-30-12-52-00.pngOne final round of gathering science.

 

Edited by MacLuky
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Round 2: Orbital

After reaching orbit the next objective is a reliable launcher. Which means controlled delivery of a payload in orbit.

Spoiler

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The aries series (I will use constellations for rockets) will be production versions of our previous tech that we hope to scale up to a "real" lifter.

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Aries 1 launches Ignus 1: a science probe.

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Aries 2 launches a simple probe in polar orbit.

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A new version of the Razor (A1) seats two, and is used for long range experiments (Peru I am looking at you)

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Great range

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Meanwhile Eva learns how many G's are too many and recovers barely before hitting the ground

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Shaken but not stirred

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New experiments means new launches

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We are getting the hang of these uncontrolled spin stages (but what a pain)

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Small test of a new engine

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More flights to keep the astronauts happy

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Aries 4 launches Ignus 4 the first solar (under) powered satelite.

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Testing new engine configs

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The last of the hammers is used for an hop contract.

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Safe return of dogs or monkeys

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Aries 05 launches in the 0B configuration, better performance on all engines. Payload is still very low due to cost and weight.

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Ignis 5 is a new design satelite, where its predecessors were meant for short experiments this one will be an ode the the Bee Gee;s (staying alive)

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Codenamed Sputnik (later renamed to Ignis) this one will check in every now and then, based on exposure of panels (dammit)

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Another flight keeps the pension away

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Engine failure and explosions, but still a save landing Cloe Frimaut saves the day. and earns a ribbon.

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The new B1 config weights over 120t but has a controllable upper stage (finally) this means our KOS scripts can finally run all the way and we dont need to guess work the final stage.

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First stage are 2 LR89 followed by a LR105 as second stage

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Finally an AJ10 kicks us into orbit.

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A final kick stage creates an eccentric orbit for our micrometeorite experiment

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With some adjustments to the guidance the B2 variant is rolled out. Still horrifically expensive

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Delivering the first spy eh observation system. Someone forgot to add a return capsule for the film however and the solar panels are again not powerful enough.

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The 2B is getting to a standard. We have live cargo this time. which might also solve the film issue

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Laika 01 on a Aries 2B gets to orbit and will be the first living thing to return from it. Giving us the science we need to progress

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Getting hot

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Meanwhile the boys in the aviation department fixed their planes

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Which will rip apart some minutes after this, (seriously how many planes am I going to trash)

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Keep falling Valerie, you need to balance the time you are choking on CO2 with the time needed for decelaration.

screenshot-2021-02-03-18-01-35.pngI know why you look unhappy, but hey, you lived.

 

Edited by MacLuky
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Part III: Product Line Launchers

After the discovery of balloon tanks we came up with Aries-0C, less than half the weight and 30% more payload. Expected to lift 300-350kg to orbit under 60t. Hurray!

Spoiler

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Luna 01 launches on Aries-0C-09. A single LR89 powers the first stage.

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Two AJ10 power the second stage boosting a 300kg probe into orbit

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Though brilliant designed, the engine is a vector engine, locked in gimbal  but still very wobbly. It won't make the moon but at least we can run all experiments from an higher altitude.

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And then the power ran out. We will need a better design here.

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Luna 02 launches on the Aries 1D A new design that was rolled back and forth many times. The LR89 on the core was replaced with an LR105 and two boosters carry the LR89. Sharing the design with the C class saves on tooling. We think it pushes 1.2-1.7t to orbit.

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Booster seperation

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Core stage burns out, kicking off second stage

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This time a AJ10 spin stablised stage kicks the probe off

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En route to the moon

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getting "close"

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We are out of radio contact but the instruments are running

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Once we get closer to home 60 data is sent!!! yes the way to manned flight is open.

 

Edited by MacLuky
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Great job so far! What year are you on? I briefly played Rp 1 recently and I only made orbit once. I took a break to play some Beyond Home because I wanted to try out some interstellar stuff and the Near Future series of mods. 

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1960 I lost a lot of time figuring things out. Catching up though. Already running sims on Mercury capsule, though I need at least another year of research to unlock it.

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You are still way ahead of where I was. I made first orbit in 1956, but I would of had to wait until 1958 to launch anything useful to orbit. From what I have seen if you want to go fast you have to spend as much money as possible on the build queue early on. 1961 for a manned orbital flight is amazing for a beginner since Rp 1 is as unforgiving as Eve’s atmosphere. 

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@Carnasa's videos have been a great help. I had to slow some down to 1/8th to dissect his build process. Manned flight has been delayed in favor of moon impacters (I need the cash)

To the Moon! for Science, all of mankind, and boatloads of money

Running low on cash I picked up another moon contract, and delaying the manned flights we try to keep our astronauts happy with another flight.

Spoiler

 

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Still far far away in the research queue is a manned capsule. But we can dream in the sim.

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Meanwhile Luna 02 has another moon encounter. I think this will happen every 3d orbit until gravity assists have slowed her down too much. Still, it is great science.

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Which is relayed once close to earth. Luna 3 will have an upgraded comms system if I figure out how real antenna works

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Speculum 2 launces on a Aries 0C. Going for 61 deg inc and 145km Apo/pe will tax the rocket to the max, leaving 45 m/s in the tanks.

