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Forgotten Horizons: A Mission to Sea-Level at Jool's North Pole - and Back!


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Hello all.

I have played KSP for the past 8 years, and have been on the forums for almost that long. Across that whole time, I've only ever seen a small handful of people return kerbals from Jool's lower atmosphere, only a portion of them returning from sea-level, and an even smaller portion of them doing it without cheating (though I do consider excessive part-clipping cheating). However, a few months back, while thinking about those past sea-level missions, I realized a common trend across all of them: they all landed near Jool's equator! So, I laid before myself the following challenge: get a kerbal within 1 degree of Jool's North Pole and to within 50m of the gas giant's crush depth and return them to Kerbin. (Granted, I also performed the mission so I could claim I was the first person to return from Jool's north pole, but my memory may be fuzzy and it may have been done in the past.)

Here is the "free-standing" mission album, no other context needed>>> https://imgur.com/a/grrPEQv  <<<

Most of my time on this project was spent trying to work out the kinks in the Jool ascent vehicle, named the "Jool Escape", seen below in descent mode. Namely, I don't have access to either DLC, so I built my own stock propeller, something I don't want to try again. Also, I tested some ideas I've had on the mothership, named the "Jool Express" - notably, I used a prototype Mk2 shuttle as a return vehicle and a relocatable heat shield to make aero-brakings more stable, both of which worked acceptably, though the shuttle can definitely be improved.

1MnhOMt.png

In the picture above, the Jool Escape descends below ~10km at Jool's North Pole, shortly before the Jebediah preps the ship for the ascent to orbit.

I may elaborate on this mission in the future (and may also post a variant of it as a challenge in the challenge sub-forum), but I am willing to answer any questions you all may have. Have a good day!

Edited by Beriev
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I believe you are the first person to fly an immersion blender at Jool. I don't see how you countered the torque from the rotor. At any rate, congratulations on your unique mission. :D

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5 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

I believe you are the first person to fly an immersion blender at Jool. I don't see how you countered the torque from the rotor. At any rate, congratulations on your unique mission. :D

Thanks! As for the torque countering, the rotor was a separate craft to rotate freely, only contained by 2 stayputnik bearings inside the structural fuselage at the top. The 3 reaction wheels beneath it are connected to the actual rocket part of the Jool Escape and help counteract the forces from the rotor wobbling, with shamelessly extensive help from MechJeb, since it's far more precise.

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