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Good burn

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Yes! no engine failure (okay I reloaded once)

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Orbit achieved, but what happens now? draining electricity? again the panels are too small and Speculum 2 will collect science at a much slower rate than expected. The engineering team is sent to the Jungle for a "team building" exercise.

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Meanwhile should be able to reach 140 km. First test is a little over 100.

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Very little control, need the RCS to lift the nose

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Up up and up. Engines burn out at 110km

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enjoying the view

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Ehm this is really fast

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Trying to break as much as possible and then FAR rips another plane in pieces. 

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As Stephen bails out he knows this is the end of the X15 program. There are no more funds for this hobby.

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At least he is safe

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Luna 3 launches on the 11th Aries. This time in the 1D configuration. meaning it is slimmed down. Smaller avionics, trimmed down antenna and batteries in the lower stages, even some separators are gone.

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Look at that sunset

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Orbit achieved. 30 mins to TLI

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Using time control the spinstabilized final stage was cut off at a very precise moment.

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The new comm system will allow the satelite to remain in contact even near the moon (at 1bps)

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Getting closer

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Hmm that is very close

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Sending those last data packets about low space

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And another crater. The comm implementation is a great succes, perhaps we can pick up a comm sat  contract and build a relay network around Earth.

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Luna 2 makes another flyby

 

 

Edited by MacLuky
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Part 4: beep beep can you hear me? of course not, my antenna level is 1!

Spoiler

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We decided to build a comm network, because we have some contracts that say so and we have spotty reception in LEO

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First one is a technology demonstrator. It uses a two staged approach. A science core as usual, but with a manoevering unit that can trim the orbit and then be disposed of.

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Testing the trim function. Radios checkout. 

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In 700x700 km orbit it wont do us much good, but the internal antenna can relay to earth and the communitron up to 12Mm

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Next up is Luna 4 for another lunar flyby

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Good TLI

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Now use RCS to trim the orbit (apply what we learned from the commsat program)

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Oh. 15 km

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Power problems but capturing lots of science

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It will get kicked out of Earths orbit and struggle to transmit, but we get some science from low moon and high solar orbit before we loose contact

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CommSat 2 (stupid naming) goes for 3.2 Mm

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Using a restartable XLR stage. I had forgotten about this engine, but due to the many plane flights it has become highly reliavble and has 4 ignitions

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Achieving orbit. Period is 156 min and the launch takes roughly 8 minutes to pe, then it is a bit faster to reach apo for circularisation, so for 4 satelites I recon we should launch 52 minutes  after it passes overhead.

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Luna 5 goes for flyby + impact! it zips past the surface at 5km altitude but due to the staging the TLI stage is dropped on the surface for lots of money. Collected science is disapointing. We need orbit around the moon to get some more.

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There is a contract to test re-entry shields, so we run another dog up and go for Laika 2. hoping it will bring science.

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Safe return, no science.

Edited by MacLuky
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Part 5: In the satellite business

Grinding my way through the satellite contracts we make some great strides forward. With the upgraded VAB we are finally significantly faster in churning our rockets.

Spoiler

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CommSat 2B launches to an altitude of 3.2 Mm (hopefully)

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No problems other than being too close to CommSat 2. We will need 2 more sats to complete the constellation.

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This one had an engine failure in the last second of the AJ10 stage. Fortunately the kickstage had fuel to spare but RCS is very limited.

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Engineers have given up on Speculum 2 and start juggeling the systems to power the descent stage.

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We have a bit of data but it is not much.

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At least the recovery procedure checks out. Design on Speculum 3 has started

 

Next up is Luna 6C where the C stands for "Circulum". It looks okay in the tests, lets see what it brings. At the very least we should see the first launch of the Aries E class 

Edited by MacLuky
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Part 6: successful orbits, one far, one closer to home

Spoiler

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Luna 6 Circulum is on the pad, wait: on the newest pad. Because of the Aries-0E. With a targeted payload of 4t to LEO it will lift the spacecraft with ease. At least on paper.

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Note that we now have 4 LR79 boosters and 2 LR105 on the core stage. The core diameter has grown to 3 meters but all of the other components are equal to the Aries-0C and 0D saving on tooling cost and upping reliability

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TWR is drastically more

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This has to be the most beautiful thing in rocket design, apart from perhaps the two boosters of the falcon heavy landing simultaneously.

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The red stripe indicates an increased payload control capacity on the avionics. By dumping the RCS we had enough space.

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Luna 6 uses a new TLI stage using a single AJ10, with own power and battery. The reserves on the probe are locked. We try to make it hit the moon but fail.

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Probe shutdown and floating. Reactivate in 4 days

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We have arrived, LI burn set slightly past Pe so we should have radio contact.

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After a failure and a juggle with the RCS (we don't have a lot of fuel) we have a good burn. 2 more will drop the Pe to 52km

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Orbit! shutting down avionics and setting a script for juggling science capture and transmission in case power gets low. It will take a week or so to capture all science and relay it at 4 bps

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Speculum 3 launches in polar orbit on an excessively large launcher but this time we are not taking risks.

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The thing is a giant battery covered in solar panels

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Victory! in 2 years we will recover the science.

 

That brings us to 21 launches. Will we get the first human in orbit before the 25th?

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Part 7: Onwards and Upwards

Where we build a network of science siphoning satellites around the moon and our astronauts finally see action.

Spoiler

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CommSat 4 and 5 were build from the same template, despite the lack of a suitable contract we want the network to look pretty

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Some upgrades to the kickstage design

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The XLR11 is really reliable and throttle! perhaps it makes a nice moon lander engine

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Probes away!

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And number 5. By now the AJ10 is getting very reliable

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Another insertion

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Done! lets move on!

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Luna 7 has 2 contracts: 1 impact and an orbit

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We struggled during the ascent with one of the AJ10's giving up, but we made orbit and the TLI stage has to work a bit harder.

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Luna 7 ends up in low orbit around the moon and in polar orbit, meaning we get visuals of all biomes. To everyones surprise Luna 6 is still sending data and will do for another month or so.

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Luna 8 follows. The Aries-1E is getting to see some action

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Those two LR105's have quite the kick

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Luna 8 is high low orbit at 42 deg incl. The probes now use each other as relay, passing on the data faster.

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Today is the great day. A regular Aries-1C booster is rolled on the pad. Its LR79 is nearly perfect. On top is the Sirius 1 crewed by Eva Larsen. The first woman to reach 100km, pass out and recover just in time to save the plane.

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Good burn and lift off

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The interior is sparse

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Good acceleration. Ground control asks for gforce data

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Rising steadly, aming for 250 km Apo

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Trajectory is good, preparing to ditch the LAS

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LAS jetissoned

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APO reached, MECO and detach so that the drag will pull the booster down

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Space.. the final thingy.

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Look at those curves

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Eve has 15 minutes to test thrusters, systems, control etc

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Most important, the reentry engine. We will need it when we go for orbit.

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When hitting 10G Eva passes out, but will recover

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Chute deployed!

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First woman to space!

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Already parked on the other pad is Sirius 2.

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Using the Aries 1D. This will be the 12th flight of that lifter. 2 0E and 4 1C share most components. We know this will work

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Good trajectory, estimating 1000 m/s surplus

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Boosters spent

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The two AJ10 kick the craft in orbit

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Deployement

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Cloe Frimaut is the first woman in orbit. She will spent 12 hours doing experiments

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Gliding to the dark side

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Reorienting for rentry

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Engines deploy

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Getting hot

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Really hot

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Airbag deployed too early, trying to get the craft upright

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Success! Sirus 3 is in the works and there is talk of a more powerfull version as well

 

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Part 8 Orbits is plural

Spoiler

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Valerie Pearson takes off for 1 day in orbit.

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Good burn on first 2 stages

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Misfire of the AJ10, abort mission

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Realign for reentry quickly

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Pulling 12 G

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Save return. Will enable extra flight checks

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Luna 9 launches using comm tech 2, hoping to solve the power vs bandwidth problem

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Both AJ10 fire

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Orbit reached just fine, we now have good coverage and a bit more bandwidth

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Eva Larson goes for 1 day orbit

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Inserting in a 250x250 orbit

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She will do 17 orbits 1d and 2h in space

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Aligning for return

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Ignite thrusters

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Safely back. Work has started on a better spacecraft.

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CommSat 6 launches for an attempt at GeoStationairy comms

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Another AJ10 failure, avionics too small as well

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Valerie Pearson on Sirius 5 Block B

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Orbital manoeuvring prototype based on XLR11. APO 500km but electricity is a problem

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We have 4 burns that we can do, 3 if we want to reenter

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Electricity lasts only a day. Need to renter

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Discover strange markings

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Luna 10 will test the new solar panels and complete the Luna Circulum program

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What a beauty and a whopping 4kbp back to base

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Judith Pesquet launches on Sirus 6. She is a scientist

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Note the launcher has been swapped for a 0E

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Avionics are a problem. orbit is 200x600km some records are broken but after 2 days she is stressed out.

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CommSay 7 tests the new 1E variant with upgraded engines and avionics. We think she can push 5t now

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A new Aj10 mid powers the third stage

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Which can be reignited

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The kick stage also has a new engine

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We do end up nearly in geostationairy orbit but do not have enough fuel to make it precise. Partial success.

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Stephen Adams is given a last chance with Sirus 7 after wrecking too many craft.

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He enters a polar orbit and will bring back 40 science. and test the manouvering system.

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Alignment

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The dot in the distance is Speculum 3

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Stephen comes within 143 meters and gets "snapped"

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Gets stressed after 2 days

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But earned his place in the space program.

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Kissing Venus

(at a safe distance)

Spoiler

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It is mid 1962 and Canopius 1 launches on a new Aries 1E. A 5 ton payload to 400x400km

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Goodby boosters

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The new AJ10s will burn way longer

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Getting the kickstage to work is a juggle, but with the RCS on the probe we manage

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Lost contact with home? flight control is contacting discord in a slight panic

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And it is back, right in time to setup a course change

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Dropping the Pe for a close flyby

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Now we just have to wait

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Sirius 8 still uses the 0E config until we have a bit more data on the 1E

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Yes! both ignite.

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Cloe Frimaut will spend 3 days in stress at 150x1200km orbit

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Dropping speed before rentry

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But a shallower trajectory

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Pulling up to 8G, she stays awake

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Ignus 7 goes polar for a scansat contract

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We've not seen the 1C in a while. It is actually a 2C but that would mess up my naming scripts even more

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Nothing special just upped the configs on the engines

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A neat little sat with just a science core

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Parked in polar orbit it will first scan infrared, then radar

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After that it will switch off the radar and activate a 9 year experiment.

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Though state of the art now, it may not be enough. In a couple of years we may need to replace the solar panels.

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Meanwhile Canopius 2 launches for Mars

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This never gets old

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good burn

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We missed the first window due to ulluage fixing. one orbit later we managed shaking the tank enough

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And we are off

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Meanwhile her sister nears Venus and witnesses an eclipse

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Getting close

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Swung around, we changed our inclination more than we wanted.

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Nice data

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She is now in interplanetary space. So far we have not found a use-full encounter. Perhaps it is time to say goodby, but not before the 67 science is relayed back home! We also learned we need to pack 3000 m/s if we want to make a decent orbit.

 

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Reaching the max of my lifter capacity. I don't think i can land on the moon with 5t from LEO. It might be time for a new launcher. Somewhere in the 10t to orbit 1-2t to the moon

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Disaster strikes

What was supposed to be a routine mission will turn to a disaster and a viking funeral.

Spoiler

 

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Last flight of 1962 is block C of the Sirius spacecraft. Engineers have found a way around the avionics power drain and came up with a new propulsion system.

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Launching on a 1E now are we? gathering du, because it is totally overpowered

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A look at the new drive section

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And a habitat module

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Look at that ascent stage drifting away

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Two days in the mission the O2 alarm pops up, we are leaking somewhere

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Quickly a reentry procedure is started, but it will take at least 20 min

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We are burning to no avail, Stephen Adams knows his time has come

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The thrust simply isn't enough. Stephens life signs have dropped he is gone

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Ground control adapts the trajectory to give him a vikings funeral

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In honor of the many crafts he crashed. Stephen Adams: you will be remembered as a hero of the space program

 

 

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1963 the first half

Still shaken by the loss of Stephen Adams, the space agency is looking for new ways to make space safe and exciting.

Spoiler

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The ribbons of Stephen serve to remember what a great man he was. Unfortunately it doesn't list the funds of planes he has wrecked. In time a suitable memorial will be erected. (when we have invented wheels)

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Meanwhile the first of the Taurus series of launchers has been rolled out. Though the debate was if the Aries could be upgraded to a few more tons, the Taurus is a whole new design.

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Weighing 500t, the first stage is powered by 9 H1 engines

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Excellent TWR and if performance is lost on one of them, the rest can compensate

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The second stage no longer need fairings and 6xX405 lift more than 10t to LEO

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That is 450x450 km

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Even if one explodes the others pull it off (had to shut down the opposing one and burn past their burn time.

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It comes with an additional third stage, designed to take 1.1t to the Moon. Probably a bit more.

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Two AJ10 mid and RCS included

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It can also do the capture burn

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The payload is Luna 11. A new lander with a juno deorbit stage. Actually it was designed for capture and deorbit, but the Taurus overperformed.

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Final burn and detach

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Some idiot filled the tanks to the rim and now we lack control

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Doom.....

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Its sister ship launches shortly after that

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Wow, boom

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This time nothing exploded

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Good burn

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And capture

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Same procedure, coming down from 50k

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Final descent

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Aligned for landing, turning on the landing computer

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Power bursts until we are close to the surface

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LANDING ON THE MOON!

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Meanwhile in deep space Conopius 2 makes a correction burn and will come close enough to Mars for capture

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An Aries-1D. We haven't seen one of those in a while. We picked up a scansat contract.

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Testing a new compact solar panel design

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We call it the flower arrangement. It seems to work well, but it may not have enough power.

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Speculum 3 has run out of film. lets see what happens when we bring it back.

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Retro rockets still fire after 2 years in space

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Whooha 40 science and there is still 160 up there? Work begins on Speculum 4 immediately.

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Luna 13 is a ScanSat for the Moon

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We have designed a new TLI stage for the Aries series

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Despite the lack of ullage RCS it works fine

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Lets see what maps we can make

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That doesn't look good. Luna 14 will be scrapped

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After some changes it becomes Luna 15

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Lifting off in the sunset

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We had ignition failures on both stages but managed to restart.

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Its a known procedure by now 

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But we are always happy once the engine lights up

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Slight change to capture more sunlight

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Landed (again) we could actually hop. There is more than enough fuel.

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Here is the first in the new Speculum series.

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The power still feels low, but it might be okay.

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Luna 16 heads out for another unmanned landing contract

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This time we can also dump the transit stage

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Final approach

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Landed, let's see if there are more contracts? There is plenty of science here, about 100-150 per landing so we will see more of these, though I may re-design the lander.

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Another Scansat for the moon will speed up the work

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Note we now do have RCS

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Beautiful

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screenshot-2021-02-16-21-36-23.png

screenshot-2021-02-16-21-38-45.png

Luna 17 has made orbit.

 

Work has started on a new vehicle but we do not have a launcher ready or a crew trained. Engineers gather to work on the Aries-2E and the Rigel Block A

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1963 Part 2 Glorious failure

It are times of great achievements and odd failures. With the crew grounded for more than a year, they have started training on new capsules.

Spoiler

screenshot-2021-02-18-14-51-35.png

Canopius 2 arrives at mars, but cant talk back to mission command

screenshot-2021-02-18-14-52-36.png

The course correction wil take her over the poles

screenshot-2021-02-18-14-52-56.png

Fortunately the computer knows what to do. It will start to collect science and we hope that by the end of the year earth will be in range

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-05-57.png

A whole load of Speculum satelites were ordered and rolled out fast

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-09-00.png

Speculum 5 breaks down half its solar panels

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-12-02.png

But becomes active none the less

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-18-42.png

Quickly followed up by Speculum 6

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-20-07.png

Which will hang on to its fairings a bit longer and has an RTG to recover from power failure

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-22-24.png

Nice orbit

screenshot-2021-02-18-15-59-19.png

Finally number 7. All are put in 160x160 60 deg. without much trouble. The 1C delivers and is cheap

screenshot-2021-02-18-16-02-03.png

Look at you, I mean look at me?

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-06-45.png

Before we return to crewed flight a number of tests must be done. On paper and simulation this craft looks very promising, but we decide to run an unmanned test

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-08-25.png

Riding an Aries 1E, the dynamic pressure does not look good

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-08-59.png

Pulling 6G, we need a better design

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-11-04.png

Good insertion

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-18-37.png

Lost control? apparently the 3.5t avionics will only work when crewed.

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-19-50.png

Engineers scramble to run all tests during the parabolic arc. panels deploy, power looks okay. Water is low as is LOX

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-20-21.png

Engine works ok, ulage RCS failed

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-22-15.png

Going for rentry. We cant point the spacecraft and hope that descent mode will help us

screenshot-2021-02-18-18-23-28.png

It does not and this is a failure, but we learned enough to make changes.

screenshot-2021-02-18-20-23-12.png

Luna 18 heads for a polar landing to search for ice

screenshot-2021-02-18-20-39-17.png

New lander design, but the tank has sprung a leak and both engines fail. We are not going anywhere today.

screenshot-2021-02-18-22-29-09.png

Last bit of good news, Canopius 2 came back into range and downloaded a 120 science. Windows are coming up for Ceres, Vesta and Venus.

 

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Status update

So far the number of launches is leveling out. Earth science satellites are rare but the Luna program has absorbed the capacity created by stopping manned flights. I do want to build a new comm network

Picture1.png

You can also see the lifters evolve, we keep pushing up more payload, and the build rate cant compensate for the more expensive rockets and the lack of rushing them these days.

Picture2.png

1962 rocketry has been unlocked or was it 63? anyway. Expect an updated Aries Class, we will need it for Rigel and I've started researching the RL-10 so we can go to Jupiter (hopefully in time)

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1964 Return of Manned Flight

A turbulent year with many failures. Having depleted the production lines in 1963 we will be a few launches short in 1964. I need to invest more in the VAB as I cant afford to rush the rockets anymore.

Spoiler

screenshot-2021-02-18-22-51-40.png

The year kicked off with another Venus probe. It has a few upgrades but mainly: if we time it right we should be able to orbit the planet.

screenshot-2021-02-18-22-55-35.png

Fairing deploys

screenshot-2021-02-18-23-00-39.png

Launched on an Aries-1E we have a TVI stage using an AJ10

screenshot-2021-02-18-23-08-08.png

Comms struggle close to home

screenshot-2021-02-19-16-43-40.png

Shortly after that Canopius 4 launched for a Vesta flyby.

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-12-51.png

Turned out we were too early. Better wait here so we actually have enough dv

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-21-34.png

Eva Larsen and Chris Eyharts (newbie) sit in Rigel 2 at the pad performing a pre-launch check

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-22-07.png

Launcher is an Aries-2D its been upgraded from 1.5t to 4t and has a more gentle TWR, not exceeding 4G

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-22-24.png

Good iginition of the new configs

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-23-46.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-24-48.png

Clean seperation

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-29-12.png

200x200km orbit

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-32-33.png

star occultation + visual acuity test

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-33-13.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-33-20.png

4 days in CO2 starts to build up

screenshot-2021-02-19-17-35-49.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-18-31-58.png

No risks are taken, the deorbit sequence is activated.

screenshot-2021-02-19-18-37-04.png

Later tests will show that the scrubber was only rated for 2 days

screenshot-2021-02-19-18-41-28.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-18-43-04.png

Gentle rentry

screenshot-2021-02-19-18-52-12.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-20-40-32.png

Luna 19 features a new lander with throttleble engines

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One ignition failure but we are getting good at this

screenshot-2021-02-19-20-45-56.png

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Systems shut down for transit phase

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We have very low TWR, might not make it

screenshot-2021-02-19-21-13-01.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-21-17-42.png

Killed all velocity 20km above the ground, used the RCS for extra thrust

screenshot-2021-02-19-21-19-03.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-21-19-09-1.png

screenshot-2021-02-19-21-19-22.png

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Touchdown!

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Course correction 

screenshot-2021-02-20-10-58-13.png

And number 4 leaves for Vesta

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screenshot-2021-02-20-11-12-05.png

Capture at Venus, high and low space science

screenshot-2021-02-20-12-11-56.png

Canopius 5 will head to jupiter

screenshot-2021-02-20-12-13-40.png

I love this rocket

screenshot-2021-02-20-12-14-44.png

Payload is a 8t cryo stage

screenshot-2021-02-20-12-27-53.png

screenshot-2021-02-20-12-27-59.png

A single RL10 will do the TJI

screenshot-2021-02-20-13-26-47.png

There are 8 or 9 RTG's on this thing

screenshot-2021-02-20-17-18-53.png

Some minor course adjustments

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screenshot-2021-02-20-17-29-57.png

screenshot-2021-02-20-19-36-41.png

Rigel 3 has Chloe Frimaut (P), Chris Eyharts (S) and new scrubbers

screenshot-2021-02-20-19-38-24.png

screenshot-2021-02-20-19-44-37.png

All systems green, testing orbital manouvres

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Chris performs a spacewalk, but since there is no nitrogen he holds on to the door

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Rentry after 10 days, very stressed. Perhaps we should pressurize the cabin

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Course corrections complete. Unless the rails screw up we will zip past Vesta

screenshot-2021-02-21-11-35-23.png

Time to upgrade our comm network to a geostationairy one. 

screenshot-2021-02-21-11-39-31.png

Launcher is a prototype for the Aries-2E, carrying a 5t cryo stage

screenshot-2021-02-21-11-45-59.png

from 550km to 35000

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More than capable, we can even deorbit it. It will move into a dive orbit and then release the sats

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First one is go, 

screenshot-2021-02-21-12-02-24.png

Complete with 7m/s in the tank

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No 2

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And 3. Now we clean out 18 old sats in LEO

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Heading to Mars carrying an upgraded probe and an detachable atmospheric thingy.

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screenshot-2021-02-21-19-28-15.png

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Love this engine

screenshot-2021-02-21-19-39-59.png

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Its December, Legir 1 launches on a 2C, or better put: the 2C is Legir 

screenshot-2021-02-21-20-24-20.png

It is supposed to be a target for docking, but as with the real gemini, the fairing refuses to release

screenshot-2021-02-21-20-25-03.png

this might be a problem

screenshot-2021-02-21-20-36-51.png

Luna 20 will be our first rover

screenshot-2021-02-21-20-40-58.png

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We had to juggle  the batteries, we need solar on these stages

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Lander starts descent, in the final few meters I will disable half the engines

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Landed, now decouple and fire up those engines at the same time

screenshot-2021-02-21-21-17-39.png

Success

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Fireworks

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Luna 20 R starts its journey, controls are reversed but we'll get there

screenshot-2021-02-21-21-37-46.png

Just before the end of the year Rigel 4 launches Lorenzo Fernandez (P), Judith Pesquet (S). Lorenzo is new but Judith spent 4 days on Sirius 6

screenshot-2021-02-21-21-48-14.png

Good insertion at 280x280, next time do 250 this was overburning the final stage

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Getting ready for rendez vous manouvre

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Approaching the Legir, by now you should have realized the spelling of that craft

screenshot-2021-02-21-22-10-37.png

Going for manual dock. Lorenzo is convinced he can push through the fairing.

screenshot-2021-02-21-22-11-53.png

After he bounced off the target he new better.

screenshot-2021-02-21-22-33-43.png

Grabbing almost all of the N2 he flies over to check it out, but the mission won't succeed though it was very close.

The Rigel class is coming together, I might send one around the moon. Meanwhile half my astronauts are training for the D2 capsule but that will need a better lifter in the 15t range. Oh and next year I might unlock station parts....

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1965 first half

The moon seems still very far away, but we got back to crewed flight which is always fun. The Aries class got updated and is now in the 2% range and 1400-2500 funds per ton to LEO. Taurus is getting stable and we have an update to 16-20t in the test bank

Spoiler

screenshot-2021-02-22-16-01-04.png

The crew abandons the mission and returns home after 10 days. There is still a power and nitrogen problem but we are getting closer to a worry-free craft.

screenshot-2021-02-22-16-02-42.png

They try spin stabilization on rentry

screenshot-2021-02-22-16-08-14.png

Splashdown

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A second attempt on the reconfigured 2C, 1 ton payload under 60 t pad. and at 2500 funds a bargain.

screenshot-2021-02-22-16-28-22.png

The second stage is now powered by an X405

screenshot-2021-02-22-16-34-00.png

Good orbit and shell has separated. We have included a film camera.

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Small deep space course changes

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For the twin craft

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Luna 21 arrives at the moon. I've skipped the launch sequence. Payload is another rover.

screenshot-2021-02-22-19-40-32.png

Mechjeb only works the last 100m or so, we need to land this precisely, ourselves.

screenshot-2021-02-22-19-44-02.png

Aiming for Shakeltons crater on the south pole

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Got it!

screenshot-2021-02-22-19-46-41.png

Steering towards the slope, but we cant hover too long.

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Final descent

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Shutting down half the engine as a way to manage TWR

screenshot-2021-02-22-19-49-29.png

Sadly the rover crashes on impact

screenshot-2021-02-22-19-50-57.png

We try to move it but it flips. solar panels on the side allow for science to be sent though

screenshot-2021-02-22-20-19-22.png

Rigel 5, Valerie Pearson (P), Ann Johansson (S) go for the docking test

screenshot-2021-02-22-20-29-25.png

Its a very nice craft. Designed for 10 day operations with a 40% buffer

screenshot-2021-02-22-20-48-32.png

After 2d they catch up with Legir 2.

screenshot-2021-02-22-20-49-23.png
Manual docking initiated

screenshot-2021-02-22-20-50-07.png

Good alignment

screenshot-2021-02-22-20-51-41.png

Hard dock. resource transfer of food and oxygen is tested

screenshot-2021-02-23-15-38-26.png

Speculum 4 should return home but mission control cant get the avionics online to do so. The cargo is too valuable to loose though.

screenshot-2021-02-23-15-43-03.png

After breaking the endurance record from Cloe and Chris the crew returns

screenshot-2021-02-23-15-54-24.png

Valerie is using spin stabilisation to conserve fuel on the way down

screenshot-2021-02-23-15-56-44.png

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-29-09.png

couple of weeks later Liam O'Brian (P), Francesco Verne (E) launch to Speculum 4 to see if they can recover the film

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-34-18.png

This means a 61 deg inclined orbit. stretching what the 1D can do

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-41-20.png

"Mission control, we see the craft. It seems to be venting nitrogen or coolant."

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-44-52.png

Valerie parks the Rigel at a safe distance and Francesco flies over

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-45-49.png

Hello beauty, said the engineer, I will take you apart...

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-46-34.png

Shortly after that he returned with the film and marked Speculum 4 as debris

screenshot-2021-02-23-21-56-44.png

They quickly return home

 

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1965 second half

The first 5 years of our orbital capable period we had a lot of catching up to do and we sure delivered in this part. Granted, there was more than one reload, but not all were due to pilot error. Updating to the master version of Realism Overhaul seems to help  a lot though.

In the second part we got very close to moon and we got some moon rocks to play with, and in the final days of december we take a daring shot to replenish our drained funds.

Spoiler

screenshot-2021-02-24-13-20-12.png

We start with a Aries-2E launching a very heavy payload in a 400km inclined orbit. It hovered on the pad before it decided to go up. Audio stutters on this engine config of the LR105. Very annoying.

screenshot-2021-02-24-13-36-04.png

This time avionics and power are better

screenshot-2021-02-24-13-48-52.png

Next up is Luna 22 which is the most complicated craft to date

screenshot-2021-02-24-13-57-47.png

It's been through testflight soooooo often

screenshot-2021-02-24-15-12-53.png

It rendez-vous with Legir and of course you have already spotted the Gemini style docking adaptor

screenshot-2021-02-24-15-41-13.png

Remote docking is not easy

screenshot-2021-02-24-15-42-02.png

Look mom, no mechjeb

screenshot-2021-02-24-15-42-41.png

screenshot-2021-02-24-15-46-52.png

Achieved hard dock, Legir had to finish the match speed manouver since we are saving fuel on that breaking stage. But the TLI was cheaper than expected.

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-07-20.png

We still need to break at the moon using the fuel tucked in that docking adaptor stage, it took 3 passes to circularize due to low TWR

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-16-40.png

Our transfer stage ends up in an eccentric orbit and can deorbit using the RCS

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-22-11.png

Next step is our lander, which is using yet another engine configuration.

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-24-02.png

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-27-17.png

I think it had 12 engines

 

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-31-05.png

Final breaking burn

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-32-47.png

Another successfull landing and this baby is packed with instruments

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-34-34.png

Some of which will do utterly nothing

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-34-46.png

We are grabbing a soil sample

screenshot-2021-02-24-16-34-52.png

And run out of electricity. By the time we recover mission control puts us on a 26 day "waiting list", you will see why

screenshot-2021-02-24-21-33-51.png

Meanwhile Elene Eikina (P), Chris Eyharts (S) are up. Chris is starting to teach the rookies how Rigel works and run experiments

screenshot-2021-02-24-21-49-32.png

They will spend 7 days and do science

screenshot-2021-02-24-21-54-28.png

They also test manoeuvres being in a -28 deg inclination they go up to 400km which is our usual departure orbit for TLI

screenshot-2021-02-24-22-22-00.png

Some additional rentry tests

screenshot-2021-02-24-22-25-38.png

Lesson 1: don't detach your service module too late

screenshot-2021-02-24-22-28-22.png

Watch the fireworks

screenshot-2021-02-24-22-59-10.png

Meanwhile the orbiter is overhead so Luna 22 leaves with whatever fuel was left in the descent stage

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-04-38.png

Which was quite a bit, I tend to overbuild

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-06-05.png

Second stage holds the samples and is almost on a direct rendez vous course

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-27-18.png

But is empty upon meeting the orbiter, but it has reserves

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-32-21.png

Bring them together 

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-33-41.png

And again transfer the goodies before we leave the probe

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-34-48.png

Recharge before going back where no other lunar probe went before

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-36-22.png

Leaving the empty probe

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-40-08.png

Heading back

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-42-59.png

Ditched the breaking stage

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-53-20.png

Pe is 60km, lets hope this works

screenshot-2021-02-24-23-56-10.png

Thermal analysis had been positive

screenshot-2021-02-25-00-05-11.png

We burn off the solar panels and RCS thrusters but are okay

screenshot-2021-02-25-00-07-03.png

Plenty of ablator left

screenshot-2021-02-25-00-10-05.png

screenshot-2021-02-25-00-10-56.png

And a treasure of science

screenshot-2021-02-25-11-17-12.png

Canopius 6 has arrived at Mars and tries to break but nearly doesnt have enough fuel

screenshot-2021-02-25-11-22-12.png

It will be tight but we might make it.

screenshot-2021-02-25-11-28-18.png

Releasing the probe just in case.

screenshot-2021-02-25-11-30-27.png

Why do we have to be out of range when it arrives at the atmo, it is already low on power

screenshot-2021-02-25-11-37-45.png

Screaming though the atmosphere it survives without a heatshield (PE was at 30km) but still with a parachute it ends up at 2000 m/s

screenshot-2021-02-25-11-46-10.png

Which means boom.

screenshot-2021-02-25-16-43-46.png

Next one will go to mercury. We can do a flyby with the same DV

screenshot-2021-02-25-16-49-26.png

The new cryo TI stage is seeing a lot of use

screenshot-2021-02-25-16-56-15.png

screenshot-2021-02-25-16-58-07.png

But we need to use the probes propellant as well

screenshot-2021-02-25-17-02-43.png

Some new instruments and upgrades in radio, avionics and solar

screenshot-2021-02-25-17-12-59.png

Time to deoribit our old Speculum sats

screenshot-2021-02-25-17-13-13.png

screenshot-2021-02-25-17-17-55.png

These were better aligned but due to many power failures they will not yield any science

screenshot-2021-02-25-18-04-44.png

So we bring down the others too

screenshot-2021-02-25-18-06-24.png

The system works, it just needs better solar. We'll worry about it later

screenshot-2021-02-25-21-13-50.png

We also picked up a contact for a probe to venus

screenshot-2021-02-25-21-24-23.png

Looks familiar?

screenshot-2021-02-25-21-29-33.png

It won't be able to make orbit, but thats okay

screenshot-2021-02-25-21-34-56.png

Off you go

screenshot-2021-02-25-22-05-33.png

We have 18 probes on and around the moon that create an adhoc network, but it clutters my display and slows the game down. Lets change that

screenshot-2021-02-25-22-12-41.png

The RL10 is a beautiful enigine

screenshot-2021-02-25-22-28-46.png

Inserting 3 sats at 2Mm

screenshot-2021-02-25-22-34-11.png

The second one broke a panel, lets hope it survives

screenshot-2021-02-25-22-38-43.png

Done! we should have good coverage now.

screenshot-2021-02-26-18-10-06.png

Its december and the final flights to end this year memorably have started. A Taurus launch puts a slightly heavier Legir in a 400km parking orbit. This time with solar panels

screenshot-2021-02-26-18-25-40.png

screenshot-2021-02-26-18-30-18.png

Next up are the brave Valerie Pearson (P), Lorenzo Fernandez (P). Valerie flew on Sirus 3 and 5 and did the first successful dock with Rigel 5. Lorenzo was on Rigel 4 so this is an experienced crew

screenshot-2021-02-26-18-53-49.png

The Aries-2D lacks a bit of punch to circularize, so they need to use rigel's engines

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-03-42.png

The meet up with Legir 4

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-04-15.png

Which is spinning a bit, this will take some fiddling

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-09-29.png

But they manage to dock, align themselfs properly and after one hour...

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-19-46.png

Light up that RL10 and burn 3200 m/s

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-27-54.png

Going further than anyone has gone before. Despite all radiation meters saying it is a bad idea.

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-30-08.png

Valerie inspects the transfer stage and concludes another burn is possible

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-30-14.png

Admiring the view. I never found out how to tilt a kerbal on EVA

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-47-12.png

They swing by, the moon after 3 days. but not too close since this is a free return trajectory.

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-48-11.png

It is now Lorenzo's turn to do an EVA report and admire the sights

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-50-46.png

A bit of RCS is enough to set the PE to 60 km.

screenshot-2021-02-26-19-52-30.png

And the trip home begins

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Detaching from a transit stage with explosive fluids

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And forget to detach the service module

screenshot-2021-02-26-20-08-24.png

Lets hope the heatshield holds out

screenshot-2021-02-26-20-12-02.png

Going though that ablator really quick

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At 4.5km/s the heatshield gives in, but the capsule can take some heat

screenshot-2021-02-26-20-18-35.png

Survived! lets not do this again

 

Edited by MacLuky
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1966 is going to be interesting, we have a new spacecraft in development and 7 astronauts trained for it, but it is seeing more and more delays. Will we complete our spaces station contract in time? Engineers are looking for solutions. We would also like to put a little rover on Mars or Venus, but landing is still tricky

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